Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goin' Green

I love that dirty water...
Long before Ed Begley Jr. and the other environmentalists, the Irish had the right idea. It won't save any rainforest or patch the ozone but their hearts were in the right place. (?) Happy St Pat's to everyone, as usual. Watch the flicks, drink the green beer, think about how the Good Saint drove the snakes out of Erie (probably after enough boilermakers not to feel the bites). If yer in Chi-town, enjoy the green river (I guess that's one way of disguising the algae). Makes me thirsty just lookin' at it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010: Easy For You, Deeficult For Me

And another one rolls by. They say the older you get the faster they go by, but this one was like waiting for the Titanic to sink. Nevertheless, '09 wasn't without it's merits and potholes. Allow me to sum up:

Started the year in a usual funk. No shows to do, wintertime blues, you know the drill. Add to that the fact that, as stage plays go, I couldn't get arrested, let alone cast. A grand total of six auditions were attempted by me and I got to be in one. Damn right the ol' confidence was shaken. And stirred.

Fortunately, the Fates (and my friend Shawna) took pity on me so I got to portray Lazar Wolf in her production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Poteet Theater in August. THAT was fun! Tiring, but fun (I also came away with a sore knee, but waddya gonna do - the Price for Being Cast In A Musical). Then, to prove that I am a total masochist, another friend asks me to do a major supporting role in something called In Good Spirits, a Halloween Musical, which starts rehearsals immediately following Fiddler's closing. I had my doubts at first - it seemed to be one of those Cursed Shows, with people dropping out, getting sick (including Yours Truly), etc. But we persevered, and it turned into a nice little show. Kudos to Denise and all the great new friends I made at the Stage Door in Yukon, OK.

Then there was The Move. We pulled up digs again to move into a kind of worse neighborhood and a smaller house. The previous tenants trashed the joint, so in exchange for a reduction on an already inexpensive rent, we got to do paintin' and stuff (we still gotta lay the floor in the living room). On the plus side, we're already reaping the rewards of a rent cut in half and the playing-off of our Buick, which means we had a really nice Christmas (the highlight of which - mostly for the grandkids - was a new Wii machine, which stays here, as anything brought over to Mommy's house runs the risk of being trashed by others living there). Oh, and did I mention we now live next door to our grandkids? Becky sure likes that. I do too, as long as certain limits are maintained. We ain't no sitter service, y'know.

Speaking of Christmas, my big gift was a Blu-Ray player. Yes, I've dived into Blu thanks to a sweet wife. Unfortunately, we can't enjoy HiDef yet, as we now need to replace the T.V. It's am Element 32" I bought Black Friday two years ago from Circuit City (a red flag if there ever was one) and it refuses to use any kind of HDMI cable I've plugged into it. No matter what the setting on the player or set, no signal. SO, I guess a new set is in the future (not that we weren't thinking of a bigger set anyway - we need it, as our eyes are going). I'll keep ya posted on that front.

Aside from having a sabacious cyst removed from my neck (no biggie, but it was pressing against my nerves, giving me bad neck and shoulder pains) and making an appointment to have a black spot removed from my back in January (more on that, too), that about wraps it up. As for the usual yearly DVD roundup, not much to speak of, so I'll give you the highlights.

Replaced my copy of El Dorado with the Centennial Collection edition and finally picked up Chinatown and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (also Centennial Collection editions). Wagon Master, a John Ford western I always wanted to see, hit my shelves along with the Criterion edition of Ace in the Hole, Hobson's Choice and the excellent PBS series The Golden Age of Television (of which I'm preparing a review).

Champion is also finally coming to the collection (now I need The Harder They Fall and Fat City - I seem to be a sucker for boxing flicks) as is the RKO version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Fiddler on the Roof was got after I did the show in addition to a wonderful little British comedy called Our Man in Havana and finally, something I swore I'd never do (Lord forgive me), I double-dipped on Karloff's The Mummy only to get Kevin Brownlow's Universal Horror documentary. On the Blu-Ray front, I'm off to a good start with a copy of Star Trek.

Well, that's the year, 2009, for me. Thanks for reading and onward we go...