Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
November 2, 2018
Another theater-y observation
Category: Miscellany

Another observation from this week's theater viewing:

Makeup effects. So one play had a villain with a scarred face, and ultimately the actor gestured to it and the dialogue explicitly noted the character's "bad face" such that it became clear that the character's deformity was, in fact, manufactured as part of the production. But initially no mention was made of it, and with the dim theater lights and my distance from the stage (and perhaps whatever visual impairment I retain from my retinal detachment issues) the makeup seemed convincing enough that I thought the actor might actually have been injured in a fire.

So until the artificial nature of the scarring became apparent, I was decidedly uncomfortable -- because I wanted to watch the play, but I also didn't want to rudely stare at this actor's deformity (even though an actor with an actual deformity would have to have made peace with that scenario). So I think if I felt a need to have a character present as such in a production I were directing, I'd probably want the effect sufficiently unrealistic in order to immediately key the audience in on the deliberate nature of the character's appearance and thereby relieve the audience of any undue discomfort.

(Now I'm wondering how the makeup sitch will play out with Waffles in Uncle Vanya.)

-posted by Wes | 5:40 pm | Comments (0)
Theater-y person observations
Category: Miscellany

Apparently I'm a theater-y person now? Not sure how I feel about that -- and honestly, given how inaccessible much theater remains to me, I'm not sure how accurate that assessment is! -- but okay! That said, assuming plans go according to themselves, I will have seen three shows this week by Saturday's end.

A few observations without explicit reference to the particular plays seen thus far:

Observation #1: A friend who came out for Merchant remarked that, when he sees Shakespeare, for the first 10-15 minutes it's as if the characters are speaking a foreign language -- and then all of a sudden something trips and they might as well be speaking modern English. I hadn't noticed that phenomenon in my recent theater forays, but I totally had that experience with one of the plays I saw this week. I'm not sure it necessarily helped me to understand what was happening in certain parts of the play (or to comprehend the jokes), but once the TARDIS landed in the vicinity I was able to follow the characters' speech with relative ease. It was weird. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 8:00 am | Comments (0)
October 24, 2018
Son of a f’n ragdoll!!!
Category: Miscellany

So yesterday evening I was driving to rehearsal, and other drivers were doing things I did not like (as other drivers are wont to do), and at one point I shouted (as I am wont to do, albeit not this particular curse; also my curses are always for my benefit; I never roll down the windows to share them with other drivers), "Jesus son of a fucking ragdoll!!!"

It is a thing I have never shouted before, and it gave me pause as it occurred to me that the majority of my driving curses are largely improvised. They frequently begin with "Jesus" and include at least one proper swear word, but beyond that? My brain goes where it will. And I've never consciously endeavored to do so, but I find it interesting that I tend to replace "Christ" in curses. I do remember some (ridiculous and flawed, I think) philosophical arguments to the effect that people who swear to religious figures are in fact confirming their belief in those figures, so I'm amused that my curses along these lines actually fail to satisfy those arguments' conditions for implicit religiosity.

Of course, "God fucking Hell on [randomly generated phrase]" is also a common curse of mine, and I don't expressly believe in a bunch of those terms. XD

-posted by Wes | 2:04 pm | Comments (0)
October 14, 2018
The Ballad of Black Tom, etc.
Category: Books … Miscellany … Serious

Do you have any places that fill you with an inexplicable sadness?

So there's this section of road I occasionally have to drive -- I've probably mentioned it before -- and whenever I drive it during the evening I'm overcome with a deep and overwhelming depression. Like, suicidal depression. If that road had an exit to the Key Bridge, I'd probably steer my car right over the edge; if I kept a gun in the car (I don't own guns), I'd likely pull over and shoot myself in the head. That feeling is perhaps especially jarring because it usually follows otherwise positive and encouraging experiences -- when I land on it in the evening (for some reason I'm unaffected when I drive it in daylight), I'm usually on my way home from a writing group session or the horror book club meeting or the Renaissance Festival. I don't know how I'd feel if I ended up on that road after a particularly long and shitty day, and I'd be both curious and terrified to find out. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 11:50 pm | Comments (0)
October 12, 2018
Thirty…seven.
Category: Miscellany

So earlier today I got a cell phone call from a telemarketer with a senior living company who wanted to tell me all about their wonderful life insurance options that would fully cover the cost of my coffin and funeral and provide extra security for my loved ones in the event of my untimely demise.

Now, I'm not generally the most assertive person when it comes to telemarketing calls -- I'll firmly say I'm not interested when they ask if I want what they're selling, but barring that I'm content to let them practice their pitches until my input is required -- and today, what with my melancholy mood and particular confusion with the nature of the call (generally it at least makes sense that I'd be on their lists; here I was almost concerned that this caller knew something I didn't), I was especially disinclined to interrupt the nice lady's spiel. So she'd unload with a paragraph of prepared text and ask if I was following, and I'd hesitate and nod as if she could see me and say, "Yes...?" and then she'd launch into the next passage of her speech, and this went on for some minutes.

Finally -- and I don't know why she didn't start with this question -- she asked, "Can I have your age, sir?"

I replied, "Thirty...seven."

A lengthy pause.

"Sir," she said, and then paused again... and then she flatly finished, "you don't qualify for any of our benefits. Thank you."

"Oh," I said. "No problem. Bye." And then I pulled the cell phone away from my ear and pressed the button to end the call.

But just before the call ended, she said, "Yes --"

And it really bothers me that, after all that effort I put into being polite in the midst of my bafflement, I inadvertently rudely cut her off! I'd also really like to know how that parting sentence would have ended. Alas.

-posted by Wes | 8:48 pm | Comments (0)
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