Sunday, August 31, 2003

Starting tonight and going into tomorrow, I will take part in a "Rocky" marathon with my friends. This means that I will be watching all five "Rocky" movies in the span of 12 hours. So the only time I will be standing up is to get pizza and to take a pee and/or crap. It should be pretty fun.

I've actually never seen an entire "Rocky" movie - let alone all five. I've seen most of the first "Rocky," but never from start to finish. And I remember going to "Rocky IV" in the theatre when I was four, but I don't recall anything about the movie itself (with the exception of James Brown singing and somebody practicing in a barn). So to watch an entire series for the first time all at once should be pretty neat.

For those of you who think this marathon will be the ultimate test of wills, it really won't be. My friends and I endured much more in the past. Last year on Labor Day, we watched all seven "Police Academy" movies and the year before that, we witnessed all nine "Friday the 13th" movies. Of course, truth be told... I missed a total of one "Police Academy" (end of part 6, beginning of part 5) and went to bed before "Friday the 13th" parts 7 through 9.

But I'm going to try and watch all the "Rocky" movies this year. They're celebratory, right? The joy and spectacle of five movies should get me through any fatigue or boredom.

Why, you could even say I'll be like Rocky himself - pushing my body to the limits of human strength, overcoming adversity.

You could say that.

But I won't.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Tonight, I sat downtown and watched some kids on a playground while I waited for a couple of friends to come by. The kids were having fun and they seemed to be really enjoying everything. It was neat.

And naturally, I started thinking about how I was a kid and how I'd go to the playground.. and how I didn't find it much fun. I'd have to, you know, fake enjoy the playground. I'd be on the slide, for instance, and I'd have to force myself to think, "Yay! I'm a kid! Slides are fun! I'm having fun! I'm being a kid and having fun!" That, of course, spoils all the fun.

And then I started to think about how I do that with a lot of things. I consistently trick myself into liking things or enjoying activities or feeling passionate about something. I rarely have "pure" moments - where I feel an emotion without prompting myself into feeling it.

I don't know. I'm generally a happy person, but it's been a really long time since I've felt pure, unprompted joy. Or pure love. Maybe I need to just let it happen without forcing it.

It's like... on Wednesday night, I tried to get hypnotized at a campus event, right? But while the hypnotist was trying to do it, I was so conscious of the entire experience. I'd be thinking, "Am I hypnotized now? Am I... now? Quit thinking about it. Just let it happen! Oh, now you've screwed it up! It's too late! You're not hypnotized!" If I would have just relaxed and not forced it, I could have probably been hypnotized.

But then again... I could be wrong. Maybe there's no such thing as a "pure" moment. Maybe it's always going to be bogged down with expectations and failures and whatnot. And maybe I'm not wrong for forcing things. Maybe the only way of feeling things is by trying to do it.

In any case... within a couple minutes, my friends came by and we left the playground. I got a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup blizzard at Dairy Queen. Consequently, my stomach received pure joy.

Problem solved!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

First week of classes are going alright.

I've been doing some crazy/stupid stuff as far as sleep goes though. On Monday, I went to classes on one hour of sleep. A couple days later, I went on two. The reason is... it's me trying to get stuff done and sleep's paying the price.

Tonight, however, I will get 10 glorious hours. A thousand dreams for me.

Also, No Shame Theatre starts on September 5th. I'm getting excited. I think my first piece will be based on something my mom found in our basement over the summer.

And no, it's not the pillow shaped like boobs - although such a thing exists in our basement. I guess it's an old gag-gift from my parents' college days. What a wild time that was!

Friday, August 22, 2003

It's move-in time for the University of Iowa, so I've been meeting a lot of the residents on my floor. Up to 25 or so right now. The rest will probably be here by tomorrow. They all seem to be kool kats - friendly guys with lots of enthusiasm. It's infectious being around this sort of spirit.

In the afternoons, I've been working on the back dock of Burge Dorm. What happens is... people pull into the back of Burge, then I (and others) unload their boxes and stuff from their cars, put it on carts, wheel it up to their rooms, and unload. It's a sweaty, heavy job, but the time goes by fast. Plus, you get to see two great things: A) family dysFUNction and B) funny dads.

This one dad pulled into the back of Burge, playing AC/DC loudly on his car stereo. You could tell he thought it was because college kids would think its cool.

Silly dad. Kids like Fifty Cent!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

For the purposes of not sounding pretensious, I will be referring to the artistic things I do (music, writing, video) as "my stuff" - rather than, you know, "my art" or even better... "my life!"

For a long while, I often wanted "my stuff" to fit this description: "If it were having sex, it wouldn't know what to do." You know, like really confused and awkward and weird. I don't know. I thought that'd be neat.

But lately... I've come to realize that "my stuff" better fits this description: "It doesn't get laid. At all. Whatsoever." Seriously. I thought about it yesterday. All "my stuff" is really uptight and controlled and... lacking joy... or better yet... it's just sad and lonely. There's no opportunity for unexpectedness - at least, fun unexepectedness. "My stuff" has his top-button buttoned and his hair combed tight across his head. He's standing in the corner at the high school dance.

I don't know if this is good. I think it'd be neat if "my stuff" got laid once in awhile. It could be loose and free. Have his shirt untucked and grow out his hair. Walk a little easier down the street.

So tonight, I'm going to take my movie out and buy him a prostitute.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

The following are the name tags on my incoming residents' doors. There's 43 residents and 43 presidents, so each resident gets their own president. Each nametag has a picture of their adopted president and a quote from the president himself.

These were written with great contribution by my friend Ricky Herbst.

George Washington
“I invented the cherry tree! And I’ll be topside in a salt factory if that Sally Jessi says elsewise!” – George Washington

John Adams
“Many of my contemporaries refer to me as ‘the ninth Beatle’.” – John Adams

Thomas Jefferson
“Although I’m most known for my work on the Declaration of Independence, I’d say my best work is the theme song from The Facts of Life.” – Thomas Jefferson

James Madison
“People often thought I smelled of snakes and licorice. Little did they know, I was deathly afraid of licorice so I wouldn’t be seen near that stuff.” – James Madison

James Monroe
“That’s right. James Monroe: the great grandfather of 50’s blonde bombshell… Jayne Mansfield.” - James Monroe

John Quincy Adams
“Keyboard aficionados often refer to me as John Qwerty Adams.”
– John Quincy Adams

Andrew Jackson
“For the first 15 years of my life, I was raised by polar bears who taught me their own language. And I say to them: Garble grrr gragle coca-cola.”
– Andrew Jackson

Martin Van Buren
“I bought a DVD player down at Best Buy and it doesn’t work so well. What’s their refund policy? Do you know? I think I’m gonna’ head down there later. In my horse and buggy!” - Martin Van Buren

William Harrison
“While vacationing in the tropics, I came upon a man who promised to make me the President of the United States of America if I strangled a mermaid with my bare hands. And I’m happy to say: Take that, Ariel!” – William Harrison

John Tyler
“They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I contend the path traces not through the digestive system, but rather, the famed “Timber Wolf” rollercoaster at Worlds of Fun.” – John Tyler

James K. Polk
“If I had a time machine, I’d travel back in time to the days of flying cars and make myself a pizza. A cosmic pizza!” – James K. Polk

Zachary Taylor
“Who am I?” – Zachary Taylor

Millard Fillmore
“I’m so old-timey, my beard is made of broken phonographs.” – Millard Fillmore

Franklin Pierce
“You can buy my latest album, Watch Out, Mister! Gonna’ Getcha!, wherever men’s fanny packs are sold.” – Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan
"I don’t know. Maybe I’m weird or something, but I always wanted to play the xylophone. Unfortunately, they always told me my arms were too short. But guess who entered the Oval Office proudly playing a xylophone, proving his detractors wrong? That’s right… Sir Millard Fillmore.” – James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln
“Historians often believe I wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope. However, I’ll let you know… Mad-Libs is not an envelope.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson
“Come into my store. I’ll make you some clothes. You can have some cake made fresh today. Now fall asleep.” – Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant
“Do you know why I like hypnotism? It’s people doing things they wouldn’t normally do. Like I saw this guy who did an impression of Carrot Top once. It wasn’t very good, but it was funny because this guy would sooooo not normally do an impression of Carrot Top.” – Ulysses S. Grant

Rutherford B. Hayes
“The ‘B’ in my name stands for pancakes.” – Rutherford B. Hayes

James Garfield
“In the elections, I triumphantly defeated my opponent James… Odie.” – James Garfield

Chester A. Arthur
“I had them install a swimming pool in the backyard of the White House. The construction took a long time and they didn’t clean up their shovels when they left. Am I wrong for being angry at this? Because I don’t want to seem like a grouch or anything, but gosh… I mean, that was a real mess.” – Chester A. Arthur

Grover Cleveland I (1885-1889)
“Have you heard that song “Cleveland Rocks?” That song was written about me. What? Why are you laughing? Seriously, I think it was. Right?” - Grover Cleveland I (1885-1889)

Benjamin Harrison
“They say you can determine a President’s worth by the number of ostriches in his front lawn. Notice: There ain’t no ostriches in my lawn!” – Benjamin Harrison

Grover Cleveland II (1893-1897)
“Okay. You liked my first term. But not enough fireworks, huh? I hear ya, I hear ya. Well, I’m back. And this time it takes place in New York. And I befriend a bird lady in the park. It’s kinda like that old guy before. But this time, it’s that bird lady. And something about a toy store. I don’t really get it.”
- Grover Cleveland II (1893-1897)

William McKinley
“A lot of people think I was named after the tallest mountain in the United States. However, my name is clearly not William Space Mountain.” – William McKinley

Theodore Roosevelt
“I got some new carpet in my living room a few weeks ago. Of course, Angela Lansbury and her husband had to bring their 5 year-old nephew Tyler to my Thanksgiving dinner. Hey, Lansbury, I got a mystery for you to solve: who dumped grape juice all over my new carpet? Oh, wait. I know. It was your five year-old nephew Tyler. Thanks a lot, Angela.” – Theodore Roosevelt

William Howard Taft
“In 1986, I contracted a rare form of Scurvy that allowed me to talk to the dead. The first person I talked to? Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan. And trust me, folks… the line wasn’t busy.” - William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson
“First things first: I don’t take orders from anybody. Not you. Not your supervisor. Not your rental car agent. I’m going to drive and eat peanut M&Ms no matter what you say. I don’t care if it does make the steering wheel sticky. Sorry if this is difficult for you to understand, Mr. Too-Good-to-Eat-Peanut-M&M’s-and-Listen-to-Electric-Light-Orchestra-While-Driving-Guy”
- Woodrow Wilson

Warren G. Harding
“I invented the multiplication table. And although I was criticized harshly for one particular equation, I don’t think it was that big of a deal. I just liked the sound of... 9x14=Warren G. Harding is so awesome.” – Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge
“The business of this nation is… c-c-candy! With frostin’!” – Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover
“Visit my presidential library. If you go, I’ll let them name if after you. Seriously. No one ever comes anymore. It’s just me and this grocery store cashier who keeps asking me where we keep the periodicals. And I’m like, “Lady, I told you yesterday.” But everyday… the same old song and dance. And believe me, folks, this President ain’t singing, nor dancing for anybody else. Anymore. And you know what? The dance floor’s gonna’ be just fine.” – Herbert Hoover

Franklin D. Roosevelt
“So, last week, I was in the park, wearing a purple football jersey. Obviously. And this teenager asked me how to get to California. I pointed to the sun, cleared a tear from my eye, and said, “Attaway!” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry S. Truman
“Geesh! What does it take to get a decent jet-ski around here? I mean, really?!” – Harry S. Truman

Dwight Eisenhower
“The milkman came to the door, but I couldn’t answer it. You see… I’s-in-the-shower. And that’s the d-wight answer to the question. But maybe I should have been nixin’ that question. Or perhaps I should have altogether Lithgow-ed it.” - Dwight Eisenhower

John F. Kennedy
“I started selling t-shirts out of the back of my station wagon in Okoboji. That was the summer of ’82.” – John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson
“Back before you were born, I was the roadie for Jefferson Starship. They claim to have built this city on rock-n-roll. But I like to think that we built it less on rock-n-roll and more on old-timey rag music. You know, like the kind that goes bam-bam-bam… groomp groomp… zooooom!” – Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard Nixon
“You know what’s funny? Dunk tanks! They always make me laugh. Because the person’s all, “Doop. Doop. Doop. I’m not gonna’ get wet! Then boink! Splash! Oh, no! My face is all wet!” – Richard Nixon

Gerald Ford
“I went and saw the Chicago Bulls. They weren’t playing a game, but… I think they’re gonna’ be good this year.” – Gerald Ford

Jimmy Carter
“Salamanders!” – Jimmy Carter

Ronald Reagan
“Because I got friends and that’s a fact. Like Agnes, Agatha, Jermaine, and Jack.” – Ronald Reagan

George H.W. Bush
“Read my lips: No new homework assignments! And the drinking fountains? They won’t just have water. You’ll have, like, a choice. Like if you wanted Mello-Yello, you just have to push a button and you get Mello-Yello. Or whatever. And oh, oh! Waterslides connecting every classroom!”
– George H.W. Bush

Bill Clinton
“Have you seen that movie Look Who’s Talking? It’s got this baby who talks. Well, actually, the baby doesn’t talk-talk. It, like, thinks the words. But you can hear them. In the audience. I mean, you gotta’ listen. But they’re there. And they’re super-funny. Like stuff you wouldn’t expect a baby to say.” – Bill Clinton

George W. Bush
“Welcome to the University of Iowa!” – George W. Bush

Friday, August 15, 2003

Stressful week of RA training. On Monday through Thursday, we trained an average of 14 hours per day. Blargh. Blog.

Today, we were done by 3:30pm. Yay.

Now I've got to get the floor ready for the incoming students on Monday. I've got some door decorations in mind (or "door decs" as RA lingo goes). I think my residents will like them - although the jokes on them maybe a little too esoteric and whatnot. My friend Rick and I came up with them a few nights ago. It was fun at that time, but I don't know if jokes about Millard Filmore having a beard of broken phonographs is a joke that the entire world can share.

Tonight, I'm going to see "Freddy Vs. Jason"... with Steve Heuertz! There is no one better to see this movie with.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

The past two and a half days have been nuts.

I've been frantically running around trying to get shots for my movie before I leave for Iowa City.

And I leave for Iowa City in 7 hours.

I'm unpacked.

And I haven't finished shooting either.

This is nuts.

Why am I on my weblog? To get my mind off stuff. Right now, I have to shoot this monologue-scene in the back of a steamy SUV. I can't nail down the performance. I'm sweaty and tired.

But not sweaty and tired of you.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

3 days left in LeMars to shoot scenes for my movie.

I got stress in my stomach and butt.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Busy weekend.

On Saturday morning, I shot a scene that required 18 actors to be at my house. Why? I will not tell you. No spoilers! Needless to say, my mom had enough fruit pizza, coffee, and orange juice for us all. My mother is awesome. So far, she's made brunch, a birthday cake, and a bird-bag for my movie. Plus, she's acting in it.

Here's some recent articles about my movie. CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!

An article in The LeMars Daily Sentinel and The Sioux City Journal

The movie fundraiser/rock show on Saturday was fun. The opening bands, Deadside and Sweatpants Tuesday, brought in the folks and rocked their world. Our set was fun - long, but fun - and I sweated through my shoulders. There was over 100 people there, which means a lot of budget help for me. I owe a lot to those bands who got people to come and also agreed to play for free.

My dad told me a story about a grandmother who was holding her grand-daughter outside during a lightning storm. A lighting bolt hit the grandma and blew her heart out of her back. The grand-daughter survived. Weird.