Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A declaration of independence

Aging has been on my mind the last week or so. Not necessarily in a negative way; it's just been in the forefront of my thoughts. A lot of things have made me think about getting older, (hopefully) growing wiser, and becoming more mature. I just watched a trailer for the upcoming film The New Twenty* about a bunch of friends all turning 30 at the same time, and for a moment it was like a person put a mirror up to my life and said, "So, how do you feel about your current state of affairs?" I was kind of underwhelmed by my answer.

I have a bad habit of being a hard worker at my job but then being a total slacker at home. This causes a person to have two things: a good reputation at work ... and a really messy house. Oh, and an overgrown yard. ... And a filthy car that needs a LOT of work done on it. That last one is what that's really jump-started my newly rediscovered need for increased responsibility regarding my own life. I've let too many things slide, and it's way past the point where I need to start stepping up and taking control. To stop being so reactionary and become a force for change.

Hopefully, I'm already taking some steps to improve myself: I'm trying my best to eat better. I'm getting more physical exercise when I can fit it in. I'm doing a better job of keeping my environs clean. And I'm looking to the future by doing things like applying for a passport. You know, rather than wait until the last minute or until life comes calling, I'm being more assertive and moving to take what I want out of life.

I've stood in my own way for too long.

*At least two of the actors in that trailer look like they're pushing 40 rather than 30. Am I wrong?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I suppose it was inevitable. I was going strong there for awhile, but eventually my tenacity wore away. Yep, I crashed and burned with the whole Blog Every Day in April challege. Le sigh. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

As for what's been going on in my world, here's a little Reader's Digest-sized recap:

Adam and I went to Play Dance Bar for their Alice in Wonderland party. I dressed as The White Rabbit; Adam dressed as The Mad Hatter. Oscar, the manager, did all the decorations by himself, and they looked fantastic. Since things weren't quite popping when we arrived, we went next door to Tribe - in costume - to meet up with our friends Jeff and Michael. Man, did we ever get stared at! Of course, we got even more stares when we walked down the street to Blue Genes. I felt bad for the girl singing karaoke, because when we walked in mid-song, she might as well have been reading from the phone book. Still, we got loads of compliments on our costumes all evening, and we had a great time.

I spent a good portion of the day with my bro, driving from one secondhand store to the next. It was National Record Store Day, so we made a point of hitting a couple stores where we could get some free stuff. Later, I grabbed a couple bottles of wine and headed over to Jeff's house for a "sleepover" with Jeff, Michael & Megan. Our host made us a delicious chicken and cabbage dinner, and we played Skipbo until we passed out. (Unfortunately, Megan wasn't able to make it, so it was a total sausagefest ... and not in the good way.)

I woke up late and had shrimp and grits with the boys while watching crappy reality shows on Bravo. Later in the afternoon, I met Jason and Andrea at 3 Crow Bar for Sunday Funday, which was a delight. I enjoy their company so damn much it's ridiculous. Eventually, Jeff joined us, and we traveled to Blue Genes for karaoke. I sing, but I don't do karaoke, so I let the other three take care of that.

Adam and I met for what was supposed to be a late lunch, but it turned into us driving around town randomly starting the process of getting me a passport. What can I say? That's how we roll, son. Basically, Adam and I were talking about travel, and I mentioned that I didn't have a passport. Never one to let the grass grow under his feet, Adam immediately aimed us toward the nearest post office. To make a long story short, we ended up with two passport photos and the appropriate forms, which I promised to take advantage of the next day. Only then did we have a quick bite to eat. Work, then play - that's how it goes.

I returned the top hat that I'd rented for Adam's Mad Hatter costume, and on the advice of a friend I went to the Lentz Public Health Clinic. Apparently, my friend was under the impression that I could get a passport cheaper by going there. I didn't have any reason to doubt him, so I went there with no luck. I can't say I was surprised; it had seemed like an awfully weird place to go for such a thing. No worries, though, because I went to the Broadway post office (located in the very cool Frist Center building) and was helped by a very knowledgable clerk. Having set those wheels in motion, I headed home. Later, I met up with my bro and my friend Mike for sushi followed by Rock Band on XBox at my house. It was a good day. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, 69!

I hit up MadDonna's in East Nashville for Drag Queen Bingo with the bestie last night. Adam said it started at 8ish, so we planned to get there at 7:30 so that I could grab some dinner beforehand. I ended up running behind, so we didn't get there until about 10 to 8, making me nervous that I wouldn't have time to eat before the festivities began. Such an assumption was terribly silly of me, of course, since as we all know, "drag time" is not real time. I don't think things actually got rolling until 9:15 or so.

It was a damn good thing, too, because the task of ordering food proved be a true test of patience, since the poor bartender had to take care of every single person in the upstairs area. She was serving around 35+ people, and she wasn't writing anything down! This led directly to her not putting in my new friend Monique's full order; the poor dear had to make due with hummus until her entree arrived.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, the inimitable Bianca Page arrived wearing a white, green, and black catsuit that would make Pollock puke. She lip-synced to a country version of "Irreplaceable", and then proceeded to make enough blue references and off-color comments to peel the paint of any church within twenty miles. There were a couple of teenagers in the audience, but Bianca didn't tone down her shtick one bit. I'm kind of glad she didn't, since those kids shouldn't have been there anyway.

Finally, the bingo-ing began. Bianca called out letter/number combos, and different parts of the room reacted according to their good or bad fortune. I didn't have much luck; whenever I got within one square of winning, someone invariably hit the one they needed first. Ironically, "B5" came up several times ... and not once did it help me. Poor Adam had one round where he was one away in three different directions, and he still got beat out. That's just fine by us, though. We didn't want any stinkin' prizes anyway.

I hope that guy who won the penis-shaped lollipop chokes on it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sometimes I Like to Doodle

It all began in middle school when my social studies teacher would bore me to tears with his complete and utter ineptitude. To escape the tedium, I would scribble and draw all over my notes. Over time my skill increased as did my love for drawing.

Below are two pieces of paper I found in a box in the garage. Apparently I was bored a couple of times at work, so I drew on an old timing sheet and a live shot request. Enjoy!

(FYI: I added the black bars to cover the info on the sheet. Since these were originally internal documents, I figured it wouldn't be kosher to post them online without doing a little photoshopping.)

(click to see larger)

(click to see larger)

Monday, April 13, 2009

I just ... I just can't

I was going to post an entry about something cool, but I'm afraid I'll be unable to this evening. My brother just made me watch Street Fighter: The Movie, and my spirit is now broken.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

BEDA, Day 11 (But written on the 12th)

Man, I suck at posting these things on time! I'll try to do better, folks.

Yesterday, the bro and I drove around our side of town and did various things. We hit up the liquidation sale at the local Blockbuster, ate some Wendy's, went to Target to pick up some essentials, and then ran by World Market for imported candy and beer. I bought a candy bar that simply had the word "LION" on the outside. I have no idea what's in it, but I'll keep you posted.

Later, I joined Adam for a couple of beers on the patio at 3 Crow Bar in East Nashville. We didn't stay there long because we were meeting up with Andrea and her parents at the Nashville Fairgrounds to watch a roller derby. It was my first one, and I had a blast. Loads of rockabillies and Elvis impersonators (I peed next to one). The Nashville Rollergirls absolutely trounced the team from New Orleans with a score of 200-something to 50-something (I can't remember exactly). After that, we all went to the Lipstick Lounge for karaoke. I didn't sing, but Adam and I lent our backup dancing skills during a rendition of Proud Mary. (We have choreography and everything!)

All in all, a fun night. I know it was, because I have a headache today. :)

(Update: The final score in the roller derby was - Nashville Rollergirls 211, Big Easy Rollergirls 34.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Maria Von Trapp, eat your heart out

You may remember from a previous post that I have a signed Playbill from [title of show] in a shadowbox on my bedroom wall. [title of show] was a Broadway musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys--you get the idea. I took myself and my friend Nathan to go see it on my 31st birthday, and I loved it. What really made it great was the tightknit, hilarious cast, which consisted of the aforementioned guys (Hunter and Jeff), two girls (Susan and Heidi) and their accompanist Larry. Playing themselves, they recounted - in song - the creation of the show and how they eventually took it to Broadway. Very meta, no?

Anyway, this is all to say that [title of show] has a blog - appropriately titled [blog] - that they continue to update even though the show closed late last year. They post all sorts of neat stuff, and the video below is one of their recent finds. I found myself smiling stupidly at the computer screen and wishing I could join in, so I couldn't help but share it! Enjoy!

BEDA, Day 9 (But written on the 10th)

Damn, drat, curses and various other exclamations that signify frustration on behalf of the speaker! I missed another day of the B(log) E(very) D(ay in) A(pril) blogathon. Blast! To make up for it, I'll blog about some stuff that happened yesterday that I planned on blogging about last night. That's almost as good, right? ... No? ... Well, it will just have to do, by gum.

Work was pretty normal. The usual "put Tab A into Slot B" stuff. When I got off at 2 o'clock, I randomly decided to take the long way home, since it was sunny and nice. Along the way, I decided to stop by a shop that I noticed the day before. Actually, I saw a Blues Brother out on the sidewalk the previous day, which takes a little explaining.

There are quite a few thrift and secondhand shops on my side of town, and there used to be a particularly neat one called Crystal Dragon. The wall outstide boasted "Cool Stuff / Weird Things", and that was the truth. You could find all sorts of weird, kitschy stuff in there, which means it was right down my alley. On the sidewalk in front of the store, there would usually be two or three especially odd bits of statuary to lure folks in.

A couple of years ago, the owners decided to pull up stakes and make a new home at the Bellevue Center Mall. If you live in Nashville and have any knowledge of that particular shopping mecca-cum-ghost town, you understand why my reaction to the move was "What the hell are they thinking?" Predictably, abdicating their well-known digs and setting up shop on a sinking ship proved to be a horrible decision, and the store soon closed its doors.

So I passed the Blues Brother "dancing" on the sidewalk and resolved to go inside, thinking that, yay, the old shop has returned! Boy, was I wrong. There was junk strewn about and in no particular order. Only about .05% of the items had price tags on them, and the rest ... well, you wouldn't want 'em anyway, so what would be the point? I was very disappointed. To add insult to injury, I was the only patron in the "store", which meant I had the focused attention of the man running the shop. Sitting in low-profile lawn chair behind a glass display case, he could see me before I could see him, so when he spoke, he startled me. We exchanged a few pleasantries as I walked around thinking, "Great. Now I have to slowly make for the exit without being too obvious about what I'm doing." He asked, "What part of town you from, pardner?" Yes, he actually said "pardner" with a hard "d" sound, no lie. I checked his feet for cowboy boots (ding!) and, in the most vague possible fashion, I told him I lived in the area. Some more forced conversation followed as I got closer and closer to the door. As I finally got to the point where I felt I could get out cleanly, I looked over my shoulder and said, "Thanks." (As in "Thanks for not guilting me into buying these used baby bottles.") From behind me I heard him call, "Tell your friends!"

... so I am.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brian 5's Reasons to Love Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

(In no particular order)
  • Michael Cera's seemingly infinite likability
  • Lines like "I love you so much it's retarded."
  • The kick-ass soundtrack
  • Rafi Gavron's abs
  • The fact that Nick is the only straight guy in a queercore band
  • Jay Baruchel playing completely against type as a douchebag
  • The memories stirred up in me of crazy nights that seemed to go on forever
  • Kat Denning's puppet-show rendition of the film (on the BluRay)
  • Every freaking second that Ari Gaynor was onscreen
That is all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blog Every Day in April - Day 6

(Yes, I realize I missed a day. Get over it.)

Yesterday began with sleeping in. *sigh* I don't get to do that very often, so it was super nice. I almost wasn't able to pull myself out of bed, but I eventually summoned the strength to join the land of the living. I met my friend Martin at Alium at 1:30 and had the pleasure of meeting three of his friends (Heidi, Kristopher(sp?) & Ben). Luckily, they were delightful company, and we enjoyed a very nice brunch. Afterward, I went to 3 Crow Bar (my usual Sunday afternoon hangout) to meet Jason and Andrea for drinks. Two of my new friends joined us, as did Jason's housemates Ron and Phil. I fun time was had by all.

Today was pretty boring. Just work and then home. Yippee. I live such an exciting life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dreaming of the great white way

When I was a child, I wanted to grow up to be an actor. Actually, to hell with the growing up part, I just wanted to be on stage. This was sort of odd, because I was painfully shy. All through elementary and middle school I was the kid who never looked up as he walked down the hallway and considered his teachers his best friends. I was more interested in schoolwork than socializing, and I hated it when people brought attention to me, regardless of the context.

I guess my mom picked up on the fact that I liked to perform - always snaring my brother and the kids next door and forcing them put on plays for our parents - so she took me to the local community theater one afternoon so I could try out for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I remember being incredibly nervous. As soon as we entered the lobby, my palms began to sweat. Even now, the smell of the theater rises out of my memory: layers upon layers of paint on old sets, sticky reflective tape in little T's on the stage, a coffee pot brewing to one side, and an electric sense of anticipation. I remember filling out an information sheet and getting my mom to take it to the desk down in front for me. I was so anxious that I couldn't even fully enter the seating area, choosing instead to loiter in the doorway.

After what seemed like only half a minute, my name was called. I was completely nonplussed, thinking, "Me? Now? I just got here! Are you sure you didn't mean to call somebody else who's been waiting longer?". My mom, perhaps sensing that I was losing my nerve, gave me a gentle shove, and I found myself walking up to the stage. The rest is a bit of a blur, although I do remember smiling faces, bright lights and heat - a lot of heat. Afterward, I went back home with my mom feeling like I'd really accomplished something. For such a inward child, I really had, but the true scope of what was set in motion that day wouldn't be clear to me until many years later.

Suffice it to say, I got the part. Well, a part as Elmer, the preacher's son. It was typecasting with a capital "T". Elmer was a total stick-in-the-mud, a real defeatist. It took absolutely no effort on my part at all. And that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and the muse of theater.

I ended up doing shows off and on with Pull-Tight Players (the theater group in question) for eight years. In high school, I was the very definition of a Drama Club kid, making any excuse to hang out in the theater. When I went to college, I started taking some night classes, which stood in the way of rehearsal schedules, so without a creative outlet, my passion for theater began to subside, and I never performed in another show. Now, my only interaction with the stage is as a patron watching others perform on it.

Still, I feel that I owe who I am now to that period of my life. If my mom hadn't driven me down to that small building on 2nd Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee that fateful day, I may never have come out of my shell. Those years of creative expression really molded me, making me feel comfortable and confident in my own skin.

Yes, Elmer, the glass may be half empty, but that's only because you're only halfway done with your drink. ;)