Today is my youngest sister’s birthday. As I’ve admitted earlier, I don’t know exactly how old she is (24, maybe). But I remembered the day! Happy Birthday, Lauryl!
Just because I’ve never posted from a bar during karaoke doesn’t mean I shouldn’t.
Appearing in the Georgia Organics Resource Directory, going to the printers tomorrow:
BoŠnnís Banks Ė A Natural Farm
Sustainable living on the Broad River.
Vegetables, herbs and eggs.
The Wagoners, www.boannsbanks.com
There’s a temporary website up. A better one will follow shortly.
Gonna drop like a stone
On a warm afternoon…
I discussed film aspect ratios with my mom last night. She’s seen The Lord of the Rings at several theaters now, and has noticed that some screens were showing the movie “wider” than others — that details were being dropped on the left and right on those screens not as wide. I hadn’t heard of the movie being released with differing prints, so I suggested she was the victim of an incompetent projectionist. I still don’t know, but Roger Ebert wrote an excellect article on the problem last fall.
An article about the stressed relationship between drivers and bikers in Boston, passed on to me by a woman who says she feels less safe on the roads in Athens than she ever did in Boston. I’ve never ridden in Boston, but I have been hit by several inattentive drivers here. None of the incidents involved fist fights or injury, I’m happy to say.
Prostitutes and Leisure Suits — the campus paper promotes The Hot l Baltimore.
The Hot l Baltimore gets a mention in the Flagpole, our weekly alternative newspaper.
Attention Wallace and Gromit fans: Nick Park is producing twelve new one-minute films, to be released later this year on his web site.
It rained all day Saturday, so the barn-building was postponed.
The first weekend of the play went without a hitch. The actors are fantastic. The first two nights were sold out, and Sunday’s crowd was larger than average. More than the usual number of patrons told me it was the best thing they’d seen here. I’m mighty pleased.
The local paper has an excellent article on my play: Down and dirty in an old hotel.
For those of you in places far, here’s my director’s notes from the program:
“Itís not often you run across a play that presents people and places that are unquestionably real. There are many that try, but there are too many concessions made in the name of stagecraft. The characters may speak slowly in turn, or the plot is contrived to resolve itself in two hours, or the set may ask you to imagine many of the details. But when I first read this script, I was struck by how Lanford Wilson managed to fit reality onto the stage. The characters here are not shallow portrayals of a single human trait, they donít patiently wait their turn to talk, they donít force the plot, and they donít inhabit an imaginary world.
“But The Hot l Baltimore does not give us the most pleasant slice of life there is. The time is the mid-seventies, when America was in its famous malaise, and a ďcrisis in confidenceĒ loomed. It was a hard time for a lot of people (my own family included, when my father got caught owning a gas station hot potato when the oil embargo struck), but especially so for those on the margins of society. Itís those people that Wilson gives us here. The Hotel Baltimore was once a proud place, but now itís neglected and falling down; the ďeĒ is missing from the marquee. It is here that retirees with no place else to go, prostitutes selling their most precious possession to make it another day, and transients on the move find a place of refuge. Theyíre not people you may want in your home, but itís good to visit theirs, if only for a day.
“Often, community theater will only portray the ďshiny happy peopleĒ. Thatís not true here. These people have curse up a storm, fight and yell, interrupt one another, and sometimes break the law. But we all know people like that or even act like that ourselves on occasion. It can be a shock to see that presented on stage, though. When the shock wears off, I hope youíll appreciate the people that they are and remember (if youíre not one of these whipper-snapper college kids) the times they lived in. Sooner or later, our national malaise will return, but maybe this time weíll be ready for it.
“As usual, it took a lot of your friends and neighbors to make this show happen. Many are listed here in the program, but most of our volunteers, such as box office personnel and ushers, poster hangers and prop gatherers, are not. I thank them all. Hope Vance was a spectacular assistant director, and will be a more-than-able director someday soon. Ben Teague, having just directed the previous mainstage show, still attended all of my set calls and was able to turn my vague concepts into the form you see on stage. Without his help, the hotel lobby would be a mere box. Bill Akin found the most unlikely of props and took photos for publicity. Bobby Harris squeezed in making the switchboard around a Christmas cruise, with help from Radio Shack. The cast and crew worked extra hard to negate the disadvantages of having the holidays fall right in the middle of rehearsal time. And my new wife Chris Wagoner was beyond understanding Ė itís not nice to get married and then disappear for two months. Iíve now directed five shows here in the last three years. Iíve enjoyed each one; directing is a stress release for me. (I get a lot of funny looks when I say that.) But, Iíll move along for a while now, to devote more time to Chris and our new farm. Iíll still be involved Ė I canít really stay away Ė though when youíll see me Iím likely to have a basket of fresh eggs and vegetables with me.”
My W-2 tax forms came in today. Based on a quick calculation using forms downloaded from the IRS web site, the government thinks it can charge me an extra $700 because I got married at the end of October, rather than, say, getting married on the first of January. I guess this is the “marriage penalty” I kept hearing so much about.
$700 could have gone a long way on the farm, too.
Take real-life FBI wiretaps of two mobsters’ phonecalls to each other, add a soundtrack by They Might Be Giants, and you’ve got the Frank & Fritzy Show, now playing at WMOB, the wiretap network.
Publicity photos for my production of The Hot l Baltimore, opening Friday evening, are on-line, thanks to Bill Akin.
Since a director’s work is largely done when the show opens, this Saturday Chris and I are going to build a barn. The lumber was delivered to the farm yesterday. Ten cubic yards of composted peanut shells and manure were delivered today, but that’s another project.
Phrase of the night: “Random flaming simian event.”
The show was fantastic. I’ve been waiting twenty years to see them, and they didn’t disappoint.
Yeah, I’m a fan.
Chris and I received a number of lovely wedding gifts. It’s been longer than Miss Manners would ever allow, but we are beginning to work on thank-you cards to everyone. One gift in particular I can share with you all: Dissection of a Monte Cristo. The El Camino restaurant, located in my former home of Socorro, New Mexico, makes the best version of the Monte Christo sandwich I have ever tasted. In Georgia, I’ve not found a place that makes *any* version, so it’s been something I’ve been especially nostalgic for. Thanks to KScott, I can now make as many of these at home as I can eat. And so can you. Thank you, KScott!