leonard.

leonard cohen. kawhi leonard. leonard maltin. leonard fournette. leonard(o), the blue teenage mutant ninja turtle. darius leonard, that defensive player from the Colts. All of these names may have some meaning, and their meaning is irrelevant. Because the name Leonard is irrelevant which is why I didn’t even give it the grace to capitalize it. Except that I just did that in the last sentence. I also don’t really remember who Leonard Maltin is, I think he’s a film critic or so. And one of those players won a NBA championship, one was a football bust, one was a poet and song writer and he had some jams. I still will argue that they are pointless figures in the grand scheme of life. Michelangelo was the best turtle anyway. Or Donatello. Leonardo was probably actually better than Raphael who was just a mopey emo boy and I don’t need TV to see that shown, I can just look in a mirror.

Sometimes I’m taking showers and thinking about what I’ll write about and how to formulate it, how to create it. When I say sometimes, I mean rarely (if ever) due to me posting at most once every six months. I mention this because when I was showering this morning, I was thinking of the name Leonard and other names that began with it. I never got much further than that initial thought which is why I immediately started spiraling into incoherent prose after listing off those names. I was impressed by what I was thinking with the names and I thought it’d be a great jumping off point into my next point. Instead it just made me realize that I had no real connective tissue to bring those fellows together and I liked them well enough to not want to be entirely too critical of them as a whole. I understand this backtracking isn’t going to retroactively make those sentences more entertaining, it’s just a way of showing that I am aware of the missteps I make.

One of my colleagues described the detox counselors as “front-line soldiers in the war versus addiction.” We are the ones that rush into battle, do our best to fire a few shots off, before being decimated by machine gun fire. She didn’t include all of that in the description, which is why I only quoted what she actually said. Either way, those in detox are seeing those with substance use disorders at their most vulnerable. Typically in the throes of withdrawals, while cravings are at their highest, and physical comfort is at its lowest. Suffice to say, a lot of clients do not make it through the process because their disease prohibits them from doing so. I understand this, I am deeply aware of this; however, that does not take away from the frustration of it all. Which brings me to Leonard, an alcoholic, whom I was working with. Leonard isn’t his real name for privacy reasons; just kidding, it totally is Leonard and I wouldn’t be obsessing over this damn name if it was just a pseudonym.

Oh right, I could’ve continued on that same paragraph because I still need to speak about Leonard but I took a break to aimlessly stare into the void that is my office on Thanksgiving and I got distracted. Also, as I wrote more and more of this, I realized, what is there even to vent? Leonard was a client who wanted to drink, and didn’t want to stick around for rehab. Who explicitly told me he was going to walk out of here, and have a beer. Where is he now? He’s starting his first day of rehab. Why is he starting his first day of rehab? Because I reached out to his case manager, his psychiatrist, and I didn’t give up on him when he changed his mind. He kept flip flopping between staying and going, and I could’ve just quit on him and let him live his life, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that because I know I can’t change someone’s mind entirely. I know that people are in complete control of their actions and I can only do so much. I also know that people are in vulnerable states, and need advice to help their lives. They came in for treatment, and they didn’t come in to talk to a therapist that would immediately agree with their discouraging thoughts and wish them well as they go out the door. Was Leonard driving me crazy with his flip flopping? Yes. Was it ridiculous one of his main issues with rehab was that he would have to do group work? Yes. Did I yell at him in exasperation that probably just sounding like me being funny but I was ready to strangle him? Sure. In the end, he stuck around for another day, and I know that I’m partially responsible for that.

In other news, I broke my new couch last night and I watched another Cronenberg movie last night and I have no idea how it was even nominated for an Academy award. The fascination with his filmography is becoming more confounding with each film I see, and yet I will continue with my quest to watch them all. Oh, and also it’s Thanksgiving today and I’m writing this from work because might as well maximize efficiency. I thought it would be funny to just write “In other news, I broke my new couch and watched a movie,” and then end the blog. Like, it would be a cliffhanger ending. Instead I’m still going on and on. Now I feel I almost have to explain the couch thing, but in case any online shops are reading this blog, I will not explain anything more and reiterate that it was delivered broken and had nothing to do with me taking out frustrations from the Leonard incidents of earlier in the day. Over the weekend, I’ll probably write a full post explaining my couch dilemma and giving a half baked review of another Cronenberg film that I rent from Amazon for 3$. So it goes.

tummy ache.

I was glad to see that it hadn’t been a full calendar year since I last posted a blog post. I was also glad to see that my last post was about a movie club, a thing I’m still doing at this point in time. Though movie club is less fun when you’re watching the films of a director and every single film you’ve watched isn’t that entertaining and you’re kind of just wondering if you’re wasting your time. Look, I’m not here to discuss David Cronenberg. Yes, the guy likes body horror and then has a son who likes sci-fi themes and more body horror. Are they visually interesting films? Sure. Are they good films? Still waiting if I find one of those. I know I was doing play reviews and obviously that isn’t happening with a global pandemic still raging, if not strengthening, and I did spend 5$ to watch a play via streaming this weekend. The issue is that spending 2.5 hours watching a play seems much more entertaining when you’re actually in a theater and it’s been harder for me to muster up the time commitment to jump into a show called “uncle vanya.”

None of these are the topics of discussion in this blog though. I told some folx that I would restart the blog once we elected a new President. Not to give some political commentary from the perspective of a straight white male, but just because I thought that was a big enough event to use as a launching point for my superstardom once more. Because there’s nothing more famous than a guy who’s written 100 something blogs and that’s what you think when you think of celebrity instead of Brad Pitt or Selena Gomez. Oh right, onto the point though. Again, there is no point. I don’t have anything to say, I didn’t know what I was going to write. I just figured, that my tummy was aching a little bit so maybe that’d inspire a creative outpouring. Instead it makes it feel like I’m going to have to go to the bathroom sooner than later. I would not advise potato chips being dipped into tuna salad as meal that I would recommend to almost anyone, but sometimes you want to mix things up on the weekend after having 5 days of being responsible and health with eating habits. The issue is that there are probably much more satisfying ways of splurging on food compared to dipping potato chips into tuna salad. I don’t see the Rock posting that as his cheat days on Instagram, though at the same time I have zero desire to eat a pile of pancakes that is 2 feet tall.

A few weeks ago an old friend of mine posted a video he created that was based around him writing a letter to his future son. It was political in nature and it was done by a gay man whose voice should be amplified much louder than mine. It was a beautiful video and well, yeah, it was great, am I going to write all the details of it? No. Because I forgot them. However, I commented on it and he mentioned something about me writing this blog and he didn’t know if I was still doing it but he always enjoyed reading it. It made me think, isn’t this a wonderful time capsule for my future children. He’s writing wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent pieces and I’m writing about how I dip potato chips into tuna salad as I mixed cherry coke zero with diet dr pepper. I think that both of those things are wonderful in their own way with mine being much more wonderful and his kinda being sappy and melodramatic and not nearly as endearing and spiritually healing and life affirming and other buzz words as mine. Like his video got hundreds of people viewing it and liking it and telling him how great it was. My posts get me very limited interaction, but I talk about big issues like again, potato chip tuna salad mixology. What I’m trying to say is that just seeing how much my words can mean to someone, it does make me think I should comment on everything. Like yeah, I just said I shouldn’t comment on shit because I don’t have anything new to bring to a table and we should be amplifying the voices of those who deserve to be heard. Except that again, I want my future children to know that I spent my 30s watching football and eating tuna tartare with fried scalloped potatoes. I want them to read that and whenever they’re thinking they aren’t good enough, or they can’t follow their dreams, they see what their father did and they don’t give up because they don’t want to be following in those footsteps.

Sometimes you forget you’re an inspiration. Sometimes I forget that though I don’t bring anything original, that though my ideas are dumb, that I need to be heard. I have people counting on me. I have a guy who did something much better than I’ve ever done who is counting on me. Who probably said that because he’s a really nice guy and very sweet and knew it would make me feel good to hear that because he’s a caring person. But like, he’s just one of millions, if not billions that feel the same way. Writing this has made me stomach stop aching, my stomach now is rumbling with the pride of a nation inside it. Don’t even try to figure out what I mean by that because I’m not entirely sure myself and I really don’t want to change the sentence because I feel my second go will fare even worse. I’m not going to say the blog is back. I’m not going to say I’ll be posting constantly. I will say that I hear your silence and I know I am missed. I hear the silent clamoring of my countless fans hoping and praying that I came back with a vengeance. And guess what y’all? I am back. Just like I said 5 other times and then didn’t post for six more months. So look forward to more of this where I start off talking about David Cronenberg films and end up with a farcical ego stroke that I don’t know how much is real or how much is made up. Again, I have no idea what that last sentence is supposed to say.

I wanted to end this post already, and I can’t end like that. It just took me like five minutes to even figure out the word count on this darn thing. Conclude, however, I still will. I’ve been reading this book for my book club and it’s been giving me nightmares every time I read it so I’m scared to keep reading it. I’m also scared to start the next book because I picked it and I’m worried it’s not going to be that great. The world is a scary place. This is how I decided to end it? By listing off my own anxieties and fears that barely sound rational to me and I suffer from it, so it’ll sound even more irrational to a layman. Because I think of all my readers as laymen. I think of myself as an intellectual god, proselytizing to the masses. I really wanted to include another paragraph so I didn’t come off as conceited and then I’ve dug an even deeper hole for myself. Listen, I get it, I’m a mess. A little mess. Real fans will understand that reference. Real fans would be my family members that would know that’s a nickname given to me by my late great Uncle. I don’t consider anyone else other than my family a real fan because I doubt anyone else might read this. Ah good, started off a high, narcissistic ledge and now I’m plunging into a sea of self doubt. That’s more how I prefer to end things. So it goes.

movie club.

I like to start clubs. As I type that, I almost immediately regret it because I’ve started like two clubs in my entire life. Also, saying I started clubs isn’t that impressive of a feat when the maximum amount of people to be in any of them has been three people. The maximum amount of people participating in them at any given time has been two people. I don’t even know if there’s a number of people that need to be included to call things a club, so me labeling my ideas as such might even be factually true. Let me fix my first sentence. I like to start clubs (if a club means a book club where we read a couple books together and then one person quits and then the founder also gives up and then tries to reboot it a couple years later and hopes for a better outcome but promptly fails at that one too.)

This isn’t about a book club though. I probably mentioned book club when I wrote a post about Bridget that I think I wrote at some point. I never read these blogs, I never check back to see what I said or didn’t, I just have an iffy memory of things I wrote that I convince myself is true. Movie club might be a spin-off from book club round two, but they both tell a similar tale. A tale as old as time. I really intended to include more lyrics to a Beauty and the Beast song there before promptly realizing that I have no idea what the next lyric is and I’m not trying to listen to the song as this instant or else I’d go down the Disney rabbit hole and who knows if I’d ever come out and actually finish this. I already spent 20 minutes staring at a blank page that just said “movie club” and asking myself if there was even a point to writing this.

The point isn’t whether there’s a point or not. The point was I needed a barely-there concept to convince me to write something and eek out anything compared to me just writing another comeback blog that didn’t go anywhere, again. Thus, this brings me to movie club. After book club round 2 essentially ended after reading one book, and no matching tattoos, we were in a standstill. A quarantine had now been affecting the world, a global pandemic was upon us, and two of us were struggling to read a Brazilian romance novel that seemed to be half footnotes that my girlfriend suggested. Did she even get the book to read herself? I don’t think we ever reached that conclusion because our club is not keen on communication. Or it’s not keen on quality communication. Here’s an example of some conversation snippets from movie club, “Hey, how’d you like that movie?”, “How was Burning?”, “I wonder if anyone enjoyed Burning?”, “Hey, how was Burning?”. These questions were either met with silence or an admission of one member falling asleep. I do not know if the aforementioned girlfriend even knows that book club got changed into movie club, and if she did, she certainly did not even attempt to watch the film.

The movie itself doesn’t matter even though I already mentioned it in the blog. It was Burning. It was based off a short story by Haruki Murakami, so it tied into the previous book club. It was a Korean drama that was a slow burn. Haha, get it? That’s a terrible joke and puns are for people who aren’t funny. It was a romance that I’m not sure if I liked or didn’t like and yet I felt invested in the story and I came away not knowing if I even cared about the characters. It would’ve been a nice discussion to have with the two other members of the group (of which at least 1 knows they’re in the group) and I would’ve liked to hear more thoughts. Am I going to share more of my thoughts about the movie here? No. Who cares? Since I last watched Burning last weekend, I binged all of High Fidelity in a couple days and I have many more thoughts about that. I also will not be talking about that.

I’m not here to talk about anything. I’m here to take thin premises and stretch them into a ramshackle combination of words that I hope is interesting or entertaining to one or two people. I can’t wait for the second movie in movie club. It’s not even my turn to pick and I’ll still manage to be the only person to watch it. I wonder how long it’ll take my partner to even realize she’s involved. I have no idea how this post ended up being a few hundred more words than the previous post and I had even less idea of what to write this time. Maybe my gears are finally starting to spin a little more, or well, I can’t even think of a second comment. Glad I nailed the ending of this. So it goes.

howdy.

It’s always funny how whenever I return to this blog, the most recent post typically seems to be me talking about my triumphant return to said blog. And then there’s nothing after that. And yet, I continue to do this over and over ad nauseam. I even typically conclude a post thinking, “That feels good. I should keep doing this like I literally just said I would.” Then months go by and I finally return to realize my idea of a topic was what I wrote about prior. Is that this point of this post? To vilify myself for not living up to the expectations that only I set up for me. There really isn’t a point to writing this, just I thought maybe I could publish something interesting while I’m stuck at home 80% of the time. Obviously, when I mean to publish, I strictly mean to the interwebs, and not in any professional capacity whatsoever.

Granted, I don’t have anything that interesting to write about. Though I might be in New York City, in the epicenter of the pandemic, I’d rather not write about the quarantine situation. Because writing about it doesn’t change it, and explaining my working from home, and makeshift workout schedule while watching British TV programs isn’t the most interesting topic either. I will include a note to wash your hands though, and continue with the quarantine process no matter how annoying, because well, then the sooner it can end.

I have been eating more soup lately. Mainly that’s led me to realize that the human body can ingest a lot of soup at once. I wouldn’t say that that is something I recommend, but soup seems to have no effect on how a stomach feels until 5 minutes after you finished eating it, regardless of the portion size. You can eat a thimble, or you can eat a something larger than thimble portion and lo and behold, five minutes and you’ll get some rumbles in your tummy. As I’m writing this semblance of a paragraph, I can tell that I haven’t been writing one of these things in a long time when I felt this diatribe on soup was something worth including. I can’t even say that I’ll make sure to improve within the next post in the next day or two because every time I’ve said that, I’ve cursed myself to never post again.

Consider this like a test run though. A test run that hopefully, I do improve from and actually persist in trying to improve from. I think the real issue is that I was hoping for some food to be delivered and I keep feeling like it’s minutes away from coming. So I don’t want to be too invested in something like this, and then give it all up to eat. I even considered just saving this and writing something tomorrow where I wasn’t spending every moment waiting for a doorbell. Or maybe I can blame my lack of creative output on the drier that is very loud and annoying. I don’t even know if it’s drier or dryer and I refuse to find out. They both look wrong. I’m just using this post as pressure washer shooting into a gutter and starting to clear the gunk out. At first, it might just be a dribble or drizzle and soon enough, all the crap will start shooting out. Or some other analogy that makes more sense and flows better. For the past 4 months, I’ve just been writing case notes for my job so it’s a lot less flowy and more technical. I’m trying to get back into the scheme of writing in my own weird little style which is basically me going on a stream of consciousness about mundane topics that pop into my head.

At the very least there are no sports currently so I can’t have a topic that curses all of that. Gotta find some [insert another analogy or metaphor or whatever the thing is, maybe an idiom that makes sense and isn’t me just drawing a complete blank.] I’m glad I ended on a call back to previous blog posts that are probably years old at this point so I might be one of the only people that understand the reference. Classic Hank. So it goes.

Return of the Mack

There is an alternate reality where Mack Brown beats Clemson with a better two-point conversion call and in that reality, I’m working a full-time job where I’m excelling. Instead, I’m in the lackluster parallel universe where we may see good ol’ boy Dabo play for another championship, and I continue to find gainful employment. This also would’ve been a lot more relevant had I posted this around the time UNC failed to defeat their neighboring rivals. Except I didn’t have a rejection email from a job I had interviewed with and that time, and I didn’t have the urge to start writing something again because who’s not excited for another reboot?

I seem to come back and forth to this blog and I try to reinvent in a multitude of ways to keep myself interested in doing it, or rather to rationalize why I’m paying 20$ a year for this domain name. It’s not like I even grew tired of writing play reviews, I think it was more I wrote a couple on an internship email and never posted them and once they deleted my email account there; thus, losing those posts forever I gave up the idea of continuing with my play summaries. Or I just found that I continue to enjoy about 85% of the plays and musicals I see and others I just leave with such apathy that it doesn’t inspire me to write 760 words about it. So what am I rebooting this blog to now? I have no idea. I don’t want to write about the employment process or lack thereof because that’s depressing and I’m not here to bring down the mood. I’m here to raise the roof on the hypothetical party that I’m probably not invited to because it’s a work event and no one wants to bring an unemployed basement dweller to impress their boss with his comments about that last season of a TV show that nobody watched.

So what is this for? Am I here to ridicule the elites who refuse to do anything other than to bow down and kiss the feet of China? Am I here to be yet another person disappointed in Lebron’s status of money over the ethical treatment of humanity. Am I here to give my thoughts on the current Democratic presidential process due to their being a debate tonight in an hour or so? Nah man, of course not. I’m here to just sit at a laptop and type something with only one initial sentence in my head planned and see what happens. I just want all the local magazines, websites, heck, they can even be global, I’m still willing to be hired to critique fine arts and entertainment. I’m also here to critique the post office who seems to have a very ineffective strategy of delivering me a single parcel and making me traverse through the streets of uptown Washington Heights to hopefully locate my package of dog toys. Maybe I’ll write about my attempt to even think of a Halloween costume that has some appeal that isn’t solely to make myself laugh. Or there’s a chance I’ll write to remind myself to work on preparing things for my partner’s upcoming birthday because I keep saying I have “big, big plans” and then forgetting to start them with any sense of urgency.

Really though, I think I’ll just keep inserting random paragraph breaks even though I’m not moving onto a new subject, but it looks cleaner when I do like it this. All I know is that my brain seems to work better when I’m writing out my nonsensical thoughts and maybe having a person or two find a glimmer of enjoyment from my nonsense. It’s either this or see what local therapists accept Medicaid because I might as well accept any form of health insurance I can get until I find a job. I think in an ideal world, I do both of those things and more, and that’s why I like writing these things out. Because I can put my words to paper (as paper as the internet is) and actually makes me realize things that my subconscious is telling me to do and struggling to get out. So blah, blah blah, I don’t know when the next one of these will even drop nor do I have any idea of the topic at hand that it’ll cover. I can just promise you that it’ll be more frequent than the last one was to this, except I also imagine (because I won’t look back and look it up) that I made a promise like this before and I ultimately failed to deliver. I gotta stick to my word one of these times and I think this time it’s for real. Hopefully. So it goes.

True West

Every time I think of the title of this play, I think of the film Slow West. Or maybe I get it confused with True Grit? I guess it doesn’t really matter because it isn’t either one of those and I only mentioned that because I had to google the title to make sure I got it right before I started to write this. That’s actually not true. I didn’t google anything and I’m just hoping for the best with the name of this play.

Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano. One is the stars of one of my favorite film trilogies ever and the other rode a corpse of Daniel Radcliffe as a farting zombie jetski. No, no, I love Paul Dano too ever since seeing him as the mute son in Little Miss Sunshine. There have been moments where I try to see a play just because it has some celebrity as the star (the one with Lucas Hedges and Michael Cera, the one with John Larroquette, the one with that guy from Elementary, if I ever see that Bryan Cranston one, etc) and then there are times I try to see a performance because it’s one of the few plays I have the written text of. Do I have multiple books of Sam Shepard’s plays? I do. Have I read a single one? I haven’t, but it’s not like a play acted out is anything different than what you’d read. It’s just the acted version of the dialogue. So really is it even worth reading a play if you can’t see it acted out? C’mon now, kids enjoy Shakespeare a lot more when they can see it live than when they have to read it in high school English class. Kids are also stupid though and don’t appreciate art. Not me though, a true artist who respects the output of the other artists in the world.

I already wrote a post or two about John’s Daly Daughter and I can throw her another quick shout out here tonight as well. I am forever connected to Patti Smith, and I am forever connected to Bridget through the lightning bolt we both embody. Pretty sure saying embody makes it sound like it’s coming through our spirit and not something permanently tattooed and maybe it’s both. The point is, Patti Smith and Sam Shepard themselves got matching tattoos. Not matching in the identical sense, but matching in the how twins can not be identical sense. I know there’s a title for that but I don’t want to look that up either so I’ll just go with what I said. It’s why I got all his plays, it’s why I wanted to be more connected to him because of the connection I had with Patti and Bridget. I do realize I’m just going from John Daly’s Daughter to Bridget; whatever, their names are interchangeable. I get distracted and I already forgot what my point was. I just wanted to throw more recognition at Bridget/John Daly’s Daughter because this play, the excitement for this play was spearheaded by my excitement for Patti Smith, my bond with Bridget, and it was a culmination of everything that led me to wanting to watch this.

One of the benefits of going to a play with another person is the conflicting opinions that could arise. I guess that could be a blessing or a curse and can almost apply to anything that go with a second person to. It really is nothing special about a play experience and I only mention it all because of the enamoration I had with the play and how my partner thought it was one of the worst things she’d ever seen. Okay, her exact words weren’t worst thing she’s ever seen. It was more, “That was one of the least favorite shows I’ve seen in New York.”. Which could be vastly different than worst thing ever because even the worst of Broadway could be better than a lot of trash elsewhere. Again, I can’t speak for her feelings but hey, maybe my love for it was blinded by my prior history with it.

Why do I start new paragraphs haphazardly? I’m also not sure about that, it just happens. Probably for the same reason I randomly throw in a semicolon for no reason; it just happens.  The play though, ah yes, the play. A play of two brothers, a play of mainly only two brothers that comprise the principal cast. There are some other characters thrown in there, but this is a tale of two brothers. The nerdier, more established, high strung brother and the rebel, unemployed, hustler brother. I am not expert on the play, though I feel I know more about it than most shows I watch. Just because of my connection to Sam Shepard and just because on podcasts I’ve listened to this play comes up. I think of how John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman did this play together, switching the roles of the brother for every performance. During the first half of the show, I thought that made complete sense because one character seems much more fun to play than the other. Though it was in the second half where mental breakdown started to affect both brothers that both really got to unleash the reigns of civility and dive deep into debauchery. I realize I get close to 1000 words before I even start to talk about my actual thoughts on the play and then I’m already thinking about how I should wrap this up before it gets too long.

In conclusion… I jest. Really though, some things are hard to describe and even harder when you saw them over a month ago. Watching a man cook 12 toasters worth of toast after he drunkenly proves to his brother over and over again that he’s a guy that’s rough and tough enough, badass enough to steal something is a sight to behold. Especially when the entire theatre fills with the smell of burnt toast and you’re not sure if you’re having a stroke or not. Watching two men dissolve into drunken degenerates who struggle to write a single screenplay is a sight to behold. I like watching the gradual downfall of people when it can be pulled off well and I think it worked out within just a couple of hours. You could sense the relationship, the tenseness, it brewing and it actually concluded culminating in dramatic fashion.

Again, do I know how much of my enjoyment was garnered just because I have a personal connection to the work? Of course not, I don’t think I could reasonably figure that out and that’s okay. I did enjoy it. I went with someone who did not enjoy it. That’s theater baby! I feel compelled to read more of Sam Shepard’s work and to see it played out. Get it? Played. Play. Puns. As soon as I wrote that last sentence, Kudzu the dog, just gave me a look saying “Are you serious man? C’mon, you’re better than that.” I am not sure if I’m better than that in the slightest so I’m just going to end this prematurely or post maturely because I’ve written too many words anyhoo. So it goes.

The Cake/55 Shades of Gay

The majority of these plays, musicals, what have you that I’ve seen, I haven’t seen alone. I have nothing against going to the theater alone, I’ve done it plenty of times in my life for smaller more independent ventures and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. The majority of the shows I’ve seen during my stay in NYC have been with a lady friend that blossomed into something more romantic along the way. I only single her out because as our relationship evolved from a friendship into an actual relationship, I’ve managed to stay awake during most of the shows we’ve seen together. I do not know if that’s to her credit or if it just because when I see shows with her that an intermission is included. I didn’t even realize that until just now, but ninety minute showcases without a pause to walk around and grab a refreshing beverage are the death of me. Or they’re at least the coma of me because I find it almost impossible to not fall into some form of slumber. I also mention out the lady in my life because these were two shows that I saw with men. One a roommate, one a cousin, actually them being men really doesn’t influence anything at all and I think it’s more that they were one act plays and I just have a hard time staying awake in a dark room even on uncomfortable chairs. At the very least with Cousin John, I saw another musical with him earlier in that day that was lovely and that I was totally awake for. I was also with the aforementioned Brazilian belle. Is that a coincidence? That I was awake for it? I don’t really think so at all and was probably more closely related to the fact that it was a musical and had a damn intermission!

This will be one of the shorter posts because thinking I could adequately even speak in detail about these shows would be a complete lie. These were some of my more recent shows too, these weren’t a month and a half ago, this was just a couple weeks ago. Hell, 55 Shades of Gay was literally less than a week ago. I will devote a single paragraph to each show because though I’d like to give a riveting play by play, I can safely say that through both of them the vast majority of my commentary would involve my head falling forward and snapping back up as I say “Don’t worry, I’m awake,” to confused looks beside me. One fun fact about both these performances is that they were primarily dominated by gay men. I want to specify that I am not homophobic just because I was unable to stay awake. It has nothing to do with my personal beliefs about the LGBTQIA+ and just rather my personal vendetta against plays over an hour without an intermission.

The Cake with Cousin John. What is there to say about The Cake that hasn’t been said already? Something about baking, something about an older woman having questionable takes on lesbian relationships, something about a straight woman’s failing marriage, something about a lesbian couple’s failing relationship. Then it somehow all gets resolved in the end and I guess that’s a happy ending, but I’m pretty sure the main woman still has questionable, wrong views on homosexuality based off a too literal reading of the Bible? The most memorable thing about this play is that Kitty from That 70’s Show was the star and some actors were better than the others and it was very obvious which did not do the play any favors. Cousin John was not a fan and I think both of us wished we’d probably have chosen something else to do instead. Regardless, it was only 25$ each and if that’s the best thing I can say about a show, then maybe that’s not a roaring approval. My main memory of this is both trying to resist falling asleep and having an intense desire to use the toilet. The combination of these two events led it where I started sweating profusely and still went in and out of sleep. There’s your review, put it on the poster.

At least with 55 Shades of Gay, the other person I was with enjoyed it. Again, it’s not like I plan on going into these performances just to fall asleep. In my defense, there was at least 15 minutes of just waiting for the show to begin after the start time and that just don’t fly with me boy. Are there key memories from this event? Sure, like a lack of intermission. Also, an empty coat rack that only me and Michael used. There were some Mexican beers being offered and there was also a bathroom line that got very crowded. I know the story impacted him, I know it was about a certain European country with progressive gay policies that later got changed when they actually started having gay people try to utilize them. It was Serbia, it was Serbian, it was the Baltic states? Listen, I went in and out of sleep very quickly and I couldn’t help myself. I think after the third time of elbowing me to keep me awake as well that Michael just gave up and I try as I might, I succumbed to the slumber. It’s like I want to go on a beautiful commentary about how it was a great modern art represtentation of the LGBTQ experience in eastern Europe, and I wish I could but I can not. It’d be doing a disservice to try to make up false claims that are based off hazy memories. Regardless, regardless of my own views on “modern dance burlesque”, I’m glad to see minority populations getting representation and making more and more art. I’m interested in their art, I think their art is important, even if I’m not fully understanding or comprehending of it, keep at it.

At the very least, I hope I gave a good enough time to my roommate for him to want to come to a show of some sort at some point again in the future. I understand theatre isn’t for everyone and my passionate fandom for it might be a bit more extreme than some other people, but it’s definitely something that’s more enjoyable to go to with another person. Seeing a movie? Just as fun alone. Seeing a play? There’s the time where it’s brightly lit before hand, there’s the intermission (hopefully!), there’s the post show processing at a too expensive bar. It’s more of an experience and it’s an experience that works even better with others. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone that can hopefully assist in keeping you awake. I’m also just happy that I go to take Cojo/Cousin John/John (depending on his mood) to his first Broadway show. The first Broadway show I am yet to write about and instead have just reviewed some thoughts on a show he probably wish he didn’t see. Still, there will be higher praise for the other show he witnessed and I think it’ll inspire him to come to some more shows if he ever returns to the city. I need to shut up though, this “review” is one of my longest ever and it’s for two shows that I barely remember. So it goes.

Choir Boy

The problem with mobile rush tickets is that you can think you’re going to get a solid deal for 25$ just by logging onto your app at 10AM and purchasing a ticket that you’ll pick up right in front of the theater when the show starts. Maybe my experience of immediately being able to purchase my first tickets through the app made me think that every other time would be so seamless. During the month of January when I had 2 days off due to winter break from classes, I tried to see theater if I could during the off time. Apparently, Thursday morning theater is some of the most damn popular theatre in the fricking city. Every week I would try to get one single ticket for myself, trying multiple times a week, and I would fail every single time. Would I ever succeed in my task? I wouldn’t, but I’d get the ticket someway even if it required me spending an extra five dollars.  This is another classic incident of me writing a “review” of the show weeks after and doing my best to recapture the feelings I had during the experience.

I like how as I start this second paragraph, it’s been two weeks since I finished the first. At one point I’m going to write enough of these in a row where I actually get back in the groove and I start busting these out without months in between. Because I do think it’s both interesting to see how I may feel reflecting back on an event that happened in the past, showing truly how much it impacted me, but at the same time, I think I include a lot of bullshit to like make it seem like I’m actually a writing a decent amount of words. With this play though, it started off a collection of incidents where I managed to sit in the first or second row for every show. Little did I know that my next time sitting in such a close vicinity to the stage would be over a month later, except I’ll just think it started off a trend. Granted, like a movie at a movie theater, sitting in the front row of a stage production isn’t always the ideal positioning. Especially when you find out the stage is like elevated 5 feet above from the ground level of which you are seated and you find yourself in direct eye-line with some very solid knees. I want to be clear that these were good looking knees and just because they were covered by a pair of slacks doesn’t mean I couldn’t tell the amazing piece of leg underneath. Why a singular leg? Legs. Every actor had great legs, and I don’t think there was a single woman included in the entire show.

I went to this show knowing nothing more except for that it was written by the Oscar winning writer of Moonlight, or rather the movie Moonlight won an Oscar though the script is typically important for that. I did think it was going to be a musical, and rather it was more a play with songs involved. A play that actually included songs as songs and not plot devices which is a rarity to see. What kind of songs they were though, hearing such harmonies between men of low voices, high voices, it was truly mesmerizing. I say that because in the past month or so, I’ve seen Broadway musicals where the two leads who were specifically in a singing play were supposed to harmonize and just two voices could not mesh nearly as well as 5 tonally different voices blended together here. I don’t remember the specific number of butts seen in the show, but I think it was around 3 bare booties. One remember’s all booties when they are but six feet away from aforementioned butts and I can safely say they were just as nice as the knees. And the moment of seeing butts did confirm that the previously mentioned knees hidden by slacks were some solid knees as well. I can tell a nice knee!

I mention Moonlight because as well all know that was about a gay black boy and him growing up throughout three acts of his life. Choir Boy is about the dealings of a black teenager in a Catholic prep school and his dealings with his life in that environment. Again, I wasn’t actually expecting a play with songs, rather thinking it’d be a full blown musical so I was definitely shocked by the tenderness, the pathos, the full blown devastation one could feel while in the midst of this show. It was much more emotional than I ever figured it would be, it was much more tender than I ever thought it would be, it was a much more beautiful story than I thought it would be. It didn’t answer all the questions, it didn’t give every character a happy ending, It felt real though. Real in a way of which I could try my best to relate even though I’m not a gay black teenager in a catholic prep school with a voice of an angel.

I do feel I was beginning to get on a roll and actually thought I was going somewhere with the review and then I realized I should’ve probably done that 500 words sooner. So I’ll there, and I’ll actually be proud of myself for retaining some of the knowledge of seeing this play back in January. Do I think about it often? I don’t, it doesn’t come up on my day to day interactions, but when expressing these thoughts here the whole play started to flood back to me. And that’s what I like, I like that maybe I’m not thinking about all these theater performances on the daily though there’s something within them that resonates with me long after I’ve seen them. I think that’s about all you can ask for in theater, at the very least make it memorable. So it goes.

Big Apple Circus

At least I saw this show in 2019. I mean, it might’ve been almost a month ago but I still have some vague memories and recollections of it. Mainly whenever I go to any circus, I both have fleeting thoughts of “I could totally pull this off with a couple months training” followed by “Why did I ever consider this was in my realm of possibilities of pulling this off?”. It’s stressful at the circus. It’s stressful at the circus. Do you see that stress? I had to type it twice because of it. I’ll just speak in interest of full disclosure. When did I start writing this? Over a week ago? And it was like already a month after I saw the circus. Do I remember anything? Do I feel the need to hit a certain word count? Is there answer “yes” to both questions but it applies more towards on than the other? Am I writing random rhetorical questions in order to pad said word count? Am I wondering if there are still soup dumplings in the fridge back at my home?

So the circus…a magical arena. A magical arena that I thought was much bigger than it was so I bought more expensive tickets, even saying to my date “Oh, I think they’re going to expand this before the show starts” explicitly to make myself feel better about spending more money on the tickets. Instead, I realized it was a smaller, more intimate circus experience than I was used to, especially considering this was New York City, and a difference of 25$ each would’ve only put us about 20 feet further away. I can’t even remember the last time I went to a typical circus though. I do recall the Ringling Bros or Barnum and Bailey declaring bankruptcy and with that I thought the art of the circus died with them. Then there were all those comments about animal cruelty that could be related to forcing elephants and lions to entertain four year olds. Regardless, it did remind me why everyone loves the circus. It’s just a fun, delightful, light hearted romp that can both cater to the young ages and keep it entertaining for the adults who take care of them. Just so you know they apparently replaced lions and elephants with dogs and horses. I was a little disappointed overwall without a typical, stereotypical clown costume though we did have our customary clowning. I just think I like the idea of multiple clowns, a clowning family that can get together in their little car and it amuses me. Maybe I am the reason that circuses cater to the toddler audience because based off what I missed in the show, it definitely wasn’t some acrobatic theatrics, but just face painted men and women fitting into a tiny car.

What else happened at the circus that I saw over a month ago? Again, I remember extreme theatrics that I like to pretend that I could do while knowing no matter if I trained my entire life I would never be able to do anything similar. Why do I think I can balance anything, let alone while standing on a ladder without supports? Do I think I could trapeze and my body be 3% body fat while also being able to do a multitude of somersaults in a row? Again, I like to think I could while truthfully knowing I would have no potential ability to do that ever. Gosh, I think this is the closest thing I’ve done to a review that’s 50% rhetorical questions or more. I try to hit a certain word count even though it doesn’t really matter because it’s not like people are counting this.

Let’s finish with a focus on the circus. Trapeze artists are great. Dogs that can do tricks are great especially when you live with a dog who’s poop you’ve had to clean up off the floor. You know those super well trained dogs aren’t doing none of that. Are there other things I remember fondly? Oh yes, I did enjoy eating that cotton candy because who wouldn’t want to eat straight sugar? Gosh, I’m just doing more questions. This was a mistake waiting over a month to review this. It’s not even a theater show so I don’t even feel the need to particularly include this. I enjoyed the circus, I’m glad I went, I’d go again, go see circuses, go see theater, go see acrobats, go see clowns. Not my best review, but not everyone is a winner. So it goes.

Why do we care about sports? Part 2

As I sit here, in another saddened stupor after another inexplicable Patriot’s win, I wonder why do people watch sports? I remember after the Patriots started the season 0-2, there was an article about how the Patriots would shake off their rusty start and win the Super Bowl. People laughed at the headline because it was obviously a joke and it couldn’t be true because that wouldn’t make any sense. There’s no way a quarterback closer to middle age than the prime of his athletic career could somehow lead to his team to another championship. His best receivers are what? One of the best tight ends ever that’s damaged into a heap of scraps, a tiny white slot receiver, a Josh Gordon that was cut for another drug misuse? And yet they did win. They always win. There was never any doubt they would win. I have no idea why I thought I should cheer for Sean McVay and his human pile of garbage QB, Goff. Don’t they have one of the most elite D-Lines in history and the Patriot’s O-Line doesn’t even have a player taken before the third round? Of course. And Tom Brady got sacked once or twice? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN EVERY YEAR? WHY DO WE THINK IT’LL BE DIFFERENT ANY YEAR? WHY DO WE GET OUR HOPES UP FOR THE BELICHECK DYNASTY TO END? DID I AT LEAST THINK THAT IF SABAN LOST THAT BILL COULD LOSE TOO? I JUST DON’T KNOW WHY I TRY ANYMORE. I’m tired of caring and being let down. Oh great, I can’t wait for the NBA Finals and for the Warriors to win again. Sports suck. Dynasties suck. Tom Brady and Bill and co suck the most even if they are some of the GOATs. Whatever. I can’t wait for next year to inevitably get my hopes up and crushed all over again. So it goes.