Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Allie's Journey

For the next several months this will be dedicated to information pertinent to Allene M. Maddock. Her care has been assumed by Hospice as of 06Apr12.

Please feel free to call or write her. If you call be patient and take time to explain who you are. Currently she remembers, but you have to help her focus so she truly knows who she is talking to at the moment. We have to do this too, and I frequently say something like, "Yes this is Scott, your oldest."

Her phone is area code two-zero-six, and the number is 216 3816.

Her Address:
Allie Maddock
c/o Queen Ann Manor
100 Crockett Street
Seattle, Washington
    98109

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What To Do

Well I've been quiet lately. Couple things going on. One is I decided to get a new car. I'm getting either a Toyota Prius (hybrid) or a VW Jetta TDI (diesel). The VW is a little bit more and it is a manual, but I like the idea of biodiesel. The Prius appeals too because of the great mileage. Both let me greatly reduce the money I spend with dubya's bosses. I'm really torn and will think on it tonight.

The other thing, well more on that later. Nothing terrible, the opposite I hope.

I've been driving junkers for years. The last quiet car I had was a '69 Malibu which I drove for a year or two around 1980. I've never owned a new car, and driving junkers has allowed me to save enough that I'll be able to write a check instead of paying interest on a loan. Of course now I won't collect interest either. So, I'll have to do something with the Vanagon. It's running but the transmission and engine both have very limited longevity now. Fixing them would cost a third of what a new car would cost. If I did it myself it would be much cheaper. I don't think I'll actually do that, so I'll be giving it away in the Fall... Maybe I can find another theatre person to give it to, and keep the chain going.

PS - Update. I decided on the Prius. Just not enough selection with the vw's this year. Maybe in a couple years. Here's what I expect to pick up this evening. I'm not getting the touring model, but I don't think there is any (significant) difference in the exterior. Usually you can get bargains this time of year, but that is offset by gas prices. I suppose that is a down side, but with more than double the mpg the savings at the pump will soon make up the difference. (I expect to be going from a bit under 20mpg to a bit under 60mpg. Heck that could be three times the mpg. (My old roommate got 50mpg with his and he accelerates pretty firmly.)
Red 2007 Prius

Friday, May 25, 2007

Evil, Live!

I heard John Boehner this morning as I was getting ready for work. I was listening with a casual ear and my comprehension was overwhelmed by his tone. I've gone on a few times about how I recognized the pre-war 'intelligence' as cooked and/or false. I was 100% right. Whether it was yellowcake, mobile labs, wmd's, Al Qaeda ties, or so on, my intuition was dead on. I'm not an expert, but I worked collecting, collating, and analyzing intel in real time. (Kids, that's what this childless daddy did during the war.) I couldn't quantify why I believed the intel was cooked. I was a pro, but not a guru, and there is the difference.

The tone of Boehner's voice, his use of pitch, intent, emotion, and rhythm. The hairs on my back rose. I can't quantify, though with a recording I could likely begin to. It's as though my exposure to art, and theatre in particular, opened up some sensory experience I'd not have had otherwise. I knew he was lying, and I knew he did so knowingly. He was working the crowd. Period. And, I recognized raw evil.

Boehner's biggest claim to fame before being the K Street branded and approved choice to take over DeLay's position was publicly handing out checks from lobbyists to their tame politicians on the House floor. Like the big lie, the Big Bribe is so blatant and obviously tainted that people accept it as good business.

After recognizing my instinctual and intuitive gut reaction to Boehner, I processed what he actually said. The choked up voice telling how he honored the 3000+ dead soldiers, by voting to keep the live ones there with no goal, exit strategy, or post-combat support. Did nothing to dispel the overwhelmingly evil ghoul impression his voice created.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Listening Skills -- Need More Work

Well, I skipped eating Wednesday and finally had a protein heavy salad for lunch on Thursday. I wasn't really feeling sick. I wasn't feeling particularly wonderful either. There was a desire to clean up, or rather an engulfing lack of enthusiasm for food. Didn't stop caffeine though. You see, it wasn't a planned thing, just a feeling of impending queasiness. I've a feeling one of my staples needs to be removed. The soup in the lunchroom? Corn chips? Chocolate? (Better damn well not be chocolate.) Not enough fruits and veggies? Just because my diet is many times better than it used to be, doesn't mean there is not a lot of room for improvement.

I've been craving veggies more than fruit lately. My apples and tangerines are getting a bit dodgy. Haven't eaten one in a couple weeks, so it is time to restock and resume gobbling fruit for snacks. I think I was so happy to find corn chips seemed okay I let them invade the fruit niche. It's a constant battle, which I can quantify a little. I've been stuck in the 215 region for a while, nearly two months. I'd like to lose at least another ten pounds by my birthday in early August so I can celebrate losing fifty pounds along with lasting fifty years. So there is that desire in there some place. That along with how much better I feel with most the industrial crap out of my diet keeps me more attuned.

Much more often I eat nice balanced meals. Veggies, meat or fish, rice or potatoes, and some fruit. I also have nights where I'll eat two steaks or a plate full of chops or fish, or have a veggie and/or fruit night. My body has cravings once in a while and when I follow them it serves me well. A sweet tooth on the other hand is the type or craving I experience for things which don't make me feel particularly good, usually the opposite. It is subtle but easy to distinguish from what the body craves, if you're honest with yourself. There's the catch that can make it hard.

The trick is to honor the higher cravings, so when my spiritual guardian or dedicated fatherland security keepers see what I choose they can say, "You have chosen wisely grasshopper."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cloning Rasputin

Check this quote.
"I don't believe I intended to commit a crime," Goodling, a lawyer, answered.
Can you believe this? The silly twit is nearly talking about herself in the third person. Does she think she is channelling Gonzo? How can you not know your own intent? Discussing yourself in a third person sounding style should not insulate you. If I stated in court that Ms Goodling intended to break the law a valid objection would be made for drawing a conclusion or hearsay. But talking in the third person should not distance you from yourself, and I'm sick of the folks at hearings letting these statements go unchallenged. If I was asked if I intended to break the speed limit and told the magistrate, "I don't believe I intended to commit a crime," what do you think would happen?

Talking in the third person about oneself comes across as stilted or just plain weird. Wouldn't you love some senator or representative to ask, "Well, Ms Goodling, do you mean to say you don't know what your intentions were? Is there a knowledgeable person Ms Goodling is acquainted with whom we could ask?"

Strange things are happening. Monica's lawyers are making noise over DOJ's investigation of their client for her partisan hiring practices, saying it reeks of "retribution and intimidation." Duh! How about her calling McNulty a liar for implicating her? It's the typical conservative sense of entitlement, "You can't do to me what I'll do to you!"

It's all so silly and shallow. If it wasn't for the ruthlessly sacrificed lives and liberties these unpatriotic freedom-haters who have once again hijacked the GOP have taken it would be funny. In fifty years I hope people can look back and mock and laugh at the atmosphere created in this country. Where fact is assailed as inaccurate and unpatriotic. Where courage is belittled and called cowardice by the very cowards the brave are standing up to. Where cowardice and unrestrained greed are worshipped as patriotic and lofty goals.

It really sucks. Watching your country become the bad guys. Meanwhile the democrats we elected to stand up to the evil being carried out in our name have rolled over for Bush, giving him yet another blank check to support torture, illegal imprisonment, mercenaries (blackwater, halliburton, becktel...), unrestrained domestic spying, etc. So, the representatives we put in place to change the downward spiral of America have no more courage than the bunch who got us here. Do you suppose any of them got their bellies scratched when they rolled over for dubya? I don't think so. Same lapdogs, different names.

D

Strange evening Sunday night. The night before we'd closed Arsenic And Old Lace which had special meaning for me, being the first play I ever saw as a kid. Kind of a late night, striking the set.

I slept in. I'd hoped to get to the library to get a book dealing with ASL, turns out it is just as well I didn't for this week. I was to pick up some dvd's from George for class. He's out recuperating from he the quintuple bypass, and Sunday was the one day the replacement instructors couldn't make it. There was some confusion, but the proper dvd's finally made it to the house he's staying at. A friend of his who is on Freehold's board. She is an artist, so while I was waiting I took the opportunity to enjoy the pieces, some her's and some bartered. We didn't talk long, so George wouldn't be tempted to join us I suppose. Lovely house, lovely woman, lovely work. A few stolen moments enjoying beauty on so many levels is always a gift.

After we watched the films it was pouring down rain, making my plans to walk all the way down to Half Price Books less appealing. One of the other students had ridden her bicycle so I offered her a ride back to Ballard, and I stopped at the Wedgewood Third Place Books on the way back. You see, I was planning to see You Can't Take It With You and only had an hour and a half or so between class and curtain, so was happy to find someplace I wanted to go on the way back from giving my classmate a lift.

At the bookstore I picked up four Dr. Seuss books (McElligot's Pool, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, & Hunches in Bunches) and stopped briefly from some food at PCC, then over to Hugo House to watch the play. This was the first play I was in where I had lines, so it also had a special meaning, and it was also a final performance. Mr. Kolenkhov was the role I had, and I know the actor who played him in this production. It was very fun watching the show, and it brought back a lot of memories as well as giving me a different perspective.

Then I got home and had a real dinner and started reading the Dr. Seuss books. My God, I never appreciated his books before. I read all of them aloud at least once before going to sleep. Crazy or fun voices jump out of the characters, and the classical training from last year seemed to make the text pop more. I'm looking forward to reading them more tonight. Go figure. I'd never had enjoyed them so much reading them to myself, probably wouldn't have at all. I was up until 2am. I woke up at 8am ready to go read, and I received a sad E-mail. One of the students lost her mother over the weekend. The hearing impaired girl. I imagine she'll be out for a while. Keep her in your thoughts. Life isn't fair, and this is one of those examples lest we forget. The other kids were to be informed in the morning, so I wouldn't be able to read for them. I rescheduled for Wednesday. I hope Dr. Seuss will be just the ticket. He sure makes me feel better.

It's Wednesday already. Slow getting to editing, and I'll still miss things. I read to the kids this morning, and they seemed to enjoy Dr. Seuss. I went farther than I have with other voices, or at least I think so. I'll have to check in with the teachers, but I think they really got into Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Pretty quiet, but not zoned. Some stories have them participating and laughing, others catch their interest and really connect with them, and some bore them. I think this was of the second category.

Pretty standard blog for #500, eh?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cue The Undead, ... , Now

I wish I could predict "Now." It suddenly became so obvious that whether the whole scandal has been scripted. What will be Ashcroft's stated take on the other ghouls who were perched on his footboard begging for scraps? Hoping Ashcroft would incriminate himself for illegal wiretapping instead of making dubya take his own bullet? I mean, really. Ashcroft fighting for justice? Will I have to alter my world-view? Or has my view been the result of expositions? The background has been scripted, now we accept or reject the point of view. When Ashcroft speaks for himself will it be designed to topple or deify Bush? To what extent? To what purpose?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Having Your Cake and Eating It
-or-
Eat Birdshot

It is so transparent and lame. Perhaps the only time Dick Cheney been transparent in his misbegotten life. His attorneys spout his "fanciful claims" defense which reek of talking point sound bytes rather than legal argument or logic, while at the same time trying to establish presidential immunity. Wow, can we count the holes? Who needs immunity from fanciful claims? Bringing up immunity at this juncture is an action demonstrating their complete lack of confidence in being able to deny wrong-doing or culpability. Extending immunity to this kind of behavior is the only "fanciful claim" I've heard so far.

"There's no crime or culpability here!" vs. "I have immunity!" Flip flopping in a big way, ain't it? Though in this case it has more of the appearance of a barracuda's desperate gasping on a fishing pier. I'm thinking it's time for Dick to polish up the old shooting iron for his new lawyer friends.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What's Good Comes Around

Rachel has a really interesting post, with fifty people who have influenced her life as she turns fifty. I'm considering something similar, more open in some ways and more restrictive in others. I'm following close on Rachel's heels, as we're only a couple months apart in age. I'm thinking of going with fifty things, as the mind's picture and memory of some things like the frigid caress of an ocean wave or the unexpected encounter with a seventeen year old girl's blood and gray matter splattering the inside of a small truck in a wrecking yard are inanimate yet were/are profoundly affecting. For myself, I'll work extra hard to avoid going over the same territory, so I don't gravitate towards the recent and more comfortable. I may group, for example my parents are vastly different in their effects, but there is a harmony in their affect, if discordant. The splattered truck and the brain dead young woman I met in the ER as the result of an ultimately successful suicide might be both a harsh memory, but sisters in their posthumous impact on me.

Kind of a dark example, eh? I canned a longish post on Friday iterating through my blues by paragraph. Maybe sentence and comma will be brief enough. The failed intervention situation has not improved, my friend at BD's World is going through a rough time which affects me too, our government still seems to be creeping more towards totalitarianism than back to democracy, I want to fall in love, but at least my sore throat seems to be gone. My favorite instructor, who I guess I'd consider a friend though we never hang out is getting a quintuple bypass. For my family and friends in this area, keep George Lewis in your thoughts and/or prayers. I was looking at my little medical gripes, which seem to indicate something like hyperglycemia (or mild type 2 diabetes) or mild celiac disease. All little things for me or big things for those I care about. They add up when you got the blues.

I feel the deadening, tightening of the chest which seems like it shares an apartment with weeping despair and hopeless fear. As I mentioned a few posts back, I've actually got some tools for dealing with those feelings. I know I'll feel better, and even with that creepy feeling the acute sensation is very transitory and the low energy not much more than a nuisance. How's this automotive analogy? These days I tinker a bit to tune up my engine, which seems to work better than pulling over to the shoulder and waiting for the engine to tune itself up. It would be nice to have a few more tools, but it is great to have finally learned to do the tune up. I'm still pissed I can't fully shake the blues right now, and they've been bugging me a little bit for about a month. Two wonderful concepts there. "A little bit." It always felt so big in the past. "About a month." That's not very long, at least not from my perspective. Longer than usual now, likely the longest in five years, yet it is likely shorter than any time between the ages of 7 and 42 or 43. Heck I don't think I was ever out of the blues for that long other than a time or two when I was deeply in love.

It doesn't matter when I struggle with the blues, that I'm actually happier than my old good periods. I've a new standard, thank you very much.

I've been thinking a bit about my Mom. Is that because of the blues, or contributing to them? I've been wondering if I should visit her if I do decide to leave the area. Who would it be for? Would it be a preemptive attempt to allay guilt I may have to deal with in the future, while teasing her in a deeply cruel way? "Hi Mom, I haven't visited you since I said piss off years ago, so I thought I'd stop by before I pissed off." I resort to lame wry/dry Brit humor just thinking about it. Why do I wonder about this? When I try to dive into my feelings for my mother I find nothing. Are they buried? Were they totally eroded away by an unending deluge of acid rain? I keep meaning to write a short card and the very thought makes me spiritually lethargic. I worry about giving her my return address. I'm afraid of getting sucked into her meanly furnished world of irrational and righteous resentment. I know I won't allow that to happen, I got out of it many years before I detached, but the conditioning is still there. On the up side, I'm glad the sallow Mother's Day ads are done for the year.

Even more up siding, I read again to the kids this morning. I was overly busy last week, but did have a chance to pick up a copy of the Winnie The Pooh books in a single volume for myself. They liked it so much the first time, I couldn't resist and picked another, but shorter story for today, then finished out the time with Shel Silverstein. It was as wonderful as last Monday.

I hope to get a good book about ASL (American Sign Language) for next week, and my initial library search was very encouraging. I want to find a book that touches on how it was taught surreptitiously at first. We have a hearing challenged girl in one of the classes, along with an ASL interpreter. When I get to a passage I read quickly I enjoy feeling the speed and energy of the signing which complements my reading. I told the interpreter I hoped to find such a book, and she was very excited. She told me her mother had rubella when she was pregnant (1965 I think) and would have put her in an institution had she been born deaf. As angry as I get with the brutish social devolution in this country it is good to be reminded of the good things which happen in spite of the seemingly tireless efforts the most fearful and hateful segments of our society. It seems we can't ever quite get past the commoditizing of fear by the vicious. They can't quite seem to stomp out the inherent goodness from everyone either.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Giving Tree

It's beautiful outside right now. I think I'll work kind of a short day, and go home around 1700. Yup, a civilian for nearly sixteen years and I still set all my timepieces to military time whenever I can.

It's a short day because I started off reading to the kids today. When I first started doing this the year before last I'd hoped for a class between Kindergarten and 2nd grade. Like so many things in life, I've decided this is my favorite age. If for some reason I have to read to a different group sometime that will likely change. I read them a short version of the little Dutch boy -- finger in the dike -- which has images of beautiful oil paintings. Then we read Shel Silverstein's Where The Sidewalk Ends. The first class had a blast, the second split their sides. You can't help but enjoying a day which starts with a long laugh with a bunch of fourth graders.

I remember my first trip to read to the kids. I was as nervous as I've ever been for a show. Even that first day was a blast, and I still start off the year with the same book, Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and an old typewriter for the kids to look at. It is fun to see the kids talk about the cool antique.

Now I look forward to Mondays, missing them on holidays and vacation. They still surprise me. When I started a short adaption of Kidnapped I'd only planned to read the first third to try and get them excited about a classic, but not bore them with the whole book. The next week I brought in another book which they enjoyed, but both classes it turns out were looking forward to more from Kidnapped. So I finished it over the next two weeks. Sometimes when they're quiet they are caught up in a story.

It's often like performing on stage, where they say kids can be the very best and worst of audiences. They will tune out and count ceiling tiles or chat if you're at all fakey or bored. If you are with them they are usually an incredibly generous audience. This mornings read was a good example. Some of them were more interested in the story than others, but nobody seemed to be totally tuned out.

They love the poems. I do too. I stopped reading the poems ahead of time, and that is both challenging and delightful. They talk about making choices in acting and improv, and when you read Silverstein cold you better be committed. I do pretty well, usually finding a tone and speed which works. Mr. Silverstein, was a genius. I'm discovering these lovely verses with the kids, and having as much fun and we're really at the same level for a bit.

How can you not have fun reading "He scratched his butt and he wiped his nose." from Paul Bunyan? And you laugh with the same silly abandonment for the same silly reason? I can't imagine talking down to children without wanting, then working to do so. I get to play with them when I read, and I suppose that is being generous with them. Whatever it is, they are certainly generous with me.

I would have never become involved in this had I not gotten passionate about acting. I'm especially unhappy with my acting work right now. Even if I felt that way all the time, and never grew a bit more in the craft it would all be worth it just for the fun the children share with me. That's generous. It's what the world needs so much more of.

Friday, May 04, 2007

zzz

I'm tired of this sore throat. It can go away now. Any time now. Two months now.

Opening night tonight, so at least there's some fun on the horizon. I made a blocking error during the preview last night that left me physically stranded. I'm supposed to carry 'Jonathon' out, and my partner didn't grab his legs and I couldn't think of a way of putting him down down without support. So I set him down in a sitting position leaning against my legs, so I wouldn't have to hold him until I was supposed to carry him out. My legs got a good massage from his suppressed heaving laughter. Other than a slightly mangled line that was all the preview excitement for me. I hope the superstition that a flubbed preview means the run will be smoother holds up. My err was minor, but in proportion to the size of the role.

Thanks to the throat I feel pretty tired, so I have to work pretty hard to get my energy where it needs to be. Wish me a broken leg. (I feel dead beat, but don't want to be a deadbeat.)