Archive for September, 2004
This weekend we were helping our friend Travis move to his new third floor apartment. It came time to move his washer and dryer (ugh) and he expressed how he really wished he could have sold them so he wouldn’t have to move them. I inquired as to how much he wanted for them and he told me they were $1200 brand new 2 years ago, and he bought them used for $800, so he would like about $400, and since we were friends and that would save him from moving them we could pay it out in installments. Everybody wins!
We jumped in his moving van (now empty except for the washer and dryer) and went to our apartment where I quickly threw everything we were currently storing in the empty laundry room into any empty space I could fin in the rest of our small apartment. We installed the washer and dryer, and later when Jess and I came home we sorted out the carnage and tried to figure out where to put all the crap that was formerly stored where the washer and dryer now live.
No more trips to the laundry room and worrying about having tons of quarters! Wooooo!
More evidence that Lucas is losing more and more of his mind. Now let it be said that I think some of these changes actually sound cool to me (especially the removal of the scream, and the insertion of Ian McDiarmid), but on the other hand, just leave your classic movies alone! I’m sure he’ll release other future editions, and box sets once all the movies are out, and will probably make even more changes. I just hope he eventually will at least include the “original” versions in addition to his Frankensteined versions.
My personal wish: a box set of all 6 movies, including the altered and original version of the original trilogy. With all his tinkering, it wouldn’t surprise me if he accidentally edited himselg full circle and ended up with the original movies without even realizing it.
George: “Ummm, the power of myth and technological advancements have allowed me to further improve my movies to be what I originally conceived them to be in my very large cranium and, umm, ”
Reporter: “George, the movies are now back to exact original cuts”
George: “Umm, well umm classic mythical influences often have, uhh, circular themes which make irony an important ingredient in the m�nage-a-casserole that is creative vision…”
Reporter: *leaves George blathering on in the corner*
Now that the play is over, it’s time to spill all the beans.
Richard Garriott is a video game designer here in Austin. He designed the Ultima games, and many others. He’s a fairly well known celebrity around Austin and among video game fans. He is also known for his incredible themed parties he throws. Last night he threw a “Victorian Christmas in September” party. For this, he built a replica of The Globe Theatre on his property. For the inauguration of this theatre, we performed “A Christmas Carol”.
I was Bob Cratchit, and Jess was The Narrator, and The Ghost of Christmas Past. Jess also was the Scenic Designer, and she busted her ass since June designing and building (or acquiring in some cases) all the set and prop pieces with pretty much no help except for me and my cousin Casey, who we also roped into the production. I initially called my cousin to just be an extra in the background.
Since my cousin isn’t an actor, and has never been involved in theatre with the exception of things I’ve dragged him into, he told me that my call was possibly the strangest call he’d ever received, since it was basically, “Hey would you like to be in a play (a bit unusual) at Richard Garriott’s party (more unusual). It will be “A Christmas Carol” in September (more and more unusual).” He ended up playing the silent Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and a party-goer, and helped build the sets and such with Jess and I.
The play went phenomenally, and afterwards all the guests were taken down to the little fake village on the property where there were shops, a planetarium, an opium den, a toy shoppe, a brothel and other Victorian locales. Jess and I worked after the play tending the snow slope. Yes, you heard me right.
A while back Richard acquired a snow machine which was used at another party in the past, and this time they used it to create a snow slope for people to race sleds down, and such. Jess and I were hawkers giving out coins to the winners of races, and generally trying to get people to come play on the slope. Unfortunately, the ice slope was quite surrounded by a lot of mud due to the inevitable melting of ice in Texas in September. Remarkably the slope was still totally intact and all night long, and you couldn’t really detect any melting of it aside from the wet mud marshes surrounding it. I must say I was in top for as the master of the slope. My days working at the Texas Renaissance Festival as an actor had served me well.
At the end of the night there was a fireworks display. Real, class “c” fireworks like they use at professions displays. We all gathered in front of the wooden castle to watch the display. They fireworks were being set off on tables not more than 20 feet in front of us. We were warned that, as anyone who has attended Richard’s parties in the past, many times the fireworks display becomes interactive with the audience, or “full contact fireworks” as some called it.
Jess and I were sitting on a tarp right in the front as close as you could get to the tables. Indeed it was somewhat like being in a war simulation with debris and ash raining down from above, and occasional stray fireworks causing you to duck and cover. It was definitely and extreme sport, but quite fun.
A few highlights:
Jess and I had Victorian portraits taken in our costumes and they look pretty authentic.
The planetarium was cool. It was in a domed little room, with a projector that projected the night sky on the ceiling and walls, and the man controlling it was explaining constellations and then could overlay the pictures over the stars so you could see how they were supposed to be the things they were named. Most constellations are an extreme stretch to say the least, but then again constellations called “a crooked stick”, “old man’s cane”, or “bent rapier” wouldn’t be nearly as exciting.
There was aa brothel where you could pay a prostitute, and then they would take you into a room and give you a card telling you what happened like “You got the clap”, “broken member”, “you pulled a muscle”.
All in all it was very much fun, and having met Richard Garriott, I have to say I’m a fan. He is a very nice, fun and down to earth guy. A big kid with a lot of money, which is totally what I would be in his position. He’s always out at the site doing all this manual labor himself. Tinkering with this and that, and helping put up curtain rods, and lanterns. The man knows good video games and a fun party too. Thanks Richard.
The capper is that we all ended up getting paid a decent amount for our work in the play (and separately for our work at the party). Jess got a lot more money than we were expecting for her role as Scenic Designer (although, believe me, it was well earned). Consequently, we will be going to a party in L.A. in December. That’s about all I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure Jess will have more to say when she gets back from helping clean up the site today (I had to work so I couldn’t go).
I’ve been growing a full beard for the play, and so last night before the performance, I trimmied it into a popular configuration for the time. I’ve never worn my beard this way before, so it’s quite a shock for me to look in the mirror now. I was going to shave as soon as the show is over, but I may keep this beard for a few days because it amuses me. I think I have a Spinal Tap “Derek Smalls” vibe happening.
I’m addicted to Googlewhacking. No, you perverts. That’s where you type in a 2 word phrase and try to get one, and only one Google hit. Of course, I find it amusing that as people find Googlewhacks, they post about them, then they spread and are no longer Googlewhacks, thus ever decreasing the pool.
I am going to create my own Googlewhack. necrotize crampons. There. When this page gets indexed I will have a Googlewhack…at least temporarily. I’m sure it won’t really be a Googlewhack, since it was posted only for the purpose of being one, but it will be fun none the less. Off to try more Googlewhacking!
For anyone who doesn’t know, in the old Superman comics there was a “Bizarro” Superman who came from another world completely opposite of ours.
Yesterday I found myself behind two cars that had apparently bumped bumpers. The drivers were getting out, asessing the situation, talking and such, and also consequently holding up five p’clock traffic on this two lane road. As the right lane flew by us, I was thinking there was no way I was ever going to get to merge into the right lane to continue homeward.
About 4 cars behind me, a big SUV managed to pull out into the right lane. I naturally figured they would then whiz by those of us stuck in the left lane like the rest of traffic was doing, but much to my surprise, they stopped and blocked traffic so the rest of us in front of them could get into the right lane and continue our post-work journeys. It was a very pleasant surprise, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was one of those Austin things I love so much.
I also decided to become a spammer today. Only I’m going to send out spams like:
TIRED OF BE1NG TH1N? G@IN 90 LBS. NOW!
stay l1mp in the b3droom! st0p pleasing your woman t0day!!!!!!!
get p00r quick! g3t r1d 0f a77 y0r munny n0w!@$%#@%%^
heh…that’ll show em!
I don’t want to always double-post anything I put on my home page, but since most people still probably bypass my front page and head straight for this page, I feel the need to point out when there is a new post on my home page.
Also, I said I was going to stop sending haiku notifications, since you can just assume a new will be posted every day, but I thought I’d take a poll from those who have signed up for notifications. Would you rather continue receiving daily haiku notifications or only notifications of other non-haiku entries?