Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Finish Line

I was reading from the Garage Band Theatre blog today and John's words really hit me. The Christian life isn't all "happy happy joy joy." It can be quite the opposite. (I can attest to that fact) It's not about a "shiny happy Jesus" as Sarah so eloquently puts it. It's a struggle and it's a fight. This song by Steve Taylor sprung to mind as I read what John had written. They are especially hard-hitting following the death of our faithful friend Bill Reese. Read 'em and weep, children.

"The Finish Line is one of the only songs I've written that really effects me emotionally still even when I hear it. I just think, 'I got it right on that song.' It's just the story of someone who runs the race, and it's not like a steady uphill victory climb, it's not doing a victory march into Heaven or something like that, it's run with blood and sweat and perseverance. The title for the album 'Squint' actually came from a line in The Finish Line--'Off in the distance bloodied but wise / as you squint with the light of the truth in your eyes'--we don't necessarily see the finish line real clearly in front of us; we have to sort of squint to see it--we're pretty sure it's there. It's not easy running this race." - Steve Taylor

Once upon an average morn
An average boy was born for the second time
Prone upon the altar there
He whispered up the prayer he'd kept hid inside
The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
"These will vie to take your place, but Father,by your grace I wil never kneel"

And I saw you, upright and proud
And I saw you wave to the crowd
And I saw you laughing out loud at the Philistines
And I saw you brush away rocks
And I saw you pull up your socks
And I saw you out of the blocks
For the finish line

Darkness falls
The devil stirs
And as your vision blurs you start stumbling
The heart is weak
The will is gone
And every strong conviction comes tumbling down
Malice rains
The acid guile is sucking at your shoes while the mud is fresh
It floods the trail
It bleeds you dry
As every little god buys its pound of flesh

And I saw you licking your wounds
And I saw you weave your cocoons
And I saw you changing your tunes for the party line
And I saw you welsh on old debts
I saw you and your comrades bum cigarettes
And you hemmed and you hawed
And you hedged all your bets
Waiting for a sign

Let's wash our hands as we throw little fits
Let's all wash our hands as we curse hypocrites
We're locked in the washroom turning old tricks
DeafAnd joyless
And full of it

The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
"These have tried to take your place, but Father,by your grace I will never kneel
I will never kneel..."

Off in the distance
Bloodied but wise
As you squint with the light of the truth in your eyes
And I saw you
Both hands were raised
And I saw your lips move in praise
And I saw you steady your gaze
For the finish line
Every idol like dust
A word scattered them all
And I rose to my feet when you scaled the last wall
And I gasped
When I saw you fall
In his arms
At the finish line

written by Steve Taylor
Copyright © 1993 Soylent Tunes (ASCAP)

Another Article About Bill

Bill Reese: Arlington teacher inspired many during fight with cancer

06:46 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 31, 2006
By TOYA LYNN STEWART / The Dallas Morning News

Bill Reese was passionate about the things he loved – his family, the church, his students, the theater and martial arts.
He earned two black belts for his athletic prowess, but his other recognition came from the lives of those the Arlington high school teacher touched.
His final life lesson both inside and outside of the classroom began a month ago when Mr. Reese was diagnosed with liver cancer.
He was hospitalized in April and began aggressive treatment to prolong his life.
His wife, Jane, said she knew his death was coming and felt a sense of urgency to get him home. The last words he spoke to her, on Saturday, were, " 'You're in charge,' " she said. "I knew he was giving me the job and responsibility to carry out his wishes."
Mr. Reese died Monday evening, about 10 minutes after arriving at his home in Arlington. He was with his wife, children and mother-in-law.
"When he took his last breath, we saw a tear in his eye," Mrs. Reese said Tuesday. "He was sad for us, but it was also tears of joy because he knew where he was going, and there was peace and joy with that.
"I'm missing him, but at the same time his presence is thick all around me."
Mr. Reese taught at Bowie and Sam Houston high schools in the Arlington school district for five years. He also taught classes at Tarrant County College and Dallas Baptist University. Mr. Reese was active at Park Springs Bible Church.
After Mr. Reese was diagnosed with liver cancer, students, colleagues, church members, his theater friends and others rallied around him and his family. A profile of their efforts and his story was published last week in The Dallas Morning News.
Mr. Reese said at that time that he had made his peace with God, but he was determined to fight his disease for as long as he could.
Students praised Mr. Reese's efforts to reach out as their teacher. They also said he created a bond with them by sharing details of his life.
Mary Schadt, a speech teacher at Sam Houston High, said Mr. Reese was a dedicated and imaginative educator.
"Any other teacher can learn from that," she said. "He respected students' privacy, he respected students' boundaries, and he cared about what they thought. He was not afraid to reach out to students. He knew it was the right thing to do."
In an interview with The News a few weeks ago, Mrs. Reese called her husband's teaching talent a gift from God. She described her husband as loyal, faithful and committed to whatever he did.
Although a bout with eye cancer slowed him down in 2003, he recovered and jumped back into his active lifestyle.
His mother-in-law, Louise Gouge, said Tuesday that her daughter was blessed to have him as a husband.
"We prayed for a holy man that would be good and strong," Ms. Gouge said. "Bill was that man, and we will miss him terribly."
In addition to his wife, Mr. Reese is survived by a son, Forest William; a daughter, Savannah Grace; parents Bob and Milbra Reese of Columbia, S.C.; and a brother, Jim Reese, also of Columbia, S.C.
A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 5415 Matlock Road in Arlington. He will be cremated.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Sarah and I attended NorthWest Church on Sunday morning and it felt good. Even though we enjoyed the evening service better, we felt comfortable and folks were very friendly. After the service, we attended Jeff's class called "The Glorious Ruin" which is an open forum for faith and the arts. It was extremely enjoyable. The topic of the day was envy and it certainly hit me between the eyes. At the end of the class Jeff challenged us to be aware of our moments of envy and even write them down. I will do so here but I am trying to keep the monster in check.
It's been refreshing to be a part of the artists community of NorthWest Church. We've not immersed ourselves fully into it but it's been nice to be a part of a group of artists again. In college, I had my artists friends at school and in seminary I had the drama team. These were my communities. Except for in small ways, I haven't had that since leaving seminary. It's nice to experience it again. I hope and pray it lasts.

Bill Reese Goes Home

I found out this morning that my friend Bill passed away on Memorial Day. It was a peaceful passing and he spent the last minutes of his life at home with his family. He was 39 years old and leaves behind his wife Jane and 2 children.
I spent the weekend putting the finishing touches on a piece of art for Bill but I kept having a nagging feeling that he wouldn't see it. I will now send it on as an encouragement and symbol of love for Jane and the kids.
I didn't know Bill that well but we were part of the Company family...those folks that were a part of the drama ministry at Southwestern Seminary. It's a strong bond and even though we don't see or communicate with each other for years, we're still family.
Goodbye Bill. See you on high.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Taproot Debut

Yesterday I made my Seattle stage debut at Taproot Theatre as an alternate Klansman in the comedy "The Foreigner." It was a student matinee and when the Klan boys went out for curtain call, we got booed. (That's a good thing) All thru the performance the kids were hollaring "Go away" and "Get out" and stuff like that. I had no dialogue but got to ad lib some "Yee haws" and some grumbling and mumbling. I am filling in for the guy that does it at the night performances. He's black. You should see the reaction when he pulls the hood off at curtain call. It's hysterical. I've told him he's in a class all his own of black men portraying Klan...him and Cleavon Little in "Blazing Saddles." Anyway, I get to do it for 3 more matinees and then it's over. I know one thing. I miss performing. Here's hoping I get other opportunities.

Les Mis

Sarah and I saw "Les Mis" last night at the 5th Ave Theatre. It's my fourth viewing (one being a student show) and her second (first was student show). It was a good production. The guy playing Jean Valjean was excellent. What a voice! The show seemed to be sold out because there were people everywhere.
Before the show, we met some folks at a place called The Islander for food and drinks. It was so-so. The happy hour prices were okay and the food was okay. Nothing outstanding. Even thought I was dying for dessert earlier in the evening, as soon as the show was over we went home and went to bed. Tonight it's early to bed after viewing the "Lost" finale that we taped last night.

Article About Bill

Father battles cancer with strength, peace
Arlington: Sam Houston High teacher says, 'I'm here for a fight'

06:18 AM CDT on Thursday, May 25, 2006
By TOYA LYNN STEWART / The Dallas Morning News

ARLINGTON – At least three times a day Bill Reese recites the Scripture posted on the wall across from his hospital bed: "I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done."
The Sam Houston High School speech teacher said the verse, found in Psalms 118, gives him strength and peace as he fights the aggressive liver cancer that was diagnosed a month ago today.
"I have made my peace with God," said Mr. Reese, 39, laboring with each breath. "If I were to pass on tonight, it's OK. I know where I'm going.
"There would be some sadness for those I leave behind, but that's not my plan," he continued. "I'm here for a fight, so I expect this to last awhile. That's how I get up [each day]."
Friends and strangers alike have rallied around him. They've donated money, prepared meals, arranged child care and held fundraisers because they know his illness is taking an emotional and financial toll.
Mr. Reese, who has two black belts in martial arts and is active in local theater, is the sole supporter for his wife, Jane; 6-year-old son, Forest William; and 2-month-old daughter, Savannah Grace.
His earnings come from his Sam Houston and Dallas Baptist University teaching jobs. He's also a small-group pastor at Park Springs Bible Church. His wife home-schools the couple's son.
Mr. Reese, who has been with the Arlington school district for five years, has run out of sick time. His health insurance covers him through August. If he's well enough, he can return to work in the fall.
A benevolence fund has been established through his church, and people are doing everything they can to help, said church member Rebecca Johnson.
"We make sure nothing falls through the cracks," she said.
Ms. Johnson's father has invited Mr. Reese's parents to stay at his house for as long as needed. They live in South Carolina.
Family friend Jon Polk has been posting updates about Mr. Reese and the family's needs on a Web page he created. It even has directions on how to e-mail Mr. Reese at Arlington Memorial Hospital.
This isn't the first time Mr. Reese has had cancer. In 2003 he was found to have a form of eye cancer. He suspects that some part of it returned.
He began having abdominal pains in March. He had a gall bladder scan and blood work. Then came the cancer diagnosis.
"We believe God used the gall bladder issue to find the cancer so we could start fighting it," said Mrs. Reese, 38.
The Reeses met as students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. This year will mark their 12th anniversary.
At Sam Houston, news of Mr. Reese's health hit home for the students – including those who've never met him. Students have visited the hospital, sent cards, signed his yearbook and helped organize fundraisers.
One well-meaning student even researched liver cancer and sent details to the hospital in an envelope marked "urgent" so Mr. Reese could share it with his doctors, assistant principal LaJuan Grammer said.
"It's done my heart good as a mother to see the difference he has made in these young people's lives," said his mother, Milbra Reese, a retired hospital chaplain.
A fundraiser held last week at an Arlington Taco Cabana near campus raised more than $1,200.
Mr. Reese's students say they miss their teacher and the way he reached out to them. "He's real sweet, and he cares about his students," said Biana DeLeon, 17, a senior. "He reminds us to make good choices."
His wife calls it a gift.
"That is his talent," she said. "He taught at Tarrant County College and Dallas Baptist, and then he felt the Lord say, 'Why don't you try high school?'
"We all see it as a ministry. It lights him up to see the 'aha' in a student's mind," she said.
Mrs. Reese said her husband "knows he's the only Jesus or positive role model some of these kids will ever see."
The chairs in Mr. Reese's room are for his many visitors, particularly those who keep him company through the night, every night, as he tries to rest. The time between midnight and 6 a.m. is the most difficult, family and friends say.
The illness has also been difficult for 6-year-old Forest, though Mrs. Reese said he is wise beyond his years.
"He asked me why did God let his daddy get sick," she said. "I asked God for an answer and then told him that God uses things in life that bring us closer to him to show his love and power."
Mrs. Reese said her husband's courage makes her proud. She manages to remain calm at the hospital. At home, she cries.
Still, she and others are praying for a miracle. The latest tests show the tumor has stabilized. The next step is to reduce it. Mr. Reese started a new round of drugs and chemotherapy this week.
"He is going to come home and raise his children," said Mrs. Reese's mother, Louise Gouge. "He is the son-in-law, the husband I prayed for from the time Jane was a little girl."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pacific Science Center

Yesterday, Sarah and I visited the Pacific Science Center in Seattle Center. Sarah had been given free passes and since it was too yucky for a boat ride, we chose indoor fun. I'm glad we did. It's a pretty cool place. First, we stopped by the Space Needle to see if our friend Darrell was working. He was. We just wanted to say "hi" but he gave us a pass to go up. We did that on the way out.
Once in the Center, we made our way to dinosaurs. It's a pretty impressive animatronic exhibit. (having seen Jurassic Park at Universal...this one ranks right up there) After that, we made our way to the Imax theater to see "Deep Sea 3D." Very good 3D film. They focus on unusual types of sea life and the 3D effect is amazing. After that we hit the planetarium and then we went to the insect exhibit and the tropical butterfly house. Imagine walking thru a beautiful garden surrounded by butterflies and that's it. They had some huge Atlas Moths too. Later, as the place was closing, we realized we had missed a whole section. Since we have more free passes, we'll go back for sure.
After a quick ice cream break, we went up in the Space Needle and then headed home. It was a fun day. We definitely need to spend some more time down there. Seattle Center also has the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum that I want to see. It's too bad the Monorail is out of commission because parking at Seattle Center is relatively cheap and, if the Monorail was working, you could head down to the heart of downtown for next to nothing. They had a mishap with the Monorail around the holidays and it's not fixed yet. Who knows when it will finished.
I gotta say, Sarah and I are trying to take advantage of living here by doing all the touristy things. I know most folks don't take advantage of what's right under their noses but we are not those folks. And the cool thing about Seattle is...we've barely scratched the surface.


Thunder of Time by James F. David - "David's debut, Footprints of Thunder (1995), remains his most popular novel, and this long-overdue sequel should please fans by returning to the scene of a present-day Earth devastated by catastrophic time rifts and rampaging Cretaceous-era dinosaurs. At the close of Footprints, the president had detonated a nuclear weapon near Seattle to seal the rifts and confine the dinosaurs to nature preserves. Now more rifts than before are appearing worldwide, and a mysterious, pyramid-like structure, which closely resembles another found on the moon, is discovered in Yucatan. With the pyramids strongly indicated as the sources of the time anomalies, separate teams of scientists are dispatched to investigate each one before Earth becomes a crazy quilt of rival time periods. Unfortunately, a resourceful environmentalist has designs on detonating warheads near a third, previously unknown pyramid to create his own version of paradise. David's storytelling has markedly improved since Footprints, and this book includes enough toothsome confrontations and century hopping to please both dinosaur and time-travel aficionados." - Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

There's no way I could have described this book so I chose to use a review from Amazon. I liked this book better than the first one. The action was great especially the face-off between a group of velociraptors and a team of sled dogs. It's pretty easy to get confused by all the time-hopping so read carefully. All in all, pretty satisfying. It makes me want to read the first one again so I can get things straight in my head again.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bless Her Heart

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reba McEntire was asked...
"Who's a bigger redneck woman: you, Gretchen Wilson, or the always-popular write-in vote Britney Spears?"
Reba replied...
"I'm gonna vote Britney Spears. Bless her heart. All the tabloid stuff I've been reading..."

Bless her heart. That just says it all, doesn't it. In the south, that's the nice way to say, "She's an idiot, " or "she's just not playing with a full deck." I love it.
And I keep forgetting that Britney is from Louisiana. That explains alot.

Mean Creek

Sarah and I watched a cheery little movie last night called "Mean Creek." In it, a group of teen boys plot revenge on a school bully with a silly prank. Later things go terribly wrong and someone dies. It was a pretty good flick...nothing awe-inspiring to report. What I want to talk about is consequences.
Last year, the script we wrote for Summersalt has similar tones as "Mean Creek." In the script, several high school students want to make a mark on their home town before they leave for college. They plan a harmless prank but, as pranks go in these situations, it goes horribly wrong and someone dies. Now, here's where it gets interesting. We flashforward 10 years to see how the event has affected the lives of those teens in their grown-up years. The picture isn't pretty.
This is where I wish "Mean Creek" had gone. In the end, the kids do deal with the consequences but we never see how that affects their future. What we do today affects what we will do tomorrow and so on and so on and so on. I know you all know that. I'm just reminding myself. So..."Mean Creek" is a little indie film with a big message...if you so desire to look for it.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Invasion is Over

Warning: This entry has a geek factor of 9.5.

Rewind to the beginnings of the new '05-'06 TV season. After several years (too many) of reality tv overload the networks decide to put some dramas on the air, shows that actually tell a story. I am not one to sit around and watch alot of tv unless it's a movie on DVD but several shows for the new season intrigued me. There was "Night Stalker," "Threshold," "Surface," and "Invasion." I watched or taped all but "Surface." The other three hooked me just like "Lost" had the season before. "Night Stalker" being the weakest of the bunch, bit the dust first. Soon after, "Threshold" joined the choir invisible. But "Invasion" seemed to be hanging on. I was a little sad about "Night Stalker" and just a tad more for "Threshold" but I still had my favorite.
"Invasion" has been extremely fun to watch. I love the story and the characters and it's a joy to watch them unfold. The first couple of episodes freaked me out because they bore a striking resemblance to a novel I want to write but then the story took off in different directions. And good directions they were. Argue with me if you want but this has been one the finest alien invasion stories I've ever read or seen.
So, to make a long story short, Sarah and I both got hooked on "Invasion" and what good did it do us? Nada. The show is cancelled. The networks don't care but perhaps they should. In the future, I will not be investing my time in watching new shows. If I am truly interested, I will await their release on DVD. (as I have done with "Deadwood")
ABC, if you're listening, it's not too late to change your mind.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Theatre This Week

It's been a busy theatre week for me around here. Taproot is opening "The Foreigner" on Friday night so I'm having to get the theatre in spic and span condition. I watched the invited dress rehearsal on Tuesday night and it's a funny show. I could tell they still had some tweaking to do but, all in all, it was very entertaining. I am going to make my debut on Taproot's stage during student matinees of the show as a Klansman. Yep, white hood and everything. My family would be so proud. So, I have to come back to the theatre tonight to go over what I have to do for that. I'll be glad when this week is over (So will Sarah) so we can have some down time together...and not be at the theatre for what seems like 24 hours a day.
Last night I got a comp ticket to see the Reduced Shakepeare Company perform "The Complete History of America Abridged" at the Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle. Sarah had to work so I went alone. We had seen "The Complete Works of William Shakepeare Abridged" in Asheville and it was hilarious so I thought I would give this a look. It wasn't as hilarious as the Shakespeare show but it was darn funny. I am so glad I went. They also have a show called "The Bible: The Complete Word of God Abridged" that I would like to see. It's not on DVD like the other two but there is a CD. Perhaps I'll try to snag a copy of that somewhere.
So, like I said, it's been a busy theatre week here for me and my spouse. Here's to a restful next week.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bill and Jane Reese

Some of you may have noticed the "Bill Reese Update" link that I've recently added and wondered, "What's that all about?" Well, Bill has liver cancer and isn't doing too well so my good friend Jon has created a website for updates so that those of us near and far can keep up with Bill's progress.
I met Bill and Jane at seminary. They were, as was I, a part of The Company, Southwestern Seminary's touring drama team. They were coming in as I was moving out so we never travelled together and shared that close bond that is called the seminary van. But I love Bill and Jane. Even though I haven't seen them since 1995, I will always consider them friends. They are the kind of people that you want to be around all the time. They are loving and kind and fun and just all around "good folks." They are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
So, that's the situation. I have meant to write about them sooner but it was hard to figure out what to say. It was difficult to figure out what to put in the card I sent them. I mean, what do you say? I've never been good at this stuff. I just hope that even through the awkward scribbles that I wrote in their card, my concern showed through. If I were there, I could help in a tangible way. As it is, I am stuck in Seattle watching and praying like so many other long distance friends. God, heal Bill. Amen.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Spring has Sprung

Although the weather is still a bit here and there, Spring has definitely sprung here in Seattle. Everything is in bloom and it's just beautiful. Sarah and I took a walk around the neighborhood and the zoo this past week and there are just so many unusual plants here in the NW. Because it's so temperate, everything grows here. And bloom here like I've never seen. Giant tulips that look like they might be related to the Audrey II plant in "Little Shop of Horrors." I saw an azalea the other day. Now, we have azaleas in the south but not like this. This thing was covered in blooms and they were the brightest colors I've ever seen. Puts those Florida azaleas to shame. (but who can blame's dang hot down there) So, if you want to see a wonderful sight, come to Seattle in the Springtime. It's pretty spectacular.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling - This is a second read for me. I enjoyed it even more than the first time. I picked up on things I didn't see the first time. If there's someone out there writing as enjoyable stories as J. K. Rowling, please let me know. I want to read them.
Boneyard Volumes 1-4 by Richard Moore - A strange little comic book collection that I discovered in the library a while back. The basic jist is this: Michael Paris inherits a cemetary that is inhabited by all sorts of benevolent monsters. The town wants it destroyed but Paris finds that the monsters are quite nice so he decides to save it so that they will have a place to live. Madness ensues. Among the many adventures so far...a monster swimsuit calendar to raise funds to save the cemetary, Lilith (yes, that Lilith) attacks Abbey (the vampire chick), and Nessie (sexy swamp thing) is bitten by a zombie. It's all quite bizarre and a lot of fun.
Grafitti World: Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz - This is an art book so there aren't many words but oh, the pictures. I love grafitti art. Um...let me clarify that. I love great grafitti art. There's a difference between that which defaces and that which beautifies. I like the stuff that is so good it's gorgeous. There are some talented grafitti artists in the world and this book covers them all. I checked this one out of the library but one day a copy of it will be mine.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Broadway's Originality

There seems to be a trend in musical theatre that's going a bit overboard. It seems instead of coming up with unique ideas, folks are basing their musicals on popular films. Examples include Footloose, Saturday Night Fever, The Wedding Singer (we saw this one), and on the bill for next year at the 5th Ave. Theatre in Seattle - Edward Scissorhands? You've got to be kidding me. What's next? Well, I have a few ideas.

Flower Drum Kong - The premise here is that Kong didn't really die. He merely faked his death so that he and Faye could run away together and get married. The move to Japan where Faye meets and falls in love with a Japanese businessman. Kong is so enraged that he destroys Tokyo and Godzilla has to come to the rescue. Featuring the songs "I Enjoy Being a Gorilla" and "Like a Godzilla."

War of the World's Fair - Elvis impersonator Teddy Baer must protect himself and his family from the ultimate red menace - Martians! Teddy's act is interrupted as the extraterrestrials attack Seattle during the World's Fair. You've never seen action like this! The songs! The action! The love scene between an alien tripod and the Space Needle. This one has it all!

The Fantasticks Four - Reed Richards and Sue Storm are tricked into falling in love by their fathers, who pretend to feud. The mysterious Dr. El Doomo is hired to stage a phony adventure in which Reed saves the girl and reinforces her love. But Dr. El Doomo bombards the couple and their fathers with cosmic rays in the hopes of killing them and ending this sickening display. But instead of death, the rays give each person extraordinary powers and with these powers, they battle the evil and insipid Dr. El Gallo.

I'll add to these as I come up with them. If you've got one, let me know about it.


"Pippin," Stephen Schwartz's "anti-war, find yourself" musical, debuted on Broadway in 1972. The time machine at the 5th Ave. Theatre couldn't bring it back. Sarah and I attended last night's opening and I can't remember ever being that bored or annoyed in the theatre. The music is strictly early 70's with not much of an attempt to update it. The story is vintage late 60's hippy. Young Pippin, Charlemagne's oldest, attempts to find his purpose in life. Throughout his journey, he tries many different things. In the end, the circus troupe who lure him along his experiences fail to lead Pippin to his death but they are left with another innocent victim to tempt as the show ends.
There is the seed of a great story here. Finding purpose, temptation, this is the stuff of life and spirituality. This show doesn't succeed in bringing the seed to life. The performances were fine for the most part. The costumes were nice. The sets were eye-catching. But there was a lackluster lifelessness to the show. The pacing dragged. There were dead spots. Tech problems galore. (microphones kept cutting in and out) And the audience? I have never seen such a strange audience in my life. During the first act, many got up and left. By the second act, there were many empty seats. To our right was an obnoxious group of women/girls who giggled and guffawed and made asses of themselves throughout the whole performance. When applause was appropriate, the audience complied but only half-heartedly. On the way back to the car, Sarah and I were subjected to the inane behavior of a group of twenty-something theatre goers.
All in all, not a good night. Although, P. F. Chang's was marvelous as always (Jasmine was the best waitress yet) and I found a decent anatomy book at Borders for my collage. At least that part of the evening wasn't a bust. Glad I didn't pay for the show. That would have been a waste of money.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Welcome to my Nightmare

Woah! Did I have a doozy of a nightmare last night. I usually don't dream. Well, I know everyone dreams but I don't usually remember mine. Anyway, in the dream I witness a plane crash. It falls out of the sky and sticks in the ground standing straight up. (tail in the air) The next thing I remember is me and a bunch of old friends from Pensacola are in a room at the airport awaiting word about our loved ones that were in the crash. One old friend, David, comes in alive and jabbering up a storm. This gives us all hope that the others are alive. Eventually, an airport representative enters the room and, at this point, I know it's bad news. There are three dead in the crash that I know. My dad, Russell, and someone else I can't remember. And that's it. Really, really strange. I woke up this morning feeling like a truck had run over me. The alarm woke me which is unusual because I usually wake up before the alarm and turn it off.
I hate nightmares. And I didn't even eat pizza last night.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Creative Constipation

Okay, we moved and now we have a bunch of space including an art studio for Sarah and I to be creative in. It will also double as a writing space as soon as I can get the computer set up. Well, I haven't had any time to spend in there due to a script revision I've been doing for Summersalt. Yesterday, I finished the script and decided to go into the studio and work on art for a while. When I got there and sat down at my table...nothing. Nada. Zip. The muse has forsaken me. Nothing flowed out of me. Last week was such a good week of meaningful creative time and now I've got nothing. Arrgh! That's so frustrating. I guess I should do one of my creative unclogging exercises. Usually, I just pull out a bunch of stuff and just start slapping it down in collage form with no previous thought. Just brainless cut and paste. That usually frees me up. I guess you could say it's a cure for creative constipation.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Don't Understand!

I recently heard from another friend in ministry who is getting canned. When I hear about stuff like this, it makes my blood boil. Mostly, I sympathize because I've been there, done that, got the Christian t-shirt, and burned it in anger. Why does it have to be this way? I don' t understand.
- I don't understand a friend who is a youth minister getting canned because he was reaching out to the "wrong kind" of kids.
- I don't understand ministers who walk into their offices one day and, with no warning, get canned. No excuse, no reason, just, "Get out of!"
Is that Christian behavior? I don't think so. Here are some other things I don't understand.
- I don't understand a Christian camp that changes lives getting personnel and weeks taken away because they didn't make enough money.
- I don't understand an entire creative department at a Christian school getting dissolved because the new President doesn't think creativity and ministry belong together.
- I don't understand a church that has a Family Life Center (with gym, game tables, etc.) that is never open and especially not available to the youth of the church because they might "tear something up."
- I don't understand a church that tells people that if you are living for God you will be financially rich...and people believe that!
Yes, there's a lot I don't understand. I don't understand how money and personality and ego and materialism and power became more important than preaching Jesus. I don't understand how this stuff and more continues to go on day by day, year by year and God does nothing about it. God, I'm asking you...where are you and why don't you do something about all this.
I don't understand.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Some of you may have noticed that I've changed my site description. Well, it was time for a change. I have changed. Don't get me wrong. I feel just as rebellious as ever. It's the righteous part that I have a problem with. The description used to say something like "Random rants from the reigning ruler of righteous rebellion." Geez. What a load of sh---aving cream!
You see, in the past, I've been on a warpath against the church. They swear up and down that they want to change and they want to be relevant and they want to reach people...but...try to change something or be creative and you're treated like you've built another Golden Calf. I've been run over, chewed up, and spit out more times than I care to mention and I am tired. I still don't agree with the church and the directions it's going (It doesn't know where it's going) but I just don't care enough anymore to try and be a catalyst for change. I'm so full of doubt about everything that has to do with my faith I'm basically a toothless, clawless lion in the fight. So, I have decided to back off from my "righteous rebellion" and address my faith issues. Perhaps in this "search" the lion may return but for now...the lion sleeps tonight. Believe me, he needs the rest.

Moved and Moved!

The big move has happened. We got all our stuff moved across the expanse of the great hallway and into the new apartment. It is so big compared to our old place. We have lots of room. We are most excited about the studio. We've turned our extra bedroom into an art studio. Sarah has broken it in more than I have. I've been busy revising the Summersalt script while she's had a little time to work on art. There are still some things to tweak in the apartment but most stuff is in it's place. It's so nice to have some elbow room.
This past Sunday night (we slept in Sunday morning - GASP!) we went to Northwest Church. Since meeting with Jeff's artist group over there, we've been curious about church. We enjoyed it. Sarah said she felt like she had been to church and that she felt free to worship the way she's comfortable. I enjoyed the music (after a rocky start) and especially enjoyed the message. This pastor served up his sermon with a little more "meat" than some of the others we've encountered. It was basic enough to understand but there were plenty of ideas thrown out that one could chew on. They presented a drama (refreshing) that was well written and well performed. (Thanks Jeff and Allan) All in all, I believe we'll return but we are also going to visit some other churches in the area. Sanctuary has been more than good to us and we love Randy and all the guys but it's just not clicking. Plus, Sarah and I are at the theatre way too much as it is. I don't know where we'll end up but I hope it feels like home.