Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Am I?

Even though I can't get on Facebook, I still get the email notifications if I get a message from someone. A couple people asked how I am? Here's the short of it.
The shingles are healing nicely. The sores are fading and the pain has diminished although I still feel some discomfort. I still have a couple days meds to get thru. Here's hoping it's cleared up. I am taking B vitamins to try and manage stress just in case that's a factor.
The fire situation at work is challenging but everyone is working very hard. We are all moving ahead as best we can. Restoration crews are hard at work at the theatre. If you want to stay up-to-date on what's happening at the theatre, go to our website or you can follow us on Facebook (if you can get on) or Twitter. Just search for Taproot Theatre.
Not much else to report.Trying to stay busy, dodging the flu and resting when I have the opportunity. My routine is gone. I am well out of my comfort zone and may have to be there for a while. That will be difficult for me since I am a creature of routine. But, as a friend pointed out on Sunday, I am being stretched....even if I didn't want to be.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

#@%&*! Facebook!

I haven't been able to get on Facebook with any regularity for about 3 weeks now. I don't know what they are doing but they need to get it straightened out so I can actually use it. (if you're reading this on Facebook, it's feeding there from my blog)
This is a really crappy time for me to be without Facebook. I really want to communicate with everyone about what's going on with Taproot Theatre since the fire. I can't and it's frustrating.
So, if you need to get in touch with me...shoot me an email or contact me thru a comment on my blog. Facebook is unreliable right now.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Today was not a good day. As I was getting ready for work this morning I checked my email. A friend had asked if I knew more about the fire at the restaurants next to Taproot Theatre where Sarah and I work. I had no idea so I started searching online. Sure enough, the restaurants were on fire and the condition of the theatre was unknown. Sarah and I got ready and headed up there as quick as we could. We found several co-workers standing at Bartell, waiting for word. Eventually we all headed to the admin offices (located down the street). It was then that plans began to emerge. Since the state of the theatre was unknown, plans began to take shape to continue the show in a new venue. Seattle's theatre community rallied and a venue was found. As I am writing this, my wife, the actors and crew of Enchanted April are rehearsing in the space at Seattle Children's Theatre. There will be 2 shows tomorrow, 2 and 8pm.
Eventually we were able to enter the theatre. There is a lot of water damage. We salvaged costumes, props, anything needed for the show and a truck was dispatched downtown to begin preparations. I stayed behind to play watchdog. I ended up talking to a couple of news people, some folks who came by to give well wishes, our insurance broker, firemen, and the guys from the restoration crew. I left around 5. The firemen are on 24 hour vigil since there are hot spots and trouble areas that could go up again. They will remain until they are sure it's out. The restoration crew are hopefully extracting water and doing what they do best. The Red Cross were there passing out food and beverages to any and all who needed them.
There'll be a lot of work ahead but the theatre will, I'm certain, be all fixed up in no time. It's hard to see the good in a situation like this but I, as well as many others, sense that a lot of good is going to come out of this. All we have to do is wait and see.
My friend Jeff also wrote about today. You can read his blog here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interview & Update

You can read an interview with me at the Art is Moving blog.
I love doing interviews, not only because it's good publicity (and I'll take all of that I can get), but because it challenges me to find brief, bold and brilliant ways to answer questions about myself and my art. I hate people who drone on and on, repeating themselves. I never want to be that person. I wish I had more opportunities to talk about my art. It's good practice.
To update you on what's happening in the world of my art, the fall has been slow. I have no shows lined up (although I am still trying) and I haven't made any art since before vacation. My seemingly endless string of minor health problems don't help matters much. But these are excuses. I need to sit my butt down and make some art.
I am also a bit closer to starting to sell my work online. We'll see how that goes.
As you can see, I'm busy and yet I'm not. Just gotta keep plugging away.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
The visionary creator of the Academy Award-winning Pan's Labyrinth and a Hammett Award-winning author bring their imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. It is the first installment in a thrilling trilogy and an extraordinary international publishing event. They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come. In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months - the world. A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold. In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing . . . So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city - a city that includes his wife and son - before it is too late.
Since this has Del Toro's name on it, I had to give it a try. In the end, I found this to be too similar to the story in Blade 2 (another Del Toro creation). It's an enjoyable read but it just seems like Del Toro is rehashing too much. The book starts out as a modern retelling of the classic Dracula story. Eventually it turns into a (spoiler alert) vampirism as virus pandemic apocalypse story that seems all too familiar. There are a couple of CDC folks, a Van Helsing-type character and, for the heck of it, a kick-ass ratcatcher. The books doesn't have an ending because it's part one of a planned trilogy. I'll probably read them all but I won't be in a hurry about it. I'm sure Del Toro could turn this into a visually stunning film but, so far, he says that's not in the plan. The story was originally planned as a television series (hmmm) but was rejected so he decided to put it in print. All in all, I know how creative Del Toro is and I expect a lot from him. It's true that his films are more satisfying in the visual dept. rather than in story but I had hoped Hogan would flesh it out a little more. So, if you like your vampires brutal and bloody rather than shimmery and romantic, give this a try.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Yes, I went to the doc this morning and found out I have shingles. Lovely. I'm on anti-viral meds for 10 days. I am hoping for a speedy recovery but everything I've read says that they can hang on for a while. Guess I'll have to get used to the burning skin thing for a bit. SIGH.
It's always something.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Was Lost Has Been Found!

Last October I mentioned a haunted house that me and my friends created at church when I was a senior in high school. I bemoaned the fact that the photo album with all the pictures from that was lost years ago. While I was home in Florida a couple of weeks ago I mentioned the album to my mom and sister and my sister said she thought she had it in her hope chest. Sure enough, she brought it to me on Saturday before we left. What a great find! It has so many great pics in it from when I was in high school/early college. I especially appreciate it's return because there were so many pictures of my friend Kevin (who passed away a few years ago) in it. I'm so happy to have it back.
So, here's a pic from the haunted house and a link to the entry I wrote about it last year. I read thru it and my memory was pretty good. Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Leaving Church?

This is a tough subject to breach and I had a hard time trying to decide whether to hash it out on the blog or not. I've decided to do it because I need an outlet. I need to get this off my chest.
For the past few months, perhaps even close to a year, Sarah and I have been feeling pretty dissatisfied with church. It's been a struggle to get up on Sunday and go. We actually took a couple of months off in the hopes that it would renew us. It did not. The only thing we missed about it was the people, our friends.
I'm not going to speak for Sarah. She has her problems and I have mine. I can only speak to mine. First and foremost, the biggest problem I have with church is me. Spiritually, I am dead inside. If there's any faith left, it's a small spark. Sarah says it's still alive in me but I don't sense it. God hasn't been real to me for a number of years now. I struggle. I have doubts. I swing back and forth. The bottom line is, I don't believe like I once did. I went thru a time when I was begging and pleading with God to return to me but I've gotten zilch. I am mourning the loss of my faith. I miss it. But I can't fake a belief that's not there anymore. So, going to church is hard for me in that respect. I can't participate in worship because, for me, there's nothing to worship. I'm sure I could continue in the vein but I think I've covered it. If you want details, you'll just have to call me so we can have a conversation.
Moving on. Another reason I don't enjoy church is because I've found no way to contribute, to be involved, that rings true. The loss of my faith makes it difficult to contribute but I have tried. I went back to leading worship for a time but I felt like a hypocrite so I stopped. Authenticity is important to me. I don't want to fake my thru it. I've seen too many people doing that and it makes me sick.
The other reason I find it hard to contribute is due to issues of quality and creativity. I've always had, compared to most people, radical ideas in regards to "doing church." For a while I actually felt like that was my call...to go against the flow, to challenge the status quo, to inject some life and creativity into church. Unfortunately, I've not had the benefit of being with a like-minded group of people. I've tried to lead but felt instead like I was dragging people behind me. That just weighs me down and wears me out. I can't do that anymore. So, trying to change things hasn't worked but being in a church where the quality and creativity I crave isn't valued is hard. Again, I could talk about this for ages but I'm going to move on.
I have enjoyed expressing my frustrations, doubts and spiritual questions thru my art. Unfortunately most people don't get what I do and don't know how to ask questions about it. In the past I've had people in my life who I could talk to about these things or groups of people who felt the same way I did about church. I felt like I had a "team" that I was moving forward with. I used to feel valued as a creative, spiritual being. I haven't had that in a long time. Frankly, I'm lonely. I feel like I'm creating in a void.
I know this is a disjointed mess of ideas that I've thrown out here. I'm sorry about that. I just felt like I had to get some of it out of my system so it wouldn't eat me up from the inside out. Honestly, we don't know what we're going to do. We don't enjoy going to church. And before you say, "But what have you put into it?" let me just say that we have tried to find our niches, our places of service, to no avail. We're at our wits end. But leaving is still a difficult choice because we have so many people that we care so much about. Seattle is a hard place to make friends. The thought of losing the few we have is terrifying. Some of you will say, "Well, why not try another church?" We have been to a ton of churches in the area and none fit the bill.
So, there are no easy answers. Do we stop going to church altogether? Do we stop going to services but continue attending lifegroup (which we do enjoy?). We're still trying to figure things out. Your patience, prayers, thoughtful conversations and positive thoughts would be greatly appreciated. And for those of you who find yourselves offended by this entry. Don't be. I am sharing my heart. If you want to talk with me about it, I'll be happy to do so. Don't take this personally. I am directing this at no one but myself. I am the one with the problem and I am trying my hardest to get over it but I'm running out of options.
Thanks for listening.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Florida Trip: Days 7 & 8

We didn't do much on Saturday. We spent most of the day with family but we did take a quick trip over to Cantonment to see my friend Rusty and his family. My sister found an old photo album of mine that I thought was lost forever so I took it along (since Rusty was in some of the pics). We had some good laughs.
After that, we drove back to Milton for a big fish feast (not fried) with the family. We ate too much (again) and then sat around talking. We headed to bed early since our flight was at the butt crack of dawn the next day.
The flight home was uneventful but I have to comment on the DirectTV. I've never flown where you could pay to watch movies and tv at your leisure. Sarah and I both did it. It was money well spent as it helped pass the time. I caught up on some movies I missed: Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian (cute) and Terminator: Salvation (okay...may watch it again...I feel like I may have missed something due to edits).
We finally arrived home mid afternoon and were thankful for Monday off to recover. It was a good trip but, as always, it went by way too fast.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
What if the gods of Olympus were alive in the 21st Century? What if they still fell in love with mortals and had children who might become great heroes — like Theseus, Jason and Hercules. What if you were one of those children? Such is the discovery that launches twelve-year-old Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction — Zeus' master bolt. Along the way, he must face a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. Most of all, he must come to terms with a father he has never known, and an Oracle that has warned him of betrayal by a friend.
I read this book primarily because I heard it was good and the movie version will be coming out soon. The book is enjoyable but it's comparisons to Harry Potter are exaggerated. It was fine...a fun, light read. Not much more to say than that.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Florida Trip: Day 6

Friday was the day of the Great Gator Adventure.
We slept in and spent a lazy morning around the house. My dad got their Gator (John Deere mini-jeep) ready so Sarah and I could ride it down by the river. He filled the gas tank, checked the oil and rode it around a while to see if it was working properly. It checked out so we hopped on and took off. We rode down to one spot on the river then took off down the road to another spot. About 1.5 miles in the engine sputtered and died. It would not restart. Luckily I had told Sarah to bring the cell phone. We called daddy and he and mama came to get us. He tied the jeep up to the back of his truck. We thought he'd just pull us back to the house but he decided to finish the tour by pulling us to where we had been headed. So, here we are in a mini-jeep being pulled by a pickup truck. People are looking at us like we're nuts but we just smiled and waved like it was the thing to do. I called it Redneck Skiing. At one point I nearly slammed into the back of the truck because daddy decided he had to stop and pick up 3 aluminum cans on the side of the road. "They're worth a penny a piece," he said. Can't argue with that. He pulled the jeep to a neighbor's house for repairs and declared that he thoroughly enjoyed pulling us around. Sarah said it was more fun than just riding the Gator.
Later we headed into Pensacola to meet some friends. We stopped by to see G. C. then headed to Sbux to meet David. We spent the evening with the Randolphs. The kids were thrilled to see us. Charlie had to bring every toy in his room out to show us one at a time. Sadie went on her first "date." (she's in 1st grade) Bridgett came over as well. We told them about the Gator Adventure and they laughed so hard they were crying. It was a fun day.

I Don't Agree

"To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it."

I got this quote off the status of someone on Facebook. Without thinking about it too much, I would have to disagree with it. Now, I'm not about to get into a lengthy discussion about the definition of art or what make a piece of art good but I would like to address this quickly. To say a work of art isn't good because a majority of people do not comprehend it is absurd. To relate this to my own art, there are some people who enjoy my art and there are some who do not. If that group who does not is the majority, do we write my art off as no good? Not in my book. So many things contribute to the opinion of whether a piece of art is deemed good or not; environment, education, execution, culture, experience, etc. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
I'm sure there's much more to say about this but I have to get ready for work. If anyone else out there has an opinion, chime in. Let's have a discussion. And does anyone know who said this? I'd like to know so I can punch his/her lights out. (just kidding)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Improv Lessons

I'm taking an improv class at the theatre where I work. I've been feeling of late like I need another creative outlet besides my art. Art is my passion but I sometimes feel like it's getting stale. I need something to kick start some other areas of my brain...or something.
Tonight I picked up on something. I've always known that, in improv, I'm a better responder than starter. If someone else starts things up, I can go with it. But if I'm left to start it up, it's tough. I feel like I'm freezing up or that my ideas are lame. Tonight I made the connection to real life situations in that I am a good responder but not starter. Put me in a room full of strangers and I will clam up and not say a word. I will not start a conversation. But if someone comes up to me and starts things up, I will respond. Most times, if I'm in that corner not saying a work, I know that I should be approaching people, starting conversations...but I just don't know how. My brain freezes up and I don't know what to say.
Okay, so I've had the revelation. Now, how do I overcome this?

Florida Trip: Day 4 & 5

Wednesday found us being lazy. My parents loaded up and headed back to Milton, Cindy and Brian went fishing and Sarah and I lounged around the pool for a little while. We both utilized the $2 float she bought at Alvin's Island. After lunch, we loaded up and headed back to Milton as well.
After hanging around with my parents for a while, we went into Pensacola to meet some old friends for dinner and catching up. We had a great time telling stories from the past and seeing what everybody's up to these days. We were up way too late.
On Thursday, we slept in a bit, then drove from Milton along the water to Pensacola Beach. We met up with Chris and Todd for lunch. It was a great time with more old friends. After lunch, Sarah and I drove down to Ft. Pickens to explore the old forts and hang out on the beach.
After a quick stop to see my cousin Chris, we met my parents and uncle and aunt at David's Catfish House in Milton. By this time we were sick of eating, especially fried food, so we opted to have a garden salad although I did taste my mom's hamburger steak which was good. Uncle Jerry's truck was having clutch problems so we took them back to the house for a bit. Daddy and Uncle Jerry went off in search of a solution (brake fluid fixed the problem) while the rest of us stayed at the house to visit. Once company left, I believe we called it a night.
I'm only posting a few pics here. If you want to see the whole set, I'll be posting them asap on Facebook. If you're not on FB...well, why aren't you?