What I should've done tonight was write a third draft of my Writing the Essay paper on Orson Welles, maybe do some of the 30 pages of Macbeth adaptation I have due on Wednesday, and get to bed early so I could wake up for the 9:30 class I guiltily miss more often than not.
What I did tonight was finish a Hammerkatz flier (we got extended into May and to celebrate we changed the name of our show to "Reading Is For Dicks") (slogan: Sketch comedy that beats on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into your ass. Thanks, Junior English.) walked to UCB in the rain to support the boys of Shit Storm (a longform improv group of which the co-director of "Dicks," Eric Appel, is a member) in their Cagematch against Possible Side Effects, the winner of which is to receive a regular Thursday night Cagematch slot in a couple of weeks (Shit Storm won, w00t), stayed, against my better judgement, for School Night where some two-man and three-man teams and standup were witnessed, walked home in the rain with Doug, futilely attempting to share an umbrella and giving up halfway, fucked around on the internet and wrote a mess o' poems.
More on the rain later, in italics with faggier pretentious spacing.
Everyone in Hammerkatz is quitting Dangerbox, which is the most nonsensical of nonsense sentences unless you're privy to my very, very tiny circle of NYU-based comedy. Here is more information in that same vein: Last semester, I saw a flier for auditions for an improv team. I tried out, and got on, as did AJ, the director of Hammerkatz. Gregor was already a member of both groups. A few weeks later, Lou of Dangerbox (then Camp Anawanna) joined Hammerkatz. Things got even more incestuous second semester, with auditions bringing the number of HKatz in Dangerbox to seven. Hammerkatz hearts Dangerbox. Dangerbox hearts Hammerkatz. But, for a variety of reasons, the Hammerkatz members of Dangerbox are forming their own team and leaving 'Box to continue its reign of NYU improv supremacy. It was a less-than-fun decision. We have had innumerable adventures.
All is not lost, however. We are going out with a bang in the form of a trip to Cornell, those of us who don't have finals or other prior committments, anyway, to open up for Dan's best friend's band Spiegels' Always The Bitch, which should be interesting, followed by Friday's Slope Day, apparently one of the drinkin'est celebrations in all of college-dom. The stumbling will be legendary.
My dad is coming out to see my show this week. Oh yes.
Two rainy-day poems you didn't ask for:
this is my first year with a spring
(there are only two seasons where I come from
and neither of them is spring)
and it's been raining all day.
they say april showers bring may flowers
but there are already flowers
they're gorgeous when it's not like it is tonight
the may flowers had better be ten feet tall
and sing show tunes
to justify all this
they had better make a thick forest
poking up through the asphalt
and sun’s light had better shine red-orange
filtered through their giant petals
onto her face
as she cures my spring fever
and me, hers
maybe the flowers are singing “there’s no business like show business”
maybe “get me to the church on time”
maybe they’re quiet
maybe just our breathing
and the rustling of mutant may flower leaves buffeted by warm breeze
yea, that’s probably best.
and number two:
On the way to the show
I’m able to pretend the rain
is how it is in the desert
romantic and miraculous
and it isn’t coming down too bad
and my hat and my hood keep the drops out of my face
which, I’ve learned
is the main thing.
but on the walk back
it’s coming down too hard to be either ignored
unless my soul is being cleansed
and I don’t think it is
none of my questionable motives or sins of omission
get washed away into the rainbow oilslick rapids of the gutters
I don’t get healed or saved or baptized
all I get is deli coffee
a kid who lives down the hall from me
when I get off the elevator.
“you’re observant,” I say, “that’s why I like you”
if I ever start a crime-solving squad, he’ll be on it
we will crack open cases where people have already confessed
after several sleepless consecutive days and nights in the crime lab
that the sky is indeed
In my room I lose as much sopping clothing
as the presence of two roommates will permit
and place my jacket and jeans on the radiator
which I realize
is turned off
thanks to this so-called spring.
I wrote this last weekend but it's still achingly relevant.
Well, now I know empirically that coming to NYU was the right decision. There's feeling and then there's fact. And it has officially changed from the latter to the former. Why?
It's not the rigorous scholastic demands (I go to arts school, bitches, there aren't any.)
It's not the preening braying let-me-tell-you-how-stressed-out-I-am actorly types (I go to art school, bitches, there are plenty.)
And it sure as fuck ain't the food.
I now know that going to NYU was the right move because it's highly unlikely that if I had gone to USC, UCLA, or ASU (the other learning institutions I graced with half-notions of my attendance) I would have, for one brief second last Saturday night (Sunday morning, really) stood next to Dan Akroyd while he danced to Ludacris' "Stand Up" with a nubile twentysomething at a Saturday Night Live after-after party.
But I go to school in New York City, where dreams about summarily forgettable psuedo-encounters with large, sweaty, somewhat depressing and past their prime comedy stars come true for me and you.
Then last week I saw Steve Martin coming out of Tom Stoppard's Jumpers (amazing fucking show). I am crossing out people on my Comedy Idols To Make Eye Contact With And/Or Come Within Twelve Feet Of left and right (already X'd: four out of five Kids In The Hall a year ago, all four UCB folks: Matt Walsh was backstage before our first UCB show; congratulated my friend Gregor who's been in one of his classes but specifically told him he "wasn't coming," we still shit our collective pants).
In other news for next semester I got placed in a dorm in the fuckin' boondocks. And by the boondocks I mean, of course, the financial district. A half an hour walk to campus my ass.
And this week, after our second show, we (Hammerkatz) were told by a heavyweight of the NY comedy scene (Jake Fogelnest that we "clearly knew what (we) were doing" and "could all make a living doing this" (sketch comedy). More shitting of pants, to be vulgar about a moment which was this close to eliciting from me some tears of joy.
The good with the bad. So long as it's the moderately bad with the exceedingly good, like it was this week, I can take it. With pleasure.
They say you can't see any stars over New York City
but that's like saying there were no nice Nazis.
I don't wanna hear about any one else's family problems. I pulled a bat on my father.
- Ryan the roommate
My summer has a shape.
For a while there it was just floating out there in the ether. I knew it consisted of Phoenix and New York, but I wasn't quite sure in what amounts. Now I know. Here she is:
May 15th-June 13th- Phoenix. Enjoying the rapturous concept that is a pantry, as well as my family. Drinking to excess/smoking to stupidity with the condofolk. Hopefully doing something improv-related with MP kids. Listening to classic rock on the truck radio with my arm out the window. Finding some way to pay for gas. Watching TV. Reading. Maxin'. Relaxin'. Raisin' hell.
June 13th - School- NYC. Meeting my summer roommate (mates?). Continuing to babysit, getting a day job (Starbucks?) Hopefully starting Level 2 at UCB if I have the money to register right when I get back, if not, working for a couple of weeks at said theoretical job THEN registering. Basking in the irony that I was actually cooler more hours out of the day back in Phoenix, as my housing won't have any air conditioning (same building I'm living in now.) Hopefully slipping back into the Hammerkatz run at UCB, if, comedy gods willing, we get extended that long. Hanging out with likely temporary New Yorkers Alison and Chelsea. Adding -ing to the end of verbs, after remembering how much fun it was back in April.
Not bad, all in all. Not having air conditioning in the supposedly sweltering New York summer is going to be...uhm...interesting. If anything, it'll be a good reason to get me out of the house.
I just made popcorn and a workable portion of it isn't scorched. God bless America.
I just offered Ryan the roommate some. This makes sense; as eating popcorn is an activity which is not slumping in a chair he stole from the study lounge playing NCAA Football 2004 on PS 2, one can see why he would be hesisitant to undertake it.
Life is full of teases, and the worst of them is spring. Like, the season. Spring Break was sopping wet, which made it hard to drink straight from a bottle of mid-range tequila by a bonfire on the beach and simultaneously score with three sorority sisters named Nicole (though, in fairness, not impossible.) Then it was INSANELY nice for three to four days. Fifties and sixties nice. Uncomfortable inside because heaters still weren't turned off nice. NICE. And though we'd already had one False Spring, everybody, even people who've done this Winter shit before, figured this was the real deal.
We are idiots.
The worst thing about these few-day periods of deceitfully nice weather are the way, for a few days afterward, they leave you wearing a little less in the way of warm clothing than you would under normal circumstances. Combine this with contrast, and the cold seems a little colder. Nature punishes you for your optimism/naivete. Nature reminds you who's boss. Your little brother and grandma who are in town from Arizona remind you that it's ninety back where you used to live.
And while ninety's a little hot, at least it has the common deceny to STAY ninety. Hell, it gets hotter.
'Course, if it were nice here year round, it would be perfect, and perfection wouldn't be very interesting, would it?
(Another window open on DC's computer: The Weather Channel forecast for zip code 10003, full of highs in the low low fifties and little icons of clouds dropping cold rain and in one bracket, the words "AM Snow Showers")
Y'know what? Fuck interesting.