Sunday, February 25, 2007

Built To Spill

I am not a graceful person. Back when I had my growth spurt in my teens, I was anything but light on my feet. My dad used to compare my walking to that of an elephant. I could be heard stomping around the house upstairs, and it would echo downstairs.

But beyond my stomping gait, I'm also prone to stumbling over nearly nothing. A few years ago, I was running in my neighborhood, listening to a walkman (pre-ipod days), and tripped badly over a part of the sidewalk that was slightly raised above the rest. My walkman broke into three pieces (although I was able to put it back together) and I've got a tiny pebble lodged in the palm of my right hand. Thank goodness it was at night because I'm sure someone would've loved to have seen that.

When I worked at Blockbuster during breaks at college, one of the duties I had was to run all of the returned tapes back to the wall. Of course, such a brainless task became a game for all of the employees, as we'd challenge each other to carry as many tapes as possible in one single trip. For me, this was quite an adventure as I'd try to carry stacks of thirty-plus tapes around the store. There were many days where those stacks of thirty-plus tapes would slip out of my hands and would crash to the ground. All eyes in the store would suddenly turn and focus onto the red-faced asshole who couldn't just carry a smaller stack of tapes. There's not much more humiliating than knowing you've had a really embarrassing accident and someone saw it.

But as I've gotten older, I felt like my klutziness was receding quicker than my hairline, which was a good thing. And today, I had a relapse, and in a very public way.

I was running some errands and stopped at Costco to do some browsing. Since I was going to be out for a while, I decided to grab some lunch while at Costco: a couple of slices of pizza and a soda. After filling up with coke, I walked from the soda machine over to the tables to find a place to sit. Since there was a mid-day rush, I had to maneuver through the crowd, as well as balance the two pieces of pizza on top of each other in one hand, while carrying my soda in the other hand.

Instead of carrying the soda like a normal person, I was holding it with my fingers around the top, much like a claw on one of those arcade games where you try to grab a stuffed animal. But, I guess the soda top wasn't on as tightly as I assumed. The cup with the soda slipped out of my hand and fell to the ground, but the plastic cover remained in the grasp of my fingers.

The soda flew out and all over my sweatshirt, my shorts, and the ground. I said aloud, to no one in particular, "That sucked!" My sweatshirt looked like I had just run in from a downpour, and my shorts were soaked as if I had pissed my pants. As I looked up from the puddle of soda on the ground at my feet, I saw a teenager sitting right in front of me with a giant smile on his face. This kid now has a funny story of that asshole who spilled the soda all over himself.

Humiliated, I tried to wipe myself down, but both my sweatshirt and my shorts were drenched, so there wasn't much point. I re-filled my cup, carefully carried it, as well as the pieces of pizza, to a nearby table, where I sat and ate as quickly as possible, worried that someone was going to point and laugh at me. I tried walking through Costco, but felt too self-conscious of the giant wet spots on my clothes. So instead of finishing my errands, I ran home, and changed into some dry clothes.

I know that anyone who reads this wishes they could've been there to seen me at the very moment I dropped my soda, especially Willer. It probably looked pretty hysterical. But for me, it just means more laundry and lesson learned: never carry your soda from the top.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Various Things

Work has kept me busy lately. I mean, it's a case of "I don't want to watch TV when I come home" busy. So not only am I behind on blogging, my tivo is backed up like a man who just ate a 5-pound brick of cheese. So, here's a few things I've been doing with photo evidence:

Last weekend, Heather's mom was in town, and we hit the Getty on Saturday. There's a great exhibit at the Getty that ends tomorrow (Feb. 25th) called "Where We Live: Photographs of America From the Berman Collection." If for some reason, you're trying to figure out what to do this weekend, I do recommend it.

We also took a trip to the newly renovated Griffith Observatory, which I had been dying to see. The Observatory had been closed since 2002 and finally opened at the end of last year. They did a great job expanding without ruining what made it so great.

Basically, they've built two new basement levels with all new exhibits, as well as renovated every exhibit that used to exist there. It's an impressive expansion, and the exterior has been restored to what, I'm guessing, it used to look like when it was first built.

Some photos:

The new exhibits below ground:
It was also a perfectly clear night, so I was able to get some shots of downtown:
The only real negative is that you can no longer drive and park at the Observatory. You have to reserve a ticket and take a shuttle up to it. The shuttle itself was fine, and there's a nice little video with Mayor Villaraigosa bragging about the changes, but it felt like an extra step in the process that wasn't necessary.

In other livefromrodneydrive news, I ordered a brand new Macbook nearly two weeks ago. I thought I would've had it with in a couple of days, but it ended up taking a week and a half to get to me, and because of my schedule, I didn't get to open it until two days after I got it. It was like getting a present for Christmas and not being allowed to open it until New Year's Day. Finally, I opened it last night. (The following photos are dedicated to the Dope Daddy, who loves seeing new Macbooks)

Even the styrofoam inside is beautifully designed:

So tiny...
It looked like transferring files was going to be easy, but for some reason, my old ibook was freezing in the midst of my transfer. So for most of last night and this morning, I've been going through my backup hard drive and putting all my stuff onto my new toy. And so far, I love it.

And look, there's a familiar site on it...
Now if only my itunes would stop quitting on me when I open it, everything would be perfect.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Van Halen Re-United With...Oh Wait...

Things were looking promising...
...until today.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Quiz Time

Okay, students, it's time for a pop quiz.

The following bald person is:
A) Batshit Crazy
B) Bugfuck Nuts
C) Britney Spears
D) All of the Above

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Temporary Expert

So, I've been a little busy lately with the new gig starting. For this latest gig, I've spent the last week learning about as much as possible about drag racing. A week ago tonight, I knew nothing about drag racing, but now, I'm quickly becoming, as I like to call it, a "temporary expert." I really don't know tons about the history of drag racing, nor do I know a lot about the technical aspects of drag racing, but I've spent hours reading about it, watching tapes of it, and spent a day in Pomona watching it, which was pretty insane. (I stood right near the starting line and when those cars take off, the g-forces that kick back are amazing). By the time I finish the job, I'll be incredibly educated about the finer points of the sport.

For each different gig you do, whatever subject you're doing, you're almost forced to become a "temporary expert." It's not a choice, so much as osmosis. I mean, when you're watching people drag race all day, you can't help but pick up on what's happening. But as soon as you finish a show and move onto the next, you retain only some of that information and downgrade from "temporary expert" to "somewhat knowledgeable."

So, if you're looking to put together a trivia team, besides drag racing, here are the specific topics that I was once a "temporary expert" on, but am now just "somewhat knowledgeable" about:
  • Lifeguarding
  • New York Daily Tabloids
  • Tommy Lee of Motley Crew
  • Home Re-Design
  • Andy Dick
  • Roseanne Barr
  • The Three Stooges
  • Certain Sitcoms of the 1960's and 70's
  • 1950's B-Movies
So, those of you reading who have gone from working show-to-show or job-to-job, what were you once a "temporary expert" of?

Monday, February 05, 2007

More Good Reviews For Heather

Heather's show "Dancing at Lughnasa" has extended its run at least a week until March 17th at Theatre West. Here's another good review for Heather from the current issue of the Tolucan Times:

"Solid standout performances by Mary Linda Phillips, as Kate, the eldest sister, a stern but caring school teacher; Heather Keller, as Christina, the lonely unwed mother; and Walter Beery as Father Jack, their kooky, ailing brother."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Gatorade Shower

As the clock ticked down on Super Bowl XLI, Colts coach Tony Dungy got the ritual Gatorade shower from his players. This has become common place any time a football team wins a big game. It's almost like pointing your index finger up to indicate that you're number one: everyone does it, no matter if you've won the Super Bowl, or just happened to beat the Houston Texans in week 12 of the regular season.

But twenty years ago, only one team was dumping Gatorade onto their coach: the New York Giants. In Super Bowl XXI, when the New York Giants beat the Denver Broncos, Giants' coach Bill Parcells was given a Gatorade shower by Hall-of-Fame linebacker Harry Carson, spreading the popularity of the shower to the world.

The Gatorade dumping began, according to Wikipedia, in October 1984 when Giants nose tackle Jim Burt drenched Coach Parcells with the Gatorade cooler after a week in which the coach angered him. In 1986, as the Giants went 14-2, Harry Carson became the main culprit of the Gatorade dump after quite a few of the Giants' big wins that season.

When the Giants beat the 49ers and Redskins in the playoffs, it became a game, where the cameras would actively search out Carson towards the end of the games. As a young Giants fan, I loved seeing Carson do this. He seemed so mischievous and had so much fun doing it, it charged up the fans at the stadium, who would roar with excitement when he'd approach the Gatorade cooler as time ran out in the 4th quarter. He did, at one point, "shush" the crowd so he could sneak up on Parcells, who always tried to avoid the Gatorade at all costs, probably because it was so damn cold in the Meadowlands.

But in Super Bowl XXI, Carson took off his jersey and borrowed a security jacket to disguise himself, and snuck around the sidelines, dodging the wary coach. But Parcells couldn't avoid it, as Carson snuck up on him and dumped the Gatorade cooler onto his coach to celebrate their first Super Bowl victory. And from that moment on, the Gatorade Shower was no longer a special thing to just the New York Giants; it was now a moment that the country had seen and would copy forever.
And that, my friends, is why a coach always gets dumped by Gatorade at the end of the Super Bowl.

The Disappointment of Super Bowl Weekend

Some may think based on the title of this post that I'm disappointed that the Bears just took a lead on the first play of the year. Actually, that's not the case at all.

Every Super Sunday, I usually make my semi-famous ribs and head over to Blake Levin's for the game. It's a great party, and I always look forward to seeing everyone that goes, eating some of Blake's fantastic burgers, have a few beers, and maybe enjoying some smores after the game that we'd make at his fire pit. But this year, it was not to be.

On Friday night, I got violently ill from a salad that I had eaten earlier in the day. This is about as sick as I've ever gotten. Not only was I up all night Friday, but all plans were canceled on Saturday and, now, today. It's been absolutely miserable. I've now upgraded from plain toast to plain white rice, but it's probably not a great thing that my stomach hurts as soon as I've finished eating.

Super Bowl weekend has turned into a big time bust, but what's making it really frustrating is all of these commercials during the game for food and beer. I mean, I saw a Pizza Hut commercial just before the game, and I have to say that it wasn't until today that I've ever craved Pizza Hut. It's very hard to sit and watch this game without enjoying a delightful, frosty, alcoholic beverage.

Oh yeah, one other thing, this is my last weekend of my "temporary retirement." Yes, that's right, only two weeks in, and I've already gotten my latest gig. My only hope is that when I start tomorrow, my stomach can handle a little more than Uncle Ben's.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Good Reviews For Theatre West's "Dancing at Lughnasa"

So far, every review for Heather's show at Theatre West, "Dancing at Lughnasa," has been incredibly good, and deservedly so. You can read the full reviews here, but I've also trimmed the blurbs for those who are too lazy to click the link:

Backstage West:

"...this is an engaging piece well suited to this gifted ensemble."

"Donald Moore narrates a flashback-driven script as Michael, the illegitimate son of Christina Mundy and snake-charming local ladies man Gerry Evans. The story line of this couple (played with lovely chemistry by Heather Keller and Yancey Dunham) provides the greatest source of tension within the close-knit clan."

Accessibly Live Off-Line:
"This is one of those stage plays that only seem to get better at each performance. The entire cast of players show their inner joy for their characters in a very realistic sense."

"The production grew out of the Monday Night Acting Workshop, growing bit by bit until, two years after its beginning, it became the beautiful play that it is, produced by Charlie Mount and directed by John Gallogly. The actors play their roles brilliantly, with impeccable Irish brogues."
"Each character is sharply etched and uniquely portrayed. I give this production a firm THREE AXELS and recommend a viewing."
(NOTE FROM ME: Despite not knowing what how many "Axels" one can get, I assume that three is pretty good)

Once again, Congrats, Heather!