Thursday, July 30, 2009


I just wanted to remind everyone of a Hard Road Theatre Production that I'm in that is still showing this weekend. The show is ONCE UPON A MATTRESS. ONCE UPON A MATTRESS is a comical & off-beat musical retelling of "The Princess and the Pea" fairy tale. The original Broadway show starred Carol Burnett and a revival version several years ago starred Sarah Jessica Parker. I portray King Sextimus, one of the rulers of the land who has been under a curse of muteness for nearly twenty years.

Performance dates are:
7:30 pm July 31 &August 1
2:00 pm August 2
This is the final weekend to see the show!

All performances are held at:
Highland Upper Elementary Auditorium
1800 Lindenthal
Highland, IL 62249


For more information go to or call 618-654-7748.


There's this new reality show on NBC. It's called The Great American Road Trip.  Seven families started out in Chicago traveling in RVs across America following Route 66.  The trip isn't a race, but is a journey. There are goofy challenges to compete, but no one gets eliminated if they reach a destination last.  About one family's vacation comes to an end in each episode (though there are some episodes where no families are sent home).  I'll admit the show is a bit hokey (I read on one review site where they referred to the show as the red-neck version of The Amazing Race), but I really enjoy watching this show.  It's much more real than most reality tv. I can't say for sure, but I don't think anyone was recruited for this show.  These are real families that have been given an opportunity to take a free vacation traveling across America with the chance to win $100,000 at the end.

Even though it's been ranking between #20-#35 the four weeks, NBC is disappointed by the ratings. Ratings could have been much higher, but NBC chose to begin airing the show in July when the people of the Heartland of America (who are the prime audience) aren't home and are traveling on vacations themselves. They should have aired the show at the end of May after the sweeps or at the first of June and ratings would have been larger. The show will continuing airing through August and can currently be seen on Monday nights at 7:00PM, Central Time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

President Obama's Health Care Reform

Ten years ago I was dropped from my father's health insurance because I had graduated from college. In the decade since, I have only had health insurance for 9 months when I was teaching school full time (at a cost of over $500/month). I'm currently working as a temp worker in an accounting office. It is a job that I have held for over a year. Though I have worked diligently, it has been made clear to me that I will never be brought on as a regular member of the company.  I'm heavily underpaid and have no hope for advancement. I have been looking for other employment, but since we are in a recession and on the verge of an economic depression, job prospects have been slim (two college degrees don't seem to open as many doors as one might think).  I've given up on even dreaming about owning my own home.

Despite my circumstances, I am in opposition to President Obama's health care proposals. We all know that there are problems with our health care system. However, the answer is not in forming another government bureaucracy. Health care costs skyrocketed because of the health insurance industry, but virtually eliminating that industry by offering a "public" option will not solve any problems but only further complicate things as well as bring about even more problems. Besides, if we really hold our freedom and liberty dear, then we should know that the government is not our friend. In the best of times government is a wary ally, but in the worst of times (which these are) the government is our fiercest foe. Bridled by the Constitution, we can live with the government. However, the health care option presented before us--just one of many plans that those who are currently in the zenith of power are using--is an attempt to destroy all that we hold dear and free the bloated behemoth of government that will kill us all if we allow the Constitutional bridle to be removed.

To better illustrate this, watch the video below. It explains it much better than I can.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In Memoriam of Frank McCourt (1930-2009)

I just found out that Frank McCourt, the former English teacher and author of Angela's Ashes and Teacher Man among others, died last Sunday (July 19, 2009) from complications from melanoma. I've been very busy this past week, but have still tried to stay on top of things in the news, but somehow I missed this one. McCourt only first became published a little over a decade ago. However, his writing was brilliant. His stories were so rich and vivid. He wrote about the most depressing and disheartening things, but it was in such a way that you couldn't help but laugh. He contributed to a few other books, but McCourt only had four books published. I wish he would have been able to write a few more. He was that good of a storyteller and writer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I just wanted to inform everyone of a Hard Road Theatre Production that I'm rehearsing for that opens next weekend. The show is ONCE UPON A MATTRESS. ONCE UPON A MATTRESS is a comical & off-beat musical retelling of "The Princess and the Pea" fairy tale. The original Broadway show starred Carol Burnett and a revival version several years ago starred Sarah Jessica Parker. I portray King Sextimus, one of the rulers of the land who has been under a curse of muteness for nearly twenty years.

Performance dates are:
7:30 pm July 24, July 25, July 31, August 1
2:00 pm July 26 & August 2

All performances are held at:
Highland Upper Elementary Auditorium
1800 Lindenthal
Highland, IL 62249


For more information go to or call 618-654-7748.

Friday, July 17, 2009



I just heard a nasty littler rumor
that there's a proposed remake of Back to the Future in the works and that Zac Efron is scheduled to play Marty McFly. Please, please, please don't let this be true. No one can replace Michael J. Fox in a Back to the Future movie. No one.

Why Government Is Evil

As the bloated behemoth we know as the federal government threatens to swallow even more liberty, property, and freedom on its unsustainable course to an extinction that could destroy us all, let us take comfort in the words of one of the Founding Fathers of our country, that great patriot Thomas Paine. His pamphlet, COMMON SENSE, was read bought by 20% of the entire population of the United States and by conservative estimates read by 70% of the people in the country. In relation to the population of the country at the time (about 3 million people total--including 600,000 who were slaves and another 1-1.5 million who were indentured servants)--it is the best-selling piece of literature in American history outside of the Bible. Below are some of his words. Read them and hold them close because they contain part of the essence of what makes our country what it was, what it is, and what it should be.
"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer!"
--Thomas Paine

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

June 2009: Media Consumed

Books Read
*Superman: Last Stand on Krypton by: Steve Gerber, Dough Wheatley, Chris Chuckry
**Ignorance, Thy Name Is Bucky by: Darby Conley
On Directing by: Harold Clurman
**I Did It His Way by: Johnny Hart
12 Angry Men by: Sherman Sergel

Not very much reading in June. A graphic novel, two collections of comic strips, and a book about directing a play. That was it. If you're interested in theatre directing, On Directing is worth reading even though it is a bit dated.

Movies Viewed for the First Timed
Drag Me to Hell
Land of the Lost
Role Models
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I didn't watch many movies in June, either. I really enjoyed watching Sam Raimi's return to comedy-horror in Drag Me to Hell. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Role Models. It has some crude moments, but not enough to ruin the entire film. I was also extremely surprised by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Say what you want, but Michael Bay does make movies that are enjoyable to watch. Biggest disappointment: Land of the Lost--the movie could have been hilariously funny, but the scriptwriters decided to go for wierd and it just didn't work.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Michael Jackson--What Happened to Wacko Jacko?

Michael Jackson is dead and what I want to know is, what happened to Wacko Jacko? Jackson's "public" memorial service was attended by thousands of people who just a month ago didn't care one iota about Michael Jackson. Jackson hadn't had a hit record in over fifteen years. Things were so dismal here in the U.S. that he couldn't even sell enough tickets to make a U.S. tour and had to go overseas for ALL of the 50 concerts in his "Farewell" tour that he was preparing for. Michael Jackson was seen as a freak. He was Wacko Jacko. Now that he's dead, people have forgotten or are choosing to completely ignore all the bizarre, strange, wierd, and sometimes sick things he did over the past 25 years. The masses are, indeed, fickle.

Granted, at one time Jackson was an incredible dancer and singer. He also used to seem fairly normal. Then in 1984 while filming this commercial his hair caught on fire.

That's right. His hair caught on fire. There are those who will disagree with me, but I maintain that the Pepsi Commercial accident was when Michael Jackson started to turn into Wacko Jacko. Before that accident, Jackson was just a typical celebrity. It was after that accident that he started to turn strange. He got a pet chimpanzee, named Bubbles, that he dressed in a diaper and clothes which slept in a crib at the foot of his bed. He started hanging around with young boys. He started wearing a surgical mask wherever he would go. He purchased mannequins from various stores and made them part of his entourage, bringing them with him from place to place. He even made an offer, twice, to buy the bones of "The Elephant Man." It all started when his hair caught on fire while filming that commercial.I'm not the only one who picked up on this either. Back in 2005, ROBOT CHICKEN aired the following segment. Maybe that's really what happened.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

May 2009: Media Consumed

Books Read
* My Space: Baby Blues Scrapbook #24 by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott
Star Trek: Prime Directive by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
**Twilight Zone: The Odyssey of Flight 33 by Mark Kneece, et al.
*Brevity 4 by Guy & Rodd
**Star Trek: The Next Generation--The Gorn Crisis by Kevin Anderson, et al.
Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio by Brian Jennings
*If You Weren't a Hedgehog...If I Weren't a Hemophiliac by Andrew Weldon
*Dilbert: Freedom's Just Another Word for People Finding Out You're Useless by Scott Adams
+12 Angry Men by Sherman Sergel

* = denotes a collection of comic strips
** = denotes a graphic novel
+ = denotes a play

My reading for May consisted mostly of comic strips and comic books. What can I say? I read Prime Directive because I had read an article about the screenwriters of the new Star Trek movie and they said they had used the book as "inspiration" for the new movie. I'm not exactly sure how it inspired them because even though Star Trek is a pretty good movie, it's not a very good Star Trek movie, whereas Prime Directive is a pretty good Star Trek book, though not necessarily a novel. If you enjoyed the original Star Trek series, then you'll probably enjoy the book. However, if you know nothing about the original series, then the book will just confuse you.

I picked up The Gorn Crisis because I became fascinated with the idea of having Gorn as major players in the Star Trek universe (seriously--why haven't they?).

I do suggest everyone take a look at Brevity 4. "Brevity" is a great comic-strip. Lots of strips have tried to be the next "Farside". "Brevity" doesn't try to be the next "Farside", but it is similar in spirit, but is completely original. Check it out.

Movies Viewed For the First Time
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Invaders From Mars
Star Trek
My Name Is Bruce
Get Smart's Bruce & Lloyd: Out of Control
Southland Tales
My Bloody Valentine 3-D
My Bloody Valentine (1982)
Terminator: Salvation
Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian
The Reaping

Wolverine was okay, but was kind of a let down, especially what they did to the character of Deadpool. Invaders From Mars is a classic sci-fi film that inspired parts of Stephen Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Invaders, however, is horribly outdated, e.g. they refer to the aliens as "moo-tants", but still has some great visual images. Star Trek--it's a good movie and everybody seems to love it except for me. Bruce Campbell is the best B-Actor working today. He comes from a similar background as myself I'm not sure what the guy is like in real-life, but I really like what I've seen of him and read about him. My Name Is Bruce is Campbell's latest film that he directed and it was mostly filmed on his own property in Oregon. I watched Out of Control because I think Jayma Mays is gorgeous (she's a redhead-what can I say?).

Avoid Southland Tales. It's a terrible movie. I never liked the director/writer's first film, Donnie Darko. I still don't understand the cult fascination with that movie because it's a terrible movie. Of course, even if you liked Donnie Darko, you'll probably hate Southland Tales. I can't even recommend it for artistic value of any sort

I enjoyed both of the My Bloody Valentine movies. Horror movies can go so wrong, but the filmmakers did a good job of using the conventions of the horror genre to create something original. Terminator: Salvation had a terrible ending which basically destroyed the franchise, hopefully cemented McG's career as a major director. Night at the Museum 2 is worth watching, if for no other reason, just for Amy Adams. That girl isn't just a beautiful (redheaded) woman, but is an incredible actress, too. Fanboys is a film that every Star Wars fan will enjoy and should watch. It didn't do well at the box office and is panned by critics, but I actually liked The Reaping.

And lastly, as for Up: it's the best movie of 2009 so far. Marketed for kids, it's really a movie that adults will enjoy far more.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Day

Our country is sure in a mix right now. Still, at least for the time being, it's a great country to live in. Happy Independence Day, everyone!