Saturday, February 18, 2006
Revisiting Pleasantville

The movie, not the town up the road from here, after having read 'Six Characters in Search of an Author' by Luigi Pirandello, I feel like I'm caught in a matrix. Who is real, what is real. Does anything affect anything, anyone... Truly?

Of course the answer is yes but wow. What a day.

In class we discussed many ideas on what is real and what isn't. Of course it's all academic. There is a reality, and there is a world we all try to live in. Even if only for moments during the day. This would be rare but hey it could happen. Human beings wear masks so often we seem to forget to take all of them off. At some point in their day or even their life. Today I read a very interesting article linked from /. about how the unconscious mind makes better decisions than the conscious. Strange and interesting. Do I believe it? Very much so.

In the present US culture we, the people, don't seem to know what we, as individuals, really want. Sure we'll all make a fuss and scream and shout at one another. Blah, blah, blah. Take off the mask, sit beside someone, and speak plainly, without anyone else ready to back you up, and see how far you go. How long into the conversation can you go without giving a safe answer and actually answering how you truly, wholeheartedly, unabashedly feel? One minute? Two?

We are so defensive and scared to speak our true minds it makes complete sense to me that the unconscious mind makes better decisions. The conscious is too busy worrying about who might be upset if something is said, or worse! Implied! Oh NO! Then we're worried about who we really are. Am I okay as a person. Is this immoral? Did I leave the stove on. What about lunch, did I bring it. Should I be eating this... Again? Uh, I hate those stickers. Watch where you're going you idiot! Hey, be quiet. Uh, I hate this song. Where did I see that movie again? Was it 42 times or was it 64 times we did that last year. Wow! Yea I said I'd do it so give me a few minutes okay?

Right, so we're all good with making a sound, comfortable decision with all that going on... Yea, I thought not. And what do we do when we get a chance as well? We step away from the daily grind. I read comic books, read news on-line, read plays, watch movie and T.V. shows, etc. Recently I realized I hadn't read a comic in over a month. How'd I notice? I finished reading Wizard magazine and felt a release of stress. It was a feeling I needed and it was a world I missed. Another world. Characters with traits I hope attain and retain while doing my best to unlearn traits I dislike that I see as well. They seem so real. Characters. They're living a life we mundane can only dream of. Never is a moment wasted. Every word spoken has a life and death significance. It's all on the edge! The place we say we want to be but rarely ever find ourselves. It's okay to admit it even though few will.

Pleasantville's characters live and die by their choices. That's what they think at least. Bud's mom is so ashamed of her appearance that she hides it from her husband.

"Hide me, hide me! I want to be important and unique but you need to know I'm just like you see." = ) Nobody famous said it. I'm just making a point.

I love films like Pleasantville. Having watched it again it definitely falls into the top 5 of my favorite films. Crimson Tide, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Iron Giant, Pleasantville, etc. Yes I only wrote 4. I don't have a list here that is official and sealed.

A smart, funny, challenging film that echoes my favorite quote: "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes - US author & physician (1809 - 1894)

We need alternate realities or we seem to lose focus on the one reality we actually live and breath in. I wonder if studies have been done to restrict people from having the freedom to read, watch, etc. other realities compared to a group that is allowed the choice to read, watch, etc. Hmm. I cannot get enough of compelling characters and stories. They reach me in ways daily life seems unable. Stretching, pulling, inching that extra tiny bit we never think is possible and then going further. The life they 'live' IS something extraordinary. It's everything compressed into a slice. And that slice is what we want (deep down inside).

Thursday, February 16, 2006
Working and Studying

When I tell people that I'm working on my graduate degree they are typically happy for me. Well, uh, yea. It's pretty damn cool. It'll take two more years, yadda, yadda, yadda. What most people fail to appreciate is the amount of energy spent on a theater degree. Sure it sounds all fun and artsy, but the fact is a huge amount of time is spent each week just on class work alone. Everything Thursday I sit with a book for 2-3 hours reading about the history of theater and the play for the week. This semester we're read and will be reading:

7 Apr THE BROWNING VERSION (separate edition)
21 Apr a radio play to be distributed in class

Last semester was another story. The Greeks filled all our heads for weeks and weeks on end. This is all for a class that meets once a week for two hours. The other (adding up the hours in my head) 2, 4... 10 hours spent in class range from studying lines to breaking down text so that each word has importance and meaning. It may seem trivial but think about each word used during a day. Not one word is wasted in a conversation. Everything means something.

The theater, in our digital world, has not lost its place in society. Instead, the 00 11 world has proven that use of language is more important now than it has been in years. We communicate through abbreviations and l33t talk.

bustedmic - b
s-ben-real - yo
bustedmic - mmm pizza
s-ben-real - o rly?
bustedmic - = )
s-ben-real - rly
bustedmic - brb yo. cell is buz'n

I digress entirely. Ha.

It's not easy to work full time and study for a degree "part time" - especially MFAs. MBAs are nothing to shake a stick at of course. I simply have no experience nor have the desire at present. emma recently started a class - yea marriage perks - and has said it should be one or the other - work or study. While I agree I also don't. Because I'm taking classes my mind is better able to focus on work. I appreciate that dichotomy of my day to day life. At one point I'm helping a faculty member, the next, they're teaching me something. It's a feeling best experienced than described.

So in the summer of 2008 I will officially be a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. It will have taken 5 years. The first two were truly part time. This year will be my heaviest class load. The next two years should be very manageable. I figure between 6 and 9 hours of class per week. A monumental difference from the present 12 hours/week I am enrolled in this year.

Should you be considering a graduate degree and wonder if you should work full time and take classes in the evening or weekend I suggest taking one class for a semester or a year. If you're not a full time student... What's the hurry? Give it a try. The worst thing that can happen is you learn something and make some new friends. There are worse things that can happen. Oh, and yes, even if you have a family. One of the grad students JUST had a baby. I think it was during the first 2 weeks of school. Make the time. It's worth it for everyone involved.

Saigo desu

And then there was one. Mr. Broderick. Yea, you! Over there at NVCC! I haven't forgotten about you. You're the last person I have to get back in touch with m'boy. Wow. One. Happy happy. Joy joy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Random Phone Fun!
this is an audio post - click to play

Valentine's Day

Very few things go the way its expected to go. Sure, the sun will rise. Yup, it'll set too. But will the day go the way you hope it? If one thing goes the way you want it a huge plus should be put on the calendar. It's a true rarity.

Last night was the continuation of what felt like a holiday/vacation. A calmness has been blanketing 11o1. How/Why? If I was put under the gun, or solo swinging light with my hands tied behind my back, I'd say answers have been learned to huge questions I've/we've been waiting on. Oddly enough very few of those anticipated answers were positive. Through it listening, feelin, and accepting have been key players.

I so desperately wanted to go to Germany. It's been a dream of mine since FIFA announced plans for the 2006 World Cup. Will I go... At the moment things look like 'no' but there is hope in the air. Nani? Don Garber (MLS Commissioner) If anything comes through on this I'll be stupidfied. Come the 21st details will be known.

Conversations on Valentine's Day are varied. Last night was no exception. We reminisced about days gone by and shared some things previously kept quiet. It was calming and nice. Later in the evening another topic was brought up - death.

A long time ago I accepted my own death. Accepted as in I know I will, I okay with it, I love life, etc. I'm not planning it around any day, event or time. Death will come to me and that is the cycle. I see no reason in fighting the inevitable. Of course pills or technology may prolong my death. To this I do not, nor will not scoff at. There is so much to see and so much to experience. The difference is, now, I have someone that will be with me - always. And so the topic of death is, while not being terrifying, confusing.

Is it more selfish to want to die first... or second. Since we don't have a child a double whammy would be easier on both of us. But that'd suck. Hahaha. First or second. Living on after the love of your life dies is a terrifying concept/idea. I'm okay with my own passing but were I to pass )shudder( emma would have to live on with things reminding her of me in the apartment, etc. And vice-versa. I'd sit at my desk waiting, waiting, waiting for her s/n to sign on. It'd be like waiting for that phone call you desperately want except, you know it will never ring. Wow! That's one fraggin horrible image. GRAH!

The other night I finally saw Wedding Crashers. I thought of the funeral scene because of our conversation. The character reacts to something no-one could ever, ever relate to. The loss of your life partner. Whooo! Jimminy Cricket it was a big conversation to have at midnight.

I honestly don't know what I would "choose" if I had to. I guess life will dole out its cards and handle it, face it, accept it I will. Now, I'm faced with the possibility that there is no hot water for my morning shower. Toss the coin... )flipflipflipflip(

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I've been more cryptic in some of my posts lately. I don't like writing in that way. It's boring to me and confusing to the reader. Enough.

The other day I was at work chatting away on AIM and, for some reason, decided to look at a family member's away message. Without reading it my mind captured the words and spat out a new thought - Enough! The away message was insignificant in every way. Details? Okay, something like 'it's the weekend. yea!'

For more than 30 days my family in CT has avoided the word marriage and anything else that has to do with the wedding that took place just over one month ago. During phone calls it's one of those topics... How to say... That is AVOIDED. How are you? What's going on? Anything new? Sure, that's pretty much a run of the mill Q&A when nothing major is going on or has happened. The problem is, something major DID happen, and nobody wants to talk about it. This. Is. A. Problem.

Me pop and Lin have been great. Lin sent me the Republican-American paperwork for marriage announcements. W3rd. Pop called just to check in to see how things have been with me/us since the wedding. Pretty fraggin w3rd material. Yea. So, where's the other CT peeps?

I picked up the torch, again, in hopes of getting the Ploski/Cocchiola clan back on track with a family website again. Zoom, out went the notification of its existence. I heard back from... Nobody. Um, hello? Anyone? At least it's live, that's all I care about. Please?

I understand people are busy, I'm one of those people. I'm not as busy as I normally would be during a semester of work, graduate classes, and play(s) but I'm perdy darn busy. I've even gotten down to nearly all my reply emails that's I've mentioned twice already. Less than a handful remain. So the curious thought is why the silence. E-mail is pretty quick from what I hear. Maybe someone has changed e-mail routing like the USPS has changed their routing in CT. Humph. Of course that smell you smell is sarcasm. On occasion it's pretty pungent.

Let's see if the math makes sense. Major life changing event + Avoidance = ...

Nope, it doesn't add up.

Next weekend will be interesting. Since I have not heard one question from family peeps in CT about emma and I about being married I think it time to point out that the math doesn't add up. Someone hasn't paid the bill yet and it's closing time.

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Please Deposit 25¢

If only it were that simple. Deposit 25¢ and get a boost of energy. Lately I've noticed that other grad student have been very lethargic. Many have even commented that they were glad to hear someone else say "I'm so tired and it seems like everyone else is."

What is going on?

In a wonder state of affairs I learned that a 'whole lot of people' are sick. Jumpin joys of Golgatha! So the sitrep is this:


The other night, before the Pink Panther, emma's mum, emma, and I met in the city for dinner. For the first 20 minutes we talked and talked and talked about a topic that appears to have been left on a road side somewhere in CT. We are very much ready to have a few conversations but... Well, schedules have finally buried us in the sands here in NY. Whoohoo!

Side-Step... War Music is going to rock! The rehearsal process has already begun even though the show doesn't open until the last week of April. Yup, count em, 1, 2, 3, ...12. We'll be working on this lil piece for a good 12 weeks with weekly rehearsals from 130-530 on Saturday and for about 3 hours during the week. I can honestly say this is the most excited I've been about a piece since I started performing at SLC. I enjoyed many of the shows but this... Oh yea! Hella-excited about it. Seven actors. Greeks Vs. Trojans. Absolute minimal set. Chorus like style with individuals standing out at key points. HOO-RAH! This is what theater is about.

Ahh, joy fun stuff.

Back to the icky icky, at some point before the semester ends I hope to find a way to release the hold up in my body. It feels as though my upper body is stuck. The best way to describe it is to compare it to the kind of back pain that limits someone when they can move but only with slow, precise steps. The curious thing is why my back doesn't hurt at all. If pushed OH WOW I'll yelp but on it's own there's no pain.

A lil shuffle arrived in Alaska today and I rode 5 miles in 20 minutes on a bike at the gym with the highest resistance to which Kristy said "How are you even doing that?" Referring to the speed/resistance combo. Soccer takes the credit there. Brah brah brah... Come on shuffle. Hurry on down to NY won'cha.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Pink Panther Premier/Review

This audio post was recorded just after the final credits rolled off the big screen at approximately 9:02 PM.

this is an audio post - click to play

I do not know the last time I saw a movie that I left the theater smiling. Thinking back, it was probably Serenity. No surprise with that one. Back to the Pink. People wore pink and pink and more pink to the premier. Overkill? Yea, but that's a bit of the point considering we're talking about a PINK PANTHER film.

I went into this film expecting, count with me from zero. Okay, you can stop now. NOTHING. I expected to walk away feeling as though I'd see a movie at a premier. End of line.

This, as it turns out, was a GREAT way to walk into the evening. Was this the original film? No. Do I remember the original films? Not really. Does it matter? To some I bet the answer is "HELL YES IT MATTERS!"

The humor was all over the place. Rehashed jokes, blatant silliness, and anything/everything else Steve Martin has thrown at us over the years. The wonderful reaction we all seemed to have was welcomed acceptance. At first the jokes were blah. The parallel parking scene wasn't funny. The sexual harassment scene IS. So are the hamburger scene and the back-up dancer scene. This film is full of silliness. It's silly. It's fun. It's just a good ol gag film. I say see this film. Personally, I wouldn't mind spending full price to see it but will recommend it as a matinee film. See it in the theater with friends on a day you're all feeling silly.

Friday, February 03, 2006
World Cup Tickets...

Not quite. FAH FAH FAH!!! How many Americans are applying to see the World Cup in Germany!? Answer - Not many. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Reapply my ass. At that time hotels will be booked up and prices will be jacked up due to low availability. GRUMBLEGUMBLEGRUMBLE.

Dear Mr. Gary Ploski,

Due to the high demand for tickets for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany (TM), the ticket applications correctly processed and accepted had to be entered into a draw. Unfortunately, you have not been allocated any tickets for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany (TM).

You may of course reapply for tickets in one of the subsequent sales phases.

Kind regards,
Your 2006 FIFA World Cup (TM) Ticketing Center

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