I got some shit to say. And I'm lazy.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sorry for the passionate discourse, FW

I got silver and black in my veins.
Enough said.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A 34 Boogaloo Salute

I have been avoiding this post for the better part of a year. Its genesis was in a request Palmer made to me last summer, when she asked me to put down on paper the rules and methods I use when making a mix tape (sigh, CD) for someone. I made the initial wade into these waters last August, when I explained the basics for beginning any mix. The more and more I thought about it, the more difficult it became for me to explain. Each mix is singular to the individual recieving it, giving them their own special story. I make mixes all the time, for a wide array of people, but as different as all these people are, making it neccesary to make a wide array of mixes, the message is often the same. The message? YOU FUCKING ROCK!(in your own way.)

People on the recieving end of my mixes are always ones that make the double barrelled shoutgun of my heart go 'Woo Woo.' Friends, enemies, lovers, it doesn't matter. I am unabashedly a sweetheart, and love telling people how awesome they are. I am deciding to let it all hang out, like The Hombres sang about over forty years ago, because tomorrow (or today, depending on when I finish this) is one such mix recipient's 34th birthday.She was the one who made my heart go woo woo the loudest and the longest. So it is with bated breath and a rapidly beating heart that I say Happy Birthday to you. (Woo! Woo!)


So I wrote the above yesterday, and there was even more, but then it got lost in the internet shuffle of posting the preview, and no amount of editing could get it back. It's ironic that I'm watching the PBS documentary on the blues tonight, and it's featuring Skip James, whose song 'Hard Time Killing Floor Blues' might be one of my favorite songs of all time, and I'm realizing, goddammit, this post is too fucking hard. I will give you these rules, because I've written them down, and I will let it all hang out, but today is L's bday and I can't pretend I'm not down. Maybe all this red wine will help it all spill out, or maybe I'm a loser and it's stupid and I need to let it go. I can't decide.

I'm just gonna post this and get back to it later.

Happy birthday, Laramie.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What A Night!

Tim Duncan wants to wish my roomie and best bud Mark a HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY!!!!

Manu Ginobli was happier than a pig in poop about my first appearance on Law & Order!

And, oh yeah,


Thursday, May 17, 2007


Ball don't lie, son.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Proof To My Theory

Watch this honkey flop and flop and flop. Say what you will about the severity of the fines and suspensions handed out after Game 4 Monday night, but the foul by Robert Horry on Super Stevie Nash was hardly as hard as all that. I've been hit harder by an angry grandma in the lobby of the MoMA. And, since when are the Spurs 'thugs'? Geez, last year they were called soft tacos, and now they're dirty. Whoever buys into this media created crap probably also has a Bill O'Reilly book somewhere on their shelf and a subscription to Us weekly.

We really need to protect ourselves from ourselves.

Ah, it's all for the kids anyway.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Phoenix Suns Whine Like Titty Babies

I'm not as eloquent as some of my San Antonio buddies on this, because this is a year where I can't watch my team. (I too have irrational fears regarding where, how, and sometimes even IF I can watch my Spurs.) But after last night's latest Spurs-Suns slugfest, I have no choice but to belly up to the closest sports bar I can find.

That being said, Steve Nash, you are a big,fat whiny ass pussy.
Amare Stoudamaire, quit whining and go get another neck tattoo. In Kanji. About all the 'dirty' players on the Spurs.
Shawn Marion, just opt out of your contract already.

Shut up and fucking play.
Notice how the Spurs never get any press for whining?
Yeah, that's cuz' they're men.

alright, I'm done.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Yeah I auditioned for this

What's funny is that I know the 'little lad' who got this.
We did a Ken Urban play reading together a few years back.

Berries and cream, indeed.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Band Of Brothers and The Big Shout Out

Friday nite, ramblers. You would think I would be out on the town, making the rounds, shaking 'em down and giving the big what up to to all the ladies, the ladies. Sadly, that's never truly been me and the fact is, I'm a lonely ole' son of a gun. But I'm glad I watched Law & Order tonight. So, so glad.

I would never truly call myself political. I get excited by policy, I follow the news, I vote, donate and recycle. But often times, I can't get my ire up. It's just theatre for the masses and rarely has anything to do with me. I realize what a folly of an age we live in, how our government has essentially been stolen from us, we've lost thousands of children to a war chosen by corporations and our basic rights seem to be constantly in peril. None of this had anything to do with my Friday night, but I decided to hunker down with Sam Waterson and my smokes and a nice cheap bottle of red and I then had my heart torn out.

I come from a military family. My grandfather was a lifelong Air Force Man, my dad did his time, my other grandpa (Paw-Paw, R.I.P.)fought in Korea, and my cousin Regan just got back from two tours of duty in Iraq. I know from military. The episode of Law & Order tonight was all about the shitty way our military treats their wounded. With out giving anything away (like we couldn't write an episode of the show at this point collectively) there was a vet who went crazy and was killing homeless people because he was delusional and being denied his basic medical needs by the government because he had been dishonorably discharged. Needless to say, Sam Waterson got all indignant and decided to put the military on trial instead of the defendant and let those military good olde boys have it. I can't lie ramblers, I got a little emotional. I feel so guilty for tuning out this war as much as I have. The only person I had any interest in during this whole thing was my cousin, who, all praise to Allah, got home safely earlier this month. I know people are still organizing, people are still rallying, people are still trying, but jesus fucking christ, can we PLEASE bring this children home? Who wins in all of this? Dick Cheney? George Bush? Citgo, Exxon and Mobil? If, as Sam Wateson says, we enter into a war of choice, don't we have a MORAL obligation to take care of these soldiers, nay, children? I know I'm just shouting into the ether on this, but motherfucker, I am tired, tired, tired of this war! TIRED. Whose winning? Whose losing? Does anyone even know what we're fighting for? Christopher Hitchens, come back to sanity. Iraq is fucked and so are we. I, and all of us, are totally implicated in this. I hope whoever we pick to run against the Republicans next year gets it going and gets us out.Them out. All of the, these beautiful boys and girls over there fighting for who knows what.

Can you tell I've been devouring Kurt Vonnegut in memoriam?

So if I can change the subject a little bit, I want to take a moment and give a huge shout out to two different guys who have been huge in my life.

When I moved to Austin in 1995, I was a scrawny, sickly, hair dyed orange mess. I wanted to do something big, but I didn't want it to be in Austin. I couldn't go to Chicago, which was were I wanted to be, and I resented having to go to the same school that my parents attended. Twelve years later, I know it was the best thing to ever happen to me, and alot of it has to do with the two bros I wanna call out.

In the fall of 1996, I was introduced to David Bucci. It's no conjecture on my part to say that our chance meeting has had a deep and lasting impact on my life.

Bucci was, and still is, the COOLEST fucking dude I have ever met. He read my first play, Wastes & Pines, on a recommendation from someone, and agreed to meet with me to talk about it. He strolled into the Red River Cafe and told me it was 'really fucking good.' That was all the encouragement I would ever need. If it's possible to say this, Bucci was the older brother I always wanted. He helped my buy my first guitar, he bought me booze when I was under age, he gave me the first mix tape I ever got (and still have to this day) and generally has been there clapping in the background ever since. But more importantly, starting with the play Lynwood Pharmacy, down through Med Vegas, Stranger Desire, and of course my personal favorite Altamont! Now, the man has delivered the goods, writing wise, time and again. He has been an inspiration to me, both with the words, and the rock, and more importantly the walk, for almost eleven years now. He did and does things that I myself am just too chicken shit to do, like front a rock band, write crazy ass brilliant plays, live by his own rules and do it the way he wants it done. Cheers my brother.

I am happy to say that the Buc is moving to Seattle to fuck shit up on June 1st. I am really sad to see him go. But I want to take a minute to toast my brother from another mother. To Bucci! Long live Bucci!


The second dude I need to give the big shout out to is one Dan Dietz. Around the same time I was getting tight with Bucci, I met Dan. How glad am I my parents wouldn't let me go to Northwestern? Who would have ever known that I would have the chance to meet and work with so many amazing playwrights before the age of 21? If Bucci was the rock star, Dan was the shape shifter, taking things like form and dialogue and turning it all full tilt and making it his own. Unlike Bucci, Dan and I had the chance to perform together several times and his diligence as both an actor and as a writer have given me pause and forced me to try and have a rigorous work ethic. If Bucci was my older brother, Dan was very much the guy I very much needed to be friends with in high school. You know, the guy who had read ULYSSES and had all of David Lynch's movies on VHS(it was the '90's).You may not be able to believe it, but San Antonio is not a literary or cultural hot bed, artistically speaking. Dan has gone on and written amazing scripts like DIRGIBLE, TILT ANGEL, tempOdyssey, and of course, my personal favorite, AMERICAMISFIT. He is, in the parlance of our times, or very recent times, (I'm crawling to 30, so I'm OLD) blowing up. His stuff is being done everywhere, the dude is amazing in his output and energy, and one helluva good bro.
He is also moving, from our warm artistic womb of Austin to teach at Florida State University. Those kids are one lucky bunch of bastards. It's a true loss to Austin, but I know we haven't seen the last of Mr. Double D. From all the way up here in Brooklyn, TX I raise a glass to you, Dietz. Cheers, you bastard!

I just want to make clear very quickly that I am in no way comparing Bucci to Dietz and vice versa. I am instead giving praise to two dudes who have had an immeasurable impact on my life all at once. Both of them are brilliant and both of them should be produced all over this great big land. I owe both of them an unspeakable amount, because of how much they have influenced me, and I'm beyond lucky to have been in their presence. I don't feel cheesy saying it either. We should make more of an effort to tell people how much they have helped us in life. Just like all those wounded vets. But that's a whole other pack of cigarettes, ramblers.


Yeah, that's from the STAGE at United Palace Tuesday night. The woman in the center is Regine from Arcade Fire and yes, that's thousands of fans dancing and singing along with the band. ONSTAGE. Jesus Christ, I wish theatre could make us all feel like I felt then.


Yeah, just like ole' David Bucci and Dan Dietz made me feel.

ROCK AND ROLL, ramblers. It stops the traffic.

PS: Mix tape rules and L's gift on Sunday.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

That Weird Chill

Granted. As in taken for.

I don't know why, but for the love of god, that's how I feel these last few weeks. My resolution to myself, this last New Year's, was not to quit smoking or eating chocolate, or (ha ha yea right) not drink so much, but to quit being a martyr. I needed that. I have realized the older I've gotten that I have a chip on my shoulder that comes from some super duper sub conscious place, and it manifests itself at the strangest times and makes me very sensitive and resentful towards people. I have almost no control over it, and I have tried very hard to work at it, because when I feel slighted or, taken for granted, or passed over, or whatever, I know that the offender in question has very little idea what kind of damage they may have done. Maybe it's our profession, maybe it's a certain amount of resentment against my family, maybe it's my dreams having to come to terms with my reality or the general creeping sense I get sometimes that my body is failing me. Who knows? And I had really kept it in check lately, even being fully aware of my over developed chip and making myself realize I was being an hypersensitive knob polisher and to just GROW UP. But a bunch of out-of-my-control-ca-ca-poops-McGee-shite has happened lately, and I was thrown off my proverbial self help track. Also, I should lay down those mix tape rules.

Incidentally, has anyone ever noticed that most of my blog post titles are taken directly from songs? Free mix CD to anyone who can name the singer whose album is entitled 'That Weird Chill.'

As all four of you who read this intermittantly updated piece of internet drivel know, I just closed a show here. It was written byhim and starred this guy and me. By all accounts, I feel as though it was some of my best work. It was more or less about the Terri Schiavo case, and also dealt with the insurmountable task of dealing with the loss of one's beloved. I was super proud of the acting by me and Vic, and I think Ken's script had so much to offer the cast, that I really relished the challenge. Everyone else involved was top notch, and as a creative endeavor, it was by far one of the most rewarding. The only problem? No one fucking saw it.

Now I know how this thing goes, this business of show, and when I say no one saw it, I am not discounting any of my dear dear friends from work, or my flatmate or my old ATL buddies orA and K. I mean the royal 'nobody saw it', as in the public at large. The Times, shock, surprise, bailed on their review, the PR guy crapped the bed on doing his job, and the fact remains that no one's going to take a chance on Long Island City. Funny how people love to come out and eat and drink and frolic by the water there, but no one's gonna plunk down 15 big to check out experimental theatre. I guess the reason is if it's not in Manhattan, it's not somehow valid as a viable creative entity. What if I was to tell you that the first workshop of LEGALLY BLONDE was held at the theatre the show I did was at. Would that be something you might be interested in? Yea, me neither.

I don't really know quite where I was headed with all the above, except to more or less say that, as I follow all the other theatre folks' blogs that sometimes talk about this or that slight, perceived or real, by the critics or world at large, I just felt the need to throw my 2 cents in. As an actor, I am continually at the mercy of literally dozens of outside forces beyond my control to get work. For a long time I had a hard time saying that I even was an actor, because where I come from, that seems so fucking foolish and petty, and for lack of a better word, 'gay',(editor's note: Not meant to imply or disparage anyone's sexual orientation, but, rather intone a certain amount of cheesiness on the offender's part. I.E., 'Dude, you're drinking a Coors Light? That is so fucking gay.')
that I was almost embarrassed, just because of a fear of how people would perceive me. But not anymore. South Texas machoness be damned, I love what I do. I love the people I'm surrounded by, I love the camraderie, the struggle, the blood, sweat and tears of it all. I am constantly in awe of people like Adam, Kristen, Sheila, Grote, Daisey and the like, for the beautiful worlds they create time and again. Performers like Schreck, Dizzia, Vic, David Brooks, Susan, Gibson, etc., and directors and producers like FW, Willis, Clubbed Thumb, 13P, Soho Rep, and on and on make me feel like there's a whole lot of something out there, and I'm proud to somehow be a part of it. I guess I am just a big ole' dorky record geek when it comes to seeing people's work. And I shouldn't ever expect others to be the same. Chip? Get off of my shoulder. Thanks.

To surmise, I think what I'm trying to say is that sometimes I think I care too much. About the work, about the people I work with. I'm loyal, sometimes to a fault, much like this hombre, and while you totally love it when he steps up and kills the way overhyped Dallas Mavericks with seven(!) 3 pointers in a row, he can get tiresome when he gets ejected for having your back when a fan attacks you. And for firing off a gun at a strip club. Not that I have done either. But I'm just saying.

And now, a moment of silence.....

I have resisted writing about this for some time, because ineveitably, when the subject turns to Vonnegut, it turns to my Poppa Dukes. My father and I have a strained relationship at best, but I will forever be grateful that he, like so many other young men who survived the horrors of war and then went out into the world, had a fan boy's enthusiasm for the humanitarism and gallows humor of olde man Vonnegut. I had the opportunity once to meet Vonnegut, at where else the MoMA, back in '02 at the Gerhard Richter preview. I was working it, he was enjoying it, just to clear up any misconception that he and I traversed the same slippery social networks. He was walking out of the preview with his wife, the lovely Jill Krementz, and he told me to smile. I had been dealing with crazy party crashers and the usual insufferables that come along with any MoMA function,and I desperately wanted to go home. Here was this old coot, disshelved and shambling along with his beautiful lady in tow, and he took the time to talk to me. I blanched, recovered quickly, and told him how much his books had meant to my Daddy, and in turn me. I even told him how my father had gone to see him speak at Trinity University in San Anotnio a few years back.('97, I think.)

He then stopped, turned back and said,

'What's his name?'

"Vic," I said.

'You got any paper?',he asked.

" I do."

I grabbed some reciept paper from the counter I was standing at.

'And a pen.'

Yep, I had that to.

He then proceeded to draw a caricature of himself, represented above, signed, 'To Vic.' He then handed it to me, linked arms with Jill, and shambled off into the street, the air still charged with one of the most exciting moments of my life.
It was only later I realized he had never asked my name, nor had I attempted to shake his hand.

I had that sketch framed and gave it to my old man sometime later. It hangs prominently in his workshop and he loves to talk about it to anyone who will listen. He was the first person I called when I found out Vonnegut had died. It was our bond, like some Dad's pass on a love of a certain team to their sons, or a love of The Beatles. My father gave me Kurt Vonnegut. The last month, as I'm sure many others are doing, I have been furiously re-reading all his books, and even some of the one's I'd never read. Vonngeut represents many things to many people, but for me, it will always be his universal kindness and sense of the absurd that rests so deep within my collective unconscious whenever I think of him. He was ours, all of ours, Cantankerous Old Coot of a Grandpa, forever smoking and complaining about that goddamned Bush and Petroleum and the Great Big Greedy machine that is this country. He would also slip you a ten spot when you weren't looking and tell you a dirty joke, and be sure to give you a hug goodbye. You know, just like gramps.
Thank you Kurt Vonnegut, and thank you Daddy. We all thank you.

I wanted to post a track from this little gem of an album I discovered recently, but for some reason, it's encrypted and I can't get the fucker to load. It's from a record called 'Nashville' by Josh Rouse and I can't recommend it enough. So instead I will close this with a great little cover by a fellow Austinite and full time Dulli acolyte, Mr. Jeff Klein. It's a fitting end to this blog post, ramblers. Things will get better me thinks. Look for me on the season finale of Law & Order, original recipe. Now about those mix tape rules....

Blog Song of The Day.mp3