I love stumbling across a song I haven’t listened to in a while and needing it on repeat. Today’s version of that is Songs: Ohia’s “Just Be Simple”

The bookshelves are finally coming together.

A little mini-project that popped in my head this evening: imissyoursmell.com

If you are trying to reach me by phone, too bad.

What’s the current best way to do Remote Desktop between two Macs? It’s been a while since I needed this setup but I’m there now.

I was hoping that this feature would be part of the Universal Control features that are promised for Monterey but it doesn’t seem that will happen.

Working on my first new script in many years. It’s a very personal piece. I’m not sure how well it actually play. The characters seem to have found themselves quickly. Their voices and demeanors have jumped right out. Even the complexity between them has been immediate.

It’s the question that’s haunted me for years. Round tortilla chips or triangle tortilla chips?

Nutrition is a Weird Beast

I just spent a bit of time trying to identify the simplest foods possible to meet some macros for the shred program I’m starting on Monday.

The nutrition calculator gave me the numbers in this image.

I tried to simplify that down to as few foods as possible just to get a sense of things. Two pounds of chicken breast would get me 200-225g protein and about 900-950 calories. Two cups (cooked) of white rice would give me 76g of carbs and 340 calories. Let’s say we add some (3 tbsp) butter to the rice for about 34g of fat and 300 calories. Probably 2 tbsp of olive oil to sear the chicken for 27g of fat and 238 calories.

That all adds up to:

  • Protein: 225 g (950 cal / 52%)
  • Carbs: 76 g (340 cal / 19%)
  • Fats: 61 g (528 cal / 29%)
  • Total Calories: 1828 cal

I’d probably choose some other fats like coconut oil and that’s way too much butter but the chicken will have some fat in there. Also, I might sometimes prefer black beans to rice and they would have a little more protein. Still, this comes in closer than I expected when I first started looking at the numbers.

Now the trick is how to hit these kinds of numbers with anything that looks remotely like variety or, god forbid, something green.

The sky after a long day of putting up fence.

If you need to bliss out with generative ambient space sounds, this video is the one you want. Some sweet Vangelis sounds in here with a tasteful traffic sound sample and lots of delicious beeps and boops.

I’m watching Star Trek: Discovery - S3E7 - a character just said “Your methods and motives are clouded, even to you.” Guess I’m sending these writers a check for the therapy session instead of my actual therapist.

New additions at the farm

The Power of Teachers

Our short run of shows for the Little Women play ended yesterday. It was a warm, sweet, and tender play. The relationships between the sisters really stood out as the heart of the show. I stand in awe of how those women brought that dynamic to life.

It didn’t hit me that the show had ended until this morning. In the middle of a workout, I just started crying remembering the laughs, the frustration, the breakthroughs, and the discoveries we made along the way. Theatre has that impact on you.

Rare in life are the opportunities we have to be vulnerable and creative with a group of near strangers. It is truly one of the oddest forms of creative expression. However, there is a magic bond that forms between the cast which exists for only a brief, shining moment. If you try to hold on to it for too long, it slips through your hand like an alchemist clutching quicksilver.

For me, specifically, this show represents the first real stage experience I’ve had since I was in high school. I had a walk-on part in a production about 15 years ago but that was more of a goof than an actual role. So, I’ve given some thought to what might connect then and now. What ties together these two parts of my life separated by almost 30 years?

The answer is a teacher. In high school, I was a football player. It’s probably the reason I got my scholarship to Darlington. But, I hated it. I was injured, tired, and bored. Somehow, my English teacher David Powell convinced me to try out for a play called The Lark. I had no idea what I was doing. I had never seen a play nor did I know anyone who had.

David encouraged me to explore it as a way to understand some of the literature that I loved, namely Shakespeare. Presumably, he saw something in me that I didn’t know existed. That’s the superpower of a great teacher. Sure, there’s the ability to educate but more than that is the ability to recognize that which is not yet evident. It’s a clairvoyance that borders on the miraculous.

My grandmother was a performer in the years before I was born. She created a children’s TV show for the local station in our hometown. She did vaudeville-style variety shows and made puppets and even starred in a few musicals in our local theatre. But, that mostly happened before I was old enough to see it.

So, maybe it was in my blood. Even if it wasn’t, after that first day at rehearsal in 1992, I knew that I was hooked. I wrote one-acts and acted in plays and even helped direct a production of The Foreigner. But, it all fell away in college. A misguided attempt to “put away childish things.” Still, that thrill of the stage never goes away.

Fast forward to 2020. Like many of you, the pandemic made me look around and think about how I might better spend my time. On a lark, I enrolled in acting classes at the local community college. A friend of mine is a professor there and said they had recently hired a passionate, energetic young teacher to lead the drama program. It was fortuitous timing.

I might never know what Grae Greer thought when a large, 45 year old man with a family and a full-time job showed up on the first day of class. If nothing else, there must have been some curiosity. Whatever those thoughts were, in the following weeks, we would discover a shared love of the language and the performance. We would fall into that rhythm that a talented teacher and an engaged student can find.

We pushed each other. We agreed and disagreed. But, most of all, she welcomed me with open arms and nudged that part of me that went dim some time ago. She poked at it and brought it back to life in only the way that a true educator can do.

Grae and David are separated by a half a lifetime of experience but their willingness to engage me with honesty and curiosity is what each of us should strive for in life. Open, opinionated, smart, questioning, energetic, and with a high standard for excellence, they are the people who we run into in life that ask us to find the better part of ourselves and run with it. In short, they are educators.

All of that culminated in the run of shows over the last two weeks. It was an unmitigated pleasure to be a part of this cast and this show. I can’t wait for the next one. I wish that all of us find a teacher who can show us the way.

I’ve just started rereading Alastair Reynolds’s Revelation Space. I had forgotten how great this book is. So many intriguing ideas and tantalizing thoughts about long history and how the human psyche might perceive it. 📚

From this fall’s adaptation of Little Women at OCTC.

📷

An Arts Collective for Owensboro

It would be awfully exciting to create an arts collective here in Owensboro.

It seems I’m often told that if I want to achieve something I should set a goal. Then, to make it concrete I need to write it down and/or share it with other people. That makes it more real and builds some accountability. In that vein, I share this idea.

My recent experience putting on a play with OCTC has convinced me that there are passionate, talented, and driven people who care about the arts (theatre, music, visual art, etc.) and how those activities can support, grow, and define a community. We have these people in abundance here in Owensboro. They are wonderful people with vision and experience and focus. I consider myself fortunate to have fallen in with some of them. It feels like the happiest of accidents.

If this is a happy accident, I’d like to grab fortune’s favor and make hay with it. What I’d like to do is to build some sort of nexus around which all these people, projects, and passions can orbit. Its foundation would be a multi-use space where theatre productions could be stood up, or an art gallery could exhibit, or a class on costuming could be held, or a musical performance could happen. A physical place whose mission is to provide space for the exercise of our collective creative spirit.

That word collective is important. Its members would share a mission of education and championing new visions of art in our community. Let’s paint with new materials. Let’s build sculptures with items from our environment. Let’s put on new plays that can’t be seen anywhere else. Let’s do Shakespeare in a way that challenges our assumptions. Let’s push on the political and social boundaries of our community. Let’s a be a force for change.

There are already people working to make this kind of change. I am not interested in diminishing their existing work or taking away from the reputations they’ve built. Instead, I want to enable and connect them with a space we can share and grow together.

There are a million things to consider and a million places to start. Stating my intention is where I choose to begin. Want to join me? Get in touch.

We Knew This About Pollution

I can see smokestacks from the chair I’m sitting in. They mostly belong to an older coal-fired power plant that rarely operates these days. However, as ProPublica recently published, there are several smaller facilities near me pumping Benzene and other chemicals into the air.

I think we all know that corporations like the ones in ProPublica’s article are polluting. But, I also think most Americans believe that those corporations are operating within some mandated set of guidelines. That is true, most of these businesses are operating exactly in line with the regulations that the government as set for businesses of this type. However, those guidelines are woefully inadequate.

ProPublica has taken a crucial step here and looked at each of these facilities not as individual entities but in the aggregate. That has allowed them to assess the pollution danger of an entire community based on the multitude of harmful polluters. So, even if one of these corporations is working right up to the limit, when there are 3 or 4 or 7 in a community, that combined effect is orders of magnitude worse for the people who live in that community.

Meanwhile, you and I recycle the glass bottle we drank out of and think that we somehow made a difference in our environment. These corporations, and the many other sectors of industry that play the same game, need to be held into account by a regulatory system that aims not to strike a balance between commerce and health but which elevates the health of a community above that of a corporation.

The old saying goes, “I will forgive but never forget.” This is backwards. It puts all the labor on the aggrieved. Instead, I want my enemies to live in fear of my demanding retribution meanwhile, I will forget they exist.

The Difference Between an Artist and a Engineer

I’m watching a replay of the Blue Origin launch. Specifically, I’m watching William Shatner’s comments to Jeff Bezos after they return. What he says is interesting, if not terribly novel. But, when I watched the video embedded at that link, what I’m struck by is Bezos’s behavior. In the middle of Shatner trying to share something that he clearly is feeling very deeply about, Bezos interrupts him and demands a bottle of champagne be brought over. Shatner stops speaking and recoils a bit. Bezos offers it to him and he declines.

Then, Shatner physically takes a step back from whatever grandstanding Bezos is doing. He turns away and looks to the horizon or perhaps off camera to maybe someone else he’d rather talk to. Dipshit Bezos just stands there laughing maniacally. When they return, you can tell that Shatner has put aside his real persona and is taking on some version of himself. He’s realized that what Bezos wants is a show and not something real at all. It’s a perfect illustration of how art and science and further, commerce, are uncomfortable bedfellows.

A friend shared this wonderfully detailed video about how clans work in the matrilineal culture of the Cherokee.

I really love watching Billy Crudup in The Morning Show. So many strong choices that bring a wonderful chaotic energy into the performance.

I’ve been vacuuming up the stinkbugs infiltrating my home. Every time, I dispatch them with an action movie catchphrase like “JOIN YOUR FRIENDS IN HELL!” or “ADIOS, MUTHAFUCKAS!”

There was a school shooting in Texas today. You didn’t hear about it? Doesn’t that bother you? I didn’t know until I scrolled down 4/5 of the way on the NYTimes homepage. We are numb to violence in our schools. We have lost our moral center.

Sometimes people crack a little bit. They don’t fall apart. They develop a fissure out of which might fall their ambition, motivation, or even some part of their personality. Our society does a horrible job of helping to repair these cracks.