Sunday, December 30, 2007

Praise Jee-Zus!

Vatican to Train More Exorcists:
The Catholic Church has vowed to “fight the Devil head-on” by training hundreds of priests as exorcists.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 82, the Exorcist in Chief, announced the initiative amid church concerns about growing worldwide interest in Satanism and the occult.

Under plans being considered, each bishop would have a group of priests in his diocese who were specially trained in exorcism and on hand to take action against “extreme Godlessness”.

“Thanks be to God that we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on,” Father Amorth said.

“Now bishops are to be obliged to have a number of established exorcists for their diocese. Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the Devil. You have to hunt high and low for a proper, trained exorcist.

“Thankfully Pope Benedict XVI believes in the existence and danger of evil, from the time he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”...

The Vatican is concerned that young people are being exposed to Satanism through the media, rock music and the internet.

Weekly Photo Challenge

Dear Dave,

You declared the first photo challenge last week, thinking you would win with Folk-Art Portraits of Muggers.

How the mighty are fallen!

This week it's my turn. But I will be kind. This week's photo challenge is:
New Orleans Neighborhood Grocery Stores.

Have at it, kid. We should each post our entries on Friday.

May the best man win [sic].

Saturday, December 29, 2007


600 Block
Esplanade Avenue

Craig's List's "Missed Connections"

This is too cute - cue the violins:
You were sitting at a corner table with four other guys Friday night. I am one of the three cops sitting at the table across from you. I couldn't help but overhear your conversation about being a PhD from Mississippi. I am from Hattiesburg myself. I have to ask, who were the two hot, masculine muscular guys sitting to your right? I think you are cute too, but I am not into feminine guys.
What is it with fuckin' Hattiesburg?!

Best Quote of the Day ... The Month ... Hell, Maybe the Year!

Speaking of Philip Seymour Hoffman:
"[Mile] Nichols has a problem here, in that, ever since Hoffman slid over the hood of a car in “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” he has developed a habit of bursting into well-behaved movies and taking them hostage."
Anthony Lane, reviewing Charlie Wilson's War in the current New Yorker. I think he's being complimentary.

A Very Nice Man

Last night on Steppin' Out, Al Shea listed his five favorite theatrical events of 2007. He was allowed to express himself nicely throughout the first four, but when he came to his number one choice, he was running out of time because of the constant interruptions of the sunny-bleached moderator who wouldn't shut her blow hole to let him talk.

For that reason, he couldn't say much; but he did manage to say that his number one choice for the best production of 2007 was Valhalla.

Thank you, Al.

Friday, December 28, 2007

More of the Ducks

Actually, this stretch of Veterans' Memorial Boulevard in Metairie reminds me of my hometown.

Say "Uncle"

He-Who-Hates-Me-and-the-Ground-I-Walk-On is begrudgingly beginning to eat his own crow:
The Marigny Theater also displayed a new professionalism in the rollicking [dick sow - I mean "show"] and the surprisingly well-cast and knowing "Valhalla" by Paul Rudnick.
No names, please, with such a left-handed compliment. After all, the whole show just sprang up fully formed, didn't it. And, by the way, although Valhalla was presented at the Marigny Theatre, it was produced by To Do Productions.

Funny he forgot all about Cobalt Blue, considering he was so enamored of Louie that he was dribbling the night he saw the play.

Interesting, too, that he fails to mention that on the night he did come to see our show, he arrived late, perhaps intoxicated over a certain one-man-show acteur, and fell over a row of seats trying to get his mitts on a visiting semi-celebrity.

How even self-perceived power corrupts and corrodes. I think it's time I start taking pity on this sad little man.

Nah, not yet.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So Sorry, Dave

So I'm having this IM conversation with Dave this morning, and I mention that I'm planning on going out to take some pictures.

And he says,"That reminds me. I wanted to go back to Frady's in the Marigny to take a picture. Apparently they got robbed and there is a folk-art portrait of the mugger on the wall outside."

When he seemed to sense I might have an interest in taking the picture myself, he became defensive and petulant.

"Bitch, you best not be taking no pictures in my hood," he whined.

Then he thought better of it and said, "We should make it a competition. ... This week's theme is 'folk-art portraits of muggers'."

As you can see, I beat him to it. Lucky for me Frady's was right around the corner from the Guede sculpture below.

Wild Duck, Veterans Memorial Boulevard

Today turned out to be just another day in Bobbyville. I had intended to run around shooting pictures in the Marigny and the Bywater. Instead, Bobby got a call from a dentist he'd been trying to reach for a little - ahem - emergency, so I wound up driving him to Metairie (that's in Southeast Louisiana just outside New Orleans).

While I waited for him to come out, I found myself fascinated by a flock of wild ducks gamboling on the neutral ground in front of the dentist's office.

This beauty was nesting.

Entrance to Rosalie Alley

This is Guede, a vodou god in front of the alley that leads to a local temple.

Louie tells me that upon their return from the Katrina exodus, the members of this congregation found these myriad pieces of metal strewn about here at the entrance to the alley leading to their temple, left by the receding flood waters. They welded them together to form this statue of Guede.

When I was doing Louie's play Cobalt Blue, I was actually playing a character based on this god. But I didn't know it. Louie kept that information secret from me. He didn't know how I'd react.

Other people had reacted to his interest in vodou by threatening to burn his home. Since he didn't know me that well at the time, he figured discretion was the better part of personal survival.

It was after the opening night's performance that a friend of his approached me to tell me I'd made a wonderful Guede. I thought she knew Bill Geddes, who had once worked for the Department of Labor. It was only later, meeting her again, when I asked her what the hell she had been talking about, that she told me all about Guede.

I immediately realized what I had lacked in preparing the role. Had I known the secret, I'd have portrayed an antic figure, zestful, teasing, and seductive. Instead, I believe I played him wooden and solemn.

I'm intrigued that a people would give a god dominion over both sexuality and death. I'm intrigued by the kind of mind that would see the connection between the two. It's riotously affirmative. It's compellingly, joyously human - which only makes it more godlike.

It seems to me to be an expression of death as being a final roiling, rollicking, cosmic orgasm precipitating new life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Year-End Roundups Begin

Gambit Weekly's Dalt Wonk (that name is for real) mentions Valhalla in his article celebrating the theatre scene of 2007. We're in the third paragraph.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

From Whence I Sprung

I see on my little calendar that yesterday was Forefather's Day. Isn't that Canadian or something? I don't remember ever getting off school for it.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about my own forebears, all peasant stock, I'm afraid. Besides, it being the Christmas season and all, you're supposed to get all nostalgic and sentimental and appreciative, you know.

So we start this little slide show with a snapshot of my mother, her mother, and her mother's mother, may great-grandma. Next is a shot of my great-grandma the way I remember her. She was Sicilian and never learned a word of English from the time she arrived on these shores in 1909 until she died at the age of 92. Then comes the only picture I have of my dad's father, Joseph Emile, followed by a picture of dad's mother, the indomitable Eva Mouton.

What a bunch of old cusses they were.

Friday, December 21, 2007

So Didja Hear the One about the City Council Meeting Yesterday?


Carpet-bagging professional protesters behaving badly.

Councilwoman Stacy Head irrefutably illustrating she has no place in the public forum by throwing kisses to protesting demonstrators. Marie Antoinette didn't do that on her way to the guillotine. Take my advise, lady: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Unlike most people who got their information from the national news, and like most locals here (read any of the Big Easy Bloggers to my right), I have a complex opinion on the matter of the projects.

As a director, I also know street theatre when I see it.

And I know when I am being manipulated by the media.

New Orleans is broken.

Gettin' All Christmas-y and Shit, Part Three

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Take Five

Last night was the last rehearsal for Calme au Blanc for a while. We're breaking for the Christmas and New Year holidays. I confess it's a relief.

I've never prepped a show where we rehearse for a short period of time then break for a month to allow two of the principal actors time off to appear in another play before regrouping to finalize the production for it's opening. It's bizarre, but the play is looking good.

Last night, before leaving, I even told Louie that I'd give anything to see another production of it with a different director and a different cast because his script is so rich. I'd just love to see what different people would make of it.

Afterwards, after helping to load the great "bed" into Louie's pickup, I headed over to the Latrine to catch up with Bobby. Dave, who had just returned from his trip to Oklahoma, was there. We had a ball.

We'll be feeding Dave crawfish soon. So no one needs to worry about the little guy going hungry while he's "between engagements". Oh, and eggs-with-a-bubble. I learned how to cook eggs-with-a-bubble on my George Foreman yesterday.

Today, between the thunderstorms, I'll be doing laundry. It's time. People are beginning to notice that I'm wearing the same clothes day in and day out. Besides, I've run out of socks.

In the meantime, I think I'll scour a few blogs of interest, trying my best to avoid those that meander along about the insignificant little mundane episodes of their writers' insignificant little mundane existences. Don't you just hate those?

Oh, by the way, I met Varla Jean Merman last night! Hot.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

STAT Whore

Oh. My. God. Somebody in Shinjuku, Japan, found me by Googling
How cool is that?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Verti Marte delivers more than expected to Craigslist:
You may have been in this situation before- you order food, the delivery boy arrives at your door, and he's adorable. What's the first thing you do when you close the door? You either whisper something to the effect of "he was really cute!" to whoever you're with or just quietly swoon. After all, how often does an attractive stranger show up on your doorstep? And how often is that attractive stranger bringing you food? So we can all agree that having a hot delivery guy is great. But a handful of internet users recently took their love of a particular delivery boy to new levels by posting in's "missed connections" category and causing a bit of a stir.

"Missed connections" is a section of Craigslist where one can log on and attempt to get in contact with people whose names one doesn't know - for example, one post reads, "You were at Rue de la Course with your red backpack. I tripped, you smiled. We had something, wanna get a drink?"

In early November, posters began to discuss a certain Verti Marte delivery boy and his apparent attractiveness. One post after another - written by both women and men - started to appear. One person said that the mystery man played the accordion. Another referred to him as being tall and handsome. Some posters blatantly confessed their lust. Others responded by calling those discussing the Verti Mart boy "creepy stalkers" or telling women that they need to raise their standards.
This is really uncomfortable. How can people get themselves in a tizzy over a kid on a bike? Whatever happened to real men?

I think I'll start a thread on C-L. Something like:
Hey, you burly, tough-looking guy. I saw you at the theatre in the Marigny the other night. The play was cool; but you were way cooler as you prowled the back of the theatre like you owned the place. I know you saw me staring, cause once I caught your eye, and I swear you winked at me. Somebody told me you were the director of the play. Wanna direct me in something? I'm really good at being bad.
Yeah, that would be neat.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Cold

It's 47 degrees outside. My man parts are huddling together for warmth. By the way, I'm back inside. Fuck the walk.

Gonna Do It

All right. We're starting Project: Improvement today.

I've lined up a series of books I'm going to read - from start to finish.

First up is The Empty Space by Peter Brook. I like the title. Don't you? It kind of fits me.

Actually, I plan on finishing this one. I started it, then got sidetracked.

Next I'll follow with Brooks' The Open Door.

Then I'll finish up with two books about Eleonora Duse.

So I'm strange. What's it to you?

After all these, maybe the last Harry Potter.

But first, I take a walk.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Being Bone Lazy

I have got to get off my ass and take a walk today. For weeks now, I've been laying up way too long in the barcaloungers.

I have to open a book and read something. When I had a job, I read constantly. I was always with a book. I was a standing joke because to some people that's all I seemed to do. I haven't read anything since I walked out the back door of the office for the last time on that Friday afternoon in September, 2006.

I have got to get back into my ballet training ... wait, no, that's not me.

I have to find things to think about.

I have to make pictures, find new scripts to do. I should learn to cook (Bobby gave me a George Foreman for Christmas).

By gum, I'm going to do all this.

Right after my nap.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gettin' All Christmas-y and Shit, Part Two


My blogging friend (and all-around perv!) Kyklops has tagged me with some sort of "viral story" meme-type thingie.

Here are the terms & conditions (apparently from Splotchy, the originator):

"This has probably been done before, but that is not stopping me, oh no.

Here’s what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don’t know how realistic it is, but that’s what I’m aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it’s okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that’s five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours.”
I woke up hungry. I pulled my bedroom curtain to the side and looked out on a hazy morning. I dragged myself into the kitchen, in search of something to eat. I reached for a jar of applesauce sitting next to the sink, and found it very cold to the touch. I opened the jar and realized it was frozen. (Splotchy)

My first idea was to put the applesauce in the microwave. Hey, I was still tired. Could I scoop some out and put whipped cream on it? No, too solid. Why was it so damn cold in here? I walked over to the thermostat and saw that the heat hadn’t clicked on all night and the temperature had dropped substantially overnight. Now, tired and hungry, I opened the access panel on the heater. There’s the problem: why was someone cooking a duck in here? (SamuraiFrog)

I grabbed the bird and bit into a leg. It tasted like cheese. Or chicken. What kind of weird duck was this? I spat out the rancid meat and threw the rest of the duck in the bin.
Jackson strode into the kitchen, his short dreadlocks bouncing lightly around his face.
“Is my duck ready yet?” he said as he turned towards me. “Hey man, put some clothes on!”
Shit, I had forgotten to put on my boxers. (PJ)

Which explained why I was so damned cold. I grabbed a tea towel and tried to make myself look half decent.
Jackson snorted, "You'd do better with a fig leaf!" Yeah, well, whatever.
"So, where's my bird?" Jackson asked.
"In the bin," I snapped, "where it should be - thing died long, long ago."
"You binned my bird?" Jackson's eyes had started to bulge with rage. "Why you..."
"It would've killed you," I yelled as he lunged at me, the breadknife in his hand. "Damn! It was only an off-duck!" (Absolute Vanilla)

"An off-duck? Fuck off," he screamed, his arm poised to bring the knife plunging down into the general direction of my now racing heart. He stopped short.
"Hey, isn't that tea towel part of the set my auntie gave to me last year?"
"Er, yeah, I guess so..."
"What the fuck are you doing covering your ding-a-ling with it?"
"My "ding-a-ling"...?"
"Yeah, your prick, arsehole. Jesus, you never heard of Chuck Berry?"
I'm naked, I'm covering my "ding-a-ling" with Jackson's auntie's tea towel, and I've just binned his bird.
The doorbell rang. (Kyklops)

It was Jackson's auntie.
One look at me and she screamed.
She snatched the tea towel from my nether parts and demanded, "What are you doing with my gift to ..."
But she couldn't finish her tirade. She began to laugh. I was mortified.
"It's the cold," I exclaimed. "The cold. This is normal shrinkage." (Bigezbear)

I tag (out of sheer spite and/or revenge):
Dave (who won't bite)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

History's Mysteries

Every now and then, in the midst of all the muck of the daily grind, good things happen to people who deserve them.

You know who you are.

Be bold. Be true. Be good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I wish people who regularly go to the theatre attended rehearsals. Rehearsals can be wondrous things.

Calme au Blanc is growing in ways I never expected, in ways Louie never expected it to grow either, I'm sure.

I am so struck by the mental images that actors can conjure in my mind as they walk around the playing space speaking lines penned in a cramped room by a single man. Archetypes and myths become tangible to me.

I can't explain it. I wouldn't care to. I just relish the rapture.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Season's Grievings

Sometimes you just want to lock yourself away and hibernate. This dark cloud always hovers over me during the holiday season.

It's a season of lacks and emptiness when one remembers the losses of all the years of one's long life. Family, friends, opportunities, chances, roads not taken.

It's the season when I invariably long for the gifts of detachment and self-sufficiency, of painlessness; when I long for dreamless sleep.

There are so many good-byes in a lifetime. And grief never ends. It becomes a part of us.

Now playing: Rufus Wainwright - The Maker Makes
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 8, 2007

For Sale

Companies Sell 'Holy Water' | Newsweek BeliefWatch: Lisa Miller |
You need only go back to the first chapter of Genesis to see how elemental water is to the observance of faith: "And the Spirit of God," the Bible says, "moved upon the face of the waters." In the Torah, water is used to ordain priests and to purify the sons of Aaron before they enter the temple. In the New Testament, John baptizes Jesus with water from the Jordan River. Observant Muslims wash hands and feet before they pray, orthodox Jewish women take ritual baths once a month—and every Christian denomination still uses water as part of its sacred rites. Mormons, when they take the weekly sacrament, drink water instead of wine.

So it's not surprising that a few savvy marketers would seize on this universal symbol of purity for financial gain. Inspired, perhaps, by vitamin and energy waters, a number of new companies have begun making more explicit claims: their water doesn't just promote good health, it actually makes you good. Holy Drinking Water, produced by a California-based company called Wayne Enterprises, is blessed in the warehouse by an Anglican or Roman Catholic priest (after a thorough background check). Like a crucifix or a rosary, a bottle of Holy Drinking Water is a daily reminder to be kind to others, says Brian Germann, Wayne's CEO. Another company makes Liquid OM, superpurified bottled water containing vibrations that promote a positive outlook. Invented by Kenny Mazursky, a sound therapist in Chicago, the water purportedly possesses an energy field that Mazursky makes by striking a giant gong and Tibetan bowls in its vicinity. He says the good energy can be felt not just after you drink the water but before, when you're holding the bottle.

The most recent entry in this niche is Spiritual Water. It's purified municipal water, sold with 10 different Christian labels. The Virgin Mary bottle, for example, has the Hail Mary prayer printed on the back in English and Spanish. Spiritual Water helps people to "stay focused, believe in yourself and believe in God," says Elicko Taieb, the Florida-based company's founder who was formerly in the pest-control business. All three companies give a portion of their profits to charity.
Me, I can vouch for the miraculous qualities of holy water, yeah. Around thirty years ago, somebody gave me a Blessed Mother bottle of Lourdes water. In all that time, it has never evaporated.

I wish I could remember where I left it.

I'd like to put it up on eBay.

Don't worry, I'll find it. God and Jesus and Mary all look out for me.

Friday, December 7, 2007

An Open Letter to D * * e

Gee, D * * e,

Have you ever noticed all the members of your posse wear the same eyeglasses?!

'Sup with that?

Your friend,

G * * * n

Gettin' All Christmas-y and Shit, Part One

A Day of Leisure

For the first time in a week, I'm facing a day with nothing to do. No errands to run, no CD's to burn, no rehearsal to conduct.

I can devote myself entirely to Bob and his needs.

Somebody get me outta here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thursday Morning Gratuitous YouTube Post

On Being Born Again

So it's a new play by Louie Crowder. It's called Calme au Blanc. It has Keith and Liz and Jason and Chris.

And a bed.

Last night we put Act One on its feet, and it was beautiful.

So much to learn from this play. I hope we do it justice.

Or at least, do it well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Good Night's Rehearsal

They know what to do. They know where to be.

They make me look good ...


I hate 'em.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dave Has Passed

At 11:32 AM, I received the news - via text message - that Dave Hotstream had passed.

Dave was only 38 years old - or 39, I can't remember which - and thus not at what some would consider an appropriate age for passing. Or maybe it was just the right and fitting time for him. Or maybe he was a late bloomer.

I believe he is finally in a better place.

I'm sure his friends plan to raise a few brews for him this evening at the Latrine. I sincerely hope to be among that number.

Hail, Dave. Godspeed on your journey.

Did I mention he passed his finals and will graduate nursing school?

Now we can all get good and stinking sick!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I Need an Editor ...

... Otherwise, I'll have to do it myself.

Writing is the act of putting words together in order to communicate one's thoughts. I've always believed the best way of doing this was to let the words write themselves. Then later, you come back and reread the piece in a cooler frame of mind - and edit.

Our lives are not so different.

And I think it's time to review, reread, rethink - and edit.
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