August 2009


Note: Don’t try this at home, kids!  At least not until you’re over 21…

Hawaii Gagaku Society is a weekly social-life-saver.  Yeah, the sitting around practicing ancient music on plastic versions of ancient instruments is pretty dang awesome in itself, but more to the social point, I get to hang out with a bunch of seriously dorky, music-loving adults who bring the most amazing potluck entrees and enjoy talking like pirates, dweebishly punning, and mocking Japanese commercials.  It’s my only big non-theatre-people-and-gamers social outlet.  I bring this up as a sort of prelude to my explanation of how we discovered “rum’s favorite cookie.”  See, I don’t always have time to cook my potluck contribution, and this often means that after I flail at the contents of my refrigerator I resort to hitting the grocery store for a bag of chips or cookies.  A couple weeks back, I saw bizarre specialty Oreo cookies on sale, and I wound up buying a great big bag of the reverse kind that have Vienna finger-style white cookies and chocolate filling.  They’re sort of inside out as compared to conventional Oreos.  Anyhow, at our usual Sunday gagaku rehearsal/potluck yesterday, there was still half a bag left in the storage closet, so they wound up on the table with everything else.  At the same time, someone had brought black-strap “Cruzin” rum (and yes, this meant much pirate-talking).  At some point, nearly everyone at the table started dunking the cookies, and lo and behold, everybody thought the combination was the most awesome thing since normal Oreos met milk!  “It’s rum’s favorite cookie!” someone who remembered the “milk’s favorite cookie” ad campaign declared, and you know, our version is so dang much more awesome than the Nabisco version that I felt like I had to share it with the world ^_^.  And now you know.  Heeeeee.  -EGD

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Ah, the back to school sales!  Ah, the bills!  Ah, the coming of a time when holding down a full-time job is not physically viable!  Ladies and gentlemen, school starts on Monday.

As I sit here at work, staring at the usual tools of the IT operator (coffee, 15 computer monitors, eight keyboards, three phones, worn console notebooks, rack upon rack of tapes and the gigantic tape machine), I find myself wondering “um… how am I going to cope with the pay that comes of only doing this for 16 hours a week?”  The answer is, clearly, that I need to sell off all those bodily organs I’m not using.  Anyone need a nice, clean kidney?

Alternately, I’ve got hundreds of thousands of words sitting around on my external hard drive, and by gosh, most of them are neatly arranged into novel-length manuscripts.  This may be a more useful thing to observe, though, if I actually had the time and energy to expend on convincing publishers they’re worth something while holding down the hours of a full-time theatre MFA candidate with a part-time job.  Ok, so we’re back to that kidney.

I think, perhaps, I need to find me an enthusiastic literary agent who doesn’t restrict him/herself to one genre bracket.  I couldn’t tell you why, exactly, but I write pretty much everything but romance/erotica, and I write stuff for all ages.  Shoot, I’ve even written picture books, I’ve written plays, and I tried to write a novel in Japanese once, long ago, when I was feeling insane and ambitious.  I write rock songs on napkins.  I write travelogues that number in the thousands of pages.  I have some quite nice graduate-level research papers, including one on modern Brechtian Broadway musicals that I’m partial to.  I’ve got a historical fiction cold-case murder mystery in the works.

I really wish I could make effective use of all of this to support my theatre habit.  Lately, acting causes more bills than it pays, and writing doesn’t cost me more than paper and hard drive space.  It says a lot about my life that it might have actually been simpler if I’d fallen head-over-heels for the novel writing trade instead of for live theatre.  Novelists often have it just as rough as actors, only novelists make their own working hours.

Still in all, I want to act, and I am giddy with anticipation for this semester.  I’m learning how to be a Beijing Opera (Jingju) actor from the very best Chinese master actors!  SQUEEEEEEE!  Dang, I love my graduate program.  Now, if only it were free like that lovely musical theatre BA for which I had a National Merit Scholarship…

Ah, well.  Kidney anyone?  Kidney?