Ready to go? Not even close.

Have I started packing? Of course not. Have I got all my ducks in a row? Not a chance. But, in 24 hours, I’ll be in Jacksonville, probably hanging at some friends’ house and beginning to enjoy my first vacation. Tonight, in lieu of packing, I spent most of my time making phone calls and watching TV (The Apprentice season finale was on tonight).

Tomorrow, I get off work about 1:30 and then I need to leave my apartment by 4:00 to leave myself enough time to definitely make my plane. Things are going to be hectic for the next week or so, but I’ll be updating my blog whenever I can. I’ll be taking lots of photos, too.


I really enjoyed the season and I thought the show was done very well and was very clever. That being said, I think the ending was sort of a crock. Here’s what I mean: Kwame basically got gypped because of the team that he chose. I felt he performed better as a manager because he had to deal with a crummy team while fielding all kinds of bizarre issues. Bill, on the other hand, had a smooth-sailin’ time organizing a golf tournament with honest teammates and very few problems. My point is that I think Kwame would’ve been the hands-down favorite if he’d had a better team and if he’d known he had the power to do things like fire people who lied to him repeatedly. I’m happy for Bill and all, but I felt Kwame was the better man for the job. I hope the producers of the show find a way to make the final task a little more fair to both parties. I felt there were just too many variables that were out of the contestants hands that had a big part in helping “The Donald” make his final decision.

I need to get some sleep since I probably won’t be getting much for the next week or so.


Robin Williams on Inside the Actors Studio

I’ve always been fascinated by Robin if for no other reason than his brain seems to work at twice the speed of most humans’. All he needs is an inkling of an idea and he will go off on a twenty-minute rant about that and any other subject that happens along. He was no different on Inside the Actors Studio and I believe James Lipton when he said Robin’s interview was a five-hour event capped by a girl being sent to the hospital with a hernia due to “uncontrollable laughter.”

I’ve sometimes heard the term “force of nature” used to describe various actors and pop-culture personalities, but I’m not sure I’ve ever felt totally comfortable with that description for anyone until I saw this interview with Robin Williams. The man truly is a force of nature. Once he gets going, I’m not sure if anything can stop him.

What’s amazing to me is that he’s also capable of an Oscar winning performance in a dramatic role (with, of course, a little comedy sprinkled in) in Good Will Hunting and that he can play such convincingly disturbed and introverted characters as he did in One Hour Photo. This was definitely one of the most entertaining interviews I’ve seen to date on the Actors Studio.

Easter with friends

Friday, I wrote about eating dinner with some friends here in Dallas. Today, I went with them to their church and was invited to an Easter lunch afterward. I had a great time just talking with them and enjoying some company for a change. I have enjoyed living alone, but I also enjoy spending time with friends and engaging in meaningful conversation from time to time. I’m glad they invited me to spend Easter with them and I think it made my day much better than it would have been.

Back to the grind with lots to look forward to

Well, of course tomorrow’s Monday and that means I have to go to work, but this week is packed full of stuff that I anxiously anticipating. Tomorrow, I begin the fifth week of my new workout routine and it’ll be the last week before I’m off in Florida next week. Tuesday, I have my second acting lesson. And Friday, I leave for my vacation out east. The rest of the time, I’ve got several books to read, including The Last Battle–the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series–and a few other books I’ve been working through. All in all, I think it’ll be a good week.


It has begun

Man, today was long. I got up at 7, got to work at 8, knocked off work at 4, went home and ate a quick dinner, left for Ft. Worth about 5:20, started my lesson at 6:50, left my lesson about 9:45 and finally got home at 10:50. That left just enough time to watch The Real World and The Osbourne’s before I updated my blog and got ready for bed. I’m worn out and my back’s a little sore ’cause I drove about 150 miles today.

As for acting, the first lesson was, as I expected, an introductory lesson where we talked about where I’m trying to go, what I hope to accomplish and what I want to focus on–technique or the art of acting. We decided we’d spent pretty equal time on both, but put more time into the art up front. We talked about beginning to look for an agent in about three months in hopes that I’ll have an agent in six months. That’s all good and well, but first we gotta’ see if I can act.

This week, we’re reading a scene from Swingers (the one where Trent talks Mike into going to Vegas) and I’m basically supposed to mark up the script and try to be prepared for a read next week. I’m focusing on learning the lines well enough that I can deliver them without thinking about the lines themselves, so I can concentrate on reacting to the way the other character delivers his lines. As I understand it, I need to learn lines well enough that I can say the words without thinking. An analogy that comes to mind is singing while playing the guitar. It took me a long time to be able to do both and the way I did it was ultimately pretty simple: I learned the guitar well enough that I could play that part without thinking about it, so I could focus almost completely on singing over the melody I heard coming from the guitar. If I learn my lines well enough, I can focus almost completely on the situation and what’s happening in the scene.

I guess I’ll just have to see how that goes. I’m pretty nervous, but I think that’ll subside as I get more comfortable with this stuff. For now, I need to get comfortable with my pillow as I’ve gotten less than 12 hours’ sleep over the past couple nights.


Austin hopes revived?

Well, after discussing things with my co-worker today, it seems there may be a way I can get that week in Austin after all. Basically, everything revolves around scheduling and priorities and necessity, but if all those things work in my favor, I could end up being sent to Austin for a week of training some time in May. I ain’t gettin’ my hopes up, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.


Janet Jackson was Letterman’s guest tonight and, as seems to be the trend when Dave interviews divas, things were pretty tense. He seemed to dwell on the incident at the Superbowl this year, but she wasn’t too keen on that. The following is a quote from the interview wherein Dave shared some of his wisdom with Janet:

Here’s the way I look at life: Sometimes, things are good. Sometimes, things are bad. And when things are bad, it’s always important to have someone to blame. – Dave Letterman on Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at this year’s Superbowl half-time show

I was shocked–spooked, really–at how similar Janet and Michael are. And I don’t just mean their faces and voices, I mean they way they speak and carry themselves. It’s pretty creepy.

Roughest workout in a while

Today’s workout was one of the toughest I’ve had in a very, very long time. First, I made the mistake of playing three games of one-on-one after I shot around for about half an hour. Then, I decided to add an exercise to my usual Monday workout. On the third set of my bench press, I was going for 12 reps and only got about 11.8. That meant I had to use the “dummies”, as I call them, to bail me out. I can’t even remember the last time I got stuck like that, but I guess it was bound to happen since I was already exhausted from playing basketball. After that, I got all my reps, but only after coaching myself through each set and continuously talking myself into finishing the workout and not quitting. All in all, it was an intense workout and I’m glad I finished it, but maybe next Monday I’ll lay off the hoops before I hit the weights.

L.A. cohort

Tonight, I talked with a good friend from back at school and we sort of allied ourselves to try and land both of us in L.A. some time soon (ie, within the next couple years). Basically, the arrangement is one where we pass along contacts and leads to each other in hopes that our combined opportunities will enable both of us to be more successful than if we were each relying on our own opportunities. I don’t know how it’ll work out, if at all, but it’s nice to know I have a friend whose goals are similar to mine and who is lookin’ out for me.

And now it’s time to try to sleep.



Although I’m completely out of the running for any of the three pools in which I’m participating, I’m really enjoying the NCAA Tourney this year. This weekend, there were some great games–today’s two games were both nail-biters that came right down to the wire–and I’m looking forward to the Final Four next weekend. A friend of mine is a Georgia Tech grad. and may have a chance to go to San Antonio to see them play. I wish Florida hadn’t gotten rocked in the first round and that I had a chance to go see them play in the Final Four… “maybe next year.”

Dream Job

I didn’t catch the first half of the season, but what I saw of ESPN’s Dream Job was pretty interesting. ESPN has a knack for creating interesting game shows with regular people trying to do extraordinary things in real-time. Beg, Borrow and Deal was a good show and I was disappointed to see it fade at the end of the second season. Dream job, I think, will probably have another season (even if it’s for a different job or with a slightly different twist) some time in the next year.

I thought it was clever that they allowed “America” to choose the finalist and it was neat to see Mike Hall’s salary–$95,000 American–decided on Sports Center on live TV. Overall, I think the show was a good idea, although it was tailored to a very specific audience. But then, pretty much everything on ESPN is tailored to a specific audience: people who dig sports.

The Silver Chair

I’ve read the first couple chapters of the sixth book in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia and I think it’s going to be another great story. He sure has a talent for weaving stories together and using commonalities to make the reader acquainted enough with the environment and characters so as not to be uncomfortable or turned off by the unfamiliar while keeping the story fresh with new plot ideas and characters. I don’t think I’ll have any problem finishing the series before I head to Florida in a few weeks.



Well, of eight games today, I essentially lost six. I still have all my Final Four teams and most of my Elite (or “Great”) Eight teams, but it ain’t lookin’ good. Unfortunately, others who’ve picked Kentucky to go all the way have very similar brackets to mine and haven’t gotten burned like I did in the second round today. There’s still an outside chance I could win it, but it’s a slim one.

Watchin’ the game with the guys

I spent several hours today watchin’ the Tourney games with my buddies and I have to say it was a blast. For one, it’s just fun sittin’ around with a couple guys, screamin’ at the TV and crackin’ jokes at the commentators. For another thing, Tourney time reminds of being at school every March, when things get kinda’ crazy in Gainesville. Usually, around this time, we’ve all just gotten back from Spring Break and, although most people think they can avoid it, we refuse to do work and our performance in our courses begins to slip. Then, just as we’re getting determined to pick it back up in school, March Madness rolls around and we’re sunk. A full month of Conference Tournaments and then the National Tournament distracts us from from school and forces us to spend hours and hours of our time in front of the television, rooting for thirty-something teams, many of which we’ve never heard.

Ah, the Madness. Just thinking about the fun my friends are having in Gainesville right now makes me miss it… and it makes me glad I’m going home for a week at the end of April.

What a poorly written, but emotionally motivated post. I really gotta’ work on that.


Bummed about basketball

Apparently, because CBS does regional coverage of the NCAA Tournament, I won’t be able to see the Florida game tomorrow because they’ll be showing the Texas Tech game instead. So, I guess I’m going to proceed as though they are showing the Florida game–keep my cell off, stay away from IM, avoid e-mail and keep out of earshot of any potential basketball conversations at work–and TiVo it, so I can watch it when I get home. Of course, by “it”, I mean “any little segments or tidbits they might show during the Texas Tech game.” If I remember correctly, CBS tends to sort of bounce around and show bits from games in other regions all day. Hopefully, they’ll show some of the Florida game. Also, I’m thinking that if the game is close down the stretch or goes into OT, CBS might show it. I’ve made my picks and I’ll try and post my bracket once they’re “public.”

Sleepometer runnin’ low

I only got 6 hours of sleep last night, I’ll be lucky to get 6 tonight, I slept horribly on Sunday night and Monday night was only a moderate night’s sleep. So far, I’ve been feelin’ great, had plenty of energy and haven’t felt like I needed a mandatory naptime. But, I’m afraid my lack of sleep is going to catch up with me before the weekend is here. I spent all day today (almost 10 hours) in a meeting and I’ll be in the same meeting tomorrow, although “they” say it’ll only run about 6 hours. I just hope they’re right, ’cause if they’re not, they might have to adjust their voices to compensate for my super loud snoring.

Tunin’ up the workouts

I took last week off from the gym and came back this week with a whole different philosophy. For the past several months (years?), I’ve been training primarily to build some strength and secondarily to build some tone. Mostly, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting pushed around when I played basketball. Last week, I realized it’s been a really long time since I’ve worked out really hard and pushed myself to do a lot of reps and a lot of exercises in short time. So, I decided I’d go back to a workout similar to what I was doing in high school, but only three days a week instead of five. I’m hopin’ to “lean up” a bit and maybe get some of my speed back on the basketball court while maintaining a reasonable amount of strength. I’m also trying to eat better by eating lots of veggies and focusing on not consuming ridiculous quantities of unhealthy food. We’ll see how that goes…


The Academy Awards were on tonight…

And, as anticipated, The Lord of the Rings and company nabbed several awards. I wasn’t too surprised at that, but what did surprise me was when the announcer said that it had won 11 awards, tying Ben Hur and Titanic for the most awards given in a single night. I thought it sounded strange that Titanic had won that many awards. I mean, it was a pretty good movie, but 11? Maybe I should watch it again.

I was happy to see that Lost in Translation got Sofia Coppola an Award for Best Original Screenplay and, although I was sorta’ pullin’ for Bill Murray, I was glad to see Sean Penn finally get an Award (I thought he was robbed a couple years ago when Denzel won for Training Day). I haven’t seen Monster, but from the clips I’ve seen, Charlize Theron earned every ounce of her Oscar. I thought Billy Crystal did a great job hosting, but then he’s been doing it so long, I bet it’s old hat for him by now.

Overall, it was a good show, but I have to say I’m glad Lord of the Rings won’t be up for any Oscars next year. I mean, they were all good movies, but I’d like to see some other films get a chance at some awards. It’s gettin’ old seein’ the same people winning all the awards every year.

Aaaaaand my weekend is officially over.


Real World quote of the week

“You are misinterprettating the situation…” – Brad

Quickly comin’ together

Turns out my computer desk will be here tomorrow, so that means my apartment will essentially be settled and furnished by this weekend. That’s just in time for me to ship out to El Segundo for a week. Ah, sweet irony.

Is there some sort of lame weblog award? I think I could win that. Speaking of winning…

Gators droppin’ the ball

So, we had another basketball game tonight and things seem to be getting worse by the game. I’m pretty sure this is the worst season I’ve seen as a Gator. Tonight’s loss was to Georgia, who already had 10 losses to our 6 or 7. We managed to lose another decent lead by crummy play, careless passing and cruddy defense. It didn’t help that our only senior, Colas, and our best passer/assist leader were out for stupid reasons. Colas is apparently serving a 3-game, University imposed suspension for who knows what, while Christian Drejer is back in Gainesville contemplating playing pro ball in Europe. It looks like there’s an outside chance that we could miss the NCAA Tourney this year, although that’s extremely unlikely. I guess the upside is that we can’t really do much worse and, although we just broke our streak of 98 consecutive weeks in the polls, we have an opportunity to begin a new streak. Of course, the streak I’m interested in starting is a winning streak.



I’ve been watchin’ this show for a couple years now and it’s always really entertaining to me. On tonight’s episode, Michael J. Fox showed up in an interesting role. I think there’s a fine line between acting and temporarily becoming a character or even portraying oneself with a stage name and a slightly different personality; Michael J. did a great job of straddling that line on this episode. It was interesting because he played a doctor suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and I couldn’t ignore the thought that his “character” was venting some of the frustration felt by the player as he battles Parkinson disease.

I guess that was neat because it gave real credibility to his character and I couldn’t help but believe and sympathize with him. But what was even more impressive was that he did such a great job of containing his ailment and working with it in the role. I was specifically looking to see how “afflicted” he seemed on the show and, if I hadn’t known he had Parkinson, I probably never would’ve guessed it. The only hint that I saw was that his character seemed to constantly move–not in a jumpy or jerky way, but he simply seemed to be perpetually moving.

The coolest thing was just seein’ him working again. I watched Family Ties when I was younger and I own the Back to the Future Trilogy on DVD, mostly because he made them so entertaining, whimsical and almost believable. I’m glad to see him back on camera.