Almost didn’t go to work

This morning at about 0715 I left my house.
I hopped into my car and slid ”Bat Out of Hell” in to the CD player. The day was going about the same as any other day, but today an antsyness (if this is even a word) hummed in the very back my mind – an almost imperceptible longing.
I crossed the bridge on 495, which I am sure is about the same as any other bridge the country. And then “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” came on. From the first few squealing guitar notes everything seemed to change.
The cars in front moved to the left and right, making a hole just begging to punch the gas pedal and fly through.
I did.
My car seemed synched to the music. The guitar, drums, and that especially wonderful raunchy voice of Ellen Foley (Most people think it was Karla DeVito because she appears in the live video) drove the handling of the car.
I came to the exit, which leads to my office. I looked at it; looked at it again; and changed my engine button from Eco to Sport and punched the pedal again. I was flying. The road moved under the car. \
I sped down 495 for five miles and approached the last possible exit. If I kept going, I’d be gone for the day; speeding through Philadelphia, then New York, and then who knows. But as Robert Frost said;
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
I turned off the highway; I took the exit: I returned to a day of, as Thoreau said, “quiet desperation.” At least for now.

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Beer Report #1

sixpoint-brewery-year-round-beers-BENGALIOkay you guys have been asking for my report from “Bill’s Year of Beer.”

Best beer to take out of someone’s refrigerator and pretend it was an accident -Road To Ruin IPA (https://tworoadsbrewing.com/beers/view/road-2-ruin-double-ipa).

Best beer to Drink after a cast party in Chapel Street, Dogfish Head 60 minute https://www.dogfish.com/brewery/beer/60-minute-ipa

Best beer to drink when you want to self-medicate even though your problems will be just as big Monday Two Hearted Ale https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/287/1093/

Beer to drink as the Cowboys break your heart. Evil Genus Stacy’s Mom IPA https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29022/149689/

Worst beer you’ve ever tasted Seed Free and Joy https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/20688/126680/

Second worst beer Sea Quench Ale https://www.dogfish.com/brewery/beer/seaquench-ale

Best beer to drink before you decide not to drive on a Saturday night. Brooklyn East IPA http://brooklynbrewery.com/brooklyn-beers/perennial-brews/brooklyln-east-india-pale-ale

Best IPA to drink at a cast party when you’re supposed to be rehearsing. Bengali http://sixpoint.com/beers/bengali/

 

How Delaware Ruined Catfishing

I stood on the south bank of the Delaware’s C&D Canal seething. The gorgeous morning laughed at me as cast after cast inevitably snagged on the ocean of boulders used to build the waterway. The southside is almost unfishable because of the enormous rocks.
But on the north side – heaven. There are plenty of spots where the bank is shallow and access to the gentle moving water is generous and for that matter – safe.
The north side has a gorgeous fishing pier jutting out to the water. Disabled anglers can drive up to the pier, roll up, bait hooks, toss a line in and fight the battle royal. To be clear the facilities are there just waiting, but while they can do it – they may not.

 

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The steep rocky bank on hte South side

The pier, the road, and some of the great and safest fishing spots are denied disabled and able-bodied anglers. You see, vehicular traffic is prohibited on the north side because – ironically – that is reserved for people who limbs work – it’s bicycles and runners only.

 
The gorgeous pier is now effectively off-limits. State leaders will tell you (with a wink and a not) people can still fish from the pier; one just has to walk there from the parking area, but

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The Gorgeous Pier No One Can Use

that’s not reasonable. From the parking area to the fishing spots is quite a haul and it is all but impossible for a wheel chair to make.

 
So the people who fork over money for fishing licenses are sent to unfishable on the side of the canal, while the cyclists and runners – who pay nothing – frolic on North side.

Big Brother 19 Orgy of Bullying

I have been watching Big Brother for years and for the most part have enjoyed it, but Thursday’s episode was horrific. If CBS does nothing about it – by inaction – the network endorses this abhorrent behavior.
Even though Jessica Graf and Cody Nickson may be the worst players ever to play and perhaps the two tilt toward the obnoxious;

the abuse, bullying, and terroristic threatening heaped upon them by the house was repellant, disgusting, and dangerous.

The entire house, except two cowards hiding inside, followed Graf and Nickson to the back yard and seemingly circled they two lying on a Hammock and began hurling insults. It was akin to watching African wild dogs corner wildebeests. Josh Martinez ran around banging frying pans (not unlike psyops in a military operation), Raven Walton hurled expletive after expletive at the two, an through it all Paul Abrahamian danced in the background like some satanic character whose vile plan was coming to fruition.

On to the cowards and there are two and one honorary coward
1. Matthew Clines watched from a far mumbling about how the even was all wrong. Yet he did nothing.
2. Mark Jansen watched from the doorway shaking his head and also did nothing.
3. Honorary coward Kevin Schlehuber the oldest of the group, did nothing as well. He of all of them should know better

These three were aware enough of the situation not to get sucked in, but were too cowardly to act. Shame on them.

The whole thing showed the worst of television and breakdown of decorum.

Dunkirk Review

Saw Dunkirk this weekend.
If you don’t know the history of the event, you will probably love it. If you do know the history, you’ll probably just like it.
The movie is almost too clever for itself. It views the event through the time of the guys on the beach (four days), the flotilla across the English Channel  (one day) and the RAF fighter planes (one hour). The result is a sometimes-confusing view of three different time segments back-to-back. Once you understand what you are look at, it all makes sense.
There is of course lots of action, but the film never explains why Hitler stops his ground attack at the town of Aa, other than a passing reference to the Luftwaffe doing the job by air. The film never talk of the bravery of the French who held German infantry at bay for almost four days giving the flotilla the time to arrive.
The big dramatic reveal of all the civilian boats in the water at Dunkirk is kind of sloppily done and never really hits the right note.
It’s okay, but not the movie history buffs will like. Dunkirk info

Trump Resistance Led By Women

I have in recent weeks come to more respect the bravery of women. They have seemed to show a level of courage sorely lacking in many of us men.
I speak specifically about the courage liberal and conservative women are showing in their approach to current presidential initiatives. From Susan Collins, to Elizabeth Warren, to Lisa Murkowski, to Allison Grimes; all seem to be willing to thwart presidential initiatives in numbers that don’t seem to be reflected in the male population.
From the protest of predominantly women the day after the inauguration to now it has been women, who seem to be leading the anti-Trump charge. They have made mistakes along the way, (such as disenfranchising right to life female marchers) but by-and-large it is women of all stripe that have been leading from the front.
This isn’t to suggest that women who support Trump aren’t brave; how could they be otherwise. They just aren’t the point of this note (maybe I’ll chat about them later).
My only point is the Trump resistance seem to be led by women, while men who should be in the fight sit on the sidelines, seemingly waiting it out until the tide changes, stays the same, or ebbs.
It is at least interesting.

First Night On Stage

Last night, Thursday 18 April 2017 was the first night the cast of “The Maltese Duck) hit the Reedy Point Players stage in Delaware City, Delaware. I’ll talk more about the actual stage in a different post, but it has a proscenium arch and I love that word.

Kate and I (co-directors) watched as the Sherry Stricko, Brooks Black, and Nicole Pierce took to the boards. Since we are a few weeks from the June 17 “One Stage, Many Stories” event, the stage was empty. We got a bench and a few chairs from a back room and simulated the set.

Kate and I blocked the movement on a white board before coming to rehearsal, but we wanted to run it through without blocking to see what the actors did and see if an “organic” blocking was better.

Glad we did.

The actors surprised us with some imaginative things we had not considered; it was really quite beautiful.

Kate and I gave some initial notes and the blocking changed a tad and the actors used different emphasis on their parts. It all went better the second time around.

Being first time directors, Kate and I were a bit hesitatnt to give notes because we figured the actors knew more than we do. On the way home, we talked awhile and had an epiphany.

Part of our job is not only to create a production in line with our vision, but the actors are counting on us to make sure they have a safe place to apply their craft.

Part of making the safe place is to see things they can’t because they are right in the middle of what they are doing and don’t have an outside perspective.

Lucky for me, I chose great actors so my life is easy, but that idea of keeping the stage a safe place is pretty important stuff.