Sunday, February 29, 2004

And here I find myself again...

Nine months ago I found out a week before graduation that I would not be getting any financial assistance for graduate school from the school that usually gives out full ride assistanceships. That precipitated my move to California, to the sound of many doors slamming loud enough to be very clear that I was supposed to be heading out here.

Now, things are rapidly disentigrating. My 'main' job had decided that i"m not working enough hours to recieve benifits. Those were cut off a few days ago......

I'm interrupting myself to give you a special, up to the minute update. Yesterday I auditioned for the summer theater program of the PCPA. Today the man who did the audition called back to ask if I'd like to be considered for their two year program. Long story short, I HAVE A CALLBACK!!!!....

So anyway, my job is going to hell. Because I'm not full time my housing is in jeopardy, and I may not be able to live here much longer. I may not be able to live in the area for much longer either. It's really expensive to live here. Rent is almost as expensive as in San Francisco. Way more expensive than L.A. But maybe something to do with my career will pull together. Tuition is cheap in CA for a resident.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

My first Audition

I had my first audition today. If you'll notice I'm now keeping a talley of my attempts to break into the industry. I'll know in two or three weeks if there are any roles available to me...

Alright everyone...lets get down to brass tacks here. I'm sure there will be plenty of commenting after this, but I don't care. I really feel I have to respond to the response that was generated by my last blog.

First of all, I think some of you misunderstood what I was trying to say. God loves everyone. Period. More than anyone else loves anybody. He even said so over and over and over again.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believe in him shall not perish, but have everylasting life."

So, for point one. God does not love only Christians, nor was my last message meant to imply that at all. Quite the contrary.

So, starting with the basis that God loves every human that is, and was, and ever shall be, he also is not a God to let everyone wander around blind. God wants everyone one of the people he loves so much to have the best possible life (that does not mean a trouble-free, easy one) in relationship to him. "This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

God is not an "Anything goes" kind of God. Yes, he associated with the best and the worst of people. He went among prostitues and swindlers, common peasants, religious aristocracy, outcasts, and even the social and ethnic outcasts. He was willing to meet people where they were. He was not content to let them stay that way. He told every person to "come Follow me." Some did, some didn't. That's the choice we all get to make. And he didn't say " I am A way" but "I am THE way." So, if you are a Christian, and believe that the Bible is true (whether you believe every word is inspired, or picking and choosing -- the Red Letter parts aren't usually as in disupte), you have to accept that Christ is the way to God. That is the entire reason you get to become a Christian. The basic belief. Andas a corollary of that, you must therefore also acknowlegde that other religions are, at best, less perfect ways to find God, or at worst, false. (And I can divert you to several theologans who can go into that discussion with far greater depth than I, I'm not going to get into it now.)

So, to 'sum up,' to say that God doesn't love someone because they aren't a christian is really quite out of place. It is because God loved us that we are able to follow him.

For those that do not...I think there are people that will be accepted as God's Children even without following Christian Creed. There are people in the world who will never have a chance to hear anything about Christ at all. In the Bible it says that those who are never introduced to his message will be judged based on what they believe to be true, and then how well they follow it. But there is no guarantee that way. Why take the chance?

Saying that God doesn't love people because they aren't christians is like getting mad at the architect because he didn't save you from getting hurt, when you decided to jump the ravine instead of taking his lovely new bridge.

So there it is. You aren't obligated to agree with me. I am neither a seminarian, nor a theologan. The best way to determine if what I'm saying is valid is to dust off your Bible and compare what I'm saying to it. That's where I try to get my information. It's the best authority there is.

I feel better now.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

I'm sitting here listening to a lady talk on the phone. Mid dinner she recieved a call that her nephew was in a car accident and is in ICU with two blood clots in his brain. He's completely unconscious, and they're trying to keep him that way. Something to do with the bloodclots.

I gave her a hug. Somehow I couldn't help myself, though it is completely unlike me. Then I apologised...

She's been in the lobby making calls for over an hour trying to get information to her family. Thank God the boy is a Christian...and a very recent one. (eavesdropping picks up wonderful little tidbits) So anyone who wants to can pray for his body without needing to add one for his soul.

Rain Rain everywhere. It's wet and cold. How can the air be so dry and so wet at the same time?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Today I turn in a resumee/headshot packet. Monday I mail in my PCPA application with all my collected info, recommendation letters, and transcripts. I forgot about ordering a transcript....dang it! I hope I get a job out of this. I spent $60 yesterday on headshot printing and resumee supplies. And stuff. Don't forget the stuff...

I'm so tired. I was out with a friend late last night. Her daughter had run out of gas. I hadn't seen her in a week or so, so I tagged along for the ride. The girl had passed three gas stations, then run out halfway up a hill. So we picked her up. Took her back to one of the gas stations she'd passed. The daughter spent the whole ride claiming that she KNOWS how far she can push her car, and the stupid thing just wouldn't do it. Once we got there, She couldn't figure out how to take the nozzle off. Then pumping the gas wasn't working. We got back, and the can leaked. She put a little into the car, put away the gas can and discovered an age old fact. Cars don't start well with very low gas on an incline. So she repeated the process. The car wouldn't start for the longest time. Finally, we think, she just cussed at it enough to scare it into going.

Then what do you suppose she did?

Did she drive immediatly to the nearest station to fill up?

Of course not.

She drove 4 miles to the middle of nowhere where we all live...Five miles and major hills away from the nearest gas station.....teenage logic. I don't get it.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

And now for something completely different... Not from Shakespeare, but pretty darn old.

The Lying Valet, by David Garrick.

Oh woman, woman, foolish woman! she'll certainly have this Gayless: nay, were she as well convinced of his poverty as I am she'have him. A strong dose of love is worse than one of ratafia; when it once gets into our heads, it trips up our heels and then, good night to discretion. Here is she going to throw away fifteen thousand pounds; upon what? faith, little better than nothing-he's man and that's all-and heaven knows mere man is but small consolation.

Be this advice pursued by each fond maid.
Ne'er slight the substance for an empty shade:
Rich, weighty sparks alone should please and charm ye:
For should spouse cool, his gold will always warm ye.

Camilla, by Madeleine L'Engle

Frank was not going to come.

I went down to Ninth Street. I did not want to go, looking for Frank after he had left me waiting without a word, but I could not help myself.

The door to the apartment was open and Louisa stood there.

"Where's Frank?" "He's gone," Louisa said. "Gone?" "With Bill. To Cincinatti. They left this morning." "Oh." I said. I stood there unable to move, until Louisa said, "Here. Frank told me to give this to you."

I took the letter without saying anything. "Camilla, " it said, " I'm going with Bill to Cincinatti. So, that's that. I can't say goodbye to you. Do you know why? You'll just have to know. I can't write what I feel either. You'll just have to know that too. Love, Frank"

I wend over to the window. A single bright wtar was throbbing against the blackness. I did not wish on it, because at that particular moment there wans't anything left to wish. I held Frank's letter in my hand and knew that I would always have it to look at and to keep, and now I did not have to try and forget him. And I would not have to cry.

There Jeff, what do you think of that one?

Monday, February 16, 2004

I'm thinking about doing this monologue.
Valentines Day has been and gone. I have to repeat my Christmas observations. Why is it that people are more stressed out, irritable, and generally impossible to please on the days that are supposed to be the most fun and relaxing. I know why I'M stressed out and irritable, but who wants to spend that much money to be miserable.


We had a lady and her husband staying two nights. On the night of Valentines she came downstairs and chewed out everyone she could get her hands on about the fact that there was no tv or cd player in the rooms. At the Alisal, we barely have electricity and everyone loves how rustic it is. Here, however, she was "very unhappy." She and her husband like to watch the news in the morning. We sent up a tv. She was also "very unhappy" with the breakfast, the room, the environment, and I don't know, the view most likely. She wanted a lower room rate. She wanted special amenities. She wanted the chef to come in the next morning and personally cook them an in-room breakfast. We finally got rid of her, and she called down from her room to say that she was "very unhappy" that there was no chart by the phone telling her how to retrieve her messages (there was one on the bedside table....). In otherwords, she was just "very unhappy."

My thought is...we had people begging for rooms that night, or just a rollaway in a conference room. If she was that unhappy she could just try her luck getting a room. There wasn't a single room in the county to be had for love nor money that night. Secondly. Its freaking VALENTINES DAY. TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE! Do something romantic! Enjoy that fact that you are out of the house, away from the noise and the distractions.

And besides. Nothing is more sexy than shreaking like a shrew at the top of your lungs for a half hour, then retiring with your spouse for a good woe-is-me session. Really put her husband in the mood for romance, I'm sure.

Another idea for humanitarian aid...the country of Haiti is in more political upheaval. Their president has lost the confidence of some of the militant groups of the country. They are uniting to try to make him step down from office. The president has declared his intention of staying in office until the end of his term in 2006. The politics are neither here nor there really. The problem is that because of the turmoil, food and medical supplies are scarce. For more information on the medical conditions in Haiti on a good day, visit the Compassion International Site and look up the country. Now, the conditions are much worse. The average person in Haiti lives in a year on as much money as I make working one job in two weeks. If you would like to donate to disaster relief, click here. The child I support lives just south of the fourth largest city. I have had no word on if she is safe, how near she is to the conflict, if she's still able to go about her life. Anyway...if you'd like to help out some people in a country in trouble, there you are. Compassion International's financial information and mission statement are online. At least 80% of the money that comes to them goes directly to the intended recipient.
Alright guys....If you've ever parused the "My favorite blogs" link, you'll notice Wil Wheaton's is on there. Right now he's trying to raise $25,000 for the Leukemia walk-a-thon in San Diego. Here's the link to his donation page if you have a dollar or two to spare. Here's the link, and I'll put one in the "Beyond ourselves" area too.....

Saturday, February 14, 2004

There is the knee-melting-est guy in with his girlfriend?wife?fiance this evening. He's not absolutely beautiful, but he's british and has an Ewan McGreggor thing going on. Wow. he walked up to the desk and we all just stood with our mouths open. And I'm not a drooler by nature. Holy cow is it hot in here.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

Ah, the inimitable day has arrived. I'm working a triple shift today, so I don't have time to whine and bemoan the fact that I don't have anything special to do....! I guess I figure, one day of gross spending wouldn't make up for a year of neglect, and if a guy is just getting you something out of social pressure...well, I'd rather get the gift on April 2nd or something. Or maybe I should just stop having opinions of something I know nothing about. Anyway.

I'm working the early shift at my morning job, the lunch shift at my night job, and the night shift at my morning job...tomorrow I work the early morning shift, then the lunch shift and I'm done. Thank goodness. I need the money -- payday is coming, as are the bills!

My car drives so nicely! And it's really really really nice to be sitting in the apartment realizing that, if I wanted to, I could go somewhere because I don't have to wait for Andrea to get off work with the car.

Speaking of Andrea, she spent all evening yesterday balancing her checkbook and updating her spending program in her palm pilate. We are being so good! Starting on payday we are switching to the ultimate cheap cost of living diet. Oh yes. We're making and taking every lunch, and keeping our spending to the barest of all possible minimums. She so she can fund her wedding budget and make car repairs, I so that I can pay off more loans as quickly as possible. We'll see how creative we can be on the littlest possible income. I'm ready to be done with this now!

I have an audition coming up in two weeks. I hadn't decided for sure if I wanted to do the program. It does cost a little because its "educational." I don't know if it pays anything or not. If I could get a part, it would be a great program to be in since it's local. If not, it will be good to get up and actually do an audition since I've been out of practice for a while...I need a good Shakesperean monologue though. Can I learn on in two weeks? And a good modern one. I wonder, can I even do a passable job at Shakespeare? I've never really tried before. The last older play I read was Tartuffe. Great maid role in that one...

This is just the rantingest rant I've published in a while. I got a call last night from Adrian that it is really and truly snowing in Waco. Not just spitting that you can see sort of if you squint just right, but atual inches. At least I think. I was asleep when he called, and not terribly coherent when I woke up enough to say hi.

Ok, I've run out of things to say...and my brain is still asleep.

Friday, February 13, 2004


My new baby is a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus. It (I haven't decided on name or gender, or if I'm even going to give it one....My favorite toy throughout childhood was just "lambie") Has Alloy wheels, automatic everything, a V6 engine, a spoiler, moonroof, and a 6 CD changer. It is dark blue-ish purple-ish. Oh, black leather interior....And I got a really really really really good deal on it. The finance department almost cried. Thanks so Sharane my fabulous dealer!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I bought a car today. It's beautiful. I'm picking it up tomorrow...

Sunday, February 08, 2004

CS Lewis on Spiritual Reading

Wherever you find a litle study circle of Christian laity, you can be almost certain that they are studying not St. Luke, or St. Paul, or St. Augustine, or Thomas Aquinas, or Hooker or Butler, but M. Berdyaev, or M. Maritain, or Mr. Niebuhr, or Miss Sayers, or even myself.

Now this seems to me topsy-turvey. Naturally, since I myslf am a writer, I do not wish the ordinary reader to read no modern books. But I would advise him to read the old. And I would give him this advice precisely because he is an amateur and therefore much less protected against the dangers of an exclusive contemporary diet. And new book is still on its trial and the amateur is not in the position to judge it. It has to be tested against the great body of Christian thought down the ages, and all its hidden implications (often unsuspected by the author himself) have to be brought to light. Often it cannot be fully understood without the knowledge of a good many other modern books. If you join at eleven o'clock a coversation which began at eight, you will often not see the real bearing of what is said. Remarks which seem to you very ordinary will produce laughter or irritation and you will not see why - the reason of course, being that the earlier stages of the coversation have given them a special point. In the same way sentences in a modern book which look quite ordinary may be directed "at" some other book; in this way you may be led to accept what you would have indignantly rejected if you knew its real sifnificance. The only safety is to have a stndard of plain, central Christianity ("Mere Christianity" as Baxter called it) which puts the controversies of the moment in their proper perspective. Such a standard can be acquired only from the old books. It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one til you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.

(Transcribers Interjection. I think the same rule should hold true for all reading. While some modern books are very good, and entertaining, a steady diet of them can make you either one-dimensional, or undernourished intellectually. For example. Le Divorce. Pretty intertaining socially, but not really that deep. Certainly not edifying. Substitute a classic.)

For a good ("popular") defense of our position against modern woffle, to fall back on, I know nothing better than G. K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man. Harder reading, but very protective, is Edwyn Bevan's Symbolism and Belief. Charles Williams's He Came Down from Heaven doesn't suit everyone, but try it.

For meditative and devotional reading (a little bit at a time, more like sucking on a lozenge than eating a slice of bread), I suggest the Imitation of Christ (astringent) and Traherne's Centuries of Meditiation (joyous). Also my selection from Macdonald, George Macdonald; An Anthology. I can't read Kierkegaard myself, but some people find him helpful.

For Christian morals I suggest my wife's (Joy Davidman) Smoke on the Mountain; Gore's The Sermon on the Mount and (perhaps) his Philosophy of the Good Life. And possibly (but with a grain of salt, for he is too puritanical) William Law's Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life...

You'll want mouthwash for the imagination. I'm told that Mauriac's novels (all excellently translated if your French is rusty) are good, though very severe. Dorothy Sayers' Man Born to be King (those broadcast plays) certainly is. So, to me, but not to everyone, are charles Williams's fantastic novels. (Another Interjection by Rachel: An allusion to Tolkien, who had a very big aversion to William's style of writing, declaring that his books were vulgar and farcical. The eventual erosion of their friendship started when Lewis befriended Williams and allowed him into their writers circle) Pilgrim's Progress, if you ignore some straw splitting dialogues on Calvinist theology and concentrate on the story is first class.

St. Augustine's Confessions will give you the record of an earlier adult covert, with many very great devotional passages intermixed.

Do you read poetry? Geore Herbert at his best is extremely nutritious.

I don't mention the Bible because I take that for granted. A modern translation is for most purposes far more useful than the Authorized Version (Aka, King James).

As regards my own books, you might (or might not) car for Transposition, The Great Divorce, or The Four Loves...

Have you read anything by an American Treppist called Thomas Merton? I'm at present on his No Man Is an Island. It is the best new spiritual reading I've met for a long time.

About prides, superiorities, and affronts, there's no book better than Law's Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life where you'll find all of us pinned like butterflies on cards-the cards being little stories of typical characters in the most sober, astringent, eighteenth century prose.

Sunday Reading

Today I am reading today "The Joyful Christian" by CS Lewis. Someone asked me about it. And the first thought that came to my head is, I am reading it because it is Sunday. Which raises a quandry in my mind. One hundred years ago, people read only their Bibles on Sunday, or maybe various church published tracts. There was a sense of keeping separate the sacred and secular on that particular day of the week. Some Sundays, I feel the need, since I am always working (lets ignore the serious issues on that subject for a moment) to read something devotional.


Shouldn't we read such books that we shouldn't be ashamed to read on Sunday? Or, since to most of us that thought rarely occurs, should we ever read anything we would be embarrassed for someone to "catch" us reading? So, in a sense, shouldn't all our reading be "sunday reading?" Not, necessarily sacred in nature, but things that are edifying. Books that are uplifting, and of good content. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely ...think on these things."

It's worth at least a passing thought.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Hows this for an image. It take $3,200 to make a foot-high stack of dollar bills. My student loans, if stacked, would almost cover the top of my head. Isn't there a scene in Wagner's Ring Cycle about that?
I'm back with my nose to the grindstone. The lady who is looking for the "perfect car" for me called and has a nice one. But, I'm not ready to buy yet. I will not go into debt for a car, I don't care how nice it is. So whatever cash I've saved when I absolutely need one, will be how much I spent. Everyone should buy cars cash if at all possible. It costs you far less money in the long run, you don't have to scrimp for monthly payments, and you can get a better deal on the car in the first place if you wave cash under their respective noses!

Anyway, I'm back, and on a financial roll again!

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Can anyone tell me, Jeff perhaps, if the song "speed test" from Thoroughly Modern Millie was reused in the movie version of Pirates of Penzance, or did it happen the other way around...the part that clicked for me was the "So it really doesn't matter, no it really doesn't it really doesn't matter matter matter matter matter!" chorus. Did that actually come from another Gilbert and Sullivan operetta? Any clues?

My last day in Texas! I'm really going to miss a few friends, but other than that? Back to the coast! Back to work....that sucks!

I'm heading out to lunch with some friends from church. Then I'll go to Baylor in the hope that VC will have time for one last lesson. Tonight, its off to The Grape! Adrian and I are going to celebrate his birthday early. Then tomorrow its off to Austin to catch a plane. I'll be home, with any luck, by 10 tomorrow night.

Now for the big I want to come back to Waco? No. For a visit and lessons, yes. To stay, never say never, for God loves to stretch your definition of the impossible, but I hope not! I'm almost home!!!!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I'm sewing a seat cushion for Dr. Van Cura's recliner tonight. Oh what a headache! I set the cushion and the fabric by the door of the bed and breakfast today so I wouldn't forget it. Guess what I did.

So at 9 Adrian and I made a desperate run out to Valley Mills to get it. Pam and Ken weren't home, and I couldn't see them coming home to find me breaking in. So we decided to drive about until they got back. We went to Crawford. Yes indeed. Home of George W. We waved.

Then they called and we picked it up. Hurrah! Now i'm trying to throw it together so I can go to bed. On a foreign sewing machine. What I woudln't give for my own bernina!

Look at that it worked!
Two days left of my "vacation." My stuff is in storage, I've had a few voice lessons, seen a few people, and am really ready to be home and not living out of a suitcase for a while.

I'm trying to get new comments here. We'll see what happens when I hit publish!