Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Alone in the Universe

Another day, a few dollars more...

C. is having a "girls poker night" this evening, so I will be left to my own devices. I'll hack away at my bloody script -- which I know is probably becoming too long but I just need to finish a draft so I can go back and hack it to pieces. HACK HACK HACK!

[insert NIN music: "what have i become...?"]

Last night, bought a big kitchen table from a german couple who're moving out of our building this week. Heavy as christ. Thank our lucky stars we've got a frieght elevator, but it was a bitch to get it down the hall. We'll have been there a year next month and we're *still* setting up. The in-laws should be arriving next week (if all goes as planned), so we've got to get ready for the old apartment inspection. Don't know what to be more anxious about: the apartment or the neighborhood surrounding it.

We attended a wedding in Jersey on Saturday that went off well. No one we had "issues" with was in attendance, which made a big difference. Took some digital pix that I'd like to arrange into a little FLASH show, if I can just get FLASH to do what I bloody want.

I forgot my iPod today so I'm writing a longer entry for people not to read.

It just turned 2:00pm as I write this. Four big hours to go before I can claim victory over the day. Four big hours to kill and suffer through. What a fulfilling life I lead. Do you not envy me?

We sent a package to High St. last week, and he confirmed receipt of it but it has been nearly a week and he has not commented on it. Perhaps we/I have offended him. Well, it isn't the first time and it most certainly won't be the last... ACTORS...

This blog has become bogged down with my nearly incessant whining. A blog can be fairly masturbatory in nature, but I've written little to make mine less so... But why change course now?

My dream, though I know I've written about it before: to exit my current method of employment and write full time. I'm 28.5 years old and I've been clocking the 9-5 (or variations thereof) for 7.5 years. Nearly a decade of "real world" dues paid. I've been chasing this krazy dream of mine for a long time and it has taken a toll. I don't want to be doing the same old thing by the time I have to request time off for Christmas.

It all comes down to dollars and cents, however. Gotta get paid.

Hopefully, I've got a few proverbial cards up my sleeve to bring me closer to my dream in the next few months...

Thursday, July 22, 2004

I, Monkey

that's one erect monkey.

watch out. you give him a shave and stuff him in a suit and he's not too far off from stealing my job.

restless at work. checking and rechecking the same websites over and over. by the time this gets posted on my blog, i'll be at home, hiding in the darkness.

i've got to do some serious writing this weekend. i've been dragging my feet because of my crippling fear of failure.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Absence of M. Alice

a friend of mine from work got "terminated" last night. it's all right, he'd been trying to get canned for nearly a year, it's more surprising he'd lasted this long. still, it's always jarring. the manager on my shift came up to me this morning, mentioned she knew that i "talked" with this guy (i guess she didn't want to assume we were actual "friends"). she gave me the news, claimed ignorance about the details and warned me not to let him in the building. (as if he would ever want to come back here.) today, he's checking into unemployment.

i guess not having money to pay the bills is worse on the soul than being stuck at a shitty job, but it's terrible how those things inform each other. the things that comfort and nourish you (the cds, the dvds, the books, the computer upgrades, the dining out, the movie tickets, the vacation trips... not to mention the rent...) are paid for by the thing that crushes your soul. i don't mean to get all fight club here, but it's a terrible cycle.

my personal goal is to get paid doing something where i don't have to go to someone else's office day-in, day-out. i know i've been wailing about quitting my job for years now, but i fear i'm coming to the end of my patience with these sort of jobs in general.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I (want a) Robot

I desperately want one of these fuckers. When I win the lottery, you KNOW my house is gonna be FULL of these motherfuckers.

Watch the movies. He looks like a nerdy little kid with a backpack on and he moves like a retarded toddler. The sound of his gears churning as he walks kinda sounds like heavy diapers. Actually, the extremely cautious way he creeps around (particularly that video of him creeping down the stairs), he always looks like he's about to kill someone.

I love it. I want a homicidal robot.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Robots in the Sky!

Directed by Robert Zemeckis?

With that and Bryan Singer now helming the long-delayed SUPERMAN movie, things are looking up for A-list directors teaming up with the big merchandising properties! YIPPEE!


in other news, it looks like i can no longer update this precious blog from work, as Blogger.com is now classified under the broad banner of "chat" by our Corporate Big Brother. it was fun while it lasted...! i'll try to fudge the time stamps so that it approximates what time in the day i actually wrote these posts...

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Factual Back-Up For "Fahrenheit 9/11"

For the people who still insist that Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" contains outright lies, check out this thorough documentation:

Factual Back-Up For "Fahrenheit 9/11"

Yes, Moore had an agenda. Yes, he "chose to show certain things" to make his point. You don't think Fox News and CNN and the NY POST and countless other media outlets do something similar? Doesn't it serve this country to have one film that tries to offer another another perspective?

I had many problems with "Fahrenheit 9/11", but ultimately I'm glad that it's out there and people are responding to it. It's just a little eye-opening to see how many people feel threatened by it, and are moved to attack it -- or more pointedly, attack Michael Moore personally, for exercising his First Amendment rights. (Is it that people are embarrassed that they supported the Iraq invasion and they don't want to admit they're wrong, because there were no WMDs and the US is gonna be stuck there forever?)

What fucking country is this? What has this country become?

Saturday, July 17, 2004


by Marilyn Abalos
Word is going around that there is this guy who allegedly may have passed original plays around the theater circuit as his own. Hard to believe that in the Big Apple our local theater companies have been fooled by a slick shyster named Sourabh. How shameful that one South Asian emerging playwright may actually think that he can get away plagiarism. At least one playwright has started legal action against Sourabh Chatterjee also known as Sourabh Chatt for plagiarizing his play.

Reportedly, playwright Jeff Hoffman is pursuing legal action against Sourabh Chatterjee for plagiarizing his play, "Francis Brick Needs No Introduction" by passing "Wake Up, Mr. Biswas, Your Sons Are Talking" as his own. "Mr. Biswas" was read at the Ohio Theatre last April sponsored by Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Someone from the audience who had been associated with Hoffman and "Mr. Bricks" saw that Chatterjee's play was "nearly word for word" Hoffman's play and notified the producer Harriet Hendlin. Hoffman's play, about four brothers at their father's wake, has been performed in both NY and LA and is published by Sam French. According to Hoffman, "Chatterjee's play simply takes Indian character names and substitutes them for my own."

When confronted, said Hoffman, Chatterjee admitted to Hoffman that he had, indeed, ripped-off the play and offered his apologies. It seems that Chatterjee and Hoffman were actually friends at one time.

According to Ralph Pena, Artistic Director of Ma-Yi, "We found about about the alleged plagiarism at the same time everyone else did. We have asked Sourabh many times to give us a reply and he has not. Sourabh joined the newly formed Ma-Yi Playwrights' Workshop in April. This is a new group that Sung Rno heads. Some of the members' works were given a staged reading in May, the same time we were doing "wAve." Sourabh submitted "Mr. Biswas," and this was read by a South Asian group of actors. Someone from the Lark Theater apparently saw this reading and alerted Jeff Hoffman, who has a relationship with the Lark. That's when we found out about it. Sourbah has been dropped from the Ma-Yi playwrights group. We have not been able to confirm the allegations, either way, but his silence is not promising."

SALAAM!'s (South Asian League of Artists in AMerica) Literary Manager, Anuvab Pal, conveyed to Hoffman last April, "On behalf of Citygirl and myself, it saddens us to great lengths to find this information about Sourabh Chaterjee, a playwright whose work we have seen develop at various NY venues. I don't quite know what else to say except our wishes are with you and I hope this doesn't continue. I hope also that you are able to regain rights on the plays that you mention are rightfully yours. Our effort here is to present cutting edge ORIGINAL South Asian theatre, and cultivate playwrights discover their own voices. We, like you, do not support any form of intellectual theft; and our effort remains to add to existing voices in the NY theatre community and not detract from it."

It seems that also The Public Theater and The New Group, among others, presented another Chatterjee "original" play. According to Pal, "Zoo" sounds exactly similar to a play called "Sonamoni" that, among other things, got a reading at "The Public Theater. And The New Group! Both of which I saw! They have the same careers you mention. Sonamoni even got a reading at Salaam. I am indeed amazed as to how someone could do this...and with an acquaintance!!!...it is truly a bad reflection on the community." Hoffman has said, that he does not think that these theater companies knew of Sourabh's trickery. "They were," Hoffman said, "I believe, just as duped as I was. Sourabh is solely responsible for this mess."

Thursday, July 15, 2004

"Alias" Update!

All you faithful ALIAS viewers, check out this interview with

creator JJ Abrams

and his personal views of this last season, and his intentions for season 4!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Temporary Life

Holy crimony, it's been busy as fuck at work...

Just want to broadcast the details on the show that C. and I are involved in. (And Burnsy is performing in--it's a friggin family affair!)

I *think* it's called "Theater, Words and Movement", but the actual title is more complicated and even more vague than that. Basically, the theme of the night has something to do with "home" -- adopted homeland, permanent homes, home home home. I'm doing a terrific job of selling this show, aren't I?

Our 10-minute piece (in 2 parts) is called "Temporary Life". It concerns immigration reform. (Sounds pretty sexy, huh?)

The first part is a film segment that I cut together. The second part is a theatrical piece that C. wrote. (She's also performing in it, along with Burnsy and two other people from C.'s MFA program.)

Rehearsing tonight. I'm directing. Should be cool. I hope the actors respect me. I better work on pretending to know what I'm doing. It's all about the illusion of control.

ANYWAY, if you're reading this, if you live the New York City, if you're free Thursday night, please drop by. I think we're one of three theater pieces, and then it's a bunch of short films made by people who aren't me. (It's co-sponsored by Rooftop Films.)

Thursday, July 15
"Theater, Words, Movement, & Film"
The Asian American Writers' Workshop
16 West 32nd Street, Suite 10A
suggested donation: $5
(and we don't see a penny of it)

The Philippines pull out of Iraq

"Let us leave the government to do what is necessary to save the life of an innocent Filipino and to uphold our nation's interest. It is not for us to judge and raise our voices now that Angelo's life hangs in the balance," said Ignacio Bunye, a Philippine presidential spokesman.
News 1
News 2
News 3
I have mixed emotions about this. Part of it depends on what the fallout is.

I actually find it *moving* that one of these countries cares enough about "one man", one of their own, that they are willing to pull out of that disaster.

My concern is two-fold.
1, the possible repercussions of the Philippines pulling out, and Big Brother U.S.A. getting pissed at them.
2, the fact that this hostage thing actually *worked* for these terrorists this one time might serve to validate their means.

(ok, three-fold)

3, the idea that these insane terrorists will try to dig deeper into the Philippines.

i'm sick of all this macho american bully man bullshit. will it ever end?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Our 10-year-old Daughter

Thanks to C. and her... *generous* heart... we are now the proud sponsor-parents of this 10-year-old Filipino girl. Her name is Paula. She lives in Quezon City. Her favorite pastimes are "indoor games, playing with jacks and jumping rope". Her favorite subject at school is "languages". Her "talents or hobbies" is "dancing". Her home is described as "one multi-use room" with "plywood walls, a corrugated metal roof and a concrete floor". [I just called my mom who says these're called "squatters".] She lives here with her two parents, Victor and Lina, and her 8-year-old sister Christine Joy. Their approximate monthly income (in U.S. Dollars) is "$122".

[OK, I just got totally depressed typing all that out.]

C. got stopped by a girl on the street who managed to aggressively guilt her into sponsoring. Skeptic that I am, I went and did searches on the organization, CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL, and it looks like they're fairly legit. For $18 a month, C.'s hopefully gonna make a difference in this girl's life. (80% is used for the child.)

I wonder if we can change her name to "Malicia"...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Amazing Race

Last night I hitched up my sleeve to get another reality tv fix and--based on a strong recommendation by merillon--watched The Amazing Race, which I'd taped Tuesday night.

Holy fucking christ. It's like a coked-up SURVIVOR.

It looked like it would be a nightmare to edit. Basically consisting of a bunch of 2-person teams on a worldwide race for a $1 million (a prize that, increasingly, seems like less a big deal than it used to). There are so many teams and so many specific relationships in those teams (father/daughter, girlfriend/boyfriend, bowling moms, etc.), I didn't know how they were going to keep us clear on all of these people. But remarkably, with the use of on-screen titles, they're able to make it reasonably clear who all the people are, what their relationships are, and what place they're currently in.

I can't believe this is their FIFTH season. This is ultimately the problem with this reality trend. I know it's touted that they're cheap to produce, but they can't be *that* cheap (flying people all over the globe, making sure contestants don't die). And they don't seem to air reruns of them, and thus they can't make money on syndication. And how many people are buying DVD box sets of these shows? I'll be the first to admit that it's fun and engaging, but it's not going to stand the test of time...

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Method Acting

C. was getting incensed recently over how grossly misunderstood & misused the term "method acting" is.

slate.com posted this, inspired by the recent passing of "method" poster-boy Marlon Brando.

What Is Method Acting?

It's really just a link to another article written by Lee Siegel, earlier this year:

Lights, Camera, Action: A post-Oscars reflection on the state of American acting.
It's time to talk about acting because acting as an art with a history of evolving styles—acting as a highly developed discipline that demands specialized training—almost never gets discussed. When it does you'll find vague references to the Method, the naturalistic style of acting imported from Russia into this country by Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio in the 1940s, which changed American acting, and which, in one permutation or another, still dominates the teaching of American acting...
[end excerpt]


Here's a more direct definition of "METHOD ACTING".

Method acting is the endeavour to apply natural rules and laws to the theatre which can aid an actor with the process of playing a role.

This approach, characterized by lack of any specific or technical approach to acting, is usually the antithesis of cliché, unrealistic, and so-called "rubber-stamp" acting. Depending on the exact version taught by the numerous directors and teachers who claim to propagate the fundamentals of this technique, the process can include various ideologies and practices such as the extremely notable "what if", "substitution", and "emotional memory"...

[end excerpt]

Read the rest by clicking on the link, you dirtbags!

Rabbit Stew?

This new department I work in at my day job is having a pot luck in a few weeks. I don't want to go into the specifics of what I do and where I do it because I don't want to get fired just yet -- but suffice it to say that it is VERY WEIRD that there is (potentially) going to be a POT LUCK at WORK and that I may be forced to bring something to the conference table.

My super secret project has been put on hold for a few days because of another project that C. and I are... trying to accomplish. I don't want to vent too much because C. gets nervous when I go on overly public tirades... but... this C+M project is not really the kind of thing the two of us would usually voluntarily work on... I may put the word out in a few days, to all the New York dwellers... hopefully, we can get most of it in the can by the end of this week...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


holy crap, i'm so tired right now, it boggles the mind. usually, i'm somewhat awake by the time i get to the temperature-controlled environment of my work space, but i'm here and i feel like a zombie with a shotgun bullet through my head.

again and again, with more frequency and urgency, my thoughts turn toward the day when i don't have to do this shit anymore...

the weather has been hot and soupy, here in Gotham City. all weekend. a simmering swamp. the cool thing about the heat in this city is that it liberates the stink from the ground, and thus not only is it hot and sticky but the air is filled with the mingling scents of vomit, dog shit, human urine and rotting fish. if someone could bottle that mixture, they'd have a nice bit of bio warfare.

i've got so many hours left here before i can go home. and then i've got more work to do at home. i need some down time...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Lorax

At the far end of town
where the Grickle-grass grows
and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows
and no birds ever sing excepting old crows...
is the Street of the Lifted Lorax...


O, the weekend can't get here swiftly enough. If I can only manage to claw my way through the day without anything inordinately insufferable happening at work. Though I've got hours to go before I can claim victory.

Really enjoyed SPIDER-MAN 2 last night. There was no way for it to live up to the hype-machine, but it was a really good time. I was hoping it would somehow change my life forever... but I guess I'm always hoping that when I go to the movies...

Been sketching out ideas for this super-secret project I'm working on. I know I can do this. The pressure is just huge. It needs to be the best script I've ever written. I am writing as if my life depends on it.