There are a million sports analogies and cliches about momentum and building on a small positive step. A yard here, a first down, a bunt single, a 2 out walk, the first win of the year, and too many to count. My father was a sports writer and I grew up with sports references and cliches as parables and guidelines for life.
When I became an avowed man of the theater I found that cliches were abundant and often espoused the same spirit of teamwork and pulling together. Stuff like, bad dress rehearsal, good opening night. The first day off-book is always brutal, the show must go on, and enough superstition to rival a minor league dug-out.
As I found myself recently on-set for a small role in an upcoming TV series both world’s cliches and quotables ran through my mind. While in the grand scheme of things I was barely moving the needle, for a day last week, on this great planet, I was an actor going to work, even if the naked eye would miss my screen time or if the scene were cut, I was there taking my cuts in the batter’s box. I was there, even if I was straining the boundaries of the “no small parts, only small actors” adage. I was there.
The quote that ran through my head was one I have heard from my girlfriend as she tried to contain her glee over my tiny part, or any time I had a good set in front of 9 people, a quote that is echoed in the single step of any journey,”forsake not the days of small beginnings.” Cliches aren’t always hackneyed when they speak the truth, they revert back to their original form — a condensed statement of wisdom. Now, go out there and take it one game at a time.
Do you suffer from buyer’s remorse the minute you part with more than forty dollars? I do. I’ve complained on this site before about my travails with refrigeration. Trying to keep cold cuts cold when you have to buy your own fridge took its toll on me.
I have voluntarily made a deal with the coolant devil, again. During our recent heatwave I was sweating through my clothes atop my bed at about 8PM, I kicked up my feet like a nine year old, grabbed my keys and exited my apartment saying, “Fuck this”. Ten minutes later I’m at Best Buy about to knock a guy out who appears to have snagged the last air conditioning. I found a few more in an aisle that had video game cartridges and waved a guy over and said, “I need to buy this”
Not being the handiest and having started so late in the evening I had to wait till the morning to install the AC. Since then I have had it pegged at 70 or 71. I am currently bracing for the utility bill and will let you know how that goes. In the mean time I am blissfully cool and dry in my tiny crib cranking 11,000 BTU’s and blocking out the credit card bill on my desk.
Warning Rated R. This is a video we made a while back based on a Mike Nice bit, haven’t seen him around, hope he’s good.
I was lucky growing up. I didn’t have any major allergies. I had a hyper-active gag-reflex and couldn’t swallow pills, so every medicine I took had to be liquified, but other than a constrictive esophagus or larynx (which people mispronounce as larnyx, which cracks me up), I didn’t suffer much grief medicinally or dietarily.
My best friend’s mom had a severe nut allergy, which I was aware of, from an early age, but paid very little attention to, and she is still striving and surviving. I don’t remember ever having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich over at their house, but I don’t remember having to be hosed down if I had one at my house and came over to visit. I vaguely remember holiday walnuts, and nut crackers, and being pissed-off after all that work when the walnut tasted like shit.
Maybe I am mis-remembering, like a politician, but I think we just went about our business and she avoided nuts. I have heard from a few teacher friends of mine that nuts are banned from entire campuses. Meaning a ziplock bag full of pistachio’s, in your sack lunch, is banned. This makes sense in pre-school and some grade school, but at a high school?
I’m a jerk who doesn’t know how bad, and how rapid, and how life threatening such an allergy is, so forgive my ignorance and insensitivity, but banning a nut from the entire campus seems like an over-play. Especially when some schools have metal detectors at their entrances.
Allergies are nothing to trifle with and I know things can go bad in a hurry, and I know schools should be safe havens of learning, but the beach is a beautiful place and we have to teach kids to avoid stepping on jellyfish and needles, let’s just be sure that someday we’re teaching them to take care of themselves. Like my friend’s mom, who learned the hard way, once, but managed to keep her life nut free, since.
We are a paranoid people, or at least I am. Maybe it’s justified these days with all the mayhem we see in the news. Maybe it’s a survival instinct.
Mistrust can spread like an airborne disease. Try this next time you’re out at a bar. Watch a sole diner, and say to your companion, “I think that guy is gonna dine and dash.” From that seed of distrust your companion will watch and notice things that aren’t there. The guy is shifty, every time he goes to the bathroom it’s to do drugs, when he exits to smoke your companion will start to stress out, “He’s making his move, holy shit, you were right.” Of course the guy comes back and pays and it was all a silly little experiment.
This stuff happens even with the best of friends. How many times have you had this dialogue, “Can I borrow your weed-wacker?” you ask. Your buddy says, “Yeah, but I’m gonna need it back.”
I’m gonna need it back. Of course, that was implicit in my choice of wording when I said “can I borrow”. Why is my buddy making me feel like I want to gank his weed-wacker? I haven’t stolen from him before, I just want to edge-up my hypothetical lawn, and he wants a deposit.
It is this subtle stomach ache of mistrust that we were raised on. I was always sure the cabdriver would drive off with my new purchase in the trunk, when I lived in New York. What would he want with a monitor for an outdated computer, but you know the feeling.
To be truthful, I still hold a grudge about a book I loaned out a year ago, and I never gave my buddy his Otis Redding CD back, so I guess I’m arguing against my own point, but can we at least leave out that nagging, twerpy, and accusatory phrase, “I’m gonna need it back.”