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A quick break from the action...


There's a ton of things to write about and absolutely no time to write it all.

It feels like I'm talking through a wall grate on my way to some daring escape. "I'll meet you on the other side!" I'd say, as the barks of approaching dogs rushed me along the inside of a metallic air conditioning duct.

Here's what it is, mostly: the traveling. Last weekend, the LCP went to South Texas to perform in McAllen. McAllen is one of about a dozen relatively small towns interlocked to form the Rio Grande Valley, where most of us in the troupe were born and raised. So this was our first real homecoming, a chance to see if we were really funny on our home turf. It turns out we're funnier there than just about anywhere else since most our senses of humor are decidedly "Valley" in nature.

It was a road trip, and I got to ride in the Mondo Minivan, which Mical's mom generously donated to us for the ride down. I was completely exhausted and we were leaving on a Thursday, just a few hours after I'd left work. Somehow, I've gotten into the habit of staying up until around 2 or 3 a.m. every night, whether there's stuff going on or not. The silly part is that I'm not going out or drinking or partying or partaking of any leafy substances. I just stay up doing whatever, you know? Playing Sims Online, doing laundry, reading, catching up on episodes of Kingpin I missed, vacuuming (yes, I vaccum at 2:30 a.m.), cleaning kitty litter. I've taken the idea that there aren't enough hours in the day for all the things I do in a day to a bizarre literal place where I force myself to stay up, stretching the available time in the day. Of course, it's sleep that suffers, as I've learned time and time again.

Which is all to say that on that road trip down, I was toast. usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays are fine, but by Thursday, my body has started to give it up to fatigue and I approach, zombielike, to feast on the human brains of my bed pillows in slumber surrender.

I wasn't about to drive six hours by myself on a Thursday night.

The El Rey theater in McAllen, Texas.

So the minivan was a godsend. I drove us to Gonzalez, Texas, to pick it up and then it was a (somewhat) straight shot down with Mical and Nick taking turns driving the minivan. (It was a wonderful minivan too. Comfy. Roomy. With about a gajillion controls for back-seat passengers. I think there was a knob that let the backseat passengers go to an entirely different destination than the front-seaters.) Our first order of business was picking up a cheap comedy cassette tape at a gas station since the only thing the minivan didn't have was a CD player. We found an old Rodney Dangerfield comedy album called "I Don't Get No Respect," for about $5. Here's the genius part: Side One is called, "I Don't Get No Respect." Side Two? "I Don't Get No Respect."

And it was funny! I mean, these are ancient, ancient jokes, but they still hold up. He told a lot more stories back then; it wasn't all one liners. But the one-liners were pretty damned funny, too. Stuff like where he complains about how crappy his car is and he says, "My car is terrible. On Sundays, I take my family out to the country for a push."

I slept and whipped out my laptop for a little recapping then slept some more. Once there, we cased out the theater, did our first show, and it went great. Adrian did his LCD projector/portable DVD player trick during our off hours and soon we were watching a completely bootlegged (but perfect DVD quality) copy of The Two Towers on an entire living room wall of a small house that Mical's parents own down there. That Sméagol. He's the man.

We went to Mexico on Saturday and I bought a $1 Gorillaz poster for my brother and bought back some bottles of liquor ($10 for Smirnoff Vanilla Twist? Can't beat that. Then it was another show, a great audience, cold weather, furtive sleep, and the drive back.

This weekend it's Vancouver. And next weekend, I'm going to Houston for a Smallville-related thing.

It just trip after trip and I'm treasuring the little quiet moments at home. I'm also physically exhausted. My body's a wreck, my eyes and my brain are getting used to functioning on little pockets of sleep and moments here and there of mind rest.

Not a lot is getting done outside of these trips, honestly. I'm not doing enough of my own writing, or keeping up with correspondence. I'm throwing myself into keep reserves of energy for these shows and for throwing myself into work when I'm at home so I won't fall behind. I'm constantly on the defensive, feeling like I have to justify every moment I'm away from the office, every day of official vacation time I'm using even though it's really mine to spend whenever I need to.

It feels like the feeding of two beasts, one at work, another a group project I love that feels like it's going somewhere great. But in between these two big things, I'm feeling very small right now, real Tiny Man, hiding my own voice until all the traveling is done and I can sit down and start to speak again, in my own voice, not that of the group I willingly throw my energy into or the place that pays for my home and allows me the freedom to go to all these places.

I'm thrilled and happy, but am also looking forward to things stopping a bit so I can catch my breath, look in the mirror and try to remember exactly who it is that's looking back.



Big pimpin'

Lots of stuff this time. A new recap of Smallville is up. I wrote nearly all of it on my trip to the Valley, and somehow it ended up much longer than what I usually write. But screw it. It was a fun episode and I was having a good time.

Wrote a review of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. The woman I saw it with pointed out that Bebe Neuwirth's only role in the film seems to be to say, in an extremely important way, "She's writing a story about How to Lose a Guy in 10 DAYS!" She says it like six times in the movie. And in the ads for the movie. It's to where I can't get her saying that out of my head. When I was writing that review, I thought, "He's writing a review of a movie about HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS!"

Also wrote a game review for Panzer Dragoon Orta for Xbox. Yes. Me geek. Thanks. This one's only up until today.

And today I've got a review of a Dance Dance Revolution game and dance pad. My living room smells like plastic and socks.

Tomorrow, I've got a short review running of the Six Feet Under Season One DVD set, but that URL's not up yet. I'll post it here next week, or you can look for it on this page starting Friday.

And last, but not least, go pre-order Pamie's book. It's rapidly climbing up the sales charts.

Have a happy Valentine's Day. I'm wearing red underwear just for you.


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