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Showing posts from 2005

What's In A Face?

Ok I have something really cool to show you all today. First, you may want to read my friend Chris Clark's blog (link on the right) for a funny introduction to this process. Basically, this family history website is beta testing a new face recognition software. You upload a picture of yourself and it matches you mathematically with celebrities that look the most like you. Chris made it seem like so much fun that I'm going to shamelessly plagirize his idea and show you my results, and then I suggest you all go try it yourselves. I'm not sure how accurate this program is, I got a few different results on the same pictures in multiple tries, but here's the highlights:


I started with this picture, which you may recognize from my blog profile. It was taken in London and I think its a very flattering picture. The site says the program works best with your face facing directly into the camera, but I thought I'd give this a try anyway.

And here were my results:

Wilhelm Roent…

Retrospective and Resolution

Hi, everybody.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. I know I did. The gifts have been opened and stacked into a neat little pile to be properly inspected. The wrapping paper lies strewn about the floor – a forgotten casualty that stands as a testament to the orgy of commercialism that now is over. Your dear friends and family have gladly received your gifts and either broken or exchanged them by now. The tree looks less magical and more like a large plant dying slowly in your living room. There are no more Christmas songs on the radio, and thank heavens too because if you heard “Christmas Shoes” one more time you were going to barf. All this can mean only one thing: Christmas is over. And that can only mean one other thing: time to look forward to a new year! 2006 is almost here, but before we say goodbye to good old 2005 I thought we'd look back at the events of the past year in a brief and fairly reductive sort of way.

This year: I graduated from college. I experienced the …

"Thus goes everyone into the world but I...."

This weekend a good friend of mine from high school got married. The ceremony was in Arizona, and though I could not take the time off of work to drive down there and offer him my condolences in person, my parents (who consider him as their own son) were in attendance and assured me it was a lovely experience. I'm happy for him, honestly. He couldn't have chosen a better bride to keep him out of trouble. They are heading to Salt Lake City for their honeymoon (which seems a bit unfortunate to me but nobody asked my opinion) and so they were in town last night where I was able to see him for a few hours. He seemed happy and, more or less, the same as always; it's still early.

I think of marriage rather like I think of bungee jumping: I'm sure it's great if you like that sort of thing, but I don't really have much of a desire to give it a try. It's the big craze these days; everybody's doing it, even members of my own gender who I had previously expected t…

God Bless Us, Every One

Call me a Scrooge, but I've found that the last couple of years Christmas just hasn't carried the same sense of wonder and excitement it once did. When I was a kid, I was ready to pee my pants every day in December just thinking about the twenty-fifth, which crept closer so slowly that the month was always filled with blissfully tortuous anticipation. The sense of suspense, the agony of not knowing what the fantastically wrapped boxes contained, was only heightened by the lights, the music, the snow, and everything you knew meant it was Christmas time. Back then, my heart's desires cost about twenty bucks and, tragically, seemed both completely unobtainable and the key to my whole life's happiness. This was the season, then, when miracles of a very practical kind could happen; objects only admired on the shelf, or at a friend's, or in some abstract sense of obsession could literally become my own and wind up, eventually, in pieces somewhere in my closet.

I like to …

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

It's not every day that you get to spend four hours with people you really like, laughing at everything and anything, bask in the adoration and the occasional scorn of hundreds of elementry school children, and take on the persona of one of the most famous dramatic roles ever. For me, its every Tuesday. For the last year and a half I have been part of a traveling Shakespeare show that performs for children in elementry schools all over the area, and today is my last day in the group.

I auditioned for the group two years ago, to play Orlando in "As You Like It." The director of the group, my friend Chris, said I was good but there just wasn't a part for me. Once I had spat out the bitter bile of failure, I moved on with life and tried again in the spring for the next year's show, "Cymbeline" and got in. I did that for two semesters, and of course had to do it again this year when I heard we'd be doing "Hamlet."

What was it about the idea of…

Tis the Season to Be Blogging....

It's that time of the year again. If you hadn't been indoctrinated with Western culture since your birth, you might think everybody collectively goes insane in the month of December. We put electric light on the outside of our houses and bring trees inside. We listen to the same set of about twenty different songs over and over in countless variations. We scarf down candy, rush to the store to buy junk we'd never look at any other time of the year, and force our children to sit on a strange old guy's lap. It's like the world is upside down!

Such is the phenomenon of the American Christmas season. Each year it starts a little earlier, though the majority of people still complain if you start listening to carols or put up your tree before Thanksgiving. But once the turkey's cold its no holds barred all out Yuletide action. But in all the furvor of the holiday, have we forgotten the true meaning of Christmas? Do we remember how and why it started in the first place…

Thank You

I'm pretty much an ingrateful little jerk, as many of my therapists have said, but once and awhile even I feel the need to express my gratitude to the people who make my life so worth living. So I thought that I'd do it on my blog even though 1- its kind of late being several days after thanksgiving and all, and 2- most of the people I'm going to thank don't even know I have a blog and, in some cases, don't have any idea what a blog is. I hesitate to name specific names here mostly because I can't possibly list every single person who I am indebted to and appreciate in my life, and I'm tired and pressed for time and so I don't want anybody to feel left out if their name isn't on the list. But then I remember point #2 of my previous list and I think I'll probably be OK. If I miss anybody, its not becuase I don't love you. Ask me in person and I will tell you why I am thankful for you and then I will put you on my blog in a place of honor. I&#…

Backstage Confessions

A production of a play is made more by what you don't see than what you do. When you go see a play (as I'm sure you often do, since all readers of my blog are cultured and intellectual), you don't see the hours and hours and HOURS of rehearsal and discussion and preparation the cast and crew gave to put the show together. You don't see the intricate web of movement and interaction I can only call "the backstage dance." It's made up of all the cast members not currently on stage, as well as stage crew and costumers, moving about to get into position for an upcoming scene, prepare a prop, discuss the progress of the show and the audience's reaction, flirt, or talk about things totally unrelated to the play. As you get comfortable in the routine of the show, you find yourself in the same place with the same people at each point during the play. It's really quite a remarkable feat of collaberation and cooperation. Each person in a group of twenty to t…

Return of the Blog

No, I'm not dead.

And no, I've not given up on the blog. Not yet. If I were to try to describe how busy I have been over the last few weeks, your head would probably explode - and I can't very well have you messing up my nice clean blog, can I? Just trust me when I say that I've had precious little time to do much of anything in the last little while, and what free time I did have went to important computer gaming in order to save my remaining sanity.

The play has been going quite well. Much better than was generally expected, actually, so I really encourage you to come and see it if you haven't yet. Just thought I'd mention it.

I got a new job this week. Yes, its a big deal. As you are aware if you have read my blog at all before, [understatement coming] I didn't really like my previous job [understatement finished]. So I now have a brand new job closer to home in a more typical office setting.

The problem with having a degree in English (well, one of the prob…

Another Shameless Self-Promotion

Well, once again I'm too busy to bother updating my blog, which can only mean one thing: there's another play coming up! Yes, indeed, within a couple of weeks I will be opening a new show at the Pardoe Theater on BYU campus, so I thought I'd make a fuss about it now so you can all work it into your schedule. You are going to come and see it, right? All signs indicate that this will be the last time I perform Shakespeare in this area, so it could be your final chance to see me and the Bard together - a match as fortuitous and fateful as gunpowder and fire, oil and water, England and France, and Hannity and Colmes.

The play is William Shakespeare's "The Two Gentleman of Verona," in which I play Valentine (also known as Gentleman #2) and it performs Tuesday-Saturdays starting November 9th through the 19th, at which point it breaks a week for Thanksgiving and then returns for a final week of performance, November 20th through December 3rd. So there are plenty of c…

Audio Blog #2: Live From Disneyland

Head Shots Opinion Poll

In keeping with the general theme of complete egocentricity and self-absorbedness on this blog, I now present to you a selection of nine pictures of my face. I went to a photo shoot yesterday morning, because I need head shots in order to become the fabulously wealthy and successful actor I was born to be. I picked out these nine as the best of the 100 or so shots she took, and now I present them to you for your opinion. The photographer recommended that I show them to my friends and relatives who know me best. Apparently, the person in the picture would naturally pick out the ones that they feel are most flattering, rather than the ones that best represent their actual looks and personality. That is your charge, my friends: peruse the photos and then post a comment under the ones that you think are the best based on those criteria. You can vote for no more than two! As always, I value your frank and honest opinion. Good luck!
Number 1
Number 2
Number 3
Number 4
Number 5
Number 6
Number 7
Number 8
Number 9

The Only Thing We Have to Fear...

It's October, which means not only do I get to start dipping into my nifty fall wardrobe but also that Halloween is upon us. I think its great that we devote specific holidays to various basic emotions of the human psyche. Halloween = fear, Valentine's day = love, Thanksgiving = gratitude, St. Patrick's Day = envy, and Christmas = greed. We're just missing wrath, lust, pride, sloth, gluttony, and inadequecy. Clearly, more holidays are necessary. But that's a subject for another day. We don't want to give Halloween less than its due.

Because seriously, how cool is Halloween? Its way off the scale on the cool-o-meter. When else can you see even the most pious and sensible people indulging in a little of the supernatural and occult by dressing up their children as vampires, witches, or ghosts? Well, that's how it was back in my day anyway (which was soooooo long ago), but today kids dress up as Jedi, princesses, Harry Potter, or Spiderman. They are totally miss…

What A Coincidence

I’m sorry for the very depressing tone of my last post. I know it has occasioned some worry amongst my friends and family, and I appreciate their concern for my wellbeing and happiness. Let me just explain that I was having a very bad day. Ok, so maybe it was more of a very bad week. Strange things were happening. Coincidences kept popping up everywhere. Nearly every day last week, somebody I knew turned out to know somebody else I knew through some tenuous connection that only just came up. Somebody I hadn’t talked to in years accidentally called me. Stranger still, and I am not making this up, for several days last week I could not drive anywhere without every single intersection I came either already having a red light or turning red just as I approached. It took forever to get anywhere. Eventually, I started to become aware that this was a strange phenomenon. Statistically, I should hit a green light eventually, and I eventually did. But I think I had a three day run going of only…

An Empty Blog

I think I’ve run out of gas. I’ve lost my passion; I’ve lost my joie de vivre, my drive. I’m feeling apathetic to almost everything. I’m bored with politics, I’m bored with idealism, I’m bored with art. I’m bored with friendships, with feelings, with all social interaction, with every form of recreation that I once used to idle away my time. I’m definitely bored with work, but I’m bored with not being at work. I’m tired of being me, but I’m even kind of bored with being somebody else. At our performance of Hamlet yesterday I could feel nothing for the first time when playing that role. There is nothing to look forward to now. I go to bed reluctantly, because there is no reason to welcome tomorrow, but there’s certainly no reason to stay awake. And what kind of life is left when all your desires and passions are gone, when your day is focused on what you don’t want instead of what you do, when your dislikes and disinterests are now somehow running everything, when your choices are to d…

Movie Review #1: The Corpse Bride

People are always asking me my opinion about movies. Seriously, any time I watch a movie people ask me, “How was is it?” This has led me to believe that I am widely regarded as an artistic sage whose opinion is valued in all the right circles. Therefore, I have decided to write up reviews on my blog for whatever movie I happen to have seen recently. Besides, its not like its that hard. All you have to do is write your personal opinions, however biased or baseless, and then assign the film a letter grade. Plus, Eric Snyder makes it look like a lot of fun and so I thought I’d give it a try. Don’t expect me to be anywhere near as clever as that guy, though. It ain’t gonna happen. Anyway, here goes:

The Corpse Bride
Directed by Tim Burton & Mike Johnson
Rated PG

A group of friends were going to this one, so they invited me. I readily accepted their invitation, not only because they are fun, interesting people, but because I was interested in seeing this movie. Tim Burton films are always …

Venting My Frustration

I really shouldn’t watch TV or listen to the radio. Its just bad for my health. Sometimes I get so angry and frustrated that I feel like I’m going to burst a blood vessel. All I want to know is how I am anti-American because I have serious concerns over the motivations, the justifications, and the false allegations involved in the beginning of the war. I want to know how I denigrate the service of our troops by lamenting their deaths and wondering if they were really necessary. I want to know why those who think like me (by recent polls, the majority of Americans) are called, as one talk radio lady put it, “angry people without the love of God in their hearts who hate everything.” I want to know why it is assumed that because I criticize the war, I must hate our troops and want them to die. I want to know why logical, reasoned arguments against or in criticism of the war are so often countered and drowned out with intensely emotional, passionate appeals to patriotic sentiment and vagu…

A Confession

This is difficult for me, but there's something thats been weighing on me for the last few hours and I really need to get it off of my chest. Sometimes I am a compulsive liar. Lying comes as easy to me as eating and breathing, actually. I'm an actor. And sometimes I lie for no other reason but to lie, like I can't even help myself. Kind of like Natalie Portman in "Garden State," only I'm not as bad as her. But at least I have the decency to feel guilty for most of my lies, especially those that are so blatantly a lie and when I'm quite aware that everybody knows I'm lying. Then I feel like a jerk. So, lets have the truth:

Yes. It was me who farted in the van. I don't know why I didn't just confess, it would have been the proper and manly thing to do, but I just kept lying about it and I don't know why. I'm not particularly embarassed by the act itself - I think I may be lactose intolerant or something, and geez sometimes it just comes o…

Audio Blog #1: The Dawn of a New Age

The Working Man, Part Two

Work sucks. Am I the only one who thinks so? It seems quite absurd to me that, with each second of life being finite, precious, rare moments that will never come again, most of us will spend the overwhelming majority of our lives at work. Many Americans now work for corporations and spend all day every day participating in one small part of bigger processes they have no interest or control in, counting the minutes until they can go home, where they have a bite to eat, relax a few hours, then go to bed and wake up the next day to do it again. And so it continues week after week for years until finally one reaches retirement when finally one can start doing what one wants to do, instead of what one must do. Does it seem silly to anybody else but me that we put off living that long? That we must sacrifice so much of our limited time in order to survive?

It will not come as a surprise, actually, that I’m writing this at work. I’m doing so in order to look busy. Its nearly 2:00, and I only …

Coming of Age in an Age of Simulacrum

When I was a kid, I loved movies. Well, that sentence is somewhat misleading: its not like I didn't love anything but movies, or that I no longer love movies today. But since I'm going to talk about movies and my childhood and, specifically, how they are related, I thought I'd start of with a topical introduction in the form of a statement of facts relevant to the subject. There was no need to mention anything else and so I didn't - so get off my back, ok? Anyway…

When I was a kid, I loved movies. I have very strong childhood memories attached to various films of the 80s and 90s. The great thing about watching movies as a kid is that you are largely oblivious to how awful most of them are. For example, at various points in my youth, I actually believed that "Masters of the Universe," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and "Independence Day" were good movies. Children have no idea what good acting is like, or how to recognize a plot that's …

My Blog and Other Disasters

I was recently informed that the name of my blog is somewhat misleading. While I certainly do ramble, a certain critic who shall remain nameless felt that these ramblings were not deranged. He is correct, I do show a staggering amount of logic and reason in each post considering my self-proclaimed intention of writing "Deranged Ramblings." In our post-modern world of media marketing, however, such a disparity is hardly uncommon, and so I think that my faithful readers (all three of you) will not have any problems if I continue in failing to deliver anything truly deranged. You will indulge me, I hope, in a little false advertising. That being said, if anybody, including the aforementioned critic, has a suggestion for a more apt and interesting title for the blog, I'm all ears.

In other news, the recent hurricane and its damage to the Gulf Coast has dominated the national media. I mention this for historical interest. One day I'll be able to look back at my blog and s…

An Allegorical Experience in Art and Culture

Its been a very busy week, but I finally have a few moments to spend with my lonely blog. Just hours ago I returned to Utah from Las Vegas, where I spent an enjoyable two days and far too much money on fun but frivolous things like clothes, a pair of sunglasses, and tickets to a preview night of "Avenue Q" (which won the Tony for Best Musical over "Wicked" and totally deserved it, I don't care what you other theater people say - it was so good). But what I want to talk about, mainly, happened the night before I went to Vegas, during our Saturday evening performance of Macbeth.

Macbeth started last Thursday, and its been going pretty well. The audiences have been a rather decent size considering the venue is difficult to locate and, lets face it, we're doing not just a Shakespeare play but a bloody tragedy dressed in punk/goth clothes. Thats not generally what appeals to the theater going audience of Utah Valley (whose average age is over 100), but we've …