Monday, October 29, 2012

The Nine

Artistic inspiration strikes me in two ways.  Either an idea comes to me fully formed as did Athena from the forehead of Zeus . . . or it doesn’t come at all.

I first realized this when I got the idea for my boylesque debut about a year and a half ago.  In a single flash of inspiration lasting no longer than a moment, I came up with the song, the concept, and my new stage name.  An hour later I had the costume finalized and the choreography rehearsed.  The next evening I brought it to rehearsal, only one aesthetic tweak from being ready for performance.

I’ve had other successes since then, but to date this remains my signature act.  It’s the favorite not only of my colleagues who’ve been with me since my first audition, but it continually gets the highest praise from long-time members of the burlesque community at large.  It’s the standard against which all my other acts are measured, and is at the foundation of my Straight Men’s Fan Club (a tale for another time).  Since then every act I’ve taken to the stage has enjoyed a similar genesis.  An idea, a tune, and a story all emerge as effortlessly as a drunk falls down the stairs.

Which is not to say this is always the way of things.  I tried for months to come up with a new act with no success.  Several failed attempts to bring something of value to rehearsal only resulted in embarrassment.  Six months later I was nearly resigned to the idea of my boylesque victory being a fluke when I was struck by the muse once more, and my tribute to Reservoir Dogs was born.

This happens with my writing, too. 

Several times I’ve sat down to write a blog, pulling ideas from the collection of hastily written notes on my phone (the list currently includes, but is not limited to: wondering if I’ve ever met the dead; bad dreams are a betrayal; Turkish coffee wish; the beauty of transients; Spoonman).  But when I dig up these bones and try to cover them with flesh and muscle and sinew I find the structure can no longer bear weight, and the whole idea collapses and is banished before I can even give it a name. 

Yet if I start constructing the piece as a whole during the very hour in which inspiration begins to light my path, I can find my way through to the end, usually having crafted something to which I’m proud to put my name.

Another example: two weeks ago I was invited to an open mic poetry slam.  With a scant 24 hours’ notice it was further suggested I prepare and present a poem of my own.  I’ve only written one poem in the last eight years, and that was only performed to some classmates (and, a year later, to a webcam).  That night I had trouble sleeping, and to focus my ravaged mind while tossing and turning I started constructing and organizing the elements of what I wanted to say.  I never imagined a poem would take me to the stage in front of paying strangers, yet much to my surprise, several of those strangers approached me afterwards to say lovely things about what I’d said and how I’d said it.

But when I tried to write another poem this afternoon to bring to the show this evening my voice had left me.  I had nothing important or entertaining to say.  I went to the slam empty handed, disappointed, and frustrated.

I don’t express these tales in order to brag.  Well – not only to brag. 

I’ve learned an important lesson when it comes to the creation of art, regardless of the medium; the birth of inspiration is both fickle and fragile.  I don’t know how to invoke it, or how to broaden my frame of mind to receive it, or even if such things are possible.  When it does arrive, it must be nurtured and fed immediately lest it shrivel and die and threaten to never ever return.

Maybe I should keep pen and paper with me at all times.  This is the life I’ve chosen, after all.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Back Off, Man. I'm an Artist

Originally posted on

Stories come in a variety of media. We have novels, films, music, poetry. Each has a unique voice, and the subdivisions of genre present flavors and styles unrepresented by any of the others. There are many stories and so many ways to tell them, thus all art of reputable quality asks the question, “Why this story, in this style?” Why stage a classic when you could simply read the classic? If you want to watch Star Trek, why not just watch Star Trek?

The snappy answer is that we, as a culture, have run out of new ideas. A more considered opinion is this: a story is just as important as the way in which we choose to tell it. Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree would be the same story without the illustrations, but adding those pictures allows us to appreciate it in a way we cannot with words alone. My nephews could read it for themselves, but it becomes more enjoyable when they crawl into my mother’s lap (like I used to do) and she reads it aloud.

As we put this play together, I’m continually reminded of words offered by Our Fearless Leader Eric Van Tassell on the first day of rehearsal. He said we aren’t simply a bunch of fans of the franchise who got together and decided to put on a play (yes, we know that no one is “simply” a fan of anything, but that’s a point for another time). Don’t get me wrong; we are certainly fans of the franchise. Even those of us who weren’t before this year certainly are now; for example, one of my castmates watched the entirety of The Next Generation this summer, and is currently trucking his way through every episode of Deep Space Nine.

Trek fans are many things, but as Eric pointed out that day, those of us involved in this production are also professional artists. We are actors, directors, designers, choreographers. We are all storytellers, experienced and trained and talented, who are molding the clay of our source materials into a living piece of art that will reinvigorate our audience’s appreciation for both Dickens and Roddenberry.

Every rehearsal over the past week starts like it does for any other production. First comes the table work; we sit and read a scene and discuss its importance within the context of the play. Every character’s motivation is represented and examined. We take a close look at every thread, scrutinizing the strength and quality to ensure the tapestry as a whole remains strong. This is usually capped with Eric reading the relevant chapter from the original Dickens tale, which helps remind us of the original tone.

Naturally we also explore Klingon perspective. What does it mean through the eyes of this culture? How is SQuja’ expected to behave with honor, and how is he failing? What lessons does he need to learn, and what does this scene teach him?

Once all avenues of intellectual exploration are explored, the scene goes on its feet. Eric structures one stage picture after another. Logistical issues of scene shifts are solved. Character relationships are explored through physicality and use of the dialog. Finally the whole framework of the scene is constructed, and we leave it to marinade in our individual and collective subconscious until we explore it again.

Why should you come and see this play? Why not just read the book, or rent one of the film treatments? Why blend two different stories together into one? You may as well ask why we mixed chocolate and peanut butter. Because it is awesome.

But, of course, that’s a snappy answer. The more considered response is this: each treatment allows a story to breathe fresh life as it is experienced by a new audience. It’s given a new perspective as the storytellers analyze and interpret through their own voices. Moreover; one of the best ways to experience one culture is through the eyes of another; the other, in this case, being a different aspect of that same culture. In this way we’re taking a deep look at ourselves, pitting two stories against one another and finding the common threads between them in an attempt to highlight our humanity, our values, and our capacity for change.

We do this as artists. We do this as fans. We do this to honor and keep alive the spirits of those who came before us – they who enriched our own lives with stories – and to pass their stories on to another generation that has evolved alongside the rest of our culture.

Opening December 1st. Get your tickets now.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


There’s a trend in how I’ve been engaging myself with entertainment this year.  It all centers around things I first discovered over ten years ago.  I’ve re-watched movies and TV shows, I’ve re-read book series, I’ve re-played video games that I first discovered around the time I was in college between 1996 and 2001, and just after.

Nice as it is to revisit these old passers of time, I find myself curious as to why I’m so locked into this pattern.  It’s as if I’m trying to rediscover some piece of myself I once lost.  Maybe I had something figured out then and I’m trying to reclaim it.  Maybe I’m trying to center myself, compare my attitudes and opinions of today with those of fifteen years ago.  Maybe I want to determine whether my values have gone astray.

Whatever the reason, I had the culmination of these things last Wednesday when I visited the Art Institute of Chicago for the second time in as many weeks.  My first time there was at the age of sixteen on a trip from Texas with my high school choir.  My girlfriend and I were walking through the place when we happened on a particular painting that struck me.

I had never been a particular appreciator of art, but the immense level of detail of this piece engaged me in a way nothing else had that day.  The picture was of a pipe, not dissimilar from one I saw my father use when I was growing up.  The grain of the wood caught my eye, as did the deep reddish glow of the coals as they burned.  A thin trail of smoke drifted lazily from the bowl.  But what burned brightest in my memory was the single French sentence written beneath the picture.

My girlfriend asked me to translate.  I was taking a French class (because German was full and Spanish was dumb), and the sentence was simple enough.  Basic stuff.  There was an encouraging challenge in her tone as well.  Her mother and her sister had been trying to get her to break up with me on the basis that I was shiftless and didn’t deserve her.  She didn’t disbelieve them (and they weren’t wrong), but still she gave me every opportunity to prove myself worthy.

The sentence made no sense.  I stared at it for a full minute, certain I had made a mistake.  My girlfriend’s eyes, hopeful, bore into me as my faced twitched with difficulty.  Finally I concluded I had the sentence correct and uttered the translation: “This is . . . not a pipe.”

But it was a pipe!  I could see that.  It was obvious.  The contradiction forced me to pay more attention to the object itself.  The more I looked, the more it looked like a pipe.  Was I being tricked?  Was a camera there to record my face gone all wonky and warped like a funhouse mirror?  My girlfriend wondered whether I was pulling a stupid prank, which had been a long time habit for me.

The image and the experience stuck with me, and over the years I visited Chicago twice more before I finally moved here.  Each time was a few years after the last, and each time I wondered through the halls of the Art Institute with the purpose of stumbling upon the painting.  “Here I stand again,” I would think, and reflect on all the events of my life that had occurred since the last time I stood and looked at that particular painting.  It was a way of making watershed moments in my life, taking stock of myself and measuring how far I’d come since the last time I’d stood and observed that particular painting.

But this time I observed it and felt – nothing in particular.  Maybe I had built up the moment too much.  After living here five years, this was the first time I’d carved out the opportunity to get there.  I had wanted to, I had tried, but I didn’t want to go unless I had someone with me to mark the occasion (which didn’t make sense, since I had no one with me the last time I was there in 2005).  This time all I could think about was the first time I’d seen it.  The two subsequent visits had been reduced to hazy memories; I remember other elements of those trips far better.

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived more in my last five years than I lived in the previous ten.  I’ve grown more.  Learned more about myself.  Risen to – and conquered – more challenges.  Become more responsible, more disciplined.  Taken more risks.  And I find that the more I change, the more I like who I am.  I’m not ashamed of wasting my life, watching it go by.

And maybe it’s to do with the time I wasted when I graduated with my Bachelor’s in 2001.  Those were the beginning of my Wasting Years, the period in which I took no chances with my life and affected no changes.  I ran away or hid from challenges, burying myself in the fantastic lives of fictional characters rather than constructing a life of my own.

Just like when I was sixteen.
I got my Master’s degree this year, and if I’m not careful, I could fall into the same pattern of stagnation.  Perhaps I’m revisiting these old companions of mine not to reclaim a piece of myself, but rather it’s my subconscious warning me that I could end up burrowed in my apartment for days at a time, only doing the bare minimum it takes to keep the roof over my head and never aspiring to anything greater.

Okay, then.   Message received and interpreted.  Warning recognized.  It’s time to do new things, so that the next time I find myself before a painting pretending to be a pipe, I’ll have more to say about who I’ve become during the in-between times.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Livin' the Dream

Originally posted on

My fellow actors and I have a saying between us: “Livin’ the dream.” This is the most common response to the question, “How are you?” and it answers a lot.

We went to school because we were chasing a dream of becoming more than we were. At one time or another we were inspired to become artists, and we undertook an educational challenge that would hone, amend, and strengthen our talents. I became an artist because I wanted to inspire in other people the same dynamic experiences that books and movies and music and television and video games invoked in me as an audience.

When I was in middle school my primary inspiration was Star Trek. I owned a copy of the Star Trek Technical Manual and a copy of The Klingon Dictionary. I wore a Next Gen communicator pin on my jacket. These things pulled the fantasy out of the television and allowed me to carry it around at all times; though the ownership, display, and perusal of these materials did nothing for my popularity. I was already an outsider due to my physical size (I was six feet tall by the age of twelve), and my non-mainstream behavior served to keep my schoolmates at a distance that was, if thin, certainly palpable.

Worf was my favorite character because I felt I could best identify with him. He was an outsider. Physically different from his colleagues, intimidating, and had no one to share his passions. For Worf those passions included duty, honor, and the culture of his ancestry. For me those passions included what was deemed to be (among my schoolmates) a derisive nerdy sub-culture with which – like Worf – I could rarely find someone who shared it.

Flash forward twenty-two years. I’m at the end of my academic career when a classmate passes on an audition notice for A Klingon Christmas Carol. This . . . this was nerdiness doubled. No, trebled. Someone had taken the Dickens classic and merged it with a far future epic. Of course I had always wanted to be an actor on a Star Trek property in my youth, but what were the chances of that? Now I was not only a trained actor, but a trained martial and stage combatant as well as experienced in studying various foreign languages and English dialects. Never had I been in a better position to tackle any role as this.

When I was cast, I did the most epic happy dance ever.

My first involvement with the play was to attend the 19th annual meeting of the Klingon Language Institute. Three days of hanging out with people who . . . there are no words. Dedicated fandom doesn’t cover it. Jovial souls isn’t strong enough. Kindhearted doesn’t scratch the surface. I was also extremely impressed by the level of intelligence; I have a Master’s degree, and I’m pretty certain I had the lowest level of education in the room.

As inadequate as these words are to describe the people who attended the meeting, imagine what it was like for me to finally discover this group of people and count myself among them. Also in attendance was Marc Okrand, the linguist who authored the Klingon Dictionary which had been sitting on my bookshelf since my thirteenth birthday.

No aspect of what you may call “nerd culture” is compartmentalized. A Klingon Christmas Carol finds the intersection points of two beloved classic properties and blends their worlds, strengthening the individual value of both. My small contribution was, after spending three days building up the nerve, to ask Dr. Okrand how to say “Your argument is invalid” in Klingon, thus creating a tighter bond between Star Trek and one of my favorite internet memes. I’m proud to say that the phrase (literally translated as “Your fighting technique is obsolete”) is now an official idiomatic expression in Klingon.

So awesome.

Rehearsals for the play began about six weeks after the KLI meeting, and again the feeling of coming home washed over me in a way I’ve never felt. I’m in a room full of people who are both professional actors and Star Trek fans. One of the first things we did was, at director Eric Van Tassell’s suggestion, to introduce ourselves by talking about what things we’re nerds for (sports, hobbies, stories, and so on). Historically this is the kind of thing I always kept quiet about, so being in a room with nearly two dozen like-minded people was so refreshing and relieving. I found comrades-in-arms on so many topics I’ll be stunned if I don’t walk away from this production with new lifelong friends.

The first week’s worth of rehearsals exposed an even deeper well of appreciation for this production. The script contains references not only to classic Star Trek tropes and ideologies, but also contains one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare. We had two language intensive rehearsals, four hours apiece, with a third on the way. We aren’t merely learning to pronounce this language, we’re learning vocabulary and conjugation and sentence structure. We have movement rehearsals as well, which aren’t merely stage combat intensives, but also examinations of how this culture of Klingons walks, stands, sits, marches. None of it is easy, but I learned a long time ago that nothing worth doing is easy.

And this show is certainly worth doing. Of all the things that I adore and have been inspired by in this production, I was most struck by something Commedia Beauregard Artistic Director Chris Kidder-Mostrom (who is also the playwright) said to us early in the process. Why do we do this show? We do it because it affects lives. It affects the lives of the people who do the show, and it affects the lives of the people who see the show.

Never have I heard a more altruistic reason for doing art. We’re going on a journey together, the artists and the audience, and we’re building an experience that will leave us all changed for the better. Being a part of this production is both a validation of the child I used to be and the adult I’ve become. This show is a validation of every child and former child who has and will bear witness to its execution. This show is worth every drop of effort, and I believe in it with all my heart.

Today, when my colleagues ask me “How are you?” and I answer, “Livin’ the dream,” I’m honored to say I’m actually living several dreams at a time. And perhaps inspiring the birth of new dreams as well.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Knob Job

For those of you who haven’t experienced it, many Chicago apartments are well over 100 years old.  They go through renovations from time to time, but more often than not this merely consists of a fresh slather of paint over the previous layers.
It also never seems to be applied by a painter, exactly; the evidence of my eyes suggests it was a nine-year-old trying to knock out the job in an afternoon with a rubber spatula.  It’s uneven and dries and hardens in long drips, like amber raindrops running down a windowpane caught in a freeze frame.  From observation of places where the paint layer is particularly thin, or has chipped away, it’s clear that my off-white dining room used to be blue, my blue bathroom used to be pink, and the strike plates on the doors didn’t used to be painted.  Next to the light switch in my bedroom the paint has chipped away so deeply I can see the previous five colors that room used to be; it’s like cutting down a tree and counting the rings. They paint over electrical outlets and picture hangers and the pocket change left on a windowsill.
There are no straight lines in my apartment.  Windows are cut into the wall at odd angles not exactly in line with the ceiling. Sometimes the ceiling itself has the barest slant.  This makes hanging a picture evenly a task to be completed not with a level, or some other craftsman’s tool, but rather with one eye nearly shut and the other eye bulging (think Popeye) and a fair amount of compromise.
Every door in my place has been kicked in at least once.  Long splinters of wood are missing from the jambs, clearly ripped away by the bolt and replaced with more paint.  Sometimes I indulge in the fantasy of a Prohibition-era thug holed up in my bathroom while impeccably dressed cops or capos kick at the latch until the door explodes inward.  Collars are grabbed and sneering faces are shoved into cowering ones.  Maybe someone was even thrown out of a window.
I feel less like I’m in an apartment and more like I’m in a tree fort with electricity.  It’s pretty awesome.
The quality of repair (if it can be referred to as such) once led to a mildly embarrassing situation.  I had been living here for about four months before I had my first guest – it was our second date.  We were watching Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (I don’t go in for rom coms, thankyouverymuch) when I excused myself to the bathroom.  As this was the first time I had company, this was the first time I had need to shut my bathroom door.
Trying to pee quietly when a potential romance is brewing in the other room is harrowing enough.  It’s a common enough situation, I suppose, so I presume what followed has very little precedent in the overall world of dating life.  I tried to leave the bathroom, but when I grabbed the knob I heard something tiny and metal hit the tile.  The knob pulled easily enough, but the door stayed shut.  The knob had come off in my hand.
I stared in disbelief at the object I held – a clear pseudo-sphere that had been masquerading as the key to my egress and back to my potential make-out session.  The door retained a hole where the knob had been, a semi-perfect round lip that matched the “O” of surprise in my face.
This did not just happen, I thought to myself.  It didn’t help.  I tried pawing at the door plate ineffectually like my cat does when she’s on one side and wants to be on the other.  That didn’t help either.  A square shaped prong jutted out from the hole where the knob used to be like a mocking tongue.  Nyah nyah, the door seemed to say.  You’re stuck fella, and you’re not getting out of this on your own.
I briefly considered calling to my date for help, but the bootheel of my pride snuffed out that glowing ember of hope before it could catch fire.  I squeezed the contemptuous prong with thumb and forefinger, barely able to obtain a grip, and twisted with the might of growing panic.  I quickly determined that only the strength of the wrath of God could get that to turn without a tool.  The consideration to call for help arose from my depths once more, but I shoved its head below the surface to drown.  Visions of the door crashing in attending high drama were replaced with visions of my date demurely letting me out as one would a pet who was put away for the day to prohibit pee stains from occurring on the carpet.
I am a man, I thought to myself.  A macho man who has done home repair.  A man who was suave enough to talk himself into a second date.  I can get out of this.  But these thoughts were only shouts in the storm compared to the simple plank of wood, securely fixed, that stood between myself and the hallway.
Suddenly I remembered the ting! I heard at the start of my little adventure.  I searched the floor and found a tiny screw.  Bitty.  Insignificant.  Barely worth notice.  But worthy enough to be shoved through an equally tiny hole in the doorknob, grip the metal protrusion, and twist my way to freedom.
Success!  I got the door open and suppressed a derisive cry of victory.  The first order of business was to grab a screwdriver and fix the knob with, at least, the illusion of permanence.  I couldn’t have my date suffer the same indignity I just had.  I was simply grateful she didn’t go in first.
I rejoined her on the couch where we finished the movie and ignored the fact that I a) took too long in the bathroom and b) developed a problem in there that could only be solved with a fucking toolbox. 
I’m lucky I have other things going for me.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I used to have a Perfect Sunday.

I’d wake up around 8:00 without benefit of an alarm clock.  For years I’d worked a 9-5 job in the loop, and had finally acclimated to shifting my schedule to living by the sun instead of the moon.  With no meatspace social outlet (my only friends were on-line) I never had a reason to stay up or out late. 

The first order of the day was to brew my special Sunday Coffee:  HEB brand Texas Pecan, first gifted to me by my elder sister in a care package to celebrate my new apartment, moved into the same week I came to grad school.  It was not the same coffee I would drink during the rest of the week.  This coffee was special.  Tastier.  Drank for the sheer pleasure of the flavor instead of a simple morning jump start.

As that began to brew I’d begin making breakfast to extend and compliment the orally hedonistic experience initiated by the coffee.  Could be I’d make a batch of Kirby Lane Pancakes (again, made from the mix sent me by my sister).  Could be an omelet using a modified Mom’s scrambled egg recipe plus a compliment of red onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms.  Most frequently it was the Grilled Cheese Fried Egg Sandwich Om Nom Nom.  This was an egg, sunny side up, added to a slice or two of Swiss cheese, melty and dripping from between the buttery toast coated with just a hint of mayo inside.  Drippy, greasy, delicious.

Post breakfast would find me sitting at my computer, sipping coffee, sucking a cigarette, and checking the latest batch of Postsecrets.  My whole morning was soundtracked by soft jazz using iTunes Genius to create a playlist based upon Dave Brubeck’s Take Five, reminding me starkly of the kind of jazz my father would play during my childhood.

Coffee mug empty, cigarette stubbed to ash, and the last Sunday Secret read, I’d check the nearest movie theatre for earliest showtimes.  About 20 minutes north of me is a theater whose first showing of each movie each day is $5.50.  It’s a first run theatre, so it’s large and comfortable and not a bad evening spot (there’s even a piano bar in there, complete with a full kitchen and pool table).  But getting there early on a Sunday meant I got to watch whatever I wanted without a massive crowd to shuffle through taking up the best seats and talking through the movie.

It didn’t matter what I went to see.  Indeed, the point of going to the movies wasn’t ever about the movie itself so much as the event of going to the movies.  To sit in the dim and watch people file in.  To catch the teases of other movies that promised to excite, to inspire, to amuse.  To watch a story unfold before me and pay attention to the art of action, of direction, of design.  To sit through the end credits like my mom always used to do, listening to the final selections of the score.

I’m discovering a lot of my favorite things are those which bring me closer to family.  My parents in particular.

It used to be that I’d only go to the movies at night; they’d be the final event of the evening, frequently the last showing of the day.  Though it’s been many years since I had that particular habit, some part of me still expects to emerge from the darkness of a movie house to the darkness of the night, head home and straight to bed.  Thus I was always refreshed walking out of my Sunday Morning Movie; there was still so much daylight!

Next I’d hit the grocery store and pick up the perishables I’d diminished during the course of the previous week, then head home and immediately change into some exercise clothes before I’d lose momentum, grab my bicycle, and ride down Lakefront Trail to Navy Pier.  It’s an eleven mile trip from my home to the pier, and I’d ride both as a meditation and exercise routine, trying to race south as fast as my legs could take me.  I’d rest at the far end of the pier for ten minutes or so, taking in the boats and the skyline and watching tourists take pictures of one another.  Finally I’d walk down the pier counting all the different languages of conversation around me, listening to the family friendly tunes piped in over the speakers, the squawk of the seagulls, and smelling the pretzels and the roasted almonds and the biomass.  Finally I’d cap my ears with headphones once more and ride home to a Pavlovian induced exercise focus.

Still riding high from the elevated endorphins of exercise, I’d start cleaning my apartment.  This could take minutes or hours depending on whether I felt my place needed a spot check or a scour.  Stone Temple Pilots would press me while I began in the kitchen, cleaning from the countertops down to the floor.  A broom and a mop would take me from the kitchen into the dining room, then south to my bathroom and bedroom, the hallway, and finally the furniture and floor of my living room.  Somewhere in the middle of this I’d halt everything to take a smoke break once Sour Girl played, and I’d take a moment to sing along and reflect on the Greatest Hits of Ending Relationships.  Sometimes I’d listen to Foo Fighters instead and do the same thing during Stranger Things Have Happened.

My apartment finally cleaned and ready for company should I ever convince anyone to come over, I’d shower and put on my favorite In for the Night clothes; flannel pajama pants, a rather baggy long sleeved shirt that makes me feel like I’m seven wearing one of my dad’s shirts, and puffy slippers made to look like running shoes.

Finally I’d put on some headphones – it was getting late, after all, and I don’t want to use up too much goodwill with my neighbors – and crank the volume on the Foo Fighters’ Live at Wembley Stadium DVD from 2008.  I’d fill a 32 ounce cup with ice, Jim Beam (white label), and Coke and start cooking all the lunches I would need for the week.  This would involve the thawing/seasoning/searing of some chunks of chicken breast, mixing up some penne and devising a Sauce of the Week.  This was different each and every time as I was always too drunk to remember what I’d done in previous weeks, and it was almost always freaking fantastic.

Due to the drinking, the effects of Sunday didn’t end until sometime Monday morning.  I’d awake and try to reconstruct hazy memories of the previous night’s kitchen activities, frequently in a mild panic as to whether I’d left something uncooked sitting on the counter all night.  More often than not I was delighted to discover what a joy my drunken self took in housekeeping duties.  Nearly every Monday morning I’d awake to discover my kitchen cleaned, dishes washed and put away, lunches portioned out into individual containers in the fridge, and coffee brewed and awaiting my travel mug.

Then one day I found myself in the frequent company of a lovely lady who took unwitting ownership of my time and attention, and the events of my Sunday Ritual became a thing of memory.   I still do these things in fragments as the rest of my life has since been complimented with IRL friends and hobbies.  But lately I’m longing for a return to the things that used to matter.

Perhaps next week a variation of this will reemerge.