What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I posted a new entry on Run, Fat Man! Run! my fitness blog. Yes, I have a fitness blog.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Verdict or Bits About God

As many of you know I recently travelled to Austin to interview for spot in the Drama and Theatre for Youth, Master's degree program at the University of Texas at Austin. The program would last for three years and would award me an MFA, which is considered a terminal degree, meaning that there is no higher degree available in theatre. I was excited about the prospect, and knew that I would have to sacrifice my paycheck, but I was more than willing. Moving to Austin was certainly a plus since Amanda and I really like it there.

The time between Amanda calling me with news that I'd gotten a letter and the moment I actually arrived at home seemed like forever. I had about a million things going through my head. First of all, ever since I visited the campus in Austin I had began to develop a small, but significant tightening in my stomach. I think it stemmed from being on that enormous campus surrounded by real life students and professors and everything seeming so real. I had been raised to believe I would go to college and so when it actually came, it was exciting but, of no surprise. I think I always figured that I might get a Master's but it wasn't until I saw the benefit of a MFA that I really considered it, sometime after college. So, the reality of placing myself back into a full-time student environment, after becoming so comfortable in my current position, making a living, not worrying about bills or teachers or impressing people, all came at me at once and proved to be rather scary. In fact, when asked by my last interviewer, the newest member of the DTY faculty, how I was feeling about the whole experience, I answered her honestly. I told her it was scary. She asked why and I told her that I was making a good living and was comfortable. While being comfortable was never something that I ever valued much before, It's tough to leave a good situation so that in three years you'll have an even better situation. Going from home to college is easy, because you're gaining freedom. In grad school I'd have no more freedom than I ever had before, but with less...we'll call it "mobility" than I've had in the past.

Amanda's been great throughout this whole thing. She's been so supportive and encouraging toward me and the idea of supporting me while I pursue my Master's. It's not been lost on me, however, that this process would be tough on her, as well. We're both used to two paychecks, now. It wouldn't be easy to give that up so that I could get a peice of paper.

With all of these fears and anxieties, I still really wanted this opportunity. The chance to study theatre under some of the best artists in the world, with access to playwrights, actors, and directors who are nationally and world renowned was one that I couldn't pass up. So, I did something I do very rarely, nowadays. I prayed about it. I left it to a sign from God. I rarely do this, not because I don't value God's influence in my life, but because in recent years I've come to feel that we, as humans, as Christians, and as believers kind of abuse the privelage. Not that I think God doesn't care, but I don't really see the benefit in seeing the Big Man over the mundane aspects of life. Is my haircut going to make my face look fat? Pray to God. I can't find my keys. Pray to God. The Gap was out of my size in loose fitting jeans. Pray to God. Suddenly the haircut is great, you find your keys and they find a box of jeans in the stock room. It all seems so trite, as to diminish the need for prayer. I feel really close to God when I pray to him and I find great comfort in our relationship and my belief in his power, but if I allow myself to believe that God cares about and controls even the most minute details of my life then I think he ends up getting blamed for things that shouldn't be attributed to him, as well.

With all this said, my point is that I decided to leave this one in God's hands. Why? While most of the Evangelical Christian Tradition probably find the "why?" perplexing (just like it bothers them that I'm not capitalizing the pronoun forms of God) to me it's not so obvious. I went to God because I couldn't deal with the stress. I was being pulled in so many directions I was beginning to feel a little sick, even. My friends could tell. They would ask me, "What's wrong?" or tell me, "You don't seem like you're normal self." The truth was that the answer was coming. I knew that I was going to find out my destiny for the next year with the next couple of days. And, I was nervous. God brought me solice. It was nice. Lately, I've been pretty critical of Christians, particulary of the sect from which I was raised. My reluctance to be associated with those in the government or popular opinion with whom I disagree with so vehemently had inavertently had the adverse affect of making me forget about and neglect my relationship with God. So, I kind of had to laugh a little when I found that I naturally, in a time of confusion and great stress, give it straight up to the Big Man.

So, anyway, I just decided that it would all be left in his hands. Whatever will be, will be the best thing. Which brings us to the verdict:

I didn't get in.

And it's cool. After reading the last couple paragraphs you might think I am relieved. In a way, I am. But, it's still disappointing. I want my Master's degree and I would, ideally, like to get it in theatre as an MFA, which generally means a lot more time and effort and that I must do it fulltime. That's the hard part. I know I'll have more opportunities to apply again and would most likely have an even better shot at it next year. Seeing as I was a finalist this year gives me a pretty darn good chance, I think. But, for now I'm going to do my job the best I can and enjoy what I'm doing, now. Next year I'll worry about next year.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Fox has come out with a new show that takes the news and puts it into a half hour of comedy, not unlike a Daily Show or Colbert Report type thing. It's called The Fox 1/2 Hour, News Hour, and the biggest difference between it and the Comedy Central shows, as you would imagine, is that they carry a more conservative bent, as a contrast to the other two's liberal leanings. I watched this segment that they have on their website, and I must admit, it was kind of funny. Given my theory that most shows take at least a whole year to reach its full potential, and usually longer, it's got a promising start. My guess is that for whatever reason the show won't last that long. I don't know why. I suppose it's my preconception about conservative viewers or inherit dangers of beginning a show as such an obvious reaction to an earlier, hugely funny and successful show. Not that I think conservative viewers wouldn't like a little funny in their diatribe, but it just seems that there isn't a big enough market for smart, political satir coming from the right POV. I know this may seem unfair, but satir just strikes me as a liberal thing. I guess because it's historically been used more often by progressives and liberals.

Mostly, the reason it bugged me was because I truly believe that most conservatives already like Stewart, and they'll be smart enough to see this show as pathetic knockoff, even if it is a truly funny show, it it's own right. Afterall, Stewart takes shots at all politicians, and welcomes both sides of the aisle on his show and is generally the most brutal to the media, which is, of course, the true enemy of the conservatives, anyway. The Limbaugh crowd and the folks who are always reacting to clever liberal satir by firing back with their own, weaker versions will like this, because it seems that they are the ones who created it. But, most people, conservative and liberals alike, will most likely pass it over with little more than chuckle and a pitiful head shake.

Finally, if Fox is going to keep their comedy show up, they really need to up their integrity factor to the level of The Daily Show. Granted, as John Stewart will say himself, The Daily Show shouldn't be considered the most reliable source for objective journalism, seeing as that most of what he says is false, but, let's face it: if you're adept at reading between the lines and taking a hint, The Daily Show is much better at cutting to the core of a news story than any of the other networks combined and looks at the news from the freshest angle possible: the honest one. The 1/2 Hour News Hour, while they didn't go into a rhelm of out and out lies, one segment was meant to take a jab at the ACLU, a bastion of liberalism if there ever was one. The clip was a fake comercial, showing a guy speaking to the camera about how he helped Neo-Nazis and hate group gain the right to protest and assemble and how he and these groups successfully sued the government for the right to hold rallies, etc. At the end he revealed that he was from the ACLU.

Now, everything that this comercial says was probably true, but what it implies is that hleping out the hate groups was an illeagal thing, or at least a bad thing. But, in true Fox form, they are expecting their viewing audience to be stupider than (let's hope) they are. To me, this validates and plays into the purpose of the ACLU and what they would admittedly do. THey ensure that laws are followed and that people's right's aren't infringed. This is done no matter how much they might disagree with the people who's rights are being protected. In a sense, Fox's faux commercial validates the ACLU more than it insults or discredits them.

I'm sure there are times that The Daily Show, and definitely the Colbert Report does the same thing on the other spectrum, but I haven't noticed. Maybe because of my own POV, I don't see it. But the show just seems doomed if they keep making simple mistakes like this.