What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Giuliani and Me

Amanda and I had an interesting morning. One of our favorite places to eat here in Houston is a place called Buffalo Grill. They would definitely be my pick for best breakfast food. We've never been for lunch or dinner, so we can't speak for anything but the pancakes, bacon, and stuff like that, but it's definitely the best we've been to in the city, so far.

But that's beside the point. While we breakfast├ęd there this morning (I had the #3A, Amanda a blueberry wheat pancake the size of a your face...if you have a really big face) we noticed that there were a couple young ladies and one ambitious looking young man in a navy suit handing out fliers with Rudolph Giuliani's face on it and stickers with a big "RUDY '08" on it. I thought, "Okay these people have come down to do a little canvasing whilst enjoying the best breakfast in the city."

But then I began seeing TV cameras and men with badges. Not police badges, but the important kind. The kind that says "press" and hang from the neck. And I knew they weren't just tourists with nice camera either because the microphones were fuzzy. No one has fuzzy microphones, unless there's after a scoop. Then I overheard one of the clean cut young blonds tell another breakfast goer that "he" would be here in 15 minutes. Soon, it was clear that Giuliani was actually going to be coming to the restaurant. Amanda and I were finishing up, but, to my surprise, Amanda wanted to get another cup of coffee and hang out and see if we see Rudy. Now, if you've ever been to the Buffalo Grill, particularly on a Sunday morning, you know that it's pretty busy and the line is regularly out the door. They don't let you save tables and they kind of discourage hanging around when there's a huge line. On this morning there was an even bigger crowd. So, Amanda and I felt a little bad about hogging a table, but it seemed, given the circumstance, it was appropriate. We felt a lot better when a bright eyed young couple asked if they could share our table. We were glad to do so. The guy told me that he received Giuliani email newsletters and knew about the appearance. I was really glad that he got to discover the best breakfast in town in the process.

Eventually, Rudy did show up around 10:15. You kind of had to think: 10:15 am on a Sunday morning in the West University area; this a fairly diverse mix of old school GOP and moderately liberal area of town and he was there at a time when the Republicans who dislike him would be in church. Seemed like a good strategy.

So, he walks in and, of course, the cameras and microphones swarmed around him. There was a reserved table right next to our table and he sat right there and began a chat with a little boy, who I find out from the AP later on, was named Charlie Pagan. I'm not making that up, his last name was "Pagan" and he and his Pagan family were the pre-screened exemplification of the ideal Rudy voter. Well, they weren't in church, after all.

The cool part was that he really was within spitting distance of us. Had I been so inclined I could have been kicked out of the restaurant by actually spitting. But, like I said, we love this place. Plus, why would I do that?

When Giuliani stood to pay his tab and make his rounds he walked by me and I decided that it was now or never. I stood and punched him in the face!

Just kidding. I shook his hand and asked if he'd had the pancakes. He said no, that he just had a cup of coffee. I felt this was a mistake, but I let it go.

The above picture I found it on this AP news site. So, yeah, I'm famous now. I also took some pretty crappy cell phone pics that I'll try to post maybe later.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

More Reunion Junk

So, the high school reunion is tonight. I've already expounded on the societal and personal implications that this night brings. I've always thought of the ten year reunion along the same lines as the Senior Prom. Not necessarily as huge as a wedding or a child birth, but still, it's a once in a lifetime kind of thing that is deeply infused into the fabric of our culture. If you doubt this then take a look at the movies that have used this overblown party as subject matter.

The previously linked blog above references a movie that is probably my favorite of these films. Grosse Pointe Blank is the story of a guy, Martin Blank played by John Cusak, who has to travel back to his home town of Grosse Pointe, Michigan on business. Unwittingly, he is there on the same weekend that his high school graduating class is having it's 10 year reunion. His caring and concerned secretary encourages him to go to the reunion, even though he really doesn't want to. It turns out that he took off the night of prom, leaving his high school sweetheart waiting to be picked up, never to be seen or heard from again. Martin is wary of going back to his reunion for the obvious awkwardness that could accompany his reunification with all his old friends, and most of all the girl.

As he is scoping out the old town and the changes that have taken place since he left, ("I'm standing where my, uh, living room was and it's not here because my house is gone and it's an Ultimart!") he happens by a shop window that houses a local radio station. The DJ at the mic is none other than his old girlfriend, played by Minnie Driver, in one of her cuter roles. He can't help himself and decides to listen into her show. As the curiosity gets the better of him he decides to make use of a commercial break and drop into the station. Driver's character then puts him on air to quiz him on his going AWOL in high school and sudden return, much to his humiliation.

Oh, and Martin's business is as a killer for hire. He's a hitman. The girl doesn't know that yet, but the audience knows this from the beginning. A very good and in demand one, at that.

What I love about this movie is that, despite his job as a professional killer, (he claims a military psychological profile quiz showed he had a certain "Moral flexibility") he is very concerned with the way people see him. Even when he's been hired to kill someone he seems genuinely hurt when the person he's about to kill thinks it's something personal. "It's not me!" he tells them, just before he puts a hole through the person's head.

Other than the killing thing, I see a lot of myself in Martin Blank. He is thoughtful, in the sense that he may over think a topic. He is very self-aware, knows how he feels and is able to verbalize his feelings, but also realizes and compares this to how he should be feeling. Like, on the one hand, he knows that going to his reunion, given the circumstances surrounding his departure, his return, and his career, would probably be a mistake. On the other hand, he knows that he's curious and a peek into his old life, when presented to him on a covered platter is more than he can handle. He must cave in.

Well, here I am with the covered platter only minutes from my home. Despite the $60 a pop price tag, it was just too difficult not to peek back into that world. Of course, it's not like I left in some weird way or that I'm expecting people to think it odd that I'm there, like Martin Blank, but, of the few people with whom I kept in contact after high school, I don't think that any of them are coming. I'm sure this would be enough to fend away most sensible people. But, once again, I over think things and can't resist an opportunity to put myself in an awkward situation. Then again, I might have a blast. Who knows.

By the way, what's with movies and TV shows always holding the reunions in the gym of the high school. You can't drink in a public high school, which is one of the greatest things about the high reunion to begin with. The last time I saw some of these people we were jumping the fence at a party where the cops showed up or sneaking around to pay off some homeless guy to buy us beer. How surreal and wonderful is that?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cast for the THS production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Thank you for all who auditioned. The decisions were very difficult and I look forward to working with each of you.

The first rehearsal will be on

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2007, 3pm-5pm
in the Black Box Theater

Please be early!

If you can’t be there or at any future rehearsals please contact Aaron Hlavaty or Mr. Martin. You will receive a script and complete schedule at that time.

Carole-Marie Wiser will serve as Assistant Stage Manager with Aaron!

Mr. THESEUS David Novark
Mrs. EGEUS Zainab Elkadin
LYSANDER Emilio Campos
DEMETRIUS Erik Schorken
Mrs. PHILOSTRATE Haley Thurman
QUINCE Ryan Hadfield
SNUG Sammy Rice
BOTTOM Richard Gomez
FLUTE Zach Brady
SNOUT Polo Barfield
HIPPOLYTA (Mrs. Theseus) Reade Burke
HERMIA Sarah McCall
HELENA Jessica Ries
OBERON Daniel Colvin
TITANIA Adrienne Enderle
PUCK Josephine Tran
First FAIRY Daniela Silva
COBWEB Alessandra Suniaga
MOTH Anja Senn
MUSTARDSEED Brennen Blankenship
FAIRIES Aziza Lewally
Jaquelyne Mata
Jessica Sabillion
Marissa Sendejas
Terran Freeman
Victoria Rios
Towobola Jokodola
Attendants to OBERON Sitrutul Abedin
John Whitney
Chad Heller
David McGarrigle