Thursday, May 1, 2008

Throwin' it on out there . . .

Allow me to apologize profusely for my absense. As you know, for I've babbled on incesently about it for a while, I had an improv show, and it's been a thing that has dominated my mental space for a couple of weeks. That's weird, of course, because it was an IMPROV show, so there's no way that I could have planned anything, but I suppose that it it's safe to say that I was preparing myself mentally for this exercise in masochism.
It was great fun, by the way, the improv show. We had a decent sized crowd (including two very important and totally amazing people from my parish! Thank you so much for being there, Mr. and Mrs. B. Your support meant the world to me.), and I think that people were generally happy with what they saw. I'm eager to do another performance soon . . . Well, soon-ish, anyway.
And, so now it is down to business, as they say, and I want to make it my business to discuss some aspect of Waugh, his work, or . . . His shoe size. Whatever. The thing is, though, I could keep throwing out suggestions for books (or whatever) to discuss, and I might never hit on the one thing that you guys are interested in. So, I'm now asking you fine, fabulous folks to tell me what you'd like to talk about. Brideshead? Decline and Fall? Vile Bodies? Gilbert Pinfold? I'm game for anything. Any Waugh is good Waugh in my little world. That's just how pathetically devoted I am. But, you know, that's how devotion should be. If you can't be pathetically and even somewhat stupidly devoted to your devotion, that you shouldn't even bother. Hey, that could even be a topic to DEVOTE ;P some space to. To what or to whom are you ridiculously devoted? Waugh and chocolate covered coffee beans are probably near the top of my list . . .

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Please, Oh, Please, Oh, Please!

I know, I've bugged you guys about this before, but it's extremely important, so I'm gonna have to bug you again. If any of you (or anyone you know) are planning on being in or around the Detroit area on


please come to our Improv Bruvaz show. It's at the Park Bar (2040 Park Ave.), it starts at 9PM, and the cover is the mere, paltry sum of 3.00. It will be an amazing night of truly remarkable, reality defying theatre/comedy that will leave you utterly and completely bereft of speech . . . And, that's only if we have an OFF night. Yeah. It's like that.
So, please show some love for some real Detroit entertainers and make it your own personal mission/quest to be at our show. And, hey! How about this? Even if you don't live close by, why don't you make a special trip out here just to see us? You can sleep in my bathtub . . .
Seriously. COME TO THE SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DETROIT, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

A Handful of Dust

I found Waugh's
A Handful of Dust entirely depressing. I laughed (bitterly) in places, and the book certainly held my attention, but it hasn't ranked as highly in my esteem as "Brideshead," "Sword of Honour," or even The Loved One. Now, however, I've been reading some interesting criticism regarding the novel, and I'm starting to believe that there's more to the work than I had originally noticed . . . like the Arthurian theme that apparently runs throughout. I'm thinking of giving A Handful of Dust another read. And, before I do, I want you guys (you delightful, well-read, articulate, and wonderfully opinionated people, you!) to further clue me in on what (if anything) I should be looking for, loving, hating, or just being amused by in Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just a Thought . . .

It's Friday night, and I'm looking out over the lights and life of downtown Detroit. People are moving about, and somewhere, something like music is thumping, throbbing, thumping, and I'm writing a play. I don't know if it's a good play, and it's entirely unsolicited, unwanted, but I feel like I have to write it, so I continue to do so. And, I'm wondering if it's just the intrinsic need for aesthetic harmony and community that might drive one to do such a thing. It was common among the Medievals to say, "Even dwarves can see far if they have the good sense to stand on the shoulders of giants." Is that what I'm doing? Even if I'm not great, am I at least attempting to do something that actual great people have done time and time before in an attempt to hoist myself up just far enough to be privy to something larger and much more lovely than my mere pathetic self? Maybe.
Oscar Wilde said, "We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars." This is what my attempt at literature feels like . . . A way to see something beautiful through the mire of everyday life.
So, how do you see the stars?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Leap of Faith . . .

Please forgive my self-indulgence. This has nothing to do with Waugh, Wilde, or anything literary for that matter (not directly, anyway). I'm just tremendously excited about my latest endeavor. I'm doing improvisational comedy again, and I'm loving it. I'm hardly (make that HARDLY) a comedic genius, but I'm working with some very kind and patient folks who also happen to be completely amazing performers. These guys of whom I speak--and, glowingly, but probably not glowingly enough--are the Improv Brothas of downtown Detroit. They perform at the Park Bar (which also happens to be the BEST bar in Detroit) on a newly built and really impressive stage facility.
I just wanted to share this with you lovely folks, my friends, and to ask you for your supportive thoughts. Please wish me luck, that I might not be kicked out of the group, be booed off stage, or vomit during a rehearsal.
I believe that there will be an Improv Brothas show on April 30th, for those of you in the immediate or surrounding area of Detroit. I probably won't be in this particular show, but, if anything, this should ENCOURAGE everyone to come. These guys really are truly amazing, and if you go to their show, I promise that you will laugh.
I'll post a show time and more details later. And, hey, maybe I'll try to work Waugh into a scene or two in the very near future . . .

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wild About Wilde?

I am. I am, and have been for many years, truly and deeply enamoured of Oscar Wilde. I see Newman in Wilde, and I see Wilde in Waugh (as well as others), and it all comes together in a lovely tapestry of beauty, sin, and, ultimately . . . atonement.
In my opinion, Wilde's genius knew no bounds. His plays are brilliant and tremendously funny, his children's stories are positively delightful, his non-fiction is insightful, and his poetry bears its own unique beauty that is alive with color, depth, and sensuality (I'm thinking primarily of "A Harlot's House").
I'm also fond of Joseph Pearce's biography, _The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde_. I think that he treats Wilde fairly, both with honesty and with understanding. What do you think, fellow readers?
Wilde, of course, still remains of figure who provokes controversy. Where do you weigh in on this enigmatic genius?