And Life Was A Ball, And Wasn't It All So Cozy And Fine?
Bet you thought I'd forgotten all about you, didn't you?
Yes, I remember what I said several months back, about doing a better job of keeping track of things over here. Turns out, in the New Net Paradigm where TwitterBookSquare and its ilk rule, multi-sentence postings on a personal web site are just soooo 2007. But, since I'm coming up on the anniversary of starting this here blog, I figured it was time for a bit of a check-in, just to let you know the lights are still on, even if there's seldom anyone home these days.
Live Alone In A Paradise That Makes Me Think Of Two
Today is the 25th Anniversary of my arrival in Seattle (well, technically I spent a few months living in unincorporated Sea-Tac before officially moving inside the city limits in the winter of '86, but I worked in Seattle, so you know, semantics and what-not).
Hard to believe two and a-half decades have passed since I left the northern wilds of Bellingham, trekked south down I-5 in a 1972 Chevy Impala 4-door carrying everything I owned, to meet up with an ex-college roommate from Ellensburg, who had already secured us lodgings in what turned out to be probably the largest living space (as defined by total square footage times number of occupants) I've lived in during that entire time. We were both dirt poor, and knew probably only a handful of people in the city, mostly people with whom we'd gone to school, and had our sights set on breaking into the local theatre business.
And here it is, 25 years later: Kevin moved back to Shelton probably 20 years ago, bottomed out, and eventually got his act together, in the process becoming a substance abuse councilor (a subject he definitely knew a thing or two about, at least based on my own personal observations). Me, amazingly, I'm still "in the business", although not doing what I figured I'd be doing at this point in my life.
Funny how things turn out. At the age of 24 I was setting my sights on an artistic career (which has come true), but all the other more traditional goals: marriage, family, home buying, etc., etc. seem to have fallen by the wayside. And here I am on the cusp of 50, having to acknowledge that, barring some unforeseen miracle, most of those things are simply never going to happen. Not that I'm complaining - for the most part - because, all things considered, I've built a pretty good life. I live in a beautiful city (it has its problems, but what city doesn't?), have an interesting and challenging career, a passionate avocation, innumerable colleagues, and a handful of true-and-trusty friends, none of which I would give up for anything.
But still, one can't help but reflect, at least a bit, on what I may have missed in the process. For all intents-and-purposes, my particular genetic line ends here. That's a pretty sobering thought: I have several nieces, but you know, patriarchal blood-lines being what they are in Western Civilization, it means no more Comte's - at least on this branch of the family. Other branches will continue, but I'm not going to be contributing anything new to my own. I've become an evolutionary dead-end.
Do I regret it? Only slightly. I wonder sometimes about the experience of parenthood and the question not having been one inevitably brings up, namely, would I have been a good one? It's such an integral part of human existence that it's easy to take for granted, but for myself at least, knowing it's never going to be part of MY experience does make me feel somewhat, well, almost guilty in a way, like I've let down my genetic team somehow by refusing to get into the pool as it were.
But, one can only wallow in "woulda, coulda, shoulda's" for so long without risking becoming insufferably maudlin, and I don't have it in me to try for some ersatz emo/goth attitude, which would probably only end up making me even more insufferable, so there's that.
On the plus side, I've got some pretty good genetics working in my favor so far as longevity goes (three of my four grandparents have lived until well into their 90's), and therefore it's not unreasonable to anticipate I could hit that - or beyond. So, in a very real sense my life is truly only half over; with luck, I've got roughly another 50 years in me, which in and of itself leaves open all sorts of possibilities.
Although I seriously doubt shooting for "World's Oldest Dad" is going to be one of them. For one thing, what kid wants to walk down the aisle for their high school graduation to see some old geezer who rightfully should be their great-grandfather waving at them - unless of course he WAS their great-grandfather.
I suppose, in the end, there are some things you just can't quite let go of, regardless of the reality...
Yes, I know - long time, no blog. Frankly, things have been rather slow around the old moorage of late; life, work and art have all nestled into comfortable, albeit somewhat predictable ruts (not necessarily a BAD thing), and frankly, there just hasn't been all that much excitement going on to convey to the masses - or all six of you still reading this.
But, I do think it's incumbent to acknowledge a milestone that occurs today (well, technically it would have been yesterday but - ), that being the 5th anniversary at the job. Yes, five years in; hardly seems like the blinking of an eye, but there you go.
I wouldn't say things are at exactly a lull job-wise at the moment, but there is definitely a bit of a dip in terms of activity load, although I don't expect that to last for long. We've got a major internal organizing campaign just getting started, and between that, planning for our 2011 national convention which will be held in Seattle next summer (along with whatever other little projects come down the pipeline in the meantime), and I'll have plenty on my plate to keep me occupied; even if they're not the sort of exciting things I'll necessarily feel compelled to write about.
Out Into The Cool Of The Evening Strolls The Pretender
If you're reading this, you probably already know that my Gmail account has hacked sometime early this morning and used to send out a Spam message saying I was stranded in London and please, please call the listed number to arrange to send me money to get home.
Would that I could fly to London for the weekend on a whim, but unfortunately, it's just some scammer in Nigeria "phishing" for a bit of cash from you-all.
My Gmail account is back up, but also unfortunately, the scammers stripped out all of my contact information, as well all the emails in my inbox. So, if you sent me an invite to a show or a social event recently, my apologies for the unsolicited spams.
So, if you get the chance email me with your current address.
Drivin' Home This Evening I Thought We Had It All Worked Out
Spent Sunday at the theatre helping to decide our next season of productions. This is an annual event that, over the years has come to be known euphemistically as "The Afternoon of The Long Knives" (which, despite the unsavory connotation, is actually a much older term than many might realize.
But, the desription is nevertheless fairly apt: after receiving and reviewing some two dozen proposals for productions, we go through a series of "pitch sessions" wherein the proposers are interviewed in-person, and at the end of that process members of the Company lock ourselves in a room for an afternoon and don't come out until we've reached a consensus on what shows we want to do. At times, it can get brutal - the first thing we do is scratch off the roughly 50% of the projects we pretty much know we DON'T want to do - and it can also be somewhat emotional, particularly for members of the Company submitting proposals for the first time. The end result, though, is that, by the time we're done, we not only have mutual agreement, but generally the shows that are selected are ones for which either the entire Company, or at least a significant majority, have some outright enthusiasm for doing.
Of course, this is no guarantee that the actual productions that result from these proposals will always meet our expectations; frequently, they don't. But, taking risks is quite literally part of our Mission Statement ("creating bold new work in an environment of improbability, resourcefulness and risk"), and it's one of the things that separates us from most of the other "fringe theatres" (and some would argue, successfully IMO, from most other theatres, period) around here: the willingness to take chances, to embrace uncertainty, and to nurture the new, the weird, and the unconventional. In short, it's what makes Annex, Annex.