Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The mermaid on my thermal cup-sleeve is mocking me....

Wow, been a while since the last post, huh? I suppose it can be attributed to schedules, stress and writer's block, with a dash of procrastination. Ok, maybe few tablespoons of grade-a procrastination. But thats in the past and we're in the now and the future is currently upon, so.....allons-y!

I be feelin' in a pirate mood as of late, probably due to my recent journey to St. Augustine...arrr. Indeed, as Scoutmaster of Troop 404, I accompanied a band of 11 scallywag younglings and 4 adult leaders to Anastasia Island for a 2.5 day campout. I must say it was magnificent! St. Augustine might be my favorite city, and if I'm wrong, its definitely in my top 4. So much history seeps from every sidewalk corner; centuries of pirates have left their mark upon the shores and roads. Fort Castillo de San Marco is, to me, one of the greatest human accomplishments. Its very existence is a one of true poetic irony. To summarize the colorful history of the fort in one very short passage: In 1684, a man was convicted of being a pirate in St. Augustine. This man, Andrew Ranson, was busy being executed for his mistaken identity when the rope that was seconds from squeezing his soul away from his body snapped. This was taken as a sign from God and he was given pardon. In exchange for their mercy, Ranson utilized his knowledge and skills as a mason to build Fort Castillo de San Marco; a fort which withstood every pirate attack it faced. The irony? A "pirate" built an impregnable fort to fend off pirates! To quote Captain Jack Sparrow, "Funny ol' world, isn't it?"

We visited the Pirate & Treasure Museum, and our tour guide was a pirate impersonator, Captain William Mayhem. This guy was the real deal, beard, outfit, weapons and a piratey way o' speakin'. It made me realize something profound; I LOVE St. Augustine, and I love anything related to pirates, so I've finally devised my retirement plan! My retirement will consist of buying a nice old house on the beaches of St. Auggie, and my days will be spent being a pirate on St. George street. Learning the history of the town, giving tours, getting pictures with piratey folk, and then joining my fellow pirate crew at a local pub for a bottle of rum. I like that plan.

Enough history and piracy! Ask me how I'm doing, go on, ask me.

...I'm glad you asked. I'm doing quite well! I've been doing as may VO auditions as I can muster, and I just landed a role as an extra in a 'Funny or Die' sketch! "Great Moments In American Tourettes" is the ongoing sketch title. I haven't gotten too many details, but I do know filming is set to shoot this Friday, and every extra is to bring 3 sets of clothing; 1 set resembling 1930's style, 1 from 1970's style, and 1 from 1990's style. Being a fluent cosplayer, I say challenge accepted.

No further news on the political thriller film I was casted in, but I'm anxiously watching the phone on an hourly basis.

Grant, aren't you stressed at all from your high-rollin' lifestyle? Hmm...There is ONE thing that is stressing me out, and its Halloween. Halloween is, by far, my favorite holiday (besides my birthday, of course) and every year I want nothing more than to outdo last year's costume. Back in the day, I could stop a crowd with my Capt. Jack cozzy, and it quickly became my favorite hobby. This great, big game of pretend is something I'm genuinely passionate about, but alas, with each new year comes the same obstacle; cash flow. Due to lack of funding, my ideas are forced to remain on the page and live vicariously through the cheaper, more feasible costumes. My original plan was to dress as David Tennant from the 10th incarnation of the Doctor, from the BBC show "Doctor Who", and I was able to locate sources that could provide me with accurate and custom-fitted clothing to do so, as well as props to recreate his Sonic Screwdriver. However, it would come at a heavy cost, the likes of which this pirate can nay be affordin'. Yes, I could make use of old, used clothing from a thrift store, but it wouldn't be the same to me. It wouldn't have that true realism I seek for my costume. And yes, I am a Halloween snob, its quite obvious. I can't help it, thrive on a costume's authenticity and accuracy, and my soul is lifted not only when I manipulate materials into a masterpiece of masquerade art capable of mesmerizing the masses, but also when I bring that art to life. An essential part of the Halloween experience is being the person you're dressed as. Its all well and good to dress as Capt. Jack, or Heath Ledger's rendition of the Joker, but can you enslave people's attention with your deadly accurate fluency with Jack-Sparrowisms? Can you swagger your way into a crowd and bring silence to the lips of many, and widen their eyes in disbelief as a true pirate has just entered their midst? Or can you strike fear into the heart of an individual before you even say a word, using not only your crudely applied clown make-up, but also the look in your eyes that speaks the language of insanity? These...compulsions for cosplay creativity are but mere shadows of my passion for Halloween. Madness, some may say. Madness? ...this...is...Halloween!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Its the pits being a pit

I love peaches. Yes, I do have a lingering affection for my late dog, Peaches (an apricot toy poodle, who passed away years ago), but that is not what I'm talking about. I speak of actual peaches. Who DOESN'T love--or at least like--peaches? Non-peach eaters are difficult to find, mark my words.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a perfectly ripe peach today in the same manner that I have always executed when sinking my teeth into these delicious fruits of goodness. I make an incision along the fruit's crease, longitudinally, then twist the two hemispheres to reveal the pit inside. If the fruit is perfect, it will pull away from the pit with no resistance and I can enjoy large bites of the peach halves with no fear of breaking one of my ivory masticators.

After I had removed the pit from this particular specimen, but before I had taken the pilot bite, I began to think, which always leads to trouble. I thought about the pit. The peach's pit. Does anyone every take time to think about this seemingly insignificant yet slightly cumbersome thing? With most peaches, the pit is large, unwilling to leave the sanctity of the peach's center and a hazard for teeth. So why should the average consumer put any further thought towards this hardshell jaw-shocker? Well....

I realized that I was the first and only person to ever lay eyes upon this pit. This SPECIFIC pit. The first! For months, during this peach's life on the tree, the pit acted as this fruit's life force, its base for attachment, its memory of it's mother tree and a promise for a future of more peach generations. And I was the first to see it in the light of day. As well, this was the first time the pit had ever seen light itself. If it had a consciousness, how confused it would be if the only world it ever knew came splitting open to reveal the universe behind the curtain.

"But Grant, you're just reiterating a high school education on biology and blah blah..." Yes, this thought train is something we are all already aware of, an common knowledge that is all too common to every man, woman and child and rather insignificant compared to the grand scheme of life. Every other seed-bearing fruit must endure the same life, never seeing the real world except for a moment as they fly through the air and into a refuse bin. But...seeing this pit made me think. In that moment, I felt rather honored to be the consumer of this perfectly ripe peach. A feeling of gratitude towards the pit only felt natural, along with a feeling of guilt as I laid it within the garbage can.

Hmm.

And now for something completely different; news! Labor day weekend! I hope all of yours' were grand because mine was quite relaxing indeed. The activities included cigars, slacklining, watching the Gators destroy FAU, cooking, root beer, regular beer, a bit of BBC America, and the beach (from which I'm still nursing a horrendous sunburn.) Saturday, I had a great opportunity with an audition for an on-screen independent film. Ask me what kind of film it was...

...I'm glad you asked! Its being categorized as a 'steampunk/victorian era political thriller'. Sounds good to me! I read for the part of Bartie, an adventurous type of chap thrown into the midst of a presidential scandal after his wife dies in an apparent "accident." I'm excited to hear back from the director, I'd love to be a part of this project!

Fast forward to this present; I'm sitting in Panera as I'm writing and a young girl just sat down across from my table. Looks to be a college student, judging my her stack of index cards, salad and giant coffee cup. What caught my eye is the device she is typing on. It's an iPad, standing upright on a mount and attached to a keyboard. In my mind, the first thing I thought was, "Congratulations, miss, you just invented the laptop." Lulz