Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Survivor Spoilers

So what's going to happen in episode 1, you're wondering? Well, let's see. In the women's tribe, Eliza finds herself on her own early on when she suggests they boot whoever screws up in the challenge.

Ami, Dolly and Mia walk away from her, dismissing the woman who claimed that no one would see her strategizing. Uh huh. Speaking of Mia...

...she compliments the other women on the nice, if short and tubelike, shelter they built. As for the Italian girl... well, she didn't do much work building it. Sure, she cut down some palms for the roof, but she left the hard work to the others. One person who aligns with Mia is Julie...

...who says she's into versatility and doing whatever it takes. Julie does not like Scout very much...

... as she walks away from the older woman's comments with a dismissive "Yeah, yeah." Who does like Scout? Well, this is not a for sure thing, but I'd wager a lot that Ami and Scout form an alliance early on.

What do I know about the men's tribe? Not much. Except that John Kenney is in trouble early on.

And Rory looks good for awhile. At least near the merge, anyway. Iowa represents.

Glengarry Glen Ross

So yeah. Lines. Ack. Gonna be a good show though. I love playing the asshole. And man does my character take a lot of verbal abuse in this play. But I end up on top in the end. It's a tragedy, you know.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Damn rain

I hate the fact that we got so much rain this summer for one reason and one reason only - my freaking lawn turns into a jungle every three days. I don't mind mowing my lawn every week or so, but to keep up, I'd have to mow it two times a week and that just does not fit into my schedule. And it doesn't help that I have the lawn nazi living next door. He mows every other day whether it needs it not. Freak.

Yesterday, I got out my machete and cut a path to the garage where my lawn mower waited. I did the back yard first because that's the priority for Sharon. She can see that part of the yard every day. And besides that's where the kid plays. Got that done. And then I tackled the side and front yards. Unfortunately, my lawn mower overheated before I was able to finish. So now I have a partially cut lawn. It looks ridiculous. I am sure my neighbors are snickering at me. The Lawn Nazi next door is probably circulating a petition to have us evicted from the neighborhood.

But really. I have more important things to do.

1) Play Texas Hold 'Em
2) Memorize my lines for Glengarry Glen Ross
3) Prepare for my fantasy football draft
4) Write entries in my blog

So despite the 1/2 completed lawn, I am feeling cool...

Friday, August 27, 2004

Great song lyrics

I haven't actually heard the song; I just stumbled across the lyrics on the internet. I love the line:

If Jesus wears His scars for me, then I'll wear mine for you.

Although I usually don't like God being brought into songs, it's a great image and one I am taking as a literary reference rather than a spiritual one.

Written and Performed by Jennifer Daniels

Mamma, tell me that one again. The one about the scar
That stretches out across your skin so far.
And don't leave out the part where you call it the tattoo
That God, in all His love, picked out for you.

Well, it was raining out.
Your Daddy thought there might be something wrong.
We had stayed up late. We had "Carson" on.
And when the fever came we were fixing up your room
But baby started on the way, much too soon.

There was no time to cry. The doctor swore an oath
And said, "We've got to get the baby out.
Or we're gonna lose them both".
There was no time to pray. They cut me open wide
And found the treasure of my life inside.

The wound began to heal. The muscles began to bind.
I thought of God up in his tattoo parlor picking out my design.
And how He's funny to commemorate our days,
Especially the hard-fought, bloody ones He saves.

Ever since that night I have found strength to pray,
"The good Lord giveth and the good Lord takes away".
And blessed be the name, even with stripes to prove.
If Jesus wears His scars for me, then I'll wear mine for you.

Just da facts, ma'am

I don't know what that title has to do with anything. Just popped into my head.

So my daughter needs a haircut before she starts preschool in two weeks. My wife suggests that I take her today and reward her with a ride on the carousel at the mall for good behavior during the haircut. Sounds like a good idea to me. She desperately needs the haircut - she looks like a sheepdog and you can't even see those beautiful blue eyes behind the bangs. So we go to the mall. A hairdresser at Master Cuts was writing behind the desk. I stood and waited for her to notice me. Without looking up, she says hurriedly, "What can I do for you?" I reply that my daughter needs a haircut. The woman says "Does her mom know?"

I blinked. Huh? What does that have to do with anything? Is this woman seriously suggesting that as a father I am not allowed to have my daughter's haircut without an okay from my wife? And what if I were a single dad and there was no Mom in the picture? I wish I had reacted differently at the time, but I just said, "Yes, of course." The woman must have noticed my reaction because she explained that moms had called her and yelled at her because she'd cut their child's hair without their permission. So to be safe, she always asks first now.

Okay. Fine. I get that. But that doesn't change the fact that the question was rude, sexist and offensive. I am sorry she has to deal with obnoxious moms but that doesn't make it okay for her to be rude to me.

I am firing off an email to MasterCuts home office. I'll let you know what happens.

In other news, life is pretty good. The kids are great, my wife is great, the play is great. Tomorrow I have to move my grandmother in law to a new home, go to a good friend's birthday party, and... something else... oh yeah, work on my lines for Glengarry.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Misunderstand me? Such is life.

Ever notice how people can turn everything into your fault? You come up with an idea, and it's perfectly reasonable. It will work. Everyone just has to get on board. And then, wham! You get accused of ulterior motives.

I am being way too cryptic, aren't I?

Forget it. Fact is, I don't even know what I'm saying. In the end, it's all going to work out. People can think what they want about me. I know my motives, my intentions, and what was the right thing to do. I know what's in my heart.

So guess what? I am not going to be directing The Play about the Baby. And I'm fine with it. Instead, my company is going to be reviving Someone Who'll Watch Over Me by Frank McGuinness. We did the show in 1997, I believe it was. It was the first show Matt Brewbaker, our artistic director, acted in - he was the Englishman. I played an Irishman and a very talented actor named Thomas Williams played the American in the show. It's play about hostages. The three men are chained to a wall in a cell in a middle Eastern country. We never see their captors. The play focuses on how the help each other to survive. It's incredibly timely with what is happening in Iraq. And that's why we switched. I wanted a show that related to this insane war in Iraq. By addressing the issue of hostages, we're touching on an aspect of this world changing event, and creating a dialogue. I hope we can get all three actors back. I know I'm back and I know Matt B. is back. Gerry Roe, the director, will return. So it all comes down to Mr. Williams. I haven't spoken with him in years. But he's still around. Hopefully, he'll want to give it another go. It was my favorite acting experience ever. I know he enjoyed the show, too.

Please come back, Thomas. We need you, too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Nice vacation. Good family time. Fun football. Glad to be home.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Survivor: Vanuatu

So I am getting sucked in again. I've watched Survivor since the very first episode. It's not as good as it once was and they keep throwing these new twists into the mix to keep us guessing. Sometimes the twists are good (like the tribe shakeup in S3) and sometimes they're just lame (like no one choosing to switch tribes in S5). Some seasons were pretty boring. But I am still a fan. I own a Survivor buff (it was a gift). I have every episode on tape. The Survivor Season 1 DVD is on the way to my house (birthday present from the inlaws).

Not only am I fan, but I am a spoiler. I belong to the Acme Brain Trust, a private Survivor spoiling organization. We used to the Ellipsiiis Brain Trust, but there was a... well, revolution, I guess you'd call it. God, this all sounds so ridiculous in retrospect. Anyway, we reformed as ABT instead of EBT. We predict who will get booted each week. We used to have a source and therefore knew who was going every week. Now, we have to predict using various clues in the episodes and previews. That's called Speculating.

The cast for Survivor: Vanuatu has been spoiled. No official announcement yet but that ought to happen Monday. So we have some pics of the cast and some basic information. Based on this information, I am going to speculate a little bit. This is really just WAG, but what the hell.

Four people I think are going pre-merge:

Twila Tanner
(no picture available yet)

John Paylock

Lea Masters

James Crittenden
(no picture available yet)

Of those four, James lasts the longest and is voted out just a short while before the merge or is the first post-merge boot. He has to stick around long enough for us to be inspired.

Four people I think are going to go far:

Rory Freeman
(no picture available yet)

Mia Galeotalanza

David Finta

Eliza Orlins

Am I right? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I know you're out there...

Okay, so I know that I actually have two subscribers to my blog. This is shocking to me. Who the heck are you? Say hello! I think it ought to be required that everyone say hello before they get to read the blog. Or before they get to leave the blog page. We must be friendly to each other in this mixed up crazy upside down Arbys loving world. Sniff.

Be friendly, dammit!


I bet that won't work too well.

No Wheat for you!

My wife was diagnosed with celiac disease today. This is not a good thing. There's no cure and the treatment is a special diet which is going to eliminate a number of her favorite foods. Anything with wheat, barley, oats, rye and something else... I can't remember. And wheat is in everything.

Here's the thing. She doesn't deserve this.

My mood is not good.

What's amazing is how well she is taking it. She tough, she is.

Iowan on Survivor!

There's an Iowan on Survivor for the first time. The cast hasn't been announced officially yet, but the spoilers on the internet have figured out all 18 (yes, 18 just like All Stars) names. One of them, Rory Freeman, is a 35 year old African American from Des Moines, Iowa. He used to work for Employee & Family Resources. He's married to Simone, who works for a school. Anyone know anything else about this guy? Let me know!

It's about time an Iowan got on Survivor. The fact that he's African American is pretty cool, too. At least this way we won't show the world a stereotypical Iowan - white, conservative corn farmer and rube.

Go Rory! Bring home the million!

Corvis... the dog?


There's a dog with my name! And he has his own blog!

I don't know what to think about that.

One thing I learned is that "corvis" is a latin word meaning "raven". I've been using this name in various ways for almost twenty years and I never knew that. Freaky.

Why am I using the word "freak" and its derivatives a lot lately?

Why am I asking you?

So freaking much to say...


I had a post all typed in and ready to go and I lost it! Pissed off I am. Yes, I am. Dammit.

Here's some freaking pictures:

I went to the Maquoketa Caves on Saturday with Robyn, David, and Paul. We had a great time. Got dirty and bruised (shin and knees). Discovered caves can be beautiful in a very earthy sort of way. And I am not claustrophobic! There was one - The Wye Cave - that we didn't fully explore. At one point you have to crawl through this tiny opening to get to the deepest part of the cave. By the time we reached the Wye Cave, we were tired and filthy and just didn't have the juice needed to go all the way. Next time, we'll hit that one first.

I had this great paragraph all about my lovely wife and how she sacrifices for me so I can do the things that really make my life richer, like theater and hiking, but it's gone. So I'll just say: I love Sharon. And I am so lucky to have her in my life as my partner.

Being a soccer dad was good times. Watching my 3 1/2 year old daughter run after that ball. High fiving when she did something well. Chuckling with the other dads and moms when our star Sigfus (yes, Sigfus!) scored for the ninth time in a row. I swear his parents must have started training him with the soccer ball when he was 1. He's five now and a terror on the field. His parents are European, not sure from where exactly. But they called the sport "football". Anyway, my daughter started to learning about teams and got a lot of good exercise. And she picked a lot of flowers for her coach. Sometimes during the game, but hey, she's 3! It was darn cute. And really funny when the rest of the team decided picking flowers was a lot more fun than kicking the ball. Heh.

The play is going well. My two favorites lines are:

"Because I don't like you."

and (my final line of the play):

"Fuck you."

Mamet has a way with swear words.

I play the asshole in the play - John Williamson. Everyone seems to think I won't have to act very much. Hah hah.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Appalachian Trail 2004

Day 1

We hiked four miles to Rock Gap Shelter. Two miles of approach trail and two miles on the Appalachian Trail itself. Pretty easy hike although the first part was a pretty good climb. I almost lost my water bottle. It fell from my hand and rolled off the trail and a little ways down the mountain. I had to drop my pack, climb down carefully using trees to keep my balance, and retrieve it. Jane got bad blisters on both of her heels. They’ve both broken open. She’s doing really well, not complaining at all. I also have the start of blisters on my heels, but I moleskinned and duct taped ‘em. (Jane did that, too, but it didn’t help. Once they’re broken, there’s little you can do.) We set up camp, played cards and got very little sleep. Our sleeping pads were not enough padding to compensate for the rocky ground. John, Jane and I probably got about two or three hours sleep. Jim has an air mattress so he slept well. There was a guy at the shelter, skinny guy with long dark hair, who seemed nice enough. He was gone at first light, heading the opposite way from us. Another guy hiked up from road but didn’t stick around when he saw how many of us were at the shelter. I think he slept in his car with plans to hike in the morning. We didn’t see him in the morning though. Maybe he passed by while we were sleeping.

Day 2

The first half of the day was a four mile hike to Winding Stair Gap. Not too tough. There was one difficult climb, but it wasn’t very long. There was also one place where you had to climb with your hands, but it was nothing compared to Albert Mountain. It was also a very narrow path which I think made Jim and Jane nervous. To the right of the trail was a long way down… There was a long and easy descent with a beautiful babbling brook near the end. You had to walk through it but it wasn’t deep at all and there were rocks to help the crossing. We got to US 64 and rested. There’s a rough climb ahead. We’re all feeling pretty good though, even Jane with her blistery feet.

We climbed to Swinging Lick Gap and Panther Gap. Rough climb. The gaps were helpful because they gave me some idea of how much further I had to go. Then we climbed to the point in the trail where you can branch off to Siler Bald shelter. It’s .5 miles off the trail. John and I met a couple of hikers who were coming from that shelter. They said it was a great shelter. When they met Jane and Jim further down the trail, they told them we should head there since it was going to rain soon. When Jane and Jim caught up with us, we decided to go there and rest and decide what to do next. We raced the rain all the way to the shelter. It was an easy descent, but it seemed longer than it was and it was raining. We decided to stay at the shelter for the night after the heavens opened up on us. So much rain. Jane’s blisters are really bad. She’s decided to get out at Wayah Gap, about two miles down the trail. My blisters are being held at bay with moleskin and duct tape. I want to make it the rest of the way to the NOC at Wesser. Depending on how my feet are, I may get out there.

Jane cooked ramen noodles and chicken. The food was sooooo good. It was the first time I’ve ever had hot food on the trail. I am considering bringing a small stove next year. I think it was especially good because it was getting pretty cold and it was so wet. The hot food really helped a lot. I feel really good. The rain is still monsoon-like. John just went to the privy armed with only Jane’s little umbrella. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Later in the evening, a couple of assistant scoutmasters and brother showed up sans Scouts. They were drenched. They used the shelter while we slept in our tents. Much better sleep as I took two of John’s Flexerall and the ground wasn’t rocky. The tent leaked a little bit but considering the amount of rain that battered it, we were pretty happy with it. Jane’s tent leaked too and in the middle of the night she had to borrow socks from John to warm up her cold feet. I think she is looking forward to being done.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Return of the Hiker

Well, I am back in the heartland. I didn't get to do nearly as much hiking as I would have liked to. And this time it wasn't an injury that knocked me off the trail, but instead my siblings and their lack of desire to continue. Jane got two huge blisters so I can hardly blame her for giving up. But John and Jim, who did hike 9 miles more than I did, lost heart due to the rain. (I missed out on the last 9 miles because I had to get Jane safely back to the car. That involved hitchhiking and it wasn't safe for her to go alone.)

The rain was monsoon-like. Apparently there were flood warnings in the mountains. And the storm hung over the entire trail from Georgia to Maine, so we couldn't even jump in the car and hike somewhere else. I was dissappointed to say the least, since I only did 17 miles and I was feeling like I could have hiked forever. No pain in the knees, no broken blisters, nothing.

However, the good news. I had a great time hanging out with my siblings. There is a lot to be said for vacationing with your siblings as adults. People don't tend to do that very often, it seems to me. Or, if they do, they do it with spouses and familes and everything. This was just my two brothers and my sister and me. We had a great time. Next year, our other brother may join us. I hope he does.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

Listed on Blogwise
Listed on BlogShares
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
Who Links Here