Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween, Ladies! Lahlahlahlah lahlahlahlah lahlahlahlah

Chances are only my good buddy Kert and maybe two or three other Highlander fans get the reference in the title... but geeks is as geeks does.

My friend Mary Lasswell sent me a nice little halloween parable for you to consider:

A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that
> the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her.
> She asks him why he is staring.
> He replies: "I have a question to ask you but I don't want to
> offend you"
> She answers, " My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am
> and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and
> hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say
> or ask that I would find offensive."
> "Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me."
> She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do about that: #1, you
> have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic."
> The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and
> Catholic!
> "OK" the nun says. "Pull into the next alley."
> The nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker
> blush.
> But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.
> "My dear child," said the nun, why are! you crying?"
> "Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess, I'm married
> and I'm Jewish."
> The nun says, "That's OK. My name is Kevin and I'm going to a
> Halloween party."

Had a nice weekend visit from my Brother, his girlfriend Laurie and her two girls Tia and Caitlin. It was nice to have them visit... it's a strange thing to see him grow up from the little twit I used to beat up to a bigger twit with a family.

Not too many trick-or-treaters tonight. Then again, I haven't been home for most of the evening - Trish called and asked me to deliver the six bags of bark dust we had in our shed to Theatre! Theatre! on Belmont, where she's rehearsing Fifth of July for Profile Theatre (she's directing AND acting in it... be sure to make your reservations!). I did hand out some candy early on, though, wearing a monster mask... the kids didn't exactly know what to make of me.

Anyhoo... hope you're all having a fine All-Hallows-Eve.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Thanks CuppaJo

Ya know, I could be depressed right now. I really could be. If you've been reading the 'blog regularly, you know that I've had a veritable flurry of auditions in the past couple of weeks. Not a single one of them panned out. Oh, I got a call-back for Lion In Winter at Lakewood, but that's as far as I got.

So, I could be pretty down right now... except I keep recalling something that someone I've never met recently said.

This is kinda long and fractured, so bear with me... the message boards for City of Heroes are moderated by a lady who goes by the handle "Cuppajo." She's an incredibly fair, even-handed go-between who handles communications between the playerbase and the game developers.

The message boards themselves are a collection of praise, criticism, and suggestions for the people who make the game. Add in a large dose of comedic silliness and some player-created digital art and movies, and you've got a real off-the-wall spot in cyberspace.

Recently a bunch of grumpy CoH players asked, "Why should we test the next version of the game (on the "Test Server," a special server where advanced versions of upcoming changes are put in place so players can bug-hunt them)?" There was a lot more to thi rage-against-the-developers post than that... if you really want to you can read the whole mess
here (don't say I didn't warn you, though...)

Her response to the question (which you can read in its entirety if you click the above link and scroll down a little) was understanding and informative of the game developers' philosophies. What really stuck with me, however, was one of her closing statements.

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

So, here I sit, having thrown myself into the emotional meatgrinder that is the audition process (ask any actor, we'll ALL tell you it's the worst part of the job), and I could feel down in the dumps. I could be downright depressed. But that one line from someone I've never met keeps coming back to me... And somehow I feel a whole lot better.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there.

In case you were hoping for righteous indignation or silly web links, here's today's dose:
  • My regular check of Something Positive (read the cartoon... 'sfunny!) yielded this little nugget of information: Anne Rice has a new book series out - The Jesus Chronicles (no, that's not really the title). Anyway, an interesting little bit of info... click here for the real story on her new book and her, uh... reawakening of faith? Yeah, I think that's what you'd call it...
  • I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this story from the AP about Tom Delay's continued efforts to discredit the judge assigned to his case. I mean, Jesus, in his world should we all be immediately disqualified from our jobs if our political beliefs don't march in lock-goose-step with his? Oh, that's right... he's the victim. He's the victim... just keep listening to the grating voices of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh telling you that over and over. The real comedic part is the last paragraph, though... be sure to read all the way to the end.

Yeah, so that's my life these days. Hope you're all doing well.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Carve Your Own Jack-O-Lantern

A friend emailed this to me today... it's a hoot!

Carve Your Own Jack-O-Lantern

Friday, October 21, 2005

News Bits

Most mornings, my routine generally goes like this:

1) hit the snooze alarm a couple of times (note to self: set alarm clock a half hour early to allow for this) (Note to self: Trish is getting pretty sick of hearing your alarm go off for half an hour before you turn it off for good. Start getting up the first time it goes off) (Note to self: Stop making your "notes to self" public. They make you look like a bigger dip-wad than you already are)
2) Get up and stumble to the kitchen
3) Nuke a cup of yesterday's coffee. Make fresh pot while it's cookin'
4) Turn on the computer and check email and news.
5) Die a little bit inside with each example of Republican hypocracy, excess, and abuse of power.


Tom Delay's Lawyers Ask For New Judge Page one of the Republican Stratgegy Playbook says in big bold letters "No Matter How Much Power You Have, Always Play The Victim." Delay's crew has been using this tactic since the investigation (finally) put him in the cross-hairs. "The Prosecutor is a zealous democrat. I'm a victim!" "The Prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for me just because I've been indicted for a crime! I'm a victim!" "Wah! Waaaaaah!" Never mind the fact that this man has arguably amassed more power than anyone else in Washington, which he's used to strong-arm votes in the house and illegally re-district the state of Texas. Never mind that the evidence is clear of his laundering money through the Republican National Comittee, taking bribes (oh, I'm sorry... "gifts") from lobbyists. Never mind the fact that the prosecutor in this case has prosecuted more DEMOCRATS than REPUBLICANS!!!!

Now the argument is that because the judge in the case gave a few bucks to, he's biased against Tom Delay. Waaah Waaaaah! Let me get this straight... the only person qualified to be a judge in Tom Delay's trial would be... a republican who'd given money to TRiMPAC (Delay's Political Action Comittee that laundered corporate money through the RNC)? Ya know, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the very idea of judges was that they put their personal opinions aside and judged a case on the merits of the facts and the arguments. Just like Harriet Meyers is going to do... right?

This one really frosts my cookies: Kansas Court Rejects Illegal Gay Sex Case Ok, the title itself is enough to make you go, "Wha-hUH?" The amazing thing, to me, is that this law has been on the books in Kansas for quite a while and we're just now hearing about it. Isn't statutory rape statutory rape, whether it's same sex or not? Why do I have a sinking feeling that this may be a case that goes up to the Roberts Supreme Court? Sigh...

There was ONE piece of good news in my email box, though. My dad, who goes by the stage name Sandy Brewer, sent me a review of the community theatre production of Dracula that he's currently performing in. The reviewer loved it! Check it out:
This Production Really Bites (no, really! It's a good review!). There's a photo from the production here.

Ok... time to get the brochures to the post office...


Hoo Boy Whadda Week!

This week has been full full FULL for Trish and I!

Monday: We finally get the brochures for Mt. Hood Rep's Readers Theatre season... the day of the first reading. YIKES!

Because the company's financial cupboard is a little bare at the moment, the board decided that instead of paying someone else to do the copying and mailing, we'd fold the brochures and mail them ourselves. Luckily our artistic director Tobias discovered that we have a non-profit bulk mail permit on file with the post office, so we'll be able to save some cash on the mailing (15 as opposed to 37 cents per piece is a pretty good price!). On the other hand... this means that we have to fold all 3500 brochures, label them, put them in zip code order and deliver them to the post office ourselves. No easy task!

Trish took the lead on the project, and worked it out with several board members and volunteers to get the job done. Meanwhile, I had to print the labels, interface with the post office... AND get ready for the first reading of the season (happening that night). Oh, and go visit clients in between. Ya know... just your average day :)

Since we hadn't gotten the brochures out, we were pretty sure the audience for the reading was going to be small. Sure, we'd gotten a listing in the Gresham paper, and we'd sent out the word on our email newsletter (you can subscribe to The Aside, incidentally, on The Rep's home page), but that's not the same as targeted advertising through the mail.

Imagine our joyous surprise, however, when 58 people turned up to see the show! All were delighted with the reading, and several bought puch cards so they could see the rest of the readings in this year's season for a discounted price. As Geoffrey Rush says so often in Shakespeare In Love... "It's a mystery!"

Tuesday: Trish spends the entire day (10am - 10 pm) at the Mt. Hood Rep office folding brochures and putting "dot" stickers on them (to keep them from opening in the mail).

I have an absolutely crazy day at work... one appointment lasts about an hour and a half longer than I'd planned while another client is calling me in a frenzy because her server is offline. Another client is (thankfully) incredibly patient with me, and allows me to reschedule our late-afternoon appointment. I'm still talking clients through things over the phone at 6:00 pm as I'm driving from Lake Oswego to Gresham to join Trish at the office for an evening of brochure folding. Oi!

We finally call it quits around 10:30 and come home.

Wednesday: Trish has two Frankenstein school matinees back-to-back: she's called for the first one at 8:30, and the second one starts at noon. This means that she has to get up at 6 to get up, drink mucho coffee, and fight rush-hour traffic to get into Northwest Portland (ok, ok, I know that a lot of you routinely get up at 6 to go to work. We, on the other hand, usually work late into the evening, so we get up a little later. 6 is early for us).

I got some work done in the morning, then headed out to the appointment I'd rescheduled and got it taken care of. We met back at home in the afternoon. She took a nap while I re-read The Lion In Winter, the play I was auditioning for that night (you may remember that I'd mentioned last week I'd been called back for the show... what a GREAT play it would be to be part of! If you're familiar with the movie, you're familiar with the play. They're close to identical, and there's not a bad part in the show!).

I headed to to my audition and Trish headed out to see Talley's Folly at Profile Theatre. My audition went well... I guess. I wasn't there very long, and I only read two scenes. Still, I left feeling like I'd given the parts a good read, and worked well with my partners (one of whom was the venerable Ted Roisum, something of a legendary local actor. It was great just to have a chance to read with the guy!). Bill Dobson, the director, said that if I didn't hear from him by Friday noon, he'd moved on to other things (that means I don't get a part). So far, I haven't heard from him... no pressure, no pressure...

Afterward I took my arch enemy Garland Lyons out for a drink. I should explain... I've decided that Garland, who's a very nice guy and a wonderful actor, is my arch nemesis. The sole reason for my decision is that we're often at the same auditions, called for the same part. Now, I'm not sure that he's ever actually gotten a part I was going for, or vice versa, but the sheer fact that he's present at so many auditions that don't pan out for me indicates that he must be responsible. After all, it couldn't be that I didn't give a good audition, or that I wasn't right for the part... it's must be that damn Lyons fault!

Besides, I figure it's as good an excuse as any to have an arch-rival. Heck, everyone's gotta have one, and at least mine's not a bald super-genius or a psychopath wearing clown makeup (sorry, Garland... I'm sure you're a nigh-super-genius). Besides, would Batman go see the Joker in a show and know he'd have a good time watching his enemy? I think not... I figure I'm doin' pretty well in the arch-nemesis department, thank you very much.

Thursday: Another two-show day for Trish. She's up and out the door before I get up. Much much MUCH before I get up... since my alarm clock doesn't go off. I hit the ground running and head out to a client appointment in Lake Oswego. Then I run a couple of errands on the west side before a rehearsal of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers out in Gresham.

Teaching stage combat to high schoolers... such a soothing, calming experience. The good news is nobody got hurt, either from missed punches or me throttling them :) Actually, I have to say the cast is pretty good, and there are a couple of the young men who are really good at focusing and paying attention to what I'm telling them when I'm choreographing. I think that if these young actors will commit to them (always a hard thing for high schoolers to do - after all, they're worried about looking cool to their friends, and it's easy to look foolish up on stage acting like you're fighting) the fights will look pretty good. If they don't... well, at least they can say that they've learned some stage combat moves for later on in life.

I headed back to the office to help with the final steps in the brochure mailing project... we put the final stamp on the final brochure at 9:30 PM. Hallelujah! What an all-consuming thing this mailing has been... Trish has really gone above and beyond the call of duty on this one. I think she's probably spent a good 40 hours in the office this week, just working on that.

Now all that's left is to take the flats to the post office, fill out the forms, and pay for the postage. It won't be cheap, but it's cheaper than 37 cent stamps, that's for sure...

And now I've just spent an hour getting you caught up on how crazy our lives are, instead of going to sleep. God, I really must be crazy! I'm hittin' the sack!

Hope you're all doing well...


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sick-boy links

No, these aren't links for sick boys... I'm the sick boy. I started to feel kind of ucky on Wednesday, and by the time Friday rolled around I was coughing up goo and feverish. Oh boy what fun!

Oddly enough, I had a strange craving for banana cream pie. Now explain that to me... here I am coughing up mucus and I want... banana cream pie. I know, I know... probably not an image you wanted in your head. Even so, Marie Calanders banana Cream Pie is great stuff! You can buy it frozen at Safeway, and it's oh-so-good (at least when you're under the weather like I was).

My friend Jill (or Jelly, as we like to call her) lives in the French Quarter in New Orleans. We were awfully worried about her during Katrina, but it turns out she's fine. She decided to stick it out when the rest of the city was evacuated... check out her photo slide show of life in the Quarter after Katrina stuck. Be sure to scroll down to see the captions.

Finally, my friend Ruth sent me this funny song link from Jonathan Coulton's web site (I'll readily admit that I'd never heard of him until Ruth forwarded the link). It's a country-folk re-mix of Sir Mix-A-Lot's much celebrated work, "Baby Got Back." It's great for a laugh... and I could actually understand all of the words on this version! What a concept! Check out a sample of the original on, find out some "interesting facts" about the song here (who knew it was so revolutionary?), and then listen to Jonathan Coultan's version here. Funny stuff!

Feeling much better today... almost back to 100%!


Friday, October 14, 2005

Consider Me Whupped!

Hey, it seemed like a good idea... go up for my meeting in Seattle, see my friend Walter's show, then come back down after the show. It's only a three hour drive, eh?

Well, I got in at 2:30 AM... ugh... I've been up and drinking coffee since about 7:30 (damn that Buddy and his desire to be fed... grrrr), and I'm still not entirely awake. Still, it was a decent drive.

I have to talk a little about the production of Don Quixote that I saw in Seattle at Book-It Repertory Theatre. In general I'm not a fan of the "Book-It Style" of performance. For those of you who aren't aware, Book-It adapts works of literature into stage performances, including large parts of the narrative (so, in many cases, the actors won't just say their characters' lines; instead, they'll say "Tom never thought about why he should want to paint a picket fence. It seemed to him to be a sorry thing to do on a Saturday afternoon..."). The idea is to give some of the flavor of the author's writing within the stage adaptation.

I think that this is a great idea - it's a way to honor the written word contained within the book while still staging the story for the audience. It's just not my cup of tea... when I've seen shows done in this style (such as ART's Honey and the Horn a couple of years back, or Mt. Hood Rep's recent production of Fahrenheit 451) I've always found that "speaking the narrative" took me out of the story a bit. But... that's just me, and any adaptation of classic works like that is marvelous.

Don Quixote was different. Rather than have the actors speak the narrative, the adapter had Miquel de Cervantes, the author of the work, cast as a character in the play. As the scenes from the books were played out, Cervantes was there to give us his narrative AND his commentary on the production, the characters, and the books themselves. In many ways the play became less about parts 1 and 2 of Don Quixote (Cervantes wrote part one, then took 10 years to write a sequel. He only put out part 2 when he heard that a different "sequel" was being circulated by another author), and more about the process of being an author. It was a wonderful multi-leveled experience.

Should be in Seattle, I'd highly recommend trying to get in to see it... but you'll have to roll the dice. I think the run may very well be sold out.

Ok, time to do about 14 hours of work before I get to crash again... yay!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Congratulations, Mr. Pinter!

Hey everyone

I finally got the layout problem fixed... thanks to Blogger support pointing out to me that the way I was indenting paragraphs was probably at fault. Ah well... that's what I get for trying to be fancy.

Anyway, the title of this post refers to this news article. I can't think of a more deserving recipient of the Noble prize than Harold Pinter... his contributions to English Language (pause) Theatre cannot be (pause) overstated.

It's been a butt-kicker of a week thus far. The good news is that I got a call back on my Lakewood audition for Lion In Winter, and I think I did pretty well on my others as well.

The bad news is that I've spent almost every waking hour working or on the road... in fact, I'm hitting the road for Seattle as soon as I'm done here for a meeting with clients up there (but you probably already know about that if you read this post :) ).

I was considering staying overnight with my friends Walter and Beth, but I may just have a callback on one of the commercial auditions I did this week... so I'll be heading back down I-5 tonight after seeing Don Quixote at Book-It Rep.

Anyhoo... that's pretty much all the news that's fit to print. Oh, one more thing - Mt. Hood Rep's readers theatre season kicks off Monday with a reading of Briel Friel's Lovers. Due to some scheduling mix-ups, however, we weren't able to get our brochures out for the season before this first production. If anyone's not doing anything Monday night, come on down to Reynolds Middle School and see the show. It's a mere $7.00 (only $5.00 if you buy a season punch card), and it's a nice relaxed evening out.

Hope you're all doing well...


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Layout Problems

Hey folks

Obviously, something's happened to my "Blog" template - the content that's usually on the right-hand side is now down below all the posts. Not sure what's going on... I'll try and work on it tonight. May have to change templates... yeek!


Monday, October 10, 2005

My What A Busy Week!

... with apologies to the Portland Mercury.

Wow... well, somehow, my idylic no-show-going loaf-about-the-house lifestyle got turned on its ear this week...

Tonight Trish and I have both got auditions at Lakewood for The Lion In Winter (can you not see her playing Elanore of Aquitane? I'd love to play one of the roles in that play, but - in my opinion - it'd be a CRIME if they didn't cast her to play Elanore!).

Tomorrow I've got a commercial audition in the afternoon, and an audition in the evening for Peter Pan at Northwest Children's Theatre (probably just for one of the pirates... though I hear Captain Hook is, as yet, uncast...)

Then Wednesday I have to meet with two of Mt. Hood Rep's Readers Theatre directors to show them the space at Reynolds middle school and talk about upcoming readings.

Thursday I drive up to Seattle to meet with one of my web clients - and I get to see my good friend Walter Baker play Sancho Ponza in Book-It Repertory Theatre's production of Don Quixote. Looking forward to that one.

Friday is, at the moment, clear (unless I get called back on the commercial). Then, on Saturday night, I've got an audition at Stark Raving for their new play opening next year.

Whooo! And with my luck, all these auditions will yield no parts, and I'll STILL be looking for something to do... ah well. That's the biz, sweetheart...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Slow Wave Skateboard

As you know, I read a lot of web comics that I "watch" via (the same service that runs my "Notify me when this page is changed" box on the right-side of this page).

One of the comics I keep an eye on is SlowWave. This is an interesting site - visitors send in descriptions of their dreams to the artist, and the artist makes a weekly comic strip out of one of the submissions. Somtimes the comics are a little "eh..." but this week's gave me a chuckle... not exactly sure why. Anyway, check it out. You can see earlier comic strips by clicking the "Prev" link at the bottom of the strip.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Random Updates, Links, and and general silliness

Hey everyone

Been a little while since I posted anything of substance... and the trend will continue forthwith! Following please find some stuff about our lives, some downright silly links, and other madness. Prepare to feast on the detritus that flows through my brain:


Want proof that some people have too much time on their hands?Check out this very scholarly examination of what parts of the country refer to carbonated sugary beverages as "pop," "soda," and "coke." Really!


Trish has her first preview of Frankenstein at Northwest Children's Theatre tonight.
I'm waiting on her to come home, in fact... hey, here she is now!

"Hey honey, how'd it go?"

"Pretty well"

"Did the audience like it?"

"Yeah, we got a standing O.

"Can't ask for much more than that! Y'all should get to see it.


So, Amazon wants me to buy this CD. They remember this Soulstice album I bought last year (still one of my favorite albums, incidentally... Gina Rene's voice just melts me... sigh...), and they cross-matched it with "House of Om" by the Groove Junkies.

Now, I'm not going to buy an album without knowing something about it, so I looked up the Groove Junkes and came to this web site: (Some very cool audio on this site... take a few minutes to explore it!).

Nowhere on this site, however, is this album "House of Om." This makes me a little suspicious, so I plug in "House of Om" "Groove Junkies" into, and I end up with this page:

Now this is more like it... I get to hear a sample of each track.Ain't the internet great? Oh wait... didn't I JUST make some snarky comment about people on the internet with too much time on their hands? Crap, I think that's me...

Anyway, there's samples of all the tracks on the page above. What do you think? Should I pop for the CD? I'm kinda leaning towards no... some of it sounds fun, but Soulstice or the Chemical Brothers it ain't.


I'm a little surprised that I have a voice left after Monday. I had my first combat choreography session with the students in Sam Barlow high school's upcoming production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and it was frankly exhausting. Understand, the kids weren't bad... there were just a LOT of them, and we did a very complicated fight involving just about the entire cast in a big brawl that breaks out a town social. They did their best to stay focused, but 30 teen agers standing around on stage waiting for me to work out one specific move with one small group are going to start talking and horsing around. It's just the way it is.

That being said, I think I've laid the groundwork for an interesting fight. It was a very different choreography process than I usually go through... generally I work out the moves ahead of time and write them out on paper, then work with the fighters to get the moves down and to act the intentions of the fight (stage fighting is just another style of acting, after all... it's the same principal as two people talking on stage. We're still interracting with our partner and expressing ideas... the difference is that instead of using words to do this, we're throwing punches or swinging weapons).

In this case, however, the fight comes out of a dance sequence that I knew just about nothing of, on a set I know little-to-nothing about. The actors I'm working with are, in some cases, not even sure what I mean when I say "intention" and "act the fight." I had an idea of what I wanted to happen, but a lot of the choreography was made up on the fly. It took three hours to choreograph about 3 minutes worth of fight. We'll see who remembers what when I go back to work with them tomorrow.


Ah, I think that's it for now... I'll post more tomorrow. Hope you're all doing well!