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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Starving Actor's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, January 9th, 2011
8:55 am
manisagna recipe (manicotti and lasagna)

(Does that name for the dish sound kinky to you?  If so, explain.)

Uncooked manicotti pasta
Uncooked lasagna pasta
apprx. 18 ounces marinara/spaghetti sauce, store-bought and jarred, or homemade, however preferred and feasible
1 lb ground beef (alternatives and/or additives by taste or diet: ground sausage, eggplant)
16 oz cottage cheese (alt.: ricotta)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced finely or diced
Handful of fresh spinach leaves
Sliced mozzarella cheese
  1. Prepare marinara sauce, if homemade.  In large mixing bowl, combine cottage/ricotta cheese, mushrooms, and finely-torn-up spinach.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.  Apply thin layer of marinara sauce to bottom of baking pan (for this sized recipe, 9x12x3.  For different pans or cassarole dishes, adjust ingredient amount appropriately).  Stuff manicotti with cottage cheese/mushroom/spinach combination (if any is left over after all manicotti are stuffed, save for another layer).  Brown ground beef or sausage (if using eggplant, prepare by slicing and using uncooked, or perhaps sauteing with olive oil and garlic), and combine with marinara sauce, mixing well.
  3. Lay stuffed manicotti in the baking pan.  Layer sliced mozzarella on top of manicotti.  Cover with most of marinara combination, saving enough just to smear over the top of another layer.  If any is still left over, place it around any 'head room' that manicotti have at one end of pan.  Layer lasagna on top of marinara combination.  Follow with any cottage cheese combination, then mozzarella, then smear marinara combination on top of mozzarella.
  4. Cover pan.  Bake in 375°F oven for 35-40 minutes.

Monday, October 4th, 2010
9:43 pm

Just editted my youngest brother's essay on Giovanni Pico della Mirandola--the Renaissance philosopher and humanist who studied damn near everything (including canon law, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, and medieval and pagan texts) and sought to reconcile them all in his Oration on the Dignity of Man and 900 Theses.

That strikes me as beautiful, a man seeking the parallels and links between the Abrahamic religions, natural philosophy, and everything else he could get his genius brain on.  What could he have done if anyone had given him an introduction to the Dao, Buddhism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine?  Still, everything he tried to do (and could have done, I believe) is an astounding integration.

Unfortunately, Pope Innocent VIII halted his planned debate, censured him, and declared all his theses unorthodox.  I imagine it today, someone attempting to integrate and reconcile everything so publicly...  And picture a similar fuss being kicked up.

Disgusts me.  Just because someone's done more reading than you, and has his eyes open to the parallels, fundamentalists cry foul.
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
9:55 pm
the latest rambles

I can be heard lately podcasting, with my friend Johnny Zombie, on his show and blog The Fly Paper Dungeon.  As a horror fan, that's the primary topic of his cast, but we often ramble.

In other news, I closed another show this weekend.  I got to revisit Romeo & Juliet, playing Friar Laurence this time.  A shame that it was a so much work for only two performances, but that's the way they go sometimes.  Coming up on Tuesday, I have a paying industrial-style gig.

Life continues apace.  Opening my own massage business has been much on my mind lately; maybe it'll happen soon.
Monday, April 19th, 2010
9:14 pm
all in the job
Had a voicemail from a casting director I read for last week.  The message said that my reading was great, but they wanted to go for a different look for the part I was considered for.  I'm on their call list for extras, though.

Is this the kind of thing that's considered rejection in this business?  Apparently so.  I think I did well when I adjusted my thinking to being 'declined' for a role instead of 'rejected.'  The look wasn't right.  No big.  I feel a little proud of myself for letting it roll off.

Apparently Uta Hagen said, "An actor's job is to go on a thousand auditions."  If we're doing it right, we go on 'em, and let the ones where they decline us just roll off.  There will be others to hit--maybe even as many as 999.  One audition is not the end of the world.

Still, I enjoy having Eminem's "Lose Yourself" as a song to get in the mood for a read.  It's almost a perverse glee.

There's the question of my look.  But I like my hair, dammit.  It's mine.  I'm not ready to cut it for the sake of getting cast, especially not without a paying gig.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
11:09 pm
Last update was in July? Hey, that's just how I roll--writing when I feel like it.

Lessee, what's changed...

The No Roomate problem has been successfully resolved.  I found a studio apartment in the Canal in San Rafael and moved out of the two-bedroom place.  I like this place a lot; it's just about perfect.  Having the old place all to myself with no roommate issues of any kind (aside from money) was nice, and I was lucky enough to get my own place I can currently afford.  With a sliding glass door facing north I get nice natural light.  The stove is gas--huzzah, I dodged the electric cooking bullet again--and I have a gas fireplace for heat, too.  Alas for an actual wood-burning fire, but oh well.  I also have an honest-to-goodness garage for my parking.  Indoor, no-sunlight vehicle storage to help preserve the exterior?  Right on.  The clicky electric openers for the gate and garage door tickle me a little bit, too.  Never had one of those before, much less two at once.  Both stay clipped to the sun visor.

Few drawbacks.  I should see what I can do to better organize the closet sometime.  I've always liked living upstairs, and it's a ground-floor unit.  So I'm not high up, nor can I greet guests with "Welcome to my underground lair" like my first, basement apartment.  Ah well.

My walk to work is cut in half, which is great.  I still miss walking through downtown regularly.  But depending on what I can fanangle, I might actually be able to secure a waterway commute to work.  There's a dock, and a rowboat the building's owner has granted me permission to use.  If I could get my own key for the dock's lock, and secure a spot to dock on the far shore of the canal (couple of possible marinas and docks I could see about), I could actually row partway to work.  I'd enjoy that.  It might cut some time off my commute, too, since on foot I have to go around somewhat to reach my destination.  And it would be fun to try rowing as an alternative to running.  For now there's no point in finding a berth unless I can reliably access the boat, but I might talk the owner into copying the key for me.

Work is a mixed bag.  I've established some regular clients and a reputation for doing damn good work, especially specific or chronic areas of tension, and working with injuries and repetitive motion issues.  "The neck is my favorite area to work.  So are the shoulders; they're near and dear to my heart.  And the wrists and forearms.  And the jaw.  And the back.  And the hips."  Like Twin said, too, if you're not careful I'll talk to you about anatomy, kinesiology, massage, &tc. all day long.  I like my regulars.  I like simply being an employee and not needing the effort to market on my own.  I like the location.  I like my coworkers.  The management and corporate's where things get rough.  It's been a bit slow at times lately, too, but I'm still surviving.  Time for a raise, as well.  I've been a reliable, skilled therapist there for three years as of the beginning of this month.

Acting's been at something of a plateau.  I've taken two classes since the beginning of the year, the first in Kyogen (comedy) and Noh (drama), traditional Japanese theater forms.  That one was really great.  The second was another advanced on-camera class, which also went well.  It feels like the next step in training is to go back to improv, to brush up on that.

Advancing my career right now has been the tough part, and also where I find another sticking point with work.  It's been challenging to look for auditions after a long day of doing massage.  Scheduling time off work to go and read has been a bigger headache than it should be, too.  But I have one film audition on Tuesday, and a general audition for student films on Saturday that I am determined not to miss due to traffic, this time.

Also single again.  The amiable breakup is a new experience, and has been... educating?  Elucidating?  Encouraging for the fact that it can happen and be relatively comfortable afterward?  Something, at any rate, difficult to articulate or no.  Twin said something on the topic of my dating life.  She meant it as a compliment, and she had a point, but it's not what one can call an encouraging thought.  In her words, "Women young enough to date you aren't worth your time...  You're unusual--which is a compliment!"  It does support the perception I've come up with, though--That the right fit with a mate is rare.  I probably wouldn't be happy with a party girl, or most of the women my age; she's right, there.

I still stand outside from the majority/crowd/average/what-have-you.  That's something that hasn't changed, it seems.  Lends credence to probability and averages, too--an outlier in a small sample, still an outlier in a larger one.  Not much comfort, but it could be true.  I suppose no one said it had to be easy.
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
9:13 am
Been a busy couple of months. I labor under the financial burden of having no roommate and covering the whole rent by myself. It frustrates me that I'm not saving anything (and even seeing my savings dwindle as I have to dip into it), and that things I need I have to put off--transmission service for my car and new shoes to replace my worn-to-hell running shoes and work shoes come to mind the most quickly. The former of course will keep my car in good condition and prevent disastrous ill-timed breakdown, and the latter will be a relief to the joints of my lower body, plus make me more apt to go running on mornings when time allows.

It would also be nice to have the cash for dates, too, but we do what we can.

In the time between my last entry and now, I've been cast and been rehearsing and just completed two-thirds of the run for A Midsummer Night's Dream with Sonoma Repertory Theater, up in Sebastopol. This is my fourth time in this show, the second in the role of Lysander. Great production, good people, good crowds. One more weekend. I've been reaching Monday, the end of my work week, worn down after Thursday-through-Sunday evening performances and early weekend mornings. Yet I still get up early on Monday for my martial arts session, then go to work, followed by going into the city for parkour conditioning, followed by blues dancing. 'My weekend' of Tuesday and Wednesday come as an especial relief.

Still, one more weekend of performances. Then I may go slightly stir-crazy with the newfound free time not being in a show will afford me.

On an unrelated note, I now know I'm not allergic to bee stings. While barefoot on the grass during yesterday's training session, I felt something pierce my foot. Thinking I'd found a sticker, I had a look and saw there was a bee with her stinger stuck in me, wings buzzing. Clearly I had stepped on her. I yelped as the pain increased, flicked her off, and said, "I'm sorry, honey!" She didn't leave her stinger in me, so maybe she didn't die after the sting. The spot throbbed, telling me that she'd gotten some venom in me, but I take my lack of anaphylactic shock as a good sign.
Sunday, May 17th, 2009
10:27 pm
everything moving at once
Got some perspective on my current frustrating roommate search. I took a side trip through downtown San Rafael after work today, then came up Lincoln Avenue on my way home, which is not my usual route. I passed all the apartment buildings on that road and saw a great many For Rent signs out advertising. Seeing all the other listings on Craigslist and Facebook, added with the signs today, makes it clear that I'm not the only person trying to get another tenent. Must be partially the summer season.
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
11:07 pm

The stair set from Monday's parkour conditioning session. I ran up this thing seven times (more staggering than running as I got near the top, granted, and walking the occasional landings), then did a reverse cat crawl one time. That is tough. Every landing was a breather, and as I got higher I had to rely on using my knees on the stairs to make it up.

More than 24 hours later, now, and as yet there's been only minor soreness in the quads, calves, abs, and deltoids. Tomorrow could be when I start to lock up, though.
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
9:30 pm
what's in the air?
There's something... convergent about this weekend and the following week, I swear. I've got my usual complement of workdays and class and training, but there are a lot of additional things trying to cram themselves in there. Saturday I'm working, then attending a ball. Sunday I'm working, then helping move some furniture around. But I've also been receiving e-mails from people asking last-minute if I'm free to help with acting-related projects this weekend. Besides that, the coming week is so full of stuff I sat with my phone this morning and entered all the appointments so I could keep everything straight. Was it like this last year, coming up on May? I can't recall just now.

Nice weather lights a fire under everyone, maybe. Or it's another period of transition.
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
8:52 am
Been seeing a girl. Very cute; she's got a smile and eyes to die for. Smart, nice, sweet. We've had a couple of dates, and both seem to be interested in continuing to see each other casually, no expectations. Hoping to see her again at Swing Goth next week, and she's doing me the honor of accompanying me to the Gaskell's ball next weekend.

I wonder how this going slow thing will be. With my last girlfriend we just clicked and became a couple very quickly. Girls I've seen since then were very casual but fast. So this is actually a new thing. Have to try to maintain the 'nothing serious' intention in the interest of going slow. I'll have to see how it goes.
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
7:58 am
Truckin' out to Nevada for a couple of days. I think I'll enjoy the long drive; I don't often get to make them these days.
Thursday, March 26th, 2009
4:50 pm
a good dance is...
... doing a blues/swing combination to "Thriller," with iconic bits of choreography thrown in that make your follow laugh.
Sunday, March 15th, 2009
10:21 pm

It's alive.
Thursday, June 7th, 2007
11:25 am

Funny they should say that, given the name of Dustin's pretty little tabby.
Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
7:10 am
'wake up!' and get a move on
Judging from the last dream I had this morning, my subconscious is smarter than I give it credit for. Blerg.

Moving day... Still a ton of stuff to do, and I'm not yet sure how my bed is going to get transported.
Friday, March 30th, 2007
2:31 pm
This is my last full weekend at Marie's. My actual last day will be Easter. On Monday, I'm starting at Massage Envy and viewing an apartment in downtown San Rafael. On Tuesday, the van is going to be picked up and taken off my hands, leaving me to acquire a new vehicle with my settlement.

I'm changing jobs, moving, and getting a new car all at once. That's a lot of simultaneous upheaval, but it's all starting to come together at last. It's nerve-wracking, but I need this. I'll be ready.
Monday, March 12th, 2007
3:01 pm
you brought this on yourself, Willis...
Today's "Shortpacked!", and one of the running jokes about Batman in the strip, conceived this thing:Collapse )
Saturday, February 10th, 2007
5:36 pm
The weather must be trying to make up for such a dry January, 'cause damned if it hasn't been rainy the last few days. I got good and chilled on Thursday from it and a walk to catch the shuttle. No more thinking I'll be okay without my coat for now.
Friday, January 26th, 2007
3:21 pm
fashionable realization of the day
Over the last couple of days I've noticed that camo seems to be big this winter. I see sweatshirts and beanies bearing the pattern frequently as I travel around. But today, I remembered that six or seven months ago, I was thinking that I might like a hat with an urban camouflage pattern (if I was more of a hardass, maybe pants). I may have made a comment about it to Elias or Bobby. And now, some time later, it's a popular trend.

This isn't exactly the first time I've noticed occurances like this. Back in first grade or so, I wore the parachute pants before it took off with MC Hammer. The prospect of me, dressing as scubbish or simply as I tend to do, randomly predicting fashion trends six months down the line, is ridiculous. But it's not the first time, and it makes me wonder.
Friday, January 12th, 2007
7:40 pm
"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
Energy massage was today. Very cool. My partner found the experience of receiving hard to articulate. Giving was very meditative, with me trying to stay alert to the tingle, the pulse, the heat, and the sudden and strong twitches in her body. Receiving, I may have been asleep for part of it, or down quite deep. I felt the energy/tingle at my hairline and crown of my head often, felt myself twitch occasionally. Part of what makes me think I might have been asleep is the 'dreams' I had about work. I don't recall specifics, but I knew I was experiencing thoughts, images, and emotions connected to my workplace. Can't say for sure if that was the strongest experience of my own chi I've ever had; part of me thinks that may have been during Tai Chi or a meditation.

So there's a lot I don't know, but one thing I do know is that it was a very relaxing experience of 40 minutes. The subject line is a quote from Yoda, in reference to today's work and the fact that when you really get down to it, energy is all we are.

New Year is here. I didn't stay up to ring it in, though; I just rented Miami Vice and hit the sack by 10:30. Annual dose of black-eyed peas was delayed a few days, but so was the rest of the holidays.

Cold and windy the last few days. I heard the forecast low for Antioch tonight is 22ºF. Ugh, an actual freezing temperature, just what I haven't missed. Sunrise is starting to come earlier, though. Its rays were stronger on the bus this morning than yesterday. Still getting up at the butt-crack of dawn, but graduation is coming in a little over a month. And then? The search for a job and a place.
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