7.18.2003 1. We spent a significant portion of the day doing the usual sand activities, building up and digging down. The added benefit of digging down is it segues perfectly into the third of the three things you can do with sand: bury a member of your group. In this game, success is measured by the amount of time and effort it takes the buried to free themselves. There is such a thing as a perfect game. We all argued over the best ways to bury our best friends.
2. Watching television, we were fooled into discussing how much we each wanted a hamburger. I thought of an episode of Reading Rainbow I had watched as a child. Reading Rainbow had made Tuesdays the highlight of my second grade week, because that was the day that our teacher would roll in the television from the shared hallway, and we would all sit in the dark for half an hour. I never read a single book that that show recommended, but some of their segments stick with my still thirteen years later. One episode detailed the process by which hamburgers are made for hamburger commercials. The meat is spray-painted after being darkened with a hair dryer. The bun is a composite of synthetic materials, and the sesame seeds are applied to the bun meticulously, one at a time, with airplane glue and a brush. The end result, however toxic and inedible, is the aesthetically perfect hamburger. I love the notion of the perfect hamburger. We can each close our eyes and envision it with ease, having been force fed its image our entire lives. But the actual hamburger those restaurants would serve you hardly shares a likeness with that image. For some reason this is acceptable. But think of it this way: the hamburger we envision is an impossible object. Though we can imagine it, it cannot be made--even once, even for the purpose of broadcasting its likeness and earning its manufacturer billions.
3. Several minutes ago, after a series of conversations and commands regarding emptying the trash, it was revealed that Raizin has had his own trash can in the kitchen that no one else has known about. The rest of us were shocked. His trash can, though he insists it's everyone's trash can, is almost twice as large as the miniature one that the rest of us have been using for over a month. This is not a large kitchen. His ability to unwittingly hide things astounds me. I am equally astounded that the other three of us have managed to go six weeks without looking under the sink. In his can were the remnants of things we had made in early June.
7.11.2003 About 20 hours from now, we will be performing in front of an audience in Fort Myers. Unlike our past shows, which have had a cast of eleven, tomorrow night there will be three of us. (1, 2, 3). The set we are performing is composed of, among a list of eight videos, seven of the more complicated live pieces we have written. Several of the live pieces have to be tailored to the constraints of a three-man team with no tech crew. For instance, only two of us can be on stage at the end of a piece if we want to cut the lights on the final punchline, which we often do. In addition to those predicaments, we have no idea who our audience is, or what will offend them. And the longest piece of the night is called "Swastikats."
You should probably look forward to my review of this event, it will probably be quite interesting.
7.6.2003 1. Last night was the fourth of July, and Joel and I celebrated by watching reruns of "Three's Company" on 'Nick at Nite.' The channel was having a promotion where sixteen different viewers' faces were shown, one at a time and each for a period of about fifteen minutes, in the bottom right corner of the screen. Naturally I had to send in a photo of Joel's smiling face, and naturally we had to waste away the entire night watching for it. We grew accustomed to the rotation of the images, eagerly awaiting the ends of commercial breaks when we were sure that Joel would make his television debut. Our efforts were thwarted by, among others, an unenthusiastic hipster, a heavyset girl rolling her eyes, and a balding man who just looked plain out of place on the Cosby Show.
2. This morning Joel came in from emptying the trash--a job that seems to have become exclusively his own--and excitedly exclaimed that there was a hedgehog in the trash can! (That exclamation mark is not meant to denote my current elation, but rather the enthusiasm with which Joel told me precisely where in my neighborhood I could find a hedgehog). Just as a point of clarification, when I say morning, I mean three o'clock in the afternoon, and when Joel says hedgehog, he means possum. The minute he mentioned the hedgehog I grabbed my camera and ran out to the trash can. I had never seen a hedgehog before! Of course, I still have yet to see a hedgehog, because a possum is not a hedgehog, and it was a possum in the trash can. We have no idea how we got in there, because the lid had been shut. But he looked angry--probably because we had upset his sleep--though neither of us were sure whether or not to fear him. I thought about a report I had done on wolverines in the second grade, and Joel looked at me timidly as if to ask, "Do hedgehogs bite?"
3. Tonight Joel and I were walking around downtown Fort Myers, putting up posters for a show that we're putting on next Friday. By this point we were trying to avoid talking to people, because we had already spoken to a few and they had left us feeling unsatisfied. (One girl we had just met randomly remarked, without the slightest provocation, that four square, my favorite sport, can only be enjoyed by children.) As we taped a sign brick exterior of a pub, a man approached us and asked what kind of comedy we would be performing. "Sketch comedy," I responded, "like Monty Python." There is a certain age barrier at which point I begin substituting "Monty Python" for my usual examples "The Kids in the Hall" or "The State" in my definition of sketch comedy. As soon as we told him this his face lit up. "Well hey," he said, "you wanna be on TV?" Walking down the street in Fort Myers, Florida, at eleven-thirty at night, we had managed to run into and befriend a television producer, who quickly gave us the phone numbers of each of the local affiliates, and a detailed explanation of how to win them over.