Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Darwin vs. Amber

Seth: Did you know that Darwin thought Black people were less evolved?

Amber: That's crazy.

Seth: Did you know that Darwin also thought women to be less evolved than men?

Amber: He was a jackass.

I'm Thirty thrizzlefrizzlsmatter.

Land Shark.

So today is the big B-day. Halloween baby. That's me. Maybe Clint Eastwood could make a movie about me. Could be even better than that depressing bit-of-a-flick he did with Swank... I could be this incredible trick-or-treater. But Eastwood thinks I am too old for trick-or-treating. Undeterred and inspired by his disbelief, I persist. I show him my killer Darth Vader outfit and my special-order porcelain pumpkin candy holder. He decides to train me. But tragically, I am stampeded by a bunch of 6 year olds and I break my neck falling off a porch, hitting my head on a yard-deer. He then decides to do me in, against my will (this is where we would differ from Million Dollar Baby) by injecting my vein with 60 pounds of liquefied corn candy. Eastwood walks out of the hospital, glares at the screen, lights a cigarette, and then begins to paint the whole town red after he makes the local midget the sheriff. It is a heart wrenching ending. All walk out of the theater dabbing tears and slurping the last diluted drips of coke hiding at the bottom of their paper cup.

Maybe for a film score the composer could do a combo of the Dies Irae from Mozart's Requiem and Happy Birthday.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


-My baby sister sang Madama Butterfly last night in a SRO production in Springfield MO. She was phenom.

-My birthday approacheth. Halloween. My mother and wife are decorating a cake with a big spider on it.

-You may send me ten thousand dollars.

-Or an iphone.

-Our landlord did the city dirtier than expected. After a little digging, a few tenants in our building discovered that it is a "rent stabilized" building. Meaning, we could possibly be paying... as low as 400 bucks a month, after the investigation. Please pray with all your might, digging in the dirt with your nails, wailing to the heavens on our behalf, for this to be true. It would be nothing short of a miracle.

-That would rock.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Apartment Saga, full circle.

Sooooooooo. We got evicted today, what'd you do?

That's right, our lovely, law-abiding landlord bypassed a few hundred legal permits to build our VERY cool looking apartments but missed a few-too-many major permits to be overlooked by the fuzz. Which ones? The biggie: fire escapes. A big no-no for post 9-11 builders.

Our apartments are located in the middle of the building. We have a window but it is just large enough for Frodo Baggins so sneak out of in case of an emergency. That would be fine if Frodo were also Spiderman because once you get outside the window there isn't any cotton-pickn' thing to climb on to flee the licking flames.

The whole window thing in our apartment is a little hard to explain... Just imagine a building. In the middle of that building someone took a 6X6 square out of it straight to the ground. Our window faces that. So anyways...

A little thing called the "fire chief" showed up yesterday and slapped a good old-fashioned eviction notice on our door. After he told me that our Landlord is unbelievably arrogant for thinking he could bypass ALLLLLL the permits and get away with it, he told me that he couldn't believe how different-looking our building was.

Apparently, it was housed by the Devil and his legions because it was notorious throughout NYC with the police and fire dept. He said he came to our building once because someone called and said there was a guy in a bunk that was sick and couldn't get up. He said when they arrived, the found the guy on the top bunk while three other tenants in the room played cards. You know what's coming next... The "sick" man on the bunk was deader than Abe Lincoln's toenail. Not only that, he'd been dead for THREE WHOLE days. I guess his buddies were gonna test-drive that old Jewish wives-tale and decided not to risk the stench on the fourth day. So they called the fire department to say that he was sick and wouldn't wake up, even after they shook and screamed. “And strangely, Mr. fireman, he just stares at this one place on the ceiling.”

So I could tell the fire chief was torn. On one hand, he was pissed the landlord gave us and four other tenants rooms that are truly classified as "death traps" and on the other hand, he was amazed to see that the landlord had turned a big smelly turd of a building into a pretty darn up-scale looking apartment. Oh well.

Back to the eviction at hand. This is where the story gets better. Not, as in “worse” better but as in “better” better.

I called the landlord el-pronto. I said to the landlord, who was at that moment being sued by every other tenant in the building except us, that we weren't going to sue. I wanted to say: “Merry Christmas you lucky bastard.” Instead, I kindly noted that the apartment down the hall, the one that we were originally supposed to get was fortuitously vacant, followed by the words “I want it now.” Then, “It would also be quite nice to get it for the price that we were paying for the death trap.” He agreed, and last night, we moved in. I love Just War theory.

So it only took the Lord one and a half months to set that right. Shoot, I had just chalked that up as a big boil on my ass that I would have to be thankful for.

But who knows what tomorrow will bring in this here City. We may be evicted.... again. New boils may arise on the rump with no ointment in sight. But now, more than ever, I am convinced that God will work it out. Sounds so hackneyed I know. But if you are the one saying it, and meaning it, it is as fresh as a towel right out of the dryer. I am not my own. I belong to somebody who's a lot better at running the universe and my fate than me. Thanks be to God. (Cue priest singing chant.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Pic of a Park

This is a little park where I stop to think and pray when I walk Amber to the Subway every morning for her auditions.

Beautiful stuff. I think Seinfeld lives around there through those trees. I know he parks his car in the garage across the street from us.

Also, we saw this guy out eating dinner the other night. He is getting ooooOOOOld, but seems very sweet. He was with his wife who was doting over his every move. Did a great job in the film "Holiday," which -stop the friggin press and slap me silly- I loved like crazy. Total chick flick, but I totally fell for it. Maybe it was because my wife was outta town when I saw it... Anyways, he is best known for staring in The Godfather III.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mystical Experience With My Neighbors

Amber and I were walking very fast to the Subway from our apartment yesterday, trying to get her to an audition on time. It was Saturday, and there usually isn't an audition on Saturday, and Saturday, as you know, is a sacred day for the Jews. It is the Sabbath or "Shabbat" mean "to cease." So we were rushing out right about the time the Jews were filing out of the MASSIVE Jewish synagogue that is right down the street from us.

We live in a neighborhood that is primarily Jewish. I see more Yarmulkes every day then I used to see shotguns in the back of trucks in Texas. Honestly, I sorta want a Yarmulke. I got to wear one when we attended a Jewish Passover, hosted by Gerald and Staci Holtzman, our dear friends in Houston, and I thought it was pretty cool.

Okay, scene set, established a little history, and on with the mystical experience...

In our rush to the subway, a big Jewish family filed out of the synagogue in front of us, and started walking VEEEERY slowly the same direction we were going. We actually wondered if the slow walking had something to do with the Sabbath, considering the fact that during the rest of the weekdays, the Jewish folk seem to walk at a pretty good clip.

Well, it took us about 3 seconds to catch up with them and for some reason, instead of passing them by, we were just sort of swallowed by the group and started walking slowly with them. Weirder still, was that we didn't seem to mind. The man in front of us had his son sitting on his shoulders and his wife beside him had a child on each hand. The rest just walked beside and behind us, unaffected by our presence. Everyone wore black. About 12 steps into the walking, an old man walking to my right, unaffected by our presence, started singing a Jewish song, very softly. On cue, the wind blew softly down the street and the sun peeped thought the trees from central park at the end of the street. Besides feeling a little Prince-of-Egypt'd, I was suddenly stricken again by the significance of the Jewish people.

I was stricken with the fact that this, right here, is how it’s been for four or five thousand years. In my mind flashed images of the Israelites walking in the Desert, Jacob and his family traveling to Egypt, the Exile in Babylon, the rule of Herod, the Holocaust. God's people. The people to which God chose to show himself and establish his law, the people from which God chose to shine his light to the whole world, by descending from heaven, to dwell among us. I walk by the Rodeph Sholom Temple everyday and in huge letters, carved above the temple entrance is written "Do Justly,Love Mercy, Walk Humbly With Your God." I can't think of a better thing to be reminded of the first thing in the morning.

A great and beautiful people.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

News I misread

I read this as "Future of Ultimate Fighting ON Jeopardy."

I suddenly had an image of a couple of guys in suits sort of slapping at each other, squirting their fountain pens and yanking off each other's toupees. Calling each other such horrible names such as, "ninny, buffoon, cretin, dullard," whilst they smacked.

Then they would end the match by seeing who could write each other's name in the crappiest handwriting.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Microbe Cravings

WASHINGTON - If that craving for chocolate sometimes feels like it is coming from deep in your gut, that's because maybe it is.

A small study links the type of bacteria living in people's digestive system to a desire for chocolate. Everyone has a vast community of microbes in their guts. But people who crave daily chocolate show signs of having different colonies of bacteria than people who are immune to chocolate's allure.

I think I have a community of microbes living in my belly who are constantly demanding french fried and boston creme donuts... and ice cream... and coca cola... and powdered donuts fed while playing Halo...

What does your community of microbes crave?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

J.K. Rowlings is Ticked.

OLKATA, India (AFP) - Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is suing organizers of a religious event for constructing a replica of her imaginary Hogwarts Castle in an eastern India city, officials said Thursday.

Rowling and her publishers Bloomsbury are seeking two million rupees (50,000 dollars) from the organizers constructing an elaborate castle from canvas and Papier Mache in Kolkata for the upcoming Durga Puja festival, court officials said.

Because she really doesn't have enough cash. I mean, come on. Throw the gal a friggin' bone. It's not like J.K. isn't richer that Zeus. Seriously, I'm sure she really needs the extra fifty grand to… pay for her cat's vasectomy, or to finally afford to have her ENTIRE lawn mowed… castle scrubbed?… Jet waxed?… Fleet of nannies messaged…? The gal’s got needs. Come. On.


Besides, who do you think you are... building A REPLICA OF HOGWARTS CASTLE OUT OF PAPIER MACHE.


I seriously think Rowling could cash in if she were to take her lawyers to the beach and sue the crap outa all the little kids who are making Hogwarts sandcastles. She could at least score their shovel and bucket if she took them to court. Shoot, she's probably desperate for those too. I know I am.

p.s., Dear J.K., please don't sue me for posting a picture of the papier mache replica of Hogwarts. I'm on your side.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fun. Htt: My Little Green Mojito.


Lightning Subway


Vanillabean Oatmeal

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME:
(first letter of first name, first three letters of last name)

Swar (I'm not a girl but what the hey.)

(favorite color, favorite animal)

Blue Eagle (This one, I like.)

(middle name, city where you were born)

Dee Claremore (Sounds like the name of the token ugly dude.)

(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

WarSe (Sounds a little like horsey)

(”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)

Red Sweet Tea (The Texan Superhero)

(the first names of your grandfathers)

Earl Wayne (I like this one. May name little Seth this someday.)

(mother’s & father’s middle names )

Belle Dee (If I ever go into W.P., I guess I'll go in drag.)

(Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)

Kenzer Knoxville (Pretty good.)

(your favorite season/holiday, flower)

Halloween Bulebonnet (Welcome to hell, 007.)

(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)

Tangerine Bootsie (beautiful.)

(What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)

Omelet Christmas Tree (My fav.)

(”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”

Writing Snow Tour (Hmmm. Actually pretty good. My second one was "Frolicking Sandstorm Tour.")

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Life Outside the Bubble.

A few days ago, we had lunch with a Producer. Very nice older guy, friend of Sondheim. I found that out because I thought that Sondheim had died and said so casually. The man said, "Cross yourself boy! He hasn't left us yet!" I felt sorta dumb.

Anyways, we said something about CCM music and he didn't know what the crap I was talking about. Then we spent the next 10 minutes trying to describe the genre to him.

For some reason, I felt really comforted by his CCM ignorance. Here was a man, a Christian, an artist... just all around terrific guy, and he had no knowledge of the inner workings of the Evangelical sub cultural bubble. Yet he shows up on Saturdays at his church and feeds the poor, and he is active in his Church...

It was like meeting someone from a different planet, someone who hadn't bitten from the forbidden fruit of Christian commercialism. For some reason, I felt a little giddy about that.

When you've lived in the Bible belt your WHOLE life, you begin to believe that God is only found there. And if you move from there, away from Christian Radio, Christian T.V., Christian bookstores, Christian Pop Stars... you’re told you will no longer hear the voice of God. "You might, but it will be faint, and non-spirit-filled.”

Then comes the day when God tells you to move out of it, and what a great thing it is to realize there are a whole lot of Christians who have never heard of Chris Tomlin, or Caedmon's Call, David Crowder or JOEL OLSTEEN, or Ed Young... and they are getting along smashingly with the Almighty. And when they have, it is a great compliment because you are in with all their other music and books, not just because it's Christian, but because it's good art. Any Christian art that stays, will always be good art. It will never stay just because it’s Christian.

Veggie Tales says, "God is bigger than the boogie man,” They ought to have one that sings, "God is bigger than the Bible belt." Wow, I even felt a little blasphemous typing that...

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Bible and Poetry

Random stanzas that reminded me of bible stories: This one reminded me of Moses and the Israelites.

A man once said, "Strip and be free!"
So I did, now I'm freezing' my ass off.

-From a poem by Robert Frost.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Because of the Last Few Posts...

I feel the strange need to express that this is one of my favorite movies.

I love everything about this sequence. The editing, the acting, the music (AWESOME SCORE!!!!) and of course, the guns.

Anyone see a resemblence in the directing of this film to a more current director and film?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Jesus Would Have Hung Out With Gays.

"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17)

During Jesus' ministry it was very offensive to many respectable, religious, church-going people that Jesus had so little regard to what was expected of Him as to hang out with people who were no better than they should be. "If this man were a prophet," said Simon the Pharisee to himself, when Jesus allowed a woman of doubtful reputation to touch him. "He would have known...what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner" (Luke 7:39)

But Jesus knew perfectly well what the woman was, and for that reason decided to let her do what she was doing, which would be to any other "religious" man, an embarrassment.

Jesus has been called a "friend of the sinner," which is a comfort to us all for sure. But did you know that was given as a criticism at first? They called him a "glutton and a drunkard. A friend of the Tax Collector." Tax collector being considered lowest on the totem pole of respectability by the religious, matched only by hookers. So... guess what the self-righteous religious would have called Jesus today?

A fag, or at least, A friend of fags.

Why? Because that is exactly where Jesus would have planted himself. Right in their midst, for the whole world to see.

But wait, it makes us feeeeeel so much better when we say that Jesus simply "tolerated" the sinner. Nah uh. Not according to the gospels. As a matter of fact, Jesus seemed to prefer their company according to the Pharisees. "This man EATS with the sinners, in their own home!!!" (Luke15:2) Now, back then, when you ate at someone's house, it was THE way to signify a "unity" or fellowship with him or her.

God desires that NONE should perish. And how does that get done? By hiding it our light in our big giant Sunday buildings and perfectly organized bible studies? Nope, by diving in where the sick hang out and loving. Because it isn’t a clean record that shines light. God isn't a clean record. God shines in the prayer, "Woe is me for I am a sinner." God is Love.

So, hang out with Gays? Looks like the question is yup to that one. Why? Because God loves them. We should love them. Sorry, you can’t say that you love someone and avoid the crap out of them. Who do love and avoid?

Jesus believed in dealing with the root of the problem, not just the symptoms. And the root is a desperate need for Love, and if not from us, then who from? I think we know the answer to that one.

I thank God that Jesus didn't deal with me how I have dealt with Homosexuals in the past. I would have never known him. I repent of that.

I wonder what would happen to the world if Christians REALLY acted and operated like Jesus did.

Time for me to find out. But, maybe I can plead my case and opt-out of the Gay bar. Just because they dress too nice and I feel out-fashioned.

P.S. Thanks to F.F. Bruce for some great insight on this question. Check out his book "Hard Sayings of Jesus." Its great.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Carnegie Hall Tonight

Now beware folks, I get really geeky about this stuff.

Amber and I scored the free tickets to Carnegie hall tonight. It was incredible. I had to take a double take around ever corner. I couldn't believe I was in THE Carnegie hall. There have been so many legends that have played in that hall... I mean, just name one, and I mean a real legend. They've played there. Period. On every wall there was some bit of priceless memorabilia. I stared at snippets of a score and notes written by Bernstein, Copeland, Dizzy, Ella F, and the Beatles. I have five LPs under my record player that were recorded at Carnegie.

To top things off... (About to go into Geek overdrive...) We just happened to be seated by the world famous composer Pierre Boulez. To everyone else around him (besides all the entourage of people he brought with him that were trying to gain his attention) he was just an old dude in a suite. But old Sethro, he knows his Art Music Musicians and Composers. Now, Boulez may mean jack crap to most of you, but just imagine someone who is really into mail-bombing getting to sit next to Ted Kaczynski. Or my friend Jack Spalding getting to sit next to Ron Burgandy. Or Brody Harper getting to sit next to Kenny G. Nuff said.

Boulez... Composer, conductor, pianist, innovator... awesome. He did spend a good 30 years or so of his younger years making enemies, calling other composers lamazoids for not being original but hey, Mozart was much, much meaner to his contemporaries.

As you read here about composers, if you think composers don't matter much... well tell that to Paul McCartney. I just learned that Paul McCartney would attend Avant-Garde composition recitals to get ideas for his albums. He was seen at a Berio concert and said, "I really want to incorporate electronic music in our new album "Revolver" and these guys are the cutting edge."

And that brings me to another snobby tangent. I think that when people in pop culture RIP off composers, they should pay homage. Take Sufjan... Sufjan is a John Adams and Philip Glass minimalist composer rip-off. Don't get me Calvinist (wrong), I love the music, but everyone just goes on and on about Sujan's "original" style. Hogwash.

Sufjan went to music school and snagged the stylings of Adams, Glass and Reich and stirred it up with some Simon and Garfunkel. Not bad, really amazing, but still... pay Homage. Nary a mention on his bio. Come on Suffy.

That ripping-and-not-paying-homage includes film composers. I love John Williams. For sure, he has his own "sound." BUT... Jaws???? Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. The whole orchestration down to the oboe part is right out of the Rite of Spring. Not to mention Star Wars being a total rip off of Holst's The Plantets... But in his defense, Williams wrote in those styles by request and Williams is a melodic Genius which makes up for the ripped sounds. One of his best scores is Close Encounters of The Third Kind, which is pretty incredibly original, and ironically, not a single melody can be found in it. It's all motivic. Da da da da daaaaaa. Love that flick.

I know, I know. Regular, poor, college-loving, weirdo "Art" Composers rip too. But AT LEAST we pay homage (most of the time) and actually find it an honor if someone quotes us or writes in "our" style. Honestly, the need to be imitated gets kind of pathetic sometimes. We are like the really homely gal who is dyyyyyyyying to get the attention of some hotstuff-football player. Or something like that.

Two other random pet peeves while I'm on my period here and I'm done. People-who-write-with-a-bunch-of-hyphens, like myself, get that trick from good old Kurt V. and people who never write in cap's and think they are being all cool and artsy can thank good ole E.E. Cummings. {end rant}

So that's right baby. Composers rule. Don't you forget it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Went to a Gay Bar. That's right. You heard me.

Amber's aunt came into town last night and we had dinner with her associates, five men and one other woman. All five of the men were gay. They were very nice and funny, as most gay chaps are. Plus, I got over about 90% of my homophobia long ago being in the arts, and music schools where hetero men are rare exotic birds. BUT, I have never quite jumped the hurdle of Gay-bar phobia. Doubt I ever will.

Amber and I finished up our meal, paid for by the company that my aunt and her friends worked for, and they asked us to go to a bar with them. We did. I don't know why it didn't dawn on me that they would be taking us to a gay bar, but some naivety just never goes away. It didn't take long to realize after entering the courts of bar that it was indeed a den of dudes on dudes.

Amber instantaneously became my Siamese twin but that didn't stop the longing eye-glares from other chaps sitting at the bar.

So there I was, good ole Sethro, wife now on my lap, wondering what the Lord was up to... and whilst feeling a tad uncomfortable at the gently pecking lips of young yuppie men... I had to tell myself, "This is exactly where Jesus would have been." It helped a little, not much; in fact, the thought was a bit comical. So now I ask you, "How far does that old standard "Jesus hangin' out with sinners" analogy reach? Strip clubs? Gay Bars? KKK meetings? Monster Truck Rallies? Rufus Wainwright concerts? Youth Camp? Is the gap really that far between me and you and the swirling stripper or cuddling dudes?

And what about that whole Gay thing... Why not open the floor up to this whopper of a topic? I know how Texas protetstants SAY they feel about it... but I hat to burst the dreamy bubble, lots and lots enjoy a good episode of Will and Grace as much as their BSF study or a Joyce Meyers book.

Thoughts appreciated.

The End.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

To H-town and Back

Last week I was in Houston meeting with my prof. about my dissertation. It was a great trip and it was so good to see all our friends and people that have become like family to us. A blog is coming very soon about our church in Houston and the wonderful people that are there.

And yes, Houston is as hot as it was when I left it in August. If Louis Armstrong were to have sang about Houston it would have gone a little something like this:

I see smog of blue,
it burns my eyes
The hot humid days,
there's something in the sky...

And I think to myself
"Is that a mosquito or a bird...?"

I see traffic for miles
It ebbs and flows
like some poo made of glue
or a grandma, rowing a large boat

And I think to myself,
I'm gonna jab out my eye

The colors of the rainbow,
high jacked by the gays
The churches are so huge
they could stage an Elephant's play (?)

I see dudes holdn' hands,
got both whiskers and some boobs
I see some old bum peeing
at the sonic drive-thru

I hear babies cry
No wait; it's a billion birds
perched above my car
covering it with their turds

But I think to myself...
"I miss all my friends there..."
Then I think to myself,
"No more sweaty underwear."

Crank it Barney

Do you know what Barney has been singing to your kids lately??????