Monday, November 28, 2011

Lunch Post II: The Bloggering

Brevity is of the essence; I must go to third period soon. I merely wish to comment on my own foolishness regarding blogging: I write a good deal of posts, but read far fewer than I ought to. This is an apology to all you bloggers who I follow but whom I have neglected to read. I am working on it. The same applies to literature, because one must observe the art as one engages in it. I'm reading more scripts now (currently Pamela Pettler's script to the film 9) and I am also reading posts by both people I know personally and those I don't. I have known people who don't want to read and (gods help them) don't like to read - and consider themselves writers. Stephen King gave a funny speech at Yale about that. I might post it later, depending on stuff.

I must away!

Happy blog reading and/or writing,

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankees! And Traveling

"If you don't want it, give it back!" - Tia Dalma

"We are eternally grateful!" - Alien toys from Toy Story

"You owe me one." - Han Solo

"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest."  - William Blake

"To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do."  - Victor Hugo

"Hey, ho, let's go!" - The Ramones

"Adventure is out there!" - Charles Muntz

"Do as I say, obey, and!" - Claude Frollo (Disney's 1996 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame)


What am I thankful for? I would say my friends, whom I love dearly; my own intellect and artistic inclinations; my dog; cats in general; swords (mostly); the fact that our planet is ideal for living things; and that while my life could be better, I have it pretty good compared to some peoples. I suppose I can even say I am thankful for conflict; my life is as an ongoing story, and any story without conflict tends to bore me half to death. So while I may not appreciate my adversaries at a personal level, it is with their help that I grow stronger. I need some adventure to add a little spice. Being a teenager has its perks - don't get me wrong - but more than ever I feel the urge to "break chains" and go off to explore the world. Ah, how I would love to see Italy...and Germany and Ireland.... For now I am stuck in the United States, which seems to be crumbling from the inside. I do not blame President Obama. People who say the economic upset is his fault are either ignorant or stupid, or, more often than not, both. But anyhow, I'd like to see the United Kingdom, Canada, and Belgium, as well as France and possibly even Egypt, depending on safety. Spain, Kenya, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Argentina, Morocco, Norway - you get the idea. I'm thankful that such places exist. And I am grateful to whatever Fate-gods may or may not be there that I have the potential of going.

Back on thankees: it is not reasonable to hold a thank over one as an excuse to do bidding. For instance, if I get you a nice gift and then punch you, you're more than welcome to be ruffled about the slugging and not be swayed by my claims of "I got you a gift; you must kiss my feet!"

It doesn't work that way for me.

Now back to the travel, as it has been on my mind for a good while. I was communing earlier this day with my friend Tinplate, and she made an interesting point about going to a place for the mere sake of truthfully claiming one has been there. That's tourism, she says, and one ought to have a better reason for going to a where. I agree - do not wish to venture outside the States just to say I have done so. I want to see the world with my own eyes. It beats pictures in a book any day. Aside from fleeing this sinking ship of a nation, I'd like to see African savannah animals in the wild, to see Notre Dame's spooky engravings, to see the rolling hills of Ireland. And besides, I have a Londonian cousin, whom I would like to visit on her turf as opposed to Chicago, where our grandparents reside.

I can taste the foreign airs; my oneiromantic dreams hold visions of going elsewhere, and they are getting ever stronger. I heard today that perhaps my country is ascending a bit from ruin; is it true? I do not know where I eventually plan to settle, maybe Canada or something, but maybe - maybe - I shall be able to stay in America if all goes well. I don't plan to live big in terms of where I live or what I own, but travel does seem to be getting pricier. I just need to survive a bit longer, and I can be free to go where I will, free from the oppression of my eccentric peculiarities. I plan to own a rapier (maybe even a sharp one), I can write all I want, doodle on an art get the picture. Anyhow, I suppose I shall close this post now.

Good day!
- Lewis

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lunch Post #1

I am in school as I write this. I am at lunch in a relatively calm room, particularly when juxtapositioned with the cacophony of the school cafeteria. It is also a good place to check email, seeing as they have a number of computers in here. I'm perfectly capable of eating with the crowd, but I see no reason to. The other students in here pretty much always want to chit-chat, so it is difficult to get much reading done, but I am able to get online, which is a rather good advantage if you ask me. I read in hallways, sensing traffic with my eyes' outer rims and corners; I also read on the bus when I'm not listening to music, audio books, or a podcast. I find it useful to read in the crannies of time, as I intend to make the most out of these things. I wrote a poem in class at least once, called "The Resting Field" - it's in the post prior to this.

When I cook, which is becoming more often, I try to read a paragraph, look at the meal, read a few lines, and so forth. The legendary horror master Stephen King is known for reading in said time crevices, such as when he is waiting for a meal at a restaurant or between innings at the baseball games he attends. Even if one does not write purely for writing's sake, reading is a good thing to do. Writing is also a valuable skill, but that's beside the point, is it not? Speaking of that, I need to read more blog posts - I write them but my reading focus seems to eb elsewhere!

I must hasten to French I now. Love to you all.

Au revoir,

Poem: The Resting Field

Great gray-brown hulks arrive,
Trunks dragging, to the Resting Field.
It has been a long time,
A tedious journey, but youth cannot disturb the cages.
Only elders know the place.
The Resting Field is a sort of Heaven, a place of respite.


{Poem's end} - It seemed longer on the page, both in terms of space and concerning its message (it's about an elephant graveyard, if that was not clear). Maybe I ought to expand? Another interesting thing is that I wrote the entire thing (as of yet) during English class - not as an assignment, but upon completing one which was assigned. Maybe I shall post that as well? We'll see, eh?

Rest well, and good-bye for now,
- Lewis

Monday, November 21, 2011

That's Mister Winter to You!

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." - Jesus Christ (I think)

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." - Old saying

"All animals are equal, however, some animals are more equal than others." - Animal Farm by George Orwell

"...but when you're stupid, there's nothing that can be done." - Eric Idle

"Call me Ahab." - Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, which I need to read


Hey guys! It's time to talk about respect. You may call me Lewis or whatever; the title was coined via sarcasm. Where did this whole name-address thing come in? I always intend to have people address me casually. I mean, really. Say I meet President Obama (which would be pretty cool; he's a good man). Realistically I would call him Mr. President, Sir, etc. But in my ideal world (one I highly doubt will ever fully bear fruit) Barack and I would be equals, at least on a human level and on a verbal. I cannot fathom why first names are so bad! I'm not calling anyone a moron. Even my own parents have been zombified by this restriction. They are family! Take the famil root and insert it to create the term familiar. Atticus Finch comes to mind here. Brilliant man; we need more people like that in the real world. I understand that teachers are most likely not allowed to become familiar with students. But neighbors and "friends" who insist on being Mister-Missus-Whatblah instead of simple names? It baffles me on both the basic and deep levels. Where did this start? Why? When? How? Why??

I chuckle at those who think they are my superiors. Forsooth, they might have more life experience and perhaps a few college degrees they may or may not have earned properly, but does that make them humanly better than we "minors"? Not only is it arrogant, it's also insulting. I do not take offense - I only scoff at their ignorance - but I would not blame a child for becoming annoyed at such preposterous statements. Age itself does not elevate one over others. All people are people, and while moral codes do apply in my view to determine true scrupulous mettle, everyone is equal in one way or another. I have literally, honest-to-the-gods been told by one adult that he was my superior, and by another that she was smarter than I. Very unprofessional in both cases. Not that I'm particularly ruffled: sometimes it is best just to not interact with idiotic people, but to either avoid them or to watch them fumble about in a metaphorical fish bowl. As I say, pride is the sage's ascension and the fool's downfall. I have no net to hold when they fall.

And I regret naught.

- Lewis

My Death?

"Who says that I am dead knows naught at all." - Martin the Warrior (from the introduction of Brian Jacques' classic novel Redwall)

"Strike me down now and I shall become more powerful than you could ever imagine." - Obi-wan Kenobi (paraphrase by memory)

"Do you fear death?" - Davy Jones

"Only I can live forever." - Voldemort

"I'll be back." - The Terminator


I don't expect to live forever. A nice, long, adventurous life is ideal for me. But sometimes I consider dying - not literally, don't worry - but dying in the sense of rebirth from my old self. Phoenixes come to mind. I don't intend to have a doppelganger or what-what, but an alter ego would be interesting. I suppose I am Winter here, but just the thought itself struck me about a half-hour ago: the death of my current self and the rise of a new me. How does it work in theory? No definite answers, I am afraid, but I fancy it would be something of a resolution - perhaps one similar to those made on New Year's Eve? Plots to do better, to be better? I intend to better myself, seeing as I have not done as much as I could have with my life (not whining, only acknowledging) and I fully mean to step up my game as I ascend to a greater status.

If one considers the thought, we are all dying. So is our world, even as it grows, but that's a different story. What I am saying is that each breath you take brings you closer to your inevitable demise. I may sound dark or cynical to some, but this is only the truth! Who wants to live for eternity and watch loved ones perish and crumble to dust, and if everyone is perpetual, the earth would no longer fit us all, considering the amount of infants born every moment. Bloody selfish humans "continuing lines" at the expense of the world.... Anyway, I'm glad we're all doomed, and I look forward to living my life instead of watching those of others. I suppose I already am, but I sometimes cannot wait to be a free man, writing for a living and scouting the globe. Even if am shot in Egypt, fall off of the Black Mountains of Germany, drown in the Amazon, or freeze to death observing polar bears (soon to be a rarity due to the bastards in charge of things), or if a Sumatran tiger rips out my throat and innards, I'd prefer it to staying in the States and dying naturally without having done anything.

Would you not agree?

To Death and the life before it!
- Lewis

To Be or Not to Be...a Playwright

Ah, yes - another theatrical post! This pertains to one of my favorite things (apart from general theatre and acting): writing! I am as of yet experienced, seeing as my play readings consist of two Wildes and three Shakespeares, plus some other partial things. I have a long way to go. But as of a couple of Saturdays ago, I am taking playwriting lessons at Applause!. (Remember them?)

I realized the great usefulness that comes from selecting random magazine pictures and using them as inspiration. I need to write out the one with Queen Sadoree.... Anyhow, I'm looking forward to X number of years from now, when I hope to travel the world, fueled by my inner artician: writer, actor, artist, musician, and possibly even dancer. But primarily a writer. According to Thoreau (or was it Emerson?), life is best lived simply. That's one reason I am OK with eReaders such as my Kindle. While paper pages are preferable (ha), I think it is a necessary sacrifice as opposed to lugging around a library. I think I'd take the aforementioned Kindle, a laptop or whatever I'm writing on at the moment, a sketchpad, perhaps a bound journal, The Good Hat (my fedora), and essentials such as clothing and whatnot. Otherwise I'll travel light.

Speaking of dreams to come, it is almost eleven PM., and I have school tomorrow. But not for the rest of the week! This will be my first meat-free Thanksgiving, I think. Not that I ever cared much for poultry. I would have ham. But I look forward to cheesy potato casserole. And the dogs' expressions when they see all the people-food. And I shall write plays all the while!

Much love to you all,
Lewis M. Winter

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Peculiar World of the Theatre

I haven't had much of a chance to review School House Rock Live! (a musical I was recently in) as of late, what with school and such. I also returned to Silent Forest, which is where I worked last year: a seasonal Halloween-type job in which I am payed to scare people. What could be more fitting? Anyhow, the musical went well, and I learned a few, erm, interesting things about the beings who inhabit the theatrical world, both on- and offstage. One is an odd sort of game called Stomp. It was intended as a "focus exercise," I believe, but the rules were only explained very briefly to me. Nobody ever told me the full set, I don't believe, seeing as another rule was introduced to me each time in the form of my being "out." Once out, the object is to sit on one's ass and do absolutely nothing, aside from breathing, existing, etc. I don't bore easily, but I do get the sense of time and productivity. The feeling of wasted time irks me on an intellectual level; I consciously become focused on what I potentially could be doing, as opposed to one's traditional boredom. Now don't get me wrong, I love the concept (mostly for the Grendel jump, as I call it), but I'd like to be "in," you see. Don't get me started on the Slagar pounce, also called the cat leap or feral dive. Oh, and Slagar is a fox in the Redwall series. Evil but really cool, especially the audio book's voice actor. May you rest in peace, Brian Jacques.

Another quirk among theatre folk - even the realistic and sensible ones, is one I first heard of in Applause!'s As You Like It with Star Wars costuming, or rather, in the informational pamphlet. A very good friend of mine, if I may be so bold, previously starred as the titular character in another Shakespearian work many years before we met. Yet it only hinted at this years-past performance. When I took my stage combat class at Raleigh Little Theatre, our instructor (the absolutely brilliant Mr. David McClutchley) referred to it as "The Scottish Play." Yes, I speak of Macbeth. And aye, I feel no fear in writing or uttering the corrupted king's name. I immediately said, "What, you mean Macbeth?" - much to the panic of a few fellow trainees, one of whom went on to perform in School House Rock with me. Apparently, as some legend goes, the Globe Theatre burned down during a performance of Macbeth. Therefore, people assume it is the root of theatrical harm. Posh! is what I say. Granted, there are forces in this world and possibly beyond, ones I don't comprehend, but I think Macbeth (that's four) is a harmless title villainized by the silly geese who need an explanation. I called a myth and one fellow actor replied that it is actually a legend. I politely refuted by explaining that a legend is a tale with so many parts added on that no one alive can discern between fact and fiction, such as King Arthur of Robin Hood. The Globe burning, I suppose, supports that bit. But a myth is used to explain occurences by making things up and then believing them. It was done by Greeks, Romans, Nordic/Scandinavians, and even Christians. Hey, do you really know where Jesus Christ's body went? Exactly.

The name of Macbeth (5) is often attributed to dramatic malfunctions. One chap even said that it's been proven due to multiple occurences. (Um....) But that's not logical scientific proof. Just because something is frequent with the association of another, if one has no solid proof, then it ain't fact! Theory is closer, I think. I heard a story once: scientists gave one hundred people blindfolds and had them eat steak. Fifty steaks were unmolested in every way, while the other fifty were dyed green by a harmless coloring. Upon removal of said blindfolds, most (if not all) of the greensteakers became ill and vomited. The lesson is that the mind affects the body in odd ways. One young lady, a truly exceptional actress, writer, guitarist, and singer (how does she do it??) informed me that the bloke who once played Count Dracula, in that very same vampire play, banged his head on something or other after someone said Macbeth (SIX!). It becomes apparent to me that he must have believed the rumor as well, and therefore whacked his head because his "backstage" mind caused him to do so. I have suffered no unusual injuries, and I think I know why: logic! Don't get me wrong, I love unnatural things, but this seems to me like an odd game of wits and trust. I've said Macbeth so many times I've lost count (VII is what is here). The only reason I refrain from using it to its fullest extent, in the theatre, with acting folk, is for the sake of everyone's sanity (even mine) - I love controversy, but people take Macbeth [huit] way too seriously. When I asked the guy who actually played Macbeth (numba nine!), he explained it about as much as he explained Stomp.

Now enough Macbeths!{X}

I really ought to be in bed, as I have school and it is past midnight, but my thoughts are flowing and I think I'll get them down before they fly away. What comes to mind when I say that you just lost the game? You might say "Darn!" or "I don't play the game," or "The game is stupid and childish." Allow me to assist your achievement of clarity. The game is something all things play, whether they know or not, whether they choose to admit it or not. But you don't have to lose upon realization, the way I see it. It's not stupid or childish - not in the right context. It's about over-focusing on life. If one overthinks things, one loses track of time and reality. There needs to be a healthy balance betwixt think and do. I tend to think a lot, so I need to do more. Many people, however, are concrete divers: they pay no heed to their surroundings and just act on impulse. I say it's OK to "lose" as long as you know what it really means.

I must away! Macbeth Eleven, ha!


Friday, November 11, 2011

I Will Survive!

"Nothin's over while I'm breathin'!" - Quaritch (from James Cameron's Avatar)

"My best advice is...survive." - Haymitch Abernathy (approximate paraphrase from memory)
"You may kill me, but you may never insult me." - Captain Jack Sparrow

"First ya hate 'im, then ya respect 'im, then ya kill'im!" - Monty Python's "Mosquito Hunters" sketch

"Nice people finish last." - Dunno who said it

"Slow and steady wins the race; fast and steady wins it better." - My sister Laura

"You really don't stand a chance." - Mr. Ollivander

"Some say to survive, you need to be as mad as a hatter, which, luckily, I am." Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter


I consider it plausible that at least some of you have wondered where the hell I have gotten to. Why has Lewis not been updating? I'll tell you: my laptop was malfunctioning so we took it into the Geek Squad at Best Buy. They waited a week before telling us what was wrong, and almost three more weeks to supposedly fix it. When I received said computer, it didn't seem that they had done a freaking thing. So we sent it to them again last week (not my idea) and there it has remained. I began to resort to scribbling poems in journals and such and emailing myself documents. Many people would have despaired long ago due to lack of technology, but I found ways around it. I think I am fully capable of surviving without Facebook and all that, although I prefer my stories typed. And iTunes should be an online thing, like the Amazon Kindle, in which the device is hooked up to the account.

As I said, many people seem to be digitally reliant. While I have an appreciation for computrical things, I don't make horcruxes out of them (couldn't resist an HP reference). I suppose a nod to the One Ring would also be appropriate. People who pour their beings into devices are leaning on a crutch, which, when broken or stolen, will drop a person to the ground. Rising might be difficult. In my stage-combat class this past summer, which I took for a week of five days at Raleigh Little Theatre, we had several balancing exercises, which I now realize apply not only literally, but metaphorically as well. I am a survivor. I do not need many material things, and I try not to put down an excessive amount of roots anywhere (unless they transmit signals for when I depart, like neurons or whatever).

I want to travel the globe, and I'll probably only take a few pairs of clothes, something to read (Kindle?), something to write on as well as a drawing pad and utensils, a camera-camcorder combo, possibly my phone, and a laptop if I have one then. Bloody Geek Squad.... Anyhow, it's not insane to think the aforementioned might be one device soon. Something on which to read; write; capture; record; draw; print; call; view things such as time, temperature, cardinal direction, map, altitude, date, and so forth; shine a light; and resist things such as shock of impact and water in the circuits. I am aware that many of these things are already combined, and that it might be pricy, but all in one would be good, and saving pennies might be prudent. But with or without this potential life-saver/-destroyer, I shall survive. I have a certain proclivity for it. That's the same reason I don't smoke or drink or do other drugs in the common sense of the word.

Much love to you all (and may the odds be ever in your favor),
Lewis M. Winter