Friday, October 29, 2010

2010 is looking like a good Halloween year...

The city is covered in Orange + Black. And we got from:
pumpkin line-up

Our pumpkins

Although, it got ugly at times

The whole show is up on Flickr if you want to play. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wow. If it's time for pumpkin-carving, it's another year I've been blogging. 5 years of blogging and I still love reading the stories of my past self and sharing stories for my future self.

Our lanterns

The Menace, Blind Gore-dy & Samp

Our Pumpkins

2006 Pumpkin Carvings

2005 Pumpkin Carvings

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Match-up

Let's go GIANTS!

This World Series will be a fascinating study for me. I'm excited about both teams, but not overwhelmingly a fan of either.

1) It's hard to be a Giants fan if you are a Cubs fan. If you are not familiar, the last Cubs World Series - yes, 102 years ago. The Cubs beat the New York Giants in the NL pennant, a young 19-year-old's"boner" would play a big part (seriously, and yes you can click it).  Anyway, the rivalry has stuck for us - baseball has the longest memory on this planet.

2) But, San Francisco is definitely my new home.  I love this town and the people here. I have many SF Giants fans friends.

Tim Lincecum July 9th, 2009

3) I do like this team.  (1) I have been a big Tim Lincecum fan, since he came up.  Regularly buying bullpen seats on his starts and watching The Freak warm-up. (2) How can you NOT like a team of Castoffs and Misfits? (3) Brian "Fear the Beard" Wilson from ... LSU.

4) HOWEVER, my third favorite athlete of all-time is the part owner and team president of the Texas Rangers, Nolan Ryan. Nolan Ryan and the Houston Astros = my granddaddy = why I love this game so darn much.

5) While in Dallas, besides the people there weren't many things that made me happy. But the Rangers was definitely one of them. The team was awful - but going to the park was still a blast. That ballpark kicks butt (to be fair both teams have model parks, but Rangers win because its not named after a stupid brand.)  I saw Cal Ripken Jr's farewell game at the Ballpark - that was a pretty sweet time to be a baseball fan.

6) The best baseball cap I ever had was a Pudge Rodriguez #7 Texas Ranger hat. (Yes, things like this matter.)

It'll be interesting.  I'm actually excited.  I think I'll be able to enjoy the games and just get excited for good baseball (especially good pitching.) Sure, I won't get to feel the ecstatic joy of MY TEAM WINNING IT ALL.  But, with a Saints Super Bowl victory last year and recent LSU baseball and football National Championships, I'm still good.

Our classroom building is just a couple of blocks from the AT&T park and along the major fan thoroughfare - so that'll be fascinating. When I'm walking around the park, many people assume I grew my beard out for the Giants.  Sure, why not... next step?

Good Luck Giants and Rangers - give us a great Series!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cameron, what do you do at the Academy?

This. At least, I'm trying.

Working with Roland, Steve and Luke is an honor, by the way.

Christina Churchill is the rockin' planning student who made this video (with an assist from Fanny Reuterswärd) someone will be lucky to hire them one day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why it was so good.

Ophelia's Madness, originally uploaded by Cameron Maddux.

OK. Let me see if I can articulate a few reasons why the Hamlet production was such a treat.

1) We took a boat to it.
2) We were on a prison island - "Denmark is a prison." The prison feel is used as a device over and over. Watching through a fence or cell bars the illusive mind of Hamlet unravel - perfect.
Hamlet on the other side of the fence

3) When the actors talked about wind, firmament and sun - there was actual wind, sky and sun.
4) The sun set and the temperature dropped with the decline of Hamlet's mood.
5) We would follow the actors from scene to scene. Blood circulation is a lovely thing when going through a Shakespeare drama.
6) Sam practically ran from scene to scene, so as not to miss the action. You can now have wonder-filled conversations with him about the story of Hamlet. Hoo-ray!
Sam observes the action

7) Not only was every location different, but you could move around the scene. I was able to frame the scene as I wanted it, not as my chair and stage set it before me.
8) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern asides. One time during a Polonius and Ophelia conversation, these two did a touch of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" on the fringe of the audience (where I happened to be.) Another time, they were doing the "Heads" coin flip bit while we were walking in between scenes.
9) The day-to-day of my life makes it difficult to relate to a suicidal prince contemplating murder while dipping in and out of psychosis. Alcatraz is part of my daily commute - but it is steeped in deprivation and violence. I was finally able to contemplate Hamlet during the performance, rather than just through lone study.
10) I stood alone next to Ophelia inside an Alcatraz cell while she overheard the "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy. For the first time, I listened to it not from inside Hamlet's mind, but a loved one's.

I just wanted to jot that down so I don't forget.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hamlet on Alcatraz. Seriously.

Claudius and Gertrude

From just a few rows back, I've watched Sir Derek Jacobi perform Macbeth at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.
I've been to Shakespeare's grave and memorial statue at "Poet's Corner."
In high school, I acted in two Shakespeare plays.
As an undergrad, I took 2 Shakespeare-only literature classes.

However, yesterday on Alcatraz Island, I had my most meaningful Shakespeare experience yet. Without a doubt. Not even close.  I'm glad to have played a minor role in kickstarting it.  (By the way, go kickstart something yourself.)

Running around with a thrilled Sam, seeing Hamlet with all its complexities performed by the We Players on a National Park of a dying prison on a perfect warm evening is beyond description. [UPDATE, not completely beyond.] I'll let a couple pictures try to give you an idea:

I would tell you to get tickets. But they are booked. You can show-up at Pier 33 and try to get on the waiting list... Otherwise - support We Players and watch what they do next.