Thursday, August 3, 2017

My Life As It Stands

I haven't posted to this blog in a long, long time, and though I've written a shitload of other material since then (books, poems, other blogs, short stories), this little space-o-mine has sat neglected for almost three years. So here's how my life stands as of Thursday, August 3, 2017.

Health: My health is better than ever. Though I've weighed less than I do now (not including my stint as a toddler), it's the first time in my life I've ever suffered through the kind of sustained diet and exercise plan I'm on now. My blood pressure has gone from very high to perfectly normal, my cholesterol has gone from dangerously high to only slightly elevated, I've lost somewhere north of 14 pounds so far, and my Fitbit (thanks, Mike!) has kept me on track to reach or exceed my steps goal for each day.

Home Life: Andy and I recently began our 9th year as homeowners, and while our list of things to do seems to be forever growing, we're both generally very happy with our house and property. Andy's been absolutely driven lately to re-grow the grass on our front lawn, and his efforts are definitely paying off. We recently purchased a new vacuum cleaner, as the one I bought from Target eight years ago never really worked. It took us all eight years to fully admit this, but at least now we have a new one. (We'll un-box it sometime in the next two years.)

Work: All's well at my job. No six-figure salary to speak of, but I love working there, and I'm forever grateful for the free gym and close proximity to my house!

Writing: After writing and publishing five books nonstop since 2013, I took the first seven months of this year off to completely rewrite and re-format my first book from top to bottom. While I kept 75% of the copy the same, I don't think a single line went untouched in one way or another. I commissioned a new cover, added new copy, cleaned up old copy, and just took the time to overhaul the whole damn book in every way possible. It desperately needed a refreshed, improved version of itself, and now, I'm pleased to say, that new edition is live on Amazon.

Vacations, Big and Small: I have four big trips still ahead of me this year: Maryland, Vermont, Florida, and North Carolina. Maryland will just be a weekend trip to visit a close friend and her family, Vermont will be my usual week away in the mountains to fish, read, write, and explore, and North Carolina will be a long weekend away for Thanksgiving, to visit with Andy's parents, aunt, and uncle. Florida, however? Well, that's my big vacation for this year, and it'll be a whole week away in a special land known as The Magic Kingdom. I haven't even been back to the state of Florida in 30 years, so I'm really looking forward to a jam-packed week of adventures with Andy and a few close friends.

ROAR (Random Other Artful Rants):

I need a new mattress. My current one is literally hurting me on a daily basis. While the springs have yet to break loose from their prison down below, they're threatening to do so. It's a bumpy, brutal night of unrest each and every night, and I hate it.

2) Every time Andy hears the words "President Trump", his face does this weird collapse maneuver, and he goes from happy and peaceful to shocked and disillusioned in half a second flat. And while I agree with him 100% politically, his facial mechanisms do at least make me smile.

3) My Aunt Jane isn't doing well. We don't talk about it publicly too much, and even mentioning it here gave me pause, but it's just very sad. The woman turns 85 this month, so in many ways, she's blessed. We just wish her dementia wasn't so much of a constant. Her lucid moments are less and less frequent all the time. Please keep her in your prayers.

4) Andy's mom isn't doing so well either. She falls a lot, and she fell again this week. Andy showed me a new picture of her last night that his dad took. She had to have stitches put in around her eye after her most recent fall. I swear to God, the woman was an unstoppable force just a few years ago, but now it's as if she's having trouble all the time.

5) I have a half day at work tomorrow, and I'm off on Monday, so I'm looking forward to a lot of relaxation this weekend. That's more of a rave than a rant, but whatever.

And that's it! If you can, and I know you can, please LIKE my public Facebook page for my writing at this link. I don't care if you end up hiding all the notifications you get from me there, rare though they are, but please just LIKE the page to support me. Many thanks!

You can and should feel free to stalk me on Instagram at this link.

And you can and should laugh at my YouTube videos by subscribing to my channel at this link.

Have a good day!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Idea for a new blog

While I should be blogging more anyway, I thought of a new blog idea, and wanted to see what you think. 

On May 1st, 2014, I'll be turning 39 years old, and beginning my 40th year of life on Earth.  Yes, I know.  I know I look 26, and it's very sweet of you to be so shocked, but hear me out please.

If I start this new blog, My 40th Year (or something like that), I'd be posting every day. 

Would you be interested in this?  Semi-interested?  Mildly curious? 

Please let me know.  Thank you!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book 2 progress

Book in progress!

First 16 pages written and I'm really loving where it's going!

6254 / 75000 words. 8% done!

Book 1 already published on Amazon and many other locations around the world:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spring's Awakening

October 15, 2012

Spring's Awakening
, Off-Broadway at The TBG Theatre, located at 312 W. 36th Street (just west of 8th Avenue), a Marvell Rep production. Tickets only $25, and it runs through November 4th. 

Starring: Giuseppe Bausilio (Billy in Billy Elliot), Lizzy DeClement, and Dalton Harrod, and featuring an incredibly talented supporting cast lead most notably by Steven Braunstein, Ethan Navarro, and Anne Newhall

Some of you will say that rape, abortion, masturbation, suicide, teen gay romance, sadomasochism, atheism, and circle jerks aren't your thing.  I understand.  But you know what is one of my...things?  Great acting.  So if seeing absolutely fantastic, amazing, award-worthy acting is, you know, your thing?  Then you must, must, must see this beautiful show.

Last night, I attended the Opening Night performance, and I have to tell you, I was completely blown away at the talent up on stage.  Imagine if there was a machine that could locate and collect the best teen actors from around the world and put them all together in one show in New York City.  That's what seems to have happened.  The subject matter is intense.  Like, really, really powerful stuff.  And yet these kids show up, scene after scene, and they act with a passion that's rare in theatre.  They act their hearts out on stage as if there's a camera on their face and a Tony waiting for them in the wings.

Giuseppe Bausilio, most recently on Broadway in the title role of Billy Elliot The Musical, plays Melchior Gabor, the sad, confused, angst-ridden central figure in this story of kids being kids in a time in their lives when the adult in them is aching to get out, or at least just be found.  Melchior, influenced by his mother's open-minded upbringing, doesn't understand why the facts of life should be hidden at all, why everyone can't be who they were made to be.  He is the champion of free thinking, even though as the story progresses, this reality is revealed to be more complex than he at first realized.  Giuseppe, well known to many as one of, if not the best ballet dancers of his age, proves his acting chops are top-notch too.  Is there anything he can't do?!  His presence on stage is entrancing, his performance both gripping and sad, and he makes us feel all the confusion and intensity along with him.  Bravo to this young master of so many crafts and talents for pulling off such a complex, dark and brooding role!

Lizzy DeClement plays Wendla Bergmann, a 14-year-old girl aching to truly experience life and all its truths and pains.  She begs to understand everything, and sees in Melchior a boy who cannot only teach her through words, but also through actions.  Yet her eagerness is also her ultimate demise, as her passions and curiosity bring her everything she always wanted and even some of the things she didn't want all at once.  Lizzy DeClement is an extremely gifted young actress, and you are in a privileged position getting to sit there and watch her talk through her character's development and confusion.  She has a magic in her face and in her performance through and through, and it's clear she is destined for greatness on the Great White Way!

Rounding out the leads is one of those performers who brings his gifted acting to you subtly at first before springing on you with unmatched gusto and energy.  Dalton Harrod as Moritz Stiefel is equal to the best on Broadway and film.  He speaks with a haunting passion ready to let loose like a monster, and wrestles with his inner demons with a frightful power not of this world.  The role is built to be completely embodied, and not taken on by the faint of heart, which proves Dalton Harrod is a true star.  One can only imagine how difficult it is to step into that role day in and day out, lose yourself and your sanity, and still maintain a real life outside of the part.  He does an absolutely incredible job, and his performance is one for the ages!

In featured roles right up there with these powerhouses are three more stars that make this show absolutely rock.  As Mrs. Bergmann (Wendla's mother), Anne Newhall is exquisite in her performance.  She is a really wonderful actress, and brings the audience along with her with each smile, each tear, and even each thought through her head.  We love her, we ache for her, we understand her.  And as two of Melchior's friends who are secretly in love with one another, Steven Braunstein (Hanschen Rilow) and Ethan Navarro (Ernst) are as loving a couple as you will see in any storybook romance past or present.  Their pure affection and beautiful love story is a secret affair they both assume cannot carry over to their future, adult lives, but it is an electrifying romance of youth and passion performed gorgeously.  Not one second of their performance as lovers feels artificial.  And you can't help but be, how can I say, tickled to the bone by Braunstein's sexual soliloquy elsewhere.  It's a scene you will not soon forget!

The entire cast is just fantastic, especially the ensemble of young men and women playing the teenagers, who are all at or right around the actual age of their characters.  This show is only running until November 4th, so do yourself a huge favor and buy your tickets here right now.

Sean Patrick Brennan