Monthly Archives: February 2007

Top 10 Slogans Rejected By Motel 6

10. Because your neighbor’s wife deserves better than the backseat of some car.

9. As seen on COPS.

8. If we’d known you were staying all night, we’d have changed the sheets.

7. We left off the 9, but you know it’s there.

6. You rented the room, now buy the video.

5. Sure, you could stay someplace nicer, but then you wouldn’t have money left over for the hooker.

4. We’ll leave out the Lysol for ya.

3. We don’t make the adultery. We make the adultery BETTER.

2. Cheap and easy, just like your sisters.

1. We put the Ho in Hotel.

3 Comments

Filed under Blither Blather

This just in …

The home of Gwyneth Paltrow was searched today by LA police. They found Cocaine and Amphetamines.
Gwyneth
Her third child was not located.

1 Comment

Filed under Blither Blather

Condoms

This occured to me in church this morning. (You really need to check out Renovatus.)

Two of the top condoms on the market are Ramses and Trojan. Hmmm. I’m thinking the marketing departments didn’t really think these through.

Ramses: Couldn’t hold the Isrealites.

Trojan … infamous for a “gift” that got inside the city gates, then opened up to allow the enemies access.

Troubling thoughts.

3 Comments

Filed under Blither Blather

Sympathy

When you climb into your bed tonight
And when you lock and bolt the door
Just think of those out in the cold and dark
‘Cause there’s not enough love to go around.

Now half the world hates the other half
And half the world has all the food
And half the world lies down and quietly starves
‘Cause there’s not enough love to go around
No there’s not enough love to go around.

Sympathy is what we need my friends
‘Cause there’s not enough love to go around.

Leave a comment

Filed under Musings

Makin’ Bricks

So I’ve had this sweet deal at Harper’s restaurant for over 10 years now. When I started this career as a Magic Dude, I had limited options for making a living doing what I love and have been called to do.
I could pursue cruise ships, or comedy clubs or magic theaters (which were in proliferation in places like Atlantic City and Vegas in those days). This would have involved traveling and being away from the family for possibly months at a time, or uprooting them and moving them away from extended family and friends. No can do, said the Lord in our long conversations. There is an alternative, you just have to create it.
So I invented close up table magic in Charlotte. To be sure, there had been restaurant entertainers before me. Most of which involved twisting latex into amusing shapes. This (no matter what they say) is NOT magic. I overcame the principle arguments and proved my worth to a number of local eaterys.
My greatest “sell” of all was Harper’s at Southpark. They had an upscale feel and the kind of clientele that I desired for outside work. I worked hard and achieved a following of sorts. I had a place to be creative and pursue excellence. I am thankful to God for giving me this venue.
Zoom forward to the almost present. For just about a year now, I have been feeling stronger and stronger about moving on from this happy house of Harper’s. It’s not just that the atmosphere has changed somewhat. I think I just fear stepping away from a “sure thing” and embracing the path God is laying out ahead of me. So I pray and (sadly) have been ignoring the answers I have been getting.
Then came Sunday and the weekly Jon-A-Thon. Dagnabbit, Juan spoke directly to my fears and the stuggle I have been having. All I have been doing lately is stressing over the money and the bills and makin’ the bricks. And getting less and less straw to make ’em. Jonathan, if you are reading this – you really need to address the problems of the WHOLE congregation, and not just ME week after week.
So … I’m going to be cutting those ties in a very direct way. Heading out again into the desert and waiting for God to move in my craft. I’m excited about some of the projects that are on the way. I hope the blessing will not be mine alone.
Your prayers (as always) are coveted.

2 Comments

Filed under View from the Pew

Newsflash: Anna Nichole Smith Still Dead

Despite fears that she would rise after three days, Anna Nichole Smith remains stone dead.

In the words of the coroner she is “remarkably well preserved”, however.

6 Comments

Filed under Blither Blather

Bright Light City Gonna Set My Soul, Set My Soul on Fire …

Random notes on my Vegas trip:

I sat next to a man I don’t know for 5 hours, hip to hip. Neither one of us tried to make conversation.

Vegas looks great – from a distance. Like the Emerald city before the glasses come off. Up close it looks very plastic and cheap.

In speaking to a Vegas cop: “Prostitution isn’t legal – but we don’t arrest anyone for it. Public drunk will get you escorted back to your room.” “Then what is an arrestable offense?” … “Littering.”

Whole families on the street, pimping. Handing out flyers for escorts, strippers … Dad, Mom and the kids. Oh, and Grandma too.

It’s brighter at night than during the day.

1 Comment

Filed under Public Diary

Our Natural State of Being

The one comment that used to bother me when performing was “I wish the children were here to see this.” I thought it trivialized the hours of work I put into my craft to make it enjoyable and mystifying for adults. This is not kiddie stuff, I’m no clown or balloon twister (not that there’s anything wrong with those professions – I’m sure you keep your therapists in stitches). Then I took a step back and listened to what they were really saying.

Really good art (or “Art”) will take you outside of yourself. Be it music, movies, books, paintings or magic, there is a moment when you forget that it’s Christopher Reeve playing a part, that it’s words on a page and not images free forming and blooming before your eyes … and in that moment Art takes over and approaches the Real. So it is in performance magic. Something inside flashes like a bright light and the audience are taken to a primal state of being. Many people associate this with a childlike state, because they have not experienced the feeling this raw since childhood. It can make you uncomfortable, it can break your world (for the moment) into pieces because suddenly everything you “know” has been called into question.

This is our natural state of being. It is called Astonishment.

When we are born, our minds are a blank space. A void – if you will. We have no concept of the world, but we learn very quickly. Names of things, pain and joy, right and wrong. We begin to form opinions of the world around us. Everything starts to go into nice little boxes. “This is the way things are.” With Art, we occasionally get a peek around the boxes. With performance magic (personal note) every so often something happens that does not fit in any box. The boxes vanish and for a brief moment we are in that primal state of being once again. Astonishment. The neat and tidy world has shaken itself and we are naked before God.

“Wow, Hannibal. You sure have a high opinion of your little card tricks.”

Hear me out. The feeling we have (here on this level of “through the glass, darkly”) will last, at most, 10 seconds. Then the rational mind slams in with the “it’s-up-his-sleeve” box or the “smoke-and-mirrors” box or the “boy-he’s-really-fast-and-I-don’t-know-how-he-did-it-but-I-know-it’s-only-a-trick” box. Then, whether the answer was right or wrong, it now fits more comfortably in its rational box and the primal, uncomfortable feeling fades. With other art (or Art) it’s easier to say “it’s only a movie/book/painting/song” and fit it into a nice box.

Think about music. Have you ever had a song leave you absolutely breathless? As the last few notes rang out – in the one or two seconds before the applause started, have you just stood there completely emptied and … void? When the Artist truely pours himself out, the audience is emptied also. That’s the primal feeling I’m talking about. Total Astonishment. The world laid open and a peek at the true beauty that lies just below the surface we are allowed to see.

The point (yes there is one) is … in my artist’s mind I see Heaven as a place of never-ending Astonishment. When we see Creation as God meant us to see it … when death and evil is gone from all things … we delight in pure wonder. This is why God the Artist and Father of Art will deserve our praise. I have found that sometimes the best praise can be … silence and wonder.

I wish the children were here to see this.

3 Comments

Filed under Musings

How Do You Do That?

How do you reconcile being a magician with your faith? Do you ever fear that God does not approve?

All art is a lie. Poets lie, but we love how they lie to us. Art imitates life. Art is never exactly what it represents. My art (or sometimes Art) imitates miracles and mystery. Performance magic, at its best, is not a puzzle or a problem to be solved, but rather a mystery to be reflected upon. Mystery does not always have a solution – or sometimes the solution takes the beauty out of the moment.

I strive to reflect the beauty and mystery I see all around me in God’s creation. I will never achieve perfection in my work but perhaps in seeking perfection, I can obtain excellence.

4 Comments

Filed under Public Diary

The Return of the … King?

Tom Cruise is the new “Christ” according to leaders of Scientology.Tom
According to The Sun UK – The Mission: Impossible star has been told he has been “chosen” to spread the word of his faith throughout the world. Leader David Miscavige believes that in future, Cruise, 44, will be worshipped like Jesus for his work to raise awareness of the religion.

Speed Racer - GO!In other news of the coming Apocalypse – Actor/ Producer Vince Vaughn is set to produce and star in a live action “Speed Racer” movie. Vaughn will play Racer X, estranged brother of the yet-uncast Speed. Racer X

1 Comment

Filed under Blither Blather