Low night

It's interesting how a nice morning can turn into a crap evening because of one incident.

WARNING: the following is a self-pitying, superficial wallowing of the kind I detest. Skip it. It's just to get it out of my system. This doesn't apply to every situation or every one, but right now all I can see is this forest and the few wonderful trees...don't feel like enough.

I am sitting on the couch thinking about all the crap that has happened recently and feeling powerless. Worthless. I hear people say that success is all about hard work and if you don't succeed it is because you were lazy. Guess I am just lazy. Thanks, Cleveland. Perhaps staying was a bad idea.

I'm always seen here as something other than what is needed. I am never the first thought. I am always third on the list. An afterthought. Projects are never chosen with me in mind. I am the one who gets approached after the first choices turn it down.

I'm rarely seen as an actor despite the times I have garnered good reviews and surprised people who had forgotten I exist. Yeah, it takes me a while to memorize and dance choreography is a chore, but once those get in the thick skull the scene work is usually pretty good.

I'm not seen as a director even though I have done a decent job when I get a project. Perhaps not a theatrical WOW but usually a pretty solid show with grounded acting choices and many layers. Didn't do a bad decade as artistic director of the Shakes Fest, on a shoestring budget and little or no real support structure.

I'm not seen as a playwright. Despite having some works published and my readings get good feedback... I know I need to send the scripts out to theaters, but why is it so hard in my own city?

Fight choreographer? Only when a director realizes they forgot to get someone.

At best I am see as a signer. Thank goodness that I have a job now that sees the years of work I have put into this language. If only Signstage was still a professional company. That would have been a great home to grow. Now I teach and am trying to find ways to get ASL and theatre to mix. It will happen, theatre after ASL, of course.

But as for my place in Cleveland theatre... I guess I'm ready to do that role in CHICAGO now. "Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name...."

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(no subject)

So I tried a 4 day hike on the AT and it happened to coincide with a bloody heat wave!

The plan:
Drive from Cleveland to Delaware Water Gap, PA and get a shuttle 40 miles north to Culvers Gap, NJ. Then hike back over the next four days.

Monday morning, 8am I met the shuttle... Edge of the Woods Outfitters- AWESOME couple who runs the place!!!!- and away I go.

An hour later I climb the ridge in the wrong direction! By the time I reach the summit it is 91 degrees and 43% humidity. I reverse direction and meet the southward ridge! It's all rocks and climbing in either direction.

I managed a total of 6 miles with my 30+ pound pack. Dumb dumb dumb. I camp at the top of Mt. Rattlesnake (aaaahhhhh!!!!) and a thunderstorm blows over!!!!

Woke up and found a trail straight down the mountain! By the time I got to the bottom I had hiked through a swamp and a derelict scout camp, and was a couple miles from Stillwater, NJ. A state trooper kindly pointed me to a deli with air conditioning. The temperature was 93 with 66% humidity!

I can't believe I made it. I am sore. My calves refuse to do anything, and my back is in real awful pain.

Had it been cooler (May or October) it would have been amazing. But in mid- July?!

I am no longer the 18 year old Eagle Scout I was....

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did you ever just want it over?

is it so wrong to want happiness?

after all the aching and the tears, all the lonliness,
the empty nights and the near misses,
the moments of sweet possibility and the hot flares of passion,
why is it that nothing is better and nothing is worse than hope?

the fictions we see about romance found
especially on a long night of insomnia
just make it all worse

to realize that you have to be awake in less than two hours
to go to a job you cant stand, where you dread every time they ask you to do the thing you are paid to do because all you ant to do is what is in your heart
and you want to be sure, absofuckinglutely sure that you are doing things for the right reasons
not for a quick fuck, or a kiss, or a moment of sweetness
but for that something deep inside that fulfills beyond all other possibilities?
and still i doubt what i want.
god damn it i see so much unhappiness
i say the stupidest things
i stay true to my soul an sense of honor but everything
every fucking thing seems to peel away of its own accord
or else i tear it away like an old sunburn
and i am left with the red raw humiliation of knowing that i still cant seem to hit the mark.
i have come so close on a handful of occasions
i know i have passed up on people with whom i could have had a very nice life
happiness, laughter, company, children, warmth, passion, stimulating conversation through the night, lust, lightness, travel, old age, and touching moments
a list of names that make me weep for the chances i pissed away or ignorantly tossed aside or downright dashed to bits or unthinkingly hurt beyond all recompense.
in so many instances i have thought there must be more than this
and in every instance i thought he deficit was in the other person
or somewhere in the atlantic between out new world and our old
and lately, oh so very lately i have come to the horrid realization that the lack is in me.
there is something missing in the deepest recesses of my heart that will not let me get close to anyone. it is a fear, borne of some deep lesson i learned that everyone, no matter who they are or how close they are or how much you love them or they love you... will fail you.
parents leave, or judge, or get divorced, or set double standards, friends laugh at you, trick you, steal the one you have a crush on, steal your things, break your things, tell lies, tell the truth when you want it secret, girlfriends toss you aside for boys with cars, or people with something you dont have, lovers grow disinterested, look elsewhere, sometimes nicely and want to stay friends, and other times they heartlessly eat breakfast with your replacement as you carry your stuff out of the apartment. people give you back your diamond ring, people send you back the cd you gave them, people tell everyone they can about the way you were a joke or make up stories to explain why it was the best idea to get away from you. the list is endless. a list of endless cruelties.

and the realization that we perpetrate as often as we receive
and start to retaliate, a preemptive strike of presidential proportions
punctuated by pointed alliteration and plosive poetics
shows that we are all "hoist with our own petard."

but it hit me early
and now i know
i can see it
rather clearly

i learned a lesson of abandonment somewhere in the dark recesses of my childhood
that it was me
i was what didnt work
and, no matter how many times they told me that it wasnt me, i know it was
no matter how many times i have seen taht it wasnt working for them
i sill believe it was me

i am imperfect, and i cauused the pain and i was the reason they
stopped being.

on the eve of my fortieth birthday, forty years of trying to find that missing piece
looking in the eyes of every person i see
every person
in the car i just passed, that pedestrian, that face on the screen
all the while knowing that it was a fool's quest
because the problem is inside.
every fuck up has been a confirmation, every line flub or math error,
every failed audition or unwritten letter,
every love i have failed to make work

they were all my fault.

and that is my deep fear.
what i am trying to overcome
why i am working so hard to dig myself out of that hole
pay off my debts, and free my burdens
have nothing owed to anyone or any company
and have freedom at last to stand in front of the mirror
and see my own face
and have that dialogue about what the next step is.
and i know what his two choices are
either step forward or step out.
and i dont want the second, but one cant live without truly facing one's own mortality
and the darkness that dwell inside
that frightened beast that would rather disappear than take the chance of getting hurt again.
because hurt is a choice
we make
and then internalize.

its 545am
i should be sleeping
instead i am sitting at my keyboard
crying silently looking around my apartment
perpetually "in process"
which represents my life, my mind, my soul

soon i will reach a point where the questions ar as simple as
yes or no?

fuck hamlet.
  • Current Music
    deafening silence

that he were here to write me down...

art has the amazing, singular quality to reveal pieces of self that are unwanted--

music can stir emotions we don't even realize are beneath the placid surface,

paintings can resonate in our psyches and give us glimpses of ourdesires and fears,

writing can speak the words in our heads that we cannot give voice to,

and theatre can show us to be assholes.

neil labute seems to be the reigning king with the theatrical mirror and scalpel

i just saw a play that revealed that i am truly an asshole
one of those plays where you are shown a path of destruction and in it you see your own handiwork
well, not mine, personally, but close in so many respects that i am a bit numb inside
the writer, the director, the characters, and the actors stuck the voodoo pins unwittingly into my body

the theatre starts by applying free alcohol, a nice glass of pinot noir in the lobby (plastic solo cup)
i had hoped to have a friend come with me, but no one was free
(to be honest i didnt try hard to find anyone, asking mainly people who wouldnt or couldnt come)
so i was there alone, knowing i would see a play at this theatre that challenges the soul.

five women and one man in the cast and two men at the helm of the theatre
the theatre itself is the flip side of the coin of my dream
i want to run a classically based theatre that is daring and challenging
that makes people think and discuss and argue on the way home, and from then on through life
the difference is that in two years they are doing it with modern edgy works, and i have failed to do that with the classics in ten.
so add a liberal dash of jealousy and respect to the broth of tonight's stew

now the director is one of those intense artists who stirs the soul.
pisses me off, because he is what i always have wanted to be
driven, sensual, sexy, articulate, earthy, foul-mouthed, grungy, etc.

the actor in the single, central male role played my little brother in a play seven years ago
a play where i was dumped and kicked out of my apartment via phone call during a tech rehearsal
so there is always an association by him of a really painful time in my life
but he's still cool, and i like him and his work.

the actresses are a mixed bag
one, whom i have never met or seen, is more a singer than actress
and she clumsily played at a character similar to th ewoman who did the dumping and kicking out seven years ago
her clumsiness helped me stomach the similarity, had she truly embodied the memory i might have run away.

the second is a strong young actress on whom i had a huge crush fifteen years ago
yes that is correct, she was a KID then and i could see what she would grow up into and i thought about a ton of "if only" and "maybe with a time machine," and "why cant she have an older sister," and " maybe when she is legal she will have a crush on me", etc (did i use that right?) and she was playing a dumped (abandoned) girlfriend of the guy and she was great.
she has grown into the woman i always knew she would. gorgeous, intelligent, and she has a passion and sensuality that any man (person) would kill to have in a lover.
and, worse, she revealed to me this summer that at some point in the past she HAD in fact had a crush on me
and yet never said anything. wow that revelation hit me like a punch in the gut. but i kept on smiling and thanked her for the compliment, probably alluding to the fact that it revealed bad taste in men and a good sense of discretion. 
add to that the fact that her current boyfriend, i think, is her director. damn and blast they are perfect for each other! add a bit more green-eyed potatoes, please.

ironically the third actress (not in order of appearance, but in a joycean chronology of theme) i had just directed in a show
she was a fiery shrew, and her fierceness came from the smoldering sexuality of a woman who is more attractive than she perceives herself. and sadly there are people who cannot see it either. so in my head, as i am trying to sculpt the desire between her and her rival/lover, i had to look at that aspect of her and cultivate it. and i could recognize it and enjoy that flame.
every director has some amount of love for his actors, on every level. so, add the essence of the figmet of sexual tension that only i can taste.
she played the younger sister of the guy's friend. the main guy kissed her on her 12th birthday and sparked the fire of her sexual drive at an age too early for her to handle. hmmm, so glad i never gave actress #2 a kiss way back then, given the result and its violent mood swings.
in each of these caes the guy followed his heart/gut and ended the relationships and has returned to mend fences, hoping he has not caused much lasting pain.
he has. he did. all pain lasts, i think.

the fourth actress was an acquaintance. she read a part in a reading of a screenplay i wrote. also in the cast was a guy she was dating. she is very attractive and talented. she is so different from anyone i have ever dated, blonde to begin with, which i think is single digit territory for me. and most importantly, after meeting her knowing that there is no way in hell she would ever look at me twice or have any interest in either dating or doing anything remotely intimate with me. 
humbling, but sour grapes make one's daily wine.
her character is the one who wants revenge. nice, simple, in-kind revenge. she was cold and driven, and pushed the guy well, although i think the director didnt really tap the vein of the effect of her revenge. i think she gets what she wants, but it didnt happen in this production.

and the last actress i directed. months later i dated her briefly. and there was something there. something really cool.
and right after those few dates was my trip to los angeles that changed me. it started to cut the roots which were my foundation.
i came home broke and rudderless. the three things i had were (1) debts beginning to take on legal ramifications, (2) a skill i could exploit in the business world to make money, if i would swallow my pride and pursue the work, (3) and a woman across the internet/phone for whom i had carried a torch for 20 years. everything else in cleveland was nebulous
and i didnt go out with her again. i dont know if it was mutual. i threw myself into my work and started paying off my debts and using the unintimate phone/internet to explore my feelings for this past person that i DID hurt, of so badly, two decades ago.
i had a dept to repay to her. i know i was unfair, and she gave me a chance to heal some of those wounds.

so, tonight i saw this actress, this person i felt a spark with briefly and then dropped away from and she was onstage as the pissed, off, grudge carrying ex-girlfriend who got dumped and never got past that anger/humiliation. and i wondered... do i deserve that too? from her, from others? from how many?

i think about how many friends have done people wrong inadvertantly, purposefully, cheated once, or over long periods.
they always want to reveal the truth. come clean and tell their loved one everything.
and i always think that they should not. i know that "honesty is the best policy" but guess what?
i truly believe that these people dont want honesty. if they did they would not have lied in the first place. and how long before they lie again?
do they truly expect forgiveness? it would take years to rebuild any trust after a betrayal like that.
if you have the agreement of monogamy and fidelity, and you break that... thats a big fuck up.
if, however you have an open relationship where sex is sex and love is love, then you still have to be careful, because the nerves of the genitalia route themselves pretty deeply through the heart.
if you fucked up, and you know the truth will hurt someone you love... scratch that, SOMEONE WHO LOVES AND TRUSTS YOU shut the fuck up! keep it to yourself!
afraid it will eat at your soul like acid? good, guess what? you deserve a little pain. maybe it will be a constant reminder to honor your loved one and the promises you made. 
think about it from their point of view... do they deserve the pain of forever wondering if you are telling the truth. was it really a business trip? are you spending cash the way you said? am i truly loved?
a lifetime of wondering is more painful than i can imagine. they have every right to say, right away or at any time, its over. get out. i never want to see you again.

perhaps this is why i have remained single. perhaps i fear, deep down, that i might fail somoeone i care about or that someone i care about will do the same to me. and so i seek the perfect one. the one who wont do that, or let it happen to hr.

i know that i am not worthy of a perfect love because i am nowhere near perfection myself.

"Hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. " Hamlet

been 17 weeks, i see...

well, if LJ says its been 17 weeks, then who am i to question that?
its been busy time for me, and while i feel that i have been busy
i still get the sense that i have not accomplished very much.

well, looking at the actual accomplishments for the year its not bad
lets see:
1- wrote one full play
2- adapted a movie into a first draft of a musical
3- rewrote the first half of that and submitted it to the music goddess for her to start on
4- directed a shakespeare show
5- produced that and another in rep as well as producing two smaller shows at the medieval faire
6- wrote a grant report for last summer and an application for this year which increased our funding by 33%
7- interpreted my butt off and managed to pay off two of my three credit cards, and get back on track with the third
8- working on getting my school loans out of default and paid off
9- paid off random bills that have been in collection, some for years
10- wrote a screenplay for a historical action film
11- lost EVERYTHING on my hard drive in november!
12- started rewriting the historical screenplay
13- revised a screenplay about a theatre company
14- started a novel and two short stories
15- spent months at mom's bedside when she was in the hospital and then nursing home recovering from a horrible staph infection
16- helped mom start to get her house ready to sell
17- repaid 10% of the car loan from my aunt
18- got my own health/dental/life insurance (equity health care is too ridiculous to maintain)
19- acted in beauty and the beast for the second year in a row
20- sang 'be our guest' another million or so times
21- had the single worst audition ever
22- preparing the full play for its first (partial) reading
23- preparing the abridgements of shakespeare for publication
24- watched the first season of 24
25- watched all of Smallville (so far)
26- watched all of The 4400 (so far)
27- watched all of Slings & Arrows (so far)
28- watched all of Billable Hours (Season 1)
29- didnt think about my ex-fiancee once (darn, just blew that one)
30- wrote a stupid list of accomplishments!

how is that for lame, hahahahahahahaha
(dont give me that LOL stuff)

there is more, i am sure, but its taxing me to think about this at worki actually have also been able to have a social life, albeit a strange, sporadic one. reconnected with a few dear friends, made a few new ones

all in all , a pretty good year

(what the good year, my lord?)

  • Current Music
    The Deteriorata

so many thoughts...

what is it with inspiration?
when i have plenty of time the muses are nowhere to be found.
but overwhelm me with work and deadlines and family crises and the ideas flow like something that overflows copiously from some mysterious source!

i finished the script to a stage play and need to set up a reading to know if its worth sending around,
i finished the first half of the book & lyrics to a stage musical adaptation of one of my favorite camp, low-budget, cheesy scifi comedy films,
i am almost finished with the screenplay i have been tooling around with for the last few years,
i still want to rewrite the hitorical/action screenplay that i lost (but probably as a novel this time)
and last night my brain started on fire with the idea of a pair of novels about elves and humans in the modern world, an adventure romance.

ummm, life? can i please get the work done that i have to, first? please?
or at least drop a large sack of cash that i can use so i dont have to terp anymore and can focus on this art????

is that too much to ask?
  • Current Music
    ditty bops, moon over the freeway

religions, shmeligions...

so why is everyone so needy? why do we, as a species, so desperately cling to the idea that we are superior to someone else? why can't we just be content to 'be'?

does it really matter if you look across the table, street, yard, state, country, continent, ocean, or even galaxy and see someone/something that appears better than you? is it ever anything other than an illusion?

good, better, best
never let it rest
till your good is better
and your better's better best!

it was a nice idea as a kid, but what exactly does it mean? that we should all keep improving? sure. but it never really explains how we are supposed to measure these improvements. we are left to decide for ourselves, and that is the real quandry.

we humans suck at making decisions.

and don't give me any crap that 'you' are any different than anyone else. if 'you' are able to make decisions easily then you have bought into the delusion that what you think matters in the grand scheme, and that you have all the facts, and that you must be right because you made a decision.

well give a kewpie doll to the freckled kid with the cowlick and now scram, you bother me! and wipe that brown stuff off your nose. its been there so long its dried up and i have a sandwich here to eat.

look, its simple:
a human is insecure by nature.
we live in packs, but want to be independent.
we desperately crave reassurance-
       -that we are attractive (to someone/anyone)
       -that we are smart (and capable)
       -that we have value
       -that we are likeable
       -etc. you know what i am talking about.

but that desire can get out of whack when we obsess about those things. when we NEED to be attractive, intelligent, likeable, organized, talented, etc. and we are still without an internal measuring stick to tell us how we are doing. all we can do is compare ourselves to others. others who are different, with different strengths and weaknesses. who, while appearing to be the same, are actually quite different.

and the one big problem is

now, dont get me wrong. there are times where competition can drive someone to improve themselves, and it can be fun to compete. but its become the central driving force of mankind. everything, and i mean everything, is judged by competition.

i grew up in buffalo... anyone follow that little game called the superbowl? how many times did buffalo lose the superbowl- meaning they were the second best team in the NFL?  and yet they lost the game... which made them losers. how does that work? i dont follow sports,  and i was in cleveland at the time, where i heard all about how lame the bills were. the cleveland fans did not appreciate my pointing out that the bills had a better record than the browns.

now lets look at the facts about sports... players, fans, and owners:
-the average fan either "used " to play or "dreamed" of playing but now can only watch other people and imagine themselves in the thick of the game,
-the average player has spent more time developing his physique, reflexes, and game-rage than his intellect or interpersonal skills,
-the average owner cares little for the game, the players, or the fans, and only for the profit margin of the team (and every tiny aspect of that business venture.)

now, calm down, smokey. none of these are meant as insults, they are pretty much just the facts. maybe you know a guy named steve who breaks these little rules, but the majority holds pretty solid.

let me ask you this: why does anyone care? we've been told over and over again that its the most exciting thing on television. we see minor celebrities and players (past their prime) explaining how deep and intense and complicated the on-field decisions are-- comparing them to Caesar's little run-in with the Gauls. they all have a 3-d view of a 2-d game. there is very little depth perception afforded on the playing field, and only the time to blink to make a snap decision as to running or throwing and to whom.

football's a nice way to burn off thanksgiving calories in the front lawn. but the game has grown into a mockery of itself and the love of "play". what was a thrill to those young boys has become a political pecking order to earn more than any other person.

an ex-fiancee (there has only been one, so shush) tried to convince me that professional sportsmen played for the love of the game, not the money and fame and that they were actually much smarter than we think they are... yada yada. i countered that if any of them were truly smart they would have figured out a way to get a BA in Football, so that the million annual 'scholarships' actually weren't actually misnomers.

so, yet again, we all get convinced that the profits of a minority are worth the efforts and passions of the vast majority. we believe this because we are told exactly that. we spend money to cheer for a team to win because we think that will make us better people, because we backed the winning team. however, the team is trying to win because it will increase their salaries. slight difference, yes, but enough to throw the bets off on all sides.

the bottom line is who wins, not who plays well, not who improves. only who takes home the trophies and rings.

bill o'reilly challenged david letterman in an interview (their second, heated debate) -- for a transcript: (http://farleft.blogspot.com/2006/10/david-letterman-v-bill-oreilly-part-ii.html)
O'Reilly: ... Do you want the Untied States to win in Iraq?

Letterman: First of all, I don't -

O'Reilly: It's an easy question, If you don't want the United States to win -

Letterman: It's not easy for me because I'm thoughtful.

throughout the interview, O'Reilly doesn't contest the fact that its about oil, that innocent people are dead, that the president went in with erroneous "intelligence", or that the policies were inadequate. all he cares about is if the US will win.

WE always have to beat THEM, no matter who THEM is ('they are' for grammarians). keep that in mind.

I quit little league baseball because Mr. C. would yell at his players if they made mistakes that cost them runs or, god forbid, the game. i had more important things to think about... like if Cheryl L. liked me and would let me kiss her at the next birthday party. and he wasnt even my coach (Mr C, not Cheryl).

Fundamentalist Islamists are no worse than Fundamentalist Christians. They are rabid in their views that 'they are chosen by god* to fix the world. their rules are the only ones that count.' that accounts for about 10% of the world's population (don't ask me for statistics... i am an artist.) the other 80% of us would rather sit down to a great pot luck dinner of kebabs, pizza, sushi, samosas, and falafel. (with fava beans and a nice chianti.)

bottom line is:

WE don't care about winning a war.

WE don't care about beating THEM.

WE want to be safe and live next door to THEM.

WE want our kids to play nice with THEM.

THEY want the same things and WE do.

Its the 'OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAIN' people that keep screwing this all up.

Hussein, Hitler, Kim Jung, Castro, Stalin, Khaddafi, the Bushes (the shrewd one and the dumb one) and even the Pope (sorry mom) all have agendas for making THEMSELVES and their posses more powerful.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs dont do the dirty work.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs dont die on the battlefield.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs don't honor the embargos
(cigar, anyone?)

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs don't get laid off without huge severance packages.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs never lose their health care.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs even meet with enemy OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs all the time to plan their strategies on how to fight each other.

WE sacrifice, die, pay, hurt, cry, pray, work, atone, grieve, lament, bicker, and try to find some solace in stupid things like Tom Cruise movies, Britney Spears' underwear status, and Dennis Rodman's court stats because those things are the grass in the pasture that we have in front of us.

WE, the sheep, eat grass so we don't have to look at the ranchers who profit from the mutton.

It is time we look up at what we have become and take some control back.

*ps I put god as lower-case, because i have yet to be compelled to see it as much more than a concept, a belief. and those are objects, not entities. if you believe differently, i respect that. picture it, in your own mind, as capitalized.
  • Current Music
    brisco county, jr on dvd

a new year...

so its 2007

should i be more excited about that? i am booked to work most of the month interpreting. will be able to get ahead on bills... sweet.

was asked about a possible role in EQUUS this weekend, but i think with only a month to get into a shape that can be hairless and clothless onstage might be a stretch... beyond the fact that my "fish-belly white skin would be a hazard to retinas everywhere...

i saw a good dvd over the holidays and saw a guy i worked with five years ago... he was really bad then and is really not very different now. the difference is that he is eighth in the credits of a film that is making the buzz everywhere. how does that work? we was himself and he gets nice money while i work my patoot off trying to become other characters and i find myself everyday putting on greasepaint to resemble Prince George and strap a candle to my head.

i must have really fucked people up in a past life.

lets look back on more of the moments from 2006, shall we?
why the hell am i asking you? you are reading and are only a click away from something really entertaining, like porn. but still i am trying desperately to make this a dialogue so i dont feel like i am completely lame. i am sitting at work waiting to be made useful. its a living.

hell, what is there to look back on 2006? who cares? read my old blogs if you wanna know. hmmm... thats's an idea....
  • Current Music
    Red Hot & Blue: I Love Paris - by Les Negresses Vertes

rules... schmules...

my friend tzeitel posted this in her LJ blog and she was quit upset by the sexist list that follows. (not that she swears, but her liberal use of CAPITALS really shocked my delicate sensibility.)

Here are the rules as they are posted
(with my comments after):
0. But... there are exceptions to these rules, if she REALLY wants to do something... you have to let her. See rule 32.

1. Open doors, whether it be to a building or a car, that's just a given.
(can't we just apply this to everyone? open doors for any person.)

2. When in a place of worship (or other places that have aisles and pews), if a man is at the end of the pew, when exiting he should stand in the aisle and let all the females go before him.
    (oh christ that's dumb. just get up and hold the freaking church door open for them.)

3. A man should tolerate the occassional chick flick (or musical, or opera, or ballet.. whatever her preference is) *without* bitching about it!
(let's just all expand our filmic horizons. stallone and pacino can really suck, and sometimes we all could use a good cry. guys, learn to love a film like TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY and most of us should realize that the best action films DONT make the women look like helpless morons-michelle yeoh in that Bond flick!!!!)

4. Play one of the songs that would make any woman weep like the little girl she once was (but in a good way). A brief list includes, but certainly isn't limited to: "You & Me" Lifehouse, anything by Frank Sinatra, any rendition of "Everything I Do, I Do it for You", "Collide" by Howie Day, "Out of my League" Steven Speaks, and MOST IMPORTANTLY "Question" by the Old 97's (if you propose to a girl with this song, she is putty in your hands).
(oh give me a freaking break. sob songs? that wins a woman's heart? {the sound of me vomitting} like with the film limitations of morons... start to appreciate the talent in all styles of music. except maybe britney spears and justin timberlake, they just suck. but getting to like country, rap, opera, and jazz takes very little effort and actually there are a great amount of talent in every )

5. Talk! The strong & silent bit goes from intriguing to boring quite fast.
(good point. you have to talk, but by talk you also have to talk honestly. i am sick of one friend who constantly complains that her boyfriend doesn't say anything, while she, herself, rarely tells him the whole truth about anything. so start talking you kids, and tell the truth! as Twain said 'you don't have to remember as much.")

6. Find out what her favorite flower is & buy them for her randomly (or if you're in the doghouse...). Good rule of thumb: a single rose says more than dozens of anything else. 
(yeah, flowers are nice, but plants are better. lets give a person a gift... a symbol of our undying love... and make sure the thing only lives for a few days. and, no matter what your football coach told you, gifts don't get you out of the doghouse. not being a dog is the only way to avoid that! give gifts when you think of the person. let them know you think of them, that means a lot to everyone.)

7. If you miss her, or love her, TELL HER! Even your friends like to hear it every now & again. 
(see above. if you are thinking about someone... tell them.)

8. Re-enact Zales commercials (the ice is nice but certainly not mandatory).
(trying to buy your way out of the doghouse again? bad move. each time you will need to add an ice cube.)

9. Remember: the best gifts you can give are usually free of cost.
(and if free doesn't make them happy, then chances are you are screwed. get out before the bills start to pile up.)

10. Leave a note (or send a message) just to say "hi".
(could we say it ONE MORE TIME??? jeez, the horse is dead, stop beating it with a fine tooth comb.)

11. Ask her questions about herself.
(gee, did anyone really need to be told that? i guess some people need to be told that football is not interesting to everyone. and American Idol and Loius Vuitton can kiss my ass, too.)

12. Dress nice every once & a while. Any girl likes to see her brother/friend/boyfriend/etc. in a well-ironed button up with some nice slacks.
(oh, why not.)

13. PRIDE & PREJUDICE ...that's all I have to say about that (I mean, that should speak for itself).
(everyone remembers the first line

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

But how many people remember the second sentence?

"However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters."

so how do you feel about possession?)

14. Tolerate small children as best you can. Meaning, put up with the things that can get annoying. They're children after all. Show them love and care, teach them how to become a better man than you.
(tolerate? kids are cool. they see the world untainted, and they are just plain fun. are they possibly be more annoying than adults?)

15. Learn to dance! There is nothing sexier than a man that can dance really well. If God did not bless you with the grace of Fred Astaire, at least put forth the effort, it will be greatly appreciated. Always slow dance (even if its just like you danced in middle school). Also, men, sing to a lady. Even in you're terrible, suck it up! They love to listen to it and will not care what you sound like. It's the thought that counts on this one. Unless you're just downright terrible, nothing sexy about that. haha, thanks Jade!
(isnt it more to the point to try... whatever it is that your partner wants. and sometimes to surprise them. dancing, yes, singing, sure why not? i had a girlfriend who wanted to try racing cars, sure why not? experiencing different cultures and foods is great. but thats just a good lifge lesson in general.)

16. Kiss her on the forehead.
(ummm, okay. i think there are important places that kisses can be placed. guys, you need to love that. not tolerate, not begrudgingly pay some attention to get to better things... LOVE it!!!!! pray at the altar, speak in tongues, make her kick you in the head to stop. and, of course, kiss every inch of her skin to find the places where she is sensitive- inner elbow, back of knee, eyebrow... simple attention is good. as Linda Loman said, "Attention must be paid.")

17. When she's sick, stay up with her. If you can cook (which is *always* a plus), make her some soup. If you can't cook, there's Campbell's soup at hand for you.
(well, duh, again. isnt that good for any friend to do. nurse them, hold their hair when they vomit, be willing to take on the most disgusting tasks to help them through it. its so romantic to both throw up together.)

18. Pretend to throw her in the pool (or fountain/pond). She'll fight you, but secretly she loves it. If you really do throw her in, you better jump in yourself.
(wow. now that's love. i also recommend pulling her pig tails, too, or dipping them in the inkwell. i think the key is to be playful, full of play. but dont be a dick. if you are much bigger than her, dont throw your weight around. and dont try to push her into the fountain in the wrong place or at the wrong time. childlike play and sage wisdom hand in hand. putting a red rubber nose on her grandfather as he lies in the casket might not be the best move... unless you are in MY family. and always be willing to take the fall, whether its for yourself or to save her.)

19. Hold her hand while you talk, drive, or just for the heck of it (it's the small things that win you big points).
(don't that just feel so darn good anyway?)

(most of the time, yes. but when she has taken the time and put in the effort to look wonderful... i think she would appreciate catching you admiring her. i think this applies to getting her to date you in the first place, right?)

21. Stupid jokes= awkwardly adorable moments.
(WTF does this mean??? depends on the joke. know when to use a bad pun, when to use a suggestive reference, and when to show you are bold enough to risk offense.)

22. Tickle her, tease her, let her tease you back with out getting all bent out of shape about it
(yeah, no shit. dont get bent out of shape about anything. upset, angry, hurt, fine... but 'bent out of shape' implies that its out of proportion. keep all in moderation.)

23. Don't call her hot, or pretty, or cute, call her beautiful because that's what she is.
(jeez, lets limit our language why dont we? its bad enough we only have one word for 'love'. like, adore, respect, lust... we are so limited by english. see her, and see what she looks like. how does she want to be seen, and say it. if she looks stunning, tell her that. if she looks hot, tell her so. if beautiful is the right word... say it. just make sure you are honest and appropriate to the situation. "yes, Mrs tucker, I think your daughter looks wonderful in that dress. in fact, i think she looks pretty hot. i mean, look at the cans on that!" yeah, not really a good choice.)

24. Offer her your jacket/sweatshirt. (Note: you may not see that particular item of clothing for a while, if ever again).
(but doesnt she just make that piece of clothing look so much better? i have lost a teddy bear... how can i get that back? she can keep my UR sweatshirt. oh, and let her wear your tux shirt... trust me.)

25. Don't be too proud to apologize.
(duh... life lessons.)

26. It's not stalking to watch her sleep if you fall asleep watching a movie. It is stalking to watch her sleep if you're standing outside her window with night vision goggles.
(what? )

27. When she feels at her worst, tell her she looks her best.
(so where is that fine line between telling someone you love that you truly love them for who they are, and thus find them beautiful, and flat-out lying to them? even if someone looks like shit, you still can see the beauty in them. look for it, dont just lie and say they look beautiful. they can see through your bullshit. see the vulnerability and embrace it. anyone will appreciate that.)

28. If you're trying to get more than friendship out of the relationship, take it slow.
(and if you are only out to get laid, just walk away. wow that makes a lot of sense. if you want friendship, be a friend. if you want more be a friend, and be open for it to develop into more. it might, it might not. but you both have to feel that spark for it to become more. now  question for the gals reading this: why the hell is it that 90% of you don't ever consider the "nice" guys in your life sexy? they are always there, they are always dependable, and they think of you first. why is it that you only are interested in the guys who treat you like shit and will be unfaithful?-- guys, you need to answer the male version of this yourself .-- being a 'nice guy' all my life means watching so many attractive friends hook up with hot guys who fuck them over again and again and again. and the times when these ladies do decide to give a 'nice guy' a chance, they find that they make great boyfriends and lovers. "wow, someone who actually cares if i am satisfied!" dont accuse me of stereotypes... you know i am right. now... discuss.)

29. Because you're a guy doesn't mean you are completley incapable of calling when you say you will; it just means you are highly incapable of it. There are few acceptable answers to, "Why didn't you call?" & being male is not one of them.
(and what is the excuse when a woman doesnt call, or email, or text back? i have been guilty of letting three months go by before i called someone. it was awful, but hell, my mom WAS in the hospital, and I did go out of state for a theatre season, so i was busy. and i noticed that she never called me either. so why was it 100% my fault?)

30. Don't check out other girls in front of your girl friends/sisters/mother, unless you are sincere when you later ask them if you think she could introduce the two of you for more reason than you "want to get some". Pull this in front of your girlfriend/fiancee/wife, she has every right to clock you in the jaw.
(thats only if they have reason to think you might actually pursue that other woman. if they know that they can trust you you have no real reason not to notice another woman. if they know you are a dog and will jump whatever you can get away with they will be pissed. and you would deserve to get clocked. and she/they had better not comment on how hot george clooney or the bartender might be or i will blow the 'double standard' whistle and give them a yellow card.)

31. Guys- Always pay for the date. No matter how expensive it gets or how much money you DON'T have.
(what happened to equality? offer to pay, sure. if she wants to split it, don't force her not to. if she wants to treat you, be gracious. like opening the door, times have changed. if she wants a man from the 40s, give her your grandfather's phone number.)

32. Always do everything in your power to keep her as happy as you can. And cheer her up in any way possible.
(especially if she is a selfish, manipulative bitch. that way you can completely lose yourself in her psychoses. i will agree with the idea that they should be in your thoughts all the time, and making them happy should be a high priority. but make sure that it is reciprocated, and also make sure that the goals of happiness on both sides are not unrealistic. any woman who will only accept a diamond engagement ring that is a certain size or larger will only get worse. start making payments on the completely unnecessary Hummer she will want in a few years.)

33. When walking on the sidewalk, always walk on the outside near traffic.
(why, so that the horses don't hit her with their tails or the carriages don't splash mud on her? gimme a break.)

34. At least do everything in your power to keep cursing to a minimum while around her. If you can, cut it out period while around her, or cut it out of your vocabulary. Women don't want to hear it, guys don't care about it, adults don't want to hear it, it doesn't impress employers, and you sure won't want your children or someone elses to hear it!
(it's just fucking language, for christ's sake! whatever this cocksucker means by this absolute bullshit is beyond my motherfucking grasp. suit the language to the situation, or at least only swear 80% of what you think is appropriate. if the first time you meet her parents is sunday brunch and church, the chances are you didnt sleep with her that saturday night, and her family wont swear. time to look elsewhere if thats not for you.)

35. Sometimes you have to take the initiative. don't always wait for her to come to you, because if that's how it always is you're going to lose her.

(and, conversely, if you have to initiate everything then she will lose you. well, if you have any self-respect. then again, she might just be really too good in the sack for you to pass up. who knows? all i know is that Wendy's Vanilla Frosties are pretty good.)

36. If any lady is walking alone to her car in a dark parking lot/garage, or is carrying a heavy load, always offer to help walk her to her destination and carry things, if not the entire load. **This may work a lot better and come off non-stalkerish if you at least know the girl you're trying to help. haha Thanks to a LOT of people on this revision.

(and if a guy is in the same situation laugh at him or call him a pussy. because only women need help. here's a good time to hold doors for people, and then they might let you help carry things.)

37. If a woman says no, let that be her final answer. Do not pressure or force her in any way. Don't make her give in to something she doesn't want to do.
(and if she changes her mind when you back off, make her stick to her guns. "no" has to mean "no", not "later, just let me lead." we guys are too predictable and manipulated. if she says "no" then STOP. if you need to excuse yourself to the bathroom to cool off, do so. and ladies, if you think you dont want to... dont get in a position where it looks like you do. especially if alcohol is involved. if you are alone in a frat guy's room, it may already be too late. where did you go wrong? hmmm... you want attention, you are dressed to accent your curves, you have drunk everything anyone gave you, and Tommy here is pawing at you with no opposable thumbs. still want to be an adult and show your parents that you are responsible? you let things go too far and now he is wound up. if he doesnt stop when you tell him, you have to use pain. make it good, make it solid, then get the hell out of there. and then realize that the 'nice guy' whose shoulder you will be crying on later would have been a better choice to be alone with.  wow, that sounds kinda harsh on a re-read, but its truth. so suck it up. the name has been changed, but responsibility starts the moment you decide to do something, not when you decide that you have painted yourself into a corner.)

38. Always be honest with her. No woman wants or likes a dishonest man. If you can't be honest with her she can't trust you, and shows you don't trust her enough to be honest. Trust, honesty and intergrity are just as an integral part of a relationship and just as important as love.
(just be honest in general... hey who said tell her she is beautiful always, even when she is sick? honesty? as Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

0. But... there are exceptions to these rules, if she REALLY wants to do something... you have to let her. See rule 32.

(so just turn belly-up and let her rule you. you will be much more content. trust me.)

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