Posted by feedback in art, art from the fabric of my life, charlie chaplin, clown, clowning, culture, Ed Koch, gino cumeezi, new york city, provocateur, theater
on Jun 17th, 2013 | 3 comments
as many of you may, or may not know, i used to be a clown. “gino cumeezi”. that was my name. great grandson of the infamous and toothless “gums” cumeezi. a cross between charlie chaplin, jack kerouac, and grand central station. i like to think of gino as a subversive public fool. a comic outlaw. a provocateur to the max. truly one of new yawk’s “finest”. in fact, gino ran for mayor of new york city in 1977. against the recently deceased (february, 2013), one and only mayor of new yawk, ed koch. “put a real clown in gracie mansion.” that was gino’s campaign slogan. he finished...
Posted by trules in academia, american culture, art from the fabric of my life, clay the dog, clint eastwood, college graduation, death, family, frank capra, hip, it's a wonderful life, los angeles, movies, solo performance, students, teaching
on May 24th, 2013 | 9 comments
may 17, 2013
beware. this is a story of curmudgeonliness turning into beatitude.
let’s start with the first.
it’s the merry month of may. time for college graduations. i never go.
never went to my own, never will. you know the routine: 1969… the me generation, protest, stick it to the man. my parents made me go to the college i never wanted to go to, just to save the dough. i certainly wasn’t gonna go to make them happy. i was socially inept, volcanic, and generally, i had a hard time making it out of adolescence. i didn’t need a diploma, recognition from an institution i didn’t respect. i...
Posted by feedback in ageing, clay the dog, death, dieing, family, friendship, gratitude and appreciation, LA dog beaches, obituaries
on May 13th, 2013 | 9 comments
It ended the same way it began. On a hard, linoleum-covered wooden floor. Me lying next to Clay, the Dog. Comforting him at the very beginning. And comforting him again at the very end. Clay, my homeboy companion. My escape artiste extraordinaire. Clay, the canine outlaw of Echo Park. The cat killer and coyote enforcer. The sweetheart and heartbeat of Elysian Heights. Clay, the Dog, who is no more.
I remember the first night on my brown-diamonded, linoleum kitchen floor, high above the lowlands of trendy Echo Park, that locals used to call “Red Hill” (for its Commie-leaning, rabble-rousing...
Posted by feedback in american culture, dance, new york city, studio 54
on Mar 1st, 2013 | 0 comments
i saw her first
on the BMT line
the RR to be exact, heading uptown from 23rd to 57th street
she’s sitting… diagonally across from me
wearing bright red and white candy striped pants
balloon size, with a white tuxedo blouse and tiny red bowtie
her hair, flaming red
her face, like a fleshy, scandinavian beauty
full figured body
with a tiny waist i couldn’t resist
i get up, cross the train car, and sit down next to her
i feel like an intruder
“excuse, me, i usually don’t do this, but i really like the way you’re dressed”
right there on the RR...
Posted by feedback in ageing, american culture, art, art from the fabric of my life, baby boomers, bali, culture, death, dieing, life, theater
on Oct 20th, 2012 | 1 comment
“act 3”, you know, of a play? it follows its 2 predecessors: act one, which brilliantly sets up what’s at stake for the protagonist. followed by act two, in which the play develops with tension & suspense as it builds in “rising” action, when finally, you have, “act 3”, the climax and resolution of the play. if it’s a good/happy ending, the play is called a comedy; if it’s a not so good, bummer of an ending, the play is called a tragedy. in either case, act 3, the “falling” action and… the end of the play.
now being a college theater professor for the last 26 years, i...
Posted by trules in bali, charlie chaplin, clowning, dengue fever, gino cumeezi, good karma, guadalajara, indonesia, klown, kuta-legian-seminyak, lombok, motor bike accident, ubud
on May 25th, 2012 | 7 comments
when i travel i like to clown. like wear the 3 foot wide sombrero my first time in tijuana. or like jump into the giant stone central plaza in guadalajahara with the white faced, black and white stripe-shirted mime & improvise a duet with him in front of 200 gaping guadelajarans. sans makeup. or like call all the touts and locals “boss” wherever i go in the 3rd world, after they’ve called me “boss”, stepen fetchit style, like say in denpasar, bali, or cuzco, peru, but never in 1st world rotterdam, holland, where i took my infamous klown company, the cumeezi bozo...
Posted by feedback in academia, ageing, american culture, annihilation, art, art from the fabric of my life, baby boomers, bobos, charlie chaplin, culture, death, dieing, gardening, gratitude and appreciation, griffith observatory, jews, life, los angeles, lucretia gardens, nightmares, pacific ocean, san gabriel mountains, teaching, theater, when i'm 64, wizard of oz
on Feb 21st, 2012 | 6 comments
look to the right, exactly 90 degrees from the terraced hillside back deck of lucretia gardens, and there are — the san gabriel mountains — gently looming over the hazy glendale flats. turn 180 degrees back to the left and there’s — the glassy silver rim of the pacific ocean, dividing the big sky of another multi-colored california sunset from the slightly high-rise sprawl of snarky century city and the equally-hazy flats of LA’s toney west side. turn back another 90 degrees to the right, and there, straight ahead, is the white dome of the griffith observatory, the shrubby...
Posted by feedback in ageing, american culture, beatles, culture, death, dieing, friendship, gardening, life, los angeles, old friends, vegetables, when i'm 64
on Sep 14th, 2011 | 20 comments
one of the true, inalienable gifts of the end of summer is the harvesting of home grown garden tomatoes. bright red, succulent, juicy-delicious, it’s a gift that actually comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes: the omnipresent heirloom, the muscular beefsteak, the green zebra, fuzzy peach, red boar, the hillbilly, grape, plum, campari, even the diminutive cherry. all can be planted easily in the spring, watered abundantly through the brunt of summer, and ultimately & gloriously harvested, often, thru the end of september. personally, i can’t think of anything much more satisfying than...
Posted by feedback in academia, ageing, american culture, anger, art from the fabric of my life, college coeds, committee on unamerican activities, los angeles, rage-aholic
on Jun 14th, 2011 | 0 comments
most of my friends, and probably all of my enemies, think i have an easy job. cushy. secure. even… lucky. i teach theater, something i still love and am passionate about, at a major university in southern california. i’ve been doing it for a quarter of a century: 17 years as an “adjunct”, 8 years as a full time professor. i don’t have tenure, never will, but somehow my contract seems to get renewed every year. i like to think that it has something to do with the fact that i’m a good teacher, i teach something valuable, self expression & creativity, and perhaps i make a difference in...
Posted by trules in ageing, american culture, art from the fabric of my life, beatles, cops, culture, friendship, homeboys, john lennon, LA airport, LAPD, los angeles, officer krupke, old friends, provocateur, rage-aholic, road rage, west side story, when i'm 64
on May 11th, 2011 | 4 comments
i’m a civilized man. intelligent, educated, compassionate, even, some might say, sophisticated in the ways of the world. i’ve traveled a good deal of the planet, survived cancer; i have a good job at a major university, i married for the 1st time at 54 years old; hell, i have a lot to be grateful for. then why, oh why, dear shiva-allah-buddha-yaweh-whoever the fuck is in charge, is my goddam temper still on a such a short leash, threatening to explode in the most unpredictable, humiliating, and inopportune times? am i a fool? or am i just cursed?
it’s a good day. the boys are in town for my...