rants, reports, raves, and embarrassments from eric trules

gratitude and appreciation

On Retirement from a Life in the Theater

Tomorrow I’ll pick up my final pay check. It’s my “last day of service” at the great University of Southern California, where I’ve taught in the School of Dramatic Arts for 31 years. I started as a simple adjunct instructor with a single improv class, and I ended up improvising my way to becoming a full-time “Associate Professor of Theater Practice”. Non- tenured… but still impressive in my parents’ eyes, and not anything I could have anticipated or imagined when I graduated college in 1969 with a degree in Frisbee. That’s almost 50 years ago… during which time I grew…

Chicken Little

We all know the story of Chicken Little, right? “The sky is falling! The sky is falling?” Well, do you remember how that little folk tale and bedtime story ended? I didn’t. So I looked it up. Actually there are two different endings… one much more optimistic than the other. And this little blog entry is about optimism, or…. the lack thereof. Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start: “Chicken Little likes to walk in the woods. She likes to look at the trees. She likes to smell the flowers. She likes to listen to…

Why the Hell Do I Do This?

Why the hell do I write this blog? Why have  written it since 2005? Why have I written my e-travels blog since 2002, with stories as ancient as 1970? What for? It’s not like I get a lot of feedback, positive or negative. Does anyone read it? Does anyone care? And if they do, or if they don’t, or if I don’t know they do, does a tree exist in a forest if no one can see it? Good questions, eh? Why? What for, Trules? Now a long time ago, in 1977, on East 15th Street in New Yawk City,…

Still Alice?

I finally watched STILL ALICE with Juliane Moore on Netflix. I was sitting in my deceased father’s red leather chair in my bedroom, and my 8 year old, adopted nephew-to-be, from Indonesia, was sitting on the huge, king size bed, playing with his iPad. I had heard that Ms Moore’s performance, which won an Academy Award for her, was spectacular, but that the movie was only so-so. In fact, I had been warned not to watch it just the day before by a German artiste who absolutely hated it. Nevertheless, I watched it and… I was completely captivated from the…

July 4th, 2015: Cassius & the Kid Soften the Curmudgeon

Yeah, ok, so I’m a curmudgeon. A parsimonious tough guy. On first approach, I have a stern face and a menacing growl. I put people off. I’m not very open to meeting new folks and not very easy to get to know. Some take it for arrogance, but c’mon, you know that’s not the real me. I’m just a big, over-sensitive softie. Inside, where it counts. All that barking and menacing? It’s just a front… a defense… a performance persona… to keep the hostile world at bay. It’s been that way ever since… well, forever. Or at least ever since…

He Was a Friend of Mine: Jack Slater

“Friend” is a word I value. I don’t use it lightly. As in “Facebook friend”. The word has more respect about it than that. At its core, it resonates with words like trust, loyalty and longevity. Because it also has substance about it, something Facebook and merely “acquaintance” simply don’t have. And there is a beautiful song about friendship that I love. it’s called “He Was a Friend of Mine”. My favorite version was sung by Dave Van Ronk, the salty, crusty folksinger with the raspy voice who was sort of the Mayor of Greenwich Village back in the early…

Woodshop, for Dad

my father used to be a carpenter a master craftsman a cabinet maker extraordinaire he’d turn these perfect round cherry wood salad bowls on his lathe dove tail smooth fitting mahogany joints on his meticulous router pull his whining De Walt table saw over huge planes of wood that   would magically become with his love and care and endlessly detailed patience kitchen tables with white inlaid formica tops custom built wall units complete with knotty pine bookshelves for the World Book Encyclopedia and antique scrolled top desks with french wire netted doors that were sanded smooth as a baby’s…

R.I.P, Clay the Dog, 1998 – 2013

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.

mountains and ocean and hollywood sign… and yet?

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 tree tops of tom mix hill (of legendary silent film cowboy lore), and lo and behold… the iconic hollywood sign itself.

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