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channe-made filk (fresh from the guitar) this is copyrighted stuff. it's mine. you may laugh - but hands off unless you get my permission.

denny's at 5 am edit that thesis! not really a filk, but I felt it belonged here:

-while getting a coffee refill, realize that you're fulfilling that childhood dream you had when watching an academic with a lot of paper in the booth next to you after your ballet recital.
-they serve nasty coffee but their salads are ok.
-if the waitstaff thinks no one's in the restaurant, the cooks will scream and pretend their hands have been cut off.
-cute boys in suits show up at the oddest times.
-they play only cheesy encouraging music like "All I Ever Need", "You're My Best Friend," and "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of." more incentive for you to finish your work and get out of there before you go insane.
-it forces you to not cry in front of the construction workers with their omelettes when you find out you still haven't proven your thesis.
-give up. change your thesis statement to fit what you've written.
-it's early and you're too caffienated, and you could be wrong, but you do realize that you wrote some really nice, clear, and fairly concise prose. woo-hoo.
-you realize it's TOO early and you're TOO caffienated when you start meowing to gordon lightfoot on the way home and don't realize it until you're meowing through ace of base.

tapestry man ah, the joys of community theater! this one takes its inspiration from the last summer production I was involved in (this time, as orchestra conductor and assistant music director).

it's 10 o'clock on a saturday
the cast of the show is on stage
yes, Corey is up on the catwalk
and Kelly is getting enraged

she says "guy, can you throw me the riding crop?
there are actors I'd love to harass
yes, they're backstage and loud and they're messing around
and this prop on the Steinway's the last!

oh la da da di di dah... la da di di dah dah dah

sing us a song from the lighting booth
sing us a song tonight
for we're all in the mood for a boot to the head
and you've got us feeling all right

well, Kit at the piano's a friend of mine
she gets me my scripts for free
and she's quick with a song, or to help you along
and her lyrics are great fun to me

Chrissy says "guys, this is not a democracy
so get the hell out of the room
i've got makeup and hair, make a line over there
just be patient - i'll be with you soon."

oh la da da di di dah... la da di di dah dah dah

sing us a song from the dressing room
and hand me my nice white tights
for we're all in the mood to wear liner and blush
and you've got us feeling all right

now Paul is wielding the silver ax
and the other Paul, his broken sword
and they're talking with Courtney, who sure ain't from Orkney
pouring birch beer on old Pellinore

and Michael is practicing patience
and Lauren her mullet-filled song
yes, even though the audience is vacuous
if they give us cash, then we'll get along

oh la da da di di dah... la da di di dah dah dah

sing us a song from the orchestra
yes they'll play a song for you
just don't hit that damned disco button
or the cast will be missing their cues

it's a pretty good crowd for a saturday
in fact it's the best we've had in a while
and it's the best PR that we've gotten thus far
and that's why Umber is wearing a smile

and the dressing room smells like a dressing room
and people and old Chinese food
yes, they're sharing a meal they call lo mein
making fun of that director dude
oh la da dah, di di dah...

everyone's free to (eat at my home town diner). (an unabashed filk of baz luhrmann's everyone's free (to wear sunscreen). for those of you who wonder, this is an encapsulated summary of the summer of 2001.

Eat at the diner on Route 9.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, the diner on Route 9 would be it. The long-term benefits of 24-hour diners have been proved by generations of college students, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of the Beast. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of the Beast until it's wrecked. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of Lauren hanging out the skylight and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much wierdness lay before you and how fabulous that car really was. You are not as normal as you imagine.

Don't worry about "Tapestry." Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to get Rambo to stop barking when he meets someone new. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, such as getting rained on twice while trying to paint a drop in someone's driveway.

Do one thing every day that Tom Lehrer would do.


Don't be reckless with other people's scripts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Drive north.

Don't waste your time at Denny's. Most times you will get bad food, sometimes you will get a panic attack. The wait is long, and in the end, you sit next to the dude with the cigar anyway.

Remember to pick up the stuff you left at Kit's last year. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old signed programs. Throw Geoff in the pool.

Hang out on the Kiddiepillar Tractor.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do after rehearsal. The most interesting NATters I know didn't know last week what they wanted to do after rehearsal. Some of the most interesting NATters I know still don't.

Get plenty of caffiene. Be kind to your actors. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll memorize your lines, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll end up run through by the Black Knight, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll be a lawyer, maybe you'll dance with Lucy d'Amour on opening night. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are made by the director. So are everyone else's.

Enjoy your cell phone. Use it in every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you are tripping over your dance partner's feet and crashing into The Couch.

Read the directions, but don't follow them.

Do not go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

Get to know your chauffeurs. You never know when they'll be out of town for good. Be nice to them. They're your best link from one town to the other, and most likely to drive you home when you're stuck at Kit's in the future.

Understand that vehicles come and go, but with a precious few you must hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in communication and ideas, because the further you get into the production, the more you need the people you knew before the readthrough.

Work at Friendly's once, but leave before it makes you hard. Work in temping once, but leave before it makes you soft. Go to Sterling.

Accept certain inaliable truths: Brian will be late. The venue will yell at NAT for being too loud. You, too, will be over budget. And when you do, you'll fantasize that last year, Brian was on time, the venue loved riots, and the drop was full-size.

Buy a full-size drop.

Don't expect anyone to be on your side when it comes time to break out the Super Soakers. Maybe you will play Psychiatrist. Maybe you'll play badminton. But you never know when you might be called on to be the Mafia.

Don't mess too much with your makeup, or by the time the lights go up, Guy will look like a girl.

Be careful whose car you drive in, and be patient with the driver. Driving is a form of catharsis. Driving is a way of taking yourself out of your world, bringing you somewhere else, and dropping you in an alien place.

But trust me on the diner on Route 9.

the ten commandments of your writing environment

1. Your computer is the key to life. Always take care of your computer. Do not drop it, smack it around, lose the mouse, or spill Coke on the keyboard, because you can afford no other computer but it.
2. You shall not take the name of Asimov in vain.
3. You shall remember and keep the AP Style Manual holy.
4. Honor the guy that sold you the coffee.
5. You shall not think inside the box.
6. You shall not bar the door, turn off the telephone, and wall yourself in your writing room for more than eight hours lest your friends and family begin to think that you have died and start giving away your things to Goodwill.
7. You shall not commit random acts of bad plotting.
8. You shall not bear your drafts to the editor if they have coffee-stains or pizza sauce on them.
9. You shall not drink raspberry tea past midnight.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's thesis statement. You shall not covet your neighbor's word processor. You shall not covet your neighbor's office, nor his editor, nor his ideas, nor his readers, nor anything that is your neighbor's.