Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dream reminder of high school reunion

Today is an anniversary reunion of my class at Stuyvesant High School. I have never been much of one for reunions before, especially when they are at posh clubs and cost over $100. But this time I was reading all the posts on the Facebook group, and actually getting a little interested. Unfortunately, by income level right now is too prohibitively low to buy a ticket, but a fellow alum offered to pick up a couple of tickets for those of us in my condition

Since accepting the offer, however, Life has gotten in the way of my remembering. I shot a documentary at the Pennsic War, got a new job, performed in the Faux-Real Theater's Oedipus Rex, and have been dealing with trying to get the money owed me by my last job. Earlier this week, however, a Facebook post reminded me.

But what with all the excitement around the NY Comic Con and reprising my role from last year in today's encore performance of "Oedipus Rex" on Roosevelt Island, it slipped my mind again. Then this morning my alarm clock went off (way too early), so I re-set it for two hours later and went back to bed.

This time I found myself in a classroom-type situation, filling out a form as a couple of women sat at the front of the room behind a table. They were advisers of some sort, and we were going over what we did in high school. Then I would go to the end of the table and take a photo of an arrangement. The arrangement included a book with a picture and short piece of text highlighting the alumna's high school career, a book mark with a picture and another bit of text, and some object that fit in somehow (memory getting hazy). There were only about 3 or four alums in the room, including me.

While I was taking the picture for myself, another female adviser, one who was sitting at a desk beyond the opposite end of the table, said to one of the alums, a fellow I knew from my homeroom back at Stuyvesant, "It says here you were present at two homicides in high school and didn't report wither one of them."

"I thought that was taken care of," he replied, in the kind of voice one would expect from someone who got caught in a bad situation that wasn't really his fault, he had to pay a high price for, and now had thought he had finally put behind him.

I said "Come on, that was 25 years ago. Give the guy a break!" As the adviser and the alum argued, I looked down at the book and saw that his page talked about how his life had gone bad. It included a quote form him?:" Yes, I had some chances, but IO blew it." I decided not to include this in the picture.

The bookmark was much more positive, highlighting his good points and not mentioning the homicides.

Then I woke up and remebered that tonight was the night of my high school graduating class reunion.

Before I go on...

I still miss my cat, Tommi.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Clinically Bereaved

Not to beat a horse or anything, but I am amazed by how bereaved I am right now.

Is there such a thing as "clinically bereaved?" If so that's me.

At any notice or thought of something that relates to Tommi, the cat that of mine who died on Monday morning, any instinctive reaction that came through living with that cat for 14 years, just makes me sad. I start crying, moaning even. Then I take a deep breath and move on. then something else will come up and I start crying and moaning again.

Lots of people I have known have died in the past two years. Friends, relatives, and friends of friends, but none of them , in fact no death of anyone I have known, has affected me quite so deeply as this.

Could it be the fact that we have shared such close contact for so long? Could it be that she never did a thing that I didn't like (that's not true, but nothing that really mattered, in the end)? could it be that no matter how my relationships with various people changed, she was always true to me?

The label in the box I buried her in says "The Truest Cat." That is true. In every way she was as true as a cat can get. Her walk, her leaping and climbing, her scratching and chewing of inappropriate objects, her stealing and attempted stealing of any chicken I ever tried to eat, her kneading and suckling on my sweaters, her dragging of socks and long underwear into the hallway (presumably as prey), her head-rubs on my shoulder when sitting next to me, her choosing of the spot right in front of the computer monitor to sit when I was working, her knocking of things off the table, her waiting for me outside the kitchen door, her "cat-loaf" pose and her "decadent kitty" pose and her sleeping by my head in the colder months, and her perfect, perfect kitty-cat face and perfectly soft fur, not too long, not too short, not too soft, not too stiff. She was never anything other than what she was: a cat. THE Tommi-cat.

She had great cat genes: that fur, that face, her little white pudsies and the crazy white ring around her tail. It is a shame that contemporary ethics and pet-population issues forced me to get her "fixed." I would have loved to have seen her create offspring, perhaps to keep with me as she grew old and to have with me now.

The emotional outpouring from me did not start initially upon finding her lifeless body by the door when I got out of bed Monday morning. My neighbor, who knew the cat, started crying instantly when I told her. But as the reality sunk in, seeing her little body lying still on the floor as I started to make arrangements and figure out what to do, that's when it came in. When I had to step over her body to go to the bathroom, and when I saw her still there when I came back, when I looked at the water dish, which I had been used to filling every day, her food dish, her litter box, the spot on the printer where she would always sit in her cat-loaf position, the emotions stated coming up. And now, when I thought to pick something up off the floor because the cat might step all over it, and I realized she was never going to step on anything again, and I will never have to chase her into my room again, and I will never have to change her litter box and clean her water dish again, I get very, very sad.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dream of being a film PA-turned-time traveller

Dream morning of 7-11-2011

So I find myself on a movie set on location. The location is outdoors, but on the grounds of a mansion or something. I am there with a friend and a kid. Gary Busey is there also, being very Gary Busey-ish with one of the other PA’s

So we are there as PA’s, but I get the feeling that we are from outside the production, since we just arrived. All the production activity is going on elsewhere, perhaps inside the house, so we are just waiting for orders, pretty much.

I wonder if there is any food available. I notice craft services, and go over there. The fist thing I see is a few slices of carrot cake and some chocolate cupcakes, about half of which have been crumbles. I pile up some of this on a plate and pout another plate on top, to save for later. I then see that there is the regular buffet, which might not have been for me and my friends, but it looked like everyone else had taken their share and they were about to pack it up.

Some guy went over and picked up a fork out of the tuna casserole and ate some, then put the fork back. I thought that was disgusting. I thought about saying something loud, but decided against it. He walked away, and I went around and picked up the fork, went over to the silverware tray and looked for a clean one. There were no dinner forks left, but there were salad forks, so I selected one of them and brought it back. The craft services lady explained that the guy was one of the greatest guys in the world, that everybody loved hi. So here I was thinking he was an asshole, but now looked like an asshole for thinking so about this guy.

Then there was a scenario shift, though the location stayed the same and my friends and I were still there in essentially the same social roles: outsiders in service to the authority. Now we were servants at a wealthy person or noble person’s household in the late 19th century. We were in our late teens or very early 20’s. One of the other servants, who had slightly more seniority but was stationally equal (and had been one of the PA’s) really didn’t like us, and was trying to do things to get us into trouble. He most especially had a trick where he would flick his hand at me and say “when I do this, you just stand there.” But I was to smart for that. When he did do it, I parried his hand-flick and struck him in the chest.

He continued to try to get us in trouble, though. My friend in this scenario turned out to be Robert, my best friend from Elementary school. The guy was whispering into his ear, trying to screw with him, and I was in his other ear, telling him so, and the thee of us were jostling each other.

It came to the point where, I don’t remember what the guy said, but my response was “Look, you’re Christian, I’m Pagan, no, atheist, he’s Jewish, and we all know Pagans! Don’t you think we know that’s not true?”

I turned out that we needed to get back to our own time. The guy tried to tell us that we needed to go down the river to the “twenty-first point twenty-third waterfall.” He repeated that number as I visualized the spot. The kid, a 10-12-year-old boy who had been with us all along, said “That’s not true, I’ll prove it to you.” And got out a pencil and paper and started doing some mathematics.

“How do you know that?” the guy said.

“It’s Math.” I replied.” We’re from the 21st century. We do that.”

Then I woke up.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dream of Julius Knipl in a dystopian farm collective

Dream on the afternoon of May 17, 2011.

I was drawing superhero pictures for a play to be performed at the Brick Theater in June when sleepiness overcame me…

A middle-aged woman works in a near-featureless square building, raised on a platform, on a farm. She is in overalls-jump suit. She goes to the central collective where she meets with me and another friend, an older black woman. We pick some papers up from a clerk at a raised kiosk/desk. The woman talks about how things are going well with the Collective. The older black woman talks about how she used to fly all over the world doing something that she would get paid $5,000 a shot for, and how she owed a half million. I talk about how things from the past fascinate me, how I enjoy looking at printed things from the past, like posters from the “Vans.”

What are “the Vans” the older lady asks.

“They were a youth-oriented concert series sponsored by a sneaker company” I reply. Then the first lady gives me a present. It is a paperback edition of collected works of Ben Katchor, particularly his “Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer” work. I exclaimed with glee “This is the work of the guy who created Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer!” (I could not remember his name) This makes me so happy!” Tears started welling up in my eyes.

I went on to explain why this was important to me: “What fascinates me is the transitory nature of the printed media. Someday this will all be dust. So when I find, say, a sealed package of corn flakes under a shelf in Hoff’s Supermarket, or something like this I treasure it greatly.”

Note: At this point in time, there has been a breakdown in society, perhaps an eco-disaster or global war or revolution or some combination thereof. Hoff’s Supermarket is a crumpling ruin in the forgotten city that no one goes to, and I actually envisioned a square Tupperware container in which someone packed some corn flakes a very long time ago.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Captain Zorikh ALL OVER Wicked Faire this weekend!

Hi friends and fans. Captain Zorikh here.

Sorry it’s been so long since an update here. Please accept my belated wished that you had a happy and joyous mid-winter holiday season and that the New Year finds you full of hope and optimism!

This year is starting out pretty busy for me!

Those of you who are not connected to me on Facebook, MySpace, or may have missed the latest from Zorikhville. I will sum up:

The Wicked Faire is happening this weekend, February 18-20 at the Doubletree of Somerset, NJ, and I am ALL OVER it! Below is a description of all that I will be doing, and below that is the schedule of when those things will be happening and where.

The biggest thing I will be doing there, the thing that the past two months of my life have been focused on, is a brand new grappling arts stage show, “Hit the Mat.” I have been thinking about, and talking about, doing a show like this for near two years now. Thanks to a wonderful confluence of circumstances, I have found myself with a cast, a script, rehearsal time and space, and a performance venue. This will be part of the activities in the Warriors of Doom Wrestling Room (“Ares’ Playground”). Other activities there will include demonstrations of submission grappling for fun and safety, challenge matches, viewings of my grappling movie “Redemption,” and games of Combat Twister!

I will also be hosting the Incredible Return of Captain Zorikh’s Costume Contest! With a wild and diverse selection of prizes led off by a $150 prize pack from Forbidden Planet! This is the “people’s costume contest” because you get to decide who gets the prizes! Captain Zorikh will keep the action moving but the true stars are you, the costume enthusiasts who enter and the people who love them and cheer! Categories will be made up on the spot! Prizes will be distributed! Costume death matches and dance-offs are not unheard of! Register on the spot and strut your stuff!

My Captain Marvel Culture lecture will be making its Wicked Faire debut, complete with updates to reflect recent developments! In case you haven’t been paying attention, I have been spending the past 7 years studying the history of the name “Captain Marvel,” the many superheroes who have used it, and their historical and sociological relevance. I say the “Captain Marvel” is the most important name to study in comics with regards to western popular culture and history. Come and find out why!

Everyone knows I have been doing armored swordfighting for over 20 years with a large medieval recreation group, so it stand s to reason that I might have absorbed a little information about the history of armor and chivalry, their development and evolution, and how this is reflected in the development of King Arthur stories. I will be sharing this info in my “History of Armor and Chivalry” lecture. This lecture has been a big success at I-Con for the past 6 years, and this is the first time it will be given at the Wicked Faire.

Finally, but not fatally (I hope!) Captain Zorikh, The Time Travelling Bard, will be giving an irreverent, entertaining musical performance. His songs have brought a tear to the eye, a lump to the throat, and a knife to the back of many a mighty warrior and lovely lass…and left ‘em laughing in the aisles. There are rumors of a guest appearance by the Death Star Repairman, last seen on the TV show Sci-Fi Science, with some old and new sci-fi themed rockabilly music, as well as a potential heckler!!

Here’s the schedule…

1:00 – 2:00 Captain Marvel Culture lecture, Palace of the Eagles
2:10 – 3:00 Captain Zorikh, the Time Travelling Bard, Anansi’s Nest
4:00 – 5:00 Captain Zorikh’s Costume Contest, Magpie Bridge
7:30 – 8:00 Performance of “Hit the Mat,” Ares’ Playground
8:30 – Game of Combat Twister, Ares’ Playground
9:00 – Screening of “Redemption,” Ares’ Playground

1:00 – 2:00 History of Armor and Chivalry lecture, Palace of the Eagles
2:30 - 3:00 Performance of “Hit the Mat,” Ares’ Playground
3:30 Game of Combat Twister, Ares’ Playground

For more info on the Wicked Faire, including location, directions, and TICKETS, go to

I hope to see you there!

Captain Z

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Today's dream: "If anyone has any free will left, follow me!"

Dream on the morning of Saturday, Jan 8, 2011

I’m out in the woods on a day-trip holiday. About 3-4-5 people and I decide to jump in a pond. It’ll be fun! We jump in. One of us (me?) drifts towards the edge of the pond and goes over a dam/barrier. About 4 or 5 of us wind up drifting down this small river, going over falls and barriers. One of us is a semi-hapless guy who has lost a “thing” in the water and we all go drifting after it. That “thing” will become the McGuffin of the story.

Soon we slide down a water ramp and wind up indoors in a structure of sorts. We are in a gray stone corridor and there is a sense that it is underground. We are being led by fit, young, black-clad security guards who keep on asking where “it” is.

We walk through a particular section where the corridor is a little wider and makes a turn when one of our number decides to do a forward roll. We wind up in a spot where the questioning gets particularly intense. The semi-hapless guy manages to whimper/mumble “Red Hook” and “Waterfall,” which was where the river was and where the “thing” got finally separated from us. The questioners are angry and don’t seem to understand. Very frustrating.

We go back to walking through that last section of corridor. At the section where the guy did the roll, now the two people guarding us (both female) do forward rolls as if it was part of their routine to do so at that spot. They begin to engage in a hand-to-had combat training routine and seem to forget about us. We pass by about a half-dozen security guys doing routines with each other using assault rifles. The guy who originally did the forward roll (Me? But he didn’t look like me. But through the rest of the dream I was “playing” him) thought about taking one of the guns away from the guards. There was the constant clamoring of the boss of this facility as to “where is it?” and the constant thought by me of “We were in the river, we lost it in the waterfall, we don’t know where it is.”

Then I entered a room where more of these guard-types were training on special apparatus. They were training drone-like, like mindless robotic soldiers with now free will. There was a doctor type (who was like a particular black doctor I think was on a sci-fi TV show) who was checking them out one by one. I happened to know him and asked what was going on. He said things were going great and he expected to begin his procedure (become one of the guards) soon.

So it seems that the “thing” turns people into these combat machines that serve the powerful guy who probably wants to take over the world or something. At that point I seemed to recall reading a capsulized description of this movie before it began.

The doctor started getting a little edgy, nervous, repeating himself, like he was hypnotized or brainwashed or something. I headed out of the room and found in a dark corner a bunch of normal-looking people cowering in the shadows. There was a middle aged/old lady, a small boy, and other normal, average people in dirty street clothes looking stunned, I said “who has any free will left?” One guy, the semi-hapless guy, who was now a portly, balding, bespectacled guy in a Hawaiian shirt clutching a tall potted plant, said he did.

Apparently these were people who got caught up in this complex and training system who were not perfect enough to be soldiers, so they wound up drifting into dark corners and cowering. It was quite possible that they might not get out of here alive. I said to the semi-hapless guy “Let’s go” and headed for a door at the end of this dark corridor a short distance away. About 3-4 people seemed to respond, but somehow they didn’t make it to the door. I think a guard or something may have come in and started to hustle these people away or threaten them. When I got to the door I turned around and whispered loudly “anyone who has any free will left, come with me!” Only the semi-hapless guy with the houseplant was with me.

There was a lot of play in my mind at this point about “Free Will” as I woke up.