leviathan:/home/chris:1021> cal September 2001 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 leviathan:/home/chris:1022> cal 10 2001 October 2001 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
In eleven (11) days we fly to New Orleans, and in sixteen (16) days we get back, and sometime soon thereafter we get on the boat and we don't come back for a substantially long time. We're not packed--in particular, --I'm not packed--and there are so many arrangements to be made. It's much more difficult to put your life on hold than it is to change it entirely.
So Robin Williams was on Inside the Actor's Studio, and it was hilarious. The interviewer, James Lipton, is a schmaltzy, uptight, sycophantic sort, and Robin Williams is a brave, manic comedian who doesn't really seem to worry what other people think, as long as he's being himself.
So Lipton asked his questions, and it was amazing to watch Robin start to answer the question, emit a short phrase that was amusing, and suddenly you could see on his face that that idea was taking him somewhere, and he would start babbling in his improvisatory style, being completely funny, usually jumping out of his chair and running around the stage, occasionally involving the audience (he did a riff with some woman's pink scarf). And Lipton was just lost. The audience was in tears with laughter, and our poor bewildered host sat there with a straight face, waiting for Robin to calm down. And when he did, he might or might not get around to answering the question.
Mr. Lipton appeared to be vastly more interested in talking about acting, the method of it and where in their life experience do these amazing actors draw their ability for astonishing, groundbreaking performances, and oh dear Mister Lemmon there's a spot on your shoe, would you like me to lick it clean for you? And Robin Williams interrupted his idea of how the show should be running, and didn't play along with the asskissing, because he wanted to have fun instead. It was beautiful.
I finally pinned down what pisses me off about Lipton's interviewing style: his particular flavor of incompetence is that he simply reads down a list of questions. No followups, no deep conversations, just one question after another, changing the subject in rapid succession. And he ends the show with these inane, irrelevant, stupid-ass questions (even the guests recognize how stupid they are): "What is your favorite word?" "If you were an ice cream flavor, what kind would you be?" "What sound do you hate to hear?". Questions you'd ask in a 5th-grade getting-to-know-you session at summer camp.
I'm not quite ready to go yet...I feel full of anticipation, but not nervousness. Outward Bound, Wisconsin, and other parts of my life have put me under stress, shown me that I can handle things. I'm fine under any stress that's not emotional. Call me Crisis Boy. Certainly sailing, which I love and grew up with, doesn't worry me. There's just so much to do, and the trip to New Orleans beforehand, I'm having to take everything a step at a time. It's a little insane, really, if I stop to think about it, I imagine 7 months on a sailboat, with Mona (mmm, Mona), exploring all these places that I've always wanted to see...this will likely change me in unexpected ways. Who knows? Maybe I won't come back.
It's all a grand adventure.