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Midnight Insanity Website [Nov. 12th, 2010|03:52 pm]
[mood |accomplished]

Midnight Insanity's website has moved to: www.midnightinsanity.org

Please update your bookmarks and links on cast websites. :-)

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Recap of 2008 [Jan. 1st, 2009|11:32 pm]
[mood |contentcontent]

Recap of 2008: I began my year fully intending to write a recap of 2007. Yeah well, that never happened, and it's probably the first of many things that never quite happened this year.

January ... was primarily spent on Midnight Insanity's 20th Birthday. There was video editing, audio editing, and some rehearsals to go to. The end result was a phenomenal evening with two sold-out back-to-back performances, and a really awesome 20th Birthday Special Performance.

February ... was consumed by the arduous task of moving Rocky Horror off the Queen Mary, and into the fantastic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro. We love the new digs, but moving theaters always sucks. We must now spend time rebuilding our audience, and keeping our new venue happy.

March ... was probably more of the same. The Warner Grand is an actual theater, on a city street, and we miss the "line" of audience members like we used to have at the Art. This part of our show got lost during the Queen Mary run, so we are busy re-educating the masses. Work has started dragging me into a managerial position, however I'm also still a software developer. So now I have two main responsibilities, and some of it just isn't going well. I've decided to take more meaningful vacations.

April ... a bunch of us headed out to Las Vegas for a few days, and we had a really awesome time. I ended up overdoing it, and got really sick about halfway through. The cough / chest congestion would live with me for about two months before my doctor finally gave me an asthma inhaler to take care of the last bit of whatever this was. Unfortunately, being sick for so long put a lot of things on hold.

May ... visited the cast of "Wild and Untamed Things" for their 10th Birthday. I also made my annual trek to the Pin-a-Go-Go in Dixon, California. It was hot as all hell, but the relaxed atmosphere, not to mention the free home-brew beer, made for a really nice getaway weekend ... which I really needed.

June ... MI did a special fundraiser benefit for our original home, the Balboa Theater in Newport Beach, CA. We did a performance at the South Coast Village Regency Theater, where my mom actually came to see the show. The follow-up benefit was held at the Balboa Pavillion, and was one hell of a party. After all this, I made my monthly getaway to hang out with some pinball friends in Portland, Oregon.

July ... made my first visit to Anime Expo. I'm not really much into Anime, but MI had the weekend off, and I had a really good time seeing all the enthusiasm from the attendees. Later on, I headed to the San Diego Comic-Con with Danielle. We spent Thursday at Comic-Con, went to a couple of parties, and visited with Crazed Imaginations. Unfortunately, I crashed my car, and the Saturn had to be totalled. I'm driving the Explorer now as my primary vehicle. Luckily, my commute to work is only 3 miles.

August ... this months trip was out to San Jose for the 12th Annual California Extreme, classic arcade games show. Visited with lots of pinball friends, and got an unexpected endorsement for my Attack from Mars pinball mod from one of my favorite pinball designers, Steve Ritchie.

September ... shared a birthday party with my roommate and best friend, Katya Nadia Hubiak. This year was my 40th, and the ensuing Schoolgirl Lingerie Night was one of our best shows this year. I did end up missing out on the Atlantic City Rocky Horror Convention, but it was just too much logistically to try and re-arrange everything with friends and family. I hear it was a good con, though ... sorry I had to miss it.

October ... made another trip out to Northern California for a pinball show. This one was the Pacific Pinball Expo, and it is only their 2nd year. They feature the most pinball machines in one location, which I believe was over 400. The hall is lit with multiple strands of clear Christmas lights, thereby negating the glare that usually comes with flourescent fixtures. I met a bunch of nice people, and marvelled at all the neat gadgets and gizmos that were on display. MI / Rocky didn't have a show on Halloween, so I went to work at a friend's Haunted House, which was lots of fun.

November ... Bats Day got moved to November this year, and ironically this summer wasn't even all that hot. November weather was agreeable, but our crowd was smaller than last year. We still had a great time, and I placed 75th on Astro Blasters for the day ... which actually isn't even my personal best. Check out my MySpace for more Astro Blaster pics. The rest of my time was spent shipping lots of pinball kits, since I was holding off until I had enough parts in stock.

December ... decorated my house for the holidays, which as frustrating as it may be, continues to be a tradition. I hate to take them down in January, I like all the lights adding so much cheer to the night. Made a trip to Disneyland, took a big party out to WUMPSKATE, and an even bigger group to see Katya's band, Jail Weddings. Went to five different holiday parties, including my own, and not counting New Years. Even got a chance to visit Sins o' the Flesh at the Nuart. For the last two weeks of the year, I've been on vacation, so I've been visiting with friends, taking many naps, and uploading tons of pics on MySpace.


So in summary, this year has been very busy, but it appears it's mostly been busy being social ... which isn't the worst thing in the world. How did I get so lazy? I blame Mother Nature. This summer, the weather has really been fantastic. True, we had weekend heat waves once or twice, but for the rest of the time it was just amazingly pleasant. So, I've spent my time going to movies, skating, picnics, bon-fires, parties and poker nights ... plus bigger events I mentioned like Anime Expo, and the San Diego Comic-Con. Several of my friends have Disneyland passes, so we've been making semi-regular trips. Katya's doing well with "Jail Weddings" ... and while I can't make it to all of their shows, I do what I can, and try to bring new faces when I go.

I've done more travelling and attended more events than I can ever remember doing. I've even managed to visit numerous Rocky Casts this year: Wild and Untamed Things, A Dark Refrain, Crazed Imaginations, Barely Legal and Sins o' the Flesh!! Didn't get to see the Bawdy Caste because they were dark when I was up in San Jose, but I did have dinner with Julie Barman. :-)

The pinball business continues to do well, but part of the plan was to shut things down for a few months and go invent something new. Being sick knocked the wind out of that idea, so all I was able to do was continue to run production on existing products. I hired two new people, and things are going well. Orders are still piling up, and the next shipment is in a week or so. I still want to implement some of the ideas that I have, and hope I have better luck with that in 2009.

As for the day job ... it has really been challenging this year. I've done managerial stuff before, and I know I can be an effective leader. It's mainly having to divide my attention between the technical stuff that I like, and the managerial stuff that I'm somewhat less fond of. That said, over the course of 2008, I've gotten to know my team better, and learned how to build a better working relationship with them. A lot of stuff is still a work-in-progress, but I hope things continue to mesh in 2009.

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(no subject) [Apr. 27th, 2008|04:49 am]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Bangles - Return Post]

It's about 5am on a Sunday morning, so I think it's time to blog. :-)

To quickly catch up: Life has been very busy, and somewhat difficult recently. I went to Vegas, and somehow managed to get sick for several weeks ... something that hasn't completely left my system. Work also continues to be far busier than I'd like to it be. :-(

On the other hand, this weekend has been a lot of fun. A bunch of MI folks went to go see "A Dark Refrain" perform Rocky Horror at the South Coast Village theater in Costa Mesa, on Friday night. I don't do Friday night Rocky that much these days, and it's always nice to see someone else's take on the same material.

Saturday Rocky was Lingerie Night, and I just had a really great time performing with Colleen as my Janet. Overall, it was one of my strongest shows in recent history ... and even after the show, I was tired physically, but not the least bit sleepy ... and still still kinda amped in general.

After several weeks of being sick, it was a really nice change. :-)

Anyway, that's all I had to say right now. I'll be off to bed soon enough...
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(no subject) [Mar. 6th, 2008|10:44 am]

Part 2 of my weekend...

Sunday was spent driving out to Murrieta for the monthly Orange County Pinball meet ... nevermind that Murrieta (near Temecula) is quite far away from Orange County.

We went to Pay Choy's house, who used to live in Chicago (Pinball Capital of the World!), and therefore has a collection of slightly rarer items that you can only pick up when you have connections with pinball designers.

One of the more interesting ones is this "Elvira and the Party Monsters" whitewood:

Larger pics: Elvira Whitewood vs Elvira Production

A whitewood is a very early prototype, where they are basically laying out the shots. They want to know if each shot is in a proper position to be hit by the flippers, that the ball doesn't hang up anywhere, and that the overall "flow" is good.

They also need to make sure all the parts fit on the game, both above and below the playfield. Something that makes it this far usually plays very much like the production model ... minus the artwork.

Lots more pinball stuff beneath the cut...Collapse )
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(no subject) [Mar. 5th, 2008|12:45 pm]

The past several weeks have been some trying times. Work continues to be very busy, and we're still hoping to be done with this project "anytime now". I'll be much happier when this ships...

On top of that, Rocky Horror / Midnight Insanity has been moving theaters, which is a tumultuous event no matter how you look at it. Doubly so when you're the cast webmaster ... and honestly, a lot of this just came at a bad time.

So, I reached a breaking point, quickly offloaded about half my MI duties, and then promptly got sick. I guess it was nature's way of telling me to just stop, for a while.

"Here you go, way too fast ... don't slow down you're gonna craaaaash"

I ended up calling in sick for about half of last week. The added rest helped a lot, but the damage was already done, and it'll likely take a while to properly recover. Also, stuff continued to pile up in my absence.

On Friday, I started to feel a little better ... so I went back to work, and later in the evening went to Kim's birthday party ... which had a moon bounce. :-)

I had no intention of staying all night, but I felt it would be nice to get out a bit, as seeing my friends is at least good for my mental health.

The moon bounce was a lot of fun, as was the indoor group playing piano and singing along to various showtunes. :-)

Suffice it to say, I ended up staying longer than I had anticipated, and even though I rested for all of Saturday, I still felt pretty drained when it was time for Rocky.

For a variety of reasons, I decided to push it and tried to do the show anyway...

I started the night out feeling tired, cold, weak and weary. :-(

At the end of the night, I somehow felt ... amped! :-)

How the hell did that happen?!

Cast had arrived early, to help clear some props out of the theater from the previous show. We waited patiently on the sidewalk by the coffee shop, and amused ourselves by randomly singing various songs (mostly Beatles tunes).

After about 30 minutes of waiting, I got cold and hid in the car ... not too long after, the manual labor started. Truthfully, I was in no state to help out, so I stayed in the car. While I waited, I saw the Rocky line starting to form...

It was a good night for the Rocky line (last week it rained!) Becky and Marty made their first appearance at the new theater, and it was really nice to see them. Also, Michael and Phillip made their second appearance. I think we're starting to see an increase with long-time regulars, too. It felt a lot more like the old days...

The performance went well ... it was Courtney's first Janet at the Warner Grand (and second overall), but I think things went smoothly enough. I can't pinpoint anything in particular that was extraordinary in nature.

This was our first show after our 3-week stay got extended to a 3-month stay, and you have to expect that'll brighten everyone's spirits...

Ultimately, it was a very good night, even if it didn't look like it from the outset. :-)

We still went to Shorehouse afterwards, but I didn't stay terribly long. I did need my rest, and I still had an OC Pinball event on Sunday.

More on that, soon...
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(no subject) [Feb. 13th, 2008|11:44 am]
[mood |calmcalm]

Fortune Cookie says:

I think someone's trying to tell me something. I sure could use a vacation...

Anyone know where might I find an area with desert sands, that also has some sort of vacation resort nearby? :-)

Note to MI folks: "There's only one thing left to do..."

This weekend was pretty busy. I spent Friday evening going to see Phil Shane, with Diego and Heather rockyangel ... cool show, lots of fun, and good company.

I attended a memorial service on Saturday afternoon, followed by Midnight Insanity's Closing Night at the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. The theater was packed wall-to-wall, and we did our best to accommodate everyone. The show itself, was just amazing. :-)

All of this was then subsequently followed by packing up the Royal Theater and moving a bunch of it out to our cars, literally in the middle of the night.

Sunday was then spent finishing up moving out all the props from the Royal Theater, then navigating detours as we trucked it over to the Warner Grand in San Pedro.

Here's a parting shot of us at the Queen Mary:

Tired, but still in good spirits. :-)

Note: That'd be Diego's lap I'm sitting on...

Moving was nearly an all-day event, and I didn't get home till probably 9 or 10pm. All in all, we had a great team, and things still moved smoothly, despite how many hours it ate up.

So far this week, my energy has been a little uneven. I think I'm just a little overwhelmed in general. Work seems to be moving along, and a slightly duller roar than before ... so that's something, at least.

Also, I did go and pick this up last night:

It's one of my long-time favorite shows, and although I have VHS copies, it finally came out on DVD this week.

Sweet... :-)
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(no subject) [Feb. 7th, 2008|05:21 pm]
[mood |contentcontent]
[music |Speed Racer - Theme Song]

Happy Chinese New Year!!

I am ... at work. :-(

Things around here are still uber-busy. Work continues to be super-busy, only with less people around to help. I guess everyone else took the holiday off. With any luck, things really are starting to slow down, and this intensity won't last more than another week (crosses fingers!)

All in all, the rest of life also remains fairly busy. January seemed like it was gone in the blink of an eye, and here we are already a full week into February. Granted, birthday show was a large part of that, but I'm still wondering where the rest of the time went...

Last weekend I had the pleasure of performing with Courtney thequirkywoman for her first Janet performance. It was, in fact, a night of firsts for many cast members, and a farewell show for Crystal. Show pics are here.

Sunday was spent hosting the OC Pinball folks on Super Bowl Sunday. It was something like, "We'll need to be someplace that has a big screen ... hey, you have a big screen TV, right?" We had about 40 people show up, and most of them brought food so I was up to my eyeballs in miscellaneous snacks. Between all the people and all the food, I think it's the first time I ever wished my house had a bigger kitchen. :-)

On the pinball front, my roommate Katya joined us for a few of the tournament rounds. I'm told it was even her idea. :-) I don't know how well she did, but we are 50% competitive, and 50% social ... and she did get to meet several new people. As for me, out of the six games I played, I managed first place twice, and second place four times ... though with one of those being a 2-player game. I didn't manage high score of the night for any machine, but I got second-highest-score of the night for two of the games: Monster Bash, and Revenge from Mars. It was a very long night, but still a lot of fun...

This weekend is Midnight Insanity's final show aboard the Queen Mary, before we move to San Pedro. We'll have to do loading after the show, so that's going to be a long night. You know, I think I just found a use for all that leftover food. :-)

Monday, I actually took off from work. I'm going to go see Star Trek: The Tour, possibly followed by going up to WUMPSKATE ... assuming that's even happening (there's no new flyer yet).
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(no subject) [Jan. 24th, 2008|03:27 pm]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Billy Joel - New York State of Mind]

Today is day 5 of my recovery...

This past weekend was Midnight Insanity's 20th Birthday, a monumentus event in its own right. Congrats to all MI cast members, past and present, for making it this far.

Saturday night, we held a double-feature with back-to-back shows ... one show at 9pm, and one show at Midnight. This was partly to accommodate all the people, and partly to give folks (now with kids, or other obligations) the option of going to Rocky without having to stay up to the wee hours of the morning.

Both shows sold out ... the 9pm was packed, but the Midnight one was unreal. Basically, standing room only. I don't know if we actually had to turn anyone away ... I certainly hope not.

The Birthday Special Performance was a retrospective on the past 20 years of Midnight Insanity, and was a collaborative effort from pretty much all of MI. I played myself, old and grey, telling the story of my "glory days" with Midnight Insanity.

This is me when stuffed animals AREN'T humping my leg!

For more pics from the 9pm show, click here. Midnight show pics are coming soon...

The collection of skits were all very cute, and the performances went off without a hitch! The audience seemed to enjoy seeing the various events that brought us to where we are today. Mark captured the entire evening on his new HD camera, so hopefully there'll be YouTube versions available sometime soon.

The RHPS performances also seemed to go well. From my own perspective, I had more fun at the second performance, since I didn't have to worry so much about conserving energy, in order to make it through both shows.

We did see a fair number of MI Alumni, as well as some long-time regulars. Not quite as many as I would have liked ... but I did notice that we had alumni representatives from all 20 years of Midnight Insanity's existence. I think that alone was kinda neat.

The cast was on-board from about 7pm through nearly 4am ... at least, that's the time we got to Shorehouse afterwards. Talk about a long stretch!! At this point, the cast seemed completely exhausted, but extremely satisfied.

You may read that any way you like. :-)

Right at this moment, Sunday seems like a blur. Monday I returned to work, and am back to getting my ass beat from 9-5. I'm really hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually getting closer.

Outside of that, I'm doing my best to stay low-key in the evenings. My health was running pretty iffy for most of last week. This week, I feel less sick, but still pretty drained. I wish I could take a day or two off from work, but that just doesn't seem possible right now.

Back to it...
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TGIF ... WTF?! [Jan. 11th, 2008|12:24 pm]
I came here to say that the workday sucks, and is unlikely to get better anytime soon. Seriously, if I don't survive the day ... avenge my death.

In the meantime (I'm waiting for a download), I'll post some details about this past weekend...

Last Sunday was the monthly Orange County Pinball meeting. We play six games against random opponents. Of the six games, I ranked first place on three, and second place on the other three. This coincidentally is the exact same distribution I scored last month. This month, for the three games that I ranked first, I also ranked top score of the evening ... a good month, indeed!!

Spiderman "Black" Limited Edition
(Not mine, but a sweet game!!)

Now, all that said, I am still ranked at 7th overall in the league. After playing the games we tallied up our scores and I found that I have now been moved up to ... 6th overall in the league ... and this was because the guy at #5 was out sick. I did miss a meeting last year for an MI event, so that knocked me down some, too.

Still, the guy who was in the #6 position moves to #5 because despite the night I had, he apparently had a better one and still managed to outscore me. Man, it's a tough climb at the upper end of things...

Overall, it was still a lot of fun, and I can't really be unhappy with my scores. We still have two months left in this "year", so we'll see if I manage to squeeze into the Top 5. :-)

Anyway, I hope your day is going better than mine ... and yes, someday I plan to do a 2007 retrospective ... just not today.
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Hawaii pics and more!! [Dec. 11th, 2007|10:37 am]

Okay, apparently I haven't posted anything here since my birthday, some 10 weeks ago. This was never my plan, but sometimes things don't go to plan. Here's a general update...

The first Saturday in October was spent at Disneyland. We actually went on a Saturday because Midnight Insanity didn't have a show that night. This was my first trip to Disneyland on a Saturday ... in longer than I can remember. Damn, what a busy park! We had to wait in long lines for everything, even food. It was still a lot of fun, but I think I'll stick to Sundays (like Bats Day) in the future.

The rest of October was pretty much the usual. The Queen Mary folks moved us up to the Britannia Room again, so doing Rocky in October had an added layer of complexity. We had some bitchin' crowds, so I suppose it was worthwhile. Despite having had to do three shows in eight days (10/27, 10/31, 11/03), I was still having a good time, and was actually looking forward to all of the performances. October usually comes with some level of burnout, but that didn't seem to happen this time. :-)

The rain on my parade has been ... work. You know, the day job? Yeah, things have been getting more and more intense as we wind down on the current project. At the moment, it looks like it's going to run pretty hot and heavy (and I don't mean that in a good way), right up until the end of December...

Then in the midst of it all, I went on vacation. :-)

According to corporate policy, any vacation earned this year, has to be used this year ... so it wasn't exactly my fault. With time running out, I had to do something ... so in early November, I "did my duty" and took off to spent eight days in Hawaii.

( Click here for Hawaii pictures... )

Hawaii, of course, was wonderful. We returned to "the mainland" just before Thanksgiving, so I took those days off as well. Had a nice two weeks away from the daily grind.

As of the end of November, I'm back at work. Things are going okay ... but there's still a lot that needs to get done. I'm kinda stuck with having an 8am meeting every day, which does NOT mesh with my schedule (!!) ... but we're down to what should be the last ~2 weeks of that.

Rocky Horror continues to do quite well. The shows are running smoothly, and the cast is having a lot of fun performing together. We're even seeing an increase in outside-the-show social activity ... which is always nice. :-)

I did get my holiday lights up, but have not even started on doing Christmas cards. Apparently it's only two weeks till Christmas, and I'm not at all sure if/when I'll get to those. So if you don't get one, now you know why ... sorry.

So that's my update. I'll do my best to post a little more frequently. I dislike having to summarize so much stuff in a single update anyway ... we'll see how successfull I'll be, though.

Wish me luck... :-)
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