Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Accepting My Tony for Best Musical

Thank you. I'm so honored to have my show included in the same company as such brilliant works as "Spamalot" and "The Producers," works that truly taught us that the purpose of musical theatre is to shave the edges off movies in the cult comedy genre and make them palatable to vacationing Iowans. These works also taught us that the purpose of songs is to broaden the humor of movies only smart teenagers enjoyed, turning genuine laughs into the forced titters of those who've paid $80 for an obstructed view and making sure that no Monty Python or Mel Brooks joke goes over anyone's head. Most importantly, these shows taught us that all theatre songs can be written by comedy writers with no musical training and should only contain three chords at the most.
I want to thank producers who refuse to take a chance on anything that might leave somebody scratching their head, and whose primary purpose is to give aging comedians like Brooks and Terry Gilliam one last thrill on the way to the cemetary.
I can hear the music starting, so before it drowns me out I just want to make sure I thank the New York Times theatre critics for playing along and pretending these are real shows, not a string of junior high election skits, and giving each of them a full page cover.
-Rick

6 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

Rick,
It almost sounds like you didn't like those shows.

5:45 PM  
Blogger fish said...

A typical dictionary definition of hypnosis states that it is: a state that resembles sleep but that is induced by suggestion. However, anyone who has tried hypnosis (and any self respecting hypnotist) will tell you that this is a very simplistic view of the subject!

A much better description comes from the Free Online Dictionary which states that hypnosis is: an artificially induced state of consciousness, characterised by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. So what does this mean and how can it be used to your advantage?

Well, the subject of hypnosis has been discussed and pondered since the late 1700s. Many explanations and theories have come and gone though science, however, has yet to supply a valid and well-established definition of how it actually happens. It's fairly unlikely that the scientific community will arrive at a definitive explanation for hypnosis in the near future either, as the untapped resources of our 'mostly' uncharted mind still remain something of a mystery.

However, the general characteristics of hypnosis are well documented. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, deep relaxation and heightened imaginative functioning. It's not really like sleep at all, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling you get when you watch a movie or read a captivating book. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the outside world. Your focus is concentrated intensely on the mental processes you are experiencing - if movies didn't provide such disassociation with everyday life and put a person in a very receptive state then they would not be as popular (nor would TV advertising be as effective!). Have you ever stated that a film wasn't great because you just couldn't 'get into it'???

This works very simply; while daydream or watching a movie, an imaginary world becomes almost real to you because it fully engages your emotional responses. Such mental pursuits will on most occasions cause real emotional responses such as fear, sadness or happiness (have you ever cried at a sad movie, felt excited by a future event not yet taken place or shivered at the thought of your worst fear?).

It is widely accepted that these states are all forms of self-hypnosis. If you take this view you can easily see that you go into and out of mild hypnotic states on a daily basis - when driving home from work, washing the dishes, or even listening to a boring conversation. Although these situations produce a mental state that is very receptive to suggestion the most powerful time for self-change occurs in the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.

In this mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed and they release all worries and doubts that normally occupy their mind. A similar experience occurs while you are daydreaming or watching the TV. You become so involved in the onscreen antics that worries and everyday cares fade away, until all you're focused on is the TV. In this state, you are also highly suggestible. That is why when a hypnotist tells you do something under trance; you'll probably embrace the idea completely.

However, your sense of safety and morality remain entrenched throughout the experience and should either of these be threatened you immediately wake!

A hypnotist can not get you to do anything you don't want to do. So while in such a state, when we are highly suggestible and open to new beliefs, a skillful hypnotist, whether in person or via a recording, can alter life-long behaviours and even give us new ones! erotic hypnosis

7:34 AM  
Blogger cylon said...

Can you use hypnosis and self hypnosis to improve your health?

Well in 1958 the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and The British Medical Association concluded that hypnosis was indeed a viable therapeutic tool and approved its medical use.

Although there are many theories, no-one really knows how or why hypnosis works. However, the benefits of its use are clear. It has been used successfully in all manner of treatments from IBS to pre-surgery relaxation and post-surgery pain relief.

Olympic athletes, footballers, basketball layers, golfers etc., have known about the power of the mind for some decades now (perhaps the elite knew even further back). It has been shown in medical studies that when you visualise yourself performing a task your muscles respond in exactly the same way as they would if you were actually doing the task. Sports psychologist have used this to their, and their clients, advantage for years now.

The power of the mind is becoming more evident to the medical establishment as well. Everyone knows about the beneficial effects of using a placebo. It seems that if the mind is convinced that something is true then it will make it true even if the situation appears to be the exact of opposite in the 'real world'!

It seems that the quickest way to get the mind to accept a new belief is through hypnosis and self hypnosis. Phobias can be eliminated in one session now and new beliefs planted in the same aount of time.
The use of hypnosis as a weight-loss tool is well written about as its effectiveness in quitting smoking! It has been used very effectively in non-surgical breast enhancement and treating erectile dysfunction. So it is not very hard to believe that it could be used to convince the mind that health is abundant or that a particular unhealthy situation is reversing itself.

Once the mind becomes convinced that an unhealthy situation no longer exists and that health is abundant then just like the visualiser who makes his/her muscles respond to a mental image the person in discomfort or dis-ease can make his/her body begin to repair itself. Makes sense right!
No-one can predict the scope of hypnosis for healing. However, everyone knows of miracle healings that have taken place when a sick person has visited a spiritual healer, bathed at Lourdes, prayed etc. If these healings can take place then I see no reason not to believe that hypnosis can have the same effect.

Unfortunately, no large scale studies have been undertaken, to my knowledge, that have tested the power of hypnosis to cure chronic or terminal illness but I do believe there is enough evidence to suggest it is a very beneficial tool in recovery. self hypnosis

3:55 AM  
Blogger cylon said...

We all know the effects (and after-effects) of beer. But lifting a glass of cool liquid to your mouth on a scorching hot day, have you ever stopped to consider the processes and ingredients involved in making it? Well maybe not but here is the answer anyway!

Simply, beer is a fermented combination of water, barley, yeast and hops. The major variation in any beer is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process.

Let's look at the properties of this beverage.
Water is the main ingredient of beer. In the past, the purity of the water influenced the final result and was specific to the region of the earth from which it came. Today, water is filtered of these impurities, although pure water supplies are still ideally preferred by elite brewers.

Barley malt is an extremely important ingredient in beer as it is the main source of fermentable sugar. Many new breweries use barley malt extract, in either syrup or powder form, as this form ferments much quicker. It also contains many minerals and vitamins that help the yeast to grow.

Without yeast, beer would not exist. Yeast is a unique single cell organism that eats sugar and expels alcohol and carbon dioxide, two of the more recognizable ingredients of beer. Yeast comes in several variations, of which there are two major categories that determine the type of beer produced; Ale yeast and Lager yeast. If yeast alone were used the beer would be extremely sweet and therefore another ingredient needs to be added to reach the final product.

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant, a climbing vine plant that grows well in many differing climates. Hops contain acids which add bitterness to beer. Adding bitterness to beer helps to balance the sweetness, as well as acting as a natural preservative. Add more hops to the mixture and you will get a more bitter taste. This kind of beer is extremely popular in Britian and is simply referred to as "Bitter" (the original names are always the best!).

Variations of these ingredients create different tasting beers as well as having an affect on the alcoholic content.
When making your own beer many good resources are available which provide home brewing kits. It is important to read the ingredients of the packets in order to ascertain which has the best mixture according to your needs. One quick tip which many home brewers fail to adhere to is this: "Use fresh still water"!

Many have often sought information on how to make beer and the basic homebrewing equipment is not very expensive you can get what you need, for as little as $100.
In order to start making beer, you will need the following: A brewpot, Primary fermenter, Airlock and stopper, Bottling bucket, Bottles, Bottle brush, Bottle capper, and a thermometer.
In addition you can even use items from your kitchen to aid in the beer making. A breakdown of all the equipment is as follows: Brewpot A brewpot is made of stainless steel or enamel-coated metal which has at least 15 litre capacity, but it's no good if it's made of aluminum or if it's a chipped enamelized pot, (these will make the beer taste funny). The brew pot is used to boil the ingredients thus begins the first stage of beer making.

Primary fermenter

The primary fermenter is where the beer begins to ferment and become that fabulous stuff that makes you so funny and charming. The primary fermenter must have a minimum capacity of 26 litres and an air tight seal it must also accommodate the airlock and rubber stopper. Make sure the one you buy is made of food-grade plastic, as it wont allow the bad stuff in or let the good stuff out.

Airlock and stopper

The airlock is a handy gadget which allows carbon dioxide to escape from your primary fermenter during fermentation, it is this process that keeps it from exploding, but it doesn't allow any of the bad air from outside to enter. It fits into a rubber stopper, and is placed into the top of your primary fermenter. The stoppers are numbered according to size, so make sure you use the correct stopper for the correct hole

Plastic hose

This is a food grade plastic hose which measures approximately 5 feet in length. It is needed to transfer the beer from system to system, and it is imperitive that it is kept clean and free from damage or clogs

Bottling bucket

This is a large, food-grade plastic bucket with a tap for drawing water at the bottom, it needs to be as big as your primary fermenter, because you need the capacity to pour all the liquid from your primary fermenter into a bottling bucket prior to bottling up.

Bottles

After fermentation, you place the beer in bottles for secondary fermentation and storage. You need enough bottles to hold all the beer you're going to make, the best kind of bottles are solid glass ones with smooth tops (not the twist-off kind) that will accept a cap from a bottle capper. You can use plastic ones with screw-on lids, but they arent as good for fermentation and dont look as well.

Whether you use glass or plastic bottles, make sure they are dark-colored. Light damages beer, i would recommend green or brown bottles.

Bottle brush

This is a thin, curvy brush which is used to clean bottles because of the the shape of the brush it makes it very affective at getting the bottle spotless. We haven't even gotten into how clean everything has to be, but we will, and the bottle brush is a specialized bit of cleaning equipment that you will require in order to maintain your bottle kit.

Bottle capper

If you take buy glass bottles, you will need some sort of bottle capper and caps, of course, and you can buy them from any brewing supplies store. The best sort of bottle capper is one which can be affixed to a surface and worked with one hand while you hold the bottle with the other.

Thermometer

This is a thermometer which can be stuck to the side of your fermenter, they are just thin strips of plastic which are self adhesive, and can be found in any brewing supplies store, or from a pet shop or aquarium. Not everything costs money though even some household equipment can be used.

Household items

In addition to the above specialized equipment, you will need the following household items:
* Small bowl
* Saucepan
* Rubber spatula
* Oven mitts/pot handlers
* Big mixing spoon (stainless steel or plastic)
So there you have the ingredients and the method to make your home brew, all you need now is to get yourself a beer making kit and your on the way to beer heaven.
Bar equipment

7:24 AM  
Blogger Personal Development said...

Can you use hypnosis and self hypnosis to improve your health?

Well in 1958 the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and The British Medical Association concluded that hypnosis was indeed a viable therapeutic tool and approved its medical use.

Although there are many theories, no-one really knows how or why hypnosis works. However, the benefits of its use are clear. It has been used successfully in all manner of treatments from IBS to pre-surgery relaxation and post-surgery pain relief.

Olympic athletes, footballers, basketball layers, golfers etc., have known about the power of the mind for some decades now (perhaps the elite knew even further back). It has been shown in medical studies that when you visualise yourself performing a task your muscles respond in exactly the same way as they would if you were actually doing the task. Sports psychologist have used this to their, and their clients, advantage for years now.

The power of the mind is becoming more evident to the medical establishment as well. Everyone knows about the beneficial effects of using a placebo. It seems that if the mind is convinced that something is true then it will make it true even if the situation appears to be the exact of opposite in the 'real world'!

It seems that the quickest way to get the mind to accept a new belief is through hypnosis and self hypnosis. Phobias can be eliminated in one session now and new beliefs planted in the same aount of time.
The use of hypnosis as a weight-loss tool is well written about as its effectiveness in quitting smoking! It has been used very effectively in non-surgical breast enhancement and treating erectile dysfunction. So it is not very hard to believe that it could be used to convince the mind that health is abundant or that a particular unhealthy situation is reversing itself.

Once the mind becomes convinced that an unhealthy situation no longer exists and that health is abundant then just like the visualiser who makes his/her muscles respond to a mental image the person in discomfort or dis-ease can make his/her body begin to repair itself. Makes sense right!
No-one can predict the scope of hypnosis for healing. However, everyone knows of miracle healings that have taken place when a sick person has visited a spiritual healer, bathed at Lourdes, prayed etc. If these healings can take place then I see no reason not to believe that hypnosis can have the same effect.

Unfortunately, no large scale studies have been undertaken, to my knowledge, that have tested the power of hypnosis to cure chronic or terminal illness but I do believe there is enough evidence to suggest it is a very beneficial tool in recovery. self hypnosis

8:33 AM  
Blogger Wendi said...

We all know the effects (and after-effects) of beer. But lifting a glass of cool liquid to your mouth on a scorching hot day, have you ever stopped to consider the processes and ingredients involved in making it? Well maybe not but here is the answer anyway!

Simply, beer is a fermented combination of water, barley, yeast and hops. The major variation in any beer is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process.

Let's look at the properties of this beverage.
Water is the main ingredient of beer. In the past, the purity of the water influenced the final result and was specific to the region of the earth from which it came. Today, water is filtered of these impurities, although pure water supplies are still ideally preferred by elite brewers.

Barley malt is an extremely important ingredient in beer as it is the main source of fermentable sugar. Many new breweries use barley malt extract, in either syrup or powder form, as this form ferments much quicker. It also contains many minerals and vitamins that help the yeast to grow.

Without yeast, beer would not exist. Yeast is a unique single cell organism that eats sugar and expels alcohol and carbon dioxide, two of the more recognizable ingredients of beer. Yeast comes in several variations, of which there are two major categories that determine the type of beer produced; Ale yeast and Lager yeast. If yeast alone were used the beer would be extremely sweet and therefore another ingredient needs to be added to reach the final product.

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant, a climbing vine plant that grows well in many differing climates. Hops contain acids which add bitterness to beer. Adding bitterness to beer helps to balance the sweetness, as well as acting as a natural preservative. Add more hops to the mixture and you will get a more bitter taste. This kind of beer is extremely popular in Britian and is simply referred to as "Bitter" (the original names are always the best!).

Variations of these ingredients create different tasting beers as well as having an affect on the alcoholic content.
When making your own beer many good resources are available which provide home brewing kits. It is important to read the ingredients of the packets in order to ascertain which has the best mixture according to your needs. One quick tip which many home brewers fail to adhere to is this: "Use fresh still water"!

Many have often sought information on how to make beer and the basic homebrewing equipment is not very expensive you can get what you need, for as little as $100.
In order to start making beer, you will need the following: A brewpot, Primary fermenter, Airlock and stopper, Bottling bucket, Bottles, Bottle brush, Bottle capper, and a thermometer.
In addition you can even use items from your kitchen to aid in the beer making. A breakdown of all the equipment is as follows: Brewpot A brewpot is made of stainless steel or enamel-coated metal which has at least 15 litre capacity, but it's no good if it's made of aluminum or if it's a chipped enamelized pot, (these will make the beer taste funny). The brew pot is used to boil the ingredients thus begins the first stage of beer making.

Primary fermenter

The primary fermenter is where the beer begins to ferment and become that fabulous stuff that makes you so funny and charming. The primary fermenter must have a minimum capacity of 26 litres and an air tight seal it must also accommodate the airlock and rubber stopper. Make sure the one you buy is made of food-grade plastic, as it wont allow the bad stuff in or let the good stuff out.

Airlock and stopper

The airlock is a handy gadget which allows carbon dioxide to escape from your primary fermenter during fermentation, it is this process that keeps it from exploding, but it doesn't allow any of the bad air from outside to enter. It fits into a rubber stopper, and is placed into the top of your primary fermenter. The stoppers are numbered according to size, so make sure you use the correct stopper for the correct hole

Plastic hose

This is a food grade plastic hose which measures approximately 5 feet in length. It is needed to transfer the beer from system to system, and it is imperitive that it is kept clean and free from damage or clogs

Bottling bucket

This is a large, food-grade plastic bucket with a tap for drawing water at the bottom, it needs to be as big as your primary fermenter, because you need the capacity to pour all the liquid from your primary fermenter into a bottling bucket prior to bottling up.

Bottles

After fermentation, you place the beer in bottles for secondary fermentation and storage. You need enough bottles to hold all the beer you're going to make, the best kind of bottles are solid glass ones with smooth tops (not the twist-off kind) that will accept a cap from a bottle capper. You can use plastic ones with screw-on lids, but they arent as good for fermentation and dont look as well.

Whether you use glass or plastic bottles, make sure they are dark-colored. Light damages beer, i would recommend green or brown bottles.

Bottle brush

This is a thin, curvy brush which is used to clean bottles because of the the shape of the brush it makes it very affective at getting the bottle spotless. We haven't even gotten into how clean everything has to be, but we will, and the bottle brush is a specialized bit of cleaning equipment that you will require in order to maintain your bottle kit.

Bottle capper

If you take buy glass bottles, you will need some sort of bottle capper and caps, of course, and you can buy them from any brewing supplies store. The best sort of bottle capper is one which can be affixed to a surface and worked with one hand while you hold the bottle with the other.

Thermometer

This is a thermometer which can be stuck to the side of your fermenter, they are just thin strips of plastic which are self adhesive, and can be found in any brewing supplies store, or from a pet shop or aquarium. Not everything costs money though even some household equipment can be used.

Household items

In addition to the above specialized equipment, you will need the following household items:
* Small bowl
* Saucepan
* Rubber spatula
* Oven mitts/pot handlers
* Big mixing spoon (stainless steel or plastic)
So there you have the ingredients and the method to make your home brew, all you need now is to get yourself a beer making kit and your on the way to beer heaven.
Bar equipment

2:38 PM  

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