Tuesday, November 28, 2006

German Librarians are deceptively vicious....

Hi Makeshifters.

We are still in Germany. All the Prof. will let me say is that we are near the Luxembourg border. This has been the worst trip I have even taken. I think my Mom thinks I am dead. Seriously who would have thought that one book would create such an uproar. Something about German heritage and sovereignty.

Getting the book was a nightmare that I will never forget. I don't think I will ever be able to set foot in a library again. Honestly! I was able to disarm the security system and repel in from a window in the ceiling. The security guards were all in other parts of the library. My second obstacle after the security system was going to be the dogs. The Prof had said he would take care of it and that he had a fool proof plan. That should have been my first warning bell. He said he would get some Tranquilizers and fold them in some bratwurst and I could throw them down to the dogs and they would go to sleep. So before I left for the library he handed me a bag and said this would take care of the dogs. I asked him what he used for the tranqs and he told me that we did not have time for him to explain it in layman's terms and that I had better be on my way. So I throw the Brauts down and the dogs are all over them. I wait and after a while they lay down and I thought "hey! I am in the clear!" Oh how wrong I was.

Soon as I hit the ground and start to head to the book room I hear the growling of unfriendly puppies behind me. I look and see two cujo wannabees barreling down on me. I have never run that fast in my life. I headed right through the book room, past the book not looking back. Well, ok, I looked back once. I looked back just enough to run smack dab into the largest women I have even seen. We are talking wrestler huge with a uni brow that cast a shadow that completely covered yours truly. I wasn't to worried when I realized that she was just the Head Librarian and that in spite of her immense stature I should not have to worry about her. I paid the price for that as well. I was so gone tharn by the sight of Amazon Librarian that I completely forgot about the evil puppies who proceeded to pounce on me and suddenly I was wrestling for my life. I managed to ditch my coat (a gift from my mother. She is never going to forgive me.) which helped me ditch the puppies for the time being. My plan was to dart past the giantess and just escape any way I could and the Prof. can get his own stinking book.

Come to find out that I was not far wrong about The Uber-Librarian with the wrestler thing because she clothes-lined me as I started past her. BAM! I was flat on my back and about to be squashed by a ginormous German librarian. The only thing I could think of was the shows we have done and how I would miss them and all you guys in the audience when it hit. Could it work? It works in all the shows!! I quickly pointed over her far shoulder and shouted at the top of my lungs "HEY, LOOK OVER THERE!" It worked. She looked and I wasted no time and ran in the opposite direction back towards the book room and smack dab back in to the hell hounds. My saving grace is that 2 security guards show up and proceed to fire their tazer guns at me, but missed and hit both the dogs. I kid you not, it smelled horrible! They went down whimpering and I charged the guards and all 3 of us went crashing into the glass case that held the Professor's coveted book which happened to fall right into my lap. Again I wasted no time as I got up and sped for the nearest exit only to suddenly go riged and fall flat on my face unable to move. My body happened to roll just so I could see Uber-Librarian holding a smoking tazer gun with a satisfied smile on her face. She picked me up like a rag doll and stuffed me in a broom closet presumably to keep me safe while she tended to the two guards.

There must have not been a full charge in the tazer as I came out of it pretty quick and was able to send you that short film which I posted live from the scene. Also while in the closet I found out what happened with the brauts that started this mess in the first place. I found an empty bottle in the bratwurst bag that Prof. Happ and given me. I guess his version of tranquillizers was ny-quill. But he messed it up because the bottle was in German and bought day-quill and thereby sealing my fate.

I dug out my video camera so I could say my final goodbyes and as they approached I flew from the closet and down the far stairs sliding down the banister out a first floor window and into the bushes outside just as I heard those funny Euro sirens approaching. The Prof. pulled up on his rented moped and I handed him the book which he snatched and held in the air shouting "VICTORY!!" and drove off. I took me 5 min of running after him yelling before he finally remember to stop and let me on the back. I guess we looked to pathetic for the police to stop us since they passed right by us.

That my friends is the whole truth. If I'm lying, I'm dying. If it was not for one Pamela Moore and her connections we would surely be in the gulag right now. The fact that Herr Professor calls her a Doctor makes me doubt his credentials.

Note to self....do some research on makeshift's resident Dramaturge when fully healed....also send note to Mom begging forgiveness and include German chocolates...Write home office and ask to be paid, then ask for a raise....then write this Rolf guy and tell him what a horrible friend he is to the professor and that he owes me a coat.

Nero
intern/criminal/man with an un-natural fear of Librarian
nero@makeshifttheatre.com
www.makeshifttheatre.com

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sincere Thanks

Salutations Fellow Scholars,

I bring you this posting with the utmost gratitude, as Nero and I have been aided by none other than one of your number! I must relay, on both our behalf, our most sincere thanks to Dr. Pamela Moore, who (despite Nero's voiciferous objections) is not only a real doctor, she is also a dignified professor and lauded practitioner of theatre performance in the greater Los Angeles area. As per her recommendation, which she emailed to me, Nero and I snuck our way across Germany to a tiny community about an hour out of Munich called Benedictburen, where we made our rendezvous with an academic acquaintance of hers named Kristina Maier.

The Maier household is really quite quaint and wonderful, although the family does have an unfortunate habit of granting temporary residence to transient pedestrians, the inevitable consequence of which is simply that Nero and I must share a bedroom with a tourist from Amsterdam who smells suspiciously like vegetables.

Nero sends his regards and a rather dismal thumbs-up; he is currently incapable of posting updates as his hands are wrapped entirely in gauze. In all honesty he needs plaster casts, but we wouldn't dare set foot in a hospital, as we wouldn't want to take any action that could potentially endanger our safe, albeit belated, return to the United States with The Book securely in our possession. I am grateful he understands this.

Needless to say, Nero and I missed the experience of a traditional American celebration of Thanksgiving while here in Germany; it required a rather ambiguous call to Nero's mother to explain that we were both okay without really explaining who "we" were, in the event that German intelligence was listening. I'm not entirely sure she understood our message; she either thinks we're farming poultry in Albania, or she thinks or we've joined a cult. We'll be sure to set her straight when we return to the states.

At any rate, I hope everyone had a truly marvelous Thanksgiving feast. For all the things for which we could possibly be thankful, Nero and I would both like to thank, once again, Dr. Pamela Moore and Kristina Maier.

Brilliantly Sincere,

Professor Happ
Director of Field Dramaturgy
Makeshift Theatre Co.
profhapp@makeshifttheatre.com

Success! . . . partially . . .

Salutations Fellow Scholars,

I must keep this as brief a post as possible as Nero and I are trying to stay on the move. Operation Booksale was a resounding success, but it was not easy; indeed, it is still not easy. Nero inadvertantly tripped one of the alarms and now we're being pursued by the German police. Because of their patrols, we missed our train to Frankfurt and have consequently missed our return flight home to Boston.

I know you're all concerned for my fate, fellow scholars, and your concern is appreciated. Do not, however, contact any form of law enforcement, be it German or otherwise, as the mission cannot be completed until The Book resides safely in the offices of Makeshift Theatre Co. For those of you who pray, prayers are appreciated. For those of you who can provide a hideout, hideouts are appreciated more.

With that being said, Nero and I really must run. There's a . . . oh, no . . . going now.

Brilliantly Sincere,

Profeessor Happ
Director of Field Dramaturgy
Makesaoehf 0a8 h ASDJFd

Thursday, November 23, 2006

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

We at Makeshift Theatre co would like to take this chance to wish you and yours a happy and filling Thanksgiving. We would also like to disavow any knowledge of the goings on of our alleged dramaturge and our intern. We are not liable of any of their actions.



Monday, November 20, 2006

I'M GONNA DIE!!!

I'm gonna spend the rest of life in a german prison all on account of a stupid book. How do I let myself get talked into these things?!?! What was I thinking. I even told the professor that we should call Rolf to get permission. But he said he didn't want to disturb him.

It was lovely typing this blog for all of you and seeing you at the shows. Please write me while I am in Prison.

the professor is yelling at me now. He says he has a fool proof plan to get past the dogs. Rember makeshifters that this is the guy that splinted my leg because of rug burn. He won't even let me take it off for the "mission" tonight.

Nero
Prisoner #304/jail bird/His mothers biggest disappointment...
Nero@makeshifttheatre.com
www.makeshifttheatre.com

Finalized Plans

Salutations Fellow Scholars,

Nero and I have finalized our plans. I cannot go into great detail now, but suffice to say that the Stadtbibliothek is kept under the tightest of guard, including (but certainly not limited to) cameras, motion detectors, retina- and voice-print checkpoint security, armed patrolmen, and vicious, nasty, horrendously malnourished guard dogs. As the security is virtually impenetrable, I have decided to stay behind while Nero conducts the liberation of The Book himself. You know, to increase his likelihood of success.

My plan is infallible; I have even accounted for the inevitable mishaps bound to be made by a bumbling intern. By the time the staff of the Stadtbibliothek realize that The Book is missing, Nero and I shall already be travelling anonymously on the most direct course back to the United States! We've even picked out travel aliases: I'm "Dr. Livingston" and Nero is "Steve Rogers."

At great risk to the secrecy and security of the culminating stage of Operation Booksale, I am tremendously excited (but, nevertheless, ever so slightly apprehensive) to regale you with the sum entirety of what information regarding the operation I can publically afford to release to general consumption:

The Operation shall begin in twenty-four hours.

Brilliantly Sincere,

Professor Happ
Director of Field Dramaturgy
Makeshift Theatre Co.
profhapp@makeshifttheatre.com

Friday, November 17, 2006

Operation Booksale, Phase II

Salutations Fellow Scholars,

I bring you magnificent news! Nero and I secured our cover as American dramaturgists at the Staatstheater on Tuesday (after an unfortunately late arrival; we fell three days behind our itinerary when Nero simply had to make a stop in Gießen, so I struck him repeatedly with a newspaper. It's much like housetraining a puppy, you see; negative behaviour, negative reinforcement) and we immediately began Phase I of Operation Booksale, which has, much to my delight, produced a great deal of intelligence on our target! Our final plans are coming together . . .

I dare not delve into great detail in such a public forum, but I am too excited not to share at least some information with you! Although you should remember, fellow scholars, that everything described here is still a machination in its formative stage; should any of this be leaked to a possible informant, the entire operation would be ruined. Remain stalwart against traitors, fellow scholars; we seek to liberate The Book for the glory of all enlightenedkind!

Nero managed to obtain this marvelous floorplan of the Rathaus here in Kassel (the exterior of the building is pictured immediately beneath it), and he needed only minor medical attention afterward; I told him continuously as I applied the splint that his sacrifices for the sake of academia were greatly appreciated (it's much like housetraining a puppy, you see; positive behaviour, positive reinforcement). At any rate, he's returning to his post tomorrow at noon to secure the much more tightly protected floorplan of the Stadtbibliothek itself. I'll be buying more gauze.

We plan to gather intelligence for another four days, at which point we should be able to infiltrate the Stadtbibliothek undetected. Immediately after we retrieve The Book, we'll return to Frankfurt to catch our Wednesday flight back to Boston, placing us at Nero's house just in time for Thanksgiving! Brilliant, I tell you! My genius is unstoppable!

Well, the time has come, fellow scholars, for you to excuse me; I feel I must return to my normal post at the Staatstheater as the full time staff here has begun to eye me suspiciously. Perhaps the maniacal laughter was a bit too much. Yes. Too much.

Brilliantly Sincere,

Professor Happ
Director of Field Dramaturgy
Makeshift Theatre Co.
profhapp@makeshifttheatre.com

Monday, November 13, 2006

What's German for breaking and entering??

OK!!

I have some serious worries about our dear professor. We did get out of the airport, but we had missed our reservations at the place Makeshift had booked for us. Worst of all there was a David Hasselhoff fan club convention in town and every place we went to was already over booked. I love knightrider as much as the next guy but how many Germans in black leather jackets and too tight black jeans can one person stand?!?!?!

So there we were without a place to stay and hardly any money with us. We even tried going back to the airport but they would not let us back in. I am not sure exactly what they said but I am sure it wasn't polite. We spent the first night sitting on bench somewhere down town...strasse something-or-other. I don't think Prof. Happ had ever been camping in his life! By morning he had this look in his eyes. Honestly, it scared me a little. He told me to wait at the bench and watch our stuff and that he would be back in a moment. I tried to stop him but he wheeled on me with a "The professor has spoken!" I started laughing until I realized he wasn't kidding. Then I started laughing even more. He stood there with his finger in the air for a bit longer which made it all the more hilarious and then stormed away mumbling again.

So I waited, and waited, and waited. Then I waited a bit more. He finally came back just after sunset. He told me to grab our things and follow him. I tried to ask him if he had found us a place to stay but he just kept shh-ing me in annoying way. We finally reached this nice little house that looked as if no one was home. The Prof dragged me around back and asked if I had ever picked a lock. Picked. A. Lock. This coming from a guy who dang near cried because I pulled a tag off his pillow and then burred the whole thing in his back yard to cover up the evidence. I looked at him a min to wait for the joke but he just starred at me with those crazy eyes. I stood up and started to walk away because I could never explain to my mother why I was in a German prison. He pulled me back down and explained that it was the house of an old friend of his and that we were allowed to use it. He explained it all: His friend Rolf had studied with him and he left message that while he was away the Prof. Could use his house. The only problem was that he had mistakenly taken the extra key with him and set the alarm by mistake. He also said that once we were inside we would have to keep all the blinds closed to the sun didn't fade his carpet while he was gone. Also we were only to come and go at night, through the back door.

Well that finally made sense. So, thanks to my years of experience playing Splinter Cell and other Tom Clancy video games I was able to pick the lock and disarm the security system. I don't understand those people who say video games teach you nothing. The Prof asked if I could do stuff like this all the time. I said sure. He again went all crazy eyes. It was a nice house. We did have to leave in a hurry. A car pulled up in the drive and the Prof. Went crazy saying he had left a surprise gift and that if we were here when his buddy Rolf arrived it would ruin it. So we vacated out the back door in hurry. I hope his friend enjoyed the gift.

So now we are on a train to this library to find this "book", or as the Prof. says "THE Book." The Prof asked if I could pull the schematics off the internet. I told him it was probably in a restricted or locked file. He asked if I could "mack it?" I looked at him for a second resisting the urge to laugh then asked snickering "Do you mean hack it?" "yes that can you do that?" I told him I could but that it was illegal and again brought up the idea of German prisons....He explained about how his friend Rolf worked for the library and had given him permission but had forgotten to give him the passcode. It seems to that this Rolf dude is pretty irresponsible.

So now the professor just keeps going over the schematics and sounding an awful lot like The Brain with his "yes!", "it will work!", "It shall be mine!" all accompanied by this pretentious giggling...Um, CREEPY!

I wanted to call the office, but he took my phone away.

I am beginning to question his intentions. Does anyone know any Germanish lawyers?

"I have a bad feeling about this."

~Nero
Merc for hire/evil henchman/in over his head...
www.makeshifttheatre.com
nero@makeshifttheatre.com

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Operation Booksale

Salutations Fellow Scholars,

I write to you today from the temporary housing Nero and I are sharing on Nikolausberger Weg in Göttingen, just a few minutes' walk from the library at the Max Planck Institut. We are borrowing this facility from a scholarly colleague of mine, a fellow professor and friend we have not yet met, and, although I'm sure he would, upon our meeting, be perfectly amicable and more than happy to volunteer his personal residence to us to aid in our marvelous quest, I am in no hurry to make the initial introduction. Not yet, at any rate. Nero and I are operating "beneath the radar," so to speak; we must keep as low a profile as possible, using reconnaissance, subterfuge, and other fancy French words to keep the local populace blissfully unaware of our revised mission objective. And using fancy French words just happens to be my forté.

A revised mission objective, you may ask? Oh yes, I tell you. Yes, indeed. Nero and I may have originally been sent to Göttingen to gather information about the fairytale Rumplestiltskin (identified as Type 500 in the Aarne-Thompson Folklore Classification System), but a thought occurred to me while we were being held in the Detention Center of the Frankfurt International Airport.

I suppose I should explain that entire mess first. It wasn't anything but a simple misunderstanding! You know, had Nero and I been in that same situation a mere century ago, no one would have thrown a fuss; why, in nineteenth-century Germany, a pig was an animal that commanded dignity and honor, so much so that it wasn't even called a pig! It was a boar! I was paying the Customs Agent a compliment, for crying out loud. You know, this is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the hardest part about being a linguist of any calibre at all: language changes, sometimes so quickly one can't keep up with it.

At any rate, before it was determined that we weren't really a threat to German national security, an epiphany came to me in the detention cell: why gather information on one paltry little fairytale when you could gather information on every paltry little fairytale from a single resource? Yes, fellow scholars, I speak of a document overflowing with primary sources, a holy grail of linguistic academia, a document so powerful and overwhelming that, once I wield its full power in my hands, I shall bring the intellectual community of the world to its knees! Behold, fellow scholars, for I shall invoke its name but once: the original 1812 publication of Kinder- und Hausmärchen, henceforth known as The Book, the only known surviving copy in the world, the very first, and most influential, collection of folktales and linguistic research from the Brothers Grimm!

Due to the extreme value and fragility of The Book, its exact whereabouts are kept secret at all times. It is so sensitive, in fact, that it is not even kept on public display; my sources inform me that it is located deep within a subterranean vault somewhere beneath Kassel itself. Surely this must enrage you, fellow scholars, to know that one of history's greatest repositories of knowledge is being hoarded in a dank cellar instead of being brought to the light of the world! Well, do not fester in foulness, fellow scholars; Nero and I aim to change that! We shall liberate the literature and bring it back to the Makeshift Theatre Company!

Our mission, which I have named Operation Booksale, shall start in the Stadtbibliothek of the Kassel Rathaus on Fünffensterstraβe (just four blocks from the Staatstheater, where we shall maintain our cover as interim American dramaturgists). From there, we hope to ascertain the location of the underground vault in which The Book is held and the sort of resistance we may expect to encounter. I've already made the appropriate reservations in Kassel for our internship at the Staatstheater and Nero and I are scheduled to travel on Friday from the Göttingen Bahnhof to the Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe Railway Station on the Deutsche Bahn AG's Hanover-Würzburg high-speed train. I anticipate a week of laying low in Kassel and reconnoitering the Rathaus, at which point we will have developed the contacts needed to infiltrate the Stadtbibliothek and begin our search.

As always, fellow scholars: when discussing secret plots on the internet, mum's the word. As my closing gift, I present to you a photograph that I obtained from the Göttingen public archives. It is the only photograph I have been able to find of The Book.

Wish us luck, fellow scholars.

Brilliantly Sincere,

Professor Happ
Director of Field Dramaturgy
Makeshift Theatre Co.
profhapp@makeshifttheatre.com

Monday, November 06, 2006

And then there was Frankfurt....

Hi Makeshifters,

The morning after the last performance of SNOW, the Prof. and I headed out for Germany. Little did we know it was the night before that the problems began.

I guess Prof. Happ thought he would get back at me for the dunce cap I got him to wear for Halloween. (I have pics by the way, will try and post this week.) His plan for revenge involved closing the vent in my teeny little room and opening the window. Needless to say I woke of with a cold and sick as a dog. (why do they sick as a dog? In all my life I have never seen a dog with a cold.)
So, HAHA right? He wore a dunce cap and now I have the runniest nose in all of Heaven and Earth. My Mom said I was not to go on the trip, but Prof. Happ convinced her that he would take care of me and see that I got plenty of rest and fluids. He told her that there was no possible way he could make this trip with out me. That came as kind of a schocker because that was the nicest thing he has ever said about me. Then again it might have been because my mom had him pinned against a wall with a spatula in her hand threatening to wallop him on the head. But, she said she would let me go because she's an old softie. I should have stayed home...

There were no problems at Logan. We waited and I had my PSP to keep me company even though the Prof decided to take an interest and kept saying "Ooo get that guy!" and "Turn you fool, turn!!" I finally moved to the other side of the terminal and put in my ear phones. The flight was miserable because of my cold. I felt as if my head was gonna explode. On the plane we watched some action movie that I was in and out for thanks to the ny-quill. I mostly remember Prof. Happ explaining away everything in the movie as "impossible", "totally erroneous", and "this is the kind of tripe that keeps ending up in my netflix queue at home!" Funny thing is I don't remember putting any fish movies on the list. I have no idea what Tripe he is talking about. The rest of the flight was him going on about the trip and some book that is the end all and be all of fairy tale history and something other things....I moved to the bathroom so I could sleep in peace. After a while the stewardess made me go back to my seat. I guess the Prof. Didn't know I was gone for 20 min.

Now when we landed it got bad. The guy at customs spoke English about as well as we speak German. A much as I can figure out now he looked at me and Asked if I had a cold. Now the Prof. butted in with his German phrase book and spoke in his usual high falutin manner. I don't quite know what he said. All I know is that we have been locked in a quarantine holding cell in Frankfurt International Airport ever since. At least they locked us up with our stuff so I have my laptop which is how I am brining you this update.

The guys in the white coats just brought the Prof. Back from his 3rd physical exam. HEY!! Looks like they finally got a translater as well. Maybe we will be getting out of here soon. Good news is, I feel much better after a few days rest!

Below is all I have seen after 2 days in Germany..... Looks like were off to a great start. : /

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Nero
Production Assist./germaphobe/captive
Makeshift Theatre Co.
nero@makeshifttheatre.com

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Never Trust Your Intern

Salutations Fellow Scholars,

As I slowly woke up this morning from what was, at the time, a delightful evening of merriment, I made the unfortunate realization that the wizard costume provided to me by Nero was not, in fact, as wizardly has he insisted.

Dünçe, as it turns out, is not the archaic franco-germanic word I thought it was; it just so happens that the umlaut was a pair of M&Ms and the cedilla a Willy Wonka Runts banana stuck close enough to the letters to cause the confusion. Clearly, the cap reads dunce (whose English etymology is still relevant today, rendering clarification futile), which is obviously Nero's pathetic attempt at some sort of interpersonal commentary on my understandably intimidating intellect. Nevertheless, this sort of prank is completely unacceptable, especially considering the social context in which it was conducted. I must teach Nero not to behave so inappropriately in the future. Oh yes. Nero shall find himself back in the Box of Education tonight.

As always, fellow scholars, we must maintain vigilance aganist the crude acts of laypeople across the globe as they attempt to befoul our reputation. In short, good boys and girls of academia: never trust your intern.

Brilliantly Sincere,

Professor Happ
Director of Field Dramaturgy
Makeshift Theatre Co.
profhapp@makeshifttheatre.com