It’s done!

Bascom Hall – OED display case – closer

Originally uploaded by sdmonty

Yes, it took nearly twelve months, nearly a dozen meetings, conflicting opinions, and at times “design by committee”, but it is done, and more than $100 under budget, and it raises the visibility of the Office for Equity & Diversity about 100%.

I am not one to gloat… but I must admit I’ve earned the right to pat myself on the back on this occasion.

If you live in, or are visiting Madison, and you happen to make the hike up Bascom Hill, come take a look.

prove it…

I spent another afternoon at yet another temp agency doing tests. I’m thirty-eight years old, and I am in the position of having to sit down and take inane (and might I add, badly designed) computer based tests to show that I can:


A) type

B) use a number pad

C) navigate MS Office app’s (because all businesses know that the only way to get something done is to do it in an MS application… not like there aren’t more elegant/efficient word processors or, say, layout programs)

D) can fill out fifteen forms; by hand

[this includes a work history form, despite having brought a much more thorough, beautifully laid out resume with me]


As I made my way back home, three hours later (no joke), I thought about the time that had elapsed; I thought about how, in general, so much of my life these days is spent… proving myself.


I think it’s something my partnered, happily employed friends can’t possibly understand; between job hunting and online personals an enormous amount of time and energy every day goes towards continually proving myself — proving myself worthy of being hired and worthy of being loved.


This is energy my peers who have already found their dream job (or at least something stable and in the field of study they spent their college years pursuing), and a mate, do not have to spend. And no wonder, then, that they seem more well-rested, buoyant, and productive. They simply don’t have to prove themselves every day.


Now, I understand – jobs of every stripe can be challenging; and relationships, even well-balanced, loving ones, take work. But that’s different; having to take time to talk something through with a spouse is different than having to earn their initial trust, affection and support.


I can’t help but wonder what I could be accomplishing in my life if I didn’t have to expend so much energy every day constantly trying to prove my worth as a human being.

the gig …

monty moonlights as a rock star…

Originally uploaded by sdmonty

Wow, what an experience! Friends of mine formed an ad-hoc band to play a fundraiser for Alliance for Animals at a local coffee shop, and they roped me into doing some vocals and adding harmonica to some ’80’s covers.

Yes, as an actor I’ve been on stage hundreds of times, but nothing prepared me for this; first off, the “band” had barely rehearsed at all; it’s composed of two fellows from a legitimate band (The German Art Students… they rock – check ‘em out), but who were playing instruments they usually don’t play; plus my friend Pat, plus me. Also, it’s difficult to explain what it’s like to try to speak/sing/play an instrument when you’re literally surrounded by sound; I could barely discern the notes that were emitting from my harp (the sound set up at the coffee shop, though decent, did not allow for monitors – speakers facing us, the players, so we had no way of directly guageing the performance other than the roar of the crowd, which only added to the din).

I had a splitting headache when it was all done, and I thought of my good friend, Bryan, a former music critic who can no longer go to concerts because he developed tenitis (sp?). I can see now how easy that must be…

All in all, I had a blast (though I wish there had been more groupies… I was really counting on a lot of groupie action…). Glad I did it. Don’t know if there will ever be an occasion like it again.

You Did Great! I Mean It!

You Did Great! I Mean It!

Originally uploaded by x the pitt x

This is Aikido.
O.k., they’re not actually doing Aikido, just “cutting it up” for the camera. This pic was taken down in Birmingham, AL by Brian P., another student at Aikdio of Madison on the occassion of Kerry’s (he’s on the right) San Dan (sp?) test. The one doing the strangling is Robin Sensei, one of the two lead instructors at AoM.

I wish I could have made the road trip with them down to UAB (I visted there last year with another friend of mine), but things were just too busy. However, I did get to hang out with Kerry on Monday, after his test; we took another road trip to Rufus King H.S. in Milwaukee to do some demos and classes for Seniors and Juniors in the theatre classes.

Anyway, congrats, Kerry on your test; maybe now that you’re San dan, Robin Sensei will teach you how to thwart that belt-strangling attack (how do you say that in Japanese?)…

human intention…

Add to the ever growing list of wonderful minds/work that I’ve been exposed to thanks to PBS, architect William McDonough.

He was one of four (I think… math never was my strong suit) designers/architects profiled in the fourth installment of the series Design: e2 looking at construction and the environment. His thinking is really clear, articulate, intelligent and thought-provoking.

A quick search on YouTube turned up a talk of his from the TED conference 2005: It’s about 20 min. but worth the viewing…

The “take home” quote: “How do we love all the children of all species for all time?”

Sounds like a species mission statement to me…

{addendum: currently reading Cradle 2 Cradle, a fascinating book. They are also building a community website}

now and zen…

So, no doubt you will notice that there’s been a real lapse in postings here. I know, I know, a blog is supposed to be a daily commitment (ah… men, and their committment issues…); I promise to be more, uhm, faithful.

I’m also trying to be better about Montyland (, where I’m re-launching the content with my own design (based on a great open-source CSS template by Andreas Vulkind ( I’ve decided that iWeb, while a fine product (if all you want to do is construct a simple page and sync it with .mac), really doesn’t lend itself to frequent updates – and what’s the use of creating web content if it’s not current?!

Speaking of web updates, I did a little tweaking and rebuilding for my friend, Joseph Weinberg’s site, Teaching Sexual Ethics ( – be sure to drop by and visit.

And stay tuned here – Montyland Productions, your one-stop shop for affordable, freelance media and communications consulting – will be launching soon…

In other matters – I’ve been doing a lot of house cleaning lately, and I need to tip my hat to Zen Habits ( a great site with tons of tips about pairing-down and simplifying your life. I’ve set up a master list for my life (five items only) which has helped me focus my time and work habits; I’ve also begun clearing out the deadwood (so to speak) from front to back in my apartment; I’ve got a huge pile that will be St. Vinney’s or Goodwill’s in the next twenty-four hours or so.

Deep breaths…

– monty

Let the anchovies fly…

Dick & Jane 9 (I think we’re up to nine now…) commences tomorrow, and I can’t wait. It’s one thing that MUFA Summer League is right around the corner, but nothing compares to the test of frisbee fortitude that is the five games (unless you’re lucky enough to have a bye) in a row of the Dick & Jane Tourney.

Just a pity that we can’t be at Olbricht this year – not even sure why – but I have to trek all the way out to Manchester tomorrow morn.

But, talk about a great crew! Pat and Bern, Jane, Jen, the Grimmers – and more!

one more time…again…

Well, with all the different blogging pathways to choose from, is it any surprise that someone with ADD finds himself changing horses and checking out if any of them will feel like a better fit; yes, if you google “montyland” and/or blog, you’ll find my actual Homepage, as well as perhaps the long-ago abandoned blog on Blogger

But I’ve always admired stuff I’ve seen done in WordPress; up until recently, I was confused and thought the only way to get something going in WP was to have the darn thing running on your own server. I’m pleased to have cleared up that confusion.

At any rate, please accept this as the most recent iteration of a Montyland blog, and please accept my humble promise to actually… well… you know, blog here… regularly… I promise…