Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kwanzaa - Principle 6 - Kuumba

The sixth guiding principle on December 31st is Kuumba [KOO-OOMBA] and this principle represents "Creativity" - To do always as much as we can, in the way we can,in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. (Red Candle)

"Potential powers of creativity are within us and we have the duty to work assiduously to discover these powers." Martin Luther King, Jr.



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kwanzaa - Principle 5 - Nia

The fifth day of the Kwanzaa celebration on December 30th is represented by the guiding principle of Nia [NEE-YAH], or "Purpose". The purpose is to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. (Green Candle)

"Policies change, programs change, according to time. But objectives never changes. You might change your method of achieving the objective, but the objective never changes. Our objective is complete freedom, complete justice, complete equality, by any means necessary." Malcolm X

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kwanzaa - Principle 4- Ujamaa

December 29th is the fourth day of Kwanzaa or Ujamaa [OO-JAH-MAH] which represents "Cooperative Economics". This principle call on us to To build and maintain our own stores and other businesses and to profit from them together (Red Candle).

"I am not a millionaire, but I hope to be some day, not for the money, but because I could do so much to help my race." Madame C.J. Walker

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kwanzaa - Principle 3- Ujima

The third guiding principle during the Kwanzaa Celebration takes place on December 28th, Ujima [OO-GEE-MAH] or "Creative Work and Responsibility". To build and maintain our community together and make our sisters' and brothers' problems our problems and solve them together, represented by a green candle.This principle recognizes that we are collectively responsible for the well being of everyone within our community. It is up to us to nurture and care for one another.

"I freed thousands of slaves, I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves."
Harriet Ross Tubman


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kwanzaa - Principle 2 - Kujichagulia

December 27th is represented by the second guiding principle of Kujichagulia [KOO-GEE-CHA-GOO-LEE-YAH] which stands for "Self-Determination"- To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves, rather than to be defined, named, created for, and spoken for by others.

Independence, freedom of action, unilaterally, freedom of choice, freedom of thought, emancipation, self-expression, individuality, national status, autonomy, self-government, self-sufficiency, independent means, competence, and prosperity.
This principle is represented by a red candle.

Instructions for achieving Kujichagulia During Kwanzaa and Year Round

Step 1
Plan and prioritize a list of goals that you hope to accomplish throughout your life. These can be short, medium or long term in nature. Begin the practice of Kujichagulia in relation to achieving your list of goals.

Step 2
Picture yourself achieving each listed goal in your life. Studies have shown that positive imaging in the mind actually allows goal seekers to obtain more confidence in the possibility of achieving their goals as well as physically relaxing their bodies and minds in preparation for that action.

Step 3
Learn from your mistakes by the results and outcomes of your previous decisions. The adage says that you can never learn from failure unless you have failed and you can never fail unless you have tried. Making decisions and learning from them is a part of growing and living and is also a key factor in learning self-determination.

Step 4
Grow in knowledge in a variety of areas and subject matters. You should continue to seek knowledge wherever and whenever you can. Knowledge is the root of all power and power within oneself is the root of self-determination.

Step 5
Keep your physical body healthy and active. A healthy body creates an healthy balance between emotions and intellect. To keep your mind sharp, you must consistently eat a healthy and stay physically active throughout your entire life.

"Up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will." Marcus Mosiah Garvey


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kwanzaa - Principle 1 - Umoja

December 26 - January 1 marks the celebration of Kwanzaa, a holiday founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University, Long Beach. The celebration is based on the "Nguzo Saba" or seven guiding principles, the first being Umoja [OO-MO-JAH] stands for "Unity" - To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation or race. This principle is represented by a black candle in the center of the Kinara (candle holder). To visit the official Kwanzaa website click here.

"There is a battle to be fought, there are obstacles to be overcome. There is a world struggle for human dignity to be won. Let us address ourselves seriously to the supreme tasks that lie ahead." Kwame Nkrumah



Friday, November 20, 2009

Old School Friday # 90 - I Had A Crush On!


My biggest crush when I was an adolescent was probably Jermaine Jackson. I look at him now and exclaim, What The Hell Happened??? But that is another "Old School Friday" segment. Oh yeah, I couldn't resist throwing Mike in the mix!

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre


2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999


3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version


4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane (two song maximum)

5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out

6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants


If you want to join in on the fun,
click here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Songs That Inspire



The songs of the 60's were really inspirational to me so I choose two songs that I love from that era. Curtis Mayfield's "We're A Winner" and James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud".

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:


1. Anyone can participate; any music genre


2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999


3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version


4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane (two song maximum)

5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out

6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants


If you want to join in on the fun,
click here.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sharona Returns to Monk

I never thought I would see it, but Sharona, Monk's assistant for the first three season is returning for an encore next week in this eighth and final season. Bitty Schram was more of a nurse (or should I say nursemaid) to the obsessive compulsive detective, but she was an intricate part in some of the crime solving as well. This will mark her first appearance on the comedy-mystery since she mysteriously disappeared from the show halfway through the third season. Arguably the most successful show in cable history this should also make for an interesting close to the series. My only hope is that Monk solves his wife Trudy's murder before the show's final curtain call.

I really have missed Sharona, despite the excellent job that Traylor Howard does in her portrayal of Natalie Teeger, Monk's latest assistant. It is actually going to be interesting to see this two women play off of each other next week while Monk investigates Sharona's uncle's murder. I think the return of Ms. Scham will bring the show full circle and provide to a wonderful series, which experienced a great run. Monk is one of my most favorite television shows and I have never missed an episode so you know I will be front and center for this episode. Every since I found out Sharona was coming back I have been humming The Knacks "My Sharona".

The episode will air Friday, October 23rd at 9:00 EST.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Facebook

I recently read and article boasting that Facebook ruins friendships because “it limits communication to typing and encourages people to share far too much information with their poor, unsuspecting friends”. I do not agree with this stance, in fact I think it is quite the opposite. I think the social network actually builds relationships to a certain extent.

Facebook currently has a membership of 300 million, which is a higher population than all but 9 countries. Impressive huh? And I feel it is just gaining momentum, I envision bigger and better things to come on Facebook. I just recently started seriously Facebooking in the last couple of months. I joined the social network last year just to see if I could by pass the powers that be at my workplace (the I. T. department had blocked all access to My Space and I wanted to see if all services in this vein were obstructed). I was able to get on Facebook with no problem, so I joined and then quickly forgot about it.

I do not remember what led me back to the site, I think I got a email asking that I verify a friend and it off and running from that point on. I was often surprised by invites from people in my past that I had not seen in years. One day I checked my email to find a note from my best friend in junior high asking if I was who she thought I was and if I remembered her. Quite fascinating, actually because I had not seen or heard from her in well over 30 years.

Another aspect that I really enjoy about Facebook is that young and old are coming together as friends. I am a middle aged woman and my youngest friend is 17, I mean how cool is that? I have connected with relatives and old school chums that I would not have if not for meeting up with them on the Internet.


I use Facebook to contact friends who may have long ago lost contact with and I wish this service had been around ten years ago. This application is excellent for looking at pictures of babies in your family that you have yet to meet. Facebook is excellent for finding out what high school and college classmates are up to. For instance, my son was able to find two friends from elementary school that he had not seen since his graduation nearly 20 years ago.

I must admit that there have been times when I spent more time on Facebook than I should have, but I'm not going to blame Facebook for my own procrastination/laziness. If Facebook wasn't there I would have found something else to waste time on (My Space, Twitter, Black Planet, etc). If I want to be distracted, I will find a distraction, trust me!

To all my "friends", If you don't feel like posting something, cruising profiles, or changing your status, don't do it. If you tire of my updates, hide them. If you don't want to partake in the latest quiz, leave it alone. If you fear big brother is keeping tabs on you, don't post your life story to your profile. If you are in a relationship, please don't be caught poking people all day :-D. It's a fun and innovative tool at your fingertips that can be used for both good or evil. If you don't feel like Facebooking, leave it alone. Well I got to run, I just thought of a friend I need to look up….
While I do that please enjoy some Facebook humor.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Old School Friday - Criminal Record

Okay! Who doesn't have a criminal record these days? I think I will bring together the East Coast and the West Coast by going with my boys Tupac Shakur and the Notorious BIG (Biggy Smalls) or "Big Poppa" :-) I have not participated on this meme in a while and I have missed it.

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants

If you want to join in on the fun, click here.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Trip to Michigan

Hi Everybody, I just flew in from Michigan and boy are my arms tired :-) Seriously, I was back home in Michigan for ten days for my thirty-five year reunion. The festivities lasted all weekend, which was draining, but so much fun! I saw people that I had not seen in over thirty-five years. I also got to spend time with some family members (some who are shown above), including some that I had never met before this visit. My son (who resides in Long Beach, California) and my best friend (who resides in Las Vegas, Nevada) met me in Michigan to attend the event.


I was able to visit the Motown Museum for a third time. My son had never visited so myself, my Uncle Malcolm , Aunt Melody and my son headed over to 2648 W. Grand Blvd. for the tour. I always enjoy watching new people be introduced to the history of Motown. There were people in our tour from Tanzania. After leaving the museum we headed over to Detroit Metro Airport to drop my son off for his return to California...Bye Brian!


On Thursday we had a movie day over Malcolm's where we watched some classic movies, "Take A Giant Step", "Dirty Dancing", etc. and ate fresh popped popcorn. Finally last Friday I got a chance to go on Malcolm's radio show "Retro Mix" as a co-host. I had a ball talking about some of my favorite artist and learning a lot about how broadcasting works which was really an exciting experience.


On Saturday some family members and friends came over and we played spades. I was paired with my friend Alma, whom I have know since grade school. After a couple of stumbles we ran everyone we played away from the table. Needless to say I had a ball, I never get to do these kind of things when I am at home. Alas all good things must come to an end and I was happy to be going back home when I left on Monday.


Thomas Wolfe said that you can't go home again. I beg to differ, you can go home, but you just really should not try to stay indefinitely.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 16




Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7644576-a26

Cast:
Ricardo Lori (Detective)
Lauren Ash-Morgan (Dee von Zelle)
John B. (Detective Bob Toricello)
Jeannie-Girl (Lynn)
K9 (Felicity & Homeless Woman)
Foam (Diane)
Holy Cannoli (Jenny)
Rayke (Franklin & Sgt. MacBrian)
SJ (Criminologist/Futon Cop)
Boneman (Judge Ewing, the Mounted Cop & Smythe’s Answering Machine)
Crushed by Ingsoc (Lt. Fisher and the Angry Driver)
Pjazzypar (the Captain, the Caterer, the Hostess, Felicity’s old Professor, & FBI Agent) Malcolm (Essex County Deputy)
Pamela Ringgold (Machine Dialer & Rude Cop)
Yinyang (FBI Demolitions Expert & Lynn’s Old Friend)
Foam Jr. (the Music Student)
Mr. Foam (Homeless Man 2)
X. Dell (Mr. Johnson & Homeless Man 1).

Special guest stars: Ravi Khanna as Indra, Paul Weaver as Mountie Smythe, and Amy Helmsley as Col. Smith.

Written and produced by X-Dell.

Directed by Committee.

Dedications and Special Thanks to Monique Caddy, David Caddy, and the rest of our friends at Middle Ditch.

Music by Da Palm & Nurykabe

Additional sound effects by c97059890 of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org)

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 15




Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7744197-7eb

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Amy Insley (Col. Michelle Smith/Sacred Mother)
JohnB (Detective Bob Toricello)
Foam (Diane)
Boneman (Judge Ewing)
Yinyang (FBI Agent/Demolitions Expert/”All Clear”)
X. Dell (Mr. Johnson)
Holy Cannoli (Jenny)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Melophon & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by www.soundjay.com, and by batchku, addbicycle, Koops, Jhalkompwdr, lgarret, ngtv27, Freqman, freesound, scarbelly 25, Runey, acclivity, sagetyrtle, and Shades of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org)

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 14




Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7744195-f64

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Lauren Ash-Morgan (Dee von Zelle)
JeannieGrrrl (Lynn/Wendy)
K9 (Felicity/Eileen)
Pamela Ringgold (Rude Cop)
SJ (Criminologist/Futon Cop)
Malcolm (Deputy Sheriff)
Pjazzypar (FBI Special Agent)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Da Palm

Additional sound effects by www.soundjay.com, and by Han 1, NGTV 27, Herbert Boland, Freq Man, Anton, Splutta and LG of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org).

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 13




Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7643128-430

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Lauren Ash-Morgan (Dee von Zelle)
Rayke (Franklin)
JeannieGrrrl (Lynn)
K9 (Felicity)
Crushed by Ingsoc (Irate Driver)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Fireproof Babies, mInImAl ArT, Johnny SockHead & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by www.soundjay.com, and by hopflog, Runey, ReWired, lilliangorini, jackstrebor, dobroide, audible_edge, Franaudio, smidoid, Leady, Corsica S., and Freqman of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org).

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 12



Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7629443-24e

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Rayke (Sgt. MacBrian)
Foam (Diane)
JohnB (Detective Bob Toricello)
Paul Weaver (Mountie Smythe)
Foam Jr. (Music Student)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Pitx & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by spluta, Malonso, and Corsica S. of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org)

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 11




Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7624145-36e

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Rayke (Sgt. MacBrian)
Foam (Diane)
JeannieGrrrl (Lynn)
Lauren Ash-Morgan (Dee von Zelle)
Pjazzypar (The Captain)
Crushed by Ingsoc (Lt. Pete Fisher)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by the jpfmnand & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by www.soundjay.com and by Guitarz1970, Brotherprovisional, samplecat, stijn, Erdie, AniCator, and Koops of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 10





Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7797571-955

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Lauren Ash-Morgan (Dee von Zelle)
Pjazzypar (Hostess)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by jpfmband, Oprachina, & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by dobroide, Malonso, Handfan, morgant, .and addbicycle of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org).

Because of legal agreements, we must always include this code with any post of graphics and recordings related to the Golden Ganesh.

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 9


Embed:


Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7797563-d47

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Lauren Ash-Morgan (Dee von Zelle)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Da Palm


Golden Ganesh Creative Commons License (Embedding Code)

Because of legal agreements, we must always include this code with any post of graphics and recordings related to the Golden Ganesh.

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 8




Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7615370-56e

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
SJ (Young Criminologist/Futon Cop)
Foam (Diane)
JohnB (Detective Bob Toricello)
Pinetop Swamp (Annnouncer)

Music by Pitx & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by Edwin P. Manchester, Freqman, Robinhood 76, Malonso, sagetyrtle, Oberon81, and spluta of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org)

Golden Ganesh Creative Commons License (Embedding Code)

Because of legal agreements, we must always include this code with any post of graphics and recordings related to the Golden Ganesh.

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 7

Download:

http://www.divshare.com/download/7623350-b39

Cast:

Ricardo (The Detective)

K9 (Felicity)

JeannieGrrrl (Lynn)

Boneman (Mounted Cop)

Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Nurykabe & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by gyzhor, Freqman, Herbert Boland, ReWired, and themfish of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org).


Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 6





Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7623349-8d9

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Holy Cannoli (Jenny)
Ravi Khanna (Indra)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Frank Stanton, hammerklavier, Steve Jones, X. Dell & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by SunnySideSound, Scarbelly 25, dobroide, addbicycle, batchku, stijn, and Jhalkompwdr of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org)

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 5



Embed:


Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7807420-a7c

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Yinyang (Lynn’s Old Friend)
Pjazzypar (Felicity’s Old Professor)
JohnB (Detective Bob Toricello)
Pamela Ringgold (Robot Dialer)
Boneman (Smythe’s Answering Machine)
Holy Cannoli (Jenny)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by East of West & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by nicStage and Koops of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org)

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 4



Embed:


Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7615605-a0e

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Holy Cannoli (Jenny)
JohnB (Detective Bob Toricello)
Foam (Diane)
SJ (Young Criminologist/Futon Cop)
JeannieGrrrl (Lynn)
Crushed by Ingsoc (Lt. Pete Fisher)
Rayke (Franklin)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by Geoff Duncan & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by nicStage, Erdie, Jonathan Jansen, Freq Man, pauliep83, Corsica S., LG, Herbert Boland, and nofeedback of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org).



Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 3



Embed:


Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7600184-7aa

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Pjazzypar (Caterer)
Ravi Khanna (Indra)
K9 (Felicity & Homeless Woman)
JeannieGrrrl (Lynn)
X, Dell (Homeless Man 1)
Mr. Foam (Homeless Man 2)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by CDK, Melophon & Da Palm

Additional sound effects provided by www.soundjay.com, and Corsica S, addbicycle, amione, samplecat, andriala, and freesound of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org).:

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 2



Embed:


Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7615464-34d

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Crushed by Ingsoc (Lt. Pete Fisher)
JohnB (Detective Bob Toricello)
Pjazzypar (Humming Caterer)
Foam (Diane)
SJ (Young Criminologist/Futon Cop)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by landeros & Da Palm

Additional sound effects by Freqman, Corsica S., LG, and Herbert Boland of the Free Sound Project (www.freesound.org)

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

The Golden Ganesh: Episode 1



Embed:


Download:
http://www.divshare.com/download/7787184-33c

Cast:
Ricardo (The Detective)
Holy Cannoli (Jenny)
Pinetop Swamp (Announcer)

Music by the jpfmband & Da Palm

Creative Commons License
The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

From the Mind of X. Dell

The origins of The Golden Ganesh, as a radio drama, were fourfold. First, I fell in love with radio drama because of Max Schmid’s WBAI show, The Golden Age of Radio. I especially liked the noir dramas: Nero Wolf, The Adventures of Sam Spade , Candy Matson (the only female detective in the bunch), and most of all, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.

The second origin of the project came in the spring of 2007, when JeannieGrrrl, a whiz at finding cool and interesting freeware, alerted me to an application called “Audacity.” I immediately put it to work, transferring as much of my music from analog to digital—with varying degrees of quality.

The third came May of 2008 in the form of an invitation extended to me by Monique Caddy of Middle Ditch. Superbly written, acted and directed, I immediately fell in love with this radio serial. Of course, I was a bit envious too. They weren’t just doing what I dreamed of doing. They were (and still are) kicking ass at it.

Upon hearing Middle Ditch, I began to fantasize about gathering all my friends, doing a radio drama, and posting it on the web. But I had a problem. Many of my old friends had left New York. Although we still keep in touch, they were no longer present. I then thought, “Well I have cyberfriends. Maybe there’s a way to....”

And then I thought, “It would never work.”

Even if I managed to get everyone to record their lines, there would be varying mic and recording standards. And because the actors weren’t together, I imagined that they would interpret the action and their lines so differently that they would sound as though they were reading different scripts, from different stories. Worse yet, how could I splice them all together so that they sounded at least remotely coherent?

And then I thought, “Audacity!!!”

It occurred to me the very same software I had been using for music, I could use for this. Instead of splicing mp3s together, I could multitrack the actors, as if they were musical instruments. And since Audacity lets you equalize, compress and cosmetically improve sounds, you can blend multiple standards together more smoothly.

And then I thought, “Nah. It won’t work.”

Supposing I could find a way to match recordings. I still would have to enlist the help of you, my cyberpals. It would be presumptuous of me to think that just because I wanted to do it, you wanted to do it. I imagined interest in doing a project like this would be lukewarm and non-existent—that is, until the fourth origin kicked in.

Following the disastrous post of June 6, 2008—an anticipated live feed from the COPA conference on the RFK assassination got cut off at the source (Los Angeles)—JohnB and I had a lengthy IM chat. I casually mentioned doing a radio drama, and I sensed his enthusiasm for it. IMing Foam a few days later, and getting a similar response, I thought that maybe, such a project might fly.

Academics by-and-large have the opinion that the Internet is primarily a networking tool, not one that actually builds communities. But I had already gone on record with my belief that cyberspace really mimics meatspace social interaction, and thus communities form nonetheless. I’d always said that people who had never met could develop emotional attachments to each other, and rally ‘round a central node in their own patch of WWW. They could do things that meatspace communities do. Whether it was a quilting bee or an I-gotta-barn type of production, they could produce cultural artifacts.

And then I thought, “It’s time to put your money where your mouth is, X.”

In July 2008, I floated the proposal for doing a radio drama, just to see if you guys would be interested. Some of you weren’t (which is cool too; somebody has to be in the audience, after all), but enough of you were. I still had grave doubts that it would ever become a reality. But at least we would give it a try.

Then something happened. I got the first mp3 from Pjazzypar playing the role of the Captain. Before reciting her lines, she deftly picked apart the scene, its significance, and so on. Needless to say, her performance was wonderful.

And then I thought, “That’s cool. Too bad her effort’s probably in vain.”

But then more recordings began to trickle in from JohnB, Holy Cannoli, Foam, Boneman, SJ and K9. I began playing around with them in Audacity to see if they had any continuity. To my astonishment, time-and-again the actors were on the same page, both literally and metaphorically. Without rehearsal, without talking to each other, they were eerily in sync.

And then I thought, “It would be cool if this actually worked.”

At the time, we still didn’t have a star. I was almost resigned to performing the lead role myself (which I didn’t want to do) when Ricardo stepped in. This was the critical step in the whole process. The role of The Detective serves as the glue that holds the drama togethe. And it makes a big difference when you have a trained actor in that part. I didn’t get my first recording from him until September 2008. When I did, I put together the first rough episode cut featuring Ricardo, and Holy Cannoli.

And then I thought, “This could really work.””

Pjazzypar did yeoman’s service in taking on additional characters. K9, first content to do a bit part, took on the additional role of Felicity. JeannieGrrrl then submitted her recordings for the role of Lynn. In the second rough cut made for The Golden Ganesh (episode seven) I heard a really neat chemistry develop between Jean and K9 as twin femmes fatales.

Still, we needed more actors for key roles, most importantly that of Dee von Zelle. In the novel that I cannibalized into the radio script, Dee was Australian because her prototype (who loved the character and the story) was Australian. After a certain point, enough actors had alluded to Dee and her nationality, that I couldn’t change her into anything else without issuing a second script and asking people to re-record (talk about a pain in the can). Then too, I had always had our friend down under, FATTY, in mind for the role. But the demands of academia prevented her from participating. Still, she helped us out in this mad search for Dee, along with Boneman, Ricardo, Crushed by Ingsoc, Monique and myself. Some good came out of this. I met Aggie through the search, and she’s a welcome contributor to The X-Spot. Still, we had no Dee.

Other actors bowed out for good reasons (meatspace pressures, technical issues, etc.), which I kinda expected. I finally decided to go to the high seas to find the players I needed. In cyber terminology, “the high seas” translates roughly into Craigslist.

I put an ad in the local (NYC) Craigslist. I didn’t find Dee, but I found an extraordinarily talented actor named Pamela Ringgold. Pamela will prove to you the old adage, “There are no small parts, just small actors.” After moving to DC, another found two veteran voice actors—Paul Weaver and Amy Insley—to take the roles of Mountie Smythe and Col. Smith. Both of them did an outstanding job—but then again, those two know what they’re doing. We also got an amazing performance from up-and-coming comedian Ravi Khanna. Still, we didn’t have a Dee.

And then I thought, “This is gonna work if it kills me.”

Lauren Ash-Morgan answered the DC Craigslist ad seeking a bit role. As a graduate student studying languages, however, she had a decent ear for accents. A very talented performer and gifted musician, she transformed into Dee quite nicely. It took some time. After all, she’s finishing up a master’s degree (some of us know what that’s like, right?), so she had more important things to do. But upon listening to her first submission (which she did over again, because of technical reasons), I decided to wait for her, and for good reason. To paraphrase a character from Seinfeld, she’s real, and she’s spectacular.

After Pinetop Swamp knocked out the announcements, we finally reached the point where I can honestly tell you that the next post, here on The X-Spot, will kick off The Golden Ganesh. On behalf of the cast and myself, we hope you enjoy it.

~ X. Dell ~

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The Golden Ganesh by X. Dell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.