Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

We're on Amtrak.

Eat like you mean it.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Blog of Ages Pray for Me

A dry winter freeze has taken over New York City.

Organic Heritage Turkeys are being swiped off the shelves.

Two nights ago, there was snow on some car roofs in New Jersey.

And now this, five somewhat connected thoughts that are barely important:

  1. I am going to Jury Duty this week. I signed up for this truncated weirdo time figuring it would be short, everyone on their way to their dinners. So far it has proven to be easy. Today, we were released after three hours. I imagine tomorrow will be similar. Wednesday, maybe not even a need to show. I have never done jury duty before. True. Never. I got around it by being a moving target. Plus a few other tricks. But I finally succumbed, feeling like a civic heel for not doing my duty. I hate it. I hate it entirely. I don’t see an upside. Being in a gray government building at dawn feels like punishment. I tried to gussy it up by pretending I was traveling. Back Issues of New Yorkers, the Kindle, going through security, sit back, relax, and read. As soon as orientation was over (and the woman up front putting on the show was quite funny and good at it) I fell asleep in a chair and read nothing.

  1. I have a handful of Republican friends and I say, Hi Friends! But now hear this…and this only goes to the real way Drown-the-Government-in-the-bathtub types on the fringes. Question: Why do the people who demand the MOST freedom from tyranny have the most tyrannizing personalities? Seems to me, the ones who fear being controlled are the most controlling.

  1. Magical thinking doesn’t work. All those decades of visualizing and chanting are for Santeria chicken sacrificing types. I was adamant and verbally insisted to many that something I was doing was simply not going to work out—and railed about it nonstop as in, “This is never going to happen. Never. Never. Never. It’s dead. It’s toast. It’s over. Forget it.”— and it worked out. So if my words create my reality, then it didn’t do it this time. And if your words DO create your reality, then that truth would have to be true all the time. Books giving you secrets to the universe and keys to the kingdom are slippery with snake oil. Dogma blows. Life is full of unknowns. Do your best. Worry about it or not. Really, wasting time on trying to control the outcome by yacking your way in a certain direction is just a weird positive spin on worry. Stop counting and cajoling your outcomes. And don’t agree with any of this garbage in this paragraph. Go slam into trees with your head yourself. Figure it out. Who cares?

  1. People keep buying things for each other at Christmas. I am way more of a Dah who doraze type. I have ten year old shirts that look like they’ve never been worn. How much more do you need?

  1. And on a completely contradictory note: Why is all the wooden furniture at Crate and Barrel on the edge of completely disgusting?  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Winner

I have a play published in POST ROAD MAGAZINE.

The Winner was originally cast with the wonderful Angela DeCicco, Don White and Randi Pareira, directed by Pablo Marz.

Dealing with oil greed, the play becomes a fight for the last canister of oxygen on earth.

It had its premiere at West Coast Ensemble, back in the day, and was a finalist for an award at Actors Theater of Louisville.

Then, it was published in this magazine, very recently. And it was shot as a small film on the campus of USC.

Sometimes, you dash off this little thing, and it has its own ride. I wrote it for a contest called, "It's later than you think." It was rejected there and then had these other nice things happen. I do hope for all of us that we just keep making things, we cast them into the wind and wait to see what plants. It was nice to see it published. In paper. And bound.

Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Unbearable Lightness of Narrative

I don't believe in narrative, exactly.

Things happen. And you can build a story.

There is cause and effect, for sure.

But some shit---well, it's just random. Like, if someone finds you unseasonably attractive or a safe falls on your head.

I do believe the spine of narrative is the ol' simple reality of Born-Live-Die. That's how we perceive the world and so our stories reflect that. And maybe that's fine. With lots of little borns-lives-deaths along the way. You mess with it, to make it more interesting. But there it is. Baby, toil, corpse.

But wouldn't it be so much more fun if it wasn't just that? That the superseding engine was the non-narrative?

That exact empirical truths are in charge and we don't even know what they are? And it is okay not to know. Narrative can be nothing more than the slight reveal of what is behind the curtain of unknowing--but it's all folly since we really can never really know. You can feel and believe anything. But you never really know.

And that's enough of a story for me.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's Time Again: Sleep

Put on your Headphones.
It says 9 minutes, but it's more like 5.

It pleases.


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Swiss Always Get it Right, Right?


Frankly, I am all for a minimum load of cash for everyone. I know, there is ire out there for free cash. But what if you were born wealthy with a generous parent who has no qualms about giving you a trust fund that is large enough to live on, either meagerly or grandly? Isn't that free cash? What did you do for it?

Note: I love my trust fund friends and have enjoyed watching them soar and stagnate along with the rest of us. The money didn't really do much more than free them up to pursue their lives without financial stress. But the rest of life intrudes, and their stress is not much different than yours. In fact, in some ways it is worse. You, most readers, know you have to go to work. They don't know what the heck to do half the time. Plus, if you are failing as a writer/dancer/singer/snake charmer/entrepreneur with a big bag of cash and all the time in the world, you don't even get to have the excuse, "Well, if I wasn't so exhausted from my day job..."

I continue to have a hard time with the double standard: a wild work ethic for the middle class and the poor. Then: Any philosophy for anyone who is wealthy.

It would be fascinating to go out to dinner and to look around the entire restaurant and to know that anyone who is a citizen of your country shares something very similar, personal, essential and enlivening: a usable lump of cash that keeps all wolves away from all doors.

If Switzerland does this, and it works, I don't want to hear some racist monster say, "Well, it works because the Swiss have a good work ethic." I've been to Switzerland. Those people are about as lazy as I am.

Greedy, greedy, Americans, join me. Tax and spend: on yourself.

An idea whose time has come:
You know you love Swiss cheese. Something else for you to love about Schweiz.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Mutilated

In an act of expedience, I put the New York Times review here:


But on a more personal note...we saw THE MUTILATED tonight, one of Tennessee Williams' late expressionist plays down at the New Ohio on way west Christopher street, starring Mink Stole and Penny Arcade in a great production, directed by Cosmin Chivu with original music by Jesse Selengut. Mink is our friend (that's what makes this personal) and she is spectacular as a woman with almost nothing but one whorey old pal whom she lost for a while over a falling out over whether or not to eat at a Chinese place.

Well, it's more than that. They fall out because they are completely not meant for each other. But in the end, what else do they have?

Penny Arcade, as Celeste, is queen of the tits. And Mink as Trinket, has lost one of hers to cancer. But they are both horrendously mutilated and in great need of care. They are both quite different actresses and each is greatly suited to her role. You believe what they are going through. You feel it. Celeste is the fun. Trinket is the money. That's what they have. That's what they play. For realsies.

The seedy bar, the original music by Jesse Selengut with a large cast singing the weird upbeat hymns in between scenes, the never-dull direction by Cosmin Chivu on an admirable set, designed by Anka Lupes, made of strip lights, neon and steel, a game supporting cast, all of it, makes for an original night of brave and raucous, smart and lyrical entertainment.

See it. It runs until the 1st of December. It ran in Provincetown this summer. Hope that it runs again in 2014.

It's good to see a play that is brave in every facet. And raw. And needy. And true. And funny. And sad. And strong.

And a little campy. But only a touch.

Thumbs to heaven.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


We're getting into the autumn years of autumn here. And it's stark. And the stark, when you look up at it, makes you feel sharper. You think in a sharp way, in the sense that the cold mixed with the edges of these leaves is such a clear experience that the brain doesn't wander around trying to come up with some other stimulation.

So you see one subject and you stay with it and it's worth it.

Pleasure, really. Maybe all this chronic attention deficit is an attempt to find pleasure.

Get to something stark and bright. Natural.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sometimes, Ye Ol' Alma Mater Gets it Right: Why Some People are Gun Happy

And why I say, yet again, let the Union Fail. Let the ones who want to praise the heavens while gunning each other down have their own country. It would be wonderful to separate.


Let's Give Discredit where Discredit is Due

Obama, you rat, people are getting tossed off their healthcare plans and when they try to log on to the .gov site to get coverage, they get a frigging message of incompetence.

This is disgusting.

You had years.


To make sure this went smoothly.

I know people who don't like to get into the nitty gritty. And sure, you aren't the guy who has to do the bookkeeping entries, the HTML, the lawn watering or the laundry. Fine. But damn, baby, you better make sure the guy who is in charge of all those guys is talking to you and giving you reports.

You dropped a big ball, you big shiny loon.

This is one of those glaring examples that the Right likes to trot forward, "See! See! Let the government do it and you know what happens! It sucks. It doesn't work. Fuck the government. Drown it in the bathtub."
Usually, they are talking about the post office when they say this. (I have never experienced less than satisfactory work from the post office, and I have used it much over the years, so I don't get this post office attack. But maybe these complainers just don't like the whole feel of the place.)

But this health care...come on!

Let's hear if for Kentucky. They pulled it together well.

Now let's hope this gets resolved in the next two weeks---or I'm gonna hippo hurricane holler like that enormous governor from New Jersey.

Obama--you dropped the ball in this pickup game. Shame-bama. Shame.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I Wonder About the Outdoors

When I was four, I was stung by a bee and no one knew I was allergic. I eventually went into a shut down, couldn’t breathe and was in a coma for a while. I never exactly got over the trauma. My father said I was never the same after that.

I was stung three more times as a child and three more times I went to the hospital, but more quickly and without any greater incident than a big needle of medicine. I had this thing (and so many kids have it now with nuts, etc.) that would stop my world clock and send me racing to safety.

It made me afraid of the outdoors.

As I got older, I outgrew this allergy.

I wonder, had I not been allergic like that, had not had that early allergic coma, if I would have become more of an outdoorsman.

I love being outside.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Election Night

It is a night to celebrate for some, for others to Boo with big white mouths.

But there is something cynical and sad now. I don't think anyone thinks that anything will ever change. We are entrenched.

The strange thing about being entrenched is how cementy that is.

Maybe the French are right. (Maybe?) Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

If human nature is such that there are the individualist warriors and the warm hearted sharers who don't see eye to eye, while the looser types are open to new experiences while the traditionalists are busy with their due diligence, while the money ravenous types get up every day to collect more acorns as the less-than-engaged types enjoy a sunny moment feeling sort of fused with nothingess, well, I mean, how can we change any of that at the voting booth, really?

If we are to invent a new political party, to infuse newness, I would say it should be a moderate party. Let's call it The Democratic Party and bring in all the moderate Republicans. And let's give their old moniker to the Far Right. Let them have the name, the G.O.P.

I look forward to this new New York City mayor. It's been a long time since we've had a softer guy. Though, Bloomberg wasn't so bad. But the CashSuckZombies that have devoured Manhattan, well, it is a horror movie and I do hope things get more fun around here. But maybe horror never goes away. I bet it doesn't.

Sunday, November 03, 2013