Thursday, April 26, 2007

a list

I mean, a list as in a SINGLE list, not as in "A-list..."

* For the first time this year, I'm sitting on my porch and enjoying the amazing weather...and a fairly decent ten-dollar-bottle of chardonnay. Why isn't chardonnay spelled "chardonne?"

* Anne Pitoniak died. Look her up. Basically, she created onstage every great "strong older woman" role that Anne Bancroft would then play on film (in her own later life). I met her briefly, and find her story to be extraordinary. I mean, she picked up acting in her mid-50's and has portrayed some of the strongest women in contemporary theater...

* I have the urge to plant, clean, and take better care of myself. Would some astrologer please let me know what's going on?

* I may temper the truth (or embellish it, for that matter), but I will NEVER lie to a friend. I may ask them to ask me no questions, I may plead the fifth, I may just shut up and walk away. But I will never, ever lie. And that's the only negative thing I wish to say today...

* I chose to avoid temptation last night and it seems to have been a wise decision.

* Did you ever reconnect with somebody from your past and realize that you still have feelings for this person? I love when that happens...

* On tap for the weekend: a FABulous Ladies Who Lunch Dinner with the OSW, a 100% Work-Free Day on Saturday, and good times on Sunday.

Life, y'all, does not suck.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I love my family...I really, really, do...


I just sat at dinner with six baby boomers: my parents, my father's two brothers, and their wives. The topic of discussion? Bodily functions, medical procedures, and illnesses.

Once again, my experience has become a cliche.

I seem to recall that years ago, there was a trend amongst stand up comics to complain about their parents' inability to utter the name of certain diseases, or to grouse about their parents' propensity towards discussing certain bodily difficulties. I thought it was specific to the eighties, and hoped that it might pass. "Your Uncle Marty...? He has... (whisper) cancer."

Apparently, it is something that afflicts all generations: at some point, we all are shocked by the fact that our parents no longer consider propriety when choosing to relate their stories of digital exams and mammograms.

I'm glad that they have these procedures. I love that they take care of their bodies.

But I need to hear a twist-by-turn account of the latest colonoscopy over dinner?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

a single voice of reason

Like just about everyone else in America, I'm saddened and disgusted by the massacre at Virginia Tech. I'm inspired by the people who did what they could to save lives, and amazed at the resilience of the people who have vowed to overcome this tragedy and keep their school's identity alive.

However, the thing that really kills me is the inevitable psychocrap that surrounds these things. Everyone wants to know what was going through that boy's mind when he shot everyone, and there's all this talk about him being "troubled."

Well, God bless for printing the words of one with whom the shooter had contact, a professor who detected his weirdness early and took steps to both expose his violence and - more importantly - get the fuck away from him.

Nikki Giovanni, a poetry professor who worked with the shooter before demanding that he be removed from her class, had this to say about her former student:

"Giovanni said she's taught her share of oddballs in the past, but there was something malicious about Cho's behavior.

'I know we're talking about a troubled youngster and crap like that, but troubled youngsters get drunk and jump off buildings; troubled youngsters drink and drive,' she said. 'I've taught troubled youngsters. I've taught crazy people. It was the meanness that bothered me. It was a really mean streak.' "

Some people are just bad, wicked, or (dare I say it?) evil. The professor's comments will probably get buried by a million other perspectives on this tragedy, but I'm glad her observations made it online.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

oxymoron of the decade

You know, every now and then you just find some wonderful stuff on

So Johnny Cash's old house burned down today. The report gave a long history of the house, and then this tidbit:

"The cause is unknown, but Steele said the flames spread quickly because construction workers had recently applied a flammable wood preservative to the exterior of the house. The preservative was also being applied inside the house."

Flammable wood preservative? What? If there's one thing that is absolutely NOT preservative of wood, I would think it would be something that was...oh, FLAMMABLE?

Ring of fire, indeed...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

in other news...

I read something on today that just killed me.

As many of you know, I relish the opportunity to see bad, bad theater. The higher the stakes, the bigger the flop, the more hilarious I find it. Ken Mandelbaum wrote a wonderful book called, "Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops" that hits the nail on the head.

Well, the title of the book refers to perhaps the greatest musical flop of all time, an adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel of teen angst, "Carrie." It was a colossal flop, only lasted a few days, and instantly entered Broadway musical legend.

One of the myriad baffling elements of the play was the production concept, which suggested a contemporized Greek tragedy. For some inexplicable reason, the director convinced everyone to apply a classical spin to everything in the show: the set was stark with columns, the costumes suggested togas, etc.

Well,'s Seth Rudetsky recently chatted with Broadway baby Charlotte D'Amboise, who was lucky enough to be a part of "Carrie." And here's what they had to say...

"Of course, I obsessively talked about her experience in Carrie, and she confirmed what I had heard. Here's the deal — what has always made the story of Carrie so scary is that it essentially takes place in a typical high school in Anytown USA . . . sort of like Grease. Someone said that to the director, and he agreed immediately . . . but the person telling the director didn't clarify the spelling. So, instead of the set being a typical high school and the kids wearing clothes from a mall, the costumes and sets represented . . . Greece! Seriously! All white costumes — big white columns."

My. God.

how odd...

You know, it seems that death and sadness always surround me at this time of year. Which is strange to me, because my city is bursting into bloom as we speak.

A friend of a friend died last week, prompting them all to band together in grief. I did not know her (I met "the gang" after everyone had gone down other paths), but hurts me to see my friends in pain, even though the importance of life is not lost on these wonderful people.

A friend of the family passed away yesterday, unexpectedly. My folks are being their usual wonderful selves, supporting and being good friends.

Another friend of mine had a health scare and, while not a "death" experience, it certainly brought her mortality into the fore.

And, you know, two years ago a dear friend was diagnosed with cancer. A year later - at this time of year - he died.

What is it about this time of year? And I'm not even bringing up the Jesus thing.

I'm rambling, but I suspect the point is a cliche: life goes on, the circle of life, enjoy the time you have, treasure every moment, etc. It is simultaneously maddening and empowering that the song "The Hokey Pokey" got it right:

"That's what it's all about."

I think I'll go shake it all about.