Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The News

1) My theater company got reviewed by a five-year-old!

I think all ages would like this play. You could just cover the little kids’ eyes at “Destroyer.” Grownups would like the play because grownups like funny. I think people would like it because it is very good and the acting is good and everything about it is thrilling. I think Barrel of Monkeys want to make everybody happy who comes to see the show. I think they think the kids who write the stories are smart and cool.

And she liked it (except for audience fave "Kool Yum") but Ada, that one's been in for like a year, and girl, I am over it too!

2) I was seeing this guy about once, maybe twice a week. I started to think maybe he was my boyfriend. This went on for a couple of months. But it turns out, he wasn't my boyfriend. He was my very patient and determined optometrist. And I've got contacts that allow me to see well without crossing my eyes for the first time in maybe ever!

3) I'm working with some Monkey friends to bring this hot mess to the stage in July, one night only:

4) Last night I walked Parker two miles to the Edgewater to sit on the patio for an hour, and then back, and that's because summer is magic!

5) Five or six years ago in an optimistic moment I bought some pants that didn't quite fit, but they almost fit, and it was summer, and I'd be losing weight, so I bought them, and they never fit. They got farther and farther away from fitting, and I don't know why I even kept them, except that they were so nice and I felt so stupid and guilty for buying them. But I wore them yesterday. And they fit. And I love them! . . . I'm annoyed at my lack of writing progress this week, at my constant messiness, at a number of wasted moments and social gaffes, but none of that can squish down my giddiness that I'm the healthiest I've been in YEARS.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about impermanence. Part of it is from reading Pema Chodron. And part of it is being human. Chodron says to recognize it in everything, to acknowledge it when we see it, get used to it, make friends with it. I'm paraphrasing, but you can read it here.

So I finish eating that really nummy meal, one last bite -- impermanence. A jerkface runs into my car and takes the side mirror off (that was last week) -- impermanence. I say goodbye to a child I taught with no clue whether I'll see her again -- impermanence. I meet someone new -- impermanence. I'm rocking my adoptive niece to sleep and noticing how long she's grown -- impermanence. My dog, my best friend Parker, is going to die one day. I think about that one a lot.

I sobbed when I first met her thinking about that. I was depressed at the time. I don't think it was wrong to feel the sadness of anticipating her loss just when I'd gained her, but it was overwhelming sadness, sadness that kept me from being in the moment and appreciating the feel of her tiny, tiny body in my lap. There are always two sides, and I could only see the sad side then.

And I think about how much of my life I spent terrified of change. Well, things change, and I'm trying to let them.

I didn't know Guy Adkins personally, but he was in a couple of productions that affected me greatly, including one of my top ten theater experiences of all time, The Time of Your Life at Steppenwolf.

That's him dancing.

That play changed my life. I sat next to my best friend, my creative partner I'd been missing, who was only in town for a night or two, and Jeff Perry looked me in the eye and said something that pierced me to my core, and something broke apart in me, and things came back together a little bit sweeter, bittersweet maybe, like Pema says, but better.

Recently I had that dream of cancer, in which I had all the terrible conversations, said goodbye over and over. A good friend of mine had a really similar dream just a couple of weeks ago. Maybe we're the right age for dreaming of cancer, but all that scary stuff really happened to Guy. I spent a lot of time yesterday reading his blog Notes from a Candyman about his time with cancer. It's gut-wrenching, but also hopeful and so, so generous. I'm sending love to all my friends who knew him well and to his loved ones who must be missing him but so proud of him too.

"So I forgot my troubles and just got happy. Try it. I mean really try ... I still think this life we have is a gift and we have to try to be happy. I don't know if it's a right or a privilege, an accident or a figment of our imaginations. It's something everyone wants so much. It's everything, Happiness. And I really have it. At least it seems like I do. If I'm deluded, don't tell me." -- Guy Adkins

“In the time of your life, live - so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite variety and mystery of it.” -- William Saroyan

"Our fundamental situation is joyful." -- Pema Chodron

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last night I woke up kicking

. . . and terrified, dreaming about some new monsters, something like vampire demons. The younger one was a friend, turned. I knew I could take her. The other one had some ancient, evil mojo that I couldn't fight. I kept locking the door, but she had a key.

The nightmare itself was cool. The gasping, violent kicking at my mattress, not so much.

But when I woke in the morning, I wrote like crazy. I felt like something hard got pushed out of the way -- not from the dream so much as from the work I did last week. I hope it stays like this all through the draft, that I finish it quick.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Oh, how I love . . .

Thank you, Tai.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I am proud of myself this morning. It was hard, so hard, to wake up and write when my alarm went off. People are always saying, "you have to want it more than sleep," and that worries me because often there is nothing I want more than sleep.

Allergies, the crazy-shifting temperatures, the rain, mid-week shows that I promised to see, sore muscles from cardio dance class, the children with their intermittent rage and their spring fever . . . all conspire against me.

But I passed up a video game party last night to get rest. I set my alarm, and I planned to write, and if I don't finish this draft soon, I might lose it.

The biggest thing working against me this morning was that I really, really didn't want to even look at the scene I've been stuck on . . . it's important -- it keeps coming back in different versions, refusing to die -- but I've been having trouble wrapping my head around why it's there and how to end it.

And this morning I wrote the end of the scene. I figured something out while I was writing, something that makes me happy at least for today, and I wrote the stupid scene, and I'm excited to work on the next one.