Showing posts from July, 2004

A Compliment

Pop says to Betty before they leave for temple, "You're a pretty picture."


During my last show, I Know What You Did Last Shermer (no joke, surf on over to the New Millennium website on your right for evidence), the Big Lesson learned pertained to broccoli. That veggies — especially broccoli — will give you gas. Seriously, for me? This was very useful information. Since my sphincter has a mind of it’s own. Especially when it’s in the presence of a really beautiful woman, or shortly before an audition. Also, on the treadmill, you don’t wanna be near me. Speaking of treadmills, how many of you ran ten miles in 95 minutes or less today and Tuesday? You’re reading the words of someone who has. (Take Two) Kicking and screaming, I dragged myself. Into loving Country music.

The US-99 Effect

Into loving Country music, I dragged myself. Kicking and screaming. Used to be, I’d go through Country music “phases”. They’d last a week or two, and I’d have my fill for the year. Only now, looks like I’m hooked. Though, of some of the tunes, I’m not too crazy about the thinly-veiled right-wing agenda. Today, was a beautiful summer day. No rain. No wind. Hardly a cloud in the sky. And yet… Many grocery shoppers abandoned their carts willy-nilly throughout my local Jewel-Osco’s parking lot -- these people being, evidentially, either blind , or in too much of a hurry to seek out one of the many “Return Areas”. It reflects negatively -- Does it not? -- on the civility of the community at large. Could it be the effect of Country music on the Suburban Soccer Mom? Does sitting so high, so often, in their SUVs make them lightheaded? Does the air get thinner way up there in their H2s, their Cadillac Escalades, in their Lincoln Navigators?

Chuck Plug

Right now, Chuck Palahniuk, along with the Minimalist school of writing he touts, casts the most influence over my writing. Used to be Mamet. Used to be Shepard and Guare. But, as my stuff is moving away from playwriting, and more toward fiction, Chuck’s got my full attention. If you’re interested in learning a little about Chuck’s approach, or understanding why my platonic crush on him is so strong (and you’ve got a high-speed Internet connection), listen to the short (and very amusing) interview he gave to NPR’s Andrea Seabrook by going here: Amy Hempel’s short fiction is one of Chuck’s biggest influences. Upon lending someone a copy of Hempel’s Animal Kingdom , Chuck said, “If you don’t love this, we have nothing in common.” Chuck’s said of Hempel’s writing: “Every sentence isn’t just crafted, it’s tortured over.” At first, I didn’t get it. When I read her short story collections, I saw only the thinnest thread of a connection

The Crowd We’ve Waited For

Arguably, the crowd that turned out for last Saturday’s performance was our most receptive yet. In this kind of show, when the crowd’s big, and they’re really diggin’ it, actors are often tempted to try out new material, take risks, and/or milk the laughs a bit. Case in point… My line: “Screw it. Sheila, he said those things to you only to get you into bed with him.” Became: “Sheila, the man wanted to pop your cherry. Pop your cherry! Pop it! ­And, my line: “Just go, see if you cannot get some rest this night. I’m sure you’ll want to see our Promised One when he returns.” Became: “Just go! See if you cannot get some rest this night – If not, I’m sure the blacksmith can rig up some sort of vi- brator for you!” Upon exiting the scene, I checked for the director’s reaction. He whispered, “You’re fired!” But it was said with a smile. This upcoming Friday night, I’m adding three little words to the end of that “vibrator” line, which, I hope, will really rouse the audience reaction I’m look

The Sound Of Everything

This is a promise: Before I hit 40, I’ll be deaf. Blasting music into your ears is a great motivator when you’ve upped the treadmill to its full speed, and you’re on your ninth mile, and it’s an hour and a half since you’ve stood still. Yes, I’ll be thin, but I won’t be able to hear a word your saying. Luckily, one of my stepsisters knows sign-language. Only, once my ears stop hearing, my motivation to run will wane, and I’ll turn into a fat sack of shit again. Hopefully -- while I am thin and gorgeous, with large, chiseled arms; with six-pack abs (which are just now beginning to appear -- I think -- although my tailbone skin is dark red, scabbed and rough, and my underwear is bloody after the first 50 tilted-bench sit-ups) -- I’ll have gotten enough tail so that letting myself go at 40 won’t be such a big deal. Honestly, all I need? Just one knock-out, knows-what-she’s-doing, sexually adventurous lover for a year. After that, I’ll gladly drop my Bally’s Total Fitness Card through t

Making 18 This Week...

Most Tuesdays and Thursdays, he runs between six and eight miles. But today, for the second time in his life, he went to ten. In ninety-five minutes. Ladies and Gentlemen, your enthusiastic applause, please, for the FireVaney.

The Noggin

You may look at me, and you may think: The wheels are turning. Really? Usually? I’m doing my best to jump start the engine. ‘Cause… Really? Usually? It’s stalled out.

There She Is

At this moment, this very moment, starving appears to inspire the muse. Only, I’m getting a little dizzy. And, starving makes me angry. So maybe I’ll have an apple. Or a Fig Newton. But not both. The muse wouldn't like that. She'll flutter away...