Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? -Sathya Sai Baba

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hey Poetry Freaks!

In my first "real" publication (i.e. publications of which I am not the editor), two of my poems have been posted online at This is a fantastic site listing poetry events in the community, not to mention featuring work by writers such as yours truly. Do go visit, and enjoy.

Also – HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s hoping that 2006 treats you even better than 2005 (which wouldn’t be hard for some folks given the year some of my friends have had). Thank you all for being part of my life.

I’ll be in AZ starting January 1 through January 9, so I may not be blogging much. Oh, I might, but I just don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up. I need to retreat, rethink, plan out the next years campaigns, and really get my shit together. Let’s hear it for morbid introspection!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

meme - 4 things

Four Jobs You've Had in Your Life:

Graveyard shift Donut Finisher
Porter (read: Janitor) at said Donut Shop
Glorified copy boy for the Rockefeller Family

Four Movies You could Watch Over and Over:

Shawn of the Dead
Boogie Nights
Dazed and Confused
Blazing Saddles

Four Places You've Lived:

Chicago, IL
Columbus, OH
Tucson, AZ
New York, NY

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch:

West Wing

Four Places You've Been on Vacation:

Albuquerque, NM
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA

Four Websites You Visit Daily:

Discordian Research Technology (

Four of Your Favorite Foods:

Eggs and (fake) bacon with Toast and OJ
Dani's House of Pizza
Kachoori (from Baluchi's)

Four Places You'd Rather Be:

No place I'd rather be, except perhaps with my family on Christmas

Transit Strike is OVER (if you want it)

(Thanks John and Yoko)

I feel like I can breathe. I realize, more and more every day, how much I love my adopted city. During the strike, I almost felt as if I were crippled.

To the MTA and TWU: I'm not mad, just disappointed. Don't do it again.

Went down to Rockefeller Center with the wife's parents to see the tree. Every street was packed with people madly rushing about to get their final shopping done. The whole town seemed to be out, pushing, shoving, cursing, weaving through throngs, tourists looking bewildered and backing into people as they try to get everyone in the shot with their digital cameras plastered to their faces. It was great.

Saw King Kong last night. A beautiful movie. As my friend Brian said, "A tragedy." I didn't identify, as he suggested I might, with the ape, but I certainly did sympathize. An old man, finally finding love in the midst of his loneliness.

disconnected post, but I'm still waking up and getting ready for the upcoming celebrations.

Happy Christmas, if that's your style, Or Haunnakah, if that's your flavor. Much love, regardless.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Christmas Carol as Saturn Redeemed

I’m in a play right now – A Very Nosedive Christmas Carol (if you haven’t made plans to see it already, why the fuck not?) – and it is a good time. By that I mean that I am enjoying the play, the process, and the company in equal measure. The play itself is a wonderful adaptation of the original Dickens Carol by Mr. Jimmy Comtois, and the process, while grueling, has been a joy. It’s fun to do a well written, skillfully directed play. The cast is also terrific: pleasant, charming folks all. Having my wife in the cast also insures that I’ll see her more than once a fortnight. So that’s good.

I was interested to note that, in spite of some fairly significant dramas amongst cast members and crew, everyone seems to be keeping in remarkably good spirits. No snarling backstage brawls, no bickering, no moody creatures poisoning the air with their depressive silences. No, everyone seems to be clicking right along, with as little friction as possible.

Why is this?

Why is it that certain shows almost always seem to create friendly relations between the cast members? Why is it that certain shows seem to have almost the opposite effect? As an example, I’ve been in several productions of Godspell, and in every single one, there was a sense of real camaraderie between the cast. Almost as if the subject matter had some sort of gentling effect on the players.

I pondered this for a while in connection with the Christmas Carol, and I realized that what I was seeing was a very similar effect. But first, a little background…

The original holiday season of winter was the Saturnalia. Long before Jesus was even a twinkle in Mary’s eye, the Romans (and others, though they called it by different names) coped with the long cruelty of winter by throwing a massive party and getting wrecked. They exchanged gifts and basically celebrated the fact that winter, though hard and deadly, was finite, and that it would not last. Saturn was the god of Hard Reality, of Duty, of Leaden Depression. Basically Saturn personified everything that winter was about. Saturnalia was a party to redeem Saturn from his gloomy gus persona and remind him that winter ends, spring comes, and all shall be well. The world will not always be privation and despair, cold wind and bitter snow, hard choices and resources that will only extend so far. Generosity has a place, benevolence has a place, joy and a good party all have places, even at the most cruel depth of winter.

Which brings us to the Christmas Carol. A cruel, poverty fearing, dutiful old man is redeemed through reminders of his past and fears of his future. He is reminded that there is more to life than despair, and he joins in the celebration going on all around him. The Christmas Carol invokes the spirit of Saturn in the person of Scrooge, and then invites him to the party. The Christmas Carol is Saturn Redeemed, and this spirit of joy echoes the same party that’s been going on for thousands of years. And we, the players, we feel that spirit of joy in ourselves, and it makes for a benevolent and generous spirit, even when the worst is crashing down on us (and, a couple of times, it seemed like the worst was coming for us, with a vengeance).

So, God Bless us, everyone.

Come and see the show, by the way. I swear it won’t be as treacle-y and sweet as the stuff I wrote above, but I do guarantee a good time. It’s funny! With masks! And puppets!

Thursday, December 8, 2005

A Very Nosedive Christmas Carol

Nosedive? What is this Nosedive?

Nosedive Productions is an off-off Broadway Theatre company producing original plays. They are well known both for the quality of their productions and for their, shall we say, irreverent attitude. I’m terribly proud to be part of this show for the second year in a row, and I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never seen a Christmas Carol like this. The traditional story is lovingly revamped for the cynic in all of us, and, after all, what’s a cynic but a disappointed romantic in need of a belly laugh, a hug, and a whack upside the head? I’ll be playing the ghost of Christmas Present, and did I mention the eggnog available for your enjoyment during the show (eggnog also available in “not-so-jolly” strength for the kiddies)?

We sold out a good portion of the run last year, and after a mention last week in both New York Magazine and the New York Post, I’m sure this year’s shows at the Kraine Theatre are going to go quickly. Get your tickets now!

Here’s the skinny:

A Very Nosedive Christmas Carol
The Kraine Theatre
85 East 4th Street (west of 2nd Ave)
December 8-10, 15-17
Thursday through Saturday, 8 pm
$15 Admission

For reservations, please call 212-696-7342

Join us for nog, hilarity, and Christmas sentiment. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.