Sunday, December 31, 2000


Vacation Inn - Niagara Falls, Ontario

There are things they don't tell you about pregnancy.

Breakfast, like dinner, was sub-par but tasty. Tacky restaurant, tacky diners. Lots of older people. I can only imagine how demoralizing it is to work there, most of their business must come from packages with this hotel. Free meals = no tips, I am sure.

It feels colder today, not inviting to walk around. We dressed warmly but not warm enough. I didn't bring a baseball cap which was dumb because I need to keep my head warm, even inside.

Today was a perfect day for a slow start, we'll do one or two things before our 8:30 dinner at the Skylon. Toni will need a nap in a few hours, anyway. She was feeling pukey after breakfast.

Must take photos of Niagara. My favorite spot, where the falls meets the wall, is frozen! Strange tendrils of ice, pointing in odd directions, like coral. Beautiful.

Ever since the plumbing in our bathroom at home got f*cked up, the most decadent thing imaginable is a bath. We took one together last night, I am running one for myself now.

I have decided Toni and I should do anything or nothing on this trip. She is far too susceptible to nausea or weakness and it's too cold out, it wears us both down to spend too much time outside, if only to scurry from place to place.

She wanted lunch at the Victorian Park Restaurant, where we had lunch in 96, but the restaurant is closed during the winter.

So we had a buffet (Toni dislikes buffets) at the Table Park complex, right next to the falls. Then we went to the park greenhouse. And now we are back, and Toni is napping. See? Perfect.

There was a striking red-head at the restaurant, like a cross between Bjork and Donna from "That 70s Show."

Looking out the window, at the falls, with ice coating everything ... must wreak havok on all the man-made construction, the mist, the ice, the freezing, contracting thawing. I don't know how the trees make it, let alone the buildings.

A greenhouse in winter, lots of frisky birds. I love that. Now I will settle in and read "What Is Theatre?" a book by Eric Bentley Dad gave me for Christmas.
"If you were the playwright, wouldn't you rather have a critic take issue with your play than be so ecstatic that you can tell he's making it up?" - Bentley
No, of course not, don't be arrogant. You are free advertising, if you cared about improving theater you would be in it and not whoring yourself to a media conglomerate.

Saturday, December 30, 2000


Vacation Inn - Niagara Falls, Ontario

Back in Niagara after 4 1/2 years, now for New Year's Eve. After last year's millennial bash, I vowed this year would be private, just Toni and I. And where better?

It's cold, not as cold as it has been, though. We took off after 1:30 PM, had to stop at an Applebee's - we tried to find a local place,the weather and Toni's pregnancy blood-sugar was prohibitive. Got here after dark. Homely motel, not bad, great, wide tub. Excellent deal. Two nights, free breakfast and dinner at the Skylon, tomorrow night. This is nice.

After dinner at Biffy's we drive down to the falls. Iced over at the edges, the mist leaves stalactite-type icicles on everything. Spidery or tentacle-like.

We took a horse ride, and then came home and defrosted with a bath.

Thursday, December 28, 2000


Wednesday morning was spent in the Alden Library at Ohio University, poring over old copies of THE POST. Fall 1990, Winter 1991. Man, how depressing. It really was as awful as I remembered, protests every day, the coverage of the war (man, that paper is really good) and all of those letters to the editor -- none during the build-up, almost none -- but after New Year's two or three a day. Amazing. And SO poorly written.

Thursday, December 21, 2000

Finish line

The year winds down, I am headed for the goal -- Christmas. Haven't prepared at all, shopped for a few presents, wrapped nothing, the house is a mess, I have a three-day gig this week shooting this awful industrial film based on "Austin Powers", and I just want to reach the finish line ... Niagara Falls.

Saturday, December 09, 2000


Heard the baby's heartbeat on Thursday. I almost cried, except there was the nurse midwife standing right there. It was very exciting.

Thursday, December 07, 2000

Catching up

Wow. Found it very difficult to sleep. Didn't snooze until midnight (went to bed at 10:30) and woke around three or four to discover I just couldn't get back to sleep. Got up a half-hour ago. I want to be at work by eight, that shouldn't be impossible. Big day, I have an audition for a commercial at noon, a midwife appointment at one, there's the ACLU party beginning at five but then I have a rehearsal at seven.

Wow. Glad I don't feel ill anymore. Surprise twenty-four hour thing. Toni is so worried about all the work she has to catch up on. I must wake her at six so she can do some of it. She was so preoccupied with her play, and having sever bouts of morning sickness (she's over them, mostly) that it threw her ... I knew this would be difficult, but I had no idea how much.

Sunday, December 03, 2000

Mental Assessment

The Wayward Angel
Things are hectic, at least they are in my head. But they are more enjoyable than they have been. I thought they might, hoped they might, once the Christmas shows opened. The Santaland benefit has passed, The Wayward Angel has actually come off well, it is December.

Toni is at writers' group. I sit in my bathrobe, writing here, thinking of what to do next. I have all day. I will no doubt clean up a little, maybe make the downstairs a Christmas place, that would be great.

I had double-booked myself yesterday, working Wayward in the afternoon and Santaland at night. I got a sub for myself at the evening show because Toni wanted me at home. She needed to do homework, but she wanted me at home. I wanted to be home, too. So I was home. I made dinner. She couldn't eat, but we sit together.

Monday, November 20, 2000


Just listened to the This American Life episode, We Didn’t (first broadcast July 12, 1999) which includes an excellent rumination by Geoff Dyer on the subject of procrastination. And here I am, folding laundry when I should be on the phone to the media, But I haven’t folded and put away laundry in so long the heap in our bedroom is comical, spending the last month or two rummaging through clean clothes in hampers to the side of the bed as the heap grows.

Dyer describes how artists have children just so they will have someone to blame for their own inability to write that book, something they never would have accomplished anyway. I know I will never do that. In fact, I used to blame D. for holding me back, if it hadn’t been for D. I would have been such a success in my early to mid 20s.

And yet, it is so clear to me how Toni has encouraged me to accomplish more than I ever would have without her – and I feel I have helped her do more than she would have without me.

And the child. What will the child do? Keep me from directing, or acting, for a very long time. I will need to care for the child while mommy is at work. I don’t even consider resenting that. I think it is something I have always wanted.

Toni has made me feel experiencing life it is own work of art, from visiting museums, to watching people or listening in on their conversations, to watching plants grow and die, to listening to music to beautiful smells, to experiencing stupid roadside attractions. How could sharing that with a child be anything but bliss?

Thursday, November 02, 2000

Bring it on.

The election is in five days, and we are coming to the end of a great era in American history, at least I think so. An era of tolerance and acceptance.

Clinton's Era did so much that people are painfully ignorant of now, with two major losers running for President - and Nader, who I am voting for, let Gore lose, it's his own fault.

"What?" you might say. "But the early 90s were divisive and full of hate and vitriol, what about Waco, what about the OK City Bombing, what about O.J. and Monica and all the rest?"

Yes, yes, and what about a female Attorney General, one who lasted the administration despite continual calls for her resignation by the fear merchants. What about the female Secretary of State, negotiating Post-Cold War Politics as we know it? What about the Blacks and Latinos and gays who have risen to a level of visibility and prominence and acceptance in the 90s as never before?

Oh no, maybe we shouldn't give Clinton the credit, not personally, but the past eight years have encouraged discussions on hate and love and tolerance and respect - conversations and arguments about things which were never discussed at all in the previous era.

Bring George W. Bush on.

Wednesday, November 01, 2000

Happy All Saints' Day

Me and Nick in a promotional photo for Cloud 9
Now that "Cloud 9" has opened and I have a little breathing space, I am trying to be a better househusband. Toni goes off for such long days, I need to make sure more and better food is in her bag. She is ill from time to time (she has a little cold right now -- what does that mean?!) but she is also doing a hellish amount of work. I am very proud of her.

Monday, October 23, 2000

What to do

How chilly this morning. Had the heat turned on a week or so ago, but we both smelled what we thought was the faint odor of gas ... but only around the stairwell. In any case the weather has been mild, but no longer.

I have been working overtime on "Cloud 9" and deserve a break, my traditional break. Last year, after Sin opened I think I went to the zoo and got very depressed. I can't decide whether to go to the Rainforest or the art museum.

I also need to rake the leaves.

Saturday, October 14, 2000


Spent the morning, since I rose at 7ish (7:30?) washing dishes, taking care of Toni, making breakfast, taking care of Toni ... feels like so much time spent doing housework but I'm not really doing any. I am always doing something yet it feels I am further and further behind.

Which is to say nothing of how Toni feels, by her own assessment "four weeks behind" in her homework, she was written a play and is acting as its sound designer (she is there, at a sound design meeting this morning) as well as being hideously fraught with morning sickness. She has been unsteady and unwell for three days. I hope she shakes it off by this afternoon, the mornings can be treacherous.

I was formerly sad and depressed because I feared we would never have a child, now I fear sometimes she will hate me for forcing her to have one.

Friday, October 06, 2000


Just read an article on Salon about a teenager who shot himself, and the parents are suing the manufacturer of Accutane, or their doctor or something.

In 1998 the FDA instructed doctors to warn people to whom they prescribe Accutane that it has been linked to depression. I took Accutane in 1987. By the following fall, I was almost entirely despondent, angry, irrationally upset ... that drug (almost) cured me of disfiguring and extremely painful acne. It also brought on rather swift hair loss as well as extreme sensitivity to cold weather and eternally chapped lips. I cannot tell whether or not that was a good thing.

My ex-wife took Accutane during our first year of marriage. Hmn.

Sunday, October 01, 2000


Toni is pregnant. This is a good thing, this is something we planned, something we worked together for. I wanted a baby, and I wanted one now. I felt, I have felt, that I have been waiting my entire life for when everything was on the right order - right career, right mate, right time, house clean, office organized, head in a good place - before I could. By those criteria I would wait forever. I asked Toni if we could, she said yes, some time ago. Only now we have done it.

I worried it would never happen, that now that I was ready she wouldn't be, and wasn't for a time, like I wasn't ready for marriage, and yet here we are. She's been off the pill for ages, taking B vitamins, trying to be in good health (though, again, can't wait forever) and last month we began trying to get pregnant and bam, it worked. Damn, I'm good.

This morning was a monster. We have both been doing so much work, getting little sleep, and the stress is telling on her - pregnant, in grad school, and having a play she wrote produced at Dobama's Night Kitchen. She was very unhappy this morning.

Wednesday, September 06, 2000

Tech Week

Last October, as Roger began directing 'Compleat Works', he shared with me some ingiht into his anxiety about the project. We had just opened 'Sin" at Bad Epitaph, and there he was, with me and Nick and Al, Don McBride, and he was panicked - how would we do this show? How could he get everything done? There wasn't time for this!

And then he stepped back and realized he was still in Tech Week from 'Sin.' This show wasn't about to open, we had some five weeks to get it done. Five weeks is a long time to get anything done.

I have been in Tech Week for months now, and I do not know how to get out of it.

I suppose a great deal of this has to do with my actually fulfilling the promises I made to myself years ago. I have my own company, and all the stress that comes with (how do I produce an entire season right now, during Tech Week?) Or that I have a part-time job doing web design for the ACLU (I work five hours a day there, but they can't expect me to charge their entire website during Tech Week!)

And the baby. We are trying to get pregnant. And she's going to have a baby tomorrow. Because it is Tech Week. And the house isn't ready for a baby yet.

Nine months is a long time to accomplish anything. Tech Week isn't.

I am wearing a sweater Toni picked out for me from land's End. It's cozy, warm, a nice, homely cotton sweater. In green. I used to hate green. When the baby comes we will paint one of these rooms green for it.

Sunday, August 27, 2000


In April 2011, I HATE THIS will be produced at Cleveland Public Theatre. These will be the first public performances in Cleveland since 2004, and the first time I have performed the show at all since 2007.

The events described in the play occurred ten years ago, and at the time I kept a journal. I will be providing edited version of these journal entries on the I HATE THIS blog through next Spring.
- 8/27/10

We are trying to get pregnant - that needs to be on my list, to read the 'pregnant books.' Sometimes I think she cannot be serious, and there she is, wearing her fecundity medallion every day, the one Nicole lent her. The things we trust in.