Saturday, April 30, 2005

What's On David's iPod?
He Can't Love You
Michael Stanley Band
Heartland

Saw Ten Minutes from Cleveland at Dobama last night. A fitting choice for Dobama's final show on Coventry - local playwright, local subject matter, a comedy, and a big, big hit. When I interviewed the owner of the building last month (the one who tried evicting them around Thanksgiving) he said it was just as well, Dobama wasn't attracting the crowds they did in their hey-day. What he knows about it, I can't imagine, he's only owned the place since 2003.

Well. Selling-out is the best revenge. Jesus. I hope it extends, it should.

It's a real fun show. I truly adored the entire ensemble - Nick was killing me in every one of her scenes, Sadie is a freak of nature and we love her so - the set is delightful, the direction tight and goofy. And Eric (the playwright) manages to cram an astonishing number of Cleveland references, trivia and gags into the evening, it's really an impressive feat. And I can only imagine how impenetrable and not-funny it would be to anyone who isn't from here, but hey, it isn't for them.

The thing I am left with this morning however (apart from the lingering reminder of how much I liked it) was the absence of something I finally determined was the melancholy I feel as someone who has lived here my entire life - something which the playwright has not done. I can't put my finger on it ... everything is correct in the play, but it doesn't feel true. Maybe if Eric had lived here during the 70s rather than just reading about. It's stupid, I know, it's a comedy, but, mmn, I don't know, there's just, rrgh, can't put my finger on it. Oh well. I give up. This is pointless. It's too much fun, tell your friends, go see it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Shankspeare

In One Prison, Murder, Betrayal and High Prose
King Lear performed at the Racine Correctional Institution.

This American Life: Act V
Hamlet performed at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center.

I wonder if the First Lady was at either of those two gigs ...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Laura Bush Wants to Take Shakespeare to US Gangland

"Be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.
That action, hence borne out, may waste the memory of the former days."
- Henry IV, Act 4, scene 2

Cocaine use, vehicular manslaughter, what have you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hateful Reminder

University Hospital - Midnight
A fever, a sinus infection, a trip to the hospital. Why take chances? Toni had a temp of 102 when we came on, now it's normal. Hmn.

1:05 am
She can’t keep anything down, now she has chills. I have a chair, I forgot my Motrin, my leg aches - how can I take care of both of them in pain with no sleep?

1:40 am
She appears to be in better spirits ... I just wish she could stop vomiting. Zelda is at the Turners.

I had to b.m. ten minutes ago … in the waiting room (uh, the bathroom off the waiting room.) And yes, there was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree in there.

2:40 am
Nodded off a little bit - emphasis on nod. She's still hot, hasn't retched in a while. There's talk of our leaving soon.

2:50 am
No, it's worse. She's dehydrated, they will put her on an IV.

4:10 am
Got coffee, walked the atrium. Been reading A Thread of Grace to her out loud. She still feels hot. I hope Zelda is sleeping at the Turners', I keep thinking we left her at home.

And what of the boy? His heart beats. He moves. He lives.

5:30 am
Started reading The DaVinci Code. Is this a joke? This book is terrible.

6:00 am
Suddenly, it's morning. Toni finally slept - for a half-hour. What a night. We'll see about leaving, and I have a lot of phone calls to make.

7:05 am
Now we're losing it. This sucks. She's hot, but they say her temp is normal, so no Tylenol. I will get Z. to school ... and then what? I have had no sleep. The nurses have stopped being helpful. Toni wants to be sure she is on the midwife's rounds.

4:30 pm
I took Zelda to school (after driving halfway to the Turner's, realizing I had Toni's glasses in my pocket and heading back) went home and slept until one. Then I washed up and came back. Toni is much better, not burning, she can drink, eat a little without puking. We may get to go soon.

The Fish has been active throughout. Zelda has been with my folks. We miss our girl.

7:05 pm
Home, where we belong. Still, I got two sick girls. Last night, when we left, I did not actually panic, it was just “okay, let’s go to the hospital” without thinking too much about the parallel event that occurred March 2 -3, 2001.

An ill, pain-wracked Toni, dehydrated, on an IV, while I try desperately not to nod-off in my chair. A squishy, fast heartbeat on the monitor. The same building, the same floor, similar circumstances. Passing by the same rooms. And yet … nothing. Not really. Not like that. My memories of that time remind me of how alone I felt then, it was just us. This time around we asked for help, I was not ashamed, just concerned. Asking the parents for help, our friends for help. It’s what friends, and family, are for.

And I didn’t think twice about just walking up to the Nurses’ station and asking, “Would someone please help my wife to the bathroom?” F*** that noise, this is too important.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

What's On David's iPod?
Lifetime Piling Up
Talking Heads
Sand In The Vaseline
(This Tower's leaning over ...)

Finished Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace last night. After all the frustrations of trying to get The Sparrow turned into a movie (apparently they have Brad Pitt on tap to play Emilio Sandoz - go figure) I am wonderiong whether or not it amused Ms. Russell to write a book Hollywood would never make into a movie. You'll have to read it to understand what I mean.

I have bad news. It's not my bad news, in so much as it isn't something that has happened to me. It's just news, about people I am close to, and it's bad. And I am afraid that's all I can say about that.

Meanwhile, I see more dead children. I was visiting a school on Thursday and was introduced to a man whose son had a first birthday on the 19th. Neither of us had much time to talk, except to exchange numbers and make a promise to talk. He wants to know more about IHT. And he works for the Red Cross. Might be a performance in that. And, of course, a new little dead person in my life.

Today Daddy is nesting. Limping around on my bad heel, taking advantage of this miserable day (due to rain and bad news) sweeping floors long unswept, mopping flors long unmopped, brushing cat hair off of everything. The Fish is due on Mother's Day. But it could be any time now.
"A smile is your personal welcome mat."
- last night's fortune from Peking Gourmet

"People will always be tempted to wipe their feet
On anything with
welcome written on it."
- XTC, Snowman

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Ankle Watch: Day 10

Tenth day without a run. Grr. I did have a five-hour ordeal at the UH Emergency Room, where at least I discovered that nothing was broken or majorly damaged. I just have a hurt heel.

This man scares me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sarah Vowell

I totally dated Sarah Vowell in college.

Okay, I didn't, that's not what I meant, I've never met her. What I mean to say is that I dated everyone at O.U. who was just like her.

I did sleep with David Sedaris, however.
Mission Statement
- or -
WTF does his playlist have to do with his dead kid?

What doesn't have to do with my dead kid?

Okay, okay, here's the big secret - when I record "What's On David's iPod" it is a message to myself that I just had a kick-ass run. Whatever it was I was listening to that made me fly that day.

And I have been in training, for what I will not say, but I have been working up to something big (little over 26 miles big) and I need to get that out.

What does this have to do with Calvin? Calvin makes me take care of myself, Calvin reminds me not to waste anything, to be healthy, to strive not to be a jerk, not to gorge myself, not to drink too much, to be patient, to be tolerant, to be smart, to be kind, to vote Democrat, to calm down, to notice the change in the weather, to be here.

Calvin reminds me to run.

The father of one of Zelda's friends got me to sign up for the Subway Challenge - basically, it's a way to get me on a list for races, and to get me into them. There was one in Akron two weeks ago, it was the last day it snowed like hell in Cleveland but it had only been raining in Akron. It was just a 5K, and I had never run a race in all-weather gear, but I beat 22 minutes and that was pretty good.

Jumping Around, Purple Wagon

However, last Tuesday I was doing a photo shoot for Great Lakes (oh my God, do not ask) and I almost broke my heel. Or maybe I did, who knows, a podiatrist checked it out on Wednesday and wasn't too concerned and it has been getting better - incrementally - for the past five days. But I haven't been running, cannot run, not yet.

It leaves me a little depressed, don't you know.

Stupid Covers

There are a lot of stupid covers. We were at Mayfield High for baby swim a few weeks ago, and it took me a moment to realize that the version of Walkin' On Sunshine they were playing was not the one by whoever that was, but recorded by someone else. It was followed by a covering of something else by someone different.

Dumb songs that need no cover, recorded by faceless acts who are doing their best to sound like the original.

I remember when THE END first went on the air (remember that? oh, forget it) and the programmers, who were all obviously Baby Boomers, were trying to figure out what young adults like me wanted to hear on the radio. They knew who the acts were, but obviously didn't like the songs. So all during the summer of 1992 they would play The Cure doing Hello, I Love You, The Lemonheads doing Mrs. Robinson, and Siouxsie and the Banshees playing Dear Prudence.

Then there are all those movies that use modern acts playing classic rock tunes because they are contractually obligated to provide something that might be a chart hit, but can't risk offering something unfamiliar.

The Presidents of the United States of America did covers of Video Killed the Radio Star for "The Wedding Singer" and Cleveland Rocks for "The Drew Carey Show." Boy. Do I hate those covers a lot.

What's On David's iPod?
(even though I cannot go running today. wah.)
"Hounds of Love"
The Futureheads
The Futureheads

Having said all this, I do dig a cover of an obscure tune by a band that obvious just really wanted to record that song and does it with both an obvious appreciation of the original artist and their own interpretation.

I am currently soaking my foot. Otherwise I would not be wasting your or my own precious time with this.

Who Critiques the Critics?

Last week PD theater reviewer Tony B. evaluated Christopher J.'s piece on Cleveland in American Theatre.

I just wrote something on Dobama leaving Coventry for the June issue of Cleveland Magazine. I am looking forward to finding out what I got wrong.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

ANGST in NYC

Sometimes I can remember where notions come from, other times ...

Anyway, I was thinking of our time at the NY Fringe in 2001 when Toni's play ANGST:84 was produced there. Can't remember why. It's a fond memory - and I recalled I had designed a page for the DNK site with pictures from the event.



I found it on my computer, and looked it over. The photo of the WTC wasn't shocking, I knew that was going to be there ... it was the text that went with it. The pictures had been up since late August, but I ammended the page after 9/11. The date on the page was Sept. 22.

It's shockingly sincere, and a little embarrassing to read. Sounds a little weepy, the whole "we're all with you" kind of tone. Like I'm going to break out into "God Bless the U.S.A." or something. Or a haiku.

Gently ashes fall
Over the barren landscape
I. M. N. A. Hole.

Or what have you. What was more unsettling, in that "oh I forgot about that" kind of way is how, more than a week later, I was writing in the present as though 9/11 was something that was still happening. Which, of course, it was. It's still, still happening, really. But it reads like those buildings had been burning and tumbling, constantly, for two weeks. Which, in a way, they were. Or still are.

I have added the page to my own site, with a link provided on the I Hate This - Timeline pages. I don't edit those pages very much, it's better to leave them as they are, to avoid reflections or other editing of what should be read as present tense, little editorializing. But it was a powerful week, a difficult week, an exhilarating week, and seeing as I already did all the work on that photo page, I felt like including it in the timeline, as a bonus.

People have read these pages before seeing the show, and after. Some have only read the Timeline and have never seen the show, which isn't preferable - the show is better - but many have commented on how helpful reading it has been. Those who have been through perinatal demise have told me how similar their experiences have been to ours, and knowing that is comforting. To us, as well as to them.

And for those whose loss is so new, so raw (and you know who you are) seeing pictures of Toni and I, living, working, playing as functioning (if somewhat erratic) human beings, only five months after the birth of our son, might be a ray of hope.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What's On David's iPod?
U Got Me Up
Dajae w/Cajmere
"Cajual"
("You're a homo, Charlie Brown!")

Names
It's become something of a gag. We keep bouncing names off Zelda and she says "no" to all of them.

"Alistair?" No.
"Kevin?" No.
"Zagreb?" No.

No. She's already told us she wants to name her baby brother "Calvin."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Bad Epitaph is dead, long live BLAH BLAH BLAH

Hey, we're in American Theatre this month. Always nice to be quoted, even when you don't actually produce anything. I feel like Henry Rollins or something, only with a lot less chin.