Tuesday, August 08, 2006


During my all-too-brief residency in Los Angeles, I learned two things. Yes, only two things. 1) The value of dark coffee and 2) bananas are high in potassium, which is a natural anxiety reliever. What I was too stupid to realize was that the two cancel each other out, but stupidity was the order of the day when I lived in L.A., so there you go.

I am currently sitting in Phoenix Coffee on Lee, procrastinating. I have a cup of strong, half-caff coffee, a glass of water, and a banana. And what is it about the song Brown Eyed Girl that compels everyone to sing at least one verse out loud, in public?

The Push has already begun. It started with last Friday's performance, and Saturday's reunion. No, I haven't written about the reunion. This Friday I will officiate my brother Denny's wedding in St. Paul. That's why I am here, to complete (HA HA HA) my remarks and to go over the itinerary.

We have a read-through of Hamlet on Monday night, I resume work at Great Lakes on Tuesday, rehearsals for Hamlet and actor-teachers begin two weeks later. Then the Push is truly on. I will see my kids at dinner, if I am lucky, for about three weeks.

Hamlet opens September 29.
I fly to London and back the following week.
We travel to Chicago the week after that.

I get two weeks off to reaquaint myself with my children, who will have recently completed college, before visiting New York and having a little run.

You're right, I love it. If only I could stop blogging and get to work. Have a banana.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

You will see. You can get used to anything.

Listening to this tonight ...

This American Life, episode 144
Where Words Fail
first broadcast 11/5/1999
Act One. The Disappearance. Genevieve Jurgensen and her husband Laurent lost their two daughters, Elise and Mathilde, at the ages of 4 and 7. Actress Felicity Jones reads from Jurgensen's book, The Disappearance: A Memoir of Loss, in which Jurgensen tries to explain her childrens' lives and their deaths to a friend through a series of letters.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Dropping the F-Bomb

Click on for larger image.

Today's performance at the Ohio AWHONN Conference was exceptional for a number of reasons, all of them cause for celebration.

First off, it was just a really good experience. There was no time to hold a Q&A afterwards, so Kelly and I just hung out around the food, ate fruit cocktail and an awful lot of nurses came up to me to talk. I was only planning to stay maybe a half hour before we hit the road for home, but too many people wanted to talk, and that was really great.

My contact, Jennifer D. was remarkably helpful in getting everything set up, making sure the rocking chair arrived, etc. I owe her a lot for bringing the show there, and talking it up so well prior to our arrival.

The real Nurse Angel, Carrie C. was in attendance - this was the first time she would ever see the show. This made me even more nervous than usual, the idea of performing her in front of her (that usually does) but I was a little distracted by the fact that I had to use a lav mic, and so while I was moving around the "hospital room," check the pulse on her wrist (though nurses don't need to do that anymore) or manually pumping the bloo dpressure guage (though nurses don't need to do that anymore) I was also swinging a mic cable over and around the stoll in the middle of the performance space. Considering this was done without practicing it once, it wasn't a problem, nor something I worried too much about.

One major change in this performance was my dropping of all offensive language (unless you count one use of the word "suck" as offensive.) Before all of my champions start crying foul, I have to explain. I always thought the swear words appropriate, and most who have walked this walk agree. And four-letter words and blaspehmies are entirely acceptable at fringe festivals and to those who perform midwifery, it would seem. But after my last experience in front of an audience made up entirely of nurses ... I mean it was hot that afternoon anyway, and the air conditioning was on the fritz, but the moment I let fly with the c-bomb, I could feel the crowd get chilly.

Colorful language had been removed from the radio drama, for obvious reasons. And when I performed in London, I was in a church hall, and chose to respect the space and also altered the langauge accordingly. But I had already decided to just keep it that way even before Jennifer gently requested that I take it easy on the effers. I got so many negative remarks from that event based soley on the talk, I just don't want it to be an issue anymore.

Once we checked into the hotel last night, Kelly and I went out with Julie - the real Julie, my girlfriend from college who figures so heavily in the performance. Unfortuntely, she was not able to attend today, though she did listen to the radio version the day before. She thought it was very odd hearing someone reading her own thoughts ... but I think it would have been weirder to watch me. At least Magdalyn didn't perform her with a speech impediment.

It was beautiful catching up with Julie, we went to this wine & tapas place after walking some fifteen blocks from where we parked - great walk, great wine, great talk.

And I am very glad to be home.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Book signing

Hannah Stone will be signing her new book, Forever Our Angels this Sunday, August 6 at the Barnes & Noble in Woodmere from 1-2:30. I don't know if I will be able to get out there myself, my 20 year high school reunion is the night before and if it's anything like the parties I went to back in the 80s, then WOO ...

... I'll be in bed reading by midnight.

This evening Kelly and I head off for the First Annual Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (Ohio Section) Conference in Columbus. The performance is at the University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center - and so are our rooms! I cannot tell you how convenient that is. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Welcome, Milo.

Milo Zinan Jelinek
b. 8:30am, August 1, 2006
7 lbs. 6 oz. 19 in.

Our friends Laura & Justin lost their boy Johannes at full-term early last year. One of the folks at Metro introduced me to them, and since then we have been some of their many cheerleaders as they have worked through their grief, and worked to become parents of a living child. I cannot express how thrilling it is that this day has arrived. Mother and son are resting happily at Metro, and Father is making lots of cellphone calls.

Give them some love.