Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday, March 24th

Last week was spring break week for Tommy so I took a couple of days off. We had thought about going out of town but opted instead to hang out at the house, nap a lot and work on putting things away - a task that's going to continue to occupy us for months. At the moment, we're cataloging the video collection as we put it away so we'll know what we have.

My play 'Terrorist in the Family Room' is getting a semi-staged reading next weekend at Birmingham Festival Theatre. The initial rehearsal was yesterday and I sat in. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays in front of an audience. It needs to lose about 20 minutes but I can't figure out yet where or how to make the cuts. A reading in front of a general audience might bring the deadwood to light.

Patrick, faithful cat and companion of nearly fifteen years is having issues with renal failure. He's lost quite a bit of weight. He's on medication and a special diet but I'm pretty sure he's not going to be with us a whole lot longer. As long as he's getting around and seems happy... I may be a basket case when he dies. He's my last living link with my old life that all came crashing down 1998-2001.

We're planning on some extended time in Seattle this summer. Not sure of the dates yet. Sometime between late June and mid-August.

Known trips coming up:

March 26-27 - Columbus Ohio
May 3-6 - New Orleans
May 18-20 - West Virginia

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday, March 17th

Happy St. Paddy's all (and Happy Birthday to cousin Tom).

'Into the Woods' completed it's successful run. The performances second weekend were really quite good, if I can say so myself and audiences were appreciative. Wish we could have run it one more weekend.

We got the house cleaned up enough to host our first party since the redo for the ITW cast. The new look and layout makes parties work quite well in terms of flow and service. I think we'll be doing a lot more.

This is spring break week. I'm taking a couple of days off to work on the house on Thursday and Friday. We should have the top three floors more or less done by the end of the month.

A few ITW photos...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday, March 13th

Why the homophobic vitriol spewed by elected officials matters.

This was penned by a 17 year old who put it much more eloquently than I ever could.

A letter to Sally Kern from a senior in high school in Oklahoma.

Today my nephew attempted to deliver a letter to Sally Kern but was stopped by a highway patrol man. With his permission I am distributing the letter to all news stations and thought I would include it here.

Maybe we can all stand to learn a listen from this smart, loving, young man. He more than most has reason to hate. He lost his mother, my sister, in the Murrah Building bombing.

( by way page 112 of the News9 Comment Section at )

Rep Kern:
On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worst than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung at someone. I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could've met my mom. Maybe she could've guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.



Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday, March 10th

Between tech week last week, performances this weekend and the time change, I'm still pooped despite as much sleep as I could get. The pace doesn't slow down for a while. As I look at the calendar, it's all systems go through mid May, then things get much more quiet with really nothing in the works after mid June.

'Into the Woods' got on its feet and runs for another weekend. The show is decent, anchored by some very good performances. The audiences have been quite good sized and the word of mouth is good so we should sell some tickets. The review in the local paper was very kind to the performers, but lambasted some of the technical aspects, especially sound. It's what happens when you have aging equipment and a shoestring budget. I'll post some photos when I have some.

Much consternation still going on at work in regards to Joint Commission accreditation issues on the outpatient side. Our area is in the clear. The administration is going to have to put some resources into clinical care over research to fix certain inherent problems elsewhere in the system.

Tommy was in 'Tosca' this past weekend as a priest. By all accounts a great production, but I could not see it as it ran opposite ITW. He now goes into rehearsal for a concert version of 'Porgy and Bess'. I have to learn a whole bunch of tap routines for the Time Step studio annual tap extravaganza in April.

Birmingham Festival Theatre is doing a reading at the end of the month of 'Terrorist in the Family Room', that script of mine that's been kicking around for a couple of decades. I hope it's the first step towards a possible production.