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(Why am I naming days?)

4/13/14, Day 13,858: The Unexpected Angels of Flux Sunday and Speakeasy

This day is so named because it almost went terribly and then turned out all sorts of all right. After a morning of shopping, composting and building a new element towards a baby-ready home, I left to prep for Flux Sunday. I was on the fence about scheduling one at all, because we’re in rehearsal, but we’ve had to cancel a few recently and we had access to a great space, so we thought, why not? Due to some moving parts,  didn’t get the invite out until Saturday, and we ended up with a small enough group that I considered cancelling.

Then an issue with the space last-minute had us scrambling for a home, and again, cancellation seemed like the best option. But cancellation with these sorts of things is a slippery slope; it devalues the people who have cleared their schedules and shown up, and makes future events uncertain. So it has always been our policy to forge ahead with whoever is there whenever we can.

Thankfully, we found a space last minute, and we read through all of my new play Angel Juice. It went far better than I expected; there are some challenges in the middle, but nothing major, and both the comedy and the heart seemed to land. A huge thanks to Sarah, Heather, Christine, Adriana and Ken for their generous reads.

Then, Flux held our SpeakEasy, which was also almost cancelled several, and which, just like Flux Sunday, ended up being quite fun and meaningful.

So much of this life is just showing up when you say you will, and being as present as you can.

4/14/14, Day 13,859: Bring Me a Goblet of June’s Juice

This day is so named because I brought the first, now lightly revised, scene from Angel Juice to the Lark Play Development Center’s Playwrights’ Workshop. With the amazing Colleen Werthmann as the possessed Gela, it played beautifully, and I received some useful feedback from the Workshop team. I’m going to miss this group something fierce.

We also heard a gorgeous new monologue tall-tale from Lynn, the super-exciting climax of Rogelio’s Berlin Wall play, and a juicy chunk of Christopher’s family drama, all led by stand-in co-hosts Sam Hunter and Doug Wright, who presided with a spirit of generous insight. Watching Lynn’s play, I was struck by two fascinating moral choices made by the tall-tale-teller, and realized what a profound gift she has for these suspended moments of vexed moral choice; in this way, she reminds me of Arthur Miller at his best, but I think she has even greater tonal range as a writer, with a tremendous capacity for humor that Miller lacked. What a gift to be in a room with such talented artists, and with the loving hearts of the Lark staff…

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 91 out of 105 days (Word(s), Angel Juice)
Spanish: 87 out of 105 days
Music: 6 out of 10 days

What small things did I do the past two days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • For Flux, hosted a Flux Sunday and SpeakEasy;
  • Signed a petition in support of Ollie Koppell for state Senate;
  • Signed a petition to Gina McCarthy against the Keystone Pipeline;
  • Asked Governor Cuomo to bring offshore wind power to New York;
  • Composted our food waste and shopped organic and local at the Sunday farmer’s market;
  • Cooked and ate all vegetarian meals (mostly organic, some local) and added no direct food waste (plastics bags, plastic water bottles, etc.).
  • As a hard core coffee drinker who doesn’t have money to burn, I was super-bummed by the news that the Keurig cups used by my office are among the most wasteful things on the planet. This marks a week of me bringing an extra coffee travel mug with me to work, which I reheat and drink in the afternoon, to avoid using any K cups.

(Why am I naming days?)

4/10/14, Day 13,855:Announcing Sesi

This day is so named because Heather and I made it all the way public that we’re expecting a baby girl in August! Already, my heart can barely take the amount of love I feel for this soon-to-be person. And so it’s been interesting, posting about my days here and leaving out the biggest part of those days.

To make up for that a little:

  • I remember Heather sharing a Christmas gift–a photo album of our wedding–and then telling me she had another gift to tell me about;
  • And I remember when we took to calling her Sesame Seed, because when we first learned about her existence, she was the size of one. We’ve since shortened her pre-birth-nickname to Sesi;
  • And I remember telling our families over the Christmas break, the whoops of happiness over tables;
  • And telling our Flux family, including pulling Chinaza and Alisha into a huddle in the TCG board room to share the news;
  • And I remember the lovely ways our friends and families have already stepped up, including the perfectly joyous response from Lori, in the seats of the house of Dark Water;
  • And the tough times of the first tri-mester, which I can’t share here but which we came through;
  • And the first time I saw her, an odd dot on the first sonogram, and the her fist raised in the second sonogram, and the third sonogram, which let us know that Sesi will be our daughter;
  • And the thrill of that news, knowing the odds against it, as my father’s father started with two sons, and my father started with two sons, and my uncle had two sons, and his two sons had two sons each, and my brother just had a son, yet her comes Sesi, miraculously rolling two X chromosones;
  • And the tears of watching her move, a squirmer like her mom, and hearing the doctor say she as healthy as a 20-week fetus can be;
  • And the first time I heard her heat beat, so fast, on our couch;
  • And the first time I felt her kick, waking up one morning in our bed in a rush to work;
  • And our Bradley-method birthing classes, sitting in a circle with five other couples and learning from our teacher, aptly-named Hope;
  • And my love for Heather growing even deeper, as we prepare for the thing you can never be all-the-way prepared for.

There will be aspects of this journey I can’t share here, but I’m glad that I’ll now be able to share much of this new, thrilling journey. It has already changed me profoundly, and she hasn’t even been born yet…

4/11/14, Day 13,856: The Box, or a Black Comedy

This day is so named because along with my fellow NET board members Bruce Allardice and Michael Premo, we organized a gathering of NET NYC members to attend The Box, or a Black Comedy, written by old-friend Marcus Gardley, produced by The Foundry and staged at the gorgeous Irondale Center. As I waited for folks to arrive, I sat outside on the first real day of spring, next to daffodils waving in the sweet breeze.

It is always thrilling when a new Marcus play enters the world. There’s no one who writes quite like him: with that irresistible thrill of word-play; that blend of old myth and pop culture, where the Gods moonwalk among us; that compassionate love for his characters matched to an outrage for the real-world injustices they struggle against. The Box, wrestling with our country’s addiction to incarceration and the racial injustice at the heart of it, is a formally fascinating play, borrowing from multiple myths and pop culture through a series of vivid, jagged fragments; as an audience member, I felt like Icarus, reading the symbols carved into the walls and then all-at-once understanding they were a map for flight, for escape, for transformation. Go see it!

4/12/14, Day 13,857: Wind Sprints

This day is so named for the Jane the Plain rehearsal where we worked the Wind Sprints scene. This update has already been long enough, so I will just say there that watching Becky’s over-achieving sprint next to Sol’s too-cool-to-care sprint made my day.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 89 out of 103 days (Word(s))
Spanish: 86 out of 103 days
Music: 4 out of 8 days

What small things did I do the past three days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Rehearsed Jane the Plain and worked on reaching new audience members;
  • Added my support to the Harvard Faculty for Divestment from fossil fuels;
  • Worked four extra hours at TCG, primarily on Conference and REPRESENT;
  • Signed the petition to deny public utility status to Sunoco in Pennsylvania;
  • Cooked and ate all vegetarian meals (mostly organic, some local) and added no direct food waste (plastics bags, plastic water bottles, etc.),
  • Asked Fox News to accurately report climate change;
  • Asked President Obama to withdraw his nomination of Stefan Selig for a senior Commerce Department role;

(Why am I naming days?)

4/7/14, Day 13, 852: Words(s) at Mission to (dit)Mars

This day is so named because I was happily able to once again attend the Mission to (dit)Mars Propulsion Lab. Monday’s have been packed for me this past year, so I haven’t been able to participate in this warm and talented writers group as often as I would like.

I was transported back to memories of Ajax in Iraq by Tyler Rivenbark’s very different take on the myth and the war, a jaggedly hypnotic,  multi-disciplinary piece. I laughed and hoped at Kristine M. Reyes’ deft touch with a troubled relationship between two women loving each other over a slippery cultural divide. And it was very helpful to hear the opening of Word(s) again, now that I’m poised to write the final scene.

The only downside was missing Jane the Plain rehearsal…

4/8/14, Day 13, 853: Jane the Plain and Staging the Storm

This day is so named for the Jane the Plain rehearsal where we attempted to stage the storm. We’re at that exciting stage of rehearsal where we’re throwing a lot of different options at the wall to see what sticks.

4/9/14, Day 13,854: Jane the Plain and the Triple Gadkowski

See above. I’ve also reached the last scene of Word(s). The past two days, I also worked at TCG remotely from Jane the Plain rehearsal and then afterwards. The crazy busy time has fully arrived.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 86 out of 100 days (Word(s))
Spanish: 83 out of 100 days
Music: 2 out of 5 days

What small things did I do the past three days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • For TCG, worked seven extra hours , primarily on Conference planning and released the RFP for the Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project;
  • Signed my support for the Paycheck Fairness Act;
  • Asked Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan to release all of the names of the U.S. tax-dodgers Suisse abetted;
  • For Flux, Jane the Plain rehearsals and marketing;
  • Signed the petition in support of the “Better Off Budget”;
  • Thanked Senator Schumer for his support of tax credits for wind power;
  • Shared the news that CO2 levels were now at their highest in at least the last 800,000 years;
  • Pledged to boycott the Hobby Lobby;
  • Ate all vegetarian meals (mostly organic, some local) and added no direct food waste (plastics bags, plastic water bottles, etc.),

(Why am I naming days?)

4/6/14, Day 13, 851: Jane the Plain and the Happy Drum

This day is so named for the second rehearsal of Jane the Plain. We began staging the first few scenes, and though we were shy a Chinaza Uche, we made great time. The highlight was creating the Glowing Girl, with everyone pitching in and building off each other’s ideas. Kelly brought in the “Happy Drum,” which makes these perfectly haunting sounds, and inspired us to some exciting musical ideas for this section.

Earlier in the day, we held a production meeting for the play at the nearby diner, where we also did a fair amount of brainstorming around the Glowing Girl, Mirror Man and their final battle. These elements could play out in so many different ways, but I think we’re on the right actor-driven, evocative track.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 83 out of 97 days (Word(s))
Spanish: 81 out of 97 days
Music: 2 out of 2 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Signed the petition against Mississippi’s discriminatory “turn gays away” act;
  • Participated in  rehearsal and the production meeting for Jane the Plain
  • Signed the position in opposition to the South Heidelberg Gas Refinery;
  • Ate all vegetarian meals (mostly organic, some local) and added no direct food waste (plastics bags, plastic water bottles, etc.),

(Why am I naming days?)

4/5/14, Day 13, 850: First Rehearsal of Jane the Plain

This day is so named for the first rehearsal of Flux’s production of Jane the Plain.  I told the cast that I’d never been looking quite so forward to a rehearsal process before. With so many of our Creative Partners and best Friends of Flux working on a single project, I’m honestly a little giddy. Up until now, I’ve gone into every rehearsal process with just enough dread to complicate things: a dread that was as much about my own fear of failure as anything else. Thanks to some recent shifts of perception, I don’t feel any dread at all. Mostly, I want to make sure I don’t take a single day of this for granted. It will go so fast…

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 82 out of 96 days (Word(s))
Spanish: 80 out of 96 days
Music: 1 out of 1 day (Yes, I’ve added musical practice to my daily checklist. I’ll be focused on the guitar, which I already play, with some foot-dipping into piano. While I don’t expect to be as regular with this as with writing and Spanish-practice, I’m ready to try.)

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

(Why am I naming days?)

4/4/14, Day 13, 849: Kendre’s Bar

This day is so named for the latest scene from Word(s), where Marina goes to patch things up (or does she?) with Kendre after their last battle. She meets him at one of his favorite bars, a place she has never been  before, and he says this…

KENDRE
Ah, but this is no gay bar, my dear one,
This is a salon for the melancholy homosexual
You will know this by the sad jazz played by the frumpled professor at the old piano, just enough out of tune to make you suspect
That you’re all under water
That the great ship, the S.S. Sodomite, has sunk,
And we’re all so many leagues under the sea
That desire is unfathomable.
Look, there is the fading opium trader,
Too aristocratic for the drugs of the streets
His eyes are polished sea glass and his tongue
Lolls in and out like the plume of a rare sea-flower;
Look, there the dread Captain Black Bear,
Many a bottom has he made walk his plank before
Sending them to a deeper down, but now,
This sunk pirate’s peg has rotted to nautical flotsam,
And he rehearses his past over Long Island Ice Teas.
Look, the aging drag queen, fabulous jelly-fish,
Portuguese-woman-of war, bloated, painted an inch thick,
Drifting though cold tides, trembling for hot touch.
Make sure you choose the right door when using the bathroom, dear,
For I’m sure one of them leads straight to purgatory
And locks behind you.

Yup, I’m having fun with characters who can do things like this.  My only fear is that I am coming to love them too much to hurt them the way the play may demand…

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 81 out of 95 days (Word(s))
Spanish: 79 out of 95 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Signed Senator Gillibrand’s petition to lower the interest rate on federal-held student loans;
  • Ate all vegetarian meals (mostly organic, some local) and added no direct food waste (plastics bags, plastic water bottles, etc.),
  • Signed a petition to McDonalds to end wage theft;
  • Asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore Idaho wolves to ESA protections;
  • Signed a petition against the Ryan budget;
  • Wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper to respond to the Fifth Assessment Report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–see below for the text:

If we’re being honest with ourselves, the tipping point should have tumbled a long time ago. The so-called climate change debate should have shifted towards long-term planning for deep, structural changes in our unsustainable energy policies. Yet on Monday of last week, the president of the Koch-funded Heartland Institute published an op-ed in Forbes arguing that climate change would have “net benefits,” the latest in a long line of anti-science propaganda to support the status quo.

It is time to forcefully state that climate change is a moral issue, and along with income inequality, and racial and gender inequities, perhaps the great moral issue for our country at this time. The Fifth Assessment Report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states clearly that “climate-change impacts are expected to exacerbate poverty in most developing countries,” and that it has already “negatively affected wheat and maze yields” and increased “risks from extreme events, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding.”

When human rights violations occur on the timetables of the human lifespan, we react immediately, viscerally and with great moral clarity. When the great human rights violation of climate exploitation unfold over the longer timetable of generations, we allow ourselves to grow passive, and to let the propaganda of the climate exploiters dull our moral purpose. And so we must summon the spirit of the great civil rights movements of the past, and advocate for the fierce moral urgency of the long now of climate justice.

(Why am I naming days?)

4/1/14: Ken’s 70th Birthday

This day is so named for the heartfelt celebration of Ken Glickfeld’s 70th birthday at the Player’s Club. It was quite a party: packed with Fluxers along side friends of every stage of Ken’s life. I am so grateful that we had this opportunity to shower one of the great Theatre Souls of the world with love and respect in one of the holy sites of theatre in the city. Just a wonderful night celebrating a wonderful human.

Also, I want to thank everyone who responded so generously to my “Letting Go of the Wrong dream” post. I did not expect that it would strike such a chord with people, and it really means the world to me that people shared it and commented on it with such kindness. Thank you.

4/2/14: Kimi’s List

This day is so named for a rant that Kimi gives to save the crumbling friendships in Word(s), as the four associate editors are now fighting wholesale for the chief editor position, and driving hard bargains for votes. Kimi lists a series of increasingly impossible demands to win her vote, trying to make the others hear how ridiculous they’re being, and it almost works:

And then I want an issue that’s a scavenger hunt,
Where you have to search and find every page
And when you find the last one, it’s held by the stranger
Who will make you believe in true love again…

And the issue after that
Is hollowed out, like one of those bibles
With all the pages cut out to hide fancy jewels
An inside this issue is a squirt gun full of water
And a slip of paper with the time and location
Where the Great Bards Water Battle will go down
Maybe some of them have little water balloons

And I also want an issue where every poem is written backwards
And the last page is a mirror so that you can read them

And I want an issue where every poem is written in a made-up language Klingon, dothraki and several kinds of elvish

And I want an issue that’s all fortune cookies
And an issue that’s all advertising slogans
And one that’s just theme songs from TV shows from the 80s and 90s “There’s a path you take And a path not taken”
And we attribute all of those poems to Robert Frost…

I’m up to page 47 and the play is going strong!

4/3/14: DiWine with Becky and Will

This day is so named for a wonderful dinner we had with our friends and fellow Flux Creative Partners Becky and Will at our old Astoria haunt, DiWine. Oh, man, it was a good time…

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 80 out of 94 days (Word(s))
Spanish: 78 out of 94 days

What small things did I do the past three days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Asked my Representative to support ENDA;
  • Celebrated the one-and-only Ken Glickfeld for his 70th birthday (and got on stage to lead a toast to him);
  • Asked the EPA to stop working with BP;
  • Created a Facebook invite for a NET meet-up on 4/11 at fellow NET member The Foundry Theatre’s show;
  • Took the pledge to reduce meat consumption (already there myself, but now need to convince three more people to take the pledge);
  • Signed a pledge not to buy Koch products (again, not too hard since I avoid most these products anyway);
  • Signed the petition to strengthen toxic chemical protections;
  • Signed the petition to strengthen protections against illegal logging in Russia’s Far East that threatens the few remaining Siberian tigers;
  • Sent my condolences to the families affected by the Fort Hood shooting;
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