Monday, May 28, 2007

I take back what I said about the basis soap a couple posts below

It's only been discontinued at Walgreens in the Mission. Well phew! Facial cleansing bullet dodged.

For those of you who don't use the Walgreens, each store is slightly customized to reflect the needs of the community it's in. In the Mission, there is an impressive array of Jesus Candles. In the Castro, the lube selection is phenomenal (I think Probe is terrible, btw. Rubber cement. Do not buy Probe!). In addition, Walgreens has Haribo, Ritter, and countless seasonal surprises and new offerings in the candy section. And where do you go when you want the latest in toys where you press a button and something animates and lip synchs (the bass mounted on a plaque singing "Take Me to the River" being my favorite)? That's right: the WG.

And New Yorkers, I pity you and your Duane Reades. It's simply the worst drug store I've ever been in. The snack selection? Terrible. Only the basest of candies, some nuts, Pringles and pork rinds if you're lucky. The service? What service? And what, no cash back on atm purchases? With a Walgreens every other block, it's an ATM transaction fee-free oasis. $50 and a packet of Orbit and you are ready for happy hour.

I didn't mean to talk about Walgreen's so much. But, you know, whatever. It's a good store for stuff. It's got some good vibe in it (except for the one below the 24 Hour Fitness on Market, where the AC from above is shaking the ceiling so much you feel like the roof is going to cave in.)

If Walgreens made a fortune cookie, it should say this: There's no waiting in Cosmetics.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Me writing Play. From the Play's point of view.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday roundup

  • I had my readings of boom this week which were altogether a very pleasant experience. I learned a lot, rewrote a lot, and am ready to rewrite a whole lot more. Great actors, director, and feedback made the whole experience a good one. As for the play, I feel comforted that there is indeed a core that is compelling, a functional structure, interesting characters and an identifiable path of progress. I actually have a physical list (well, virtual, its on the computer) of things I want to work on. Always nice to have a list as opposed to what i was feeling before the reading (confusion, loss, and gentle despair).
  • My nano play was also read at the Magic which was great too. It's the first 7 minute play that I've ever written about nanotechnology that's in couplets. Very silly.
  • My facial cleanser, Basis gel in a green tube, has been discontinued at Walgreens. WHAT DO I DO???!?!?!?
  • I bought a new laptop (thanks, prizes!) which has a webcam. I'm nervous about my self control over a lonely summer on the east coast. Or, maybe, it's a revenue opportunity ( is that domain taken?). Regardless I'll try and get some great webcam (pleasant ones) pix up here soon.
  • Lost was awesome this week. I hope the structure switches to flash-forwards next year. Favorite line: "Want to help me tie up your father?"
  • I wonder what the whales are thinking about all the rescue efforts.
  • I may have done my worst acting audition ever this week. I don't think I said a single sentence correctly and my ad lib at the end ("I'm feeling a very passionate connection with you") may have been inappropriate for the scene I was auditioning for (Reporter talks to pre-school children.) good lord.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thank you Orbit gum for bubblemint

that's it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

and another reading

I didn't realize this was open to the public but it is, so add this to your list of things you know that is going on this weekend!

Magic Theatre presents

a presentation of The Magic Theatre / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Initiative

Join us for a two-day reading series of new plays exploring the worlds of science and technology. All plays are commissioned by the Magic through the Sloan Initiative.

Sunday, May 20 at 5pm
Five nanoplays exploring the world of nanotechnology by Bay Area playwrights, commissioned in association with the Exploratorium. Featured playwrights are Eugenie Chan, Robert Ernst, Lynne Kaufman, Jonathan Luskin, Peter Nachtrieb.

Sunday, May 20 at 7pm
JOAN’S BRAIN by David Ford
Joan is drawn to the wild experimentation of her consciousness-exploring best friend, Connie. Meanwhile, her brain-researching god-father, John discovers a tumor in his own brain, leading to a complete loss of speech. With Joan's help, he studies his own progress towards loss and death.

Monday, May 21 at 8pm
DARK MATTERS by Oliver Mayer
Two particle scientists and a Donna Summer back-up singer discuss science, Jazz and their intimate secrets over wine. But what happens when two great scientific minds have the same eureka moment? DARK MATTERS tests the bounds of supersymmetry and dark matter - in the cosmos and within the human heart.

Magic Theatre
Bldg D - Fort Mason Center, SF

Free and open to the public.
Call (415) 441-8822 for reservations.

May is for goodbyes

Seems to be a lot of people leaving jobs, the public eye, and the world this month:

Farewell, Sally G, from your esteemed overworked position as KML's Executive Director. May the next job bring better hours, benefits, and dancing nude men delivering free Odwallas just like they used to in the late 90's.

Take care, Network Season Television, and thanks for all the good episodes and events during the sweeps months. I'm sort of looking forward to Survivor, China next year. I'm glad Lost doesn't really kick in until February.

It was good while it lasted, Plastic Bags at Supermarkets in San Francisco, but it looks like you'll be taking your leave soon. I will miss your handles that don't fall off like the ones on paper bags. I will miss your wisshhhhywishhhy noise. I will miss throwing you in the air and catching you in my mouth, pretending like I'm a leatherback sea turtle hunting jellyfish.

Goodbye to you, Paul W., from your recent banking position. I hope this gives you time to reconcile differences between you and your estranged brother, Dennis Kucinich.

And goodbye to you as well, Alberto G, oh wait you haven't left. Hey I know you can't right now but when you're outta there, I'm up for some more hot phone talk. NSA be damned!

Finally, Hasta Luego, Jerry F. and congratulations on moving on from your job as Chief Hater at your Virginia Hatin' Place to your new position somewhere in the afterworld. Which I hope, for your sake, exists. And if it does exist, I hope, for your sake, that the real God is more merciful than yours was.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

local yippings

I'm clapping
for Killing My Lobster being named "Best Comedy Troupe" by SF Weekly. They give a nice shout-out to 'ol Hunter Gatherers in the post and even mention my recent income!

I'm walking
for Z Space Studio's Rent Walk on Saturday. It's a fundraiser for a truly awesome theater development space in the Bay Area, and is a major reason not to jump ship and move to New York. Or Minneapolis. Come and walk or give them some money!

I'm reading
Well other people are reading what I wrote actually. But it's the first public readings of my new unshaven play,


handy summary
Jo and Jules meet in a subterranean biology lab for an erotic "casual encounter." But there's nothing casual whatsoever about this particular encounter, especially when it's interrupted by a major apocalyptic event. Will meaningless sex have meaning? What's going on in the fish tank? And who is that woman pulling levers in the corner? Something could explode. A play about fate, randomness, and impending doom.

directed by Kent Nicholson
and featuring Cassidy Brown, Jessica Kitchens and Danielle Thys!

part of The Playwrights Foundation In the Rough Series (the Playwrights Foundation is another reason not to jump ship and move to LA. Or Chicago. And they're housed at the Z Space too. See what high rents can do? It brings people together!)

(In Partnership with the National Center for New Plays at Stanford University & The Lark Play Development Center, NY)

Monday May 21
Stanford University Campus: CERAS Hall; 7:30pm; Info & registration:, or call (415) 852-9392

Tuesdays May 22
Traveling Jewish Theater: 470 Florida St., San Francisco; 7pm
Info & reservations: or call (415) 626-0453 x110

Admission by donation at the door: $12 suggested

Monday, May 14, 2007

yay for strange

Kudos to Passing Strange for getting some good reviews at the Public in New York! Not that I have any right to bestow kudos on anyone.

I was lucky to see the final dress rehearsal last fall at Berkeley Rep and it's one of most lingering shows of last year for me. I can only imagine how it's changed from the performance I saw. But it rocked me. Go see it New York! See it before Legally Blonde, our other current "they tried it out here" offering.

And it has the same lighting designer as Spring Awakening! I love me some practicals!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Night pop culture roundup

After the 2 for 1s last night at Bar on Castro on an empty stomach did a sneak attack on me last night, Mark and I are having a nice mellow night in with a simmer sauce and Sopranos. I just bought the Ben and Jerry's fro-yo (a modest nod towards healthiness) but it's still got to soften from its corner-store frozen state, so I thought I'd recap some of my current cultural intake and thoughts.

Recently enjoyed plays:
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf w Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner
As John K will attest, my "Kathleen Turner as Martha" impression is pretty damn good.

Recently enjoyed music purchases
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Feist - The Reminder
The Clientele - God Save The Clientele

Not sure if I'm enjoying this music purchase and maybe I'm not but still can't let go of my initial hope that this album was going to blow my mind and it's not:
Bjork - Volta

TV Show that made me jump in fear last week


Recently discovered Dolores Park novelty
The truffle guy

The nicest Starbucks in San Francisco

Bryant and Mariposa.

Trend I find bizarre in a hilly city like San Francisco
Fixed gear bikes

Trend I think is better in theory than on people's legs
The skinny jean

opinion site I used to actually like and now I think has been poisoned by mean-spirited know-it-alls (at least for San Francisco)

Thought I had after seeing the movie "Year of the Dog"
Hollywood's perception of an office is becoming strangely predictable. The 9 to 5 aesthetic has been replaced by the Office Space/Office office: a bleak landscape of disappointment, small dreams and people unaware of how small their dreams really are. This image has even expanded to multiple ad campaigns for office related products. Interesting that this is now the cliche: The absence of joy. (now Year of the Dog is actually a movie about finding passion and is not actually terribly at fault for what I'm saying above, just a little bit. It did trigger the thought, though.)

Glad it's sticking around

Coke Zero

Stupid ass idea
Diet Coke with vitamin and mineral supplements

Wondering when it became culturally irrelevant
The Real World

Best Reality show on MTV

Taquita and Kaui

Looks like a pretty interesting season

The Magic's

Does not look like a pretty interesting season
ACT's (Not even one contemporary play? Boo.)

Least interesting theatre blog post subject
Anything about My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mail Merge Senator Letter?

I just received an email from Senator Barbara Boxer regarding the recent highway collapse.

Question: Do you think the Senator's office has a "Disaster" letter prepared where they plug the specifics into bracketed [INSERT TRAGIC INCIDENT HERE] sections?

I'm asking because this seems slightly like overkill:

"I am very proud to represent California in the United States
Senate. And while we should do everything we can to avoid the
destruction that we saw at the 880/580 accident, I was also
very proud to stand with my colleagues -- all united for one
purpose -- to join in the effort to ease the problems being
felt by residents of the Bay Area during this crisis. You can
count on me to do everything in my power to bring this major
freeway interchange back to full use and to work for changes to
avoid such a disaster in the future."

Thank you for standing with us, Senator, in this intensely tragic moment of inconvenience.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I think if you watch this it might start your week off in an interesting way

This thing here.

(just so you know, I don't think it actually ends, so when you're done watching it, you just have to move on)

PS. the link was found by brother George referenced in this interesting wikipedia entry that had been pointed out in a post I read by this guy.

Friday, May 04, 2007

ramblings del quatro de mayo

My brain has been out of sorts the past week. I think the extensive travel, the flu, growing and shaving goatees, being behind on Lost and a general lack of routine has finally caught up to me. Plus, of course, the brutal sting of not winning the Pulitzer. Again. I take back every nice thing I've said about Thomas Friedman. He knows NOTHING about theater.

The neurons do seem to be coalescing back into a productive, useful place finally. Today, I worked in my one of my favorite writing spots to continue a slow, tedious rewrite of Hunter Gatherers (Today I worked on Richard's Toast). Yes, I'm doing some work on it again, hopefully making improvements and not suckifying it. A lot of the work has been incredibly detailed, changing words, cutting a sentence here and there. Plus I've done a restructure in Act II, eliminating the blackout at the end of Act II, Scene 1 and seeing what happens if the action just pushes into those two person scenes there. I'm curious how that will affect the pace and momentum. Again, my fear is rampant about breaking the play, but I think I'm making some good changes (The world premiere version of the play, by the way, will be yours for reading enjoyment in the June/July issue of Theatre Bay Area Magazine, wahoo!)

I am also sad to say I had to cut the line "They've opened a lot of doors for me, these hands." I think that was one of my favorite lines in the play but for some reason when ILink moved it later in the piece, it never was funny (At least not in the 40-odd performances I saw over the summer.)

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry, I'm now done talking about it.

I'm also readying boom for it's first public readings which should be fun and educational. For me, at least. It'll still be a beast when it's on its feet but I'm excited about hearing it out loud for the first time. Sometimes it's not until I'm forced to hear something that the whole of the play begins to reveal itself. Plays are weird. At some point they really do become their own creature and I feel like I am tasked with helping it find itself. As though I'm its life coach. As though I wasn't responsible for its existence in the first place. I have a furious couple of weeks ahead of me to crack it open some more before it gets the towel taken off. I'm mixing metaphors again.

I think that's one of my trademarks as a writer. Mixing metaphors. Willfully allowing my lack of intellectual prowess to stick it's head out in like a...