Monday, March 30, 2009


Sometimes good things just happen …

So … this friend has these old swords, right? And at some seeming great distance I hear someone say, “Oooohh, my husband knows all about old swords. He can tell you all about them.”


So … that’s why I’m standing there holding this pair of rusting old relics from the year one half. And a thousand eyes are staring at me in breathless anticipation.

(Okay, so maybe it was eight eyes in mild curiosity – ten eyes, if you count the rabbit in glasses. Oops. No. Wait. That was me. Eight eyes for sure.)

Here’s one of the swords. Not overly forbidding. A little on the petite side to be a for real fighting weapon. Probably carried in some social club of some kind. Purely symbolic something.

First clue. Figures on the hilt are dressed in Civil War garb.

After some research I find the same figures on a present-day logo.

Here’s the story. A number of years after the Civil War ended, the Union veterans were becoming more and more aware of their own mortality. Yet they felt that their individual stories, their very lives stood for something unique, and their passions should not be lost with their deaths.

SONS of UNION VETERANS of the CIVIL WAR came into being. In addition to the stories, all the rituals have been carefully handed down.

The group still exists, modernized, to be sure. Yet “camps” can be found all over the United States. The swords in my hand once adorned the alter in one “camp” in Michigan.

I know this because I talked to one of the present day leaders. Wistfully, he asked if my friend would consider donating the swords to the group, returning them to the very spot they occupied with honor a hundred and twenty-five years ago.

And my friend is going to do exactly that, which seems to me to be the coolest thing ever.
And how was your day?

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I'm bored.

I've been sitting here for eleven hours, typing away on my almost sort of could be overdue play. It's going slowly, thank you, and not at all in the direction I wished it to go. Why is that? If anybody knows why these things never go in the directions you want 'em to go, I wish you'd explain it to me. I'd really like to know.

Birdie is throwing a big meeting of artists, musicians, writers, actors, and other assorted miscreants next weekend, and I can't go. I'm too far away and already committed to other theoretically creative mischief. Pshaw.

Nicki was out camping. Camping! Is it warm enough to do that yet? The last time I went camping a for real buffalo snorted on my tent. In case you're interested, nothing wakes you up faster than discovering the front of your tent covered in buffalo snort.

Julie hasn't posted anything today, so it's easy to presume she's out riding somewhere on her monster motorcycle. I rode a motorcycle once. Once. I traveled a distance of perhaps four yards, and ran over someone's foot. Although this occured many years ago, I've often wondered in that motorcycle is still laying in the spot where I dropped it.

My friend Mark is an attorney. He's a very pleasant individual. Actually, he's the third attorney I know who is genuinely good company. I guess I'm incredibly lucky in knowing all the attorneys in the world who are fun to be with - all three of 'em. Anyway, I called Mark, thinking he might like to go out and grab a bite. He couldn't - he's in a play. What? What?! He's doing a play and I'm sitting here?! He's having fun and frolicking and I'm sitting here typing and don't have a frolick to my name. Wa-a-a-a-a.

Okay. I'm better now. At least you are still with me.

Uh ...

You ARE still with me, aren't you? Breathe heavy or something, will ya, so I know ...

Yoo-hoo ...


And how was your day?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good stuff

Came across this ... liked it ... thought it was worth sharing.

Life isn' t about waiting for the storm to pass.
it's about learning to dance in the rain.
And how was your day?

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I've shared this story with other friends.

Every once in awhile I hunt for arrowheads. A buddy who is very good at it will call me, and off we go to spend an afternoon stomping around in an empty field somewhere in northern Ohio.

Now my friend is very good at this arrowhead business. He would tell me about the glaciers that once covered North America. I can almost picture them. I've seen the dramatic gouges in the ground that created Lake Erie. (They are stll there, in case you are wondering just how old I am.)

My friend would tell me that 2,500 years ago most of Ohio consisted of forests and ponds. Arrowheads, he would tell me, are almost always found near the top of any given hill. At the time, these places would have been beaches. Being a romantic by nature, it's easy to see the former waterline in the ring of hills south of where I live. It's easy, once you know what you're looking for. Further, if you are a fan of the garden of Eden, it's no great stretch to picture it in ancient Ohio.
Okay, so maybe could be this is what the natives looked like. I've been told that they would gather in mid northern Ohio and make arrowheads by the thousands, and trade them for furs with other Indians coming down from Canada.
Sounds reasonable.
Who knows? I am one quarter Ohio Indian. This could have been my great-great-great-great .... Well, you get the idea. On the other hand I am three quarters German. This draw in my heritage insists on a warm bed, walls, a roof, and indoor plumbing (and has the urge to invade Poland on occasion, but that's another story.) What I'm trying to tell you is that an outdoor adventure for me is usually no farther than from here to the porch swing and back again.
And ...
In the maybe eleven or twelve years I've been doing this, I have yet to find an arrowhead. Not one. My friend finds 'em. Of course. I never find any. I've found horseshoes and an old medicine bottle once, but no arrowheads. (My friend even offered to give me one of his. I didn't take it. The rule is that ya gotta find 'em yourself.)

But I've found lots and lots of flint. It may not be an arrowhead, but it works for me. It's been chipped while chipping something else - a spearhead, an axe, maybe even an arrowhead. I pick it up off the ground, and rub the dirt off of it with my thumb. I realize the last person to hold my find passed this very spot 2500 years ago.

I get chills.

From somewhere, an ancestor smiles.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Where Is The Life That Late I Led?

I like a quiet life - know what I mean? Quiet. I like it when the most important decision of my day is trying to decide if I HAD an important decision in my day.

A good day for me is when I don't feel I NEED to do anything. (Yeah,yeah, those days don't come along very often - I don't remember the last one - but those are good days.)

So these are my goals - good day goals. Boring days. ZZZzzzzzzzzz ... Happy happy.

So ... If these are my goals, why do I seem to go out of my way to get involved in STUFF? Not just stuff, but one stuff after another?

Do you do that? Please tell me you do that.

I'm teaching a series of acting classes. Starting tonight. Last fall this sounded like a good idea, But now it's TONIGHT. These people actually expect me to show up.

Yesterday evening I met with a friend who wants to direct a play at a theatre I know well. We met and spent a quite enjoyable time discussing the approach he should take. On the other hand, before I left the house I had to put on shoes! Nobody warned me that friends could cause such hardships.

I am presently co-authoring a play with a very talented creative writer. This woman constantly challenges me with her contributions. She also expects - I don't know why - every few months she expects me to contribute my own sentence or two. I tell ya, the pressure is getting to me.

And then there's this blog. Just because it's here, does that mean it's anticipated that I'm actually going to write something in it? Birdie was right. This deathless prose business ain't easy.

And then there's the play I'm writing because I entered it in a contest and it never occured to me at the time that if it won something, somebody might actually want to read it. (I can't remember. When you are in the middle of a panic attack, is it short breaths or deep breaths? Why is everything turning grey?)

Tomorrow evening I'm applying to direct "Li'l Abner" next season at a theatre that's not near my house. Why don't I just beat myself with a stick and get it over with?

And finally. Last night my agent emailed me, informing me that one of my plays is going to be produced at a theatre in Glasgow Scotland. How rude these people are - how inconsiderate! Don't they know what a long drive that's gonna be from my house?!

So ... I have a solution. I'm gonna move. I'm gonna change my name and move in the middle of the night to a town that nobody in their right mind would ever want to even pass through in the middle of the day. Omaha Nebraska sounds about right. Yeah. I remember a few years ago the Russians confessed that when their missile program was at its best, that maybe maybe on a good day maybe maybe they could have hit Nebraska, and everybody here went "whew," because it was, after all, Nebraska.

I'll let ya know where I land. I mean, it's YOU. It's no fun at all in being shallow and petty and whining if you're not there to share it.


And how was your day?