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I had a friend ask if I was gong to blog about Newtown, Connecticut. Honestly, I don’t know, even as I’m writing this.

What is there to say that won’t sound trite or allow too much of myself to bubble into the blogosphere?

I have two boys, both under four, who I love more than anything. And essentially I have no control over whether I see them at the end of the day or not.

It has always been that way. It will always be that way. We are just able to delude ourselves that we have more control than we do. At least until these things happen and show us how small and powerless we really are, that every moment is a gift.

Isn’t that enough?

Hey, gang, sorry for the lapse. Got slammed last week. Been a bit down this week and getting domestic, so I took a week off. I will be back on Tuesday.

Thanks. Jason

Sorry. I’m slammed with work right now. Hope to get back on Thursday.



Periodically I post pieces written for SPT’s The Writers’ Room Series that ended up on the cutting room floor. They are pieces that I like, but, for sundry reasons, didn’t end up in the show for which they were written.

There is No One

I’m a gardener. And that has taught me…there is no “one.” Nothing can survive on its own. That’s one of the reasons that so many people freaked out when the bees started disappearing. So much relied on that simple part of the ecosystem that losing it could be devastating.

So nothing is, as the poet John Donne wrote, an island entire of itself. Even us. We Americans like to believe in the infallible greatness of the individual. But even the hermit, as sealed off from society as he wants to be, relies on others. Even if it’s the axe he uses to chop down trees to make his hovel. Someone made that axe, probably several people. And he needs the plants to give him food. He even needs the insects to dispose of his waste.

So, if we ever feel like we are the only reason for our individual greatness, or —more like it these days— that we are alone in a sea of humanity, remember that each of us relies on the other bits of our world, and those bits rely on us.

So there it is. There is no “One”…unless that “One” is everything.

So, we’re one week from closing TCR’s production of David Mamet’s November. If you know Mamet, you know what kind of toll this production is on the cast and crew, not just physically, but also mentally and profanally. I just made that word up, but not the sentiment.

A lot of cursing. A lot of profane slurs. Which equals the kind of audience squirms and groans that I truly enjoy. I love it when the audience gets uncomfortable. It means that it forces them to think about ideas and situations that they might not normally entertain.

My favorite overheard audience comment was this: “Well, the writer is clearly a degenerate, but it’s really funny!”

Much of it is about the cursing. Sure there are other issues, like cultural and gender slurs, but I think the cursing is really the stuff that offends.

I don’t necessarily understand why profanity has such power. But it certainly does. We can show crime scenes and simulated murders and simulated sex on prime-time television, but we have to cut down on the swearing. I don’t get it.

For me, there is nothing better than a well-placed cursed. But it’s like everything, too much and it loses it’s impact.

The thing I don’t understand is the taboo for the word itself. I don’t know if it comes from some deep-seeded pagan fear of magic or what. Because it’s not the word that has the power, it’s the intent.

I can say the word “bumpkin” with the same ferocity and anger and intent that I might use the word “fuck.” But I guarantee that “fuck” will get more of a rise and response. I honestly think it’s just habit now. Which is a little sad, because it really means that we aren’t listening to intent, to context, more than the simple superficial understanding of the words themselves.

Oh, bother.

I love trunks.

Now, now, people. No need to go there. I am, of course, speaking of travelling trunks: steamers, packers, safaris, Jenny Linds, dome-tops, saratogas, and wardrobes, and even chests.

There is this little tan dome top with leather straps outside an antique shop that I pass by nearly every day. It’s all I can do not to stop and look at it. But I shouldn’t. I’d love to. But I can’t. Because if I did, it would be all over.

I don’t collect anything. Well, I collect names, but nothing that hangs around the house. If I purchased one trunk, it would be over. I would be an instant addict.

I can only guess as to the pull trunks have over me. I’m pretty sure it all revolves around my constant wanderlust. I love travelling and so rarely get the chance to do it. Trunks represent travel, and not just world travel. It also represents a sort of time travel for me as well. The old ones come to me imbued with mystery and cruises on black-hulled steamers and captains with Edwardian facial hair. They offer me hope of extended excursions to exotic locales. Hell, Omaha would be exotic for me right now.

I haven’t travelled just to travel for some time now, and it really is starting to get to me. Perhaps that’s why this little trunk, this little tan dome-top with dark leather straps is such a siren for me. It calls me to pack her with underpants, swimwear and paperbacks. To find ourselves somewhere not here, somewhere unspecific, somewhere to just be.

There is something about having a family that seems to invite the periodic visitation of a travelling infirmary.

I was listening to a podcast this weekend about how the Old World illnesses decimated the people of the New World. Living in a house with two kids really makes that situation particularly understandable.

This weekend I went up to Spring Green, Wisconsin, to see APT’s Troilus and Cressida then Twelfth Night —a weekend that was emotionally and physically necessary, considering the strain of the production schedule and the summer that I had.

I woke up at 9am Sunday to see a text from my wife saying that she had contracted the stomach flu that had run through my youngest then my oldest son. “Home earlier would be better,” she typed. So I rushed home. I know what it’s like to be sick home alone with two boys. It sucks.

Well, by 7pm I knew I was next. When I’m sick, I just want it to happen and get it going. I’m not interested in the battle. Just enter my body, ravage me and leave so I get on with my life.

It has been necessary for me to take this position a lot lately. Since having the boys, it seems, illness has been the thing. That’s probably not true, but it sure feels that way when we’re in the thick of it.

And I feel pretty thick right now.

I was planning on a more serious post spinning off from Monday’s post. But, alas, it’s amazing how quickly the time goes and how tired I can get in my present situation.

Anyway, I ran across this web site while sitting in the hospital the other day and it is simply genius.

It’s called “WTF Art History.” It is a thoroughly irreverent and tongue-in-cheek (sometimes your tongue but not your cheek (sometimes not that cheek either)) brief thought on some crazy and whacked piece of art. The writer is really quite insightful and  witty.

Here is a sampling:

WTF Art History: “Ovid is NOT for Kids”


Another week to kick my ass. I’m telling you, I’m getting beaten up these days—physically and emotionally. I guess I forgot how much directing a show takes it out of me.

The boys are pretty active these days — not a lot of naps going on around here. So there is no writing during the day. The wife gets home between 4:30 and 5:30, we eat, then I head out to rehearsal. I get home around 10:20. I put the youngest to bed, which entails giving him a bottle in his darkened room until about 11:30. Then to bed. And around 7:30 or 8:00 the next morning it starts again.

I guess this is a long way of saying that I don’t think I’m going to get much writing out this week.

I really am sorry for this, but my sanity is probably dependent on it.

Well, if you follow my blog, you know that I took last week off.

I suppose it did some good, as last week was one of the worst, most stressful weeks in recent memory. It really took me out.

I have clearly overextended my creative powers. I thought that getting the United Way sketch out of the way would free me up. But it didn’t. I kind of reached the end of the wick last week. And it didn’t help that my oldest son was home sick, I got myself a cold, and my mother ended up in hospital. There were other stressors, but those were the three that really seemed to zap me.

As it was, I not only did not have time to write, but I had really nothing to say and no energy with which to say that nothing.

Friday, in the depths of that wick’s end, my wife sent me a text message about my oldest throwing toys at my seven month-old, with the suggestion that we “reboot.”

Well, I’m all for that, but I’m much more interested in trading last week’s software for some happy upgrades.

So, huzzah to a new week!

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