Getting a virtual read in Atlanta

So as events unfold, I was asked to have “That Serious He-Man Ball” be part of the Dominion Arts Foundation “Powerhouse Readings” in August.

Quite a thrill I must say. They’re doing a retrospective of the best plays ever written.

Kidding! Their retrospective is of plays that kinda knocked people’s socks off, and then maybe they — “disappeared”. He-Man Ball has been my most produced work, and it put me on whatever map I was on. It has a long and illustrious history. (below, from the Houston Ensemble Theatre production, 2005)

Oh, it most certainly DOES have a history…

(Los Angeles Theatre Center, I think 1980 or thereabouts)

Lots of history…

(Clive Barnes, big-time NY Theatre Critic put me on a pedestal)

So I’m very proud and excited about the reading. To be thought about on any level is a privilege. Truly. There’ll be t talkback afterwards, and I’ll share what I know with anyone who’s curious. Robert Connor, Founder of Dominion Arts, saw the original production of He-Man in Atlanta and it stayed with him for — what? — about 25 years (or more!).

Here’s the pertinent info. Anyone’s welcome to join in.

I just love showing off all this fly PR they’ve put out there. You can usually judge projects by the PR — and right now I’m all smiles.

Breaking: chick peas invade chocolate chip cookies!

But there it is in black and white. Chick peas! This was sent from my sister-in-law who also made them. And I gotta say, they’re pretty darn lovable. I recommend you eat-em-while-they-re-hot. When you insert something like chick peas and almond butter you’re definitely swinging from the healthier (less sugar) tree. If you make the jump over that, then your tummy will love the new ingredients. Getting your mind over the store bought concept will set you free. Give it a whirl. The key to any of the paleo recipes I post is thinking more digestive health and giving your tum-tum a rest from what the usual intake is.

By no means do we eat this way everyday. It comes and goes. But it’s a lovely change of pace that won’t bite ‘cha. I love the taste of regular pancakes. Love ’em to pieces. And while I still keep them as one of my go-to’s, I’m also making paleo pancakes (Bob’s is easier especially if you have a little one who wants breakfast quick/fast/inna hury) on a pretty regular basis.

Add a banana in the mix, and if you desire, a tablespoon or two of honey. I do. By the time you sprinkle with blueberries and get that maple syrup cascading down the sides — VOILA — they’re pancakes.

Who knew I could be an Adventure Cycling Bike Ambassador

Pic from Adventure Cycling magazine. Their photos are usually breathtaking. Like this one.

Last week I gave a presentation to a few of my co-workers about called “joyful riding”. Since everyone’s home for “da covid” I thought spreading a little good news couldn’t hurt. Adventure Cycling sent me a ppp about biking overnight, but I really didn’t focus much on that. Instead I used my time to espouse the values of just going out for a bike ride, the way you did as a kid. I let everyone know that you didn’t need a special bike, or shoes, clothes or anything else — just go for a ride. I think there are a few folks I work with who’d benefit from knowing how simple it can be.

Over time everyone’s probably been bamboozled about all the “intricacies” of bike riding, as opposed to thinking it can be easily done — and you don’t have to look like a professional.

The city is Pittsburgh home of the Steelers, but I didn’t let my Baltimore Ravens love color my vision.

I see more and more families like this out for a spin. I think the bicycling marketing community has now realized what a tremendous potential market families present. They probably had a few eureka!!! moments.

I’ve told people that when I’m riding my personality changes. I suddenly love most everybody, and just want to enjoy a wee bit of happiness. As you ride in and around your surroundings, it’s like watching “Scenes From The World Of Life.” Normally, when I’m off the bike passers-by, might think I’m quiet and maybe even —-dare I say — distant. But biking is a transformative experience. However near or far you ride, it’s bound to have you smiling at some point. It’s bound to get your adrenaline up and running. Behold! A brave new world lays at turn of your pedals.

My supervisor proclaimed that he and his wife jumped on their tandem after listening to my presentation. It had been collecting the usual garage dust, but now it was something they could smile over.

Paleo Brownies

From “time to time” my sweet tooth can’t help but show it’s unruly head. Of course, “time to time” could be multiple times during the avg. week. Hey, I’m only human……so do I resist or succumb?

So how simple are these to make?

1/ cup maple syrup (but I go for a bit more, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons ghee, teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 cup almond butter. Feel free to add nuts and to throw in some enjoy life chocolate chips on top or mixed in. You’ll have guilt free munching and won’t feel bad for adding a dollop (or two!) of ice cream.

Century Ride for MS

This ride happened a couple years back, and this is one of my all-time favorite pictures.

I take alotta flack for my tiny bike. But I’ve had this Bike Friday since 2006. I had a great ride that day. And just like like, you sometimes gotta face alotta naysayers along the way. Check out the side-eyes I’m getting from all the “professional”riders. See, if you ride alotta miles, people think you have to look the part. But you don’t. All you need to do is ride. The comments I heard that day boiled down to folks thinking I couldn’t get the kinda “performance” (riding 100 miles) out of a little bike. Or they thought because of my little wheels, I’d have to ride twice as hard. I didn’t, and I finished right around the time most other people finished. It wasn’t a race, it was a ride. I was amazed by comments I got, but then again, I always get conversation when me and my BF are purring along. I enjoy adjusting the landscape behind what’s appropriate and what’s not. But that’s what happened. And as I look back now, I enjoyed the heck out of being different from the herd.

In many ways, writing plays and riding a bike present similar challenges. I won’t get into the specifics, but if you do both long enough I think you’ll see what I mean.

Heading into Summer

I’ve been gone FOREVER! Haven’t written a post since 2019! But now as summer weather in 2020 approaches I’m feeling born again. Kinda sorta. So do I wanna wax poetic about covid-19? Nah. Racial injustice? Nah. Plenty of voices waxing about that at the moment. About potentially losing my job at Johnny Hopkins because of personnel cuts? Yawn. So what IS there to sermonize about?

My new script of course! “Exposed To Strangers”.

(Nothing to do with my play, but love the hyper meoldramatic visual. who doesn’t love a sprawled out dead body)

What’s it about? Lucky I’ve got a synopsis at the ready:

“A married middle-aged librarian, Odysseus, decides to send letters to a “famously” imprisoned middle-school teacher who had a controversial affair with a 12 yr. old student of hers. The controversy evolved into a nation-wide spectacle, that generated into a full-scale tabloid media investigation. The teacher was found guilty for engaging in sex with a minor. Though Odysseus writes letters, he’s never received one in return. Till one day a letter arrives, much to the surprise of his wife.”

We’ll see where the “Exposed” journey takes me. It’s a long one-act, and I was “encouraged” to write on this subject. So I’ll blame somebody else if the play never gets produced.

I did a zoom presentation for work espousing the benefits of cycling (especially during this time when so many places are in stay-at-home mode. Adventure Cycling let me serve a a cycling ambassador, and sent along a powerpoint outlining the joys of riding, biking overnight and bike touring. Take your pick, because they’re all joyful to me. There are so many folks out riding now, the streets have never been so full of folks on cycles. Makes you feel all warmed-up inside.

I’ll try not to be a stranger. I pay WordPress too much damn money to let my voice just be silent.

What To Do, What To Do….

Here I am, the humble playwright with just a few weeks before my reading of “Exposed To Strangers” at the Strand on Harford Road — and me without a single actor onboard. Not a one. “What to do” is right. My efforts have been thwarted at every turn. Folks too busy, folks not available, folks just yaddayaddayadda…..

It’s a conspiracy! On a grand scale! Or, maybe it’s just….the world of theater. It doesn’t get easier as you get….shall we say, more “mature”. There’s no getting around the fact that the more sought after playwrights are “up-and-coming” playwrights. Playwrights saturated in the glow of youth. Same with actors and all those other artists out there trying to ply their trades. I’d venture to say that similar regulations apply to their particular crafts, or plays, or songs or orchestrations or painting or ideas. Those regulations that prescribe to art or artists that don’t share a degree of “legitimate wokeness” would eventually slide whoever the offending non-woke artist — right into oblivion. Who needs your bourgeois individual creativity, give us something that reflects the collective outrage of our times!

I don’t need to apply an actual melodramatic emoji to that last sentence, but believe me it’s there. But plough on we must, c’nest pas?


“Exposed To Strangers” — Reading in November

Ahhhhh, fall is on the near horizon! My favorite season. Hey, it’s been awhile since my last post, but here I am. Still standing. And I’m happy to announce that, yes indeed, my newest play “Exposed To Strangers” will be having a staged reading in November. It’s sponsored by the Dramatist Guild and will be at The Strand Theatre on Harford Rd here in B’More. All I need to do is find four actors, (two men, two women) and away we good. What’s “Exposed To Strangers” about? Here’s a short synopsis:

“A married middle-aged librarian, Odysseus, decides to send letters to a “famously” imprisoned middle-school teacher who had a controversial affair with a 12 yr. old student of hers. The controversy evolved into a nation-wide spectacle, that generated into a full-scale tabloid media investigation. The teacher was found guilty for engaging in sex with a minor. Though Odysseus writes letters, he’s never received one in return. Till one day, a letter arrives.”

That’s the play inna nutshell. The reading will be at 7:30, November 14th. Oh, in October I’ll be doing my 2nd Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome.

I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see so many kids with Down Syndrome becoming so exhilarated to walk together. They’re so tickled to have an event that’s dedicated to their own fun. And they’re proud to be out there. You can do the run, but I’ve never been a runner. It’s a joy to be part of it because it feels like all I do is walk and smile. And then when you finish, you’re still smiling.