Dinner with the Jons = GOOD
Flat tire after dinner = BAD
Jeff and Eliina coming to the rescue= GOOD
The necessity of Jeff and Eliina having to come to the rescue = BAD
Spare tire in the back = GOOD
No key to loosen the nuts on the tire = BAD
Tony & Gary potentially nearby to help = GOOD
Being unable to actually contact Tony & Gary via phone = BAD
Jeff fixing tire after a quick run to the Jewel for Flat Tire Fixer in a Can = GOOD
Having to take the Buick to the mechanic tomorrow = BAD

You can’t say

You can’t say, “I just came here for the mug” when you arrive at a crowded coffeehouse that’s a 20-minute drive from where you live, and the hipster behind the counter tells you that they don’t have any more mugs, because there is no dish washer in today, and presents you with a paper cup. But you DID just come for the mug, because it’s stoneware and perfectly formed to fit into your cupped palms, and radiates the warmth of a hearth as you sip, and you could actually care less about the coffee itself.

Fortunately, I don’t have this problem anymore, because Jeff stole me one of the mugs for my birthday. They are from Shadowlawn pottery. And I think a field trip is in order.


“There’s a part of me…just a little tiny piece, that wants to live the life of a starving, poor but fulfilled artist with completely uncomprimised values and no agenda or plan.” — Jeff

I’m sitting here in my cluttered office with a glass of red wine, musing about unwritten plays but not writing a damn thing. I’ve got my Markham Middle School t-shirt on. The shirt makes me feel tough because it reminds me that I taught in Watts, in a dusty, falling-down school where kids feared the walk home, though clearly I don’t do that anymore. What are you when you’re not the maverick artist cracking his paintbrush in half and throwing his canvas into the Seine? When you’re not doing anything that’s Ostensibly Difficult and Character Building? When you’re just happy, without drama, without anything to show for it.

Flashing back

My inner improv dork had flashbacks today. We rehearse at the same building where my first improv classes were held, two Octobers ago. It’s a Catholic school on Lincoln Ave., with kids running in and out of their dance classes in tutus and the day’s lessons still on the board. That’s where I met Becca, and Kirk, and F. Tyler, and Leo…. Often F. Tyler and Kirk dragged me to T.J. and Dave shows after class and made me promise I would come back the following week. I gritted my teeth and agreed for these nice boys, not quite knowing why I wanted to do something so hard for me.

Now my improv classes are held in a completely different building, on Broadway Ave. in a tiny solitary room lined with uncomfortable chairs. I’m re-taking a class with Susan Messing, because she embraces joy in ways that no one else does. At the Catholic school, when I first took her class, it was in a light-filled mirrored room with wood floors. I was bringing challah bread to class every day (delivered straight to my office and paid for via payroll deduction at The Jewish Federation). But the same mantras are recited. And the little cartoon lightbulb above my head goes off now and then. I’m often repulsed by the idea of improv, doing things to make people laugh seems cheap, and the lines are easy and the set is nonexistent, and no wonder no one takes it seriously. But I realized this week that I could do without the comedy and the stage. I just like to create things. I would do anything just to see people come together and make something new.


Fresh, spinning thoughts are flying through my brain these days. New ideas for writing, new ideas related to my job, new chipper outlook on life. I seriously walk around with such a goofy grin sometimes that people ask me what’s going on. It’s just that I’m happy.

It comes and goes, like anything. Lately I’ve been bouncing around at work like a Girl Scout selling cookies, only to come home to Eliina and whine about trying to be a perpetual people-pleaser.

Also, side note, I’ve been blogging a tiny bit over at The Neo-Futurists.