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September 21st, 2009

03:38 am - How to see a play I've written performed

"What an amazing and intense experience it is to see your own work performed by actors. Wow. I want more. "

How I did it: Completed my first live production of a work I wrote.  It was my 10 minute play "He Really Was a Good Son" and was performed as part of Ten Tiny Shows at the Cambridge YMCA Theater in Cambridge, MA on Sept 19,2009.  

It was an amazing experience, especially getting to direct my own work and be a part of watching the actors bring it to life.  

I want more!  It has inspired me to want to keep writing plays and trying to get them performed live.  

Lessons & tips: Have a good technical director and stage manager to help pull it all off. 

Resources: Goodwill is a great place to go for props. 

Having insightful, talented actors who aren't crazy is perhaps the most important ingredient.  

It took me 6 months.

It made me deliriously happy

See more progress on: see a play I've written performed

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July 20th, 2008

09:26 pm - I get by with a little help from my friends...
(Re-posting this because it seems to me a lot of people I used to like corresponding with on my blog have disappeared in the changeover to Wordpress. Please add this link! And please, wander over to my new blog occasionally and drop me a line...)

In case you missed it, the awesome j3ss set up a LJ feed for my new blog: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/realsupergirlwp/

It should also be on my LJ info page, and you can click on it there and then add it to your own page. This way all my entries will come up on your LJ friends' page...

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June 6th, 2008

01:05 pm - And it's done
I am all moved in over at Wordpress now, thanks to Shelly. Please add me to your blogrolls and come visit me often! I plan to maintain this account simply for the LJ communities and so I can read all of y'all's journals. But if all goes according to plan, I will probably be checking in a lot less over here.


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08:12 am - The move is inevitable now...
The only question now is where and when.

Because more and more evidence is mounting that LJ is becoming a police state - the latest involves a user being threatened with suspension for soliciting illegal activity in a private, friends-only post or being censured for mocking the person who won the recent LJ election - I am moving this journal.

I set up an account at Wordpress, but I'm having trouble with it. It will only let me import one month at a time, and it doesn't import comments or tags. Is there any blogging software that does a better job with this?

Blogger is annoying - I have a Blogger blog (dubrows.blogspot.com) but I hate the feel of the software over there.

Anyone have any recommendations?

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June 5th, 2008

04:26 pm - History lesson: RFK
Forty years and 1 day ago, Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

I have to confess, I actually knew very little about his assassination. I have always lumped it in with MLK and JFK's assassinations, and never thought much about it.

So I didn't realize that his assassin was a Palestinian-American, who murdered him because of support for Israel. A program on NPR yesterday offered the theory that this was the first anti-Israel act of terrorism in America, but at the time, this explanation for his death was not offered or made.

Furthermore, on NPR today, they replayed an excerpt of a powerful, spontaneous speech RFK made in Indianapolis the night MLK was assassinated:

"What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King -- yeah, it's true -- but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love -- a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past, but we -- and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

And let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

The whole speech is pretty phenomenal. I encourage you all to read it.

And what blows me away is this fact, which I just learned today: All across America the night MLK was killed, there were riots. I have excerpts of Nina Simone's concert from the night MLK was murdered, and she's much more angry, sounds much more hopeless than RFK is here. Undertandably so. But in Indianapolis, things were quiet. Also, apparently many of the people traveling with RFK that night urged him not to go to the place where he had planned a speech, because they thought it would be "dangerous" (read: Black). He went anyway, and spoke from the heart. And people listened.

That is the best indicator of hope I can imagine. And that is the kind of leader we need today.

I hope Barack Obama can be that leader for us.

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June 4th, 2008

10:06 am - Hope
A little hope
is a dangerous thing.
In a way,
it is safer to remain
disillusioned and bitter,
because it keeps your expectations
low. I want to hope
that Obama is elected president
and that if Obama is elected president
our country will shift
back in the right direction.

But I am not convinced.
I cannot dare to hope
because I do not share his faith
in my fellow citizens.
I spend too much time in sports chatrooms
and listening to people in
Texas and Florida. I am not
convinced that many people
in this country
would not be happy
to see us become a theocracy.
And I am not convinced
that many people
in this country
would not be happy to see me,
my Shema-saying self
my woman-marrying self
emigrate or be closeted

I am not convinced
that the rot
this country
has become
is not within.

(This poem was inspired by the 3/28/08 Real Time with Bill Maher, in which he said: "Do you think it’s really just the neocons, just the Bush Administration, or is there a rot in America, America itself, that’s a lot deeper? A lot of people, I think, in blue states and places that vote that way, would think, “Oh, yeah, we get rid of the Bushes and, gosh, America returns to that America we used to love and think about with – with fondness.” But, I don’t know. Don’t you think the rot is a little deeper than just the Bush Administration?")

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June 2nd, 2008

03:12 pm - Movie review
If you see only one movie for the rest of the year, really, the rest of your life, have it be XXY. Really, it's that good. And that important.

girlsnqueers turned to us after watching it this weekend and said "I kept expecting them to screw it up." But they didn't. Had it been made by American studios, they probably would have. Maybe that's my bias. But it was so flawlessly done - both from a technical standpoint (writing, directing, cinematography) and an emotional standpoint. I have pimped it on Facebook and written it on Yahoo Movies, so I figured I'd do it here too. I don't know how widely it will be distributed, but make an effort to see it. It really is a must-see.

A wonderful exchange from the movie, which is so much more powerful in its context:

Alex: I'm both!
Alvaro: But do you like boys or girls?
Alex: I don't know!

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May 31st, 2008

11:55 pm - In case you didn't know how poets think
When a poet posts a poem, and no one comments, here's what s/he thinks: I am a terrible poet. I should never write poetry again. I should go and burn every poetry book I have ever written, to save myself from the embarrassment of ever having it found.

Or something like that. We're very insecure creatures. If said poet is also a Pisces - oy. You haven't seen such insecurity.

Which is to say, I posted two poems and would love any feedback on them. Because even critical feedback (other than just, "this sucks") would be better than silence. Because I can read all sorts of things into silence, but at least with criticism or questions I feel like my existence is validated. Questions are also OK. Your honest impressions and thoughts are what I want.

Thank you. This has been a Public Service Announcement.

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May 30th, 2008

11:55 am - Not sure what I think of this one
Ever have one of those days
when the Apocalypse seemed imminent?
Two trains collide, and trapping one driver
until her death. A cop opens fire
on a man in Boston Common
who had only a fake gun on him.
A crane collapses in New York City
killing several people.
Tomorrow, you wonder what will happen.
The Spurs won't still be playing,
and that's affecting your mood
more than it should. Will the Red Sox
ever win on the road again?
Will the sun be shining? Will your
dinner guests back out
this week as well?
Will the tests come back benign
or will more treatment be needed?
So much uncertainty
So much sudden tragedy
Makes you feel fragile
Makes you feel needy
Makes you feel blessed.

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11:30 am - I take this way too seriously
I know I've said this before, but I get way too emotionally invested in sports. OK, not in sport, in basketball, in whether the San Antonio Spurs win or lose. Because I am downright grumpy, irritable, and depressed right now. And it's a beautiful day outside, it's almost weekend, we have friends coming over for Shabbat tonight, and it's just a game. Grrr.

This guy's voice helps, though. It's really quite soothing, and his lyrics are good too. Kind of a mix of 70's style soul with 90's hip hop and a little funk. Good stuff.

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May 28th, 2008

08:51 am - Grumpy
Here's hoping my mood for the first hour of awakeness doesn't permeate the whole rest of the day. I blame the Spurs for my mood today.

But here's what I learned on my walk to work:
1. Poi Dog Pondering and Dan Bern write really sexy songs. The iPod fairy spun me "Diamonds and Buttermilk" and "Hooker" as the first two songs of the morning. Yum.

2. I think the Beastie Boys' line "It takes time to build/It takes a second to wreck" should be Obama's new campaign slogan. Because you know what? That's pretty much what we're going to want to repeat to ourselves for the next twenty years while we're trying to undo the disasters Bush has created.

3. There is no anger so great that 7 Year Bitch can't soothe a little. Man, I wish I could still hear them live.

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May 26th, 2008

10:19 pm - Mount Hood Road Index 2.0
kaphine's endocrinologist said to her, "Young women don't die of thyroid problems. They get annoyed by thyroid problems." Some of you already know the rest of the story behind this, and for those of you who don't, we will tell you the details next time we see you or talk to you...

Older Asian gentleman talking to two young white women, at the foot of an apartment building in Cleveland Circle: "I wash women's hair!" That's all we heard of the conversation, as we were just walking by, but it was an odd thing to overhear, and it's hard to imagine what the context for the rest of the conversation would have been.

Took ourselves on a date night, after last weekend's crankiness. Went to Oleanna, which has really amazing food and a swanky by laid back atmosphere. Highly recommended. Also, we enjoyed Shabbat dinner on our deck, and had Indian food and beer with a friend on our deck another night. Yay for summer. It's finally here.

Spent our Memorial Day taking the T down to the Boston harbor, where we hopped a ferry and went out to Spectacle Island, which was beautiful and just the right kind of getaway. Can't believe it's taken us so long to discover the harbor islands. We're totally going back. Also, we watched the entire Indiana Jones series on DVD and took in the newest one this weekend. By the way, in case you don't remember this, the second movie sucked. It should be called Temple of Shit. But the others were fun.

Yarn. Irish accents. Good beer. Salty sweets. Chocolate. Not having to sit in traffic on holiday weekends. The escapist qualities of explosion movies. realsupergirl's parents. Our friends. Each other.

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May 23rd, 2008

01:37 pm - Coping
Fresh sunshine is good.
Talking to fawnapril is good.
Knowing we are going to be OK, big picture, is good.
Onion rings are good.
Being able to "buy" lunch on credit because I left my wallet at home is good.
Long weekends are good.
Blockbuster movies with sexy men are good.
Shabbat is good.

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May 22nd, 2008

11:35 pm - Emotional barometer
Kind of freaking out right now. But trying to be strong.

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May 21st, 2008

09:58 am - Ode to Jim's (for Bryan Mealer)
There was this kid,
I hardly remember his name
but he wrote a poem
which captured the spirit of high school
sitting in our diner till 4 AM
writing bad poetry
smoking and filling our lungs
with angst. Seventeen years later
no one remembers him
but his poem endures.
I want to write a poem like that.
I want to be remembered
for my words, my images,
my metaphors. Others are recalled
for their baggy baggy jeans
or their green hair
but now they are balding
or fat, and those things
are lost. A poem lasts forever,
it defies nature
and gravity
and inertia.
Fixed in time
like nothing else
can ever be.

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May 20th, 2008

12:42 pm - Yesterday was a good day in sports
Jon Lester pitches a no-hitter. Not bad for a guy recovering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Oh, and Jason Varitek sets a baseball record for catching for the fourth no-hitter of his career.

And the Spurs won. Woke up the the Boston sports broadcasters blasting on them, saying how much they hated them and wished they had lost. Oh well. I guess when you're the defending champs, people hate you. It was an ugly win, but it's never pretty when you're trying to win on the road in a Game 7. On to the Lakers.

Quote of the night:
"Manu Ginobili eats game sevens for breakfast." (Henry Abbott)

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May 18th, 2008

11:44 pm - Mount Hood Road Index 2.0
Saw two fantastic new documentaries as part of the Boston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Derek, about filmmaker Derek Jarman, and A Jihad For Love, about gay and lesbian observant Muslims. Spontaneously purchased the entire Indiana Jones series to date, simply because the new movie is coming out and our friend Patrick had never seen any of them before.

Nasturtiums that we started from seed. Message boards that tell us hints about what's going to happen on Desperate Housewives next year. Pumping up the bike for the first ride of the season. Seeing new friends have their first art shows. Living in a city where we can bike 2.5 miles away to see interesting movies or great art. Having friends over for Shabbat dinner on our porch. Homebaked challah by fetteredwolf. Getting our new telephone table re-upholstered after our cats damaged it. Getting things done around the house - finding new organizational systems. Having each other, even when we're too ill-tempered to appreciate each other properly. Celtic victories. Knitting books. Having television to distract us when we're done.

Stupid fights what happen when we're tired or cranky and feeling overbooked with the Sunday night crazies. It came to realsupergirl's attention in writing group that not everyone is familiar with the concept of the "Sunday night crazies." Is this just something from our world, or does it happen in yours, too? kaphine seems to think it appeared in an episode of Seinfeld once. Also, Whole Foods no longer carries plastic bags, so they are now at a premium in our household, since we use them for garbage.

Ted Kennedy being hospitalized with a seizure of unknown origin. Don't go yet, Teddy. This world still needs you, more than ever. Celtics being unable to win on the road. The Spurs being unable to win on the road - but they still have 1 more chance to change this fortune.

realsupergirl made her first batch of gazpacho this past week. That's how you really know it's summer. Also, she made delicious challah french toast with the leftover homemade challah...And kaphine whipped up a spontaneous, delicious baked pear recipe that was AMAZING and very simple. No more pears going bad for us.

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May 15th, 2008

03:49 pm - A must read
I heard this on NPR last night, and actually paid the $3.95 for a copy of the transcript. I figure this blog is not for commercial purposes, so sharing it with you doesn't seem to violate any copyright laws. And it's that good. Read it - regardless of whether you support Clinton, Obama, or McCain - it's one of the best things I've read or heard in months.

Ms. SUSAN CHEEVER (Writer): Why is it that the more Hillary loses, the better I like her? Yes, I know she won last night, but that's already being dismissed. To me, she's glowing with the inner fire of the warrior in a battle she can't win. Why do I identify with that so much? Why do I feel, after 40 years of voting that at last, for once, there's a politician who truly represents me and not just because she wears pantsuits.

When I tell a handsome man at a party that I support Hillary, he looks my black pantsuit up and down. That figures; you're an older woman, he says. I'm hurt but he's right. Hillary has worn away her youth in the service of a difficult husband, a smart child and the ideal of service. She was never the pretty, simpering, long-legged blonde we were all supposed to be. She had to find another way to be a woman. Me, too. I love her because she's a loser and I'm a loser, I tell my brother.

But Sue, you're a big success, he says. Hillary is a big success, too. But she's a worker, and women don't get respect for being hard workers; they get respect for having good legs. She's a woman dedicated to social justice, and women don't get respect for their dedication, they get it for their baking skills. She's a woman with staying power, but women don't get respect for their staying power, they get respect for their sexual power.

My generation of women were told that our biggest job was to marry the right guy and the sooner the better. When I went for career counseling my last year of college, the dean gave me her condolences. All our best girls are engaged, she said. Oh yes, it sounds outrageously antique, but is it? I never talk for long about my 26-year-old daughter, a lawyer and an activist at Harvard without someone asking, and is she seeing someone?

Women like me usually run for president of the PTA or president of some nice arts organization. We don't usually get to run for president of the United States. At last, here's a woman who wants to play with the big boys and she's qualified, and she's giving them a run for their money, and I love her for that.

You can hear Susan Cheever reading it here.

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03:38 pm - Congratulations, California!
You are officially now a "free state"!

2 down, 48 more to go.

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01:41 pm - Writer's Block: Three dishes I could live on
What three dishes could you live on for the rest of your life?

1. Vegetarian sushi
2. Tofu bibimbap from Seoul Food, in Cambridge MA
3. Matzah ball soup

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