Friday, December 29, 2006


Nice question huh? So... what DO you do? :-)

I love The Pondering Pool.

This is what Susan Mrosek's website states:

The Pondering Pool is an unusual collection of note cards written, illustrated, and designed by Susan Mrosek.

I love Susan Mrosek's work.

For 2007, I shall bellow less, be grateful even more, and I have decided... I will succeed.

What will you do?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

While I Was In The Bathroom...

Ok, dog people are certainly aware of the damage a pup can do in, say, a matter of being alone for an hour. Now... what about say -- mere moments? I was in the bathroom for goodness' sake!

This is Zeta's first Christmas. She apparently thinks we bought her a seven foot toy. It certainly is a Noble Fir that would allow such abuse.

Ok, the positive side of this deal is that ZBear has taken a shine to the side of the tree that is closest to her nose, and it's more full toward the bottom than the other side, so! If she gets to it much more, the bottom will be equally bare on both sides.

I shoulda seen it coming. Nearly nine months with Zeta and she's only done minor damage, and only twice at that. I'm pleased about this, but the one thing she can't keep her molars away from is fringe -- which is, I suppose, not unlike the needles on a Noble Fir. Or, after Zeta got hold of it, a "not so" Noble Fir. At this rate, we'll have to buy a tree a week until Christmas.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving, The Little Beast Dog and Gratitude

Zeta Bear went to the country for Thanksgiving -- and enjoyed herself as a farm dog! We love it out there at my sister's. Fresh eggs from the neighbors, burning your own trash, drinking as soon as you get up -- because if you don't start first thing "you can't say you've been drinking all day!" Just kiddin' -- sorta...

...this from someone clean and sober nineteen years today.

Back to Zeta. She was POOPED when she got home -- and was sick last night-- possibly because some unsuspecting (my sister) soul thought no poor dog should go without table scraps on Thanksgiving, but, farm dog in other ways, Zeta does NOT have an iron stomach. She gets sick when she eats grown up dog food!

I was so worried I was surprised I was so worried. I don't worry much. I worried through church, and was only feeling better about her by the time we got home and I felt her cool nose rub against me as she whizzed by in a black blur -- her normal self.

Last night she slept right next to me, sometimes betwixt the SB and me, which is not allowed! No pets betwixt the humans --- but she was sick! So... I put her on my other side. :-) I held her close and she woke us up about four times and we shooed her out of doors to be ill whilst we stood by for comfort.

Are we pathetic? Yes, we'd do the same for the kids when they were small, they slept with us when they were ill and we shooed them into the back yard when they needed to throw up.

Alright back to the weekend. We had a great Thanksgiving -- my brother was very genuinely happy to get a Longhorn Polo and new mp3 player -- which we presented to him with much glee. No special occasion, just because we felt like it. The turkeys -- all THREE of them, were fried and delicious. We ate, as is customary, plenty of stuff that was not good for us, and when we were done, ate some more and bought some more on the way home!

What a sense of gratitude I felt this year. My sister in law commented that it all felt good and she didn't know why. I said, "not to minimize your current feelings, or the grief any of us might be feeling, but I bet it feels good this year simply because it is NOT last year."

We were all still acutely grieving the loss of her son and also my mother last year. We still do, but we are moving forward. It was wonderful to see my brother and his wife smile -- to hug and touch the rest of us on purpose.

Don't get me wrong -- we miss my mother and nephew, painfully at times ... and they are not just a part of our past certainly, but are now, in a new way, a part of our future.

I was more aware this year of what a lavish life we lead as Americans. Truth is, I feel we forget too often that our lives are already lavish. Even those of us who sometimes struggle lead quite lavish lives in comparison to those in constant poverty.

Let's start with the beds in which we sleep, that are clean, comfortable and covered. Next, we usually have a choice about what to eat for breakfast. A choice! Then, many of us get into overpriced lavish cars that we've been able to purchase, or, for that matter, we have public transportation to get us where we need to go, so that we can continue to earn the money that gets us what we want.

Don't get me wrong! I learned today in the lesson at church that desire is God's way of notifying you of which direction to go toward for your next blessing! That's one way of looking at it. Greed is a different matter altogether.

So, "What do you have that someone else would pay $1 million for?"

We posed that question from time to time this weekend.

Here are some answers I got:

"My dimples and smile."
"My relationship."
"My eyesight."

...and that's just a start.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'm just busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger.

Yep. OK. That's all the time I have to blog.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Boys Are Cool

These guys are CUTE!

Did a photo shoot today!

Here's my tip for shooting tots this age -- let me rephrase... here's a tip for photographing tots this age: just let 'em do what they want if you can, and capture them as best you can when they're immobile for that nanosecond they might provide you from time to time. I mean, really -- what's to accomplish by having them sit still for a photo session? If you let them do as the please, sometimes you'll be blessed with their joy -- just snapped and stopped at the right moment in time.

I did a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago -- the photo was supposed to go into Texas Monthly for an ad for the Palace Theatre in Georgetown. Didn't happen that way. Anyhoo. These guys are er... er... erm... uhhh... cute too. Go see Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

See how much room I left on the left for advertising? :-(

Boys are cool.

I Miss My Sexy Beast

The comedian Elaine Boosler used to have this bit she did about being single. She said the British called it being "on your own" when you went into restaurants. I'm on my own this week, but no worries -- I'm not single again. SB has travelled to California to visit with her mom and has extended her stay for another week.

SB's mom is healing from a burst appendix which is a very grueling process if you are unaware. Ever so icky dinner conversation... also icky conversation for a blog so I won't repeat it here.

Nevertheless, I'm on my own with Beast Boy II and the Canines. Should that be a name of a band?

I grew stressed to think about it at first but it's really not going to be that hectic of a week. Beast Boy has late rehearsal every night but Tuesday, which means I will do a lot of driving but it's not an insurmountable feat. I have rehearsal on Monday and a meeting on Thursday. The dog beasts are handled on those evenings. The week leaves me quite a bit of time alone. I don't mind that. And I have TONS of stuff to do -- several people to meet up with for NxNW Theatre. Hey! Look at this picture. If you look past the dog beasts you might say my carpet was clean enough to have these folks I need to meet with over to my own house, no? That carpet looks pretty good for being eight years old.

One of my dearest friends let out an evil yet compassionate laugh (Yes, both at the same time! We are actors!) upon hearing of my "single parenting" predicament. But is it single parenting or is it really just running a taxi service with one cab if your kids are teenagers?

So back to my initial stress about the whole situation. It's not the business of running a household and being a sole parent for a couple of weeks that bothers me at all.

I miss my Sexy Beast. It's the longest period of time we've been apart in nine years. NINE years. We celebrated nine years on Friday. Yeah. I miss her. But please! Don't tell her! I wouldn't want her being any more Sexy Beast Princess conceited than she already is. ;-)

I miss her.

A lot.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Molly Ivins: Campaign ‘06—Goodbye and Good Riddance

So good I reposted it here.

Molly Ivins: Campaign ‘06—Goodbye and Good Riddance

Posted on Nov 6, 2006 on

AUSTIN, Texas—Right to the end, this insane conversation between reality and Not Reality. The president of the United States STILL says we are reducing terrorism by fighting in Iraq; STILL says we are creating democracy; STILL says we’re preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and making Israel more secure; and, shoddiest of all, STILL not allowing that our fallen have died in vain.

The vice president, meanwhile, has announced that, all things considered in Iraq, “if you look at the general, overall situation, [the Iraqi government is] doing remarkably well.” And now he’s gone off to hunt in South Dakota, thus demonstrating a perfectly balanced sense of reality. South Dakota is so sparsely populated, it’s really hard to hit another hunter.

Meanwhile, in case you hadn’t noticed, Iraq is in a state of full collapse. And Afghanistan is not far from it. Baghdad is worse off for water, sewer, electricity and infrastructure than it was before the war. The R’s have taken care of the whole problem with the brilliance we have come to expect from them—they have decided to abolish the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (which has exposed bribery, contracts to cronies, shoddy work, the loss of billions of dollars, the failure to track hundreds of thousands of weapons shipped there, and more). You must admit this is big, bold and brainy. This is Karl Rove problem-solving at its best.

This campaign has been like getting stuck in Alice’s Wonderland for three months. “There is no use trying,” Alice said, “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” replied the White Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Every time you turn around, you run into the Jabberwocky or the Frumious Bandersnatch—Richard Perle in penitence—or some other equally fantastic sight. The great Skywriter in the Sky has positively run amok with irony and has been splashing it all over the campaign like Jackson Pollock. Fortunately, it is not my duty to lend dignity to the proceedings. I do make it a rule to skip talk of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll—but when Mark Foley turns out to be the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, you know you just have to sit down like a tired dog and scratch for a while.

While this perfectly insane dialogue has been taking place, Congress stands before us so hopelessly corrupt that the stench has washed all over the country. Perhaps my least favorite excuse for cheating is “Everybody does it.” NO, everybody DOESN’T do it. Nor does the system make you do it, or alcohol or drugs or Jack Abramoff. I do not want to hear one more excuse—apologize and go.

On the other hand, I am really going to miss the stories this Congress provided. Remember Terri Schiavo? I mean, you wake up one morning and there it is, kind of like finding Fidel Castro in the refrigerator. And you listen to these people who hold high elective office having this debate—as though they know, as though they have any idea, as though they have any right. And then there are some of the troops, like Randy “Duke” Cunningham, semi-owner of the houseboat The Duke-Stir. Some days you couldn’t wait to get up to find out who’d been indicted. I miss watching Katherine Harris from Florida wear less and less blue eye shadow as she went through her Senate race.

Well, it’s been rank—racist, sleazy, lying and full of insinuating scare tactics. Thank God it’s over.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Night

CNN has most Democrats winning in their races for Congress.
I'm happy about that.

Zeta is too. Here she is watching the election returns with Beast Boy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Austin 360 Today

Maybe you noticed?

It wasn't there for long, as I understand it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006



There have been 1069 views of my blog today.

The Sexy Beast will like that.

"69," said Fireberry, as she giggled like Butthead.

The Schnauze

Zeta posed yet again for a short series of photos last night. She is seven months old now, and with such a sharp coiffure, tends to look all grown up. Except that her hindquarters look like a monkey's ass. I'll save you the details -- I didn't take a shot of her behind.

Her new 'do is admittedly a little short. For two days she ran around the house rubbing up against the furniture and walking on her ass to save herself the itching.

The Sexy Beast has taught Zeta to sing! This may cause dismay in some, but the truth is -- if you train your puppy to growl or speak on cue -- it does NOT instill in them an urge to be noisy. On the contrary -- it does just the opposite.

In fact, if you have a noisy dog, teach your dog to speak and growl. Then, if you want them to be quiet, don't ever give them the cue to speak! Or, in the case of our labrador beast, who has a deafening bark and a habit of using it at the front window for almost every passerby, try a time out. I know! Sounds silly -- but it works. Just like kids. Dogs are social beasts so giving them a time out is a great way to break an unwanted habit like barking. We found that after a week of instructing Othello Beast to time out, he cut his barking at the window down to only a few times a week, instead of a few times nightly. We just tell him time out, leave him in the dark bathroom for 15-30 seconds and then let him out. The worst he does after a time out is growl really quietly at the window.

Zeta Beast has not learned to bark at the window. She jumps a mile high when Othello does it. It scares her.

Oh btw, our human baby beasts are doing well too.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Big Fat Republican Truck

Yesterday I took my car to the Mazda Dealership to have some work done under warranty. Warranties are a blessing. I got $750 worth of work, free! I like that -- but, wait... it wasn't exactly totally free. It cost me five dollars. Let me explain. They didn't have any loaners left, and they didn't have any cars left to rent at Advantage -- who the dealership uses.

Ok, I loved the idea of dropping off my car, getting in another one and zipping off to work. It was only slightly less difficult than that but I digress.

I get to Advantage Rent A Car -- they picked me up at the dealership. The fellow who helped me out was wonderful -- educated, handsome, well dressed.

All they have left is a Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab. Sheesh! I felt guilty! How can people drive these things? I didn't dare park near anyone else for fear I'd mow them over as if I were in a Monster Truck Rally or something.

Sheesh! The door handles ran parallel with my boobs!

Of course I got used to it enough to feel a little beligerent when someone entered my lane in front of me but thank goodness that went away soon!

That's a big truck -- I think it gets 8 miles to the gallon. I travelled to work and back to the dealership and put two gallons or so in the thing to bring it up to full again. Cost me $5. That may sound ok but for only 20 miles of travel?

I'm so glad to have my car back.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

First NxNW Event


We had our first event this Sunday, to introduce the NxNW Theatre Company to the public. Our guests were impressed by our gentle approach, as they were expecting a hard core sales pitch. This event wasn't for that. It was a get acquainted with NxNW event! They were impressed by the talent, the broad experience of the founders, the place we held the event, the food... etc...

Importantly, we even got some folks who wish to help us promote the theatre. A prospective board member, grant writer, commercial property investor...

We realized when we were done with the event that the results were so satisfactory we needed to move on our next steps much more quickly than we had originally anticipated! You know... I am surprised that I am surprised. We set our sights on big and good things and are now we are beginning to get them. In a good universe, and I like to see our universe as good, why would we expect anything less? It's a nice surprise, but still a surprise all the same!

Next, we plan for another event in November... and split off to begin planning for our first production. I'm tickled.

I also realized that the cast of On The Verge or The Geography of Yearning weren't the only ones yearning to remount the show -- they served as talent for the event on Sunday, and at least two folks lit up and happy recognition of the scene and the memory of this sweet, quirky, and lovely show. We also had the pleasure of fawning and drooling over Marc Pouhé -- whose work is known in such shows as Urinetown and Keepin' It Weird and The Exhonerated -- I didn't do him justice in his introduction as I wasn't specific in mentioning his numerous award nominations -- but he helped me. Perhaps his charm and good looks got the best of this happily attached lesbian. Still, I feel remiss.

On another note, I saw Anything Goes at The Palace in Georgetown this weekend and had a great time. My colleagues and friends Cliff (director) Dave (lead) Nikki and Barb (company members) were in the show. I say by jove, it was delicious fun and I'm proud of them -- it also sparked in me a renewed love for the show and a deeper appreciation for Cole Porter.

I'm so excited I want to see it done again. Maybe NxNW can make this an option.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Dog In Your Pants?

Kids will do anything.

Zeta Bear wound up in the leg of Beast Boy Two's pants last week.

And you thought teaching your dog to heel was difficult.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Snip and Chip II

So! I'd post a photo of the adorable little Princess Zeta Bear puppy but some things are beneath our dignity. She's a miserable li'l conehead.

Bless her furry little heart! Of course, we can't bless her furry little belly because it was shaved yesterday and it's not furry anymore. That's gotta itch. Sheesh!

I wonder: if they don't have to cut open women for a hysterectomy why are they still cutting open our li'l lady pets?

Zeta slept in the bed last night. First time ever. Might be the last. It wasn't bad at all -- just, well, when a dog even as small as the Zeta Bear stretches out and wrestles with you and your Sexy Beast for real estate that is already in high demand, it makes for a somewhat restless night.

That was NOT why we were restless last night in particular. It's just that somehow, after not even raising real human babies together (the boy beasts arrived in my life as step-beasts when they were past babydom) the SB and I managed to wake up and nurture the Zeta Bear at different times of the night -- without scheduling a shift or anything. Zeta started out curled up next to the SB's chest. Then she paid me a visit whilst I requested the SB roll over, as she was diagonally consuming too much of my vertical real estate. This in general causes the SB to exhibit a fit of Tourets. Zeta Bear then staggered across the bed to between my knees. When I turned out the light for the night I put Zeta in her condo. SB removed Zeta from her condo for a trip to the great outdoors and a return to the bed curled up next to my chest in the wee morning hours. Zeta wound up in between our heads this morning, when the SB got up.

Sweet Zeta Bear walks about the house, when she moves at all, as if she were trying to run away from her own ass and can't. Then she gives up and leans against something and rests. That is good.

It's bound to hurt. Some people don't (can you believe it!?) purchase the pain medication to give their animals after a spay or neuter. Zeta gets pain medication. It helps her a lot -- and she gets cheese and peanut butter to go with, even though they're chewable pills because... well, the SB is spoiling her!

That's ok. Zeta doesn't have to do "front, swing, place, and heel" this week.

So it will take her a little longer to pass the Canine Good Citizen test. So what.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Snip and Chip

This morning Zeta got the snip and chip. She is currently recovering nicely.

Snip and chip.

You know! Spayed and microchipped! I left the discount coupon my vet was offering at home this morning and had to schlep back and get it, too. Sexy Beast took Zeta in and will meet me later to get said coupon -- it was not easy to let the Sexy Beast go alone... I love me some Zeta Bear Puppy. But really, how much more like lesbian parents could we look if we both took her in for surgery? Really! And we parent human children!

It's extremely important to spay and neuter your beasts. Maybe you can't afford it, or don't want to pay for some snooty vet to do so? There's a great program or two here in Austin to help.

Snipped (hah!) from the Humane Society of the United States (Italics mine, duh):

Spaying or Neutering Is Good for Your Pet

  • Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
  • Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
  • Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle. (I didn't even know Zeta HAD breasts! I can't even find them yet they're so small!)
  • Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease. (Well, if you don't HAVE testicles you can't get testicular cancer, right?)

Spaying or Neutering Is Good for You (so maybe you should get spayed or neutered...)

  • Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.
  • Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and mark territory.
  • Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year, in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Females in heat can cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male animals.
  • Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those who have been spayed or neutered.
  • Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.
  • Neutering makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.

I shall travel at lunch to meet the Sexy Beast who has scored a connection with the manager and owner of Freda's Restaurant so we have nosh for our NxNW event on October 15. She needs Mr. Coupon for when she picks up Zeta. Freda's is a GREAT restaurant. Seems the manager SB spoke with is a theatre techie. I LOVE it when things work out that way.

Anyway, now I will be the only beast left in the house with ovaries.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Car!

I have a new car.

I wanted one.

That's why.

Not a bad birthday present.

This one looks just like it, without the spoiler.


Friday, September 08, 2006

The Prosperity Game

Ok, it might seem odd but I started this interesting exercise today to "increase my prosperity vibration." If nothing else, it's fun.

I gleaned it from Ask And It Is Given (the book, not the website) by Esther Hicks -- the whole concept has been around for at least a decade, I'm sorry I didn't discover it sooner.

Ok, so here's the Prosperity Exercise, in a nutshell.

Each day -- for a year if you wish, you are to record in a ledger of your own creation, using checks of your own creation (read: fictitious) the spending of a certain amount of money each day. On day one we start with $1000 and add $1000 each day on day 50, deposit $50,000 and on Day 100, deposit $100,000 and so on and so forth. If done over the period of a year one will accrue and spend $66 million dollars. And you MUST spend it. I get tickled just thinking about it.

This benefits one's ability to imagine. I'll let you know how well my imagination works as the days pass. Today though, I tithed, bought a Bluetooth, a gift certificate, paid the Secretary of State for the 501(c)(3) papers for the theatre and paid off some debt. Seems all of these I will do in reality anyway. My debt should be paid off, including my car, in a matter of weeks, if not days. After that, I suppose I will really have to start using my imagination.

I will donate to worthy causes, buy a new house and a boat for the Sexy Beast, purchase the Presidency, stop the War, end poverty, and promote world peace -- after I build a divine little theatre and do a few shows.

Happy Friday. Only three more shopping days left 'til my birthday. 9/11. Hmmm...

Friday, August 25, 2006

We Did Not Make This Up

I have a friend whose story is better than mine today. I warn those of you with young children. Especially those with boys. They grow into teens. And no. I didn't get this from a chain email.


The Story

"Did you know that if you unscrew the little cap at the end of the faucet in the bathroom, and then dont shut the faucet all the way off, instead of dripping down into the sink, the water actually runs BACK along the bottom of the faucet, down to the countertop, over to the drawer underneath the countertop (which, of course, is open) fills the drawer with water, leaks out of the drawer to the floor, floods the floor including the bathmat, towels, and miscellaneous clothes and clutter that have been dropped there, and makes its way all the way through the floor to the kitchen ceiling, creating several splotches of damp, drippy brownish stuff, the wiping off of which removes not only the drippy stuff, but the paint AND the plaster?

I am not making this up."


I didn't make this up either.

This is not an email chain letter.

Though it should be.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

NxNW Theatre Company Again

No, I'm not repeating an entry.

The coolest news of the week is that we have our domain now! Of course, there's nothing on there, but keep checking. There will be soon. I am tickled to have my own nxnwtheatre email too -- but you can't have that yet. Ok. Now I gotta link it. And open a bank acct. And file all that IRS paperwork.

And my webmaster? He rules.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

To Do List

NxNW Theatre To Do:
Open a bank acct.
Get with lawyer for filing incorporation docs with IRS. (No small feat!)
Send Articles of Incorporation form to IRS.
Compile list of invitees for October event.
Gather photos/videos of past productions for event in October.
Complete financial projections for business plan.
Find scene in On The Verge to perform at event.
Do headshots for founders who don't have one.

Just Do It Now List:
Mail Zeta's registration form for Manners Class
Pay cellular bill
Call and get new cell phone for Boy Beast #2 Birthday
Make reservations for "I Am My Own Wife" (check!)
Plan "The Secret" viewing party
Schedule meeting with financial planner (check!)
Find sketch for performance at church Holiday Extravaganza
Study/Block Steel Magnolias
Send my brother his new MP3 player

Just do it soon list:
Lose 20 pounds
Audition for a show
Get a new car -- A Mazda 6 or Pontiac G6 Coupe
Headshots for Boy Beast and me

Just Do It Pretty Soon:
Schedule meeting to overhaul resume and begin a new career path
Vacation in Providence
Take a cruise
Buy a house in NW Austin
Go back to school for my degree
Write a book
(Hey! I could combine career path, book, and degree... maybe...)
Blog more frequently -- and make these things more interesting.

Now. Wasn't that fun?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Zeta Graduates Kindergarten

Princess Zeta Bear graduates with a 4.0 Summa Cum Laude in the top ninety-eight percentile of her class. She would have received several scholarships from various institutes, though her lack of opposable thumbs prevented her from filling out applications. Still, she plans on pursuing a degree in Canine Good Citizenship at either the U of PetSmart or the U of Doggy Day Out. While there, she will continue to refine her socialization skills and her studies in "staying with distractions," "maintaining a perfect recall," and "falling over 'dead'" on cue.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Down and Dirty Update

I'm so busy. I really am... and yet, I have been busier.

Here's the news for the week:

NxNW Theatre Company News:
Getting some domain names for the theatre! and and business cards, and postcards and stationery and a post office box, already!

Family News:
Beast Boy #2 started high school today and we're all very excited. Please do not tell anyone I whispered in his ear as he left today, "have a kick a** day." Now the world knows. Turns out he said it was, "boring." That's a far cry from "kick a**." Sigh.

Zeta News:
Zeta graduates from Puppy School tomorrow. Yeah. I am probably taking a camera to class. Her instructor claims she's a non-typical, laid back, "lazy" schnauzer. I can't imagine they come with more spastic personalities. But. They. Do.

Worked. Ordered my copy of Steel Magnolias. Auditions have been decided for the week of October 21... more news to come.

I get a hair do.

Wish I was back on the beach.


Friday, August 11, 2006


We've been on vacation.

Ok, we've been back for a week, but I've been busier than a one armed paper hanger and so tired when I got home at night, I just couldn't blogify.

So be it.

Here is a tasty photo of the Sexy Beast on the beach at sunrise. The Sexy Beast rocks!

I put Zeta on Dogster this week. Dogster cracks me UP! Zeta has started her own diary. She's a better writer than me.

I'm going to bed. I think I should to test drive cars tomorrow. I'm just in the mood.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Zeta's Five Months Old!

Can you believe it?

Still, she's portable, and is sitting in my lap as I type.

Monday, July 31, 2006

NxNW Theatre Company

We're excited.

We're planning our first event for NxNW Theatre Company for October of this year.

Here's our logo.

I'm thrilled!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bill Moyers, Deepak Chopra, and Two Articles You Should Read

Here they are.

Who Owns Christianity?

by Deepak Chopra

Not many people of moderate persuasion have much sway in the church any more. I was reminded why recently when the Episcopal Church did two important things: It elected a woman bishop to head the denomination, and it backtracked on appointing gay bishops. The first move seems Christian. Women deserve to hold church office as much as political office (one diocese, however, was so incensed that it voted to leave the church, and worldwide there are still Anglican movements that do not permit women to be bishops or ordained priests).

The second move was an act of cowardice because it did not reflect the ideals of love in Christianity and was motivated by reactionaries in the Episcopal denomination. Countering a long tradition of laissez-faire tolerance, the reactionaries have gotten tough and threatened to form their own church if gays are promoted in the priesthood. The worldwide Anglicans are more intolerant, upholding that homosexuality is forbidden, unnatural, wrong or an outright sin, depending on who is doing the disapproving.

You'd think that someone would stand up and ask a simple question: Who are we to condemn gays if Christ didn't? In fact, who are we to condemn any sinner, since Christ didn't? Christianity is about forgiveness, and for the past two decades, as fundamentalism swept through every Protestant denomination, moderates and liberals have been driven out, and were roundly condemned as they left. Along with them went tolerance and forgiveness, not to mention love.

Did Christ teach love or is that just a liberal bias? In the current climate, it's hard to remember, but one thing is certain: Once a tight cabal of fundamentalists takes over any denomination, Christ's teachings go out the window. The reversal of Christianity from a religion of love to a religion of hate is the greatest religious tragedy of our time.

Those of us who haven't been swept up in worldwide fundamentalism, which has corrupted Islam, Hinduism and Judaism as well, have been caught in a double bind. We can't join any sect that preaches intolerance, yet we can't fight it, either, because by definition fighting is a form of intolerance. To escape this double bind, moderates have stayed silent and stayed home. But that tactic failed. As healthy as it is to nourish your own devotion and faith, it's disastrous to allow extremists to take over the church, because the statehouse, the board of education, the Congress, and eventually the presidency are next.

Perhaps civil society will solve the problem of religious extremism. So far it hasn't. America finds itself in the sad plight of being the world's most prominent secular society hijacked by sectarians. One can only hope that the church comes to its senses and regains its moral center. If that doesn't occur, the core teachings of Christ will be lost, for all intents and purposes, to this generation.

© 2006 San Francisco Chronicle

There Is No Tomorrow
By Bill Moyers
The Star Tribune

Sunday 30 January 2005

One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress.

For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. The offspring of ideology and theology are not always bad but they are always blind. And that is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.

One-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup Poll is accurate, believes the Bible is literally true. This past November, several million good and decent citizens went to the polls believing in what is known as the "rapture index."

These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the imagination of millions of Americans. Its outline is rather simple, if bizarre: Once Israel has occupied the rest of its "bibli-cal lands," legions of the Antichrist will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. As the Jews who have not been converted are burned, the messiah will return for the rapture. True believers will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven, where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the several years of tribulation that follow.

I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That is why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. That is why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations, where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man." For them a war with Islam in the Middle East is something to be welcomed - an essential conflagration on the road to redemption. The rapture index - "the prophetic speedometer of end-time activity" - now stands at 153.

So what does this mean for public policy and the environment? As Glenn Scherer reports in the online environmental journal Grist, millions of Christian fundamentalists believe that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but hastened as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

We're not talking about a handful of fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs. Nearly half of the members of Congress are backed by the religious right. Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the three most influential Christian-right advocacy groups. They include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Conference Chair Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Policy Chair Jon Kyl of Arizona, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Roy Blunt. The only Democrat to score 100 percent with the Christian Coalition was Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, who before his recent retirement quoted from the biblical Book of Amos on the Senate floor: "The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land." He seemed to relish the thought.

Onward Christian Soldiers

And why not? There's a constituency for it. A 2002 Time/CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the Book of Revelations are going to come true. Tune in to any of the more than 1,600 Christian radio stations or flip on one of the 250 Christian TV stations across the country and you can hear some of this end-time gospel. And you will come to understand why people under the spell of such potent prophecies cannot be expected, as Grist puts it, "to worry about the environment. Why care about the earth when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the Bible?"

These people believe that until Christ does return, the Lord will provide. One of their texts is a high school history book, America's Providential History, which contains the following: "The secular or socialist has a limited resource mentality and views the world as a pie ... that needs to be cut up so everyone can get a piece." However, "the Christian knows that the potential in God is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in God's earth … while many secularists view the world as overpopulated, Christians know that God has made the earth sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate all of the people." No wonder Karl Rove goes around the White House whistling that militant hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers." He turned out millions of the foot soldiers in this past election, including many who have made the apocalypse a powerful driving force in modern American politics.

Once upon a time I thought that people would protect the natural environment when they realized its importance to their health and to the health and lives of their children. Now I am not so sure. It's not that I don't want to believe that - it's just that I read the news and connect the dots.

Immoral Imagination

Mike Leavitt, the former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, declared the election a mandate for President Bush on the environment - a mandate for an administration that wants to rewrite the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the government to judge beforehand if actions might damage natural resources.

The Environmental Protection Agency had even planned to spend $9 million - $2 million of it from the administration's friends at the American Chemistry Council - to pay poor families to continue to use pesticides in their homes. These pesticides have been linked to neurological damage in children, but instead of ordering an end to their use, the government and the industry were going to offer the families $970 each, as well as a camcorder and children's clothing, to serve as guinea pigs for the study.

I read all this and then look at the pictures on my desk, next to the computer - pictures of my grandchildren: Henry, age 12; Thomas, age 10; Nancy, 7; Jassie, 3; Sara Jane, nine months. I see the future looking back at me from those photographs and I say, "Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do." And then I am stopped short by the thought: "That's not right. We do know what we are doing. We are stealing their future. Betraying their trust. Despoiling their world."

And I ask myself: "Why? Is it because we don't care? Because we are greedy? Because we have lost our capacity for outrage, our ability to sustain indignation at injustice?"

What has happened to our moral imagination?

The news is not good these days. I can tell you that as a journalist I know the news is never the end of the story. The news can be the truth that sets us free - free to fight for the future we want. And the will to fight is the antidote to despair, the cure for cynicism, and the answer to those faces looking back at me from those photographs on my desk.

What we need is what the ancient Israelites called "hocma" - the science of the heart, the capacity to see, to feel and then to act as if the future depended on you. Believe me, it does

Bill Moyers was host until recently of the weekly public affairs series "NOW with Bill Moyers" on PBS. This article is adapted from AlterNet, where it first appeared. The text is taken from Moyers' remarks upon receiving the Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Monday, July 24, 2006

Friday, July 14, 2006

Leave It, Leave It, Leave It!

Every puppy goes through an awkward stage... like that awkward time we humans go through in the second or third grade. Sometimes fourth or fifth. There's always a year where your school picture looked goofy -- because you were goofy too.

This is Zeta's... it is a pre and post hairdo photo. It doesn't help that I shot them in the most unflattering ways -- but LOOK at how she pays attention!

I'm just kidding myself. This morning I must have said Leave it 468 times. Leave it, leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it,leave it, leave it, leave it!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bush and Barney and Zeta

See how much better behaved my dog is than Dubya's?

Doesn't Zeta seem to be saying, "Is this a new dog trick? What the hell is this man trying to do? "

Let's all consider that.

What is Dubya trying to do?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Socializing Your Dog In July

More socializing Zeta!

In this photo, Zeta has joined the Sycamore family for some pre 4th of July socializing. Pop Sycamore and Mr. DP have been slaving away in that cellar making fireworks and The Kirbys have shown up to dinner on the wrong night. Notice the only one who isn't non-plussed is Zeta. She's been socialized so much so far, that she can respond that way. Sadly though, her stagecraft is lacking and we'll have to teach her not to break the fourth wall for our next production.

Friday, July 07, 2006

State of The Arts

I see a lot of theatre. I do. I'm just saying that right away. I've seen around 40 shows this season. I direct one or two shows a year. (And in my area, it's a bonus that I get paid to do so!)I love, love, love theatre. That said, I don't claim to like or know any and everything about the form. If I did profess such, then I'd have to also admit that I'd stopped learning, and artists cannot afford that. It might also mean that the form was not evolving either. However, I do wish to address an interesting "phenomena" -- if you will -- that has been sweeping across my fair city for well over ten years now.

The cultural and social climate in Austin is decidedly different than most cities in which there is an equally healthy theatre scene. I believe this is mostly due to the average age being 34 in Austin. All the colleges and high tech companies in our area are probably fuel for this youthful statistic. The average age of most theatre goers in the country is MUCH higher, and we in some theatre circles refer to this group as the "Church, Luby's, Theatre," crowd that one sees at any given matinee on any given Sunday. In Austin though, most theatres don't even schedule a matinee.

There are at least 87 theatre companies in Austin, more or less. The list includes colleges, companies that perform only once or twice a year, and sub-companies formed from larger companies when they wanna do their own thing every once in awhile. Let's eliminate them and narrow it down to those companies that offer at least three shows a year. Now I'm down to 25-30. Ok, so there are 30 theatre companies that do at least three shows a year. We subtract the childrens theatres (4) and "alternative" theatres (3).

That leaves 8 out of 87 theatre companies in Austin that provide a season of "mainstream" theatre. Three of these are Equity, leaving five "community" theatres. The remaining theatre companies are defined as "rebel" based on the Chronicle's interpretation of such, and total 15. So, we can now assume that over half the theatre companies in Austin that present a season of theatre are "rebel."

At this point, let's define rebel. Outside of it's political and governmental implications, Oxford English Dictionary defines rebel as a verb wherein one resists authority, control, or convention.
So... if a majority of theatres in Austin are defined as rebel and rebel is defined as one who resists convention, then are our rebel theatres really rebel? With such a definition and (admittedly loose) statistics, is rebel theatre really rebel theatre when it's the majority of a city's offerings?

Last month Yellow Tape Construction Theatre bloggers suggested the new website ACOT has begun is full of "Fluff aimed right down the middle of the road." (See post and comments at over at The Construction Zone. ) BTW, to answer a question posed on The Construction Zone blog, yes, according to The Theatre Communications Group, Austin does rank up there with other cities as a "National Center For Performance" as we were included in their 2002 study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts entitled The Value Of Performing Arts in Five Communities. To shatter any thoughts that rebel can also flow into the "mainstream," note participating theatre company Salvage VanGuard.)

Seems we in Austin have, in ways, given avant-garde and Rebel Theatre far more commonplace credit than we artists are willing to admit. Especially if, regardless of the listings on the new Texas Performs website, we still embrace with such glee the stylings of these rebel companies.

I pose a question to our that James Lileks offers in a recent blog on the New Guthrie Theatre:

Has avant-garde become tradition?

This reminds me to insert here a plug for James Lileks and his blog entry on The Guthrie. What a sight the New Guthrie is! Ack!

Is it really rebel theatre if I know exactly what to expect when I attend a production, regardless of how far off the middle of the road it is aimed? If I know the presenting company is offering a style that does not give me something different from production to production, is it rebel theatre, or does the middle of Austin's proverbial theatrical road just look more interesting than the theatrical roads of other cities? Are these theatre companies any different philosophically if they have carved a groove in the road from travelling the same way too often?

Could it be that in Austin, rebel theatre is also "community theatre"? Oh, no! Now I've gone too far!

Come on now! I return to my definition of rebel. A verb wherein one resists authority, control, or convention. SooOOooo, if most of us in the Austin community spend our pennies on most of the theatres in town and they are rebel theatres, then are we rebels or are we just being self- indulgent?

(How many times have I used the word rebel in this blog entry?)

What would rebel theatre be really, in Austin or anywhere else? Wouldn't it be a theatre company that pays it's actors and staff at least a middle class income? Wouldn't it be a theatre company that knows how to raise enough funds to do so without sacrificing it's mission? Wouldn't it be a theatre company that sifts through the finest of profit sector and nonprofit sector business practices and marries them to create a theatre that is successful in each and every area of it's operation? (Dare I include financially successful to the list?) Wouldn't it be a theatre company that can give us excellent production values, talent, AND unique work?

Should we put Alex P. Keaton and Arthur Kopit in the same room and let them go at it?

This company I've got to see. That's rebellious.

Friday, June 30, 2006

More Socializing Your Dog

Zeta meets so many interesting people.

These are among the very best.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pet Nutrition

Zeta is getting in a lot of good socialization. Today she hooked up with Emeril, which reminds us to mention good nutrition.

Most veterinarians recommend food for your pet that contains high quality ingredients. Put simply, this means your pet digests more. There's a great deal of useful information on the Diamond Pet Food site. We feed Zeta only the finest. She eats Diamond Puppy Food. If Emeril made dog food, he'd make only the finest.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Socialize Your Dog

"Socialization (introducing your puppy to new sights, sounds, and experiences before age 18-20 weeks) is a crucial part of raising a dog. Most days, this means arranging a trip out somewhere or letting your puppy explore something unusual."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How Old Was Your Mother, When You Were Born?

LOOK at these gorgeous Centenarians! These women are happy aren't they! I want to be that happy when I'm that old. These are the Cardwell triplets, Faith, Hope and Charity. I love this photo. Unfortunately, I took issue the article that went with it.

This photo was featured recently on AOL along with an article entitled How Old Was Your Mother, When You Were Born? Apparently, Drs. Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova used census data to track information that now provides us with this (unscientific) information:

"The chances of living to the ripe old age of 100 -- and beyond -- nearly double for a child born to a woman before her 25th birthday. Other factors include growing up in the Western part of the U.S., spending part of one's childhood on a farm, and being born first."

The article also states: "The father's age is less important to longevity, according to their research," and, the finding that children born to young women are more likely to live to 100 "may have important social implications, because many women postpone their childbearing to later ages because of career demands."


I'm getting all femme-raged. How do they know the father's age is less important to longevity? And why would a statistically and not medically or scientifically accurate study be the kind of thing that would have important social implications, because many women postpone their childbearing to later ages because of career demands? Why did they call them "demands" and not "choices"? And why, oh why, do we all have to be raised in a barn to live to be 100?


Tuesday, June 20, 2006



Monday night the Sexy Beast and I had nothing to do, thankfully... or so we thought. First, SB's brother, who lives a block over, was having a friend and collegue from India (Dell) for dinner and had requested SB make her quite delicious salsa.

SB's brother had picked up parsley instead of cilantro (ick, imagine THAT salsa) so SB gets cilantro for him -- and we walk over, or rather, have Zeta drag us, as her onleash manners are terrible right now. I had to stop every three or four steps so she would sit and NOT pull! I can't believe a teensy little seven pound bundle of Schnauze can pull so hard -- she thinks she's a Samoyed!

Alright, so we finally get there, me fifteen minutes behind the SB... SB's brother mixes me a delicious drink -- an alcohol free concoction of orange juice, Sprite, Margarita Mix, a pinch of olive juice in a salt rimmed glass garnished with an orange stuffed olive. Yum. You might not think so, but it works!

Salsa gets made, we wait, I walk Zeta back home, I come back, we wait. You can imagine, again, with Zeta's leash manners that this is a time consuming event!

By now, SB's brother's guest is super late and in fifteen minutes I'm going to have to pick up G-Man (our youngest) from rehearsal. It's 8:45.

I schlep the Zeta Dog back home and go pick up G-Man. I return.

Still!!!! When I do, Sexy Beast's brother's guest has arrived. Two hours later. I'm figuring with no opinion or criticism whatsoever, this tardiness is not a big deal to those who are acclimated to the culture in India. It's dark by now, though.

Here's the fun part. We're eating on the patio. It's really lovely and all but -- for reasons beyond the Sexy Beast and me -- SBB (Sexy Beast's Brother) will NOT turn on the patio light. (Maybe it will attract too many bugs?) Hence, we eat by the dimmest of candlelight. I do mean dim. The Sexy Beast and I exchanged the use of long utility gas match lighters and candles to forage for vegetables to place on our tortillas.

SBB's Indian guest forages as well, and just as he has managed to get a good bite of his fajita, I hear what sounds eerily like a cat coughing up a furball. OOf! There I heard it again! The SBB has no pets, so what could it be?

SBB's Indian guest has encountered something hot in the vegetable mix. It's so hot he's over there coughing up a furball! Of course, how could we have immediately known what the sound was or where it was coming from, it was too dark!

As we say in Texas it was a flavor hot, not a temperature hot. You gotta ask that question when you stare at (if there's enough light) the victim of an attack of hot mouth. If it's a temperature issue, usually, you can count on being able to see the victim jiggling around in their chair, gingerly tossing the offending hot object from one side of their mouth to the other with their tongue, attempting that blowy, panting sorta thingy with their lips. It was a bad flavor hot, though, hence the furball simile. SBB got up to provide something for balance, finally settling on a few pieces of chocolate.

Just as SBB sat back down, I get hold of the same flavor bouquet. What the hell? While I provided no furball noise, I did offer the requisite response. A shake of the head, dousing of my mouth with beverage, craning of the neck, watery eyes, and a lively, "WHEW! What is IN these vegetables?" SBB couldn't fathom what could be so hot in his recipe.

While I held a candle to the platter, the Sexy Beast, brave and sure, once again foraged in the vegetables attempting to find the offending ingredient. She never did figure it out, but she did taste it. In a cool and collected and almost a macho fashion, the heat extricated from her a calm, "Yeah, I can take hot, but that's pretty hot." Of course, this is exactly what people who think they can take hot say when something is hot.

Well whatever. By this time it's nearly ten o'clock. The Sexy Beast and I had had quite a long night of it the evening before and we retired to our own house, SBB's Indian guest a little curious about our rush to go home.

That's ok, we'd been there since 7.

The rest of the night was uneventful -- well, at least for the Sexy Beast and me.

From LA Times, May 26, 2006

So good, I reprinted it here.

I LOVE live theatre!


White Way, right way

Drama critics have been grousing mightily of late about the trend of celebrity casting. For some it's an epidemic more dangerously virulent than avian flu: "Hollywood infects Broadway News at 11." One can imagine certain reviewers sitting on the aisle with their little pads in hand, wearing hospital masks and rubber gloves for protection.

Yet given the way the theater has to fight for its economic and cultural survival, this attitude is borderline perverse akin to someone insulting a rescuer for throwing down the wrong color lifeline.

If it takes a boldface name to bring out the crowds, so be it. Theatergoers aren't chumps. They know Denzel Washington, who played Brutus last spring in the Broadway revival of "Julius Caesar," is one of the best actors around, while Julia Roberts, who made her Broadway debut in Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain" this season, is a bona fide icon who has more depth than her film roles have typically shown.

The Tony nominating committee may have snubbed them both, but these stars' legions of fans couldn't care less about such geeky honors. Most have probably never even heard of Antoinette Perry, the theatrical dynamo after whom the Tonys were named, and few are likely to tune in to watch the June 11 ceremony on CBS. What's more, no association of theater snobs is going to stand between them and the box-office gateway to their beloved.

So does this spell the beginning of the end? For the one or two of you still dewy-eyed about Broadway, let me break it to you gently: The theme park known as Times Square can hardly be described (with a straight face, anyway) as a sanctified zone of artistic purity. Forget about the roving busloads of tourists that New Yorkers are always complaining about, it's the caroling army of Disney creatures from "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Tarzan" that makes the theater district seem like such a commercial free-for-all.

Surely a play by Greenberg or Shakespeare, even when clumsily done, is less of a time waster than "Hot Feet," "Lestat" or one of the other lamented bombs that marks this as the moment of the musical's apocalypse.

No, the problem isn't that movie stars want to do theater. (We should all have such problems!) But it's hard not to wish they were being better advised. In that spirit, the following list of do's and don'ts is offered. Tom, Johnny, George, Jen, Angelina and Cameron would do well to commit it to memory. If nothing else, the practice will come in handy for that irresistible theater script they may one day have to memorize.

Don't underestimate the difference between stage and film acting. Standing before an audience is like skiing down an Olympic slope. It requires supple physical technique, intense concentration and unlimited daring. Becoming the character is only half the battle. You have to convey your portrait to the back of the house while surviving the ogling stares of strangers, who can see you even when you have nothing to do and would be out of the shot in TV or film. And more frightening still, you have to duplicate it eight times a week on time!

Do recognize that the only way to real success is through commitment to the craft. A shining example of this is Cynthia Nixon, who has consistently balanced theater with TV and is likely to walk off (deservedly) with the Tony for her performance in "Rabbit Hole" a quarter-century after making her stage debut as a 14-year-old at Lincoln Center. Think long haul, in other words, and bear in mind that beginner's luck is rarer in the theater than in the movies. For those actors who want to do a one-off to enhance their "seriousness," better look elsewhere. Have your agent find out whether Mike Nichols has anything in the pipeline for HBO. Or how about a voice-over for the Biography channel?

Don't make your stage debut on Broadway. It's like deciding to learn the game of tennis by entering yourself into Wimbledon. Start at a smaller venue, off-Broadway perhaps, or one of the better regionals such as South Coast Repertory or the Geffen Playhouse. There's no escaping the spotlight, but why contend with the blinding glare of the Great White Way when you're just getting your feet wet? And remember: You're already huge, no reason to keep proving it.

Do take advantage of summer stages. Gwyneth Paltrow made her theatrical debut at the Williamstown Theatre Festival when she was a kid and subsequently returned as an Oscar winner to portray Rosalind in "As You Like It." Or you might want to consider a more high-profile outdoor option, such as the New York Shakespeare Festival, where critics tend to be more forgiving amid the Central Park greenery and former stars of "Law & Order."

Don't expect that your name on the marquee alone will pack them in. It helps, for sure, but there are other factors. David Schwimmer's fame, for example, wasn't enough to override the flood of bad reviews that forced "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" to call it quits prematurely. Needless to say, all the pans in the world wouldn't have mattered if he was starring in a slightly teary breakup comedy (ideally with Jennifer Aniston). But young female fans just couldn't be persuaded to turn out for their puppy dog in a vehicle that sounded this boringly butch.

Do play to your strengths. A prime example of someone who's doing just that this season is Harry Connick Jr. in the Broadway revival of "The Pajama Game." Crooning "Hey There" one minute, pounding out "Hernando's Hideaway" on the piano the next, he's mesmerizing with his concert dramatics. To say that his audience is falling for it would be an understatement. Truth be told, a good portion have to be resuscitated each night when he rips off his shirt and flaunts (in character, of course) those bronzed pecs.

Don't rush into Shakespeare. Just as you hope someone would caution Elton John against doing a recital of Beethoven sonatas, so someone should have advised Alec Baldwin a few years back against tackling Macbeth at the New York Public Theater. Which doesn't mean stick to the safe and boring. But one must build systematically toward difficult challenges, not jump into a role so notoriously difficult it's said to be cursed. Just ask Kelsey Grammer, who confronted the jinx on Broadway in 2000.

Do learn from your more experienced cast members, who hold secrets no acting coach can convey.

Don't be surprised when critics praise your veteran costars at your expense. It's the price you pay for learning.

Do find a director who can raise your level. This may be the toughest item on the list. One positive example: Scott Elliott, artistic director of off-Broadway's New Group, worked wonders with Parker Posey last year in "Hurlyburly" just as he did last fall with Jennifer Jason Leigh in "Abigail's Party," making him the go-to guy for offbeat actresses who want to blend their talents with an eccentric ensemble. (We'll try to ignore Elliott's muddled "Threepenny Opera" this season at Studio 54.)

Don't be put off by negative reviews. Artistic growth isn't built on plaudits alone, and wouldn't you rather stumble forward than stagnate? One can only hope that Cate Blanchett won't vanish from the stage after the drubbing she received for her over-the-top turn in "Hedda Gabler" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this year. The fault, dear Cate, lay not with you but with the daffily executed vision of your postmodern director.

Do take heart from Annette Bening's example in the Mark Taper Forum production of "The Cherry Orchard" this season. She put herself on the line in her hometown to create something exceedingly uncommon these days a theater offering that rose to the level of a major cultural event. The production wasn't perfect, but ballasted by a memorable performance by Alfred Molina and Bening's own rising poignancy in the final act, it distilled something essential in Chekhov that measured the distance between showbiz and art.

Charles McNulty is The Times' theater critic.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Big Dogs

Zeta is getting big. Well, depending on your perspective. We continue to have to patiently wait for the right time to sign her up for puppy school because her shots and the timing of classes has been off. So! She gets to go to school on the 27th, which is her birthday! She will be 15 weeks old. That's nearly FOUR MONTHS! I feel like I'm running out of time for her puppy development! It's ok, I suppose, as some trainers think a dog's impressionable youth is completed at 12 weeks and others at up to 20. Who knows? When does a dog's brain really solidify?

This weekend, both the boys asked about how much bigger she would get. I asked if they liked her small. They both said yes. Also, she was referred to as "portable" and portable is a good thing. Zeta will always remain portable!

Zeta is taking on the characteristics of a Schnauzer now. For the longest time she looked like a little teddy-bearish puppy thing.

Eight weeks

See, she's looking like a dog now:

Twelve weeks

Oh, and the Sexy Beast looks great! Nice hands, doncha think? ;-)

Zeta thinks she is a big dog. Lest we burst her bubble, we shall put her in the Puppy Class for all breeds rather than the class for small breeds.

We MUST further socialize her! I gotta think of other cool places for her to go -- without having her full set of shots STILL. Grrrr.

Friday, June 16, 2006

In Print

I wish I could say I was in print. But I'm not. A photo of mine is in print. On the cover of the entertainment section of my local newspaper, The Round Rock Leader. But, after clearly being informed of a request (made not of me but someone else!) to be credited -- I don't see my name anywhere!

Do you?

Mind you, I didn't crop anything off that image except the margins. Here's the original:

Looks better on newsprint, I admit, as it's just a little hot.

Here's the good news. I've been meaning to contact these people to see if they need a reviewer. So I did. I got a tepid reception -- maybe because I started out with requesting a credit for my photo next time. But I'm a sensible person, and since I am, I didn't push the issue, as I was fishing for further work with them.

Turns out, they're cutting back on this section. No surprise from a city that couldn't fund it's own community theatre $5k a year and determined the theatre should have NOTHING while spending $1 million on improvements on a golf course because their new slogan is "Sports Capital of Texas."

In Georgetown, an even smaller 'burb than Round Rock where $5k is only a portion of one night's ticket sales, they proudly parade the casts of their musicals in front of the City Hall. Oh, and by the way -- the aforementioned shot is of the lead actors in the Georgetown Palace's production of Moon Over Buffalo. Go see it!

And don't steal my photo!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Vibro Angel!

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Vibro Angel
Your Superpower is Speaking to Animals
Your Weakness is Handshakes
Your Weapon is Your Secret Decoder Lance
Your Mode of Transportation is Jet

Friday, June 09, 2006

And What Kind of Soda Are You?

You Are Dr. Pepper

You're very unique and funky, yet you still have a bit of traditionalism to you.
People who like you think they have great taste... and they usually do.

Your best soda match: Root Beer

Stay away from: 7 Up


I just found this article online.

Holy crap.

This isn't a "conspiracy theory." It's real. The data is as clear as can be.

Was The 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Z Dog

Zeta is growing up nicely. She probably weighs in at 6 pounds now.

We've socialized her, and continue to do so.
She's met at least 100 people in her 12 weeks of existence
including big men in beards and costumes,
women in funny hats,
children (some annoying!)

She can:
Lie Down
Wait(but she could be more patient)
Pick "which hand it's in"
Do the do outside (85-90% effectiveness here)
Run like the wind
Bark and growl very bravely
Give lots of sweet kisses
Happily sleep all night (always did!)in her crate

She goes to puppy school next week!

Zeta Haiku:
Small smart Zeta Dog
Sometimes on manmade fiber
Poops on green turf mostly

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bush and The FMA


In his weekly radio address this week, Dubya called on Congress to pass an amendment to the constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Very well then. I was actually thinking about marrying my dog but if this bill passes I can't do that.

His intent, outwardly, is to "preserve the sanctity of marriage," whatever that means. Perhaps then, a more appropriate amendment would be to ban divorce. Or, at the very least, make it much harder to obtain a divorce.

Is Dubya really pissed at Cheney? Is he granting rights to his own daughter's and removing them for his vice-president's? The vice president spelled out his position on the subject in August of 2004, "Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. ... With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be able to free
to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." Aside from the poor syntax of his sentence, and that I don't otherwise support Cheney in any way, I agree on this point.

Ok, I have a story here -- it's a third party story, but I know someone, who knows someone who was with Laura Bush on Gore's original debacled election night. Laura and her entourage decided to take a break from the dramatics at the Governor's Mansion here in Austin and go have a drink in the neighborhood somewhere in the vicinity of said Governor's Mansion. Well if you're gay and live in Austin you know where this is headed. The closest bar, dear readers, is two blocks away -- and it's a gay one.

You guessed it. There sat Laura Bush on election night having cocktails with her husband's moral enemies. They were probably dancing around in G-Strings as Tuesdays are usually slow at the bars and strippers help business.

It's a story better told when it's longer, and by those who were a part of the delicious antics -- but I hope Laura didn't form any relationships her husband will ruin with his narrow point of view. The First Lady herself said that the FMA shouldn't be used as a campaign tool," on Fox News on May 14.

Anyway. I'll be honest. As a lesbian, I'm not on a passionate soapbox about marriage. But as a citizen, please don't use me as a scapegoat for things that really matter in our government that haven't been addressed.

And finally: The amendment doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of passing anyway! The proverbial phrase here couldn't be more fitting: It'll take an act of Congress. And that is a really, really, really difficult thing to do. In order to become law, the proposed amendment needs two-thirds support in both the Senate and the House, after which it must be ratified by a minimum of 38 state legislatures. Keep that in mind before your get your gay panties in too much of a wad.

Maybe this will be another letter in the alphabet that spells Dubya's demise.

One can hope, can't she?

Nonetheless, to join me in voicing a need for the government to get back to real business, take action here.

Ok. I've spent enough of my gay time on this.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bush Haiku

This is a poem made up entirely of actual quotations from George
W. Bush, arranged by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson.

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pant leg of opportunity.

I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!

Make the pie higher!