Author, Actor, Playwright, Excellent Parallel Parker

Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water are now available for Kindle and Nook!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Which I Consider Living Social's Coupon Offer

I was flummoxed by today's Living Social coupon. Do you know about Living Social? It's like Groupon and few other online Valuepac operations. I get a daily email and take a look at what kind of a discount I can get for something I didn't know I needed. I've bought haircuts, a car detail, maid service, a facial, and a fat-freeze procedure that is supposed to reduce my "targeted area" by 20%. (Oh, sure. Judge me. Like, you didn't buy that one, too.) So yeah. Basic necessities ONLY.

But anyway, today's Living Social offer was Gun Instruction & Whiskey Tasting.

For only $49 (regularly $100), you can combine two of American society's most deadly weapons. The come-on was "You get to spend an evening shootin' guns and shootin' whiskey."

The only thing missing from this equation is a bar fight.
I don't know where to begin with this one. I posted it on FaceBook and let my friends take shots at it. (See what I did there?) AnnaMarie said, "Girls night out!" which made me snort. Why the heck not?
 I'd kind of like to see them offer ER Training and Blood Soup Sipping. Or maybe Sheep Shearing and Sex Therapy. I'd also buy  Introduction to Cannibalism and Eco Recycling.

But none of those are necessities, really. Not like freezing your fat cells to death. No down time, either. And it doesn't hurt. And the results? Well, those pictures didn't look touched up to me, that's all I'm sayin. You want it now, don't you? Too bad for you, it's gone. But if they offer a Naval Reconstruction and Creationism package, I'll let you know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Monologue is Going to be Off-Broadway!

My new best friend, Robyn O'Neill told me about a monologue contest. There's a play Off-Broadway (at The Westside Theatre) called LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE. Written by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman,"the show is a scrapbook of stories about unfortunate prom dresses, the traumatic lighting in fitting rooms, high heels, short skirts and the existential state of having nothing to wear. Accessorizing these tales — which are mostly comic but often sad or sentimental too — are the mothers who disapprove, the men who disappear, the sisters who’ve got your back."

The contest was a call for monologues in keeping with the show's theme and tone. So I sent in a monologue. Those of you who read my blog will recognize its "bones."  I sent it in and forgot about it.

I was just notified I'm one of the winners. My monologue will be read immediately after the Mother's Day performance on May 8. I don't know what actress will be performing it, but the cast consists of Rosie O’Donnell, Samantha Bee (of The Daily Show), Tyne Daly, Katie Finneran and Natasha Lyonne.

UPDATE: The May 8th cast wil include Conchata Ferrell, Anne Meara, AnnaLynne McCord and B. Smith.

I invited my mom, but she's not sure she's up to it. I don't blame her. She lives in Florida. The last time we went to NYC together she said "It's like being in a dream" and she didn't mean in a good way. She might change her mind.

La la la la!

Here's the monologue I sent in. And thank you, Robyn O'Neill. You're the BEST!


When my sisters and I were kids, long bangs were the rage. Beatlemania, dontchaknow.  But when hair got in eyes, my mother lost her patience and came at us with the scissors. Not pretty. She always, ALWAYS cut our bangs too short. If you've been on the receiving end of a too-short bang cut, you're feelin' me. The humiliation!

My family calls them Charlie Chocks bangs. Maybe your family calls them Buster Brown bangs. Or refuse-to-leave-your-room-until-they-have-grown-back-out bangs. Or perhaps just ugly ass bangs. All are good.

Perhaps this same inclination explains my mother's seeming inability to hem pants without turning them into clam diggers. She still does it! You can say it until you're blue in the face: not too short! Not too short! Save your breath. You're going to get too short. How many times did she make us suffer the indignity of high-water pants?

On only one occasion did her scissor-happy proclivity come in handy. It was in 1971, and I was sixteen; go-go boots kicked, and miniskirts were the rage. My groovy Aunt June from San Francisco, who shopped at I. Magnin’s, sent me white, vinyl go-go boots and the cutest yellow dress of cotton jersey. But the dress hit at the knees and might as well have been a granny gown, as far as I was concerned. There was no way I could wear it to the Homecoming game. I was devastated.

Mom to the rescue. After careful measuring, cutting and hemming, my frowsy yellow dress became, to my father’s horror, a micro-mini, and I couldn’t have been happier. Of course, I couldn’t bend over,sit down, or raise my arms, but who cared?

Unfortunately, I had the bad sense to let her trim my bangs at the same time. Afterward, Charlie Chocks. But I needn't have worried. As my father was quick to point out, in my new go-go boots and micro-minidress from I. Magnin’s, no one was looking at my bangs.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In Which I Ask You to Tell Me About Your Adventures in Penmanship

So I'm writing this play. And I'm hoping you'll help by sharing some of your experiences.

The play is tentatively titled MISS PALMER’S SCHOOL FOR PENMANSHIP AND CIVIL BEHAVIOR, which takes place in 1972. I'm attempting to draw a correlation between the disintegration of our national handwriting, and the erosion of civility.

But mostly, it's about Miss Palmer, an almost extinct species of teacher who remains passionate about "beautiful, useless things" in spite of emerging technologies and America's obsession with pop culture. When the ill-mannered mother of one of her students openly challenges her by offering a course in keyboarding, Miss Palmer goes head to head with the future, and is forced to see the handwriting on the wall.

Here's what I need your help with:

Please leave a comment and tell me about your experience learning cursive handwriting. Was it torture? A pleasure? Was there anything your teacher did or didn't do that contributed to your attitude about learning penmanship? How much time did you spend on it in class? How would you describe your handwriting now? Do you think quality penmanship is important?

Your experiences will help me construct the pro and con attitudes about the importance of penmanship in a technically advanced world. I hope you'll share them with me.