Showing posts from October, 2012

How To Choose A Halloween Costume (in my house)

First, put something like this near the toilet. Next, sort through the suggestions. Decide suggestions are too complex. Settle on Sonny Crockett. And throwing random accessories onto older son. Prepare speech on 80s television for third graders.  Attempt to defend using a mask from a deviant NYC play as your  sixth grader's costume. Call it good for another year.

Who's Who On Halloween?

It's your guess. Here's one clue: And another:

Diary of A Rickety Adult

day 1 Goes to doctor. Hears "fraying," "fluid," and "rest." Learns should have rested elbow long time ago. Should not have flipped tires while injured. Hears "hand surgeon" and "splint." "Soon as possible." Looks in the mirror. Waves. "Bye, bye, muscle." day 2 Is heartened by idea of strengthening lower body while rehabbing elbow. Begins regimen. day 3 Throws out knee. day 4 Decides needs power over body in some fashion. Starts diet. Feels like skinny self of yore; is reassured that identity is not wrapped up in size of muscles. Is introduced by young man to his young friend as "badass" for being his favorite spotter. Admits can't actually spot bench press today, nor tomorrow. Is sorry not to live up to "badass" description. Worries will never again be referred to as "badass." Makes bargain with God: Will give up boxing if healed up, will join convent right after domina

Wherever You Go, There You Be

While teaching the boxing demo, I • mentioned the words "naked" and "beer" at least twice • ridiculed participants in jest (sort of) • broke out in a dance While directing the former prisoners, I • mentioned "booger" three times • ridiculed participants in jest (sort of) • broke out in a dance

In The Desert

I read on my chiropractor's blog that he'll be riding 100 miles on his bike in Death Valley to raise funds for JDRF and diabetes research . Conscious thought #1: Wow, how great that he's raising money for research. Then, Really hot there. Major commitment. Subconsciously on the radar:  Lots of fundraisers this week. I tend to give money to those that are more socially conscious, not science-based. More immediate impact, it feels like. And to the forefront again:  But obviously we've got a personal tie here. Just as suddenly:  Oh. This is a fundraiser for my son .  People are riding bikes in the desert for my son.  My son needs people riding bikes for him.  This research is for him. The language used to convince people to give--this could be breast cancer, or heart disease, and one would nod their head in sympathy. But these complications they list, they're talking about-- A shutting down. Then,  I should give money. And finally, What amount c

Identity Whiplash

So I'm driving to work really tired after the book-writing extravaganza of the previous week, and I hear a song. This song: it's perfect. For the play I'm writing. For former prisoners. I make a mental note to do something with it as I carry my boxing gear into the Y. I teach a boxing demo. One guy hits a little hard, and of course there's no way I'm going to stop him, but now my ribs are a bit sore. There's a welt on my arm. Afterwards he asks me to teach him a few new exercises for his quads. I know he's a former wrestler, MMA enthusiast, and recent strongman competitor, so I tailor my suggestions accordingly. This is right up my alley. We're doing what looks a lot like praying on our knees when another guy says, Hey, it's like that nun in the Saturday Night Live skit. You know, with your pigtails. I'm like, Yeah, thanks a lot, and he says, No, it's a compliment: she's funny, like you. Funny writing boxing girl. In pigtails. Tha

Weird Stuff I Said To My Kids This Week

I won't even bother giving the context. Or a defense. Here goes... 1. "Please make a sign for the laundry basket that says, 'Wear pants more than once.'" 2. "Remember our conversation about the communists?" and 3. "I'm not actually an alcoholic."

Up Close And Personal, Part 2

Maybe because I myself was asking for money this week, I noticed a lot of other folks were, too. All good causes. I try, generally, to help causes I have a connection to; as I tell the leukemia society when they call, there are many great and worthy organizations out there, but I can't give to all of them. I try to carefully allot our limited funds where they may make the greatest, or at least most personal, impact. (The fraternal order of police is an exception. No personal connection there, but I give to them. It's hard not to hand over money when a cop asks you.) The sister of a female boxer I met at Gleason's was gunned down and killed last week . They need money for the funeral; you can donate here . BuildABridge International, who hires me in the summers to teach at their arts institute in Philly, is holding a fundraiser . I know exactly where the money will go; I've seen and experienced firsthand how any money given to BAB is truly paying it forward--here,

Up Close And Personal

In the middle of day 2 of The Great Write-Off , I once again find myself dazzled by the up close and personal look I'm allowed into my subjects' lives. I explore the journals of a thoughtful, prolific young woman, now deceased. When she ponders why bad things happen to good people--and concludes "Why shouldn't they? Bad things happen to everyone"--my heart is heavy. For the play I just wrote for the ex-prisoners, I find myself emailing questions like, "So did you finish the fifth of gin before you stabbed him?" And this is how I prefer life to be, by the way. We should, all of us, enter into each others' lives as we can and see fit. (Only one day left to donate to the cause . If I secure a couple hundred more dollars by tomorrow afternoon, I win a private meeting with one of my favorite authors, Dave Eggers . On my husband's birthday weekend. He's cool with it, though, so please help if you can.)

The Power of a Not-So-Happy Ending

My two current writing projects deal in real people and their grief--both, even, in crimes committed and what happens next. And though I allow my characters in both instances to speak for themselves, how and where I put the words makes all the difference. It's how you tell a story that counts. It's all in how the story is told. For my book, which you know about because you've donated here , or read this nice write-up , I've settled on a quiet story as an ending, one whose power belies its simple telling. While not the happiest detail of the book nor the highest point of redemption, it shows the transformational possibilities that one man's act of forgiveness can germinate. We're left in the quiet calm after grief's storm, and we see that the soil is drinking in the rain; the afterword is where the reader will learn of new babies born, new joys. My latest play for the former prisoners has much the same tone. Hopeful, positive, but a lament nonetheless.