Wednesday, May 25, 2005

It's On My Planner

Woundup has been collecting a lot of dust over the past week. I'm not promising increased content _ and I'm not predicting less content. What happens... happens.

We had our wedding shower on Sunday and received many wonderful household gifts _ particularly for the kitchen.

What else? Well, let me offer you some excuses from
_ Oh man, I have been so busy lately.
_ There's just, geez, been a lot on my plate.
_ I really need to buckle down and just do it.
_ Things have been so crazy around here.
_ I got your message but, well... (laughs)
_ I'm starting tomorrow. I'm serious.
_ Hey, give me your email and I'll write you.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

LunchTime: A Hunger Reduction Inititative

Man, I'd love to head over to Jim's Steakout for lunch. Thanks to the magic of WeBLoG, I'll just step in the ol' teleporter here and ZZZZAP!!!

Whimsical Gems Fall From My Pen (part 2)

I thought it was going to be a quiet one today _ just the five of us here _ but something happened a few minutes ago, and now one of the editors is lamenting his soon-to-be-lost job. Gee whiz, what a cruel bizness.

But let's not talk about that anymore. Let's talk about time management. I told my shrink (or analyst, if you'd prefer this was the '60s and I was, say, Jack Parr) that I'm now able to visualize the moment when I choose whether to write or not write. It's like standing at the corner of Milwaukee and North and Damen and having the choice to go to Myopic Books or maybe get something to eat at Sultan's Market or STOP STOP STOP BAD METAPHOR. RESTART.

Really, it's nice to be in touch with free will. I'm not saying I'm any more in touch with it than anyone else, but I'm trying to be a more efficient writer, and that requires becoming intimate with one's own procrastinative impulse (my analyst's term). If you can pin down the exact moment when "I'm going to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning play!" becomes "Pistons-Pacers game six--It's FAN-tastic!" you've gained a little more perspective on what we call the creative life.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's an '81 Astros-Phillies game on ESPN Classic tonight _ Niekro vs. Carlton. I've made my choice.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Chest Thumpin' (cough, cough)

I got a little further than I expected. I entered the play in three competitions. I became a finalist in one _ it would've gotten a real production at a very real Chicago theater _ but they didn't pick me for the final cut.

My old teacher told me there were more than 70 scripts submitted, so I feel fortunate. No word on the other two contests, tho I just sumbitted to one of 'em today.

Don't worry. This isn't going to turn into the "LOOK AT ME" WeBLoG, but I had to share a little. If it makes you feel any better, I was looking at the play today and thought it was awful. Is this the perpetual dissatisfaction of the creative life? Is the glass half empty? Oh, I don't know. See you at the desk.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

Look Away, Veal Cutlet. Look Away.

Yes, folks, you heard it right. After June 18, I'm going VEGETARIAN. It's part of our pre-nuptial pact: Erika quits smoking, and I quit meat.

My folks think Erika will have the harder time. I tend to agree, but the Donahues didn't ease my transition into greener pastures by ordering 24 pieces of Popeye's chicken yesterday.

I'll miss the many meats in my life: bacon, ribs, duck, catfish ... We've had some fine times together. A favorite meat memory? Anytime I strapped on a bib and joined my friends in devouring 50 wings at Duff's.

It's been a good run. Goodbye Italian beef pizza topping. Goodbye fried calamari. Goodbye chicken whopper. (sniff)

Of course, I can still eat cheese. Maybe this five-inch slab of triple-cream Havarti will dull the pain.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Foie Gras? Make It a High Life.

Per yesterday's entry. We're still working on the Tuman's interactive beer guide. At the moment, it's the pay phone outside Rite Liquors. Call me at home and I'll give you my recommendation. I can't help if you get knifed, tho.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I Brought My Own Snifter

I, like all my blogging brethren, harbor a secret ambition to horn my way into the respectable writing world. And nothing's more respectable than the New York Times dining section's booze-tasting panel. Drinking high-end vodkas and Austrian Rieslings on the Times' dime is the only way to get hammered, in my opinion.

But until I get that call on the golden telephone, I must be content with my seat on the Tuman's Tavern tasting panel, which meets every Friday evening at 2:30 a.m. ...

Jason: Here's another one. A canned beer. (drinks) Brisk. Playful.

Mark: (drinks) Simple but... assertive?

Erika: (drinks) It tastes like the floor of a taxi. (removes the cover)

Mark: Old Style again.

Erika: Don't we have anything else?

Jason: Amstel Light.

(Pause. Jason puts the cover on another Old Style.)

Jason: Here's one. A canned beer...

The World, Briefly

Coming to a mail slot near you _ a wedding invitation. Yes, we're sending them out today. Please reply by June 1st. Hope to see you there.

(The CTA clowns are on right now. What more can they say? It's the same ultimatum. The Mayor is up there, too. If the cuts go through, it's his ass _ like Bilandic and the snow plows.)


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Warm Up the House Organ and Play Us a Tune

The Web-savvy CTA has beat us to the punch, trying to stem the stream of vitriol. What is the computer ownership rate among CTA riders who don't have a company transit card program? You only get a half-hour on the public library terminals.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Is a two-syllable name the key to success in the theater?
For example:
_ Pin-ter
_ Ma-met
_ Bec-kett
_ Al-bee
_ Or-ton
_ Ge-net
_ Chur-chill
_ Buch-ner
_ Ib-sen
_ Strind-berg
and, of course...
_ Shake-speare

noted exceptions...
one syllable: Brecht
four: Ionesco, Pirandello

Buried Lede

I'm in a pit looking up this morning _ figuratively, of course, but always a little less so on a Monday.

The deadlines have passed. I've submitted my play to two different competitions. In the pit, you hope the big hand of Recognition will appear from out the clouds and pick you up from the muck.

But I must remind myself that...
a.) It's more than likely I'll be rejected.
b.) There are at least 2,500 other people trying to do this in Chicago.
c.) I should just get back to work and not worry about it.

In real news, Erika won a $100 prize for the best poem at Loyola University this year. Congratulate her the next time you spot her. She's definitely earned it.