Monday, March 30, 2009

He do the police in different voices

This accursed month's almost over, my friend. I'm looking forward to adventure in April and … mirth-making? in May. Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. April, after all, is the cruelest month — in terms of having to do your taxes. Wait. Maybe that's not what he meant. Dammit.

All kidding aside, I've won a playwriting award sponsored by a college in Iowa, and I will go there later this week as part of a short residency, which culminates with a staged reading of my most recent play. That play has served me well, and I'd really love it if it could get a god's-honest, real-life production in 2009-2010. We'll see. In the meantime, I will enjoy this opportunity. I was a little shocked it came long, but … "enjoy when you can"

There's another accolade coming my way in May, but like I said, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Mazel tov.

Friday, March 27, 2009

To mein readers

Well, at the end of a long week I suppose I should put in an appearance. What a week it's been. I found out, officially, that I'll be keeping my job here at the New Cracker Factory. We've also had both my mother and Erika's mom staying with us to help with baby care. Now I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet this weekend — just me, mom and baby.

March is almost over. One of the roughest months I've ever gotten through — although February might've been rougher. I'm thankful, though, for having family to help us and for gainful employment. And, of course, for our beautiful baby, who is getting bigger every day. It's pretty amazing to witness first-hand.

Next week I get to do some special writing stuff. I'll fill you in then. Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Have you seen the inside of Tacitus's vomitorium?

I've staged a complete recovery from last week's food poisoning. It's good to be able to eat, say, fresh mozzarella that was sitting out a little in its own water, or bagged lettuce getting brown around the edges, or a room-temperate cheesy-bean-and-rice burrito from Taco Bell (with hot sauce) or week-old hummus. Yes, all the things I love.

I think this WeBLoG needs some direction, don't you? Getting a little aimless as the weather warms. That's really because the seven-person content team all went on a spring break–style vacation to the official Woundup resort property in Tutacahana, Mexico. There are going to be some workshops, but we really know it's just an excuse to try and score cheap cocaine and maybe act depraved a bit before coming back home, feeling guilty and recommitting to the gym and sobriety (for a couple of weeks). God bless the liberal arts.

Time for a wilted-lettuce and room-temperature sour cream taco.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thank you, converter box

Zelig is on 26.4 right now. This thing just paid for itself.

I cry, I throw up, I cry again

Another baseball season is nearly upon us. Remember the Cubs' "super rotation" of 2004? Unfortunately, I do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The many moods

Mommy took pictures yesterday of Ella at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I think this one sums things up best.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Take a number

The line at the great automat in the sky is really backing up: Harold Pinter, David Foster Wallace, John Updike, Horton Foote and now James Purdy.

I first heard of Purdy in a New York Times article about Raymond Carver's break with Gordon Lish. D.T. Max said Lish was influenced in his editing of Carver by Purdy's spare style. Not long after that I picked up "Malcolm" (which was adapted for the stage by Edward Albee). I can't say I thought it was great, but he certainly knows how to depict the fringe, and I kept thinking of "Fur" as I read it.

Well, I think I'll give him another shot. R.I.P.

Ghost town downtown

It's been a rough month at the ol' Cracker Factory. My immediate supervisor recently was struck down as part of budget-related layoffs. We were shocked because he's a 13-year veteran of the company. That's a lot of experience to let walk out the door, but it's happening nonetheless. At least we're sending him off in style tonight after work, though I still can't believe it.

Who does that leave? Me, the budget option. There still might be more cuts in our group, but my editor seems to think they'll happen elsewhere. Who knows. It all makes me question my choice of career. Sure, the economy eventually will swing back, but what about print journalism (read: print advertising)? Thankfully, I've gotten my share of Web experience in this gig. That's the direction it's all going.

Here's to hoping the rest of month moves by quickly and without incident — and that terminated positions everywhere are recreated soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's new to me-uh

Damn, this new Fall record sounds kind of like Men's Recovery Project in places. Some rough earlier Providence stuff like Thee Hydrogen Terrors. I think I might have to buy it. If I can survive March unscathed, I'll treat myself.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

In like a lion

If there's only one positive thing I should remember at the start of this day, it's that it's going to be warm outside. And I will be back in this spot in 12 hours, alive. All bets are off about everything else.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Another day in the Protectorate

Another day, another trip to the Daley Center to attempt to get copies of Ella's birth certificate. I like to laugh at everyone I know who lives in suburbs and small towns, but this is one area where they have the advantage. I'm willfully entering the record-collecting center for Cook County, Ill., which encompasses more than 5 million people. There's going to be a line no matter when you go.

I got scared off Friday by the wait. I tried to go yesterday, but the building was closed for Illinois' favorite celebration: Casimir Pulaski Day. Today, I will not relent. I only wish I had an iPhone, so I can read more Brit history on Wikipedia. It's always a good time to revisit the English Civil War. Wish me luck.