Saturday, August 31, 2002

Last day. Laaaaaaast day.

It's appropraite weather here for a closing--gray, tumbling skies, a little rain, definite signs that fall is on its way. I do feel some conflict--most of me is very much ready for the show to close; after all, it's a one-man show, so it's not as if I need worry it will never be performed again in the future. On the other hand, I will miss the Cherry Lane, the beautiful light plot and the magnificent set by Russell Champa and Louisa Thompson, I'll miss horchata at Burritoville and the meat skewers at the Grange Hall, watching weirdos on 7th Avenue, watching the trees on Commerce Street blossom, turn green and now, fall away. Even though I got sick of it for a while, I think I will miss signing books after the show--I loved hearing thousands of people tell me their stories, where they came from, who they've worked for and can be tiring, but it is a good kind of work, a work I am suited for, and I'm so thankful that I've found this.

The future is daunting but full--new projects loom up ahead, and I need to collect myself, clean up my props, shut down the lights out on 21DY as a daily concern and turn my mind elsewhere. It's time, but it's definitely a little bittersweet.

Well, this is it. I'd better go get down to the theater.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Interesting article in The New Republic on why broadband isn't in everybody's homes.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Well, it's official--21 DOG YEARS will close Off-Broadway after 127 performances on August 31st. I've actually known this was coming for quite a while, but it's time to let the rest of the world in on the secret.

It's pretty amazing--we will have run five months, a very respectable run, and we are closing not because we've been kicked out for having 8 people in the audience but because we've always been at the lovely Cherry Lane on a limited engagement...and with the fall their new season is starting, and we simply can't stay another week.

There's been talk of moving to another theater, but with all the projects that have been hurtling down the pipe at me I don't think doing the show 8 times a week in a new space is a great idea. The plan now is to do the show in limited enagements in a few other cities, starting with a showcase in Hollywood, and that should let me have the time I need to get my next projects mounted, finish writing my overdue National Lampoon's pieces, clean up teh bathroom and install that mirror over the fireplace. Life stuff.

There's a lot more to say, and I've been quiet on the blog lately with the rush of working, but I promise that over the next week I'll break it all down and give everybody the 411 on what's been going on. Especially the Broadway musical.

(No, that isn't a joke.)

What the hell is wrong with these people? It's a word processor--couldn't you make a secure typewriter? Sheesh.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

I just got this email from my wife in the other room:

Please come to bed with me and feel my tumor. Before I die.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

From this morning's NYPost:

VANITY Fair editor Graydon Carter says he runs soft-boiled profiles of celebs because they're just dumb, harmless animals. "Look, most of them, like, are 27 years old and they spend most of their time in a trailer," Carter tells the Toronto Globe & Mail. "They don't read much. They're nice people and I think, why beat up on some poor little movie star? They're like baby seals. I'd rather take a club at somebody bigger. They're not overdogs, they're underdogs. They're terrified. The shelf life of a movie actor or actress is so short, it's like milk."

Sunday, August 18, 2002

From the Inbox--J.C., a sharp lady and friend, sent this today:

My friend Jonah Peretti created a very snarky voicemail service earlier this year, the New York City Rejection Line, (212) 479-7990 - when you call, you get a message, "Welcome to the New York City Rejection Line. The person who gave you this number doesn't want to talk to you. You have been officially rejected. If you would like to speak to our comfort specialists, press one. If you would like to hear a sad poem read by a kindred spirit, press two. If you would like to cling to the unrealistic hope that a relationship is still possible, press three..."

I can't imagine how much of an asshole someone would have to be in order to justify using the NYCRL - but then, I don't spend much time in Wall Street bars.

Sort of an automated anti-customer service I thought you might appreciate.

Friday, August 16, 2002

My favorite gossip columnist has passed away, and we are all the lesser for his absence. A hell of a writer, that one.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Erik Baard does an interesting expose on public plans for what would happen to NYC in the event of a nuclear disaster--since the city actually has a department keeping detailed maps of EVERYTHING, and could, in theory, try to rebuild it all. Weird, weird stuff.

Should New York Be the First to Clone Itself?

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

An absolutely amazing story of cyberpunk brain implants and the blind being granted vision. Except it isn't fiction: it's reality, and it costs $115,000 and you can get it now.

Monday, August 12, 2002

On Court Street in Brooklyn, where I live, there are often fabulous homemade signs that prove that capitalism, hucksterism, initiative and magic still exist in America. I saw this one this evening:

What more could be said, except that I originally thought the description of Zoom said he had a "three foot TAIL" rather than "three foot TALL", which would aid me in detecting the identity of this mean dog who roams our streets unhindered by leashes or ethics. Since now i only know he is brown and three feet tall, i will be forced to shoot and kill every dog I see in my neighborhood; a lamentable situation.

Also, I would like to know if calling the dog's name ("ZOOM! ZOOM!") causes him to come toward you and bite you, or if this drives him away or somehow places him under the caller's control. This is useful information.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Attacking Squirrel Captured in Illinois. Not only is this a funny article, it is written in weirdly truncated, Raymond Carveresque sentences. Straaaange.

Through the wonders of technology, you can view my appearance on David Letterman right here in the Video section. It's a 30 meg download, but if you've got the bandwidth go and have a ball. Thanks to the good folks at Eliran Murphy who provided us with the clip.

I really enjoyed this tidbit on the semantics of answering machines and minivan physics at Rooster Spice. Zach is a college friend, and just had a daughter to add to his son--he's the most successful parent I know personally, and I hear he's planning on having six more children, so watch his blog for details.

I only now realized that I am listed as a Blog of Note at Blogger. What a neat honor--I'm really touched, and I hope that this site and my scribblings will continue to deserve that kind of attention in the future. Thanks for noticing!

Friday, August 09, 2002

Tonight Connie Chung will examine the case of a man accused of killing a five-year-old, interview a Fed Ex employee who prevented a serial killer from striking again, question a medical investigator about a Boston surgeon who left a patient in the middle of surgery so that he could run to the bank . . . and in a surprise twist, interview me!

It's on CNN from 8-9 PM, EST. More on the taping to follow.

One of the shows in this year's New York Fringe Festival is "In the Wire", an exploration of what happens to information in the net. Kind of like "Schoolhouse Rock" meets "3-2-1 Contact" meets "Wired". Here's an excerpt from the NYT story:

"In the Wire" opens with a projection of a computer screen on which an office worker named Mary is writing � and rewriting � a message to a colleague. But the play does not begin in earnest until she hits Send and her e-mail is tracked through the Internet as it journeys to her co-worker, Bob. Along the way, the audience learns about things like packets (units of data), routers (data transfer devices) and hops (the trips the packets take). "Matthew and I wanted to keep it factually accurate," his brother said. "And Jessica said it needed to be dramatically interesting. Making sure both those things were true was a really big struggle."

It sounds dorky as all get out, but strangely endearing--just the kind of quirkiness that makes me glad the fringe scene keeps pumping out work. Don't know if I will get to see it, but I have invited the creators to 21 DOG YEARS, so maybe I'll get to meet them.

WorldCom Finds $3.3 Billion More in Irregularities You say "irregularity," I say "criminal fraud"--let's call the whole thing off.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Dave Eggers discusses his new novel. I wrote a treatment years ago that revolved around travelling the world on one of those one-direction around-the-world tickets...I agree with Eggers that it is a weirdly romantic idea in an age of commodification.

Studs Turkel interviewed Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets recently.
Interesting stuff from the UK's Guardian, one of my favorite newspapers.

I tell people I tasted it. "Well," they say, "what do you mean?" When I was a child, if you had a cavity in your tooth the dentist put some mixture of some cotton or whatever it was and lead into your teeth and pounded them in with a hammer. I learned that if I had a spoon of ice-cream and touched one of those teeth I got this electrolysis and I got the taste of lead out of it. And I knew right away what it was.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

From The Inbox:

I started reading this book of yours at about 5:00pm here at work. I'm marking my spot with a yellow Post-It. I've ceased having any desire to look busy while at work, so I'm openly reading and laughing with no explanation. The fact that no one around me asks why I'm laughing gives me intense satisfaction. In between being "customer focused", answering the phone "Customer Operation Center, this is Jill", giving dial tone to our "new digital telephony subscribers" I'm enjoying your tale. Thank you for making my Monday a little more interesting. I will most likely finish the book tonight. Tomorrow for entertainment I'll do my usual..."Crown Royal Tuesday".

Someone finally did a fluff piece that probed a question I pose in 21 DOG YEARS: Where the hell have all the small cups of coffee gone?

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

The Connie Chung interview is going to be rescheduled. Probably for sometime this week, but I'll update the site with the details once I know for sure. From reports I've heard, apparently a video "inside peek" of Robert Blake's house is both creepy and salacious, a combination that always trumps one-man shows and books. C'est la vie.

I'll be interviewed on Connie Chung Tonight this evening by...(wait for it)...Connie Chung! I still haven't done my preinterview discussion with the show's producers, so I'm not totally clear what we're going to be talking about, but it'll be the "lighter, fluffier" piece near the end of the show. It airs at 8pm EST on CNN--check your local listings for details.

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Salon has a great piece on the slew of expiring domain names that litter the virtual landscape, including but not limited to

Friday, August 02, 2002

Bill Lessard makes an intriguing economic proposal over at Netslaves.

Look--an At-AT! Hooray!

It may just be because I am working on a future Broadway musical, but I found this absolutely hilarious.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Billing itself as "A Quarterly of Literature, Politics, Finance & More", is a very interesting place--I love the feature on fuel cells, and I love even more the spare, elegant focus on content. Okay, I'm a featured blog, which is how I found out about the site, but I definitely recommend giving it a's good eats.

Elizabeth offers this brief meditation which I really enjoyed:

Months ago I was standing behind a young woman with a perfect braid and a creme leather jacket at the supermarket. She was writing a note on the food conveyence belt next to her donuts and ice cream, but--try as I leaned--I couldn't make out what she was writing. The donut box obstructed a clear view. The woman departed. The cashier checked over her shoulder and then said in a whisper "Julia Stiles!", waving the autographed note. Donuts--the plain brown breakfasty kind--and a non-premium brand, half-gallon of unadulterated chocolate, I thought. And it is true that when I say I saw Julia Stiles in the supermarket people ask me what she was buying.

And the slow march of total buzz control and creation continues, as corporations find new ways to control and subvert your experience of being alive. A little here, a little there...what can it hurt?

A very interesting read:

How the Postman Almost Owned E-Mail