Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I met the actress playing Maggie tonight. It was her first rehearsal. I was favorably impressed. 

Not sultry exactly,
But sexy and frank
With lots of tiger
In her tank. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Who Stole It?

Was it the Russians
By dint of digital hacking?
Was it immigrants
Whose documentation was lacking?
Was it the Electoral College,
Old fashioned, in need of sacking?
Or was it Martians,
With possible Klingon backing?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Economic Experiments

Typically when it was tried
lots of people died.

Yes, that's Communism with a capital C. And speaking of things with a capital C, Fidel Castro, longtime dictator of Cuba, has died.

They were celebrating in the streets last night in Miami.

They know how to hold a grudge.
Their attitude did not budge.

Those were exiles, and the children of exiles, and I suppose the grandchildren of exiles at this point.

Meanwhile, people are fleeing Venezuela, noted ally of Cuba, where they have once again been conducting the great experiment of Socialism. And when we say experiment, we do mean experiments on human beings.

Be you businessman or peasant,
starvation is not pleasant.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Movies vs Maps

Scott Adams has been an insightful commentator on the race for prez. But his abstract philosophy lacks insight into its own condition.

On the one hand:

"I don’t believe reality is something the human brain can understand. We didn’t evolve with the ability to see reality for what it is. Evolution only cares if we survive and procreate."

And, if this is the reality, how does he know it? Is his brain somehow connected to reality after all?

He imagines that we are watching movies in our heads, not really attending to reality. But...

"Still, it might matter who has the most “useful” movie among us."

And there it is. Pragmatism as the solution to unknowability.

My follow-up question is: mightn't it turn out that being in touch with reality is crucial to survival and procreation? You think the mammalian nervous system evolved just to keep all those furry critters amused? You think the startling powers of the human brain, which have summoned forth our modern high-tech world, evolved just to give us movies that might prove useful in some way?

Nervous systems are guidance systems. Plants don't need them because they stay in one place. Animals need them because they wander around and need to find stuff. Guidance systems that don't provide useful maps are going to be guidance systems that don't survive. And do you know what kind of maps prove useful? Maps that reflect reality.

A map that doesn't reflect
The actual lay of the land
Exhibits a major defect:
You end where you hadn't planned.

The View from Up Close

When you follow politics closely,
In hopes of enlightenment,
You may end up morosely,
In a state of enfrightenment.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hamilton in the News

I think it's kind of funny that the "polite" little lecture delivered to Pence, from the stage, included that verbal quirk, beloved of Keith Olbermann, panhandlers, and security guards: "Sir".

My recent play had a whole bit about the parallel usage of Ma'am.

If you stick a "Sir"
In front of a slur,
That's makes it polite,
Or maybe not quite.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Back from Boston

Had a great weekend visiting grandchild,
Who, at five months, is not yet wild.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Selfie Plus

Selfie with kid - not as easy
As taking one alone. 
He was working really hard
To snatch away my phone.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


It's just more fun than all the rest -

That's why I like fake news the best. 

Did you know alien life has been detected?

Yes, in Congress, that's how they get elected!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


An immigrant is taking over the job of First Lady. 
Don't you agree that sounds a bit shady?
If the president must be a natural-borner,
How come it's fine if his wife is a forner?

Doc Baugh

I played Doc Baugh some years ago in a different production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. 

This is my second time "repeating a role".
It's somewhat relaxing. I've already tried in this soul. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Night Walk

Last night it seemed the Supermoon

Followed me wherever I walked

But the cops just laughed at me

When I complained of being stalked. 

Monday, November 14, 2016


Ocelots got lots of spots.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Paleozoic Coincidence

In spring 2016 I ran the Paleozoic 25k, a 15.5 mile trail course in the Palos forest preserve.

Today I had signed up for the Paleozoic 50k, but just ran the first of 2 loops, so basically I ran their 25k course. It was a totally different course than the spring course, but it was in the same forest preserve.

Anyway, here's what's a funny coincidence:

My official time in the spring: 3:17:29.0

My time from my watch today: 3:17:52.0

That what we might call consistence
In the face of distance.

Don't Let Them Get Too Comfortable

I think it's a good thing that one party doesn't stay in control of the government for too long.

Often you see a kind of hubris creep into the party in power. They literally can't imagine being out of power. Which is fascinating, because, as a rule, they haven't been in power that long. But they think that this time - this time! - the cosmic balance has tipped in their favor forever.

Probably the Republicans will start thinking like this shortly. Probably they will start overreaching, doing things that start unpopular and just plain stay unpopular, as the Democrats did with health care reform.

In the mean time, I experienced some schadenfreude at the spectacle of the fallen faces of people who were sure they had the American people sufficiently terrified of the other guy.

Their chosen candidate stumbled.
Behold, the mighty are humbled.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hearing Vs. Listening

They tested my hearing, and it's in normal condition.
But that has given my wife a new suspicion:
How can it be, when she has something to tell,
That I don't always seem to hear so well?

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Souvenir poster on my wall,
signed by entire cast and crew;
we hit some speed bumps at first - it's true,
but in the end we had a ball.

Speaking of Which

I'd play it more, I really would -
If only badminton
Could choose to be good. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


On the bright side, Trump
Rhymes with lots of words
Like hump and dump and jump. 

But as far as I have heard, 
Only rhymes with badminton.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Cast a Cold Eye

Conjured up by a local wizard,
Here's an Election Monitor Lizard.
Try to vote twice,
Which just isn't nice
And he'll probably try to rip out your gizzard.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Last Step

We managed to deconstruct
Our set's back wall
And away from there it was trucked
Thanks to U-Haul.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Cubs Rally Garbage

They had a huge... YUGE... rally for the Cubs yesterday in downtown's Grant Park. And afterwards I saw a picture of the trash left behind. And someone was complaining about all the trash, of course. But then I read that the city had not provided trash receptacles... for security reasons.

I don't understand. They were checking the bags of everyone entering the park. So why would garbage cans be a problem?

How can you have a Cubbies Bash
Without a place to put the trash?

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Game 7

That was something I thought I'd never see.
It almost made a Cubs fan out of me.

Game was overly exciting,
But Chicago kept on fighting.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Hard to Believe

Cubs refuse to play dead,
Force game seven instead.

At Orchestra Hall tonight, 

Some violinist named Hilary Hahn

Announced a home run had been hit 

With three men on. 

The Show Must Go On

I mentioned yesterday that All Mixed Up had had three "the show must go on" moments when actors suddenly departed, in separate incidents, from our cast. What I didn't mention was that the last departure, that of our "Beth", occurred just 11 days before our scheduled opening.

We had thoughts of canceling, or starting a week later, and so on, but we found 2 actresses willing to take up the challenge of trying to memorize Beth's lines in about a week. That's how we ended up with two Beths, taking turns. It's not an understudy situation. It's a situation of "we promise you can have at least half the performances if you can get off book!"

Anyway, my hat is off to both actresses playing Beth.
Together they saved this production from premature death.

Getting It Done

I waved down goblins walking the streets for treats,
And succeeded in giving away a ton of sweets.