Wednesday, May 20, 2020

You've probably heard this before...but now I'm saying it.

In what has become a habit in the late afternoon, I go to the Northern State Department of Health website, and check the stats.  I'm not being morbid, mind you...good, honest, well-researched information is power; power to do the right thing, to prepare for the day, the week, the month...and right now, we need all the well-researched information we can get.

As you may or may not remember, I work as an essential employee at a large merchandise outlet.  I keep the door.  It's a kind of dull job, truly, but you do get to see a pretty clear cross-section of the humanity that calls this Northern State their home.

No judgements.  Just observations.

The average age seems to skew older.
Most of the older gentlemen wear red hats.
A majority of the older people do not wear masks.
They also are also really resistant to the concept of 'Social Distance.'
And they realllly want to fight about it.

But they are a hearty lot, it seems; for the total cases between the ages of 60 and 90 are less than half of the total cases between the ages of 20 and 50.

I'm being general, of's my day off, and I'm not doing math.

Me?  I wear a mask for 10 hours a day; I am a regular slatherer of hand sanitizer; and I regularly take care to sanitize everything a human being can possibly touch in my work area.

I don't want to get sick.

And I don't want anybody else to fall ill, either.

I do have one request to the people who do go to these merchandise outlets, as well as restaurants and bars, and soon movie theatres.

The people selling you tickets and ringing up your merchandise and pushing your shopping carts to their proper place have been running at a stress level not seen by Americans as a whole since the early part of the 20th Century.  And they continue to do it, at some considerable risk to their health, and the health of their families.  While you are out, enjoying the opportunity to buy your toilet paper and Memorial Day vittles, the people who provide you service have begun to distance themselves from their own family members; in some cases, they have stopped talking completely and simply stare off into space.

Be kind.  Offer encouragement.  Thank them for their service, for cryin' out loud.

Because in the final owe us.

And if you pull out the old, "My business pays your salary' bullshit....I am going to demand a raise from you.  With my boot.  Up your ass.

With respect.

Sunday, April 12, 2020


It's been over two years since I last contributed to this little chronicle.

Two years is a Schrodinger thing; it's both a long time and not a long time, sameultimeously.

When last I wrote, I was about to embark upon a small run of a one-hander about Sherlock Holmes, called SHERLOCK HOLMES AT TWILIGHT.  That was February of 2018, and yeah, I did that.  About 30 people saw it.  It was a challenge.  It was exhausting.

And it gave birth to a thing called The TruNorth Theatre, now in it's somewhat stalled Third Season.  It's been a creative dream, and a financial nightmare; there's a hole in the middle of the stage where we regularly just throw money...but the work that goes UPON that stage has been pretty decent, if I do say so myself.

I wrote that script, as well as an radio play adaptation of H. G. Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS, which was actually an adaptation of an adaptation I wrote for another company back in 199-something; and a few months ago, I finished another one, called THE FOOL OF THE WORLD AND THE FLYING SHIP, based upon an old Russian folk-tale that I read when my Uncle Tom gave me the book way back when....I still have the book, by the way.  That play will make it's debut (without me acting or directing) in December of this year, assuming we don't all just fall down on the ground.

Since 2018, I've had three plays produced (by my own company, how else?), and two short stories which were published in a Christmas Annual sponsored by The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota, a Sherlock Holmes scion society to which I'm honored to belong.

I've got outlines for two other things; and I save them for the two weeks I spend at the cabin in the middle of the Mitten, so I can sit on the porch and listen to the river and write.  If I had my druthers, I would do that.  ALL the time.

So, there's a lot of writing that is happening away from this particular chronicle; which would explain why I haven't been here for awhile.

And here we are, near the end of the beginning of our International nightmare that was, as legend will have it, brought on by the ingestion of an undercooked bat.  And with the stress and schedule that comes with an 'essential' position, I neared a breakdown and took some time, you would think that I would have all this time to write.

And stress brings writer's block.  And I don't really have the patience (right now) to write through it.

So, I sit in a comfy chair next to an electric fire, I light a candle and I read a buttload of plays to determine what challenges the TruNorth Theatre will accept for Season 4.

And I'll try to get back here more often, to vent and reminisce.