Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spinning and spinning

At PT on Friday I was riding a stationary bike. Yesterday I had a migraine and still pushed through my home routine at 6 am, with a lot of sweat and heavy breathing.

Last night was opening at the new Hanna. Today I slept in, god dammit.

I have had the opportunity to go over the first ten pages and incorporate changes suggested through last Monday's read. Everything needs to be more brief, showing not telling, etc. Act it out. it's a play. There are several passages about literature in the play (and one about a certain animated cartoon movie) and I am struggling to tell them in interesting and non-copyright infringement-oriented ways.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

hit me baby one more time

Went in yesterday for PT, and we started using machines. I was in there for an hour last Friday, almost two yesterday. Melissa added to my reps and now my home workout has gone from 60 to 90 minutes, I need to get up at 5.30 just to get it all in.

But you know, they're a good 90 minutes. I listen to Capital Radio and enjoy an hour and a half of pop music and active solitude. It's almost like running.

Well, no, but it has elements in common with running. Which is not the same thing.

Meanwhile, something about this ordeal has resulted in a full-on re-emergence of my meralgia. I think it was the way I need to lie while my left knee was still actively in pain. But that awful, screaming feeling in my right thigh returns whenever I lie down, unless I crush it by resting on my right side, which is difficult to do all night. So I was up several times last night.

Hope I can stay awake for PR tonight. Veronica is such a bitch.

Monday, September 22, 2008


First night with the CPH Playwright's Unit. We will meet biweekly through the spring, bringing ten pages to the table more or less every other Monday, with a few special readings stuck in there for good measure. That's good work!

Due to a recent shift, there have been three new additions to the eight member unit (nine, if you include Seth, which you most definitely should) and we were pressed to be the first to offer. I skittishly offered to go first of the first.

The first ten pages of ATYD, the beginning, which is the part I am most concerned about. I had offered up the middle ten (roughly) at the Dark Room a couple months ago, because I felt more confident about those. This is set-up. It's hard to start.

E.C. read the lines (E.S. the stage directions) and he did all right, he's not me, you know. M.O. said it was a bit heavy, he wanted more cheek, and I got that. Only I think I will be bringing the cheek, if you know what I mean.

I love hearing the bits I didn't even get when I was writing them. I didn't even intend them, but I'll take them. D.M. thought I used the term refugee camp twice when describing Fort Wadsworth. Not true, but I somehow had made her think that, so I think I was getting the image across. Things like that.

The Forster bit is too long, I knew that. I don't think character will help.

S.G. says it works so far, the idea that these thoughts are going through the mind of a marathon runner as he runs. That's good. Ali, how do we make sure it looks like that?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Phys Therp has kicked my ass. Fact is, I walk without a limp and was able to play my part in the big ceremony last night without anyone being able to tell I'd even had knee surgery 11 days earlier.

However, bending my knee is still limited. I can hardly comprehend ever being "normal" - it feels like there is a piece of foam rubber tucked under my knee cap. But I have been a good boy and done the hour's worth of exercises the past two days. I see the pro again on Tuesday.

I have two hours to myself (which I am squandering on blogs) in which to work on the script. Unfortunately, I went to the Phoenix on Coventry first, which is peaceful - and packed on Sunday afternoons. I am now at the Phoenix on Lee which is chatty with loud music and has servers WHO NEVER SHUT UP.

Sorry. Just had to get that off my chest. But seriously. They never shut up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


This morning the boy got up early, shortly after I did, and I put him to work. We needed to sweep up my office after I took up the ancient rug to create a clean flat space to do my daily therapy workout.

Not only was he extremely eager and helpful in the sweeping department, we had a nice conversation and he stuck with me while I did almost half of my workout before asking to please do something else. His life is composed of those activities I need to do that I can get him to do with me before I give up and put him front of the set because I am not done yet.

Mr. S. is going to be a little stiff-legged at the big gala tonight, but cut him a break he's 444 years-old.

Meanwhile, I need to revisit the script to this solo performance I am supposedly presenting in January. The first gathering of the new playwrights' unit is on Monday and I hope to provide ten pages that aren't warmed over.

I'm sorry, where am I?

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Nights which say "Knee"

Really, the cold ones with a lot of humidity.

I broke my knee two years ago in October (on the way to see Sarah Morton in David's Hamlet) when I got hit by a drunk driver. Since then my knee makes awful sounds going up stairs and hurts when it is cold and/or humid. Hopefully David's does better.

I read all of Breaking Point, Turtleneck, and College in one sitting. Nice to actually do that, even if I stayed up too late. I was surprised by how BP ended, since I skipped around in David's cartoons before.

I had my animation transferred to dvd, but for some reason the sound doesn't work on my own tv, so I don't know if it will work on anyone else's. It works fine on the tv of the person who transferred it. I am not technologically smart or invested enough to try and figure this out or fix it.
So, David, if you have an old vcr -- remember those? -- we could still watch it, if you wanted to. Let me know.

We can rebuild him

First date of physical therapy. Not the most difficult thing I have ever done. But I am so queasy about undoing the work my surgeon did, any little pull makes me a little sick.

These aren't the pains, which come from the bruised areas, but the part just below the patella where it feels like something is duct-taped together in there, and I am stretching it apart.

It took an hour, and I was surprisingly weak by the end (why the surprise?) but I feel really good now, and much more confident that I am mending properly. Something about professional supervision does that to me. I guess I would make an excellent camp guard, my college roommate always said so.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thoughts before sleep

"Vicodin makes me a better director because it curbs my ADD tendencies I don't fidget, scratch or ... pick. But I am focused and attentive and I have ideas and I say things and I don't care what anyone thinks about them."

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's all good

A visit to the doctor today was greatly reassuring - Dr. V. is a very reassuring man. Apparently everything is healing nicely, the swelling is not unusual, he wrapped my knee again and the pressure itself makes the pain much weaker. I mentioned to horrific amount of blood that had drained away and he said that was good. "The problem," he said, "is when it stays in."

Next step; sports therapy! I will be taking hour-long, early morning sessions beginning this Friday.

I have a dream. I have a dream. I have a dream ...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's good to see my knee.

Over the past several days the bandages had become increasingly intolerable ... as the swelling in my leg decreased, I noticed that there was some kind of hard, cast-like material surrounding my knee and down one side of my calf. And sleeping - as I laid off the Vicodin - was troubled and difficult.

Last night, in anticipation of having a proper wash today, I removed the bandages. It was not a cast-like substance, but a large amount of blood which had soaked the cotton underbandage and hardened into, well, a kind of a cast.

(Cue creeped-out shudder.)

I am still using crutches for long excursions. I see the doctor tomorrow for a check-up, and I am dearly hoping the news is good, or boring, or something like that. No surprises, please.

I think the weirdest thing about the photo above is not the incisions, or the swelling ... but the shaving.

Friday, September 12, 2008

She draws stuff

Had an extended meeting with Cat this evening. This is the plan ... I dislike plays about theater people, not all of them, just in general. Like movies about Hollywood or spreadsheets about accountants, just a bit too cute and insidery.

Okay that's not it. Regardless, I did not want I HATE THIS to be about my job, but about my situation. I make a passing reference to my being a writer. Otherwise, a vocation is never mentioned.

However, ATYD spans twenty-six (point two) years and it became increasingly difficult to avoid discussing what I do. Life intersects with health, with relationships and with work. So instead of being a theater artist, the main character, who is me, is not a theater artist. Pengo is an illustrator.

Now, I am an illustrator, or at least a competent cartoonist. But I want to include artwork in the production which represent the work of someone who could actually succeed as an artist - professionally. So I asked Cat.

She's already done the illustrations for the book of IHT, and I have been a fan of her work since high school. I am rilly, rilly glad she agreed to be part of this. We went over old work of mine, and hers, and went over those places in the play which will be helped by cartoons or illustrations.

Oh my, the Vicodin just kicked in. Wow, that was fast. I have been hobbling around on crutches since Tuesday, probably doing more than I should. I get to take the wrap off on SUnday and have my follow-up Monday morning. I am in the irritable and edgy phase. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Don't expect wit from me, I just draw stuff.

Yeah. Or I will be drawing stuff, anyway.

I'm digging on the idea. This Friday David's going to meet up with me and explain what sort of stuff I'm going to draw. Then I can maybe post something with more depth.
Don't expect too much, though. Most likely it will be stuff like: "Crap in a hat! I can't get this furshlugginer hand to look right!" or perhaps "It's three am and my Pentel ColorBrush just ran out of ink. Curses!" or even "I LOVE drawing sneakers! There's just something about them that is fun to draw."

So, yeah. Words of brilliance should be looked for elsewhere.

Thanks for the invite to post, though.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The operation went without a hitch. They were precisely correct about what the problem was - I had a minor meniscus tear, like "a hang nail." They clipped it and sewed me back up. After a 9:30 operation I was back on the street with a pair of crutches by noon.

I am not happy about not being able to shower until Sunday, I have to keep my leg wrapped until then. And though I have been trying not to tax myself, I misjudged today and had a long hobble from the bus stop to my home. At least, as Ali points out, I am getting an upper body workout.

Monday, September 08, 2008


"Left knee arthroscopy and partial lateral menisectomy and meniscus repair."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Be gentle

Hello?....Is this thing on? Oh man, I hope I'm not supposed to be clever or witty or anything. Um, so Dave has invited me to post a blog in conjunction with his show called "And So You Die". Yes, and I'll be, well stage managing it. Which is nice, because I stage managed "I Hate This" and it was a wonderful, wonderful job to do. I'm happy Dave has asked me to walk (or run?) with him on this one as well, since after all the directing is done, I'm still there with him.

I never thought of it that way before this moment. That felt nice.


Met with Josh today. He will be designing ... well, he'll be designing a lot. I imagined using slides again, and there will be an awful lot of slides. And he's taking care of the music and sound effects.

For the piece on my Cross-Cleveland run, he plans on strapping his camera to his bike and following my route. If I am in shape for it, I hope I can join him.


Met with Ali yesterday to discuss muscle training. She recommended a great series of low-impact exercises that will tone my body while I am "waiting" to resume some kind of active training - like bicycle riding or spinning or whatever they call it.

I am doing a lot of work with the base of a mic stand. Interesting.