Booksmart

I’m almost embarrassed (though, really, kinda proud) to say I’ve seen this wonderful movie three times IN THE THEATER over the past month. Once by myself, once with my boss and his wife, and once (tonight) with my teenage son.

The pacing, the writing, the chemistry, the comedy is all top-notch. It’s a laugh-fest all the way, but it has extra emotional heft via the two main characters to make it (I think) the kind of movie you should be able to watch again and again for years to come.

Anyway, shout-out to director Olivia Wilde; writers Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Katie Silberman; and actors Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein; (oh, and sure, to Jason Sudeikis for playing along and being super silly).

I know they all regularly read this blog, so I’m sure they’re jumping for joy right now with this endorsement.

Special points for:

  • The pool scene (the joy, the soundtrack, the heartbreak)
  • The Cardi B joke
  • The slow-mo realization that all the popular kids are ALSO going to great schools
  • The inter-gender bathroom (??)
  • The final scene and its emotional flip

Damn.

Happy FLAB Day (to me)

My dad and I were traveling around the northeast earlier this month – which was a great opportunity to catch up and bond – but I didn’t get back in town until Father’s Day (ironically enough, I guess). When I did, I found that my boys had created a pretty epic scavenger hunt for me.

I joke around a lot with them that when they have free time they could be working on Father’s Day cards instead of watching videos or playing games. I might stop doing that after this year.

Here’s the sign my 13-yo made:

And here’s a shot of all the clues they laid out for me around the house (including references to things that happened years ago):

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Getting the Band back Together

Double zing! Caught up with The Mole in Vermont, first time we’ve seen each other about 20 (zoikes) years. The beer still tasted good, the conversation was easy, and we planned out our reunion album and tour to kick off next summer. I just gotta limber up and work on my paradiddles.

Great people, great times, lovely city they live in now. And it just happened to be Jazzfest so there was a collage of music downtown.

Till next time, my punk-music friends….

Love

I’ve been listening to the radio show On Being occasionally for years now. For a long time in Austin it was on really early, from 6am-7am Sunday mornings, I think. This coincided with runs I went on with my friend Dave every other week. So the radio would come on to wake me up, and I’d listen in bed until I could force myself to confront the darkness.

Krista Tippett, who hosts the show, is a gentle, probing, insightful and incisive interviewer with guests who are often similarly insightful and incisive leaders of religious and faith-related fields. I didn’t grow up with much religion – and have a lot to learn about many aspects of it – but her show is the first place I’ve heard serious, progressive, intellectual discussions about the power of faith and spirituality in our lives. It’s a compelling show and she’s a compelling host.

That said, I also know that she’s been through some difficult times that have challenged her beliefs and expectations and what she thought she knew about life and relationships.

I found this essay she wrote and found familiar and admirable language in it.

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Rookie of the Year?

I found out last week I’d been nominated as Rookie of the Year for my new softball league. Which isn’t something you expect to hear when you’re deep into your late-late-late-30s, but it’s a real honor and I’m excited to tell my middle-school MVP son about it.

In other related news, our softball team played a tournament last weekend and came in 2nd place. Which means… we’ve been invited to the World Series of Softball (I know, Big Deal) in Kansas City in September.

It’s a tournament more than a series between two teams, so we go there to try and win a bunch of games in a row. It seems like a pretty great, unique opportunity that I may never have again, so I’m going to see if I can make it work. Always wanted to spend more time in Kansas City after stopping there on an Amtrak train for half a day when I was 23 on my way to New York.

If I go, I’ll want to write about the experience. So save your pennies for pre-ordering that best seller of a book.

Play ball!

Rebecca’s Hope Chest (reading) on May 19th

So I’ve got this one-act (60-70 minutes) comedy I’ve been sitting on for a while, and ScriptWorks is going to host a reading of it with some wonderful actors on Sunday, May 19th, at 6:30pm at Hyde Park Theatre.

It’s free, open to the public, there will be wine and snacks, AND the piece is funny. At least when I read it to myself I snicker a bit. Little laughs out loud (llol), that’s how you know it’s working.

Anyway, I’ll at least amuse myself. My main goals are to:

  • Gauge reaction
  • See how people feel about the way I handle gender issues
  • Get a sense for whether it’s something that’s produceable down the line
  • Drink wine and snacks

I might have a link to post with more info in a bit, but here’s an initial blurb I put together:

On the heels of a difficult breakup, Rebecca decides to hit the road to visit–and reconnect with–three boyfriends from her past (one from kindergarten, one from middle school and one from college). It’s a bumpy ride, but a teacher from long ago provides a comfortable lesson along the way.

Gliders Poster Drafts

Been helping to co-produce a new work at Trinity Theatre with local writer Rita Anderson. The piece, GLIDERS, is about three generations of women who begin to uncover family secrets right as the Apollo 11 mission to the moon is making headlines in 1969. The timing for the production coincides with the 50th anniversary of that launch.

Ryan came up with some sketches for the poster, and I like #2, 3 and 5 in particular.

Waiting for a few more details on this one which is slated to go up late this year or early 2020…

Ultimate Encouragement

My kid had a short season of Ultimate Frisbee this past month, following his first breathless season of middle school basketball.

I played some Ultimate in college so have a taste for the game and its relatively easy-going nature.

Still, seeing that at the end every game all the kids get in a circle and individually say something encouraging and positive to a member of the other team was pretty eye-opening. This is a big step up from just shaking hands with the other team after a victory or defeat.

I kind of loved it, even though a lot of the comments were stuff like “You were pretty fast” or “You seemed like you never gave up” or “You had a good attitude even when we kicked your ass.”

(that last one wasn’t verbatim)

Anyway, good sport, good times, good kids.