Sunday, May 30, 2010

Not Yet . . .

Upon waking, coffee sweetened with a splash of milk and sunlight, so bright. It will be warm again today. It was so hot working in the garden yesterday. I was planning my funeral among the gladioli spears. Small competition with Peter to work hard and harder. We're going to sweat into the shape of our former selves. I'm hoping for a miracle. I know I won't win, because men trim up faster than women. It's so annoying, but I'm on track. By 4th of July, I will be a sparkler. O brief sputter and fizz!

Good News Flash:
Soon, one of my former students, will be celebrating the publication of her first novel.
Congratulations, Allie Larkin! Can't wait to read Stay this summer. June 1st is the release date.
Check it out.

Other Good News:

We replaced the forty-year-old goldenrod dishwasher, which we only used as a drying rack, because we were on well water for years. I think this actually taught our children how to wash dishes. Now we have a white Whirlpool, and in the past three, maybe four years? public water.
So we could put this new appliance to work.

Garden Offerings:

Fresh asparagus. Yum.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Poem a Day Title Update:


"The Nature of Change" (poem took two weeks to write)

Saw Pirate Radio last night. Movies at home work especially well these days because we're
doing so much work during the day. The veggie gardens are nearly all planted, and the weeding has begun. It never ends.

This movie is fun to watch. Actually, silly and easy-going, and the music is fabulous. So if you want light entertain on a warm summer night, consider this as a rental.

I posted a trailer below.

Have to work in the gardens today. Want to take a bike ride first though. Hopefully we'll get a canoe ride in too.

My son Nick is coming back from the Outer banks today. He and his friends have gone to this same spot for three years now, maybe four? There are wild horses on the beach. I wish I could
be there to see the horses. Not necessary spend a vacation with this group, even though they're all wonderful people-- their conversations throw me-- it's like a Mamet play. All those layers of fast paced words. Nonetheless, they have a blast, swimming in the ocean, skin-boarding, cooking meals for the whole gang. Several of his friends graduated this semester. Nick has one more semester to go, then on with his life and wherever it may take him.

I'm wondering about the future too. Here we are standing at the edge of another summer.
I have my calendar ready to pencil in plans. I'm terrible at planning recreation, but I'm going
to make an effort to figure it out. I'm going to make lists of all the free events -- and start there.

Hope your holiday weekend(think love, not war) is relaxing. Back to work, then play!

"Pirate Radio" - Official Trailer [HD]

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Feeling better. Soon, time on my own

Feeling so much better. I think I'm on day 6 of the antibiotics. Have to take the meds for 14 days. I felt like I was underwater for weeks. Now I'm on dry land, and my afternoon headaches have disappeared. Such a relief.

Have been finishing up project work, which has gone quite well. Looking forward to time on my own. Have started my writing commitment for summer. So far, so good. Have written a short 2character/2 pages play, and am working on a two act play. Hopefully, I have that draft finished in a week or so. Then line revision.

My daughter Meghan will be coming home for the summer in a couple of weeks, and my out of town siblings will be coming for a visit, so I hope we can have a staged reading of the work at a family gathering. Always interesting feedback.

I've been feeling very nostalgic. Must be this weather. It's been so warm. A perfect time to daydream.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer 2010, Around the Corner

Summer 2010, just around the corner. . .

The ten baby ducks are having a blast swimming in the small pond. There's a lot of duck weed on the pond's surface, which the ducks have been gobbling up. They swim around and eat and drink, then get out of the pond and preen and sunbath, and every time I come around the bend, under the honeysuckle, they get up and huddle, huddle and mutter, mutter. . .

The chickens are doing well, but the rooster, who has never bothered me, is suddenly rushing me when I'm not looking. Scares the liver out of me.

The over-sized gardens are nearly planted. Peter has corralled all the gardens with netting. Hopefully this will keep the chickens out. Last year the rooster kept on snipping the ripe tomatoes and offering them to his gals. Not this year. The weather has been quite nice too. Although we did have a cold spell about two weeks ago and lost some plants-- mostly zucchini and yellow squash. Fortunately both can be replanted without much fuzz.

My writing plans this summer. . .

Let's see, I would really like to write about 1000 words a day. Want to finish my collection of essays. Want to finish the plays I've been working on.

Have resumed the poem a day challenge. Going to do a watercolor correspondence with my friend Jill, who lives in Oregon. We going to have two watercolor journals and mail them back and forth until they're full. Then each of us will have a completed journal. I'm looking forward to this.
Going to the Art Supply store this week to pick up the journal.

Wore my straw hat today and sunglasses. Planted three kinds of lettuce and spinach. Our gardens' dirt is really well turned this year. The plants that have been in for over a week are starting to jump in size. Will be planting throughout this week too.

Took a long bike ride today too. The lake was glassy and clean, shades of lilac and turquoise and navy blue. Off-shore breeze. The park was quiet this morning. A perfect morning.

Now to prepare for tomorrow's work. . . Oh, yes, went to the doctor's on Saturday, and it turns out I have a terrible sinus infection(probably remnant of the horrendous colds I had this winter that lasted six weeks per cold) and I'm taking an antibiotic that is hard on my stomach. But, I'm feeling so much better, and it's only day two. What was I waiting for? New resolution to take care of myself.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

NY Theatre Review of Life Among the Natives

Life Among The Natives


The Theatre at 30th Street


May 14, 2010


May 29, 2010


Thu at 8:00pm
Fri at 8:00pm
Sat at 2:00pm
Sun at 6:00pm


1 hour, 35 minutes
No Intermission


Order tickets online


Seniors: $15
Students: $15


· Company Website


Tom Cleary, Ashton Heyl, Miranda Jonte, Samuel Muniz, Jacqueline Sydney, Meghan Rose Tonery, JJ vonMehren, Emily Ward

ML Kinney

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Sarah Gosnell

Chris Larsen

Ann Bartek

Wilburn Bonnell

Stage Manager
Ashley Nelson

Milk Can Theatre Company

Photo of Life Among The Natives

In Life Among The Natives, Jewel Native is a quiet unassuming accountant whose girlfriend Amanda drops by unexpectedly to finally meet the family Jewel doesn't talk about: Grandma Native (a.k.a. Tinkerbell) pops pills with abandon and is convinced Elvis is living next door. Tink's daughter Azalea (Jewel's mom) is a big game huntress whose latest prize is Adam the Monkey Boy, a young man she found being raised by primates on the African veldt. Jewel's younger sister Lulu has a fascination with the military and a penchant for planting mines in the backyard, and her father is a local politician who is running for office on a platform of cross-dressing. Can Jewel, who still hasn't come out to her family, make then accept both her lifestyle and what Amanda means to her? Even more importantly, can Jewel finally accept her family when she's absolutely terrified of becoming as crazy as they are?

Keywords: Play, Woman Author, Gay & Lesbian

Pictured: Ashton Heyl, Meghan Rose Tonery, Jacqueline Sydney, JJ vonMehren, Tom Cleary, Emily Ward, and Miranda Jonte in a scene from Life Among The Natives (photo © Izik Mishan) review

Heather Lee Rogers · May 16, 2010

The sight of a woman stretched out on her back down the center of a dinner table is what greets the audience upon entering the house for Life Among the Natives, Milk Can Theatre Company's new play by ML Kinney. This supine lady is the Native family's grandmother, who prefers to be called "Tinkerbell" and talks freely about the significance of Elvis Presley on her sex life. She is only the first of many in this play to sit, lie, or walk on the dinner table that prominently takes up the center of the stage. The other members of this household include Azalea Native, the Mom, a fierce Big Game Huntress and prolific author who shoots her gun around the house and prefers to talk about her family as a "tribe." There is Richard Native, the Dad, who is running for the Massachusetts State Assembly dressed as a woman as a message for "change." There's Lulu Native, the kid sister who acts as if she's already a military veteran, curses a lot and plants landmines in the backyard. There is also the adopted brother, "Adam the Monkey Boy," whom Azalea brought home from a hunting expedition. The final member of the family is Jewel Native, an accountant, who seems to be the only sane person in the household and wants nothing more than to be "normal." To her horror, her lover Amanda shows up to her home uninvited for dinner, and insists on meeting the family.

Sure, this eccentricity makes for a lot of zany comedy, but this is a play about love and family. Jewel is so uncomfortable with her crazy family that she assumes they'll never understand her. She'd rather just run away with Amanda and avoid them all. Amanda, who has lost all of her family, tries to make Jewel see how lucky she is to be surrounded by such colorful relations who are so ready to accept her if she'd only let them in.

For the most part, the play works. The actors are all very funny and fill out their colorful roles with great gusto. The direction (by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer) is very clear, bold, and keeps everything moving swiftly. But I had issues with some of the writing choices by ML Kinney. I didn't really buy the writing for the role of Amanda. At first she's a little freaked out by the complete zoo of a family she is unexpectedly faced with, but within just an improbably few minutes, she seems to fall in love with them and find them all serenely wonderful. I mean, we're talking about an obscenely rude teenager who builds bombs for fun and a monkey-boy in a loin cloth jumping all over the dinner table. Then (about five minutes after the introductions) Amanda immediately demands that the discomfited Jewel come out to her family about her sexuality, and insists that she do it that very evening. This felt rushed and forced. I also felt banged over the head with the fact that the play is about love. Amanda and Jewel vow their love to each other multiple times in every scene they have. Each member of the family has a scene with Amanda where they talk about how much they love Jewel and how important love and family is to them. Each couple in this play spends a lot of time passionately lip-locked.

But the play is still a lot of fun. In fact, I both laughed and cried. I got a good gnawing guilt trip about keeping my parents at a distance. I tried to call my Grandmother on my way out of the theatre. I also got to hear some pretty unforgettable lines and got treated to some hilariously comic images. And in the end I took heart that as crazy as my own family seems at times, it still has nothing on the Natives.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Round-up, where did April go?

We've had some wild weather this weekend. High winds, snow, rain, and very cold temperatures. All the flora and fauna a bit dizzy out there. We have to cover all of our young plants tonight because it's threatening a hard frost. We jumped ahead because the weather has been so warm. Now, it's a different story.

St. John Fisher's Graduation on Saturday went through five weather changes, from rain to sun to high winds to snow to rain to trees falling down and electricity outages. Thankfully, it didn't get really dicey until later in the afternoon.

Below find two videos. One is just too adorable. I love this baby's pizzazz. And the other is one of my babies-- Meghan Rose Tonery. She's is playing Lulu Native, 10 years old, a know-it-all. If you're in NYC, check out this play in Manhattan-- Milk Can Theatre.

Here's the web site:http:

Life Among the Natives Trailer 1