Showing posts from 2008

Fare Thee Well, George Francis

George Francis died the other day. He was 112. He was the oldest man living in the U.S. at the time of his departure for points unknown, for that undiscovered country old Billy Bob you-know-who wrote about way back when. I think a lot about death and time and what happens when we shuffle off this mortal coil- even more so around the holidays when so many ghosts of Christmas past run amok- so I took particular interest in this story about Mr. Francis and his recent demise. Here was a guy who was born when years, as counted in the western world, began with 18- as in the Nineteenth Century. Too bad he didn't get to see tomorrow and all that it will bring. But then again, 112 years is a lot of living, and that guy got to see a lot of stuff none of us will ever, unless we somehow become friends with Marty McFly and his time traveling DeLorean. If I live to be 112, I wonder what things I will see- what new wonders, what epic tragedies? I guess (and by the way, I am dropping th…

Cesta hořícího muže

Hi- the translated title of Burning the Old Man has changed, and I know you all would want to know that- so below is the blurb on the play. I think my new favorite word is neohipiku.

Kelly McAllister: Cesta hořícího mužePřeklad Víktor Janiš
Režie Maria Záchenská
Česká premiéra duben 2009Dva rozhádaní bratři vyrážejí na přání nedávno zesnulého otce na cestu k místu, které si jejich příbuzný vyvolil jako místo posledního odpočinku. Uváznou těsně před cílem, v laciném hotýlku kdesi v poušti společně s barmankou, dvojicí neohipíků a rozzlobeným mužem středního věku. Putování s urnou je hořkosladká a velmi vtipná hra o smrti, nepříjemných rodinných pravdách i o plameni vášně, který dřímá v každém z nás a který může být tak snadno uhašen.

Feeling Groovy

You ever notice how life is like a bowl of chocolates? Wait a minute- i've heard that somewhere, in some strange dream that mashed up Andy Rooney and Forrest Gump. Still, it is a pretty good thing, life. Of late, i've been thinking positively. Yes, i know- what a shock. Me, thinking things will turn out well. What can i say? We live on this beautiful planet, that has birds and music and the Beatles and Obama and my wife's celestial eyes- i have never, even at times of great despair- never found this world to be anything but a miracle. So, here we are at that time of year in America when we all are supposed to think about what we are thankful for- and i thought I'd share a couple things, and then ask you all to send in things you're thankful for as well, so that we can all groove in karmic goodness.
i am thankful for this moment i had during the opening night of the play i've been working on with Watershed High up in Boulder. It was an original piece put…

Change feels good

i woke up this morning feeling exceptionally wonderful- like i was about to go on a trip to Europe or had just won the Pulitzer Prize or something. i don't know why, exactly. i just feel great. Maybe i'm in the middle of a mood swing, and in reality i am in dire straits, psychologically speaking. But i don't think so. Part of it has to do with Barak Obama winning the election- no doubt. i didn't realize just how down these past eight years had gotten me until Tuesday night. It's like we all were stuck in a horrible situation and were pretending it wasn't so bad- like we were collectively the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail or something. And i mean after Arthur chopped off all his limbs and he said "it's just a flesh wound." That was us every time we watched the news and some new terrible decision had been made by the Decider. "Just a flesh wound". But those days are gone. When it was announced that our long …

Going Obama in Denver

I live in a battleground state - which makes it sound like I'm in No Man's Land, and that when I look out the window I should see nothing but trenches, barbed wire, and smoke rising from machine gun nests. "Well, Lieutenant McAllister, the GOP is 40 clicks past that blasted out farmhouse- your mission is to take five of your best men and retake the district. God be with you". Instead, I look up and down my street, and I see suburbia- quiet houses, leaves falling, people out walking their dogs- you know, the usual thing conjured in most of our minds when we hear of the ubiquitous "Main Street". It doesn't feel like a battleground- it feels like America.
On Sunday, Obama gave a speech downtown, and we decided to go. It was a great day. I got up a little before 8, made coffee for myself and Lisa, and then headed downtown. Lisa and some friends were meeting me later, so I had a nice half hour stroll on a gorgeous Autumn morning. As I neared the par…

Oogie Boogie Man

We're watching the mini-series version of Stephen King's The Stand right now- the one from the early nineties, which seems like it wasn't that long ago but somehow is. How did that happen? i really don't get this whole concept of time and movement and life and death. i know that everything in the past, from the beginning of the scene i'm watching right now (Rob Lowe as Nick Andros just left the jail in Arkansas) to a million years ago are all the same distance from me- what is it that Tom says at the end of The Glass Menagerie? There is no greater distance between two places than time, or something like that. i know that to be true. However, there are these time worm-holes, powered by memory, that span that vast distance of experience in the blink of the eye. i think that as we go along in this world, we all become time travelers- occasionally popping through these portals and finding ourselves in a room that hasn't existed for fifteen years or more, talking…

And I quote...

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in our selves, that we are underlings". That's from Julius Caesar, and it's one of my favorite lines from Shakespeare, and also from modern American history. See, Edward R. Murrow used most of that line while talking about McCarthyism. i remember being a young man of 14 or so and seeing some documentary about that, and i was so impressed with the whole thing- Murrow, his style, his gravitas, and his ability to quote Shakespeare like that. How cool that a quote hundreds of years old could be so pertinent to the here and now. For some reason, that moment resonated with me. i wanted to be able to quote things like Murrow did. It was the same admiration i felt for Bobby Kennedy the first time i heard a recording of the impromptu speech he gave the night Martin Luther King died and he quoted Aeschylus. There is something inherently comforting in the idea of human beings from long ago saying things that are still ti…

Public Enemies

About a month ago, my wife Lisa and I drove out to Wisconsin to visit family in the North Woods, which is what they call the northern section of the Badger State, an area full of lakes and trees and hundreds of charming little towns. Manitowish Waters is one such place, and we were told that a movie had just been shot up there starring Johnny Depp. The movie is called Public Enemies, and follows the exploits of several bank robbers from the early 1930's- you know, the Great Depression. Now not all of the movie was filmed up there, but one section, which revolved around a famous gunfight at the lodge Little Bohemia, does. The lodge is still there today, and the food is great. If you're ever anywhere near the area, go. But I'm not writing today on behalf of the Wisconsin Board of Tourism. No, I'm writing today because after we went up to Little Bohemia and heard all about the gangsters who hid out up north, my mother-in-law Red Miller gave me a copy of the book P…

It's the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Fine

I am surprised that there aren't more mentions of Ragnarok these days. Ragnarok, also known as the Twilight of the Gods, the End of All Things, and what's on the TV tonight. Maybe the similarity between current times and the Norse story of the end of the world is going to be the talking point for one of the political parties next week, after we are told yet again that the next Great Depression is almost here. While it is clear that times are a-changin', and that things aren't necessarily coming up roses at the moment, I find it hard to take all the gloom and doom from the current Masters of the Universe seriously. I've just heard it too much, too often, and from too many stuffed shirts whom I don't trust. (see Bush, George)

The right side of the political spectrum seems to be talking out of both sides of its mouth ad nauseum, like an uptight version of the Roman god Janus, if I may switch pantheons. And it's nothing new. Remember how after the attacks…

Friday wrap up

So, here it is the end of the week, and my God did a lot of things happen. First off, i got this nasty cold that's been going around out here in Colorado- call it the purple state flu or something like that. i've felt out of it, underwater, and just plain off- maybe it's just the fact that the economy has tanked in ways that didn't seem possible to most of us. i have read plenty about the Great Depression- Hoovervilles, the crash, and all that- but i never thought i'd be able to relate to it as well as i think we all can now. It boggles the mind, and nobody seems to be able to explain what's happened completely. If you can tell me what the hell is going on- other than that a bunch of greedy bastards have somehow screwed the pooch to the tune of a trillion dollar bail out- let me know. Let us all know.


i also made the huge mistake of watching the re-make of The Wicker Man the other night. Re-makes almost always stink. It's some sort of rule. i had this…

It's the Economy, Again

Well, no sooner had I posted my second blog about how it was all over for McCain & Co., than the stock market crashed and burned- big time, to borrow a phrase from Mr. Cheney. And with that crash comes the country-wide realization that yes, indeed, the issues matter. A lot.
Most of us have never lived in anything close to such trying times as these. The economy is being called the worst since the Great Depression. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not really going so well. McCain can say "we're winning" as much as he wants- until I see our troops coming home in huge numbers- indeed, until the troop level in Iraq is at least a little lower than pre-surge- I don't think people are going to buy it. Not for any significant length of time. And then there's global climate change, which some people say is the reason we have so many monster storms demolishing Texas and Louisiana again and again. Let's face it, folks- things are rough, and as such, issues matter…

Governor Strangelove and How I Stopped Worrying

For the past two weeks, the world has seemed to be slouching toward Armageddon yet again-to be not only flirting with disaster, but making sweet love to it- and the harbinger of this awful vision was a lipstick wearing Pit Bull named Sarah Palin. It's like everyone drank the Republican Kool Aid and believed that Senator Voldemort and Governor Dolores Umbridge(to nowhere) were bound to win and that was that. Game Over, my friends, and get ready for four more years of- well, you get the picture.

But then, when things looked just awful and all was lost, like Gandalf showing up at Helms Deep, that sweet feeling of hope returned to my heart, and it all got better. Quite quickly. Now, I'm not talking about that odd interview with Charlie up north- to me, that sense of dread passed a few days before we all learned that you can see Russia from parts of Alaska. That just confirmed what I sensed to be true- the jig is up, the genie is out of the bottle, and happy days are here again…

iMcAllister- Chapter One

I McAllister. I write blog. Today first blog in life. I think I like. Don't really get why I is "i" these days, but what Hell? i go with flow. Talk like Sasquatch sometime. Great book, you should all read. Call something like "Bigfoot, i not dead".
Good news- i liberal commie and i think we win this November.
McCain-Palin are Bridge to Nowhere.
Okay, now i will stop talking like that.
But this really is my first blog. Many more to come, i assure you.
i intend to write about whatever floats into my head each time i get in front of the computer. Sometimes, it'll be about politics and why i think the GOP is a cabal set on the destruction of civilization as we know it. Other times, it'll be about my life- like how my dog barks too much or how i always boil my coffee when i reheat it. Often, i'll be trying to use this blog to get word out about something going on that i want people to know about.
Like the fact the my play Burni…