Quote of the Day: New York Playwright Walks Out on His Own Play!

The following is from John Lahr’s review of Christopher Durang’s new play, “Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them”, in the 20 April 2009 issue of The New Yorker:

I have seen actors walk off the set. I have seen audiences walk out of the theatre. But not until Christopher Durang’s “Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them,” (at the Public) have I seen a playwright walk out on his own play. “I don’t like this, I don’t like what’s happened,” the ingĂ©nue Felicity (Laura Benanti) says, near the finale, having spent most of the evening desperately trying to enlist the help of her reactionary parents in getting an annulment of her marriage to Zamir (Amir Arison), a Middle Eastern stranger whom she married after a drunken one-night stand, and whom she thinks might be a terrorist. “There’s no way I can imagine a positive outcome from this. I don’t want to be a part of it,” Felicity adds, and we feel her pain.

Garden Surprises

Yesterday, as self was dragging a 2 -cu.-foot bag of potting mix from the front porch to the side yard, she saw something purple and slimy looking on the cement under the bag, poked it with edge of her trowel and it shrieked — if such a tiny animal can be said to shriek — and began to flail: four arms, legs, and a tail. Then, still looking with extreme horror and fascination at the tiny thing — which was to self as terrifying as self probably was to it — self slowly began to back up, feeling as if she had just encountered THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.

And the next surprise was encountered this morning, as self was preparing planting holes for some Dusty Miller, in the side yard. The side yard is overgrown with long runners of trailing ivy, and self was hacking at them with a vengeance and saw one long trailing branch that she was just about to grab when she noticed that this particular brown branch ended in something furry and gray and round and — EEEEEK!!!! A rat!!!!!!! And it was sitting very very still, oh very very still. And it never moved a muscle (self was so grateful; she wouldn’t have known what to do if it decided to charge her) and moved backwards, ever so slowly, heart pounding, the thought of rabies rattling around in her head. And she finally reached the house, and ran inside, and started yelling to hubby, who was taking one of his extremely long showers: A rat! A rat! A rat!

And hubby said it had probably run away by now, but self said no, you’ve got to take a look!

And when hubby got dressed, he accompanied self outside, and the rat was still there. So, hubby showed extreme courage by first throwing handfuls of soil at it. No movement. Then, a stone. Still no movement. “It’s dead,” hubby pronounced.

The little plants self had just been about to put in the ground were about two inches from the animal’s tail. The ivy is that dense, she hadn’t seen it at all.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

R.I.P, J. G. Ballard

Born in Shanghai, China, separated from his parents after the Japanese invasion, spent the war years interned in a prison camp, an experience he drew on for Empire of the Sun (Movie version, directed by Steven Spielberg, was Christian Bale’s first movie. Remember that — ??? Wonder what Ballard thought of the arc of young Bale’s career?)

He was also: single father extraordinaire.

Also: a writer of science fiction, with a distinct vision (His novel, Crash, became the basis for a David Cronenberg movie — with James Spader)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Et Tu, Dave Sedaris?

In which Dave Sedaris chronicles his fascination with Costco:

If anything should be bracketed by matching bookends, I suppose it’s an author tour. The ones I’d undertaken in the past began in one independent or chain store, and ended, a month or so later, in another. The landscape, though, has changed since then, and it’s telling that on this latest tour I started and finished at a Costco.

The first one I went to was in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I was spending the weekend with my sister Lisa, gearing up for six weeks of travel, when her husband, Bob, expressed a need for light bulbs. “Anyone game for a quick ride to Costco?” he asked, and before he could even find his keys I was panting, doglike, beside the front door.

Living in cities, it’s easy to avoid the big-box superstores. Their merciless lighting, their stench of rubber and cheap molded plastic — it’s not the way I normally like to shop. At Costco, though, I’d found displays of pain relievers: Anacin, Bayer, Tylenol. Eight major brands were represented. Pills were paired into single-serving envelopes, then stapled in rows to a bright sheet of poster board. It looked like something you’d see behind the counter at a gas station. There the packets might cost two dollars each, but here the entire display — maybe a hundred and fifty doses — went for just twelve bucks.

— from “Author, Author?”, in the 30 March 2009 issue of The New Yorker

Self can’t help wondering if the aforementioned Lisa is the sister with the feet, as described in an essay in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Self is sooo glad she is the only writer in the family!

And, apropos of nothing, did dear blog readers know that Benadryl is not sold anywhere in Hong Kong? This self found out the hard way, during one of her extreme bouts of insomnia in that hectic city.

Self, too, has written about shopping in Costco, at Christmastime, no less (in a story, “Door to Door,” in Mayor of the Roses). Alas, she cannot continue posting. She has to make dinner.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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