Monday, June 28, 2004


So I was cast in a play today. Glengarry Glen Ross by Mamet. I will be playing Williamson, who's a real asshole. I am looking forward to it. I haven't acted in many years - since before my kids were born, I think. I have missed it. I have lots of thoughts about this swirling in my head, but I can't decipher them. Must be overwhelmed from the weekend in Minnesota with my wife's family. Anyway, I will write more later.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

One last thing...

I forgot to mention that my wife read the play and hates it. It has a depressing ending, she says. (And it does.) She had such an emotional reaction to the horror of the central event in the play (the abduction of a child) that I am convinced.

I need to do this play.

Play About the Baby

So I'd like to direct The Play About the Baby by Edward Albee. It's an absurbist piece. Not a style of theater I like usually. But there's something about this play. Four characters - boy, girl, man, woman. Boy and Girl have a baby. Man and Woman show up and steal the baby. Girl and Boy get angry. Man and Woman convince Boy and Girl the baby never existed in the first place.

The loss of a child is perhaps the absolute worst event a person could experience. I'd rather be tortured to within an inch of my life than lose one of my children. I'm not being dramatic here - that's just the way parents are wired. How can the man and woman convince the boy and girl that their child never existed? (Well, first of all, remember it's an absurdist piece.) This is a play about the horrors of life and how we all lose our innocence as life goes on. What do we do when the horror becomes too much? We retreat into fantasy. It's safe because it's not real. That's what theater is all about sometimes. Escape. This play shows the need for escape from the horrors of life. It makes no judgment about whether or not that's the right choice to make. It just makes you think about that option.

Have I ever escaped from the horror of my life?

Well, I suppose. Although my life is not horrible. Never has been. There have been some low points and I have escaped into fantasy. Books, theater, TV, even the internet. All are escapes sometimes. I don't feel bad about my escapes. I think we all have to do that sometimes. Like when a national tragedy happens. 9/11 or the Challenger explosion. Those were tough moments. I don't remember escaping, but I'm sure I did.

However, the key to the escape is that eventually you go back and face it. That's what's different about the Play About the Baby. These people have chosen self delusion for ever. At least, I think so. I'm going to have to read it again and examine the ending carefully.

Okay, enough for now. Baby is crying and toddler is saying "Guess what the picture is" over and over again.

Dads' work is never done.

Feeling old...

I am 32 years old. That seems really really old because I feel (and look) about ten years younger. Of course, my two kids are making a lot of noise as I write this, an aural and visual reminder that I ain't 22. I remember being 22. Whatever, say the 22 year olds who are reading this thing. (Ha, like anyone is actually reading this.) But I do. I was very free back then. My responsibilities were limited to college classes that demanded surprisingly little effort. I had a wonderful girlfriend. I was acting, directing, writing. I read a lot of books back then too.

So what has changed? Well, let's see. I still act and direct, though much more rarely. I read, but more often than not I read books I've read before. My writing is like a lengthy empty field punctuated by a pretty little flower every once in a while. Instead of a wonderful girlfriend, I have a wonderful wife. And I raise two kids. They are very young still. Both are challenging in their own ways. I am lucky, mind you. I know that. But kids make you feel old.

Wait. I said at the beginning of this that I feel like I'm 22.

I'm such a liar.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


So I'm a fan. A fanatic even. I'd love to send in a tape and try to get on the show, but I'm not eligible. I've watched every episode, some of them many times. I could probably name the 16 castaways of each season and the order in which they were booted. Hmm. Let's do season one just for fun.


I think that's right. Ramona and Dirk might be mixed up. Anyway, the point is I love the show.

So why?

Well, I love both aspects of it - the surviving on the desert island part and the strategy part. I've been challenging myself physically in the last couple of years and my favorite method is hiking. I love being outdoors in the middle of nowhere. It's very free-ing. And I love the Machiavellian nature of the game. Creating alliances, manipulating people, working as a team when necessary - all of that stuff I love. I think I'd be pretty good at the game. My my big drawback is that I'm not as sneaky as I think I am. People will probably see through me and realize I am a manipulator and want to get rid of me. If I could remain quiet for a while and not try to take over, I might have a chance. But that goes against my nature. I want to lead. I want to be in control. I'm a Leo, after all.

Survivor. What a game. Wish I could play.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Exposing Family

How much does one say about his or her family on the internet? I have one, three members besides me. But I am uncertain that I want to give their names. I suppose figuring out my wife's name would be pretty easy if you did the minimal of searching. Hopefully, it'd be harder to figure out my kids' names. But is it really a concern? I mean, are people going to decide to target my kids for nefarious deeds because they read about them on my Blog? Honestly, I don't know, but I think probably not.

That may not be the point at all though. It's kind of creepy to think that the rest of the world could be reading about my kids and what they're doing in their lives. Whether they ever actually DO anything or not, it's still a little disturbing to think that child molesters, murderers, rapists, etc. could be reading about my kids. I think it's the protective parental urge coming in me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Ever been hiking?

In the last couple of years, I have discovered hiking. I wish I had discovered it earlier in life! Not that I'm old or anything, but still. I've hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail and loved it. It's not been easy. The first time out I messed up my knee. The second time I got a huge blister on my heel after hiking through a skin drenching rainstorm. I felt like I was in the Amazon rainforests. But still, there are moments of each hike that are some of my favorite moments in my life. (That's a good idea for an entry - favorite moments of my life. Next time.)

Anyway, on the first Appalachian Trail hike, we faced a huge climb in the first day. It was brutal, mostly because I'd never done anything like that before. But we reached the summit, and as I sat upon a sea of rocks looking out over the majestic countryside, I felt joy. Joy is a special word. It's more than happy. Joy is something you feel when you see your baby being born. Or when you get married. But that's how good I felt up on top of that mountain.


The second hike was rough. The rain. The blister. We were beat after only a couple of days. However, Albert Mountain loomed ahead. It's a challenging hike. It's not just walking up the mountain. You have to climb. Use your hands and feet. It's tough. Bu we did it. And again, looking out over the world from atop that mountain was truly a joyous experience.

So I'm heading back again. I cannot wait.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Day One

And so here is where I will allow my thoughts to fly into the ether for consumption by all of you internet savvy individuals.

Check back soon.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Harry Potter spoiler

Dumbledore is the person that will die.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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