Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I've been reading...
I've been writing...
I've been moving...
...but I have not been blogging.

I'll get back into the game one of these days, but for now I guess lets say My Year of New Things is taking a summer break.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

To my Los Angeles readers...

Is there anyone out there who has a really comfortable sofa that you're just dying to get rid of???

If so, I'd be very happy to take if off your hands.


Friday, June 22, 2007

my new apartment

I'm moving back to Los Angeles! Specifically, I'm moving to Highland Park. I looooove my new apartment. I'm obsessed with it. I can't wait to have a housewarming party, to have my first guests. I'll have one soon.

This is not really a blog post, I just wanted an excuse to post some video footage of my new home (with a cameo by Uma):

Monday, June 18, 2007

a phone call

I just talked to Uma on the phone for eleven and a half minutes! She's doing really good. Fuck, that was an exciting phone call. I'm just jazzed about it. We talked about how absurd life is, and about the future, and about some family stuff. And we didn't really have to play the "guessing game" at all--she was finding so many more words than even the last time we saw each other, which was on Saturday.

That felt so good. I had to share.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I know the blog's been practically silent for weeks. Mostly because (1) I've been busy with life, and (2) and I just haven't been feeling the blogging vibe. I feel like I'll get the vibe back, I just need a breather.

Anyway, the vibe ain't really completely back yet, but I've been sorting through boxes in the garage and I found something that I have to share. (Why am I sorting through boxes, you ask?) (Because I'm moving on July 1st!) (To the fucking awesomest apartment.) (It's in Highland Park, which is basically Eagle Rock, but supposedly less trendy.)

I've been looking through boxes that haven't been touched in DECADES and I just found this small spiral notebook. Only one of the pages has been used. It's dated 5-2-95, which means I wrote this at the end of my junior year of high school (so cut me some slack):



--TV Pilot Idea
--ONE hour drama
--setting, foundation: The journalism staff putting togethor (sic) a newspaper for a college.
--Cast: group of twenty-somethings, plus two adult advisers
--Follows all of their personal and professional lives (at school and trying to put their lives together) as they begin to find out who they are. But also there is a common throughline -- they have to put together a newspaper.


I love it because it's so utterly vague and earnest and boring. I can just imagine the pitch meeting: "So where does the show go after the first episode?" "Oh, you know, there's a common throughline -- they have to put together a newspaper." And then: crickets. (Actually, substitute "newspaper" with "late night comedy show" and you basically have Studio 60.)

Thank god I've learned how to express my ideas in the last twelve years, 'cuz this one sure wasn't gonna get me anywhere.


A few other things random things found in boxes tonight:

1. two rulers that proclaim: "my orthodontist keeps me straight" (mine certainly didn't)

2. the Howard the Duck soundtrack on audio cassette (yes, that's how much of a dork I am--not only did I see Howard the Duck FOUR TIMES in the movie theater, but I also owned the audio cassette tape of the freaking soundtrack)


4. a jar of nickels (just nickels)

5. a set of Twin Peaks collectible cards (one of them signed by Wendy Robie, a.k.a. Nadine, a.k.a. the inventor of the world's first completely silent drape runner)

6. "Diane...The Twin Peaks Set of Audio Tapes," yes, on audio cassette. This was a collection of all of Kyle MacLachlan's "Diane..." monologues from the show, including some that he recorded just for the tape. (I am in Twin Peaks Geek Heaven right now.)

7. all of my high school I.D.s, including the fake I.D. I bought from Mujibar and Sirajul when I was fifteen. (I was on a high school drama trip to New York and I decided I wanted to get drunk for the first time, which I did, successfully, at Don't Tell Mama's.) (They didn't card me, and if I remember correctly I drank: 1 gin and tonic, 1 rum and coke, 1 rum and hot chocolate, and 2 pina coladas.) (I got unbelievably drunk.) (Here's the funny part: they didn't card me until...I paid for my drinks with travellors checks that said my real name on them, and then they asked to look at I.D. to verify the travellors checks and I gave them my fake I.D. that had a fake name on it. At that point, I'd already drunk their drinks and they just wanted my money.) (By the way, my fake I.D. was the worst fake I.D. in the world.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

raising money to pay for Uma's speech/physical therapy -- help with your VOTE, not with money

Please go to:


and register with the site, so you can vote. It's super quick and easy. Once you've registered, please vote for Uma at the following link:


The voting is based on a star system. Please give Uma 5 stars! The winner gets 500 bucks. If Uma wins, the money will go towards her therapy bills.

Thank you kindly.


In other news...


My current two favorite songs are

(1) U + UR HAND by Pink


(2) GIRLFRIEND by Avril Lavigne

True story.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

8 things

I got tagged by Rob to list 8 random facts about myself. I haven't been blogging enough lately, so I figure a meme is as good a way to get back into the game as any. Here goes. (And, by the way, these facts are so completely random I don't know where they just came from.)

1. I hate cheese. Most days this doesn't really come up. But this one time, I was in France (this was just after graduating from high school, I lived in the south of France for the summer) and on the first day I was there, the family I was staying with offered me the proverbial French Cheese Tray. I'm polite, so I tried to eat a piece of cheese, but French cheese is, like, out of control, and I couldn't even swallow it, and I gagged it into my napkin, and it was totally embarrassing. The family I was staying with, however, continued offering me the French Cheese Tray at every single meal for the rest of the summer. I hate cheese.

2. In 2000, I worked for a day as an extra on ER. I was dressed as a paramedic and the 2nd A.D. told me to just stand at the end of the hall, while Dr. Greene ran past me. But just standing at the end of the hall didn't seem like something a real paramedic would do, and I noticed that I was near a wall-phone, so I picked it up and pretended to be on a call. I kept waiting for someone to be like, "what's that paramedic doing, we never told him he could use the phone," but no one stopped me. About a month later, coincidentally, I temped as an assistant for one of ER's EP's and I noticed a box of dailies on their way to be recycled. I surrepticiously rifled through the box and found the dailies from my day on the set, and, well...let's just say I got to be all: "look! There I am talking on the phone! And look--there I am talking on the phone again!"

3. I owned every single Garbage Pail Kid ever made (about 2000 unique cards) until they decided to start producing NEW cards in 2003--part of me really wants to start collecting again, so that my set will truly be complete, and another part of me is like: "you're a dork."

4. If I was given a choice between having the power of flight or the power of invisibility, I would choose the power of invisibility. For snooping purposes.

5. The first play I ever acted in was A Christmas Carol at SCR in 1988. I had one line of dialogue: "But it's Christmas Eve, Mr. Scrooge!"

6. I have really bad gaydar. I was at a party recently and I met this guy and this girl, and the guy was really cute, and I was totally flirting with him, and then the girl mentioned that they were about to move in together, except, for some reason, when she said it, I thought she meant that they were just going to be roommates. Honestly, I don't know how I could mistake "we're moving in together" for anything other than "bitch, we're a couple, stop flirting with my man," but I totally didn't get it, and I continued to flirt with him, until about an hour later when I asked the girl if the guy was single and she was like, "um, what part of 'we're moving in together' don't you understand?"

7. I once drove away from a gas station with the gas pump still in my car. I heard a loud clanging sound as I pulled out of the gas station, but I still didn't realize what had happened. Then, in my rearview mirror, I noticed the gas station attendant running after me, so I pulled over, and that's when I saw that my poor little shit-brown Mercury Topaz (RIP) had a motherfreaking gas pump for a tail. Whoops.

8. One day I want to have a home with a wrap-around porch.

Okay, one of the requirements of this meme, apparently, is that you're supposed to tag 8 other people. If you've already done this meme before, hit us with 8 new things. (And I'm tagging people I don't really know that well, a few people whom I've only met on the blogosphere, but I really enjoy reading your blogs, so I hope you'll play along.)

Tagged: Kyle, Chad, Sheila, Sheila, Willam, Michael, Annie, and Anderson Cooper. (Come on, Anderson--make my day.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Year of New Things goes digital

I just got my first digital camera and I am OBSESSED with it. I’m really into the photos that don’t really come out, the kind of blurry ones, where light seems to smear across the photo. Or where peoples faces get kind of mashed together. Like these:

Monday, June 04, 2007

look out for: "10 for everything" by Rachel Kann

One of my favorite writers in the whole world (and, okay, full disclosure: one of my favorite people in the whole world too) (but this post is about her writing, so let's stick with that for now), Rachel Kann, has a book of short stories coming out on June 15th, which is so fucking exciting and I recommend that you do yourself a favor and buy a copy of the book. (To be completely honest, I haven't even read the book yet, but Rachel's cd "word to the whys" has been in heavy rotation on my ipod lately and she's just so damned good. I can't wait to read her fiction. I'm getting an advanced copy, and I'll report back on it soon.)

More info about her book (as well as how to purchase a copy) can be found on her MySpace page. You can pre-order your copy today, and your book will be shipped to you on June 15th.

If you saw either of my last two plays (Yellow Flesh/Alabaster Rose, or Red Light Green Light), you'll remember Rachel as Rose, the pregnant goth teen (the Los Angeles Times called her "radiant"), and you might also know Rachel as a kick-ass poet and emcee (she used to host Co:Lab at Temple Bar in Santa Monica, and Chromosome X at The Knitting Factory), but if you don't know her at all, you should get acquainted. I have a feeling you'll be seriously glad you did.

But don't just take my word for it. Here's what people who've actually read the book are saying:

Rachel Kann has crafted an addictive parallel universe, where funky little worlds shift and shudder, and characters are deftly etched and blessed with her gleefully skewed perspective. The sharp lyricism of these stories, which practically beg to be read aloud, unmask Ms. Kann for the poet she is, and that unpredictability of language is nothing less than a revelation.

--Patricia Smith, Teahouse of the Almighty (National Poetry Series Winner,) Four Time National Poetry Slam Champion

Anyone lucky enough to hear Rachel Kann perform knows that this woman has a Voice. What a thrill to see this voice translated into fiction, into a wide range of other voices, voices that burn right through the page with their yearning for, and fear of, connection. She's crafted stories that are fresh and surprising, with a true human heartbeat.

--Gayle Brandeis, The Book of Dead Birds (Bellwether Prize for Fiction Winner)

I'm looking for a story in a voice I care about-and a distinctive voice that isn't like anyone else's. I'm looking for something new and interesting and worthy of my time as a reader. And Rachel Kann's fine work is all of those things and more.

--Rob Roberge, author of Drive and More Than They Could Chew

When Rachel handed me her first pages, told me to be gentle, because it was her first time, I knew Rachel probably didn't want any kind of gentle first time. First times should be messy and angry and strange...and, oh, Rachel did not disappoint. And here we are again, another first time, but this time it's a book, and it's messy and angry and strange and beautiful and passionate and hopeful, sometimes all in the same sentence.

--Tod Goldberg, author of Simplify, Living Dead Girl & Fake Liar Cheat

Also, while I'm on the subject of Rachel and her awesomeness...

Rachel is participating in this online spoken word competition, and she needs people to vote for her video. If you have a few short moments, click on the links below and check it out. It's one of my favorite poems of hers, and she totally deserves so many more votes than she has right now.

Here are all of the pertinent details about the competition (cut-and-pasted from an email Rachel just sent out):

i am in this fame cast spoken word competition online thing right now.
and, i am just saying...
the prize is 10,000 bux.
and you can vote for me.

its a video comp, and so my animated piece, pretty talk, (the amazing lewis klahr did the animation,) is in the running.

its really easy to vote.
yes, its one of those things where you have to register...
BUT...these fame cast people are very cool, and you won't get spammed in your email inbox, i promise.
they're cool like that.

so, you go register here: CLICK ME

and then you go vote here: CLICK ME

so it would really really mean a lot to me if you voted, i am really proud of the piece, lewis klahr is brilliant, and its like the only animated piece in the whole competition that i am aware of. so do it for collage art, people!

feel free to spread the word about the competition and the book by forwarding this email to anyone you think would be interested.

i hope you are well.

i am really grateful to you for reading this,

John's latest Uma update (6/3/07)


Hl everyone,

Just on the off chance that anyone out there was
wondering whether Uma had lost any of her personality
or her passion for life and for the objective truth of
life, or her love for me or her friends and family, or
her desire to act and express her love and art, or her
respect for others and the world and all its
blessings....don't wonder....I don't.

She continues to work and improve on everything and
continues to be more frustrated at times because her
improvement illuminates more of the path ahead for her
and she can see more clearly everyday where she's been
and where she wants to go. To risk the broken record
instance, it's going to be a long road. But she is
less bling to it as each day passes. This reveals to
her the tragedy she escaped and the love she's been
given and produces. Yesterday on our walk she said -
and this is a direct quote, "I just want to do what I
need to do today, tomorrow, and the next." And we
were talking in the context of her recovery.

I'm at a starbucks in orange county about to go play a
job and Erik and Lauren Campadelli are with her by
turns today. When Erik came over this morning he
remarked that she is more verbal than she was even
since last Monday. And today in physical therapy at
home she was working on her right arm extensively. I
have a video now of her extending her right arm away
from her belly (while lying down thereby making it
easier to isolate the shoulder muscles from helping.)
I think it was called 'external rotation'. This is
good. As soon as our home PT saw that Uma could move
her arm at all she just 'floored it'. Uma has
actually done nothing but get better since January
31st, despite everything including hydrocephalus.

There have been two times now that I've left her at
home alone for a couple of hours. She's getting better
at calling me on the cell phone. One time she actaully
dialed my number rather than just utilizing the
'return' feature after I had called her. I really
wrestled with this - when do I let her stay at home
alone? One of the answeres to that question revealed
itself when I realized that there have been many times
where I've been working in the studio for a couple of
hours without checking on her. She could have had a
problem during that time and I might not necessarily
have known about it. The difference being that when
I'm not actually at home I would need to have someone
close by to check on her if needed and I believe I
have that option among about a dozen friends all of
whose numbers are in my cell phone and written in my
phone book. Uma was so excitied the first time I left
her at home alone. Her autonomy is thrilling to her.
In this she hasn't changed at all.

Last weekiend we had a nice visit with her aunt, uncle
and cousins in Malibu. Her aunt cooked spicy sri
lankan style food and it was actually a bit much for
Uma. This was the first really hot food since 1/31.
She made it though.

She now sees one of two physical therapists six times
a week and a speech therapist three times a week. We
can carry on this way for many months and we will do

I can't wait 'till she and I can carry on a nice, long
conversation. That's something we used to do almost
daily and sometimes, when I have time to think about
it, I really miss it. I think it will probabaly happen
this year.

Thanks again for all the help, prayers, visits and

Bye for now,