Sunday, July 23, 2017

Haircuts and man-buns

My finally-humanoid haircut's first trip to the gym didn't land me a husband or a physique modeling contract or even a secret Putin meeting that's all Obama's fault. But my secret gym boyfriend was there after a months-long disappearance, though he was sporting a man-bun and haircuts and man-buns are not a mutually exclusive zero-sum equation and are therefore immutably incompatible so I am once again seeking qualified applicants for the position of secret gym boyfriend. 

I have to note, though, that losing 40 lbs of hair makes your head cool faster and your body sweat less, and when your internal temperature-regulating system is working at optimal performance, you can give yourself a really swole workout. Even though your deal-breaker-man-bunned secret gym boyfriend never even looks up to notice.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Flashback Friday: Flood of Emotion Edition

Here's my beloved Theatre Cedar Rapids -- where I'm currently thrilled to be doing Billy Elliot -- drowning in Cedar Rapids' heartbreaking 2008 flood. The flood devastated the entire downtown, but now TCR has been restored to a gorgeously updated version of its original splendor with a huge new bar lounge, multiple rehearsal spaces, a second black-box theater, actor-friendly dressing and green rooms, and even stunning chandeliers in the auditorium that had been hidden away and lost to the ages.

You have two more opportunities to see our insanely wonderful show. Get your tickets at

Thursday, July 20, 2017


WHY are we glorifying OJ Simpson by televising his appallingly softball parole hearing when we have a catastrophically inept, arrogantly treasonous dumpster fire of a presidency to expose and analyze and humiliate out of existence in the legitimate media?

Man-boy's Twitter archive is like the Hallmark aisle at Walgreens

There's an accidentally prescient arrogant douchebag tweet that's tailor-made for every one of his inevitable failures as a human being.

Burnham Wood

This -- THIS! -- is why I'm so in-demand with the ladies that I have to wear tear-away pants in the show. You have two more chances to behold my feral mane and disco-fantasy mustache on stage this weekend. Because I'll be waiting by the door of the haircut store first thing Sunday morning, and once the forest has moved to Dunsinane -- if I may desperately force an illogical theater metaphor -- Macbeth is dead and gone forever. Which, of course, is the logical conclusion of that desperately forced illogical theater metaphor.

Anyway, get your tickets now at Theatre Cedar Rapids.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

THIS is what's happening

1. I just got my mom a smart TV for her to watch during her shoulder surgery recovery
2. I also just subscribed to Netflix on our new smart TV, which finally dragged our family kicking and screaming into the 21st century of television watching beyond basic cable
3. I have been dying to see the documentary "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened" since well before the directors and producers even thought to make it
4. I have "Someday Just Began," which is a quote from "Our Time," which is a song from "Merrily We Roll Along," tattooed on the inside of my left biceps
5. I kid you not
6. Because I would never joke about Sondheim
7. Because I can quote the sacred Book of Sondheim by chapter and verse
8. Which I do often
9. Especially in random texts I've been exchanging with my ex since the day we met 10 years ago
10. It's our private shorthand for sharing pretty much everything that happens in our lives
11. Oops -- I wandered off
12. Anyway, I just found out last night that "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened," which is a documentary about the creation and heady experience of being a part of "Merrily We Roll Along," is available on Netflix
13. Which, I remind you, I now have
14. On, I remind you, our welcome-to-the-21st-century new smart TV
15. I have no plans tonight for the first time since the Carter Administration
16. My mom and dad are gone tonight
17. Which means I have the house and the smart TV and the Netflix all to myself
19. Since I've been planning on seeing this documentary someday, someday is definitely just beginning tonight the second I get home
20. Commence Total Sondheim Geek Out In 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


It's a shame he had to downgrade his Make America Great Again slogan, especially after he put it on all those Chinese hats. #ThisNewSloganIsABigFatLieToo

Monday, July 17, 2017


I just auditioned for Grease by singing "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" with a mustache and reading for Kenicke with a rogue Southern accent that popped up out of nowhere and WOULDN'T GO AWAY.

So I'm pretty sure the role of Li'l Abner is mine for the taking.


Is #MadeInAmericaWeek the same lie as #InfrastructureWeek except with physical proof that it's go-nowhere propaganda to manipulate man-boy's gullible moron base?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

1:46 am

I hate it when the bottom drops out and I have a sudden-onset bipolar depressive episode that abruptly shuts down my night and robs me of the opportunity to spend time with my friends and cast members.

I hate it when I keep getting crushes on straight guys.

I hate it that the arrogance and corruption and immaturity and willful ignorance and daily manifestations of ineptitude coming from Trump and his vile, insular orbit are so pervasive and so ubiquitous and now so normalized that we all just roll our eyes after each bombshell and wait a day for the next bombshell, which somehow STILL doesn't land them all in prison.

I hate that I'll read this in the morning and be embarrassed that I posted it. But it's what's in my head, it's why I'm sitting at home in the dark right now instead of enjoying a late cast party, and it's my free therapy. And somehow I feel less bottled up and alone when I dump my thoughts and troubles out in the universe so I can sleep.

Good night.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Flashback Friday: Grant Park Music Festival Edition

When I lived in Chicago, this was my view at least two nights a week every summer as I picnicked with friends and enjoyed free music and relished in my good fortune to live in such a magnificent city.
If you're ever in Chicago -- or for goodness' sake if you live IN Chicago -- go to the Grant Park Music Festival website NOW, find a night or two or ten this summer with a free concert that sounds appealing or is even just a good fit for your schedule, pack a picnic, stop by the bean (officially named Cloud Gate) on your way for an obligatory selfie, get to the Pritzker Pavilion lawn early to claim a good spot preferably right in the middle, marvel at Frank Gehry's gloriously messy blooming-flower explosion of a stage that lives in harmonious counterpoint with the graceful latticework of poles that curve over the lawn and -- more importantly -- ingeniously and almost organically hang speakers right over your head without interrupting your view of the city or the sky, and then let the concert wash over you like waves of oasis-in-the-city summertime happiness.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cognitive Dissonance Theater: 

A Four-Act Fantasia on Lies, More Lies, Even More Lies and Cripplingly Inconvenient Stupidity


Sexy level: WOKE

1. How on earth did I manage to cut my forehead taking a shower this morning?
2. Does anyone have a comb I could borrow?
3. Or a weed whacker?
4. I am not a human mustache. STOP. OBJECTIFYING. ME.
5. Should I follow my dreams to become a teen model or be in a boy band?
6. Teen model. I'm probably too cookie-cutter dreamy to be in a boy band and I'd hate to get stuck singing backup with my androgynously non-threatening boy-band clones.
7. If Tom Selleck calls asking who stole his sex appeal, tell him I'm not here.
8. Ditto for Burt Reynolds.
9. By the way, "Cop and a Half" ruined both of our careers. I will never forgive him for that.
10. Seriously: soap + water. What part of that equation caused me to cut my forehead?

Monday, July 10, 2017


My mom grew up in an era where apparently grammar was a blood sport, brutal playground violence was passively dismissed as "having things done to us" teachable moments and multiple pronouns led inevitably to multiple concussions. Naturally, she became an English teacher.
Her childhood "Grammar Can Be Fun" death treatise eventually landed in my impressionable autodidactic orbit, where I couldn't tear my eyes away from dead cockroach-ogres named Ain't and racist caricatures of Chinamen named Ing and inkblotty little spider-people who were doomed page after page to suffer horrifyingly violent deaths at the hands of invisible sharp-shooting hitmen who beaned them into broken, disfigured blots of catastrophic medical trauma using blood-red balls the size of their heads, or what was eventually left of them.

The book filled my young, sponge-like mind simultaneously with nightmarish horror; a lack of inspiration to draw any better than an alcoholic third-grader; and a damn-the-infidels, take-no-prisoners zealotry for parallel verbs, drafty kerning and horribly racist gerunds.

But it made me the man I am today: a needless-punctuation-eschewing, shameless-vocabulary-flaunting, always-silently-judging, endlessly-trump-mocking lapsed grammar columnist and grammatically conscientious tweeter who obsessively re-edits Facebook posts and who can't bring himself to forward even the most brilliant of memes if they contain negligible punctuation errors.

Oh -- and I also write stuff for a living.

It's today

Taco cat
Senile felines
Egad! An adage!
Yawn a more Roman way.
A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!