So let’s see. What’s happened since last I daylogged over a month ago?
Well, I applied for a Guggenheim a couple days ago, which really ain’t much more than an elitist liberal arts version of a scratch-n-win. Still, you gotta play to win, right? I’ve applied twice before, both times with what I thought were strong projects, but as my Pulitzer Prize-winning, former Guggenheim fellow friend reminded me, they’re not so much impressed by the quality of your project as that of your curriculum vitae. Grant givers invariably care more about the cachet an artist or researcher can bring to them, rather than vice versa. And really, can you blame them? I put my chances at somewhere around one in a hundred. Much better than the Lotto.
Found out yesterday that a job I was up for, executive assistant to an info systems VP at a large bank with a growing national presence, went instead to the woman that was temping at the desk already. Even though I interviewed three times, I’m still not all that bent about it. I understand going with a known quantity over an unknown one, and I’ve been on the other side of that equation as well so... back to the hunt I guess. The job market’s grim here in Seattle, even grimmer than elsewhere.
I’ve continued to node my play Louis Slotin Sonata, though that’s been a somewhat thankless labor of love. Lately, I’ve been adding side notes, telling little stories about the play’s development and production, but to little avail, rep-wise. By and large, I think folks are pretty bored by plays here. And I can’t say as I blame them, really. Plays are meant to be seen not read. Still, it gives me some sense of satisfaction that when I’m done noding it the play will live on here, if only a half-life (pun intended).
A few weeks ago I finally received the first payment on my commission to write another science play. All right already, why am I being so cagey? They want me to write a play about the human genome and the race to sequence it. Maybe someone out there has something personal they want to share on the subject. I welcome all comers. Obviously, at first I was more than a little daunted by the scope and unique challenges of staging something about this, but I think I have nifty handle on it now. And I’ll remain cagey on that point until I get at least a first draft written.
As for the TV pilot I wrote, since I sent it down to my producer/friend in LA over a month ago, and he, in turn, sent in on to our one solid lead, an actor who starred on a popular show on Fox in the 90’s and said star had not replied at all., I was convinced it had died the death of rag doll; but low and behold I hear back from my producer/friend that 90’s star couldn’t open the pdf that we sent to him, so producer/friend is gonna drive over to 90’s star's house (mansion?) and hand deliver it. So you’ll know when I know (or at least within a month or so).
Had a birthday. I’m... well... let’s just say kindly say mid-thirties and leave it at that.
Oh yeah, and my dad died. Glibness aside, it really does feel like an aside sometimes, coming to mind only after I’ve ploughed through all the more mundane junk that fills up life. To be completely accurate, he was my step-father, but considering that my biological father died before I was born and that this guy married my mother when I was about three, he’s the only father I’ve ever known. He was a mild menace to us kids most of the time I was growing up, though his real enemy was himself, overeating, over-smoking, and definitely over-drinking in petulant defiance of his many ailments: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, chronic back problems. In the final years, we step-siblings began to crack wise on how many ways he was dying. They took one foot, then the other; then the rest of one leg up to the knee, then the other. He had colon cancer, then lung cancer, with mild heart attacks sprinkled through it all along the way. My brother liked to say that the Maryland mountain stock my step-dad came from were “the Michael Jordans of living”, the champions of surviving on through terrible illness after terrible illness when our own Philadelphia shanty Irish breed seems to die if the wind blows too hard. My sister used to say that if she ever finally got the call saying the old man had passed, she’d reply: “Are you sure? Go poke him with a stick to be safe.” Of course, when the time actually did come, we all realized what a huge piece of us he was, for better or worse, and were more than just a little bit shattered. Every death takes a hunk out of you. Another part that has gone somewhere you can’t follow. Until . . . Anyway, Godspeed old man! You were better than most, you taught me to love baseball on the radio, and I’ll miss you.