Friday, November 25, 2011

More Theatre...

Last weekend I watched two plays as I tried to balance my folks being in town and my wife's mom being in town. Yes it was a crazy weekend.

The first play I saw was The Greenbelt Arts Center production of "Alice and Wonderland." It was a solid production but it put art ahead of the story which was daring and creative. You can read my full review here. I really enjoyed Liz Cassedy as Alice, Ronda Anstead as the Cheshire Cat and others, and of course the Mad Hatter Ryan Willis.

Then on Saturday I watched the Olney Theatre's production of "The Sound of Music." I thought after watching this production it could hang with any Broadway version or National Touring production. They really do incredible work there. You can read my review here. It was neat to see Maggie Donovan shine playing a teenage child in the production. I raved about her performance in a completely different role. She was wonderful in "The Last Five Years." You can read that review here. It is neat to run into these talented actors and actresses in different productions.

I had nothing scheduled at the beginning of November and ended up covering three plays and I have one more to go on Sunday to bring up the total to four. So stay tuned there will be more...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Sure it is easy to come up with a list of things you are not thankful for...perhaps we should have a Holiday for that. Anyway today is thanksgiving a day to give thanks for what you are thankful for,,,

I'm thankful for my family. Some days it might be as dysfunctional as any other family. However, I am blessed to have the cutest daughter ever, sure I am bios but she is a cutie. Thankful for my wife, without her I wouldn't have the cutest daughter ever and she is responsible for her curls. Through our ups and downs we have still managed to go on some neat adventures and we still have many more  to go. Then there is Ben, I know Evelyn and I are thankful for her big brother to cheer for during high school football season. I'm thankful he is a great big brother and a neat kid.

I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my readers and for my writing. Some days writing isn't easy like life it has its ups and downs. However, it has brought me to some cool theatres, and incredible festivals like Wanee.

So yes I have lots to be thankful for and today is one day I am glad I am not a turkey no matter what some people say.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Death by Them Crooked Vultures

I like Them Crooked Vultures. Everybody who knows me knows I like Led Zeppelin, and I think John Paul Jones is a very talented musician. I like Dave Grohl too. The band has a bit of a metal edge to it with Queens of the Stone Age Josh Homme in the band. However, I never would have considered them death metal.

However, a story out of Ultimate Classic Rock might change my mind. A guy stabbed himself too death after listening to Them Crooked Vultures in concert. He blamed the pain associated with hearing loss as the reason and blamed the band. The news is tragic and yes I use a little pun humor.

Of all the reasons to blame your death on a rock band hearing loss caused due to the band rocking is better than blaming subliminal messages, Satanic messages, or the band was so bad one just wanted to end the misery. On a serious note I guess this would be a reason to consider ear protection.

Here is the band in action:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Madness

Yes everyone is used to their brackets being broken in March when it comes to NCAA Basketball. Upsets in March have ended up having the Tournament called March Madness. However, big upsets don't just happen in March. These happened last night in November:

Kent State upset West Virginia from the Big East 70-60. In the Pac-12 Pepperdine took down Arizona State 66-60. Middle Tennessee blew out UCLA 86-66. In the Big-12 Drake upset Iowa State 74-65. In the SEC tiny Elon beat South Carolina 58-53. Coastasl Carolina topped LSU 71-63.

The NBA season might be in limbo. However, the NCAA is in full madness mode! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Poetry Update

I had not posted anything on my poetry since September 4, 2011. Then again I haven't written a lot of poetry since then. Well my latest is a haiku which was suppose to be about winter. As a skier I like snow, but sometimes it might be too much. You can read that here.

I've wrote more poetry this year than I have in quite a while. I have a bunch more that I wrote in my younger years but they were kind of private. Now that I am older I write more public. Everything changes and this one is about the season Fall. You can read that here.

Then I did a quick Haiku about a rabbit you can read that here Poetry: Haiku about rabbits - by Mike Spain - Helium. I guess it is silly Haiku night as I wrote one about beavers too. Poetry: Haiku about beavers - by Mike Spain - Helium.

And since my anniversary just past let me leave with It is a stab at a poem in the villanelle style on marriage.I wrote this one a year ago so I am digging up something a little older.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

American Buffalo

In late October I reviewed "American Buffalo" at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre. I picked the right night to review it, since we evacuated are home due to the freak snow storm to stay at a Frederick Hotel. It was not so much the snow but the lack of power and wanting to keep the family warm that created the hotel stay.

Any way "American Buffalo" is playing through November 20th. You can read my review here which also has ticket information. If you go beware it is Mamet so there will be some colorful language featuring quite a few f-bombs and s-bombs to name a few.

It might be community theatre but the MET always has great acting. This production features a guest in Jeff Keilholtz as Teach. I probably didn't mention enough about him in my review. Jeff is based out of New York and has appeared in off-Broadway productions, films, and one of my favorite television shows "The Sopranos." He played the role of the Party Doctor in two episodes back in 2006.

Tad Janes the theatre's artistic director performs as the shopkeeper Donny and Bobby was played by Clayton Myers making the cast of three really incredible. Check it out if the language does not offend.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

I humbly thank the service members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Many of them have to work on their Holiday. They work long hours, sometimes stationed away from family and loved ones. I thank them for their sacrifices big and small. They should never feel their job is thankless.

For those away from home, I hope they will return home safe and sound and reunite with their loved ones. For those who have had to deal with the loss of fellow co-workers, Brothers and Sisters in arms I can't say I know how you feel as a civilian. I'm sure there is pain, sorrow, and other emotions. I can say I am sorry for our Country's loss, for your loss, and for their family loss. I an say I am thankful of their sacrifice.

I hope we get politicians and diplomats who can succeed at diplomacy more. So war and battles will be fewer. However, I am proud of all who stand ready. I am thankful of your non-battlefield activities as well. Thank you for your law and order, your humanitarian efforts, your entertainment, and your rescues.Things you may feel are over look we see and say thanks.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

R.I.P Pay it Forward: John Gugie

John Gugie was one of the first people I met on Associated Content way back in 2007. I joined a Yahoo! Group he was in and used to browse his work quite often. I've made stabs of paying it forward on this blog before without a contest. If I like someones work I share it. John was probably the first peer, that I shared his work. The blog post can be found here and it was in regards to an interview he did with a band called Mr. Jack.

Here is his profile on what was Associated Content now known as Yahoo! Contributor Network. He wrote a lot about movies, food, poetry, and his local area in Pennsylvania. He has over 2 million page views. He will certainly be missed by his readers.

I would like to say thank you. You made it fun in the beginning. You helped me hang on and reach higher levels. You also helped me improve by encouraging me to continue. Though we never met you will bne missed my writing friend.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Hiding!

Okay not really in hiding. However, due to the freak October snowstorm. I don't have to worry pruning those trees. Oh and since I did not have electricity from Saturday morning until late Sunday I got to take a mini vacation of two nights in a motel. I'm sure I saved a bundle on heating costs.

Well I ended up staying in a nearby town. No real vacation.We had a few inches of snow the town had a dusting. However, the wi-fi was down due to the weather. So it was a rather lo-fi weekend. Then Monday I was playing catch up on other writing things and it was Halloween so I took my youngest out. Tonight was my son's last JV football game of the season. They won. Which was better than the Gators or my fantasy team did.

Needless to say this blog was put on the back burner. Well it could have been worse no one was hurt. The branches that hit he house were only branches though some were pretty big, they were not trees. The power came back on a day and a half later but that is better than a week. I guess things can really get worse.

Interesting year we were brushed by a tropical storm, felt an earthquake, and now October snow that was more than flurries. Maybe I should go in hiding...