Another Reason I Miss Being a Journalist

Can’t really blame the guy too much…you’d want to have a few drinks before attempting this. Those chest compressions aren’t pretty.

Police: Drunk Pa. man tried to revive dead opossum
March 26, 2010 – 7:48pm

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) – Police say they charged a Pennsylvania man with public drunkenness after he was seen trying to resuscitate a long-dead opossum along a highway.

State police Trooper Jamie Levier says several witnesses saw 55-year-old Donald Wolfe, of Brookville, near the animal Thursday along Route 36 in Oliver Township, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The trooper says one person saw Wolfe kneeling before the animal and gesturing as though he were conducting a seance. He says another saw Wolfe attempting to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Levier says the animal already had been dead a while.

The Associated Press could not locate a home telephone number for Wolfe.

Attention Playwrights

The nice folks at the Bloomington Playwrights Project asked me to post a notice announcing their call for scripts–you’d think they’d have better stuff to do than read gibberish like splattworks–but they were kind and charming and help playwrights…so here’s the info (plus, kudos, there’s no fee, and, if you win, you might get a chance to hang out with Craig Wright and pester him with Six Feet Under questions):

National Playwriting Contest

The Bloomington Playwrights Project is now accepting ten-minute play submissions pertaining to its AwareFest theme, “A Green World.” The BPP literary committee will narrow down the submissions to a list of 5 finalists. From those finalists the Producing Artistic Director will select the top 3 who will be acknowledged in the local newspaper and receive two complimentary tickets to the production (transportation is not provided). The 1st place winner will have their play produced in the festival alongside many prominent playwrights and receive a $100 prize. Currently negotiations are underway for the likely possibility that the winner’s
play will be professionally published as well. The winning playwright will also be invited to participate in the audience talkback which will take place after the first Saturday evening production.

The winning play will be produced alongside such nationally renowned playwrights as:
Craig Wright – Emmy nominee for Six Feet Under, Lost, Dirty Sexy Money, Brothers & Sisters, The Pavilion (ATCA Best New Play nominee)
Jon Marans – Pulitzer-Prize finalist for Old Wicked Songs, The Temperamentals (currently off-Broadway)
Wendy MacLeod – The House of Yes (starring Parker Posey), playwright in residence at Kenyon College
Israel Horovitz – Line (longest running off-off-Broadway play of all time), most produced American playwright in French theatre history, two-time OBIE winner
Michael Healey – Governor General’s Award for The Drawer Boy, Chalmers Award, multiple Dora Awards

Requirements: The play must be no longer than ten pages and have an environmental issue as a central theme. No more than 6 actors may be used. Although dealing with an important and weighty issue, the plays should aim to be entertaining and void of feeling like an educational video. Preference will be given to scripts that bring up valuable questions but do not preach solutions. Please feel free to pick any environmental issue you feel is pertinent. Some suggestions for topics are: Sustainable Living, Alternative/Renewable Energy Sources, Water Conservation, Carbon Footprints, Air Pollution, Recycling, Organizations, Kyoto Protocol, Green Vehicles, Wildlife Risks, Intensive Farming, Environmental Degradation, Nuclear Power, Resource Depletion.

The due date for submissions is May 14, 2010 by 5pm. The winning playwright must be
willing to make revisions and work on a second draft over the summer. Plays must be submitted via e-mail to Josie Gingrich, Literary Manager, at by May 14. Please include a brief bio and full contact
information with your submission and mark clearly at the top of the script which environmental issue your play is about. No fee for submission. Maximum of 2 submissions per playwright.


…because we still can’t live without snark: God bless Joe Biden. Just…just… just because. Take a listen to his eternally fresh command of the English language:

GO JOE! Heh heh. Wanker.

The Deed is Done

For the many who have fought for health care reform so many years, especially for the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and, personally, for my mom, Jean Patterson, who fought all her life for patients’ rights, particularly those of our veterans, and would have been so proud if she could have been here to see this: savor this day.

And for those who oppose the bill, there’s much work to be done for our future. Please step forward for the country where we agree and express yourself openly and with dignity where we do not, but let us work together.

Seeing history made is a moving and humbling experience.


Nuns to Bishop’s Four, Check

Here’s an interesting one. In the midst of the poltical strum und drang over health care reform, a group representing Catholic nuns (and, yes, there are other kinds) stepped forward to endorse Obama’s legislation in defiance of the nation’s Catholic bishops, who oppose the legislation saying it would open the door to taxpayers funding abortions. Sayeth the Sisters:

“Despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions. It will uphold longstanding conscience protections and it will make historic new investments — $250 million — in support of pregnant women,” wrote the nuns, in a letter released by Network, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. “This is the REAL pro-life stance, and we as Catholics are all for it.”

Health Bill Gains Ground with Weekend Vote Likely

The endorsement reflected a division within the church. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes the Senate-passed legislation, contending it would, in fact, permit the use of federal funds for elective abortions.

Ow. Could be a tense dinner at the rectory this evening. “Could you please ask Mother Superior to pass the boiled carrots?” “Mother Superior, Father James would like you to–” “Shut up, pinhead. I heard the old goat.”

Hilarity ensues.

Chasing Tone

Last night was “let’s experiment.” Rearranged some furniture so I could set the amp atop a table–read where it greatly improves the Vox’s tone–and it did seem much more resonant. Also made it easier to get to the controls. Fooled around with a few settings I’d seen Voxheads post on the Net; a couple of them were worth writing down in my guitar notebook, which is filled with arcane notes about gain, level, and tone.

Found just a beautiful combination of reverb, chorus, slight overdrive, light delay, and the “Blackface” amp (emulates a Fender Twin Reverb). Perfect for the Epiphone and the blues, a haunting, shimmering American roadhouse sound that reminds me of Ry Cooder’s “Paris, Texas” soundtrack. Just makes you want to slowly play chords unitl you drift away. You can almost hear the oil pumps clanking in the distance.

Got a little writing done too. Not a bad day in the Art Ghetto.