Moby Dick meets Anna Karenina

I had to listen to this in stages because it’s long, but it is really good. American Icons: Moby Dick.

It made me want to read Moby Dick properly, instead of the shoddy job I did with it as an undergrad. The week Moby Dick shared my dorm room was the same week Anna Karenina took up residence. I experience the sensation of sea sickness merely thinking about the motion of boats….which means (sadly) I could never visit the water rat of Wind in the Willows. Based on this small but uncomfortable fact (and the lure of siren to be swept into the ache of star-crossed love that Anna Karenina captures so sublimely), it is not hard to figure out which guest received my undivided attention that week.

Sultans of Swing

This song always reminds of my first job after graduating. Way up north, in Leeds, at the Playhouse. And a boyfriend who (it turned out the minute I left London) started going out with a girl I had become friends with, a girl who worked in a bookstore, and  had given me a copy of Where the Wild Things Are; as a good luck present for my first professional job in theatre. Her name was Laura. But I don’t hold this against the other Lauras I know today.


There’s a point of no return…when the damage is done and the meme is set. Does it really matter to us, today, that someone called William Shakespeare may not have written the plays and poetry attributed to him? Great art and literature lives beyond its maker’s time.

For Jane Spigarelli (1966-2011)

My time in Barnes and Noble was fruitful. I forgot to take my copy of The Night Circus but it’s on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list, so it was easy to borrow a copy for a while. It’s a literary novel; and so, it’s not driven by the story. Some of the imagery is gorgeous, and I enjoy reading it when it’s in front of me but so far I have not felt compelled to seek out my copy when it’s not. Still, it gave me time to think about writing, and I managed to get some done. Before I left, I wrote a tribute to my friend on her blog, and posted this song to her by Eric Whitacre, set to the poem Sleep by Charles Anthony Silvestri.


The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune.
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon.

Upon my pillow, safe in bed,
A thousand pictures fill my head,
I cannot sleep, my mind’s a-flight
And yet my limbs seem made of lead.

If there are noises in the night,
A frightening shadow, flickering light;
Then I surrender unto sleep,
Where clouds of dream give second sight.

What dreams may come both dark and deep,
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep,
As I surrender unto sleep.

Jane Ann Spigarelli (1966-2011)

Jane Ann Spigarelli

My beautiful friend, Jane Spigarelli passed away on Thursday after battling cancer for nearly three years. She was 45. She is survived by her husband, Chris Monte and their five-year-old son, Jimmy. I met Jane in the MFA programme at U.C. Irvine in 1988. Chris and Jane met in a little thing called Passion, Poison and Petrifaction, by George Bernard Shaw that I directed in L.A. after Jane and I graduated from UCI. I am so sad for Jane, for all the things she will not get to see, like her son growing up. I am heartbroken for her husband and her parents. I found this video clip of Jane on Google. I’m not sure when it was made, but it’s how I remember her when she was goofing around. Her natural singing voice was gorgeous.

Jane Ann Spigarelli b. 2 March 1966 d. 29 September 2011