The playwriting playwright

This is Jose Rivera in "Butterflies Landing" from Playwrights Teach Playwriting:

Playwriting is an interaction between the many selves contained in every individual and the ability to interact with those selves is an innate quality that I find to be true of writers. Playwrights who have it, have it and those who don't, don't. I do find that it's a prerequisite, in a way, to being a good playwright. But I wouldn't even know how to go about cultivating that in a class, unless it was through hypnotism or something.

Isn't it also, in a way, a prerequisite to being crazy? But I guess the world is all about fine lines and which side of the tracks you were born on. Also, and related: I'm willing to be hypnotized in order to cultivate almost anything, only not in a public forum intended for sport or mockery, and then only if I were being paid. Please note that I try to auction myself off on this blog at least a couple times a month, and for some reason people keep not wanting to buy me. Remember: I wear shoes!

As a special bonus, however, I offer you some etymological learning for the day:

The term is not a variant spelling of playwrite, but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder (as in a wheelwright or cartwright). Hence the prefix and the suffix combine to indicate someone who crafts plays. The homophone with write is in this case coincidental.

Oh my God, no wonder English irritates the shit out of people. Although, by rights (!), you may now refer to me as a dumbwright.

[Applause! Bow and exit.]

Betty Buckley @ The Blue Note

These are the shoes that sat thisclose to Betty Buckley last night (and, by extension, Melissa Errico, who chimed in on two numbers). Betty B's were heeled and sparkled, but mine had to switch trains and wander about the Village in search of a cold soda and a hot dog, so I feel confident that I made the right choice for me. I do seem to have a type, though, huh? These are from Hollywould. Note that they're orange, and therefore I love them. Is there a better color that's also a fruit that provides vital nutrients to prevent scurvy and so forth? Answer: doubtful.

Anyway. My favorite numbers were "If I Remember You Right / I Had a King," (first by Betty, second by Joni Mitchell) "Throw It Away" (Abbey Lincoln) and a surprisingly lively version of "The Times They Are A-Changin'." Plus (and I'm adding this from night #2), "Take It With Me" by Tom Waits and "On the 4th of July" by none other than Sweet Baby James. You might think some of this would be unbearable when all jazzed up and given the Broadway diva treatment (Ravinia Bob!), but you would be mistaken, my friend(s). BettyB is both a peach and a gem and I just love her to pieces.

Here's a test for people

I have had a $1 bill stuck to my various refrigerators for the past six years. It's the first dollar bill I ever got in New York City, in 2001. I was in Connecticut for a client meeting and drove into Manhattan for the day with two guys I worked with (which is why I ended up touring The Intrepid for 45 hours). The change we received at the toll booth on our way into the city included a $1 bill with the word "JUAN" written with a ballpoint pen in large capital letters across the face.

I think the world can be divided between people who smile at A JUAN DOLLAR BILL (it's subtle, I know) and people who ask "Why is JUAN written on your dollar bill?" and then scoff like you're a tool when you tell them. You either get it or you don't, and if you don't, you probably don't like me very much in the first place and shouldn't be drinking my beer.

Feel free to use this test while interviewing friends, nannies, pets, furniture salesmen, dry cleaners, drugstore clerks, bus drivers, and potential life partners. It cuts through the clutter like few things I know.

p.s. One of those aforementioned fellas later served time for soliciting a minor, but that's neither here nor there.