Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Little Night Music

Sorry this is so late but we had an hour delay out of Tulsa, so I had to switch to a later flight, and that one had an hour delay coming out of Dallas, so instead of getting home at 9:00 p.m. as planned, I basically just got home. So tomorrow may be another day without much blogging.


Did you know that Kansas has an official video?  Well, if they can have an official state theatre festival, then anything’s possible.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring Break

I’m off next week for spring break, but I’m getting an early start so this will be it pretty much for today, and next week I’ll be on the vacation schedule.

Actually, the next two weeks are going to be a bit abbreviated as far as regular blogging goes.  I’ll be back for a short while after break, then off again on April 19 for my annual trip to the William Inge Theatre Festival.  This will be my 25th trip to Independence, Kansas, and again this year I’m presenting a paper at the scholars conference and having a short play presented in the New Play Lab.  So lots to do here on the scholar/playwright side of my life before I go.

As usual, I’ll be checking in and perhaps posting if I feel like it.  Trust me, you’ll manage without me.  Just don’t trash the joint.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2016

It’s time for the annual look at the best posts of bloggers as chosen by the bloggers themselves. In the words of Lance Mannion:

Our late and much missed comrade in blogging, journalist and writer Al Weisel, revered and admired across the bandwidth as the “reasonable conservative” blogger Modest Jon Swift, was a champion of the lesser known and little known bloggers working tirelessly in the shadows…

One of his projects was a year-end Blogger Round Up. Al/Jon asked bloggers far and wide, famous and in- and not at all, to submit a link to their favorite post of the past twelve months and then he sorted, compiled, blurbed, hyperlinked and posted them on his popular blog. His round-ups presented readers with a huge banquet table of links to work many of has had missed the first time around and brought those bloggers traffic and, more important, new readers they wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

My submission was my recent musing on now that Trump has actually started naming his cabinet, then what?

There’s a lot of good writing included in the roundup, so I suggest that you take your time and look through them.

A big hat-tip to Batocchio at Vagabond Scholar for doing the work to bring it all together.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Card

I don’t go on Winter Break until Thursday but I’m going on the holiday schedule today because … well, I was going to say that I have a lot to do — and I do — but after the last couple of days of heartbreaking news from home and abroad, I’m more in the mood to put up soothing and happy pictures and music than dig into the manure pile.

Not to worry; I’ll still be posting but on the light and variable schedule that I usually follow this time of year, including the usual Christmas posts and year-end wrap-up.

Meanwhile, here’s Sam and Santa taken at the Twin Peaks Mall in Longmont, Colorado in December 1989 when Sam was almost a year old.  I have no idea who the Santa is.  Maybe he’s the real one.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Help Me Choose

It’s that time of year when people compile lists of the best things of the year.  Yeah, this year has sucked out loud for the best of anything, but indulge me in helping to choose my selection for the annual Jon Swift Memorial Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves.  Samples of examples are to be found here.

I have one or two in mind but if you’ve got a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.  Drop your suggestions in the comments by Friday, December 23.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Same Here

John Cole at Balloon Juice and I are on the same page.

…I just can’t keep up with the news. I quit watching cable tv and honestly have not even TUNED to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or even any of the broadcast news shows or Sunday programs since the election, and have basically just been reading newspapers and websites. And it’s impossible to keep up with what Trump is doing because 95% of the stuff that comes out of his campaign is just pure bullshit.

My drive to and from work has been to the serious jazz on WDNA in Miami and at the office I’m streaming classical music from Interlochen Public Radio out of northern Michigan.  (I used to stream CBC Radio 2 but they went commercial and so the stream is blocked in the U.S.)  I have a full TiVo schedule of good and guilty-pleasure TV (“NCIS” to “Timeless” to “Mom”) and a subscription to Netflix which has me catching up with the goings-on in the Bartlet administration and the history of the British royal family.

But like John and a lot of my fellow pixel-chasing wretches in the Blogosphere, I read newspapers and websites, not all left-wing and not always political commentary.  I’ve kept up with my creative writing by submitting to both local and national playwriting opportunities.  With the holidays — all of them — practically at our throats, it’s time to plan for my trip to visit my parents over the Christmas weekend and help others plan their celebrations as well as think about what to do while school is out.

I’m not going to completely ignore the impending Trump apocalypse.  But I’m not going to rise to the clickbait, either.  So a half-term governor of Alaska is being considered for a cabinet post.  Yes, that calls for both horrified mirth and rafter-shaking rage, but like a loud fart at a cocktail party you just have to endure the shame and hope that the damage is slight.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Serious Jazz

I’m taking the rest of the week off, at least in terms of reporting and commenting on the election and its aftermath.  I think we all need a break, and if you are in need of a fix, there are plenty of other sites that can bring you up to date on the postmortem of Deplorable 2016.

I was planning on doing this even if Hillary Clinton had won.  One of the things I reminded myself of when I was looking back over the thirteen years that I’ve been doing this is that I said I would write about things other than politics: theatre, cars, writing, backyard nature, and other stuff that came to me while I was avoiding bumping into the furniture.  So that’s what I’ll be writing about.

I also need to catch up on some sleep, so until next week I’ll be on my vacation-type schedule.  I will, though, continue to post A Little Night Music.  That’s a tonic, not a burden.

And speaking of music, I’m listening to WIAA, Interlochen Public Radio’s classical feed at the office, and I’ve changed the default setting in my car radio to 88.9 FM WDNA Public Radio — your source for serious jazz here in Miami — and will be listening to that to and from work instead of NPR.  Give them a listen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thirteen Years Of Bark Bark Woof Woof

Thirteen years ago today I sat down at my little Toshiba laptop, signed into Blogger, and wrote this:

Saturday, November 8, 2003

Here Goes…

sambiggerWelcome to Bark Bark Woof Woof, a blog dedicated to my take on life, the universe and everything with my unique sense of dry amusement. The title comes from a guy I once worked for who said “bark bark woof woof” instead of “et cetera, et cetera,” and in memory of my dog, Sam, who was my best friend for 13 years.

I’m moderate-to-liberal gay man with a long background in theatre studies (BFA, University of Miami; MFA, University of Minnesota; PhD, University of Colorado), specifically in playwriting and dramatic literature. I also write novels and short stories. I live in Miami, Florida and work for the public school system. Other interests include antique cars (station wagons and Mustangs) and weightlifting. (Gee, this is beginning to sound like a personal ad, but hey, I’m single, early 50’s, of Welsh ancestry, in good shape, have a decent income, don’t drink or smoke. Drop me a line.)

I welcome your comments, and look forward to those contributions to enrich this blog – I sure can’t carry it alone.

So here we are, thirteen years, three residences, two Mustangs, two presidents, four presidential campaigns, and over 25,000 posts later, and I’m still getting up every morning and writing every post.  In fact, in all these years, only two posts were written by people other than me and they did it because I was incommunicado because of hurricanes (thank you, CLW and Brian).

But not a day has gone by that I haven’t come up with something to post.  Sometimes it’s passionate, sometimes it’s silly or snarky or just for the fun of it.  I’ve shared good times — having a play go to New York — and I’ve shared some tough times.  There have been very few things I haven’t covered in the last thirteen years, and the only test I have for choosing what to write about is will it be worth sharing with the people who read this.

I’ve made a lot of friends, forged new pathways of self-discovery, learned so much, and been touched by people I only know through nicknames and pixels.  There are so many people I want to thank for being here and being there for me.  As I said at the outset, I couldn’t do this without you, dear reader, and I hope that in these years I’ve enlightened you, provoked you, maybe even pissed you off on occasion.  The one thing I hope I haven’t done is bore you.

So with that said, I’ll ask what I always ask:  What’s next?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

…Down to the River

It’s been a long time since I made an addition to the blogroll, but I’m all too happy to share this new one: …Down to the River.

It is written by a friend I’ve known for over thirty years through my work at camp in Colorado and a shared love of teaching, good blues, and baseball.  I hope you’ll get acquainted with his world, enjoy it, and share it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


This morning, more out of habit than anything else, I reached for the remote to check on what’s been happening overnight and got the cable TV equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death: NO SIGNAL.

I called Comcast and found out through their robot that “we are experiencing outages in your area.”  They expect to be back up by 6:00 a.m.

I felt a small wave of relief.  I don’t have to watch TV.  I can turn on the radio and listen to the BBC World Service on WLRN-FM, which they run every night.  And I don’t have to hear about the election this morning.

I am aware that some of you may not want to read about the shitshower that is going to be coming for the next six months or so.  There are those who don’t want to hear about Donald Trump and the “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet” aspect of this presidential election.  But I also think that I have — if not a duty then an obligation — to write about what could be a very important election.  Perhaps the most important one since I started paying attention to outcomes in 1968.

I know that it’s a truism that every election is important, and every candidate tells us that the one they’re in is the Most Important Election Ever (of course they’d say that; otherwise we wouldn’t pay attention to them).  But this one truly does feel as if there is much more at stake than just who wins.

I personally feel threatened by the prospect of Donald Trump as president.  Anyone who will go to the lengths of mendacity, bullying, bullshitting, race-baiting, sexism, xenophobia, and unlimited, unrestrained spewage of puke that he puts out is just plain dangerous.  And I feel I must speak up both here and wherever I can.  And I will keep doing it.

I’m not going to repeat every story about him and his campaign; there are plenty of blogs and news sites that can provide you with that.  But I will write about him in the context of shaping our future and how we can and must do everything we can to keep him from ever being anything more than a colorful — if you think a Stephen King monster come to life is colorful — character in American history.

So I’m giving you fair notice: I’m going to be writing about him and the election a lot between now and November 8.  Feel free to skip over those posts and enjoy A Little Night Music or the Saturday Random Youtubery.  But we have a country to keep, and I’m going to do what I can to keep it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nothing To Sneeze At

Here I am, 24 hours before the 35th William Inge Theatre Festival, and my allergies kick in.

Claritin, do your thing.

This is as good a time as any to tell you that from now through Sunday I’ll be in Inge mode: blogging about theatre and related fun but on a really limited basis because I just checked the schedule and I will be really busy.  There’s a New Play Lab where thirty-five short plays will be read and discussed, and I have one being done.  I’m also presenting a paper at the scholars conference, plus serving on a couple of panels.  Joining me for his third trip to Inge is The Old Professor who also is having one of his plays done in the Lab.

There will be the usual tributes and gala dinners and plays, including a production of the rarely-seen Inge play, “Where’s Daddy?” starring Barbara Dana.

According to my count, this is my 25th Inge Festival.  I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Good Reading

I am ashamed to admit that Blogroll Amnesty Day got past me without a mention.  This is an annual event that began long ago — in blog years, that is — by skippy and the dear departed Jon Swift.  It is meant to encourage readers to explore bloggers who don’t get a million hits a week yet have good writing and interesting points to share.  I’ve been very fortunate to be included on the list, and I truly appreciate the honor.

Go check out this year’s list.  You won’t be disappointed.