Monday, January 21, 2019

Guerrilla Theater Radio Hour (three)

"It's another dreary and miserable day in Cleaverston Heights, and just the perfect weather for a little social unrest."
- The Raghouse, Episode Four
In light of a recent event, one in which a young man in a MAGA hat leered at a Native American Vietnam Vet at the Lincoln Memorial, several took to Twitter to shame those who were outraged, to wit; "Oh, this outrages you?"

They would go on to delineate several, previous examples of human rights violations against native people that presumably have not aroused outrage, not to the extent this viral image has.

This public shaming of those who are selectively outraged -- why? What is the point> The moment itself is outrageous enough, what does calling the reaction to the moment into question do but create confusion?

Like some right-wing website announcing the TRUTH of this HOAX by providing the UNEDITED VIDEO, which no one is actually meant to watch because if they did they would see the same thing, it’s the headline that counts.

But as to this idea of selective outrage -- oh, now you’re outraged? No, I am not outraged now. I’m not some middle-aged white liberal guy who just cuts and pastes sad stories, playing into Big Media’s lazy narrative.

I’ve been outraged for twenty-eight years, twenty-eight years this week, in fact. Ever since I saw the outpouring of glee on behalf of a large and loud segment of the students at my school burst into celebration the evening the Persian Gulf War began, January 17, 2001.

For three nights they took to the streets -- took over the streets! To celebrate a war. I had been on the fence in the past, but that night I became an activist, and even though I do not spend as much energy as others on liberal causes, I have striven to remain educated, aware and vocal.

Revisiting the Guerrilla Theater Radio Hour has been an ear-opening experience. I forgot we talked like that. Sure, we spent plenty of time spent criticizing popular television and complaining about parking tickets, but there were also discussions about rBGH, air pollution and yes, even twenty-five years ago, the use of excessive deadly force against African-American males by the Cleveland Police Department.

The best script I wrote for the program was the fourth episode of The Raghouse (see link, above.) That series was set in and around a coffee house, frequented by an array of then twenty-something Generation X stereotypes. The stories were often just an attempt to cram as many hip, early 90s buzzwords into fifteen minutes as possible.

For this episode, however, I took the focus off the main character, Biggles Malone (just as well, too, as you can tell I had lost my voice when we recorded this episode) and handed it to Satch, who carried the narrative into the realm of social justice and activism. What this episode has to say about what white people choose to get outraged over -- and what they do not -- has unfortunately withstood the test of time.

Not to ring my bell too loud, the episode also included an ugly racial stereotype, a one-off joke that I thought was pretty funny at the time, but am now entirely ashamed to have written and broadcast. It has been edited out of this sound file.

Have a good Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Entry Point (2019)

Writing down the words.
For the third year, Cleveland Public Theatre has produced Entry Point, a kind of weekend fringe festival where you can experience anywhere from one full length to maybe five, fifteen minutes vignettes in the course of a single evening.

These are all new works, or work in development, staged simply but professionally, and an important part of each of the three nights (Thursday through Saturday) are the tightly curated and brief post-performances feedback sessions.

Two years ago I was an actor at Entry Point, in someone else’s piece. Last year I wrote a piece with Chennelle. This year I was invited to facilitate a couple evenings of post-show discussion.

The post-show talkback, for better or worse, has become a modern theatre event, or perhaps I should say add-on, or thing. The pre-show discussion (usually more like a lecture than a chat) is a staple at companies like Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theater and Dobama, providing context and knowledge for the show. These are quite popular even though they can turn a three-hour evening into a four-hour one.

The post-show talkback is for the die-hard theatergoer (one who would could to sit some more rather than immediately grab a drink, which is what I usually need to do) to discuss the issues raised in the production, or in the case of a new work, to provide a response which the creator may find useful.

The post-performance discussions I managed on Thursday and Friday evenings were very different experiences. There were fewer folks in general on Thursday night, and the moment I stepped out to begin at least half of the audience got up to dash onto the next thing, which is fine, you can do that, but I was left reaching for a response from a small number of people.

I’m okay with silence. My job is teaching actors how to lead discussions with reluctant or disinterested children. But I was taken aback by the large number of those who did not even choose to remain.

(Full disclosure: I, too, will dash from post-show discussions, especially when the audience is mostly white; confirmation bias is a thing and I don’t need to sit among a bunch of middle-aged Caucasians affirming their own personal goodness. But, I digress.)

Because this is a creative process, and a creative evening, which Raymond, the artistic director, makes very clear at the beginning of the evening with an opening speech in the lounge which has become a delightful tradition. The audience is here to bear witness. It’s why you drove in this weather to get here.

Friday was much different, with full houses, and even at those performances at the end of the evening that had fewer attendants (folks were ready to get that drink on) they stayed and responded with enthusiasm and spirit. There’s a part where the facilitator is to write down words that the piece inspires (see photo, above) and I could barely keep up, they just kept coming at me. The playwrights must have been delighted.

The biggest challenge for me was the taking in of commentary without offering my own viewpoint. In the residency program we engaged the comment, and then play devil's advocate, pressing for alternate viewpoints of challenging assumptions. The job here was to encourage thought, field response, and move on. I deeply hope these post-performance events were helpful to these artists.

Yesterday afternoon Cleveland Public, in association with Howlround and the Dramatists Guild presented a brace of panel discussion in the James Levin Theatre, and it was exciting to see how full the audience was, especially with the impending storm.

More on that soon.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Guerrilla Theater Radio Hour (two)

We recorded Saturday mornings.
My last post describes how the Guerrilla Theater Radio Hour came to be. The drama series we produced for the program include: 

The Abnormal Doctor Boomer by Torque 

Dr. Frank Litigious Boomer is a disgusting, drooling, perverted old scientist, and the hero of these tales.

Most of the action involves his sycophantic assistant, Daniel Quick, getting into situations where he can test formulas developed by The Doctor that are meant to cure society of ills such as abortion, homosexuality, political dissent and Spanish.

The Raghouse by Tower

Biggles Malone, a member of “The 13th Generation” is a slacker and a nobody. He and his erstwhile “love interest” Malekha and his best acquaintance Satch insult each other and sit around and waste time at The Raghouse, a local coffee emporium.

The Adventure of Annie Gordon by Beemer 

Annie Gordon is a sensitive, young, professional woman, working as a manager at Harlow’s Department Store in Manhattan. Annie serves as a model for the right way to behave as a mature adult, whether dealing with her back-biting co-worker Stacey Petrillo, her gay co-worker Steve, her bigoted boss Mr. Harlow -- or falling in love with DJ Paul Travis.

Digit, Torque, and that amazing door.
There were also these three introductory episodes, produced near the end of our history:

Lucy Bontelle, Private Eye by Gooch, a classic, hard-boiled detective story set in a fictional past where women are aggressively dominant and the men aren’t. Lucy Bontelle is a hard-drinking, fast-loving private dick who falls for Donneyboy, a gangster’s moll.

I expanded on an old comic strip I’d created in college, and produced The Turtleneck, which was going to be a fast-paced and very short piece (ten minutes an episode, tops) about Maxwell Peavey who, through a circumstance (unfortunately similar to the one John Ritter found himself in in Hero At Large) becomes a reluctant costumed avenger.

Finally, Torque wrote The Plight of Mister Martin, an amazing Brechtian homage. In it Mr. Martin stands up to the Corporate Manager and loses his job -- but for entirely selfish reasons. His destitute wife June  leaves him to grovel with the Whore and takes up Martin’s sledgehammer.

With original music by Torque, hand-made sound effects created by Torque and myself during a fun afternoon in the ‘RUW studio, highly-stylized and tightly-written satire, Mr. Martin was inarguably the best piece we ever made. And, regrettably, the last.

Many thanks to Thom Cechowski for loaning me his Kenwood cassette deck to make these recordings possible!

Next up: The Raghouse!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Guerrilla Theater Radio Hour (one)

Torque & Gooch in "The Shower"
This year marks several notable twenty-five year anniversaries, a lot of stuff happened in 1994.

I directed my first Shakespeare, my wife and I began dating. And on January 28, 1994, the Guerrilla Theater Radio Hour debuted on WRUW 91.1 FM.

We were still producing a weekly political revue in Tremont with (‘ud’s me) four performances every Friday and Saturday, but we had also started messing around with some brief radio dramas for the station during the past year and requested a slot. We got the thirty-minute slot on Friday nights at seven, hence the name.

Any particular episode would be recorded earlier the same week, consisting of a produced episode penned by a member of the company, and gab about recent events. We pretended it was live, despite the fact that we would remind the audience that we would be there at The Actors’ Gym to open the doors for Mind Your Own Business pretty much exactly when the radio show concluded.

No one asked us about it. Maybe they thought we were broadcasting from The Actors’ Gym. Maybe nobody listened.

In order to save time editing we would mix the entire thing in one take. As a result, if something went terribly wrong (like if someone said “shit” like Gooch often did when she was in the booth) we would have to start again from the beginning.

I managed the board, acting as host and basically ‘directing’ the show, partly because I had previous experience working in a radio studio, and also because I am a complete control freak.

Sound Engineer Digit
What is pretty incredible about the dramas themselves is that they sound as good as they do. Torque and I each wrote and produced three (each) at the beginning of 1993, in the Professor Street Theater, using a cassette four-track machine.

We put down the dialog, and mixed in sound effects, inventing some pretty clever noises along the way. Skulls were cracked open, people urinated on the floor, and we created a wonderful homo-erotic dream sequence that took place during an aerial dogfight.

Finally, we were able to experiment with some of the techniques we'd learned working with David Ossman!

In addition to these six episodes, we created nine more the second year, at The Actors’ Gym. These were produced in The Shower, literally one of the gang showers in the basement, with mats hung on the walls and ceiling to soak up echo and a big, ugly, amazing Frankenstein of a door, hand-crafted by Torque. He also composed and performed many original themes..

During this second year I did most of the post-production, which was more out of a desire to get them done very fast than anything else. Torque was disappointed with how I started using sound effects CDs instead of creating our own sounds. I will not disagree that the hand-made sound effects always did sound better than the pre-recorded ones.

Next up: The Episodes!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2018

Cleveland Centennial Top Ten Blog Posts of 2018

  1. The Death of Eliot Ness
  2. Single White Fringe Geek (blog)
  3. Chef Boyardee
  4. The Famous History of Troilus & Cressida
  5. Pretty In Pink (film)
  6. The Seagull (2001)
  7. Troilus & Cressida (dance choreography)
  8. Troilus & Cressida (rehearsal)
  9. The Way I Danced With You (glossary)
  10. Troilus & Cressida (costume design)

"Troilus & Cressida"
Cleveland Shakespeare Festival
Alex Belisle Photography
People find websites and blogs for a variety of reasons, and I do not believe most clicks onto my site are to read what I have to say about anything, This list is evidence of that.

For example, Death of Eliot Ness and Chef Boyardee are actually my two most popular posts of all time. They will always be at the top of this list, and I have no idea why. They are brief posts, with some basic data about each of their subjects. There are far more interesting sites for either figure elsewhere. But they must be popular search figures, and so inevitably people find them on this blog.

Each post was written in the early 2010s, when I was using this blog primarily to conduct research on Cleveland history. Nothing happened during the past year which would drive anyone to these posts any more than any during other year. And yet, people (or more, likely Russian bots, no joke) continue to access them.

The only unique post from this year to join these chestnuts in popularity was my take on theater criticism (Single White Fringe Geek) and its importance, a post which was widely shared, most notably by American Theater magazine.

I am amused that four of the top picks are related to a production of the obscure Shakespeare tragedy Troilus and Cressida, which I directed for Cleveland Shakespeare Festival this summer. Interest in each of these specific posts occurred during the run-up to the performance. I also wrote posts on how the production was received, and on fight choreography, but the most visited post was written just as rehearsals were beginning.

"The Way I Danced With You"
Blank Canvas Theatre
Again, I believe clicks have been generated more by those who are searching for general information about the text, and not by this specific production or anything I have to say about it.

There’s also the idea that members of the company were sharing the posts to promote the show before it had opened, and that interest fell off once the show was running and after it had closed.

I believe The Seagull post was also popular because there were so many in the 2001 NY Fringe company of Angst:84 and this post is really about them attending The Seagull, and not the Public Theatre production itself, and that their interest drove their friends to the site.

Finally, two posts related to the performances of The Way I Danced With You at Blank Canvas made the list; a glossary of terms and my evaluation of Pretty In Pink, a film I had never seen until late 2017. These are posts I am certain to refresh and re-post as we go into production for the premiere at Ensemble Theatre in March 2019.

Just posting this post of posts may drive up interest in each of these posts in the next day or so. So may I offer my personal top ten list of posts for 2018, and encourage you to check out those instead:

Cleveland Centennial Alternate Ten Blog Posts of 2018

  1. Jane Austen’s Epitaph
  2. Here Are The High School Plays!
  3. Shakespeare (Not) On Stage
  4. Professor Street Theater
  5. The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels In America (book)
  6. Sophisti-pop
  7. Plays of Regret
  8. The Venice Diaries (1991)
  9. Lincoln In the Bardo (book)
  10. Play a Day: How To Be a Respectable Junkie (BONUS)

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Season (book)

Twenty years ago my friend Roger, a Chicago theater director, recommended to me William Goldman’s book The Season. He told me he reads it every year.

Shortly thereafter, the wife found a fine first edition at a local bookstore, and I promptly read it. I understood what Roger was getting at, what an instructive and engaging read it is, and fully intended to follow his lead and re-read it the following year.

Last month the author, William Goldman, best-known as the screenwriter for films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, and The Princess Bride, passed away at the age of 87. His book, The Season, stared at me, untouched, from the bookshelf in my office.

So I finally re-read The Season, a thorough and utterly demoralizing report on the state of the American professional theater, specifically Broadway, exactly fifty years ago.

Goldman received a grant which he employed to cover the entire 1967-68 Broadway season, attending every show, and interviewing a wide variety of players; actors, designers, technicians, stage hands, directors, producers, ticket agents, ticket “brokers”, audience members, and critics, and everyone in between.

One of the bitter joys of reading this book is how Goldman aggressively takes the piss out of everyone, from Clive Barnes to Neil Simon to Mike Nichols. It’s also tiresome, because we love Clive Barnes and Neil Simon and Mike Nichols, and while the author makes us complicit in his insult humor by making us his audience, his sense of superiority over absolutely everyone in “the business” means it’s hard to take any of it seriously, and he is deadly serious.

He’s also really funny. So you stick with it. Even through all the data, and there is an eye-crossing amount of data. After a joyride through perplexing London transfers, horribly ill-thought musical concepts, and cringe-worthily dated American plays on the Generation Gap (plays as memorable as films like Skiddoo and I Love You, Alice B, Toklas) Goldman draws his final conclusion on the fate of Broadway and American theater in general in an overlong final chapter, “What Kind of Day Has It Been?” (Aaron Sorkin fans, take note) stuffed with the results of a survey he himself commissioned; percentages and lists and numbers, numbers, numbers, asking “What do audience members want?”

Freud once asked a similar question about women, with a comparable conclusion. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

His prognosis for Broadway was dire, and while this may have been a cautionary tale when I first read the book two decades ago, during the time since there has been something of a correction. And the truth is much of what he said needed to change has born itself out, namely through diversification.

During the 1960s the makers of film, and those who produce and distribute them, discovered that you didn’t have to make all films appropriate for everyone, and Goldman concludes, naturally, that the same should apply to the creators of theater. Remember, we’re talking big-budget, professional theater. Plays, and specially musicals, even on Broadway, can be directed to segmented audiences and you can still make a pile.

He also predicted the increasing irrelevance of Broadway itself, and how the best playwrights were Off-Broadway or even (egad) off-off-Broadway. Recently I heard the critics from Three On The Aisle note how some of the best voices aren’t even in New York, which is crazy, I know.

Yet we have seen Broadway rebound, and while it is true that there are far, far fewer straight plays being produced for Broadway as compared to fifty years ago, that also means there are also far, far fewer shitty plays being produced for Broadway as compared to fifty years ago -- every single one of those fifty year-old plays, it should be noted, was written by a white man.

Speaking of which, race and gender are entirely not addressed in this book, and it is good to remember the progress which has been made, even in just the past few years. Every play referenced in The Season, and there are so many of them (e.g., Staircase, Dr. Cook's Garden, The Freaking Out of Stephanie Blake) was written, directed and produced, and (with a handful of exceptions) performed by Caucasians, and women are merely in the performance category. But as much as Goldman likes to be cheeky about closeted homosexuals (it isn’t pretty) and Jews (for which he claims a pass) he has nothing to say about this disparity. It didn’t occur to him to mention it.

When I first read The Season, it was at a time I thought of myself as a director. Now, it is a playwright. And as such, here are my three major takeaways in 2018, or Things I Learned from William Goldman about Playwriting:
  1. The third act of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf sucks.
  2. No one has ever actually enjoyed watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
  3. Only stupid assholes who can’t write write the book for musicals.
Wisdom for the ages! I look forward to reading The Season again in 2038.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Top Ten Moments of 2018

Harlequinade 2018, Talespinner Children's Theatre (Photo By Steve Wagner)

This year has not been easy, for anyone, and it concludes with as much or more difficulty as it began. Moments accumulate, though, good moments, for me and for my family, and taking the time to acknowledge them is an attempt to keep them bright just a little longer.

2018 was my fiftieth year, which began with an impromptu visit to Orlando (see here), and included a beautiful weekend of performances of my play The Way I Danced With You at Blank Canvas Theatre, and catching the national tour of Hamilton at the State Theatre.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
(Chattanooga Theatre Centre)
My son played drums in several awesome sets with the School of Rock, and I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon with Fornadel. Then there was the election, the beginning of a slow crawl out of a dark pit. There was a lot to experience, and to celebrate.

Here are ten moments, in chronological order, which stand out to me at this time.

1. “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” at Chattanooga Theatre Centre

Since its premiere six years ago, and subsequent publication, my adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles has become my most produced play. I am not yet widely produced, but a couple times a year a high school or community theater chooses this work, and I am grateful for that.

The year began with a rather stylish, intimate production at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, and by all accounts it was a splendid evening.

The boy will bash.
To be entirely honest, I have a complicated relationship with this text. It’s Agatha Christie’s story, not mine. I have only adapted it for the stage. But I am glad that folks produce it. So I welcomed the way this company, as overheard on promotional interviews, appreciated the adaptation itself, and what I was able to bring to the novel.

2. “Noises Off” at Heights High

My daughter does enough for me to be proud of, apart from the sheer magic of her existence. She paints, she plays violin, she excels in the classroom. I have never asked her to consider the stage.

But, as her father did before her, she performed in her first full-length play as a freshman in high school. Following an enjoyable turn during the winter one-acts, she auditioned for and had a part in the spring play, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off.

Mom, a friend, and me.
(Cleveland Museum of Art)
3. Jesus Christ Superstar Live on NBC

Yeah, I like this musical. And having the opportunity to share it with my wife and children for the first time in an outstanding television production was really only part of it. We all gathered around the TV (WHO DOES THAT) at my mother’s house, where we got to view and then chat during the commercials.

At this stage in life I think of myself as the lucky one, one of the three brothers, the one who lives in the same city at mom. I get to see her a lot. Maybe not as much as I should, But we do visit a lot, go places, see things. She invited me to join her to see the Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the art museum, that was another high-point of the year.

Which is to say, I have loved spending so much time with my mother, getting to know her so much better. My father has been gone for close to three years. And while I am a little ashamed to admit it, I have had more conversation with in the past 34 months than I did in the previous forty-eight years. But that’s a good thing to know.

4. "Troilus & Cressida" for Cleveland Shakespeare Festival

Young actors on my deck.
(Troilus & Cressida cast party)
So I directed a little-performed Shakespearean problem play for the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. That was nothing new. What was unique was working with a company of performers with whom I was not experienced, at that they were all so young.

And so I was inspired, for perhaps the first time in twenty years, to hold an opening night cast party. I mean, that’s not a big deal, in the larger sense, but it is for me. “Come over to my house.” It used to be a common refrain. With this crew, I even wondered if they would want to come. I worried I wasn’t cool enough. Isn’t that silly?

It was a great show, followed by a lovely evening. On the deck. Around the fire bowl. We were up rather late. It was a very nice time, and it is nice to have those.

5. Visiting Monticello

The wife and I love road trips, but with our schedules, and the increasingly crowded schedules of our children, most summers we speed to our location of choice (North Carolina, Maine) to begin maximum relaxation as soon as possible. I wasn’t having it this year, and suggested a stop on our way back from Topsail Beach.

Visiting Charlottesville and Monticello in 2018 was an eye-opening experience. You can read an account of our journey here. In summary, for better or worse, the whitewash is being stripped from our complicated American story, and the kids are ready to learn from it.

6. Music From the Big Love

After my wife and I had been dating for three years (not yet married) I did that thing that Gen Xers used to do for the people we were hot for -- I made a mixtape. Not just any mixtape, however. It was a chronological account of our time together to date, from 1994 to 1997.

I made her another in 2000. That was also novel. The one I created in 2003 was a bit challenging however, as something I had established as a music account of road trips, concerts and other good times needed to include not only stillbirth and 9/11 but also the birth of our first living child.

It’s a pretty amazing tape.

Since then, I have moved from cassettes to CDs to playlists, always a forty-five to fifty minute collection of songs chronicling our time together. This summer I talked it over with my thirteen year-old before presenting it to Toni. I asked him to remember what had happened the past three years.

David Byrne ft. Cleveland
(Jacobs Pavilion)
“The worst years of my life,” he said. And he was correct. The worst years of our lives. And I made a playlist out of it. We listened to it on the first leg of our drive to Maine this summer, and it went over very well. Because this is our life, and we love each other and we love music.

(Unavailable on Spotify: Hallelujah performed by Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and COH-CAINE from "Oh, Hello on Broadway.")

7. David Byrne at Jacobs Pavilion

I’m not a live music person the way others are, but I do live a good show. My brother tipped me off that everyone at work was talking about how amazing the David Byrne tour was, and that I should catch it if possible. Even better, the tickets were a surprise from the wife!

I cannot remember the last time I was at Nautica (Jacobs Pavilion) it may have been BNL on July 4, 1995. For reals.

Me and Chennelle ... and Khaki.
(Parnell's Irish Pub)
You know, I had been a server at Fridays in the Flats in 1991, as they were putting the finishing touches on the (now) KeyBank Building. I had forgotten that the backdrop for Nautica is full Cleveland. The skyline. “Our two buildings,” as Mike Polk would say. It’s beautiful, and with the barges passing back and forth, like quiet, sliding office blocks, it’s really quite something.

Byrne and his Millennial-aged ensemble, each of whom carried their instruments, even the percussionists, constantly moving about the stage, kinetic and frenetic. The closing number was Hell You Talmbout by Janelle Monáe, which was momentous and astounding, and seemed to leave most of the largely white Gen X audience speechless, in more ways than one. But we said their names.

8. My Fiftieth Birthday Party

Toni and Chennelle threw me a joyful celebration at Parnell’s one August evening, which I have to admit was a bit of a blur. I am not at ease at parties, especially being the center of attention at one, but I wanted this. When I turned forty I was not in a good place and asked for something simple and small. We had a lovely picnic.

Oh, she said it.
This time we had a big people party which was lively and stylish and had a surprising number of young people, which is always preferable. The theme was "Dave's Decades," people were encouraged to dress in fashion from one of the past five decades. I dressed like me.

9. That Time My Wife Said "Fuck Mitch McConnell" Live on C-SPAN

10. "A Christmas Carol" Writing Contest

The year concludes, as it traditionally does, with Great Lakes Theater “A Christmas Carol” Writing Contest, which is open to middle school aged students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

This year was a particular joy, as we celebrated not only the award-winning work of six young writers (see video) but also the thirtieth year of the program. We connect three of the original six winners from the year 1989 with the folks at WCPN to talk the impact the contest had on their lives.

We are currently relaxing with family in Southeast Ohio. Once Christmas Day has past, the wife and I will be spending time at some local coffee shop or other, writing. Oh! To have enough leisure time to do more work.

Many thanks to all whose path I have crossed this year, you made my life the richer for it. Have a lovely holiday, if you can, and best wishes for a peaceful productive new year.