Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It only took four-plus decades

I have this hate/hate relationship with winter.

Kenny Mackenzie once told me something that really helps during these winter months. He told me what he loved about winter: Coming home after school or work to a warm house, peeling off the wet, cold, clothes, and getting into warm, dry clothes. Growing up in So Cal, I didn't have that experience often enough to make it a powerful resource for me, but Kenny's description was so vivid (I can still hear his thick Scottish accent rolling the R's in warm and dry, and see him rubbing his hands together with a big smile on his face, eyes bright), that bringing that memory to mind always makes me feel toasty.

Which just goes to show you don't have to have the experience yourself. If you want to do something, find someone who's good at it and ask them how they do it. This works, whether it's becoming a morning person, loving exercise, or getting through winter without throwing yourself off one of the 12 beautiful bridges Portland conveniently supplies for such purposes.

I've found something else that helps me get through winter: hand lotion. Over my lifetime, I've tried just about every aloe, shea, cocoa, lanolin concoction out there. Vasoline with gloves. Mary Kay. Avon. Curel. Ecucerin. From 99 cents to 18.99, I've tried them. Don't email me your solutions. Maybe it works for you. For me, six weeks past Halloween, my hands feel like pet horny toads. (Pacific Northwesterners: Look it up. Adorable in a way only a desert-rat could love.)

So this year, I did what I always do. I got on the Internet. And bless those consumers at, they came through for me.

Corn Husker's Lotion. My grandmother kept a bottle of the stuff ("That's the ugliest bottle I've ever seen," said a friend) under the bathroom sink. I can't remember her ever slathering that goop on me. But boy, howdy, Corn Husker's Lotion did in three days what weeks and weeks and weeks of nothing else could.

It's cheap and ugly and my hands feel like a five-year-old's. I swear, I feel like I've found the fountain of youth.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Matthew Gray Gubler - the knot at the end of the rope

On Facebook, there's this "Become a Fan" feature that I've been invited to use, but I've avoided. I've been a fan of TV series, books, and movies, but I wouldn't describe myself as a fan of people. I feel a little uncomfortable putting people on pedestals; but I feel terrific about putting their works up there: the works are campfires where I can sit around with other fans, toasting marshmallows, telling jokes, and obsessing over minutiae until two in the morning. When I say I'm a Stephen King fan, I mean I'm a fan of his work; I'll read anything the man writes. I've rarely thought of myself as a "fan" of an actor, although there are actors I like a lot.

Until now. What can I say? Desperation makes me vulnerable. You know the saying about coming to the end of your rope: Tie a knot and hang on. If you can climb up above the knot and turn it into a swing, so much the better.

When I was a kid in elementary school, I loved getting A's. It was a game. When one of my teachers lectured on how to study effectively - eliminate all distractions, turn off the TV and radio, etc. - I immediately started doing my homework with the radio or record player on, because I wanted more of a challenge. If it was harder to study with noise in the background, I was going to have noise, dammit.

So I've long, long had the habit of putting the TV on in the background for white noise. And to this day, if I'm reading a book or writing, you practically have to whack me to get my attention. I have a terrific ability to tune out auditory stimuli.

I still prefer to have some background noise while I work (unless the work involves numbers). Maybe it comes from living in L.A. most of my life, or from working in companies with cubicle activity humming around me, or maybe just from practice/habit. To fit the bill, background noise has to be something I like, but have seen or heard before or don't really have an interest in closely attending to.

I couldn't have known what a big, big mistake I'd made when I was channel surfing for some suitable background noise about two months ago and heard Mandy Patinkin's wonderful voice. And stopped. I mean, Patinkin is safe, right? Familiar, I like him, I can tune him out. I've seen most of what he's done, with the exception of Sunday in the Park With George. I can set my subconscious to perk up at my favorite parts of whatever this is.

Well, I should have kept right on surfing, because I'd never seen whatever this was. Right off, that made it an unsuitable selection. Change the channel, De Lude.

But -- Mandy Patinkin! I could happily listen to him recite the phone book. Maybe it was a movie. Oooo... Maybe he'd sing!

Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was about detectives. And they looked grim. Odds are: no singing.

But -- I love detectives.

They're interesting. Change the channel.

That's okay. I can still tune it out. I just gotta focus.

At the commercial, I find out it's a series. A series? A weekly series? I get a weekly dose of Patinkin's voice? Oh, no. This is awful! I mean, it's great! I mean... crap. I hit the INFO button on the remote control to find out what this is. It is...

It is an unmitigated disaster. Reruns of a series I have never heard of but has been around long enough to be running three episodes a night on A&E. Now we've moved totally out of the land of BACKGROUND NOISE and into the geography of TIME SINK. *headdesk*

Fortunately, Mandy Patinkin leaves the show 30 minutes later. Seriously. The episodes are being shown out of order, with no discernible pattern. I look at the schedule and learn that over the next few nights, Part I of a two-part arc airs, but Part II of the arc appears nowhere on the schedule. Not tonight, not tomorrow, not ever.

I am annoyed and relieved. There is no way I'm going to get any entertainment satisfaction out of non-sequential episode broadcasts. They offend my sense of narrative. Time-sink threat neutralized, the show takes on background-noise status once again. Without Patinkin, and being broadcast out of order, I don't really care.

But I can't screen it out 100 percent. Enough seeps through to know the stories and actors are compelling, and I wonder if they are on DVD so that I could watch them in order and actually, you know -- pay attention.

I get online to research. How many seasons are there? What are the backstories? What network did it debut on? Who produces this stuff? Who ARE these people? Aside from Patinkin, I don't recognize anyone.

I suppose this is where I should mention that my second (I think) winter in Portland shocked me into a pretty serious (albeit temporary) depression. I will not waste time elaborating, but this winter is the first since then (1994) that I've felt this tired, snappish, and on the cusp of hopeless.

Enter one of the actors in Criminal Minds (that's the show), Matthew Gray Gubler, who has a Web site, which became this year's answer to my please-god-let-the-solstice-arrive midwinter prayers. Gubler's site is quirky and cheerful, kind of like if David Lynch had been born a Muppet, or Ralph Steadman's style with Jim Henson's heart. Gubler handwrites his blog entries and scans them in (as a fountain pen and calligraphy lover, I find this endearing). He draws odd little creatures and makes funny noises. His brief documentary of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou cracks me up, and his unauthorized autobiography episodes are horrifying and hilarious -- more Mamet than Muppet, but I watch anyway and wince and laugh.

I had to "Became a Fan" of Gublernation on Facebook. I suppose I'm easily amused. During these short, dark days, I think that's a good thing.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things I'm Grateful For, 2009

This list is in no particular order.

  • Onions, and whoever decided growing them would be a Good Idea.
  • Tom Stern, for introducing me to bread machines.
  • Kathleen Willems, for turning me on to Montreal food seasonings.
  • Tom Eiland, for proving that healthy is not synonymous with boring.
  • Tom Whitmore, for sharing the tradition of phoning people I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving. For being someone with whom I never, but never, have to turn on the inner censor.
  • Glenn Glazer, whose sense of humor is rivaled only by God's. (And whose sense of humor is far more palatable than God's.)
  • Lydia Marano and Art Cover. I don't think I could ever begin to express how deeply Dangerous Visions is rooted in who I am.
  • The patio of my grandparents' house, where I watched hummingbirds drink, hydrangeas flourish, and listened to Vin Scully's sportscasts of Dodger games.
  • Garbo and Cellophane, for sharing my life for 16 years (and counting).
  • Curtis Salgado, whose music saved my life. No joke.
  • Tyler Sperry, who knows me so well it's scary. For introducing me to NLP.
  • Martina Baker, the coolest and bestest sister in the universe.
  • The inventor of the VCR.
  • The guy who repaired my car when I was 19. I had nothing to put down but my word, and he took it.
  • John Hertz, dance teacher and conversationalist extraordinaire. For teaching me patience; that anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first; for teaching me about learning, standards, and patience. Oh, and did I mention patience?
  • Brad Linaweaver. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The pendulum swings. Ten lifetimes of friendship wouldn't be enough.
  • Bill Ritch's glorious voice and incomparable presence.
  • Anthony Bourdain. There's no better travel show. Or food show. And what a great voice.
  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. I love my Mac.
  • St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, for walking alongside me when my path coincided with theirs.
  • Waterfront Foursquare Church, for being the oasis after long wandering in the desert.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Revisiting Ariel, awaiting Elegy Beach

I've been in autumn clean-up mode, and to make more efficient space in our apartment, I've been boxing up books I can't bear to part with but don't reread frequently. The books still on the shelves are, by and large, those I return to again and again, rereading them annually: Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series (Beekeeper's Apprentice is my favorite, but I usually end up rereading the whole series), Obsidian Butterfly (the only novel in the Anita Blake series I go back to again and again), and nonfiction reference books for hypnosis, writing, religion, and marketing.

A very few books remain on the shelves that I seldom read. Like lighthouses on a rock, they mark the contours of my life. Who I was. Why I am who I am.

So when Tyler Sperry alerted me that Steven R. Boyett's Ariel had ben reprinted, I had mixed emotions. First, I was thrilled. Steve is a terrific writer, Ariel is a terrific book, and to have it reprinted 20 years after its publication - well, that's incredible and wonderful. I felt disappointed, because I was sure I'd have to dig it out of a box. Why couldn't I have gotten the news just a little sooner?

It was right there on the bookshelf. I pulled it down and turned it over, wondering why I didn't box it. I don't think I've read it but once, when it was first published. Just touching again it awakened the emotions it carved into my heart all those years ago: wonder, love, and pain.

I wondered how it would hold up. I wondered if I dared read it again.

I did. It holds. It's a classic.

The language still takes my breath away. The smell of sweat and smoke, grass and peppermint, rise from the pages. Nothing is harder to write (or easier for me to skip) than a fight scene, and Ariel has a lot of them. Each reveals character and moves the story forward emotionally. I didn't skip a single one. The faerie-meets-mundane is one of my favorite fantasy sub-genres, and 20 years later, Boyett's vision remains fresh. I'd forgotten the humor. I'd forgotten George. I'd not forgotten how emotionally solid and true the book felt.

So why do I reread Ariel so seldom, when it's such a timeless, beautiful book? Why not pull it down every year or two, like Emma Bull's War for the Oaks?

It's those last couple of chapters. On my first reading, they seemed out of place, as though they belonged to a different book. They simply didn't seem to fit. Today, I feel less of that old disbelief than a melancholy resonance with my own endings - friends lost, loves dead, homes left behind. I read it now and whisper, "Of course; it couldn't have happened any other way," instead of, "Are you kidding me????"

What a gift! To find that a book I once loved and feared has grown with me. It's a testament to Boyett's mastery of craft that I fear Ariel less and love it more, that the laughter is still genuine and the pain walks hand-in-hand with wisdom. The promise of the sequel is tantalizing, because I never felt Pete and Ariel's story was finished. I'm eager for Elegy Beach.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Children's books banned in USA

I keep telling myself this is a nightmare and I'll wake up soon.

Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), products for children age 12 and under that contain lead cannot be distributed in the USA (sold, loaned, given - shared in any way). Books printed before 1985 may contain lead in the ink. Therefore, those books must be destroyed. Even libraries may have to comply (the Consumer Protection Agency has asked libraries to remove the books from circulation until the final ruling on libraries next year).

I am not making this up.

Read the Article in The New Atlantis. Or go to
Overlawyered and follow the progress of the Act.

Or just Google: children's books prior to 1985 lead ink.

The Act passed in August 2008 and went into effect in February this year. How could it have flown under the radar for so long? Why didn't I see an alert in the county library newsletter? in Willamette Week? the Oregonian? from Powell's? From my publisher or writer friends? Did Wordstock put people up in arms about this?

I think about the books I read and loved as a child; they helped shape my values, my character, my sense of humor... Many are probably still in print, but even so - to think that every copy printed before 1985 will be removed from bookshelves, tossed in a dumpster... and that this has already been going on for months... And what about those that are no longer in print?

Write your members of Congress. Donate to organizations that are fighting this.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


Martha Cilley, the Flylady (author of Sink Reflections), teaches crazy-busy people to gain control of their cluttered homes. She says perfectionism is one of the biggest obstacles. If we can't do something in a way that meets our high standards, we put it off until we can do it right. But often, that time never seems to come, and the work piles up.

Cilley teaches baby steps. No matter where you are, you can do a little bit. You don't have to catch up. Just start where you are.

By chunking big jobs down into little steps, procrastination ceases and you start making progress. You get more done. And the more you do something, the better you get at it. The better you get, the faster the job goes. It's a "virtuous cycle." It's a great feeling.

Someone once said, "If at first you don't succeed, pick a smaller goal." My friend Lisa-Marie says, "Lower expectation, higher satisfaction."

Does this mean I shouldn't shoot for the stars? No way! Some goals are so big that to tackle them without breaking them into smaller chunks leads to frustration and discouragement. If I set mini-goals along the way and celebrate those achievements, I'm more likely to stay engaged and keep moving forward.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


My sister and I were having dinner when she said, "Did you know the house we lived in was haunted?"

"The one on Hitchcock?" I asked.

"No, the one on Sierra Vista."

I laughed. That house was the stereotypical suburban 3-bedroom-2-kids-and-a-dog house with a spider plant in a macrame planter on the front porch. The creepiest thing I'd ever seen there were the Vincent Price movies I liked to watch on weekends. Haunted? Right.

"It was," she insisted. "Do you remember the remodel?"

My sister and I shared a bedroom until she was 7 or 8, and then my parents converted the playroom into her bedroom. I knew the playroom wasn't original to the house, but I don't remember it being added on.

My sister says remodeling increases paranormal activity. "The original owner was blind, and I used to see this man staggering around like he was drunk. He bumped into things because he didn't know where things were anymore. And he used to bumble into my room at night and grab my feet."

I stared at her. One night when I was about 10 or 11, I woke up screaming because someone had grabbed my feet. Hard. That experience became the mother of all nightmares - the one by which all others are measured. I've had some bad dreams in my life, but none but that one ever ended with the vivid physical sensation of being grabbed.

I told her about it. "But it was a dream," I said. "Mom told me it was just a bad dream."

"It wasn't," she said, delighted. "It was the ghost."

"But it never happened again," I said. "Just that one time."

"Did you believe her?"

I was silent. I hadn't, at first. But Mom kept repeating, "It was just a dream; go back to sleep." I argued tearfully, because I couldn't block out the memory of those hard hands clenched around my feet. It was so real. But mom said it was just a dream, the room was clearly empty, except for me, and the house was empty, except for my family. All the evidence pointed to "No one could have grabbed me." I decided dreams could be that vivid and seem that real.

My sister nodded, seeing the answer in my expression. "That's why it only happened once. You closed it out. That's probably why you've never had any paranormal experiences. You don't believe them and you don't want them."

In retrospect, I'm glad I closed out that particular belief: "Our house is haunted by a blind guy who wakes you up out of a sound sleep by grabbing your feet." Who needs that kind of thing when there's a math test in Mrs. Dunlop's class the next morning? Maybe I can attribute my good grades to good study habits, but maybe my good study habits were a result of being immune to spooky distractions!

My sister has always been sensitive to weird things, and I have typically been oblivious to them. But then, because of my copyediting experience, I can spot an italicized comma or a boldfaced period where most people can't. You find what you look for, and over time, you become more sensitive to certain types of information. Which means you notice it more often. Which means you're likely to believe there's more evidence for it than there actually is.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Do it badly!

I once knew a sociologist who told me most innovations (scientific, creative, business) were made by people under age 30. What a sad statistic, I thought. Why? What happens to our brains as we age?

I think it's less about what happens to our brains and ore about what happens to our beliefs. As we get older, I think we tend to specialize. We get good at certain things and excel. We prize efficiency and become impatient with bumbling. Because trying new things means making mistakes, we try fewer new things. Most people don't like to make mistakes.

My dance teacher in Los Angeles, John Hertz, used to say, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." His words have resonated with me over the years. It took me five years of dancing once a month to learn to waltz without stepping on my own feet. I learned most from the better dancers: the ones who took the time to coach, and the ones who led by example and gave me something to strive for. I'm so grateful to the patient men who were willing to dance with a rank beginner. I know I slowed them down. My stumbling kept them from dancing at their highest level... at least, when they were dancing with me. But their examples inspire me to pass it on. When I'm paired with someone who doesn't have my experience, I remember their model of patience and kindness and do my best to come from that place.

As a rank beginner at dancing, my head sometimes filled with self-criticism. "I should be learning faster; I shouldn't be making those same mistakes by now; I should be more careful; I should concentrate more; I should relax more." At other times, I let go of the need to live up to anyone's expectations, and I found that place of persistence, curiosity, and experimentation that Richard Bandler describes as the attitude of a magician learning a trick: "That wasn't quite right; let me try it again."

Mistakes are part of learning. Good teachers support their students with patience and encouragement. Of course, there's also the challenge to improve, but correction is tempered by confidence in the student's ability. Where do we get the idea that we must do everything perfectly the first time, or if we don't get it right, we weren't meant to do it? That seems to me to be a discouraging approach.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rewriting history

I went to the library recently to pick up some books on hold for my sweetie. Among them was The Mote in God's Eye, a first-contact novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I sat reading in the car for a bit, to see if I'd like it. I couldn't remember reading a Niven/Pournelle novel. They tend to write hard science fiction, and while I love hard science, I generally like to get it in short nonfiction articles rather than book-length works, and I haven't often found hard sf captivating.

The first few chapters kept me going, but I never reached that level of absorption where time seems suspended. Mote was interesting, but not impossible to put down. Maybe there were more characters than I could track; maybe I had trouble conjuring a mental image of the aliens; maybe I tried too hard to puzzle out the backstory (which I hadn't read); perhaps I was feeling impatient for the payoff of what seemed to me an overlong setup. Maybe a combination. I got halfway through the book before resorting to the Web for a synopsis.

Once I read the synopsis and knew how the story turned out, I was eager to get back to the book and finish reading it. (And, having finished it, I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.)

This started me thinking about "spoilers," the cheat sheets of popular media. You can find spoiler pages for TV shows, movies, books, games, you name it. Sometimes I don't want to be "spoiled." I want to come to a work fresh and open. I want the suspense to last for as long as the author can draw it out. I want to take my time as it unfolds.

At other times, spoilers renew my interest when it starts to flag. And once I've read a book, or seen a movie, what then? Well, I've read Pride & Prejudice and Atlas Shrugged and War for the Oaks and The Beekeeper's Apprentice about a bazillion times each, and each time, I love them more. Something new opens up, even in that familiar experience.

Life can be like that. Retrospect can reveal patterns imperceptible when I was in the thick of things. Imagining the ultimate results ahead can help me re-engage and can carry me forward.

And there's power in retelling the past, or telling it differently. If history is written by the victors, I possess the privilege of rewriting my own history. I can go back with a new perspective, emphasize different details, come to different conclusions, and change the lessons I learn to more empowering or entertaining ones.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

No excuses!

One of my personal heroes is a former boss who was a no-excuses kind of guy. He would ask for the most complicated meetings, with the most pie-in-the-sky schedule, and it was challenging. I couldn't always get everyone in the same room at the same time. I did my best given the information and resources I had, but I almost always saw room for improvement:

I could have started earlier.
I could have continued longer.
I could have called people at home.
I could have e-mailed people at home.
I could have tried contacting them through other channels.
I could have been more persistent, insistent, or annoying.
I could have delegated to others who had more influence.

What stopped me from doing those things? My own thoughts or beliefs. Typically, they fell into one of three categories:
1. What I've done is good enough. (I've got commitments from the key people, I've met the most important requirements, etc..)

2. It's not worth it. (Investing more effort would likely have diminishing returns; time or quality on another project would suffer.)

3. There will be another opportunity to achieve the outcome. (We can have another meeting for people who couldn't make the first one, or we can have one-on-one meetings or phone calls.)
Sometimes these beliefs were true. What I'd done was good enough. Investing more time or energy wasn't a good choice. Another opportunity did lie ahead. Sometimes they weren't true; they were excuses.

The significant point for me isn't whether the beliefs are true or not - that's secondary to the point that beliefs guide (or motivate) my actions. What I believe is always going to be more important than what's true.

I need to choose my beliefs carefully and be excruciatingly honest with myself.

Perfection isn't possible. No matter what I do, there's going to be room for improvement. The key questions for me are, "What do I want to achieve?" and "What beliefs will move me forward toward that?" and "Am I being honest with myself in those beliefs?"

Being clear about my goals helps me recognize the difference between an excuse and a change in priorities. A change in priorities keeps me moving forward. An excuse derails me. For instance, if my boss said, "Get these 15 people together for a meeting in two weeks," that's the assumed goal. If I couldn't do it because some people's schedules were already booked, I could say, "I can't do this." That's an excuse. But if I ask, "Which is more important: 100% attendance or the two-week time frame?" that's a change in priorities that keeps me moving forward. After all, the meeting itself isn't what's important; the meeting is just a strategy in service to some larger goal. Knowing the end goal means I can change my approach and keep on going.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Staying on course comes from a combination of persistence and course correction.

I don't want to reward behavior that leads me away from my stated goal. Yet... when I'm going in a new direction, I'm going to fall short of my goals from time to time. If I fall short frequently, or by a large margin, I risk feeling discouraged to the point of despair and hopelessness. "I'm NEVER going to get it right!" It can be hard to remember at times that if I give it enough time, if I am consistent, if I try (that is, make the attempt) I will get there. If someone catches me in one of those moments of discouragement and tells me I'm throwing myself a pity party and get on with it already, girlfriend, I might feel even worse; withdraw, isolate, and cut myself off from others who have done it - who might give me encouragement and hope.

I think the word "try" gets a bad rap. I tried to waltz 500 times before I finally did it successfully. I tried to bake scones 50 times before I figured out how to do it consistently. People learn better when they are relaxed, curious, experimenting... Think about it - will you do better on a test in a quiet room where you can focus and concentrate, or with someone standing right behind you, looking over your shoulder, saying, "Are you sure that's right? Where did you get that answer? Aren't you done yet? You should know this! Haven't you learned this yet? What's your problem?"

Most people who are trying to [insert personal challenge here] have failed numerous times before. That critical, negative, inner voice is already turned up to HIGH VOLUME. What they need to build - to strengthen - is the "You can do it!" voice. The one that says, "The past does not equal the future. This time will be different. Keep going. You will get it. You will succeed."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Menopause, shmenopause

This article, "71 Year Old Trainer a True Inspiration," may not be the final word on how we can age with grace, strength, and resilience... but it's one of the best words I've read in awhile.

Friday, March 13, 2009

May his memory be for a blessing

I had never heard of Lee Lacey before his obituary appeared in the Sunday Oregonian. His is one of those life stories that makes you realize the reaches of the human spirit are more vast than we are often led to believe. He inspired many who needed inspiration. He brought people together despite horrendous obstacles. He worked persistantly on behalf the community he loved. My heart goes out to those who knew and loved him.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Epic adventure returns to PST

I want to pass on an invitation to those folks interested in resilience, leadership, achievement in the face of adversity, and maybe even the miraculous. I reviewed this show when it debuted last year, and no words do it justice. I have no doubt it will sell out again. Since you already know what I think, I'll let the author and performer invite you himself. Lawrence Howard of Portland Story Theater wrote:

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to the return engagement of my one-man show, Shackleton's Antarctic Nightmare, opening for a run of two weekends in January. I will once again be telling the epic, true story of British Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and the 1914 voyage of The Endurance.

Shackleton's dream of being the first man to traverse the Antarctic continent on foot became a nightmare when his valiant ship was trapped in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and crushed by the pressure of the ice period. The tale of how he and the 27 men of the British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition survived on the ice and eventually came to safety is one that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. This story is especially important to me because my dad and I shared a life-long interest and passion for the Shackleton saga, and I like to weave a few threads about my father into the telling.

This is a story that speaks to something very deep and primal within the human psyche. It's about courage and fortitude and determination. It's about a glorious failure. It's a story that will renew your faith in the indomitable power of the human spirit.

"I had the pleasure of seeing your show with some friends this weekend. Exquisite! I have lived with the tale for 20 years and so hearing it again in the hands of a talented teller was a real treat!" Roderick Smith, 2008 audience member

"That was better than any book or movie or anything!" Eric Orem, 2008 audience member

All four performances of last year's run were sold out. Many who saw the show said they would come see it again; many who missed it have begged for a return engagement. Because there is so much general interest in the Shackleton story, this particular program appeals to an even wider audience that PST's regular, loyal storytelling fans. The Hipbone Studio venue seats a maximum of about 75 people, and I fully expect it to sell out for all four shows, as it did last year, so I encourage you to call or email and reserve your seats early.