Heading for the Spolin Games Retreat!

Every since I got myself educated on the history of Improv, I’ve been wanting to connect with Gary Schwartz. He worked with both Viola Spolin and her son Paul Sills and I really like the direction he’s taken with Improv. (This article on spolin.com talks about some different paths in the evolution of Improv. I don’t see one as better than the other — any more than I see playing the guitar as “better” than playing the piano or writing fiction as “better” than writing poetry — but I feel more drawn to what he’s doing than what others are doing.)

A few months ago, I was reading Gary’s regular newsletter and I saw that he was having an Improv Retreat in January, 2018. I was reading it in November and, to my ADHD brain, a retreat in January was “a long, long way away.” So, I forgot about it.

Until today.

I quickly checked his website and saw that there were 3 spaces left. I also saw that he wasn’t holding another workshop in the U.S. for the rest of the year. So, I wrote him a quick email introducing myself and explaining that I really felt drawn to Improv — not as a form of comedy, but as a way of bringing people together, creating a safe space to play, and work together on focus, on being present, on being enagaged and being (as they say) “in the moment.”

He encouraged me to come and so I did some quick shopping for plane tickets (I’m saving $400 by leaving from Chicago), cancelled a Sunday morning commitment (thank you, Greg and Faith, for being flexible), and pushed everything on my “to do” list back a week.

One of my goals for 2018 (not a Resolution, but a real, live Goal) is to become a better Improv leader and see if I can find more places to apply it.

This seems like a good first step.


ADHD Partner’s Group Starting Up Again

On Wednesday, June 7, we’ll be starting up the Non-ADHD Spouse Peer Support Group. The group is free for members of ADDA . (If you’re not a member already, consider signing up for this great group focused on those of us with Adult ADHD.)

I’m going to be posting some Key Learnings from the last few months, but in the meantime, I wanted to get the word out that we’re going to continue the group through June and July.  The calls will continue to be once a week, at noon EST on Wednesdays.

Guests Jill Corvelli and Terry Huff have agreed to continue to visit once a month, the rest of the sessions are open discussions and sharing of stories and wisdom.

If you can’t make the calls every week, don’t let that stop you – drop in when you can. We’re always glad to see new faces. Everyone’s story is different and you’ll learn a lot from people in similar and from people in different circumstances.

For more information, see this flyer or visit ADDA.

ADDA Non-ADHD Spousal VSG-V2_2017-05

Seeking Discussion on Yousef Ajin’s deportation protest

As we know, today there was a huge, successful rally in support of Mr. Yousef Ajin from Ann Arbor. https://www.facebook.com/events/593223320883317/

I Shared the Facebook event for the protest on my Facebook page and received a critical comment from Kenneth Ramsey, who I believe is one of my brother’s FB friends. He brought up some interesting points and I wanted to acknowledge that he made some good points.

My overall view on this whole immigration debacle is that 45 is playing to the xenophobic tendencies of his base, which is completely in line with his having been elected by playing to our most base fears. He is a keen observer of humanity at its worst and uses that knowledge to  make himself appear to be a “man of the people.” No comment on exactly which people he is the man of…

That said, Ramsey brought up an interesting point- the decision to remove Mr. Ajin was made in April of 2012 under the Obama administration. I don’t know enough about immigration law to know why this decision was made.

Mr. Ajin was in the system and working toward citizenship, according to multiple reports, so I find the decision confusing, but again, I don’t know a lot about immigration law.

Mr. Ajin did have a felony conviction in 2001 for using someone else’s credit card, but he’d been fined and served probation, so that is ancient history. Contrary to Ramsey’s assertion “No way he was set to be a citizen! HE IS A CONVICTED FELON!”,  it appears (based on info from Nolo: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/crimes-that-will-prevent-you-from-receiving-us-citizenship.html) that this would not have prevented him from becoming a citizen. He also had a misdemeanor conviction in May of 2003, but again, that was quite a while ago.

He’s a father of four children who seems to have turned his life around and done everything right, at least for the last 10-plus years.

Pending more information, I support the protest and am glad to see that the outcome was positive for the Ajin family.

I’d love to hear people’s comments about this, it raises a lot of interesting questions.


Fireworks Photographs

On Monday night, I went downtown to visit my friend Fred. He lives on the 21st floor of a nicely refurbished building near Grand Circus Park in Detroit. Fred’s heavy into photography, so I brought my new camera (not a big deal, a Canon SX530) so we could shoot pictures of the fireworks and I could ask him a few questions.


We set up our cameras on his balcony, which has a pretty good view of the city. There is an observation area higher up in the building that has an amazing view of the city and the river, but it was fairly crowded already so we decided to work from his apartment.

He told me that the way he captures fireworks, he manually opens and closes the shutter instead of setting for an interval. My camera doesn’t have that option, so I experimented with 1, 2, and 4 second shots. The best pictures were at about 2 seconds, so I posted several of them in an album on Facebook at Fireworks Album

It was a great night, we had pizza and chatted for about 4 hours, talking about cameras, travel, and ADHD, not exactly in that order.

I had so much fun, I might even take a class in Photoshop or Lightroom. Wait! – aren’t they the same thing? Yeah. I need a class…

Upcoming Performances

The last few weeks have been really productive!

Which makes sense, because I have several due dates in front of me. There’s nothing like a hard-coded delivery date to motivate someone like me to get things done.

On May 12, I’m putting up my one-man show on ADHD. I’m keeping the title “Who Am I Living With?!?!” from the earlier versions. This time, it’ll be a lot bigger and cover more territory. I’m still pulling together the script. I have over 150 “bits” of performance ideas I’ve jotted down over the last year. I expect I’ll have to trim that down. 🙂

Then, the 2015 Amy concert (for MADD and BIAMI) is a few weeks after, on May 23. We don’t have Ted this time which leaves a hole, but I’m going to call our buddy Freddy Keys and see if he’s available. We need a sax on stage to even begin to do justice to Patti’s set.

The coffee chats have moved from the coffee shop in town to the UU Church south of Ann Arbor. It’s a really nice space and it has more privacy, so it was a great move. I decided to formalize it a little bit. I’m using a model similar to the Compassionate Friends model, but I added something we don’t do there. On the sign-in sheet, I put half-a-dozen “possible topic areas” and asked people to check which ones they’d like to talk about. “Relationships” came in first. No surprise, right?

I’m really looking forward to May. Lots going on but it’s all good and I feel like I’m doing things that will make other people’s lives better. That’s a big deal to me.

Daily Thought for Jan 6, 2015


A few years back, Lisa and I decided to do a painting together.

I don’t remember which part is whose, but I like the overall effect.

The photo is low res, I don’t have a high res picture of it.

I thought this quote from the movie “Auntie Mame” might match it nicely:

“Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”