Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rest In Peace, Thomas DeBaggio

Thomas DeBaggio wrote the books that I am reading currently, "When it Gets Dark" and "Losing My Mind", which focus on his struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. The novels are haunting and beautiful, and have moved me to tears at times and made me laugh at others. I had written about "When it Gets Dark" only yesterday, and through a misunderstanding, I thought that Thomas had passed some time ago, only to learn that he actually passed this past Monday, February 21st. I opened the Washington Post today and saw his obituary there, and it was quite a shock.

Thomas talks about the things he sees on his walks every morning, and lived in North Arlington. I used to walk a few dogs in the same areas described when I worked for Happy Hounds. I even remembered passing his house on one of my routes. It has been fascinating to read about his observations of Arlington present versus Arlington past. One of his first apartments was even near my previous apartment. In the book, he even sings the praises of The Italian Store, an Italian grocery store and deli that was a frequent lunch stop for me on an afternoon of dog walking. The connections I have made with things that he says and sees in the books has been quite amazing.

As many people surely have felt after reading the books, I feel like I knew him. His candid writing style and fragmented story vignettes paint the picture of not only a man's life and remembrances, but his struggle to write it all down before the images flicker away. When his frustration and anger come out, you feel it too, and the moments of joy that he recalls bring a smile to your face. More than anything, the books have taught me more of the beauty and fragility of life itself, and to enjoy every single living moment that you can. And when a book can do that, it is truly written by an amazing human being.

Rest in Peace, Thomas. You have been and will be very much in my thoughts.

Full Washington Post Obituary can be found HERE.

Here is another mention from the Washington Post Blog.
And another from NPR. Which you can listen to HERE,
and Thomas's son,Francesco, wrote his own message on the DeBaggio's Herb Farm and Nursery website.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hump Day Check In

Hello all...

Well, Sunset Boulevard has closed, and as is always the case, a bit of melancholy has filtered in as a result.

It was a fantastic run, and a wonderful production. I truly feel blessed to have been part of such a talented family of people. Now, it's back to 25 different jobs...oy.

I have returned to teaching 2 days a week in Fairfax County Schools, I am back at Ticketplace one or two days a week, I am doing some data entry for my friend Kim's company, Happy Hounds LLC, and am also back bar tending at Signature.

I have an exciting audition in one week for a major production at a major DC theatre that would run this Spring if I got it. Please send positive vibes. This would make my life sooooo much easier this Spring.

I also will be in a children's theatre production of Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant" at ArtSpace Falls Church in March/April. But unless that other show works out, the next time I am back on a stage after April will be in August. That project has not been announced yet, so I can't put it out there just yet, but I expect it will be announced very soon, and boy am I excited about it! Details to follow...

Let's see...what else?

Buddha laying in bed is my new banner up top, because he is the cutest thing on the face of the planet and I couldn't help myself. So there.
Book of the Moment:
I have been reading a book by Thomas DeBaggio called "When It Gets Dark" and thoroughly enjoying it's beauty. DeBaggio himself is dead now, but before he died, he chronicled his life after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. DeBaggio also lived in Arlington, in a house that it turns out I walked past everyday when I worked for Happy Hounds as a dog walker. His remembrances of Arlington past are quite detailed and very interesting. This book is an eye opening glimpse into the mind of one grappling with a vicious disease, and seeking to document the beauty of all things in his life while he can still remember them. I highly recommend it.
Song of the Moment:
Erykah Badu's "Turn Me Away (Get Munny)" is currently playing in repeat in my head...
And that's about it for this Hump Day Check In. Hopefully life will get a little more exciting very soon. Take care of yourselves.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

First Look: Streep as Thatcher

Meryl Streep as former British PM Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The film is currently in production. I. Cannot. Wait.