Last Sunday night at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, California, a rapt audience got a rare view of what people with the little known ME/CFS disease go through. Now you can watch the video of this powerful performance and see for yourself.
I am the firstborn child of Mary Brigid O’Connor and Stanley Daniel Galliani. I was born in September of 1957.
On New Year’s Day 1982 we parted company in anger with my father yelling at me, “Get out! Get out, and don’t come back!”
I told him then, “Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. You know the history of our family!”
To which he replied, “Get the hell out of my house!” And I did.
That was 37 1/2 years ago and to be brutally honest I’ve never missed them or felt a desire to reconnect. And the feeling was clearly mutual. No attempts to patch things up were ever made.
When I was turning forty I reached out to my mother in writing to ask her if I could borrow the family photo album so that I might make copies as I had no photos from my childhood.
My mother replied in a voicemail in which she laughed and said, “I’m not interested in helping out with any self-aggrandized tribute to YOU.” And that was that, 23 years ago. I wasn’t really surprised and I moved on and continued with my happy and rewarding life.
Ladies and gentlemen, with the permission of stars Rachel Hardisty and Eric Wolfgang Nelson, here is Sunday night’s 9:00 performance of my latest one-act play, “Real News About Your Fake Life”
It’s my first comedic farce and very different from my last 5 plays – all of which have been produced as part of the critically acclaimed Cafe Plays at The Ruskin Group Theatre. This one was directed with brilliance by Hamilton Matthews.
I shot this on my phone from my front row seat to be able to share it with ya’all.
Greetings Creative Greenius Readers,
A little more than a year ago I was fried to a crispy, nasty edge and ready to commit homicide with any number of potential victims in my sights – if I didn’t do myself in first from a stroke or a heart attack. So I gave myself permission to take a #YearOfJoe sabbatical.
Now a full and ultra satisfying #YOJ later I am stoked to share that I’ve had the most fun, most chill, most enlightening, entertaining and laugh-filled 12 months yet. Being 60 was a bone fide blast!
The rage that was The Machine has been transformed into the joy and peace that my life streams these days. I know how fortunate I am and appreciate it. More so as I’ve learned not to feel guilty about any of it.
How is that even possible for the first born son of a Jewish Italian father and an Irish Catholic mother?
Chalk it up to my weekly #YearOfJoe therapy, the first big gift I gave myself for my sabbatical year and as it’s turned out, the most valuable. Some folks go back to school, but I chose to go inside my head. Nobody suggested I do so, so kudos to me for being driven to explore my inner workings and discover my best self. Groove on THAT, mindful meditation motherfuckers.
One of my enlightened self interest goals was to literally get my own house in order and I did exactly that during #YearOfJoe, tackling a long list of much needed but undone home improvements and maintenance items. That included getting the peeling house painted and our choice of a provocative orange color that Mrs. Greenius and I really dig.
Creating a home environment that’s more secure, more comfortable, more technologically adept and more of one I want to hang out in – both outside and in – has made The Compound a destination location that I’m happy to wake up in every morning.
But #YearOfJoe was also about getting out and about, both near and far. And for the first time in quite some time I wasn’t going to places for an activist action, or rally, to attend a convergence, appear on a panel discussion, speak at a podium, stand in front of a microphone or otherwise be there for work reasons.
Just as revolutionary for your Greenius, for the first time ever, I didn’t have to keep in touch with events, projects or deadlines back home when I was in Hawaii, or Sweden, Amsterdam, Denver, Tucson or any other place I went during #YOJ. What a fast track to relaxing and getting into the place I was actually in. Remarkable!
For the past decade I’ve been writing environmental/climate focused blogs, web pages, Facebook posts, flyers, Op-eds, speeches, white papers, tweets, rally show flows, introductions of famous folks and press releases.
But during #YearOfJoe I wrote 5 different one act plays. Each of them produced and performed by the talented pros at the Ruskin Group Theatre’s Cafe Plays. I’ve rediscovered my love for playwriting and the ability to flex my creative muscles in a quest to please audiences in Santa Monica.
It’s been the most fun, most gratifying and invigorating experiences I’ve had in the past 12 months and I’ve got many more one act plays in mind to write – as well as a full length three act comedy-drama about my legendary family.
Then there’s the new video series I’m developing that I intend to produce, write and host in the endearingly enthusiastic style and spit of the late, great Huell Howser.
So I clearly need another #YearOfJoe sabbatical to tackle these goals – and that doesn’t even count learning to speak Spanish, learning to play blues guitar, building an indoor pot growing room, writing my novel and relaxing some more.
During the past 12 months not once did I jones for organizing anything more than a cocktail party or BBQ. Never once did I have an itch to go to DTLA and spend time at L.A. City Hall or the Los Angeles County Administration Building; or to drive to Pasadena to meet at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 offices or the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association; or to go to anybody’s City Hall Council Chambers.
Fortunately others are doing those things in my stead and I have left no void. Great progress is being without me.
One thing I am definitely not is “retired.” During #YearOfJoe1 I accepted no work and turned down any paying gigs I was offered.
But I’m too young and talented to be retired, so I will once again consider accepting large sums of money in exchange for my skills set and time – if it sounds like fun.
“Fun” being my mantra and the prime goal of my remaining years – even the ones in the coming climate calamity.
Hey, somebody’s going to need to supply the laughs and endorphins the worse things get and I’m you’re man.