Lindsay Harris Friel

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Today I learned that a last name like mine (Harris Friel) is known as a double barreled surname.

I will be sure to use this information the next time they can't find my prescription at CVS and try to shame me for not allowing myself to be absorbed into patriarchal standards of naming conventions. 

11/21 '19 9 Comments
You have MORE IDENTIFICATION. It should make it EASIER.
Thomas Boutell 11/22 '19
Here’s where it gets ugly. My insurance company says that my last name is Friel, because I get my health insurance via marriage to Vince. My identification has my entire full name. Pennsylvania is awesome and let me do that, out of exhaustion and rage over the whole thing. But, my first and middle name are printed on line 1, and my last name on line 2, so when most people read it, they assume that my middle name is my last name.

So, when my prescription is filled, my doctor’s office says my surname starts with an H, but the pharmacy files the prescription under F. And because my middle name starts with a Y, they always start on the wrong foot with, “we don’t have anything with that name.”
Seriously. The Spanish like to string all their family names together too. It's by no means new, and also, it's 2019? Have they been living under rocks?

Thank you for alerting me to Leone:

I must share this info with my Names You Might Enjoy group.
Chris Herdt 11/22 '19
Heh. I found this out by reading the Wikipedia entry for Sacha Baron Cohen. His grandfather added “Baron” to the surname.

By the way, this is exactly what goes through my head every time someone insists on hyphenating my last name or not leaving a blank space in between. Fucking databases, I swear to Dog.
Ooh, and I found out that OPW won’t force me to hyphenate! I can have blank spaces in the name field! YAY!
You're welcome!
Thomas Boutell 11/24 '19
Wow. I don't have your level of suffering at all. Two of my kiddos do have double middle names, spaced with no hyphens, so occasionally someone tries to take the second middle name and hyphenate it with the last name [giant eye roll]. It's mostly airlines that screw it up, which normally doesn't matter much until we're traveling out of country with a passport (which has the correct order of things). Then the airlines have to reissue the whole ticket. Big nuisance.
Anne Mollo 11/23 '19
May your kids never, ever, ever, have to apply for SSI. That is where they git ya.
Well... eventually they'll turn 65... I hope.
Anne Mollo 11/24 '19edited

I'm working on an article about bullet journaling for podcasters, specifically about handwriting vs. writing on a keyboard. I came across this James Pennebaker guy, and his research into the therapeutic value of writing. I'm linking to Wikipedia instead of a more credible resource because, as I write this, I have something like 40 tabs open on my computer right now, and this bit of info felt most important to share: 
"These results have hatched further studies, numbering over 200. One of these went on to strongly suggest that expressive writing has the potential to actually provide a 'boost' to the immune system, perhaps explaining the reduction in physician visits. This was shown by measuring lymphocyte response to the foreign mitogens phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and concanavalin A (ConA) just prior to and 6 weeks after writing. The significantly increased lymphocyte response led to speculation that expressive writing enhances immunocompetence. The results of a preliminary study of 40 people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder suggests that routinely engaging in expressive writing may be effective in reducing symptoms of depression."

What I can't figure out from this is whether or not the study participants wrote using pen or pencil and paper, writing longhand, if they typed, or either. 

11/11 '19 6 Comments
I'd also like to know if they accounted for wanting to write when feeling better, versus the depression being lifted by writing. Also, do any of these people experience difficulty writing while in a severe depressive episode? A stifling of creativity?
Karen Kuhl 11/22 '19edited
They did. Basically, they had to write whether they felt bad or good. As I seem to recall reading about this, it was one of those "hey, university student, show up at this office and get paid to participate in a study."
"show up at this office for x number of minutes a week and write in this journal about a particular traumatic event that happened in the past."
"oh yeah, and take these tests."
"and make sure you write about your feelings."
You know, this kid.
"Okay." *snickers* .....taint

That was unbelievably accurate. And fun. Yay, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Karen Kuhl 11/22 '19edited
I had to look up why he said “safety” after he farted, and Urban Dictionary did not disappoint in adding a new layer of delight to that sketch.
I feel like I need to test this out on my brothers. 😂
Karen Kuhl 11/24 '19
I'm going to start doing that to Vince.

Vince and I were driving home on Kelly Drive. He was driving, I was catching up on email on my phone. 

ME: Hey honey, John Hodgman has a new podcast.

VINCE: Mmhm.

ME: he's recapping and discussing "I, Claudius." 

VINCE: Surprise, surprise.

ME: Guess what it's called.

VINCE: (stops breathing)

ME: "I, Podibus."

VINCE: (Long sigh)

ME: Guess how it's spelled.



9/9 '19 4 Comments
I never got around to writing "I, Rone", possibly because I always pronounced the name as "Roan".
Brian Rapp 9/10 '19
I had to think about that for a minute. Good one.
That's "I, Clav ... Clav ... Clavdivs."

Random thought:

I was thinking about all the people who have played The Stage Manager in Our Town. Fred Gwynne, Henry Fonda, Paul Newman, that gangly, folksy archetype. Then I thought, yeah, like James Comey. 

Holy shit. What if we’re all extras in an Our Towniverse, a Thornton Wilderness, and the Stage Manager is James Comey? 

I thought, this is a thought for Brett Heller.  He said, “can we go back and look at a single day in our lives? Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” 

If we’re living in the Thornton Wilderness, I guess I have to start liking Hello, Dolly. 

9/3 '19 6 Comments
"Thornton wilderness" is outstanding. You should write that play.
CM Adams 9/4 '19
I can’t take full credit. I was trying to type “Thornton Wilderverse” and Autocorrect kicked in. But, yes. I really want to.
One person's Heaven is another person's Hell.
Ray Conrad 9/9 '19
The guy who played the Stage Manager in our high school production of Our Town had the world at his fingertips and died young. His parents said it was an accident surfing, but his brother confirmed that it was carelessness due to a lot of drugs.

Things are not always happy in Grover’s Corners.
That’s a damn shame.

Apple changed the way it categorizes its podcasts. Instead of audio fiction/audio drama being buried in "personal journals" or "performing arts," it now has a category, Fiction. It even has subcategories: Fiction>Drama, Fiction>Sci-Fi or Fiction> Comedy. 


At 5:53 pm on August 21, 2019, Jarnsaxa Rising is 58 out of 60 on the Fiction>Drama chart for Apple Podcasts. 

I know it's highly subjective, but after not being visible among my peers for so long, this is flippin' HUGE. 

Here's another thing that's cuckoo-bananas. Last week we were the #3 podcast in Fiction in South Korea. 

8/21 '19 7 Comments
It IS huge. I'm so glad they've fixed this long-standing problem.
Sean M Puckett 8/21 '19
I know that this is all about shareholder bullshit and competing with Spotify and Netflix and Amazon and BBC Sounds for attention spans, but right now, I'm just happy to be where I am.
Lindsay Harris Friel 8/21 '19edited
iTunes is just such a trash fire and has been so for at least a decade. Discovery on Apple's platforms is so frigging fraught. I subscribe to the Apple Music service and there's an astonishing amount of great music but finding by association, without knowing the exact name is almost impossible. (screams, clutches head)
Sean M Puckett 8/21 '19
I think podcasters don't care about the New & Noteworthy list anymore because they know that it can be bought. But Jarnsaxa never even made the Modern Radio Plays list. The only way anyone finds Jarnsaxa is by word of mouth, Twitter, or stumbling across it while searching for something related to Norse Mythology or fan stuff related to Marvel's Thor & Loki. Word of mouth and Twitter have been good to us.
I’m so friggin happy for you right now that I could scream. That is fantastic news!
Oh hey! I see you!
Karen Kuhl 8/23 '19

Today I'm editing a review of a microphone made specifically for podcasters. My supervisor wrote the article. The mic is called the Podcaster, and it's made by Rode. He opened the article with, "At our office, we have more Rodes than the Roman Empire." 

In the summary paragraph, I added, "It's a colossus among the podcasting-tool hegemony." 

6/28 '19 2 Comments

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing the lovely and talented Jenn Rice Abrevaya, starring (IMO) in Mamma Mia! Jenn, of course, was brilliant, and despite my cynicism about jukebox musicals, I was emotionally recharged by the show. All it needed was More Jenn. 

I’d expected that MM would continue the traditions of Scandinavian theatre by refuting the themes of Ibsen, that life is a depressing mystery. It seemed clear that MM would posit the mysterious feminine not only in the sun, so distant and rare in Ibsen’s work, but also firmly entrenched in the prison of patriarchal sanction, yet without the pistols or an orphanage to burn down, via the machinery of Swedish disco music. I was wrong and right at the same time. 

Sophie, the alleged protagonist of MM, desires to become the doll of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. She seeks approval from a father before giving her virginity to a Wall Street wunderkind. In short, she is willfully the golden fatted calf bought and sold. Her mother, Donna (perhaps a Madonna?) is the 1970s sexual-revolution feminist and Circe, trapped on a Greek island, spinning magical experiences for her guests. Like Hedda Gabler, she claims not to need a man for success, but she wants one (as Hedda desired Eilert), for joy, and one for financial stability (as Hedda needed Jørgen). Sophie challenges her mother, saying that she wants to start her life “right,” with a “white wedding” and knowing who is the man responsible for her.  

The book writer for Mamma Mia!, playwright Catherine Johnson, eventually came to her fucking senses at some point while trying to shoehorn in the ABBA hit, “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” At this point, Sophie’s groom and one of the candidates for Daddy tell her that marriage isn’t everything. Though Mom has been saying this all along, because the men in her life finally say it, Sophie listens, and starts thinking about marriage seriously. Much like how Nora and Hedda are forced to behave by Krogstad and Judge Brack respectively, Sophie and Donna continue towards the wedding. Finally, Sophie drops her desire to marry and to find out who her father is, just as Donna chooses to marry and accept financial support from her former lovers. 

Donna chooses the path of patriarchy, from which Ibsen warned early feminists away. Sophie and her young buck shoulder backpacks to travel the world, engaging in the poetic mystery that Eilert and Oswald embraced, leading to their deaths. 

Ibsen was one of the first dramatists to perfect the art of realism in theatre. His descendant in Scandinavian Drama would do well to reject it, choosing Neo-Absurdism, rather than send women a message of kowtowing to the patriarchy via glitter and sequins. Donna preserves her tavern, and gets someone to fix the roof, though Nora abandons her house. The conflict between Ibsen’s feminism and producer Judy Craymer’s post-feminism was best illustrated by this production’s version of “The Winner Takes It All.” Actress (can’t remember) belted this torch song with power, dignity and skill that could blow the roof off of the venue. However, the microphone system strapped to her face gave her voice an electromagnetic hum, barely discernible, yet devastatingly annoying to human ears. The power of women still burns in Scandinavian theatre; sadly, Western audiences must put a ring on it and tame it, in order to sanctify it. 

IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, the singing and dancing were great, performances were solid, the script made me have to think, “If I roll my eyes any harder, I’m going to get a headache.” Obviously, the answer is that I have to write a musical for Jenn to star in. 

In other news:

If I pet Mo Magee as much as she wants, her fur gets so slicked down that she looks like Bastet. 

4/7 '19 4 Comments
the script is absolutely horrible. it's basically, "what 3 lines can we cram in between these 2 songs to make it feel like they go together?" i'm so glad you sat through that to experience the good stuff, it was great to have you there!
Jenn A 4/9 '19
Like I said, all Ms. Jenn needs is a venue. I scheme scripts for you when I need to feel happy.
I'd back that show!
Now I have to figure out how to make a 50-minute Fringe show out of Mamma Mia and this post, without being legally actionable by the creators of Mamma Mia.