Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Today’s non-video

January 5th, 2015

Here’s something I won’t be watching: Every Marvel movie stitched together into chronological order.

Which would still be shorter than something else I won’t be watching: every Peter Jackson Rings/Hobbit movie put together.

Update on New Year’s Day

January 1st, 2015

OK, the sun has gone down and it’s now in the low 50′s — akin to a blizzard in Burbank, CA! — and, given this chill, my fingers aren’t quite able to type as felicitously as usual, so I guess I’m moving inside to write now, once this cigar is finished.

Random thoughts on New Year’s Day

January 1st, 2015

I’m sitting in my back yard drinking a glass of pinot noir and writing. Here’s the blog post I just put up at Counterintuity. Then my intention is to move on to my book.

In the meantime, I can’t help noticing how either indecisive or unsatisfied my dog is. She’s a 16-and-a-half-year-old mix (three quarters Australian Shepherd and one quarter Black Labrador), and judging solely from the past 30 minutes, she can’t decide if she’d rather be outside with me (pluses: near me and outside; minus: somewhat chilly) or inside with my kids who are playing Minecraft (pluses: near them and warm; minus: they’re so thoroughly engrossed in their game that the likelihood of their opening the refrigerator door is nil). I think overall this dog is now part of another breed I have known: indecisive / neurotic / fidgety elders.

Someone in one of the houses nearby is playing scales on a clarinet. A Christmas present, perhaps. I’m glad to hear it. But then, it’s 3:24 p.m. Good to hear now — but I don’t want to hear it at 7 a.m.

I’ve been struck today by how many of my Facebook friends have eagerly welcomed 2015 because, they say, 2014 was such a horrible year for them. (An annus horibilis.) All experiences are particular — just as all existence is individual — so there can’t be any debating their response. But I can say that I had a terrific year. I had a fine time skiing with my family (and hope to do that again in February), took my daughter to New York City and skeet shooting in New Jersey, had a glorious time in Nashville, successfully completed my board presidency with one non-profit, ascended in leadership with another that I care deeply about, and watched with appreciation and pride as new management succeeded with my theatre company. Business was robust, health was good, I had lots of enjoyable time with friends and family, I wrote a short play or two and made good progress on a longer one and am well into writing a book. I share all this not as a way to lord it over those who are glad 2014 is gone — I have had years like that myself, of course — but to document it because, of course, the screw always turns. I just feel grateful. Every single day.

The future arrives anew every day. Welcome to 2015. It’s going to last only a year. We should do our best to make the most of it.

Farewell to a classy dame

December 31st, 2014

The year ends tonight. But there’s lots of look forward to in 2015 — most especially including Dame Edna Everage coming back through the U.S. I’m sad that it’s her farewell tour, but given that she (he) is 80, it’s understandable. (Although being around 80 and saying farewell certainly hasn’t stopped Cher, has it?) I’ve got very good seats for her show on Friday, January 30th.

In the meantime, I’ll console myself with this very funny interview, and may I suggest that you do the same?

And now, a heartwarming Christmas tale from William S. Burroughs

December 24th, 2014

Updated 5-day forecast

December 16th, 2014

It’s raining again here in southern California (the girls’ll always warn ya), so here’s our updated 5-day forecast.



Thursday: drought

Friday: drought

Saturday: drought

Today’s music video

December 16th, 2014

I have seen many, many bands in my lifetime. Unfortunately, Mac Sabbath has not been one of them. I hope I get the chance before McDonald’s sues the pantaloons off them.

5-day forecast

December 12th, 2014






Swing shift

December 11th, 2014

You know, if it weren’t for one thing, I wouldn’t mind going through segmented sleep every night. Part of me likes the idea of sleeping in these little shifts and then awakening at, say, 2 a.m. for a good couple of hours of reading and writing. In fact, I would fully embrace it if I didn’t have to get up at 6 a.m. every morning. Because in that situation, which is the case five days a week to help get kids off to school, it really bites.

So let’s see… will it be reading more of the Leon Panetta memoir or comic books, or more writing? How best to occupy the next two hours…?

Ministry of Silly Talks

November 23rd, 2014

John Cleese, who’s on a book tour, recently got together with former comedy partner Eric Idle for a fun hour-long chat here in town. Here’s that chat. I know — you think you don’t want to watch it. I urge you to do so. But fair warning: If, like me, you think you’ll watch five or 10 minutes and then turn it off, you’ll be wrong. You’ll wind up watching the whole blessed thing. Because whether they’re reminiscing about the beginnings of Monty Python or dishing on their former castmates or tossing funny barbs back and forth or re-enacting hilarious sketches from the now-lost show Cleese did before Python, they’re hilarious.