Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Well, I believe I’m taking a blogging break. I am in the midst of writing two other things and I am so preoccupied with them that I am incapable of blogging at this time. So, I’m taking a possibly long hiatus.

There have been some changes in future projects. I won’t be releasing “Letting Go of God” on Sept. 15th on DVD. There are some other possibilities in the works, including a limited theatrical run and a cable sale, and I need to fully look into those before releasing the movie. I’m sorry, this is just the way of self-released material I think. (BTW, the film did very well in Seattle at the film festival and got more attention than I anticipated it would. In fact, it made it to the top ten movies out of 400 entries in their ratings system, and that was after only one screening – the other films had two. In any case, I was made more optimistic about a wider type of release after Seattle.)

Jill Sobule and I are currently planning to open our show at the new Largo site – at the Coronet Theater in L.A. in late September (not late August as previously thought) on Sundays. That is in development.

I point you to two other blogs and an article that friends of mine maintain and which I feel are very, very good.

My dearest friend Jim Emerson’s blog about movies (and sometimes other things too) at:


My very good friend Chris Marcil’s blog who is reading the Harvard Classics and blogging about it daily. Look for the June 12th post where he compares Thoreau to Jonathan Richman and then adds a Richman video which is great. (Richman is also a friend, so I love anything with him in it – but the association with Thoreau is a good one.)


And here is an article recently posted by another very, very good friend, Kathleen Murphy,


This is an art site and she wrote a really brilliant article about “Last Year at Marienbad” – a movie which is apparently playing in Seattle at SIFF later this month. The article is about “Last Year” but it also about movies in general and it makes me want to stop everything and go watch movies with Kathleen for about ten years.


Kitt said...

Good luck with your projects! I'm sorry you won't be releasing the DVD soon, but if that means I get to see it in a theater instead, I'll be happy.

Mark of Cascadia said...

Letting Go of God is a brilliant piece and should have the good fortune to play in theaters. I can't wait to own it, having seen you perform it live, and having seen the film at SIFF. But I'd like to see it get the much wider audience it deserves. Good luck with your many other projects.

Petra said...

I know how tough regular blogging can be - especially when you know people are waiting for it! No worries - go do happy things with Jill and your movie!

I think I am on a mailing list - so maybe you will email us when you know more about when and how the movie will be released?

: ) P

Anonymous said...

Dear Julia and friends --

Did you know that Blogger has a "mail-in" feature?

Click the appropriate setting and you can send an e-mail to a special address that either (1) saves your e-mail as a draft or (2) publishes it immediately on your blog. The blog owners chooses which way it will behave.

The e-mail address is formatted as follows:


The blog owner (you, Julia) determines what special word to put in the blank space between the "dot" after your own blog's name and the rest of the address beginning with @

This makes it really easy to post something brief on the fly -- just run spell-check on your e-mail before you click Send!

Hope this helps, A fan

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being annoying , please try to make the dvd multiregional .

PS is Mr Richman still walking great distances , his love of walking is still the thing of legend this side of the pond .

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the update. I found your "..God.." recording recently and then your blog. Enjoy both, keep up the good work and keep slogging along on wider release of your work.

Vanessa said...

Ms. Sweeney, do you know what a "phase one clinical trial" is ? It's an important weapon in the war on cancer. Healthy people make money living in office buildings while they take multiple doses of chemo drugs such as Zevlin. You have a lot to do with that, and so does Valerie Plame Wilson. I will explain.

In case you're not familiar with Zevlin, it treats several kinds of lymphoma. It is one of many chemo drugs on which pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer develop variations. The healthy people take these variations (either in pill form or by injection) so a research company can monitor the drug's effect on blood pressure, liver functions, creatinine, etc. Phase one volunteers take drugs that are already on the market, too. They take stuff that treats Alzheimers, such as Menantine. Right now volunteers are staying in an Orange County, California office building testing Menantine. It treats moderate to severe Alzheimers.

Enter Julia Sweeney, Valerie Plame Wilson and thousands of other digitally preserved talking heads. You all appear on the plasma TV screens that the research companies provide so volunteers can pass the time while they're on Zevlin, Menantine, etc. The companies also provide DVD players.

I cannot recall anyone watching "God Said Ha!", but I recall a 1991 SNL sketch that the E ! Channel has repeated many times. In it, you and Phil Hartman portray the vicious nature of caller ID, a new phenomenon in 1991. I heard at least three healthy volunteers thank you for putting caller ID, an important feature of any phase one clinical trial, into historical perspective. When you did the sketch in 1991, you knew it would get repeated for years thereafter. Little did you know it would help cure cancer.

I've never been anywhere in Washington state, but a history professor at Eastern Washington University tells me about a fleabag hotel located near Sacred Heart Medical Center where a strange man named David Glass lived between 1994 and 2000. Born in 1925, he was filmed by NBC News in 1964 claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a conspiracy with a female Albuquerque justice of the peace and a housewife.

One day I will try to put this NBC News segment on YouTube. I have a DVD of the segment, which never has been telecast, not even when it was fresh. It languishes in a New Jersey vault that is monitored by Peter on the third floor of the RCA building, just five stories below 8H. Peter gave me the David Glass segment. He's the archivist.

Declassified FBI documents at the National Archives expose Mr. Glass as a total fraud. When the NBC cameras stopped rolling, he claimed the justice of the peace was having a lesbian relationship with the housewife. On camera he didn't say that. On camera he just said the JP "has been trying to get me to kill President Kennedy since 1959." This woman, who still lives in Albuquerque, says Mr. Glass is "a nut." The NBC crew made the film in Dallas during the murder trial of Jack Ruby, which inspired Mr. Glass to travel from Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he then lived, to Dallas to annoy the district attorneys. He moved to Spokane as he approached his 70th birthday in 1995.

This has been long, but I wanted to share everything I know about Spokane and about how you entertain lay people who are helping to cure cancer.

You are busy with your "God" project, so I don't expect you to reply. In case privacy seems nice, here is my E-mail: j.gasen@yahoo.com

Here's wishing you, Julia, many more years in the pink of health. Unlike the phase one clinical volunteers, you make entertainment instead of just watching it for ten hours a day every day.

Jess said...

Shoot. I just learned about the blog! Stupid luck...love Jill Sobule though.

Also posting this comment made me realize that I seem to be logged into blogger and somewhere in the ether I have a blog. Hmmmm...as I have no recollection of that then it will be a surprise to go read it. I hope I wrote really important things! Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Julia -- I always enjoy reading your entries, about anything you want to share. Big or small.
I hope you decide to keep blogging here.

I look forward to your projects!

Anonymous said...

Happy WRITING! Hope you can come back soon! The world needs more Julia!


Anonymous said...

I wish you luck on your projects and I hope that you find some relaxation during your blog break.

Sheldon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaybee322 said...

Thank you for providing a female 'naturalist' perspective to this entire journey you've gone through. I'm in my mid twenties and went through all of this (although with coming to terms with lost grandparents, not parents) over the past 5 years. Your kind, genuine, empathetic journey for truth and knowing has touched my heart so much.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Sweeney, my last post was long and it tackled two topics: cancer research on healthy subjects and Spokane. This time I'll stick to Spokane's link to the history of public awareness of cancer.

In 1971, President Nixon declared war on cancer. Shortly thereafter, a Los Angeles TV producer named George Eckstein, best known at the time for co-producing several episodes of the classic TV series "The Fugitive," (including the finale, which got the highest Nielsen rating of any episode of a TV series), optioned the story of Jacquelyn Helton. She was a 20 - year - old single mother who had died of cancer in early 1971.

Ms. Helton's story became a 1973 CBS movie of the week titled "Sunshine" and an eponymous book by Norma Klein. They paved the way for personal stories of coping with cancer. Ms. Klein made the early part of the book take place in Spokane, where a gruff, cold male doctor tells the young mother that amputation of her leg is her only option for beating the cancer (osteogenic sarcoma).

I tracked down a 1971 magazine article about Ms. Helton. (She died just as it was going to press.) It says the male doctor who recommended amputation practiced in Denver, not Spokane. In fact, the real Ms. Helton's story happened entirely in a small Wyoming town and in the nearest big city of Denver, where she went for chemotherapy after deciding to keep her two legs.

Norma Klein relocated the Helton story to Spokane and a city she calls "Vancouver" without specifying Washington State or Canada. Jacquelyn became "Katherine." It's still a great book, with long segments written by Ms. Helton. Ms. Klein used poetry and diary entries written by Jacquelyn Helton during the amputation scare, the chemo and the dying with dignity. Ms. Klein changed only the names and cities.

I recommend this book, especially in view of the fact that we never will see the CBS movie of the week. It never has been released on VHS or DVD, and producer George Eckstein is getting on in years. I only saw a few minutes of the movie on a local Baltimore station in the middle of the night in 1980. I don't know the locale used by the filmmakers. I don't know if it demonizes Spokane the way Ms. Klein did for me when I read the book before that late - night repeat telecast.

Break a leg with your current project. You get to keep the leg ! As before, my E-mail is j.gasen@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Julia, I am such a big fan! There were rumors that you are ill and if that is at all true- I just wanted to send some good vibes your way. Take care. Tara

J. Sterling Ellison said...

Oh, but I do indeed hope you return to your blog. I just discovered it! I was looking you up after seeing "God Said, 'Ha!'"

And I've been an SNL fan since the 70s, so...Hope to see ya' back!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see Letting Go of God!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,
I am always enjoy reading your entries, about anything you want to share. Big or small.
I hope you decide to keep blogging here.

Goji Berries | GoChi

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sweeney,
I would like to apologize to you for any persecution you have received because of your belief. I however am an acting Christian. Ha ve you researched the proof of the existence of Jesus and God as much as the scientific aspect. As christians we are to love and except each other just the way we are. If you've never experinced his love his you are truly missing out. There are things that happened to people in life that are horrific. God gives us a choice he doesnt make you do anything. If anyone has ever abused you or attached you it was there choice and they will be judged. There is also very real and terrifying proof that satan and his demons exist. Why dont you get some assistance from someone and conjure one. If you need proof you will get it I assure you. That would be the best proof you could have. If there is satan then there is a god. Just know that god loves you and there is a point to your existence. I do however think your very funny. Good Luck with your career and best wishes