Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again

In the last couple of days there have been stories about the death (at 43) of a quadriplegic Irishman named Christy Nolan, a sufferer of extreme cerebral palsy who managed to write poetry and prose by means of something called a unicorn stick - which I logically assume must be some sort of pointer attached to his forehead. His book, Under the Eye of the Clock, won a prestigious British literary prize (the Whitbread, I think).

I can't tell you how odd it seemed to me to read about this. You see, back in 1970, a book came out called Down All the Days, by a man named Christy Brown...who suffered from severe cerebral palsy (also quadriplegic) and used his left foot to write (and paint, for that matter). Mr. Brown also wrote a book called My Left Foot (an autobiography, obviously), which was filmed with Daniel Day-Lewis playing him - and which, by the by, got a great deal of publicity when it came out (1989) about Mr. Day-Lewis' struggles to maintain the cramped and twisted position of Mr. Brown's body.

I don't know about anyone else, but I find this fascinating and somewhat weird, that not one but TWO quadriplegic Irishmen, suffering from the same disease to the same degree, both managed to write enormously well-received books. More than one, for that matter. As a good Irishwoman, I personally think it just goes to show that there is no possible way you can shut the Irish up, even if they can't talk. You've got to admit this is interesting.

My social security came through! New computer coming up! Yahoo! Sarah's coming with me to buy it on Sunday. She sensibly feels I shouldn't be left alone to buy a computer, and I think she's right. I have no problem using them, but the finer points tend to elude me when I'm buying them. I either go for something that's got way too much stuff for me, or find something that hasn't got enough. For instance, to use the word processing feature on this lousy Mac, I had to download a free trial of it, because Joshua never thought to check that it came loaded. See, I'd do that, because being a PC user, I automatically assume that something like that is there, and it wouldn't ever occur to me to check.

Meanwhile, I have spent some money. However, I'm quite proud of myself, because I spent almost all of it in good causes as pertains to my career (what there is of it at the moment). Yesterday I finally took the CD of those new headshots I got done over to Modern Age (this is the photo processing joint where I, along with every other actor in NY, have been taking my headshots for damn near 40 years) to get nice prints made for stage audition purposes - for film I use online casting and email, but for stage you have to turn up with an actual hard copy photo in your hot little hand. So I got that done. I was going to do a few other things while I was in midtown, but Caesar called and I was getting fairly tired of tromping around, so I said the hell with it.

Today I went back uptown to the Drama Book Store to find a monologue to use for that Williamstown audition next week. I vaguely remembered a middle-aged society dame in Lend Me A Tenor, but while indeed there is one, she doesn't have a monologue. So I picked up a copy of Noel Coward's Hayfever instead (which is about a semi-retired middle-aged actress who doesn't really want to retire) which, with a little judicious cobbling together of speeches, will do fine. The reason behind this is that two of the plays they're doing in Williamstown have middle-aged actresses as, logically...

I also stopped at the wig/hair/beauty store at 35th and 8th (a great source for all kinds of interesting oddities, mostly in the hair department). I got all kinds of stuff - don't start laughing - like rollers, clips, an actual hair dryer with a bonnet as opposed to the new kind, hair spray, and setting lotion. I realize that to all you young things out there, this sounds like the Dark Ages, but you have to understand that I have been wearing my hair either extremely short (hair routine: get in shower, wash hair, run comb through hair) or long (routine: get in shower, wash hair, comb hair, pull into ponytail) for quite some time. The reason it was always pulled back when it was long before is that I had (like my child) extreme frizz head. The only way to keep it out of my face (and everybody else's) was to yank it back. However, when menopause turned up, for some odd reason, my hair went, I don't know either, but I'm thrilled. Unfortunately, without the frizz, it turned out to be pretty thin (actually I think this is menopause too). So if I use, say, the curling iron, the piece stays curled for about 30 seconds and then just flops. And I have never gotten the hang of blow drying.

I think trying to remember how to set my hair properly will be quite fun, even if (like a few weeks back, if you recall, when I ended up with that awful pouffy thing on my head) it turns out horribly. What the hell. I can always pull it back, right?

Aside from all that, I have been treating myself to food and three magazines...last night, Chinese, today, a stop at Gourmet Garage for shrimp. Boy, this is fun. Now I'll settle down like a good girl and save my money...and play with my hair.

Love, Wendy

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