Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making A Mess

So I ordered some Chinese food to eat before Glee, and ate the hell out of it, and then decided to put the leftovers in the icebox. While doing so, I managed not to notice that the sweet and sour sauce for my pork was not quite covered tightly...yecch. All down the front of the sink, all over the floor, and have you any idea how terminally STICKY that sauce is? I even managed to get some of it in my hair, which I thought was a neat trick.

Other things. Pete Wells on The Standard in today's NYTimes - complaining because he didn't get any sugar for his espresso. Sugar? For his espresso? To me, this feels like someone complaining that they didn't get the whipped cream for their steak. ARE there people who put sugar in espresso? (No use asking me, since I drink all coffee absolutely black.)

Finally caught up with last week's Glee on good old Hulu. Boy, do I love this show...Fame without the silliness.

Also in today's NYTimes food section, what looks like a wonderful recipe for scallops with brown butter and capers...I'll eat ANYTHING with capers. (Only not espresso.)

Stayed in all day doing Joshua's packing - he insists that he can't deal with tape. Yeah, you heard that...he can't deal with tape. I have bowed to the inevitable, and am busy doing all his work for him. But then, I'm the one who wants him out of the damn house.

Meanwhile, Vicky and Sarah decided to dye their hair last night. Vicky merely did her roots so that she's platinum blonde all over now, but Sarah elected to dye a chunk of her hair in the back bright pink. I got the sink clean, but I simply couldn't face my (bright pink) bathtub. Tomorrow is soon enough - if Joshua wants to shower, he can jolly well get into the tub with the damn Ajax. Which is only poetic justice, since I invariably have to clean up after HIM when he dyes HIS hair. Sheesh. You know, I feel there's a reason that there's a waiting period with hair dye - it's so you can CLEAN UP THE DAMN SINK. And the shower curtain. And in Joshua's case, the wall. How he manages to smear dye on the wall is somewhat beyond me, but he manages.

The audition went well, I thought, although I haven't heard anything about it. At least they laughed in the right places, which is nice.

OK. Hour long hiatus there while I watched this week's Glee, which featured the one and only Kristin Chenoweth playing an aging drunk...God, I love her. I must say, this works out very well. Just when Rescue Me goes on hiatus for the winter, Glee comes on! This means I can watch television once a week year round. Yeah, well, I'm not much of a television person...old movies are about it. And Joshua, bless his ghastly little soul, has finally quit playing with me and announced he's leaving the monster HDTV in the den! YAY! He's been dithering back and forth with this for months now...he was going to sell it, then he was going to put it in storage, then he was going to give it to someone (like, not me). He has finally done the right thing, and as soon as he gets the hell out of here, we can have great Glee parties in the den. YAHOO!

Well, having had a nice blather about absolutely nothing (I'm the Seinfeld of blogs), I am going to finish my beer while playing solitaire and go to bed.

Love, Wendy

Monday, September 28, 2009

In Recovery

Well, my, my, my.

I ended up being 15 minutes late for the 6:30 am shoot on Thursday for The Other Guys (which annoys me because I'm ALWAYS early), but then it did get somewhat drunk at Sarah's farewell party (yeah, yeah, I know that was dumb with a shoot in the morning).

Luckily the shoot was in Chinatown, so I leaped out of bed and into my jeans in one smooth movement and grabbed a cab...after which I stood on my poor hungover feet for 12 hours while Will Farrell ran over a dummy on the street. This was not terribly interesting after the first 1700 times, but that's the movies for you!

But lo and behold, while we were all at lunch, some of the gang said they just been called by Grant Wilfley for a Law & Order, so I checked my phone...and there was indeed a call from GW, but for something called The Beaver for the very next day. Up I got at 3:30 am on Friday to catch a 5:30 am location van for White Plains, and spent a large chunk of the day being a cafeteria lady (standing at a counter full of canned sliced peaches, which looked increasingly less appetizing as the day wore on) in White Plains High School, in a lovely gray polo shirt and burgundy smock. Standing friggin' up AGAIN. This was directed by Jodie Foster, who, in case this interests you, is TINY. I think she's shorter than I am, and couldn't weigh more than about 97 pounds.

They wrapped us at about 3 in the afternoon, but then they brought the van around and dumped us at the Harrison, NY MetroNorth Station, which I assure you caused a LOT of snarling. Yes, of course we're getting reimbursed for it, but if you van us from NYC, then you can damn well van us BACK to NYC. We amused ourselves by inventing various scenarios by which we could make the transportation time run into Golden Time, but we're all nice little background people, so we didn't put any of the schemes into practice. Golden Time, by the way, is the Holy Grail for background people - it happens when a shoot goes over 16 hours. After that, you get a FULL DAY'S PAY for every hour or fraction thereof over 16. Several people got it for Boardwalk Empire - not me, damn it.

Anyway, I eventually got home and, after falling asleep at the kitchen table with my head on the New York Times, I went to bed at some absurdly early hour and slept until 11 am Sunday.

Today I went out and got madly frustrated looking for things I wanted to buy that didn't seem to exist. Could someone tell me exactly when all trench coats decided to be knee length or above? I mean, I was at Burlington Coat Factory, for God's sake, where I've always had terrific luck with any kind of coat...but nothing below the knee. If I wanted a jacket, I was fine, but no decent mid-calf length trench coats. Growl.

Ah, well. I've got two nice checks coming, plus the little scrap from the temp job, so what am I complaining about?

Now I'm going to bed because I have an actual theatre audition tomorrow - it sounds interesting. It's a radio play - three ghost stories linked together - and it's going to be podcast. Never let it be said that Mother doesn't keep up with new technology. Besides, it's with the Naked Angels company, and I've always wanted to do something with them because they're really good. Let us pray.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Gee, all of a sudden I'm running around like a mad thing - which is altogether fine, as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday I had a temp job...a dull office receptionist thing, but it made me a little money and they bought lunch and had a refrigerator full of free Diet Cokes (there were other things, of course, but we all know that my heart belongs to Diet Coke). Then just as I was almost home from that, Caesar called so I went and met him and had a couple of beers and some food.

Wednesday I went off to see Wicked again with my old pal Marty, and it's still terrific. I had intended to stay home and watch TV Wednesday night, but it suddenly occurred to me that it was the last night I had free to go and see The Cradle Will Rock, so I ended up going to the Wicked matinee and then coming back downtown, taking myself out to dinner, and seeing that - two shows in one day! I felt like a New York theatre tourist.

Parenthetically, I do wish people would thoroughly explain what's going to be on a plate in a restaurant. Foodwise, I am allergic to exactly one thing, which is evidently some sort of preservative that is only used in marzipan. I have absolutely no problem with this because I happen to HATE marzipan. The only reason I even know I have the damn allergy is that the two times in my life I've eaten it unawares (a sweet roll with it inside and a petit four which had a layer under the frosting), I have immediately come up in violent, large, madly itching hives all over my body. I mean, within three can actually see them form, which is interesting, in a disgusting sort of way.

So I don't usually annoy wait people about the food I order. However, the NoHo Star dealt me a cruel blow on Wednesday. I was interested in the Grilled Seafood Plate, which was a special, and I asked what was on it because I truly dislike calamari...even deep fried, it tastes like rubber bands to me, and when you get the little ones with all the teeny tentacles, I find it actively unattractive. The waiter told me the plate had clams and mussels and shrimp and scallops, which sounded terrific (well, it does, doesn't it?). Guess what was on it besides, when it arrived. Bleeccch. However, I managed to eat around the chewy squiggly little rings and leggy things, and the rest of it (which even included two lovely oysters on the half shell) was quite lovely.

Then I went to see The Cradle Will Rock. This show is a musical by Marc Blitzstein, who did the original American version of Threepenny Opera, the one everybody knows (well, you do if you like Weill and Brecht, which I do). He wrote The Cradle Will Rock for the WPA Federal Theatre Project during the Depression (no, no, the one in the 30's). It's a landmark of American theatre history because of what happened to it.

Blitzstein, John Houseman and Orson Welles got the thing up, with elaborate sets and costumes and a full orchestra...and it was prevented from opening by some trumped up excuse on the part of the government, who decided it was a Communist production.

Not daunted, the three rented a different and much larger theatre and got a piano, and Marc Blitzstein was going to just sit at the piano and do the whole thing by himself. Well, he started it...and the actress playing the first character chimed in with her part from the audience...and the entire rest of the cast (who had been told by Actors Equity that they could not perform it on stage) did the entire show from the house, singing back and forth to each other.

Isn't that just GREAT? That's one of my favorite theatre stories in the whole world.

The production last night was a staged reading, essentially the show with choreography, costumes and all, but with scripts in hand, which you didn't really notice after a bit. It was wonderful. It was just absolutely fantastic. The show tells the story of Larry Foreman, who is trying to unionize the steel mills of Steeltown, USA, against the will of Mr. Mister, the fat cat who owns them. I had to see it, because although I've always known about it, it's very rarely done these days...but boy, is it ever worth it. And tonight's the last night. If you're in New York and at a loose end, you might be able to get a seat for tonight...look up The Cradle Will Rock - 45 Bleecker Street. You should see it if you can.

And as an interesting little side note on the evening, the cast contained an old (I mean like 30 odd years back) drinking buddy of mine who seems to be following the family career...none other than Jason Robards III, who looks so exactly like his father that it was rather scary when he walked onstage. (Yes, I also knew his father, in a casual sort of neighborhood way.) He was very good, too, by God. And I stayed to say hello to him, and we had a nice chat.

And tonight I've off to dear old Croxley's to eat many chicken wings at my kid's farewell party from her office, at which she had her last day today. Naturally, now that there are no jobs out there for anybody, she picks NOW as the best time to decide that she's bored after 5 years. Ah, well...I understand the boredom...after 8 years at my last 9 to 5, I spent damn near all my days in a half doze from extreme boredom and leapt like a trout to the bait when they offered me a buyout to get out of Dodge.

But I can't stay out too long, because there's a location van in my morning plans! Yay! This time it's something called The Other Guys, and I have no idea where they're shooting - what else is new. I'll get my details when I call in later tonight. But maybe...just MAYBE...I might be in town, since I'm supposed to be a tourist. Let's all cross our fingers.

Love, Wendy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stupidity - The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The gift, you see, that stupidity keeps on giving is food for the ever-hungry blogger.

Today's example was (as is often the case) in the Letters To The Editor section of the NY Post (which, by the way, had a wonderful picture caption yesterday -baby pandas nursing with the caption: Newborns Belly Up To The Bear!).

You may or may not know that our dear Mayor, Mr. Bloomberg, is now considering a plan to ban smoking OUTDOORS as well as indoors. As in no smoking in the parks or on the beaches. This is an idiotic idea, and for once I'm not speaking from the standpoint of a smoker. How on earth would you enforce this? Central Park alone has miles of heavy shrubbery and trees and whatnot to get lost in. I should think you'd have to station a cop about every ten feet - and we don't have that many cops. I don't think anybody's got that many cops. It's just a silly idea.

Well, this fetched the letter, which I quote, in part:

"I decided to eat my lunch outside on a beautiful, sunny workday last week, and I planned to enjoy it at one of the tables on the newly shut-down Broadway in Times Square.

Doesn't that sound nice? Unfortunately, it wasn't because of the smokers who ruined my 15 minutes of togetherness with nature."

This is deluded on more levels than I can really assimilate. Let's leave aside the notion that eating one's lunch in the middle of Times Square counts as enjoying a lovely day. Face it, there's no accounting for anyone who looks at some of the fashions for the fall can tell.

But she actually considered sitting in the middle of Times Square at lunch hour "togetherness with nature?" Has anyone ever found anything remotely resembling nature in Times Square? Maybe she was thinking about those pitiful plantings on the median strip there, or the dusty flowers in the truck bomb protection bunkers around the hotels? Maybe she has a home in an industrial waste dump, and this is as close to green as she gets?

And the smokers ruined it. Not the cars, buses and trucks spewing exhaust about five yards away from her. No, clearly that counts as part of nature (well, actually, if you live in New York it sort of does). Her little nature communication wasn't ruined by the fact that she chose to eat her lunch in one of the noisiest places on earth, or the fact that she chose to eat it surrounded by every single tourist in the whole sidereal universe. Or the underlying fact that if she works near enough to that plaza or whatever they call it, she had to have been able to see that people smoked there.

I think this lady has problems unconnected to people smoking cigarettes. I have a suspicion that she's one of those people who keep spraying disinfectant on their telephones at work and complaining about people's perfume.

By the way, about that plaza (for want of a better word, such as stupid piece of city planning), has anybody but me ever noticed a fairly major problem with it? Maybe it's because I'm a true blue New Yorker, and thus trained to see trouble before it gets to me, but that median strip separating the plaza from the traffic seems awfully flimsy to me. I'm around there reasonably often (it's right at 46th where the Equity office is), and I keep thinking that all it would take would be one good traffic accident to send a taxi or a van shooting right over that thing into the tourist seating. As we all know, I hate tourists, but even I don't want them to be smeared all over the sidewalk. I'm just wondering whether anybody ever thought of this...such as the nitwits who thought the whole thing was a good idea in the first place.

Just another fascinating day in New York, folks.

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Loud Organ Music

Well. four hundred and eighty eight years after it landed on Broadway, I have finally seen Phantom of the Opera.

I enjoyed the HELL out of it. I have never in my life seen anything so absolutely ridiculously over the top in my life. I think Andrew Lloyd Weber and the rest of the crew involved must have all sat down and gotten drunk/stoned and went, "Well, okay, we've got the Phantom flying down over the audience in a golden thing that looks like a lion/eagle cross, and then just for the hell of it, let's throw a big old lightning bolt across the back of the know, just in case nobody noticed that he's supposed to be evil."

I mean, people, this is not a show...this is what your basic country fair would do for its Horror House if they had money. I have never laughed so hard (internally, because my escort just LOVES this show) in my life.

And for what it is (thrill the tourists! make millions of dollars!), it is superb. Technically, it is one of the best things I've ever seen in my life...the ride across the underground lake, the little ballet girls each dressed in a copy of the Degas ballerina statue, the Mask of the Red Death bit...theatrically, it really is stunning. And of course, the falling chandelier. But the problem for me is that because I am a theatre person, I found myself having half my mind distracted.

There is so DAMN much scenery and so DAMN many costumes. And that's all fine. But as a pro at this, I found my mind wandering to: Okay, now that's an onstage costume change. Velcro? Yeah, gotta be Velcro...put the dressing gown in the front, yank from the back. Okay, got that. Phantom hides under cloak at the end, leaves glowing Phantom mask. Gotcha; false back on chair, actor leaves chair, stagehand places mask. Gotcha.

And of course, it all takes place in an opera house, which is over the top to begin with. I recommend to all Terry Pratchett's book Maskerade (not a misspelling), which is a take-off on the Phantom and hilarious and which kept going through my mind all afternoon.

But there was something quite turned out that the show we saw was the 9000th performance. And Andrew Lloyd Weber and Hal Prince arrived on stage at the curtain call to mark this occasion (along with a large cake). That was pretty cool.

However, for the full horror of the Phantom, you must read the original book, which is called The Phantom of the Opera and is by Gaston Leroux, and is MUCH scarier than any stage production could ever be.

Then I had a drink with Marty and went off the the Corner Bistro, where a lot of men my own age fell madly in love with me. Not a bad day at all.

Love, Wendy

Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting Up To Date

But first, the capper to my yapping about lunatics/Obama's speech to the schoolchildren.

The day after the speech, the following turned up on the Letters to the Editor page in the NY Daily News...I quote, in part:

"...I and other Americans believed that the Socialist who was elected President should not speak to our children. I advised my children to get up and leave the classroom when this pathetic person began his lead-the-sheep-to-the-slaughter speech."

His WHAT speech? Good Lord. I've met these people here and there (usually only once because after that one time I make sure to avoid them if at all possible). They are the ones who say, "Yes, sirree, that's what I think and nobody's gonna change MY mind!" And they usually have pathetic little washed-out wives who pipe up with, "Oh, Bob's just so strong-minded! He NEVER changes his mind about anything!" For some reason, these women seem to be pleased about this. Yeeks.

So on Thursday I hopped the van out to Staten Island, taking an interesting route which dragged us out to Newark Airport, because the driver missed a turn or something, and spent a large amount of time in something called the Romance Bar and Lounge, which is billed as a catering facility. God save me from EVER eating anything from this joint. It was tastefully decorated with a lot of Formica-topped tables (and for some reason, a large statue of St. Joseph behind the bar...I think it was St. Joseph), each one of which had a menu under a see-through layer on top. Evidently this was a Hispanic neighborhood (from what I saw of the area and people, it was actually mostly Hispanic and black...but nice and neat, somehow, with little houses and carefully tended gardens), because the menu was in Spanish/English - I mean a dish would be listed in Spanish followed by Arroz con Pollo/Chicken with Rice.

Talk about trying to cover all bases. The menu had a long list of appetizers, primarily of the chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks variety, the salads, then main courses (chicken, meatloaf, steak). Following all of that, it had a list of Greek dishes. Following that, a list of Italian dishes. And following THAT, a long list of Mexican food. Personally, I have always steered clear of restaurants with that many things on their menus because I invariably feel (and have been proven correct) that A. if you're trying to do that much stuff, you're probably not doing any of it well, and B. since there isn't room in most restaurant kitchens to store all the ingredients for all that food, it's highly likely that it all comes frozen in plastic bags and is dumped into boiling water when you order it. Yes, yes, I know all about the new craze for sous vide food, but we're not talking about that here...these people are doing good old supermarket boil-in-bag veggies.

Anyway, we sat around from about 4 pm (after our nice tour of New Jersey and finally finding Staten Island) to around 6, when we had dinner (yes, an outside location caterer, thank God), after which we sat around some more, and we finally got over to the set about 11 at night. We got filmed listening to Susan Sarandon (who's adorable) telling us about the Hemlock Society, got a look at Al Pacino all made up as Jack Kevorkian, watched Barry Levinson direct Miss Sarandon, and got wrapped about 1 am and went home.

So I slept late Friday, and did nothing in particular, ditto Saturday, and on Sunday I got up early because there was supposed to be a flotilla of ships or boats coming up the Hudson in honor of its 400th anniversary, and I wanted to see the replica of Sir Francis Drake's Half Moon. Well, I sat out there for three hours and nothing appeared except a whole bunch of little cigarette boats (which were very noisy) and a few helicopters (also noisy). Also I watched a two-hour yoga class, which made me feel terribly guilty about the fact that my mat is currently rather dusty. However, the actual ships never turned up and I never learned why.

I went home and Vicky came home with Shai in tow and we all sat around on the porch getting blasted and ordered some food (and, by the way, they'd been on the High Line and had seen the damn Half Moon from there...growl).

The result of this debauchery was, of course, a roaring hangover today, which I had to take over to 19th Street for a SAG cold reading for an agent event, which was quite fun, actually. Of course, I have a problem with these things because I go to them, do my reading, am lavishly praised by the agent...and the phone never rings. If you think I'm that goddamn wonderful, why aren't you casting me, fool? Today the bit I read was a PSA (public service announcement), which I picked out of the pile because it suited the outfit I was of my new suits (a pants suit) which just screams, "Look! Look! I look JUST like a lawyer on Law & Order! CAST ME!"

Also I got a peculiar invitation from a guy I did a show with a while back to a party at Scores, which seems to have had a Western theme and was advertised as having "Sexy Cowgirls!" Why he thought this might be something I'd enjoy is completely beyond me. I can't imagine myself ever going to Scores for anything, much less to look at sexy cowgirls. One of life's little mysteries, I guess.

No calls for tomorrow from anybody, casting agencies or temp agencies, so I think I'll slop around and do nothing (gee, what a surprise). Wednesday I'm going to go see Phantom of the Opera, of all things, which I've never seen because I have a terrible prejudice against Andrew Lloyd Weber (except for Cats). But an old pal called with free tickets, so what the hell.

And so to bed...

Love, Wendy (with thanks to Samuel Pepys)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Somebody Loves Me!

Yay! Phone call from C&G Casting! Off to Staten Island tomorrow for the new Al Pacino film, You Don't Know Jack, about Dr. Kevorkian. I'm playing a Hemlock Society member/protester...they're the right to die people. (This is something of which I thoroughly approve, as I think I've mentioned...and it's sure as hell closer to my reality than playing a lady in favor of Prohibition in Boardwalk Empire!)

Meanwhile, our friend Vicky is in residence at our house, because she's here from LA for a two month job...she's an interesting form of house guest because our hours don't coincide AT ALL...which means the only time I know she's around is when I hear the bathroom door in the middle of the night. This is both restful and slightly sad, because last time she stayed here we used to have lovely kitchen table chats. Ah, well.

I went out to dinner with my pal Caesar on Sunday, and spent Labor Day doing nothing in particular...then I did a small job for my crazy temp lady yesterday morning...earning the magnificent sum of, I think, about 30 bucks after taxes. Well, it's 30 bucks I wouldn't have otherwise, right?

And tomorrow a nice movie to shoot!

By the way, I was meaning to blog about something before it happened, but I couldn't get myself to the blog (just feeling lazy and disinclined to do anything much more intellectual than play solitaire). What on earth was with all those idiotic people getting their knickers in a twist about Obama's talk to schoolkids?

The text of the speech was on the internet before it went out on the airwaves. Any parent who was at all concerned could have easily read it. And I have never read anything more innocuous. It was just what I'm sure he says to his own daughters, and just what I said to Sarah, and just what every single parent has said to his/her child since the dawn of time (or at least the dawn of education). Work hard, stay out of trouble, you can make something of yourself no matter where you come from. The only thing different about it was that it came from a black man who overcame youthful difficulties and actually became President of the United States. Frankly, I think that's a damn powerful message...particularly for young black children to hear.

But the lunatic fringe are now saying that there were subliminal socialist messages implanted in the speech...or some foolishness. To begin with, it has been debunked that there actually ever was such a thing as subliminal messages...some time ago (50's or thereabouts, I seem to recall) when it was thought that movies theatres were planting these messages to get people to buy more candy. I believe it was tried, but it simply didn't work. And then of course we got to the whole "Play the rock and roll song backwards for the Satanic messages" idiocy. Sheesh.

Really, as others have said before me, this country seems to spend all its time being afraid of the strangest damn things, without paying attention to the things that are REALLY dangerous. As a nation, we're terrified of cholesterol and transfats...but go right on stuffing our faces. (For instance, it has now been proved that diet margarine is a lot worse for you than actual butter. I once, after a heart disease scare, took to using I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Well, first of all, I could absolutely believe it wasn't butter...then it dissolved a bowl of popcorn I put it on, and I quit using it on the spot.) Not to mention that the experts all down the line keep informing everybody that fresh, home-cooked food is the best for you...and everybody lines up at McDonald's, KFC, and Domino's pizza...some of them EVERY DAY.

Many people are afraid of invasion from outer space, and the total annihilation of our world by aliens...and happily drive drunk down a highway, texting merrily away on their phones.

And we are mortally afraid of a healthy and open sex life, and have all kinds of movie ratings to prevent our children from seeing a sex act on screen, yet idolize 16 year olds dancing about on stage and screen (and everywhere else) without half their clothes on. Not to mention evidently condoning violent war and crime on screen and in video games. This is supposed to be BETTER for the kids than seeing two people in love?

At this point, I invariably remember a very old Quaker saying: Everyone's queer except thee and me, and sometimes I wonder about thee.

Meanwhile, for a wonderful travel disaster story, you MUST read the comment to my last post, from my pal Texas's wonderful (well, it's awful...but what a tale)! Many thanks, Beth!

Love, Wendy

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Here I Am Again!

I haven't been blogging because, to be perfectly frank, my life has been so excruciatingly dull that I can't stand it. And I just wasn't going to inflict said blahness on you, my loyal readers. (You are all deeply loyal, aren't you? Of course you are.)

However, life has (to an extent, anyway) revved up a tiny, tiny bit. I have done absolutely NOTHING since getting my damned plate fixed until tonight. Sarah's pal Vicky came in from LA to do a job here in NY for a couple of months, so naturally she'll stay here...well, really, I can't have members of the family (all of our friends are adopted family) couch surfing when I have a perfectly good bed for her.

So Shai turned up this afternoon to wait for Sarah and Vicky, then Sarah turned up, then Vicky turned up from the airport...and the kids decided that we should all get something to eat and go eat it on the High Line.

This was fine with me, since I had never been up there, and I must say it's quite lovely. I'm planning to go back mid-week (the Sunday of Labor Day weekend is NOT the time to go). We got some nice Thai food at a Meat Market restaurant that actually has affordable food ($10 for pad thai with chicken and shrimp...oddly noted on the menu as "pad thai, ch and sh"...ah, the inscrutable East.

I had found out via my pal Caesar that our friend Mark was bartending on Sunday nights in the neighborhood, so we then repaired to Greenwich Avenue to have a few drinks with Mark (well, poor Shai, who had had to get up at 4 am to get to work, didn't join us), but our friends Michael and Alain did.

Anyway, it's a nice bar, and we all had a lovely time, and I was glad to see our Mark (who, in common with what sometimes seems to be the immediate world) had lived with us for a while.

Actually, Mark and I were married for a month. (Pause here for gasps of shock and awe...or, you know, yawns, whichever suits your fancy).

Matthew (my late husband) and I and Sarah had gone to Key West many years back, and when we got back, I was casting Hamlet. We had had some truly lovely escargot in Key West, and when we got back we went to a little French joint on 10th Street (long gone, rest its soul...we LOVED that restaurant), because we wanted more snails. Anyway, I was producing Hamlet, and playing Gertrude (also doing the am I possible?), and I truly needed a Claudius who could match with me...and there we were, sitting in Chez Ma Tante, when our waiter...a big, burly blond...came over and said in the most gorgeous voice, "May I take your order?"

I hired him on the spot. Literally. And he played Claudius to my Gertrude, and that's how we were married for a month...the run of the show. Um, duuhhh.

Anyway, I had a lovely afternoon and evening, and I still have Labor Day (i.e., tomorrow) to recover from same before I get up at some bizarre hour of the morning on Tuesday to do a temp job from 7:45 am until 11 or something. I have been hired to help some damn woman who's too rich for her own good to make phone calls to get applications for her child to get into a prestigious preschool for what I assume must be NEXT September...i.e., 2010. She has hired SIX people to sit for four hours on the telephone to do this. I think she is NUTS. But...the silly bitch is paying me. WEIRD.

Anyway, I've had a lovely afternoon and evening. And how was yours? And, before I forget, Texas Beth, I tried that site, and they had nothing, but I did finally find one blue blouse and a nice beige camisole. Thanks for the suggestion! And I STILL want to hear about your troubles getting out of NY!

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Hate Midtown

I have now spent two days in the general vicinity of 34th and 7th, and I want you to know that I hate it and am frustrated.

It started yesterday, when I called Con Ed to try to figure out where we stood on a payment plan. It turned out (beginning of frustration city here) that although I had sent them the required deposit, the bank had turned it down, on the basis that my account didn't exist.

Imagine my surprise, since money had been going into and regularly appearing in said account. Well, I figured THAT problem out...I am a blithering idiot. What happened was that a few weeks back, I discovered that I could still remember my old bank account number, which started with 56. This bothered me when I was depositing checks, because I had to stop and think of my current bank account (which I've had for YEARS now), which starts with 24. My aging brain promptly got everything screwed up and evidently made me think backwards...i.e., that the 56 account was the current one and the 24 account the old one. And since I haven't done any movie work recently (which is the only place I get checks from because everything else is direct deposit, and that's all fine), I had no way of finding out that I was screwed up...because, on the payment I sent to Con Ed, I used the old account number and the bank never saw fit to inform me of the problem.

Anyway, I got this all neatly straightened out in my own head...or so I thought. And I cleaned out my junk drawer and threw out all the "old" checks with the 24 number on them...still under the impression that the 56 account was correct.

I then went (now we're getting to 34th Street) to Fidelity Investments, across from Penn Station, and pulled some money out of my IRA to give to Con Ed by direct wire transfer into my account. Unfortunately, I gave THEM the wrong damn account number, too.

At any rate, I've got the whole thing straightened out now, and I even managed to retrieve my checks before the garbage went out.

But I am here to tell you that 34th Street is exhausting. I did a long circuit of it yesterday, because as long as I was there (which I am as little as possible), I figured I'd go and check out the new JC Penney...which is filled with overpriced polyester and not worth the trouble. I also poked my nose in H&M and Old Navy, because I'm looking for tops for the two new suits I bought. That is a problem, because while I know what I'd wear with the two suits, it doesn't happen to be what movie costumers want me to wear. Therefore, I have really specific goals in mind here - and there was almost nothing. I did manage to get two lace edged camisoles at Old Navy which will do, I hope, but what I really want is a pale blue shell for the navy suit, and something or other for the gray pants suit...the problem is that in every single shoot I've been on, I'm told, no black, no red, no white, all of which are, of course, what I'd wear with those two suits. Yeeks. (I also found a nice brown corduroy shift dress on sale at Old Navy which will come in handy for the odd temp job and maybe even a movie.)

And then I had to go BACK up there twice today. Part of my dental apparatus came apart, and I had to go get that fixed on account of not being able to eat - good for the figure, but the passing out not eating causes is fairly useless. So I handed them the piece at 10 am and was told that it wouldn't be ready until between 2 and 3 in the afternoon. This meant that, having NO desire to go shopping for the second day in a row, I went home, changed the catbox, ate some yogurt, and shlepped uptown again.

So I am tired, annoyed, and feeling terminally stupid. Oh, well. Tomorrow is food day in the NYTimes. And maybe someone will call me for a movie. Or a date. Or pigs will fly. Or SOMETHING nice will happen.

Love, Wendy