Sunday, March 28, 2010


I am just so damn good I can't stand it. I have painted the downstairs bathroom, painted the kitchen cabinets and, with the necessary and more than welcome assistance of Caesar, no door to the den.

I should explain the den door. About five steps down from my living room is a small den, with wood paneled walls and bookshelves, all built in, including an entertainment area - i.e., a space for the TV. This was one of the main reasons I fell in love with the house to begin with, because my husband watched television 24 hours a day, and I hate having the damn thing on when I've got people over, much preferring conversation. So I didn't want it in the living room.

However, when Joshua took over the den, he kept annoying me about putting up a door to it. I kept saying no to this idea, because it was MY den and I didn't WANT a door on it. This, of course, meant nothing to Joshua, who went right ahead and put a door on it. This, thank God, is now gone. Unfortunately, the scars remain, and since one of them involves a large hunk out of the wall, I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it...probably just throw a coat of white paint over everything and hope for the best, which has become my standard response to just about everything around here. The place won't look perfect for potential buyers, but it'll sure look valiant as hell. Poor little old lady trying her best is what we're going for...I'm hoping for a sympathy buyer.

Nothing else of any interest is going on at all, except that I've got an overnight shoot on Boardwalk Empire next Thursday or Friday. It was supposed to be this Friday, but the kind people over there decided that making all of us background people shiver in 40 degree weather in summer costumes on the boardwalk all night wasn't a great idea, so the shoot got put back. Having no particular belief in the goodheartedness of people who are trying to make money, I have a deeply rooted suspicion that they're merely trying to save themselves from Workmen's Comp claims for pneumonia, but since I'm a beneficiary of this, who the hell cares?

And my birthday party is Wednesday (which actually happens to be my birthday)! Yay! We're going to my favorite restaurant, Tout Va Bien...a wonderful old fashioned joint with wonderful old fashioned French food. I can almost taste the escargot.

Thursday, I'm going to go downtown and get my nice half price Metrocard, which is an excellent idea, since of course, what with all this paint and whatnot to buy, I'm dead broke...and my pitiful little unemployment will be a day late because their idiot web site broke down again, damn it. I do wish they'd stop doing whatever they do to it on Sundays - this is the second time this has happened.

And tomorrow I think I'll start painting the upstairs bathroom, since I'm now really revved up. Not to mention the fact that it's going to absolutely pour rain until Tuesday, so between that and the lack of cash, I can't think of anything else to do. Go, me!

Love, Wendy

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random Remarks About Nothing In Particular

The first thing on my list is the fact that I just saw the creepiest online ad ever. It was in the middle of an article I was reading, and it says, "Introducing the Nexus One, with live wallpaper."

I'm sure this means that your onscreen wallpaper is animated or something, but the mental image is, to me, terrifying. Imagine, say, your grandmother's dining room, with all those damn vines on the wallpaper. Now imagine them crawling around on the wall, and maybe sneaking a tendril or two into your chicken soup. And oh, God...what about that children's wallpaper with the clowns? Think about THAT moving around. The whole idea is just too Stephen King for words...thank heavens I don't have any wallpaper, or else I'd never sleep tonight.

Why on earth can't people hang doors in a logical fashion? I realize this sounds a bit off the wall (well, but look who's writing it), but I was at Citarella gasping at the prices of caviar and foie gras (no, don't be silly, I wasn't BUYING any - I just like to visit them from time to time) a few days ago, and I noticed, as I usually do when I'm there, that their doors are hung backwards. When you enter the store, the door opens inward and is automatic, but when you exit the store, the door ALSO opens inward (i.e., toward you), and is not automatic.

Now consider this for a moment. You are entering the store to shop. You are carrying your purse, say. Maybe a tote bag over your shoulder. And here you have a nice automatic door. But when you go out of the store with your purchases, and some people buy a LOT of stuff in there (people in my neighborhood are WAY too rich), you now have to juggle your groceries trying to open a door toward you with no electric eye opener. Does this make any sense at all? Shouldn't the easy to open door be the one you use when your arms are likely to be full?

And I also think stores should arrange their wares in some sort of logical fashion. I was at Home Depot today, looking at lamps (most of which were just hideous and/or overpriced), and I decided to buy some of those long life lightbulbs because they were on sale, and some roller covers, also on sale...and since I had just seen a nice display of paper towels on sale, I went for that, presuming, of course, that toilet paper, which was what I needed, would be in the same general vicinity. Paper products, right? Wrong. The toilet paper was down in the basement, all the way in the back of the basement, near nothing remotely like it. I don't consider potted plants and barbecues to have anything at ALL to do with toilet paper (although I guess it depends on what you're served at that barbecue). Well, admittedly it was a great sale price (24 double rolls for 12 bucks), but it was a hell of a shlep, when you consider that I also had those light bulbs and roller covers. Grumph.

And it's spring, by God! The weather is gorgeous! And my birthday is coming up, so I stopped in a couple of places, such as H&M and Old Navy, to see what they might be able to offer me in terms of something pretty to wear on my birthday.

Yes, well...I did say spring, didn't I? That would be the season with the flowers, and the nice greening trees, and the sweet little birdies and the sunshine? Yeah, that one. Given that, would someone please tell me why the new colors for the season seem to be black, khaki, and a sort of grayed out lavender? This isn't cheerful and springlike, people...this looks like outfits for a business casual funeral. What I want is a flowered dress, damn it. I did, in fact, find tons of flowered dresses at Kmart, but they were in the children's department. Admittedly I'm on the small side, but...

These things are sent to try us, I suppose. I've got a couple of weeks before the big event, so I shall continue prowling around. I think I'll try JC Penney...I hadn't thought of it until just now because I'm still not used to having one in Manhattan. Maybe I can even find some decent lamps that aren't 400 bucks apiece.

And one final note...why does my computer say of this blog, posted at 7:38 pm? Because it's 11 pm where I am. Do you think blogs exist in some sort of parallel universe, or is it just mine - always a possibility.

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Night Out!

Well, it's been a deeply dull two days. I got mundane temp work yesterday and today, and believe me, it was mundane. A receptionist job where I was told I could have free internet access, but I wasn't allowed to read. And it was for four hours each day at $12 an hour, meaning that it barely covered lunch and transportation. Blecch.

However, tonight I went uptown to see Caesar's latest show (a one night stand), and it was interesting. It was four vignettes, and they were all about opera. First you had the singers doing the piece of the opera in its proper language, then you got the actors doing the scene represented by the opera excerpt. As I say, it was an interesting idea. And while I always say I dislike opera, I think that what I actually dislike is huge amounts of opera...i.e., a full operatic performance. Not to mention the fact that I giggle easily, and when you hand me a 300 pound lady as a Mimi, say, in Boheme, I tend to go off. Luckily, this seems to be dying out...lots of opera singers are now of a perfectly reasonable size. In fact, there was a huge foofaraw a couple of years back when a sizeable lady was fired from a part because she was considered too large for it. Anyway, beautiful voices are beautiful, and there were several of them in this evening's entertainment.

My bathroom, of course, was out on hold whilst I A. worked for a living, and B. went out and enjoyed myself. So far so good for getting back to it tomorrow (oh, it's 1:37 am...OK, later today).

And a SUPER thing when I was about to get a face on for tonight's entertainment...text message from casting agency to call...and two more days on Boardwalk Empire! Yahoo! And one of them's a night shoot, and I LOVE that set when it's all lit up for nighttime. By the way, if you want to see where I work, go to You Tube and look up Boardwalk Empire - Time Lapse and watch them build that fantastic set. It's truly great. (And I promise to make somebody teach me how to do a link...honest.)

And my pal Texas Beth says she'll come and see my show when it finally gets up! Isn't that the coolest thing? Now, um, Carolyn?

Love, Wendy

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wonders Will Never Cease

I am so accomplished I can't stand myself.

I got up this morning and got and read the Sunday papers, after a bit of mild confusion with my alarm clock - it seems that I had set it for fall instead of spring...i.e., a hour back instead of an hour forward. No, I don't know what I was thinking either, and I hadn't even had a drink. Anyway, my lovely computer and phone set me straight on that.

After the papers (and breakfast), I promised myself that I would finally come to grips with that bathroom and that paint...and I ACTUALLY DID. I truly, really, honestly got a first coat of paint on the door and got a good part of the rest of it taped and framed out, and then I neatly washed my brushes and cooked myself dinner and watched TV...feeling that I had definitely earned it. I'm so proud. And of course, as is ALWAYS the way with such things, now that I've started I'm ready and eager to finish it tomorrow.

I had to actually go out and work (you know, at a mundane job) on Friday, which annoyed me. It was another one of those seminars, but this one is the one I always try to avoid doing alone because it's got a whole mess of complicated crud to take care of, such as setting up recorders and video and keeping track of about 80 million bits of paper. I have no idea whether I sent everything back that I was supposed to, or whether I filled it out right, or anything. On the other hand, if I didn't, and that particular temp agency decides they can never send me out for that seminar group again, I will be very happy, so I guess it's a win-win situation.

And my Law & Order check came yesterday, so one hopes that means the two (one for the costume fitting, one for the actual shoot) from Boardwalk Empire will be in tomorrow's mail, which will allow me to get some more things for the house.

Of course, there's now some sort of hitch in the house selling. The co-op board has said something or other about the price we want to ask for the house because they think it's too low or something (these people have clearly never been IN my house), and that would evidently depress the prices of any other of these houses that somebody wants to sell...or something like that (never let it be said that I'm not lavish with my "somethings"). Bill the trustee called to tell me all this, but as I was sound asleep when he called, I'm a little unclear on the whole thing. Whatever, as long as it gives me more time to tart the poor old joint up.

Meanwhile, Philippe called to pass on some weird news from the play front. It seems that the theater that wants to put the play up is low on money (I know the joint - like any other off-off-off Broadway theater, they're ALWAYS low on money), so my "girlfriend" evolved the idea of putting on eight plays. However, the setup is that a troupe of actors is hired for all eight plays, and the directors, playwrights and actors are all supposed to pay for the privilege of being in them...and the actors are in all eight plays.

First of all, I am a member of Actors Equity and a lifelong professional. I do not pay YOU to let me be in a play, YOU pay ME. Secondly, I happen to have here a one-woman play. A LONG one-woman play. Under no circumstances can I learn lines for seven other plays at the same time. And each play runs for two nights or something equally silly. Um, no. NO. And again, NO.
Luckily, Philippe understands this. We'll work something out, one presumes.

I have paint in odd spots here and there...and more to come tomorrow. Whee, I actually started!

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back In The Corset Again

Another long day in Greenpoint. But I must say, I had an easy job of it. Aside from one walk down the Boardwalk, I spent most of the 13 hours being trundled around in a push chair...a sort of rickshaw thing very much in vogue, evidently, when the Boardwalk was built. Back and forth, back and forth, nodding regally to gentlemen who tipped their straw hats to me, and gawking attractively at the delights on view (which got less delightful as the day wore on, since how many times can one convey delight at the same damn window display?). But the great part was that I was sitting down all day and there was a nice blanket in the push chair to wrap myself up in between shots. Yes, I know it was a gorgeous warm day yesterday, but the set is right on the water, and we had a lot of trouble with flying hats when the breeze kicked up. The COLD breeze.

The great thing about Boardwalk Empire is that the days are long, but they move fast. Their shooting schedule seems to be involved in using all the background people all day, instead of making us wait around while they shoot the stars (which makes total economic sense when you consider that yesterday there were 150 background people...on the overnight shoot I did there last summer, there were over 200). This means that you're actually working for the better part of the day, which of course makes it go faster. Also, now that Mr. Scorsese isn't on set all day long, there's a much looser feel about it. With him there, of course, everybody was on their best there's a fair amount of goofing going on, which is fun. Friday's L&O SVU, where I was used once at 9:30 in the morning and once at 8:45 PM...THAT felt like a long damn day.

And seeing everybody in costume is so much fun! There were seersucker suits and straw boater hats on the guys, and a full range of socio-economic clothes on the women...from my lower class khaki suit and kind of washerwoman dresses on a couple of my fellow plebians having a holiday from their washerwoman work, to glorious white lawn and lace with flowered hats for the upper class gals. And as always on this show, everything vintage. A real treat.

And at the end of the day back in the costume shop, I love the simultaneous sighs of relief as all the ladies get their corsets off.

Boy, they've really made a little city out there. When I was there in June, the holding pen and costume shop were tents. Now they're actual structures, you know, with walls and all. They're still basically made out of shipping containers (I think), but they've got real windows and stuff. Unfortunately, what they don't have is heat. Ah, well...I suppose you can't have everything.

Also, getting breakfast was slightly fraught. We got there at about 6:15, after a somewhat bizarre late takeoff. We were all meeting at 33rd and 3rd to get the location bus, and we waited and waited and waited...until finally someone came down the street and walked us all over to 36th and 3rd, where the bus actually was. Why this happened I never found out. However, it did give me the opportunity to get the NYTimes for my crossword puzzle, so I can't really complain. But it did mean we were a few minutes off schedule. The result of this was that we got in, I dumped my stuff, went and got my smoked salmon and bagel (another lovely holding pen with food right in it), and as soon as I put it down on the table, I got called to costume and makeup. This, of course, is a fairly long process, what with all those layers of costume (for me, knee high boots that laced all the way up, petticoat, the dreaded waist cincher/corset, camisole, blouse, skirt, jacket, hat), then hot rollers in the hair, then makeup, then back to my hair lady for the final do (another nice handful of bobby pins for my collection). And of course you have to stand in line for hair and makeup (you could hardly expect them to have 150 hair and makeup people for 150 actors). Finally, 45 minutes later, we got a 15 minute NBD (this means breakfast off the clock, and it's too early in the morning for me to go look up the actual meaning of the me on the translation). By this time my bagel had gone a little crunchy around the edges, but it was still fine...and coffee tasted WONDERFUL. And they even gave me a purse to carry, thank heavens. Last time I did the show I had no purse and no pockets in the costume, so I had to do something creative with a baggie pinned inside my skirts for the necessary cigarettes, inhaler and watch.

It is 7:30 in the morning. Since I got up at 3 AM yesterday, I woke up at 4:30 AM today, which I could have done without. I kept trying to go back to sleep, but that didn't work (one reason being that I'm hungry, and who can sleep when they're hungry?), so now I'm going to get the papers, eat something, and THEN go back to sleep for a couple of hours. After which I'll do something work on my house.

Tune in next time, when our heroine will have more tales of movies and moving! (I'd get myself tied to the train tracks by a villain, just to keep you interested, but I think that's a tad bit excessive.)

Love, Wendy

Friday, March 5, 2010

Another Day At The Office

I am TIRED. We were signed in at the set at 9 AM, and signed out at 9 PM...which, should you be counting, is 12 long hours...almost all of which I spent A. reading the papers, B. reading Of Human Bondage, and C. doing crossword puzzles. I worked early in the day (sitting in hospital cafeteria), and in the last shot of the day (standing in hospital elevator). There were some bright spots to this interminable day,, I feel that any job which actually, seriously REQUIRES me to spend all day in a bathrobe and slippers can't be all bad, and two, we were in North Bergen, NJ (I do hit the high spots, don't I?), which is Law & Order headquarters, meaning that craft services and lunch were all right in holding, not three blocks away. Of course, this also meant that I ate WAY too much. Well, I was bored, and it was right there, and they kept replenishing it...and I'm a fool for mid-afternoon fruit and cheese platters...not to mention that nice roast lamb at lunch.

And tomorrow night I'll be off to scenic Bushwick, Brooklyn for Shai's housewarming party, for which I have to pick up some sort of treat or other. However, right now I am going to sink fathoms deep into sleep.

But I'm sure you'll all be glad to know that the laundry did indeed get dry, so I didn't have to spend the day in damp nightclothes.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chilly In Here...

Actually, it's always chilly in my bedroom because the doors to my little balcony don't fit terribly well, and nothing I have ever been able to do (weather stripping, duct tape, etc., etc.) has ever helped. Usually I simply sit here in my nice warm bathrobe, but tonight this isn't possible. And why is it not possible? Because my robe is in the washer, that's why. Along with the lovely matching jammies my mother-in-law got me for Christmas (fleecy, warm) and the matching slippers. The reason for all this laundry is that I'm doing another Law & Order SVU tomorrow, and when I called them to get my van pickup time, I was informed that the wardrobe had suddenly changed, and I was now, instead of the jeans and sweater they originally asked for, intended to wear pajamas, slippers and bathrobe (to play a hospital patient). Personally, I consider this somewhat rotten...I mean, how many people do you know who keep a pristinely clean bathrobe and slippers just lying around? My robe seems to collect every single bit of gunk in the whole house...mainly things like butter and jam stains from breakfast (with a tasteful touch of egg yolk), and of course, with my elderly incontinent cat floating around, the slippers are usually fairly unspeakable. So now I'm sitting here waiting for the washer to finish and then I'll throw everything in the dryer...and pray most sincerely. My dryer is over 20 years old and has issues about actually drying things in less than two or three days. Jeans and towels are particularly slow. However, I have cleaned the lint trap, and nothing's in there but the robe, the pajamas, and the slippers...all of which are fluffy synthetic stuff, so let us pray. And given that I am no longer young and am drinking beer, I'll be up in the middle of the night to go to the john anyway and can restart the dryer...let's all cross our fingers.

I did mention a small problem with my play. It seems that Ted, my director, offered it to a theatre in the East Village before it was decided that I was going to play the role. Well, the script reading lady found it and decided it would make a great vehicle for HER.

This is a fairly major problem. I have known and worked (on and off) with this gal for more than 30 years, and some of it, particularly in the last few years, has been extremely rocky. For instance, several years back she was annoyed as hell when I got Kate in Taming of the Shrew and she didn't. The most recent episode of this was about three or four years ago, when she and I were co-starring in a play at this same theatre. She had a monologue in the first act, and I had one in the second.

So we were in rehearsal, and she did her monologue. Comes time for me to do my monologue, she decides to start making it into a dialogue, and kept inserting lines for herself into it. The director, who was also the playwright, kept telling her to stop, and she kept right on doing it, insisting that her character wouldn't let me talk for that long without commenting. Eventually it came to a showdown, with her saying that unless she could walk all over my monologue, she'd quit the show, and the director/playwright said, she did.

You can imagine how much I want her to get her hands on my nice one-woman show...even though Philippe heard her read it and says she was just AWFUL. (Yahoo.) Which was great, because I had just sent him an email explaining to him just precisely what she was liable to do to the show...most of which she did in the reading. (Yahoo, twice.)

Well, we shall see.

I have been being just vile about closet cleaning or painting or any other damn thing around here, and I finally discovered the two reasons. One of them, which I can fix and am going to, is the fact that the damn heat is screwed up...i.e., there isn't any. When I come down in the morning and put my hand on the banister or the table, the surfaces are cold, for God's sake. It's one thing to have the thermostat set to be lower at night, but low heat should not be nonexistent heat. The result of this is that I can't move because I'm coming down with hypothermia. Really, it's awful. I'm going to get that fixed on Tuesday. Yeah, well, I'll be on a set all day tomorrow and all day Monday, so I can't have the heating guy come over until Tuesday.

The other reason is that I CAN'T GET ANYONE TO HELP ME! Except for, God bless them, Vicky and Caesar, who are rocks. Every single person who said they'd be glad to help has disappeared into the woodwork, and I am a person who needs a sort of cheering section. Also competition. I mean, if people are all around me hauling out stuff and doing things, then I feel that I should be doing something too, and get my rear in gear...but if it's only me all alone, I promptly descend into Poor Pitiful Pearl and sit around doing crossword puzzles and reading and whining to myself. I mean, I have dragged yet ANOTHER bag of crud out of the closet...evidently Joshua's, because it contains a couple of pairs of shoes in size HUMONGOUS and a whole mess of tangled t-shirts and junk like that...out it goes. He doesn't need it. I have also taped the downstairs bathroom door for painting and spackled (badly) another wall in there. So at least I'm making SOME progress. But I really, REALLY need some more people here!

The laundry is in the dryer. I am thrilled. And even better, I've got a late call time tomorrow - 8:15 van from 43rd and 9th Avenue for North Bergen, New Jersey (yet another place I've never been in my life). So presuming I have to go to the john in the middle of the night, and presuming I wake up at six as I usually do, I should have at least a dry robe and dry pajamas, if somewhat damp slippers.

And it's an indoor shoot! Boardwalk Empire is outdoors on Monday, and I'm not looking forward to it. Admittedly, it's going to be in the 40s, but still, it's supposed to be late spring, which means no nice fur cape, like last time. Naturally. Welcome to the movies. Shoot winter in June, shoot spring in early March. Grumph. I must say I do like this costume, though. I look rather like a period Girl Scout...dark khaki suit with a striped shirt and boots that lace almost to my knee...which are going to be a bitch because, like everything else on this show, they're vintage, meaning they're too tight, since woman didn't have feet as wide as ours are these days. Not to mention that they lace almost to the knee, which takes quite a while, since I've got to unlace them almost all the way to get into the damn things. And a corset, OF COURSE. They want me to go braless and wear a camisole, but I think I'm going to try to change their minds on Monday...I'm way too busty to feel at all comfortable braless, and I think my sports bra (the one I bought for the first episode) should work fine. And a nice straw hat...I do love Boardwalk Empire.

Also I have to remember to get someone to get a photo of me so I can email it off...there's another thing I just submitted for set in the 1930's, and they want a photo in period costume.

Yes, well. I'm going to finish my beer and go to bed...and what bliss it will be to fall asleep in the certain knowledge that I don't have to get up at 3:30 am. I just hope Monday's call will be as humane, although I doubt it. Which will be a neat trick, since the Oscars are Sunday, and I have to watch that to make snotty remarks about the dresses.

Love, Wendy