Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good News/Bad News

Well, it looks as if I live in my way too big house for a bit longer. I am going to KILL some of my neighbors...that would be the ones on the co-op board. You see, they, in their wisdom, decided that if I sold my house for $1.1, it would lower the property value of THEIR houses. So they rejected our nice buyers and told us to get $1.4 for the house.

Honestly. Nobody in their right mind would pay that for this house, lived in and falling to bits as it is. Not to mention the constantly erupting cat. So my trustee called me and laid out some complicated plan that I didn't understand a word of...and now I'm back in house limbo again. AARRRGGGH. And meanwhile I seem to have acquired a dog...I hasten to say that the dog is visiting, along with Pete, my current roommate (yes, of course, another friend of Sarah's). Luna is a sweet dog...a big puppy (six months old) of collie and Australian shepherd background. She gets in bed with me in the morning and tries assiduously to lick me to death. The cat isn't thrilled, but he and Luna are getting along and even do the occasional nose kiss.

Meanwhile I'm on jury duty. I went in on Monday in a pouring rainstorm. They let us go at noon and told us not to come back until we had called into their hotline after 5 pm tonight, which I've done, and now they want us back at 9 am tomorrow...when there is going to be not only a pouring rainstorm but 40 mile an hour winds. I'm so thrilled about this that I may vomit. The only bright spot is that the courts, in their infinite wisdom, have actually provided the prospective jurors with an indoor smoking room! I think I'll write them a letter of appreciation.

And the layoff from jury duty this week made me able to actually be here for the arrival of a treat I bought myself. Since my husband bought something from them YEARS ago, Omaha Beef has been chasing me around trying to get more business, and I finally succumbed to their blandishments. Really, it was an awfully good buy. For $70, including shipping, I got 4 sirloin steaks, 2 aged filet mignon steaks, 2 nice boneless porkchops, 2 of their very good sole filets stuffed with crabmeat and shrimp, 4 hamburgers, 4 big fat hotdogs...and a free gift consisting of a knife set, a cutting board, and 6 more hamburgers. That's about 24 meals for me at a cost of $3 each...oh, and there were 8 little cakes of potatoes au gratin, too. I consider this a damn good buy. Not to mention those nice knives, which I figure will cut things for at least a week. Being a complete cynic about free gifts, I have absolutely no doubt that the knives will fall apart the minute I try to sharpen them, but what the hell...they were free.

Meanwhile (remember I liquidated that little IRA), sdaedddds (that was the cat walking across the keyboard...say hello to the cat), I have been doing a bit of shopping.

Good Lord, shopping is annoying these days. I am a creature of habit because while I love to wander through stores and think about the odd (sometimes EXTREMELY odd) things people seem to be buying and presumably wearing, I actually BUY things as little as possible. I hate dressing rooms, and I hate standing in line. Therefore, I go to H&M, where I know exactly what sizes I wear, and to Old Navy, ditto. That way I can just grab what I want, pay for it and get the hell out.

Oy. All I wanted was some new turtlenecks and office-type slacks from Old Navy, and I had my eye on a dress and jacket combo at H&M. Well, it turned out that the Old Navy in Soho no longer sells office slacks OR turtlenecks. Which means that until I get uptown to the 34th Street store, I will have to continue wearing the old slacks which are stretched out and falling off my rear, and mending the old turtlenecks, which are falling apart. And on top of that, the outfit I wanted at H&M fit badly and looked awful on me. I did get a bronzy, silky dress at H&M which is very pretty...a sort of shirtwaist thing...and it was on sale for $30. It shouldn't be a total loss.

Meanwhile, I have returned my library books and gathered a whole new bunch, I have gone to the local Rite-Aid and stocked up on paper towels and toilet paper, and I have a house full of food. Unfortunately, I still have a house.

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wedding Weekend and Boardwalk Empire!

Well, nothing of any great note happened last week - I had a day's work on a seminar, but other than that, it was a real snoozefest.

But then Sarah and I went off (way too early) on Saturday morning to the family wedding, and it was truly great fun. It was the wedding of a cousin and took place on the waterfront in Annapolis; you should have cousin Sarah and her Ben standing on the edge of the water, Sarah wearing her grandmother's wedding veil (and a lovely simple dress, of course - although I must say wearing the veil alone would certainly have been innovative), as the sailboats went by behind them...just lovely. And then we all ate and danced and caught up with each other...a perfect day.

We stayed with my brother- and sister-in-law, which is always fun...but the trip home was a disaster area. We always get the cheap Chinatown bus for excursions to either Boston or Washington (we have family in both) and nine days out of ten, it's fine...this time we hit the 10th day. What should have been a five hour trip turned into a six hour trip. We hit every single traffic jam available, to the extent that I began to suspect our driver of actually looking for them. I, of course, was going bonkers, because I happen to be mildly claustrophobic. I get myself together for the length of the trip and have no problem, but if it goes on too long, I begin to twitch.

And of course, these are marathon travels. Let it be said here and now that I am a pure, unadulterated city kid, and being in a moving form of transport for an entire two day weekend doesn't thrill me. And this weekend went like this:

Taxi from home to bus station
Washington Metro to end of Red Line
Car pickup (my sister-in-law Diane)


Car to wedding
Car from wedding

That was Saturday. On Sunday:

Car to Metro
Metro to bus station
Bus (for WAY too long)
Taxi home

So added to my discomfort at all those traffic jams, there was the fact that I was vaguely motion sick.

But it was a lovely wedding, and we got back in time for Boardwalk Empire, in which I was superb for the entire 12 seconds of my appearance.

And, Texas Beth, yes, there's a difference between doing a run of the mill thing like, say, a Law & Order or an Ugly Betty and doing something as big as Boardwalk. I can't exactly explain, but it's an excitement, a feeling that you're part of something fascinating. Hell, that's what kept us going during all those grueling shoots!

I'm quite pleased with myself today...yesterday I didn't even bother to get dressed, because I was exhausted from two days of traveling. Today, however, I got out of the house, talked myself out of two dresses and a pair of shoes (none of which was in the least necessary at the moment) and into Trader Joe's where I stocked up the icebox once again. It had become a takeout graveyard...I have two young friends of Sarah's staying with me at the moment, and they're not much into cooking, and I sure haven't been. But now my icebox looks grown up again.

Oh, and as to what I wore at the wedding...I actually went out and bought a dress. This was pure self indulgence; first of all, because I had two dresses I could easily have worn, and secondly because it's lipstick red and therefore unusable for background work. I decided I didn't's a Calvin Klein sheath, sleeveless with a wide self belt, and anyway it was on sale for 60 bucks. I wore it with a black Pashmina, black slingback pumps, and a lovely black jet and freshwater pearl necklace. I looked wonderful. So there.

And tomorrow I've got another seminar, of the sort I hate most, where I not only have to keep track of all those eager attendees, but also sell products and keep track of all that stuff for 8 and a half hours. Bleaaah. But every little bit helps, right?

Love, Wendy

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Phone!

In order to get myself a tad bit of cash to go on with while this damn fool house sale goes through, I closed out a baby IRA I had lying around, and I finally got myself a new phone.

This may sound like an extravagance for someone as broke as I am, but in fact, it isn't. The problem is that I often find myself in places where I can't get to a computer...i.e., on a set for 14 hours, doing one of those lousy seminars, etc, etc., and so forth. Since all my notices for film/TV work come via email, this means that I'll never know about them until I get home, at which point it's too late.

So I went out and got myself a Blackberry Torch. I got a good buy on it, because I was due for an upgrade...$300, with a $100 rebate. The only problem is that I haven't got the remotest notion of how to use the damn thing. One of the icons, for instances, is labeled "Social Feeds." I presume this has to do with things like Twitter, but what it suggests to my mind (which is admittedly fairly wonky) is a group of friendly werewolves settling to chat over a nice meal of human. I also have something called Visual Voice Mail. I haven't the remotest notion what Visual Voice Mail means.

I sat down to read the manual, and discovered this this thing doesn't COME with a manual. You have to go to the website for AT&T tutorials. Well, I will. Tomorrow. I just hope to God nobody calls me until after I've done this, because I'm not at all sure I know how to even answer this thing.

Oh, brave new world, that has such technology in it!

Love, Wendy

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two In A Night!

Well, there wasn't actually a way that I could think of to tack the following remarks onto the previous remarks about scams, so I decided to do a new entry.

Right now, I am planning to shoot my own child. You see, we are embarking on a trip to Annapolis, Maryland next weekend for a family wedding, and Sarah has unfortunately inherited her father's hysterically casual attitude toward travel.

Now, I was not originally invited to this wedding, Sarah having been invited by the bride, who is her age (and her cousin), but she did get a "plus one" invitation because at the time they were sent out, she was still attached to her now ex-boyfriend. Since he's no longer in the picture, I got the extra seat at the party.

However, I have these terribly old-fashioned notions about getting places on time and being properly dressed. Since Sarah got the invitation, and has it "somewhere at home" (having been trying to find the floor of her room here for 26 years, I deeply distrust "somewhere at home"), I haven't laid eyes on it. This makes me twitch. I know we're staying with my brother-in-law, which is fine. But what I don't know is:

What time is the wedding? I.e., do we have to get there the night before for a 10 A.M. ceremony?

Where, and of what sort, is the reception? This is entirely germane because family wedding receptions have, in the past, been known to involve softball games and swimming in a creek. I would deeply prefer NOT to be stuck on the sidelines in my nice elderly silk dress and heels whilst the gang is lolling at ease, having been able to change out of grownup wedding clothes into jeans.

And of course, Sarah shares her father's casual attitude toward train, bus, plane and camel times...after a couple of years of traveling with Matthew, I learned to simply hide the tickets and announce that the flight was two hours before its actual departure because he couldn't see why we might need to get to an airport more than 10 minutes before departure time. This makes me twitch rather badly and need several drinks on the plane, which in turn gives me a terrible headache on landing.

I have taken the high road here...I have emailed the bride's father for some hard information...this being enormously easier than bugging Sarah, who snaps at me and tells me everything will be fine.

Anyway, we're going to have a lovely time.

Love, Wendy


I have come to the conclusion that we as a nation, and I believe, the whole rest of the Western world, have gotten terminally stupid.

I base this on the fact that every time I open my junk mail I find about six notices purporting to be from various banks that announce problems with my account. None of these notices come from my actual bank, you understand...well, they don't in fact come from ANYBODY'S actual bank since they're all scams. And people all over the world fall for them and, sheeplike, calmly fill in their bank account numbers, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, etc.

And here is where the stupidity comes in. Can you honestly tell me that YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU BANK? Yes, I know, I'm shouting, but honestly. I have a checkbook. I have bank statements. I have an online link to my bank account. And I know good and goddamn well that I don't have an account at Bank of America, or HSBC, or TD Bank, or any of the other bank names that the scammers use.

Really. How terminally stupid can you get?

Love, Wendy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Blog About Very Little

Well, I haven't been doing anything of any note whatsoever, except for that idiot job calling preschools last Tuesday, which earned me a huge 38 bucks (which won't turn up for at least a week and a half). I'm so deeply (not) excited about this.

However, I have just arranged for a large infusion of cash, so I am feeling quite chuffed...mainly because the exchequer has gotten so low that my entire personal fortune now stands at 29 dollars. This is not a noticeably useful sum of money. It will buy me exactly two packs of cigarettes and some cat food. Like I said not useful (except, of course for the cigarettes and cat food).

Cigarettes and cat food are the two main points of my budget, of course, because without a calming cigarette, I cannot possibly deal with my madly aggressive cat, who gives me no peace unless he is copiously fed. And of course, without peace, I need a cigarette to calm my nerves.

In other news, I find that the lunatic who was going to burn the Quran has finally bowed to public opinion and dropped the idea. I'm sorry, but has this country finally gone completely insane?

I keep hearing about the horrible things the Muslims have done. Has NO ONE ever in their lives studied history? We Americans have perpetrated such ghastly things upon other people, and there doesn't seem to be a single voice of reason that remembers them. Stealing Indian reservations, and introducing firewater. Dragging smallpox around and decimating whole populations. Japanese internment camps in World War II. We took an entire race of people, some of whom were American citizens, born and raised here, yanked them out of their homes and jobs, and stuck them in prison camps. The Unabomber. How on earth was his crime any different from the death at the World Trade Center? And a lot of the people he killed were children at day care. Did we then condemn all Christians? What the hell, how about Jim Jones and the Koolaid (although I will give you the fact that they went willingly...if idiotically). And the Westboro Baptist Church...I think that's their name...the ones who picket soldiers' funerals announcing that the death of someone's 18 year son in battle is because of homosexuality? How in the HELL can we set ourselves up as moral arbiters when we completely ignore our OWN damn sins?

Please, someone, go and tell the majority of Muslims...and all of the ones I have met were perfectly nice normal people, and I've met many over my years of life...that not all Americans are shrieking loons. Because we're beginning to look that way.

And for further reading, may I recommend Fahrenheit 451?

Love, Wendy

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Just For Silliness

Because I just answered a Facebook remark from a friend of 50 years, it occurred to me that a LOT of you who read this blog have never actually seen anything I've done.

Well, aren't you about to be surprised. It just so happens that there are two clips of me on good old You Tube. Since my child has STILL not taught me how to do a link, you'll just have to hunt, but it's fairly easy. One of them is a goofy damn thing that was shot as (according to its director) a Comedy Central's called Jihad Joe, and you look up Jihad Joe, Part II. I am the elderly lady at the airport.

The other one was a student project, and you find that under Haggis-on-Whey...its title being "Giraffes? Giraffes!" It amused me to do...and when you see it, you will notice that you (quite awkwardly) never see my mouth. This is because it was originally intended as a voice over and recorded as such...then the gal decided I should be on camera.

Anyway, see if you can find this stuff.

Love, Wendy


No, I am not, at my advanced age, indulging in owl calls. I went out today to deliver some money to my kid, because I found it in her jeans which were discarded on her bedroom floor. Now, you have to understand that when I clean her room (which is invariably when her grandmother is coming to visit at Christmas...yeah, once a year, whether it needs it or not), I consider any change I find on the floor is my salary. Ditto the off hand dollar bill that goes through the wash. However, this time the silly twit left 40 odd bucks in her pocket! Well, you know, that would be stealing.

So off I trotted to her bar to return the money to her, and on the way, I borrowed five bucks to buy my favorite magazine forever, which is called Victoria, and which espouses things like antique silver napkin rings and having your own conservatory where you grow exotic orchids. Don't ask...just google Victoria Magazine. I love the thing with a passion.

At any rate, while I was in the magazine store, I picked up the copy of New York magazine and riffled through to find this picture of me, which I thought would be the publicity shot of me behind Steve Buscemi...and lo and behold, it was a candid shot of me in the LAST episode in my horrible khaki Lesbian on the Boardwalk outfit! I'm still wearing an awful hat, and I have a neck tendon standing out all over the place, but damn, there I am, in all my glory.

So I'm quite thrilled...except for that damn neck.

Love, Wendy

Welcome to Godless Greenwich Village

I don't know why, but we seem to have an awful lot of proselytizers floating around the West Village. Yesterday I was interrupted in my terribly important work (that would be screwing around on the computer and sort of thinking about cleaning something) by two ladies from Jehovah's Witnesses, and this morning the Mormons were at my door. Sheesh.

So, in answer to you, primarily, Empress, and anybody else who's interested, yes, guys, I am prominently featured in the first episode of Boardwalk Empire. There is a scene which features Steve Buscemi giving a speech to the worthy ladies of Atlantic City on the eve of Prohibition, and there I am, larger than life, sitting on the platform with him. I am sitting in the last chair on the left as you look at your TV screen. I'm wearing a ghastly little fur of those horrible things that's the entire poor fox biting its own tail, which, I may add, smelled awful. And of course, a hat. That was a DAMN long day. Mr. Scorsese himself directed the first episode, and we sat on that platform for 15 solid hours...with a break for lunch and occasional visits to the john (not as easy as one would think, considering all those layers of costume and the damn corset). That was the day when one of my platform cohorts and I discovered that yes, you CAN sleep with your eyes open.

September 19th, guys! Mark your calendars! And you may also be able to spot me in the mock funeral for alcohol on the Boardwalk in that same episode...

Love, Wendy

Friday, September 3, 2010

So Much for THAT Hurricane

Once again Manhattan is doing its neat little trick. All around us there's high surf, and rain, and wind, and flights canceled (also the Coney Island fireworks tonight, I'm told via Facebook by my child)...and in Manhattan? Didn't even rain.What's that Stephen King book, The Dome or something? Yeah, like that. Weird.

I've been clearing out old magazines, and I ran across something that I think should be in the collection of that annoying Russian guy on the cable know, the one with the miniature giraffe. This is from Food and Wine's Trendspotting page in the September issue. You can now buy a set of corn know, those things you stick in the end of your corncob to pick it up...which are gold plated and cost $80 for a set of eight. Personally, I should think if you can afford $80 for a set of corn holders, you really ought to have enough servants to hold your corn for you.

Secondly, even though I'm pretty diffident about throwing out my recipes, what with Saint Tiger Lily channeling Thomas Keller all the time and whatnot, I did something twice this week that I just love, which is fried tomatoes. No, not green ones, and not cornmeal. Just slice up a nice firm ripe plum tomato (for one), dip it in a beaten egg, then in flour with salt and pepper in it, and fry it up in a pan with some olive oil and butter. You can play with these to your heart's delight, of course...squeeze some lemon over them when they're done, top them with a little minced fresh tarragon or basil, throw in a little garlic when you cook them...but they're just basically good to eat, and being plum tomatoes, they hold their shape nicely as you turn them. A handy little quick side dish is always useful.

Meanwhile, I've done two of the play readings with the ambiguous Const, who turns out to be a woman who is going to drive me nuts because she's got the mind of a grasshopper in a very intellectual way. She evidently believes, along with Robert Louis Stevenson, that "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." Unfortunately, this takes the form of us barely getting to read more than 10 pages of script per hour and a half get-together, because by the time Const has shown us her latest newspaper clippings, read to us from the book(s) she has with her, thinks it would be a great idea if Richard and I read for a couple of pages in a completely different play...yes, well. Like I said, mind like a grasshopper. She also has a habit of calling one between readings to see how one feels about the role. Um, lady, I'm reading it for the hell of it and to keep my hand in. What difference does it make? Yes, it's a lovely role. But until you decide to do an actual presentation of this play with, you know, an audience and all that good stuff, I'm damned if I'm going to spend all that much time plumbing the depths of the role.

Meanwhile I trotted off to Brooklyn last Sunday to see my friend Michael in The Devils, a play I haven't thought about in years. I vaguely recall that someone I knew did it back in the '60s. It's an interesting play, taken from an actual case of a witch hunt in, I think, the 1700's, but don't quote me on that. Aldous Huxley wrote a book on it called the Devils of Loudon which I read about a hundred years ago. It turns on a corrupt priest and the hierarchy of priests hunting him down...and said hierarchy decides that a nearby convent is possessed of the Devil while they're at it and drives everyone nuts, while blaming the corrupt priest (and the Devil, of course). It was, on the whole, a very good production, except for the first act, during which I was reminded of a quote by Jean Kerr, wife of Walter Kerr, who was a brilliant reviewer for the NYTimes. She said she had been to a play where the first act was so long that she considered she had given up smoking, and spent most of intermission wondering whether she should start again. The first act of The Devils is EXACTLY like that. It doesn't need cutting, it needs slashing...a machete might come in handy.

And Michael and I had a lovely two hour lunch yesterday of my absolutely favorite variety...yapping incessantly about theatre, since he's of my vintage and has been around nearly as long as I have in the business. Boy, that was fun!

Meanwhile my crazy temp lady called for the first time in ages and I have a job for Tuesday calling preschools for a rich Park Avenue lady. I did a day of this last year, and it's a short, sweet thing. Seems that the private preschools have a system where you have to call them at a certain time to get your kid on the list (or some damn thing), so these wealthy gals hire temps to make the phone calls...this because the lines at the schools are almost always busy and you have to keep dialing them over and over and over again. Four or five of us sit around a table with our cell phones dialing I say, a soft job, even if you do come out with somewhat of a sore ear.

But I need the money (what else is new, gang?) and movies aren't lining up for my services. Although I hear that might change...I've just been informed that a publicity still of me right behind Steve Buscemi is all over the news magazines! I wouldn't have known this (since I don't buy news magazines) except for my next door neighbors telling me (and they're saving the mags for me, too). Who knows whether this might lead to more work...but a girl can dream, can't she?

And on the 18th I'm off to a family wedding in Annapolis! Pretty amazing for a gal with not a cent to her name, right? Admittedly I'm wearing a dress that must be upwards of 20 years old, but it's in fine shape and still looks good and doesn't scream "Hi! Look what Wendy found among the moths in the closet!" And it's not even covered in cat shit. Hey, you take what you can get when it comes to good omens, right?

Love, Wendy