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 commercial...you 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 picks...you 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 repeatedly...as 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?