Monday, November 29, 2010

On My Way To Bed

But I had to stop and share this. One of my Facebook friends (what a misnomer that is!) posted a video, which I assure you I didn't watch, of a band he had recently seen called "Hot Bucket of Fuck."

I BEG your pardon?

What on earth is that even meant to convey? Admittedly, band names these days don't seem to mean anything anyway...unlike the old days, when they had perfectly sensible names Shirelles. Yeah, OK. Maybe that remark about sensible doesn't hold up terribly well. And I will confess to being totally charmed by the name of a fairly recent band which seems to have disappeared (again, I never heard any of their taste sort of basically stops dead after Jimi Hendrix when melodies died), which was called Toad The Wet Sprocket. I thought this was terrific.

And I will freely admit that I read something on the internet a while back about a group of nurses being censored because they had giggled at a patient's "ambiguous genitals." Don't you think Ambiguous Genitals would be a GREAT band name?

But Hot Bucket of Fuck?

Good God.

And no, since you asked, my goddamn buyers STILL have not closed and I am slowly losing what is left of my mind.


On the other hand, Thanksgiving is over. It can't be all bad.

Love, Wendy

Friday, November 26, 2010

While The Dishwasher Runs...

So that I can do another load, of course. As I'm sure I've remarked here, I frankly am driven nuts by Thanksgiving and am very happy when it's over, and we can get on with Christmas, which I love passionately.

It's all that damn food, you see. I love to cook, and I do it well, I cook for myself almost always...actual meals, not Lean Cuisine out of the microwave, and I cook for others. And I enjoy it thoroughly, EXCEPT FOR THANKSGIVING. There's just so much of it.

I got up at 4:30 yesterday morning, and essentially did the whole thing (for 15) totally singlehandedly (Sarah turned up later to help and did a lot of the cleanup, bless her). And people brought wonderful homemade pies. But that left me with the turkey, two kinds of stuffing, two vegetable dishes, two potato dishes (well, you have to have mashed and sweet), and the relish tray beforehand with the dips and the carrots and the cucumber spears and the olives...and thank God for leftovers because I do not want to see a lit stove for at least another week. And of course there are always minor screwups...I tend to scorch stuffing (I bake it separately for safety's sake), for instance, and I have never been able to properly time huge numbers of brussels sprouts in my life...they always end up either too crunchy or too soggy (this was a soggy year). Ah, well...I suppose this is what makes it a home cooked meal.

But I'm still really glad when it's over.

Sarah agreed with you, Texas Beth, about being too specific about the (possible) new place. But she saw my point after I explained my thinking...actually, the thinking I did after you guys called me on it.

First of all, why bother? Anybody who reads my blog knows that I am chronically broke and 65 years old. I am a lousy candidate for either robbery or rape, unless your interests lie in acquiring quite a lot of paperback books that the cat has shat on. And admittedly there's no accounting for taste, but really...this is a big city. I can get raped by anyone who sees me as a target. Knowing the block I live on doesn't affect that one way or the other.

Secondly, I dare anyone to find the actual building, which I very pointedly did NOT describe (the outside, I mean). This stretch of the East Village has very long blocks lined on both sides with almost identical buildings. Because of that, and because my hours are so extremely irregular, in order to nail me, you would have to literally walk up and down this very long block 24 hours a day looking for me. I mean hell, the one fixed point in my day is buying the morning papers...but even there, depending on when I wake up, that could be any time from 6 am to noon or later. And hoping that your john break isn't taking place just as I'm hopping into a taxi to go somewhere. Now I have a perfectly good opinion of myself, but I just can't get behind the notion of that much dedication to a cause.

And finally...I am the most social person in the world. If you want to meet me, announce in the comments that you're coming to New York and I'd be delighted to see you! I will promptly arrange to meet you at the bar where Sarah works. I know everybody in the the slightest sign of anything off base, there is a whole gang of people watching my back and ready to go to bat for me...and I NEVER invite someone I've just met to my house, unless it's someone who is coming with a bunch of people we know in common. Last night our friend Shai, for instance, brought his new roommate and her boyfriend, whom I'd never met (they're darling people).

So there you have it. And Beth...when are you coming to NY? I'll meet you at Sarah's bar!

Love, Wendy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank You!

You guys are the best, honestly, my readers out there. Thanks so much for your support! Let us charitably assume that whoever the mouth that roared is, he/she/it was just having a bad day and forget about it.

Meanwhile, things are looking up and down (what else is new).

First of all, I bowed to the inevitable and had the cat put down. Along with his chronic diarrhea, he had started to throw up after every meal, and his back legs were going...and nearly 19 years old is a good long life for a cat. I am sad, of course, but it's also a great relief. You have no idea what it's like to just be able to put down a book or magazine or anything and not come back in ten minutes to find it covered in unspeakable things. And my furniture looks like furniture again without all those plastic sheets. Basically a good thing...although Sarah and I went to see Harry Potter today and we passed one of those adoption stands on 14th Street and there were four kittens...two orange and two gray and white...and I had to be physically restrained from promptly adopting all four. I'm just not used to being without a cat or two!

However, my real estate pal came through for me and found me a perfect's still up in the air because my buyers have moved back the closing date, but it's just wonderful. I'll describe it and you can all send out good vibes for me, yes?

The place is in a small building on East 8th Street, between Avenues B and C, right across the street from Tompkins Square Park, which is a perfect location. It's small, of course, but my stuff will fit. The kitchen is particularly small, but I've cooked in a kitchen which was nothing more than a two burner hotplate on top of a half-size icebox where you washed your dishes in the bathroom sink, so what the hell. And it's got a passthrough and a dishwasher. The two bedrooms are also small, but they'll work...Sarah's room is REALLY small. It would make a great walk in closet. But there's room for a trundle bed, which is really, along with a bedside table and a tiny dresser, all we need in there. And mine will fit my queen size bed. And the closets are adequate, if not ample.

The living/dining area has plenty of room for everything and...wait for it...the apartment is on the ground floor in the back, so no stairs...and...IT HAS A HUGE PRIVATE BACKYARD. PLANTED. I mean, it's ENORMOUS. And I'm allowed to barbecue in it! I can get about 30 people back there for summer parties. A HUGE PRIVATE BACKYARD!

Now everybody's lawyers are going back and forth and around and about and arranging closings and arranging lease signings and arranging everything else you can think of. I am, as you can well imagine, on tenterhooks, since we can't pay for the apartment until we get the cash from the closing. However, it turns out that the real estate guy who listed the apartment is with the same firm (though a different office) as my original real estate guy (Richard), so this is very much in my favor.

Meanwhile, life goes on...I am busy scrubbing up odd cat deposits (some of them very odd) and getting Thanksgiving together. I've just been given all sorts of reprieves on it. My previous roommate Vicky is now living in Germany and has some things she wants that she left here, so her mother was going to come over tomorrow and pick them up, but now Joy (the mother) has decided not to do that until this coming weekend, so I can get all the Thanksgiving shopping done tomorrow. And the guest list has turned out to be tiny this year, only ten people, so I'm in luck there. My two chef pals aren't coming (one working and one entertaining his girlfriend's family and coming over after dinner), so the whole meal is back on my head, but I really sort of like that. Sarah's not working Thursday, so she and I can spend the day getting everything together, and I can do all the prep work (oh, you know...chop the onions and celery for the stuffing, make the dips for the vegetable tray, get the olives in their dishes...all that happy horseshit) Wednesday afternoon/night in my own half-assed and leisurely fashion. And my pals Jiggers and Kathy are doing the desserts, so I'm off the hook there! So I'll cook for 12 or so (one never knows around here)...I figure a 14 or 15 pound turkey should do it. I might even add a small ham to the mix, because while I'm not terribly fond of turkey, I do like having leftover ham around.

And that's the way it is around here this Thanksgiving week. (And Texas Beth, I absolutely agree with you about that beer and a half...some days it's the only way.)

Once again, thank you, my staunch defenders!

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Followup...And Possibly Throw Up

Welcome to a roller coaster of a day.

Bill finally called this morning...I was right, he and his wife were visiting their son in North Carolina (well, I got the Carolina part right, anyway). They were due back today, but Bill's wife Boo (yes, it's a nickname, and I'm ashamed to say I haven't the remotest notion what her first name actually is...after 40 years. On the other hand, my actual first name is Loretta, Wendy being a nickname, and I don't think many people know that, either) had a heart attack on Monday. Thank God, their son is a doctor, saw the symptoms, got her to the hospital right away, and she's going to be fine. I'm very fond of her. Evidently it was fairly minor, as heart attacks go, and she'll be out of the hospital tomorrow.

However, Bill informed me that the closing on this remember, the December 1st closing, the one which was cutting it so terribly fine for me? Yeah, that one. Well, it's suddenly set for Monday. Ah, what?

In the meantime, the apartment that I did in fact see that I loved looks like it's going to be a nonstarter. This was the one in Stuyvesant Town, a huge apartment complex built in the 40's for returning WWII vets, essentially. However, Stuy Town has horrendous requirements for have to have 36 months of rent in the bank, for instance. I don't think I've got 36 minutes of rent in the bank, actually. And because of the trust, even though as of Monday I will have $1.1 in the bank, it'll be under the name of the trust, and they evidently won't rent to a trust fund - which seems a bit weird, since NY tends to be trust fund baby city. Also, when they ran a credit check on me, they found that I owed Chase Manhattan nearly $8,000, which seems to send up a red flag. In fact, I have received a settlement notice from Chase's collection people which states that they will settle for $2,915.87, which will be available to me by the end of the week, so problem solved right? Um, no. Seems that the fact that you have EVER owed money that went into collection screws your credit rating for seven years. Well, if this continues to be a problem, come by the pup tent that I'll be pitching on the corner for the next seven years until I can find a goddamn place to live.

So I called in a favor, and went to a friend who happens to be my kid's ex-boss who is connected to real estate...and this all looks sort of promising.

Oh, dear God, it just goes on and on. I have spent the entire day sitting at the kitchen table in my bathrobe fielding phone calls and emails from trustee and real estate person, and many wonderful supportive messages on Facebook, and I am exhausted. I have no idea where the HELL I'm going to be living next month, there are 15 people (or so) coming over for Thanksgiving, and I'm exhausted with this whole goddamn thing. Also, I twitch. And shiver.

I think the best thing I can do at this moment is focus on Thanksgiving and my usual quandary about the green beans. What do you think? 15 people...given that 1/4 pound is usually one serving of something...but I guess that's really meat, isn't it? I mean, with the brussels sprouts and the yams and the mashed potatoes and the stuffing (oh, yeah, and the turkey) (maybe a small ham) think I could get away with two pounds of green beans? Like I did last year and the year before that and the year before that...and so forth?

Trust me...I think I'm a LOT better off at the moment obsessing about green beans than about anything else.

You will wave at my little pup tent in the middle of Christopher Street, won't you?

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh, Honestly...

So Bill the trustee has been telling me that the closing is December 1 and I have to find an apartment, right? And Richard the real estate guy has been telling me he'll help, right? And Bill's going to take care of the money end? Yeah, well, not so much.

I thought I'd take a look at Stuyvesant Town over the weekend, because they keep advertising at the top of their lungs, and why not? So I trotted over to their renting office, saw an apartment (a model apartment) that was like the one I wanted (one bedroom converted to two), and fell in love with it. It's pretty tiny, but really, that's only comparative...I mean, I've been living in damn near 1400 square feet here, and I'm sure as hell not going to get anything that size on my budget. And it was all new and shiny and clean and uncatted...with an actual window in the kitchen AND one in the bathroom! My house tends to be somewhat dark because it's surrounded by other houses on three sides, so the only light comes from the bedroom window/sliding door thing in my room, and its skylight, and the skylight in Sarah's room, and the front window downstairs. And the kitchen has a built-in microwave AND an actual (very small) pantry! AND it's on 14th Street and Avenue C, with an entrance placed so I can walk out of my front door to a bus stop on 14th Street, with plentiful taxis. My favorite supermarket is a block and a half down the street, there's a deli and a 99 cent store across the street, and utilities are more electric bill!

So I tried to get hold of Bill to tell him all about this wonder. No Bill. Not anywhere. I did email back and forth with Richard, but without the money, there's nothing he can do about anything. And there has been no word from Bill between Saturday and today, which, as we know, is Tuesday.

Now I'm beginning to get worried, because he's not all that young (70s), and I left him several urgent messages and a long email. Of course, he doesn't read his email every day, as far as I can tell, which is no help to me at all. I'm sure he's just gone off for a long weekend to visit one of his kids in South Carolina (well, it's somewhere like that). He's done this before. But wouldn't you think he'd TELL me? And if anything HAS happened, wouldn't it occur to someone to let me know? I mean, since I'm in the middle of a house sale that he's orchestrating? And if the worst has occurred, what do I do NOW? I mean, I know the Northern Trust Bank in Chicago is the backup, but WHO at the Northern Trust?

This is one of the times when I would cheerfully kill my father, were it not for the fact that he's been dead for some years (I usually felt that way when he was alive, now that I think of it). Daddy set up this damn trust, and one of the stipulations of it is that I was never allowed to know much about it. In other words, where other trust fund babies have monthly account statements and drawing accounts, and/or a monthly payment, I have always had to ask for what I needed, backed up with facts and figures, to be scrutinized. God bless Bill, he's always been wonderful about seeing my point, and has always been there when needed...but I should have had, at the very least, a set of emergency instructions about a million years before this. My father couldn't bear to relinquish the reins even after death. Part of this, of course, was the fact that Daddy was born in 1899 and didn't think women should have their own money anyway, and the other part is that he was just basically an SOB.

So here I sit, with my dream apartment slowly receding, losing my mind, and at the same time terribly worried about poor old Bill, of whom I'm very fond.

I do wish people would quit leaving me entirely in the dark...isn't it ME who's supposed to be leaving her home of 20 years standing? In about THREE WEEKS?

Love, Wendy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Rocky Road To A House Sale

Well, we've got our house sold...the co-op board finally stopped being jerks. And then I evidently nearly managed to queer the deal all on my own, through the most idiotic set of circumstances.

I just remarked...kindly remember that contracts have been signed and the closing is set...that the wiring was wonky. Now this is the same thing I have said to A. the broker, and B. the buyers, all along. I merely told what I thought was an amusing Village story this time, which was that the original electrician had wired the house when he was stoned out of his skull.

This is an entirely true story. The electrician in question is our friend Rob, who has been clean for about a million years now. But it is an undeniable fact that when he wired the house, he was a wreck. I thought this added a lot of character to the know, a real true to life Village story.

I have told this story to my realtor, I have told this story to buyers...and all of a sudden, our buyers decided they couldn't live in a house that had been wired by a crackhead.

SOMEBODY SHOULD LISTEN TO WHAT I'M SAYING. I prefaced the story of the wiring with the remark that this had taken place in the 1970's. Yes, that would be the 1970's. That is 40 years ago. May I repeat...40 YEARS AGO. 40. Years ago.

We got our buyers back. But I've been told that I'm no longer allowed to talk to them.

Look, I'm perfectly fine. But I think the rest of the world has gone stark raving mad.

Meanwhile, I'm being told that I have to rent and move into a new apartment within the next three weeks. It's going to be a damned interesting holiday season.

Love, Wendy

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Rock

Well, damn, that was fun. I just wish I hadn't been wrapped so soon, because we got out at 2 pm after an 8 am start...this was fine in terms of getting tired, but not so hot for getting any overtime.

Our scene was in a battered women's shelter, with Tracy Morgan and Jack MacBrayer (is that how you spell him?), who plays Kenneth. I got to exchange words with both of them (mainly since I was sitting practically in their laps). Tracy Morgan, by the by, can't remember lines to save his life, in case you care. It gave us a good laugh, anyway.

I'm presuming this will air around Christmas, since there were Christmas decorations on set. I couldn't get the name of it, but it's Episode 5.10 (meaning the 10th episode of the 5th season), and you can look it up on their website. I should be very clearly visible, because they gave me a small bit to do involving my just never know what'll come in handy.

The reason I'm dying to see what the hell the episode is about is that the people coming in for the afternoon shoot were fascinating...four large drag queens (one of whom was on roller skates) and at least one little person. I confess to having a LOT of trouble imagining what on earth you would do with a plot involving battered women, drag queens and little people.

Then Saturday night a friend came in town and brought me a carton of cigarettes, for which I am forever in her debt...Sarah, I love you! (Yes, her name is Sarah too.)

And on Sunday I trotted off to Spanish Harlem for the annual Marathon Party with Saint Tiger Lily and the Boss...and got to snuggle up with absolutely the world's most adorable and happy baby, the one and only Nico. This is why I didn't watch Boardwalk Empire last night (although I caught up with it tonight and was rewarded by a flashing glimpse of myself on the Boardwalk in that awful Lesbian On The Boardwalk khaki suit) and why when I started to write this blog last night I decided not usual after one of these events, what I was typing was complete gobbledy gook, so I decided to wait until cooler heads (those less filled with beer and magnificent banh mi with three kinds of pork) could prevail. I always feel that if you find you suddenly have twelve typing fingers on each hand, bed is the only answer.

And this week yawns before me with absolutely nothing to do, which is probably good, since my house is humongously disgusting...anyway, announcing that I'm going to clean the house is usually the best way for people to start calling me with jobs. This doesn't help the house, of course, which is why it looks the way it does (disgusting, remember?).

Food and sleep beckon...

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Work!

Oh, yay me. I just got a call from a casting agency that never hired me before. This is always good, because the more people know you're out there, the better. Anyway, I'm doing 30 Rock on Friday! I would say, isn't that glamorous, but it isn't, actually, since I'm playing one of the denizens of a woman's shelter. Ah, well. I am, after all, a character actress...also, unless I miss my bet, from the questions on the phone about my sizes, I'm pretty sure it's going to be one of those lovely jobs where I just roll out of bed and get there and they do the rest.

Meanwhile, I have three lovely bits for all of you in the listening (reading?) audience.

The first is tiny, but it amused the hell out of me. You know my oft-repeated rant about nobody paying any attention to the English language any more. Well, the complete inattention to copy editing and proof reading paid off the other day in the NYPost in an article about a gentleman named David Pecker (which is a rather unfortunate name to begin with). He is the CEO of something called American Media and seems to be doing some sort of restructuring...which caused the article to be headlined: "Pecker's Package."

Secondly, I had the most bizarre experience last week. A friend was in town, and she and I were having a drink and chatting. Apropos of talking about my first marriage, I told her the story of being sort of engaged (I think we were sort of engaged) to another guy with whom I was sharing a room in a boarding house. This would be about 1967 or so. Anyway, the guy and I also shared this tiny room with Buzzy, who became my first husband. You see, Simon and I worked days and Buzzy worked nights, so we would get up for work as Buzzy was coming in to take over the one bed. This sounded a WHOLE lot more reasonable in 1967.

Now I have not thought of Simon in years, except very much in passing. And I certainly haven't laid eyes on him in a good 40 years. The morning after this conversation, I opened up my Facebook, and guess who requested me as a friend? Yup. I about died. How completely weird is that!

I'm going to have to start looking up all my old boyfriends...presuming I can remember their names.

Now I'm going to do something I rarely do, which is change the names to protect the innocent. You will understand why.

The lady I was talking with about the boarding house room I will call Mary. Mary has a boyfriend, call him Joe, who is an old pal of mine, which is how I met Mary, whom I adore.

So Mary told me that she had quite a lot of issues in her nether regions which had been bothering her for years, and she finally decided, oh, the hell with it. I've got the insurance, let me get this taken care of, finally (a botched episiotomy, among other things). Before the operation, since there was going to be a fairly decent bit of reconstruction done, her doctor told her to go home and measure Joe...length and width flaccid, length and width aroused.

The result is that they can never break up, because Joe now finds himself going with a lady with a custom-built crotch, just for him.

And you thought those monogrammed shirts were a great Christmas present.

Love, Wendy