Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's SO Nice To Be Wrong

Well, I will be damned. My extremely boring day - well, you try spending eight hours going up and down an escalator. You think I'm kidding? Welcome to the wonderful world of movie making. Anyway, my dull day was nicely broken up by:

1. A huge grin from Sarah Jessica Parker.

2. A WINK and grin from Pierce Brosnan. Well, since I've been completely mad about this guy since the old Remington Steele days, my knees literally went weak. And I am delighted to tell you that while there are signs of wear here and there, but hoo boy...he's still unbelievably gorgeous. And an absolute sweetheart. He made of point of talking to and engaging with us background people and was an absolute doll all day.

Unless you're in this business, you have no idea what a difference this makes. We're out there doing this mind-numbingly dull repetitive work all day, sometimes in vile conditions, and when the stars of the movie have the attitude that we're all professionals and we're all in this just makes the whole day sing. And yes, there are those actors (no, dears, Mother doesn't mention names in that context) who are complete shits and wouldn't help you up if they knocked you down.

So what a lovely day I had!

Now I'm going to take out some garbage and have a cigarette while defrosting my dinner. I went shopping again today and am now the proud owner of actual hooks for people to hang coats on, an actual laundry hamper, and neat places to put my collection of dish towels and cleaning cloths and potholders, and a neat new knife holder. And did I mention that I got gorgeous new sheets and a whole comforter set? I may actually be moving in here...

Love, Wendy

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Somebody Loves Me!

Well, at last a ray of hope. Got a call from Grant Wilfley to go shoot something called I Don't Know How She Does It out at some airport in White Plains, NY tomorrow...and it's all indoors! Yahoo!

And nobody called me about inspecting my pristine, SMOKE-FREE apartment. This may be because I ran into one of the board members in the lobby and laid out my tale of woe with these fruitcakes upstairs to him, and he promised to look into it for me...I did not, of course, because I'M not nuts, refer to them as "fruitcakes" while I was talking to him. And since nobody called me or said word one to me, I presume that they are now running around trying to make sense out of this latest loopy request from upstairs. Fine. I hope they enjoy themselves.

I, on the other hand, am going to be making a lovely movie (with Pierce Brosnan, whom I know damn well I'll never lay eyes on) and earning money. And smoking outdoors. Ah, well.

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Yes, well, enough is enough.

My upstairs neighbors, they of the terrible tobacco allergies and God knows what other diseases, have lodged another complaint about the constant cigarette fumes coming from my apartment.

I think this is fascinating, and should surely earn them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, or whatever its actual title is. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone...anyone who was actually sane, that is...complaining about billows of cigarette smoke in their apartment, coming from an apartment in which no one has smoked for just about three weeks now.

I have my electronic cigarette, and when the craving for a real cigarette overwhelms me, I simply put on my boots (for those of you outside NYC, we are having a bitch and a half of a keeps snowing and sleeting and God knows what all) and go downstairs and smoke a cigarette. Having been told I'm not allowed to smoke on my front stoop, I go three doors down to a building that is being renovated and therefore has no tenants and smoke in front of that. Last Monday when it was 10 degrees out, I was out there smoking.

Anybody who can translate this into large billows of smoke coming from my apartment is more than welcome to try.

And would you believe that my word on the subject doesn't seem to be good enough and they are sending someone to inspect tomorrow?

I think I will go outside and smoke a cigarette and bite perfect strangers for a while...just on general principles. After which I will suggest a good mental health professional for my upstairs neighbors.

Love, Wendy

Monday, January 24, 2011

Living Amid The Boxes

Honestly, this unpacking is getting to be a joke. As I think I mentioned, I had to jettison my two tallest bookshelves when I moved in, and if there's one thing I've got, it's books. It's not a's an infestation.

So I trotted off to Home Depot...I'm in love with Home Depot, by the way...and bought one wire shelf to fit between the two windows on one wall of my bedroom, and four stackable on top of the other in my bedroom on another wall, and one set in Sarah's room.

Well, it turns out that any carpentry skills I once may have had have completely gone down the drain. The wire shelf looked pretty easy to put together, so I did the better part of it...the four posts that support it and the four shelves. Unfortunately, because my fingers don't work like that, or something, I can't get the damn thing to sit up at keeps listing to one side or the other. I've at least got it propped up so it won't fall on my bed (or I hope to God I have), but getting it together the rest of the way seems to be beyond me. And as far as the other ones go, I can't even thoroughly understand the instructions.

Naturally I called Caesar, who is my go to guy in situations like this, and he was coming over tomorrow to take care of it for me...when his job called him back to work. So now I'm STILL sitting amongst the unpacked book boxes. Growl. Although good for him that he's working again...not least because he usually takes me out to dinner when he is. Yay.

However, I'm getting the kitchen together, slowly. I got two shelves to sit on the kitchen table (there is NO damn storage space in this lousy kitchen, even though it's very pretty). And I discovered that a piece of storage that I had at the old house will fit neatly on one shelf to take care of all the various bits of paper I seem to accumulate...oh, you know, bills, phone numbers waiting to go into my phone, notices of one thing or another that I need to remember...all that happy horseshit personal organizers are always yammering about.

I did get a lot done today...I got books on the shelves I actually have (currently all double rows), and found more of my kitchen equipment. And I'm about to email my kid to get her to call her man with a van pal to get HER crud out of here and into HER apartment, which will give me a lot more space to navigate.

And I still hate my non-smoking status, even though the electronic cigarette sort of works. However, just to top off my tales of woe, there was a story on the internet news today that they now want to ban those. ARRRGGGH!

On the bright side, I did promise to feed Caesar, and while unpacking, I found the recipe for the beef stew I plan to feed him...and I discovered that if you're only out in it for ten minutes smoking a cigarette, you can too survive 10 degree temperatures. See? Life isn't all bad!

And you know, it's amazing how little money you spend when you only smoke one pack of cigarettes over three days...

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have just seen a commercial on TV that suggests that for a lovely dinner, you pour a can of Campbell's Chunky Beef and Vegetable Soup over a plate of mashed potatoes.

I'm going to go throw up now.

Love, Wendy

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stark Terror

Actually, what a great name for an action movie star. "And now! Stark Terror in The Eggplant That Ate the World!"

But not so funny, actually, when it's you...or, as the case may be, me. I am now officially fucking terrified in my own apartment. Today was the last goddamn straw. I was informed by the super that I couldn't smoke at the front of the building.

This is about IT. If I can't smoke inside, and I can't smoke outside, are they expecting me to find an entirely new dimension in which to smoke?

Meanwhile, I am in possession of what purports to be an email from the people upstairs which reads like everybody's hysterical dreams. It is dated January 11th. Now, if we can all think back, we will remember that I moved in here on December 21st. By my count, that makes it about three weeks, maybe a little less. And remember, the moment I was informed of a smoking problem, I promptly went out and bought an air purifier. This would have been about January 3rd.

I then proceeded to do all kinds of nipups with said air purifier, to wit: Ashtray directly in front of machine. Ashtray emptied AND WASHED after every cigarette. Trash can into which said cigarettes went, sprayed with Lysol.

And this email, dated January 11th, goes on at great length about the fact that their entire apartment, all their clothing, bedding, upholstered furniture, etc., etc., ad infinitum is completely permeated with the terrible amounts of smoke coming from my apartment.

Um. No. This is a physical impossibility. In order to cause this much damage in precisely 20 days of smoking in my apartment (6 or 8 of which were with the air purifier), I think I would have had to A. bore a hole through my ceiling into their apartment, and B. smoke at the very least 6 packs a day. Since I have been doing my level headed best NOT to cause a problem, I just today opened a pack of cigarettes that I bought last week. Does this sound to anybody like I'm sitting here smoking all day? I am admittedly (when possible) a heavy smoker, but in this situation I felt it best to restrain myself, so one pack lasted me damn near a week.

The bottom line is that I am now completely terrified in my own lovely apartment. I'm not allowed to smoke indoors, I'm not allowed to smoke outdoors without standing in traffic, and these people are making my life a complete and total misery. I even bought myself an electric cigarette (it's due to arrive tomorrow) to please them...and they all seem to be bent on harassing me. I went to Home Depot today and got all my necessary new bookshelves, and they were supposed to be delivered between 5:30 and 8:30 tonight, but I got so frightened that I moved the delivery date because I remembered that I wasn't allowed to move in except between 9 and 5 Monday through Friday. I don't think I should have to live in fear of what I'm doing all the time.

You have no idea how terrifying all this is. I'm afraid to cook, for fear someone will object to the smell. I haven't even set up my tape player/radio/record player because I'm afraid someone will get me on it. And when I watch TV I keep the sound so low I can barely hear it. I'm frightened to death of these people.

But I'm back on Boardwalk Empire! Where I can fucking sit on a bench on the boardwalk and smoke a goddamn cigarette in peace and quiet.

Love, Wendy

Monday, January 10, 2011

Somebody Loves Me!

YAHOO! The deeply anticipated call from Grant Wilfley came today, and tomorrow I have to drag myself out to Steiner Studios in Brooklyn for my fitting for Winter, 1924 for SEASON TWO OF BOARDWALK EMPIRE! They like me, they really like me!

And that nice piece of news gave me such a pleasant jolt that I did two loads of laundry. That's after spending some time figuring out the machines downstairs. They don't take money, you buy a little credit card sort of thing from a machine and then keep refilling that. And to wash or dry clothes, you put the card in the machine. This seems unnecessarily complicated to me...I mean, saving all your quarters was good enough for your grandparents, for heaven's sake, and why add another step? Ah, well...time marches on.

I even got some of my junk down to the basement for the super to throw out. The movers were so busy impressing me with their efficiency that they fetched along several bits that I thought had been clearly put in the junk pile. Then Sarah found a bunch of Joshua's books in her room (isn't that interesting, since I distinctly remember telling him to stay OUT of Sarah's room. The boy doesn't listen well.). I told her to dump them, and I guess she packed them for discard and guess what. Yeah.

And I think I've found the shelving I need at Home Depot which, in common with everything else in the world, is right around the corner. Thing is that I need very specific widths and heights of shelving, and in a rental apartment, I'm sure as hell not going to attach it to the walls. The height (nothing over six feet) is due to the elevator height, and the width (duh) is due to the size of the walls where they will live. But Home Depot has free standing stackable shelves in the right widths, so I think I'm good to go. I just want to get them in here before next week, because organizing books will amuse me quite nicely during my elevator-repair-imposed exile.

And I have to get a smaller table for the kitchen because I really, REALLY need a shelf in there...I have no storage space at all.

But I don't care, because I'm back on the Boardwalk! WHEE!

Love, Wendy

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Greetings From Chelsea

Well, that was a short sharp honeymoon period in my nice new apartment.

So we all know I moved in and had Christmas. Then I had New Year's by going over to Sarah's bar and spending it sagely and reasonably sanely.

However, the rot set in on New Year's Eve Day. I got a call from one of the two people who seem to manage the building in terms of repairs and such things, informing me that I was not allowed to smoke in the apartment - under threat of eviction. Imagine my surprise. This was, let us remember, December 31st. I moved in 10 days earlier.

Now at no time in any negotiations for this apartment, from my first sight of it to my meeting with the Board, to my taking possession of the keys, was this charming little detail EVER mentioned. In the meeting with the Board, I was told (and believe me, smokers can quote this sort of thing VERY accurately) that if I was going to smoke, I should smoke "considerately." This to me means not in the halls, not in the elevators, and things like that. It does NOT mean no smoking. No one EVER said no smoking to me until after a year's rent was paid IN ADVANCE and the lease was signed. The lease, by the way, also says nothing specific about smoking, although there is a paragraph that can be construed that way. Somehow I think this is vaguely illegal. Not outlawing smoking - that's perfectly legal, even if I hate the idea. But never mentioning it until a lease has been signed AND PAID FOR...there's something wrong about that.

Meanwhile, I was getting a barrage of noise from the building and the Board about the couch and chair that had been put out with the garbage, and not yet picked up. Why anyone continued to annoy me about this after our 20" blizzard on the Sunday after Christmas was somewhat beyond me, since NO city garbage was picked up until this past week, a fact that building management seemed quite startled about when I told them. Perhaps they don't have garbage. At any rate, the Sanitation Department, who are all terribly red faced about the lousy job they did with the blizzard, took it all away this morning, so THAT'S fine.

This leaves us with three problems...the smoking one I think I may have solved far enough to get away with. One of the Board members, the President, I think, suggested an air purifier, which seems to be working just fine as long as I sit right on top of it. Then I quickly empty the ashtray, spray the trash can with Lysol, and wash the ashtray out. So far, so good, although an unholy nuisance. But at least I don't have to go down 6 flights of stairs (in an elevator...for a while, anyway...see below).

And I don't seem to have any heat. I kept being assured that this was the hottest apartment in the building, and what I've got are cold radiators and cold pipes. I got them to come and look at that this afternoon, and I'm told I'm not crazy and it IS colder than a witches' tit in here. So that's being worked on.

And now for the absolutely best part of all. As of 9 am on January 18, until 4:30 pm on January 20, there will be no elevator in the building, because they are going to renovate it.

Let's go over this again, shall we? I moved to an elevator building because stairs are getting difficult for me. I am paying more than I can really afford for an apartment in an elevator building....because, you know, the stairs. And what is practically the first thing with which I am presented? That's right. NO ELEVATOR.

This means that for three solid days I will be locked into my apartment unable to get groceries, cigarettes, the morning papers, or any other thing you care to name, not because I can't get OUT of the building (I'm fine with down), but because it would take me at least an hour to climb six flights of stairs to get back IN (and about a day to recover).

I suppose moving is rather liker a love affair...that first period of mad infatuation when the lover can do no wrong, followed by that period where every wart and ear hair seems monstrously magnified, finally settling down to a comfortable happy's to the happy medium (and some goddamn heat).

Love, Wendy