Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In The Trenches

I fully intended to blog about Tuesday's Boardwalk stint on Tuesday when I got home, but there was Glee to consider, and after that, I was basically sound asleep...still shivering.

How on earth they survived in the '20s in their thin coats is completely beyond me. We weren't on the actual Boardwalk set...according to the crew, they're still trying to dig it out from the snow. They dragged us out to the far end of Staten Island, to an old beach community. It was an odd shoot, in that we had a LOT of time in holding...usually on Boardwalk you get dressed, haired and made up and go straight to the set, hastily trying to cram the last bits of breakfast into your face. This time we stayed in holding for quite some time. This was, as it turned out, merciful. The people who were called were a bunch of guys to be rum runners, and me and one of my familiar cohorts from last season, Marissa, and two guys. Our job, unlike the rum runners, who were indoors (for which I will never forgive them), was to be neighbors in this community taking a winter walk on the beach.

Yeah. There was a howling damn bitter wind out there, and the entire area was a mixture of unmelted snow, ice, and mud. The sand was sand, mostly un-snow covered, but of course, it was damp. And to get from the location bus to holding, and from holding to set and the warming house, was mud and mud and more mud. Unless you were trying to navigate the ice patches with those thin-soled vintage shoes. It took me HOURS to thaw out. And while walking down to the water was reasonably okay, coming back was a misery because the wind was right in our faces. Thank God it was meant to be an establishing long shot, because believe me...nobody in their right mind wants to see me larger than life and twice as natural with my eyes running and my nose dribbling down my face. Elegant as shit.

Meanwhile, the apartment is in a state of suspended animation while I try to get put together the damn bookcases. This is driving me absolutely crazy because I can't very well unpack books because I have nowhere to put them. I have one option left, which, please God, will pal Pete, who lives upstate (one of Sarah's friends). Having (along with the rest of the immediate world) lived with me at one point, he can usually be guilted into helping "Mom." Well, it's not that bad...I am, after all, going to feed the child. And he has a car. So if I play my cards right, I can get bookcases and at least some of everybody else's stuff OUT OF HERE.

And Carolyn, the problem with the hair is that I have totally lost the patience necessary to screw around with it. Also, since I'm no longer 14, the interest in doing so. These days, my prime interest is keeping it out of my face. I would kill for a neat wash and wear cut like yours, but I've got to keep it least until Boardwalk stops. Growl.

And Jane, please keep letting me know how you're doing. I worry about's such a huge life change for you, even though it looks to me like you're handling it like a real champ.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Even More Productivity!

Moving right along here...damn, I'm good.

First of all, almost all of my art is hung! You enter my apartment by coming down a long hall, on one side of which is the bathroom and kitchen, and on the other side of which is Sarah's room. This provides a perfect art gallery, and I've got almost all of it up now.

I went out earlier this week over to lower Broadway to Uniqlo, which is where they keep the really good long underwear. Remember, I'm heading back to the Boardwalk, and we all remember those freezing spring (spring...hah) days last season. So I found two very high tech t-shirts. I can't wear anything else under the costume, you see, because bits hang out, which they frown upon. But I also found three MORE nice turtlenecks on sale, so I'm now pretty well set. And then I went to Old Navy and caved in and bought three pair of jeans and a dress. Well, totally justified...everything in the store was 30% off for one day only. So three pair of jeans and a nice kind of burnished green/bronze color shirtwaist for 72 bucks. Not bad! Then I came home and threw out ragged turtlenecks and jeans...with an enormous sigh of relief.

Thing is, I've been so broke for so long that I have a HUGE amount of trouble realizing that I actually have money in the bank and can afford to treat myself a little bit. Today, for instance, I went to the drugstore and honestly spent about $75 on myself. The major part of this was tinted moisturizer. It's gotten horribly hard to find, and for daily wear I really prefer it to actual foundation. My mantra is, the older you get, the less makeup you should be wearing. First of all, after a certain age heavy makeup makes you look somewhat desperate, and secondly, after that same certain age, it just cakes into the fine lines (oh, all right, damn you...WRINKLES) and you look ten years older than you are.

Well, Oil of Olay came out with one finally, but it's been like $39 in drugstores, which I certainly couldn't afford. But today I found it at CVS on sale for $22.99 and promptly bought two of them. Ah, the pleasure!

This trip to CVS was after a terribly disappointing trip to the movies. I have been dying to see Black Swan, because I am a lifelong ballet freak. Give me a ballet movie and I'm a happy camper. You will always find me anywhere The Turning Point is, and The Red Shoes (one of the best movies EVER). Not to mention a spectacularly wonderful documentary about the Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo, which was the first ballet company I ever saw. It's narrated by Frederic Franklin, and if you run across it (Netflix, probably) see is utterly charming.

The Black Swan can only be described as The Turning Point on acid. To begin with, they dump you right in the middle of it, meaning that you have no clue of what lies behind. We have a driven perfectionist ballerina...very young ballerina, seemingly, but she can't be THAT young. Even Balanchine didn't pick 16 year olds for Odette/Odile. And she's equipped with a monster mother. And she scratches herself until she bleeds.

Well, damn it, WHY? Where is her father? Was her mother a failed dancer (there is a brief moment of dialogue which would seem to support this)? How did she start with the scratching? Again, there's a scene with Monster Mommy which seems to say it's happened before. Or, to shorten this whole diatribe...WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?

I gave up after a scene where Nina (Portman) goes out for the evening with Mila Kunis, and Kunis puts what seems to be a roofie, or something, in her drink, at which point we go into a nice 60's montage of an acid trip. Then Portman and Kunis get into a taxi and start a lesbian flirtation and I started out the door.

What is interesting here is that everything I saw (although remember I didn't sit through the whole thing) mirrors Turning Point. In love with an older dancer? Check...although in this case, it's the choreographer. Mother with problems? Check...although played far more lightly in Turning Point. Amazing opportunity? Check. Crazy scene in bar? Check.

I suppose I'll watch the rest of it when it comes on cable. But really...I KNOW the ballet world. I studied it for years. And while there are certainly cliques and whatnot at ballet schools, and yes, you get bleeding and broken toes, eating disorders and all the rest of it...NOBODY who had been a member of the company for four years (so stated in the script) could be A. as friendless as this child, or B. allowed to go on being so self-destructive. Damn silly, the whole thing.

Tomorrow I'm going to burst on my child's bar in the glory of my new jeans, a new sweater, and pretty makeup! And, since I spent the money to buy myself an actual hair dryer (I mean with a bonnet so I can actually set my stick straight hair...even hot rollers don't work except the ones they use on Boardwalk which you can't get commercially), I can actually have curly hair! At least for about ten minutes until it collapses...

Love, Wendy

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ta Da!

What a very productive day I had yesterday...and today, for that matter.

First of all, I actually found three turtlenecks! Imagine my joy. One is gray, one dark purple, and one a sort of olive I can now throw out three of my old tattered ones. Yahoo! I just thought, well, I'll stop into Loehmann's just in case...and lo and behold.

Then I went to Marshall's and got a little table for my computer and fetched it home...and that made me so pleased with myself that I went right back out and got a shelf for my stereo. I even managed to put it together. So now I can finally have music around here, which makes me feel MUCH better. And today I set everything up.

Now I have eaten dinner, and I'm sitting at my new computer table listening to my old stereo, and (except for having to get all dressed with the coat and all for my nightcap cigarette), things are perfectly lovely.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Random Assemblage

There are at least two men in my new neighborhood who wander around in this lousy winter wearing parkas, gloves, hoods up on the parkas, scarves...AND SHORTS. Would someone like to explain this to me?

Email from Grant I free February 14 and 17 for the Boardwalk? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

I can has new hat. I got a hat, but it got basically laughed right off my head. It was a trapper hat, which I made the mistake of trying to find in January at Kmart. Kmart had exactly two trapper hats left, although they had a fine selection of bathing suits and tank tops. One trapper hat was camouflage which I refuse to wear because I hate it (and for that matter, I'm violently anti-war, so it just seems wrong). The other trapper hat was very strange, but it fit, you see. This is a consideration because I have an oddly small head, so hats often don't fit right on me. This one was black with black and white dogs with flowers behind their ears and bright pink bubbles and pink fake fur. It was pretty hideous. Sarah had fits when she saw it. However, I wandered over to 14th Street today and found one of those little stores which had a nice brown plaid hat that actually fits beautifully and is nice and warm, so I am now happy. And nobody will look at my head and giggle or point any more.

Unfortunately, what I was actually looking for on 14th Street was nowhere to be found. In fact, as far as I can tell, they are nowhere to be found (at a price I'm willing/able to pay) anywhere.

Evidently, all manufacturers have suddenly decided to stop making turtleneck sweaters. I have been all over the damn place. Old Navy, H&M, Filene's, Forever 21, Marshall's, TJ Maxx...and I have found: a brown turtleneck, brown being a color for which I have no use at all. A black turtleneck, which is lovely, except that I have two. A wonderful blue turtleneck...cashmere, $159. No. Oh, and of course, a red turtleneck. I have one of those, too...along with the two black ones, it's only good for private black, red or white on a movie set.

What I wanted was to go to Old Navy and find what they have EVERY single year...a nice big table stacked with their good ribbed cotton turtlenecks in every color of the rainbow for about 19 bucks each. I have a drawer full of them, each of which has been mended long past its natural life, but which I'm going to have to live with, obviously. Even in October, Old Navy didn't have proper turtlenecks this year. And Filene's, which usually has piles of those nice August Silk ones, had nothing.

I will just have to assume that all manufacturers have decided to wage war against ladies with necks they prefer to keep hidden and insist that we wear V-necks all winter. Now that I think about it, since a V-neck in winter means you have to wear a scarf, this may be a clever marketing ploy to make us buy not only the sweater, but one of those big mufflers so our chests don't freeze. This is excellent...unless, like me, you are short-necked to begin with and seem to have NO neck in one of those things. GRROOOWWWLLL.

Meanwhile, on the apartment front, I am fascinated with all the caulking and sealing that's going on in this apartment. Dan from the building comes over at least once a week to caulk something or seal something to the extent that I feel perfectly fine about dying in here should anyone want to view my body. By this I mean that if he keeps this up, the place will be hermetically sealed. What fascinates me is that all of this sealing and caulking comes with dire instructions not to smoke in here (which I'm not, which is a goddamn nuisance, what with putting on coats and boots and all). Well, frankly, then why bother with all this? It makes no sense at all to me.

And finally...going out to buy the papers this morning, toddling carefully along like a two year old because of patches of ice...along comes a lady in a jacket, miniskirt, and four inch spikes. I wonder how long she lasted on the ice patches? And I do so wish I'd been there to watch when she hit one...

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Om Nom Nom

I am not Saint Tiger Lily, nor was meant to be, but oh, my God, what a meal I just had.

It was our friend Trish's birthday and we went to a restaurant called Public on Elizabeth Street, and here's what I had:

We all absolutely had to try the kangaroo, which arrived on coriander falafel cakes and tastes like filet mignon. Then Sarah and I (because we are Brussels sprouts freaks) HAD to eat their fried sprouts with lemon-miso sauce. I followed that up with roast lamb loin with (take a DEEP breath) caper piquillo salsa, cauliflower puree, braised chard and a wheatberry, romanesco and sweetbread salad. Oddly, this didn't turn into a homogenous mess either on the plate or the was just amazing.

Meanwile, they kept bringing us little things to a dollop of something pureed, salty-ish and green on a little disk of what I think might have been jicama. It was too white to be mushroom, but maybe it seemed to be just a little too limp for jicama. Anyway, whatever it was tasted terrific.

Then I finished up with sticky toffee pudding in a large pool of caramel sauce with Armagnac ice cream.

Oh, and did I mention they kept bringing up little treats of drinks? Like the beautifully dry champagne and the bourbon and something palate cleanser just before dessert?

And did I mention that this all cost about $70?

Anybody wanna join me at Public NEXT week so I can nom my way through the rest of the menu? There's this venison with goat cheese dumplings...

Love, Wendy