Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Let's catch up a bit before I get around to the sick part. The street fair was terrific, as always, even with a few splats of rain, and I got my Italian sausage sandwich...I allow myself two a year. One at the BBC, and the other at Gay Pride Day. This usually fulfills my cholesterol needs for the year (combined with the full Irish breakfast at Fiddlesticks on St. Pat's).

Other than that, I have spent another two days at the law office, coming off as a heroine this time because I saw a roach, knocked it off the file it was on, and stomped the thing to death. Um, have I mentioned that we're not exactly talking about an elegant law firm here?

I spent Memorial Day weekend doing NOTHING. It was hot, I kept dozing off, I kept thinking I ought to be doing something...and I didn't. So there.

Now to the title of the post. Sarah now only works at the Bistro on Tuesdays, so I trotted over to spend some time with her, and they've got a new waiter, who is just adorable. I believe I may have mentioned that there's a waitress there who reminds me of a Golden Retriever; well, this kid is like nothing so much as a baby Saint Bernard whose paws are still too big for him. Adorable.

So I came home, after various lovely chats and bar camaraderie...to be chilled to the bone and sickened on my own front doorstep.

Now, before everyone leaps up in hysteria, let me say that this was because of a conversation. I got out of my taxi and there was a young man with a bunch of luggage in front of the building who clearly belonged to somebody in my building, and, because I was smoking a cigarette, I engaged him in conversation. (You know, me and Jane Austen - the only people left who ever use that particular phrase). I asked the usual questions from an old broad to a young man...where are you going,will it be fun, are you excited...

This kid frightened the pants off me. He was majoring in political science and economics. He didn't give a fuck about either discipline, and when I (taking the cue of politics) began to talk about grass roots politics...and then when I tried the 60s...his eyes glazed over. I said why are you studying this? And he said, "Oh, you can make a lot of money."

If this is the future of politics, would anyone care to join me in building a lovely log cabin in Central Park? Sorry, off the grid in some Godforsaken spot is NOT an option (no taxis = no me)...and we better wire the log cabin for HBO.

I think the worst part about it is that he was black.

Also, I think I need a shower now. That child was deeply slimy.

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monsoon Season

Look, could all my readers get together and started collecting pairs of animals? I've got my carpenter friend working on the ark...40 cubits, as specified...and no, I don't know what the hell a cubit is either (note: line only works if you remember Bill Cosby's standup act).

You will now have to excuse me for being quite vulgar, but I am going to paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson: I am tired of these mother fucking drops from this mother fucking sky. It has now rained for four straight days, we get a brief break over the weekend, and it's then going to rain for another nine days. E-FUCKING-NUFF! I have personally mildewed.

Meanwhile, now that I have impolitely vented my spleen about the weather, last week's three day law firm job wasn't that bad. Looking back, I realize that I haven't mentioned this.

I'm not on partial unemployment at the moment, so I was quite startled to get a call from the Department of Labor a couple of weeks ago. Being a cynical New Yorker, my first thought was that they had decided that I shouldn't have been getting unemployment and now wanted me to pay it back. But no...they had a job for me. I really did NOT want to go to an office job, and I CERTAINLY didn't want to go to a law firm, but as it happens, it wasn't at all bad. The reason that the Department of Labor called me is that my name turned up on their database as someone who could use a Dictaphone, which is evidently a dying art.

Anyway, it's the first time in my life I have ever been profoundly grateful for the no smoking in offices rule. You have never seen such a mess in your life...and I know messes. There were thick heavy files stacked on every single available surface to a height of at least a foot in all cases...including on the floor. Horrendous. But the work was very much my sort of thing (hand me the stuff and leave me alone, thank you very much), and the guy I was working for actually wrote a check for me, had me endorse it, ran down to the bank and paid me in cash...and gave me paid lunch hours. So, altogether not bad. Horrendously underpaid, though. Legal work used to be $20 an hour...I was getting $12. But since I wouldn't have been getting anything otherwise...why not.

Then I got a call on Tuesday to go shoot Arbitrage (some financial thriller with Susan Sarandon), which was great, but annoying. I called in on Tuesday night as directed to get my call time, and was told it was 1 pm. Terrific! Actually it didn't matter what time it was, because we were shooting on 28th Street and 11th Avenue, meaning it was about a five minute taxi ride away (I could have walked, but not in the aforementioned monsoon). However, on Wednesday morning they called me at 6:30 am to tell me the new call time was 9 am. Obviously I had no problem with that...five minutes away, right? What I DID have a problem with, however, as did all the other background people, was that they proceeded to leave us sitting in holding until about 5:30 pm. But as usual, breakfast, nice lunch, and the company of a lot of cops and retired cops (a lot of cops moonlight as background people and actors in general), who are generally good company and tell great stories. And the earlier call time and the long wait meant that I not only got fed, but a little overtime as well.

Then I went and met my pal Caesar at Sarah's bar, and then I came home and fell into bed. Today I have done nothing whatsover. I may make another stab at getting Sarah's stuff in order tomorrow, but I haven't decided yet.

And on Saturday the greatest street fair in the world occurs, the Bedford Barrow Commerce/Ye Older Village Faire! Yay! It's also supposedly the Rapture and we'll all going to die. Well, personally, if I'm going to die, doing it with great food, cold beer, good music and a bunch of friends seems to be exactly the right time and place. See you on the Other Side! (Bring beer.)

Love, Wendy

Thursday, May 5, 2011

OK, Already - I'm Back

I'm back. And a very happy Cinque de Mayo to one and all. That, by the way, is the sum total extent of my Spanish, except that I am able to say, Sarah has diarrhea. No fruit, no vegetables, only chicken. This came about because we had an au pair named Cecelia from El Salvador when Sarah was still too young for day care, and she spoke no English. I managed to get along with a Spanish phrase book, but to this day I live in fear that I will someday be invited to an elegant gathering at the Spanish Embassy and have absolutely no conversational opening except, Sarah has diarrhea...

It's been an interesting couple of weeks or so. I got an absolutely fabulous invitation from my old pal Marty for April 26th, which I jumped at. There is an organization called Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which has made tons of money for AIDS research, and twice a year they do these extravaganzas which are basically for the industry. This one was the annual Easter Bonnet Competition, wherein various Broadway shows make Easter hats and do take-offs on shows, and it was just a delight.

They had a takeoff on Glee, they had a monologue from Robin Williams, the casts from Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot, La Cage Aux Folles, Priscilla Queen of the Desert...it was all just marvelous. Sutton Foster was there, and Harvey Fierstein, and Daniel Radcliffe. The Cage Aux Folles gals did a heartbreaker of a number. They all came out in full drag, of course, and sang I Am What I Am very quietly, while they stepped out of the line to speak the names of various cast members who had died of AIDS over the 25 year life of the show. It was deeply moving. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. And of course, this being an industry show, there was every in joke you can possibly imagine. In the Glee number, which opened the show, Artie, the kid in the wheelchair on the show, was played by a guy in a Spiderman costume. Spiderman came in for a LOT of ribbing.

Saturday I went to do my weird job at the Long Island car dealership, which was even stranger than I thought it would be. First of all, nobody in the way of actual customers CAME to the car dealership for quite some time, so there was the decidedly odd spectacle of 15 actors wandering around trying to sell cars to each other, which was deeply strange. Then some people actually showed up, and I did my agreed upon bit of the dotty grandmother buying a car for her grandson who was graduating from high school. You should have heard my masterly dithering. "Well, I promised him if he got on the honor role in his senior year I'd get him a car, but I'm just so concerned about his safety...are you SURE these are nice safe cars?" I'm amazed nobody called the men in the little white coats on me.

And yesterday I got back on Boardwalk Empire! Yay! Not out on the boardwalk, damn it. We were shooting at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side. Thank God we were indoors, because it was chilly and pouring all day. Are we ever going to have anything resembling a nice warm spring? I looked at Weather.com, and we're STILL not getting out of the 60's and the "possibility of showers." I'm getting violently tired of this.

Anyway, what we were supposed to be doing was watching a Charlie Chaplin film. When you see the scene, remember this...you will see a theatre full of people smoking (1924; we were still allowed) and eating popcorn and thoroughly enjoying the movie. What we were looking at was a white curtain thing with a cross made out of black electrical tape stuck on it for us to focus on, while someone walked back and forth behind it with a piece of black something or other to make the light flicker on our faces as it would had we actually been watching anything. I'm here to tell you that a black electrical tape cross is EXTREMELY dull to look at and react to. For six hours. However, the popcorn was nice and fresh...it shouldn't be a total loss. (You know, eventually I'm going to ruin all your delight in the magic of movies here...sorry.)

And the best news of all? Sarah actually came and picked up a piece of her belongings! I'm so thrilled. She came and got the big old microwave from the old house, which is now hers since this apartment came with one. One can only hope this is a harbinger of things to come...such as the rest of her stuff leaving. But by God, it's a start!

And the wedding. Oh, wow. Glorious. I have seen every one of the Family weddings I could, not to mention Queen Elizabeth's coronation, because I love all that pageantry. Limos are so boring. I want to trot by the adoring populace in my horsedrawn carriage with the palace guard riding beside me.

That dress was so unbelievably beautiful, and so well suited to Kate. Simple, elegant...just absolutely perfect. And of course, the unvarying spectacle of English hats. Good Lord. Fergie's daughters, of course, took the prize, what with Beatrice in that pretzel or music stand or WHATEVER the hell she was wearing on her head. I kept looking at it and thinking, WHY? Why on EARTH would you do that? There was an amusing Facebook thread about the hats which started with someone saying, Where do they get them? The answer is Philip Treacy, who's been making hats for the English nobility for about a hundred years now. But I liked some of the answers that came up...particularly someone who said, Aretha's of Detroit. My response was The Ministry of Silly Hats. I was thinking as I watched the various extravaganzas on peoples' heads, how does it feel to be sitting behind one of those things and trying to see what's going on, or worse, sitting next to one of them and having the explosion of feathers or the cockatoo in full plumage or whatever the hell piece of nonsense tickling your ear through the whole wedding?

The Queen looked lovely. That color is so nice on her. And I hadn't realized that Prince Phillip is going to be 90...good Lord. Camilla looked lovely too, although I wish to hell she'd do something about the Farrah Fawcett Majors hairdo. And Princess Anne looked like a very well bred horse. This is because Princess Anne ALWAYS looks like a very well bred horse. Dressing her up has never, ever, helped. She really is at her best in riding clothes.

Altogether a MOST satisfying occasion, and they really looked in love with each other.

And of course, the other bit of news...no more Osama bin Laden. I do wish I could be happier about this one. The problem is that while I'm thrilled we finally got him, I'm somewhat concerned about possible retaliation. I mean, is it like cutting off a lizard's tail? The lizard thrashes around quite a lot, but eventually it grows a new tail. I wonder what's going to follow bin Laden, because something surely will. Right now I believe his forces are probably in disarray, but I cannot believe he didn't have a picked successor. We shall see.

I would MUCH rather dwell on Kate's wedding dress...wouldn't you?

Love, Wendy