Friday, September 30, 2011

One More Day

Well, I finished up being dead.  As it happened, I was dead for a total of three days...draw your own conclusions.

The last day of the dead was out in Brooklyn, in the old Williamsburg Bank Building, which is absolutely gorgeous.  All columns and marble floors and this incredible ceiling with blue and gold signs of the Zodiac.

I must say that the scriptwriter on this has what I sincerely hope is a damned odd take on the afterlife.  First of all, I really hope I'm not being transported there via PATH train under New Jersey.  Hell, we didn't even get to see the light at the end of the tunnel...although in this case, it most certainly WOULD have been an oncoming train.  And while Croton Park Point was lovely, there were all those bees...being stung by a bee never figured heavily in my notion of the afterlife either.  And now (if things go according to this script) it turns out that in order to get to the actual afterlife, you have to fill in forms and stand in line.  Doesn't that seem awfully bureaucratic?  And what if your forms aren't right?  Do you have to be alive again?  Personally, I've always pictured Heaven (well, all right...I know I'm presuming here) as a gorgeous very English library, with a roaring fire and big comfortable leather chairs, and bookshelves that are constantly refilled with brand new books by my favorite (dead) authors.  Oh, yeah...and a small kitchen area with a beer filled refrigerator and all my favorite snacks.  Doesn't that sound cozy?

Meanwhile, life has been dull.  Nobody else seems to want me to be in a movie, so I'm going to give Nancy, who is my overworked friend at that nutty law firm, a few days off...Thursday and Friday of next week and the whole following week.  This may be that bourne from which no traveller returns...I'm deeply afraid that seven days of Andrew the lawyer may kill me, because while he's an awfully nice guy, he is the world's most maddening person to work for.  However, it is money coming in, which is always useful.

And just to show you what me and Sarah get up to (we tend to text each other when we get bored), here's a verbatim exchange straight from my telephone.  S is Sarah and W is Wendy...just so you know.

W:  I got a hat.

S:  I...What?

W:  I got a hat.  I told you I wanted one.

S:  Oh. Yeah. But it just seemed totally random.  You could have said "I got the hat I was looking for."  What came out was closer to "wanna ride bikes?"*

W:  Wait until you see it.  I didn't think the purple veil was going to work with the pink roses, but the rhinestone clip really beings it together.

S:  I'm going to barf on your head.

W:  Black felt fedora.  Found it at H&M.  Perfect.

S:  I'll buy it when I see it.

As you can tell, we have a good deal of fun together.  And the asterisk on the "Wanna ride bikes?"  That refers to a silly joke Sarah told me years ago which has sort of become a catch phrase with us.  How many people with ADD does it take to change a light bulb?  And the answer is, Wanna ride bikes?

I will now go and do nothing in particular for a while, then I will go smoke my final cigarette of the day, and then I will climb into bed so the cats can gnaw my toes.  A full, rich life...

Love, Wendy

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

I have said it before and I'll say it again...I am not a nature person.  Get me away from decent taxicabs and all night delis and I wilt.  Not to mention that I'm convinced that trees are out to get me, and that one of these days butterflies will grow teeth and then THEY'LL get me. 

This said, you can imagine my extreme distrust of going out on Tuesday for Gods Behaving Badly to be recently dead in a park an hour outside New York.

To give the place (Croton Point Park, I believe) its due, it is absolutely lovely.  BUT.

First of all, trying to get something to eat was a production number.  Crafty was a van ride away, for God's sake, and when we got there, there were a lot of perfectly lovely donuts waiting for us, and I was starved.  Unfortunately, the idiots running Crafty were evidently also city types, because instead of putting sturdy plastic covers on the donuts, they had loosely covered them with Saran wrap.  The result was that when we got there, the table was completely covered in a swarm of bees.  We had to fight them off to get any breakfast.  See what I mean about not liking nature?  That never would have happened in a decent deli.

Then we wandered about being dead.  They did have one thing that I thought was utterly marvelous.  We were all given what were supposed to be orientation packets for the afterlife, and true to the movies' insane attention to detail, they had actual orientation schedules and maps of the Underworld in them, which was hilarious.  From what was on the orientation schedule, it was clear that they had taken these things directly from a university orientation booklet, but it was funny anyway.  Things like Managing Your Credit in the Underworld (it's the one thing I thought I wouldn't have to worry about after death), cocktails in the Hades Bar, introductions to the medical clinic (eh?), and my absolute favorite...Safe Bicycle Riding.  Um, we're supposed to be dead ALREADY.  My only thought was that (since this particular item mentioned helmet safety) well, I suppose that even if you're dead, you wouldn't want to spend the afterlife with a misshapen head from a bike accident, now would you?  Not if you're going to have an elegant cocktail in the Hades Bar, anyway.

I'm back on this next Tuesday and maybe next Wednesday, and then I go back to my little law firm on Thursday, so money coming in...yay!

The cats are playing a very loud game of chase and running into things and knocking things over.  Teenagers!

Love, W.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Giggling Hysterically

The world's best story headline from today's Daily News:

"Man in mourning as fire engulfs his prized 'Willie.' "

Well, yes, I should think so.

Love, Wendy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Not To Be Believed

I wouldn't like to say that some people are a bit bad at taking responsibility for their actions, but there is a story in today's New York Post that is just an awful way.

It seems that there is a gentleman in Nanuet, New York who regularly (oh, yeah) patronizes a White Castle which has the sort of tables that one often sees at McDonald's, where the chair part is attached to the table part, and therefore cannnot be moved about.  This gentleman discovered one day that there was no longer enough room for his stomach between the table and the fixed chair.

Now, I don't know about you, but my first thought here would be, "Jeez Louise, I'd better cut back on this crud a little bit."  Is the story about a person who then changed his ways and is now a regular gym goer?

No, don't be silly.  This is America.  He is, naturally, suing for his (according to him) God-given right to keep putting on more weight (he nows weighs 290 pounds, which, by the picture in the paper, is NOT the most flattering look he could have chosen).  Therefore, he wants Wendy's to replace all their furniture with something that will accommodate him.

Please.  God knows I am all for accommodating the handicapped.  Wheelchair accessible, certainly.  Blind person accessible, absolutely.  Service dogs welcome, you better believe it.  And so forth.  But for God's sake.

I do know that there are a few glandular problems which do result in enormous weight gains...years ago I had a friend thus afflicted.  But I ALSO know that the incidence of these diseases is statistically extremely small.  Face it...most people who are fat are just fat and have let themselves get that way.  I am damned if I would be willing to tear up all a restaurant's furniture to accommodate people who won't quit eating.

Besides which, if they make the tables far enough away from the chairs to accommodate this guy, how the hell am I supposed to reach MY unhealthy burger?  My arms aren't that long.

Love, Wendy

P.S.  I know it's September 11th.  I was downtown that day.  I walked home in the ashes, etc.  Enough.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Not Dead Yet! (Thank You, Monty Python)

Yes, well, these things happen. In this case, what happened was a complete computer failure and my efforts to get it fixed...which swiftly turned into my efforts to pry enough money out of my trustee to get it REPLACED.
After I called Time Warner Cable, who are usually really good about helping me with my occasional tech issues, they told me they couldn't fix it, and I should call Compaq (this being a Compaq laptop). Compaq first of all attempted to sell me a $99 service contract, and then followed that up by telling me that the necessary repairs would be three or four hundred dollars. Somehow I felt that spending nearly five hundred bucks to repair an oldish computer was not the wisest economic for $750, I am beaming this to you from my nice new Dell laptop, which, for that $750, also includes proper Windows 10 (Word, Excel and Power never know, I might have to act like a secretary again one day), tech support, and they took everything off my old computer and put it on this one. Not a bad deal at all.
So, let's get everybody filled in on what I've been doing.
The first thing of any interest whatsoever was that I did a shoot that I found deeply creepy on the 8th of August. This is a movie called Imogene with Kristin Wiig, and the shoot took place in the Empire Casino at Yonkers Raceway.
You have to understand that A. the only casinos I've ever set foot in are in Europe, and it was back in the '60s with my father in places like Cannes, where one wore evening gowns and black ties. It was all very glittery and there were croupiers and dealers and roulette tables and whatnot. B. I am NOT a gambler. Well, okay, I'm an actor, which argues a streak of gambling in my soul, but it's gambling on myself (that I'll get cast), not on some horse I've never even met, for heaven's sake. Years ago some friends of mine and I used to go out to the racetrack, and I would take a $20 bill for a ten race card and put $2 on the favorite to show in every race. I invariably came home with my original 20 bucks and maybe a couple you can see, I'm not a gambler.
So we get to this casino, and I have never seen anything as completely creepy in my life. There were no people in it. I mean, no people that worked there, except for some young girls wandering around with trays of drinks. There were no tables, no dealers...all that was there was two floors of row upon row of computer screens. Even the roulette "tables" were comprised of computer screens, although they had big TV screens where you could see a wheel going around. However, the screens were strange too. Each screen featured a model type girl spinning the wheel, but they had only filmed her doing so once. So the loop plays endlessly until the girl begins to look like an animatronic figure...only, she's not exactly a top model, so she's somewhat less animated than a real robot would have been.
And into this bizarre scene come the gamblers. They are overwhelmingly elderly. Many of them have walkers or wheelchairs. And this seems to be their life. Personally, if I had a choice about how to spend my declining days (and come to think of it, I should probably make said choice, shouldn't I?), it would most CERTAINLY not be in a room full of computer screens. You'll see me hopping on my mobility scooter (which I have every intention of fitting out with a foxtail and a great big OOGA OOGA horn) and heading directly to my neighborhood bar. Personally, I think this seems a WAY healthier choice than staring at a computer screen all alone every day.
There was one thing that amused and there around the sides of these huge computer filled rooms are windows with a big sign across them that says "Redemption." Well, of course they're for turning in your tickets and getting your cash, but I kept having this fantasy of gamblers coming up and throwing themselves in front of the windows and yelling, "I'll never gamble again! Please, Lord, redeem me!" Unfortunately, this didn't happen, but I thought it would be just great.
Then my favorite gals from Chicago came in for their annual trip and we had a nice meal together, and then finally I got to my much awaited first shoot for Gods Behaving Badly, where I'm recently dead.
This was another peculiar shoot, although MUCH more amusing than watching the almost dead play computer slot machines. We started out in midtown, at 34th Street in the PATH train, and spent a large part of the night (this was an overnight shoot...more money...yay!) going back and forth under New Jersey in our special three car PATH train. The best fun was watching the people who were actually waiting for real trains as we went by. We had to go slowly because of the camera equipment, of course, and the looks on people's faces were great. It's not every day you see a train car filled with people in their pajamas and bathrobes wearing ghastly gray-white makeup...some of them with IV bags hanging from the car rails, some of them heavily bandaged...calmly chugging by as you try to get home to Hoboken. We ended up at Christopher Street, which was also fun. All the assorted weird denizens of the night who hang out there were thrown by us too, as we wandered the block between holding at St. Ronnie's (St. Veronica's) and the PATH station where the food was. I must admit, however, that I was slightly annoyed at the end of the night (i.e., 7 am)...if I hadn't moved, damn it, I would have been exactly two blocks away from my house. Growl.
Then we finally, on August 30, did the promised reading of my one act play at Sarah's bar, which was attended by damn near nobody...because, of course, with no friggin' computer, how was I sipposed to let people know? However, those who were there enjoyed it immensely, and we're going to do it again and film it, so there.
As to the hurricane...meh. The earthquake was more interesting. The hurricane was pretty much a non-event by the time it got to Manhattan, although it did a lot of damage around us. We got a lot of heavy rain and a lot of strong wind on Sunday. I made sure I had beer, cigarettes and cat food, those being the necessities of my life, and hunkered down...and then nothing much happened. I spent a lot of the hurricane standing outside the building smoking under an umbrella. You do have to remember that I'm originally a take on wild weather and high wind tends to be a bit casual because I grew up with it.
The earthquake was interesting, though. I was sitting in the kitchen, and I have shelves on my kitchen table (because this apartment doesn't have anything resembling enough cupboard space). All of a sudden the glasses I have there started clinking. I promptly looked under the table, assuming the cats (who continue to be a furry joy, even if they do destroy things and knock things over) were screwing around and banging into the table legs. They weren't, however, so I straightened up in my chair again and just then...the kitchen floor shifted. It took me a minute, but I suddenly realized that it had to be an earthquake (well, I didn't have a hangover and I hadn't been smoking anything more interesting than Marlboros, and I didn't have any new meds from the doctor, so...). I jumped up and went to stand in the kitchen doorway and braced myself there (yes, you really are supposed to do that), but it stopped. The reason for the doorway thing is that if you look at pictures of various bits of destruction, you will see that for some reason, possibly having to do with angles, doorframes seem to stay stable. In my building, which is made of a lot of thick stone, I wasn't particularly worried about collapse, but common sense will tell you that you don't want to be in an elevator, and you don't want to be on the stairs, which can (and do...look at those photos again) pull away from the wall. But it was certainly interesting!
Okay, now that everyone is sound asleep from the length of this missive, I am going to take a shower and go see Sarah at the bar, and I absolutely promise not to disappear for so long again! But it wasn't really my fault...blame Compaq.
Love, Wendy