Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Can Always Move or, Who Died And Made You King?

I am getting increasingly annoyed at the newspaper stories about people complaining about the high noise level around their apartments.

Admittedly, I am a person who happens to love noise.  I am perfectly capable of tuning it out, and I can sleep through a nuclear war, so it's not on my list of things to complain about.  When I was apartment hunting, I kept having to explain this over and over to real estate people, who took one look at me and said, "You'll want a nice, quiet place."  No.  No, I won't.  A nice quiet place would make me absolutely crazy.  I live alone, and I spend a lot of time alone, basically out of choice...I'm quite fond of my own company.  But I like to know that life is going on around me.  Right now I have a yappy dog who lives on my floor (I just heard him in the hall making a few remarks), and a gent whom I think is next door to me who plays the drums at midnight.  This is just fine with me.  As are the large family parties that occasionally take place down the hall.  I think this is makes me feel at home.

I do, however, know that there are a lot of people who just hate this sort of thing, and that's their prerogative.  Who said we should all be alike?  The only thing I ask them to do is THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE YOU MOVE, for God's sake.

There was a story in the paper today or yesterday about a building where the residents are up in arms about a rooftop party that goes on next door to them.  These people moved into an apartment on Eighth Street in Greenwich Village, which is a large street that runs straight across town and contains a whole lot of restaurants and bars and shops and things.  And on Saturday night traffic tends to jam up on it and horns honk.  Did it not occur to these people that if they're living on a street like this they are not living in a gated suburban community?  Same with people who move in above a bar.  Did it somehow escape their attention that there was a bar right next door to the door they were walking into to see that apartment?  Did they think somehow that the bar would obligingly lower its noise level because they were now in residence?

Look, if you want to live right in the middle of things, you're going to have noise.  If you don't like noise, find another street to live on.  There are lots of nice quiet streets in New York, honest.

Now, if you've been living in a nice quiet apartment for a while and they decide to open a bar right under you, that's a different problem.  Now you do have a basis for complaint.  But NOT if they were there first.  Sheesh.

Love, Wendy (who has her radio going and is happily listening to that nice dog, too)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reprising My Famous Role as The Wicked Witch of the West by Melting

By which you may gather that, yes, I did play the Wicked Witch many years back, and yes, the temperature being 95 or so, I was back on the Boardwalk for a winter shoot on Friday.

And boy, was I ready for the Boardwalk.  I spent damn near the whole week with the lawyer, and I can't even begin to tell you how much that man is getting on my nerves.  I mean, a day or two, or even three, every now and then is fine, but he seems to be consuming WAY too much of my time at the moment.  However, I must remind myself that it's A. only six hours a day (actually seven hours, but there's lunch) and B. I do get paid, although not nearly enough.  Money is a GOOD THING.  Just ask Martha Stewart.

But then on Friday I got to go to the Boardwalk for an odd little call.  We weren't called for the van until 12:15 pm, so I figured we'd go into the night.  This was slightly annoying because my favorite band was playing at the Bistro, and I was beginning to get anxious text messages from the bar personnel as to whether I'd make it, which I thought was cute.  Everybody knows how much I love my band.  I even got one from Trish the bartender announcing that my seat at the bar was reserved, and sure enough, when I got there, there was a seat for me...with a Reserved card on the bar.  I loved it.

However, I had resigned myself to missing the band for once because I knew we were doing two scenes, and by dinner time (around 7 pm) we were just breaking to change into spring instead of winter clothes (i.e., take off the heavy coat, put on the sweater, change to a straw hat from a felt hat) and eat...when all of a sudden me and Joe (a cohort of mine) were told that we were wrapped. The reason was that both Joe and I are heavily featured in this's the one where I'm toothless...and the next shot would have brought us way too close to the action of the scene where we would have been recognizable.  Which would have been okay, except that we were were supposed to be in Atlantic City, and we'd both just been featured in the same time frame.  This was fine, except that we would have had to sit around in holding until everybody else was wrapped at 10:30 in order to get back to the city (the set is in a transportation desert in terms of subways and buses).  However, turns out that Joe had driven to the set that day and even though he lives in New Jersey, he was driving into the city for some reason.  This was fine with me.  It's not that I wouldn't have welcomed the extra money, but sitting around in holding reading a book for three hours or so isn't my idea of fun, and it wouldn't have resulted in much more than another say, 45 bucks on the paycheck...I can do without 45 bucks.  So I got to the bar in time to claim my Reserved seat and see my band, and everything in the garden was lovely...although I really, REALLY hope we've stopped shooting winter.  Two days of rivers of sweat is MORE than enough.

I have done almost nothing all day except read the papers, but I did actually manage to get some WD-40 on my sticky windows.  It seems to be working, but of course in the process of getting them open so I could use the stuff, I managed to pull something in my back.  Let's just hope that it really does work, because while I love my air conditioning, I don't want it on all the time...every now and then I like a little fresh New York City air.  (You have to realize what a total city kid I am...I go out to the country and the air makes me cough all the time.  I think it's the lack of exhaust fumes.)

Now I am sitting here cursing New York City's capricious weather.  Damn it, they PROMISED me thunderstorms.  They are STILL promising me thunderstorms,  Absolutely nothing is happening and there's not a cloud in the sky.  It's just NOT FAIR.  Growl.

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Wedding!

No, no, NOT mine.  I assure you, twice was more than enough.  No, these were the nuptials of one of the gals who works at the Bistro, and she had the reception at the Bistro and was kind enough to invite all the regulars.  Of course, this was sort of making a virtue out of necessity, since the owner of the Bistro is deeply opposed to closing the bar for private parties...if you want to have a gathering there, you just have various people wandering in for a drink.  However, they're kept away from the hors d'oeuvres and whatever free drink may be around, so it works out.

The bride threw together the wedding (they ran down to City Hall, I'm pretty sure) in about two weeks (no, I don't know why) and I must say, she did a hell of a job in so little time.  Decorated tables, wedding favors, adorable little bridesmaids, and her sister, whom I think must have been the maid of honor, in an astonishing outfit involving a silver sequined bra top and silver brocade skin tight more or less skirt...mostly less.  The bride herself wore something I wouldn't go near if you paid me, involving rhinestone beading, a large pouffy skirt with more rhinestones all over it, and a laced back...but in fact, it suited her and she looked lovely.  And the groom is a handsome guy who was wearing a white linen suit.

Anyway, a good time was had by all, including, one presumes, the old guy with the cane who sat out front at one of the tables all night eating, drinking, and clutching his cane (NOT a member of the wedding group), until he started to pass out and some kind Samaritan enlivened the wedding no end by calling for an ambulance.  So we have the wedding going on inside and the fire engine and the ambulance outside...welcome to a Greenwich Village wedding!  I hasten to add that the old gent was moving more or less on his own when they strapped him in a wheelchair for the ride to the hospital, so presumably he was fine when he sobered up a bit.

Meanwhile I'm still stuck with the damn law firm...I was there yesterday and I'll be there tomorrow and Friday, unless I get lucky and someone wants me for some REAL work. 

I was going to clean house today, which worked out as well as most of my plans to clean house do...i.e., I took a nap until the feeling passed.  However, the kids (Sarah and boyfriend Adrian) have promised me that they're coming over to move furniture next week, so maybe I can at least get that done.  Of course, I had to promise to come and actually sing at Sarah's Sunday night karaoke know she needs help getting an audience if she's actually ASKING me to sing.  I had high hopes of fucking up her brain entirely by singing the worst rap song I could dig up on the internet, but they're all so uniformly hideous that I figured I couldn't possibly.  It's really hard to sing when you're gagging.  And I know this because I was once doing musical summer stock when the entire cast came down with stomach flu...actually dancing was a real trip, too.  So maybe I'll just do Janis Joplin.

I have finally unpacked my brand new sewing machine.  It is GORGEOUS, but I'm slightly afraid of it.  I learned to sew on the one we had at home, which was of roughly 1920s vintage, so tomorrow I'm going to get some cheap fabric and after the law firm, I'll sit down with the manual and figure this new baby out.  Then I shall make myself something...probably a skirt, just to get my hand back in.  I used to be absolutely know, lined jackets, pleats, Shakespearean costumes, but it's been a while.  Best to start small.  Also, I haven't used a pattern in a sewing has been confined to cushion covers, Roman togas (production of Antigone), and capes (Halloween costume for Sarah), which anybody who can draw a circle can do.  Oh, cool!  In order to have room to lay out a pattern and actually sew things, I'm going to HAVE to clean house!  Yay!

Love, Wendy

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I have decided that there is far too much legal work in this world...or at least, that I'M doing far too much of it.

I have just spent four straight days at that damn legal office, because no film or TV show had the good taste to cast me.  It damn near killed me.

There is a perfectly good reason why I no longer work 9 to 5, which is; I HATE IT.  I hate the sameness of it, I hate the office politics of it (although given the size of this particular law office, we don't actually have any), and I absolutely hate going to bed every night knowing that I have to go to the same damn place tomorrow.  Now kindly remember that these are not the ravings of a Gen-Xer with a whole different agenda for life.  These are the ravings of someone who out of necessity lived the corporate life for WAY too long.

I love acting, even if it is background work, which, if you are realistic about it, is basically, as I've said before, being human furniture.  Thing is, though, if you're an actor, you can act it.  Even if your day is spent, as so many of mine are, walking back and forth, you can imagine WHY you might be walking back and forth.  You can make a nice little acting exercise out of it to keep your skills working.  For instance, when we're working out on the actual Boardwalk set, remember that I'm cast as lower class.  So put yourself there.  Your life, in the 1920s, is drudgery.  You probably have three or four children, a husband who makes very little money, a house in which you can't afford even the rudimentary labor-saving devices that were available then.   You probably huddle over a coal stove on winter nights, and that's probably what you cook on, too.  When your children get sick, you certainly can't afford a doctor, so you try to cure them with the family remedies handed down from your grandmother...castor oil, mustard plasters, hot and cold compresses.  You don't have pretty clothes.  Maybe you have one dress kept for "best"...and it has to last a LONG time.  You usually only wear it to church on Sunday.  Food is a constant struggle...both being able to afford it and then cooking it on that coal stove.

Now imagine that you get a day when you can go to THE BOARDWALK!  Without the kids!  Look at those lights!  Oh, look at all those rich women in their beautiful clothes, and the men in their elegant suits!  And the shops!  You can't possibly ever think you could buy anything in those windows, but you can look and dream, and it's free!  And maybe...if you've been VERY careful with the housekeeping can buy a piece of saltwater taffy.  Bliss...utter and complete bliss.

And this is what you do with a long, long day tromping up and down with your feet hurting in those goddamn vintage shoes.  And this is how you act.

Love, Wendy