Thursday, November 8, 2012

Back From The Abyss

Well, here I am again.  Isn't that amazing?  I have survived Sandy, and the following nor'easter, and two days in my law office job.

Let's get all caught up.

Before the weather happened, I did this bizarre little deferred pay short film shoot, wherein I portrayed a crazy lady at a flea market.  This was a week or two before the Halloween that wasn't.  The outfit was own clothing, with the exception of an amazing hat, which I'll get to.  Now, you have to understand that NONE of these clothes have ever been worn together in the history of man...I had a purple mid-calf length street fair cotton skirt, black tights with white socks over them and my ratty old sneakers, a wildly striped sweater with a beige cardigan over it, a huge tie-dye silk scarf around my neck, and a shocking pink furry newsboy cap.  And then they made me up as one of those people who puts it on with a trowel in the dark...big pink circles of rouge and eyebrows drawn with a Magic Marker sort of thing.  And my hair was teased where it stuck out of the cap.  Oh, I was elegant as shit. 

These kids evidently succumbed to wanderlust when choosing locations.  We shot on a Sunday and Monday.  Sunday the shoot was in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is impossible to get to.  You take a subway to some damn where in Brooklyn and then a LONG bus ride.  More or less parenthetically, I have never been able to understand Brooklyn bus routes.  A bus in Manhattan is named, say, the M14.  It travels on 14th Street.  See?  M14?  The 6th Avenue bus travels on Sixth Avenue.  Buses in Brooklyn, however, have routes that they evidently patterned after your basic corkscrew...they twist and turn and wander around.  Strange. 

Anyway, so we shot the flea market scene in a playground in Red Hook.

The next day we were called out in the extreme opposite direction.  A subway to Forest Hills, Queens, a place I've NEVER gotten the hang of.  Addresses in Queens are like this: 35-04 45th Avenue, on the corner of 74th Street.  Really.  I find the entire borough impossible.  But we were picked up in a van this time, and driven out to Long Beach, Long Island to shoot the dream sequence on the beach.  Yes, yes, children, there was a dream sequence on the beach.  These kids are aiming for the artsy market, obviously.  There was honestly a double bed, complete with quilts and pillows and all, and even a bedside table with a lamp.

Anyway, that was all quite fun, and I must say that when I went to the wrap party on Tuesday night, I was quite impressed with the clips of raw footage they showed.  Hey, you never know...they're talking about submitting the thing at Cannes.  Why not?

And then came Sandy.  It just occurred to me that Sandy slammed us on October 29...wasn't that the same date as the stock market crash?  Interesting.

Manhattanites are deeply complacent.  For reasons I've never been able to figure out, weather almost always goes AROUND Manhattan Island, instead of landing ON it.  This may perhaps be the concerted thoughts of Upper East Side women, all beaming "Don't you DARE rain on my Jimmy Choos!" at it, or perhaps the casual remarks of the downtowners, saying, "No, man, not tonight.  I got a good gig over on Ludlow Street."  But the fact remains, that while the rest of New York City gets trees uprooted, roof tiles blown all over the place, and all the other bits of disaster, Manhattan just doesn't.  Well, OK, there WAS the snow in 2010, but that's really, really rare.

So we here in the city kept saying, remember Hurricane Irene last year (wherein nothing at all happened in Manhattan, after days of weather person hysteria) and sort of ignoring things.  Oh, we stocked up on food, figuring it would probably rain (makes it a nuisance to get to the deli, you know), and some people got a couple of candles and maybe a new flashlight.

Boy, did we ever look stupid.

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself on Monday night, what with my elderly flashlight and my little box of small candles (yahrzeit candles, actually, for Jewish memorial flames and some menorahs).  I had a freezer full of food and plenty of cigarettes until it quit raining.  So I'm sitting there, when...flicker, flicker.  Hmmmm.  Well, Con Ed did mention brownouts.  Flicker, flicker.  Where did I put the candles?  Flicker, flicker.  Ominous music began to sound.  Flicker, flicker...phlumpf.  Darkness fell.

And darkness stayed, until the following Saturday.  By Wednesday, there was no edible food in the freezer and I was down to crackers and cheese and lukewarm water from the tap.  The cigarettes were gone and the only thing keeping me even reasonably sane was the fact that I have an electronic cigarette thing and it was still usable.  And of course no heat.  The flashlight was dying and I had two small candle stumps left.  My cell was dead...everybody's cell was dead.  Thank God the phone came back to life on Wednesday just long enough for me to get a message from Sarah that she had commandeered a knight in shining armor and a white horse and was riding to my rescue!

So off I went to Brooklyn.  (I'm so glad my kid understands me.  When she came to the door I hugged her and said, Oh, thank God. Gimme a cigarette.  NOW.)  The cure was almost worse than the disease, I must admit, since Sarah lives in a converted loft building with damn near no heat.  This I can live with, but the fact that all her friends were falling all over themselves to take care of me nearly killed me...their method of taking care of Mom was to keep buying her drinks.  And then more drinks.  And get the picture.

On Friday night late the lights finally came on at home, and Saturday afternoon I got home to two cats who were very pleased to see me...and a freezer which had refrozen.  This waiting until Saturday was intentional because that's what I wanted the freezer to do.  There is an enormous difference between throwing out soft, rotted, smelly food and nice neat solid packages of frozen rotted food.  The second way is MUCH better.

And in the middle of the storm week, Andrew the lawyer kept texting and calling me to see if I could come into the office.  I thought this was rather charmingly optimistic of him, since there was A. no transportation from Brooklyn, and B. his office is in the middle of what was the dark zone.  I wouldn't have been able to do anything if I HAD been able/wanted to go to work anyway. 

So I finally did go in Tuesday and yesterday.  Yesterday was just ghastly.  By the time I left the office, it was snowing horizontally and there was a 35 mile an hour wind.  I walked two blocks to my bus stop and damn near died, but the fates were finally smiling on me and I got a taxi. 

I keep you think that God has decided that we should have all of winter in one two week period?  Wouldn't that be a lovely idea?  If not, I don't even want to think about what comes next  On the other hand, OBAMA WON!  I swear, all this stuff with hurricanes and nor-easters paled in comparison with my absolute terror about this election...

So now I am going to do laundry, because there is not a clean piece of underwear any place here, and then I am going to restock my icebox, and then I am going to clean the damn house. 

I'm so glad to be home!

Love, Wendy

1 comment:

Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

Hey, Wendy...I am glad you survived Sandy. I hate to say it but your post had me laughing out loud.

But, as you said, OBAMA won so we can take anything now.