Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Some punk tried to grab my iphone on the subway but all he got was a slice of skin from my right index finger.
He ran off the train like he thought he had it.
I am so officially a New Yorker now.
In other news, the pizza guy told me his name is Pablo but I am skeptical.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
- Yesterday: Work. Big salad. Laundry done. Sheets changed. Previous tenant's broken-ass TV thrown out. Boxes broken down and thrown out. Tub scrubbed. Floor cleaned. Rolly cart fixed. Kitchen leak repaired. Closet organized. Nails filed. Paper towels bought. Doughnut eaten.
- Today: Hang pictures, feed friend's cat, eat leftover fajitas and a Christmas orange, nap.
- Tomorrow, etc.: More work, Target spree, and post office to collect a package.
- Soon I hope to begin writing again. It's been nearly 5 months and 3 moves.
- 2009 will be great. No more nonsense.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I wish I had planned this whole Christmas thing a little better, but I just couldn't manage it. Mailed my gifts late. Must buy groceries. Must do laundry. Must clean new apartment.
Figured out if I turn off the radiator, it won't keep me up at night with the clangy-clangs. Today I dragged out the giant broken TV the previous tenant thoughtfully left behind. Gave the super a bottle of Patron, so maybe now he'll call the plumber about the giant leak in my kitchen. Gonna get those white plastic ties to snap onto my broken laundry cart rolly thing to try and fix it. Wanna hang some pictures. Need to go to Target for a pick-me-up but oh yeah, it's Christmas Eve and I'm at work.
The honeymoon's over. I was on a contact-high for two months after moving here. Time for reality.
In other news, I'm gonna do a minute of stand-up on Feb. 12.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Big picture still good.
These stupid tiny things that make NYC living a challenge got to me. Between the gaping hole and running leak in my new kitchen ceiling, to the movers costing an extra hour on Saturday, and a ton of other little things that are costing me money or time I don't have, I just lost my shit when my boss told me he wasn't sure I would get paid for five days of work this week. Maybe only two days.
Have I mentioned I'm paying double rent in Jan/Feb because I moved out in a jiffy from the place where my massage table was stolen?
It'll all work out and 2009 is gonna be great, but right now all I want to do is sleep and ignore my problems.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
He just takes it all so personally and tries to be cute about it. Which, if I were drinking the 'Bama Slama Kool-Aid like so many others, I probably would think is awesome.
Obama is a politician. A good one. With a fucking mess on his hands. He is human. He will err. There will be disappointment.
Right now I'm disappointed Clinton is going to be Secretary of State. It's like giving up. That woman is a policy wonk through and through, which is why I wanted her in the White House. And if she's not at 1600 PA, I want her in the Senate, drafting legislation, not having photo-op teas.
I hope the cost of selling her soul was that it will absolve her campaign debt.
Friday, December 19, 2008
This morning, as a parting gift (pun intended), PW, the Pantsless Wonder, greeted me outside my room with the best shot of her nylon-covered FUPA yet.
I could not count the folds. The folds, they were so many. So horrifying and so many.
Peace in your crease.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
APATHY: Yes SHREK
SHREK: Derora is there pls ask your doubt
Derora Noo: this is about ticket 1681686?
Derora Noo: maybe we should bring PAUL BUNYAN in? he requested it
Derora Noo: ok. hang on
APATHY: This is done by BLAGOJEVICH from Offshore team
APATHY: if you check the notes you come to know
Derora Noo: PAUL BUNYAN will join us
Derora Noo: first, are you saying that because BLAGOJEVICH wrote the note saying it was done that it is done?
Derora Noo: is that what you are confused about?
SHREK: PAUL BUNYAN are u there
Derora Noo: i invited him and he said he'd join
Derora Noo: but back to APATHY's question...
Derora Noo: are you saying that because BLAGOJEVICH put a note in saying that the work was done that it is your belief that the work was done?
APATHY: did u checked
APATHY: This is the ticket 1681686
APATHY: when where 1681686 raised, ITCO contact DBA and asked them to execute immediately
Derora Noo: SHREK, could you please invite PAUL BUNYAN into the chat? i've invited him 3 times but it's not working and maybe it has to be you who invites him
APATHY: Pls check with you team
APATHY: whether it was done or not
Derora Noo: APATHY, i'm sorry but i'm having a hard time understanding you.
Derora Noo: if you are asking whether or not the work was done, it was not done
Derora Noo: it clearly was not done
Derora Noo: many many emails are going around saying there are problems and it was not done
APATHY: it means request was not done
APATHY: let me chk
Derora Noo: if you are doubting this because BLAGOJEVICH wrote a note in 1681686 saying it was done, let me tell you it was not done
Derora Noo: absolutely and without a doubt
Derora Noo: he did the GR and i guess he thought he did the CCP
Derora Noo: but he did not.
APATHY: ok then let me chk
APATHY: This is the only request 1681686
Derora Noo: this is one of the emails i got outlining the problems: "I don't see the changes from 1681686 as requested. This ticket is NOT completed."
Derora Noo: yes. that is the only request we are talking about
Derora Noo: also, PAUL BUNYAN said the wrong log was attached to the CCP
Derora Noo: so you see there are many problems and reasons why this is not done
APATHY: I am checking the request
APATHY: give me 2 min
APATHY: This the only request #1681686
Derora Noo: yes
Derora Noo: if you need further info on the ticket, please ping PAUL BUNYAN.
Derora Noo: ok?
APATHY: can u pls invite PAUL BUNYAN
APATHY: into this chat
Derora Noo: i have invited him 3 times and it's not working. i think SHREK has to invite him
Derora Noo: i just pinged SHREK
Derora Noo: SHREK is inviting PAUL BUNYAN
SHREK: i did
PAUL BUNYAN entered the room.
Derora Noo: hi PAUL BUNYAN
PAUL BUNYAN: Hi
Derora Noo: APATHY has questions about 1681686
And so on and so on and so on and so on until it finally stopped three hours later.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
1) I'm mildly crushing on this Eastern European guy. Someone told me he's German but that just can't be right, though after my recent bout with my filthy roommate the Pantsless Wonder, perhaps it's an attraction to cleanliness?
2) The Olympian is out with Ebola. I said nothing as he coughed and then shoved his hand in my jar of raw almonds all day long. They were expensive.
3) I bought my new iPhone Priscilla a cute pink gel dress.
4) I got a corporate blogging/consulting gig.
5) I have three plays in the hopper--one that is being workshopped in the spring, one I'm working on with a friend in Minni for the Fringe '10 circuit, and another that's got no deliverables attached.
6) I'm reading Fever/Dream and totally digging it.
7) Can't wait for Blasted on Saturday. Seriously pissed to miss Philip Roth in Khartoum.
8) In anticipation of my move, I'm fashioning a shiv from a plastic comb. Maybe I'll buy it a cute pink gel dress, too.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The important thing is, I'm getting out.
The ironic thing is, there are fewer roaches lately.
The sad thing is, my massage table is still missing. Stolen. Whatevs.
Oh, did I tell you? I don't think I did. Well, let me tell you. The other day I learned that when my roommate is naked and walks through the house with a bath towel around her, it does not cover all the things I would rather not see.
So the Pantsless Wonder is having a party Thursday night. At one point she had said, "I mean, you live here, so, if you want to join in, of course, I'm not going to say no..." and of course I took from that subtle turn of phrase that it would be happier for all if I found something else with which to occupy my time for the evening. Gladly. And I know it's a big deal for her so I am making sure my boxes and whatnot are out of the way, and that my packing is done.
So I made the mistake of asking this woman with whom I have yet to have a non-awkward, non-irritating conversation with, if there were a certain chunk of time she was planning the dinner for, so I would know how long to occupy myself, because I'll probably want to get to bed at a decent hour.
PW: Well, I mean, it's a whole evening. It's a party. It's a Christmas party.
DN: Is there a time when you think it would peak? Like dinner time? Because I can make sure I'm out there so it's not awkward.
PW: Well. Yeah. That would be weird. It would be great if you weren't here then.
DN: That's why I'm asking. When do you think that would be?
PW: Well, I mean. I don't know. People are coming from work, and some people might spend the night.
DN: Any idea of a start or end time?
PW: Well, I mean, it's a party.
DN: That's cool.
PW: I mean. I just. I told people to get here at 6:30, so. I mean. I don't know.
DN: Got it.
PW: I just. I don't know what to tell you. It's a party.
DN: Okay. No worries.
It actually went on much longer than that, but I want to spare you the horror.
Have I mentioned my boss aka The Olympian and his girlfriend are coming to this party? They went to college together.
I'm just gonna come and go as I please and be myself.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Um, I have an assload of packing to do.
Went to the Zipper Factory tonight, then out for a lengthy discussion about rats over Korean fare, then munched peanut M&Ms on the way home while missing seeing a friend on SNL tonight.
Did I tell you I saw a rat hopping up the stairs at the Columbus Circle station? We were all rooting for it as it threaded its way between the feet of oblivious commuters.
I fucking love New York.
My local pizza parlor man said, "Hello beautiful lady," when I walked in for my slice today. He's kind of hot. And intimidating. In an older, close-cropped hair, thickly accented, slightly perspiring, no-nonsense kind of way. He's always flapping pizzas and cartons and bags and coinage and phones around at once while he says, "Go?" which means, Is this to go? but of course it takes me a second so then he's all, "Stay? Go?" and I'm like, "Oh, to go, please."
Today I stayed.
Friday, December 12, 2008
And only .85714 roaches per month, according to the previous tenant.
Step 1: Cut a hole in the bagel...
So I've been happily slaving away at the Peacock for a couple months now. I'm a ninja temp because I do not have a permanent cube, chair, computer, or phone. I sit IN my boss's cube. IN his cube. 24 inches away. With my knees crunched up against his lateral file.
Luckily my boss (aka The Olympian) Facebooks more than I.
It has come to light, over lo these many weeks, that I have an ironically stellar knack for NOT spotting stars. The Olympian and I will leave the elevator bank and head for Starf*x for our third iced tea of the day, and he'll be like, "Didja see?" And I'll be all, "Crap! Who'd I miss now?"
So after I missed Fred Armisen* because I was too busy having an awkward moment with the electronic exit-thingy (it likes to punch my c#nt)**, I decided we needed a code word.
As in, "Bagel, nine o'clock," which is my cue to quietly slide my eyes to the left. When it's a big star, he says, "Big Bagel," but sometimes I still can't spot 'em. Like it took me forevers to recognize Tom Brokaw, who is surprisingly soft-shouldered.
Step 2: Put your junk in the bagel...
So there's this guy here at NBC, this short older journeyman-looking guy with glasses who my boss and I call...The Bagel Hunter. Complete with his own theme music. One time we ran into him and he was all, "I rode up the elevator with Alec Baldwin, down with Salma Hayek and child, and back up with Rosie O'Donnell."
I kind of hate him a little. Bagel envy is an ugly thing.
Step 3: Make her--
All right! Give a girl a little shmear already!
So last night, as I was getting ready to go into BAM to see Pina Bausch, and replaying the fabulous conversation I'll have with Jeremy Piven when we bump into each other on the street, The Olympian texts me on my hot new pink-gelled iPhone. "Double Bagel," he says, which was oddly erotic. He wouldn't text me back who he'd seen, but that's okay, because I rode on the elevator with Frank Langella today for a whole minute (very tall). The Olympian agrees my Frank Langella beats his double-bagel sighting of Kanye and Hugh I'm-A-Perfect-Actor Laurie, but I'm not so sure.
Then, as a bonus, today I saw the Jizz-in-my-pants guy who is NOT Andy Samberg.
Now that's good shmear.
* Have you seen his videos to and from Charlyne Yi? Who is funnier I simply cannot tell.
** Can you imagine the creeps who'd come here via Google if'n I actually spelled that out loud?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I have an exciting (and vaguely disorienting) hunch that I can now watch tv shows and listen to NPR on my iPhone. But that's like third base, and we skipped first, so we're hitting pause in our relationship, this newfangled technology thing and I. Even though I am a little wet.
I also ate a cream puff from the Russian deli.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
So I saw a cute studio last night. Perfect. Tall ceilings, huge closet, granite kitchen counters, new parquet floor. $800 a month. $40 for electric. I have the paperwork filled out and am even willing to fork over a ridiculous $250 non-refundable application fee to get it.
Then I had a massage tonight. A 90-minute massage that left me feeling like I'd been f*cked six ways to Sunday.
And on my wobbly-kneed way home, I realized that by moving to this incredibly cheap apartment in the middle of an incredibly poor neighborhood, I will be seriously limiting my social options.
Who will chat me up at the grocer's?
What will my neighborhood bar be like?
Who will make the trek for a booty call?
For many years, I bought $10 clothes off the clearance rack at Marshall's. Then a friend in Connecticut gave me a ton of expensive, gently used clothes, and she loaned me a $2,000 suit to interview in.
When you're deprived emotionally and financially over the years, you become inured to it.
Maybe that's not such a great thing.
I realized I'm turning a year older next month.
I have a great long-term temp job, and I am talking with a Canadian company about doing some consulting. My thought was, if those things fall through because of the economy, it would be better to have an $800 rent. But isn't that planning for the worst? I've planned for the worst for so long that so now when crappy things happen I'm not really affected by them.
Like when my massage table is stolen. Or when your kitchen has a roach infestation and your roommate doesn't care. Or when a roommate walks around without pants on.
But in this economy, isn't it wise to plan for the worst?
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Oh, and remember how I was all kinds of worried about that technical writing project? My boss is all up in my sauce over it! Yay for new skillz!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
So last night, I got the idea to move my room around. You know, like you do when you live in a 9x10 room and you keep trying to find the optimal floor plan. When I moved my bed around, I thought, "Wow, that's bizarrely easy to move, considering the things I have underneath it: guitar, keyboard, hat suitcase, tennis rackets, and massage table."
My massage table is missing. Missing.
WTF? Who steals a massage table?
On the upside, I have way more floor space now in my reconfigured room.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
WHERE: The A train from 59th to 181st.
YOU: Asian hipsterine in a beret with ukelele in tow.
ME: White girl in long mohair coat.
Let's meet up so I can stab you in the head for playing "La Isla Bonita" for 122 blocks.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I do not like it, Sam I am.
It'd be different if the writing were somehow creative, but it's using up all my writing juice and disrupting my rhythm, my Charlie Brown Christmas rhythm of the four-fingered hands moving back and forth to decorate the dog house. For Reals, yo.
I do however, like Juice Beauty. All organic products and my skin has never looked better in six short days.
And I like peppermint hot chocolate. Twice in one weekend I like it I like it yes yes I do.
I took a private Pilates lesson today that spanked me hard. I fully expect to be unable to walk tomorrow. And Tuesday. And possibly Thursday.
Looking forward to my boss (aka The Olympian*) coming back from Japan tomorrow, so he can tell me how badly I'm screwing up this technical writing thing. (I'm writing a Console Administration User Manual for Social Tools linked to Domain Sites. You heard me.) I am doing a half-assed job not out of laziness, but because I have only half a clue.
I do not like sucking.
OH! A friend from DC was in town Friday so I hung out with her and her Sig-O. And I had a loverly two-hour-plus convo with another friend last night.
One of the best things about moving is that you hold on to the people who mean the most.
Today is the 10th of 10 days working from home. Looking forward to a giant salad tomorrow. Romaine, grilled chicken, black olives, corn, peas, cheddah, and a tangy anchovy chipotle dressing. $8. My main meal of the day, Monday through Friday.
RATS SPOTTED TODAY:
Eight, including a mother and baby. Mom chased off another rat that was in their way. By far the most rats I see are in Columbus Circle.
Why is Coldplay so damn catchy? (Rhetorical.)
*Seriously. An Olympian. Who is an epicure. Who sews his own clothes. Who is dating a burlesque dancer. She who happens to work with spies.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I do not prepare food in the house and I re-wash silverware before I use it. (I do not use glasses or dishes.)
The roommate is still gone. I'm feeding her cat, whose food is in a bag on the kitchen floor. Each time I go to feed the cat, dozens of roaches pile out of the folds of the bag.
My roommate doesn't think it's so bad. She said, "It used to be there were roaches on the ceiling, so this is nothing."
You might recall that the day I scrubbed the crusty roach feces and corpses off the counter she was deeply shaken. She was thinking I was judging her. You'd think someone would be glad to have a roommate who cleans. And I wasn't making any comments about how gross it was, I was just cheerily cleaning. Not frantically, not passive-aggressively, not in front of her, not to shame her, just happy to do my part to clean. For this I was labeled aggressive, but when asked for details she could not say how I was aggressive. She did say she wants me to feel comfortable here, to which I replied I did not feel comfortable.
Now, I know that everyone has a way they were raised, everyone has a different tolerance for how bad the trash or recycling gets before taking them out, how often to vacuum and dust, how often (if ever) you clean the tub. And I respect that to have someone move in and want to clean can feel invasive, even if it's a good thing.
So now I am in a position where it would be against my nature to go ahead and clean when I know that it is something that will deeply upset my roommate. Like she was all excited that I would be contributing nice silverware to the household, but I can't bring myself to intermingle mine into the drawer that has several dead roaches in it. Problem is, I don't feel I can do what I want, which is to remove everything from the drawer, clean it, and put it all back because it would upset my roommate so much.
I can't live like this.
In an attempt to do something that I hope she doesn't notice, I pulled her cat food and cat dishes out and scrubbed the kitchen floor, sending about a dozen or so tiny roaches scurrying under the floor shelving. That's when I saw that there were about a dozen dead roaches on one of MY pristine shelves of canned goods and very clean dishes and tupperware.
Only the roaches weren't dead.
So I got the spray out. (We have two cats, so I've been avoiding this.)
I sprayed into the crevice beneath the shelving on the floor. Dozens more came scuttering out, gasping for air. Big ones. So I'm on the floor cleaning all this up. And I start tossing my now-dirty dishes, plasticware, and knives into the sink.
And I start to cry.
This is not okay.
So if you come to visit, stay out of the kitchen. We'll be eating out, or eating what I can keep in the house: apples, granola bars, yogurt, and cottage cheese. I have not seen the roaches anywhere else in the house and I am careful to not eat in my room or my office.
She's having a Christmas dinner party here in a few weeks and said I could come if I want because I live here.
Despite her oh-so-enthusiastic invitation, I think I'll pass.
Maybe I'll lose weight from all this.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
So I got shuffled around six different cubes yesterday at work, all of them in what's referred to by everyone as The Pit of Despair, I kid you not. (I rechristened it the Bowels of Entropy, which seemed more lyrical.)
The highlight was being treated to a stellar lunch at Frickin' Olive ("Fig & Olive" but whatev, Trev) by a friend who was in town for an audition and who was quite irritable about it. (Is it so wrong that I love NY when so many of my friends hate it?)
As you know, I've been running all over NY, seeing as many readings and shows as possible, learning which theatres do what plays. I've also been reading a play a day in my new role as Literary Manager, so I've really been in New Play Heaven.
Well, I got all bold and emailed an Artistic Director of one of the theaters I'm particularly taken with, introduced myself, and he emailed back. I ran into him last night and said howdy.
I had no follow-up. I said the most trite shite. I said things like "smorgasboard" and "inspiring" while looking at the floor.
You heard me.
As if the floor could have helped me.
I may as well have said "Schreentklmmmphle," which is Yiddish I made up just now for "Have you seen my yellow helmet I must have misplaced it OH it's over there okay bye now."
I know we all have these moments, and I know that when they happen, they feel ten times worse than they actually are, but holy cow my head voice was screaming, "Evacuate! Evacuate!" while my outside voice kept trying to gain social traction, which of course just made it worse.
Part of the reason I've self-produced is because it's easier for me to produce my own plays than it is for me to ask someone else to do it. Also, I think it's just better if you just go ahead and do your thing, do your work, and if someone's interested, they'll find you, right? Even if it takes 'til you're 50, right?
I know I know I know.
I said I know!
Which is why I was trying something new, can you just listen for a minute before you start in? I just got a little too far outside of my comfort zone.
Speak on a panel? Sure! Teach a class? No problemo. Navigate a talkback? Easy peasy! Approach a director? I'm sorry, what EXACTLY makes you think anyone is remotely interested in anything you have to say, young lady. Or your little plays.
And so it all slammed back, stuff I didn't think still affected me, stuff I wish I could surgically excise from the deepest part of my wormy gut: being the new kid at 12 different schools and being ignored and ridiculed by my awesome family. Not actually speaking hardly at all. Ever. Until I started writing plays.
Yeah, this whole Late Bloomer Thing is awesome and Yes I'm going to read Malcolm Gladwell's new book so I'll feel all kinds of validated and all, and I know these experiences are my richest blessings as a writer, but they're also my biggest stumbling blocks to "fitting in." Which sometimes is all I want for Pete's sake.
And I realize I'm new here, I'm going to these things alone, and I have NO track record in this town, so I'm cutting myself a break. I just can't see very far down the road right now, and I want to find my way.
I think I'm a little lonely. Fuck if I just didn't type that out loud. But it's all good. I'm here to bring to bear all the beautiful recent changes in my life, to push myself to write better, and to claim a space somewhere.
I've been so high about moving here that I needed this little correction in the market of optimism.
But more to the point of this blog post's title...
I've said it before and I'll say it again, though someone once took me to task for blaming women for the sexism that exists in theatre...we are not socialized to promote ourselves. To make an "ask" is to step miles outside our comfort zone. To approach the demographic group of Men Who Have Power In This Business and to engage them in your work is something most of us are ill-equipped to do. So we are assistant directors, assistant artistic associates, literary managers, and dramaturgs. We help.
We are not in charge, though the argument could be made that we should be.
So it is easier to self-produce, something I am tired of doing. I want to play. I want to be a part of something, not an amateur auteur.
I believe in my work, even if I don't know how the hell to present it. I'm a conflicted mashup of "The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity." I think I'm two plays away from hitting my stride.
Luckily, I had a long subway ride home to sulk over all of this. I took the D to 59th, where I had thought I'd caught the A train, when in fact I had simply caught another D train, something I didn't realize until I got to 167th Street in the Bronx and had to turn around.
And, for a moment, for a beautiful, metaphorical, preSocratic moment, I became Zeno's famously immobile arrow.
RATS SPOTTED TODAY
Eight: a record, though I had hoped for more.
*I'm referencing the current discussion that's been chronicled in the Times about how women playwrights are demanding parity on main stages. (Parity is the wrong argument to make, but my argument is for another blog post.)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
For now, my roommate--who I kid you not was VERY upset that I cleaned the roach crud off the kitchen counter, like I mean so upset that she raised her voice and said I was aggressive and so now I'm all kinds of skrrt to clean the tub (which of course I'm dying to do)--sent me a nice card thanking me for taking care of her cat.
I think maybe she's high-strung, but means well. As I've been saying, she's not crazy and she pays her bills on time, which is GOLD in a NYC roommate. I am convinced good will on both our parts will prevail.
Anyway, I have the apartment to myself for the next few weeks, as she's out of town working on shows.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I have wondered in recent years what my response will be when she does pass on. We've had such a troubled relationship, and I've moved from sorrow to anger and now pretty much I just feel compassion peppered with occasional frustration. I've known that her death will have a profound impact on me, I just don't know what it will be--guilty relief? a child's rage? a deep and wordless sorrow?
My response in the dream was curious to me because it was none of these. I can't put words to it other than to say that it was an emotion that I knew could only come when your mother dies; and that it was transforming.
I took the dream as a sign that something had shifted in me, something had let go. When we dream of death, it's said we're experiencing great change in our lives, shedding layers of ourselves, saying goodbye to parts of our psyche that are no longer useful.
I thought the dream's significance was that I were somehow finally free.
See, ever since I can remember, up until last week, every other day or so I'll have a nightmare involving my mother. I feel chased, caught, trapped, suffocated, frightened. I've watched murders, knowing my mother was in the house. I've watched houses crumble from the inside, knowing she was there. I've witnessed torture, unsure of which was more frightening--that or my mother. I've hidden in closets and run through strange homes, all the while feeling watched by her. I never see her in the dream, but I know she's there. They almost don't even qualify as nightmares anymore because I'm like, "Oh, I know this dream. Here we go again. Fuck."
Um, it's a little oppressive.
So I was excited to think I'd have new dreams.
Last night, in a dream about being unable to reach things physically; about watching a Rabbi friend have a sermon interrupted; about noticing that a dedicatory plaque in the synagogue had misspelled my name (well, had used my birth name instead of my chosen name [!]); about walking with several other people whose faces I could not see--all of us with rolly luggage--under a covered walkway that had coins flatly embedded in the sticky and uneven macadam; about my new pair of glasses having a broken nosepiece and me then having to wear old glasses through which I could not see clearly...
There she was. I could not see her, but she was there. Watching, judging, interfering energetically.
She is never a loving presence. I am always terrified.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sometime back in September, before the deadline, my latest play was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize. It is utterly ridiculous to even hope my play might be a finalist, something which would make it oh-so-easier to get an agent, but it's pretty darn awesome to be nominated.
Meant to tell you.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Our mission statement is very specific. Along the lines of, "We produce plays written between 1928 and 1953, by female Polish amputee emigres with curly facial hair." Yes, I exaggerate, but still, 95% of the plays we get are way off-base.
Yesterday, on my way in, I read a submission about a family recovering from their daughter's attempted suicide. Not one moment of humor in the whole thing, just an inexorable succession of weepy regrets and carefully unfinished sentences, which of course meant that, once I reached my job at 30 Rock, I wanted to hurl myself from the parapets to accomplish what the play's hapless daughter could not.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
SUBWAY RATS SPOTTED
6 in 60 seconds--a new record
ROACHES SPOTTED (and not the good kind)
Subset: LIVE: a baker's dozen
Subset: DEAD: way more
Subset: KILLED BY ME: not nearly enough
Did you know that, if kitchen counters aren't kept clean, and roaches turn the back of the spice rack into a makeshift jungle gym, then the tiny feces they eject get all encrusted on the counter? Let me tell you, it takes gobs and gobs of disinfectant wipes to get that stuff off.
Bit by bit, people. Much as I'd like, I can't just hose the place down, 'cause that's like screaming THIS PLACE IS DISGUSTING. And my roommate has stepped up to do the dishes more, which is awesome. She's now gone for a month, so I have high hopes that deep inroads will be made, and new tactical lines drawn on the formica battlefield.
Today I cleaned her cat's food dishes.
No wonder I haven't had an appetite lately.
That's not true. Today I went to a famous Russian deli that's a few blocks from me, and bought some baklava, some cheese pierogi, and some chopped beet salad. I also continued with the carrots and hummus theme of the week.
So last night I went to The Public and saw a LABrynth reading of a David Bar Katz play, featuring Eric Bogosian as a prophesying Jew mad with grief, who gets a whole shul to go along with his morally and literally suicidal plans. It was pretty great. I kept almost crying, then laughing. Deep in Act 2 it's revealed what propels him--he watched his wife be raped, her baby taken from her belly, a cat placed inside her, her belly sewn up, and her slow death from being clawed apart from the inside. Then he watched the soldiers laugh because the cat is still trying to escape. True story.
It almost redeems him.
See, the main character tells of the messiah coming, and he says that for God to redeem them all, they must break every Jewish law known. They go along with this, for various reasons.
Human nature's way of believing what we need to believe.
It was at this point in the play that I was reminded of George W. and his special brand of fearmongering psychopathia, how he was so successful early on in mobilizing paranoia into an almost religious frenzy.
It took us eight years, but the masses finally wised up, unlike the people in the play, who die in a fire, waiting for God to show up.
At the talkback, the question was raised as to whether the play were too offensive to be produced. I was kind of like, "It's not offensive, but isn't that why we do theatre in the first place? To offend intelligently? To provoke?" But I kept it all on the inside. Y'know, 'cause I'm new here.
Anyway, I was going to go back tonight for another reading, because, once you pay $81 for your monthly subway card, everything that's free feels freer because it don't cost nothing to get there, yo.
BUT, at 6:00pm, the chopped beet salad and the carrots and the hummus joined forces to morph into an angry meerkat trapped in my colon. Nothing foul was actually leaving my person, other than an occasional loud "piyGOOORRRRRRRphwskskOOORRRRssth." It was the kind of sound that, if it happens while someone is telling you something, upon hearing your shrieking bowel, the speaker will stop mid-sentence and look at you with a mixture of disgust and alarm.
Now, I know at least one of you reading this has sat next to me at a play and endured these unstoppable, unmutable noises and my consequent sweating and straining not to laugh at the dirty horribleness of it all. Seeing as I'm new in town, and trying to make a good impression and all, I eschewed the reading in favor of a Big Salad with a spicy dressing. I forgot to get a drink, and so the salad became rather painful. Tried to remedy this with an iced skim chai (because caffeine is best consumed at night), and then walked to Columbus Circle, where a giant gay marriage march was happening. "No 8, No Hate, Separate, Church and State!"
Oh, and I got paid. FINALLY.
Monday, November 10, 2008
But I shall try.
I ate an entire pound of hummus. With carrots. And with my fingers, when I ran out of carrots.
Did I tell you I saw Michael Weller's "Fifty Words" at MCC? Barring the subject matter (white married couple arguing--yawn) it was great acting and direction, and I loved the shape of the dialogue.
Finally I saw something that was inspiring and technically thrilling.
I also saw a reading at Ensemble Studio Theater and another one at New York Theater Workshop. Both plays were fine but not quite my cup of tea. It's just great to start to see these fabled theaters up close. Going to The Public tomorrow.
(Note to self: Learn which theaters spell their names "re" and which spell them "er.")
And I just found out I'm going to see "Blasted" with one of my favoritest people on the planet and her lovely spouse, who is also one of my favoritest people.
Life can be damn good even when you're broke as fuck.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
After five days and nine emails, I was told there would be a manual check cut and ready for me on Friday (yesterday).
There was not.
Then I was told that it had gone in via direct deposit.
It had not.
Then I was told that it would go in via direct deposit on Saturday.
It did not.
AND, now I cannot enter my hours for my work the week of November 3, which is the same reason the problem above started.
I double-check my trusty American Express account, which I have been relying on through this move, figuring at least I've got that as backup until this gets straightened out. I have been a card member for 18 years. I have never had a late payment. My available credit is $3,000.
Not anymore. Due to the economy, they down-sized my credit limit to $2,000 without telling me.
So I call American Express.
And what do they tell me? They tell me the $150 check I wrote Kermit last week for helping me move bounced like a fat man on a trampoline. Because it would have put me $24--TWENTY-FOUR WHOLE DOLLARS--over my newly lowered limit.
Did I mention I've never had a late payment in 18 years?
I hate American Express. And I hope they have a Google alert for "I hate American Express" that brings them here so they can read this and be ashamed of their ridiculous, short-sighted, panicky-ass selves.
And just for good measure, "American Express sucks."
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Did you know that?
Well I'm a-telling you it's true.
Flirty-flirt, flirty-flirt, flirty-flirt flirt.
Digging the jay-oh-bee. I get to say these kinds of things: "I need an emergency ccp for ticket number 5687122 because they need to extend the change control window to complete the database index drops they couldn't finish offshore last night." I try to inflect my delivery with a Mametian sort of patter.
Then my boss buys me ice cream. Or an ice-cold chai. Or a salad. With peas.
He literally said, "If you ever wake up with a hangover, just work from home."
Got comps for 50 WORDS on Saturday. Can't wait. I'm hoping it's going to be the first piece of NY theatre that really blows me away.
Oh yeah, and I'm stoked about our new Democratic regime. Totally turned on.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
By 7pm today I am done d-u-n done.
God willing, so is McCain.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Subway to Grand Central. Hop train to CT. Get picked up at station. Stop at Target for cat litter. Pick up SUV and get it detailed and gassed. Drive to NYC. Drop off cat litter, pick up stenchified rug. Drive all night to the Eastern shore of MD. Arrive 2am. Turn clocks back. Sleep. Arise. Eat eleventy pieces of bacon. (I am not a Jew.) Return stenchified rug to Target, and in the process explain my incredibly chaotic but wonderful move to NY in answer to the question, "You live in NY but you bought the rug here?" Return SUV to its rightful owners. Hitch ride to Metro. Walk to bus stop. Arrive in NYC 10pm.
*Anyway, if you are one of the friends, please continue to keep this anonymous until I decide it's not. Thx. Oh, and some of you have yet to come up with clever pseudonyms.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Went through Times Square to get there. Forgot it was Halloween. Tits and ass galore. Swaggering packs of boys hissing boozy lewdness. In a few hours all the cool kids'll be having some form of sex they'll regret. Then they'll puke. Then they'll wake up and be all, "So." "So." "Coffee?" "Sure," while the renegade sperm beelines for the egg.
At the theatre, I was like, "Is that someone dressed up like Fred Armisen?" Then I was all, "IS that Fred Armisen?"*
It was Ben Brantley. In the flesh. In the costume of a scary theater critic.
My 14th day in the city, and my first celebrity sighting is Ben Brantley.
I also saw my first rat.
*I adore Fred Armisen.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
"Slice of Life" aka Naturalism: All the little things that don't make up full blog posts by themselves.
Pi: Goes on forever.
See? How it is, is pie works on many levels. 'Cause that's how pie rolls. Sideways.
1) All my female friends in NY are pregnant. Okay, only two, but that's like a lot. Both are having boys, and one is having twins. I'm fascinated, but I know there's nothing I can do.
2) There was an accordion player in the subway this morning. For a moment it made the stench of urine go away. Still, I did not tip him.
3) I downsized the jeans I bought in Harlem. I could be wrong, but I think my Manhattan Ass is beginning to reveal itself. It's called "Lift" and "Separate," people, lift and separate.
4) This pie is good. A little on the sweet side.
5) 90-Day Goals: two spec scripts and one short story. The former for money, the latter for fun.
6) I can't vote. Stayed with friends in CT while I looked for a NYC job and home. Didn't know how long it'd take, so I registered in CT. Moved to NY 13 days ago, too late to register in NY. Can't get back to CT Tuesday for less than $150, involving trains and long cab-rides. F*ck me hard without taking my pants off.
7) Dreamt I killed a strange white man twice by shooting him in bed. In his big brown left eye.
8) I am seeing very few men on the subway or street I would screw.
9) The network where I Ninja-Temp broadcasts a show Saturday nights at 11:30pm. The floor I work on is right above that floor, and there's a little glass balcony where you can look down over the studio. Today was the day they were rehearsing, so I wandered over three times to peek. It was always just crew.
10) The majority of the people I work with are in India. I IM them all day and they ignore me. Happy Diwali.
11) Saw a reading of The Cenci by Shelley on Monday night. Incest and murder--yum.
12) Saw Crawl, Fade to White last night.
13) Seeing Mouth to Mouth Friday night. High expectations.
14) Am not doing Halloween this year, unless you count hanging out with my Black cat. Whom I can't vote for on Tuesday.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
#2: So late yesterday someone landed a zinger that send me reeling. It only happens a few times a year now, as I've learned all sorts of ways of managing this relationship. There's no point being on guard, because the missiles that get through are so strategic, they would shatter any defensive border I could erect anyway, and who wants to walk around being paranoid.
I was up very late, tending to my hurt, when I realized, at 3:24am, that my life is pretty damn great. I'm living and working in the city I've always wanted to be in, and I have a small career as a writer of Things.
This someone can't touch that.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Tonight I was supposed to go to Waverly Inn, but my pal is stuck on assignment in DC. I really don't mind because yesterday I ran into a giant wall of tired.
One week in NY and the YES keeps growing in my belly. Still, it hasn't been easy--having to move my stuff in a series of road trips in an SUV because, while I know a lot of people in NY, they're all either pregnant or have bad backs and so I am unloading all my crapola alone. With the flu. Slept very little this week thanks to the rug I bought for my nap-cubby; the off-gasses were making my nose bleed/sore throat/stomach-ache so I rolled it up in garbage bags and will have to return it.
Bitch bitch bitch.
I dig my new job--my boss buys me venti iced chai and shares insider NY scoopage. (Still no celebrity sighting--they must have a special door. Guards everywhere.) I succeeded with the wardrobe and hair corrections (posts below). Got to know my roommate a little. Cooked some pasta. Grocery shopped. Rearranged my room. All lovely. And this weekend I get to sleeeeeeeeeep.
And I made my first random subway friend! He was on his way to a comedy audition. He actually made me laugh out loud on the silent, sleepy train. It was nice to know I'm not the only friendly one in this machine of a city.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I was like a pale ethnic schwa.
Well, last week I had an unfortunate encounter with highlights, and people now assume I've had children.
Sometimes we compare choices that are wise against those that, in retrospect, are foolish.
This ill-advised decision stemmed from NOT wanting to look like every other "serious" East Coast female theater artist, with dark, messy-banged hair and chunked-out eyeglasses. I was all, I want to be an individual. I'll be the playwright people have to take seriously despite her sloppy American blondeness and boobage.
I even wore a floral skirt the other day. If you know me, can you even picture it? NO.
All I want is a box of dark dark hair dye. Stat.
Of course I got my lanyarded plastinated magnetized work ID today, complete with a photo of my expensive mistake. Sigh. At least I look like I have a black eye in the pic. Yeah, 'cause I'm a badass ninja cube-rat.
*That I worked at a synagogue and speak Italian supported these assumptions.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Cute top, pair of chucks, good to go.
Here in NY, I work at a major network conglorporation. Now, I'm only in Day Two of my new job, but already it is clear as New York tap water that I need a new wardrobe to look like the card-carrying member of the liberal media elite that I am. (Read: Cool Without Caring.) I've got jackets, shoes, and tops, but nothing for my lower half.
Now, I'm patiently waiting for my Manhattan Ass to arrive. I've been hoofing it for dozens of blocks each day, up and down hills, escalators, and stairs, moving into my new apartment, etc. My cardiac efficiency has zoomed into healthy goodness, but I have yet to observe a corresponding tightening of my southern hemisphere. So, to cover the excess real estate in some semblance of hipsterish respectability until the inevitable downsizing occurs, I went shopping in midtown on my lunch break for some funky cool jeans and corduroys.
H&M doesn't carry clothes above size 12. Neither does Zara. Nor J Crew.
So I went to Harlem.
On 125th Street, I found a magnificent plethora of trousers to choose from in all size of Plenty.
They understand the needs of thick girls in Harlem.
Two pair of cords, one pair of jeans, and one messenger bag to wear jauntily on the "hip."
All so I can blend in. Because that's why I moved to New York City, to blend in.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As I shut the book last night, I noticed that IJ was perched high on a table by my bedroom door, the better to both stalk and defend herself against her new roommate. They are evenly matched in size and number of claws, but it has not been an easy friendship so far. They are having deep philosophical disagreements, the sense of which I can only guess at.
I couldn't help but think, as she sat there, ten bayonets at the ready, that she was like Colonel Chamberlain, in position on Little Round Top. (Because my cat would definitely be wearing blue. Fighting for the rights of Her People. [She's black.] If'n they'd've let females fight back then. Or cats.)
I know it's like Pulitzer Prize good and all, but some of it's hard to stomach. Not the killing bits, the appropriative and interpretive bits. Still, I'm almost done.
Speaking of miscegenation, artistic and otherwise, this is what can happen when people from opposite sides lay down their weapons, or rather, when they combine their weapons into a sugary, percussive strudel. A watering down, in my opinion, of each song's strengths, but fun.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Last night was the first night I spent in my 10x9' nap-cubby.
At 4am the guy above me started pacing in his 10x9' nap-cubby. Creaky hardwood floors. Two hours.
The formaldehyde or whatever it is from my new carpet combined with the heat from my knobless radiator to glob my throat and swell my tongue, so I had to sleep with my door open.
I heart NY!
Friday, October 17, 2008
The apartment was through a friend of a friend of a friend.
The job was through a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.
Tomorrow I'm chucking my cat into a borrowed SUV along with my clothes and papers, and we're moving in to our new martini palace.
My roommate also has a cat. Her cat and mine are both black, excepting hers is a little bit white, like a slave at Monticello.
I'm glad my cat will get to know her people a little better.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I've been to Canada, Italy, England, Mexico, and Jamaica.
I made out with a Republican, so I'm bi-partisan.
My cat is black and I almost married a Jew. (Civil Rights: check. Middle East: check.)
My boobs are way bigger, the better to control the Senate with my VP anti-feminist, anti-humanist powers of world domination.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
This is my fifth URL. Clean slate. Fake name.
I recently decided not to get my first tattoo.
I have amazingly accomplished friends.
Neither of my parents ever met their fathers. The one died in a fire in Alaska, the other was from Albania.
I'm trying to figure out how to write about sorrow without being precious.
Now, tell me something about yourself I never would guess. The horribler, the better.
Speaking at the #140 Character Conference
WHAT CAME BEFORE
[5.09 A reading of SOFONISBA at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on May 25, in collaboration with Washington Shakespeare Company. (Supported by a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation.)
[2.09 Callie did stand-up at Comix in Ochi's Lounge for the first time.
[11.08 Electric Pear Productions will presented a reading of Callie's play MAY 39th @ The Wild Project.
[9.08 Callie's comedy PEACE, commissioned by Washington Shakespeare Company and based on Aristophanes' play, runs for five weeks.
[8.08 SOFONISBA (written with a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation) and MAY 39th were both read at the Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage Festival. As part of the festival, Callie also spoke on an Inkwell panel about New Play Development in Washington with Ari Roth, Blake Robison, and Nelson Pressley.
Callie's short play CHICKEN WAR was read at Fleeting Theatre Company in Portland Oregon.
[7.08 Callie has three short pieces in DC Fringe. THESE THINGS TAKE TIME is produced by Journeymen Theatre Ensemble on a bill called Ball and Chain. SUICIDE CHIMPS and PLANETY HUMANITY are performed at the eXtreme eXchange Fringe Edition.
[6.08 SUGAR ON TOP is produced at Glendale Community College.
[4.08 TAKE ME OUT TONIGHT is produced at Rogers State University in Claremore, OK.
[2.08 Lizard Claw debuts in Boston and Cambridge with 6 short plays on climate change.
DC Fringe, The Warehouse, and Pete Miller & Sara Cormeny sponsor It's Not You, It's Me, an evening of Callie's plays. Pics here.
[1.08 Callie's newly translated adaptation of Mozart's THE IMPRESARIO, commissioned by The In Series, premiered at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington DC.
[12.07 She received a playwriting grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation.
Her one-minute plays were performed in Brooklyn at The Brick Theatre as part of Monarch Theater's 1-Minute Play Festival.
The first play she wrote, TAKE ME OUT TONIGHT, was performed as part of E-Town Shorts Fest at Elizabethtown College.
[9.07 THE TRAGEDY OF MARY LOU SKATONDA had a staged reading at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
[7.07 Her play, NUTSHELL, based on T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," premiered on the Woolly Mammoth mainstage as part of the DC Fringe Festival. The show's MySpace page has video snippets and blog entries by the characters.
[6.07 She performed in Constellation Theatre's production of Caryl Churchill's A DREAM PLAY. “It is not until Kimball enters as the dead mother that we are treated to fully human words exchanged by fully human (though not completely alive) characters, and we can see how good the play is going to be.” DC Theatre Scene