Monday, October 29, 2007

This Week's Journal Favourite

I like to read journals of those people I've found (and continue to find) online that have become part of my day.

I've had the great good fortune to meet some of these folk... you know who you are...and some have connected via phone and emails. I only wish I were clever enough to make up a little badge to pass out to those in my world that make me happy.

Instead, because I'm part of the collective "i was here" (thank you, he who is not named because I don't want ever again to get those nasty emails from odd people).... I present the:

F M D Journal Favourite of the Week!!!

(or when I remember to post it) (cue the music and confetti)

This week, it's Peter of Plastic Bubble World.

He has a way with words that quite simply make me make the strangest sounds that pass for laughter in the world.

Take this gem, stolen from his current post on dancing in the disco era,

"Debbie was friendly enough, but she was not the kind of girl that boys asked to dance. Her mother was the lunch room monitor, but that was among the least of her social worries. There were several hard-to-articulate reasons why Debbie did not get asked to dance. Sometimes, while dancing, Debbie would drop to the floor, squatting briefly in a frog-like position. I'm not sure if she had seen that move somewhere, or if she just came up with it on her own. "

I started to make this gollum sound in my throat on the lunch room monitor portion. By the time I reached the frog squat, I had a hiccup kind of a squelch laugh going.

So, go read. Please.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Saturday was unique.

I went from slow to fast to emotional to laughing, a full range of emotions was reached.

I missed the main ferry over, and with the 1 updown not running from the Ferry, I caught the bus uptown, joining those 45,000 marching in the drizzle, the moisture. It was the tail end, yet, you caught the sense of urgency, of feeling, of belief in the cause.

I cried.... a lot.

We moved up, students, workers, older folk, vets from Korea to Iraq....wanting out, wanting it now.

I came home, thinking about it all, deciding to attend the rally next week in Staten Island, racing around when I got home to gather things to go back again to be in time for rehearsals...

Then I faced the debacle of the MTA, who stopped officially running the 1 at midnight Saturday, which means it unofficially stopped running around 9PM. My usual 90 minute commute from Penn Station to home took three hours.

In between, I returned items I didn't purchase that were placed in my bags at Jack's. They couldn't quite grasp the concept I didn't want money back, these weren't my things... I was simply bringing them to the store... I hadn't paid for them, I couldn't keep them.

Reflective day, busy day, overwhelming day... leaving me exhausted today.

Hope your weekends were good ones.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Fiddle and The Drum

Song titles lend themselves to my journal entries sometimes.

Long ago, and far away, I was on the far end of the Vietnam war. The big protests had occurred, One Tin Solider had rode away, Four were Dead in Ohio, Everybody knew what was Going 'Round... Baez and Dylan and Joni and Judy... Peter, Paul and Mary told a new generation it was time to approach life in a gentler way, to stop the War in Vietnam, move out of that hellhole...bring our soldiers home.

I protested. I marched, sang with those who rallied, handed out fliers, skipped school and had my underage ass in far too many scary places. I ran from police, scurried down alleys, and have my own FBI record, with almost all the information redacted. It's only a few paragraphs, nothing like JS, who served two years for burning draft records, but, it's mine, and I'm proud of it... I was never violent, I marched and signed petitions, and pushed for an 18 year old vote, too. If we were old enough to die, we were old enough to vote. I believed in what I was doing, going against the Government, Nixon, the War and the huge machinery that kept it going. Where had all our young men gone, long time ago?

Eventually, they all came home.... well, not all. But, the huge majority.

Problem was, we painted every soldier with the same brush, and we painted them black as night with the evil of that place. Baby killers they were called. Spat upon, shouted at, called vile, terrible things... even those who had been held captured. We didn't understand to curse the war, not the warrior. That the crimes of some should not be held on all who wore the uniform.

Slowly we healed. We learned. We built that beautiful Wall in remembrance. Some of those brave men and women never left that place behind, and they still suffer. We learned, though... you don't hate those who go. You question the reason for the going, and you don't blindly go along with the decisions made.

Time passes--you grow up, you grow old, and things change. In your heart, however, you stay that rebel.... who may not like the idea that wars have excuses, but, understands sometimes, they do have good ones. Moral ones.

This war, this one has no valid excuse. This, well, it's not a war, is it? That was over ages ago. This is a 'spreading of Democracy'. One that has cost over 3800 American soldiers their lives, over 28,000 wounded, untold Iraqi deaths, wounded, displaced. Yes, a good way to spread Democracy. Iran looms next.

On Saturday, I will follow my morals, my values, my beliefs and join those who march against the Non-War in Iraq. Once more, I'll hold a placard and shout, "NO MORE WAR!!". I will do this, knowing my son is there, knowing he is fighting there, and knowing he has no political agenda in joining the service.

I do have an agenda. My children back me in this decision. They understand my mindset.

Old protesters never die... we continue to remember that war isn't healthy for children and other living things.

Especially when our children are wearing the uniforms this time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You Can Read Here Today If You'd Like...

Too much to look up.

How do researchers do it on a regular basis?

So, if you feel like reading meme.

Here's me:



(I didn't write that bio, btw...and I'd love any critiques on the story there)

Who knew there were so many pages on....

Thought I was going to tell, didn't you?

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Basic Rules in Life

Always own something you can pawn.

If you have a company, name it after yourself.. it's easier to fire people that way. ("Do you see that name over the door? It reads Quinzilla, not (your name)zilla, and I'm Quin. See ya.") My company name is Neoptism....says it all.

Always accept culpability for your actions.

Everyone should have a bit of Atticus Finch in their would keep a bit of sanity in the world.

You can't take back anything you say, so, think first.

Irrational anger won't get you anywhere and just wastes time. I don't have time to waste, so, please don't waste mine.

Manners and no money will take you further than money and no manners.

It never hurts to smile and say thank you.

Never stop reading.

Always say "I love you" before you leave or say goodbye to those you love.

Friends are the family you choose... because sometimes, Gd just messes up with those you get stuck sharing DNA with. And sometimes, you get lucky, and they are one and the same.

Remember children look to you on how to behave.. and they remember everything you do.

Chat with strangers.. you never know what you'll find out.

Don't be a hater, it makes wrinkles.

Suppressed farts make your hips big. Okay, it's really chocolate, but, the fart line is amusing.

Toothpaste will polish up sterling silver up like no body's business.

He who owns the car chooses the music...unless you are the mom. Then you always choose the music.

We all get old. Be patient with those who have reached that stage first.

Never stand by and let a child suffer.

Friends are the best gift in the world. Always be thankful you have them.

Sometimes, life sucks. It's the way it works out, and nothing is going to change's the way you deal with that suckage that will make you or break you.

It's okay to not always like your kids. Or your friends. Or your family.

I'm not here to please everyone.

Once in awhile, take a day and be mad, depressed, angry....wallow in it, revel in it, lie in bed, cry, eat... mental health days are great.

Not everyone is going to like me. I'm okay with that now.

Don't forget why I'm here. Be glad I have a second chance. Laugh...a lot.

Feel free to add your own... please.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

When is Seafood Not Seafood?

When it's a Lobster Tail.

Sadly, I'm now addicted to these things. Even sadder is the fact they are found only six blocks away. Six easy blocks away. This means I can quickly walk there, buy one and walk home.

Pastry filled with rich filling, topped with a daub of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

Oh, yes. Life is good.

It Started with 'N'

The 'R' key on my laptop flew off.

I was typing away, and suddenly... it took flight, seeking freedom from the rest of the keys, no longer content to sit between the 'E' and the 'T', and in wanting something better, it soared upward, outward and with the pull of gravity, downward, riding my curses to the floor.

I spent the next thirty minutes seeking my bottle of super glue, then looking for a pair of scissors. The glue was next to the bed, in case I ever have to repair the hole in the Titanic again (in my world, that made sense) and the scissors in the cutlery drawer... again, it makes sense.

Clipping the top, I carefully applied a drop, using tweezers (found in the bone china cup in the bathroom where they sit with my mascara and eye liner) to c a r e f u l l y place the 'R' back in place.

I read for a bit, then blissfully went back to typing. The first time I tapped that key with gusto, it slid over to cower against the 'E'.

Superglue may keep a man suspended in mid-air while his helmet is glued to a girder, however, it will not keep an "I want a new career" 'R' key in place.

It had been a long weekend so far, and I didn't feel like discussing the issue. I placed the 'R' key in the freezer to think about it's transgressions after which I took a melatonin and went to bed.

This morning, after a few phone calls, I again attempted to re-glue the key. It stood firm in its decision to not go back to the old life.

I had no choice... it had to be replaced.

To be honest, I was a little irritated. Although this wasn't a hugely expensive notebook/laptop, it wasn't cheap. The battery has had to be replaced, and a few other things have niggled here and there. The 'N' is gone. It is a blank key. How often do you use 'N'? I can see 'I' disappearing, or possibly some other vowel.... even 'Y'. We don't even know what 'Y' is, do we? Vowel or not, it's split top shows it' has issues with it's own divided personality. My 'N' is gone, making me wonder if it was cheap ink, or a bad 'N' day at the factory, or if I should start counting 'N's in my writing.

I will not go back and count 'N's, I will not go back and count 'N's... I will NOT go back...

Yes, so, I called Dell. After I tried to fix the issue by 'talking' to someone online. I tried to register.

"We do not show that email in our records."

I tried every email I have. All 47 of them.


I called. I waited on hold. For 47 minutes. Finally, finally a Dell rep answered. I was more than a little irritated. The bad 'R', the replaced battery, the non-existent 'N', the nasty on hold music, the refusal to know any of my email addresses.

Billie was nice enough... she gave me her badge number right away, and listened when I tersely explained my problem.

"I can help you with that. May I have your model number, please?"

I gave it to her.

"Um, can you repeat that, please?"

I did.

"M'am. That's not something I have in records. When did you purchase this product?"

"Last December. It's still under warranty! This is so irritatin...", I looked down, and saw the Gateway logo.

I hung up.

Gateway was really nice, and they are sending me a new keyboard to replace this one. Until then, I'm learning to type on the peg that sticks up, and the 'R' key is on a new journey to the dump.

Thankfully, I didn't give my phone number to Billie. Or my full name. Or any of my email addresses.

I have to log off now, the 'N's are calling my name. Which has an 'N' in it.... that would be the first 'N'...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Oh, Death!

I never know what to say when someone has a death in the family.

Recently, Mrs S had her mother-in-law die. I knew when she called me it had happened... I just kept talking away, instead of asking my usual question, and finally, she said, "Don't you want to know why I called?"

No, not really. I didn't want to have to face that entire thing of what to say, what to do, how can I help? When my father died, I was hard pressed to accept help from friends, grateful to have it, but, I shied away from anyone being there. I didn't know how to just say, "yes".

When I was back in the Land O'Utes, the Sisterwife's aunt became ill, and she traveled back to see her, knowing it would be the last time, preferring this over going back for a funeral.

It was a good time, spent with family, seeing the aunt, retelling stories. She tells a great story about this aunt, one I will not share because it's not mine to tell here... but, a story that makes me laugh very hard and long, especially when the Sisterwife tells it... her facial expressions and voice taking on the characteristics of another, it shows her great talent as an actor.

Her aunt died yesterday, before she had to suffer any more indignity from the harsh disease that had suddenly laid claim to her. Before she had to go though the rigours of chemotherapy, something that would have caused her great pain, misery, and would not have prolonged her life for any huge period of time.

Love was sent to my dear friend, to her mother, to her family. A candle was lit last night, with a prayer to go with it... I was raised that the smoke carries the prayer to God, and keeps the person and the prayer in His presence.

I don't know what else to do... we never really do, in the end. Harper Lee said it best, in my book of all books, To Kill a Mockingbird; "Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between."

I cannot bring her food, only send my deep love and prayers for her and her family...and I'll hold a memory of a good story told well.

Of a woman I never met, by a woman I know... and with that, she'll live on in our lives.

That's all we really want, isn't it? To live on in someone's life, in someone's words.

It's what I ask for, what I hope for, what we all, I think, really want and need.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jobs Abound

When it rains, it rains.

With those deep words, I'll explain. I've the writing stuff going, and I'm so pleased with that...then, suddenly, the sky opened, and I was offered three stage manager's jobs, and a job as assistant to the producer on a documentary.

With pay.

I took one SM job, and the documentary.

The SM job is an interesting project....a benefit for a group of Marine wives and families whose husbands are in Iraq. They are stationed in New Jersey, with no family around, very little money, far from home. The producer and one of the leads is an amazing woman... a one time nun who was a serious draft protester in her day. She was arrested and served two years in prison for burning draft records during Vietnam. She left the convent, married, had children, became an actress...well, now, she's doing this.

It's an huge undertaking, Equity isn't happy we are moving the show from New York to New Jersey at one point, but, we'll get it done.

Now, the documentary is different all together. What can I say about it?


I've signed a confidentiality agreement that says I will not discuss in any way, shape or form this film with anyone at any time.

It's going to kill me to keep my mouth shut, and they'll kill me if I don't...but, you know... it won't hurt if I told you that

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Train, A Train, Anything for a Train

I saw my life flash before my eyes.

Yes, it's a trite sentence, one we hear in novels, plays, films... but, as I sat there, paralyzed on a New York side street today, my hands clutching the steering wheel of a 2001 Saturn with 211,003 miles on it...a Saturn with a bad clutch and a 1st gear that flitted in and out of this dimension ....a Saturn that not only had Kansas plates; it didn't belong to me, it belonged to a friend of a friend, I didn't have my Land O'Utes license on me, I had no idea where the registration was, much less the ever moving 1st gear, the PARK place seemed miles away instead of only 50 feet, and I was stalled....on an morning traffic.

Usually, I'll smile and wave and say, "I dont' live here!" not making eye contact, thus negating any hand signals or mouthed words that come my way. However, I've announced "Ich bein New Yorker!" I do live here.

I just don't drive here. HaHa always makes it Sound (heh) so easy when he talks about renting cars and zipping about.

Until today. Until forced by C to drop her off at the big hospital where she had to go sign in for her operation and then park the car myself. Not like she couldn't do it and let me sign in for her. I curse for her. I drink coffee for her. I'm her own personal Dorian Grey, ffs. But, noooooo, she has to do this particular thing herself, thus, we flash forward to me, in the stalled Saturn, with large, burly truck drivers making eye contact as I sit, paralyzed, wondering how to make the car move again.

Fortunately, my lessons learned in my junior year of high school came to my aid, and I got the thing started, jerking and jumping through the yellow light to the 'PARK' garage, where I left the beast in the care of Sayid.

I dashed back to the hospit...I stopped and got a coffee and bagel and then dashed back to the hospital that has a double name and found C. Just because she doesn't drink coffee and can't eat doesn't mean I don't and can't. It's not as if I hadn't been awakened at the crack of dawn, then driven down the Belt Parkway, careening along in the HOV lane (which we entered by mistake), neither of us able to see, me praying to whatever saint I could think of, with St. Edsel no longer on the table after Vatican II and the failure of the model, and my St. Chris medal given to Oddship, leaving me with a Saint who doesn't buy into my Saints. We passed five miles of stopped traffic, only to be pulled up by the PermaPass lane.

With the cop who was working her some gum.

I rolled down the window, smiled, and said, "We were fed into this lane... and there are miles of concrete barrie..."

"I don' think so. You're lyin' "

"I... what?"

"Just admit it." chomp chew. "You're lyin'. You two are lyin'"

C starts waving her meticulously written instructions from the computer. "I followed the directions! I stayed to the left!"

"Ah huh" chew. chomp. "Just pay the toll. $4.50"

It was difficult to understand her over the 15 pieces of bubble gum in her mouth.

We gave her a five.

She kept the change.

I hope it was to pay for her future cavities.

At this point, we had no idea where we were. We cruised the FDR Parkway for a bit, then went down by the Ferry and Whitehall. It was a nice day to cruise.

A friendly limo driver had us follow him, and when we became lost again, I asked directions from a cement truck driver.


He was sweet when he smiled.

Eventually, we'd found the hospital, and thus, ended up with me and my life flashing, etc.

C was taken in for her operation, I found out I could play with computers, and of course, went straight to my site, cruised to Bee's to check on updates (finally!) and had my name called... leaving the computer, grabbing my coffee (they had the neatest coffee machine. I want one) and heading back.

It was time to bring C home.

I could hear the theme from Jaws. I'd have to drive. From Manhattan to Brooklyn... with a sick woman, and no idea how or where or why I had to do this, where I was going, no, no NO.

Then, I heard it... dulcet tones, a voice saying, "Quin! I took the train down, thought you might need help." It was A.O.... she who owned the car.

In the end, I was able to dress C, get more coffee, and steer her drugged body into the now compliant Saturn.

We all slept once we reached Brooklyn, I met up with a new director for a theater group I'll work with for a bit, and the Saturn and I agreed to never meet with me in the drivers seat again.

I'm good with that.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We Are What We See

A year ago, I was a size 16.

Okay, let me be honest... I was a tight 16... I was a 16 when I put my jeans on and they were slightly damp and I laid down on my bed and zipped them and didn't breathe for awhile. Small animals made shelter in the rolls created by this.

Then, I got cancer.

And, I moved to New York.

Between the two, I'm a size 8. Because of the in your face body thing we do in this country, I was doing the happy dance. "Look at ME. I'm a size 8!! I eat crap foods! I'm still a size 8!!" You think, in the body definition piece of pie in my meme life, I'd be content.

Well, I'm human, I'm American, and by golly, it's not enough, damnit!! Excuse me while I have some of this ice cream before I finish this rant.

I was folding my jeans down at the Five Star LaundryMat today, a place I have to walk a mile to get to, and I thought, "Wow, my ass is big."

A year ago, I'd have wept to be in a size 8. Wept. Well, not really.... I was too sick to weep, but, you get the picture. Now, I'm bitching it's not small enough.

What is wrong with me? What is wrong with us as a nation? I've looked at young girls and thought they had bad body images, and here I am, as a mature woman, and I'm doing the same thing.

I'm the thinnest I've been in 21 years. Because I walk so much, I continue to lose weight. I'm never going to look waif.ish because of my build... I'm short waisted, with long legs, so, I always look a good bit bigger than I am. And, yes, my legs are long... the WeatherGuy is three inches taller than I am, and my legs are longer than his are. I have no waist. I have a large ribcage. I hate how I'm built, and, even at 138lbs on a 5'7" frame, I think I'm in need of losing weight.

What have we done to ourselves? I look in a mirror and don't see what I should see. Someone who looks fine, and is holding up fairly well under the ravages of time. I can put off using tape to pull any wrinkles up for at least another year or so, and if I push my tongue on the roof of my mouth when I smile, you barely notice my chin(s).

I need to slap myself, and I will... as soon as I finish this Double Chocolate ice cream.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Singing in the Rain

It happened Wednesday.

I was standing outside of Penn Station, waiting for R to arrive for our 7.23 minute get together before I caught the 4 something to one of those odd towns on yet another line to see the WeatherGuy... the rain was pouring down, umbrellas fighting each other like crabs on a beach, that "Oh!" smell in the air, that you even find in New York... consisting of rain, cold air and an indefinable scent called...Fall.

There I was, my umbrella carefully rolled up and put away, and this dashing man, in a full gazillion dollar suit, casually strolled in out of the downpour, over to me, smiled and said, "Would you like my umbrella?"

"Oh, no, I'm fine. I have my own." I gestured at my $3.99 Chinatown special, gleefully dripping onto my $15 Chinatown lordknowswhattheleatheris bag.

"I don't mind. Please, take it."

Now, this was NOT your ordinary umbrella. This had a wooden handle, beautifully curved. It was a full sized 'brolly. Black, rich real nylon stretched over steel ribs, yes...oh, yes, this was an umbrella to be reckoned with in the umbrella wars!

I felt a bit of drool leave my lower lip.

"I...I can't. I have one."

He gave mine a look of piorn (pity and scorn). "You know, I'd love for you to have this."

Now, I was not wet, or damp or standing in the rain. I demurred again, pointing out I was waiting for a friend. I actually think I simpered.

He stepped in closer. I could smell his cologne... Rich Guy '07. It went well with Steel Gray at the temples and Deep Blue Eyes.

At this point, I know I was close to swooning.

His voice lowered. "Please. I won't be using it. My car is picking me up. You really should have something nicer than..... that."


"Well, then.... all right."

He moved away... taking my umbrella and his millions.

I came this close to the big one. And the guy was okay, too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


My, oh, my.

Emily Gordon at EMDASHES made my day, my week, my month. I'm being added, along with an excellent contributer, to her site that ties in with The New Yorker on a regular basis.

Every site needs it's EEOC required writer, so, she chose me.

I worry I'll jinx myself if I meme, but, this meme... well, I get to keep the fedora, and, I don't have to buy The New Yorker anymore.

The other side is, I have to really write stuff, and it can't just be six sentences or me going on about missing my dog.

Yeah, right.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

10 Seconds

Every film ends up with a catch phrase.

The last one I worked on, with K, was "The 90 Minute Short", based on the Script Supervisor *coughMEcough* giving an incorrect script timing to the director for her 20 minute short.

On this one, after our boom guy gave us multiple stories about a sound guy he worked matter what you asked this sound guy, his answer was always 10 seconds. We adopted it for our own.

How long before we have sound? 10 seconds

When will the talent be ready? 10 seconds

How long before we can get pizza? 10 seconds

Sometimes, you work on a great film with a great crew and a great director. Sometimes, it's one of the three, and sometimes, it's none or just one. Usually, as the scripty, you are your own crew.

Solitary, no others in your crew.. you are it. The closest person to work with is the A.D. and the A.C.. You work with the first to settle shots, scenes, where the shoot is going... and you call out the shots to the A.C. or whomever is handling the slate to mark said slate.

Aside from that, you sit by the director, only communicating to note continuity errors or when scenes are running long. If the other departments are closed ranked, you will be alone.

I had a great crew, and we stood and bitched about the street noise (Poland won a football game... and you'd think the neighborhood had personally played in it), the MTA, our rents, the upcoming winter slush... the film.

When you are unpaid, people think the crew you pick up is going to be slack, not caring, there to hang around and do nothing.

What isn't understood is that paid or unpaid, a film crew works hard, and is dedicated to the craft, because we love what we do. It's the process, the love of the craft, every department that is involved that will forge the final project.

Oh, we may thing the director is a jerk and the talent isn't talent, but, props that eat. We'll laugh about you on the headset, stand outside and smoke until the last second, stare blankly when a scene is being done, and sit and wait until we are needed. It's boring, it's hurry! hurry! HURRY!!!!

No, wait.

Wait for 47.32 minutes.

Then you shoot for 13.28 seconds. CUT!

Next scene.

We ask for little. Good food. Coffee or tea or cocoa in the morning. Cold drinks on a hot day (if I am in a room with 7 other people and no air movement, and sweat is dripping off my nose onto my script, let me be able to reach down for an ice cold drink), something to snack on during the day to keep me going. Comfort food at meal times.

We'll give you everything we've got. Let us know you know your job. Be a producer that produces, a director that has a vision that is clear and clean, a D.A. that is firm, and we're right that with you. Respect our positions, know we know our jobs, and work with us. Listen, heed, and treat us fairly.

We'll give you all we have, even if we are working for free.

You want that shot set up? No problem.

10 seconds.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Stop the Presses, Part II

The last report.

The Company of Men.

Now, I've scripty notes to process.

Not near as much fun.... although the crew was grand.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Stop the Presses!!

So, I think I'm a writer.

Emily Gordon at EMDASHES sent me a fedora, a press pass for the hatband, and her trust.... and told me I had my big break...

Annie, Junot, Colm, Donald and Neil.

Once you've covered the beat, you use their first names.

Feel free to read my entries to her site along with her far better done pieces of work.

Do I sense a Pulitzer for my work in journalism?

Hell no.

Am I grateful for Emily following the feed back here when I linked to her?


I was able to hear amazing readings by Annie Proulx and Junot Diaz... the men sitting behind me had awarded Annie her first fellowship, which allowed her to write The Shipping News. We chatted about her work, and Junot's work... and about New Orleans, where one of them had just visited.

I gave him the name of Chris Rose's book, One Dead in Attic. He took down the name, and said he'd get a copy.

There was the great woman sitting next to me, who was a storyteller in the Berkshires. She had on a twirly black dress with multi coloured polka dots on it. Her voice was tinged in excitement as she told me, "I used to get this way for the Rolling Stones. You know, the rocker boys. Now, it's the literary women."

The Donald/Colm discussion was softly done... really only gaining a depth when I asked Donald a question he'd asked Colm, "Did you hate your mother?"

He leaned forward then, with an intensity he'd not shown earlier... and at that point, for a few moments... the talk was between the two of us. Two people who have dealt with difficult mothers, who knew that the other was on about.

I met Helen Mills, who owns the venue where it was taking place, it was her new hobby now that her children had grown. There were the tech's who worked there and who said they'd find me a ticket for the next day's morning interview... be there on time.

There was the long ride home, the ferry and the train at 1.30AM.

Up at 8AM this morning, a mad dash to catch the 9AM ferry.... the 1 train was CLOSED??? ARE THEY KIDDING ME???? I had to be at 26th and 7th by 10AM!! Just because I didn't get up at 7.30AM when my alarm went off, why am I being punished??

I did the New York City walk to Wall Street, ran down to the 2, and sat next to Diane.

We both raced for the venue on 26th, tearing downstairs, to be told there Diane saved me..always trust women with open smiles.. and we were taken to our seats to listen to Neil discuss men. Men in his films, in his plays, in his life.

The man is charming, witty, intelligent, and was propositioned from the audience. Not bad for a 10AM interview.

On my way home, I cruised past Neil outside the Helen Mills Theater, keeping my cool..Ich bein New Yorker! Okay, I lied. I turned left instead of right on 6th, and had to do the spin around, ending up walking in front of his car proving I was no chic New Yorker.

I walked from 26th and 7th to Jack's .99 Cent Store on 34th and Broadway. There, I lounged and shopped and spent far more than .99 Cents. I spent some time talking to two girls up from Boston, who wanted to know where to go, what to do... I suggested a greasy breakfast before they went anywhere.

There was the woman who had grown up in Brooklyn, then moved to Tupelo, Mississippi. She had the best accent I've ever heard. Southern drawl mixed with a few yo's. She'd heard of the little town my mother was from, because it was near a local rehab facility that some of her friends had attended.

A huge parade was starting before I got on the train... Korean flags were everywhere, so, I presume that is what it was all about.

The R train ride to the Ferry ended with me having a long neglected friendship healed, I think. Two people who are not paranoid (that implies you THINK people are out to get you... we KNOW they are) talked instead of writing, and cleared the air. Miss Sof and I chatted, DB and I spoke... and the WeatherGuy called, too.

All in all, it has been a good 36 hours.

Here is my first work in journalism:

Annie Proulx and Junot Diaz

Donald Antrim and Colm Toibin

Neil LaBute, interviewed by John Lahr will be in a post script.... it's not on the site yet.

Journalism isn't my forte. However, I'll do this again in a snap. Thanks, again, Em. It was a hoot.

Friday, October 5, 2007

We Interrupt This Post

Who knew?

I've bemoaned a number of things, among them my lack of a television, since my move back to New York.

I am a television junkie. Yes, I was one of those kids who was glued to the set from the start of fuzzy movements at 5AM until the flag waved at 1AM on the weekends. I watched the soaps, especially Days of Our Lives, with my mother and grandmother.... later with my children... until this year, I've missed four episodes of ER, and sobbed uncontrollably when Dr. Green died.

I taped the last episodes of China Beach and St. Elsewhere. Why? I. Don't. Know. I don't have a TV much less a VCR.

I was on Donahue as a guest. I am the ultimate T.V. viewer.

I'm bereft that I am without right now, and I read myself to sleep earlier now than I used to do.

Until R told me to "...just go to the network pages and download." Doh.

She didn't add the doh. That was unspoken. And, to be honest, she's too kind. Self added the doh.

Last night, I spent hours catching up. The Office.. Earl.... 30 Rock.... Of course, I can't get House or Dexter or Weeds... but, I'm going to figure that out, too. Somewhere, someone has ille.. has downloads available.

And, I'll find them.

(insert evil laugh here)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yo, Summer... Time's Up.

Hints that summer is gone.

Coolness in the shade. Squirrels hiding nuts they'll never find. Birds on wing, doing those aerial acrobatics in perfect synchronization. Okay, I have to be honest here.... the birds freak me out. I saw The Birds once too often, and I tend to want to hide in a steel house when I see them flocking.

The novella was even scarier.

A heavy mist came up today, blanketing the Island, and it gave me an idea of what it was like, when this area was settled in 1622, a year that shocks me when I think about it... that long ago?

I think about it was I walk up the hill, under the trees that have changed overnight...realising they are behind the season. "Quick! It's October, and we are still green! Hurry! The Maples will turn before we do... we are ALWAYS last to turn. I told you to watch the seasons, but noooooooo. You had to listen to your mother, the Oak."

I doubt the early settlers had a neighbor who swept up leaves in his gutter into a dustpan with a broom the way we do, dressed in his RayBan shirt and slacks, still... you never know.

The same hills, the early versions of these trees... the same heavy wet mist. Foghorns sounding... low, long over the water. It's fall.

Made me wish I had hot chocolate.... sadly, I didn't.

I made due with Turkey Farm Fudge Brownie Ice Cream, instead... it almost worked.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Nighttime Ferry

I've been riding the Ferry almost daily lately.

You pay $2.00 to get on, with a free transfer to the train, or, you get a free transfer to the Ferry with your metrocard purchase.

Since I have my monthly card, I swipe and go, by-passing those who are purchasing the $2 or $4 tickets every day on my way into the city.

Going out, the Statue of Liberty side is packed... people snapping shots of the Statue, of Ellis Island, of the skyline. They ask you to take their photo, or, I offer when I see them struggling to focus with that arms out thing. Families crowd the windows, looking at the gulls, at the terns on the water. As the boat slows, we move forward, dock and trudge down the ramps to the street, the train, the city.

I've found a sub-culture of Ferry riders, one that isn't there in the day time, in the bright light of the sun.

Whenever you board, there are those who are first against the doors, going forward with determined steps through the seating and out the front doors.

In the daytime, it is businessmen on their Blackberries, making with yarmulkes, holding their children's hands, pointing out all there is to see. Young girls chatting with each other... everyone wanting to be first off when we dock.

At night, it's different.

Inside, there is an undercurrent of noise~a murmur of voices, of languages... iPods leak music from their owners plugged in ears, children fret with the late hour and their longing for their beds. People are there. Sound, light, contact.

You step outside and are in a different world. A small group gathers. Most lean against the chain or near or two will be looking out the side portholes. They are silent, no iPods, no phones, no voices speaking to each other.

Your presence is noted briefly, then, eyes cut back to the distant point they contemplate as their thoughts are being processed.

The bridges are outlines with lights. Headlights of cars going over blink between the girders. The Statue stands lit and still in the blackness. City lights ahead and behind you reflect off low hanging clouds back onto themselves, making the night brighter than it is.

Under a straight line of protected 75watt bulbs, usually with at least one burned out, faces are shadowed, planed. The Ferry's engines pulse, the deck vibrates with the power and the sound is soft in the night. Along with the slap of waves, the occasional blast of a boat, all is cushioned in black.

It's gulls sound, no children call out at diving birds or passing ships. No families making noise as they gather each other together. No loud conversations of friends as they make plans for the day. If the door opens, the sounds and light spill over, foreign in our little planet.

You notice everyone has the same look, and imagine it reflects the same one you are wearing. Introspective, wary, tired. Focused on the shore, yet, eyes flicker to the waves on occasion.
"What if?", you find yourself thinking. "What if I just did it?"

There is no one there. You would be over and under in a nanosecond. You almost drowned as a child, you know the swiftness with which it happens. The waves catch the lights from the city on their crest, and the false brightness is a lure.

The current pain would be done. No hole in your chest. No dealing with idiots. No worries about money. Your estate would settle on the kids and hell, if it didn't, you're not there to worry about it. You were willing to be dog food, why not fish food?

So easy.

And you all have that same glint in your eye.

Is it some tiny kernel in our DNA? To draw closer to high rims and ledges and peer over, with that gasp and funny laugh when we jump back? When someone holds our arm while they push,we yell in anger, yet... yet.. some part of us feels a surge of...excitement. What if? What if?? How would it feel? Why do we lean over on ships, balancing on the rails, watching the wake... looking into the depths? Are we all lemmings at heart?

It is a look I only see in those who ride at night, if I'm honest. Those who stand outside, and stand against the chain, staring ahead, introspective, never speaking. Those few, who, when we dock, hurry quickly up the ramp looking... relieved?

I move with them, swipe my card, board the train and wait for my station. We see each other, and thaw a bit, take out phones, start to read... even talk to each other.

They made it over one more time.

note: no, i have no plans on jumping. if i did, i'd leave a hell of a better note than this. and i'd be thinner.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Sometimes, it all goes bad.

Sometimes, we read what we want to see in a letter.

Sometimes, we hear, but, do not listen.

Sometimes, the sterling gift we think the universe gave us turns out to be tinsel.

Sometimes, no one will accept culpability for words said, written, implied.

Sometimes, the refusal to say a lie was a lie leaves it a truth, and that hurts more.

Sometimes, the cacophony of silence deafens you.

Sometimes, the dearth of words on a page overwhelms you.

Sometimes, the rush of letters in sentences means nothing in their anger.

Sometimes, the hole in your chest is so huge, you can't move.

Sometimes, you don't know what to believe, words or your intuition.

Sometimes, sometimes... you wish you'd never said 'hello'.

So Far

  • I've punctured the bed.... aka The Titanic. I'm now accustomed to awakening half way, and hitting the pump me up button.

  • I've applied for a number of gigs... and have landed two. Non pay of course. One starts tomorrow, and the film shoot begins Saturday, which will take the edge off missing all I wanted to see at the New Yorker Festival. No Annie Proulx, no Paul Theroux, no Kite Runner, no Jeffery Eugenides, no Steve Martin, no Neil LaBute, no Eugene Levy. No lectures, no films, no book signings.

  • I've not seen the WeatherGuy. I arrived on Tuesday, he left the country the next day. He is home soon, and, I see him after that. I look forward to that. Yes, indeed. Text messages and daily phone calls don't quite cut it sometimes.

  • I've managed to distance a friend. Perhaps we'll mend fences, perhaps not. I'm in hopes of the former. We both tend to hear but not listen... and we communicate by text, something I'm not very good with when it comes to important issues.

  • I've learned the Ferry schedule, and have again purchased my monthly MTA pass. woot.

  • I discovered when you buy new pots and pans, you have to check and remove paper from the bottom of the pan before you put it on a gas flame. Who knew?
  • I'm writing quite a bit. This is good. Interestingly enough, I couldn't thing amidst the silence that screamed at me in the Land O'Utes. Orion I miss here... but, I like the energy. I can't suck it in all the time, I will need to go somewhere and let go... but, for now? I'm making up time.
  • Catching up on people and things.
  • Working on an odd website.... details later.

Life is good. It always is. Remember in text, read twice... then again. Then, let your answer sit and mellow before you hit send.

Yeah. Advice I should follow sometime.