August 31, 2006

Off to a Slow Start

I woke up too early and got out of bed too soon. ALthough I have succeeded in cleaning salad and roasting stuffed peppers, I haven't made much progress in the way of straightening out my closets - well any progress for that matter.

I did manage to get a manicure and pedicure over at my new favorite nail salon, Glamour Nails Design. They were surprised when I asked for clear polish. But I did so chips wouldn't show when I started working on the closets. Of course, I don't clean with my toes but I wanted them to match my fingernails. And besides, the pedicure isn't always about the polish. Sometimes it's just about getting pampered.

So. Here I go. In two minutes, in order to stay true to yesterdays declaration, I will start the closets. Or will I?

August 30, 2006

Flavor of Love 2 - Episode 4

Jelly on the Telly

One of the first shots we see at the beginning of Episode 4 is the silhouette of two roosters crowing. A few moments later Flav treats us with a poem. "After the elimination ceremony, what the heck. Got to my room. It was in full effect." Because after the ceremony Nibblz and Toasteee crawled into bed with Flav. Watching the three of them waking up together was beautiful (not really). Nibblz told the camera, "Me and my homegirl Toasteee woke up next to Flav. It was a wonderful feeling." But Toasteee told the camera "I wanna be with Flav but I don't wanna share him anytime - not the first time."

Back in the bedroom, with the benefit of subtitles, Nibblz lisped in Flav's ear, "I'm feeling that today is going to be an interesting day."

And she was right!

Big Rick delivered a Flava Gram telling the girls that they would be participating in a Dance Contest. And Flav told the camera "I need a girl who knows how to embrace my hip hop music." Because he wanted to make sure they could dance to his music on stage. Cut to archive footage of Brigitte Neilsen making a fool of herself on stage dancing to Flav's music.

Several moments later Flav introduced the girls to the three dance coaches there to help them prepare for the contest. One coach specialized in Hip Hop dancing, the second specialized in Krumping and the third was a break dancer. The women were broken up into three teams and the three women on the winning team were to win dinner, breakfast and lunch dates with Flav.

The first team was comprised of Buckeey, Beatuful and Toasteee. Krazy, Delishus and Nibblz made up the second team. The their team had like Dat, Buckwild, and Bootz. Naturally, there was a training montage. The women talked badly about each other to the camera while the viewer was treated to their rehearsals.

After the training the montage the girls were called on to compete.

And they all danced. And it all looked like they were doing the same things to me. And two teams were chosen for a standoff to break a tie breaker. The only woman who did anything different was Nibblz who gave Flav a lap dance during the standoff. She put her behind in Flav's face and according to the other women, she clapped her butt cheeks together. She admitted to the camera that she was a better stripper than dancer and was just relying on what she knew how to do best.

The team that was stacked with his three favorite women in the house won, which to me makes the whole dance off thing ridiculous. If he wanted to take out the three who won, why make the contestants go through all that crap. Anyway, Krazy won a dinner date for later that night, Nibblz was scheduled for breakfast and Deelishus was on the calendar for lunch.

The show jumped ahead to Krazy dressed in a beautiful black sequined gown and I have to admit, she looked really pretty. Flav told her he was taking her to his favorite place to eat and I think she understood that to mean that he was taking her some place fancy. If you guessed that his favorite place to eat is Kentucky Fried Chicken then your instinct was right. As Krazy was getting out of the limo you could tell that she was a little disappointed but that look was only there for a second. She quickly turned that look into a smile and we see her telling the camera that she was touched. It turns out that Flav rented the KFC for the night so they could have a private romantic dinner.

During dinner he questioned her about her level of attraction to him. Through gritted smiling teeth she told him that she was indeed attracted to him. But you could tell there was disgust behind that smile.

Up until this point in the show, we really hadn't seen too much of the women gossiping with each other and to tell you the truth, Krazy's date with Flav was starting to bore me. The producers must really understand their audience because from her on in the show starts getting really interesting.

Back at the house, the rest of the girls were hanging out. Some in the jacuzzi, some in the house. In the jacuzzi, Like Dat, Beatuful and Bootz were treated to the drunken rabble of Toasteee who claimed that while she and Nibblz were sleeping with Flav that Nibblz manipulated Flav's noonoo with her hand. Bootz was all ears as Like Dat called her out as a drunken liar.

Beatuful heard Flav pull up in front and we cut to Flav and Krazy in Flav's private hot tub. He toasted to their "finally having their moment" and then he pulled his swim trunks out of the tub and told Krazy that they were going to turn it up a notch. We then see the exterior of Flav's house and hear a sound track of kissing, slurping and giggling. Presumably Krazy and Flav are getting it on. It's my guess that he pulled out swim trunks while still wearing a pair of his own as a fakeout to the audience and that the soundtrack of giggling and slurping came from some other event.

The next morning, Nibblz got dressed for her breakfast date and her top was so revealing that VH1 blurred out parts of her top half. Flav claimed that her nipples were busting through but who knows. That could have been another fake out. It looked to me like she was wearing the same short white top she wore in the dance contest. Anyway their date went pretty well, I guess. They had a pretty frank conversation about Nibblz career as a stripper. She told Flav that she has a stripper pole in her living room and that she keeps up her stripping skills for internet stripping by dancing in strip clubs with friends. Flav was clearly impressed by her honesty. Or as he put it, kept it real.

Big Rick interrupted their date because it was over and he had to get ready for his lunch date with Deelishus.

The next time we see Flav he was descending his staircase with scepter in hand, dressed head to toe in red. He was wearing a red doo rag on his head. I thought he looked ridiculous but Deelishus was impressed because his outfit matched her red tee shirt. He actually took her on a romantic date. Deelishus and Flav picked strawberries. While picking the sensuous fruit, Deelishus referred to Flav as Daddy. That made my skin crawl a little bit. Over a spaghetti picnic Flav broke the romantic moment by telling Deelishus that he had feelings for both her and Krazy.

Back at the house the shit was hitting the fan. Bootz told Nibblz that Toasteee said what she said about Nibblz doing the thing that I won't name. Nibblz confronted Toasteee and expressed disappointment because, as she told Toasteee, of all the girls in the house that she had to worry about her talking behind her back , Toasteee was the last one she thought she had to worry about.

Nibblz armed with every last one of Toasteee's secrets, spilled the beans about her to Flav in his room after he got back from his date with Deelishus. She told Flav that Toasteee had appeared in porn. Flav then went to Toasteee and asked her if that was true. She denied it - naturally. Then Flav went back to Nibblz to make sure she was being truthful and called her back to his room for more information about Toasteee's past. While that meeting was going Toasteee knocked on Flav's door and with both women sitting there, he told them he was going to some research and whoever was caught lying, he said would be going home.

The she said, she said continued.

At the elimination ceremony, Flav called Toasteee out as a liar and produced a nasty photograph of Toasteee doing something nasteee. It was so nasteeee in fact, that the other women were shocked. This is no small feet considering that with the exception of Like Dat, they are all involved in adult entertainment in one form or another.

Toasteee went home in tears.

Now, I did some research myself and found out there are links to the porn that Nibblz was referring to but I'm not listing that on my website. This is also why I'm not repeating the names of the projects that Toastee was involved in.

You'll have to get that information on your own.

Clutter Free Drawers

Today, I started one of many projects to come that involve really cleaning our home at the most basic levels. And that is an organization project of huge proportions.

This morning's job was to clean out and organize my dresser. I condensed two drawers into one by throwing away about 50 socks that were either full of holes or missing a partner.

I also got rid of about 4 items of clothing that I don't wear and that were taking up space and I folded everything - that's right everything. If you're like me, your drawers are full of clothes at different levels of foldedness. I go through this process pretty ritualistically. Hopefully, I will maintain the habit of keeping my clothing neatly folded in my newly reorganized drawers.

Tomorrow, I'll tackle the closets.

Then the book shelves.

Then the desk.

Then the CD's and old VHS cassettes.

Then my makeup and toiletries.

Then . . . well, that should do it.

August 29, 2006

Just Another Day in the Neighborhood

Just another rainy day in good ole Astoria - sixth day to be exact.

Friday night Jon and I watched Tampopo - the Japanese Noodle Western. It's a cute movie from the 80's directed by Juzo Itami that makes sport of Japan's food culture. It's a lot of fun and highly recommended.

This morning Jon and I rode our bikes through a light drizzle to the bike shop for tuneups and walked back in the pouring rain. We stopped for breakfast which quickly made it's departure shortly after we complete the walk to our home. I had some buttered noodles for lunch and I'm hoping they stick around for a while because I need some energy tonight.

This week I've been assigned to work the last week of Sweeney Todd. The last performance is September 3rd - an unusual second Sunday show. I'm working all the shows including the last one. Since the show is closing this week I'm hoping that they'll be some celebs in the crowd. That's usually how it works.

I started my fourth Pete Dexter novel this morning - The Paperboy. Here is the opening line:
My brother Ward was once a famous man

Isn't that great? Don't you have so many questions? What happened to his brother? Is he dead? Is that why he is no longer famous?

August 28, 2006

Indian Food

Last night, Jon and I helped a friend celebrate his birthday at an Indian restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan or was it the East Village. The neighborhood demarkation line is blurry down there.

Anyway, we were there celebrating two birthdays actually and there were about 25 people there.

But that's not what I want to tell you about. It's been a while since I've had a bad reaction to food and today I'm having a bad reaction which doesn't seem to be stopping.

And that makes me sad. Because I had to cancel dinner tonight with another friend. While I'm not violently ill I just don't feel right handling food and serving it to someone else. Because that's icky, right?

So. Friend. I apologize and hope you accept my invitation for next week.

A Million Little Pieces

Remember last year when that author James Frey got into trouble for lying about parts of his book A Million Little Pieces? Well, I finally read it and cried when I was finished. It was very well done. Very moving and I find myself not caring if it was true or not because reading the book was a good experience. He's a decent writer. His writing is candid and his prose has an interesting cadence.

Some of the book does ring terribly untrue; like the incident where he described getting a double root canal without anesthesia. Or the incident where one of his drug counselors allowed him to run into a fully operational crackhouse (or has described it - a place were people were using crack) to rescue his girlfriend. And then there was the way he agrandized himself, making himself appear tougher that the 12-step AA program for quitting addiction and how he intimidated the toughest guys in there. He beat up a lot of people and won all his confrontations including one with himself where he ripped off a toe nail to feed the feelings that made him want to abuse drugs and alcohol.

But some of what he wrote felt very real. He may or may not have been honest about his criminal activities but what he wrote about feeling vulnerable and insecure and angry and confused and sad and lonely - all of that is very real. He went through what a lot of us, I'm sure went through in our late adolescence and early 20's but without the benefit of every drug known to man. And his story is very relatable.

If only he could have sold the book as fiction. If you start reading about the book's genesis, you'll find out that it was rejected many, many times as a piece of fiction which made him turn to lying about it being non-fiction. It's a shame. Because he's a decent writer. I recommend reading the book. Just remember that some of it may not be the absolute truth. Look at the book as a fiction and you won't feel betrayed.

I can't imagine feeling betrayed by a writer. If you've ever tried to write something, really tried, you appreciate when an author succeeds at communicating their ideas. And that's how I feel about Frey. He was trying to make me understand something about him and he did. I even understand that people with compulsive behaviors sometimes lie with considerable regularity. So, again - not feeling betrayed by Frey.

Of course, I'm not a survivor of anything worse than the regular bad things that happen to regular people. I've never been an addict or suicidal or particapiated in criminal activities. I may resent authority but I never defy it. I've never been arrested. I've never OD'd. I never tried to kill a priest in Paris.

I don't look to books like this for inspiration. They satisfy my curiosity for what it's like to live on the edge. When I was a teenager, it was books by Holocaust survivors. Now as an adult I read about people who survive child abuse and addiction. Come to think of it, maybe I do look to these books for inspiration. Maybe reading about people who survive unimaginable grief and suffering help move us through our comparatively trivial tribulations.

Eh. You know what I'm trying to say.

Read the book. Read the book.

August 26, 2006

Flavor of Love 2 - Episode 3

The following women were left as we went into Episode 3 entitled She Works Hard for her Honey: Tiger, Buckeey, Like Dat, Nibblz, Toasteee, Payshintz, Krazy, Bootz, Buckwild, Somethin', Deelishis, Beatuful. Based on the episode's title you probably have guessed by now that the tasks involve WORKING HARD.

For the first task, six of the 12 remaining women were sent to work at a Soul Food restaurant. The idea being that Flav wanted to make sure the women are into him for him and not for his money. He tells the camera, "I want a girl who's going to make her own money instead of spending up on mine." As if any one who lived with Flav would expect to work.

Bootz and Somethin' were put to work in the kitchen prepping food which involved gutting and defeathering chickens. As if that weren't gross enough they also had to gut, clean and scale fish. Deelishis was a hostess and server, Toasteee was the cashier and Buckwild and Krazy were waitresses. Buckwild is already a waitress so she thrived in the restaurant environment. I'm not sure how Krazy and Toasteee did because the editors and producers were mostly interested in showing Deelishis walking from behind while the male patrons watched her hang jawed. There was a lot of slow motion jiggling as she walked from one table to another checking on patrons and serving food. A female patron commented that "That is too much ass for one person."

The editors and producers were also interested in sharing what was going happening in the kitchen. Somethin' didn't take her positively disgusting kitchen duties seriously and goofed off to help cope. She goofed off so badly the manager of Soul Food fired her. Bootz on the other hand decided she was going to win this task and worked it out - reaching into the chicken's organ filled cavity with gusto and scooping out hearts, lungs etc. without flinching.

Bootz was right. He complimented the five who didn't get fired on how well they did and announced Bootz as the winner for so bravely dealing with disgusting animal parts. She won a ride in a convertible with Flava Flav. In his letter jacket, with 50's movie music playing on the soundtrack, he drove her to a Lover's Lane type parking spot and admired Los Angeles from their vantage point on top of a hill. He may or may not have made out with her. I'm not really sure because I got some cold water from the kitchen. But isn't that like a lame reward for all that disgusting hard work?

That night, back at the house, around bed time, Krazy tried to get Flav to lay with her in bed a few hours the night before. But he had Deelishis's rump on his brain and invited her to spend the night with him, which she did like a good Flavor of Love contestant ought not to do. Krazy, feeling rejected by Flav started ranting to some women in the garden. She was telling them she felt rejected when Somethin' delighted in telling Krazy that she saw Deelishis going into his room. Then Krazy started crying that Deelishis is kissing on her man or something to that effect. She cried and cried. Then the show cut to Deelishis telling a camera that because she was the first one to spend the night with Flav she'd probably be the first one they all turn on. And she mentions that her and Krazy probably won't be friends anymore. Quel domage.

The next day, the remaining six women took part in the "Hold Down the Fort Challenge" which basically cleaning up his friend's house the day after a party. I have the sneaking suspicion that the mess was created by VH1 staffers because grown up people don't live in trashed houses. Anyway the house was pretty disgusting and all the women worked very hard. Nibblz won the challenge because she cleaned the preternaturally disgusting bathroom. And when Flav announced she was the winner he accidentally referred to her as NIPPLZ.

What did she win? A private dinner with Flav. He was dressed up in his usual coronation regalia and when Nibblz arrived for dinner, he placed a tiara on her head to match his ridiculous crown. They sat at opposing ends of a huge table. Flav had a butler (or a hired actor portraying a butler) serving them. When the butler brought out medallions of beef cooked medium rare Flav sent them back to be cooked more. The butler brought them back charred and smoking and without flavor which seemed to be acceptable. Nibblz, poor thing, tried to have a conversation with Flav but they couldn't really hear each other because of the great distance between them. Flav moved closer to her. The butler brought out the hugest lobster I have ever seen which Flav attacked with a giant mallet. They didn't appear to eat any of the lobster. Chef should have just made fried chicken. Why bother?

While all this was going on, the 11 other women were having dinner outside by the pool. They decided to play a truth game where they could drink shots instead of answering questions honestly. Payshintz got into some trouble with the other girls because she started talking again about how she would rather be in Asia than putting up with drama here. This later led to a confrontation with Bootz, who then picked her second fight of the show. She sure is feisty. Earlier in the day she was fighting with Somethin' who was sticking up for herself because the other women slamming her for the pooping incident.

Anyway, Bootz makes Payshintz feel so bad that she starts to lose it a little and claims that if Flav gives Bootz a clock that she is leaving the show.

Tiger and Krazy go outside for some privacy so they can talk. Krazy starts crying to her about her passion for Flav and how she feels she's being thwarted by the other contestants. Tiger admits that she doesn't understand while all the women in the house are so excited about Flav. Bootz overhears this conversation and later, after dinner when she is talking privately with Flav, she rats out Tiger and Payshintz and talks shit about Somethin'.

Somethin' was eliminated because Flav couldn't get past the shit about the shit.

Tiger was eliminated because Flav accurately observed that she didn't fit in and that she most likely wouldn't be happy if she stayed on the show.

Payshintz, true to her confession to the group, rejected the clock from Flav because Bootz received a clock.

At the end of every episode, Flav cracks open a bottle of champagne and pours it onto his rug out of respect, not for his friends who have died in gang warfare, but for the women who were eliminated from the show.

In the previews for the next show, someone is going to be exposed as an adult entertainer.

Honestly, it could be any one of those women.

August 25, 2006

Flavor of Love 2 - Episode 2

Episode 2 - Flav is Blind
This was a special, special show. It started with Flav's butler bringing a menu to the girls poolside. The women had to pick something off the menu they thought Flav would like. When the exotic but not really that exotic items were read aloud, you could see the look of confusion on their faces. Tiramisu, foie gras, and escargot were only some of the vocubulary words that weren't in their every day verbal repertoire.

So. . .after the girls got ready, they were transported to a restaurant on a party bus specially outfitted with a bar and stripper pole. The girls were quick to put it to good use. I think some of the women on the show might be actual strippers, porn stars and exotic dancers. Toastee - who was nicknamed such for her constant state of wastedness - wasn't wearing any underwear when she did her stripper split.

After the women were settled in the restaurant, Flav was brought in blind folded. The women were each sitting at a table with the dish they selected. Their job was to - actually I'm not sure what they were supposed to do. But it involved describing to Flav the various food items in front of him while he was blind folded so he could get a feel for their personalities.

The winners of this test were Like Dat, Buckwild and Tiger.

Are you wondering what their prize could have been? I thought you might be. Flav took the winners to some pier where two Gondolas were waiting. Two women would ride in one while Flav rode with the third and then switch out giving each a chance to impress Flav individually. Nothing especially memorable happened except for one thing. Flav kept calling the Gondolas - gonzoliers. Oh yeah and the third woman wouldn't kiss Flav because she didn't want to kiss him after he was kissing other women. High standards indeed.

On the bus ride home, sour grapes all the way, especially from Payshintz, who was drunkenly ranting about how she didn't need this drama and that she didn't need to stay here to be treated like crap when she could go back to Hong Kong and be treated like a princess. I mention this because it comes up in a later episode.

Back at the house, after the dates, Flav had one-on-one time with each of the remaining women. The one on ones involved the usual small-talk jibber-jabber.
"I'm just so grateful to be here."
"Well. I'm grateful that you are here."
"You know what I'm saying."
"Yeah, I know what you're saying."

One of the women just couldn't wait her turn and started hovering near the patio where he was having his one-on-ones. Wire. Wire was acting pretty nutty. When it was her turn to talk with Flav she asked him to touch her hair because it felt like silk and gave him cause for concern. Although in her camera confession after their date, she describes having felt every emotion ther is to feel. Wire did not receive a clock that evening during the "you know what time it is" ceremony. Neither did Spunkeey who was finally "flushed out" as a fake (in a room full of fakes by the way).

Other highlights include the incredibly caucasian Wire saying to a full room that she hopes Flav picks her because she wants to have dark babies. Not only is it offensive to just about everybody but it shows Wire is not terribly sensitive to the the people around her or aware of her surroundings for that matter. Also, it seems that Like Dat is sniffing out Buckwild as a fake. Buckwild is a white woman who speaks with a blaccent and claims to be from the "hood" or the "ghetto". But some of the other women on the show are starting to get suspicious. And Somethin' is getting a lot of shit for - well - shitting on Flav's floor.

August 23, 2006

A Weekend In Lancaster

Saturday, Jon and I drove out to Pennsylvania to meet some of our New York and New Jersey friends for some shoofly pie and a weekend in the country.

Here are some pictures from our trip.

Jon and I visited Wheatland - the private residence of President James Buchanan and his two adopted children. The docent was dressed in period costume but since we weren't allowed to take pictures you'll have to take my word for it.
James Buchanan Lived Here and Died Here

We also visited Intercourse, PA which was good for shits and giggles. We visited some of the shops to check out the souvenirs.
Stagecoach Shops

Sadly we couldn't find a QUILLOW that was right for us. It's a strange sign...right? It lists QUILLOWS at $39.99, then queen size quilts for $390.00 and then out of no where, sun glasses for 99 cents.

It's against Amish religion to be photographed. Hopefully that restriction doesn't apply to their horses. The Amish give horse and buggy rides to tourists.
Reserved For Buggy Ride

Did I mention there is a lot of corn in Pennsylvania?

August 20, 2006

Books I've Read

Books I've Read Recently
By Pete Dexter
Paris Trout
Brotherly Love

By Dave Pelzer
A Child Called It

Movies I've Seen Recently
The Aristocrats - again. It's worth watching over and over because you pick up more each time you see it.
The Chronicles of Narnia - good movie. Easy to watch but I'm sure easier to understand if you've read the books, but still a good movie.

TV Show's I've Watched Recently
(and I'm not ashamed to admit to watching any of them)
Flavor of Love 2
Project Runway 3
Celebrity Fit Club 4
Medium - summer reruns
Hex - from England
Charmed - countless reruns from seasons past
Law & Order - countless reruns from seasons past although less and less these days

August 19, 2006

Glamour Nails Design - Astoria

Last week I went to Athena's Nails in Astoria for a manicure/pedicure. It was Monday and I was feeling down because I didn't get the job where I was going to work for free. In addition to that, I had just come from the doctor for an ear problem that was plaguing me for five days or so.

Anyway, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I was hoping to lift my spirits a little.

So. That's what I did. I walked into the nail salon at 1 in the afternoon on the first day of the work week for a manicure/pedicure and it was very busy. But I was taken right away. I was optimistic. The manager showed me to a pedicure chair and instructed me to sit down and take off my shoes and socks so I could start soaking my feet in the foot sink.

And there I sat. Alone. Ignored. With my feet soaking. For 10 minutes. After which I said to the woman working on the woman next to me "When is somebody going to help me?" She replied in broken English that just because I was sitting there didn't mean I was next.

If I had been sitting on the bench in the front of the salon waiting for my turn I could understand how that might have been true. But the manager herself set me up to be next, by putting me in that damn pedicure chair.

So I ceremoniously dried off my feet, put my shoes and socks back on and got up to leave. No one tried to stop me as I stormed out the front door with my middle finger discretely sticking up in the general direction of the manager.

I went to a different salon. Around the block from our apartment, the old laundromat had been sold and converted into a nail salon. Glamour Nails Design at 30-23 30th Street in Astoria to be exact.

There was only one other customer in there when I walked in. And the woman running the place I recognized from having worked at Athena's Nails. It was Christine who is well known in the neighborhood for doing the best acrylic tips. Very nice. Very sweet.

The woman who worked on my feet also jumped Athena's ship.

Turns out Athena was working people too hard. They started resenting her so her best employees left to either start or manage their own salons.

During the next hour we laughed, we cried and ran the gamut of emotions as we reminesced about Athena's Nails and joked how we will, none of us, ever go back there again.

My nails look great. My feet are soft and pink again and all is right with the world.

August 16, 2006

Wednesday Blahs

I've got a good case of the Wednesday blahs, which actually go very well with my Tuesday and Monday blahs.

Here's one of the reasons why I have the blahs.

I got a job with a casting agency as an assistant and lost it without having worked a day.

Back in the early 90's when I was first living alone in my little studio apartment I really liked it. Being alone. Living alone. It was nice and that feeling lasted for a long time. After I stopped working a part-time job in addition to my full time job that feeling turned to loneliness a few years in. I realized that I had been spending too much time working and not enough time making friends and developing a life outside of work.

To combat that lonely feeling I started planning different activities for myself. I joined gyms but inevitably failed each time because I didn't really gel with anybody at the gym. I would have one conversation with someone and then never speak to them again. In addition to that, I always felt very intimidated in the gym and would stop going. So I started working part-time jobs again.

I found one I liked that I thought would lead to meeting people and making friends. It's the job I'm doing now. What actually happened though is that the job just served to put me in the same place as many different people. That worked too for a while because I wasn't alone. But I still felt lonely.

Watching shows reminded me how much I used to crave working in entertainment so I started taking acting lessons - which helped me with my loneliness problem. I was spending quality time with other people, rehearsing scenes, going out to dinner with classmates after classes.

But I learned that I didn't like acting - found it too personal, painful, revealing. I joined up with some friends and in 2000, we put on a production at the American Theater of Actors on 54th Street. I was a producer, a director, a stage manager and casting director.

So, I got the idea that I might be good at casting. I went to those workshops that they advertise in the back of Backstage and learned that you have to work for slave wages or for free to get into casting. Living alone and on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis I could never really do that.

But now, things are different and while I still have to work, I'm not stuck in the same spirit crushing poverty that was my situation back then.

So. . .I met with a woman who runs a casting agency who told me that I could work for her for free and she would teach me everything she knows about casting. She was willing to work around my theater schedule and accept any time I could give her.

I was going to start this past Monday. Sunday night she called to tell me that her accountant had given her bad news - that to be an unpaid intern I would have to be a student working for credit. We couldn't do it. I couldn't work for her for free and she couldn't pay me.

But she did tell me to register with her agency to do some extra work.

So I guess that is something.

August 15, 2006

Flavor of Love - Season 2 - Episode 1

Get the Hennessy, your best five inch f*** me pumps and the stripper pole because it's time for the new season of Flavor of Love. In the first episode 20 women came to Flavor's mansion to establish themselves as contenders for a piece of Flava Flav's heart. The opening show involved a lot of drinking, trash talking and girl-on-girl action. The girl-on-girl action included both cat fighting and drunken flirtation.

After several hours of partying, Flava Flav descended the stairs of his decadent house in an outfit typical of the whacky image he continues to portray to the viewing public.

If you don't know what I mean, I'll explain. Because he wants us to know that he knows what time it is, he accesorizes every colorful and ostentatious pimp like outfit with an enormous clock which he hangs around his neck. Outfits also often include capes, crowns and scepters.

He came down to rename the women because he claims that since he'll never be able to remember their given names, by nicknaming them it will be easier for him to remember who is who.

Based on their personalities here are the names he gave the women in the house:
Nibblz - because she talks like Mike Tyson
Buckwild - because it was on her belt buckle
Spunkeey - because she bounced a lot
Toastee - because she was drunk
Hood - because she is from the neighborhood of Compton, CA
Tiger - because she is an animal trainer
Buckeey - because she may have bucked her body like a wild buck when he met her but I honestly don't remember
Like Dat - because she tells it like it is
Beatuful - because she's pretty - either that or because she is being considered for sainthood
Payshyntz - because she was so patient while he tried to figure out her nickname
Saaphyri - I don't remember
H-Town - because she is from Houston, I think
Krazy - presumably she presents herself as crazy
Wire - because she is nervous and jumpy
Bootz - because he wants to knock boots with her?
Bamma - because she is from Alabama
Somethin - because she's not thin and there is something to her body mass index
Choclat - I don't know. Maybe 'cause he thinks she's sweet and he wants to eat her?
Deelishis - I don't know but I can guess
Eyez - presumable because she has pretty eyes but there could be another reason

After Flav renamed all the contestants, he revealed that one of the women in the group was a spy. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the one nicknamed EYEZ you would have been correct. So while all the women were getting drunk and talking trash with each other EYEZ was doing her best to figure out which of the women were there for Flav and which ones were there for the TV cameras.

Based on the information she gave him he was able to make an informed decision on who should stay in the house and who should go.

During all these going ons there were two fights that are worth mentioning.

One girl was upset with another girl and then accused of her not being real and not being there for the right reasons. It led to fisticuffs. Afterwards one of the women prayed to God to forgive her for kicking the other girl's ass. That was very special.

In the second fight, Somethin' just started screaming for no reason I truly understand. It ended with her threatening to break her champagne glass and then shoving it up the ass of the woman she was fighting with.

In the end, Flava Flav revealed that EYEZ was a spy, dismissed her from the show and then eliminated four women leaving 15 to vie for his affections. The Women who were chosen received clocks with their pictures on them that they wear around their necks like Flav.

After all was said and done, Somethin had an accident and left a trail of poop leading to the bathroom. VH1 ended the show with this incident in all its glory.

It was a very special episode.

August 13, 2006

Project Runway - Season 3 - Episode 5

The show started differently. Instead of the designers choosing their models, the models chose their designer for another fashion contest. In spite of the model's empowerment, two of them were eliminated. I thought the elimination was unfair. They weren't eliminated because they failed at modeling - they just failed at having Heidi Klum pick their names out of a gunniesack.

The models had to pick a fashion icon for their designers and the challenge for the designers was to modernize their fashion icon.

Included in the list of fashion icons with Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, and Katherine Hepburn were Farah Fawcett, Cher and Pam Grier. While the last three are all very stylish I would never thought of any of them as fashion icons.

Anyway, the person who won ended up modernizing Pam Grier's look. And the outfit was sharp.

The person who lost got stuck modernizing Cher. He made a horrible outfit, and in his defense, it was so horrible that Cher probably would have worn it. But the judges didn't see it that way. The judges told Bradley he could have gotten very creative because his icon was Cher. But I certainly don't agree. Cher's look over the years has been consistently confusing. It's impossible to update someone's style when that person doesn't have one.

August 11, 2006

Recommendations That Don't Have Anything To Do With Broadway

I'm back at Sweeney Todd again. What can I say? The show is still great. But I'm getting a little tired of it. And next week? I'm back at Sweeney Todd - again.

Last night, I started reading Deadwood by Pete Dexter because last week, at Jon's recommendation, I read Paris Trout by the same author and now I want to read all of his books.
Paris Trout is about a white man who has to deal with the guilt of having killed a young black girl and then getting away with it. It's chilling and reads like a true crime novel. The characters are very real. And everybody speaks just like you imagine they should in the early 20th century racially divided South.

Deadwood is about an over-the-hill Wild Bill Hickock and the woman who lusts after him, Calamity Jane. I just started and so far I'm enjoying it. Pete Dexter's gift with dialogue makes this book as authentic as Paris Trout. Everyone speaks like you'd expect people would have been speaking on a wagon train headed out to the wild west.

I also read a book called A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer. I bought that one at the Barnes and Noble over by Lincoln Center because I needed something to keep me occupied one night while I was working at Lion King. Lord knows Lion King wasn't up to the job of keeping me entertained. I was hoping the book might last me through the long Saturday night shift but I ended up finishing it in about 2 hours. That left me with nothingto do for the rest of my shift except dream about the party I was going to later that evening.

Anyway, A Child Called It is the true story of Dave Pelzer's abusive childhood which was deemed the third worst case of child abuse out of 38,000 cases of child abuse in California. The book was hard to read yet I couldn't put it down. Thank goodness Dave Pelzer opened with the story of his rescue because it ended up making his story just a little bit easier to bear. You wouldn't believe what this man's mother did to him. It's appalling.

August 10, 2006

3 Years Old

I started this blog August 6, 2003.

And I don't plan to stop it any time soon.

So. There.

August 09, 2006

Why I Didn't Post Last Week

Some of my regular readers have commented in emails and phone calls that they were worried about me because of my lack of postings over last week. There's a simple reason for that. I just didn't feel like it. It's not like I didn't have anything to write about. I just didn't feel like it.


To tell you the truth, I was pretty bored last week, the week of The Heatwave. My job sent me to work The Lion King at the Minskoff Theater. I'm not going to say the show is bad but I will say that it is not the show for me. I was so bored that I didn't even want to sit in the empty theater and watch what happens before and behind the scenes like I usually do. Most of the time, I just found myself sitting by my booth either reading or wandering around the lobby.

The lobby is pretty amazing. Closed in entirely by glass, people can look down on Broadway between 44th and 45th Street, up to 47th St. and down to 42nd St.

Here's the view looking uptown.
Times Square 2
Looks pretty crowded right? Well it is. And it is those crowds about which I have written so often. Trying to get through those crowds is difficult as all get out. Eventually you just give up on pushing, and shuffle along with the rest of the buffalos.

Here's a closer look at the crowded corner of 45th of Broadway.
45th and Bway
On any given day the northwest corner, specifically, smells like horse piss. I'm not exactly sure why.

You'll also note from the first photo how brightly lit was Times Square during the week of the heatwave; the week when over 20,000 customers in northwestern Queens were without power; the week when Mayor Bloomberg asked that people limit their power use. During all that, the lights of Times Square burned brightly while people were losing power in Westchester, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, parts of Manhattan and part of New Jersey.

Did anyone ask the operators of those brilliant neonic and metallic monoliths to conserve power? NO. The answer is obviously NO.

After The Heatwave

Hear are some pictures of the sky from when after the heatwave broke.

Aren't they pretty?


Clouds 2

Biking on Roosevelt Island

Jon and I have been riding our bikes on Roosevelt Island.

Much to our surprise, we discovered that some time back, the powers that be opened up the south end of the island to foot and bike traffic.

Here are some pictures from the south end of Roosevelt Island.

The United Nations
RI South UN

The Queensboro Bridge
RI South Tri Bridge

The Citicorp Building
RI South Citicorp

My Two Favorite Guys

Here is a picture of my two favorite men at Boxers.
My two favorite guys
In case you are wondering who they are, the man on the left is my brother and the man on the right is my husband.

Monday Morning Dream

Sunday Jon and I visited my nephew who had been sick all week with the Coxsackie Virus. My brother and sister-in-law, Jon and I enjoyed the pleasant Sunday visit while my 2 1/2 year old nephew made us laugh most of the afternoon. Sunday night we stayed at my parent's house, with the goal of going to the beach on Monday which we did and enjoyed in spite of some spots of sunburn.
In the wee hours of Monday morning I had the strangest dream. As soon as I woke up I scribbled down some notes in my trustee journal. What do you think it means?

Part I
G-d lives upstairs in an apartment connected by a stair case. Also present are Death and two other angels. I live in a combination apartment/store of some sort.

My dog is an angel also. Todd Bridges is my friend.

My friend Dave's friend Joanna is a spunky spirit that keeps coming back from death as a good person that helps others. I am Joanna in a flashback and I see myself as a female medic walking into heaven with an army medical team.

Part II
I come home and death is in my apartment preparing for a battle with God and the two other angels. He leaves a black duffel bag on the floor. A delivery comes for the store and deliveryman accidentally moves the bag to where I can't see it. Then a man walks down the stairs. He says he is a doctor and he's checking on my neighbor who as wells as God is also James Cromwell dressed in a white suit with a white shirt and white tie. The doctor says he is my neighbor's son.

I tell him that his father thinks he is God and that he shouldn't leave him alone because I think he's going to kill himself and others because of the final confrontation. Then I ask him if he's seen Death's black duffel bag on his way in.

Part III
Then all of a sudden, it's a few hours later and I'm returning home from I'm not sure where. I decide to sit in my car and watch TV because instead of a front window there is a TV in it's place. I watch TV trying to make sense of what is happening.

Todd Bridges knocks on my window. I invite him into the car to watch TV with me and start explaining the bizarre circumstances of the day. He thinks I need a change of pace, so he gets in the front seat and starts driving me around Hollywood. The TV disappears. I remember being impressed by his sobriety and I felt safe with him. We drive by the MAD TV studios and a young woman is handing out cards promoting a show starring Will Sasso. The girls opens the driver's door, squeezes into the back seat and then exits through the back door.

Todd B and I are now walking toward my store/house and I am thinking to myself that this doesn't make any sense. Who was this Death guy and why did he seem familiar to me in my flashback?

As we approach the house, I see dog floating in the outline of a Japanese dog statue with wings. It is my German Shepherd and he is an angel. When he lands on the sidewalk, he trots out as just a dog and I feel safe and protected when I pet him.

There are two strange gargoyle like creatures on the street and I realize they are the corporeal forms of the two other angels. They are blocking traffic, keeping it off my street.

I start putting the puzzle together. The doctor is my neighbor's son, the devil, and he has somehow incapacitated God. I start to feel scared as I remember feeling like death was coming for me and the final confrontation was for me soul. God was there to take me when death finished me and I'm not sure about the other 2 angels.

I woke up.

And the longer I stayed I awake, the more the dream faded.

I woke up on my back. I had kicked off the covers and had really bad heart burn.