Friday, April 29, 2005

"Heaven is a city much like San Francisco."

I often say that growing up in New York has ruined me for all other cities. And that's true, but San Francisco is close. I'm staying near Union Square, which is tourist central (it's kind of like living in a mall) and I haven't had much time to explore yet, but it feels like a real city to me. Nothing quite looks or feels like New York (SF keeps making me think of Chicago, but with hills and palm trees), but I love that people actually walk here...and fairly briskly too! Plus, I have to love a city where I can see the Container Store from the Apple Store. (The latter was actually disappointing, since apart from looking like a giant Powerbook on the outside, on the inside the layout is identical to Soho's, complete with the glass staircase, so it was pretty dull.)

Anyway, today I got to leave work and be a tourist for a few hours, so I rode a cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch, and walked along Embarcadero and Market Streets for a couple of miles. I'll explore off the beaten path a bit more next week.

Here are some pics...
I was weirdly obsessed with this fountain:


Funny head:


Bay Bridge:

Some weird goodies from the Musee Mecanique
100B1791.JPG 100_1817.JPG
100_1821.JPG 100_1826.JPG

Telegraph Hill (from the bottom)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Crap in any language

For maybe an hour, Spanglish is not as bad as everyone said. Adam Sandler, Paz Vega, and both of the girls are charming and eminently watchable. Tea Leoni does an excellent job of playing a fairly hateful person and appalling mother, as her character is apparently written. But what is this movie and what were they thinking when they made it? It starts off as one thing – a sort of dark, vaguely dramatic family comedy about neurotic white people and their mature, self-aware daughter. Sort of a Gilmore Girls/Teri Hatcher kinda thing but with an actual dad. I liked that movie for the 20 minutes it lasted. But when the "unfortunate Mexicans" arrive, it's not just Leoni's character who starts ignoring her complicated daughter in favor of the new girl with whom she can bond with cash – the filmmakers toss her aside as well, in favor of this awkward mess of bizarre racism. In helping Cristina and getting her into a good school, Leoni is doing a good thing, but she's doing it for all the wrong reasons – because she wants a surrogate daughter to replace her own awkward one, and because she must compete with everyone at all times (a fact hammered home by too many scenes of her trying to pass other joggers on the street). So how are we supposed to feel about her? Mostly I just wanted to see her on medication.

Oh but wait, in the middle we go back to the Sandler/Leoni marriage. Which I thought wasn't the point of the story, except as a metaphor about people speaking the same language but still not understanding each other. No, wait, we were supposed to care, apparently. And did I mention Cloris Leachman? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. What is her purpose in this movie? Why is she a drunk? And why is she playing a drunk in the most clich├ęd way imaginable? Oh and then she stops drinking. Did a flight attendant change the channel on us? What's happening here?

And, what? Flor has the hots for Sandler? Where the hell did that come from? And she wants to quit over it? Over that?? And not over her other boss who is a raving lunatic???

But then, the moment all the critics latched on to, in which Flor "selfishly" quits her job, resulting in her daughter's loss of her private school education, didn't seem like such a big deal. I mean, would you stay at your job if it was the most uncomfortable workplace ever, one boss was certifiable and you almost slept with the other boss and both bosses were busily buying your daughter? Cristina's temper tantrum made me hate her too! It's as if the critics were almost as racist as everyone else, going "How could she not take the kindly white people's money?"

In the end, the movie just offended me as a moviegoer (well, y'know, on a 737). It's astonishingly poorly structured and disjointed. It's just a mess. It's entirely unclear what story they're telling, and by the end pretty much every character looks selfish, nasty and hateful, except for the ones who didn't get much screen time, though I'm sure given time they would have turned evil too. What were they all thinking? Did no one read the script before signing on? And who picks the movies for airplanes anyway? There are some good things on the list for other routes – or at least fun bad things like Elektra – but this is a film that was universally panned and bound to offend half of the passengers in one way or another. I'd rather have watched Final Destination.

I'm leaving my heart in New York, but I may pick up a new spleen

I'm on a plane. I believe this qualifies as a red-eye. It doesn't feel that way now, but I'm sure it will when I land and they tell me it's 11:45 but my body says it's nearly 3 am.

There's a good reason my blogging has tapered off from the usual ramblings of a bored temp in the last two weeks. So good I haven't had time to blog about it! A show I did last year is being re-mounted in San Francisco. It all came together very quickly, so I wound up giving less than two weeks' notice at Big Financial Company, and doing most of my pre-production work from my desk at Big Financial Company. (Let's hear it for largely unsupervised work environments! And of course, I didn't have to give two weeks' notice, being a temp, but I'd committed to them through May and want to come back after my trip, so I wanted to be as good as possible. They were very cool about the whole thing, actually.) Aaaanyway, exactly two weeks ago, I worked for four hours at BFC to train my replacement, then spent a day and a half racing around the city having impromptu meetings and getting all of my prep work that couldn't be done on someone else's dime finished in time for rehearsals. We spent 2 weeks in the studio, putting new actors into the show and refreshing the old ones, and making some changes and adjustments along the way. It's been kind of a whirlwind. This is my first time doing this sort of re-mount, and it's been challenging and fun. A big career step forward, but also a lovely trip back to one of my favorite projects with some of my favorite people.

And so here I am, on a plane across the country! (I'm not sure where I am exactly, since the movie is on and that cool little map is gone.) It's still sinking in that I'm getting paid to go to San Francisco! I've never been, and it's definitely on my list. (Lots of places are on my list - I'm embarrassingly poorly traveled - but SF is high up there.) I go for two weeks before handing the show over to a local stage manager, and while there will be lots and lots of work, I plan to find time to explore as much of the city as I can, eat some good seafood and look for Barbary Lane (yes, yes, I know it doesn't exist). I'll post when I can, and take lots of pictures!

For now, though, I'm going to turn my full attention to Spanglish, because as long as I'm a captive audience I might as well see if it's as bad as everyone said it was.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

All good things...

It all started so well. As the weather got warmer, I stopped working multiple jobs, kicked my cold, and finally got enough sleep. One particularly lovely day a couple of weeks ago, I'd slept for 9 or 10 hours, and made my way to work with hardly a trace of crank. I didn't get a seat on the train, but I wound up standing at the very front of the first car, blissfully staring out the window at the sunlit Manhattan skyline and listening to a spring mix on my iPod. A few days after that, I spend eight hours cleaning the apartment. And none of this Roomba shit, I'm talking broom and mop and Windex and moving furniture and traumatizing the cat and everything in the laundry. I was inspired. I was relaxed. Attractive people roamed the streets wearing less and less clothing. I love love love the spring!

But of course, there's a hitch. Now that the weather's warmer, there are all these damn people everywhere. I enjoy the sunshine and all, but I still have to get places, don't you? Could you please walk a little faster? It's not even just tourists, it's fucking everybody. The past couple weeks I've been back to working weekends near Times Square (more on that shortly), and people still don't get that 42nd Street is not a friggin' theme park ride! (Obviously, not enough people are reading my blog.) I understand that it's a beautiful spring weekend, but you know those people who waited on you in the restaurant? Who performed (and managed and crewed and ushed) that Broadway show? We were working, and while, yes, to some extent we owe our jobs to you, you are also making our lives miserable with your ambling, gaping, and stopping short in the middle of the sidewalk. If it's a beautiful spring weekend, then what are you doing in Times Square anyway? Go to a park, for god's sake! We've got plenty of them!

I guess being uncranky for more than a month was just too much to hope for.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Four!! Four people have now said "For god sakes!" And the latest was Andrew, and Bree didn't correct him!! Does anyone have the home addresses of the Desperate Housewives writers??

Oh, for god's sake!

I'm on my second Desperate Housewives of the night, and three people (one of them Lynette, who really should know better) have said "For God sakes." People, the expression means, "for the sake of God." Therefore, "God" needs to be possessive, and "sake" needs to be singular. "For God sakes" makes absolutely no sense.

I want to hurl something at the TV.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Obvious Instruction of the Week

Inexplicably, Intuit has an online rebate option (for my fee from e-filing my taxes) that simply consists of filling out the form on your computer. You don't apply for the rebate electronically, you still have to print out the page and mail it in.

Anyway, on the final screen of the process, it says, "Print this page prior to mailing." As opposed to what? Sending in my laptop?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Rambaldi

First Buffy and now Alias... I'm really enjoying Joel Grey's recent trend of playing absolute evil.

And a never-fully-explained Rambaldi device from season 1? All kinds of happy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Eggs Benedict

Is anyone else concerned that they just elected a former Nazi to be Pope?

I know, I know, it was just the Hitler Youth and everyone was doing it, peer pressure and the threat of death and yadda yadda, but I still find it deeply disturbing. Maybe mostly because of the way the press seems to keep glossing over it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Memos to Everwood

Memo to the WB: Please don't make us wait 3 months for a new episode of anything ever again, especially after a cliffhanger. It won't make the new episode any better. In fact, after all the buildup and waiting, it can only be anticlimactic and bad. And it was.

Memo to Madison; cc: any woman who may find herself in this situation: If your ex-boyfriend has a huge life-changing audition, and he doesn't know that you were pregnant with his child and paid by his dad to leave town and keep quiet about it and gave the child up for adoption, and you randomly run into the boyfriend, by all means do what you gotta do, but wait until AFTER the audition!!

Memo to Ephram: You're an idiot. Get over yourself.

Memo to Bright: No one says "boo-yah" anymore. I'm not sure anyone not on a WB drama ever did.

Memo to Amy: You're no Joey Potter.

Memo to Scott Wolf: Fire your agent and start campaigning for a guest spot on Lost as Jack's alcoholic brother.

Eye Strain

Thanks to the complete craptasticness of my eye care "plan," not only did I just drop $1000 I don't really have, I was reprimanded by my old eye doctor (who's been seeing me since I was 7) for not coming in for four years. That I work in the arts and he charges $350 a visit is apparently of no interest to him. I have been getting regular check-ups, but at a storefront optometry mill that's part of my insurance network. I decided to suck it up and spend some money because I'm tired of the crappy and uncomfortable frames I'm forced to accept on the plan. I didn't expect a scolding to come with the bill.

First he asked me why I "waited" to schedule my visual field test (which he had his receptionist do before I'd even been in to see him and he knew anything might be wrong with me) until a week before I leave town for the summer. Um, you only do those tests for 5 hours each Monday, and that was the earliest she could get me in? We managed to move it up three weeks, but this is my fault? Then, after telling me I may have glaucoma, he said, "I just wish you'd come in sooner. This is what I was afraid of four years ago." Really? Did you mention that?? Because I think if the possibility that I might be gradually losing my vision had come up, perhaps I would have made a point of coming in sooner!

I'm not actually worried about the glaucoma. Because I also may not have it, and even if I do it's early (since I obviously haven't noticed any change in my vision aside from the usual slight worsening of my nearsightedness) and it's easy to treat. We've got a couple of tests to do next month and that's that. I'm annoyed that my so-called insurance plan doesn't cover a pretty basic eye exam, that no one bothered to tell me I might be missing such a vital piece of care, and of course that my doctor is a very expensive asshole. This last may ultimately be the most annoying, since he's also a very skilled physician and after this experience I can't quite imagine going to anyone else and taking another chance.

Fortunately, the woman at the very expensive ophthalmologist was extremely nice, and funny, and not in so many words reminded me that Dr. Asshole can go fuck himself. He had insisted that I get sunglasses as well as regular ones, and the thought of spending all that money was making me really unhappy. Also the fact that I once had very expensive clip-ons and I never ever wore them. Too much hassle. Ms. Ophthalmologist knew this without having to be told, and sold me on Transitions lenses, which automatically tint when UV rays hit them. There's a fine line here between neat and dorky, and I'm clinging to the idea that these things are magic and therefore cool. I'm also clinging to the fact that the new frames are very flattering (or at least Ms. Ophthalmologist was when I had them on), and therefore worth the exorbitant cost. Oh yeah, and they're titanium. I am hard on my glasses, but that seems unnecessary.

But you don't want to take chances with your eyes, of course, and I guess the lesson learned here is don't skimp. Also that my union sucks and doctors should be nicer people, especially when they're jabbing things at your eyeball.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

So this is what things look like from the "peer" side of "peer pressure."

I do have a real post planned for this weekend, really I do (but it's about good moods and happiness and spring cleaning and cute little fluffy animals, and those things are frankly boring), but in the meantime I have to share the very exciting news that my friend ME has started a blog of his own, Adventures in Purgatory. ME comments frequently here, often sends me very clever emails, and even more often complains about how much down-time he has at his job, so I've been hounding him forever to share. He'll probably kill me for sharing this at this early stage (the first post is always the hardest -- it's like admitting you have a problem), but I'm excited and he made the mistake of wondering in writing "who'd actually read this stuff." Now watch, his readership will eclipse mine in a month.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Spam of the Week

I generally ignore my spam completely -- a quick look at the addresses and subject lines in my Suspect Mail folder will tell me if anything legit got filtered by mistake, and the rest I just delete -- but this caught my eye for some reason. I guess it was because MCM recently sent me a funny spam subject line that was similarly themed, so I thought I'd send this one along to her. Then I opened the actual email and was so... well, confused. I decided I had to post it in its entirety. If anyone dares go to the website (I did not, especially from work), please let me know what you find. Everything before the URL is typically badly written but at least makes sense. Everything after it is so fucking weird!

Subject: Acquire more dateable women in your zip code! barney

Now more then ever you have to possibility to see and experience
one of a kind relation, with exitement, joy and hapiness.
No matter what is your objective, your goal, you cna get
it - just watch and talk to the women, real women just like
you're a real man. so enter the site now for more...

thank you for your wonderful fundraising ideas i have enjoyed getting great ideas to help me with our adoption god bless you.
don t be so hard on yourself give yourself some credit shes obviously not too hott for you! ask her how she feels about you! see if she thinks yall should be more then just friends xoxo.
this is a really outstanding story i love your way of working the characters it s really great please continue! and update soon!
den after tat went to eat at marche wasnt as x as i tot it would be ate sum wedges den the rest had ice-cream.
i have no idea i have never tried to loose weight i m sure if u like ran a mile a day n didnt eat fatty foods u could loose it fast.
okay id liek you to get fat and try to loose weight have fun its not that easy skinny girl seriously step into the real world honey!
then there are countries that are adrift that we are trying to help to not sink such as ivory coast or the central african republic he added.
to shed more executives and the possibility to downgrades reserves for a third time since january remain high on the agenda we ll get back to the nigerian side of the agenda later today.
ok so i heard from someone who heard from another someone that you are only supposed to select one answer for each qn i doubt it though cos this result does not sound like me at all.
nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp the dollar stretcher.
nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp nbsp.
oh and how are you going to get past the no student stipulation for minerva s party so hermione can be with severus.
hi people i m bored and i totally forgot about blogger and such so i come back and say hi! someone talk to me or something.
we learn about objective and super-objective the same can be said about the biomechanics the small blocks of movement have to be built into one physical design of the role.
isa - cessation of energy freezing an issue where it stands cooling relationships separation division.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

No Alibi

An acquaintance of mine had a baby about a year-and-a-half ago, and now, like clockwork, she emails photos of the child every 2 months. "Baby at 14 months!" the subject lines proclaim (only with her name). "Baby at 16 months!" I expect we'll get graduation photos entitled "Baby at 210 months!"

The thing is, I don't care about these people. In between emails, I generally forget they exist. I think I've seen the mother twice since we worked together five years ago. She's since left the business and settled down to a very dull life in the 'burbs with her very dull husband who I'm not even sure I've ever met. Maybe once. I don't mean to belittle her lifestyle, she seems very happy, but we have next to nothing in common (the shared experience of the show we worked on fading further and further away) and don't communicate at all except for these baby emails.

Here's the other thing: She is the ugliest baby I've ever seen. I know you think I'm trying to be funny, or I'm just being mean, but I swear to you this kid is ugly. Creepy demon-child ugly. Her head is too big, and her eyes bulge out of her head like the Podlings in The Dark Crystal. Her expression always makes me think of a slightly retarded 45-year-old. Her hair is stringy, and badly cut. In the early photos, she was often naked (as early babies often are), and her skin hung off her like a shar pei puppy. I thought this was bad until her parents started dressing her. They apparently don't like her very much either.

I know I should just delete the emails, but I can't seem to look away. Every time one arrives my curiosity gets the better of me and I wonder if maybe poor little Baby has outgrown her awkward phase or fixed her wardrobe. But her mother hasn't and she's in her 40s, so I'm not holding my breath. If she'd only stop sending them I'd forget she existed (except for the way the image of the demon-Muppet-spawn is burned into my retinas), but how can I possibly ask her to do that? "Your baby is hideous, please stop sending me pictures of it." "I'm touched that I matter to you, but really I couldn't care less about you and your family. PS. Your baby is nasty."

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. Unlike the baby, not literally.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Fun With Playlists: In Bed

There's a meme going around where you play your digital music library on shuffle and add "in bed," fortune-cookie-style to the titles of the first 25 songs that play. I wasn't going to do it, but on the way into work I happened to have my iPod on shuffle and I couldn't stop giggling. Because I'm 12. This isn't actually from my entire library, since I had it on a smart playlist that excludes showtunes, film scores and the like. But that's still 3,000+ songs to choose from. (Given that number, I cannot explain the iPod's apparent desire to listen to Ani DiFranco this morning.) So here are the first 25 songs I heard today, made silly:

1. Don't Go in bed [unless you're into that sort of thing]
2. In Too Deep in bed [no comment]
3. Don't Talk in bed
4. What It Feels Like For A Girl in bed [I wouldn't know]
5. Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradise) in bed
6. Anticipate in bed
7. Help Myself in bed [hee!]
8. The Dreamers in bed [duh!]
9. I Love U But I Don't Trust U in bed [dysfunctional!]
10. Smooth Criminal in bed
11. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man in bed
12. Fame '90 Remix in bed
13. Die Another Day in bed
14. Joy To The World in bed [orgy!]
15. Crazy in bed [rarr!]
16. Something Is Wrong in bed [it's not a flower!]
17. Jonas and Ezekial in bed [yeah, Old Testament lovin'!]
18. Rock Me Amadeus in bed [yeah, Classical lovin']
19. But Not For Me in bed [so sad!]
20. Joyful Girl in bed [I should hope so!]
21. Work Your Way Out in bed
22. You're With Stupid Now in bed [been there, done that]
23. Rio in bed
24. Time After Time in bed [tantric, baby]
25. Try A Little Tenderness in bed [yes, please!]

Sunrise, Sunset


Is this the kitten that we neutered?
Is this the cat with the goatee?
I don't remember growing older
When did he?
Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the days
Fluff balls turn overnight to hunters
Stalking birds even as we gaze...

Okay, not my best work, but it's Radish's birthday today! (Or so we have decreed, based on his approximate age when we adopted him and the fact that he truly is an April Fool.) Only a year old but already so wise beyond his months. It's hard to believe he's been with us for 10-and-a-half months already. The year really has flown by! We've been in the new apartment for 5 months already. I've had like 6 jobs (which, remember, in my world isn't a bad thing). We've all gained and lost several pounds. Well, okay, Radish just gained them. Our little boy is all grown up. Yet still a complete doofus.

Happy Birthday, Kitten!