Monday, May 30, 2011

Not Magical.

So I've started to learn about screenwriting. I've read several books, including Save The Cat. This doesn't make me an expert or anything. Far from it. The opposite of it. I probably know just enough to be dangerous. I've watched a lot of moview the past few months as well with an eye to understanding storytelling more. Today I watched The Sorcerer's Apprentice on Netflix.  I vaguely remembered bad reviews. And the fact that Nicholas Cage is in it made me figure it wasn't exactly the greatest. I just looked it up and it got a whopping 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are lots of issues with this film. But the very first is the set up. The exposition. In the film there is all this backstory they fly through at the beginning. It's boring. And bad storytelling. They don't reveal as we go. They tell us. And we don't care. We don't actually need  all of that information at that point to be engaged in the film. It seems very very elementary. If I can figure it out... By the way Jay Baruchel is charming even in a terrible film.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stumbling Upon Greatness...

So it’s after that show at Terminal 5 and the hottie you shared a cig with turned out to be a Craigslist “missed connection.” Why not drown your sorrows and sober up with some carbs and caffeine before heading back to the outer borough whence you came?

A drunken stroll away is a tiny Indian joint called Desi Deli where there’s nary a bespoke plaid shirt, but quality basic Indian food on the cheap. Just ask the cabbies that keep it in business.

Yeah, it’s a little grungy. It might even be a health risk. But so are you. Don’t let the liquid courage you consumed in the quest of “the one that got away” go to waste. Buck up and step inside.

Though the Tikka Masala is mighty tasty, you might want to forgo it tonight. Ask instead for roti. This made-to-order bread will not disappoint and for a buck it’s easy on the wallet.

You can’t go wrong ordering chai, either. Don’t say “chai tea” – that’s like saying “beer beer.” Chai is tea. Or didn’t you learn that at your liberal arts college? Except it’s made with a real cardamom seed, not a mix.

So you’re not like the other clientele. Embrace it. Don’t get your food to-go. Sit down. Strike up a conversation with your taxi-driving neighbor. Maybe you can persuade him to drive you out to Bed-Stuy or wherever it is you couch surf.

Desi Deli 724 10th Ave, NY, 10019

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Jigga What?

I'm doing a "webinar" tomorrow. It's a terrible word. Webinar? Really? I mean, I get the etymology: web-based seminar. But I don't like the word. How about "websem"? That would actually be faster to say. I realize it's a battle I've already lost. I also realize that it violates my "no rant" policy for this blog. Please forgive me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How do you say it?

Do you know how to pronounce this? I learned when I was about 8 or 9. Most of the pencils in our house growing up were from the Brunschwig and Fils showroom at ADAC (the Atlanta interior design center). They were very liberal with their writing utensils and my mother brought a lot home. There are still a few floating around my parents' house even though my mother died 14 years ago.

People who had doctor dads would have pads of paper with medication names at the top. We had these pencils because my mom was an interior decorator. I think a lot of women of a certain age with good taste become decorators. More of the "help me redo my den now that the kids are off at college" variety rather than the "work with my architect to design the entire interior of my 27 room home in Alpine NJ" sort of thing. That was my mom, anyway. She did lots of smaller jobs for her friends more than anything else.

 I don't know whether my mom took any design courses, but she did have a good eye. I enjoyed going to ADAC with her as a kid. The diffrent showrooms were beautiful and quiet. Like libraries, in a way. I'd flip through the samples in various showrooms while she did her work. I'd always be the only kid in the place, which was kind of a cool feeling. Like I wasn't supposed to be there, that my mom and I were breaking some unspoken rules. I loved seeing the often beautiful sometimes outrageous fabrics and wall coverings. My private game was looking for the ugliest wallpaper in the showroom.

Brunschwig and Fils isn't exactly the most cutting edge; it's pretty safe.  And looking at their site today, it's not really my taste now, but I remember them as pretty great back in the day. By Buckhead standards anyway. Or maybe I just liked the free pencils.

The Breslin's Boiled Fried in Pig Fat Peanuts

Let's come clean here. Pig fat is called LARD. Be that as it may, peanuts that have been boiled which are then fried in said "pig fat" are delicious. At least the ones at the Michelin 1 Star Breslin are.

Amazing. Delicious. They go great with the "cask beer."

Everything is just a teensy bit precious within the confines of the Ace Hotel (including the Breslin, the No. 7 Sub Shop etc.) but I'm not complaining. I'm a fan even if I'm not a true hipster like most of the lobby inhabitants.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Secret Movie I Love: Over the Edge (1979)

What is it that I love about this film? The clothes and hair? The casting to age? The disaffected youth? Dystopia? The closing song over the credits? Yes to all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kate Middleton Envy? Who? Me?

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

In the past few months I've been an extra on a few TV shows. I'd like to do more, but for whatever mysterious reason, they don't always want me. I try not to take it personally.

Anyone, literally anyone who is legal to work in the US, can be an extra. No skills required. You register for $25 at Central Casting and you, too, can be an extra. If they want you.

Why wouldn't they want me more frequently? Well, first of all, the pictures that they take make those at the DMV look like portraits by Annie Liebovitz. Terrible, awful pictures.

Perhaps also, I'm tall, so don't fit their wardrobes. I think that's true.

And the final issue is that you never know what time a certain day you will start or finish, so you can literally have no commitments at all the entire day. So that makes it harder to do.

What's the pay? Minimal. $75-85 for up to 10 hours of work. But they feed you. And you can be on screen for several seconds as I got to be on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. 7 seconds, baby.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"How Did I Get Here?"

I got off the subway at Canal Street. My Google maps wasn't working. I needed to get to Greenwich Street. I'm crossing the street, waiting for the light and a guy rolls up on a bike. I recognize him immediately. I ask him for directions. Greenwich Street is 2 blocks up. As he pulls away I say, "Thank you David Byrne!"

Yeah so the lead singer of the Talking Heads gave me directions in TriBeCa tonight.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bird Is The Word.

JustinRichel from Etsy did this. I like it.


What I've learned from the show Dating in the Dark is that I'm shallow, too. Maybe not a fool, but I'm just as interested in looks as the next person. I wish this wasn't true. Especially since I know I'm not a "10" myself. But it's funny when people choose not to go with the person that's been revealed to them as less attractive because, let's be honest here, they aren't required to marry them, or even date long-term. Perhaps running away and not dealing just seems far easier than facing another person. Actually, I can relate to that, too.

Whoa! Update! I just read on the site the couples updates... only ONE is still together officially dating. Most of the others just remain in contact or talk regularly or stay in touch on Facebook (ha!). Well, there you go.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aloha Jimmy!

(if Elvis ever went to see Buffet, he'd dress like this)

I went to my 2nd Jimmy Buffet concert ever this week. The last time I went was August of 1990, Lakewoood Ampitheatre, Atlanta GA. That concert was a part of his live album, Feeding Frenzy. I don't remember much (no, not because I was drunk/high), except having a pretty good time. And the motions to the song "Fins."

So, here I was this week, 20 years later, at Jones Beach for my 2nd concert. The crowd was older. There were lots of Hawaiian shirts and leis. I don't recall that from the last time. I remember more string bikini tops and cut off jeans from 1990. Maybe it's the toll of 20 years on those same fans? A Hawaiian shirt is far more forgiving.

But these fans were DETERMINED to have a good time. The tailgating looked like it had been going on all day. There was lots of awkward white-people-dancing. Lots of swaying.

Jimmy looked like your cool, tan uncle. He was in board shorts and barefoot.

I forgot that when you get past "Margaritaville," I still actually like some of his songs, and know a lot more than I realized. I only have "Margaritaville" on my iPod, but I really acutally like "One Particular Harbor" and a few others I had forgotten about.

I don't think I'm really Jimmy's demographic (a little too young, too dare I say "with it"), but I actually have a lot more respect coming out of the concert than I did going in. This guy's been at this for 40 years. He can sell out shows. People obviously take of days of work to see him. That's gotta say something.

He takes them to that place they imagine of frozen drinks, beaches, and no worries. I'd rather get on a plane and actually go, but maybe for some, the dream is better than the reality.

Friday, July 2, 2010

When (will) the Student Become(s) the Master (?)

I'm such a cliche. Saw Julie and Julia for the first time on Netflix. Immediately went to my mother's copy of Mastering and poached an egg. Then I did a chicken breast recipe and am planning to make beef braised in beer tomorrow. How middle-brow. Sigh.

(ps: making up for many missed entries in the past few months)

These Boots Were Made for Walker

My dad has started using one of these. What a hassle. He needs it, but still.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leather Notes?

When it comes to wine, what I don't know could fill a very thick wine list.

What I do know, is that it's great to have a friend who works at a wine bar.

She's been letting me taste wines with hints of leather and tobacco. Who knew?

No Boone's Farms here, folks.

This is Wine and Roses on the Upper West Side. Try the prociutto, pear and blue cheese app if you happen to come. And tip heavily!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Your Telling The Truth

Grammar is going from bad to worse. A student friend of mine got a B on a recent papre because while the content was an A the grammar was a C. Bad grammar can be grating to thus of us with good grammar. But I shouldn't cast stones. My grammar, when correct, is pretty instinctive, not conscious. I do what looks or sounds right and I probably get about an A- level of correctness. Which was my overall high school GPA. Nowadays, if one grows up texting and IM-ing, where speed and brevity trump grammar, and in an age when computers correct spelling, it's no wonder. But I think I'm old-school enough I prefer "your" and "you're" to be used in the traditional way rather than "your" for both.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Absurd Statement

I'm in Starbucks, which, for reasons unclear to me, we call "Starby's" or "Starbs."

The advertisement sign reads:

Wishing is what makes the holidays the holidays.

No, no, no.

It's factually wrong, etymologcally wrong, and also meaningless. Literally ripping out meaning while trying to convey a feeling that will entice me to purchase flavored coffee.

(Now, I'm a total hypocrite. They just offered me a sample of peppermint mocha coffee and I accepted without hesitation.)

So much for that keen observation bordering on rant.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

File Under: Center of the Universe

I donkt think itks my imagination that when I stand waiting for the bus with a group of people that the bus stops directly in front of my with disproportionate frequency. As if bus drivers instinctively know how important I am.

If only the rest of the universe followed their lead!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Crazy Man on the bus

Oh, New York.

I waited for the Limited bus.
To save time.

Who knew there would be a crazy, and it appears drunk man on the bus.

It started with the statement "all white people in the back."

Then he hit the window and spat. Not sure why. Then he almost got into a tussle with another passenger.

The bus driver stopped and asked if he could behave and then kept driving for a bit. This angered the other passengers who were not afraid to yell.

He stopped again near a cop car and 2 passengers got out t get the police. The man stumbled off before anyone came over.

It could have gotten violent. It didn't and I'm glad. It reveals the anger seething just below the surface. Not only in the man, but in the other passengers.

It's like 8:15 am. Angry already?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What's a girl to wear?

Somehow I forget every year how to dress for cold weather once fall comes.

I wish the weather forecast came with directions on what to wear. Like, "it's going to be 42 degrees today. You're going to want a medium weight jacket, scarf and gloves, but no hat." Something like that.

Friday, September 25, 2009

No Photography, Please.

I went to a great concert last night. U2 at Giant's Stadium. I was in general admission on the floor actually sort of "inside" the circle of the stage. I could see Bono's 5 o'clock shadow, the frayed bottoms of The Edge's jeans. Amazingly close.

It used to be that no cameras were allowed at concerts. Nowadays, what with camera phones, they've given up. So everyone, and I mean just about every single person (but me) had an actual camera.

And bou did they use them. I found it really distracting. And actually disturbing.

I want to be in the moment and enjoy the event. Taking pictures pulls you out of it. We supposedly take pictures to remember, but this is a concert. It's music. You can't really capture that.

I wouldn't begrudge someone a pic or two, but it was relentless and ubiquitous. I feel bad for them, actually.

You can't hold onto an experience like that. Bono's 10 feet away! Look! Enjoy it! Be present! Don't look at him through a screen.

Won't your ticket stub be enough?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don't Build Your House On a Flood Plain

It's just so obvious. That little creek over there, right next to your house on the plot of flat land? Yeah, well, once every 20 years or so it floods big-time. Don't build there.

There hasn't been a really major flood in Atlanta since I was a kid. I remember my school's football field, next to Nancy Creek becoming a temporary lake. The golf courses also looked like lakes. Ditto the YMCA soccer fields.

Why? Because they were in flood plains. Simple. Obvious. That's why you build sports fields there. And not houses.

But then I remember when the horse field across from the soccer fields was developed. 20 or more houses were built. Not a good idea. They must have sold them to people from out of town.

In recent years I've noticed several new homes right by creeks. There's one over near Sarah Smith School, practically over the creek. What were they thinking?

As humans, we have this ability to ignore, deny, lie to ourselves and others that we are not in control, that bad things won't happen to us. I'm pretty sure Jesus had a parable about wise and foolish builders that relates to this.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some People Run Late...

But I'm on time.
Sometimes pathologically. Even sometimes when I know I should be late. Like right now. My dear friend, former New Yorker, and a few others are meeting at this bar on Irving Place. Here I sit. The only one here.
The time to meet was 7:30. It's 7:45 now.
I should have known better!
It's so simple.
I even thought I was going to be a little late. Took my time getting ready and everything.

This trait is great for making trains, appointments etc.

Not so good for a night out. Fashionably late? Moi?
Um, no.

Ok, back to sitting at the bar. Tick tock tick tock.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lovin' the Ladies... (peas that is)

The Vegetable Man on Wieuca Road here in Atlanta has Lady Peas! To the uninitiated, they are like a springy-fresh combination of english peas and black eyed peas. But delicate and delicious. Get them while you can.

Monday, June 29, 2009


There are so many things not to like about hospitals. I like the IDEA of them - healing the sick - but the reality, for a patient, or, in my case, the daughter of a patient, far from a place where they help you get better.

Here I sit, as I type, in the nuclear medicine lab as my father has a "stress test." Apparently there's a worldwide shortage of a particular isotope they usually use for this test, and they have to use another, slower one. Which means lunch in the hospital cafeteria! Yikes. And then a 3 hour wait to repeat the test. My father is not pleased and cranky. I don't blame him.

I think, also, that I would hate a job where I had to wear scrubs every day, was subjected to primarily flourescent lighting, and the weird-smelling, dry, cold hospital air. And then there's the ugly art, the strange color choices and other aesthetic issues. I'm glad I didn't choose medicine as a career!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Internet Is (almost) totally silent about AMAZING TASTE TREAT!

My father belongs to an Atlanta country club (Capital City Club). It is not the very most socially sought after or elite. That distinction would go to the Piedmont Driving Club, but the CCC is right up there. It does have one particular food that would make it worth joining just to have in unlimited quantities. I am, of course, talking about the basket of hot butter Saltine crackers served as you sit down for dinner. In recent years other Atlanta clubs have added these onto their tables as well, but make no mistake, the CCC had it first.

The internet is virtually silent about these hot buttery crackers with the exception of a brief note in an article in 1999 which you can see here (about midway down the page).

How could this be? Have Atlantans been keeping this delicious secret on purpose? I remember as a kid trying to make them at home. I put butter on my saltines and stuck them in the oven, and got soggy crackers. I even tried different temperatures to no avail. The real things are crisp! The butter has saturated them without making them soggy in the least. I actually assumed they were fried in the butter. I still don't know how they do it.

I'd like to share a picture with you, but I have none. Imagine the cracker a golden yellow, warm, crisp, buttery, melting in your mouth. You could eat a dozen. As a kid I would spread extra butter on them. Decadent in a very Southern way. Does anyone really know how to make them? Can we share these with the world? It's about time!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Desperately Seeking Wi-Fi

So when I visit my dad, I always have my trusty Blackberry (I just upgraded to the Curve! Loving it.). However, sometimes, for work etc. I need the Real Thing. Not Coca-Cola, but the True Internet. And my technologically-impaired father has none. Lucky for me, I live less than a mile from Brookhaven Station where no less than 3 establishments have free wireless. Dunkin' Donuts, Hudson Grille, and The Mellow Mushroom. I usually sit in my car (as I am now!) and quickly upload/download what I need to do and split. It works. Not ideal, but whatever. What's strange to me is none of these 3 places strike me as the kind of place that would have free wi fi. Maybe Dunkin, but the others - a sports bar/restaurant and a pizza place aren't exactly the kinds of places. Whatever. I'll take it! (that's my computer, in the car, outside the Dunkin')