Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hang in there

I find that I can feel hungover without having much to drink. Last night I went to a dinner with some friends from work, and finished half a beer (while co-workers did their best to finish off a couple of bottles of wine.) I ate only a moderate amount of rich foods, as it was of those restaurants with reasonble-to-small sized portions, not one of those who bring you a platter-sized entree that could easily be set in front of a family of four. But I felt full and tired as I made my way home on a longer-than-usual subway ride. Home by ten, in bed within a half hour, but I woke up during the night feeling horrible, and now, facing the start of my day, I want to crawl back into bed and skip it.

I think I'll work from home. Unplanned, but I have my laptop and a schedule that includes conference calls but no face-to-face meetings.

(Homemade guacamole and chips, crab cake and shrimp, creamed spinach, warm berry cobbler - I am afraid to get on the scale.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

No more "Twilight"

I was completely wrong about how "Twilight" ends.

  1. First of all, the big climactic fight scene between "good" and "evil?" Happens while our narrator heroine is unconscious, so it's told to her (and us) in dialog. Does that mean in the upcoming movie, they won't bother to film it, but merely refer to it in an epilogue that runs across the screen in text? Because that's the equivalent of how this was written.
  2. The inconsistencies regarding Belle's reaction to blood are never explained (although she does get queasy again at the smell, so I guess once the author decided it was true, it was true, previous chapters be damned.)
  3. The "hero" vampire does not sacrifice himself for Belle by leaving her so that she will be safe. Maybe that's too depressing/scary/hopeless for pre-teenage girls. I won't attempt to fathom the reasoning, because instead we are left with this: the girl and her vampire boyfriend Edward are together, and arguing (lightheartedly) over whether he should kill her and make her a vampire so that they can be together forever. (She's for, he's against.)

I guess I could accept it if the book were better written, but it's pretty lame. Interestingly, the reviews I've read online are clearly divided by those who hate it because it's poorly written and the heroine is a simpering weak-willed fool, and those who swoon over Edward. So the question is, can anyone think this book is well-written if they are not in love with its "hero?"

One thing that reading this book has made me want to do is write the good version of this story. With a well-rounded heroine who's actually tormented by her emotions, not unwitting slave to them, and a vampire who is seductive not because he's drop-dead gorgeous but because he's mysterious and intelligent and intrigues her. Maybe I will (although I'm sure it's been done.)

Catching up with movies

I haven't written about "The Last Mistress" because I don't have much to say about it. It's one of that genre that generally bores me, but I go to see anyway, convinced I'm supposed to like it: the period drama. In this case, it's early 1800's France, and the story revolves around a young man about to marry who spends a long drunken night confessing to his soon-to-be-grandmother-in-law the tale of a twisted love affair, one he claims to have just ended. In flashbacks and later scenes, we meet Vellini, the woman he love/hates, and can't seem to shake. It's not a story you haven't seen before, although the sex is more graphic and the acting fairly intense (especially on the part of Asia Argento, an Italian actress who seethes with an ugly-sexy beauty that eats up the screen.)

"The Wackness" takes you back to another lost era, this time all the way back to New York City, 1994. (Nostalgia is getting so close it's about to merge with futuristic science fiction.) It's the summer between high school graduation and freshman year for the main character, a pot dealer who rides that line between the popular and unpopular. (In one scene he metaphorically sits on the edge of a roof while behind him the cool kids party.) One of his customers, a psychiatrist played by Ben Kingsley, pays Luke in therapy sessions, but it's soon obvious that the doctor is more screwed up than the patient. Throw in the doctor's stepdaughter as Luke's crush, a short bit by Mary Kate Olsen as a retro-hippie pothead, and voila: instant indie film. I'm not really knocking it; it's a decent movie, but I could have done with better lighting. Maybe it was the theater I was in but every scene seemed unnecessarily dark.

And finally this weekend:

"American Teen" is entertaining, both funny and touching. It's a documentary - reality film? - about a handful of high school students in their senior year. Billed as the "real Breakfast Club," it ids its central characters as the jock, the princess, the geek, the hunk. And it doesn't disappoint - each has a story arc that has you rooting for them by the time their graduation caps fly into the air. The oddest part for me was the need to remind myself that it was real - there are too many moments when things are happening that you can't believe actually unfolded in front of the cameras. At least a dozen times I was sure that someone would say, "Get that camera away from me, I'm not doing this any more." For instance, when a character's cell phone rings and it's a break-up text message from the boy we've just watched her fall for. Or when another character vandalizes a rival's home and then sits in the principal's office accepting her punishment. Or when another tells her boyfriend she's not cheating on him, even though she made out with another guy in front of the cameras in a previous scene.

At no point, though, do any of the kids seem uncomfortable with the cameras, or as if they are behaving any differently because they are there. Is that possible? Is it true (as others have suggested) that our 24/7 reality culture has made young people expect that their lives will be lived out in public? I can't get my mind around it - and yet, here I am, writing about it in a virtual "diary" that anyone with an internet connection can read. Who am I to judge?

Which brings us, finally, to "The Dark Knight." Let's get it out of the way: Heath Ledger is very good. Disturbing, scary, unrecognizable, not just because of the makeup, but the voice and the gestures (including a repeated flick of the tongue that was almost reptilian.) I'm somewhat confused that he would be nominated in a supporting role - what exactly are the rules for that? Because I don't think Christian Bale had more screentime. It seemed pretty evenly split between the two of them, Aaron Eckhart, and Gary Oldman.

Now, I may be biased, as I really like Christian Bale, but it was disappointing that he seemed to be doing a warmed-over Patrick Bateman (without the exuberant killing) or a Batman "voice" so tortured it was impossible to listen to for more than a couple of lines. I didn't see the first Bale Batman so likely missed the evolution of his character, but I couldn't get a handle on him for much of the film.

I also felt like there was too much in the movie - too many big climactic action sequences, each of which felt like it could end the film, but which only served as a set-up for the next. One of those could easily have been cut and the plot refocused. I also am not a regular watcher of action movies, but I hate fight scenes that are made up of quick cuts in the dark so that it's nearly impossible to see what is going on. (At home, on video, while others probably turn to slo-mo to enjoy these scenes, I would fast-forward to get them over with. All that matters is who's standing at the end, after all.)

And yet, I really did like the story itself. There was a lot packed into the 2 1/2 hours, but it worked for me, although I'd still argue that Oldman's police officer Gordon or Eckhart's DA had more defined story arcs than Bat(e)man.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Still haven't finished "Twilight." I am smack in the middle of the excited dash to the final action-packed chapters, close enough that I can almost draft the ending myself. But here's a point of note: when I'm at this point in a Harry Potter novel, I race to the finish, knowing I'm skimming too fast and missing fully enjoying the book, but I have to get to the end to know what happens. I feel like, in this book, I know what happens, and not because I know the basic plot lines of the sequel installments. (Well, only barely because I do.) There will be a fight. The heroine will be saved. Her vampire suitor will not die, but something will happen to cause him to "sacrifice" his love for her in order to "save" her. And she'll return to her "normal" life, knowing she will never be the same.

Don't tell me if I'm right; I have 90 pages to go and I can't promise I'll finish this weekend.

I think there are some real inconsistencies in this book, though. Possibly there will be an answer by the end that will illuminate this for me, but there is a major character contradiction in the earlier chapters. In one, Bella, the teenage girl heroine, is in a car accident and is taken to the emergency room. There she sees the driver of the car that hit her, with his head in "blood-stained bandages." She watches from a nearby examining table as nurses remove his bandages and she sees "slices" across his forehead and cheek. Ok.

But then, just a chapter or so later, she is in biology class and the teacher announces they will be learning about blood types, and she has a major breakdown and passes out because she gets sick at the sight, smell, or even thought of blood.


Is it possible that thousands/millions of readers have read this and not felt something was terribly wrong? The only thing I can hope for is that there is an explanation coming. We'll see.


I've shifted into lazy weekend mode. I can sleep late now, sometimes even past 9 am, which makes me feel more normal even as it impacts my ability to get things done during the day. It also means I don't wake up before my 5:30 alarm on weekdays, and sometimes I even hit the snooze button. (Figuratively - literally, I don't even know if my alarm clock radio has one, or how to use it, since I've never needed to before. So I just tell myself, "five more minutes," and doze off for another 10 or so. My gym attendance is spotty at best.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

What I'm Reading

I can't finish "Absurdistan." I have been carrying it around now (figuratively; literally I've mostly left it home) for a month or so. It started out strong - a farcical adventure in a fictional post-Soviet country where our hero - an American-educated 500-lb. Russian expat- is trapped by a sudden civil war. But it's stalled, I'm stalled, I'm bored.

The author, Gary Shtengyart, wrote "The Russian Debutante's Handbook," another critically lauded novel that I had trouble finishing. In a similar way, it started out strong, but soon lost my interest. But reviews were so good, for both, that I thought I'd better give the second novel a chance.

And now, I think I'm not going to finish it.

I hate giving up on books. But I think it's time for this one. In all the weeks I have been putting off going back to reading it, I've also not allowed myself to crack open a new one in the to-be-read pile.

And then, this weekend, I was in Target with a gift card and wandered by the book department. New fiction, discounted, called out to me. I decided I deserved something new, fresh, to cleanse my palate before diving into something in my pile.

Target has a lot of Jodi Picoult. I read one of her novels once (bought at Target, in fact) and, at the risk of offending her fans (oh, hello), I am not interested in another. Target also has a lot of cookbooks and self-help books and sudoku books. In the paperback fiction section, there was little I hadn't read. I browsed through children's, and then young adult, and then saw a whole shelf of thick black-covered paperbacks: the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyers.

My interest was piqued. My gift card was out. I picked up the first book and scurried to the register.

It's a young adult novel, and I'm a fast reader, so two days later I'm more than halfway through the 500 pages. (I'd be done but I had to go to work and do other annoying stuff like shower, sleep, shop, and exercise.) I'm reading it the way I read anything I am curious about - with the overwhelming need to understand why it's developed such a cult audience.

I'll withhold my thoughts until I'm done but as of now, I'm so-so. It's become a bit repetitive (300 pages in, the plot hasn't advanced very far) and reminds me very much of the historical romances I used to devour when I was in junior high. (Victoria Holt was my master - all those gothic peasant girls sent to work as governesses in secluded castles with dark brooding tragic heirs - you get the drift.) I think if I were a Young Adult I'd be swooning.

We'll see. But at least I have a book I look forward to opening.

Mega Movies

3 this past weekend, so there are now 5 that I have not written about. Let's start with the easy ones:

"Hancock?" A disappointment. I have had a special spot in my heart for Will Smith since I was dating someone who looked like him during the "Fresh Prince" sitcom days, and the basic premise of the movie (flawed superhero who screws everything up) seemed promising. But, yeah, just as the reviews said, they fucked it all up with a razzle-dazzle plot twist that turned it into an entirely different movie. And not one I'd have wanted to see.

"Mamma Mia?" Ditto. Man, I love Meryl Streep, and I was surprised at how well she could sing, and the music is great, and Amanda Seyfried, so cute and welcome on the big screen after her stand-out roles on "Veronica Mars" and "Big Love." (Oh, and "Mean Girls" of course, but she was just a sidekick to the kick-ass Rachel McAdams.) But, it's a musical, and I still don't really like musicals, even if it's one centered on more palatable music than Broadway (yawn) show tunes (yawn, yawn.) Even, so, I was prepared to like it, but something just doesn't quite gel. It's awkward, and uneven, and stage-y. (I never had a full sense of the hotel Streep's character owned and ran - it seemed to consist of two rooms and an old goat shed, surrounding a stone deck.) And then, lord god, there is the moment when Pierce Brosnan sings. Or "sings." People around me in the theater were laughing. I don't think it was meant to be camp, but... well, maybe it was? If so, the film just wasn't campy enough. I wanted to dance my way out of the theater, singing an ABBA song in my head. Instead, I walked out, somewhat embarrassed.

"Tell No One" is a French thriller that is being lauded as one of the best films of the year. It's definitely a smart, well-acted mystery, with twists and turns you both expect and are surprised by. Someone likened it to one of Dennis Lehane's Boston-set police movies, and it does have that tone, and additionally, that last scene confessional/flashback sequence that was such a letdown for me in his "Gone Baby Gone." But I think it was more effective here, because it isn't really the final word. The acting is very good, too, and the glimpse you see of Paris (the real Paris that people live in, not the romantic Paris people visit) are intriguing. I really liked it, although I'm not sure if I'm on the "best films so far this year" bandwagon.

more later, on "The Wackness" and "The Last Mistress"

Friday, July 18, 2008

Remake me laugh

As I told friends I was going to see Ricky Gervais this week, there were a few who gave the usual "I love the British 'Office!' I can't even watch the American version because I know it won't be as good!"

I'm so tired of that elitist bullshit. I'm not going to pretend that every Hollywood attempt to adapt a British hit is successful ("Coupling" anyone?). In fact, I'm somewhat dubious about the U.S. attempt at "Kath & Kim" this fall. (Part of the insanity of the Australian "K&K" is that the two actresses are almost the same age but play mother and daughter, and while Selma Blair is really only 8 years younger than Molly Shannon, she plays so much younger that you'd almost buy them as age appropriate for their respective roles. Which just isn't as inherently funny.)

Where was I?

Oh, so yeah, I can't imagine that NBC's version of "Kath & Kim" is going to hit me the same way as the original, but you know what? I would love to be proven wrong. Do you know how fantastic that would be? And I'm going to give it a chance. I love Molly Shannon and it looks like the fantastic John Michael Higgins from the Christopher Guest movies is in it, so why wouldn't I give it a shot?

Like I did with "The Office." And here's the thing: the U.S. version of the show is not the same as the British, in fact, it differs in many key ways, mostly in the overall tone and the characterization of its lead roles (i.e., both Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute are more sympathetic than David Brent and Gareth Keenan.) But it's still incredibly funny, wonderfully written, and highly entertaining, most of the time. And of course, Ricky Gervais is still involved.

There are plenty of bad remakes out there, I know, and I'm not suggesting that a person has to review every version of a favorite in order to appreciate it. But to knock something you haven't tried, that has consistently been reviewed positively by others who loved the original, too? That's just being stubborn for principle's sake and frustrates me to no end.

(Did I mention how funny Ricky Gervais was? Well they filmed the performance that night for a DVD - and according to his website, for HBO. I really am looking forward to seeing it. And I really mean that - we had seats very far from the stage (they were free) and I had a tall man sitting in front of me, so had to constantly lean to one side to see even the tiniest bit of Gervais on the stage. I missed some of the physical comedy he did. But of course I heard most of it and was still cracking up.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Ricky Gervais was very very funny.

Tuesday, in the Park

Over the weekend I saw both "Hancock" and "The Last Mistress." I think I did well in choosing two movies that are as different from one another as possible. I will have to talk about them more at another time.

Last night I went to Central Park to see the NY Philharmonic. Part of the fun, of course, is the pre-concert atmosphere on the Great Lawn: getting there early to spread your blankets, checking out the food and drink your neighbors brought, celebrating each time one of your party manages to navigate the landmarks (stop at the big Texas flag, turn left, facing the two red balloons and you'll see me waving) and the narrow strips of walk-able grass between blankets to join you. For me, it's part of that swell of joy of living in the city, of being one of 60,000 people who sat together to enjoy themselves and some music and fireworks on a beautiful summer night. The music was pleasant, enjoyable, (although lacked the "you'll be humming this as you leave" promise of the program), and the company fine.

Tonight I go to see Ricky Gervais at Madison Square Garden. Again, I've stumbled onto two very different experiences.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Breaking eggs

Every now and then something happens that affects me, while other people around me seem to shake it off quickly and move on. A burst of sudden violence, or an accident, or an abrupt release of emotion. I remember as a child watching a cousin fall from a tree and the panic I felt as I yelled for my mother (and the ensuing embarrassment when the boy's mother, a physician, dusted him off and sent him back to play.) In college a basketball player somehow smashed his face into the backboard and fell to the ground in a bloody mess. (I may have the choreography wrong - is that even possible if you're not 7 feet tall? Point is, the excessive blood, the prone body.) I was shocked that once he was carried out, my friends wanted to stay and watch the rest of the game as if nothing had happened, while my legs still trembled a half hour later when we stood to climb down the bleachers.

All this is a preamble to a moment on the Metro North train last week - not the nighttime journey I've already bored you with, but an earlier, Sunday afternoon ride back into the city. A young family got on the train when I did, clearly taking the trip for the amusement of their young children, who were about three and five years old. It was a local train, and they got off only two stops later, after the kids' awe seemed to be winding down. As they stepped onto the platform, apparently one of the kids slipped between the train and the platform and the mother let out a blood-curling scream. I could see none of it, but it was immediately resolved - the father or someone had hold of the kid, or he wasn't as close to the gap as his mother thought - I'm not sure, but in a few seconds the trains door closed and I could see through my window the family making their way on the platform to the station stairs, the mother looking sheepish but relieved. But her scream reverberated in my head, that pure animal terror, and I couldn't stop shaking.

If I were a character in a novel I was writing, I'd wonder if my abnormal sensitivity masked a long-hidden childhood trauma. But I don't think there is any dramatic incident I am burying. There was violence in my family, but I never witnessed it, and nobody ever spoke of it back then. So I think it's just that - having lived a life where we walked on eggshells, I overreact when the egg suddenly breaks without warning.

Monday, July 14, 2008

(More Than Ever)

So after I left the Metro North train the other night, I decided to walk to the subway that would deposit me closer to my apartment, rather than the one accessible through Grand Central tunnels. It turned out to be the wrong decision in part, as that particular train wasn't stopping in my neighborhood and I had to get out a stop earlier and hoof it far longer than if I'd taken the other option.

But, before I knew all of that, I walked out of Grand Central onto 42nd Street for the walk to Sixth Avenue, and I had one of those "This is why I love New York" rushes. The bright lights, the clear night sky, the familiar hum of traffic and street noise. I feel at home, more than I do in the suburban homes or farmhouses of my family members. Upstate, when I wander outside at night and hear the endless chirping of the peeper frogs and am dazzled by how many stars are visible in the pitch black sky, I think it's nice, but it's not home. I wouldn't chose it.

I haven't chosen it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bar none

Last night I was returning from a family event upstate, on a Metro North train, once again surrounded by people swarming into the city for late night recreation. One typically loud cluster had a large clear plastic container (the size of a gas can) filled with a sickeningly brownish yellow liquid, which I trust was beer, although the amount of backwash that must have accumulated by the frequency in which they passed it from mouth to mouth was just as disturbing.

I never participated in that rite, although I was a teenager who lived on the same commuter train line, during a time when the drinking age allowed for some high schoolers to legally drink (and their friends to easily assimilate.) My friends were band geeks and chorus nerds who thought wild times were grabbing the counter mikes at a Burger King stop during a marching band bus trip and reciting lines from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" while the girls who crushed on them giggled and swooned. We visited the city at least once, but it was daytime, and the most decadent activity I recall was a jaunt through Central Park (which, in the late 1970's, was pretty risky.)

When I finally reached the age when my entertainment revolved around drinking until I was sick, I was in college, "safely" entombed in an even more upstate school, far from access to the commuter train lines or the city. I "burst out" in a town whose claim to fame (at least rumored) was having the most bars per capita in a square mile, serving two colleges whose combined population was greater than that of the town's native population. (And not even a "cool" town, like Ithaca, where graduates and drop-outs stayed and put down roots and made an impact on the culture.)

When I first moved down here, as a late-twenty something, I did a bit of partying with my work colleagues, but it was primarily focused on happy hours after work. I can count on one hand the number of times I went to a bona fide "club," and almost all were connected to a work celebration. I so rarely go into bars these days that I still tell myself I don't like them because of the smoke, and there has been a smoking ban since early 2003.

So, there I was on the train, heading home to bed from a pre-schooler's birthday party in my jean skirt, ponytail, and flip-flops, while my seatmates, in their thigh-high minis, hooker heels and carefully straightened hair, texted their friends meeting times and places.

And, you know, I felt okay about it. I'm glad where I am, how I ended up. I don't think I missed anything.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eur In My Way

The weakness of the U.S. dollar has brought an influx of European tourists to NY, and in turn, to Ground Zero, replacing the the throngs of Midwesterners I used to navigate through on my way to and from work. It's significant in several ways: for one, my passive-aggressive declarations of city etiquette are often ignored due to the language barrier ("hey, it's a side-WALK, not a side-STAND-AND-GAWK" just doesn't translate, and even a generic "Excuse me" is often met with bewildered smiles.) The other phenomenon is the sudden appearance of audio tour equipment, presumably available in multiple languages, so that I am continually passing people silently staring out the World Financial Center windows with earphones on. Yesterday, a group of about fifty high school students sat on the Winter Garden steps, not talking, staring eerily ahead as they listened. Seriously, it looked like the trailer for an alien invasion zombie movie.

Oh, and of course let's not forget that Europeans are, for the most part, thinner than the American tourists we usually see (who are, in turn, generally heavier than the average New Yorker.) Walking daily past the chunky Floridian middle-aged pastel-clad women, who I realize with secret glee are probably my age or younger even as they appear a decade older, is much more of an ego-boost than passing the flat-bellied trendy-shod Euro-moms with their gangly hip teenage sons (who could pass for young lovers. And maybe they are.)

Yes, every economic trend is designed to make me feel fat.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Not Your TV Hospital

My doctor's office is located in a hospital. I don't have much experience with hospitals, but each time I go to see him I am always amazed at how relaxed the security is. Sometimes there is a guard at the door, but not usually, and even when he's there he's more of an information source than a barrier to enter.

I have a terrible habit of forgetting which floor my doctor's office is located on, and often get off on the wrong floor and have to backtrack. I also sometimes will enter the wrong door, as the hospital is made up of different buildings with separate elevator banks and not everything is connected. What appears to be a short cut is usually not.

The result is that I am often wandering around aimlessly, but the odd part is that nobody seems to notice or care. Today I wound up on the psychiatric floor and the door was locked off the elevator bank and a man in a white coat told me how to get buzzed in.

The other thing that strikes me every time is how dirty it is. I have this reaction to dr's offices not in the hospital, too, especially the examination rooms I wind up sitting in, barely-dressed, for far too long. Dirty corners of the floor, stained walls, broken equipment. Maybe this is normal everywhere, or it's just the city, but it's not what I expect to see.

On the other hand, I have learned to expect to pass clumps of medical staff outside the hospital on their smoke breaks.

Get your things

Sometimes a really small bit of dialog on a TV show or movie gets under my skin, something that passed the writers and everyone else on the production chain, but makes no sense and makes the character look like, well, like they are reciting written dialog rather than actually speaking. Latest example, from "Swingtown"(shut up, it's a slow summer for TV, I will watch practically anything that doesn't involve people thinking they can dance or wondering if they are smarter than a fifth grader):

Bruce finds his wife Susan has gone to a party without him, a party he told her he didn't want her to go to. He shows up and tells her to "get your things. You're coming home with me." He repeats this again a few sentences later. "Get your things." Susan refuses, and logically, what else is she to do? She has no "things." It's summer, she is wearing a dress and would have no need for a coat or wrap or hat or umbrella. She is clutching a small gold purse, so there is no bag for her to gather from the host's bedroom. She and Bruce live across the street, for god's sake, so there are no car keys to search for. What are these "things" of which he speaks?

Obviously, it's just a cliched line that the writers used to convey his anger and his need to control her. But it makes no sense, and I don't believe for one minute that Bruce the character would naturally say it. "Let's go, you're coming home with me" - yes. "Get your things" - absolutely not.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I could have sworn I posted something this morning.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Away again

My airline karma continues. I arrived at the airport 40 minutes early to find that the flight scheduled to leave 1 hour before mine was delayed, so I had time to catch it. Since the ticket machine was not being cooperative, I went to the counter and had them change issue a new boarding pass. While in line at the gate, they announced that my original flight was canceled, and that all of those passengers should try to get on my new flight. First come, first served! Thankfully I had my new boarding pass with the correct flight number.

I feel disjointed being in another city so soon after being away for nearly a week. But I'll be home for dinner. If the airline cooperates on the way back...

I think I'll head to the airport early.

Morning, when she comes

I know I've been ignoring this when I attempt to post and it asks for my password. It's not intentional avoidance, though; it's either that I'm away and unable to post or I'm here and there is nothing to say. Sometimes my days just seem like annoying repeats of each other, moving steadily forward toward a goal (a day off? a vacation?) that never quite lives up to its promise and then it's over.

Yes, back to work today after an extra-long weekend. The entirety of which was spent with family, not completely relaxing. Not that I can't relax with family, but sometimes circumstances (oh, the convoluted speak of the ever-paranoid) dictate otherwise.

Arrived home last night and now am readying to taxi to the airport for a shuttle to Boston. Of course I've been up for hours, and barely slept most of the night. It happens so often lately that I can somehow function almost normally. This weekend I had a few mornings when I slept late and long (thanks to sleep aids, quiet country nights, and lack of a defined schedule), but felt foggy most of the morning.

Now I am only powered by iced herbal tea and a Clif bar and feel ready to get dressed and skip out the door to catch a cab.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On location

Yesterday morning they were setting up for a film shoot on my block. The corner bar was covering its outdoor tables with white cloths and glassware as I went to work. The "No Parking" signs, which always list the production company, and every now and then the production name, just said a film company, so I had no clue what it was about.

When I came home, the action had shifted onto my street, to the stoop of a neighboring brownstone. Nothing special about it, just an ordinary brownstone (there are prettier ones on the block), but I assume that's what they were going for. Or the light was better. (Although there was one of those massive eight foot lights towering along the curb.) I had to pass a couple of times as I ran errands, and on my last trudge by, there was the Geico caveman sitting on the stoop (looking very orange in his makeup.)

I thought they'd canceled his tv show. Didn't it get the worst ratings of the entire (albeit shortened) season? Maybe they are resurrecting him as the commercial spokesman? A young kid dallying on his bike nearby told a woman in front of me that it was a "commercial" so maybe that is the case.

I don't know that I would call this a "celebrity sighting" but I probably will pause the commercial when it comes on to see what I recognize.

On a semi-related note, during my pitiful viewing of "Chuck and Larry" last week, I saw that they'd actually filmed a scene in one of the trendy clothing shops around the corner. I guess that was one of the shoots that I never was able to identify. Although, admittedly, the outside was the storefront (I paused and slo-mo'd repeatedly as the camera swept across the street and caught some passers-by but recognized no one; probably all extras), the inside of the store could have been shot elsewhere, even though it looked authentic. Best part? Dave Matthews, he of the Dave Matthews Band, played the salesman.

Yeah, so I'm geeky enough to be more impressed that Dave Matthews was a block away from me once than that Adam Sandler was. What can I say?
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