I have a confession to make: I’m closing in on the big 4-0. Yes, I know I’ve been telling many of you that I was 40 for a few years now. I lied. Forgive me. Now that we’ve gotten past that, let’s move on to the subject of this post. I’m re-vamping my “Things To Do Before I Die” list. Let me refresh your memory from an old post…
I was 17 and a senior in high school when I got hitched and was 23 years old when my divorce from the sailor was finalized. After six years masquerading as a Midwestern housewife, I was free to be Me. Trouble was, the definition of “Me” had yet to be determined. I decided this huge upheaval of my life would not be for naught. I would reclaim my lost youth by creating a list oh-so-creatively titled “Things To Do Before I Die.” However, I never had a plan on how I would accomplish a single thing.
Ten years later, during a move to a new apartment in New York City, I purged lots of old journals, letters and pictures and came across this list. I was tempted to throw it out; some of my items were downright embarrassing. “Be serenaded.” Really? I assure you, I didn’t want that then, and I most definitely don’t want it now.* I clearly wanted to be loved.
In looking closer, though, I was pretty astounded at how earnest and mundane most of the items were. Ride a train, eat sushi, see a parade — check, check, check.
Growing up in the woods, being responsible for myself, working full time at a very young age, I simply hadn’t done anything. See a Broadway play, learn to golf, vote, ride the subway, have my hair styled, handcraft pottery, learn to bike, go on a cruise, picnic, ice skate. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.
A week to the day the auction ended in which I sold my memoir to Random House, I remembered my List. I dug out the journal and scoured the numbered items and found:
8. Write my autobiography.
Seeing it written so plainly in my earnest naivete — as though writing a book were as simple as riding a train, eating sushi, or seeing a parade — makes me marvel at one’s ability to get things done. Other “never in a million years would this ever happen to me” stuff I listed did, in fact, happen: walk the red carpet, attend a movie premiere, and be self employed.
I’m proud of having broken free and carving out a pretty interesting, varied life for myself. That said, there is still quite a bit of simple stuff on my list I have yet to accomplish. There is no other time like now to “get busy living or get busy dying”. Thoughts DO become things and so I want to write a new list of things to do. Below are some to get me started:
Ride on the Orient Express.
Master the ukulele.
Compose a song.
Get a pedicure.
Get a massage.
Drive across the U.S.
Build a snowman.
Participate in a rally.
Ride a camel.
See the Grand Canyon.
Go sled riding.
I’d love to know what’s on YOUR list and input on what should be on mine.
*Was “serenaded” to by my husband on our 4th wedding anniversary. He sang “Any Way You Want It” by Journey during karaoke at Sunswick in Astoria at my behest. Now THAT is more my speed.
I’ll Stick to Perrier. See if I care!
— Water trough in front of Rawhide, a rough & tumble, leather & Levis gay bar on 14th Street in Chelsea.
I just ran 13.1 miles!I feel pretty good, physically, and like a million bucks, mentally. My morning didn’t start well. We drove our new car — my first time ever riding in it! — and parking was already full. We knew we should have left sooner, but whatcha gonna do. So, we drove around looking for street parking which was harder than it should have been. All the street closings and pressure to find a spot made us go the WRONG way on a freeway exit ramp! GAH! Cars were flying towards us honking, trying not to have a head on collision. Luckily it was 6:30 AM on a Saturday and traffic was light. We managed to turn around, find a spot and high tail it to the starting line.Being late and shaken up, we didn’t get to stretch or buy bananas. That said, it went well. It was hot & humid to be sure, but there was a nice breeze in some spots. I stopped at every water station as recommended by a few articles I read for 1st time half-marathoners. My shoes were SOAKED by the end so my feet felt mushy & gross. It wasn’t painful, just a distraction.The best part was seeing all the new sites of Flushing Meadow Park where much of the race was held. (Photo set here.) I ran past the Unisphere, an Aquatic Center, the Queens Zoo, Citi Field, Arthur Ashe Stadium and lots of lovely marsh land. Who knew it was all down the street from me?
I came in 2435th place overall and 115th in my age/gender group. Finished in 2:20:22 at a 10:43 pace. Christian did well, too. Came in 999th place overall and finished in 1:56:56 at a 8:56 pace.
Here are the stats for you running nerds:
Distance: 13.1 Miles, 21.1 Kilometers
Date/Time: July 24, 2010, 7:00 AM
Location: Flushing Meadow, NYC
Weather: 86 degrees, 63% humidity, wind 12 mph
We bought a car! It’s my first one in 10 years since giving up my darling and beloved Cabrio. For Christian, this is his very FIRST car EVER. Crazy, huh?
This morning I went to my normal Sunday deli, my regular deli being closed on the Seventh Day. Back home, I settled into my leather recliner, newspaper in one hand, homemade Deaf Hope coffee mug filled to the brim in the other. The coffee had more half & half than I would like, but whatever. Then I tasted it. Blech. The cream was sour. So I dumped the coffee and waited an hour and a half for the corner cafe to open up.
Cafe el Maya is a new little mom and pop operation and serve up delicious tacos and burritos. They’ve been advertising breakfast and I loved the idea of supporting them. I was the only customer so sat down at a big table and requested a cup of coffee with a little half and half. What I got was a bowl of half and half with a splash of coffee. I *wish* I were exaggerating. I was a little embarrassed to ask for it to be fixed — I try not to be a high maintenance customer, especially in a little shop like this, but I am a regular and, well, I was jonesing for java. It took three tries but finally I got a steaming cup of delicious coffee while I waited for my ham, cheese and onion omelette. What came out was a plate of thin, fried egg thing with no ham, no cheese, no onions and two slices of dry white toast. No butter or jam. After the frustrating coffee exchange, I just didn’t have it in me to send it back and *hope* they’d get it right. I was so hungry and in need of coffee that I felt exceptionally angry and helpless that I couldn’t just get a simple, no frills order.
I finished my coffee, left the plate of food untouched except for the one bite I took to see if maybe there was ham, cheese & onion hidden in the eggs that I just couldn’t see, paid the $5 bill and walked to Panera. At least there, I knew I could get coffee.
I just missed Panera’s breakfast so wasn’t able to get an egg souffle but no matter, there were tons of other tasty choices. There was plenty of coffee, served however I liked, reasonably priced and served quickly. Panera was packed full of happy looking people, laughing, chatting or using the free WiFi. As much as I hate the homogenization of America and my little area of Astoria, Queens, I was thanking God for this chain restaurant for getting everything right. And it seemed like every other person in Astoria had already figured it out. I suppose that’s why chains exist and take over the quaint towns of the nation, but it makes me sad. I will never give Cafe el Maya another chance except for the 2:00 AM $2 chicken taco. They do get those right. Or do they? It could be that I’m just too drunk to care.
I’m a sell out. A sated, full, caffeinated sell out.
Going to Subway for lunch and Applebees for dinner and Regal Cinemas for my entertainment.
The past few weeks I’ve been lax about going the the gym, opting instead for burgers & beer & friends. But today I went and ran a 10K in 68.52 minutes. It felt GREAT! I know it should be a priority for me but when work calls, running is the first thing that gets shoved to the side.And work has been running me ragged. One thing I’m excited about is further movement on the “Life’s Tough. Laugh More.” ad campaign I developed three years ago. It’s finally seeing more action than just the sole TV commercial that aired last year. (Click here to watch. I wrote, directed & appeared in it, but wish we had a 30 second spot instead of the 60 sec. spots Time Warner gave us). I was able to get an amazing deal on as at a PRIME location in the NYC subway system (the N/R/W stops at the corner of 49th & 7th Avenue) and in the mall at South Street Seaport. So I got photographer/designer guru Kirill to shoot some spots with Scott Ramsey (my BFF & Tex in the City partner) and Ophira Eisenberg. I have two more shoots up my sleeve but since we’ll have a FOUR month presence, I have some time to work those out. Facebook users can check out a few of the behind the scenes shots taken at the shoot here on our Fan Page. I can’t wait to see what hoodlum New Yorkers draw on their faces! HA!Then there’s the upcoming Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival for which I am helping publicize. All the famous celeb chefs have sold out their shows, of course, so I’m working to help bring attention to Alicia Silverstone‘s demonstration. She is coming to Comix Oct 10th to showcase recipes from her first cookbook “The Kind Diet.” Tickets & info here: http://tinyurl.com/nt3kyuI’m still plugging away on my book (I’m in the midst of doing an annotated scene list so my editor can wrap his head around the whole thing), we had a road trip to Boston for a wedding, my mom is coming for a visit in October as is an old high school friend and Tex in the City is resuming its First Friday Roundups beginning September 4th. Phew! My head spins. Now you see why it’s so easy to beg off the gym. But man I do feel better, less stressed and happier when I’m at my fittest. I’m not 20 any more so it’s easy for fatigue and bad eating habits to show up on my face and butt.Sometimes I wish I could check myself into “rehab” so I’ll take care of myself. There’s got to be a better way!
I spent the morning of my 38th birthday perched on my fire escape like I was in the balcony of a theater.
Not quite 5:00 AM, the sun was making its rise to my right. The Chrysler and Empire State Buildings were still shadows to my left. Their lights were out and the sun was not high enough to make them glisten.
Below me, drunken club goers shouted in Spanish, threw punches and bled on the sidewalk. Bouncers from the corner Latin dance club swarmed to the scene. With lightening speed, they shoved half of the warring factions into a compact car that squealed its tires through a red light.
This is New York City Masterpiece Theatre at its rawest.
I hadn’t slept in nearly 24 hours, but I was happy.
Pass the popcorn, please.
Tired and happy.
Tomorrow I’m having an after work powwow with my new editor. My original one was canned as part of corporate downsizing. Whatcha gonna do? It’s a pretty common occurrence in the industry, I guess. On the positive side, my new one is super stoked about working with me. I’ve heard friends’ nightmare tales of getting a new editor who completely hates the book, doesn’t jive well with them, etc. I should consider myself lucky. Another positive, I hadn’t gotten very far with my original editor since I was busy writing the first draft. I’m thisclose to having a solid working manuscript, only lacking a few more chapters.
Wednesday is the doctor, meetings, meetings, meetings and a late evening tour of Comix to an author friend of mine who might have her book launch party there at my suggestion.
Thursday is Carolyn Castiglia‘s one person show at Ars Nova. Baron Vaughn directed it and Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan of The Electric Company and Freestyle Love Supreme lends his beatboxing talents. Baron is on board to direct *my* one person show if and when I decide to move forward with that. I would probably adapt it from my book in some way so I’m waiting till I’m in the galley stage.
Carolyn is a peach of a gal and going through some major life changes. I expect that to make her show all that much more intense and entertaining. Click here for ticketing details and maybe I’ll see you there.
And Friday, of course, is the First Friday Roundup at Comix from 6:30 – 9:00 or later.
So, that leaves tonight as the only quiet time available to write. I knew this week was going to be a doozy. I’m still trying to figure out a “better way” to squeeze in all the writing time I need while not letting my time with friends and the gym slip away. I got to hang out with a few of my favorite people at “The Family Hour” show in Ochi’s on Saturday night and was like a giddy little kid on a field trip. It’s been forever since I was on the show and got to be with friends just for fun. I read from Chapter Four: Wild Kingdom and was pleasantly surprised at how well it went. Readings aren’t always fun — especially when stacked up against some great story telling — but the audience responded to the parts I had *hoped* were funny. So, turns out all the stuff I wrote when I kept asking myself, “Why would anyone like this?” wasn’t half bad. That’s enough positive feedback to stoke the creative fire for a few more weeks! Being isolated in so many old memories for hours and hours on end sure will zap you of your confidence.*
*And will also make you a stinky recluse.
If a deaf schizophrenic still hears voices.If anyone else kept the shoes they walked home in on 9/11.Or the shoes they walked in for Blackout of ’04.Why it took my passport only 1.5 weeks to arrive. Aren’t we in post-9/11? A white girl from TX isn’t scary as all git out?How I never opened the drawer that held the jeans I’m now wearing in over two years. These jeans are phenomenal.Why Maybelline, the bunny I rescued while in NOLA after Katrina, doesn’t like coming out of her cage anymore. Sideways sad face.What story I should tell on Tuesday at SpeakEasy Stories.If anyone else’s rent did not go up. Ours stayed the same for the first time in four years.Why I’m so attached to clothes I haven’t worn in ages.Where all these pens came from.
We officially withdrew our offer for the co-op we liked on the UWS. The building, a lovely brownstone right on Riverside Park and three blocks from Central Park, was only 50% owner occupied. The other 50% were owned by the sponsor. Not good in these troubled financial times and our broker, attorney and accountant all felt the same. We should wait for prices to drop and find a place that has only 10% or fewer units owned by the sponsor. Or, better yet, find a condo.
We’ve actually got our eye on a few new condos in Long Island City right on the East River with breathtaking views of Manhattan and only one subway stop (or two?) from Grand Central Station. With LIC being the new “it” residence and new developments popping up left and right, we can afford to sit tight and see what the market does.
Christian is right: I love projects and take on new ones all the time without dropping any old ones. So, with that out of the way, I hope to spend less time thinking about real estate and more time writing. Browsing various real estate, decorating and furniture websites daydreaming about a new place was a HUGE time killer for me.
Speaking of writing, off to do just that for another 10 to 12 hours today.
Yesterday Jackie Hoffman (Xanadu), Julie Halston (The Class), David Rakoff (This American Life), Peter Frechette (Tony Nominee), Maria Thayer (Strangers with Candy) spent the entire day at Comix rehearsing for tonight’s performance of “Posteriors” @ Comix. It’s a fully staged reading of a movie classic (in this case Woody Allen’s “Interiors”) and from what I saw, it’s going to be a hoot.
Because they were rehearsing, I had to tiptoe around the showroom with the producers of a Discovery Channel show. They’re scouting Comix and its staff as a potential episode for one of those makeover type TV shows. This one is about being green. I really don’t think our chances of getting picked are high because Comix is fairly new. That means all our machines are efficient, plus we use local vendors for our produce, we recycle our oil, we’re very conscious about our electricity consumption, etc. But, we would make for *FUN* episode, that’s for sure. We’ll see.
While I was giving them a tour and the rehearsal was going on, MTV came by to go over some tech stuff for the show “Man & Wife” which is not only becoming a huge hit, it was all filmed at Comix. Sweet!
What a day! As for today, I’m gtting dressed early for a photo shoot with a New York Post photographer. Look for the story about married couples managing their joint finances in tomorrow’s paper. Tonight is “Posteriors” and a comedy show my pal / former producing partner Molly is putting up at Bowery Poetry Club with the most insanely great lineup. With all these things, I’m still trying to figure out when to carve out time for writing. I might have to take up a few offers from friends to use their country homes for a week. Until then, my Saturdays and Sundays are spent in silent isolation on my couch writing non-stop for hours. That’s not very glamorous! But as friends have told me, I gotta “keep my eye on the prize!”
Something’s gotta give!
Red carpet pics from last night’s Comedy Central Indecision 2008 party. Damn, I wish I had known. Yikes. We were silly to make up for the lack of proper grooming.
I love my morning walks to the deli with Paquita. So does she. Like all dogs, she really thrives on routine and has come to learn what my different shoes mean. At the sound of my opening the front closet door she will race to see which shoes I pull out. Flip flops she most definitely should expect a trip to the deli. The dejected walk she makes to her bed at the sight of my gym shoes and high heels would make me sad if I weren’t so proud of how perceptive she is. She pathetically plops down as if to say, “Time to make my bed and lie in it…for several hours.” Sigh.
I’ve mixed up the routine so that each part of the ritual has its own meaning for her: WALK! Each act — tearing off paper towels for picking up poop, getting out her leash, gathering $3.70 for my morning papers and coffee — is enough to make her shake all over and frantically follow me everywhere her whole body saying, “Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Are we going? Are we going? Are we going?!?!!”
Saying, “Yes, you’re going, don’t you worry!” only gets her more excited and she doesn’t quite believe it till her harness is buckled. Ask her if she likes coffee and you’ll be met with a frantic wimper/bark. She doesn’t actually like coffee (she’s more of a white wine or lager girl), but she knows it equals a trip to the deli.
Some mornings I like to trick her by waiting till she goes back to sleep with Christian. I’ll quietly collect my change, carefully tear off a paper towel, slowly ease open the closet door and slip on my shoes then say, “Coffee?” The time it takes her to scramble to the front door depends on how deeply she has buried herself in the covers, but it is never more than a few seconds. She trips over herself on the slick hardwood floors and comes to a skidding halt.
She reacts in this same way when the sun shines on a pillow from 9:00 till 11:00 each morning. Yelling “Sunshine!” will make Paquita drop whatever she’s doing, run to the sunshine-y pillow and flop on her side to soak up the rays. Her mouth hangs open with her lips pulled back, and I could swear she’s smiling. She really likes the morning sun.
Sundays are the quietest as many of the shops don’t open or open later than usual. Today we passed our neighbor with a boy Yorkie that really loves Paquita and our other neighbor with his mutt Rocky who Paquita wants to kill. Then I saw the scruffy old white guy who “drives” an equally old greenish brown Dodge Demon. I say “drives” in quotes because he never really drives it. He moves it from parking space to parking space and generally spends his day drinking a cold beer and smoking outside of the deli talking to various people. We continued along and the Cuban woman who works at the Latina Cabana lit up when she saw me. “Well hello!” But Paquita isn’t allowed inside so we just waved and said to have a great day.
I passed the man who sweeps up the sidewalk and empties the trash cans without saying hello. He doesn’t like dogs and gets really mad if you try to throw away poop in his garbage cans. Paquita was fixated on a smell and wouldn’t budge as he swept closer and closer to her. I’m sure he was trying to scare her but she didn’t budge. Something must have smelled really good to her.
Finally we reached the deli just as the old Pakistani man who is friends with Sherman, the deli owner, was coming out. I had scooped up Paquita and was holding her in my arms when he saw me. “Oh, hello! Good morning,” he said. “Good morning!” I replied. He started to go on his way then stopped and said, “People say when they have a baby they are happy. But when people have a dog, God is happy.”
So am I.
Featuring Andres du Bouchet, Adira Amram & H. Alan Scott. Hosted by Christian Finnegan & Sean Crespo. Written and directed by Kambri Crews. Filmed and edited by Carol Hartsell.
What a beautiful city you are, especially when the last sight of you is followed by the drive home from JFK down Steinway Street in Queens. Ick. But it is good to be back home with the animals and Paquita is sporting her brand new Parisian harness. She would have loved you too with dogs being welcome anywhere and everywhere. And now, I cross you off the list and hope to see you again soon . A la prochaine, moi.
There is too much to write at this late hour on so little sleep. We did the touristy things, of course, but we incorporated them into walks courtesy of “Paris Walks,” a useful, easy guide for first time visitors. I have only one or two minor, nit picky things about the book’s practicality and some snarky editorial but wholeheartedly agree with the two reviews on the Amazon page. We never took a cab, even from the airport to the hotel, but instead relied on our feet and the freakishly perfect Metro system. It is pristine and a cinch to navigate.
While I enjoyed the sites where we, for whatever reason, felt we needed to go / see to say, “Yes, I have seen the [FILL IN THE BLANK],” the fun parts were more about the culture, the joie de vivre and the drunk and disorderly. The best way to get a sense of how “things are done” is to see how people react to situations like an over packed subway car at rush hour, post office lines, the drunk unsuccessfully trying to get served another drink, the drunk handing another drunk with a Santa hat a half empty bottle of wine, the drunk trying to make a move on every woman in the bar whilst tucking away his obvious wood, and the like. Maybe over a vin or two I will tell you about the trip but until then, joyeuses fetes.
First class on international trips is ridiculously, ridiculously amazing. I am still full nearly 9 hours after landing.
Last night marked the 15th time I’ve gone on stage in NYC as myself. Sure, I’ve been on stage hundreds –maybe even thousands– of times as an actor back when I used to do that sort of thing, but that’s different. It’s an entirely other beast presenting something you’ve personally created to an audience with no 4th wall to protect you. Each time gets easier and I am, I think (hope), better and more confident.
Beginning next Friday at “The Family Hour with Auntie Sara” I’m going to try telling a longer story divvied up into “episodes”. I hope this will help me craft more details and jokes into my stories that I always feel like I have to rush through because we only get 6 or 7 minutes on stage. The next story I will begin with next week should wrap up in three weeks total giving me a good 21 minutes worth of new material. I might even video tape them for my Love, Daddy blog and add captioning for my hearing impaired readers. It would be time consuming so it’s a lofty goal. Don’t hold your breath.
Meanwhile, tonight at Ochi’s Lounge begins a new open mike show called “Ochi’s Motel” run by John Morrison, creator of “Morrison’s Motel.” It will be every Saturday from 6:00 – 8:00 and you can throw your hat in the random ring by emailing John at ochismotel[at]gmail.com. Drink at Work follows with their hit variety show and ends the night by challenging audience members to Guitar Hero. I love the little performance space I’ve created. John loaned us some fancy lights, we’ve expanded the cheap menu and the comedians and audiences can’t say enough about how warm and fun the room is. I think you should come check it out soon, don’t you?
How about on Monday the 3rd when I perform on “Slumber Party”?
So Ochi’s Lounge fu*king rules. I’m going to live there. After a week of actually doing just that I can safely say the space is a gem. The sound is pristine, the tech smooth, the space intimate and lovely. Some good comedy happened in the last seven days in front of really great audiences. I hope you’ll come out to see for yourself. Jon Fisch, Jay Larson, Christian Finnegan, Leo Allen, Andy Blitz and other great comedians dropped by on and off stage and you should, too.
Friday at 7:00 is Family Hour with Auntie Sara. I, as I walked to the stage for what I intended to be a quirky two minute bit, spontaneously decided to tell a story. It was amazing at first then my consciousness took over and I realized I was on stage telling a story. Oh boy, did I start getting nervous. It all ended up okay and it was a good feeling to know that I have gained *some* confidence over the last year of reading, writing and increasing my “platform” for the book I’m working on. Considering how many hours I was putting in (18 – 20 hours a day…no joke, sadly) I was happier still that I had my wits about me though I looked a bit on the tired / haggard side as evidenced in the photo at right taken by Maryanne Ventrice in which I’m signing murder . (Me needs a hair cut!)
Saturday night after a GREAT “Drink at Work” show at Ochi’s, we played Guitar Hero. I love that game so much so I’ve been playing it off and on all day today taking the needed breaks because I make my hands hurt by pressing the buttons and strumming too hard. Join us next Saturday to rock out with us.
It’s free, dude.
Saturday night I saw a childhood friend who was in New York on vacation. Our grandfathers and our parents grew up together at the deaf school in Oklahoma, and my brother & I grew up with him and his sister. The eight of us, at one time, were inseparable even moving into the woods of Montgomery together and eventually buying matching trailers. We talked and talked and danced and laughed till 4:00 in the morning. The next day I woke up and my hands were stiff and sore from all the signing!!!
I was excited to tell him about “ASL in the Raw,” the show by and for the Deaf produced by and starring Doug Ridloff and Jason Norman (pictured below) which I am promoting this November at Comix. Maybe he’ll come back to NYC for that one. For you New Yorkers or those in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, pencil it in your calendar. Or, better yet, buy your advance tickets at ComixNY.com.
Aren’t they cute?
So we got married, blah, blah, blah. That doesn’t take any talent or special skill, so on to other topics of interest.
We missed seeing my pal Mandy of the NY Post at our nuptials; but I suppose if you’re going to miss a wedding, getting bitten by Andy Dick while covering the roast for William Shatner then having it covered in Page Six makes for an excellent excuse!
We also missed our friend Adam Felber because he was out in LA for his new book Schrodinger’s Ball which also happened to get a great review in the NY Times. In a bummer turn of scheduling, he’ll be in New York this weekend while we’re out in LA and Utah. This means we’ll miss the private shindig hosted by his friend, NPR co-worker and co-blogger Mo Rocca at Mo’s pad celebrating our mutual friend’s milestone.
Faithful readers will recall that Mo popped in for Edith Layton’s book launch party. Why? She’s Adam’s mom, that’s why! She also happens to be an amazing woman and multi-award winning romance novelist with her own book coming out soon. That family is sincerely talented and awesome and funny with her daughter Susie Felber adding to the talent pool as an accomplished comedian and writer and gorgeous mommy-to-be. She also happened to capture the (thus far) only photo of me smiling too wide whilst descending the stairs at my wedding party thingy.
There’s plenty more of our friends who we need to congratulate — more books, CDs, marriages and what not — but right now I’m just bubbling with joy for Adam and for Mandy probably not being “too AIDS-y“.
So now that our wedding party is over, it’s the honeymoon right? So what do we do? Clean out all our closets and our underbed plastic storage bins. We’re reluctantly donating two big bins of books and happily ditching about six MORE bags of Christian’s clothes that no longer fit his svelte figure. I’m purging a bunch of old office wear as well figuring I’ll never work in an uptight office environment again. If, by some chance I do, then these clothes still won’t be missed and will surely be out of style.
Returning from an errand, I passed by the Salvation Army. I saw a woman hunched over digging through bags of clothes that had been dropped off after hours. I almost stopped to tell her that I have tons of clothes she could pick through before I donated them but, before I could, she stood up and faced me.
It was my neighbor.
My male neighbor.
The frightened / humiliated look was like I caught him pissing standing up in the ladies room. We made eye contact that read, “We will never speak of this moment.” Instead I’ll just share it with the world wide web.
I still wanted to offer my clothes because I’m sure we’re around the same size. Sad that the moment passed.
“Pitch out!” – Grady Hinchman
So Friday I decided I wanted to carry flowers. And last night thought, “Maybe I should paint my nails because people will want to see my ring.” And, oh, I haven’t written a toast yet and we still need to buy bubbles and tablecloths.
So what did I do? Got hammered with my mom, mother-in-law-to-be and my ex-mother-in-law from my first marriage who came in from Ohio and I haven’t seen since ’95. Plus “Reverend” Ramsey and lots of friends were there to party.
I had a wee bit of a headache this morning but no matter. We got up for brunch and a little hair of the dog, found the exact flowers I had in mind plucked from an arrangement at a funeral home, bubbles and tablecloths all within a square block.
Sometimes living in Astoria is awesome. Where else can you find a giant party store, funeral home with attached flower store, an awesome diner with giant bloody marys and a million dollar stores with cases of bubbles just hours before your wedding? Not on Park Avenue, I assure you.
Blogging when I should be writing a toast and maybe getting a manicure. And maybe shaving my legs or underarms.
With only three days left till wedded bliss, things are running smoothly if not a little jam-packed with all of Christian’s CD stuff.
The weather report looks promising with mid-80 temperatures and sunny skies. I don’t care if it rains on Saturday but I will be sorely disappointed if Sunday is a bust for Coney Island and Christian’s first pitch for the Brooklyn Cyclones for which he is ill prepared. Just where should one practice pitching when one does not own a ball or a glove or a yard? His finger was wrenched last Tuesday, too. It healed almost completely within two days but he’s been treating it with kid gloves hoping to get it back to 100% in time to throw. This could be awe-ful-some.
I also cashed in an offer from Serednipity 3 that Christian got in his gift bag back when he appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly. It was supposed to give him a free Golden Opulence Sundae. Valued at $1,000, it is the most expensive dessert in the world. Turns out that offer was a Valentine’s Day promotion so the publicist is giving us and two out-of-town wedding guests free lunch instead. That’s even better in my book but don’t tell the publicist that.
Oh! In other “windfalls” news, you know those news reports about unclaimed funds that are just floating out in the universe that eventually revert to the State? Well, I have some! $1,098 to be more specific. What a nice little surprise. I read and re-read the letter a dozen times sure that it was a scam but it’s not. Who knows what $1,100 will buy? I got a free laptop not long ago, don’t need clothes or books or electronics or anything really. I guess I’ll invest it barring any brilliant ideas on how to blow money I didn’t even know I had.
Spa treatments? More classes at NYU? A weekend getaway?
So I’ve been pitching (heh) the Brooklyn Cyclones like crazy hoping they would let Christian throw out the first pitch the day after our wedding when we take our big group of 60 to go see the game. I hadn’t heard anything and was kvetching to my old boss Jack over vodka gimlets about how I really wanted that to be my wedding present to Christian.
Guess who Jack just happens to know? The owner of the Cyclones. One phone call later and guess who is throwing out the first pitch on Sunday, August 13th? Yeah, I knew three years of office insanity with Jack would pay off.
Update: As it turns out, it was my pitch that did it and not the phone call. Guess who will still try to claim credit and lord it over me until I re-pay him?
Guess who is in line for a very special thank you that he’ll never let me forget?
I and a few of my Tex in the City friends are getting a team together to “change the course of an epidemic” by walking 6.2 miles through Manhattan for the annual AIDS Walk New York. We had a lot of fun the last time we did it and managed to raise a decent sum of money, so we figured what the heck…let’s do it again! So Gawker Stalker, on May 21st you can find me somewhere in or near Central Park.
Even Paquita took part and she will lead us again this year when I walk in memory of my uncle Darold Carnes and surrogate dad George Zein, Jr. (both of whom are listed on this Deaf Lost to HIV/AIDS site) and family friend Lisa Hillard. May they rest in peace and may a cure be found.
Last year we capped off the walking by drinking wine at an outdoor cafe and resting our tootsies. Paquita was too zonked to even beg for food! I wonder if she dreamt of meeting John Spencer?
Want to join in on the fun? Fill out this form and show up with your walking shoes.
You’ll get a free t-shirt and some exercise, too.
As a birthday gift, NBC aired Christian’s appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly. Here’s the clip featuring a whopping four minutes of stand up by the birthday boy. Watch it here.
This is the first year I haven’t baked him a cake since we cut sugar out of our diet for our New Year’s resolution. I feel like a slacker somehow. I treated him to a free viewing of all the Beastie Boys videos directed by “Nathanial Hornblower” (aka Beastie Boy member MCA) at the AMMI. It was us and two girls when the show started and at the end we all clapped. On our way out we noticed a man had snuck in while the lights were out. That man? MCA / Nathanial Hornblower. Christian was so excited he interrupted MCA’s conversation with the two girls to introduce himself. Yay! Then I treated him to afternoon booze and food at a pub where we played video games till we ran out of singles.
Day two of our “vacation in our own city” was on Sunday, September 4th. We called a livery cab to drive us to Hunter’s Point in Queens to hop on the NY Water Taxi. First off, we almost never hopped on the taxi because of this gloriously cheesey, man-made beach that was nestled in the midst of rocky construction and ugly coastline and offering $2 PBR, hot dogs and classic rock blaring over the speakers:
Strange twist of fate / timing / whatever, unbenownst to me at the time I snapped the photo, my friends Rachel & Chuck are directly under the yellow flag in the picture below. I discovered them later as we sat atop the ferry (dock entrance pictured on the left) and waited to depart.
We smuggled Paquita on board and made her stay in her bag the whole time from Hunter’s Point to Manhattan’s East Side, down around the south tip stopping in Brooklyn, passing the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street & then on to Pier 63 on Manhattan’s West Side. Well worth the $10 on such a beautiful and uneventful day. But Paquita wasn’t too happy:
After a very long leisurely al fresca lunch at the sports complex of all sports complexes Chelsea Piers, we walked to Sin Sin for Rob P’s show The Pro Shop. Paquita was a peach and just chilled sipping water and “digging” herself a bed on a cushioned bench.
Overall, not a true vacation since Christian did a spot on Rob’s show and we’ve been to Chelsea Piers before and the Sin Sin lounge, but the Water Taxi was so worth it as was getting Paquita out of the house to blow some serious stink off.
Her head still smells like an egg roll, though.
Labor Day weekend looms and Christian is finally home for more than 24 hours (@&*^%!) since mid-July. We plan to celebrate his presence by staying close to home and enjoying some of the sites our fair City has to offer.
If you were visiting New York, what would you like to do?
Some of our possiblilites include:
— The Museum of the Moving Image which is literally right around the corner from our apartment. Coincidentally, they are hosting a special screening of The Thing About My Folks (see yesterday’s entry) and also have a special exhibit on Gumby and stop-motion animation (see my August 27th entry below).
— A cruise on the New York Water Taxi from Hunter’s Point (also very close to our apartment) to Chelsea Piers. The cheap commute allows some of the most beautiful views of the city and the quickest way to the west side pier for an early dinner.
— One or more of the walking tours available. So many to choose from that I may end up getting bogged down by choices and do none of them as a result.
Then there’s the Cloisters, a Yankees game, locating our apartment from the Empire State Building, any number of plays and who knows what else.
First stop: Nathan’s for the 2005 Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest where American, Sonya Thomas, set a new (American) record by eating 37 hot dogs and buns in twelve minutes. Despite her record setting efforts, she still only managed second place as four-time world champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan managed to devour 49 hot dogs becoming the clear winner once again.
FYI, Christian and I tied at two each.
Next stop: The Cyclone. I actually did get mild whiplash. What a piece o’ shite. Per the aforelinked site, “The Cyclone has consistently ranked at or near the top of every roller coaster top ten list published.” Clearly these aficionados are buffs for nostalgia and are not rating the coaster for performance and overall thrills. The first hill provided mild butterflies in the belly but after that I was beaten like a rented mule. I wonder how many necks have snapped? Tongues have been bitten? Brains traumatized? Rough.
Most unexpectedly scary as hell ride was Saturn 6. I’m not sure when I became such a wuss — I can’t say with 100% certainty that I actually am a wuss until I’ve been back to Cedar Point — but I was terrified. Why? It came so bone-chillingly close to a tree, the roof of a building, some electrical wires and, well, let’s just say the ride operators were about 12 years old and a bit pre-occupied with some hulking dude (“HD”) who was pissed that his little tiny, eensy baby wasn’t allowed to ride. It actually resulted into a bit of a shouting match which trickled off the ride and ended with the HD’s baby momma hitting HD in the mouth! I kept imagining the HD storming the controls and killing us all. I wanted off. The ride stopped finally and I saw one of the operators carrying the baby off the platform. In the midst of the scuffle, HD’s eensy baby had wandered onto the ride — luckily after the ride had stopped completely. Oy, decapitated babies are not my idea of a happy holiday.
Normally my favorite ride is the Zipper, but after Rob P. told us he saw someone welding it earlier, I opted out. Ah, Coney Island, you gotta love it.
Third stop: Game time! We played skee ball (I won two of three awarding me with two early morning coffee runs by Christian) and lots of fun carnival games. Christian scored this counterfeit Blues Clues dog for Paquita. It’s a little big for her to beat around so I’m trying to teach her how to hump it instead of my arm.
Final stop: Home! We have a great view of the city from our bedroom window and our rooftop connects with so many other buildings we were certain to have a great view near the comforts of home. But we didn’t plan a gathering — no time since vacation and without actually having witnessed a July 4th from this new apartment, we didn’t want to risk disappointing friends. Instead, we sat on our fire escape drank wine and enjoyed the fireworks and our awesome view. Sadly, my digital photo isn’t good at the night shots but here’s an idea of how it looked early on before the smoke covered the Empire State Building & the Chrysler Building.
Working from home!
Holy moly, did I see the best baseball game ever yesterday! Unbelievable! Guest of my friend Liam, I hopped on the 7 and prayed for sunshine. Thunder & lightening seemed to want to spoil our fun, but eventually the rain let up and the game started an hour and a half later than scheduled. The Angels were leading one nothing and the Mets were being outplayed.
— Beltran stole a homerun to prevent the Angels from a big lead.
Awesome, but then in the top of the 9th the Angels scored a run to make it a 2/1 game. Hmmph.
BUT THEN…in the bottom of the 9th:
— Anderson tied the game with a freaking IN THE PARK HOMEFREAKINRUN! When do you EVER get to see that? In person?!
Top the 10th the Angels score another run. Damn. Bottom of the 10th the Mets had a runner on 1st and 2nd with TWO outs. Floyd steps up and proceeds to get a full count. So it all comes down to this.
— Floyd knocks the shit out of the park! A WALK-OFF HOMEFREAKINRUN! When do you EVER get to see that in person?!
This is enough to make me become a sports broadcaster. F this Ballyhoo noise.
New Mets fan. For life.
6:27 PM — I left my office at just in time to get caught in a thunderous, torrential rain. Most (smart) people were standing under shelters or in buildings. Not me. I was walking to the subway on to an open bar party at The Cellar hosted by the Onion. Neither rain nor snow not heat or gloom of night stays this consumer from the swift completion of swilling my appointed free Bass.
6:32 PM — Once safely tucked away in the 49th Street station, I sat down on a bench and wrung my pants. Twisted them till lots of water poured out. So much so that a man actually stopped, pointed and laughed incredulously.
8:56 PM – The keg was tapped. I headed to the Boston Comedy Club for a fundraiser being held on behalf of Kevin Knox. Here’s what I said about it on Christian’s calendar:
Boston comic Kevin Knox has recently been fighting lymph node cancer and is seeking treatment not covered by his insurance. Come out and help Kevin pay his medicals bills with laughter…it is the best medicine, after all. [Sorry.]
9:11 PM – I arrived at the club. Four people were there. Two from Germany, two from France. They didn’t know Kevin. They did know English. For some reason, the show was not canceled. The host began his set talking to the four people. An annoyed Dustin Chafin, comic & manager of the club, breezed through and said loudly:
You’re really helping out your friend!
Ouch. I napped on a bench till Christian finished his set.
9:35 PM – My pants were officially dried.
9:46 PM – Extra large fries purchased at McDonald’s.
9:52 PM – Christian and I cabbed it to 40/40 Club for a private birthday party in the Jay-Z Lounge (read the linked review). Don’t go there. EVER. Unless, of course, you like the possiblity of getting raped in the co-ed bathroom or having blaring hip hop play as you snort coke off a table before sipping a $17 drink. I wish I were joking.
10:30 PM – Finally received the first drink of the evening. Christian had a Jack & Coke (which was not Jack & Coke, but he drank it anyway) and I had Pinot Grigio. Tally: $31.
11:37 PM – We finish our drinks and walk out annoyed that we wasted one hour and thirty-seven minutes of our lives in that ridiculous place. On our way out, the door swings open to a different private room just in time for us to see a woman snorting a line of coke.
11:55 PM – Our cab ride home is complete. Tally: $15. Not enough for a drink at 40/40.
What’s in a Name?
Remember the One 2 One Living magazine article I mentioned in the Ballyhoo Promotions Newsletter? Well some of you may have noticed that they refer to Christian as “Chris” in the graphics. No where, ever, do I or he refer to Christian as “Chris.” Who does that? Especially in the entertainment biz. After all, there is a Chris Finnegan on IMDB. They actually had his name as “Chris” all throughout originally until I sent them an email correcting their mistake. The editor wrote me back:
Are you fucking kidding me?
When someone you report to (boss, client, person of some authority, whatever) asks you a question. Then later they ask someone else the same question. Are they checking your honesty? Doubting your knowledge? Mistrusting your judgment? Just a big jackhole moron?
You MUST go to Tribeca Cinemas and watch these films. Everyone there — and I mean everyone — was thoroughly impressed by the work of all these young directors. One film in particular, The Plunge, was a favorite amongst me and my guests. We were excited to meet and talk with the director, Todd Schulman, to find out what he is doing now because, surely, he is going places. Turns out, he now lives in LA and is working on Borat, a movie based on a character in Da Ali G Show with Sacha Baron Cohen.
The whole night was a success and the folks at Chamberlain Bros. were such a treat. I hope to pitch a book idea to them by summer — an idea that has about a 98% chance of getting picked up by some publisher — just so I can see them again.
Tribeca Cinemas is an incredible party space of any type, but, obviously, perfect for a screening. It’s real downfall is the bathroom. Only one room. For everyone. It actually never seemed to be a problem, but come on…one room? For everyone?
I was given the first two seasons of 24 on DVD and completed them BOTH in the span of about a week and a half. That’s alot of tense conspiratorial television for one person. It has made such an impact on me, I called the guest of honor Roger Corman “Roger Stanton” by mistake. Ugh. Luckily he is one of the most gracious, kindest men I’ve met. He also gave a truly well planned and thoughtful introduction to each and every film and its director. Considering his unbelievably long career, he could have phoned it in and no one would have minded. Knowing this, having him go over and above the call of duty was a special treat.
View pictures of the evening over on Rachel’s site.
Season 3 of 24 is due to arrive Monday. See you in a week.
Sob Stories revels in the muck of love: broken hearts, creepy one-night stands, hookups and breakups. These comics have been around the block, and are here to kiss and tell!
Join host Christian Finnegan and featured guests Jonathan Ames (author, Wake Up, Sir!), Andy Selsberg (The Onion), Rena Zager (NBC’s Late Friday) & Jackie Clarke (UCB All-Star).
SOB STORIES: NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE!
356 Bowery (btwn Great Jones & E. 4th St)
$5.00 – NO drink minimum!
The Clip Joint with Colin Quinn
Prefer to spend your money for a good cause? Then tomorrow night’s comedy might be your thang.
Colin Quinn headlines this comedy/variety show at The Improv. Comics Matt O’Brien and Rory Albanese host Colin, Seth Morris (Marijuanalogues, UCB) and other acts in a show that takes you back to the days when people got dressed up to go see comedy.*
All proceeds go to the Scott Carter Foundation.
318 W. 53rd Street
$15 (Includes a free issue of Jest Magazine!)
Visit www.ballyhoopromotions.net/Newsletter.html for these & other events along with news updates on all Ballyhoo clients.
I just bought this for our living room and should have it on Friday. Our internet will be connected tomorrow (sorry for being out of touch!) and our new couch arrives next Tuesday. A few rugs, nightstands, coffee table and chest of drawers later, we’ll be nice and cozy. Until then, our place is an organized mess and I love it. I sat up in bed this morning and peaked out at the Empire State & Chrysler Buildings and marveled at how close to perfect this whole thing has been.
I’m 15 minutes to Midtown, baby!
The apartment is coming together, movers arrive Saturday and big news is breaking with Jest. No time to write about it, meanwhile, enjoy free tickets to a really neat show…
You and a guest are invited to see:
at the John Houseman Theater
450 W. 42nd Street btwn 9th & 10th Ave.
The days of Charlie Chaplin get an MTV-era extreme makeover in New York’s most electrifying new show. With high-tech special effects and comedic pyrotechnics that explode like wildfire, LAZER VAUDEVILLE, blends the arts of juggling, acrobatics, dance, and illusion into a show that defies the laws of probability. It’s old-school entertainment with a totally new twist, and it’s unlike anything else in the city!
For more information, visit www.lazervaudeville.com
“Lazer Vaudeville puts a high-tech twist on the traditional arts of juggling, illusion, acrobatics and comedy.” — The New York Times
“Brings a new light to vaudeville.” –Newsday
“A fantastical family show! Physical skill, comedy and magic combine with the speed, light, and color of a video game.” — The Boston Globe
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THESE PERFORMANCES:
Wednesday, February 16th at 8PM
Thursday, February 17th at 8PM
Friday, February 18th at 8PM
Saturday, February 19th at 2PM
Saturday, February 19th at 8PM
Sunday, February 20th at 2PM
Monday, February 21st at 8PM
Wednesday, February 23rd at 2PM
TO RSVP: Please reply no later than 2 days prior to your selected performance to RSVP2LV@hhcmarketing.com or CALL: (212) 501-3769
IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF E-MAIL – Type “Lazer Vaudeville Comp Tix” plus the date you are requesting (ie: “Lazer Vaudeville Comp Tix – Sun Feb 20”)
In the “BODY” of the email or when leaving a phone message, please give us the following information:
Full Name (SPELL IT – if nec.)
Date you are requesting
Number of tickets you are requesting (one or two)
And you were referred by Kambri Crews
This offer is first come, first serve. Dates are subject to availability. You will receive confirmation via email within 24 hours.
Once confirmed, please PICK UP YOUR TIX AT THE BOX OFFICE on the day of the show no later than one half hour prior to the given performance. For more information, visit www.lazervaudeville.com
Enjoy the show!
Christian and I will see this every night.
Isn’t it lovely?
Me: I’m off to the Denist, sorry.
Jack: That’s okay, I’m just happy to hear you’re getting drilled.
I spent much of today in the dentist chair. I sat patiently listening to soothing classical music and staring out the window at the beautiful top of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and daydreamed about my new apartment.
Yes, I was drilled with a view of St. Pat’s. I love this place.
Know of any good decorating wesites?
Tonight marked the end of “Eating It” at Luna Lounge. The former moves to the Zipper (love that place!) and the latter gets demolished and turned into condos.
But I can’t really think about that.
We did it. We took the plunge. We signed a lease for a new apartment. No more turning back now.
We literally went from making the single most important jointly made decision together to the Lower East Side to an alternative comedy show in a dive bar and promptly got drunk. The bar even gave out champagne to mark the occasion. Well, technically it was for the end of “Eating It”, but whatever…
Pictures coming soon!
Since no one is around to read, I haven’t felt much like writing. But there are a couple of things I wanted to share: a party last night, a Christmas wrap up, pottery sighting follow up, subway fisticuffs and more.
Party Last Night
Christian & I attended a birthday party at Employees Only. David Cross, Robert Smigel, Paul F. Tompkins and others were milling about, but we were a bit too mellow to mingle. We hung back with Todd Barry as he consulted with Seth Morris about what kind of line to use to try and pick up the psychic who had set up shop in the foyer. After a few “I’d give you my number, but you already know it” type lines, Todd bravely forged toward his target. To my surprise, he returned almost instantly. “That was quick!” I said. He replied, “She told me we will be having beautiful sex tomorrow.” So I guess he felt no need to hang around after that encouraging forecast. Today actually should be his lucky day.
Christmas Wrap Up
Now that Christmas is over, I feel a lot better about not having heard from my dad and lamenting my lack of family. Holidays are tough, man. But I so do love giving and the warm feeling I get when someone genuinely enjoys receiving from me. A fun example is below. Of course, Christmas wasn’t all terrible considering I have Christian, who spoiled me silly. It must be hard to try to please someone on Christmas knowing that no matter how much you give them, they will always be a little bit sad and disappointed inside.
Pottery Sighting Follow Up
Some time ago, I came across this blog entry and decided to write the author, Rachel. I had an idea to surprise the young fan of Christian’s for Christmas. The author wrote back, we met for drinks, had a terrific time and I delivered an autographed headshot of Christian and a photo I had taken of him at Our Name is Mud the very day of their sighting. He signed the back of that photo with a personal message to her. She finally received it and was thrilled. This is why I love the internet.
Two grown men got into a shoving match on my subway car this morning. A middle-aged handsome businessman with a thick New York accent and a younger guy (mid-20s maybe) that boarded the train in Astoria with a Greek accent. It consisted of a lot of “Just sit there and shut up.” “No, you shut up.” “You shut up.” “Stop looking at me.” “You stop looking at me.” “No. You.” They decided to take it “outside” at the next stop. My stop. A very busy stop. People were practically falling over themselves trying to get out first.
No punches were thrown. Some shoving ensued, chest bumping, a bag was thrown down and the younger Greek guy ended up on the platform while the businessman stayed inside the car. The doors closed. I didn’t stick around to see the ending, but Greek on the platform was trying to pry open the doors. I wonder if his bag was still inside? I wouldn’t want anyone hurt or their things lost, but God would I have loved riding in the car with the businessman when the subway took off without the Greek.
I guess I lied. That’s all I’ve got.
Caroline’s on Broadway was chock full of laughter, and yet no mike was plugged in. Mix one part open bar, one part ham & turkey buffet and 150 comedians and you’ve got yourself a bunch of pictures requiring major red eye removal.
We arrived earlier than expected at 5 minutes past the official start time of 10:00, yet the place was already hopping with revelers. Most notable at that early hour was Stacey J from The Apprentice who seemed to be the guest of Paul Mooney who was dressed in a giant fur hat, military coat and heavy boots and danced alone in the sightlines of the spotlight & camera and a reserved Gilbert Gottfried.
One drink and a buffet round down, I headed back to the bar to see Lynne Koplitz & her boyfriend, Nick, arriving. We said our hellos and chatted briefly about how well my friend did as a guest on Lynne’s show, Life & Style, last week.
I had a nice chat with Lou Viola, head of programming of the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. His was a name I’ve heard many times over the course of two years and finally had the pleasure of meeting. He was knew of my newsletter, which was encouraging.
Donnell Rawlings passed me and stopped in his tracks. A big broad smile swept across his face, “Hey, I know you!” I have heard great things about his Chappelle’s Show Live comedy tour with Charlie Murphy & Bill Burr and he confirmed, “That show is whack.” To which I replied, “Is that good?” (I’m so square. Have I correctly spelled “whack”?) Apparently, “whack” is very, very good. The shows are packed, the audiences are enthusiastic and the money is rolling in. He has divorced since the last time we met, but is nevertheless enjoying himself as evidenced in the photo below.
During this time, Dave Attell was making his way towards us. I was interested in meeting him, but he was intercepted at least five times. I never did get to say hello. I did, however, have very brief and pleasant encounter with Jim Norton, but not Patrice Oneal who is just a bit much for my taste.
On our way out, I met (again?) Artie Lange who said I should drop by his studio to deliver the latest Jest Magazine. I would be afraid of Howard Stern et al. accosting me to find out about my sexual past. Perhaps I’ll just mail it.
Judah Friedlander (most excellent in American Splendor) & Danny McDermott
Donnell Rawlings and Guest
Russ Meneve, Eric Kirchberger, Christian Finnegan & Todd Barry
Adam Spiegelman (writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live), Jim David, Demetri Martin & Christian Finnegan
Skipping the Stand Up NY party.
So The Clip Joint at the Knitting Factory sold out. Did you hear me? SOLD OUT! And not just all the seats were taken — even in the balcony — it was standing room only five people deep. FIVE PEOPLE DEEP! Seeds of Peace should be thrilled. I am. Can you tell?
Stacey & her husband had just flown in. I gave them a lightening speed tour of Rockefeller Center (excluding St. Patrick’s Cathedral — what was I thinking?!) before we grabbed a quick bite and rode the rails down to TriBeCa. I think they enjoyed the show. If they didn’t, they got in for free so they didn’t lose too much.
After the show, Christian & I went to the VH1 Best Week Ever holiday wrap party at Ava Lounge in the newly refurbished/renamed Dream Hotel. I had great fun chatting with Doug Benson, Rob Huebel, Fred Graver, Scott (stereogum.com) and, well, everyone. What a great time. Although, coming in late to an open bar party that has been underway for well over two hours means everyone aged 25 and under is pretty much shitfaced. Kim was literally leaning on people as she slurred and plodded through sentences. I wonder how she’s feeling today?
My favorite conversation was with Doug when he told me Googled himself and found this entry I had written. He had no recollection of this conversation (he is a marijuanalogger, after all), but he thought himself pretty clever. Agreed. I wonder if he’ll now Google himself to find this entry and not remember telling me about Googling himself and how long will this cycle go?
I wonder if Doug will remember telling me he will cast me in his next play?
I am having a really phenomenal (pronounced “FEE-nominal” in the literal sense) day today. A kick ass new client fills my roster (more on that later) and I’m fielding loads of press hits for my others. Now, if only my fees weren’t as nominal so I could take a long vacation and leave tasks to my employees.
I had all my dates mixed up. Stacey arrives tomorrow, the fundraiser is tomorrow, VH1’s Best Week Ever holiday wrap party is tomorrow, tomorrow is a busy, fun day.
This weekend was full of treats. Saturday, Ed Helms held his 2nd annual holiday bash in his awesome Brooklyn apartment. Everyone was in fine holiday form, literally and figuratively, and Ed is a gracious host. But earlier in the day I was running around in the cold which made me slightly under the weather, so my attendance at Ed’s party was cut short. That trip I took on the tram to and from Roosevelt Island just for fun was hardly worth it. The ride and the views were just so-so.
Sunday, Christian and I cashed in *free* tickets to see the Tony Award winning Broadway hit Avenue Q. We thoroughly enjoyed the performances, score & book, but the Golden Theater stinks. Our usher was a crotchety bald woman who angered more than one patron and continually barked orders to no one in particular. The seats were the tiniest I’ve ever crammed my pa dunk a dunk trunk into, and poor Christian looked like he was the last man crammed into a phone booth during a world record setting adventure. Tiiigghhht.
But live theater isn’t about comfort and perhaps, mused Christian, that is why Broadway is dying a slow death. Then the show began and sucked us in and, well, did it matter that there was really no room for anyone to breathe or walk or stand?
Things are going really well to the point I can hardly remember to breathe!
On the 15th, I’m taking her to this fundraiser at the Knitting Factory that will be FABULOUS! All proceeds benefit Seeds of Peace. Here are the details:
The Clip Joint! New School Comedy, Old School Style.
The Daily Show’s Lewis Black headlines this new monthly comedy/variety show at the Knitting Factory. Comics Matt O’Brien and Rory Albanese host Lewis, Jessi Klein, Christian Finnegan (VH1’s Best Week Ever) and other acts in a show that takes you back to the days when people got dressed up to go see comedy.*
Wednesday, December 15
The Knitting Factory
Main Performance Space
74 Leonard Street
New York City , NY 10013
8:30 PM – $15.00
The Incredibles was a pleasure. It started off slowly, but held me captive in the end.
The Cup Diner is a welcome addition to Astoria. Not a chain and not unique, but the service was hyper-friendly, the food was good and the location desirable. What makes it special? It’s in Astoria, where crystal, gold leaf and garrish lighting go to die. Free internet access is an added bonus.
The Press page is updated, although I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of blurbs. There’s too many and too little time! Again, intern wanted! Here’s a scan/page of the Time Out NY spot. Do you have any feedback on my format? If so, email me or comment below. I’d appreciate it!
Pottery with friends is good, picking up the finished product together is better, but decorating a Christmas tree afterwards is the best.
I came home from a perfect night of friends, holiday spirt, New York quirkiness to find this write up in Backstage for Ballyhoo Promotions’ clients Allison Castillo, Ophira Eisenberg, Christian Finnegan, Sob Stories & Sweet Paprika. That sure is a nice way to end a beautiful night.
My friend Susan had her 6 year old boy in tow. “HILLARY! HILLARY! HILLARY DUFF!” he would shriek
he saw a flash of blonde
Funny. I’m not being sarcastic. It was actually funny.
Tony Bennett was terrific; the homemade hummus and tzatziki from my favorite neighborhood Greek deli, Calista, was gone in about 20 minutes; Jessica Simpson was, well, the same as she always is; Hillary was okay (sorry to break it you kid, you and your little girlfriend have some growing up to do); and that Swarovski tree topper is just a sight to behold despite these pictures not doing it justice.
Moments before the lighting, Sheila & I headed downstairs where I gave my favorite security guard Hector my leftover wine. We then had access to the best view of a tree in New York City as it was being lit.
We took a few snapshots before heading up 5th Avenue to take in the spectacular window display (actually, it’s the whole freaking building) of Saks Fifth Avenue and the always superb window dressings of Bergdorf Goodman’s. While walking along the latter, we came across this amazing Van Cleef & Arpels window dressing:
That’s one dumb thief, eh?
Go to Bergdorf’s, seriously. The displays are exquisite!
Last night’s Sob Stories was quite possibly the best one to date, performance-wise. Although it wasn’t standing room only (thanks, Vice Presidential Debates & Yankees playoffs), there was still a healthy crowd (thanks to the special mention in Metro, Time Out NY & Gawker) bearing witness to hilarious tales of penis numbing cream, attempted mercy fucking of an elderly man and an unsuccessful attempt at volunteering for a study on semen. Performance anxiety has never been that fun!
Next month’s installment will be on the 9th to avoid conflicting with the election. Mark your calendars now — you won’t want to miss it!
I saw Russell Simmon’s Def Comedy Jam for the first time over the weekend. It grabbed my attention because this guy of indiscernable mixed race was beating his rap about the plight of women, how men are the root of all evil, he doesn’t call women “sluts, whores or bitches” because men are to blame for everything — apparently even a woman’s behavior. Upon finishing his “poetry”, the camera cuts to a close-up of two women in the audience cheering feverishly, then cut back to him with a sheepish grin. My first thought, “That dude is totally getting laid tonight.” His thought, “Score!”
NY Post Items
— The NY Post gave a detailed report of what Martha Stewart’s jail time might be like. Apparently evenings after 5:00 PM are hers to enjoy. “…[She] can…take an arts-and-crafts class…” Can you imagine? Not funny, just a “What?” kind of moment for me this morning. I wonder if she would take the class and, if so, would she learn anything.
— What’s the deal with all the DWI crashes in NYC lately? Why are people driving at all let alone driving drunk. Selfish morons deserve any injury they get. Unfortunately, they usually leave a wake of damage to many others. Take a cab or the subway, assholes!
— This tidbit is just bizarre:
An Iranian man who lost his keys 16 years ago finally found them — embedded in his leg.
The bizarre discovery came after the 50-year-old man felt a pain in his leg and X-rays revealed the keys inside. The man told doctors he’d shot himself accidentally 16 years ago, but had no idea how the keys fell into the wound. Bill Hoffmann, Wire Services
There ya go! I just saved you $0.25 in precious U.S. currency. Get yourself a piece of gum or something.
Bored at work.
Boy, at this time of year, the residents of New York are desperate for anything remotely sexy looking. I have been getting the most lucrative offers, outrageous comments, overt come-ons, and overly long leers since wearing my new shiny, red high heels. And that’s just from the women.
They are so very sexy!
Since I’ve been working on a re-design of my website (as I hinted at during my funk the last two months), I’ve been too busy to write anything interesting. Instead I’ll just bullet point some things:
(1) The 4: Your Consideration Art Series event was well-attended considering the time of year. We had about the same size crowd as the first one, but this time, everyone who attended received two free tickets to see 42nd Street on January 22nd. Nice. The Belt Theatre is a neat space and the people there are top notch.
(2) Addicted, Mark Lundholm‘s one man show, was great. Greater still were the free tickets and being able to spread the wealth to all my friends. I’m still in love with the Zipper Theatre. I would love to put on a big show there. One day, one day.
(3) Somebody should take my credit card away.
(4) I’m in the midst of another little home improvement project. I am high from staining a drop leaf table and waiting for it to dry before I polyurethane it. Christian is on his way over to help me mount it to the wall before we eat dinner and watch the Survivor finale. It will be so nice to have a table on which to eat. Now I just need some placemats and napkins and a hanging light and . . . see #3 above.
(5) I was in Williamsburg for Cofounder’s fundraiser and became very annoyed by two grungy little hippie types. They were dancing big and drawing undeserved attention to themselves and they smelled like shit. I wanted to tell them, “You know what? You’re not making a statement, you just stink and look like an asshole.” Everyone else there was great and the music of The Izzys and Dufus was terrific. I would see the former again definitely and the latter if they ditched their smelly, megalomaniac of a keyboardist.
(6) If you’re ever in the Garmet District or go to Madison Square Garden for anything and need a quiet, quaint little restaurant, I highly recommend Napoli Trattoria. There doesn’t seem to be much info on the web about this little place, so their secret isn’t out. It’s extremely affordable and the service was very attentive without being annoying. Their cuisine is listed as “pizza”, but it has a full italian menu.
Okay, time to hang up that table.
Busy, busy beaver.