Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Getting dressed for audition yesterday, put on running shorts, t-shirt, sweatshirt. Feel that something is missing. Ask Dave what I ought to add. He says I should wear a head band and, trustingly, do. He bursts out laughing and says that it is very Funny. Tell him stiffly that do not care to have jokes played on me. Take off headband. Go to filthy loft building in the flower district for audition and am alarmed to see several dozen others wearing similar outfit. Feel that on second thought would rather not be Stockbroker #3. But as am leaving, am spotted by Hilary who says, You look tired. Should take this as indication that should leave immediately, but down. Sit down next to two fellow auditioners who appear to know each other well. Try to overhear conversation. Am very impressed to hear that they both have managers. Again get up to leave. But as gather up scrips, bag of work clothes, it becomes clear that managers do not take care of acting career, but rather of food service career. Have gleeful feeling of disdain. Do not care to think of self as a snob, but the evidence does often seem to point that way. Use this feeling in audition and leave feeling that have booked job. Call Dave excitedly. He says Not to Count Chickens, which take poorly. Feel pessimistically that if chickens are not counted before they are hatched, they are likely never to be counted at all. Keep thought to self.

Monday, September 25, 2006


After morning and afternoon of what turns out to be displaced anxiety (worrisome eczema that seems to be spreading by the minute, feel that have bounced a check and spend frantic fifteen minutes trying to track down missing 88 dollars though web sites of Chase bank, American Express, and eBay--finally find 88 dollars was spent on ConEd bill and shout Yes, I'v got it!; feel a wart coming on) about having to be naked on film (naturally only a problem should audition be successful.) Finally muster up courage to call Hilary who says Of course I don't have to be naked and then snorts. It says to dress in work out gear on the sides. Second snort very unwelcome.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Message for Hilary

Receive sides for part of Stockbroker #3 (Question: why not even #2?)If had been dog walker could easily have put together outfit for audition, but for stockbroker, know that have nothing remotely appropriate to wear. Do not relish thought of going to salvation army to look for used suit. But this worry in vain. After read scene closely and see that it is very unlikely that will need suit as scene is in locker room. Do not relish thought of having to wear towel to audition. Thoughts progress. Am suddenly struck with strong possibility that will, in fact, have to be nude in scene. Would like to think that am extremely free and do not have any hangups. But this unfortunately not the case. Blush hot and pick up phone to tell Hilary that do not feel comfortable doing nudity. Dial phone. Blood is beating violently in temples. Ask for Hilary. Am told that she is out of the office until Monday. Do I want to leave a message? No I do not.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Receive unexpected phone call this morning from Hilary, casting director who put me small movie last year. Her tone and manner very bracing and find self meekly agreeing to come into an audition next week. I'll fax you the sides. In daze, tell her the fax number for old secretary job. When hang up phone, have panicky moment when realize have no idea whether am trying out for dog walker or stockbroker. Perhaps was only thinking of dogs and imagined that would be role? Go downstairs to retrieve sided. in state of extreme embarassment and dread. Am also slightly excited. Tell the Contessa. She says, that's great, but remember you complained the whole time. Do not like to think of self as the sort of person who complains Thge Whole Time. Say stiffly, Well. Unfortunately, further eloquence is not forthcoming. The Contessa apologizes, says she's noticed she's being a real (vulgar word) these days. She should be exited for me. (Vulgar word,) she should be exicted for herself. Ask, Excited about what? She mutters about the new man, think I hear her say He wants to get married. Ask shreiking, Do you have a ring? Now, don't be excited, the Contessa says, I don't know if I want to get married. It seems like things are moving too fast. My therapist says that I need to play it cool. Do not trust the contessa's therapist. Once told the Contessa out of the blue that she should grow out her bangs. The therapist right, but never felt that this was professional behavior. Tell the Contessa firmly that she needs to do what her heart says. She says dryly, We've all seen how well that's worked out for me in the past.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Unearth shoes from bottom of closet. Discover on way to work that insoles perhaps not all that they should be. Purchase new insoles from favorite shoe repair shop around corner. Am assured that insoles are the best made. Knowing that they are the best does not, unfortunately, make them at all comfortable. Return to shop where clerk says You have to wear them for three days to get used to them. Am not sure that can make it to day. Walk back to work. In elevator see the Contessa who gives me a hardened stare and says that You have no idea what foot pain is like. You should try being a woman. Decline. Ask her again about the new man as am a touch worried about her. She says things are Fantastic, and become truly alarmed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lunch with the Contessa

Have lunch with the Contessa today at the diner on the corner. Am just biting into cheeseburger (cheese on both side of meat) when ask jokingly How married life is treating her. She blanches perceptibly and knocks over glass of water. Water falls mostly in my lap for which I am apologized to by both the Contessa and the waitress, but it is clear that there is little to be done but wait. By time attention can be paid to meal, burger nearly as cold as thighs. The Contessa apologizes again and says that living with the New Man is Great. Feel that she would use a much less firm word if she were actually happy, but expect that all will come out in the end. Instead we talk about show on Bravo called Million Dollar Listing about real estate agents in Los Angeles. We both appalled by the bahavior of all involved. But LA very pretty. They have yards, the Contessa says with feeling. When get back to the office, Libby is thankfully distracted by copy machine brochure and does not make comment on pants.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Loud Noises

Early this morning have upsetting dream featuring a device that makes a horrible buzzing noise and is purported--by suspicious looking doctor--to insert Oxygen under the skin. Do not believe this and angrily take device away from doctor so than can buzz own skin. In due course, bubble come up out of pores. Am thoroughly horrified and wake up. Am only slightly relieved to realize that buzzing sound persists in real life -- get up and see out window that facade of building across the street is being bored into with long drill. Take Jenny for jog. Have strange impression that noises especially loud today -- motorcycle about as loud as a helicopter, beeping trucks, three fire engines screaming past, large barking pit bull who Jenny impressively ignores. After run, join Madeline and mother in the elevator. Madeline squats down, pulls up Jenny's ear and shouts You're stinky! Feel that in this case a little nip would be very well deserved; but Jenny a better creature than I and merely looks stonily ahead. When take shower, hear noise that sounds like drill is coming trough wall of shower. It doesn't, and am embarassed and grossed out that have hunched self into shower curtain (note: Purchase new shower curtain liner today.) When get to work, have to shout to ask Libby What is That Noise? Ducts, she shouts back mysteriously. Have unpleasant feeling that am still dreaming. Try to explain feeling to Libby, but have to shout to make self hurt. Very difficult moment when noise stops but finish sentence at high level, ...I wonder if I ever woke up this morning? She nods and says Yes, she knows exactly what I'm talking about. Tone contradicts literal meaning of words.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Morning of the Cockroach

Coming into work, scan subway car. It is raining outside and people have on sad rain outfits, i.e. man wearing long rain coat over messenger bag, which makes it look like he has a very large bottom, woman wearing plastic kerchief. Also see, to great horror, a cockroach crawling up the green windbreaker of a seated young man. Roach scurries around back of windbreaker (down collar?) and out of view. Man either doesn't notice or (less likely) doesn't care. Become very judgemental and blame man for roach's behavior. Receive sharp rebuke from universe when am in office and discover what hope very, very much is a new cockroach walking briskly across toe of my boot. Scream. Libby rushes in and asks what is wrong. Do not like to say that screamed because saw bug, so say that accidentally stapled finger. Libby looks at me as though I am deranged. Am not sure that look isn't justified.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

First Class

Night am very nervous about first class and sleep very fitful. See that am awake in time to attend 7 a.m. yoga class and am very very surprised that do. Surprisingly, sleepiness and nerves melt away. When am lying down in Corpse Pose, feel very refreshed and energetic at and even that will very likely win teaching award if not this year then next. Can hear yoga instructor making her way around room and hope that she will give neck a soothing massage. Anticipation turns to horror as feel hands on neck and smell coconut oil. Recieve very thorough massage -- am paralized as wish to scream take that coconut off of me, but know that would cause very embarassing disturbance (similar to time when woman screamed about roach crawling on her at end of class.) Compose very sharply worded email to the director of the yoga center. Wish had the courage to send said letter. Leave class with hair slick with the coconut oil. Would take shower, but have not brought change of underwear. Do not wish to do without. Do best as can with tap in sink, hand soap, and paper towels. Efforts not entirely successfull. Rest of day is spent in dread cut through with moment of extreme, violent anger about the coconut. Finally get to go to class. Before class students seem very friendly. Get to chatting with woman next to me. It becoemes clear that students have not been told that other professor can't teach and that I am the teacher. Smell of coconut very strong, probably because of blush which has started at face and crept to extremeties, heating up oil. Extricate self from conversation with neighbor by abruptgly falling silent, marching to the chalk board and writing name. Tell class about accident with other professor and that I am going to teach the class. I am looking forward to working with you. Here is the syllabus. Any other questions before we start? Yes? One man is very upset that he hasn't been told of the change. He wants to know who has decided this and why. Fortunately, can feel the rest of the class turn on this this man and see that if am at all sane I will win. Say in sacchrine voice that can certainly understand that he is upset. He keeps up his end of the bargain by turning red and saying very sardonically, He may as well stay until the end of the class. Have sharp reply to this, but bite tongue. Rest of class goes relatively smootly. After class hear self telling upset gentleman that it seems he is too avanced for this course. He agrees. Is only here to brush up on the books. Probably he could teach it himself. Go home feeling a strange mixture of enervation and excitement and immediatly take scalding shower with lots of shampoo and soap.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Meeting season has begun again. Attend meeting in the chair's stead. All uneventful (if dull) except that before meeting notice semi-famous poet in front of catering table stuffing bottled water and Diet Sprite into his briefcase.

Friday, September 08, 2006


As part of new dog whispering regimen, Jenny and I have been going on hour and a half walks every morning. While enjoy the walking do feel that would perhaps have more benefit for self if we picked up the pace to a run. Yestarday morning spend hot and frustrating five minutes digging through coat closet trying to find mate of ancient runing shoe. Do eventually make a pair and put on shoes. When we get downstairs, am glad to feel air on legs and begin running immediately. Jenny has a shocked look on her face--can't say how this is possible on a beagle--perhaps eyes wide, brow furrowed? Jenny turns out to be quite a good little runner. Feel that am also quite a good little runner and can't wait to do more. This morning, however, feel that am not even a good walker. Thighs very very sore. Jenny stays in bed with nose tucked under hind leg until 9 p.m.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Full Moon Today

Day very busy--many telephone conversations with students, faculty members; in person conversations with custodial staff after discovery of alarming toilet plug in the mens room. Also have surprising chat with Chair, who makes rare appearance. At beginning of discussion, he asks, Do you like Virginia Woolfe? Reply briskly, Oh yes, love old Wolfie which does not come out as intended as all. (Though must admit can't say how intended to sound.) Good, says the chair. Begins seemingly unrelated story about professor who thought she could take her own air conditioner out of the window on her own--even though professor has neuralgia and is afraid of heights--the air conditioner slipped out of her hands and landed on her foot. Ask, What happened? Chair replies, Cut the big toe clean off. Clean off? Welll practically, it was hanging by a thread. Am horrified but very very curious. Ask breathlessly, right or left toe? See after asking question that answer not relevant. Chair then says, So she doesn't really feel up to stumping all over Manhattan. Am still marveling over use of verb when hear him say, How would you like to teach her class on British Modernists? Wolfie, etc. ha ha. Agree and thank the chair profusely. Know that money is not very good, but will end up with at least a few new items of clothing to replace rags which have been wearing. Also, like idea of students. It is only later that realize know nothing about british modernists. Think, but am not certain, that have completed To the Lighthouse once and have started many Woolfe essays with enthusiasm before losing steam and putting aside. Try to complain to Dave. He says, You'll be fine. Feel that though kindly meant, is unhelpful.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Unfortunate Episode

Yesterday spend all of morning and most of afternoon smelling a bad, musty smell. First think that am smelling the bathroom and spend fifteen minutes of horrified, Comet-dusted frenzy of cleaning. This does not solve problem. Next pin crime on shirt. Put forth to Dave argument that shirt, which just came back from the dry cleaners, is ruined. Clearly dry cleaning doesn't work. Etc. Urge him smell shirt. He does, and pronouces it clean. In office, smell overpowering. Hair not long enough to reach and have extremely bad moment when feel that hair has turned. Can get nose right next to carpet, which is nasty and old, but not, surprisingly, I can report, smelly. Mystery is solved when return from dentist's office. Bottoms of pants are soaked through from rain and puddles and smell worse than before. Lean down and sniff. Nearly pass out. Do not wish to give the impression that day is otherwise uneventful. To the contrary day very very busy with back-to-school activity. Libby tells me that in France, this time if year is called La Reentre which sounds much more dashing than the trudgy back-to-school.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Moving the Contessa

Move very very trying because of Ernesto, who dumps down rain and blows it sideways all day long. All other trouble caused by the Contessa who -- although enthusiastic an good natured -- 1. says she Loves to Drive Big Trucks and then briskly turns the wrong way from the U-Haul parking lot onto a one way street. Even at time do not buy her argument that The Street is Very Wide. 2. Apartment hardly packed at all. Am sent to deli to buy Hefty bags. (The Contessa very generously give me $5 to do so) 3. The New Man very willing to help, and also strong and energetic, but the Contessa insists that he Rest Often because of his rash (??!!!) 4. Do not feel that extolling Dave to Chop Chop a very effective inducement. But perhaps the Contessa can't see Dave's face, which is beet red, either from lifting very heavy box labled Tchotchkes or from severe anger. At end of day am wet, tired, and cranky, but insist that move trouble at all. (Why?) Try to leave, but the Contessa insists on taking us out to dinner. Indicate hair and clothes, which are not fit for social interaction. The Contessa says, No, No, We can all take showers and then the boys can wear the New Man's clothes. Do not relish the idea of wearing somebody else's clothes nor using his towels, especially if he has a rash, but see no way of declining. Thankfully, towels smell of bleach. In bathroom, Dave gets the hysterical giggles and am alarmed, until he explains that this is the worst move he's ever helped with. (Sometimes do not understand his humor.) Am restored to humanitiy after shower, which is very hot and very forceful. Evening ends on high note, caused by delicious wine and snacks at wine bar followed by many drinks and karaoke. Regret follows naturally the next day. Do not like to remember self belting out These Boots Are Made For Walking while mimicking groovy seventies dance performed by Nancy Sinatra on television screen.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day

Spend day in continued apprehension about start of school. While don't feel that this is in any way useful, and that actually doing work would make self feel better, continue to think nostalgically about aimless summer days. Become tearful when think about Billy and his paper bag puppet. Am pulled out of reverie by telephone call from the Contessa who asks if I have any plans this weekend. Say no, not really. She next asks in enthusiastic tones whether or not I'd like to help her move. Am infected by her enthusiasm and before thinking respond in similar tone, saying I would love to help you move and I'm sure Dave can help too.!Regain senses and see that trap has been set and sprung. Can either resign self to fate or gnaw off leg. Lie to self that move will be fine. Like to carry heavy objects. And the Contessa probably a much better packer than last time we moved her--when most of her posessions (except for books tidily packed into boxes the size of coffins) got thrown into jumbo-sized black garbage bags at the last second. Have almost convinced self that will be fine when realize with a nasty jolt that have promised Dave too and that have to inform Dave of plan have made for us. Wait all afternoon to tell him, alternating between feeling anxious about school and about having to deliver news. Finally take bull by horns and call up the salon. He isn't there. When will he be back? In a few minutes. Will you have him call me? Yes. Libby pokes her head in. Announces that she will be on Shelter Island for the weekend...she is going to swim and relax! Wish her well. Dave calls back. There is a long pause after tell him. Ask if he is still on the line. He says yes he is, he'd be glad to help. The Contessa is a good friend to me. Feel that am neither a good friend or a good human, but that Dave exceedingly nice.