Brush with Celebrity

Since I started working in Manhattan a few months ago, I was on the lookout for my first celebrity encounter. See Robin Williams a few feet away while filming a movie, doesn’t really count since he wasn’t out in the wild with us normal folks. I wanted to see a celeb au naturel.

My colleague told me, look when you least expect it. OK. I guess I don’t typically run in the kind of circles where I would actually expect to see a celebrity (such as the hottest clubs or prison), so that pretty much means I am constantly on the lookout. Not in a stalker-weirdo kind of way, I assure you. Really.

So imagine my delight when walking into the elevator of my office building, take out lunch in hand, I run into (almost literally) Alan Alda. You know! ALAN! Mr. Alda! Of M*A*S*H fame! Man, I loved that show, except for the awful laugh track. You know, this guy:


If you can believe it, and I am sure you can, upon entering the elevator, a fellow passenger says, “Hey! You’re that guy from M*A*S*H! Alan, errr…Mr. Alda just smiled weakly and said “yes.” I should have taken this cue (that’s actor speak for “sign” you know) that he wasn’t up for much conversation. But once everyone else had gotten off the elevator, and it was just me and the celeb, I felt compelled to say something…anything! So I said, in my most polite voice, “I don’t suppose there’s anything you can do about this Broadway strike?” For those of you unaware, 27 shows are dark on Broadway due to a strike of the Stagehand Union. This is making my life (well, work-life) rather miserable right now. And Alan…err, Mr. Alda, must be a theatre going man, ney? A man who loves the stage and a man who is pining for the end of this truly ridiculous and rather petty argument. Right? His response:

“I don’t know anything about that.”

Huh. OK then.

Times Square, 8:00 a.m.

I hope I never lose my sense of wonderment while walking through Times Square in the early morning of my daily commute. If you pay attention (and sometimes when you don’t) you see the most amazing things. In this past week alone I have encountered some things you just don’t see every day…

A woman in a ball gown trimmed with red tulle. And lots of it. Said ball gown with the red tulle trim also had a lavender corset and large bustle in the back. It was awesome. Is she a Broadway extra? An overdressed victim of the walk of shame? On her way to 8th Street where, someone told me recently, Giuliani didn’t kick out the sex? Did I mention this was at 8am?

A Yoga class. Not just a yoga class, but a yoga class in the middle of the Square, right in front of the Army recruitment booth. They all had laid their yoga mats on the dirty sidewalk and were doing the downward dog, right there in the middle of Times Square. After doing a little research, I found that this yoga extravaganza is actually sponsored by the Times Square Alliance. Here are their visuals so you can see what the hell I am talking about:


Movies being filmed. Yes, I caught my first glimpse of superstars. Robin Williams and John Travolta are filming Old Dogs right around the corner. The movie, according to IMDB, is about Two friends and business partners find their lives turned upside down when strange circumstances lead to them being placed in the care of 7-year-old twins. Sounds like a winner, doesn’t it? I got some pictures of Mr. Williams which I will post as soon as I can download the shots.

I am sure after a fair bit of time passes, I will likely become jaded to all this “stuff” but I will hang on to my delight as long as I can. And maybe I now have a good excuse to take up yoga.

Unsure

Lately it seems as though the Universe is trying to point something out to me. The problem? I have no idea what the hell it is saying. Like my universe just started speaking in foreign tongues. Or like those dreams I have when I have to yell and scream something out but remain muted for some unknown reason. Actually no, it’s like the Universe rings my doorbell and when I get up to answer it, there is no one there. As if the Universe has turned into some bratty next door neighbor. I am trying to listen very hard, but it’s to no avail. WHAT? What is it? Should I be doing something different or am I not doing something that I should be doing? Is something bad about to happen? Or good? Or should I get a puppy? *Sigh.

I will just hang out and keep waiting for the message to get straightened out.

I haven’t written since Vermont, mostly due to some craziness at the office and a bad cold that has kept me down. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

The church where E. is getting married in July
(damn power lines ruin the shot) 
The Round Barn, Reception site of E’s Wedding
At the Schoolhouse Market
watercans and license plates
Springtime 

This weekend my honey and I are off to Pennsylvania’s countryside for Penny’s wedding. Yipiee!

Puppy Lust

I have a serious case of puppy lust going on here. The only thing that has kept me from getting a cute dog of my own, like the one below, has been rigid landlord rules prohibiting pets. Well, that and the fact that I am a tiny bit fearful of the pet-owner commitment. I see dogs on the street, big and small, cute and ugly, and I just think: I WANT ONE. NOW.

I guess that’s how some women feel about babies? I don’t know, I don’t get the same feeling when I see a cute baby.

I have started looking at apartments in the vicinity that allow pet options. It’s astonishing how few rentals allow cats and dogs; how much damage can one little doggie cause?

On Marriage.

The subject of marriage seems to keep popping up quite a lot lately. Sure, you already know I am eagerly anticipating my sister’s wedding this July, as well as the nuptials of good friend Penny in May. Two other close girlfriends have discreetly declared plans to wed sometime towards the end of this year or beginning of next. And lately I have booked a gaggle of honeymoons for couples wanting to celebrate in style at a variety of gorgeous Irish castles.

Then of course, it isn’t an uncommon question being posed to me these days, what are my own plans for marriage?

Damir and I talk about it quite often, both the wedding itself and the prospect of being actually married. We dream of an intimate wedding on a tropical beach in the Caribbean. But we are far from making any actual plans mostly due to circumstances and cash reserves. In some ways, this is a relief for me, as secretly (well, not anymore I suppose) I am a little terrified of being married. I mean, how does it work? Seriously folks, I want to know! What keeps people in it for the long haul?

When I come across couples that have been happily (well, mostly) married for years and years I always ask them their secret. Most of the time I get the standard answers like:

“Great communication is the key”
“It’s hard work, you have to keep at it no matter what”
“Keeping the romance alive is the only way to go”

Boring! I know all those avenues in a philosophical way, but not how they translate to the day in and day out…day after day…after day.

The granddaddy of all answers, however, came from a nice older couple from California I met last year at a convention in Prague. We ate dinner together and the strength of their bond was unmistakable. Over desert, I asked their secret of success. They first glanced at each other in a knowing way and then the wife turned to me and said:

“The key to our happy marriage is simple: his tongue and my money”.

Finally, an answer I can understand.

Assembly

As 60 pieces of wood and 200 nails, bolts, screws, holders, and knobs were assembled last night to make this Ikea beauty, I wondered 2 things:

1) How many relationships have disintegrated after arguments stemming from interpreting the 25 page assembly manual?

2) Since it’s founding in 1943, how many times has Ikea’s name been taken in vain, and in how many languages?

Snippets

There have been many blog posts on the tip of my tongue, but it seems as though I have neither time nor energy to sit and make coherent and reader friendly prose. I can’t blog from work, and life at home rarely gives me the quiet time and space I need to organize my thoughts.

I’ve wanted to tell you how four times this week when getting into my car for a quick lunch break from my new job, the song “So You Had A Bad Day” (I think that’s the title) by James Blunt (I think that’s the singer) was on the radio when I started the car. Then he was a Jeopardy question last night. Weird.

I’ve wanted to tell you my reflections on living in a household where I don’t speak the predominant language and the etiquette rules I have learned about being in the middle of a conversation I cannot participate in. It’s a bit of an art to look neither completely disinterested nor overly eager. I can’t say I do this successfully, but everyday I try.

I’ve wanted to tell you about the multiple day trips we’ve made out East to some beautiful parts of Long Island. I never knew that there was such beauty here, and I am constantly surprised by the quiet coastline and quaint towns.

I’ve wanted to tell you about my job and the trials of being the “new girl” again. It has been a long time since I was the NG, the last time I was 23 and fresh to the corporate world. Now I am a decade older and expected to make big decisions about the future of the company while still figuring out if the milk in the fridge is community milk or private milk.

For now, I just leave you with these snippets. I’d like to tell you I will be better and blog more, but I can’t say for certain it’s a promise I can keep.

Back to School Season!

It feels like those last lazy days of August, when, as a kid, I would be reluctantly getting ready to go back to school. I am excited to get back into challenging my brain everyday, but I want to take advantage of these last days of freedom. And by “take advantage”, I don’t mean spend an hour waiting in the 6×10 foot waiting room at the Social Security office as I did yesterday. I lost my soc card and you have to have one in order to get a NY State licesnse… I guess my current MA license, passport and original birth certificate aren’t enough to prove who I am.

TO-DO items on my checklist:

– Hair cut
– New shoes
– New Notebook, calendar, no. 2 pencils (ha ha, kidding on that last one)
– Drivers License
– grocery shop to prepack lunches for next week
– update makeup, hair products
– Trapper Keeper
– Lunch box and what my brain wants to call a thermostat, but isn’t a thermostat at all! What is the name of that cannister like thing that keep beverages and soups hot? Damn. My brain really does need the work out.

See, just like the days at Winston Churchill H.S.!

Speaking of WCHS, I learned recently that my high school math teacher killed himself. I am gutted! He was a little out of the ordinary, but I really liked him, despite my intense hatred for all things mathmatical. He slicked his hair back and smelled like cigarettes, but he had a good sense of humor and seemed to “get” us crazy kids. It makes me sad to know that he was that unhappy.

Well, off to Supercuts. See, not only do I need the brain work, but I need the pay check as well. Lets hope I don’t totally screw things up when I attempt to highlight my own hair later today.