Wednesday, January 31

A prayer answered.

Sort of.

I should start by saying that, for the past few months, I've been plagued with the impossible dream of so many New York twentysomethings: home ownership. I was bitten by the bug after seeing the apartment that Liz almost bought, a tsetse fly of a 2-bedroom condo in South Slope, Brooklyn. While it was certainly out of my price range, the asking price wasn't shocking; it was a really nice apartment and even within my threshold of acceptable outer-borough living areas. (I'm not gonna live out past Greenwood Cemetary. Sorry. Not gonna do it.)

Anyway, I deluded myself for a little while that I might be able to afford an apartment, but when it came down to doing the math, the only places that came close to my price range were studios out in Bay Ridge the size of my current walk-in closet. Not gonna do it. (See parenthetical aside, above.)

The euphoria of optimistic mortgage calculating subsided, but I did keep my eye on the real estate market, for curiosity's sake, pretty much learning that the place I currently rent is a steal: what I pay for my East Village 1-bedroom (with aforementioned walk-in closet) would only rent me a small studio in even the fringiest of cool Brooklyn locales. So, while my current place is not cheap under any stretch of the imagination, I grew content with the fact that I was throwing all of my money toward rent. It is, after all, a very New York thing to do.

Today, though, my renters' malaise was reborn, chatting with a guy I know about his current Adventures in Real Estate. He lives out on Staten Island with his wife and kid, but, about 10 years ago, bought a 2-bedroom on the Lower East Side for a hundred grand through a government housing program. He lived there for a while, but ended up illegally subletting the place when he moved out to Staten Island. Long story short, he finally got busted and is selling the place to the subletter -- but since it's still part of this government housing program, the place is going for -- New Yorkers, you might want to make sure you're sitting down for this -- less than $250,000.

Which is all proof that the truly great housing deals in New York aren't found in any real estate listing.

ANYWAY, this is all exposition for the point of my story.

I had a gig in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, this afternoon, and got to the neighborhood like 40 minutes early for some reason. With the mantra Good Real Estate Happens To Good People cycling through my head, I grabbed a coffee from a bodega and decided to wander the side streets of Bed-Stuy. Now, Bed-Stuy has a reputation as being a "tough" neighborhood (read: ungentrified), but here's the thing about Bed-Stuy: sure, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, you might be gunned down in a random act of street violence, but you're gonna slowly bleed to death in front of a really beautiful brownstone.

So, I'm ambling through picturesque Bedford-Stuyvesant, and I notice that my fellow pedestrians are all happy looking people, walking arm in arm, exuding that Brooklyn joie de vivre. I like this, and decide to follow some of these happy people to see what their Bed-Stuy destination is. I sort of tilt my chin up toward the heavens and send this thought up to the sky:

"Lord, please show me the way to some affordable housing."

I follow the happy-looking people through charming side streets lined with gorgeous old brownstones; it's quiet and lovely as we pass a little park. The happy-looking people cross one more street, and finally arrive at their destination.

It's a homeless shelter.

Thanks, God. Ask and ye shall receive. Good to know you're as much of a snarky ass as I am.

Wednesday, January 24

I love New York.

I dunno, just one of those days. :)

Monday, January 22

Brilliant or bollocks?

We're going to play a new game I've just made up. It's called "Brilliant or Bollocks?"

I turned on the TV to zone out a bit before bed, and the picture lights up to some Hilary Duff movie. I watched approximately 7 seconds of the movie and got the whole movie, beginning, middle, end. The 7 seconds went something like this:

**TV comes on**

Hilary's just told off Chad Michael Murray, in a locker room, surrounded by the semi-dressed high school football team. Hilary storms out, parting the sea of Chad's shocked-and-awed teammates, as Chad calls out Hilary's character's name (I can't remember what it is), and then angrily punches at a locker when she doesn't turn around.

Cut to: Hilary exiting the boys' locker room, indicating with an outtake of breath and a roll of the eyes that she had just been Very Brave to do whatever it was she just did. A figure comes running down the hallway: it's a skinny boy in glasses who says something like, "They told me I'd find you here, and I thought you could use a friend," giving her a great big hug.

**Adam changes the channel.**

OK, in 7 seconds I knew the entire plot of the movie. As a musical theater writer, I'm always striving toward the ultimate in conciseness (concise-ity?) in my writing. Sometimes you've got to tell a person's whole life story in a single song. 7 seconds? That's pretty damn concise.

But then, again, it's a Hilary Duff movie.

Brilliant or bollocks?

(Also, Hilary Duff's a really poor actress; I got that in 7 seconds as well.)

Tuesday, January 16


In what's become something of an annual tradition, a small group of my closest friends from college, two of whom no longer live here in New York, met up this past weekend and stirred up trouble in a place unaccustomed to the likes of us. This time, the lovely cove of Charleston, South Carolina, was the backdrop for our reunion and tomfoolery.

Liz and I flew down out of LaGuardia, in a hellish ordeal courtesy Delta Airlines. Our non-stop flight was delayed, then the delayed flight was boarded and de-boarded, then cancelled, only the fine folks at Delta didn't tell anyone it was. So we sat there waiting like assholes until we noticed our flight was no longer listed as a departure, got on the standby list for a flight to Atlanta, which Liz got a seat on, but which they forgot to give me a seat on, until I frantically made a stink at the ticket counter as the flight started to board.

At one point, Liz, smile worn and hair tousled, turned to me in earnest and said, "Do I look all...Miss Havisham?" This sent us rolling into the aisles, onto a flight to Atlanta, and, eight hours late, into our terminal at the Charleston airport.

Our friend Alyson picked us up in her vintage Mercedes, when, like a jack-in-the-box in the passenger seat, our friend Kelda, who had told us she couldn't make it, leapt out. Our excitement, like so much Splenda, quickly sweetened the iced tea of our discontent.

Now, here is a quick glimpse at Things We Did in Charleston.


Flew a C-17.

Flew a kite.



And leaned on old buildings.

Don't you wish you were there? Especially for the leaning.

It was all great fun. Next year in Jerusalem! Er, I mean...Wisconsin?

"I was at this prematurely air-conditioned supermarket..."

I just got back from the opening of the Robert Wilson video portrait selling exhibition at Phillips de Pury. The exhibition is awesome. Awesome. Beautiful, enigmatic, virtuosic. The portraits are showing for a month. It really is a must-see.

Incentive: Get close to Lucinda Childs and you'll learn more about the title of this post...

I am also just returned from a four-day holiday in Charleston, SC, but since I've been traveling since 4am, more on that later.

Tuesday, January 9

Synchronicity defined.

Yesterday, my friend Sarah and I were talking about our mutual crush on Milo Ventimiglia, the hottie who played Jess on "Gilmore Girls" and is now on the new show "Heroes."

I happened to catch the end of a "Gilmore Girls" rerun this evening, one in which the character of Jess -- a minor character relative to the entire series -- played a pivotal role.

The episode (filmed circa 2002) took place at a dance marathon, at the end of which the winner runs around the gymnasium holding his trophy aloft while the theme from Rocky plays.

Circa 2006, Milo Ventimiglia played Rocky, Jr. in Rocky Balboa.

If that's not what Carl Jung had in mind in doing his life's work, I don't know what is.

Monday, January 8

Memes light the corners of my mind.

Today I advanced to the next grade of bloggerschool (as they might say in the Netherlands) because I learned what a "meme" is.

I had already known about the cultural studies idea of a meme -- I'm probably not explaining or understanding the concept as fully as it was designed to be understood, but essentially, memes are little pieces of cultural knowledge that become a part of "us" and get passed on in a similar way as genetic code. Like cultural evolution. Or something.


One of my fellow Dramatists Guild Fellows, Dan, mentioned that he had a blog, and so I was reading it, and learned that in the blogosphere (oh yes, I just used the term blogosphere) a meme is something that someone posts on their blog which other bloggers respond to on their own blogs. The meme I saw was to write five (5) things about yourself that your readership doesn't know about you.

So here goes:

1) As a 'tween, I got very into horror movies for a period of time, a time in which I wrote my first and only novel. It was a new installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. I must've had my sights set on the film option, because I illustrated key settings which made it easier to visualize how each character met his or her creative and untimely demise. There was also a napkin folded inside the notebook I was writing in, on which I had sketched all the characters hanging out together, each labeled with their name and with a bad-ass expression on their face. This was to be a mock-up of the movie's videocassette cover.

2) I look to see what has personally recommended for me on an alarmingly regular basis.

3) My body clock is timed to "The Cosby Show." No matter what time it's on, I can't fall asleep until then. Nick at Nite recently pushed its back-to-back episodes of "The Cosby Show" to midnight, so I've not been getting lots of sleep lately.

4) I once wrote music for a play without really understanding what the play was about, and literally improvised "avant-garde" music by hitting random keys on the keyboard. I had an assistant, who I told to bang a drum every now and then. I won an award for it.

5) That show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" makes me cry--nay, blubber--like a baby from the moment it starts to the moment it ends.

So, I think how a blog meme works, technically, is that I'm supposed to "tag" other bloggers and that will force them to put the meme on their own blog. And, well, the only people I know with blogs who might actually see this one are Liz and Dave. So, Liz and Dave -- tag, you're it!

Sunday, January 7

Kissing boys as social action.

Last night, my friend Dave called to see if I wanted to go see a singer/songwriter he likes perform at a club in my neighborhood. So I said yes, and we went. Dave said he liked this singer/songwriter because he writes charmingly self-deprecating songs about dating boys, which is a very Dave thing to like.

We went to the show, and Dave was right; this guy reminded me of a homo Jason Mraz -- this simple, golden-voiced guy singing witty lyrics about semi-requited love affairs. It got me thinking, because his songs had all the mainstream appeal of a Jason Mraz tune, only they were songs sung by a guy that were casually--effortlessly--about gay relationships. If this guy had an album, it would be a big "thing," for, well, that very reason.

Which brought my thoughts to another place. I have this website about my work as a writer, and on it there's the smallest, most casual comment that reveals that I date boys. Which to me is no big deal, because, it's, like, who I am. My Dad, who's something of a closet conservative (sorry, Dad!), made a big stink about this little comment when I launched my website--out of love, surely, but a stink nonetheless. And I remember thinking, is this really such a big deal?

Call me naive, but when the "issue" of gay marriage first came to the forefront a couple years ago, I literally laughed out loud when I heard about it, because it was such a no-brainer to me. I thought, is this really an issue for people? You must be joking! It's such a non-issue.

Shows how much I know.

Which brings me to my conclusion of the day: that, in this day in age, the simplest act of writing a song, or being who you are without fear or apology, can be a statement without you even realizing it. To treat something as a non-issue, as a casual fact, can be a meaningful and political gesture. It's kind of disheartening to realize this, but also sort of empowering. I mean, what better, easier, more meaningful way to change the world than simply by being?

If it's a powerful thing to be casual and comfortable about who I am, I'm happy to do it. Take that, world!

Tuesday, January 2

First things first.

It's 2007! How has the year been thus far? Let's take a quick survey and find out:

First thought of 2007: Dick Clark, you keep on keepin' on!
First prophetic vision of 2007: Ryan Seacrest's New Year's Rockin' Eve
First meal of 2007: hot chocolate and marijuana
First real meal of 2007: brunch at Life Cafe
First phone call: It was a work phone anticlimactic.
First email: From my Aunt Celia, who is not really my aunt, but is named Celia.
First new addition to the iPod: Kid Beyond, Amplivate
First movie watched: Bring It On (see First Meal for explanation)
First unflattering photo documentation of 2007:
First fulfillment of a New Year's Resolution: I went to the gym on New Year's Day
First breakdown of a New Year's Resolution: And then I sat on my fat ass all day eating Smart Puffs and watching Nickelodeon
First read of 2007: I started "Fortress of Solitude" by Jonathan Lethem
First actual read of 2007: The lyrics of "Billie Jean" off the karaoke monitor
First thing I should be doing that I am putting off as long as possible: Doing my laundry
First song I'm working on in 2007: "Don't Wanna Be Here"
First kiss of 2007: TBD...
First major accomplishment of 2007: Um...
First profound insight of 2007: Er...
First reason 2007 is going to be the Year of All Years: Uh...

First blog post of 2007: Check!