Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Dark of the Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Here’s my Belmont article: “A Flash of History”

What a wacky day yesterday turned out to be!

When I left for the train, I noticed that a notice had been posted downstairs, stating that the intercom system was being updated, and, as of today, access to our apartments was required for the next ten days, whether or not we were home.

Uh, no. First of all, you have to be a dumbass to word it identically to the demands made by the Evil Developer last year at this time and not think people would get upset. Secondly, under the Tenants’ Rights Laws of this state, we have the right to deny access for a non-emergency situation and set up a mutually convenient appointment. They can ask for a span of days, but we do not have to agree to it. AND we have the right to the names and credentials of those coming in to work in the apartment BEFORE they show up.

I was ready to hit the roof. I am NOT giving up my trip this week, not losing any more work because this building is a total disaster, and they are NOT coming in to the apartment without someone being there. Workman always break things unless you watch them non-stop, PLUS they’d be careless with the doors and the cats might wander out.

But I wrote a polite letter stating they were granted access at any point today or next week (I can have someone at the apartment at all times), but NOT Thursday or Friday. I’ll post a legal STOP notice on the door before I leave tomorrow, and use the Big Lock, for which they don’t have a key. Access for six days out of the requested nine is more than generous, and the state backs me up.

Then, I lost all patience with an acquaintance. This is someone who repeatedly engages in behaviour that is hurtful to others. When it is brought to her attention, instead of apologizing and trying to work out a compromise, she lists excuses. I’m sorry, but none of them give her the right cause harm. On top of that, she then escalates her behaviour towards those around her until they snap and fight back – then starts screaming and crying that they’re “abusing” her. What I can choose to do is not engage on any but the most perfunctory level. We’ve had the conversation five or six times about this, and a few weeks later, she acts like it never happened. Bluntly, at this point, I don’t give a damn why she’s trapped in this pattern – I refuse to be on the receiving end.

I have to cut short my trip to Newport because one of my friends on the show is having a family emergency, and I’m going to cover Saturday and Sunday for her, and possibly the first half of next week, before the NHL Draft. It’s my least favorite track on the show, but it’s an emergency, and I’ll deal.

A friend and I had talked about going to the ballet after day work tonight; the friend flaked, but I decided it’s been years since I went to the ballet, so I’d go anyway. I headed up to Lincoln Center, where ABT is performing at the Met. I got my ticket, then wandered around looking for a place to eat. I settled on Il Violino, not far from the complex, up on Amsterdam Avenue. It’s an older haunt, frequented by locals, not yuppies or tourists. I had two long-time theatre-going babes behind me, who grew up on the Lower East Side, but now live on the Upper East Side, with successful husbands nearing retirement, and using cars and drivers to get everywhere. They discussed all their friends and the bad marriages (“she didn’t even appreciate the condo he bought her in Florida”; “He bought her another mink so she’d stop whining”; “She’s not a loving person. She rates her husband’s worth by how many diamonds he buys her from Tiffany. Is it surprising he looks for affection elsewhere?”). It was hilarious. It was also one of the best meals I’ve had a in a long time – home-made tortellini stuffed with spinach and ricotta, in a cream sauce with salmon and asparagus. Heaven!

After, I wandered to the bookstore (note: it only rained whenever I set foot outside – as soon as I went into any building, it stopped). I bought a couple of yoga books on which I’d had my eye, and headed back to Lincoln Center. I tucked myself in to a covered niche for awhile, reading my book. The wind changed and I started to get wet anyway, so I went inside. The head usher suggested I come in before the house opened and go up to my tier to the bar – you should have seen the looks on the faces of the people who had to actually wait for the house to open!

What can I say? Theatre people recognize each other.

Somewhere along the way, there was some sort of reception, and, as I made my way up the red, circular staircase, a flute of champagne was pressed into my hand. More champagne! Not that I’m complaining!

So I had a glass of champagne while waiting for the house to open, looking out of the enormous arched windows of the Metropolitan Opera House onto the city. I forget how lovely it is (in spite of people moaning that Lincoln Center is boxy and soul-less). Working on Broadway shows, you tend to shy away from being in another theatre on your day off. But the Met is gorgeous. And offers affordable tickets which still have great views.

The ballet was ABT’s Manon, which I had never seen. The sets, costumes, and most of the dance were beautiful. The scheduled lead was sick, so Julie Kent took over, and was exquisite. She’s so fluid and her lines are gorgeous. I thought the corps was sloppy. First, I thought maybe it was choreographed so some dancers would be off the beat, but the more I watched, the more I realized it was just plain sloppy. That’s a disappointment. Everyone has an off day once in awhile, but for the majority of the corps to be that far off all together – no.

As beautiful as it was, as the ballet wore on, I mentally nicknamed it Moron. I found it hard to have any sympathy for the lead characters – three hours watching bad, destructive choices annoys me. I didn’t find their story tragic – I felt the characters had zero learning curve and weren’t very bright. And I quickly lost sympathy for them, as much as I enjoyed the beauty of the actual dancers.

As we exited the theatre, sirens blazed everywhere. All the way down the street, as far as the eye could see, were police cars, sirens screaming. More and more joined them. I didn’t know what it was about, but it couldn’t be good. I ducked back into the Met, and bolted down the stairs to the underground tunnels. I popped up in Avery Fisher Hall like a prairie dog, and made my way to the side exit, as far from the commotion as possible. For all I knew, they would lock down Lincoln Center, and I wasn’t about to be caught in it. I sauntered across the street – very important, head up, New York Woman on the move. If you go with the instincts and try to hurry by with your head down, someone’s going to wonder what you’re up to. I slipped into a crowd of people exiting a restaurant and moved down a few blocks with them (hard to blend in when you’re wearing turquoise). I abandoned them and shot east to skirt Central Park, go along Central Park South, through the yuppie cocaine deals going down at the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel, and down Fifth Avenue until I could cut across to Grand Central Station. I made it from Lincoln Center to Grand Central in 33 minutes on foot – which, if you know Manhattan, is pretty fast.

And you know what? NOTHING on the news. NOTHING. I’m sorry, but several dozen police cars blocking a street only two blocks from the ABC News station should warrant a little bit of coverage.

Got on the train with a crazy woman and her cat – the cat was not amused; she was fighting on her cell phone with the boyfriend, swearing in front of the nine year old seated across from us, which I thought was inappropriate. She was obviously in love with the drama of it all. If I was that annoyed, I wouldn’t keep picking up the phone every time he called, keep getting into it, and then letting him hang up on me. I’d have turned off the damn phone and called it a day. She kept hauling the cat out of the carrier and I was afraid he’d dart out when the doors opened at a stop. I’m sure she adores her cat, but she made consistently stupid choices about his safety. When I got off at my stop, he glared at me like, “How can you leave me here?”

Good morning’s work on Good Names.

I need to finish prepping for the trip, and then work on City of Lost – or I’ll lose it and the opportunity to complete Script Frenzy. And you all know I don’t like to lose.

I’ll be off line for a few days. I’ll check in when I get back.


Good Names – 28,387 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
28 / 100
Published in: on June 13, 2007 at 9:09 am  Comments (12)  


  1. With all that you’ve got going on, Devon, you’ve made me tired again! 😉

    As for the destructive pattern in your acquaintance? I’d gently ease her from your life if at all possible and if not, calling her out on her behavior seems perfectly reasonable in my eyes. Life’s too short to put up with mean people.

  2. Loved this post – this is hilarious! (especially the woman with the cat!)

  3. I love the ballet. Haven’t been in years, though.

    Have a great trip!! 🙂

  4. What a day you had! My word. The best part of it sounds like your dinner. I’d have enjoyed overhearing that one, too. :))

  5. Great post, Devon! And I love overhearing people’s conversations when I’m standing in line somewhere. Over the years, I’ve caught some intriguing bits of dialogue, and a few I’ve managed to scribble down once I got the chance. d:)

  6. You had quite a day! I admit, I too listen to others conversations, but only if my curiosity us piqued. I like your nickname for the Ballet and the descriptions were fun. Have a great time on your trip!

  7. Never a dull moment in the Big Apple, is there? 🙂

  8. You need to write a book about your life, Devon. I can’t believe everything that happens to you.

    I hate it when I run into some strange situation with the cops everywhere and find nothing about it on the news. That’s happened more times than I care to admit.

  9. Devon – so long since I’ve visited! Your blog will not show up on my “favorites” for some reason – it just disappeared although it keeps telling me that it’s there (where?! where?!). I enjoyed the read on the friend who is stuck in her rut and won’t change….have recently readjusted my head on someone like that with whom I’m working – a real rage-o-holic – and decided not to give my power away to her by reacting. I keep a mental view of viewing her between my thumb and pointer finger and squishing. makes me happy. I’ve been away too long – as always your writing is delicious!

  10. Ballet is to me what horse racing is to you. When I started reading that you were headed for the ballet I felt all heavenly. Believe it or not, ‘Manon’ is one of my favorites. The music often goes through my head out of nowhere. I feel the title character makes many a foolish decision, but the bedroom pas de deux and her brother’s drunken revelry make up for it.

    Loved the ladies lunching behind you and their sage observations about life!

  11. Devon, what a day! Good for you on taking a stand re the workmen. You’re right; access for 6 days out of 9 is more than generous.
    Love the lunching ladies. They’d go straight into the next book. :o)

  12. Enjoy your trip! If that lady had cursed in front of MY nine-year old, I would have had something to say to her about it. People are so RUDE!!!

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