May 23, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Well, I WAS going to post my Dog Blog this morning, but the disk is missing from my desk. So, either I’ll find it and post it, or I’ll have to re-write it and post it tomorrow. So much for writing ahead.

I was annoyed at Starbucks, where I stopped for an iced tea. Here I’ve gone and bought commuter cups in both hot and cold, and now they tell me they don’t fill the cold with any tea drinks because “it’s a health code violation.” Huh? Excuse me, I bring in a CLEAN cup, and I assume you put the cup under the spout and aren’t stirring it with your bare hands, so how is this a health code violation? It used to be that they gave you a discount (like, ten cents, but still) if you bought in a commuter cup. Now, here people are trying to be eco-friendly, and Starbucks refuses. So I have to buy the drink in a disposable cup and create more waste in order to fill my commuter cup. Doesn’t make any sense at all. But it’s Starbucks, so why am I surprised? They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. Like all the advertising they do about fair trade coffee, when, in reality, they only use it one week per month unless the customer specifically requests it.

Yesterday was fine. Day work was, well, day work. It all got done. I nipped out, got a quick bite of Chinese food, came back, set up for the show. I’d dressed this actress before, on another Broadway show, so she at least knew me.

The show went fine. I had a few little hesitations, but nothing major, and the actress felt it was “seamless”, which made me happy. So I felt much better coming OUT of the show than I felt going IN to it. But a 14 hour day is still tiring.

Another delightful delivery from Strand waited for me when I got home with more books for Good Names. I’m thrilled. Strand takes such good care of me!

And not so delightful news from Verizon. When I told them to credit me for the seventeen days of no landline and seven days of no DSL last month, two people from Corporate called me and told me I was getting a $75 credit. Great. So what’s actually on the bill? $13 and change for DSL (which is fine) and 18 CENTS for the landline. Now, math is not my best subject, but even to me, that doesn’t add up to $75. So I’ll be talking to these people.

It’s ridiculous. All these companies are on the grift.

Some interesting info from my alma mater, NYU, with a list of resources and networking of which I think I’ll make use. My mother went to lunch with her best friend yesterday and it turns out her friend’s daughter has gone freelance as a graphic designer. And she lives close by, so I’m going to contact her and see if she’s interested in potentially teaming up on projects. I remember her when she was little – she’s always been very talented and creative. So, hopefully, we can meet in the next couple of weeks, share information and styles, and maybe get some work together. At any rate, I can point her in the direction of some good resources.

Got to turn around and go back in for another 14 hour day. Actually, today is more like 16 hours, because I have to do extra hours on this track. But it’s all good. Hopefully, I can avoid second show-itis, and do a good job on both shows today and on the show tomorrow. You never know. After all, it’s live theatre.

The Edith Wharton biography is fabulous. I want to sit in a gazebo somewhere on a lovely summer’s day and read it while drinking iced tea.

My commuting book is Elizabeth Peters’s SEEING A LARGE CAT, which is, interestingly enough, set in 1903, when GOOD NAMES is set, although mine is set in Chicago and New York, not in Egypt. I’ve read Amelia Peabody mysteries here and there and always enjoyed them, but this book – especially now, read so close to the Tut visit on Monday – makes me want to sit down and read the entire series in order.

Better get going. Those clothes aren’t going to iron themselves — although wouldn’t it be fun if they did?


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Quick post today – I’m running late and have to get to the theatre for a long day.

Philly was great yesterday. The quartet that traveled traveled well together, which is always fun. The bus ride was smooth – in spite of stopping for gas on the way and the scary bus bathroom – but relatively empty, so we had plenty of room. It’s a commuter bus that leaves outside of Penn Station, and much cheaper than the regular bus.

We got to 30th Street Station in Philly to find it a warm, beautiful day. We expected to have to taxi about – but it turns out that our restaurant was only two blocks over the bridge! Too funny.

The restaurant was St. Tropez Bistro. It’s in a design building, with lots of furniture showrooms. The restaurant itself is on the fourth floor, with a lovely view of the Schuykill River. The décor was hit and miss – most of it worked, except for the runched silver lame curtains at the windows and between some of the rooms. The food was excellent – they just revised their menu, and things were about half the price that they were on the online menu I’d printed out. I had the grilled salmon, L. had a vegetable platter, A. had the crab omlette, and C. had the saucisson. The table split a basket of Triples Frites and pate, and we had a nice Beaujolais wine. All of it was excellent. The service was better than I’ve usually had in Philadelphia – but still not quite at New York City standards.

We expected a long wander to the Franklin Institute, but it took about ten minutes. Ten minutes through beautiful streets with lovingly-cared for row houses. The four of us were ready to move to Philly! Later, I read in the paper that there have been 156 murders there this year so far, which kind of put a damper on it for me (I think New York’s had about 34 in the same time period).

But Philadelphia is, in many ways, a much more livable city than in New York. That sense of franticness is missing, which is a welcome relief.

We wandered around the Institute for a bit, enjoying it, and enjoying the shops. We did our preliminary shopping and then went into the King Tut exhibit. They herded us in and shoved us together as though we were in boxcars on our way to slaughter, which I did NOT appreciate – we paid a decent price for these tickets, we don’t need to be neck-to-nose with everyone else in the room. The video we were herded in to see had no new information for anyone past the third grade, which was annoying.

However, the exhibit was beautifully curated. They got quite a bit in too small a space, and it was very crowded. Those taking the audio tour were especially rude, shoving and elbowing everyone out of the way constantly. Well, honey, we’re New Yorkers, and we don’t put up with that kind of crap, so we shoved and elbowed right back!

It’s always fascinating to see objects which one has seen photos of throughout the year, and to see how much more vivid the actual colors are than they are in the photographs. It amazes me how the colors have held over thousands of years, when a newspaper begins to yellow in a matter of days.

About half of the exhibit was devoted to Tut’s predecessor, who tried to shift Egypt into monotheism with himself as the central figure. Tut returned to polytheism and managed to get quite a bit done in his short, ten year reign. How much was his doing and how much that of his advisor, Aye – who knows? In any case, someone in that reign seemed to have a fairly level head and re-stabilize the region.

I’d hoped to get a book on Henry Carter’s discovery of the tomb, but the only volume was out of my price range right now – I’ll have to see what I can track down elsewhere. A. bought several beautiful objects for his apartment, including a free-standing winged scareb mirror and a lovely Bastet statue with a votive holder. I bought a hand mirror and a few other little things.

We stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way back to the station. I bought just a few snacks, but L. and C. did some serious shopping –it’s much larger than the one on 14th Street in Manhattan, and the prices are better.

We had a quick dinner snack at the 30th Street station and caught the 6:30 bus back to New York. C. and I walked back from Penn to Grand Central together – the Empire State Building looked beautiful against the deepening evening sky, decked out in Mets colors! C. spoke of it being one of those days when she’s so happy to live in New York. It was funny, because I was thinking about how tired I am of New York, in spite of all its good qualities, and how I’m ready to leave – but I didn’t want to tarnish her happy thoughts.

Came home, unpacked my loot, and fell into bed.

Not much done this morning. I have to head to the theatre for day work and a show, and do some errands on the way. On the bus trip back last night, I started working on the latest assignment from Confidential Job #1. This one is not easy – I don’t like the material. Oh, well, not every one can be wonderful.

Llewellyn hired me for a calendar and an almanac (for 2009!) with deadlines of the end of August and the end of September, so I can get going on those. I think those are the only annuals for which I’ll pitch this year – I overdid it the past two years and am feeling a bit burned out.

I do the principal track for the next few days – it means a level of concentration which I’m simply not feeling right now, so I have to get into the right frame of mind.

I’d rather be outside. Writing.


Published in: on May 22, 2007 at 8:43 am  Comments (7)