Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Moved My Blog

It's official.  I'm leaving Blogger behind and moving the blog to Wordpress.  Check out the new digs at

See you there!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why I Will Never Use the Basement Laundry Again

Tonight was going to be just any other night, coming home, doing the laundry, going to bed.  So far, so good.

I had just finished washing my clothes and had one load in a dryer, waiting on one of the other three to become available.  Another tenant arrived and removed his clothes with 18 minutes left on his machine.  He told me he was done and I could finish off the time remaining if I'd like.  "Thank you!" I said and loaded my clothes into the dryer.  Even if I had to add time after the initial 18 minutes passed it was worth it to get a head start on finishing this chore.

He took his dry clothes and left and after no more than two or three minutes a woman entered, marched to the dryer that I had been gifted and then turned to me, finger pointing at the dryer, screaming that I had stolen her dryer. I explained that the gentlemen before me had finished and allowed me to us the remainder of time that he had on it.  She continued screaming, flailing her arms wildly, and repeating that I had stolen her dryer time.  In her yelling she said that she had added quarters for the machine beneath the one I was using and that it was broken and that the one I was in was somehow using her quarters.  I tried to explain that it would only do that if she pressed the start button on the active dryer and that I was only using what was left of the previous user's time.

She launched into a full verbal shriek, threatening to beat me.  She marched up to me, got in my face, and screamed that if I didn't take my clothes out of that dryer right then she would "kick ass".  I backed away from her, at this point nearly pinned up against one of the folding tables.  I managed to slip away and began to hastily remove my clothes for fear that she would actually fulfill her threat and turn physical.  Once I had removed my clothes and put them into a rolling bin I turned to see her run toward me, trying to shove her groin at me, screaming at me to "get in there" and pointing to her crotch.

I asked her to stop, explained that if she did come closer I would call the police.  "Call the police!  I'm from this neighborhood."  Not sure what that could mean I decided to leave the laundry area and find the superintendent.  I walked through the basement to his apartment and knocked repeatedly on his door.  I was shaken by the incident and incredibly afraid that she was insane and would snap even further if I didn't get help.  But he did not answer his door.  At this point I just wanted to get my belongings.  I was frightened for myself but also worried about what she might do to my wet clothes so I returned to the laundry area to watch them.

My first load was drying so I took a seat and tried to ignore her.  She continued to try and egg on a fight which I simply ignored.  At this point she remained on the opposite side of the room staring me down.  From her seat she still continued to yell at me so I decided to step away to where I could get cell phone reception and and call the realtor's office to see if I could get any assistance.  The office was closed but I left a voicemail message on their legal departments answering service.

I was afraid to stay but afraid to leave my clothes behind.  I stayed, but kept my distance and focused on my dryer, watching the timer tick away.  After some time she stepped out, "If you need me the super knows which apartment is mine."  She said this calmly, but sternly, as though an entirely new personality had just arrived.  She walked away and I waited a few minutes until I heard the elevator open, her step in, and it closed.

At this point I grabbed my belongings, dry AND wet, threw them into my rolling cart and hurried back to my apartment.

I also sent a detailed email to the agent assigned to my rental account at the realtor's office.  I thought it was important that someone in their office know about this incident in the event that something else happens in the future.

As it is, I'm not going to be going back to the building's laundry room.  I'll take my clothes to a public laundromat or pay the extra cost to drop it off for wash and fold service somewhere.

The moral of this story: If you happen to live here and someone goes completely insane on you grab your dripping duds and get the hell out before they completely snap and you become a headline in the Post.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Angels in America - An Emotional and Challenging Revival

Sofia Jean Gomez and Michael Urie
Photo by Joan Marcusk
I didn't have the privilege of seeing Tony Kushner's Angels in America when it was first produced on Broadway.  Friends had gushed about the production telling me how tragic it was that I didn't have the opportunity to come to NYC and drink in the poetry and majesty of it all.  It wasn't until years later when HBO produced the film version that I became familiar with the story of Prior, Louis, Belize and the Pitts.

But I instantly loved it.  It wasn't an easy love.  The story is hard, emotionally.  I find myself wanting to squeeze Prior and tell him its OK.  To warn him that Louis is going to hurt him.  To keep him safe and help him through his sickness.  But also to not watch as the pain unravels and the ache of loneliness overwhelms him... and the others in the story.  To say that I'm thankful that I haven't lived through that torment is an understatement.  I can't imagine how I would handle it, much less survive, even after knowing very dear friends who have lived through the fear and agony.

And then, last night, I got to meet the story in person.

The Signature Theatre is currently running the fourth extension on their production.  This intimate 160-seat theater sets each audience member no further than 30 feet from the stage.  You might as well be in Prior's bedroom, watching silently as the drama unfolds... and you'd be thankful for the opportunity.

It is incredibly hard to express exactly how I feel about the show.  I'm not sure why.  This is true of the show on the whole as well as for the characters... in particular Prior.  Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, The Temperamentals) is an epic Prior... both funny and sad, hopeful and hopeless, dreaming and awake and I suppose this is what makes expressing my feelings for him so difficult.  The character is a paradox in form and feeling and I feel as juxtaposed about him as he seems to feel but at the same time ache deeply for him to get better, to find love, to find peace.  The others are equally as stunning, particularly Billy Porter who is a generous and caring Belize.  He's exactly the person you want fighting for you when you are desperately in need.

I find myself lost for words in describing the effect that this production had on me.  I want to talk about it, have a dialog, work through issues... and yet I can't find my voice.  At the risk of running on and rambling nonsensically I'll simply suggest you go see it before it ends on April 24th.  Then let's talk... face to face.