Entries from February 2004 ↓
February 28th, 2004 — Random Thoughts
So, like I got this beautifully designed new website. And its all up and running and everything. But suddenly, I got nothing to say. Go figure!
Those two side blogs over there, Sports and Datebook. Hopelessly outdated. I can’t think of anything to put there. The site was down during the Super Bowl, so I missed recapping the game, bragging about getting it right, “Tittiegate”, the commercials and all of that stuff. Right now, we’re in that period where the NBA and NHL are still months away from playoffs, college basketball is getting close to March Madness but not yet. Baseball spring training has opened, but nothing’s going on. So I’ve got nothing to say about sports really.
Datebook is supposed to be milestones, historical notes, notable passings and such. Anybody famous die recently? I don’t know, I’ve been too busy to look.
I could bore you with stories of how my week went. Wednesday was a grind, presenting all day at a conference. It has taken me two days to almost recover. On top of that, I’ve got more work to do since one of my co-workers transferred to a different department. There were just three of us to begin with. Now my supervisor and I have split her old duties, meaning more work, occasionally longer days, at the same pay. But I’m not really complaining, because what good would it do.
I’m itching to act again, and almost crazy enough to try to resurrect my career. It stems from the uncertain conditions at the 9-5, the fun I miss being in “the biz” and seeing so much production going on around town. I know I’m deluding myself, because there’s also the inconsistency of the work, the shaky finances, the limited roles, and all that other stuff that made me leave to begin with. I’m just depressed.
I’m reading Christopher’s book and that’s depressing me too. Not the book itself, but the reflections I see on each page.
Gonna try to catch a free jazz performance Saturday and a one-woman play on Sunday. Maybe I’ll have something to write about then.
February 23rd, 2004 — Dining Out
Sometimes you just have to decide to do things yourself. Sitting around waiting for people to get back to you with answers or to make up their mind or to figure out if they have the funds or the time or the desire can tire you out waiting and cause you to miss the opportunity.
I made up my own mind that I want to enjoy more of the things that interest me, namely live theatre and good restaurants . I ask around to see if certain people I’d like to spend more time with are interested, and get indefinite answers. Or no answers. Or “no” answers. So screw it. I’ll go by myself.
February 23rd, 2004 — Random Thoughts
I will vote for Ralph Nader only if he can guarantee that we get two weeks off at the end of every weekend.
Itís Monday morning, Iím at my desk and I really donít feel like being here. Iím not overly tired, just bored and not looking forward to the first three days of the week. Theyíre gonna be long and arduous, some pain in the ass assignments and pressing of the flesh with clients. I can fake that stuff really well, but I never forget that I am faking it. If it werenít for the clients, this would be a fun job. Wednesday will be particularly taxing. I have to present all day at a conference. How much bullshit can you squeeze out of one person, I ask you?
Speaking of politics, John Edwards New York campaign headquarters are in my office building. There is now a big sign out front.
Sex and the City is no more, and it was really a quite touching ending. They all got what they wanted, just not what they expected to get when we first met them six years ago. We all knew Carrie was going back to NYC with Bigówho we now know is named Johnóbut you know theyíre just going continue their on again, off again relationship. Petrovskyís little passive aggressive controlling move was not cute. I found Mirandaís story with Steveís mother very moving, for personal reasons. Charlotteís dream of the perfect marriage and family is now complete, albeit with a Jewish husband and adopted Chinese baby.
Already friends are wondering what theyíll do on Sunday nights. Perhaps weíll all have to face the reality of our own humdrum loveless and sexless lives in this city. Wonít that be a pisser. The Sopranos restart March 7, thank God. And despite their ending, film and tv production in New York remains on an up tick.
I went to my first Karaoke bar Saturday night. A friend had a birthday celebration there. Not everybody got into it. You really have to get over feeling self conscious and just donít take it seriously. I wowed the audience with my Elvis impersonation in ďDonít Be CruelĒ and then Ben E. Kingís ďStand By Me.Ē I will not be opening next week at the Trump Casino in Atlantic City.
Bernie has left the building.
February 20th, 2004 — Politics
I’ll get right to the point:
We need George Bush OUT of the White House NOW!
We need everyone united to get him out.
We do not need anyone confused or undecided about what to do in November.
We do not need any third party choices.
We do not need Ralph Nader to get in the race.
A vote for Nader gives us four more years of Bush.
We as a nation cannot afford that.
UPDATE: Nader has decided to run as an independent.
February 20th, 2004 — Television
Donít phone me Sunday night. Iíll be busy. If you havenít heard–and how could you not–Sex and the City will air its final episode after six seasons. The program has become infectious among viewers with each passing year.
Like millions of other Americans, Iíll be glued to the television to find out if Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) bids us adieu in Paris with Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov), or hops on the first bird flapping for the Big Apple with Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Either way, itís likely to be a sad farewell.
TV shows that get to end on their own terms instead of being canceled are rare, so there is the unique opportunity to wrap up loose ends. Weíll watch the final transformation of our ďfriendsĒ Carrie, Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) before they disappear back into the make believe world from which they came. And what a world that was.
It is interesting to try to understand why this show developed such a wide appeal. Four single White thirty-something heterosexual affluent females living in New York City struck a chord with a broad range of viewers who were none of the above. When it debuted, like any tv show with sex in its title, it faced criticism from the always over-judgemental Right, who had never even seen the show. Such frank discussion of sexual desires, by women of all people, was unheard of. Depictions of each charactersí bed hopping drew the most criticism, and conversely the most fan admiration. These were the ultimate liberated women, the inevitable evolution from That Girl to The Mary Tyler Moore Show to now, professionally and personally confident and in control.
But upon closer examination and with each passing season, there was a greater depth to the characters that showed them as more than sex objects or sexual objectifiers. They were single people looking for meaning to their lives and someone to share it with. Not unlike a lot of us, male or female, that can be a desperate and frustrating search. Viewers of all demographics could identify with that.
Personally, I always connected with Miranda. The levelheaded, plain looking one with more than a hint of self-doubt, professionally accomplished but most likely to spend an evening in front of the tv alone. She represented that character who finds a city the size of New York both exciting and daunting as a place where you can actually meet someone and settle down. That she, a lawyer, has been able to create a family with Steve (David Eigenberg), a mere bartender, their baby and a dog, in the far off land of Brooklyn, gives us all hope.
Charlotte, the hopeful romantic and quintessential WASP, has always dreamed of the traditional family with children. When the rest of them talked of ďfuckingĒ over lunch at some trendy restaurant, she always squirmed, her delicate ears singed just a tad. First to marry, then divorce, and discovered to be unable to conceive, who would have guessed she would find ultimate happiness with Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler) and become a Jewish American Princess? Life works in mysterious ways.
Even Samanthaís life has taken a sudden dramatic turn. She always seemed the most afraid of growing old, as if like a comparable male counterpart, it would signal the end of her virility. But if you believe in May-December romances of the reverse persuasion, then a younger man like Smith (Jason Lewis) can come into her life and be there for her, in sickness and in health.
Which brings us back to Carrie. For my money, the best man for her was Aidan (John Corbett). Mr. Big has always been a good friend/fuck buddy, but neither he nor Carrie are really ďin loveĒ with each other. Aidan loved her and she couldnít see it or appreciate what he had to offer, too afraid to settle into a life that was just ordinary. Aleksandr has asked her what kind of a future she wants, and she hasnít given a satisfactory answer. I doubt she knows. But Sunday night, the party ends and she will have to decide.
In addition to the fun story lines this show has given us, I will always appreciate the acting and casting decisions made. Producers always seemed to find just the right person for each role. Supporting actors Willie Garson as Stanford Blatch, Mario Cantone, Anne Meara as Steveís boozy mother, Kyle MacLachlan as Trey MacDougal and Frances Sternhagen as his mother, James Remar as Samanthaís millionaire ex Richard Wright, and Candice Bergen as Enid Frick the Vogue editor are all memorable.
The show also helped to perpetuate the image of New York as a beautiful and romantic city, shooting on location all across town. You could literally walk anywhere in Chelsea, the East and West Village, the Upper West Side, and midtown and stumble upon the cast and crew shooting scenes. It was a boon to New York film and television production that will not be easily replaced. I appreciate the paychecks I made as a background performer in four episodes during seasons 2 and 3.