September 22nd, 2006

Don't Hassle the Hoff

Maggie Gyllenhaal's the kind of actress I could watch in ANY movie for two hours

Even if it involves her chaining herself to a desk and peeing down her leg! I really want to see that movie "Sherrybaby", but the theater I passed today near Lincoln Square only took cash.


Sure enough, two hours into sleep last night at three in the morning, I was brutally lambasted awake by the most intense itching yet. Apparently Jenny in the next room was having the same problem as the mosquitos infiltrating our abode have become quite rude. She never made it back to sleep; I didn't fall asleep again until 6am. That was after thrashing around in my bed, simultaneously trying to achieve a comfortable position in an uncomfortably warm room while every body part told my brain, "There's another mosquito on me! No, it's over there on the ankle! Wait, it's on your eyelid now!" By four, I was fucking pissed, so I turned ON the light and started reading from "Fear and Loathing In America", volume two of The Gonzo Letters by Hunter S. Thompson (1968-1976). Then, I pulled out the journal and started work on a play.

Oh, yeah, so I've been commissioned to write a play. By "commissioned", I mean more-or-less challenged by Jenny to see if I could do it or not. Shakespeare aside, I can't say I'm too familiar with the Play Form. I realize now I've actually seen more than I thought (Cymbelline, A Raisin In The Sun, Harvey - done in High School by some of my friends, The Shape of Things), though not as many as I'd like. By the way, those wouldn't be counting the plays I've seen via film adaptation, so suck it. Anyway, today I figured I'd get out there today and check some out. That, of course, required me getting my New York Public Library Card. I saw the Mid-Manhattan Library, the fucking-amazing New York Public Library (both in Mid-Town) and the Public Library of the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center (just West of the southern portion of Central Park). It was there (right next door to the MET, where I also walked around for a bit) that I checked out seven plays by three different authors:

Samuel Beckett - Waiting For Godot
Samuel Beckett - Endgame (and "Act Without Words")
Arthur Miller - Death of a Salesman (which I read in high school and saw two different film versions, with Dustin Hoffman and Brian Dennehy)
Arthur Miller - The Crucible
David Mamet - The Old Neighborhood
David Mamet - Glengarry Glen Ross (which I saw the film version of, with Al Pacino and Alec Baldwin)
David Mamet - American Buffalo

Plays are short, so I'm not sweating the number I checked out. Besides, I've got three weeks.

The thing about plays is: All you have to write is dialogue and stage direction. I'm wondering if I haven't just done that with the novel I wrote this month. I mean, most of the characters are thinking aloud (like in a play), there's not that much written that couldn't easily be said by the characters or just inferred as things go along. Bah, regardless, no resting on the laurels. Let's just say that I plan on having a completed play written by the end of October (in time for me to write another Novel in November). I think, pretty much, the plan is to get three or four different things pounded out in 1st Draft form, then spend a period of time going over them and revising until ONE really sticks out as a potential seller. Well, anyway, not so much a plan as a loose guideline. We'll see how things go.

Who wants to hear about my journey through Queens yesterday?

I now have 4 DVDs to my possession: Adaptation,The Big Lebowski, Home For the Holidays, and Super Troopers. These were actually my only remaining DVDs from my home collection, but I forgot to pack them when I moved. How I got them yesterday was quite the trial.

The day before I moved, I shipped myself a box of clothes and a box of random necessities (extra shoes, my briefcase, pictures, etc.). They were to arrive a week later on a Thursday. When Thursday rolled around, I sat on the hard stone stairs from 11am to a quarter to 3pm (and they COULD'VE come as late as 6pm). This time, when I had my dad ship my DVDs (along with a rain jacket I've sorely needed since I moved - another forgotten necessity), I decided to not wait, call them up when they left their sticker saying they tried to deliver it, and go pick it up later in the day.

That day was yesterday. The sticker was there, said the guy was here at 12:45pm. I called the number, arranged for a pick up, and they said to show up between 7 and 8pm tonight ... in QUEENS!

There aren't any direct subways to Queens from Brooklyn; so I had to take the L-train into Manhattan, then transfer to the R-train, which dumps me off in the heart of Queens (eventually). The UPS depot was on 48th street, with 56th Ave as the cross street. The R-train dropped me right off on 48th street, but to my dismay, the cross avenue was 32nd. After an hour on the rails, I was on the corner of 48th and 32nd at exactly 7pm. One hour to go 24 blocks.

Of course, when you've got to get somewhere and you're going on foot, the terrain HAS to be all uphill all the way. So, I'm jogging, and I'm walking, and I make it! I got there at 7:30pm! The line took about 15 minutes, as many other geniuses had the same notion as I; then someone hollered out, "Next!"

I go up, give her my sticker and my ID (as I'm one of the few prepared ones who actually READS the signs that say "Have your ID ready"), she looks me up and says, "I'm sorry, the truck hasn't arrived yet."

Wha? The guy was by my buzzer-less apartment at 12:45 today! You're telling me, 7 hours later, he's STILL not back? She tells me to come back to the front of the line every ten minutes to check and see if it arrived. At 8 on the dot, I go back and it's there.

Needless to say, after walking around Queens (making a wrong turn and going around a HUGE graveyard - not the most comforting sight while alone, in the dark, in the heart of Queens), I found the 7-train, transferred to the G-train, then later transferred to the L-train. Got home at 10pm. All so I wouldn't have to sit on my stoop for an hour and 45 minutes this morning.

But, you know how fate is: if I actually DID sit out there, the package wouldn't have come until near 5pm. That's just the way it goes!
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