Archive Page 2

The Awkward Autofill

On Jul 14, 2014, at 2:18 PM, “Cranky” wrote:
You want to see this with me? I will buy us tickets – wanna go this Friday?


From: Anastasia
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 2:31 PM
To: Cranky
Subject: Re: a play i want to see

A play?
Any idea what it’s about? I am going away Friday after work though for the weekend..:/

On Jul 14, 2014, at 2:39 PM, “Cranky ” wrote:

Good playwright
If you click on link and go to About it has info:
We could go 7/25 or 7/26 or 7/27 if you wanna go.


From: Anastasia
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 2:43 PM
To: Cranky
Subject: Re: a play i want to see

Can we do Thursday the 24th? Yeah I like theatre!

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 14, 2014, at 2:44 PM, “Cranky” wrote:

Yes – I’ll get tix.


On Jul 23, 2014, at 9:46 AM, Anastasia wrote:

Are we still on for tomorrow?

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 23, 2014, at 10:12 AM, “Cranky” wrote:

Yes. Left u a vm about it!

Sent from my iPhone

From: Anastasia []
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:15 AM
To: Cranky
Subject: Re: a play i want to see

Never got it. Do you have the right #? XXX-XXX-XXXX?

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 23, 2014, at 10:21 AM, “Cranky ” wrote:
I left it on: xxx-xxx-xxxx –home

Is that not right? How can that be?
Want to see if we can find cheap place for a bite before show?


Subject: Re: a play i want to see
From: Anastasia
Date: Wed, July 23, 2014 10:25 am
To: Cranky

That number is not mine or ever was mine…are you sure you have the right person? Haha
I actually have plans for early dinner though with a friend that we been trying to meet up with for months.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 23, 2014, at 8:15 PM, “Cranky” wrote:

You are not going to believe this – I thought I was inviting my neighbor Anastasia – hence the wrong phone numbers!

I’m an idiot.

You are so gracious to accept and I hope you will come to the show with me even though it probably seemed peculiar to you that I emailed. If you prefer to remain at dinner with your friend I totally understand!

Forgive me.

Subject: Re: a play i want to see
From: Anastasia
Date: Wed, July 23, 2014 10:25 am
To: Cranky
I did think it was a little odd, but figure you never know.🙂

I would still like to join you for the play, but if you rather take your friend I would not get offended in the least bit! Let me know.

No need for apologies.

So this is how Cranky went to the theater last night with a complete stranger. Autofill. Someone who had received a business email from me years ago, who I have never seen, met or talked to. I began typing my close friend’s name in an email, and autofill finished the address with a complete stranger. If it was a French film, she would have turned out to be the illegitimate daughter of my father or something like that. Or the correspondence would have covered metaphysical topics like the meaning of life before we realized we were strangers, instead of dinner no dinner. But it was just Cranky’s hapless error, so I saw a show with a stranger. Had to look on LinkedIn to find a picture so I could find her in theater lobby. We actually had a great time and thank the lord she is a theater lover and we laughed at the laughing parts and cried at the crying parts.

The show was Pterodactyls by Nicky Silver at Teatro Circulo, 64 East 4th Street, NYC. If you are in NYC, go see it – Tickets are $18 bucks – a major deal.

I was blown away by how great it was. The play draws an ingenious analogy between the extinction of the dinosaur and the earth’s landscape strewn with human carcasses due to the extinction of the human race due to the dysfunction of the family.

The director, STEPHEN KALISKI must be some kind of genius boy or something. Years ago I saw a play, Tigers Be Still, starring Natasha Lyonne, that was directed by the now famous director, Sam Gold. This director has the same kind of talent. When everyone in the cast is doing star-quality work, you can thank the director. Isn’t great theater uplifting and transporting? Go be uplifted and transported. Go see actress Maggie Low in a role she was obviously born to play.

Never Flirt With Cranky at an Audition

Cranky had a print audition today. They are the only ones she can afford to go to at the moment. Ten minutes of standing on an X and smiling like an idiot. Upscale casual. Cranky is expert at upscale, looks rich even though broke. A friend once described face as “to the manor born.”

Nothing like a print audition in summer sweat weather. You have a shiny face you look like hell. The most pristine makeup job is no match for the 100 degree New York City subway platform. So took a taxi, which is a gamble. Need the taxi money, but need the four grand I will get if I get it. All morning was going, “taxi, no taxi, taxi, no taxi, taxi, no taxi…” in my head. When real feel temp reached 80 at 10 am, went with taxi. Will eat Trader Joe’s salads for the next week to make up for it. Have to say, sitting in a quiet, cool car does make one composed upon arrival at a casting studio. As they say “Nothing succeeds like success.” Successful people probably take a lot of taxis or something.

Because it pays big bucks, the casting studio was nice and all. Cool, good music, and an assistant who types your info into a computer instead of filling out the sheet with shoe size, etc.

I sit down to wait and a handsome actor sits next to me and starts talking. BEFORE AN AUDITION. I can be civil, but I like to stay in my own head before an audition. I have to loosen jaw and do other spastic things before going in. Don’t ask me why. So even though I am trying to listen, my body language is saying, “Get the fuck away from me.” I don’t hear much except that he mentions HE BOUGHT A PLACE years ago. They drop financials into the conversation early to spark interest. It’s hopeless. I have no response to questions. He was wearing a nice blue shirt. He was very upscale casual. Like me. He goes in before me and I am very interested when he tells me what they asked him to do in the audition room. “They want a funny face at the end.” So I immediately start going through my repertoire of funny faces in my head while he continues to talk and I stare at him with a blank face. “Ah, well, maybe I’ll see you around sometime,” he says. I nod my head thinking, “That will happen if we both get cast.”

The audition went well. They wanted me to talk about best concerts I have seen, and I recounted the transporting experience of seeing Thelonious Monk as a teenager.

When I am leaving, I realize that being at an audition had turned me into a self-centered, anti-social freak. But if that’s what it takes to get that four grand, I can live with it.

Beware of the Divas

One thing you may encounter if you are in the theatrical world is THE DIVA.

Cranky was once befriended by a musical theater Diva –the worst kind. Believe it or not, Cranky’s natural inclination is to be generous, so it took many many Diva acts to reach the friendship waterloo. Basically, the annoying behavior is to insure that everywhere they go, whatever they are doing, they are the center of attention.

Hence every visit to every restaurant began with multiple changings of tables due to mysterious drafts that no one else could feel besides her. “Oh no. I can’t sit here. The draft. There’s a draft. It will ruin my voice. Cough. Cough. Do you feel it? Can we sit somewhere else? Are you sure there is not a draft over there too?” If you have ever worked in a restaurant, you know how just much maître ds love this. Cringe worthy. And when it came time to order, she would over discuss the foods she can’t eat with the waiter in a whiny voice.

So Cranky decided restaurants were not a viable place to see the Diva. So Cranky would make dinner at home and invite her and her henpecked live-in boyfriend. What could go wrong there? What? Well, Divas find a way. She once asked if she could bring along a fan visiting from London to dinner. Of course. The more the merrier. NOT. The fan was a guy named Barnaby or something who had seen her musical in London like 100 times and given her a rose at the stage door every night. OY.

So here comes Barnaby into my home. He doesn’t say hello, thanks for inviting me OR ANYTHING. He plops down next to the Diva and they sit nose to nose all evening while he praises her and she drinks it in and no attempt is made to engage in conversation with the rest of the table, which consists of henpecked, me, some guy I was once married to, and a horrified friend. I felt less like a hostess and more like an enabler. Her only foray into group conversation is when the friend compliments me on my eyes and the Diva suddenly springs into action and runs over to him to show him the amazing spots in her irises.

Then there is the party at the Diva’s house. Cranky is always willing to help a friend before a party. As a major domo, Cranky can crank out crudité, and is never without doilies and toothpicks at home. So I go to the Diva’s house to help. There is a massive amount of vegetables to cut, cheese to arrange and things to pop in the oven. The Diva shows Cranky everything that needs to be done, chops one piece of celery, and then disappears. Cranky keeps working. And working. It’s summer, and my hair starts to droop and the makeup is melting off my face. Where is Diva? Where? Well, when preparation is done, and the doorbell rings announcing the first guest, Diva appears freshly made up and ready for the party, and Cranky/friend/maid was ready to lie down. Diva had taken a shower, put on make-up and changed outfits.

One day I ran into her and a friend of hers when I was on the way somewhere. I had just put on a tiny bit of some lemony scented something. Diva went nuts. “ARE YOU WEARING PERFUME? OH NO! DON’T COME NEAR ME. STAY BACK! I’M ALLERGIC AND IT WILL AFFECT MY VOICE! STAY BACK!” Cranky kept walking.

Funnily, Cranky didn’t really know who Diva was in the theater world, as an avid unfollower of musical theater. Maybe if I had been a sycophant, her behavior might not have been so irksome. But, I knew she could really sing. Hell, she could sing. She used to occasionally sing for me. Mini concerts in her living room. That was nice. Diva had some voice. I used to tell her, “Girlfriend, you have the best voice I have ever heard! Get out!” I once attended a concert she gave, and she was so good Cranky cried.

But, to me, she was a fellow dog owner in the hood. She had three huge dogs who used to steal food from the homeless people sleeping on the benches. Divas raise delinquents. One day, returning from the dog park, Diva asked Cranky to hold her pack of dogs while she went into the market for “just a minute.” A half hour later, after Cranky had had enough time to reevaluate this relationship, Diva returned.

Our last morning meeting in the dog park we chatted while the dogs romped. Diva drank Cranky’s coffee. I was wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses. Diva interrupted her to say, “I’m sorry. I can see myself in your glasses and I look terrible. Would you take them off?”

Cranky out.

Bartleby the Intern

Cranky is working in an office. HELP! Unfortunately, it turns out that Cranky is efficient at this sort of thing, so Cranky’s desk is a mountain of folders and papers and everyone else’s is empty. (Can I go home now?) Of course, as fate would have it, it is a quirky office. So Cranky is compiling stories that will be fodder for future plays for like fifteen or twenty years. Seriously. Who knew the office world had more crazies than the theatrical world?

We recently hired an intern to do our Social Media. Which is annoying in itself. Because to be a business now you HAVE to have a Social Media “presence,” so you are forced to pay someone to post inane crap on Facebook and Twitter to make the Google search engine happy. Every recent grad should thank Google that there is a job for them now when they get out of school reposting Buzz feed posts.

So we hired someone with a Masters from Columbia. It’s in Poetry, so there were probably two other people in her program. She had an exaggerated valley girl accent, and talked really loud which made Cranky want to get rid of her immediately. But it didn’t take very long, really. She was so superficial, the title of her autobiography should be: IT’S ALL ABOUT GUCCI. “OMG! I found a Marc Jacobs jacket! Don’t you love this Louis Vuitton bag?”

Within three weeks, she convinced the owner that she needed to be paid for forty hours in order to do her job. Facebook and Twitter. She was constantly printing out the graphs from the sites and exclaiming, “WE HAVE 7 BIZILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS! WE GOT 8 THOUSAND LIKES ON FACEBOOK!” Nice. But did this translate into one new client? No. But not understanding Social Media, the boss was impressed and paid her for forty hours. Most of which she spent shopping and (in and out of the office). She called it an “integrated lifestyle,” which is code for I CAN WORK WHENEVER THE FUCK I WANT.

Then she breaks up with her boyfriend and sleeps on friend’s couches and starts surreptitiously sleeping at the office. I go in early one day and she is there. Which was odd. When questioned, she says, “I came in early because the office was like such a mess I didn’t even want you to see it.’ This from someone who does nothing in the office. Her clothes start collecting around the floor of her desk. One morning the boss comes in early and finds her in bed in the back office with a random guy. The boss left and I had to listen to her cry all day about how she had screwed up (good double entendre, you think?). I am actually trying to work, and I have to look at her with mascara running down her face telling me how much she loathes herself. She uses the word loathes instead of hates because she is a poet.

A few days later, she spends an entire day talking about how she is getting STD tested and she is stressed about it. What if she has this? What if she has that? What if she shut up for ten minutes? I finally say I’ve had enough about the STDs.

Two days later, her integrated lifestyle plan kicks into high-gear when she tells us she has to leave at 1:30 because she got herself cast in a porn film. Ah, what? Yeah. She’s excited. This is why she got the STD test, because they demand documentation of no STD’s before you can work with them. Hers is clear, and she keeps saying, “I can’t believe I am so pure.” She spends the morning changing outfits and twisting her hair and showing me the great self-tanning product she is wearing. Then she goes out for a minute and the boss tells me she is going to buy an enema because she has been hired to do anal on the film. Why do I have to know this? Do you ever wonder why people tell you things? So she comes back with a CVS bag and goes into the Ladies room that we share with the other offices on the floor. Then Cranky has to pee like a racehorse. But wild horses could not drag Cranky into that Ladies room because I know what’s going on in there and I DON’T WANT TO KNOW. I am suffering. She is taking forever. After she finally returns, I go in there and there is water all over the floor. I realize I am the only one who knows this is ass water. Shoot me now.

Cranky is afraid she is going to have some kind of breakdown on the set, but when she comes in the next morning the first thing she says is, “I had the best night’s sleep.” Go figure.

Her expulsion finally occurs when she sets her sights on the boss’s boyfriend. Bu-bye intern.

The Magazine Photo Shoot

Cranky recently did a photo shoot for a major magazine. Playing a mom of an errant teenager. Funny, the same magazine wrote a cover article about errant teenagers when Cranky was one and Cranky’s suburban town along with Cranky’s crazy friends were in that article. But I suppose one could write about errant teenagers every few years.

Anyway, the casting director said the stylist would be in touch about wardrobe. No word from the stylist for days. Then the stylist emails me the morning of the shoot and said to call her when I got up. When I call her, she tells me they were shopping until 11pm sorry she didn’t call, she is on the way to the shoot, she got some choices, could I bring some clothes, do I have khaki pants, they are thinking blue for me, yes going to put me in blue, do you have a blue dress, and , and how about nice jeans do I have a pair of those, and bring a bunch of accessories… At some point I just hold the phone away from my ear and let her go on.

Cranky has been through this before and has no intention of bringing the laundry list of clothes. Because I know. I know what will happen. Which does. When I get there, she hands me a blue dress with a price tag on it and says, “Go put this on.” And there is a mountain of accessories. There always is. No need to bring your best pearl earrings only to have them lost on chaotic set. No no.

In the photographer’s studio are three moms, three dads and three teenagers with their stage moms. One of them an uber stage mom who never stops talking about all the things her kid has done. She says she has a suitcase of pictures that she brings with her to show casting directors all the projects he’s been on. “That suitcase is heavy! There are so many pictures!” “How about just a resume? I suggest. She is living through the poor sucker. He looks resigned to it. On top of that, he is home schooled. No break from the constant fawning. I feel like telling him if he ever wants to feel like a normal teenager he can come and stay at my house and I will ignore him 22 hours a day.

There is talk on the set that this might be a cover story. So the “family” that the editors pick will be on the cover. Great I think. That will be fun. I am going to make sure my family rocks the shoot. Then I go into makeup. The makeup artist makes me look like Mommy Dearest. Frightening Cookie Monster eyebrows with a pale face. No mascara, eyeliner or lipstick. I frighten myself when I look in the mirror. When she is done I pray. Dear God please don’t let this be in the cover. Please don’t let this be on the cover. PLEASE NOT THE COVER!

Cranky Must Do It Herself

Cranky is conquering new worlds everyday. Doing new and wonderful things that used to be relegated to the husband in situ. Like the other day I killed a centipede. Myself. Formerly, me and the dog would run into the other room. But no more. If I ran into the other room it would just hide and come out and walk across my face while I was sleeping.

Or getting a new computer and putting the software on it and getting the files off something called a Time Machine or Time Capsule, or some scary thing. Which the ex set the password to. Which, when asked, he “couldn’t remember.” Cranky did not want a new computer for just this reason. I tried three times to have the old one fixed because I was petrified (and poor). On my fourth visit, the Genius people took the old one away and handed me a new 2013 model. Cranky started crying. The technician handed her a box of tissues. They should have a sign that says, “No crying at the Genius Bar.” Crying at such a high tech place seems so wrong. So incongruous with the sleek design and glowing screens. I think they thought they were tears of happiness. But no. In great trepidation Cranky took the new Airbook. And bought software. “Do you use Outlook?” they asked. “Huh?” I answered. So Cranky had to figure it out. Now that it is done, I feel like Rosy the Riveter. Except my motto would be:
If we HAVE to do it WE CAN DO IT.

One of my best friends is a lesbian. We once planted a garden together, and the way she wielded a shovel was awe inspiring. That Sista is not waiting for some guy to come along and do it. She can paint a room in like an hour. So she is an icon of man-free life.

The first thing I had to figure out was how to walk the dog when I got home at 2am without getting MURDERLIZED as they say in Brooklyn. I changed routes and feel my life expectancy is at least two more years.
And I actually solved a DVD player problem. The picture was purple and green. A friend loaned me hers and I plugged it in. Still purple and green. I somehow figured out it was the input things on the TV and not the player. So I just kept plugging things into the back of the television willy nilly until it worked. At one point all the plugs were hanging and Cranky just felt guided by the universe and the spirit of Rosy. And Voila. It worked.

Another big step in my life as divorcee, was experiencing the best pick-up line. One morning while waiting for my coffee at Pret a Manger, a guy standing behind me said: “Let me get a hair so I can clone you.” Very creative. Maybe life NOT hopeless.

Cranky Goes Bi-Coastal

Like everyone else, I have my depressing fucking moments. Like lately.

It is interesting that one of the most popular searches that bring readers to my blog is; “I’m so depressed I can’t function.”

Like I can relate. Like my last post was May fucking 18th. Like I don’t like this divorce business. Like I like things to stay the same. Like maybe my joke: “I would throw myself off the Brooklyn Bridge except I’m afraid of heights!” isn’t really so funny funny.

So one must remember the good things. Like the fact that right now as I am writing this I am resting my head on a dog pillow. A live dog that is. My dog who sits on the back of the couch while I write and lets me rest my head on her. How bad can things be if you can feel a dog breathing?

An actress friend of mine is listing on facebook everyday the things she DID accomplish. I could make a list of the things I MEANT to accomplish and it would be quite impressive.

Anyway back to the positive. My auditions might be nuttily slow right now, but I must remember that for months I was actually on a poster on both coasts:

For HBO.

A big poster. I went and took a picture of one of the posters in a parking lot in Soho. The attendant looked at the poster and looked at me and said; “Oh! That’s you! That’s you!” My one celebrity moment in a life of anonymity.

How did I get the job?

A casting director emailed me. And of course because it paid money and was bi-coastal and for HBO I was major nervous. I excel at deferred pay, low-budget contract no stakes auditions. Oh yeah. I own the room. But put me in the big time and I fold like a badly put up boy scout tent.

On the way there I think about how this reaction is not going to give me the results I want. So my mantra as I walk up Sixth Avenue is; “Don’ t fuck up. Don’t fuck up. Don’t fuck up.”

I go in,go to the sign in sheet, and look down and see the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen. The actress tells me they are Monolo Blahniks.”Is there a whole different life for people who audition for big LA casting directors?”I ask myself. “Is it a world of beautiful shoes?”

Then she sits down and switches into her pumps and they Christian Laboutins. I swear. Christian Laboutins. On an actress. I thought we were all Daffy’s queens. What’s up with this?

I become obsessed with the shoes.

I ask her about them. She tells me her husband bought them for her and they were1000 bucks. Really? Well good for you. Oh yeah? Well my husband bought me a gift once too! WHEN WE WERE DATING.

Cranky has always had taste. Even as a small child if asked which item of clothing she preferred in a department store she would invariably point her chubby little childhood finger at the most expensive item. My parents thought it was hilarious.

The actress actually looks like a blond version of Audrey Hepburn. A gamin, a pixie. She is up for the same print ad. Really? Should I go home now?

But then I remember my idol Ruth Gordon who always talked about how it takes courage to make it. One of my favorite quotes of hers:

“To get it right, be born with luck or else make it. Never give up. Get the knack of getting people to help you and also pitch in yourself. A little money helps, but what really gets it right is to never — I repeat — never under any conditions face the facts.”

So Cranky ignores the facts and is happy and charming in the room with the casting director as they snap pictures. Cranky forgets about the pixie with the 1000-dollar shoes. And Cranky gets on the poster and the pixie is nowhere to be seen.