free food, pilates, the nose, aunt duty
so lien came to visit. and she's blogging now! lunch at del posto, dinner at locanda verde. in said post she compares eating dinner with me to eating dinner with bob deniro. the comparison is flattering, honestly! except for that i'm just a nobody who likes to eat and he's a famous person who is part owner of locanda. but yes, we probably get a lot of food bought for us either way. i swear that lien and i and our other guests at these meals got even better treatment than i'd have gotten being by myself. so maybe all the extras are the folks at the restaurant saying, "oh! that girl actually DOES have friends! lets treat them really nice and hopefully she won't keep coming back alone." i have no real explanation. all desserts were gratis (and the ricotta) at locanda and del posto brought over their awesome bellinis AND a moscato d'asti AND a trio of amuses with black truffle. the moscato was all george's fault (the maitre'd) because he told everyone it was liens birthday so then dessert wine came out, as did her plate with "happy birthday" written in so beautifully with chocolate sauce. i mean, it was OUT OF CONTROL. why aren't more people going to del posto for lunch?! i talk about it constantly. i need to start recruiting people there, hard-core, lest they decide that losing all the money for being open for lunch isn't worth the cost. now lien has left thinking that i'm someone to whom this happens all the time. and it doesn't, really. i mean, it happens occasionally at about 6 or so restaurants that i have on rotation. i stick to my favorites, all of which are truly GOOD places to eat. the end. no mayorship needed. but yeah, i came of looking pretty fancy for lien while she was here. i cannot wait for her to repay the favor next time im in in LA. she's a lot like me though; super chatty and inquisitive in a way that isn't annoying because we're cute, small asian girls. people remember us. she had a bartender at joseph leonard who knows me so now i'll have to tell the bartender i know the bone marrow obsessed girl. SEE! this is a small world.
healthcare. OH HEALTHCARE. watching that vote was a moment that you know you'll remember. it is watching the course of history stop and switch tracks going forward. pelosi is pretty fucking amazing. i know obama sat back and i know rahm was telling him to ignore the obviously easiest path but i'm glad enough people got to him, told rahm no, and that he threw himself into this with the time and energy that a president is expected to invest, regardless of how good his people on the ground are. he's supposed to be a leader. and he led. and see what happens?! shit gets done. and what is freaking out the republicans most is that they know this is better for people and they know people will like this bill (polls showed people being against "obamacare" but FOR every single item that obamacare represented. they were just throwing a hissy fit over his name with some palin lingering death panel nonsense and some stupak baby killing thrown in for good measure). GOPers are upset because they are the party of NO action right now. they are the temper tantrum throwers. the cross your arms and stop and call people names party. or, OH MY GOD, the attempted MURDERING PEOPLE AND DESTROYING PROPERTY PARTY. and that is a party of 5 year olds. and, no matter what anyone says, 5 year olds shouldn't be members of congress. so when republicans want to grow up, stop lying on the sunday talk shows, want to actually put forth ideas that work for everyone (not just corporate interests and other rich folks) and then actually vote yes on something....well i'm sure the dems would be welcome to have them. HCR was bipartisan reform. so many parts of that bill were parts that regan and nixon had championed, and that lots of republicans in the past had liked (oh, and now conveniently want to take responsibility for now that it's polling better, grassley, you asshole). but now, obama is so freaking threatening, they won't agree with him about anything just to try to frame him as ineffective. and obama is getting shit done anyhow! imagine that! i mean, it's like trying to work with bibi. stubborn and stuck in a mentality from 4 decades ago. totally lacking any connection to the world as we know it.
so i went to see william kentridge's "the nose" and HOLY HELL was that shit awesome. rocked my world. i see sufjan stevens walking in late to a middle row seat just a few rows a head of mine. i immediately started planning my exit strategy: the one that would finally get me to meet the MAN. all options entailed jumping over swarths of decrepit old folks. i see seth colter walls tweet from the balcony: "Yeah, I'm standing in the balcony @metopera to see The Nose, again. Audience is ... different than usual. Go figure.#YoungsLikeModernism" looking around me, i had no idea what he was talking about. except for the sufjan appeance, of course. the score was gorgeous. the set was perfect. inventive/interesting without being dominating or show-offy (a tendency most opera has). lots of kentridge video reels ran across the back scrim. the subtitles were also displayed largely on the scrim and on the stage. it was nice to see what was going on without having to turn down to the prompter on your seat. so from a pure comfort level, it worked. and it was funny. i laughed out loud close to a dozen times (if not more) which isn't really something i do at the opera. old people laugh at the corny funny parts during the marriage of figaro or whatnot. i do not. but i was so tickled...i feel like that's wholly inadequate a word to describe it, but i felt the strangest sort of joy while watching what was a funny opera about a serious story. i know kentridge's work, so i excpected some of the darkness but it was the light that caught me by surprise. two things distracted me: paulo szot reminded me so much of john hamm. like, several times i thought "john hamm is doing awesome in the opera!" and also, i felt some of the singing was weak. not off, but just not strong enough. but seth said he felt the same way from the orchestra but that the sound was better above. and it always is, so i shouldn't be surprised. but in short: AMAZING. really really. strong acting from the singers was a welcome addition and valery conducting shoshtakovich...it was almost overwhealming. took you just to the point before orgasm. the denouement was silly too. then it ended and the typical rush of natty old people who think their abbreviated trip home is more important than showing your appreciation for the performance they just saw. i saw sufjan's row moving (how'd he get all the natty old folks?!) but the dead man next to me and the old couple on my other side were squatters. the "wait until everyone leaves and we'll carry on out at our own pace" kind of people. FOILED AGAIN. just reminds me to stick to the newer productions (not tosca) because i've seen everything else a hundred times. i've got tickets for renee doing that rossini opera that i can't think of the name of. but it's been years since i've seen her in anything i liked (probably since alcina which was, like, a decade ago).
marina abramovic: i'd just seen hers and tim burton's and kentridge's exhibits at MoMA. she sat at a table, completely motionless. and she does it all day. and passersby can come sit down and join her. i'd assume there are rules about not talking or whatnot but i'm upset now i didn't try. she's just totally fascinating. and also looks DAMN good for her age. i'd just want to beg her to know what she uses on her face at the very least. but the other stuff she's done, traumatizes me though i've never seen it in person. rhythym 0, 1974: sounds horrific and since i've read about it i've thought about it several times. gone over in my head, psychologically what i'd have done had i been there. knowing i'd have been one of those people protecting her, yelling at anyone who wanted to show their masochist tendencies. i want to look into the eyes of a woman who has suffered like this, for the sake of art. to see the kind of person who loses their body to art the way she does.
i'm headed home this weekend to take care of a small baby. she's just hit 5 pounds so she's doing great and eating enough. she is still pretty fussy at night but kate and ant have been taking turns doing night feedings. i'm trying to decide what to pack for a trip that will be almost all cooking, cleaning, and getting spit up on. i mean, i guess i could take some gym clothes. but nothing cute. you can't let cute clothes near babies.
i got my jacket back from the cuban who realizes now that i really was only reaching out to him so i could get back what he snagged from my closet. so there's been some separation anxiety in the form of many calls and texts from him but his english is, well, not awesome and i think phone conversations might get a bit tedious so i never answer.
the weekend was a whirlwind. several birthday party festivities and a wedding shower (where they had momofuku ma peche catered banh mi and tofu sandwiches and also COMPOST COOKIES) tuned into a total debaucherous mess. wigs and kermit capes were worn. walk-offs were had. there is photographic evidence of me crawling around on colins bed like a tiger. and my spanks are showing underneath my dress and all, but i guess that's worse than a series of ass and va-jay-jay shots, no? and then a brunch the next day and more drinking at the beer garden at the standard. and i had to get up early the next morning for pilates. i've committed myself to 5 months of classes with the reformer and wouldn't you know that i just LOVE that machine-a-ma-jig? the reformer makes your body do all the right things without stressing out other parts of your body in the process. it's a bit odd to sometimes feel like you're working against gravity, these bands around your ankles pulling you up on to your shoulder blades, all nutty-looking but i'm really enjoying it. i'll go twice a week until all my coupons run out. i'm feeling taller and straighter already.
my schedule is still batty. random stuff every damn night. justy and i made it to the pent house of the new jean nouvel building which has 360 degree views of manhattan. i think it's on the market for a cool 16 million or somewhere around that. i cannot even begin to comprehend what kind of life that king of money gets you. crazy ass huge pent houses on the water in a celebrity architect designed building i guess? but DAMN. just completely nuts. cute bites courtesy of tipsy parson, who also hosted us as a group at the restaurant later. we were drunk on champagne so mac and cheese and hush puppies were EXACTLY what we needed.
the few friends who read this (one of whom, coughcolincough, fed me an elaborate lie just to get the url, something he could have gotten by googling me) i think find it easier to come here to see what i'm up to than to just communicate with me. it's weird. then they buy the things i've said i've bought or gone and done the things i'd said i'd done. i'd rather get text messages asking what i'm up to or invites out to find out what i'm doing; they know that i would be happy to chat about all of it IRL. instead they visit here several times a day even though i only update once a week at best and then i'll hear that it's been the subject of conversations when i'm not present. for ages i'd send links to college friends who'd be like, "oh, that's nice" without even clicking through. this has always been just a way for me to remember things that i've done. i think my life is pretty nifty and this serves to remind me of all the reasons why. then random readers from across the country started using it as a NYC guide of sorts. i just never figured my friends would use it for the same thing. ODD.
from a waitress at one of my "regular" places when it started to get busy with people other than myself, "everything cool gets ruined." it's true.
many many excellent concerts coming up with all the indie kids who cross-pollinate so i'm sure there will be loads of surprise guest appearances that aren't ever really a surprise. crossing my fingers for sufjan who i just missed at the bell house. FOILED!