Insight :: Celebrate Hanukkah with Latkes from Kutsher’s Tribeca :: Gotham Magazine
(Source: kabinett, via whyyourestillsmiling)
And when the dawn at length had realized itself
And turned with a sense of nausea, to see what it had stirred:
The eyes and feet of men -
I fumbled to the window to experience the world
And to hear my Madness singing, sitting on the kerbstone
[A blind old drunken man who sings and mutters,
With broken boot heels stained in many gutters]
And as he sang the world began to fall apart… — Extract from Prufrock’s Pervigilium by T. S. Eliot, a section of the hand-written draft of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock which was later removed. (via bookoflead)
Wired Pays Tribute To Steve Jobs
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. — Ernest Hemingway (via theladydaydream)
If you going to do beach rustic-this is good
On Hedonism, Anne Carson
“love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is more mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky”
— e. e. cummings
When the shit hits the fan and blows back into our fully beat faces, designer clothing, just stepped-out-of-the-salon hair, nails and teeth:
A) OPRAH: EATS
B) HEMINGWAY: DRANK
C) LOHAN: SNORTS
D) BELUSHI: All of the above
And I, my astute readers (cricket, cricket): Exercise! Sounds pretty healthy, huh? I’m better than those slouches, right? Well, maybe not!
Allow me to catch everyone up. Since my introductory essay (http://bit.ly/cu08SG) which explained an accident involving me, a bicycle, and a curb (yeah, I live on the edge), I received the diagnosis of a total ACL rupture, torn meniscus, as well as a few grade 1 knee sprains and some little ole’ bone contusions. Oh, and I’m having surgery. Today! Yay!
As awful as that report sounds, I’m in no physical pain and have been bopping around town without a hitch. Subway stairs pose no problem; blinking crosswalks are my bitch; I’m even back to contending with crotchety old Jews at Zabar’s on its busiest of days (donning kneepads, but for different reasons, another blog post entirely). However, and to my utmost dismay, (dramatic) I cannot exercise!
For years I’ve equated exercise with therapy. From the most mundane to crucial of life’s challenges, exercise has been my solace, my safe haven. This idea of refugee may seem a bit odd considering the type of physical activity of which I engage. I don’t jog. Instead, I run at Kenyan-like speeds (I’m not black; I don’t even tan) for as long as I’m physically capable. I don’t involve myself in any of that kumbaya-circle-jerky type of yoga either. I practice Bikram Yoga, a series of 26 postures executed in a room heated to approx 105 degrees. Bikram Choudhury himself refers to his class as the “torture chamber” he says, “we endure 90 minutes of hell, to avoid 90 years of it” (He has not met my family, but again, ‘nother blog post). While these two forms of exercise may seem like polar opposites, for me their effects and results are essentially the same.
During that intense 8+ mile run or 90 minute class life is simple. My only focus is to either stay on my feet and run, or stay in the heat and breathe. That’s it! The outside world does not exist. No loved ones dying, no relationships gone awry, no careers in the shitter; all is simplified. Then immediately upon completion of my workout, a frenzied sense of euphoria sets in. This surge feels drug induced (um, so I’ve heard). I am high on endorphines and don’t want to come down. Naturally (more like, unnaturally), I race to yoga soon after a long run, or indulge in back-to-back Bikram classes. (Kids, don’t try this at home) The heightened sense of elation continues. I am untouchable, a force to be reckoned with.
Since the accident occurred one month ago my workouts have been severely compromised and on some days non-existent (Macaulay Culkin “Home Alone” face, And go!). This downtime causes me anxiety, but its also given me the opportunity to reflect. I’m coming to grips with the notion that at some point exercise shifted from something therapeutic, to more of a coping mechanism and escape. Instead of providing release, exercise has been my shield. Now the armory is off, revealing a gentler more vulnerable Charly. My strength and resiliency, while still prevalent, does not define me. This Charly feels. This Charly cries. This simple confession makes me uneasy. Imagine how I felt when I shed tears in front of another person, a dude for that matter.
All in all, I am trying to deal with this situation without my go-to coping mechanism. Thus, the dilemma and the drama. But with that comes the self-discovery and the eventual birth of new healthier means of coping. My dad just called to say he’s on the LIE en route to my apartment. Its 5:15am. I’m to be at the hospital at 6am. Um, I’ll catch ya on the flip side? Can someone please explain to me what that really means? Thanks. Wish me luck!
Despite being somewhat prolific, I don’t considered myself a “writer” by any stretch of the imagination. Correction: I don’t consider myself a GOOD writer by any stretch of the imagination. I write for myself, not for other’s to scrutinize or perhaps, enjoy. My journal would need some serious decoding; I make endless lists; I write nonsensical two person scenes with a Harold Pinter-esque swagger, but not nearly as well. Words turn me on; the thesaurus makes me wet, but linking them together with flow and cohesiveness is not one of my natural talents.
However, I do fashion myself as a creative, artistic person who needs an outlet more frequently than not. In terms of words, I excel with ones other than my own. I possess the uncanny ability to interpret and enliven text (I’m also really modest). The analysis of a scene and/or song brings me about as much pleasure as the actual performance of it (I’m involved in theater, google me!). I love to edit. I love to simplify. I love calling bullshit on arrogant writers who infuse their text with superfluous words for the sake of sounding smart. I was/am the master of this crime, and I’d like to bitchslap all the English teachers who praised me for it.
I feel similarly with regards to my passion: the theater, particularly Musicals (Exit any straight dudes reading). I’ve tried my hand at playwriting/librettist, directing and choreographing with little success. My capabilities are not as creator, but as one who evaluates and critiques creations not my own (There, I said it). I want to use my understanding of dramatic structure and character development to enrich the art, instead of commenting (often bitterly) on it.
Within the past 3 years or so, several producers, production creatives (i.e. directors/choreographers/music directors) and performers have invited me to readings and workshops eager for my feedback. Knowing this, I take notes and expect a discussion over ”coffee” (Cocktails). This is something I really enjoy. I get to see theater (for free) AND figure out ways of improving it. Which leads me to an idea. Ah-Ha Moment #1: Why not hire me, or a group of me’s (frightening) to help develop and improve upon a production. Kind of like a consultant…for a show… a… wait for it…”Show Consultant” or even better, “Production Consultant” (has a more professional ring to it, eh?).
(Cue Theme song. Enter from Stage Right)
Alec Trebek: “The term used for person, or group of people, hired to analyze a piece of theater in various stages of development and give constructive advice on how to enhance it.
Ken Jennings: “What is: Production Consultant.”
Alec Trebek: “Corrrrrrrrect!”
Think about it! Shows usually take an average of six years from pen to stage. That’s a long-ass time! Frequently, many of the creatives are involved from very early on in a production’s inception. They lose a sense of objectivity. Furthermore, the intensity and repetition of the rehearsal process will continue to cloud one’s ability to envision the piece as an audience member for the very first time. Rehearsals are consuming. Its like living in a bubble, and its nearly impossible to see past said bubble. An outside eye, unattached to the day-to-day operations of development is a necessity.
Last night for example, I saw “The Irish Curse” at the Soho Playhouse. The show has been boppin’ around for years. I first caught wind of it in ‘05 when it played the Fringe Festival. It ran at the Edinburgh Fest, moved around Europe and ultimately came back to downtown Manhattan this March. While entertaining, “The Irish Curse” is flawed. To me, these problems seemed so blatant, and more importantly, repairable. To someone involved, maybe not. The production went on way too long only to affirm its lack of depth. Also, the quantity and rate at which jokes (often one-liners) came darting at us, lessened its comicality and rarely served the plot. Yeah we all love dick jokes; I get it, but as with most comedy, less is often more (even IF we’re talking about cocks!). For the sake of not turning this into a review of “The Irish Curse,” I will shut up now. Cue Segue.
Speaking of turning this into something else, what the fuck just happened? I slumped onto my couch with intentions to elaborate on why I suck as a writer and how writing for a greater audience makes me feel rather exposed. However, I ended up creating a new profession WITH its own Jeopardy question! Can I get a what-what?! How do you like them bananas? Heh, I’m starting to dig this blogging shit.
Names I wanted for my tumblr.com but were already in use:
Enter “Tumbag,” I’m a GENIUS!
After getting “the rollover” from the guy I’ve been schtooping due to a discussion about my “unattractive” addiction to vigorous exercise, I decided to take the day off from my usual workout regimen. No 10 mile run at 8 mi/hr, no back-to-back Bikram Yoga classes, no Stairmaster, just a leisurely bike ride throughout Manhattan followed by some bevies in the park, and if I’m lucky, Shake Shack!
We (meaning, said schtooper and I) cruised the Westside Bike Path, down into Chelsea, the West Village, east to Alphabet city, then back up to the Upper East Side without a hitch. As we approached the 65th street traverse, I made the what-I-thought was wise decision to ride on the sidewalk as opposed to the street. I figured contending with pedestrians was far safer than moving vehicles (even in New York City). Unfortunately, I made this decision in a nanosecond only to violently collide with the curb. (Note to self: hop a curb head-on, not at an angle.) I fell directly on my right knee (the good, I-can-finally-lockout-in-standing-bow knee) with the bicycle on top of me. Sure, there was blood, scratches, bruising, but more concerning was the feeling of pressure building in that fragile joint.
Naturally, I ignored the pain, put on a “happy-smiling face,” and continued riding. Who wants to ruin a lovely day? Who wants to deny anyone time with friends? Who wants to be the “wah-wah” on a Friday night. Furthermore, I wanted Shake Shack for fuck sake!
After a quality hang on the great lawn, we began our journey back to the apartment to clean up. During this 9 block excursion battling horrendous traffic, tourists from “go-back-to-where-you-came-from” USA and drunken queens on 9th Ave, I not only felt, but heard a snap in my knee that nearly knocked me to the ground. (I’m exaggerating a bit, but it DID suck). Still, my body has yet to fail me. I run countless miles with ease. I perform advanced yoga postures with grace and agility. I am strong, flexible, resilient. I am bull!
However, I succumbed to the possibility of a watered down workout the following day. I mean, I took a nasty tumble; I’m a sensible person. Maybe a mere 5 miles or just a single Bikram class. But when I woke up at 5am that morning in excruciating pain, reality slowly started to loom.
Fast Forward to 3 days later. No physical activity whatsoever. I just returned from the Orthopedic surgeon who seems confident I tore my ACL without even seeing an MRI. For me, this is the worst news possible. Call me vain, insensitive, dramatic, I will be the first to agree, but for someone who is defined by her activeness; this is a catastrofuck!
I am not talking solely in terms of the physical realm when I say I’m an active (i.e. nut-so) person. This also extends into the work and social spheres. I schedule meetings, dinners, drinks, shows, parties, etc with little-to-no time in between. I create errands and tasks I must accomplish even when there’s no need. If I have a free moment, I run to class or annihilate a treadmill. My backpack is filled with an amalgam of various sports bras, shorts, socks, sneakers and hair ties in case I free up. When I wake, I’m out the door in less than 30 minutes only to arrive in the AM the next day (usually its still dark). This is when I begin replying to emails, make calls and catch up on the day’s events. Subsequently, I will reach for a play or book I’m thinking about adapting into a musical, stress and ultimately pass out.
I don’t know how to relax. I RARELY sit alone and veg in front of the tube. I’ve never seen an episode Lost (gasp); I have no idea how to work the DVR; I can barely figure out the remote. But why? Why am I denying myself any downtime? Am I hiding from myself? My thoughts? The ironic thing is that I take great pride on this need for “me time.” In fact, many relationships have suffered as a result. But am I ever really alone? Or just avoiding an argument? It’s easier to say “I need Charly time,” than reveal my plans to take a second yoga class, right? Am I protecting his/her feelings or afraid of what others will think? And while this awful paragraph seems to be one of inquisition and truth. I’ve even wondered if the excessive exercise cause me to be more prone to injury.
So, here I am. Sitting on the couch, eating popcorn and watching some shit-show on Bravo TV. I am entering new territory. I am scared. I am vunerable. I am starting a blog. Welcome, bitches! Welcome to what I perceive as hell, but will soon turn into a positive experience of self-discovery and personal growth.