Monthly Archives: November 2008

Post-Turkey Wrap-Up (aka Leftovers)

I was reluctant to leave the city the on Wednesday night. My original intention was to head up to the Museum of Natural History after work, grab a drink with friends, watch the balloons inflate and head back downtown to a party in my ‘hood with another friend and her six sisters. Unfortunately, come 9pm, I was still in Brooklyn, at work, plans foiled and just gunning to make it to the last ferry out of town. After finally home-holidaysheading out the office door at 9:30, I took the G train, L train, taxi to 39th and WS Hwy, ferry to Weehawken, NJ, and finally car to suburban NY, where I made it home on time to catch the tail end of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 with my 12-year-old neighbor, who was hanging out at our house with my parents and sister — her mother would show up at our door Thanksgiving morning with coffee and bagels, thanking us for allowing her daughter a break from their household chaos.

As I think I’ve mentioned in past posts, we really don’t have any family to speak of (or that we speak to). All of my “relatives” are basically old family friends who were christened Aunts, Uncles, Godparents and cousins, save for my maternal grandmother. So, our actual Thanksgiving festivities included my Godmother, Uncle and cousins, our neighbors and their daughters and our neighbor’s sister, her husband, and son, 20 people in total (and three dogs!) and a surprise guest, another family friend’s son showed up for dessert and Karaoke after attending his father and Step-mother’s “lame” (his words) Thanksgiving dinner.

We were all mostly thankful for the fact we were having Thanksgiving together, not with crazy relatives, not alone, and definitely not without laughter and 20-plus years worth of stories (from hospital rooms to hotels, summer vacations to Sunday dinners) to prove that these people are not just our friends, they are our family.

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The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents

I’ve been seeing a lot of theater lately, but hadn’t really been impressed by anything. I wasn’t carrying a tune with me when I left a preview of the new Sondheim musical, ROADSHOW, nor was I leaving a theater still thinking about what I’d just seen (THE SEAGULL; A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS) … until tonight, when I saw The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents at The Wild Project.

A little synopsis from the producersAfter ten years on tranquillizers, Dora emerges with an adamant sexual hunger that pits her violently against a secret and deviant adult world…not your normal coming of age story; not your everyday sexual awakening.

The play is a beautiful meditation on our relationship — as both individuals and a society — to sexuality and the act of sex, no matter which adjective one uses to describe it. As viewed through the eyes of the protagonist, Dora, it makes you wonder, for a moment, why it’s such an uneasy subject matter between parent and child.

There were several elements of the story that are reminiscent of the 1996 film,Citizen Ruth, (minus the campiness). The play is more like peeling back layers of an onion and not just because of the moral, ethical and political questions that arise, but the sheer emotional levels you go through, as if each scene opens up a trap door to a new depth of feeling.

The production of Sexual Neuroses is elegantly directed by Kristijan Thor. The cast is hard-working and I adored them all, but the two biggest standouts, who make it seem effortless, are Grace Gummer and Max Lodge. Both these young actors have that innate, instinctual acting qualities which allow their power to quietly unfold through their characters. It makes me feel confident both will have big, bright futures ahead of them. And, I’m glad I’ll have the privilege of saying “I saw them when …”

P.S. Based on what I read about the play in NY Magazine, Miss Gummer never had the intention of being on stage, rather she was “doing costume design in Rome.” I hope after this experience she’ll reconsider, or at least pursue both.

But Alive

It came back, my creative fire. I don’t mean the fire that strikes when I sit down to write, that’s more like a spark. This is a feel-it-in-your-gut, burning-desire kind of creative fire. And, all it took was one little offer to work on a project that sounds both crazy and amazing, with six people I know and love, and about 50 more who I will soon meet.

For the next five-and-a-half months, the job will keep me up at night with worry, make me anxious during the day, have me triple-checking my work for any screw-ups and won’t let me have much of a life outside of work. But I will be miserably, sickeningly, happy and proud. Proud that I got back up, back in, and am starting over again, but not from the perspective of a 22-year-old who doesn’t know what to expect. This time, I am a wizened 27-year-old, with many character-building moments under my belt and a confidence I most definitely did not possess at 22. A friend once told me, “you know you’re doing the right thing with your life when you feel equal parts excited and scared to do it. If you don’t have that feeling, then it’s not worth doing.” I feel it, and I am sooo ready.

And I so totally feel all of these things:

btw, vid is seriously campy, so close your eyes while you listen or you can keep them open for a good laugh.