Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Open Letter to Fastrak

Dear Fastrak,

For the last 30 minutes, I've wondered around my apartment trying to articulate my disgust and disdain for you without sounding like an emotional basket-case I once was a few weeks ago. How exactly can I put into words how I feel about you without sounding completely irrational, irate and livid. I can't do it. So, I'm just going to say it.

Fastrak - you're evil. evil. evil evil. evil. evil.

I'm unclear as to why you purposely torture your customers. Is it masochistic pleasure you receive from refusing to fix transponders that are broken? Did you laugh to yourself when your customers get into car accidents that require rental cars that need a transponder you refuse to fix? I bet the real joy comes from sending your customer an EIGHT dollar toll fine she PAID in full that you CASHED, but not before you sent her to a collection agency.

You sent me to collections for EIGHT effing dollars. Do you hold up children at their lemonade stands too? Fastrak, you're a bastard.

Ok, let's not get into name calling - I apologize. I understand that I did have three different addresses in such a short period of time, but if you really processes all that paperwork to send me to collections for eight dollars, you can't bother to fix it after you got my check and cashed it. You act like I hadn't been a customer for FIVE years. We were practically best friends. I was visiting you everyday. I even considered having you in my wedding.

I'm serious fastrak. You have caused me a lot of grief since I've moved to New York. Is this what it's really about? I moved? Well, at this point, I'll never EVER come back to you. I'll just happily wait in line to pay my $12 dollars at the bridge toll because you suck. you suck. you suck.


P.S. The Law Enforcement place you sent me too sucks as well...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just Get Back on the Horse

If you ever feeling really terrible about yourself, NEVER GO TO AN AUDITION! It's just going to make you feel worse watching these young 18 -20 year old girls bouncing around at 6:00 in the @#@$#% morning. Whining about how their pink nail polish chipped on the way to the audition so they put their name on the list and then went home and slept for a few more hours while their punk @$$ friend stayed in the line texting frantically if something changes. Meanwhile, I've been sitting there since the dark hours of 5:30 in the morning patiently waiting by the door with 100 other girls names in front of my own, but these girls are nowhere to be seen. That's right ladies - I WOULD KILL FOR A FEW MORE HOURS OF SLEEP TOO. Alas, I don't really have the luxury to treck back and forth between Harlem and audition the way these other people seem to do. Plus, its really not fair to the people who have been waiting.

While I'd kill for a few more hours of sleep, I think I'd really kill for my equity card. That way I could get up early (8:00) get an audition slot. Stay there and sing or come back and sing. Everything seems to just go a bit smoother when you're actually equity. I need to get my card. I need to get my card. I'm actually not sure how to get it, but I think this is something that I want to be more active and focused on.

I haven't had the courage to go back and audition since my singing abomination, but I have been more aggressive about getting into class and singing with a teacher. I had a pop coaching and she's going to email me a list of rock/pop songs to put in my rep book. I'm looking forward to start working on that new material.

I really can't think about auditioning right now. I've been at it all day. I just need a break

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Singing Abomination

Ever want to die right on the spot?

You know, that lingering feeling that death is the only eminent thing that could possibly make whatever you're going through at that moment any better? I guess death doesn't have to be the only solution. I'm sure one could strip off all their cloths and run a muck turning over tables and waiting for some hot police officer to come in cuff 'em and get thrown in the back of the cop car. Then one might get tortured with "waffle facing" and what not - just not worth it. Go big or go home. Pray for death.

That moment just happened to me. It's definitely been a few hours later, but I can't seem to shake off the embarrassment.

I woke up in the early hour of noon knowing I had a voice lesson at 2pm in Harlem. I had a great lesson with my teacher who I used to sing with once a week in San Francisco and now I it's more like once a quarter because she can't travel to NYC that often. However, it was very great to see her and I think I really made some headway in singing. She re-energized me vocal exercises to get these new habits in my body. My tongue is caught in the back of my throat and so I get around my break-e, eflat, f -and sound all throaty, hooty, covered and dark. It's just really bad. Since I had a good lesson, I thought I would go down to "In the Heights" audition and see if I could crash the equity call.

It's 4pm now and I go in. I ask the equity moniter if any of the non-equity people are being seen. He said, "We saw about 90 and then she decided that she wants to see your headshot and resume and she'll decide if she wants to hear you." So I gave him mine, and he came out to tell me that she does want to see me and I'm next.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the show, it's a rock/pop show. I was supposed to sing 16 bars of a pop/rock song. I'M TERRIBLE AT POP

uuuuh... I'm in kaki's and a brown shirt. Usually people are wearing skirts, dresses, and looking like it's fashion show instead of an audition. I didn't have any makeup on and he says - honey you have such a natural beauty you really don't need any make up.

I went in and thanked them for seeing me.

I should have turned around and walked out because I went to he accompanist. Gave her my 8 bar cut and I couldn't hear my part. My notes. I was a complete disaster. I opened my mouth and the in the first two measures I sang EVERY NOTE WRONG. WRONG AND BADLY. So badly that I stopped singing and said I'm sorry I have to start over. Of course that's a big big no-no in the singing world.


I sang it wrong again.

I knew there was no going back and fixing it so I just pushed through the rest of the 8 bars. I looked at her and you should have seen her face. She said to me with her eyes - please please please please please stop singing. I'll do anything. Her hand was in her hair and I SWEAR I saw her pull on it.

I have to face it. I'm not good at pop. I really suck at pop and everytime I try to sing it - I fall flat. I wish I could have run across the table and pulled my headshot from her hot little hands so she wouldn't remember my name. I have got to figure out this style of singing otherwise I'm gonna die here in New York.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sirens Squeaks and Sobbing

My crazy is starting to reach new levels of crazy. I know that to some of you that doesn't seem possible, but I can assure you i am speaking the truth. Let's take last week as a prime example.

I spent a few days in Philly to visit a very close friend of mine, and I hadn't seen my sweetheart, Mike, since I left just wanted to clarify that I left on Monday morning and returned on Tuesday night. I had to directly go to work when I returned because I was closing the restaurant. Mike happened to have that night off, so, he was going to meet me at home and we'd go uptown together.

At ten I get a text from him that says- I can't make it by 11 tonight cause the tech guys are working on my computer and they have been working since 6pm.

One would have thought he said - I don't want anything to do with you Beverley so I purposely wasted my entire afternoon and called the tech guy at exactly 9pm just so I could purposely avoid hanging out with you because I had an emotinal break down in my brain.

I responded with - what?!? You don't want to see me tonight?!

Of course I do! I'll just meet you uptown.

No response.

11pm and I say I just got off work I'll talk to you later.

The text gave him a warranted unwelcome feeling so he called me at 12am after receiving 20 nasty where are you text messages and you purposely broke your computer to avoid seeing me text messages.

"I thought you didn't want me to come over?"
"Did I SAY that?"
"No, but... Ok, I'm coming over"
"no, don't bother now. You're only coming over cause I'm upset. If you wanted to come over you would have already been here by now."
insert unspoken curse words clearly directed towards me.
"I'm coming over. "

He arrives to find me weeping in my bed. I continued the uncontrollable sobbing for at least 30 minutes.

C-R-A-Z-Y. Oh, but the story gets better.

The next morning I awoke feeling hungover with embarrassment at my behavior from the night before. My roommate had already left for the day and Mike left for work at 2pm. I got ready for work and left the house at 4pm because I was closing again.

6pm I get a text from my roommate: I'm so sorry. I can't find the cat. I have been searching for 30 min and I can't find her anywhere. I am so sorry.

I was working so I didn't get the message until an hour later. Not knowing how to respond I texted Mike with "oh honey." He promptly responded with " I know. I'm on it." My roommate was apologizing so I thought maybe she left the door open but she hadn't. So, maybe Squeaks couldn't bare my crazy and jumped out the window.

Turns out my roommate called the bomb squad to come and find the cat. A friend from upstairs came down to search every corner of the house. Mike comes tearing down the road in his patrol car sirens blazing from the south Bronx. The friend found her just as Mike arrived on the scene.

She was trapped in my bottom dresser drawer.

Yup. I closed her in while I was getting ready for work. I think I'm getting close to check me in crazy. I swear it was an accident. Please don't call animal services. I love my cat and I had NO idea she was in there.

Mike told me later that he was worried if something had happened to her it would have been to much of a mental strain to my already wavering mental stability. I only have one more week of this crazy and I should return to normal. Well, as normal is obviously a loosely defined term.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Someone is Always Crazier.

Working in the restaurant business has lead to meeting the strangest type of characters. For instance tonight green suite actor man walks into the restaurant and he promptly sits at the bar. Luckily, I didn't have to serve him, but I got to hear his stories first hand from my friend - the bartender. He orders a drink and pulls his wad of 1 dollar bills crumpled up in his pocket and spends at least 10 minutes counting out 9 dollars. During this transaction, he asks her where she is from. Discovering her hometown once simply was not enough. In her return he asks her again and she politely reminds him that he already asked her. We then find out that he has short term memory problems and wants to know what film we last saw him in. Averting all interaction with crazy mccrazyson, we hang out at the other end of the bar. At some point I had to go into the kitchen to run food out to my tables. I walk by and he grumbles after me "how can she not recognize me. "


I knew I had to walk by him again and there was no way around it. This time he stopped me with a barking sound that I think resembled a hello. He mumbled at me and I couldn't understand so I awkwardly chuckled and ran away. The bartender then informed me that he was filming a movie today so his mumblings must have something to so with preserving his voice. Clearly, he over used it in the shoot this afternoon

My favorite type of crazy is the cheating sex couple that always seem to come in while I'm working.

This girl came in once at the beginning of my shift and told me that she was waiting for someone. The middle aged hunched over balding man came into the restaurant soon after. I'm a little unclear if this start to their evening was a staged get away from work followed by a staged entrance into the restaurant like no one there would notice they were sitting together. In fact, it was impossible to advert your eyes from this particular couple. From the start they sat super close to each other which is fine but after the third beer in the necking began. I'm not talking about a cute hi- honey -I -love -you -I'm -going -to -show -you- how-much-I- love- you. It's more like -the -disgusting- shoving -tongue- down- her- throat- which- I'm -sure- caused- drool- to -stream-down- her- face- I- wanna- throw -up -in- my -mouth- type of necking. I am not exaggerating when I say that at one point she was standing between his sitting legs and he was starting to caress her chest with his mouth at least the part of her chest that was showing in her low cut blouse. I refused to go over there and serve them because I was scared of what I'd really see if I went over there. I thought maybe if I didn't serve them they would leave. Every once in awhile, he would call out to me from across the room. He didn't want me over there just as much as I didn't want to go over there. I noticed that they both each wore wedding rings and they obviously weren't married to each other because any normal sensible couple would have spared the rest of the people in the joint and gone home to their house and played restaurant. There are plenty of hotels in new York and fat annies isn't one of them. When he finally asked for his check he asked me how much. I replied - for the food or the show? Ok fine. I didn't say that but I really really wanted to.

How do these people look at themselves in the mirror the next day? At the very least it makes for good entertainment. Next time I'll speak of the ones who try and hit on the waitress.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Two Trains and a Cab Drive Later...

Living in Harlem and heading to the lower East Side to hang out proves to be difficult with every attempt. Sunday night was no exception and being a weekend made the trip even more difficult. First of all, the only trains that cross from the west to the east side are the blue line E, the M60(bus) and the grey S (shuttle between 42nd Times Square to 42nd Grand Central Station - an obviously comfortable non crowded route serving breakfast with each trip ) or the dreaded phantom L train that never seems to arrive. The electronic board flashes "Brooklyn bound leaving in 0 min" for at least 15 minutes before the train even arrives. Thus, the treck to the lower East side begins and ends with one million transfers. The value of the location is often determined by the length of the jounrney traveled to get there.

My roommate recently returned from working at a kids theater summer camp in Lennox, MA. In her return, she brought new and exciting friends who happen to live on the East Side. In an effort to get to know the recently planted frineds, I attepted the journey to enjoy the east side. With a successful arrival, I embraced the laugh fest evening over two cocktails and great company. However, the 12:30am departure ruined the evening because it took 10 years of my life just to get home especially with the extra side of crazy the subway brought to my journey.

My roomate and I waitred for teh F train for literally 45 min. In that time we had crazy #1 listen to our conversation about travel and promptly interupted us to answer my mind musings I was sharing with my friend. He replied, "Get off at West 4th Street" with such a loud authority it was tough to ignore his presence. Thus a much desired silence from our unwanted conversationalist came only when we stopped talking to each other which made the wait for our train last an eternity. 50 min later we arrived at West 4th street to wait for the A train to get uptown. My roommate just haaaaad to remind me that we had gone about 3 blocks and a few avenues that we could have probably walked if we put any thought into our trip home. Here we met crazy #2 who had her two young children in toe at 1:30am on a Sunday evening. In the running for mother of the year, obviously. She asked three times how to get to grand central station from where we were located. She hovered over the gentleman sitting next to me admiring his piercings managing to barley catch her seven year old from putting a nacho in her mouth that had touch the lip of the trash can next to the cracked out toothless homeless gentleman visibly salivating over the plump seven year old herself or the disgusting mangled plate of what could only be nachos she just threw away.

The A train finally arrived and we met crazy person #3. Much like crazy #1, he had to join in our conversation. He responded to my roommates question of - "do you think Julie wants her coffe table back when she moves?" Crazy #3 launched into a detailed desercription of an armour we could have if we were interested. Our stop could not arrive fast enough.

Finally we see the 100's and our train stops at 103. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...... Really? We're really going to stall out between stops here? Yes, that's exactly what were are going to do. Apparently, there were workers on the track but I only discovered that when one of them either got clipped by the subway or banged on the window that I happened to be sitting by. Tattoo face laughed hard at my visible jump and my fatigue vanished in two seconds with a yelp that accompanied my jump.

2am arrived and we finally came above ground. Still 5 stops away from our stop, I put my friend in a cab to finish the treck uptown considering our neighbor hood is increasingly unsafe with muggings in our building, drug deals on our stoop, random cat calls to send chills and a broken lock on my door from months past. This is why I convinced my sweetheart to move to the west side since I'd rather pull out my eyelashes then head to the east side.

I then headed over to my sweetheart's place after the dreaded public transport trip contemplating whether or not saving the money for a cab was really worth it.

Sometimes you have to love New York.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crazy is Overwhelming.

My current boss once told me (in reference to serving tables) - just say it and then let it go. I'm going to apply the same theory here.

I recently re-read my blog again and noticed I write mostly when I'm sad or struggling. I made a choice to try and avoid the musings of a super sad heart, and while I'd like to think that's the reason I have avoided writing the past difficult 7 months, the truth is I've avoided writing because I don't want to write about how unsuccessful, lonely and depressed I've felt here in New York.

I wanted to define the way I use the word "lonely" I have met amazing people and spent great time with people out here in NYC. People who will remain part of my life in future years including my new best friend and partner in whom I find most of my NYC joy. I just miss my CA friends so much. I don't even miss my "life" in SF. While I do love the location, the constant absence of my friends leaves a hole in my heart that can't be filled and is eating me alive right now. I often find myself thinking and wishing their presence remained in my daily life. In truth, I didn't anticipate the absence to slowly become as destructive as it has the past few months. It's worse because I hardly talk to any of them. Not as much as I thought it would and it's killing me. Ok, well, it's torturing me.

I've also gained a lot of weight. A noticeable amount of weight. Enough weight that hardly any of my cloths fit including the cloths that I wore when I didn't feel in the best shape. Enough weight that has made me divert my eyes when I catch glimpses of myself in the mirror or see pictures of myself. I'm in no shape good for my body and I'm mad at myself for getting to this point. My age and drop in metabolism has made it much more difficult to lose unwanted weight as it has in the past. This is destroying my self-esteem and ruining my motivation. So, I can't bring my "lazy" self to work out and I get so mad at myself for it so I continue to eat crappy. A vicious cycle.

Then there is performing. I've sung the same song for the past 7 months. It's obviously not working, so, naturally I should learn more material. Yet, I have noway to work it that will comfort my perfectionistic mind. So, I'm continuously singing the same unperfect song. Another viscous cycle.

A contributing factor to my increasing misery is my brand of hormone pill. I'm on a different brand which I started 8 months ago and I haven't been able to adjust yet. I'm feeling extremes of emotions and I can't control my reactions even while I know it's happening and I know that I'm over reacting.

So, I'm basically caught in two vicious cycles while being an "emotional grab bag." I'm crazy. It's the bottom line. Going crazy slowly at least. I have moments of clarity and I fight to sustain my sanity but often fail miserably. My sweetheart has been amazing with his patience from God, but I know my time is ticking and I will eventually wear on him. There can only be so many melt downs in the kitchen, screaming fits in the living room and sobbing fests while shooting a nerf gun at the wall.

What am I going to do? Embrace this moment of clarity, face this haunting dark crazy and remind myself of all the joy life and New York has brought me. I found my sweetheart - a blessing. I found a job in a tough economy that I didn't have much experience in and it's perfect for auditioning. Another blessing. I am experiencing living more than two hours away from where I was raised. I'm also going to actively search for a creative outlet to sustain me while I continue to audition. Most importantly, I'm going to change my hormone, eat better and work out. Hopefully, those drastic changes will drastically change my mood and return my motivation.