New York

On New York, The Audies, And My General Awkwardness

Well, my great New York Adventure has come to a close. I didn’t take my computer this time and obsess over blogging. I figured by going to a conference on audiobooks (APAC) and then the Audie Awards, I’d have plenty enough to obsess about. And I was right! The Audies, at the New York Historical Society

THE CONFERENCE

I was nominated for a shiny award for my narration of “Great on the Job” by Jodi Glickman, a great book that gives you pointers on how to succeed in business…which is funny because I suck at business AND with people. Case in point: at the conference, there were all these narrators, talking to each other in their deep, resonant voices. In my head, I walked over to them and said in a sultry voice “Hey, everyone, I’m Tanya Eby. Let’s be friends.” In reality, I hung out in the corner, with a slightly psychotic smile on my face, thinking, I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. At least I hope I was thinking it, and not muttering it out loud. Sheesh.

Then there was this speed-dating session where I got to meet casting agents from Random House, Simon and Schuster, etc, and I had two minutes to sell myself. Near the end I was getting pretty good at it. Until…well…here’s the dialogue:

ME: I’m really versatile and can narrate fiction, nonfiction, young adult, even erotica.

MAN: Well, there’s not too much Christian erotica out there.

ME: Errr…

MAN: Yeah. We’re a Christian publisher.

ME: Ah. Probably should’ve done more research. (nervous maniacal giggle.)

I’ve read some Amish romances. I liked those. There were, uh, lots of, uh, Snickerdoodles in them. And, like, God.

But besides that, it went pretty well.

Then I went to a party for Tantor where I met people I’ve been recording for. (They have a sale for audiobook month. Check them out HERE.) I had a big ol’ gin&tonic and then stood around awkwardly while narrators and publishers laughed and did secret handshakes and synchronized swimming. Maybe one day, I’ll learn the moves and be IN the circle.

I lasted through one drink and then made my exit home to the hotel to wait for Kealoha to get back from his David Byrne show.

THEN THE AUDIES

Me, looking naturally awkward

On the day of the Audies, I was pretty much a nervous wreck. I found a random Korean lady to do my hair and she was really nice. At least I think she was nice. We didn’t understand each other very well.

I was too nervous to eat, so my dress fit really well. I got all gussied up, and Kealoha gave me his arm (it was still attached to his body, and clad in a groovy smoking jacket) and we were off. Immediately, he got me another drink and I put on my medal and managed to talk not-too-awkwardly to narrators, narrator-hopefuls, publishers, and the waitress who carried teeny tiny madeleines topped with caviar. About two dozen people came up to us to shake Kealoha’s hand (again, attached to his body) and compliment him on his jacket. I felt famous. I mean, I did buy him the jacket for Christmas.

The super-handsome Kealoha, and his swinging jacket.

We joined the Brilliance crew in the theater, and five minutes later, my category was announced, and my mug shot flashed across the screen with the other five men in my category. I didn’t win. But I could finally relax. Being nominated was pretty cool though.

And as I sat back in the theater, watching the Lemony Snicket dude present awards and tell insider audiobook jokes that I actually understood, I sorta felt like when the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes bigger. Or I felt stoned. Whatever. I felt warm and happy and…well…part of something.

I’ve been working really hard to succeed in this business, and I feel like I am, awkwardness and all.

Another day in the city, and a stressful plane ride home where I read “World War Z” (so good!) and now I’m back home with my kiddos, narrating, got new headshots, and a stack of veggies in the fridge I need to cook.

All is well.

Eduardo. The Cabbie Of Love

After The Scariest Cab Ride EVER, I admit I was afraid to leave New York. But as soon as Eduardo pulled up to the Sheraton, I knew everything was going to be fine. As soon as the door closed he said: “Ah, beautiful lady, today your lucky day. I will be your cabbie. I will take care of you.” I believed him because he said I was beautiful and he had a Spanish accent.

Here then, are some of the comments Eduardo made, while weaving in and out of traffic:

 

 

EDUARDO: I believe in the positive energy, you know?

ME: Ah. Okay.

EDUARDO: You married or single?

ME: (slight awkward pause wondering why he was asking) Married. Yep. Happily married. (I was afraid he was going to try to ‘romance’ me into going somewhere with him.)

EDUARDO: What music you listen to?

ME: What do you mean?

EDUARDO: What music? You know? At the wedding?

ME: Uhhh… (How could I explain Kealoha’s music interests? Lounge music, polka, and Elvis?) I don’t remember. We had mai tais and mojitos. I think there was singing.

EDUARDO: Ha! Well? What music makes you romantic? Romantic is good, positive energy.

ME: Uh? Sinatra?

EDUARDO: Boom! Bam! Here you go!

 

Suddenly, Sinatra singing “My Kind Of Town” filled the cab. Eduardo giggled.

 

EDUARDO: Where you from, beautiful lady?

ME: Michigan.

EDUARDO: Ah! Big lake there! Big water! Not Chicago though. I don’t have a song about Michigan.

ME: It’s okay. This is good.

EDUARDO: It’s lucky day for you, lady.

 

We drove for a while and listened to Sinatra croon.

After that, Eduardo continued:

 

EDUARDO: I like everything. Everything is good. I like music. I understand. Music makes everything better so you don’t sit in cab all mad, yes? You relax. You enjoy. What song you want next? Pick anything! Anything at all! But not hip hop or rap or R&B. That not good energy.

ME: Why don’t you pick something? I’m kinda tired.

EDUARDO: I will pick something romantic for you. I will pick something for you that tells you who I am. It is beautiful. Bunky-punky-bomonkey! Here you go:

 

Then he played something that was very late 70s or early 80s something. Something you’d hear on EZ LITE 100 or something. I could just see the video with a guy with a mullet staring out into the darkness, his mullet ruffling in the breeze, and the camera panning to a dude in skinny suspenders playing a saxophone. I mean, it was BAD. There was one lyric I tried to remember so I could look up the song. “Another Lonely Night In New York”.

 

EDUARDO: You know who that is? It’s that dead guy.

ME: Oh?

EDUARDO: Yeah! Gibb! Robin Gibb! So beautiful.

 

This is when the cab ride became surreal. Eduardo then played for me some ‘beautiful, romantic music’ that included “The Lady In Red” and some more really lite music that had synthesizers and videos that surely had random pictures in soft focus of like a lion walking toward the viewer, or a room with a black and white checkered floor. Then we pulled up to the airport. Eduardo and I said our goodbyes. He said the plane ride might be a little choppy, but I would be fine. I believed him, because when Eduardo tells you something, you just listen.

 

To share his magic, here then, is Eduardo’s favorite song. Enjoy:

Scariest Cab Ride Ever

Rae and I got gussied up for dinner. She wore a slinky sundress where men actually stopped her on the street to say: “You look FINE”. One guy ran two blocks calling after her “Summer! Summer!” I thought he was being poetic, but he actually thought she was someone named Summer. I was wearing a blue dress where women on the street stopped to ask me if I could carry large baskets propped on my hips. It just wasn’t fair.

Rae, needless to say, hailed the cabs for us. One guy saw her lifting her slinky arm and he pulled over so fast, flames erupted from the tire’s wheels. That should have been a sign.

 

Rae said: “We’re going to 6th Avenue and Cornelia stree…” before she even finished the sentence, the cab driver took off, pushing Rae and me back into our seat with the sheer velocity. You know those car chases in movies where a cab is weaving in and out of traffic, nearly hits people, sends fruit carts flying? Well that was us. In between trying to breathe and passing out from fear, I checked the speedometer. He was driving 70mph IN MANHATTAN RUSH HOUR.

Rachel tried to talk me through the experience, the way a dentist asks you questions you can’t really answer because there’s an enormous shot in your mouth. I started laughing uncontrollably when he nearly took out a rickshaw.

“Can’t. Breathe.” I said.

“You want to hold hands?” Rae asked.

“Okay.”

Another five minutes of our cabbie trying to outrun a demon and I’d had enough. We came to a stop and I just couldn’t contain it and said “YOU ARE SCARING THE CRAP OUT OF ME!!!” Then I started laughing. Rae started laughing. The cab driver started laughing. “I mean, I don’t want to offend you, you’re clearly a really good driver, but are you TRYING to give me a heart attack? When is this going to be over?”

The cab driver said (in an actual New York accent which I haven’t heard in forever) “I’m sorry. We’re all okay here. Everything is okay.”

“Do you play video games?” I asked, because talking made the terror easier to bear.

“Only game I ever played was Donkey Kong.”

“Ah. Okay,” I said, and then: “So it’s just a natural talent for driving like a maniac, and not created by too many hours of Grand Theft Auto.” I didn’t say that last part actually, but I wanted to.

The cabbie gently pulled over and came to a stop. He smiled and I think shot us a salute once we got out of the car, but it was hard to see because of all the flames.

Scariest experience ever.

 

And it was also a tiny bit thrilling.

First Day In New York And I Don't Have Any Blisters

And now, coming to you straight from the hotel lobby of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square where weird Zen music is burbling from seventy speakers…I bring you…(drumroll) My Blog!!!

I really wish you could hear this music. There are harps and water sounds, a little bass, and what sounds like auto-tuned farting. Any minute a cherub is going to float by. It just isn’t my thing.

So. Okay.

My flight left yesterday at 6AM, so poor Kealoha drove me to the airport a little after 4AM. That’s fucking early. I was nervous and anxious and then I saw the new Time Magazine cover. Now I know Time is trying to be all edgy and whatnot and get you to buy their magazine, BUT THIS IS NOT THE PICTURE YOU WANT TO SEE WHEN YOU’RE AFRAID OF FLYING AND ABOUT TO GET ON A PLANE:

 

Sorry for shouting. But seriously. I hate your face, Time Magazine.

I took a Valium. (Thank you unused-portion of medicine from my root canal. I love you, Root Canal. )

Took a leisurely cab ride into the city and I felt relaxed and calm. Usually when I come to New York, I’m all freaking out and “I’m in New York! Look at the building! Look at all the people! I like puppies!” This time I was laid back and real coolio-man. Just like an old-time beatnik. Of course, I was wearing all black and a beret, so that helped.

Walked around the Upper West side for a while, and found my favorite ‘secret spot’ which me and about 1.5 million other people know about it. Ate a salad. Relaxed.

My friend Rae joined me around 2 and we were off for wine, food and conversation.

There’s a lot I can and will say about this, but I don’t want this to be the longest blog ever, so I’ll write another blog later. In short, it’s good to be in the city, good to have some time here on my own, even better to have some time with my two closest, oldest friends. There’s something intensely refreshing about spending time with people who know you so well they can say: “You know Tanya is going to crash around 9, so let’s go out now before we lose her.” And there’s no judgment there.

I made it until 11:30 and then Kim and Rae tucked me in and went off to Times Square without me. They’re upstairs sleeping now.

Today, we’re off to do whatever we want. We have no plans, except to hopefully see “Ghost”.

Later I’ll blog about what happened with Rae and I last night. It involved the Scariest Cab Ride ever, and pasta so good that I actually moaned a little bit.

And I’ll post some actual pictures once I find the cord to my camera. It’s lost in the black abyss of my luggage.

Tumbling 9/11--A million little details

August 8, 2011 (38 yrs. old)

It’s weird when you look back on your life and see how a million tiny decisions lead up to something that feels like fate. Maybe it even IS fate. I don’t know.  I probably would never have moved to New York if all of these things didn’t happen. So part of me thinks I was slowly preparing for it, even though I wasn't aware of that.

2000 (28 yrs. old)

1) I had a gorgeous boyfriend who was a partial inspiration for Ronny the Rocker in “Easy Does It”. He was fun, hot, and we didn’t have a whole lot in common. I probably could’ve happily dated him for some time, but after a few months, I broke up with him. It didn’t feel real to me. It felt like we were pretending at being in love, and as fun as that was, it didn’t leave me feeling very fulfilled. I broke up with him. Or he broke up with me. Basically, we shook hands, said “That was fun” and parted ways. I wanted something “More”.

2) I thought I had that something “More” with a guy I’ll just call M. I’d known him for two years and was seriously head-over-heels in love with him, even though I knew he only saw me as a friend. (He’s the inspiration for “Blunder Woman”.) Because of this unhealthy fixation on him, I couldn’t seem to move forward. No other guy compared.

It was Christmas time and we met at a coffee shop to exchange gifts. The snow fell outside in great big flakes, that soft snow that happens in movies where the guy kisses the girl outside. I thought this could happen. I made sure I looked cute in my big scarf and red peacoat.

I gave him a quilt I hand-quilted. It took me weeks and as I quilted I made little wishes for him, wishes for his happiness, for love, for health. (I blush to think of this now.) He liked the quilt, said thanks, and then gave me a book he found in his parents’ basement. He didn’t read it or know anything about it, just, well, it looked old. And then he told me he’d met and proposed to a woman he met just a few weeks before. I said “That’s great!” stumbled out into the snow and never felt as cold as I did on that night.

Later I found out that, like me, he had three or four other ‘very close female friends’, all of us pining for him to love us. All of us thinking we were special. It broke my heart. And worse than that, I was embarrassed to have fallen in love and had a relationship that primarily existed in my head.

 2001, (27 yrs. old)

3) In January, I was waitressing at The Sierra Room. It was fine dining with lush velvet curtains, fusion cuisine. I started really learning about food and wine there. In between shifts, I acted in a lot of shows, got together with friends, partied, and came home most nights tipsy and lonely. I lived in a two bedroom apartment in a not-so-good area of town and I was beyond broke. A waiter at the restaurant (Tommy) needed a roommate. We had good chemistry, softly flirtatious, but nothing serious. He said I could move in with him. I sold all my furniture for extra cash since he had a furnished room. I packed my three suitcases, and my computer, and moved into the attic of his very cool apartment. He was training to be a chef, and I started to realize that I was a foodie in the making.

The main thing here is that I sold everything. I was now boyfriend-less, without furniture, and heartbroken. The perfect storm for a writer. The perfect storm for change.

4) In the spring, a friend of mine needed help making a short film. We tooled around Northern Michigan and tried to film this short piece. I was in charge of locations and script. We never finished the piece…it was way harder than I thought it would be, but we’d become friends. In June, he called me in a panic. His sister needed a roommate in her flat in New York City for two months. And she needed a roommate immediately.

June, 2001 (28 yrs. old)

So. I was renting a furnished room, had no relationship, was heartbroken, desperately wanted a new start, and I wanted MORE from life. And I’d just turned 28. 30 was looming. And what was I doing? Did I want to be a waitress my whole life? I could be a waitress anywhere. If I was going to be a waitress…I was going to do it in New York.

I called my friends. I quit my job. I had a going away party where my friends and family came together and donated money to help me start over. I booked a plane, and with about $800, I was ready to make a new start. In New York.

This was it! This was fate! I was going to New York. I’d find my heart’s desire. I’d find true love, my writing career would take off, and I’d live happily ever after. I was made for New York.

What could possibly go wrong?

Tumbling 9/11-- It starts with a conversation

August 7, 2011... 38 years old

I’m having a hard time writing about my experience in New York. It’s not that I’m all emotional or anything…it’s just that it was ten years ago and I’m having a hard time organizing my thoughts and memories. I didn’t keep a journal and I can’t find the calendar I kept then with all my appointments and meetings (which might trigger memories). All I have are sort of disjointed flashes of memory.

But I guess if you don’t at least try to organize your thoughts, they’ll never get out there. So. Let's go back.

1999...26 years old

I was in Actor’s Theatre’s production of “Angels in America” in Grand Rapids. I played Harper. And I remember a conversation I had with one of the actors, Craig. We were in the hallway waiting to rehearse and he said: “Tanya, you’re so talented. I just have one question for you.”

“What’s that?”

“Why are you here?”

I looked at him, puzzled. “What do you mean why am I here? I love acting? This is a great role?”

Then he cracked his big ol’ grin and he said, “No. Why are you here in Grand Rapids? You should be in New York or something.”

I shook my head. “I’m twenty-six. I’m too old. Plus, I’ve got my life here.”

He laughed. “You’re still young. Honey, if I were you I’d pack up and move.”

That little conversation stayed with me. I thought I was so settled, but what did I really have? I worked part time at a music society (St. Cecilia), I waitressed, I was just out of another bad relationship. I didn’t have kids. I wasn’t married. And according to Craig…I wasn’t even old yet.

But it would take me another two years before I’d take him up on his little challenge, but in that hallway, the seed for a major change was planted.

(It’s funny that a little conversation with someone in a hallway could change your life. But I do look at that moment as a life-changing conversation. I guess it shows that you never know when or how you’re going to affect another person. It’s an awesome, beautiful thing.)

Other New York Highlights

Now that I’ve had twenty-four hours back at home and have hugged and squeezed my kiddos until they stopped breathing for a second (don’t worry. When I let go the air returned to their lungs) I can now look back on the trip to New York and say with utter sincerity: it was fucking awesome.  

Sorry for the profanity there, but sometimes, a girl just has to use it.

 

This was the first trip for me and Kealoha. I felt pretty confident that we’d be okay travelling together, but you just never know. You  can love someone but as soon as your trapped in a plane, a taxi, and a hotel room with them, you can end up wanting them to spontaneously combust or something, so much so that you say “Here, have another drink!” That didn’t happen once. Not once! I actually liked having him with me. We joked that he was my support team, but it’s true. He’d get us coffee in the morning, print things I needed for the conference. When I was brain dead and couldn’t think, he took care of finding us someplace to eat. But he didn’t control anything. In fact, when I was adamant about where the subway was and he knew I was wrong, he walked with me the extra five blocks until I saw the truth for myself, and he didn’t even rub it in. Man, what a good guy.

 

So here are some highlights:

 

CUBAN RESTAURANT

 

On our first night there (I think) we walked around Times Square (see previous post for me and an M&M). It was loud and bright and filled with people and has that peculiar energy that I’ve only experienced in New York. I don’t know what it is. It’s gritty excitement mixed with awe. We walked and walked and then found this cool Cuban restaurant. They pulled us in with their neon sign. The mojitos made us fall in love. Not with each other, we’ve already done that, but with the restaurant. The mojitos came with mint and real sugar cane. And the dinner was delicious. I sometimes feign vegetarian, but this was not the place for that, although you’d have a perfectly fine veggie dinner. No. The evening called for meat and I had me some fine picadillo. It’s a spicy meat mixture with olives. That doesn’t sound appetizing, so they call it picadillo.

 

PLAY DEAD

The next night was St. Patrick’s Day and people were pretty much drunk on the streets by 9AM. If you wanted to hear a good New Jersey accent, this was the time. I don’t know how many times I heard people shout into a phone “Are you fuckin’ kidding me? No fuckin’ way!” Or “We’re on MacDougal street. I said we’re fuckin’ on MacFuckinDougal Street!”

 

I was exhausted from the conference and the last thing I wanted to do was see a play, but Kealoha had already purchased the tickets, so in we went.

 

“Play Dead” is sort of like visiting that creepy relative’s basement, or worse, visiting your creepy relative’s subconscious. It’s dark and cobwebby and sometimes the lights go out. You sit in total darkness and suddenly your mind kicks in and starts freaking you out. Hearing audience members scream doesn’t help either. At the same time, watching the magic on stage, hearing true ghost stories, is at once horrifying and titillating…and I think that’s good theater. Add to that the unknown of a little audience participation, and you’ve got a great night. And don’t worry. The blood washes out.

 

TIKI BAR AND FRIENDS

The next night we met my cousins Mike and Tessa and our friend Arnie. We ate at the Back Forty, an intimate restaurant with a lot of wood and the magic of Christmas lights. It was so warm out we sat outside in the garden area for dinner. This is where Kealoha ordered the deep fried pork jowls. With a little of the spicy jam, they weren’t bad, although Arnie was right, they were a little mushy. We had wine and fish and laughed a lot and then decided to go to this secret tiki bar Kealoha had researched.

 

At this point, I’ll be honest, I was a little tipsy. By the end of the night, I was just plain drunk.

 

The tiki bar was called The Painkiller, and it lived up to its name. It’s tucked on a dark street and the opening looks like any graffiti-ed wall, but when you go down the stairs you enter a bar that’s like a bamboo womb. Great music plays and they have an extensive menu of $16 drinks. It makes sense though. The drinks are enormous, packed with alcohol and real juice, and so good I had two. Well, that’s all I can remember having. We were joined later by New York friends Ryan and Tristan. I hope I didn’t drool.

 

Not drool over Ryan and Tristan, although they’re very handsome. Just drool in general. Sometimes I do that.

 

INDIAN RESTAURANT

 

The final night was just me and Kealoha. We were both exhausted, so we found the closest Indian restaurant, ate until we were stuffed and then waddled back to the hotel room. He rubbed my back and I fell instantly asleep.

 

So my trip to New York this time wasn’t marred by needing a root canal or doing anything terribly embarrassing…

 

Wait. I did moon the subway. I was wearing a green and black dress, walking shoes, and a mismatched sweater. I looked like Crazy Cat Lady again. A gust of wind tore through the subway lifting my skirt over my head and showing about a dozen people my very boring, almost granny-ish pink and white bikini underwear. So there was that.

 

At any rate, Kealoha and I came home to cats and kids, to knowing that we could endure travelling together, and I came home feeling a little more confident that someday, somehow, somewhere, I’ll have a book published by a big publishing house. Stranger things have happened.

 

Day 2 NY: Rare bathrooms and psychic surgery

My plan was to come to New York, go to this little writing conference by day, go to restaurants and shows and out drinking at night, and blog about the whole experience. Promises, promises. So, yeah. I underestimated a few things here.

First, there are hardly any public toilets in New York. They exist, but they’re hidden. What does this have to do with blogging? Well, I spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing about where is the next pee stop. Women, you know what I’m talking about. I’m drinking coffee like crazy to stay awake and spirited, but it makes my bladder all crazy. So that’s taken my mind off blogging.

The second thing is there’s also hardly any free wifi. You can find pockets here and there, but if you want wifi, you’ve got to pay for it. And pay a lot. I guess I’m cheap. I’ve broken down and paid for it at the hotel, but I’m not there all that much.

And the third things I underestimated was just how tired I’d be after the conference. Yesterday, we spent all day listening to book pitch after book pitch. I’m not kidding. ALL DAY. We’d listen to the pitch, give comments, and answer the writer’s questions. It was grueling. I learned a lot, and I also understand why some editors and agents get crabby. When you hear a bad pitch or encounter a writer who isn’t prepared and there are a hundred other writers in line waiting to pitch to you, you sort of feel like “You’re wasting my time”. My goal now is to be so interesting and prepared that I won’t see the editor’s eyes glaze over.

So far this has been a fantastic trip including great food and drinks with Kealoha at a Cuban restaurant, walking around NYC, and last night we saw a terrific show called “Play Dead”. It was creepy and scary and there were moments when you’re in total darkness and then you feel something scurry across your head. And then Kealoha was called up on stage, put on a table, had his shirt lifted, and then had a psychic surgery  in which the magician pulled out all these guts and gore from K’s exposed belly and (oh yeah) a naked woman crawled out too. I wasn’t happy about a naked woman crawling over Kealoha, but he assures me the lights were so bright he didn’t notice her nipples. He said he could only see her when she transformed into an old dead woman.

You’d think I made the above up. I assure you, it’s all true.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my hotel room. I’ve got a busy day today. First pitch to a major publishing house. I feel really confident about the pitch…now I just hope that an editor bites and wants to read it. And if they read it, I hope the novel is strong enough. I think it is. And if it’s not, by golly, I’ll make sure it gets there. I’m so motivated right now I could like, kick things.

Maybe I should cut back on the coffee.

 

New York DAY 1: Valium, Flight, & Curtains

I’m currently sitting in my hotel room that looks a little bit like a grandmother’s guest room. How? How can there be a room like this in New York? Isn’t New York supposed to be trendy? I blame Priceline. I wanted a deal, and I got one. I also got curtains with those pom pom things hanging from them. Next time, I’m paying the extra fifty bucks or so in hopes of having a room that is sleek and modern and doesn’t smell slightly floral.

Ah, well. Kealoha doesn’t seem to mind it. As soon as we walked into the room, he passed out on the bed. I passed out too. I woke up and we were both next to each other with our arms out and legs spread. We looked like this: XX. I think I was drooling.

The flight went pretty well this morning. I took a valium. “Can you tell I took a valium?” I asked K with a big smile on my face. “Yep, I sure can,” he said. “How can you tell? You can tell? How can you tell?” Then I realized that I kept repeating things, and I was smiling, and I was holding on to him so I didn’t fall over or smash into a wall. Oh. So that’s how he could tell.

The check in line lasted forever. We heard the final boarding call for our flight. There was no way we were going to make it. We were there 45 minutes early, it’s just the line to get body probed was unusually slow. I think security was just being very, very thorough. Possibly sadist. I called out to a security guy sitting at a tiny table. The security dude looked a little like this:

Me: Hey! Excuse me! They just called the final boarding of our flight and we’re stuck in line! Can you tell them we’re coming?

Security Dude: Sorry. I can’t do that.

Me: Why?

Security Dude: Because I can’t leave this spot.

Me: Can’t you call them? Don’t you have a phone or something?

Security Dude: Nope. Sorry.

I scrunched my face. I was thinking, what kind of security guard doesn’t have a phone and can’t leave his chair? What good is he? Luckily, seven or so people let us cut in front of them so we could make our flight. See? There is goodness.

The rest of the morning is a blur of stale air, slight turbulence, and endless circling over Manhattan. Then we had the longest taxi ride ever into the city because of construction, but a very friendly taxi driver.

On the way to the hotel, I saw a sign saying COLIN FIRTH! and I gasped. “Oh, please! I want to see Colin Firth!” Then I realized it was just because it was a movie theater. I turned to Kealoha. “I think they should just put Colin Firth on stage and have him wear a sweater and look cute. I’d totally pay for that.”

We’re at our hotel now about to go exploring, and tomorrow is the conference. We looked for the conference site today but had the wrong address. It was a dingy building smooshed between a burrito joint and a Korean market. It was so scary looking that I broke out in a rash. “That can’t be right,” I said. “It’s what the phone says,” Kealoha said. Then we checked again. There’s a couple of building owned by this conference. We’re hoping the real one won’t be as frightening.

Until tomorrow….

Oh! And I’m giving Broadway regards from many of you who’ve asked. I’ll whisper your name to Broadway and tell her you say hello.

New York Trip Eve--Let the blogging commence!

Tomorrow morning, Kealoha and I leave for New York City. Our flight leaves at 6:45 in the morning, so we’ve had quite the discussion on how to navigate flying when both of us are kinda neurotic freaks about travelling. Kealoha likes to relax with a mai tai or two before flying, but how do you justify that at 5 in the morning? I told him I’m all set. I’m taking a valium. For real. I still have some from my doctor for ‘moments of high anxiety’. I think flying counts. As do PTA meetings. And standing in the line at Starbucks and…

Don’t worry. I’m only joking. Not about all of the above. I really am going to take a valium for the flight. I just have far too many panic attacks. Blugh. But I’m not a 1950s valium addict like in “Valley of the Dolls”. Really.

I’ve got about four different lists in preparation for the trip: things to do, things to take, breathing exercises, etc. I also made a list for K. He needs to change the cat box and eat the leftover Chinese food (hopefully not at the same time). My list has things like clean fridge, get money, pack gadgets. Then I contemplated whether I should specify on the list what I mean by gadgets in case my mom reads the list and wonders if I’m packing some kind of kinky sexual thing to experiment with K. I mean gadgets as in computer, iPod, Kindle, cell phone and all the charging devices.

Last night, as we were leaving the Mike Bribiglia performance (which was AWESOME. I wish I could tell a story like he does) I told K. that I’d made a decision about our trip. “I think we should take your car and park it…” I began, envisioning a long drawn out discussion in which I try to convince him that it’s worth the expense of parking at the airport.

“Okay,” he said. “I agree.”

I looked at him and felt my brow crinkle. “No, wait. I have to go through the justification. I don’t feel satisfied.”

“Okay. Go ahead.” He looked at me with an expression that said: “I am listening and taking you seriously”.

“Well…I want to drive your car because it’s too early in the morning to ask a friend to do it and I don’t want to take a cab because then you just end up sitting around and waiting and when we get back I just want the car there because otherwise we have to wait for someone to come get us and then we have to talk about the trip…”

K finished the sentence for me… “When really all we want to do is just get home and take a shower or go to sleep.”

“Yeah,” I said. I still wasn’t exactly satisfied. “See? I’m right.” I had to say that just because I’d been expecting a fight.

“Okay,” he said.

I think I’ll add on my To Do List, give K a big all smackaroo. On the lips. He barely bats an eye at all my neuroses. In fact, he seems to think exactly the way I do about things. I’m reminded when we were just starting to date and he said to me in that hushed lover-type whisper “You know, it’s like all our neuroses fit together perfectly.”

Isn’t that romantic?

We’ll see how the trip goes. Wish me luck. By day, I’ll be pitching my novel and K. will travel the streets of New York in search of delicious pastries.

I’m not joking.

See you tomorrow. I’m blogging (and tweeting) all week about our adventures.