Tag Archives: hostility

Lame Adventure 426: Am I Being Tested?

I admit that I will never be mistaken for someone who is conducting a passionate love affair with their day job. What I do is label tile, an occupation that is equal to tossing years of one’s life off a cliff, but I make an effort to consciously label tile accurately. Labeling tile is an honest, and at times, a stupid living. A recent example of stupid: I received a delivery of tile samples where I discovered I was missing two tiles. I notified the vendor that I needed two more pieces of three-inch square tile, one in the color, Latte Matte, and the other in Steel Grey Matte. Pictured below is what the vendor sent me in the follow-up delivery.

The story of my life in three tiles.

The story of my life in three tiles.

One of the many reasons why I enjoy living in New York so much is that I love the culture. It’s everywhere including in the street.

It's those krazy klowns: Kim and Kanye!

It’s those krazy klowns: Kim and Kanye!

But I also love the theater. Last week, my friend, Milton, treated me to the current Broadway revival of the musical Cabaret playing at Studio 54 starring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams. This was my Christmas present. When Milton purchased the tickets in 2013, the best seats available were for this performance in July. We’re two patient people who were fine with celebrating our Christmas in July. For those of you who appreciate feedback about shows (the rest of you skip to the next paragraph): this is a terrific revival of a brilliant musical. We were both entirely in our bliss. Alan Cumming has been playing the role of the Emcee off and on since 1993. He was born to play this seductive character. Milton noted that for a guy who is not very handsome, Alan Cumming is so charismatic in that role, he becomes the sexiest guy in the world. This revival is a first for Michelle Williams who had never appeared on the Broadway stage before. She’s cast as Sally Bowles, a role I had only seen on film played extraordinarily by Liza Minnelli. Michelle plays Sally as someone sincere but with minimal talent. Her Sally is infinitely heartbreaking. When Liza powerfully belts the title song, Cabaret, in the film, I recall feeling uplifted. When Michelle’s Sally sings it earnestly on stage, I had the impression that she’s thinking that she’s going to follow the lead of the friend who died “from too much pills and liquor”. She was so vulnerable. We thought she did a fine job in that pivotal role. It’s a shame that she did not score a Tony award nomination. We thought she got robbed. It was a great night of theater in New York City.

Usually, Milton and I find ways to get discounts on our theater ticket purchases. One way is to subscribe to a theater company’s season. One of the theater companies we subscribe to is the Public Theater. Recently, we had to order all of our tickets for the 2014-2015 season. We got great seats at great prices on all the dates we wanted. I had the tickets mailed to my apartment. Imagine my dismay when I opened my mailbox to find our tickets in this envelope. My friend, Coco, suggested it could double as a skateboard ramp.

Special delivery.

Special delivery.

It rained buckets that day, but if my letter carrier had a beef with Mother Nature, was it necessary to direct the hostility on our theater tickets? This person had to shove our ticket envelope into my letterbox, and then they rolled and plunged two catalogs and that week’s issue of The New Yorker on top of the envelope. This took concentration and force. I told Milton that I sniffed the envelope and was relieved that it did not noticeably smell like urine.

There are days when I don’t feel like labeling tile samples, but I’m not going to take a hammer, smash them to smithereens, and send them off for display. By doing my job relatively whole assed, I can afford to attend the theater. As for my letter carrier, I’m unsure what to think other than I’m irked.



I wish he or she would invest in another way to express hostility, preferably far away from my mail, possibly at a more appropriate place like an active volcano. Occasionally, I have to junk discontinued tile samples. Maybe I should offer them to my letter carrier to throw when feeling rage.

At least our tickets are smiling.

Our tickets are smiling.

Lame Adventure 175: Reliable Annoyances

After toiling the better part of four months over the course of eighteen primarily misspent years completing my latest screenplay, I shared my opus with a cluster of my nearest and dearest writer-friends – Milton, Albee, Lola and Coco.  The guys were swift and thorough with their feedback.  Lola read it quickly, too, but was inundated with work before leaving for Latin America on a business trip, so we’ll discuss it when she returns later this month.  Coco, who by nature is one of the most reliable people I know of any gender, had it for more than a week before she got around to reading it.  I could not understand what was taking her so long, but I think it’s misguided to pressure a friend to extend herself.  Yet, on the night when she was compelled to email me a picture of her dinner, I heavily hinted at my annoyance in her taking upwards of a week to slog through my masterpiece.

Coco's dinner.

I warmly emailed her back this response to her salad, “You’re dead to me.”

My pal completely redeemed herself when she proceeded to read my script not once, but twice that evening.  Now with a magic number of Belvedere martinis (with olives) sloshing in her gullet, my favorite overachiever has learned to recite page 73 in its entirety both forward and back.

The other day at work we had a routine sample tile delivery.  Our shipping manager, Cedric, delivered the box to my sidekick, Greg.  Cedric told me that we had a tile delivery in the name of our boss, Elsbeth.  Then, Greg opened the box, and removed the tile samples.  I entered Greg’s warehouse to inspect the samples.  My eyeballing the samples is the final step in our routine before I proceed to notify Elsbeth that samples have arrived and Greg has laid them out for her review.

Having just ingested sixteen ounces of strong black tea, I decided that I would first relieve myself before beckoning for The Boss to grace us with her presence.  I enter our restroom, turn on the light and see this site:

How do you use this contraption? Where do you plug it in?

Now, not only do I have to empty my bladder as voluminously as a racehorse, but I also have to return to my desk, get my camera and photograph this reliable annoyance.  I know that all of my colleagues have both the capacity and the energy to replace both the toilet paper and the paper towels, since I have personally incorporated that function in our job descriptions.  As I head back to the office cursing the evil bathroom elf, I hear Greg cursing, too.  I wonder:

Me (wondering):  What’s set him off?

Then, I see his reliable annoyance, but at least he has the satisfaction of knowing that it was he that accidentally created this mishap himself.

Filled to the brim with overturned packing peanuts.

The bathroom tissue scofflaw remains on the loose.  How reliably annoying.

Greg rage.