I'm still sick, and the show goes into previews tonight. I've got a to-do list that spans several pages of legal pad and cramps. Waa-waa-waa. Since I had a cathartic little cry last night, I'm feeling much better. I brought my laptop and printer down to the studio, where I can network them (yeah, ethernet and aol radio!). Sat through another long production meeting, though this one started eleven pm. My time of night, but not on a day that started with a nine am company meeting. The meeting lasted two hours and had a soporific effect. It was pretty much what I expected. They want us to love the company. I'm not sure that I love it yet, but I do enjoy my job, despite its challenges.
I went to purchase a new set of wireless speakers for the show today. They have a lot more power than the current set, and much longer range. They should, since they each require $40 worth of batteries (that's priced for rechargeables, though that's a run budget issue). I haven't given them the long distance test yet, due to the need to keep them close to an outlet...at two yards, they sound fabulous! haha! I'm sending them a feed of AolRadio from my laptop now.
I tripped in the parking lot while carrying my purchases into the production center and skinned my knee. I haven't done that in years. My ego is slightly bruised as well, but thankfully, there were no witnesses and no damage to the equipment. I'll let you guess which concerned me more.


I woke up this morning before six am, covered in sweat. Not exactly my favorite way to start the day, but then, I'm not particularly fond of being sick. I'm congested and achy and my hearing is fuzzy to boot. Luckily, I'm not doing much fine listening, as there is a sound board op for the production currently in tech. So, I get to engineer and administrate instead. It's a strange luxury---and one that I will not have all summer. I had to pull out my copy of Yamaha Guide to Sound Reinforcement last night, which isn't exactly light reading. I feel that I gained something from my college education when engaged in technical reading. We've been having recurrent problems with the RF transmitter, some of which has been corrected by sending the signal through the "spare" channel of the new compressor/gate that arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, it seems that all of the wireless speakers on the market are shitty compared to their wired cousins, so replacement is moot. We're kicking around the idea of wiring up some sort of balanced to unbalanced converter, but none of us want to do the saudering required. Maybe I can practice on paper clips.
On the personal front, I'm taking lots of vitamins and stocked up on juice tonight in the hopes of fighting off this bug. I hate being sick, and I don't have my mom to take care of me (well, fuss over me). One of my housemates made chicken soup last night, which was excellent.
I started knitting a pair of socks with Froehlich Wolle on size one needles. I'd forgotten how tiny they are. I'm still waiting on my package from Patternworks, so that I can get back to the socks in progress for my mother.
Things are much better with Actor Boy. A couple of coworkers had urged me to give him another chance and I must admit they were right: he's pretty cool. Since I engaged him in a conversation about the show, he's opened up a bit. It's almost always safe to talk shop. The new roommate is very nice also. She brought down her laptop and screened a Sex in the City DVD for the assembled dinner party last night. It was a nice diversion.
There is a company meeting tomorrow, of the sort that I often try to avoid. I suspect that my presence is required, runny nose or no. It starts early in the morning, so I'm going to hop in the shower and hop into bed.


I found out yesterday that one of the designers is a good friend of my favorite prof from undergrad. We spent the day together, trading Bryon stories. It's always nice to hear from other people how cool/nice/talented your favorite people are.
Yesterday was a bit of a drag because I had to go to a marathon production meeting. It went on forever, though I heard the last one was even longer. I don't even want to contemplate that! Most of the business of the meeting should have happened in separate department meetings. My boss was taking off after the meeting, so he told me a few things that I need to take care of today. I thought that I would have today off. No no. It seems that he knocked the RF transmitter out of frequency and now I need to put it back. The transmitter and receiver are pretty finicky Radio Shack jobs, so that should be fun. If we can't keep them tuned, I have to find some replacement technology, like an in-ear monitoring system (replacing the ear piece with a speaker, using many 9v batteries for the beltpack). Argh. Why can't equipment work when it's supposed to.
The stage manager declared that she doesn't like cue to cue rehearsals, so we're not going to do one. The thought of not having one, just doing a run instead, makes me want to put a cigarette out in my eye. This is my first tech since I quit smoking. I don't know how I'm going to take it.


I'm spending a bit more time with my roommates now, which is good. I had a really light day yesterday, and another today as well. So, I hung out in the apartment, did a bit of reading, etc. The production barbeque was rained out, so several techies ended up in my living room, playing board games. This was delightful until the sole actor in the apartment came out and informed us that, due to company rules, he was kicking us out. He needed to sleep. Well, the rules say we have to be quiet, not vacate the premises. And I find it very curious that the company rules exclude any time that techies might be home and awake (11 pm to 6 am, quiet hours). I'm lucky to get home before eleven! So, we all mocked him mercilessly after he stomped off to his room. I'd never heard of a Scrabble game being too loud.
After that, I went out to the local bar and engaged in moderately bad behavior. I drank a couple side cars and spent the evening talking to one of the overhire techs. It was intelligent conversation, but I don't really want it to lead anywhere. After being kicked out of the bar, I hung out with one of my roommates on the porch, as to avoid the wrath of Actor Boy. She's really awesome, but it was getting to be late, even for me.
Fortunately, I'd made all of my phone calls before getting trashed. I get an itch in my dialing finger after a couple of drinks that can be a bit embarassing. I had a nice chat with the boy before engaging in wild Scrabble. It was good to hear his voice, even if neither of us had much to say. Even though I'm meeting some kick ass people here, they don't replace my Chicago friends.
So, my room in company housing doesn't have a phone jack. Quel drag. I plan to move my laptop and printer down to the sound studio, where I'll have room to set it up and an ethernet connection. In the meantime, I have to tap into the phone line in the kitchen, as the jack in the upstairs hallway, adjacent to my room, does not work. This is an inconvenience to Actor Boy, I guess, who just came into the kitchen and inquired if my phone jack doesn't work. Actor Boy has the best room in the apartment, you see, so it wouldn't occur to him that not everyone has well-appointed, or even well-equipped digs. I'm glad my presence irritated him, because I was pretty irritated about his kicking us out last night. I suppose we'll be subject to touchy-feely house meetings next, of the type that I frequently avoided in college. I prefer my drama onstage, not off.


Another rainy day here in New England. It's so uninspiring, but how much inspiration is required for hanging and cabling a bunch of speaker cabinets? Yeah, we're still putting the plot in the air, which involves several ladders, catwalks, and an incredibly cool Genie that ways a ton. The Genie is nothing like the piece of shit that I used to ride in undergrad: it has little padded feet instead of outriggers (not that we ever had the outriggers on in school---safety is for sissies!), and a scissors type thing that allows you to extend the reach of the genie horizontally, even while in the air. It's wicked, but I doubt that I'll spend much time in it. I haven't miraculously recovered from my fear of heights, but then, I didn't expect to. Actually, it's more of a fear of ladders. I don't trust myself not to fall. It's a bit of a professional handicap, though I suppose that a fear of falling fromm great heights is a function of survival instinct.
So, I'm sitting in fluorescent lit office listening to a little Dave Brubeck. I want to expand my jazz collection, and Brubeck seems to do no wrong. High on my list are the following albums: Jazz goes to College, Time In, Jazz Impressions of Japan, and Jazz Impressions of New York. I may be able to pick them up at a tiny old man record store in a neighboring town run out of an old Victorian house. I'd like to avoid amazon.com, in any case. In the meantime, I'm partaking of a little Time Out.


?Who Knew?
I discovered yesterday that the older minidisc decks, such as the MDS-JE510, don't or can't read anything written in MDLP format. I had encountered this problem before on tour, but it was with a Denon deck, which I assumed was a proprietary problem. Nope. Seems the decks around here, and a lot of theaters, are pre-MDLP era devices. So, I can only play three of my minidiscs on the decks in the studio, because I'm stingy with my disc space and always write in MDLP. They are as follows: Cat Power, The Cover Album; Tori Amos, Scarlet's Walk; and a promotional minidisc from Rolling Stone magazine. It's labelled volume one. I wonder when they plan to release another one. haha.
I called Full Compass yesterday to price out a new compressor. The hold music was Michael Nyman's score to The Piano. Tasteful, but an odd choice.
I lost one of my needles. In a size that I use all the time. Out of a project that I'm trying to finish (but not trying very hard). Of course, I would lose a cream colored needle in a room with ecru linoleum (Can lino be referred to as having a color as classy as ecru or beige?). I tore the place apart looking for it, to no avail. I'll just have to order another set, I guess, since this is the second needle I've lost out of a five needle set. Oh well.


I've finished my days of driving and am now attempting to settle into the area. More on that subject later.
A few observations:
People who drive pick up trucks are very aggressive drivers.
I-90 is a much better route than I-80. 80 spends too much time in the mountains.
It is possible to listen to Canadian radio stations in New York. They're not better, they're just different.
I understand all the Funzo jokes on the Simpsons now that I've travelled with a Furby. I put it in the trunk so that I wouldn't have to listen to it the entire trip. Fifteen minutes later, I could still hear its muffled singing as I said good-bye to my mother. It was behaving erratically when I unpacked it, so I though it was time for a battery change. Fresh AAs made no difference. I guess erratic is subjective.
Sunscreen does unkind things to your skin, but not wearing does even worse things.
What do all those no HC signs in Ohio mean? I had plenty of time to think about it, and still haven't come up with a driving related HC.


My cousin gave me a furby over the weekend, without the booklet. I am still trying to figure out some of the oddities of its behavior. Still, it is an amazing little doll, what with its having more processors than the lunar landing module.
In other news, my packing has stepped up to another level. I have most of the cds that I want to take crated. Laundry is planned before further packing can commence. I went to my storage locker this morning, which was not as fruitful as I had hoped. Still, my long missing tabletop fan was discovered hiding behind pieces of the frame of my futon. I have a great fondness for that fan. I also found several lighting fixtures. Bad lighting is just not acceptable to me, so I must bring some small lamps and my strand of lanterns to liven the place up a bit.
Other than that, not much going on. My social calendar is quite full these days. I'm going to go through withdrawal next week! Still, I am proud of myself for not having a smoking relapse while out with a beloved smoking friend who was responsible for a big relapse in the past. Being an ex-smoker is sort of like being a recovering alcoholic. You think one won't hurt you, then you're back to smoking a pack a day. I've been quit over a month now, at which point it allegedly gets easier. I'm not sure that that is true.


My car was towed this morning. Talk about an unexpected reversal! It turned out, after a call to Streets & Sanitation, that it had just been relocated, not taken to the dreaded impound lot. So my friend and I trotted over to the lot in Lincoln Park (the park, not the neighborhood) to get it. I've never been so relieved to see my car!
I finished my Rowan sweater yesterday. It's too big. A nice problem to have, but still undesirable. I knit it in the round, so I can't just take it in at the seams. I'll have to cut into it and make new side seams. This scares me. A lot. The idea of cutting into the product of all that work is daunting, to say the least. But maybe if I do that, I can cheat some shaping into it. Right now, the sweater is basically a tube up to the armhole decreases. Oh well. It is very cute.


My mother came home unexpectedly early from her weekend away with friends. I didn't have any sort of present for her, which I understood to be incredibly bad. So I stayed up all night rewiring and hanging a ceiling lamp for her in the living room. Well, I passed out afterwards and overslept. This lead to a very unpleasant phone call with the production manager from my former production. I don't need that kind of negative energy in my life; it gave the day a very bad start. So, I'm completely finished with my Chicago show and can focus on getting everything ready to go to Massachusetts. Luckily, I had a very good talk with their company manager and feel confident that I'm not walking into another evil ballet situation. The fact that they even have a company manager is a step up.
I've almost finished my rowan all season cotton sweater. My mother and grandmother find the idea of a sleeveless sweater with a turtleneck quite strange, but it's not designed for warmth. It wasn't designed with a turtleneck, for that matter. I modified the neckline, after consulting a few books. I'm not sure that I realized what a pain it would be to pick up all of those neckline stitches to start the turtleneck, but it's going along quite well now. I hope to have it finished in order to wear it tonight, but if I don't, it won't be the end of the world.


I began the first phase of preparing to go to Massachusetts: cleaning out my car. I haven't worked up such a sweat in ages! And it isn't clean yet! I dragged the garbage can next to the car in the driveway and started excavating the car. Next, I will clean the interior with products. My dashboard is so dusty. I finally put an air freshener in there, to eliminate the sour cigarette smell that had permeated the upholstery. Funny, I almost never smoked in the car. It looks like a little lei, which I entwined around the rearview mirror, and the smell can bowl you over when first opening the door. Still, it's better than smoke.


Isn't it funny how job offers seem to increase exponentially when you're not looking for a job, but trickle to a halt when you are? I've received two emails and a phone call from Roadworks regarding their upcoming production, which sounds interesting, but is the last thing on my mind at the moment. They're doing the first production of a Talent Family (that is, David and Amy Sedaris) show not to feature the Talent Family. Should be interesting. Amy Sedaris was on the local NPR show recently promoting her book, Wigsfield, which I'd love to read.
I've come across a couple of examples of next-level thinking (one of my catch phrases, alas) in the past week: an unsigned parody of Family Circus with crass captions under classic FC drawings at Quimby's. Whoever made that zine is a fucking genius! I haven't laughed so hard in a long time, especially at the incredibly insensitive Tienenamen Square joke. Clearly the best $2 I've spent. That book will soon be making the rounds among my friends. The other example of next level thinking is an adaptation of a classic Japanese doll theatre tragedy, in the guise of a 4th grade school pageant, by Hypocrites artistic director Sean Graney. He's brilliant. The show runs through June 1st, and was reviewed this week in the Chicago Reader.
I've started a new knitting project, which I know to be a bad thing with so many items already on the needles. This one is in a much larger guage than all my socks, four stitches to the inch instead of seven. My hands needed a break. So I'm making another Ucan2can shell, from a pattern on www.chicknits.com. I'm making it from a lovely, dusty purple colorway in Rowan All Seasons Cotton. I love this yarn! It's so soft and spongy, probably due to the minute amount of microfiber, and has great stitch definition. I plan to modify the neckline to a big turtleneck instead of a funnelneck (too small for my big scandanavian skull to fit through), and maybe add sleeves to it in the fall. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Lewis and I went to the editing studio this morning to work on the benefit video. It's very odd to watch someone else edit when you're used to manning the deck yourself. I felt as though I was going to have some sort of seizure when he was scrolling back and forth through his clips, even though I've done that hundreds of times myself. I think it's because I wasn't controlling the playback. So I sat on the sofa and worked on my sweater, engaging in half-hearted debate about using clips from camera a vs. camera b. I'd like to cut the same footage as a crazy art school video piece. I miss spending most of my time in small, dark, confined places. When I was in college, I could typically be found in the darkroom, sound studio, video lab, or theatre. Maybe I can make a little studio space at my new venue, a kind of techie clubhouse. We'll see.
I also need to bring more of my a/v skills into my everyday life. I was puzzling earlier about how to transfer Berlitz language tapes to minidisc so that I can brush up my French. I can remember how to conjugate totally useless verb tenses, but not how to make hotel reservations (probably because I never had to) or understand directions. I hope to make a trip to PQ when I'm finished with the summer stock season, as I've wanted to do for several years now. It seems like the best environment for me to attempt french conversation with native speakers, as there are many anglophones there as well. We'll see if the exchange rate improves over the summer. So, I realized that it would be quite simple to burn from cd or tape (which is what I suspect the library has) to MD: with an optical cable. I don't now why I want to make things more difficult for myself than they need to be.


I've had a dramatic couple of days since my last post. I found out that there's a huge bureaucratic hold-up on my tax refund because of some sort of error on my federal returns, but the IRS agent I talked to couldn't give me any specific information. Sigh. And I was waiting to hear back on a job offer for summer stock in the Berkshires. It was a lot of waiting.
Luckily, a couple of my friends from college called me at 1am, in some sort of drunken state. Many laughs were had. I miss the good old days, but they didn't seem so great at the time. Going out to the bar every weekend is exhausting and expensive, but I miss those late night conversations now. I subsequently spoke to each of them sober. Sounds like I missed out on a crazy night. I'm done with the stray cat strut though.
I got the job that I was waiting on, after I'd decided that I wasn't going to. They waited to call my references for a couple of days, which had me feeling low. All for naught, I thought, but that wasn't the case. I took one of them out for lunch today as a thank you. We ate at Clarke's in Evanston, then walked around enjoying the weather. It is a beautiful day, and Evanston is so damn lovely. Lovely as long as you're not trying to make a left-hand turn. So, we sat out on a little traffic island park, appreciating a bronze horse sculpture expertly made to resemble driftwood. Our enthusiasm scared off a studious looking college student reading The Seagull. I've never understood why Chekhov isn't famous for his short fiction instead of his drama. Maybe because all of the competition from the great bears of Russian literature.
I accidentally left one of my tax return socks at a friend's house, which meant that I had to temporarily halt work on the second one. I don't want them freakishly mismatched, but I also feel like lying around intead of driving to the west side. Perhaps tomorrow. I do need to finish them by Sunday. And clean out my car and do massive amounts of laundry and sorting. Oh.....


I received a strange little parcel from the UK today. I assumed that it was the cd that I'd asked Ave to send me, but after much wrestling with tape, I discovered that it was the head cleaner that I'd purchased on eBay. Now my minidisc player can have a clean head! I've owned it for about nine months, but never cleaned it, so I suppose it's about time. I am very pleased with this development.
Several people have remarked upon how confusing the european style dating in my posts is, so I've decided to change the style. I can only be so pretentious in one blog, I guess.
I was going through the bin that I keep in the backseat of my car, when I came across an old phone bill, dating from the period that I worked in New York. I made many, many phone calls in one month, and I do not recognize many of the numbers. I don't even recognize some of the numbers that I called repeatedly. It's hard to get nostalgic over a phone bill, but after a few minutes' scrutiny, I recalled situations and conversations. I don't call many of those phone numbers any more.
I've finally gotten around to gathering supplies for my current job (it's important to be well-equipped as a stage manager). I picked up a couple of green steno pads at Target, the kind with all sorts of "tricky" spelling words on the covers. I used to adore those notebooks when I was nine or ten, though I don't recall the word list ever being helpful. I know how to spell banana and maintenance already!
While I was at Target, I also picked up some hair color. Now that the weather is warming up, I really regret thinking that chocolate brown hair was a good idea last autumn. Sure it looked great, but that color's never coming out of my hair! I was really upset about a boy at the time, and feeling that I couldn't affect changes in my life, I decided to effect changes in my hair. So, I chopped off four or five inches of hair and went from having hair the color of clover honey to that of a hershey's bar. It was dramatic. It was a mistake. The color I have now is okay, but it doesn't really match the mental image I have of my hair, left over from the previous summer (and most of my adult life). Oh well. Thank god I didn't dye my hair blue like I'd planned!


My New Yorker arrived today, when I had the time to devote to reading it in one sitting. That was the highlight of my day. My head aches. I would say that I haven't had a headache in years, but I had one yesterday. This is very unusual for me. It's decentralized, as though I can feel my brain inside of my skull. This is moderately annoying.
One of the socks in my tax return pair is complete. I didn't measure my mother's feet first, so I had to guess at the proper size. Luckily, my crazy stagehand reckoning was correct: it fit like a glove when she tried it on. I have a week to finish the second one, now in a nascent stage.
Despite the headache, I managed to get a few things accomplished, like spending the afternoon reading in bed and pursuing job leads online. That is the downside to freelance work: one must continue to seek employment while employed. I made a lot of phone calls today, mostly to answering machines and voicemail. I had absolutely no luck reaching one of my friends. His number at work was busy all day. I can't help but wonder if I didn't have the wrong number. Calling someone at work is the fall back plan; it's hard to dodge calls there. My remaining options are carrier pidgeons and smoke signals.

I listened to the following music today:
Covers Album, Cat Power
Amplified Heart, Everything But The Girl
Gordon, Barenaked Ladies
Central Reservation, Beth Orton
Time Out, Dave Brubeck Quartet

I think it's time to change the discs in my cd changer.

I thought that I would get a few emails after my message blitz over the redesign, but I only received one. It was from my dad. He even answered the question that I'd posed to him about html tags. So for that, Dad, I'll have to make you a copy of Jazz for a Jungle Evening. If you're wondering, I'd originally made the mix as a gift to the cast in my last show, which involved the various misadventures of a game hunter (the Odyssey, 70s style). Unfortunately, I didn't manage to burn them before closing night, so the only person who received one was the production designer. And now, you.


Howdy Doody Time

I watched Bush's self-congratulatory address on tv, out of inertia. Despite the much reported way that he's united the country, I still resent him. The real thank you that he should have given Colin Powell and Gen. Franks is for giving him fodder for his upcoming reelection campaign. I was so disgusted by his comparisons of this latest conflict with the Second World War. I'd like to think that my grandfather and his comrades in arms were fighting for more than low prices at the gas pump. His oblique reference to the destruction of that war, the Blitz, the Dresden bombings, et al, and how this one was better, ignores the major losses to Iraqi cultural instutions inicurred during this conflict. How long will it take Iraqi universities, libraries, and museums to recover from the rampant looting that American forces did nothing to prevent? The whole thing reminded me of the pep rallies that I went to great lengths to avoid in high school.
Now that major combat has ended in Iraq, maybe people will take notice of Bush's war on women. The first signs of a dangerous regime is leadership that believes the way to "reform" society is to control women's bodies. Morality cannot be legislated, but don't tell that to the republicans. Read Planned Parenthood's report here: War on Women
I gave away my cigarette case. It was the stylish accessory of an outdated lifestyle. I bought it in Burlington, VT, while on tour with the evil ballet. It suggested an old-fashioned elegance, made a ceremony of smoking a cigarette. I gave it to Lewis.
I miss smoking. It's stupid, I know. I wonder when I'll stop missing it. I enjoyed it, loved the taste and smell of a hand-rolled Gauloise. But it was time to quit killing myself. Smoking isn't chic or attractive. I may have felt like a French intellectual taking drags off my little Gauloises, but I looked like a girl with an addiction. I hope it takes this time. I've quit before. Quitting is the easiest thing in the world. It's staying quit that's difficult. I quit for two years once. I quit for a couple months last year. This time, I want to quit for good.

Kirstin's Jazz Mix Tape
Well, it's really a cd...but any format will work
Make your own!

Jazz For a Jungle Evening

Track One: I Remember Clifford by Lee Morgan, from the Side Man soundtrack
Track Two: In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, from their eponymous album
Possibly my favorite jazz piece, it is perfect for late night contemplation or driving through the city on a rainy evening.
Track Three: Chanson Pour Michelle, from Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto: Casa
Reminiscent of Michel Legrand's 1960s film scores.
Track Four: Who Needs Forever? performed by Astrud Gilberto, from the Verve Unmixed album
sexy and lushly produced, with a retro lounge sensibility
Track Five: I Only Have Eyes For You by Rosemary Clooney
very sexy, nice arrangement
Track Six: O Grande Amor, Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto: Casa
This is not "Blame it on the Bossa Nova"!
Track Seven: Killer Joe by The Jazztet
Recently used in a luxury car commercial that ran on Bravo about a million times
Track Eight: I Feel Pretty performed by Sarah Vaughn
From when jazz singers still released fabulous commercially viable covers of Broadway tunes
Track Nine: Lullaby of Birdland performed by George Shearing
a request from Von K
Track Ten: Daahoud by Clifford Brown, from the Side Man soundtrack
Track Eleven: Land's End, as above
Track Twelve: The 'In' Crowd by Ramsey Lewis
Self-consciously sophisticated
Track Thirteen: Vivo Sonhado, either from Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto: Casa or Getz/Gilberto.
Track Fourteen: Concorvado, as above
Track Fifteen: Fotografia, from Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto: Casa
Pensive and lovely
Track Sixteen: Who Needs Forever? by Thievery Corporation, from the Verve Remixed album
Super sexy, true improvement on the original. I'm generally skeptical of djs reinterpreting jazz standards (anyone remember Ethel Merman's disco record?), but I love this album.

In related news, I found my copies of Time Out and Time Further Out, which I had assumed lost forever, on my couch.

I was felled by bad Swedish meatballs last night. They tasted so good when I ate them smothered in lingonberries, to the consternation of the waitress. Maybe she was on to something.

I've just sent out a glut of emails to my friends, hoping to generate some readership for this site. I haven't been faithfully updating it, as I once did, so I understand how your interest may have waned. Mine did.

According to my rehearsal schedule, I have tonight off, which means that I have the whole day to whatever I please. I haven't the slightest idea what to do. This would have been a perfect day for my New Yorker to arrive, but I think last week was a double issue. Oh well. I used to devote an entire afternoon to reading the New Yorker, from cover to cover, on the day that it arrived. I would devour all of the photography and theatre reviews, wishing that I could see them myself. Then I moved to New York, and only did something that I'd read about in the magazine two or three times. My dreams of the city had been shaped by the people at Conde Nast and Annie Hall. I imagined a sparkling life for myself, involving readings, opening nights, and long walks through the park. Instead, I was pounding the piss stained pavement of eighth avenue every day (especially fragrant in the summer months). Disillusionment is hard. But I still read the New Yorker, imagining a New York that still holds the energy of Dorothy Parker, George Gershwin, and Truman Capote. But I don't read the listings anymore.

It's too bad that Chicago doesn't have a magazine on par with the New Yorker. Oh sure, we have Chicago Magazine, but it's really the midwest equivalent of New York Magazine. Hell, I'd even settle for a Time Out Chicago. It's difficult imagining Chicago as deprived of anything cultural, but there are still a lot of things that I miss from New York. Where is our Times Square? Why don't we have a theatre district or a TKTS booth? Why is our transit system so sparse in comparison to the MTA? Chicago has its many charms, but I do not include circling for half an hour to find a parking place one of them.

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