“Yeah, about the test…
The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, will make your life yours. And everything–EVERYTHING–will be on it.”
— John Green
As Liz and I were heading home from Broadway Tuesday night, she noticed on Twitter that yet another person had been killed by an MTA subway–something that’s been in the news a lot recently. The last couple of incidents happened in Queens, where she was living. This one was at 125th Street, which is near our new home in Harlem. Maybe Liz is bad luck.
Yesterday, Gawker reported that, unlike the last two incidents, this one didn’t involve a victim falling or being pushed from a platform in front of a moving train. No, this time, the victim apparently fell off a moving train while pooping in between the cars.
Honestly, I think the weirdest part of this story was that this was the New York City subway and the guy didn’t just crap inside the car.
Liz met me after work tonight and we grabbed dinner and took in a Broadway show. Dinner was Korean food at Food Gallery 32, a block from my office. Strange place–eating there, you could almost believe you were in Korea somewhere. The food was good, though, and affordable by New York standards. That’s something I’m still getting used to. I had meatball pho, while Liz had some kind of crazy elaborate sushi. We both resisted the urge to get Red Mango on the way out.
The show was The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a fun and fairly wacky musical presented by Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54. This was my first time entering the famed venue, and looking around I would never have guessed that it was anything but a theater. Roundabout has restored it to an elegant and classy theater, and while the leopard print carpet is a subtle reminder of its former life, I was sort of hoping to spot the moon and coke spoon hanging somewhere near the back of the mezzanine. For the record, it is not.
Drood is the first show I’ve seen wherein the audience chooses their own ending. Based on the novel Charles Dickens was writing at his death, the show’s approach to the unresolved murder mystery is to allow the audience to decide what really happened. According to Roundabout, the various choices available to the audience allow for more than 500 possible combinations. By formatting the production as a show-within-a-show (the Dickensian adaptation is presented by a fictional Victorian English music hall), the production smashes the fourth wall and makes interaction with the audience an entertaining part of the show, rather than a necessity.
Oh, and it’s written by Rupert Holmes, the Pina Colada Song guy. So there’s that.
I expect we’ll be taking in more shows–one benefit of dating an actor is that we get cheap tikets to Broadway and off-Broadway productions, so I’m about to get a lot of culture. I was hoping to get tickets to see Al Pacino in Glengarry Glen Ross, but apparently that’s closing on Sunday. I guess I should have moved on that sooner. Coffee is for closers.
Sunday, Liz and I made the big move to Harlem. As expected (and despite the assurances of our super) the elevator in our new building was out, rendering our new apartment a sixth-floor walkup. We did hire movers, but in the interest of saving money, Liz and I helped carry stuff up the stairs–as did my Dad, who was a very good sport about helping carry boxes and furniture two months after his 60th birthday.
Incidentally, I’d highly recommend Mambo Movers, especially considering their unfaltering cheer in the face of a twelve-hour move totalling ten flights of stairs. Do note they are based in Philly.
We got the last few items into the new apartment, paid the movers, and decided to go for a celebratory dinner. That’s when things took a turn. Initially I believed I was having a panic attack–brought on by the head cold I’d been suffering, the hours of manual labor, and the enormous changes that were suddenly becoming a reality. Liz and my parents were very supportive as I had my freakout–it wasn’t until I tried to head to bed that I realized it wasn’t just a panic attack, it was a norovirus attack.
Liz and I spent the night on a mattress on the floor, an island in an ocean of boxes and furniture. Once an hour or so I’d get up so my body could purge itself of fluid from every available exit. Around 6:30 AM, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to report on my first day of work.
Calling out sick on your first day is hardly the right way to start a new job, but some things are unavoidable. It turned out not to be so bad. HR just pushed my start date back a few days, and everyone appreciated that I didn’t force myself to report and bring in something contagious. Instead of Monday, I started on Thursday. So far the job has gone well, though I haven’t done much yet–just met my coworkers and learned the setting. Next week I expect to really sink my teeth in.
The silver lining is that three extra days at home allowed me to pitch in some on the unpacking, so our new home is looking somewhat livable. We picked Harlem because we could get a lot of space, so Liz and I have a good bit of living space for ourselves as well as a guest room and an office area. We also had the chance to introduce her cat to my two. We were concerned that it might take weeks for the cats to adjust to one another–instead, after only three days, they were doing fine. That’s pretty impressive.
I haven’t done any writing, obviously. All the change is not conducive to mental focus. Hopefully in the next week or two I can take some time to get some work done. There’s a new short story that I’m polishing up to start shopping around, and I’m considering a rewrite to the first few chapters of the most recent novel, which isn’t selling in its current form.