Thursday, February 28, 2008

Neither Here Nor There…

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini
Visiting to New York was like visiting an ex-boyfriend—you know, those relationships that ended on amicable terms. This New York life, formerly known as mine…I’ve never visited New York with a round-trip ticket to return elsewhere.

Yes, I’m still trying to get myself wrapped around the idea of moving. I know people do it all the time-- even live in multiple cities in their lifetime, but not this New Yorker. I’ve been living in Park Slope for almost 15 years. Pre- “Park Stroller” and Starbucks on 7th Avenue.

It was a rough landing arriving to JFK, the most ugly, dirty unwelcoming airport in the World. It can say that, having been to 9 airports in the last couple months. I can’t believe that JFK (and LaGuardia for that matter) actually are the first impression of, and the Ambassador to New York City. Well, I can believe it-- I just don’t get it. The Austin airport by contrast, has live music everyday and I just may eat from the floor.

Good ‘ol Continental Car Service got me right to the Brooklyn Museum where I worked for a few days. Luckily, when I landed I got a call to work at BAM Friday night, and sat in the front row to see Brooklyn’s “The National” a popular indie band. I ran into a friend, Ramona Clifton, who by chance bought a last minute front row ticket, so there we were together. (thanks for the image above, Ramona!)

A highlight of the week was The Alt Oscars party ( on Sunday night when all the overwhelming feelings that I had visiting were gone for just one silly send up to the Oscars night, and it was fun. I dressed as Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan, and was awarded the best female impersonator Alt.Oscar Award! What a thrill an Alty! Weee! I also won the Oscar pool, but I now I need to play catch up on all those films I haven’t seen.

I’ve been getting in habit of unsubscribing to my New York life (Film groups, yoga E-news etc.) that I’ve worked so hard to create. I reply with relocating-unsubscribe. Now, I’m joining new groups…and noticed that the ratio of (area code) 512 phone #’s in my cell phone is catching up to the 212/917/646 and 347s. It’s interesting how our cell phones carry our history. My 917 will always be with me.

I heard on NPR a new campaign called “ I Live New York” targeting young New Yorkers to stay in the city, but they aren’t the people buying up all these new condos. Who are these people? Hedge and Trust funders? They are for sure no one I know.

I’m neither living in New York nor settled in Austin, and so, this is my life at the moment.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Love Surreal

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini
Right now I’m listening to the Anti-Valentine’s Day after show on NPR. “My Love for You has Turned to Hate” A little Hank Williams to start my day. All this pink and red heart-shaped candy, decor and mass marketed crap will be ½ price today, only to be replaced by shamrocks and lephrecon and a sea of green on the shelves of your local CVS, Walgreen’s, or now, in my case, H-E-B (which I fondly call “Heb” for the Jew in you).

Before I get back to my love affair, Austin, first a commercial break-- grab a down coat – because I visited Winter in Chicago last weekend for a big family Bar Mitzvah, and that was surreal. Surreal is neither good nor bad—it is a state of experience. I say surreal only to illustrate how different my life feels by comparison, and what it is to literally visit another’s ‘world’. Although we all share the same calendar, the way we spend our days are markedly different.

My family in Chicago and their lifestyle is the path not taken. What would my life look like if my Father never got that job in New York 40+ years ago?

I saw snow for the first time this year, so I guess I spoke too soon when I said I escaped Winter—I got the hit of sub below, but visiting Winter is better than living through it. Another part of the surreal was going ‘home’ to Austin. My state of transition is mysterious to everyone including myself. “So where are you now?” “What’s happening?” “When do you come back to NY?”

Well, I’m in the, and present to, my flow, which feels like my days as a NY resident are over, at least for now—I feel everything that has unfolded thus far is a series of lucky breaks. Joseph Campbell calls these breaks “A thousand unseen helping hands” Not that I don’t struggle and have uncertainty, but I trust that I’m in the right place, and it’s outside my comfort zone.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini

It’s 2 months since I left New York. I’m still on a trip although it doesn’t look like Bali. I suppose it’s the trip that is my life.

Is this the Twilight Zone or is it just Austin, TX.? I’m continually reminded that I’m not from ‘round here, yet I’m bask in the everyday novelty. When you are born and raised in New York, Texas is indeed like another country and College Station is a case in point. It’s “Aggieland” where Cows and tumbleweeds have the right of way, and suddenly I found myself in the in the red part of the red state. Yes, Priscilla and I took a 2 hr. road trip there to see “A Ride With Bob”, the story of Bob Wills’ life with Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel performing. Of course Bob Wills is a big deal down here. He was the songwriter, band leader and maverick of country-swing. Of course I just went “Who”? Oh, “Take Me Back to Tulsa”, yeah, I think I heard that one…I’m such a Yankee. Sigh. At least I have Cowboy boots.

Learning a new city, groking the map, finding new favorite restaurants—even the Mexican food is authentic—as in, “Oh you want Mexican food tonight?” What type of Mexican? Interior or Exterior, Tex Mex or California Mex, and, oh there’s more...

Full disclosure: I haven’t taken the public bus or free ‘Dillo (as in Armadillo) yet. NO I’m not afraid, I just haven’t had to…rides and other small world coincidences have had a way of falling into place that confirms for me that indeed the universe is conspiring for me to be here, and it feels magical. Who’s my new boyfriend? It’s Austin. The Texas welcome mat here is big and it’s clean, freshly vacuumed and smells good too.

Every step I take has had a story attached to it—making new friends, and establishing community here through Yoga, film and music.

I’ve been to the Austin Film Society Mixer, where CK MacFarland (co-creator of A Ride With Bob) spoke last week, as well as Reel Woman, another indie film support network. I’m now a work-study at Yogagroove Bikram Yoga Studio and slowly but surely I’m mapping out my scene.

Last week I saw the SAG awards-where at the end montage of all who have passed this year, there’s the young Heath Ledger. What a sad and sudden loss. We now know it was accidental OD from prescription meds. The Writer’s Strike is near a close yet, there's 21 TV shows on hiatus now--which means 21 sets of actors, crews, catering and cleaning services out of work—It’s detrimental because even when it is said and done, it’s like starting from scratch to ramp up again on all fronts.

Today is Super Tuesday (and Mom’s Birthday) I received this email:
TO: Family, friends, friends of family, professional colleagues and others
FROM: Ted Sorensen
SUBJECT: To Urge Voting for OBAMA on Tuesday, February 5 (Super Tuesday)

I truly believe that February 5th will choose the next President of the United States, and that this choice is more important for our country's future than any presidential election since 1932. After almost eight years of Bush incompetence, indifference and disasters, Senator Obama is the one candidate who can restore America's moral authority and regain the respect essential to our security.

…yet I would vote for Hillary over Obama. She has the best built in Advisor (Bill). I registered to vote here in the blue marble of Travis County.