My Big Fat Birthday
It's my 50th birthday today so I ate chopped liver for breakfast. I've always believed you can do whatever you want on your big day. Schuyler gave me a giant Hershey kiss this morning when I woke up, and she made chocolate covered strawberries (which I ate with my chopped liver). Right now she's baking me a cake. Mark told me I looked more beautiful at 50 than I ever have before. While I assure you that's not true, I totally appreciate the sentiment. Sam pretended he didn't remember my birthday. It's the kind of joke that 13-year-old boys find hilarious. What can I say? Later, we're getting a Christmas tree, decorating it, and then we'll go out to dinner. As the birthday girl, I get to pick the place, so I'm choosing the Knickerbocker. If you read my book, you know that a pivotal scene takes place there.
The coolest thing happened this week. On Thursday, I put an e-mail out to about 40 of my friends asking if people could connect me with people they knew around the country who had experienced school admissions in other cities. I'm doing research on that topic and need to talk to people who can help me understand how competitive the process is in other places. A friend in NYC forwarded my e-mail to someone in California. That person forwarded the e-mail to someone else in California, a man named Richard. Richard e-mailed back and invited me to call him - he has 3 kids who are in private school in L.A. I called him and as we talked, he told me that (just by chance) he is the agent who represents Tracey Jackson, the screenwriter who is adapting The Ivy Chronicles. I was so thrilled because I've been dying to talk to her. I'm totally curious to find out how she is doing on the screenplay, what scenes made it, what scenes have been cut, etc. People ask me about the movie all the time and I never know what to say. Anyhow, I asked Richard to forward an e-mail from me to Tracey where I told her how much I'd love to talk to her and invited her to call me anytime. The next morning, I received an e-mail from Tracey. It turns out, she lives in NYC and has a child at Friends, where my son goes. She invited me to meet her for coffee which I eagerly accepted. Then she mentioned that she was taking a snowday on Friday because she needed a break from work. So I invited her to join me and my friends at our spa day at Avon spa. We were indulging ourselves in celebration of my birthday (any excuse will do). So Tracey came. I was so excited to meet her. We're still getting together on Monday because we tried really hard not to talk business on Friday. But I could see that she understood where I was coming from in the book, and she shares my attitude completely. Meeting her was such an unexpected surprise and I'm totally looking forward to getting to know her better.
Last night, our friends Johnny, Kathy, Don, and Judy joined me and Mark for dinner at a really warm and cozy Italian restaurant down the street (Ecco). More birthday madness. It was great to celebrate with these friends, who I love dearly. All in all, it has been a lovely birthday. I told Mark that I'm going to pretend I've just turned 40 and start counting again from there. Hey, it's my birthday and I can lie if I want to.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
If you read my blogs regularly, you know that I recently purchased these customized vitamins that came in capsules that made me choke. I tried to take them by emptying the powder into tea, but it tasted disgusting. The tea turned this strange radioactive color. In my continuing attempt to try to take these vitamins, I went to the health food store and bought smaller gel caps. Last night, I emptied the powder on to paper and refilled the smaller capsules. It was time consuming to say the least. After several hours, I only got five days worth of pills done. It appears that I'll have to take thirty capsules a day to get my daily dose. I'm not sure I can do this. Can all those gelatin capsules be good for me? I'll have to consult with a nutritionist. The powder was bright yellow, and now, my expensive french manicure has turned glowing yellow. If you saw me, you'd think I had liver disease. If I do continue along this path, refilling capsules will just have to become my new hobby. It is kind of relaxing. Instead of knitting or painting, I'll fill capsules. I thought I'd take these for a week and see if I feel better. I'll only keep this time-consuming capsule-refilling up if it has a marked improvement on my health. I think that's fair. Meanwhile, I need to go out and buy some dark nail polish to cover up my radio-active nails.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Andrew Milner, 1955-2005
Mark got up at 5:45 a.m. this morning to fly to Denver for our friend, Andrew Milner's, memorial service. Andy was one of Mark's oldest and dearest friends. I don't think I've ever seen him up at such a God Awful hour unless he'd stayed out all night. I don't even wake him up until 9 for work. Andrew would have been truly touched to find out that Mark was willing to get up at the crack of dawn to bid him "goodbye." There aren't many people he would do that for. Andy died of Pick's disease. He was only 50. That's a disease where your brain slowly rots away. Doctors suspect you get it from eating cow brains and other exotic entrails. The last time we saw Andy, he didn't really know who we were.
Andy moved to Manhattan right after Mark and I did, twenty years ago. He lived with his boyfriend, Tom. They had the coolest apartment in the East Village and two dogs, Cosmo and Rex. Cosmo used to go nuts whenever he saw one of those 24 ounce bottles of Sprite. He'd jump up and down like a mad dog and you'd either have to sedate him or put the bottle back in the fridge. Their apartment was beautifully decorated with lots of real, important art. Andrew and Tom were the ultimate NY sophisticates, true bon vivants. Tom managed the Broadway show, Cats. He got tickets to every Broadway opening and we all used to go together in a stretch limo - first to the premier, then to the amazing party that always took place after. Andrew was in the movie business so he was always jetting off to Cannes and other exotic places for film festivals. Another friend, Charles, used to accompany Andy to Cannes. He told us that everyone who was anyone knew Andy and sought him out, from Steven Spielberg to Clint Eastwood. Tom and Andy were the most exciting friends we had. Being with them felt like living in the New York City of the black and white movies. We were definitely not in Colorado anymore.
One of my favorite memories of Andy and Tom was Thanksgiving 1988 when we went to their house for dinner. I brought along my best high school friend, Larry Schechter, also gay, so everyone got along brilliantly. Sadly, Larry died a few years later in a small plane accident in Alaska (lesson: don't ever take a side trip on a cruise that involves a small plane). But that night, Tom made the most magnificent traditional dinner. We ate it in front of a roaring fire, drinking fabulous wines. The piece de resistence (I have no idea how to spell that) was the home made pumpkin soup he served from a pumpkin tureen that he made himself. Tom was a true gourmand. I threw up later that night, but it was worth it.
Eventually Tom and Andy broke up and moved away. There was knock-down drag-out fight over a piece of art that Andy bought. Tom claimed it was evil. New York City was never the same for us after that. The glitter-life was gone. We still loved the city, but became more domestic in our pursuits. No more limos or opening night parties. When we saw Andy last time, he would get glimmers of recognition of us. He kept saying, "didn't we used to have so much fun together in that...that place?" He could barely remember our time together here, much less the name of the city where we had fun. I am so bummed to think he's not here on earth anymore. I hope Larry was there to help him cross over to the other side.
Friday, December 02, 2005