Saturday, February 23, 2008

Up 5% on the STARmeter!

I finally made IMDb! Too bad it's a good 20 years after my filmmaking debut (see "The Lost Films of Kit Thompson, her brilliant six NYU short 16mm films." Oh wait, don't bother. They haven't been found yet.)

Snow... and a Shooting

What a weird week. Yesterday I almost got shot. That is to say, I was near someone who did. I saw it. Well, almost all of it. Enough of it to never want to again. Here's what happened. For some reason, my friend M. and I decided to pick Friday, February 22 to have lunch in midtown. By noon, there was a good six inches of snow on the ground. I gamely got on the subway uptown and had a delightful lunch with M. at Oceana (hamachi appetizer with candied ginger was a highlight.

A lowlight was M. telling me I got fat. Well, he said "gained a lot of weight since high school." Well, duh. And this after LOSING a good ten pounds (with a few more to follow) recently. Note: I was a perfect size 2 in high school. So there. He also said I looked attractive, which almost helps.) But I digress.

After lunch, feeling chilly and melancholy, I walked toward 57th Street as M. had suggested, to see the new Chanel store and other shiny, new (to me) establishments along the high-end block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Naturally, I accidently turned onto 56th Street and had started up the slight incline when I heard a shot. While wondering if it was a gunshot or a car backfiring I kept going without breaking stride, as any normal New Yorker would.

A few seconds later I could feel something in the air, see people on the other side of the street staring and pointing at a spot in front of me by 20 yards or so and then pointing slowly toward me. Then I saw a young man running right at me, dressed all in black and lugging a large duffel bag. I had plenty of time to contemplate tripping him. It would've been so easy, either with a quick leg out or by jumping out and down in front of him. I'll always regret simply stepping aside, and shielding my face with my little polka-dotted umbrella.

(In a parallel universe I did trip him. The gun flew out of his hand and I grabbed it, turning it on him and shouting "Stay down, motherfucker!" Then I grabbed the bag full of cash, disappeared into the after-lunch rush and ended up at the Apple Store where I bought several MacBook Airs. Oh -- and an iPhone.)

In reality, I turned to watch the perp get to the end of the block (with the bag) and turn right, at the same time noting a black car moving down the block in the same direction, ominously sounding a steady horn.

I kept walking and a few yards away saw a man on the sidewalk bleeding from the head. My heart stopped. I was certain he was dead. It was so Law & Order, except the police hadn't arrived. I stood around with the other gawkers, open-mouthed, horrified... looking/not looking. The police arrived pretty quickly -- within probably two minutes -- and I gave one the perp's description and told them he had turned right on Sixth. Then I left. I got in a cab, finally, and shook uncontrollably all the way home.

Update: the guy got away with around $150,000 that the victim inexplicably (so far) had just withdrawn from a bank. The victim is supposedly in stable condition at the hospital. I'm glad.

My favorite witness statement: "You don't expect this. Not on 56th Street. Especially in front of Starbucks.'' Brilliant.

Read all about it:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/22/man-is-shot-at-midtown-starbucks-police-say/#comment-207213

Monday, February 18, 2008

Questions, questions

Well, I'm still researching that terrible phrase, "cover off on." I've heard it at least five times now, in meetings at work (conference calls, thankfully, otherwise the utterer would see my dismay/horror). I tried for an answer (see comments on this post) on the only real use on the Web that I found and while the fellow was pleasant, had no derivation for me. Sigh.


Long weekend drawing to a close and I'm no happier than I was before. I did however manage to book a vacation with my sis for late next month. I had wanted to go Cuba but she chickened out so we're going to the Bahamas instead. No biggie. Should be a fun trip, staying at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau with plans for a snorkeling trip via a catamaran to outer islands and lots of hanging-in-the-hammock-sipping-rum-punch time. Can't wait.

By the way, the picture above isn't "dirty," as my friend A. sniffed. That's just Salsa (female kitten) giving O. Henry an innocent hug.

Update: Oops. Salsa's actually apparently in heat, as I waited too long to get her neutered (will on March 3). So ... maybe not so innocent. I don't know.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

San Francisco Again


Jetlag-o-rama! A two-day, two night trip to San Francisco from New York is not recommended. At least by me, anyway. Still jet-lagged three days later. I attended a pretty interesting social media conference that really highlighted the varying degrees of Web 2.0 or whatever capabilities across companies and industries. I presented last (also not recommended) and should have just shut up and poured everyone some much needed coffee. Oh well.

I flew back via LAX and was thrilled with the Virgin America flight. Same... attitude as JetBlue (laid back, mellow, happy) but taken a step further somehow. I was upgraded to Premium class and had legroom that would've made Wilt Chamberlin happy. I also was right behind First class and could see television's Lake Bell (Boston Legal, Surfaces) just beyond the purple-tinted plastic barrier. Star sighting? Close enough.
video
To be completely honest, it was a little difficult to be there without C., with whom I'd gone not so long ago and had such a wonderful time (driving through the Berkeley Hills, staying in a famous room at the St. Francis, dining in North Beach, etc. Hard to believe that... that was then and this is now.

 
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