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Friday, June 29th, 2007

Time Event
A 5/26/97 New Yorker Talk of the Town piece on celebs' plans for their own funerals poignantly included Wendy Wasserstein, who died last year at 55. She thought Lynne Thigpen could sing (no, already dead), Andre Bishop could speak (he did), and her mother could dance (I don't know if she danced, but she was still alive and died not long after her daughter). Further research shows that Geoffrey Beene also has died since that article.

When I worked in Times Square, lunch was often salad at a place that mixed it for you. I usually got shredded cheese, tofu, shredded carrots, red peppers and tomatoes as add-ins (no dressing). I decided to replicate this at home, using prepackaged lettuce and carrots (I'm lazy). I unearthed the rarely used salad spinner (gotten with a gift certificate in 2001) to toss the ingredients. After several spins, not much had moved so I resorted to manually tossing with two wooden spoons. Some food got into the top spinning mechanism and there was no apparent way to dismantle the lid for cleaning. Discussion with Oxo confirmed this, and they said newer models avoid this problem. So much for industrial design.

In the endless quest for raspberry juice, I got Crystal Light individual raspberry ice packets from Fresh Direct. This tastes nothing like Minute Maid's fruity goodness, but has that artificial cloyingly sweet taste and stains your face. Strangely, the little grocery across the street where I first found the Minute Maid hasn't had it since.

Bulldozers have appeared in the adjacent tennis courts, ready to break those up and build 3 new buildings. Construction across the street is also progressing, and more high-rises are sprouting up a few blocks away. This neighborhood is getting an infusion of luxury housing as well as a Whole Foods (the rumors appear to be true), not necessarily a bad thing.

Last night was the premiere of "Introducing the Dwights" (known as "Clubland" when shown at Sundance this year) at the Chelsea West. Jeffurry wasn't in town so I couldn't meet him on his corner again. I arrived at 6:15 for the 7 pm show and was way early. You never know with these things - 45 minutes early for "Ratatouille" put us way back in the line. Although I reserved and had an e-mail confirmation, my name wasn't on the list but they noted it, let me in anyway, and even gave me an afterparty invite. In the theater lobby, I went to the end of a line, but it was a line of photographers and one told me to go on in.

The theater was practically empty, with staff still putting Reserved signs on the chairs, and I chose the Tim Robbins memorial seat from the "Charlie Banks" premiere. The showing was co-sponsored by the American Australian Association, and people with Aussie ("Ozzie") accents began coming in as well as regular New Yorkers and a few connected with the movie.

The sound was a little loud, but I put that aside and got caught up in the story of a mother and her 2 sons in a Sydney suburb. Brenda Blethyn gives an award-worthy performance as a divorced mom working in a canteen by day and doing comedy by night. One son is retarded and the other is experiencing first love. I cried at the end. Although Brenda Blethyn was sitting on the other side of the room, I ended up THIS close as we left the theater. I was too shy to tell her how good she was, and also too shy to attend the afterparty a few blocks away (a typo said it was between 19th and 11th Aves.). Getty photos show Blethyn, the director, and the producer were there, though the entire cast had attended the LA premiere on Tuesday.

News reports indicate Thomas Haden Church and/or Bradley Cooper are slated to co-star with Sandra Bullock in "All About Steve." I wouldn't choose those particular guys as my stalkee, but her quirky, brilliant crossword-constructing character isn't really me (I mean, I don't even construct). There may be pics of real crossword people in the background, but it'll probably be "blink and you miss it."
The absolute worst thing you can do to me is accuse me of lying. I am honest to a fault.

Today at the Associated supermarket at 13 West 100th Street, the cashier rang up 2 peaches at 1.29/pound. When I said they were from outside at .99/pound she did not want to believe me. We went outside, and I showed her they were in a bin with a sign saying "peaches and nectarines" (with mostly nectarines) at .99/pound. We got the manager, who said customers may have wrongly put back peaches in that bin, because they had a different number on the sticker. And (paraphrasing) you can't charge lettuce prices for meat mistakenly put with the lettuce. Still, these peaches looked like the other peaches in that bin, what was I supposed to do? (I just went back to the store and checked - my peaches had sticker number 4038, and the 1.29 peaches had number 4401; no other peaches in the store had 4038 so I can only assume the 4038 peaches were indeed in the correct bin.)

I was about to leave my groceries at the cash register and never shop there again. They finally did let me have the peaches at .99/pound. At first, the cashier subtracted them entirely, giving them to me for free. But I didn't want something for nothing, only at the price they were supposed to be. So I paid the 58 cents. The disputed amount here is 18 cents.

Even though this was resolved, I'm still debating whether to shop there again. Normally I like this store which has a good selection for such a small place. I've praised them in the past. And they were accommodating and pleasant in the end.

But doubt my word and I get very upset. Instead of costing me 18 cents, it'll cost you thousands of dollars. My financial records show I've spent $8226.56 at this store since 11/29/88, and $1762.15 in the year ending 5/17/07.

I told the manager I would write about this. If you're reading this, you can redeem yourself by stocking Minute Maid Light Raspberry Passion and the diet blondies that are usually by the cash register (they were out of them today). Then I'll be back in a flash.
In the peach craziness, I didn't mention the rest of my day.

It wasn't very exciting. I ran some errands in the neighborhood. The changing neighborhood, where you can still hear nothing but Spanish on some blocks, and on other blocks see brand new not-yet-occupied high-rises as well as holes in the ground where not-yet-built high-rises will be. On second thought, that *is* exciting.

I went to 4 different drug stores looking for travel-size contact lens fluid, only to find that 3 oz. containers do not exist and the smallest size of any brand (though not mine) is 4 oz. Even though the TSA site says saline solution is an OK exception, mine was confiscated and thrown away last year at LaGuardia, so I'm not sure if I'll be forced to buy this in Michigan (and if there are stores accessible to the car-less) or if I should just check my luggage.

At night, I've noticed what looks to be a popular taco truck at 96th and Broadway but haven't had a chance to try it. Today, there was a halal cart in that location. Oooh! I didn't try it since I had several stops to make, but I'll have to check it out.

One stop was the bank, where I had 7 checks to deposit, including my entire game show pay (I didn't do direct deposit since it was such a brief stint). I used the bank's deposit slip and they didn't give back an itemized copy, just the total. Luckily, I had screwed up the entry (wrote numbers in the wrong boxes) and still had the scrap copy for my records.

I think I've cooled down enough from the peach incident to eat a peach.

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