Sunday, December 9, 2007

Four by Four

I've seen this around but was inspired to do it this morning at Harriet Devine's.

Four jobs I've had

Interestingly, I can start just like Harriet - Assistant Stage Manager, and general all around theater lackey off-Broadway. My first New York show: Park Your Car in Harvard Yard, with Ellen Burstyn and Burgess Meredith, for whom I also ended up working privately on the side.

Lab assistant for a parasitologist in my first summer job following high school. We studied schistosoma, a parasite living in snails, birds and humans. I cared for (and killed) many of the snails and learned how to prepare electron micrographs of tissue.

Artistic Director of a theater company (and fundraiser, and producer, and actor, and sound designer, and director, and production manager - if it happens in a theater, I've probably done it unless it involves climbing a ladder and letting go to hang something in the air, and even then there's occasionally been no one else around and I had to, once or twice).

I sold typewriter ribbons (and other business machine ribbons) on the telephone. This lasted perhaps 10 days. I was forced to change my name to something less "ethnic," that was the first sign that I was not long for the business. When I did leave, I was not paid for my time and the business vanished overnight from the office they occupied with every telephone and scrap of paper. I was demoralized but my mother was so incensed, she spent weeks tracking down the owner, showing up at the front door of his home. I had a check to show for the miserable ten days after all. That's my mother for you.

Four places I've lived

New York City - for the first 18 years of my life, and the last 14.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Not a happy six months but I met some great people there.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lived there for nearly five years. Ran a theater company, had a lovely little garret apartment there with a slanted ceiling that kept one from standing in the shower and required setting my bed up just right so that I didn't whack my head when I woke up in the morning.

Chicago, Illinois. Another five years. Great city. I freelanced as a director and actor there, worked in advertising and shared a gargantuan apartment with my cousin who's a painter.

Four places I've been on holiday

All over France, I just love it there. Tarascon in the Provence holds particularly fond memories for me, including bicycling to the pont du garde and picnicking there.

Berlin - what a city for seeing great theater and opera.

Southern Spain - mmmm. A crash of cultures can be seen in the architecture, tasted in the food, heard in the language. The Alhambra is everything everyone has ever said it is. Saw a bullfight in Seville. Don't miss a little town called Ubeda. We stayed in a palace of the royal family that beceomes a b&b when they're not around.

Skagen, Denmark. It's the northern tip of Jutland (I think) and covered in sand dunes. It had a lovely youth hostel when I was there and I bicycled around for days.

Four favourite foods



Smoked salmon, a little lemon and capers would be nice, thanks.


Four places I'd rather be

Actually, I love my home so often I'd rather be here than many places, preferably with the Ragazzo and reading.

Paris, but without the bedbug bites I got last time.

A particular bed in a particular hotel room in a particular Swiss town (German part) waking up under a feather bed after sleeping off jet lag for about 14 hours and seeing the alps out of my window.

In Queechie, Vermont after picking strawberries with my friends in the late summer, lying in the gorge with the water running over me drinking cocktails made with the strawberries.

Consider yourself tagged if you've not yet taken your own stroll down memory lane.


Sheila O'Malley said...

Your last name was too ethnic? Are you kidding me?? I love your mother for tracking down that check. Ha!!

Sam said...

Sheila beat me to it...but I just want to add three cheers for your mother. Very cool lady.

Ted said...

Sheila - yeah. My mom won't take no for an answer.

Sam - she certainly is!

mattviews said...

I certainly slept off the jet lag after I arrived in Malaysia. I was on the plane for 18 hours and then slept another 18 hours. :)

Dewey said...

I loved reading about your holidays and places you'd like to be now. And smoked salmon with lemon and capers! Mmm.

heather (errantdreams) said...

Cheese is one of my favorite foods too, although I had to specifically go with extra-sharp cheddar. :) Smoked salmon is awfully good too!

And I love your mother. That's a great story.

Ted said...

Matt - I'm following your travels w/ interest - parts of the world I've never been to.

Heather - As the Ragazzo says, I'm very food-oriented. It was hard enough for me to narrow it down to "cheese" to pick just one kind would be cruel. I really like Humbolt Fog (an American goat cheese), comte (a french cheese - kind of swiss-like but no holes), and I like triple cremes like St. Andre (mmm), oh and my new favorite is Rochetta (italian - cow, goat and sheep's milk). I'm a cheese freak.

Dewey- I'd love being there better than writing about them! Especially during finals.