Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Eve and Taxicab Confessions



Honestly, the last New Year's Eve I remember doing anything neat was 2000/2001---I'd just gotten my first computer for Christmas, and I spent New Year's 2000 alone with a bottle of champagne, typing in my newly-written screenplay... (I felt very alone, yet very pure...That may not sound "neat" to most people, but, after years of New Year's parties being wild with people I didn't particularly care about, this night felt very good.)

Just last night (New Year's 2006/2007), I baby-sat my nephews (ages 4 and 1) for a few hours while their parents went out and had dinner with friends. Tavo (age 1) cried for "Mama" intermittently for hours... he'd play, then cry; I'd hold him and pat his back, then he'd cry; I'd give him crackers, then he'd cry... In the meanwhile, Townes and I watched the movie "Narnia" and talked and tried to figure out how to make Tavo stop crying! (BTW: I used to hate kids' movies, but after seeing "Polar Express" and "Narnia" this Christmas season, I think those two, at least, are actually very interesting!) By the end of the evening (10:45pm or so), both kids had collapsed in my bedroom with me... (I had to talk Townes into going in there...I have a cat, and he knew that she was hiding in there because she was scared of people..."Where is she?" "Under the bed, Townes." "I think I see her face over there----look!" [and then he'd grimace and make a "scary-cat face".] I finally made him understand that she was hiding under the bed 'cause she was scared of HIM not 'cause she was trying to be mean. So we all finally settled down and I turned on TCM, which was showing the Marx Brothers all night... 4-year-old Townes watched Groucho for a while and then said: "He's funny!" Now, I personally don't particularly think the Marx Brothers are funny, but... Townes actually got what was going on and why it was so weird and funny!

When my brother and his wife came back to my house 'round 10:45, they knocked and I got up to let them in. Both kids, who had been kind of restless before (most especially baby Tavo), didn't move from the bed to greet them, but kept watching the screen. They kind of had to be jolted out of their lethargy: "Look! Here's Mommie and Daddy!"

After they'd gone, I felt kind of flat... I'd been sick on my back for the past 4 days and certainly had no plans for this New Year's other than just weakly sitting and watching TV after my nephew-experience... I flipped channels----dear Lord, I hadn't realized that Dick Clark had had a stroke or something...he looked and sounded terrible and was depressing to watch. Watching "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" was something I always did in junior high and high school, thinking I was cool for staying up that late... I understand the tradition and the network's consideration in keeping him on board, BUT... the man has obviously had a stroke. It was awful seeing him tonight trying his hardest to enunciate.

After flipping through the various "Times Square" channels until the midnight countdown (just to see the countdown) and thinking that I'd just be going into 2007 with a crappy feeling, I finally found "Taxicab Confessions" on Bravo... Has anyone seen this? It was originally an HBO series; real people filmed, unknowingly, in real cabs... and they talk, for real, to the cabbie. Couples, strippers, kids, transsexuals, seniors, you name it. I was in such a "blah" kind of mood before I discovered, and after ringing in the new year 2007 with 3 hours of watching, I'm grateful----it's sometimes touching, sometimes cute, sometimes transcendent, sometimes depressingly awful... Kind of like that "get on the train" thing I felt earlier----there's ALL of this going on out there. All kinds of horrible, wonderful things, things that people have experienced...I've been out of it for 5 or 6 years now, which has been safer, but I MISS it. I MISS real life.

Get on the train, get in the cab. Whichever. Wow. Happy New Year!

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