Friday, July 19, 2013

Like Two Trains Passing in the Night

Shameless plug before you read on (there are not one but TWO encounters)!

If you have the means, take a moment to donate to my next show, going up at HERE Arts Center August 1. We've been working for almost a year on it, and we only need about $1000 more dollars! So we're very close. Even $5 or $10 brings us closer!

To donate today, click here.
1. Go to
2. Click "BUY" on the top left.
3. Select "Make a Payment"
4. Use the email address and follow the instructions!



1. OVERHEARD at the 14th St Subway station.

Stressed Out Older Mom in Sundress with Frizzy Hair pulls Little Girl in Duck Bathing Suit (around six or seven?) onto the L Train. Little Sister (around 4 or 5?) in Red Polka Dot Bikini and Jelly Shoes follows.

SOOMIWFH: You will NOT. Behave. Like. This. In. Public. I won't tolerate it. I won't tolerate a brat.
SOOMIWFH: I've tried reasoning with you. I've tried bribing you. I've tried punishing you. WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
SOOMIWFH: What's going to happen when you're older? You won't have any friends. No one is going to like this behavior.
SOOMIWFH: You're EMBARRASSING me. (Yanks the little girl next to her.)
LSIRPDBJS: Why's she crying mama?
SOOMIWFH: Because she's a brat.
LSIRPDBJS: I want ice cream.
SOOMIWFH: I want ice cream too, I want a whole lot of things, but I'm not getting them either.
LSIRPDBJS: That's sad.
SOOMIWFH: Yes. It is.



Sitting on the 1 train reading "In Touch" or "US Weekly" -- can't remember which. (DO NOT JUDGE ME OK? I LIKE TO KEEP UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS, ALRIGHT?) Suddenly, Normal Looking Middle Aged Black Man with Briefcase and Red Tie sits next to me.

NLMABMWBART: You shouldn't read that garbage.
(I smile. Shift away.)
Me: Ha. Yeah.
(Back to reading.)
NLMABMWBART: No, really.
Me: Ha, I know, I know. It's my vice!
NLMABMWBART: You're letting them get away with it.
Me: Uh...
NLMABMWBART: You're bringing Satan into your life and you don't even know it.
Me: Ah, well, I guess that's a risk I'm willing to take for Kristen Stewart. Haha...ha...
NLMABMWBART: It effects all of us.
Me: Oh,
NLMABMWBART: Don't apologize to me. Apologize to your children.
Me: Ah, well, I don't have any of those so I guess I'm in the clear.
NLMABMWBART: You aren't. None of us are.
(We approach 72nd street. DING DONG.)
NLMABMWBART (to a Business-y Looking Skinny Blonde Female Passenger entering the train car): Satan is in this car. Don't go in there.
BLSBFP: I'll take my chances.
(Door shuts.)
BLSBFP: Fucking lunatic.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Back By Popular--and by that I mean 1 person's--Demand

After 3 hours on the phone with the federal help desk trying to re-register with the NEA...

Grant Agent: Are you Young Jean Lee?
Me: Well, no, but I'm the company authorizing official.
Grant Agent: So. You are not Young Jean Lee?
Me: No. But would this phone call go faster if I, do I need to be?
Grant Agent: Well...I mean, you aren't, so...
Me: No. I am. I am. I actually am.
Grant Agent: Miss, you just told me you weren't.
Me: I was wrong. I am. I am Young Jean Lee.
Grant Agent: Miss--
Me: I was lying before! I'm Young Jean Lee!
Grant Agent: I can't--
Grant Agent: Uh--
Grant Agent: Okay, Ms. Lee. Can I have your DUNS number?
Me: Yes, you may.
Grant Agent: Hold on a second while I pull up your file.
(long pause, sound of typing)
Me: The irony is, she probably wouldn't even know that.
Grant Agent: You mean, YOU wouldn't even know that.
Me: What? Oh. Right. Haha. Yes. I wouldn't.
Grant Agent: Wait...who is Caleb Hammons?
Me: used to be the POC...why?
Grant Agent: He's actually the authorizing official. I need to speak with him.
Me: Oh...I'm Caleb Hammons, that's me. That's my name.
Grant Agent: Oh really? You should have said that before.
Me: Ha! Oh silly me...oh...! Haha!
Grant Agent: Great, I'll just need your date of birth.
Me: Um...06/05/
Grant Agent: You aren't Caleb Hammons.
Me: I AM
Grant Agent: (sigh)
Grant Agent: Lady...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Double Your Pleasure

Alright guys. I made some big promises in my last post. Promises I was too lazy to keep. But also these two moments from today made those moments look like child's play.

Without further ado...

TODAY. FORT GREENE. SMALL LOCAL PARK. CIRCA 2:30pm. I'm responsible for a small human child--an 11 month old--who is possibly the cutest baby in existence...a baby who, incidentally, just learned to wave. She waves to people, trees, statues, fences, and all large objects. I'm walking this adorable creature around the park and she spies Black Female Park Worker on Her Iphone. She, naturally, waves. BFPWOHI waves back. Adorable child giggles.

BFPWOHI (on the phone): Ooooooohhh girl I wanna have a baby.
BFPWOHI(on the phone): I know. I know. But like, you should see these babies. Oh my god this one is waving at me. She's wavin' and smilin' and my--what you call it?--
BFPWOHI (on the phone): Biological clock, right. 
BFPWOHI (on the phone): Just take your IUD out.
BFPWOHI (on the phone): I wanna take mine out.
(Adorable Baby waves again.)
BFPWOHI (on the phone): She's still waving. She's waving right now.
(BFPWOHI  waves back. Adorable Baby giggles.)
BFPWOHI (on the phone): That bitch has a baby? Oh my god. That is--
BFPWOHI (on the phone): No I bet she don't even know how to spell IUD.
BFPWOHI (on the phone): I. U. D...
(BFPWOHI dies laughing)
BFPWOHI (on the phone): Girl, if you can't spell it, keep yours in. Keep. It. In.



Dominican Girl With Giant Gold Earrings and Tears Streaming Down Her Face is standing in the middle of the street. (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE SIDEWALK). She is screaming. Beside her stands Befuddled Early 20s Dominican Boy in Dirty White TShirt and Umbros (YES. UMBROS.) He is holding a tiny dog.

DGWGGEATSDHF: You are SHIT. You are SHIT. I shoulda never trusted you. You're SHIT.
BE20sDBIDWTAU: Come on, down you're scaring him. (He refers to the shaking little rat/ dog).
DGWGGEATSDHF: You think I give a shit? You think I give a shit about you or your fucking dog?!? I DON'T. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT.
BE20sDBIDWTAU: Baby, come on. I'm your lover! You've known me a know I wouldn't play you like that. Come on you known me a whole week--
BE20sDBIDWTAU: That week mean nothin' to you, baby? Come on? We had such good times...we talked.
(She begins to storm off down the street. He goes to stop her, then stops himself. Looks after her. Looks at the dog.)
BE20sDBIDWTAU: (to the dog): It's ok. Shhhh. She just a crazy bitch. We'll have fun on our own.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Somethin's a-brewin'

I haven't had time to blog in the past few days, as I've been away celebrating the 4th and our great nation in the woods with lovely friends...and beer...and card games...and mosquito bites...


Now I'm back. And don't worry, everyone. New York still smells like pee. It's ok. You don't have to fret about that.

I will find time to make a post in the next day or two. Here are the current situations I'm ruminating on:

1. We went to a really scary country diner that was surrounded by HUNDREDS of teddy bears that stare at you while you eat. There was a waitress with a neon pink shirt who came over to pet the dog we had with us. She old us she had recently put her dog down. She cried. I was uncomfortable. But also felt bad for her. Because losing your dog is actually terrible and really sad.

2. We went to a gorge. There was a man there named Richard who kept cliff jumping and screaming "brooooooooo!" as he jumped. He and his friends were playing Nirvana, Lit, Sublime, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20. Richard was a special creature.

3. I was sent on an expedition to a small grocery store in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York. It was called Gregg's. I was supposed to get vegan hot dogs. At a place with a sign out front that said "all beef 50% off". I asked the lady at the deli for vegan hot dogs...vegan anything. She said "we have chicken?"

4. At a Wendy's on Route 81 back to NYC, there were two girls--clearly also headed back to the city. Who, in the line, CHANGED PANTS WITH EACH OTHER. IN LINE. LIKE, AS I WAS ORDERING. One of them was wearing a thong. Both of them were wearing a terrifying sense of entitlement.

More soon.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


In line at the 59th Street Starbucks. 5:30 pm. An early 20s couple:

Little Tiny Trendy Girl Wearing a Sweater in Ninety Degree Heat: No, I'm not, like, mad. I'm, I accept you for you, but it's just, like it takes me out--briefly--of our relationship. Like, I'm pulled away for a second when you do it, that's all.

Painfully Skinny Hipster Boy With A Sailor's Bracelet On: Well, when you say that, it's not a little thing. That really pisses me off. That you're like "I mean, it's fine but I like you less", that's basically what you're saying. You're saying it repels you. But in the same breath you're like "don't worry about it"...well, obviously I'm going to--

LTTGWASINDH: But that's what I'm saying you don't have--

PSHBWASBO: But I'm obviously going to worry when my girlfr--

LTTGWASINDH: There must be things I do that are like similar--

PSHBWASBO: No. I don't have anything like that.

LTTGWASINDH: That's ridiculous. You must. You have to. Come on. I'm a grownup. I can handle it.

PSHBWASBO: Well, honestly this conversation. This...This conversation does that for me. Like, when you pick at me like this and act like it's no big deal.

LTTGWASINDH: Because it IS no big deal. It's seriously--

PSHBWASBO: It's a big deal to me because now I feel like an asshole. I had no idea you even noticed. But now I'm like, thinking back to all the times, and realizing you must have felt that way so often. I do it a lot, so you must have felt that way, like, constantly--

LTTGWASINDH: That's not true. It's not constant. It's not.

PSHBWASBO: Well, right, but now I'm thinking it's like all the time.

LTTGWASINDH: Well, that's in your head, I never said that.

PSHBWASBO: But do you understand why it makes me paranoid and crazy?

Starbucks Clerk: Good afternoon, what can I get you?

LTTGWASINDH: A tall coffee. With a little room.

SC: Hot?

LTTGWASINDH: Yes, definitely.

(Pause. Typing on register.)

SC: You?

PSHBWASBO: Grande iced coffee, sweetened.

(SC types. Silence for a moment.)

LTTGWASINDH: You get sweetened?

PSHBWASBO: Yeah. Always.


SC: Will that be all?

LTTGWASINDH: I think so.


(PSHBWASBO hands him a five dollar bill. LTTGWASINDH says nothing. SC hands PSHBWASBO change. They move off to wait. Looking at their phones. He, an iphone. She--mysteriously--an android.)

LTTGWASINDH: Abby just texted me.


LTTGWASINDH: Francis Ha is playing in a half hour at Lincoln Plaza.

PSHBWASBO:  What is that?

LTTGWASINDH: It's good, I think.

(Pause. He picks up a stirrer and starts absentmindly chewing on it. Looking at facebook on his phone.)

LTTGWASINDH: Should we go?

PSHBWASBO:  Oh. Yeah, sure.

LTTGWASINDH: Cool. It's apparently great.

SC: Grande iced, sweetened.

LTTGWASINDH: Ha, sweetened.

(PSHBWASBO grabs his coffee. They start towards the door.)

PSHBWASBO: Wait, where are we going again?


PSHBWASBO:  Oh, cool.

(They exit.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

An Oldie But Goodie

I'm holed up in my apartment today, doing rewrites on my play (HERE Arts Center August 1-4!) and pacing around and eating Edy's fruitbars and generally suffering from a mid-20s existential crisis. So I likely won't have much contact with the outside world.  So I offer you this. From back in October.

P.S. I still don't own a track suit.

Weird Old Dude on the Street: I like your track suit.
Me in sweatpants at the mailbox outside my building:...
WODOTS: I used to have one just like it.
MISATMOMB: Heh, cool. (Turning to go)
WODOTS: So. You aren't gonna bother correcting me and telling me you aren't wearing a track suit.
WODOTS: You clearly are not wearing a track suit.
WODOTS: So you were just gonna let it go? You were gonna let me call it a track suit?
MISATMOMB: It sort of seemed easier that way, yes.
WODOTS: (walking away) I don't need anyone placating me. I don't need that.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Welcome to Reception

I'm sitting in a Starbucks crying (or trying not to cry in public) about the woman who died in the Cirque show last night. A man with a scary skin disorder sits down near me.

AMWSSD: There are no outlets in this goddamn Starbucks.
(He looks at me expectantly. I nod. Return to googling "aerialist death")
AMWSSD: I remember when Starbucks had outlets. That was the whole point.
(I look up briefly. Look back to my screen.)
AMWSSD: Will you watch my computer while I ask if they have an extension cord?
Me: Um. Sure...
AMWSSD (walking away, muttering): Is a fucking outlet too much to ask?
(I begin googling one of my friends from 7th grade because I remember he is now in the circus. Gay, black dancer man in spandex approaches.)
GBDMIS: Excuse me, do you have a pen?
Me: Um. Sure...
(I rummage in my bag. He chats as I do so.)
GBDMIS: I have this audition and I forgot to write down the address! I am a hot MESS!
Me: Ha, I know the feeling.
GBDMIS: Just yesterday I went to Ripley Grier and waited in line for a big chorus call, only to find out the chorus call I wanted was at PEARL!!
Me: Ah, bummer.
GBDMIS: You're tellin' me. I gotta have somethin' to tell my mother before the fall or she's gonna make me come home.
Me: Yikes.
GBDMIS: Oh don't worry, I would never. That woman. That woman.
Me: Ha. I know what you mean.
(I hand GBDMIS a pen. AMWSSD returns. No extension cord.)
AMWSSD: No fucking extension cords. And my computer is gonna die. This day.
GBDMIS: I FEEL you! It's just one of those. (pause, hands me the pen.) Thanks for the pen.
(GBDMIS exits.)
AMWSSD: You lent him your pen? Jesus. You're just...the receptionist of this Starbucks. Ha.
Me: Ha. I guess so.
AMWSSD: You just have one of those faces.
(AMWSSD  checks the battery on his computer.)
AMWSSD: Fuck it. I'm going to Cosi.
(AMWSSD exits.)