Friday, March 30, 2007

New Thing #5: Eastern Flair

Today, thanks to a suggestion from my amazing little sister, Kathleen, I am learning to write my name in Chinese. This was slightly easier said than done, as Mandarin Chinese is particularly intricate and complicated, and there is really no direct translation of my full name. I did some research on Chinese lettering and the specific strokes:



Having been friends with a number of Chinese-American kids throughout my life, I know that this isn't really something that can be learned in a day; my friends growing up went to hours of Chinese school a week as a way of learning to connect to their culture. (My version of cultural connection was wearing plaid a lot and quoting Mike Meyers.)
So I found a site that would generate my own special Chinese name, based on my American name, my chosen characteristics (I picked Mind and Intelligence), my gender, and my birthdate. My "new" name is Meng Zheng Ning, which roughly translates to "Proper and Peaceful." I'll take it!


And now I'll attempt to write it!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Thing #4: Are You There, Stranger?

5:54: I took the day off to run around and do apartment stuff and get a new telly, so I haven't posted today's new thing yet, which is to leave a nice note for a stranger. Suggestor Erin originally had said to leave it on a seat in public transportation, but I didn't want anyone to knee-jerk react badly to something that could be misconceived as terroristy. So I'm leaving it on a park bench. Hold on while I go do that. Here's a photo of part of the note:

(I explained the project in the note so it wouldn't seem scary to whoever finds it)

7:41: I left the note on a bench overlooking the Hudson, in a grove of still-bare trees just inside Fort Tryon park. My boyfriend suggested I put a rock on top of it, as it's a bit windy up on the cliff. There were only a few people around at the time, and it's possible one of them picked the note up as soon as I left it, but I rather hope someone finds it much later.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New Thing #3: Off-Broadway Baby

For a little over a year now, I have performed with Blue Man Group as a tube-talker, which is essentially an invisible crowd-warmer who's not a stand-up. I sit in the basement and yell, sing, talk and otherwise just try to connect with audience members and keep them entertained until the show starts. I totally love it and I would do it even if they didn't pay me. But today, for the first time not just on behalf of Blue Man Group, I did a show during my lunch break. I've done other shows at weird times before- 5am, 9:30 am, and your standard weekend matinees. But I've never used a lunch break from my day job to perform anything other than a capella karaoke in an empty elevator. BMG is easy to get to from work, and my whole bit takes about a half hour, so popping down there on the 6 during my lunch break was no sweat. Being situated so neatly among mass-production shopping in midtown, I often shop on my lunch break, but that's boring! Why buy my 12th pair of cargo pants from Old Navy when I can be using that time to teach high school theatre kids from Oregon about "The Blue Man Yell?"

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Thing #2: Baby Got Your Back

Okay. So the plan for today was to go the entire day without making an "I" statement. But I messed that up before I even left the house this morning, so I spent the first half of my train ride wondering what I should do instead, and trying to mentally picture my master list. At one point it occurred to me that my iPod might be turned up a little loud, so I thought about asking the lady next to me if she could hear anything. As I turned toward her, I saw that she and several other people were concernedly turned toward another woman, who was slumped forward in her seat, barely coherent, mumurring that she was about to pass out. I mentioned to the man next to her that I am a subway fainter, so he switched seats with me so I could make sure she wasn't having a stroke*. So, accidentally, for today's New Thing I helped a pregnant lady in distress. Professionally dressed and about my age, she said she was about 8 months along and had all of a sudden gotten really dizzy and sweaty. I got her off the train and carried her bag to a bench while a guy from the train went to find cops. The cops came, convinced her to let them get her a "bus" (cop lingo for "ambulence," I guess, unless they just really wanted to get rid of her), took her bag and thanked me. Then the D came train and I went to work.

*Ask the person to raise their hands, smile, and answer a basic question, like 'what city are you in?"

Monday, March 26, 2007

And here we go!

New Thing #1
Today I woke up in a spankingly new old apartment. I moved yesterday into a gorgeous pre-war building right outside Fort Tryon Park. I had 80% of my stuff unpacked by the time I went to bed last night, so waking up in a new place wasn't so jarring. But it's definitely new!
This being the first project, I will make a point to do little tiny new things all day, and update this post accordingly. I will also suss out the format of the posts as I go along.


Happy birthday, Me!
Update of tiny new things:
Lifted weights in my office

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

5 days...

This bad boy starts in less than a week, and I am peeingly excited! I've been passing my planner around at social events so people can surprise me with stuff, and we're tying this into my magazine next week, so I'll have a lot of strangers telling me to do stuff like "take one of them improv classes!" or "try to get on television." I'm not sure which I'm looking forward to more!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

week one...

So the project starts in two weeks from yesterday, and I already have week one completely mapped out. I'm not giving away day 1 just yet, but here are some other highlights:
Learn to write my name in Chinese
Leave a note for a stranger on public transportation
Go an entire day without making an "I" statement
Skip down St. Mark's Place