This whole week felt like a struggle with time. But really Isn’t every single moment in life about struggling with time, unless we stop time?
On Wednesday after many failed attempts to write or get anything done, I went to Grounded only to find that there weren’t any tables available to write. I found a tiny space on a bench and shared it with a lady who looked like a writer. I hadn’t interviewed anyone that day and it was nearing 5PM.
I explained what I was doing, and she thought it sounded like a great idea, so we agreed to chat before we both left the cafe.
Who: Annellise Sorensen
Where: Grounded, NYC
Occupation: Freelance Travel Writer
Annelise is a fun person with a great smile and a thick mane of hair. I am good at telling signs, so I immediately guessed that she was a Leo. There are a few signs I’m very good at guessing: Leo, Taurus, Sagittarius, Aries, Aquarius, Gemini, sometimes Scorpio.
Leos like to talk, have big heads with lots of hair. My best friend is a Leo, and so was my best friend at work for a year. So I know Leos.
They also have big laughs, like a lion. Leo, get it.
Annelise and I had a lot to talk about –we have a lot in common, besides the Leo-Bull connection.
We both love to travel, we both lived in San Francisco, spent time in France and both speak French – but we have yet to have a French-off. Oh and we both went to the U.C. system, she went to Berkeley and I went to Davis.
That’s probably where the similarities end, but it’s enough to keep us chatterboxes happy for an hour of non-stop talking and giggling.
Her mother is Spanish from Catalonia and her father is Danish. She was born in Germany, but lived all over in South East Asia and in Egypt.
“Why did you live all over?” I ask.
“My father was a doctor in tropical medicine.”
So now Annelise specializes in travel and in addition to being the editor for several guide books, she’s also the host of radio show and pitching a TV series.
“I’m trying to make myself the product.”
“Smart.” I say
“Traveling more than any other activity turns you from a foreigner to a friend,” she says.
“I have sweet dreams,” she says with a wave of her gorgeous mane.
Changing the subject and getting briefly serious, because I feel that I should, I ask:
“Who are you voting for?”
“Yes, of course. This is New York,” I say.
She looked at me stumped. People don’t really want to talk about politics.
“Change I guess,” she says.
She seemed very pro Obama, but didn’t have much to say at first.
“Have you done anything, been involved?”
“Uh, no, not directly,” she says without guilt.
“But I did register to vote in New York,” she says proudly. “I was registered in California, but I decided this vote was important.”
“Sure,” I say. “But is there anything more about Obama that speaks to you directly?”
“Obama endorses travel. Obama is the face of the world really. You know if we took a sample of the world color, it would be the color of Obama.”
Thursday is my train day; the day I go to White Plains to take care of my aunt.
So, just like last week, I did some train interviews. This time the train conductor hung around for a while to chat. I think he may have been flirting a little bit.
Where: Harlem Line Metro North Train from Grand Central, NY to White Plains.
Occupation: Train Conductor
“So Bill, what’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you as a train conductor?” I ask.
“I shouldn’t say,” he says.
“Oh come on, you can tell me, what is it?”
“Ladies pick up on me,” he gushes.
“Ladies pick you up? Really?”
“So then what happens?” I say.
“Uh, a couple of dates,” he says.
“Let’s get to business Bill, who are you going to vote for?”
“Uh, I don’t know. I haven’t decided. But I do think Sarah Palin’s hot.”
“Really? So you think that she’s a good candidate for the Vice President?”
“No, I think she’s hot.”
So then he wavered and decided that he’d vote for Obama after all.
“Change is good,” he says.
“Anything’s better than Dick Cheney,” he says suddenly.
Then he follows it with: “I’d rather hunt with Palin.”
Me too, I guess. But I don’t hunt.
After he left, I interviewed the nice lady sitting next to me. She was feverishly making notes in a book. I was desperate to find out what book she was reading and what it meant. What was the significance of this moment?
Where: Train to White Plains
Occupation: Nanny soon-to-be life insurance agent.
Dagmar told me that she was from Germany and had lived here for 10 years working as a nanny and was finally ready to start a career as a life insurance agent. She was excited about her big change coming up, as she only had two weeks left of being a nanny.
“So what book are you ready?” I ask.
“The Secret,” she says.
It’s all making sense now.
Friday, my day was just crumbling around me. It was beautiful outside and I was determined to make it to the library, but I coordinated the whole day around a “favor” for a friend. I was introducing a good friend to a literary agent and letting her talk about her book. So I basically organized my whole day around this event. The library was near the agency so I was killing two birds with one stone.
The library was fun; my book gathering exciting. I could have sat there all day. I opened the page and put my finger on the kind of research I need to do. I will be honest, it’s painful stuff and it made me want to cry inside. Just when my stare became deep and concentrated, I looked up at the clock, the meeting was in fifteen minutes. So just as I was packing up my belongings, my friend, let’s just call her “Betty” calls.
“Betty” to me:
“Oh, I just had a really annoying work call and I’ll never make it in time. Can you just cancel it, or can we reschedule it for next week?”
“Betty, I can’t just cancel. The meeting is in 10 minutes. I’ll have to go over there and show up.”
The meeting was with Carolyn at the Fifi Oscard and she’s looking forward to seeing me, so I wouldn’t just ditch her. So I went over to Fifi’s and spent the rest of the day visiting with my old co-workers. I still wonder why I left sometimes, because once you leave a place you can’t really go back. But I guess the answers will come with time.
At least Carolyn got to read my blog.
“Oh Laura, I really like it,” she said after reading the one about herself and several others.
“It’s so fun.”
Carolyn’s opinion means a lot to me.
I also interviewed Francis, who would only let me take picture of his shoes.
Where: Fifi Oscard Agency, Midtown, NYC
Occupation: Talent Agent
Francis is one of the best and hardest working talent agents in NYC. Plus, I think he loves what he does, and of course, he’s good at it.
While I was in grad school and was working at the agency, I took Francis out to lots of plays, seeing new actors who were friends of mine; I even got a few signed with the agency.
Francis needs to stay anonymous, which is why he only let me take a photo of his shoes.
“So Francis, I really like your shoes are they new?” I say.
“Oh, my shoes were falling apart, so I went into one of those cheap places and these were the cheapest ones I could find,” he says.
“I like them,” I say. “It makes you look like Mr. Rogers.”
“I know,” he says.
“So quickly, tell me the weirdest thing that ever happened to you in NYC?” I say.
Oddly enough, Francis came up with an answer immediately.
“A lady in the subway told me that I had a very nice head and she wanted to paint it. Of course she was crazy. I told her thank you, but no.”
It’s too bad Francis wouldn’t let me take a picture of his nice head.
I love your blog! I’ve added it to my google reader and will now read religiously. I think this interviewing project is a great way for you to spend this “unemployed” time. And hee hee your mention of me in that post makes me sound like a bitter old woman :p