Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Moving up to the big time

So I went to the Emeril Live show yesterday...

That's a good way to start, right? Yeah, so anyway, there I was, standing in line with a couple of friends, waiting to get it. Cat, a friend of mine, had won the tickets somehow, and she invited me to come along. Naturally, I dropped everything and ran to the opportunity. We arrived and went through a security check, followed by a briefing on how things would go. Then we were divided into groups according to numbered cards we'd been given when we came in. According to those groups, we were loaded into enormous elevators and taken up to the floor where the studio was located. After that, they seated us according to how many were in our party. We ended up in the second row to the back, which wasn't exactly far away fromt the kitchen/stage, since the studio audience area isn't particularly huge. Anyway, we were shown how and when to clap, what cues to look for, and rehearsed what we were supposed to do for Emeril's entrance. After that, the band came in, the lights were brought up, and we were ready to go.

The show began with a taped segment of Emeril talking about his restaurant in Miami, and the sorts of things that he and his other chef friend do out there, how much they like the place, and so on. After watching that on monitors in front of and above us, the music was brought up, a woman started swinging a stick around in an effort to get us to clap, and out came Emeril. We did just what we rehearsed, standing and clapping as though we had lost our minds, whooting and screaming like we'd just seen Jesus. After we finished with that, we took our seats and waited to see what Jesus would cook.

The program would be devoted to some of the cuisine Emeril's restaurant does in Miami (hence, the title of the show, Emeril's Miami... ah, marketing genius). We were a very good audience, oohing and aahing at all the appropriate times, laughing at all the jokes and innuendos, clapping for the band at the start of each commercial break as though their music was sending us all into nothing less that rapturous ecstacy. We were told ahead of time that not everyone would have a chance to sample the food, but we were at least placated with bags of chips, which were thrown at us during one of the commercial breaks... mine were bar-b-cue flavored. Before too long, the show was over, Emeril gave us his thanks, and we were back in the elevators.

Anyway, there's my Emeril story. It was fun, I'd do it again, I recommend it to everyone, etc. And if anyone's interested, the show airs on May 3rd on the Food Network if you want proof I was there... I'm sure I show up at some point... my friend Cat actually had the camera in her face a couple of times, so maybe my ear made it on camera or something. Anyway, there you go... still doing as much as I can with this whole New York thing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And we're back

Okay, okay... sorry it took me so long. And, to be honest, I'll have to keep this entry short, because I'm a little busy at the moment working on things for class, thesis, etc. Okay... here's the short version...

Three Mondays ago: I spent the day as a homeless person on the streets of the Bronx for a couple of hours as a part of the shadow count of the HOPE survey. It was cold, and I got snowed on while I sat on the ground and waited to be counted.

That following weekend: We closed the Vagina Monologues, which went well... people liked what I did, which is good, and now people recognize me when I'm out on campus, which isn't always so good. That Saturday, I attended Fordham's philosophy conference, where I made a comment during one of the presentations that people decided was insightful enough to quote all damn day. Later that night, a good friend of mine got beat up and mugged just down the block from where I live... I spent the night with him at the emergency room, trying to bend his glasses back into shape. He's fine now, but, naturally, it still sucked.

Two Mondays ago: I was walking to campus for class and noticed that, down the street from my place, there had been a homicide. There were cops and do-not-cross tape everywhere, but things were pretty low key otherwise, which was surpising, given the circumstances.

The next day, Tuesday: I was standing at the bus stop down the street from my building... I had just called Craig to tell him I was on my way to his place for some studio time, and I'd turned off my phone and put it in my coat pocket. In an instant, a kid came up behind me, grabbed the phone out of my coat pocket, and took off running down the street. Since I was pretty keyed up over the goings-on of the weekend, I did the only thing I could possibly do... I ran after him like a crazy person. I don't think he was expecting me to chase him, which would explain why I caught up to him about three blocks later, slammed him up against a wall, and demanded my phone back, for the benefit of many onlookers' curiosity. Frantic, the kid acquiesced, and I got my phone back. Then, I headed back to the bus stop for a day of recording.

The rest of the week was the usual sort... courses attended and taught, presentations and papers completed, and so on. I managed to fit in a couple of recording sessions, then headed back to Dallas for my Spring Break week. Nothing to report there, really... just a relaxing week of seeing people I haven't seen in a while, enjoying a slightly slower pace, etc.

So now I'm back in New York... recording starts again on Friday, classes started yesterday, work for the end of the semester is under way over the next few weeks. John will be visiting up here for the Easter break, which is a little less than four weeks from now. Between now and then, I'll do what I've always done: everything I can possibly squeeze in.