Abra Goes

on theatre, running, writing, and looking up

back from blogcation

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I took the summer off from blogging primarily because I left my office temp job in June and with it, my time for blogging. It wasn’t in my job description per say, but what’s a temp to do with an Internet connection and 8 hours with an empty inbox?

Over the next few months, you’ll see more from this blog on producing cultural programming and performance pieces, running to a marathon, eating and writing.

And there’s a little lady in my life, my niece, who I’ll call Girlzila.

Miles Update – on track to running 500 miles in 2008 & registering for a marathon someday (2009?):

337 miles / 500 miles


Written by abragoes

September 7, 2008 at 3:27 pm

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X-Cross – if you could go back in time

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We’re were you last night? At around midnight?

My sympathies if you weren’t at the IFC movie theatre in NYC for the Subway Cinema’s ONLY screening of X-Cross.

A slice of synopsis from the Subway Cinema site:…two women go to a secluded hot spings resort as one recovers from a breakup, only to find that the resort is nothing but a–

front for a cult of inbred, backwater leg fetish maniacs who live to amputate female legs. Split up from each other, they keep in touch via cell phone with the action constantly rewinding to show us what’s happening from multiple points of view.X-treme female bonding as two young women wander into a village where young women are ritually mutilated. High gloss, high IQ survival horror at its twisty best.

Not really one for the gore films, I found this Japanese horror/thriller irresistably fun. The organizers of subway cinema say Director Kinji Fukasaku finally hits his stride with this one. I haven’t seen his flops, but have to concur on the greatness factor. X-Cross is slick and loaded with style, and the plot actually has PLOT to back up all of the twists. 

I enjoyed every minute of this film and hope… wish, er,  wish I could command everyone in the city to see as many films in Subway Cinema’s line up as possible. That the theatre was not sold out last night is a tragedy.

I know it’s gross and muggy outside. And why does it storm every Sunday the minute I start walking to the grocery store and reach the point of going too far to turn back? Nevertheless, Subway Cinema is going on until July 6th. The films screen at the Independent Film Center in the village and the Japan Center. If you’ve never been to the IFC, avoid the gray chairs with stars because they’re all broken. Otherwise it’s a clean, comfortable theatre. And it has a shimmery gun-metal curtain that pulls back just in time for the previews. Need I say more? 



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June 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm

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Happy Father’s Day – from Elvis

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Happy Father’s Day!

Last Father’s Day I found these German chocolate bars that I knew my dad would love. So I went to the post office and packaged three of the giant sized bars into a padded envelope with my card and sent it off to far away NJ.

It must have been a hot day because I remember stopping in the grocery store, Barnes & Noble, and the Tea Lounge on the way home just to stand in the air conditioning. When my dad called three days later to thank me for the envelope full of melted chocolate, I understood the post office lady’s smirk, especially after RC handed her his package of chocolate bars … addressed to India.

This story has a happy ending though. Chocolate may melt in the summer, but it also re-hardens in the freezer and I’m fairly certain it didn’t go to waste. Even if a few pieces tasted gluey and he mistook bits of envelope for marshmallow.

I do like to think that if I were a postal worker and some friendly, albeit absent-minded lady handed me an envelope of chocolate bars I would say, “Hmmmm, maybe movies tickets or a gift card would travel better.” or “Is this the kind of chocolate that doesn’t melt in the heat?” I don’t know.

It probably didn’t help that the return address was to Elvis.

How will I top last year? Not only should my surprise be either edible or breathing, it will definitely be belated, and perhaps life-size. And of course, it will arrive in a big mushy envelope by regular mail addressed to “Dad”.

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June 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm

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Abra 2.0

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After a long week and an embarrassing clash with Karaoke, I’m sitting on the subway tonight when it hits me that everything is actually coming together. Not in the way I planned six months ago. More in the way I planned years ago when I first came to New York City with the plan to not only write, but to work in theatre.

My freelance writing is going in the direction I want it to. That is to say publication.

And while I haven’t stopped writing plays, I stopped trying to find paying work in theatre long long ago because instead of pursuing my ‘dreams’ it felt more like grinding my face against a brick wall in order to see the other side.

Fast forward to tonight. Tonight I’m picking out my clothes for my first day tomorrow working with a new performance venue. I’ll have more time for writing queries and plays (minus) having to do any business writing. At some point I’m going to wrestle this ‘why’: Why is it so hard to find work that involves a paycheck at a theatre space. Why did it take me years?

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June 6, 2008 at 3:27 am

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It’s Obama’s time

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Long time no blogging! Sorry, but very busy with big news that I hope to share soon.

I’m eating ice cream @ 12:45am, typing one-handed on a proposal due tomorrow morning, and I finally gave in to temptation to check email. I know, I’m weak.

I’m thrilled by the news that Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination for President of the Unites States, he told me in an email just over an hour ago. Jealous?

Won’t admit I’m surprised, but the cynic in me is. The unjade-able gloater in me will not wait for tomorrow to call my part Republican and part Clinton-supporting family to gloat, I’m calling them right now.

Anyone of you lurking-loos working for the campaign? I’ll be working to win over the great state of PA, target #1: my sister who’s not answering her phone for some reason.

Back to work!

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June 4, 2008 at 4:44 am

Baby girl on her way, guard all wallets

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I am bound for baby town tonight, a.k.a. Baby’s R’Us. In about a month and a half I will be the much idolized favorite aunt of a baby girl named Dylan Grace.

It’s not that I’m scared of babies. It’s that they’re weird. In my adult life, I’ve spent zero time around them, unless you count the babies I back away from on the subway. Still, I want to be the Dylan’s favorite aunt and step one is to buy it something.

Fortunately, my sister did a registry to eliminate the guessing. Somehow the little thing is already burning a hole in my wallet. For instance: car seats. There’s a perfectly functional car seat for $40. And then there’s an awesome, stylish car seat for $140,000,000. And I feel guilty not emptying my bank account for the better seat.

Thanks, Dylan.

To make up for it, I’m going to buy her baby running shoes and take her running. Just as soon as she gets born.

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May 29, 2008 at 6:05 pm

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Mind your step in Coney Island

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45 minutes of the past three sunny days is the total duration my skin was exposed to the sun without protection. Unfortunately, those 45 minutes involved running on the boardwalk in Coney Island during late morning with the sun doing double time bouncing off of the Ocean.

To compensate, I slathered layer upon layer of sunscreen on after. After my shoulders were red and cheeks a burning. Why don’t they make retroactive sunscreen? Why?

Oh well. I pray that RA will have mercy on me this one time.

And note to self: invent running shoes with a little drawer in the heal for storing sunscreen, and keys. And a banana.

And Dear Coney Island,

Why don’t you take better care of the boards on your walk? A Brooklynite for 6 years, I love Coney Island. But the boardwalk along Coney and Brighton Beach just don’t compare to Jersey’s. I felt like I was running hurdles again, boards were loose, sometimes missing, sometimes replaced with cardboard that’s been bolted down, nails were popping out…Then again, the runners on Coney’s boardwalk were tough and could probably step on a nail without much grief. One fellow, older, Russian and running shirtless with sunglasses materialized just as I was starting to walk because the heat was beating me.

‘Don’t stop. Keep going.’ He said so matter-of-factly, no judgement, no sympathy. It’s simple after all: running hurts. It hurts when you run in the heat with the sun in your eyes, but were it not for running, I wouldn’t have been on the boardwalk by the Ocean on a quiet Monday morning as Coney Island rose for another Memorial Day and little boys from the upper West Side got off at the end of the F line and laid eyes on the classy ‘Shoot the Freak’ for the first time and stared in first awe then fear at the wooden Cyclone coaster when grandpa said through a mouth full of Nathan’s hot dog, “We’re gonna ride that later.”

I’ll post the route later today. If you run the whole boardwalk from one end to the other and back, it’s about 5 miles – not a bad run if you hit it early.



Hit my 42 miles, and I’m on track to do 500 in 2008. No major injuries yet!

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May 27, 2008 at 1:53 pm

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