Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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World Series of Weekends

IloveNYCChelseaart

A few weeks ago, my uncle Charles – brother of my dad – called to say he was making the entire month of October his birthday celebration month. October 29th, 2015 would be his 83rd birthday. So, he spent the entire month traveling around New England and parts of Canada, finally landing in Brooklyn where he stayed with his friend Eleanor Kupencow in her glorious DUMBO apartment, and then off to spend another four or five days in Greenwich Village in another friend’s apartment (while they were off in Majorca building their dream home) where he and my aunt Cathryn would stay and apartment/dog sit.

I can’t remember if I invited myself or if they invited me. But there was a sofa with my name on it, and I grabbed the chance to get to NYC without having to pay for a hotel.

It turned out, the weekend of October 30th through November 1st was a perfect storm of New York City happenings. It was my uncle’s birthday. It was Halloween. It was the NYC Marathon. It was the end of Daylight Savings time. And then…my NY Mets were in the World Series and they were hosting the Royals at home.

Add the fact I have to see every off Broadway show I can in three days, and I had myself a jammed pack weekend of World Series proportions.

I can pontificate through literary prose how my weekend went, but I will list everything discovered and done:

Fell in LOVE with Maison Kayser on Bleecker and Christopher Street. It’s the Bakery from the fluffiest, wondrous part of heaven where the Brahma of baked goods smiles upon you. Croissants that are dense and gooey. Chocolate tarts are stacked with incredible chocolate surprises and a regular menu where you can eat breakfast lunch and dinner. We were only there for dessert, so please – go there – eat a meal and tell me what you had. I won’t be back until December.

Went to Morgan Library and viewed the Hemingway and Matisse exhibition.

ceiling at morgan library

Ceiling at Morgan Library, Matisse and Hemingway exhibits. NYC.

Went to matinee of an adorable musical off-broadway at the small but big hearted Davenport Theater. “Daddy Long Legs”. So sweet, heartbreaking and the music is lovely and also available on iTunes.

Went to Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Couldn’t see much, but what I saw was really cool. Crazy giant skeletons and a big old white spider hanging from the Six Avenue church. Wanted to see drag and basic lunacy, but really only saw suburban people dressed up like Heath Ledger’s joker.

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West 11th Street Halloween Association.

Went to Below 54 where I saw a Halloween Sondheim cabaret featuring the music of “Sweeney Todd” and “Into the Woods”. Lush. Spectacular. Food was yum, and they had this incredible Halloween drink that was tangy and had enough zoomph to make me forget the bitchy couple who sat next to me and gave me the stink eye because I had to share the high top bar with them. “Swing your razor high, Sweeney…” Oh, boo to you two.

Stopped by Circle in the Square on my way to 1 Train on 50th to bask in the happiness of the “Fun Home” marquis. Hello Bruce! Hello Alison! They keep welcoming me to their house on Maple Avenue and I can’t resist. They put the “Fun” in Dys-“fun”-ctional. See you again on my birthday in December.

Early Sunday. Can’t live without my spin class. 8:30am in the fucking morning, but wow it feels good to get it done early. Chelsea Flywheel on 17th. Took Zach’s class again! Had him over at Flatiron location in September. (Okay, that read like a girly diary entry.)

Tired of my iPhone5 battery dying every three hours, so I bit the bullet and bought a new iPhone6.

Matinee of my friend Diana’s show “Songbird: A Tennessee Story“. Great music! Story is based on Chekov’s “The Seagull”. The show is at 59E59 Theater

Walked through Marathon people covered in Marathon blankets before heading to the above.

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King Kitty, the royal cat of Greenwich Village. Adorable, regal and somewhat creepy on the side table where I slept.

Went to Citifield for game 5 of the World Series. Finishing off a championship weekend with my boys in the big show. The friend who offered them to me hates me because I accepted and then backed out because I didn’t want to spent $400 to watch the Mets possibly lose. Changed my mind again and went to the game. Walked around marathon people on Madison Avenue to get to Grand Central. Yes, I went to the game. Yes, I spent the $400 bucks. Yes, we lost the game. But I went home content – sad – but content. The Mets had a great season.

world series me

I’ve walked through the closet door to Narnia. World Series. Mets Versus Royals. Game 5. The Royals won. My hat off to them. Worthy opponents. Mets 2016!

Early morning flight back to LAX, quivery at all the money I’m losing and trying to get the motivation and strength to start working for myself to earn self gratification in a job I love and is of my doing – plus make more money so I can finally move back to New York.

Throughout all of this, I saw my wonderful, crazy uncle and my aunt Cathryn. I spent time with my beautiful cousin Michele. And I am thoroughly exhausted. Plus, I spent lots of time falling in love with this lovely creature…

sasha

Sasha, the abominable dog. White as snow. Black button eyes. Heart of gold. Gentle pup.

Time to get ready for another trip. Oh New York. I miss you so. Can I flip the table of the Joni Mitchell song “California”? New York…I’m coming home. Will you take me as I am?

As a true New Yorker (shut up Time Out. I’m a New Yorker)…I say….you fuckin’ better!

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“Ya Gotta Believe”

TugThere is a strange psychological phenomenon that takes place when the subconscious is in sync with one’s personal conscious beliefs.  We attract positive outcomes. As mentioned in yesterday’s blog about the Mets, Baseball is rife with life metaphors we can apply to our own aspirations.

Tug McGraw was the guru of belief. His mantra, “Ya Gotta Believe” was more than just a call to action – it was a chant to the inner most crevices of our minds. You can’t just think it – you’ve gotta believe it.  It helped the lowly 1973 Mets come from last place in August straight through to the playoffs and world series. Although they didn’t win the big show, they found themselves where they knew they should be – despite the incredible odds.

We can say we believe in something,  but if there are traces of doubt on a subconscious level, it may bring forth a vague outcome. That’s why in baseball, you’ll see inexplicable outcomes for teams you never expect to become winners. When players truly know they can do the job, they come to the ballpark with confidence and an air that manifests good things. Even in loss, they are resilient enough to come back again with the knowledge that they are unbeatable.

If you believe in your success with ever fiber of your being and in every corner of your mind – you can turn out wins.

This applies to writers and people of all walks of life. If your conscious and sub-conscious minds agree with your desire in life,  then it’s likely you will attract things in your world to make it happen.  If your two minds are not on the same page, you’ll find yourself attracting vague signs and people who are just as vague as you are.

So, as the Mets embark on a subway series with the Yankees, I say in the name of Tug… “BELIEVE”.   Believe in yourself the way these young Mets do. Even if your winning streak ends. You’ll keep going until the big picture is revealed.

Happy Friday!

LETS GO METS!


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The New York Mets: The Meaning of Winning

mrmetThere are so many people in the world who really hate baseball because they think it’s a boring sport. Sitting around watching players throw around a ball without a timer or constant play, well it’s just damn unexciting for them. They’d rather watch paint dry or the grass grow.

I say the same thing about football, soccer, hockey and basketball.  Sports on the clock, despite having more action, bores the bajeebus out of me. Stops and starts, flags on the play, out of bounds. It’s a little difficult for me to keep up. I just don’t get football. I look at the New Orleans Saints to teach me to love the sport somehow. We’ll see.

Baseball isn’t boring to me. It’s suspenseful, methodical and life affirming. Time is not a factor. Every element of baseball depends on physics and statistics.  The way the ball carries, the velocity of a pitch, the timing of a sprint around the bases, the photo finish conundrum if a man is safe or out because his foot touched the bag the same time the ball fell into the baseman’s mitt. It’s science, something godly.

Even scoring a game is a thing of beauty. Each player has a position number, and each play has a symbol. If you keep a score card as a game unfolds, you could frame it as a cryptic story of nine innings of baseball. An entire game’s story can live forever in a score card.

Baseball is a metaphor for life. If you follow the game, you know this. It’s almost a cliche. A player will “sacrifice” himself in order to move up a runner or send him home. “Covering the bases”, “Touch Base”, “Dropping the Ball”, “Play hardball”, “Three strikes and you’re out!”…it mirrors a pattern for life’s road map. We’re all in a game we call life. Baseball just makes the elements of the human spirit into a fun way to spend an afternoon near a green field with a lot of screaming people and beer. If the screaming people are on your side, you’re good. If you like beer – even better.harvey

When a team, like the Mets, have had fruitless seasons, dashed hopes and long stretches of losing, you learn to take it in stride. You understand how you don’t always win in life, and you know that despite a serious loss, the world will continue to spin, and there will be another day (or game) tomorrow (or next year).

Losing creates character in human beings who don’t really win in life, but know how to appreciate what matters: Their family, their home, their friends, and their sanity.

Losing strengthens your resolve when real challenge and adversity hits.

Losing makes one feel lousy, yet empathetic to other losers in the world.

Losing makes the winning even sweeter.

As a person used to seeing her team lose again and again in a town where the Yankees win and win so much, the Mets’ current winning streak is …mind blowing. I don’t know how to take it in.

Maybe I should talk to a Yankee fan who knows how it feels. They always bring up their world series rings. (Rings they aren’t wearing, but their millionaire heroes are wearing for them.)

Yet, I don’t want to be told how to win by fans who’ve had it easy for so long. They don’t know how to win because most Yankee fans haven’t understood the pain of losing.   Even when they lost against the Red Sox in the ALCS in 2004, or did not come in first in the AL East, nor made it to a post season, they were and are…winners.

The Yanks are an older organization. They are a storied team. They have Babe Ruth, Yogi’s malpropisms, and Lou Gerhig’s speech (man, he’s even MY hero).  In a baseball market like New York, Mets fans have been growing mushrooms under the shade of this Bronx team.The Mets are 54 years young and still trying to fill the shoes the Dodgers and Giants left behind decades ago –  while the Yankees take on their white toothed prom kings who turn into stars when the pinstripes touch their skin.

The fact the Yankees are fading right now, means you’ll see who their true fans are, and who were just along for the winning ride. Will the hot, pretty girls who longed for Jeter still come to the ballpark now that #2 is retired? Will they be keeping track of trades and who plays shortstop? Will the Donald Trumps and Lorne Michaels still show up to the park or decide to go the Hamptons instead?

Local media loves the Yankees. The NY Post editorial placement will focus on the Yankees when they lose, and place the Mets second when they win. Average people anywhere in the world wear the interlocking NY baseball caps and jerseys. You don’t even have to be a fan. Wearing Yankee gear is a fashion statement. You’re just a guy wearing a Yankee hat that means nothing to you.

This isn’t belly aching. This is loyalty.

When someone wears a Mets cap, it usually means they are a true fan. That cap has suffered the agony and the pleasure of a hard luck team. It’s likely that cap has been turned  inside out and worn on that head during a rally.  Its fabric is dry soaked with sweat from that fan’s brow after a close shave win. That cap has been thrown into the air after a startling walk off home run, and cried into after a major loss. Nobody wears a Mets hat unless they are in the tribe. (Or, unless you really don’t care and you’re only wearing because your cousin from New York gave it to you, like the valet parking guy told me last Saturday in West Hollywood who said he was a Dodgers fan. Okay – I’ll give him that.)

When the losing streak ends, and you begin to see some wins, you take it in stride. Your sense of entitlement is earned, hard worn, and will quiet those who mocked you. Maybe in “1 A.D” (2015 is year one “After Derek”), the Bronx “aura & mystique” will stand aside and let the under dogs win for once.

metsfan dugout

Photo by Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

There’s feeling in my bones –  this team may make it. They are young, hungry, having fun. We have half the team out on injuries, but the bench is deep with great talent picking up the job. There’s our pitching phenom – Jacob de Grom – rookie of the year. And Matt Harvey’s back – the Dark Knight. People show up to the stadium with Batman masks. When Harvey debuted at home last week, the crowd was so electric and loud, it was as if their collective shouts swirled and rumbled to create another beast, growling, roaring.

I’m in tears thinking about it.

The Mets have won ten games in a row at Citifield.  As I write this, they are playing a day game. The score says they are ahead. But past losses have instilled that good old fan superstition to say absolutely nothing and pretend it’s not happening. Because if we claim it, if we shout it before the ninth, if we pronounce it – we could lose it all.

It’s only April. There is so much baseball ahead. So many opportunities to win and to fail.

So for this New Yorker, I have to live in the moment.  I say it loud, and I say it proud:

“LETS GO METS!”

UPDATE: The Mets swept the Braves today – making it 11 consecutive wins. A franchise record.


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Inspiration in the Bleak Mid-Winter: A Whiff of Spring in the Air?

mets spring training

Tradition Field, New York Mets training Camp, Port St. Lucie, FL

Okay east coast and mid-western readers. Don’t kill me.  Backs and muscles all around the country are sore and busted from a long winter of shoveling snow and scrapping windshields, and here I am talking about Spring.

Meanwhile, Spring seems like a distant memory, something that happened before the earth fell into another notch in space, making winters endless. It’s almost like this is your new life now – Winter. Forever. What’s this odd thing called “Spring”?  “Summer”? Didn’t I smoke pot with her at that Phish concert? Not sure I’ve heard of her. Winter is where I live now.

Your fingers are numb. The temps are so fiercely, horribly cold – it’s not even cold anymore. It’s not even bitter or frigid cold. It’s gone from frigid to just…..”PAIN”.  You step outside = Instant pain. Even the NYTimes weather symbol shows a red horrible thermometer to illustrate that this is the weather – “Painful”. It almost looks like an exclamation point, shouting at you. It’s not cloudy or sunny. IT’S PAINFUL outside!!!

There is nothing brisk or fun about it. Your feet hurt from the frost bite. You let your dog outside without even letting your toe meet the door’s threshold, letting him poop on the same growing mound of plowed snow along the road until it hits you how embarrassing it is for your neighbors to see a little Mt. Poop developing near your mailbox. (I speak from experience. I mean – who else can relate?  Only me? I guess the 12 blizzards of 1996 was my downfall in dog owner etiquette.)

So, why do I hint at the concept of spring? This west coast dweller. Me, this Los Angeles sun bunny. Don’t be so sure about that. I left the badness of winter for LA precisely due to this weather. In fact, I’ll probably return east in the next few years to live out the last half of my life preserving myself like Rhoda Morgenstern who proclaimed, “I moved from New York to Minneapolis, where it’s cold…because I figured I’d keep better.” I’m planning on doing the same in verse. I miss New York, despite the bleak winter months.

Yet, ol’ winter weary bloggers (those who love baseball anyway) – cheer up!  This week was the week we’ve been waiting for! Pitchers and Catchers reported to spring training!  Yes! The battery mates of MLB’s green, expensive and vast green fields. The crack of ball against bat. The thud of a pitch against a leather mitt.  The smell of hot dogs and beer. The vision of The Wave making  its way across the stadium by a group of fans one side,  only to end when the other side near Shake Shack is totally OVER IT.

Oh yes. And the hope of a world series. I’m a New York Mets fan. I have no hope for any post season baseball. But –  you never know. The only thing I hope for is the promise of Mets Opening Day, and baseball to be had every night on my Apple TV.  Not to mention – a hopeful visit this summer to Citifield in Flushing, where I can smell it all in.

Which reminds me. I better get my MLB subscription going!

Happy Friday!


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Post Baseball Season Blues

nymets

A certain kind of melancholy hits this time of year. Summer is done. The days are getting shorter. Halloween candy is available in barrels at your local supermarket. Even Jack-o-lanterns and skeletons are beginning to show up on the front doors of houses as the leaves turn from green to orange to yellow to red to brown. (Here in L.A., it’s mostly just brown.)

Don’t get me wrong. I love autumn. In fact, it’s probably my favorite time of year. Yet, baseball is one of the many symbols of summer, along with beach balls, picnics and pool wear that disappears along with those lazy hazy days.  So, the one thing that puts the cherry on top of the autumnal blues before I forge ahead to the doldrums of winter – is the end of baseball.  Not the post season play, where all the hot shot winners of spring and summer win enough games to get into October ball. No. I’m speaking of the actual official baseball season.

You see, the post season doesn’t matter much to me.  I’m a New York Mets fan. We don’t see the post season very much. In my world of orange and blue (Giants orange and Dodger blue – colors that commemorate those teams when they were in New York), baseball usually ends when the schedule closes in on game 162.

Last weekend marked the end of the Mets 2014 season. It completed on a high note. They ended up tied for second place in the National League East alongside their rivals the Atlanta Braves. But who’s a rival to them in that division anyway?  The entire NL East was as limp as a noodle average-wise. The only team that went above .500 was the Washington Nationals and they turned out to be the best team in the National League with a .593 winning average, thus clinching the NL East Title and entry to the post game party.  They helped get there on the sagging backs of the Mets, who lost time and time again to those gnatty Gnats and their DC energy.

But my Mets quietly folded up their tent and headed into the off season on Sunday by completing a sweep of the Houston Astros and bidding adieu to Bobby Abreu, a player who has likely been on every team I’ve ever hated.

We can take away some nice memories of some solid performances by Jakob DeGrom, Lucas Duda, Bartolo Colon, Travis D’arnaud, Daniel Murphy. Oh, and holy cow, with Matt Harvey coming back next year, perhaps we can build on the momentum of the team’s late season play and be a contender in 2015? Maybe be an elite team that all the current elites shutter to face?

Once again – I’m exercising my right as a Mets fan – by going into the hot stove season with “wait until next year” on the brain.

As the sun sets earlier with those warm, low lights and as the nights get cooler, I bid goodnight to my Mets until they fire up the lights of Citifield again in April.