Waiting for Telephone Calls With Frankie

Meet Frankie.

Chicken Tikka Frankie, that is.

To be fair, Frankie wasn’t my first choice for that blog.

My first choice was a big, yellow Indian truck that was in my neighborhood on Saturday, idling on 6th ave. while I was trying to wait/walk off a hangover.

When I went to that big, yellow truck, they had blotted out their sign I had seen previously advertising “Chicken Tikka Masala” with green construction paper.

“Finished,” The man inside the truck told me, teeth-flashingly from the inner-truck gloom. “The boss is coming with rice. I can cook it, but no rice.”

“Deal.” I told him, as I went wandering around the village looking for something to occupy me  in the 20-30 minutes in-between when I ordered my special-construction-paper-dish and when it actually was ready.

When I got it though, finally, it was a big let down.

The curry was greasy and spotty. The chicken was tough and inedible. Worse yet, the white rice I had picked up from King Wok down the street didn’t even compliment it.

It just made me wish I had chinese food.

It even spilled into its own plastic bag, leaking out of its styrofoam container, making it difficult for me to sensibly hang on my door, my go-to “trash-to-be-taken-out” spot.

A failure, I thought.

Later though, I watched “The Fly” and got nauseous and then wonder why David Cronenberg didn’t work more with Jeff Goldblum who was so obviously awesome.

I thought of the botched curry, wondered at the metamorphosis going on in my stomach.

Would Geena Davis have to shoot me too?

“Graargh.” I proclaimed and switched to watching Noah Baumbach’s “Kicking and Screaming” which I found mostly pretentious and awful, except for that guy from all those Whit Stillman movies and the girl at the end who sort of looks like my girlfriend.

Anyway, I ended up with Frankie.

Chicken Tikka Frankie.

He was from the Tabla cart, out on 25th and Madison, that I knew had existed last year, but which I thought might be in season once again.

I was right.

For those wondering, a “Chicken Tikka Frankie” is really like a big Kati Roll/Burrito, filled with tandoor-roasted chicken, chutney, some onions and chiles, all wrapped up in a big egg-and-cilantro-coated flatbread.

It’s 8 bucks and for that, it’s a pretty good value.

Not extraordinary, like the (now disappeared) Dal Cart (a hint for those friends who have been asking about it), but one could do worse when tired of waiting for a burger at the nearby shake shack.

Perhaps a more extraordinary value, I discovered on my way back to the train.

Apparently, it was a national holiday:

That’s right. A medium, good brewed iced-tea for a buck.

They even had simple syrup to put in there, since you know sugar don’t dissolve in no ice-tees.

But I guess, it’s hard to compete with McDonalds.


Too many things to talk about this week.

I had a meeting at an agency, I got yelled at for a half-an-hour, I made a movie and got an iPhone 4.

Yeah, that’s right.

An iPhone 4.

Aren’t I cool?

Literally, that’s what you think staring into the screen of your new iPhone 4, especially when you see people waiting in line, or gathering around the office to stare at it in envy.

“Aren’t I cool?” you think, but only after “Wow, this phone is [cool].”

The phone got me in trouble at work though too, as it precipitated a fight with my bosses when they found out I had come in late one day after pre-ordering it. (The aforementioned 30-minuted yelling session.)

It was really about more than that, though. The way I was being treated. The way I was reacting to how I was being treated. How much money they were paying the new guy as opposed to me. And how they kept on accusing me of not doing work, something that only seemed more insane since the more they accused me of it, the more I wondered what the point was.

After all, after weeks of accusing me of not doing any of the work, shouldn’t they just fire me? Otherwise, I’m costing them (little) money and time they could use with some, presumably more competent person.

But instead my dyspeptic bosses accused me both of not working and “doing a great job”.

“I’m not saying you’re not doing a great job.” My boss told me. “Just that you’re not doing it.”

The perils of middle-management, I suppose.

Kind of like teaching summer camp, though, the rub is in the people I work with under me, the interns, who I can joke with and make casual fun of and who really can work effectively.

The other day, stressed out over getting things ready for our new editor, I even gave one of them a hug of thankfulness, after she had completely redone and reorganized a set of index cards.

“Weirdo.” She told me and then went back to playing some game caled Sporcle.

The phone call ended when I gave up arguing with my bosses (“I’m here. I’m hearing you.” I repeated at any pause in the yelling) but at the point the stress was building anyway.

My meeting with the agency (for commercial acting) had gone… well? It would seem from people I talked to that it did, but the agent had decided to freelance with me which seemed like a more positive-isitic version of “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”, where they were supposed to send me out on auditions before deciding if they sign me.

“We like to date before we get married.” The agent, a very nice and patient woman, told me.

I was warned it might be a while (“Tomorrow, the next day, the next week”) but that they’d send me out and they’d see what I did.

The day I hugged my intern, I had been trying to find the receptionist at the facility I work out of so I could get swiping-beeping access cards for our new editor taken care of, only to hear repeatedly that he was on audition, without apparently any replacement.

Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark, I thought, thinking what would happen at some of my previous jobs if no one was there to take the phones for several hours.

When the receptionist got back, I half wanted to yell at him, from the crazy stress of the day, but instead I implored him of my situation describing the “bad, yelling things” that would happen to me if the swipe cards were not found.

He seemed sympathetic and promised to take care of it and I relaxed so much that I asked him about the audition.

“It was a stand-up thing.” He told me. “I made it to the next round. I’m back at 4 and if I make it then, I’ll make it to a showcase.”

I wasn’t sure what a showcase was, but it sounded… exciting.

It had been about a week and I hadn’t heard anything from the agents I had talked to and seeing this receptionist going out, it made me feel like maybe a lot of people were trying to do what I had “stupided” my way into.

The day went on, I screwed around with Final Cut, fixed some binders and avoided writing this post.

Finally, the day ended and on my way out, I found myself in the same elevator as the receptionist.

“So howdit go at 4?” I asked.

“Not so well.” He replied.

“Welll, that sucks.” I said, unhelpfully. “But I mean, you got someone sending you on these things right, there’s something else?”

“No.” He said. “Nothing. This was going to do that. Maybe.”

“Oh.” I said and let the elevator continue its downward path.

I haven’t heard anything from the agents yet, an audition date or an excited email. I hear some nice things from time-to-time about the impression I made, but who knows. They’re agents. I mean, I watch Entourage, sometimes.

“No homo”?

But even if I got no callback, I guess I have  a vague promise.

Which is better then just hoping for one.

I told the receptionist my story of making a commercial and getting the call.

And mostly, I just felt like a douche.


Finally, to do something I rarely do–

I made a movie this weekend.

A movie is made of pictures.

Here are few, courtesy of one Eva O. Dougherty.

Trailer possibly coming soon.


The Director/Actor/Bartender at work

Rob, not our Boom Operator, holding a boom pole and looking like "a young George Lucas".

Our real sound mixer/boom operator, So-Cal resident Andy Roehm, totally picking his nose.

The Warhammer figurines a cool-dude John brought on to set, and which Langston and Eva O. Dougherty constructed the background for out of colorful construction paper.

The gelato on a stick I got the next morning-afternoon to try to quell my hangover.



“Chicken Tikka Frankie”- $8

Southeast corner of 25th and Madison outside Mad Sq. Park (summer only)

R to 23rd St, 6 to 23rd St.


National Iced Tea Month Iced Tea- $1

27th St bet 5th and Madison.

R to 28th St. 6 to 28th St.


Chocolate-covered cream gelato on a stick (pictured above)- $5

Corner of Carmine and 6th Avenue.

ACEBDFM to West 4th St.


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