There has been a great deal of upheaval at the Siren's household, forcing her to deal with many matters mundane and neglect her patient audience. (She did manage a post here at the Cinemarati, regarding the very skewed and not-much-good WGA List of 101 Greatest Screenplays.)
The big news: The Siren's household is relocating back to New York City, Mr. C having accepted a job offer. Good news, because the Siren has been homesick for New York all along, and while she has grown quite fond of Toronto she hasn't assimilated all that well. There is a large part of my character that remains resolutely New York and pops out at inopportune moments, such as when I snapped "Lady, do we KNOW each other?" at a woman who wanted to know why my kids weren't wearing hats. Just because at least one Canadian woman found this retort hilarious doesn't mean this is the sort of response you get from someone who has moved to Toronto and is now Blending In.
The bad news is that we need to find an apartment in New York, a job more soul-sucking than getting the Augean stables in party-ready state. I was delegated to go to the city and find a place, so here I have been, dealing day after day with a unique Big Apple breed known as rental brokers. This dreadful species, rather than charging landlords for finding good tenants, as I am told they do in sane markets, in New York charges tenants about 12% to 15% of a year's rent for what amounts to unlocking the apartment door and running a credit check my toddlers could probably manage if you showed them which mouse button to click.
While I've encountered a few nice specimens, the rental-brokerage profession attracts the venal and duplicitous in droves--rather like the law, only without attorneys' frequent saving graces of intellect and mordant humor. My days I have spent in the company of brokers. At night I have retired to my friend's apartment in Park Slope (christened "the Slop" by an irreverent Siren pal), filed my nails and read political blogs to release bottled-up aggression. I venture out to buy a newspaper and find myself hating the locals who emerge from the brownstones because they have apartments and I, as yet, do not.
Understand, please, that the Siren hates conversations about real estate, and here that is what she must discuss, day after day. In New York, talk of apartments is doused in envy and surrounded by a sense of fickle chance. You might as well sit around and talk about lottery winners all evening. If, after all, there really is a hell and the Siren is sent there, by day she will have to write reports about the bond market. By night, she will be forced to discuss diets and real estate.
Some things are finally shaking loose here, and I hope to be back in Toronto packing for a move at the beginning of June. Meanwhile, I'm preparing my ballot for the Best of the Best Pictures over at Edward Copeland's place. I'll unveil it in a couple days. My chaotic life has pushed Joan Crawford to the back burner, which would probably have the lady at my throat with Jungle Red talons if she were still around. All the same, it's back to the rental counter for me, for now.