First up, it’s the Italian Festival in East Boston. While we are shooting all things Italian, our contact becomes audibly upset at me when I go over to the deep fried Oreo cookie stand. “I don’t want that in the show, ” she says. “It has nothing to do with being Italian!”
I try to make light of the situation by reassuring her it’s just a light moment not meant to take away from the focus of the festival. “You should only show things that are Italian,” she said. So we head over to where I am going to learn how to throw pizza dough in the air. Only issue is our pizza maker is from Mexico and doesn’t speak English. I tell her that’s okay I speak Spanish, but of course our lovely lady of publicity does not want that to happen because, you guessed it … it’s not Italian.
This is one of those days where I could really go off on a producer. They have signed me up to be in a sausage eating contest. I have an Italian sausage maybe once a year and it’s also close to 100 degrees out which alone feels heart attack inducing.
I sometimes have to remind them that I am in fact a real person, not some cartoon that’s forever getting caught up in antics.
The pre-contest time is actually quite fascinating as I get a chance to talk my fellow contestants, a couple who do this professionally. My first question is how to you train for something like this — cocktail wieners? The answer is lettuce.
I now have gotten great advice from a real pro on how to keep my throat open like a snake devouring a rat to allow the most amount of food to go in. Good to know. Surprise, surprise I come in last, which I have absolutely no problem with. Time to change and do something I’m exceptional at: enjoying a cocktail.
Night ends at the Eastern Standard, a great restaurant with a busier than Disney World bar scene. It’s easy to see why. In a city known for the most famous bar in the world where beer is the favorite drink, Eastern Standards cocktails are quite possibly the best I have ever tasted. Each one is (aside from the liquor) made with homemade elixirs and juices. A range of cocktails are made for me for my tasting, my favorite hands down is the Cuban, an incredibly refreshing drink that takes away all the pain of one miserably hot day.
I’m really excited about the next morning’s Yoga session. I will be doing Yoga at my friend’s studio, Sadhana. Glen and I became friends in high school and have remained in touch since. Even though we are good friends it is still rather strange when he touches my behind to adjust my spine. Does this mean you’re taking me to the Prom?
Next up: Kelly’s Roast Beef on Revere Beach. I love sitting on the boardwalk watching the planes take off from Logan airport. It’s around 4:00pm right now so every once in awhile we catch a 747. Watching the sky’s version of the King of the Road is a mystifying experience, even as it’s in mid air, that something that massive can fly. I also love daydreaming for just a few seconds of its destination. London? Tokyo? Beijing? Even while I’m traveling I dream of travel.
Boston is a city that you have to see from the water, it’s such a peaceful perspective that really allows you to take in the whole cityscape. I’m learning to sail, something I was a bit apprehensive about which has a lot to do with my strange fear of being in water — sometimes it can carry over to when I’m on it as well.
After sizing up my instructor Dave who is not only excellent, but has a calming presence as well, he shows me the ropes. What’s really cool about sailing on the Boston Harbor is that you are sharing it with all different kinds of vessels historic and modern, yacht sized to full on barge (just a wee bit scary), but a thrill none the less.
After sailing, I’m in the Boston Common getting a lesson on how to be a member of the Dragon Dance. I had no idea how much physical strength and stamina is needed for this. Usually these groups are men, only putting added pressure on this all female troupe.
Next on the itinerary: Learn how to swing. I love to watch swing dancing and imagine what it would be like to twirl and jump and shake your finger in the air like that. I finally get my chance; there are some really great dancers on the floor tonight. I’m not completely feeling confident when a gentleman dressed in a Navy sailors uniform asks me to dance. It starts out fine but then he becomes the “swinganator ” and is whipping me around so fast I feel like I am dish towel in a washing machine.
He’s swinging me around so fast I can’t figure out how to make him stop, vertigo almost starts to set in and I am praying that my director sees my terror and stops it. I look over to signal for help and what do I see but my entire crew laughing at me. Nice. Boston, a city I love turns out to be one very difficult shoot, mainly because of the unbearable heat wave. Some episodes are just harder than others.
One thing’s for sure I am spent. I am definitely ready for a little breather.