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Five Things That Make Life Better on January 4, 2019

By Lisa Birnbach

December 29, 2018 with the brood at Joe Allen’s 2019! A year that sounds like science fiction to me, a relic of the Twentieth Century. I’m not scared. I’m not hiding. But I want to snuggle at home with my Exhibits ™, who are still here. (It’s bliss, and sometimes a little crazy around here.) . New Year’s Eve saw a giant sleepover for one child, plus assorted “passing through New York” classmates. I hope your evening was good/great/pleasant/not horrible. We recognize it’s one of those nights that have swollen out of proportion to be MEANINGFUL and IMPORTANT. But it’s just a day. A night. A countdown. We went to a lovely dinner party where the conversation and the company were so diverting, I didn’t even realize we left the table just before midnight. Anyway, this kind of half-week isn’t solidified in my head. How can I begin to think of summing it up? Luckily, I will be chatting with one of my favorite people on the planet — someone I think you’ll enjoy. It’s Exhibit B. Before I get any further, allow me to share the five (5) things that helped me get through this week. As always, this list is pretty personal, often involves culture, family, and natural fibers. 1) Mike Birbiglia — I’ve been aware of this comic storyteller for some time. (I believe it was his story about seriously scary sleepwalking syndrome on “This American Life” — Sleepwalk with Me). I’ve seen him in the movie “Don’t Think Twice” which he also wrote and directed, and I had filed him under the category of “Like” as we now heart things easily. (Thank you emojis for stripping the nuance away from our emotions.) With everyone home for the holidays, I wanted to plan a night at the theater. It was all my exhibits and their significant others. I bought tickets to Birbiglia’s new one man show, his first on Broadway, called “The New One.” We couldn’t have loved it more. Here is a gifted, self-deprecating, smart storyteller, who takes you on a twisty adventure along a straight road. It’s about a couch, his marriage, his life on the road, and other things. Birbiglia’s writing, his charm, his hilarious timing — it was one of those times when my face hurt from smiling so much. And then on to dinner, with 9 of us! Nothing could make me happier. See picture above. 2) A Week of Nice Cab Drivers, Uber Drivers, Lyft Drivers, Delivery people: It was noticeable how patient and sane NY’s drivers were the last week of 2018. It must be said. Credit must be paid. The men and women who sat behind the wheel the last crowded tense fraught week of the year were uniformly good natured. I appreciated that. (I also notice that I took way many more cars than subways. Note to self: economize whenever possible.) 3) Speaking of which, the Curb and Arro apps which allow you to pay for your NYC taxi rides digitally, are fantastic. What that means for me is I can travel without taking my wallet, and I can literally leap out of the vehicle instead of fumfering around with credit cards and so on. 4) “The Jungle” at St. Ann’s Warehouse. If you live in or near New York or travel to this city, I urge you to try to get a ticket for whatever is being produced at St. Ann’s Warehouse. It is likely to be provocative, avant-garde, possibly uncomfortable, and certainly memorable. “The Jungle” is a play about immigration and identity. The play is held in a polyphonic tent in Calais, France where emigres from Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria, and elsewhere are huddling for cover and safety while they await an almost Godot-ian entree to the UK where they plan to seek asylum. We, the audience are placed within the tent — immersively — and without realizing it, we start to identify with our local tribe, as well as the courageous Europeans who have volunteered their sympathetic and well-meaning help. I guarantee you it is much more fascinating than my explanation. 5) Robert Mueller, still steady as he goes.  B is on the left. And now, here are Exhibit B’s Five Things:1) Realistic Resolutions2) Exercising with My Mother3) “Killing Eve”4) . Reunions With Old Friends5) . Poo Pourri . Stay cool and act natural,Lisa

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