Uneventful trip to NYC, with the exception of the rude man sitting next to me on a four and a half hour flight that did NOT want to let me up to go to the bathroom. I had to lay my hand on his nasty, sweaty arm and flash him the shark grin. Bathroom trip accomplished. (And I held out until 20 minutes before we landed! DUDE. MOVE.) While waiting in line for a cab from the airport to Manhattan, there is a GOOORGEOUS man in front of me. Nubian, chic, hipster, and just GUH. Oh, little something about me: I like the eye candy in RL. Not so much around here (LJ), but there you go. We chat a bit, he's a musician, he heads off for Queens, I smile in my cab.
cherusha is waiting at the hotel and is ADORABLE. Teeny tiny (like, fit in my pocket wee),chic and sassy. Fire-brick pizza for dinner and wandering about the city later, like to the new Apple store. Friday is our big day: walk to the Museum of Natural History, where it appears EVERY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT is. Which wasn't a problem until our IMAX showing of "Cosmic Collisions," all about the Big Bang. (Oooh! Nerd Alert! What? We both like science.) Ru and I have intellectual discussions about how insignificant man is in the grand scheme of things, and I pause on occasion to point out hot guys. Heeee! We saw the various "Halls of ___" there as well, which was diorama city. I am pleased to learn that Ru loves dioramas as much as me. (And maybe a little more, but then, she's a freak. Don't tell her I said that.) Wander around the west side and follow our noses for lunch, sandwich joint where I had a pomegranate margarita, a bit sweet, but they used good tequila. The waiter and I discuss how I have the right, as a Texan, to beat up the bartender if the margarita isn't good. This is my waiter's idea, by the way. Haha! Cut across Central Park, circle around, people watch, then back to the hotel to hook up with our dinner plans/guests.
entrenous88! Woot! Huge hugs (she's a hugger, which pleases me. If you meet me, SQUEEZE. I won't break.) and then off to 8th Ave for Thai. BIGGEST SINGLE FISH EVER. Fish tank. Right by our table. This fish is like a beagle, but... a fish. And he has NO FRIENDS. No plants, no bubble treasure tank... (I think he ate them all.) We talk about everything under the sun - quick note: if you have yet to meet Entre, she is a FANTASTIC conversationalist. We talk fandom, LJ, politics, food... Good stuff. Back to hook up with a friend from our a_list_celebs RPG, thepiratequeen. Big hugger too, yay!! Fun, funny, we're all chattering like magpies, so I make everyone margaritas. Quick disclaimer: NYC limeade apparently has no pulp, so they didn't taste "authentic" to me, but no one seemed to mind, so... Anyway, Entre heads back (looong week for her) and the three of us head off to Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater on the Lower East Side. Long-form improv, in the vein of Second City. FANTASTIC. Funny, funny, good troupe, and it totally made me miss doing improv. *shrugs* After the show, I talk the girls' ears off about how long-form differs, about technique, and bore their tits off, basically. Then we laughed about all the good times at A-List (you guys get your own post, I hope everyone's ears were burning!) and by the time K left, my sides were aching from laughing. YAY!!
Saturday is our Chinatown day. We brave the subway (my first time) and now that I've taken a few trains, I feel like a pro. I will say that a few simple additions could make it foolproof, such as printing UPTOWN or DOWNTOWN on the walls or platform, as it's not clear. (They have excellent trains in Germany and Switzerland that made everything crystal clear.) BUT. A few missteps, and we got where we needed to be. Now, Ru is from Shanghai. She knows from good food. We had GOOOOOOOOD food. Little place on Mott St. (100 Mott) called Shanghai Cafe. GO. Soupy dumplings - the soup is INSIDE. So, teeny bite, then suck suck suck, then eat. NUM. Cold dishes: jellyfish (my new favorite thing, omg SO good), spicy cabbage, smoked fish. SO. GOOD. We wandered off the touristy streets and found all the small winding roads lined with fish markets, shops, and such. Ru got my kids some neat little gifts, and they LOVE THEM, Ru! (Thanks, again.) Our dogs barking, we head back to the subway, almost get it right in one, find the train we need (seriously: arrows and a Up or Down would go a LONG way.) On our train we chat up this ADORABLE gay couple, the chattier one (the "stoney" of the couple) has been to Dallas, so we talk shop: hair, Dixie Chicks, how dumb Bush is, how he's surprised I'm a native and not bottle-blonde, heee! Getting off the subway we see a crowd and hear music in the station, wander over and find a bunch of guys break-dancing for tips. This is the dance of my people. Haha! Okay, three guys were really good (no pop-locking, I was sad to note) and one guy was obviously the little brother of someone and was just kind of embarrassing himself. Aww.
We wanted to check out Mission Impossible: III (Tom Cruise apologist, here. I don't care. The man makes fun movies.) but it was sold out so.... THE DAVINCI CODE. Oh holy god, I was laughing my ass off. SO. GOOD. TO MSTK3. Which I will do in a minute, spoiler alert! Sunday was brunch with entrenous88 back at our hotel, good food, ADORABLE waiter (what?), and more wandering the cities talking about flowers, babies, birth order, back to the living room at the W and talk about writing, fandom, kinks, education systems (J, you told me a documentary... Mad Hot Ballroom?), and anything and everything. Perfect afternoon. Entre flags us cabs, hugs and kisses all around, then on for my long slog back to DFW. Flight delays, mysterious plane stoppage ten feet from the gangplank, more flight delays, (I had to change planes in Chicago) and the final leg made me check my carry-on, as too many people brought lots of little things and stuck them in the overhead bins. ARGH. I finally got to my house about 1:45am last night. There will be nappage today. All in all: fantastic trip filled with good food, great friends, and I haven't even MENTIONED the books, OMG! This is too long, so I'll save that for later, but HOLY CRAP did I luck out with reading material.
MSTK3 of THE DAVINCI CODE, IN WHICH THE MYSTERY IS REVEALED, OMG!!
**** SPOILER ALERT!!!!! ****
OMG, shambling cloaked man after spry elderly man (why can't he outrun the shamble man?) and although he thinks a cage will protect him, apparently his body eats bullets. OW. Cut to Tom Hanks, giving the most rudimentary power-point show on religion. OMG, the swastika wasn't always evil! That baby sucking isn't Jesus, it is PAGAN, omg. Cut to Tom being led to crime scene.
Tom Hanks: "Nice plot point, I mean, pyramid."
Surly French Cop: "Thanks. We hate it." *camera lingers FAR TOO LONG*
Tom: "Oooh, check out those triangles!"
SFC: "Yes. I will indulge you, even though there's a BLEEDING BODY DOWNSTAIRS."
Tom: "Triangles. They are important." *camera lingers FAR TOO LONG*
SFC: "You don't say? Oh, here's the body. Devil worshiper, because of the pentacle, yes?"
Tom: "NO! For I am the greatest religious expert in the world, and those are TRANGLES."
SFC: "I now suspect you as the murderer. No one knows about TRIANGLES. No one but filthy MURDERERS."
Cut To: Slashiest Albino/Cardinal relationship in the world. Silas is albino, therefore evil. A GHOST. (Ohhh, clever. Because he's all white? And stuff? See how the writer did that?)
Cardinal: "OMG you are my angel. My AVENGING angel. Barbed leg-bands are a good look for you."
Albino: "Nice. Check out my whip."
Cardinal: "Kinky. Go forth. Kill. Um, in the name of... God?"
Albino: "Lemme flog myself first, so I can be sure to look pained. Or constipated. Then it's a go."
Cut To: incredibly wonky plot device in which EVERY TIME the French Woman appears, you can expect ten minutes of EXPOSITION.
FW: "Sacre bleu! I knew heem! Is, how you say... grandfather?"
FW: "Ooooh! 'E 'as geeven me zeees!" *hands him a fleur de lis swizzle stick*
Tom: " OH. MY. GOD. Is that... Is that a FLEUR DE LIS????????"
FW: "Even zo I am French, I am shocked. WHAT EES A FLEUR DE LIS?? I 'ave nevair seeen wan before!"
Albino: "You know what's a good look? CHANCELOR PALPATINE." *hides in shadows, perfecting his Inner Sith*
Tom: "Let's hurry to the next plot point"
FW: "Yes. I mean, Oui!" *Swiss Bank, with a MYSTERIOUS BANK TELLER. We know because of the music*
Bank Teller: "Well done on the mysterious bank account. Fibonacci sequence is GENIUS. If you are 8. Oh, say. Plot point about OLD ACCOUNTS. Time to escape, in a convenient manner."
Tom/FW: "We have a box! Inside is a plot point! And there's a ROSE. OMG, we should just turn to the audience and give them significant looks."
Tom: *in armored vehicle which NO FRENCH COP CAN PENETRATE, apparently* "I am panicking."
FW: EXPOSITION about my background.
Tom: "I'm PANICKING, HELLO!"
FW: *IMPORTANT PLOT POINT with LAYING ON OF HANDS.*
Cut To Albino: "Anakin - you are stronger than the Jedi counci- Oh. Wrong movie. I mean, I have a bad Italian accent. Also, I am Albino and therefore evil. I will kill, then stand naked and show my teeth like I haven't pooped in four weeks."
FW: "It is getting a bit awkward with all of this boring exposition every time I confess I know nothing."
Tom: "Oooh. You know what we need? An eccentric elderly British statesman, who surprisingly lives in France and knows every little minute detail about this very specific topic, oh, and we're friends. Oh, and he has endless resources. Oh, and... Well, that's enough for the audience to swallow."
FW: "In no way can this go wrong, or should I suspect this eccentric man to be anything but that which he claims to be."
Audience: "WE ARE MORONS, AND ACCEPT THAT."
Teabing: "Isn't my name hilariously British? Isn't that simply marvelous? I am in no way suspicious of you showing up in the middle of the night, either."
FW: "This is when I again show my ignorance."
Teabing: "Allow me. EXPOSITION. Oooh, in PowerPoint, too!"
Tom: "How about a weak argument about God's existence?"
Teabing: "Ricochet! Also, heated boring discussion that anyone who has every questioned religion has thought of, even though I, too, am an expert!"
Tom: "Ooooh, I see your boring comment and yell something lamer! Also, OH. MY. GOD. IT CAN'T BE.
Teabing: "What? For although we claim to be experts, and the word ROSE has been beating us over the head, you can't mean..."
TOM: "This rose is actually a KEY. Can you believe that? That is CRAZY creative. This is a genius mystery."
Albino: "'SUP, BITCHES?"
FW: "I am, how you say... 'elpless!"
FW: "Yes! Um, Oui!"
Albino: "If you strike me down I shall become stronger than... DAMMIT. I mean, I kill her. Give me the key!" *shambles, MENACINGLY*
Teabing: "This is insane. Now that he has the ROSE, we should escape. I know, let's take a plane to somewhere."
*all turn and look at the cameras*
Cut To: Cardinals of Evil.
Cabal: "Dude, we rule."
Cabal: "We are SO lying to the pope."
Cardinal: "We need to reiterate that we are acting on our own so the Vatican doesn't sue Ron Howard. Or Dan Brown."
Teacher: "Hi! I'm a plot point! Also, a thinly veiled subterfuge."
Cabal: "Excellent. NO ONE WILL FIGURE THIS OUT."
Albino: "I am AWESOME. Also, penitent. Also, in serious need of fiber. And chapstick."
Teacher: "Yeah. But hey, nice work on getting the key, go hang out and kill your Cardinal."
Albino: "Done, and done. This is going to evoke sympathy in the audience."
Audience: "Aww. I think he's paid enough for being disgusting and unpleasantly white"
Albino: "Thanks, first I will show a Single Perfect Tear™ and then *dies*"
Teacher: "Actually, I am NOT the teacher! Let me have a drink."
REAL Teacher, yet to be revealed: "Sure! Have a sip. OF POISON."
Teacher: "DOUBLE CROSSED! Oh, I did NOT see that coming! Not in such an intricately woven plot such as thiiiiiiii-" *dies*
Teacher: "It is I, TEABING, muah ah ah!"
Stoney: "You friggin' kidding me with this gasp?"
Audience: "We eat McDonalds all the time and watch King of Queens. Of COURSE we are gasping!
FW: "It's been a while since I asked for, how you say... exposition."
Tom: "...exposition. Yes, let me explain more."
FW: "It is wonderful that we are now in England, most convenient. What's more convenient is how we escaped the police by hiding in a car. Police are NOT SMART. Or thorough. Thank goodness."
TOM: "My extensive knowledge of religion means I know about Isaac Newton and British Empire Knights. Let's find this bitch."
FW: "Oh, oui! I am a police detective, so I will now show a sign of that - finally - by noticing footprints in the dirt on the floor, which MUST BE TEABING."
Teabing: "Ha ha! I am here! I am also crippled, but have a gun, and am feeble. Knocking me down would totally work, but that's not the POINT."
Tom/FW: "Oh no, we are now hostages!"
Tom: "Ron Howard likes visual images of mental pictures, so I will have projected thoughts in front of me while I solve the mystery to remind the audience I am the expert in my field."
Audience: "What was the field? Jesus-ology?"
Tom: "Something like that. Honestly, I can't remember. OH! Idea! I throw this plot device in the air and-"
Teabing: "I'm falling off my crutches to save something, oh no! You are free and I am sad and eccentric, and no one finds that charming!"
British Police: "Nab! Also, the French caught up, and figured out they suck at police work, apparently."
The French: "Mon Dieu! America never gives us a fair shake!"
Tom: "OMG, the key word was 'apple.' Because it was Newton? Get it? GET IT??? Also, isn't it amazing how it wasn't the LATIN SPELLING? When this was made centuries ago?
Audience: "We don't know how to think. I mean, obviously."
Tom: "Say, how about some exposition while we travel to the next plot point?"
FW: "Oui, zat would be, how you say... good?"
Tom: "...good. OH. MY. GOD. It can't... it can't be."
FW: "What? You don't sink... No! Is not possible!"
Tom: "I have just arrived at the conclusion, even though I wrote a book called THE SACRED FUCKING FEMININE. Minus the 'fucking,' of course. Because Bantam Books frowns on swearing."
FW: "Even now I 'ave no idea of anysing."
Tom: "Really? All this talk about triangles being wombs, Mary Magdalene having a BABY, women, the feminine, the CATHOLIC CHURCH'S HATRED OF WOMEN?? Except, only discreetly, as we don't want to be sued?"
FW: "No, I am the most theek-headed woman evair. What is zees mystery?"
Tom: "YOU ARE THE CHRIST BABY. Um, like a long way down the line."
FW: "I will step on water to see if zees is true! Haha. See? The French have, how you say... sense of 'umor?"
Tom: "...sense of humor."
Crowd of Ominous Types: "Hey!"
Tom/FW: "Sacre bleu!"
COT: "Yeah, sorry about your grandfather being murdered. And your family. We... yeah. We weren't on the ball, there."
FW: "So... you know who I am?"
COT: "Yep. And now that YOU know who you are, you are safer. Which makes no sense, work with us."
FW: "I saw my grandpere 'aving zee sex with masks!"
COT: "We... we aren't going to talk about that. Oh! This is your ACTUAL grandmother. Sorry your life sucked. Apparently."
FW: "All is forgiven! I 'ave absolute confidence that you will protect me, even though there 'ave been murders left and right."
Tom: "So I'll just... I'll just be off."
FW: "But who will I get my exposition from?"
Tom: "OH. MY. GOD. It can't... It can't be. I HAVE AN IDEA. Which is interesting that all the triangles didn't TIP ME OFF IN THE BEGINNING. And even though I am supposedly an EXPERT ON SYMBOLS. Or was it Jesus? Or... Sudoku? I can't remember."
Louvre: "HEY. CHECK OUT OUR ROSE LINE. Remember Rose? How we beat you over the head with that word? Oh, and the GIANT PYRAMID? Made of TINY TRIANGLES? Jesus Christ."
Jesus: "I'm off duty. See my descendant."
Tom: "I have now rediscovered my faith in God because of these triangles. I think I'll kneel in prayer, newly renewed in faith, over this GIANT INVERTED PYRAMID, below which I spent a lot of time in the beginning of this frickin' thing above the symbols for man and woman doing it - which I TOTALLY GLOSSED OVER - and below will be the big reveal that brings mankind to its knees."
Mankind: "Religion, huh? Ooooh, X-Men starts in ten minutes in the next theater!"
Tom: "I need a bran muffin and a hair-cut, STAT."
Okay, now I need coffee. (And I swear, people were GASPING in the theater. Ru and I were huddled in our chairs laughing our butts off.)