Five points to your house if you know that musical...
I love traveling. LOVE. It. I pack light, I'm ready to eat anything and go anywhere, and I can keep myself entertained while sitting in an airport. Unlike the three ladies traveling together that seemed to follow me everywhere I went in the airport before take off. Yak yak yak on their phones. First thing about me: I HATE talking on the phone. I don't get the intrigue. It hurts my ear, things interrupt the conversation, blah blah blah. Come to my house. Talk with me. But long phone conversations about NOTHING that go on and on? Spare me. I swear to God, the RingLeader of the crew was talking to someone about how they had not talked about shopping. And wasn't that weird? Because usually they talk about shopping. And they didn't, OMG! And I started thinking about pulling my fingernails off and cutting my eyeballs out with them.
Oh, spekaing of starting... Mad dash to the bathroom to reveal that Mother Nature is a cruel woman. Period. One week early. In an airport. 3.5 hour flight in small, cramped place. OHHHHH. That's why I wanted to kill those girls. I see. Feh.
But I had a window seat and two very nice men sitting in my row that were very accomodating to my needs. Sitting right next to me was the most handsome Asian businessman. He had GORGEOUS hands. But I had a book. (John Irving, The World According to Garp). Still I appreciate the asthetic beauty of the human form and it pleased me to sit near a beautifully formed body, and that he was so pleasant, to boot.
Mr. Stoney had landed earlier from Atlanta and we met up with a cute "hooray!" kiss and hug that is seriously missing now adays in the airport, due to heightened security. Cab into Manhattan and to Times Square with a fantastic cab driver. Those are my people. Get where they need to GO, yo. YES. Love the cab divers. We were on Times Square and 47th, or as I would later refer to it: where the Idiots come to stay in NYC. People just stop in the middle of the street to take pictures of all the blinking lights. GAH! I felt shame for the tourists. "Golly, Maw! You thank they got ter get summin up thar to change all them fool lightbulbs a'when they commence to go out?" Fortunately, the hotel we stayed at (W) was hip, chic, and very comfortable.
We roamed over to Park Avenue and the 30s and found a great Indian restaurant for dinner. Mango margaritas are nice, but only one. Sooooo sweet. We tooled about Times Square after dinner and watched all the people queueing up for the Broadway shows (the ones I wanted to see were sold out, oh well.) We were both pretty tired, so we hit the room around 11. I distinctly remember waking up around 3 and asking my husband to turn the lights off. Oh. There was a spotlight outside our window. Hee!! Drapes were lowered, sleep came.
Saturday was our big day - the day we were going to take in as much as we could. Walked over to Starbucks (feh) to get some coffee because the W's coffee was RANK. I was shocked. And the Starbucks at 47th and Broadway is apparently run by monkeys. Employees standing around, mouths open, while a huge line was forming and one girl was blown away by the pretty sounds and colors coming out of the frother. GAH! A native rolled her eyes at us and I felt like I BELONGED. Hee!! She knew I could be trusted with her contempt. I was like... a local!
Coffee in hand, we head down Broadway until we could cut over to Central Park. Walk through the park, see a baseball game, families on strolls together, an apparent Chihuahua convention (seriously: does every one in NYC have a frickin' Chihuahua?), watched a cool mini-Regatta with RC sailboats, heard great jazz, and then cut up and down to the Museum of Natural History. (mskakaako): you forget that Mr. S and I are science nerds. Don't hate me!) We started at the top and worked our way down. In the Hall of African Peoples (where I was checking out their gardening equipment, and yes, I am THAT much of a dork) I get a call from entrenous88!! I find a cubby hole underneath spears and weapons and crawl in to get directions for dinner.
Jess, I tried to be cool... I was really excited to meet you. I don't *think* I squeed.... Out loud...
Back through the museum to two of my faves: The Hall of Asian Peoples (gah, so beautiful - so much detail in such simple, everyday items. That pleases me.) and The Hall of Minerals and Gems. For the record: the moon rocks in that exhibit were catalogued, cut, and handled by my Father In Law. I thank you. See? Science dork, right here. *points to self* But crystals completely change their structure upon heavy impact!! That's like... your arm becoming a telephone if you jumped off a tall building! No? Not interesting? Okay.
Out the door, to a street vendor where I got a Dog, Mustard, Coke, and pretzel. Dog? Not so much. Pretzel? Ahhhhhh. But we had a mission! We continued north to the Guggenheim, which was closed the last few times I was in NYC. I get the warning about Mapplethorpe, read the signs telling me it's naughty, okay, okay! Let me in! And we go through the spiral and see the exhibits. And... meh. Sorry, natives. Kandinsky does NOTHING for me. ANd Mapplethorpe? I'd seen everything there, and they weren't... let's just say it wasn't the "shock and awe" I was expecting. Of course, check out my flist. We know from erotica, don't we? But one thing I DID like, and felt it was worth the price of admission, was how they juxtaposed his photographs of the human form (and the bondage pics, etc.) with pen and ink drawings from 16th century Italian artists. That was really neat, and come to think of it, probably was what took the air out of its' sails, you know?
But no time to think! Okay, there was time, but not in this narrative!! So we continue our mission and turn back and head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. HUGE line inside. Met? Another time. Onward!! The one museum I felt I HAD to see, was the MoMA. We get there, we go to the top and work our way down. I'm so glad to be able to say I've stood in front of so and so. Picasso is tricky for me. I know that a lot of his art was made as a "ha! See? If *I* paint it, they'll love it." and that leaves me cold, and cubism is hit or miss with me. Some I dig, some I just think are a bunch of fucking boxes. But I love his scultpure. LOVE it. Monet. Manet. I like Mayonaise. (FIFTY points to your house if you get THAT one.) I sat on a comfy bench and looked at Monet's Refelctions of Clouds in a Lily Pond for about twenty minutes. Degas. SOme of the more "modern" art leaves me cold. I'm not stupid, but I hate the feeling that some exhibits leave you with, like you are just a dumbass that you can't GET what the artist is saying. Okay, but it's a fucking 20 foot tall canvas painted SOLID blue with yellow letters saying OOP. Shit, yo, I even know the typeface. Helvetica. So. Huh? It's like walking in a room and three people know the same joke and you aren't in on it, and after a while you think that YOU are the joke. That kind of "art" pisses me off.
Especially when there is something like the penis on TV exhibit that is FAR superior. Heee!! Matisse! Okay, one thing I love about my husband: we saw the Klimt painting and he started quoting "Freshman." I strode right past Dali's Time. How sad that something important can be reduced to a college poster. Ha ha!!
Our legs were TOTALLY hurting by this point (but it's a *good* hurt, Clem) so we grabbed a cab back to the hotel to clean up. As we head back, my husband pulls off his greatest joke: "All that's missing is pancreas and a ball game." HA!!! We start singing "Good times, for a change...." and cracking ourselves up. No? Bueller? OKAY, that was totally a hint, hel-LO.
The one bad thing on the trip: and it's just because it hurt me to my core. (SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF HUMAN SUFFERING HURTS YOUR HEART - SERIOUSLY) Driving back in the cab to the hotel, which means we are cruising at 15 MPH in traffic, we stop next to a building. There's a man, obviously on crack - I'm not being facetious - stumbling and yelling at no one, then he pulled his pants down (he had on long-johns) and you could tell he had completely lost control of his bodily functions. Absolutely soaked to his knees with his own waste. I'm being kind with my words. And he's just staggering around, yelling at no one, and no one will come near him, obviously, and I just started to cry in the cab. How can we let people get to this state? Where they are capable of walking around with their pants filled with their own shit? I had just left places of beauty, of examples of the heights to which our minds can take us with beauty and wonder, and then had the stark contrast of this broken person. Mr. S just held me, then knowing what I needed, gave me chocolate. And lovin'. Chicky bow. Okay, I had to change the tone, or I'd get sad all over again....
Back to the hotel. Freshen up, make mah her foine, get gussied up to meet entrenous88 and the Future Mr. EntreNous, hereby known as: TFME. East Village, Russian/Slavic grub of the good n'hearty variety. I tried a Reisling. Twice, to be sure. I'm sure. I don't like it. :-D Let me say this about Jess and TFME: they are SO EASY to talk to! Funny, engaging, hilarious, smart, interesting... Jess? I didn't tell you this, because it didn't occur to me until later, but you are a taller version of Sue. Granted, she's a bit more high-maintenance - girl has some FABULOUS nails, but if your hair was lighter brown? I told you this in your journal but it bears repeating: you have NO IDEA how close you came to having a lap-full of Texan, with me braiding your hair and petting you. :-D That HAIR!!!
Jess is fun FUN fun to talk to. Girl, I could have gone on for HOURS. I think at one point we left the restaurant, headed to a bar, got drinks, and I don't think I shut up once. Meeep! Oh, remember that Stoney is on her period? GAH. That sucks. If I was cranky that night? (And Jess, I know I was - Mr. S bore the brunt of it, and I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable) it was because of my period. Yeah. That's what it was. :-D Oh, and he TOTALLY got me to go to Katz's deli after we left you at the subway. Meh. The pastrami tasted fishy. Like, fish. Blech. But my chocolate egg cream was nice. Sue? Stick with Chocolate Soldiers. They are the BEST.
Jess and I talked shop, talked writing, talked about YOU (oh, wouldn't You like to know!) talked about who we love, who we think is the best at so and so, what we look for in writing, and everything in between. Good stuff. Movies. Direction. Books. Fun, fun, fun. And she's the ONLY person I know that can talk faster than me. And not much of an accent! Jess - couldn't you have FAKED a hard core Brooklyn accent? :-D Of course, I probably disappointed you on that front, too. I only have an accent when I'm with "my people." Heee!
Walked back through East Village (Lower East Side), caught a cab after some fun people watching (okay, all of the Mahnattan girls I saw were very pretty: no one had a big butt! What gives? But not a lot of big boobs. These are the things I notice. Of course, I'm from Dallas where if the Lord don't giveth, the Doctor Createth.) Back to sleep...
Lazy morning on Sunday, which was an absolute LUXURY. Read in bed. No one asked me for anything, yelled at anyone, begged for something, whined.... Man, did I need that break. We wandered around Time Square for tchotchkes for the kids (teddy bears with I &Heart; NY, pencils with erasers shaped like: an apple, Empire State building, Statue of Liberty), then back to pack and hook up with beadtific and her husband. We arrange a meeting, she's staying in the same hotel as us, so we let them check in and hook up at the restaurant downstairs for brunch. Her husband? FUNNY. The first thing he says when he meets us is, "Squeeeeee." With a period. Ha ha ha! Bead? I cannot tell you how much you look like my mother's best friend. Oh, when she was in her 30s. I kept doing double takes. (FOr the record? She was one of my most favorite people on the PLANET EARTH.) Bead has FABULOUS short n'sassy strawberry blonde hair, all choppy and piecy and cute, and you are SO HUGABLE. Sue? SHe can give you a run for your money on beautiful smiles and nails. Sorry! I speak the truth... Bead is funny, smart, we laughed and talked about wine and towns and cats running amock because of bad neighbors, and made plans for what we'll do when we hook up again.
It's cute to watch Bead and Mr. Bead talk - they know each other's stories so well that they'll finish each other's sentences and know who tells what part of such and such story better and pass the torch back and forth. Heeeee! Fun, fun. And my food was delish, for the record. But we had to catch a ride back to the airport (Newark) so we hugged many times, bid adieu, and caught a cab.
And yes, I kept humming the theme song to The Sporanos the whole time we were driving in NJ. Pretty uneventful flight back home except for the when the TIRE CAME OFF THE WHEEL. AND THE SHOCK BLEW OUT ON THE SAME WHEEL.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT. We landed, brakes, flaps, whooshing noise, yeah, yeah, then FUMPFUMPFUMPWHIIIIIIIIIINE. And the cabin kinda... shifted to the right. We limped into the gate with a horrible whining noise and the flapping noise (which anyone that's gotten a flat tire will INSTANTLY recognize) and they just let us get off the plane pretty quickly. HOLY SHIT. I was over the wing, so it took a bit, but it seemed everyone was REALLY wanting to get off the plane quickly. YIKES.
Then home again, home again jiggity jig. Good to see my babies. Lots of hugs and kisses and tales and the information that my Mother In Law threw my daughter, Emily, a BIRTHDAY PARTY. Oh, Emily and I have birthdays one day apart. August 7 and 8, respectively. And she had a birthday party for my daughter. Did I know about this? NO. Am I freaking out? Yes. Should I be? I don't know. It just seems like... it's sneaky. Which makes it seem insidious. Granted they will apparently be out of town for her birthday -I just found out - but still. Would it kill her to tell me her plans? She took my number 2 (Morgan) to church on Sunday, also. Which bothers me. Because I've made the decision to NOT raise my children in a religion (mainly because I think it's bunk, secondly, I want them to choose for themself if it's something they want to practice.) All of which means that there won't be a vacation for me and Mr. Stoney for a loooong time because I feel like I can't trust her. Okay, I may be over-reacting, but she has a history of this kind of thing, not to mention how she's told me to my face that I'm a bad mother. She had left by the time I got home, and my FIL was there to hand over the keys. Hmmm.
TELL ME IF I'M OVER REACTING. Not like, ahem, I have a history of that. :-D
So, so glad to be home. Wanna read. Wanna write. Wanna catch up. I think I caught up on all of you last night... Had a GREAT time, but it's good to be home.