Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Launch Success!

A big thanks to everyone who came out to hear me read and buy my chapbook.  The night was simply wonderful.

I read and people listened.

I kept track of what I read.

Peter V. Dugan introduced me on the fly.

Moms are great.

People listened intently.

I stood in this pose which made me look like I had to pee.  I did not have to pee.

These are the most amazing personalized cookies ever by Southpaw Sweets.

A reserved table for the amazing cookies

Me and S and her cookies

I read more.
And if you missed it, no worries.  I'll be reading again hopefully sooner rather than later.  If you don't want to wait for a reading and really need to read the book like right now, then check this out. Us writers, we're pretty good self-publicists, too.  Speaking of...a few journals are looking for reviews of the book, so if you've read it and want to review it, drop me a line.  See?  Self-publicizing. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top O' The Rock To Ya

The summer was time for the long awaited bday gift from January to finally come to fruition.  I'd promised my mom a trip to the Top of the Rock.  I bought the tickets online for a specific time and somehow also bought vouchers for pictures and also a view finder thingie.  While the picture vouchers came in handy, I never figured out what the heck the view finder thingie was.

We took the E train and got out of the subway to find Rock Center but not Top of the Rock.  We walked all the way around where the skating rink is in the winter and saw the Jeff Koons venture into topiary-dom. We walked up and down steps.  We found a security guard to ask where we were going, and he said quite magically,  Find the red carpet around this corner.  Ooooh.  Fancy!

We found it very easily, went right inside, and the guy tells us to take the stairs because it's easier and faster than the elevator.  That's true for people who can run up circular staircases, but not for people who can receive senior discounts.  We did make it up the stairs before the elevator did, though, and we breezed through the security line.

Then came Photo Op 1.  While waiting on line, you can sit on a bench in front of a wall sized photo of the city as if we were those construction guys sitting on a beam.  You know the one.  The photograph has the greatest job ever.  These were his instructions: get together like you like each other! Okay, okay, now be Charlie's Angels girls!, yes, yes, now act like you're falling! One two three ahhh! Okay, there you go thank you.

He zipped through it really quickly and later on, we saw in the first picture we weren't even ready to take the picture, but it was really funny.

Pretty soon, we go on the elevator up to the roof. It takes somewhere in the 40 second range to shoot up many many floors.  As we went up, there was a movie show on the ceiling of the elevator.  No joke.
We got out of the elevator to enjoy three levels of oohing and ahhing. 

And tourists pushing people out of the way.  Not to be one to be pushed, my mom very loudly said, Excuse you!  To which the tourist responded, excuse me.  Heh heh.  Little lady is a firecracker.

Around and around we walked, taking in the city as it lit up, orienting and reorienting ourselves as to where we were and what we were looking at.  Really, it wasn't that crowded, yet people have a way of making it seem that way, like setting up a tripod when they are forbidden or staring at the same building without moving or allowing other people to see.  Also, some people were holding their iPhones out between the safety glass and hoping not to drop them as they took selfies.  People?  Are dumb.

Photo Op 2 came. This photograph was on the very top of the top.  She asked where we were from.  We laughed and said, New York.  She was from London.  She had us do a whole lot of poses.  Once she told me to hold my hand up high and pull my fingers together.  I figured she was trying to make it seem like I was holding the Empire State building from its spire, but upon seeing the photos later, as I'd figured, I wasn't tall enough to do so and it looked like I simply have an odd way of pointing.

We'd went around and around and decided we'd had enough, so we went to redeem our photos and then got on the line to go down to the street on the elevator.  We were jostled into a line on which there were some very nice people but also some people who were very annoying and somewhat loud.  They were speaking German, so I kept asking my mom if she knew what they were saying.  But because they were tall and murmuring, she couldn't even hear them. 
Too close for comfort

For two New York gals, one who's lived in the city, Top Of The Rock is still an amazing experience.  Sometimes it's fun to be a tourist in your own home state.  You have to be ready, though, for some people to break basic ettiquette of the public transportation system.
No.  Just, no.

A middle seat taken up by a drink?  Really?  (This is my mom breaking the rule).
A great time fulfilling a birthday wish.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Will Cotton and Milk Shakes

On a day when we were both finally free, S and I decided to meet up at a gallery to see Will Cotton's artwork.  I found her on the street about to cross, wearing a "look at my rib shirt."  It's all the rage in Europe, you know.  (I'm completely making this up). Later on, we saw a girl wearing the same kind of shirt with only a bra under it.  Now, that's really what the rage is in Europe.  (or not. whatever).

Will Cotton had one piece in the show called Look At Me. That's exactly what Eddie's neice always says, so I walked around the entire exhibit repeating, Look at me! Look at me! in much the same way.  It's fun to say.

In addition to the Will Cotton piece, there were a bunch of other portraits and one short film of a naked lady getting water sprayed at her.  We caught it midway through, so we waited for it to loop around. She never looked very happy about the whole water situation though we could not figure out if she was walking through water or getting it sprayed at her or dumped on her.  It looked cold.

A while back, we went to see an entire Will Cotton exhibit, and we weren't supposed to take pictures.  When S was admiring one of the paintings, I stepped back and got a shot of her looking at it, and that became the best picture ever.  So here, where photograph was allowed or at least no one cared enough to tell us not to take pictures, we recreated the moment and I can actually show it now without fear of copyright infringement. Hopefully.

Since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped by Dylan's Candy Bar when we were done looking at the me's.

Then, because I had two free gift cards to Big Daddy's, we walked down to Big Daddy's.  S noted, "This is kind of like us doing a 5 K."  Yes, yes it was.  From all the way uptown to all the way downtown, walking through that weird area of  Park Ave where it stops and starts and cars are overhead, block after very long block, by the time we got there, we were hungry.  It was good timing because all the apps were half price so we split 'em, I got a salad, and we wound up paying for only the milkshakes.
This is the "look at my rib" shirt. S wears a tank top under hers, which is all the rage in the land of being appropriate.

And of course, I not only noticed but found the need to point out this grammatical error on the menu.

Just like sounds! I'm an asshole!

 Once rested and full, we took our milkshakes to go and headed out to some subway station or other.  We passed by Madison Square Park and I remembered, Free public art!  I'd wanted to see some sculptures, and as an added bonus we also saw fake pigeons because NYC doesn't have enough real ones.

Rachel Feinstein: Folly

Rachel Feinstein: Folly

Rachel Feinstein: Folly
These are not real!

From there, S found her subway and I walked to Penn to

1. take an off-peak train


2. to walk off the milkshake.  I'd hadn't had a milkshake in years and years, and it took all my willpower to not curl up and roll myself back to the station.  So worth it, though.  So totally worth it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one

Friday, September 5, 2014

DC Wins Over Maui Part VI

The hotel bill waiting for Eddie and me in the door reflected a penny charged and a penny returned to my credit card for parking.  Hooray!  We'd be able to leave the hotel without any parking problems.  Unless they deactivated the cards before we left.  Unless the yellow caution tape ensnared our car.  Neither of those things happened.  We took one last glance at the Pentagon as we headed out of DC.
Worst photo of the Pentagon ever. Thanks, Obama.
Instead of heading straight home, we planned to stop off in Baltimore to see the Inner Harbor and pass by the sports stadiums.  In doing so, we somehow added hours onto our trip home according to the GPS, which I simply could not comprehend.  But we were en route already, so we dealt with it.

We passed by Camden Yards and where the Ravens play.  It was still really early, so the harbor was not crowded at all.  We found parking and walked to the water to see the boats because that's what you do when you're at a harbor.  Some sort of convention had to be going on, because we also saw a lot of people dressed rather interestingly.

Eddie's obsession with ducks -- "look at their feet!"

Sports happen here

See? Interesting
Also, there was a trolley.  We did not take the trolley.  Eddie, however, got a kick out of this:
"What if you're 101?" Good question, love.

 Right in the middle of the plaza was a huge granite block with twisted iron on top.  I immediately told Eddie that it had to be something about September 11.  I didn't know this was here.  We walked over and one of the Harbor Guides explained to me that the hash-marks line up with the shadow of the building behind us.  It was the Trade Center in the harbor.  Well, that did it.  I thanked her and quickly walked away because I was already in tears, and Eddie, having no idea what was going on because of course he wasn't paying attention to what the woman was explaining to me, was chasing after me and asking me what happened.  I sat on a bench and finally explained to him what it was and he was like, Ohh, yeah, I didn't hear her say that.  You think? I usually do not cry in public, but this was unexpected.  I was wearing sunglasses, so no one could really see I was crying, and I wasn't sobbing like a lunatic, so it all worked out okay.  I returned to the plaza and read the explanation of what was there.  It was a really nice tribute.  And a great way to start the morning with all the crying and people with computers on their heads.

We stopped for breakfast at the Corner Bakery Cafe. I found my new favorite breakfast item, and I want to learn how to make it at home: Chilled Swiss Oatmeal.  I scarfed down the entire bowl at an embarrassing rate. And then we headed out to go home.
We stopped at the same rest stop as we did on the way down.  There we found the world's most popular Wendy's.  The line was 40 people deep and not budging.

I snacked on whatever we had left in snacks as Eddie waited and eventually got food.  It was nice to take a break there because the rest of the way home was a long drive complete with hours of traffic.  I drove quite a bit, though, according to my husband aka A Beautiful Mind, I drove an hour and 26 minutes.  How did he figure that out?  Something about when the GPS said we'd arrive home when I started and when I said I wanted to pull over.  I pointed out that the ETA on the GPS doesn't change when we sit in traffic or when we stop.  Math skillz.
Apparently 3 minutes
 We switched driving in Jersey for the ride home through Staten Island because that's where all the scary crazy traffic is, and since Speedy Baddriverson rear-ended me, I'm not too keen on driving in mayhem.  As Eddie took the wheel, I was able to do this:

And that was the line of relief.  Though it took about another hour and a half to get home, we were in New York and being in New York always feels so very good no matter how great it was to be away.