Thursday, January 10, 2008

in the Bowery

I’ve been meaning to write about my Christmas vacation, but two things have prevented me from doing so before now. First of all, I came back to California with a wicked cold. I’m doing better now, although I’m still coughing up blobs of phlegm that are the exact color and consistency of egg drop soup. Secondly, there isn’t actually that much to write about, since it was a pretty low-key trip. I took lots of walks, learned how to play pool, amused the nephews with my assorted Engrish shirts, and ate approximately fifty pounds of delicious food every day. (Aside from Madre’s famous cheesecake, my favorite was her cinnamon raisin French toast. I’d hit a cinnamon vein every other bite and commence to moaning.) There were two things I’d like to jot down for posterity, though.

As is our custom, we went to NYC for a day. (I swear Padre must have pull with the parking gods, because he always manages to score an excellent parking spot in the city!) We went to John’s, a pizza parlor on Bleecker Street, and waited in line outside in the drizzle, shivering, for a half-hour. It was definitely worth it, though; I’m not usually a fan of thin-crust pizza, since I require as many carbs as possible, but it was delicious.

Side note: something about me attracts violently inclined homeless people. In Key West, we walked by a black dude who muttered “I’m gonna hit you with a monkey wrench,” and in NYC, a man pushing a shopping cart walked past us and flipped us off, snarling, “Yeah, you understand that language? They don’t want you to see, but YOU WILL.” Okay then!

Anyway, after lunch we went to the New Museum in the Bowery. Let me show you the coolest thing about it:

Awesome building, right? (Incidentally, the rainbow letters say “Hell Yes!”) Too bad the exhibit inside wasn’t anywhere near as cool; in fact, I’d go so far as to say it sucked my ass out. To give you an example, one of the installations was a bicycle with purses looped over the handlebars. On the back was an antenna with a piece of fur and a picture of Mel Gibson hanging from it. According to the program, this was a “sly criticism of Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism.” I pointed this line out to Glenn and sniped, “How? By making him star in a really lame piece of art?”

On the 29th, we visited the home of R and M, longtime friends of Padre’s. R is a lawyer, and he’s obviously doing pretty well for himself; Bryan Singer’s mother lives next door. Anyway, R has recently taken up toy trains as a hobby, and thinking the lads would enjoy seeing his train set, he invited us over. We were standing in the foyer, taking off our muddy shoes, when I saw a toy cat sitting by a potted plant. Being a big fan of the cute, I don’t have anything against stuffed animals, but I thought it was weird that a middle-aged couple with no kids living at home would put one in the front room of their zillion dollar house.

Then it moved.

Instantly I began biting my knuckles to keep from screaming with delight. R noticed my reaction and said, “Oh, Winston came out from under the bed!”

Unable to restrain myself, turned into a quivering pile of id, I moaned, “Kiiiitty,” and lurched towards Winston, who promptly scurried away.


Fortunately, when we went upstairs to see the train set---which was in a room that was only slightly smaller than my whole apartment---Winston followed us, and eventually he allowed us to pet him, but by that time we had to leave.


BUT! R asked Padre if he would come over on New Year’s Eve to feed Winston, since he and M would be out of town, and Padre agreed. When we left, I tugged on Padre’s sleeve and said plaintively, “Bring me too.”

And lo, didst we frolic! Winston was much happier to see us this time around (funny how food will do that), and he let me scratch him under the chin, shower him with sweet nothings that would make your pancreas ache, and even pick him up. I squealed happily as he splayed out across my lap, so warm and heavy, and I sank my fingers into his plush fur. He's a British shorthair, and he was probably the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen in real life. Even though I knew pictures wouldn’t do him justice, especially since you can’t see his amazing copper-colored eyes, I had to take a couple anyway.

I have a new love, and his name is Winston.