Monday, September 26, 2011

In which I have a rawther fabulous weekend

I have just had the most fantastic weekend. Let me tell you about it.

Brett & I took a bus trip in to New York City. This involved being in a parking lot ready to board the bus at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. I do not take too kindly to mornings, so things were not pretty. We sat in the car trying to keep our eyes open and watched in disbelief as this young man who was WAY TOO OLD TO BE WEARING ONESIE PAJAMAS, especially in public, did a variety of dances in the headlights of his mother's car (I'm assuming- only a mother would put up with that kind of sh!t). I had all kinds of visions of him being a screamer once we were on the bus.

But I didn't have to worry about him. No, I never even saw the kid again until we'd arrived back at that parking lot 17 hours later (still in the damn pajamas! I truly hope he changed once the bus got to the city, then put his jammies back on for the ride home. God, I hope so. For his sake.) No, the real treasure of the bus ride was the woman sitting behind and across the very small aisle from us. The woman with NO INTERIOR MONOLOGUE.

You know the things that run through your mind throughout the day? Things like, "Oh, I should move that, it might fall. Never mind. I'm sure it'll be fine. No, if I don't move it, it'll fall, then it'll break and Josie will be all, "I told you so," god, I can't stand her, she's always just so... you know, ugh! But she did let me borrow those cute shoes that time. Oh wow, look at that woman's hair. She should really do something about her grays. I should too. I'm overdue. I wonder if Shana could get me in this week?" And so on and so on. Normally, these things stay in your head. WHERE THEY BELONG.

But not this fine lady. No, she shared them ALL with everyone in hearing range.
It was 6:00 a.m. On a Saturday morning- the beginning of a very long day. Everyone else on the bus immediately settled in to nap before we stopped for breakfast in two hours. Hers was the only voice on the bus. Brett said, "She's talking so much that I'm beginning to hate language as a concept."

I heard her say, "Did you see Judy's pictures from the zoo? So cute. I really loved the pictures she got of the dinosaurs."
"Dinosaurs? What am I thinking? I meant rhinoceros!"

After this brilliant monologue, I stuffed my headphones as far into my ears as possible and cranked up the volume.

Once we got to the city, we immediately hopped the subway to Astoria, Queens, to the Museum of the Moving Image that has had an exhibition on the life & work of one of my heroes, Jim Henson. In total coincidence, we happened to be visiting on what would've been Jim Henson's 75th birthday. We'd read that the first 1,000 visitors on this day would get a free commemorative cookie and would get to sign a guestbook that would be kept in the Jim Henson legacy archives. There were two people ahead of us in line and I was really close to just steamrolling them over. We paid our admission, got our cookie tickets, signed the guest book with our messages about Jim Henson and headed into the museum.

In addition to Jim's doodles, drawings, sketches, storyboards and video of some of his early work, there were several working Muppets on display. The first one you saw when you entered was Kermit, of course. I stood staring at him for the longest time. It was really him. Then I noticed on the display card that this was a Kermit that had been used in the 70s. So this was a Kermit I watched on tv, in Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. This was the Kermit I watched and adored. I choked up a little. It was like looking at an artifact from your childhood.

There was also a Rowlf, Ernie & Bert, Mahna Mahna & the Two Snowths, Miss Piggy in her wedding dress from Muppets Take Manhattan, Fraggles, and props from The Dark Crystal.

They showed Timepiece, Jim Henson's weird avant-garde short film, and clips from several of the commercials he got his start doing:

We got our commemorative Muppet cookies, and hit the gift shop.

I got this cool tshirt there and a little giftie for my friend, Gary Rith!

1. That's not Bert.
2. That's not a good idea.
Also saw the most inappropriately labelled finger puppet ever:

By the time we left, the line for museum admission wound through the wait line several times, went out the door and all the way to the end of the block. I'm betting those people didn't get a cookie.

We went across the street to a restaurant that happened to be a sponsor of the Jim Henson exhibit, The 5 Napkin Burger. I got an amazing bacon cheddar burger & Brett got the brunch eggs benedict sliders- two wee burgers on english muffins topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. With home fries and a salad. It's a good thing we had to walk a ways to get back on the train to the city.

Finding ourselves with 4-5 hours until the bus left and dead cell phones, we went to the Apple Store so Brett could sneak a little charge for his phone and get a battery-charging case for it. Then we headed across the street to the Plaza Hotel, so I could have my Eloise pilgrimage.

Eloise & her dog, Weeny
Children's book connoisseurs know that Eloise was created by a rawther fabulous lady named Kay Thompson who was an actress, singer, composer, and musician (she played the fashion editor in the Fred Astaire/Audrey Hepburn movie "Funny Face"). She invented a character named Eloise, a wild, rawther badly behaved, six year old girl who lived at the Plaza Hotel with her nanny, her pug, and pet turtle. Eloise was based partly on the exploits of Liza Minelli, who lived at the Plaza at the same time Kay Thompson did. A gentleman unfortunately named Hilary Knight did the iconic artwork, all in black, white and pink.

So we had to go to the Plaza and have my picture taken next to the portrait of Eloise near the Palm Court, and then, of course, hit the Eloise shop! (There is an Eloise suite at the Plaza where you can stay- it's decorated like Eloise's rooms in the books. I think I might have actually DIED if I got to see it. The minute I come into any kind of money, I'm booking a night in the Eloise suite.)

We also had a drink in the Algonquin Hotel, famous for Dorothy Parker & her vicious circle of wits who met there to trade snarky barbs.

Buddha say a rose is a rose, is a rose ...
Then we headed back to Bryant Park, where the bus would be picking us up. Brett & I both thought this statue of Gertrude Stein was Buddha from behind.

I wanted a picture of me with one of the lions from the front of the Public Library, but this dude was sitting here. I guess I photobombed him because he seemed to think Brett was taking HIS picture.

Then we hung out in Bryant Park until the bus came, we took our seats in front of Chatty Lady and headed back to Ithaca.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Afternoon Delights

After an aborted attempt to take Minchy for a walk on our favorite South Hill Recreation Trail (a disgustingly dirty stray came flying out of nowhere as we walked toward the trail, probably only wanted to play but Minchy read it as fighting and I hate having a dog on a leash around one who's off-leash), we headed down toward the lake to the dog park, then a walk down by the water. Thanking our lucky stars that most of the flooding missed us, and hurting for those folks who lost everything or even almost everything to the east of us.

Terriers wrestling at the park

"Hey, newbie, come this way!"


What? Where?


Ithaca College towers seen on the hill over the marina