Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Of hot dogs and hissing

We went to visit our friends Anne & Cristi this weekend. We got to know them when we lived in Bowling Green, Ohio while Brett was getting his graduate degree. They lived briefly in Ithaca before moving back to Ohio, where Anne is originally from. It was a hella long car ride- 8 hours- and even though it was almost 50 degrees when we left Ithaca with nary a snowflake on the ground, by the time we hit Western New York, we saw this:

We saw lots of interesting sights on our way into Columbus, like this charter school in an old shopping plaza called "God'z Kidz." Not kidding.
Anne & Cristi took us out to a place called Dirty Franks where we proceeded to stuff ourselves. I got the Classy Lady- a hot dog covered in cheese sauce and crumbled potato chips, and the Octodog- a cup of macaroni and cheese with a split hot dog served over it. It was a lot tastier- and less creepy- than this picture looks.
Anne & Cristi's cat is the most adorable thing in the world- big yearning eyes, cute little face- but she hisses at you like a roomful of first graders missing their front teeth. I don't have a picture of her but I wanted to explain the other part of the title of this post.

As we were in town to celebrate Anne's birthday, we took her suggestion and had lunch the next day at The Tip Top, where Anne & I had the pot roast sandwich. I am not kidding you when I say this sandwich is magical. Did I mention it was served on a PRETZEL ROLL?? Here's Cristi & Anne looking all cute 'n shit.
Naturally, the Uggly Wugglies came along and were sufficiently frightened of Anne's Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man hat.

We went to the Columbus Museum of Art for the Caravaggio exhibit. Knowing how I love street art and smart-ass graffiti, I was in heaven when I discovered interactive parts of the exhibit. One was called "Continue the Conversation" and had you write on little post-its shaped like speech balloons what you thought the people in this Caravaggio painting were saying. I just have to go on the record- I love a wise guy, especially one with an eight year old's sense of humor.

Another interactive exhibit involved a Caravaggio painting of Cupid. Someone wrote on a post-it questioning if Cupid was represented by a small child, how did he get so muscular and buff in the painting? This two word answer was my favorite thing about the entire day:
In an exhibit about the American West, the question was posed, "What's your favorite thing about the Wild West?"
The lower level had exhibits on food. I truly don't remember the context of this one, just that I liked this person's imagination:
"What's your favorite thing to eat?"
And this one... this one. It was an activity to design a kind of Rube Goldberg-type contraption to move this fellow's pants from his person across the room. Someone protested:
Then Anne took us to Thurber House, where she works. Upstairs, in what was James Thurber's childhood bedroom, all the visiting writers sign the wall in the closet. Looking at names like Stewart O'Nan, Alan Zweibel, and Bailey White scrawled in the wall in Sharpie is humbling and inspiring.
Brett and I (and the Uggly Wugglies) posed for pictures in the Thurber Dog Statue garden outside the house.

The Unicorn in the Garden is a humorous fable written by Thurber, and there's a statue of a unicorn in the yard across the way from the house. Depending on the angle, she's a saucy little thing.

That's Thurber House in the background.

 And, of course, what would a birthday be without twenty pounds of ice cream cake?

I miss them already.
And the cake.


  1. HOLY CATS you went to Thurber's house and saw all that and the hound in the garden too??? COOL. I love that hound! Everything so beautiful! You were lucky, I think, considering your trip was all through the snow belt, that for january there wasn't too much. BTW, the wife here knows Stewart O'Nan pretty well..... :)

  2. That unicorn is AMAZING. Your whole trip sounds amazing!
    My nieces are big fans of hot dogs made to look like octopi. Hot dogs are a nice accompaniment to any meal.

  3. Very cool! And BTW, I used to make those octodogs for Emily and a little boy I babysat when they were little. Brought back some memories!