Friday, August 31, 2007

random things that make me laugh...

at the risk of sounding totally schizophrenic... i had to share in my hysterical cackling merriment... 'tis friday and all...

thank GOD, tolkien isn't around to see flight of the conchords... or IS he?



SAY WHAT! (alas poor 80s! i knew you well... a decade of infinite wit and most excellent fancy...)


hot. fuzz. 'nuff said. (violence in that drunken stupor spoof humor, "guess ya had to be there" kinda way)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the caged bird publishes a post...

before i bore you with all the tedious detritus that is my life...

i should mention that this past weekend, i published two posts on filipina moms blog - "involuntary captivity" and "PSST!!! FREE STUFF!!!"

i also neglected to mention it earlier, but a few weeks ago, i was asked to contribute to another group blog - chingchong.com - "a place to share and discuss the chingchong as well as other stuff about being Asian American". i was very happy and honored to accept their offer. my latest is "ching chong chinaman - the play".

ok, back to my depressing detritus... or maybe i AM depressing detritus... and i have been for a little while...

my depression may been compounded by the record amount of rain we received... or the record heat... or that the paloma is out of school, day camp, ballet classes, yoga classes... or that the porkchop is almost to his terrible twos and not really "talking" (no worries, we've had him evaluated)... and my ceramics classes also came to an end for the summer too... and i hate september... and then, there was that total lunar eclipse which i suspect wreaked havoc on my hormones which were legion o' sybils already....

which in turn, reminded me, that if i were a "normal" sahm who drove a car, my children would be enjoying themselves at one of the gazillion family friendly indoor attractions we have in chicago. but instead they were re-enacting graphic scenes from "lord of the flies" in the playroom... and yes, i saved the cats from a kebab-ish end...

last friday, everything came to a head. words were said, actions were taken. all of which i regret. i regretted them so much that i started to send out a couple of resumes while they napped... i rationalized that no matter what - i never wanted to experience another day like that again. i never wanted to talk to the children the way i'd talked to them. i never wanted to handle them as roughly as i did. the children would be much better off at an all day school/day care. at least there they would never be bored, never be yelled at, possibly rough housed but not by someone who should know better. i felt that working full time in a job i hate would just be another sacrifice i'd make for them. another example of me "taking it for the team".

to say that the house and every being in it was "fitful" would be an understatement. every time one of them cried out, i wanted desperately to cry out in response.

although i've been thinking about getting a job for a while, i haven't been able to get around that "feeling" that it wouldn't "solve" any of our problems. that it would in fact make new ones and make me feel miserable and robotic, doing something that wasn't fulfilling.

to say the least, when i confessed to the thin man he was not happy about me taking actions to pursue such a big decision without consulting him first. and of course, because the whole reason we moved back to chicago from the bay area was so that i could stay home and take care of the kids.

obviously, i wasn't happy either - but i felt that it was the only path open to taking. and after feeling physically, intellectually and emotionally confined - i took a baby step in some direction, any direction.

as i've mentioned before, we cannot move back to the south loop where i'd have most of my mobility/independence back (the rest being taken over by the actual weight of two kids in an early model, used double stroller.) the housing market is in the tank. the house is in good shape - better shape than when we purchased it - that's for sure. but, it's not in any shape to sell really. the thin man's employer just went thru a merger and so, we're all "waiting and seeing" over that issue. even if we did move, there are no guarantees that i'd be happy or that it would be a healthy move for the whole family. blah blah blah - infinity...

but, here we are on wednesday. no call backs from potential employers, the weather has been agreeable and we've notched a few more playdates on our bed rails . and i'm calm and thankful.

i also talked with a dear btdt mom friend and she was so helpful and supportive. she completely blew my job idea out of the water, and although i feel like i'm back at square one, i also feel like i see a little bit clearer now and that the weight i carry is slightly lighter...

there were a few things she said that put things into perspective for me (you probably already thought of this):

* the bad horrible regrettable days don't stop after you get a job (even if it's a job you love) and after the kids spend all day at the best care facility, getting intellectual, academic, creative, emotional, and physical stimulation, eating the best organic food for lunch and snacks and even squeezing a nap in there somewhere. we're human. that's our beastly nature.

* our generation is one of the first generations who is expected to entertain children for 10+ hours a day. in previous generations, they were considered labor or decoration. parents didn't play with them and if/when they did - they didn't do it for 10+ hours a day. our work is NOT cut out for us.

* after experiencing a friday like yours, you are not automatically inducted into the abusive parent hall of fame. you actually love your children deeply and frequently tell them and show them that you love them and you spend time with them in whatever capacity you can, you establish and build the foundation of your relationship almost every minute of almost every day. and when you screw up, you own it. you heartily apologize for your mistakes and missteps and you promise to do better and you move on.

you are however an angry parent. you have this anger because you don't allow yourself to ignore your children for x amt. of hours a day, for weeks at a time to watch tv or talk on the phone or play videogames. you don't allow yourself to needlessly pawn them off on others to care for them while you chill out with other childless people to attend an overpriced lunch everyday. and you don't allow them to run amok among the general toddler public to kick other children in the face or rip toys out of smaller weaker hands, etc... you don't allow yourself any "luxuries" that other parents do. THAT'S why you're angry. as far as i'm concerned, you're allowed a little angry.

well, if you made it this far. thank you for your patience. i didn't want to write about this and bore you, but i just had to get it out... again...

hopefully, i've managed to pull myself out of the latest funk and am just in the process of cleaning the residue off... :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

an oldie but a goodie

this weather (from hell), my (cabin) feverish children and my feeble attempts at "maybe" "possibly" finding "new employment" are stifling any and all of my creative process... so, i looked back to see what i was doing when the paloma was the same age as the porkchop (not much, which doesn't bode well for me for the next few months) and then, what i was thinking about this time last year... and found this oldie but goodie

(btw: k'zilla=paloma and b'zilla=porkchop):

metrodad just posted to ricedaddies about this nyt article called "tickled red to be elmo in a rainbow world". personally, i think this rove mcmanus interview is so much better... ("elmo LOVES wasabi! wasabi is a sometimes food!")



btw - for those of you in chicago, on friday's oprah (channel 7, 9 a.m.), they're re-airing the show where kevin is "revealed".

so, it appears that both the nyt and metrodad are really excited that elmo's muppeteer is black.

which reminded me of something that happened to me a few years ago, a friend of mine recounted a backstage visit to sesame street where a friend of hers was a "muppeteer". she giddily and gushingly (i mean like the blushing school girl, with the timebomb secret, straddling the cafeteria table bench) told me that the elmo muppeteer was "a really tall, african american man, named kevin".

the first thing i thought was "can you hook me up and get ME backstage at sesame street!?" and the second thing i thought was, "why is it a secret or a surprise or does it even matter to you that elmo's muppeteer is black?" it didn't really surprise me, just look at the cast of sesame street - it's probably the most diverse cast on tv and has been consistently so since it's debut in the 70s right?

admittedly, kevin clash seems to have breached the "caucasian muppeteer glass ceiling". but, i don't assume automatically that muppets are handled/voiced by white people. just like i don't assume that all the boy muppets are handled/voiced by males. and does the fact that they're white make the body of work of jim henson (kermit, ernie), frank oz (bert, grover) or caroll spinney (big bird, oscar) less impressive, less inspiring, less educational? do they lose their sesame street cred because of it?

as a child, i didn't care that all those characters were dreamed up and brought to life by white people (not that i knew). all i cared about was how alive the muppets were - they were funny, grouchy, loving, sympathetic, hungry, crazy, falliable, cynical, optimistic. they were just plain weird inside and out and yet wholly and unconditionally loved by millions. and who doesn't want to be loved unconditionally (by milllions) despite one's idiosyncrasies?

lately, it seems that parents are too worried about television not doing a good enough job at educating and well... parenting. i just don't think it's sesame street's job to educate children about racism, or HIV, or 9/11, death, love, pregnancy, obesity and divorce. but, they've taken these issues on to the ranting and raving of parents all over the globe. i always wonder if they take on these issues because they're told to or because they feel it's their duty. if it's the latter, do the producers of sesame street really think parents are doing such a bad job that they need to supplement?

in the 70s, sesame street did a great job teaching me the alphabet, numbers, opposites, rhyming and colors. they did a good job of making learning fun, encouraging me, as a child, to explore the world and making sure that the world always seemed big and full of things to experience with something new to teach me everyday. they still do, but for some reason, they go even further and sometimes they get schmacked for it - cookies are now a "sometime food" for cookie monster, zoe was given a zoemobile and a tutu instead of a doll, and remember when snuffy was big bird's "invisible" friend? and now, it's abby cadabby being too pink, too girly. (hello!? there are what five or six girl muppets and what a GAZILLION boy muppets. looks to me like sesame street is a tad testosterone heavy. how did that get past us feminists?)

i just feel that as a parent it's my job to pick up where sesame street should be leaving off. and depending on the subject matter, i'd rather that my child learn about these things from me anyway. i can appreciate that sesame street and other "educational" programs try to help me out. but, i worry that some issues are too complex/controversial for them to handle in 5 or 10 minute chunks - they may even be forced to sit on the fence - presenting some issues too simply/too detailed for some or not simple enough/too detailed for others. a parent knows their child better than anyone else (well, i hope they do anyway) and knows how to best educate their child - what tools/examples to use, when the child is ready to grasp a concept, when to table the discussion for another time, what language to use, etc, etc....

getting back to metrodad's post he says that he'll raise his daughter in a multi-cultural and multi-racial environment to teach her lessons about racism and racial stereotypes. i want to believe that that will help. i really do. i think the same thing about k'zilla and b'zilla with regards to our (not so diverse) chicago neighborhood (such as it is).

strangely enough, this makes me wonder about iceland's mostly blond, blue-eyed, extremely homogeneous population. i mean, how racist is iceland, if at all? i'm really curious - save for that genetic tidbit - i don't know squat about iceland. well, ok, i know i like bjork and that she isn't blonde.

sometimes i think that i'm actually self taught re: racism, stereotypes and prejudice. because despite growing up in a very diverse, multi-cultural, multi-racial neighborhood in chicago: my family was afraid of black people, the puerto rican neighbors thought the mexican neighbors were low class and dirty. everyone told me polish people couldn't drive - even the polish kids. the korean and the indian neighbors were lumped together as conceited and "foreign" and everyone thought filipinos ate dogs. even when i moved to san francisco, i thought there's no way, i'd encounter any racism there. it's practically all asians. and i was proved wrong. today, i'm still considered, less asian to some, and a race traitor/"coconut" to others. and just because they think that, i'm not saying they're racists either. and somehow, i gathered the bits and pieces for a definiton of what racism/prejudice is to me.

i won't even get started on how those of us with facial differences get treated/are viewed and how that factors into my perspective on prejudice..

but, of course, i don't have a solution or even a compromise - just personal anecdotes, i guess.

i DO know that we'll do our best to teach our children about all their different heritages, especially all the different languages since i still have family in the philippines and my husband's paternal side of the family speaks spanish at home. i know my husband will probably focus on history wheras i will focus on the arts. we want them to travel extensively as well which is an education in itself, changing one's perspective, the resulting culture shock, etc.... i definitely want to volunteer with them too - anywhere and everywhere, doing all sorts of things that challenge us physically, intellectually and emotionally. i want them to get involved with the world, to get engaged, and not just observe. i them to walk many miles in many shoes.

the bottom line is i don't want my children to grow up and become racists/race purists. my hope is that they will be satisfactory human beings - critical thinkers who make realtively sound decisions. that they'll see all "the issues" as the grey shapeless masses that they are instead of just "black" and "white", "right" and "wrong", "bad" or "good", "conservative" or "liberal". honestly, i'm not sure how i'm going to help accomplish this either - probably by example - not that i'm a very good example by any stretch of the imagination.

Friday, August 17, 2007

buena

the second apartment i had in san francisco was on the corner of geary and polk, across the street from a drug rehab, a laundromat and a parking lot. my bedroom windows were also street level to the busiest trannie corner in san francsico, 24-7. a three year relationship had just ended and i was looking forward to a new phase in my life... and i was lonely. i think this was '97 or '98.

i thought i should get a cat and found myself wandering the rooms and cages and aisles at the sf spca.

there was a room that looked empty and before i opened the door, an spca employee mentioned in passing that he didn't think there were any animals in that room. but i went in anyway, i didn't mind checking. i walked around and got to the very last aisle, where i saw two fluffy paws stretching out of the very last cage. so, i walked all the way down and there she was. "reina" was her name. she was an adult cat and looked himalayan mixed with some main coon. she kept stretching her paws out to me through the cage and so i reached out to touch her and immediately wanted to rescue her and take her home.

i found another employee and she told me that this cat was popular that day, that a few people wanted to adopt her but that they couldn't get the cage open. she was waiting for a custodian or a locksmith to break the lock. she said she'd try to open the cage again, but not to get my hopes up. with her first attempt, the lock unlocked and the cage opened. the cat leaped into my arms and crawled around my neck and tried to sit on my head. papers were signed and i boarded a bus with a cardboard box full of fluffy catness.

on the way home, i saw an advertisement for yerba buena gardens and realized i didn't like the name "reina" all that much but "buena" was nice and sounded similar. so from then on, i called her "buena".

she was the most loving and most intuitive cat i've ever known. she was quiet and playful - a juicy, girlie, flirt with big, clear, blue eyes and brown stockings.

buena looked after me through many good days and bad nights, a handful of failed relationships, breakups, health scares, a tattoo, hangovers, fashion do's and don'ts, the laserdisc years, employment lay-offs, swing dancing, a burglary and finally dating and marriage to her arch rivals - the thin man and his young, uppity cat, bailey. she moved five more times with me. our last move together was here to chicago.

before we left the bay area, she was already sick. it turned out she was older than i or the sf spca had originally thought. the veterinarian who looked after her in san francisco was unsure of what was really ailing buena besides old age. her back legs were failing her and she was having trouble missing the litter box. it felt like buena was slowly and painfully breaking off pieces of my heart. everytime i thought, we'd have to bring her to the vet to put her down she'd make a miraculous recovery. her legs would regain their normal strength and her bathroom habits would improve. it was a similar recovery that encouraged me to move her to chicago with us. i took her on a plane with me just in case she couldn't handle the cross country truck trip that the thin man, his dad and bailey were embarking upon.

as soon as we landed, buena took a turn for the worse. i opened the door to our new apartment and tried to make the empty echoing place as comfortable for the two of us as possible. and after a sleepless vigil of two days and two nights, of dragging legs, full bowls of untouched cat food and fresh water, and pristine box of cat litter - i called my brother and asked for help. he picked us up and drove us to the local emergency vet.

we cried all the way there. we cried in the waiting room like all the other owners and their howling pets. everytime, i looked into her eyes, i expected to find fear or pain and found peace and quiet. she often tried to get up and failed. i knew she just wanted to be at home. i felt so conflicted. i wanted to leave. but, i wanted to make sure she wasn't in any pain. i wanted her to be free but i wasn't ready to let her go. finally, the vet leveled with us and assured us that it was better for her to be put down. i hugged her and nodded to the vet. he left and returned and explained the procedure. i held her close and whispered into her ear, "thank you for taking care of me so well and for so long. i'm going to be okay now. you can go. i love you and i'll never never forget you." i looked into her eyes, the vet continued, her pupils got bigger and as the vet listened for her heartbeat he quietly told me that she was gone.

my brother and the vet and the technician left us alone for a little while and i laid her body down on the metal examining bed, my shaky hand stroking her small head, trying to gently shut her eyes. then the technician came back and explained all of our options for burial. shamefully, i asked them to dispose of her remains because we just couldn't afford anything else. but i asked if i could cut some of her hair. she brought back a pair of office scissors and an empty pill vial. i cut a bit from the tips of her ears, and some from her belly and some from her tail. i still have the vial tucked away in my sock drawer.

while my brother drove me back to the new empty apartment, he turned on the radio to break the silence. i rolled the pill vial back and forth in my hands remembering that first day, seeing her paws stretching out of her cage... and this song came on the radio and it reminds me of the night she died every time i hear it:



after looking thru a photo album this afternoon, i realized that that was six years ago tonight.

buena, i miss you terribly. but don't worry about me because i really am doing ok. i really wish you could've met the paloma, the porkchop and the newish cat, stella (she drives bailey CRAY-ZEE!) and i really hope that wherever it is i end up, you'll be there waiting for me.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

i scream! you scream! we all scream for ice cream!





just an fyi - i have a new post up at chicago moms blog - "i scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream".

and some quickie honorable mentions:

* the porkchop slept thru the night (last night, first night) on his new bed! WOOT!
* my inlaws are in town for my bils & sils baby shower. so posting will be light. BOO!
* this may be one of the last photos of the kids you'll ever see since some random weirdo favorited and commented on a couple of the paloma's photographs on my flickr acct. BOO! HISS! :'(

Saturday, August 04, 2007

home sweet home, pt. 2

i really had a good time hanging out with my friend (also one of my former employers) at the guggenheim. it was really great to see her. the last time i saw her, this past april, she was really unsure of her decision to leave chicago. but, she looks happier now and she has a lovely apartment and her work prospects are very promising. after spending some time with her, i became more and more disappointed that i hadn't made more of an attempt to see more friends of mine now living in nyc... i just knew i'd want to spend more time with them than we had... :(

anyway... after an hour or two, we met up with the thin man back at the steps of metropolitan. it must've been around 4:30. we had to get back to the hotel because i had bought tickets for us to watch the harlem renaissance orchestra which was playing at lincoln center's midsummer night swing. we wanted to freshen up and eat dinner somewhere before dancing.

btw - we still had not eaten anything since breakfast... and we were running on fumes... we took the subway back to times square and made it back to the hotel in one piece but the tell tale signs were there - headache, backache, nausea, exhaustion, seeing spots... i knew that if i didn't eat something soon, that our evening might be ruined.

we barely made it out of the hotel. i was feeling like i was going to faint inside the cab. then, when we finally got to lincoln center, i was upright while we got our tickets at will call. fearing the worst, we stopped into the tgi fridays or bennigans or whatever the chain restaurant is across the street from lincoln center to eat dinner (don't. tell. metrodad). where i ate enough of what they were passing as fish and chips to regain some semblance of myself. by the time, the bill came, i wasn't feeling faint or nauseous anymore. it looked like i was on the road to recovery. yay! :) so, we walked back to lincoln center and after a thorough security search of my (grocery) bag of (two) dance shoes, we were listening and dancing to some fine swing tuneage!



THEN! then, a guy who didn't look familiar to me says, "aren't you *insert mamazilla's real name here*? didn't you teach lindyhop at the doghouse in san francisco with jason?" my mouth just about dropped because that's who i was and am - i was sure this was some weird swing dancing punk'd reality show... he went on to re-introduce himself and said that he had taken lessons with us years and years ago. we had some great catch-up conversations and a great dance afterwards.

AND THEN! then, as i was watching the band and the dancers, i saw another acquaintance/friend of ours from san francisco, mark kapner, founder of swing out new hampshire, doing the same thing! so, i walked over there to say hi and he said, that he was just talking about me to another dancer about a notorious disagreement that occurred between me and some dance teachers at another camp a whiiiiiiile ago. honestly, i can't believe some people are still talking about that... so, we had a laugh and caught up and danced a bit too...finally, it was time to pack it up and go... (in that picture below, see those two HUGE banners in the back of dancers - those dancers were actually moving in slooooooow motion. it was tres kewl.)


all in all, it was a beautiful night and i didn't want it to end and although we were both exhausted, we decided to walk back to the hotel. well, first we walked by the closest duane reade to pick up two more souvenirs - one for the porkchop and the other for the lovely commenter, alice. :) i don't know what we were thinking... maybe it was dancing with each other and listening to the fantastic live music or the hilarious people watching and of course, the special surprise reunions, yada yada yada... the city was totally awake and calling to us to stay up and up and up... :)

the more that i think about our walk back to the hotel and our trip and even the relationship/marriage between the thin man and myself.... the more it reminds me of a quote in this lileks.com post:

"....I expect it’s one thing to be a hard-core spinster who’s forged an individual path from day one and has a hard shell, a gimlet eye, and a perspective on human relations as vaulable as a film critic's assessment of cinema. (He's never slapped a reel o film in a camera, but he knows the difference between Citizen Kane and Porky's IV.) It's different to be be a 60-something who just shed Hubby the Dull and exults in the chance to attend an exhibit on Salvadoran Textiles without the glum red-hot resentment that follows from knowing your husband doesn’t care about Salvadoran textile exhibits, never did, never will, and doesn’t get why you like them. It’s a consequence of the triumph or Romantic Love, I suppose; if you don’t mesh at the elemental level, something’s wrong. The notion of simply inhabiting the same road as you move towards the horizon isn’t enough; you must both be fascinated by the same things. I prefer the model where one person is interested in the flowers that grow by the road, and the other discourses on the history of pavement, and you both speculate on the birds in the boughs above. But that’s just me. (Or rather us.) I’m sure marriages built around interests intensely shared work just as well. It all depends on what you put it into it, to state the obvious. It’s like a fireplace: you can let it go out, or you can add wood. Ahem."

i have to admit i can imagine a life without the thin man ('cause deep down, my roots are morbid and goth like that) but it would be a truly sad, lonely, agonizingly long life.... in the ten years we've known each other, we have foisted a handful of relationship boulders on each other like quarrelling giants. often, we drive each other completely bonkers, attempt murder with eye-rolling and silent treatments (of doom!) and then almost immediately, we raise a tattered white flag, toss each other the antibacterial ointment and the nemo band-aids in an effort to bring things back to "normal".

hopefully, despite our combined neuroses, years (!) from now, when we visit manhattan again, we'll still be walking down that same busy street - he'll be the one continuing the tradition of his bad joke telling tribe and spouting random trivia and i'll be the one soaking in the life and vibrancy of the city, watching a young couple sharing a good night kiss, maybe even a first kiss, under an orange streetlight, as the firetrucks go roaring by.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

home sweet home, pt. 1

no, i haven't forgotten that a prize was promised for the most "manhattan" itinerary... nor the promise of pictures and a re-telling of our excellent adventure. :)

alice's intinerary most resembled the one that we envisioned for ourselves. so, if you're still interested in your souvenir, alice, it's waiting for you. however, if alice doesn't contact me by friday, i'm offering it up to samokdaddy, whose itinerary was a very close second.

anyhoo, two random thoughts about the trip before it even started:

* if you have to fly out of midway airport and your gate is A4A - prepare yourself for what may be the l o n g e s t f'ing walk of your life, my friend... get your magazine/potbelly/ben & jerry's fix BEFORE you go to your gate.

* the worst place to have a deja vu is while flying in a plane. from then on, the WHOLE time i'm in the air i'm thinking... does that mean i'm going to die on this flight? as in crash and burn? or are my gourmet pretzels laced with rat poison?

* adults travelling without children have it SOOOOOO good. they should NEVER complain about travelling EVER. DON'T. EVEN. GO. THERE.

so, after an uneventful (albeit delayed) stopover in atlanta, we arrived at la guardia around 11:30 p.m. (friday night). i called a friend of ours who's band was playing in chinatown and let him know that we wouldn't be able to make it. if you live in/visit nyc, make arrangements to check out our friend, george gee, and his band(s), you won't regret it! :)

early the next morning, around the kids normal waking time, i woke up and sat bolt upright realizing that i had forgotten to pack the stroller. (am i whipped or WHAT?) after a minute or two of hearing my eyes blink in the dark, i fell back asleep. i had these delusions of grandeur that we'd be up at the crack of dawn and out the door to devour manhattan. yeah. not so much... we just barely got out of the mansfield around 10am.

although i had asked all y'alls for a "manhattan itinerary" and sought some sage nyc tourist advice & foodie recs from metrodad, we woke up the next morning not really sure what to do or where to go first. there were a handful of things that both of us really wanted to see so we just decided to wing it.

after breakfast, we both liked the idea of getting on a boat and getting a better perspective of the city from the water. we walked to times square to find a subway stop and caught a train downtown.




we decided to stop off near ground zero and take a reluctant look. i was very disappointed to find street vendors hawking 9/11 souvenirs on our short walk there and then, there's this ENORMOUS clearance sign plastered in front of century 21, facing the construction site. honestly, there wasn't much to see, which was kind of a relief, i was really not looking forward to our visit. we walked toward battery park to catch a glimpse of the statue of liberty, ellis island, maybe catch a boat.... we happened to pass by trinity church on our way -

although, the thin man was looking at it for its rich historical background (especially the resting place of alexander hamilton) and it's ageless beauty. i can appreciate those things too. it was really quite peaceful and humbling there. the gravestones were really stunning in their simplicity and honesty about their owners' lives and deaths. but, i have to admit that i was looking at it also for it's cameo in that silly nicholas cage movie, national treasure. (and i was also hoping it had a restroom.)


when we got to battery park, the boat lines looked long and then, we weren't sure how long the boat rides were going to be. so, we just sat there and pigeon/people/nyc landmark watched for a while.


then, we perused our map and started making our way towards chinatown and little italy by way of south street seaport. i got a glance of beautiful brooklyn bridge too. i regret that we didn't have the time to walk across it.


by the time we reached chinatown/little italy it was around 1 p.m. surprisingly, neither of us were really hungry though so we opted for drinks to whet our appetites. i got a delish boba tea from ten ren on mott st. (the only metrodad foodie tip that we got to taste) i just found out we have one here in chicago too! SCORE!

i talked to a friend of mine who was cleaning her newly minted nyc apartment and made tenative plans to meet at the metropolitan in roughly an hour and change. after walking around chinatown, oogling all the bunches of fresh lychee and the fish ball kebobs, we got a pink parasol for the paloma and made our way to little italy where the thin man got a fresh fruit smoothie from a vendor.

we walked thru soho to find a subway back uptown so that we could meet my friend. at this point i realized, i hadn't seen any celebrities yet and then, i noticed a random, double parked, hazards flashing, dark tint windowed, black SUV and then a young thin blonde woman getting into it with a baseball cap and sunglasses. i still don't know who she was but then i realized she and all the other (2) people in soho with caps and sunglasses were probably celebrities too. seriously, do famous people surrender their brains upon instant stardom? i hope they get some kind of brain claim tag and get them back eventually.

and off we zoomed to central park... where we proceeded to get lost. please note that we still had not eaten yet - it's was 2/2:30-ish. we thought we were going in a straight line across the park and then, there was a restroom pit stop... some cool busker music, a crazy old man with dubious directions, sunbathers lying down willy nilly in our path.... it was mayhem! ok, no. not really.

so, i kinda knew that the metropolitan would be immense and impossible to see much of anything in the few hours left that it was open. so, i suggested we try doing something else like the guggenheim, the whitney, the neue gallerie. but, the thin man was determined to enter the metropolitan. so, we split up. he went in there and i met my friend at her apt, which was only two blocks away, and we went to the guggenheim. she just had visitors in town and had visited all the other galleries just a day or two before.

as soon as we got to the guggenheim, i was a little disappointed since there was scaffolding all over it. while we walked up the spiral, i wasn't that excited by what was on exhibit. i think i must have missed a room or something because i didn't see any of the chagalls, degas, picassos. i think i saw one kandinsky. however, there was a GREAT exhibit of italian divisionists called arcadia & anarchy. the "social problems" grouping was especially interesting because of how beautiful the paintings were depicting such sad and depressing subjects like death or urban menial labor. i think i'm so used to "pretty" impressionism at the art institute that it was jarring to see death and suffering in intimate strokes of lavender and pink....

stay tuned for pt. 2 - it gets slightly more interesting. :)

this is what i get...

for following ms. hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy and ms. dictionary...

(this thing is SOOOO broken...)



You're Lolita! by Vladimir Nabokov

Considered by most to be depraved and immoral, you are obsessed with sex. What really tantalizes you is that which deviates from societal standards in every way, though you admit that this probably isn't the best and you're not sure what causes this desire. Nonetheless, you've done some pretty nefarious things in your life, and probably gotten caught for them. The names have been changed, but the problems are real. Please stay away from children.

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