378: why can’t i touch it?
I feel tempted to do bullet points, a few lines for every day since the last day I described in the last flip front. That takes us through Northern Liberties in Philadelphia, the Upper West Side in New York City, and the cold cold cold of Chicago. If this flip front were a tangible object, it would smell like fried chicken and boiled prawns, curry and movie theater popcorn, bread fresh from Nick and Nadine’s breadmaker, the fish at the Vietnamese market. If I knew what they smelled like, it would smell like Charles Darwin, Jake Gyllenhaal, and the twins who play Fred and George Weasley in the “Harry Potter” movies. It would look a lot like Chicago and New York City, but its heart would be in Rittenhouse Square.
Thanksgiving (11/24): There should have been more stuffing. But who knew that the humble stuffing, existing to stuff the 19 pound turkey and nothing else, could become downright ravishing after Jeremy finished tarting it up with oysters? I ate Mike’s portion right off his plate as I am shameless and no man shall ever get between me and good stuffing.
‘Black’ Friday (11/25): I sleep in, only waking when I realize that it is almost noon and I’ve spent almost 10 hours sleeping on the air mattress in Nick and Nadine’s study. I had fitful dreams where I fell down the steep narrow staircase that runs straight up and down their house. Nadine makes me breakfast, then we drive to the strip malls by the water to do some shopping. A wireless router for her, the second season of “Chappelle’s Show” on DVD ($14.99!) for me. Back at home, we putter around before driving downtown so we can score cheap clothes in Center City. I buy a black wool turtleneck that is most flattering to my bosom. Ooooh.
Saturday (11/26): Return books to public library. Do shopping for dinner. Eat dinner. Watch ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, where Nadine and I act goofy over the aforementioned Weasley twins. Nick and Nadine stay in so Olivia and I head to the Standard Tap to eat burgers, talk about boys, and wonder why the lame-ass 40-something guys next to us keep motioning to us like they were 11 year old boys. Idiots.
Sunday (11/27): The Chinatown bus from Philadelphia to New York was not dangerous or anything, but people will cut a bitch if you take the seat they believe is rightly theirs. The bus deposits me and the rest of the UN in the middle of an intersection teeming with bad drivers, oblivious tourists, and surly pedestrians. Fortunately, Dad is waiting for me in the fancy new ride, which boasts a DVD player in the back where Patrick and I watch “Lost in Translation” as we take the BQE back to College Point.
Monday (11/28): Patrick and I rock out at the Museum of Natural History. Beyond clowning in the Gardner Stout Hall of Asian Peoples, we take in the groovy new exhibit on Charles Darwin (live animals! video of academics talking shit about intelligent design!) and I buy myself an awesome Charles Darwin finger puppet. Patrick had hipped me to Audio Blogger the night before, so I post a lame message from the Hall of Gems. The Hall of Gems is in need of a makeover, for while I can appreciate the shag carpeting that covers the floors, walls, and low ceilings, I look around at all the wee children running around and can’t help but think how unsanitary it is. Ew. Afterwards, Patrick and I check out the new Time Warner Center (*shrug* — it’s a mall, people), walk down to Times Square, and take the Orient Express (aka the 7 train) home.
Tuesday (11/29): Unseasonably warm. Though I fail in my mission to buy something small yet fabulous at Henri Bendel, I succeed in meeting J-Mo for lunch on Wall Street. Oh, and he’s totally engaged, and I’m so psyched. I want to e-mail Meghann my congratulations, but I fear that she’ll be all “Thanks, but why haven’t you been reading the books for our book club, lady?” That night, the family has dinner at Ched and Gerhard’s. The great-aunt and great-uncle are good, talking shit about silly neighbors and cracking themselves up.
Wednesday (11/30): On the Chinatown bus back to Philadelphia, I have room enough to bust out the laptop so I can watch a movie. I watch “Steal This Movie” and rewind the scenes with Troy Garity, who plays his own father. Ladies, I know you feel me when I say that Troy Garity is so choice. At least, I think Kathy does. Nadine picks me up at the bus station, we drive home for a quick dinner of chicken wings with hot sauce, then go downtown to meet Nick at the Historical Society for what turns out to be a really cool talk about the Gangs of Philadelphia. Of course, it helps that one of the speakers is a former police officer who is both hot and not insane. It’s a nice night, so we walk to city hall to check out the psychedelic light display. We tried to eat in Nick and Nadine’s neighborhood, but we were too tired to wait for a table at a bar they fancied, so it was sandwiches from the fancy deli and a Fox News exclusive on the hipsters of Philadelphia. I kid you not.
Thursday (12/1): I get lost, temporarily, in the Vietnamese market. Olivia is wandering around, looking for spices, and I am transfixed by the freezers of ice cream, frozen dumplings, and noodles. Why is there no purple yam ice cream? Whyeeeeeee? I consult my new watch, newly bought at Target that very afternoon, to make sure I am not late to meet Nadine who cancelled her office hours so we could see “Harry Potter”. Again.
Friday (12/2): Another warm-ass day. Nadine and I spend my last full day in Philadelphia listening to the noontime organ concert at the Lord & Taylor on Market Street (where “Mannequin” was shot!), buying delicious food at Reading Terminal Market (the butchers totally flirted with Nadine, who wore a lovely cleavage-baring top), stopping at the Liberty Hall gift shop, seeing the Bell from the sidewalk before finding a Christmas tree near the Italian market. Mike and Olivia took me to the Standard Tap for one last drink (or three), where we ate fried oysters, drank beers, and talked at length about hair removal and vaginas. I insist that it is not as creepy as it sounds, as I am a woman, and Mike is going to be a gynecologist/obstetrician.
Saturday (12/3): Home! Home. It’s snowing. Molly is nowhere to be found at home, but! her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew are staying the weekend so I see their bags in the living room. Ooh, a full house — so cozy. I trek over to Thom’s so we can eat KFC and watch that week’s episode of “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. Kevin and Gabe come over, Allie and her roommate whose name I can’t remember.
Sunday (12/4): I wake up to the sound of running. Sanjay, Molly’s nephew, is up and playing, eating breakfast, getting dressed for the aquarium. The family leaves and Adrienne collects me for Kathy’s birthday brunch at Thyme Cafe. The reservation is for 12, we have 10, but the staff does not seem to mind. Eggs Florentine — yummy. Flank steak — oh baby. And three mimosas, baby. Afterwards, a bunch of folks float back to my place to digest, watch some telly. A fine way to have a birthday, I feel, though I still have my heart on celebrating my next birthday in Atlantic City.
Monday (12/5) through Thursday (12/8): Back to work. I find that I am glad to be back, as I missed my work pals. Friday is the office Christmas party, so I spend a lot of the week talking to Jacalyn and Cynthia about what we’re going to wear. I come up empty-handed when scouring Marshall Field’s and Nordstrom for a party outfit. But! I find some cheap sandals — could they work? Oh who cares.
Friday (12/9): My hair is ironed flat. I’m wearing a gold embroidered coat. I think I look pretty damn hot but this year, as ever, the guy from OE and I fail to make out for the third year in a row! Which is fine, as I’ve never wanted to benefit from somebody wearing scotch-goggles.
Saturday (12/10): I get a cheap facial, then buy cheap winter boots. Life is, in fact, good. I am glowing for the rest of the day, which I spend helping Kathy set up her new wireless router, trying to fix her cable, and just hanging out. We talk about dieting and the current members of my Secret Celebrity Boyfriend Club, with particular reference to Jake Gyllenhaal. Which reminds me that it is Jacinda’s personal belief that, eventually, we will witness see every Gyllenhaal naked whether we like it or not. I have no objection to this.
Sunday (12/11): Saw “Pride and Prejudice”. I love this story, and I honestly did not expect to enjoy this version, starring Keira Knightley, so so much. I totally cry my ass off. I am so sad.
“I think human beings are the lowest form of animals on the planet. You want proof? Two words: ‘jazz hands’. I’ve never met a quadruped who paid hundreds of dollars to see Fosse!”
Buzzcocks – Why Can’t I Touch It?; Company B – Fascinated; Rufus Wainwright & Teddy Thompson – King of the Road; Shelby Lynne – Mother; Ryan Adams – English Girls Approximately
*movies (since 11/24/05)*
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2x)
Pride & Prejudice
Seoul Train (unfortunate name for a harrowing documentary on the plight of North Korean refugees in China — airing on PBS and at special screenings/film festivals)