...and you might see Jim, Herm or me sitting in the audience of the April 23 "Daily Show."
Yes, I know it's already over. But there are always reruns, are there not?
We stood in the standby ("slackers who didn't get tickets beforehand") line for an hour and a half, hoping against hope for some empty seats which could be filled with our bottoms. The line inched forward; we were told there might be seats for us; then the couple ahead of us got in and we were left standing miserably outside.
But wait! Apparently three VIPs ("bored-looking overly hip twenty-somethings with multiple cell phones") had not shown up. There was room for three of us. Yet we were four. What would we do? Would one of us have to wait outside on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen?
No--for the producer had a plan. "We've been friends for our entire lives, haven't we?" she said to Joe. "What's your name again?" She took him up to the control booth (!) and asked her co-workers if it would be OK for her old friend Joe to watch the goings-on from their lofty perch.
Apparently it would be, and Joe got to see the show from the proverbial catbird seat.
The thing about Jon Stewart: He comes out a few minutes before taping starts to chat with the audience and take a few questions. Guess who had a question for him?
Me: "What are you reading right now?" Jon: "The teleprompter."
So, anyway, that is one of the things that happened in NYC. We also got intimately familiar with the area of the Upper West Side around our hotel (On The Ave... totally recommended), had a scrumptious dinner at Celeste (limoncello dessert, mmmmmmm), went to the Natural History Museum for the Darwin exhibit (the man had a sense of humor; who knew?) and sat on the hallowed steps of the Public Library:
Ten days in D.C., with side trips to Baltimore, NYC and Philly. Sans minis, but avec these darling new green and pink flip-flops I bought yesterday, plus a "hula" dress I picked up for $11. Don't you just love things even more when you got them for a great price?
I'll post as often as I can. There will probably be one or two things worth comment on this trip.
Oh yeah... and I will be Making An Appearance next Wednesday on the Diva Craft Lounge internet radio show, noon to noon-twenty Pacific time. (That's 3 to 3:20 p.m. Eastern time, which I must endeavor to remember, since I will be in that time zone.) Give it a listen... or don't... whatever. If you choose to do so, you can hear me weigh in on the Future of Digital Scrapbooking. Wheeeeee!
Gosh, I swore I'd never delete comments. But you know what? I'm angry enough already without having to deal with dumbshit harangues from no-name internet numbskulls. I'm saving my anger for more real and righteous things, like the stuff listed at the beginning of my last post.
If you have a real and substantive addition to make to a conversation--even if you disagree with me--hell, especially if you disagree with me--bring it on, I'd love to hear it.
But y'know what? This is my blog. I talk about my kids here. I post pictures of my family here. I share my ups and downs, my lefts and rights and rants and raves and the titles of books I've enjoyed. Hell, my mom reads this blog. And I find no reason to give quarter to sweaty-fingered jackasses who taint (hee hee, I said "taint") my enjoyment of this Very Personal Pursuit by letting them spew their sexophobic vitriol all over my bandwidth.
So. If you've been posting mean things... you are on notice. I'm leaving your current comments up so my friends 'n' neighbors can read them for themselves. But if I ever catch your pixilated ass around here again... I got a twitchy trigger finger, buddy, and it's hovering over the Delete button.
And if you're easily confused by multiple-clause sentence structure, here is the gist of this post in monosyllables for your benefit:
This is what THEY want me to do. THEY want me to be so pissed off that I'm just plain ineffectual. THEY want to be able to do whatever they like to this country and the world with impunity, able to point to the opposition as a bunch of shrill, fuzzy-thinking Chicken Littles. And THEY want to turn this country into their own private Christofascist hypercapitalist playground.
Know what? I'm not going to roll over and let 'em.
The U.S. was founded as an admittedly imperfect system by admittedly imperfect men. But the kernel of an idea was there: an idea of equality which has grown and flourished at times, withered and become endangered at others. Yet the ideal of a polyethnic, polyreligious, polyopinionated, and hell, polysexual society still remains... and it's up to people who don't think like THEY do to preserve and nurture that idea.
So sure, I'm still pissed. And I'll probably stay pissed. But I can redirect that energy into positive channels. I can work to build bridges, to start dialogues, to spread the word that not only are THEY betraying us with our evil and self-centered rhetoric, but that WE have ideas to make the world a safer, happier, healthier, more equal, better place for everyone.
Both in the good ("helluva guy") and bad ("the seething hell of a modern existence") sense.
Mom, Herm and boy-Herm were all here this weekend--a fine, if occasionally weepily outbursting, time was had by all. We stayed up late playing Taboo (gem of the evening: "Blank is the best blank.") and Uno (Draw four, sucka!), footled around with a variety of NYT crosswords and Sudoku puzzles (if I hear someone call it "soo-doo-koo" one more time, I will not be held responsible for my behavior), put together a draft of Uncle Pete's obituary, ate a scrumptious lunch at Dolce Vita, ate a scrumptious lunch at Pablo's, and had a delightful dinner at home (Brussels sprout-mushroom-cheddar pasta; actually quite good).
But for some unfathomable reason, Life does not put itself on hold for Death. So here I am, one week later, dealing with a slew of missed deadlines, looming deadlines, gigantic-but-possibly-lucrative projects and all those little piddly things like bank jaunts and postage and utility bills that fill up the day like so much air in a potato chip bag.
Really, there is not much to say. But I could not resist the opportunity to bemoan my fate briefly before diving back into the fray.
My mom's younger brother. Born on April 1. For 24 days of every year, he claimed to be only one year younger than she.
I remember going to Uncle Pete's house--his huge waterbed, his collection of Cathy and Garfield books (Cathy actually belonged to "Aunt Cathy," his long-term girlfriend), the rows of bookshelves under his dining room window where I found treasures like Watership Down. The time my brother ate a few handfuls of aspirin (WTF?!) at his house and had to go to the emergency room. The cats, sleek and smooth-furred, who prowled around his house. The crystal radio kit and the Radio Shack Encyclopedia of Technology he gave us as Christmas presents. The time Herm and I tried to glue a quarter to the sidewalk to fool him (note: Elmer's Glue does not adhere coins to concrete). For years, whenever I heard the word "bachelor," I thought of Uncle Pete.
For the past few years, Uncle Pete lived with Mom and Dad, upstairs in the big mega-room where Herm and I lived growing up. He wasn't well--he had chronic pancreatitis and was in pain almost all the time. But when our boys were there to visit, he'd drag himself downstairs and re-invent himself almost immediately. He somehow found the energy to engage in water fights, to pick out cool presents (like the Playmobil castle), to call the boys out when they were up to no good. He loved to read history and military thrillers--Mom always said he should've stayed in the Army, and he would have been a damn fine officer. And every Christmas morning, he whipped up a damn fine bunch of Brandy Alexanders.
Last night, Mom went to check on Uncle Pete and found he wasn't breathing. He was showered, clean-shaven and smartly dressed as always. Dad called at about 7:30 to tell us the news--Uncle Pete was gone.
We have a family ritual called "Tell the Day." Every night, each of us (the boys take turns going first) tells everyone else his or her three favorite parts of the day. Last night, instead of talking about what happened yesterday, we shared our favorite memories of Uncle Pete. And Fisher, rather than talking (again, WTF?!), drew a picture of himself, Rhys and Uncle Pete having a water fight in my parents' backyard under the apple tree.
I didn't call him on his birthday last Saturday. I didn't send a card. It was a busy week, and it just didn't cross my mind. But that is no excuse.
We love you, Uncle Pete, and we will always miss you.