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Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Travels, Part Three 
or where you been, beeyatch?

Okay, so we're rounding the home stretch of this epic four hour, mind-numbing slide show of my trivial life's journeys that I'm forcing you to watch by tying you to the chair and strapping those creepy Clockwork Orange eye clamps on your peepers.

how in the hell did he wear those?!? 
I promise to use the droppers to keep them moist. Honest.


Last stop, Penn Station!

this stunning world trade center image
brought to you by Inga Sarda-Sorensen via Twitter

Aaaaah, New York. How I missed your energy, your attitude, your ... smell. You are the most exciting city on this crazy blue planet. I never tire of you. I don't know that I possess the stamina to live inside of you, but I never tire of visiting. Christmas season is especially lovely. Not only is the city all decked out in its holiday finery, the inhabitants seem cheerier, too.

a gorgeous december day
so mild, people were dining al fresco
in december. december, people!

Geo and I have been blessed to have family and friends living in or around Manhattan. There was a long period of time in which we lived as New Yawkers for a week in Chelsea every year with our dear pal, Myra. She has since moved on to make a life for herself in her home state of Texas, but lucky for us, my sister and her husband allow us to bunk at their homestead in New Jersey. Their generosity knows no bounds. Thanks, Sis!!

fast food cup art display (with cabbies)

mobile public art near union market
it's fleeting nature a strangely fitting tribute to andy

We went to museums, ate at our favorite Afghan hole-in-the-wall restaurant, walked the High Line, met up with my lovely friend, Marcy for dinner and amazing Bloody Marys, shopped, went to a taping of The Daily Show and logged a zillion miles on our pedometers-if we had bothered to buy any. They're kinda dorky anyway. Pedometers, I mean. Like I need help looking more like a dweeb. Next thing you know I'll be wearing baggy sweat pants high up under my miniature boob line and marching through the streets with 3 pound hand weights. No thanks. Besides, without them I can safely exaggerate the millions of miles we trekked without fear of being slapped in the kisser by reality's physical proof busting my hyperbole.

Ha! I win!

Wait... what was I talking about? Oh yeah. New York. Aaaaah, Nueva York. Me gusta mucho. You're so handsome and sultry and irresistible. I declare, you give me the vapors. Please don't cheat on me while I'm away.

post-shopping nutella crepe for the win


The Saks Christmas display across from Rockefeller

angel row
...and that chick is flipping me the bird
that's the spirit
shimmering tourist haunt
ginormous daunting figures
dorkus and the man

that shit never gets old

bryant park skaters

lovely fountain nestled amongst the vendors at bryant park

again, unseasonably mild enough to
toast the season outdoors

pace gallery's playful calder exhibit
the only artist I would have loved to meet

have parkinson's, get bacon

glittery store fronts on Fifth
it was a dark and stormy night...
(so worth being soaked with rain from head to toe)

covert shot of The Daily Show set
come on. it's The Daily Show. I had to snap one.
i'm a rebel, yo.

best. name. ever.

this was tucked in the stairwell
of the Montclair museum.
it's a jumble of wire. how the hell does this even work?!?
also, a floating boobie (heehee)

with Adam from our old neighborhood diner, Moonstruck
we've come here for almost 30 years
it's good to be a regular

the reclaimed high line rail system
now a beautiful elevated walking path
from 14th to 30th streets
quiet and peaceful,
the harsh sounds of the city melt away up here

it's well used even in the winter months 
lovely rail imagery throughout
surrounding lush plantings 
bird house sculptures
colorful foliage still on the bushes in december?
Empire State Building scape
grasses gracefully bending to the winds
one of the thicker sections of vegetation
creating a canopy above leftover rails

who isn't charmed by water towers

his momma didn't raise no foo'

And that brings this bloggity blog blah up to date. You may now remove the eye clamps.

Belated Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza wishes. May you all have a happy 2012 filled with welcomed surprises.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Of Hootenannies, Holiday Parties and Hanging Out in NYC 
or December wrap-up, part 2

Okay, so in the continued spirit of my backwards motion through December, ala Momento (go Netflix this movie. seriously!), my card club mates, Toni and Diane accompanied me to WYEP's annual Holiday Hootenanny at a local theater on the North Side.

bad santa getting all friendly with Toni

It was bigger than the last several, much more structured and sadly, not as much fun. There were some really fun, upbeat performances of some classic and not-so-classic Christmas songs, the standouts being Holiday Road, Must Be Santa and New Year's Resolution, but for the most part, what should have been festive, up-tempo, foot-stomping tunes were given the slow, dismal, I-want-to-stab-myself-in-the-chest treatment.

Holiday Road (one of the better arrangements)

They dropped the ball big time for the final number with a completely flat, lifeless version of the Darlene Love rocker, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). That song's a no-brainer, right? That one should have had all of us on our feet dancing, clapping and singing all the way to our cars, but alas, it was sung as a fucking soul-sucking dirge.

Happy fucking Christmas. Kill me now.

Moving on...

For the last couple of years, my group of friends from high school/college have got together for a Christmas outing and/or soiree. This year's shindig was hosted by our friend Jim who lives in one of those amazing urban industrial reclamation condos. Walking into his place is like being transported to a swanky SoHo loft in the Big Apple. So cool.

He graciously agreed (read: forced into it by me and Mary Ann) to let us trash his spotless environs with our holiday food stuffs and effed up gifts. We do this goofy gift swap thingie wherein each person wraps up whatever awful shit they have lying around the house, we fight over the packaging and try not to look too horrified when the "treasure" is unwrapped before we toss them all away. It's very amusing, mainly because it never fails that our friend's teen aged son randomly selects the most inappropriate gift. One year it was male adult diapers. Another it was ass-less, animal print leggings. Don't ask. This year he got these:

tack on another year of therapy for this poor child

Ah, but Cheryly wears it best.

queen of the sylvester face
Geo won out for tastiest pork-based products. We're actually keeping these. Mmmmmm....bacon.

please sir, may i have some more novelty bacon stuffs

practicing for new year's eve


abby normal
Clearly, we have had too much Holiday Cheer.

Our final stop in the Way-Back Machine--New Yawk City!!

For the last couple of Decembers, we've been caught in the good karma loop of having both of our musical loves, Francis Dunnery and Rhett Miller performing sometime during our vacation. This year Mr. Miller was enjoying his life elsewhere, but we were lucky enough to have Francis bookend our week in New York. Score!!

The first weekend took us to Central Pennsylvania and a barn in the middle of a swanky housing development.

Yes. A Barn. In December.

That sumbitch was COOOOOLD!

Anywho, we arrived at the same time as Francis who promptly tossed boxes of CDs to Geo and dubbed him Merch Man for the evening.

merch pusher 

We did pretty well, too. Sold sixteen CDs. Francis sang his Man show, based on his CD of the same name. He opened with our favorite, The Only Thing and rattled off one great tune after another, many we hadn't heard live before. I had forgotten how many amazing songs are on that disc. Every one he played was a gem.

he's gotta be sick of us by now
Side Note: Central PA is weird, yo. The bar in our hotel was jammed with country poseurs in plaid shirts, cowboy hats and boots, line dancing to a fiddle-featured country band. Last time I checked we were still north of the Mason/Dixon line, but DAMN if it didn't feel like we took a wrong turn and ended up in Tennessee. Not the friendliest environment either. Too bad, too because the cocktails were awesome and cheap. We downed our drinks and high-tailed it out of there.

not the wisest business to have
across from your hotel. just sayin'

The following weekend was Philadelphia and the Tin Angel with Francis' house concert booker extraordinaire, the lovely Kate and her hubs, Larry. Francis doesn't play clubs anymore except for the Tin Angel. This intimate narrow 2nd story venue is his club home of sorts. Francis doesn't allow recordings at his house concerts, but you may tape at will in the club. He played a lot of rarities that evening, Jonah, Me and Francine, and In the Garden of Mystic Lovers. None of which I taped, because I just wanted to sit back, drink in the vibe and sing.

What?!? No taping? I know. I must have had a fever, right?

Note #1: We got to go backstage to say hello before the show. (Holla!!) All four walls and the ceiling were covered in signatures, limericks and drawings. Reading which notable artists have sat in that same room waiting to take the stage is way too cool. But I have one question for you musicians... Why all the penises? Seriously. What's up with that? Although extra points to the creative one who drew the Leaning Tower of Penis. A+, Dude.

Note #2: The Old Town Section of Philly was awash in drunken Santas and their Claus Courtesans. Hootchie Ho Hos, if you will. Don't let the fact that it's 25 degrees out or your bare legs are freezer-burn red and the tatas your daddy bought you are frozen stiffer than normal, ladies. Your ass-high skirt and FM pumps are too hot to cover up. You'll thaw out by March.

We also stumbled upon a tres cool outdoor art installation. A mastodon rib cage terrarium with beautiful neon Plexiglas containers filled with various plant life.

Gorgeous, but DAMN! It was cold out there, yo! Like, biting chill with harsh wind kinda cold. Yowza!

Okay, so I lied. I'm bumping the Big Apple bits to the next post. No matter how I try, brevity is not in my skill set. So sue me. I'm chatty and verbose and blah blah BLAH BITE ME.