Thursday, January 27, 2011

In Which My Life Resembles a Sitcom

Have you ever stopped to think about sitcoms?  No, no, hear me out.  I don't watch very many, but it occurs to me that the reason they're hilarious is that many present situations which would be excruciatingly awful in real life.  I know this, because my life has become one.  I am living in a sitcom.

The scene is this: the bedroom is small; cluttered and dark in the pre-dawn hours.  Nothing can be seen on the bed beneath the many comforters.  All of a sudden--chaos.  The cat has decided it's time to get up, and rouses the rest of the bed's occupants by alternately meowing loudly or leaping on them.  The single human occupant wakes suddenly, struggling to free herself beneath the heavy mass of blankets and dogs which have pinned her legs.  Her plan is to stagger to the bedroom door--as she does every morning--to open it just enough for the cat to slip out.  The cat is fully capable of opening the goddamn door himself, but for some reason known only to him, he requires the human to do it for him.  On this morning, somewhere between the bed and the door, the larger of the two dogs decides to join the fun.  The human, blind in the dark, does not notice the large black mass, trips over it, and fall face-first into the narrow wall next to the door.

The cat continues to meow insistently, so she struggles to regain her feet, swearing incoherently at the dog to get back in her goshdarn bed, and accomplishes her goal: the door is open.  The cat slips out.  Human and dog return to bed, where the human, an insomniac who considers any night where she manages to fall asleep at all a damn good one, is wide awake.  She lies in the dark, doing crossword puzzels on her ipod and plotting the death of her beloved cat, until she finally falls back to sleep.  At 4:45 AM.

I have never had so much empathy for Simon (see the video below).

I have so many updates on my current, multi-pet life.  If any of us survive until tomorrow, perhaps I'll write about them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To Brooklyn and Back

This past weekend's trip to Brooklyn has been months in the making.  Laura dragged herself all the way out to Marlinton in July; returning the favor was the least I could do.  Plus, I like Brooklyn!
 When Laura fretted over not having planned anything to entertain me, I told her that I needed only three things: art, photobooths, and her.  Which pretty much sums up our weekend.

I took the Bolt Bus (which I love) up from DC.  It's easy, cheap, and stops not too far from where Laura works in Manhattan.  On Saturday, we brunched at Bubby's in Dumbo, which is a pie shop.  It also has a photobooth.  As far as I'm concerned, pies/brunch/photobooth is the trifecta of awesome.  Brunch was AMAZING (I had an omelet with apples, bacon, and aged cheddar cheese), and then we gleefully monopolized the photobooth.  I haven't scanned the strips yet, but they're coming.
Dumbo is an area of Brooklyn where both the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges end, (Bubby's is almost underneath the Manhattan Bridge--the above photo was taken just outside of it) so after brunch we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, which Laura had never done.
It was a beautiful, clear, cold day and the walk was lovely.  We could easily make out the Statue of Liberty, which I'd never seen in person before.  I didn't think it would mean anything to see it and was surprised to find myself rather moved.  Well done, Lady Liberty.

In Manhattan, we decided to head to the Neue Galerie, which I had heard about but never visited.  I was thrilled with their collection of decorative arts works (mainly pieces by Josef Hoffman and Koloman Moser--they're the museum of German and Austrian art), and especially impressed with the decision to use a Moser-designed jewelry display piece to actually display jewelry.  I love it when museums use decorative arts for their designated purpose.  We also caught the tail end of their "Postcards of the Wiener Werkst├Ątte" show, which I loved.

We tried to go from there to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (the only Smithsonian branch in NY), but found it was closed until February.  Saturday night was a movie night.  We caught The Green Hornet, which, I'm sad to say, was just okay.  And made Laura very angry.
On Sunday morning(ish), we decided to face the crowds and headed to Tom's.  Tom's has been open since 1936 (and even had a song written about it), and is extremely popular.  Like, line-around-the-block popular.  However, at Tom's, the line is part of the experience.  We waited something like an hour to be seated (most of that outside in the cold), but were fed cookies, oranges, sausage, and toast with honey while we shivered.  The food is just a step or two above your basic hearty diner food, but includes some unique options, including throwbacks to its seltzer-era founding.  I had a Cherry Lime Rickey, and learned what a Rickey is.

We decided to spend the afternoon lounging and reading, in the best Kelly-and-Laura fashion, grabbed dinner at a nearby Mexican joint, and then settled it to cast snarky comments at the Golden Globes.  All in all, a good day.

Laura had Monday off, so we went exploring in Park Slope.  The Brooklyn Museum was sadly and shockingly closed (Laura lives so close to it that visiting is practically tradition), so we strolled and munched on goodies from Sweet Melissa (Laura had a truffle, I had a madeleine).  On our way home, we grabbed burgers at Dutch Boy's (medium, with bleu cheese and fries for both of us--SO good), packed me up, and sent me home!

All in all, every visit to Brooklyn makes me love it more (though I can hardly afford to).  Seeing Laura in her natural habitat is always a treat, and as she works in publishing, I was sent home with almost more books than I could carry.

Now I am home, from NY and VA both, and for the next month (or so) will be sitting for the dog and cat which usually live with my parents.  It's been an odd sort of experience for all of us so far, but hopefully we'll settle in.  Vista is (of course) loving it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas in Virginia

Extremely late holiday post, ahoy!  I apologize for the belatedness of it, I do.  My only excuse is that the holidays ended on a serious down note, so I've been living vicariously through other people (which has shown up on this other blog), rather than dwelling on my own life.  Case in point: all of my clothes from the holiday trip home are still packed.  I've been back in WV since the 4th.  I leave this afternoon for a trip to NY.  Serious avoidance issues over here.

Anyway: Holidays!  Much was accomplished.
 Vista destroyed her crate once and for all, so we are now operating as a kennel-free state.  So far, it's going pretty well.  Se chills in my room when I'm gone, and only makes a few horrendous, godawful noises.
 I smacked the lid shut on my not-so-short story (it came in at just over 40,000 words) and began another.  Sam helped, sort of.
 Vista got toys.
 So many toys.
 My Chinese family educated me in the ways of Rock Band.  Here are my sisters, totally schooling me.  Seeing this troupe (all 5 siblings) all together for the first time in forever was so amazingly great.  The gaming was totally the icing.
 My lovely mother insisted my hair be cut, and friend Sam (non-feline Sam) gave me the glasses that went with his Halloween costume (which I discovered back in October).  My love of plaid shirts and sweater vests knows no bounds.
At the beginning of the holidays, there were 4 dogs and one cat in the house, and man, was that cat unhappy.  By the new year, we were down to two dogs, and the cat decided the interloper wasn't so bad.  Which is great, since he'll be living here with us for a little while.  Here is the video that goes with the photo, taken the night before we drove back to WV.  Warning: it's epically adorable.  Hold onto your hats.
Overall, the holidays were fun.  I saw six, count'em, SIX movies, hung out with basically every single person I love (notably absent was my little bro, who was trapped out west this Christmas), and it even snowed on Christmas (before going back to being 60 degrees a few days later).  The downer at the end was the sudden death of my Great-Aunt Dinny.  She was 96 years old, so it wasn't exactly a shocker, but  a week before her death, she was in excellent health for a 96-year-old, so yes, it was sudden.

Vista and I drove down to Winston-Salem, NC for the burial before turning around and heading back to Marlinton.  It was a long, emotional day.  Dinny was the last of my grandmother's sisters (my grandmother passed away 4 years ago), and it felt like the end of an era.  I was left with the haunting knowledge of all of the things I never asked them, all of the stories which will go untold.  They were some amazing ladies, the Maslin girls were.  The world was better for them, and poorer for their absence.

So far, 2011 has been pretty disappointing, but I'm holding out hope.  It can only go up from here, right?