Tag: thanksgiving

Cars Cars Everywhere but not a Place to Park…

I’m typing this from memory though I’ve been composing it all day in my head… so if it winds up out of chronological order, then please bear with me.

Ok, just to start… I hate the Holland Tunnel. I mean I really, really Hate the Holland Tunnel. Isn’t most of the ride from New Jersey trying to figure out where Elizabeth was in all those smoke stacks poking u pall about… and then later trying to figure when we were crossing from New Jersey into New York, but apparently that didn’t actually happen till we went through the Holland Tunnel… according to my mother previous to that we were in Hoboken. I never realized Hoboken was so urban… and if New Yorkers thing Weehawken is the middle of no place they got another thing coming.

If the Avenue Q poster I was seeing all night on bus shelters is to be believed, assuming I’m reading the pictograph correctly, Chelsea has a rather large Gay community. That does explain the rainbow flags dotted about the area… but then Avenue Q is posed to be funny right? I don’t know… the poster has Park Avenue and a lady with a small dog, and then Chelsea shows two dudes with a baby carriage. I wonder if Papa noticed. Probably not… he’s got a big blind spot for that sort of thing. (See yesterday’s entry.) Hell, he managed to miss Ivanova and Talia all three times he watched through Babylon 5. That’s tough… unless you have a deliberate blind spot to that sort of thing, which he does.

So we parked on 7th Avenue outside the Eros Café. (Yeah same Café as the year before last.)They got damn good Bacon, and kickass Omelets so f you’re ever in the city (or if you live there) you should give it a whirl. It’s at 7th Avenue and West 21st Street. We hoed out of the car, and my father locked the keys inside. It’s a damn good thing my mother didn’t listen to him when he told her back n Jersey to leave the second set… well… in Jersey. So she unlocked the car and he got the keys out and we went off around the block to meet Grandma Lucia and Hugo out in front of their building, and then we went back to the café, sat at the same table we sit out every year, since it’s the only table that seats 6, and had some bacon and omelets, caught up with them, and headed out to the car, to go to the South Seaport and tool around some down there.

It was actually a pretty cool place the South Seaport. My father took some embarrassing pictures and made us look like tourists, which he explained s ok at the South Seaport. Apparently it’s only in the streets of Time Square and in the Subway that you have to worry about these things. My mother was worried the entire time we were there that she was gong to loose me and I’d be stuck in the city. In retrospect I should have brought my wallet and cell. I figured it would be a good way not to loose em leaving em in Jersey, but now I think f I had had my wallet I’d have been able to tell her, not to sweat it. I’m 20 years old. I know my way round the subway and I can always take the train back to Jersey from Pen Station and call for a pickup at the train station in the Amboys. Instead just threatened to move to NYC and live there alone for a year if she didn’t ease up some. Truth be told I’m not afraid of the city… and I’m beginning to realize, I don’t hate the city. I’d hate it just as much if we were wandering aimlessly around cow country. It’s the lack of direction… which we didn’t have this year… so I rather enjoyed myself. I just kept thinking, that it would actually be easier to move from a Rural Area to the City than the other way round. Sure it’s claustrophobia inducing sometimes, but… people from the city rely so heavily on public transit, and street lights and diners open at 2am in the morning for a hot pastrami sandwich that they would have difficulty functioning n the rural world. Having to thing every night around 7 or 8 “Now do I have everything I’m going to need tonight?” before the stores close and you can’t get it, or leaving potentially an hour of travel time. People think Queens is far away? They should see how spread out things are Upstate.

So we hung round there for quite some time, and then decided we’d head uptown to 42nd street and catch a movie in the gigantic Cineplex there. On the way out of the seaport area, we went by the Staten Island Ferry (which my father Mistook for Ground Zero) Battery Park, which I always imagined as being inland, but which apparently is on the East River. And then Ground Zero… and I never realized how close to Chelsea that was… when I said that, my father tells me no, it’s not close at all, it’s a whole 3 miles. That goes to show that he was raised in the city. To me, raised in Upstate Cow Country, three miles, isn’t that far. That’s like 5 minutes away… That’s another discussion we had… city folk measure distance in blocks, or miles… but country folk measure distance in units of time… in minutes and hours. City folk do not comprehend time as a measure of distance: In the words of my father, “Diez minutos?!?! Que es ESTO?!?!” (Ten Minutes?!?! What’s THAT?!?!”)

Oddly enough I found myself looking at the city with a different eye this time around… looking for locales and street intersections and things to use in my LnO SVU Fic. My father showed an alleyway that used to be open but is now gated off, over on, if I recall correctly west 22nd street… anyhow he said there was a whole like, area back in there where you could get between the buildings, and I might use for Lilith to hide in. She could get over the fence… I’ve seen it. And there are a lot of places for a street kid to take shelter in some of the narrower roads that we navigated gong to and from the seaport. Oh yeah… the seaport… ok, so after wandering round the mall on Pier 17, and seeing the shops they got there…. Poking into the Sharper Image to see the Humandriod or whatever… and checking out dumb exercise machines, and a Rumba… and a glass circular scale… (“Look! This one’s glass so you can see it pick up the dirt!” “Papa that’s a Scale.” “Now I feel Foolish… lets leave.”) and a store called “Mariposa” (which of course is Spanish for “Butterfly,”) which sold art consisted of Butterflies mounted in Lucite Cases, (all the Butterflies had lived out their life spans according to sighs like… everyplace, which also informed us that artist is a vegetarian,) we left and headed for the Cineplex. Remember the Cineplex?

This resulted in the most unenjoyable part of the day, in which we spent over an hour searching for a parking space, which we never found and subsequently decided that we would be better off giving up and going back to Chelsea and parking there and going to the little theater they had there. Well that would have been all good if we had given up about 15 minutes earlier, as when we arrived the last move to start for two hours had just started, and we would have to wait two hours to see it… so… we left the car where it was, and hoped the subway to the Cineplex. We saw National Treasure there… I tried to be unspiolery, but just in case, Look behind the Cut…

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The Gods of Irony are Out to Get Us (or 2 Yard Falling Baby Dash)

I slept on the couch last night… as I have every Thanksgiving in the past few years, ever since the basement became to full of crap to open the sleeper sofa down there, and my parents took over the queen sized bed in my mom’s old room. My brother has dibs on the twin in my Aunt’s Old room, and my Uncle’s old room is the computer room now, so don’t no one sleep in there. It didn’t used to be so bad sleeping on the couch, but they got a new couch and you can’t remove the back cushions from this one, so I’m in constant danger of falling off the damn thing, and the afghan they gave me so I wouldn’t freeze just slides off over and over again, waking me up every hour or so all night as a cold blast hits me every time it takes it’s leave of me.

My aunt came back over with Shayla Hope and Christian around lunch time so I didn’t bother getting out my computer, as they always want me to share it, and lets face it I’m not about to share a $2,000 piece of highly attuned equipment (which probably depreciated since I bought it but whatever,) with a couple of toddlers, no matter how much I wub them.

It was actually a pretty cool afternoon, I mean Christian nearly broke the Toy CD Player, and my brother, my 17 year old brother, hogged all the Duplo Blocks to build a colossus. But it was all copasetic until upon discovering that I was capable of singing, Shayla demanded that I not stop. I ran through Tinkle Twinkle, Marry Had a Little Lamb, and the ABC song before I had to give up on kids songs and just sing whatever I could come up with. I though surely “Somewhere over the Rainbow” was tame enough for kids, but after two stanza’s Shayla broke down in a screaming crying fit, and I bumped into my brother’s tower, causing it to fall to the side. It was totally salvageable I should mention, but he insisted on picking it up himself and broke it further. So now he’s in a mutz about his tower and Shay’s continuing her crying fit, which by the time it was over had lasted about an hour and half. (I should mention that she ceased crying for a fair amount of time but started up again every time someone looked at her.) We tried to eat lunch anyhow, while grandma kept her from crying on her new couch (since it’s the wrong couch and it has to go back,) and my dear poor Aunt was so upset at the inexplicable crying (and the fact that grandma had taken over parenting what was rightfully HER child, I’d be miffed too, but then everyone says I’m a lot like her,) that she choked on leftover chicken and my mother had to giver her the Heimlich.

So then they finally get Shay and Christian asleep… (Christian on the couch, and Shay on the floor in the living room on her stomach, as if she had passed out for lack of water while crawling through the desert) and they’re all sitting about talking, mostly about events in which everyone in our family has choked. (I’m getting yelled at because I mentioned that the last time I choked I wound up throwing up trying to dislodge it… but I was eating ALONE in a restaurant!!! But they all have weak stomachs for that sort of thing. They think it’s odd that I can eat Ramen while watching ER so whatever.) And we’re taking turns watching the kids sleep, so Christian doesn’t fall off the couch… cause he’s only 1 and ½ and I’m in one lounge chair… and my Grandfather’s in the one nearer the baby, and he gets up to go to the doorway to hear what they are saying to him… he’s up for 2 seconds and Christian wakes up and rolls off the couch. I darted 2 yards across the room and caught him just before his head hit the end table. I am now the champion in the 2 yard falling baby dash.

Odd day. Now we’re chilling. Aunt Donna’s taken the babies home… and my brother is playing with the Duplo Blocks again trying to reconstruct his much lamented lost tower. I feel it’s a Slightly misguided notion for a kid his age to be so hung up on a Duplo block tower… but that’s what the boredom of Grandma’s house can result in. There’s only baby toys for the Babies. (He should have brought more to do than just his discman.) He’s watching reruns the Simpsons on Fox 5 (For some reason all the Central NJ tower TV assumes we’re in NYC) and I’m listening to my Winamp.

Tonight, more couch sleeping… and tomorrow what I’m told will not be a death march around the city. We’re bringing the car this time. So it will be a battle to find parking instead. I’ll be in the backseat with my Gameboy trying not to think about how much time we’re wasting. Previous years have resulted in a 5 hour stand on the corner of 42nd street and 7th avenue, and an attempted death march from Chelsea (The Eros Café at West 21st street and 7th avenue to be specific, damn good bacon there) to The Museum of Natural History (70 sommat street, other side of Central Park… Damned if I know the specifics. I know the city, we go there all the time… but I don’t live there and I don’t like it.)

Oh well. Them’s the Breaks eh?


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Thanksgiving Crunch and Swinging Lamps

Well here I am at Thanksgiving New Jersey. Think the ‘n’ key s going on my computer as well as the ‘i.’ I’m gonna have to bring it into the VCC when I get back to RPI. Anyhow, I’m beg forced to watch Survivor, because, everyone else wants to watch it, so I’m writing this instead. Of course my father is making nasty remarks about the lesbians on the show, but that’s really to be expected of him. He doesn’t approve of that sort of thing. Meantime I was going about in new ‘Liv Sweater’ and my kick ass, longish, 5 dollar black pleather jacket, topped off by my delightfully short hair. Oh the irony.

The ride up was pretty uneventful, I think. There was a torrential downpour on the Northway, and I was so afraid we’d crash, so I put on my headphones and closed my eyes. I fell asleep on the NY Thruway, and woke up several hours later in New Jersey on 287 in total gridlock. I figured it would be a bad time to mention I’d woke up extremely hungry and I really had to pee. So I tried to go back to sleep. Didn’t work.

We got off at Woodbridge and crossed the river into the Amboys… and Sayerville. I’m not sure if South Amboy is part of Sayerville, or if Sayerville is part of South Amboy… all I kow is we were in both at once… and so now we’re in Parlin. That’s where it’s at.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving here without 10 people crammed around a table meant for 6, and another two on the outside in high chairs. Plates passed everywhere, and generally crammedness. HP Fan? Imagine Thanksgiving at the Burrow… INSIDE. (Note that in the book they all went outside when they had that many people… just imagine if they had stayed indoors. That was our dinner.) Twas actually rather fun… as usual… kinda interesting everyone sitting all cramped. No one is allowed to serve themselves till they get Turkey, so Papa and Uncle Byron were out of the gate first, with the drumstcks, then everyone else with white meat, then me with a bit of a thigh, and Aunt Donna was so busy with Chris and Shay that she somehow managed not to get any Turkey at all, which meant she was last to get any food at all. Then, when the passing of the plates, and serving of the Turkey was done, there was stillness… punctuated by the overhead lamp, which was still swinging from all the commotion in the grandfolks teeny tiny house. It was a rather Norman Rockwell picture actually… unless you looked at my brother or me as no boy in a Norman Rockwell painting would wear his hair that long, and no girl would wear her hair this short.

The night progressed, in which there was a discussion of reality TV, my Aunts (my mom’s sister, and my mom’s brother’s wife,) had a ‘lovely’ discussion of the Bachelor, and argued over which reality shows were good at all… the only thing we can all agree on is that “The Biggest Looser” has the worst reality TV premise in forever. Meantime there was an argument over which CSI was best, and some disparaging comments about the entire Law and Order Franchise directed at me, for making smartass remarks about Reality TV. (Something to the effect of “Well you can’t listen to her, she watches Law and Order.”)

Then we discovered glass in my 1 and ½ year old cousin’s foot, and there was a fiasco to remove it, while my 3 year old cousin, while I was explaining her ears, eyes, and nose, informed me of the location of her “private parts.” I hope to god she doesn’t do that with strangers. She says the darnedest things though… she’ll repeat whatever you tell her. My brother said he saw Jim Henson on TV. I said “Jim Henson is DEAD Ricky,” and suddenly a small gleeful voice echoes “Jim Henson is DEAD!!!” I managed to use that information to my benefit later, to endear her to my Aunt Edith, by explaining to Shayla that “Cowboys have Stars” which made Aunt Edith very happy to hear her repeat. (She’s a Cowboy’s fan, for those who don’t remember.) She didn’t wear a Cowboy’s Shirt this year. Rickey should have made the bet he tried to make -LAST year- this year… and I should have taken him up on it.

So now we’re all in the living room, 8 adults and two toddlers on one couch, two armchairs, and two wooden chairs that migrated in from the dining room. (Uncle Eddie and Aunt Edith have gone home.) My brother and my Grandfather are on the floor, Mom and Grandma in the Armchairs, Aunt Donna and Uncle Byron on the Couch, their kids are everyplace, and Papa and I have wood chairs.

And we are watching Survivor… Meh… and apparently the word on the remainder of the night is that we are taping CSI and watching The Apprentice. Kill me now. Please. Kill me. I’m a proud person. I do not normally beg. I do not grovel. But I need to be killed… before I’m forced to watch this… shiznat.

My Aunt is trying to make a case for it as a good show. I don’t give a narf. I don’t want it. I hate it. Meffle. More tomorrow.


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On the Road Again

So we’re on the road again, coming back from Thanksgiving. *Sighs.*

Thanksgiving itself was rather uneventful, aside from the sudden appearance of Crab dip, which we were all warned was off this year. That caused a lot of jumping for joy, and general clambering to get some on a cracker while it was still warm. Cousin Shayla graced us all with a few words, namely “bowl,” “top,” and “cup.” While her baby brother Christian, who”s over a year younger, and only 6 pounds lighter than his sister, insisted upon being held by SOMONE at every moment… except for when he took a nap, which thankfully coincided with when we were all trying to eat. Aunt Edith DID wear a Cowboys sweatshirt, but as no one had bet against my brother, there was no exchange of money, and after dinner and a lot of general laying round the family room watching football and playing with Shay and Christian, everyone went home… well… except for us. We live in New York, so my parents and my brother slept in the two guest rooms, and I camped out on the couch.

Black Friday was a really treat *twitch-twitch* as we all got up at 7 am, to drive to New York City and se my father’s mother, and stepfather… the cousins on that side of the family were a no show, which I was actually sort of disappointed at… I was looking forward to impressing my older cousin with the fact that I was no longer the scrawny little twerp who had tried to choke her kid brother for revealing to everyone at the dinner table, that she sucked at any and all video games. (I didn’t try to kill him mind you, just shut him up… no air… no voice… o8^) and besides… I was like 10.)

Anyhow… We had breakfast at a little place in Chelsea, where we saw an old fella in a trenchcoat and hat, and joked that he looked like woody Allen, and then walked to a cinema and saw “The Cat in the Hat.” Continuing the Woody Allen joke, a bald gall in a poncho type coat, spotted along the way, was dubbed Shenade O’Connor. And then after wandering around aimlessly, first up through Macy’s where it was abnormally crowded, then back onto the street where we ran up against a bunch of people protesting fur… which we hadn’t even bought, and then a protest against racial profiling at Macy’s, asking us not to shop there, which we hadn’t… two Salvation army Bell ringers and some dude encouraging us all to visit the Purple Yahoo. My father all the while was visiting with his mom, walking about 15 feet in front of us, while my mother, brother and I tied to keep up…

Then after walking aimlessly for another 40 minutes, someone got the bright Idear that maybe we should go to the Museum of modern history and see the whale… well at that point we were on 27th street… (we had started out for the record, on 21st) And the Museum was on West 74th. We were not only over 30 blocks away, but we were also on the WRONG SIDE of Central park. But we tried anyway… and when I though my legs were going to give out completely, a couple blocks after a Taxi tried to kill my mom and I, there came the idear of just stopping and going back to Times Square, which we had passed already as by that point we were on 59th street. So we went to the AMC Theater in Times Square (After Passing the TRU in that location, which made me gag) and saw “Elf.” Coming down the stairs afterward, we arealized that this movie theater lay over the exact same glorified food court that we had fled to LAST TIME one of our NCY trips went awry.

Subsequent to this, we were walking past Madame Toussaint’s Wax Museum, when I saw a girl posing next to what appeared to be Samuel L. Jackson. Now I turn to my mother, giggling and say “Well you KNOW that guy’s not real,” to which she replied, “Oh my GOD!!! That guy’s in Movies!!!” I says “Mom that guy’s a wax Dude!” to which she replies “Where?!?!” “The movie dude… He’s WAX.” She had been so exited to see what she though was a real star, after we’d joked about Woody Allen and Shendae O’Connor, that she forgot the fact that she was outside a Wax Museum.

Then we ate at Red Lobster and Went home… Actually not all that bad for a trip to NY, aside from the fact that it was only 7 at night and I was still ready to fall down and sleep anyplace someone would let me… but I didn’t really have that option, cause everyone was staying up to watch 20/20 in my room… cause if you recall… I were sleeping on the couch. (In defence of them all… I CALLED the couch… it’s warmer than the bed… and I don’t like sleeping in the pink room… somehow my brother manages to overlook that, in order to get at the real bed. *Shrigs.*)

So now here we are, on the road again, on the way home to upstate NY… I’ll sleep over there again tonight, and then catch a ride home from soon tomorrow after church… and post this up then!!!


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DON’T PULL FUSES!!! (or “Gasslighting”)

Well here we are, underway and on the way to New Jersey… if I had internet I’d be posting this, but I’m in the 3rd row seat of a mini a van doing 65 on the interstate, so as is stands I’ll have to save it like yesterday’s entry to be posted up on Sunday. We did drive through a wireless zone about 2 minutes ago, but we were in and out of it before I could so much as pull up IE.

As is perfectly usual on long distance family car expeditions we had our share of issues this morning… first my Evanescence hating little brother (and that’s a whole OTHER story I’m not getting into,) overslept and held up our ability to leave the house at the time that we planned on… but after downing breakfast, eating, brushing our teeths, and packing the toothbrushes… and refusing to bet against my brother, who was looking to make some easy money getting someone to bet against him that our Aunt Edith WASN’T going to wear a Cowboys sweatshirt this year… which she AWLAYS does… and none of us are stupid enough to bet against him on that.

Then we realized about a quarter of a mile down 146, that we’d forgotten the digital camera’s charger, so we pulled a u-ey and went back for it… then on the way to the highway, we realized that we probably didn’t have enough gas to get to Jersey, because this mini-van is a fossil and the gas gauge can’t be trusted. (I say this Mini Van, because as you recall… I’m in it right now…) So we stopped off for gas, about 3/4ths of a mile down 146, (This of course causes the gas light to go off, and ping every 30 seconds or so… which it does when the tank is full, instead of doing it when the tank is empoty, cause this van is a fossil,) and then… about a mile down 146, just before the onramp, we realized we forgot to buy the Thanksgiving Themed paper plates we promised to bring for grandma’s hourderves (That word is IMPOSSIBLE to spell correctly.) Another U-ey.

At this point we proceeded to go on a 20 minute treck around town in search of a place that was open on Thanksgiving, and still HAD Thanksgiving themed plates left on the Shelves on Thanksgiving… no luck there… we wound up with these plates with grapes on them… *Shrigs.* But by the time we got on the Northway… I had exhausted my CD Player’s current batteries, and finished listening to the Entire album “Mizzundastood” (P!nk still roxors.)

So we took The Northway, to Route 7, and Route 7 to interstate 87… which is where we are now… though considerably closer to our destination then we were when we first got on the interstate… no thanks to the gaslight… After about 10 minutes on the interstate, Papa pulls off the road into one of those little loops wit the payphones and the porta potties, and undoes some floor panel near the drivers seat, I’m in the back listening to the Escaflowne Soundtrack on headphones, so I have NO idear what’s going on… and once I take the headphones off I gather that my parents have become so fed up with the gas light, pinging, that they are going to pull the fuse on it, so it just turns off all together….

Now if you have ever driven in one of those cars with the transmission on the steering column, then you know that on the dash there are, these little lights (Unless it’s an OLD car in which case there’s a little slidey indicator) that indicate what gear you’ve got the car in… now the adults in their ultimate wisdome didn’t think of was that the gas light might share a fuse with something else… but I did… so I’m in the back going…

“Gee that must be one damn annoying gas light to stop on the interstate and start pulling fuses…”

And they are just snapping back that, yes… it is annoying and if I wasn’t wearing the headphones I would know that so I should shut up. Well aware of the fact that as far as my parents are concerned I won’t have a valid opinion on anything until I’m 30, I don’t push it… I put my headphones back on and sit in the back seat making no nose and pretending I’m not there… (BLATANTLY OBVOIS HP REFERANCE!!!)

But as we pull back onto the interstate, the car seems to be driving awful slow… and lurching oddly… Headphones off again… if I’m going to die in a bloody car crash, I at least want to see it coming… but no such luck… instead as it turns out my parents have just realized AFTER pulling out of the loop and back onto the interstate, that they have NO idear what gear the car is in, and can’t seem to find Drive 4, (There’s also Drive 2, and Drive 3, seeing as how it’s an Automatic) and now we are hobbling down the Interstate at about 20 mph, with the flashers on, lurching every so often as scads of cars are passing us all around…

My father pulls off the road, behind an overpass, explaining to my brother and I that if you have to pull of the road on a highway, it’s best to do so, just after an overpass, because it will protect you and you aren’t as likely to get hit and die… after putting the fuse back in, making the tedious, and a bit on the nerve wracking side, entrance back onto the highway, (especially nerve wracking for me, as I’m sitting in the rear on the left,) and clearing the rumble strip (which gave the dog a panic attack,) my father asked my brother and I if we remembered the lesson we learned today.

And we both replied:


That was the wrong answer, but lets face it… it was also the better answer… that’s the thing that’s gonna sick with us, and he aught to know it… now I just have to worry about what happens if that fuse ever blows on us… *Shudders.*

Well, after that it’s been pretty uneventful. I listened to Neil Diamond “Hot August Night II” and then booted up my laptop to start writing this…. (Listening to Evanescence of course.) We went through the zone that has the Radio Station that Plays “Alice’s Restaurant” late and only caught the last Chourus, which was a bit depressing… but there’s really nothing left to report… I’ll write again though if there is.


There goes the gaslight again.


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