Lots to talk about…
Thanksgiving: The holiday was nice. We had an earlier dinner with my family, followed by dinner with GG’s family. For the first time ever, they didn’t even set us spots at the table because they figured we wouldn’t really be hungry by then (they were right). But we pulled up some chairs anyway. Then we hung out and watched videos of this crazy guy who used to go to school board meetings and complain unintelligibly about taxes.
Funniest quote of Thanksgiving:
GG’s grandmom: “There’s five different kinds of turkey. There’s Organic, Natural Select –”
GG’s uncle: “…Jive”
The rest of our long weekend was spent doing a big home project. We actually did go out on Black Friday to Home Depot, not for any sale shopping, but because we needed supplies. It took a little longer than I’d expected (because I had to wait for things to dry…), but I got the entire project finished by Sunday night, which was ultimately my goal.
Work: Last week was seriously crazy. As has been the case for the past several years, the first of the month is always a crazy day for me. But this time it was especially crazy. But I’d been planning for weeks to take a vacation day on Friday, the 2nd. There was a big project that was announced to me kind of last-minute, that was also supposed to be done on the 1st. No problem, I figured, I’d get it done and still be free to take the next day off. Well, it turns out that things didn’t get approved until like 5 PM on the 1st, and then all this work had to be done, and of course I am the only person who has the ability to do these things. So I left work on Thursday, came home, turned my computer back on, and continued working until 10 PM, at which time I was nauseous and headachy. It was not a good day. Stuff continued coming in over the weekend and even today, but for the most part, the project is done. In the end, it’s maybe not a huge deal, but I like things to be done with a certain level of quality, and with a certain level of speed and service, and I felt like, for reasons I could not control, I wasn’t able to deliver that. I shouldn’t stress about things like this, but I can’t help it, I like to do a good job.
NYC: The reason why I took the day off on Friday was because… GG and I finally coordinated our schedules and made plans to go up to New York for the day! We left things pretty open-ended for a while, but eventually decided on a nice agenda for the day:
- We drove to New Jersey and took the bus over to the city, as we have done the last several times. This is definitely my favorite, most cost-effective, time-flexible way to get there now. we left around 9 AM and were in the city around 11.
- First I wanted to go to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. I’d never seen it decorated before. It was a big tree, but the decorations were not as magical as I’d hoped. (I understand the area looks more magical at night.) Also, anywhere where you’d have a good view of the tree, they had these fenced-off Kodak photo op areas where you could pay for them to take a picture of you in front of the tree. Blah.
- Then we went to Shake Shack for lunch. We’d gone there the last time we were in NYC, and GG was looking forward to going back. I liked it, but after a second try, I think Elevation Burger is better.
- We went to the MoMA. GG and I had never been there together before, and I was looking forward to seeing it with a fellow artist :o) It was nice, except for GG getting a stern talking-to from a guard for railing against Cy Twombly. (Yet for some reason, he has no problem with Jackson Pollock.) We started at the bottom and worked our way up to the 6th floor, and by the time we reached the top we were just beat! But we did go across the street to the MoMA Store – if I hadn’t had a full evening of walking and stuff planned, I could have done so much Christmas shopping there!
- We had been thinking for a while about where to go for dinner, but in the end decided to try someplace totally new and unknown to us, and went to Stecchino, which I’d found online. It was great! We were pretty much the first people in there for dinner, but by the time we left, the place was completely packed. Our waitress was super nice, and dinner was delicious. GG had their appetizer special, which was basically meatballs with cinnamon and spices, served with a tomato sauce, and I ordered the cheese plate (which GG helped with a lot). For dinner, I had their beet salad, which I was worried wouldn’t really be enough food, but with the appetizers, it was plenty. And GG had the lobster ravioli, which was not what he was planning to order (he’d looked at the menu online in advance), but he made a last-minute decision and was very happy with it.
- Our final stop was Carolines, where we saw Richard Lewis perform. GG was excited for it and seemed to have a good time, but I was miserable. 1) I was super tired, 2) the room was freezing cold, even with my coat on, 3) they had a terrible and ridiculous system of getting people into the room, 4) our seats were terrible, 5) to comply with their 2-drink minimum rule, we each had 2 (small!) Cokes, and our bill was $22(!). Also, I was just not into Richard Lewis. GG described his style as “stream of consciousness,” but it wasn’t even that, he never even finished one story or joke before moving on to the next thing. I didn’t laugh at all. And really, he wasn’t getting big “laughs” from the audience, which is the first time I think that I’ve ever seen a professional comedian not really make people laugh.
- We booked it out of there and speed-walked back to the bus station. For the first time ever since I’ve been taking that bus, not only did it show up on time, it was actually early, and sitting there waiting when we got to the gate! Then we drove home and went to bed (oh, after I checked my work e-mail and did a little work at midnight/1 AM, see above).