Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Catching My Breath

During lunchtime today in front of Penn Station there was a man playing a steel drum. Whenever I hear steel drums it reminds me of Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

All through the 70s there was a group of steel drums that played a few shows every day right across from the Swiss Family Treehouse. We usually caught at least one show each day whenever we were there, which was often.

I stopped for a moment to listen. I closed my eyes and could hear the music from the treehouse. I could hear the drums that play outside of the Tiki Room. I could hear the boats loading at the Jungle Cruise. I could hear the crowds all around me. For a few minutes my eyes stung; I was right there.

It never stops amazing me how certain songs, sounds, or smells can take me right back to a place and time. It is so powerful it can cause me to catch my breath.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bus Bitching

I just don't get it. You have been standing in this line for the bus for at least 10 minutes. Why then, when you finally board the bus and get to the driver, do you wait until THEN to go digging around in your purse for your MetroCard? Don't worry about the rest of us standing behind you in the line getting soaked. Really. Take all the time you need.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

THE Christmas Tree

Friends of mine were going to see "The Little Mermaid" on Broadway tonight and asked if I would join them for dinner before the show. We went to Virgil's on 44th Street; yum.

I decided to walk up a few blocks to Rockefeller Center and see the tree now they have turned on the lights. I had been by right after Thanksgiving--the tree was there but it was surrounded by all sorts of stuff while they put the lights on it. It is a pretty impressive tree: 72 feet tall and weighing at at 8 tons. The tree is from Hamilton, New Jersey where it was planted nearly 80 years ago. Here is information on the tree from Rockefeller's Web page:

The Christmas tree that adorns Rockefeller Center is typically a Norway Spruce. The minimum requirement is that the tree be 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide, however manager of Rockefeller Center gardens prefers the tree be between 75 and 90 feet tall and proportionally wide. Norway Spruce that grow in forests don't typically reach these proportions, so the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tends to be one that was ornamentally planted in someone's front or back yard. There is no compensation offered in exchange for the tree, other than the pride of having donated the tree that appears in Rockefeller Center.

Over five miles of lights are used to decorate the tree every year. Only the lights and the star decorate the tree. The tree is recycled and the 3 tons of mulch are donated to the Boy Scouts. The largest portion of the trunk is donated to the U.S. Equestrian team in New Jersey to use as an obstacle jump.

Yes, impressive. But you know what goes through my mind every year when I see it? "Nice, but it could be bigger." Maybe because it is placed in that large, open area but it just seems small. I wish they kept the lights turned on all night. I would love to go down there in the wee small hours of the morning and stand next to it, without all those tourists, while the snow comes down and makes everything so quiet. I'm sure it would then seem very, very big.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

F*ck TBS

I love Christmas. I love Christmas shows. But NOT BEFORE THANKSGIVING YOU ASSHOLES!

TBS just showed "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". It is NOVEMBER 15TH!!!!!!

I believe that Christmas decorations and stuff should go up the day after Thanksgiving when Santa rides down Broadway signaling the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I slowly got use to Christmas decorations going up before turkey day. But lately they even have stuff up before Halloween is over. WTF?

OK, I'm finished. I just had to get that off my chest. TBS, you suck.

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

I had dinner last night in Chelsea with a friend. We went to Salsa y Salsa, just short of a hole in the wall with surprisingly good food. I took the bus home. Lately I have found myself taking the bus more and more over the subway. I like looking out the windows.

I took the 23rd Street crosstown to the 3rd Avenue bus. Once on the 101 going up 3rd I settled in reading my New York Magazine up near the front of the bus. At 34th Street a group got on, and I looked up when I heard one of them mumble as he walked to the back, "Is this the bus to Europe? Boy, it sure is warm on this bus." Did I hear that right? Europe??? Ah, no dude, this is only going to get you to Harlem, sorry. I went back to my magazine.

Somewhere around 55th Street I realize the man sitting across the aisle and up one seat is talking. It's the Mumbling Guy. He's about 60, dressed ok, and reading the New York Times. Not your typical crazy person. He keeps talking about how hot it is. He says, "Maybe I should undress it's so hot in here," while he unbuttoned his top shirt button. Then he went back to his paper, continuously spitting out comments while he read. Alrightly then.

There was a gentleman in a suit on his cell phone next to Mumbling Guy. Across from them (and in front of me) were two old women. I continue reading when I hear a HUGE sneeze and it pulls my head up from my magazine. I couldn't tell who did it. But I noticed one of the old women is now standing up by the driver, in front of the white line. The driver tells her to please move back because he can't move the bus with her in front of the white line. She says she isn't getting off the bus yet but she hasn't moved back. She says she's trying to get out of the way of the germs. Sigh. It's crazy night on the 101.

During this, Mumbling Guy gets up and speaks to the driver. He is asking the driver to turn on a fan. The driver says either the heat is on or off, or the AC is on or off; there isn't an in between. Mumbling Guy returns to his seat mopping his head (though there is no sweat).We continue to sit at a green light because the old woman is STILL in front of the white line. The driver FINALLY get her to move back and we continue on our way. But she doesn't sit down in her seat, she stands. She says, "I see you looking at me." Pause. "Would you please cover your mouth when you sneeze?" She's speaking to the guy still on his cell phone who won't make eye contact with her even though the old woman is just a staring at him smiling. She finally sits down, only to pop back up because we have reached her stop.

The remaining old woman starts talking to the driver about how strange she was. All I could think of was that Standing Woman had a point--don't sneeze or otherwise on a bus without covering your mouth. It is just gross.

Not too long after that it was my stop. Mumbling Guy was still chatting away with himself. Wonder where he got off? He's probably still talking.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Hate Sunday Nights

I hate Sunday nights and I am often quoted on Sundays as saying , "I don't wanna go to school tomorrow!"

I remember when I was little I would almost always have trouble falling asleep Sunday nights. The mintues would tick by. I could hear the TV from downstairs as my parents watched the Sunday Night at the Movies movie. Each commercial break they would play their special song and I would get more and more upset with each playing of the song because I knew it was getting later and later.

Worse were the Sunday nights, as I listened to said commercial breaks, before Monday's spelling tests. They weren't every Monday, but when we had them, my Sunday nights were more miserable. All those words running through my little brain; the pressure to have them all memorized.

Sunday nights are great on the rare occasion my husband is home. His presence can makes all those bad Sunday feelings never show up. But since he is in the restaurant business he is usually working both weekend evenings.

In my adulthood I have learned that NOT sleeping in late on Sunday morning is crucial. I can fall asleep rather quickly now, but I still don't want to go to school tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Big Vote

Well, tomorrow is the big day: casting the vote. In February, when we moved from Brooklyn back to Manhattan, I went to the voters Web site to do my change of address. An hour later I still had not figured out what to do. So I decided I would do it later.

Fast forward to October and I realized I only had a few days to make the deadline. So back I went to the site. Two hours later I finally get the form filled out. I kept having trouble because everytime I hit PRINT, part of what I filled out changed or dissappeared. Crap. So I took one of the bad printouts and filled in/wrote over the incorrect items, signed it, and dropped it in the mail.

Ten days later I get a letter from them telling me all that is wrong with my re-registration. I fixed it and mailed it back the next day.

Friday, before I left work, I called the NY Voters yahoos and asked what was up. Well, I'm registered, but still in Brooklyn. I was told to show up tomorrow, state my case, and see if they will let me do a paper ballot.

The lines are probably going to be CRAZY long tomorrow. But how pissed will I be if I show up, stand in that REALLY lone line, only to be told: sorry, you aren't registered here.

The point of all this is, that for all you hear about "make sure you vote" "you must vote, it's your right" blah, blah, blah, they sure don't make it as easy as it could be with the age of the internet.