Still in New York. Still bullet points.
- What would a visit to Mommy's be without a "crisis"? The latest was the Great Telephone Crisis of '13. In Mommy's kitchen, she has an old landline phone which hangs on the wall. It has a veeeeeeeery long cord so that she can gossip with The Cathys or her friend Ursula while she does her cooking and cleaning. That damned cord is always wound up into a Gordian Knot. Anyway, the other day, the phone rang and when Aunt Grace went to answer it she accidentally dropped the phone and it shattered into bits. Much hysteria. I'm very glad I was there, or it might have turned into a small war. I loaded Mommy and Grace into Pop's car and drove them to the Best Buy, where we found out that these old landline phones are virtually obsolete and nobody carries them anymore. Luckily, I had my trusty Amazon app on my phone, and ended up ordering one for her. It fascinated me that AT&T now makes a landline phone which is clearly specifically made and marketed for old folks. This phone has an "extra large, backlit number display" an "extra loud ring" and something called "audio assist" for those "hard to hear" calls. Mommy LOVES her new phone, and keeps admiring it and calling her friends to show it off.
- Our old friends Dave and AnnMarie took Jude and I on their boat for a day at Fire Island. It was SO relaxing. A great little get away. Jude had never been on a boat like this before, and he's completely enamored. Especially when Dave let him drive the boat across the bay. Very empowering.
- It always makes me happy when my little only child finds a new cousin. And luckily, in Jimmys big, Italian family, anyone who is remotely related to you is considered a cousin. Jimmy's Cousin Steve, who is actually Pop's first cousin, which makes him Jimmy's first cousin once removed, invited us out to his GORGEOUS home in the Hamptons to spend the day swimming in the pool and meeting Steve's stepdaughter's new baby daughter. Which technically makes her Jude's step-first cousin twice removed. I think. Anyway, she was real cute...
- Another NY visit, another water park. Yet again, we drove out to Splish Splash waterpark for a day of slipping and sliding alongside thousands of strangers who you really wish you didn't need to be looking at in their swimsuits. Observations - 1. 99% of all tattoos are unfortunate. It's just true. Please be thoughtful before you get the ink. 2. 70-year old women really shouldn't be showing off their tramp stamps. 3. No matter how bad I think I look in my swimsuit, I'm still looking better than most people. I must remember this when I'm feeling insecure.
- I got one more last trip into NYC ALL BY MYSELF! (Cue Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay music). Did all sorts of location research for the book I'm writing (hopefully, this will all come clear at some point), and had a lovely and civilized dinner, full of lively and intelligent discourse with my old friends from college.
- Before heading back out to the island, I took a ridiculously long and exhausting walk along the Hudson, from 79th St. all the way to 34th St. I really didn't intend for this to happen, it just sort of...did. It was just so freeing and inspiring to be alone and active in the city, that I couldn't stop myself. The weather was beautiful, and the breeze off the Hudson was invigorating, and my mind was filled with ideas. But then, as I was finally heading for Penn Station to catch the train back to Mommy's, disaster struck. I was taking the cross-town bus, and the bus driver had to slam on his brakes to avoid running over a crazy woman, and I was thrown about 3 feet into a pole. I have a bruise on my arm that looks like somebody attacked me with a baseball bat, and the whole left side of my body is sore. Boohoo. So now, I feel like I was hit by a bus. Which I guess I kind of was. Luckily, Mommyland has plentiful analgesics and liniment.
- I am ready to come home. Truly. I can't wait. It is time.