Monday, November 26, 2007

Does Heather Spend Thanksgiving Alone??

As promised, the blog that takes on the question only The Heathernet dared to ask: DOES HEATHER SPEND THANKSGIVING ALONE??

no. She does not.

I'll stop talking in 3rd person now. And how about correct tense, Thanksgiving was Thursday.

While I did not get to spend Thanksgiving with my family, I was not crying by myself into my turkey platter at Marie Callender's, thanks to the kindness of some lovely friends on the eastside. Before you go getting the Marie Callender's people all up in arms, allow me a quick sidebar: Do not cry for Marie Callender's - they were not hurting for business over the past weekend's holiday. To the contrary, when my roommate called to inquire about coming in, they informed her that all of their reservations were full. While I am, by all accounts, a notorious food snob... RESERVATIONS?? Am I the last person shocked by anything anymore?

I called home to extend greetings to the family just as my Dad was eating some uni, a Japanese delicacy that I won't get into too much detail about here, but a) it's delicious (trust me on this), and b) obviously not a Thanksgiving staple and therefore absent from my own celebration. Pretty sure he told me to ensure I wouldn't miss Christmas. Then I got passed around to every respective member of my family, amid loud background noise and shuffling. Each conversation went something like:

"Hi Heather! Happy Thanksgiving!"

"Happy Thanksgiving, Auntie ____!"

"We miss you!"

"I miss you too!...OK bye!"

Innocuous enough, I suppose, but multiply that out by about 15 in as many minutes. Cousins, aunts, uncles, family friends. I guess I should be grateful for being missed at all. Isn't that the whole point of Thanksgiving in the first place? Man alive, I am still a brat.

Anyway, my own Thanksgiving was still quite lovely. And the important thing, I managed to be somewhat productive, still working on that secret "time machine". Now to buckle down and finish up, so no more blogs until I defeat the laws of physics!

See you in the future, chumps!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On New York

Hi gang,
I thought y'all might appreciate some updates, rather than be left to assume I had died in some horrific Times Square shoppers' massacre (why do I always imagine you suppose the worst...?) Not to fear, I survived the frozen tundra of NYC and am back in somewhat overcast Los Angeles. I had a super time in New York, and I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of my insights from the trip.

But first, a quick note on Virgin America.

Have any of you seen the movie Soul Plane? Now, this is a terrible movie, one that I might never have seen had I not been working for the studio that was responsible for it, MGM. In it, Snoop Dogg of gin-and-juice fame navigates a purple plane with rims and an onboard hip hop club. When I boarded Virgin America - soft purple mood lighting, light electro jazz, personal entertainment stations - I got sort of the same vibe. I felt like I was on Prince's private jet nonstop to Erotic City. But here's the thing: I loved it. The purple lighting was far superior to the harsh florescent tones of normal commercial planes and the whole atmosphere totally mellowed me out for my sleepytime redeye. Also, as passengers boarded the plane, I observed that everyone who got on the flight appeared to be incredibly good looking! Was this an illusion due to the purple lighting, or are Virgin passengers just subject to photo approval? Either way, big fan.

So, on to New York! OK, first trip, remember? So for those of you are like me and waited 27 years to visit, here is what you are in for: NEW YORK IS CRAZY! That's all I could determine during the first 24 hours. It's just...... crazy! There are so many people, there is so much going all, its all close together, and busy and there are always people all the time everywhere nonstop crazy crazy loco crazy! It took at least a day for me to process it. I've been to a lot of big cities, Paris, London, Bangkok, but the only place that really kindof compares is Tokyo and even then its like, not the same at all. I spent a lot of time just trying to comprehend it - in some ways it felt like travelling to another planet. I would be on the subway just watching people: "so... that's a New Yorker". In turn, they played their part by ignoring me, which kind of started to make me feel like maybe I fit in...

The other thing I did a lot of in New York was walking. There is a popular misconception that people in LA don't walk; that we all drive around in our cars to go a couple blocks and that even gyms have valet. OK, so this is actually not so much a misconception as it is an indisputable fact. Without Loretta, I'm basically immobile. So I was delighted to regain the use of my legs in NY, ambulating with ease throughout the city sans auto. Yes, my feet were tired, but I think it was one of those "good tireds".

I did not take as many pictures during my trip as I would have liked. In fact, I only really took photos when I was in Central Park. Half of these were of squirrels. [note on photo: the photos of squirrels that I did capture weren't even that stellar. Hence, this photo, which I borrowed from elsewhere on the interweb]. Dude - even the squirrels in New York are crazy! They were everywhere, jumping around, crawling around in the dirt, eating twigs. But somehow, crazier than our mellow squirrels here in California. Or maybe the cold was making me delirious...

It was very cold. That's not doing it justice: cold that somehow found its way past my layers of shirts and sweaters and jackets to my skeletal system. I am not built for cold. I have long spindly arms that long sleeves don't cover. My self-led tour of Central Park ended abruptly when I lost feeling in my hands and had to leave to purchase gloves. I walked to Times Square, to see what all the fuss was about, which was the height of craziness: gazillions of tourists (did I count as one? dammit!), groups of angry protesters, mentally unstable street vendors. I ducked into The Gap to buy gloves and make a phone call before bracing myself to face the throngs of people outside. Then I promptly got myself lost on the subway. Local versus express?? Why don't they label these things?!

Other highlights: I met up with my old bowling teammate in Soho, watched some bands play at a bar in the East Village, ate pizza, bought boots, enjoyed a drink at the top of the Hudson Hotel, went to dinner in the West Village, had brunch with a bunch of ladies... Things I did not do: see the Statue of Liberty, scale the Empire State Building, eat a hot dog, go to a museum, hold hands with anyone but myself. But, I suppose its good to leave some things for next time. All in all, I think the trip was a success, my first venture into the big city. Finally!

Upcoming blog topics: Heather creates Art, and, Does Heather spend Thanksgiving alone? Tune in, I'm trying to get the ol' reliability factor up.....