It's been a week, yes, but I've been away. I went to New York City, and because it's New York City, even the simplest trips are filled with excitement! Well, it's exciting for someone living in a small New England town, at least. Here are some highlights.
First, I visited my sister and brother-in-law for my niece's 2nd birthday party. (btw: Tallulah's blog has finally been updated, see link at right.) My niece was a very cute and charming guest of honor. She knows the whole presents (pezzints!) and singing/candles/cake (cake tyme!) routine and was very excited by the whole thing. Even though she just learned how to distainfully say, "Mommy, stop it" when my sister is singing or doing something she deems silly and unwarranted, she is still at the cutest age ever.
Me and the fella spent the night in a B (a B&B without the Breakfast) within walking distance of their (very nice, but crowded and early-rising) apartment. The room was very comfortable and homey, like staying in a thoughtful friend's guest room, except that a thoughtful friend probably wouldn't charge $140 a night. But I glady paid it.
Sunday was brunch with the family at Moutarde, a frenchy place that has awesome eggs benedict and french toast, and that inspires lots of "don't be so moutarded" jokes. Then the fella left for home and I stayed in Brooklyn. After a short lie-down, me and the sis and the bro-in-law did some errands. People in NY have awesome trash; there are so many pedestrians that you can put anything half-way useable on your stoop railing and know that it will be gone in an hour or two. On my sister's block I found a white Gap skirt that I recognized as part of their summer 05 collection (back when I lived in Manhattan, I often shopped after work to escape the heat), and a halter top by Odille, a brand Anthropologie carries (see previous parenthetical). We were on our way down to Fifth anyway, so I grabbed them and brought them to sell to Beacon's Closet, who gave me $7.50 in credit for the shirt. Score! I also got a nice on-sale shirt for $16 at Brooklyn Industries and they gave me the special free-with-$50-purchase fabric shopping bag. The ringer-upper was a lady so I don't even think she was flirting, unless she was gay, in which case I am extra flattered, but I am guessing she just wasn't paying attention. The point is: I felt lucky.
Later, I got to watch my niece take a crap! (Those with a low tolerance for scat talk might want to skip this paragraph.) Her parents have started introducing the Potty Idea, which involves having her sit on the kiddy potty for a few minutes before her bath. She's pretty into it, and so when she said she wanted to go hang out on the potty, I went with her (she was already nude, since it was pre-bath naked time). She sat for about 20 seconds and then got distracted and walked into the living room, where a turd suddenly began emerging from her butt. My sister grabbed her and rushed her back onto the potty, and my niece seemed a little freaked out at the urgency, but we were all very encouraging and she relaxed. Bro-in-law ran to get the "potty book" to read to her as she sat, and then she requested "nose book, mommy read it?" so he went out again to find the nose book while my sister kept her seated, and he came back with the nose book, saying "you really don't want to go out there and come back in," because, well, there's a reason toilets have water in them, and it has to do with odor control. Anyway, she did poop and pee in the potty, which is a big first, though not knowing when to physically get to the potty is still an issue. She is very young for potty-training, anyway.
Sunday night I stayed at the Soho Grand, the place where my sister rode an elevator with Bjork back when I spent the night there several years ago. The rooms have been redesigned and are more classic/normal now. The heater in my room made a loud, annoying drone, so I turned it off, which unfortunately allowed me to hear the barking of a small dog (the hotel allows pets). At least, I thought it was a dog, until I realized that it was a human, a human lady having loud sex next door. Great. Luckily it didn't last long.
Monday was a training workshop at my old office. The trainer reminded me so much of Cheri Oteri's hyper middle-aged-lady characters that there were times she'd make a joke and I would laugh for all the wrong reasons. On the way home I rode in the back seat of my boss's Honda Element (weird, noisy, not very comfortable, but spacious) and discovered that she will sing along to the radio if she knows the words. And, The end.