Sunday, December 21, 2003

...but the best thing about New York City is...You and Me

I thought I'd write a quick blurb about our jaunt to NY last weekend, but no one in the world could have possibly done a better job than my Father-in-Law. Following is our Christmas trip to NY as described by Dad, hopefully he, and the rest of the family don't mind being put onto my blog. Enjoy!


Starring (in the order of their appearance)

- Charlie Grizwold
- Lynn Mingarelli
- Jimmy Mingarelli (as "Mingo Man")
- Paula Grizwold
- Andy and Laura Grizwold
- Penn Grizwold
- Kit Grizwold

== ACT ONE: ==

**Opens on a cluttered office somewhere in downtown Washington; Charlie Grizwold, tearing out what little hair he has left, is talking to the 27th hotel he has called that day; clutching the phone with white knuckles... beads of sweat run down the sides of his face and into his collar.**

CHARLIE : "What do you mean you don't have anything available? It's mid-October!! How can there already be no room in the inn!! December 13 is two months away!! ...Oh fine ...yeah ...I'll try Secaucus." **speaks to himself aloud ** "Just great... I've just bought six non-refundable tickets to "Stomp" and it looks like we'll have to stay in one of the hourly motels in Secaucus with the crusty bedspreads and sticky carpets!"

**Lynn Mingarelli enters stage left**

LYNN : "Secaucus? Why in the world are you going to Secaucus?" **Charlie relates his tragic tale of woe.** "No. This cannot be. You're going to New York to see a play and are planning to sleep in Secaucus?!! No one sleeps in Secaucus. Let me call my brother. He will save you from this cruel fate worse than death!"

CHARLIE : "But... no... I couldn't... I... I..."

LYNN : "Stop. If he ever found out that six of his family slept in a motel in Secaucus and no one ever called him... well, let's just say that will never happen. I'll contact him tonight."

**Next morning, Charlie sits down to his computer and opens up an email from "Mingo Man" and reads to himself --voiceover-- (Jimmy Mingarelli offstage reads:) "Charlie-- I have released the hounds. Make no reservations ANYWHERE until you hear from me. NO ONE sleeps in Secaucus on my watch! --signed Mingo Man"

**Later that day Charlie looks up into the Northern sky and sees a giant green "M" floating over Gotham City ** email chimes ** "You've got mail!
** --voiceover-- (Jimmy Mingarelli offstage reads:) "Charlie-- the hounds have returned with plentiful game. Here is your hotel : Roger Smith Hotel, 501 Lexington Ave, NYC, NY 10017. Here are your confirmation #s - I e-mailed Mr Romero and requested 2 double beds for each room if posssible or the possibility of fold down beds might be needed in each room. They have included a continental breakfast for you. I would follow up with Mr. Romero about your sleeping needs, if I were you. --Enjoy --Mingo Man"

CHARLIE : ** Looks up into the sky as the green M fades into the approaching dusk** "Holy pizzoli, Mingo Man... That's just one block from the Waldorf-Astoria!!

== ACT TWO:==

CHARLIE : "Paula... Paula... (jiggle, jiggle) Paula... time to get going... it's 5:30."

PAULA : "Mphhh glmmmph smffff mnmmm!... "

CHARLIE : "You're over-reacting. It's hardly as bad as having straight pins driven under your fingernails. Come on, Andy and Laura will be here in an hour."

PAULA : "Smrrrll wmpfff blimlimlim."

CHARLIE : "I must say, that's VERY unlady-like language!"

**Enter Andy and Laura Grizwold; Andy brandishing a pot of coffee from which Charlie pours a cup and takes a sip. If he had stuck his finger in a light socket, the shock to his nervous system would have had less effect **

CHARLIE : "Yaaaaah!! How much coffee did you brew this with!! It's chewy!!"

ANDY : "Just the usual... thirteen scoops."

** Later in the car that day **

PENN : "I'm bored. Let's play "Great Puddings I Have Known."

CHARLIE : "OK... Here's one... This pudding is smooth and creamy..."

PENN : "Vanilla!"

CHARLIE : "No... it's light brown in color..."

PENN : "Chocolate!"

CHARLIE : "No... it has a flavor rather like butterscotch..."

PENN : "Butterscotch!"

CHARLIE : "Yes!! ...that is correct!!"


** The Grizwolds have hit Manhattan in record time; have come around the backside of the city over the historic and insanely beautiful Brooklyn Bridge; have handed over the keys to their van (courtesy of the benevolent philanthropy of Mom and Pop Connoley who thought it might be more comfortable than the original plan of stuffing 6 adults into a station wagon) to valet parking; have deposited their luggage and done a walking tour of 5th Avenue which press of humanity and cold flesh was not unlike too many Vienna saussages in a too-small can; have come out of that teeming madhouse and into the blissfull beauty and wilderness of Central Park where skaters and carolers and muffled and mittened persons of all sizes and shapes breathed in the crisp air of dusk, hot pretzels and mulled cider; have walked back to the hotel to change for their theater experience and subway ride to Astor Place and the delightful charm of an evening in Greenwich Villiage. == Tickets have been picked up it's an hour before the curtain goes up and the Grizwolds pace and wait for Kit Grizwold to show. == As the time draws nearer and nearer, Charlie Grizwold walks to the end of the block and looks far into the next block catching one brief glimpse of a very tall person in a wool jacket (open of course) and a red shirt.**

CHARLIE : (speaking to himself) "It's Kit... I'd know that walk anywhere... and the open jacket since it's 27 degrees. Hmmm... there's a stick out place there... maybe I can get to it before he does and let him pass and then come up behind him... Uh-oh... not enough time... I'll just pull my hat down over my head... stuff my hands in my pockets and... Yep, those are his feet alright."

**Charlie Grizwold starts walking closer to Kit; Kit starts to side step; Charlie sidesteps with him; Kit sidesteps some more; so does Charlie; **COLLISION** Charlie reaches around Kit, pawing at his shoulder**


In order for you to fully appreciate what happens next, you must understand that since Charlie was COMPLETELY dressed in black and his face was TOTALLY obliterated from Kit's view and New York is usually where you want to go in
order to be shot, stabbed or bludgeoned for pocket change, you will not be surprised to hear Kit deliver the following line with a most visceral and prehistoric vehemence:


...only he didn't say 'fudge' ...he said the Mother of all cuss words ...the Monarch of the glen ...THE WORD that easily makes up three-fourths of a sailor's vocabulary

CHARLIE : "Kit... Kit... it's your dad. Don't hit me."

And I don't believe I would have blamed him if he did.

This was great visit to Gotham and when we got home I asked Penn, "What was your favorite thing about New York and what was your least favorite?"

He said "All of it, and none of it."

I would have to agree.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Just a little bit Special

That's right! Tonight we're going to see Stephen Lynch at the Rams Head. He's been one of my favorites every since I saw his special on Comedy Central. Beautiful songs turn into naughty jokes as he works his way towards his punchline.

Should be a great show!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

There is nothing that hasn't already been thought of

A while ago I was reading Mighty Girl and she wrote about Maneki Neko. Or Japanese lucky cats. This is what they look like. Maybe you've spotted one in a restaurant or elsewhere and just assumed it was a cute little figurine. Apparently they're popular enough in Japan to have caught Disney's attention. As I poked around the internet today (it's a REALLY slow day) I encountered this particular form of Maneki Neko.

Monday, December 08, 2003

If only we'd had a camera

Last night we had a fire in our fireplace, first one of the season. Wasps tend to nest in our chimney over the summer, and the first fire usually smokes them out. Last night was no different and we had a few of the unwelcome guests. Mostly they were half dead from the cold and smoke, but one lively little fellow came flying out of the chimney. Straight onto my head.

I tried shaking it off, I tried to flick it out. Nothing worked. So what else could I do? Run to the bottom of the stairs and scream at the top of my lungs for Andy. To get down here. NOW!!!!

My hero came. And got the pest off my scalp, and then sent the poor (yet very annoying) creature to a watery grave.

After it was over I thought about how silly I must've looked running around the basement, clutching a strand of hair shouting "Get it out! Get it OUT!!!"

If we'd had a video camera that just might have won us the $10,000.

Monday, December 01, 2003

I think I just made out with a couple of dogs

While my Grandmother and sister are out enjoying the wonders of Australia, Andy and I are babysitting their pug, Penny. Penny's a very sweet dog, but hasn't had much training. To help correct this I went out and bought her a harness. It works great, but getting it on her involves a bit of manuvering. Add in the fact that my dog Arrow is incredibly jealous and it makes for a fun mix.

The other morning I was leaning over to slip the harness over Penny's head in preparation for a walk. Keep in mind that if I go within 50 feet of her, Arrow has to come over to see what's up. As I leaned down Penny decided NOW is the time be affectionate, and jumped and licked me square on the lips. In the meantime Arrow had run over to see what the fuss was about and chose the exact same moment to reach over and lick me in the ear.

Maybe I should start selling my perfume as "Eau du kibble."