Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sara the cat

I have no pictures...I have nothing to report really.  We have a new computer and all my pictures are loaded on a ginourmous external hard drive.  Thanks Earl.
Well I guess I could report that the stomach flu came back...with a vengence.  So it was good that the "puke fairy" left lots of supplies and it was also good that in a brief stroke of genious, I set some of those supplies back, you know, just. in. case.  Well...folks...we have reached "just in case"...and it is not pretty.
I had no idea how much a two year old's stomach could hold.  It's facinating really. 
The final diagnosis?
Mommy had the stomach bug.  Mommy did not save up her "sick days" and her "employers" made come into "work" regardless of her condition.  Well there was that brief 20 minutes on the couch where the eldest "employer" brushed Mommy's hair and let her close her eyes and pretend to be asleep.  But I'm not sure if that counts. 
Sam had the stomach bug AND an upper respiratory infection resulting in a double ear infection and a super high fever.  Did you know that when a person pukes, the force reguired to puke can force snot into the ear canal...resulting in-->yup, you got ear infection.  Lovely.  The things I learn everyday.  Amazing really.
What a  lovely mix of snot and vomit.
Earl is still successfully avoiding the Farris 2011 vomit fest.  Pray for him. 
Have I mentioned bleach is a wonderful thing? 
this post is titled "Sara...the cat"
She is a funny creature.  She really demands a post of her own every now and again.
So, for your reading pleasure...some tales of Sara the cat.

She sleeps on the floor vents all. day. long. I don't blame her.  It hasn't been above freezing in a horribly long time, and we have inches and inches of snow on the ground.  If I wasn't cleaning up vomit didn't have anything else to do, I'd sleep on the heater vents too.  Sometime she gets so warm and cozy and in such a deep state of sleep that she rolls over on her back, paws drooping to one side, mouth hanging open.  In my next life?  I'm coming back as a cat.

We cleaned out Sam's room recently.  Took out the rocking chair.  Brought in a toy cubbie.  He's a kinda big boy now with big boy toys.  It was only fair that they be nicely organized and accessible.  Now he can play Thomas the Train vs. Buzz Lightyear and not have to ask me to dig them out of the bowels of his closet.  While going through his things, I found some chou-chou's (this is what our family calls a "binky").  Sam hasn't used them in months.  But you might remember that when he did use them, Sara liked to steal them...and play with them...and hide them...and bite holes in them.  You can read about that here.  I tossed all but one of the chou-chou's into a trash sack.  I don't know why I kept one...I just did.  Maybe I'll dig it out when Sam is 16...just to remember that one time, not so long ago, he was little.  So I tossed the rest and went about my organizing and cleaning.  Soon I heard a rustling in the trash sack.  It was Sara the cat.  She was pulling the discarded chou-chou's out of the sack one by one and taking them downstairs to her "lair" to hide them away.  Treasure!!!  Oh I laughed and laughed at that cat!  She was so thrilled with her find.  I didn't stop her.  How could I?  Later, I went downstairs to see where exactly she "hid" her treasures.  And, there they were, neatly placed in her food bowl.  Occasionally she will bring one upstairs and toss it around for a bit.  But she always returns it to her bowl...for know, just in case Sam decides he wants them back.

Last one...

Last night, after Sam puked his final puke, he curled up in the recliner with me...he was quite a mess.  Sour tummy...high fever...  He just twisted and turned in my lap...half asleep, half awake.  No position was a comfortable position.  But the only place in the world he wanted to be was in my lap.  So I rocked and patted and offered ice and rocked some more.  About 10 minutes into his restless slumber, Sara jumped up in my lap.  Right in the middle of the chaos.  She loves chaos.  It is her favorite place to be.  She perched in my lap...pushed up against Sam....and looked at me as if to say "Here...can I try for a bit?"  Sam reached his little chubby two year old hand toward Sara and began to pet her.  She began to lick him.  He relaxed.  She purred.  He rubbed her fur.  She got very still.  He got very still.  She fell asleep.  He continued to twist her fur with his little fingers.  If it bothered her, she gave no sign.  Soon Sam relaxed and he fell asleep.  Sara's work was finished.  And she hopped off my lap.

I am completely convinced that Sara the cat chose us...and she has a very important job to do.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Everything she sees
she says she wants.
Everything she wants
I see she gets.

That's my daughter in the water
everything she owns I bought her.
everything she owns.
That's my daughter in the water,
everything she knows I taught her.
Everything she knows.
Everything I say
she takes to heart.
Everything she takes
she takes apart.
That's my daughter in the water
every time she fell I caught her
Every time she fell.
That's my daughter in the water,
I lost every time I fought her.
Yea, I lost every time..
Every time she blinks
she strikes somebody blind.
Everything she thinks
blows her tiny mind
That's my daughter in the water,
who'd have ever thought her?
Who'd have ever thought?
That's my daughter in the water,
I lost everytime I fought her
Yea, I lost every time.
"Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New York, day three.

Also known as "Bucket List" day.
I've always wanted to go to the very tippy top of the Statue of Liberty.  I've said if/when I ever got to NYC, that is the one place I would insist upon visiting.  So when I found out I would be headed to the Big Apple, I immediately got online and reserved my tickets to go to the "Crown". 
Here's the scoop:
 Before 9/11, the trip to the top took something like 5 hours and you only had a few seconds to look around once you got to the top.   After 9/11, visitors are required to make a "reservation" months in advance. Upon arrival to the statue you are sent through a very intense screening process (read: MUCH more involved than airport security) and groups are taken up every 20 minutes or so carrying only a camera and the clothes on their backs...No bags, no purses, no backpacks.  All belongings must be stored in a locker before heading up to the top.  Groups are limited to 15 people and once at the top, you get to spend a good 10 minutes taking pictures, looking out the windows, and chatting with the park ranger.  You also get this groovy orange bracelet to wear proving that you are indeed allowed to head up to the tippy top.
Now...if you read back to the very beginning of this post (which isn't so far away, because I've only just started my rambling), you'll notice that I got my reservation to the Crown about a week in advance.  When I told the park ranger this, he told me to "be quiet!" and said something like "I have no idea how you were able to do that.  People usually have to schedule the trip months in advance to get a spot."  So I did exactly what he said...I shut my mouth, grinned really big, and started the climb up.
  334 steps up to be exact.
I know this because I followed a little Japanese woman up the narrow steps.  And she counted--in Japanese--every step.  When I would "check-in" with her and ask what number we were on, she would hum to herself for a moment and then tell me in English what number step we were on.  I thought that was pretty impressive seeing as how I can only count to three in Japanese.  She and I became "friends" and she was able to speak a bit of English to me in order to tell me that she too was visiting alone, and that this was her second time to visit the Statue.  The first time was before 9/11.  She told me this time, things were much much different. 
About halfway up, I paused to get one full breath of air "enjoy the view" and snap a picture.  The below picture is me just pointing the camera straight up and snapping the button.
Then we got to the top, my Japanese "friend" and I.  And Wow.  It was worth the climb.
 The picture above is looking out to the right.  You can see the tip of the torch and a bit of her fingers.
And this is looking out to the left at the tablet she holds.
Then my Japanese friend motioned for my take my picture.  I smiled at the thoughtfulness of it.  And I almost flashed a "peace sign" but decided against it.
 The picture below is of me facing out, toward the can see the innards of Lady Liberty.  See the ripples of her hair on the ceiling?
Then it was time to go down.  I think it was worse than going up.
See??  That'll make a girl dizzy!
On the way down, the park ranger told us to look for the reverse of Liberty's face.
Sure enough...there it was.  Eyes, nose, mouth.
Do you see it??
And again, my Japanese friend motioned for my camera.  She is looking up at me coming down the stairs.
I looked for her at the base of the statue, but couldn't find her.  I guess that's how some people are.  They come into your life for a moment...and then as quickly as they come they are gone. 
Thank you Japanese friend...for documenting this very special journey for me.  I hope you know how much it meant to me.
Once at the base of the statue, I began to notice the beauty of the architecture.  The folds and curves of Lady Liberty's dress.  The sharp lines of the pedestal.  The minty color of the copper.  So I just started snapping. 

This picture below was taken at the very base of the pedestal.  It is some sort of air vent.  But I was fascinated with how the copper had "dripped" off of the Statue and onto the metal squares of the grate.  It was lovely to me.  One thing bleeding onto another...all things linked in this world.
This is what you see as you look out from behind the Statue of Liberty.  I felt so proud to be American.  It just washed over me.  So proud of that flag and what it means to my children.  I wanted to be in the middle of in that picture of freedom.  But when you travel alone, you can't really take a picture of yourself (unless a nice Japanese woman offers to do so) I backed up the camera the best I could and got this picture....
And P.S. On the ferry from the Statue to Ellis Island, I heard a worker on the ship say to another worker "YO!  Mikey...Little baby new year come visit you dis year?!" (Please say this to yourself as loudly as you can with your most authentic New York accent.  Place strong emphasis on the "YO!")  It was quite possibly the best true New Yorker I had heard.  I sorta wanted to see if he would say it again so I could record him.  But in true NYC fashion, he was very large and rather unapproachable, so I went on my way.  *Ahem*
Carrying on then...
NYC skyline as seen from the ferry going to Ellis Island. I wanted to burst into song!!

Ellis Island.  Quite amazing if you think about it.  Built solely for immigrants coming into the states.  And what a beautiful building.  Here is the Registration room.  The audio tour said it was standing room only during Ellis Islands glory days. 
The ceiling is all very intricate teeny tiny tile work
Okay...I don't know if you're able to see this or not.  But it was so curious to me, I have to share.  The picture below is a copy of a registration sheet.  You have the person's name, age (in years and months), sex, and "calling or occupation".  If you read, most people listed "laborer" or "farmer" under this last column.  But about 7 rows down, a woman lists her "calling or occupation" as "wife".  I absolutely loved this!  Often, when asked to fill out a form for the children's school or medical records, I am asked the same question "What do you do?  Where do you work?"  and I am a bit shy to admit that "all" I do is stay at home with my children, that my "calling or occupation" is "wife, mother"...I am not shy anymore.  I am proud to be grouped with the Ellis Island women.  It is a "calling" and an "occupation" and I am dern proud of it!
There was so much history could almost reach out and grab onto it.  The air was so thick with the stories of people dreaming of a new land and a new life.  This quote below made me was in the "medical room" explaining the tests given to the immigrants to measure their educational level. 
Haha!  You tell 'em girl!  Wonder what she did become?  What future America held for her?
So I spent all morning and part of the afternoon at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  I can't really explain to you what it meant to me.  It certainly lived up to all my expectations and more.  There's something so fulfilling about marking something off your "bucket list"....
By the time I hopped off the ferry for the last time, my legs were so tired I was having sweet fantasies about the hard plastic seats on the subway...I had hoped to see "Ground Zero" as it is fairly close to the Statue, but instead I bought one of these...
A chocolate cannoli.  There are simply no words to describe how amazing these things are...
And rode the subway back to the hotel where I fell into a chocolate cannoli induced coma and slept until Earl got finished with work. 
We spent our last night in NYC just strolling around.  I say strolling, but for me it was more of a "limping"--I must have walked 20 miles in the 3 days I was there.  My legs were sore!  Earl picked up on my sluggish-ness and insisted we find a place to "sit and eat".  So we did.  The Carnegie Deli.  Perhaps you've heard of it.  We shared the most delicious, most ginormous Reuben sandwich I have ever seen.  I was looking around for the "Man vs. Food" cameras.  Seriously, it was that big.  Then maybe I got another cannoli...but who's counting at this point right? And we headed back to the hotel room. 
What a memorable trip.  We're still talking about it...still laughing about it...
Oh and just so you know...
Yup...I did it...
Iboughtahotdog.  And it was pretty tasty.  And...I'm still alive. 
Thank you and good night.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New York, day two.

I promise this post won't have as many pictures as the "New York, day one" post.  I'm trying to convince Sam that pooping on the potty is what all the cool kids do.  So I'm focused on that more than I am focused on this post....
Oooop...wait!!!  HE JUST DID IT!!! My tiny son just pooped on the potty!!!!!!!  Be right back...headed to Walmart to get the Sponge Bob p.j's I promised him he could have on this glorious occasion!!!!!
We're back.  Thank you for celebrating with Sam and to "New York, day two".....

Day two.  On a side note: I slept great.  The bed in the hotel was uncharacteristically comfortable.
The morning of day two I again had these great aspirations of being on the Today show.  But around 8am, I rolled over...squinted at the clock, said "fuh-getaboutit" and went back to sleep...I slept in until 9:30.  It. was. delicious.  And totally therapeutic. 
I got up, got dressed, and then went here....
Fluffy's cafe!
I know...great name!  Got a coffee and a cannoli.  Breakfast of champions.  Also...just so you know, if you order a "regular coffee" in NYC--as in wanting plain 'ol b-flat black coffee--you will in fact get "coffee with cream"  Good to know...good. to. know.
Then I called Earl's buddy's girlfriend, Heidi, to see is she wanted to go with me to the Museum of Natural History.  She was just finishing up at the hotel gym (WHAT?!  Gym...hotel??  Bwhahahhaha...right...gimme another cannoli) and we decided to meet on the front steps of the museum.
Earl told me that the walk to the museum was "quite a ways" and that I should probably consider taking the "train".  I looked at the map (I did not consult the conceirge, I learned my lesson on day one with that guy) and saw that I could walk through Central Park on my way to the museum.  Plus, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to walk off some of that cannoli and coffee with cream.  Very quickly I started to see trees!   I didn't realize I had been missing them...but when the trees of Central Park came into view, it seemed I could breathe easier...that my step was a little lighter.  Don't ever take good-old fashioned trees for granted.  They are a gift.   Even if they are lying dormant and leaf-less.
 Trees in NYC have a very important job.  Filtering all that pollution we thrust upon them.
 This tree, in the picture below, made me catch my breath.  What a piece of beautiful artwork.
It wasn't a long walk.  It took me about 20 minutes and I got to see Central Park covered in snow. What a memory.
I got to the steps of the museum a bit before Heidi.  They're doing some construction/renovation to the front of the building, but in spite of the scaffolding, there was one thing that was familiar to me right away.  And if you've seen "Night at the Museum" like I have, you'll recognize it as well... 
Robin Williams!!!!  Errr...I mean, Teddy Roosevelt. He comes to life in the movie (so does the horse)...and wouldn't ya know it?  That dern statue looks just like Robin Williams....and while I waited for Heidi, I swear he moved...

I also spent a bit of time during my wait waging an inner struggle. To buy a hotdog from the nearby roadside stand, or not to buy a hotdog...Earl says a resounding "NO!" But what does he know? He's the most paranoid person I know. And after all, I was in NYC. Aren't you sorta supposed to eat a hotdog from a roadside stand? Luckily for me, I didn't have to decide because Heidi showed up and we headed inside...away from the temptation of the hotdog stand.

Here's an interesting fact about the Museum of Natural History in NYC.  The admission is really just a donation.  And the price is simply "suggested".  So you walk up to the ticket counter and the conversation goes something like this:
Me:  "One ticket for general admission"
Ticket booth girl:  "$16 suggested admission price. Do you agree to that amount?"
Me: <loooong confused pause>  "Ummmmmm...uhhhhh....yes?...yes!"'s something to remember when you go to this place of dead dinosaurs-->If you don't wanna, you don't have to give those people a dime!  You don't have to "agree" to the $16 pricetag.  Admission is free.  FAH-ree.  Nada.  Nothing.  All monies paid to get in the doors are simply considered a donations.  Of course I paid.  Partly out of confusion.  But I did pay.  But just so ya know--cause I didn't--you don't have to if you don't want to.  You can hang onto that hard earned money, spend all stinkin' day in the museum, and use the money you saved to satisfy the appetite you worked up with a hotdog...from a hotdog stand. 
I'm just sayin'...
Onto the dinosaurs.
This dinosaur below is the very first one you see. 
I don't think I can stress how simply ginormous it is...but it is...It's HUGE-mongous.  Just believe me on this one...

 Little back story to the next picture.  Heidi is a Physician's Assistant.  I am a nurse.  Made for an interesting "team" wandering through a museum filled with bones.  We were both absolutely amazed with the bone structure of these large creatures!  LOOK at that ribcage!  And that pelvis!  A girl could camp out in there.
 Heidi volunteered to take my picture.  She thought I needed to document this for my children.  So children...for your viewing pleasure, I give you:
"Momma standing in front of lots of bones"
 And then I made Heidi take this picture.  Me and my favorite dinosaur--The Triceratops.  Don't ask why it's my favorite.  I couldn't rightly tell you.  Perhaps it's because that while it is thought to be a peaceable plant-eating dinosaur, it is also believed not many other dinosaur folk "messed" with the Triceratops on account of the bony plate protecting its neck.  I like to think the triceratops invented the saying "Walk softly, and carry a big stick gigantic bony plate"  Or maybe because it has three horns and that is a nice odd number for decorating...
I like the dinosaur.  Let's just leave it at that.
We were at the museum for well over 2 1/2 hours.  We looked up at one point and couldn't believe we had been there so long.  Then we realized we were very hungry. I managed to avoid the sweet smell of the hot dog stand, and we made our way back to the hotel.   Earl was back from work.  I found him curled up in the bed, snoring away.  So I curled up beside him and thus commenced the first uninterrupted afternoon nap we have had together in 5+ years.  Fan-freakin'-tastic. 
We met up with Earl's buddy and Heidi later that night as well as another co-worker/classmate/buddy who lives/works in NYC.  After an $11 Crown and Coke in the hotel bar (worth every penny thankyouverymuch), we braved the NYC New Year's Eve crowd in order to find something to eat.  We wound up at at a Thai restaurant where I ate some of the best curry I've ever eaten in my entire life.  We returned to our hotel and the scene outside the front doors was hysterical.  Hundreds of thousands of people lined up along 7th avenue. 

 Corralled in like cattle.  Standing there...just standing there.  No food or drink, not even alcohol.  No bathrooms.  No wiggle room...None.  Shoulder to shoulder.  Butt to butt. And if you decided that you wanted to leave to,  to you know, get some fresh air?  Well...don't count on getting back in 'cause once you're're out.   In-sane.  Why? you ask?  Why would hundreds of thousands of people take part in such bizarre behavior? 
To see The Ball drop at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day in Times Square.
Earl and his buddy mumbled something about a chemical attack, and we all know how I feel about crowds, so after buying a bottle of Crown and 2 bottles of wine (and maybe a cannoli-- but I can't say for sure), we marched directly upstairs to our quiet, uncrowded hotel room and watched the festivities from the 41st floor.  Priceless.
I think it's the latest we've stayed up in years.
So that's the end of day two and the beginning of day three.
One more picture before I sign off here and a short narrative to go along with said picture:
Really?  A $350 penalty for honking?  Have you been to New York City?  Have you even watched a movie that is set in New York City?  Honking is like the soundtrack for New York!  I snapped this picture and then asked Earl's buddy who lives in this outrageous city, if the law was actually enforced!?  I think I said something like "If this for real?!  'Cause if it were...this would be the richest city in the world!"  He never answered...I think he just laughed.  Or maybe he did answer and I just couldn't hear him over all the honking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New York, Day one

Okay so by now, if you read this blog (and I know some of you DO...see my Puke Fairy post!), you know that this is really just a chronicle of my life.  I often feel that the world spins much too fast and I forget the details of life.  I hope someday I can look back at the words and pictures on this blog and remember.  And smile.
This is my memory of my first day in New York City.
The place is big.  The buildings. The smells. The noise.
Everything is big.
And I am easily overstimulated.
But I'm getting ahead of myself....Let me back up just a bit...
Earl was working in NYC, the stars aligned just right, and I was able to run away for a few days. 
My mom, AKA GrandTone, drove up to watch Grace and Sam while I was gone.  I think they had the time of their lives with her.  It was like "GrandTone camp" and in the days following my return home I have heard such things as "Mom...GrandTone says art is a messy process!" and "But MOM! GrandTone let me sleep on the couch!" 
I have to admit, there is something magical about my momma.  She has always seen the world through a different lens.  I never really appreciated it until I was an adult with children of my own.  And while some women fear "turning into their mother"...
I have begun to embrace it. After all, isn't it inevitable? :)
Sooooo....GrandTone came...I left...and about 6 hours, 2 planes, 1 cancellation, and 1 delay later I found myself in NYC.  Totally out of element and totally overwhelmed.   
Earl came to get me at the airport.  I told him he really didn't need to do that.  That I was a big girl and could find my way to the hotel in one piece.  But he read right through me and knew I all my talk was just talk.  That I was indeed nervous about how to hail a cab and was confused about exactly where I needed to go.  Many times in my life Earl has played a real life "knight in shining armour"...this is one of those times.  His face in that baggage claim area was like lighthouse on a rocky shore.  All my anxiety was gone and the excitement set in!  I was somewhere without kids!!!  My only responsibility was where to find my next cup of coffee and deciding how late I wanted to sleep in!!!!  BLISS!!  Total bliss!!!
  I had taken a late flight into NYC, and by the time we got to the hotel, I was HUNGRY.  So Earl took me to a deli across where I proceeded to eat mashed potatoes and my first ever cannoli.  Have you ever HAD a cannoli?  Well I hadn' all my life.  I'm an Oklahoma girl.  Not a lot of cannoli's in Oklahoma.  That's a shame.  Cannoli's are ah-ma-zing. 
So that was really my first day in NYC. 
But the rest of this post and the pictures to follow are from my first full day in NYC.
Earl had to work from 6-2 so I was on my own.  I had these grand plans about being on the Today show.  Do you know how early you have to get up to be on the Today show?  Ummmm....REALLY early.  I rolled out of bed around 8ish...only b/c GrandTone called and said the children were looking for me on TV.  Okay okay I got dressed, asked the concierge for directions to the Today show, got some coffee and headed out the hotel lobby doors into the big city. 
The picture below is the very first thing I saw...
A front loader dumping snow into a dump truck.  THAT is some serious snow removal folks.  If you'll remember, the day after Christmas 2010 NYC got a ginormous snow storm.  Something like 30+inches.  I arrived the Wednesday after the storm.  I've never seen so much snow.  It was insane.

Then I saw this....
Police barricades.  Lined up along Times Square in preparation for the New Year's Eve event.  Oh...and more snow....
I started walking in the direction the concierge told me to go.  Ummmm...yeh....he. was. wrong.  And I got totally lost.  Finally I found an NYCPD guy and asked him where to go.  It's not tough to find the NYCPD...they're everywhere.  And they know NYC like the back of their hand.  Thank you NYCPD dude...where ever you are. 
I found the Today show.  I was waaaaay late.  But I did see the back of Matt Lauer's head.  And I met the nicest NYC native.  An old man with a fascinating accent.  He gave me a short "class" on the layout of streets and avenues, chuckled at my Oklahoma accent, and then directed me to St. Patrick's cathedral.  But not before I asked him if he would please take my picture.
Here I am...that's the Rockefeller Christmas tree in the background.
And here is St. Patrick's. I found it quickly.  The old man's directions were fool-proof.
As soon as I walked through the doors of this place, the busy NYC world melted away.  It was warm, and quiet, and absolutely reverent.  It was the strangest clash of sensations.  From the crowded, hectic streets to the hushed calm of the Lord's house.  I have to say, it just might have been my favorite place out of all the places I saw during my time there.
I lit a candle and took a deep breath. 
Wow.  Pictures don't do the place justice.  Neither do words.
Just go'll get it...
It was special to me to see the church all "dressed-up" for Christmas. 
This nativity scene was life-sized.  I know it's difficult to tell from this fuzzy picture, but it was breath-taking. I was wishing that Grace had been there to see it.  She loves nativity scenes.
Then it was back outside.  I found more coffee and a cannoli.  The breakfast of champions.  Went to the American Girl store.  Went to Saks 5th Avenue.  Did you know that place is ten stories?  Ten stories of clothes and shoes and fashion.  I went to floor 4...then I left.  Didn't buy a thing. Totally not my cup of tea...but I can say I've been there.
The shop windows were really cool though. 
Little animated girls and animals.  Kinda freaky...but cool.

Then I headed to the MoMA. Museum of Modern Art.  On the way I found this...
St. Andrews.  So headed inside.  That's the beauty of sight-seeing alone.  You can make as many "detours" as you like...
It was gorgeous inside.  I don't think it was catholic.  No candles to light.  No crucifix.  But beautiful all the same.  The organ was a sight to behold.  I wish I had snapped a picture of it.  Honestly though, when I go into a house of worship like this...I simply forget where I am.  And I totally forget to take pictures.
Then, on to the MoMA.
I knew they had Monet's there.  They. were. huge!!! But I didn't know they had VanGough's "Starry night"...rather surprised me!  It was so small!  When I first walked up on it, I didn't really notice that it was the "Starry Night"...reminded me of when I saw the "Mona Lisa".  All this hype over this small work of art. 
 I also saw Picasso's "The Three Musicians"...that was my favorite above all.  Thinking of getting a print of it for my house.  They also had an Andy Warhol exhibition.  That guy was all kinds of cah-razy!!!! 
Not a lot pictures from the MoMA.  No flash photos allowed.  Even if I did take pics, it wouldn't do any of those works of art any justice...
After the little legs were tired.  And my over stimulation meter was off the chart...
I decided headed back to the hotel room, only to be greeted by Earl!!!.... 
He took me back to Times Square.  I sorta had just wandered aimlessly through it that morning, and I'm not sure if I really realized I was in Times-freaking-Square.  So he took me back so I could be 100% sure I got the full experience.  And boy howdy...what an experience.  The preparations were under way for the big New Year's Eve event and it was neat to see all the barricades and stages and lights...
And the people!  Oh my goodness!  The people!  Everywhere!!!
And then there was this guy...
"The Naked Cowboy"  Isn't he a site to behold?
Earl and I had both heard that the top of the Rockefeller building was a great place get a stunning view of the city.  They call it "The Top of the Rock"...That's where we headed next.  The crowds were insane.  See the pic below?  We're in a sea of people.  But I just had to get a pic of us in front of the famous tree.  Side note: that's a real tree.  Like grew from the ground tree.  Living.  They cut it down.  Cut it down to decorate a city with no trees.  It's not alive anymore.  In fact we saw it after Christmas.  And it was dry and sad and dead. This big fantastic tree.  Dead.  I have issues with this...but that's an entirely different post.  Let's just leave it at this: if you feel like you just have to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller center...don't.  Go out into the forest and breathe in the trees around you.'s the tree...and Earl and me...and about 3,000 other people.
"The Top of the Rock" is 67 stories straight up.  In this freaky elevator with a glass roof so those that want to watch our perilous assent can...I am not one of those people.  I took one look at that glass ceiling, immediately grabbed Earl's hand, took a deep breath, and looked at my shoes.  Heights and crowds are NOT my thing.  Did I mention the elevator had about 20 people crammed into it?  No?  Well it did...soooo out of my element.  So THEN when you get to the have the option of going up 2 more stories.  Via an escalator and then a flight of very narrow stairs.  I may have some freaky fears, but I'll try anything once.  And I've been to the top of the Eiffel Tower so this was chump change.  I'm going to the top baby!
And boy was it worth it!
Once I got to the tippy top, I was totally fine.  Earl?  Mr. "I wanna watch the glass ceiling as we fly up 67 stories" guy?  He was a bit queasy!  
And often he gets much too serious.  That's just who he is...and that's why he has me...
Cause I make him do silly stuff like this...
"EARL!  Act like you're squishing the Empire State building!!!  I'll take a picture!"
Hee hee...
It was a gorgeous view.  We were a bit worried that going up at night we wouldn't have as good a view as if we did if we went during the day.  But we were wrong!  It was amazing to see all the lights!! And far as the eyes could see!

You tired yet?  Hope not...this day isn't nearly over :)
After our decent from "The Top of the Rock" (and no, I did not look out that stupid glass ceiling!) we met up with one of Earl's co-workers.  They were in training together and were now working together on the assignment in NYC.  His girlfriend had come to join up with him as well so it was the perfect "double date".  We found them in the sea of people flooding Rockefeller plaza (after Earl's buddy's girlfriend managed to scare holy heck out of him...but that would make a long story, even longer) and headed to Little Italy.  Earl's buddy used to live in NYC so it was like having a personal travel guide.  Once we got to Little Italy the atmosphere completely changed.  No more busy crazy crowds, no more incessant was much more peaceful and the snow was much deeper!!!
These are BICYCLES!!  Buried in the snow!
Seems like the news was right...the clearing of the snow was a quite lax in the outer parts of NYC.  Times Square to Central Park was cleared quickly in anticipation of the New Year's crowd.  Little Italy and the outlying areas not so much....
See?  Not gonna be riding these bikes anytime soon!
We ate at a little Italian restaurant that served okay food but good wine.  Then we headed to McSorley's....
A bar.  It was incredible.  Established in 1854.  Serves only ale.  Dark or light.  Pay only in cash.  Be prepared to get beer all over your jeans...and like it. 
You can go to their website and read more.  Do it.  Read more....there's no other place in the world like this place.
The above picture was taken after I had lost count of how many of the below pictures I had drank (drunk? dranken? ah...whatever)...
It was--excuse my language--damn good beer.  I dream of it some nights...I smelled my jeans as I was doing laundry when I got home...they smelled of McSorley's.  I almost didn't wash them...Do you understand me?  I'm trying to tell you how delicious it absolutely amazing...I want to go
And now for the story behind this above picture.  This is the reason I wanted to go to the bar in the first place.  In the 1940's during WW2, soldiers would go to McSorley's and throw a wishbone on the light fixture.  When they returned, they would removed their wishbone.  Fast forward to 2010...there are still wishbones on that light fixture.  And no one will touch them.  The dust is at least 3 inches thick.  It is quite a tribute to the men who lost their lives so that we may live in freedom.

I think at some point Earl may or may not have cut me off...I can't say for certain. We did eventually leave...but not before I made Earl take a picture of me by a snow-buried car parked outside the bar.
We took the Subway back to the hotel.
The below picture is titled "The guys try to figure out which train to take after consuming a lot of McSorley beer while I take pictures of us in the
subway cause it's so cool that we're actually in the subway in NYC"
Earl was not impressed.
So that's one.  I coulda left after that one day and been totally fine...but I didn't.  I stayed 3 more days...and if you're willing to hold on for a few more lengthy picture-filled post, I'll show you what I did...
Want a teaser? :)
I marked something off my "bucket list"...ya know, that list of stuff you wanna do before you die?  Yeh...that one.
Good night NYC.