Sunday, September 29, 2013

42 and 43

I think I can safely say that this is the first birthday where I actually feel older than I did the day before.  Still, even though there's a hole in my heart that goes all the way to China, I've had a fun and relaxing week, eaten some great meals, seen some lovely sights, and caught up with a few old friends.

My vacation (which I began thinking of as my "honey-less-moon") started on Friday the 20th, and when I arrived at Budget to pick up my rental car, I discovered they didn't have any compact cars, despite the reservation I'd made (which brought to mind a scene from "Seinfeld," though I chose not to make my own scene).  I ended up with a shiny red Chevrolet Cruze instead, for an additional $5 a day, which was an acceptable resolution to me.

Some highlights from that long weekend: gazing out over New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania while enjoying the silence at High Point State Park; cruising eastbound along US Route 6, the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, toward the Palisades Interstate Parkway and the Tappan Zee Bridge; being told to leave Sleepy Hollow Cemetery because I was wandering the grounds after hours (though not before I got this picture):

The gravestone of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" author Washington Irving

having a few drinks at O'Malley's Bar in Nyack (any fans of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' album Murder Ballads?); watching the Vixens En Garde and the Washing Well Women at the New York Renaissance Faire; taking in the view from Lovers Leap, CT; relaxing in the jacuzzi in my room at the Hotel Vienna in the Catskills Saturday night; doing 95 on 95; visiting New London, Groton, and Mystic in Connecticut; seeing the grave of another author, one Howard Phillips Lovecraft, in Providence, Rhode Island; consuming more beers at Trinity Brewhouse; devouring chocolate French toast at Zaftigs on Monday morning; and revisiting Walden Pond.

Some lowlights from the weekend: seeing the Kissing Bridge at the Renaissance Faire and ruminating over how Laura and I took pictures on it the past two years; seeing a sad look cross a little green faery's face at the Faire when she saw the BulletHole Heart T-shirt I was wearing (it only got sadder when I acknowledged that "there's a hole in my heart");

The shirt in question

discovering that I couldn't walk over the Lovers Leap Bridge because of a missing decking plate; and running into traffic in Brookline, MA (due to a gas main break) on my way to breakfast and Clifton, NJ (due to a car fire) on my way home.

Before hitting that last pocket of traffic, though, I stopped at Best Buy to get myself an early birthday present: the Google Nexus 7, which I have decided to call "Nixie" in honor of geek girl Nixie Pixel.  I've already added several apps and done some tweaking, and I'm liking the mini-tablet very much.  It was nice to see the birthday greetings from Google on it this morning:

And yes, I'm a fan of all things Apple, but I decided to go with the Nexus rather than the iPad Mini because a) it's cheaper, and b) I've wanted to play around with Android for a while now.  Jelly Bean 4.3 seems pretty cool so far.  While I've always been reluctant to read books in any format other than, well, books, I've started re-reading Thoreau's Walden (since I was just there) on the Nexus 7, and thus far I'm pretty comfortable with the format.

I headed back to Tarrytown on Tuesday in the company of one of my former Talented And Gifted Students classmates, Sue, to meet with another, Joycelynn, and the three of us had a wonderful dinner (and two pitchers of sangria) at Bistro 12, and did some thinking about the reunion we want to plan for the spring.  On Friday, another longtime friend, Dawn, and I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, rollerbladed from one end of Central Park to the other, and downed some guacamole and margaritas at Rosa Mexicano.  If you want to see more pictures from all these travels, they're posted here, so enjoy!

I saw my parents yesterday, watched an amazing film last night, "The Legend of 1900," on the recommendation of a friend... and here we are.  It's my 43rd birthday.  I finished recording "So Much Further" this past week, too, and uploaded the song today; please give it a listen here, and I'd love to hear what you think, and if you wanted to share it with friends, so much the better.  C'mon, it's a free birthday gift to me.  ;-)  I've gone back to finishing the lyrics to "They Might Be Roses," and I plan to finish writing another song called "42" shortly, so there should be at least another recording or two before the end of this year, as long as I can stay focu-

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