Day 67, with Last Normal…

A meme is going around on the socials, asking folks what their last Normal Photo is in their camera roll.

:side eyes:

Um, apparently I am Not That Interested in normal? 99% of my phone photos for 2020 are in the apartment, of animals and plants. 90% of the ActualCameraTM photos are of animals and the moon.

What I DO have, though, is a propensity for taking videos of people and animals having fun. So I have a contribution to what Normal can look like, in New York City. I don’t know when they put the seesaws in, but it was so much fun to watch.

Lightbar seesaws, anyone?

Things I Miss – “Been a Year In Texas” Edition

It has been a tough few weeks with loss, over here. Not only in my family, but others close to us as well.  Me being me, a loss in one area of my life will start my brain echoing with other losses. I don’t want to discuss losing people or pets, so I’m going to talk about the things I’ve lost by moving to another climate.

Dark purple lilacs obscuring the face of a white woman with woven beige sunhat and dark sunglasses.

That’s me, white girl w/beige sunhat, freckles and sunglasses, face half obscured while giving some gorgeous purple lilacs a big ol huff.

One of the things I REALLY miss – lilacs. Lilac season in New York is swoonably delicious, in scent, color, and tactile experience. Regular lilacs don’t bloom in Texas, due to the lack of chill*. There are new hybrids that are less fragrant, but they’re not generally accessible to the public. And sure, I could grow some, but I have to have a decent garden and a few years to wait. Which, yeah, I do not as of yet. Additionally, lilacs don’t make for good cut flowers, & they don’t ship well. That didn’t stop me from spending an inordinate amount of time searching, though. No dice – lilac delivery to Texas is expensive, and they don’t guarantee good fragrance. Big sadface for me.

An inset shows an unidentifiable humanoid figure, bundled up for cold weather, tilted as if falling leftward into an angled snowbank almost as tall as the figure. The rest of the photo shows the figure laying at an angle in the snow, arms up in happiness.

Top Left Inset: blurry pic of a bundled-up me throwing myself into a fluffy snowbank. Rest of pic: me laying half-buried in snowbank.

Another thing I really miss – snow. Both Jon and I like fresh snow a LOT. (And Kizu learned to love it WAY fast.) We both traveled enough this past winter to get a weeee tiny bit of cold weather, but not the fluffy drifts and stompy-trompy fun time weather from REAL snow. Even New York City was having a dearth of good snow storms up until the early part of 2016, but those were so gorgeous and so much fun that even despite the slush stage, I now ache when I see pics of other folks in snow. *sends glares to our friends in Canada*

(As a side note to that, while I don’t like the dryness of winter weather, there’s this crisp smell to the air in the latter end of fall I enjoy immensely. I noticed that difference when traveling this yr.)

A third thing I really miss, and this is the one that surprised me – the subtle differences in the stars. I don’t get to see Orion as long, and the humidity makes the stars a little blurrier than New York, particularly in the mild winters.

Those are the climate things I’m missing right now. In the future I’ll do something about what I miss about infrastructure. ;)



* Yes, this is a real thing. Flower aficionados call it chill hours or chilling units, but I’m just gonna go with TEXAS HAS A LACK OF CHILL.

Massive Changes Afoot

The Ziegfeld closed recently.

Really. The Ziegfeld. That gorgeous red-velvet icon of a theater. It’s the type of thing that makes me want to say “it’s the end of an era!” and press the back of my hand to my forehead, actress-style.

Because, you know, it’s the ZIEGFELD.

You can mock, but my agita is real. This was the place where I saw Lawrence of Arabia including intermission, where I waited behind a metal barrier for the Love Actually actors to traipse down the red carpet*, and where I climbed the curving old stairs to see tons of movies I now cannot recall.

Fucking age. It gets to all of us.

The Ziegfeld is not a pristine memory, for me. I saw plenty of bad movies within its confines. But what lives in my memory of the Ziegfeld is a quintessential New York experience. I remember standing outside, mocking the folks standing online for 2 days for Star Wars episode 2 (because Episode 1 had been such a nightmare). I remember being outside on line for the Sound of Music Singalong and walking away before I got into the theater. I remember something unmemorable being my first 3D movie experience, and I only know it was there because I recall throwing out my 3d glasses after the end, in crappy cardboard boxes so out of sync with the glory of the Ziegfeld’s decor, and thinking “at that price I should keep the glasses.”

Yes, the end of an era. I will never see a movie at the Ziegfeld again.

But in the end, I must acknowledge the Ziegfeld is merely my second best memory of watching movies in NYC. My first is the Worldwide Cinema where I watched Beautiful Creatures for $2 a pop. Brilliant movie, underground on the West Side. So I must acknowledge the Ziegfeld is more of a venue than a movie experience.

And so, when I see things change like that, I think of how it marks an ending for my New York Persona. Because the venue is gone, like so many other things.

But then I think – I thought the same way when CBGB went out. I had seen so many acts there – probably more live music there than movies at the Ziegfeld! I saw David Bowie’s art displayed at CBGB next door, went to the goth nights at both, saw live music that reverberated off the walls while my platform heels sunk into the rotten wood of CBGB’s floors.

And now CBGB’s is a John Varvatos store. I give the man credit for how he transformed it, but still – it’s a STORE.

Like so many other things in NYC that I once loved. Turned into a retail opportunity. The NYC I originally fell in love with has grown into something altogether different. I still love it, though. I still love the cracks and creaks of culture, and the underground scene I still see wisps and whispers of.

Which makes it terribly sad that here I am, about to leave NYC.

It’s not a specific choice, on my part. But when one’s spouse is given the opportunity to chase a dream, and you’re not anchored, you let them go. And you go and support them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those folks who write those annoying goodbye letters to NYC. I love it here. I’ve loved it more in the past 4 yrs than in the decades prior.

But sometimes, other things take priority. And I’m excited for the challenge.

For now, I’m planning on a long-term relationship with New York. And hey – I’ve done long distance before, multiple times.

If I can do it with people, I can do it with a city.



*Seeing Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, and Emma Thompson up close was a joy. Fuck the movie – I’ll always remember how sweet the actors were.

In a new place, in a new time

We’ve moved from the odd Bronx apartment that was so “luxurious” into a simpler 2-bedroom 3 blocks away, and damned if we’re not so, SO much happier with it.

We’ll grant you, it was beyond a crisis getting us over here – both Jon and I had some major physical issues that made life more than a bit difficult for us, let alone packing and moving. We’re both still dealing with the aftermath, though today I got resolution on one of the things that is going on with me and Jon finally took the step of designing a new beer recipe (yay!).

But the cats seem much happier, we have an AWESOME bed, the windows actually open (shocker!), and we’re doing a vastly better job at setting up a new home we can maintain.

Pictures once we’re done packing.

Also, can I just say, I LOVE the art we have.

Happy Moviversarmas!

Today is Moviversarmas in our household.

“What the everlasting fuck is Moviversarmas?” you may ask.

Move In Anniversary Before Christmas, it is.

Jon picked his life up from Pittsburgh and we moved him to Brooklyn in a marathon 10 hour drive overnight, with 3 cats and 1 dog in the back of a big van, on December 3rd.

Thing is, Moviversarmas is like Advent.

It lasts for a while.

There’s the landing day, Dec 2nd, which is the day Amelia and I arrived in Pittsburgh to help Jon pack the last bits.

Then there is today, where we packed up the kittens, had a last altercation with a downstairs neighbor who couldn’t decide what “quiet hours” were, and took off for the 10 hr adventure.

Then there’s the day, Dec 6th, when Monte came out from behind the couch where he hid after we landed.

Then there’s the day Jon’s ReloCube arrived and we got the perfect parking spot for it, by accident, and then unpacked it magically in 2 hrs when it had taken 2 days to pack it up.

…I could go on. (And in the future, I likely will.)

The thing about Moviversarmas is, we give gifts between ourselves now, rather than waiting until Xmas.

(Partly because we are REALLY BAD about saving gifts between us. We can’t hold them for longer than a month.)

It also provides us with a wide swath of time in which we can give the romantic, teary-making gifts that we don’t want to give in front of fambly.

In general? I enjoy this holiday, because it gives us another week or so of kissing each other happily in the morning and saying “Happy Moviversarmas!”

And any excuse for joy and celebration is a good excuse. :)

Happy Moviversarmas, everyone!