Saturday, December 04, 2004

Four days.

Often, trips back home don't include much traveling about, since they're usually pretty short and I just have time to see the 'rents, and my best friend K. This summer, when I was living in Manhattan for ten weeks, I thought that surely I'd see anyone and everyone I know who lives in the Northeast. No, not so much. So this quick Thanksgiving jaunt was great, because I got to hang out with a few folks who I never got a chance to meet up with this summer.

My high school english teacher is one of those good people who embodies considerate, thoughtful, and kind. As my high school newspaper advisor, we grew pretty close. She's just been a wonderful support and inspiration to me, even from afar, and much more than I could ever express to her. I found out that she lived one town over from my parents' place, so for the hell of it, I 411'd and got a hold of her. Thanksgiving morning, we met for coffee and chat, and I got to tell her my convoluted path towards the world of journalism. It was just totally cool. Said teacher also happens to be no longer in ... how shall I say, the service of a religious institution that requires being single, and I have to admit it was somewhat surreal talking to her about how one goes about meeting people to date. Keep in mind she was my teacher when I was at an all-girls Catholic college prep school. Anyway, I had no good advice to give her. So much for returning the wisdom and guidance she's given to me, huh?

My mom totally surprised me by mentioning an exhibit at the Guggenheim she wanted to see, so we spent a day in the city, right near my old Upper East Side stomping grounds, for museuming and eating at one of those cute little French restaurants that are all over the place up there. Good times.

On Thanksgiving Day, I dragged K. out to a bar up the block from our homes which would always make the local papers for "Public uriniation" citations. What can I say, I dig the kitsch. So to Fatso Fogarties we went. And, yeah, if not for the novelty value, it ostensibly sucked. Ever want to feel like you're in a Kevin Smith movie? Leave NJ, come back, and go to a local watering hole. The Soundgarden/Pearl Jam/Alice in Chains mix played in heavy rotation was enough to transport me back. And I have to say, I liked it.

Was interesting going around NJ and getting ID'd with a Tennessee driver's license. Same comments all the time. I restrain myself from pointing out to commenters how I hear the same lines over and over again. It's on the same level as having an Italian last name in the South.

"What are you doing *here*?" -North
"So you're Nicole... oh, I'm not even going to try to pronounce that!" -South

Rounding out my trip was my tour of central Jersey, which began with a pseudo-relative's 25h wedding anniversary party. Complete with wedding vow renewal Mass in their living room. I ate so, so, so much Filipino food. Maybe it's just because I haven't had pansit or lumpia in ages, but my GOD. MY GOD! SO GOOD! I ate so, so damn much. It was insane.

And from Princeton, eastward. My good friend J. happens to be my first boyfriend, but I always describe him first and foremost as a friend, because I hate that connotation that comes with describing people as "exes." J. is seriously good people. Ever know someone who you haven't talked to in years, but when you finally get on the phone you have meaningful discussions about all sorts of deep shit, and still just totally get one another? Well, it's like that. He's good people, in every sense of the phrase. I also maintain that he's one of those mosre intelligent people I've ever had the pleaure of knowing. If you've met him, you probably think I'm off my rocker for saying that. But I still think it's true.

Anyway, J.'s apparently been throwing a post-Thanksgiving party for some six or so years. This year, I finally stuck around through the whole Thanksgiving weekend to make it to his shindig. Redefining the word surreal is seeing people who I haven't hung out with (some who I haven't even talked to or emailed) in over six(?) years. I suppose this is getting me prepped for my ten-year high school reunion. Anyway, I had a blast seeing and chatting. I also re-acquainted myself with someone who I think is not only cool as all hell, but I *swear* makes me look good in every picture I'm in with him. Photogeneticism is, perhaps, contagious.

Four more things to share related to this party.

1) I'd like dissuade the world from trying any beverage involving Dave's Insanity Sauce. In the past I never touched that shit, even in the context of food. Why I willingly imbibed it, in the form of a shot, after eating and drinking tons, is completely beyond me.
2) I predict that so-ju will be the next hip drink on the horizon. Pretty smooth, and mixes well. Or maybe it's just that when it's mixed in a shot with Jack, and dubbed the "Half Breed" I identify because it's got elements of mutt, asian, and Tennessee all in one fell swoop.
3) Karaoke. Always good. I know, it's the Flip coming out in me. But damn I'm a sucker for karaoke.
4) Going practially straight from said party to Newark Airport at 5AM? SUCK. Not only was I feeling horrid for the obvious aforementioned reasons (read: I CONSUMED PURE LIQUID CAPSAICIN. ACK.) but the sheer amount of people at EWR, on the year's biggest travel day, was enough to make me delirious. The icing was that I slit my finger wide open on a razor as I was digging through my cosmetic case for something. Yes. Drunk, bleeding, dressed sloppy, trenchcoat askew, and attempting to make it to my flight. How in the hell I made it on that plane, I will never know.

And there you have it. Four days.

Man, was that a ramble or what?

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