Monday, June 29, 2009

Bits of Tid, the Next Generation

Esra and went to Stone Barns yesterday to see a kids play with two couples w/ kids, friends of Esra's.  The place was the Rockefeller's farm at one point, donated to .. well, sustainable co-op farm peoples. it supplies the restaurant Blue Hill in the city where the pres. did his little date night thing.  The farm & it's buildings, land, animals, everything .. is freakin beauuutiful.   If you have kids, if you dont have kids, if you might have kids ... Go.

On Friday, we went to Central Park's Summerstage to see Istanbulive.. a turkish music (and food, and drink, ..and advertising) festival.  Good times.  Turkish people are just so damn beautiful, per capita.  Especially my favorite half-Turkish pregnant lady.

if you're ..36 to 40 or so, this is why we're the luckiest, awesomest, sexiest generation since the one that saw the moon landing (?)

NPR is doing a call-in thing with unemployed people telling their unemployment stories.  Listening to it is like having your family eaten by a brown bear and then only ever talking to people who'd had their families eaten by black bears.  it's NOT THE SAME, people!!

I cant decide between the firetruck and the streetsweeper.

Houseboats in New York.  you may buy me one at any time.

You may also buy me this and take photos of me riding it and then make fun of said photos.

as I am probably the finest the only jaw harpist that you know, here's some damn fine jaw harping.

if you can honestly say you DONT want one of these, you are still a liar.  I'll get you one anyway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

St Maarten also-should-mentions

beach dogs - are everywhere.  They belong to people but they hang out on the beach all day.  Our hotel had a hotel-dog, Stripe, pictured in the slideshow.  There were usually around four dogs within sight at all times.  All happy, friendly, tongue wagging kings of pure sloth and play: Wake up.  Eat some food (granted, dog food), Sniff the beach a bit.  Get too hot.  Jump in the ocean.  Shake off.  Sniff around some more.  Play with dog friends.  Chase dog friends off your territory. Go find a beach chair.  Dig a shallow, cool pit underneath it to lie in.  Nap ... Repeat.

dune buggies - we saw this car on our second to last day or I would have raced our rental car back to the lot and rented this in a HEARTBEAT.  Oh my dune buggy goodness.  Cant you picture me in this?  I mean, Really!!?!?!!

lizzards - are everywhere also.  My theory is they turn into beach dogs later in life.  My theory has not met with popular approval amongst the scientific community.

pregnant ladies - are everywhere also, also.  Is there a connection with beach dogs and lizzards?  Scientists may never know.

robbie's lottery - define's the term "are everywhere".  You know when you hear something like "what's with all the Dunkin Donut's in Boston??" and then you start noticing all the Dunkin Donuts and then you start thinking "WTF?  what IS with all the Dunkin' Donuts??!" and then you keep seeing them.  And then you start getting angry at Dunkin Donuts.  And then you get scared.   Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, Robbie's lottery.  It's like the Dunkin' Donuts of St Maarten.  Except they replace your income with false hope and despair.  Definitely less calories, though.

Fireman Rich - Our next-hotel-door-neighbor was a retired Manhattan fireman, ..forcibly retired by his union due to 9/11 related health issues.  Suffice to say, part of what we talked about was that day and it's after effects.  Heavy stuff, obviously, but intensely interesting, heartfelt, jaw dropping stories.  He'd been there on a neighboring island scuba diving where he dove.. with a head cold.  the pressure in his sinuses didnt equalize & he blew out an ear. [ouch?] He said he'd be recovering in weeks but that the Dr.'s told him he couldnt dive for a full year.  [ouch?]  Did I mention that he'd had a liver transplant?  And in his retirement had built his own house from scratch?  Yeah.. an amazing guy to say the least.  Oh and when he asked where we lived & i told him he said "Ah, ya.  I've got a friend who lives over there. Steve Buscemi" - (whom I'd seen on the street for the 4th time in my 6 years in NY, not 2 days before meeting Fireman Rich.  (They'd both been fireman in Engine 55 w/ him prior to Steve's acting career))

Reading World War Z while on vacation - highly recommended.  Although,.. I kept expecting zombies to walk out of the ocean & all I had around me to kill them with were coconuts and beach chairs.

St Maarten babymoon

With a renewed dedication to writing, I brought my laptop on vacation to St. Maarten.   Five days later, .. I begin my writing.  On the plane.  Heading back to New York.

   "St. Maarten?" you say.  Yes (I answer).  The mother of our previously mentioned soon-to-be offspring did request such beach-i-ness.  And request.  and hint.  and beg.  and finally, in no uncertain terms, demand (albeit, not so demandingly) a beach vacation before her belly, and our lives, become unmanageable.  There really is no fighting the conclusion: My baby['s mama] wants a vacation?, I give my baby['s mama and soon-to-be-baby] a vacation.  And so vacation we did.

  "St. Maarten?" you say.  Yes (I still answer).  We'd polled and queried and researched amongst friends as to the best of the beachy deals and [typical Kory] long story short long, we stayed here - Mary's Boon.  Situated smack dab on the beach and yet, strangely enough, smack dab right behind the airport, it was an exercise in relative perfection.. vs-moderate-to-low-frustration ratio.  While thoughts of your average airport-proximate hotel usually conjures images of rarely-washed, rarely-laundered, rarely-safe budget stays, Mary's Boon, and all of Simpson Bay.. or about half of St. Maarten actually, is close enough to the two airports (1 international, 1 Carribean-local) to make the average tourist pause and look up at the loud jet or prop plane thrusting through full power on their way to ... well, somewhere undoubtedly less beautiful.  I say "the average tourist" because most islanders seem unfazed by these occasional subsonic conversation interludes.  I should say here that flights only go between 9am and 10pm and the loud, international jumbo jets take off & land about every hour & a half, tops so honestly, it's really not that bad.  

   What is bad, or can be bad [knowing me as you do, I can not describe something with at least some description of bad vs good] is:  the state of road repair (somewhere near none?).  The level of service, at restaurants and such, also lacks at times.  Sometimes maddeningly so, sometimes understandably (after 20 or 30 years of dealing with cruise-shippers, I imagine I'd also have difficulty keeping surliness under wraps).  At our hotel, we got placed in a beachfront room (which inside and out, was honestly amazing) that happened to be right behind the kitchen.  The kitchen staff, not wanting to be confined to a hot kitchen when they didn't need to be, hung out and talked right outside.  Right outside both the kitchen and our room.  Again, a minor inconvenience that we could have solved easily by asking for a different room.  IF it had really been that big a deal.  Obviously it was not.  (I mention it only because, with a hotel full of rooms, half of them vacant, why put anyone in a room right behind the kitchen?)    The only other thing I could, or at least will complain about would be the hordes of European and American ...professional-drinkers let's call them, who treat St. Maarten as Cabo-San-Lucas-Part-II.  Yes, I know the obnoxious-level goes up when you get more than 5 or 6 drinkers together but throwing up over the side of the barge-that-is-a-floating-restaurant and then hollering out "Emilyyyyyy!!  Another .. margarita before [belch] .. before happy hour ends!" will always, always get you punched in the face, by me, my own private fantasy.   Other things that will get you fantasy-punched-in-the-face-by-me:  smoking too close to my pregnant wife when she obviously notices it, treating me like "the white devil" when I ask you a simple question or make a request, and fraudulently faking election results to re-elect yourself supreme d!ckhead of the universe, thereby crushing my soul and the will of the people whose freedoms you suppress daily.   [More on this in a future post]

    Ok.  Back to St Maarten  [yes, please]   It really is quite wonderful.  The water's color and warmth, the sand (rumored to be the whitest of the Carribbean), the local food, the toplessness of beaches.  Just being on vacation is euphoric enough, St Maarten seems to amplify it.  I suppose that might also be why the negatives stood out more.  Not to say that they weren't all very real issues.

  In my darker moments, I'd have to describe St. Maarten as "the best parts of a hot, dusty day in Tijuana mixed with the worst of the narrow, serpentine-ness of Italy's coastal roads, mixed with both the good and bad smells of Puerto Rico .. mixed with the overpriced-ness of San Francisco's Fisherman Wharf or Marina districts."  In my lighter, more travel-review friendly moments, I might say "all the bliss of long-wished-for divine beaches, crystalline blue waters and year round perfection of weather.  Food and drink as good as you could hope for".  What I might never be able to describe is how much we needed and loved our St Maarten getaway.

Monday, June 08, 2009

"THE" news.. yes, that kind

  By now, you might have figured out that when I haven't written in a while, either nothing is happening or everything is.  Ok, so it's more of a spectrum and lately I, we, are far more near the everything end.

  Many of you, we've already told first-hand but for the greater world at large, specifically my enormous fanbase in the Congo and southern Chad, we are.. Esra is .. where is my drumroll???  Damn it, Frank, get in here.. I said drumroll ... that's better.    Pregnant.   Expecting.  Mom-i-fied.  Dad-i-fied.  Initiated, inaugurated, inculcated (oops, sorry, not inculcated).  Having gone from that group of humans that do not have children to (soon, though it feels like now) that group of humans with them.

  We are, Esra is, 15 weeks along and our little foetus looks more or less exactly like this:

I sort of want to know the sex of the baby but Esra doesn't so we're going to keep it a secret until/unless the moment comes where Esra does want to know.  And then we will know.  And then I will tell you.  Either way, as you can see in the photo, our baby has awesome written all over it.   It's developing with textbook perfection.. as our doctor told us "your baby is A+ .. you have an A+ baby".  Little did I know that the school grading system also applied to the gestational process. (or that "your baby is A+" would then have to be rephrased for us as ".. you have an A+ baby")

Not pictured in the ultrasound are those little cutenesses that have developed this week: the ears, the eyes moving from side mounted fishy eyes to forward facing, wiggling fingers and toes, and breathing, sucking and swallowing (relative cuteness level undetermined).

More pictures and news to come, including belly shots (like it or not) ((Esra's, not mine)) as her belly balloons babyward.

As for me?  Wow.  it's all so much to absorb.  Thinking about it sometimes brings about a dreamlike daze that I should probably avoid while driving.  How else can you tell I'm a slightly different person?  I'm going to sign off before I write half a novel.  Like I normally do.

So many changes.