Monday, June 27, 2011

6 Days in Manhattan

Mark Williamson is on his way to New York City.

April 18 at 5:45am

Susan Lowman-Thomas Have an excellent trip.

April 18 at 5:52am

Marc Wrenn Via con dogos...

April 18 at 6:02am

Jerry Massey NYC will never be the same, VBG

April 18 at 6:49am

Update #1- seems that the exit row seats now qualify as an 'upgrade' and require a $40 extra charge. Funny, they want me to have to pay extra to have no view over the wing and the added responsibility of taking off a big honoking door in the event of a crash. At least I made it through the TSA line without getting my junk fondled.

April 18 at 6:55am

Update #2. We are now being told that boarding is going to be delayed 30 minutes due to the rain. This does not bode well for making our connecting flight at O'Hare. I will go ahead and predict an overnight stay in Chicago. I suspect that this will toll the death knell for any air travel for me in the future. I wonder how much passage on a freight ship costs to Brazil?

April 18 at 7:16am ·

Carl Olson- Ok really, did you expect anything less than, atleast you have not injured yourself yet

April 18 at 10:24am

Bas Groot - I am confused again. How are you posting online, at the airport, from your SmithCorona?

April 18 at 10:31am

Marc Wrenn - update #2.5 Mark Williamson <--- 18 at 4:11pm

Update #3- We finally boarded the plane out of Boise only tofind our seats were in the dead last row. You know, the one that has less leg room and the seats don't recline. Yeah, what fun. I stood up next to the door to the bathroom most of the flight, feeling very much like a creeper.

We arrived in O'Hare just in the nick of time...only to find that our plane was broken and they had to get us a new one. Finally left Chicago and made it to NYC in short order. Fortune smiled on us this time and both the rear of the plane was pretty damn empty. Stine and I both got a row to ourselves, so I was able to stretch out and relax. The cab ride was uneventful. Our Nepalese cabbie was pretty cool, but for the life of me I can't understand why someone would leave Nepal for this shit hole. After toting Stine's bag up 6 fucking flights of stairs, we finally made it to our little vegan ashram.

I was pleased to find that Stine's folks had already done some grocery shopping for breakfast and we will have cheese and bread and milk, a traditional Danish thing. After a brief nap, we all trudged down to 2nd ave. where we ended up eating at a joint called "Nomad" that serves North African food. They also serve beer. I had two Moroccan 'Casa Beer" lagers and a draught "Ommegang" white, which, despite its name, is brewed in upstate New York. I had a lamb burger with fries, which was fortunately filling, because if you didn't know, no meals are served on airlines anymore these days.

Afterward, Stine and I walked around 'The East Village' some and petted a few dogs that folks were out walking.

It made me miss Amos.

We just now got the wireless connection going, so I'm going to wait until tomorrow to post some pics. There are numerous signs advising guests here to "not sit on the neighbor's bench." :-)

April 18 at 8:07pm ·

Excuse errors and typos, my little net book is a desperate means of 'net access.

April 18 at 8:09pm ·

Marc Wrenn fear and loathing in NY...

April 18 at 8:10pm ·

I am watching the Danes plan their conquest of NYC down to every single waking minute.

April 19 at 7:35am ·

Update #4- Between the frequent sirens and horns, and the thin blanket provided by the ashram, I slept better than I expected. At least the constant drone of the city noise gave me a bit of a break and took the edge off the tinnitus, which, on silent Idaho nights is maddening.

Tuesday came on rainy and cold (ish...) and the breakfast the Danes had bought was -good enough-. We had some nice bread with butter, cheese, and ham and yogurt with granola that my sister-in-law, Ulla, bought at a place called "Whole Foods," which apparently is East Village slang for "rip-off." She paid very nearly $7 for a tub of granola. And by 'tub,' I mean a tiny plastic bowl that you get at Wendy's to put ketchup in.

We then started off on the "Find Ground Zero" adventure which took us on the subway for the first time. Having never been to NYC, I pictured the subway in much the same way as it was portrayed in the 1979 Walter Hill classic "The Warriors." My friend Bill assured me that I was wrong and the subway was, in his words "awesome."

While I wouldn't go so far as to call the thing "awesome," I will declare that there was not one gang member wearing colors and I didn't see any violence at all. There's was one ex(?)- junkie sort on one of the trains spouting off about Jesus and how he helped her kick her marijuana habit (a whole 3 weeks ago!) and had changed her life, and there was some other loonie Christian dude with a placard around his neck that informed me that the world was going to end May 21, 2011. I guess if I lived my life with a placard around my neck in a New York Subway station, I'd pray for the end of the world, too.

I will call the subway "useful" and "interesting."

We made it to Ground Zero without much trouble, only to find it was basically a big construction zone that we were not allowed in. There were, ironically, some brown men of middle eastern descent hawking books with pictures of the Twin Towers and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to smack them, but I figured -maybe- these guys are really trying to become American, and what's more American than selling over-priced trinkets and junk to unsuspecting tourists?

We then walked a few blocks in the rain down to Battery Park (where the helicopters landed in the 1981 John Carpenter classic 'Escape from New York') to go see the Statue of Liberty. The line to get on the boat to go to Liberty Island was the single longest queue of humans I have ever seen. I could not get a picture that would give it justice, so I just stood in awe at the line of people. I also realized in an instant that there was No Fucking Way I was getting on a boat with that many other people. So I did not. I settled with taking a few shots with my telephoto lens while standing next to a US Park Police car that I would swear the guy was sleeping in.

(Not that I would -ever- nap on duty, but in broad daylight among a zillion people? I am very nearly going insane trying to clear everyone's hands as they approach!)

I decided I needed a snack, so I found what I thought was a typical NYC hot dog cart. Sadly, my Farsi was about as good at that guy's English, but I was able to order and he certainly had mastered the phrase 'five dollars.' The dog itself wasn't anything to write about, but now I can say I've eaten one.

After we finished at Battery Park, Stine's sisters decided we should go see this famous sea port thing near the Brooklyn Bridge, but after much arguing about how long it was going to take, arguing, which in fact took longer than the walk, the sisters decided to go their own way and Stine and I and her folks forged ahead. There was a cool old boat, I got a decent picture of the bridge, and we had wonderful crab sandwiches at "The Bridge Cafe," which Stine's mom had read about in a book somewhere. Apparently, the place has been there since 1794, which is pretty cool.

We then made our way by bus (the driver was actually helpful!) to the Museum of Native American history. I got to see Geronimo and Chief Joseph's rifles, which made the TSA-style search worth it. They missed my folding pocket knife in my camera bag, though. Sadly, there was not one mention of Sequoia and the alphabet he developed for the Cherokee language nor was there one single kokopeli. I felt a little cheated, until I remembered that there was no entrance fee.

Now, I am lying on the floor of the ashram while Stine and her folks nap. I think they are being overly-optimistic with the list of sights they are going to try to take in if today fatigued them.

April 19 at 4:02pm ·

Bets Williamson - Are you going to the Museum of Modern Art?

April 19 at 4:13pm

Bets Williamson - I love how you call everyone "the Danes"!

April 19 at 4:20pm ·

I had planned to go to MOMA, but I am not sure if Stine wants to or not. My 'sights' were ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty. I'm not really keen on too many museums or too many historical sites. I think I might go to Valley Forge and... take a picture of the George Washington Statue. On Friday I will drink beer with minor local celebrity Marty Beckerman.

I am going to be required to go to "Memphis" on Broadway (or nearby) and there is -something- going on for Sanne's birthday on Wednesday.

April 19 at 5:00pm ·

Marc Wrenn- Find a bonsi garden. I am sure there is a good one somewhere...

April 19 at 5:05pm

Marc Wrenn - Shooting from the hip...

April 19 at 5:08pm

Uhm...That's in Florida. While I -would love- be there instead....

April 19 at 5:10pm

Marc Wrenn - Dang, that would be off the mark...Roger.

April 19 at 5:50pm · LikeUnlike

Update #5- After her nap, Stine conducted an intensive internet search looking for Italian food nearby. She found a little joint here in the East Village called "Frank" ( ) that was supposed to have good food, so we decided to go there. Despite my initial concern, mostly due to being told the wait would be "10 minutes," the place ended up having some really good food.

I had something called Tagliata Toscana, which was described as pan-seared Tuscan-style marinated skirt steak, thinly sliced (tagliata means "sliced"), served with arugula and dressed with aged balsamic vinegar.

It was pretty dang good. Stine had authentic gnocci, the tomato sauce that came with it, though, when I tried it, very vaguely reminded me of..Chef Boy-Ar-Dee sauce, which is OK with me, and I am sure makes Chef Boy-Ar-Dee happy.

Our waiter, a fit young man, was from Brazil, which confused me a bit, but his English was perfect and the service -awesome-. The table we got was right next to a little shelf with a computer on it. While we were eating, a cute waitress came over and logged on to her facebook account, so I could not help but bust her chops over it a little bit. She took it in stride and even joked about it. For dessert I had some ice cream with 2 shots of espresso drizzled over it. I hope I can get to sleep tonight!

Stine and Sanne are planning out tomorrow, which I think includes the Museum of Natural History. I might tag along for that.

April 19 at 9:08pm

Update #6- The weather, gray and gloomy when I woke, is predicted to be scattered thunderstorms (with a high of 67F!), and that has forced the Danes to re-evaluate their assault plan. From the next room I can hear a very spirited discussion, punctuated by English words like 'Central Park' and "MOMA." Breakfast was bread, butter and some Genoan salami slices, washed down with 800mg of ibuprofen and a half-liter of Coke.

I had considered wearing short pants today due to the high temperature, but I was not sure how I feel about having that much skin exposed to whatever germs and parasites might be residing in the subway, so I opted for Carhartt pants instead.

Apparently I slept pretty well because Sanne told me that there was some sort of disturbance outside in the street last night with a woman screaming. I guess one of the HA's ol' ladies got out of line and had to be 'mentored.' Fortunately, the two glasses of wine I drank with my steak last night help take the edge off the espresso shots and I was able to fall asleep pretty easily. Getting up, not so much. I slipped into and out REM sleep at least three times, having weird dreams about people I do not know.

This morning while shaving, one of the heads came off my electric razor and went promptly down the drain on the sink. I have been unable to retrieve it. I am pleased to report that the shower head in this place is well above my 6'5" head, so no neck contortions were needed to wash the stubble on my noggin.

The discussion next door has halted and I hear the clank of dishes being cleaned up, so I guess the Danes have completed their plans and are in the process of girding for battle with The Big Apple.

April 20 at 7:02am

Update #7- Apparently, the weather forecasters for NYC are even less reliable than Larry Gebhardt. It was supposed to be warm with scattered showers, but it just turned out warm. The rain coat I have brought has seen scant rain.

Planning for the weather, we decided on a day indoors at the National Museum of Natural History. Stine had read there was a special exhibition on the human brain. When we arrived, the line to get into this building, which apparently was featured in some Ben Stiller movie that I have not seen, was damn near an hour long.

We braved the line anyway, only to find that the regular admission, plus the special fare for the brain exhibit ended up being $48 for two of us. Not even enough left over for a coke! The exhibit itself was not worth the extra admission. The museum proper was OK, except poorly designed with only one set of bathrooms (with three stalls) per floor. There were at least 2000 people there. You can do the math.

Afterward, we took a stroll through central park where, apparently, squirrels count as 'large wildlife.' It was pleasant, except that the organic chicken hot-dog I ate ended up giving my stomach a bit of grief. Stine found some sort of stand selling waffles and "dinges" which are some sort of Belgian treats and we split a waffle with some apples and sweet gooey stuff. The two kids in the stand were wearing cycling hats, which looked kind of cool, really. I forgot to get a picture.

I did snap a photo of the horse-drawn carriages, which, when viewed during a rainy spring day lost all romantic appeal. Perhaps on a snowy winter evening it would have been romantic, but otherwise, it looked like a case for the ASPCA.

We walked a few blocks and made our way back to the East Village and walked around some, before going to take a nap before going out to "the show." Stine's mom purchased us all tickets to a Broadway-like show at the Shubert Theater called "Memphis."

I had no idea where this was, and on several occasions assumed that Sanne and Jorgen had gotten us way off course, but, amazingly, we made it in time to get to our to more Danes.

It was OK, though it's difficult for me to accept people portraying southerners what don't have a southern accent.

After that, Stine and I walked some more around the East Village and found a nice, quiet place to have a couple of beers. The waitress was a cute little ballet dancer ...from Alpharetta.

Today, the weather seems to be improving, so I am going to wear shorts for the trip to the Bronx Zoo.

April 21 at 6:58am ·

Update #8- I have never been to the Bronx before, but now, after going there, I cannot help but wonder why they put the Bronx Zoo there. It seemed a very run-down section of town and there wasn't a building in sight that was not festooned with some sort of graffiti.

The train ride up there took much longer than I had hoped, and the number of tourists rapidly dropped the farther uptown the #5 train went, until it was Stine, me and two old Germans, who were also going to the zoo. Despite the lack of other folks not from around there, it was an easy trip, though I can't imagine there's anything -other- than the zoo in the Bronx I'd want to see.

The zoo was OK to begin with, with very few people (by NYC standards) but as the day progressed and the weather improved, many more people arrived. Most of them with handfuls of screaming fucking brats who could not keep their damn high-pitched little squeaky voices below a million decibels. I very nearly kicked a couple of unattended miscreants in the darkened reptile house.

There was also about 300,000 Hasidic Jews there. I felt sorry for the little ones, what being forced to wear those weird curls and funny hats, until I figured they probably did not go to public school anyway and all the other boys looked like that, too. Still, it seemed so -weird- to me to see people so insular in New York City. These folks make my Mormon friends seem normal!

The animals themselves were cool, but, especially in the gorilla exhibit, I could not help but think that the people on my side of the glass were the real animals and the ones imprisoned were the more noble.

Afterward we returned home and I took a nap and Stine visited with a friend. We then went to Via Della Pace, a nice Italian joint where the food was good and the service adequate, to celebrate Sanne's 70th birthday. Overall it was not a bad day.

Tomorrow, the only thing I have planned is food and beers with Marty Beckerman. I am going to greet him with the line by Mo Fuzz, president of Fuzzball Records, from the 1988 Bill Fishman classic "Tapeheads:" "Let's get into trouble, baby."

April 21 at 9:22pm

Richard Rosenfeld - It wasn't always like that. My grandparents lived there. I would walk to Yankee Stadium with my brother alone from their apartment. He was 12 and I was 8 years old. It was about an hour's walk. We would get there early to try and catch balls hit into the stands during practice. We never had a problem. Those were the days! No cells phones, few problems.

April 21 at 10:40pm

Richard Rosenfeld - I used to do volunteer teaching as a teenager at a school that was in "Fort Apache, the Bronx". Remember that movie? That was scary.

April 21 at 10:43pm

Bill Martin - Mark, I think if you had less pre-scheduled time, you'd find the subway awesome. Being able to get from point A to point B cheaply and quickly amazes me. (Well, that, and the geek in me likes reading the maps).

Friday at 12:01pm

I find them crowded and the people here have developed a stunning ability to -IGNORE ONE ANOTHER-. I've seen some of the most beautiful women, weirdest clothes, and strange behavior on the trains. I like the efficiency, to be sure, and $29 for unlimited rides for a week is a deal compared to cab fare, but, on the whole, I am not keen on public transportation. Even in Denmark, I tended to ride my bike rather than take the bus or trains, and the trains and buses there are nice.

Friday at 12:36pm

Update #9- I spent several hours just wandering around the east village and the lower east side, and as quaint as it is, I could not fathom what would draw people to live in such an environment. I understand people like dancers and writers... and such, who must go where the work is, but a guy selling tacos out of a truck?

He can do that in Austin or Boise or Taos just as easily. I mention the taco truck because for lunch today I wanted something familiar, so I got two carnitas and a coke from a taco truck. It was decent street food. What else is there to say? The two tacos and can of coke cost me $6, which is not cheap by Idaho standards, but considering 20 oz. bottles of water (you know, the most plentiful substance on the face of the planet!) were $5 at the show the other night, I can't be too upset.

The weather is apparently cold because everyone is walking around in coats and hats and scarves, but, despite a slight breeze and the overcast skies, I think this temperature is an awesome spring day. Then again, I like Idaho winters, so there is that.

Tonight I am hanging out with Marty and I have no clue what's in store. I had planned on beers, but Marty sent me a message saying that it's Passover (whatever the hell that is) and he -can't drink beer-. I want no part of this. He says, however, that tequila and vodka are completely acceptable, so i can't help but think the Passover deal was concocted by a corporate cabal from Jose Cuervo and Smirnoff to up the sales this time of year.

Friday at 12:45pm

Marc Wrenn - When I go down the street, in a store...I always try to lock eyes with the humans (and other animals) I meet. I understand that is something of an anomaly there. It sure was in DC.

Friday at 3:05pm

It is, i met the gaze of a gorgeous woman while out on my walk, and she held it much longer than anyone else (meaning 2.8 seconds as opposed to 0.9 seconds!), which might be a New York woman's way of saying "I will talk to you if you say something" or something like that.

I can hope, anyway. And no, I did not speak to her. I let her walk on by and out of my life the same way she entered it: without speaking and to the sounds of wailing sirens and taxicab horns.

Friday at 3:11pm

Marc Wrenn - If you were wearing the trench coat, the look said, "If you flash me I am going to put your eyes out."

Friday at 3:12pm

I think no one flashes any more. And it wasn't raining, so I did not wear my raincoat.

Friday at 3:14pm

Richard Rosenfeld - The lower East Side was a great ethnic neighborhood where many ofl the immigrants, legal I might add, came initially. There is a great museum there called the Tenement Museum that follows a few families when they came to the USA. I visit...ed the "walk up" my Dad and his family grew up in nearby. The copies of the old census show there were 6 of my family members and a tenant in their 2 room apartment. They were listed as "Hebrews" in the census.

Friday at 3:14pm

That sounds like a pretty cool museum. I am thinking about this for tomorrow:

Friday at 3:16pm

Richard Rosenfeld - I grew in New York and have a love/hate relationship with it. There is no better food and Pizza in the world. The best bagels and Jewish Deli's, Chinese, Italian and on and on. I have friends that still live in Manhattan. It's exciting ...and depressing at the same time. My son drives an 18 wheeler tractor-trailer on deliveries there. I don't know how he does it. Mark there are walking tours of Wall Street if you are interested as well. Did you take the Staten Island Ferry? I wish I was there right now......just for a few days though, not to live.

Friday at 3:22pm

No, I did not take the Staten Island ferry, or even the one to Liberty Island. I am enjoying the food, but I can see how -living here- might very well turn me into Travis Bickle in short order.

Friday at 3:25pm

Richard Rosenfeld - Yes New Yorkers have mastered the art of seeing but not looking especially on Public Transport. I love the funky smell of the subways. I used to commute 1.5 hours each way for summer jobs on it. I drove a truck for the Department of Health. Got paid $100 a week!! That was serious money back then.

Friday at 3:27pm

Richard Rosenfeld - I don't know if it was my family or New York, but I grew up thinking that there is a great world of opportunity out there for those willing to work hard and search it out. We were all convinced we were going to "make it". Most did.

Friday at 3:31pm

Sounds like more of a family trait than one inspired by NYC. Of course, you are also of a generation that was hopeful for the future. Shit, you were at Woodstock! It doesn't get any more "Future's so bright, I gotta wear shades" than -that!- :-p

Friday at 3:35pm

Richard Rosenfeld - Have you been to one of the iconic Deli's like Katz's at 205 E. Houston? No better Pastrami sandwich anywhere!

Friday at 4:04pm

Update #10- OK, I am soon headed out to the Stillwater Bar and Grill ( to begin a night of carousing and debauchery in the East Village with local drunkard and comedian Marty Beckerman. There is also some Indian food in my future.

Friday at 4:18pm

Update #11- The Stillwater Bar and Grill was my sort of place. There was a pool table, a juke box and a "buck hunter" video game, none of which I put any money into. Journey was playing when I came in and the cute melon-breasted young barmaid with a low-cut top didn't flinch at my request for a Black & Tan. She was too busy for me to flirt with her, and I don't really want to be the creepy old guy in a bar that hits on the young women there, so I contented myself to drink my beer and admire her from afar.

Marty arrived and, true to his word, ordered a vodka and coke. I'm wondering, though, if the original members of "The Tribe" (as he calls the Jews) would have found a black carbonated caffeine-and-alcohol-laden mixture kosher?

No matter, there was serious work to be done.

We finished off our drinks just as the cutie was taking a break, so it seemed as good of a time as any to go get food. We walked a couple of blocks to Heart of India, which served good food, but the tables were all decorated with red roses and the place looked to me like it was designed for people on dates. Marty's girlfriend was out of town and Stine was off with her folks, but I am sure no one who saw us thought that we 'were a couple.'

The food was OK and the service was good, even if the language barrier got it the way a few times. After this, we needed to find a better place to put our swerve on, so we walked a few blocks to what Marty promised was one of, if not the most, low-down dirty bars in Manhattan, "Mars Bar." It was a narrow joint with an old wooden bar running the whole length of the place . Every square inch was graffitied and "Get Rhythm" by Johnny Cash was playing on the jukebox when we got there.

Despite Marty's description of the place, there were only white, middle-class twenty-nothings who were working hard to look like they were tough. A tall, skinny blond kid in black jeans, sporting a black leather motorcycle jacket and Chuck Taylor all-stars was standing next to me. He was the baddest guy there and had the look of someone who would cry if I yelled at him.

The barmaid here, a trailer-trash looking wench with dyed blond hair, blue jail-house tats on her arms and white rimmed glasses had to be instructed into what "Black Jack" was, and her attitude was strictly NYC: Hustle, get the job done, no time for politeness.

I put a buck in the juke box when Johnny went off and the music stopped, and played AC/DC. When our songs went off, we left to go find "The Bowery Poetry Club" which Marty assured me would have no poets. Instead we were there to listen to the band he's hired to play his wedding, a 90's cover band called Bayside Tigers, which is an obscure allusion to some 90's TV show that I never watched.

They were a good band, but during the course of the night, I kept wondering what songs they were going to play at a wedding. It occurred to me that the songs from the 90's were all pretty sad with themes ranging mostly from suicide to ending relationships.

The barmaid here was a stone-cold hottie, a dark-hued spinner with what she described as 'Pablo Neruda love sonnets' tattooed in 3 lines of neat black letters across the pale skin of her shoulders. She was wearing some sort of black wife-beater t-shirt with a mesh back. She was absolutely a blur behind the bar, hustling all around and opening an endless stream of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans for the throng of folks there to see the show. She was dancing and ...well, she was probably on speed.

Marty tells me that some years ago, PBR became popular among hipster sorts for the irony of drinking what is, in essence, a redneck beer, and that the irony of it washed off and it just sort of stuck around. That gal must have sold 5 cases while we were there.

I was drinking draught Stella Artois and I really wanted her to quiet the whole place while she drew it from the tap, like in the commercials, but she did not. Later, a large male bartender, wearing a bright red shirt and sporting a Amish-like beard saw me drinking the last half of my beer and ordered me to give him the glass. He poured the remainder of my beer down the drain, explaining that it was warm, and re-filled the glass for free, a gesture that I have never seen before.

The band finished the set and when we came outside the rain that the weatherman has been promising all week had finally arrived. And me without my raincoat. Marty and I walked back up to the train station where we parted ways. I walked back down to the hotel in the rain.

Saturday at 2:42pm

Today came on fast, and the rain is here for good, apparently. The Danes all decided to go out and do some shopping, which I have no interest in, seeing as how I am actually trying to get rid of things, so I walked down to the corner coffee shop, called "The Bean," and bought a bottle of juice and the last lemon-poppy seed muffin they had. Tonight we'll go out to dinner somewhere here in the east village again, and early tomorrow morning we will depart the madding crowd for the light and space of Idaho, where I am told the weather is nice and my dogs await.

I think last night was a fitting way to spend a Friday night in NYC, but don't plan on doing it again. we shall see.

Saturday at 2:46pm

Update #12- I spent the whole day Saturday in bed with the flu or something and today I am not much better. I was sweating like a pig, but I could not get warm. I felt like I had a fever, but Stine told me I was cool to the touch, so I don't know what is wrong. We went out to supper and everyone chose Indian food, so I was more right than I had imagined. Two days of Indian food. [shrug]

The cold or whatever it is continues and I must have hacked up a half-pound of multi-colored semi-solid hunks of gelatinous goo from the nether regions of my throat this morning while I was in the shower. I am sure it sounded like I was a prime candidate for a tuberculosis ward somewhere. At least I have my airway partially cleared and can breathe some.

The Danes are frying eggs next door and I am just not in the mood for that. I am going to have The Breakfast of Graveyard Champions when we get out of here: A coke and a Snickers bar.

Check-out time is 1100, but we don't need to be at the airport until about 2 (since I am not paying for the exit-row seats, getting there ahead of everyone else doesn't really make much sense). Stine wants to know "what we are doing?" I don't think my answer of "Feeling like shit" went over very well.

I am not looking forward to the flights and I suspect my mood will be foul and my temper short by the time I reach wonderful Idaho, but at least I will get to see Amos tonight, and that's a good thing.

Yesterday at 7:37am

Update #13- the flu is getting worse. I am now riding on planes with clogged nostrils and a hacking cough, which I am sure is -very comforting- to everyone else in these flying aluminum coffins. I have the urge to tell people that "Ebola is not as bad as you've heard" when they look at me during a coughing fit, but I am not really sure that isn't against the law, and breaking laws in or around airports these days is just "ig'nant." The plane from La Guardia was OK, a commuter deal, and we lucked out and got extra leg room by being fortunate enough to be placed in the 'Economy Plus" rows.

Unfortunately, the plane we are 'sposed to take to Boise is late getting into O'Hare and we won't be leaving here until damn near 2200. But, that gave me and Stine time to waste $80 on a couple of dinners and a few drinks at "Stefani's Tuscany Grill." So, here I sit, waiting...

20 hours ago


I returned from NYC, bringing with me a bad case of the flu or something. I got little sleep and spent the better part of the night hacking up a about half-pound of multi-colored, semi-solid hunks of gelatinous goo from the nether regions of my respiratory tract. The doctor's office says it will be a 30 minute wait this morning.

7 hours ago ·

I was told by the doctor that it's a virus and there's nothing he can prescribe for it. I will be lounging around for the next 8-10 days. That is if you can call hacking goo out of your mouth every few minutes, followed by forcing yourself to consume fluids by the gallon and wiping your runny nose raw, all while trying to fend off coughing fits which only compound the already vicious headache you have "lounging."

3 hours ago

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