I got back from California a few days ago. I was glad to see my family, I always am, but it was a stressful weekend. Mostly because my grandmother has been very ill; I was in the hospital visiting with her for most of Sunday.
On the other hand, I did go to Disneyland with my cousin Galen and his fiancee Lindsay. It's the most time I've spent with Galen in a while, and the most time I've spent with Lindsay ever. It was good company, so the tromping around and the waiting didn't bother me - that's the secret to a good day at Disneyland, good company (or to any other day, really). This is Galen and Lindsay on Splash Mountain:
We got stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean for about twenty minutes, in the room with the big fire where all the pirates are singing Yo-Ho-Yo-Ho, A Pirates Life For Me. I think it drove Galen and Lindsay a little crazy but I was in heaven. I couldn't have planned it better if I'd tried. We were right in front of my favorite robot, which is the drunk pirate sitting on the bridge with a very dirty foot.
They've changed the ride around a bit to fit the plot of the movie, and there are Johnny Depp robots hiding in nooks and crannies. I don't mind the changes (I think seeing the different formats intertwine is pretty interesting) but it really screws with the overall narrative of the ride. It used to be a heavy-handed, greed-will-lead-to-death-and-destruction message; now, all of a sudden, all the other pirates die in a haze of booze and chaos while Johnny Depp gets away with the treasure.
(only, if you connect the final tableau of Johnny Depp alone in a room full of gold, there's a direct parallel to the first scenes in the ride, where lonely skeletons clutch at their treasure, suggesting to the viewer that they have achieved an empty victory indeed...)
Anyhow. I also went to Fashion Island with my parents:
(my mother's expression here is absolutely perfect - she makes this face at least ten times a day, or some multiple thereof)
and the beach:
I'm putting in lots of pictures, I think, because I've been inspired the pictures of China over at Miscellany Inc.. They're really extraordinary, and now I'm carrying around my camera for the first time in...ages. I still don't use my digital camera that well, I think I just need practice.
Moving along, there's also the plane ride back to New York:
And a few days ago Melinda and I spent the day together. We went out for brunch at the NoHo Star; I had a butternut squash ravioli that was really good - the sauce was very thin, very buttery, and very lemony. The rich-tart flavor was the perfect counterpoint to the very squashy ravioli, and I have to say it's probably the best execution I've ever tasted of a dish that I order semi-regularly.
Melinda at the NoHo Star:
We went to the Natural History Museum. I wanted to look at the hall of human evolution but it was closed, so we lingered a bit in the hall of south american peoples instead. Pretty spicy, I tell you. But I don't have any pictures. I do, however, have a picture of the seats of the movie theater from when we wandered over to Lincoln Center to see For Your Consideration, which is a nice, kooky dark comedy making fun of Hollywood with a ton of great character actors. To wit:
We got there kind of early and I had time to spare.
OK, that's all for now. Coming up next...book reviews of Ernest Hemingway, David Sedaris, and Michael Chabon.
P.S.: there is a comments feature, hint hint.