Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Blog!

My blog is a year old today! Thank you for reading it! To celebrate I will share some facts and statistics about my blog.

This is my 141st post. I have averaged a little over 11 posts per month. I posted the most times last October. I posted the fewest times in June. I think this is more because I was too busy doing things to blog, than because I wasn't doing anything interesting.

I began tracking my blog in February using Google Analytics. Since then my blog has been visited 1,251 times. Granted lots of those times were me. The day of the most visits ever was July 5th, the day I posted my post about spending the 4th of July with all different friends over the years. I shared this post with all the people mentioned in it and it brought 27 visitors to my blog that day. The second most visited days were April 20th, when I wrote a post about going to a fancy restaurant with my friend Rachel, tied with July 7th. On July 6th I wrote a post about my brother's visit and on the 7th I wrote about helping my friend Kim clean out her Grandmother's home. Each of these three times I shared the posts on the facebooks of those mentioned.

According to Google my blog has been visited by people from 22 different countries! Lots of places have brought visitors once or twice but a big Hello to my Russian readers. I have had eleven visits from that country!! Hi to the UK and Hey to Gee in Hungary! I think I can guess that that is you.

Here in the US I've had visitors from places I've never visited myself. Hello to my readers in Las Vegas, Beverley Hills and Niceville, among many others. Most of my visitors are from New York or Virginia. The highest rate from a place I don't live is Tallahassee. Hi to my brother!!

Thanks to all of you for reading, I hope you keep coming back. Now, if I can just get you to comment now and then!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saying Goodbye to My Coworkers

Last night some of my coworkers met up on 9th Ave for a Goodbye Happy Hour for me. We got drinks at Lincoln Park and then headed to Delta Grill for appetizers. Shannon made me a card and everybody signed it. I love it and I had a great time being out with people from work. I wish we had done it more times over the year I worked there. They are some pretty cool people and they made my job fun.

Mattie, Brian me and Shannon


So its been a year. Actually I started this blog a year ago Sunday. Back then I started off with a Q&A post to explain why I was moving. Well guess what! I'm moving again! I thought I'd do the same today.

Why are you moving?

A few reasons. First and foremost my lease is up, its been a year, and I don't have the money to renew. I had a great job at the portrait studio and enjoyed working there. I learned a lot but I didn't really make enough there to live in NY. My debt is really catching up with me and its time to get back to where living is a little more affordable and start paying down some of my bills. Secondly I'm moving in with my boyfriend! This is a super exciting next step in my life and I'm really really happy about it. Jake and I survived a year of long-distance and now we'll try and survive close proximity. It'll be fun and a challenge for both of us. I'm looking forward to all of it. Finally, I missed Virginia every day. I liked New York, I still do, and I'll come back and visit, but I'm a Virginia girl through and through.

So where are you going to live? Are you coming back to Strasburg?

I'm going to live in Richmond, which is where Jake lives. We'll start out staying at his place, where the rent is mega-cheap and save some money. In a little while we'll find an apartment in the area. Jake is still working on his CD project and his clientele are all in the Richmond area. Don't worry, I plan to visit the Valley every chance I get.

Where will you work?

I don't know yet. My plan is to sign on as a temp a.s.a.p. and worry about the rest later. My main goal is to make some money.

Do you want another job in photography?

Hey, maybe! Its almost the holiday season and I can see getting a job at a studio. I love taking pictures and am hoping to get a real camera for my birthday. I'll always be taking pictures, whether I'm getting paid for it or not. I just want to make sure I have a full-time paying job first and foremost.

Will you miss New York? Will you ever go back?

Yes. There are lots of things I love about living in New York and Brooklyn. I also have a lot of great friends there. I'm sure I'll visit often. Everyone knows I can't stay away from Coney Island long anyways.

Will you stop blogging?

No. I doubt that moving away from a city will put a damper on my adventurous spirit. I have loved having my little blog and I hope to do lots more fun things that I can write about, and you can read about. I hope you won't find my change of address boring.

The New York adventure doesn't end with me of course. I hope you'll always read my blog because I love you and like having you around. I encourage anyone who wants to hear more New York adventure stories to read Sarah's and Natasha's blogs. They have both moved to the city in the past couple of months and their stories are just beginning. I know I will continue to live in New York vicariously through them and am so glad they are both blogging. Enjoy!

A big thank you to everyone who supported me through this year-long adventure! Thank you if you came and visited me, if you sent me presents, if you commented on my blog or if you became my friend while I was a temporary New Yorker.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Billion Birds

Remember in my post about the weekend when I described the memorial lights at Ground Zero? I said the beams were filled with a billion moths that looked like glitter. Well today I saw this article from NPR which linked to this article and video. It was birds! Please please click the links and go and look at the video. Fascinating and beautiful and I feel very lucky I got to see it up close!

Who's BAD?

Yesterday was my day off and my one goal was to get some packing done. I slept it, watched a little tv, drank a very large cup of coffee and packed a very small bit. I really need company to pack. Its just too daunting. More about this later. What I did do which is much more noteworthy than procrastinating was go on an adventure with Sarah. We took a little trip to Brooklyn's Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station. This subway station has a platform that has been out of commission for many years. Its off-limits for subway travelers but is often used as a movie and tv set. Coming to American, Warriors, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Wiz and Crocodile Dundee have all filmed on this platform or the above off-limits mezzanine, but we were there for a specific film that shot there. The music video for Michael Jackson's BAD!!!

Sarah met me at my place and we took the Q to the Franklin Ave Shuttle at Prospect Park and then the C to Hoyt-Schermerhorn. The mezzanine looked all wrong; much too small and not nearly enough tiled columns. We figured a lot must have changed since the video was shot, not knowing then about the abandoned mezzanine and platform. We posed for photos by an imaginary grate and then struck MJ dance move poses between the columns.
Wow, is my Michael Jackson Dance Pose ever HOT?!

Sarah's was so good the cops came by to see what we were doing!

We must have looked pretty crazy because we drew the attention of a police officer from the NYPD station in the subways station there. He came out to ask what we were doing and we told him we were being BAD. We asked if he knew anything about where they filmed the video and he said it must be in the abandoned part of the station. He said we couldn't get in to see it and even if we did we'd be covered in dirt and grime. He was so nice and talked to us a long time about Michael Jackson fans who wandered in now and then and also about some of the other films shot there. He also told us that the movie Warriors, one of Jake's favorites, and one I love very much too, was an accurate depiction of New York City life in the late 70s early 80s when most of the nicest parts of Brooklyn were then unsafe, unsavory places. He talked to us for a long time, all the while eying passing people and interrupting our conversation once to get after a young man who had skipped the turnstile. He was a great cop and I'm so glad we talked to him.

I'm sad we didn't get to see the real BAD mezzanine but I got a picture of the abandoned platform, which you can see from the in-service ones. Sarah and I parted ways, she to go finish her homework and I to go put off packing. I'm glad we both took time out to explore!

Abandoned subway platforms are creepy!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life, Tribute, Redemption and Victory Against Dallas

Its been a busy and fun weekend for me! I hope you had a good one too. Here's the rundown:

Friday night I stayed in and watched 20/20 reruns and an episode of Dateline, all of which were about murders. My roommate was out of town and I was here, getting the freak-out royally. It didn't help that the MTA was running these utility locomotives up and down the subway tracks behind our apartment. The subway is loud in its way, but I'm completely used to that noise now. The trains are light and fast moving so its more of a 'clickety-clack'. These utility locomotives are huge, heavy and slow-moving and they grind and moan down the tracks. They come by rarely, bearing dumpsters of trash from one part of the city to another for who knows what reason, and sometimes equipment when there is track work. I've probably seen four or five total before this weekend. Friday night it was constant and spooky as the trains roared outside and sometimes stopped just behind our building for five minutes or more. I was plenty jumpy when I went to bed that night.

Saturday morning I woke up and was having a leisurely morning getting ready for work when I realized I hadn't heard a train go by in a while. Like I said, I'm used to the sounds and figured one had gone by while I was busy but I'd better get a move on as trains are always few and far-between on weekends and I did need to get to work. Just before I left, almost as an afterthought I checked the mta website. BUSTED. No train service all weekend. They stopped our train line four stops away at Prospect Park and you had to catch a shuttle bus to get there. I ran out of the apartment not even knowing where to go. I went to the train station hoping for an informative poster and found none. I went inside and luckily there was an attendant whom I asked and who rudely informed me it was two blocks down on Ocean Ave. Thanks lady, and sorry for whatever got you so grouchy. I headed over to Ocean and waited under an MTA poster for a bus. Unbelievably I got to work fifteen minutes early!

After work I met up with Sarah who took me to her new favorite spot: Life Cafe. This cafe is famous because the play RENT was written in it. We sat eating and talking for hours. Afterward we went back to her apartment and watched the last half of Pretty Woman with her new roommate Liz. Then Sarah and I watched 102 Minutes That Changed America, a documentary about September 11th. After that we thought we'd go up on Sarah's roof, which was a little creepy, to see the Memorial Lights shining over at Ground Zero. It was amazing to see from the rooftop and Sarah even got a picture.

After that I had to head home but was super nervous about catching that shuttle bus at night alone. I checked with Jake and my sister and they both said I should take a taxi, which I felt guilty about because of the money. I'm SO GLAD I did though! The taxi driver took an unusual route for me, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel instead of the Brooklyn Bridge like usual, and lo and behold, while on the phone with mom talking about this taxi ride I had to take I drove directly beneath the lights! I can't even tell you how amazing they were up close. The lights seemed to be made of many beams set in a square pattern so it really looked like a ribbed sky scraper at the base. They went up forever and ever and within the beams all the way up were a billion moths going every direction, creating the illusion that the beams were filled with white dust motes or glitter. I can't think of a better angle to see them from and was trying to describe every detail to mom on the phone as I looked out of every window in the taxi in wonder and awe! What a treat! I got home safely too.

Yesterday I worked again and after that I met Sarah and Tasha, and later Sarah's friend Meagan at a bar called Redemption on the Upper East Side. Redemption had advertised, via a Redskins forum, that it would be hosting Washington Redskins fans for all the games this season. I brought extra sweatshirts and jersey's for the girls and was really excited and nervous to go. What if they weren't really a Redskins bar? I'd feel so silly. I was so relieved upon arriving with Sarah, to see the place FULL of Skins jerseys! We got a table and I passed out the Skins gear and that's when we got the specials menu from our Redskins halter top clad waitress! $3 for burgers and $8 for a pitcher?! I had died and gone to heaven. A heaven full of Redskins Jerseys, where they sing Hail to the Redskins after every touchdown, and when the Redskins win. Which they did! Against Dallas! The place was wonderful, clean and nice, the crowd was mostly great, with the exception of the guy who temporarily blocked my view of the game to get a better view of the MTV VMAs. Some people just aren't raised right. Sarah, Tasha and Meagan were great company too and it was a completely successful evening. I was thrilled.

Tasha lives right around here, in the same apartment as my friend Laura DeWitt, so I thought we could manage the bus together last night. Good thing we didn't go it alone. We did catch all the right trains in a timely manner, which is important on a weekend night, and then did manage to find the bus. Unfortunately as soon as twice the capacity of the bus had crammed inside and it departed things got rocky. The driver headed immediately in the wrong direction and didn't stop for a long long while. Keep in mind he was supposed to be following the route the train would if it had been running, so a few blocks south for Parkside, a couple more for church and two more for Beverley. It instead headed east blocks and blocks. People began to stir, not easy on an overcrowded bus. People got upset. People shouted for the driver to stop or at least tell us where he was going. He did neither. Finally he stopped on Church and Bedford, skipping Parkside altogether and many blocks from where the train route and my neighborhood are. If I weren't with her Tasha would have had no idea where she even was and I would have had a very long walk home alone. Luckily I walked Tasha to her street and then got on the phone to Jake for the remainder of my walk. Yuck. I am NOT looking forward to doing it again next weekend. What an awful thing the MTA did.

Tonight I'm wearing my Redskins sweatpants in celebration of our terrific win and watching Steel Magnolias and eating Tootsie Rolls. Happy Week everyone!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Carnival Jump Up

Yesterday was Labor Day and here in Brooklyn it was also West Indian American Day. Since Laura is Caribbean at heart we were all excited to celebrate with her. Laura was in it for the long haul, attending J'Ouvert which is a block party to bring in the dawn of Carnival. She left the apartment at 2 or so in the morning and danced in the street with her brethren, flinging paint on one another and getting down to drums and bass until around 7 when she came home, showered and went back to bed. I was still very very sick and decided that early morning reveling was probably not medically advisable. I couldn't even breathe enough to sleep but was sorry to see Laura and her friend Matt go out without me.

Late yesterday morning though I was up and more or less feeling better enough to see what Carnival is all about. I managed to rouse Laura and Matt and Sarah showed up to join us for the big Parade. Laura got decked out in a complete St Vincent outfit and lent Sarah and me each a St Vincent rag to wave. She looked amazing and it was fun to be with a real participant, not just observers in this very cultural affair.

We walked north from our neighborhood to Eastern Parkway which is kind of a long way. The parade went down Eastern and was already in progress when we arrived, moving slow in fits and starts. It was comprised of floats and bands.

The floats were tractor trailers with wooden structures built atop a flatbed trailer. Within the wooden structures there were big speakers blasting music if we were lucky, or drums and bass. Scattered among the speakers were costumed dancers, sometimes, and a variety of riders and leaders or speakers. These people had microphones and were trying to organize that band. A couple of times there were performers on the floats but not usually. The floats weren't decorated so much, though some had banners or signs. They were mostly just boards, speakers and people.

The bands were not musical bands but bands of masquerading carnival partiers. They were often decked out in carnival costumes with beads, feathers and huge head-dresses. Some outfits were so big and ornate they both worn and drawn, as the outlying parts had to be supported by wheels. For the most part the bands were not dancing to the music or listening to the leaders. Other than costumed dancers there were just people, many many people, wearing or carrying flags of their Caribbean home, walking along beside the float among the costumed band, looking like they were simply walking down any street on any day. It was kind of strange, and since we were right by the Judge's stand, there were lots of time lags while floats and bands proceeded past us to be judged and others had to be held back. At times large crowds of non-costumed people would be sent back up the parade route by the band leaders to get them away from the judged costumed band.
A Costumed Band Member

The whole affair was completely fascinating and I wish I could attend a carnival in the Caribbean one day and see what its like with MORE dancing and MORE music and excitement. The crowd was a lot of fun and we were happy to wave our rags whenever we saw other St Vincent flags on floats and such.

Sarah and I also shared some delicious chicken and fries from a Caribbean food stand. You could smell the delicious food and see lots of exotic foods too. The weather was also beautiful and we managed to snag a shady spot to watch the parade. At the end of the parade we walked back down to our apartment, exhausted, especially poor Laura who had gotten considerably less sleep than me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Common Ground and Coney Island

Saturday was a good day for me. I gave two weeks notice at work, but more on that later. Its sufficient to say this is a good thing and all is well. So to celebrate I went with Sarah and Natasha to Common Ground on the Lower East Side. Common Ground is a layed back bar that has alcohol, snacks and board games. This, along with the afore-mentioned company sounded like a terrific combination so I was pretty excited.

We got there and ordered drinks and then Natasha said four words that were music to my ears: How about Trivial Pursuit. Sigh. In case you're not related to me or maybe haven't spent a lot of personal time with me, Trivial Pursuit is my favorite game. I own three editions myself but certainly NOT the edition we played. It was a really different set up, with color category cards and questions ranked in difficulty by the roll of the die. If you rolled a 6 you were given a difficult questions, 1s were easy and so on. I was skeptical of this gimmickry at first but actually it was totally fun and I loved it. I lost really badly by the way, but enjoyed every minute of the game.

We called it a kind of early night as everyone was tired and I was sick. Natasha is living with Laura DeWitt for a while though, so we had the same ride home to make and that was lovely as I hate coming home late from Manhattan alone.

As I mentioned I'm very sick with a severe chest cold right now. Since no one else I know has any symptoms I assume I caught it on the overnight bus ride back from VA. I feel terrible and medicine isn't helping much so I hope it just passes with time.

Yesterday instead of resting like a smart girl though, I went to Coney Island. I had been making tentative plans with Andrea to do something and never following through because we were both so busy so once we'd made a solid plan to go to Coney, (her first time) I didn't want to break them. I stopped at Duane Reade to stock up on meds and then headed down to meet her. We got Nathans and Andrea had her first Corn Dog ever.

Next we walked down to the Child's building and then down the pier. Laura and her friend Matt caught up with us there and the four of us headed over to the Wonder Wheel for a ride. We walked through Deno's and then Luna park and then went to the history exhibit which I love. This time we saw new things and also watched a film of people doing fun and wild things at Coney over the course or time. Some of the rides shown in the film looked like so much fun and probably wouldn't be legal anymore.

After the exhibit we went to Lola Star so Matt could buy a t shirt and then headed home. I felt awful, although I'd had a lot of fun, so I spent the rest of the evening resting in my bed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Love The County Fair!

This week back home its time for the Shenandoah County Fair! I took the late night bus to DC Monday night. After a little mix-up with meeting Jake (ahem, waiting for 2 hours outside the Red Roof Inn with Clarence the night watchmen and conspiracy theorist because Jake was a schoch late) we ended up getting into Strasburg and going to bed around 6am. When we walked in the door my sister and mom were both up and in the kitchen waiting for us! I thought we'd sneak in to a sleeping house but they were excited to see us and got up early, I guess.

After sleeping most of the day we were up just in time to have some of Jake's Famous Omelets and head to the fair!

The fair is a can't-miss for me. I love it so much and love visiting it with all my friends. Last year I think Jake and I went 5 days with different friends each time. This time I only had three nights to visit and we ended up mixing up all my friends and family into two big trips. It was fun to see people interact and to get to see so many people that I love so.

Tuesday night Jake and I drove up with my friend Kris and met our friends Jessica and Brett and their daughter Olivia. First we hit up some dinner. Jake and I got Shaffers Barbecue which is delicious. Next we walked through the barns and then hit up the midway and exhibit buildings. The Shoot the Star Out carnie even remembered Jake from last year. Jake tried again but didn't get that star.

Jessica and Brett hung around the midway for a while letting Olivia ride the kiddie rides while Jake and Kris and I checked out the Poultry Barn and Vegetable exhibit. Jake has a long conversation with the poultry barn night watchmen about which chickens were the meanest and whether or not chickens are intelligent. The man kept putting his hand in the cages to show how mean they were and how much it hurt when the went at you with their spurs and beaks.

Then Jake spent some time on his second favorite Shenandoah County Fair attraction: Dunk the Clown. He loves dunking that clown. Kris said she thought the clown's laugh would give her nightmares. I like watching Jake try and then agonize over whether or not he should spend the money to try 'one more time' or not.

After dunking the clown a couple of times (so proud) Brett was determined that he and Jake were going to ride the mechanical bull. Brett even had a plan and a strategy to get the most out of it. Jake was complaining of a bellyache but I convinced him Brett really wanted him to be in on this so he decided to give it one try. Brett was first and when he finally fell off he had cut his thigh on the saddle and didn't get back on. Jake was next and he stayed on a long time. When he fell off the operator told him he could get on a second time and he did but when he got off that second time he cracked us all up by grabbing his crotch as he rose from the padding and exclaiming "it really gets ya, don't it!" It was hilarious. Jake was so glad he'd ridden the bull and might have even done it again but we were all getting pretty tired and ready to go. After a funnel cake that is.

Wednesday night we met our good friends Amy, Jason and their adorable kids Easton and Bluebell. We also met Devin and later my Dad and Step-mom Markee. We got dinner first again, Jake sitting down to a meal of THREE barbecue sandwiches, while I got a modest hamburger and fries. YUM.

Next we took the little ones through the barns and looked at the animals again. In the goat barn Jake and I ran into our friend Joy from camp who was looking radiant. It turns out Joy had never been to a fair before! We stopped and chatted for a bit and hoped we'd run into her again later.

Next we went down the midway so Jason, Jake and Devin could take shots at the old clown again. Everybody did several tries and Jake dunked him twice. Joy and her boyfriend happened by and he took a turn too. This is when we met up with my dad who rolled his eyes at the boys while Amy and I stook back and waited patiently for these boring boys to throw their baseballs. Next it was more exhibits and a stop at the Tupperware booth for me and Amy. We finished the evening with funnel cake, sweet tea, fried Oreos for me and Jake, Dad got a polish sausage and Amy's little ones had ice creams. Then we sat down for the last two rounds of Bingo. Then we said bye to the Edgars and Daddy and Markee and headed home.

Here's a run-down of every one's highlights at the fair:

Me - My friends, the Ferris Wheel (Even though I didn't ride this year!!), The Tupperware Booth (don't judge me, I didn't buy anything this year) seeing everyone and everything else too.

Jake - Dunk The Clown, Shoot the Star, The Poultry Barn Man, The Mechanical Bull.

Kris - Watching Jake and Brett ride the bull and their respective injuries and reactions and the Goats (Me too Kris!) and baby pigs.

Devin - Dunking the Clown and hanging with us.

Jessica - The food (specifically barbecue chicken, fries and sweet tea) and getting to hang out with us!

Brett - Riding the Bull and hanging with us.

Olivia - The rides, specifically the Bees, the Trucks and the Scrambler! Also Hand Sanitizer.

Amy - Funnel Cake, Goats and Tupperware and seeing us!

Jason - Food, Goats, Horses and Clown Dunking.

Easton - The Ferris Wheel, The animals, winning a toy hammer and ice cream!

Bluebell - Going barefoot, eating ice cream and seeing all the lights.

Dad - The Exhibit house and the Polish Sausage.

Markee - Visiting and Anytime she got to be cool.

*One last thing about the fair. You may remember from last year that each night of the fair Jake and I made sure to visit our favorite Fried Oreo booth and made friends with the girls there. Jake even got into the newspaper as their biggest fan, as the stand was new to the fair last year. Sadly there was a terrible accident last Sunday and Manda, the booth's owner and another man were very badly burned. I included this as one of our favorite things about the fair because even though the booth was closed we love Fried Frenzy and were sad each time we walked past the empty booth. We sure hope our friends are better soon and back at the fair next year!!!! We love and miss them!

Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson!

Yesterday was hands-down one of the best days of my life. Sarah and I had planned for weeks, since I first heard of it in fact. to attend Spike Lee's birthday celebration for Michael Jackson in Prospect Park. Spike Lee's film company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks was hosting and filming this block party for the second year in a row right in our neighborhood. So yesterday morning after making a delivery for work we headed to the park, arriving around noon. We met Natasha, Laura DeWitt's new roommate and Laura met us just a little later on.

The party was SO much fun. There was a stage from which a DJ spun Michael Jackson music all day. Every so often Mr Lee or someone working with him would make an announcement about the free Pepsi and Ben and Jerry's they were giving away in back. Also from time to time they put lyrics on the jumbotrons and called it Karaoke, inviting everyone to sing along. Since it wasn't really a concert there was no push toward the stage and the atmosphere was completely relaxed and celebratory. And the DANCING. We danced ALL day! We danced and sang and danced and sang and everyone everywhere was dancing and singing with us. People had out cameras of all types and were snapping and filming all kinds of things. Outbreaks of group dancing like Thriller dancing over here, Beat it dancing over there and 2 outbreaks of the Electric slide drew the cameras and film crews as did the many impersonators and tribute displays. A popular favorite for the jumbotron were the costumed children busting out their best MJ moves. Everyone was happy, everyone was dancing, singing, smiling, clapping. It felt like we were all friends. Throughout the hot day there was never any kind of hostility and that is really remarkable and made it even more fun. And the event was absolutely free and not even overly secured or fenced.

We could barely hear one another speak but we did request our favorite songs among ourselves, wishing aloud to hear Man in the Mirror and We are the World or Beat It and celebrating when someone's favorite was played. Toward the end, or when we thought the end should be they began handing out posters that had phrases from the song Wanna Be Startin Something. At different parts of the song people with different phrases would hold up their sign, ending with the signs that said Ma Ma Se Ma Ma Sa Ma Ma Coo Sa, the chant at the end of the song. We all had a good time holding up the signs ( I didn't have one so I got to wave my arms to all the phrases) and at the end they looped the chanting so we were all jumping and shouting and chanting together for a nice long while.
An outbreak of the Electric Slide

A 40 Acres Cameraman catches the dancers in action

Sarah holding her Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' sign

I thought this would be the finale of such a fun-filled musical day but NO! Surprise! Spike Lee announced a surprise guest and it was none other than SNOOP DOG! What? Ok! Snoop came out with one glove on and performed Gin and Juice and Drop it Like Its Hot and then Warren G came out and performed Regulator.

THEN they did more Michael Jackson music! Finally they put up Man in the Mirror, which we had been anticipating all day, as one of the karaoke picks and we all got to sing along. The highlight of the whole day for me was at the end of that they played it a second time, cutting out the sound at the chorus so only the crowd could be heard, everyone singing the chorus together. Amazing. Absolutely one of the best moments of my life. After just a couple more songs we all went home, happy, tired and sunburned.

A Proud Moment for Laura

Again I apologize for the excuse, but I've found myself overwhelmingly busy these past weeks! Laura is back home in the US and by Laura I actually mean Lauras plural. Laura Mulcahy is home from St Vincent and Laura DeWitt is home from England. I am not the happy owner of some Bennett clan coasters, two English floaty pens and two more Caribbean Feed Sack tote bags. Our apartment actually has so many Caribbean Feed Sack bags laying around I believe we have a stock pile bigger than any outside the Caribbean.

Like I said I've been almost non-stop busy with work but I did have a nice time with Sarah and Laura DeWitt last Friday. Sarah met me in the afternoon and went on a fruitless quest for packing boxes and then a fruitful quest for hot dogs down at Coney Island. We poked around a bit at Coney with bellies full of corn dogs and cokes and then headed back to my neighborhood where we took some snacks over to Laura's to watch an episode of 20/20 featuring HER MOM!

Laura's mom had the opportunity to host a woman who was a victim of a crime targeting people with Albinism in Tanzania. Mariamu came to the US to receive donated prosthetic arms and stayed with Laura's mom who took her in just like family. The 20/20 episode showed just how generous and caring a soul Kitty is, which I assure you she handed down to her daughter.

We were all so proud and moved by the episode and had a good time hanging out and eating chips and ice cream together. I barely scratched the surface of the story of Mariamu so please check out Asante Mariamu, as well as Sarah and Tasha's blog posts about it.