Why, hello world!! It's been a while since I last posted, and a lot has happened in that time. I'm gonna hopefully get a chance to blog about the latest happenings in my life soon, but for now, here's a smorgasbord of my trip to New York.
I spent Christmas in New York with family that I don't normally get to spend much time with. I had an absolutely fantastic time with my cousins, aunts and uncles, as well as had great fun being a tourist in Manhattan for a couple days. A few highlights of that trip are:
* Visiting the Charmin store in Times Square. This is the same Charmin that puts out the toilet paper whose mascot is the bear taking a crap in the woods and then wiping its corn hole with the "softest paper on earth". This store is simply a place with approximately 20 public bathrooms that are stocked with Charmin TP. After every use, a Charmin employee enters the recently sullied toilet and cleans up whatever mess the customer left.
To get to the bathrooms, one needed to ride an escalator to the 2nd floor. As I was on the moving staircase, I look over to the people coming down, and every single person had a smile on their face. That was a good sign. After lining up, it was my turn to do my business. I enter the bathroom and close the door behind me. I was expecting the smell of feces and urine to rape my nostrils, but instead I catch the smell of flowers and baby powder. As I look around I expected to see shreds of toilet paper and urine stains all over the floor and toilet, but there was nothing of the sort to be found. Unfortunately I only had to pee, so I can't tell you how the toilet seat felt, but all I have to say is it was a really great experience.
* Hanging out with my cousins. The last time I saw all of 'em was at my younger brother Dennis' wedding a year and a half ago. It's always a really great time seeing them and realizing how important family is. Although people have different personalities and quirks, I've discovered that my family puts the fun in dysFUNctional.
Although seeing my family in New York was really great, I really missed spending Christmas with my brothers. Both of them stayed in their respective cities with the family of their significant other. This was probably the first time in a long time that we haven't spent Christmas together, so amidst all the fun and celebration, there was definitely something missing. Again, the importance of family is under appreciated in our culture today.
* Seeing old friends. I got a chance to hang out with Mogan, Leslie and Jason while I was in New York. Leslie and Jason are friends of mine from back in Michigan, and Mogan is a friend I met while on a trip to Nashville. All three of them are near and dear to my heart, so it was such a blessing to hang out with them and hear what's going on in their lives as well as chat about different things that are going on in our world.
* Getting sick...again. I've discovered that whenever I travel, I come down with some sort of illness. When I went to Denver, I caught a cold. When I went to India, I caught a cold. This time, when I went to New York, I caught a cold. Even as I type this, I'm constantly snorting mucus that's filling up my sinuses. Hopefully this sickness won't stick around for much longer because it's really getting on my nerves.
* Passing out on the NY subway. As many people know, when it comes to alcohol, I'm as lightweight as they come. The same evening that I saw Mogan, Leslie and Jason, we went out for dinner and some drinks. I ordered a beer, and it totally killed me. Of course, it didn't help that I only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before and walked around Manhattan for the better part of a day. Anyways, Mogan and I were on our way back to his place, and on the way, we were chatting, and I found myself dozing off while he was talking. I could only assume that Mogan noticed me dozing off when he said 'If you're tired, you should take a nap.' Usually I would wave off such absurd recommendations by saying 'Nah, I'm ok.' But that day, I heeded his suggestion and said ok, and promptly passed out. That was a sad day...
* I was on TV. During my first day of walking around Manhattan, I saw a big crowd gathered outside the television studio that films the morning news show 'Good Morning America'. As I mosey over to check out what's going on, I poke my head around like the tourist I am. As I'm looking around, I notice some television monitors, and as I stare more intently at them, I notice this Asian looking fella moving in unison to my movements. It took me a few more moment to realize that it wasn't some random Asian dude, but was in fact me on TV.
* I saw Uma Thurman. Yup, you read that right. The star from such movies as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill volumes 1 and 2 walked right by me. I was just about to reach out and touch her, but thought that I'd rather not be sent to jail on charges of molesting a movie star.