Monday, March 31, 2008

Lion? Lamb? Guess it Depends Where You Are

I know that Spring officially arrives on the 20th or 21st day of March. But any date that begins with the word March doesn't really seem to count as an official spring day. Especially here in New York this year. It has been a downright chilly month. As I type this, it is 45 gray, raw, rainy degrees. The weekend was clear, chilly and windy. April will open much the same, though we might flirt with 60 degrees. I guess you could say March came and left much the same....nasty!

All that aside, yesterday was opening day for Major League Baseball, and nothing says Spring quite like those two little words bellowed for the first time, "Play Ball!" The Washington Nationals vs the Atlanta Braves in Washington's new stadium. What I really like about the stadium is that it seemingly has not (yet?) sold its naming rights. It is Nationals Park. I really hope it stays that way, though that is probably naive. An opera singer belted out the National Anthem, a capella. There were fireworks, but no flyover. I was not impressed. She was flat, her inhales were loud and raspy. And did I mention No Flyover? I felt cheated. President Bush ascended the mound to a loud, raucous chorus of boos to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. I found that somewhat surprising. The Nats won their home opener. The Yankees open their season today against Toronto at The Stadium in the rain, and my Mets kick it off in Florida against the Marlins.

My nephew, Nikko, wound up extending his stay through this morning, though we didn't see much of him from Thursday night onward. We went out for Thai food that night. Christopher loves it, and Nikko found that he could take it or leave it. He also learned the importance of actually reading menu items completely. He ordered a red curry dish with squid. He wanted it spicy, but didn't realize it contained coconut milk. He doesn't like coconut. Other than that, Nikko, how was dinner ;) He then went over to his other aunt's house for a few days. Brian picked him up last night, and took him to the airport this morning. Yep, Brian's Hotel and Airport Service, open for business.

We had Christopher's friend Connor with us Friday, and the boys worked it out that he would sleep over. Brian went to his buddy's house, so I had 2 twelve year olds to myself. Well, let me tell you, when you have 2 twelve year old boys around, it is a never ending preadolescent dick joke fest. You can't say ANYTHING about round spherical bouncy objects without them dissolving into paroxysms of giggles. Complete fascination with their genitalia. OY. Be gone, boys, and YES, for the love of GOD you can play your video games!! But really, they were great. I just laughed, poured another glass of wine, and watched Grey's Anatomy reruns.

Saturday afternoon, we took a drive out to Oyster Bay. I used to work in that hamlet from November 1999 through August 2004. It is a lovely little town, just not very accessible by public transport...a vestige of Robert Moses' planning that is very difficult to change. I took the Long Island Rail Road two hours each direction to get to work. It was a stunning train ride. It was like running away from home every day, such a different dynamic than commuting into a bustling urban megalopolis.

We visited Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, where I used to walk nearly every day, and drove up to Sagamore Hill. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived, so we didn't take the tour. But we did make it to his grave site at Youngs Memorial Cemetery. It is a very interesting grave yard. Some of the stones are absolutely unreadable, long lost to the unrelenting wind. The slave graves are unnamed, but marked with wooden crosses. It is a cemetery for several Oyster Bay families dating back to the 1650s, including the Youngs, Bakers, Popes, and a few others I don't recall right now. It is difficult to find information on the cemetery itself, without it being completely coopted by the fact that TR is interred there. I'd like to go back and have a more leisurely walk around, when there is less wind, and more daylight left.

We drive home, had supper and I got ready for birthday/bon voyage party for a friend of ours. This is a woman who just turned 37, and is off for a two week sojourn in Kenya. She is a very down to earth media and film studies Fordham graduate, working the last 8 years as a Web producer for a HUGE accounting services company. For a long time she worked as a film extra, model, clown and production assistant for major network series. I wonder if, when we were sitting cross legged on the floor of her student housing room 20 years ago, this was the life she imagined she'd be living. She is one of only 5 people I have known my entire adult life. I was at her house the week before for a short visit, just catching up. Though I've known her for so long, there was much I found I didn't know about her life before I met her--it was as if we met, and assumed we were hatched at that point in life, with no past at all. I think that was probably born of some not so great pasts to recall. I just recently met her mother and step brother, and felt honored to have spent some time with them, if even in a party setting (the one on the Ides).

I can't wait to see the pictures she brings back! I also can't wait to see the paparazzi shots Connor took! He did come along with his parents to the party, and was charged with taking some of the photos. I saw a few of them, and they were interesting to say the least!

Well, I've been all over the map in this post, literally and figuratively. Guess I should get my butt back to work.



Bridget said...

It's been too cold here too. In the 30's this morning. I am ready for Spring!

The World According to Me said...

Come on Spring and the Spring weather, you can do it! Stop teasing us!

Love the sound of Oyster Bay.

2 weeks in Kenya? Yes please!

simonsays said...

When I read your posts about your life, I am so in awe of the life you have, in the place you have it. I cannot begin to imagine a place where you take a two hour train ride to work, or where there are so many people...I would have loved to experience that kind of life once, although now at my advanced stage in life, it's pretty impossible.

Thanks for the great post!

eastcoastdweller said...

You have a rich and wonderful life and You are enjoying it, the way You should.