The past 48 hours have been loaded with mishaps. Loaded, I tell you.

First, I went to pick up my friend Leslie at Grand Central Station, where the bus from Newark drops you off. Leslie managed to take the only airline in Canada that doesn’t pre-clear US customs in the Canadian airport, resulting in a 2 hour wait at Newark. Sadly, the customs agents wouldn’t allow her to use her phone to call and tell me that she was way delayed, and my phone has the data turned off, so I did a weird relay through my brother in Ottawa to see if her plane even landed. Finally, we connected and dinner was had.

Yesterday, we went to the Brooklyn Flea Market, that I discussed last week. It was less intimidating this time, and I actually bought some stuff. My dad’s getting a truly weird gift for Christmas. Surprise! The Flea is where one of the weird things happened. I bought a smoked brisket sandwich from one of the dozen or so food vendors. Oh my god, was it ever good. It was half wet, half dry, which means it was half fatty meat and half lean. There was grease. It dripped down my fingers. And, I got kinda sick. That’s weird thing number one. I actually needed a damned nap to recover, people.

I sent Leslie off to Fifth Avenue to do her high end window shopping, with the full intention of going to the amazing local Italian restaurant on the other side of the bridge from the apartment. She called me when she got on the subway, I left the apartment, and we met outside the subway down the way. In front of a completely locked up tight as a drum Italian place. Really? Really??? We went to a local “serves everything” kind of restaurant instead, where I ate a salad, because vegetables are hard to find when you’re eating street food. The salads came in what I would normally describe as large serving bowls. Leslie’s had at least $14 worth of food in it. Very impressive.

This morning, we hung around til 10am so I could move the car. A TV show is filming on this block tomorrow, so all cars have to be off it by 10pm tonight, which is when the tow trucks come in (NB: I’ll be doing laundry at 10pm tonight, I think, so I can stay awake for the tow show). Then we headed downtown to take the famous M4 bus down Madison Ave and Broadway to the very very very top of Manhattan to the Cloisters, an outpost of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Cloisters is actually a series of monastery cloisters brought over from France and recreated in a park, along with some amazingly landscaped gardens. The guidebooks are all abuzz about it, and they all say that if you have the time, you should take the M4 from downtown, but to budget an hour.

Dudes, it’s more like 90 minutes. And while the first 30 minutes are nice, the next 45 are a bit scary, and the last 15 you kind of just want to tear out your damned hair because the bus ride will never ever end. Also, we were hungry, because by this time it was 12:30. But we clung to the fact that there’s a lovely cafe near the museum and that it’s a lovely museum and we shlepped up the cobblestone pathway to get in and guess what? It’s not open on Mondays. And today? Today is definitely Monday.

Considering how obsessively I look things up (especially things like that), it’s a freaking miracle that I never once checked to see if the museum was open. Considering that this was Leslie’s top cultural activity and that she knew more about the Cloisters than I did, it’s amazing that she didn’t look it up. And that’s the second funny thing.

I left Leslie at the Museum of Natural History and went to the new Uniqlo store (for the sixth trip to a Uniqlo store since I arrived here) to buy a jacket for my mother. Sadly, it is now sold out at all three locations. Balls. We’re just not decisive as a family sometimes. HOwever! On my way to Uniqlo I stopped in at the MoMA design store and like a magnet I was draw to the most beautiful felt scarf in the history of scarves. Screw the cost, I said. That scarf is MINE. (Note: I have every intention of still trying to make one, but this one was perfect and perfect and already made and perfect, so I bought it.)

So yeah. I went through my receipts today. Holy crap, I’ve spent a lot of money. But, I’ve bought stuff I haven’t seen at home. I’ve got christmas presents. I’ve got boots. I’ve got a winter jacket. I’m pretty stoked. I’m really hoping this stuff all fits in the car. My bestie is scoffing at me right now (I have a tiny car, but a magnificent trunk), but she hasn’t seen the size of Leslie’s suitcase, which thankfully is going in the backseat.

Also, the mosquito bite I got on my nose the other day has finally decided to reduce in size enough to let me have an actual look at it, and it appears I scratched it with a dirty fingernail. It’s broken into three or four blisters that may be infected (they’re definitely yellow). That’s gonna be super attractive when they dry up. Yum.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I’m taking the bus. It’s all very exciting. And then tomorrow night, Leslie’s taking me to a play starring the guy from the Facebook movie. Woot woot! Wednesday is bike tour of central park, Friday we’re doing a comedy show. All is well. All is good, albeit perhaps with a bit more pus than desired.

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