To my minuscule readership, I'm baaa-aaack.
I just got back from New York but didn't take a laptop so I wasn't able to blog from the road. Here's a pic I snapped while hailing a cab this morning.
Let's see, I'd mention my weekend but I don't remember much except the part about my brother's dog getting nailed by a skunk after our Sunday night dinner. We had all heard that tomato juice could help neutralize the smell but had never tried it. We didn't have any tomato juice on hand but I'm happy to report that good old tomato sauce works very well. Because I haven't lived with a dog in years I've, sadly, developed an allergy to them. I often forget about this allergy and found myself elbow deep in shampoo suds to help wash the dog off. Unfortunately, I forgot to wash my hands afterwards and had a terrible reaction. My eyes puffed up, turned pink, itched and burned all night long. I then had to hop a flight to NYC the next day and looked like a psycho. Everywhere I went people would say "Are you tired? You're not you're peppy self." Peppy?! Well I guess there are worse labels.
Aside from my constant urge to wash away my eye makeup and lay down with a soothing eye cream, the trip was ok. Because of the recent severe weather I was lucky to even get to New York. Last Friday my boss pulled me aside and said with an intensely concerned tone "We'll be flying right into a nor-eastern next week." I shouldn't admit it, but my first thought was (and I'm not kidding) "Nor-eastern? Is that a Jewish holiday? ... OH! No, wait, it's some sort of weather pattern." Seriously, how Paris Hilton of me, huh? I'm so ashamed! I told this to some of my Jewish friends in NY and they, luckily, cracked up. I suppose I should keep my stupid thoughts to myself but where's the fun in that?
Last night we went to a trendy restaurant and had a nice dinner with co-workers. At one point Herr Boss went around the table asking everyone what they want to do in California that they haven't done yet. When it was my turn I explained that I've actually done a lot of California things but that a road trip to Bodie was on that list. I also told him that I was hoping to visit Hearst Castle soon. I then remembered the Winchester Mystery House. Herr Boss had never heard of it so I explained. I then explained that I'm pretty much always up for a road trip. Someone asked me to tell him about the Diners & Disasters trip. Being from Austria and, later, Germany, he'd never heard of The Donner Party. I told him his sons would learn about it in the fourth grade and that they'd LOVE it. Just when I feared I was single handedly bringing the table down, the question of a friend's heritage came up. She explained that her great grandmother came to California on a covered wagon, while other family members were slaves and others perished on the Trail of Tears. "Trail of Tears?" Herr Boss asked. My friend said "Lucy, you want to take this one?" I started the story with "That bastard Andrew Jackson...". Herr Boss hadn't heard of this chapter of American history. I explained it wasn't one we liked to discuss or publicize overseas.
We then learned that the same friend had distant relatives who died in the Jonestown Massacre. "Jonestown Massacre? What is this Jonestown Massacre?" We explained that bit of recent history to him as well. I, being a sarcastic pain in the ass, then turned to Herr Boss and said "Do you have any shameful history to share about your countries?" Several co-workers erupted in comments but the one I heard was "Hello?! How about a couple of world wars?" I explained that I was avoiding the obvious and looking for lesser known disasters and atrocities. Apparently Austrians and Germans are pretty open about such things so I never got any juicy never-before-heard-of stories. I'll just have to look them up online. I KNOW Hitler didin't just pop up out of nowhere.