“You should get a scarf for winter… Oh, wait, you don’t really have a neck.” – Anna in reference to my double-chin.
Today is kind of a public holiday, Columbus Day, but one that really isn’t recognised. In fact, I didn’t even find out about it until Wednesday! Sure, banks aren’t open, there is no school today and the mail won’t come, but besides those factors today is no different to any other day. Anna still had to go into work, the paid staff at my work still had to work and it was assumed the volunteers, like myself, would still show up today. We had to tell them in advance if weren’t going to be in today for a public holiday! We were here for Independence Day (4th July) and that was a true holiday. So what is the deal with Columbus Day? Wikipedia tells us:
Many countries in the New World and elsewhere officially celebrate as a holiday the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas, which happened on October 12, 1492. The landing is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States.
Actual observance varies in different parts of the United States, ranging from large-scale parades and events to complete non-observance. Most states celebrate Columbus Day as an official state holiday, though many mark it as a “Day of Observance” or “Recognition” and at least four do not recognize it at all. Most states (including states where it is not a legal holiday) close schools and other state services, while others operate as normal.
Nothing here is ever simple when you have both federal law and state law. Also, there is a lot of opposition to Columbus Day, especially from the Native American community who believe that, a) Columbus didn’t discover anything, as they were aware the Americas were there all along considering they had been living there for quite some time, and b) The holiday essentially justifies and celebrates their genocide. Fair points.
Anyway, enough about this husk of a holiday, it has been a pretty interesting week so let’s get into that…
Saturday, 3rd October
My friend, Cristy, was in New York for one final weekend before heading down to Las Vegas and San Francisco, so we wanted to catch up for one last night on the town. Anna wasn’t feeling too great, so it was an evening of rom-coms for her, but I was to meet up with Cristy and Leah at a bar near where they were staying. That place turned out to be exceptionally expensive, so we went a couple of blocks further to Rudy’s Bar & Grill and settled in for the night. It was crowded inside so we sat outside in their heated courtyard and chatted, eventually being joined by a crazy old guy who decided to pull up a seat with us. I always seem to attract them. On this occasion, the deranged dude stuck around for about two hours until he freaked out. It turned out he thought he had just seen his sister, but he didn’t want her to see him because she is a pastor and she can’t see him drinking. I brought it to his attention that she probably doesn’t mind, otherwise she wouldn’t hang out in a pub herself, and besides, Jesus could turn water into wine, but there was no convincing him, really. We were actually glad to see the back of him.
The bar didn’t have any food except for these rancid hotdogs (left). We were hungry, but it was too cold and we couldn’t be bothered going anywhere else, we’d just have to grin and bear it. Christy came back with a couple and as we were trying to scoff them down without actually tasting them, I felt an elbow in my ribs and some giggling. Any time anyone sees someone with stunted growth they feel the need to draw my attention to them and this situation was no different. There was a very drunk dwarf nearby (above, right) with his friends. We had a spare seat at our table from where the crazy old guy had been so we offered it to him, he climbed up onto the seat and began to chat with us. They were all really nice guys on a holiday from London, but the dwarf got more and more annoyed each time someone came up and asked if he was Peter Dinklage, to the point where he finally snapped and yelled,
“No, I am not Peter f___ing Dinklage!”
His friends told him he should milk it, but he wasn’t hearing any of it. He just sat there nursing his vodka and tonic, which looked enormous in his tiny little hands, and began to slowly fade.
We were later asked by the security to move indoors as they were closing the courtyard, so we went inside, found a booth and sat down. Eventually, we were joined by a group of African-American guys and we started chatting. One of them seemed rather camp, but it turned out he wasn’t the only one. I was standing around, talking to one about basketball after he asked me about my Seattle Supersonics cap. He then proceeded to rub my ass, but at first I thought he was trying to steal my wallet until he asked me if I wanted to play with his dreadlocks. Okay, that’s getting a little rich for me so I slowly shuffled aside, sat down and began talking to Cristy again before eventually heading home.
Anna and myself went to a taping of the Maury show a few weeks ago and I knew one of the episodes that we saw was going to be on, so I recorded it. We got a little more than we bargained for:
Anna’s colleague, Jod Mehta, and his girlfriend, Tina, are in town, so we did something special last night, we went to Eleven Madison Park, a fine dining restaurant and it was pretty damn fine! We got there quite a while before Jod and Tina so Anna and myself ordered some caviar before they arrived. I can’t remember the exact details of what else we ordered, but for an appetiser I had squid and pork jowl for the main, Anna had foie gras and then got roasted duck for the main. It was all spectacular, here’s the squid and foie gras (Sorry, the pics aren’t real special):
It was a great night, but we found out today that a woman was shot at a nightclub about a block away from the restaurant when we were eating.
Tonight we went to The Stand, a great little comedy club. Initially, I didn’t really feel like going tonight because I was a bit tired and just wanted to kick back at home. However, all of the comedians were awesome, that may be because Janeane Garofalo was a no-show ( I can’t stand that woman), but the absolute highlight had to be a surprise set by Tracy Morgan, his first public appearance since his horrific accident 16 months ago. We were asked not to take photos or recordings, because he was debuting new material that he might use when he hosts Saturday Night Live soon. He was simply hilarious, it’s great to see him back on his feet and I felt lucky to see him do this show, especially in a room of probably less than 100 people. Fortunately, I found this picture on The Stand’s Facebook page and a bit about the show is on TMZ.com: