New York, New York
I don't even know where to start, so much has happened since I last blogged. But here goes:
–NEW ADDITION TO THE CABOT FAMILY–
To begin with, and most importantly, I'm a new aunt again! My brother and his wife gave my not-yet two year old niece Maddie a baby sister on May 18. My sister-in-law was admitted to the hospital at 11:17 thinking she MIGHT be in labor, and three minutes later, just as Dad walked in from parking the car, Riley S was born.
Bravo, Mom! Every woman who has ever spent hours and hours in labor now hates you. That's why I didn't put your real name in here—to protect your identity.
–HENRIETTA TAKES MANHATTAN–
In other news, we have discovered something very tragic about Maddie's and Riley's feline cousin, Henrietta: she likes NYC a lot more than she does Key West.
It is truly upsetting to learn that you can save a cat from the cold, litter-filled alley in which she was born, take her to a beautiful sub-tropical island, filled with swaying palms and balmy breezes, only to find that she would much rather have stayed in your closet in Manhattan. Granted, Henrietta has what I consider a severe under-appreciation for the Floridian lifestyle (she runs back inside every time I try to introduce her to the pool, and refuses to sit still in my bike basket), and does spend MOST of her time inside anyway. But still.
Henrietta marked her distinct displeasure in being forced into a carrier and taken away from Florida (she was not aware then that we were taking her to what she obviously considers Kitty Nirvana) by discharging fluids and other matter from all her orifices into said carrier, most notably in the line through security screening in Key West. Thank you to the kind security personnel at the Key West airport who let me into a private cubicle to clean up my cat and myself, and who let my husband cut through the security line in order to dispose of some truly noxious material.
Speaking of which, thanks to the reader who wrote in to suggest Wee Wee Pads as liners for the bottom of cat carriers. We went through FOUR on our way from Key West to New York, only a three hour flight, two of them were before we even got on the plane.
When we got to our apartment here, and released a hissing, growling Henrietta from her Sherpa bag, she stomped out, looked around, ran to the food bowl that has sat empty since our last visit a year ago, and began to purr.
She has been purring ever since. And gamboling. And letting us pet her. And sleeping with us. And acting like a kitten again.
She never acts this way in Florida.
It's a good thing she has no idea that in a few days we are taking her right back. God only knows what she'll do in an effort to stay in this, her native land.
I should probably mention the second most important event in the last 48 hours of my life: I saw “Revenge of the Sith.”
And I liked it.
OK, not to give away any spoilers, but there was no packing scene. My friend Beth was pretty upset about that. Especially because there were a lot of moments when Padme COULD have been packing. I mean, she did actually take a trip in this film. But we were robbed of the sight of her packing. Not even one tiny baby spacesuit. So crushing.
Other than that, I enjoyed the movie. Yes, the dialogue was sometimes dorky. But we got to see Hayden Christiansen with no shirt on, and, unlike the last two films, I could actually understand, about 85% of the time, what was going on. And a lot of questions I had about the first three films got answered. Except that I still want to know why Princess Leia, in Return of the Jedi, tells Luke she can remember her mother, when….well, you'll see. (Update May 21: many of you have written to say Leia meant her adopted mom, Bail Organa's wife. She did not. Luke specifically asks if she remembers her REAL mother. Leia says she remembers “images” of her. Some readers have suggested Leia's memories of Padme were enhanced by the Force. And that answer is good enough for me.)
My favorite part of the movie was the army of forty-or-so-year-old geeks (who, like me, were no doubt 10 when the first Star Wars was released), who clapped and cheered so loudly when the words STAR WARS blazed onto the screen—in spite of the crazy woman in the theater who yelled, “Will all of you please shut up? I've never seen any of these movies before,” and whom we booed into silence.
And when a certain hairy bipedal featured in the first three films made a cameo in this last one, someone was able to translate his statements, made in his native language and not dubbed, for the benefit of everyone in the theater. In case you want to know, he said: “Dude, I am so wasted,” and “Dude, that was so ****ed up.” (ALLEGEDLY)
–THE RED EYE–
All is not complete joy in my galaxy, though. My friend Bob, with whom I shared my “mega pail” of popcorn at the movies yesterday, will be saddened to learn that he was sharing popcorn with someone who, only this morning, was diagnosed with double conjunctivitis. Yes!
It turns out that when you have red itchy eyes due to allergies, and they tell you not to scratch them? There is a reason you are not supposed to scratch them: you could give yourself conjunctivitis.
On the plus side, I now look like Anakin Skywalker in that poster where he has the red glowing eyes. And it is not a costume, because I live with it daily.
The news gets worse: I just heard Joan of Arcadia got cancelled, to make way for a Mediator/1800 rip-off (well, it IS. Of course, I sort of ripped the ideas off from Poltergeist and Phenom, and made them teen. But still) called The Ghost Whisperer. All is not lost, however, since the ghost whisperer is played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, who is always pretty to look at.
Still, I'll miss Amber Tamblyn, whom I still don't believe Adam would ever cheat on.
I didn't see the OC finale yet so don't tell me what happened.
(Update on May 21: I just watched The Best Week Ever on VH1, and so I now know what happened in the OC season finale. I can't WAIT to watch it.
I did NOT see Britney's reality show, and I am GUTTED about it. I didn't even remember to TiVo it. I will NOT miss the next episode. It looks like the worst show EVER. I am so excited!)
To all of you who keep writing to me about Veronica Mars: Dudes, I know, I watch it, all right? I have a thing about stories with date rape in them, so I was a little standoffish about it and reserved judgment/comment until that particular mystery got cleared up. But I am with you, brothers and sisters. It's a good show.
One show I don't actually watch is The Apprentice, but I still got to see Donald Trump last night, LIVE, because I was doing an event for the Literati with Lyme in a room NEXT DOOR to the room where The Apprentice was being shot. That really is his hair, you know. I saw it blowing in the wind.
–Literati With Lyme—
I so enjoyed my recent events with Literati With Lyme, helping Amy Tan and Jordan Fisher-Smith raise awareness of the seriousness of the threat of lyme disease. So many people think lyme is just a rash that you cure with some antibiotics and are done with. But I met so many chronically ill people, some of them as young as 14 years old, over the past few days, for whom antibiotics did not work, and who are suffering horrible symptoms such as blindness, paralysis, and even death (of loved ones from lyme).
Lyme disease is currently the number one vector-borne disease in North America, and yet it is also the most under-diagnosed. Lyme disease has been reported in every state in America–no one is “safe,” not even in Ma
nhattan–and you do NOT have to have been hiking, camping, or even in a wooded area to get it (I never go into wooded areas. EVER. YUCK)!
It's very important that people understand that only a small percentage of lyme patients ever saw the “bull's eye” rash (I didn't) or even knew they'd been bitten by a tick (I never knew). Raising awareness amongst the medical community might prevent others from being told, the way I was, that they are suffering from “carpals,” “stress,” or, in one memorable case, “happy fat.” I am so lucky I finally went to a doctor who thought, after hearing my bizarre symptoms (hair falling out; fatigue; wrist pain; weight gain) to test me for lyme.
Although, when my husband commented, after one Lyme with Literati event this week, that I was extremely lucky, and I asked, “You mean because I was diagnosed so early in the progression of my disease?” he replied, “No, I meant you're lucky you didn't wear a dress to that event, because otherwise everyone would have been able to see up your skirt when you were signing those books,” I saw immediately that I am lucky for more than just the quality health care I received.
The Force is obviously with me. My hope is that it's with all of you who are reading this, as well.
PS To learn more about how you can help in the fight against lyme, go here
PPS Come see me Monday night at 7PM at the East 86th Street Barnes and Noble here in New York!