Monday, November 16, 2009

hey, someone's actually reading this!

I installed a counter several days ago because this blog has not yet had one comment, and I was beginning to wonder, though I know one person who is "following" me on Blogger. Maybe there's some way to do this other than installing a counter, I mean to track visitors, but I'm a little behind the curve in certain things. I could only find one counter, and it's really ugly. Sorry about that.

But -- in the past few days, the counter went from 200-something to 400-something, so thanks for stopping in.

My best friend turned fifty on Friday, and her husband threw a surprise party (this all happened to me last year -- I'm a year older). My husband wasn't feeling well, but he didn't feel right about my taking that long trip alone on the subway. (It's a haul from north-of-Coney: three trains there, two home, due to a peculiarity of our beloved subway system. Door-to-door, about an hour and a half.) He said I should take a car service both ways, and I said no, and he said then just take one home, and I said no. Getting out the door is always the hardest part, and this was something I had to get out the door for. I'm very sentimental, I guess, about birthdays and special occasions and being with my besties. I've had three friendships temporarily break, and maybe permanently diminish, when I wasn't invited to weddings. I couldn't imagine getting married without certain of my friends there, and one couple came from Puerto Rico to be with us. And some people really dragged ass to be with me on my 50th last year, and some couldn't seem to get on a subway from Manhattan.

Anyway, it was very few people, maybe 10, as their apartment is not huge, and Robin was totally surprised, and Ernie did a totally awesome job of putting it all together and cooking his specialties with his friend Cynthia. (Spanish language lesson coming.) There was pernil (roast pork) and pasteles (mashed yuca, a root vegetable, or plantain, studded with pork and vegetables and steamed in paper or a corn husk), and yellow rice and beans. And a heap of appetizers. My husband and I went there for Christmas last year, even if Ernie (and half of their son Evan) is the only one of the Christmas persuasion, and this is exactly what he made. Much more interesting than a turkey. A lot of the people there were Robin's past and present co-workers (she's a book graphics person, I don't really know what you call it, and they all know each other), a couple of old friends of Ernie's, and Naomi and Shimon. Naomi was Robin's sort-of stepmother for many years; that is, she was Robin's father's girlfriend for quite a while. So Naomi stayed close with everyone, even after she and Jerry broke up. She married Shimon about five years ago.

Now, I met her in summer camp in 1971, though we did spend some time out of touch, and it's one of those miracles that we're still so close. Just about a year ago, my father-in-law and her father died in the same week, and I was at both funerals. I mean, I *knew* her father, for a lot of years, and I couldn't not be there. She has one other friend as close who lives in California and I have one who is glued to way-out-in-New-Jersey with two smallish kids (I think she did something wild like gave birth at 47 and 51). But, you know, it's me and her, for the most part.

Also: I got my amazing wonderful birthday present yesterday, a few days early. It's something I've been wanting for a while: a ukulele, tenor, definitely beginner level but a pretty one. In fact, cute as all get-out. But I'm getting tiredish now and will tell more later.

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