Continuing on the ancestral homeland tour, I was in Great Neck on Saturday 11/8 helping with the Great Neck South high school puzzle hunt. When I got to Penn Station, I learned there was trackwork on the Port Washington line and the train was running out of Shea Stadium. This long subway detour almost made me give up entirely, but I was also visiting my great-aunt for dinner afterward so I went. The hunt had some mathlike puzzle types I wasn't familiar with and hadn't presolved, so I wasn't much help to the kids. It was still fun, better than anything we ever did at Great Neck North.
I saw more family over Thanksgiving weekend in Miami. My mother turned 80 last Tuesday, so we joined my sister's usual Thanksgiving gathering of 3 families (16 people in all). We gave my mother a VistaPrint calendar with personalized photos which was a big hit.
When I arrived Wednesday night, my sister's friend, her friend's son and my younger nephew were wearing chef's hats and cooking up a storm (the friends' kitchen is being redone). We ended up with quite an assortment of dishes, and everything was delicious. On Friday my sister invited everyone over for leftovers, only to discover there wasn't enough for 16 people - but then it ended up being just us so there was more than enough. They rented "A Beautiful Mind" but I had already seen it so I watched "Mean Girls" in the other room.
My flight home Saturday was delayed an hour while they replaced a part, and had many screaming babies (one of which was also a kicking baby right in back of me). Noise-canceling headphones can only cancel out so much. I watched a little of "Get Smart" (which I'd already seen) without the sound. Finally arriving at Newark, I bought a bus ticket and the girl asked if I was a senior! I may have looked haggard, but not 62. Yeesh. I just said, "Not yet."
Awards season is starting. I'm registered to vote in the Independent Spirit Awards, and look forward to the screenings next month, as I've only seen a few of the nominees. "I.O.U.S.A." didn't make it, which relieves me of the dilemma of choosing between it and "Man on Wire."
I've had good luck with the most recent books I read:
"Miss Media" by Lynn Harris - Very modern story of the highs and lows of the dot.com world. Advice columnist Lola finds everything is not what it seems at women's web network Ovum. The corporate culture reminded me of "Citizen Girl."
"The Late Bloomer's Revolution" by Amy Cohen - A funny/sad memoir of family and dating.
"Love the One You're With" by Emily Giffin - Ellen finds her newlywed world turning upside-down when she runs into an old boyfriend just before moving from New York to her husband's hometown of Atlanta.
"The Bachelorette Party" by Karen McCullah Lutz - A few months after being ditched at the altar, Zadie is forced into wedding merriment when her best (male) friend gets engaged to her seemingly perfect cousin. The titular party is eventful for everyone. Too much drinking (ick!), but still a funny ride.