January 19th, 2004


Utica, New York

Another interesting trip to Upstate New York to visit my father's parents.

First off, I would like to announce that my Grandma Ena looks fabulous after losing fifteen pounds thanks to...you guessed it--diabetes. I believe her actual words were, "Oh honey-bunny, this dya-beetus isn't as bad as everyone's sayin' it is. Look how much weight I've lost in my face! I jus can't believe I didn't get it sooner." But then again, what do you expect from a woman who thinks a single can of tuna is adequate sustenance for a family of five?
("You said all you wanted was a snack, honey. If y'all had wanted a meal I would've brought up another can.)

My father, looking at one of the paintings on the wall in Red Lobster (we had dinner there because my Grandparents are "in" with the staff and send them a Christmas card every year) asked if it was a Winslow Homer, to which my Grandmother replied, "Well honey-- I don't think it's a real one but who knows...it might be. If you want I can ask one of the hostesses for you."
Yes, grandma...would you? Because I wouldn't be at all surprised to find an original Winslow Homer hanging in a New Hartford Red Lobster, next to a picture of a pile of clams and the window overlooking a Hannaford's. Please. See if you can find out for me. Otherwise this'll be gnawing at me all night.

And in another random disturbing encounter, I met some of my father's friends from his childhood. Two of them were very nice, one has yet to grow up. (I have a bit of an issue with a fifty-seven year old man who would speak to his childhood friend's daughter using the words "join us on the fun cruise," "bikini" and "oil you up.") But I took comfort from and found amusement in the fact that his wife (who, oddly, was very nice) was THE SPLITTING IMAGE of Mark McKinney in drag. I think I stared at her with my mouth hanging open for ten full minutes after we were introduced. I debated approaching her in private and saying that even though I had liked Dave Foley the best, she was definitely high on my list. Unquestionably in the top five. If there is ever any way on earth that I might obtain a picture of this woman, I will do my damndest to post it. I have no idea when that might be, but hopefully my parents will take some photos when they go up this summer for the "fun cruise"...an adventure for which, I'm sorry to say, I will not be joining them because I have more fulfilling things to do with my time, like laundry.