The Great Plotnik

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Great Christmas

Standing at the edge of the world of NY3Ks, with Big Sister still just Belly the Bone and The Great FiveHead looking like she's got a Six or even Seven Head waiting for his/her grand entrance, Christmas this year was just about perfect. Isabella got lots of presents, including Noelle, the Christmas Kitty, who then kept everyone up all night ("will someone PLEASE get this cat off my face!!" screamed Isabella at 2am on Night One) until PD learned how to barricade all their doors.

The older you get the truer it gets that giving the perfect present is better than getting it. It's also lots better to have traveled during the year, so you can bring back presents from Barcelona, Sevilla, Cรณrdoba, Ronda, Granada, Lisboa, Jogjakarta, Honolulu. The Spanish boots of Spanish leather Plot had promised BZ actually fit her perfectly, and you should see the Indonesian batiks she brought home.

After dinner on Christmas Eve BZ and Plot sang "Big Sister" for everyone. Belly was entranced, and has been humming the song for days. We all have, actually. We sang it a few more times, and Plottie will mix in the new vocal snippet BZ recorded in Providence, plus the new vocal background part he now has to record himself, since every time you change one word it affects every other word down the line, and then he'll send out copies to everyone.

Yesterday, The Great PD recorded a new guitar solo on "American Joe," and The Great 5Head put down several bkg vocal parts on "Mandela." Maybe the best hour was Belly and PD singing and recording their new song about the kitten. Can Plot get a better Christmas present than this?

Yes, this one: last night, walking on the snowy sidewalk, Plot overheard Isabella singing "Big Sister" to herself.

With good fortune, the group gets bigger early next year. Alevai, Inshalah.

What will Plottie do when Plus is born? Will he fly back to NYC for a day or two? Will The Great BZWZ serve as a stand-in? Either way, Plot and Duck are on the calendar for several weeks in Brooklyn in February.

Last night's pizza at Giussepina's in South Slope was very good, but it is clear that a great, great pizza is an ephemeral thing. Not every pie from the same place can be perfect every time. The problem is pizza is dough and cheese and tomato sauce, plus toppings. Differences are subtle, and the second and third time you go to the same parlor and order the same pizza you might think some indefinable love is missing.

The guy wearing a hockey shirt, at the bar across the street, where you drink Sam Adams on tap and wait until there's a table available at Giussepina's, said we had to order his favorite pie: pepperoni, shallots and hot peppers. We did. But the plain old Margherita was even better, and the calzone was divine.

On the airplane the next day, it's even better.

Now we head for Stiletto City, where no one seems to remember that we told them we'd be there for New Year's Eve and the Chief's birthday the next day. "Oh, you're coming here?" Mummy P. said on the phone, like we were coming to install a furnace filter. "What time?"

That's because she forgets, but also because we don't dare make too much of an impending visit. She gets crazy, and drives Gloria and Lillian insane with constant worry. Last New Year's we found her on the front lawn, close to midnight, worrying we wouldn't be able to find the house, or that we would be late, or early, or any of the hundreds of disaster scenarios Mummy P.'s nervous brain can conjure. So we tell her, but we don't tell her in detail. So she forgets. It makes sense.

Isabella asked "Why are you leaving?"

"I'm going to see my mommy," I said, trying not to convey two conflicting emotions: one, that I will have to use my Emotional Crowbar to tear myself away; and two, that I understand it is time for the grandparents to pack up and ship out.

We did the Kitty Dance one last time, which is a lot like the Elevator Dance, and the Happy Kitchen Dance, but nothing like the Daddy and His Little Girl dance, which only PD and Belly can do, and there's nothing, trust me, nothing quite like it.


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