I should have known that it was too good to last. The 23-day-unbroken run of PTMYB is being broken. Tomorrow morning Lloyd and I will be joining about 206 billion other people at Penn Station, where we will converge on a single gate, fighting our way to our seats on the 8 a.m. Acela Express to Philadelphia. Every time I make this trip, I feel like I should be wielding a sword, like Errol Flynn. Word comes from that nice Mr. Ridge at the chemist’s—sorry, at the Department of Homeland Security—that our terror status has been upgraded to Orange Alert. Of course, New York City has been on orange alert since 9/11/01, but since the only status above orange is red, and since a red alert is synonymous with “here come the planes,” New York City has been upgraded to something called Orange Plus, which I just love. My mom thinks it sounds like a vitamin, but I think it sounds like a club drug, like a really tasty form of Ecstasy. Or maybe it’s that new high-interest savings account that ING Direct is offering...At any rate, Orange Plus is as good a reason as any to spend our Christmas somewhere else, especially since the word from our fearless leaders is “we believe there is a credible threat against multiple targets, and we have chatter at pre 9/11 levels, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carry on your business as usual!” It’s a good thing that we have a high threshhold for absurdity.
So it’s off to Philadelphia for us. I love Philadelphia, not just because it is where my parents grew up, not just because a trip to my grandparents’ house meant a weekend not spent in our ass-end-of-nowhere mountain town, but because it is where I signed the lease to the first apartment I ever rented for myself, without roommates, where Lloyd and I met, where we got married, where we saw one of the best gigs we’d ever seen (a triple bill of Bleach, Kingmaker and Kitchens of Distinction at Chestnut Cabaret), where my brother lives and works, where he met the fabulous, brilliant and beautiful woman who is now his wife, where they got married on October 11, when I spent the weekend at a hotel across the street from Rittenhouse Square, one of the prettiest parks you will find anywhere. Philadelphia is worth a valentine all its own, and once I am back home and bloggable on Sunday, it may just get that valentine.
One thing I’ll be doing whilst down there is putting my new digital camera to good use. Lloyd and I exchanged our presents tonight. You could say I was surprised when I opened the box. You could also say that I cried like a baby, because, er, I did. It is thanks to Lloyd that PTMYB finally has a spiffy new author photo to call its own.
PTMYB will resume normal broadcast operations on Sunday, December 28. In the meantime, Happy Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and Solstice to all. I would send you all bread and jam and little pastries and homemade lemon curd if I could. (Next year, I probably will.)