March 16, 2003

Way, way, way too much happened this weekend to even think about going into it all here.

Long, Pointless Update: Well, I'm feeling a bit more awake and less cryptic than I did last night, so as not to deprive you all of my life's minutiae, let me just list some of the way too much I mentioned above.

As some of my more local readers may have noticed, Saturday was bee-yootiful, simply the nicest weather we've had around here for something like 16, 17 months, so I took full advantage by heading into Manhattan and wandering around Central Park and parts thereabouts. Well, of course that was delightful, even more so when my friend Gabe invited me to go bowling later that evening, an event to which I immediately invited my sister Nancy (who some of you may remember from her exclusive Winter Olympics dispatches). With that all lined up, I headed over to the Guggenheim to finally check out the Matthew Barney Cremaster Cycle exhibition.

For those of you who are planning to see this show, a striking, in-context collection of sculptures, photographs, and weird gloopy things from the five Cremaster films (which I'm not even going to try to summarize or describe, though you can check out the trailer here), I would strongly recommend trying to see one of the films beforehand (probably Cremaster 3, which plays on Tuesdays and Saturdays). If that isn't possible, go against the signs and start at the top of the rotunda, where you will be able to watch the segment of C3 that was filmed in the museum. After watching the story unfold on the giant Jumbotron screens, I definitely appreciated my trip down the ramp more than my trip up. I was somewhat ambivalent about the exhibit while I was there, but the images and sculptures have stuck in my head ever since, and now I can't wait to head back and explore further.

Well, the sun was still shining when I left the museum, and with Central Park beckoning I decided that it was the perfect time to restart a favorite tradition of mine. I headed over to a little takeout place on 91st and Park, picked up a bucket of fried chicken and some onion rings, then headed over to the Central Park Reservoir jogging track to grab a bench, chow down and wave at the runners passing by. Between the serene majesty of the still-frozen reservoir and the icy glares of the runners, it was a truly wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

After I threw out the bones and found my car it was time to pick up my sister and head downtown for some serious bowling action...except that Gabe completely punked out on me! Like a punk! Something about being all tired and stuck in traffic and needing to be up early the next day, but to me it just spelled WHAAA!!! and no bowling for Ken. My sister and I managed to make the best of things, ending up at the Odessa Restaurant on Avenue A for some fine home cooking (I had the brisket), as well as a spirited discussion about the state of arena football, which included an angry exchange with the loner at the next both, who somehow thought "Odessa" was Ukrainian for "library."

And from there it was time for the main event. Folks, when the whip-smart and smokin'-hot Ari invites you out for her birthday celebration...well, everything else you might have been considering suddenly becomes Plans B-Z. You put on your drinking shoes, pick up a (hopefully kickass) gift, get your insurance in order, and head on down to the Lower East Side. I might have gone with a different selection of tunes (I mean, I like The Cars, but their entire freaking catalog? And Duran Duran's "New Moon on Monday" for Pete's sake?), and there was that unfortunate incident where I may have threatened to break somebody's kneecaps for accidentally looking at my sister, but those quibbles aside you couldn't have asked for a finer evening with better folks. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Then the phone went dead.
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