New York is very very cold

Surprised my dad this weekend by showing up on Friday, courtesy of JetBlue, to help celebrate his 70th birthday. It’s hard to believe he’s really 70 because aside from the white hair he seems just about the same as always. As much as he may complain about age or infirmity or his physical condition he seems to have some fountain of youth in his genes keeping him feisty and kicking.
We went out to dinner at a nice bistro my brother picked out Friday night and then more surprises followed as all the siblings showed up on Saturday and we had a great dinner with a few friends and admirers of my dad along with the whole family at cozy little Table d’Hote, a restaurant owned by a family friend that’s just a block or two away from my parents’ homestead on the upper east side.
The weather was incredibly frigid. The wind would knife through our clothes and freeze us in a way that triggers some sort of deep primal panic. Inside it was always toasty warm so you end up managing your layers constantly and both inside and out the air was incredibly dry so now my lips are chapped and my sinuses are still recovering.
I had a cold when we left town and I’ve still got one now but somehow during the two dinners I would forget I was sick and just enjoy the bonhomie. It was also great seeing my little nephews, who are growing up so fast, the two four year-olds and my 17-month old godson, who tears around the place like an energizer bunny destroying everything in his wake. The older boys are talking up a storm, singing and playing and asking questions. One told me “You’re silly, like my dad.” They still seemed a bit confused that their dad is my younger brother and that we all grew up in the apartment we were crammed into over the weekend.
On Sunday they had me drawing custom pictures, one of a giraffe named Jeanine and the other of a normal boy named Brian. It made me want to learn Flash so I can do some animations for them. I’ve always wanted to illustrate some stories of Fraidy Cat and the Cloth Monkeys (with special guest Hoppy the Bunny).
JetBlue was great on the way out, a perfect smooth uncrowded unhurried ride on Friday (I took a personal day off from my new job) but the return flight on Sunday was another story. We were delayed over an hour on the tarmac waiting for our pilot to arrive from a flight from Orlando. Most of the passengers watched the superbowl but B watched the ice skating finals and I watched an X-Men movie on Fox, except for when they would break in on us with a loud eardrum-shattering electronic popping sound to give us another update on our delay.
We weren’t home in bed in Oakland till about 2:30 am Monday morning and I’m still feeling a little tired at work today, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.