Sunday, December 23, 2007

Really big Christmas trees

It's been a good long while since I've updated, mostly because it's been busy at work and consequently I haven't had much surplus energy to devote to other things. My apartment really took the brunt of it, what with between my lethargy and Christmas shopping it was becoming most untidy. Basically I've been putting things off until last Friday, the start of my vacation week. My company was most generous in closing the office from Dec. 24 until January 2, and I took my final remaining personal day on Friday the 21st, so now I'm on the third of 12 straight days off, which is about the only significant time off I've had since July 4 week.

So last weekend we took a trip to the American Museum of Natural History to see a new exhibit about water, and the butterfly exhibit. They also had a marvelous Christmas tree in the lobby, decorated entirely with origami figures, some of the most ornate and complex figures I've ever seen. The main piece was a 20-foot-long dragon wrapped around the tree made from hundreds of interlocking pieces. The top was decorated by several hanging stars and other figures on a slowly rotating spindle.

Origami Christmas tree

Here's a closeup of what looks like a paper hedgehog, for you Sega fans out there:

Sonic the Paper Hedgehog

Here's another shot of one of the many butterflies we saw in the sauna-like Butterfly Conservatory:

An Owl butterfly

The last week of work was not only busy from actual work, but also personal errands I wanted to get done while I was in the city. Tuesday I got my hair re-colored because the red had washed out pretty quickly. Then on Thursday I got my first haircut in over a year at a salon in Chinatown a friend at work recommended. The stylist's name is Edison, and he's a really young, cool, hip guy from Taiwan. He gave me some long layers around my face, and some long bangs that hang over my forehead, which is a first for me since I was a kid. It's going to take a while before I get used to it.

Friday Tara and I went into the city and visited the New York Public Library's special exhibit on Jack Kerouac, which included a 25-foot-long section of the original "On the Road" scroll. Afterwards, we visited the Museum of Modern Art, and explored the top three floors, including a special exhibit on the drawings of Georges Seurat. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so no pictures from that trip :( After dropping off Tara, I went out again to see Sweeny Todd with Agnieszka (her choice) which was stylistic and inventive, although a bit overly gruesome. I found out that she has a lot higher tolerance for gore than I do. Afterwards we went to dinner at Chevy's, a local Tex-Mex place.

Then yesterday we all went to Rockefeller Center for our traditional annual visit to the Christmas tree, St. Patrick's Cathedral and to see the lightshow at Saks on Fifth Avenue.

Creepy Yankees fan behind me!

Saks lightshow

There was also a cool public charity project called the Common Sense Penny Harvest that collected pennies from schoolchildren all over the city and laid them out in one of the empty pools in Rockefeller Plaza. We threw our pennies in to the millions of coins collected for the cause.

A field of pennies

Today I finished wrapping all my presents for tomorrow's celebration with my family, and otherwise it's been a very quiet day at home. I'm just getting used to relaxing before I start doing some of the stuff I've been saving until I have more free time.

I hope all of my readers are having a peaceful and happy holiday season!