Wednesday, December 26, 2007


All my life, I have lacked two things: a camera and a sense of direction. This year, both deficits have been resolved.

One crazy sweet elf gave me a digital camera. Fantastic! I took pictures of snow. I took pictures of prime rib (it is not very photogenic). I took pictures of cookies, my shoes, angels (below), my hands, doorways, window sills, my obliging parents, my sleeping grandmother, of police at the Dunkin' Donuts (Bavarian cream, good call), of passing ambulances, electric snowflakes (also below), inflatable lawn art, the whole god damned Christmas shebang.

I took pictures of pictures, themselves already framed on the wall. I took pictures and deleted them, sent them places, took them four times over just to pick which I liked best. This is tremendous. I am quite sure, in fact, that no one has ever owned or used a camera before. Otherwise, it's all they'd talk about. I do believe I am the first to experience this rapture. What a holiday. All I can say is just wait till you too get to work with this new-fangled invention, this enthralling little box of light; it’s great, good funbut now onto the showstopping news.

That would be the sense of direction. Brothers and sisters of this new, well-met year, I have received a GPS for the Matrix. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, you have no idea my joy (unless you’ve been in the car with me, in which case, alas, you know how sorely I lack the ability to drive anywhere beyond my own bedroom). The miracle device’s name is Chelsea. (This makes a fine family for my imaginary admin Hillary and my new camera, now named Bill.) This fabulous little Chelsea beast can give me directions anywhere in North America and even covers greater U. S. territoriesso if I end up in my own car in Puerto Rico somehow, I'm set!

Chelsea is versatile as all good performers ought to beshe can direct me in Italian (rawr!), with a British accent, whatever my fancyshe’s absolutely bellissima, bloody brilliant. I tell her my destination and off we go, sure on our course. If I overshoot a turn (though it’s quite hard to mess up when she guides me with such sterling confidence and clarity), she patiently says “recalculating” and directs me back to the original destination by way of the next shortest, sensible route. She’s infinitely reliable, thanks to her satellite network. Hillary, you could learn a thing or two from your daughter’s efficient utility.

Look! Electric snowflakes fell (they were HUGE) at 48th and 5th!

Above: After the show at the Jazz Standard, I hung by the Rockefeller tree with the angelsthe tree, btw, had blue lights for Hannukah, did you notice? That was a first; better late than neverand anyway, angel and I pretended we were Nicholas Peyton blowin' it out in the horn section. (Though if I had it to do over again, I'd have angled the umbrella down, not up, and stood in as the fella on alto sax, Donald Harrison. As my father, who has become startlingly hip and jazzy in recent years, would say, man, that cat can blow. Check Harrison out. You'll be glad you did.)