I know all you intrepid New York, New Yorkers are squinting at that acronym trying to decipher it so let me give you a hand. It is Central New York and no that does not mean Midtown. I am talking about Central New York State. No it is not “Upstate New York” unless you insert a “from” between “Upstate” and “New” and slap a “City” at the end. There is more to the state than the city and the rest of the state does not orient itself around the city. I actually made a map to explain this because I got sick of drawing in the air or trying to use my hand to represent the state. Please keep in mind that my delineations are not those of a geographer’s so I might be slightly off on some calculations.
Anyways! Anyways! Last week I was bumming around CNY and Upstate New York visiting the family and exposing Brazilian Helicopter Pilot to ALL the family. My mother has quite a few siblings who live in the area and it was 4th of July weekend *grins evilly.*
We got in late Friday night and slept at my mother’s after stuffing our faces with her homemade pizza. Promptly the next morning, we headed out to my hometown so Brazilian Helicopter Pilot could finally meet my father, La Presidenta. The introductions went well with little to no threatening. I showed Brazilian Helicopter Pilot my three rotating childhood bedrooms (started at the top of the stairs, moved to be next to the bathroom, moved back to the top of the stairs, moved into my sister’s old room, moved back to next to the bathroom, and finally back into my sister’s old room) and introduced him to our cat. Fuzzbutt, a tubby tortoise shell cat, was a little unhappy about me picking up her royal flabbiness, but later would fawn all over Brazilian Helicopter Pilot because human males are her favorite.
We spent the majority of the day in La Presidenta’s offhand glassblowing studio with me languishing in the crowd and being a little shit. They were doing a Make Your Own Shot Glass event where, after paying money, you could help make your own shot glass using an antique shot glass press. Having grown up as the daughter of a glassblower, I know all the most annoying questions:
Is that hot?
Why is everything you make orange?
Can you touch that?
Do you recycle all that extra glass?
Is this environmentally friendly?
Oh! I made something exactly like that in Corning!
If you suck on the pipe will you get hot glass in your mouth?
Needless to say, La Presidenta’s two assistants – Gumby and Senior Gumby – were in stitches. La Presidenta was smiling and shaking her head at me. Near the end of the day, La Presidenta waved Brazilian Helicopter Pilot up to help make his own shot glasses. (Quick aside: Making shot glasses takes three people – 1 person to gather the molten glass from the furnace and add the color and cut it off into the mold (La Presidenta), 1 person to handle the mold and getting the shot glass into the annealer (Gumby/Senior Gumby), and 1 person to pull the handle (the customer)). She went over how he was to pull the handle and what to feel for, once she was sure that he had it, she turned to me and made a teasing comment about how I was going to leave my boyfriend to do it all on his own.
I smirked and stood up, I had been waiting. “Of, course I’m not!” I said, “The only person who should be gathering glass for him is me!” And then I picked up a punty for the first time in almost four years and executed a near perfect gather. Together, Brazilian Helicopter Pilot and I, with the help of Gumby, made nine shot glasses. La Presidenta gathered one shot glass for Brazilian Helicopter pilot in order to show me how to work on my technique, but I think I did a pretty good job. Blowing glass is a lot like riding a bike, you never really forget how to do it once you learn.
The next day was shoe shopping (for Brazilian Helicopter Pilot not me!), Gumby’s graduation party, and sorting through 22 years worth of crap that had accumulated at my childhood home. I dumped a lot of stuff off at the Salvation Army that day : )
Of course the July 4th party went flawlessly and everyone loved Brazilian Helicopter Pilot. He won over my cousins by beasting it at Kan Jam, my uncles by matching my snark and sass beat for beat, and my aunts by taking good care of me. I was told at least three times that he was a sweetheart and as we left the party one uncle hollered after me that Brazilian Helicopter Pilot seemed as though he was “good at keeping me in line.” I, of course, then got in the car and made Brazilian Helicopter Pilot’s life hell for being so awesome and impressing everyone and not receiving a single threat.
Well, there is the CNY part of my adventure. I will return another time with the Upstate part of it!