THISCLOSE to the Awesome

For my birthday this year, my friend Chana bought me tickets to go see ‘Neil Gaiman in Conversation with Audrey Niffenegger’ at Bard College up in New York. I was thrilled!

I haven’t left the state in ages, so it was nice to take the day off from work with a little purpose and go on a 3 hour road trip to somewhere I have never been.

We went first to Hudson, New York to visit with Beau’s uncle and sister for dinner. Scotty cooked up some amazing chicken and jasmine rice with a side of butternut squash, which I actually ate and liked, and I liked it so much I had seconds! I am going to have to figure out how he did that.. he said he used an awful lot of butter.

The sunset over the Catskills and the Hudson River was incredible. The photos I took came out pretty good (I think) but they don’t really do the light justice, of course.
After dinner we drove to Bard College where Neil Gaiman is now a professor and doing these talks with other artists. I was able to get three signed books – two for Elise – a hardcover copy of Coraline because she loves the movie and I think it will be fun to read it with her, and also a copy of his new children’s book, Fortunately, The Milk. Then, I got a little something for me, which is this really cool hardcover copy of Neil’s “Make Good Art” speech he gave at a college graduation. It’s very inspiring, and I need a little inspiration when it comes to writing (and the not writing) these days.
We were sitting THAT FUCKING CLOSE to Neil and Audrey!! It was amazing. Totally incredible, interesting, and inspiring. They talked about writing, publishing, fame, inspiration, ideas, collaboration, and little snippets of their own lives that was just. so. cool.  I really have half a mind to drop everything I am doing right now and re-read The Time Traveler’s Wife AGAIN because it really is one of my favorite books, it’s just so brilliant, and I am so glad I got the chance to see its author speak in person and see she is just regular like the rest of us.
After that awesome thing, we drove for another hour (by this point it was like 9:30) to go see Beau’s brother Philip who works at a beautiful, rustic restaurant called The Carolina House in Kinderhook. I think.
I had a delicious espresso martini:
And Philip made me some bangin’ pulled pork nachos that we totally devoured. I wish I had gotten a picture with Philip, because I see him approximately once every three to five years, but his nachos will have to do for remembrance:
Basically, yesterday was just wonderful. We arrived home at some ridiculous time like two thirty in the morning and instead of just going to bed like I should have, I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning instead, beginning to catch up on the fifth season of The Vampire Diaries so that I can start watching the new episodes that are airing now. I’m on like episode seven now, and I have no idea why I ever stopped watching this in the first place. I forgot how much I enjoy stories about vampires, no matter how hokey they may be.