I had an absolutely wonderful time with a lot of y’all at Comics-Con (nearly went _deaf_, but had a good time) in New York last week! (And if I could figure out what blogger has done with the image-adding facility, I’d put up a few pictures taken by kindly folk there, but as it is, I can’t find anywhere to add a picture to postings anymore.)
Then had a _delightful_ few days with my delightful husband [g]—amazing what sleeping for ten hours a night instead of five will do for you (well, that, plus great food, walking miles and miles, excellent wine, and the sort of thing that happens after a certain amount of excellent wine…[cough]…).
As part of this, a kindly friend with connections got us a reservation at ESCA, one of New York’s premier sea-food restaurants, and we had a memorable evening, starting with an exquisite flight of “crudo”—this being (I’m told) Italian for “raw seafood” (aka sashimi, in this case). We thought this hilarious (well, we’d already had _some_ wine), since in Spanish, “Yo tengo crudo,” means “I have a hangover.”
Now, I hope y’all know the basic rule of drinking—one glass of water to each one of wine, _two_ of water if you’re drinking Scotch or hard likker. In case you’re wondering why that works…the pituitary glan produces a hormone called ADH (Anti-Diuretic Hormone). Diuresis means peeing, basically (well, the filtering of blood by your kidneys and excretion of excess water, along with various waste products, but you get the idea), so the ADH keeps you from just draining water out through your kidneys nonstop, and thus maintains a proper fluid balance in your body.
OK. Alcohol _inhibits_ the production of ADH. (This is where it gets mildly confusing, because we’re inhibiting something that’s already inhibiting something else…so the first thing _isn't_ inhibited anymore) That means your hypothalamus doesn’t produce as much ADH as usual—and you pee more. (Surely you’ve noticed this side-effect of drinking a lot.)
Right. Your body is trying to get rid of the alcohol, which is a toxin (and hard likker is more toxic than wine—just ask someone who’s been drinking gin or vodka all night) and that’s why this happens. BUT, if you don’t replace the extra water that’s being used to wash out the alcohol, you _do_ get dehydrated, your fluid balance is no longer balanced, your blood vessels constrict, and a lot of other physiological things happen as a result that make you feel, well….crudo.
So mind what I say, and always order water along with your drink.
Anyway—next morning we went (_sans_ hangover) to church at St. Patrick’s on Fifth Avenue, and happened to hit High Mass, said by the Archbishop, attended by three visiting bishops, and generally sporting a good deal of the ceremonial appurtenances that the Catholic Church is Really Good at. The feature I most liked, though, was that the Credo (this is the Nicene Creed, which contains a recitation of the various things Catholics believe—btw, papal infallibility is not one of ‘em) was sung in Latin.
I haven’t sung the Credo in Latin in…oh, thirty years at least. Was very pleased to find it came right back to me, though—and very moving to hear it again.
Had a quick breakfast after Mass, and then watched a couple of hours (Lord only knows how long it actually went on) of the Hispanic Day Parade up Fifth Avenue, which was only a block from our hotel. I tell you what; I never realized there were that many Bolivians in the _world_, let alone in New York City. A few small groups from Galicia (with bagpipes. Galicia is, as y’all doubtless knew, one of the seven Celtic nations. Also—we think—where Los Gabaldones originally came from. As I tell people, I’m not Scottish—but I am an Iberian Celt! [g] (I have the stubby feet to prove it, too…)), Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, etc.—but rank upon rank, row upon row of Bolivians, in between _everything_, all the ladies wearing bowler hats and very short skirts (displaying either satin panties or buttocks, depending on size of latter relative to former, with each gyration; they wiggled their heinies all the way up Fifth Avenue, which must have taken amazing endurance), the gentlemen either wearing something resembling a super-hero costume with a lot of embroidery and boots studded with bells, or attired in a costume like a cross between the Main Street Electrical Parade and a particularly depraved bumblebee—possibly they were meant to be demons, judging from the expressions on the masks—and whirling noise-makers. All I can say is, they must have a lot of fun in Bolivia on public holidays.
Ended up with a much less adventurous but still delicious dinner (a really good lobster risotto is the only thing I remember with any clarity), and then packed for Boston, where we spent the next couple of days wallowing in clam chowder (and good wine), tootling around on trolleys, and enjoying the actual sensation of chilliness (it’s 91 in Phoenix today).
Returned after all this lovely R&R to the news that THE EXILE is once more #1 !! on the New York Times bestseller list—for the third week in a row! To which I can only say, MUCHAS GRACIAS to all of you for the kind reception of this book, and I hope you’re enjoying it !
So I’m off again tomorrow, to the West Virginia Book Festival:
I’ll be talking/reading/whatever at 2:00 PM, signing books afterward. I’m sorry—I’d intended to bring OUTLANDER: The Musical CDs with me, as well as taking some to Canada next week, but it’s a good news/bad news kind of thing: I don’t have any to bring, because we’ve sold all I had (and thank you all kindly for _that_, too!!). We do have a new batch coming in early next week, but not, alas, in time for me to ship them to Canada.
The good news is that you _can_ get CDs easily; they’re available here , through Amazon.com, or if you want one signed by Mike Gibb (the lyricist who wrote the songs) [g], you can order one directly from him in Scotland via Paypal. See the OUTLANDER: The Musical website for details.
And I think I’ve already put up the schedule for Canada. So see y’all there! Muchos besos! (or, as Hobbs—of Calvin and Hobbs—would put it, “Muchas Smoochas!”)