Back to the old stompin' gounds
This past weekend I went back to C-bus for a visit-- well really there was a more focused task at hand: I was helping my good friend JP prepare his wardrobe for the MLA song and dance. Yes, as JP has said before, I am his own personal Queer(ish)-Eye-for-the-Straight(ish)-Guy. I think we chose some hip, yet professional clothing with contrasting funky color with more traditional pieces-- my fav though are the shoes, his shoes kick-ass.
While I was in C-bus, JP kindly drove me an hour north of the city to meet my brother M and my niece and nephew. We chose Mansfield, Ohio for two reasons: The Living Bible Wax Museum (Ohio's only wax museum) and "Carousel Magic"-- really between Columbus and Cleveland, there is not much to choose from especially when trying to also entertain a two year old and a five year old. The wax museum was a particular treat and I am sad that photos were not allowed. I stole the image above from their website. The museum has purchased several wax models--some of famous people such as Elizabeth Taylor, Don Knots, and Cher-- and then has placed them in several life-sized "scenes" at various stations. The voice of god, or of the narrator, tells the stories at each station. When we arrived at the Living Bible Wax Museum we were presented with three tour options: the old Testament, the new Testament, and martyrs. JP and I personally wanted to take the martyrs tour but we all feared that it would unnecessarily frighten the kids so we chose the old Testament assuming that it would have more peaceful stories but apparently I am misremembering my bible stories. (Incidentally, I was raised Catholic so I really know very little about the bible, I know a lot more about saints, martyrs, the virgin Mary, confessionals, and christ reincarnated into a tasteless wafer that sticks to the roof of the mouth). The tour began in the dark and then light began flashing to represent the voice of god. At this point my two-year-old nephew jumped in my arms and literally dug his fingers into my flesh out of fear-- so much for not scaring the kids. I cannot even remember which story the above photo is from, I just know that for some reason the two women were fighting over the baby that is being held by its leg. After an hour of obscure bible stories (including of course, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah), we emerged into the light of the museum gift shop where my niece ran around identifying the various gaudy items she thought were "so beautiful." We were greeted by an old woman wearing a turban who tried to convert us-- especially JP who we assume assumed that he was gay-- and me who she assumed was the mother of the children and so she begged that I read them the bible every night. There was a lot of hand grabbing and praying for us. We escaped unscathed and went on to have lunch in a Greek diner and then took the kids for a ride on the carousel.
The other highlight of my trip was sharing so many great meals with old friends. We ate fancy Indian, real Chinese, and a lovely home-cooked meal prepared by AM at the new decked out '60s pad that she and WBM have recently purchased. Lots of wine and many Manhattans were had.
As souvenirs of my trip I brought Z back a Jeni's Ice Creams "the Dairy Heir" tee shirt and a boat load of her ice cream. Really I brought back nine pints: salted caramel, Queen City cayenne, cocoa zin, Thai chili, Ohio squash with pecan praline, pumpkin five spice, Maker's Mark pecan praline, buttered brioche with apricot preserves, and mango with cardamom and pistachios! They packed it on dry ice so that I could travel a long distance with it. Now I am torn, do I share my stash with people here peaking their addiction in hopes of splitting a mass order (Jeni's actually ships, but it ain't cheap)? OR do I simply savor each pint one bite at a time (rumor has it that Jeni special orders her cream so that it is like 18% milk fat-- so tasty, so rich, so decadent-- one bite a day should be plenty).
Tonight Z and I broke into the Ohio Squash, we savored two small scoops slowly... the sweetness came from the butternut squash not sugar and the praline was pleasantly salty and earthy at the same time. A cold morsel of heaven.