I am in my new digs - but without internet for now. It may be a week or more before I am connected again from home - slightly insanity-inducing, but I thought I had better explain in case any of my usual correspondents are alarmed by the lack of a near-instantaneous reply to e-mail!
The movers were bad but cheap. They were full of interesting tales!
The driver was from Surinam and had recently relocated back to New York after thirteen years in Atlanta, where he worked as a dental technician and pioneered the use of dental bling on the hip-hop scene - gold, diamonds - there was a lot of money in it back in the day, but now that everyone has been doing that stuff for a while, the bottom has dropped out of the business, so he is picking up extra work as a van driver.
The boss was a manic and voluble Russian who spent much of the day on the telephone to various irate customers as my job stretched out ever longer and he failed to show up to successive appointments (they were at my place almost an hour late to begin with, and I concluded that there was a certain amount of optimism in play with regard to scheduling - he was planning on working until 2:30am, he moonlights as a bartender/party service provider, or perhaps the moving is the moonlight bit).
About six hours later, as we waited for the van so that I could double-check that there was nothing actually precious to me among the stuff that they (very kindly - they were only bad on the count of efficiency, partly because of the bottleneck created by the small freight elevator in my old building, but all four movers were really wonderfully good-natured and obliging) were going to take for me to the Salvation Army, he began one last wonderful verbal riff about how, before he branched out into the moving business, he used to work the most lavish parties.
"Craziness, baby! You can't believe those parties! We had lions! Tigers! Bear cubs!"
(Increasingly skeptical looks from me & crew members.)
"No, really! It was Miami - Puff Daddy had a party, they got sixteen, eighteen penguins in there - it was hot, the penguins were passing out all over the place" (this bit accompanied by suitable flapping gestures) "and the papers got hold of it the next day, they wouldn't let it drop..."
I was especially tickled because there is a penguin-related adventure in my future, only it involves something so implausibly and extremely exciting to me, I still slightly believe it is not really happening - I will perhaps wait a bit longer for it to sink in, & for private gloating & contemplation, before I share the news...
Blogging will be sporadic over the next week or so, unless somebody has special pull with CUIT and can get me an Ethernet connection in my apartment with apparatchik-like celerity!