Wednesday, August 31, 2011


2:30 PM
Some days are appreciably more difficult than others. There is nothing, really, to make today painful but the weight and the dread are back. I have some errands and such to run before I leave town tomorrow and I am not facing them with any joy or enthusiasm. Schroon Lake seems like a critical sanctuary at this point. My own hidey hole?

That damn squirrel is back. He somehow made it into the bathroom. Cooder was stalking him if not chasing him.

10:53 PM
Things accomplished. Heart slightly lighter. Still many things to accomplish before I head out of town.

Cooder stalked a baby mouse. I was sitting here at my desk, when I heard a faint, strange miaou. I looked over to the living/bedroom and there was Cooder with a tail out of one side of her mouth. She had a good time with the mouselette but eventually lost it.

This evening, I found it or another one stuck in the kitchen sink. Poor thing must have fallen in, as it could not climb stainless steel walls. I brought Cooder in for a consult, but she was more interested in play than in extermination. John came down, caught it, and put it outside. It was so damn cute, it was beyond either of us to flush it down the toilet or bash it. Really, really cute.

I spent some time stalking new kittehs on line. I think Cooder will be okay with kittens or young kittehs. She still likes to play.

Another day, another step.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. So many of you have been so loving and supportive. I try to take some comfort in your affection and the lovely notes you sent.

I had a day of some remission today. Waking up with a purring cat wrapped around my head and my check against a fat cat belly likely helped a little. I managed to get back to "work" a bit, moderating and editing (check my FB pages to see how much I posted). I took the Honda in to be serviced before I head up to Schroon Lake again. I didn't cry. I didn't take a nap.

I also didn't answer the telephone or talk very much. I suppose I am trying to extend the emotional remission by avoiding talking for the most part. I feel a precarious balance, an equilibrium of coping that I want to breathe in a little more. There's probably another crash or ten ahead. I cringe when I walk into the bathroom, the front door, or go near the bed. But sometimes there is a sleepy tabby stretching there in the sun and I don't feel quite the total loss.

So tomorrow I will hopefully get a check, pay some bills, finish my post-Irene clean-up, and try to be ready to get on the road at an early hour on Thursday (that would be before noon). It would be nice to come home to a relatively clean house and desk so that I can get moving on life again.

I admit that I am dreading the 9/11 anniversary hoopla. I just think it is a bad idea to have all those politicians and unprosecuted criminals pontificating away in the same area. Can't they have the memorial in DC or something? Leave New York alone, okay?

Then some brilliant lefties think 9/11 would be a grand time to stage a protest at Wall Street. God, no wonder the left has fallen apart. If they think that's a good day to be heard, I suppose they learned nothing from the Republican Convention a few years back. Stupidity must be contagious. I vacillate between wanting to be as far away as possible and then not wanting to go anywhere without Cooder.

Strikes me as slightly humorous that folks thought I might evacuate for Irene. Much more likely to do that for Obama+DickSatan+Dubya+Donnie+Condi+prolly Hillary+Bill. I'll rest a bit more easily when that anniversary has passed.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Many hours pass and I am fine. And then I get a kick of despair and despondency that sends me to the bed (not a neutral place) to kind of roll up in the fetal position with Cooder. Or not. She gets tired of the same area to sleep in. I watch her carefully to see what and if she is eating. What is her mood. What does she think. Am I going to lose her too? Right now? Is she dehydrated? Eating enough?

I have flashes of calm and the bigger picture, Zen, if you will, but they are flashed not even moments. I am as stunned by my state of mind as anything. Really? Does it hurt this much? What else can it be? Both Beth and my mom, in different ways, suggest that it is the accumulation of loss that makes this one so bad.

Most of the time, I think I miss my kitty.

And then, if I want to hurt myself, I can spin along into what is wrong with me, my life, what mistakes I made, and a lot of generally bad judgments about myself. I try to let that go and do my 4-4-4- breathing.

I was functional today, if not as productive as I want to be. And inasmuch as I didn't want to write, I did.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I think about things to write and then I just feel the void again. Just wasn't ready. Or maybe too many other recent losses are still more resonant than I realized. Just hurts.

Still grappling with why this particular loss has me so devastated. I have lost other kittehs. This one, for reasons still unknown, feels unbearable.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Miep is of this school. She has always been an impatient and bossy kitty and besides being in pain, she seems really pissed. Scowling at pain and death. Annoyed at her discomfiture.

Every one in awhile she comes out of hiding, making an attempt to be with me and Cooder, hang out and stuff. But then the darkness and pain come over her and she goes back to her safe space to hide from the pain and wait out the danger.

I got Miep in the wake of the death of another kitty, Sidonie. I got Sido and Cooder at the Berkeley Animal Shelter at the same time. We all moved to Greenwich Village. Sido had been sickly as a kitten and did not live very long. I clearly remember screaming when I found her dead on my bed.

I needed another cat. Miep was an unwed mother, half Siamese, half Russian Blue, that was sheltered at the 5th Avenue Cat Clinic. They called her Hurricane. She got a bead on me so I brought her home.

The song, They Can't Take that Away From Me, has always been a favorite. Miep had more unique behaviors than an kitteh I have ever owned. I think I have mentioned that all I had to do was get near the bed and she would be up on it, miaowing orders at me. She always helped me make the bed. Often, we played "Get Out of the Tangled" sheets.

She would never let me be in the bathroom without her, even if the door was closed she'd be trying to open it. She would get into the bathtub and chase her tail. She was expert at tail chasing.

She had an excellent range of miaows and always greeted me at the door.

Since Maria died and things were calmer, she often slept next to me, hip to hip, or stretched out alongside me so that I could rub her belly. 

I miss her already. All of "that" her is already gone. And in not too long, her pain will be over. Not so much for me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Woozy with emotional pain and ambien.
Vet said Miep has cancer.
I brought her home with me to see if we could have a couple more days.
Not so much.
If the prednisone doesn't get her cheerier by morning, I will have to take her in to let her go.
She tried to hang out on the bed,
Mostly she hides under a dresser.
She came up for a stretch and pets.
Then back to the dungeon,

Me, blinkiing back tears and utterly reeling. One understands the desire to kneel into a little bad and keen. Not sure I have the through for it right now,

My face hurts from stress and crying.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Yesterday the earthquake. Today a sense of dark expectation, to hurricane or not to hurricane? But the air is so soft and lovely. Although it was grey, the clouds still let through plenty of ambient sunlight so it did not feel like a gulag day. Well, except in my heart where it is gulag all the time as I worry about Miep and my immediate future.

I was a little bit self-destructive; I did not eat sensibly. On the other hand, and we're glad when Sally Anne has another hand, no?, I did get out twice. I spoke to Miep's vet, Dr. Jodi. She suggested pain medication instead of appetite stimulant. So I moseyed over for kitteh narcotics and laundry. This afternoon when I was feeling antsy and depressed, and what a bad combination that is, I decided to check B's mail and feed Timmy the Turtle.

True it was on the outing that I made some unfortunate food decisions. But they might have been worse. The church there is on 7th Avenue, but could be Mexico or something, no?

I did work on Monsterwood and on the Big Science site. I finished the book about Sigmund Freud and cocaine. I eschewed a nap.

There's just a feeling that could transmute into dread. Is there a scale of dreading? What would the other words be? Wary? Apprehensive? Anxious? And? And?

I should go make a salad and finish cleaning out the mouse crap from under the sink. Still have not seen any for a few days. 

Today's title comes from Jenny Lewis' Godspeed. It's in .aiff format so takes awhile to download. Quality, people, quality.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Whine whine whine. Yeah, it's only 11:00 but the drunks across the street are already yelling and rowdy. Where were they born? Such bad manners.

It is feeling quite fall here. And then we had an earthquake. That was unusual. Being a Californian, I was not too flipped out. At first, I thought it was construction somewhere in the building, or maybe a truck hitting. It's interesting how one really doesn't know and how quickly one races to figure it all out, to come up with a calming explanation.

I was also surprised how long it took the news services to get on it. My first confirmations came from FB. That's not so good.

Anyway, I am still circling uncertainty and anxiety about Miep. I left a message for her doctor who will be in tomorrow. She ate and drank and at least went in to the litter box. She meowed and wanted pets and hung out some. Slept on the bed. But she is so thin.

Cooder cannot figure out why Miep is getting all this attention, since she is usually the recipient of my extra goodies. I am kowtowing to Miep, bringing her catnip and treats to the bed.

Perhaps the vet will give us some appetite stimulants. Meanwhile, canned food will have to do.

Bouncing off the pale blues a bit. Feeling slightly (self) destructive. But mostly getting the better of that. It's the end of summer/end of unemployment/what's next blues. I'm pushing through it though.

Monday, August 22, 2011


I am not feeling very voluble this evening. Miep is not really improving as I would like. I had to pull her out from the deepest corner beneath a cabinet. When I came home this evening, having been gone for a few hours, she would not respond to me. I was terrified I was searching for a body.

I forced the antibiotics down her throat as best I could. She ran to the bed and cleaned off the rest. I had to go out again to feed Timmy the Turtle, who was, let me tell you, quite hungry. He was about to crawl out of his terrarium or whatever they live in. I felt terrible about that. I think I was supposed to feed him yesterday.

Miep was still on the bed when I got home. We had some petting and she flipped her tail around. She got up and headed for the water bowl in the bathroom, which was good. I took in some canned food and I left her there, eating something at least.

Cooder cannot understand why I am not paying more attention to her.

I just want to sleep.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Oh yo. Today was a struggling day. I couldn't find my personal groove, my flow, that led me from one nice moment or accomplishment to another. Instead, it was I-and-I fighting and compromising for progress. Five minutes of work for five minutes of time wasting or solitaire (not exactly time-wasting) or something less important.

Accomplished? Bedroom rug vacuumed. Load of mouse-travelled oven storage dishes in dishwasher with bleach. Counter partly bleached. Oven turned on to "clean" and no mices running out. Pages of Anatomy of Addiction read. Nice nap. Miep medicated. A second volume of mix completed.

That's about it.

Miep is not as doing as well as might like.

An early bedtime is possible so I am going to go for it.

And tomorrow will be another day, perhaps better.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Forget about the Game of Thrones line, "Winter is coming." Autumn is coming. The heat and a little humidity was here today, yet there was a softness, an undercoat of cool, the temperature equivalent of slowing down coming through. On a particular level, that would be reverse thinking as summer is the slow period. Fall is usually accompanied with a frenzy of activity to prepare for the hunkering down. The weather, the temperature, the air, and the light, these elements are all muted.

Another sign is read in cat friendliness. This was Cooder curled up in the living room rocking chair she has largely eschewed (she's a cat! of course she eschews) since the advent of hot weather. I believe she is there again now, after, of course, a couple of hours of mouse patrol.

No sightings. No activity while humans or felines have been present. I have yet to set the next level of traps or finish the bleaching and cleaning of the oven and stove.

These things need to transpire at any rate, these cleaning tasks. My mother and our dear family friend Debee are coming to visit the last week of September, first week of October. And although I think the largest part of our time will be spent driving to Schroon Lake and Montreal, I need to fight back the encroaching mess. Also, Martha is coming in for the Brooklyn Book Fair in a couple of weeks, so it is getting to be visitor time again.

I had a great Saturday when I think about it. If I don't focus on what actually happened, I failed to do all I planned. I had a nice sunny nap with Cooder. Idyllic right? And before the nap I had finished watching a Netflix that has been here for two months (When Did You Last See Your Father?) and the last Jane Campion movie (Bright Star) as I ironed (so much that I got a blister).

Also, had an awesome catch-up/bonding call with the beautiful DreamFarm girl. So, all good.

Now, I am drinking some red wine ("Danger, Will Robinson!") and eating some dark chocolate while the kitchen floor dries. We make what progress that we can. Even got a good portion of my office floor mopped (I was about to slip on the residue of spray starch ... yes, I am that kind or ironer). I worked on Monsterwood. Productive in general. Yet, I didn't get done what I had hoped to, so there's that judgment of failure.

Miep belly.
Miep. Miep. She hasn't been very present. I can't even find her right now. She did, however, join me in nap time. For a few minutes, I had one kitteh purring by my head, having her head scratched. The other was stretched alongside me, having her belly rubbed. We all dozed in the afternoon sun. How bad could that be?
Miep paw.

Miep paw, arty.


Friday, August 19, 2011


 While it is indisputably a cat butt in that shot, it is a cat butt attached to a mousing cat. She doesn't like being on the counter, but as that is part of the mouseway, I put her up there to see if she could either find or intimidate them. She was quite interested for awhile, but no mousies came out, so we went back to our regular treats and catnip routine.

I did put out traps that look like big roach motels, and I haven't seen any mice, but I don't think the problem is solved.

In the meantime, Miep continues to slowly improve. She actually did something like cuddling last night, lying besides me and purring which is big for her.

The Johnny Macks' drunk squad kept me awake last night, even though I didn't go to bed until  12:30. I called the bar four separate times before they either closed the bar, drank themselves into a quieter stupor, or I just passed out. Not a happy night. Serious jerks. They're at it already, however, it is only 10:40. I don't complain until midnight.

Finally (!) saw Louise today to get back to work on Monsterwood. We worked steadily for about three hours without putting pen to paper, as it were, just hammering out ideas. Hard work and unsettling because we have not resolved some important questions. But such is the nature of creative work. Process process process. You don't always know when or why or even if something is going to finally work.

I decided to walk over to the B line in front of the Museum of Natural History instead of taking the 1 to the A/C to the F. As a rule, the farther uptown  you get on, the more likely you are to find a seat, especially at rush hour, which was getting to be.

There's a weird Goodwill on the way over and I stopped in. There really wasn't much there ... the store is not much bigger than a corner bodega. I bought some books, always lots of books on the Upper West Side, right? The most recent Carl Hiassen (not that one is different from another) and the Booker Prize winner from 2009 (Alice Munro short stories ) in hard cover. Right. I need more books, more things to read around the house.

On the way past the window, I saw this awful doll. Seriously, one of the ugliest dolls I have ever seen. This one looks as if it would kill you in the night.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Harmonious subway color.
I broke down today and bought mouse traps. I don't want to diss Cooder's prowess but so far, no dead mousies.  I am avoiding my kitchen which is not good. They startle me, you know. Not to mention the disease and all they carry. I need mah kitchen.

More rain, but I didn't mind so much as I was already home from my days' perambulations. The rainfall sound is quite nice when you are drowsy. If I had not set my alarm, I would likely be waking up about now. And then not sleeping the rest of the night.

The new display at Tender Buttons.

Miep gets friendly again. 
I did not work qua work today as I had a (fun) lunch with Miz C. After therapy, I wasn't feeling so great, maybe that stress cold was making another run at surfacing. I forced myself to stop at the Home Depot on 23rd Street for mouse traps and then Trader Joe's for supplies. K and I have different vacation schedules so will not have a lot of therapy for a few weeks. That will be interesting.

To her credit, Cooder is back at her battlestation tonight. Miep is helping me change the sheets.
Pillow-eye view of Miep.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


 Why yes! That is the mouse hunter on the job.  I decided to make her job a bit easier by moving some mouse hiding areas. 

All very exciting, I am sure.

So those of you who are worried about Miep. I called her vet, who called me back. We put her back on the antibiotics she had been on before. I should have a little more money in a couple of weeks, and at that time be able to take her in for a urinalysis which will give us more specific information and then perhaps another course of antibiotics.

I gave her the first dose this afternoon and she is already slightly perkier. This is good news. Hopefully, she has something that can be treated. Not really ready to lose her yet.

And talk about mother-daughter bonding! I convinced my mom to let me try to help her troubleshoot her Mac long distance. Karma-wise, I owe some computer aid/support out there. For decades, I relied on my bosses and friends to do everything.

Instead of getting frustrated, I chose to see the positive that Ma was willing to hang in there and keep trying things. Fighting her phobia! I'm probably learning some things, too.

And here are some photos of plants that are already checking out.

B and I were in the park the other evening. She gasped, looking off into the distance. I followed her gaze to a tree already quite yellow. Really.

This is the first time I have lived quite so close to a tree, as I nearly sleep in it. I have never observed their life cycle so closely. I can see the leaves starting to lose some of their vitality. They're slightly droopy and the ends are rather curly. I just thought they turned in a day and fell off. Silly human.

Mighty hunter napping for night's work.

Non-working cat of leisure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I just checked my spam blocker and found this message: Are you qualified to work from home?

Wait! Do I really have to think about that? I guess I could have taken the quiz, but I spend enough time in self-doubt. I should just go forward.

Sleep has been tough for about the last five or six nights, unless it is between 4:00-7:00 pm. Then I am out like a light. I try to stay awake then, hoping that I will fall asleep at a reasonable hour, anything before 2:00 am would be good. Success in sleeping is eluding me.

I am not tossing and turning worried about every mistake I have made in my life nor my immediate future (and, you know, that is fairly worrisome). That lovely freefall into utter relaxation does  not happen, even when I have not been on the computer for a couple hours. The breathing Susannah taught me helps, but does not put me to sleep entirely.

Cooder has been stepping up her cat duties, planted in the mouseway in the kitchen. This pleases me, but means no furry purry company to set a sleeping example. We all make sacrifices.

Miep has me worried. She's still moving around, but she is not jumping on the bed nor bossing me around as she does when she is feeling good. How to get some health care for her without spending the money I don't have? As she responded well to the antibiotics a little while back, I am hopeful that it is something treatable. John and Mel spent so much money on Tupie and I just can't afford any of that.

Just low level worrying: rodents and bugs in the kitchen, a sick kitty, world economic crisis, gulag weather, personal economic hardship, ... sheesh.

Wasn't feeling well today either. Felt like that stress cold/virus that I host was about to take over again this morning. I immediately took some zinc and vitamin C and took it easy today. I did try to work on Big Science, but I wasn't very smart or interested in much.

Tonight I will take some benadryl and hope that knocks me out. So glad Cooder is on duty in the kitchen, keeping crawly and scampering enemies at bay. And I also hope she doesn't catch anything and bring it to me in bed.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Wow. The dripping gulag weather continued today. At one point, the sky just opened up, just like a faucet. And then stopped. Something up high doing the dishes? Then it got nice. B and I went to the park to catch up and finish off the white wine that I had no business buying in the first place and which caused me to be a bit slow today.

Still no progress on the mouse front. I've been leaving the stove fan on in the current belief that the noise will dissuade the intruders. The cats are just not in a mood to sit in the hot kitchen and wait for some action. And really, what can they do? If the mousies are living somewhere in the stove or behind it, those are not exactly cat accessible places.

So what I did get done today besides filing for unemployment and cleaning the bathtub was posting a poem of the week. Hard to call it that as I have not posted one since March. But I always mean to. And I did attempt some professional telephone calls and that sort of thing. Yeah yeah yeah. Not as much progress as I need to make.

I'm thinking, okay? I'm working on it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Sunday, Sunday. Can't trust that day.

In general, it was not a bad day, after waking up to that rain which has steadily fallen all day.

I kilt the fly nursery, going so far as to Windex the kitchen garbage container. All clean in that corner. But before I could feel good about that, I saw a mousey again. Sigh. Vermin. I know this is due to that construction, but there seems to be a path for mouse migration directly across my counter and into the stove. Cooder had moved to her favorite living room chair and shows no interest in mousing. Given that Mousey lives somewhere in the environs of the stove, I cannot blame Cooder for her relative lack of interest.

And I fear Miep is failing. She was better after that dose of antibiotics, but, although her mood is good, she is eating and miaowing, she is spending too much time under her chair. I think maybe it is kidney failure. And I've less than no money, at this moment, to take her back to the vet. I'm not sure what to do. I'm less sure what I can do. Actually, she is sitting on my pillow on the bed, so she is not feeling like hiding at the moment. But she is losing weight and I think she is slightly dehydrated. I can scarcely comprehend.

I noticed she was less present. I attributed that to the heat. No one wants to be around or doing much when there it is hot and there are only fans for cooling. Das kittehs find places to be comfortable and I leave them to it.

On the other hand, and not that it means much to me in the long run, but my childhood friend Darlene found her cat Nemesis after about six weeks. The kitty got out right after Dar had moved and she was pretty sure the coyotes of her Arizona neighborhood had nabbed him. But she found him! He had evidently found another home.

All this means to me is to not give up hope sometimes.

And so to bed, and tomorrow the mousey problem. One day at a time, wot?


I just couldn't do this yesterday. Focus was not part of my being, really. I drove down Park Avenue which was closed for some jock event. The policeperson who stopped me was nearly in shock at my missing the signs, but kindly in the end. I found a parking place on Lexington, bought my parking ticket, left it in the machine and walked away. Fortunately, I remembered in time to go back and buy another one, thereby spending $6.00 instead of $85.00.

AND, I did the yeoman's work of spending two hours on the telephone with my 80-plus-years-old Mom trying to troubleshoot her (likely dying) iMac. Not quite a case of the blind leading the fucked, but not too far off. So I eschewed all writing and took to bed at a reasonable hour.

The rain poured like a stream this morning. Before I opened my eyes, it was easy enough to think I had fallen asleep in some wilderness. Kind of great, really. Another benefit of my window so near the street. I had the leafy canopy to look at as well, and if not for the ultimate comfort of down beneath me from head to toe, I could imagine I might be camping.

At any rate, there is much writing to catch up on, but I need to complete my annihilation of the fly breeding ground I discovered in my trash area. I just had to take a break from it. And who wouldn't.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Is the practice showing up every day? Writing every day? Posting every day? I'm not sure. I worked two days at on a quick video shoot. Had to get dressed and go out and be a grown-up. Mostly fun to be in that New York flow. There are times where there is no where else I would rather be. The last picture is my earned post-work, Friday night beer.

I came home ready to sleep but didn't want to wreck my night's sleep. So I turned my attention to completing my long-over due mix gifts. And then I ended up being up late and could not sleep or anything else.

It ain't that I'm not thinking. 

Subway and New York photos.