Thursday, September 29, 2011


When a man is wrapped up in himself he makes a pretty small package.
 - John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social reformer (1819-1900)

Size varies.

Emmylou was excited to go out on the ledge of the front window. You can see that leaves are starting to turn on my tree. Emmy's tail looks like a puff of smoke. I keep thinking  "'scuse me while I kiss the sky."

Debee and Mom are here. Time to get to bed so that we can get up and get on the train to Albany and north to Schroon Lake. We're almost tucked in.

Writing might be sporadic, and posting will certainly be.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


To a man in love with his hammer, every problem requires a nail. - David Brooks

I posted this as a status on FB. Okay, so perhaps I am scrounging around for aphorisms and adages to keep my spirits up. And as long as I am doing that, I might as well observe the over-used "wisdom" that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

The long and short of all of this is that I am trying to look at my problems and issues and challenges and trying to redefine, recast them. And I am also hoping to find some other resources, behaviors, and attitudes to resolve issues.

That seems plenty ambitious to me.

Mom and Debee arrive tomorrow night. Much to be done, of course. Tonight I ironed pillowcases as that must be more important than clearing off the damn dining room table, right? I could watch the fifth disc of The Good Wife, Season 2 while ironing.

I haven't felt all that well. I took a way long nap. My 'phone was turned off so that I could take photos on the train. I set the nap alarm but did not hear it.  I ate all the rest of my lime popsicles. There were none at Trader Joe's today. How will I survive?
Tupelo at the vet yesterday. Does this lens make my nose look wide?
I hate all of you.

Monday, September 26, 2011


This is my favorite fence in the neighborhood. I will have to try harder for a good photo.
Until a couple of days ago, I had never heard the Emerson quote, "The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it." I've been playing around with this idea as a lens with which to view my own life and situation. There are some good things in my life and my tendency, at this point in the cycle of underemployment, is to let the fear of money, not having any, color every thing. To be despondent and sometimes to be without motivation. It is simple enough in times like these, and the gulag weather and the world news don't help, to just dive into the dark side.

This time, I am trying to be grateful for the things I have. No Miep, but a nice new kitty. Cooder. My mom. A great CD collection. Relative health.

My friend thB who is a striving, aspiring actor, wrote me a note this morning, encouraging me/us to be Warriors not Worriers. She reminded me to stay in the moment and not spend quite so much time in the future. I think I might be able to pull some of this off, as long as I can take some sleeping meds. When the head hits the pillow, and thoughts begin to drift, the spiny fingers of fear grab ahold and do not let go.

Cooder looks so tough in pictures like this. She is finding it difficult to get attention. Emmylou follows me like a faithful dog or Mary's little lamb. But I did give Cooder a few minutes of petting while I drank my coffee.

Do you think this says "dog balls" or "dog baus"?

I went out and did laundry at one of those big laundry centers instead of dropping it off. Probably saved ten bucks. But it took a lot of time. And, as if it matters, I hate folding miles of laundry. I still have to put it away.

I took Tupie to the vet. Blood sugar is still too high. My god, if that cat were a sex worker, he would be a high echelon escort. Everyone loves him and coos over him.

So, now to put away laundry and do some HTML.

I filed my second to the last unemployment claim today. On Friday I got a notice telling me I was almost out of money. I was paying attention, but I can imagine not being so hip to things and finding that my meagre source of cash was about to dry up.

Dog balls indeed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Another day. Another muggy day. Yesterday was terrible. Swamplandia.

My friend Charlie asks "Where are my crisp Autumn days???" The tree outside my window has begun to turn, clumps of brown and orange leaves amonst the green.

I am not doing too much thinking again. I'm trying to not think about my lack of financial stability and the recent loss of Miep. I miss her.

Not thinking has been aided by a little too much of the party spirit this weekend. Last night, before I wrote my "succinct" post I had been over at B's. I thought the party was going to be over at 7:00. I got home quite late and inebriated to boot. Thus, it has been a slow day. I did get some reading and job searching-ish tasks done. Not a total loss.

I need to get into bed so that I can get up and get at 'em.

Last week was a tough week for pets. Echo's canine friend passed as did Phil's dog Sophie. Tupelo is going through some more times of feeling bad. I may be taking him to the vet tomorrow.

Driving back from therapy yesterday was crazy town. Many streets were closed, for some reason there were fire trucks all over. I decided to not get frustrated by the many delays. In the Gowanus Canal section, where I had been detoured, I saw some cool things.

What could brick-oven barbeque be?


So, as far as I can tell, none of y'all know about nor care about Howard the Duck nor how this particular work of art continues to be true, accurate, or reflective of our current emotional/situational life.

Emmylou continues to attempt inter-species interaction by means of climbing up my leg or engaging my arm.

At this point, I am striken by the realization that nothing I record herein will be perceived as either stream of consciousness nor trenchant eyewitness reporting. Or eveN interesting personal perspective.
Therefore, we bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Increasingly, there are days where I feel like Howard the Duck, stuck in a world I never made. I guess Mark Zukerberg is making the world now. Did  y'all read the article about Facebook wanting to be tastemakers? Creeps me out.

Kind of dovetails, albeit circuitously ... (wait can you have a circuitous dovetail? Is that oxymoronic? ...) with some of the comments that Fran Lebowitz made at last week's Brooklyn Book Fair. Got lost of that hairpin turn of thought and now it is impossible to articulate. I'll leave this in the blog as a placeholder.

The next day. 1:11 a.m.

As long as we are not wired to continuity or actual writing, I can finish this post. I was not anticipating watching the last 2.5 episodes of Boardwalk Empire along with the consumption of an entire bottle of white wine ... Yet, that is what ensued.

Before that, however, I ventured into the city for coffee and then wine with Ms. C. Why I even have some photographic evidence.

Yes. This is a pretzel croissant. Yes. It is that good.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Some new level of something has been reached or breeched. My appointment at the NYU Dental Clinic this morning was set at 8:30. This necessitated being on the train to Manhattan by 7:30 as I had a couple of transfers to make.

Readers, I tell you that, although the tooth pain had dissipated, and although I did not get much sleep the night before, I got out of bed, showered, caffeinated, and was at my appointment 15 minutes early.

Shocking I know. I mean, all in a day's work for most of you stalwart souls, but this made twice this week that I broke my pattern. And I think that's a significant thing.

Going to a dental school is sure enough different than going to an experienced dentist, but I was treated, I survived, and I could pay for it. It is still too early to tell if it is all good now, and I do think there is a root canal in my not-too-distant future, but I think I feel better. Given my slow metabolism, I don't take to novacaine too quickly. I had three shots to get properly numb. I haven't felt great the rest of the day, but, hey, as I understand it, tomorrow is another one.

The rest of the day was devoted to recovering, napping, reading (I finished my 49th book of the year, Dorothy Wickenden's Nothing Daunted), watching DVDs (Modern Family, Season 2 and The Good Wife, Season 2), ironing, and playing with Emmylou.

She isn't Miep and I do miss Miep. But Emmylou is an excellent kitty.

I don't know why but I always love this gate being askance... or is it askew.

No idea what the meaning of this could be.


A public school, no less. Love the windows.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So, after blog and before bed, I emptied the dishwasher, cleaned litter box, re-organized a bit of storage space, gathered paper recycling, and listened to music. Some of this energy must be due to the long-ish nap I had today. Time for benadryl and more reading.

Emmylou has learned that I most often go sit at my desk chair. She runs ahead of me to get to the chair before I can sit down. At this moment, I am perched on the edge while she rests quite comfortably over most of the chair. Cats.

Wednesday. Yes. My tooth still hurts. Tomorrow morning, the dentist. Not that I think my situation is going to get much better. Hopefully, they can come up with a triage approach that will get me out of pain until I can take better action.

Meanwhile, M commented on my last post about "why not today" that perhaps I should

take it a step further--why not now

The reason for that is simple. As a recovering ADHD person, if I start doing everything now, then nothing will ever get completed. I promise. Now. That over there. These are the things that an ADHD person sees. So keeping on even moderate tasks is a good thing.

I just walked over to the post office, thinking I should make sure to get some exercise. I got over there only to discover that I had not remembered to bring the items needing to be mailed. Oh well. I did take a bunch of photos of the neighborhood.

You don't see many cats wandering about the streets here. This tom had a big head. Ratty looking but friendly enough.

I did not know these black leafed plants existed outside of art.

It did smell like dogshit. I checked my shoes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Still Tuesday evening.

And another thing. I have fallen back into the alcohol consumption habit. On a general scale, this does not mean that I am drinking the volume I once did. But after the waning months of summer, when things are lax, I find that I think about it on an evening.

I had quite stopped the habit, well, at least it seemed so to me. I was not drinking or having alcohol in the house. I had even stopped thinking about it. But it's back, that impulse or desire to have a glass of something.

Some of it is boredom. Some of it is, maybe being alone, more than being lonely. A time-filler. A buffer. A duller. And an enhancer.

Tonight I had the reason to go out even, and that could have included buying some beer at the least. I am almost out of half-and-half. I even have extra reason, given that I have a toothache and that whiskey is recommended as an analgesic.

I resisted. I am trying to rechannel that energy. I am thinking that, at this point, I need to be as fiscally conservative as I can.

So, I will eat a popsicle (not the ones I really love), play with Emmylou, take some benadryl, and maybe get another chore or two done before I retire. My new, anti-procrastination mantra is: Why not today?


Emmylou helps make the bed.
Waking up post-nightmare to grey, an idling truck, ...

There was another paragraph this morning but apparently I neglected to save at the appropriate time. Oh well, I suppose we will all live.

I made it out to the post office and grocery store today. I decided to drive as I wasn't sure how many groceries I was going to pick up. Driving to the post office can be harrowing as there is often a lot of jockeying for position and/or parking spaces along that strip of 9th Street. I must have picked the sweet spot, timewise, as there were parking spots aplenty. Interestingly, on the block before the post office, there were at least three meter maids walking up and down giving tickets.

New York City is replacing all of its parking meters with parking reciepts. The theory is that you put your money into one of these machines and get a reciept that you then display in your car window. There are a couple of annoying things about this. Often enough, the machine doesn't work. The whole process takes longer what with walking to a machine, sometimes more than one to find a working one, back to the car, lock the car, and then walk in the direction you wanted to go in the first place. Forget about your change, as this device uses credit cards, dollar coins (and we all carry them) or quarters. That's all.

I spent about 10 or 15 minutes trying to get a receipt out of a machine. I ended up moving the car and trying another machine and was ultimately successful. Was I frustrated? Damn right. Were others frustrated? Ditto on that.

But what really depressed me was the flotilla of eager meter maids (in this case all women) doggedly scurrying up and down the street, writing tickets left and right. They were the very soul of enterprise. I had a terrible feeling that the government/the authorities were feeding off of populace. It seems twisted to me that wrong-doing is a viable revenue generator. And there seemed to have been some (gleeful? pernicious?) planning to make the most of folks trying to adjust to a new system. The parking lot behind the grocery store and pharmacy was closed as if to force as many people as possible to park on the street.

I just feel like fodder or a farmed animal.

This mushroom is growing in the roots of a tree.
I thought it was a rind of a grapefruit or something.

 Some beautiful colors starting to happen out there.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Today's title was stolen from Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude. I am making slow progress through it. My friend B liked it enough to suggest it for the Smart Women's Book Group. I am so curious to know what intrigued her so much.

It's only 9:53 but I am quite sleepy. There was no time for napping today as I jumped back into relative productivity. As a result, I hope of over-zealous and perhaps a little too long delayed flossing on Sunday night, either my gums are sore or I have a toothache. Pain makes a body grouchy, not to mention worry about what could be wrong. And, the constant concern of not having employment, insurance, or anything of that nature.

But L and I worked on the MW script for a good two hours today. It's in good shape, although not entirely finished. The dishes are all done, including the cast iron skillets and espresso pot. Some fabric pieces put away after sitting around for a month or more (and even after Emmy threw the whole box on the floor for fun). Did some work in html learnin'. Talked to Debee about the trip out here with mi madre next week.

Fall is in the air. Can you believe daylight savings time doesn't end until November 6? Seems like it should be about now.

Cooder is happier these days and hangs out in the front rooms again. She and Emmylou settled down for a mid-morning nap even before I could get the bed made. They aren't playing together, but they will play at the same time with a reasonable proximity.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Today was the Brooklyn Book Festival, which is, as we heard today, the second largest book festival in the country. Honestly, there were just too many things going on. Shockingly, at least in my case, Mart and I were up and out the door, and at the venue by 9:45. We got tickets to hear Russell Banks speak about his new book, The Lost Memory of Skin. (I got a signed first edition.)

It was a long day to be sure.

The last talk we went to featured Deborah Eisenberg, Wallace Shawn, and Fran Lebowitz. Fran was amazing. She was full of her smart, informed, and mouthy statements. The crowd first went wild when she was talking about the Republicans currently in office (I do not think this is true of everyone in the Republican party, mind you): They're morons, they're illiterate, and they're wrong.

I'm hopeful that parts of the day will be excerpted in places like youtube.

But Emmylou has been without parental supervision for hours and wants some attention. Now.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Night comes in, like some cool river ...

Feels like that tonight. It is fall. And wasn't it just last week that I was complaining about sticky night fingers while typing ...

Tomorrow is the Brooklyn Book Fair, dontcha know ... Martha is here from Brewster and we plan to get up early and try to make more of the show than we did last year.

So today was reading the MW script which is neeaarly done ... L did a terrific job of re-arranging much of what J had come up with into a newly coherent narrative. And taking a great nap.

And having a capital D-delicious dinner at Northeast Kingdom with Martha and son Brett. I had my first butternut squash bisque of the season, plus black mushroom crostini, and a crab cake. Mart and I both had spicy margaritas which we highly  recommend.

And Hal, this is about the best I could do to get Emmylou with her eyes closed.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Allergy season is here again! What! Ho! Days of feeling miserable, without quite knowing why. Yesterday was like that. I do believe that the floor refinishing chemicals wafting from the apartment below could not be of much help.

I am not getting much accomplished. I am even avoiding this writing task. Yeah, today I am suffering the effects of revelry. Brenna was in town and we headed up to hang out with John and Melinda. And while we all had a lot of fun, today was a wash for all of us I think. I really don't like it when I waste days. And I am feeling as if I wasted a lot of this week. I didn't go to Anya's reading nor did I make it to David and Michael's Lehman College art opening at Westbeth.

The consequences of irresponsibility? That's what it feels like. Irresponsible to myself. And maybe irresponsible to my friends who might have liked to see my smiling face at their events. And the main thing is missing out on some life.

I think that's what I've been doing some. I've been sitting things out a bit and not pushing myself to get out there in any number of ways. I'm not being too hard on myself, but it's time to get ready for a bit more discomfort. Time to be stepping out of my comfort zone.

Even tonight, I wasn't going to post what I wrote last night, nor was I going to write tonight. I was going to give myself a pass on account of hangover. No one would really care nor notice. I don't owe anything to anyone.

It must be a good thing that in the long run, I felt I owed it to myself. I said I was going to do this blog and in some ways I haven't been showing up for it. I've been letting things slide, thinking or feeling or acting as if little mattered. Zoning out a bit too much.

I'm going to sit with the irresponsible to myself thought.

Here's Emmylou taking a nap.


Why oh why do song snippets drift into the brain? Is there anyone working diligently on that question? Today, Ry Cooder's version of Dark End of The Street is the featured play, layering with the idling trucks servicing the restaurants (Twelvth Street Bar and Grill and the much-detested Johnny MacK's), two bodegas, a bakery, and a Chinese Mexican take-out place (Yummy Taco, which is really neither Yummy nor do they make real tacos).

That Cooder song was a nice interlude. And speaking of Cooder, I managed to coax her out of the dining room rocking chair where she has hung out since Emmy arrived and on to the pillows on the bed, where both she and Miep used to spend a lot of time. Emmy has passed out somewhere, I guess, as I don't see her anywhere. (Oh, of course, she is nearly under my feet/chair. And now that I have made eye contact, she is on the desk.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


 Another nice day followed by sticky typing fingers tonight. And also, a kitteh who is interested in tearing  up furniture. Who could have taught her that?  And Emmylou has taken over the chair behind my desk chair where Cooder used to hang out quite a bit. These young'uns are short on boundaries and respect for their elders.

Started a program to learn xhtml, so someday this site might be looking spiffier. We can only hope. I suppose you should see some results here sooner than later in the form of better layout ... who knows.

Meanwhile, Emmylou is a terror. Another fun junkie. I have to lock her away from me and Cooder if I want to have any special time with C. As I write, 'mylou is sitting at my feet, looking up at me, ready to play. I'm ready for more sleeping. I wonder if another kitten would help. Even two cats is a lot of work, if you are giving them proper attention.

There is almost no way this face is resistable, unless you are an elderly feline.

"You and you alone,
Bring out the gypsy in me ..."


It's ever-so-slightly muggy, but mostly it feels like the end of summer, as one would imagine it feels at the end of August. But we had hurricanes and worse instead. The weather predictors say that fall weather is coming soon. When I wore jeans yesterday, I felt quite confined and did not much like that. Soon it will be sweaters and boots again. But perhaps Emmylou will be more cuddly.

Some days it feels as if just staying positive is the accomplishment. I have hopes that beneath my every day demeanor and general geniality, there are forces at work that will translate into inspiration and fire for some new endeavor. That my charming, articulate, visionary self will appear as I am writing my resume or making a new contact or two. Tomorrow, right?

Maybe I should sing "Don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire" with steely eyes. Or I could stomp around in the Christian Louboutin spiked heels I found on the streets of Brooklyn and pretend I am a power bitch. Spittin' nails and takin'  no

Meanwhile, here's a shot of the first pizza of the season, a Mexican variation. Pretty good. It was too hot in the kitchen though. That's Melinda cutting the pie. We had to do something to celebrate the season finale of True Blood.

I also managed to go to the Brooklyn Public Library today and ONLY check out the book that was on hold for me (Dorothy Wickenden's family memoir, the name of which escapes me now.) That may well have been a first. I am trying to better align my expectations of what I can really read. And the Smart Women's Book Group is reading Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, which is quite long.

I am afraid Cooder has taught Emmylou how to get my attention by clawing on things while I am typing. This is not a good trend. One of the two caught a mouse today. Considerately, they left it near the wastebasket. Or they missed a shot.