Thursday, February 28, 2013


"It's the most unhappy people who most fear change."
--Mignon McLaughlin

Right. Or maybe right. And hell, change can be hella-painful so there is certainly reason to be wary and cautious if not downright scared. On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice if the nature and reality of change were taught to us as children so that we learn to accept and adapt, rather than fear. Now I will imagine that those of you who are more child developmentally adept would have some things to say about children needing routine and security and all of that, but I do think there is merit in what I say.

And I am due, karmically, for some excellent change for the better. Where is that ship now?

Doing okay down in da citteh without da kittehs (just went for the rhyme), but tired and slightly sad for some reason unbeknowst to me. Lots of people in my business community are grieving for the loss of their friend and colleague who was killed last Friday night when a car jumped a curb on Atlantic Avenue just as she was stepping out of a bakery. The randomness and closeness of death has just stopped a lot of folks in their tracks.

I was going to head back upstate tonight, but I was just too spent, so I will spend the night here with one of the B's and go back tomorrow morning after breakfast with John and Melinda and Tupelo. Truthfully, I did not think I could climb the stairs to their apartment anyway.

My eyes are tired, so I should get these contacts out and get some shut eye.

And happy happy birthday to m'dear brutha Manuel. You do do what you can to make the world a better place and we notice. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I don't know why it is, but getting ready and leaving home always causes me quite a bit of stress. I procrastinate and avoid and then end up running around madly. I will have to spend more time examining this and trying to be conscious as it doesn't really help out anybody.

We are a bit on edge anyway today because our little Albert is not feeling too well. He didn't come in to noodge me for a walk at all yesterday, nor did he do his usual greeting dance. M took him to the vet early today, so I am waiting to hear his prognosis.

The engine light on the Honda has gone off again for the last couple of times I have driven it, but I am pretty sure that does not mean the problems diagnosed do not exist. I don't really know what to make of that. I was going to take the train today, but, yet again, I decided to drive. What a wuss I am.

My sweet peeps, Emmylou and Rodney.
But my lil' paper on Frankenstein is posted. I had so much trouble with Victor this time that I really couldn't see much of anything else. My thesis was that VF was the pro-type for the self-involved, self-obsessed male that we (and I use that term loosely) laugh at in all the bro/buddy comedies. A serious manchild (here's a nice one from The Onion on this topic). This week, on to Poe and Hawthorne. Wonder if I'll be able to find any Poe around here ... (Laugh from the audience ... J [aka Jack Alcott] wrote a Poe novel and there are pictures of Edgar Allen Poe all about the house).

Onward to shower, packing, and Queens. Maybe tonight I will write more about Joan Dye Gussow and Julia Della Croce, who was another dinner guest.

Oh the best news is that the new Emmylou Harris-Rodney Crowell cd, Old Yellow Moon, arrived yesterday and it is sublime. The title song is one of the weakest on the album. As I wrote to S last night upon my first listen, Back When We Were Beautiful will take you out at the knees.

Counting down the days!

For the hell of it, here's my essay (and by the by, we have to write an essay under 320 words. It's not easy to say anything in that limited amount of space).

Foremost among Shelley’s remarkable achievements in Frankenstein must be the figure of Victor (henceforth, VF), a prototype of self-involved, self-obsessed male characters: manchildren. VF’s descendants include Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Humbert Humbert in Lolita and anything with Will Farrell. These men do what they will, follow their interests and passions with little to no self-awareness, while they wreck havoc and destruction on those near and dear to them.  
Though many times VF boasts of his devotion to humankind and philanthropy, self-reference and preservation generally shine through his declarations. So little self-awareness does VF possess that shortly after he reunites with his “monster” after the deaths of William and Justine, he declares … “You may render me the most miserable of men, but you shall never make me base in my own eyes.” That his primary impulse here is preservation of his own self-regard demonstrates his fathomless immaturity.
Marks of maturity include care, acknowledgement and responsibility for others (“I knew well therefore what would be my father’s feelings, but I could not tear my thoughts from my employment”). He does not visit his family for years; he leaves his fiancée to wait, not even bothering with regular communication. And all the while he exults himself with aggrandizing nonsense. He prides himself on his pride: “I am no coward to bend beneath words.”
VF exhorts Walton and crew to continue his quest. On his deathbed, he declares “During these last days I have been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blamable.”
Perhaps this level of relentless egotism was a by-product of, a reaction to loss of personal power or a kind of anonymity that occurred with the rise of industrialism. In all of these readings, from Grimm to Shelley we see a range of questions and issues about identity and a character’s place in the world.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Okay. Not the worst day in the history of self-indulgence, but a little over the line. And very sleepy now.

I took the train down to Chappaqua to go to M's Farm-to-Table reading group at the library. M got me invited to a pre-meeting dinner with the guest speaker, JoanDye Gussow, and that was hella-cool.

I finally called Apple and spent some quality time with a feller named Eric getting the new laptop up and running so that I can take it with me to Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan tomorrow.

The other big news of the day was that Ms. Emmylou took a turn outside for quite a long time. The front door got left open and I never even thought about the fact that she would go out. I was sitting on the couch in the family room when I heard a banging on the door. And there she was. Happy to get in, also. She staid pretty close to me for the next few hours.

Okay, I am going to sleep. This was just a try.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Guess I am chatty this morning. Also, I have not been consistent in my daily postings, so I can keep on posting without fear of inundating you.

I just started Joan Dye Gussow's This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader and already found writing that delights:

... leery of being controlled by anyone or anything to accept uncompromsing Nature as a mistress. Nature is a difficult co-worker: She won't allow you to postpone things, and she is often ready for you when you aren't ready for her.

Hell-o! I find cooking and using food stuffs to be on the same continuum, not to mention pets and even human relationships!

Wrote the paper, watched some Oscars, made some dinner, and now to bed. See ya manana!


It would be easy enough to write me off as merely cat obsessed, but they are the critters with whom I hang the most. If Albert were the critter who curled up with me at night, I would undoubtedly get pictures of him in moments of sweet repose.

Oh man. I made it through Frankenstein, but now on to the more difficult task of writing something about it. And I am sorely irritated by the character of Victor Frankenstein to the degree that I want to swear and throw things. Over coffee, M heard me groaning on the couch, momentarily wondered what was up, and then remembered my frustration at the book. What a first-class dick he (Victor Frankenstein) is. 

I kind of want to diss the book. Now this is a reversal of my previous experience of reading, well, listening to Frankenstein wherein I thought it a revelation. My vituperation is tempered with the knowledge that for an 18-year old in 1817 or whenever she actually wrote it, this IS a masterpiece, however uneven. And I might enjoy ruminating on it the more if I were not under a time constraint to write something right away so that I can get along with the pile of other things I must attend.

And I slowly make my way through Magic Hours, the clock of overdue fines ticking to the tune of $.10 per diem. 

From an article about documentaries about war, Rules of Engagement: The Iraq War and Documentary Film:

Film provides audiences with a uniquely reactive vulnerability; a vivid description of a shrapnel wound can certainly be affecting, but a two-story-tall image of the same can move you to slam shut your tyrannized eyes.

Now in the midst of the next essay, Euphorias of Perrier: The Case Against Robert D. Kaplan (first published in 2006).

... these traits have been visible in Kaplan since his first gook, as has his love of intellectual shortcuts and invincible humorlessness. Kaplan's real problem, which has becomng growingly evident is not his Parkinson's grip on history or that he is a bonehead or a warmonger but rather that he is an incompetent thinker and miserable writer. 

Kaplan is said to have briefed President Bush in 2001, and today finds these protean gentlemen in a surlier and far more interventionist mood. They have fused an apparent personal fondness for strutting machismo with a fetishized idea of simplicity's value. Both have willed into unsteady reality forced senses of personal identification wth the common American, whose imagined need for that which is clear and cut trumps all other moral and political considerations. Bush has gone from an isolationist to an interventionist minus the crucial intermediary stage wherein he actually became interested in other places. Kaplan has traveled from the belief that America should only 'insert troops where overwhelming moral considerations crosshatch with strategic ones' to arguing that 'September 11 had given the U.S. military the justification to go out scouting for trouble, and at the same time to do some good' seemingly without understanding that he has even changed. Doubtless both men would sit any skeptic down and soberly explain that September 11 changed everything. What September 11 changed, however, was not the world itself but their understanding of American's role in the world. For President Bush and Robert D. Kaplan, September 11 primarily seems to mean never having to say you're sorry.

Carl von Clausewitz famously wrote that war is the extension of politics by other means. Bush and Kaplan, on the other hand, appear to advocate war as cultural politics by other means. This has resulted in a collision of second-rate minds with third-rate policies. While one man attempts to make the world as simple as he is able to comprehend it, the other whispers in his various adjutants's ears that they are on the side of History itself.

Tom Bissell is my new hero. His writing is so insightful, incisive, and hilarious. Here's a review of this book and a video clip of him speaking which only made me like him more.

Okay. Off to the shower, my next book that needs to be read in a day, This Organic Life, writing my paper, and shopping for tacos fixins. 

I love how these little hummocks of dead grass look like blackbirds in a snowfield.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


The question should be, is it worth trying to do, not can it be done."
--Allard Lowenstein, American politician 

That should be my mantra: is it worthy trying to do x? Perhaps that would simply my life some although I am not entirely hopeful about that.

Yeah, I need to be reading Frankenstein today. I am not very far along. I've been on the telephone quite a bit, and even evaded a call or two. 

Although it is overdue, I am still determined to finish Magic Hours. Here's another tidbit from the essay about books on writing:

... Just when was it that "competent" became such a terrible fate? Like "cute," it is a word that has somehow culturally capsized and spilled its initial, positive meaning. And since when have merely good writers been deserving of barbed wire and gruel? I, for one, am glad of the world's good novels. I am reading a good novel right now. (I have already written several bad ones. That does not really seem such terrible providene either, in the end.) Writers who fail are not pathetic; they are people who have attempted to do something incredibly difficult and found they cannot. Human longing exists in every person, along every frequency of accomplishment. ...

Yeah. It behooves us to cut some slack and be, whenever circumstances allow, a bit more open-minded and forgiving of people and things on the continuum of success and failure. Isn't that what the Christians call grace?

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The right decision at the end of the day is what creates long-term sustainable shareholder value. If you keep that line at the tip of your tongue when you make a decision, you're generally going to have some pretty good results."
-- Edward Breen, former CEO of Tyco International, 

I find that sentiment or strategy hard to accept. Surely seems as if the human element gets lost in all of this. Then again, I am not the first person to notice this.

I neglected to mention my other accomplishment of yesterday: I finished knitting my little cashmere scarf. Even to getting the fringe on it, which is, for some inexplicable reason, where I often get stopped. My other current scarf project has an error and I have to rip out a bunch which is a big ol' pain, so I needed to let it sit for a few days. Ripping out knitting takes the perspective time gives you, unless it is just a little bit. I had hoped I could live with the mistake, after all, isn't it the Japanese who think you should build in errors? But it will bug me.

So this is post begins before noon. I fell asleep last night and then woke up and started trekking into that personal darkness. I circumvented a large amount of that by just getting out the sleeping meds.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


So, I did not have a bad day, even though many items on my to-do list did not get accomplished. There were some items crossed off of lists. Some errands run. And some macaroons made.

M and I had occasion to be in Danbury, CT on Monday. Her nephew mentioned an Asian supply store where I might be able to find some unsweetened cocoanut. We found much more than that!!! Both M and I were utterly excited. This store, Atlantic Market ... serving the Southeast Asian community ... must be the restaurant supply for local Thai restaurants. Fresh lemongrass. Fresh thai basil. Fresh Vietnamese coriander. Oh yeah. Smiling Fish Brand mackerel in tomato sauce. Hot sauces to make a head spin. Fresh Laotian-style pork sausage ... and yes I bought some even though I am not a giant pork fan. And yes unsweetened cocoanut much cheaper than the sweetened brands, even Trader Joe's. Oh, and the baby bok choy would have made you weep.

So, I made lemon macaroons. J, M, and I were all pretty pleased, though we were able to show enough restraint to not eat ALL of them. I meant to take a photo for you, but M and I were watching an older episode of American Masters about Joan Baez, which was really quite good.

I did not get my reading nor watch any of the lectures or movies I need to be watching for class. I did get a mini-raise on my curatorial job. And I had fun working with Mr.bdg on a possible new music site.

So, I will now to bed, to see if I can't stay awake for some Frankenstein.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


In a bit of a manic mode, fortunately more overly-energetic than desperately depressed. We take our blessings and graces where we can get them.

The class is taking up a certain amount of mental focus, so perhaps that is why I have not been posting as much. Not that I mean to give this up.

All those things said, ... what day is it? Tuesday (..."maybe Tuesday will be my good news day?") ... Time to get on to Frankenstein. Magic Hours is now overdue and unread. In my strange mood, I managed to misplace it.

From Tom Bissell's article, Writing about Writing:

Dreams, after all, are many, often mundane, and their private pursuit is the luxury of every dreamer.

All human activity is taught. The only thing a human being is born to do is survive, and even in this we all need several years of initial guidance.

To write serious work is to reflexively grasp abstruse matters such as moral gravity, spiritual generosity, and the ability to know when one is boring the reader senseless, all of which are founded upon a distinct type of aptitude that has little apparent relation to more measurable forms of intelligence.

... The New Yorker style is a fine style with which it is eminently worth getting acquainted, but it is not the only style. Nor is it, in every case, even the most preferable style. One truly interesting thing about the New Yorker style is that it can serve as both a hiding place for mediocrity and as the lacquered display table for masters rightfully confident in their powers. Used well, the New Yorker style is what one imagines the style of God might be, if there was any indication that God spoke English. 

This is no substitute for conversation or writing, but it is filling up the page. I was feeling so wired around 7:30 or 8:00 that I took some sleeping medication which is now, happily, kicking in.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Love these colors,

My head could easily explode right now. Lots of little possibilities for work ... they start ... they stop ... go stop go stop no forget it. 

I really did not hit my Dracula reading target today. I mean, I worked on work although,  you know, most of it is not the paying kind. Now that I look again, I am not too far off and if I make this short and just go to bed and read, I will be okay.

I was a damned mad scientist in the kitchen tonight. I thought I was cooking healthy, but there was a helluva lot of butter and olive oil. I made this up: roasted onions, kale, pear, and baby red potatoes in a gorgonzola-creme fraiche-butter sauce (oh yeah). It was good. A lot of work. But it was good. And then I thought I would make chicken piccata, forgetting what an oil and butter intensive dish that is. Oh well. I won't make that again for years.

Albert and I walked by the reservoir for a bit, although I don't feel as if it were enough genuine exercise. It was a pretty day. 

This is a good one, no?

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Bright sunshine and newfallen snow. That's what we woke up to.

Another challenging day. I can't say I was wholly surprised to hear the Honda dealership repair guy tell me that I needed to buy a new car, but I can't say it made me happy. It made me cry as a matter of fact. Now, I had my local mechanic give me an estimate for the parts and labor and the whole job was $500 cheaper than the Honda place quoted me for just the part. And Honda is trying to sell new cars, not accommodate those of us who can't afford a new car. But hell.

On the other hand, Ms. IS was awarded a gig that she thought she had no chance at and I do believe if all goes well, I will have a few weeks of work on a research project which would be great for any number of reasons.

Oh, and I got 6 out of 6 as a grade on my Alice's Adventures in Wonderland essay. One reviewer asked me to post it to the Alice discussion boards for the class, so that was cool.

I did have the presence of mind to obtain a little Valentine for my dear M. I wrapped it in a big bow and left it near the coffee pot as I know that's where she heads first in the morning. Imagine MY surprise to find a big red-wrapped package perched  on the edge of MY desk ;-). It was a lovely way to start the day.

Making progress in Dracula. Still have a lot to read, but doing it. I need to call the Kindle people and see if I can get some help on how to use the danged thing.

I have not been able to read much of the Tom Bissell essays, Magic Hours, and it is due next week and I cannot renew it. But in the last HILARIOUS essay, which was about the Underground Literary Alliance, he concluded with this

"I wrote earlier of the sacred. Indeed, literary movements have a typical development not unlike that of religion. They begin in revelation, grow in consolidation, mature in strength, decay into complacent necrosis, suffer schism and partial inner destruction, and then are born anew. If the ULA follows this traditional arc, one of two things will happen. They will either grow frustrated, stop writing, surrender their faith, and disappear; or one of them, or two of them, possibly three of them, but no more, will publish or self-publish something that findsan audience large enough to move the traditional publishing houses and larger magazines to swing their censer before the ULA's eyes. Any such success will, no doubt, be a moment of some philosophical difficulty. The money will in all likelihood be convincing enough to allow those lucky ULA writers to swallow their rancor toward the system that shunned them, and with weighty hearts they will step into the bloody crossroads where art and commerce meet. Perhaps, then, the ULA will become the literary equivalent of say, Episcopalianism. Suddenly, they will be the ones turning away expect apostles. Theirs will be the door to which many will nail their bad-tempered theses. I personally hope for the latter, both because I believe that the ULA's movement is fundamentally one of hope and because I suspect that only success will convince the ULA that art, like death, is life's great leveler. We all grieve of it equally, and at no point can any of us expect to be treated fairly.

— Tom Bissell

Hmm ... I think money is the great leveler in this day and age, and I guess money is part of that last equation. But I need to get ready for bed.

Happy anniversary to Bill G. and Susan U. Love you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Today was not exactly stellar but I think the cat is drying out. Although there is a greenies-addict perched here on the desk, just in case anything should happen. Or maybe she just wants to be near me, but I kind of doubt that.

I got distracted into cooking. I needed to use up some ground turkey, so I found this recipe for rosemary turkey meatloaf ... oh there she goes trying ... and succeeding at annoying me ... she now just threw a bunch of catnip on the carpet where I had only this afternoon vacuumed. Emmy is apparently eating it so maybe I won't have to vacuuum again right away.

I'd go to bed but I finally washed my clothes and then forgot to put them in the dryer. I need to go to sleep anyway because I have to get up early (for me) and take the Honda in so that I can be more depressed  and worry about money more.

Yeah, well. I did manage to get Albert out to the reservoir, although we did not walk long. I got some nice pictures.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The wet cat-ish mood continued today, although I had another night of fairly delicious sleep.

I suppose a lot of it is the worry, and that is not particularly new. M dropped me off at Honda nice and early, but the overall prognosis does not seem so good. I have actually take it to the Honda dealer, which is hella-conveniently located just down the street. I will know more on Thursday. Sigh.

The new laptop came today. And in my usual rush, although I was clearly thinking about it for months, I bought an 11" instead of a 13". So this one is quite small. I have begun configuring it, but I just wasn't in the mood today. Cats and wetness are generally not recommended for anything to do with computers. I know I will spending some hours with my Apple friends again and I suppose I am putting that off.

I did, however, download Dracula from Project Gutenberg and did start reading it on the Kindle and learning the highlighting and interface for e-reading. That's some kind of progress. I watched The Docks of New York for the film class I don't think I will be able to take. And I also watched another My French Film Festival film, Radiostars, as I don't have too many days left to watch the rest. That was a French bro film, but had some interest.

That's it for me. It's late and I am not sure if I will be able to sleep. I hope I wake up tomorrow with better energy. We are due for a bit more snow tomorrow night also.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I'm in a thorough wet-cat mood right now. I spent large portions of the day thinking about and writing the weekly essay for my Coursera course. I had discussed my theme with Louise who mentioned that it was perhaps out of the assigned scope of the assignment. I referred to the introductory material that explained the assignment and saw no caveats that prevented my inquiry. It was only when I had polished the material and was ready to post that I saw further information on the constraints. My essay falls out of those guidelines.

But hell. I worked hard on it. And had there even been any indication that there was further information elsewhere, I should have continued to look. But they did not and I did not. It's not as if there is a real grade or credit or anything, but I am still annoyed.

The general thesis was that the March Hare's Tea Party in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland serves as a prototype for late night talk shows on the Johnny Carson to Jimmy Fallon continuum. I see some other contemporary entertainment tropes in Alice as well. Cheshire cat = pop up videos anyone?

Oh well. I need to get over this and move on.

But that pretty much explains how I spent the day. I walked Albert for a bit. I finally spoke to Cooder's doctor who reiterated that she was, in general, pleased with all of her blood tests. The only issue seems to be her diminished vision. There does not seem to be an internal cause, unless it is high blood pressure and, as it turns out, getting blood pressure readings from a cat is damn near impossible.

Tomorrow I need to get up so that I can drop off my car to see what is up with the engine light and to get the windshield wiper replaced. We had a bit more snow but mostly rain today.

I had a great night of sleep last night, but I am exercised, my blood pressure is high enough, so that I don't think I will sleep very easily. Time for some sleeping medication and some soporific movie watching. Tomorrow I begin to re-read Dracula.

From last week's walk.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Neighbor's lawn in the snow.
I wasn't being a deadbeat, kids. I did not have the requisite address book to force this upon you, so I ended up not writing very often. I was gone for a week, but it certainly seemed like about five minutes.

I did lots of reading, mostly Alice In Wonderland for my class. I still have to finish Through the Looking Glass tonight and then figure out how to write a short paper. I observed that the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, and the March Hare rather set a precedent for the likes of Johnny Carson and Jimmy Fallon. They sit around and bullshit and insult one another, ask rhetorical questions, and come up with non-sequitars.

The kittys are happy to be home. And boy did they not like the drive today. Emmylou managed to escape from her Sherpa bag. One of my windshield wipers got broken in the snowstorm somehow and, of course, it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Oh well. I made it home without needing them and I can figure out something tomorrow.

Have cranked up the new Richard Thompson, Electric, and am actually liking it more than I thought I would. It usually takes me a few years, (yes, years), to really "get" but this one is grabbing me a little more. Perhaps a higher degree of familiarity with the material is helping, as I had heard several of the cuts even before the Joe's Pub gig.

I finally ordered my new laptop. I have spent entirely too much time fooling around with the old one. The end of an era.

I finally finished reading Joe's War. I wish I had had more time to focus on and quote from it. I do recommend it to y'all. I would share more but I must return it and I do need to get to the rest of my work...

"I think of how the Prussian Bismarck saw Poland as a 'seasonal state,' one that was there sometimes and not at others, like snow, or roses. He had a political interest in seeing it that way, because this diminished its territorial solidity, making it ripe for trampling on. Yet I wonder what it must do to your psyche, to belong to a place which is sometimes there and not at others. Apart from anything else, it must make part of you go underground, waiting for the right season to come."

Cooder chilling on the bathroom chair.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Oh yeah. Richard Thompson utterly shredded, nothing like shedding, at Joe's Pub tonight. I know, why would you trust me. I'm an RT junkie, so whatever the fix, I get high. But I took a neophyte in the form of JRV, and I am pretty sure he was impressed too.

All in all, and I am far too tired to go into it in great detail, I had one of my better days.

And it is my mother's 86th birthday, to boot!

Las gatas are here with me in Queens and doing fine.

But I do need to sleep.

AND JRV and I hung around long enough so that RT made a short appearance in the lobby. I chased him, politely, up some stairs, had a few words of appreciation and amusement, got his autograph on the new, just-released today CD, and shook his hand. Not quite a photograph, but I was excited or pleased.

Goes to show you need not ever be too old to be 16.

Doc's name is changing. Today she's Mimi.

Monday, February 4, 2013


You will all think I have fallen off the writing wagon again. However, though I am out of town, I am trying to keep up the writing routine as much as possible.

I did get my laptop working again. I had to be ingenious to get some programs on this machine without using the corrupted backup but I managed. I can do most of my work, but I did not import my address book, so I can't sent mail to my peeps, such as you are.

I need to try to sleep anyway. It's great to have the kittehs here. Emmylou, having spent five weeks here, is quite at home. Cooder is a little more nervous, her eyes are completely dilated, but she seem relatively calm. They were great in the car, hardly any mewing or anything.

Tomorrow, it's greeting and smiling. And then Richard Thompson tomorrow night!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


So, I guess it was all Superbowl Sunday and all. My football appreciating days are long over, though I will once a year or so, watch a game and enjoy it. I just find the mass market of it all too much. I no longer enjoy hearing thousands of people yell for long periods of time. Just another sign of aging, I suppose.

I didn't sleep well AH-GAIN, some of the bees of discontent and fear buzzing around. Or maybe it was the gin-and-tonic I drank that helped with the insomnia. Not fun. So, I slept later than I like to. (Probably like tomorrow morning ...) I did begin my preparations for my sojourn this week (mending, laundry).

It took the better part of the day to get around to writing a draft of my paper. Procrastination never dies, it just hangs around waiting for get in your way. But, a draft is done, which I hope to hone tomorrow, along with completing my packing and getting out of Dodge.

M made a terrific spaghetti dinner and some bok-choy-green-bean sesame dish that was to die for. I oven-roasted cauliflower and yes! more macaroons, this time with dark brown sugar which I don't recommend. Stick with the light brown sugar.

I'm hungry, but having taken some sleeping medication a while ago, and it being 11:37, it is "and so to bed" time.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I am trying to cast on another scarf as my cashmere is quite underway. I am better off having another one started, particularly because I am sitting still, more or less, watching another French movie. Other than counting (and I am casting on 260 stitches so it is a lot), it is pretty mindless. Emmylou, however, is not sitting still at all. Cats just gotta do their thing with wool ... or I should say yarn, as this is cotton.

In other cat news, although I have not spoken with her doc person-to-person, I did get a message that Cooder's tests all look good and she is in concordantly good health. This is a bit of a relief.

I was a good soldier/student today and kept at my reading assignment of Lucy Crane's translation of Grimm's Household Tales. I even finished it, leaving me tomorrow to write a short paper (no real ideas yet), edit the MW script if I get a version from Louise, and prepare for the week in Queens/Manhattan. I even got my oil changed, although the engine light is still on. I will have to take it back when I return. Oh, and I need to continue my reconstituting of the laptop to see if I can get it cranked up for use next week.

See? Nothing profound or even vaguely contemplative.We were encouraged to take lots of notes while reading, and, of course, this is (morally!) prohibitive when using a library book. I did "book-dart" across a couple of sentences that might make for a one-page paper:

Nobody is content in this world: much will have more! One day the bird met another bird on the way, and told him of his excellent condition in life. But the other bird called him a poor simpleton to do so much work, while the other two led easy lives at home."

— from The Mouse, The Bird, and The Sausage

I know you are intrigued by the title of that story! Sounds like the underpinnings of, if not capitalism, at least life in these United States of late.

No walk today, so no more pictures of the reservoir. Last I heard, it might be snowing again tomorrow, so who knows about that?

It was Groundhog Day and you know what that means! The birthday of John Volny and Graham Nash!

I did get two nice pictures of Cooder who joined me on the couch as I was reading. I do think she was holding me down until I gave her some Greenies.

Oh and I got this nice shout out on FB:

Friday, February 1, 2013


Cooder is scratching at something to get my attention. She knows it drives me crazy. I am trying to resist giving her another damn greenie. She walked off, but I imagine she'll be back.

Our usual reservoir, with bike path.
Meanwhile, I am thinking about bed soon. I have made some progress in my class, but I am going to have to step it up.

I slept too late this morning as I went to bed later due to fabulous nap. Today I was able to resist the temptation of the couch. I took Albert out to another local reservoir, just for a change of scenery. It was sunny but quite cold. Taking pictures was a challenge as I had to take off my gloves to shoot.

I worked on the MW script, shopped, and made soup again. M and I are trying to get back to reasonable eating after the holiday indulgences. The struggle with bread and cookies continues. And I am certainly not helping, particularly with my current addiction to macaroons. Well, we finished them off, and, hopefully, I will be too busy to make another batch before I take off on Monday for Queens and the Kidscreen conference and Richard Thompson record release show and all. I need to figure out what to do with the four egg yolks left over from the macaroons. (Here's the recipe, only I don't use the chocolate and last night I substituted brown sugar, which worked out well.)

I did get some good photos today. The light was really excellent.

 I have to get up to take my car to the shop (hopefully, it just needs an oil change) around 8:00 am.


Curses! those macaroons are impossibly good. And then I feel crappy because I ate more than two of them. Next time I will leave out the crack.

I shouldn't be up this late. I finally gave in to the nap temptation and had a lovely 2.5 hour nap with Cooder on the couch, but now I am wired on sugar and having slept. And I know I need to sleep. Fortunately, I have a fresh supply of sleeping medication, so I will take one and watch the end of a French film or read more of Grimm's Household Tales while I wait for it to take effect.

Do you have trouble with affect and effect sometimes? I know I do.

Meh. Blah. Blerg. Need I say more?

It was a tasty nap. And now I am paying.