1.17.2017

strange fruit

You have been wondering how the bitter melon (or karela) plant is doing, I know. The one I planted from seed in Missouri, drove to New York and watched crawl six feet up the airshaft almost to Toby's apartment. Well, a spot of cold weather did it in just as it was blooming, and it fell down to my window. You can just see the little flower and a tiny melon, but I doubt we'll get much further with this plant. I have a couple more seeds. . .

1.16.2017

day at the shore

One of Dorothy's three porches.


The City—so near and yet so far.
 There were oysters and mussels and expansive views. There were walks and talks and lots of snacks. There was a signature cocktail and even a football game. And there were Lo Ladies. A quarter of a century ago, we were among the first trekkers to visit the Nepalese Kingdom of Lo. Nancy Jo was our leader and inspiration. Miriam was the oldest, and Dorothy was the youngest. (I know Miriam is 86 now, because she's 20 years older than me.) And there we were, at Dorothy's beautiful house in Atlantic Highlands, overlooking Sandy Hook Bay with New York City in the distance. Everything was so easy and comfortable, it felt as if we'd known each other forever. Oh wait! We almost have!

Miriam, Dorothy and Nancy Jo.

1.13.2017

Monsieur Nosebite: Hair guitar

Monsieur Zevon: Ne'er guitar
Nosebite, Esq, has asked me to post these pictures. He points out that his resemblance to the late Warren Zevon is of the most profound. One of Nosebite's greatest hits is Lawyers, Mice and Werewolves. He accompanies himself on guitar. I am assuming that this is homage to Zevon's  Lawyers, Guns and Money, in which Zevon accompanied himself on piano. Not sure what the legal implications of this adaptation might be. However, I would point out that this pose of Monsieur Nosebite's is neither convincing nor becoming to a prominent member of the bar (barre?).

1.12.2017

full moon

Oh, and Nosebite? Happy Wolf Moon! Aawoooooooo

1.11.2017

give it up

A stuffed peacock. White.
The color of a virgin, a bridal gown, a form of privilege, a white flag.
The color of surrender.

1.10.2017

a gaggle of geese

Ed thought I would like this. He was right!
Think of it, all over this great land of ours are empty, tiny buildings with no remaining purpose. And if technology moves as it usually does, there will be many more of them—mid century modern, deco, '60s style. Just think you could each own your very own superfund site! Some people like the owner of the UCM Museum in Louisiana have made some success repurposing old gas stations as art project/tourist traps; others, like the one above, appear to have had less success. Maybe, like the Goose, they are not only victims of dying technologies, but of dying towns. But that can make their surroundings more pleasant. This one, plus house, could be yours for only—see ad!

1.09.2017

the vicarious life

Donna photographing her daughter in 2009.
A voyeur spying on a voyeur. Those of us in the vicarious life, like Donna and me, are a little twisted. (Although I would maintain Donna is more twisted than I am!) We set out to do stories believing we were helping people. Helping people to know they were not alone, helping to raise awareness, helping to make things better. And so we seduced our subjects, convinced them to let us tell their stories. Almost everyone wants validation, to know that they are unique and important, so the actual process of gathering a story is flattering to the subject. But people have been harmed in the making of these stories, too. Most people were not prepared for the exposure, and some of them got burned.

In truth, we do it as much for ourselves as others. Witness: Clare Hollingworth, war correspondent, who died at 105 with her passport by her bed. Her obit here.

1.07.2017

man up

Ok, y'all. This is sort of the equivalent of the annual membership drive.
Yeah, I'm talkin'to you.
I have been writing this blog, almost daily, for a dozen years—since before most of you had even heard the word blog.
I know it's not always that exciting, but I need feedback to get 'er going.

Dudes, you've fallen off.
Katie does her duty. And Doro.
Otra Rubia gives it a shot. And Dianne.
Dada and Ed have fallen off.
Barrett, from being a mainstay, is nowhere in sight.
Hannah hasn't reported in in a decade.
Bill never has figured out how to post. Nor Debby.

It really isn't that onerous. You have to check a box saying I am not a robot.
Big whoop.
It's hard to keep going out here all alone.
Just give me some kind of sign.


  

1.06.2017

epiphany

Do birthdays lead to epiphanies? Well they do if you're born on January 1 and you're  talking Epiphany, which is today. But if you mean a lower-case epihany
Definition a (1) :  a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) :  an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) :  an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
maybe yes, maybe no. You'll have to ask Hannah if she had one.
Or most of my other friends, who have birthdays in Capricorn
In other news:
My friend Bill (a college boyfriend long married to my best college girlfriend, Laura) retired from the bench in Seattle, with perhaps his best known case being the one in which he ruled that gay couples should be allowed to marry for their children's sake.
Speaking of gays, a woman I met when I rented a house on the lesbian commune Hawk Hill in Missouri is interviewed in Vice about the aging out of "women's land."
In media news, word is that my former company, Time Inc., is encouraging employees to rat on one another if they misuse expense accounts. Back in the day we were encouraged to misuse expense accounts!
And finally, if you want a snapshot of how the nation was doing in this past year, you couldn't do better than consult this pantechnicon (or do I mean portmanteau?) of charts and graphs from the New York Times. Whether it will lead to an epiphany, I don't know.


Oh, and this from a friend in case you do have an epiphany:
Want all your representatives' phone numbers conveniently on your phone? If you TEXT YOUR ZIP CODE to (520) 200-2223 you'll get a text back with your senators/reps phone numbers so you can hassle them to do the right thing. It works and takes maybe two seconds. Save them in your contacts ... you'll need them a lot in coming months! 

1.05.2017

hooray for the p.o.

The Block Island post office is the best.
   They used to be able to deliver a letter addressed only to Claudia, Block Island. Things have changed. The postmistress used to just stick on-island mail in the appropriate boxes forthwith. Now mail being sent from one islander to another must be sent off the island to be sorted then returned to the island to be put in the post office boxes (there is no house-to-house delivery). 
   Still, they received this letter to Nini in Block Island, and rather than sticking a forwarding address label on it decided to put it in an entirely new envelope and make sure it got to me in New York. Now that's a great post office!

1.04.2017

last day of the year

Nice view of CPS

First day of skating. Loved it!
 Due to an unfortunate and very costly picnic (Problem In Chair, Not In Computer) the tickets I thought I had purchased for the Nutcracker matinee at Lincoln Center were for the night before. So we went skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park instead. Last time I was there—must have been before 2001, when he started managing the place—the name Trump wasn't all over the T-shirts, the Zamboni and the walls. New Yorkers have long considered Trump's one real civic contribution his acceleration of the rink's remodeling back in 1986. However, that bit of credit has long since been undercut by his other "contributions" to quality of life in the city.

1.03.2017

at 35

As is traditional, Hannah and the boyz pozed late at night on January first, the date of her birth 35 years ago. She doesn't look any older, and we're very pleased with how she's turned out. A good daughter, a good mother, a good granddaughter, a good cousin, a good niece, a fairly good wife (a little bossypants—wonder where she learned that!) a good businesswoman, a good friend, a good person. Happy birthday to my hostage to fortune, light of my life!
Jimmy is not Hannah's husband.

Nor does he usually rock a man bun. That is a joke.