all goes. . .

She is happy because about two weeks ago, after over a decade and many adventures, she brought her daughter, 17, home from India. However, she says being a mom is a learning experience: "The first day at school, I forgot to give her lunch money—so she didn't eat! I felt so bad!" There have been many medical appointments for hepatitus and root canals, there has been longing for the little brother who cannot come yet, but there has also been much happiness in being a family. NJ gives a big shout out to all the other Los, especially DR—speaking of root canal. We love you and hope you're feeling better.


night mare

She was a beautiful dark steel gray, almost blue. I had purchased her, sight unseen, some months ago and never gone by the stables where she was being boarded. While I was in the area on another errand, I thought I'd stop by to see what she looked like. The place had maybe a hundred horses, but finally we found the mare I owned. An employee let her out of the paddock and she followed us like a playful—and rather large—dog. Now that I had seen her, I didn't want to put her back in the paddock. I wanted to put her in the back of the truck and take her home.

Note: After dreaming this I was sent this picture of the mare, Blueberry, owned by a Lakota friend, who says that dreams of horses are very powerful. Hmm.


fire and water

Neruda and the object of her affection came to town, just missing Wolfen and the Cub.


the most excruciating video

This is the most excruciating video I have ever watched. I was actually unable to watch it to the end. The reason is because I know this girl. She was a friend of Hannah's from camp. But I just feel so bad for her in this video that I can't watch the whole thing. The only thing that comforts me is that she is now famous. And I'm sure she's enjoying that. You go, Isadora.


moving in

Photo by Wolfen
Her new place looks a lot like the one in Chicago we were living in when she was born. She keeps having deja vu, and I suspect that's why.




Certain People are trying to convince Wolfen that she should add a line of bejeweled handguns to Azu's collection. Certain Anti-Gun People think that is a terrible idea. What do ya'll think?


why it sucks being a grownup

Identity theft
My answer to this problem has been a) To figure thieves were welcome to my overextended identity and b) To dump coffee grounds all over sensitive information rather than putting it through a paranoid machine. However, I was just informed that a laptop containing my social security number, name and address was stolen from an office along with the information of other Time Warner retirees. Yes, retirees. Sigh. So now I'm on Fraud Alert.

Medevac insurance
La-la-la-la-la, I'll be just fine dontcha worry bout me just hiking along up here at 14,000 feet no problem. "What if you have to be helicoptered out?" Oh right. Duh. Duh. Duh. I signed up.

Hopefully to be finished today. These years with more deductions than income totally suck. Like being responsible.



a galaxy far, far away

This is what's out there. Hubble captured this picture of young star cluster NGC 602.

As for what's in here—well, some of the fans have been asking. I signed up to go on this trek in Nepal with J in about two months. That was ok until reality intruded: I got an e mail from my prospective tentmate detailing her training regimen. Three or four miles of walking at 8,000 feet. A day. My training consisted of too much beer and too little exercise. I was 30 pounds overweight, and it was doubtful that my bum knees would bear me up a flight of stairs, never mind to 14,000 feet. And then I remembered my last experiences walking at altitude. Hell. And that was 15 years ago! And I was being paid to do it!
I considered wussing out. Instead, I went on a health kick. Thirteen days ago, I want on a cleansing fast, eating or drinking nothing but a kind of health food Gatorade—and water. No coffee, no alcohol, no chips and dip, no vitamin pills, no aspirin. Nada. Lemonade/water/lemonade/water. Ad nauseum. For ten days.
So I feel fabulous. I dropped 10+ pounds and am detoxed bigtime. I'm climbing stairs (six flights and panting) and doing situps. And living on vegetable soup for the moment. I don't engage to do this forever (the words "lifestyle change" fill me with horror), but hopefully long enough to make it up the hill.


help wanted

Something bad is happening today. Friends are being fired. They are being fired because no one wants to read magazines anymore unless they are about Brittany Spears's twat. They are also being fired because corporate America divests itself of mid-level people over 40: They are not cost efficient. Such workers are loyal to a company that is not loyal to them, but they have put their adult lives into working at one place and don't know how to do anything else. What are all these people supposed to do? Open bed and breakfasts? Teach typing in public schools?
Sign on at Azu, Inc., the corporation that believes in loyalty! A company on the move, Azu has openings at all levels! Now hiring!


do you take visa?

SYDNEY, Jan 4 (Reuters) - An Australian bank has apologized for issuing a credit card to a cat after its owner decided to test the bank's identity security system.
The Bank of Queensland issued a credit card to Messiah the cat when his owner Katherine Campbell applied for a secondary card on her account under its name.
"I just couldn't believe it. People need to be aware of this and banks need to have better security," Campbell told local media on Thursday. The bank said the cat's card had been canceled. "We apologize as this should not have happened," it said in a statement.

Yeah, but how many charges did her pooch Buddha run up?


a loft of her own

Remember the woman who was hanging off the rail of the ferry—very merry—who caused the boat to get fouled on a lobster pot and be delayed for two hours? After a memorable wedding weekend? Well, it seems that she has a new boyfriend. And that boyfriend's ex was a woman with multiple personality disorder! Anyway, two weeks into the relationship, I hear she's trying to get him to sell his house and buy a loft.
And speaking of lofts, after two days in a new relationship, the new boyfriend of another character often seen on this site is talking about buying a loft that they can move into together,
And also speaking of lofts, Wolfen and the Cub have totally tricked out theirs with walls and cabinets and shelves and a media platform. Pix await the return of Wolfen's computer or the installation of the Cub's cable, whichever comes first.


go figure

You want to play enigmatic? OK. Fine.


the old-fashioned way

Three envelopes came in the mail. They were not bills. They were not typed. They were personal letters. Three!
One was from an old friend who didn't have my current e-mail address. (Note to those who know her: it was the somewhat newlywed Leenda from California! She's fine and may visit.) One turned out to be a CD of music from an internet pal in Louisiana (ahem). And one was a letter from a friend in the Rhode Island state pen. (No, he doesn't like it there, he vastly prefers FREEDOM!, as he puts it, but he hasn't been harmed and is looking forward to getting sprung the beginning of April.) These are all things for which the internet is so far problematic and the USPS is actually useful.
But think back. For the past week, Wolfen has had no internet access in her new loft. She is unable to send in her computer for repair, get directions to the nearest Fed Ex office, forward her mail, order a pizza, get a prisoner's ID number nor the phone number for the aforementioned state pen to check visiting hours, etc. etc. And that's not to mention conduct her business.
Still, she does have her cell phone. And I remember when she first made me get one of those! The world of technology is bizarre and quick. About that new iPhone. . .


more storage issues

I am thinking of renting a storage locker to stow all the paper products (napkins, paper towels, tissues, toilet paper) certain people require when they come to town. Maybe I'll get another one for the array of cowboy boots I rarely wear and Claudia's Clothing Museum 1964-present. Then there's the Things I Can't Throw Away collection, the Might Come in Handy and the What Is This Thing Anyway.
In other news, I neglected to mention the passing of Momofuku Ando of Osaka, Japan. He was 96 and invented instant Ramen noodles. Without him I would not have a fine strapping stepson and lovely daughter today. Arigato, Momofuku!
PS Am I crazy or does Momofuku sound like a transliteration of a common epithet?


save me

Did you know that self storage facilities, unheard of before 1970 or so, now rent out 2 billion square feet of space in this great land of ours? Also in that time our houses have gotten about 1,000 square feet bigger, to an average 2,400 square feet of living space today. (Don't tell this to New Yorkers). (Also let me point out that my houses are about 1,600.) Why do we need so much stuff?
I say, let's stake out one of the 45,000 storage facilities for a month and see. My guess is that every one of those units has a story, sometimes a sad one—death or divorce—but sometimes not. "We moved in together." "I bought a new house but I can't get into it yet." "The kid came home from college with all these boxes of books."
Wouldn't it be cool to photograph the people and their stuff and find out why it was there?
No Angelina, and no J, I'm not suggesting your storage facilities. But I can't deny that they, along with Ruby Zee Montana's (above), piqued my interest.



om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om manepadme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om manepadme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om manepadme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om manepadme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om mane padme hum om manepadme hum om mane padme hum om

Shhh, don't bother me. I'm meditating.


rose and thorns

Perhaps these roses are canaries? After the poison gas episode here in NYC this morning (see news on the web), two were drooping. They have not noticibly perked up since the smell and skies cleared, however.


the houseguests

In our never ending pursuit of big fun, we had a sleepover for four last night. it would have been better had the birthday boy, the Artist Known as Chang, and Dolores been a couple, because then one of them wouldn't have had to sleep with me. We were stretched kind of thin in the quilts and pillows department, but were positively awash in paper goods and toothbrushes, thanks to a number of hostess gifts. Requested by the hostess. Big fun, as Angelina would say.


rough morning

After a tough day in the diamond district, the pause that refreshes.


virtual new york

Wolfen and the Cub have moved to Providence, more or less, although they are coming in for another load of stuff today. (I'm not really sure how all that stuff fit into this apartment, but Wolfen should now understand why my eyes started out with horror upon my arrival home from the island.) Wolfen says that she is dealing with the move by staying indoors and pretending she is in Soho. Angelina thought maybe they should build a New York style shopping emporium. If they make the aisles narrow enough, the grocery store, for instance, would be a cinch. Wolfen could wear a blindfold with a virtual projection of her home town to get there. Maybe the Cub should drive. Although, once you get into a car you're not in New York any more unless you're trying to parallel park. Speaking of which, after four tow trucks and three car mechanics, their station wagon has been pronounced DOA. It did make to Mexico and back. I guess Providence put it over the top.


the morning after the morning after

And they're off! Team Providence split about 1:00 pm, driving their car and my truck. Yes, that's a frickin futon on top. Why do people buy these things? You can't sleep on them, they are bulky and they get pretty nasty in the fullness of time. However, the three will be glad of it tonight, if a little tight. In the time it took me to walk back from the corner, both of their parking spaces had been snapped up. Ah, New Yawk. I sent most of the party food with them, so for now I subsist on beer and celery sticks. However, I have laid in butter and sugar, for in the Casa Claudia tradition of not letting a bed cool between occupants, Angelina and her adopted teenager will be arriving tonight. Trust me, that's not a non sequitur. I mean, the butter and sugar and Angelina's arrival.

h b w g g

Let me know if you'd also like to see a closeup of the cake, a photo of Robit attempting to carve the ham, the birthday girl and Zoe making faces, the buffet spread or some of the later-night hijinks. None of the pictures are as good as this one, though, thanks to Chris's flash.


January 1, 2007

This entire day dedicated to entertaining, eating, drinking, carousing and doing things we will have leisure to regret for the rest of the year. Wish you were here!