Looks like I'm hatching an egg, huh? What do you think is inside it besides winter, Pluto entering Capricorn and the Wiccan new year, Samhain? What are your resolutions on this eve of the Day of the Dead?


the moody sky

You never know when you're going to be marooned.


and then there were—six?

On the heels of news that the Christian Science Monitor was going to be available on the Internet only, I read last night that Time Inc was cutting 600 jobs. I proceeded to sleep very poorly, waking to howling winds and dreaming of working at Time Inc. I was looking for a computer at Life, hounding researchers at People, considering taking a job at a People spinoff that reviewed Broadway plays—based in Taipei, no less, and captained by Burgheim. When I woke up I was so grateful that I had left Time Inc. when it was still kinda Time Inc. and before the paring down of the skills and brains and feeling of mission reached its inevitable end. And I feel awful for my handful of friends who are still there.


last rose of summer

Yesterday a back porch, gin-and-tonic, surfin', puttin'-the-lawn mower-to-bed-for-the-season kind of day. Today, the wind and rain are trying to obliterate all memory of summer.



Yeah, so I left the city for the island. I am now ensconced—cleaning screens in the sun, catching up with friends and relations, reading trashy novels and being lulled to sleep by some of the best surf ever. And warming my house with The Third Highest Electrical Bills in the Nation. But not for long. My island electricity, I mean.


back to the island

Taking the train to the bus to the boat this morning in hopes that the island will look like this picture by Kate Knapp when I get there for one last week rather than what the weather report predicts. Is that English?



This list was made for me by a friend—as if I don't have enough of my own. I never did get to the first entry: Answers. I only wish I had them.
What's on your list today?


don't look down

There is something about the giant apartment towers that ring the cities of Asia and also the dense suburban neighborhoods around New York that terrifies me, particularly from the air. All those boxes filled with stuff, with people living in them with stories like the one I've just been telling. And like me, they all are at the center of their stories, with the important characters fanning out around them who are also the stars of their own stories. How can we all believe our little travails are so important? This is where religion comes in, where there is a wise being who gives a shit about a given individual. Or therapy, or friends. Or, as Wolfen says, Facebook, which provides the same feeling of a power that cares about your every move. Or, perhaps, a blog, in which you create the illusion for yourself.
Just don't look down when you fly.


the picture

One could see why he wanted the picture: Three pairs of bare feet—hers and his and hers—on the large platform bed.
It was to be part of his own autobiography, and the conception was largely graphic with a subtext of a man caught between cultures, seduced by them both, totally in bed with neither. And, yes, a faint but undeniable tease. Playful, however, and totally spurious. Not threatening. Unless it was culturally completely outre—and you already felt threatened.
This frame was just not in the picture.


the menage

Here's the thing about threesomes: In the main guys are for 'em and girls are agin 'em--especially the guy's wife or girlfriend. I know, I know, you're all "but they're always advertising for the hot bisexual chick on Craig's List." Right. That's when the wife has been driven crazy by this obsession and is all, "Let's just get this over with and after we have kids he'll settle down." I can think of only one exception to this rule (perhaps you know her too?) and trust me, as the bisexual chick, I know.
What I didn't know was that the barest hint of a threesome could drive a traditional wife over the edge. . .


homeward bound

OK, for all of you who were titillated by my mysterious earlier entry, all will be revealed. But not now. Or maybe not all. But most of it. Still, it seems that a slightly sensationalistic approach resonates with you, so I will bear that in mind in the future. Perhaps you like the contents of your own imaginations better than reality? Naturally, since this is a PG site I can't tell you everything. . .



Yes, even here I am obsessively following the U.S. race. In case you care, most of the ex-pat community in Taiwan supports Obama. I am also obsessed with following the stock market, which, thanks to someone we know, I cleared out of in time. I have made a solemn vow to cut it out as of November 4, however. I am bothering my friends.
BTW, the photo above was made at The Chiang Kai Chek (sp?) Memorial Hall, speaking of politics.

a very large bug

Apparently, this is the hamster of Taiwan for the schoolroom set. It's bigger than one, but not as furry. It doesn't bite, however. It eats fruit and I guess is pretty harmless. Shall I bring you one instead of the helmet?


keep your head safe

They have the best scooter helmets here I've ever seen. Which one do you want?


yet under the surface. . .

You think. There are undercurrents. You see that boat in the river? It is dragging for the body of a man who jumped into the river in the middle of the night.
My situation right now is a little like that river. I am peaceful on the surface but a medium for direful events that are none of my doing. For those of you who want to know exactly what, you will have to wait until the bodies—or I—surface.



No one felt very ambitious today.


at the new digs

Cheryl welcomed me to Taipei City in their fab Japanese-influenced apartment with sleeping platform, moderno kitchen and great views. The Artist Known as Chang appeared from Singapore shortly after I did, and we discussed the triumphs and the tribulations. TAKAC seems to think a better exhibition of these pictures will never be shown, and I tend to agree with him. It was a beautifully and thoughtfully designed exhibition, perfectly executed. He says maybe he'll go on to make films now.
OK, Ed, is that better?

slingin' it back

Yeah, so as a last act we did what we were supposed to do and had the drink of reknown at the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel. It was a trifle sweet. The drink, that is, not the hotel.
And now I am in Taipei with my own cellphone, subway card and map.


sin city

The cool thing about Singapore is the mix of old and new architecture along with the melange of cultures. Also there are a lot of fun people here. It took me until yesterday to realize that I had seen no residential areas, but last night some friends took me out to the outlying areas where the rich live in neighborhoods of houses and the regular people live in government housing apartment towers.



Chien Chi and Cheryl on the Flyer, a giant Ferris wheel, overlooking Singapore.




From my hotel window, you can just see, in the lower right hand corner, the giant poster advertising Chien-Chi's mid-career retrospective. Or mid-career crisis, as I prefer to think of it.


heard on the street

I have to go to bed, now that I've had a tutorial in how to turn off the lights and discovered that my toilet, a Toto Washlet, believes that we're having an affair.


Uh oh, looks like the show's coming down before it opens. Turns out Chien-Chi has met his OCD match in the National Museum's curator.


singapore swing

I'm here. It was dark when I got here so all I know is that there are a lot of lights, palm trees and accents of Empire. More later if the juice holds out.


waiting for a plane

. . . only four more hours to go in Taipei airport's transit lounge. And it's Tuesday here.


Can I tell I'm in Alaska?
Not so much.
All I can see is this world record halibut. Oh, and a caribou. The huntress does not appear.


the original claudia's surf city

Block Island, July 1988
Cindy sent me this pic of the two of us back in the day.
I leave for Singapore tonight (via Alaska—will I be able to see Russia?), so posting will be interrupted.

block island honeymoon cottage

For off-season romance—September, October, May, June. Book Hannah's now. Weekends from $1500. Firewood, bubblebath and the crash of the waves included.


god and country

In a dream, my daughter was attending evangelical camp.
I spoke to her as she hustled off to two evening services with Sister Liz. "If you find Jesus, I'm never going to speak to you again," I said.
"Oh, that's okay, Mom," she said. "I was already Saved this morning."
I woke up sweating. This election is seriously messing with my psyche.


not about the doggone debate

Took the boat to the car to the train to the subway to New York City in time for lunch with Ed and then to catch the elevator to watch the debate with Anna W, in from California, and Elaine, in from the Bronx, at Deb's on a lower floor (because I have no TV).


a four-leaf clover

The luck o' the—Scottish? You probably wouldn't guess that these two grown men are looking for four-leaf clovers. One has a proven ability in this area and has found them all over the country. It is for this reason that he believes he will win the lottery. Of course, I believe that, having married my daughter, he already has. So far the Block Island Quatrefoil has eluded him, however.
I am en route to New York today.


as wall street burned

. . .some people put their money into property, though mortgages were hard to get.