why they built the new bridge

And just for reference, my house is at the left center of the bottom picture. Or was, when I left it three hours ago, with the water still rising. . .
Drove through the tempests and fogs and winding roads and flooded roads for five hours from St. Louis to get to the Goose yesterday and found—death and disaster.
Stay tuned and I will explain next time I'm in town.



I am an idiot.
Not that I didn't always know it, but I had the opportunity to realize it again yesterday morning at 6:45 when I arrived at LaGuardia for my flight to St. Louis and couldn't understand why I couldn't get the damn machine to spit out my boarding pass.
The lovely gentleman at the counter explained it to me: "Your flight is tomorrow."
Yes, I could get another flight that morning, for approximately $300 more. Even i could do that math: "Taxi!"
So off I go again now.


it's not a cancer

"We don't give this news to too many people too many times," said the doctor. "It's not a carcenoma. It's benign. It's not cancer."
Ed struggled to understand that the knowledge he had been dealing with for two weeks, that he had colon cancer,had proved erroneous. "I had stopped thinking about the future," he says.
Now he has one. Still, we want you all to have a colonoscopy, as he will have to again soon. Ed, who has been joking about semicolons, asked the doc, "Given the size of the colon, do I get half off?


not that itsy bitsy

This is a picture of a brown recluse. They are everywhere in Missouri. Frank and Dianne have lots living in their attic, and Frank captured this one so that Chris Garrison could photograph it. You can see the characteristic violin shape on its back that has also caused it to be called the fiddle spider.
Last week when Ed was in hospital, his roommate had a baffling skin ulcer. The flesh was being eaten away, and doctors did not know why. Ed suggested that it might be a brown recluse bite, even though Brooklyn is well out of the spider's range. The doctors treated it as such, and the man, a construction worker, was released the next day.


i am sick

I mention this because a Certain Person tells me I always have a cold in the fall, and I can't remember. So here's a record of one time that I do. Now.
Also it may explain some flakiness in posting.


rushing the season

Actually saw this yard in Van Nuys about two weeks ago. Some people really know how to have fun! What are you going to be for Halloween?
I think I'll be a New Yorker in the Ozarks. I guess I'll wear a mix of black and camo. Any other thoughts?


bellyfull of war

If you happen to be in West Plains, Mo., for the Big Read of Tim O'Brien's book about Vietnam, The Things They Carried, be sure to check out the exhibit of photos and memorabilia from local veterans at the West Plains Civic Center, mezzanine. It is curated by my Thomasville neighbor artist Bill Dugan, himself a Vietnam vet. He will also show his "Mouth Full of War" and other pieces from November 1 through 21. On November 12 author Tim O'Brien will speak.
And lest we forget, along with daughter artist Jessica Rath, Bill Dugan has organized an even more personal Day of the Dead retrospective of the art of Ann Kay Sims Rath Dugan, his wife who died last year of Parkinson's disease. Reception November 1 from 12 to 4 with Tower o' Tupperware and Mexican Day of the Dead altar. To order the catalogue see Dancing Through Life.
I, for one, plan to be there.


pigeons roost in palm springs

That was the day before yesterday. Today I am in New York, where there are also pigeons, and naturally mine have already come home to roost and need to be attended to before much more time passes.
Which reminds me, better open the mail.


not child centric

Hoping for R-rated plane flights today as well.



It's in the 90s in the desert, and dry. It's hard to imagine that elsewhere, in my real life, it is raining or even snowing. Likewise it's hard to believe that friends are in hospital or at war, fighting foreclosure and bankruptcy, falling in love and finishing a sculpture. How can you resolve all these places and weathers and people and emotions and situations into one picture?
You can't. But we try. And at least—even if I can't really believe that it is cold in Block Island—I did call the plumber to ask that he shut down Claudia's Surf City.
Uh oh. What about the Goose? Better check Missouri weather. . .


view from the pool

Sorry about yesterday. I was so distracted that I wrote but did not publish my post.
However, Ed's son called to say that the surgery (although it was rather long) went fine. Phew.


open air touring

There's nothing like a convertible in beautiful Palm Springs, with hostess-to-the-world Ruby at the wheel. Even a visit to her storage locker is fun. And then there was the postprandial (and I'm talking prandial with 13 people at Davey's) drive through the dark downtown, past the neon lights and back to the pink motel in the desert.


somebody got a puppy

My niece. Yesterday. Or was it the parents who got a puppy?
Me, I don't do puppy. I'm headed for Palm Springs where all are full grown dogs the size of puppies. Well, about half the size of this puppy.


family events

The night before the wedding, a delightful gathering was held at an old book store with a taco truck serving up tamales and etc outside, a fruit stand serving up tropical frutas with chili pepper inside and ice buckets of Mexican beer (how do people in L.A. where everyone seems to drive solo handle this? do they all drive drunk or just not drink at parties?).
Anyway, the night before the night before, the bride (left) was up all night at the emergency room with her sister (right) who swallowed a vitamin pill that got lodged in her throat. So was the groom. And the sister's boyfriend. Not a lot of sleep by the wedding party was had.
They did not wake the mother of the bride, a New Yorker, because she was sleeping off the effects of a scenic drive up Topanga Canyon during which she became very carsick.



It's great to be back in the greater Los Angeles area. The weather and the tropical foliage are beautiful, yes, but it also feels so manageable. Traffic, sure. But it's so easy to find your way around. Hills, ocean—you're oriented.
Also, thinking back, I guess I've spent quite a lot of time here. In the old days as a movie writer at People in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, on studio lots and at Academy Awards, by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Then there was the Life era. That was aging surfers and full moon raves and celebrities like Jay Leno and Julianna Margulies, lunches at the Shutters and walks along the Santa Monica pier, watching the surfers in Malibu. Then for Oxygen, I spent months out here at orgies and in nudist colonies (check it out in reruns: Sex Lives on Videotape). And then, of course, my bro and family live here. Anyway, feels wonderful to be back.


trash day

. . .in Van Nuys. I love L.A.


the next generation

Shut down one house, left the other for the children.
Off to L.A. tomorrow.



before it rains

Better get that trench covered.


i found it

There was a lake behind Hannah's Hideaway this spring. Global warming? All I know is that the rains were tropical, torrential. Or as, Danny would say, "it fell aflood." And the water table was so high that the ground couldn't absorb the inches of precip.
I vowed to find the culvert (as I call it) where the overflow pipe from the freshwater pond feeds in to channel the water to the salt pond.
And I did! Without much digging! Now all that remains is to dig a 20-foot trench for the drainpipe I plan to feed into it. Today.