plumbing on the brain

This is one of my new toilet seats. Yes, I am the proud owner/maintainer of nine toilets. In my view, that's a shitload. Those water drops are pictorial, not real. I installed this one in New York today. The weather looks so, um, shitty that I need to postpone my trip to Block Island, where I have Real Plumbing to do, not just this makeshift shit.


another war

La jour de gloire was revisited. Bill Dowell, formerly of NPR, ABC, NBC, Time magazine and etc, and Ed Barnes formerly of Time and (ahem) Fox News, discussed the old days in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cairo, Russia, Sarajevo, Paris and etc, as well as the New Days in the US. which basically fill us with fear and misgivings. Contre nous de la tyrannie, l'etandard sanglant est levee. (Sorry about the accent marks—still haven't figured out how to do them.) And these guys have seen plenty of war and conflict.



You can tell if someone is a true New Yorker by whether they have a collection of derelict, mostly black, folding umbrellas in the closet.


The daughter of Philip Jones Griffiths and Philip's  mentee and fellow Magnum photog Chien-Chi Chang discuss the future of the world's most revered photo agency. And then the friends of Philip broke Ed's bread. Well, the bread wasn't made by Ed, but by Maison Kayser, and was about as good as it gets. Ed made the seafood Provencal, however, which was savored in vast quantities. And he made me put the parsley in the still life. I went to bed before the party broke up at about 3 ayem.


the haircut

Before: Noodle shop near Mott St., Chinatown, NYC
 What a difference a day makes. Between lunch and dinner, Chien-Chi changed personas with a  Chinatown crewcut.
After:  Zabar's dinner, UWS, NYC


to see and be seen

Afternoon delight, Amsterdam Ave., NYC
 New York is a place where you can hide away, and a place where you can flaunt it. The couple above was blissfully unaware that I was taking their picture, and I assume they did not want anyone to know they were meeting. Otherwise why choose a dark, empty sushi takeout joint in late afternoon?
   On the other hand, while I was having my toe cut open in Chinatown yesterday (not exhibitionist enough to offer up that image), the podiatrist exclaimed, "A half naked man!" He went on to report that the buildings across the street were "hotels" and often had naked people walking around or leaning out the open windows. "Europeans," he said. "I guess they don't care." He said the cardiologist two floors up had to be careful his elderly patients didn't have heart attacks.
   Oh, and speaking of voyeurism, here's a piece about its dangers.
Afternoon fright, Canal Street, NYC


ice house: beyond the couch

Everest season is upon us again—my expedition leader pal leaves for Kathmandhu tomorrow. Someone who, perhaps in solidarity, has been binge watching documentaries about Everest (some starring said expedition leader) was inspired to produce the following account of her adventure. I am sure that you will find it as thrilling as I did, even if I suspect that she is making fun of me as well as herself. Hers is the longest post I have ever put up. But then, it was a helluva journey. . .
Inspired by the many movies and series on Mt. Everest, I and My Team decided to try to get off the couch today:

We tuned in for guidelines.

The Youngest member of the team was the first to get ready for the descent.

The Oldest member practiced on a similar peak: The Footstool.

The Strongest leapt for it.

While The Leader monitored their progress from base camp.

There were obstacles. The danger: Was there cat throwup in the hall?

And was it night?

Or day?  Once the approximate time was certain, The Team pressed on.

One of the first setbacks: The Cat Pan.  And always one question: P- U! Do we need oxygen to pass it?

Without oxygen, some of the climbers begin to pass out.

The Team Leader radios Base Camp for help.

Radio communication is down, so one of them makes the ascent to Base Camp for help.

The Descent begins again, but this time the the dangers are even greater:   The Bills!

The Unsorted Mess

The List of Things to Do  

Exhausted again, the weary climbers return to Base for a nap.

And they will need to replace the many calories they have burned during the descent.

It's decided:  Without sherpaws, the descent may be too dangerous to try again. Some members turn back.

Hope of a successful descent seems hopeless. All they can do is try again tomorrow.

Back at Base, it's time to reflect on The Journey. 


portrait of my ex-husband

Pretty awesome pic considering the circs—sheets to the wind at Club Soda on BI. Me, not him. Note use of cheaters since cataract surgery. Don't know as anyone ever saw his eyes before. Shit, we're all getting old! Dentist yesterday, and now, off to the podiatrist!


who knew?

We have our very own Banksy right around the corner. Pretty awesome how his shadows are exactly the right color for the first day of spring, today.


pre-gaming st pat's

The New England boiled dinnah (corned beef and cabbage) at the Yellow Kittens opens the season on Block Island these days. Daytrippers arrived on the island just to partake, and I was fortunate enough to be treated to last week's event. I may purchase a corned beef anyway to cook later.
   On the real St. Patrick's day, ie today, I ordinarily hide out.

 Dorothy Reilly's Irish  Soda Bread recipe can be found at this past post.
And here, once again, is my favorite St. Paddy's Day tale, which mostly no one but me finds hilarious and which is the reason I try not to go out of doors on The Day Of.


Neither of the new intact sinks go all that well with the white soup bowl tub.

 When we were in San Miguel last September, my cousin Dick took a trip to Dolores Hidalgo, home of pottery craftspeople, and I asked him to buy me a couple of sinks. He very kindly did, and I had them wrapped up and FedExed to Block Island. I have two cracked sinks (note to fans: they are fragile). One showed up within the week, but two were MIA for months. Sadly, the one I liked best was cracked in transit.
  The sink in the bottom pic with the bamboo has to be replaced in the bathroom with the new soup bowl tub. And the counter painted. Which sink and what color counter? Katie? The other sink will go in the master bedroom at Claudia's, which currently has a calla lily pattern. And where should I put the cracked fish sink? Outside someplace?
Please advise.
What to do with this beauty? Glue and mount in Hannah's outdoor shower? Ideas?

This counter has to be painted to go with the new sink and tub.White?


weather, weather everywhere

So I took the ferry off the island (thankfully it wasn't rockin' and rollin' like when I went over!), leaving the poor old tub out in the coming nor'easter, and drove down to weather out the storm (Stella!) in New York. I was hoping for some real snow, but that was kind of a bust—in New York, anyway. The cooler in the back of the truck was way cool, however.
  Oh, and a belated happy pi day. And beware the Ides of March.


postscript from block island

That's Pam's lighthouse. She saved it—raised the money and agitated to move it back from the bluffs, no easy matter. So when she heard that a wind farm was to be built smack in the middle of the view from the historic structure, she was horrified. The company was so eager to build that they gifted the Historical Society with a seven-figure sum in compensation. Ironically, Pam finds herself spending the winter in sight of the five windmills, three miles off the coast. She has come to appreciate their severe beauty, as well as the fact that they represent the future, as valuable as the past. She has stopped tilting at windmills. "I have made my peace with them."


the tub, part 3

 Out with the old, in with the new.
Of course, it's not plumbed yet—but at least it's in the right place!


The snow fell heavy on Providence and the too-early crocuses (croci?), but quickly started melting.
    School was on, but Camilla would have recess, and then soccer, indoors.
    Isaac and the kids at his school went out on plastic sleds, pulled by the dad on duty, Isaac's dad. As Chris and Isaac got suited up for school, Isaac hollered, "Let's go boys!"
    And Hannah and I went to the gym.



Leaving at 8:00 pm today, not ayem!



At Fanell's Cafe, second oldest food-and-drink location in NYC. On Prince St.

J and Peter off to another event. 
 Happy International Women's Day! Jamie and I couldn't decide whether to strike or not (or what we had to strike from—though she did say Peter wasn't getting any). There weren't many domestic chores on the plane back to California. I noticed, however, that she (ie not Peter) made the bed in my guest room today, saving me some domestic work (Wait! does it count if you do work for another woman? This is all so complicated!). Anyway, they left this ayem, and I leave tomorrow ayem. After doing some more women's work around the apartment. For myself. Does that count as i strike?
Jamie was able to haul me down to Bowery to see the new ICP museum



Debby sends this picture postcard of the sunrise from her brother's porch in Florida. So gorgeous! Snow is being discussed for the end of the week here (sounds too iffy for a prediction), so enjoy while you may, Deb!