getting the party started

Man of the hour author Adam Cohen and Hope arrived after the chairs.
 I got a call from Barb on the street. I shouted, "Yes! Yes!" Before she could even ask if I had gotten the pictures. She had found some chairs on the street she thought I might want for the Goose, and she was so very right. She is my street-find curator, and the only one from whom I will accept "projects." They are always worth it. She was only a block away, and Ed had just gotten here, so we ran down as she guarded the hoard. Yes, I'm gonna have to recover the seats, but hell yeah!


dress appropriately

My clothing is going to a place it will feel at home, the land of aloha. Looks like I need to pare down the stack to pack, though.


i smell a rat

Fortunately, the Rat was not outside my building or any of my usual haunts. Presumably it struck fear into whoever it was ratting out.
   Meanwhile, a couple things.
Hannah's fame continues to increase as part of FedEx's promo.
Barrett's childhood home, Weir Farm, gets its own quarter from the US Mint, featuring a painter with palette. You can go to the launch and get your own quarter on April 7.
   I am engaging in the usual spate of last-minute entertainments and tasks before leaving for warmer shores on Monday. Please encourage me to work when i get there! I don't have a problem with the playing part.


two-headed monster

It's interesting being in someone else's mind for any period of time. Editing is like that—you're channeling someone else's sensibility. So for the past week, Donna and have been side-by-side editing captions to pictures that comprise her life's work. Being in her head is challenging. Donna's world is violent, unsafe, oppressive, futuristic, fatalistic, polyamorous, patriarchal and relentlessly political. Except when it isn't—which really keeps you on your toes. Because I don't know if you've noticed, but people aren't consistent or logical. Particularly photographers, who are primarily visual thinkers.  Or maybe just Geminis. Anyway, ask me what Donna thinks about anything, and can I tell you: Both what she thinks and the opposite that she thinks a few minutes later. Now I have to remember what I think!


reigning supreme

Must have been past Adam's niece's bedtime. She clung to him the whole time.

Yes, there was cake.
This Sunday the cover of the NYT book review is Adam Cohen's book Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's 50-year Battle for a More Unjust America. Last night he was feted at the first of several book parties, attended by practically everyone he's known since college. It's the most footnoted book I've ever seen, as befits such an incendiary thesis, written by a Harvard law school graduate. It will likely be an even greater success than his last book, Imbeciles. I thank him for including me in his extremely long list of acknowledgements, probably because I buy him Diet Dr. Pepper.
It may be the only time I appear in print.

Barb took a pic of me by the fireplace. yes, she's acknowledged as well!


a bit of roundup

 They say when you lose weight, you should buy a new outfit. So 20 pounds later, I have. I leave for Hawaii on March 2. What I saved on the outfit (suit $20, sarong $10), I am spending on a rental car. Actually a truck, which will cost about twice the rent I'm paying for the shack. I guess if push comes to shove, I can live in it. The truck, I mean. Well, I plan on living in the suit, also. And the shack.
   I have been dealing with people's memoirs. With Chien-Chi's script, which is basically a memoir in slightly fictionalized cinematic form. With Donna's, which is in photographic form (see intro below). She will probably have to join the witness protection plan if this book ever gets published.  (As will I and Paula, who copy edited, and Barbara, who researched.) Captions are supposed to be finished this week. Looking forward to my own memoir which is in shitty written form at the mo! Planning to work on it in Kauai.

    Here is a story about Todd's work. We met 20 years ago when I was doing a story about him for LIFE magazine, right before it folded. Boy was he suspicious of me! But all these years later, we're still friends. I suppose I should offer a trigger warning with this, except that most of my friends who read this blog already know Todd and his work.


love is all there is

Happy Valentine's, valentines! If you are reading this, you know already that I love you, but heck, is there any such thing as too much love? I LOVE you. I HEART you. However, I have been unable to obtain these particular hearts for you. That's because the Sweethearts company was going out of business when it was bought by another company who apparently still hasn't got their distriution together. Meanwhile SweetTarts (?)  and some other companies have stepped in to provide "conversation hearts" in a little box. But I'm still waiting on the almost real thing. Love you! Mean it!


backyard life

I am about to go live in someone's backyard for a month. It's a dirt backyard that abuts the levee that keeps the Waimea River out of the lower valley as it empties into the ocean. The toilet and shower are in outbuildings. The shed I'm living in is new, built by my friend Jimmy. He's the one who talked the lady of the house into renting to me. He also narrates the videos. Hoping to write in the morning, then go to the beach, then go to Owen's or Jimmy's mom's house of an evening. Not sure about cell reception or internet.
And, in contrast, here is the shed Hannah is building in her backyard. The outside is almost done. I just wish I could build a shed on Block Island!


street scavengers

A lotta cans. TirBeCa

A lotta seeds. Upper West Side


block island now

Well not really now, but on Friday Johnny took these pictures of Block Island in the wind. No boats running, of course. These were in front of my house.


alice's restaurant church

Some of you may remember Alice, and the restaurant —and the draft. Alice and her husband lived in the bell tower of this church near Great Barrington, Mass., and put their garbage down where the pews usta be, according, memorably, to Arlo Guthrie, who attempted to take the garbage to the dump on Thanksgiving and thereby evaded the draft. And seaking of people who evaded the draft—never mind.
   Anyway, Arlo bought the church for real, nad now it's called The Guthrie Center. They hold hootenanies. Sorry, they have folk music concerts and interfaith religious services there, and I guess there's pews there again. I was gobsmacked to see the church when I was visiting Katie and Mike.


rags to rockers

Hannah's latest Wear Your Music project. I'll let her explain it. Rock Recycled is already quite a success on some band tours.

Also, if Hannah pops up on your Facebook feed, don't be alarmed. As a past winner of the FedEx small business grant, they have built ads around her.


journalists unite

One of the few houses that still seems to subscribe to print magazines.
Peter relaxes after Mass and prepares to cook breakfast.
The travelers depart. Photo by Peter Meyer
Barbara and I and Ed stayed overnight at Peter and Janet's house, which is a stylin' Air BnB. You can see the beautiful rooms here.
       Of course most of the action was backstage, in the family's half of the giant house, as Peter and Barb and Ed told war stories. We all met, after all, at LIFE magazine. Much laughing was done. These days Peter Meyer, former author of horrific, true crime books (until he began suffering from PTSD), writes about education and runs journalism classes for grade school kids, which you can read about in the NYT here.
Ed came up with a concept T-shirt: "Boobs for Trump." On the train ride home, Barb said she thought it should look like a cheezy Jersey shore souvenir. We amused ourselves with doing designs and watching the Hudson River slide by. Yes, I did butt in with college reminiscences at the Poughkeepsie stop and high school ones at Scarborough.
    What do you think about the T-shirt? Feel free to email me with your ideas and I'll post em up for a vote.


art weekend

Katie dashes by her Housatonic gallery and studio.

 Katie had a Big Day on Saturday, though with her two galleries, painting workshops and a life in the Berkshires and Block Island, most days are pretty big. At least she doesn't have a dozen horses and a farm any more. We headed over to her Housatonic, NY, Front Street gallery to pick up a telephone to test the land line in her Hudson, NY Warren Street gallery, where she was having an opening that day.
She hustles to Hudson, NY, to preside over an opening of her show of  flowers.
 In Hudson, after packing up the cheese and crackers and wine from the show, we headed over to a local hangout for dinner with my friend Peter and his family and fellow life friends Ed and Barbara, who had trained up the river for the night. As for what transpired thereafter, hang in til tomorrow.
Janet and Peter and their son Dylan in front of their BnB.


at home with katie and mike

 Took the train up to Wassaic, through the Westchester County of my childhood and the Hudson Valley of my college years. Mike and Katie picked me up and drove me down Yonder View Road to their house in the Berkshires. Sadly, the pool is closed and cold, but the house is warm and welcoming. Also it seems to me that Katie and I studied at the same school of interior design.


donna at work

 Donna directs her helper to change the new order of the photographs for her book, Holy. It is now separated into three sections with a more emotional and less chronological arc.  Yes, this is the same book that was supposed to be out last January. It has a lot of breasts and genitals in it. Donna says she'll know it's a success when she starts getting death threats.


linked out

If you didn't see the test link I added to yesterday's post, check it out.

LMK where you come up. Maybe you already know.


testing, testing

 The elementary school spelling bee finals kicked off today with the No. 2 person in her grade (No. 1 was Kedar, right of Camilla) sitting on stage looking nervous. As well she might, not having studied the word list. Her mother (below, center, who last year tested into FedEx's small business winners circle) was even more nervous. Even her grandmother, sitting at home typing this, was nervous.
    She got "sawdust" and "fumble." On round three: "socials." Lots of kids are out. She's still in. "Comfort." "Scrambling." Only a few kids on the stage now. "Scattering." "Drastic." Still in. One of the few still left sitting onstage.
   Whoops: "Obstacles!" And she's out!
   But good show. Now rooting for Kedar.
   Well Kedar failed on the next round, he came in first of the third graders, and Camilla, second! And both of them beat plenty of fourth and fifth graders.
 In other testing news, my heart is fine, and I do not have lung cancer or colon cancer.

Oh, and in other testing news, if you would like to find out what Myers-Briggs personality type you are, you can take this free test. FYI, I was INFJ. Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging—the advocate, it's called. Let me know what you are.

Camilla, one of the few spellers still standing
Hannah and the Small Business People


gone fishin

 In my new life I live on fish and reps. I like the fish better. This very nice man served sushi to me and Barb, and it turned out he once worked at the place we used to go near the Time-Life building, (which is no more). He says that as young as five, he started cutting up all the fish that he and his family caught in Japan. His father thought he had better knife skills than anyone else in the family. And indeed, his knife skills are awesome. Alas, Fairway, where I buy my poke, is said to be on the verge of closing.


doing my rounds

 It has been beautiful but quite cold outside. but that's ok. I have been mostly inside having tests made that find a little something wrong here, a little something there. I must confess that I deserve it—haven't been to the doc in almost five years and typically refuse testing (for the reason given above)—but it doesn't make it any more fun. After all these tests I have to go back to the doctor so we can discuss. Meanwhile, I am trying a strict diet. No carbs, for high blood sugar. No salt, for high blood pressure. No fats, for high cholesterol. What am I left with here? I'm left with pretty much not eating and the gym. However, since this process began in fits and starts in November, I have lost almost 15 pounds. So there's that. I look thinner but older.
Waiting for my mam—ogram


bad taste

Don't do this! As pictured in some scolding site.
I'm kind of addicted to these sites that go "The Top 10 Things Interior Designers Say to Never Do" or "The Top 10 Ways to Upgrade Your Home" or "The 10 Things that Make Decorators Say Ugh."
   So imagine my delight wen on a list of The Top 10 Things That Are So Over," I find my very own table and chairs! (Well, actually, Frank and Dianne's table and chairs.) In fact, I liked almost everything on the list of deplorables, including pink bathrooms and aqua kitchen tiles. (I don't know who does these lists, maybe someone in Sheboygan, because they all seem to think that granite counters are still the happening thing.) So shortly after discovering the the table on the What's Not Hot list, I read in the New York Times (now, granted, they are not the most style-forward publication either) that colorful kitchens are Back! Yes, folks, everyone wants turquoise and yellow appliances and White is SO Out! To stay ahead of the trend, I guess I'll have to redo the kitchen at the Goose again. Fortunately, not due to last week's flood, which didn't intrude.


big doings

 This is what has happened in Hannah's back yard. The old garage is gone, replaced by this new structure which has recently had its windows installed. This is the view towards the house. The other sides have little in the way of windows. When finished, it will look like the architect's rendering below, with a staircase up to Hannah's studio. And yes, the dog is currently trapped on a line—the temporary fence is too easy to squeeze under.


out on the town

 It's been quite the whirlwind of entertainments this past month, and something had to give before my health did. So, alas, I have to quit drinking beer for a while. Off and on since Thanksgiving and then off since shortly after New Years, I have so far lost more than 10 pounds and weigh the least I have in probably two decades—or since I quit smoking anyway. It makes me look older, but ah well. I AM older!.
 My resolve has lately been tested by a series of social events at bars. There was the lunch with Ed and Ralph yesterday at Maison Pickle, which not only involved a martini and several glasses of wine for Ed, but also a carb-heavy menu. I drank maybe two quarts of bubbly water and staggered out of lunch at four-thirty-ish.
Donna videos, always the photographer, with Ulana and Johnny, who looks like god these days.
 The night before I went to a pickup gig Tommy V does once a month at a bar in Hoboken, NJ. I asked Donna if she wanted to come with me and also her husband of record, Johnny, and his partner in all senses of the word, Ulana. Donna calls the pic above "Johnny and his Two Mujeres." Tommy V was in rare form, his playlist has broadened since the last time I heard him, and his players are simply awesome.
Tommy V and the core group at the Turtle Sessions in Hoboken.