Saturday, June 30, 2007

What I Love... What I Hate. An Ongoing Survey

This will be an evolving litany of things. I hate touching shower curtains. Everyone now and then a certain confluence of humidity, water temperature, wind and angry spirits will draw a shower curtain toward me as I stand, batting away, dripping shampoo into my eyes. Horrible.

I love slivered almonds, avocados, fresh cilantro, red wine, fresh-water pearls, pedicures. I loathe finishing a good book (and will leave it around, still bookmarked or splayed on a surface or set somewhere like my desk as if it weren't all over and already fading into my literary memory). I currently love the two books I'm reading: Michael Ondaatje's (wow, I spelled that right on the first try!) Divisadero and Wendy Werris' An Alphabetical Life.

I love that C. praises me when I announce (on the phone) that I'm considering (or just took) a nap in the middle of a sunny Saturday. More to follow.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hometown Oysters

Imagine my delight at finding, in the lovely script on the specials menu at Blue Ribbon Sushi (Sullivan St., Manhattan): Oysters from Edgecomb, Maine. That's my hometown. It's where I grew up and where my parents still live. It's quite rural, an hour north of Portland, just a by-way kind of town between Wiscasset (the "prettiest village in Maine," which, by the way, it actually isn't but is still quite comely) and Damariscotta (home of the famous Reny's).

These oysters, from Glidden Point, to be exact, may well have been the best I've ever had. Sweet, exceptionally fresh and tender and served nicely with a jot of lemon and a barely perceptible twist-tie of spring onion. These wonderful morsels more than made up for the obnoxious septet of (had to be) sales guys on someone's expense account, all gigantic and fat and super-loud. The staff tried to seat them in the "special" boxed in area but no luck. Yuck.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Skywriting Dreams

Okay, here's one for the dream analysts. After waking up at 8 am (!) on Sunday (!!) to deal with the hyperactive cats, I went back to bed and dreamed... That I was somewhere in an unfamiliar but rather beautiful hilly suburb. I looked up to see a skywriting plane languidly lettering across the blue and I suddenly realized that it was not just advertising or a "Marry me, Kit!" (wonder where THAT came from) but a conversation. A chat. Like a Google Talk or Yahoo IM. But in the sky! I was mesmerized. Metachat. How 'bout that. Oh -- and then Petey my cat changed into Doris from Everybody Loves Raymond (which I've seen maybe once) and I couldn't get him back and then someone was strangling me but then I woke up and O. Henry the kitten had draped himself across my neck like a small cat-scarf.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Baseball and Bridges

I like baseball. Quite a bit. Okay, not enough to actually blog about it but I'm a consistent quasi-fan who once went to a Yankees parade (1996. And those are not for the faint of heart) And J. who once dated a cop from upstate, actually went to that World Series (I think it was) and entered the stadium on a horse! (I think that's how it happened. I remember he wore a pinky ring and they broke up soon after, though I'm not sure any of this is related except tangentially and for ... color commentary for whatever it's worth.)

All this to say, I had nice afterwork rendezvous with C. at Ideya, the fun Jamaican joint on W. Broadway.

The experience was made even more delightful by a late-meal sighting of Ken Burns at the table near us. His life's work to date is simply incredible, both in volume and quality, and all the more amazing in its breadth and depth -- and subjects: how cool! Jazz! Architecture Baseball! Radio! And more than a dozen other impeccably forged pieces. He's a hero of mine, truth be told.

Years ago, I was a documentary filmmaker for about twenty minutes, post-TSOA -- with a still-yet-to-be unearthed gem of a video called "Working Dreams," presumptive analogue to Studs Terkel's wonderful Working, created with old friend Janine and great DP Doug Shannon... It languishes in 3/4" obscurity. We interviewed subject ranging from a chimney sweeper to Pam, a Bloomingdale's perfume sprayer. But I digress.

Ken's Brooklyn Bridge is closest to my heart; I'll tell you why some other time.

Anyway. Happy to see the guy; happy to know he had some good grub tonight. Happy there are people like him in the world, here and now, actively preserving the past in a way that makes one almost certain there is hope for the future.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Daylight Détente

This situation has vastly improved between new cat and old. No more male posturing, a little less Jets v. Sharks kind of choreographed circling. Rather, after a good night's sleep (on everyone's part but mine, as O. Henry has a thing for my hair and spent the night under it on my neck or nestled on the very top of my head) it seems we have a détente. They're indulging in (separate) afternoon naps, all's right with the world; I'm going to go get my nails done.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Ineffable Henry

Let me introduce you to O. Henry Skittles Thompson, the newest addition to my household. He's a new friend for Petey (who, at posting, is somewhat disturbed). Henry is from the Bronx by way of the Union Square Petco and the great cat rescuers of Kitty Kind.

So far, Henry won't sit still for pictures. He is six weeks old and already a Yankees fan (he's watching the Mets v. Yankees game as we speak.)

I'm a little nervous because of Petey's initial reaction (trepidation, a little bit of hissing, which he's never done). Pics here of him, as well as MeMe (rest in peace) and Ann from next door who is a great friend to cats and a tireless cat rescuer and babysitter.
The Yankees Win!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

This Totally Socks

Atlantic Monthly's "Word Fugitive" section may be my most favorite monthly series. I love stuff like this:

In March, we asked for a word to describe the moment of undignified vulnerability that people in airport security lines experience when they have to take off their shoes. The response most frequently submitted was insockurity. Tracy Gill, of New York City, was one of the readers who suggested it, adding, “PS: This entry might be a shoe-in.” Sorry, but no. Other popular responses included sole-baring, shoemiliation, dis‑ shoeveled, and unshoddenfreude.

James Arnott, of Grand Junction, Colo., wrote, “I am often pedrified when the strong-armed TSA agent implores me to remove those comfortable coverings of my feet. I find myself removed from the familiar world of ‘No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service’ and transported to a foreign land.” Derek Eisel, of Seattle, who explained that he “happened to read the question while on a plane” and so “had inspiration and time” on his hands, submitted a sizable list of possibilities, including Manolo-panicked, Birkenstalked, JimmyChoogrined, and Arched

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Procrastihedging: It's Personal... the Political

A very smart acquaintance (ok, it was my brother, a professor in Maine who's wicked smart) recently implied that one (me) could be more political on one's blog. Which is a very good point. Not only are many blogs (I'd just love to know what %) political in nature -- so the expectation is there -- but he knows me to be a strongly opinionated creature when it comes to politics. Can you tell I'm procrastihedging? Yes, well.

You know I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU (not, of course, that I agree with everything they propose) but hey, I'm pretty much over yonder to the left in a vehement but practical kind of way. So anyway, to be completely honest, I get overwhelmed. Not only by thinking about the overwhelmingly ghastly current state of affairs vis a vis the Bush administration, but also by the massive amount of really, really good political discourse going on in the blogosphere (and, of course, in print and to a seriously lesser degree, other media like tv and radio). In a nutshell: I can't compete. I can't keep up with the news, let alone process it and synthesize and report out to the world here. Others do it better. Others write better and think better. Others aggregate other writers' sites better. And yes, I AM lazy but that's... not it.

And now for something cool and fun.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

cover of Harper's Magazine

I love Harper's Magazine -- especially their "Findings" page, which never fails to produce at least one belly laugh and the occasional tear, general bemusement and head-scratching, and a few rare "well, duhs." See if you can peg the following, from a small sampling in the most recent issue:

The Good News
Researchers successfully grew sperm from human bone marrow, which could theoretically lead to a future in which pairs of lesbian mothers can produce their own daughters without the intervention of a male. And a study found that many people who are diagnosed with depression are really just sad.

The Bad News
A British study concluded that job stress can lead to overeating. And experts said that the human papilloma virus could cause mouth cancer in people who perform oral sex but stressed that people need not change their behavior.

News That I Don't Know What to Do With
Physicists observed electrons tunneling out of their atoms.

Spring Maine Trip

Finally getting around to the little trip to Maine from last last week. This spring trip to Edgecomb (I tend to hit every season at least once) began at JFK Airport where C. and I had a very pleasant and fattening breakfast in the JetBlue food court. But of course the trip can only REALLY begin at Red's Eats on Route One. We pick up fried scallops, lobster rolls, one hamburger and fries to bring home to my mom and dad as our houseguest offering; it's always very well received.

It rained every single day and was freezing so this was a stay-by-the fireplace kind of vacation. Fine by me. Reny's in Damariscotta again provided us with cheap t-shirts and, this time, some plastic lips that to everyone's hilarity worked very well with freshly cooked asparagus on a plate. You'll recall last time's focal point of fun: the giant container of cheese-balls.

Hey, you do what it takes to amuse yourself Down East, let me tell you. My newest wishlist item is a real ship's clock. They have a very cool, low and echoey "booong" sound, and you have to figure out the time (aurally) based on an 8-bells, every-half hour system: midnight (or noon) is 8 bells; 12:30 is 1 bell; 1 is 2 bells, 1:30 is 3 bells, etc. Half a lifetime growing up with these crazy clocks and I can still only identify noon, midnight, 8 pm and sometimes 10.

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