Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Scaffolded: A Pity Party

I don't believe in signs. Or horoscopes or hope or prayer or karma. But waking up today to find scaffolding shrouding the lovely landmarked building on a quiet tree-lined street that I call home seemed, at least, portentious.

I've always hated scaffolding. Some may see it as a sign of progress and renewal but to me it's urban blight, an old dame getting one more facelift before the end. I almost died, once, on a claustrophobically scaffolded block (Parade of Heroes or whatever, 19-- or 20-- whatever when the Yankees won the World Series for the second or third time in a row and I felt compelled to join the crowds on lower Broadway. I -- and dozens of others -- nearly suffocated when the police way up ahead stopped the crowd and the thousands behind us just... kept going.)

Today, after heading to work from beneath said scaffolding, I felt bowed by the heat and humidity -- and like I was walking under a ladder I couldn't avoid. Work was work... good distraction and I got a lot done but felt like I was surrounded by sensitive, angry porcupines.

Excuse me, I have to go find some Tarot cards.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Doldrums

So humid I can barely move my fingers over the keys... Just got back from the gym, a late session. Ooooch. Many weird new exercises involving strength and balance. I pretend I'm on a balance beam over the Grand Canyon as I stand and swing one leg straight up 15 times and touch my outstretched hand. Luckily, I didn't fall in. Then I did pull-ups over a piranha-infested pool. You get the idea. Mind over matter. Mind over misery.

Over the weekend, I went with CC (the NYC one) to NYU's gym for a swim as it was really the only thing to do in 90+ degree weather. Very nice. I might join up again, though it would be a luxury I can probably ill afford.

Lost my non-license ID. Oh nooooooo. Hello DMV. Signed up for a kayak trip up the Hudson. Yay. Still feeling discombobulated. Had a horrible nightmare last night where my family had a barbecue and no one liked me and my mother was grilling a gigantic rodent. Nice!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Anthony Bourdain, man. What is his deal? I love the guy, want to BE him, with his good looks and travel bug and curiousity and good nature and everything. Plus, if I've ever EATEN a book (devoured, happily) it was his Kitchen Confidential. Really, he (like Paul Theroux) is kind of a hero of mine.

But. Every single time I watch his "No Reservations" I get sick to my stomach. And this from a girl who almost never has an issue with queasy-making things. I watch dispassionately as I get blood drawn at the doctor every year (yawn). I care not if I realize that the sushi from last night wasn't exactly refrigerated properly as I pop raw fish into my mouth for breakfast. I truly hope to one day eat the deadly blowfish. And I never get sick. Unless it's from a sneeze in the elevator (I'm not special, not impervious to the science of sickness).

I need to really analyze what about his TV show invariably makes me nauseated. I hereby pledge to watch this season's adventures and figure it all out. This week: Columbia. Cool! Different! No longer dangerous! LOVE the idea. And yet, and yet. AB eats a nearly raw turtle egg, and the turtle turns out to be endangered. Oops! Oh well. And I was doing pretty well until.... "Crispy fried poop shoot." You heard me right. And I can't explain what it was because I had to just... walk away. More to follow. (And yes, I know, I should get a life).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mashed Potato Wrestling

Well, this is just great. Just when Maine is starting to get a reputation as a cool place, where smart people go to get away or to live a life of simplicity, honesty and beauty, along comes mashed potato wrestling to ruin it. From

Mashed potato wrestling is making its return to this year's Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield. The festival in northern Maine's potato country is now in its 61st year paying tribute to the state's most valuable crop.

It's almost official. On Wednesday I can book my flight to Athens for the week of sailing the Greek Isles in mid-September. Yikes! It's gonna break the bank and I have no idea how long I'll actually be gone (I think it's stretching beyond my requested vacation week -- oops). But oh well. The nice captain sent the funniest e-mail, apologizing that there's only 2 heads on the boat, instead of the advertised 3. Not knowing him well (or even having met him yet) I refrained from the obvious joke(s).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Recap: 4th of July in Maine

Another summer weekend over Fourth of July in Maine. This one was different, though. Definitely more special. CC. picked me up at the Portland International Jetport. It was so good to see her, one of my oldest friends, and one whom unfortunately is battling a very scary health problem. She's strong, though, and full of life and hope.

Highlights of the visit included sailing with Dad out from Boothbay Harbor. CC. and I both jumped into the ocean (I was in my underwear!). It wasn't as freezing as I'd anticipated but we wanted to get out almost immediately. Oops, no ladder. We had to fling our cold, wet selves into the dinghy and then climb back up onto the boat. Yowch. I have a great bruise on my leg as a lingering memento.

We also stumbled upon the Glidden Point Oyster Farm on River Road. I'd been blown away by their oysters at Blue Ribbon Sushi (!) and was thrilled to be at the source. CC. bought two dozen oysters and we enjoyed them with the most amazing (what do you call it? Not "sauce," but the slight spoonful you dribble over the creatures. Anyway, it was made with white balsamic vinegar, finely chopped shallots and miniature sprigs of green onion. Delectable. More pics here.

I'm incapable of making Blogger do what I want. Even in html. It's making me nuts. Oh well. Just understand that I KNOW my layout is retarded.

Speaking of things online, I'm pleased that my little experiment (befriending another Kit Thompson on Facebook) is turning out so well. My young friend in the U.K. is rad. Check her out:

Interests: Alcohol, dancing, gaming, music, music, music, philosophy, pie, sandwiches, shoes, socialising, TV.

Favorite Music: Ryan Adams, Alias, Apparat, Between the Buried and Me, Bloc Party, Callisto, Converge, Cult of Luna, Daft Punk, The Dillinger, Escape Plan, Dredg, Hot Chip, Interpol, Intronaut, Isis, Jakob, Junior Boys, Khoma, The Knife, Mastodon, The Ocean, Opeth, The Postal Service, Rosetta, Shinichi Osawa, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tegan and Sara, Thrice, Vitalic.


Oh, this is kinda cool. Too bad I don't have an iPhone! In my Flickr mail:

Back in 2007, you kindly gave us permission to include your credited photo in our Schmap New York Guide.This is just a quick note to let you know that Schmap Guides have now been released for the iPhone and iPod touch.Your photo in the iPhone version of our Schmap New York Guide is at.....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Carless Life

Yes, I said "carless" not "careless." I might be needing a hyphen there but I'm not sure. Anyway, I was thrilled to read a great article in the New Yorker on Keith Olbermann, "One Angry Man," this week. Not least because it was a really informative and kind of inspiring article on a man I knew little about, as I don't watch MSNBC much. Beyond his obvious passion for spot-on political commentary (not to mention sports, etc.) and great vocabulary and style ("acid caricature," "demonic mimicry" and a "lacerating indictment of Bush" included, according to the piece by Peter J. Boyer), he also DOESN'T DRIVE. Yay. I'm not alone.

I thought I'd found the only other kindred spirit in friend G., who, over drinks the other night, also confessed (wrong word: reported) that he doesn't drive. And now Keith (who doesn't because a head injury caused some vertigo or something that affects his balance at car speed). As for me, well, I CAN drive (stick but not automatic, comfortably) and kinda of really love to (as long as I'm in the only other car on the road). I took the bus living in LA and San Francisco, walk and, if forced, ride the subway in NYC, and depend on others in most other instances. My carbon footprint, by the way, is way smaller than my increasingly back-to-the-earth parents in (very) rural Maine. I'm not really patting myself on the back here, just trying to feel like less of a freak in this car-centric world.

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