Monthly Archives: August 2014


You know what life is NOT like? The Game of Life. God I hated that game. It just made people feel bad. And then everyone died.

not so life-like

not so life-like


Lily tells a funny story about her friend Ari, a kind of Shaggy (as in Scooby Do) character who shambled into the pizza restaurant where she was a counter girl. She gave him a glass of water and a piece of pizza. He wrote a long note on his napkin, calling her a “beacon of positivity.”

She is. I’m not. But now I am charged with what is called on Facebook as the Positivity Challenge, posting 3 things for which I am grateful every day for 5 days. Oof.

Stay tuned.

A beacon of positivity

A beacon of positivity


Article of Faith

Get Right With God

Get Right With God

I’ve always liked this cross, affixed to a brownstone on West 51st Street. This side says, in neon, Get Right With God. The other: Sin Will Find You Out.

You have been warned.

My Fitness Pal

I have a new friend! I call her my fitness pal. At the end of our first week of paling around, I am amazed by her vast nutritional knowledge. She knows the calorie count of every food! She knows how many calories are burned by every activity! It’s almost like she has a database for a brain!

But now, as our friendship progresses, I realize it’s kind of one-sided. I am compelled to tell her everything I eat and drink and input every minute I exercise. She sends me brisk little reminders and stern admonitions about drinking more water and – shocker — less wine. She knows my weight-loss goals and on a particularly indulgent day she’ll say, disappointedly: If every day were like today, you would gain 4 pounds after 5 weeks.

My fitness pal is being a little bitch.

Also, who knew even modest portions of hummus and lentils and guacamole have more calories than a nice ham sandwich?


My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal

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I can’t read

I am reading a New Yorker article about a poet who loses his son and the size of his hurt and sadness is unimaginable. But there is an aspect of his experience I understand. For a time after his son died this poet could not read. Me neither, not a novel nor a poem nor even very much of an article. I could manage the narrative of, say, a J Crew catalog but otherwise pages were turned by my hand without their contents first being absorbed and I had no idea I was doing this until, halfway through, I would realize I hadn’t the slightest idea what the book was about. Who was I when I couldn’t read? I have no idea about that either. I didn’t know that Diane.

due to excessive pleasantness

and the sun shone and a breeze blew, although not so much it could be called a wind, and the temperature was neither baking nor bitter. The overnight weather was also uneventful, no storms, no rain, no train-track-bending cold. I wasn’t awake but I’d guess it was some combination of dark and warm.

“We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to weather-related issues the New Haven trains will be delayed,” began the Great but Unseen Apologizer, the voice MetroNorth pipes in to offer excuses, however lame and, today, unbelievable.

“So the weather today is …?” I ask the conductor who will commiserate with me, I am sure of it.

“Too pleasant?” He deadpans, squinting out the grimed windows at the beautiful morning sky. “Excessively pleasant?”


today's weather, pleasant with a chance of delays

today’s weather, pleasant with a chance of delays

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a hot mess

I spent part* of the weekend at a folk festival.

By that I mean an hour or so, but it felt longer because the sky was buggy and blazing and the farm was overrun with festies — girls and boys who strongly identify with music festivals and wear dusty, bohemian clothing and smell of humid sleeping bags.

My favorite place was the dancing tent, presided over by a twangy-voiced caller, attempting to lead the throngs in the Louisiana Swing.

I grew up in Iowa. When it rained, PE class was brought into the indoor gym (also humid smelling) for square dancing. I actually know how to respond to calls like allemande left your partner, dosey-do your corner, promenade one and all, promenade round the hall, singing oh Johnny, oh Johnny oh.

These folks did not and it was fun watching stray dancers trying to square off while their intendeds mistakenly launched into a Grand Right and Left. Hands were extended, then retracted, bodies collided, faces showed profound puzzlement. But they danced, oh how they danced. the louisiana swing

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