Saturday, February 25, 2006

live at Town Hall (with Graham and me clapping somewhere in the background)

My friend Graham and I love the same music. Wilco, Rufus Wainwright, Belle and Sebastian, New Pornographers: you name it, chances are we both enjoy it. This summer, he invited me to go to an Eels concert with him. I only knew their "Novocaine for the Soul" song, but I had heard inklings of more from them, and as I am well aware of Graham's impeccable taste, I said "Of course!" It was also my first trip to Town Hall.

Well, it came as a big surprise to me to find an album of the concert. Seeing it, I remembered they were filming a dvd that evening so it stands to reason that there would be a live cd. It's so much fun to listen to a concert that you attended, especially when it was the first time you heard this particular band and were completely mesmerized by the experience. Listening to the album brings it all back to me. The darkly glam lady string section, the saws, the cigar smoking, the glasses and beard, the tres indie rock crowd. It was a great night, but then again, I have a great time sitting around anywhere with Graham. You know you have a good friend in hand when he can make you cry laughing and hold you captivated with a story. Someone with whom you can share tears of joy and sadness with an equal sense of comfort and safety. We're going to see another concert this week. I'll let you know how it goes.

UPDATE: I failed to mention that earlier in the evening (before finding the concert cd), I ran into Graham on the subway platform! I love serendipitous moments that remind you that NYC is one big village.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

oops: not a cold

I've been home sick for the past two days. Yesterday I went to the doctor to find out that I have bronchitis and a sinus infection. So much for just assuming I had a cold and low level depression thanks to life post-K! I really am sick! Why have I been toughing it out since January?

Now I'm on a steady diet of antibiotics and cold medicine washed down with gatorade and tea. My roommates have been so kind. Nerb went out for clementines, tea, and ginger. Brian went out to get me veggie wonton soup last night and watched figure skating with me to keep me company. Natalia was home sick as well today. I've been watching Oprah, sleeping, making tea and reading French and "The New Yorker."

This whole staying at home thing is nice. And I have to admit that I can see the appeal of Tivo. I would love to watch "Oprah" everyday! I know this is appalling to some of you, but really, I have to admit that "Oprah" is good TV. Good thing I would never let myself get Tivo... I do have a modicum of self-restraint. Going to back to work should be nice. I guess. I could put up a very good argument for staying home until Spring, but I like health care and a paycheck. And I would miss my work friends. Oh and work. I just feel like I have so much to do here in the apartment that I could never get bored. There are so many books to read and craft projects to undertake. And I could go to the library, museum, and botanic gardens all the time. Speaking of which, I think I might look into going to the gardens this weekend. I would love to go to the greenhouses and it would be interesting to see what the gardens look like in winter. Have I mentioned that I can't wait for Spring?

Monday, February 20, 2006

french fried

I haven't read this much French since that class I took at UPenn during senior year when I busted out Simone de Beauvoir's "Memoirs d'une jeune fille rangee" in one night. I read one hundred pages of French today. Another 150 approximately to go until this book is over. Oy. Talk about mental gymnastics. I needed to stay home today and concentrating on French definitely kept me at my desk all day. Sometimes it's good to play graduate student and stay in. I didn't realize I had retained such a mastery of French. Nice to jog one's memory now and again. Even so, I think I need to take a break before plunging back into the book. Perhaps a little physical exercise as a contrast to the mental exercise. Some yoga while watching "When Harry Met Sally?" One can't be virtuous all day long.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

getting there

I have been really homesick over the past couple of days. I'm really looking forward to my jamabalaya stitch n bitch tomorrow. I have a feeling it will be heavy on the bitching and light on the stitching, but either way, I'm sure it will be great.

I keep dreaming about home. I keep dreaming about trying to get home. Most my dreams are about me in transit with a scrappy group of friends and family, tag-teaming up along the way to make our way back to New Orleans. It's like I'm perpetually walking to New Orleans. I don't know what I'm going back for. There's no wedding, no funeral, no reason. Just the sunset over bayou saint john, a drive along the lakefront, dodging potholes uptown, meeting friends for coffee, singing in the car, picking up po'boys.

I haven't been exercising all winter because of this never ending cold. I keep swearing one more week and I'll go to the doctor, but I just don't have the energy to go and have him tell me it's just a cold. I am finding it hard to find the energy for a lot of things that would actually be good for me. I'm glad I'm having people over tomorrow. Few things make me happier than feeding people and introducing people. I think it'll be a nice get together of my very varigated collection of Bryn Mawr friends and various other friends. Jambalaya, baked eggplant and the promise of King Cake among other things. It'll be lovely.

I am feeling better from an excess of sleep, three mugs of coffee over brunch at Cousin John's with Tim, Brendan and Rochelle, and that tylenol cold is kicking in. Tim is doing my laundry for me down the street. Three loads. What a good man. I'm supposed to be reading this French translation of an Italian novel so I better get back to that. There are times like this when I wonder how a Sacred Heart girl with braids ended up taking this crazy path around the United States and ended up here in Brooklyn making a living through books. There are times when I want to go directly back to where it all began, Baptist Hospital on Napoleon Aveune. But they changed the name of the hospital years ago, and since the hurricane and all the deaths in the hospital that followed, it's closed. I'm here and I should be happy.

And I am most of the time, but there's an ache of homesickness that always exists in me for New Orleans. It's been this way since I left for college, but growing up in New Orleans, I always had a wanderlust to leave NOLA... so I guess I'm just mean to be on a journey at all times and isn't that what life is anyway. Postcards along the way and a bag packed at all times. I've placed my roots in Brooklyn for now. There are books on a shelf and clothes in closets. I'm here. I just try to make my way back to New Orleans every night in my dreams.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Jazzfest 2006 Lineup

So I can't afford to go to Jazz Fest this year, but if I could, this is what I would see.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


tromping through the snow in massive snow boots

free giant coffee at work

lunch with your boyfriend

a dozen perfect pink roses in a mason jar on your desk

dinner with your boyfriend at a time when you'd usually still be at work

new "gilmore girls" episode

reading a crappy, yet entertaining novel while getting your feet massaged

-oh- and the evil vice president shot a man which induced a heart attack


one amazing valentine's day

Sunday, February 12, 2006

winter wonderland

Here you have it! This weekend's blizzard as experienced in lovely Park Slope. I tromped around this afternoon to return dvds, buy kleenex, and stop for hot chocolate at Gorilla Coffee. The first picture is my front door, the one shot at night was taken by T who was leaning out of my kitchen window on the fourth floor. Home sweet home. T and I have been making cozy meals all weekend. I have to say that a pending blizzard is a great excuse to buy lots of groceries and hibernate for the weekend. So nice. Do I really have to go to work tomorrow?

Friday, February 10, 2006

"it is disengagement"

Representative Thomas M. Davis III, Republican of Virginia, chairman of the special House committee investigating the hurricane response, said the only government agency that performed well was the National Weather Service, which correctly predicted the force of the storm. But no one heeded the message, he said.

"The president is still at his ranch, the vice president is still fly-fishing in Wyoming, the president's chief of staff is in Maine," Mr. Davis said. "In retrospect, don't you think it would have been better to pull together? They should have had better leadership. It is disengagement."

One of the greatest mysteries for both the House and Senate committees has been why it took so long, even after Mr. Bahamonde filed his urgent report on the Monday the storm hit, for federal officials to appreciate that the levee had broken and that New Orleans was flooding.

Monday, February 06, 2006

sick day

Today was a quiet day. I took a sick day to finally kick this cold into submission. I think I did the job, but tomorrow morning's hacking cough is the true test. I read Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" from start to finish today and began "The Brief History of the Dead" by Kevin Brockmeier which is excellent. I started it at the laundrymat (washing the sheets and pajamas, germy from me lolling around all day blowing my nose, drinking iced coffee and reading in the twisted white sheets) and couldn't put it down. Last night I finished reading last week's New Yorker. The article on Joseph Ratzinger and forgiveness in Germany was fascinating and resonates with Tim's work on historical injustice and reparations. I'm looking forward to getting this week's issue. The anniversary issue which I usually can't finish. I'm gonna give it my best shot. Does anyone else skip the fiction in the New Yorker? For someone like me who loves fiction, I just can't bring myself to read it in the New Yorker unless it's someone I love (Alice Munro). Also, why does it seem that Murakami writes every fifth short story featured in the magazine?

I'm eagerly awaiting my order of cds from For some reason free shipping = a five week wait for cds. Go figure, but soon I'll have the newest cds from Beth Orton and The Elected, plus Nanci Griffith's "Storms" (a favorite on tape that I lost thanks to Katrina) and Jenny Lewis' solo album. Jenny Lewis played last night at the Angel Orensanz Center on the Lower East Side. RJ, Helene and I saw Edward P. Jones and Jonathan Lethem read there for the 2004 New Yorker festival fiction night. If you have never been to this space, you should make an effort to do so. It's an incredibly beautiful place, tucked away on the Lower East Side. By the time I found out about the concert, it was already sold out. So is the way with NYC concerts... Buying tickets the day of a concert is one of the few things I miss about Philadelphia. But there's a review of the show in the NYT. The reviewer compares Lewis' music to that of my longtime favorite singer Laura Nyro. Lewis covered "I Met Him on a Sunday" which made me go to the original which I bought at AKA Records in Philly in October while in town for Marguerite's wedding. I also pulled the anchor out of Marguerite's wedding cake (see cake pulls) that weekend. Between the Laura Nyro and the anchor, I'm still seeking refuge from the roads.

the dodgers are long gone, but i'm here

Here are some pictures of my neighborhood. Sorry I don't have very much to say. I'm building up to something and it's just taking me a while to get there. I've been incredibly busy with work, with friends, with living. Nothing to declare at the moment except that I was happy to cook for Tim and Brendan tonight and my freezer is now full of homemade dal and black beans w/ cumin and garlic. Cooking meals ahead of time, finally considering an exercise regime, collecting myself to do my taxes, and just trying to get over this neverending cold [hacking cough]. But all the same, I'm here on these streets in Park Slope, making home where I am with the people who have been by my side all along.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Connecticut ducks

Here are some ducks from Connecticut in their native environment: the JoAnn's fabrics store.