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Three cheers to me if I manage to get through this post with any sense of continuity. As wasted as I am with food and drink, I can’t possibly go to bed until I’ve digested a bit more.


I love language. I love words and how they ebb and flow and meet to create vastly more than the sum of their parts.

And to a great extent, I feel I’ve a pretty fine grasp of my own language. I can turn a phrase, toss out a bon mot or two (deux).

And in French, I can listen quite well, if not express myself past a natal level.

I’ve lately been thinking about Spanish. Zim has something to do with this, however, it’s more in my day to day dealings that I’m feeling more and more, well, Anglo-specific.

Where I work, there is a lovely woman named Nora. Nora speaks Spanish. Nora speaks little English. I’m sure it’s the same situation with me and French, that Nora understands English but doesn’t speak it well. And so, we have these brief conversations in broken English/Spanish which are comprehendible to us both, yet satisfying to neither.

More and more, it bothers me that I can’t communicate with this delightful light in my day. It makes me feel smaller that I’ve lived in NYC for 20 plus years and still can’t speak more Spanish than what I’ve learned from the public service announcements on the subway. I feel incredibly insular.

Moreso than French, here is a language that I should have been learning all along. Every day, I relate to people who speak Spanish as their primary language. Every day, I’m missing out on a chance to connect, to really experience all that is around me. One could carry that further and say, “Why don’t you learn Arabic?” or many of the other widely spoken languages of this melting pot that I call home. And indeed, why don’t I? My day starts off brilliantly with a smile and a quick conversation in English with the wonderful gentleman who works the cart where I get my morning coffee. Why shouldn’t I greet him in his native language?

There is so much to learn. When we stop learning, we die; that’s truly what death is, the end of learning. That is the death of the soul. Why don’t we make time?

Tomorrow, I’m stopping at the Barnes & Noble (no link, they do well enough) and picking up Spanish for Dummies. I’m sure it exists. It will be my birthday present to myself, and to Nora. And maybe, having started on that road, I won’t be such a dummy after all.


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Overly so. Extremely so. “One waffer thin mint” so (as the line goes in “The Meaning of Life”). But, oh, so good.

Jamie will outline the dishes in a post soon to come, but in the meantime, what a wonderful meal! What an extensive meal. Oh, so good.

If you can, I urge you to try The Riverview Garden. The food is lovely. The people are lovely. The wine is lovely.

It is in a difficult location, but if you’re willing to travel (and you so should), I urge you to do so; you won’t be disappointed.

More later. Now, after eating for 4 1/2 hours, I’m pooped.

I am so useless at work tomorrow. That is, unfortunately, until tomorrow comes, when I’ll be my usual, responsible self.

I so need a night of drag.


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Yes, happy birthday to me and all the other birthday boys and girls around the world.

It’s odd to think how old 45 seemed years ago. Now that I’m there, I’m finding it pretty darned delightful!

Looking forward to dinner tonight at The Riverdale Garden. Yummm…

Anyway, happy birthday to us all!

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Quick, before I go to bed.

Busy day. Up @ 6 to go, yes, back to Ikea to order the new cabinet for the kitch and pick up some shelves (which look great, pix tomorrow – “sure, I’ve heard that one before” – shut up). Cabinet is coming 9/14 or something like that. Whoo hoo! Another day of multi-boxes from Ikea!

Got back home ’round 1:30. (Had no Swedish Meatballs, didn’t feel like having them stick around all day inside me screaming, “Let me out! Let me OUT!”) Found the blinds had arrived. Put up the shelves on the island, but first had to cut them – very badly, but fixable (bless you Ikea and your idiot-proofness!) – to size. Jamie installed the new upper rod in the closet to double the hanging space – for when I’m ready – no silly, just kidding – so we can move some of the clothes out of the computer closet!

Found it near impossible to install the blinds as there is an existing wooden header/valance which will be lovely at hiding the blinds when they’re in the up position once they’re installed, but makes the installation process difficult. Will be less difficult when I buy a bit extender thingy for our drill.

Found that we hadn’t thought out the solar panel for the living room project very well. The panels run on a track. The track needs to hang, in our case, above the decorative molding framing the window. We chose the 63″ length without accounting for the 6 or so inches extra needed to hang the sucker. So either the panels will be 6 or so inches short of the bottom of the window (don’t think so) or the unit is going back to Jacque PennĂ© and we’ll just get two more blinds which, in the end, will be far less intrusive and the decision we should’ve made from the start.

Jamie hung some of our food/eating pix in the kitchen. The Mets won.

We went to The Riverdale Garden to make a reservation for my birthday dinner on Wednesday (45, how did that happen?!). It’s a great restaurant, really fresh, local ingredients, a fairly inspired chef, and for my b’day dinner, the 15 course tasting menu. So I like good food, so sue me.

Then a stroll to the Johnson Ave. area, the bustling(?) center of our little corner of the world. Stopped in at a great pub, An Beal Bocht Cafe where they’ve got Guiness on tap, a friendly staff, great music and an all-around good feeling. I sense we’ve found our new hangout.

After a couple of Guinesses or Guinei, as Jamie says, we stolled up to Johnson Ave. proper and had an excellent dinner at Salvatore’s of Soho. Jamie had the Penne Puttanesca, which he loved and I had the Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, which was excellent. Definitely a go-back place.

Then we walked home, Jamie to bed and I to the computer. All in all, a brilliant, productive day!

Tomorrow we paint the floorboards. Fun…


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Yes, finally. More pix have been added. More crappy phone cam pix. Scroll through to the end of the gallery to the 8-22 section.

Either Follow Morgan the cat to the gallery. click on Morgan or follow the Renovations tab at the top of the page to go to the gallery.

Okie doke, more later, now I sleep. Sleep and dream of our curtains arriving tomorrow. Dream on, they just shipped today. Ok, maybe Friday. Anyway, soon. And soon I’ll write about the move and the continuing saga of the kitchen design. Oh, you thought, looking at the pix (well, you will) that it was done? HA ha ha ha ha. No, not yet. There’s more to come. We haven’t yet installed the fountain! The dancing waters! No, just kidding; but there is more to come.

I gotta block Ikea from our computer, Jamie’s a madman.


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Minutia. That’s what life is about right now. That’s what’s keeping me from writing. That’s what is ruling my life.

Where to hang this picture? How to arrange the drawers in the kitchen. (And I must say that they are arranged beautifully. Having made, just the other night, the soup previously mentioned in these pages, I found everything within easy reach, readily accessible. What a joy!) Where to put the tchotchkes, on a shelf, into storage, in the garbage? Curtains or blinds or shutters. (Solar panels on the main living room window and solar blinds on the rest was the JC Penney answer to that one.) Etc and etc and etc…

It was an eventful, busy day. Our super Super installed the new faucet on our bathroom sink. We were going to tackle it ourselves but found the rusted connections and aged pipes somewhat daunting. Our floor guy came by to install the threshold between the living room and the kitchen. This was a difficult task as the height along the 12 foot run varies between 1″ and a quarter inch less and a quarter inch more. Lots of shims and Liquid Nails and in the end, the thing looks beautiful. And finally, the arrival of the Sears plumber to hook the refrig up to the water so Jamie can finally have his longed for water-and-ice-in-the-door. I have to say, it’s quite lovely and convenient. As much as I bust his ass about it, I’m glad we went that route. And while all that was going on, J was doing laundry and I was installing knobs on the kitchen cabinets. We finished off the day with three margaritas and a really good meal at the local Mexican restaurant. I was pleased to discover that our previous, first, rather disapppointing, visit seems to be the exception; tonight was great.

And the the Mets won.

A very good day all around. Now Jamie’s in bed and I’m soon to follow ’cause:

Tomorrow, it’s again the first bus, for hopefully the last time for a long while, to Ikea to pick up some remaining whoo-ha’s. Ya know, a couple pully-outy things and more handles for the kitchen, some cool lights for the hallway, possibly yet another book case, though none of the ones lining our walls at the moment are Ikea, I do need somewhere better than the lovely milk crate to store my music.

So hopefully soon, I’ll remember to write about the actual move, which was exciting and wacky, as all moves are. And it’s about time I posted some new pics in the Renovations gallery; why, it’s almost a finished product! How’d that happen?

Lotta sweat, lotta bruises, lotta swearing and a whole lotta love. I can’t imagine having done this with anyone other than J.

I love my husband and I love my new home.


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We’re crossing through the dust trail of a meteor. Swift-Tuttle to be exact.

Here’s a nice little piece about it all.

I love looking up into the night sky. I love seeing which stars and planets can shine brightly enough to make it through the city lights. I love the Perseids. I love seeing things that aren’t airplanes shooting through the sky. Ephemeral. Don’t blink, they’ll be missed. Imagining the wonder, and fear, of the pre-scientific age, at witnessing such a display.

In the early mid-90’s, I was working at a Summer Theater in CT. It was a converted barn in a tony, yet rural, locale. And nearby, was a horse farm on a hill.

This is where we used to go watch the Perseids.

Up on the hill, it was dark. No, I mean dark. You needed a flashlight to see the person three feet from you. And the sky was a huge expanse of wonder. Even when there were no meteors crossing it, the sky presented a bountiful feast of stars and planets laid out for your gazing pleasure.

And when the meteors were flying, ahhh, amazing. We’d sit there on the grass by the fence of the horse meadow and oooohh and ahhhhh like it was the most amazing Fourth of July display ever. And it was. Except of course, it wasn’t on the Fourth of July and the fireworks were nothing man could ever have created. We’d sit there watching the fire fly across the sky. Cool. Very cool.

And just as cool, from time to time, you would feel the earth faintly shaking, and then you would hear a rumbling. Then it would grow louder and stronger; freakishly increasing in strengh and volume in this darkest of places until it drowned out any conversation.

And then, at the fence, a mass of horses would appear. Snorting, pawing the ground, and then calm, some coming close, asking for a rub on the forehead. And we would stand there, with the horses and the meteors and the stars and planets, and snorting and other horsey noises. And it was magical.

And then, on some unknown-to-humans cue, the mass of horses would turn and run off to some distant part of the field. The roar of the rumbling hoof-falls deafening, then growing fainter and fainter until, having arrived at their destination, all was silent sky once again.

One of these days I’ll have to rent a car and have a Perseid reunion at that spot. It’s only two hours from where we live. And the view and the magic can’t be beat.


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I think Boo Radley lives in the next building. Well, not the next, because the building next to ours is the other half of the Co-op clump. It’s 4410 and 4414. Our building, 4410, was built in 1929, 4414 in 1931.

But it’s the single-family dwelling next to 4414 where Boo lives.

Actually, I don’t know who, let alone Boo, lives there. When we first moved into our new home, there was never a light on in the place. The flagstone sidewalk in front of Boo’s place all cracked and shifting, the lawn overgrown, the shades always closed.

Then about a week ago, I noticed, during one of my late-night walks, a light on, on the second story. Just a little glow. As the days have passed, a first floor light will be on, or a different second floor light. Always the blinds down. The other day, I noticed that someone, at some time had cleaned up the front yard a bit. But I don’t know who. Never saw ’em.

It’s odd the things that intrigue us, that catch our notice and fancy. I’m loath to find out who actually lives there; it’s probably someone who’s resident part time, just getting the place back into order. How incredibly mundane.

I like thinking that I live next, or next to next, to Boo. That some night on one of my walks, I’ll run into this person, look into their eyes and know: they’re Boo. “Hey Boo,” I’d say, in my best Scout immitation.

They, of course, would look at me as though I were quite off my rocker and cautiously move on.

Here’s hoping I never meet them. I like the illusion.

And maybe this will explain something, my friend Nath led me to this personality test. It’s pretty interesting; I know, there are thousands of these things on the net, but this one has a nice, different presentation. According to them I am a “Considerate Inventor”. Here’s my PersonalityDNA (their little gimmick).

I’m not going to post the rest of the report, it’s a bit long, but quite accurate.

Go ahead, try it.


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