Monday, August 31, 2009

September Mornings (almost)

whether one is heading back to public school or private school, there are always good mantra's to remember.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I want to talk about New York

I want to talk about happiness and well-being, about those rare, unexpected moments when the voice in your head goes silent and you feel at one with the world.
I want to talk about the early June weather, about harmony and blissful repose, about robins and yellow finches and blue-birds darting past the green leaves of trees.
I want to talk about the benefits of sleep, about the pleasures of food and alcohol, about what happens to your mind when you step into the light of the two o'clock sun and feel the warm embrace of air around your body....
I want to remember it all. If all is too much to ask, then some of it. No, more than some of it. Almost all. Almost all, with blanks reserved for the missing parts.

I want to talk about New York.
It's almost impossible to put into words how it felt living in new york this summer.
My mother-in-law asked me to try and explain it to her.

I told her, I feel like I'm a better person when I'm there;
Ooohhh, she said, who can resist that? who doesn't want to be a better person?!

And, I must say, I totally agree.
New York turns me inside out. On my head. In the very best way possible.
It was ridiculously hard to contemplate that we might not actually move back there someday. There is a possible scenario, of a future in the near future, that doesn't include moving back to new york. That's a hard reality I have to face.
I just had no idea it was possible to feel this way about a city.
A boy? Yes.
A friend, sure.
But a city?! A place? really?

Accepting this new possibility, I decided to try a new approach to the city I DO live in. Come back to your city with the person you were in new york.
Possible? Hmmm.
Struggly? for sure.
And yes, I still miss the place desperately, but I'm finding some comfort in applying molly 2.0 on san francisco.

Trying to rationalize this wicked-strong connection to a city, just a city, mind you.... an example rose to the top of my mind: within 10 hours of being in good ole new york, the boy that worked at the deli across the street from our summer-swap-apartment asked me three things I like about myself and the next day, he wrote me a poem.
This is how it goes....

Laugh, Interest in Other People, The way i feel about my husband

Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.

Thats what my mother would say.

Since you take such good care of yourself I know you treat your husband the same way.

Reciprocity should always be priority.

If we perpetuate unity there will be longevity.

My philosphy is governed by simplicity.

Love is all we need to build a better society.

So be happy and keep laughing

You will recieve everything if you keep asking

Show that pretty smile to everyone you meet.

Cause you never know who lives across the street.

Author, Nelson Serieux.
And, for the rest of the week, RK and I made our brand-new connections that felt like home. We bought our coffee at the same coffee shop one block over, bought our middle-of-the-night necessities from the deli on the corner and caught the F train to anywhere we needed to be.

The weather was classic, ridiculously hot with crazy-ass-humidity. I'm a big fan of that forecast for the summer. New York doesn't miss a beat with summers. It doesn't know any different. Standing in the subway, your skin is glistening, your clothes sticking to you, and all I can feel/think/believe in this place is that you never, ever know what's going to happen next. The energy is thick in the air. This place makes me feel beyond strong. I feel super powerful there. Walking down the street, with every corner you turn, you make a decision about possibly the rest of your week, let alone the rest of your night.

Okay, yes, I can start to get weepy about it. It's a ridiculously magical place. But we don't live there. So, maybe, just maybe, I can trick my mind into believing the idea, Now, make that happen here. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Ole Cherry

Good Ole Cherry Blog! She went and tagged me with the above 'award'. I like a good tag as much as the next guy (and i'll always accept an award!). Tag games are the main games we play with my 1st graders at school. 'Tag, you're it' is just a funny saying all around. So, with that, here's what the 'honesty scrap' tag/award means:

I share 10 true things about myself.
pass the 'award' on to 10 other bloggers.
let them know about it.
they link back to you when accepted.

I'm a little embarrassed to say, I've been tagged a few times before, and I had to go back to look at those lists to make sure I don't repeat myself. Strange. How many true things can I possibly think of that are remotely interesting to anyone but me? ha!

Well, here I go...
  1. I have a big sweet tooth. Once I start on the sweets, I have a hard time stopping. So, I tend not to go there as often as I'd like (but when I do, boy.....)
  2. I always thought I'd have a lot of kiddlies.
  3. I'd looooove to have a talk show. In fact, I'd like to replace this local guy, Josh Kornbluth*, ASAP.
  4. I'm a sucker for 'one man's junk' (as in: 'one man's junk is another man's treasure'). To me, flea markets are a perfect day spent.
  5. According to all the astrological books, my lucky number is 7. But, this summer, after a great conversation with the coat check guy at the Whitney, I was talked into switching my lucky number to 8.
  6. In our family, we grew up with VW vans. I learned to drive in one. As an adult, I've always wanted to live life as a VW van owner.
  7. I like to talk to strangers: neighbors I haven't met yet, vendors, waitresses, construction workers, ticket booth people, you name it. I've gotten into major conversations with people and had life changing experiences all from engaging with the unknown.
  8. Being bi-coastal is a bit of a dream: 6 months in California & 6 months in NYC.
  9. I love sunny, hot, humid weather. I work better in that kind of heat. I feel more creative. And I wouldn't get bored if it were sunny every day. I hate when people say I would.
  10. I laugh at this website harder than most things. To the point of tears. (each word, a link)
Tagged folks, fellow bloggers, if you're feeling it, get into it:
  1. Deb,
  2. Molly,
  3. Elizabeth,
  4. Lotta,
  5. Christine,
  6. Lucky Luke,
  7. Tim Foil,
  8. Ellen,
  9. Jon,
  10. Kaari

*josh kornbluth show: off the air! i've suffered through reruns thinking they were current! phew! need a new host ????

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

don't go

Somedays I think I should just move back home. I'm missing my mom and dad's life. Everyday that goes by is another day I'm not seeing them or laughing with them in person. And when a (un)certain time has passed and they have passed, I don't know what I'll do without them.

I've got hours and hours of phone messages recorded, over various years of life, with mom and dad using the answering machine to it's un-dreampt-of power: regaling me with stories, as if they were actually talking to me. They'll start to say, "oh, you're not there...well, give us a call! Oh, wait, I forgot to tell you..." and away we go! Sometimes it's five, ten minutes of one-sided conversation. I'm thrilled! And, I wonder sometimes, will I listen to these incessantly in the coming years? Or will they be tucked away, too difficult to hear?

My Uncle Jack used to tape a lot of things: jokes, his banjo playing, songs from records, and phone conversations. There's one conversation in particular,about a picnic, that all of us have listened to over and over and now refer to as an inside joke pretty regularly. Today, I'm so glad we can hear my Uncle Jack and my grandparents voice debate and laugh and giggle and talk and talk and talk..., as they've all gone on to another place -- but how hard is that for their sister, their daughter: my mom?

Whenever I meet someone much older than me that still has their parents, I think to myself, 'yes! there's the testament! it CAN happen... we CAN all grow old together...' but at some point, I know, we've all got to go. I've always, always hoped it was me first.

So, I recently made this card and when I showed it to RK, he said, 'ooops! i think somethings missing...' But no image seemed appropriate. So, I told him he was wrong.

What I was really thinking was, much to my chagrin, someday, he'll be right.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh Danny Boy

You just might have to be a bike lover to love this video. Or be in love with a bike lover. Or remember your childhood riding bikes and trying tricks. Or recognize Scotland in the background. Or be able to marvel at the sheer talent of this.

Or maybe I'm generally moved quite easily by things these days and me crying while watching this video had a LOT to do with the Band of Horses song and just a little bit of awe at the biker.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


The time had come. I was of an age. The day had arrived. I got a crown and I got it in gold, just like I wanted. Everyone wondered why the heck I'd want a gold crown when, in this day and age, they make perfectly good enamel-tooth-colored ones?!

Hey, it's not my tooth anymore, why would I want to pretend?
I like the bling!
It's one of those in-a-financial-emergency, we have a safety net things (or, so I 'd always heard).
And, it was the only thing getting me through what I saw as a pretty depressing, aging, ruined thing. A crown! It was one step away from a root canal...I may as well go out with a bang!

After three appointments, lots of Novocain, and almost choking to death when the crown fell in my throat, I was actually feeling pretty good about my new gold tooth. On the way home, I saw this huge, young, Samoan guy with a gold tooth right smack dab in the middle of his smile. One of his two front teeth! Just glinting in the sun! I stopped him and told him how much I liked it.

me: it looks really cool. really cool. i just got one, too. see? (grinning as hard as i can and pointing to one of my waaay back teeth)

him: yeah, very cool. why you hide it way back there?

me: yes, my point exactly!

After we talked for quite awhile about all the coolness that is a gold tooth, I explained that that's the tooth that actually needed the crown. They weren't just handing out gold crowns at my annual cleaning and I decided 'hey, throw a gold one in there for the heck of it'. He then proceeded to tell me he lost his front tooth in a football accident, had it fixed 'back home, in the islands', that it cost him $35, and that he brought in his own gold chain that they melted down and made into his current tooth.

I couldn't beat that (though I tried: well, ummm, I pondered, I think I'm the first patient to ever photograph their crown like it was royalty!) so I said my goodbyes while running my tongue over my little, smooth gold tooth, thinking, 'I have an old gold chain at home!' hmmmmmm.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

how funny

This is Sue Levine.
I don't actually know Sue, but I feel like I do.

I come from a family of joke tellers. Dad likes to tell a great joke in any situation. My mom waits for juuuust the right moment. She seems real straight and narrow but, dang, she can tell a wit-filled, dirty joke better than the big boys. There's definitely certain kind of joke tellers, aren't there? Some are sly joke tellers, others big joke tellers, and still others never crack a joke and some others never stop. I loooove a good joke.

I went through a time period where I really tried to remember good jokes, the kind that have a rousing punch line. I love the "duck walks into a bar" jokes, or "a rabi, priest and a minister are on a raft" jokes. I even love the ole "a blonde, brunette and a red head are climbing a cliff when..." jokes.

And I love listening to comedians. RK and I can sit around and listen to a Steve Martin, or Richard Pryor or David Cross album and have to stop whatever we're doing because we're laughing so hard. Comedians have really perfected the story-telling joke, it can last through-out the whole set, leaving for awhile, coming back and wrapping it up at the end, just when you thought you'd forgotten about it, Boom!

But this site, Old Jews Telling Jokes, is a classic in its own way. You can't watch just one because they're all great. It reminds me of the old-timers I used to sit around and chew the fat with in Father Demo Square: all the talking with their hands, and the keeping of a straight face. Jewish descent or not, it might just remind you of your Uncle Whoever telling that good one at the Thanksgiving dinner table and everyone snorting into their wine glass.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

To You

click on images to enlarge

I've never had a book dedicated to me. I think it would just be the living end! Imagine, a tome of something someone worked very, very hard on...and then, just as they're about to send it off to the world, they think of you and think, 'yes, i will dedicate it to....'

I've often made art work that, somewhere, hidden in it's text or somewhere in the scribbling on the back of a piece, is a dedication to RK. He never sees them, of course. They're pieces that have sold to people all over-- I don't actually know who has a lot of my early work. So, that's a sort of dedication.

And homemade tapes, back in the day, those were a sort of dedication to one another. The first mixed cd RK ever made me, "Orange Wheel", I like to think was one awesome dedication to moi and moi only.

If I ever write a book, I'll really have to think long and hard about a clever dedication. I can just see it now, the book will probably never get published because of it!

'oh, that?... that's just my unpublished tome. no, no, i finished it... but i couldn't find the words for a really fabulous, meaningful dedication. yeah, i know, i know....'

Friday, August 14, 2009

D&D, T.T. and Bonbon

A first for me: A guest post over at Bonbon Oiseau.
Deb very kindly asked if I'd drop a post her way while she's on vacay.
Seeing as I love her blog and truly envy her life, I couldn't say no.
So, for the story behind the story and lots more photos... head on over

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I don't know why....

sometimes it just feels like that,
all at the same time.

images from here, here & here

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

you say lemon, i say...

Never before has work been so disposable. No longer do we have careers like our parents, but we have jobs. Some last for a year or two, sometimes you're in the same field for 10 years. You probably have a few diplomas behind you, as well. But, when it comes to a crashing economy nobody gives a hoot about your framed diplomas.

This whole "bad economy" thing came looming into our employed faces when a number of months ago, and totally out of the blue, our friend lost his job in advertising. Turns out these companies feel they can do more with less and out comes the hatchet. It was a strange shock to see someone go from comfortable in their way of very, very uncomfortable.

And then, renewed! He's found a new life in the wake of destruction.

I'm sure there were days, in the 50 years of working full-time, that my dad said to himself, "if i could do anything i want, i'd be a.... i'd start a..... " I remember meeting all the different artists my parent's repped and thinking to myself: you can do that for a living?! Now days, it seems that's the eternal goal: Doing what you'd always dreamed of. And yet, there's a lot of people that get into seemingly innocuous corporate jobs that slowly crush their spirits, all the while they're saying to themselves: if.......i....could.....just......get......out..... and then they get fired, and then it's a crushing blow, and then they take the bull by the horns, and then they do what they were always meant to do, but always told themselves they couldn't.

I'm genuinely impressed by people that make it happen. Whatever IT happens to be for them. Turns out, there is a niche for all of us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

say. no. more.

Some would say I'm violently against facebook. RK thinks if I just got on it, I'd love it. I might. But it would be unhealthy for me. So, I'm not even tempted.

I've got plenty to keep up with as it is: email, 6 accounts; blogging, daily; reading other people's blogs and commenting, as often as I can; texting, a constant; instant messaging, once in a great while which then turns into hours; phone calls to friends far and near, as often as possible; writing letters, weekly; promoting the concept to others of writing letters due to the fact that I make greeting cards, a daily!

It's a lot! Well, it's a lot for me. I can barely keep up with it. And the good friends in my life that have been there for years, I can barely keep up with them, too. And the new friends, which I always love to make...there's a whole 'nother category of keeping up.

So, no. For me, facebook is just another way to bring more chaos into my already chaotic life. More people, where there's barely any room for me, at this point. And more people to call "friends" that, as my friends who are ON facebook tell me, they don't actually consider "friends" but they "friend" each other anyway...and then don't keep up with them...and I find it all to be another way to remove ourselves from the daily little thing we call 'life' that consists of a lot of little things we call 'relationships'. AUUUUGHHGH!!! This is exactly where the "why-don't-you-get-on-facebook?" conversation takes me every single time.
Maybe I take it all too seriously, but I don't think so.

Monday, August 10, 2009

dance like nobody's watching

I've never been into organized dance, kinda like organized religion, it seems to be too much of a spiritual and personal thing to be choreographed and "organized" with steps you must follow.

My version of dancing is about like this...

When I read the Times, I always skip over the dance reviews, but find myself staring at the photographs that usually accompany the piece, wondering to myself: how the heck do they do that move?! Dancing, for me, comes down to the times when I've got my walkman on and am blasting some Beyonce or I've just finished a really good piece of artwork I'm super proud of ...and up comes my 15 mins of joy, alone, in my studio.

Recently, a woman named Elise left a very nice comment on my blog & it prompted me to check out her blog, too. Much to my surprise, I found a blog all about ballet. I guess the "surprise" part comes into play when I think, 'how does someone who loves organized dance come to my blog and enjoy it?' It's kind of an exciting feeling. What's more exciting is finding someone that has that kind of passion for one thing and solidly dedicates her search for information to that one thing.
I can already tell Elise is going to introduce me to a whole new chapter of interest. I may even buy a ticket to see the ballet this year!

*all photos courtesy of Elise's blog

Sunday, August 9, 2009

oh, brooklyn

individually, each one of these quotes is so juicy. i must've been the only person in the library with my mouth wide open, half a smile on my face, looking upwards. everyone else, been there, done that. but my love for libraries is so huge, RK knew to take me to the main bklyn library the first day i arrived. we handled books like they were secret treasures, pulling them off the shelves very carefully...opening pages, smelling the paper, giggling at the innards of them all. you just can't beat the reverence of a library. fingers crossed, we never get so crazy in this world that libraries become obsolete. i fear it. irrational? perhaps. but so is the kindle!