Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
That's what a hired snow- shoveler told me after he learned that I hand carved a path for a car through eight inches of snow. The length of the path was equivalent to four or five storefronts. In this photo I was less than halfway done.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
We went for a walk by the river. My friend wanted to show me the bend after falls where lots of broken glass accumulates on the banks.
Before the bend I noticed the little stalactites-- frozen drops on twigs in the river, growing longer as the water level fell.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The ability that I want (that I don't think I'll be able to acquire in this lifetime)
would be the power to find anything that was lost; the power to know where to find everything--
lost keys, missing socks, or children, forgotten land mines.
Sketchbooks! Your stolen bike! The cat that ran away.
When lightning strikes sands it creates something known as a fulgurite.
A fulgurite is a hollow glass branch;
sand that was instantaneously melted
and fused into the shape of lightning itself!
I walked in the park again. The tide was low and smelled like it. The water was busy with Canada geese and the applause of flocks launching off the surface was like a new type of quiet firework. The wind made the reeds buzz like hornets, and I liked the fake danger in the noise.
A lovebird is a size such that
if you let it perch on your thumb and gently curl four fingers over its back
and swivel your wrist
it will think it's on a swing.
The unpredictability of life reminds me of:
when Ivy and I lived next door to a fortune teller who always bugged us to come in for a reading. One day Ivy said to her, "You know what I do when I want to know the future?
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Fresh fish snack vendors are common in Volendam, right on the water. Broodjes are hearty little sandwiches.
Haring are wonderfully rich raw herring filets, usually served with raw sweet onions. The cylinder above contains stroopwafels, thin waffels filled with rum butter caramel.
This bakery is a stall at the farmer's market in Soesterberg. Note her costume and the prism- shaped, seed- encrusted loaves on the display case.
These are SOESJES! A phonetic pronunciation would read as SOOSH-yes. Like profiteroles, soesjes are choux pastry balls filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. I never thought I would like something like this, but it makes a huge difference when you have something that is made freshly from great- quality ingredients. I also was surprised by how much I loved a fresh Liege waffle-- soft and dense, riddled with molten pearl sugar.
A fruit, drink, and ice cream vendor in Marken displays mostly fresh berries. Fresh, ripe, intensely flavored berries.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
February, London to Paris
Anticipation is treasured and sweet; sometimes my favorite part because I haven't yet met the events to come and they're still filled with infinite possibility.
Pay toilets are a terrible idea!
From London to Dover and now a ferry to Calais. Our departure was delayed for one hour due to the weather. A storm is stirring the channel into a frenzy, so where do I choose to enjoy this boat ride? On the top deck of the ferry as it crosses the English Channel in a furious storm. For twenty minutes straight through numbing winds that cause permanent hair tangles I smile at feeling and lick my salty lips.
August, another crazy day on the Cthnc. circus tour
Callison is in jail after jumping off the skyride over the boardwalk at Seaside Heights. We told him we wouldn't wait for him if he did this. He got on the ride and started undressing, waited until his carriage was over the MTV Beach House, then leapt onto the roof below, naked and screaming, "The world is upside- down and I am standing on my head!"
He then jumped to a lower roof where he was tackled by security guards and held for the police in nothing but an MTV beach towel. His bail is set at a thousand dollars. Duck is trying to contact Callison in jail to have him write a manifesto of his reasoning and motivations. Duck is also trying to contact tabloids to sell the photographs & manifesto to raise bail money.
I hope we also raise some money to repair Kevin's car because I accidentally hit a high and sharp curb when leaving the library and popped his tire. Also, it turns out that Kevin is a minor and didn't get his mom's permission to come with us, so we are technically harboring a runaway with an unknowingly "stolen" car. What's next!?
Friday, December 3, 2010
Greyhound Station, Washington D.C.
In the ladies bathroom a petite older woman draws on her eyebrows, hesitates, asks for the aesthetic reassurance of a seven- year old girl. A teenage girl squeezes pimples on her chin and wipes the blood away with toilet paper. To her right a woman applies mascara. In the corner of the bathroom a woman is using a curling iron to style her hair. I look in the mirror and pick a speck of glitter off my temple. I don't know how it got there.
Stuck in traffic on the Bruckner.
My seat partner is a thin, angry, old man sucking on an extinguished cigar stub and grumbling in a Portuguese accent,
"Accident-- you death! It's over. Why we sit here?
(a siren wails past)
Good- for- nothing police! Now the devil come!"
After sitting on a feeder in the South Bronx for more than an hour (engines off, parking lot- style) numerous passengers gradually worked up the nerve to individually plead that the driver let them off the bus. The most dramatic of the lot were three insolent college- aged boys. Backpacks on, they insisted that the driver could and MUST let them off the bus. One claimed that he would miss his sister's wedding. At 2:40 P.M. the driver asked, "What time is the wedding?"
The boys bickered with no regard for the driver's numerous refusals to their request. The driver clearly and calmly stated that it was against state law and that he was liable and responsible for their safe arrival at the final destination. The boys threatened to report him to the bus company. What a threat! "Your driver refused to let me off the bus while we were in traffic on the highway in the South Bronx."
Later on in their complaining traffic began to crawl again. All the other drivers who had wandered away from their stopped vehicles scurried back to their cars and the boys finally shut up. The man next to me growled, "Ahh . . . stupid punks!"
I have such fond memories in the South Bronx. Especially thanks to Casa Del Sol and The Cherry Tree Association.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Next Wednesday, December 8th in Providence I will be one of ten people, each reading ten very short stories while other folks illustrate our tales, LIVE on an overhead projector. It'll be at Knight Memorial Library on Elmwood Ave. Doors open at 6 P.M. and readings go from 6:30- 8:00 P.M. The suggested $4 donation benefits the Providence Community Library Comics Consortium. Let me know if you need a ride!
A sample story:
Every time a plane flies by overhead
there are people inside of it
and they're leaving--
or going home.
They are missing and loving people, nervous and excited, or
sad and rushed.
I have been inside that plane,
and I have stared up at it and felt inside.
Two more short things that I won't be reading at the show:
A big man declares that today he has "only eaten two roast beef sandwiches and two hot dogs and [he] feel[s] faint." Everyone else in line is trying very hard not to laugh at his complaint. He is both offering and threatening to copy the 71- year old woman who has just taken a spill at our Greyhound gate at the Port Authority in New York City.
She is a translucent little creature with bones pressing out of her thin skin like wet seaweed on dried coral. Upon the arrival of the paramedics, a woman at the next gate begins yelling at the other passengers boarding her bus to, "Shut the shit up!"
Life is shaped like a long tunnel of an outline of you. You move through it, and it fits you so well.