Thursday, May 31, 2007

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

Our flight was delayed two hours yesterday. Right before we landed the stewardess got on the PA and asked if we all, as a group, could help the ten or so passengers making connecting flights to Israel and Jordan by remaining in our seats until they managed to de-plane. (She even went to far as to say that if we all helped these folks out, maybe someday when we're trying to make a tight connection, someone else will help us out. She didn't directly say--it's good karma, but the vibe was there nonetheless.) For the first few minutes people lingered, then, with no regard to those few trapped at the back of the plane, started to get up, pull their bags from the overhead compartment, and clog the aisles. Just so they could wait at baggage claim for their luggage.

Welcome back to NYC. I love you, but you're tough. And California, I'll keep you in my heart.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Marin Biker

On Saturday we drove north across the bay bridge to go hiking in Marin. I took this photo from the car--while we were moving. Is my camera not awesome?!

Friday, May 25, 2007

In An Antique Store On Valencia

Thursday, May 24, 2007

City O' Hills

Yesterday afternoon we went on a three hour walk from Upper Castro through the Mission and Bernal Heights to Noe Valley, stopping briefly to lounge in green Dolores Park. I thought I was in shape, but god am I sore. But not so sore we couldn't walk back down to the Mission to a middle eastern restaurant that had some kick-ass homus. And possibly the best babaganoush I've ever had...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's The Light

Every time we come here, I remember again as we're driving north from SFO to the city: it's the quality of the light here that gets me. Everything brighter, more colorful. Clearer in some way.

I love this city.

More to come about our trek out here, like: Delta Rocks (Despite Mark's protests) and How Industrious Me Spent The Whole Plane-ride Working. But for now we're going out for an urban hike SF-style.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

San Francisco Bound

We're leaving tomorrow for our week-long vaca in spectaluar SF.

For a while now I've been telling people about my goal: to be bicoastal with apartments in both SF and NYC.

And you'd be amazed how much people scoff when I say it. But here's the thing. If you can't allow yourseld to dream with abandon how the hell are you ever going to be able to realize your inner-most desires?

Besides, I figure we can either have a kick-ass place in Manhattan or two smallish places in Berkeley and Brooklyn. That's totally do-able. Someday.

Either way I'll be blogging from the foggy city about our spectacular hikes north of the bay. Expect to be inundated with pictures.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Videos Of The Weird

So it turns out there are a lot of very weird people in this world.

And some of those weirdos have camcorders. And some of those weirdos with camcorders have learned how to upload those videos to YouTube. (Oh internet I heart you...)

Which is a long way of saying you gotta check this shit out.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Anne Heche Is A Bad Mother

So says her ex, Coleman Laffoon.

"Laffoon said Heche made some "very poor" parenting decisions... such as failing to provide a car safety seat for Homer and making lunches he didn't like."


(And no. You can't ask why I was reading about celebratties.)


Alan Garner On Writing

Do you find writing easy?
No. It's like carving in granite. The marks you make on the page are the last stage of the process. I'm in my 51st year of doing nothing but write and for me, the period of not-writing has got longer, and the period of writing has got shorter. My last book took ten years but it was written in five months - all at the end. The writing part is like tying the parcel - it is not putting the parcel together.

(from The Guardian)


Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's Genius: A Shower curtain with pockets!

Of course, in my house this would just collect junk. But others may be more organizationally responsible.

Trials of A Laptop Worklife

You have to check out this article: The Key To A Succesful Freelance Career: A Diary.

It's actually one of the funniest things I've read in a hell of a long time.

Although probably only you freelancers/telecommuters out there will truly appreciate the humor.

Read 'til the end: you'll be glad you did.


Why Eavesdropping Is My Favorite Hobby

It's about 10:15 AM and I'm sitting in the Tea Lounge working on my current ghost-writing project (a text on longevity) and there's a group of four Mommies sitting opposite me chatting about their children and their childhoods. None of them seem to be over 40 and the one child present is about 2 years old.

One woman sips her soy chai latte and turns to the other:

"I mean you’d go over to my uncle's house and you know how you have those canisters on the counter for rice and stuff? They had one for flour and one for sugar. And then at the end there was one for the Coke."

"He was in a band," she adds.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cassette Tape Wallet

So you can be all 80s retro chic when you reach for your Gold card.

Labels: ,

Overlooking The Hudson River

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Art-less In The City

I saw this on our Saturday walk from Brooklyn to the lower east side. Not the best looking sculpture but honestly seeing it made me really miss the sculpture studio I had back in Virginia. (For a while I was making these terra cotta sculptures that I'd pitfire using sawdust, pine needles, and twigs. I sold them under the auspices of a company I set up called MinervaJane Earthworks.)

Here's an example.

I was also making some masks at the time that sort of looked like a cross between Monk's The Scream and a traditional western african mask. The lighting isn't so great in this picture but you can sort of see what I mean.

Those didn't sell all that well--too intense, I think. Weird, huh? When a white middle class girl from the suburbs closes her eyes and lets her soul pour out, that's what appears. But these nudes I made? Like fucking hotcakes. And everytime I'd work one of the craft fairs that pepper the midatlantic during the summer months, I'd sell out my entire stock to a series of middle aged men. One time, a guy came back the second day of the crafts fair to return one because his wife didn't like it.

So why haven't I pursued finding a studio space here in NYC? Well, cost was a huge factor. I couldn't really justify spending $500-$800 for a studio, plus the cost of the materials. Back in Virginia I just used our huge basement and back yard. But you know each Spring when the flowers come out and the world reawakens I just miss it all over again...
Where I Get Paid For This

So this is one of the sites I'm starting to blog for. They sell Tshirts with quotes from movies, TV shows, etc. Nothing fancy and I'm basically just blogging about their products, but every once in a while I get to write a recap of a TV show or movie.

Plus, I'm including funky links in just about every post. (Actually, I originally posted the 7 minute Sopranos recap on their blog. Fanfuckingtastic.)

BTW does it make me a geek that I think one of their funniest shirts is the "Friends don't let friends drink and derive?"

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Sopranos: The 7 Minute Recap

I found this a while ago but forgot to post it here. One of the most hilarious things I've ever seen.

City Beer Gardens Rule

We went here on Saturday with our musucian/sound guy friend Brad. (He does some work for WifeSwap and damn are those stories good. Even freakier in real life, it turns out.) DBA doesn't look like much from the front but there's an awesome garden/patio area in back.

I had this kick-ass Belgian beer. I can't remember the name but it came in a huge bottle (Rod and I shared) and there was a weirdo gnome on the front.

The oddest thing, though, was the patio roof. Here's a picture...

These pigeons keps landing on it then sliding down to the bottom. Their claws scraped against the plastic and then that scraping would echo and amplify. For like two seconds I thought I was having some sort of Burning Man-esque flashback before I realized what it was.
Blogging For $$

...not on this blog. But we've started selling blogging services to our small business clients. So today (or possibly tomorrow) I'm going to get paid to write a recap of last night's Sopranoes. This client sells unofficial movie/TV T-shirts, one of which is the popular Bada Bing line. I'll link to it when it's up, but right now? I'm feeling like a million bucks because who knew I'd actually get paid for this shit one day?

Friday, May 11, 2007

The End of the Story

Some of you have heard this tale before; but I’m retelling it because now there’s a new ending.

When we first moved to Brooklyn from Virginia I was still pretty anxious about my new life. Who would city Minerva Jane be, as opposed to, say, rural Minerva Jane? Would she fit in? Would she be able to write in the din of Atlantic Avenue? I had a lot of trouble sleeping those first few months and nights when the insomnia was particularly bad I’d read anything I could get my hands on—magazines, guidebooks, novels, biographies. Et cetera.

I barely remembered anything I read during those awful wakeful nights…

One morning, after a particularly bad night, I was in a peevish mood and told Rod, over a cup of coffee from Tazza, that Brooklyn was actually named for the Dutch word for broken land. I was lying, or rather, seeing if he’d be able to call my bluff. He believed me and, as the morning’s work soon intruded the moment passed and I somehow forgot to tell him that I’d been kidding.

Flash forward several months. We’re at a party and Rod’s behind me telling some chichi Manhattan chick that Brooklyn’s named after the dutch word for broken land and she’s arguing with him: That can’t be true. No, it is, he insists—offended that this Sex-in-the-City wannabe doubts him. My wife reads up on this kind of stuff all the time… she knows what’s she talking about, he says and gestures to me to come over and join in the conversation. At which point I’m forced, red-faced, to admit to both this girl and my husband that: 1) I lied to him and 2) I forgot to tell him about the lie.

And that was the story. It was a cute little tale I’d whip out when out to dinner with friends or at a party, showcasing both my own ineptitude and my husband’s unfailing devotion and I always ended it by giving what I hoped was a cute little peck on Roddy’s cheek and saying: Sorry honey.

Until last Saturday.

In Red Hook’s Coffey park, where we were resting after the 10-mile bike tour of Brookyn’s proposed greenway initiative, our friend John bought a T-shirt with the words emblazoned on the front. (Who doesn’t need another Tshirt? his wife Dawn commented. Plus, the money was going to fund the initiative. Good vibes all around.) On his return he read the label on the back of the shirt which, in addition to the usual tumble dry warnings noted that: “Brooklyn was named after Breukelen, the dutch word for Broken Land.”

I must have actually read that in one of those guidebooks I poured over during those sleepless night and merely forgotten it.

And so now Rod can be rest assured that even when I think I’m wrong I’m actually right.

Which, I know, must be a HUGE relief to him.

Nerf Herder Salutes Van Halen

I'm posting this as per Rod's request. All former hair band fans will love this...

Van Halen

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Duggar Madness

I Have No Clue What This Is

... but it looks cool, no?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Oh My God Oh My God: The Bionic Woman Remake

Yes! I loved that show as a girl. I thought Jamie Somers was the coolest chick on the planet--after Nancy Drew, of course.

Variety says the pilot's on the 2007 Pilotwatch list....

The Bionic Woman (NBC Universal TV Studio)
Exec Producers: David Eick and Laeta Kalogridis (writers), Bruno Heller
Cast: Michelle Ryan, Will Yun Lee, Mae Whitman, Miguel Ferrer, Chris Bowers
Logline: Modern version of classic series

But for some choice vintage stuff, check this out--from the Bionic Beauty episode...

May's A No-Go

And I knew I was PMS-ing over the weekend, I just didn't want to believe it. We'll have to try again next month for Project Baybee. Sigh.

Do I feel sad? Anxious? Nooooo. I'm fucking pissed off is what I am. Seething red hot anger that makes me snap at everyone around me. Which, as a writer, I find an incredibly interesting emotion. It fits right in with this story I'm writing--been writing for months, actually; I've been so lazy this Spring it's pathetic.

Maybe I'll make a visit to Chinatown to look for some fertility herbs the next few weeks.

I don't know, I'm just dissapointed is all. I think I need an ice cream cone to forget about all this crap.
Another Sappy Interlude

True, we do bicker but you know what?

He's my best friend, my best colleague (creative and business, which is a rare thing), the funniest guy I've ever met, a frighteningly shrewd judge of character and has the sweetest soul (despite a healthy dose of Bark) you're ever likely to meet.

Plus, he takes me to Slayer concerts and The Sword shows and walks with me for hours through Brooklyn, holding my back-pack while I snap pictures of flowers and concrete. And when I ask him if he thinks my face is narrow? Doesn't call me crazy...

I win.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Holy Crap!

Arkansas mom prepares for birth of 17th child.

I had a friend at UPenn who was the youngest of 9 children. When asked what his Mom was like he said: "Tired."
Spring Comes To Brooklyn

Bring Kate Raudenbush's Guardian Of Eden To Burning Man 2007

There's fundraiser June 8th at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park to help her build her sculpture "Guardian of Eden" at this year's Burning Man. The theme for 2007 is The Green Man, but Kate's building an avatar of Mother Earth as a feminine/ist counterpart. Take a look at the preview.

Now, Rod and I aren't heading out to Black Rock desert this September, but I'm a big fan of the monumental installation art pieces that the festival engenders so we'll definitely be at the masquerade ball on the 8th.

Now, for costumes: I'll be searching while we're in SF at the end of May and, if that trip doesn't unearth any gems, I'll scout costume shops here in NYC before the Ball.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Your Friendly Neighborhood....

We went to see the newest Spiderman flick Friday evening, six o'clock show. We were actually supposed to go with one of Rod's friends, Tommy, but when Tommy hemmed and said that he "couldn't go Friday... maybe Saturday or next week?" Rod did an about-face. "This is serious," he said. "This is Spiderman!" And so we fandango-ed it in time for the first showing.

The man loves superheroes. One of his more endearing qualities, actually. Ask him about the thesis he'll write one day (for the possible PhD in American Studies) comparing superheroes to the nordic gods. Our modern day pantheon is one of his favorite subjects...

Back to the story: we high-tailed it on over to the Cobble Hill Cinemas and, fandango receipt in hand, waited along with dozens upon dozens of young families, groups of tweens, and nannies with their young charges.

At one point I looked around the theater and realized that we were in fact the only adults in the room unaccompanied by a child.

When Fantastic Four comes out we're going to ask our friend Adam if we can borrow his three year-old for the afternoon. You know, for appearances sake...


Hope In The City

Brooklyn Greenway Tour

We went on a bike tour of the proposed greenway from the edge of Greenpoint, along the shores of the East River through Williamsburg, Brooklyn Navy Yards, Fort Greene, Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights and Red Hook on Saturday morning.

Now, I haven't been on a bike since Burning Man and that probably doesn't really count because we were biking around in the sand, at night...

But I'd forgotten how much biking feels like flying.

Sure, I was sore on Sunday morning. Not sore enough to pass up a walk with Rod through Park Slope to Greenwood Cemetary yesterday afternoon, but still: there were moments during that brief ride when I felt that if the slope of the road and the wind were just right maybe, just maybe, I could take off soaring like a bird over the city.

Which is a really long way of saying I'm getting my bike from my parents' house next time I make the trek down to Virginia.

Friday, May 04, 2007

See? I wasn't making it up

On our bike ride in Prospect Park this afternoon, we cruised across a stroller brigade.

I mean what is that? Babies everywhere I tell you.
And I Don't Even Do Drugs (Anymore*)

Every once in a while I have a really strange dream. (Normally I don't even remember any dreams, so when I do it's usually because the thing was superstrange...)

Like last night.

I dreamed I was a mermaid queen, the leader of a society of merpeople and we were engaged in a large-scale battle against another civilization--evil merpeople--bent on destroying us.

In the final scene, a humungous ocean liner passed over us. I could feel the shadow before I looked up and saw the bulking ship sliding over us. It felt cold all of the sudden. That was the tipoff. I knew it would crush us if I didn't move quickly. (But how? Why? The logic of dreams is such a funky thing.) So I flipped a switch on my underwater pogo stick and a blast of rocket fuel came out the back, sending me and my entourage careening through the water, past the dangerous ship, past even the evil enemy merpeople and their mob of sardine henchmen.

At which point some part of my mind seperated off and I started laughing. (A pogo stick! Underwater!) Rod overheard me and said something that I now can't recall. I surfaced, rolled over and peered at him typing away on his laptop. (The freak I married usually wakes at about 6, opens the laptop that he's stored on his nightstand, and begins working minutes after waking. No coffee until an hour or so later, mind you.)

He says I do this a lot, this laughing to myself in my sleep and then laughing myself awake.

* And yes, back in the day I was known to smoke a spliff or two...


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Minerva Jane's New Toy

It arrived today! My much-belated Christmas/birthday/Hannukah present. And just in time for the Brooklyn Greenways biketour on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Barren: A Misadventure

So as the few readers of this blog have noted, I stopped posting for a while.

Why? Well. It’s a looooong story, which I’ll get to in a second. But the short of it is that a lot of stuff has been going on that I wasn’t sure I wanted to blog about. Except this stuff was occupying so much of my mindspace that I didn’t really have anything to talk about if I didn’t talk about it. See what I mean?

You will in a second.

But I miss blogging. I miss the daily mind-dump and having people out there actually reading my musings and—my god!—responding to me.

So here goes nothing.

The long of it is this: as of this past Valentine’s Day, Rod and I started trying to conceive. Within the first few weeks of this trying—this trying basically amounting to sex without birth control (whee!)—I became obsessed. And the face of my obsession? The internet! That seductive world open all hours of the day and night, that labyrinth of articles and forums and purchasable items, that plethora of infertility blogs and parenting rings!

I researched my way from non-drug birth options within the 5 NYC boroughs to swanky crib bedding to tips on city-friendly strollers to solutions to the various dilemmas breastfeeding can pose for the new mama.

I’ve read most of the American Infertility website and each thread on ‘conception over 35’ on the site.

That first round I bought two ovulation kits and every morning minutes after I woke I crouched on the toilet waiting for the + sign to tell me today was the day that egg was most likely winding her way down my tubes. Except to my horror—and against scientific possibility—I failed to ovulate! The whole month! And still, curiously, my period arrived on time…

Rod learned to say nothing each time I chastised him for drinking an extra glass of wine or for spending a whole ten minutes in the NYSC steam room lest I start bawling. (Although I did catch the eye-rolling on more than a few occasions.)

All of a sudden it seemed everyone I knew was pregnant—two friends due in October, thank you very much; two just gave birth this past February; and my god, the scores of women flitting around Cobble Hill with their bellies jauntily jutting out! Newborns and toddles everywhere! What the fuck was going on, I asked myself.

All I need do is peruse my Firefox bookmark list to see how far it went that first month: an eclectic mix of literary links, NYC book events, yoga blogs and shopping sites morphed into an all-out baby fest. (If you need an organic cloth diaper delivery service in Brooklyn, let me know: I’ve got just the place.)

And then March came and went sans pregnancy. So did April. And now I’m caught in limbo waiting to see what May has to say for itself.

Lucky for me, though, my propensity for anxious obsession is equaled only by my short attention span. And a few weeks ago—well, right after Easter when I found out I was still barren—as suddenly as it started, I abruptly bored of my own neurotic musings.

The turning point came when I stumbled across an acupuncture-for-fertility site that claimed 75% of their clients conceived within 3 to 6 months of treatments. 3 to 6 months! But I hadn’t even been trying for a full three cycles yet! Had I perhaps jumped the gun? (Rod muttered: Gee, you think?)

Plus, well, Spring’s here. Cherry blossoms are in bloom and the lilacs are right around the corner and Rod and I are planning a trip to San Francisco at the end of May where we’ll visit with our best friend/poet/internet security guru Mark and my lovely sibling/poet Gabrielle. I’ve got too much to do to sit around here worrying about whether I waited too long to have kids (I’ll be 35 next January) or if Rod’s sperm motility is woefully low. (Keep in mind he’s still eating extra scallops and avoiding the steam-room and sauna, much to my unending pleasure.)

Besides, if I don’t get pregnant until June then the baby would be due right around our ten-year anniversary and wouldn’t that be something? Wouldn’t it?

But of course the best part is once we do get knocked up we’re pretty much set because I’ve actually already done the research.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Things I Resent Paying for & Things I Don't Mind Splurging On

A mini list because... Well, just because. (And yes, I do have better things to do with my time...)

Costs I Resent

They cost too much! And I heard over the weekend that my sister-in-law's boss (a Manhattan real estate honcho) who routinely pays $12,000 for a bag. Gimme a break.

Again, too much. $70 should be the upper limit. Period.

Toilet Paper
Should be federally funded (at least a roll per week per person) because really, isn’t it in the best interest of society that we all use this stuff?

Okay, it’s not so much paying for it as waiting soooo long for the nailpaint to dry that gets to me. I always leave too soon and end up smudging them. Which makes it not worth it in the end.

Same reasoning as the toilet paper.

Most roads are free, so why shouldn’t the subways and buses be as well? I’d pay more taxes for a free ride anytime I want.

So Worth It

Single biggest fashion must-have. Personally, I think most women would look 150% better if they: 1) worked out religiously 4 to 5 times a week, and 2) spent more money on a good haircut than on make-up. Nothing looks tackier than the clown look.

My hidden weakness. Still, Pantene is my favorite despite the claims of high-end products. And I have super curly dry hair.

They scrape off your calluses, folks. Plus you get to sit in the massage chair AND they give you a mini calf and foot massage. All for about $25 ($15 in some neighborhoods). Totally worth it.