Thursday, July 26, 2007

A New Blog Crush

Wandering Woman quit her corporate job at age 43 and moved to Spain. Now she blogs about her experiences and I must say: I'm riveted.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter Rocks!

I got it last night--an anniversary present from darling Rod--and I'm already over a hundred pages in. Such intrigue! Such riveting action!

I'll write more when I'm done, but I have to say Rowlings is a genius.

No mere children's book, this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Three Years Ago Today...

...Rod and I got married. Out in the woods. In the Poconos.

Calling today our anniversary, though, has been a little weird for me. I mean, we've been together for about 9 and a half years, living together for 8 and, as far as we both were concerned, more committed than most married couples way before he even thought about proposing.

But god that was a great day. At dusk. In the woods.

And it serves as a potent reminder (there are even photos!) that we did renew that commitment in front of family and friends for better and worse.

(See how I did that? Better and worse... Because both will certainly come your way and the true test of a relationship is how well you weather this roller coaster together.)

Those of you who know us personally know that Rod and I have been through some dark times. Our extended family networks are littered with a painful divorce that left one member irreparably wounded, psychotic episodes & lingering drug addiction, depression & attempted suicide, alcoholism... During our poor writer days in rural Virginia we lived on next to nothing and spent a lot of time worrying about how we were going to make it. What was going to become of us. And the move to NY was also frightening--a jump to a city where Rod had to confront the demons of his past and I found myself in a strange city surrounded by his family and friends with none of my own.

But we're managed to surf our way over these rises and falls and today finally find ourselves in a good place financially without having had to sacrifice the artist's life we both want. Together still. And even though we do still fight (full of high drama and passion) there's no one else I want to spend my life with, no one else I want to grow old with, no one else I can even imagine having children with. No one else.

I love him more than he even really knows. Not despite his flaws, but because of them.

I do have some advice for anyone taking the plunge, though. Don't ever lie to each other, even if you think you're sparing the other's feelings; keep your extended families and their problems at arm's length and their needs secondary to that of the marriage; have at least one hobby you share, and finally: be kind. To yourself and to your partner. Because a little kindness goes further than you' d ever think possible.

Happy 3rd, Roddy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

If Patsy Cline and Lucinda Williams Had A Lovechild

..and she grew up on a commune outside Charlottesville, Virginia internalizing Joni Mitchell and Gillian Welch, her name would be Devon Sproule.

Last night we went to go see the lovely Dev play at Rockwoods on the Lower East Side. We met her a few years back in Charlottesville at a mutual friends' Browning & Wendy Porter's baby shower so when we saw her name on last night's roster we decided to trek on over and show our support.

All I can say is that she rocks. Such pure talent. Such honesty. It was a little chilling.

She sang mostly from Keep Your Silver Shined, but there were a few from the older Upstate Songs, the album Rolling Stone named one of their "Critics Top Albums of 2003".

She's married to the talented Paul Curreri and the duo used to live right down the street from us on Chesapeake Street, just a stone's throw from the Downtown Mall.

Check out both their sites if you've got a minute. You'll be glad you did. Promise.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Best Laid Plans

When I was a preteen my plan was to move to Paris after college and rent a studio apartment above a bakery where I'd spend my days writing poetry. I imagined myself waking each morning to the scent of baking bread and sitting down at a wooden desk with a spiral notebook and a set of new yellow pencils. There was also a window that looked out over a narrow street. Red shutters and whitewashed walls.

Strange, but I still daydream about that room and about the clarity I've always imagined such a spartan existence would bring.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just when you think The City’s full of selfish people

There’s a deli on the corner of my block and I usually go in about every other day for something—a soda, a powerbar, cat food or toilet paper. The counter is always staffed by one of three brothers, two of which are friendlier than the third. There’s also a homeless guy who lingers outside. He’s painfully stooped over (his back must cause him immense pain) and in the two years I’ve been living here I’ve never heard him say anything. But those three brothers? Every time it snows or rains or gets too hot even for the neighborhood dogs they invite this homeless man into their store and let him stay all day in the warmth or the cool or the dry, whichever it happens to be given the season. Last fall they even tried to give him a job: they tried selling make-shift bouquets and set him the task of watching over the flowers to make sure customers didn’t just walk away with them. I guess nobody bought because eventually the flowers were gone but the man remained. And now no matter how many dirty looks customers give this man, no matter how wide of a berth they give him as they queue up to buy their lotto tickets and packs of Marlboro Lights, he remains welcome in this tiny Brooklyn store.

Small, casual kindnesses like this? I swear it’s enough to break your heart.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Summer Blackberries Past

One summer my sister Gabi and I found a blackberry patch in the far reaches of our suburban DC neighborhood and we spent several hours over a two day period gathering the plump fruit--popping most into our mouths but managing to save just a few to show my mother when she came home from work.

One of my favorite memories is the precise pleasure of the sweet fruit bursting in my mouth while the hot August air pressed in on me.

So imagine my joy when I saw Maya Papaya's offering for today's ten-line tuesday poem:

it is not for nothing that I am here,
deep in a thicket of punishing brambles,
reaching at an awkward angle for the fruit
left at the far branches after a weekend's easier picking.
dark globes dangle like gumdrops, redolent with promise,
which is why I can ignore my ankles, tracked red
in the wake of low thorns, and why I don't even care
bees are hovering nearby, filling their own primordial hunger.
I will take this inconvenient pain, this careful science of patience
guiding me, at last, to the ripest of things."

Those last two lines... damn!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tori Amos on Neil Gaiman

Oh, honey. That's true of every writer in the room. But she totally wins my heart back with this next segment from the british version of the view.

Yelper Turns Blogger

My friend Liz just started blogging over at today's speical, although some of you may know her from yelper fame. (Her post about NYC's World of Pickles once won review of the day!)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Making Me Believe Again That Art-Making Is The Answer

I love this new video from The Be Good Tanyas.