Saturday, March 30, 2013


Something I hate to do. Wait. But it's a waiting kind of day, and as long as I have a good book, I can cool my heels anywhere. Unless there's someplace I have to be or standing in line at the post office. No book's that good.

The Pianos are Back!

Hooray! Thanks to a generous corporate sponsor, the outdoor pianos are back in New York City.

It was a beautiful Saturday, in the 50's (practically summertime), so everyone was out and about stretching their legs and spirits. Hard to make it any better, unless you add a musician at a baby grand piano in Washington Square playing Debussy and Rachmaninoff to a crowd of all ages. The setting was lovely, even with huge springtime crowds, and I had an park bench to enjoy the music. A perfect, free, beautiful after-lunch concert.

I finally pushed myself off my bench and headed toward Union Square to pick up a few yummies from the Saturday farmer's market there. Low and behold! there was a guy at an upright piano entertaining the crowd with his playing and singing. Little children were running around, dancing and flailing their arms around, while the rest of us kept the beat however we could.

Now that I know the pianos are in place for the summer, I'll make it a point to seek them out in Central Park, Time Square, and other spots around town. There's never a lack of willing musicians ready to show their stuff. The piano music adds even more life to this city.

Thank you, Chobani, for underwriting this marvelous in-the-streets musical extravaganza . I eat your yogurt all the time (particularly fond of the pomegranate).

All right, all you pianists, do your thang!

Friday, March 29, 2013



It's a kingdom I rarely visit. There are too many books to read and naps to take to travel very far into the land of Boredom. Just because I'm doodling or gazing out the window during this meeting does not mean I'm hanging in Boreville. Still, the sooner you wrap this up, the sooner I can get back to work. Or books and naps.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It's the way I don't want to go. Or the way to wear my pantyhose. But when I can't sort something out by looking at it straight on, it helps to flip it the opposite way, look at it backward, get some distance, put a little neon around it. Just remember, this does NOT work with pantyhose.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Is it well-planned or spur of the moment? Do I need a map, do I know the way, or will someone else get me there? How will the journey change me? Hey, maybe I'll change the journey. I think I'll let that sink in. Just be forewarned that the M42 is the slowest bus in Manhattan. Now, move along. (And apologies to those of you who thought this post would be about the rock band. Don't stop believin', y'all.)

Monday, March 25, 2013


Too much to do. The pieces don't fit together. The words don't flow. Brick walls everywhere I turn. Silly mistakes. Supreme frustration. Breathe deep, take a hot bath, eat chocolate, and maybe little problems will sort themselves out. Now, where'd I put my glasses? 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Happy tinged with sad. Bad with a good edge. The cloud with the silver lining/the silver lining with the cloud. Bitter/sweet. Triumphant with impending doom. Palms/crosses. No wonder I'm suspicious of accolades.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I'm probably most in danger when I think I'm completely safe. But I don't want to live in constant fear or always on my guard, so I'll accept the unexpected, out-of-left field, false sense of security trouble around the next corner in exchange for everyday joy. Losing trust and peace would be the real danger. (Watch out for that bus!)

Friday, March 22, 2013


Intensity of desire plus the chance of guilt. Give in or walk on by? Depends on whether or not I can live with the guilt. On the other hand, maybe I should just hold out for the temptation of chocolate.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Often, I learn more about myself in the middle of a lot of people than I do alone in wide open spaces. Tolerance of noise and smells, the amount of personal space I need, how many times my first impressions are wrong. Crowded can be uncomfortable. In a good way.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Just when you think it will never bloom again, there it is - a little red bud. It starts small. With a little water and sunshine it grows into what it's meant to be. Hope certainly sneaks up on me like that every single day. Keep the faith.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I do my best to be ready for anything. I plan and research and line things up, thinking I'm prepared for any eventuality. Which can't be done, really. Life is too unpredictable. Still, I must remember to check the weather forecast before leaving home.

Monday, March 18, 2013


The unexpected. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Surprises keep life interesting by putting a twist on the expected. Spring will come. But for now, snow. Surprise!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Sometimes I know what I'm looking for and sometimes I don't, but I usually learn interesting things about myself in the search process. To find is another matter entirely, however.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Waiting for the unknown to be made known. Is the wait better than the reality? Sometimes. But so often more surprises lie ahead. Anticipation doesn't have to end after the present is opened.

Friday, March 15, 2013


What matters? Of all the junk you accumulate over the course of a lifetime, what do you keep locked away in bins until you get time to use it, remember with it, listen to it. When you downsize so many times, at the end, what's left?

Thursday, March 14, 2013


That boost that gets you up in the morning, over the day's obstacles, across the finish line. It's expensive and often in short supply. What are my most efficient, plentiful energy sources?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Once. Then. Before. Spring cleaning forces me to sort through what was important yesterday. Petula Clark. Lennie. Care Bear. I can't have a now if I don't have a before, that's the truth.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


We're always told to pay attention. It is the currency we use to learn new things, stay out of danger, make someone's life better.  But do we spend more time buying it than paying it? Wonder what my attention balance sheet looks like?

Monday, March 11, 2013


There's only so much to go around - land, food, money, overhead bin space. The trick is to take enough but not too much. I sometimes forget this. How can I do a better job with my tiny slice of the economy of the cosmos?

Sunday, March 10, 2013


When I think of all the hands that have steadied me, helped me get my balance, and pushed me off over the years, I realize that this independent, self-sufficient person is far from it. Support from those known and those unknown. I must never forget that somebody else makes those bootstraps by which I constantly pull myself up.

Saturday, March 09, 2013


If I just set my mind on something, I can make it happen. Reach the goal. Avoid a cold. Finish the chores. Set some words down on paper. Find a seat on the subway. Eat for a week on $10. Now, how to set my mind on setting my mind on something?

Friday, March 08, 2013


They're hard to figure out sometime, but once you understand the patterns, you can choose to continue or break them. In the end, everything fits together the way it's supposed to.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

A Modest (Movie) Proposal

Seems I'm the only person not watching The History Channel's series The Bible. I have a string of reasons for not watching, not the least of which is my life-long aversion to the Bible-comes-to-the-movies movies. I've always found them cheesy. What I see on the screen doesn't get to the essence of the biblical narrative to me.

The thing that puts me off most about any attempt to bring Jesus to the silver screen is the actors cast in the role. Yes, Jeffrey Hunter was absolutely yummy in King of Kings, but yummy isn't what I'm looking for in either the historical or spiritual Jesus. Max von Sydow in The Greatest Story Ever Told? Yeah, I just bet that Jesus looked like a big ol' Swedish guy. And somehow I don't buy James Caviezel as a Semitic savior. When I saw yet another hunk cast as Jesus in the new movie iteration of The Bible, well, no. Not interested.

Of course, no one knows what Jesus really looked like, but I'm guessing that if he had been a tall blond blue-eyed hunk, it might have been remarked upon in the Bible. "Ye, verily, Jesus looked like no other man in all of Galilee, with hair the color of straw and eyes the color of a pale summer sky" and so forth, doesn't pop up anywhere. So why all the adorable Nordic/All-American/European movie Jesuses?

Within the past couple of decades, forensic anthropologists have shed some light on the subject by recreating what an adult man who lived in the same place and at the same time as Jesus looked like. It's all very scientific, and you can read about it here. Seems very few Max von Sydow-types were hanging out in that neck of the woods back in the day.

So here's my modest movie proposal: take another stab at it, Hollywood. Cast a 5"1' swarthy Middle Easterner with short, dark curly hair as Jesus. Get a little closer to what he might have been, physically. Don't make it a comedy or tongue-in-cheek thing. I know it's too much to ask to avoid the cheese-factor of a biblical film, but a more Semitic Jesus might cut through all the feta just a tad.

I do wonder, however, what the reaction would be to a more realistic version. Oh, sure, folks say Jesus' appearance doesn't matter now, but if an unhunkable savior showed up as the protagonist, I suspect there would be a certain level of outrage. It might shake sensibilities. Or, maybe not. But let's give it a try. If film-makers are really interested in bringing the Bible to life, then get a little closer to the anthropological and cultural truth of the place and time. Nudge.

Still. That Jeffrey Hunter was adorable.


Ways to get some: have a drink, take a walk, read a book, look at the big picture, look at the tiniest picture possible, get a kid's-eye view, put yourself in someone else's shoes, look through rose-colored glasses, have a cuppa tea, talk in a funny voice, open a new window/open a new door (sing songs from "Mame"), take out the garbage, twirl around until you get spin-drunk, sleep on it. There. That should give you some perspective.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Underground and resting. Too comfortable, too lazy, or too incomplete to punch out of a good sleep. Every morning a new spring, an alarm clock reminder to break out in all my glory. It's just that sometimes I'd like to sleep till summer.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Smiling faces, sometimes, pretend to be your friend. But the truth, or the opposite of truth, is in the eyes. How fast do I run away when I see "false" there? Well, I think I've learned not to stick around.

Monday, March 04, 2013


Something to savor. Something to avoid. Depends on whether I'm thinking of disposition or food. Common wisdom is to savor a sweet disposition, avoid sweet foods. But as I get older, I try to avoid people with too sweet a disposition, and I savor the sweet food. I think I'm allowed.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


What does it take for me to respond?  Is every response a sort of emergency, even ordinary, small things? Some things slide, some get lost in the clamor for attention, so what triggers the need to respond? Do I respond to kindness faster than I respond to the slight, the negative? Let me think of how to respond to that.

Saturday, March 02, 2013


Green has me stumped today. I really can't think of anything or anyone I envy. I'm long past jealousy. So maybe I've broken out of those green fences. I'll stick with renewal and springtime. And recycling. That's as green as I get these days.

In the Bleak Endwinter

Well, it's March. I spent a good chunk of January out of the country and the weeks before and after either getting ready for the trip or catching up from being away. So. Now it's March. Daffodils and tulips are selling in the outdoor deli stalls again, both affordable and cheerful. It's still cold and gray; there may even be more snow in our immediate future. And yet, nature's clock and my old internal clock hint of milder breezes and spring green buds.

Busyness seems to rule my life right now - at work, with Elegant Scribbles, with family - and all of it is good, hopeful busyness. I must confess, however, that the outside world is depressing beyond belief right now. It was ever thus. When it seems all is going to hell in a handbasket, I reread a few chapters of  Barbara Tuchman's brilliant A Distant Mirror and realize things ain't so bad.

Still, I'm avoiding anything having to do with the following: popes/cardinals, sequester, sinkholes, guns, mean people, stupid people, Harlem Shake (which the current iteration ain't), and that creepy Chico's cougar. You understand, just to keep my spirits up during my non-busy times. There's a good reason the March hare was mad, I reckon.

The endwinter doesn't have to be so bleak if you have plenty to do, plenty to read, plenty to eat, and plenty to look forward to. And know what to avoid (see above list). Plus, baseball season's just around the corner.

For now, I'm off to buy a bunch of daffodils.

Friday, March 01, 2013


Usually not the direction folks want to go, unless they're miners or need to reach a subway line. Down and out, run down, show down, put down. Real downers. And yet, I like downtown. Go figure.