Archive for May, 2014

In other houses, you might find change hiding beneath the couch cushions, but here, we find scraps of paper with pithy observations — for instance, a yellow Post-It that reads “a morning pick-me-up like a horseshoe inside a boxing glove”.


Word comes over and reads the other side of the Post-It: “Sol y Sombra [Sun and Shadow]: brandy and anisette (drunk by Bull runners)”. It must have been a comment by some travel writer, then.

The Himmie seems less concerned about the disarray of the pillows than she is about the changed layout of the room….

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Muffled, but joyful, barks bounce randomly off the walls around the neighborhood, followed by scampering paws and the mournful pleas from the supposed owner. 

“Beau?  Beau?  I have a treat!!”

Beau, or Bao, or Bear, or whatever the melanin-deprived Shepherd is actually named, is obviously unimpressed.  He gallops around my house, up and down the alley, around my garden again, and then tries to get into our house, yipping with excitement, barely inconvenienced by the loose fabric joke of a ‘muzzle’ he is wearing.

“Beau?  Oh, can you catch him?  Just distract him for a moment — I have a treat!” says the woman from beneath a bubble umbrella (a style I haven’t seen since I was in grade school).  She runs up to my back steps, jabbing a long piece of some doggy comestible in the general direction of the dog’s mouth.

A treat, of course, doesn’t compare with freedom.  A plea doesn’t register as any different now than at any previous time. Want what you want, lady — I’ll get back to you, maybe…


The dog bounds off down the block, splashing through the puddles in the alley, heading ….towards a busy intersection.  The supposed owner runs after him, then, returns, alone, to her car, to try and continue following him.

Beau, good luck.  I hope someone, someday, speaks to you with authority, and you realize that listening to that voice is worth doing.  That person is your owner.

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Storms will be sweeping through again [eventually], and I’m hoping I won’t be spending the evening mixing hydraulic cement.  I’d thought I’d had a bad time of it during the last round of storms, until I heard that one neighbor had 8 inches of water in his basement, and another neighbor had been too scared to look at the state of her basement until several days after the event. [I never did find out what she found when she got around to checking…]


The other [“other other”?] side of this is how exhilarating the winds can be beforehand.  Pollen gets swept out to sea, hair gets ruffled up [and in my case, starts curling], ferns unfurl a little faster….  I remember taking walks across various campuses in this weather, talking eagerly with classmates or colleagues through the crazy swirl that comes at the end of each academic year.

Now, as I hear sirens outside careening towards I-don’t-know-what, I think of one particular season of study-sessions when our work was interrupted by increasingly dire announcements from the radio: Two alarms. Three alarms. Four alarms.  Five….



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Through a pixel salad...

Incredible insights, threshed through a bad video feed. Please stand by….

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A client explains that their client is being indecisive about the level of detail they want in a manuscript.  The asters and goldenrod want to be very tall, very quickly.  The cats do not believe that what I gave them two hours ago really constituted “dinner”. I haven’t got the laundry started.  I haven’t really eaten my own dinner.

I may have had too much coffee, too late in the day. 

I have more coffee downstairs and still plan on drinking it.

The ombre pastels of the sky would have looked lovely as velvet upholstery in a Grace Kelly movie.

Advil?  Yes, that’s probably a better idea than some I’ve had in the last 45 minutes.

The cockroach ice cream truck trundles through the neighborhood on the first evening of the year genuinely hot enough to require its presence.

Amid all this, the Velveteen Rabbi asks:

How can you be kind to yourself as you try to sustain the big work of your life? How can you hold yourself with love even as you struggle to keep putting one foot in front of the other, despite obstacles and difficulties which inevitably arise? Can you respond even to those difficulties from a place of unending love?

Oh, no pressure…

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