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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm reading next Saturday in Albany with Ed Schwarzchild. He wrote a book called Responsible Men and seems like an astute fellow.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanks for:

Love that learns
Wood-burning stoves
Knob creek
Skin that heals
Herring cove
Squash soup
Pumpkin lattes
Smoked cheddar
Neck rubs
Midterm elections
Pinot noir
Old friends
My wacky family
Kirby cove
Dreams of flying
The coil
Small kindnesses
Robert Altman
And then some.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I googled images attached to the words "cruel city."
This picture of a child in New Orleans cheered me up.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Mom took this picture at the Lake House at Cass Point...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

chick lit

Felt like I was in an episode of Sex in the City tonight at the This Is Not Chick Lit Launch party at a handbag store. The irony in the marketing scheme is not lost on the editors. I might consider re-naming my book This Is Not Anal Sex.
We were served white wine and finger food and given free books and a copy of Vanity Fair picturing Brad Pitt in his underwear. I met Jennifer Egan, whom I've long admired, as well as catching up with Martha Witt, who had the Times Fellowship with me. Big topics of conversation: purses, babies, jobs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

brown paper bag

There are people who don't speak to me.
People who, at some point, I felt I had a connection with,
not close friends, but part of a larger community of writers and artists with intersecting lives.
That world persists; these are just a few people.
I forget about it, and then there it is.
I have the best friends in the world,
a lover I'm very in love with;
I'm living where I want to live, getting closer to how.
Why should it still bother me?
It is small and petty.
They aren't my friends.
It just surprises me, these people I saw as soulful and bigger than that, people of whom I've been supportive, suggested places to send work or read or live.
One of them literally jumped out of a helicopter and landed in my sneakers.
Surely these people must be wise enough to see that whatever my ex-boyfriend says is one-sided, that he has a hard time with grey areas, that the anger that eats at him is born in fear.
Then I remember how convincing he can be, how he spoke about the ex before me, how it was easier to just agree.
He said something perceptive and kind to me once, about how to let go of what people think, and I know that was one thing he was right about.
I gave my students Joan Didion's "On Self Respect" today.
She says of people who possess self respect: "They are willing to invest something of themselves; they may not play at all, but when they do play, they know the odds."
and that this is "a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth."
She tells of a time it was suggested she put a brown paper bag over her head as a cure for crying, (something about oxygen). "It is difficult in the extreme" she says, "to imagine oneself Cathy in Wuthering Heights with one's head in a Food Fair bag."
I'm used to telling myself I'm strong for not playing games, but the truth is people play games. Hell, even animals play games.
There is much to be said for what I have achieved so far in this life through wild exploration and fearless leaps, but the road signs these days are speaking of this kind of discipline. This brown paper bag, this coaxing forth. It is heartbreaking at times, and I fail often,
but it is carving a more finished version of me, bringing me home.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

we're that pissed.

drove two hours in the middle of my teaching day to hudson to vote yesterday, my first time there in months. When I walked into the Catholic school across the street from my old house they asked where I live. Long pause.
Well, I'm still registered here, I said, and they handed me the pen.

Damn straight. I'd drive three hours.