“weather in a word…”

May 3, 2012 § 9 Comments

On the last day of our Gulf vacay, this sign was just outside a lunch cafe.

Funny how even a grey weather day on a vacay stint just doesn’t matter. 
You have, by now, relearned livingwithin Nature, embraced by it, wrapped up in the balm of walking around in the air, have learned how to be beyond the office walls, and you’ve rediscovered the relativity of time without a clock, including all the things you can do or not do within a day that doesn’t involve desks, meetings or email.

In fact, you’re likely to tilt your head skyward, close your eyes, open your mouth and taste the rain. 



Books read on vacay: 
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani.  I like her books (see her THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE on the bestseller list!) for their mix of Italian language, growing up Italian in NYC and the occasional inclusion of fictional relatives in Italy. It recalls hours and hours at my mother-in-law’s kitchen table in Brooklyn.
The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell  is a decent read with inspirational value, some strong recommendations and one or two esoteric exercises.  Yes, read it. Even if you’re not a writer. But if you’re reading this, you  probably are.
And then there are the magazines but much reading time was replaced by “friend” time because we holidayed with best friends and I cannot tell you how luxurious it is to drop in (a few floors down) for coffee with a BFF at the beginning of a day.

Do we not have something of the same luxury wtih our blog friends? Indeed!

Extremes…it all will make you laugh out loud…

April 11, 2012 § 10 Comments


It’s true. In order to avoid baggage fees, people carry their own weight in “stuff”, all jammed into one or two pieces, onto the plane. You can’t blame them. It’s worth the try, unless you’re in the last group to board in which case finding space to stash your stuff is challenging…you can just fuggedaboutit.

I cannot bear dragging things around, either. The thinner and lighter, the better. There have been moments when I’d gladly disown my own purse (ok, it’s rather large) when running through Chicago’s interminable terminals.

It’s truth that makes us laugh, oddly.  So this cover on The New Yorker, April 16, had me LOL-ing.


March 4, 2012 § 14 Comments

We love our little corners of the world.

(Book moment: Check out the gorgeous little book by Paul Theroux, THE TAO OF TRAVEL.)

out and about…

March 3, 2012 § 12 Comments

Several weeks ago, I took a new position within the company. 

It’s been full tilt around here since then, either with planning and studying work stuff, getting around the country for meetings, getting the household on track and on schedule, doing taxes!, having excellent time with HM (who is also incredibly busy) and time with the kids when they visit, helping our lovely Nor plan her wedding, meeting up with friends, catching the occasional show on the telly, catching a few winks and reading. (None of the activities listed in the prior sentence have been prioritized in any way. In fact this whole blog entry is a melting pot meant solely to say I’m here and haven’t completely given up on blogging.)

Oh, you’d be shocked and appalled at my reading choices but when you’re on a plane or in a taxi or just waiting in line for something, you’ll read just about whatever is at hand, or that fits into your purse.

I have returned to Franzen’s FREEDOM, though, intending to finish it because I stopped halfway through it months ago. He’s just so darn real but the book hums with a disturbing undercurrent. Can’t put my finger on it. 

I’ve barely picked up my camera, either, not to mention the pencils and yarn that show up in my prior blog entry. Harumph.  That’s about to change. Like the weather. This morning had that very subliminal hint of spring in it, with that moment, that color, that says “spring is not far off!” And my journal waits patiently on the desk. Have not done anything but cram pictures, tickets and other ephemera into it. I missed journal class for good reason – HM’s band had their premier gig at a local pub and tho’ it was a Thursday night, the place was packed. A far cry from journaling, it was great – yes, dancing!

I will now stop treating this like a wandering entry in  my handwritten journal and will go for a walk with my camera.
And think of something to actually say, to share and tell you.

signed, Oh, the new road warrior

I gotta go find those pencils and some paper.

on the road for a weekend family wedding

August 10, 2011 § 8 Comments

Roadtrips….mmmm….love ’em.

Me and HM, running down the road, no outside noise can get into the car unless we invite in tunes, text or t mobile.
Between here (the Gateway) and Chicago (the Big Windy), there is all the flatness you can imagine, Big Flat that’s full of corn and poles and windmills (those elegant greeners) and tiny old buildings heaped upon themselves, mere dots in the midst of  lowgrowing green.

Expansive.  There are crow’s miles out there. Who’s gonna run out for some milk? Maybe underage drivers at the wheel of big red rusty trucks hauling across the open fields, rooster tails of dust blowing behind them, their moms in the kitchen looking out proudly after them.

I dunno, but it’s beautiful in a non-impactful way, in an open space vs  urban decay way, beautiful like thoughts one has during rest, meditation, prayer…a prairie prayer…

California dreamin’?…Nope, it’s real!

July 9, 2011 § 10 Comments

The beach-mountain dichotomy. (see ’em in the background?)
The re-orientation of living with a beach in one’s backyard.
This is dusk on the Oceanwalk at Venice Beach.

I will angle to take less clicheed photos going forth.


June 14, 2011 § 21 Comments

You know how you sit for a moment after a vacation and think to yourself, one day ago I was doing this or that, or three days ago, I was at such and such a place…?

And so I recall that four nights ago, I was seated at this very same hour, in Rhapsody, a restaurant on Adams St in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood, hundreds of miles from here. Kerry Lee and Jeanie were there. We were hungry.

We were walk-about mellow, having done, we figured about 3 miles of walking from the moment we all set foot in town, debarking at Union Station on different trains and the Megabus. (OMG, the Megabus! who would have thought it was such a direct  express and somewhat stylin’, too, a nouveau two-decker bus with WiFi and 110v outlets.)

We perused the menus and chose quickly. We crowed over our baby lettuces salads when they came, in anticipation of our entrees.  Kerry had gorgeous little gnocci that resembled birds eggs, and Jeanie and I both had the goat cheese ravioli and oh, the sauce in which it was bathed…mmm!).

Earlier that afternoon, we met in the lobby, as if by wizardry, recognizing one another instantly though we’d never met and off we went, east to the Art Institute, then north on Michigan Ave, ogling stores, chatting, pausing to take pictures, on and on and on we pressed, found a lovely corner cafe bakery and even here we snapped pictures and chatted away.

It’s lovely lovely lovely when you strike a certain sympatico with two other people you had come to know over 3 years of blogging.

I’m not going to rave and rave and rave (though i could) but  I will just say that having been a non-participating member of two other blog meetups (they were daughter Nor’s events and I just happened to be there), I have learned and thoroughly agree that “bloggies” (as named by husband HM to refer to “blog friends” ) are awesome people and having a “meet up” is an entirely grand event.

We had moments of walking along, not saying anything, we moments of excitement regarding art, the lake, the discovery of things in common, we chatted about our kids, dogs and politics, we oohed and aahed over classic art, we wandered without a schedule and completely comfortable with it, darted hither and yon taking pictures, sat on stone walls and took in all the sights and enjoyed some (seriously) fried food on the Navy Pier – all of it was fun and easy and interesting and…wow, I”m glad we planned to go and really did it. That’s the only plan we made – to meet in Chicago (and Kerry found us a hotel) and the rest just kinda happened. 

Maybe next time we’ll take along Nor and some of her bloggies because some of hers know some of mine and there are many shared interests, not the least of which is French, food and art and writing and books..and of course, blogging.

There’s tons to tell and yet I am somewhat mute as dusk encroaches. Pictures will suffice.

Kerry and Jeanie, at the Corner Bakery (one of them)

Fog on Michigan, blowing up against the Water Tower…

Water taxis at Michigan Avenue’s DuSable Bridge on Chicago River, not far from the Lake. Egads, we walked way up the Avenue and marched down it again, but there were MANY distractions along the way, not the least of which was H&M, full of perfect “finds” for artisan Jeanie and scarf-o-maniac me, and then the Hershey boutique where we all exhibited amazing self control after enjoying the free “kiss” given to us each upon entering the shop.

The view from my hotel room included a Calder sculpture! 

(battery running low and more pictures to share and lines to write….TBC!)



September 7, 2010 § 9 Comments

“Unshelving” is a little like “unnerving” although “unshelving” is  a verb and “unnerving” is an adverb. In this case, the former equals the latter. I’m unshelving.
I’m taking all the TBR books off the bookshelves near my writing desk. Yes, all of them. All my little friends, all my little look-forward-tos.
Can I do it? Can this TBR book collecting/reading addict clear her shelves?
I’m putting them elsewhere, even in a shopping bag in my closet if I have to.
I am unblocking my writing chi.

I am putting my writing notes, works in progress, pens, pencils, etc. on the bookshelves in place of all those books, instead of crapping up my desk, my writing space.
I have entirely cleared my desk except for this laptop.
The next thing that lands on it will have to be pen and paper, if anything, used in working on my writing.

Enough with being surrounded by other writers’ stuff.
It is not working for me.
Time to fill the shelves with my own work, one way or another.

I’m just taking  a break in the action before running downstairs to find some bags to render order out of this book spillage mess. 
And time to stop boring you with “I” “I” “I.”
Although Elizabeth Gilbert got away with it in EPL.
I recind that.
I just finished the book the other night.
Here is my review, even though I know most of you read it already or have perhaps “talked” it and gone on to see the movie.

OH”S REVIEW ON EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert:
First 40 pages: “ok, fine. I get it. You’re in pain.”

Page 41 (or so): “Can we move on now?”

Page 42 or thereabouts: “OK, I”ll keep reading this because the book was a gift. And that, in itself, is reason enough to continue. Out of some kind of demented ’50s Donna Reed etiquette – I must enjoy this book because someone was thoughtful enough to give it to me.”

After Italy section:  “Gilbert can write, self-indulgent though she may be. But hey, food, as in eating her way around Italy, is therapy.”

During India section: “The entire section is saved by the character “Richard from Texas” who nicknames our narrator “Groceries.” And for some reason, this turns everything around for me. I am reading the book in any spare moment.”

End of India section: “Well, I’m curious. About what happens in Indonesia. As was predicted to happen. Will it? And btw, I’ve learned several things along the way and have grown accustomed and even very fond of Gilbert’s voice. And, she can write well. Really well.”

In the Bali/Indonesia section: “I’m learning a lot about the people and feel that it’s true. I feel like she’s telling the truth. And I continue to get little insights, things that make me think about my own life, and other people’s lives. And I love hearing about the culture. There’s plenty here. She takes her time in the telling and there’s just so much here.” (Where does Gilbert get her money, though? What is she living on?)

End of Indonesia section: “Yes, I will read her next book. No, not like ‘gobble it up’ or anything. I just…really liked this one. I am curious about the next. I mean, really, does she honestly move to New Jersey? Gotta know. Looking forward to it.”

Score: Keeper!

(while in WDC) Give me freedom…give me paper!

July 18, 2010 § 12 Comments

We found a store in Georgetown (WDC) that was new to me, Little Ms Midwest who knew nothing of it, ’til now. (sigh)
I loved it. 
Did they have any openings? (See, I always fall in love with whatever place I’m in, like Georgetown, and in this case, a store in Georgetown, so I start thinking of ways I could live there.) No, but they had some at the new store they were opening in Chevy Chase. (Me and retail? Ahahahaha.)

That notwithstanding, Paper Source scratched an itch, fulfilled a need, and presented itself in all sorts of cute, kitchy, charming, new look ways.
There is nothing quite so fine as browsing a cool shop unless it’s browsing with someone who also thinks it’s a cool shop – like Nora

Here are some of the “specialty” papers they offer that caught my summer fancy. Paper, like fashion, has a narcotic effect on  me.
I adore these “fish” papers that PS offers.

They are like a salute to the Gulf and its surrounds…
They’re like a Pisces-in-the-summer thing.

Paper Source pulls you in (it’s the siren call of paper and possibility) and does very little to kick you out. (No pictures allowed inside, though.) Of course, they’re on line at paper-source.com.  But the store experience trumps the online “shop.”

Not just for paper lovers…
The store has “gifties” you may not have seen before. And I believe it’s a haven for book lovers as well. Book lovers love paper after all.
Go ahead, ask a book lover. 
After all, a book lover will even include what he/she thinks of the paper the book is printed on when reviewing one.
In retrospect, I’d say the paper has even helped me like certain books, for instance, Elegance of the Hedgehog. I loved its smooth paper, its creaminess, it’s “elegance.”

What if a book was printed on scented paper, taking it a step beyond the tactile, to the next sense? What then? To what effect?


July 13, 2010 § 7 Comments

aaaccckk! can’t believe it!!!!!
Time off, time out, time on the East Coast…

In the land of stars and stripes, lawyers and feds, suits and blue shirts, politicos and pretty darn cool conversations as they go by on the streets, in the hotel lobby, in the garden restaurants and at the convention center.

Snapping pictures like crazy – there is so much red, white and delirious blue, it could affect a girl’s wardrobe! Glad I brought a navy dress – absolutely NOT boring here.

And experienced my first blog meet up – only as a guest, but what a trip, what a wonderful time, what sincerity,and hello to Mandy, Becky (new blog buddies!) and many thanks to Nora for breakfast, for including me, and congrats for her recent shout out from WordPress!

Will write more about Blog Meetup, also thoughts on swimming laps and getting lost in museums and getting around above ground, although the Metro is cool – give me air! huge, hot, din-ful, energy mad, wonderful urban air!

Rethinking Twitter. It’s a hot restaurant tool here, with comments and come-ons and invitations and “dialogues” from chefs to patrons happening here. Food is hot in social networking but even more so in terms of “new” regarding vegetables in their own right and NOT as substitutes for meat…and the White House kitchen garden DOES exist tho’ no glimpse of that innovative 30-something baseball-to-kitchen chef . 

Gotta get off this lovely biz centre PC and get to our room to write.
More later!!!!

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