Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home Time

There's so much I want to write about, but as usual the time flies when I'm home, and I can't get half the things done that I set out to do. To make a long story short, I'm just relaxing and savoring the time with my family and friends. My dad has been home from work, and he's been busy in the yard making a doghouse, re-graveling the driveway, and doing car maintenance. My mom has mostly been curled up by the fire knitting socks and sweaters for her grandchildren. My older brother is busy with work and the ongoing construction of his three cars. E has been catching up on watching old movies and eating lots of chocolate. But today she actually went outside and raked some leaves. My little brother is also busy with his job, but its nice to see him when he comes home. When he's here we always pull out a board game or something retro like Racko, and play until the night gets late. My littlest sister has been busy with a couple different jobs, but yesterday she went with me, E, and our mom, out to Cary where we shopped at the JoAnn superstore and had dinner at the Cracker Barrel.

Tonight I'm going to Durham to have dinner with my brother, who, since his release from the Big House, is living in a halfway house there and only allowed to go out to the Golden Corral. It will be a joy to see him. Then I'm going to meet up with big brother and see Sherlock Holmes, which I know I will hate but cannot not see. Tomorrow will be full of New Year's Eve festivities, which I will definitely write about. So, stay tuned!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Oh Yeah, A Church

I'm having so much fun in North Carolina that I almost forgot to post a Harlem church today, but suddenly I remembered. This is a church that I pass a lot on Sundays when I walk to my own Harlem church.

But today I went to a North Carolina church with my family. There I saw lots of friends, including Sam, who went to high school with me in Massachusetts. Now he's grown up and married and has kids. Instead of going to Relief Society class I went with my friend Street to Young Womens, where she taught a lesson on bodies. It was probably the best lesson on bodies that I've ever heard, which isn't surprising, because Street is an excellent teacher. She emphasized two main points, which are: the spirit and the body make the soul, and what affects the body affects the spirit, and vice versa. Most other religions place little value on the body, which is viewed as something base, to rise above and cast aside. But the LDS view is that the body is essential to spiritual progression, that gaining one is one of the main reasons for life on earth, and that we ought to value our bodies as temples, because they are vital instruments of spirituality and godliness. It was a wonderful lesson for young teenage girls, or for anyone really, including me. I'm always impressed by Street's ability to pull scriptures and conference talks and teachings of past prophets seamlessly into a fascinating discussion. The young women are so lucky to have her as a teacher.

Back at home I have been enjoying time spent with my family. I made them tamales for dinner, and afterwards we watched a movie, played games, and enjoyed general family merriment. It's so fun to be home.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Christmastime

I was the last one out of the house for Christmas. One roommate left a few days ago to go home to Utah and the other one left on Christmas Eve day, but I had to work that day. Work was kind of fun though, because it was Christmas Eve. The Service Department had a cake that they were sharing, and my boss bought us all a delicious lunch. I wore my festive Anthropologie dress and my old watch-dealer admirer brought me cookies, and everyone was in a silly mood. We closed up early and I went home and packed, but I was so tired from staying up so late the night before that I was worried I was going to forget something and it took me forever to get everything done. I had been invited to go to a friend's house for games, but I declined, knowing I would never get anything done if I didn't do it all then.

I spent a few last moments with the Christmas tree in the living room, which has been such a beauty and a joy to have, but which is now turning brown and threatening to spontaneously combust--it's so dry. I made sure to unplug everything before I left!

On Christmas morning I awoke early and finished packing and wondered how bad public transportation would be on Christmas. I don't live as conveniently situated to the airport, so I decided to call a cab. I had Christmas money, after all--a nice stack that my boss had given me--so why not spend it on luxury? So my flight was at 9, so I needed to be at the airport at 8, so I told the cab to come at 7:15. I was at the airport before 7:30! It was ridiculously fast. I should have figured that with no traffic, the snow all cleared away and all things considered, I could have slept in another half hour, but oh well. There were absolutely no lines at the airport either, so I was ready to go in no time. And luckily the flight was on time and everything went smoothly, and before I knew it I was flying up over the jagged gray city into a sky full of fluffy white clouds that resembled nothing more than a snowy tundra. One diet coke and a crossword puzzle later, I was descending into a festive green and red landscape and there was my dad to greet me and take me home. Surely, this is the meaning of Christmas--going home.

Here at home, Christmas Day was so fun. Once I arrived, the gift opening commenced and merriment ensued. Friends visited, pies were eaten, a ham was baked and enjoyed, games were played, more family came home, more gifts opened, and much love was shared. It was especially wonderful to see my brother L, who has been in prison the past two years. Now he is reunited with his darling wife, and we are all so happy and thankful to have him with us again.

Now I'm settling in for a long lazy week of lounging around my parents house, eating chocolates, watching old movies, playing games, visiting friends, and doing nothing in particular. It's going to be the best week ever. Pictures to come...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve!

Finally, it's here! Christmas Eve, and tomorrow I go home. It will be a much needed vacation. Problem is, I'm almost too exhausted to pack. It was actually busy at work today, and I stayed up too late last night talking with Jessica, Peter, and Ryan as we spent one last winter's night together in 2010. Next time I see them all it will be a brand new year.

It has been a fun Christmas in New York, although I wish I would have had time to do more things, like see the Macy's and the Bergdorf Goodman window displays (I did see Tiffany's though, and those windows were amazing! Like little views into fairylands made of cut and folded white paper on white), the Macy's Santaland, the Lincoln Center tree, and all the other unique installations and decorations that New York puts up this time of year.

I'm so happy that New York got snow--it has made the city all the more festive, even though now it is mostly just reduced to gutters full of huge gray packed chunks that won't melt until March.

I wrapped all my presents last night, and can't wait to arrive tomorrow morning on my parents' doorstep, with my Santa's pack full of gifts for one and all. It will be so nice to spend time with family, make and eat delicious food, relax, play with the dog, and visit dear friends.

If I don't get a chance again, I want to with all of my friends and readers a very merry Christmas and a joyous new year.

Now, I must pack, eat, sleep, then fly away.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Here is my Harlem church of the week.

And here is St. Nicholas Park on this snowy morning. It was full of sledders, much to my delight.

And here is my gingerbread church. Note the candy-glass window panes and the Necco-tiled roof. It is my masterpiece.


At the last minute I asked Ryan the Cop to go to the Simmons' Christmas party with me, and he actually said yes, so he picked me up in a real live car at El Paso, where I was wearing my new dress and having a sort of co-worker holiday party with some of the cool people from work. Dali had just eaten a radish that gave her a strange allergic reaction and her lip was swelling up terribly, but she wouldn't go home until she saw Ryan she said. I guess I talk about him a lot at work and she was curious! Not that we're dating--he just spends a lot of time over at my house with me and my roommates. Either we've adopted him or he's adopted us, I don't know.

The party was fun, with an "Up on the Housetop" theme, only it was too cold to stay up there for very long. We would dance for a few minutes and then rush back downstairs to warm up and eat treats. Afterwards, Ryan came over to my house and we tried to impress each other with our music knowledge. Apparently I'm the only person he's ever met who has heard of an 80s band called The Church, so I earned his respect. Ryan's music taste leans a little too much toward metal for me, but he's got a good ear. He had actually spent the day hanging out with Dan Nelson, who was recently fired as the lead singer of Anthrax.

Anyway, it was ridiculous, but I ended up staying up until 3:30 in the morning with Ryan, who fell asleep on the couch (don't worry mom, nothing happened! In fact, our mistletoe has been pretty useless, truth be told.) It was fine though, because then it was Saturday, and I didn't have anything important to do except laze around the house, and once I had my late breakfast of roast beef sandwich and diet coke, my energy was on its way back. A blizzard was supposedly imminent, but I decided to go do some late afternoon Christmas shopping downtown.

Actually, I meant to go Christmas shopping, but secretly I went to a hair salon, continuing the spending spree I've been on lately, and pampered myself with an eyebrow threading, and a wash-cut-blowdry. The hairdresser clucked in dismay over my bangs, which are evermore being cut by myself in random chunks on mornings when I can't seem to do anything with them. I told her I didn't care what she did, just make me look beautiful, and it worked. By the time she was finished, I looked like a hair model, and it was really snowing outside. I have never been so sad to put on a hat, but I had to protect my gorgeous hair, so I stuffed it all into my hat and went out into the storm.

The snow was quickly accumulating and everywhere storekeepers were throwing salt onto the sidewalks while shoppers and tourists rushed around busily. A brave choir sang on the steps of St. Patrick's cathedral, and 5th Avenue looked so picturesque in the winter weather. The lines were long at Borders but I managed to get one thing checked off my Christmas shopping list, and then I picked up some groceries at Whole Foods and was on the next train home.

The wind coming up from Riverside was something to contend with. It was blowing the snow sideways, piling it up into little drifts around the cars. When I got to my building I had little drifts of snow embedded in the buttons and creases of my coat! And inside our house, even though they were closed, there was a little bit of snow drifting in through the front windows, because the wind was so strong. Luckily I didn't have another reason to go out. In fact, all the neighbors in my building were having a Christmas celebration down in the lobby, with loads of Dominican food and music, and they were begging us to join them. So my roommates and I went down and mingled as best we could and partook of the feast. We live in Dominican Harlem, where plain white English speaking people are the minority, but Jessica speaks Spanish, so everyone in the building loves her, and after we ate Aja busted out a mean Latin dance solo, which earned a huge applause. Me, I just sat there and looked pretty in my new hairdo, and almost fell off a chair. Good times.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Highlights of the Day

Top Ten Things That Happened Today

10. It was, finally, the day before Friday!

9. I have been assured job security at least through the middle of February, because my boss asks me to assist with the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show. It will be a lot of work, but I'm excited to get a free trip to (hopefully) warm and sunny Palm Beach in midwinter!

8. At work we (finally!) got a gorgeous pine wreath that smells so delicious. I just want to stand next to it all day and drink in the scent of the forest.

7. I went Christmas shopping and now I am almost all done. I just have a few more things to pick up, plus about 6 crocheted flower pins to make for the ladies I work with, and a billion cookies to bake.

6. It was only about 20 degrees today, with a biting wind, but I wore my new rain/snow boots and was perfectly toasty warm.

5. When I came home after work I got off the subway and decided to try a tamale from the Mexican lady who sells them every night on Broadway. She was wearing about five coats to keep warm, and keeps the tamales warm in a big plastic chest. She asked if I wanted it hot, and I thought she meant temperature-wise, but it turned out to be very very muy caliente spicy-wise. It was good though, and probably my vote for the best single item a dollar can buy in this city.

4. Thursday is cookie day! My Italian watch-dealer admirer brought his weekly gift of cookies from Sant Ambreous, but this time he brought not only the shortbread cookies which I adore, he also brought some delicious chocolate walnut cookies. They were of course divine, but the shortbreads are still my favorites, and I am delighted that they make them in the shape of stars this time of year to be festive!

3. All the money I hope I get for a Christmas bonus was spontaneously spent on one adorable dress from Anthropologie. I just could not live without it in my life. And I don't feel guilty. This could be bad or good.

2. I got Christmas cards in the mail. One of them is from my Grandma, who wrote on the inside: Merry Christmas! How you doing? Love, Aunt Laura. I had to do a double take, and then I couldn't stop laughing. Well, she is about 89 years old, so I guess she's entitled to forget that she's my grandma and not my aunt.

1. My ex-boyfriend called and we had a delightful chat. I feel so grown-up, being able to finally talk and laugh with him like a semi-normal person without getting all emotional. Anyway, this is a guy whose identity is wrapped up in the music he listens to, and he prides himself on being up on the latest most of-the-moment sounds as far as indie-rock is concerned. He basically taught me everything I know when it comes to music. But apparently the student has surpassed the master. He said he recently went out and bought The Drums EP "Summertime" and when he listened to it he loved it and was surprised that he recognized some of the songs. Then he realized that two of them were on a mix I made for him late this summer. Ha ha! I beat him. It seems silly, but it really made my day to know that he respects my musical knowledge and that I found an awesome band and shared it with him before he found it on his own, because in the past it was always the other way around.

P.S. Sorry about the pictureless posts lately. I am both tired and lazy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Season

I don't know why my job has suddenly become such a drag, but this week more than ever, I have had such a hard time keeping a good attitude about it. Each day I just dread it. It's probably because it's Christmastime. I know that makes me sound like a grinch, but there is nothing less fun than working retail at Christmas. It's super busy, so nothing can really get done properly, and you feel pulled in a million directions. Everyone is trying to close a big sale so they need what they need, and they need it fast. Everyone is working long tiring hours, so nerves are raw. Everyone is stressed because they also have lives besides their jobs, which require gift-buying, baking, decorating, entertaining, traveling, etc. Add to this chaos the fact that my boss has suddenly decided to do all kinds of crazy wheeling and dealing with his watch-dealer buddies, and his wife, my other boss, gets mad at him, and I am stuck in the middle just trying to make sense of everything! It's crazy. I don't usually lose my cool at work, but in the past it has always happened at this time of year, when my grasp on sanity is worn the thinnest.

BUT, it's not all bad.

I enjoy seeing people's happiness at finding the perfect gift for their loved ones, and seeing the salespeople create gorgeous gift-wrapped presentations. I love getting little gifts of chocolate or cookies from artists, clients, and fellow-businesses. I enjoy the buzz of midtown in the middle of Christmas, and being so close to Rockefeller Center, where the giant tree is so gorgeously lit. Sometimes on my lunch-break, I walk over and visit it, and I like to stand right under it and look up at it against the winter sky. I like watching the ice skaters, and hearing the Salvation Army bell-ringers and making their day by throwing my change into their buckets. I love the imaginative store window-displays! And I love that the street vendors sell freshly roasted chestnuts.

This week my roommates and I have been building gingerbread houses. On Sunday we baked the dough in the shapes of walls and roofs and steeples and chimneys, and the next day we made icing and put the parts together. Then, we commenced to decorating every surface of the houses with candy. It's a lot of work to build a proper gingerbread house--or a church, in my case. Every night after work I come home and forget about the stresses of the day by tessellating Neccos onto my roof panels or applying colored m'n'ms to the eaves of my little candied folly. I'm especially proud of the melted-Jolly Rancher windows with their stained-glass effect.

I'm just counting down the days until I will be able to have a little vacation from work and go home. I'm leaving New York on Christmas morning and flying South. It's going to be a great Christmas. E will be there, my brother will be there--newly sprung from the clinker--and my other brother's cute new girlfriend, and all the rest of the family too. I'm planning on having a grand time! Now if I can just get through 6 more days of work...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Harlem Church

Here's a church on St. Nicholas Avenue and 141st, I think. I can't remember the name of it.

Anyway, I feel bad for not writing all week! I don't know what's been wrong with me. I think I'm stressed out because it's Christmastime. This time of year always stresses me out. I start to resent my job because it prevents me from getting things done like shopping for Christmas presents, sending packages, making elaborate Christmas cards for everyone I know, baking treats to give as gifts, and generally enjoying the season. Or, doing necessary things like buying groceries (I've been living on cheerios) and doing laundry or cleaning my room which looks like a crime scene. And I'm resenting the fact that I spent three hours at Michael's and about 5 hours at the church on Saturday being in charge of an activity that nobody really even came to and which wasn't even all that fun. I know I shouldn't resent things like that, but I could have done so many other more important things. Add to the stress the fact that I waited too long to go water the plant at the Park Avenue apartment that I clean, and it died. So I've been trying to find a replacement, but have had no time, and the people are coming back tomorrow, so I had to just write an email saying how I neglected and killed their plant.

Everything had just combined to the point where I've been walking around like a cat with its ears laid back flat against its head. I don't feel like talking to people or going places where I'm supposed to go. It's not good. People came over last night and I tried to be sociable, but I could only be sarcastic so I had to go hide in my room. Church today was a nice respite--it was good to be reminded of what's really important--but I still left after the first hour because I just couldn't sit still any longer. I wanted to at least be outside walking, but it was a gray and wet day. It poured and poured all afternoon and into the evening, and even with my new rain-boots I got drenched.

When I finally wandered home my roommates had hot eggnog french toast waiting for me, which was delicious with butter and cherry jam, and I felt better with some food in my stomach. Then I cleaned my room, which helped too, because I always feel less cluttered in my mind if my room is not cluttered. Then I talked on the phone to my sister, and then I helped my roommates roll out and bake the gingerbread that we're going to use to make gingerbread houses tomorrow. I had even been stressed out about the gingerbread houses. This morning I was coming up with all sorts of elaborate ideas in my head about how I could make candy-glass windows for the houses, and feeling like I needed to go and buy more candy to decorate the houses with, and the only way I was going to get all this done was by calling out sick from work tomorrow.

But now that my room is clean, I've spent my energy by roaming all over half of Manhattan in the pouring rain, and I've baked gingerbread walls for two potential houses, I've come to the realization that the world will still go on if I don't make the cutest gingerbread house in the world tomorrow night. The world will still go on if I send my Christmas cards out on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, and anyway Christmas isn't about presents and cards and gingerbread and candy, it's about Jesus, and I should stop worrying about everything and just read my scriptures. Because, coincidentally, all the stress and anxiety has coincided with my fall off the daily Book of Mormon reading wagon. My reading this week has been atrocious, and who's to say if its the cause or the result of being stressed out, but I have a feeling that if I just remember to read, I'll feel a lot better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gethsemane Revival Holiness Center

I love that the sign identifies the founder of this church as "Elect Lady," a very biblical term. On the inside of the doorway are faux stained-glass windows.

Written by an Award-Winning Baker

Peter told me not to enter my chocolate chip cookies in the cookie contest. "They won't stand out," he said. "There are only so many ways you can combine flour and sugar and butter and chocolate chips, and it's just too dicey. You need to do something more outside the box."

"Hmph," I replied. "You don't like my chocolate chip cookies?"

"That's not what I said."

"You think my cookies are boring."

"That's not what I said, either. I just think you should try something different," he said as he bit into a chocolate chip cookie, hot and fresh from the oven.

I was baking cookies for the Stake Christmas Concert, and part of the festivities was a cookie contest, with a prize for the best cookie. The prize was exciting, $50, but I was really in it for the fame and glory of being the best cookie baker in the whole Manhattan stake. For the last two weeks I had compiled lists of possible cookie entries, crossing out iffy choices like pineapple cookies and hermit cookies and contemplating bizarre concoctions like cayenne chocolate cookies. But at the top of the list was always the tried and true chocolate chip cookies that I've been making since middle school, which have never let me down.

"Peter, there may be a lot of chocolate chip cookies out there, but there has to be a best of the best. Not all chocolate chip cookies are made alike. One must be better than another, and I think mine are really really good." So I stuck with the chocolate chip cookies, but just to be on the safe side I also entered ginger creams and white chocolate cherry chocolate chunk cookies.

After the concert, three judges sat together at a table, sampling the many cookie submissions. They tasted, sipped milk, deliberated, huddled, tasted again, and nodded their heads. My friends patted me on the back, giving me assurances that my cookies were delicious. I hoped I wouldn't be embarrassed later.

"What are your criteria for the best cookie?" the hostess asked. The judges replied that they were looking for taste, texture, and complexity. "And we have a winner," they announced.

They announced my name, and a cheer went up. The winning entry: the chocolate chip cookies! Astonished, I rushed to the stage to accept my prize. The judges told me that my chocolate chip cookie was delicious, perfectly round, moist, and wonderful in every way. I knew it. Those chocolate chip cookies have never let me down, and now my faith in them was paying off.

So I texted Peter to rub it in. "Guess whose cookies won?" I wrote.

"I hope you laughed and pointed at all the losers," he wrote back.

"Ya, well, guess which cookies were the winners."

"The ginger creams, of course."

"The chocolate chip cookies!!!!"

"Were there other chocolate chip cookie entries?"


"Well played."

Then Josh texted me and said, "I am proud of you! I want you to change it into dollar bills and swim in them in front of Pete. I'm dead serious." Hmmm. Maybe I will. But it's enough of a reward to know that my cookies are prize-winners and that I got the best of Peter, because that certainly does not happen every day.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Christmas-Time in the City

It never actually seems like Christmastime until you've got a live tree in the house, smelling of pine sap, and covered in twinkly lights. But in New York, where the apartments are small and schedules are busy, it can be hard to fit one in. Nevertheless, almost as soon as Thanksgiving Day was over, my roommates and I decided we just had to get one. And so we did.

On Tuesday night Ryan came over and he walked with all three of us up to Broadway where they've got Christmas trees for sale. For the past several weeks we had been eyeing them, semi-flirting with the skinny scruffy gap-toothed tree-seller, trying to decide if he could give us a good deal or if we ought to just have Ryan drive us in his car out to Jersey or someplace where trees might be more plentiful and less pricey. But it was a rainy night and Broadway was right there, and the trees looked nice, and they really weren't all that expensive. Besides, I have no problem doing my part to keep the tree-farmers in business. The gap-toothed tree-salesman greeted us familiarly and eagerly showed us our best options. As the three of us girls did our best to drive him up a wall with our questions and requests, the salesman good-naturedly chatted about the life of a tree salesman in Harlem, with a hand-rolled but unlit cigarette dangling from his lip. "I'm actually a dancer, you know, but I do this for some extra money," he went on as us girls went from tree to tree assessing the merits of each. "People have been offering me places to stay around here--it's a nice area. If you're looking, I've got leads on rooms for like one-fifty a week. But yeah, it's kind of scary to walk home late at night sometimes with like a grand in my pocket from selling trees. But all the cops know me..." Ryan, who is a Harlem cop, made a face and shook his head while the guy just kept on rambling on.

Ryan wasn't too impressed by our attempts to flirt with the scruffy salesman for a tree-discount, and he thought it was ridiculous that in the end we just picked a tree and decided to buy it without even untying it. But he was perfectly happy to throw it on his shoulder and carry it home for us, and help us get it set up in its place of honor in the living room. Ryan likes to do manly things like that for us, a household of helpless females, and we repay him with food.

Over the next few days we've decorated the tree with lights, cut paper snowflakes, and a beautiful paper star that Jessica got in Germany. And little by little the whole house is getting decked out in holiday style, with a festive garland here, a string of lights there, styrofoam snowflakes everywhere, all to the accompaniment of much seasonal music. We even have eggnog in the fridge, and a wreath on the door. There is still a bit more decorating to do (Jessica really wants me to attach my round white paper lanterns together to form snowmen and tie scarves around their necks, and we have to get some mistletoe for the parlor), but the living room is done at least. And when I come home exhausted from work each day, I just take one look at the Christmas tree and feel happy and peaceful. It's Christmas-time in the city.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I'm not really sure how I'm going to get through the three weeks until Christmas. Work is crazy! The workload was already overwhelming before, and then last week the bookkeeper quit and another girl was laid off. It wouldn't be so bad, except that now I'm the only one who answers the telephones here, and answering telephones is my absolute least favorite part of the job. Well... second to least. But we won't focus on the negative. And I don't want to complain, because at least I have a job! I honestly don't know why the bosses have kept me and let so many others go, but Dali says its because I'm a workhorse and they know it. I'm proud to have a strong work ethic, but I don't want to be taken advantage of. Also, I'm only human and I can't do everything. So I have a feeling that things are not going to be smooth and there are a lot of things that are going to not get done or get slid under the rug because there's just no time to do them. When someone calls out sick, it's even worse. Literally nothing can get done effectively, and this is the busiest time of the year!

So, if that weren't bad enough, on Tuesday this week there was a pipe that burst in the ceiling above Dali's desk and it started to flood her office! Luckily the guys from the building maintenance office were able to get it under control pretty quickly, but everything has been in chaos. Files had to be moved, computers disconnected and moved, carpet ripped out, etc., with a constant stream of workers coming in and out. Ugh.

Floods of work and floods of water--not conducive to workplace enjoyment! But the good news is that the workdays go by fast, my old friend still brings me chocolate cookies every Thursday, and I'm counting down the days to a much-deserved restful week of vacation starting Christmas Day. Let's hope I survive that long!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On the Morning Train

My peace on the morning train was interrupted by five rowdy teenagers. One boy grabbed an umbrella away from a girl and she retaliated by crumpling up pages of her AM NY newspaper into balls and throwing them at him. The paper rolled off the boy, littering the floor of the subway car, but the kids didn't seem to care. They also didn't seem to care that their hi-jinks and rough-housing was annoying to the rest of us quiet commuters. Then the girl pulled a package of candy from her bag, ate it up, and threw the wrapper on the floor. I was just beginning to wonder about the poor soul that has to pick up after such thoughtless people when, as the subway train came to a stop, I noticed a gentleman exit the train. But before he got out of the car, he bent over and picked up the trashed newspaper balls. On his way out of the subway station he threw them into a garbage can. It's a wondrous thing to live in a world with such a mixture of selfishness and selflessness all in one place.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blog Notes

As sometimes happens, this morning I had a spam comment on an old blog post. Usually I can delete them with no problem, but this spammer was high tech and if I tried to delete the comment, it wouldn't go away, but give me an error message instead. So I reported it to Blogger, but I didn't really know what I was doing and I think I accidentally reported my own blog as being a spammer. So.... hopefully they won't shut me down! I ended up just deleting the whole post that had the spam comment, just in case it had a virus or something. It was just the post with my NYC playlist on it, which I figured wasn't all that vital. If anyone wants my playlist, let me know and I can always repost it. Meanwhile, I've set up word verification on the comments--sorry, it's annoying I know, but I have to fight the evil spammers. As always, thanks to all the real people who read and comment!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Looking Back by Maud Gatewood.

Entering winter is like entering a long tunnel. I will rise and go to work in the darkness of morning, and I will leave work and go home in the darkness of evening. The coldness of this northeastern climate will keep me inside my cozy home, and I will only venture out if necessary for survival or sanity.