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Read blog entries from March 07















APRIL 28, 2007

It's odd how coincidences happen and make you reflect on things.

Earlier this week a guy I used to know -- hell, it must be about fifteen years past now -- and I crashed into each other on a subway platform. We rode the train together, and we talked. It was short. He was polite. When I got off the train he said, "I think about you often and fondly."

That was odd. Odd because I would never imagine that he would think of me at all. When I think about him, and I wouldn't say I do it often at all, I'm mostly embarrassed. Not because of him or anything he did, but because of my own deficiencies at the time. I was immature and foolish then, and when I think back about my behavior, I cringe. Seeing him made me thankful for the people who have been in my life for the long haul.

Coincidentally, my husband's grandfather died today. He was in his mid-80s and was ill for a while. Still, to paraphrase my husband, there are some people you never expect to die. Somehow we convince ourselves that some people might just live forever. But now he is gone. He was a man I cannot pretend to have known well, but I liked him just fine, and he had some stories to tell.

He was also a profound influence on my husband. He was a man's man, a WWII vet, honorable and hard-working, and my husband has an impressive respect fortified with love for him that touches me. This man certainly helped make my husband the fellow whom I love, and I thank him for that. My husband's loss is my loss, and again I'm reminded of how important the people in your life are.

So this is to everyone who keeps me in their lives. Family and friends alike. See, I still have deficiencies (dreadful deficiencies), and the fact that there are people who can tolerate them is comforting. Actually, it's more than that, it's life-sustaining.

APRIL 22, 2007

There is something truly magical about drinking in broad daylight, outdoors on one of the first majestic days of spring. Today was like that.

What a day. The apartment windows are hiked up to let the chill of winter creep out. In the morning, I went to the park and played Frisbee. The sun was gorgeous on my skin.

Then we walked to a little Irish pub that opens early and has a yard with lots of seating, not that getting a seat at one in the afternoon was so difficult. The beer was good -- Belhaven ale -- cold, dark, intoxicating.

We talked to people I could never have thought of wanting to talk to, and I don't imagine I'll ever talk to them again. But this weather, this just warm enough spring kiss was the perfect catalyst for instant community. It's good to chat with strangers from time to time. It makes you remember that we're not so isolated as we sometimes feel -- as we've contrived ourselves to be.

APRIL 15, 2007

So, I'm trying to buy this original version of a comic strip. You know, the original one drawn by the artist and then used for syndication. I say trying, but haven't gotten anything. In fact, I haven't even been able to pin down which strip I'll be getting. Nonetheless, I've already paid for something according to my bank account. The problem is that the strip I initially requested had already been sold. Fair enough.

So the artist respectfully emailed me back and explaineed that he thinks my desired strip was sold at at comics convention, where he tends to sell things without really keeping records. He politely asked if I might choose another and said if I did, then he'd throw in an extra, bonus illustration for my trouble. So I did. The next day, I got another email from the guy, and he no longer had the second strip I requested either. He gave it away as a gift. What are the fuckin' odds? Damned gift-giving.

I sent off a third request and also pushed my luck by reminding him of his promise to send a bonus illustration. Then I made a request as to what he should draw for me. Two days went by. I checked my bank account, and the money had been withdrawn. Phew. I thought, that meant the third time was the charm, and I would be getting my strip any day.

Cut to 1:30 a.m. on early Saturday morning. I had just gotten home from a get together with friends and decided to check my email while I drank the hangover preventing elixir known as Gatorade. Lo and behold, I had another note from the illustrator. He apologized again, saying that at one point he was flat broke and in desperation sold a bunch of strips in one big chunk to a collector. Thus, the third one I requested was not in his possession. Gah!

He did, at the very least, say he would send the bonus drawing exactly as I requested. Hooray me! Also, if I've learned anything from "Antiques Roadshow" its that these personal correspondences from the artist with a buyer can really help validate and increase the price of artwork, later on. So I got that going for me.

But really, at this point I was thinking, "Is this worth it?" Afterall, I'm now I'm on my fourth choice for a piece of art that costs not a coupla dollars, but hundreds of dollars. Tell me, who has a Web site to sell things but neglects to keep it up-to-ate with what is available? (Remember, at this point I had made three requests, and when I went back to look over the lot of strips available not a single one of those had been marked as sold yet.) This guy is so exasperating he might as well be a rock and roll drummer.

Anyway, I settled on another strip, and then another. In my last missive to the guy I gave him two to look for, trying to jump the gun in case he didn't have my fourth choice. I also noted in a disappointed and annoyed tone that I was none too happy to se that I had already paid for what amounts to nothing at this point.

I sent that last email on Saturday morning. I haven't heard anything in response. My fingers are crossed.

APRIL 11, 2007

Williamsburg! You are failing me!

On Monday and Wednesday of this week, when I came home from work and stepped off the L train at Bedford Avenue, there wasn't a musician busking on the subway platform. This is odd. There is always a musician playing for spare change... the old guy duo on violin and guitar, the guy on guitar and pan flute, the guy who only plays Beatles tunes, that three-piece bluegrass outfit, and myriad solo skinny hipsters (both male and female) playing guitar and singing covers and originals.

But not today. Not on Monday. What's up Williamsburg? There's a perfectly good platform to play on, and it's going to waste.

APRIL 7, 2007

Today, for the first time in my life (and possibly the last), I ran ten miles. In a row. Without stopping. Without walking. I ran the whole way. Of this, I am proud.

It was on a treadmill, in a gym, and it took an hour and forty-two minutes, and according to the treadmill, I burned 1250 calories. There is something totally gratifying about seeing a treadmill's calorie counter roll over, it's the same kick as when the Pac-Man points roll over.

I should point out that I did not intend to run ten miles when I arrived at the gym this morning. First of all, I couldn't get one of the treadmills with the TVs attached, so I was running on one in front of a window that looks out on a giant hole in the ground that itself is waiting to be turned into Williamsburg's newest ugly new building. Anyway, without a TV, I get very bored. I intended to run five miles, without a TV that was going to be a chore. But somthing happened in my head when I reached five miles, and I just kept going.

Here are the things you need to know about running ten miles:

1. If you set out to run five miles, but then decide at the five mile mark, "What the fuck? I'll keep going," you will run out of water. See, you will have run the first five miles rationing your water for a five mile, not ten mile, trek. You will realize this somwhere in mile seven, as your water bottle is down to the last swig, and you think, "Shit! I still have two-and-a-half miles to go. I am a fool!" Without water, your lips will crack and you will get cotton mouth. Neither is pleasant.

2. Obviously, your legs and feet will begin to let you know they are no longer happy with the task at hand. They will hurt. What you might not also realise, and I certainly didn't, is that just about everything else will hurt too. Most notably your back and arms. Your fuckin' arms! I mean, c'mon! Who thinks their arms will hurt when running? But I guess pumping them back-and-forth while keeping the suckers bent like a Barbie doll for 100 minutes will do the trick. I should've known this, because after ten minutes of holding a cell phone to my ear, my arm usually aches.

3. Your body is a fascinating chemistry set. You will sweat buckets, and somwhere in the later miles, when you wipe sweat from your face with your bare hand, it will feel like you are dragging tiny blades across it. But wait, you are inside, running on a treadmill, why is there grit on your face? You look at the hand that has wiped the sweat and see it sparkling, mind you it is not glistening with wet, but sparkling like rhinestones, and you will say, "A-ha! Salt." Perfect, sparkly salt crystals are will cover your body. Seriously, I got home and in the bathroom mirror discovered that my face had a white salt ring around it -- my cheeks were like a full functioning mine.

I do not have a list of things that I want to accomplish before I die, but if I did, I could cross the "Run ten miles" entry off. It feels good (we'll have to wait and see how it feels tomorrow).

APRIL 4, 2007

Today is the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. I know this sadly not from history classes, but from U2. Recall, if you can, the lyrics from "Pride". Here, let me help :
Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

There, now you know when and where this atrocity happened.

Anyway, I realized this because in today's mail I received a solicitation for a donation to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (whatever that is) from none other than Sen. Barack Obama, a man who, through no fault of his own, probably wouldn't be in the position he is in now if it hadn't been for the work of people like MLK. Coincidence? Most certainly.

The second thing I thought of when I got this letter, with its pithy bullet points about G.W.'s fuck-ups, and the very important underlined statements about what the Democrats have to do to secure their position in D.C., and the pleas for spare $10s and $20s, was "Damn The Nation!"

I subscribed to The Nation, the hopelessly liberal magazine, for one year during the last presidential campaign as an effort to be more informed (sure, it's way biased, but at least I tried). Ever since, I get oodles of notes from the Dems and crazily liberal charities. Also, I get a fair amount of mail from Sen. John McCain. That's funny and ballsy. And I like funny and ballsy, but I still don't send him anything.

Anyway, many Democratic groups are apparently operating under the assumption that I am one of them. I am not. I am a registered independent, and nothing is less appealing to me than joining a political party. I couldn't subscribe to any group with that many narrow-minded opinions and sloppy practices (let's face it, both the Dems and the Republicans both have glaring faults). After all, I already have enough of my own.

It's amusing how a magazine subscription can target you for life. I also hold subscriptions to an architectural and a design magazine. Once those kicked in, I started getting invites to architects' conferences and subscription offers from similar magazines at discounted "professional" rates. Yet, I am neither an architect nor a designer. Odd, isn't it, the people sending out these pleas for donations and subscriptions are willing to judge a person by their magazine covers?

Anyway, back to my original point. I vote, I try to follow what's going on in the world, and I give to charities that have a mission I can support. So leave me alone, political panhandlers. My cash ain't ever coming your way.





Elbert E. Stone and comrades

My husband's grandfather, tElbert Stone, (standing second from the right).

























Drinky Crow by Tony Millionaire

Even a drunken crow would keep better records than this!



























Billyburg, where be your buskers?
(photo by Shea Stone)



I couldn't have done it without my trusty sidekicks.
(not my actual running shoes)























Get your hands off my wallet, ass!


I.D. mag cover

What does this magazine tell you about me?