Tuesday, 30 August 2011

just because it's working...

In the middle of a chase sequence in my dream last night, this guy I was running with, was taking a car that wasn't ours, so we could get away from whoever we were running from (yeah - it was a dream - no idea who the guy was, who we were running from, why we were running, why we were together...) and I said:

Just because it's working, doesn't mean it's right.


Monday, 29 August 2011

Quote of the Week - Ruiz Zafon

Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen. 

Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n via Goodreads

Wow - I was so not finding the right quote for this week, when this popped in my inbox.  Ruiz Zafon has written the absolutely fantastic The Shadow of the Wind (thanks to my friend Dan S. who gave me the book as a birthday present a while back).  I don't know who will make that into a movie, but I'm hoping it will be Guillermo del Toro.  Anyway.  Be Monday.

The Shadow of the Wind

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Remember My Name

Well, Irene would have to go down as non-memorable by NYC event standards. Transit it still closed and most of the shops, too.

It's a quiet, breezy, cool Sunday morning.  The kind that makes you want a copy of The New York Times and a really good bagel.  Alas, there is probably not a bagel to be found around here.

It was mighty pretty by the river this morning, though.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Irene is in the building...

She is taking off her hat, coat, and gloves; she is putting her purse down.  She intends to stay.

Still Quiet on the Western Storm Front

Took a nap.  About to get back to work.

Found Caryn James list of movies to watch in a hurricane.

Irene Cooking and Waiting

Well, prepped some coffee and some rice.  Made awesome pesto - a variation on a recipe from Susan Marque.  I made pumpkin seed/basil pesto.  Yum.

With all the cooking, I missed Mojo.  Went out for the last walk and they were closed and waiting for their taxi home to Brooklyn!  They told me the city is actually planning to shut off the power down here if the storm gets bad.  So it looks like I'll definitely be in the dark for a while.

Things to do in the dark without the internet:

Read a book (By flashlight?  Is that a good use of resources?)
Talk on the phone (Using battery, hm)
Write until the computer battery almost dies
Make salad - be careful of knives in the dark
Make a lanyard (I never learned to do this - I've never done those summer camp things.  I always wanted to make a lanyard.  I bet I could find the stuff to do it and instructions by googling.  This seems like something you could do in the almost dark that might make you feel like you were doing something useful.)
Practise poems
Don't Panic
Remember something funny about someone
Think about the person you would most like to be with in time of emergency and send them psychic messages using the forcefield energy of the hurricane

Twister PosterOn the way back from not going to Mojo, I saw a woman in a Milky Way t-shirt (the galaxy, not the chocolate bar).  It seemed appropriate after image after image of the hurricane swirl.  Should've taken a picture.

Can the US Open go on as scheduled?  Where's the big Irene slumber party/film festival?  Why didn't I organize it?

Hypothetical Irene Film Festival Schedule:

Singin in the Rain
Twister (1996)
Twister (1989)
The Wiz
The Wizard of Oz
A Hatful of Rain
The Hurricane

Okay - that's not a real list....

What would the real list be?

Singin in the Rain (why not?)
Twister (1989)
Dead Man
Ghost Dog
Breakfast at Tiffany's (always on a rainy day)
Lord of the Rings - Fellowship
Wet, Hot, American Summer

Okay - that's a pretty good start.  I'm open to suggestions.  And something I haven't seen before.

Here's my friend Kal doing her amazing song "Breakfast at Tiffany's", at her support gig for Ed Sheeran - was a great night:

Irene - Still Waiting

So now I'm sleepy.  Truly.  Was going to go out and walk again, but I think it's raining.

There's more to do.  And I'm supposed to cook!


Still to do:

Store more water!
Fill up tub and sink with water!
Locate tool box and make accessible
Make emergency coffee to store!
Go out and take some pictures or the blog will be B-O-R-I-N-G
Do not get pregnant!  (Advice from a FB friend because another FB friend said there'd be a spike in the birth rate 9 months from now.  This advice is easy as I don't think I can impregnate myself!)
Write down on paper every phone number or address you need!
Prepare for life without internet!
Make pesto!

Starbucks is closed!


No Vias for me.

Irene - Hurry Up and Wait

I think I'll do a little live blogging of Irene while there's internet!

So - catch up.

Here I am, in Zone B - very close to the river - but not mandatory evacuat-able.  What to do?

Whenever there's a decision to be made, which can only be made with more information than you are ever going to be able to get until it's too late, I find it best to work on all possible tracks until you're at that moment where you are going to lose a choice (unless that takes more energy, time, or resources than you have at your disposal, in which case you have to decide sooner and with less information).  At that point, well, you've got as much info as you're going to get, and you can keep heading in either direction, but you're going to have to pick one.

Options:  Evacuate, Stay

Staying means getting food and supplies, hoarding water, prepping for hurricane (which you have to do anyway for safety).

Leaving means finding alternative places to go, making a travel plan, packing (which you have to do anyway in case of real emergency).


Have painstakingly cleared the porch of almost all items and found sort of reasonable places for them inside.  Glad I canceled meetings and things today - this is time-consuming.

To Trader Joe's I went.  There was a line to get in.  There was a line from the produce section all through the store to get to the registers.  There was no bread.  There was no way to actually shop.  I left.  (Not without a minor temper tantrum, but oh well.)

Off to Whole Foods, which honestly, looked about the same as it always does - a line almost out the door.  However, it's better managed, and you can actually shop downstairs.  They seemed to have cleverly figured out which things to put on sale.  There were no black beans of any kind left - rice and beans seems to be what everyone decided to cook and leave on the stove.  I tried to stretch my Trader Joe's money and think I did pretty well.  The cashier was impressed.

Irene menu:

Yogurt, bananas, kiwi
Cucumber and/or watercress sandwiches
Bread and cheese
Egg salad sandwiches
Watercress salad
Mujadara (Rice and lentils)
Instant Thai Rice Noodles with egg and watercress
Coffee with almond or soy milk
Kettle chips w/lemmon hummus
Cherry Chili chocolate

Okay, you get the picture.  Eat the hummus first in case the power goes out.  Pre-cook hard-boiled eggs, and rice.  Butter and cheese are fine without refrigeration and the yogurt should last long enough.

The kettle chips were a questionable purchase, but hey, comfort in times of stress.  Chocolate is never a questionable purchase.

I get back from food shopping and then see the evacuation plan.  Maybe, had I seen it first, I would have hopped a train to Long Island or something.  Maybe.  But now I feel a bit invested.  I've got water in jars in the fridge and have cleared the porch and outdoor spaces and have all this food!

I write down a plan for either option, and keep wondering...find out at least one neighbor is staying.  Also found out Mojo is opening at least til noon.  With transit shutting down by noon on Saturday, I know my decision cutoff is between 10 and 11am Saturday.

I start locating crucial items (flashlights, emergency radio, matches, candles) - oh did I mention I'm at my friends' place and they actually can't get back to Manhattan? - and staging the kitchen - the middle level of the place which has no windows - as my emergency area.  It's high off the ground, no outside exposure, and not on the floor with the skylights.  (Hmm...skylights - pesky creatures.)

I proceed to angst myself and other people for a while.  I think about the fact that there was an earthquake a few days ago, that the construction site across the street is not at all secure - things will go flying - that the tree out front could fall, that the water could come in under the front door...

Look at radar maps, blogs, even NY1 and CNN.  Check the transit again.  Pack "emergency" bag.

Eventually decide to try to find a stupid movie to watch on Hulu.  Fall Asleep.


Get up.  Check everything.  No real change in NYC evacuation or transit plans.  Make coffee.  Check more.  Write.  Drink coffee.  Shower.  Bring bags to the kitchen/Irene central.  Locate sleeping bag and bring down.

Decide to........................


Feel much better.  Decisions are good things.

Now I can take a walk.  In the light rain.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Could you be BAZ's Poet-in-Residence?

Burgeoning London-based theatre company, BAZ Productions is seeking its first Poet-in-Residence!

Says BAZ:
Baz Productions"We are inviting participants to submit poems that comply with a set of ‘rules’. Our actors in BAZ are often given challenges in this way, i.e. to complete a task with a series of ‘obstacles’ that become our rules of play. We have found that these boundaries often result in creative, innovative ways of thinking and would love to see if the same is true for poets."

The competition will be judged by Wendy Cope and Lachlan MacKinnon.  For more information and guidelines, CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Things That Make You Go Yum --- Cambridge Edition! (Overdue fosho!)

Okay - the major yum of Cambridge was the gathering of hundreds of poets from all over the world for the 2011 National Poetry Slam!

Between all that - I had a little time for some local flavour (ok - to be fair - most of it of the coffee variety).

Besides hanging out with old friends and their kiddles, I found a few spots around Harvard Square worth seeking out.


Clover Food Lab
Vegetarian fast food at a reasonable price?  I love me some Veggie Grill, but to be honest, sometimes lunch can be $20 for a sandwich and a drink.  Cambridge is a college town, and students don't put up with prices like that, thankfully.  Everything on Clover's menu seems to be $2, $3, $4 or $5.  All the large plates are $5.  There's a cool pixel board that tells you what's to eat.  The atmosphere is decidedly utilitarian and sparse, but against a backdrop of brick and ivy - a spacious change.

I had the Egg and Eggplant Plate, which sounds a little weird.  It was yummy though.  Their hummus is amazing.  I only wished I could get back to try more!


The hotel WiFi scenario was absurd, and I got pretty sick of Starbucks for the work/caffeine combo.  So, I sought out a new spot, and found Tealuxe.

Right - so not as cheap as Starbucks, but a good selection of teas, hot and iced and Boba!

 Great pastries, and a kind of old secret library feel.  I sat under the spiral staircase and spent some quality time working with a nice cup of Ti Kwan Yin and some pumpkin tea loaf.

They have tea quotes on the walls and sell their teas loose by the ounce, as well.  Yum.


Amongst the book shops, university shops, ice cream places, and cafes, is this one, odd place that seems like it might be from another century.  Or, in fact, another nother century.

 Leavitt & Peirce have been in business in Harvard Square over 100 years.  They sell things you never imagined anyone selling anymore.  They sell pipes and pipe tobacco and shaving accessories.  They sell fountain pens, flasks, and other gentlemanly items.  They sell beautiful games of backgammon and chess.  I wss filled with the desire to buy someone a pipe!

They are altogether an anomaly in the space-time continuum.

I love them.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Quote of the Week - Kelly

"Craft is perfected attention." 
- Robert Kelly

Simple, reductive truth.  Stay focused this week.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Quote of the Week - Bjork

"We mimic the openness of the ones we love."

- Bjork (Crystalline)
There are a lot of quotably lyrics in this song, but this one is the most interesting to me.  It might make a great writing prompt (hint hint).

Love this video by Michel Gondry - worth waiting for it to really take off.  Together, Bjork and Gondry are just huge creativity receptors and inspiration teachers.

Yay Bjork is back!!!!!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Quote of the Week - Rumi

‎"The difference between a good artist and a great one is: the novice will often lay down his tool or brush, then pick up an invisible club on the mind's table and helplessly smash the easels and jade. Whereas the vintage man no longer hurts himself or anyone, and keeps on sculpting light." 
-Rumi (via Erin Northern)

The Essential Rumi, New Expanded Edition

Monday, 1 August 2011

Quote of the Week - Borges

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. "
- Jorge Luis Borges (via Goodreads)

Time Enough at Last.jpgThis quote reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith - the one where SPOILERS he  wants to be alone so he can read and when he is finally the last man on the planet, alone with his books, he breaks his glasses....I would like to think there will be infinite time to read some day.  There's no horror movie scarier to me than the end of this episode.  I think it's reasonable to think that Serling was reading Borges, too, so there might be some actual connection.


And if you're still following my train of  thought, here's another meditation on time: