Friday, January 31, 2014

Inspiration: Middle-Aged Family Docs Who Play in Middle-Aged Bar Bands

This doctor/mom performed her anti-bullying song.
Leaving January, dragging my feet.

I usually hate January, but this January, I loved January. I saw Witch Camp! I stood in a parish hall with Patti Smith, Anne Waldman and Steve Earle! I saw Showgirls! The Musical! I had a writing project with a deadline!

Speaking of that, that deadline was today--actually, technically in 19 minutes. I sent my thing in hours ago. Kinda wish I'd gone over the thing again. Maybe if it had been some other week.  This week was a hard worker week.  And it's not over.

After I sent in my thingy, I went to see a parent's band play--a fellow mom. We met at our respective kids' school holiday party and she told me she was a doctor and that she also was in a band.  She's a cool doctor--a family doc (in an era of declining family docs) for the homeless. At her gig tonight, she collected socks for her patients.

Another thing that happened tonight, the band my spouse had in the early '90s--the band I became a fan of before even meeting him--finally has songs for sale on Bandcamp.

I'm going to shamelessly plug, cuz I rarely have anything to shameless plug, his music and in particular this smashing song, "Uncle Wiggly," that is certainly worth one dollar. (Dangit! Don't know how to embed it, but the link is here:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Inspiration: Deadline and Pete

Yes, today I'm inspired by tomorrow's grant app deadline.  Don't wanna say too much about it, but since Wed is my "day off" I spent the entire day "on," finalizing all the grant stuff I've been writing and revising for practically this entire month.  Like our extreme cold, I've been finding deadlines super invigorating.

I spent the day at the cafe next to the above sandwich board.

RIP Pete Seegar.  I'm more of a rock girl, but the time I attended a live, outdoor Pete Seegar performance I was so totally moved, I cried throughout, especially during Pete's rendition of Woody's song.  For Pete, the entire show seemed more about building a community from the assembled audience than it was about him as an entertainer.  That's what got me.  How important and vital it is for human beings to sing together, yes?  What power there is in that. (Plus, Pete was around 89/90 years old I saw him and stood at the mic so statuesque, like a man in his prime.)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Inspiration: 18 degrees and Terrence Hayes' poetry

Really trying to be inspired by this weather we're having.

Because today I worked from sun up to past sun down.  Very long protracted day of exhausted employment.

Biked home in 18 degrees and tried to enjoy the opportunity to work hard getting home, after hours and hours at computer terminals, after some moments spent reading that there book on the counter.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Inspiration: Uninspired in a Calm "That's Okay" Kind of Way

No photo ops today.  That's cool.

But I enjoyed watching this video of Fleetwood Mac at the 1978 Grammys, given that it's awards season, and all that.

I've been enjoying how January seems to be unrolling very slowly.  I keep thinking the month should have been over a week ago, but I need the time.  I haven't wanted the days to fly by.  How can they in a month of two polar vortexes?

It's cold again.  I'm okay with it.

The deadline I've been working toward all month is on the 31st.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Inspiration: Upstate Farmers Traveling Downstate to Stand Outside in 18 Degrees

Waiting to be fed.
Suddenly, we found ourselves without offspring to care for for a large chunk of today, so we had the bright and novel idea to go to brunch, which we never, ever, ever do.  So we set off, and two hours and literally, 14 places later (no exaggeration), we found ourselves at a restaurant that would have us, so ravenous that I actually ordered, for starters, this strange house made cinnamon roll thingy stuffed with pork flesh.  (Technically, from the menu, "pork sticky rolls with parsnip glaze.")

An excellent choice for a vegetarian.

We discovered that brunch is this wildly popular activity among our fellow New Yorkers, so much so that the wait at most places is from 30-45 minutes to even an hour.  Or more.  Literally 14 places we checked in on (we made a list and counted)--and it was 18 degrees.

Inspiration today comes from our local farmer's markets.  The markets here are year round and outdoors.  Radishes still sell in 18 degrees.  I bought apples and onions and the gal below was so happy that customers came.  She'd been standing out there since 8:00 am.

Later, I saw this saw player, who explained to me how she'd fashioned her leather shrug.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Inspiration: Fashion Posting

I spent a part of the afternoon writing in a notebook at this slightly off-my-beaten-path cafe that I usually avoid because the croissants are so ridiculously priced--like almost four bucks--wha?

The other barista was a beautiful trans woman with purple highlights in her black hair.  I tried and tried to get a non-backlit photo of her, to no avail.

Can you see that it was snowing steadily out there?

Sometimes I flail on Saturday, as meandering as a snowflake.  But today I was determined to do what I needed to do, including visiting several galleries, like this one:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Inspiration: Sign, Lights, Bruce's Butt

When TVs didn't have to be "color."  One of the best signs in my neighborhood.  Don't ever change, sign.

Well, I spent nearly the entire day standing in the same spot revising the same story.  I even removed myself from Fb in order to concentrate on this story.  I was so focussed on this story, in fact, that I forgot to take a walk down and look at AndrewAndrew in their dj booth this morning.  They were right there near the above Gringer sign.

Today was my last chance to go look at AndrewAndrew for awhile.  As of next week, I swing into a almost a full work week for the next several months.  More hours I've had in awhile.  A good thing.

So this story is now 20 pages.  The chance that anyone in the world but me will read it is very, very slim.  And knowing that and knowing that I can't stop writing and revising--even in a vacuum--is a slightly freaky.
This was from writing on Thursday.  I was annoyed by this fellow talking on his hands-free device,
but when I discerned he was speaking French, I wanted him to talk louder.

This is where I revised.  Bruce, you care, right?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Inspiration: NYC Rock and Roll or I'll Stay Home When I'm Dead

Didn't take this one, but I'm off Fb currently and have nowhere to upload my phone photos to.

Well, I tried and failed  to see music tonight.  At the last minute, I ran into the 12-degree night with hopes of seeing a show I'd known about for a month: Legendary CBGBs-era band The Dictators playing on the occasion of their lead singer's 60th birthday.  Internationally known punk legend (ha! fun to write), Handsome Dick Manitoba, owns a bar on Ave B, and when my kid was a baby in the stroller, he used to stop us to admire her.  So nice! Years after this, I'd see from time to time tossing a ball with his own kid in Tompkins Square Park.  Good rock star, good dad.

When I got to the Bowery Electric (which, btw, is an excellent replacement for the defunct CBGB--and who wants to come with me sometime?), I learned the show was SOLD OUT.  I usually get my BE tix in advance.  Don't know why I balked on this one.  It was some consolation to note that at 9:30 only one of the four bands had played.  And you know, I do eventually tire. Sigh.  Still, I walked around the upstairs area for a few minutes, warming up and listening to Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" on BE's most excellent sound system.

Here's Handsome Dick and the Dictators from 1981, when I was living a very parallel life in my low desert high school and had never been east of Arizona.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Inspiration: Dirty Espresso Cup and Showgirls! The Musical

I happened upon this dirty espresso cup in its contrasting saucer and instead of turning away from it--or merely bussing it myself, I drew it closer to me.  Because it's really lovely, right?

Then I wandered around the rest of this bookstore I'd dropped in at after work.  Everything here used, like the cup, volunteer run--all profits benefitting people living with AIDS.  It's a good place.

Later, I ran out into 18 degrees and met my friend at Showgirls! The Musical.  YES, THAT SHOWGIRLS!  Has it been 18 years already?  Now that you've seen the movie (I hadn't, so I didn't get a lot of the squeals of laughter when dialogue was quoted verbatim), you must watch the musical.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Inspiration: Clean, Cold Air

 I know I talked about all the garbage on the street yesterday, but now it's under about a blanket of snow about a foot thick.  And everything's pretty again.

And I just went crunching around in it--walked to a cafe and didn't like the music, so I didn't stay. On my way back, I slipped and fell in the middle of the empty street, but I scrambled back up, just like Tonya Harding would have.

So it's slippery and it's 12 degrees.  But being out there breathing feels good.  And looking over my string of days on this blog, I'm thinking my January hasn't sucked.  Weird.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Inspiration: Uninspired on MLK Jr Day, and It's My Own Damn Fault

Next year, I must remember that MLK Jr. Day is a National Day of Service.  I remembered too late, and frantically tried to sign up for events online or find things to sign up for.  And by the time I looked, everything was already happening.

Story of my life?

So I went out on the streets and tried to pick up some trash, and then became overwhelmed by the amount of trash that is actually on NYC's streets, which I guess I had stopped noticing--which freaks me out a little.

Even my weekends and holidays, I need to be on a schedule like a toddler.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Inspiration: Live Rock and Roll in a Old Club that Recently Resurrected Live Rock and Roll

Big rock and roll reunion today at the Continental.  I caught just the first two bands; someone I only know via Fb invited me to see his.  I really try and make an effort to support other people's art.  It might be what I do best.

This afternoon, I arrived at the club at 3:00 pm (the tv above the bar silently broadcasting the big football game) and as of 11:25 pm NYC time, there are bands still playing, including the band of a former Ramone, and Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith's long-time guitarist.  And right this moment, Walter Lure of The Heartbreakers is on with his band The Waldos.  For those of you who don't know, The Heartbreakers featured at various times, Richard Hell and the legendary Johnny Thunders.  They were one of the most interesting bands to come out of the CBGB's scene.

Blah, blah, blah.

Incidentally, many of the stories I've been working on are directly inspired by rock music.  Fun to use as inspiration, but hard to make work.  Can I pull it off?  I still don't know.

The Continental is an old East Village club, tunnel-shaped like CBGB.  
Can I tell you how much I love photographing people playing music?  Can I?

Kid in front of me had taken the trouble to create a classic spiked hairdo.
A lot of time and effort and it's so anachronistic, that I bow to it..

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Inspiration: Leaving the "House"--(actually, apartment)

Late, agonizing start, but I made my way to a new cafe I'd been avoiding for no good reason, especially after finding out that outlets abound there.  Like a dizzying array of outlets.  Why had I been ignoring their outlets?  Another plus, beautiful, generous cups.  The photo I took of mine would not upload.  Look for it later!

Later, I realized there was an art opening I indicated on Fb I was going to attend . . . and I actually attended!  I knew one of the artists, so it was fun to go up to the artist and say, "Hi!"

Okay, this month I'm working towards a late Jan deadline.  Some story submissions.  I really need to focus.  Putting that out there.
Hey, Kate Moss just turned 40!
The photographer 

Mónika Sziládi

whose work I saw tonight at Smack Mellon

My friend Rob Hickman made this long, mirrored pyramid panel

Inspiration: Impromptu Art Openings While Walking Numbly to the Grocery Store

Not that it's so amazing, but this doesn't happen everywhere,  can't happen just anywhere; just saying, you'd have to be on foot for it to happen, and I don't take it for granted.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Inspiration: Sandwich Board Humor/Comic Clothing

The low-hanging fruit of my neighborhood.

And thinking about Lara at Sundance.  Wondering what she will wear.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Inspiration: Artists Who Never Stop Making Art

After Mission Cantina, we went to see my friend's boyfriend's band Pak.  I told Lara they're Sabbath meets Pollack.  Jackson, not Sydney. Pollack's thrown around too easily, isn't he?

Anyway, going out for many hours on a school night and then working today forced me into a slumber for two hours.  Still much to do this evening, including a fun lice comb out on a child.  The above will be my soundtrack.

Inspiration: Too Busy Livin' for Blogging

I have a crush on the celebrity chef at Mission Cantina.  See him here?  Back of him?  The James Beard award winner?  Wearing the gray tee?
In the baseball cap is my friend who just moved back to NYC after eight years in LA!  How lucky am I?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Inspiration: Taking Pictures with My Dumb Phone Everyday

Dinner tonight from a Sikh-run take-out.  Cheap, tasty Indian food whipped up in this tiny step-down joint.
So I'm trying to get a big thing done this month: a fellowship application with a end-Jan deadline.

And I'm going to boldly say in front of Goddess and everyone (in uncharacteristic style):  I really, really want this.  They give out nine a year.  So I'm trying to make a story good enough to submit. With parallel grammatical construction like the one of the first two sentences of this post, I can't lose!
I wonder if the millennials in this cafe are tiring of my lumbering middle-aged body, taking up space.

Who cares?  Look under the dome!--you can barely see the fresh gingery jam danishes imported from this cafe's mothership, Goat Town

Inspiration: Gallery Gazing

I stared at performance art through the window of Participant Gallery.  Ten bucks to get you into this thing, where the-uh-participants alternately jumped.

Dropped into an art opening tonight.  I decided I enjoy taking pictures of people looking at art.

And I like the way there dark clothes stand out against the stark gallery walls.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inspiration: Witch Camp, OMG!

At one point, Isis on the left took me in a long, cooing embrace--with a plastic horse pressed into my back.
Just returned from some truly inspired, intelligent and hilarious, mildly interactive super off-Broadway theater:  Witch Camp, part of the Special Effects festival. In January, this town is lousy with little stage fests.

That music stand is upside down from the vibrations of the two Isis Blacks' rousing performance of Zepp's "The Battle of Evermore, during with Isis on the left struck poses with a large carving knife.  Music slid from the stand to the floor.  Plus, Justin Vivian Bond was tucked in the back of the audience.

The video below's from the Witch Camp Fb page, not from tonight's performance (I snuck several photos, like the one above), but will give you an idea. I haven't listened yet. It make take hours to come down from my Witch Camp high.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Inspiration: Walking and Stopping

Shoe store window

Men's shelter window

Stopping for this blue cup

Golden Cadillac serves '70s-inspired food here, like Steak Diane

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Inspiration: Heavy Metal Still Life

This little tart had carmelized onions, carmelized Brussels sprouts and squash.  This is my first time with this little tart at this cafe, which usually has almost nothing one could use for a small dinner.

Although I'm told there will be more.

That cap there I wear all the time, especially in this weather.   The hat's not from here.  The Heavy Metal Shop is in Salt Lake City.  It's owned by a good person.  You should shop there.

What I've been doing with my days and some of my nights in this downtime between semesters is working on stories--working towards a couple of fun-to-consider deadlines.  I'm not ashamed to say that heavy metal is important in many of my stories, especially today's story, which was written in 2012--it's still a toddler!--and pulled it out and have been revising for weeks.  I think tonight I figured this story out.

Not sure.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Inspiration: Good literature/Good litter

Well, I wrote my first book review of 2014. For some reason, I take my Goodreads account very seriously: The UnnamedThe Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Out of the blue, Tim Farnsworth is forced by his body to walk. This compulsion comes and goes over the arc of his life, but mostly comes, stays, and upends everything--Tim's successful trial lawyer gig, his family, his body, and his mind. Tim's decline and eventual demise becomes a metaphor for the rapidly decaying world, too. This bummer of a book is deftly told, elegaic, so I'm throwing it an extra star. I loved Ferris' first novel, Then We Came to An End. This second book takes more circuitous routes to get there.

View all my reviews
My favorite city litter are these Greek diner cups. They've been the staple coffee server in NY Greek diners since the city was bankrupt and even before, probably. This one I found impaled on a fence, old school Medieval style. All my images seem to be coffee related lately. Hmmm.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Inspiration: Eight Degrees

I'm not anti-polar vortex.

The weather today reminded me that my grandmother, a few years before she died, knit me this tremendous neck cuff (kind of an Elizabethan neck ruff) at my request.  She used the finest wool in all of Utah County.
I've been spending a lot of time in this corner, my laptop wedged on a ledge not built for laptops. Go elsewhere with your new fangled writing machine, the ledge says.

I'm here because no internet.

The year is one week old.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Inspiration: Dirty Coffee Cup and Work

El Rey on El Dia de los Reyes

I actually alternated between two beverages.  Two identical coffee cups.

It had been a hard morning.

Working helps.  Working good.  Good place.  Hot things to drink.  And an apple turnover.

Hemingway, do you have to be so on?:  
"It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived init and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada. 
[. . .]
'No, thank you,' said the waiter and went out. He disliked bars and bodegas. A clean, well-lighted cafe was a very different thing."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Inspiration: Tiny Objects for the Table

The smallest vase.  Little flowers in January.  Lipgloss in the distance.

A hand pinched salt cellar holding its own against the table's vastness
I am done eating for awhile.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Inspiration: Radishes

French breakfast radishes and chunks of parmesan to greet you at the table instead of a basket of bread.  Hello, radishes!

Think about how delightful it would be to have these frisbeed in front of you.  I exclaimed with joy.

Or are you a bread person?

Already the year is looking a little street snow dirty.  It happens so fast.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Inspiration: Lovely Coffee Cup

The new year's just a baby, but its third day was about all of us in this city waking up to snow and such dramatic cold there was no school.  No work.

I got up and put one shirt on over another.  My only pair of tights with wool and leg warmers the color of a composition notebook.

My sidewalk wasn't shoveled and I liked the sound under my old boots.  I made my way through the park; the inside of my sunglasses steamed up.

I remembered that there was a brand new coffee shop--as new as the year--called Box Kite.

Look!  Here's me sitting in front of my Box Kite mug.  Isn't it just . . . so beautiful?  Snow colored. And, you can't see it, but the handle is open ended.

Look!  Below another song about winter written and sung by another dead '60s/'70s singer songwriter dude.  I can't get enough.