16 9 / 2014

It’s about time to start considering Halloween costumes. 

I reveal to you my google-doc list, below; though I shan’t make a decision just yet:

lemur

tentacle face

 

mermaid

something with scales

 

umbrella bat

whisk

I don’t know that I can go as “tentacle face,” particularly not since I think my dog-friend theladytimothy might be going as “puggoth.” 

16 9 / 2014

What am I up to? Waiting for Mr. Z and for the completion of our roast chicken dinner, cooling off in my underpants after bundling up for a bruised-sky, cool-rainy day. I wore my boots for the first time since summer began; marking an ending and a beginning. I bought ginger cookies at a bake sale. 

The light coming into the apartment is now pink-orange. M the orange cat is sniffing near the fragrant oven. I’m thinking about when to plant the sprig of ivy I’ve got rooting in my ladybug mug, on my counter. I’m thinking about making cookies that contain buttered popcorn, from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook

I’m up to all manner of idle thoughts. 

14 9 / 2014

Much nesting and snuggling and baking going on this weekend. Mr. Z and I put some pieces of art on our walls this afternoon, adding familiar form and texture to their blankness. 

These are challenging decisions: how and where and in what combination to mar the walls’ perfection with our mementoes. Especially the silly mementoes.

My favorite houses are nearly wall-to-wall memento/picture/souvenir/doodah, and while naturally I want to avoid clutter, I cannot resist the urge to surround myself with images.

Much nesting and snuggling and baking going on this weekend. Mr. Z and I put some pieces of art on our walls this afternoon, adding familiar form and texture to their blankness.

These are challenging decisions: how and where and in what combination to mar the walls’ perfection with our mementoes. Especially the silly mementoes.

My favorite houses are nearly wall-to-wall memento/picture/souvenir/doodah, and while naturally I want to avoid clutter, I cannot resist the urge to surround myself with images.

13 9 / 2014

Cooler weather has driven me into the kitchen. Last night I turned leftover broccoli-cheese rice and a couple of eggs into fritters of truly incredible quality (my dear foolish friend and husband did not wish to share them, which was just as well). Right now the scent of cocoa brownies wafts tantalizingly out of my oven (friends got birthdays, yo!). And I’ll probably bake something else tomorrow—I volunteered to help supply a charity bake sale.

Earlier today I took a halfhearted yog through the cool, verdant park. With me there today were a far greater-than-usual number of ladies in tight or flowy exercise outfits, carrying telltale cylindrical satchels, for they were attending a festival of yogging and yogaing and meditation. I hope it didn’t get rained out, though I had a great time watching the rain (and the squirrels hiding therefrom) when I came back home, whilst my brownies baked. 

Group exercise / meditation is worthwhile, but today was a day for indoor noodling, for applying fancy eye makeup for nothing, for snuzzling kitties, staring off into space, and for drinking a pot of coffee and at 4:30 switching to beer. 

12 9 / 2014

A GLOSSY moment yesterday, right where Tribeca meets Soho.

A GLOSSY moment yesterday, right where Tribeca meets Soho.

11 9 / 2014

What constitutes a public health emergency? A perspective published today on the New England Journal of Medicine’s website explores this question through an example from earlier this year: in March, the Massachusetts governor “declared the state’s opioid-addiction epidemic a public health emergency.” This declaration is now of course shadowed by the ongoing Ebola outbreak, a clearly emergent situation in a place without immediate resources (much less “rainy day” funds). The NEJM piece explores the legal powers that a state of public health emergency breaks open.

On a far lighter and somewhat related note, native Massachusettsian Judge John Hodgman has returned from a late-summer hiatus to dispense internet justice in a typically frivolous (tho always entertaining) dispute, between a charming woman who calls herself “Stand” and her aged father. Stand has traveled to Norway to study “Health Promotion,” a public-healthish field that seeks to identify and broadly encourage the determinants of a healthy life; her father hesitates to leave the comforts and dragon statuary of his Whidbey Island hideaway and make the long trek to visit her there.

That dad’s own Washington state is one site of continuing tension between state and federal law and the medical (and recreational) uses of marijuana (see another NEJM perspective [and intelligent audio commentary] on this issue). It’s good for me, whose attention to legal matters seldom strays beyond the courtroom of hodgman, to read and think about these things. As connectivity increases, privacy dwindles, populations grow, and bionic body parts become commonplace (sign me up for new feet and teeth, at least!), I anticipate the intersection of medicine and policy will increase in importance, and I suppose it could go all kinds of creepy ways. I hope it doesn’t. Take care of yourselves, y’all.

10 9 / 2014

The older I get, the longer I live, the more I learn about how live-throughable anxiety is, and about ways to help myself do that. But it’s never easy, and I find I want so badly for things to be easy, for things to work smoothly, and—especially—for people to like me. I’d give myself a hundred hard times to avoid making others feel I gave them one, and that’s rather a hard habit to break.

But I’m trying to develop better habits, learning to identify and ask for what I want and to be patient with discomfort, which latter is helped by noticing what’s going on around me, talking to people, and by breathing, of course.

This morning I rode the train next to a still and seemingly quite dignified young man wearing a pinstriped button-up shirt and blue jeans. He had pale blue eyes and delicate features, and I noticed a slender and misshapen pale stick (a piece of ginger?) poking out of his right pocket. By degrees I realized with glee that it was a banana, but I hadn’t the courage to joke with him about it. 

Beyond noticing that banana (and really, what a dangerous place to keep such fragile fruit), I’ve spent a lot of today, like yesterday, keeping myself distracted. Working, thinking about things to bake, worrying about ways in which I am disappointing others, shushing those worries with Chinese food and podcasts and WORD WELDER, taking a walk or two, talking to the cats, etc. 

09 9 / 2014

Lately I’ve been casting about for distraction. Last night I finally watched A Piece of Work, 2010 documentary about the late, extraordinarily driven Joan Rivers, while drinking whiskey and painting my fingernails. I first encountered her on E! as a kid, where I found her baffling and not a little unsavory but surely hard to ignore. After that I dawdled about and fantasized (not for the first time) about owning a waffle iron (o, the things you can waffle!). 

Tonight I made chicken dinner (sans waffles) and find myself unable to focus on anything, particularly not this blob. Try as I might, I can’t find the shoes for me on the internet. I keep scrolling for things to read and not reading anything. I suppose there’s nothing for it but to put some other brains’ thoughts in my ears in the form of a podcast, and go to bed. 

08 9 / 2014

I spent some time today reading about luciferase, the enzyme responsible for bioluminescence in fireflies and other glowable life forms. It’s a useful component of temporary and cruel children’s jewelry and in a variety of biological assays; it is named after Lucifer, bringer of light. 

My thoughts wandered to Iowa today, too, where green expanses turn black and electrified by night in summer. This summer is waning—that’s not news—and I spent too few evenings of it out walking where fireflies roam. They roam close by, in Prospect Park, but mostly I visit the park by day.

07 9 / 2014

A poem for nighttime, by Kenneth Patchen.

A poem for nighttime, by Kenneth Patchen.