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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

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1:50 a.m. - 2014-07-11
Quiet Time

It had been so long since I even cued up D-land that it was waaaaay down my browser history. Like taking an anorexic to an all-you-can-eat buffet Andrew is making money off me this year, the Sage Page ain't using much of his space.

Oh for certain things happened. Wolf had his 17th birthday. And Mick his 55th. The kid spent a weekend at his aunt's house and the grown-ups used to the alone time for rompy sex and a trip into the city to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mick had never been before and to say he was wowed is the grossest of understatements. As always when I am there I thought of Claudia and Jamie and sighed a bit over how their grand adventure could not possibly happen now in this age of motion sensors and CCTV. It was a hoot to introduce Mick to the work of Hieronymus Bosch. A big fan of the 20th century Surrealists he was stunned by this baddest of surrealist badasses. A master who had lived and worked almost 600 years before Dali and his silly mustache ever made the scene. I startled Mick by crying over a Vermeer. An earlier study of Girl with Pearl Earring she was just so beautiful she broke my heart. Truly though it was all of it, this amazing place, acres and acres filled with all these wonderful things that people had made. Without a doubt I love the Museum of Natural History, it's a wonder and one of my favorite places, but the Met? It's more wonderful. Because it's a magnificent repository of everything clever and beautiful we monkeys with pants have brought into being. Nothing in the Met was just there, something lying around on the ground until someone collected it and put it a diorama, all the treasures in this museum are craft. They are work, and thought, and sweat and talent, and care. Love. Even the weapons of war were made with love. There was no need for a sword to be etched and inlaid with gems, it would kill somebody just as well if it were naked steel. The talent, the care, the attention to detail, the joy. To make a thing and put into it more than what was just essential, to make beauty when there was no need for beauty to have something do its job, this is what made me cry. People are so often cruel and petty and selfish and violent, yet here was this place full of beauty.

It gives me hope. A species that can rape and murder and invent the atomic bomb, that we can also sculpt, compose, and paint, and have the brains in our heads to collect all those beautiful things and put them in a building where anybody can come and see them and marvel. This is a Very Good Thing indeed.

The other thing I came away with from our recent trip into the city was this...

I like the train trip home. Going in I'm always too antsy to get there already (!) to put much thought into the journey, but the train ride home serves as a necessary and welcome decompression chamber. After a day spent in my most favorite city and diving headlong into its powerful assault on the senses the return to my poky bucolic home is quite lovely. First there is the anxious crush in the bowels of Penn Station. About half the people taking the Metro-North trains need to go to Secaucus to get their real train home (as we do) and the frantic scrum to cram onto the already packed connector train for the 10 minute sprint into Secaucus junction is nerve-wracking but pretty funny. Then once in Secaucus there's usually enough time to use the can, grab a slice at Sbarro's or a coffee at DD and rest your weary feet (and mind!) before getting on the Bergen line back home. The express trains are faster, but oy, the local runs are tedious! With a stop coming every 200 feet or so in every squidgy doink of a place between Secaucus and the NJ-NY border, feh, but once back in NY the trip is always sweet. There's five stations between the border and ours and between each stop the scenery gets greener and more rural until finally we get to the Mini-dunk station which is simply a roofed overhang, a glassed-in ticket kiosk, and a parking lot completely surrounded by cornfields and hay-grass meadows. Home. If we were truly ambitious we could hop off the platform, cross the tracks and follow the spur line down to our house which is a walk of just over 3/4s of a mile but knowing how pooped we'll be after a spree in the city we drive and leave the car in the mostly empty parking lot for the day. Oh how I love this place! And it never seems dearer than when I've been in the Big Apple for a day packed full of speed and people and tall buildings and street vendors and the scenery from a million movies made real. To leave the city and its stink- car exhaust, diesel fumes, metal, concrete, grease, pigeon poop, garbage, sweat, sewage, and a faintly electric smell that's actually more of a taste because it makes my fillings buzz and arrive back home to step off the train and breathe in a pungent lungful river scent, newly shorn grass, growing things, and in season freshly spread cow manure, well, it's just Heaven.

During these quiet weeks I've also been doing other things. Walking. To nowhere mostly. On the treadmill at the gym. I've been mastering roux. And learning the patience necessary for a good reduction. I've been having a spree with the most recent seasons of 'Say Yes to the Dress' and mourning the loss of my favorite consultant, Audrey. I've been reading and trying like mad to relax already and simply enjoy the fluffy witchy cozies by Heather Blake and stop being such a book snob. I've been working with my desk companion, Limón, a hand puppet with a vaguely Continental accent and amusing turn of phrase. Mick and I are still both pleasantly surprised we got through his two weeks off from work without a single fight. Wolf sat for his senior portraits. I was able to inject a badly needed chunk of change into the budget. Hit the restaurant supply store and had a nice chat with the owner whose son had just won the last season of 'Cupcake Wars'. She told me the food from the competition shows is donated to local shelters and such, which is a relief, as much as I enjoy cooking shows the waste seemed too gross to ignore. The seasonal living room on the front porch is getting a lot of use. The futon is quite comfy as is Mick's birthday rocking chair. We watch the hummingbirds at the feeder and flitting in the trumpet honeysuckle by the hour and are never bored. I expanded my collection of ankle-length skirts and scored a Jones of New York blazer for 70% off. (This girl cannot have too many well-tailored black blazers.) Today I got a new barbeque to replace my battered, rusted-out defeated old one and tomorrow will attempt to put the damn thing together without going mad or kidnapping an MIT student to decipher the assembly instructions for me. Rescheduled this month's haircut until August to give my cropped coif time to grow out long enough to have highlights done. Mick and I are duking it out with the state of New York tax assessor's office over some BS charge they came at us with from out of nowhere backdated to 2010. Right? Wait four years and then charge us interest on something you didn't tell us about until now? I think not, you chuckleheads.

What else? Let's see...having MIL over quite a bit, she's missing FIL something fierce. Gorging on cherries. Needed to reprimand the yard crew again. Finished cleaning out the cellar and offloaded half a ton of outgrown/unwanted/too stained to keep clothing. Everyone took a turn battling seasonal allergies. Wolf went to the nearby water park with his step-cousin, Jon. He's also been doggedly pursuing a job at the local Burger King. Mick started summer school and is surprised at how pleasant it is. There's a new principal and he's a mellow level-headed sort who thinks Mick and the other staff can do their jobs without micro-managing and fussing everyone half to death. New York State legalized medical marijuana and if MS isn't among the allowed illnesses I plan on developing a bad case of glaucoma (*coff*). I think I have a line on an electrician who might actually show up. Our luck with tradesmen has NOT been good. Tomorrow I plan on hitting the farmer's market in town, it's finally late enough in the season to be worthwhile.

As you can see it's been the usual mix of good and aggravating, but on the whole your laggardly blog friend is doing well.

Much love, ~LA

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