Monday, July 31, 2006
Yesterday Y and I went to Jones Beach early. It was beautiful, though hot, and the sandflies were obnoxious. The water felt great. I left shortly after noon, as the sun got too hot and the beach was getting mobbed. When we got back, Tuna started having a very bad coughing attack. I sat with him and helped him sit up and petted him until he started to relax. His breathing was very bad and even when it settled it was still labored, much more than I have ever seen it before. So this morning I took him the vet. Dr N gave him a shot for a possible asthma situation; she said that if he does not respond he must come back but that I should prepare for the worst, as breathing problems like this in an old cat are very worrisome. He can't have an xray or tests to check his heart because of his age and condition. So today we will have a nice day in the cool of the air-conditioning (it is very hot again). I feel numb right now but I am hoping for the best. But he does not look well and he is breathing with some difficulty still.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
American officials say that while the Arab leaders need to take a harder line publicly for domestic political reasons, what matters more is what they tell the United States in private, which the Americans still see as a wink and a nod.Israel has got to stop pounding Lebanon. There has to be another way. What does fighting accomplish? I am sad these days because of what is happening in the world. When did things start to go so wrong? I don't think it was 9/11. Bush took 9/11 and used it as an excuse to set in motion what might very well turn out to be the war to end all wars. I hope he suffers into eternity. Him and all his cohorts, fools.
(from THE NEW YORK TIMES today)
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
It is hardly that there is a lack of things to do here in the city, but I am disinclined to go out much because I really suffer in the heat. I am not, as I have written before, constitutionally fit for it, never have been.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I slept so much that I was wide awake at 2:30 am. So I didn't fight it, just got up and read OEDIPUS AT COLONUS and played backgammon on the computer.
Monday, July 24, 2006
I joined Netflix. I have been viewing lots of films. Yesterday I watched THE HOURS. Meryl Streep was wonderful, as always. Her character, also, was deep, so she had a lot to work with. I wish that I could make the same claim for Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf. Her portrayal of the depressed Woolf consisted mostly of squinting at some vague point a few feet in front of her pinched face. I had fun imitating her later. She also liked to hold her head at a strange stiff angle. I think that Ed Harris was supposed to be unbearable to watch, but he was unbearable more for his overacting. When Julianne Moore appears as the elderly mother of Ed Harris's character, the makeup job is so bad that she looks far more like a burn victim than an aged version of the woman we saw earlier. I kept studying her, trying to find it a convincing transformation. Couple that with Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose, and what do you have? And then there was Philip Glass's maudlin score that just intruded all over the place. How on earth did Nicole Kidman win an academy award for this? Yikes.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Finally the weather is decent. I was going stir-crazy the last few days, staying in, working at home, but dreading extended outdoor excursions because the stifling mugginess makes me crazy. This morning, though, it is quite cool, although still humid.
Friday, July 21, 2006
First, please don't think I wrote that letter to the editor in yesterday's TIMES that I posted.
Yesterday I was a whirlwind of activity. I made some real progress on the music for OEDIPUS and, in addition, I thoroughly cleaned the kitchen, rearranging things to get more of my counterspace (which is limited, to say the least). I was energetic but wore myself out and could hardly wake up this morning. So I missed my swim which I had scheduled for 8 am. Damn.
The best thing is that finally I am getting a clearer vision of how the music will sound (pardon the mixed metaphor if that is what it is) and also how it will fit into the concepts of the play. Being able to think clearly helps.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
From today's NEW YORK TIMES opinion page:
Questioning the “proportionality” of the Israeli response to attacks on its citizens mimics the absurd notion echoing in European capitals.
Would it satisfy the Europeans if more Jews were killed or wounded, thus making the casualty count more quantitatively symmetrical?
Have military victories historically been achieved when a country responds to aggression with only the exact measure of force leveled at it and no more?
Finally, if missiles and rockets were landing in your living room, just exactly how much force would you like to see directed at the bad guys to make them stop?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Years ago I taught the son of a very famous composer. The kid had no time whatsoever. He was utterly ordinary, even defective, musically speaking. Yet his father seemed clueless; he was actually delusional about his son's talent. Or maybe it was just parental excitement and support. Maybe I read too much into such things. Yet his son ended up a musician, a pop musician. Connections are everything, especially when talent is negligible.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The heat suffocates me. My head aches. I try to work, but I can't concentrate. I am going stir-crazy from being inside, but it is too hot to stay out for long. This morning I had to move the car. The guy in front of me sat in his car for an hour with the engine running and his AC on, polluting the air and making things hotter. My head aches. I try to work, but I can't concentrate. I am going stir-crazy. I sleep, but fitfully. My head aches.
Even with the air-conditioners thrumming their constant thrum I can feel the heat pressing against the walls, trying to creep in past the tightly-shut windows, under the door. Even though it is slightly past their dinner time, Tuna, Patsy and Mabel sleep, stupefied.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I grew up with the weight of this tragedy hanging in the air, rarely spoken of but always present. Their is a sadness in many of my cousins, who are first-generation Americans, children of holocaust survivors. There are horror stories which no one wants to recall. My family lived in a different kind of place; there were almost no Jews and no one's aunts and uncles had tattoos, numbers inked on their forearms. So I was different from my extended family, and different from the people at home.
My feeling about Israel is so complex. Why shouldn't the Jews have a place to be safe, after the majority of them were exterminated while so many did nothing? Why shouldn't they fight for their lives now? The world must never forget, even if those idiots who claim that the Holocaust is fiction, that six million Jews were not killed? Did they just disappear?
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 70.
Yesterday I was going to go to the beach. But it was cloudy. Instead I saw "The Devil Wears Prada." Meryl Streep is amazing.
It was hot today. Tomorrow will be hotter. It will be one of those days where I would rather stay indoors, although I do go stir crazy. And the air-conditioner is making me feel sick.
Friday, July 14, 2006
I had planned to get work done today but the situation with Israel is distracting me and upsetting me. I sympathize with Israel because I am a Jew and Jews have been persecuted for ages, but I can't condone the level of violence that Israel is inflicting on civilians in Lebanon. The world is spiraling into insanity.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
So Thierry, I am lucky that we met and I am lucky that we have become friends. And Mabel said goodbye for me, even if I did not do it so well.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I parked my car and began the long wait, Mabel by my side, with the TIMES to read. I felt a bump as a Jeep hit my back bumper while parking in the smallish space behind me. Such things are typical, and I paid it no mind. Suddenly I heard a car door slam and an enraged voice yelling "you hit my f-cking car, you motherf-cker. You hit my f-cking car. You f-cking piece of shit." And so on. If you didn't listen carefully, all you heard was "f-cking f-ck f-cking f-ck." I looked out my window and saw that the Jeep was occupied by an older Latino guy, the super of a building nearby. He is a calm quiet guy with whom I have a nodding acquaintance since we often park near each other. The yelling was from the guy behind him in a huge ugly Escalade with blacked-out windows. The guy had gotten out of his car. He was what we call a "Guido." Black hair slicked back, sweating forehead, deep suntan, Gucci loafers, an expensive watch. He was screaming that his car was a "sixty-five thousand dollar car" and so on. I got out, mostly to be a witness in case he started a fight. I got between him and the super. I told him to chill out. I said that the bump was harmless, that the jeep had bumped my car too and that he should park in a garage. He said to me "I have two garages. This is a $65,000 car. I hate this f-cking shit" and so I walked away. I decided to move to another block. I noticed, later, that the Jeep had moved also. The Escalade was still there.
What would he say if he got back to his car and someone had let the air out of his tires?
Monday, July 10, 2006
Patsy has taken on a new air of dignity. Just two weeks ago she was a wild and impetuous one, rampaging around and behaving like a kitten. On July 2 she became one year old (although I invented the birthday, because her actual birthday is unknown, at least to me). I think she is following in Pomona's footsteps as a lady of elegance, grace and regal bearing. She also loves to be photographed, and poses quite nicely for the camera.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Going home the traffic sucked. We would have made it home far faster by train. And I had a splitting headache, I was starving (I had not eaten yet and it was 3:30 pm) and I had to piss so badly I thought I'd explode.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Tuna has spent most of his time the last few days lying next to the door to the apartment. He is waiting for Pomona to return.
When I got in just a short while ago a squirrel was darting around the hallway.
Saturday I had a panic attack waiting for the Staten Island ferry. Y and I were going to take a ride, for some diversion. The crowded waiting area freaked me out.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I grew up with a vast assortment of pets. My family was notorious. My cousin once told me that she always thought of us as living on a farm. Dogs, cats, horses, snakes, a guinea pig, hamsters, gerbils, on and on. I truly loved them all, but there are certain ones I bonded with in a unique way. In a lifetime (so far) of pets, Pomona is one who seemed to get inside my head. She was always at my side. When I played piano she sat in sphinx position next to me on the piano seat. After Mabel arrived, Pomona, ever the lady, was more dignified and let Mabel have a lot of my attention. But Pomona was always sitting discreetly nearby, and she would look me in the eyes and mouth a meow, a silent one.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I have had Pomona virtually my entire time here in New York. She was a sweet and elegant beauty, always dignified. Right now it is almost impossible for me to believe that she is no longer here, that she won't greet me when I come home with one of her beautiful chirping trills.