Thursday, June 26, 2008

shrinking and growing

I continue to lose weight for reasons I can't quite determine. I now weigh what I weighed in college. Odd. I am eating. Maybe it is because I am going to the gym almost every day, and I work myself into a frenzy. It's good for my head.

I had my hair cut today and my guy remarked that it is growing very fast lately. I wonder what it all means? I am physically shrinking yet my hair grows more quickly than ever. Hmmmmm.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Originally uploaded by madabandon.

I believe that Hammy is the reincarnation of Tuna. They have incredibly similar personalities. Hammy, like Tuna, loves parmesan cheese and olives, crackers and muffins and scones too. He is very affectionate and he loves Patsy and often cleans her just like Tuna used to do. And he has a high squeaky funny voice, just like Tuna did. And last but not least, he is HUGE. And Tuna was one of the biggest cats I have ever known.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

do not enter

white door

Most people view me as a productive person with a busy career. And I suppose it is true. I view myself as a person who spends a lot of energy devising strategies to ward off the ever-looming depression that tries to sabotage me. Today, for example, I have been keeping busy: I finally completed transferring all my files from my old computer to this one; I reorganized the many scores that are stored on my various hard drives; I am now working on my tabla piece, slowly but steadily. But the whole day I feel the shadow overhead and I know that if I let up I am going to get slammed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008



I wish that I were not in the city today. I wish to be in the woods, alone. Well, Mabel could come with me. That would be fine.

Friday, June 20, 2008


This is a picture of my teacher. I miss him. Today I heard an interview, or a clip of an interview, on WNYC. The author who was being interviewed made a statement about being a writer that, in tone and even in vocal timbre, sounded eerily like Ralph. At first I was freaked out, as if Ralph himself was speaking directly to me in my apartment. But Ralph died almost six years ago. I miss him, but I feel that he is very much alive because my memories of him are so vivid, and the things he taught me--so many things--are so alive in my mind.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008



As a boy I loved growing plants, indoors and out. I was in charge of our vegetable garden in the summer; as I got older and took over the garden got larger and larger. I also worked as a gardener, mostly for some wealthy friends of my mother who had no kids; they had fastidiously landscaped ground surrounding their posh modern house, and I took care of the plantings and even planted some large shrubs and an asparagus garden (this is rather complex). I loved the work.

Well now I am on the board of directors of my builidng (a co-op, common in NYC) and I have taken on management of the garden as one of my projects. We have a wonderful gardener and I am excited to be able to get back to plants and all the work that goes with them. My light-filled apartment is not so great for most house plants, because my exposure is northeast, and I don't get enough full sun for most houseplants. Those that can grow get eaten or destroyed by Patsy and Hammy. But in my sun-filled apartment in Chicago I had a veritable jungle.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

so what

stoop (detail)

This corner, this small detail, brings back a flood of memories as intense as the torrents of rain that are smashing against my windows as I write this.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


from the train

Someone emailed me recently and expressed that she did not know how I did it, seeing another class graduate; most of the students I have known for many years. How I must feel like I am losing some piece of myself each year. And in thinking about it, she is right. I have always been torn up at the end of the year. There are people I will truly miss. I like to think that I will see them all again, and I certainly will see some. But others...

Some years ago, not long after I met Y, I began work on a piece that I see as continually in progress; I wrote a tiny parable about a man who, upon waking infested with fleas, swims straight out in the ocean, toward the sun. Little did I know then that this is a parable that is true for me. I will probably never complete the piece, just as the man will never reach the sun.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

summer is here (almost)

Originally uploaded by madabandon.

I know that summer is here because I have had to turn on my air-conditioners. There is a price to pay for top-floor living in NYC. For the privilege of not having people walking around over your head, and for the unobstructed view, one pays with higher electric bills. My building is about 90 years old; there is no insulation between my ceiling the roof. The roof is painted silver to reflect the sun, but still once the temperature tops 80F for a few days it heats up. I don't have much cross-ventilation, so on goes the A/C. I am reasonable and try to keep the thermostat up at 75F. And did you know that in a co-op the higher the floor the higher the monthly maintenance charge? If I lived a few floors down I would pay a few hundred dollars less per month.