Archive for October, 2008


Posted in Uncategorized on 20 October 2008 by ms. v

From the new preface to In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, by William H. Gass, a book recommended to me in the spring, searched for in used bookstores for months after, and found, tonight, on a table in the Strand, just when I’d forgotten all about it:

Perhaps it is the case with many fabrications, but I am struck by how easily they might not have been at all; how really unreasonably provisional their entire existence is. The same for us all, you say? aren’t we accidents of genes and conditions of acidity ourselves, of elemental woove and wovvle? the product of opportunity and inclination, simple negligence and malice? Yes. O. Yes. Of course. But we burgeon as easily as water falls. We grow meanly like a cancer. Wasted acres testify to the undiminished requirements of our needs. Suppose it were otherwise, and a mother had to make her child’s every cell. How many of us, in that case, would reach complete existence?



Posted in Uncategorized on 13 October 2008 by ms. v

Lately, all I want to do is decorate, and throw dinner parties. Really.

Never mind that my intuition for decorating is about on a par with my soccer skills (but I scored a goal yesterday! so maybe this time I will get things looking nice).

I want deep, rich colors for winter; I have lovely light green and robin’s egg placemats and matching taper candleholders but those ought to be retired now in favor of scarlet or ruby, turquoise, chocolate.

I am in search of a few serving platters, an end table that will hide a litterbox, a table lamp to sit on the end table. I wandered around Crate & Barrel tonight just taking in tall bookshelves and glass-doored cabinets, a bamboo bedside stand, bright batik-y duvet covers and lighter, Japanese-inspired duvet covers with a pattern of pale silver leaves. Two-tiered serving dishes, dishes with three small square compartments, trestle desks.

A cozy little home in a village surrounded by all my friends on an island just a ferryboat ride away from the big city… wouldn’t that be perfect?

Dear god.


Posted in Uncategorized on 13 October 2008 by ms. v

Broadway-Lafayette, nearly 8 pm, slim tall girl, blond hair, facing the F tracks, headphones, tracing out dance moves with her toes on the platform concrete, a little shake of her hip every so often. We all stare — me, a Chinese woman with multiple shopping bags, a twenty-something man in a cowboy hat and a red muppets t-shirt.


Posted in Uncategorized on 12 October 2008 by ms. v

I scored a goal today, in soccer.

It was an accident, but lucky accidents are still lucky.

I had lost my interest in soccer, thanks to being so sick and missing last week’s game and then not exercising at all this week. I felt lumpen, slow — and so easily winded. But I made myself go, anyway — how often in life do we just have to make ourselves, and then everything turns out all right — and when the game was over, I wished we had another 30 minutes to play.

(That despite forgetting to bring shorts, which necessitated an emergency trip to Strawberry. Thank goodness for New York City, where buying shorts at 5 pm on a Sunday was absolutely possible).


Posted in Uncategorized on 11 October 2008 by ms. v

Black humor. Time to hide the money under the mattress, we joke. I went shopping after the crash, we joke. It’s better than people killing themselves. A friend says there’s an awareness that panic creates panic, that’s why people aren’t killing themselves this time around.

Unreality: some people are really suffering, but they aren’t people I know. My kids’ families were too poor to have bought houses — though perhaps some who moved away moved because they had a new mortgage in the suburbs, and I hope beyond hope that they keep their houses — and my friends either don’t own or are responsible, good-credit buyers.

Interconnectedness: over and over again, I see that this is where people can’t get it right. Things that are very big, very small, totally isolated, those we understand. Things that happen on the scale of organisms, days and weeks, those we have so little grasp of: weather, human health, ecology. And now financial markets. If you know we’re all connected, you can’t let the banks fail. But you can ask how things got to where they are now, with all of us at risk, and why some rich people might still benefit, in the longterm.

Third choices, and fourth: What struck me was the lack of something to be for, when the country was considering the bailout. Bailout, or don’t, were the only options presented. Where were the thinkers coming up with another idea, something you could be for and still feel okay about your stance?

Now what?


Posted in Uncategorized on 11 October 2008 by ms. v

Writing every day has the not-hard-to-predict effect of making blogging on one’s own time a bit less appealing. But I’m still here. Many quotations that I wanted to post, a handful of pictures, a few small stories. In the end, I’m more a do-er than a chronicler. Would rather be in it than observe it. And this despite spending 1/3 of my time writing and reflecting, all my life.