Archive for November, 2009


Posted in Uncategorized on 28 November 2009 by ms. v

I used to dream I was falling. I’d be swinging on one end of a long, long rope, and I’d look up all of a sudden and see that the other end was not connected to anything and then I’d be falling, my stomach in my throat, just hurtling downwards until I woke with a gasp.

I used to dream I was trapped in spiderwebs. I’d wake up still feeling them brushing my face, arms, chest, tightening as I struggled, cotton-soft, strangling.

There are times now when I lie awake feeling just as disconnected, just as trapped.



Posted in Uncategorized on 23 November 2009 by ms. v

John Francis at TED, on deciding not to ride or drive motorized vehicles anymore, and on 17 years of listening and not speaking, and on returning to speaking, and returning to using motorized vehicles again:

And I know that a lot of timeswe find ourselves in this wonderful place where we’ve gotten to, but there’s another place for us to go. And we kind of have to leave behind the security of who we’ve become, and go to the place of who we are becoming. And so, I want to encourage you to go to that next place, to let yourself out of any prison that you might find yourself in, as comfortable as it may be, because we have to do something now. We have to change now.


Posted in Uncategorized on 22 November 2009 by ms. v

I am always trying to find the right balance of recklessness and routine. Not that I am all that reckless, it’s just little things like living on 5 hours of sleep for a few nights. As for routine, I do find it meditative to wake up early on a Saturday, make coffee, and work on a translating a story for Spanish book club for an hour or two. Doing both seems difficult.


Posted in Uncategorized on 18 November 2009 by ms. v

Student, to another student: You look down. Did your goldfish die?

Me: Do you know that he has a goldfish?

Student: No, but my goldfish died.

Me: I’m sorry! Did it happen recently?

Student: No, about five or six years ago.


Posted in Uncategorized on 15 November 2009 by ms. v

From Billy Collins, “Nostalgia,” found here:

Remember the 1340’s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Read the whole thing. I’d quote the last stanza but I think it’s best read in its wry whole.


Posted in Uncategorized on 12 November 2009 by ms. v

He has no more than one dollar in his pocket, and he goes down to Atlantic City. He puts that dollar in the slot machine, and he plays all night. So I’m telling you this just to say, if you’re meant to win, you’ll win. That’s all I called you for.

Overheard leaving the subway at Atlantic-Pacific. A woman in a green uniform, sweeping the steps and talking on her cell phone.


Posted in Uncategorized on 10 November 2009 by ms. v

Our kitchen smells moist, sour, green. I noticed the smell yesterday morning and wondered if something was going sweetly, pungently bad, perhaps in the fruit basket or the trashcan or stowed on a shelf. But I couldn’t find any rotting fruit and the smell, itself, telegraphed ripeness, not rot.

In the evening the smell was there again, in tendrils as I walked down the hall and then the full body of it. Again, I looked around, more certain this time that I wasn’t just stumbling around in the memory of a dream. Over time, as I cooked dinner, the smell faded, masked by the onions and peppers I was chopping, by the smell of oil on the griddle, and by the body’s ability to adapt to and filter a stimulus.

Later, talking to my roommates, I suddenly looked more closely at the little green apples in the fruit basket. I picked one up; it was not an apple. I held it up to my face and inhaled. The sharp sour scent hit my senses first, then a flood of sweeter scents. Guavas.