NauenThen

Taking a break

March 29, 2018

Off to Minnesota for a few days. Back to this on Monday. Happy Passover, Easter, April Fools Day, & spring.

Black Renaissance Noire

March 28, 2018

Tags: Quincy Troupe, Black Renaissance Noire

What a beautiful magazine is Black Renaissance Noire, published by NYU's Institute of African American Affairs. I was happy to be at the launch for the latest issue & hear a range of contributors: poet, fiction writer, artist, photographer. I haven't really dived in but previous issues I've read have been illuminating. Why not take a look?

Theater of Wonderment

March 27, 2018

So fun to see The Play That Goes Wrong with our nephew Mike & his 12-year-old son Graham, in New York for the first time. They sprung for the backstage tour—very illuminating to see how the magic happens! The play itself was not only hilarious but made you appreciate how much has to work for a play to go right.

Monday Quote

March 26, 2018

Tags: FP Adams, My Marriage A to Z

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory. —Franklin P(ierce) Adams

I guess you have to be old enough to figure this out. I remember when I realized that nothing was more responsible for my good marriage than my bad memory. Or as I put it in My Marriage A to Z, under the heading "Memory, Bad": Thanks to which, neither of us can remember for long the other's sins, wrongdoings and crimes. Why was I so angry in 1999? I have no idea! I do remember that we decided—consciously and unconsciously—that we're together no matter what.

Blintz-krieg

March 25, 2018

Tags: Orlin, Odessa, Veselka, B&H, Baltyk, Philip Whalen, Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

Now that Café Orlin is no more, I don't really have a go-to lunch place in the neighborhood. It has to be quiet & reasonably priced. I don't care if the food's not great, although it's better if it is. I'm meeting someone in a couple of days & the best we could come up with (more…)

Golden Gloves

March 23, 2018

Tags: Golden Gloves

Last-minute invite from my friend Alan to see some Golden Gloves boxing at the (fancy!) New York Athletic Club. A lot of the rounds were not that exciting—fighters without much technique & who tired out quickly. A couple were great.

There's that dumb expression in baseball (& probably other sports): He came to play. Well, didn't everyone come to play? But that was my first thought about one of the young men last night, Michael Calvin. He had his game plan, which was to hit hard and constantly, & it wasn't going to be interrupted by anything, least of all his opponent. Who gave up 55 seconds into the second round, the only fight that didn't go the full three rounds.

The best fight was the last, two actual fighters, with footwork and strategy. Dzhonibek Nazriev was somewhat the better fighter, but Michael Hughes had heart & definitely won the second round. I thought it could go either way, & it was the only split decision, with Nazriev winning.

I know boxing is frowned upon, but (more…)

So pretty

March 22, 2018

It was too beautiful to take a picture... I didn't want to get my phone wet so I didn't take a picture... It's too clear in my head to need a photo...

Really, the loveliest snow ever. Giant flakes, no wind, like Hollywood snow.

A few of my friends were happy—about as many as bitched about snow in Spring.

It wasn't even cold. (more…)

I was born!

March 21, 2018

I needed a "proof of birth" letter from the hospital I was born in, so I called McKennan now Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls. The very nice Julie was able to track it down for me with my name & not just "Baby Girl Nauen" because I had also had a tonsillectomy at McKennan. (more…)

Oh my

March 20, 2018

This glorious photo of the Great Smoky Mountains was taken by my old friend Shirley Willis Cooper. She's more like family, if that's the word for people you've known forever but rarely see. Her brother Steve I do see frequently, despite living hundreds of miles apart.

Monday Quote

March 19, 2018

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.
~ William Jennings Bryan, from "America's Mission" speech at the Washington Day banquet given by the Virginia Democratic Association, Washington, D.C., 1899

No irony today!

I do want to note that my home state of South Dakota (more…)

Rules for Buster

March 18, 2018

They're taped up right over his food so he has to see them every time he checks his bowl. So far, no noticeable results but I'm hopeful.

Return of the Naive

March 16, 2018

Yes! Lots of new poems!

Announcing it here, mostly to myself, so that I type 'em up & post any good ones.

I know there's some good lines.

And off I go. Another too-busy day!

The benefits of procrastination

March 15, 2018

I have so much to do that I don't even know where to start.

So I did laundry instead.

Yesterday & today.

Yesterday a bunch of towels that got soaked at my office because my water pitcher (tossed!) was leaking. Today my laundry from home.

I guess I'll go to the gym now, as I still have a few articles to write or edit.

Overheard

March 14, 2018

The pretty girls, man,
I can't say nothin' to them.

~ 1st Street, west of First Avenue, 9:30 p.m.

Is he talking to me?

Joe Brainard

March 13, 2018

A young couple is walking by as I'm about to put my key in my lock.

"It's a Joe Brainaird," the young woman says.

"It sure is," the young man says. "A Joe Brainard for sure."

I am so excited I almost stop them. I don't. A no brainer.

Monday Quote

March 12, 2018

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
—George Burns

The Economist credits Burns with this line & who am I to fact-check them. It feels very profound right now, in the midst of so much chaos. How do I resist an avalanche?

"The woods decay"

March 11, 2018

Tags: Tennyson

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapors weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.

Are there more perfect lines than these, which open Tennyson's "Tithonus"? So why is his work barely available? Even the Strand (more…)

Married life

March 9, 2018

JS: When are you going to get rid of the books on the floor?

EN: Go to hell.... Which books on the floor? there's those & those. And those.

JS: chuckles.

EN: I'll get rid of the books when you get rid of the coatrack.

JS: Books first then coatrack. ... I'll get another coatrack.

EN: I'll get more books.

JS: Go to hell.

Before & after

March 8, 2018

What's the trick to taking a selfie?!?!?
I've been wanting & meaning to do this for ages, & today I just HAD to. I went to the place a couple doors down from my office but they had no appointments today. I asked how much for a haircut.

"$75 with codgee," the receptionist said.

"Excuse me?"

"$75 with codgee."

What's codgee, some special fancy treatment? How much without codgee? (more…)

NYC (not my neighborhood)

March 7, 2018

I noticed this because there aren't a lot of low buildings in Chelsea, and because I liked the bright garage and old-fashioned building. Was this once a stable? The New York I never knew visible in today's city.

Compost

March 6, 2018

When I dropped my scraps off this morning, a young woman was sitting at a table full of literature about the program—that was a first, usually it's just 3 plastic trash cans that you dump your peels & coffee grounds into.

Would you like a bag of compost? she asked.

I recoiled! No! Why would I want a bag of compost?! (Whatever that is, come to think of it.) (more…)

Monday Quote

March 5, 2018

One can find time for everything if one is never in a hurry.
—Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita is the favorite book of many people I know. Me, I've never read it, but I like this quote. If you find the right pace, you can do everything you want & need to, but feeling frantic makes it impossible to do much at all.

The Ezra Pound

March 4, 2018

When the sign was up, people would sometimes stop me when I was entering or leaving the building: Did Ezra Pound really live here? Sometimes I said yes, sometimes that I didn't know, sometimes the truth: that all the fancy buildings had names (the Van Gogh, the Dakota) & why shouldn't a tenement? We liked to say we lived at the pound.

(more…)

My neighborhood

March 2, 2018

1 in 6 Americans has German background: That was certainly true for my neighborhood, which was largely German until the General Slocum disaster in 1904, when hundreds of people on an East River holiday boat died. The decimated community scattered. One remnant is the Ottendorfer Library, the oldest branch library in Manhattan and one of the first buildings constructed specifically to be a library. It's next door to the German Dispensary, now the Stuyvesant Poly-clinic, known for the busts of famous Germans. The neighborhood

The text of the plaque: (more…)

Snacks

March 1, 2018

Things that are inedible at home are delicious at work.

I wish I could tell you why these "mini crunch bars" are so awful. Maybe just because they are far too crunchy? Nothing like worrying you'll break a tooth to dampen one's pleasure.

Which makes me think about the time years ago when I was editing fiction for Woman's World & someone submitted a story with the line: "it only served to wet my appetite, which was already damp."