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Florence Friedman (1916-2018)

She was born the day Woodrow Wilson was elected to his second term—before women had the vote—and on the day after her 100th birthday voted for the first woman to run for president from a major party.

Florence was a remarkable person. If she was behind something, people were all right with it. If she backed you, you didn't care who criticized you.

She lived to a month short of 102, funny, elegant, canny, loving.  Read More 
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How do we live?

"Don't ever give up beauty. We're fighting so that we can have things like this, so that we can have beauty again."
I've been thinking about the state murder of Sacco & Vanzetti in 1920, victims of right-wing politics & anti-immigrant sentiment. I've been thinking about David Wojnarowicz & the AIDS crisis of the 80s. I've been thinking about the millions of women who've been assaulted by men. I've been thinking that at one time or another immigrants, gays, women, POC always get the heady idea that they are people. Sometimes they become people—Italians, for example. But more often than not the PiPs (People in Power) shitcan them back to the Age of Cruelty.

Fight, lose, fight, win, lose, fight. It never ends.

We have no choice to be fight, but sometimes it's tough to remember that we are people. Read More 
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I just learned from Hito Steyerl in her book Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War that captchas (Completely Automated Public Turing Test[s] to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) were not just random but were once used by Google to check scanned texts (Google Books) & addresses (Google Street View) for accuracy.  Read More 
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Heartbreak House

London, 1940, just before the singalong that launched the play itself.
We liked this production, set in early WWII, which was incorporated into the play in a satisfying & illuminating way. At the Gingold, on Theater Row.

We used to go to a theater called Meat & Potatoes, on west 39th, which mostly produced Shaw. We were generally the youngest patrons, by decades (& almost still were yesterday). We were regulars until they produced a play by the theater's owner or impresario, with a two-hour Act I featuring naked men & not much else (no plot, no characters). It was so awful we fled at the intermission & never returned.

But the Gingold—we'll be back!  Read More 
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Monday Quote (Sukkot)

All my philosophy really comes from my cat.
A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
~ Italo Calvino

Today [tomorrow as I write this] we read Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) in shul as part of celebrating Sukkot. We read this every year, & every year I am moved & provoked again. Definitely my favorite book of the bible, for both its poetry & philosophy.

[No post Tuesday.]  Read More 
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That's me: EN218.
Johnny finally understands that it's the glory not the cash that counts in HQ trivia (unless I were ever to take home the $100,000 winner-take-all pot).

When you win, all your guesses seem obvious, & your thinking sharp & quick (you only have 10 seconds to answer each of 12 multiple-choice questions—1 wrong & you're eliminated).

The winners split a $5,000 pot. They usually start out with half a million or more players & end up with anywhere from a couple hundred to a few thousand.

This was the second time in 6 months that I managed to make it all the way through. Now that they owe me $2.39 I may sign up for Paypal & collect. Read More 
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Where did the day go?!?!

It's already 5 & yes, I've done the laundry, some farflung errands & a little work, but not the things I got up early to do. Oh right, I got up so early I went back to sleep till 10. Onward, sisters!
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David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, at the Whitney.
Such a great show—I joined the Whitney so I could go see it a couple more times (& see the Hoppers etc too). His paintings, photos, edge bring back the mid-80s, which never seemed so far away till I saw the docks & streets as they were then. Things never change all at once but they change totally, and in such a short time. I remember seeing him on 2nd Ave shortly before he died, already (& always) so far away.  Read More 
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Hey lady

who walked right out in front of me when I had the light & you didn't, causing me to slam on my brakes rather than hit you & skid in the light rain, in turn causing my bike to catapult & me to fly over the handlebars, while you went your karma-ugly way without a word or a hand up, you owe me $17 for the replacement brake cable. I'll wait out the sore wrist on my own.

I'm off tomorrow anyway for Yom Kippur.  Read More 
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Monday Quote

“Everything is so superb and breathtaking. I am creeping forward on my belly like they do in war movies.”
~ Diane Arbus

Isn't this great? I long for that feeling of awe & surprise, which happens so rarely. But it could hit more often, right? What can I do to get it?

Also, happy birthday to Hank Williams, William Carlos Williams, & the other half of the Double Yews, Annabel "Annie" Lee.  Read More 
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