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NauenThen

Buster's big adventure

First there was spring cleaning. Then a visit from two strangers (to Buster). Then I made a burnt offering of a paschal yam* that filled the house with an incredible cloud of smoke. So when I opened the door & window, Buster took off. 

 

When someone was going around knocking, I assumed it was because they wanted to make sure the fire was out or they would call 911. But no: do you have a cat? he's under the bed in Apt 1. 

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What I'm reading

Haven't made that list for a while. Here goes:

 

* Educated, Tara Westover. From survivalist Idaho to a Cambridge PhD. Riveting. 

* Eager: The surprising secret life of beavers and why they matter, Ben Goldfarb. Gotta get a little nature in there every once in a while. 

* An Amanda Cross mystery, really by Carolyn Heilbrun. I tried reading her memoir about aging but got bored with her determination to commit suicide at 70 & her humblebrag about her country house. 

* The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman. Hoping it will shed some light on current events. Light & sweetness. 

* Tom Sawyer in Norwegian. There's always a word I don't know but I can get the gist pretty well. 

* How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, Sarah Bakewell. My new favorite writers, both Montaigne & Blakewell, although I didn't get into her At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails, despite the great title.

* Depressing books about Ezra Pound & Henry Kissinger

* Poetry by everybody (that's a different list)

* Sometime I'll have to make a list of what I'm not reading—books I was excited about but abandoned, often very quickly. 

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Not quite the neighborhood

EZ Pawn Shop.

I took this picture from the bus going west on 14th Street. I was happy that there still is a bit of low-rent Manhattan in my neighborhood. I was only once in a pawn shop, in Mexico City, I believe the one called the Monte de Piedad. Huge & fancy, not sleazy, a tourist stop at least it was back in the 1980s. I like that a pawn shop is still called that, no euphemism when ya need yer money. 

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Monday Quote

"Not to find one's way about in a city is of little interest. But to lose one's way in a city, as one loses one's way in a forest, requires practice."

~ Walter Benjamin, A Berlin Childhood Around 1900

 

My desire to wander, lost, fights with my fear of being lost. But how are we to be surprised by a punch to the gut without dropping our hands? And what wakes us up more than a good sock? 

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Andy Warhol

"Made in the early years of the ongoing AIDS crisis, the painting offers a meditation on militancy, spiritual sacrifice, and mourning." ~ from the info on the wall next to the painting. 

Somehow it was suddenly the last day of the big show at the Whitney. Good thing I'm a member & swept right in. Maybe it was because I'd been at the dojo before 7 a.m. to watch the final fighting of the new black belts & was sleepy, but I kept feeling I couldn't enjoy the work without being told what was good or important about it. On its own, it didn't engage me, & the explanations didn't do much for me either.

 

Almost the only painting I really liked was Camouflage Last Supper (1986). It seemed to have more than technique & an idea. I was captivated by knowing that he was a lifelong practicing Byzantine Catholic. In the midst of all the chaos of the Factory & the 60s, he (secretly) centered his religion. I think of a friend of mine, now long dead, who said the shema every night of her life. That means she never got too high or too drunk to attend to prayer. It made me have sympathy for Warhol in a way I never had. 

 

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Baseball's back!

Me in a Mary Engelbreit daily calendar from a few years ago. 

And the Yankees are the only undefeated team in the AL East. Much as I still want snow, spring does have one glorious thing: BASEBALL. 

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A bad start

Once again I forgot to take a picture of Gin, or me & Gin, & all I have is the MetroNorth stop. 

Such a great day yesterday, with a sleepy train ride, hanging out with my friend, lunch at a pleasant café, & plenty sleep. Today was time- and money-consuming dental new & some PITA work. Takes so little to dislodge my cheerful equanimity. Stay tuned—tomorrow I'll be myself again. The happy self. 

 

It didn't take till tomorrow, it took Horace's Ode 3 in Book 2: The path may rise up steeply or descend, / but you must learn to keep your spirit level / whatever terrain you find.... 

Right! Yes! Horace, my man! 

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A good start

... I got plenty of sleep (no telling why Buster didn't nibble or gallop me awake)... had a refreshing bath... a young man smiled nicely when I almost stumbled into him in the uffda sunbright... another young man went out of his way to drop trash in the can... found a chair & mirror right outside my office... the mouse was only a leaf... got some work done... all before 9:30 & now I'm off to see my friend in Connecticut for the day. 

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Frankie

The new Berrigan kitten, who gives herself over to petting like you wouldn't believe. She might be even sweeter than Buster, who is getting a patina of cranky age (like me). She's a hypo-allergenic breed, I forget what kind. She's much tinier than you would think from this picture & much less fierce.

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Monday Quote: "bread for all before cake for anybody"

 

Scratch a pessimist and find often a defender of privilege.

~ William Beveridge (1879-1963) Read More 

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