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What, me worry?

My cool as a cucumber cat, Lefty. 

My nephew was supposed to go on a senior trip to Germany in a few days. His school just canceled it out of concern for COVID-19. Not surprisingly, my sister (& several other people) asked if I was thinking of not going to Scotland next week. As long as I'm allowed to go, I'm planning to. That is, unless the U.S., UK or Delta pulls the plug, I'm getting on that plan in exactly seven days. 


Should I worry? No more than I ever worry about the unknown, I suppose. I'll take some precautions, like trying not to touch my face & washing my hands more than I do, but for now I don't feel at risk. Things can change! I notice there are a few more empty seats on my flight back than there were a week ago. 


People are on the subways as ever & everywhere else. New Yorkers don't scare easy! Some of my friends have been stocking up on things like rice & lentils. I can always use a few more rolls of toilet paper. 

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Monday Quote

If you don't like politicians, you should try living in a country where they don't have any. 

~ Tony Benn, British politician


I have been unable to find confirmation of the quote or its source, but it's a good one. I remember a book by Paul Gallico, one in a series about Ada Harris, a cockney charlady who also goes to Paris & Moscow. In Mrs. Harris Goes to Parliament, she gets elected quite by accident & ends up quitting right away. She says it's a job that like any others needs qualified people & it devalues the job if people like her do it. Yes, politics does demand knowledge & skill. You can see that some people, like Lyndon Johnson & Abraham Lincoln, are really good at it. And some people fell into it, like Jim Hightower said about George Bush: he was born on third base & thinks he hit a triple. (A quote originally from football coach Barry Switzer but not about Bush: he said "some people.") Getting elected is only part of the job, & it's what you do afterwards that counts. I guess I would say I'm for unity. I hate to see Democrats fighting Democrats when there are so many Republicans who should be sent packing. I look at it as a moral issue, & I'm not sure I would support Lincoln if he was running against a decent incumbent. 

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One time Maggie & I went into a tiny shop in Chinatown for something to drink. In the case were cans of jellied grass drink. How is it? we asked the lady. Quenching! she declared. We bought a can. IT TASTED LIKE JELLIED GRASS. It was the most horrible thing I ever drank. We spewed it out into the street. To this day "quenching" is our adjective for GAAACK.


And now this. Has anyone called it divine? 

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Snow snow snow snow snow snow

I've been bummed out ever since my birthday turned out to be warm & gray. I want snow! We haven't had any this whole winter, except for a 10-minute flurry. A couple days ago I checked out a bunch of books from the library with "snow" or "winter" in their titles. One turned out to be (I think) a romance novel, so now I've read a romance novel (I think). At least it had impossibly attractive people with unlikely talents, but it also quoted Christina Rossetti: "Snow had fallen, snow on snow on snow." I just found a book of British mystery short stories set in winter called Crimson Blood. That's the one! I want to be cold & look up & see quiet white outside my window. 

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Monday Quote

It is hard to be finite on an infinite subject, and all subjects are infinite.

~ Herman Melville


And what else do you want or need to know about Melville? One great thing about him is that Moby-Dick is kind of like the I Ching or the Bible—you can open it anywhere & find a great line, one that speaks to what you need right that minute. How does he do that? And why is his prose so much more poetic than his poetry? 

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Not quite the neighborhood

I sometimes forget how interesting it is to wander around New York, especially way downtown where history snaps at you on every block. I had a lunch meeting & she chose the Fraunces Tavern, where I'd somehow never been. We soaked up the breath of the founders & tried to feel hopeful, the way they did, fighting a king & starting something remarkable. 


I tried the Impossible Burger, which not only did not taste like meat at all, was both salty & bland. 

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I said it's my

Really fresh & delicious!


Yeah, & Dot bought me banana cream pie at Veselka. 

But it didn't snow

So it wasn't the best birthday ever. 

But I'm still here

& that's OK.

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Monday Quote

It's really hard to take pictures of black cats! Here you can see how lithe he is, but not how little or his face. Imma keep trying.

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact. 

~ William James


This isn't an exhortation I need, or have ever needed, but it seemed like something I would like to hear the day before my birthday. (Let me know if you need further reminders.) (Happy to oblige.) 

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Holman & Matisse & Boog

Holman singing Matisse (Cutouts) at the BPC. 

Totally great to see Bob Holman open yet another Boog extravaganza with his singing dancing music machine. He has made such a welcoming space at the Bowery Poetry Club. So happy to support it. Then a bunch of poets & musicians & plays. Fun afternoon! 

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In the neighborhood

The Marble Cemetery from the outside, very early one recent morning. Abandoned? Forgotten? A purposeful display? Yet another New York mystery. 

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