Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Party's Over

It seems my birthday kicked off a week of natural disasters.

Everything was fabulous on Sunday until later that evening when I got wind of the fact that New Orleans was about to be submerged by a hurricane of biblical proportions.

My husband just returned from New Orleans last weekend. I thank God that he was not down there in the chaos. As a professional musician for years, he played all over that area and was terrified for the poverty stricken communities along the gulf coast.

I’m still unclear what measures the government took to remove the poor, elderly and car-less people from the area. It seems that if you didn’t have money and a car you were out of luck.

Some people didn’t want to leave their pets to die. Emergency centers couldn’t allow them in. Sad.

I don’t know why it brings me back to 9/11 but it does. God have mercy on all of the suffering people down there.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Watch Out! It's Ellen Eve!

Yes it's Ellen Eve!

Also known as the day before my birthday. As the sun goes down on August 27th, people all over the northeast coast begin their Ellen Eve rituals of making mischief as Ellen does all year long. Some practices include:

1. making long lists of things to do and never getting them done.
2. trying desperately to fit into a pair of size 6 pants that never did and never will get past your ass.
3. totally missing in their entirety the Star Wars epic, any reality tv or talent show series, spinning, various high strung yoga practices and any Disney movies in the last fifteen years.
4. having sex while praying to God that your seven year old son doesn't wander into your room in the middle of the night to discuss steam train engines.
5. pretending you still have things like a memory, an attention span and a social life


Deja Vu All Over Again

I have a confession to make.

I have difficulty sorting through my summer vacation pictures because we do the same things in the same place over and over again. My only time indicator is Benjamin growing faster than a vine each year.

So far we’ve had eight sunny days with beautiful sunsets. Each morning we usually climb down the dunes of Longnook Beach for a few hours of hippie dippie fun by the ocean. Should I be happy or concerned that we see seals along the shore more and more each year?

Then it’s home for a simple lunch. Afterwards we go our separate ways to goof off (write, draw, play guitar, bike, hone our action hero skills). In mid afternoon we go to the bay beaches where the water is much calmer and Benjamin sometimes finds a friend or two to play with.

A few nights a week we go into Wellfleet to visit used book stores and eat ice cream by the pier. In Provincetown we walk down Commercial Street and check out the drag queens promoting their night club acts in the center of town. East end on Commercial you’ll find most of the great art galleries, west end leans more toward food, gift shops and tea dances.

Sometimes I see a version of myself walking down these same streets twenty years ago. A very different girl with a very different agenda – to say the least. She had something to smile about and so do I – some of the happiness overlaps and some doesn't.

I do miss my total lack of inhibition back then as well as my hopefulness and infatuation with life. Children reawaken that in you – if you let them.

My son is drunk with life….I have this weird feeling he’ll grow up to be Warren Beatty.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Yes, I love my hometown but Truro, Massachusetts is a VERY close second. I'm here for 17 days of swimming, reading, biking, cooking, writing, goofing off and recalling why I fell in love with my husband.

Of course I'm still Benjamin's beach roadie, carrying various juices, snacks, floating devices, action figures, shovels, buckets, books, drawing pads, baseball mits/balls, red sox caps, towels, sun tan lotion, bug spray and a sesame street fold out chair - - you know, just the bare essentials.

As for me. I've got a bathing suit, a book, a sarong and sandals. That's all I really need to be happy when I'm up here.

We rented an historic home on a hill that has a beautiful view of Cape Cod Bay and Provincetown. Henry David Thoreau stayed here in 1855. It's cool to be sleeping in the same bedroom he did. This house is far more Bloomsbury than Puritan. Lots of art, old carpets, weathered antique furniture. But you can still feel the sea in every room. Heaven.

Oh God...I just realized this is my 33rd summer here. I'm too young to qualify for a statistic like that!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Further Evidence that I Live in the East Village

I left work early to watch Ben for the rest of the day since my babysitting coverage fell through.
We walked over to Alphabet Scoops on East 11th Street between Ave A and B. It's a small ice cream shop affiliated with Father's Heart Ministries located next door.

According to their flyers, the profits from the scoop shop are reinvested in an array of community service projects run by the ministry - food pantry, assistance to the ill and elderly and support of KidsZone (helping teens get job training and support). All the kids working at the scoop shop are recruited and trained from the KidsZone program - they've all been a pleasure to meet and take great pride in making and serving the ice cream. So far there is no evidence that the ministry does anything that would scare the hell out of me.

I love ice cream. Chocolate chip ice cream is right up there with air conditioning on my "proof of God" list.

So Ben, Saki (our dog) and I leave Alphabet Scoops and go for a leisurely walk through Tompkins Square Park. I start to notice how many men have commented on how great my ice cream cone looks - so I'm standing there directing everyone to Alphabet Scoops and feeling like a good citizen. By the time our little stroll through the park is over I look down and notice that my boxy linen shirt is wide open and totally unbuttoned - exposing my very boring pink bra to the public.

I gasped and asked Ben "how long has mommy's shirt been open?"

He looked up from his cone and said "I don't know...a while I guess. Mommy, I don't really notice girl things like that."

Well neither does anyone else in this neighborhood.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Whole Lotta Cancer Goin' On

Today I joined my colleagues in throwing an impromptu champagne breakfast for my boss. She is 40 years old and was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer two months ago. She just completed her radiation treatments. I think it’s important to recognize milestones like that so I threw her a party.

I was so close to going over to Masturbakers and buying her a cake shaped like two boobies but I restrained myself. I hate when I restrain myself.

My father-in-law and his wife were both diagnosed with cancer about two weeks ago. He has severe prostate cancer and she has a rare and aggressive form of cancer called serous (UPSC). Both are relatively young and in otherwise excellent shape. They live in Annapolis so we’ll be going down there often until things stabilize.

I will be 43 on August 28th.

All we really have is today. People dealing with illness help us to remember that.

Let’s love each other and laugh as much as we can.

Monday, August 15, 2005

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

I'm blessed to be living in my most favorite place in the world. Not just New York City, but in the East Village on a street that faces Tompkins Square Park. Regardless of what the cynics say it’s still a place where you can let your freak flag fly. I’m not referring to the young, hip, perky breasted crowd. I mean EVERYONE (let your imagination go where it will).

So it's with tears in my eyes that I must accept what I learned earlier today. I'll be vacationing up in the Truro/Provincetown area when the Howl Festival and Wigstock Celebration kick into gear from August 21 to 28th. All of this hoopla will be culminating on my birthday weekend no less! Granted I’ll have my opportunity to be entertained by drag queens in Ptown but it just won’t be the same as decorating my own wig and taking part in the hometown festivities. It's like missing the friggin' county fair!!

I encourage everyone to come down to Tompkins Square Park and check it out. Throughout the week performances will also be going on at many of the area clubs, theatres and performances spaces as well.

I love the day before the festival when they begin to build wooden frames along the outside gates of Tompkins Square Park. They then stretch a huge canvas around the outside of the ENTIRE park and have scores of area artists come and paint sections of it the next day. There’s even a section for kids to paint (in addition to a kiddie disco dance party). And of course you can’t miss Lady Bunny and the star studded performances of Wigstock on and off the stage!!!

Please go….for the both of us.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Golden Calf by Any Other Name....

If Moses chose to appear and drag those two stone tablets to my door anytime between Memorial Day to Labor Day, he’d witness me violating the first commandment with a religious fervor that easily matched his own. For it is during this time of year that I do knowingly and willingly “place and worship another God” between me and Yahweh.

It’s my air conditioner. I love it. I love it more than I love some of my friends. It’s something I never take for granted and praise the glory of each time I return from the hot and stinkin’ city streets into my little cool apartment.

Secretly, I’ve often thought that time should be measured Before Air Conditioning and After Air Conditioning.

I once had a brief relationship with someone who chose not to have an air conditioner. It wasn’t a question of money or weather. He just never got around to it. It was at that precise moment that I knew we could never have a future together.

There are some things in life you can’t compromise on. Air conditioning is one of them.

I’ve never had central air conditioning but I’m hopeful that if I continue to be a good person and serve others as best I can – I may just arrive on that heavenly shore.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Maiden Voyage

The Air Shuttle Discovery returned safely to Earth. I suppose now is a good time to shoot myself into cyberspace.

I'm 42 years old and still a sucker for NASA. Watching the space ship/plane/thing pop through the earth's atmosphere and land safely in California blew my mind. Guess I drank too much Tang as a kid.

I dragged my seven year old son Ben out of bed to witness the grand finale of this outerspace odyssey. He looked on as if he was watching a Delta 747 coming in from Orlando - interested, mildly curious and fully confident that the landing would be perfectly executed. He probably assumes that R2D2 was overseeing NASA's master control room.

Astronauts and surfers are cool.