Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stop Time

An insightful and cleverly written My Turn essay from a recent Newsweek (with a really lovely last line):

A Life Lesson Learned at the Stop & Shop
I was obsessive about managing my time, until a small act of kindness slowed me down.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How the Rich Are Different From You and Me

Let me count the ways.*

"Gwyneth Paltrow, in an Etro dress, hula-hoops in the apple orchard of her Hamptons home."
-- photo caption, House & Garden, November 2007

* Minus one way: I had a hula hoop when I was a kid.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Other Than That, My Life Is Really Ordinary

I like living in small spaces.
I bake to relax.
I share custody of my dogs.
I listen to country music.
I bought my first home at age 45.
My parents are nearing 90.
I once had a summer job sorting Marine Corps personnel files.
I’ve been to Belfast.
I once edited an article by former senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy.
I lived with my brother for eight years as an adult.
I’ve never felt unsafe walking alone in New York City, no matter what time of day.
I taught myself to swim.
I taught myself to ride a bike.
I didn’t know how to ride a bike until I was about nine years old.
I think the swimming came even later.
I’ve been to Hawaii twice.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Over the Moon

I just spent an hour and a half catching up with three weeks' worth of the New York Times (it's work-related). What a great, great newspaper. What better proof that it's a great paper than the fact that I'm repeatedly reminded anew of what a great paper it is? It's hard to take the Times for granted.

Amid all the interesting and well-made articles, reviews, opinion pieces, and photographs was this gorgeous little keeper of a personal reflection on the editorial page by Verlyn Klinkenborg, "Watching the Full Moon Rise Over the Northeast Corridor." I love riding Amtrak, in all its tedium and its rhythmic beauty, and he captures the experience exactly, though the article is mostly about observing the moon from his seat.

I adore these sentences:

"The full moon was rising on the ride home. At first there was just the suggestion of a disk low on the horizon. It might have been a moon painted on old red brick, faded and soot-stained over the eons, the remnant of an ad for some forgotten nocturnal medicine. I'd been watching the way Baltimore backs blindly onto the tracks -- the toothless old houses, boarded up, beyond despair, here and there a wall gone entirely so that the houses seem to be leaking their privacy into the night."

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Last night was what may turn out to be the last true evening of summer -- marked by pizza, wine, ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce, candles, and conversation in the garden. Tonight there's fall in the air -- though I'm kind of sorry to see the warm weather go, something I never would have said just a few years ago. Is this a sign of a snowbird in the making? God help me.

I did receive the AARP publications of my condo's deceased former owner in the mail today, as I have been ever since I moved in. (It doesn't seem like such a big deal, as I've been reading them at my parents' house for years.)

I made it to the gym tonight, there's banana-apple bread in the oven, and I'll make egg salad before going to bed at a reasonable hour for the first time in ages. I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. Too much wasted time. I like the evenings too much -- too many bleary-eyed mornings as a result.

Am I building up stories, unbeknownst to me? Time will tell.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The First Monday in October

My blogging mojo has obviously flagged over the last couple of weeks. Sorry about that -- it doesn't reflect anything bad going on. Here's what has been happening. Since I last wrote, I turned 46; painted my kitchen ("Golden Delicious"); became preoccupied with World War II (my father's war); grew my goatee back and embraced the gray (see "I turned 46") because facial hair is almost always a good thing; made a peace offering to a coworker I unintentionally offended (an incident from which I learned it's a bad idea to try to catch up on work at 11:30 at night, the time when cranky e-mails happen); read the best Washington Post Style section celebrity profile I've read in years; read a great article in the New Yorker about Leica cameras, which was so beautifully written and inspiring that it made me wonder if my long-abandoned calling as a photographer was the right one all along, continued to enjoy, while walking the dogs four times a day, podcasts of the best program on NPR (it was broadcast in Washington for about five minutes a couple of years ago, which is how I became acquainted with it); and, the other night, met a charming, warm, and radiant young woman while walking said dogs who told me that she's seen me with them many times and, because of our slow-as-molasses pace (set by the beagle), says to herself whenever she sees us: "Here come the old ladies." (Yet only one of us is actually female.) I intended to blog about each of those things over the last two weeks, but this will just have to do.