Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm Still Here


I doubt anyone is reading this, seeing as I haven’t posted in well over two years. But, a fellow blogger/former high school cohort/all around great guy has inspired me to pick it back up.

So… what’s been going in the meantime? Plenty. And very little. It’s been over two years since my household became car-free, which is not easy in this state. From what I can tell, Californians are married to the automobile: public transportation is a cruel joke, everything is spread out and most people have at least one car per adult in their household (this is based on what I’ve observed, not actual data). And many of the native residents I’ve met are rather dumbstruck by our lifestyle. Cultural norms aside, it’s been a great experience. There is no substantive weather in our part of the Bay Area, so almost every day is a good day to hit the road on two wheels. Raincoats and plastic pants take care of the other, truly exceptional days. Zipcar is a superlative service and has come in really handy (as well as the generosity of my in-laws, who lend us their car sometimes). My husband (Sean) and I both have upgraded our bikes – his was stolen from our garage; a few months later, he rode mine and insisted that my 18 year old Schwinn was ready for retirement – our new hybrids are sexy and zippy. Overall, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I hope I’ll never need to own a car again.

I have a new job. Or had a new job; it’s no longer new. Not long after my last blog post I transferred, within Stanford, to the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy Office. It’s by far the best job I’ve had since I started at this institution *cough* six *cough* years ago. 

The accommodations aren't too shabby, either.

Anyone who knows my tastes and inclinations would find this a strange fit (my MFA thesis featured 70’s pornography, after all), but here I am, two years later, leading new employee policy briefings where I caution them not to grope one another inappropriately or hump their bosses (the latter being something I’ve done in the past. Oops). It sort of works, though. Our job is not one for advocates or people with agendas – we have to stay neutral and make sure the University responds to complaints, period. I cannot deny that I love how my business cards have the word “sexual” in them. It’s not a career dream for me, but for now, it’s a solid place to have landed. My next job will most likely be outside of Stanford; I don’t think I can do better here.

What else… Oh! Two of my poems were published by SpringGun Press – my first time in print. This last April Sean and I spent our birthday week in LA, specifically in Santa Monica. Well, we attempted to spend our birthday week in Santa Monica… both of us contracted ebola, so we didn’t do much while we were there and bugged out a few days early. What little we saw was great; I can’t wait to make it back down there. Anyway, my best birthday gift this year, by far, was the email from SpringGun to say they were publishing two of the three pieces I’d sent them. I haven’t actively been submitting this year (and submitted nothing last year), so this was a stroke of very, very good luck. (The poems now live here.)

I have a major trip coming up early next year. Sean and I will be spending a week in Cartagena, Colombia. This is notable, for me, for several reasons. I haven’t traveled beyond North America: I’ve seen all of the east coast, much of the west, a little bit of the middle and quite a bit of Canada and Alaska. But I haven’t been to Europe yet (this disturbs me to no end, especially considering Paris is there), never mind Africa, Asia… etc. As for South America, I was born there and spent my first four months of life there, but have not returned since (I was adopted and brought to the US, raised in New England). This was generally believed to be a good thing, seeing as Colombia was embroiled in a bloody civil war then and my hometown, Medellin, was particularly violent. Since tasting more of South American food, however, I’m starting to rethink that. 

My path, in some ways, was chosen for me and I’m grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me (and there have been many), but I was also deprived of other things, as a result, like what would have been my native tongue and culture. I am looking forward to visiting Medellin at some point, but we decided to go to Cartagena first. It’s a beach town and we’ve discovered that tropical locales agree with us (almost daily do we mourn the fact that we are not in Hawai’i). And, I’m not mentally/emotionally ready to visit Medellin yet – that kind of travel will be a unique undertaking. This time around we’re looking for a true vacation, which we define as sun, good food, good drinks, beaches, with a lot of sleep in between the other four things. 

Cartagena? Si, por favor!

And, finally, our five days in Cartagena will immediately be followed by a two-week cruise to Antarctica. Just me. And my mother. On a gigantic fucking boat for two full weeks, heading toward a gigantic iceberg full of (admittedly adorable) penguins. She invited me earlier this year. Generally, I do not vacation with her because we have vastly different travel styles. As a retiree, she sees travel as an intense flurry of “see and do every tourist thing there is to see and do.” I like to vacation, as described above, thus we are incompatible as travel companions. 

But, it’s fucking Antarctica. When will this opportunity ever present itself again? After spending three years living 100 miles below the Arctic Circle I sure as shit am not saving my shekels to go somewhere cold. I won’t even go to the east coast in winter, if I can help it. I would also never spend my own money on a cruise line vacation. Never, ever. Ever. But, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, either, so a-cruising to the fucking South Pole I will go. The week in Cartagena was dreamed up to mellow me out before the cruise. The reality of it all has not fully taken hold.

More about THIS shizznit, to come.

And, those are the broad headlines since April of 2010. 

Since then I’ve also acquired an adorable niece (who's my husband's mini-me, in almost every way), in addition to my bitchin' nephew who’s about to turn 3 (!), and I took an awesomely fun road trip from Lincoln, Nebraska to Fairbanks, Alaska with my fabulous friend Kate, the exploits of which I’ll talk about another time...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Requiem for a Subaru

Last Saturday I was heading to the airport; as I exited the on-ramp and began to merge onto the freeway, my car's transmission gave out. It was a typically stressful situation, but a tow-truck came quickly and I felt at peace with the possibility that it would require $2,000 in repair costs. Monday morning, our mechanic, Louie, called with the worst possible news. Not only did our transmission drop, it had torn in half and took the drive shaft, shifter tower, oxygen sensor and whatever else was in the way, with it. Suddenly, the repair cost jumped to $7,300 ($5,000 if we didn't buy factory parts) and, just as abruptly, we lost our car.

Yes, we have the money to repair it... but it would wipe out savings account entirely and the Blue Book value is only $7,500. Sean and I bike to work most days. We fill the tank (maybe) twice a month. In short, our car is purely a luxury, not a necessity and it's not worth our time or money to resurrect it. 

This saddens me more than I can express or even understand.

It's just a car; there are far graver tragedies playing out in the world, far away and right next door, but despite this frank intellectualization, I am grieving. For one reason, it's a great car; Subarus have an excellent reputation and our mechanic is at a loss figure out why this happened to a well-maintained car with less than 100K miles on it. I consulted my brother, also a mechanic, and he has only once seen something like this happen; in that case, the driver was intentionally trying to shred his transmission. We've taken good care of this car and to give up on it, rather than fix it, is deeply saddening to me. It doesn't deserve to be scrapped. We've babied this car, but in the end it was all a big waste, both for us and the vehicle. I hate waste. 

And then there's the sentimental side of things. This Subaru was my first (almost) new car -- my parents generously bought it for me when I started graduate school in Alaska; just accepting such a gift from them was a big deal. It made my life unspeakably easier and was put to good use up there. (The four-wheel drive alone saved my sorry ass more times than I can count.) My friends borrowed it, my dog rode in it, I hauled water in it, drove visiting writers around town in it and plugged it in all winter long to keep the engine from freezing. I once spent a full 20 minutes in -55F weather inching out of parking spot and was always careful not to pull the door apart when the metal bends in such extreme temperatures.

When I was done with graduate school, we packed it full of crap and one dog, and drove 3,000 miles down to California. This car has seen me through a lot of change. And, well, this sounds morbid, but I carry a small bag of my dad's ashes in the car -- he rides shotgun with me; I'll miss that.

Since coming south, life has been much easier on the car -- an occasional road trip, random weekend visits to the beach, the East bay, the city; but mostly, it sits. We figure that we pour about $300-$400 per month into the car that just sits. Spending all of our money to fix it, when we can bike, take public transportation and use Zipcar (a car sharing service) just isn't realistic or financially smart, at all. 

Yesterday Sean went to the mechanic's garage and assessed the damage with Louie. I did not go, I just couldn't stomach seeing it like that, knowing what we know. We will be calling Subaru to talk this situation over with them -- it shouldn't have happened. And Louie, being the top-notch mechanic that he is, is helping us make these automotive "end of life" decisions. He's not even badgering us to move the car out of his lot any sooner than we need to. I've had the privilege of knowing several fine mechanics in my life and he ranks among the very top and I couldn't be more grateful.

Soon, sooner than I ever thought it would be, I'll clean out the side pockets, empty the glove box, scatter my dad's ashes and sit in the driver's seat one last time.

Goodbye, my friend, and (95,000 miles of) thanks.

From Extenuating Circumstances by Paul Violi:

Got the heater on full blast,
Window jameed down,
Odometer busted,
Speedometer dead wrong:
Can't tell how fast I'm going,
Don't care how far I've gone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Films Through My Lense

Movies have been on my mind recently, partially because of the Oscars, although I rarely respect the academy's decisions (i.e. Gladiator won best picture in 2001 -- what an unapologetic piece of shit). New releases usually pass me by; I generally see an average of one per year, because more often than not they disappoint or outright enrage me. Instead, I buy the DVD's of my favorites and watch them over and over, ad nauseum.

I understand that a movie's purpose is entertainment, but every now and then someone tells me they avoid movies that make them think. This is asinine. What's wrong with thinking? And isn't that why we invented television? Thought provoking movies do not have to be about the darker sides of life, as the Monty Python crew proved over three decades ago.

Anyway, my film snobbery aside, I've been thinking about the smaller details in movies, things you may not notice the first time you view them, that make good films great. A fine plot, quality acting and well-written script are of course essential, but the smaller details reveal whether or not the director and his or her vision, is worth a damn. 

For example, Inglourious Basterds. I'm a huge Quentin Tarantino fan. Pulp Fiction is a cinematic masterpiece and was a major paradigm shift in the industry. I'm honored and amazed to have come of age in the time of Tarantino's body of work (especially considering most of my favorite directors reached the peak of their careers before I was born). His oeuvre contains breakthrough Feminist characters, outstanding dialogue and draws on his encyclopedic knowledge of B movies. QT is a director's director; one can question his taste, but not his mastery of the craft. (I subscribe to a Pynchon listserv where we engage in group readings of his novels, but also discuss pop culture, both as it relates to Pynchon and in general. When the group began bashing QT one day, I had to delete the emails and walk away because there was no polite way to tell these (quite obviously late middle-aged) men, that it was generation gap informing their distaste, not any real understanding, on their part, of cinema. In short: they are too old to get it.)

I digress.

The moment in Inglourious Basterds that affects me every time I watch it, is the last 10 seconds of the scene where Shosanna/Emmanuelle, the French Jew who miraculously escaped extermination, is coincidentall
y reunited with Col. Landa, the Nazi who killed her family, in a Parisian strudel-haus. The camera slowly pans away from her to reveal a grey figure looming behind her and we watch as she, horrified, turns her head and slowly drags her gaze upward, taking his figure in and turning a tense situation into a potentially deadly one. (I cheer the academy for giving Christoph Waltz a much-deserved Oscar for this role -- Waltz was a stroke of genuis on QT's part -- he was thoroughly menacing, the epitome of that sort of evil.) The script of Inglorious Basterds states that part of Landa's power is his ability to make his victim believe he knows her secrets and this scene demonstrates that perfectly. Shosanna successfully keeps her wits about her and Landa exits without realizing her true identity. In a close-up we see her wait a few beats to be certain that he is gone, then release a tense sob -- maybe five seconds of action containing a non-verbal expression that communicates the deepest level of terror and loathing one can imagine -- this is cinema doing what it does best.

When I was 15, my favorite movie was The Graduate, the 1967 film starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, about a college grad, Benjamin, who has an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's business partner. There were several things about this film that appealed to me then (and still do, in a nostalgic kind of way). Benjamin's dialogue is spare but dry and hilarious; his discomfort is legendary as he suffers through ennui, spending his post-college season floating on a raft in his parent's pool between couplings with Mrs. Robinson at a local hotel. Halfway through the movie there is a sequence demonstrating his directionless existence which is just masterfully edited. We see Benjamin dress and undress in a shadowy room, seamlessly cut back and forth between a hotel room and room at his parent's house, explaining to the audience that this is how his time is filled, that one activity bleeds into the next as the days bleed into one another, becoming virtually indistinguishable. Benjamin finally sheds his clothing and opens a door onto a sunny patio. The camera follows him out onto the patio, onto the diving board, into the pool, through the water and onto an inflatable raft. At the last second, just as his body lifts out of the water and his torso begins to make contact with the raft, the scene shifts, ending abruptly, and instead of the raft, Ben is laying face down on top of Mrs. Robinson in a hotel bed. After watching the movie dozens of time between the age of 15 and 18 as I, too, suffered from that sort of ennui, I am still to this day startled by that slight of hand editorial trick. The way Mike Nichols builds up momentum and drops Ben and the audience in a delightfully compromising position will always satisfy me in a gleefully dirty way.


This blog post is running a bit long, so I'll wind it down here. Some other movie moments I cherish for similar reasons include the first mess hall scene in Altman's MASH when from a low camera angle we follow Tom Skerritt's hips as he mashes his hat into his back pocket, turns to pick up a food tray and strolls down the food line. It's an interesting angle for such mundane activity, and fleetingly celebrates his youthful body more than any of his shirtless scenes. (I'm not generally attracted to Tom Skerrit, but have to admit that those 10 seconds of film hit me in a well-below-the-gut kind of way. *Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say-no-more, say-no-more*) And, in that vein, there is a stunning moment in Casablanca, during one of the flashback scenes, where Rick and Ilsa are together in Paris, toasting themselves. Ingrid Bergman is draped in a long, shimmering gown, poised on a couch and the gown reveals the mile-long outline of her devastating leg, from hip to heel. Or how about Guido's clownish walk in 8-1/2 down an otherwise forgettable hallway, humming the more familiar bars of the overture to Rossini's Barber of Seville? Or Margot's teasing half-smile as she descends in slow-motion off the Green Line bus to meet her brother Richie at the dock in The Royal Tenenbaums?

Well, now you know my dirty little secret -- I dwell in the small moments, both in life, in poetry, on film. (Okay, it's not so dirty.) Who doesn't love great visual effects and stories that suck you in? These attributes are what keeps Hollywood in business. But the details are what help us separate the wheat from the chaff and builds our legacies or lets them fade away to black.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Unavoidable Reflection

It was only a few weeks ago that I realized a new decade is upon us; in the time leading up to new year's eve every media outlet was stringing together footage from the last ten years, trying to spin some sort of compact statement out of it. I'm really not sure what to think about my last decade, life has been a blur.

Ten years ago I was living
in Brooklyn in my first apartment, waking up every morning with a feeling awe and wonder, working at my first real job (in the first field I abandoned), and despite being very shy and still somewhat sheltered, was nonetheless enjoying my youthfulness in a great city and having a lot of wonderful, casual sex.

In the coming decade I would go onto move on to a career in publishing, then abandon it and NYC to move to Alaska (?!) for a graduate degree that I wasn't even sure I wanted.

Three years later, I left the north for good (maybe? probably?) for California, married, lost
a parent and... well, here I am. I can honestly say I don't have much to show for the last ten years of my life, although I also have few regrets. Most of my regrets involve not taking advantage of this, or not enjoying that while I had it -- time and opportunities squandered. I'd like to think I'm improving on such bad habits, but it will probably take another decade or so to determine this for sure.

Maybe because it's past 4:00 in the morning and I'm recovering from a nasty head cold, and maybe because my brain is a little squishy, I'm feeling neither hopeful or
apoplectic about the next ten years. I used to enjoy aging, but hitting thirty has dampened my enthusiasm some. I don't think about my own death very often and certainly do not fear it, but I have been wondering if I'll accomplish anything worthwhile during my stay on this planet. I'm not spiritual, so I don't assume that there's an afterlife or that I'll return to earth in another form -- I'm pretty sure this is my only trip around the block and lately Time has been on my mind. I feel rushed to do something with myself, but can't seem to decided what that something should be, beyond cleaning my kitchen, writing a new poem, brewing some tea.

I used to make new years resolutions, but wisely gave that practice up years ago -- it's too much pressure to put on oneself. I have expectations for myself, but they having nothing to do with the turning of a few calendar pages. I've spent what seems like the last year and half drifting through my life.

Actually, trudging would be a better word for it.

I have my reasons for this listlessness: depression, health problems, a lackluster career, etc. But as a result, I'm coming to understand that this behavior, these woes, have kept me from my life and allowed me to retreat into my own head space. That was okay back when I was biding my time in public school, waiting for college, waiting to escape my miserable hometown and be my own person, but it's not how an adult who has full control over her life should behave. Especially one with a husband.

So, this relatively arbitrary thing we call "the new year" is a pretty good excuse to reassess my path of slow self-destruction and clear my head a bit. I spent the new year holiday in Alaska, visiting friends and feeling nostalgic for a bygone time that wasn't so long ago, but feels many lifetimes away. Part of me desperately wishes I could go back; things seem more simple and casual there. No one in Alaska talks about botox injections, traffic jams or personal hygiene standards; there is less of everything and community really means something because without it you'd probably die, one way or another. Don't get me wrong, it's easy to romanticize Alaska -- everyone does before they get there and quickly finds their illusions shattered; that's not what I'm getting at. What I miss about there is mollified by what I do have and value here. What this place lacks in community it makes up for in ease: endless choices, burritos, indoor plumbing, higher wages, and overall convenience. It's like comparing apples to motor oil.

I flew home last week with a head cold, definitely missing the people up there, wishing for more time with them, but also eager, for the first time in a long time, to get back into my life. I wasn't returning after a week away, but several years away from my own life.

What's next, you may ask? I don't know. But a warm bed, filled with my warm husband is waiting for me and when I wake up a cup of tea will coax me out of bed. There are poems to write, dishes to wash and, with any luck, I'll be there to do them.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A quick one while he's away

I've been feeling wholly awful lately -- work has been stressful and my health (both mental and physical) has been better.

(Now would be the time to give my excellent partner full credit for propping me up and keeping me going through it all.)

But this little article I stumbled across while trawling the NY Times for Pynchon articles really lifted my spirits and inspired me.

I think I'm going to try this. I probably won't make it past day two, but what the hell, I feel perkier just thinking about it.

While I'm at it, I always find the Times' Pictures of the Day feature worth a look and today's is no exception. Be sure to check out the last photo.

Look familiar?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Fillmore & Other Random Things of Late

I guess it's been a while since my last post. I'll spare you any excuses, but promise that I've been busy. The summer went by like a blur, I'm still wrapping my head around October, although it's one of my favorite months and is half over. The weather's been mellow -- there's a chill in the air, as if autumn here were like back east, and we had two days of rain and wind. It's even humid right now. The eucalyptus grove smelled rich this morning and my tea tasted better than ever.

Two weeks ago Sean and I spent an evening in San Francisco at the Fillmore; Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings performed. I'd seen them live twice in New York's Town Hall, but this last show was special. The Fillmore is sacred ground. I never really understood that idea until now.

On a basic level, The Fillmore as a music venue does everything right -- the staff are helpful and reasonable, not surly -- they even have a greeter ("Welcome to the Fillmore!"), like at Wal Mart. It's probably worth it to get there early and claim a table that overlooks the stage; they serve food that looks relatively inviting and is re
asonably overpriced. Free ice water!

What makes The Fillmore sacred, however, is the atmosphere. Practically the entire place is carpeted, lending an inexplicable warmth to the air -- it felt like someone's home. Lining the walls, in chronological order, were the posters from every act that played there, broken up by framed photos of the more notable appearances: Ken Kesey juggling, Jerry Garcia throughout the years, Cypress Hill (how much fun would THAT have been?), Dave Chapelle. There's a supernatural harmony to that venue, as if time stops when you're there, as if you're inhabiting the past and present, simultaneously. In other ways, it's as if you've transcended time, to a point where there is no time at all, and you look down on the progression of decades as if they were hours, streaming past on screen.

I'm not a spiritual person, but The Fillmore brings me closest to the idea of faith -- that something much larger and deeper than yourself is in beautiful control.

Sean and I spent Labor Day wee
kend in San Francisco to celebrate our third (!) anniversary. He surprised me with acommodations at the Hotel de Arts for two nights, booking us the room that looks like CBGB's bathroom, only cleaner. That weekend we had a lavish dinner at Gary Danko and went to the Richard Avedon retrospective at SF MoMA, with lots of walking, napping and eating in between.

That weekend I realized how vital living in a city is -- the suburbs, where we've been for three years now, are dead. And deadening. It's safe, it's pretty, it's quiet, but who cares? It doesn't have the lifeblood that urban areas do. We're not ready to move out of this area yet, because of our jobs, but hopefully this will be our last suburban stay.

I'm reading Werner Herzog's,
Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo, a book sprung from his journals in the late 70's while on location in South America.
(There is also a great movie about the film project, Burden of Dreams, which records Herzog's descent into madness as the jungle eats the entire project alive: I never thought that the sight of an earth mover could instill such fear in me.)

The book is great, thus far -- Herzog is observant, dry and hilarious. He doesn't bog the text down with minutia, and there is no sense of order, but he reconstructs the visceral horror of the jungle with snapshots of its inhabitants: human, animal and insect -- all beyond belief.

"Caracas, 22 June 1979

Caracas, Hotel Ávila. Slept a long time, woke up quite confused. I must have had horrible dreams, but do not remember what they were. There is no running water; I had wanted to take a long shower. I am keeping Janoud's money with me; I have a feeling things get stolen in this hotel.

The morning meeting with filmmakers was lively. I saw a bad feature film and lowered my expectations to a flicker. Caracas caught up in a frenzy of development. Nasty little mosquitoes are biting my feet. It rained heavily in the morning, and the lush mountains were shrouded in billows of mist, which made me feel good. The taxi drivers here are not to be trusted. I have not eaten all day. Signs of Life is playing; the guards at the entrance are bored. There is a melancholy peeping in the trees; I thought it was birds, nocturnal ones, but no, I was told, they were little tree frogs."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Windsor-Terrace Nostalgia

I was making pesto the other night and with my face over the bowl of fresh basil experienced a sensory memory of my last neighborhood in Brooklyn: Windsor-Terrace. I moved in there in January of 2001; my apartment was across the street from Prospect Park and not far from the start of Coney Island Avenue. It was an unspectacular 'hood in some ways - there were no nearby bars worth visiting, the bodegas closed
before 11:00 (unthinkable), the only grocery store within a reasonable distance was a pitiful Key Food and most of the people who lived there had grown up there and never ventured very far. Greenwood cemetery was only blocks away and sort of set the tone of the area: quiet.

For what the neighborhood lacked in amenities, it overcompensated for with character. The bodega owner was Egyptian and usually tried to sell me 40 oz bottles of Pharaoh brand malt liquor because it was made in his home country. (I still don't believe that such an old civilization has no other inebriates to offer.) I befriended all the neighborhood dogs and the woman who worked in the laundromat told me all about squirrels in Russia (they're much prettier, apparently).

On my way to the subway
one morning I passed a house that had a garden. Gardens in NY tend to vary -- this one was no exception -- the front "yard" was entirely paved, of course, so the garden was contained in flower boxes and tubs of various sizes. That morning a man was outside tending his plants. He noticed me admiring his work and handed me a sprig of basil. "Something nice to smell on your commute" he said. It was.

(I found this photo on Google - the people in the picture are standing by my former front door

Winsor-Terrace was quite possibly the only neighborhood in Brooklyn devoid of good pizza.

My bedroom faced the back of other apartment buildings. One night I woke to a floodlight streaming in my bedroom. I jumped out of bed to find the person responsible and scream at them. But it was the moon. A full moon that managed to beam it's light into my bedroom despite the buildings and pollution standing in its way.

Trees can grow and the moon does shine in Brooklyn. Things happen in Brooklyn. My first apartment happened in Brooklyn. For the first month I lived there I would open my eyes in the morning and marvel at my life. I fell in love with the wrong people in Brooklyn -- and was someone else's wrong woman there, too. People climbed through my bedroom window unannounced and the neighborhood telephone company man who frequented the fire escape saw me naked on a weekly basis -- all of it in Brooklyn.

I do this a lot, reminisce about places I no longer live, mostly Brooklyn and Manhattan, (occasionally Alaska). I have a lot of friends back east and am asked all the time "when are you moving back?" Truthfully, I don't know, maybe never.

It's true that I hated California at first, but that's no longer the case. I could never afford to buy a house here, (which is convenient seeing as we have no intention of settling here permanently, nor do I find home ownership a worthwhile way to spend my life and especially my time), but for now I am in the right place with the right job and moving back to New York, no matter how much I love it and desperately miss it, does not make sense.

Instead I bore you with these sweet little nothings -- love notes to a time and place gone by.