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Work in Progress: Natural History

14 Nov

I’ve been tinkering with this poem for a while now. I first wrote it when I was still living in New York City, after seeing the famous life-sized dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History, which is an excellent place to while away several hours moving from diorama to diorama, enraptured by the amount of detail and work that must have gone into making them.

But anyways, back to the poem. I discovered that I had started a draft of this post back in the day, with this iteration of the poem:

Natural History


My 101 Things: Levitated Mass at LACMA

10 Nov

Over the past few months, I added four new things to the Done column in my ongoing pursuit of My 101 Things, aka the Day Zero Project, including “See Levitated Mass at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).”

I’ll try to get to the other things in due time, but first off, let’s talk about the Big Rock, otherwise known as Levitated Mass.

People, Rock, Palm Trees

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Family Heirlooms: A Life in Jewelry

21 Jul

I am an accessories whore. Plain and simple. In college, I would happily skip lunch so I could buy a new pair of shoes or a cool ring. Heck, I sometimes still do that now. So imagine my delight when my lovely mother-in-law told me she had a big store of jewelry she wanted me to go through from CityBoy’s grandmother’s collection.

gorgeous, no?

But first, a little backstory on the fabulous Mrs. B, CityBoy’s grandmother who passed away in December 2011, as feisty and riled-up as I imagined her to be when she first came into this world in 1913. She was a tried and true Manhattanite, a real city girl, who grew up in the Lower East Side and moved back into the city from the suburbs practically the very second her sons were grown and out of the house. Continue reading

Just How Open-Minded Are We (Me)?

15 Jul

Last week, as I was visiting clients’ offices, I was struck by a singular sight, one that made me feel a little weird for thinking, as I looked at it, Wow, this is a weird thing to be in a company’s lobby. The thing in question was a large, beautiful oil painting of Mecca, in particular of the pilgrims surrounding the Ka’ba. It looked something similar to this one:

It was the only piece of art in the room, which was the lobby of this medical company I was visiting. I’d never been there before, and I was instantly drawn to the painting, which took up most of the wall. I remember thinking, Cool, and moving up closer to inspect the intricately drawn bodies, the white-draped figures perambulating around the black cube in the center. And then I felt strange to be seeing this obviously Islamic painting here, in Southern California, in the lobby of a medical company with no obvious ties to Islam or the Arab world, and then feeling stupid and bigoted for being conscious of any strangeness. Continue reading

Poetry Manuscript 2.0: Finding the Point, Again

29 Jun

At the corner of 4th and Inspiration (ahem, I mean Cooper) . . . guerilla art NY-style

As you may recall, dear and patient reader, I set out in 2010 to put together a manuscript of poems for publication. I had uprooted roots for the Nth time July the year before and found myself jobless, (mostly) friend-less and searching for purpose. My daily sifting through Netflix and the previous night’s DVR’d television shows just wasn’t cutting it in the Grand Scheme that I’d dreamed up as “My Move to the Big City.” Of course CityBoy was around, endless optimistic and supportive, but I needed vision, a goal, something outside of myself, to push through or towards.

In April 2010, I participated in NaPoWriMo (the month-long challenge to write a poem a day) and found myself really engaged, looking forward to getting down to writing each morning, fortified by a stiff cup of coffee and some peanut butter toast. I wrote something like 22 poems that month, a ridiculous spectacle of poems, many of them bad or simply atrocious, but I found something too that month–the renewed pleasure in writing, the words just coming, bad or good, across the page under my fingers, that image or idea sprouting like a long buried seedling into proverbial life.  Continue reading

We Could Write a Better Play, or My Review of “Los Otros” at the Mark Taper

27 Jun

Today I’m performing a Public Service Announcement. Don’t, for the love of the gods, waste your money on Los Otros,”the “tenderly observant” (???) new musical currently playing at the Mark Taper Forum. Or if you have been suckered into going, enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in the outdoor plaza that surrounds the Taper and skip the first half, which is like sitting through a bad and way-too-long American Idol audition.

playbill for “los otros” aka “los crapos” – yeah, i said it

I know. I’m being harsh. But I blame the playwright, director, librettist, theater director and actors who came together to bring us this not good, often excruciatingly sung, clichéd drivel about . . . what? My friends and I couldn’t even agree on what this musical was about.  Continue reading

Istanbul…Or How I Make Saving Make Sense

22 Jun

I’m a terrible saver. I don’t like it, don’t see the point of being good for a rainy day. I am a blower of money. I see and I want and I buy. I’m pretty sure CityBoy hates me for it. (You should know, if you can’t guess already, that he is a very good saver. One of those people who will search and search and search for the 15-cents-cheaper thing.) I could very well become a homeless hobo with very nice shoes. Everyone has a lot in life. This is mine.

However, sometimes things come across your path that are so delicious, so wonderful and awe-inspiring and must-have-able, that one such as myself, of the derelict and money-stoopid clan, would actually put together a savings plan in order to attain such amazingness.

I give you . . . Istanbul.


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