Monday, August 31, 2009

Ornithischian Dinosaurs

The American Museum of Natural History, Hall of Fossils.

(I just pooted.)


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Highline Park

Ever since the city opened Highline Park, Mike and I have been trashing it. With our words, not with actual trash. I mean, really? It's just kind of amazing that millions of dollars are poured into turning a neighborhood "eyesore" into a park, when that neighborhood is THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT. There are so many parks in Harlem and it's surrounding neighborhoods that are in terrible disrepair and really need some love, but no one is going to put any money into those parks because those neighborhoods aren't "hip".

Now I'm going to step down off my soap box and admit that Highline Park is actually pretty badass. The views alone are breathless. But it's also planted well. I loved the natural grasses, flowers and other plants that are growing along the edges.

Sweaty faces are a theme this week.

I mean, how often do you get to take a photo of your nephew standing that close to the back of a billboard? Without doing something illegal?

And also? I got to take this cool photo of one of those stacking parking structures. FROM ABOVE.


Saturday, August 29, 2009


Ooooooh. Looky who forgot to take any pitchers on August 14th. You're gonna get in trr0-UH-ble!

This marks the THIRD time I've forgotten to take photos since I started Project 356+ in June.

But you know what? IT DOESN'T MATTER. The whole point of the project was to get me to be a little bit more creative every day. And it's working. I haven't written this consistently EVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE. And I love it. I love writing. When I can't write because I have chores or work or other things I have to do, it pains me. Literally. It hurts. I am very in love with the writing.

And so I refuse to feel bad for missing another day of photographs. Instead, I will post a photo I took the following day, August 15, a photo that I am actually quite pleased with:

I think Ty would be proud.

My first dead thing in a while, I found this beauty while John and I were wandering the East Village on Saturday. At first glance I thought the mass of flesh on the ground was a pile of dead leaves. And the maggots? I thought those were a pile of little flower buds.

I'm not kidding.

Imagine my surprise when I realized I'd just walked through a pile of live maggots.

But the squirming, writhing maggots were not enough to deter me from photographing such a luscious dead thing. Nor were the many people who passed me, a look of utter disgust on their faces, as I crouched on the filthy sidewalk and snapped photo after photo.

Know why else John is cool? He took as many pictures of that rat as I did.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Attractive. At least he is.

At South Street Seaport.

Note the sweaty faces. It was hotter at 5 p.m. than it had been at noon. Lame.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Song Against Sex

I'll admit I've never been too much of a manic music buff. I love books. I'm obsessed with books. I find an author I like and I suck up every word that person ever scribbled afterwards and before. Music? Yes, I love it, I enjoy it, I listen to it every day. But I have a thing for books.

As a result, I have very few musical relationships. These are relationships with bands that you love and adore and are loyal to. Many people have lots of musical relationships and they brag about all of their different favorite bands. I have these relationships, these favorites, with only a handful of bands, less than the fingers on my hands, actually. The only reason I have these relationships at all is because I spent a lot of time in college holding the CD jackets in my fists, reading the lyrics and singing along, pretending I was The Rock Star In Question. (Usually Danny Elfman, Trent Reznor or Sinead O'Connor.)

Now that I purchase all of my music on iTunes, I no longer have the option of spending Saturday nights alone with the cover art of my latest CD purchase. Now if I want to learn the lyrics of a song and sing along, I have to try and figure out what the singer is saying, which often results in my singing at the top of my lungs, "Livin' collect!" to Prince's Little Red Corvette.

It's not pretty.

Tonight Michael sat me down in front of the computer and said, "Listen to this while you read this."

I don't know if it's because of the experience of reading along with the lyrics as I heard the song, or if it is just because they are that brilliant. But I just found a new band I am willing to have a musical relationship with.

I urge you, out of a fondness for the memory of the CD, which has gone the way of cassette tapes, records and 8-tracks, to click here. Then, when you're here, using the bar on the right side of the webpage, you'll scroll down until you find the little orange play button on the far right. It looks like an orange circle with a white sideways triangle on it. The triangle is pointing to the right. Got that so far? Ok, then you click on that button and hope that the speakers on your computer are on, and then you listen to that song while you read the lyrics. You must do the two things at the same time to glean the full experience. Trust me.

Also? Dopey loves this band, she claims to be "obsessed" with them. And Dopey is a Real and Actual Published Writer, so there.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday's with Johnnie

Picnic lunch at The Cloisters, then a few hours wandering the museum.

He just added Columbia to his list of colleges to apply to.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little John with nose so pointy

Little John
with nose so pointy
anoint your pants.
Anointy, Nointy!

Trish and John, circa 1993

Aw, man. I bet that right now he's praying none of his friends read my blog.

For the next week, my nephew John is staying with me. It has become a tradition of sorts: My sister flies John to NYC to spend a week with me every August. And every time he visits, it ends up being one of the best parts of my year:

The kid is just so cool. I mean, he's fifteen and he's working on at least one novel and at least one screenplay. He's writing a scene to perform with his friends as part of a competition for school. He can quote any line from any movie EVER. He likes Rocky Horror. He loves watching terrible B zombie movies. He's really good at drawing. He's practically perfect! Oh, wait. He doesn't like chocolate. That's a pretty big deal.

Anyway, we spent our first day together flying across the country, and then I put him in front of a movie while I scrubbed my apartment. He wanted to help, but seriously? This was supposed to be his vacation. The next morning we slept late, had a leisurely breakfast, talked about super heroes, and then headed down to Union Square. Me? I had to go to work. But he's 15 now, 16 next month, so I showed him where my office was and he was off on his own. He took the subway down to Times Square, poked around in some comic book shops, and then came back to Union Square. And that's when he experienced what he later said was one of the most interesting things he's ever experienced in his life: A religious nut preaching against homosexuality to a crowd of NYU students. And singing bible hymns. And I won't go into too much detail because I want him to write about it, but someone ended up saying something so brilliant, John and I were both floored. And I wasn't even there.

"If we are made in God's image, than God must also have a prostate and an anus with thousands of sensitive nerve endings to promote pleasure."

Or something to that effect.

Only better.

Also that night? John brought me dinner:

An apple and a peach, because he didn't know which one I'd like better, and a super-wonderful spinach salad that he fixed from the salad bar at Whole Foods. And blood-orange soda. It was awesome.


Just now

Me: I can't believe I have a man in my life who I'm so crazy about.
Mike: Me neither! You're so hard to get along with!

(But then he kissed me like Patrick Swayze kissed Jennifer Grey, so I didn't smack him.)

In flight


Sunday, August 23, 2009

I took a hundred photos today. I'm only posting three.

Good morning, Mama!

Dopey's back seat. That pizza? It's three days old.
(She's going to kill me.)

Homecoming: August 7, 2009
Back from left: JD, Andrew, George, Chris, Arthur
Front from left: Dori, Kev, Me, Kelsey


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Late Night

And then there are these guys:

Best friends since childhood, the two I haven't lost track of. Seeing them again was like grabbing hold of a piece of my past, clutching it to my chest, burying my nose in old memories and breathing deep.

Like no time has past at all, we reunited and laughed and told stories and opened our hearts and still, despite all that has changed in our lives, they are my brothers.

(The gorgeous blonde on the right is Kevin's girlfriend. She's funny, smart, beautiful, wonderful. He's a lucky man, he is. And he knows it.)

8/5/09 - 8/6/09

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Thursday in The Valley

An all girls luncheon. The first one in nearly ten years.

We pretended to have a beach day in the jacuzzi
that I grew up pretending to be a mermaid in.

A hawk at rest. That morning, while practicing yoga in the yard,
I watched as he flew lazy circles in the sky.

Me, my childhood hero, his legacy.

In the bedroom I grew up in, we had a slumber party
that made me feel like I was sixteen again. In a good way.


Because August 5th was a big day

I spent Wednesday afternoon with my dear friend Michelle, but Wednesday night I had the privilege of joining my brother and his lovely wife, along with our parents, for his birthday dinner at a great little sushi joint in The Valley.

It's been bothering me that I haven't written anything in honor of my brother's birthday. I wrote a story for my dad's birthday this month, then I wrote a special post for George when his birthday rolled around. I've written birthday posts for Mike, Adam, even Jesus*. But nothing for Ty's birthday. And it's not because I value him any less, oh goodness no. He's one of the most important people in my life. It's because I feel shy.

Growing up, Ty was my idol. He'd walk into a room and I was instantly start-struck. He was so handsome and smart and kind. He protected me, spent time with me, taught me things. When I had something to say, he listened as if what I was saying was the most important thing in the world. He was a teenager and he would let me, his 6-year-old kid sister, hang out with him and his friends and they treated me like one of the gang. He made me feel like the most special kid in the entire Universe.

Ty protected me and took care of me. He fixed my toys when they broke, he stood up for me when I was made fun of. If I woke up from a nightmare, it wasn't my parents I went to for comfort, it was my brother. His room was my favorite room in the house, despite the fact that his room was full of things that would terrify most little girls. He had floor-to-ceiling shelves stuffed with things like snake shed and monkey skulls, live reptiles and taxidermied animals. But he had taken the time to teach me about what they were and where they came from, why they were beautiful. So instead of being afraid of these things, I loved them as much as he did.

Ty taught me the difference between spiders and daddy longlegs, he introduced me to pincer bugs and caterpillars, took me fishing and taught me the lyrics to his favorite Oingo Boingo songs, explained why Blondie was cooler than Madonna. He gave me my love of reptiles, dead things, Blue Grass and rodents. When Mike and I planned our wedding, we asked him to officiate because I couldn't think of anyone else in the world I wanted standing with us when Mike and I said our vows.

I adore my big brother, but he keeps his cards close to his chest and so I feel like I should too. Though many of my most treasured memories are of times I've spent with him, I'm too shy to tell him.

That's why I haven't written anything for his birthday. I worry it would make him feel awkward. I feel embarrassed. So instead I cross my fingers and hope he knows that even though I'm grown up and I don't need to knock on his door when I have a nightmare, he's still my hero.


*I'm lying. I haven't written anything for Jesus. But maybe I should.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lunch with babes

Meet Michelle and Noah:

Michelle was one of my closest friends in high school, but because she was two grades above me, she was also my mentor. She's still a friend and mentor, she has given me career advice countless times, she's referred me to voice teachers and pianists, she's the reason I decided to focus on theatre in college, in fact, she was a big part of why I moved to New York. She has always inspired me and encouraged me. She cuts a path and I follow behind and a little to the left, tramping on my own weeds along the way.

Michelle is the first of my high school friends to have a baby.

I met Noah in May of '08, when he was only a few weeks old. When I saw Mich this month, she told me that of everyone in her life, my reaction to meeting Noah was the best reaction of all. Mike and I had gone over to Michelle's for dinner and as soon as her husband opened the front door and I saw her with a baby in her arms, I burst out in loud, hysterical sobs.

I ugly cried.

Face contorted, snot pouring down into my mouth, the whole thing. I cried so hard I was practically screaming. The kind of crying where you can't catch your breath and so make horrible, terrible, choking, gasping sounds. Mich started laughing and Mike was completely stunned and Mich's husband, Tim, went and hid in the kitchen. Which is fair, because I was acting like a lunatic and he'd never met me, so for all he knew my head was about to explode all over his living room walls. He didn't want to get any blood on his sweater and I respect that.

I immediately excused myself, ducked into the bathroom, pulled myself together, washed my face, and tried again. I walked back into the living room, took one look at Michelle and Noah, and started sobbing again.

Why? It's hard to explain. It's just that she looked so beautiful. And Noah was so small and perfect. And the whole scene was so surreal and incredible and one of those moments when you know life is changed forever in a wonderful, miraculous, mind-blowing way. And also? I want a baby so bad I spend all my time watching live birthing videos on YouTube.

Let's pretend I did not just write that on the Internet.

So Michelle and Tim had me over for lunch on Wednesday, and this time I did not bawl like a madwoman. But when Mich asked Noah, "What sound does a snake make?" and he put his little tongue between his little teeth and went, "Ssssssssssss", I choked back tears. He's incredible. Even when he threw a temper tantrum my uterus did back flips. I just wanted to squeeze him and bury my face in his neck and eat him. I spent the whole afternoon with my hands over my mouth so that I would not lose control and bite into one of his scrumptious little thighs.

Mmmmmm. Babies.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Max the Dog

My friend B.J. (his last name is Serviss. I'm not joking.) has a dog named Max:

B.J. and his wife, Kat, adopted Max from a local adoption group. They were in love with him before he even came home and they made sure that he had all the accouterments he could possibly need to live a comfy, suburban life. They bought him a dog bed for every room of their house, installed a doggy door, bought plenty of toys and raw hides, got him a water fountain drinking bowl, even a food dish that automatically fills at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day, so that no matter what they were up to, Max would always get fed on time.

About a week after they adopted him, B.J. and Max were out for a walk when a neighbor decided to use his leaf-blower. The sudden loud noise frightened Max and he reared back, pulling his head out of his collar. Before B.J. could grab him, Max ran off down the street. B.J. took off after him, calling frantically, but the dog was too fast. My friend watched, horrified, as Max darted across a heavily trafficked street, dodging cars. And after that? There was no sign of him at all.

B.J. ran back to his house and loaded his pockets with treats and squeaker toys, called in sick to work, then went out again to canvass his neighborhood. With his heart in his throat he walked the streets calling out to Max, begging him to come home. After more than three hours of fruitless searching, B.J. went home to make the dreaded 'Lost Dog' flier. As he sat down at his computer he heard Max's dog bowl ding, then the soft shuffle of kibble being dropped into the bowl. The realization that his sweet dog wouldn't be home to eat dinner was too much for him, and he burst into tears. Then he heard the doggy door slap shut. He held his breath. It must've been his imagination. But then - the familiar click-click of Max's nails on the kitchen tile. B.J. rushed into the kitchen and there was Max, snarfing down dinner. Damn dog knew it was time to be fed and didn't want to miss a meal.

B.J. Serviss, Kat, Me

P.S. Max wears a harness now.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Papa played hookey from work on his birthday, Monday, August 3rd, to take me and Mama to LACMA* for the day. It was an especially special treat because we had spent the day before at The Getty Villa and LACMA is currently hosting Pompeii and the Roman Villa. I now know more about Roman Villa's than I could have ever hoped to know. But really? It was incredible. Even though there weren't any dead bodies.

I didn't bother taking any photos inside LACMA because my camera is terrible without a flash. And I get yelled at by museum security guards often enough without trying to use a flash. (I am always setting off the alarms for standing too close to the art work/artifact/etc. One time? One time I petted the mane of a sculpture of a lion at The Met, a sculpture made a billion years before Jesus. Mike made me keep my hands folded behind my back for the rest of the day. BUT IF THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO TOUCH IT, WHY DO THEY PUT IT RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR?)

This is my mama** and me playing around in a Frosty-Friendly art installation by Choi Jeong-Hwa, called Happy, Happy. And it is aptly titled, because it sure made me feel good to be able to run around in it and touch all those wonderful, brightly colored plastic bins. I wish I'd taken a photo of the whole thing, it was quite incredible, and if you live in Los Angeles, I suggest you go check it out.

Just for kicks, here are photos I found when I google-imaged "Happy, Happy art at LACMA"

Happy, Happy

The artist and his work.

*Weren't expecting THAT were you?
**How gorgeous is my mother? A total knockout at 67 years young.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Getty Villa and Mephistopheles

If you live in Los Angeles and you have not been to the Getty Villa in Malibu, you really ought to go. I'm not sure what it is, maybe it's that I'm lazy, or maybe it's because I have no soul, but I never really want to go to museums. I'm going to be perfectly honest here. I know that I should want to go to museums, but I'd actually rather sit at home with a good book, or a movie, or a cup of tea and someone I love to talk with. However, when I force myself to go along with those I love to museums and what not, I always end up having a wonderful time. The Getty Villa was no exception.

The Villa houses Greek and Roman antiquities, and it is built exactly, to scale, in perfect reproduction, like the Villa dei Papyri, which was partially excavated in Herculaneum, a city buried under ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. While much of the Getty Villa is reproduced work, many of the items are actual antiquities. And everything is stunning. J. Paul Getty built it to house his collection of antiquities, and because he wanted modern people to have the opportunity to spend time in, and understand, what an actual Roman Villa would have been like.

Detail on a fountain

A very small example of how the walls
in an ancient Roman villa would have been decorated.

An actual lily pad excavated from Herculaneum.

The day was sunny and breezy and perfectly lovely. It helped that the company was so fantastic.

Most of the kids and all of the grand kids. (So far.)

Then, of course, no visit home would be complete without some snuggle time with my favorite reptile. Meet Mephistopheles:

If only he knew how much I miss him.
Oh! How unrequited love burns!

Mephistopheles was the very first gift ever given to me by my husband. Only at the time, he wasn't my husband, not even my boyfriend. It was the fall of 2000, and Mike knew I'd dreamt of having a pet ball python for years. When he gave me Meph, the snake could barely curl 'round my neck. Now? Now he's over five feet of gorgeous, scaly perfection. We could not figure out how to safely bring him across the country to New York, so we left him in the care of our very dear friend Cade. And Cade has taken wonderful care of him! And, hey! If you ever feel like taking a road trip across the country and bringing Meph along, I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE HIM BACK. (And I think Cade would love to give him back.)

Have you ever seen something so
gorgeous in your entire life?


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hodge Podge

I am married to this guy:

On a scale of 1-10, how offensive is that photo? And would you believe me if I said it came about in an entirely innocent manner? Because it did. It really did.

Moving on! Saturday, August 1st, I kissed my husband good-bye while wearing very large sunglasses so that he would not be able to tell that I was crying. And then I hopped in my sister's car and she drove off quickly as I sobbed like an idiot in the front seat. And then we ate Thai food.

Back in The Valley, it was time to get down and celebrate my father's 70th birthday and my brother's 35th.

My handsome brother and his gorgeous daughter. They look a lot alike:

Clearly, I frighten her:

These two?

He proposed to her on Valentine's Day, in such a movie-romantic way I couldn't even believe it, who knew he was so romantic, but now they're getting married and the family couldn't be happier.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rancho Palos Verdes

This is where I begin to attempt to tell you all about my trip to California. I've been trying to figure out how I can write about this trip without being that person who invites friends over for dinner and then locks them in the den, shuts off the lights, and forces them to sit through the slideshow of their trip to the Grand Canyon, but I don't know how to manage that. And yet? I have to write something. My mom wanted to know why I needed to write something, she suggested I stick to The Now, but, um, what about Project 365+? I'd love to stick to The Now, really I would, but I took nearly 300 photos for Project 365+, and I've got to do something with them. Bare (bear) with me. I will try not to make you so bored that you want to shove hot forks of displeasure into your eyes.


A family reunion of sorts, Mike and I spent our first two days home with his brother, sister-in-law and their children. We made sure to soak up as much culture and art as possible, spending hours at museums, galleries and concerts.

Or else I'm lying and we sat around visiting, eating, catching up, playing video games and completely relaxing. Either way? It was lovely.

The gorgeous guy on the left is Mike's clone, otherwise known as his nephew Alan. The gorgeous guy in the middle is nephew Chris. The hairy beast on the left is hippie Mike.

And here I am, holding on to him for dear life, thinking of ways I can trick him into stuffing me into his backpack so I can come along for the hike.

Also a lie. I was invited on this trip, he actually at one point kind of begged me to go (I may be exaggerating), and I was all, "Are there showers? Malls? Restaurants? I'M NOT GOING."


Friday, August 14, 2009


The best part of the photo, other than Toby's beautiful face, are the tufts of Valentine-fur that are wafting across the floor. I'll have you know that this photo was taken about twenty minutes after sweeping. That bitch sheds so much I can't believe she's not bald.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ass-balls and other news

About eighty million months ago I posted this post about a onesie I was stitching for Adam's sister's fetus. That fetus is now a fat happy baby and I just finished the onesie today.

Only today is 12:20 a.m. on Wednesday, August 12 and I actually finished this onesie on Wednesday, July 29, and said fetus/baby was born on Tuesday, July 28. We all know I'm behind on my posting, but seriously.


I'm not co-dependent. I just know what I like. And I like sharing my bed with that big handsome bear of a man.

Sometimes, if I can see the moon, I will look up at it and wonder if he's looking up at it, too. And then I feel really stupid for being such a cheese curl.

It's really kind of amazing the ache I feel with him gone. I miss him so much. So much. SO MUCH. Have I mentioned lately how much I miss him?

Also, I'm really jealous of my sister-in-law because she is getting phone calls from her husband just about every other day. While I? I get a call from her saying, "The boys are doing great!"

And it's my own fault. Because I told Mike, DO NOT CALL ME. IF YOU CALL ME I WILL THINK A BEAR ATE YOU. (Apparently he listens when I talk.) Why did I tell Mike not to call me? Because I thought I was being all supportive and wonderful and giving him space to have uninterrupted magical man-time with his brother. And I hope he is. I really hope he is.

I am in New York and my wonderful nephew is visiting me and if I ever catch up on my posting, you will hear all about my visit to Los Angeles and my wonderful nephew's visit to New York.

If I ever catch up on my posting.

So anyway, would you like to see some close-up shots of my stitching? I took all the photos before I washed the onesie, so not only is it coated in a fine layer of cat hair, like the rest of my life, but the pattern is still showing through. C'est la vie.