Wednesday, June 30, 2021

To Madrid During Pandemic

I can’t even begin to describe the chaos that was international check-in at Newark Airport last night.

Imagine every destination having different and constantly changing rules for admission, and every person having to scramble with various documents and QR codes. 

“Do you have your COVID test? Are you sure they don’t require it in Spain?” 

I mean I literally can’t begin to describe the chaos, because my bag was lost between Brussels and Madrid, so I need to conserve my laptop charge until my bag shows up with my charger, and phone typing just takes too long.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Sunday Night Productivity

 Photos from last night's pottery class.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Friend or Foe?

 What could possibly go wrong? 

Urban Development

There's a decrepit old church a block away which has been sitting empty for years. There's finally something going on—I'm sure it'll be condos. I'm still looking forward to it! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Mr. Jay G. Flash the Orange Cat was sitting directly outside my window this morning, intently wishing me awake to fill his bowl with tasty dry food. The day is spectacular—72 degrees and bright, birds chirping and squirrels eyeballing my tiny red stone patio.

I sleep with the windows open here in Jersey City, something I can't do back in Burbank, a few blocks from the 134. I don't know if it's the aftereffects of learning to appreciate small things during the pandemic or the fact that we are surrounded by nature in the middle of the city but every moment is a kind of urban miracle. Even the rain. Especially the rain. Though I'd had to pull in the umbrella and furniture yesterday so it didn't get soaked, and I'd had to Citi-cycle home in the drizzle last night after dinner with Denise.

This morning I filled the catfood bowl, then sat inside and watched the ferals tackle their breakfast. And as I sat there, a nun in pajamas, bathrobe, and a hair-cap wandered out to pick up the hose and water the convent vegetable garden.

One day I'll go back to Burbank because either office hours or winter will kick in. But for now, just the little details of the Lafayette Game Preserve are about as perfect as it gets.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Secret Life of My Backyard

A lot goes on at the Lafayette Wildlife Preserve when I'm asleep.

Federal Holiday

I walked over to the African Festival at the park near my house. But it feels like the Ugandan forest out there--hot and steamy--so I didn't last long. I picked up a food truck lunch (brisket, plantain mash, slaw, white bread I'm going to feed to the birds) and headed back down Communipaw to my cool ground floor studio.

The weather gave the African Festival a sense of authenticity, for what it's worth.

But when I went to cross Communipaw, a police car with lights flashing gave me pause. It was leading a parade of cars, cars with balloons, signs, horns a'blaring. A Black men's Harley club brought up the tail end of the parade, with another police car bookending the procession.

The signs were all handmade signs about freedom and Juneteenth, with a few professionally printed Black Lives Matter placards sprinkled in. As everyone honked their horns, they also gave the Black power salute out of their cars. Passing drivers did the same.

What a glorious homegrown holiday celebration. And inspiring. Maybe I'll go back and see some African drumming in a bit.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Ready to Go

 All right, I'm booked and ready for a few weeks from now!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Wrong House

I'm glad someone is getting used to the cat trap.

Monday, June 14, 2021


Here are a couple of pieces from pottery class last night at La Mano in Manhattan.

There's a pottery studio about 5 blocks from my house in Jersey City, but the same class there was over $800, and I'd have to buy my own clay. No thank you.

La Mano includes endless clay and I can sign up for practice time in theory. In reality, I work noon-9 pm Mon-Fri, so that probably isn't going to happen, but I used to go in all the time when I lived here.

Thursday, June 10, 2021


Jay the feral cat is ill...I think his leg is either broken, sprained, or he stepped on something. He is hopping and not using his front right leg.

He won't let me near him under the best of circumstances.

I need to catch him in a trap and take him to the vet, right?

Then what? Does a feral with a cast have a chance? Does he live inside at night (whether he likes it or not)? Would I put him in a crate?

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

A Most Amazing Birthday Gift

Look what Denise made me as a late birthday gift! (I was in Burbank in April.)

This is incredible. There is a door under the stoop--that's to my little studio. There's a cat upstairs in the window. There is detail carved over the door and a pipe alongside the bay window.

She even did the print on the bag it came in.

Amazing work, Denise.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Stop, Thief

We had a big ol' thunderstorm here in Jersey City this afternoon, which was good because I got to test out the gutter cleaning I had earlier in the day. The clean gutters work!

Anyway, the feral cats (Jay and Lil) had their breakfast around 7:30, but the rain made it impossible to feed them dinner in the evening. They were hiding somewhere plus I don't want to put food in their bowl only to have it soaked a few minutes later.

Finally, the rain stopped at dusk, so I went out back to see if they were around. I saw Lil, and I called Jay. He came running across the convent lawn.


 Here is a little story. 

Monday, June 07, 2021

Old Photos

 Here are couple ancient photos my mom scanned in recently. One is me on the patio of my old apartment in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and the other is me walking in Fort Ward, Alexandria (according to my mom--is it Fort Ward or Fort Hunt? I'm not sure). 

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Called It?

There's an old, thin, semi-toothless guy who sits on the steps of the pizza parlor every morning.

He talks to his handheld radio sometimes, and other times he talks to himself, and sometimes he talks to me or whoever is walking by.

Today he was silent as I approached on my morning walk to the coffee shop. Then, he suddenly looked right at me and spoke. "Your Pandora's Box, baby."

Or maybe it was "You're Pandora's box, baby." 


Saturday, June 05, 2021

Best-laid Plans

I got a cat toy for Jay the feral cat!

And it scared him. He ran away.