Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A-Z meme

Too good (and easy) to pass up:

Accent: upper-middle class New England (i.e. no flat a's and r's)

Booze: local white wines, vidal blancs are at the top of my list

Chore I Hate: vacuuming

Dog or Cat: two cats

Essential Electronics: radio, laptop, digital camera

Favorite Cologne(s): Aquolina Pink Sugar

Gold or Silver: gold? silver? can't decide

Hometown: Boston

Insomnia: never - it's the night terrors that drive me insane

Job Title: well, this is depressing, I apparently don't have one

Kids: 2, witty, beautiful, irksome

Living arrangements: lots of windows, wood floors - wait, I think this means: husband, 2 kids, 2 cats

Most admirable trait: welcoming

Number of sexual partners: why would you ask?

Overnight hospital stays: only for my babies

Phobias: rodents - the very thought of a guinea pig makes me itch

Quote: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it."
or in the language of the Message:
"Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!"

Religion: Christian, Episcopalian, liturgical

Siblings: the younger of two girls

Time I wake up: 6:36 a.m.

Unusual talent or skill: bread baking, but only buttermilk sandwich bread

Vegetable I refuse to eat: brussel sprouts, but I keep trying

Worst habit: rush to judgment

X-rays: teeth, hands

Yummy foods I make: lots!

Zodiac sign: Virgo

Friday, April 21, 2006

We've been on a bear hunt

And it was a beautiful day. Actually, it was a beautiful few days. The kids and I took off for NYC on Monday and came home on Thursday. The weather could not have been better: not too hot, a little breeze, nice and sunny...the whole city was cheery!

It's spring vacation week here on Aquidneck Island, and for the past few years we haven't done much during vacations. The kids love the City - from street vendors to subways to eating out all the time and always far later than they would at home. While we could have gone anytime, recent art world stirrings made me want to go NOW.

We arrived later than hoped-for on Monday, mostly due to my futzing around at home, but also because we got caught in the slowest traffic from the NY State line all the way off the BQE. A quick trip to the Village Chip Shop (have you had a deep-fried Mars bar lately?) and we were ready for bed.

Tuesday dawned bright and beautiful and after a trip to the bank with Aunt G, we hopped the F train and stepped out at the Met. I promised the kids that if they behaved for the Kara Walker show, we'd eat at the museum cafeteria and then hit the Temple of Dendur and the Astor Court, B & W's favorites, respectively. After the Deluge was thought-provoking and difficult but interesting and in many ways very beautiful. Kara Walker's cut paper works, especially the large-scale ones, are incredible. The space is small, and it wasn't too crowded (is the Modern Art wing ever crowded?), and it was full of well-heeled women with inquiring minds. I totally needed a book to go along with the show, as I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to be pondering. There's lots of white space on the walls and on the floor, and Kara Walker's own pieces were hung with others from the Met's collection. I really enjoyed stepping back from the subject matter and just looking at how she hung pieces together. All in all, I am really happy that I got to go.

It was a long day inside the grand art palace. The Modern Art wing is removed from most other stuff and at one far corner, the Temple of Dendur on the far side. The new cafeteria leaves a lot to be desired (including an exit sign once you are finished eating!). The Costume Institute is closed, so trying to reach the Astor Court, was, well, trying. At one point we got lost in the Egyptian Catecombs and then again in a web of musical intruments.

Thank God we could carouse in the park when we made it out at the end of the day! We went in search of a moderatly-priced ice cream and started off into the park. The kids had their photos snapped on Hans Christian Anderson's kneee and we stopped at the boat pond and watched the remote-controlled sailboats for a while and then meandered over to Bethesda Terrace, a favorite of ours, even with the fabulous tunnel mosaics under wraps as they are renovated. We settled on frozen fruit bars from the carts and let the mist from the fountain cool our faces. Good thing, too, to be so refreshed, as we got lost once again, in the Ramble!

We finished our day with pizza with Aunt J and Cousin A. I don't think the kids have ever met their Aunt and she is a true New York character. Perhaps I can figure out how to link photos and insert one of the clan.

Wednesday's ruminations will have to wait for another post.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What are the roots that clutch

What branches grow out of this stony rubbish?


'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
'They called me the hyacinth girl.'
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, 40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od' und leer das Meer.

The first soft days of Spring, with the jonquils and forsythia vying for our attention, yearly recalls T.S. Eliot's the Waste Land. Like Spring, like the Resurrection, this litany creeps to my conciousness.