Fantasy on 10th Street

Doesn’t this look like one of the living statues from Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast? I love that movie. Time to watch it again. I found this on 10th Street, on the same block as the firehouse, I think it was. I notice it’s not just a face, but a flying, snake-head face. They just don’t make flying snake-head faces like they used to.

Meanwhile, my arm is killing me, and I haven’t worked on my arms for weeks, and probably won’t for weeks more. I’m going to have very built-up legs and weak arms. The opposite of Popeye.


The Dance Parade

Of all the people there, I wanted to be with these girls (and be them) the most. Seriously. I want to learn how to dance like that. Look at them!!


Here is my band! The big guy with the big drum who keeps holding up his stick is Anthony. I love Anthony. We used to stand next to each other when we played at SOB’s every week. I’m a leftie and he’s a rightie so we would be constantly wacking eachother with a drumstick in my case, a mallet in his. The girl in the hat at the end is the fabulous Ellen. You can hear me shout “you sound great!”

For contrast, here are some swing dancers. Love the swing dancers.

Here’s my band again, (Manhattan Samba) at Washington Square Park after the parade.

I loved these hats! They’re like that great hat whatsherface (Joanie?) always wore in Deadwood. These are like that. It’s the addition of a scarf that makes it. Must get a hat and tie a scarf around it.


Here are the drummers for the belly dancers …


And here are the belly dancers! What a great freaking idea this was. Thank you people who thought if it. I had the best time. I love people again. Thank God in addition to all that is bad there are people who think of things like this, execute it, people who learn how to dance, people who learn to play music, people who work for the city who help it happen, and help the parade run smoothly and happily, and the people who tidy up afterwards.


Taking a Break

I’ve been reading about physics all day, so I took a break and filmed myself kissing Finney’s belly. I notice, seeing me hold him, that he’s a rather large cat. Jesus. Look at that guy. He’s a freaking monster. I call him “babycat.”

Mind Body Stuff

backstage3.jpg These are my friends Barbara and Carolinda from choir (taken Friday night). Barbara has one of the best voices in the choir, and apparently she doesn’t know. It’s such a shame. If I had her voice I’d been in everyone’s face with it every chance I got. (Which is probably why the universe did not give me such a great voice. Ha. You may all thank the universe for sparing you.)

I’ve started learning this very new age-y sounding thing called Mindful Based Stress Reduction. It was developed at the University of Massachusetts by this this guy.

It’s 8 sessions over 8 weeks. I’m learning it from Dr. Myra Weiss. She sent me this Goethe quote which I quite like. It describes one of the few spiritual-type things I have found to be true. It’s like The Secret, but I’m sure some day we will discover the science behind it. I’m skipping the beginning and cutting to the chase.

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I swear, every time I write a book, or do any big project, everything I need comes along one way or another. I thought I was just incredibly lucky or something. It’s interesting to learn that it’s universal. Or so some people, like Goethe, say. Maybe it’s because once I make up my mind to something I proceed with the idea that I’m going to succeed. I know when I am with someone who is confident about something, I believe them, I buy into whatever they are confident about. So, maybe this confidence influences people and events.

Backstage at the Choir

lineup.jpg I cried twice during our performance last night. Very hard to sing when your lips are quivering. Our conductor John Maclay really knows to select music. I just get overcome. Singing with the orchestra, John furiously conducting, and Vaughan Williams, who was a master at the swelling emotion thing — one must cry sometimes. My brother Douglas and his wife Robin were there, with their friends Don (who I know, really nice guy) and Lauren. (Oh God, I’m pretty sure her name was Lauren, but all of a sudden I’m not sure. She was great, too.) And Doug took us out for dessert at one of my favorite restaurants, Gotham!

Man. I’m so glad I do this. It’s just such an incredibly life-enhancing thing. I took this test recently which is supposed to tell you your mental age, and I did really well. I’m convinced a big part of the reason is, except for summers, I’m always working on learning some challenging music. John picks difficult pieces, difficult for me anyway, and I pretty much practice every day. Aside from feeling good, I’m sure it must be doing good things for my brain.

Sigh. I can’t believe this season is over. I want to do it again. Those are going to be my words on my death bed. “I want to do it again.”