Cross Your Fingers For Me Today

Nomore.jpg That’s my little Finn-Monster, reaching around to prevent me from looking at any cute animal that is not him. I was posting about dogs at the time and he just knew.

Today I’m moving Echo’s machines from one co-location provider to another. I woke up and the machines were inaccessible, I still don’t know what the problem was. I was able to reboot one and get them both up again. That’s why I can do this blog post now! But there’s still a problem with email.

It’s shaping up to be one of those days. I did my MBSR meditation. I’m trying to be calm and less panicky. Moves are stressful, and this is a big one. It affects many people besides myself. People can’t send or receive email right now, and they may not be able to until this afternoon, and you know what that’s like, not getting your email when you need it. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

This move to a new host is a good thing though, and I should have done it a long time ago.

Oh God, they are pound pound pounding away at the roof again. I’m on the top floor so it’s my ceiling. Given how the universe works, today is the day they will come crashing through my ceiling.

Working on My Brain’s Elasticity

“What you’ve done right, and what you’ve done wrong can come out in the music.” – Patrick Costello. Isn’t that a great quote? Anyway, this is me learning frailing … (more below).

I hauled out my banjo last night, and found a banjo lesson on YouTube made by a very nice banjo player named Patrick Costello. I love this style. When I first bought my banjo I started by learning bluegrass picking, and it just wasn’t fun. Weirdly. Bluegrass is fun to listen to, but I just didn’t enjoy playing it. Frailling is more fun. It has an old-time, O Brother sense to it. I could see coming upon some old guy with a beautiful voice playing this style down by a river in the middle of nowhere in the south, singing folk songs most people have forgotten.

Plus the beginner stuff is easier. (Although I am doing it totally wrong. Your thumb is supposed to rest on the 5th string until you pluck it.) I also love that you don’t need to wear picks to play this style. I hated the picks. It separated you from the instrument in a way that also contributed to making it less fun.

The banjo I have is not really right for it, although it will do. But it occurred to me that I might be able to modify it to make it work better. I could remove the resonater (on the back) and the armrest which gets in the way of the arm movement that goes with this style. I emailed the place I bought it from to see if this could be done.

I picked up my banjo again after checking out a hip hop class and then taking an African drumming class at a place called Djoniba yesterday. I saw a show about aging and brain elasticity on channel 13 the night before and was moved to learn something new. The key is finding something you actually love and therefore might continue.

My Little Stalkers

Finn and Buddy spot a pigeon. Watch their tails! Poor little guys. They so long to get a pigeon. (Those are my King Bay Library flowers on the left.)

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but it rained again and the whole building got flooded, the fire department came, they had to break down part of the ceiling, there were power problems, you had to wade through water in all the halls. It was bad. So now the landlord has guys up on the roof, except it’s not actual professional roofing guys. It’s their regular handymen guys. They are pound, pound, pounding away up there and I’m pretty sure something bad is going to happen. They don’t really know what they are doing.

Sheepshead Bay

I went out to Brooklyn on Tuesday to do a reading at the Kings Bay branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. They gave me flowers at the end, which I brought home and re-arranged into two lovely bouquets. I had a great time. The attendees asked some of the best questions I’ve ever been asked. Thank you for inviting me, Kings Bay, and thank you for the flowers.

I went out walking afterwards. The best picture I took is out of focus, as per usual. It was a shot of a sign inside a fishing store, showing the prices for chum, blood worms, sand worms, earth worms, squid and sand eels. For the record, chum costs the most.

I hate that apparently I can’t hold a camera still. But here is a shot at the end of a small alley of houses. It’s too picture-postcard-y, I know. It was a nice little row of houses. I’d like to find some old wood house with fireplaces nearby to renovate and live in.

This was a tacky statue outside a restaurant. Not far from this spot, a new housing development was near completion, but the word on various Brooklyn blogs is that it will be filled with the families of Italian and Russian mobsters. So even in my fantasies, I will not be living there.


I Can’t Imagine Being J. K. Rowling

I took this on the river yesterday. Howard was working, and I was reading something called One Shot. But imagine being J. K. Rowling. Christ. I would love to just once, ONCE come upon someone reading one of my books. Nevermind walking around and seeing everyone reading it. People all up and down the Hudson River yesterday were reading the new Harry Potter.