Notes From the Choir of Universal Happiness

That’s one of the titles of my book currently under consideration, and my favorite. Please, please love it marketing department.

American Idol fans: What the hell? You didn’t love Josh??

Buddy is looking too thin, and I was about to take him to the vet, but his eating is picking up, so I’m hoping it was just a bad patch we’re past. It’s so hard, because he does have lymphoma and it’s only a matter of time. I don’t handle it well when I pet dies. It utterly destroys me. God, he does look terribly thin doesn’t he? I don’t want to face this. Poor little thing. Poor us.

It’s a bad angle though, it exaggerates his thinness. He looks better in the shot below this one.

I was poised and ready to take a picture of the attack that was sure to follow, but it didn’t happen.

Hawks the size of, I don’t know, dinosaur hawks?

The point is, they were really freaking big. These hawks were sitting on a building on the south side of Washington Square Park. I’m not sure if zooming in conveys their size, and I don’t own the right camera or lens to have gotten a decent shot. So there’s a pulled-back view below, which might give a better sense of how big they were.

Hawks eat whole flocks of pigeons, I read. That’s upsetting. I know they need to live too, but still. My poor pigeons.

The Copy Edited Manuscript is Here!

This is one of my favorite parts of book writing. It feels like sliding into home.

A copy editor has gone over my book to fix grammatical or punctuation problems, and to suggest different wording or sentence structure. A great copy-editor can really make a difference so I can’t wait to see what she’s done. This is also when I make my final changes and fix the mistakes I found when fact-checking, and so on.

In other new book news, my editor suggested an alternate title which I love to death, and I’m waiting to hear how real a possibility it is. I had to change one word because she used a word we never use in choral singing, but I found another one that worked just as well.

Spring Cleaning Status Report: The window cleaners come tomorrow, my freshly cleaned rug returns on Friday, and then I will be done, done, done! I will dance around my shiny clean apartment and luxuriate in all its sparkliness, and then I will settle into the copy edits.

Finney and Buddy lounging on the bed. Note the evil furrowed brow on Finney. Buddy’s all, “Jesus, maybe I should find another place to nap.”

Awake is Cancelled?? Seriously??

I quit. Awake is so smart. I have no idea how they planned to explain everything, but I wasn’t annoyed (like Lost). It was proceeding in such a thought-provoking way. So, we’re never going to get the explanation? Fucking tv sometimes. Oh man, the acting was so great.

Spring Cleaning Update: Spring cleaning is kicking my ass this year. I don’t know what the deal is, but it’s been taking me so much longer and has been involved so much more work. The couch cleaners came yesterday, and the couch looks great, but now I’ve decided the seat cushions need to be restuffed. Thursday the window cleaners come (I postponed due to the rain) and Friday my rug comes back all freshly cleaned. Friday this place is going to sparkle.

Flowers on 11th Street. As usual, thank you 11th Street beautifiers.

Spring Cleaning Status Report

Bedroom: This was supposed to be the easy room. Also, I’d already done the hardest job of going through everything I’m storing back there and paring it down. That took me a day! Anyway, done. Stupid bedroom.

Bathroom: The smallest room in the apartment and it is always the hardest to clean. It’s done, but I’m not entirely happy with it. I’ve got this shelf thing that I can’t get to hang right, and I don’t know any handy people to help me. This is the problem with being “arts” oriented. Can’t even hang a shelf-thing properly.

By the way, in the process of going through my storages boxes I came across some letters I’d written to my friend Chris in 1977 and never mailed. Here is a snippet. I was in my last year of college, studying fine arts and I’d get my BFA the following spring. I painted, sculpted, photographed and loved it all. Still do.

“I’ve decided that the painters, sculptors, photographers, everyone, all the artists are a bunch of romantic, archaic assholes—no one should paint, sculpt, etc., anymore—it’s all irrelevant … space technology is where it’s at and anyone who isn’t concentrating their efforts in this direction is wasting his and everyone else’s time. It’s time for totally new art forms, stuff probably beyond our imagination at this time but it’s the only goal worth pursuing—we have to break away—work with the black holes.”

I sound like I was 14! Of course I was wrong about painting and everything else being a waste of time and irrelevant, but I remember what I was thinking and I still agree with me. I’d just learned what a black hole was, and as an artist you’re always thinking about negative space, and this was like the ultimate negative space, the ultimate unseen and unknown, it was all very exciting to me, and I wish I had pursued this thinking seriously.

Also, I would have sworn I never used the word “technology” in a sentence until 1986.

There was a block sale on Perry Street yesterday. I took a picture of these two yellow vases because the same exact vases are sitting on a book shelf to my left right now. I inherited them from my mother. (Karen, if you’re reading this you know these vases! FYI, they were priced at $90 for the pair.)