Separations – Necessary Evils?: A Memoir

Liso Starrett Memoir
Another friend has written a book! Liso Starrett, who was a fellow volunteer down at the WTC site during the recovery period, has written a memoir called Separations – Necessary Evils?

“Liso Starrett’s soul, radiant and yearning blazes through her book. Through looking at separations in her life and those of her patients she discovers spiritual growth and inspires us all.”
—Cynthia Magriel Wetzler, writer, contributor to the New York Times.

From The Millbrook Independent: Liso Starrett’s first book is out of the printers and is now in local bookstores. It is called “Separations, necessary evils?” and is about the moral and psychological implications of change, leaving, breaking up, families, and perhaps of growing up and growing old. There is a touching and insightful description of her own experience of the 9/11 catastrophe. Much of life involves separations, sometimes the result of conscious decisions and sometimes not.

Dr. Liso Starrett has been a Board Certified Chaplain for over ten years.


An old friend, and fellow ITP grad, who created a drawing app called Crayovie, just used it to make a portrait of me and one of my cats. It’s a long dead one, but that particular cat was the feline-love of my life.

A description of Crayovie:

“Express yourself in 140 seconds or less, create and share your dynamic doodles with Crayovie.

“It’s Twitter for the “right brain”, quickly draw (rather than write) whatever’s on your mind.”

That is pretty much the best portrait of me and a cat EVER. I love it. I want to print it out and frame it.

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”
—Albert Schweitzer

UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want

A friend of mine has written a book about UX design titled UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want.

One of the Amazon reviews:

“This UX Strategy book stands out in the UX field as a much-needed and very practically-minded bridging of business strategy and UX design. You’ll get a lot of value out of it whether you’re a UX newbie building your first startup or you’re a seasoned designer or executive at a Fortune 500. The book is also written in a fun and encouraging way – Jaime Levy’s down-to-earth passion for her innovations and teaching is motivating and infectious.”

That reminds me, I’m completely out of it re: acronyms these days. Someone recently had to tell me what CMS stood for, and a few minutes ago I had to look up ICYMI. I’m not complaining about them, they are very useful these days, when you need to express yourself in 140 characters or less, I’m just making a point about my out-if-it-ness.

Good luck on your new book Jaime Levy! Jaimie teaches a graduate level course on UX design at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Viterbi School of Engineering.

Bleecker, the slut, shows me his belly.

Bleecker's Belly

I Could Sleep for a Week

I have zero energy. Whenever I feel tired for no reason I always feel the tiniest bit of fear. That was how a depression I went through when I was in my twenties began. I think. How could I forget things like that??

But I also always get tired at the beginning of the lap swim contest I’m participating in, and then that turns around. After I get used to the increased miles (double what I normally swim) it makes me feel more energized. So it could be that. The doctor I saw this morning (regular checkup) said I might be dehydrated, which could be contributing.

Just to be sure though, I’m going to start doing mood-enhancing things, like bringing my computer to Central Park, or the river, and writing out in nature instead of home. I think I might be too cooped up.

Finney is keeping me company. I have great Finney news, by the way. His diabetes is currently in remission! No insulin injections for now! It’s a kitty miracle.


To Kill a Mockingbird and Sexism

This passage in To Kill a Mockingbird has always bugged me. Now I want to google it and see if other people have discussed it. (Yes, they have!)

“Atticus,” he said, “why don’t people like us and Miss Maudie ever sit on juries? You never see anyone from Maycomb on a jury – they all come from the woods.”

Atticus leaned back in his rocking chair. For some reason he looked pleased with Jem. “I was wondering when that’d occur to you,” he said. “There are lots of reasons. For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman –”

“You mean women in Alabama can’t –” I was indignant.

“I do. I quess it’s to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom’s. Besides,” Atticus grinned, “I doubt if we’d ever get a complete case tried — the ladies’d be interrupting to ask questions.”

Jem and I laughed. Miss Maudie on a jury would be impressive. I thought of old Mrs. Dubose in her wheelchair –“Stop that rapping John Taylor I want to ask this man something.” Perhaps our forefathers were wise.’

People say Harper Lee was just representing the attitude at the time. Except she has her rebellious character, Scout, accept this line of thinking without complaint. It is seriously jarring and out of character for Scout. And for Atticus. I could see other people in the town not having a problem with this, but not Scout and Atticus. It’s particularly jarring because these characters saw the injustice when it came to prejudice against blacks, but fail to see the prejudice against women. It’s completely weird and off.

A picture of a spot on Roosevelt Island where there was a double-execution. I’m working on a section about this today.

Lighthouse, Roosevelt Island, New York