Welcome to the Fun House

I woke Friday with the words suspended above my head like a cartoon bubble, like a neon sign:

Yesterday was fun.

Which may not sound like the sort of weighty dispatch I typically unpack here but if you’d had a year like I’ve had–and chances are, you have—then such words are a bolt from on high. Life-changing.

Because this Year of 12 Novembers was simply not fun. But it being December—the season of goofy Sagittarius, no less– I’m finally better. Not perfect, mind you, but by middle-age only fools strive for perfection. Fun on the other hand–

Fun is precious indeed. Continue Reading →

Kiss the Kitchen Witch

Once upon a time–before Instagram and a decent camera on my phone, basically–I used to list here what I cooked. For this I was rightfully mocked, but today I feel a huge urge to resurrect the ritual. Because it was the kind of quiet November Monday that only could be brightened by indoor activities, and in the absence of a lover (the recent absence, no less) I dove into my book again–finally finally!– and then poured a glass of red and cooked so beautifully–pork roasted with smoked salt, chili pepper, hot paprika, and garlic; brussels sprouts roasted with thyme and more garlic– that I would fall in love with myself were I not already hopelessly hitched to this wagon. As I stirred and sliced and chopped, I thought of what a friend once said to me while I was learning to fuck and eat with relish. “Instant sex will never be better than the kind you have to peel and cook.” Oh, how we make do on these long cold nights.

No Room to Let (Dowager Chic)

2002 me

This is a blunt story–which of mine are not?– and it probably deserves to live somewhere besides a blog post. But as is so often the case, I will begin writing it to the audience that exists in my head when I write here–namely, sensitive, smart, and roughly my generation, at least psychospiritually.

Four years ago I began a battle to establish my apartment’s rent stabilization. I’d moved into the building in 2002, a few months after September 11 had dashed my dreams of being a wife and a mother (a separate post; a separate book, really). There was a markedly different group of tenants  because back then third stop on the L Train did not mean hipster. It meant working-class families of mostly Italian, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent. I was the only woman on the block living alone–definitely the only blond wannabe writer from Boston. Mostly I got along with everyone–oh, there was the time I got in a fight with a mafia princess over a parking space and her father came after me with a baseball bat screaming YOU FKING WHORE-but having grown up in Newton’s The Lake I knew how to hold my ground. Sort of. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy