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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Dear Jenni,
remember when you were at home 3 fridays-ago, in labor? It was just hours before you would give birth to that beautiful child we now call Tallulah. You were still with baby-in-womb, but your body was preparing for her arrival, and your contractions were progressing quickly.

And because you managed, between contractions, to say to your French boyfriend 'I need Froz-Fruit' to which your French boyfriend replied 'What's Froz-Fruit?' to which you said 'it's popsicles', to which he said 'what's popsicles?', he called me up to come over and bring you FrozFruit popsicles. And so as fate would have it, I stuck around as you fell further under the strange spell of child-labor. Because I had never before witnessed a woman go through labor I was curious but mostly terrified and I just wanted to be as helpful as possible, which usually meant I tried to stay out of your way. And yet there you were, laboring right before my eyes, and I was there in the room with you, and you were on your bed moaning, with the indescribable pain of contractions which made you moan like you were bewitched, a banshee, like I'd never heard before... And I watched you, and I felt care and concern and wonder and awe for what you were going through....

...and then I took some of your stuff.

Of all the people I know, I know you best. You have been there in my life for all for of my life, what with you being almost 3 whole years older than me and whatnot. Plus there were those 2 1/2 years we lived together in a studio apartment here in NYC which are fuzzy because of all the wine, but it brought us closer, I'm sure of that. You are more familiar to me than any family member or friend or lover I've known; yet, when you were laboring at your house that Friday, you were going through something so foreign, you seemed to be becoming a strange, other, primal version of yourself; I was there in the room with you but you were mentally and spiritually and painfully somewhere else. There were questions that only you could answer during that time yet we couldn't even ask you. And so, you were there, but you weren't really there.

And also sitting there were your white boots.

I found those boots for just $4 in Denver and gave them to you, because they did hurt my feet. Though only a little. And so while you were in labor, breathing some and moaning some, I looked over at those white boots sitting there, and I looked at you, and I thought 'Oh my goodness, I hope she's going to be okay' and then 'She won't possibly need those white boots this fall season.' I could have been wrong to take boots from you while you were experiencing childbirth, but it felt right at the time. I mean they're really, really nice boots.

And so when we whisked you into the livery car with its plastic-lined seats, and as we forged our path into rush hour traffic —at times on foot— over the Queensboro bridge towards the hospital where you would give birth, I had those white boots right there with me, close to my heart, in my tote bag.

Oh and also I took your Chanel lip gloss. The salmon-colored, sparkly lip gloss.

In retrospect, with some distance on the events as they unfolded that day, as I look back and realize what you were going through, what with a baby about to come out of your vagina, and the miracle of Tallulh Jane physically unfolding right before our eyes that evening, it may have been wrong to take your stuff (even if I did pay for the white boots with my own $4), while you were doing all that. While you were in the middle of childbirth. And all that...

And so, I'd like to say I'm sorry. I've learned a good lesson.

Here's your lipgloss back.

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Labor Day : Monday, September 1, 2003

summertime is over, almost
Summer might be spiritually over but not liquidly over.

. . . . . .

We ended up spending our holiday-weekend-days at our 'country place'. Ground our toes and bare heels into the deep greeen greeeen grass. Sipped bloody marys or lemonade. Talked and wore new sunglasses. Actually read the Sunday paper.... called the waiter over for more liquids... Nah, we didn't have to actually go out of town. No. We summered this weekend in Brooklyn's best patch-of-grass at the diner called Relish, here in industrial Williamsburg, Bklyn.

relish grafitti
This is the garden at Relish.
. . . . . .

Do you have some questions? Like What are those "special taxes" on the phone bill? Or maybe When a business calls itself "Suitable Waste Co.", what is suitable about their waste? Or perhaps, Why would anyone walk out of The Swimming Pool? Don't they want to see how it ends or at least watch more French-cinema nudity for their $10?? Well, now you can finally find answers to questions that plague you by tapping into ASK BILL, William Bernthal's Q/A forum. I'd like to say thanks to BILL, who finally took a stab at solving a mystery which has puzzled me for years: What the hell is $1,000 Wedding by Gram Parsons s'posed to be about?. Read WB's indepth analysis to the deep meaning behind Gram's wedding-day-gone-bad ballad, or just finally ask him for yourself What the hell are those NYC street-sweeping trucks good for anyway?

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Friday, August 29, 2003

Somewhere along the way I must have really fouled (fowled?) because here I am, in-town for Labor Day Weekend... Not flying anywhere. Not driving anywhere.......


this photo is totally copyrighted to HBO   
Does that private pool-club they featured in last week's episode of Sex and The City really exist? I think what I'm going to do is pull a trick I learned during a single summer spent in Aspen at age 13 —a maneuver we were eboldened to attemt under the influence of the local kids we befriended: Bobby, Greg, Peter (really) and most importantly a toe-headed-tomboy named Tina Tveta who had a trampoline and rode a dirtbike and hung out with a tobacco-chewing older girl (17!) named Alexis. Those hot days when we weren't working our gig selling cookies and coffee at the music tent, we mastered the sport of sneaking into pools that weren't ours. We could make a daytime tour of it, dipping into as many as 5 pools in a single hot, dry, high-altitude afternoon.

Not as small and sly as we were then, I think for this (possibly fictional) SoHo cool-pool-hotspot, instead of just slipping under a fence, I'll pose as Anna Wintour's awkwardly tacky mid-western neice, and try to sweet-talk my way in.
. . . . . .
Although summer is not yet over, it's difficult not to be aware of the approaching 2-year anniversary of the disaster on 9/11 at WTC:
+ NYTimes tells a story today about former Fort Green-Brooklyn resident and —an overused but here applicable word— Hero, Frank DeMartini and the people whose lives he saved on 9/11/01. Be sure to click on The Port Authority Tapes interactive from the article.

+I posted a memory of my unforgettable introduction to Frank DeMartini in September 2001.

+ Frank DeMartini: Defending the Brownstone is another article eulogizing Frank in The Times from December 2001.

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Saturday, August 23, 2003

at amagansett, NY beach
unpolitically, this:
"Wow I totally caught that wave like. I love body surfing, yeah."

"Yeah I saw that.... So why do you hold one arm out in front of you while you're like totally riding on that wave with your body, with the other hand back behind you?"

"That? Well yeah. See like, that's for hydrodynamics. Yeah. I musta learned that in Costa Rica, from like some surfers probably; definitely. You put one arm out in front of you like, like this see? See it keeps your solar plexus wide open, for rising high, up, up above the crest of the wave, to maximize rade-wiving hydrolocomotion. yeah. And the other arm, it stays back. Back by your side. To like increase the speed. The one hand out front, it's out there to guide you towards shore and... well the one that stays back has to like anchor you from flipping over. I'm, um, I'm pretty sure that's like exactly why."


[...some time passes; another wave is caught and rode, bodysurfing style. Then, a return to shore...]

"So uh,..."


"I just realized something..."


"When you're riding a wave, bodysurfing, like? So, yeah, so you do keep one arm out in front of you, to keep your chin up or something; But the other arm, it has to stay back. It has to be back there so your hand can grab hold of your bikini bottoms, otherwise they'd slip right off."


. . . . . .

Dear Mr. President, and Mr. Vice President,
I so extremely and strongly oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee.

Mixing religion and medicine is unacceptable.

Using the FDA to promote a political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens womens' health.
—woman and US Citizen who is thinking of moving to Canada because of decisions your administration is making regarding womens' health.

Thank you for emailing Vice President Cheney. Your ideas and comments are very important to him.

Unfortunately, because of the large volume of email received, the Vice President cannot personally respond to each message. However, the White House staff considers and reports citizen ideas and concerns.

Again, thank you for your email. Your interest in the work of Vice President Cheney and the administration is appreciated.

The White House Office of E-Correspondence

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