When Katie went to college, I got her big bedroom. I always coveted my sister's room. It had pink trim, posters of sharpay puppies and a walk-in closet. Because my sister is kind and tolerant, I spent a lot of time in her room. She often let me sleep in her bed. One time I got stuck in the crack between her bed and the wall and she rescued me; it all happened while I was fast asleep.
I didn't realize until I was decorating Katie's room to my tastes that the reason I wanted to be in Katie's room so badly was because it had Katie in it. With Katie gone, the room felt less cool, less fun, less like a sharpay calendar, less everything. I painted a pattern of ivy with a stencil all around the room. I unpacked my perfume bottle collection and put my guinea pig Henry's cage in the corner under the window. I made do in her absence but I never quite felt like myself in her old/my new room.
The same thing happened when Cal, Jonathan and our honorary fourth roommate David graduated from UN...
Santa is left of his boots, his belt, his mittens and his face. He must also feel the burn of holiday preparations and obligations if he forgot his face. It took me nearly a month of wrapping gifts in Santa paper to realize the print job is off. The black ink doesn't align with the rest of the Santa graphic. My conditioned eyes corrected the design when I bought the roll of paper and my holi-daze kept me from noticing the distortion.
Left of center Santa speaks with a sort of exotic, unidentifiable accent (think Swedish Chef and add a gruffness) and he has a high pitched giggle. His eyes cross and one leg is significantly shorter than the other but he seems to have all the time in the world. I asked him why this time of year is so complicated. We all sing about Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, and it is wonderful. Wonder-filled and crushing.
Another year is nearly under our left of center belts. Our left of center shoes walked many miles; they have taken and misse...
I haven't had my own outdoor space in twelve years. I had Fort Greene and Prospect park. I had the Brooklyn Bridge, the Promenade, Washington Square and Central Park. None of these disappoint. But I fancy myself a gardener since I grew up with chores like:
1. pick a bucket of weeds
2. rake a pile of leaves
3. plant the box of marigolds
4. spread two wheelbarrows of mulch
My Grandfather, who my sister and I call "Papaw", always took enormous pride in his yard. A corner lot, his yard on Gatesway Court held court. People called him "the yard man". He spent hours outside everyday and his yard reflected those hours. Papaw had his own pace. He didn't just stop to smell the roses, he made friends with them and helped them grow.
I went to Sunset Nursery to look for the inhabitants of my new garden in Los Angeles. I walked the leafy aisles and some brave souls volunteered their lives. At the checkout, I noticed bird feeders. I bought one that looked like a mason jar, fil...
The lowly penny is powerful. It is dispensable as change and the agent of change my day often needs. Since I look for pennies, I find them everywhere. People leave them all over the place and any penny I find on the ground, heads facing up or heads facing down, I deem lucky.
I have a jar on my desk full of "lucky pennies". The lucky ones are separate from the ordinary loose change that collects in my coat pockets and cup-holders. Here's why they are different: I had to look for the lucky ones. I had to get present, look for them and find them.
I lived in Brooklyn, NY for twelve years. In a salmon farm like Manhattan, everyone is swimming hard upstream, aspiring for greatness or trying not to drown. I am an actor so I go on auditions and after a particularly grim one, I walked down to the Staten Island Ferry slip from the Upper West Side. I didn't see many of the faces of the people I passed or notice the sliver of perceivable sky. I cut people off and stepped in gum. I scowled at the...