It feels trite, the obligatory candle-in-the-dark pic invoking the idea of vigils and solemnity, attempting to express our sorrow. I'm shaken.

This week has been rough. But all that proceeded seemed trivial in the face of the tragedy that unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut today. Twenty-eight people lost their lives, in an elementary school not much more than 45 minutes from my house. I was at work, checking the news as I do as a distraction from the boredom of processing paperwork. I watched the story grow more horrific, from potential accident to full-out massacre...as Christmas music- with its call for cheer, peace and goodwill, softly played in the cubicle in front of mine.

"They're babies!" a lady in the other side of the room said as the death toll rose: one to twelve to twenty-four to twenty-seven. "They're just little babies!"

"I'm sorry," another said, "I need to step away." She's the mother of a young child.

All I can think of is the parents, the parents who lost a child. "You'd rather have your legs chopped and your arms chopped," said another co-worker in reference to the anguish a parent would endure in place of having their child suffer. We watch the news reverently, the broadcast flip-flopping between a national team and a local one. Their familiar faces reminded us that it happened here, this time it is literally close to home.

I think of the little kids, I know, the little kids that did come home from school today. The little kids who are safe. The little kids who today will get an extra hug or seven and not fully understand why. I think of their joy, their innocence...how scared they must have been.

I think of the brother wrongly accused, making the longest drive of his life from New Jersey to Connecticut. "It was my brother," he told a fried as he set off. And I'm moved to tears.

I can't imagine.


daily wonder

I will expound on this idea later. I will. Til then.
speedy running man's
glinty sunglasses
deflecting and reflecting
all the rays of
the setting sun.

run, man, run.


new project

You may know that I went to Phoenix over spring break to visit a friend. It was a conglomeration of firsts for me. I wanted to keep some of the favorite bits in a book of photos similiar to the one I made a few years ago for the family. Like that book that was some near hair-pulling moments, sadness at the exclusion of photos that just didn't fit, but also several instances of that sort of magic and small (imaginary) choral 'Ahhh!' when things fell into place particularly well.

Above is a preview of most of the book. It should be mine by the 14th of next month. I'm pretty excited.


book nerd glee

Now that school is done (and therefore my job is, too) I have more time to read books that I want to read. So that meant a trip to the library. I picked up The Hound of the Baskervilles (because new Sherlock revamped that...and I've read none of the Sherlock Holmes stories) and Ladies and Gentleman, the Bible! Turning around I saw the spiffy spine of the book in the post picture and had to get it. The cover is gorgeous, reminiscent of old cloth-covered books from decades ago that often have well-worn pages and scribbles in the margins. But it's new! Never mind that Oliver Twist is 400+ pages and Dickens. I am the first to check it out! All of this filled me with a fair bit of bibliophile happiness.

Dare I say: Take that, Kindle!


last day

My literature class this semester was a brain-buster for no good reason. (I complain of it much on Twitter.) To keep sane, I would jot little poem-y things or other note-ish commentaries in my notebook. Here is the last day of that class written verse-ishly.


The timber of their laughter matches
       the likely content of their conversation
  breathy empty
  still it causes all others to stop
    and stare,
Are the mocking lilting noises, the exuberant gasp-ish pauses,
     about them?


I wish I were on
  the white side of the
could participate in
  the prof-mocking
  note passing.


  is she
to put together
  the 1000-piece puzzle
her syllabus became.
It is the last
day of class.


played with your


The student
  cannot contain
 a small snort of
  derisive laughter
  and a second.
It has been a


Let's make a drinking
of our prof's


places you'll go- arizona

My trip to Phoenix was amazing! So many firsts for me: flying, going west of the Mississippi, visiting an out-of-state Etsy friend. So many mountains (well, the same mountains but always in view), cacti and palm trees. I will admit to half-thinking that they were a Hollywood invention. Now I rather love them. There was also delicious food and wonderful friends. Stacey is a gem and her family (and most of the cats) made me feel right at home. I began to miss the desert almost as soon as I returned home.


places you'll go- hike to hueblin

This was the view from one point at the top of Talcott Mountain. The lighthouse was closed for the winter. It didn't feel much like winter on Sunday. There were many disappointed hikers who felt gipped out of their just reward for risking their lives on the slippery rocky slopes.

It was a pretty day, warm for March. I went with a friend and it was nice to catch up though at times neither of us could talk without huffing and puffing.
We lingered in the park-ish bit of green around the lighthouse, guzzled water, took pics and ate pretzels before heading back down.

Then when I went to log my hike on dailymile it said that hiking burned no calories. Silly programmers. I just laughed.

Now to finish packing. It has not been previously mentioned here, but tomorrow I will be in Phoenix visiting staceyrebecca. So excited!


some tools required

Sometimes I excuse myself from doing things because I tell myself that I lack one (or some) of the tools that I believe would guarantee my success. These tools are not necessary, the task could be done without them. The added problem is that sometimes I will get one of the items on the list and continue to procrastinate because I've gotten myself to believe that I need EVERYTHING.

I told myself that I would exercise more if I only had an exercise mat. But I couldn't find a good one. My floors are hardwood so the thin yoga mats don't help much. The bulky fold-up ones would be too hard to store. So...I let exercising slip. I would walk when I could, and did start running late last year. But if I only had a mat...

Then I found the mat in the picture. And it is a DREAM It's easy to store, it masks the hardness of the floor superbly (sometimes I just lay on it to read) and at the time of purchase it was on sale. So perfection. Unlike in previous need-a-tool-get-a-tool-need-another-tool procrastination situations, I have been exercising more. I log my workouts on dailymile, which helps. I've started setting goals and really making a point of doing something, even if it's only a few minutes, or taking the long way home from the bus. It's a fight...to show my thankfulness for the mat by actually using it. But I'm always glad, even in momentarily exhausted, when I do. It's the best thirty bucks I've spent in a while.


zephyr- modify

Once upon a time a talent show judge said something like, "Here we have a young group of people." She meant that the people in the group where young. Therefore I have spent a casual amount of time pondering the difference of phrases like 'a young group of people' versus 'a group of young people'. I'm far from a grammar expert, but sometimes things like this entertain me far too deeply.


zephyr- to graduation

Printed off the app
to apply to graduate.
Here's to May!



A few days ago my brother came home with flowers for my mom and me. (He bought a bouquet for his girlfriend, too.)

Then over the weekend I made a couple of paper flowers to top a belated wedding present for a friend of the family.

Fake or real, flowers are so nice to photograph. And it was nice to have these colorful touches of spring in the house.


by its cover- by nightfall

Title: By Nightfall
Author: Michael Cunningham

This is the story of Peter Harris, his wife Rebecca and her much younger brother, Mizzy. Peter and Rebecca's marriage has lost its luster. For Peter, an art dealer in New York City, this could prove fatal to the relationship. So he goes on a search of sorts for new beauty, true beauty which he believes to be rather trapped in youth. His quest takes him outside of his marriage, but not outside of the family. To be like Mizzy is what he wants...or perhaps it is better stated that he wants to possess what Mizzy has and lacking that, possess Mizzy himself.

The main character (I cannot call him a protagonist because I'm not sure that he was that good), has all the things that would enable him to make a life change: money, connections, education. But instead he just meanders the streets of SoHo, develops a here-again-gone-again stomach issue and thinks himself miserable. I will admit that my current frame of reference tainted my perception of this 'conflict'. Struggles have abound for those in my social and family circle in trying to get to a place where they can afford to change their lives. The recession hit us hard. Subsisting was task enough. With all of his advantages, I had very little patience for Peter's pithy discontent. I wanted to say, "Educated, employed adult, be the change you want to see in the world!"

I found the book pretentious and grasping. The word 'desultorily' appears twice in the span of two pages. The use of not-well-known artists is liberal. While that fits with Peter's career as an art dealer, it made me feel left out, particularly when Cunningham would use an artist's work in simile. The style, the slow pacing told that the author it wanted to be philosophical and contemplative, perhaps a commentary on our culture's fascination with one aspect of beauty captured in youth and newness. But the first-person narrative keeps the reader trapped in Peter's head. It's unfortunate because he is the least interesting person in his life.

Peter remains largely unchanged, selfish and kind of childish in this 'woe is me' state until a few paragraphs from the end. The miscommunication, or more fairly, the missed communication, between Peter and his wife reaches it pinnacle at this point. For some reason he believes that he should be free to pursue what he feels is missing in their relationship, but his wife is not allowed the same because...he doesn't want her to be?

It's as though the fumes from his gallery and the dust from the pieces and their packing materials that are moved in and out clouded Peter's eyes and stopped up his reasoning to be mindful of the fact that there is no one set form of beauty. There is beauty in change, age, and the frozen statue. Working, living with art, in a place like New York City, he should know this. He doesn't need to search for beauty, it is there if he would be look...really see. Perhaps that is the irony Cunningham meant to reveal: how blind we can be to something that our circumstances say should be obvious to us.


instant art

Just a little piece of note paper with mostly indecipherable scribbles on it.

You could say this is plagiarism. Though my name is signed to this it was actually my mom who did all the other 'work'. We were testing old markers, looking for the proper pen for a project as yet undefined. Most of the markers met their death on this piece of paper. So I had to memorialize it with a picture.


day one

Yesterday I wrote that I like even-numbered years (or just about anything that's even-numbered). I think I also like when the year begins on a Sunday, the beginning of a week. It feels so fresh.

I spent it doing some of the things that I hope to continue working on and working out during the year.

Started the day at church.

Went for a walk afterwards. It was 50 degrees, gorgeous by Connecticut standards.
Thank you, random dude at the track who complimented me for completing jogging a lap. Rather made my day.

Some of the books I'm reading, have read or about to read over semester break.

Hobby'd it up a bit. I made nachos for dinner. They were delicious. Where has this idea been all my life? Why didn't I take a pic of that? I remade a pair of earrings that Mom received after a friend of hers passed. Then we watched the rerun of Downton Abbey Season 2 air in the US next week! Must avoid all spoilers.

Still trying to sort out a plan for the year, a goal or two. I imagined a lot, about the opportunities that the year may hold. But this day, this first day, was full of quiet busyness and contented sighs. It was lovely.


I like even-numbered years. Today was rather lovely.
More on this first day of the year in a bit.