I have a terrible sense of direction, so when I lock in on a landmark that I think will help me find my way, I feel huge relief.

This guy let me know I was on the right floor to get to my room, and that the conference was two floors up. I never could keep track of where meals were, but luckily there was usually someone around to follow. Although sometimes they were just as lost as I was.

I feel like this may be a metaphor for something…


I am on sabbatical from the business I started with a friend back in 2007 and have been running solo since 2008. I do not imagine I will return to the back-breaking craft fair circuit I used to frequent, since my back is indeed in a fragile state. I still have some work around town in some shops, though they are running out and I am not replenishing their stock right now. I do have some work left here but I have not made anything new in a long time.

I spent a lot of money and energy this summer reaching out to new shops, but that was a bust. Perhaps I picked the wrong shops, or the wrong means (postcards) of reaching out. Or perhaps it was time for a break, which is what I settled on.

During 2010 I was in overdrive with a move into a home we own, a renovation, an intensive business class, a first wholesale show, and a share at the bustling Union Square Holiday Market. Not to mention a big high school reunion.

All of which felt like too much all at once and none of which I felt ready for. I suppose I am glad I did it all, but I can’t say that given those opportunities again under those circumstances, that I would do it again.

More than a year later I feel like I am still recovering.

Poetry Dips

I love the bible dips Augusten Burroughs describes in “Running with Scissors”:

“All the Finches did bible-dips. It was like asking a Magic Eight Ball a question, only you were asking God. The way it worked was, one person held the bible while another person thought of a question to ask God, like, ‘Should I get my hair cut short?’ Then the person holding the bible opened it at random, and the person asking the question dropped his or her finger on the page. Whatever word your finger landed on, this was your answer.”

As an agnostic, I prefer other texts. This morning I will use a book of Emily Dickinson’s poems. I land on the word “confronting.” Maybe I need to ask a different question.

Bridge Walker

Whenever I can, I walk over the Brooklyn Bridge as part of my commute to work.

I am decidedly crankier on days I don’t get to do this.

I got to walk over the bridge today. Yay.

Year of the Dragon

Happy Lunar New Year. It’s the year of the dragon. I was born many lunar new years ago,  five days into the year of the ox.

The ox is powerful, calm, goal-oriented, and patient, introverted, and sometimes lonely and insecure. Compatible with Snake and Rooster.

I prefer to align myself with the rat, the year that was happening while I was in utero.

The rat is tenacious, charming, and clever. Loyal and generous to friends, greedy, envious, and manipulative on bad days. Compatible with Dragon and Monkey.

Plus, my husband is a full-blooded dragon, and we’re quite compatible.

Five Years Ago

I had taken a break from teaching and was in the habit of walking to the temp job I had in the file room at SEIU Local 32BJ. Somewhere along Grand Street I noticed a plane flying really really low. Thinking it was probably just my faulty depth perception, I decided to duck into a shop for tea. It being SoHo, and my being an impecunious temp, I came out of the shop without anything.

When I made it down to Canal Street I could see that I’d been right about the plane, and that it had smashed through one of the towers. A horrible accident.

I went into work a bit dazed. All we did was talk about the horrible accident.

Until the second plane hit. At this point, perhaps in my innocent optimism, I was still thinking that maybe it was just that the air traffic controllers at Kennedy were asleep. Luckily, other people at the office were more alert and we all got out of Lower Manhattan.

The subways were closed, as was the Brooklyn Bridge. Feeling trapped on the island, I remember the rest of the day in snippets:

Running to the East Village with a bunch of people from work.

Trying to get someone on the phone.

Finally getting through to my grandmother, who said “These things happen.”

Meeting friends of friends in the West Village and having lunch together at a restaurant that had stayed openn to preserve some feeling of normalcy.

Finally walking home over the Manhattan Bridge with a group of people I’d never met before.

Walking around Carroll Gardens at night with friends, surrounded by charred paper and smoke.

Somehow getting to sleep.

I Wanna Go Back

It was a little dizzying:


San Gaetano-Ischia-Rome-Home. In twenty days.
(I have family in Livorno). I’m still exhausted but I wish I’d seen more. And that I’d spent longer in each place. Ahhh…endless summer…