Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Getting caught in travel karma

This time, I don’t think it was my travel karma, I think I got caught in someone else’s bad luck. As you might recall, yesterday I was taking the train to NYC to meet friends for dinner. It was sprinkling a little, so I took an umbrella as I left the house (at 5:00 p.m.) and I had a nice leisurely walk to the train station. The train pulled into the station on time and I caught it with ease.

At Chappaqua, ten minutes into my hour commute, the train stopped at the station and the conductor announced that they were holding us. Later they came on the speaker and said that the tracks were flooded. Interesting. Then they came on again and said that a tree had come down on the tracks, because of the flooding and that they were going to bus us around the flooding to White Plains, several stops farther down the line.

They filled three busses–I was on the third–the first two got stuck, someplace, which I heard about because I was sitting at the front of the bus close to the train conductor. By this point it was rush hour and the bus was inching forward. We finally got to the turn for the train station, and there was a police car there. Why? Initially I thought it was because someone had had a wreck, and there was a wrecked car there, but that was a mere coincidence. The policeman was there to steer traffic away from the train station because it was on fire.

He told us that we had to continue down the road we were on, and go to the next station. Unfortunately, the road went under a bridge that was 9’5″, the bus was 10’2″. The driver realized this before we got to it, but it did mean that we had to detour again. The detour led us to a stretch of road on which the water was so deep, that the door handles were under water. So he did a very impressive three point turn and finally found a route to the station to get us on the train.

Once I was on the train again, everything went smoothly, but I didn’t arrive in NYC for dinner until 9:30. Four and a half hours after I left the house. But I think the travel karma belonged to someone else, because once I reached the subway, there was a train waiting everytime I reached a platform.

I wound up staying at Jonathan’s because I couldn’t face the trip home. Sarah had the spare bed, and I took the couch. Today she and I went out to coffee and then lunch. So, in the end, it was lovely.

Turning the brain off

Yesterday, I turned my brain off and just relaxed. Peter and family are away in the Hamptons so I have their entire rambling 1905 Craftsman home to myself. It’s very peaceful.

Today we’ve had thunderstorms, which I have missed. The first serious clap of thunder made me jump; I’d forgotten how loud it can be. Tonight I’m heading into NYC to visit with some LazyTown friends. Julie and Sarah, the two puppeteers from the UK happen to both be in town at the same time. We’re all going to the Chinese restaurant where I went with Mom and Dad. It should be fun.


I came to NYC for an audition today. It was a bit crazy. Imagine a room of thirty puppeteers, most of whom know each other, and then realize that there are only three parts available. So there was this curious mix of cameraderie and cut-throat craziness. They cut the group after about four hours, and I didn’t make the cut. I’m disappointed, of course, but there were enough outstanding puppeteers in the room that I can’t be hurt about it. I’m delighted that I was on the list at all.

This means the rest of my time here is free! So, I’ll visit with friends, get caught up on some things. Simple things, like, say, sleep.

Garden Party

Rob and I went across the street to Matt and Marietta’s for a garden party. Marietta started a community garden on the vacant lot that she and Matt own. (We have two rows there.)And they invited all the friends and neighbors to come over for potluck and music.

Staten Island

I went to Staten Island for the first time, in order to have lunch with some writer friends. We had a great time and talked for several hours, and then Dan offered to give me a lift to Brooklyn, since it would save me some time.

Or rather, it would have, if his car had not decided to die in front of the place he was dropping me off. Joy, his wife and their three year old were in the car with us. So we had to wait for two hours for AAA to show up. Ah, well. They were fun to talk to.

Puppet Heap

I spent the day hanging out shooting the breeze with Ron Binion, an old puppeteer friend of mine. We were meeting for lunch and then wound up talking shop for hours. Afterwards, I met up with Sue B. who is heading to Italy. Now I’m back in Katonah.

New York

I arrived in NYC with no problems. I had dinner with my friend Sue, and am now sitting in a coffee shop enjoying the internet while waiting for Peter to get out of his show. I’m staying up in Katonah at Peter and Marlene’s place for the next couple of nights. So far, the trip has been uneventful. We’ll see if it continues to be so.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Rob and I are both lucky enough to have mothers who would be our friends even if they weren’t related to us. So you’d think, with such wonderful ladies, that we would have raised to know when Mother’s Day is. But that’s how good and modest they are, not seeking false praise or–

Okay, so we forgot. But we love both of you!

Friends and family

Rob and I went to brunch with our friend MaryClaire, and had great conversation ranging through politics to food to fashion. We like her a lot.

After she took off, I worked on an layout for David C. for a bit he’s doing for the Portland Monthly. It was fairly easy and a ice break from routine.

I also wrote a new flash fiction piece for the Liberty Hall Challenge.

In the evening, Rob and I went to dinner with his folks and Don and Yan at Higgins. Again, it was a really delightful evening. Don brought a bottle of wine from 1964 in honor of Rob’s 40th, since his folks weren’t here for the actual day.

Pat and Glenn are heading back to Hawaii after a trip that was much, much too short.

Champagne Tasting

We had a lovely gathering here with fifteen friends for a champagne tasting. Rob used to do these before we met, but hadn’t done one in years. It was a lovely afternoon. I will post a photo or two later, with the menu.

Delivering the Fish Part II

Installation went very well. The guys the University sent with the ladder were great and very friendly. They got my pulleys up, and the lines installed. The fish goes up and down like a dream. The fellow who hired me is ecstatic.

The show is Saturday night, I’ll try to get some good pictures. For those readers in Portland, Carp et Diva plays at 7:30, Saturday the 16th of April at Lewis & Clark College.


Our dear friend, Eve, came over today and studied the wall. She pronounced that I was right and Burlap was horrible–this, despite the fact that she had liked the paint chip too–and further expounded to say that it was “baby-puke brown.” Lovely for kitchen walls as I’m sure you can imagine.

However! We rearranged the pictures and other ornaments in the kitchen and discovered a pairing of colors and wall that wasn’t so bad. It’s still going to get painted over, but it isn’t actively offensive anymore.

We then went to plot out the houses for the walking map of the Irvington Home Tour.

Carp and Diva

I am building a giant carp for a new opera called Carp and Diva. I haven’t heard it yet, but the libretto is as silly as the title sounds. Since some people have asked what it is that I do, exactly, for a living, I thought I would show a bit of process. I start by meeting with the director, in this case the composer,and talking about the project. Then I do a drawing for their approval.

Once that is approved, I do a technical drawing, usually at full scale. This one is not very complicated since there are no mechanisms and the puppet is essentially a tube with decorations.

Next I make a pattern from the technical drawing and assemble the pieces. I’m using two types of foam here. The blue stuff is a polyethelyne foam and is fairly stiff, but still flexible. The white stuff is a reticulated foam called Dri-fast. I’m using it for the outer layer of the fish because it has some stretch to it. The pieces are held together with either hotglue, a contact cement called Barge (strong but toxic) or, ironically, fishing line.

After I get the shape built then I begin the process of covering the puppet with fabric. Most of the work is hand-stitched. At this point in the process of the fish I’ve done about seven hours of work. You’ll notice a small figure on the fish’s dorsal fin.

That’s a Flat Stanley that a friend has sent to visit me. I thought I’d take Stanley to work before sending him back to New York.

So there you go. That’s what I do for a living. I’ll post a picture of the fish when it’s finished.

Yard and friends.

I did some yard work today, including planting the raised bed/wine barrels in the front yard. Rob went down to the studio to edit Christmas Carol. And Don Dougherty stopped by for wine and cheese. It was nice to see him. The weather was so nice that we actually sat in the back yard. Lovely.

I am now going downstairs to remove the cats’ food bowls because Maggie goes in for surgery tomorrow morning. She’s not allowed to have food after 8pm tonight.

Happy New Year!

Or Happy Bris as a friend of mine pointed out. Although the calendar is supposed to date from the birth of Jesus, it actually begins eight days after his birth. Why? Because–being born into a Jewish household–that would have been his bris. Interesting, no?

In any case, Rob and I woke up late this morning. He made waffles and now we are lounging around in our pajamas. I hope your New Year has as satisfactory a beginning as ours.