Monday, June 30, 2008


This is my future tiny house. My husband agreed that it would be nice to have one as a getaway. I guess that I didn't make it clear that I wanted one all for myself, ie, a tiny house of one's own.


I also like this one. Not sure about the name, though. "Harbinger " sounds like bad news.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why I love tiny houses

Maybe it's because I, myself, am small—tiny, if you will. I'm five feet tall. Arms stretched out to my sides, I estimate that I am about five feet wide. In my tiny house fantasy, I live alone. Everything in the house is designed for me. Rarely would I need a stool to reach what I need. Doorknobs, cabinets, faucets, mirrors, the toilet—all at precisely the right height for me, and no one else.

I like this one by Tumbleweed Houses. It's 251 square feet. That's approximately 8 times the square footage of the guinea pig condo (not a cage!) that Mark built for Dom and Koko. Everything is big in suburbia.

My love of tiny houses extends beyond my physical stature. Who needs 2,500 square feet to heat, cool, and clean? But that's pretty much the minium size around here. I'd love to take a typical 1.5 acre lot and plop down a Loring. People would be baffled.

I'm waiting for Tumbleweed to post pictures of the inside. In the meantime I will decorate it in my mind.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

This may not be

working out. I spent too much time today lying on the futon in the guinea pig room, shades drawn, air-conditioner running. I read a bit from "Sabriel" but mostly I dozed. I got up briefly for an ill-timed bowl of Grape Nuts (it was 4pm, which I can tell you is a depressing time to be eating cereal), then went back to the couch.

But earlier today we joined the ranks of the granite-counter top-kitchen homeowners. Soon we will have great expanses of natural resources in the color of Green Butterfly gracing our culinary sector. Next, the linoneluem comes up and the hard wood floors go down.

Then, for sure, I will be happy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The big rigs roaring past my window

on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway are a gentle reminder that I am not in suburbia tonight. I'm staying at my parents' house in Brooklyn, the house that I lived in from 1979 to 1993. My friend John Davey once said that this house reminds him of a cave, like the Hobbit's house. I'm not sure, but I think that he said it in admiration. John is originally from an upscale suburb of Detroit, where I imagine that the houses are as large as many of the prefab monstrosities in my Connecticut neighborhood, but much more solid and stately. I bet that John would say that he came to New York City to get away from solid and stately.

I think that an 18-wheeler just drove through the upstairs bedrooms. Great beard of Zeus, it's loud here. I'd forgotten.

I hear my sister's baby, Alex, crying through the monitor that is sitting next to the computer. My sister Amy lives here now with her infant twins. I hear Amy talking softly. Now, she's making a sort of grrr-grrr noise. Alex has stopped crying. Amazing.

It's strange to be in this 200-year old house. According to local lore, this four-story brick building at various times was home to a speakeasy, a grocery, and a whorehouse. This was all before Robert Moses built the BQE, severing neighboring Red Hook from the industrialized world. Some 45 years later, Red Hook is now home to an IKEA. The Swedes even offer free ferry and bus service for car-less Manhattanites. So things I suppose are looking up in The Hook, depending on how you look at it.

This post seems to be meandering a bit more than I'd like, but it's okay because:

a) I'm writing again, finally.
b) No one is reading this.

Good night, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The No Facebook Day Experiment Didn’t

work, exactly. It didn’t work in the sense that I kept Facebook open all day and refreshed the homepage every ten minutes or so. I didn’t give any status updates, or upload any pictures or comment on anyone’s pictures or send anyone any banana plants or karma or sushi. But, all-in-all, it wasn’t a very successful attempt at Facebook detox. To add to my obsessive-compulsive behavior, I kept open a forum page on which people were leaving comments about a local news story concerning some teens I’ve worked with. I kept refreshing that page, too—all day. I was tempted to write in with my own comments, but my fragile sense of superiority kept me from joining the poorly-worded and spelled, nasty, and mostly ridiculous rants.

Then I remembered something: I like to read. Books.

So I got dressed, got into my car, and drove to the library. There I picked up “The Case Files of Detective Lazlo Briscoe: True Crime in Newtown 1889-1933,” by Andrea Zimmermann. Andrea is a librarian at the C.H. Booth Library. I also took out “Civil & Strange,” by Cláir Ní Aonghusa. I chose it because I liked the cover—a row of brightly colored cottages lining a European small-town street. I also borrowed “Sabriel,” by Garth Nix, recommended by the YA librarian Margaret Brown. I’ve decided to start reading some of the books that my 14-year-old creative writing students are always talking about.

My cat keeps attacking my fingers as they hit the keyboard. I think that she’s trying to tell me something.

Time to hit the books.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I may need to stop

paying attention to what other people are doing. At least, such close attention. Joining Facebook has been fun, but possibly not a good thing. It's essentially Googlestalking to the hundredth power. Friends and acquaintances and people whom I barely know or haven't heard of before offer up the details of their lives to the general public. As do I. We--or at least I--tailor the information that I provide to smooth out the edges and imbue every aspect of my life with more meaning that it really deserves.

Lately I find myself sitting down to write, but instead wandering off into the lives of others. Wondering if they are happier than I am, cooler, having more fun. Eventually concluding that they definitely are.

Then I go back to the draft I'm working on, and find that it has taken on a drab hue that I hadn't noticed before. I lose focus. I lose interest. I go back to Facebook, or into the kitchen for some frozen cookies, or off to play with my cat.

So maybe what I need is a No Facebook Day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I find this funny

I finally decided to take a peek at last year's NaNo attempt. To my surprise, it contains over 100,000 words. I was sure that it was shorter. Upon further inspection however, I discovered that the last 40,000 or so words consist of this single paragraph, repeated:


Hm. I don't remember having trouble uploading my word count. Must have blocked it out.