Wednesday, March 04, 2015


I keep waking up earlier and earlier--maybe my body's way of preparing me to spring forward? Or maybe it's this stupid cough that I can't seem to shake, which wakes me up approximately every four hours. If my life were a movie, I would definitely be dying of tuberculosis soon.

In a curious role switch, instead of being stared at by Theo, I've been gazed at by Gus all morning. WHY WE'RE UP SO EARLY? WHAT FUN THING ARE WE DOING NOW? He usually sleeps in.

I can't recommend The Great British Baking Show/Bake Off highly enough, by the way. It is the best-natured reality show I've ever watched, with sweet bakers competing nicely, decent, thoughtful judges, and goofy, kind hosts. All of them, of course, British and thus charming. I'm going to attempt a cake they made one week, a many-layered thing cooked under the broiler ("grill" in UK-speak), almost like a pile of crêpes covered with jam and iced in chocolate.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Iced In

I was listening to a story about this woman who's been stuck alone on an island for a month, and when I heard that she has plenty of food, a phone, Internet, and her dog, I thought, "Well that wouldn't be so bad!" The lack of running water, I guess, would be not so fun. But otherwise--her friends even airdropped some coffee and other stuff for her.

It's probably good, however, that we live in Maine's largest city, with actual people we have to speak to and interact with from time to time. And reliable running water, always.

This says so much.

It's supposed to be 45 degrees tomorrow, which sounds like summer weather at this point! But there's a lot of snow out there, and when it melts, it's going to be a mess...

Ruthless Portland, Maine power couple? Or just Mark and me?

But on we go, out into the world every day, back into our house to huddle in sweaters beside the stove, to drink hot drinks and eat fried eggs on things (spaghetti!*) and watch TV and read books and old New Yorkers and work and work and venture back out with Gus again.

I am always proud of Zoë and Isaac, pretty much bursting with how amazing they both are, but lately they are making it really hard for a mom not to brag like crazy.

*Which makes me think of the inimitable "More Spaghetti I Say," with its stuck-in-my-head-for-life lines,

"Oh no.
I can't play.
I can't play with you, Freddy.
Not now.
Can't you see?
I am eating spaghetti."

Monday, March 02, 2015

In My Neighborhood

Neighborhood update:

The corgi people keep collecting corgis, and now have (at least) three of them.

There is a beautiful snow whale around the corner from our house, except today I saw that its head's been a little bit bashed in.

All the houses have icicles, even the Perfect House. I look at them and think about the attics inside, about the insulation in the attics. About warm air and water melting and freezing.

There are so many birds--so many huge robins lately, and I was worried for them until I read that this is normal, they are fine. They don't migrate, exactly, and do perfectly well in cold weather. They may be Canadian robins, larger than the usual ones, or just puffed up in their winter feathers.

There is still snow crunching under my boots, and as cold as it is, I love that sound. Even more, I love (as I did when I was eight) cracking think sheets of ice with my feet. There's nothing more disappointing than a stretch of ice-puddles on the sidewalk that have already been broken (no doubt by an eight year-old).

Inside our house, the slow kitchen progress continues. All of the tile is up, and most of it is grouted. We have some painting to do, a window sill to stain, seal, and install, a pendant lamp to hang, a floor to clean, stain, and seal. AND THEN the cabinets.

Theo the cat, the wonderful wonderful cat.

Here is Theo standing on his hind legs, admiring the tile work.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Playlist for the Endless Winter

The Fox in the Snow

"Fox in the snow, where do you go
To find something you can eat?
Cause the word out on the street is you are starving
Don’t let yourself grow hungry now
Don’t let yourself grow cold
Fox in the snow."


Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

"And if the snow buries my,
my neighbourhood.
And if my parents are crying
then I'll dig a tunnel
from my window to yours,
yeah a tunnel
from my window to yours.
You climb out the chimney
and meet me in the middle,
the middle of the town.
And since there's no one else around,
we let our hair grow long
and forget all we used to know,
then our skin gets thicker
from living out in the snow."


"Well I'm lookin at the snowflakes
And they all look the same."

Blood Bank

"Then the snow started falling
We were stuck out in your car
You were rubbing both of my hands
Chewing on a candy bar."

White Winter Hymnal

"I was following the pack, all swallowed in their coats
With scarves of red tied 'round their throats
To keep their little heads from falling in the snow,
and I turned 'round and there you go
And Michael, you would fall
and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime."

For Emma

"My knees are cold..."

Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michel Foucault In Paris, 1961) 

"Oh, I could show you the way shadows colonize snow
Ice breaking up on the bay off the Lassiter coast
Light failing over the pole as every longitude leads
up to your frost bitten feet oh, you're very sweet."

January Hymn

"On a winter's Sunday I go
To clear away the snow
and green the ground below
April, all an ocean away,
is this the better way to spend the day?
Keeping the winter at bay."

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


Jake Gyllenhaal's face--
his whole essence--is so strange.
You can't stop looking.