Sunday, December 31, 2006


This is the first time in my life that I have felt sad saying goodbye to a calendar year.


Late last night I stripped the sheets off my bed to change them. I hadn’t taken my shower and there were dishes in the sink from the day. The radiator heated up the room past the point of comfort and suddenly, such an intense wave of sleepiness came over me that I decided to forget about the dishes and the shower, even about putting sheets on the bed. I took off my clothes, opened the windows wide, and in a matter of minutes I had fallen asleep on the bed, just like that.

My body was cold when I opened my eyes at 5:48 a.m., I grabbed a sweatshirt, got back in bed, contemplated my life for an hour then fell back asleep.

2006 has been a year of transition and awakening. It’s been the best year of my life and with the exception of 1996, it’s also been the worst year of my life. I’ve laughed more this year than I ever have, I’ve cried more than I ever have, and with the arrival of its end I can feel that something in me has changed. Not just the obvious changes from an entire year of change, but a change that has taken place in the last two weeks, the last two days, and in the minute I lay down naked on a sheetless bed with the windows open and winter pouring in.

2006 has been a year of upheaval and confusion, and much of the time I have felt that I wasn’t holding the wheel, had no say in what road to take or where I was going.

In these last few days of 2006 I am still and uncertain. For the first time in years I have no idea what my next job will be, what the next season will bring, who will be the next person I share coffee with. It’s the first time, when I look forward, I can’t really see anything.

Maybe I’ve let go of the wheel and dropped the map, maybe I won’t decide on a road or a destination. At least not today, the very last day of the most important year of my life.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Nose

Tai took this picture of Oakley today.


I posted before the new year.

Listening to at the Moment...

Rahsaan Roland Kirk "Rip, Rig & Panic/Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

New England Winter Trees

Heading back to the city, Tai is coming in from California so I will be off the blog until the new year. Have a happy one. xoxox, Katie

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A New Posting at Annie's Blog!

Please visit.

Holiday Harlot

This morning I unwrapped the "Oktober Fest" Barbie doll given to Annie by her Aunt Jennifer, and brought it to her.

Annie: "Is this a doll I can play with?"

Me: "Yes, but remember, you had that beautiful African Barbie in her tribal garb, the Japanese one in the kimono, and the Indian one with that pink sari. But honey, you take off their pretty clothes, put mini skirts on them, undo their hair, and they all end up looking like..."

Annie: "Hoochie Mamas?"

Me: "Exactly, and you don’t want this one to end up looking like a Hoochie Mama, do you?"

Annie: "She already does Mom!"

Blog On Hold

Heading up north for a couple of days. May post, may not.

Love to all,


Monday, December 25, 2006


“Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.”

~D.H. Lawrence

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Chicken Run

Yesterday, as I ran along the path in upper Manhattan’s Ft. Tryon Park, a pink sky hung over the Hudson River and the sun cast its gentle light over the George Washington Bridge.

I’m not a runner, not someone who wants to run, but nonetheless, I have to do it, and I had found a comfortable pace when I spotted something in the distance.

Perched on top of the stone wall that lines the path was an enormous and beautiful chicken, a rooster, standing proudly in all his glory. I stopped.

The first thing that came to my mind was the obvious—what is a chicken doing in New York City? But the next thought was one I’ve had countless times in my life: Why do animals who lose their way—the unweaned puppy separated from its mother, the cat in the tree, the stranded mouse, the legless frog—always seem to find me?

As I stared into the chicken’s face, he began to talk. I tried my best to offer him comfort, telling him it would be okay, but the truth was, I didn’t have a clue as to how to help.

Soon, he decided to walk up the path toward the street and toward the oncoming traffic. Yes, the chicken was intent on crossing the road.

I walked beside him, discouraging him from making what might have been the biggest mistake of his life, but he tried in vain to get past me. Soon he gave up, took to a safer part of the path, and proceeded to look for food.

I picked up my cell phone and dialed 311 for city complaints. A female operator answered.

“Three-one-one,” she said, “What is your complaint?”

“It’s not really a complaint,” I said. “It’s just that, well, I’m standing west of the Cloisters building and there’s a chicken in need of some assistance.”

“A chicken?” The operator said.

“Yeah, a chicken,” I replied. “You know, like the kind you find on a farm?”

“A farm chicken?” the woman asked.

“I suppose,” I answered.

For a moment, the operator and I were silent, and then I offered, “Is there some sort of animal rescue you could connect me to?”

“Let me see,” said the operator, and now I could hear the smile in her voice.

“I bet you hear a lot of crazy stuff, don’t you?” I asked.

“Oh yes,” she replied.

“I bet you could write a book,” I said.

“Oh yes,” she replied.

Then I whispered, “I bet the chicken would make it into the book, wouldn’t it?”

The operator couldn’t control herself any longer. She laughed. “Oh definitely!”

I stayed on the line as the operator connected me to Animal Rescue, and soon another woman picked up.

“What is your concern?” she asked.

“My concern is that there’s a chicken in the park,” I said. “And it needs to be picked up.”

“A chicken?” asked the woman.

“Yes, a chicken. Well, actually, a male chicken. You know, a rooster.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, “We don’t pick up chickens.”

“You don’t pick up CHICKENS?” I said. “A chicken is an animal and aren’t you there to protect animals? I don’t know, that seems like discrimination.”

“I’m sorry,” said the woman. “We only pick up domestic animals.”

“But a chicken IS a domestic animal,” I argued. “Because honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the term, Wild chicken, have you?”

“No, no, I haven’t,” said the woman, “but regardless, we just don’t pick up chickens!”

I could see I was getting nowhere with her.

“Is there anyone else you can suggest I call?” I asked, and she said I might try the Department of Environmental Protection.

“I don’t think they’ll be there on a Saturday,” she said curtly. “But if they are, they won’t pick up the chicken unless you detain it first.”

“I’m not going to detain a chicken!” I said. “I just want to finish my run, go home, shower and go out tonight.”

Unmoved, the operator replied, “Please hold.”

Soon a machine picked up and announced that the Environmental Protection Agency was not open on Sundays, and would I be so kind as to leave a message.

So I did: “There’s a chicken in Ft, Tryon Park. Whatever.” I hung up.

Then I dialed 411 and asked for the number for NYPD’s 34th Precinct.

“NYPD on 34th Street?” The operator repeated my request.

“No,” I said, “the 34th Precinct on Broadway. Upper Manhattan.”

“Yeah, that’s what I said!” argued the operator.

“Actually, that’s not what you said,” I replied, “May I just have the number, please?”

After a few rings, the line was picked up.

“Thirty-forth Precinct” said Officer Italian-Last-Name-Thick-Bronx Accent (we’ll call him Pulcino for the story), “how can I help you?”

“Well, for starters, this is not an emergency,” I said.

“Okay,” said Officer Pulcino.

“I was running along the path, just west of the Cloisters building, and I ran into a chicken.”

“A chicken?” said the officer.

“Yes, a chicken. A big beautiful chicken who must have once lived on a farm and who somehow found himself in New York City, and I think he’s in need of some assistance.”

“I know two people who can come get him right away,” replied the officer.

“You DO?” I asked.

“Yeah, just stay where you are and I’ll have a patrol car there in a few minutes.”

Before we got off the line he asked my exact location. At that point I was walking with the chicken, heading north, still trying to keep him away from the road.

After I hung up the phone, the bird decided to go on an excursion. Up the path, down the path, every place except where I told Officer Pulcino I would be.

I was growing increasingly exasperated with Mr. Rooster, but the cops were coming and I couldn’t leave. As a woman and her dog came toward me up the path, I decided to have a little fun.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Would you mind holding your dog a bit tighter? I’m walking my chicken.”

For a split second the woman looked perplexed, then she spotted the chicken and gasped. She walked away laughing, but I didn’t crack a smile. “Come on sweetie,” I called to my pet, “It’s getting late, we need to get home.”

(I’ve always gotten pleasure out of having strangers think I’m insane, not sure why.)

Just then my cell phone rang. It was David. He and Annie had just returned home after an afternoon at the movies.

“Where are you?” he asked.

“I’m in the park with a chicken,” I replied.

“A chicken?” he said, and I proceeded to provide him all the details. He laughed.

After we hung up, I decided to check in with my police officer.

“Hi,” I said, “It’s me, from the park…with the chicken?”

“Did my guys get there yet?” asked Officer Pulcino.

“No,” I said, “Not yet.”

“Oh, okay,” he said.

“Tell me,” I said, “who do you know that would be so quick to come pick up a lost chicken?”

He explained that a year ago there had been a call to pick up a chicken, and these two officers successfully retrieved it and brought it back to the station.

I immediately thought that my feathered friend might be fated to join the illegal and cruel world of cock fighting, but the truth was, my intuition told me that this was more about a couple of animal-loving officers, or at least two benevolent cops who liked to rack up interesting stories to tell their buddies over coffee and donuts.

I hung up with Pulcino and continued to follow the bird as it made its way along the path, clucking and pecking.

Pretty soon there were several people gathered around, marveling at the sight of a chicken in the city. They smiled, took photos, laughed. But I wasn’t laughing and I wasn’t smiling. I was obligated to make sure this thing wouldn’t end up as road-kill.

Just then my cell phone rang. David.

“Guess what! That chicken you’re with? It isn’t lost at all!”

“What do you mean?”

Dave went on to tell me that Stefanos, the night doorman, informed him that the chicken has been living in the park near the New Leaf Café for the past five years, and that it was often seen frolicking along the paths and yes, even crossing the road.

Suddenly the dream of my hot shower seemed within reach, and I happily declared my job as poultry protector over.

I bid farewell to my friend, and started down the path toward home. But there was one more call I had to make.

“Hey, officer, it’s me.”

“Are my guys there yet?” he asked.

“No,” I said, “but the mystery of the chicken has been solved!”

I explained the story of the bird, the café, the frolicking.

Officer Pulcino had one more question for me.

“What does that chicken look like?” he asked.

“What does it LOOK like? It looks like a chicken, a male chicken, a rooster, big and beautiful, brown, gold and red, you know, the kind in a children’s picture book, the kind that lives on a farm, the kind that makes a lot of noise and wakes you up in the morning!”

“I only ask,” said the officer, “because, as I mentioned earlier, last year at the very same spot, we got a call for a chicken needing to be picked up, but it was all white. The guys brought him in, found him a good home, and the chicken lived happily ever after.”

“That’s a beautiful story, officer,” I said. “Thank you for being so sensitive and trying to help.”

“Oh no,” said Pulcino. “Thank YOU.”

“I’m glad you’re out there working for the city,” I told him, continuing our mutual admiration.

“And I’m glad you’re out there…protecting chickens,” he said to me.

I was sure that the story of my chicken run had ended there…but today…as I warmed up for another run, a lady holding a dog on a leash called to me from the street.

“Aren’t you the woman with the chicken?” she asked.

I stopped.


She went on to tell me that she’d seen me the day before, that she felt badly for not coming over and helping out, but that her dog, a rescue, was a hunting dog and would have devoured the poor chicken. I told her the whole story to put her mind at ease.

“It’s not true,” she replied.

“Excuse me?” I said, taken aback.

“It’s not true,” she continued. “Someone keeps dumping chickens over there, something to do with a ritual.”

“You mean like voodoo?” I asked.

“Exactly!” said the woman, her eyes widening.

“They leave them in the area where they know all the wild cats are so they’ll come and kill the chickens! she said. “There was another about a year ago, an all white one.”

“Well, that’s just great,” I replied. “I thought the thing was fine, and now I’ll have to go check on it again, call the precinct again…”

The woman apologized for being the bearer of bad news, and when I realized she intended to walk with me into the park and continue the conversation, I let her know I had to start running.

I sprinted off, and when the woman was out of sight, I stopped and phoned Dave.

“I’m obsessed with the welfare of the chicken again!” I said,” and I told him about the lady, the voodoo, the cats.

“You can’t just take the word of some woman on the street!" he said. "How does she know this was a chicken sacrifice? That just sounds like a paranoid view of life and you can’t just decide that’s the truth!"

I hung up with Dave, thought he was right, and I felt better.
I picked up my pace and ran on, and as I approached the stone wall where I first found the rooster, I noticed something.

Placed carefully on the wall was a pile of dried cat food.

I didn’t stop, I didn’t look back. There was nothing I could do but run.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday Morning

I'm not a huge lover of classical music, but the right piece in the right place can lend itself to a perfect moment. And with the sun up against the clouds and a songbird in the tree, the sweet and melodic sound of a violin lingering in the space between two city buildings does just that.

Christmas Phone Support

Katie: “David, I'm feeling like doing something a little crazy and want to run in past you.”

Dave: “And what’s that?”

Katie: “Well, there’s a doll that Annie wants from Santa, but it’s $90.”

Dave: “And what does it do?”

Katie: “Oh, I don’t know, it pees.”

Dave: “You mean that one on TV?”

Katie: “Yeah, she’s wanted it for over a year and I’m wondering if we shouldn’t just get it.”

Dave: “I think that’s the operative word, ‘Shouldn’t.’”

Katie: “Okay, thanks, I’m sorry, it must just be the caffeine.”


Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Gift

He always brings me close... to where I long to be.

At The Half Note...

Happy Birthday Giacomo Puccini

Locker Room Talk

Annie and I are in the women's locker room at the pool. Two women have their toddler boys with them.

Annie: "MOM... there are BOYS in here."

Me: "Annie, they're BABIES."

Annie: "Well, they shouldn't have the experience of looking at girl's vaginas! They're innocent I tell you!"

Celebrity Crush

Johnathon Schaech


My mother describes her feelings to me about people who speak in public on their cell phones, candidly and loudly.

Mom: “I think to myself, oh, don’t do that, please don’t do that, I want to love you. I want to think of what a cute baby you were and I want to love you!”

Overheard Annie Telling a Friend:

“I can’t wait for boys to fall in love with me and to go shopping with my mom and she’ll buy me stuff she normally wouldn’t buy me like belly shirts!"


“When genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot”

~D.H. Lawrence

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Her World

I was bringing groceries into the lobby when I heard Annie calling from outside.

“Mommy, come here!”

She asked me to stand beside her as she excitedly pointed to the tree in front of the building.

“Look!” she said with a huge smile on her face, “How all the branches make a circle, a spiral!”

It took me a minute to see what she had seen in an instant, and when I did, the realization of how present she was to the world around her filled my heart.

I had my camera and attempted several times to take a picture of the tree, but the streetlamp was too bright, there was no way to capture the spiral.

Annie asked if she could try, but it was cold and I wanted to get inside.

“I’ve already taken 6 shots and it’s just not working,” I said. “The light makes it impossible.”

Stefanos, the night doorman, also agreed. Because of the light, there was no way to capture the image.

Annie pleaded with me to let her try so I handed her the camera, she pointed it toward the tree and clicked.

"I got it!" she shouted.

And indeed, she got it.


Since I can't have it in Barcelona this morning, I'll have it in a cup I bought in Barcelona.

Can't Help Loving Him

His sound blows through me like a breeze,
He played before I was born but he plays for me.
From his heart to mine,
Tears come,
A smile breaks,
And as I listen in this moment...
There is nothing else.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just Some Beauty...


“Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything.

Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.”

~D.H. Lawrence

Note: I don't really believe it, but it is a beautiful sentiment. ~kb

From "Overheard in New York."

Girl: "What's the plural of 'Jesus'? Jesuses? Jesi?"

Friend: "Why would you ever need to pluralize 'Jesus'? There's only one!"

Girl: "Well, like, if you were at a Halloween party or something and you had to tell your friend 'There were, like, eight Jesi at the party last night."

Friend: "Just stop talking."

~Grand Central


When I was little, I used to think that it was my father's profile on the head side of the quarter.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tuesday Night

Annie: "Mommy, am I a chip off the old block?"

Katie: "No, honey, I think you're a chip off your OWN block."


“The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure.”

~D.H. Lawrence

Sunday Night TV.

Dave: “There’s my other life story: ‘Growing Up Creepy.’”

Sunday Night TV.

David flips through the channels, stops and hits the "Info" button.

Dave: "That's going to be my life story: 'In 2021 a man discovers that his estranged wife has been cloned.'"

Sunday Night TV.

Dave: "Oh! Golf! Post-game show! Woo-hoo!"

Monday, December 18, 2006


“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.

We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

~Albert Schweitzer

Winter Tree on My Street

I Confess...

Our little tree is fake, and I just love it.

Is it Wrong...?

... to serve pasta to your guests from a roasting pan?

Photo by Annie Kosh

Saturday Morning Love Note

While David is fast asleep, Annie writes notes to leave beside his pillow.

Love Note From Annie, I Think.

Crazy, okay. But EVIL?


“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth.”

~Robert Southey

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sunday Morning

"If we're lucky, we arrive at a place in our lives when we stand before ourselves, and the reflection we see, once slightly blurred, begins to come into focus."


Sketches of Spain

Although I did much exploring on my own, Guillermo and his family were so generous with their time and would often take me around the city.

These pictures were taken on the day that Guillermo and his delightful daughter Janna showed me the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, another structure designed by the great Antoni Gaudí.

The story of Gaudí and the images of his work are endlessly fascinating. Click here to learn more.

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the face of a father who adores his daughter.

Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia

A ceiling


Guillermo loves and admires Gaudi.