Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blog on Hold ...

I'm hitting the road this morning, heading to the mountains of Pennsylvania with Annie and her friend. Unfortunately, although David is staying home, he has turned down my invitation to be "Guest Blogger," therefore there will be no one to cover here at The Half Note.

I'll return Friday night, blog resumes Monday, June 5th if not before. In the meantime, here are a couple of offerings...



When I pack a stuffed animal into a suitcase, there is a moment where my body tenses and I'm afraid it won't be able to breathe.

Ignored Advice

"He's a fine young man dear, but couldn't you choose a guy with just a LITTLE money in his pocket?"

--What my father would say when he'd meet a new boyfriend of mine.

The Wild Side of Mothering

Annie: "Daddy, you're a house cat. House cats make better daddies."

Katie: "And what am I?"

Annie: "You're a wild cat. But wild cats make better mommies. House cats that are mommies just clean and eat popcorn all day."


“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”

--Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Plan B

David asks if I need a coupon that came in the mail for "Children's Place" clothes.

Me: "If I die..."
Dave: "Yes?"
Me: "...just know that the clothes at "Children's Place" run small.
Dave: "Okay. But Monique will take care of that stuff."

So Sophia

Listening to at the Moment ...

Had to...

The cutness. It's painful.

New Yorker Cartoon


When I was 13, I fantasized about being rescued by a soldier.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Monday Night

A hot & sunny New York day, food cooking on the stove, blankets loaded into the wagon, all in preparation for a picnic in upper Manhattan. Friends arrive, kids gather toys, beers out of the fridge and we're out the door. Walking to the park the sun disappears, black clouds hover, the distant sound of thunder. It's okay, I say, the clouds will pass. Spread out the blanket, the food is uncovered; I make plates for the kids while the beer is cracked open. In a moment the sun is gone, lightening strikes, thunder roars, the rain pours down and everyone flees. Come on Katie! David calls, drenched, serious and uncomfortable. I tell him to go on ahead. I am soaked to the skin, my face, my feet, my hair, and the rain won’t stop.

Everyone is gone now, already home, the streets are empty. I slow down my pace so that I can be alone, walk alone, in the magical and beautiful and comical rain.


I recently dug up this old photo of me and Aaron. It was taken by Aaron's mother, Cooper. I remember how proud she was of the picture, pleased with how it turned out. She had several blown up, including one for my parents. My mother also fell in love with it and titled it, "King & Queen of the Hippies." Mom thought we looked like a rock star couple and the photo hung in her apartment for years.

Click to see it large. Aaron really does look like a rock star.

He Speaks

“The idea of the Sinful Self… is not some hypothetical one, but one that directly affects people’s most private actions. It must be swept aside, and recognized clearly as having no NATURAL part to play, for it is an ANTI-natural concept, flying in the face of the good intent of each of nature’s individuals of whatever species…

“…Both religion and science see the self as primarily heir to flaws, decay. Only science’s sinful self operates in a framework in which there is no sacramental redemption…

“…The Sinful Self concept causes you to expect the worst in any given situation. In that light, hopeful expectation seems quite out of place, and unworkable. Without the dictates of the sinful self, however, you can begin to sense the contours of the natural self, or the natural person. You can begin to sense your own good natures, in other words, and those basic natures are automatically optimistic… they automatically expect the best from any situation. They represent your natural persons.” --Seth, The Personal Sessions

Marilyn in Manhattan

Dreaming in Cars

Katie: "Shit."
Annie: "What?"
Katie: "I missed the Turnpike."
Annie: "Again?"
Katie: "I was thinking of other things."
Annie: "You mean you were daydreaming?"
Katie: "I was."
Annie: "You keep your eyes on the road and leave the daydreaming to me."

Listening to at the Moment ...

Friday Afternoon

Annie and I walked into the optometrist office to pick up my glasses. A woman is there with a very cute and shaggy dog.

Annie: "That's a Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier."
Woman: "How did you KNOW that?"
Annie smiles: "What's your dog's name?"
Woman: "Audrey."
Annie: "After Audrey Hepburn?"
Woman: "How did you know THAT?"

From Post Secret

I find it so sad that this person feels her spiritual truth is actually a shameful secret. Obviously she got the message that it’s wrong to feel closer to God in nature than in church.

If everyone who shared this belief were freed of it, there’d be many more joyful souls walking the earth.


"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."

--Gore Vidal


When a boyfriend and I broke up, I threw my shoes into a fire and walked through traffic without looking.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Every day she lands on the ledge outside my window. She rests, she faces me and she speaks. I coo to her, ask her how she's been, tell her she’s safe and welcome. I won’t name her because she isn’t mine, she's just crossing my path, as I am crossing hers.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I Crave Your Mouth, by Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
Your hands the color of a savage harvest,
Hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
The sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
And I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
Hunting for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Dad Gives His Permission

Last month, the following was published on a blog called "Time to Write."

April 23, 2006

In the current issue of Writers Digest, there's a feature in which several successful writers talk about who inspired them. Actor and writer Ron McLarty (The Memory of Running) cites the late Roger Bowen, also an actor and writer. He says the first time Bowen met him, he gave him a copy of his self-published novel. McLarty says he was surprised at Bowen's confidence, considering he'd not been published commercially.

"I'm a novelist," Bowen said. "I don't need the publishing world to accept that fact for me to accept it...You tell your stories honestly, you work every day to improve your craft. You don't need to be knighted into a special writers' club by a publisher."


Katie: "I want you to surprise me. I want you to surprise me in the next three days."

David: "But if you ask for it, then it becomes a chore, then I'm thinking, 'Oh, what am I going to do to surprise her?'"

Katie: "It's not about bringing me something or getting me something, you could just push me down on the bed when I don't expect it."

David: "Or I could surprise you by bringing Monique home..."

Had to...

To me, there is nothing cuter than a bulldog puppy. Nothing.

Dirty Phone Talk

Kristian: "My life's in the toilet at the moment."

Katie: "That's okay, we can be in the toilet together."

Kristian: "If I had to be in the toilet with anybody, I'd be in the toilet with you."

Annie Asks:

"Who developed the history of grownups ruling kids?"


The first sexual crush I had was on Mighty Mouse.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bardot Bar None

I tip the scale very heavily on the side of heterosexual, but when I see the young Bridgette Bardot, I flip like a pancake.

May 25th 1932

Happy Birthday Pop! I miss you!

Mommy in the Mirror

Photo by Annie Kosh, May 24th


A few friends have told me about the blog, "Post Secret," where people send in their secrets, written on post cards.

Here are two that break my heart.

So Sofia

David asks, "Can you enlarge that? To life size?"

Listening to at the Moment ...


“I like men who have a future and women who have a past”
-- Oscar Wilde

After School

Annie: "Mommy, can we walk to the park?"

Katie: "Not today honey, I'm wearing these shoes that kind of hurt my feet"

Annie: "Then why do you wear them?"

Katie: "I like them."

Annie: "I know why you wear them, because they're ATTRACTIVE."

Spousal Support

“My wife, my woman, she’s got her life, her art, her chops. I like that.”

– David Kosh

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stairway to Heaven

One of the most beautiful and painful songs I've ever heard is "Vanlose Stairway" by Van Morrison. I can listen to it anywhere--on the train, on the roof or in my room, and it always takes me to the same place. It's a direct line to the aching in my heart, and connects me to such intense sadness and emotion that I am forced to kneel before the edge of the universe and beg for forgiveness.


Annie is placing her stuffed animals on the bed. She embraces her panda bear and starts talking to it softly.

Me: Annie, don't play now baby."
Annie: "I'm not. I'm bonding."

mmmm Marlon

Tuesday Night Dinner Table

Annie: "Everybody seems to be older than Mommy these days."

Katie: "I like that."

Annie: "Actually, you're 57."

Katie: "I am?"

Annie: "You're 57 AND you're 29. At the same time."

Katie: "This sounds like parallel reality talk."

David: "Actually, 57 plus 29 is 86 and the average is 43 which is what you'll be in July."

Katie: "My child is a genius!"


You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.

--Jiddu Krishnamurti

Bedroom at Sunset

Another Fine Establishment

Savannah, Georgia

Walking to School

Annie: "I'm insulted by that sign."
Katie: "Why?"
Annie: "Because that's supposed to be me and I'm just some black paint with a dot for a head. They really need to change that."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Thinker

First, I'd like to comment on my demeanor in this photograph. It was taken in my classroom in the second grade. As many of you know, school didn't suit me much, and by the looks of it, it never did. But I’ll always remember the teacher sitting next to me. Her name was Nancy and regardless of the fact that I was a terrible student, I was her favorite kid. (Although she did confess to my mother that I was very sassy.) I often spent weekends with Nancy and her husband in their home in the suburbs of San Francisco. (I remember my mother telling me that she was unable to have kids of her own.) Many Fridays after school I’d say goodbye to my classmates, pick up my overnight bag, and hop in the car to spend the weekend with my beloved teacher. It was nice to be away from home, from the constant torment of my little brother and the irritation and disapproval of my big brother. It was also good to get away from a house that was often filled with actors who needed, as did I, my mother's attention. When I was with Nancy, her focus was on me and I felt privileged and special.

I heard Nancy died of cancer a few years later. I do wish I had the chance to tell her what a lasting impression she left on me.

Click to see the photo. (I remember loving her boots.)

The Taste of Money

Annie looks in her wallet.

"I have $19. SWEET!"

My Kind of Town