Friday, August 31, 2007

9 @ 9

Annie Kosh, 9, at 9 West 57th Street, NYC.


"He was like 200 in jazz musician years."

~David Kosh, on the passing of 83-year-old drummer, Max Roach.

Fact #658

I went to school with his kid.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

In real time

Just finished singing to Annie as she fell asleep curled under my arm. Doesn't get much better than that.


Young men riding the "A" train north to Yankee Stadium, dressed from head to toe in Boston Red Sox garb.

I wonder why they always travel in groups.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sitting at the sidebar

I don't like country music, but the cowgirl in me holds a place in her heart for Willie Nelson. Romantic, honest and tender, and if there's such thing as country soul, I think he's got it.

"Skin" deep

Katie: "I ate the most delicious yellow apple today, but my eyes got all itchy."

Annie: "You know you're allergic to apples."

Katie: "Well, I was hoping it was only to red apples."

Annie: "Mom, that's like racism!"

Katie: "How do you mean?"

Annie: "You know, different color, same inside?"


Someone to pay me a substantial salary to stay home and blog.

All reasonable offers considered.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sitting at the sidebar

My all time favorite from Johnny Cash.

Men will be boys

Truth. Sunday at 5:00 a.m., there were eight men in my bedroom.

I was awoken around 4:00 a.m. by an energetic squirrel playing on my fire escape, so I decided to get up and get a glass of water. I was startled when I went to flip on the light and the switch burned my hand. I felt the wall which was also hot, and I could hear a faint buzzing sound coming from the same spot. Damn, I thought. I really don't want to call 911 at this hour, especially the fire department; they always make a big deal over nothing. Then I thought I smelled smoke. Damn. Hell.

But I was still determined to get myself out of this. I was in boxer shorts and a tank top, up much too early on a Sunday, and I really didn't feel like getting dressed or having an apartment full of people. I also had no interest in waking the firemen as they slept soundly in the station, dreaming of whatever firemen dream of. So I put on some coffee, turned on the computer, and typed in a search for the phrase, Hot light switch.

It looked like a common enough problem, something I could surely tend to after a few more hours of sleep, but just as I was about to make my way back to bed, I spotted the heading: Dangerously hot light switch. I clicked on the article and learned that a hot light switch was really no big deal, if it was a dimmer switch. But if it was a standard switch (which of course mine was), then basically it had Fire Hazard written all over it. Still, I didn't want to call 911, at least not yet. What I wanted was to have a civilized conversation with a trained professional, so instead I dialed 411 and asked for the number of my local fire station.

"I'm sorry," said the operator, "We don't have that number. If you want the fire station, you'll have to call 911."

I explained my reluctance to wake the firemen, alarm the neighbors and draw attention to a situation that might prove to be no situation at all. The operator listened, then suggested that instead of calling 911 or 411, I should call 311: The official number of The City of New York.

"Thank you for calling 311, this is Edgar," said the much-too-friendly-voice-for-4:00 a.m. "How may I assist you?"

"Hi Edgar," I said, "here's the thing. I've got a hot light switch but I'm not sure if it's an emergency, and I'd really like to talk to someone who knows about these things, you know, so I can first determine if it's really an emergency. "

Edgar said he'd be happy to transfer me over to the fire department so I could speak with a trained professional. It rang for a bit, then there was a click, then I was disconnected. I dialed again.

'Thank you for calling 311, this is Jenny," said the friendly, but not-as-friendly-as-Edgar's-voice, on the end of the line. "How may I assist you?"

I told Jenny about the light switch and about the disconnected call.

"That's odd," she said. "Even if I wanted to, there's no one to transfer you to. It's standard procedure to put you straight through to 911."

I told her about Edgar and his promise, and his ability to connect me with a trained professional.

"I'm really not sure who Edgar is or why he thought you could speak to someone before calling 911," Said Jenny, so I gave up as she put me 911.

"What is your emergency?" asked the operator.

"I'm not sure if it's an emergency," I said, and I told her about the hot light switch, the hot wall, the buzzing, and the smell of smoke.

"I'm transferring you to the fire department," said the operator.

A thick New York accent picked up the line. "Fire Department!" he barked, "What's your location?" I gave him my address.

"Where's that?" he barked again, "The Bronx?"

"Washington Heights," I said, and he told me a truck was on its way. A truck. Right. It wasn't going to be just one truck, I knew that, and they certainly weren't going to come quietly.

I put on some jeans, threw on my red New York hooded sweat jacket, went downstairs and planted myself outside on the stoop. As I sat and waited in the dark, the thought crossed my mind that if I were a smoker, this would be a perfect time to light up. Just then I heard it. The sirens.

In minutes, the first truck barreled up the street, then the second, then the third; one siren louder than the next. Then out came the men. The first, the second, ten in all, dressed in massive gear, heavy boots, oxygen tanks strapped to their muscular backs. And as they approached me, each one smiled, and yes, they were sleepy smiles. It was clear I had woken them up, and I feared it may have been for nothing.

Eight of them came upstairs, piled into my bedroom and hovered around the light switch, looking at it as if it were a new toy or a frog with two heads; something to play with or dissect.

"Where's your fuse box?" one of them asked. I froze.

"What does it look like?" I replied, not trying to be funny.

"It's the box where the fuses are kept," he said.

"Is it the thing that Con Ed checks every month?" I walked him into the kitchen, pointing over the top of the refrigerator.

He smiled, "That's the gas meter."All eight of them laughed.

Great, I thought, I've just been reduced to Dumb Broad, I know it.

After the power in my room was successfully shut off, one fireman proceeded to unscrew and remove the switch cover, pulling out the ancient and burnt wires from inside the wall.

"You'll need to call your landlord," said another fireman. "And maybe, if you're lucky, in about 3 months he'll get around to replacing these wires."

All eight of them laughed again.

I gave them a "Thanks a lot" kind of smile, feeling much as I do during the holidays when my two brothers inevitably corner me with their relentless teasing tactics.

Then the chief chimed in, "We'll have to get a closer look,” he said. Right then I saw the faces of every one of those men turn on just like that light switch, and I would bet they had an unspoken system for deciding who would get to do the honors this time.

"We have to make a hole in the wall," the chief said.

"Oh no you don't!" I said. All eyes were suddenly on me."I know exactly what this is! You don’t really need to bust a hole in my wall, you're all just a bunch of little boys who grew up and got jobs doing things you used to be punished for!" Silence fell over the room.

"You've got one thing wrong," said the chief.

"And what's that?" I asked.

"We never grew up."

And as the eight little boys stood huddled together laughing in firefighter suits, the Chosen One took out his clawed hammer and gleefully gouged a hole in my bedroom wall.

A consolation prize I thought, for waking them from their dreams. And really, it was the least I could do for a room full of little boys who grew up to be firemen.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I have a red hot story to tell. If I can, I'll post it later tonight.

Update: No time to write it tonight, but I'm aiming for tomorrow...

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I'm definitely feeling it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sitting at the sidebar

When I fall in love, he will appreciate When I Fall In Love... by Bill Evans.

In memory

Max Roach

Parts to ponder

Seth says if you have a recurring ailment in one or more areas of your body, you are most likely conflicted about that part of you.

In my dreams

Last night I dreamed I was in a plane crash.

I survived it.


...or Panama?

Life happens

I just haven't had time to blog it.

I'll try to ketchup, I promise.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sitting at the sidebar

Want to know what's bringing me joy tonight? Just click on the music player at the sidebar.

Mad crush

He's kind and funny and a jazz enthusiast. He has long gray hair and he's sexy as hell, he's Annie's orthodontist and I have a mammoth crush on the man.

Is it wrong? love not being married anymore?

A little night nesting

Tonight I'm staying in, taking a long bath and listening to music. Maybe later on I'll light my favorite candle, have a glass of wine, and write a little something to post at The Half Note.


In whatever form it comes; this morning it's To Go.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sitting at the sidebar

Turn up the volume, then listen to Kaki King.


This in no way, shape or form, resembles my workspace.

Is it wrong?

To blog from work?

Monday, August 20, 2007

I decided to indulge in a little clothes shopping on my way way home this afternoon, and as I approached the cashier with my 4 pretty tops, I said to her, "Don't you just love being a girl?"

She smiled and laughed, but somehow I didn't think she loved it as much as I did.

I live in a small town

Today I was mailing a letter on the corner of 41st and Madison, when I had a sudden desire to call my brother Danny. I dialed his cellphone and we talked a while.

"Let me call you right back, " he said a few minutes later, "I'm just getting out of a cab."

"Where are you?" I asked.

He replied, "41st and Madison."

"I'm on 41st and Madison!" I exclaimed, and just then I saw his taxi pull up and out he came. We embraced, stood on the corner and talked, then suddenly I heard a familiar voice behind me.


I turned around and it was my friend Lizzie.

I just love living in a town of 8 million.

It's sweater weather!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sitting at the sidebar

I recently received an email from a fellow blogger in the U.K. who stumbled upon The Half Note and offered some kind words. He also thought I might like this piece of music by pianist Stan Tracy and saxophonist Bobby Wellins. But I don't like it... I love it. Thank you.

Please click the music player...

Coney Island Picture #4

Brighton Beach photos #2 & 3

Hot car.

Hot coffee on hot car.

Brighton Beach photo #1

I wonder how this sign would look hanging outside my window.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


There are books you pick up and books you put down, there are books that sit on your shelf for years as you contemplate reading them and as they gather dust. Then there are books that come to you at exactly the right time, and if you didn't know better, you'd think it was just a coincidence.

Eat, Pray, Love was recommended to me by Katherine, a woman I met only once and who is a visitor of The Half Note and fellow New Yorker. She said the book reminded her of me, and as I began to read it, I realized I could never write a novel because Elizabeth Gilbert has already written it.

I must confess, I've been going through an intensely painful but important time in recent weeks, things that, at least for now, I am unable and unwilling to share here on the blog. This book has offered me profound comfort and many laughs, and I just wanted to thank Katherine B. for being the kind soul who was compelled to email me one day and offer a suggestion that turned into a gift.

Sitting at the sidebar

I'm so sensitive to music that I often have a hard time finding something to listen to that doesn't stir up memories or evoke deep feelings.

Here's a number my parents used to sing around the house, but it won't make me sad. It's a bit off the beat and path for me, and lends itself perfectly to the setting here in my apartment; late breakfast cooking, coffee brewing, the sun pouring in on a cool summer day.

Click the sidebar for Django Reinhardt & Andre Ekyan playing a little music from heaven.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Method behind the madness

"When you toss your head back, you save 15% of your time and 50% of your screaming."

~Annie Kosh on the most effect way to cry when throwing a fit.

Tell me, how does that happen?

I don't read the newspaper, I don't read magazines, I don't watch TV., and I've never seen a movie with the actor Vince Vaughn in it. So how in the world do I have him appear in my dream last night, the two of us kissing like wild animals in a dark alley?

Fact #10,214

When I was growing up in San Francisco, if you dialed the word, P.O.P.C.O.R.N. on your telephone, it would connect you with the local time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New York City 1964


When I'm on Madison Avenue ordering lunch, I like when the tall, handsome businessmen flirt with me... even though they're not at all my type.

Bone bargains

If you're in the market for an arm bone with an articulated hand, it will run you around $500. It will be $200 less if you require one without a hand, and for those on a tight budget, a fibula will run you about 40 bucks.

Order here!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


There are things I just cannot protect my child from these days, and it's breaking my heart.

Meet Marty

My Mom's first husband.

(If I was around back then, he would have been my first husband too...)

I must take the "A" train

Sorry for the decreased blogging, I've been adjusting to working downtown; rising early, taking the train to 42nd Street, then a cross town bus to Grand Central, going to the gym in the building where I work, grabbing a coffee from the diner then heading to the sixth floor to edit television all day. But don't cry for me Argentina, I am well treated and well paid, and will return to my life of freedom just in time to cook a Thanksgiving turkey.

Coney Island Picture #3

Monday, August 13, 2007


“Love is as much of an object as an obsession. Everybody wants it, everybody seeks it but few ever achieve it, and those who do will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all will never, never forget it.”

~C. Judalet

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Coney Island Picture #2

Once is never enough.

Click here and you'll know what I mean.