Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am here...

...and those wings keep working.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

At this moment...

I am here.

But a few short hours ago, I was here...

The wings are working.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Non-stop flight

I've said it before and I'll say it again: my father told me the best time to do something is when you're afraid, and so far he's not been wrong.

I've got a new set of wings and they're begging for a test-run, telling me I belong to no one but myself. And though I feel the pull, though I'm answering the call, I also want to stay right here and never make a move.

Tomorrow the Half Note flies away and returns a week later, but you know me; I might find myself standing on top of the red rocks of Sedona, wanting to let you know just how those wings are working.

Let's see.

Got it?

Annie: "Mommy, is it true that when you're laughing, milk can come out of your nose?"

Katie: "Yes, but only if you're drinking milk while you're laughing!"

In her words

Today Annie and I were in the Bronx and a man walked by shouting at himself.

Annie: You know what? Some people might call that guy crazy, but I think I'll call him interesting."

Thoughts in real time

Even when I'm distracted, I can see how pretty my mother looks in her black coat, standing in the cold with a big smile on her face.

A young celebrity overdosing on drugs is no sadder than any other young person overdosing on drugs.

I am compelled to pack everything I own because I want to be able to wake up everyday and wear exactly what I feel like wearing. Shoes, bras, socks included.

I'm not the girl I was.

Annie is perfect.

Those motorcycle boots are so me.

Must make films.

I really thought he loved me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Family values

Today Annie climbed into my lap, nuzzled into me and said:

There are 3 things about you. You are pretty and
lovable (and that includes cuddable), and you're smart. And everything in between... doesn't matter.

Analyze this

Today my mother said to me, Katie, if you weren't so emotionally restless, you'd be a great psychiatrist.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weather or not

During my upcoming trip to Sedona I'll meet with a friend-of-a-friend who, when I expressed to him my discontent at having learned the weather forecast predicts intermittent showers during my stay, had this to say to me:

If it does rain, which is not a given, it will be beautiful here. There will be waterfalls everywhere, streams running through the canyons and clouds hanging on the rocks. I often say that Sedona is the only place I have lived where I prefer the bad weather to the good.

In my dreams

Last night I dreamed I showed my short film, Cold Tea to a group of people. The film went on and on; sped-up images of desert sandstorms, Spanish architecture, otters swimming in streams and a woman riding a bicycle alongside a moving train. Although none of the scenes or characters were recognizable to me, I continued to accept it as the film I made, all the while waiting for it to change. Finally, at the end, as the group stood looking at me perplexed, I called David from my cell phone and asked what had happened to our film.

"Oh! You must have gotten a copy of the film festival outtakes!" he said.

When I hung up and explained this to the group, they showed no interest in spending another 8 minutes of their time watching the real copy of the film, and I was left feeling angry and rejected.

In real time

Monday, January 21, 2008

Love of my life

She's like no one I've ever known and I couldn't possibly list all the ways in which she amazes and inspires me. She loves with her whole heart, grieves deeply, and accepts and rejoices in what life gives her. She also, as I recently discovered, has developed a passion for photography and fine art.

Click here to get a glimpse into the wonderful world of my daughter, Annie Kosh.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hang 'til it's over

In the past twenty years I have been hungover 2 times, and today was one of those times. Remedies include rest, drinking juice and water, taking plenty of vitamin C, even consuming more alcohol is sometimes advised. But today I learned that the best cure is a mother's love, an afternoon at Barney Greengrass with family and friends, eating toasted bagels, talking about music and film and laughing 'til it hurts... no more.

Sitting at the sidebar

Who better to describe my Saturday night... than Mr. Spike Jones.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beliefs 101

There are a few men in my life who want to be with me, and would if the circumstances or timing were different. Sometimes I wonder if this is just the way it goes, or because it is, based on my core beliefs, something I continue to create.

Maybe it's a little of both.

Sitting at the sidebar

Click here to read about Amadou & Mariam, then play the sidebar selection to hear one of my favorites by this interesting and beautiful couple.

From Overheard New York

Father buying lightsaber: Just drop it! He wanted this one!

Mother: But it's the dark side! You're not supposed to join the dark side!

~Toys "R" Us

42nd Street

My Miami Mama


Walking by the American Girl Doll store on 5th Avenue, I saw an advertisement introducing Julie Allbright, a doll adorned in 1970's attire... the newest addition to the store's Historical Collection.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The kitten & the crow

Tai sent me an unusual and amazing video today, and Annie has posted it on her new blog, Anniemal. The story takes place in Attleboro Massachusetts, the birthplace of my father.

Could he have had a hand in this beautiful and cosmic occurrence? Perhaps.


"When you add a person to your life, it will mess up the order you've created, but I would never want to keep that order and sacrifice being with someone I loved."

~Ann Bowen

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Genderally speaking

I don't like generalizations made about men--that most of them have commitment issues, want to have their cake and eat it too, prefer to spend time with their buddies and so on. Nor do I accept generalizations made about women--that they trap men into relationships, suffocate them and take away their freedom. I find this kind of simplistic thinking lacks creativity, sensitivity and imagination, and makes it easy to take the focus off one's self, which is where we should all be looking when we are looking for answers.

Rather than a man deciding he knows what a woman is “after,” he would be better served to question his own fears, just as it would better serve a woman to look within and ask why a feeling of urgency clouds her natural desire for closeness.


Sitting at the sidebar

Warren Vache (cornet); Allan Vache (clarinet); Brian Lemon (piano); Dave Cliff (guitar); Dave Green (bass); Allan Ganley (drums). I Fall in Love too Easily.

(Yeah? Me too)

What I love in real time

I love that Tai writes the most clever comments on my blog, that David is the father of my child, that my mother is the wisest woman I will ever know, that I don't have to make someone wrong to make myself right, that I feel protected by my friend Kristian, that I'm going to open my heart to a little black puppy, that I'm debt-free, and that with every passing year, month, day, hour, I am becoming more and more of the woman I've always wanted to be.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fog fotos

Fog is something that people in Northern California seem to have (how shall I say this), a slight preoccupation with. But in New York City, fog is a rare treat.

Here are a few pictures taken a couple of months ago when a whole mess of the stuff came rolling into town, seen over the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge.

I like the shadow of the apartment buildings, click for full effect.

Celebrity crush

Rufus Sewell.

She speaks

Me: "The plumber never showed up."

Annie: "Do you have half a mind to kill him?"

A thought before sleeping

When you give yourself to someone, and they walk away from that gift, it's best for you that they did.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fact #11,993

This is a picture of Country Joe McDonald, taken at my 4th birthday party.

Isn't it strange?

To be older now than your mother was then?

Moving on

Home tonight, going through my blog file. Here are some pictures I like of Annie packing up the old apartment.

Sitting at the sidebar

Last summer I was at a Francis Dunnery concert, he was talking about relationships and at one point looked into the audience of mostly middle-aged people and said, "After 40, you're not in such a rush to move in, are you?" Everyone laughed in agreement.

When I was in my twenties, I would meet a guy and within a week I'd be on the road in his Chevy pick-up, traveling across country and falling in love. A year later I might find myself in Spain, developing a crush on a boy named Julio and we wouldn't have to discuss it, we'd simply start building a life together, at least for a period of time. In my twenties it was all about yes. Yes, yes, yes.

But after being married, after spending my entire adult life living with someone, I love the freedom to come and go as I please, use the brand of dish washing liquid I like, not have to ask where to position the bed. Now I'm not so quick to want to jump back in, give up what's mine, move over and make room for someone else. It's not so easy even for me, the hopeless romantic whose life's mission is to love. But I would do it anyway, gladly, with the right man.

I declare this my love song for 2008, my motto song, my anthem because baby, I've been traveling a long time down a street of nos and I'm gettin' back on a path paved with yes, and just like Keb' Mo', I'm not interested in walking anymore, I'm ready to ride the bus.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Can't sleep

Tossing and turning, flooded with feelings of compassion and forgiveness for every man I've ever loved, mixed with anger at each and every one of them. One for being ridiculous, one for being cold, one for being weak, one for lacking integrity, one for being selfish, and a couple of them for not being brave.

Time to let it go and get some shut-eye.

Thinking in real time

For every relationship you've ever had, whether it lasted seventeen years or seven months, whether there was more pleasure than pain or the other way around, it got you here. Say thank you.

Forgive yourself.

If you have to walk through fire a hundred times, do it. Then don't do it anymore. (unless you want to)

Television diminishes life.

If you listen to a piece of music long enough, you'll eventually connect or relate to some part of it. (that's not true!)

Buy a lottery ticket.

People will always live in accordance to their values, not yours. (that's true!)

Nothing satisfies me more than loving and being loved.

Must make films.

Tonight, New York City is the only place I want to be.

Buy bananas.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sitting at the sidebar

Click the music player at the sidebar to listen to Bill Evans' Beautiful Love... on this beautiful day.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Picture this

Photographer Nicolas Nixon's, 25 Years of the Brown Sisters was posted today on Aaron's blog, and since I found it so interesting, I'm offering it up at The Half Note as well.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lioness in wait

I'm particularly guarded these days, keeping more to myself than usual, so it might be a little quiet around here... until of course I start wanting to make some noise again.

Sorry, I forgot to blog

I've had a lot on my mind.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

High today, 65

I'm a sucker for spring weather, but when it arrives on the east coast in winter, I just want to run inside and hide.


Today my friend Marcia and I had lunch at a local cafe. We talked about our daughters, we talked about men, we had a few laughs, but by the time we were finished we were both in tears, crying over our long since dead dogs.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sitting at the sidebar

Walking home tonight, I was overcome by something better than a realization and better than awareness. I was overcome by something that occurs much less frequently, and that is a knowing. The moment when something I understand intellectually finally takes hold and becomes part of who I am.

Walking home tonight, I knew that it doesn't matter whether someone comes or goes, what matters is that you never leave yourself. Not for anyone, not for anything, not ever.

A contract to expand

I know a psychologist who rejects the word, "Depression." The way she sees it, when we deal with a lot, whatever it is, we are forced to expand in order to accommodate and then process it all, then after a period of expansion, it's only natural for us to contract.

At the end of the month I'll expand, not to accommodate something or someone else, but to accommodate myself. I won't worry about what happens after that, and will remain open to receiving a little awareness, maybe some peace, and definitely a whole bunch of beauty.

She's callin'...

... and I'm comin'.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A transantastic night redux

One year ago I rode the "A" train home at 3:00 a.m. and the next day I posted the experience below.

It's now 4:00 a.m. and I must sleep, but I assure you, at some point I will try and explain that
tonight, one year later, I rode the "A" train home again at 3:00 a.m. and came away with yet another "transantastic" tale.

Please stay tuned and in the meantime, read on.

My Transantastic Life, originally posted January 6th, 2007

After a night out on the Lower East Side, I wait for the “F” train at West 4th Street. It’s just after 3:00 a.m. and I’m feeling it, so I sit down on a bench between two men. Man #1 sits to my right and has a book in his lap; Man #2 sits to my left and enthusiastically eats a bag of Doritos.

Man #1 says to me: “Are you tired?”

Me: “I am.”

Man #1: Well, at least it’s Friday, you can sleep in.”

Me: “I usually wake up with the sun.”

Man #1 looks perplexed.

Me: “If I go to sleep at five and the sun comes up at six, then I may wake up at six, regardless.”

Man #1:“But you could have a nap during the day, couldn’t you?”

Me: “I suppose I could, yes.”

Man #2 wrestles with the bag of Doritos and I ask Man # 1 about the book he’s reading.

Man #1: “This is the first book I’ve ever read.”

Me: “Really?

Man #1: “Yeah, I’m dating a girl who reads a lot and she knows a lot more than me. It makes me feel like a piece of shit.”

Me: “Well that’s ridiculous. It doesn’t matter what you do or what you have or what you read. What matters is who you are, what kind of man you are.”

Man #2 munches on the chips and nods his head in agreement.

Man #1: “Yeah but I still feel like a piece of shit.”

Me: “But you only believe you're a piece of shit, it doesn’t make it true.”

Man #1 is unconvinced.

Man #2: “There should be more people like you. You’re very direct.”

Man #1: “Yeah, before you sat down he and I didn't even know each other. Now look, we’re all having a conversation.”

Soon I begin to offer Man #1 suggestions for other books I think he’d like. He writes them down on a piece of scrap paper.

Me: “You’ve really got to read more, not just for your woman, but for yourself. Your world gets bigger, it expands your thinking.”

Man #1: “Yes, I can see that.”

Just then I notice another man, Man #3 (attractive and young) sitting on the seat to the left of Man #2. Man #3 leans over and smiles at me.

The “E” train arrives, not my train, and both Man #1 and Man #2 say goodnight to me and get on board.

Man #3 now sits beside me in the seat that Man #2 has vacated.

Man #3: “Were those your friends?”

Me: “I just met them.”

Man #3: “Tonight?”

Me: “Right now, right here.”

Man #3:“Oh, I thought you were friends. Did you exchange numbers?"

Me: “Excuse me?”

Man: “Did you give them your number?”

Me: “No.”

Man #3: “I believe that communication is the basis for all relationships. Can I have your number?”

Me: (Laughing) “No.”

Man #3: “Why not?”

Me: “Because I’m not interested in meeting a man tonight.”

Man #3: “I can tell you’re older than me.”

Me: “Wow, you’re smooth.”

Man #3 laughs. “Seriously, I find it attractive.”

Me: “How old do you think I am?”

Man #3: “Between 35 and 40.”

Me: “Well you’re wrong, I’m 43.”

Man #3: “Well, you’re beautiful.”

Me: “And you’re full of shit.”

Man #3: “So, will you at least take my number?”

Me: “No.”

The train pulls up and we both get on. I know that Man #3 is going to continue his harmless flirting, so in an attempt to gain some power over the situation I instruct him to sit beside me.

“I’m calling the shots now,” I say.

We look ahead and see a very drunken guy teetering in his seat.

Another man, Man #4, sits in a seat across from us.

Man #4: “That guy’s pretty messed up.”

Man #3 asks me: “Did you drink tonight?”

Me: “No.”

Man #4: “You didn’t drink tonight?”

Me: “No.”

Man #4: “Wow, that’s commendable.”

Just then I realize that most people who are on the train on a Saturday morning at 3:30 have likely been out drinking. It's probably what bonds them all in some way as they make their way home.

Man #3: “Really? You didn’t have one drink tonight?”

Me: “No, why? Does it seem as if I’ve been drinking?”

Man #3: “No, but usually people have to drink to express themselves.”

Me: “They do?”

Man #4: “I do. I need to drink to express myself.”

Man # 3: At least it’s Friday, if you wanted to drink, you could sleep in.

Me: “I usually wake with the sun.”

Man #3: “Why don’t you give me your number? You have good skin, beautiful hair, eyes…”

Me: “Listen, you’re an attractive guy but I’m not one of those 20-year-old girls you hit on who just giggle and don't know what to say when you lean into them on the train and flash them those teeth of yours.”

Man #3: (Laughing) “What about my teeth?”

Me: “You know how adorable you are, you know you can be a pushy jerk, and that once you flash that smile a girl is going to melt. You use it all the time and now you’re trying to use it on me, but it’s not going to work because I’m just not interested.”

Man #3 gives up and prepares to exit the train at 42nd Street, the next stop. He turns to me and says: “Most people walk around half dead, but you’re alive. You’re a beautiful woman, smart and funny and whatever man has you, he’s a lucky man.”

Me: “Thank you, that’s a lovely thing to say.”

Man #3 puts his arms around me and gives me a respectful hug.

“Goodnight sweetheart,” he calls as he exits the train.

Man #4 says something I can’t quite make out.

Me: “Did you just say, ‘Transantastic’?

Man #4: “No, you said ‘Transantastic,’ I said ‘Transcendental.’”

Me: “I like that word.”

Man #4: “Transcendental?”

Me: “No, Transantastic.”

Man #4: “A new word, and it all began right here on the “A” train!”

Me: “And in 10 years it will be in the dictionary. And after you get off the train we will never see each other again but we’ll use the word and always remember where it began.”

Man #4: “No, we will see each other again. One year from tonight, on this train.”

Me: “I’ll be in the back of the car, you’ll be in the front, and I’ll whisper the word, ‘Transantastic.’ You’ll whip your head around and you’ll see me.

Man #4: “And I’ll say it back to you.”

Me: “Even better, be living it. In one year, be living a transantastic life.”

Man #4: “OK!”

He prepares to exit at the next stop.

Me: “But wait, we have to have its definition!”

Man #4: “OK. Its definition is: waking with the sun, living life, and not giving a shit about tomorrow.”

Me: “Done!”

Man #4 says goodnight and just as he steps off of the train another man, Man, #5, sits down in the seat that Man #4 has just vacated. Man #5 smiles at me, and I smile… then close my eyes and pretend to sleep.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The one-day job

When I was twenty-one, I took a job just before Thanksgiving at Bolton's Clothing Store on Broadway. Hour after hour, I walked in and out of the dressing room, picking up heaps of unwanted dresses and rehanging them on racks. Though my shift didn't officially end until six, I grabbed my coat at half past four and told a fellow salesgirls I was leaving.

"You're going to leave now? she asked in disbelief. "And miss getting your free employee turkey?!"


Tonight I said my last goodbyes to the place I called home for 10 years. It's where I became a mother, gave my child thousands of baths, prepared thousands of meals, and sang thousands of lullabies. It's where I was loved and where my heart broke, and as I walked across the floors one more time, I thanked each room for witnessing all of it, especially the awakening.