February Is Almost Over!

Tomorrow is another Symphony Night: self and hubby have been anticipating this one for weeks, for the performer is violinist Anne Sophie Mutter (who self has heard was quite a bombshell — in addition to being a violin genius!) Last year, hubby and self watched a concert by a 30-year-old French pianist, thin as a reed, who also happened to have written a bestselling novel in France (!!@@) which fact had self, of course, gnashing her teeth in awe and envy.

The big decision is about where to eat: It’s our fourth concert of the season, and the previous places we’ve tried are

  • a small kebab place, busy with young people and families, on Hayes.
  • Citizen Cake
  • Hayes Street Grill (which had, hands-down, the most fan-TAS-tic french fries self has ever tasted: after she finished one small bucket, self felt like asking for another one)

Self tried making a reservation for Absinthe: she was informed that the next opening would not be until April.

If the forecast wasn’t for rain, we’d try places further afield. Oh well!

Today, self has to submit her NEA application. She pretty much did an eensy-weensy-miny-mo selection of 30 pages to submit. She chose her two favorite stories, even though one of them is un-published (Self lives for danger).

In a few days, self is going to New York. Her brother-in-law is going to be in Brazil, but her youngest nephew, the one who is wait-listed at Georgetown, will be there. The last time self was in New York was summer of 2006, with son. This blog was one month old. She was teaching on-line at UCLA Extension. She would read student stories in the mornings, and in the afternoons go with son to museums or bookstores. One day, she and son lined up at TKTS and bought tickets to a Martin McDonagh play (the guy who directed “In Bruges,” which so far has been self’s favorite Colin Farrell movie), “The Lieutenant of Inishmore.” Son discovered the Strand and fell in love: he’d spend hours there, while self parked herself across the street, at Max Brenner, and stuffed herself with chocolate and peanut butter crepes!  Son lost his wallet, he couldn’t remember where, but a businessman picked it up on Park Avenue, saw the driver’s license, and had his wife mail it to us.  The wallet had tire tread marks and had no cash (of course), but the license and various photographs son had treasured were still there.  Son was so overjoyed that he asked self to mail the couple a box of See’s chocolates.  They responded.  If son had truly and for all time lost his wallet, that trip would not now have the aura of nostalgia self is at this very moment giving it.  Thank God for the kindness of strangers.

Upper West Side, August 2006

New York, Upper West Side, August 2006

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Oh, What a Gorgeous Afternoon

Self took the li’l crits for a walk (their first walk of the week, my bad!). She bought a trellis from Wegman’s, on which she hopes to twine a clematis (as soon as it warms up a little more). And, in a true feat of organization and forward-thinking, she’s already figured out what to make for dinner: Belgian Beef Carbonnade, which is a truly fab stew (that, come to think of it, she hasn’t made for years) which involves beer, vinegar, lots of celery leaves and onions, parsley and garlic.

In addition, this morning, self finally coaxed herself into beginning the process of applying for a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (NEA website says she’s already waited too long: deadline is Mar. 5, and applicants are encouraged to apply at least 10 days early). Self had to resort to all sorts of tricks to even bring herself to the point of deciding to apply. Here are some of the reasons she used to shore up her resolve:

  • If self waits much longer, self will be dead.
  • There is no application fee.
  • In spite of the fact that just figuring out how to register took self hours, she had better do it this year, when she isn’t (by some miracle) teaching. Imagine if she had to check papers, teach a class, and figure out how to download Acrobat 8.1, merely so that she could read the application instructions! She would be so stressed her hair would turn white!
  • Notification will be made in December. Which means self will not get the bad news until the very end of 2009.
  • If self wins, maybe she can finally put money down on a new car.
  • If self wins, people will be very impressed and she can probably wheedle them into doing her a few favors. In fact, she can probably live off the glow of annointment for a whole decade. (Self figures she’ll probably be too old in 10 more years to have another go. This is her one, her only chance — ha ha ha ha!)

Self better get back to filling out those gazillions of forms. Stay tuned, dear blog readers.

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