topiary cats

topiary cats

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Still Unpacking

I have out of town company staying over next week. I have discovered having people over is a great motivator to get stuff done. Like unpacking boxes from the move 5 months ago.

I finally finished unpacking my kitchen. And alas, my suspicion was confirmed- my food procesor blades must have been accidentally thrown out. I even know how it happened. Of course one of the lost ones was the expensive one. Of course. I ordered replacements because...well, what else can I do? $50. And unfortunately my particular machine only takes 3 blades. I was hoping to get a deal on ebay, and it seems I have the only Cuisinart food processor that does not have blades interchangeable with at least 1 other model. I'm sort of bummed about that. I wouldn't mind a better range of different cutting blades.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I can get Daya to verbally agree to anything.

Because her standard response to any question is "No," it's pretty easy. The secret is in how you ask the questions.

For example:
Daya, do you want to stay home?

Do you want to go to the park?

Would you like to skip your doctor visit?

Would you like to leave without getting shots?

Should I do all the housework while you play?

Will you wake up really early tomorrow morning?

Unfortunalely, she's not very selective in her use of the word No.

Daya, do you love me?

BUT- I have it on her word that she doesn't hate me either.
; )

Monday, March 26, 2007

W 77th St

Last night at dusk I was walking on West 77th St towards Central Park West. I was alone, carrying nothing- not even a small handbag. No one else was on the street; the only other people I saw were bored-looking doormen behind their doors. For that brief moment, the street was mine, and I was completely anonymous. I could have been anyone, with any past, living anywhere, going anywhere. I walked without a story. It was so peaceful. I reached Central Park, and took a moment to bask in the history of the city, to stop and appreciate the metalwork of the lamp posts along the park. Being alone there, with no one else around, in such a famous and well-travelled place was somehow a very intimate exchange with the city.

I could have walked like that for many more blocks, but I had to pick up Daya. So, much sooner than I would have liked, I stepped into the subway, back into myself. But perhaps that brief moment was all I needed after all.


My most profound spiritual experience ever happened somewhere in the Union Square vicinity. It was October a few years ago, and I was walking alone at night. The streets were busy; it was dark but not late. For a brief moment as I walked, I experienced no separation between me and anything else. It was not a thought, or a realization, or a meditation- nothing mental. It was a huge all-encompassing and profound experience. I looked around me, and realized I was everything, and everything was me- the bricks in the buildings, other people, everything. Everything was One; there were no boundaries. It was truly awesome.

Friday, March 23, 2007


My cat's lucky streak of not going to the vet for the last 9 years has finally ended. Last night, she suffered the indignty of having her tail held up and her butt probed. Poor kitty.

The happy news is that her teeth are in suprisingly good shape for a cat her age. I'm relieved.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm Done Being Stupid

I have this part of my personality that is, NOT for lack of a better word, extremely stupid. As in really retarded. And the worst part is that these episodes of stupidity are completely preventable. **And I know they are right before they happen!**

Last night I reached my breaking point with this particularly golden part of myself. I'm so embarassed to write this. See, occasionally I set out for a destination thinking I know where it is. Meaning that I have a vague idea, or a foggy recollection. I think to myself that I'll find the place when I get there. Of course I don't.

I do not bring the address with me. Nor do I bring the phone number, or even the phone sometimes. So, I end up wandering around walking long distances not finding the place I need to be, and the frustrating part is that I'm always so close to where I have to go.

A few weeks back this happened when I was dropping my taxes off. To an extremely easy location. All I accomplished was wandering around at night with the child, and she lost a shoe.

Last night I walked up and down Queens Blvd with the child and the cat. Looking for the vet, which I would have sworn was on the south side of QB, but was actually on the north side. the irony was that I was on the north side literally right by the ofice, but I didn't find it beause I was looking in the wrong place. Had I taken my phone, there would be no problem. I rescheduled the appointment for tonight. This time I will take my phone and the address.

Really, why do I do this?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kids and Adults

I think a lot about Daya growing up. Sometimes I get really sad about it, but I think that's a normal mom thing. I like Daya as a toddler. She's cute. She's fun. When I go pick her up after work, she throws both her arms straight up in the air and runs to me for a hug. I get sad thinking about how one day she'll be so different, and no matter where she may go and what she may do, I hope her life never separates from mine. I hold her little feet and wonder where they will walk, where will they go.

I know it's also a mom thing to look at everyone around us and realize everyone we see was once a little child. A cute toddler bouncing around. And at some point, that changes. Children become adults who aren't all that cute anymore. Some of them grow up to be adults that do horrible things to other people, to children. I see situations between a mother and her adult child where things have completely disintegrated. I think, how was this woman with her child when it was an infant? Toddler? Child? It makes me sad. Where and when did things go wrong? When did the child pull away? Why? Perhaps my own distant relationship with my mother plays a part in that as well. I don't want Daya to lack what I lacked in that relationship sense.

My approach to being in charge isn't so much to control Daya-I see my role more as managing her boundaries. Sometimes I wish I could see myself as a toddler and how was my daily life? How did my mother interact with me? I have a few clear memories but its not the same thing as observing behaviour. I do think kids are born automatically loving their parents/caregivers. I also firmly believe that the trust a child has in a parent is inherent in its beginning, but must always be maintained. I believe that while kids are, of course, forgiving, the trust that is established can be broken and dramatically impacted before the child is even of the age of remembering stuff.

Childhood should be a time that is safe, secure, and magical. With a backdrop of a constant presence of familarity and a lot of love. I hope I can somehow teach Daya to keep her magic as she grows up.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Morning Thought

I'm not feeling so great ( am fighting off Daya's newest cold) so I'm not in the mood to write elaborately.


I was just thinking about the state of affairs in the world today, current and upcoming wars, governments doing what they do, common people, suffering, etc. That kind of thing. It's nothing new; humanity has always acted as such. Empires rise and fall. Though, I think perhaps (at least in more developed countries) we've come to a certain place as common people that perhaps humanity has never experienced before to such a scale. And perhaps it might turn out to make a huge difference after all.

The place I am talking about is the place of knowledge. People today are generally better educated and/or have access to a wealth of global information. Very recently in the history of humanity, this wasn't so. Good education isn't just for the elite anymore. Governments are no longer presiding over masses of ignorance. People are used to thinking, to having their own opinions and ideas. And maybe, just maybe, this will make a difference.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Bug

There's a little stomach bug going around to a city near you. And me. And I got it. The fun started at 4am Friday morning. The night when Madame D was up every hour, then finally insisted on sleeping in bed with me.

I cannot remember the last time I was so ill. I was more functional right after my c-section. I was planning on working from home that day anyhow, so I had to call in sick from working from home. Thank all that is right and wonderful with the universe that Daya's sitter is right down the hall. This was very, very scary- I literally couldn't move. I haven't paid tithes to the Porcelain Gods since I was pregnant...and before that I cannot even recall. Thankfully it didn't last long, but M had to come get Daya that evening and keep her overnight because I was non-functional. Not safe for a toddler.

Being sick...I mean really, really ill, is the scariest part of being a single mom. Because there's no one else. I am so thankful for good friends. I am so thankful for my good health in general.

Saturday I was mostly better, and today I'm all better. So of course Daya has yet another stuffy nose and a borderline fever. This worked out in her favor though; she skipped her shot at the doctor's appointment.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I had a nice chat with my single mom friend last night. We spoke about a lot of things; our lives, our histories, our kids, finances, and our families.

Some of the things we spoke about just drove home the point even more strongly that I am one of the fortunate ones. My friend spoke of extremely wealthy women she knows who are miserable in their mansions, in ther marriages. Silk-lined prisons. Lost identities. I spoke to her of the fortune we have to live in this time and place. Despite the system here being pretty awful in many respects, the fact remains that we are able to have the lives that we do. We are able to work and raise our children on our own. In many cultures and places, and in the not-so-distant past, what we have chosen would be impossible.

Janeen has been mentioning living as a single mom in a world of couples lately. I have found, especially in literature geared towards babies, there is a widespread assumption that a woman has a partner. Beth's post from Friday made me a little sad, because sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on irreplacable time with my daughter.

But, especially lately, I'm in a place of acceptance and contentment because I have a peaceful home and a sense of relative freedom. I am comfortable in my own skin. And, oddly enough, I feel very distant from even wanting a relationship.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Toddlers are really weird creatures. Seriously so. I really enjoy this about Daya.

She regularly says two phrases, "I do!" and "I no!". "I do!" originated as a non-descript but oft-repeated "aaaaahhh-jooooo", and no one is really sure if it was originally a mutant variant of "Hello!" or "How are you?", but it got refined to "I do!". "I no!" is a new one, I guess she's starting to mix and match words together.

So Daya has this strange rash. it started out as little bumps on her back, and has now spread to her arms and belly. The doctor isn't worried, since there are no other symptoms and Daya herself couldn't care less about it. I think it's just something that will disappear as mysteriously as it appeared. Just more toddler weirdness.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Daya's Hair

Holy Cats it's good to be painting again!

12 x 16
Oil on Canvas

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I was a little bit late to work this morning.

Daya woke up a little early, and she was still a little sleepy and wanted to snuggle for a while. So we did.

You can't ever buy those moments; that is what the substance of life is made up of. That is what is really important. The office can wait. No one even cared I was a few minutes late.