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April 2007 Archives

April 5, 2007

Me and My Moleskine

When I filled the last blank page I knew I'd soon have to replace the trusty notebook I carry everywhere with me in my pocketbook. But when I found its replacement, I didn't expect it to come with such tradition. I just liked the solid black cover and the neat elastic that holds it closed. However, tucked inside the new notebook was a pamphlet entitled 'The History of a Legendary Notebook', telling how moleskine was the notebook used by the likes of Van Gogh, Picasso and Ernest Hemingway 'to hold sketches, notes, stories and ideas before they were turned into famous images or pages of beloved books'.

Now before I start writing in this almost holy vessel, I thought I'd review what kinds of things I'd stored in my original notebook. It too had a bit of history. I bought it in a stationery shop on the Boulevard St. Michel at the start of my Paris sabbatical in 2001, and though it has the size and grid paper of the moleskine, it looks more like a student assignment book. Again quoting the pamphlet, I want to revisit how I 'impress(ed) upon paper unique aspects of experience' in this original notebook and see if can rise to meet the standards and fulfill the responsibilities of my new, but legendary moleskine notebook.

So what is in my old and full notebook? Unfortunately it jumps around, in time and place, since I always opened it to a blank page and just started writing or drawing. Still there is some priority attached to entries, with the cover holding the Orange alarm code, which I learned and entered into the notebook too late to keep from setting off the alarm and preventing the police from coming to investigate. Otherwise it's a motley potpourri of:

  • Places to visit - Viaduc des Arts, Le Fourmi Ailée, Tufts School of Nutrition, list of good shoestores in NYC, directions to Meg's old West Village apartment, directions to Mike's S. Pasadena apartment, Pearl River Mart, Playa del Rey, Takashimaya, new DeYoung Museum, Rudolph Schindler House, Hudson at Laight Street
  • Fashion ideas - plain skirt underneath with 2nd skirt of sheer fancy weave over it, Champion sweatshirt tapered to fit with sleeves cut out and filled with black tuile Drawings of how to decorate various tarts

    just over shoulders, skirt of 4 squares with large pockets on sides

  • Several years worth of Christmas gift ideas

  • Recipes plus - French Laundry staff dressing, Ruth Reichl's roasted rhubarb, decorative tart examples (don't miss the legend next to the Pissaladière)

  • Web site URLs - why? I don't know - Uncrowned Queens, Shiatzy Chen, >Nunsuch, Flapper Jane
  • Self fulfillment - thoughts while walking in Cambridge, get more involved at Tufts, how to create a money mission statement (unrealized), reflections on a train ride, and most recently notes from a lecture on how to understand Islam

  • Countless references to forgotten names, addresses and phone numbers

  • Practical how to's - fix computer disconnect problem during train ride, purchase correct reading glasses (need 250)

  • Web site ideas - 5 pages of notes for Footloose Flaneur walks in the North End, re:Pete site with music by Ray Charles, What'd I Say, philosophy by Yogi Berra, déja Drawings of various pieces in the Charlestown Historical Society collection vu all over again and point of view, history repeats itself

  • Documentation - drawings of some pieces in the collection of the Charlestown Historical Society before I started photographing everything

  • Quotes - from Joyce Carol Oates in 'We Were the Mulvaneys'

    "What is a family after all, except memories? - haphazard and precious as the contents of a catchall drawer in the kitchen."
    - and from an anonymous taxi driver entreating pigeons
    "Who is responsible for this poop on my cab?"
  • Cryptics - lucid or un autre jour - good names for? Krylon blackboard paint - what could you paint? aluminum letters from Black Ink - what could you spell? what about stitching on top of a photo to bring it to life?
  • Mishawum - pages and pages on how to deal with the kids at Mishawum and, in one of the few dated entries, my final thoughts on 4/23/04:
    My days at the computer center are over but my mind continues to be full of the children. Tears stay just barely behind my eyelids, filling them with so many could-have-beens.

Some good advice I copied down from a wall in the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum that I'm glad I didn't follow, at least the last line.

Pense moult. Parle peu. Écris rien.

My Paris notebook has chronicled the happy times and the sad times for the past six years. No great book or art is likely to come of it, but just as the Moleskine info pamphlet says, I have discovered in my notebook 'a reservoir of ideas and feelings, a battery that stores discoveries and perceptions, and whose energy can be tapped over time'. Bring on the new notebook and its responsibilities. Me and my moleskine are ready to continue the journey.

April 10, 2007

Still Single

What a spectacular ski day for my last rides on the old single chair. Since I'd missed the other holiday storms that made up for the slow start to the season, I was extra happy to be at Mad River for this Easter Sunday storm.

Two weekends ago, I had been skiing around the bare spots on the Catamount Bowl and reloading at mid-station to avoid even worse bare spots on the lower mountain. Sunday though, it was back to the best of mid-winter skiing. The trees at the top were all Mad River logo drooping with fresh loads of snow, and more snow filled the valleys and covered most of the slickness on the bumps (it wouldn't be Mad River without a little challenge like that). A perfect light powder snow continued to fall while I was skiing, just enough to make a fresh track but not enough to make it difficult to see. Instead of working hard to push the heavy spring snow around, I floated downhill, with just enough drag from the powder to stay in control. Coupled with the historic finale of the original single chair, the exhilaration of the perfect conditions made everyone even friendlier than usual. It's too bad there wasn't more of the season left to follow up with all the new people I met on the slopes, but I'll be looking for them again next year.

I guess that's the thing about Mad River - the continuity of it all. The slopes never change, the people change rarely and newcomers arrive because of the tradition. Even though it will be a new chair lift next year, just like the song, it's still single, after all these years.

April 11, 2007

April Construction

New photos are posted. Have a look.

April 22, 2007

Pictures from our weekend

Pictures from our weekend VT visit posted now. Check them out.

April 28, 2007

April Walks

Though this hasn't been an especially good April for it, just now at the tail end I've gotten in some nice walks in Boston and Cambridge. Winter weather just doesn't make for comfortable outdoor flaneuring, when you can take the time to stop and really look around. Even walking by the same old places, once it's warm enough to dawdle a bit, there's something different to see. This collection of photos is a bit motley, but with my favorite city influences of humor, unexpected color, and industrial grit.

April 30, 2007


I couldn't resist using one of my latest photos for a new look to heyjud. Not everything is working quite right yet, but I'll be fixing anything else that doesn't work over the next few days.

About April 2007

This page contains all entries posted to hey jud in April 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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