Benjamin Moore's November Rain

For future reference: Although Benjamin Moore's "November Rain" looks yellowish in the sample bottle, on the wall it dries down to a pale, warm gray with a tiny bit of spring green. In direct natural north light, it looks off-white, neutral, ivoryish. It is absolutely lovely.



I dreamed I was looking through my notebooks, the ones from when I worked in the archives at Goettingen. Carl Friedrich Gauss, 1837: I am so tired I can hardly open a can of figs. It's not CFG whose tired, of course. It's me. The "can" refers to my ongoing problem with our new electric can opener, which is only slightly easier to use than our old hand-cranked one. Life, after all, is full of petty disappointments. But still: figs? Anecdotal evidence that notebooks have a life in dreams.


Before & After

I look at the "before" pictures (which aren't, alas, digitized) and I think, who would ever buy that house? But the thing is, I don't think I ever really saw the house that was "before". I always saw the "after."

Main Room

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
The main room's still very much under construction but at least the drywall's up and (mostly) primed, and the double-doors are trimmed (you can see it if you look closely). Outside the frame, there's a third set of double-doors to the right. I can't wait til the wood floor goes in.

Entry Hall

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Here's the entry hall. The staircase with the antique window is to the right; the entry closet is to the left.


Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Here's the staircase where the antique window will go.

Pantry Door

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Here's the same door in our kitchen. The light is low because I took these shots at 6 pm.

Entry Doors

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
After much soul-searching, we settled on five-panel almost-Shaker they-don't-look-molded interior doors from Brosco. Some part of these doors is actual wood, I'm not sure which. They feel substantial and look good. Here are the doors on our entry closet.


Only the Coffee Counted

"'Bring on the lions!' I cried.

"But there were no lions. I spent every day in the company of one dog and one cat whose every gesture emphasized that this was a day throughout whose duration intelligent creatures intended to sleep. I would have to crank myself up.

"To crank myself up, I stood on a jack and ran myself up. I tightened myself like a bolt. I inserted myself in a vise clamp and wound the handle until the pressure built. I drank coffee in titrated doses. It was a tricky business, requiring the finely tuned judgement of a skilled anesthesiologist. There was a tiny range within which coffee was effective, short of which it was useless, and beyond which, fatal.

"I pointed myself, I walked to the water. I played the hateful recorder, washed dishes, drank coffee, stood on a beach log, watched a bird. That was the first part; it could take all morning, or all month. Only the coffee counted, and I knew it. It was boiled Columbian coffee: raw grounds brought just to boiling in cold water and stirred. Now I smoked a cigarette or two and read what I wrote yesterday. What I wrote yesterday needed to be slowed down. I inserted words in one sentence and hazarded a new sentence. At once I noticed that I was writing -- which, as the novelist Friedrich Buechner noted, called for a break, if not a celebration."

-- Annie Dillard, The Writing Life


Speed & Direction

Either I'm moving ahead too fast & forgetting myself; or I'm stuck on the past, wondering what the heck happened.


Reading Next Week - NYC

I'm reading from my novel
next week in NYC at Dead Poets,
March 6th, 8 pm, at 450 Amsterdam (between 81 & 82)

Hope to see you there!