Saturday, March 29, 2008

The inner-geek in me...

...just found one of the cooler websites of photography that I have seen in a while. Dr. Paddy Ryan has apparently been a little bit of everywhere and has photographed the most unbelievable creatures along the way. I think green mamba snakes are so intense looking, and being born in the year of the snake I often thought about having one tattooed , or as part of a tattoo. I found this picture on Dr. Paddy Ryan's website, Ryan Photographic. If you are at all a science or nature lover, check it out - I'm telling you, a wild visual adventure.

"Portable Stereo"

"Portable Stereo" (detail), collage on paper, aef04

Wave Hill

Up in the Bronx around 252nd Street right on the Hudson River is an old estate turned public garden and cultural institution called Wave Hill. I first went there as a horticulture student with NYBG in 2005 and quickly fell in love. The main house and other buildings are tucked into a large hillside of sloped lawns with spectacular trees and woody plants. When you walk around Wave Hill it is certainly serene, but there is also a great feel of security because of the history and age of the property and the trees and gardens. It's almost as if you've been swept away to another place and time. The maturity of the trees and shrubs simply amazes me.
And then you stumble across the perennial gardens, and smaller displays, and the glass houses full of tropicals and genius succulents and cactus. I always thought woody plants were my main love but then these little adaptive creatures blow my mind.

This is public horticulture done right. If you live in the city and want a little escape that isn't too far away, check out Wave Hill. Even before everything has leafed out the design and plant and man-made structures throughout the landscape are phenomenal. I was up there recently and took a few pics while strolling around. Check 'em out at my flickr page. Enjoy.

Mellow Saturday in Queens. Sun looks nice out there. We have a good day of apartment spring cleaning ahead of us. Good tunes on the stereo to keep us going, and trying my damnedest not to over-mentalize on my day off. Let's keep it easy.

On the stereo: The B-52's, Cosmic Thing

Friday, March 28, 2008

personal and professional

When you are a passionate person by nature, it can be hard to easily differentiate between personal and professional. I am professional, or strive to be, in the way I conduct myself on work time. But I also take my job very personally and put a lot of myself into my work. When things go wrong I can't always just walk away and brush it off. On the contrary, I am known to stew for quite some time more than is necessary. I think for me the personal side often overshadows the professional, sometimes good, sometimes bad. It means I will most likely never hold a stressful corporate job behind a desk in midtown, and that's just fine by me. Perhaps it's part of the reason my mom always tells me that I never would be good in the military. But two beers into a Friday evening I didn't start this to talk about me.

At a job you care about, one which you do well, you can't help but become close to some of the people you work with. And when it comes down to making a tough professional decision, the personal can obviously complicate things. A coworker got an amazing job and it sent a quiet but dazing shockwave through the place. We are a close bunch, bosses and coworkers alike, and the news was heavy. Amidst all the energy a joke that started professional turned personal and the vibe changed. All of a sudden unity was nowhere to be found. We peeled off in our different directions and went on about our lives. Will we all move on and realize professional decisions are just what they are? They are not intended to hurt, we know that. Yet they do. True friendship transcends as it always has, but how do you see that far when the tension in the room is so thick?

The truth is we never quite know where we are going next. But we have to do the best that we can for ourselves, and our friends would not disagree. Yet some times I guess that can hurt people. If I were in my friend's position, having gotten a killer job that was the right next step for me, I wonder what I would say, or more, how I would break the news. Either way it would suck. The potential for professional development. The potential to hurt a close friend.

"You ok? You're not hurt? You're not dead? Ok, good, get back to work."

on the turntable: Nick Drake, Bryter Layter

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


This is Ea Mimm Feleppa, she's my niece. I adore the hell out of this little creature. Actually the photo above is what made me want to write a blog. I don't know why exactly, but her coming into the world was somehow a major factor. A need for a record of these times, to recreate the journal, to acknowledge all of this amazingness life brings us. There is a quote that fellow TMS alumni know well, one by Henry David Thoreau. It goes like this:

"Let the daily tide leave some deposit on these pages, as it leaves sand and shells on the shore.... This may be a calendar of the ebbs and flows of the soul; and on these sheets as a beach, the waves may cast up pearls and seaweed."

This is Ea on Easter Sunday at the folks house out on LI. ...and assorted pics.
More available at the flickr link to your right.

(PS. click on the photos)

I love photography too, always have. Dad is a great photographer so I was fortunate to have such a good eye as a teacher. Again, there is so much amazingness out there, some times you can't just let it slip by unrecorded.

I have an interesting meeting tomorrow. Technically, figuratively, either way I'm hesitant to get into it so prematurely. Checking out my options as a horticulturist let's say. It's supposed to be a beautiful day. I hope so. Wish me a good meeting.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Revisiting old collage books this morning. This is an old fave, a piece of a collage that got turned into a photo-lithography project while at Colorado College in the late 90's. I have a real love for old LIFE magazines and their campy charm. They just lend themselves to collaging so easily.

"Fridge" (detail), collage on paper, aef99

Friday, March 21, 2008

on being sick

I am reminded how much I hate being sick. It's quite simple, I just have no patience for it. You see, I'm not good at sitting still, or at least not good at it when I don't want to be. A lot of people can give in to their cold and deal with it and sleep the day away. I'm not one of those people. I obsess about the work I'm not getting done, I usually end up working anyway, I try to do things as if I'm not sick and grumpy. Really, it's perfectly ridiculous, I know, but it's how I operate. Once I had a cold in the middle of summer and was stuck on my couch for days. Not sure what to do with myself I got out my paints and started mixing. What came of it was a painting of a brown tweed couch painted on a large green background. In the left over space around the couch I scribbled in thalo green the title, "The fury of being sick in summer". Of course, none of my friends got it. Except Nisse, who could relate all too well and would soon steal the painting from me for her kitchen on Lincoln, a theft I gladly permitted.

So today I didn't know what to do with myself. I made it through a morning meeting and back to the office. Steam ran out fast and I began the fade. The vice clamped down on my head and throat again. There is even an opening tonight at the gallery at work, and I felt so bad for leaving, but I had to. I came home. I had to force myself to not turn on the computer and check my work email. I knew napping was what I was supposed to do, but again, tell me what to do when I don't want to do it and chances are I'm not doing it. I chose a happy medium, an activity that didn't require any talking or much moving, yet allowed for listening to good LPs on the stereo and some creativity. And what came out of today? Here's a sample of one of them.
(Saguaro Cactus, 6.5" x 10", collage on paper, aef'08)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Queens Botanical Garden

Last weekend I was researching green roofs in New York City and finally got the chance to go see the new visitor center at Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing, Queens. It was raining that day so I could really see how their rain water harvesting system works. The shelter over the visitor center entrance is essentially a massive gutter to catch rain. The harvested water drips over the lowest corner and into a bed of river stones which feeds into the biotope. The biotope is a system for cleansing fallen water and using it for both watering plants and water features around the garden so that QBG can rely less on the city's water supply. (Refer to QBG signage below for more detail). Rain water harvesting systems are easy to incorporate into most gardens, and on a large scale they are a great aid to the ever-present storm water management issues we face in New York City.

On the other side of the new buildings at QBG is a new auditorium, fully equipped with this impressive intensive green roof system on top of it. As you walk up the path you are walking onto the roof itself.
Being an intensive green roof system, which is typically 6" or more of growing medium, they are able to grow a wide array of grasses, native perennials, meadow plants, and many different low-growing succulents. Even in winter all the colors and textures in the garden made it so rich and beautiful looking, I can not wait to see it again in summer.
A well constructed green roof can be more costly and involved to install, but the long-term benefits to the individual and the city are invaluable, and definitely a direction we need to go in as a society. A typical roof eventually breaks down after 15-20 years due to exposure to the elements, sun moistly, then rain and precipitation, and wind. By creating an effective waterproof buffer of plants and growing medium the impact of the elements is greatly lessened because the plants are using those same elements to their benefit to grow and spread. A mature green roof regulates the surface temperature of the roof, thus diminishing energy costs, lowering your bills, and allowing you to rely less on the city's energy supply. The plants will require supplemental irrigation to get established but they are drought tolerant species so eventually the rain will provide enough natural irrigation to keep them going. By using the rain water the amount of runoff is greatly reduced, another aid to storm water management here in New York City. The realities of a green roof are that they do require some ongoing maintenance and initially you will have to consult with at least an engineer, architect, and landscaping contractor.
But the results are that you get to look at amazing plants instead of plain gray rooftop that isn't helping anything. Above is a kind of Sedum. Sedum are probably the most utilized genus of succulent plants used in green roof technology in the northeastern U.S. They come in a number of colors, shapes, and sizes, and the bulk of them are excellent drought tolerant species that spread well and are easy to maintain.
Many people know the upright Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and similar cultivars and in an intensive green roof system they are perfectly viable plants. Here you can see last years growth which was left on for its fall and winter interest as well as the new flush of growth for this spring.
After marveling at the green roof for a while I decided to see what else was in bloom around Queens Botanical Garden.
If you have taken a walk through a large park or garden recently you have probably spotted the Galanthus in bloom, commonly called snowdrops. These spring bulbs grow in tight clusters and put out these unique and ornamental nodding white flowers just before the daffodils and tulips begin to burst. The two species I learned in horticulture school were Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus elwesii, the major difference being that G. elwesii has two green spots on their flowers while G. nivalis only has one. I would guess these to be Galanthus nivalis. Native to Eurasia, Galanthus do well in USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9 in a compost rich soil with good drainage.
Also in the Woodland Garden at QBG were some Helleborus still holding on to their flowers. Commonly called winter rose, these low perennials are native to Europe and Asia and provide spectacular flowers in a woodland garden through the dead of winter. With so many species and cultivars in the trade now you can find them in a wide range of green, white, pink, red, maroon, and purple.

And finally, not quite in bloom, but the selection of flowering cherry trees were budding up well and showing their potential for a few weeks from now. This is a Prunus 'Okame' which you can tell will have some beautiful pink flowers in nice dense clusters. Looking closely at all of the different Prunus species on display it seemed apparent that 'Okame' is one of the first species to bloom for us here in the city. This particular specimen was only about 12 feet tall but I have seen them as large as 20-25 feet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rain Water Runoff

This is a tulip tree, a Liriodendron tulipifera. Not only do I love this tree because it is a northeast native, but look at how straight the trunk is for such a tall tree in the forest. Up in Massachusetts where this photograph was taken we used to corral kids and have them stand at the base and look up the tree to imagine and understand just how tall some trees can grow. This photo lives on our fridge and reminds me of the strength and resilience of the forest and the trees. I'd love to be walking around The Garden in the Woods today. Even in the pouring rain. Photo credit: Erin Backus, 2006.

But soon to work. (sigh). On the stereo "Close to Me" by The Cure, courtesy of Mr. Burns' extensive library of crucial 80's hits.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

on rotation this morning

Some of the goodies rocking my world this morning.

Ani's Out of Range

Stereolab's Margerine Eclipse

Illya Kuryaki's Count No Count
(definitely one of my major faves)

...and lots of great old beatles and Indian Bollywood LPs from Gian Carlo that I can't find the cover art to. Looks like the sun is trying to come out. I think we're going to take a drive again this afternoon. I've been wanting to visit the Queens Botanical Garden. That is, as long as we don't get hemmed in by the Palm Sunday procession over at the church. It's a big deal here in Queens! Photos hopefully to follow.

(essential!) Radio Birdman

Saturday, March 15, 2008

on politics

I do not consider myself an overly political person. In fact, I tend to opt out of political conversations. I make sure to be an informed and open-minded voter, but you are not likely to find me preaching standing atop a soap box in the public square. Yet, after this week of events, I did come to one fuzzy conclusion this morning while cleaning the coffee pot. To totally generalize, again, before I've even had my morning joe, if republicans are known historically for starting wars and conflict and democrats are known for having mistresses and being involved in sex scandals, then which side is worse? I'd take a troubled marriage and some sketchy personal values over thousands of dead soldiers and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dead men, women, and children who had no say in the decision in the first place. But hell, neither side makes me proud of the ethical state, or lack thereof, of our government. hmmm.

Where's that coffee.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"On Records, the Sound Just Fades Away"

"Did you ever make it in that big city, pal,
Or did you crash down in some rainy alleyway.
I saw six angels wrapping you up in newspaper,
Oh, but that might have been a dream."

-Greg Brown, One Night: Live 1982

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'

I was trying to think today of a favorite plant. Names came and went and then I thought about a weeping European beech tree. I was thinking about growing up on Indian Wells and the property across from St. Mary's Lane. I'd go by it a million times on my way to and from the ocean. The front yard was big and expansive and situated on a slope, the house on top of the rise in the distance. And all those trees! Every kind, big ones, small ones, evergreen, deciduous, this crazy tree that looked like a living fountain of branches and leaves. In the snow I wanted to climb inside and make a winter fort and camp out in there. Each one takes on a different form, but each so beautiful and graceful. Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula' is a favorite, one of many. This one is up at Wave Hill. I took this photo in late April of 2005 soon after I went back to school for horticulture. Even pre-leaves it's such a great structure in the landscape.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

happy spring

The best is getting out of work and it still being this light out. Enjoying the evening sun and clouds over Astoria pre-tax appointment. Of course, it didn't hurt that today's workday included a great walk through Central Park to see what was in bloom. Little Galanthus bulbs with their nodding green and white heads. The tiny yellow bursts along the branches of the Cornus mas beginning to expand. Seems like the forsythia will pop soon too. Oh, and a little spoiled city kid going through puberty at an awkwardly young age and trying to make out with his nanny in front of the mating ducks. umm, hmm. yeah...

Welcome to New York, Happy Spring!

Monday, March 10, 2008

City vs. Country, the eternal struggle.

I went to a town I had never been to before. And it was a real cute place. I caught up with my friend Erika and it was really wonderful.

When you're unsure about change I think it's a basic human reaction to retreat to what you know. And who you know. Anthropologically speaking, I think the creation of religion is a perfect example of that. Attempting to understand the universe is ultimately impossible. We don't know what came first, the chicken or the egg. We don't know the reason we as a species were gifted with an abstract mind. We don't know what happens after we die, spiritually, that is. But by acting as though we know we in return feel more centered and able to deal with the uncertainty in our daily lives. How many times have I heard, "God has the answer". And related to that we can then understand why there are shrines, temples, and churches. They are tangible places to go to feel that same sensation of being centered, protected, at ease. Everyone everywhere has their own center of the world, their own sacred space. Religions have followers because it provides them with answers. The answers themselves depend on the faith, but in each case its just humans' attempt to rationalize the magnificence of life and the unusual presence of an abstract mind. Why us? Why me? We've all heard those questions. We've all asked those questions.

People used to ask me my religion. As a student of anthropology I used to say that I didn't have one, that I tried to be understanding of all religions. I guess now over the years I have realized that I'm one of those people for whom nature is my religion. So hokey to say, I know, but still very true. I live in a city, and it is, by design, separate from nature. And it is amazing. Cultures, languages, sounds, man-made creations that awe and mesmorize, beautiful people, ugly people, everything you need and even more things you don't, all at your fingertips. And yet I went to a virtual "nowhere" where the main attraction was a stand of woods with American beech trees scattered in the interior, their dried brown leaves still fluttering stuck to the cold branches. And I thought, "I feel very at home here". Centered, protected, alive.

With changes on the work front and my ever-present flightiness, I've been thinking about how much longer we'll stay living in the city. I have done good work here reconnecting people to the natural world that they forget about while dashing from taxi to apartment and back again. I have a lot more work to do in that respect. But recently we've been thinking this challenge isn't quite necessary any more. Some times it is odd to spend time away from the city and then come back and have it feel so alien when it is really your home. Of course nothing is going to happen as quickly as I might think so I best just get back to work. Like I said, I have a lot more to do.

Erika had hanging from her rearview mirror a bunch of shells she gathered in Montauk, just a little trek from where I grew up. All the way up in Pawling I had a little reminder of my own sacred space, and again, it was so wonderful.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

on heads, hands, and habit

On Friday I traveled up to The New York Botanical Garden to attend the graduation of The School of Professional Horticulture. The school is a two-year intensive program that exposes a small group of selected students to every aspect of top-notch horticulture. You take a ton of classes, from organic chemistry to History and Theory of Landscape Design, you work hard every day alongside some of the best in public horticulture, and you attempt to house and sustain yourself while you juggle these 8-16 hour days solid for two years. I have a good friend who likes to scoff at how exclusive and elitist the school comes across. That's fine, she's entitled to her opinion. Just as much as I'm entitled to know the truth. The truth is that it is a lot to juggle, and not everyone makes it through, but those that do make it to another level, and they are professional horticulturists. I graduated just a year ago and I am damn proud to be in the club. These people are not only my friends but they are the people who I trust the most to make this a better and healthier world for all.

The tagline of the school is "where practice and theory meet". That was the line that Bill Logan chose to speak to as he began his keynote address in front of the intimate group of students, family, teachers, Garden staff, friends, and alumni. Bill Logan is an arborist and great mentor of mine who came to trees via literature, poetry, and garden writing. I hope some day to be as eloquent as Bill, with his commentary so accurate and so vivid with tangible anecdotes and factoids. Bill reminded us how our society likes to separate the "heads" and the "hands".
There are head people, those that formalize ideas and direct the show, often without rolling up their sleeves. And then there are the hand people, those that apply their hands and make a reality of the heads' design. And why is that the case? Most of us were there on Friday because we care about both of those processes equally. It was such a treat to have someone as articulate remind us of that a thought that might be simple but certainly goes unrecognized. As horticulturists I think that our lives are the best and yet so challenging because we see that it is only by being both a head and a pair of hands that we are complete. To formulate and think through is powerful, but understand my doing and see the plants that resulted from the seeds you've sown, well, that takes you to another level.

With all this its hard at times to differentiate between what we do to make ourselves happy and what we do to make society happy. We climb the ladder, excel to the managerial role, and move on from where we were as a laborious pair of hands. But sometimes I wonder why. I think, "Wouldn't it just be great to be a regular gardener again". I know gardeners who have been in similar positions for many years and they seem perfectly content with their lives. Then I see others who have climbed that ladder very quickly and their desk is far from the gardens they started in, or the first trees they climbed. I wonder where I fit in. I have a lot to offer, to plant, to grow, to educate, to spread the mission of making this a greener place. But I don't want to become to separated from my hands, from the earth, from knowing intimately that connection between the two.

I put on my dress pants and nice shoes. Soon I'll hit the pavement and the elevator and the office. I will educate and positively affect many people today with the lessons I've created. I will remind myself that this higher position means I can reach out and educate more people than if I was just caring for my own small gardens. But, damn, the 13th floor is sometimes just too far away from the dirt far below.

early sunday morning

It seems amazingly crisp and clear outside today after all the rain and gray we have had over the last two days. I love waking up to that contrast of orange and red brick buildings against the rich blue sky. Branches in the back courtyard rustling in the wind. We've adjusted the clocks. I watered all the plants. The dracaena in the living room was shedding and I found myself braiding the fallen leaves. I think that's a sign that I need to get out. It is a beautiful day outside. My love is dreading having to trek north to Brewster for Vet school today, but I'm thrilled about getting in the car and getting out of here. The country is inspirational to me, and I want to soak up as much as possible.

If I could suggest something, make sure to take a walk today, and make sure its to nowhere in particular. Sometimes those are the best walks.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Flowering x Laeliocattleya 'Gold Rush'

Just about a year ago I was working for The Horticultural Society of New York after having graduated The School of Professional Horticulture up at NYBG. I was at The Gramercy Garden and Antique Show informing people about the many resources and horticultural offerings of HSNY and across the way was an orchid vendor. Sure enough, after three days of working the show I caved and bought myself a number of new orchids for my kitchen at home. The room is naturally very sunny so I looked for orchids that could tolerate a lot of light, and chose in the direction of Cattleya and and various Cattleya hybrids. I also made a point of choosing orchids that had pseudobulbs. Pseudobulbs are swollen stems on some orchid plants from which leaves and flower spikes emerge. These swollen stems can have varying shapes and sizes. Some are indeed very bulbous while others may be more stalk-like. Either way these structures help the plants to store water and nutrients through times of drought. This does not mean that if you have orchids with pseudobulbs you never have to water them. It just means that if you have to be away for more than a week or two your orchids will most likely be fine. I also like orchids that have pseudobulbs because they are simply more plant to look at. Between blooms the plant still have some height and girth to it, unlike something like a Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid, which between blooms is perhaps a little less showy with its low-lying leaves. But, I'm getting off on a tangent and that is all just a matter of personal taste anyway. I digress.

The orchid photographed above is a hybrid of two types of orchids, a cross between a Laelia and a Cattleya. When orchids are crossed with each other to create a new genetic hybrid, the new name is a combination of the two, or in some cases, three or four names. Therefore, this is a x Laeliocattleya named 'Gold Rush'. I bought it as a mature plant but it was not in bloom at the time. Over the last year it grew three new pseudobulbs, each about 5" or 6" tall. Generally Laeliocattleyas only produce one or two large leaves on the top of each pseudobulb, and then a protective sheath from which the flower spike will emerge. The plants grew like crazy but in the case of this orchid it was a long time that the sheath was present before the flower spike finally emerged. However, just a couple weeks ago the flower spikes began to emerge.
At first the flower spike was tiny, but it slowly began to unfurl to show four or five miniature flower buds.
The peduncle, the stalk on which the flower buds form, begins to elongate and the buds begin to swell. Eventually they get large enough that they begin to show their color.
And then, finally, the buds open and I get to see what 'Gold Rush' looks like in person. The flowers are rather compact compared to other Cattleya hybrids, only a couple inches in height.
What a pleasure to be able to grow something so beautiful. I will make sure to keep it watered very lightly but regularly and will try and keep the humidity up as high as I can so that the flowers hold their form for a while. I have glazed saucers with pebbles underneath all my orchids and I find that a little extra water in the saucers that can evaporate and provide a little extra moisture to the immediate area around the plant often helps a lot.

You can find orchids many places thanks to their popularity over the years. I have found many down in the Flower District on 28th Street that have held up very well. I experimented with mail ordering some orchids and those I have had great success with. Cheap orchids at huge retailers who don't specialize in plants I am hesitant to buy, but again, that's just me. I like knowing where my plants are grown and supporting those growers. Of course, right now the Orchid Show is happening up at NYBG and if you can get up to the Bronx you really must treat yourself. Just remember, if you are taking one home and it's chilly outside, anywhere below 60, make sure your orchids are wrapped very well in a lot of plastic or cellophane. It's criminal
to see people walking down the street with unwrapped orchids in winter or early spring because
I know the flowers will not hold up if they get frost-bitten, even if it's only for "a minute.


It's a lazy rainy Saturday in Queens.

"Shark infested water
Message in a bottle
No man is an island
Individual visual MC
Me, I love life"

-Antipop Consortium, Tragic Epilogue

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Oh no, it's not a diary, it's a blog."

I remember in high school starting a journal for a junior year English class. We were to write about school and the farm we were living on and our experiences and thoughts and whatever moved us. The only requirement was actually a suggestion, at least three pages a week. In the wide-lined notebooks we were supplied three pages went pretty easy. We were teenage kids from all over the country on a farm in Vermont for a 16-week semester that would change our lives more than we could have ever fathomed. Trust me, plenty to write about. So on Monday morning we'd see Jack after morning meeting and pass him our journals. Jack Kruse was our teacher, an amazing literary mind and musician, and we looked up to him in every sense of the world. Our classes ran 55 minutes and at half-past five every Monday afternoon Jack would tell us to put our other materials away and would pull out his stack of marked journals. We knew for the next twenty five minutes we'd get to hear great prose, political, romantic, teenage-angstariffic! Jack would simply select his favorite sentences or paragraphs. It was up to us to figure out who wrote what. I remember once writing an entry about a crush i had and how torturous it was when you thought you were making eyes and connecting with each other so well and low-and-behold she's all of a sudden making the same eyes with someone else, forcing you to realize you're not as special as you'd hoped. Ouch. Yet the way I wrote the entry you couldn't clearly tell if it was from a guys or girls point of view. Class let out that one afternoon and someone made a compliment about my entry with all of it's truth and anonymity and I couldn't help but smile and be proud that it worked out to be such an entertaining piece.

The snow melted, spring and mud season came, we made it, we graduated the program, and eventually we had to leave The Mountain School. Jack told us to keep writing and I listened. My journal became a close sidekick for years to follow. Inevitably I would get teased by someone for being a boy writing in a diary. (sigh). I would try to rationalize that a journal was different from a diary, but really, I had nothing concrete to combat the ridicule. Best just change the subject.

So, with all that, I was so surprised to see a woman writing in her journal tonight on the subway on the way home after work. Or wait, was it a diary? I mean, don't get me wrong, I feel like I used to see that a lot. I was surprised that her writing in a journal was such a surprise to see! I guess it had just been a while. Hell, I used to write in my journal all the time when I was first in the city on the subway. I still love looking at those drawings and descriptions. We've left our journals out of our bags because we've found the hippest new thing. We've chosen to blog instead. For ourselves and yet for all to see and read along with. I wonder if Jack has abandoned his pencil and pad for a keyboard. I wonder if Thoreau would have gotten into blogging.