A classic list. Not my own.

A classic list. Not my own.

Howdy do? Don’t you love when you can check every item off your To Do list? I love it. Which doesn’t mean I do it all the time or even frequently, but I had a very productive day yesterday, and it boosted my energy. (Long ago I got to work with the legendary director and lyricist Martin Charnin (heard of “Annie”?), who wrote down every task in a bound book, and when he accomplished what he needed to do, he’d strike each item out, with a black Pentel marker. I loved that once he did it, it was gone.)

Anyway, as Spring is showing signs of possible arrival here in the mid-Atlantic, my energy seems to be increasing exponentially, which is a good thing.

Here are this week’s five things that made all the difference.


1). Teaching! I was a guest teacher at a class on podcasting at Stony Brook University (part of the S.U.N.Y. system). Those were the students, above, including the great interviewer and journalist Gail Sheehy, standing to my right. Everyone there is making his or her own podcasts, and their range of interests are astounding. I enjoyed hanging with the class, and stayed after to learn more about this universe of podcasts. I have also applied to teach a college writing class for a month next year, so this could be a new direction for me.


2) Plant Shed 87th Street. Is a florist-nursery-café, gift shop a thing? As in, are they common hybrids? I saw an awning that said “Flowers. Plants. Coffee” and I was led to it as if by a magnet. The space smells divine. There are flowers, and lots of pottery, and 3 rooms of plants. I saw an area where you can learn to repot your plant in a cool vase or pot if you don’t want the standard clay vessel. And then there’s the cafe which is bright and pretty and busy! Afterwards, I also visited the Plant Shed’s main store on West 96th Street, a hugely busy resource for New Yorkers with terraces, balconies, window boxes, and just a desire for more green. I bough a delicate looking jasmine plant. I’m crossing my fingers that I can keep it alive.

Say hi to Jasmine

Say hi to Jasmine


3). I’ve told you all that I’m developing some food allergies or sensitivities or something, because as in my whole life, I’m a late bloomer. I don’t have stomach aches but I’m trying to eat better. I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but I love salty food. Until I’ve reached the point where I’m just eating salt from the shaker, I’m looking for new forms of saltiness. to try. Love, Corn is pretty tasty. I know nothing about it, or who makes it, but it’s crunchy and made in Spain! So there!

Keri Russell and Adam Driver

Keri Russell and Adam Driver

4) Burn This! on Broadway. I first saw this play in 1987, when John Malkovich left us astounded by his performance. Even then we knew we were seeing something rare on stage, and so memorable. It’s a domestic love triangle sort of play, in which Anna a dancer (originally portrayed by Joan Allen now Keri Russell) mourns her roommate Robbie, a closeted-to-his-family gay dancer. She has a boyfriend, but her life is turned around when Robbie’s brother, Pale (Malkovich and now Adam Driver) shows up at her loft. I was eager to see it again — not sure it had been revived since the 1987 production. It’s different, plays differently, and times have changed us, but still has some rewarding moments. Adam Driver is a star, though. Bigger than life, and very manly. Hopefully when you see it, the squealing will have died down somewhat (don’t count on it) and you’ll be able to hear all of Lanford Wilson’s clever dialogue.


5). I come to praise The Atlantic Monthly. Founded in 1857 in Boston by a group of writers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, it has published serious, important, and entertaining long form pieces for 162 years. I have never written for The Atlantic, but I read it all the time, especially online. But I think it’s time I subscribe … you. know, to encourage them to keep at it.


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Stay cool and act natural,