1. A fifth of Jack Daniels.
2. Fistfuls of baby bok choy stir-fried in sesame oil.
3. Green Apple Books on Clement at 5pm on a warm Sunday in March.
4. The Japanese Tea Garden, swarming with tourists like me and J and J's sister and J's niece (who all - except me - have the same pale eyes, but J says his are blue, while theirs are green. I cannot tell the difference. But that is perhaps because I do not know them all as long as they know each other.). Little ones on a steep bridge speak in German; to my ears they sound like swallows twittering on an al fresco cafe tabletop as they peck at the crumbs of a long-devoured scone.
5. Fortune-telling I-Zone flicks, quadrupling pics of us in the last 6 months in one hour. (3 to 12).
6. Last cigars (til your birthday, Jimmy!).
7. Wet concrete near International, inscribed with - what else? - the usual.
8. Moving me to 1st and International on the first hot day of spring, away from the room "where the mysteries," he said, "[had] unfolded." The early days had been, indeed, magical.
9. Ducklings, the product of a winter of mallards mating. They are tiny and often duck into shallow water, looking for edible creatures much smaller than their own newly hatched bodies. When the ducklings float on the Lake, they look like toys come to life; underwater, they are slippery enigmatic creatures, compelled by a mysterious engine. Perhaps it is because I can't swim and anything that can swim has its own power, a power that is outta reach to me.
10. From William Wiser's The Twilight Years: Paris in the 1930s, a social history that is otherwise preoccupied with the social history of aristocrats and American expatriates, and not of "ordinary" people (i.e. workers): "When Simone de Beauvoir visited the grim philosopher [Sartre} at his post near Strasbourg, she found him resigned but convinced of a drole concept of this drole de guerre: it would be, he said, a bloodless conflict. 'Sartre is persuaded that there will be no fighting, that it will be a modern war without massacres, as modern painting is without subject, music without melody, physics without matter.'" History would prove Sartre wrong.