after lunch friday we took emma out for a long walk by the meadow lake trail near the apartment. it was the most fun i’ve had being outdoors in a long time


the new york city building code defines a kitchenette as a kitchen of less than 80 sq ft of floor space which technically makes mine into a classic textbook kitchenette. we have no counter space and picked up this makeshift trolley for plugged appliances. i had to remove the casters because the floors are uneven. worried our little cups would go flying about. this one has a really small footprint. floorspace is precious around here. we were using a skillet to toast bread. the kitchen is coming together slowly. today is yom kippur. the company gave us the day off. the year is almost over. having more opportunity this year to stay home with work allowed marcelo and i to finally focus on our apartment and make as much changes we needed for comfort. i’m really hoping the company continues work from home throughout next year as well.


when i was a kid i never liked september. it meant being back in school and having no vacation in sight. same time last year i was unemployed and looking for work. i did some cabinetry for a week, making high-end tables and chairs before accepting an assignment as an analyst for a tech company called unqork. i wasn’t happy and kept interviewing until i found something more permanent in the middle of october. i still don’t like september and all the transitions that it brings. for one, my allergies always act up as the weather transitions to autumn. a few days ago i thought i had covid with heavy dry coughing and a sore throat caused by post nasal drips and congestion from the allergies. i went into panic buying of cough syrups and elderberry supplements.

about a week ago I found out that todd clinesmith, the luthier who built my frypan lap steel guitar lost his shop (basically his livelihood) from the oregon wildfires. a friend of mine put in a deposit for the guitar which sadly melted in the shop. todd is one of the most down to earth and hardworking person in know. the steel guitar community immediately rallied forward and raised over $27k for todd. he is now retooling and hoping to be back in business at the start of 2021. what a terrible thing all the wildfires this year out in the west. climate change is so real and terrifying. before my mood takes a further turn for the sinister, let’s think about some of the goodies this month.

  1. finding a good italian bakery in brooklyn that delivers to queens. circo’s pastry shop in bushwick makes decent cannolis, mondulas, sfingis and other sicilian faves. my favorite bakery, villabate, is all the way out in bensonhurst and costs an arm and a leg to deliver. circo’s is a great option.

  1. finding wood speakers to match marcelo’s desk.

  1. emma, both the goofy-eared version and the dramatic pensive version

  1. finding the best chair for work. it swivels. perfect for long hours of sitting.

  1. emma plotting to take over the chair inside her tent


scenes from labor day


since moving to my apartment in 2008, i’ve been taking my time and made super slow changes to the place because of a crazy work schedule. it’s only in 2018 that i’ve started to downshift my lifestyle, making careful and mindful purchases as part of a minimalist practice. slowly, we are reducing our waste and replacing items in our home for something cheaper and sustainable in the long run towards less plastic waste. this deodorant and tooth powder for example should last us the whole year.

we recently had a bad drain clog in the bathtub. i live in a prewar building and the pipes are a scary old mess. our bathroom pipes and the neighbor’s kitchen are interconnected. each time they used their kitchen sink, the water would rise in our tub. the super in my building couldn’t come right away to fix the clog. for four days we manually emptied the water in the tub to make sure it didn’t overflow. everything is fixed now but it was quite a workout to remove all the water. i spent a good amount of time cleaning the bathroom and putting everything back in place.


september feels like an amber dream bathed in luscious warm tones and golden, honey-filled light produced by the rays of the sun to ease the mind


today’s practice is another popular hawaiian tune from the 1930s. ka ua loku by alfred alohikea. c6 tuning on the clinesmith guitar



my boss sent me a second monitor for work today. it arrived in the mail this afternoon and i just finished setting it up here. these were taken with my camera phone. it’s a portable monitor that collapses easily and you can store it like a tablet inside a sleeve. my work is numbers driven and excel heavy. it really helps to extend my display when dealing with multiple spreadsheets and large data sets. i’m generally a mac user for my art projects but when it comes to pc’s, i’m a power excel user. i once got recruited for an analyst role while attending an advanced excel class while training for government audit. it was a global advertising company that recruited and it was the worst job i’ve ever had. the hours were from 9am to 1am. i took a car service home each night from lower manhattan to queens, too tired to make dinner and walk my dog. i would go straight to bed. my coworkers were bitches, especially the men. after several bridges burned and multiple ulcers later, i eventually got out of that gig. another forgotten bump on the road. sidebar - my sister joked that my coworker is distractingly cute in these photos.


there’s no time like a pandemic to get serious about your brewing. we take our beverage habits very seriously, marking time with both mate and coffee. 9a coffee, 11:30a mate, 3:30p coffee, 6:00p mate, 12:15am coffee. repeat. whether it’s in the middle of work or practice or watching soccer the beverage breaks are certain to happen and we are clinging to them. they certainly help to improve the experience of being cloistered from the world. it’s basic adult functioning at an attainable indulgence. my husband having 6:00p mate in this pic after i just cut his hair with mens clippers. the first time i cut his hair during the pandemic was with scissors and it was a wreck. clippers are a game changer.


tonight’s practice is sand by andy iona, a hawaiian musician who wrote some great hollywoood music in the 1930s. b11 tuning on the clinesmith