Wednesday, April 30

two photos

my second ever handspun.
I'm not sure what to do with this. There're only about 138 yards of it. For now I will fondle it and maybe someday make a hat or little scarf or something. I'm improving, I think!

The amaryllis in my kitchen window.
It rained all weekend, and I started feeling a little like the amaryllis: longing to go out and so sad at the weather. I had to turn it around because I was taking its behavior a little too personally.

Saturday, April 26


Recovering from Christopher's attack is strange. On the one hand I feel like it shouldn't be that hard for me: he's looking tons better, he's now able to take the subway alone to Manhattan (though not home). On the other hand, his eye is still bruised, he still sees double, and we're both nervous to go out at night. We are both feeling rather vulnerable.

Each day is very different. Some days I feel energized. I have things to do. I go to work. I get my hair cut. I go grocery shopping. I vacuum. Other days, I feel really sapped. Yesterday was like that. We had put a lot of energy into Christopher's reading (which went very well!) and totally crashed on Thursday night. When I got up to go to work on Friday I just felt unable to face the day, and I went back to bed for a few hours. (Luckily for me, my work is flexible and they have been very understanding. Not that I get paid when I don't show up, but at least I don't lose my job.) I spent the rest of the day at home, doing yoga and pulling our tax information together (yeah, we still haven't filed. It was just really low priority).

There is another thing that I've finally found solace in (and I knew I would, it just took a little time): my spinning.

I'm not a great spinner. And I mean that in many ways: I'm inexperienced and I don't produce a lot of yarn. Since getting my wheel in December, I've made one skein of (rather ugly) yarn. That's not a great average. Since then I've been very slowly working my way through the rest of my maroon merino multi 64s. Some of it was on a bobbin and I started filling a second one right after Christopher's attack. I didn't get far because it was just overwhelming, too much for me to deal with right then. Well, yesterday I sat down for about an hour and just spun and spun, and this morning I spun some more, and I'm now out of the maroon roving. I'm rather proud of myself, and I'm pretty excited about how much I liked spinning. It put me in a calmer place, and that's what I need right now. I hope to ply it this weekend, and I'm looking forward to trying a new fiber. I'm so charged by spinning at the moment that all I want to do right now is spin and spin.

If only that I didn't have other things to do, like our taxes.

Wednesday, April 23

an event

For those of you hanging around Manhattan tomorrow with nothing to do, there is going to be a reading of Christopher's latest play. It's at 2pm (I know, weird and inconvenient) in midtown.

Christopher finished the play last summer when he was on his residency in Vermont, and it's gotten a bit of attention since he's started showing it around. Most notably, it was a semifinalist for the O'Neill Playwright's Conference, which is sort of a huge deal (even though they ultimately didn't accept him). Gareth Saxe, last seen playing Joey in The Homecoming at the Cort Theatre (on Broadway), will be reading one of the parts.

It will also be Christopher's first social outing since his assault.

Come join us!

Details below:

by Christopher Wall
Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
Thursday, April 24th, 2 PM
Abingdon Theatre Company
312 W. 36th Street 1st Floor (between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Tuesday, April 22

spring renewal

We took our walk on Friday, an hour or two lazy loop of the Botanical Garden. It was bright and the Bacitracin on Christopher's wounds somehow leaked into his eye, so he was uncomfortable. (We didn't realize that the Bacitracin was the cause of his pain until we got home and we flushed his eye and removed the bandage.) It was nice to be out though, and the spring weather was fantastic.

On Saturday we rented a car and drove to Hartford, where we saw the final performance of the show I'd designed (and abandoned). Everyone up there had done a wonderful job pulling the design together in my absence, and the trip gave me closure as well as a sense of pride. The set looked damn good, if I dare say. (Hopefully the pro photos look better than mine; it was really tough to photograph well.)

We spent the night in Amherst, MA, at the home of family friends, and on Sunday morning I had pure alone time, the first in ages. Our hosts were out of town for Passover, so the house was ours, and while Christopher slept I sat on the patio with my journal and just wrote and enjoyed the sunlight for a few hours. It was rejuvenating and relaxing, exactly what I needed.

When Christopher got up, we headed into Northampton, where we found a new wallet for him before wandering around the Smith College campus. For those of you who don't know, this is where I went to college, and the campus looks very different than it did 11+ years ago when I was a student there. Most confusing to me is that my house (or dorm) has been gut renovated and the houses around it have all been moved to different spots, a few were torn down, and this massive student center was built in the space that was left. I can't remember anymore where everything used to be, but the area I knew best just doesn't feel very familiar. It's rather disconcerting.

Spring is here! Going 3+ hours north was a little like going back a few weeks in the life cycle of the plants in NYC; here there are more blossoms and the leaves are just about out. In Massachusetts the leaves were just poking out, the peonies in our friends' garden just sprouting.

I'm glad. I need this weather and the cheer that comes with it.

Friday, April 18


This week has been long, but I can't tell you a whole lot about what happened. We had some visitors. We ate a lot of soup. We received lots of well wishes and cards (thank you all for your notes!). I have become an expert eye drop administrator, though I'm still mastering the eye ointment.
Wednesday was spent shuffling between doctors. First the Oral Surgeon (who goes by "Keith." It's a little off putting, to be honest. You don't really want your doctor to be human and have a first name.) who took the stitches out of Christopher's eyebrow and from the corner of his eye. He was very positive about how things were healing and how the swelling has reduced.

Given my stress headaches I should have known that I would have a physical reaction to Christopher's condition, but it really took me by surprise. While I was sitting with him at the ER I felt very dizzy and hot. After his surgery I actually had to run to the bathroom to throw up. And while his stitches were being removed I thought I would throw up again, though I didn't. At that point Christopher told me to go wait in the waiting room, since I could barely stand and my head was reeling. These attacks take me by surprise and are completely dehabilitating right when I want to be focused on relieving his pain and anxiety.

Luckily it looks like the worst is over, and so hopefully these attacks are too. We also visited the Opthamologist on Wednesday, and they said that any problems he's having with is vision now should go away within a few weeks. We saw a plastic surgeon as well, someone unrelated to the surgery and the hospital, and he said that the work the surgeons had done looked surprisingly well done, and that he thought that Christopher would look completely normal within a few months.

Yesterday our big trip was to the police precinct, where they apparently had lost all record of Christopher's attack. I had been transferred here and there when I called on Tuesday, and then was informed that we had to come fill out a new report, which might take awhile "because there could be a shooting outside." This didn't make us feel so good (or safe) but the visit went very well and everyone we spoke with seemed concerned about what had happened and as confused about the lost report.

So. Today is another day, a beautiful spring day. Our big plan is to go walk around outside, which Christopher has barely done since the attack. He is currently rather terrified of our neighborhood, and also self-conscious about his bruised cheek and bloody black eye, but I think a trip to the Botanical Garden might do him good. Let's hope so.

Sunday, April 13


I have a sad post today.

Last Monday, Christopher got mugged. He was walking down our block on his way home from work at about 9:30pm when someone whacked him in the face and took his backpack and wallet. He made it back to our building, where he received aid from a few our of our neighbors.

Long story short, he spent the night in the ER with his best friend (I was still in Hartford) and had surgery the following afternoon to repair multiple fractures in his face. He's now home with me, and we're trying to pick up the pieces. It's tough. He's in pain. He's afraid. I want to make it all go away but I can't.

For now I'm fielding phone calls and trying to keep our lives together. We are lucky to have a community of loving friends and family around us, and are not hurting for pureed soups and smoothies (which is just about all Christopher can eat now because he can't chew). My mother was here a few days, but left this afternoon, and now the house feels quiet and empty, and a little lonely.

I tried countering our solitude by spinning while we listened to This American Life this afternoon, but it was hard to care about the spinning, it just felt like I was posing or something. I told Christopher that I need something I can accomplish and feel positive about, and the spinning is just not so natural for me yet, even though it does have more of a Zen effect than knitting does. So now it's back to my knitting. Since I'll be house-bound I could get a lot done, in theory.

Anyway, that's life this week.

Sunday, April 6

life on the road

My life has been a whirlwind since we got back from Germany. I am designing sets and costumes for a show in Hartford, CT, and so I've been trekking up and back weekly. I used to think that I'd like business trips, because I like to travel, but I'm discovering that I don't. Traveling for fun is so different than traveling for work. When you travel for work you only have work and work-related things to do. There is no going home at the end of the day, and there's not much time off that's very focused or relaxing.

A few years ago I designed the set for a play in Vermont, and the only place to go in town (besides the theater and a bake shop, where you couldn't really sit) was my haunted hotel room, where there was a really dinky TV and 24 hour news coverage of the Pope's deathwatch. I have never had much interest in the Pope, but in this case it was utterly absorbing. I kid you not. (perhaps I wouldn't have this problem if was in a higher paying field, but still.)

Anyway, I'm nearing the final stretch in this project, and it's really nice that the end is in sight. I'm looking forward to having time to pet the cat and organize my yarn (which I'm embarrassed to say is all over the place). On the other hand, I have two more set design projects waiting in the wings. We had a meeting for one this afternoon and the other one will be in full swing almost as soon as I get back. It's exciting to have so much to work on, and I certainly can't complain, but I also wonder whether my life will always be this hectic. I mean, this is the career I chose, and I knew that this was the lifestyle that came with it. But the lifestyle makes more sense when you're 25 and single. How does one incorporate a family life into this time sucker of an art form?

Thursday, April 3

a quick plug

I am up over my head in design work at the moment, but I thought I'd put in a word for my parents' rental house, which is in Maine.
The house is for rent on a weekly basis through the summer. It's a darling house, but not the type of place you go to if you want to catch up with your TV watching. Rather, it's a good base to explore the area and come back to, or to sit on the lawn and read, or cook a delicious meal in. It's a quiet spot, on a dirt road (which you can see in the photo), with great swimming just a short walk away. And it's old and has tons of character.

My father has set up a website where you can learn more about it and there is also a link to a slide show of photos. Really, it's a very affordable summer vacation. And the area is really wonderful.