Hurricane Sandy

Sol y Mar, on the Rocks

Stroll on the beach with me?

Stroll on the beach with me?

We did get to the beach the other day for a couple of hours.  My peace, my soul, my bliss.  I will be happy at any beach.  Obviously, the ones with clean sand and water are better, but I’m not all that picky.  The Brooklyn beaches with their layer of scum and floating you-don’t-want-to-know-what works for me too.

The above photo is of Sandy Hook, NJ. My favorite “local” beach.  It hurt my heart to go there, seeing the damage still in evidence from Hurricane Sandy.  I’m impressed and amazed at how much it’s been fixed up over the last months, and the road on the Hook is now smoothly paved.  But you still see many businesses closed or closing on the highway leading to it, and the bathrooms are still out of commission.  No thanks, Johnny on the Spot.  I’ll skip the porta-potty and just clench those kegels until I get back home.

I’m sure I rambled about this last year, but I’m going to do so again.  Mrs Fringe ❤ Beach.  I don’t know the word for it, but there’s a feeling I get when on a beach that I just don’t/can’t get anywhere else.  Stress levels drop, anxiety lessens, I feel…calm.  I feel well.  For me, it’s like being halfway through a perfectly mixed gin and lemonade.  You know that point?  Just enough so the gin is the most delicious substance to hit your tastebuds, smiling, relaxed, that neutral strip between this-mind-numbing-daily-grind-is-crushing-me and foolishly-relaxed-and-happy-I-CAN.

Alas, poor Yorick, we loved him well

Alas, poor Yorick, we loved him well

Flower Child also loves the beach.  Part of it is not mysterious, it’s a purely physical comfort.  She doesn’t sweat, and playing in the water with the constant breeze off the ocean lets her enjoy a summer day. But part of it is that same mystery gene I’ve got, from before there were any known medical issues, when she was a baby, and the beach was just plain joy at first experience.

I wonder, if I lived on the beach, would my writing flow more easily? Or would I feel too good, and lose the drive to write? I wonder why I’ve never set a story on the beach, or in a beach town.  Maybe it’s too hard to tap into enough conflict imagining such a life.

In my next life, I want a beach house.

But for this life, I take those days when I can, how I can.  Revel in the contrast of my toes in cold waves and shoulders baking under the sun, while the scent of the saltwater wakes me from the inertia of the day to day, and the spray of the water is a protective coating.

She Said What?!

Angry-man-rights illustration

Angry-man-rights illustration (Photo credit:

Can we talk about the human side of this election?  Yanno, the post-voting fallout?

I’m stunned by the numbers of people posting complete vitriol–from both sides. On my personal Facebook page it’s been limited, but frankly I think that has more to do with having a small circle of friends than anything else.  Even within that small circle, I’ve seen plenty of people unFriending each other.  Is the shrinking middle class being reflected in shrinking moderation in all areas?

If you’re new to Fringeland, let me tell you now, I’m broke and lean left. If you’re already offended, this blog isn’t for you.

I have friends on both sides, listen to opinions on both sides, see the same facts and figures get skewed by both sides. To me the choice, if not all of the issues, was clear. For all of my reading and listening, I don’t really understand how some of my  friends have the beliefs they do. Some, I think I get it even if I disagree, based on clues and things I know are true in their lives.

My Foot is Slipping

My Foot is Slipping (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Others, I don’t get it at all. It seems to me they’re fighting against their own interests, one foot in the same muck mine is in and the other heel grinding into the dirt to be buried alongside the first one.

But here’s the thing. I know they’re looking, listening/reading, and thinking the same about me. They believe our country, our values, and our basic rights are slipping away under Obama.  And no, I’m not talking about any of the hateful, ignorant worms we’ve all seen photos of and quotes from online– you know the ones, those who proudly held up signs saying “Bring the White Back into the White House,” or any of their despicable cohorts.

I’m talking about people who aren’t in the 1%, people who are intelligent, reasonably well read, often highly educated. Maybe they have children they’d like to send to college, maybe they have children with significant chronic medical needs, maybe they work union jobs, maybe they’re on disability, or collecting unemployment benefits, maybe they’re women, maybe they’re people of color, maybe they consider themselves caring and moral people (with or without religion), maybe they’re gay, maybe they’re counting on help from FEMA, or the Federal government to rebuild the infrastructure of their community in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

In my opinion, these are all people who have the potential to benefit more from Obama than they would have under Romney.  Some of them disagree. Fine. I accept that, I was raised with and am quite comfortable with our two party system. Frankly, I’d like to see some teeth from one or two of the smaller alternative parties in addition, to keep people thinking and evolving along with the world.  I don’t have enough hubris to write all of these people off, blanketing myself in the assumption that they’re all either dim, heartless, or evil.

Some people ranting, roaring, and picketing is good.  We need people with that level of passion to get everyone else paying attention. I admire those who fully devote themselves to the causes they believe in, and I thank them for putting their time and energy into these causes, caring enough to keep up the work and attention when elections end, and others might think there’s no more work to be done.

I rarely, rarely see honest, potentially helpful political discourse. The closest is Real Time with Bill Maher, which I’m sure will have 2 of my 3 readers screaming at the computer screen when they read this. The third will wail that I’m rolling over and giving in, not passionate enough.

But. When did it turn into everyone screaming?  If everyone is screaming, no one is listening.  I see rants, misleading partial quotes, and a whole lotta lalalala.

Franz von Stuck: Dissonanz Heliogravur von Han...

Franz von Stuck: Dissonanz Heliogravur von Hanfstaengl. Plattengröße 53 x 46,5 cm, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I grew up in a home where there was a lot of political arguing. My father would rant, calling my brother a fascist and my brother would bellow back, calling my father a communist.  I would go hide in my room, wishing they would both shut the fuck up. The past year has felt like old home week. Except I’m not hiding in my room and don’t want everyone to shut up. I care very deeply about my life, your life, and the world my children are going to live in. Just lower your voices so I can hear your words, and the intention behind them.




30 Days and 30 Nights

late night writing

late night writing (Photo credit: professor megan)

of literary abandon.  So says the wisdom of NaNoWriMo.  Sounds like an orgy with pens and laptops.

No, I’m not participating, never have.  I think about it, most years.  Usually on October 30th, and again on November 7th or so.  Then I do the math–50,000 words by midnight November 30th divided by how many days? feel nauseous, and shelve the thought for the following year.

I don’t know the whole story behind the history of NaNoWriMo other than it’s grown exponentially and started by a small group out in California, but this I know–whoever conceived this brain child cannot possibly have been responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

I would like to do it one year, though not in November. I think February sounds right. It’s a boring month, no major holidays, guaranteed to be foul outside here in NY, making me want to hide inside my laptop, perfect.  Sure it’s a short month, but what the hell. 28 days and 28 nights of literary abandon sounds so much more manageable anyway.  I’m pretty sure the NYC Dept of Ed is going to take away the February break this year since the kids were off all of last week, so I’ll get to incorporate all the fun of getting Flower Child to and from school each day. I’ll even give it a cute name. PerNoWriFeb.  Personal Novel Writing February. Catchy, isn’t it?

I’ve got the perfect manuscript to work on, the romance in progress. I think romance lends itself to this type of writing frenzy. Keep the momentum building, move it forward, get the hero and heroine to the happily ever after before anyone starts to sag. Add in the whole Valentine’s Day kitsch and both reader and writer hearts can remain intact. Please don’t tell me you’re supposed to start fresh, a new manuscript.

Depiction of Queen Scheherazade telling her st...

Depiction of Queen Scheherazade telling her stories to King Shahryar in The Arabian Nights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I get to be king in Fringeland, and queen of PerNoWriFeb so I’m making the rules.

None of this will come to pass. By the time my days are free enough to put this much time and focus on writing, my fingers will be too arthritic to tap on the keyboard. But I think about it. The same way I think about a beach house, a second bathroom, and a space of my own. And a dishwasher. And a washer and dryer. Oh wait. I’m getting off track aren’t I? Especially in this month of November, when I’m supposed to be thinking of something I’m grateful for each day. When did that start, anyway?

For personal space there’s no answer other than retreating into my mind.  I’m pretty good at that. Mebbe too good, it could put me over the border of quirky and into the land of looney. Second bathroom? Definitely no answer to that one, unless I develop a fondness for chamber pots. Beach house? That’s what my nano tank is for.  Limping along, having a little problem holding my calcium and alk levels steady at the moment, the front panel is in desperate need of a good cleaning, but still, it’s alive and mine.

Mrs Fringe is not Mary Sunshine. Seeing so many who have lost so much from Hurricane Sandy doesn’t make me happy with life as it is, but I do feel grateful that me and mine are safe and warm, and I excel at putting blinders on and chugging along. So maybe 1785.71 words per day won’t be possible in PerNoWriFeb, but I can shoot for working on the manuscript every single day that month.

Pom Pom Crab, my favorite critter in the tank. She’s survived several disasters, and every time I think she must be dead, haven’t spotted her in weeks, she pops up again, shaking her pom poms at every imagined threat and proving that some creatures are much tougher than they appear to be.


Sandy, Part II, After

Well, the first pic is during, because it made me giggle.

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Flower Child wants all my Fringie followers to know she was very, very scared. But brave.



These photos show just some of my crappy photos that came out the least crappy.  They also show only a few blocks worth of damage, in a part of the city that was very lucky, not nearly so effected as other neighborhoods.

My thoughts and prayers are with the thousands (millions?) of people who were more than frightened and inconvenienced by Hurricane Sandy, but have suffered devastating losses, and are without power and limited access for an indefinite period of time.

Who Invited Sandy?

In case you didn’t hear, the East Coast was hit really hard by Hurricane Sandy.  Over here in New York, still sporadic rain and some significant winds. Many are without power and looking at major damage from winds and flooding.  I hope all are safe, I’m sending good thoughts into the universe for those who are unable to check in right now.  I am lucky, we live uptown and didn’t lose power, uphill from the river so no real flooding threats.  But New York overall is a mess. Schools are closed, the MTA is closed, subway tunnels are flooded, as are some entire neighborhoods, water was literally pouring out of the Battery Tunnel,.  The Ground Zero construction site was flooded. Let’s not forget the collapsing crane 80-90 stories up, on 57th Street.

So, another crappy photo perspective by Mrs Fringe. I’ll do it in 2 or 3 parts, I’m fairly lousy at the whole uploading pics thing, and guaranteed to lose patience before I’m through.

This batch is before the hurricane actually hits us, some yesterday morning, some in the afternoon.

Odd looking sky a few mornings before, connected?

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