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Now that my car is fixed, I can get back to my real passion in life – which is road trips!

Trip to the Southern tier planned for Thursday, and I spent yesterday tromping around through the thick undergrowth of the Norrie state park and the trail along the river to look for arrowheads and the Hoyt House.

Found the latter, not the former.

In fact, tromping from the trailhead to the Hoyt House turns out not to be a very efficient way of getting to the Hoyt House although you do get more exercise, and I saw two foxes – one red and one grey, rather odd in the drowsiest part of the afternoon considering that foxes are crepuscular.

For years and years, I searched in vain for the Hoyt House – considered by architects to be one of the finest examples of Calvin Vaux’s skills. Vaux designed huge swathes of New York City – the more attractive swathes – before dying mysteriously. If only Vaux’s body hadn’t been found, I could imagine him haunting the Hoyt House, a guest at an interminable party whose ghastly attendees also included all dead Livingstons going back to the grim, inexorable Signer of the Declaration of Independence himself.

But Vaux’s body was found, and the Hoyt House is easy to find if your start out at the Mills Mansion and walk a mile around the point:



The Mills Mansion itself is most impressive for its Beaux Arts neoclassical façade. Once upon a time, one imagines, its impressive greensward was dotted with statues but one by one, when the moon was full, they all came alive and wandered away to snag low-paying jobs as prison guards or liquor store clerks in the surrounding hardscabble towns.

Except for this one:


And here is the incomparable Hoyt House itself, a small bit of Ozymandias in the deep forest:


I just LUV it when I can work that cautionary moral edge into my road trips!


Today, I have a shitload of work to do – housecleaning and yard work in addition to the usual sit-in-one-place-and-make-$$$$ work.

And no interest in doing any of it.

Though that’s not so unusual.
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I did absolutely nothing of any substance all weekend, I mean ab-zo-loot-leee nada! And felt very guilty about it, too, which detracted considerably from the mindless pleasure of nada.

I watched all 10 episodes of The Good Fight and liked them.

I watched a heartwarming movie about a woman and her bomb-sniffing dog, Megan Leavey. And cried. And thought about Milo.

I played The Sims for hours. I’m currently fleshing out the backstory of an autistic genius, so that’s taking up a lot of time.

I read two (count ‘em) biographies of Jerry Garcia and mused for a long time about what an altogether unpleasant little man he was albeit an extremely fine guitar player.

Really, one of the most fascinating things about Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead is that so many of us started out like that – going for adventures in painted buses, dropping vast quantities of acid, cramming together in rat-infested Victorians in the Haight. While a tiny fraction managed to turn that backstory into iconography, the vast majority turned it into failure.

Of course, “failure” is one of those words with no hard definition. I’m alive and in relatively good health two full decades after Jerry Garcia’s expiration date.

But I don’t have the money to plan a spree trip to Cuba let alone to maintain an aggressive heroin habit.

Isn’t that failure?

Can I mention here how much I loathe Jack Kerouac? And Ken Kesey? How I think On the Road and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are two of the most over-rated books in the 20th century bibliotheca? Badly written and misogynistic.

Meanwhile, it’s summertime in the quaint and scenic Hudson Valley. I have to get out of the house by 8am if I want to go running since by 9am, it’s 80 degrees.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon sitting on a grassy bluff high above the river, occasionally looking up from my books to take a sip of water and take in this view:

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Very long labyrinthine dream, which I mostly can’t remember, except that I had a friend, otherworldly and innocent – like Bibbit only much, much prettier – and this friend had a lover to whom I, too, was passionately attached. The lover was an artist, Danish or Dutch, very handsome, and equally unworldly, and he and my friend were very happy together: two dormice living in a cupboard, dining on cheese rinds. I wasn’t jealous exactly; more regretful: Nobody would ever love me the way the artist loved my friend! Although, of course, I couldn’t help noticing he wasn’t a very good artist.


I’ve been in a mood… I hate the 21st century.


Lots has been happening but mostly, I haven’t been noticing it. I did notice the landscape when the sun finally came out yesterday after 10 straight days of rain and gloom. A sere beauty; the underlying architecture of trunks and stones and water. I hiked five miles. After three months of inactivity, that’s the most I’m capable of.





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Every Day Above Ground

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