April 29, 2012


New York City in 2012 is indescribable. The weather has been so undeniably splendid that it takes the words "undeniably splendid" to actually describe it. Crystal blue skies, stretches of warm temps, thick growth of the trees and blooms. I'm basically falling madly in love with New York City this year. That may sound funny in that it would seem as though I've always been in love with this town - yet, it's different, this particular year. Me, here, now, life, love, urbanity, rejuvenation and hope. Spring time, I think, puts life into special perspective.

Yesterday I brunched with my girls Dacel and Erica. Let me back track slightly...Friday, I Happy Hour'ed with my girl Dacel. Dacel is an extremely significant influence on me right now. She's got this spirit - and it's not all positivity - she will claim so herself - that is so very natural and comforting, and talking to her is speaking in real adult conversation speak - we may interrupt one another, but we circle back to make sure the coverage of conversation is level. I just love that about her. I love her style, her grace and poise. She's an exquisite find of a friend for me in the City.

Let me circle way back. I failed miserably at documenting my birthday. In fact, I was downright rude to my own birthday in not posting about its goodness. We met at Fish Bar in the East Village and plenty of quality friends made it out - Dacel, Kim, Koryn, Christian, Cynthia, Jess, George, Alicia, Mary, Adam, Julie, Dario...and we laughed and they all shared their poems with me (unforgettable, how amazing to invite friends to personally hand select a poem as a gift - I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it all) and after quite some time the question of dinner arose and it basically amounted to that we had stayed so long at Fish Bar that not many wanted to carry on to dinner at Casimir...totally understandable, I mean, come on, it was a TUESDAY. So I wound up at Casimir with Dario, Christian and Cynthia and we gobbled up oysters, escargot and mussels and sipped Jameson and smoked cigarettes (outside obviously) and lived. Living is such the right way to go. It felt pretty, slightly Parisian (appropriate enough considering Casimir is a French cafe) and I literally could not have requested a more amazing evening with more considerate, beautiful, incredible, intelligent and hilarious individuals. So yes. 2012, thank you for a winning birthday celebration.

So wheeling back to the present (er, more recent past), yesterday I brunched with Dacel and Erica at a place that has unbelievable mac and cheese but is guided under a miserable name: Chat and Chew. Ew. But the food was excellent. Dacel ordered the mac and cheese and we all dove in and Erica ordered deliciously scented pancakes (I can appreciate the olfactory side of the sweet stuff regardless of whether I choose to eat it or not) and I had a breakfast sandwich of some variety (and two Bloody Marys - they were SPICY!) and afterward, we all felt overstuffed so we headed to the Union Square Saturday Farmers' Market. Can I just say...walking through that is a life lesson in simplicity and basic produce beauty. (In fact so stunning I may just go back today!) Above pictured is what they're calling "Ramps." Ramps are supposedly a wild leek, infused with garlic flavor, and I cannot wait to cook with these things. Pungent just sitting there on the counter...planning on cooking food for Johnny today (who is spending his Sunday much as me, recovering, letting the embers of the weekend smolder in order to launch into a new work week - gosh, already?? Mondays come so quickly.) Unlike in the case of leek the usage of the green leaves is encouraged, and in fact was stated to be "incredible as a pesto ingredient." Mmm. Pesto. Ramps. Yum.

So then I came home Saturday mid-aft and plastered myself to my bed to re-watch and re-re-watch YouTube videos of my latest installment of KB Obsession, which is this band called Walk Off the Earth. There are two songs right now that are hovering about which seem to send all of America into a trance: an Adele song called "Someone Like You" and a Gotye song called "Somebody I Used to Know." I like the very blase reference to a person that must obviously mean far more than the titles of these songs suggest, but whatever...that's the point I suppose. Anyway, Walk Off the Earth covers both and in one, Walk Off the Earth members (5) play a single guitar together, each one playing music from the same guitar at the same time. How can music GET more intimate and lovely?

I won't go into all of it. I obsess so quickly and easily that it's almost fruitless to explain one because before you know it, another has taken its place and I'm obsessing over something else and keeping up with that whole racket is a train wreck WHICH IS WHY MY BRAIN MIGHT JUST CAVE IN someday. Seriously.

In any event, my schedule for the evening was that I would meet Alicia AND HER NEW ADORABLE HAIRCUT in Queens on Jackson Ave at a bar before heading to Jess' burlesque show. Alicia and Jess, and oh George...argh, I just want to ball them up and shove them in my bag and spend all of the time with their minds. They're so incredible.

I had plenty a hard time finding Dutch Kills (the bar where Alicia wanted me to meet her) on Jackson because frankly, Queens is confusing for a spoiled little grid-oriented Manhattanite. And frankly, my GPS was even resisting my presence in Queens. Ha. But I did locate her, and I did completely LOVE Dutch Kills (great bar with great drinks, mixologists present) and after a couple of drinks there, we headed to The Secret Theatre for Jess' burlesque show. Now, I have managed to meet, long story short, a guy through a thing through a friend from long ago who wants to participate in Lit Crawl BK 2012. He indicated some something about burlesque interest in one of our emails (literally having nothing to do with Lit Crawl, just a random aside I guess) so I invited him to Jess' show last night - and he came! It was neat, impressive and kind as a gesture - and he enjoyed it rather much so, which I thought was the proverbial icing on the cake.

At the end of the show, there were tons of Jess/George hugs and intros to Daniel, etc., and then Alicia lives within walking distance of the theatre so she headed home and Daniel and I took the 7 into Manhattan and talked about books. We talked about books and words to Grand Central, where we transferred to the 6 and kept on about books. It was fantastic. I can't thank the Universe for better relations with literature right now: tangible books, books on the iPad (wtf), people that I've met that actually read, too. Amendment: read stuff that I like, also. (DANIEL AND I TALKED ABOUT AIMEE BENDER...HE KNOWS WHO SHE IS...WTF! [in an awesome WTF sort of way!])

Things are most definitely heading toward bonkers, in the bonkers direction. But somehow, in some frame of vision, it's all for the best, and it all comes to some surface of comprehension. I say that, and I only half believe it, but I say it because I want to believe it to be true.

Sunday morning gab fest complete. Now time to get this Sunday show on the road.
All my love,

April 14, 2012


Clearly I've done an excellent* job in posting once a day in the 16 days leading to my birthday.
*Not so excellent whatsoever, oops.

But I'm here now with stories to regale (or bore) the Internet as I enter my last weekend of Age 34 (and boy oh boy, has it been a year.)

My career has finally launched on a path. I realize I'm a late bloomer and that ten years plus some change down a road with the same company one would imagine I'd be a lot further along a lot of years ago...alas, never mind all that because the path is launched and I'm moving forward. Hurray...and hope this turns out for the best because it feels like it might.

Above shown is our arena roof. Maybe I'm a baby (indeed I am) and perhaps for little reason but I couldn't do it. Yesterday I was walking the Upper Concourse with Craig, Wip, Tom and John (Tom is my Signage Guy) and Tom's agenda for the morning on site included walking the roof, where he will be planting a painted logo for the sponsor. I had hopes and dreams of parting ways with those schmucks (love them, they're my brothers) and heading back to the office only at some point Craig turned to me and said, KB, have you walked the roof yet? I looked at him as if he'd grown a large second Craig Head and Wip said, Yeah, KB, when was the last time you were up there? Tom's face formed a sinister smile and he was like, KB, come with us to the roof. John had long since departed our company otherwise he would have defended my honor. Hell no, I haven't been on the roof, I exclaimed to these punks! Why would I? And they were all in harmony with one another to the tune of, KB, there's a SIGN up there, you are overseeing that. Ugh.

So I permitted them to lure me up the 42 flights of stairs to just "meet" with the roof. There are slats between some steps where seeing down to the ground below happens. There are gaps between drywall and concrete that reveal an imminent death should you slide between the gap and fall to the ground in a pile of likely impaled blood and bone. Granted, the gaps/slats might only be 1/16" BUT STILL! Stranger things have happened than me melting into jelly and managing to slither through those spaces and plummet to the Brooklyn graveyard that would be mine below! I'm not kidding, as we ascended, my heart thudded with escalating woe.

When we reached the topper most landing, I completely froze. My stomach began to knot and I felt light headed because what you see above posted is what I stood and confronted from the topper most stair landing. Craig and Tom basically leapt over a beam to cross onto the sloped roof and began just walking like it was not a dramatically sloping hill climbing high into the sky (okay, okay, the building is only 6 stories with a 7th mechanical mezzanine level BUT STILL!) Wip hovered near me and insisted on getting me on that roof. I was bound on the stair landing by safety cables and I stood there all frozen telling Wip No No No, No No, No, seriously, NO. He was like, KB, consider it just a floor, it's just a floor, you can walk on it, and by that time, Craig and Tom had disappeared over the other side and I fearfully turned to Wip and said, Where are Craig and Tom, did they FALL OFF?? Meanwhile, several other construction monkeys had jumped over the beam and were just strutting around like they were on a dance floor. It had my entire gut braided and tangled.

So maybe I'm afraid of heights. Maybe I inherited that lucky trait from my Mom who, when we went to the Grand Canyon when I was a teenager, could barely maneuver herself on the trails, she was that afraid. But there's this: I will at some point attempt that roof. I just will. The whole experience yesterday frustrated me and I want to be just as capable of saying I walked on the arena roof as anyone else working on this job, and dammit, I'll do it. Just, not yesterday.

What else...? Lit Crawl BK is nearly mapped out and a couple of days ago I had an experience I'd like to isolate and memory bank for some time. I'm acting simply as the volunteer coordinator which basically consists of locating volunteers and gathering them for coffee or cocktails and sending emails. Easy, basic...but I've also offered to assist in smallish other capacities as needed. Well, Suzanne wondered would I go meet with Karl who owns Scratcher (aka The Scratcher aka Scratcher Cafe) to discuss booze sponsorship options. Scratcher is one of our tried and true East Village supporters, and every year in the going on 5-year program of Lit Crawl NYC, we've hosted events on the Crawl at Scratcher. Apparently, Karl just thinks Lit Crawl is the cat's meow and is willing to do just about anything to assist.

So there was this New York moment (moment being an extended period of time, duh) that happened for me. First off, Karl isn't just Karl...he's hot hot Karl, as Suzanne referenced him. Ha! He's been in a couple of movies and, okay, yes, hot hot barely does him justice. But what happened is this: I left work way early and headed to Astor Place to emerge from the subway and head to Scratcher. Scratcher is not marked - it's a bar just below ground level that is by far one of my favorite places to go in the City these days. Uh, not just because of hot hot Karl. The bar doesn't open until like after 5, so when I pulled on the door, it was locked - I stepped back, and suddenly the door swung open and there stood hot hot Karl holding keys and inviting me in. The bar was unlit except for the ambient light from the sunny day so there was this fine layer of dust floating through the bar lit by the sun and everything finish-wise in there is primarily wood, old wood, vintage look. He smelled of coffee and was drinking one and offered me one and he, yes, has that whole Irish Hot Hot Bar Owner Movie Actor look going, and we sat across a table from one another and discussed beer sponsorship and club ownership and my work in construction and it was just...it was one of those things, those times, I don't believe I'll experience often if ever again. If there is a movie made of me, posthumously, that scene must be in it...shot at Scratcher, and I'm played by Winona Ryder if possible because she's able to pull off just about as frumpy as me? Ha.

So that was great. Then yesterday I received an email from one of the other Lit Crawl volunteers...she has managed to secure us free Out of Print tees which are basically tees with Out of Print book covers silk screened on them and we will wear those around the night of the Lit Crawl BK...how endearingly nerdy and perfect!...and my first request was The Bell Jar and second was Wuthering Heights. Obviously, must go Team Girl Author! Plus, I'd hesitate to wear a tee of a book I've not read.

What else, big world? Oh, I've spent much of the morning coordinating my Saturday...going to see a Hole rockumentary with Alicia at 4, then we're going to meet my friend Trish and her friend Mary at 7 at Solas followed by fondue/cheese plates and wine at The Bourgeois Pig, all in the East Village.

My life is moving in a weird twisted range of paces. Some weeks crazy with lots planned. Others, lulled by hollow and open hours yet those lulls somehow navigate me back to normalcy from the crazy where I mostly reside.

I love it.
I'm sad, I'm happy, I'm grand, I'm falling...but really, the colors of life keep me pushing forward into what is to come.
Happy 35th soon, girl...

April 02, 2012


I'm happy again today. This is what I did. I composed an invite to my closest New York friends to my birthday dinner to celebrate this milestone. I wrote:

Subject: Birthdays Rock and So Do You

Dear Friends,
First and foremost, Happy Springtime! It's been positively lovely outside and I've considered it to be Mother Nature's last gift to us before the Mayan 12/12/12 predicted End of World Date arrives! As our good pal Michael Stipe would muse, I feel fine...
Speaking of Finality...this year marks my milestone FINAL BIRTHDAY EVER (because it will be the age I shall remain if we survive on into 2013!) and if you are on this email, you've managed to somehow impact this past year significantly for me, whether it was reminding me how to laugh or texting me to keep me company when I needed it or simply just being a good friend in some capacity or another. No pressure or anything, ha...
(If you are a new-ish friend and you've earned KBVIP status it means the pleasure to have met you is all mine and I look forward to lots more socializing with you as the months unfold ahead!)
That said, I'd like to host a Celebration of Crazy KB dinner on Tuesday, April 17th. The plan will be to meet for drinks at 7 (place TBD once I've received RSVP's) followed by dinner to commence at 8 (to give everyone a chance to arrive.) Please do not feel as though you will lose VIP status if you're unable to attend...I know how New York lifestyles have the tendency to chew us up and spit us out. By the way, if you made this list, I also want to personally thank you for being courteous when it comes to earmarking your calendars for me and not doing the whole Last Minute Cancelation bit - it does NOT go unnoticed!
Oh. Well. Maybe this will be a deal breaker for some, but there is one teeny caveat/price of admission to my party...
(insert dramatic pause...)
Due to the fact that I just got a new super meaningful tattoo related to my most major passion (poetry) AND due to the fact that I just HAPPENED to be born in National Poetry Month, you, my friends, must must must bring me a poem. It can be ANY poem found ANYWHERE...ripped from a library book (yikes, don't tell me if that's the case!), printed off the Internet, handwritten on a cereal box cover...other than those guidelines, feel free to get as creative or be as basic as possible...remember, poetry is EVERYWHERE! And it will make me smile very deeply inside to know my favorite people are being sent on a poetry hunt in my honor.
Thank you thank you thank you with all of my big thumping heart for being YOU, being part of ME, and for helping me along in this life.
And for endearing my long-ass gushy emails.
Much move and there's plenty more where that comes from,

And the response has been adorable and overwhelming. I can barely stand it. I'm looking forward to thirty-ffff...fiii...ve...because of these people.

And look what Aubree wrote for me today:

Make me smile.
Make wonder out of a New York City subway ride.
Make friends.
Make it worthwhile.
Happy Birthday.

XO, Aubz

I am blessed. I am blessed beyond the ability to say how deeply I'm blessed.
Oh, Happy Days!

April 01, 2012


Happy April One, people. And I really mean it - it's happy. The last two weeks have been quite filled with satisfaction for me and I can only hope the numbers continue to rise in that respect. I could attempt a recapture yet I feel as though I won't do particular moments justice, moments as they relate to a specific person I happened upon in the cloud of life's mystery (it stays in my brain) or as they relate to other specific people who have essentially poured more life meaning over me in the past handful of days than for which I could have ever asked. Thank you, thank you.

Today I celebrate the first of the last sixteen days of my thirty-fourth year of life. I wish I could say these are just numbers, but they're not, not to me, not today. Maybe approaching forty-four I will re-read this post and giggle, joke was on you, KB, numbers kinda mean not much...but for today, for the sake of the essence of who I am, numbers swell with meaning. Friends my age have children, many of them (many friends have children, not friends have many children) (uh, except, my near dear long-time coworker did inform me last Monday that his wife is carrying their number four in her belly! Super congrats to them of course but super wow, that will never be me, ha) and I suspect, from reading Facebook posts and from speaking with these friends and meeting their completely precious offspring and so on and so forth, that their own respective milestone birthdays tend to gray out in the distance because the milestones they've become concerned with relate to their children. Trust me, that is amazing, as life should be, and as the children so deserve. However, I currently am in the process of planning no bearing of children (despite my very deeply planted adoration for them - life maps itself out according to some master plan, I believe that much to be true) therefore my milestones mean the world to me and I take them seriously. Bring on the next chapter, thirty-five. Show me what you're made of, dammit.

This past week consisted of a lot of minutia memories for me to carry around in my pocket. Oh, and, by the way also...Happy National Poetry Month (speaking of pockets and poems in and what not and what have you.) (Yet another reason for me to love the fourth calendar month that is April!) (Just found out via text because I'm committed to multi-tasking that my friend Ashley's sister's birthday is also my birthday, aw, cute!)

Monday night one of my book clubs met at Vapiano, a large Italian chain eatery (I know, I know, but they're only in major metro areas, cut me some slack for caving in on the chain selection!) to discuss The Perks of Being a Wallflower. We had a nice time...talked about the book, ate decent food and drank wine...then Wednesday I traveled out to Long Island to view fabricated signage for my project and to discuss Interior Signage as it stands (not awarded yet, oh to the oh no) today. Sitting there in a dark wood conference room with Tom and Susan (the three of us make up quite the brain trust, I must say) we accomplished a ton and it felt good, getting somewhere. But around 3:30 in the afternoon they started talking about MTA and Plaza area signage which is NIC for Hunt, so I asked for a ride to the LIRR to catch the 3:51 and arrived back at Penn Station around 5 then. I love...there is something about metro urban movement via public transportation that rests like a soft petal right inside my soul. I just love it. And soft petal? Wow, watch out, Hallmark, here I come...


I wove through the commuters that literally create human braids in Penn Station and emerged only to realize I know where the heck I'm going all the time now. It's an extremely empowering adventure to develop and maintain an internal compass. Men must just be high on that adrenaline on a minute to minute basis. Ha.

And the plan was to meet Alicia and Jess (my two new completely favorite people on God's Green Earth, in addition to the earlier mentioned person I so happily have tucked into my mind) at Lillie's, over on 17th in Union Square. Jess is a baker and sings in a band. Alicia and I are basically cut from the exact same cloth having to do with just about mostly everything. I really adore these women.

Lillie's is fairly popular so was rather crowded but I secured us a table and Jess arrived first followed by Alicia. The thing is this: if you cannot find beautiful people, you're not looking hard enough. Because they exist. And they sometimes travel in pairs, as in this instance, although we were missing Suzanne and Cristalle, the other pivotal persons in this precious circle.

Jess and I had been texting about a personality quiz that she had been meaning to administer to Alicia for some time, and would it be okay if she brought the book to drinks? Of course, I'm never one to turn down really anything, so of course, I texted her, bring the quiz.

We shared stories for a while and drank wine and ordered prawns and mac and cheese and then at some point Alicia and I were like, Jess, where is this test?? Jess produced a book from her bag titled The Essential Enneagram and she explained that she would read us nine paragraphs, A through I, and that we should take notes, listen carefully, and basically select three (Third Avenue photo above) that we felt best depicted us as individuals....we were then to rank the three in order of one being the very most relatable. Without going into too much complexity of how this all shook out, I wound up falling under Personality Type Four, The Romantic. Yes, there is my number four, following me around, watching over me closely.

Aside from listing what the book assigns me as the adjectives that describe my type, I won't speak to it more just at this point because I've bought the book and am slowly absorbing what it entails. But here are the adjectives to describe The Romantic:

Idealistic, deeply feeling, sensitive, empathetic, caring, intense, specialness oriented, creative disposition, authentic to self, introspective, and expressive, but also sometimes dramatic, moody, changeable, self-conscious, unsatisfied, and self-absorbed.

I cannot think to one of those adjectives that does not directly or even overly much so apply to me. So yeah.

It's getting close to noon and I must go to the grocery for Spinach Black Bean Lasagna ingredients because today I am celebrating April One by throwing a potluck with friends followed by seeing Wild Flag (former Sleater-Kinney band members' new band) with Alicia at Webster Hall.

Last night, I forged my way back into Williamsburg after spending a great day bragging about Hunt to engineering students up at Columbia University. Alicia and I met for bites and wine on Third Ave before heading to the L train to Bedford Ave, and there, right off the train, Spike Hill, bands, vodka, karaoke, George, Steve, and everyone AND I MEAN EVERYONE in Williamsburg who spotted my cat shoes (shoes with cat detail on them, so freaking cute) could not stop talking about them, stopped me, begged me Can I take a photo? Ha. Oh, Williamsburg. You are so tender.

Maybe I will try to write here once a day leading up to thirty-five. Maybe I will fail at that which is completely fine and acceptable because I do have a lot happening this coming week. But the thing is this. I'm finding footing somehow. It's taking great grinding of the heels into the ground but it's happening and it's ongoing and it feels like the me I'm becoming is just as regular and flawed and scathed and jaded and smiling and sobbing as the one seated next to me on the train.

We're in it. It's in us.