Happy Birthday, Musashi



So today Musashi, my animal companion, turns eight years old. This is as old as he’s ever been, though he would be the first to tell you that I am “way olderer” than him, as in “like elebenty.”

Meanwhile, in other news, a blizzard has just come in on little cat feet and is threatening to drop a foot of snow on much of Southern New England, particularly our little part of it, Boston. Boston public schools, Northeastern University, Episcopal Divinity School, Emerson College, Brandeis University, New England Conservatory—just to name a very few—have closed for the day. But not MIT, in part because not Harvard. Sigh.

On His Eighth Birthday, Musashi Poeminates

Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war. –Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


Cry havoc! And let slip the cats of winter,

Chasing the icy wind across parking lots,

Down streets, up trees into the branches

That only months ago wore leaves like green

Fur. February, that month cruelest to those of us

Who never spell easily, tightens its grip,

With every flurry a kitten ready and willing

To ravage your toes with her tiny claws.


Havoc is coming. The schools all know it,

The big men who drive the snowplows all

Know it, the bus drivers for whom havoc is

A daily burden, they know it too. And I,

Lying reflectively in my turquoise catbed,

Contemplating the existential drift, I too

Know the true havoc that is the lack of my

Housekeeper, soccer partner, butler,


Just because she has mad writing skills

And her school, like a German Shepherd

Facing off with a Rottweiler, all growl

And lack of poetry, refuses to accept

How weather makes fools of us all

Sometimes. The snow comes down,

An unfurling of fluffy white cats, stretching,

Shedding, everywhere, and all day.

Mu with String

Photo by Jack Siberine.


Weather Reminds Us of Our Own Existential Helplessness


So a while back I signed up for a Meetup party that is happening this evening. Last week, Weather Underground was predicting 8-12 inches of snow for today in Boston. By Tuesday, it was down to 1-3 inches and by Thursday 3-5 inches and today it is back to 1-3 inches here, but apparently our friends down South have already got 31 inches and counting, and we have received a wet dusting. WHY DO THEY EVEN PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT’S COMING?

I will admit a tiny bit of schadenfreude for all those folks down South who didn’t share in our NINE F@#$%ING FEET OF SNOW last “spring” who might just possibly have felt a trifle left out. Well, there you go. Enjoy.

Facebook peeps have been posting amusing maps of the Midatlantic area, showing the areas in which inhabitants will need lots of books or yarn or just a few/little. The pictures of back porches are already in. And here in Boston, where I can still make out the colors of the cars in my street beneath their light dusting of powdered sugar-like snow, the stores are full. Now it makes sense to me that Trader Joe’s would be full. It’s the kind of place you can buy your booze and your bread and milk. But Sephora’s? It’s a ghastly cold day with Weathah about to come down on us and THIS MANY women need to get a blizzard stash of eyeliner? At least I have an excuse. I signed up for this party a few weeks ago and this morning woke up to realize I have never actually been taught to do my makeup, beyond the simple 1950s style my mom tried to teach me before my prom that I was way to nervous about poking myself in the eye to really absorb. And since, if you’ve spent a certain amount of money in their insiders program you can get these 15-minute mini-makeovers, I figured, go in, get them to make me look good and explain how they did it, buy the stuff, and go to the party looking a whole lot better than I would if I tried to do it myself without the practice. (One of the downsides of a girls’ high school and a university career: my whole life has been Mind Over Mascara. Sigh.)

So all I can say is that when Bostonians hunker down tonight or step out to the sidewalk and driveway to clear all the sh–er–shnow off their cars, they are going to be looking damn fine.


Illustration by Mike Allegra.