Wednesday, 14 February 2007


This is Helen's friend Alison posting in her stead. Don't worry, she's alive and well. least she was last time I checked. Really, I haven't done away with her. We're guestblogging for one another.

Today I picked H. up in Burlington and drove her out to my house in the mountains. On the way, we stopped at a giant alienating shopping center to fully round out her American experience. I had to do some research there for my comic strip. Here's Helen posing for a reference shot in the pen aisle at Staples.


Eventually we got to my house, where the temperature was hovering at about zero degrees fahrenheit. Don't worry, I'm going to convert that for you soon. I wanted to take Helen for a snowshoe hike in the woods. But by the time she had her snack (cheese, which she had warned me to buy in case she got hungry, and toast) and got her long johns and boots and socks and sweater and coat and hat on, dusk was falling fast. I wondered if perhaps she didn't really want to go outside. But eventually I got her out the door. Okay, here's how cold zero degrees fahrenheit is:

minus thirteen centigrade

We didn't stay out very long. What with all the photo documentation we kept stopping to engage in, our hands and feet were soon disturbingly numb. Now, instead of talking to one another, we're sitting side by side at dueling computers, making these posts on one anothers' blogs. Helen informs me that she just Went Live.

In summation, here's a short movie of Helen on snowshoes for the first time ever.


OneuvAlisonsArmy said...

Helen, you've got GREAT hair. And you are a good sport.

And Alison, ever the economist with "speech balloons" -- only one line on the video, but what a juicy one.

Frances said...

Hi Alison, great reference shot - I look forward to Helen appearing as Mo!

ragthetiger said...

Well that's just way cool, Helen!

Stella Duffy said...

Shelley and I walked down the road to Brixton yesterday. it was pretty much the same. snow. trees. cool. crisp. remote. heh! don't get lost Helen!!
Stella x

Anonymous said...

I love the scrunching sound of truly cold snow! Haven't heard that in years...

cybercita said...

helen, really, the waverly diner? there are dozens of restaurants a five minute walk from there, serving infinitely better food! next time you're in new york, try the pink teacup, the noho star, or shopsin's.

silvio soprani said...

Alison, being a guest on this blog is a new adventure! Seeing the picture of you and Helen in front of the SWIX thermometer brought back my days as a cross-country ski-er many years ago in New York State and Colorado. I would like to say I miss living in the Winter (Maine, Colorado, & New York State), but the truth is that 25 years in the Virginia/Maryland area have made me into a wimp!

silvio soprani said...

I have belatedly read your post about brunch in New Jersey, and being a native myself, just want to concur that brunch is a fine meal indeed.
Do not be discouraged that much of New Jersey looks like stuff on TV. There is more to New Jersey than suburban developments, although it may not be immediately noticeable.

If you have spent some time there, you have no doubt picked up the nuance by now.
Thanks for swapping blogs with Alison Bechdel. We enjoy her (online) company and hope you enjoy ours.
By the way, you certainly have HIGH SECURITY on your blog. I suppose it discourages nitwits and evil-doers from posting.

Anonymous said...

Helen, Alison, Cybercita and all fans of NYC, I would have lunch with clients at Noho Star, around the corner from my workplace on Broaadway & Bleeker. And perhaps the Waverly Diner after a movie at the Waverly Theater. And a former girlfriend that loved the Pink Teacup! I miss the Big City.
This is fun way to be introduced to a new blog. Cool idea.

silvio soprani said...

Sorry to overblog, but chewy's and cybercita's comments about The Waverly reminded me of that poignant song from the 60s Broadway show, HAIR that begins,
"I met a boy named Frank Mills
On September 12th right here in front of the Waverly
But, unfortunately, I lost his address..."

It is a paean to Youth being able to connect, get duped, and not even realize it because of being a Romantic. (a fitting observation, I hope, on this day after Valentine's Day.)

Anonymous said...

cybercita, I eat at the Waverly 3 or 4 times a week, and it is about so much more than food. For me, it is about people watching some of the real people of New York, and watching how gracious people interact with respect and kindness towards one another.
I wish I had a small bit of the generous spirit the staff have when taking care of the old dirty man with few teeth, the gang of elderly women who come in daily after church to have coffee and gossip, the strange young woman who appears nightly and eats the same thing everytime with very precise directions on how to present every dish, and the tourists with limited command of english who seem as though they are having the best American experience eating pancakes in a diner in New York.
I could eat anywhere I choose in this neighborhood, but I really enjoy going to the Waverly, where I am warmly greeted, can get a cold beer and a decent meal, and see the folks who make this the city I love to be a part of.

cybercita said...

hi, anonymous,

when i was eight years old, i elbowed my aunt out of her own kitchen on thanksgiving so that i could make the gravy. i'd never done it before, but i was sure i could do a much better job of it than she could {and i did}. serious food snob here. i didn't mean to trash your favorite hangout, but i don't think the food is very good.

i do think it's a very interesting looking place, and i recall that when i had breakfast there once, the waitress was lovely. but not my eggs.

all the best.

Maggie Jochild said...

Wow, cybercita, I am duly impressed. (Foodie, also, and a great cook.) Gravy is VERY hard to get right -- my mother didn't teach me that staple of Southern cuisine until we were far along in my lessons with her. Takes an understanding of chemistry, plus patience and imagination.

One of my most popular poems, and one that was in the set I won an Astraea for, is named "Bechamel" and it's about the sauce AND about being a dyke.

But I'd still go to the Waverly just because of the song Silvio linked it to. "I love him but it embarrasses me to walk down the street with him..."

Helen, it was great getting to know you and yr blog. Will return, you do the same -- come to Texas during our blast-furnace summers to round out your climactic experience!

cybercita said...

hi maggie,

i'm pretty sure that the song lyrics refer not to the waverly diner, but to the waverly movie theater down the block {now refurbished and called the ifc}.

the reason i think so is because the theater, before it died and was reborn, was traditionally referred to as the waverly, and the diner is referred to as the waverly diner. {btw it's called that because it's on the corner of waverly st. and 6th avenue.}

since my aunt's idea of chicken matzo ball soup for the annual passover seder was a can of swanson's with a jar of manischewitz matzo balls dumped in and boiled for three hours, anything i could do in the kitchen, even at eight years old, would have been an incredible improvement!!!

i still shudder when i think of her turkeys. served with stovetop stuffing on the side.

silvio soprani said...


Yes, I believe you are right. The song was referring to the Theater.

But what kind of theater was it? Movies? Music? When HAIR was written (in the mid to late 60s), it may have even been off-Broadway theater...anybody know?

Helen, thanks for letting us visit your blog. Glad you got home all right.