werk werk werk

I’m fully engaged in press submission right now- preflighting, cycling reading copies (just a few at a time, so that I can integrate comments and suggestions I like before passing the mansucript to the next reader) and checking images. I have well over a thousand images, most of which I’ve photographed myself, and almost 600 pages of text between the two books and the extras I’m doing with them. It’s pretty intense.

Preview of page from CGB Vol II, Kate McKinnon, 2014

I love the work, though, and I’m really happy with the way things are going. I have just over a week left before they slam the press doors shut on me; I will use the time as well as I know how.

And I’m not forgetting to take breaks. Each day I have an adventure. Yesterday, I walked almost the entire stretch of the South Side beaches. Many many miles. I swam in the cool water, I lay on the sand, marveled at the lack of other humans, at how useless the #10 bus is, at how lovely the huge sky is here (who knew that huge sky was available in a major East Coast City?) and then walked from downtown to meet Evan for a little French supper on the street in the South End. Boston is the most walkable city imaginable; everything is in about a three-mile circle, and most of it has great train and bus coverage. I love it more here every day.

Boston You Confuse Me

The day before that, Ryan, Kellner, Evan and I went to the Museum of Fine Art, on Huntington. I loathed the building (a pretentious pile, taking up massive amounts of space, with lots of dead ends and rooms within rooms, easy to miss) but I loved the art. I saw a Van Gogh that I didn’t even know existed, I saw a Turner that shattered my senses with light. I saw a Calder mobile, a Cezanne that stopped me for ten minutes, a Manet that delighted me to the core; the first painting of one of his long-term models.


We also went over to the Cloud Club so Kellner could see it. Construction was in full swing; the place was magnificent, musty, in chaos. Michael Pope was in town. Pope is always a highlight for me; add him to whatever and I like it better.

Pope Explains It All

Above, Michael. Below, Ryan and Kellner, in the garden.

Ryan and Kellner at Cloud Club

Brad, a new Cloud Club resident, arrived with mad electrical skilz and they are rewiring the old place, much to Lee’s joy. I think everyone with old houses worries about their old wiring catching fire. I know we think about it in St. Louis, where our antique English cottage is insulated with newspaper and straw. It’s a challenge to replace wiring buried in walls, but a worthy one.

Cloud Club Improvements

Today must announce itself with intention; for the first part of it, I work.


love and buildings

Boston I Love You

Yesterday was full of love and fine sights. We penetrated our second skyscraper, shooting in an elevator to the 52nd floor of the most excellent Prudential Building for lunch.

There is a Skywalk all around the top, and for a fee of $16 a person can walk around on it. However, there is also an elegant restaurant, one floor higher, with gorgeous views on all sides and lunch entrees starting at $13. Ryan, Doriot and Evan and I made the intelligent choice.

The Pru rooftop

Up on the Pru

Doriot and Ryan

Amusingly, as ever, wherever I look I see the Tower Of Power, dominating the Boston landscape, bristling with excellence. It’s front and center in the bottom photo, which was the view from our table.

Tower Of Power Once Again

It also pops up most unexpectedly. Below, walking on Newbury St.

Tower of Power Peeking Out

Kellner Cuts A Dash

Doriot and Kate  Kate Doriot Ryan Pru

Ryan took some beautiful shots yesterday. This was one walking up to the wild Gehry building at MIT.

Ryans shot at Gehry Jul 2014

I’m so excited to see Bill in just a week. It seems as if I’ve been here with him many times, but of course we’ve never been here together. It will be sweet to fold into his arms after so long away, so much work under the bridge, away in the river, since we last kissed.

buildings I love

Ryan Pano of chapel web

Panorama by Ryan Anas, other shots by Kate.

Bertoia and Saarinen web

Today we visited some of my favorite buildings at MIT. We went to see the Kresge Auditorium and the MIT Chapel, both by Eero Saarinen. The metal sculpture is by Harry Bertoia.

Below, the shot of Ryan under the oculus shows things about the structure that are hard to see just looking up at it with eyes. The camera sees so much more.

ryan bertoia

Bertoia 3 web

Below, Kellner, on the back side of the sculpture, behind the altar. There are stairs that go down to a lower level.

Kellner in Saarinen web

After that, we walked into the McLaurin Building (the one with the huge dome that can be seen from Harvard) to check out the newly exposed oculus. We lay back in excellent triangle pleather chairs and reveled in the beautiful mathematics of the structure.

MIT Reading Room

The sign says, “If you see unusual behavior, please call…”

MIT library oculus

After that, the Gehry.

There was a beautiful installation in the lobby; a tribute to the MIT police officer slain during the flight of the Boston Marathon bombers.

cranes memorial MIT

Doriot at the Gehry

Gehry MIT 5


excitement abounds

I’ve taken a nice slice out of time (while I’m cycling reading copies of the finished book through small circles of Edit) to explore more of Boston. Ryan, Doriot and Kellner are all in town, and we’re relaxing and plundering and it’s a beautiful time.

Doriot and Kellner on deck
Doriot and Kellner

Last night we went up to the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square and saw Jim Jarmusch’s last film, a vampire epic with Tilda Swinton. It was beautiful, and the perfect antidote to the greasy little glitterslick that recent teen vampires left on the ground.

Even the way Tilda walks in the film is perfect; kind of like a machine that you can tell is going to warm up into a graceful cat of a woman. It was just… exquisite.

Today… a pilgrimage to buildings. The two Saarinen works at MIT, the Gehry, and either the Mapparium or the Gardner, or both. Why not.

Tower Of Power II

The weather continues perfect; the days are soft and bright,  the nights cool and breezy. I love it that I can see the MIT Dome from Harvard, and the Tower of Power from almost anywhere in town.



beautiful Boston

I haven’t been out and about as much as I should have this past week, as I’ve been tied to the final read-through of the book I’m submitting. It’s a wild ride. We are still finding small errors, which means small errors will escape me and go to press (this is hard to take but true) but on the whole the thing is huge and beautiful and a giant accomplishment. I feel proud and tired.

carson beach boston

Last night I tried to go to the beach, and didn’t find the secret tucked away bus stop(s) for the #10 until it was really too late to get there before sunset. But I had a nice walk, and found new close-by stuff, and Evan (who took a chance and came with me) was a good sport about it.

Many things I try to do actually do not work out the first time I try them, a fact which seems unsurprising to me. One must try from all directions if one is serious about a thing. Sometimes I try too hard, which is almost as counterproductive as not trying hard enough.

I need to learn to beat that one.

pretty boston

Doriot and Ryan and Kellner come in to play starting tonight, and about in that order. It’s going to be fun. I’ve done a lot of good scouting and saved some good first experiences for them. I want to go to the top of a tall building (I understand the Prudential tower has an obs deck) and to the newly redone contemporary art museum, I want to go everywhere and do everything.

Ryan wants to take us over to Providence, we want to see the beautiful Constitution again, the new thrills at the Cloud Club, all of that. Kyle and Trillian are invited; we are starting regular weekend dinner parties, like the old Friday Night Dinners Dave Grinspoon used to have in Denver.

Invitations are issued across the land! Finery is being rustled up from thrift shops; the Boston Costume Closet is already quivering with great stuff.


won’t you play that song again for me
about my lover, my lover in the grass, yeah, alright
you’ve told me about my destiny

I’ve had an intense weekend.

I was trying to explain to Evan the other night about what or who I am. I don’t know how to tell it. I can tell him that people confess to me daily; they tell me their sins, their fears, they ask me to provide fertile ground for their dreams, amorphous and fragile, as only intentions can be.

Often the people who confess to me are looking for God (a concept I am intellectually aware of but do not actually see in play in the Universe) so I try instead to be something like an angel, acting as a frequency modulator, helping them match the wavelength of their desire to their physical reality. Either can flex to meet the other, I can help.

I think of myself as a channel, a conducting fluid, made of the dust of the Universe. It’s not that I don’t have original ideas; I am made entirely of original ideas; I create my life in front of me as I walk; it is frankly astonishing and I don’t know two things about it: how to explain it, and why everyone else doesn’t do it too. I never know what to say to people who stubbornly refuse to create anything, even an original thought.

Now that I can see relationals (I’m not sure what else to call the lines I see connecting all things) it’s easy to see what’s structure.

Constructs can be swept away with a single word, if the word is the right shape.

Structure must be factored into all calculations. There are many tools at our disposal, such as scaling, which feels very Alice In Wonderlandy. Scale yourself down, or scale the material up, or step further away or move closer in; the math changes on everything as you move the pieces. Sometimes very slight adjustments will bring a system into balance.

A system in balance produces, a system out of balance consumes.