Friday, August 28, 2009

Shannon Gerard

You should check out Shannon Gerard. She illustrates and crochets, and I love her work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


How to do it: it involves lots of eye crossing.

I'm thinking this is like the magic eye thing.

It is surprisingly easy to do.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Seth Rogen

If I'm hot for Seth Rogen, does this mean:

a. I'm lonely

b. He's a good actor

c. He's hot

d. a and b

e. All of the above?

Additionally, screw you Kevin Smith. Way to use The Pixies to toy with my emotions.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Teenage Baby

I went to the store to get some more ibuprofen, and I found myself standing near a magazine rack engrossed in an article. A woman walked over to me, bent over and looked me in the face. She wanted to know if I was in line.

The article I was so caught up in was about Brooke Greenberg, a 16 year old baby.

Trying to find information about her on the internet led me to discover this gem:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chills and Fever

I feel sick. I have two reasons in mind as to how I got this way.

The first is mold-allergy related. Though I haven't been tested, I'm pretty sure I have a mold allergy.

Blight is a fungal disease. I recently removed all the blighted potatoes and tomatoes from my garden, to the pleading of CDCG. The next night, I awaken myself with a wheezy cough. My joints ache. My head hurts.

Also, it could be this.

I was at the dentist the other day. I know they take precautions to not spread diseases, but several hands in your mouth for a period of time is a risky deal.

And maybe I just want to blame my dentist because we are about to have a falling out.

There was a two year period when I was going to get a new dentist, closer to where I lived. Finding this new dentist never worked out, and I was under the impression that my mom had called my old dentist to remove my patient status. When I finally clarified this with my mom, the receptionist had to get my file from some dusty filing cabinet reserved for patients they "haven't seen for a year and a half."

This time without dentist appointments was worse than I would have thought. "You have decay in 11 teeth," they told me.

Not 11 cavities. 11 teeth. Expletive. I'd maybe had one or two before this. Perhaps flossing is important.

At my last checkup, they mention a couple spots to watch. I mention my ensuing loss of insurance. They decide to drill these problem areas.

The other day, I went in for what I believed to be the only appointment for drilling. They never tell me what is happening in my mouth, and I usually am not quite sure how many cavities they've filled. I have no clue how many fillings I have. They are all tooth colored. They don't show themselves.

I had actually been looking forward to this appointment because some of my molars have become sensitive to cold, sweet, and acidic. Rear molars on either side of my mouth.

After they dental hygienist moves aside the tray of tools and tells me I'm "all set," I look at her concerned. They've only drilled on one side of my mouth. "I've been experiencing pain on the other side of my mouth," I tell her, as articulately as possible considering the novocaine. She looks at my papers and goes to get the dentist.

Mind you, this is the same dentist I've been going to al my life. I really respect this man's dental abilities.

He comes in and I try to explain to him that I've been experiencing some pain on both sides with cold, acidic, and sweet and that I thought he was going to be drilling on the other side.

Sweet is like a trigger word for him. He launches into a tyrade of self-righteous "you shouldn't eat sugars"-ing. "No, no, strawberries," I tell him. That the pain is from fruit sugars does not concern him. He makes a circle with his thumb and his index finger. "This is how much sugar you should have each day," he tells me. I try to defend myself, I don't really eat that much candy or anything. He asks what I do for a living. "I'm a substitute teacher," I tell him. "What's on your desk?" he asks, which isn't quite the right question, as I typically don't have a desk I feel comfortable enough to keep my drink at. I don't post this concern. "A canteen of water." "What do you put in the water?" he asks, like I'm trying to get away with something.

"Nothing." I'm now getting pretty perturbed. He goes on a rant about how the neanderthals never had cavaties, and if we ate like them, we wouldn't either.

He also asked me how I take my fruit, if I put anything on it, etc. This is a really weird question to me, because I don't actually have fruit rituals. I eat fruit when I can, but it is expensive. Sometimes I cut it up, sometimes I eat it whole, sometimes I can't afford it.

"If you eat it and are done with it," he tells me, "that's fine; but if you cut it up and pick at it all day..." he shakes his head.

"I bought a box of strawberries. I ate a strawberry. It caused pain in my teeth."

He looks at my xrays and sees nothing. "Nothing there," he tells me.

I take my finger and try to identify the area of my teeth that hurts. If I bite down hard, I can feel it.

He looks in with his tools. He finds nothing. He remains utterly unsympathetic, again telling me that I should consume little to no sugars, including carbohydrates in this. This man will NOT get me on the Atkins. He scolds me that I am too susceptible to cavities, that I have had too many cavities in my life, and that as soon as I apply sugar to my teeth, I'm done for.

I can't help but think:

Seriously? Screw yourself. You have been my dentist for at least 20 years, and you have my dental history in front of you and you can't even recognize that my huge amount of cavities did not come about until AFTER my 2 year lack of dentist visits. Also, this is the THIRD time he has asked me what I drink all day, and what my occupation is. If I never had any cavities, I would have no need to see him, and if everyone followed suit, he wouldn't have a job,

PLUS when I tell you my tooth hurts, I don't need a lecture, I need you to identify the problem and FIX IT.

While I will floss more, I am CERTAINLY not going to stop eating fruit.



So yea, I just sort of feel like blaming him for my sickness.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Black beans

Everyone should grow black beans. I bought some "New York Grown" maybe organic black beans from the bulk section of the Co-Op this spring, and stuck them in the ground. They just grow. they like to climb on things...they don't require much effort. Each bean produces many many more beans. It is a bean investment. I can save some of these beans and plant them next season. I can eat the rest.

National Grid

Last summer National Grid decided that they would dig up my block to do some gas line construction. After they had a nice rectangular sized hole dug that my car could easily fall in, they promptly stopped working for several months. I asked someone, when I saw someone, what was going on. They explained that Tutunjian (Troy's Mayor) had wanted them to research something different, or do something a different way. I just wanted them to fill up the hole.

One day, they came and did just that. I don't know if they ever finished or not.

This year, I got a letter in the mail explaining that they were going to be doing gas line construction on my block.


When I saw someone, I asked if this was related to last years project, related to sustainable wind-engergy infrastructure whosseywhatsit, or something else entirely. They chose choice three.

One morning, not long after I got my chickens, national grid proceeded to grind two holes in the sidewalk in front of my house, next to my tree garden. The noise is jarring, it shakes the whole house and knocks things off the walls.

When they were done working that day, they placed a saw horse over the holes.

Within a week, there was a bag hanging from the saw horse. Collected trash was placed there.

The sawhorse had two positions: jutting out into the road, making it hard to park, or obstructing the walkway that the sidewalk is expected to serve as.

Weeks go by. Months, maybe. I leave for my trip. It is still there. I return from my trip.

Still there:

Yesterday, I got fed up. I called the National Grid Customer Service line to inquire and complain.

I explained the situation and told the very patient girl that I couldn't "help but wonder, if this was several blocks closer to downtown in a richer section if this never would have sat so long."

She apologized and told me she was entering in a work order to fix concrete and remove debris. I looked up and down the street and told her about other National Grid holes I could see on my block.

This morning, at 9, my phone rang.

Whoever is calling me at 9, I thought, can leave a voicemail.

Within minutes, there was a knock at my door.


I climb out of my bed, throw on a tunic, and answer the door.

A man stood there who looked not unlike the only grandfather I had had. Not terribly frail, with shoulders a little too far back and a gut too far forward. A baseball cap set lightly atop his head, adding nearly a foot to his height. Around his neck, an off-white badge/ card hung from a lanyard, the type of plastic you wave in front of a bigger piece of plastic to unlock a door.

He told me that the job in front of my house had "fallen through the cracks," apologized, explained that it would be taken care of shortly, that two sidewalk squares would be re-cemented. He repeated "fallen through the cracks" several times, and after I had said "alright" and "thank you" to everything, he turned and was on his way.

I went back and listened to his message. It had a very light air of old jewish man accent and was staccattoed with the word 'that':

"Yes, National Grid Calling...reference is (my street address).....that....I apologize that, by the looks of things, the job just fell through the cracks...that..... will be permanently paved and the barricade removed within one week, this is for (my street address) and I do apologize. If there is a problem ...3 ....7....4...7...8..3..7....have a nice day....Henry Rouse."

I've just been blown over by how helpful and on top of things they have been since I spoke up. I remember reading in Jonothan Kozol's Savage Inequalities about schools in poor areas, how the parents don't speak up about things, either because they don't know they can or they don't know things could change. In this way I feel like an advocate for my block.

But then, do I raise the quality of living enough that property values and rents rise, driving everyone, myself included, away? I'm trying to figure out the balance between crumbling poverty and gentrification. How does one improve quality of living in a way that doesn't attract developers?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This picture is about 2" tall.

I think I bought it for 50c from some store in Brooklyn called Junk. There was a sea of photos you could sift through. I thought this one was a gem.

Pet Bereavement

Rest in peace, Brandy.