Saturday, June 28, 2008

where my eyes go

I don't know what it is about old dilapidated signs, but I sure do love them. Big old commercial signs hinting to by-gone eras and their products. If they involve painted brick even better. They send me into a total world of wonderment. I can enjoy getting stuck thinking about what the scene looked like back then, and how different from today. The gadgets and technology of the time, the employees and how they acted, the customers and how they were dressed. The combination of studying anthropology and art during college might explain some part of this funny fascination. Perhaps the fact my father was in advertising for well over 35 years. Who knows, following horticulture maybe I'll go into graphic design.

These glimpses into the past I found in downtown Newark, NJ. I had been going back and forth between New York and New Jersey judging a garden contest for the past two afternoons. (...and yes, there are plenty of gardens in Newark, wise guy). From the train station to the meeting point is the central stretch of downtown, a very busy Market Street. Along it are some great old arcades, facades, and other eye catchers. Only got two pics since I was striding at a steady clip to make it there before the start of the afternoon session. Still, I think they're great looking. I wonder if the salesmen at The Furniture King were some slick-suited and smiling fellows.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Time Warner Cable sucks

(Sarracenia flava up at Garden in the Woods last weekend)

Sorry I haven't had a chance to write or post recently. We came back from a fabulous long weekend up in Massachusetts to discover that the modem supplied by Time Warner Cable once again bit the dust. Somehow we go through these things like water. And God only knows why we have to suffer the automated phone system, explain to three different reps that we have troubleshooted everything, and then be told that we have to wait a week until someone gets here to "fix it". Of course, and as I made clear to Crystal I think it was, if they just sent us the replacement piece and we plugged it in, the situation would be solved, and would have been solved days ago. But hey, whatever, it's their bureaucratic corporate monopoly nightmare. If they want to lose another customer that is up to them.

More pics and words to come on Sunday, we hope. 'Til then, enjoy the weekend. Cheers.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Indian Wells

You see, back when my parents bought it, it wasn't called "27". It was just Indian Wells. That's all you had to say. There was no number, or if there was, there was no need to use it. It was easy to give directions. Just turn on Indian Wells off Montauk Highway, you'll see the Mobil gas station at the corner. The livery stable will be on your left, and then a big white house, that's Mrs. Lester's. The next big house is ours. The shingles are turning gray, you can't miss the front porch.

The tall house was long and rectangular, and went far back into the property from the street. The driveway ran straight back the length of the house, the small round pebbles earth-toned. The house was faced with a wide front porch and large front door. There was lattice work around the left end of the porch where we sat and ate most meals from June to September. The right side had cushioned furniture given to my parents by my grandparents, Doc and Flo Feleppa. He worked very hard as a general practitioner and they could afford beautiful and well-made things. After those big summer Sunday dinners we'd sit in the darkness on the wrought iron furniture and listen to my grandparents stories. The only light would be the red tips of lit cigarettes. The ash trays were clam shells we found on the beach that day. That was back when you used to see tons of starfish and horseshoe crabs washed up too.

You'd enter the front door to a main stairwell and two front rooms. The formal parlor was on the left. I remember a peachy pink hue and a stand-up piano. On the right was a room with so many built-in bookcases it quickly became the library. It had a fireplace that was inoperable by the time my family moved in. That was 1980. The house was built in 1808 and having seen another houses of similar age at the Queens County Farm Museum I know that room was originally the kitchen. Under the stairs was a little nook where the phone was kept. The living room was the largest room in the house and went the entire width of the original 1808 structure. The heater in the basement was the biggest piece of machinery I had ever seen. It would rumble to life and push heat through the massive grill situated in the middle of the living room next to the wood burning stove. On winter mornings it was customary to come downstairs and pause on top of the square to let the heat billow up through your pajamas. Each light and piece of furniture had a story, where it came from, how it was found, how it was brought back to life and made beautiful again. The couches, stereo and TV got good wear, as did the smaller round eating table. The pump organ was operated by foot pedals and with only one working it took a lot of effort to breath life into it. My father being a great photographer and lover of fine art the walls were always well decorated. The bathroom was small with a window that looked out towards the backyard. Blue jays would perch in the wisteria just outside and squawk like hell in the summer. My fathers office was off the living room too, a well-tended sea of papers, art deco figurines, electric typewriters, and eventually a computer and copier. The stack of Playboy behind the front desk I would be sure to leave carefully the way I found them.

Most people that knew us knew to enter the house through the back door. Technically you were entering the addition put on the house that was built in the 1890's. This extension was the reason it had been turned into a boarding house by the turn of the 20th Century. Supposedly some known historical figures had passed through those doors and stayed in those rooms. An ex-president even. No one would doubt the spirits were still there. You walked up the massive stone steps by my mother's rock garden and into the dining room and kitchen, where you were usually sure to find someone.

The dining room was a step lower than the living room. My parents loved the discovery that came with such an amazing old house. My mom wasted no time getting a crew together to rip up the newer floor boards in search of the more attractive and appropriate wider planks that laid beneath. Determined that they were under there my parents urged people to keep going, layer after layer. They stopped when they hit dirt. The floor boards would have to be brought in, and so they were. For the kitchen they decided to go with brick, recycled of course. The custom-made kitchen island was oversized and almost seemed to anchor the back end of the house. It matched in size and seriousness the restaurant-grade stove that was a bear to move into place. Shelves would have to be built for the copper lobster pots left over from my parents restaurant, The Royale Fish. That little brick and wood kitchen held more pots and pans than you've ever seen, and we would have the parties to use them all. I forgot about the stone sink we used to dry the big dishes in. It could hold about 4 full-sized bluefish in ice, or be a perfect tub for little ones when my cousins began to form families of their own. Nothing was too formal. Everything was there to be used and enjoyed. The white metal pitcher would be a perfect vase for Black-Eyed Susans. This was years before anyone had ever heard of a woman named Martha, and my mom had more tricks up here sleeve anyway. The cow bells sat in a line on the low shelf between the dining room and the kitchen stove. They were always a crowd pleaser and made it into a recording or two of my brothers, the musicians in the family. I'd sit on the stools on the other side of the island and do my homework while mom prepped dinner or spread her paperwork out on the rectangular dining table. No one was supposed to know that the table top was a recycled door, but I didn't know any better. You had to be of a certain age to be able to open the heavy drawers that held the place mats, napkins, and silverware. A huge window looked south, beneath it a sea of African Violets. We had our places at the table. Everyone knew that if you were invited for dinner you stayed. The door was always open, as was the opposite door that led to the bricked patio that Billy Fantini laid one summer. That is where I would be sent with a pair of kitchen sheers to gather handfuls of herbs: basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon thyme, and rosemary. The peas and peppers and tomatoes were planted to the left of the herbs, softening the southeast corner of the brick rectangle. The perennial garden and cutting garden were off in the distance near the Privet hedge that abutted the Miller's property. From the patio a small brick path wandered off behind the massive Spruce tree.

We knew everyone around us. That was when it wasn't weird or uncommon to walk over and introduce yourself to someone you didn't know. A bunch of the houses were only occupied during the summer, or occasionally on off-season weekends. When we'd get a large snowfall my mother would offer my shoveling services to neighbors for a nominal fee. I would shrug and make a face and go about getting my coat and boots because I knew there was nothing I could say to get me out of it. My mom is a delegator, what can I say. The sign on the porch of the pink house said "welcome" in a local Native American dialect. Directly across, Mrs. Stoller would only come out for the summer as she spent the winter in the UK. She had no car and instead rode her bike with big baskets to the local farmer's market. Different families would rent and live in the house during winter, and we would become close with all of them. I grew up playing G.I Joe with the Menu boys. Years later when the daughter of the following family had a crush on me I had no idea how to react. Mr. Hood drove the blue Volvo stationwagon you'd see. He was retired from the CIA and I was always intrigued by that. Years later I would come to find my present boss was once an employee of his, hired for information gathering I was told. The Brews had a restaurant in the city but we knew them better for a firetruck they owned and kept in our barn. One couple across the street and up a few houses kept their fancy car in the large converted livery stable my parents now owned and rented space in. They'd get a call on a Friday or Saturday and it was my job to grab the right key out of the dish in the pass-through and go open up the basement doors for Mr. Rivkin. My grandmother on my mom's side still talks about that beautiful green Jag.

The bedrooms were upstairs throughout the house. When you got to the top of the stairs my room was on the left, my mother's sitting room on the right. I remember the day I was tall enough to reach the pull chord for the light fixture situated at the top of the stairs. You would wrap around and follow the curved wooden rail to my brothers room in the front of the house, across from my parents bedroom. All of the doors were old wood and solid, sanded smooth following the generations of use. The little bathroom in the center of the upstairs that everyone shared a modern family would likely laugh at. I liked the faded pink tiles and big tub. The skylight didn't open but in the winter you might get hit with a few renegade snowflakes that would sneak through its old seal. The long hallway went back to three bedrooms. Stacy's room was the first, named for my cousin who stayed many summers and helped out at the restaurant. The second room was Tim's. It was like the forbidden lair with his old dirty pin-ups hanging everywhere. The last room was my mom's office. She had found an amazing fabric wallpaper that was rich with color and floral design. The hallway had a hand-painted mural that went the entire length. There was talk about removing the layers of paint to expose it again, but the proper tools and time never quite made it high enough on the list of priorities. The wall opposite the bedrooms was covered with framed pictures of family members, every shape and size and color.

The house was a lot to take care of. But it wasn't really like work, it was just what we did. It was part of living in such a special place. The Climbing Hydrangea was a beast covering the northern-facing side of the extension. The Wisteria my dad had to keep close tabs on so it wouldn't grow into the overhang off the back of the dining room. The giant copper tub, used for a hamper outside my brothers room, would need to be polished every so often. There was copper and brass everywhere in that house. We all became very comfortable using the metal polish called Noxon that came in a bright green bottle. Furniture and artwork and the color of the rooms was always changing. When my mom found young people she liked that weren't quite fit for restaurant work she'd offer them a job to wield a paintbrush or strip some old doors she salvaged at the town dump. Some would even be offered the job of caring for my brother and I through the summer. You didn't last if you couldn't roll with the punches and adapt to the task at hand. Otherwise, it was easy to become a member of the family, and so our family was always growing. So many visitors that house kept warm and happy and protected.

Slowly the back yard of brambles got cleared out and replaced with large, sweeping lawns. The hill down to the lower part of the property wasn't quite big enough to sled on, but we tried regardless. For the first few years there were horses in the yard adjacent and my parents would bring me down there and lift me up to feed them carrots. It turned out they weren't much for cherry tomatoes. The Cherry trees were just far enough apart that a hammock fit perfect. One part of the yard was never neatened up and remained a wild little section. People at one point must have used the spot to bury their garbage. So many years later we would use trowels to unearth relics from the past that were still intact. We called it "bottle digging" and it was a great weekend ritual for years. Perhaps in part the reason I decided to major in anthropology so many years later. It's no wonder I became a horticulturist. Some of the trees I remember best. Surveying them and then driving around town after hurricanes in the fall.

Behind the Spruce the brick path led to a unique little structure. The dilapidated shed was rebuilt by Detlef Pump with recycled materials and turned into my father's new office. Detlef had a love of old construction, tools and restoration that was truly extraordinary. Combined with my folks finds they were quite a team. The big windows came from the dump, the stained glass I think came from somewhere in New England. I know the great arching French doors came from an old firehouse in Massachusetts. The floor was bowling alley lanes. It was fun to tease my dad when he would complain about having to go to work and then retreat down the brick path in his moccasins with his cup of coffee and ice water.

There was so much more that isn't coming to me right now. That was an era full of so much detail. I hope more memories come back so I can keep adding them to this post. This year would be the 200th anniversary of the house Mr. Barnes built. And alas, all that is there now is a cleared lot and my father's office, painfully alone on the sweeping acre of land and mature trees. We moved out of the house and on to our own new adventures years ago, but I think we all thought that house would always be there. Now all we have are the memories. Luckily they are rich and vivid and part of us, and will never be torn down. Friends and relatives will bring up things we forgot about, like the staff parties and the holiday feasts and nights sneaking down to the pool for a drunken skinny dip. Some say that a one's spirit stays alive as long as people remember and cherish it, and in the case of the house on Indian Wells, I think the same holds true. We will all miss that house terribly, but our memories and stories will keep us smiling for the rest of our lives.

coping with loss (a rant continued)

Walking to work today I saw what they decided to do with the leader-less tree by the subway that the cable guy unknowingly helped kill (see "a rant" below).
This could have been avoided. After taking the photograph I was tempted to count the rings and find out how old this oak was. People would have stared but that isn't what stopped me. I knew it would just get me more frustrated and angry and sad. I had to move on and get to work.

I grew up in an amazing 1808 house in Amagansett, NY. With a long addition to the back added in the 1890's it was a boarding house at the turn of the century. Supposedly Grover Cleveland stayed there, among other noted and wealthy men and women from decades and centuries gone by. There were always rumors the house was haunted and I would not contest that. A man in a top hat and tails would pace the upstairs hallway on occasion when I was in the big house alone. My mother spoke about a female figure she was sure she saw. My parents bought the house because of its history and the power of its grandeur. They customized every part of it and made it their dream home. The shed in the back yard became my fathers office, complete with recycled bowling alley lanes for floors and precious stained glass salvaged in New England. When searching for wide floor boards under the linoleum tiles my parents found dirt and the remains of an old well once right outside the backdoor of the original house. They customized the kitchen with aged brick, and put plexiglass and a light over the well to preserve it. They framed the collection of items found in the foundation and hung them in the living room where holiday feasts would occur for 30-plus family and friends. I was raised in that house, as were my brothers, as were our cousins, friends, and the live-in babysitters who cared for us when The Royale Fish was still around. I still think of Bill Kitses hiding beer under my bedroom window before they would go down to the beach at night. I remember my first taste of Jack Daniels on the front porch when Nisse turned 21. Eventually there would be a pool in the backyard where my brother and I would go skinny dipping during a major hurricane one fall. I remember so many warm days and hearty laughs and good times in that house and on that property. The size of the fastigiate beech and Japanese maple on the sloping acre still amaze me.

In 1995 my parents were back to being a duo, with us kids now grown and living far and wide in homes of our own. They sold the house to a couple they liked initially. They were young and starting a family and my folks are always ones to be supportive and optimistic. My parents saw a great life for them in that house as they had and were happy to pass the legacy along. They would not have been able to forecast the lack of care the house would suffer. Nor would they know how the family would have their own tough times. Suicide had never crossed my mothers mind, especially with those two beautiful little girls.

Next the house would go up for sale again. I walked in it for the first time in years and it was a battered shell of its former self. The 19th Century graffiti was still in the attic, and the floor boards moan was still comforting, but it was different. How could someone just ignore two hundred years of history and let this place fall into such decline? It would take a lot to get it back into shape, but my mother, now a real estate broker, once again had the optimism that some good soul would step up to the challenge. She tried like hell.

In the end it would go to auction. The highest bidder took all, and do you know what they did? They tore it down. Built in 1808, added onto in the 1890's, a home and history lesson for locals and guests for 200 years, and some soul-less fucks tore it down. On Memorial Day Rory, my best friend growing up, called my cell phone. He was sitting in the driveway, looking at nothing but the trees we used to sit under when we talked about the girls we had crushes on. "I'm in your driveway, and dude, there's nothing but driveway...", he trailed off. The silence in the voicemail conveyed the surrealness of the moment. I didn't have the heart to call him back. What would I have said? I began a number of letters to the editor of my hometown paper. I knew the Rattrays would appreciate a good piece about the house they too came to know and love and partied in a number of times. Every letter would end up too angry and biased and bitter so nothing ever showed up in the mailbox of the East Hampton Star. Not to mention I never knew how to finish the thought. How is it that some people can so easily throw away years of history and lore? Is that not the fabric that gives life its rich texture? Is it not through history that we learn who we are and where we are going? I've become so tired of this lazy and utterly self-centered mentality. I can't help but think what a disservice to the generations that will follow.

Everything has become so disposable in our culture. And not just razor blades and milk bottles. Well constructed furniture gathers dust in garages and antique shops while people drive to Ikea to buy painted particle board that is easily assembled. Why fix it when you can buy a new one for the same cost? Why work twice as hard to rebuild when you can just mow it down and hire cheap to rebuild something else that won't last nearly as long?

I guess some people get that. I don't.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Brief Introduction to the Stupidity of Man (a rant)

Does anyone actually think before they act anymore? Sometimes the stupidity of man (and woman) truly awes me. I will say however, it is far from awesome. Trying to enjoy my morning caffeine buzz in the living room and watching as one fat, lazy neighbor after another piles their bags of trash and un-broken-down cardboard on top of the garbage cans out front of our place. They do fill up but today there's plenty of room. I yell out the window. I do try and be polite and not rip their idiotic heads off, just asking if they could please try and.... It's futile, they're gone. They've retreated to their apartments. My God, what their homes must look like! I'm tempted to make signs and put them on the garbage cans. I've certainly thought this through as it has been an issue for over a year. They would read:

Please put garbage inside garbage cans.
Empty and breakdown your cardboard.
Leave recycling in clear bags.
Please Have Respect.

Even though the task would allow me in a bizarre and slightly twisted way to blow off some steam about the whole unnecessary matter I know they probably wouldn't do a damn thing. Chances are if my neighbors don't care about carelessly trashing a neighbors front stoop they sure aren't going to read a sign. It's started to rain and the garbage is still sitting there. I curse a bunch to myself and put on my raincoat. I step outside and put everything where it belongs. It's done and clean and I can go back to my day-off buzz. I've taken "the higher road". I chuckle and sigh. I'm reminded of our excellent dinner with Jayne and Chez last night at Fatty's Cafe. So fun to finally meet them, and hit if off, and very excited they might move to glorious Astoria. "Isn't it just a shame you can't go down to the low road and beat the hell out of those idiots sometimes, and then go back to the high road?" The joke goes over well and we all laugh in devilish agreement. I hear another rustling outside and return my attention over my left shoulder. Hey! She's putting her garbage inside the garbage cans! Amazing! "Thank you for being a conscientious neighbor", I smile through the screen. She looks at me like I have a third eye, takes her kid in her left hand, and walks off quickly. I keep thinking, now dwelling.

Following that insane series of thunderstorms that came pounding through New York last Sunday I was wondering if I would see some wind-damaged trees around the 'hood. Hours before our 6 o'clock surge of wind and water here in Queens my family was caught in a crazy wind, rain, and sand storm out at Maidstone Pavilion in Springs where the entire afternoon BBQ and open-air concert was annihilated in a matter of minutes. A week later they are still cleaning sand out of amps and trying to assess what made it. At least they got the baby and my fragile grandmother to the car in time. Frosty thought someone actually could have died with all that equipment flying around. Anyway, back to the morning commute. Sure enough right before the train station at Broadway and Steinway a major tree limb is down, broken off and laying on the sidewalk.

It's definitely a good size and I just hope no one was too close when it came down. That is a busy spot right there. People are rushing to and fro, barely slowed a bit by the debris. I, of course, turn into my natural geeky self that is arborboy, and slow down to inspect. It's an oak, and pretty young. It is the leader of the tree that is down, the central trunk. Without it's leader a tree rarely survives. The branches that are still on the tree look strong and flush with growth. The fallen branch is more brittle and there was obviously a lot of die-back and dead-wood now splintered on the ground. Then I look up again and see what the downfall of the tree was. Man.
Hard to see, but what you are looking at is a metal cable that had been wrapped around the trunk of this tree three times. For some reason unbeknownst to me, a nearby light post required a number of different cables be tied to it. I'm guessing for the holiday decorations that are put up in December. The oak was the lucky recipient of two such cables. One is seen in the photo above, the other mangled in the fallen limb where it was affixed. Apparently some genius, and by genius I mean total fucking idiot, thought it would be a good idea to use the tree to anchor the cables. Let me explain to you something us tree people call "girdling". In all trees the most vital part of their respiratory system is a layer called the cambium, just below the bark on the very outside of a trees hard trunk. The interior part of a trees trunk is called hardwood, and is not actively living like the outer-most rings of annual growth. The cambium, comprised of xylem and phloem, is the layer of living cells that carries water and nutrients up and down and throughout trees branches so that trees can live, photosynthesize, and grow. To girdle a tree is to cinch and destroy that layer of cells so a tree can't move around water and nutrients as it needs to. Girdling a tree is essentially like choking it to death. Eventually the upper limbs are not getting the life support they need and they die, malnourished and dehydrated. Arborists and tree climbers call huge branches of deadwood that come thundering down "widowmakers" for good reason. The limb of this oak was certainly on its way out and the wind storm just happened to move the process along a little more quickly. What a shame the cable guy didn't know more about the tree he sent to an early death. He might have appreciated that the tree removed pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air and in return provided fresh oxygen and cool shade in summer. He could have marveled at the fact that as a tree grows and gets older its ability to purify the air grows at an exponential rate and helps combat issues such as increased asthma rates in our urban youth and the heat island effect. Instead, he chose not to think. Again, I hope nobody got hurt.

Coming home that day I decided to walk up another street, one I don't frequent quite so often. I found someone had planted a young tulip tree in their front yard. Botanically we call this guy Liriodendron tulipifera.
It is a great tree. Granted you have to try and ignore the terrible "cedar" mulch at its base. Mulch is a good thing, but do you know what this "cedar" mulch is? Yeah, its typically recycled and shredded building material waste, (probably oak), that has been dyed with chemicals to resemble, to someone, cedar. If you find real cedar mulch you will see it is much more expensive and ages to a completely different color, gray, not fluorescent whatever-this-is. Next time, look at the list of ingredients. But nevermind peoples fascination with dousing their yards and gardens with chemicals, I'm here to talk trees. Liriodendron tulipifera is a tree indigenous to the northeastern US and its always pleasing to see natives in urban gardens. Tulip trees have big leaves with a very unique shape and in spring older trees get these amazing tulip-shaped blossoms that are green, orange and yellow. This picture my friend Erin Backus took at Longwood Gardens in 2005.
Usually I am thrilled to come across this tree. But in this instance there is one catch. Tulip trees can and want to grow to about 75 or 100 feet tall. They grow trunks straight as an arrow. Eventually their branching habit can lead them to shed a lot of wood so pruning and maintenance is a must if planted in a populated situation. Do you think the owner researched or asked about any of that before planting the above tree in his/her front yard? Yeah, I doubt it too. If only he/she had known that there are plenty of small native trees perfectly suitable for his/her front yard. If only they had thought. And that's the thing that kills me. In all of these cases, people could have, and it wouldn't have taken that much extra time or energy. In this day and age where everyone has a computer and a cell phone, communication and knowledge seems to be on the decline. How is that? God forbid you ask a question and admit you don't know everything. God forbid you learn something new. Let me introduce what the same tree could look like 100 years from now.
In horticulture school you learn about the value of the right plant in the right place. I try and teach that simple but invaluable concept as much as I can, but alas, a few people fall through my fingertips. Now think about the root system that the above tree must have when its that big. And then think about that little front yard with its "cedar" mulch laden strip of soil. And then reread the title of this blog. ...right?!?

It's now after 5pm and I'm getting a beer. Enjoy the evening y'all.

On the Stereo: The Clash, London Calling

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It was after dinner. Ate light and retired to the couch as is customary. Season finale of Top Chef and been hooked all season. Sat down, got comfy. The beer was tasting good, definitely going down easy. A bunch of friends at work had been passing me various magazines to check out, now sitting on the coffee table in front of me. I grabbed one. Opened it up, began flipping through slowly. Wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything. I stumbled upon a picture of a beauty I hadn't seen in a while. Angraecum sesquipedale if you know what I'm talking about! Aw yeah. That's a whole lot to take in, let me tell you. The photo spreads getting larger, the images still so clear and lifelike. I'm so sucked in the TV is now just a noise distraction in the distance. Is it getting warm in here or is it just me? The show goes to commercial. My love asks a question and I respond with a useless murmur. She looks over. "Oh, are you looking at hort porn again?"
Oh shit, I was so busted. "Hort Porn" I confirmed aloud to myself and we erupted into laughter. Damn near cried it was so funny. And all I could say was yeah, I'm guilty, can't deny it. I love my hort porn.
And I know most of you do too. Don't try to deny it. I know who you are. Remember, "Excuses don't excuse and explanations don't explain. They build bridges to nowhere and monuments to nothing." My high school dorm head taught me that!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A plug for the work blog

(Tillandsia concolor coming into bloom at my office)

Usually I tend to keep my personal blog and my work blog separate. Even though I put a great deal of myself into my work and am proud of my accomplishments, I like to keep that there at the office and keep this space for my own personal thoughts and vents and rants and creations and such. Just nicer and safer to keep it separate in the midst of all this cyber-sensitivity, you know? Tonight however, I am pretty happy with a post I put up today on the HSNY blog, and definitely too damn tired to rewrite it, so you should click here and check it out! It's all about the unique green wall I maintain at my office. And some of the images are pretty fun. Be sure to click on them to see them enlarged. And on that note, I'm off to bed. In the comforts of A/C, thank God.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Four New Collages

"Journal Entry 1998", collage on paper, 6.5" x 10", aef08

"Riding the Green Movement", collage on paper, 6.5" x 10", aef08

"Adventure", collage on paper, 6.5" x 10", aef08

"Spred", collage on paper, 6.5" x 10", aef08

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Farm Camp

It's odd with just me and the cats here at home. There is a void. Alas, my love will come home Saturday, and after a long day of leading garden tours myself the reuniting and the day off to follow will be more than welcome. It will only have been two weeks apart, but work has been exhausting for both of us and life is always better with her in it. We can't wait to see each other, and we make that plenty apparent. Yet, this is a funny scene for the here and now. I've come to realize I say some dumb stuff when I talk to myself. I turned the apartment into a collage factory for a few days and was reminded I ought to get a studio space of some kind to make my messes in. I have sung in the shower plenty, and plenty loud, and there has certainly been no improvement. The cats have realized I have the power to feed and sustain and they circle my ankles like barracudas. They miss their mom too. I open the fridge and my hand goes past the cat food to another Foster's oil can. Foster's Bitter reminds me of living with Bob and Annie on the ranch in California in 2000. Matt the Aussie would come over and do tricks on his motorcycle. We'd follow him on four-wheelers through giant redwood forests to his bosses home. Driving a four-wheeler after shots of "original" Australian rum takes some concentration, let me tell you. I have done a lot of thinking. I have thought about doing a lot of writing, but this might be all I have to show for it. Music has been my savior as it has before. Music has made me miss my loved one and tear up. Morning tunes have gotten me back on track again. Tonight I'm revisiting classic metal bands from around the world. Motorhead and Turbonegro are headlining. Hands raised, fists clenched, pinkie and forefinger pointing to the sky. Don't say motherfucker, motherfucker.

On the Stereo: Motorhead, Ace of Spades