Monthly Archives: June 2010

Arthur St. / Dead End

Arthur St Dead End

John lead me on a bicycle trek to the Swampscott seashore. Cambridge to Somerville to Medford to Malden to Everett to Saugus to Lynn to Swampscott. It was 96 degrees and my pedal broke.

I love this salon

By the seaside, I asked John what he thought that smell was. He said, “It’s either the body of water or that duck.”

John the bike captain

Zippy The Pinhead

He wants to go

I tried to sell Roly Poly to his godmother Amanda for $75. That’s half off what I paid the MSPCA. Fluffy tail not included.

The Unknown Unknowns

Cowboy grandfather

In the past seven days I have taken more steps barefoot than I can remember taking in years. In the hazy sun I walked lost through the sand dunes of the Province Lands, over scrub and petrified plants, tiptoed around armies of ants banqueting on green caterpillars, and hurried past the hidden dens of wolf-dogs. In a thunderstorm I walked along the shore of Lake Champlain, and waded out in the water on ancient red rocks.

Illegal fire

On the advice of a sixteen year old, we trespassed into a campground and appropriated a campsite for a fire, and I ate a whole bag of marshmallows.

Tuba U

Sunday June 20 on Cambridge St

Scenes from the Day of Portugal Parade last Sunday…

Cigar man

Not pictured: The plump Portuguese princess from Woburn who frowned, arms crossed, in her float. Horses dancing to techno.

Zero Plus Zero Equals Toto

Inspiration does not exist

“Toto is transparent.

Don’t leave it there.

When I’m nervous, I need Toto.

He’ll think we’re mad.

He’s here!

Let him in.

Why me?

Let him in!

Hello, young ladies.

Yes, yes…

What a lout

You have to work the clay.

Don’t rely on inspiration. It doesn’t exist.

What can I teach you, anyway?

A sculpture takes time.

You have to let it rest…

…forget it… to better judge it.

I know. I haven’t finished it. It’s unfinished.

Also, the timing’s bad. I’ve taken on much work. I’m swamped.

Have some tea, at least.

Boucher said you left the Academy. Is that true?

Yes, why? Shouldn’t we have?

No, no. You’ve already solved the heating problem.

This is better. Heating is very important.

My first studio was a stable. Freezing cold.

A rich lady wanted a statue of herself.

I didn’t have a cent, so I got some old shoes…

and tried to burn them for heat, you understand?

The lady arrived and posed… but the smell!

She passed out from the smell.

The scare of my life! I thought she was dead.

What’s this prehistoric beast?

That’s Toto. A small African rhinoceros.”

-from the 1988 French film, Camille Claudel

Backwoods Funke

Glenn cooking

Etta’s father Glenn told me that Harvard is the kind of place where they teach you to line up and follow commands. He said I should give WHRB 95.3 a break and listen to WMBR 88.1 instead, because the radio shows on MIT are less about conformity and more about finding a new paradigm.

Soon to be firewood

The man is a ham radio operator who lives in three houses attached to one another on a property whose four corners abut a lake (has a rowboat,) a bike trail (has a bicycle,) a neighborhood (chases trespassing kids,) and the town’s central street (has a post office), surrounded by wilderness in Northern Massachusetts. He once lived in a basement in Cambridge.


Resting Here Until Day Breaks And Shadows Fall and Darkness Disappears…

The sloth

Sloth furs grow in the opposite direction from all other mammals, away from the extremities. That’s because sloths mostly hang upside down. They do not groom themselves and so algae grows in their fur. The algae colors them green, a camouflage amongst the high leaves, protection from the harpy eagle and the jaguar. Beetles and moths live off the algae, spending their whole lives feeding off the fur of a single sloth. A sloth will spend most its life feeding on the leaves of a single tree. Once a week the sloth will climb down to urinate and defecate in a hole dug by the tree roots. It is their way of saying thank you. When the male sloth hears the blood-curdling mating call of the female sloth, he will rush towards her at 2 m per minute, up to 200 m per day.

In the world’s fastest city, it turns out that local food equals community

Senor Swanky

Mayer Vishner: We’re coming from vastly different spaces. No one is ever gonna be as naive, as naively hopeful and naively optimistic as we were in the late sixties.

Colin Beavan: But I think there might be something kind of similar, though more muted that’s happening now. Not in the same way at all, but I feel that there’s a certain quiet beginning of a rebellion happening.

Mayer: The other thing to point out is this on the garlic. This is called a scape. S-C-A-P-E. I would suggest you take home one or two of those. These are the beans. You can see how they’re grabbing the pole. And see this? It’s starting to make tomatoes.

Colin: Are you overall optimistic about humankind, or skeptical?

Mayer: I’m of the belief that it’s always fifty fifty. Somethings are getting better. Somethings are getting worse. You know, there are all these… Every time you try to do something right, no matter what level you’re on, there are unforeseen results.

Reality TV fix

Michelle Conlin: Colin told me what the project would be and my honest reaction- I was really excited that he had an idea that he was excited about, because that was overall the most important thing. I thought as long as we were doing all these things why don’t we throw in my two current addictions, which are shopping and reality TV. I’m a reality TV aficionado, addict and expert.

Colin Beaven: Look at her face right now! She like totally gets sucked in!

Michelle: Its good. I’ve had a totally intense relationship with retail. Catherine Malandrino sample sale. Jean Paul Gaultier’s so fun… “I’ll see you at midnight and then we’ll have dinner at 2am.” Marc Jacobs is like, “I’m married, I’m a mom, but I’m still trying to work it a little bit.” I’m like a high fructose corn syrup addicted, you know, screen addicted, meat-eating girl. I would say that I’m not an environmentalist. I would say that I’m the typical, consuming… I’m a consumer. I’m a take-out junkie.

-from the documentary / blog / book No Impact Man

Playground Rules

No playing after dusk

My morning obsession with the song lead to an evening listen to the soundtrack Bob Dylan made for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. I wanted to shoot hoops after work, but basketball isn’t like running. Way beyond all the obvious differences, basketball needs to be played on a basketball court, and basketball courts in the city are usually at playgrounds. Basketball happens in an environment with rules. To each playground there is a law of the land. I reached my neighborhood playground only to find the sun had set on my exercise of choice.

No animals

“Slide down feet first on the slides.” “When you’re pulling a wagon, walk. When you’re a passenger, sit down and hold on tight.” Etc. The one rule at the playground on Nickerson St. in the West end of Provincetown begs the question… is playing with an animal worth twenty dollars?

Knock, Knock, Knockin’

Baby leg buoy

I was on my bike, following the map on my phone to the Province Lands. My plan was to ride several miles out into the sandy wilderness, lay down in the hills, and read Chongo’s Homeless Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. This plan was interrupted when I rode past Nirmal, the groom, and he took me back to see Genevieve, and their cat oyster. Genevieve was tired from cooking all the food for the wedding. Nirmal showed me an awesome music video he’d made. I continued on my way out into the dunes. The next two days would be full of encounters with old friends I hadn’t seen since I lived in Chicago, my sister, aunt and Uncle Johnny would make appearances, I would make new friends and fall in likeyouness with someone in a half-built boat. That night before any of this all, the photographers at Race Point Beach told me the light would be good.

Day before the wedding

I was awake from 10am Saturday until just before 1am Monday, save for a fifteen minute power nap on the Lava Lounge banquette. I slept until noon today, on the couch. When I finally woke up I put on every different version of the song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” that I could find. The best really is Guns N’ Roses.