A wonderful book called What It's Like to Be a Bird, by David Allen Sibley. Full of fascinating tidbits: flickers are woodpeckers; birds have a similar inner-ear system as humans to regulate balance but a second one in their pelvises, which is why they can perch on a swaying twig while swiveling their heads; owls are among the dumbest birds. So much more! Loads of illustrations & mini-essays. Little PiJean has made me interested in all things bird. S/he is 10 days old now, gone from duckling yellow to green to starting to fledge, from something that came out of an egg the size of a pingpong ball to a sturdy little being 5x its size at hatch.
I gave away my skates a couple of years ago, so sure that I would never skate again. I hadn't in 20 years. 30? 40? Maggie & June convinced me to go. I wore good underwear in case I broke something & had to have my pants cut off. I was nervous & excited. Excited & nervous. I grew up on skates ~ they flooded the little park down the block from us & we were out there every day till it got dark, till our feet & laces froze & we were crying with the pain of unfreezing. I loved it. We careened around the rink like hockey stars, swinging low & fast. It took two falls & a couple of times around the rink hanging onto the boards until I got my chops back but I was gliding. What a great day.
Funny moment in a conversation with a friend about her African husband, who was educated in Europe but planned to return to Africa. Many of his friends were incredulous. Africa when you could live in Europe or the States? He was challenging so many misconceptions that I said, this needs to be heard by a wider world. "A wider world or a whiter?" she asked.
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
~ G.K. Chesterton
The tourist also ticks off as many places as possible. The tourist has a "bucket list" & is happy to cross off yet another destination. The tourist is homesick on the first day in a different place, & tries to find what reminds him of home. The traveler keeps his mouth shut & his eyes open.
Two songs I took to heart as a teen were "Angel of the Morning" & "Different Drum." Both songs about taking responsibility for our (sexual) choices, or that's how I read them.
I know now that "Different Drum," though sung by Linda Ronstadt, was written by a guy (Mike Nesmith of the Monkees!) who was dumping a girl: "I'm not in the market / For a boy who wants to love only me. / … I'm not ready for any person, / Place or thing to try and pull the reins in on me."
Merrilee Rush singing "Angel" (also written by a guy, Chip Taylor, who wrote "Wild Thing"): "There'll be no strings to bind your hands / Not if my love can't bind your heart."
I believed them. I understood what those songs meant & what they meant for me. That I would always do whatever the hell I wanted.
Our little John or Jean (short for PiJohn/PiJean) got him/herself born an hour or two ago. So excited! I've never seen a baby pigeon before. Almost no one has, I believe. Look out cute s/he is! I am anthropomorphizing the hell out of this. Every time I go in or out I talk kindly to the parent & I toss food to the little family. Now what? Will I get to see the passing of pigeon milk? Should I have bought a 5-pound bag of bird seed at the grocery store? It seemed like a lot & I don't want the rats to come back. This is such a happy event. I hope they stick around so I can see the little one grow up. (Oh my god, pronouns.)
All of a sudden two other pigeons are hanging around. I don't like that.
Terrific show at Tibor of a new-to-me artist named Kenneth Aptekar, who does illuminated manuscripts on contemporary themes. Many are funny but all of them illuminate something about the world we live in. His drawing & lettering are fantastic. All the shows at Tibor de Nagy are small enough to really see them but large enough to get a real sense of the artist's work.
The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance, by Rebecca Clarren, is another entry in a category it's hard to believe exists: Jews in South Dakota. SoDak has the fewest Jews of any state & until a couple of years ago, it looked like there might be a Chabad on Mars before there was one in my home state. Yet there seem to be as many books about Jews in South Dakota as there are Jews in the state.
Clarren's book is an important addition. She's not from there but her great-great grandparents homesteaded in a place not far from Rapid City called Jew Flats. Her book is about her personal history, the shameful actions of the United States government towards Native Americans, how everyone in this country benefits from that mistreatment ~ and what we can do right now towards repentance and reconciliation.
You can listen to her speak with Tiokasin Ghosthorse on his First Voices Radio show. Tiokasin, amazingly enough, has lived in my small building & is from South Dakotan & not Scandinavian.
I have no idea where I was. Maybe I got on a plane & got off in Cincinnati or Milan or Buenos Aires. Wide streets, small shops. Who knows? I always wondered why Walt Whitman lived in Brooklyn when the rent in Manhattan, where he spent all his time, must have been maybe $10. I actually tried to find out Brooklyn rents 175 years ago but to little avail. Why do people prefer to live in Brooklyn now, when New York City (i.e., Manhattan) is right here. I don't get it. Maybe if I didn't get lost every single time I go to a new place in Brooklyn. It's like the reverse of the dream every New Yorker has at some point, that there's a door we never noticed & we actually have another whole room in our apartment. Brooklyn IS the extra room but it's not clean, calm, empty.
Disappointed that Superiority Burger sucked. I liked the Sloppy Dave when they were on 9th st ~ it was big & fun to eat. Now it costs twice as much & is 2/3rds as much food, & it tastes more like vinegary tomato sauce than ground meat. Uncomfortable chairs, the usual crowded tables. And no fries! What kind of burger joint doesn't serve fries? Why did it get such good reviews? Why is a cold noisy rush-'em place so popular? And why do the desserts cost $18?
I will interpret your dreams! I will give advice! I have wisdom at my fingertips! Even my islets of langerhans are thoughtful! Submit your dreams and/or questions (anonymously, if you prefer) & sit back & receive a fresh, tip-top (possibly tipsy-turvy) response. What have you been wondering? I know all, tell all. Etcetera.
I think her? his? partner has taken a powder & the one that's left is falling down on the job. My neighbor said there were 2 eggs previously. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHER EGG? This one has been taking off more, or possibly my schedule has been such that I've seen him? her? absence. I can tell the 2 apart (but not which is which by gender) & I'm (pretty) only one has been around. I thought they incubated by instinct. Oh gosh, I hope nothing has Happened & she? he? is about to be a single parent. You can't really tell what's going on inside the egg, but I think there's another week before it hatches. How long can a bird leave the nest & still be incubating successfully? Up to 10 hours! OK, one worry allayed.
Cooperation means concert for the diffusion of wealth. It leaves nobody out who helps to produce it. It touches no man's fortune; it seeks no plunder; it causes no disturbance in society....It contemplates no violence; it subverts no order.....It accepts no gift nor asks any favor.it keeps no terms with the idle and it will break no faith with the industrious.... It means self-help. Self-dependence and such share of the common competence as labor shall earn or thought can win.....
George Jacob Holyoake
London, England -1885
Holyoake (1817-1906) was an English secularist, co-operator and newspaper editor, who coined the terms secularism and jingoism.
I have no idea what this means, why it's there, who put it up or why.
Why did he just text me this:
Stop thief stop
How much do I understand of what he says in an given day?
40 years & he's still as entertaining as ever.
Update: Oh. He bought a pair of rainbow crocs a few months ago. They are hideous. He looks like a hotel manager from a Dashiell Hammett novel or whichover of those guys writes books with seedy hotels in Missouri. I hid one. So he started wearing one rainbow croc & one black croc. It gets worse & worse. This morning I handed him back the rainbow croc. 6 hours later he reacted.