Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Report from Mid-Town

Things in the city are returning to normal, I guess.  There's still no school due to this Climate Change Emergency, but here on the Upper West Side things are okay.  I'll be going uptown later to check on my little home in Harlem, where things are okay, too.  I haven't been out since Sunday morning when my current hostess, Diane, and I went for a walk by the river.  Outside my window, it sounds like the buses are running.

I'm happy to say that the only time I was alarmed at all is when that crane first started dangling over 57th Street.  That's a few blocks away, but you can see it clearly from the living room window here.  If it would have fallen into the street and busted the gas pipes, that would have been bad.  It's still pretty bad when you consider that the apartments in that building are several million dollars.  I think the fancy ones on the top are 90 million.  It's bullshit that anybody anywhere could spend 90 Million Dollars on an apartment.  One of those billionaire fucks should rebuild the neighborhood in Queens where almost 100 houses burned down.

I'm still kind of grouchy because Buzz Kill ditched Velvet during the hurricane and went over to his girl friend's house, leaving Velvet and Cupcake alone in an apartment where the windows are unstable.  Vagina Dentata had new windows installed several years ago but the job was never properly finished, so wind and water come in around the windows.  I'm sure the masonry is adequate and that the windows wouldn't have flown in or out of the apartment, but it still seems pretty chicken shit to me that a man would ditch his kid during a hurricane just to babysit some whiny bitch who thinks he's big and strong.  But then, the reason I divorced Buzz Kill in the first place is because I believed he was a terminal asshole.

It's true that Velvet is 21 years old - but it's not like he's a responsible adult by any stretch.  And since Cupcake has been avoiding her own family dysfunction by playing house with Velvet on Central Park West for nearly three fucking months, we can only assume she'll be pushing for a wedding now that she and Velvet have survived the Storm of the Century.  Buzz Kill never thinks of things like this, and even if he did, he would continue to ignore any needs besides his own.  In this case, I think he's hoping Velvet is so comfortable that he won't move back in with me when our apartment is ready.  That way, Buzz Kill can keep all the money in the Living Expenses line of Velvet's college account for himself.  Buzz Kill is a cheap dick head that way.  I wrote up the "child support extension" so that a certain amount of money per month would be drawn from the college fund which has yet to be established.  That money would go to cover Velvet's living expenses whether he was in an apartment at a school out of town or living with either parent.  So it's fair that Buzz Kill gets some cash to cover the additional cost of Velvet.  I would get those hundreds every month, too. But I would make stash away some money for grad school or something.  Buzz Kill will buy himself a new bike.
Or maybe another set of spandex shorts so he can continue flashing the world his camel toe.

I'm really pissed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Photos of My Baby, Taken by My Bro

On Facebook, I titled this photo album My Baby by My Bro - which has a nice ring to it, but then I worried it had twisted, incestuous overtones.  I suppose plenty of women have had babies fathered by their brothers. I can only imagine what my former psychiatrist, a thorough Freudian, Polish Jew who served in the Polish Resistance army back during WWII, would have to say about the thought crossing my mind.  He always thought I believed that my brother was actually a child I had given birth to fathered by my own father.

That's Freudians for you.

Anyway, my brother was in town over Columbus Day Weekend because some football team from Texas was up here for the Monday night game.  He took these head shots, which Velvet needs for his budding acting career.  Nobody knows what Velvet intends to do with said head shots - but I think he looks nice.

He looks a little bit like Jesus in the next one, if you ask me - but then, I'm his mother and was raised in the South where Jesus is always a white guy.  No matter what you think Jesus looks like, however, legend has it that he was a Jew and this kid looks both  this kid not only looks Jewish but in the photo he also looks like he's a thinking peaceful and/or philosophical thoughts while he gazes off into the distance.  In reality, he was probably thinking about his celebrity lifestyle.  On Velvet's Facebook page he says "I'm not a Jew.  I'm Jew-ish."  That's absolutely true since the only Jew in his family background was his paternal grandfather.  That's Jewish enough for Hitler, but here on the Upper West Side, most Jews agree that if your mother's not Jewish, you're not Jewish.  Even if your mother converts, you're still not really Jewish.  It's kind of like being adopted.  Reform Jews hold a different opinion, but from what I've observed, there are plenty of Jews who think Reform Jews don't really count as Jews either.  On the Upper West Side, it's very easy to ask the question: What kind of Jew are you?  Just this weekend, someone I've worked with for a couple of years was surprised to find that I'm not a bit Jewish, which just goes to show you that you never can tell about this stuff.   But I still think Velvet looks like Jesus in this picture, even though his hair is short.

When Velvet was little, we used to call him Mandark after a cartoon character on Dexter's Laboratory.  Mandark was the evil mad scientist.  Here's Mandark today;

Not sure if he's Mandark here or not - but often shows this smirky smile:

It's good to have a Pulitzer prize-winning photographer brother to take pictures of your baby.  It's even better now that my brother can post them directly to his website for immediate access with a password since years ago, I may have waited over a year to see the prints.  And it's good that he gets to travel to New York for work sometimes.  It's especially good when family members like to be together - it doesn't always work out that way.  In fact, it's such a good thing that I'm declaring it Thing of Beauty #60-101.
Velvet himself can be Thing of Beauty #61-101.

This past weekend I was out in the country, not deep in the woods, but fully surrounded by trees and meadows with no neighbors in sight.  The music teacher at the school where I work invited all the teachers out for a "retreat."  It was only me and the arts team - the music teacher, the dance teacher and the visual arts teacher.  Pretty cool, actually.  Fracking is a big issue out there right now since the Oil and Gas companies are itching to get at that pristine countryside.  Fortunately, I didn't know some O&G company representatives had taken over a nearby bed and breakfast, or I'd have probably gotten arrested for slashing their tires.  Without that information, I was able to ponder the nature of phenomenon like Elves and Fairies.

The topic of Angels had come up in the car on the way to the farm, and I shared my view that as energetic beings in an energetic universe, we sometimes brush up against all kinds of energies besides our own.  A vocabulary word to explain some of those other energies is "Angels."  The next morning I sat alone in the woods for a long, long time.  The sun was just breaking through the clouds after a soaking rain in the night.  The leaves rustling in the breeze were as peaceful as the rain on the tin roof over my head in the night.  After a while, my own energy started blending in with the forest, and that's when I figured fairies and elves are vocabulary words that explain the lively, peaceful feeling of sitting by yourself in friendly woods.  I guess some people might be spooked in the woods, and they'd blame fairies and elves - or maybe gnomes.  I'm not sure what gnomes are supposed to eat - but that container of moss could pass for lunch at some of these fancy restaurants where the marketers make such a big deal about the health benefits of eating Raw foods.  For the record, though, the art teacher is not a vegetarian.

The art teacher looked a lot like a little gnome when she was collecting moss to take back to school for the kids. She had on a blue grey hand knit hat and her straight, blonde hair hung around her shoulders when the music teacher took her picture holding up a giant container of moss.  It looked like she was fixing to eat it for lunch - and since she's the kind of person who eats kale and sea weed salad with miso dressing for lunch anyway, the kids would have believed her shining blue eyes and toothy grin were all about food.

I think that people do have energetic affinities that remind us of elves or fairies or gnomes - or of monsters like Jabba the Hutt or worse, as in the case of frackers like Dick Cheney.  I'm glad I was able to tell the music teacher about the Halliburton loop hole that protects fracking fluids from the prying eyes of agencies like the EPA, and about the increase of earth quakes in states like Oklahoma where they've been fracking for a while.  She'd already read about the kids in Pennsylvania who got chemical burns from taking a shower in their own homes.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Restoration

The Restoration I'm talking about has nothing to do with Cromwell, although there may be some similarities between Cromwell and The Man from San Antone.  Any similarities would be purely coincidental, however, because The Man is (1) proudly Irish Catholic and (2) committed to a debauched life style.  The restoration of The Man to his proper place in the firmament of the Triciasphere is just one indication that we're all in God's Heaven and all's nearly right with the world.

My one complaint is that the coop board over at the new place is slow, slow, slow to approve any fucking thing which perpetually fucks up my personal schedule.  The contractors say that the Restoration Project will take about three weeks - and we all know how these jobs always take longer than anyone predicts.  Jobs on  old homes often present a number of surprises, so who knows how long it will be before the day finally arrives when the movers bring my stuff back from storage.  I'm pretty sure Granny the 'Ho is safe up out in the warehouse somewhere in Queens, but it's a drag that the coop board has had all the papers they need for days and can't just sign off and be done.

It gives me great pleasure to know that one day, they'll all be dead and won't be able to slow anyone down anymore.  Meanwhile, I've been choosing paint colors.

Sadly, I liked none of those well enough to live with them in the dining room, so the search continues.  Here's the place where I sit when I'm looking at the walls:

Somebody left that bookcase in the apartment, and it's serving me well for the moment.  The square on the wall is mostly Benjamin Moore's Linen White and I may go ahead and have the main areas of the apartment painted that color.  I may use a color called Cappuccino Foam, but I haven't taken pictures since I started trying that color.  The smaller rectangle is called Sandy Feet, and generally I like it, and here's another comparison in the hall.

In some kinds of light, Sandy Feet seems to look a bit like dirty baby diapers and I figure there's no reason to go there - especially when I can go to the refrigerator and eat chocolate instead:

Color is a big deal, and I think there were some keepers in the last batch of samples.  I have to take more pictures so I can share that development, and the color is pretty much the only thing I'm changing except in the bathroom and kitchen.  The tile in the bathroom is kind of like a discolored collage of subway tiles collected over decades.  According the the contractor, those tiles are the first thing we have to address, in addition to removing the nasty-ass popcorn from Velvet's ceiling.  Those are the messiest jobs, so they have to be done first.

Velvet's ceiling - there are cove ceilings throughout most of the apartment.  We're totally saving them instead of dropping the ceilings and covering up the curve with drywall.

The bathroom ceiling is so fucked up there's no reason to save the curve in there.  We'll cut the corner and drop the ceiling in order to have a bigger budget for tile.  This is the nicest tile in the bathroom, so you can imagine that it's alarming in other places. If I can afford it, I'll go with marble subway tile.

We're leaving the bath tub alone for the moment, except that a machinist will have to figure out how to make the stopper work again.

Clearly, the guys will be installing new tile on the floor too. We may, or may not, be able to use something close to the original mosaic, but there are some variables that will determine if that's possible.  I forget what they are.  Some say that it's easier and cheaper to use 12" square tiles, so I may go with marble on both the floor and the wall.  The office manager at the contractor's says to visit this place and work it out:

The faucets have to be replaced on the sink to replicate the original design. I'm hoping to keep this vintage medicine cabinet, and I love the glass shelf.   I'll just have them install a light over the mirror so I can see to put on my make up, and they've got to make the door swing the other direction because as it is, the door bangs into the sink and you have to come in and close it before you can get to the light switch.

My room is going to be a color called Enamelware. It's by Martha Stewart and is marked with an E at the bottom of this photo:

It's not a whole heck of a lot different from the blue on the walls already, but the hint of aqua looks nicer with my own coloring - and if it's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you should paint your room a color that you would wear.  That's the issue with the Cappuccino Foam in the rest of the apartment - I'm not sure I would wear it because it's kind of Taupe-y and I just don't wear Taupe.  Mauve either.  All the moldings and trim will remain white white:

Living Room Ceiling
One of the French Doors between the LR and DR.  I thought I had  taken a picture of both of them, but I guess I didn't

All the doors have these old crystal knobs even the closets - which I adore
My Closet
Velvet's Closet
My bedroom door - that's a transom on top.  The bedroom doors and kitchen doors have transoms
Velvet's Transom
I think you can see the curve in the cove ceiling pretty well there over Velvet's door.  That scone in the hallway will be replaced.  The super says he's got the original sconces from 1916 somewhere in the basement.  I hope he can kind them.

We're keeping this curve in the kitchen too.  I'll probably put a couple of little stainless shelves over the stove, but for now, that's the only addition.

That's a pantry next to the stove, and then there's this amazing sink.  The fire escape gate has GOT to go,

 Nobody's touching this built in cabinet except to clean it up well enough for the doors to function properly.

There's a lot of work to do since for the most part, it's pretty much the same as when Hope died four years ago.  She was in her 90's when she died and had lived there since she was a little girl.  It was rugged up on Convent Avenue back in the 1980's when the city created the Housing Development Finance Corporation - which enabled tenants to form cooperatives to buy the buildings and bring them up to code.  Hope must have been frightened of the neighborhood then because there are burglar bars on the bedroom window.  They're going to have to go, too, because we all know how nothing can stand between me and my afternoon nap in a sunbeam

There's nothing like a nap in a sunbeam for restoring the soul - which is the more metaphysical part of this Restoration Project.  I've got to mix up some more of the Essence of Tricia that Gwen of Daughters of Isis distilled for me.  Last time I mixed it with tequila and Cointreau to make Tricia Margarita, but this time I think I'm going to mix up Tricia St. Germain.  I like the sound of it, first of all, and St. Germain is made from flowers, too.  Gwen is all about flower essences and human evolution - which was a theme in one of my favorite books, Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins.

There's something very cool about putting a few drops of the essence of your youthful, old self  under your tongue to kick your more mature, new self into high gear.  Gwen made the Essence of Tricia out of some dirt I collected from the yard of the house where I lived in Houston.  Since we moved into that house just after the incident with my Uncle Jenifer, who we could call an incestuous pedophile, but lately all that stuff seems so far in the past that it barely intrudes anymore - except of course when somebody like Notta Goodman activates my abuse alarms.  It comes in handy to have an abuse alarm, however, so I'm thankful to have one. 

A couple of years ago, the Preacher from the Mountains said that it felt to him like I was surrounded by body guards.  At the time, it occurred to me that he was sensing spirit guides and guardian angels - which most people dismiss as fantasy but I look at as aspects of the energetic Self.  Who knows what's Real anyway?  We're all energetic beings swimming through an energetic universe, and I'm feeling amazingly energized.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Debates

The presidential debates are coming on soon, but I can't watch. Why?  As Bokonon tells us - it's all foma.
Lies, Lies, Lies.  If I were fully political, I'd watch Democracy Now! where Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson are answering every question point by point, but as much as I think both Jill and Buddy have something to say - I just can't get it up for the presidential election.  It all goes back to that Pachinko Machine I mentioned in the previous post.  To me, the current political situation is a direct result of tons of shit that went down back about the time the John Birch Society was founded and God was put on dollar bills and in the pledge - and, of course, the advent of TVs in middle class living rooms around the country.  Back in the day, before hegemony concentrated media power in the hands of a very few, it wasn't the propaganda muscle it is today - but now, it's fucking pathetic.  Que Sera Sera.

I'm going to bed early.

Certainly there are minimal differences between Obama and Romney - and if I lived in a swing state, I might have a different point of view.  But if you ask me, everyone who has the option should vote third party.  It's the only way to statistically register our discontent with a system that puts corporate greed over human need every day in every way.  Some people advocate a voter boycott, and while I can see how it makes sense on some level to refuse to participate in rigged bullshit that ultimately makes no difference in the way life is - I still think that voting third party is more effective statistically since less than 50% of registered voters even make it to the polls.  It's disheartening, particularly when you consider how dedicated so many people are at the local level.

Even if a third party cannot win in the next two decades, it's still important to support them.  It's like when we were all in high school, and there was a really great party happening - but nobody had parked in front of the house yet. A few people are drinking beer and listening to good music, eating tasty snacks and laughing it up while a bunch of goof balls are driving around the block, afraid to be the first to go inside and have some fun.  They all waste gas driving around the block, waiting for somebody else to show some balls.