Mysteries Solved

I found out the mystery of the fish mosaic at Delancey: It's because the station is located below the fish market on Essex.

I found out the mystery of the photo of my great-uncle's father: He was in the Texas militia circa 1899.

However, the mystery of the origins of the alien octopus is still unsolved.

Alien octopus at large. News at 11.

When Lightning Strikes

As cloud formation continues, the two opposite charges increase in strength. Since unlike charges attract, there is a powerful tendency for the charges to join and neutralize each other. Each charge exerts a strong electrical potential, or pressure, in an effort to bridge the air gap from cloud to ground. Air, a poor electrical conductor, resists the passage of the charges. At some critical point, however, the resistance of the air is overcome. A small discharge, called a pilot streamer, moves toward the Earth carrying negative charge. A stronger current, called a stepped leader, follows and ionizes the air in its path (see Electricity). The stepped leader moves in a series of jagged spurts, each about 150 feet (45 meters) long. When the pilot streamer touches the Earth, a high-current return streamer leaps from the ground toward the cloud. It travels along the path of ionized air created by the stepped leader. This is the part of the stroke that produces the brilliant flash we see.


Chicken Soup for A Bored Slut's Soul

It's 88 degrees out and I'm having hot homemade soup. Why? Because it's free, and I only have a wee bit of money left in my food budget for the next 7 days. Too many Tasti D-lites this month. I have about 12 little containers of soup left in my freezer if anyone is in a similar quagmire.

The soup is delicious, and I'm air-conditioned, so I don't mind its being hot. I wish I had brought a bit of lemon to squirt into it, though.

I feel bad I talked mean about Republicans yesterday. It's not nice. Unfortunately, though, I meant it. They probably think they're doing NYC a huge favor by coming here to stimulate the local economy (something W. couldn't quite accomplish on his own) and to 'prove' that the city is not only secure, but festive and fabulous. I just see it as unbelievably hubristic, inconvenient, and potentially threatening. Why not have it in Santa Barbara? --Everybody likes Republicans there anyway, and our culture won't suffer if the whole town blows.

The one thing i don't like about soup is the occasional piece of bone or skin. It's a little too much veritas. The hypocrisy of the meat eater.

Also; even though I call myself a slut all the time, I'm not really. Just like to say it. (And, occasionally, dress like it.) I am bored, however. Anyone got news?


More Odd Sightings

Maybe I'm just noticing this after the fact, but aren't the Manhattan streets looking much better labeled as of late? Giant, legible signs denoting Park Ave. South and various environs. Could this be because the Republicans are coming?

Mayor Koch is making those silly commercials telling us to be nice to the Republicans, and smile as we give them directions. No problem. Madison Square Garden? Get on this uptown 6 train here. Switch to the 4 at Grand Central. Stay the course. You'll pop out above ground eventually. When you see a big stadium on your left, exit in single file. Have a nice day.

Taken by the Faeries; back at 30 o'clock

Here's an excerpt from a not-yet-published book on shamanism. (Is this unethical? Please advise.) This passage intrigued me. Sounds like suffering that one goes through during one's twenties:

"Taken by the faeries" is a common phrase used to explain odd behavior and debilitating illness with no obvious cause or cure. When the Celtic society was still shamanic, "taken by the faeries" meant one had been called into the initiation crisis of the shaman. It was common that the illness or madness lasted for seven years. To others it would appear that the individual was depressed, in the throws of some unknown physical illness, or simply behaving in odd, socially unacceptable ways. For the individual, the journey had begun. He or she had stumbled or been drawn into the Otherworld and was engaged in an adventure of some kind with the Faere Folk. How the individual resolves the journey, and if he or she does, determines whether or he or she becomes a shaman.


Calling All Alien Octopi Investigators

I love the new Beastie Boys song. Anyone see the video? My favorite graffiti appears in it: the alien octopus.

Does anyone know about the alien octopus? Its creators, its real name, its significance?

My google turned up nothing recognizable.


The 7 Habits of Highly Neurotic Freelancers

7. Wash the dishes, just for a change of pace.

6. Take a drugstore break. Go looking for matching toenail polish to cover up your chips, and realize in the store that you have sneakers on. Consider removing your shoes in the store to match the bottle against your toe. Reconsider.

5. Put on the kitty show and get sucked in.

4. Listen to the entire Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks series, obsessing over chronology.

3. Have a snack.

2. Have a little something to help wash it down.

1. Wake up the cats, asking for playtime.


Swimming with the Giant Guppies

Today I had my last swim a the Y. It was a good little swim -- a quickie, since it was the lunch hour. Just enough time to dunk, power through enough laps to feel the endorphins kick in, shower, sauna (just for a second, to dry off), and bolt, sporting a giant wet mop of hair (I forgot my comb) and a sweat mustache.

I'm giving up the Y for financial reasons. Has anyone gone to the pool at the new Chelsea rec center? They have those cool dolphin mosaics. And the NYC rec centers are so affordable.

Speaking of mosaics, can anyone tell me why the 'new' Delancey stop has a mosaic of giant fish? It's so scary. I feel watched. Why didn't they make a mosaic of pickle barrels?


Public Service Announcement

Hi folks. I've talked to some of you about this already, but it's been a little nervewracking over here at Maidmusic Headquarters (aka "MaidHead") lately. Two people in my world, women under 35, have been diagnosed with conditions that could lead, or possibly have led already, to cervical cancer.

My cursory research has revealed that this is becoming more and more common among young women. It can be brought on by a virus that people don't necessarily know they carry. The good news is that this kind of cancer can be curable if caught early.

I'm going to my girl-doc tomorrow to find out more, get my biannual schmear, and find out what's going on "downtown." Of course, I would encourage you to do the same.

Have a great, healthy day!


Gratuitous soul nudity

Here's the gratuitous reminder that I will be baring my soul in public tonight at Pete's Candy Store, preceded by the lovely Robin Aigner of many musical styles and flairs, and followed by the formidable Love Camp 7 of many twists and turns.

Something happened to my friend and I can't get it out of my head. At the Queensboro Plaza subway stop, a dog spontaneously wandered onto the train. No collar, no tags. The subway car community had to decide what to do. A woman came forth to take responsibility for him. The dog was friendly; but without a collar, he wasn't too easy to shepherd off the train. So finally, my buddy yielded up her headphones to place around the dog's neck. It served as a leash of sorts, and the woman led him off the train and into her world, promising to try to find his parents.

I can't stop imagining that dog just kind of popping in on this group of unsuspecting people. Where did he come from? Was he scared, or overjoyed to be free? Did some bastard who deserves to rot in hell just dump him somewhere? Why no collar or tags? Isn't the headphone-collar a stroke of brilliance?

I wish I could have seen it, but on the other hand I'm kind of glad I didn't, because if I had, I'd probably have a dog right now, and certainly my cats would be trying to kill him, and I would be evicted.

Godspeed, dog.


Hey! Did anybody out there do a portrait? Mail 'em in! I wanna see!

What a great dinner last night with my friend the charming hostess. We went to Chez Napoleon, which seems to have been shaken out of its slump (last time, there were cards on the table threatening imminent closure, but a recent feaure in a local paper -- I can't remember which -- has done it a good turn; the place was packed). There is an 82-year-old woman in the back cooking all the meals. She is a very good cook, and the white wine and Edith Piaf music didn't hurt neither.

I'm having trouble thinking of words. Must . . . have . . . coffee. Perhaps I'll sign off and resume later. . .



Thanks to a browse through Philip's site, I came upon a place where you can make fun portraits.

Here's mine.