Monday, 21 February 2011
snowy monday presidents day
It's a snowy monday in sunnyside and today is pie day. We're going to make a blackberry apple pie. Last week we went for a lemon honey pie that turned out great. Filling ingredients: 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup honey, 3 egg whites, lemon zest. Our pie crust is very simple: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup milk, 2 cups unbleached flour, 3/4 cups oatmeal. (None of that chopping of butter and sprinkling of ice water that makes pie crusts so tedious.) Today is also soup day, chicken soup. We're starting with a mirepoix (the Beast's first): saute of celery, carrot, onion, and thyme. (maybe a bit of red wine). With revolutions ongoing around the globe we feel some springtime ray of hope. The crocuses are popping up around the neighborhood and we've planted our first indoor delphiniums and calendula for the spring gardening season. Whit, we owe you an email. Thanks for those links. Evan, we'll see you this week we hope. Shouts out to our peops in England and the goats and dogs and cats of Wales. Peace.
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
I'm going to be teaching a ten-week reading/writing workshop on
Saturdays (3-5 pm) beginning March 5. The class will be organized
around a comprehensive view of Robert Duncan's life and career, with
special attention to Duncan's recently published critical work on
Modernism, The H.D. Book. We'll do writing around Duncan's own
writing, with attention to his influences and peers and students
(Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Helen Adam, Jack Spicer, Charles Olson,
Michael Palmer, etc.) and we'll listen to recordings of RD's lectures
and readings. Students will also bring their own work and projects to
share with the class. Fee is $300 for 10 weeks. (payment by
installment is possible.) If you have questions or if you'd like to
reserve a spot, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is used in a wide range of consumer products, including Reynolds Wrap and cling wrap for most grocery stores, as well as bottles, packaged food trays and cooking oil bottles. PVC is also used for plumbing materials, as well as medical tubing and bags.
Reason to Avoid: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) contains phthalates, which are known to disrupt hormones -- especially testosterone. Congress has banned the use of these chemicals in toys because of research that indicates developmental and reproductive damage. Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen. Additionally, the manufacture and incineration of phthalates releases dioxin, a known carcinogen and hormone disruptor.
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Polystyrene (PS) is one of the most widely used plastics. There are two forms of polystyrene -- inflated and non-inflated. The most recognizable inflated polystyrene is Styrofoam®, a Dow Chemical Company trademarked product. Non-inflated polystyrene is used to make cups, bowls, plates, trays, cutlery, take-out containers, meat trays and egg cartons, as well as packaging for shipping.
Reason to Avoid: This type of plastic can leach styrene into food, especially when heated. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
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The #7 designation - a catch-all for plastics that don't fit in any other categories - are often polycarbonates (PC). Polycarbonates are used in many brands of plastic baby bottles, "sippy" cups for kids, reusable water bottles and dental sealants. Also used in the inner lining of food cans.
Reason to Avoid: Polycarbonate plastic is the only plastic that is made with bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been found to mimic the hormone estrogen and disrupt the body's endocrine system. Public health advocates say it poses a particular risk to fetuses, infants and children. The National Toxicology Program issued a report last year that includes concerns about BPA's effects on the brain, prostate gland, mammary gland, and behavior in fetuses, infants and children.
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Used in disposable containers for most bottled water, bottled soft drinks, juice, mouthwash, ketchup, peanut butter, jelly and pickles. Also used in microwavable trays. This plastic is fine for single use. Avoid reusing #1 water and soda bottles because the plastic is porous and these bottles absorb flavors and bacteria that can't be cleaned out.
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High Density Polyethylene (HDPE / #2) is a cloudy or opaque plastic used for jugs of milk, water, juice, shampoo and detergent, as well as cereal-box liners. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE / #4) is used for cling wraps and food storage bags, garbage and grocery bags, squeeze bottles, and coatings for milk cartons and hot-beverage cups.These plastics are generally good choices as they transmit no known chemicals into food and are generally recyclable.
It was too icy to make it to French class this morning, so we opted for baking instead. Here's an easy recipe for a ginger coconut cookie:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup grated coconut
3 tbspn honey
3 tbspn milk
2 tbspn ground fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Amy Goodman did a great interview with Noam Chomsky this morning on Democracy Now. Here's the link:
Sunday, 23 January 2011
King Bee, Early Stones
Thomas picked up some old Rolling Stones CDs at the library which we are enjoying despite the creepiness of Keith Richards' new memoir. Those were the days when we thought Keith Richards was god. Turns out he's just an asshole.
Meanwhile, with a kid in the house, one says "those were the days" all the time. The Beast draws boa constrictors on the walls with blue markers. It's exhilarating.
In Sunnyside it's practically below zero weather and the sun is shining in a cold glaring way. We try to finish the copy edits of the Duncan biography, but can't make the time. UCal maybe is ready to drop the contract because of our stay-at-home-mom timeline. A book on RD came the other day and footnoted us as a key player in the "emerging Duncan industry". We were horrified. That which we love is not an industry. If only Eros ruled over the houses of industry and academia. But then the houses of industry and academia would not need to be. Tell it at the AWP, dweebs.
In NYC there's a city council bill to take the fluoride out of the water. There's too much of it, it's not properly regulated, and it's not good for kids or people with kidney problems.
Speaking of kidney problems, does anyone have a CRF cat? Our Harry is in stage 2 chronic renal failure and we'd like to know what the best diet is: low protein or high protein? There seems to be some disagreement on this. Our vet prescribes k/d diet: low phosphorus, low protein, but should we supplement with chicken gizzards? We're hydrating him, moderately, 50 ml a day.
And back to the water in Sunnyside, it's not only chlorine, it's also lead. Yes, lead, which causes brain damage in babies. We need a good filtration system. Suggestions welcome. We'll be back soon with more news of this and that. Next weekend we're in Buffalo to give a Saturday Night Reading for Just Buffalo. Peace out people. And eat the industrialists.
Saturday, 8 January 2011
thanks to the moms for sending good breastfeeding thoughts. again we hear news, via the queens west la leche league list-serv, of a mom being ridiculed by an nyc ob/gyn for nursing her 17 month old daughter. (it's a gruesome tale that includes harassment and barbs like "what are you, a housewife?".) and this is in a world where the world health organization recommends at least two years of breastfeeding for children. the world f*ing health organization! we've even heard tales of pediatricians telling moms to quit breatfeeding at the one year mark, as if there's an exact science to a child's nutritional needs and bond with mom. (our first breast doctor said "you're not going to be one of those moms who nurses for four years, are you?") so, this all makes us very weary of the world. we know from our own experience that a kid's cues are the best cues. they learn how to walk and talk of their own volition, so why not let them wean the same way? and yes, i've met the kids who breastfed til they were four. they're well adjusted and have good relationships with their parents.
another mom-gripe note. what is the deal with baby-wipes and desitin? they contain parabens. google parabens and health and you'll see why i ask. parabens and your body are not friends. we've found the 7th Generation baby wipes okay, an have switched from desitin to A&D which is basically cod liver oil and vaseline. what are the recs for holistic diaper cream? we'd like suggestions.
meanwhile, we started swimming at the YMCA today. the beast has a blast in the pool. more on this developing story soon. peace out people, and feast from the boob, not from the cow carton.
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
The thing about being a mom is that you find out how much you get relegated to the realm of "stupid mom". Being a mom is like being a stupid girl, only worse.
We say this in the midst of trying to get a mammogram appointment in NYC (one of the most advanced hipster cities in the world) and yet over and over again we hear from doctors and nurses "you can't have a mammogram while you're nursing." But of course you can, ask any lactation consultant.
The second issue is "why are you still nursing your 19-month-old?" Well why are you not? Most people don't say it out loud, but it's really evident in the looks one gets when one is nursing in public. That, by the way, is protected by law, monkey-ball-biters.
So, the World Health Organization says nurse for at least two years. One of the doctors at our pediatrician's office says wean soon. And everyone (almost) said "wean at night" months ago. We say nay. Babies are only babies once, and they have needs (emotional needs, yes!).
So, we enter the new year confronted once again with the urban professional moloch culture. Last year it was the sleep trainers who were telling us what to do. Now it's the stop-breastfeeding crowd. Can a mom not be a mom and know what works for her kid?
Stay tuned for next year's new year entry: a stupid mom refuses to send her kid to be "educated".
On that note, a lecture on unschooling by astra taylor:
Peace out moms and dads and dogs and cats. And Happy New Year.
Sunday, 19 December 2010
We're writing to the Sunnyside city council tonight because people keep getting run over in our neighborhood. Queens Boulevard is known as "the boulevard of death". Well hurray. Not.
We've been consulting with friends about the possibility of trying communal living, just to cut back the demons of rent-paying, and to get to a quieter place so that the Beast can run in greener pastures. Why not start a 21st century commune for the Beast to be unschooled in?
When we were younger and living on the lower east side, crazed drivers and drug bodegas seemed like an acceptable part of the landscape. But there we also had kims videos, the poetry project, tompkins square park, $1.25 pizza, and hip bars. In Sunnyside we have the highway, the boulevard, and the cemetery. Okay, it's true, we also have some great Columbian bakeries.
Meanwhile, solstice is upcoming, and christmas will be a zoo adventure. Our friend Franklin gave us his farm share last week so we had excellent cream of root vegetable soup today— carrots, potatoes, turnips, ginger, garlic, and yogurt.
Back to solstice, we'll also celebrate by picking our spring garden seeds from Seeds of Change— and perhaps even an apple tree for the old manse upstate. A newton pippin? Maybe.
Peace out people, and eat the rich and the newton pippins. And abandon your car!
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
we've been away from the blog for several reasons. now, stealing a moment from the world of sleep we come to you dear blog readers.
it's cold in sunnyside, and yesterday morning there were snow flurries. the wind means pulling the hat down over the ears of the beast every few steps.
here are the reasons we've been away from the blog: beast with cold, burmese prince with cold, lisa of the blog with cold, dental nightmares (more to come), busy at zoo all the time, 64 crayon box hurray.
as for dental nightmares, what kind of satanic country do we live in that most citizens have to pay thousands of dollars to a dentist to have an infected tooth fixed, or pay hundreds of dollars to a dentist to have an infected tooth pulled, or else just pull the thing out yourself because you have no choice, right? we have chosen to pay thousands of dollars that we don't have. no, we don't know how either.
the recession also looms large these days as we buy pork neck bones for broth (goodbye lamb steaks, goodbye fancy cheeses). black beans are good and cheap, and avocados around here in sunnyside, and corn tortillas. so there, that's what we'll eat.
christmas will be a day at home with home-made knitted things. the 64 color box of crayons does give us lots of mileage. we all draw owls.
as for all other things, they are impossible. the email inbox reads 700 emails unanswered. this is not an exaggerated figure. sorry peops.
we have dreams of jogging, taking a botany class, and even reading a book.
we wonder what will happen to america and polar bears and endangered lemurs.
and now, off to sleep. peace people, and eat the rich (stewed in pork neck bones w/ a few carrots).
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