Sunday, 25 September 2011
New Marathon Record and Other Things
Patrick Makau of Kenya set a world record today winning the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes 38 seconds.
There's an opinion piece in the Times today by a molecular biologist named Sam Wang who says kids should start school early so that their brains can be seized by the education system before it's too late. Too late for what? Sigh.
Meanwhile, it's warm—almost tropical— in New York City and we're baking apple pies and pretending it's really autumn. A bit of yellow at the top of one of the ash trees on 47th Avenue.
On thursday we go to Harvard to give a talk on Robert Duncan. Woodberry Library, 5 pm. We'll see you there.
And now that the Duncan biography is finished we're going to read a book. Yes, it's true, it's been over a year since we've had time to read a book. Where to begin? Pop science perhaps. Anyone have recommendations for any good pop science books on viruses and bacteria?
We'll be back soon with news of this and that.
The Beast will be in the park this week romping with the squirrels and looking for stinkhorn mushrooms. Who needs school?
Peace out Peops.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
On the Road
we're heading to buffalo tomorrow to visit our peops there. meanwhile in nyc there are cops everywhere looking for two middle eastern dudes, one five feet tall and one five feet eight driving a truck.
here at the lisablog headquarters we're studying autumn. acorns and apples are the two a's. last week we started a great new program called Central Park Outdoor Nursery. Bea joins three other kids three mornings a week for a three hour adventure in Central Park. We hike, check out the flora and fauna, and have a picnic lunch. It's a Waldorf-inspired group and it already has us all more focused on daily rituals, slow food, duck calls, and wild mushrooms. We'll be out in the park every tuesday, wednesday, and thursday rain or shine or snow through the end of the year. here's a photo from day one:
Peace out peops. We'll be back soon.
Friday, 2 September 2011
Mount Pleasant Report
We're just back from the Catskills where Hurricane Irene wiped out half of our little town and destroyed the homes of many of neighbors. Our cabin was spared because it's up a hill from the Esopus Creek. A few photos on our Flickr site at
Still no electricity or phone service in Mount Pleasant either. And the Boiceville grocery store is closed. And our bridge into Phoenicia is gone. And the railroad tracks are gone. It's high water everywhere and more rain on the way. We're supposed to have electricity restored around the 7th of September. Stay tuned for more updates.
Friday, 19 August 2011
The King of Cats is Gone
Harry left us today after a long battle with kidney disease and a short battle with cancer. He was born on Bergen Street in Brooklyn in 1995 and subsequently lived in Manhattan, Queens, the Catskills, and Boulder, Colorado. He was named after film maker Harry Smith. His nicknames were the Hair Man, Whodunkumunk, Whodunk, Hararama, Boychik, and the Hair Master. His beloved aggressive-licking companion was Bela. He tolerated and was tolerated by Mina. He was loved by all who crossed his path except for those who were allergic to him. He was the best cat ever. Gentle, funny (imagine him trying to wave a Post-It off his paw), a great traveler (he flew the friendly skies all the way to Denver), a great friend through all the waves of life. He enjoyed eating turkey slices, chewing on corn husks, jumping on top of the fridge (in his early springy days), sunning himself on the deck when we lived in Boulder, socializing with my students (he was always the first to amble into someone's lap), and he also really liked to lick ice cubes. Fuzzy toy mouses were also a favorite, as was catnip. Today I read a little bit of Finnegans Wake to him before we said goodbye. He was surrounded by friends in the end, here at home in Queens, curled up on my chest, quietly grogging into barbibituated slumber. Harry was a great presence on Lisablog over the years and even hosted his own political cat chat shows. O people of the blog, please eat a slice of turkey in memory of the Hair-master.
Monday, 8 August 2011
The blog is being renovated. We'll be focusing more on unschooling and yes Lisablog may even become Bea's Unschooling Blog. Or perhaps she will begin her own blog. She is very good at turning on the computer these days.
We've been studying the butterflies of Sunnyside and Mount Tremper. The Cabbage White is a favorite as is the Question Mark Comma with its beautiful silver spot. Upstate we're heading into blackberry season and there are elderberries budding everywhere. Elderberry pancakes are just around the corner.
We've also updated our website lisajarnot.com. Po biz news is that we'll be at Harvard in September to DJ some RD recordings and talk about the biography. The biography is coming out soon, do you believe it? Look for it in the spring. We'll be seeing proofs here in October. Word.
And we're teaching an autumn pumpkiny class on Emily Dickinson beginning at the end of September. Perhaps we'll even take a field trip to Amherst. Class will meet on Friday evenings for ten weeks in Sunnyside. Shout our way if you're interested.
That's all the news that's fit to print. Peace out and see you soon.
Friday, 29 July 2011
tired of nyc and other things
It's true, we're tired of NYC. It's a hard place to raise a kid: expensive, gritty, etc. And of course with global warming it's hotter than the hinges of hell. As for community, that's always been hard to find, but it's even harder, at least in Sunnyside, to find like-minded moms. Of the six hundred or so moms on our local list serv it seems like four of them are breastfeeding toddlers and two of them are interested in unschooling.
For socializing we go to the playground to throw water balloons and chase pigeons. We've also been going to the local elementary school to get free breakfasts and lunches. (Chicken nuggets are a big hit.) But we wonder more how and why schools continue to exist. Even in the lunch rooms of the summer free lunch program there is fascism. Stand in this line. Sit at your table. The Beast was told not to look at the polar bear mural on the wall. (Sit! sit! sit!, but the Beast is not a sitter.) And the lunch monitors watch us like prison guards (so that the moms don't eat any of the food— it's only for kids.)
Yesterday we went to a better neighborhood to try the lunch at the school there. Same story. A group of 6 year olds supervised by a woman screaming "put your heads down on the table." A book was taken away from a quiet bookish girl. No reading. No reading? This is why we can't imagine sending our kid to school. School is about petty authority and arbitrary rules.
What next? we're slowly building an unschooling network and are integrating sustainable gardening into our landscaping business (autumn planting is about to begin— peas, chard, bok choy) and sometimes it's true we talk about going back to England. Also we're studying butterflies. Cabbage Whites, Question Mark Commas, Eastern Swallowtails.
And meanwhile, we'll gladly take tips about cool places to live on the outskirts of NYC (within 40 minutes commute by train). Cheaper is better. Houses rather than co-ops.
Peace out peops. Whit, I owe you an e.
Saturday, 16 July 2011
This and That
We're just back from a trip to Buffalo where it was not as hot as it is in Sunnyside. The Beast has taken a liking to raw broccoli, which she calls "trees" so the greens are back on the menu. Meanwhile today is ballet class as the Beast says "I MUST dance."
In Texas, Humberto Leal Garcia was executed despite a plea from the Obama people against it. The Supreme Court blew it. They argued that it didn't matter if there was inadequate representation since the defendent was so obviously guilty. Welcome to America.
Mulberry season draws to an end, and we're heading upstate next week to pick raspberries. Meanwhile Ramadan begin in NYC on July 31. The Night of Destiny is August 25. We gave up coffee, sugar, and alcohol last week in preparation for the high holy days. Feeling "clear" as they say out at the Gold Base. Sugar is slavery.
Speaking of sugar, if you're in NYC and you have a bear cub, remember that the public schools are offering free breakfasts and lunches through the summer. Just stay away from the high fructose corn syrup maple syrup.
And in the land of homeschooling/unschooling, the Beast's new favorite monarch is Bessie II (replacing Dicky I). Swimming is on the agenda this summer, as is yoga. French at the French Alliance has been scratched, but does anyone know of unschooling/homeschooling French speaking groups in the city? We need something free-range for the Beast. The teachers at the French Alliance discouraged the Beast from drawing blue cherries. What's up with that?
In the world of gardening, we're preparing for our August/September/October planting of bok choy, peas, mustard greens, and spinach. The Seeds of Change order is in.
Peace out people. We'll be back soon. We will be doing some special reporting in mid-August from Asbury Park, NJ, where we're taking a family holiday to see the one and only Bob Dylan. Uncle Evan is coming along too. Hurray for Uncle Evan and hurray for the Bard.
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Here's a recipe for mulberry jam. this is adapted from wildman steve brill's foraging site. heads up, the mulberries are raining down from the sky.
2 cups black mulberries
1/4 tbsp agar
2 tbsp honey
dash of cinammon
dash of nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon
ground coriander seeds
boil it, mash it, and put it in a jar.
meanwhile we're heading to rhode island to convene with our peops. we were up at the old manse on monday and all is well in the catskills. toads, chipmunks, cabbage whites, and lambs ears greeted us happily.
the beast slept an eight hour shift last night and is currently watching buster keaton and drinking milk from a shot glass.
meanwhile meanwhile in texas, down with governor perry. please sign this petition:
- Target: Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Rick Perry
- Sponsored by: Death Penalty Focus
Texas intends to execute Humberto Leal Garcia on July 7 -- even though he wasn't given access to consular assistance and legal representation that could have spared his life.
As a Mexican national, Mr. Leal was legally entitled to seek assistance from the Mexican consulate. Texas authorities failed to inform him of this; instead, the state appointed two inexperienced and under-funded lawyers who failed to challenge the junk science used to convict him and failed to present powerful mitigating evidence that would have saved Mr. Leal's life.
The Mexican consulate would have hired lawyers and experts to assist Mr. Leal. With their assistance, Mr. Leal would never have been convicted, let alone sentenced to death.
Urge the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Rick Perry to stop the execution of Humberto Leal.
A couple notes for the New Yorkers in the audience. Firstly we're looking to put together a toddler French group. We've been taking the Beast to classes at the French Alliance and it's so yesterday with its rules and not letting the kids run around. We need a free range French environment.
Also we're looking for an intern to help out with some Duncan book stuff. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Peace out, and eat the mulberries. They are free.
Sunday, 12 June 2011
to nap or not to nap
the beast seems to be giving up her nap. send back up!
meanwhile we made mulberry scones yesterday. the mulberries are raining from the trees of sunnyside.
1 cup oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup honey
pinch of salt
1/2 cup mulberries
mix it up, bake for 30 minutes, serve with butter.
we'll be giving a reading for the academy of american pork chops on thursday night at 6:30 at the arsenal building central park nyc. we were told to notify our alumni associations and social mediums. word.
meanwhile also the linden trees are blooming as are the morning glories and we've begun some vegetable container gardens at one of our jobs. there are soup beans, swiss chard, cucumbers, cantaloupes, and tomatoes. and maybe some okra.
peace out people. we'll be back if the beast ever naps again.
and remember to eat the rich, especially the potential republican presidential nominees and especially especially rick death machine perry.
Sunday, 29 May 2011
to the woods
we're heading up to the old manse to see the bears, deer, and wild turkeys. and mousies yes.
meanwhile we enter a new phase of parenting, toddler-care. during the beast's first year we were horrified by sleep-training advice. these days we cringe when we see parents trying to tame their two-year-olds. these young beasts are wild, yes, and they are meant to be. see further william blake's songs of innocence and experience, or anything written by melanie klein or margaret mahler. we hear over and over again about this bizarre thing called the "time out", some kind of pseudo-liberal discipline idea, that one would make one's child basically sit in the corner. really that's what it is. strange days indeed. let the beasts run wild we say!
meanwhile also we took our beast to the dentist the other day and the dentist said "does she still drink from a bottle?" i said "no, she's breastfeeding" and he said "you have to stop that." i was like hello, are you a dentist or a mother or a pediatrician or a lactation consultant? actually i just nodded because i've heard this so many times. let the beast nurse we say!
meanwhile meanwhile, the beast is busy learning the names of the british kings. she likes king john and harry 6 the crazy baby, but dicky is by far her favorite. that's richard the lionhearted to you.
and unbelievable, but the duncan book will come into print in the spring. we're in the final heave of production. looking over some grant applications for the books from 2000 and 2001 we saw the funny reviewer comments from our NEH application. we were denied funding because "the author does not have a PhD and is an adjunct professor." (well these days the author is a gardener.) and another "the author fails to provide a 'theoretical optic' for the work." put on your theory glasses. right on.
speaking of gardening, we just got the go-ahead to do a rooftop vegetable garden at one of our gigs. does anyone know of nyc initiatives funding or tax-rebating co-op buildings for urban gardening, rain water conservation or composting?
peace out people. and eat the mulberries. they are coming.
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