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I’m officially sick of seeing pictures of me as a mermaid “blowing up” on social media (i.e. more than 5 likes). But for posterity, I’ll include some fiddled-with outtakes on you, dear blog. Starting with my at-home mermaid hair.

Then, at Coney Island, we got soaked in the rain. This was a nuisance despite being temporarily part fish. 

Major Mermaid Accessories: a little mermaid with beautiful curls to inspect, fake pearls, real bad tattoos, and functional human things like an iPhone and a FitBit.

We are not keeping off the jetty. We’re waiting for Tom Hanks.

This picture is pretty spot-on. I don’t like being surrounded by people, I don’t like the spotlight, and am mostly content to blend into the scenery… and yet I’ve done this wacky parade twice. My love for nautical themes, a good costume dress up and making crafts can override my introversion. But I’m just going to stand here away from everyone for awhile. 

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My bag packed for the 5th Grade overnight trip, I had my sweet tooth covered. But that’s about it…

It would be our last year at Club Getaway, so we’d have to make it count. This included sneaking off from my group to take scenic pictures. 

Things to climb. 

Dandies to torch. 

And more pond-gazing. 

More June: Mermaid Parade again this year means I’ll be crafting. 

I’m very happy with how my mermaid top came out! Well worth the burns I sustained from the hot glue gun. The secret is Le Mystere Tisha under it all. Notice the fishing lures and the (my late grandfather’s) Captain’s hat above. I imagined, as I created my costume, that my mermaid character had fallen in love with a fisherman in an unfortunate twist of fate. 

Cabana style–Ray-Bangs, Evil Under the Sun beach hat, and Bronx Brewery Summer pale ale

The ocean, with a side of seaweed salad

In better late than never fashion, I finally planted some things in the garden bed. Just basil and tomatoes. What else do you need?

Pretty morning sunrises numbering my remaining days of work. 

Roses up in the backyard, clashing with the siding. 

Saying hello to the ocean from the cabana

Bloody Marys… Bloody Marys… Bloody Marys (Blood-curdling shriek)

There’s time for brunches in Brooklyn (from the all-vegan Bar Velo) on the weekend…

As well as parking illegally outside of Confectionary! in the East Village to pick up sweet bites.

Twenty years ago, after our closing shifts at Tower Records in Carle Place, my coworkers and I used to drive to the tip of Long Island, arriving at Montauk Point between 1 or 2 in the morning. We did this repeatedly, ceremoniously, as we inducted new recruits. Together, we’d clutch each other while walking the pitch black path to the rocky shore, illuminated briefly and reliably by the rotating beam from the Montauk Lighthouse. The light functioned as it did for the vessels, steering us safely alongside the scary abyss of an immense dark expanse. Once within it, we would sit on the beach marveling at the stars so plentiful. We’d yell ridiculous battle cries against the lapping waves. Our restless spirits at ease and aligned in our makeshift, desperate exploration–our entrance into the dark, far from the cozy suburban world we so vehemently resented. Then… we’d drive back to our parents’ houses and go to bed. We were kids. And in these preserved parts of my kid archives, Montauk will always hold magic.

Since this time, Montauk has grown. And I have grown, the magic dulled by more practical dealings. But every once and a while, Montauk beckons again, like Clementine whispering in my ear. Of course, like visiting places held in nostalgic high regard, you kind of resent it changing, developing, welcoming the hipsters and yuppies you’d sneer at then and you sneer at now. You resent waiting in line for a downright terrible tofu scramble wrap from Joni’s. You would prefer the zero options of yesteryears to highway robbery with no public bathroom and a wrap that tastes like nothing and pees orange liquid at each bite.

But there you are again, letting yourself feel the magic within, magic you historically accredit to so many other things because it’s way more fascinating on others. And that same lighthouse sits in the same place but seems different every time you go, like it’s aging with you. And you forget the tofu wrap and the yuppies. And you feel grateful to live on the island that allows you to its very tip, surrounding you with ocean.

Over in the distance, beyond the bluff, lies Camp Hero. Now a state park and partly registered as a National Historical Site, Camp Hero used to be the Montauk Air Force Station, commissioned in the during World War II to protect New York in the case of a coastal invasion. Many of the large concrete remnants of its former life remain in the park eerily. Even more eerie are the claims of an intricate tunnel system below the park’s grounds and the most extraordinary urban legend involving government-sponsored experimentation in mind control and time travel in the 1970’s to early 80’s. [Record skips..] These long held and documented allegations make some of the most spectacular claims of conspiracy in the history of our nation. 

Fascinated to all heck, I did some sleuthing and watched The Montauk Chronicles. I dug and dug into the corners of the world wide web. With a hundred and one tabs open on my browser for almost two weeks, I officially am overwhelmed with the prospect of even summarizing this theory to you. But I will try very, very briefly and invite you to dive into the dark hole of this and other such related projects and doggy-paddle through the murky layers of The United States complex history yourself.  Allegedly, the “Montauk Project” was part of the Monarch Project, a CIA-created mind control program that used trauma to fragment and then program the mind of runaway or “lost” youth (Montauk Boys) deemed expendable for the purpose of experiments related to the creation of “PSY Soldiers,” specialty soldiers trained in psychic warfare between 1971 and 1983. Ok, but that’s not it. Legends alleges that these soldiers were sent on missions. And some of these missions were through “stargates” to fulfill inter-dimension/time travel with the support of alien technology, analysis of vibrational energy, and biorhythm coordinates.

After the goal of widespread Illuminati-esque mind control for the masses was identified as the program goal and project members grew increasingly morally concerned, the Montauk Chair, a mental amplifier chair that had technology to download one’s thoughts, create digital representations and then project them, would help bring the end to the experimentation. After Montauk Chair test subject Duncan Cameron conjured a hairy creature (called The Beast of the Id) who attacked and destroyed parts of the base, concerned project members sabotaged equipment. 

For more info, this Q&A is pretty thorough.

Sometimes I make enough cupcakes, enough that I have to drive to work. With a staff potluck and a bake sale that I organized, this was the case this past week. Both events called for a special load of cupcakes. I opted for the nostalgic s’mores combination…

Graham cupcakes, aquafaba marshmallow fluff centers with a rich chocolate ganache topped with a vanilla buttercream then garnished with a graham cookie and torched marshmallow.
Biscoff are perfect substitutions for honey-free graham crackers, which are a little difficult to find.

The gorgeous finished product.

These babies went quickly at the bake sale. In total, me and my gang of 5th graders raised $414.50 for The Elephant Sanctuary in a little less than an hour and a half. (See more on the sale here.)

Then, with more marshmallows burning a hole in my pocket, s’mores pancakes for dinner.

Packed with mini-marshmallows from Dandies.

Ok, time for a marshmallow hiatus…

I recently had to write the yearbook letter for my graduating 5th grade class. Though I love to write, in general–mostly because I’m not that great at speaking but always have a lot to say–the prospect of translating the internal world… to words… with a deadline is very daunting. I work with one singular inspiration at a time, turning it into an accurate communicative sentiment. Then I have to walk away until I feel something enough to dispense another chunk. This takes a while. So I decided to write my students a poem. It was a surprisingly successful solution! And now I plan to do that more often… whenever I am lost for writing moxie, which I often am. Poetry will save me. Because it doesn’t have to make sense. So–here I go.

What holds you in a place doesn’t fit in your hand in utility, or steady your footing

It may be there briefly in passing but lingering in the periphery–the composition in endless slideshows

casting a white glow to the edges of various structures, smoothing them in the instance you might want to touch them.

But you don’t.

They seem to be for you, the shades you would hope to see melding peacefully, in defined buoyant puffs–chiaroscuro.

Under which–all, but hidden. Like wild animals watching the lesser wild pass amidst their unhoned, complicated instincts

New rules. For inaction. New ways. To do nothing.

You’re oxidizing on the shore of Industry City prior to a development boom.

You stare while it’s there, convinced that you can and will hold it all sharply and alive, still, after you walk away.

Like falling in love with the rush air in your lung sacs, because it was near or within the vicinity of this place.

Carrying pieces off like a dignified, well-intended looter. You have your reasons. Though unreasonable they are.

In the distance, from here, it looks as you would want it, each angle to your specs.

Like how you imagined

after you saw it.

Enhanced in recollection. All its caprices, rationalized, cited, checked and utilized for your needs. Tools we are, all.

For each other’s purposes. The loves we need.

It is almost shocking to learn the width of its wing span, the line of symmetry I may touch to trace

glanced upon transiently; feigning neutrality and civility, blinked away in sharp flutters like quavering speech

Rigged pipework by an unskilled apprentice who doesn’t close his mouth enough to ever learn.

They suspend in Earthen elements though covered in unearthen plastics,

coated in an inferior insulation, insultingly easy I penetrate.

But a pleasure

to surrender

to that which you cannot control.

Chemical equations, lunar cycles, mayflowering, the deep tucking away of winter

Excuses or explanations.

It’s out of our hands.

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Veggie dogs are more a vehicle for fixin’s. Even more so now as Citi Field now seem to have a new dog that is very, er, tasteless. Not exactly sure of what changed from previous years? Perhaps it is no longer from Yves Veggie Cuisine or maybe they changed their recipe? Either way, it’s not a really big deal. I just happy to be able to eat a vegan dog at my team’s ball park. Here is my dog along left field.

It was Syndagaard hair hat night, which meant, amusingly, there were a ton of men with long blonde, albeit plastic, locks flowing freely in the pre-rain breeze. Then later, lots of cheap, plastic blonde stray hairs floating around the field twinkling in the stadium lights. And speaking of flowing locks, Gsellman was pitching. Perhaps another hair hat day for him? With a beard connected to it? He’ll need some more K’s first.   

Then the storm clouds came over and began to soak us. After a rain delay, Mets would win the rather sloppy game. 

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