Category: just plain odd

Hotel Soap

Monday 07.07.14

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A few months ago, my husband and I were in Madison, Wisconsin. We were staying at the Hilton Hotel. Never one for heavy fragrances, when I travel I tend to bring my own stash of soap and shampoo. But there was no soap by the sink, so I ventured to open what was clearly intended for the shower and bath. This is what emerged from the package: a “massage bar” by Peter Thomas Roth. Whoever he is. Not too stinky and fairly effective at cleaning my hands. But surprising and odd nonetheless.

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Speed Reading

Monday 05.19.14

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HUH? Why is the kindle app telling me how much time I need to finish my book? That is not how I want to think about reading. I suppose it’s a small, but telling, indication of how our culture has changed. It makes me a little sad, but it’s also the price one pays for reading a book on a digital device. Sort of a Faustian bargain.

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Caps. Per Capita.

Thursday 03.06.14

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How many caps does a single household possess? As a partial answer to that question, I did a quick sweep of our apt, and the above inventory is what I found. I barely touched the fridge, my art supplies or the spice cupboard. Didn’t even open the liquor cabinet. And I excluded most duplicates. Total number of caps: 98. Fascinated by the notion of an industry which is built upon the production of a single item in all of its iterations.

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A Little Censorship

Tuesday 02.25.14

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I have a librarian friend, whom I will not name. He/she occasionally gives me books that he/she finds in the trash bin or at the various book sales that are held to liquidate unwanted reading material. This image is of the inside cover of a small pamphlet which explains, in clear terms, why premarital “relations” are a bad idea. I think this was in the garbage. Why it was taken off the shelves remains a mystery. I would have thought it would be a welcome addition to the Western literary canon.

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Wall of Gum

Wednesday 01.22.14

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As kids, gum was not something we chewed often. The general prohibition might have had something to do with that Halloween when I was 5. My father brought home a bag of Dubble Bubble and, with the Guinness Book of World Records in mind, I proceeded to stuff all of the individually wrapped pieces into my mouth. Perhaps from the exhaustion of chewing, I then fell asleep. Overnight, I rolled in the giant pink wad. The next morning my mother had to cut off all my hair. The Maplewood, NJ wall of gum puts that isolated polymer gob to shame. The wall stretches at least 50 feet along an underpass close to the town’s middle school. Granted, NJ has nothing on either of the gum walls in Seattle or San Luis Obispo, but give it time. That last photo is of my nephew’s hand, proudly pointing out his very own addition to the collage.

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Sunny California

Friday 01.17.14

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As befits a holiday card from Los Angeles, my friends Molly and Ryan (owners and designers of a clever and subversive line of cards), and their totally adorable dog Stella, put together this special Christmas photo. The whole thing is just too weird and wonderful and, to date, the best use I’ve seen of a 7 Eleven logo. Happy Belated Holidays!

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His Name was Pablo.

Tuesday 12.17.13

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I don’t want to be one of those people who talks incessantly about the good old days of NYC: before Giuliani cleaned up 42nd Street, when the definition of “hipster” made reference to the jazz era, and you probably took your passport on a visit to Brooklyn. Just in case. BUT, I was going through my photos the other day and came across these two portraits of Pablo the Rooster. He lived on the Lower East Side close to Canal Street. He had free reign of the alley that ran between two buildings. I know, from a reliable source (and to my great relief!), that he wasn’t part of a Cockfighting ring. Better yet, he had plenty of hen friends who shared his 100 square feet of pavement. They even had a nice little grassy spot where, on any given day, they could be found digging for bugs. So, while I know there are lots of good things to be said for urban development, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be woken up every morning by his crazy loud crowing, I still miss the good old days when you could be walking along in Manhattan and come across a rooster just running free on Ludlow Street.

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