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Locavore Living!

Salad Spinning, Water Saving September 8, 2008

I’ve been trying to conserve water and I’ve set up a water bin outside. One of the things that I do is take the water from my salad spinner and put it in there. It’s AMAZING how much water you “waste” when you simply put it down the drain.

Need more convincing? You can feel like a poor man’s (or woman’s) Jamie Oliver when you’re spinnin’ salad in the great outdoors. Of course, where he has a beautiful English garden with fantastic stone walls and stoves, I have some big, plastic Home Depot containers with some pathetic tomatoes in them and a plastic lawn chair. But that’s beside the point. You can be outdoors, sloppy and save water! And your salad greens will be squeeky clean to boot.

Right! (my best John Cleese)


Port Fishington Morning September 6, 2008

Filed under: Port Fishington — charbear @ 5:29 pm
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Study Finds That Artic Splash Makes Locabears Obese

Study Finds That Artic Splash Makes Locabears Obese

Port Fishington Breakfast

Port Fishington Breakfast


The Yard In All It’s Glory (And Fear And Disgust) September 5, 2008

Filed under: Bad local. Bad! Bad!,Uncategorized — charbear @ 11:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

What a morning in the backyard! I love my backyard. Despite the million mosquito bites I collect every night; despite the flies that like to get all up in my grill; despite all of this (plus my neighbor’s yard decorated with dog poo law ornaments), I love being back here. When the white trash family isn’t out (yeah, the other neighbor), it’s peaceful. I have a garden and my cat and I’m in my 11’x16′ piece o’ heaven. But now I want out. Sure, I’m out here typing this. But I’ve got my eye trained on anything that moves. Not on the white trash. Not on the smell of poo. Nature has reared her fearful and ugly head. All of my childhood anxiety about nature have come back with a vengeance. Oh, and there’s a fruit fly stuck in my glass of wine.

Yeah, I grew up in the country. You’d have thought that that would have made me immune to things that squiggle and things that slime (and small things that attack). But it didn’t. You see, my uncle lived behind us (and by “behind”, I don’t mean in the city-block, rationally organized row sense, or the suburban cul-de-sac sense. No, I mean in the field in back of our field). But both my uncle and parent’s rented a large portion of their land to a farmer (Amish, so that meant seasonal application of manure. Yeah!). He planted corn. Corn is, like, 100 feet high to a child. And I would have to run through a narrow path that the farmer left connecting both homes. Yes, I would have to run. Because that was the only way to dodge the 100-mile-per-hour projectiles known as “very large bugs”. I would stand at the mouth of the path and watch as millions upon millions of these Chevy Tahoe-sized bugs jumped between the rows. I would close my eyes and run as fast as I could through this gauntlet, all the while feeling those hard bodies smack into my cheeks, my thighs, my lips (yeah, it’s that gross). And then I’d have to do it again. “Aunt Patty, can you drive me home?” “No, you idget, you live a 1 minute walk away.” So then I would have to stare down that Funhouse entrance again,close my eyes and… SMACK.

So this was my upbringing. Imagine my surprise when I found nature at the ripe ol’ age of 30. I mean, heck — I even got myself a worm bin in the basement! I was cured! Or so I thought until this morning…

My little morning routine: I let the cat out while I water the plants. As soon as I opened the door, he rushed out and I realized that there was a squirrel in the yard. Aww. How cute. I grabbed Sparky, tossed him in the house. But the squirrel didn’t leave. He stayed in a corner. “Yikes”, me thought. “This little bugger’s got balls”. So I’m a brainiac. You know, a regular smarty-pants. So I squirt the little a-hole with the hose, thinking that he’ll run away (I know I would). Nope, he runs right to me and towards the alley. I go around the corner and instead, he’s right there and he lunges at me! What the ef! So I have the hose, he’s at my feet and I’m screaming like a mental patient, squirting the hose and jumping 360 degrees. I looked like a human water sprinkler. Idiot! I failed at the squirrel test. That little bastard psyched me out and I took the bait and ran (with a hose, mind you). But the day gets even better.

Now, a normal person would probably put going outdoors on hold for a bit. Especially on a hot, Philadelphia day. But no, I went back outside (once I was assured there were no squirrels) for my other daily ritual of eating breakfast, reading the news and watching my good-for-nothing cat try to escape the yard. Only this morning, he was playing with something. With what you say? With a creature that I can only describe as “FUCK!!??!!?!” Not even a “What the FUCK?!!?” No. Just “FUUCCKKKK!!!!” It’s head looked like a baby bird, maybe? But it had the body of a caterpillar. At first I thought Philly got herself both a nuclear plant and a nuclear accident in 1 night. But no. I realized that this disgusting creature wasn’t a chromosomal accident. It was in fact a caterpillar. How did I know this? Because it started walking backwards. “Do caterpillars walk backwards” you ask? Nope. But they do have fake heads on their butts. That’s what this was: a fake head on it’s less-needed-for-brain-activity butt. You know what it’s real face looked like? You remember in the first (I mean the real first) Star Wars, where Luke and Obi-Wan go into that bar? The dude that kinda looked like a walrus that swallowed a mustache? That’s what it looked like. Here are some “Before and After I Thought That It’s Butt Was Really It’s Head” pics:

gross, gross, butt for head

gross, gross, butt for head

even grosser, you're heads your butt

even grosser

But seriously, I wonder if that’s the thing that’s been eating all of my tomatoes? Faw-ker…


Port Richmond: Love/Hate September 1, 2008

I love my neighborhood. I really do. I have some great neighbors, people can be good. But then there are just days when I want to force mandatory abortions on all women under 25 (and forced sterilization of all men. Period). Before I begin, let me give you some background: the people on our block care. They do. They (myself included) invested in planters to put outside to beautify not just our own homes, but the neighborhood and the block. Even our resident nuisance bar has roses in front (roses? I didn’t know that meatheads could be gay. And 75). I came home the other night only to discover that they’ve been stolen. We were spared (and thankfully so — we have Greensgrow plants and teak bench and table.). Why did they do that? Prob kids (dont think there’s a black market in cheap plastic planters with roses and evergreen shrubs). God, I cant wait for school to start and the nuns to start giving these kids the beatings that they weren’t given all summer…

Mornings are the best in my neighborhood: it’s quiet, peaceful, the meatheads aren’t out (or drunk) yet. So how sad was I when I woke up and saw “N*GGER” spray painted on a house the next block over? Yep. And, in case you haven’t realized, that would make this the SECOND racial vandalism in less than a year in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia (and the 3rd racial incident, lest we forget the NY eve ’08 riot. Where were YOU when the riot happened?). Unfortunately, I don’t think that anyone of interest (read: media) knew about it. Today’s Labor Day, after all — they were busy covering parades and do-it-yourself workshops. I was torn: do I call the media and report it, or not. It’s not such a simple answer.

My 1st instict is :hells yeah!” Embarrass the meatheads. But then I thought: my husband works with African-Americans. They know that he lives here. He (and those like him) have to bear the burden of going to work and having people that they know and truly like and respect say “don’t YOU live in Port Richmond?” It casts those of us who don’t think in meathead grunts in a bad light.

But then again, I want to embarass those assholes. I want police here, beating white trash heads. The more miserable they make it for residents, the more the residents hate those that bring this shit on to us. Look, I’m not racist. But I’m ot going to turn this into a post about how we should all get along. The fact is, right or wrong, people have racial bias. I will never argue my way out of that. But here’s what bothers me (and, it should, them): they are just as “bad” as the “n%ggers” that they complain about. Why?

Let’s run down why they hate blacks: they claim that they are lazy and dirty and shit in the area that they live (hence, ghettoes). How is this different from what whitey no-balls did? They just shit in the area where they live. Residents had to wake up to what amounts to graffiti in their neighborhood. Graffiti is graffit, whether it’s an ad for soemthing that you (sickeningly ) believe in or not. So guess what: white trash is not only no better than “n*ggers”, they’re worse. Cuz they think they’re better.

So that’s what I woke up to. But that can’t stop you from the work that needs to be done on home repair holidays such as Labor Day. So all day, R and I set about working on the shit that we say we never have time to work on. Home repairs. Books that need to be read (wine that needs to be drunk, sun that needs to be bathed in). The great thing is, that some cock-sucker also took this opportunity to do the things that he puts off, namely letting his dog take a shit on our front step. Yep. In broad day light. Guess what: I’m going to make an educated guess that he’s white. And that he hates blacks. He hates them because they’re “dirty”. Interesting.

So, in summation, my dear friends: white trash like to graffiti, let their dogs shit and steal flower pots. Yeah, it’s a good thing that blacks don’t live in the neoghborhood…


Garden of Flies, Pestulance Part II: Mosquitoes Attack!

Filed under: Misc Stuff — charbear @ 10:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s nice to see that the flies are still here. Consistency. I like. But what’s even better are the mosquitoes. If ever there was an asshole in flying, biting form, it’s the mosquito. Little a-holes.

My entire life has been devoted to being sustenance for mosquitoes. They love me because I hate them. The thing that really sucks is that I can never feel them biting me. How long does it take for a welt to form? Immediately? Hours? I wouldn’t know cuz I don’t know when they attack. I just know that I wake up with bumps and a desire to Agent Orange all of Port Richmond, Philadelphia.

So I’ve been trying all sorts of natural remedies. I want to avoid DEET at all costs. I’ve tried a Bug Off stick from a local, natural boutiique. I’ve tried Quantum buzz Away Extreme (up to 8 hours. Ha. I put it on and then watched as a bitch landed and bit me). I had my own home remedy: a delightfully fragrant blend of cedars and citronella and neem and sticky oil. My search for outdoor happiness continues…