Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The longest drive

I left Brooklyn at 11 am to go back to Montréal. I noticed that the vaccum gauge for the vegetable oil was showing some restriction so I pulled over near Kingston and changed the fuel filter. All was fine for about 30 miles and then I saw that the coolant light was flashing and looking very hot. I pulled over at a gas station and sure enough, coolant was spraying out at the rear of the van. I was talking to Marc Amsden about what to do when I was approached by a friendly truck driver. He helped me to locate the leak, which was caused by the axel rubbing against one of the hoses. He offered to drive me to buy a new hose connector and some clamps which we found at a truck repair shop about 5 miles away. Of all the days that I needed my camera this was the one that it would not work. Fred, the truck driver, travels with his daughters Elizabeth and Gabby. They play video games from their bunks in the cab while traveling the country. The office at the repair shop was completely decorated in shades of purple and lavander, clearly designed by the office manager who was also dressed in those shades. I took some tootsie rolls from the jar on the counter for the girls.

Once we arrived back at my van Fred helped me to install the hose and fill up with coolant. once everything seemed normal I continued on my way, delayed by about 4 hours. Of course, by the time I arrived in Montréal I was ready to relax and drink a beer. I found Dave and Kevin listening to records and we sat up for a while. At three am I got my guitar and computer out of the van but forgot my wallet and my iPod. When I went to move the van at 7 am, this is what I found:

My wallet and iPod were gone.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 9, 2007

More New York

I met up with Blendy Maguro at the corner of 45th and 8th avenue and we checked into the Milford Plaza hotel. That night we went to a party for Paper magazine and drank tiny bottles of free champagne. I took a look at the magazine and I won't bore you with my negative opinions but basically the party was exactly what I would have expected from such a superficial magazine. Rufus Wainwright played three songs and Feist showed up and made room for us at her table.

On the way out I grabbed one of the free bottles of Marc Jacobs perfume for my friend Ellen, who we went to meet in Little Italy where she and Ralph were watching the final episode of the Sopranos. When the restaurant was closing up I saw that they had placed four containers of pretty clean looking grease on the sidewalk. We asked permission to take it and then the four of us took a cab with the grease up to the hotel. Strange looks from the staff and guests abounded as we made our way though the lobby with 20 gallons of used cooking oil. After depositing it in our room we took a taxi to Chelsea to have a drink.

We went to a place on 23rd with seats by the open windows and had to cope with a 25 year old, very drunk man doing everything in his power to get some attention from us. Asking for sips of our beer, taking them anyway after we said no, calling us racist, smoking cigarettes in our faces. The bartender didn't even attempt to do anything until I went and asked him to. It turned out that attention from the bartender and even the police was not enough for him as he kept coming back for more. Eventually we had to just give in and hang out with him. Pic coming soon, for now here's one of Blendy as we waited for our taxi after checking out.

PS. IF you look closely at the picture you will see that Mr. Maguro is holding not just one paper cup from Starbuck's but TWO, which I imagine his coffee was served in so that he would not burn his delicate fingers. While I appreciate their thoughtfulness in this matter I do NOT appreciate the fact that one cannot recycle said paper cups at any Starbuck's location. It is for this reason and several others that I have asked Mr. Maguro to refrain from purchasing any more coffee from them. I know this is a big sacrifice for someone who A) Is kind of addicted to coffee and B) Travels all the time, making it hard to know where to get the coffee that you want. Mr. Maguro responded to my request graciously and agreed to no longer buy coffee at Starbuck's, plus he has been using the reusable thermos I got at the thrift store for fifty cents. When you care about someone you want to help them make healthier choices, even if it's hard at first.

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 8, 2007


I got to meet up with Jill Borra and her boyfriend, Sinclair to go to see Rufus Wainwright at the Gramercy Theatre. Wow! What a show! Sparkly brooches and costume changes and Rufus in drag. What a night!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New York

It was one thing to talk about it over dinner with Lauren and Diane but it was a whole other thing to DO it. I made a batch of bumper stickers that read "I heart Global Warming" to hand out to drivers of giant SUV's, Escalades, Hummers and what-have-you. Then I made a bunch of samosas and took the van down to an art opening at John Connelly in Chelsea and sold the stickers and gave the samosas away to demonstrate the use of used fry oil as fuel. People were super receptive so afterwards we moved it down to another gallery in the lower east side and set up there. The next night I did the same thing in front of Cinders gallery and Stay Gold. The restaurant is called Frybaby, look for me at an art opening in your neighborhood soon!

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 27, 2007


I'm so glad to be here but just now when I looked around I got a little depressed. I'm in a coffeeshop (Atlas at Grand and Havemeyer) and everyone is drinking their coffees from paper cups, some even have plastic lids on them! Didn't any of these people get the memo? The Glaciers are melting!! My friend Hermann just emailed me from Belgium and he said it is 30 degrees celsius, (86 fahrenheit) in APRIL! Wig said it's going to be 90 degrees fahrenheit (32 celsius) in San Francisco this weekend. In SAN FRANCISCO. It was chilly throughout most of the south the entire time I was there! Do you need Time magazine to tell you that Global climate change is real? Do people think that the need to conserve energy and resources applies to others and not to them? I just asked the man next to me, who has a Greenpeace sticker on his laptop, why he is drinking his coffee from a paper cup. He said "Because that's what she gave me." I informed him that like most coffee shops, they have very nice ceramic mugs here and he may choose to ask for one in the future.

Today I ate lunch in Manhattan at my favorite Korean buffet and I talked to an employee about the over-use of disposable packaging. I was asking if it's possible to order food on a plate instead of from a styrofoam container and unfortunately, it is not, so I said it was too bad because I would eat there all the time if I could order food on a real plate. Normally I bring my own take out containers but today I didn't have them so I used a styrofoam plate. Although unappetizing and wasteful, the food was delicious, next time I will remember to bring my containers.

Things have gotten to the point that I cannot keep myself from saying something anymore. I can't tell you how much I hold my tongue when I see people in grocery stores putting an individual piece of fruit in a plastic bag or putting plastic and paper in the trash. I could rant on this all day but for now i'm just going to ask you to read this portion of an article about plastic, scroll down to the part about the environment.

Here are some other links to check out, if the information you read gets you down call me, because it gets me down too.

Labels: , , ,