Paperblog A Brie Grows in Brooklyn

A Brie Grows in Brooklyn

"Mabel's not crazy... she's unusual."

Things that look creepy in the early morning.

Things that look creepy in the early morning.

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"Despite the fact that car accidents are the number one cause of all fatal head trauma among teenagers, the suggestion that teens wear helmets when they drive is simply brushed off…Yet we insist that children wear bike helmets (in fact, in some places, it’s the law) despite data that shows kids are more likely to die of head injuries riding in a car than riding on a bike. Children and toddlers on foot are far more likely to receive traumatic brain injuries than cyclists, yet parents who place protective headwear on their walking toddlers are openly ridiculed."
—"Why It Makes Sense To Bike Without A Helmet" 
(No offense, but FU to anyone who has ever yelled at me for riding my bike without a helmet. Those of you should now go about walking and driving with a helmet.)

"Despite the fact that car accidents are the number one cause of all fatal head trauma among teenagers, the suggestion that teens wear helmets when they drive is simply brushed off…Yet we insist that children wear bike helmets (in fact, in some places, it’s the law) despite data that shows kids are more likely to die of head injuries riding in a car than riding on a bike. Children and toddlers on foot are far more likely to receive traumatic brain injuries than cyclists, yet parents who place protective headwear on their walking toddlers are openly ridiculed."

"Why It Makes Sense To Bike Without A Helmet" 

(No offense, but FU to anyone who has ever yelled at me for riding my bike without a helmet. Those of you should now go about walking and driving with a helmet.)

Comments 5 notes
"It felt right to sit hunched in bitterness, looking down at the Basarwa, who had nothing except lice but were happier than we were. The fires fade steadily and then brighten when they’re replenished, when it’s coldest, toward dawn. I stayed for that."

"It felt right to sit hunched in bitterness, looking down at the Basarwa, who had nothing except lice but were happier than we were. The fires fade steadily and then brighten when they’re replenished, when it’s coldest, toward dawn. I stayed for that."

Comments 3 notes
I <3 Alex MacLean.
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Outlander, Ebola, Scottish Independence and Fucking.

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I’ve been joking  that after watching “Outlander,” a Starz television show that takes place in Scotland during the 18th century right before the last Jacobite Rebellion, I am wholeheartedly pro-secession for Scotland in the modern day. Now I’m like sort of confused, because I don’t actually know if the highlanders wearing kilts were technically British even in those days, and were any of them really Celtic warriors? Also, the modern day referendum has nothing to do with Celts and fairies and bravery, it’s more about democracy for a country that wants to splinter off from what is seen as the “global oligarchy” of America and Great Britain. Which means that I’m still pro-secession, but also, have no idea what I’m talking about.

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I’m going to break my thoughts on Outlander for a second — which, by the way, are going to be about sex, so stay tuned — to talk about America. So, I was heavy into intervening into Syria because I knew, I KNEW that this shit was going to get out of control. Why I knew, probably because I was reading the New Yorker. Anyway, now I’m like, “Why are we responsible for all of this shit? And can we even fix it, or do we have to leave it alone, and let it run its course?” The first twenty arguments pro-intervention have to do with global interconnectedness and foreign policy. Low down on the list is that ISIS terrorists could come over here on American passports. I wish someone would come over here and have a conversation with me I’ve been alone for like 48 hours. Anyway, then this past week, I have been reading about pleas from the President of Liberia — a woman, yes! — that President Obama send troops to help contain the Ebola epidemic. And I’m like, why does the United States always get called on instead of, say, the Chinese? Because the Chinese are like, “What? Fuck you,” and the United States is, in a way, built on a national identity of morality and doing “good.” (SORT OF LIKE CELTIC WARRIORS!!) So our government is like “Ugh, fine, we’ll commit our troops and resources because that’s the right thing to do.” So you know what, fuck you, world. You hate us but you also expect us to save you. Maybe that’s sort of what feudalism was like? I don’t know.

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On another side note, I have a funny Chinese story. So, Caleb is at all of these factories figuring out manufacturing for the new brand he’s working with. There, they discussed with the owner a difficult problem regarding manufacturing something or another in the United States. Apparently it was too expensive. The Chinese factory owner was like, “Why don’t you just hire some Mexicans?” Literally, he said that. And one of the guys Caleb works with is Mexican. He was like, “Um, I’m a Mexican.” And the Chinese guy was like, “No, I mean like the illegal Mexicans who are poor.” Anyway, Chinese people are more like Americans than I think we care to realize. I JUST MADE A CONTRADICTION OF SORTS.

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So, Outlander. I knew I was going to like the television program as far back as when I saw posters for it on the subway because:

a. I love romantic Starz television programs that take place in times when everyone was filthy. You feel me, “Pillars of the Earth?” What the what, Eddie Redmayne’s introduction to the world?

b. I love Celtic warriors

c. One thing that you can trust about a Starz program is that they don’t fuck around with casting “accurate” types, they just cast hot people

d. They do not scrimp when it comes to sex scenes. Or, as my friend Dan says, Starz’s unofficial model is, “Come for the violence, stay for the sex!” 

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Anyway, I have a lot of work to do today, and I’m not done, even though I started at 5:30am. Also, I flirted with a mechanic and I got an inspection done on our car for $10 isn’t that awesome?
Anyway, no one in my family thinks that I’m funny. My sister is way funnier so whenever she says something like “What’s up bitch!!” they start hysterically laughing. And when my cousin’s wife is like, “The ALS ice bucket challenge was so amazing, it raised so much money for a cause that no one knew anything about,” and I am like, “I have an even better cause, let’s start an Ebola ice bucket challenge?,” no one laughed, they just looked embarrassed for me. But I thought it was funny so that’s all that mattered. People are dumb, am I wrong?
Anyway, the best thing about hanging out with my family is my Nana. No one takes her seriously, and in fact, her daughters are frequently traumatized by her. But I’m her granddaughter so I’m the apple of her eye, and in fact I know that she knows all about current events because she watches Fox News and Judge Judy. 
"I have to get surgery because I have pre-cancerous cells on my cervix," I announced at my sister’s 30th birthday party yesterday. I was eating cheese and grapes because I had been at my mom’s house all day, and all she had was stale corn muffins and gigantic chunks of parmesan cheese to serve me, and therefore I was starving. 
"Brienne!" my Nana yelled. "What are you TALKING about?"
"I have HPV," I told the crowd. All of my aunts are cool with it because a lot of them are nurses and they are all liberated women. "Like everyone in my generation has it."
"HPV?" my Nana said. "What have you been doing??!!"
"Don’t worry, she doesn’t know what HPV is," my Aunt Deb said later.
"No, she does," I said. "She likes being shocked." If I’m not available, my sister calls my Nana, and talks about her relationship problems. I would tell you them here, but my sister will call me and scream at me, and I don’t have the energy for it.
"Nana, what do you think of ISIS?" I asked her. I was actually interested in her opinion, because I get my news from NPR, and she gets her news from Bill O’Reilly. In essence, we usually have conflicting biases. "They should go in there and bomb them to HELL," she said. "They should ANNIHILATE them. They are like cockroaches." She started turning her hands. "They just keep on multiplying and multiplying." It struck me even then that this was not a very Catholic opinion.
I laughed. “That’s what John McCain thinks as well.”
"Oh, John McCain, I love him."
This post has no point, I just feel pressure to post. Seriously though, Ebola ice bucket challenge? I feel bad for people with ALS and everything (what is ALS?) but let’s get real here, Ebola is sort of a more pressing cause.

Anyway, I have a lot of work to do today, and I’m not done, even though I started at 5:30am. Also, I flirted with a mechanic and I got an inspection done on our car for $10 isn’t that awesome?

Anyway, no one in my family thinks that I’m funny. My sister is way funnier so whenever she says something like “What’s up bitch!!” they start hysterically laughing. And when my cousin’s wife is like, “The ALS ice bucket challenge was so amazing, it raised so much money for a cause that no one knew anything about,” and I am like, “I have an even better cause, let’s start an Ebola ice bucket challenge?,” no one laughed, they just looked embarrassed for me. But I thought it was funny so that’s all that mattered. People are dumb, am I wrong?

Anyway, the best thing about hanging out with my family is my Nana. No one takes her seriously, and in fact, her daughters are frequently traumatized by her. But I’m her granddaughter so I’m the apple of her eye, and in fact I know that she knows all about current events because she watches Fox News and Judge Judy. 

"I have to get surgery because I have pre-cancerous cells on my cervix," I announced at my sister’s 30th birthday party yesterday. I was eating cheese and grapes because I had been at my mom’s house all day, and all she had was stale corn muffins and gigantic chunks of parmesan cheese to serve me, and therefore I was starving. 

"Brienne!" my Nana yelled. "What are you TALKING about?"

"I have HPV," I told the crowd. All of my aunts are cool with it because a lot of them are nurses and they are all liberated women. "Like everyone in my generation has it."

"HPV?" my Nana said. "What have you been doing??!!"

"Don’t worry, she doesn’t know what HPV is," my Aunt Deb said later.

"No, she does," I said. "She likes being shocked." If I’m not available, my sister calls my Nana, and talks about her relationship problems. I would tell you them here, but my sister will call me and scream at me, and I don’t have the energy for it.

"Nana, what do you think of ISIS?" I asked her. I was actually interested in her opinion, because I get my news from NPR, and she gets her news from Bill O’Reilly. In essence, we usually have conflicting biases. "They should go in there and bomb them to HELL," she said. "They should ANNIHILATE them. They are like cockroaches." She started turning her hands. "They just keep on multiplying and multiplying." It struck me even then that this was not a very Catholic opinion.

I laughed. “That’s what John McCain thinks as well.”

"Oh, John McCain, I love him."

This post has no point, I just feel pressure to post. Seriously though, Ebola ice bucket challenge? I feel bad for people with ALS and everything (what is ALS?) but let’s get real here, Ebola is sort of a more pressing cause.

Comments 3 notes
One of these lips is not like the other.

One of these lips is not like the other.

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(Source: menandsports, via backofhouse)

Comments 596 notes
Still life with air conditioner.

Still life with air conditioner.

Comments 2 notes
On Friday morning, I woke up, and noticed that Butters the cat, who is usually waiting for me on the sofa, was missing. I thought it was strange, but not alarming. I took a shower, got dressed, and got ready to take Franke for a walk. Back in the living room, Franke was sniffing underneath the couch. I went over to see what she was exploring, and found little Butters crouched behind a bag. On the floor in front of her was a viscous liquid filled with blood.
The animals in our house are constantly excreting bloody substances. Franke was grinding her teeth when she was having seizures, causing her to throw up blood. And Butters occasionally eats flowers in a bouquet I buy, irritating her lower intestine. I cleaned up the liquid. I took Franke for her walk. I coaxed Butters out from underneath the couch with the salmon treats she loves. When she finally emerged, I stroked her back, and then tried to pick her up to kiss her. Her entire backside was soaking wet. She cried out; I cried out. She ran and hid again.
As soon as the vet was open, I called them, and an hour later, I brought Butters in. Normally, when we take her out of the house, she’s very vocal. But this time, she just pressed her pretty little face against the gate so that she could be close to my hand.
On the operating table, the vet examined her. Everything was going well until she lifted her tail. The vet cried out. Next to poor Butters anus was a huge abscess, the size of a child’s fist. The liquid I had found was the pus and blood that came out of it when it must have burst sometime early in the morning. Her anal gland had gotten infected.
"I’m sorry I didn’t notice," I said to her. "I’m so sorry you’ve been in so much pain."
To be honest, my first thought that morning had been, “Is she going to die?” She’s old, and maybe she has cancer. When I Skyp’ed with Caleb in China, I confessed that maybe we would have to think about putting her to sleep. “But I haven’t given her enough attention as a father,” he cried.
The vet, who is in the neighborhood and absolutely fantastic, said that she could clean the abscess, but that she would have to put Butters under. “Can you come back at 4?” she asked. “Of course,” I said. “How much will it cost?” I asked. I braced myself for a sum in the thousands. “Around $400,” she said. I let go of my breath. “Thank god.” “I don’t believe in overcharging patients,” the vet told me. I live in the neighborhood. I’m hemorrhaging money.
On the way back, all of my old Italian friends stopped me. “You have a cat?” asked Johnny. “I heard you just walked down the street with one.” “How’s your cat?” asked Frank. Neither one had seen me on the way to the vet, but news traveled down the street through invisible channels. 
At 4pm, my friend Julie came with me to pick up Butters. We brought Franke. “Hi Franke,” laughed the vet and her assistant. Franke was twirling around on her leash like she was Reagan in The Exorcist. When she wasn’t twirling, she was gnawing at her leash. “Butters was an angel,” the vet said. “I have a devil dog and an angel cat,” I told the crowd. 
Back at home, I prepared my animal hospital. Butters has a huge open wound on her backside which needs to be given hot compresses every few hours. She’s in a lot of pain, so she’s hiding. I cleaned off every surface underneath the furniture, disinfected it, and laid out fresh, clean towels. 
With Franke, I continued our normal routine. We walk. She barks and rushes at people ready to bite them. She pulls so hard that she hops on two feet rather than walks. Back at home, I have to fool her into taking her epilepsy medicine twice a day. She throws up, sometimes under the sheets, and saves the best for Caleb’s leg.
Basically, I’m running an animal triage center.
I love it. I love being a nurse to little animals. “Ok, my baby,” I coo to Butters. I lay her on my lap. I cradle her little head in the crook of my left arm. With my right, I hold down the hot compress. She croaks in pain. She tries to squirm free. Then she purrs and purrs while I stroke her forehead.
It will be weeks until Butters recovers, if she recovers at all. She’s old. The wound is large. It could easily become infected. I’m watching the show Outlander, in which a triage nurse travels back to 17th century Scotland, and uses her modern knowledge to take care of a highlands clan. Hopefully, she also has sex with this hot warrior, although the show is really taking a long time getting the party started with that one.
"Should I boil the compresses?" I asked myself this morning. "Is there an herb I should be putting in them as well?" Butters was ok last night, but in pain again this morning. She didn’t budge even when I moved the couch from on top of her. Her pupils were dilated almost black.
I said all of this to myself because the vet is closed, and no one else in my life knows how to take care of animals. In the meantime, I’m going to set up some more comfortable spots for Butters. She doesn’t like lying on them. She prefers a tote bag I brought back from a trip to Philadelphia that full of hard textbooks. Or an old rug under the bed that’s coated in her hair. In an hour or so, I’ll give her a compress again. “Good girl, Butters,” I say. I try not to get annoyed when she won’t stop flopping down and rubbing against me after. 

On Friday morning, I woke up, and noticed that Butters the cat, who is usually waiting for me on the sofa, was missing. I thought it was strange, but not alarming. I took a shower, got dressed, and got ready to take Franke for a walk. Back in the living room, Franke was sniffing underneath the couch. I went over to see what she was exploring, and found little Butters crouched behind a bag. On the floor in front of her was a viscous liquid filled with blood.

The animals in our house are constantly excreting bloody substances. Franke was grinding her teeth when she was having seizures, causing her to throw up blood. And Butters occasionally eats flowers in a bouquet I buy, irritating her lower intestine. I cleaned up the liquid. I took Franke for her walk. I coaxed Butters out from underneath the couch with the salmon treats she loves. When she finally emerged, I stroked her back, and then tried to pick her up to kiss her. Her entire backside was soaking wet. She cried out; I cried out. She ran and hid again.

As soon as the vet was open, I called them, and an hour later, I brought Butters in. Normally, when we take her out of the house, she’s very vocal. But this time, she just pressed her pretty little face against the gate so that she could be close to my hand.

On the operating table, the vet examined her. Everything was going well until she lifted her tail. The vet cried out. Next to poor Butters anus was a huge abscess, the size of a child’s fist. The liquid I had found was the pus and blood that came out of it when it must have burst sometime early in the morning. Her anal gland had gotten infected.

"I’m sorry I didn’t notice," I said to her. "I’m so sorry you’ve been in so much pain."

To be honest, my first thought that morning had been, “Is she going to die?” She’s old, and maybe she has cancer. When I Skyp’ed with Caleb in China, I confessed that maybe we would have to think about putting her to sleep. “But I haven’t given her enough attention as a father,” he cried.

The vet, who is in the neighborhood and absolutely fantastic, said that she could clean the abscess, but that she would have to put Butters under. “Can you come back at 4?” she asked. “Of course,” I said. “How much will it cost?” I asked. I braced myself for a sum in the thousands. “Around $400,” she said. I let go of my breath. “Thank god.” “I don’t believe in overcharging patients,” the vet told me. I live in the neighborhood. I’m hemorrhaging money.

On the way back, all of my old Italian friends stopped me. “You have a cat?” asked Johnny. “I heard you just walked down the street with one.” “How’s your cat?” asked Frank. Neither one had seen me on the way to the vet, but news traveled down the street through invisible channels. 

At 4pm, my friend Julie came with me to pick up Butters. We brought Franke. “Hi Franke,” laughed the vet and her assistant. Franke was twirling around on her leash like she was Reagan in The Exorcist. When she wasn’t twirling, she was gnawing at her leash. “Butters was an angel,” the vet said. “I have a devil dog and an angel cat,” I told the crowd. 

Back at home, I prepared my animal hospital. Butters has a huge open wound on her backside which needs to be given hot compresses every few hours. She’s in a lot of pain, so she’s hiding. I cleaned off every surface underneath the furniture, disinfected it, and laid out fresh, clean towels. 

With Franke, I continued our normal routine. We walk. She barks and rushes at people ready to bite them. She pulls so hard that she hops on two feet rather than walks. Back at home, I have to fool her into taking her epilepsy medicine twice a day. She throws up, sometimes under the sheets, and saves the best for Caleb’s leg.

Basically, I’m running an animal triage center.

I love it. I love being a nurse to little animals. “Ok, my baby,” I coo to Butters. I lay her on my lap. I cradle her little head in the crook of my left arm. With my right, I hold down the hot compress. She croaks in pain. She tries to squirm free. Then she purrs and purrs while I stroke her forehead.

It will be weeks until Butters recovers, if she recovers at all. She’s old. The wound is large. It could easily become infected. I’m watching the show Outlander, in which a triage nurse travels back to 17th century Scotland, and uses her modern knowledge to take care of a highlands clan. Hopefully, she also has sex with this hot warrior, although the show is really taking a long time getting the party started with that one.

"Should I boil the compresses?" I asked myself this morning. "Is there an herb I should be putting in them as well?" Butters was ok last night, but in pain again this morning. She didn’t budge even when I moved the couch from on top of her. Her pupils were dilated almost black.

I said all of this to myself because the vet is closed, and no one else in my life knows how to take care of animals. In the meantime, I’m going to set up some more comfortable spots for Butters. She doesn’t like lying on them. She prefers a tote bag I brought back from a trip to Philadelphia that full of hard textbooks. Or an old rug under the bed that’s coated in her hair. In an hour or so, I’ll give her a compress again. “Good girl, Butters,” I say. I try not to get annoyed when she won’t stop flopping down and rubbing against me after. 

Comments 8 notes
Shore art.

Shore art.

Comments 3 notes
Accidental land art.

Accidental land art.

Comments 2 notes
I stumbled upon it, and I liked it.

I stumbled upon it, and I liked it.

Comments 4 notes
My dream motherhood.

My dream motherhood.

Comments 4 notes
Beauty courtesy of Shark.

Beauty courtesy of Shark.

Comments 23 notes