February 27, 2018

An offering to the Fair Folk of Central Park, I’m pretty sure

Posted in City life, Uncategorized, Weird stuff tagged , , at 11:14 pm by chavisory


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Found on a very gentle hike around the North Woods about a week after spraining my knee.

Open to alternate suggestions than that these are faerie offerings.

I did not dare touch them.

March 18, 2016

The bathroom renovation unleashed the faeries.

Posted in City life, Schooling and unschooling, Uncategorized, Weird stuff tagged , at 2:02 am by chavisory

This is the only explanation I have for recent events.

So back in October…our landlords were finally forced to concede that our bathtub was about to fall through the floor and renovate the bathroom.

And while this resulted in a near-100% reduction in giant insect encounters in the apartment, an unforeseen but pleasant surprise, we are now forced to wonder if something…else hasn’t been released from the ancient walls of the building.

Back about six weeks ago, a friend of mine was going to be visiting from out of town, so I was cleaning up the apartment.  Nothing drastic…sweeping and dusting, taking trash out and putting away piles of clothes.

Shortly thereafter, I went looking for my incense burner one day, and it was nowhere.  And it’s only ever two places:  on my bedroom dresser, or on the kitchen table.  Those are the two places I use it.

Mystified, I mentally tried to retrace events:  the last time I knew I used it, the last time I knew I saw it…cleaning day.  I’d taken everything off my dresser to dust the top of it, then put it all back and then made my bed.  I couldn’t distinctly remember putting the incense burner back along with everything else.

I checked all the dresser drawers, in case I’d just knocked it into one while putting something else away.  I thought I might’ve left it on the bed and subsequently flung it somewhere when I changed the sheets.  I checked underneath and behind all relevant pieces of furniture.  I emptied my purse and backpack and computer bag.  Nowhere.

Both roommates denied borrowing it and forgetting to return it.  I wouldn’t have minded; I just wanted to know where it was.

I only half-jokingly accused my friend of swiping it just to see how long it would take me to notice it was gone.

We don’t have cats.

I didn’t care about the cost; it was only about an $8 incense burner.  Its value is sentimental; I got it on a summer break trip to San Francisco with my best friend in college (leading one roommate to suggest that if its value wasn’t its cost, I should just buy another one…which would guarantee the spontaneous return of the original, in the manner of TV remote controls lost in the sofa cushions).

I was just thinking about it again this morning, being mad about it, planning another deep excavation of all the dresser drawers–again, its only real value is the memory of when I got it–and consoling myself as I often do at the loss of various things with Rena Grushenka’s line from White Oleander, “You want remember.  So just remember.”

…When Emily #2 texted me at rehearsal to say she’d found my incense burner, but did I know where her incense was?

The box of incense was probably on my dresser in the aftermath of a bookshelf rearrangement, but where did she find the burner???

Inside our little kitchen sideboard where we keep the cookbooks, and oddly, lain straight across the top of one cookbook (of traditional Greek cooking).  There’s no way it got put there by accident.

I had looked in that thing.  Multiple times.  I had taken out cookbooks since then.  I could swear it was not in there.

…Until it was.

August 2, 2012

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…

Posted in City life, My neighborhood, Weird stuff tagged , , at 3:24 pm by chavisory

Yes, that is a tomato plant growing out of an elm tree.

I love you, Central Park.

May 2, 2012


Posted in City life, Weird stuff tagged , at 12:05 am by chavisory

I was on my way to an event in Times Square last week when I smelled…what in my childhood memory is the smell of driving through southern Kansas….

Yep.  Oil.

The only thing weirder than walking past oil pumps in Times Square?…was watching the number of people who walked right past them without even blinking.

January 20, 2011

Is there a wormhole in my apartment?

Posted in City life, Weird stuff tagged at 12:22 am by chavisory

Usually, upon returning from being away from New York for the holidays, I walk back into my apartment and am shocked and appalled by the conditions I’d been living in and wind up staying up until 4:00 AM cleaning.  I can’t even unpack before I clean.  So BEFORE I left for Christmas this past year, I cleaned everything–swept and mopped, scrubbed windowsills, slayed dustbunnies, changed sheets…and cleaned on top of the bathroom medicine cabinet.

Now there are many funny, and troubling, things about my apartment.  Emily #2 and I often joke that, like the disturbing house of the novel House of Leaves that’s bigger on the inside than the outside, more stuff fits in this place than physically, rationally should be possible.

But the top of the medicine cabinet provides the best evidence that there is actually some kind of wormhole or other space/time anomaly at work in my apartment.

I am only half kidding.

We don’t clean up there often, but when we do, every time, there’s not just the dust and dirt and grime that you’d expect, but big pieces of junk.  And we can’t figure out where it’s coming from.

Okay, see those two big white chunks?  They seemed to be plaster or something similar.  The smaller one is about half an inch across and the bigger one is more than an inch across.

One corner of the bathroom’s tile floor is crumbling from a succession of bad repair jobs.  But how would this junk get from down there to up on top of the medicine cabinet?

There’s a hot water pipe that runs right next to the medicine cabinet, and there’s a little space around the pipe through its hole in the ceiling.  But nowhere near enough for stuff of this size to be falling through.

And I’m sure it would be easy for my skeptical friends out there to say, oh well, it’s probably just left over from the last time your bathroom ceiling fell down.  And it would be tempting to let myself believe that.

But this phenomenon predates, by years, the first time the bathroom ceiling fell down.

So I don’t know what else to believe…other than that there’s a wormhole in my apartment, or something like the magic karma frozen donkey wheel transport system between the Island and the Tunisian desert in Lost, only instead of being that cool, it’s between somebody else’s crumbling apartment and mine.  Or that maybe it’s the NYC equivalent of vibhuti, the ashlike substance that is supposedly the residue manifested by sages like Sai Baba in great acts of magic.  Only I’m not sure I want to know what kind of attempted metaphysical stupidity is producing this stuff.

If anybody has a candidate for a rational explanation, or knows more about the odd behavior of old buildings than I do, I’d love to hear it.  Thanks in advance….