Archive | local


Can someone tell me WHY people keep asking me to sell my truck? don’t get me wrong, if i thought i’d get enough to buy a NEW truck…or a less old truck, I would sell in a heartbeat, but basically an old truck is an old truck.

Perhaps they think i am driving this because i choose to, not because i have to. Granted there are many benefits to driving an old red truck. 1 you are fearless no one wants to hit you or be hit by you…they will lose. 2 insurance is actually affordable, because if you get hit you will probably be totalled and after all it is an old truck, you can park in the loading zones – if you weren’t delivering something why else would you be there? and  4  a beat up pickup truck is basically the little red flyer of your childhood. You can carry anything that fits….dog houses, outhouses, logs, hogs, whatnot. Personally I treat it like a very large purse….and when I am cruising around and i see something i like on the side of the road, I sidle up and toss it in the back and examine it later. I got my best reading chair and side table that way…psst …you gotta cruise the well off neighborhoods on trash night.

Anyway, this is the third offer of truckamony I have had in the last 4 if i had that many invitations for a date, i’d be happy.

gardner gallery

“Never miss an opportunity to be part of someone else’s adventure.”

I meet up with another bookseller today to take in The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston know the one…the rich lady who went around Europe buying up everything she fancied brought it all home and left it in situ for the rest of time. She was indeed a great patron with excellent taste. Oddly it is a place i have been meaning to see, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

Taken individually every piece is an absolutely gem of artwork, stuffing it all into the rooms of her fabulous Boston Manse makes it all seem rather squalid. It’s all a bit overwhelming and I supposed to really appreciate it all, one must revisit repeatedly. It is closing this week for a 3 month retro fit where they are adding another gallery – which will be a site to see. According to her will everything must be left in place, nothing added nothing replaced, including all the empty spots where the Gardner Heist Artwork used to hang.

Photos aren’t allowed but it seems almost unnecessary as the museum itself releases much imagery including a guidebook to the artwork.

chop chop

right now i am persona non grata within the present Mayor’s office, can’t put that on facebook, as he is a facebook ‘friend’. one of the drawbacks to having a lot of facebook friends from different eras of your life…two previous employers who both let me go ‘friended’ me on facebook – isn’t THAT awkward. As for hissoner, he has until january, then i see the back of him. I have been the official squeaky wheel getting the rail trail project moved inch by inch and i had to get extra squeaky lately..he didn’t appreciate it. the Brush axe above is my personal reward to myself. Tomorrow hissoner signs the contract with the developer i brought to the city to do the project for nothing. (see Iron Horse Preservation) that and the fifty other things i have done to benefit the project for the last 3 years are being rewritten so that hissoner gets all the credit, which i knew was coming. I don’t really give a shit about credit – i just hate being erased. Many better men have tried and failed to erase me and my contributions. Needless to say i still have a lot of work to do, to make sure they don’t fuck it up – my work is never done.

ghillie man

just when you think your job/life sucks you see a poor schmuck who is worse off….and this was after i passed another kid in a gorilla suit.

I spent all day thursday mainlining nyquil and excedrin and friday putting together the Animal Rescue Merrimack Valley’s auction program assembled and printed..which also includes printing and framing some of my work as actual donations. They tell me they were a big hit, I don’t know I was stuck working the front desk as always…two computers no waiting…well actually there was waiting at the checkout but less than last year and even less than the previous year…i ordered the dohickey that swipes charge cards on your iphone…which worked fine and impressed the locals…and isn’t that the true goal of personal electronic gadgets?

the rest of the week is blurry, when the bank account echos i tend to spend time cleaning the house and watching tv, afraid to do anything that will cost me money. doesn’t always work but i do try. i do make lists of what i WILL buy when the money reappears..silly little things, like food and utilities… i have been banking on more work to come my way in the coming year, but after 30 years of that i have gotten spectacularly good at treading water.

It’s gorgeous weather out….from what i can see out the window…i have a litter boxes to clean and linens to wash. Do you suppose that a ghillie suit is dry clean only?


found this when i was out rambling with those college kids… am i the only one who looks down when they take a walk? Granted i find a heck of a lot of pennies…though not so many with the conomy the way it is…but i find other shit too… this is a very curious ‘brick’? don’t know yet. it will take a serious amount of History Detective to identify it. but perhaps there is enough of it to figure it out. It was embedded in the rubble packed down in the parking lot, not too bad, that new pruning knife came in handy digging it out. don’t know why i haven’t had one of these before. I may play with it a while, then when i get tired of moving it from one shelf to another i will pass it on to a historian who has a better grasp of Lawrence history.

natural order

There’s a spider living on a plant hanger on the porch…i am kinda used to her being there with her web and all….the mail box beneath her web is all spotted with what i can only assume is poo or insect corpses..she’s been keeping a tidy web. No i haven’t named her charlotte but i am trying to decide if i should let her winter over in a spot which i don’t think is particularly protected from the weather…perhaps i should just move the plant hanger to a protected corner of the porch that may even still have bugs lurking in it. I know non interference with the natural order rubbish..but like captain kirk, i have never let that sort of think stop me. if i could put her in a fish bowl until spring i’d do that..and that’s not entirely out of the question either. She’s a rather large spider, perhaps a plastic tank from the dollar store. undecided at this point as i have never been sure what happened to spiders over winter anyway.

Laurel has a new home…a friend of a’s all good….she’s queen of her new home, they have a fenced yard and no other pets and they live closer to Laurel’s boyfriend Max the Wolf Hybrid. I took her to visit Max last week…and the two of them played tag and wrestled for almost an hour until Max got tired…Laurel had to run around the house a few more times before she collapsed in exhausted bliss…no way was she going to get that kind of exercise living in my house. I am sure i will get to see her from time to time but that’s the object of the game, catch and release you know…. first Goliath now Laurel…if i could move a few cats i’d be in great shape.

On the Rail Trail front my spies tell me that the MBTA will be sending the document that we have been waiting for to get the show on the road. I try to describe the guys running my town…they aren’t the kids who did their homework the night before..these are the kids who did it on the bus to school in the morning. Day late and dollar short doesn’t begin to cover it. For the last two years they have treated the project like it’s an annoyance and now that i have been chasing their heels like a jack russell after rats they have been trying to cover up their laziness in a big hurry. I don’t know how much of the year is left for trail construction, it all depends on the weather and the developer’s schedule…but it’s a start. If i can get the train up and running there is a slim chance in hell i can find steady work advocating trails outside of my own damn trail.

Speaking of trails, i was a local tour guide for some engineering students up to do some drawings on potential uses for the Lawrence section of the trail. We walked the mile through the city, and saw some pretty spectacular garbage piles and what not a LOT of not…. there’s even a section underwater. That trail could use a serious redevelopment.  Picture this…six very tall twenty somethings a thirty something and your’s truly who’s up close and personal with 50. i think i manage to hold my own…though i did draw the line at wandering out onto train bridge  i still have a fear or heights.


So I went to this Urban Parks Summitt yesterday… 260 people from around the state all working towards the betterment of their communities and improvement of open spaces….as you can guess I started of depressed and my mood became fouler as the day went on…until the end of the year i have an antagonistic lame duck city regime with no hope of getting so much as a lawn mowed.

Good news is that I have been playing the two mayoral candidates, they know I got a pocketful of infrastructure improvements which are all easy grant gets, so as long I am offering something for nothing I’m a very popular girl, I’m such a slut.

I do have a preferred candidate but I will be okay either way. I brought the town a packaged deal for the rail trail with no strings and no city cost and they have fumbled it at every turn. my god it’s like trying to bake a cake with the Marx brothers: Zeppo and Gummo.

I warned people I work best alone I don’t play well with others especially if the are stupid. Tiny minds make me tired. Neither of the new guys is perfect one is quick and the other is educated now if I could put em through a ricer.


There are 47,000 people in Methuen…and only 7 of them showed up yesterday for the official river cleanup day. To be fair there is no reasonable and rational way to contact everyone in Methuen unless you want to spend five grand to do a postcard mailer, i don’t think that is reasonable nor rational. But the folks who did show up to clean Methuen with me did a good job…i guess..i was out in the river pulling up stuff for them to bring onshore. I got a TV, an orange highway barrel, the obligatory tire and a lot of plastic stuff. Lifetime score is two TVs, 2 Highway Barrels, and an untold number of tires. OF course we ended up using my truck as a garbage scow, and i just made it to the dump before they closed for the day. Needless to say i had to scour myself and take a nap.

I woke up ravenous… i had been broke most of the week but one of my payments came in so I nipped off to the Grocery store to restock my larder. Funny I would have imagined veganism to be cheaper than other diets, perhaps i’m doing it wrong, but in America food that is good for you is more expensive than food that is bad for you, go figure. I have figured out what I am doing with this animal protein abstention program…i am trying to reprogram my brain, so that when i do get the munchies my brain will say “let’s eat the banana”, instead of “Let’s go through the drive through and get a shake and some mcnuggets and dunk em!” so you can see the end goal is legitimate. I think I am getting there, I don’t feel likely to run out and get mcnuggets anytime soon, though i have some of the vegan ones in the freezer for when i lose the argument.
Since i was gone most of the day I was punished, both dogs made me regret not taking them and tying them to the back of the truck while i was in the river. Laurel made me regret leaving the house entirely…i don’t know how many calories are in a remote control, but I am certain that the Iphone charge cable had very few.

today’s mail

i love packages in the mail, it’s like christmas…can’t say the same for most of the mail i get..but packages are nice.
Today I got the big boxes of Stanley Insulated products that i got in trade for vintage flask. Now i just have to figure out how to get it to my friends..the logistics of generosity are a pain in the ass.

These are the other packages..the college textbook is a gift for a local kid whose mom is broke…she’s got two kids in college and is trying to keep up with the school books…my mom was barely aware of what i was doing in college never mind what i needed…what the hell it’s only money right?

The guerrilla gardening is research for my Civic housekeeping book…i needed more about info on seed bombs and other greenspace stuff. ..nah that’s a lie..i could have gotten by with what’s on the net..but i was fascinated by the title and just wanted it. haven’t got a pot to pee in..but i got a book on guerrilla gardening. (yes i did check my local library system, they had nada)

public participation

I dunno what’s up with me lately instead of getting up at 4am, i am dead as a door nail until about’s quite the time i am fully awake, half the day is gone…

Last night was a chance to protest the destruction of the house on the corner…several of the town historians got up and did I..i didn’t have to be all that vitriolic since no one WANTS the building to die..the city is just a little incompetent about how to actually protect it. for reasons no one will admit to, the formal protest process for demolition was removed a few years they are shocked that they don’t have a process in place..duh. ..for my part..i still have some more red ribbon to keep decorating the fence..thus 4am is a busy time for me.

meanwhile I am still on the mayor’s shit lists regarding the rail trail..instead of making excuses for their delays, i finally called a spade a spade..and they are trying to make me out to be a liar…i don’t really care what they say about me, i only care about getting these buttheads to do their jobs.

Saturday is Spicket River Cleanup day…which also got me in trouble..when i told the regional organizers that the folks in my town consider going to their town to sign in as a hardship and that some of them may not want to do it just to volunteer to pick up trash. yeah i know i am making friends everywhere i turn.

If i can get the Excedrin to kick in i will spend some time packing orders today..even though i have no money to ship any packages. This has just been an ugly week for me.. perhaps i will get by a bus and not have to worry about next week.

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