Search This Blog

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday's Sentiment


Upon my seeing this Peanuts Comic Strip of Charles Schultz's characters in a classroom holding their papers up to read them, I thought of a passage from my hopefully forthcoming book (Imperfect Strangers).

In one of the chapters I relate an elementary school experience and state: "...Our class is currently preparing for basic skills assessment exams in order to know what class we will be in at the new school. While reviewing my answers on the practice tests, I hold the test paper close to my face so I can read them. The teacher threatens to send me to the principal’s office saying I was trying to cheat by holding the paper up so the person behind me could read my answers. When I tell her it didn’t occur to me that anyone would want to read my paper, she puts masking tape on my mouth..."

A couple of weeks ago here on Blogger, I mentioned that a book publisher expressed interest in reading the full manuscript which I've sent them. I've been told that I will hear an answer during the first week of November. In the meantime, I've posted a video (using a copy of the next picture as a thumbnail) on You Tube as well as Vimeo in which I say a little bit (two minutes thirty-three seconds) about my endeavor.

Please check it out and stay tuned here on Blogger for updates. Thanks for your support!

Friday, September 13, 2019

N'tl Peanut Day 2019

In addition to it being Friday the Thirteenth, its National Peanut Day, a this national holiday that blue jays would probably like to celebrate everyday, as you might surmise from the photos atop this entry (and directly below) featuring a tenacious fledging trying to grab the what was left in my wreath-style peanut feeder before I replenished it.

Re National Peanut Day, a web-page for states facts about peanuts, reminding their readers,"this legume is not a nut. They grow underground like potatoes. Since they are an edible seed that forms in a pod, they belong to the family Leguminosae with peas and beans."

I dare say jays don't care what family the peanut belongs too as long as they are available in my rooftop garden; as evidenced by the next series of photos taken in bygone years.

While jays do linger in my garden to nosh on a peanut, they often carry it off to the branches within the Ailanthus Trees growing in my courtyard as seen in the next picture.

Other birds enjoy noshing on peanuts in my garden too!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Remembering Nine Eleven

It's already the eighteenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist's attacks! As I've stated in my prior entries re this tragedy, I interviewed for a job at One World Trade Center, just thirty-one days prior to the terrorists attacks: August 10, 2001,

Prior to the General Telecom interview, I had been given a gift certificate for a pair of shoes to wear to the place and I wasn't quite used to wearing any type of heel, which got stuck in the middle of an elevator door as it was about to close on me.

Moreover that summer day became one of the hottest temperature days on record. By the time I got to the right office, I must've looked like I was dripping wet because some woman, with lipstick on her teeth, who was also in the waiting area offered me a paper-cup of water.

Then the receptionist, Margaret Mattic, escorted me into the office of Lashawana Johnson, who interviewed me for the position. Ms. Johnson mostly spoke about how she enjoyed coming to work early in the morning to shop for her children and she indicated the many pictures of them that she had on the walls of her cubicle.

Later that night or maybe it was the next night, I received a phone call from a night shift manager who identified herself as Carmen. She informed me that I was not chosen for the position.

A few weeks later, terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers, hitting the one where I had interviewed first. When I heard the news I was on the phone with Verizon, and I immediately thought about the fact that Ms. Johnson loved the morning hours at One World Trade, and I was certain she had died.

A few weeks later, I was able to Carmen that indeed Ms. Johnson had died as had Margaret Mattic.

Evidently because Carmen worked the nightshift, she had been home resting that morning and she informed me that she lived in Brooklyn, in an apartment with a view of the Twin Towers, and had seen the planes fly into them, murdering all her morning co-workers at General Telecom Inc.

I know of others who perished on that day, including Josh Rosenthal, who lived in a building adjacent  to my courtyard. The same building my beloved friend Victor was living in at the time.

I will always think of Margaret, Ms. Johnson and Josh and those near and dear to them (especially Carmen) on this solemn day. I will also always be mindful of the many others who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and of the loved ones they left behind.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Technique of Anthropomorphizing (Tuesday's Truths WK 142)

I appreciate cartoonist, Jonny Hawkins, use of anthropomorphism ("the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities) in the cartoon posted directly above.

Hawkins's vision of a butterfly's conversation with another butterfly is reminiscent of Cam's rendering tales of conversations that birds have with one another.

Cam, as many of you who read this blog know, is a female cardinal pictured on the cover of my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

The technique of anthropomorphizing is a part of this book series, evidenced by the fact that all of the stories (which are set in my rooftop garden) are told from the perspective of Cam, a female cardinal who visits it.

Their titles of indicate the technique of anthropomorphism will be found within the stories. People will often say "don't  put words in my mouth" while Cam when referring to the avian community says, "don't put words in our beak;" hence the title.

In addition to relaying information using the art of anthropomorphism within this book series, the stories include many scientific facts about an array of members of the fauna community and of the insect community; including butterflies — who are not anthropomorphized.

Up until the other day, I'd never heard of Jonny Hawkins, and as I said, I appreciate how he portrayed his butterflies. I hope to see more of his cartoons and if you'd like to check them out, dear reader, here's a useful link.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday's Musings re "on the fence"


This past Thursday, September 5th,  in NYC, public schools reopenned. I'm certainly glad those years are over for me as a student but I do hope to pick up presentation gigs at area schools. I'm certainly not on the fence about doing that!

Speaking of being on the fence, it seems the male cardinal in this series of pictures (below) while being on the fence physically was not on the fence about his disdain of having his picture taken.

I'm not on the fence about that either, I loathe being photographed.

As you most likely know, dear reader, cardinals are featured in my book series, Words In Our Beak.

Nothing on the fence re the content of these books! Their goal is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in a rooftop urban garden in New York City, my story is told in the voice of Cam, a female cardinal, who visits it. Words In Our Beak is directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. The book includes hundreds of images of flora and fauna, links to movies, as well as to informative narratives that have been created by the author.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Identifying with Pigeons who are Marginalized

Thanks to the long lens of my DSLR, I was able to observe the eyelids of a pigeon who stopped by my rooftop garden and sat on a pole which supports my string lights. Yes, I said that this bird sat on a pole supporting my string lights.

Stanley Tate (in a column) proclaims,"Pigeons sit on top of something rather than grip a perch. Their feet are fatter and shorter and their toenails are less curved."

This seems to be the case with the pigeon who visited my place the other day as evidenced in the photograph directly above as well as in the one directly below.

However, I wouldn't say that my visitor didn't "grip," for he/she seemed to do some gripping as evidenced in the next series of photographs.

The way in which this pigeon alighted on my pole was not the only action that caused me to be curious re his/her behavior, as states in my introduction, I initially noticed his/her lids were nearly closed; as seen in the first picture included within this entry, and the one directly below, my first thought was that he/she was about to take a nap.

However, since I couldn't be certain this pigeon's eyelids indicated he/she was about to snooze, I did some research re the eyelids of pigeons and discovered some interesting facts. According to an unnamed general web-page in my Google search, "Pigeons, like humans, can see in colour, but unlike humans they can also see ultraviolet light, a part of the spectrum that humans cannot see. As a result, pigeons are often used in search and rescue missions at sea because of this unique sense combined with excellent all-round vision." 

It's hard for me (and it seems Stanley Tate feels the same way) to comprehend why pigeons are so marginalized. Tate proclaims, "Although there is no objective dividing line between the two, people tend to separate them in their thoughts and attitudes. Doves are seen as clean in feather and in heart, gentle, peaceful, calming; and they have pretty blue eyelids. Pigeons are viewed as grimy, poopy, pestilential, and they are utterly common. But the birds we call doves are no cleaner than the ones we call pigeons — even the most urban pigeon is scrupulously well groomed, iridescent, and tidy. Tar on its coralred feet, perhaps, but no dirtier than a country mourning dove."

Perhaps I identify with pigeons being marginalized because of the way I've been sidelined as a result of my physical appearance as a result of having been born with Neurofibromatosis as well as four eye ailments (Keratoconus, Monocular vision, Optic atrophy and Staphyloma).

Friday, September 6, 2019

National Read a Book Day 2019


Today is not scheduled as a posting day but I would be remiss to not give a nod to the holiday which is taking place on this day: #NationalReadABookDay!

What a perfect "excuse" to get your copies of my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

I confess that I'd forgotten about this holiday as I've been a bit pre-occupied since learning I need to have an MRI of the brain to rule out any possibility of a tumor growing on my optic nerve.

People who have Neurofibromatosis (as I do) CAN have a tumor develop on their optic nerve. CAN is the operating word here, at least it's not ALWAYS.

In any event, my pre-occupation with scheduling this procedure, nearly caused me to forget about today's holiday, but thanks to the FB Page for The Charles Schultz Museum, who posted a copy of strip seen below, I've been made aware of the day.


I'll leave you with this info re National Read a Book Day, dear reader, and I'll see you here on Blogger tomorrow for my scheduled posting.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Beauty of Pencils (Thursday's Testimony)


I can relate, CB! When I was an elementary school student, I had bad experiences with pens too! In one of my for my hopefully forthcoming book (Imperfect Strangers) chapters, I state: "...The first day of school the teacher tells my class to write about our summer vacation. She hands out ruled paper and ballpoint pens. This is new for me. In prior years, my teacher had only let the students use paper with no lines and write with number two pencils. I don’t like lined paper because I can’t see well enough to keep my handwriting on the lines; my script is always spilling over into the spaces between them. I am not looking forward to using pens either. They make me uneasy because they are more permanent. Using ink makes it difficult to erase what I write. Now I am even more apprehensive about full-filling the writing assignment of how I spent my summer vacation..."

Gotta love CB's resourcefulness! It's easy to see why "they" say, "Your'e a good man Charlie Brown!"

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Tuesday Truths WK 141: Labored on Labor Day


I hope those that live in parts of the world where Labor Day is celebrated had a restful and rejuvenating holiday. As for me I labored! Most of my Labor Day Weekend — with the exceptions of taking walks in Central Park — was spent working on my video update for Imperfect Strangers.

I'm so happy to say I accomplished my task. Soon after doing so, I saw a post-it image (pictured above) in my newsfeed, the author of it is right — Who knew?

This news makes it a great time to reach out to you dear reader and ask you to please view my update for Imperfect Strangers.

I uploaded it to You Tube this afternoon and also to Vimeo. The duration is two minutes and thirty three seconds. I hope you will take the time to view it and leave a comment on my channel.

Meanwhile, as we are in the month of September, a month evidently set aside to be kind to writers and editors, I would like to remind you of my schedule for publishing blog posts which I announced on August 1 2019: Each Tuesday I will continue with my Tuesday's Truths series and in addition to that, I will be publishing an entry every other day.