Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wherever the need was greatest

Where else could I live where I could go out on the fire escape at 10 am in July, and need to wear a hat, scarf, and mittens to keep warm? Oh, how I will miss this July weather. I’m not sure if I can really live somewhere where it’s 90 in the summer, but I guess I’ll see. I’m at an impasse: I’m running out of ways to write about how horrible I feel. I know -- I reach that impasse all the time, but still somehow I end up finding more ways to feel horrible. Like now, when the bloating gets even worse once I start eating, instead of better. Or, before that, all this allergy tension in my face. I’m not sure if there’s a point to getting up earlier, since I’m feeling worse. I’m feeling worse because the bloating ruins my sleep, not because I’m going to bed earlier, but when will the bloating end? It’s becoming intractable.

But let me talk about these delicious split peas. I ran out of fresh basil, so I figured I’d try fennel and dill instead, with carrots, a red onion, two kinds of mushrooms, black pepper, four bay leaves, and sea salt -- and wow, the split peas are amazing. Like a secret recipe. A secret recipe that makes me sick, unfortunately.

Outside, they’ve taken away three bus stops -- is that what all that drilling was for? Are they going to put them back, or is this the new punishment for the neighborhood, law enforcement’s answer to too many people smoking crack. I’ve said for a long time that actually they need to install a second bus stop on each block, so people can smoke crack in that bus stop, and then people can wait for the bus in the other one, but I guess no one took my suggestion. Meanwhile, where will everyone sit? Will they keep removing the bus stops until there are none left, none left in this high-density neighborhood with plenty of old people and people with disabilities and families with young kids and people with AIDS and people worn out from too much working and not enough health care -- not to mention everyone else who wants to sit, who might need to get out of the rain, we need more bus stops, not fewer.

I guess it’s possible that they’ll replace the old bus stops with the fancier new ones appearing in the tourist district, but somehow I doubt it. The bus stops down the hill have been gone a while. And the crack smoke remains. It’s like some horrible article in the Examiner that I accidentally read on the bus. Whenever I read the Examiner, I’m always stunned that we have this right-wing paper right here, complete with its fair share of gossipy pop-culture to make it seem innocuous. This particular article described the alleged efforts of Tenderloin neighbors to fight against the opening of a community-based drugstore, because they thought it would bring more crime to the neighborhood. That’s right -- the article invoked the spectre of people getting mugged as soon as they walked outside with their prescriptions, and legions of people standing outside selling pills. The potential drugstore owner spoke of wanting to open the pharmacy so that people in the neighborhood would have a place to get their AIDS meds -- he said he wanted to open his business where ever the need was greatest. Of course, he also wants to make money off of this need, but I wondered if these supposed neighbors opposing the drugstore were sponsored by any of the Walgreens located just outside of the neighborhood, on all four sides. Those Walgreens would never bring crime to the neighborhood, right? Or bus stops.


Kay said...

Where else could you live for a cold July? Come visit us in New Zealand. It's winter here and the overnight low is between -2 and +6. You could have fun wiping ice off ledges at 10am here.

:( about the split peas. Brown lentils might be safer - softer and with less wind. Sometimes replacing the soaking water and rinsing the legumes extra times can help too. Or use quinoa instead. It's a high protein, easily digested grain.

Have you tried LSA on your food? Ground linseed, almond, and sunflower. It can be used in cooking - today I baked apple & raspberry muffins with added LSA. Or sprinkle it on porridge or muesli.

Sorry about your missing bus stops.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Kay, that's a good point about July -- I guess many places in the southern hemisphere might be cold in July, but then there's still summer to worry about :)

That's a good idea about rinsing legumes an extra few times -- I eat lots of quinoa and amaranth, but also need something higher in protein.

LSA sounds tasty, but I still have that same problem with oils, nuts, etc.

And yes, missing bus stops, indeed!

Love --

queerartist said...

The city here has taken away our bus stop shelters. We can't understand why. One time when I called they said they didn't know anything about it and maybe the students took it to decorate their dorm rooms. Yeah right! Now we are in the sun, cold wind, rain standing waiting for the bus.

We use quinoa noodles/ and grain and find it to be very tasty. Azuki beans have lot's of protein and we love them. Very tasty.

I just wish you could feel better. Maybe the move will do you some good. I sure hope so.

All my love


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Richard, that's crazy that they pretend they don't know what happened to the bus shelters, wow!

And I know -- I wish I could feel better too...

Always so lovely to hear from you!

Love --