sardine hypnosis

May 20th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Sardines are a perfect food. They are easy to catch, low in the food chain bioaccumulationaly speaking, and live everywhere. They *can* be caught easily and with minimal waste, or you can find them canned in nice oil or sauce in any tienda. I have a lot of stories that center around sardines.

Sardine hypnosis. #sealevelliving

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My first positive sardine memory is during planning school. Our studio project, a greening plan for a section of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, was doing our final presentation during a full on community board meeting. I was supposed to do the speaking part for my section, and I was nervous before the talk. My classmate Anthony Gelber, who was a little older than me and knew some stuff, pulled me aside to run through the talk one last time.

From a deli bag he retrieves a carton of OJ, a loaf of Italian bread, and a can of sardines in tomato sauce. I´m running through my note cards, and hes listening and pouring out cups of OJ, scooping out the center of the bread and layering in the sardines. He hands me a sardine sandwich with sauce all over, which forces me to put down my cards and run through the talk on memory, with sauce all over.

This story gives me so much nostalgia – for the camaraderie of school in the city, for the Bronx, for bodega meals. Also for the practice of balancing expertise with real communication (asking, listening, not just talking), being and sometimes staying nervous, and trying things for the first time. Over a decade later, living a very different life, I find daily use for all of this training.

Another day, another sardine. #mandalatogo

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A few nights back a friend broke out a cast net, and we applied it – with the help of a local who had the rather tricky deployment of a cast net on lock – to the roving schools of sardines that thread around the docks. In a few moments we had more than we could possibly eat, and we fried up batch after batch, stuffing our bellies and looking for more people to feed.

So maybe I am elevating the sardine a bit. Maybe this is a more general post about how sharing a meal builds community. Maybe its an even more general post about seeing abundance where it is. Pretty sure this one is not that deep. I just woke up thinking of my next meal, which F can attest is a pretty regular day.

on expedition

December 19th, 2017 § 2 comments § permalink

Jack, my 7 year-old nephew, recently asked us to help him clarify a challenging concept: “What is is like where you are?” His teacher had asked each student to inquire with a family member or friend who lives in a distant place about what winter is like where they are. Jack had to report back to his class with the data.

We received the question as we were suffering from cabin fever waiting out the very last rains of the monsoon, and so we sprang into action:

I recently wrote here that one of my hopes is to crew a research or expedition vessel. F asked me, “You have a boat. Why not make IT into a research or expedition vessel?” The science challenge from Jack solidified it. Word came back from the schoolyard that our reportage was well received. We nailed it.

We have (some) gear, we have adventure, and we have the means to document it. Suddenly every device has a potential magnification or recording capability. Does this fit with that? Can I waterproof it for submersion?

As I write, F is enjoying a solo meal of octopus. I can’t eat them, because even dead, they look like this:

If I had better bandwidth right now, I would post the video of how, even in death, the creature still has rippling colors running up and down its skin. For now, just look at that picture and shake your head around.

For a few days we had a tiny grasshopper on board, who was hanging around one spot by the window. Out came the microscope to inspect its mouthparts. In spanish, “mouthparts” are armadura bucal, lit. mouth armor.

I have some new devices! #photomicroscopy

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I see it!

Even the documentation we already have is full of citizen science blurbs, and although he is an octopus eater, F has also become an ardent observer of “around the boat”, a place full of birds, fish, and sounds.

This reminds me that to wait any more or procrastinate is to just delay feeling great. Cheesy, I know, but I am saying it anyway. Now just isn’t the time to wait. Its time to hit the “extrude” button on that Ron Popeil Pasta Maker.

ICW

July 25th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Just so you don’t get it twisted. Sometimes there is peace and solitude on the boat, but some other times its a national holiday on an inland water route full of drunk bros on power boats.

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