Fried Dandelions: an Ode to the Internet


The internet fucking sucks. It is terrible and is ruining everything. At least, the people on the internet are terrible and are ruining everything.

The internet itself is an amazing place. It’s the kind of place you go when someone says “fried dandelions” and you say “I’m going to go find out about that” and so you internet, and you do. Go ahead and look. It’s not quite as saturated a market as, let’s say, basil pesto, but there’s enough to go on.

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Review of the Day: Mansplaining.

Today, I want to talk about how really annoying shit can happen sometimes even when you are having a sweet day of skiing at a sick mountain. Case in point: on day 3 (and final ski day) of a trip to Mt. Bachelor (thanks, now-defunct MAX Pass), I was teaching my friend and ski buddy on the trip how to telemark, a sport that I have engaged in for the past 8 (eight) (8) consecutive ski seasons, exclusively.

I shouldn’t need to credential myself to set up this story, but I will anyway, just to quash the temptation to nay-say my point of view.

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Mystery Maggy

Maggy, Prom?

Why did this never happen to me in high school? Why does Maggy get to have all the fun?

Fun fact: The request was signed ♥N+G. Friends? Two boys? Hmmm…Maggy intrigues me.

What we all want to know: did she say yes?

Spotted and phone-photographed upside down in the West End by yours truly.

I am sorry there are trees in my name.

The Hula Valley Wildlife Birdwatching Nature Preserve Desperate Attempt to Make Israel Green and Welcoming and Lush: early Zionists drained the native marshlands to make the land arable, realized they f***ed up, and tried to reconstitute the marsh, so you can go look at birds. But that’s okay, because now you can see a heron in Israel.

It was sort of vague and unclear as to whether we were supposed to pay an admissions fee – we didn’t. But a sign on the door and again on the tour-ticket window asked for a 3 NIS donation per person to support the crane project…and the JNF. Oh, JNF. You wily old bastards. You make yourselves seem all friendly and green and nice, trying to save the environment and plant trees where there should be no trees (like in the desert…seriously guys?) and on other people’s private property. Private. Property. And you do it on behalf of me! Me! And every other unsuspecting nice Jewish girl and boy who has a bar or bat mitzvah and some well-meaning but not-entirely-completely-informed relative donates a tree in Israel in your name. A tree of life, or a tree of appropriation? Seeing that sign made me want to go hunt down all the “Audrey Farber” trees and dig them up. Take that, JNF! As if there are little plaques denoting which trees are mine. Too easy, too easy.

Also, I want someone to explain to me how it is that the JNF and not the Israeli government is accepting payments at an Israeli National Park. Isn’t that the job of the park service? The JNF is headquartered in New York. Not Israel. Would we be okay with it if a non-American non-governmental organization was accepting admissions fees at our National Parks, parks which our tax dollars (should) go to support?

Writing sunset

Nafplio, Greece

It’s almost sunset and this is almost an island. I stare across crystal clear glass-topped turquoise at drop-scene peaks draped in cumulus fog. Catamarans – no sail – drift by and minnows dart underneath. I am outside – below- the protection of the fortified battlements off the end of pier (long walk). Birds skate effortlessly overhead and I remember a time on a dock with a 6-pack of Geary’s summer and weighty take-out containers from Whole Foods.

I enter where it is forbidden to pedestrians and find and abandoned? stairway curving down to the water and a solar-powered lighthouse. And two power-walkers out for their evening stroll.

There is nothing but jagged edges and rippled contours as far as I can see, as long as Eye don’t look back.

The atelier of the gods falls away into the realm of the underworld, and ante-sunset breeze brings with it a particular magic and calm. Almost. Again. The water is tears in my eye. From salt to salt, vibrations from a world away. I forgot I stuck this flower in my hear, hippie child that I am. Or, rather, that I want to be. Hoping I can pull off the careless effortlessly. Mountains are half of me, salt the other. Here they are one but here I am alone and far far far away. I want a part of it – find it, somehow. All over the world and the phantasy of the enigmatic idyllic mountain-farming-seaside-fishing remains. Just that.

The clouds turn titanium and platinum as Helios sinks behind, mountains line up from dark to grey to light to land ho, barely visible on that horizon.

I have two friends now, hard-shelled eight-legged creatures munching snacks off the rocks. I want to share this, lie on our stomachs, our chins in our hands, fascinated by the slow and methodical process of crab-eats-rock. Side scuttle, side scuttle, mother may I? to higher ground and greener pastures. We would watch them get bullied by the tide, scramble to recover but eight legs never fails. We’d debate whether or not to pick them up, chase them back into hiding, but in the end humanitarianism (crabitarianism?) lets us let them be, remarking on their oddities and their funny mannerisms, as they finish their meal and head back into the sea, maybe we watch the minnows or maybe we just be. The sun still sinking slowly leaves a trail of fire across the glass. Look, burn, look away.

(Another crab crawls up right next to me, just inches from my bright blue laces. Nature fascination interrupts my elaborate daydream, and the cool evening breeze interrupts my warm reverie.) The sun – by some witchcraft of atmospheric meteorologic karma – aligns perfectly behind a small cloud pillar (divine manifestation). Its rays jet upwards and wind turbines dot the crest of the farthest mountain, silhouetted. Sky, sun, cloud, mountains falling down into the sea. Taking on shades of blue and gray, 90° away a half moon waxing peeks o’er the ramparts ready to play. Divinity, divinity. Water laps my toes. And in but a moment, the day is gone.

And still the turbines spin against these last warm rays of night. Light.