Here are some older B-girl Diary entries.
February 13th, 2008
I'm sitting on the New York City F train and I look up and across from me is a man who reminds me of my father. In an uncanny way. I glance over trying to remember how my father might have looked sitting on a train. He might have worn a grey sweatshirt with a hood like this man has on. He might have worn jeans. I don't want the man to think I'm staring so I only glance over now and again. Plus I'm feverishly writing(this). Okay, the shoes my dad would *not* have worn.
I think it's partly his stance, his body type and his face that remind me of my father - a look of being open to experiences and people. He doesn't look hardened in any way. He's sitting in a very accessible way with his arm draped over the side of the railing. My father had a quick smile and told jokes you'd sort of groan at -- but that didn't stop him because he got such a kick out of them.
Early on in B-girl's evolution, my father would travel to my apartment on Hudson Street in Manhattan a couple days a week and do B-girl things while I was working at Arista Records. He would run errands, venture to the post office to pick up mail -- I'd draw him maps of how to get to Varick and Spring from Hudson and Jane! - he'd stop by Aphrodesia (not what the name suggests) on Bleecker Street in a pinch to pick up sweet almond oil. I'd leave him a beaker of the appropriate oils and he'd "package" them for me: taking the oil with a dropper from the large beaker and putting it into the individual small bottles, affixing the labels, then putting the vials into plastic bags, and stapling a "top strip" to it. I'd always have a note when I got home updating me on the success of his activities. And I'd always come back to find white daisies which he'd leave in a small plastic tub sitting in water. (I gather I didn't have any vases.)
On other days, he'd be attending a Dean Ornish program near Union Square and pass these guys on the street corners selling oils and incense. He'd say later, as if to warn me, but with a smile in his voice, "You have competition, Cath, with those guys on 14th Street." And I'd actually get a bit mad, thinking does he seriously think that my competition is these guys selling their rag tag incense and synthetic oils? I was never quite certain if he realized this or he thought he was being funny. (I *think* he was being funny.)
He'd say, jokingly, yet with a slight air of seriousness, "One day, maybe I'll be promoted and learn 'the Formula.'"
That was the thing I always did and I did not consider relinquishing - making the B-girl oils and determining what the proportions of essential oils were in the six B-girl blends. It was an art form getting the formula just right. I might not ever have relinquished that but you never know...
Seeing this man on the subway sparked a really nice memory. We both got off at Delancey Street and that was that.
February 7th, 2007
Okay, sometimes you get a horoscope that makes you laugh which, I suppose, is the point. While perusing the Village Voice, I came across this, my horoscope for this week:
The World Dream Bank (WorldDreamBank.org) collects tales recorded by spirited dreamers. I'd like to call your attention to one of those dreams, because you'll benefit from entertaining similar themes. Here's a paraphrased report: "I dreamed I was a telepathic teenage unicorn with five hearts. My lesbian twin, an untameable mare from the Middle of Nowhere Desert, came to join me, as did my best friend, a cute Tyrannosaurus Rex doctor on roller skates. We built a boat and sailed off into a warm red sea, headed towards a rite of passage that we looked forward to as a fun adventure. We passed a buoy with a sign that said, 'Beware of Insane Swimming Bunnies.' We weren't scared in the least. We had packets of magic confetti that we knew would make the bunnies sane."
I love that.
January 31st, 2008
Overheard in a coffee shop in Brooklyn:
Three "baristas" talking behind the counter. One says, sighing, "Poor Britney Spears." The other gal says, brusquely, "What happened to her now?" First barista says, "Well." (another sigh.) "You know she's British now."
November 29th, 2007
I'm often astounded at how much some people seem to despise pigeons. Turns out one of New York City's City Council Members Simcha Felder has this bizarre fear of the birds and recently put forth, publicly, via the media, that he would like to fine people who feed pigeons $1000. While putting forth this idea, he peppered it with inaccuracies and mistruths about these birds. Yet he holds a public office. One would hope that when people in government make statements, they look to the truth and a mature attitude however Mr. Felder seems to look to his six year old daughter for guidance. Didn't de Tocqueville talk about the people who are drawn to public office in a democracy? He wasn't very hopeful about it.
Nonetheless, it's important to recognize it's only in the last 50 years that pigeons have been maligned. Pigeons were war heroes. They are not dirty. New York City is a bit dirty.
Pigeons don't spread disease. It is a rare instance you would get sick from a pigeon and it is not the pigeons themselves (which some people seem to think). There are a few diseases that can be associated with their droppings but the same could be said for you and me, your dog and your cat.
When I redesigned the B-girl web site in 2002, I considered having a hidden page that was like an "easter egg" (a hidden page that you had to find) where I wrote about my experiences with pigeons in New York City.
I've written a story about a white pigeon that used to live in my old Park Slope, Brooklyn neighborhood and who I felt was very magical. The last time I saw the white bird was in late July.
There was an inventor and scientist named Nikola Tesla who was colleagues with Mark Twain and Thomas Edison. He's gotten a bit of attention lately. I read this about him: "Later in life, particularly in his mid-sixties and on, [Nikola Tesla] could be found frequently alone on walks feeding the birds and spending time near them. He often took injured birds back to heal at the hotel room in which he lived; when he could keep no more birds there, he recruited a local bird shop to help him in his efforts. Under his care, birds recovered from diseased wings, broken legs, and supposedly at least one of gangrene. When he encountered birds he could not treat himself, he would enlist the help of a physician. If for some reason he was unable to visit the park where he most often fed the birds, he would hire a Western Union messenger to take care of the task for him." Source: http://www.jinwicked.com/art/paintings/thesearemyfriends.html
Then, the later years: "Tesla lived the last ten years of his life in a two-room suite on the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker, room 3327. There, near the end of his life, [Tesla] would claim to be visited by a specific white pigeon daily. Several biographers note that Tesla viewed the death of the pigeon as a "final blow" to himself and his work." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla
I thought his connection to a white pigeon was interesting, in light of my own.
October 17th, 2007
Sometimes it seems like there is an overwhelming amount of sad things - in the world and just day-to-day. My beautiful cat, Uma, 10 1/2 years old, died on Monday and I am so sad. I tried so hard to figure out what was 'wrong' with her. She started out with a little bit of blackheads on her chin and somehow in six weeks it got worse and worse. The vets couldn't seem to determine what it was and kept treating her for an allergy. I finally consulted with a homeopathic vet with mixed results. They say (now) she had cancer but I can't figure out, despite knowing that she was losing weight, drinking lots of water and not eating much, why no one suspected this sooner. I might not have believed it but at least I would have known. Maybe it's better that way. She died on Monday and I honestly feel like I failed her. How I 'happened' upon Uma is a story in itself which I'll try to post later. I always said she was a magical cat and having that magic taken away is hard.
September 6th, 2007
Time flies. (how do bloggers post multi-times a day!?) September is one of my favorite months. My summer was okay -- NYC in the summer is hot and the past two summers I'd gotten away to Mexico for a few weeks. This year, nothing too spectacular so I am happy to welcome this month.
A few quotes I read that I liked:
**from the inside of the cap of an Honest Tea bottle(flavor: Moroccan Mint Green Tea - no sugar. sweetened with honey. Bottled in glass. We love glass! And are trying to go no-plastic or as-little-plastic-as-possible !):
Be like a postage stamp.
Stick to one thing until you
- Josh Billings
From the book "Walking on Alligators: A Book of Meditations for Writers" by Susan Shaughnessy:
Dreaming is important. But dreaming can become deferring.
Make friends with your wishes. Write them down. Give them space to dance across the page. Let them blossom into full-blown fantasies.
Then lay them aside. Get to work and write.
May 3rd, 2007
How to Avoid Throwing Out Your Well-Worn Sofa
(followed my the very first B-girl diary entry!)
My sofa is from Ikea, circa 1993. I remember this vividly because I moved into my apartment on Hudson Street in Manhattan in 1992 without a sofa. I had these two dark brown-with-small-white- polka-dots plush chairs to sit on. They were extremely comfortable and looked like they belonged in a ski lodge. They had belonged to my first roommates and had moved with us from Montclair to Hoboken. I don't even know whose they were, Claudia's or Marianne's, but eventually they stayed with me as we went our separate ways and I moved to the West Village.
After a time tho', I decided it was a grown-up thing to at least have a sofa. So, one followed shortly thereafter by the other, the brown ski lodge chairs went out on the street in Manhattan, where decent items get picked up pretty quickly and find new homes. Before I shut the door and went back upstairs, they were gone. (Practically.) Never to be seen again. I miss those chairs. I would sit on them sideways and dangle my legs over the edge and read or talk to a friend or watch tv. At that time I started to think aesthetically they just looked too much like they belonged in a ski lodge and I needed something more proper. Now, I think, who cares?
Nonetheless, I went on a mission for a sofa to IKEA in Elizabeth, NJ and picked out and ordered one which I still have. I'm not sure what the life span of a sofa is but that's a pretty good amount of time. It has served me well over the years.
Recently, the sofa and I came to a turning point. Time and wear and cats (!) have worn the fabric away in some places and the white batting and foam had begun to show. Since a lot of my focus now is on how to consume less and keep things OUT of the landfills, I had a true dilemma. What was I to do? It couldn't function much longer (or very comfortably) as it was and yet it seemed so wrong to send a perfectly good, if somewhat worn, sofa to a landfill.
So, with the help of a creative salesperson in a unique Park Slope home decor store, to whom I tell my sofa saga, I focus on Reuse -- also, Refix, Reglue, Resew, Redrape! She kindly gives me tips on how I can make the sofa close to new again without reupholstering every last bit of it. The plan entails some gluing, sewing, stapling and draping. The glueing has to do with reapplying the batting where it's come off the three sofa cushions. Batting is this incredibly fake polyester white stuff that makes the sofa more cushiony. The sewing is for redoing the actual fabric that surrounds the sofa cushion. The stapling is for the 'cotton duck' (a lighter version of a canvas material) that will drape over the sofa. The draping is also for another nice fabric to go over the cotton duck. It's time consuming but less time consuming than actually reupholstering the whole sofa and I think it'll look okay when it's done. Every 'piece' seems to entail a bit more thought, detail and energy than I might have figured in advance but soon I will have reconstructed my sofa and kept it out of the landfill.
If you have an item in your home that still works but just isn't for you anymore, consider Freecycle! It's a great way, if you have something you can't use, to recycle it to a new home. check out Freecycle here.
This is our very first Bgirl.com diary entry. We still love the Alice in Wonderland quote !
December 7th, 1999
Welcome to B-girl.com! Our web site first debuted in 1995 when B-girl first started. (Note: but we didn't really get things moving along until '97.) Initially, the site was launched on the Ecomall web site. It was all done (very) quickly so that it would debut before mercury (planet of communication) went retrograde (backwards or stationery) - an astrological thing. The site was gorgeous colors (aquamarine background) & much fun! The second version of the site went up summer of 1998 right before I took off on the road showcasing (and selling) B-girl on the Lilith Fair(www.lilithfair.com). That was when I claimed rights to Bgirl.com and created my own independent site. And now here we are with our newly revamped & relaunched version of the site. It's a bit more in-depth plus we now take e*commerce (thru a secure shopping cart)! We've expanded the site to be a bit more indepth and more fun! The diary will be updated, if not every day, every few days.
Often people tell me they'd like to start their own business. But that they
just don't have an idea or know what to do. All I can say is you never know where an idea will come from. And when it's the right one you will know it. So just explore... explore... explore. And if you don't feel like exploring THIS minute well you might the next. Don't think just because it hasn't come yet that it won't. That thought will stop the powerful energy of creation. Good luck! And thank you for checking out bgirl.com!
"I can't believe that!" said Alice.
"...one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice,"
said the Queen.
"When I was your age, I always did it for
half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed
as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
-Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass