Police respond to 911 call of man grilling guinea pig in Prospect Park

R.:

Really people? Calling the cops over a man BBQing a ‘squirrel?’ SMGDH. Aren’t squirrels and other types of rodents actually a delicacy in some parts of this country, anyway? Seriously, some people need to get out more.

Guinea pigs might be cuddly, but they’re also delicious. Plus, they’re a more environmentally friendly source of protein than the other types of meat, but what do I know.

Originally posted on New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV:

Someone called 911 on a man who was grilling a Guinea pig in Prospect Park Saturday morning. (Photo: DNAinfo New York) Someone called 911 on a man who was grilling a Guinea pig in Prospect Park Saturday morning. (Photo: DNAinfo New York)

PROSPECT PARK, Brooklyn—The alarmed resident who called 911 to report a man “mistreating a squirrel” in Prospect Park got it all wrong. It was actually a Guinea pig.

Police responded to an emergency call Saturday around 9:30 a.m. to find a man grilling the animal with a 4-foot wooden skewer over a barbecue near the Ninth Street entrance. The man, who told DNAinfo New York that he is from Ecuador, confirmed that the animal was a Guinea pig, which is a popular dish in South America.

Police did not take any action against the man, as it is legal to grill meat as long as it’s in one of the park’s designated barbecue areas, an NYPD spokesman said.

It is illegal to hunt or trap park animals such like squirrels…

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Book Review: American Elsewhere

American ElsewhereAmerican Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book from a list of best books of 2013 knowing absolutely nothing about its premise or the nature of the story. What I got was an unexpected yet sublime mix of science fiction, horror and suspense. And awesome writing. Robert Jackson Bennett manages to play with time in a way that seamlessly blends and distorts your awareness of it and does a great job at contrasting different points of views and realities. He develops very strong, relatable characters all around, from the lead, Mona Bright, who is in search for answers about her past but ends up tripped up into a world of confusion and tries to make sense of the situation around her, to the heroin kingpin who finds himself in a very similar position. Even the drug lord’s henchmen have very palpable personalities, even if they’re just meat-heads, and they’re presented in a way that doesn’t detract from the plot but rather ground our sense of disbelief in this fascinatingly bizarre story line.

The book reminded me of those crazy Stephen King novels I used to read back in the day. I found plenty of it unnerving, sometimes even terrifying and I couldn’t get enough. And he doesn’t rely in some insufferably cheap cliffhangers, just plain old suspense and anticipation. About a third into the book, I couldn’t believe that RJB would sustain that amount of intensity for the remainder of it. The story itself devolves from high level suspense into utter chaos and mayhem, the stuff that only makes perfect sense in the story you’re reading and it was wonderful. I can see why it made that best-of list.

(SPOILERS)

Great writing, strong characters and crazy story-line notwithstanding, my favorite part of the book was its premise.

We are presented with this flawed person running away from her life who inadvertently ends up in a 60s style utopia populated with perfectly prim town folk. In this place, even vice and sinfulness is kept beyond the outskirts of town. A place too perfect. Unbelievably perfect. And its all a facade. Everyone who willingly participates in this illusion for the sake of living the dream: safety and a comfortable life, is destroyed.

The story is a contrast between the power of knowledge and the bliss of ignorance. How even the appearance of omniscient power can bring on your demise, there’s always going to be someone bigger and badder. The true power according to American Elsewhere is the awareness of our limitations.

(END SPOILERS)

View all my reviews

Military and civilians are increasingly divided

Having the military be it’s own distinct class is just how it goes in other places I’ve lived, like Peru & Thailand. Because of this, they’ve become a small yet powerful political class. I’ve always thought that one of the biggest differences between the way the military is run here and elsewhere was that lack of rampant nepotism but it might just be conjecture on my part. It’s interesting that we expect things to be different in America. I agree that the disconnection is dangerous, I’ve been privy to its consequences (political protests and a military coup in Thailand) but it seems to be the nature of military life.

“We’ve disconnected the consequences of war from the American public. As a result, that young man or woman putting on the uniform is much less likely to be your son or daughter, or even your neighbor or classmate,” said Mike Haynie, director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University in upstate New York. “That is a dangerous place to be.”

U.S. MILITARY AND CIVILIANS ARE INCREASINGLY DIVIDED – L.A. Times

The time you stuff a spare mattress in your kitchenette

You know you have a problem. That had been my mattress at some point, but luckily, it wasn’t my kitchenette and I wasn’t guilty of the stuffing. That was a friend of mine with acute pack-rat syndrome. He tells me he’s doing better these days.

I always think that I do a decent job at not accumulating stuff, that is, until I have to move. While I was still living in Bangkok, I had to rent a pick-up truck to move my stuff from one place to the next. And I was moving from a tiny studio into a full-sized apartment, not the other way around. Both were fully furnished so the move didn’t involve any of the heavy stuff.

When I moved out of Bangkok, even though I thought I had already learned my lesson, I left a mess for my roommate to sort through. (Buddha bless homeslice for that.)

This past year, I’ve been traversing through the US and considering how efficient I thought I’d become at travel packing (i.e. one small backpack, two weeks anywhere, no problem), I was utterly befuddled at the amount of things I stuffed into my ride. (I blame the roomy interior and spacious trunk.) All jokes aside, it was only then when I decided to take full stock of what I really needed and what I had to let go. It was an awful lot.

The weaning began and it’s still ongoing.

There’s nothing like a good set of statistics to help us visualize our problem with clutter. “Ours” as in the “developed world,” and by the “developed world” I mean mostly America. The site becomingminimalist (great site!) compiled a few crazy and scary stats regarding the accumulation of goods.

Among the crazy:

5. The United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks. Currently, there is 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. Thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self storage roofing (SSA).

Among the terrifying:

11. Nearly half of American households don’t save any money (Business Insider).

Back in Thailand I have a stylish American Thai Cambodian Australian short friend who (aside from remaining anonymous) had the habit of wearing a particular tee on a given day. There was the Wednesday tee, the Thursday tee, the Sunday button-up, etc. Incredibly efficient… is what she calls herself. I don’t think I’ll ever be on her level but I’m definitely cutting down on my surplus threads and belongings. Becoming minimalist? Maybe so but definitely heading in that direction.