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August, 2007:

Flea Circus article in Washington Post!

Here’s a great article written about my show in the Washington Post!:

The Tiniest Show in Town!

At the Flea Circus, There’s More Than Meets the Eye

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 27, 2007; Page C01

The magic of the flea circus climaxed during the chariot race. That’s when ringmaster Adam Gertsacov persuaded the audience to fall in love with Midge and Madge, the tiny stars of his Acme Miniature Circus.

Yesterday about 40 people — a mix of families and hipsters — at the Palace of Wonders on H Street NE rose to their feet, craning their necks to get a better look at the action. Gertsacov, wearing a purple top hat, shot a toy gun and the fleas were off.

Acme Miniature Circus ringmaster Adam Gertsacov keeps a close eye on his stars.

Acme Miniature Circus ringmaster Adam Gertsacov keeps a close eye on his stars. (By James M. Thresher — The Washington Post)

“We’ve approached the straightaway,” he said, talking double-time, like a sports announcer. “It’s going to be a very close race. Midge is making her move. Let’s hear it!”

The audience screamed and one man broke into a chant: “Let’s go, Midge! Let’s go, Midge!”


(and in case you are wondering, that is me to the right!)

Flea Circus featured in Washington Post!

My show was featured as one of the picks of the week for this week’s Washington Post!

And a reviewer is coming on Sunday to the 4pm show to write an article about the show.

If you have any friends in the DC area, please let them know, and please have them come out to the 4 pm show. It’d be great to have a big audience for that show.

Full press release is available at http://www.trainedfleas.com/dcfleas.html

Starting work on the house again.

So we’re starting work on the house again! (Hooray! A house blog without house projects is like a fish without a bicyc –errmmm… waitaminnit!)

We’re finishing the tile on our bathroom, and erecting a wall that hides our washer/dryer. That wall will become a closet.

The guys are in the house for the first day, and boy have I forgotten how much I hate having people in the house. Noisy people in the house. Noisy people with hammers and saws and drills and all kinds of stuff.

The first day is the worst, as they have to undo some of the construction that we did nearly two years ago– the cement for the shower was done wrong with a too small drain, and so they had to take up all that cement, and undo the drain and then redo it, laying down a vinyl something or other to make sure that the water doesn’t go anywhere, and if it does, it doesn’t do any harm. The reason that it’s the worst is that I’m spending money to discover that I already spent money that I didn’t need to have spent. As the kid from Avenue Q says, “It sucks to be me.”

Whenever somebody works on the house, I’m afraid that I’ll find out about some new thing that didn’t work, or gets broken in the process, or that wasn’t installed properly to start, or that has been risking death’s door since we got here. It’s easy for the mind to go crazy about everything– there’s so much going on in a house, and although it seems very fragile, it’s a pretty robust entity. Nevertheless, it’s a delicately balanced entity. The moment the drain doesn’t work upstairs means that we might have to rip up the ceiling downstairs. (etc., etc.)

This should be a shorter process, assuming we survive it, and that enlarging the drain doesn’t somehow make the house fall down.

In which the lawnmower wheel falls off.

As many of you know, I loathe cutting the lawn. Just don’t like it. For the last two years, (O my god, we’ve been in the house for two years!) I’ve been doing it infrequently with my weedwhacker. But it’s heavy, it’s awkward, and it eats string. I decided to buy a lawnmower. My decision partially motivated by the fact that Stephanie’s mom and her boyfriend are coming to stay with us for a few days, and god forbid we have an unmowed lawn while she is here. (I’m not even going to go intoall of the other things that we are pretending don’t exist, or that we have solved the problems of. (NOTE TO VISITORS- Don’t open any drawers too quickly, as you might have an unpleasant shock upon doing so. And that stack of papers on my desk may just be holding up the actual desk, so don’t move it!)

But to get back to the unhappy business of mowing, I have been putting off mowing and buying a mower as long as was humanly possible. Uncharacteristically, I decide to pull the trigger.

Having an electric weedwhacker already, I went with an electric lawnmower. Picked the CR Best Buy Black and Decker MM875. Unfortunately, many of the stores that are supposed to carry it don’t have it in stock. Walmart in White Plains does, so I drove out there late last night and picked the last one.

Today I go to mow the lawn, and it’s working great. Suddenly, as I’m wheeling it over to do the front part of the lawn, the frickin’ lawnmower wheel falls off .

Now let me explain something about this wheel. It is not, as might commonly be believed held on with a nut that was somehow not tightened. The wheels have pieces that are welded on to hold them in place. They are not supposed to come off. Yet somehow mine did.

I called Black and Decker, who has never (at least, in the history of my American Customer Support Representative’s extensive experience) had this happen before. So now not only is my lawnmower a genetic anomaly, but I have to go back to walmart, get a refund, and find this same model somewhere else.

I’m thinking about just paving it all.

And the worst part is the lawn isn’t finished, and it still needs to be weedwhacked, and I’m now too hot and tired to do it.

Eva and Bob, welcome to the jungle of NY.

The Son of Sam’s Paperboy…

A friend of mine from THE WELL, used to be Son of Sam’s paperboy.

No, really!

(And for those of you who don’t know who Son of Sam, let’s just say he was a resident of Yonkers that the Chamber of Commerce rarely discusses…)

You can read about his exploits on his blog:


Here’s a taste:

The Son of Sam’s paperboy, part I

Did I ever tell you that David
Berkowitz, the .44 Caliber Killer,
the Son of Sam, who killed five
women and one man in New York
City between July 1976 and his
capture on August 10, 1977, lived
around the corner from my house
in Yonkers? And that for one week
in the summer of 1977, I was his

In those days my family lived in a huge haunted Victorian
house in the middle of Hudson Terrace. Go down Warburton
Avenue with the Hudson River on your right until you come to
the planetarium, where Shonnard Place intersects Warburton.
Make a left, take that windy, twisty road uphill, and you're
on Hudson Terrace. It is, or it was in those days, a tree
lined little world of old fashioned slate sidewalks, stone
fences, and set back Victorian houses.


Peaches and Corn and Eggplants (oh my!): The CSA Update

So far, I’m very happy with our CSA. It’s a little bit of a pain in the ass to go all the way up to Tarrytown on a Saturday morning, but truthfully, it’s not THAT bad.

Oh we get other things from them too– greens and cucumbers and radishes and eggplant and eggs and zuchini and a few more things. Weirdly, we haven’t received tomatoes yet.

(I remember now what the other thing was. Beets. Icko!)

Which reminds me– last Saturday we had an impromptu barbecue. We cooked up all of our hamburger, Stephanie made a delicious fried eggplant casserole and a cucumber salad, and I shucked and made a whole mess of corn (roasted on the grill– well actually, the first batch was roasted corn husk on, in the grill. The second batch was done in aluminum foil ON the grill. Both were pretty good, if I do say so myself.. My friend Marvin came over , as well as our truck-parking neighbors Maria and Jose. Although we have a fairly large language barrier, we had an excellent time. Marie and Jose are charismatic Christians, and are going to be married in October (and they invited us to their wedding!) We sat out on the front porch and had a very good time.

Among the many things that we cooked, Stephanie roasted some beets. Well she left them in the oven, and went upstairs to take a nap. I was downstairs reading and noticed a burning smell. She had forgotten about them and overcooked the beets. Badly.

The only good beet is a dead beet!

This past Sunday, Stephanie and I did some tag team cooking. Stephanie prepared the eggplant (salting, breading, and toasting) and made a delicious tomato sauce– I finished the toasting and prepared and cooked the eggplant– layering eggplant, tomato sauce, and two kinds of cheese, and then baking it for 25 minutes or so while she went to a synagogue meeting. We now have eggplant casserole coming out of our ears! I froze a bunch, and am eating a bunch while she is in DC.

(This eggplant casserole is tasty, but not as tasty as last weeks edition) Of course, it’s not fried, so its not swimming in oil either. I’d like to figure out how to make it without the breading too!

It was good fun to cook together, and really feel like part of a team. We don’t often get a chance to cook together. Hopefully we’ll make more chances.
(I’d say take more chances, but I wouldn’t want to take any chances).