Too Damn Much


I have no idea how Hercules cleaned out the Stygian stables in a day — I’ve been trying to dig out of my studio all morning and I can see this is not a one day job.  I just totally passed out.  (At which point the kitten leaped on me — though whether to help or eat my face is not entirely clear.)

So what are we looking at?  Well, that black blob in the middle perched on an easel is a feathery fake stuffed raven (there’s an owl on the other easel).  There’s a lot of packing supplies (bubble wrap, foam peanuts, big cardboard boxes) and some silkscreen prints on the wall by Michael Wertz.  Usually on the wall is a big black and white photo of the “Baker” Explosion, a nuclear test at Bikini Atoll but I took it down to fix the frame.


The radioactive water released by the explosion contaminated nearby ships, some of which ended up out here in Hunter’s Point to be “decontaminated.”  (Others were sunk off the coast of San Francisco.  Remind me not to eat the local fish.)

Other kinds of fallout:

The island is also famous because just days after the blast the tiny two piece bathing suit was introduced to the world, hence the name “bikini.”

All 23 members of the Japanese fishing boat the Lucky Dragon were contaminated.  The following scandal inspired the film “Godzilla” (in which the monster is woken by U.S. nuclear testing).

Bikinians were moved to another island and are still getting compensation money.  Whatever it is, it’s not enough.

My grandad, Nicholas Samaras, worked on the bomb with Oppie.  I think he was pretty conflicted about what ended up happening with a lot of his research.  His office was full of amazing photos and certificates that totally fascinated me as a child, some of which are now in my “office.”  (Wikipedia seems to have the exact same photo but there’s no credit to the photographer and no signature on my copy, just “U.S. Official photo of Bikini Atoll test” written on the back.)

Meanwhile, I’ve already found a couple checks I was looking for, so that was pretty exciting.  If I find anything interesting as I shovel this place out, I’ll post some snaps.


8 responses to “Too Damn Much

  1. Hey Izzness the Bizness,

    thanks for the shout-out! *Mwah*! Where’d you get the fake raven? Cool. I love that it’s Halloween year-round there.

  2. The raven (and the owl and a heap of other craziness) comes from Fantastico’s in SF — they have *isles* of fake birds (and fake plants, etc. etc.).

  3. Well I *do* need to start gathering Halloween decor for our party and I *am* sick of failing to clean my studio and I *love* to procrastinate… so, um, a big yes to that.

    You think you’re place is cluttered. There was a recent case of a morbid nature in a suburban home adjacent to Detroit where 100 living chihuahuas were kept and 150 chihuahua cadavers were stored in freezers. The house is slated for demolition, the owner is in a group home awaiting prosecution and hopefully, those poor, sweet dogs will find appreciative homes.

  5. What the — ?!? And this person was keeping the 150 dead chihuahuas in freezers because…..???

  6. I believe the owner of the home and dogs just couldn’t bear to part with anything. Police also found 13 storage rental spaces he used to pack with other material he had accumulated.

  7. Looks to me like this here studio dates right back to home on North 16th Street in the late 70’s and early eighties…top floor had all the extra light, plenty of the extras all over the house… I told you how they’ve built that place up now, right?
    The house next door to me was selling puppies to the pet stores. Someone sent the authorities in and they had to rip out everything, even the subflooring on this place because it was in such bad shape. The woman kept the puppies in crates one on top of the other and I guess wouldn’t clean it out when they messed.
    On the weekends if they got sick, hubby-dear would shoot them the night before and then bag them and run them to the dump.
    She made $500 per pup!
    We don’t know what she’s doing now. 🙂 It’s not puppies though.

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