i've giggled at the concept of cactus rustlers for years, but i'm beginning to identify with them. the helpful people in the plant district tell me that a three-foot piece of dried manzanita costs $45: "it's from california." so am i, bitches, and i'm not worth that much! thus began my manhattan branch-stealing crime spree. a fine scraggly piece from herald square gave me a taste for the business, and i skulked around central park for an hour yesterday. picking up deadfall isn't criminal, you say? tell that to the ranger who tried to bust me and my armful of sticks. i gave him the new york pass phrase - it's for an art project - and he let me go.

so now there are lots of grotty branches arranged above the bookcase in the apartment. they kinda look like a tree, and i've been embellishing with homemade foil snowflakes. this ghetto martha stewart stuff gets more and more engaging all the time.

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