1. Go out to the edge of Queens and look for the signs that say "yard sard." Those are the yard sales where you'll find the Good Stuff. No, I mean the really Good Stuff. No, I mean the -- GOD DAMMIT, I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT DRUGS THIS TIME!

2. Go to a music store that still sells records and ask about their Saturday Deals. The clerk will claim to not understand. Persist and they will eventually get the manager, who will, when you give him the secret word "swordfish" on a slip of paper, take you to the back room where the old records are kept. You'll notice that their copyright is from the 1890s and earlier, and they say things like "sleep-talk of William Tweed" and "What the lady Evyline Mountjoy said to Agnes from The Bowery." They do not sell these records, so you'll have to bring your own gramaphone.

3. There's a shop in Washington Heights that sells stone lawn ornaments. When you need to ward a door, against burglars or invaders of any kind, get a few of these things. be warned, though: you need to give them solid foundations for them to be anything more than alarms. Also, do not attempt to rob the shop. All who have tried, have met gruesome ends. The ones in the shop have very solid foundations.

4. Don't listen to your Nonni when he tells you you need Mushrooms to be a Shaman. That was never as important as being a leader. Whoever gathers around you will look to you for guidance. You must know how to guide them. Go to the library and check out books like "shamaning 101" and "principles of effective leadership." The shamaning stuff is there. I've seen it. You just have to ask the librarians to lead you to it.

5. Don't believe your Nonni when he says Shamaning is about Sink or Swim, either. You want to be an effective leader? Ask people for help. Learn from them. Build on the foundations of the past. Hell, he ought to be telling you that. He's old-world. Anyway, the William D. Walsh library in the Bronx holds Shaman classes every Thursday night at 8 PM. Sign up for them.

6. There's a restaurant in the Bronx called Caridad, and they make an excellent Tres Leches cake. I just thought you might like to know. Also, their customer service is iffy, so you might want to take advantage of their delivery service.

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