Monday, August 29, 2005


This little beastie scampered into our lives just 6 days ago. A stray rescued by the ASPCA and picked up by T. at an open house adopt-a-thon down in Prospect Park. Cue a lively, investigative, little, black furthang running around the apartment, purring loudly, if a little snottily, chasing string and blind cords, and waking us up at 4 or 5 AM with a paw in the cheek.

On Wednesday, the snottyness got worse, breathing more constricted, and poor MiniMao threw up a couple of times. His condition grew worse over the next two days and after a relatively prolonged battle to get to see our local vet, he was admitted in pet hospital on Saturday morning. Fears of a possibly-fatal virus, quaranteen, and the poor sod in an isolated cage with an IV in what we can only assume to be his shaved kitten leg. and a stressful start to the weekend. A call today suggests things aren't as bad as they first seemed, he's likely to have a feline immune deficiency (test results pending), and touching wood with a firm grip, he's out of the woods.

Amazing that after just 5 days of having this little, characterful beast in the home just how empty the place is without him already, how heartbreaking it is to see a cat so young is such obvious distress, and the attachment one experiences that's so instant when you find a pet with a personality that fits just right. Can't wait to have Mao back in the fold and back on form, chewing your laces, putting up with being worn as a hat, jamming his head in your water glass at dawn, etc. etc. T. first thought of getting a cat to distract her from her own on-going injury; having Mao in the kitty ER didn't really do the trick, but such goes life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Currently messing with a 'directionless' image processing, erm, process. Starting with an image and no fixed route to an endpoint, or preconceived result to aim for. I use this approach putting sound together sometimes, less so before with images. It's a trial and error, more pure experimentation approach that can be very hit or miss. A lot ends up as unusable drivvel. Some is decent. Occassionally you end up with something that you can't remember how you got to but you like a lot. It's freeing and more absorbing sometimes, but eats more time. Plus, unless you rigerously document how you've got from A to B (and who can be arsed?), you can't recreate cumulative effects, but that's part of the fun.

Rewatched Fellini's La Dolche Vita over the weekend - took advantage of the NYC storm to get absorbed in it. It's looonnnng, disjointed, and can be a challenge at times, but it's one of those flicks that keeps on giving. I was surprised at a few true comic moments embedded in the style and flow. A great journey through the pointlessness of New Age Italian celebrity wanderings, a great sketch of one side of Roma, inlcudes nice comment on the leechlike scamperings of the media (the ratlike paparazzi are hilarious), and the sublime composition of some shots remind why Fellini is on his pedestal. Can see influence on the likes of Bergman, Allen, & Leigh from this, definitely.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Lit Breakfast

Anyone else been blog spammed? First for me - a 'reader's comment' along the lines of "hi, I was just passing through and found your site. don't have too much fun now. check out my own site. I'm interested in really cheap vacations to Bermuda" etc.

Inbetween covering my head with roughage, effervescing, inflating cartelagenous beasts, getting generally sharkelated, and animating cake heads in flickrland.

Getting a dose of the ball parks this week.

T. finally getting some mobility & a 2nd dr.'s opinion is the exact opposite of the "operate now - give me your money" first. Surprise surprise. Good to see her stretching her legs on a bike machine for the first time in a coupla months.

And bloody 'ell, my cousin's up the duff. Congrats Vicks & And!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Easy On

Odd, sometimes, where one's musical inspiration comes from:

what started off Wedding Presentish ended up as major silliness...

One of the benefits of returning to live in NYC is regular live footay down the pub. The occassional disadvantage is a 12 noon kick off back home translating into a 7 AM one here stateside (pity the poor buggers sat in west coast time zones). Gawd bless McCormacks on 27th Street for opening up and showing Ldddzz-Mi'a-wawl this morning though. Was the first time for many a year that I've watched the Community nee Charity Shield n'all. Blearly-eyed, but sound way to start a Sundee, innit.

Night before T & I wandered up into Spanish Harlem to visit an ex-neighbour in her new flat on 108th Street. We sat testing and tasting sharks on her excellent rooftop patio. Shots were heard part way through the evening - laffed off by T & our host as fireworks. Walking back south down 1st Ave. at midnight police were swarming over the nearby housing project. A little way further down I looked into a Chinese takeaway on the opposite side of the street: inside and infront of the serving counter was a wall of bullet-proof glass, a massive and heavily locked, steel security door, and a small D-shaped serving hatch cut in the glass. I'd seen this before while living in Long Island City a while back: the local offie to be specific (the proprietor of which, a middle-aged Chinese man, had a viscious-looking scar across his face cut from ear to chin...). Continuing on we passed a fried chicken joint and, indeed, a liquor store. All three in a row had exactly the same bullet-proof glass, door, hatch set-up. There's a reason for it and a reason I'm glad I don't live north of 96th Street. Where serving staff in shops are in real fear of being killed on a daily basis, you know it's grim. But that's New York City isn't it: the neighbourhood vibe often changes within a block. Poverty and violence dwells a stone's throw away from affluence (or in our case a stone's throw away from somewhere not particuarly affluent, but certainly a lot safer). And when you pass through these places and are much more aware of personal safety, it also makes you think about New York's and America's major social mistakes. Destroying communities, reolcating low-income people in the name of gentrification, shoving up badly-designed housing projects to house the dislocated, spacially segregating by economic status which essentially means race. That was one of the most visual culture shocks of moving over to the US (to central Texas in my case, the first time - the segragation is more severe where there's more space available, it seems - and if liberal NYC is like it is, you can imagine what the Bush-states are like...). In New York, there are positives about some of the remaining poorer neighbourhoods: there is still community, sometimes more cohesively than elsewhere. Folk make their own entertainment e.g. sat on the stoops and sidewalks playing cards, shooting the breeze, and treating the city as their livingroom. That aspect's good to see and generally you'll get a friendly response if you're seen around regularly. But, you get the real impression that the likes of Spanish Harlem are very much annexed. In American terms, the lack of major food chains and shops (apart from the likes of White Castle and KFC), lack of local investment (private and public) speaks volumes, at least in the area we skimmed through last night.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tent Tickles

Radomly, eclectically, today I have been taken here, here, here, and here.

Toss my salad!