Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Beautiful W0rds

To paraphrase Woody Allen: the most beautiful phrase in the English language isn't "I love you", but "it's benign".

Benign lichenoid keratosis in this case.
[breathes freer]

Retrobirdw0rds #1

Thursday, May 22nd, 2003



You see, there’s a change in the lighting voltage. Flicker fusion monkey vision – hubbah hubbah wanderlust lust wonder. Download drivel (drivelle?) off of the deep end. “The Mounts” – now, what does that suggest? Perfect symmetry. And a minge jiggle. “It’s good, but not the same.” Lob rate. Too much space; sweet juniper berry, Smithers. What exactly does Morcheeba mean, then? You forgot the Clapham North Beerorama, waffle, and Loose talk. We disgust her. And, I think she likes it. The year is different and Things (yes, Things) are planned. This recording is different (The Blackness of a Moorhen). Sevenoaks. Twelve weeks. Always smirk at your notes! “The very edge of Fuckybumbooboo”. Also scribbling feverishly. (Much better (pedals very slippery).) (No!!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Nudesock Bulletin

Blair to Decide on Haddock Pants by Next Summer

London Nov. 29th, 2005 - Challenged by long words, eager sheep, and tight underwear, British President Lionel Blair announced today that the U.K. would decide next summer whether to reverse its current reluctance to install haddock and trout smelting pants in government dignitaries' trousers.

As Mr. Blair spoke at a meeting here, two men wearing fluorescent yellow octopus wigs over dark welding suits clambered into the steel rafters of the auditorium to launch a small inflatable salmon filled with radioactive helium.

They carried banners saying, "My aunty is a whelk" and “Just say no to haddock hats” and scattered similar messages on fishing line onto the crowd below. A spokesman for the group, Fishy Lads Against Pert Panty Yankers, said the protest was intended to launch a "fight back against what my mother did to me with a herring in the cupboard under the stairs when I was a child" by preventing Mr. Blair from doing up his flies.

The protesters refused to abandon their perches in the roof beams, insisting that they wished to make lewd propositions with the aid of stuffed kippers to participants in the annual meeting of the Confederation of British Trouser Pointers, a leading toilet traders’ group.

"I'm not prepared to accept that," said Digby Scroatynebcrank, the head of the Confederation. "I don't give in to guppy-flavoured ultimatums (but they can call me later and see me privately in the clinic)"

Mr. Blair, regarded as an undeclared supporter of haddock power, was forced to address traders in a cramped pair of lederhosen, surrounded by dead conger eels and wearing extra thick oven mitts. "This is going to be a surreal occasion," Mr. Blair slurred. "I'm going to do up my flies if it's the last thing I do."

"Like most fishy issues, what we actually need is an pointless and demented debate, not one conducted by dribbling herring activists and demonstrations to stop people having the freedom to express themselves from the belt down with the fish of their choosing," he said.

The two protesters, identified by FLAPPY as Huw Thirsleberker and Nyls Verhoppenslank, had apparently infiltrated the building with unauthorized turbots, the organizers said.

Their action recalled other demonstrations by pro-fin-sucking and fathers' gusset rights protesters who breached security at the House of the Commons Aquarium and Buckingham Palace Public Toilets armed with live clams and sawn-off skate fins.

The Confederation of British Trouser Pointers acknowledged that security around the president had been compromised, only minutes after an earlier nappy and dab intrusion. Another speaker at the annual gathering was Sir Ian Throstle, the head of London's Metropolitan Flying Squid.

President Blair's speech had been widely expected as the trigger for a new crab paste debate only two years after the British authorities resolved to increase the use of renewable sources such as used-bloomer oil and third-hand yak butter to 10 per cent of the country's needs by 2010 and 20 per cent by 2006. At the same time, Britain's kipper and scraps stations would be gradually phased out by 2014 and then phased back in by 2023.

In Finland, a man reacted by doing rude things to a lobster.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Staring Back Along the Tube

What feels like a chronic failing is not taking in or living in the moment fully when traveling and visiting amazing places. Maybe this is partly a ‘western disease’ in general? We spend a lot of time planning and looking forward, and then later, looking back, reminiscing, reliving, but sometimes it’s difficult to actually absorb all and appreciate the present while there. (Maybe that’s because the present doesn’t actually exist, ala Johnny from Naked: “but you’re not in it now. you’re not in it now. you’re not in it now….”) Perhaps living as much as one can in the present is what most approaches contentment? Isn’t that what ye olde Zen Buddhist meditation partly relates to? Clearing the mind just in order to be. Not that modern life encourages living for the moment much – “think of the future!”; “you must get organised”; “what did you do this weekend?”; “what are we doing tonight”; “you remember that time when we tarred and feathered a pig on the Yorkshire Dales?”; “what were you doing in that kennel in the dead of last night wearing extra-thick, non-slip oven mitts and carrying a 4-gallon tub of lard?”; etc. etc. But, I digress.

Revisiting sounds and images from the summer jaunt to the Highlands & Islands brought this thought home again. I spend time recording ambient sound, shooting photos, and more rarely, jotting notes whenever I travel & visit new locations. One does these things for artistic reasons of course (and do get absorbed in the recording moment, in fact), but also to make sure the memory is augmented later. And because of the latter (which definitely works (and also feeds future artistic projects)), sometimes appreciating place is reduced while actually there. What I end up doing, what I’ve just done, is stimulating an itch to return to these places once again to get more out of them. Happened also with walking the Southwest Coast Path a couple of years back. Is this illusion? Or is it being drawn back to somewhere you feel you didn’t get enough from; didn’t fully understand or absorb? Bit of both, no doubt. Or just greed? Basically, we never have enough time to do all that we want to do and then we procrastinate and don’t fully utilise the time we do have. Bitch, innit. The flip side is that having a visual and audio record of snippets of the more interesting aspects of life is rewarding, and being transported back in time & space during cold, dank, dark winter evenings is entertaining. But, to quote Martin Phillips of the Chills: “You cannot drive and stare rearview.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Please stop starting sentences with the word "so" and desist from using the word "heart" as a verb.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Progress on further birdw0rking. Coupla tracks pretty much completed, if not yet mastered: The Midnight Stint and Front. Not sure the rhythm sections work, but am liking the larger sound and things’re getting tighter. Fishing around on Soundclick has unearthed some decent work by other online musos – there’s a lot of dross out there, but it’s worth digging. Users can shove fave tracks in personalised “radio stations” – am slowly adding to the birdw0rks station on each visit.

Intriguing exhibit just opened at the MOMA: design & safety (visited during mad Friday night freebie crush). A real mixed bag of the amazing, the innovative, the pleasingly artisitic, the banal, the pointless, and the twee. Loved the ‘ParaSite’ – a temporary homeless shelter that hooks up to the output of a building’s heating/air conditioning system to inflate and heat.

Recommended read: Stiff by Mary Roach. Details everything that may happen to your cadaver once you’ve donated yourself to science. Good mix of macabre facts & historical background. The attempted wit doesn’t really come off that well, but it’s a well constructed & an (en)grossing read. Includes a description of a visit to the infamous ‘body farm’ down in Tennessee that investigates decay processes in corpses littered around the countryside (by coincidence, Dr. Driv, colour chemist and textiles prof., was just the week before describing forensics studies down in a similar site in NC). Interesting chapter on heart transplants, organ ‘harvesting’ and debate over where the soul resides that I've just read 'ere.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Move Along Undone

First new birdw0rks track completed, although it needs mastering properly (which means me learning how to master properly...) Ears can be cast here; w0rdlers included here. Not sure my voice is up to much yet, rust-laden as it is, but there's power in them there strings. Recording generally going well & steady although I'm unsure I'll ever be able to produce anything like a coherant musical statement within and among a particular group of songs.

In hindsight, there's been lyrical influence from the dermatological subsconcious, perhaps? Have spent a couple of days being prodded & poked by various medical professionals, culminating in having a chunk of my arm gouged out in lieu of a test for the dreaded melanoma. Now have a week's nervous wait on the biopsy results. Serious risk is apparently pretty low, but still not exactly fun & games.

Took a view of Edward Burtynsky's Manufactured Landscapes exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (which I'd shamefully never stuck a neck into before) w/e gone. Some impressive industrial & social shots in there and reminded me of Arthus-Bertrand's aerial shots & the Godfrey Reggio/Philip Glass Qatsi trilogy in concept. Didn't all work and was a bit repetitive in places, but definitely worth a view.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sequined Heavy-Duty Jiffy Bag

This is far too long for you to read. Be grateful. The totally derranged first chapter of whateveritis from wheneveritwas, dug up and smelling of humus.


Chapter 1
"Sequined Heavy-Duty Jiffy Bag"

The book you have picked up, are about to read part of, and then fling violently with venomous disgust into the waste disposal unit in the kitchen, was written without the use of frontal lobes or rubber underwear. Not a bad achievement really, considering the price of haddock and the dimensions of my bladder problems (currently beyond the realms of modern medical science). While this may or may not surprise you, dear reader, once you have read to the end of this first chapter you will probably feel a bubbling and slightly curdled mixture of feelings heavy on confusion, concern and bewilderment, with a great greasy dollop of itchy-and-unclean on the side somewhere inbetween the back of your head and your toe hair. While it is not in my nature to upset more rational and hard working members of my sister species (well actually it is, but that's beside the point and a whole different family of lawsuits) I feel a strange urge to just let it all out. AND I also have an odd fascination for writing this crud for you to ponder over. My psychologist also suggested that it may be good for my ego, plus give him a chance to get me out of his office for more than five minutes, and for his secretary to get over her aversion to Englishmen in fishnet stockings (on their head), and probably a whole lot of other things that I'll get hints about next time I have an appointment on Planet Earth, and, this sentence is getting a tad too lengthy isn't it, well English language never was my strong point and you were taking far too many breaths anyway don't you know there's an oxygen shortage for chrissake, you're killing my yucca plant you BASTADDD!

The reasons for me filling you in in such an informal manner (oo err Bishop) are much too obtuse to go into while I've got this badger on my head, so I'll plod on, or as Edith Bladderworts once commented to me at the back of the harpoon shed on the six-fifteen to Nuneton "I like a man with fur-lined guppie flaps down his shorts, so meet me on the number thirty-two bus to Bexley Heath on Wednesday for a long, pert, sweaty, bland one dahhhling". I never did know what the shag she was on about most of the time, but she gave bad head, and even worse kidney, or so the vicar told me, no honest doctor, it wasn't me, ahh nevirr tuchhed er honest, it wiz me frendd that ad the genital warts, ahh wuz at ome mindin' the wombat, straighh upp! Ahem. This narrative is being written totally under duress. I didn't want to write anything, let along get out of bed before eleven and have electrodes attached to my parrot. I'm being forced to do this by the monkey that lives in my shoes at weekends (you know, the one I started seeing after that night of injecting window cleaner with Cousin Boxmouth at the family reunion three years ago where we all dug up Great Aunty Frank to get a feel of his plastic comedy breasts). So exCUU-CUHHH-ZZZE me for digressing a little. This is not easy. This is as hard as a bowling ball full of coral droppings dropped by polyps fed on quick-set draft-excluding yam-flavoured jelly dessert. OK?!

Another vodka and tonic in the I.V. please nurse, and quick, I can't see the spots in front of my eyes clearly enough!

Now where was I? Oh yes. Under the table with a well-thumbed copy of last months Whelk Worryers Weekly. This book is a tail of two sheep. In fact they had to share the tail due to government cuts. They also shared a pair of imitation leather antlers and a bicycle clip. I once caught my old stereo system in a bar in Houston trying to slip its CD tray into the quarter slot of a fruit machine. Dirty bastadd. But that's a different story. Actually, that's the whole story because the rest is kept hidden from me by repeated early morning sniffings of the coffee grinder and too much de-icer for breakfast. Either that or I'm mistaken. And if I'm not mistaken then I'm a strange, crazed chimp sexer from Letchworth with a plastic tulip on my head and no sense of time. What?

Colonel Harry von Slappandholdit felt the breeze whistling through the high pressure air conditioning system attached to the left leg of his rubber shorts. The mist from his nether regions was fogging his glasses, but he didn't really mind since he was blind as a bat with a box on its head. He had lost what remained of his sight following excessive childhood masturbation, during an accident involving a hamster, a set of knitting needles, and a pair of false plastic buttocks. His unrelenting quest for perverted pleasure using household appliances and next door's furry pets had finally paid off, and the voices in his head were now much clearer having lost the use of both eyes, a spleen, a pair of edible latex waders, and the hamster's exercise wheel. It also meant that he now had a legitimate excuse for groping his way on his hands and knees through the park to the public lavatories, something he'd dreamed of ever since his arrest and sentence in the late '70s. He could also leave his apartment on weekends without his trousers without fear of retribution or the usual spot fines.

At this particular moment in time he was stood on the edge of a large bowling field trying to fit his left flipper into a riding harness. He was wearing full deep sea diving gear, except for a long, bent cucumber inserted into his mouth where his air hose should have been. The colonel had always insisted that garden fruits and vegetables could provide all the nutrition and stimulation needed to carry out unnatural maritime activities with a bearded woman in the back of a taxi cab, but on this particularly occasion he had merely mistaken the cucumber for a Cuban cigar and dropped his trousers. He was somewhat confused on this day given that his attempt to fish for conga eels was being carried out in a Warwickshire llama farm, approximately 95 miles from the nearest coastline. Never one to flinch in the face of excruciating long odds, or cerebral haemorrhages, his plans remained unaltered despite severe doubts about his whereabouts, his identity, the price of chicken liver, and the uncanny lack of moistness of the ocean around his ankles. The searing heat radiating from his self-igniting jock strap had not helped matters and he was feeling somewhat unconfident about the lasting power of his Freon-filled underwear. The whole situation had simply worsened when vivid images of 300 pound Scandinavian shot putters with bulging varicose arteries dressed in Russian sailor outfits and lurex leder hosen had flashed before him suddenly and without warming. He'd had to attach a steel bucket and six feet of industrial guttering to his buttocks just to contain his fetid drooling and profuse bottom sweating. Still his lower body was threatening to self combust at temperatures that would singe a Teflon-coated aardvark at sixty paces. Feeling desperate and significantly oily beneath the cassock, he made his staggering way towards what he thought was a walk-in fridge-freezer. In reality he stumbled over to an open pit of decaying pigeon droppings, fell head first into the white and green bubbling mess, and gargled himself to death on old fish batter, humming the tune to When the Boat Comes In.

How dare you?! How dare you start this paragraph before me. Some readers are just getting way beyond their station. Way beyond their damp, dank, graffittied bus shelter! Yes, well, I will admit that the above tale was not the most eloquently written. Not the most stylistic piece of fiction ever slapped around the earlobes for interfering with the llama steaks before they were done. Infact, I admit it. It was a pile of incomprehensible tripe that flowed out of the depths of my addled subconscious before I could panic or have time to stem the flow of verbal excrement. A literary fart that slipped out and transformed into a leaky bowel movement before my very snozzer, matron send in the bearded woman from Rectology with the stirrups and a can of Udder Cream! Oops, there, now. I've gone and spilt my glass of yam juice all over the keyboard. That'll teach me to try and do one thing at once.

"Vibro-lips? Vibro-lips?? More like Velcro flaps" he said with a mouthful of shoe leather.

"I was swinging in the breeze. Swinging like old Mrs. Rancidwart's incontinent cushioned ski-pant pockets. Filled to belching with rancid, oily camel excrement, and the amorphous matter that' s left over after all the juices have been stamped out at the annual Shafted Sheep Treading Festival held each month in Upper New Daardvark, Connecticut."

"What are you talking about Danny?" he said.

Danny continued, ignoring him. "The festival ends with the ceremonious bottling of six forty gallon vats of staley-squeezed elk excretions, and the fermented remains of the carpet stains left over from the previous year's Grunt & Armadillo Shagging Fayre..."

"I still haven't the foggiest what you're dribbling on about , oh great spinner of gobbledygook."

"...then, everyone gets drunk on eight pints of Norman's Mindfork Best and sees who can be last to nail Bert's sister's daughter Joanna up the u-bend, pointing skywards, with a prize-loosing marrow. All good, dirty, dusty, musty, smelly, oily, greasy, well-lubed, smear-stained, rubbed-red-raw fun eh?" Danny was beside himself.

"It's time then, wouldn't you say, to get my head out of this climate-controlled trouser press, and to dig out my special antleroid and monk-billed sloppy plant experiment from the back of the fridge?"

"Yes, I would say so."

"You know, I just asked the girl downstairs if I could throstle her pouch with a Northumberland black pudding, and would ya believe ett, she just walked off with this look of utter disdain without even a passing tweak of my lemur."

"Disgraceful. Disappointing."

"Not 'arf."

"I herd it on the grope vein."

Danny is silent and twitching for a second. "Some people are just plain rude" he muses. "Others are planed hard, flat, and smooth, with less body hair than the guppy that I keep down the front of my shorts. Still others are caught with both hands in the jellied eel tank at the aquarium, their trousers 'round the nurse's ankles, and a pair of Stretchwear hotpants on their heads as they dance maniacally around the room with the lights on and the piglets wired up to a 700 amp generator to provide nipple thrustage. These latter people are probably, nine times out of therapy, you and I on expenses and a free day pass from the clinic, forged by a mad Welsh baseball swallower famous for his impression of Florence Nightingusset ('The Lady With The Lumps') from the Freak show organized by my Uncle Alice."

"Now that you put it that way" he sighed, "it's really no wonder that I haven't got a clue what my name is or why I'm holding this self-inflating bloater fish."


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dogeared Observations

Sixth Avenue in the west village was a crazy place to be last night, albeit seen through the dangling mouthparts of a giant Ren head. T. excelled with her costume creation (in record speed) & response to us was pretty fantastic overall.

A few realisations during the night though:

1. I fail to be a 'real' photographer in one sense: I'd much rather participate in life on many occassions than simply record it. This isn't news, really. To slot into the classic photographer mold, I think that you need that collector/observer mentality. Personally, I wouldn't swap. The life of the observer/recorder is poorer. On the whole, being in among the craziness of this burst of creativity & expression was superb; the one thing that irked a bit is the (always male) photographers looking merely to collect their images, not interacting at all with their subjects, often rudely getting in yer face, rarely blessed with any social skills, never appreciative of either your being there or indeed finding enjoyment in them being there (that was at least visible). I expect these are the types that more excited about equipment than being creative. They were in the minority, natch, but it was a clear observation.

2. There were some really innovative people abroad, going out on limbs (sometimes severed), thinking in novel ways, and constructing costumes and generally behaving very creatively. This slice of New York is partly what I'm here for, I think. Sadly, they're in the minority because many New Yorkers/Americans/westerners are so obsessed with how others see them and/or their image that they won't make an effort to do anything that sets them apart. I get the feeling that social conformity is increasing. In one way this is fair enough - people want to be accepted, want to fit in. But I still don't think it's healthy when it's so wide spread and persuasive. (T.V. must be to blame for some of this. ) Unhealthy for how society works and unhealthy for individuals - internal conflicts (which we all have) are accentuated when one either isn't allowed or doesn't allow oneself to be true to one's own nature, at least within certain bounds. Is this partly an British ex-pat observation or an age-related one? I'm just very grateful for being able to grow up in a freeer, less conformist, less judgemental social echelon.

3. Attractive, firm-breasted, young women are much more inclined to walk up and hug me when I'm wearing an enormous dog head that obscures my facial features.