Monday, October 29, 2007

Three heads: better than one

This little guy was my favorite contestant at The 17th Annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade. A neighborhood mom next to us explained to her daughter that this pooch was "Cerberus, like in Harry Potter." You know, the way you look up at a crucifix and recognize "Jesus, like in Life of Brian." Sheesh.

Thank goodness they postponed the event from Saturday (torrential rain) to Sunday (crisp and sunny). We stood through three rounds of judging in a not-so-great spot at one end of the ring. Like anything happening in NYC that we actually want to go to, the event was, um, well-attended. Which is to say, crowded with other New Yorkers. At least it was other New Yorkers, and not tourists, and at least we spent a lovely day in the company of dogs, then went home to our loony cats.

Boo-boo kitty

I came home this afternoon to some minor damage.

What happened to my kitty?!

The girls don't fight, per se, but they roughhouse a bit and sometimes scratch each other accidentally. I try to keep their nails trimmed (for the sofa's sake, not their own) and they've both had manicures recently. I don't know how this happened, but she seems to be okay.

Update: Oh, she's okay, all right. She's standing on a chair, sniffing at the edge of the dinner table. There's no dinner on the table, so she's just sniffing. a. wooden. table. Sadly, chez plein de panique, this is totally normal.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thank you, chrysanthemum.

Just when I think I've put poetry behind me, I come across something like "God Says Yes to Me" and I realize I just need to exercise that muscle more often.

I actually bought a book of poetry a few weeks ago: o wooly city, by Patricia Sneff. I was enchanted by the cover and the essential New York-ness and femininity of the writing. Guess it couldn't hurt to put it in my bag as I head out to find some lunch.

The poem also brings to mind a bit of an interview with Anne Lamott that I heard this past March on The Brian Lehrer show on WNYC:

Everything I understand about Jesus says, look, it's very simple. Please take care of the poor for me. Please take very thirsty people water. Could you please all try not to kill someone today? Maybe make make a note to yourself and tape it by the phone. It's very simple.

In both cases, sentiments an atheist can also get behind.

Well, who knew?

As it turns out, it doesn't take forever for papier-mâché to dry. The birds were crisp by 5am this morning, when John got home from work and Gemma decided it was time to start batting them all over the living room. I collected and hid them. At 6am, Gemma decided it was time to play with the clay-covered molds. NOT COOL. They are now secured, as well.

I think it is fair to say Molly was innocent in all this mayhem, but she is being suspiciously cuddly next to me on the sofa as I write this up.

I've given the birds one coat of gesso and they are drying on their bamboo skewers. I am worried that as soon as I leave Gemma will go after them again, but at least they are dry to the touch and won't leave a trail of gesso everywhere.

By the way, this is how I intend them to be displayed, because I am currently intentionless. Unintentioned. Whatever.

Since I didn't leave the apartment yesterday, I'm off to do made-up errands and dodge spotty showers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Parce que j'ai besoin d'une nouvelle technique

Q'est-ce que c'est?

Les oiseaux en papier mâché!

This photo is a bit inscrutable (I don't think that's the right word, but I've had it in my head lately) but maybe it helps to know the green lumps in the background are the molds. I did three layers of newsprint around those last night, and this morning I cut them off, completely prematurely. John hadn't left for work yet, so he got to watch me jump up and down ("It worked! It worked!") with an X-Acto knife in my hand. I glued the empty halves back together, sculpted paperclay beaks and attached cardboard tails. I let them dry for, oh, an hour, then put two more layers of newspaper over everything but the beaks.

Now comes the hard part. They need to dry for, like, forever before I can gesso and paint them. And then what?

Je n'ai aucune idée.

Tightly curled kitty

A few days after dropping my classes at Hunter, I bought a pile of new clothes for my potential job. A side effect of 1) having worked exclusively in casual academic environments and 2) having spent the past two and one-half years in studio classes is that I had absolutely no professional wardrobe. Now I do, at least until it gets very very cold. (Still no job, but I've been sending out the ol' cv.)

I finally got around to unpacking said new clothes Tuesday morning, and within minutes Molly had assumed this position. Dunno what attracted her, as they were not warm from the dryer. Also, they had a horrible plastic bag smell, but then, maybe that was the draw?

Let the holiday madness begin!

Wannit! CB2 invades Manhattan early next month, and I will have this. M, you understand: this is my MS cakeplate(s).

Monday, October 22, 2007


A week ago last Sunday, I saw the Git Hoan dancers perform.
(Articulated masks.)
This past Saturday, I got to mingle with strangers at New York Cares Day.
(Trying to be articulate.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dog noise

That would be barking, and there was a lot of it in the park at 8am. As much as I complain about cats whining at the break of dawn, I forget how lucky I am not to be obligated to take a dog out to do its business in the tender light of morning. Bloomberg decided earlier this year that it's okay for folks to let their dogs off leash before 9am, but I hadn't experienced the mayhem in person until today. I empathize with the squirrels; being a little dog-phobic myself, I wasn't too keen on them barreling toward me as I trooped twice around the lower loop. At least NYC dogs tend to be small.

And the canine anxiety was something to take my mind off the bitter, bitter cold. It was 47 degrees this morning, and we are not prepared. Cold weather clothes are still in the basement, and mine don't fit. They might, someday, if I can have more days like yesterday, days of eating healthy and finishing projects. The projet d'hier was new covers for new foam for my $5 Danish modern chair. It looks really good! Sunny and sturdy. If I had a garage, I would strip the frame of its mangled mid-brown finish and paint it a dove grey. And if I had any sewing cajones, I would have put some piping on the cushions. Meh. Next time.

So, yesterday's food. Healthy snacks of grapes and strawberries. Lunch was an Amy's organic microwave meal, mmm, yum, why have I not been eating these? But dinner, I swear, was still warming my belly as I marched through the park this morning: a white bean and chorizo soup intended just to use up some cannellini beans, which may just be my favorite soup ever. I thought I knew most flavors, you know, that I've tasted many cuisines and have an idea of what is possible. Paprika has taken me by surprise, though. I bought a fresh bottle from Kalustyan's a couple weeks ago to make a spice-rubbed chicken, but this soup seems to showcase the spice much more distinctly. Wowza. Topped the day off with an episode of The Shield and a sliver of pumpkin pie from Whole Foods, and I went to bed a happy girl.