Wednesday 31 December 2008

Monday 29 December 2008

Cake, lots of it


I went to my friend India's house yesterday, and this is what we ate. That chocolate cake was the size of two heads, and contained stout! Each slice was a cake. Sensational. We drank tea in very civilised fashion, and then a friend of hers came with some prosecco and champagne. Hurrah!

Mister Pinter went to Oslo

This is probably the finest performance that will ever be given of one of the seminal works of contemporary literature. God bless Mister Pinter.

(Click on either windows media or real player to play. It's 46 minutes and you will probably squirm with the intensity of it. I did.)

Saturday 27 December 2008

Katine women

Anne Enright visits Katine, the African village whose stories are being heard regularly in the Guardian, and writes this beautiful thing.

The Guardian is also sponsoring its own aid appeal for Katine. You can donate through the site.

Thursday 25 December 2008

Harold

Harold Pinter died yesterday. What a fierce fucking genius. Such timing.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

WInter Wonderland, New York






It's been raining hard today, turning all the snow and ice into slush and slipperier ice. But this is what it looked like upstate last weekend.

Thursday 18 December 2008

Saint Bock, on Anger Management

Bock The Robber has heard about an Irish organisation that attempts to curb and temper anger, by showing people how to express their feelings in 'safe' ways. What's more, they've been on the national airwaves, for free, advertising their services on the national news. Bock is blessed, of course, with the ability to express his feelings lucidly and freely. Listen to the music of his opinions about the Irish Association of Anger Management:

This is Christmas, a traditional time of rage, drunkenness, resentment and violence, when families are forced together even though they’d rather screw rusty roofing nails into their eyeballs, and all the old bitterness that they’ve been locking down for a full year comes boiling to the surface.

More Christmas Pudding?

Fuck off.

... Here we are in an economic disaster with the economy collapsing all around us, cutbacks in healthcare, public transport and education, and the taxpayers being forced to bail out the greedy banks and the motherfucker property developers so that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will have to climb up inside chimneys scraping off soot at five years of age to make a few pennies to help pay the national fucking debt, and here comes this sanctimonious crowd of motherfucking craw-thumpers, getting free advertising, paid for by our taxes, and they’re telling us not to be angry.

Well, do you know what? The Irish Association of Anger Management can fuck off!!

They can fuck right off before I lose my fucking temper.



Tuesday 16 December 2008

Recreation area, Camp Justice, Guanatanamo Bay, Cuba


Remarkable scenes from Guantanamo Bay, on The Big Picture. Where else?

America, you have a lot of work to do. See, people in places where there is a race memory of life being lovely but now it is shit, sometimes look at the big concepts America throws around the world, concepts like Justice, Freedom, and they wonder.

They wonder and they look around. And some of them are looking at this.

Monday 15 December 2008

This is happening today


Masvingo, Zimbabwe: Children and their parents pick up single corn kernels that have fallen from trucks carrying maize imported from South Africa (from the Guardian)

Sunday 14 December 2008

Spam, more

Gums New!
May be you need to try it
from susanna

Gmail sms is live

Gmail sms is go! Rocks!

Ireland on the way down, freefalling

I feel like doing a Gerry Ryan- style review of the papers today. Maybe I'll start making podcasts to post on here. Anybody like to hear that? she asks the void. Don't all start running to the comments like lemmings over a cliff, now. I know your keyboard fingers get itchy when you click on Lucy Takes Off.

So, I take the Irish Independent, dear. It doesn't take me anywhere interesting, I might add, but it is the only source of Irish news that I can get for free over the internet, being as it is that the Times is a pay per view affair (is this even POSSIBLE in this day and age?) and I haven't found anything else national worth glancing at. Perhaps the Examiner? Haven't tried that. Again, suggestions welcome (the void says yawp yawp yawp).

This is on the front page of the Indo today:

The Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, in a breathtaking admission of complacency, has said that the Government only became aware of the economic "decline" in July, two years after slowdown indicators first became apparent and when the country was actually in the grip of a full-scale crisis.

The only thing surprising about this headline is that Lenihan actually said what was on his mind. Ireland has to be the last country in the free world whose politicians do this. Perhaps even that complacency will go, when the squeeze becomes a tighter fit. When I was living in Denmark, I heard stories about the boom in the Faroe Islands. It didn't just reach Iceland, apparently as soon as things got good, everyone in the Faroes had a swimming pool built in their back garden. Maybe they're growing vegetables in them now...

See, in Ireland, the Celtic Tiger boom was our very first boom ever. We never had a boom before. We never had money before, as a nation. We knew about famine, recession, poverty, survival, the life of the spirit. Every time I visited Ireland after I left in 2003, as the rich got richer and the poor learned to put their hands out a little farther, I was struck by the sheer savage materialism of the place. The women seemed to be putting more and more make-up on (I was living in Denmark for a lot of this time, where the women were uniformly clean scrubbed, blonde and sensible) and the heels got higher and spindlier, the dresses got sequinnier and the tits spilled out over the tiny pieces of fabric containing them. Everybody was slamming booze and the statistics about cocaine made it sound like it had replaced the spliff as the casual chemical of choice.

I always asked the same question: where is it coming from? Various people pointed to the activity, the buzz, the relentless energy of an economy in rude health, a landscape where a restaurant in Dublin city centre could not possibly fail, would in fact, be packed out from the first day it opened and every day thereafter, where everyone was going out all the time, where people got used to service largely given by the reams of Poles and other East Europs flowing into the country to do jobs we had never had before in Ireland, let alone do them ourselves.

It was a very strange place to visit. I hadn't noticed it being like that before I left.

Meanwhile, I was living in an incredibly sensible and stable country, with a social welfare system that astonishes me still in its humanity and consideration of the value of a decent life for all. This did not make me want to leave any less. I just didn't know where to. So I tried Berlin and Barcelona and ended up back here in New York. This feels like home now. It certainly isn't stable.

So now apparently Ireland is on her way back to recession. She knows it well, even if the 40% of people under 24 there, only know of such things from history books. It's not so long ago though. They date the Tiger years from 1996, but I don't recall things being much different then. Really, the mega boom was just for the last very few years, in my opinion. The palpable madness and relief of it. Ireland needed this frenzy of consumption. It was like a counter-famine.

And, you know, she wears it well. When I saw a clip of the Satanic Sluts on the Late Late show that a New York friend of mine who has recently moved to Dublin, had posted on facebook, well, you've got to know things are peaking. Actually it's the fast train down. Because things tend to pick up speed slowly, accelerate quickly toward the top, plateau and dance for a little bit, then full speed down. There is some kind of absolute gravity freewheel that can be reached when the height one is falling from is high enough. It's a state where maximum velocity is reached, and everything is just coasting. It's a bit like that line from La Haine, where the man is falling from the top of a building, and as he falls past each floor, hurtling toward the ground, he says to himself, jusqu'ici, tout est bien. Jusqu'ici, tout est bien. So far, so good.

C'est pas la tombe. C'est la terrisage.

It's not the falling, it's the landing. Or, to quote another song from hard-hit times,

Is that all there is, my friend? Then let's go dancing....

Friday 12 December 2008

Frenchie

Remember when the most rude thing you could think of was the idea of somebody giving you a frenchie?

Thursday 11 December 2008

Pooch portraits



Close up shots of dogs in repose, looking directly into the camera. It's amazing how much we like dogs to perform for the camera. Cats, however, can perform all day, as far as I'm concerned.

Spam, continued

I just got an email from a person called Most Trusted Replica.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

The Lonesome Boatman



A classic Irish air, played by a virtuoso tin whistle player. That's a TIN WHISTLE this man is playing. Watch those fingers fly. Reminds me of a bird.

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Mystuff



A Chinese photographer exhibits his shit. It is pretty.

This is Where: Milla


Milla from THIS IS WHERE from Lucy Foley on Vimeo.

This and yesterday's post are two parts of a project I made this year, called This is Where. It's composed of mostly film photographs but also some digital, spoken word and the music for both pieces is composed by Ross Bonadonna. It is made to be projected on large canvases in installation settings. This is Where was first seen at the Enniskillen Arts Festival, Sept/Oct 08.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Saturday 6 December 2008

Easy pickings

I glance through the spam folder before trashing it, in case somebody's mass mailout opening invitation or party made it there instead of my inbox. Now, spam isn't what it used to be since they shut down that huge factory operation a few weeks ago. Apparently the pharmacological enticements that constitute 97% of my spam yield something like 27 sales per 5 million spams sent out, or something to that effect. Even at that ratio some of these megaspam operations can make thousands of dollars a day from this stuff.

There is also the kind of spam that makes suggestions such as: Make your Nomination Today for a Degree, or PhD in 5 Weeks: why spend 3 years writing your thesis when you can buy one today and have it delivered by UPS directly to your door? This kind of thing really does piss me off, because they wouldn't be doing it unless it sold to somebody, and really it's got to be the most vulnerable people who fall for this kind of shit.

Ireland has apparently seen a huge surge in cocaine use over the past few years. And Ireland is a small island nation, so the connections between things are really that much more apparent. When you know you're directly supporting the kind of thing that involves so much killing and brutality, not just in Columbia but in Limerick city, for instance, a town of 70,000 people that contains this phenomenon and leads to people being shot and neighbours terrorised with bomb threats in what is basically your neighbourhood, I would imagine it would kind of kill the fun, no? Cos that is what you're putting in your veins and up your nose. The white powder is just a metaphor.

Have I posted this before? Oh well. Watch it again, so.



Love this.

Sex for sanitary towels

The Guardian has this Katine project, where they are sponsoring various development projects in a Ugandan village, and reporting stories from the work that's going on there, and also stories from the lives of the villagers. This one: stories of teenage girls, sexuality and finance, struck me, today.

Thursday 4 December 2008

Rain on Flatbush




It's been raining for a half hour. Rain changes the soundscape reaching me here, at the nexus of three Brooklyn streets. The slosh softens things, makes everything sound more luxurious, generous. Though I seem to find the various alert sounds very appealing lately, with possible exception of fire truck when it makes its sonar spasticity as it heads the wrong way down Dean street. Houses catch fire and fires need to be quenched. Not a whole lot of that lately, maybe fires are going out of fashion. Maybe fire quenching is falling victim to the increasingly cautionary economic climate: people are being safe with their stuff. Anyway, often I find that the various alert sounds of cars, trucks, alarms and machines seem to syncopate melodically with whatever tune I'm humming. This is endearing.

I look out the window and see the street sellers with their huge line of $24.95 Christmas trees wrapped up in green bags. We saw a truck full of the things, billowing in the crisp clear night, as we drove home from Thanksgiving dinner in Westchester a week ago. That's the future, I said. Well, they're here. It's festive. They have lights and I'll bet it's cold out there. There's some kind of makeshift cabin but basically they've got to be around in case somebody has some kind of inane questions about Christmas trees they'll need to answer. Some people work hard for their $10 an hour.

Somebody's getting married in DUMBO and there are cocktails and cake. I may skip it. I'm listening to the slosh slosh slosh.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Prop 8: The Musical


Physicalising bits of the internet

I seem to be talking about Russell Davies a lot lately, specifically his Lyddle End 2050 project, his slow project attitude, and the general friendly contrariness of his jib. I have been talking a lot about his idea of physicalising the internet, I particularly like the notion of a ring binder with wikipedia bits in it, and an old shoe box of random flickr images. Our clusterflock meeting on saturday felt to me like the human version of this, as we had never met before, and our meeting was at the urging of another Clusterflocker none of us have ever met, the lovely Sheila Ryan, of the Driftless Region, Midwest of the Internet.

Brooklyn Clusterdrinks

The internet became physicalised in human form on saturday night, as four bloggers from Clusterflock met, drank, ate and drank together. Here is what it looked like.

Bock

This is one of the most satisfying reads I had today. I love this dude sometimes, and he is a native of my native birthplace, Limerick. Also on a similar theme, this.

Saturday 29 November 2008

Thursday 27 November 2008

Hitting the walls and working the middle

So it's NSFW only in terms of a wordfest, but what a fest of words. And that means Not Safe For Work, folks. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

The Philoctetes Project

Interesting audio piece from NPR talking about a project that attempts to help veterans and their families rehabilitate from war, by immersion in ancient Greek tragedy. Philoctetes was very close to my heart at one point. I was talking about him recently. I think it's time to re-read the play.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Mouse armour



The perfect Christmas gift for the mouse you hear in your kitchen at night, the perfect foil for the cat who loves him, and if you can pull it off, hours and hours and hours of fun for you.

Where's the money?

Good point being made here by the Guardian. The post-election euphoria is still rebounding, but meanwhile money's too tight to mention. The last I heard, Cheney's 'approval' rating was at 2%, Bush's Texan charm taking him all the way up to 10%. It shows in this bizarre bizarre pantomime of a press conference.

It's clear that Bush really doesn't have a clue what's going on, doesn't have a clue how to address it, doesn't have any kind of minds around him who have a clue, now that the game of sucking the goodies out of the sucking tube is drying up, now that the sucking tube is blocked. Whatever you think of him, it's clear that he really doesn't have a clue, that he is totally and utterly without any understanding of this crisis, having left all the business of understanding economics to the Frat boys of Wall street, who 'got drunk' and made a balls of it. He's stuttering and floundering, having left all the business behind of being able to look your colleagues in the eye, of having colleagues who had any interest in looking back at you straight in the eye, without being on the make, without having something to hide.

The contrast between these two men seems to me to be a bit like the difference between a neglectful parent who really never noticed that they were neglectful, having no way of knowing or understanding any other reality, until one day the social services came in and took the child from their care, into the hands of a sober, kindly, capable foster parent. The depressing bit is that America needs the intellect and efficiency of an Obama right now, and there is still 60 days to go under the helm of an administration that hams things up with handshaking and shitscared cluelessless.

Monday 24 November 2008

So, who is this band?

Oh, this is your blog.

Jethro Tull.. Must be a later record. I followed them quite a bit, for a little while. He chuckles. I like his chuckle a lot. It is one of his best qualities.

Oh, there's Traffic again. Don't be sad. I just want to see you get through.

When do we get the icecream?

Yikes. He gave up icecream for 25 years, until he met me. Now, it's icecream nightly. It's almost imperceptible, how it's happening, but it's happening.

Now, I reply. And dish out the Phish food.

I don't know if you're getting enough of the phishes, I say. I've got enough, he replies. I'm going to pause right there. That's more icecream than I've eaten in a long time.

It's happening. Slowly.

Sunday 23 November 2008

Visit from a friend, long time not seen

I'm having a new lease of life with an old friend I haven't seen in some time. It's happening in my dreams. I just dreamt of a man I used to be friends with for a few years, from when I was sixteen. He was quite a bit older than me and was one of my closest friends, until, just before I came to live in New York for the first time, our friendship somewhat suddenly, stopped. Just a few hours ago he was in my dream again, it was the second time in a couple of weeks.

Literally the only times I have seen this man in five years are in a couple of movies I knew he had acted in, which I saw recently for the first time, and then two weeks ago, when he showed up in my dream. In that dream we met in some kind of office, like the front office of a bank, and we went down to the bottom of it and he was so thrilled to see me, and we just greeted each other, hugging and delighted. I was slightly wary, I anticipated some kind of cold shoulder or accusation, but he seemed genuinely warm and friendly. It was cool to get that dream.

Last night was somewhat more elaborate. He was living in some very strange place, kind of a Sam Beckett kind of landscape, mixture of Happy Days and Godot. He was really very happy, as in the first dream. He was living on a hillock above this little set of cubicles, the principle of them being one that housed a woman, who was a local prostitute, kind of in the manner of Dogville, without actually being chained to anything. He introduced her to me, and clearly she had rocked his world and opened it up, made it lighter. But I was concerned about her. She was living in this little two doored cubicle, and people would come and have sex with her in it, as she described it.

So I was just hanging out with her and him and whoever else was around. There was a party, more prostitutes, of the kindly world war one "cheery oh, dearie" type.

It was good to see John in such good spirits. I miss him sometimes, and talk about him often.

Friday 21 November 2008

Hey, you're ok, you'll be fine, just breathe

This is a song that was written to help a friend of the songwriter's to chill out when she got anxious. The man who wrote the song put the basic track on the internet and asked people to sing along with it, and send the recordings to him. He mixed the results, and got this.

The mouse who came in from the cold

We had a visit from a small mouse last night. I woke up several times, listening to him poke about in the house, wondering what he was doing, thinking of the piece of baklava I had bought from that lovely lovely Egyptian man who runs the falafel shop on Clark street. This morning I discovered my bag had been unlocked, opened, and there was an explosion of half-eaten baklava (that still looked deeply yummy) all over the bottom of it.

There were small mouse claw marks on my brown leather wallet. He had clearly used it as a perch from which to enjoy his baklava. It was a cold night last night. We had had some hot whiskeys, and I there was a little left in the bottom of one of the glasses on the counter, about half of that left this morning.

That mouse had a good time.

Monday 17 November 2008

New look LTO

So it's three o'clock in the day and I have spent hours farting around with the Lucy takes off template. Godammit. And now for a meaningless meander into Manhattan.

I hope this enhances your viewing and reading pleasure around here. Dishes of cigarettes to be passed around shortly.

Sunday 16 November 2008

Road patterns, London

Chocolate torte update

There is no chocolate matter in the house that interests me. I have just eaten a banana. We also have apples. Revolution!

Ps. Please don't be scared off by the chocolate torte that tastes of meat. This is purely a subjective opinion, and I am quite sure that there are Trader Joe's afficionados out there who understand the chocolate torte aesthetic better than I ever could. If so, then write. Time is ticking on...

Pps. Heather, I know you want this cake. It is yours. Email me about it if you need to be discreet.

Friday 14 November 2008

Giveaway: Chocolate Almond Torte

I have one of those Trader Joe's Chocolate Almond Tortes, just bought it this afternoon. Just took a slice. Yak. Not my thing, but it's got to be somebody's. So if it's yours, let me know, and if you live in Brooklyn or are willing to travel for your TJ's Choc Torte, come and get it.

We have earned the new puppy that is coming with us to the White House

It's worth watching all 3:35 of this.

Dublin to New York, via feral cats and Greek comedy

It started with one cat, in Dublin. She was feral, she lived in the alleyways behind the house I was living in on Synge street, and she was the mother of a colony of feral cats that I got mixed up with.

She was a grey tabby, with one eye missing, so I called her One Eye. She had clearly had been in human hands to some degree for the first weeks or months of her life, because she understood - and seemed to enjoy - the etiquette of rubbing her head against the windowsill, and purring as a human stroked her. None of her offspring would ever let me do that to them. You've got to get a cat socialised to human touch within the first 6 - 8 weeks of their lives, or else they're untouchable forever (though I have heard some amazing (and bloody) stories of rescue and trust between human and feral cat).

So One Eye scoped me out and sussed me pretty fast. I was living in the basement of this house on Synge street, right across from the boys' school, and she slunk into my life and I began to buy chicken necks to feed her. I bought this stuff from a lovely butcher on Grantham street, who had kept the butcher shop for 40 years with his wife. Before that, it had been a haberdashers. Soon after I began to buy chicken necks from the butcher to feed One Eye and whoever else would come around, he sold the shop and it became a faux-Cuban tapas bar.

The bar is still there, and there's another one of the same name on George's street, where it has taken the place of one of the last greasy spoon cheapy cafes to close in Dublin. I used to go there every day in my last year in the town. Three euro fifty got you scrambled eggs on toast and a pot of tea, and I usually had a bit of a chat with the dishwasher who would come out from the kitchen when he saw me there. It was like the kind of place Francis Bacon might have frequented, had it been in London, full of all kinds of every dreg of Dublin life. Flanagans, it was called. A great place. The last time I went to eat there it was early 2005. Now, there's the Cuban place, which of course is not actually Cuban, but a sort of Cuban tribute restaurant.

The first Cuban joint, on Grantham street, was one of Dublin's first tastes of the Celtic Tiger. People came there to dance over their shrimp tapas on the weekends, and African drummers were brought in to jam along to the CDs on saturday nights. I popped in there from time to time, usually to howl like a wolf, and leave again. That seemed to be an acceptable addition to the climate there on the weekends, so I kind of liked the place.

One Eye and her brood, the neighbourhood feral cats, lived in the alleys between my flat and the Cuban place. At some point, I realised that I had taken them on. Pretty quickly, it was clear that One Eye was with kitten. When the kittens were born, it was freezing and snowy and I used to go around the back alleys with this bag of chicken necks and stand there in the cold for over an hour feeding them to her. One Eye would come as soon as I called her, and rub her head against my legs, purring, and I would give her a chicken neck. Then she had to jump up on the wall surrounding a trashed-out backyard behind one of those Camden street townhouse hotels, then leap up on a higher wall above it, all this with chicken neck in mouth, and climb unsteadily across a galvanised icy snowy roof, after which she dropped out of sight to wherever she had stowed her babies. After some time, she would return, and we repeated the process. We did this every night until they were able to come and get food themselves.

By the spring (which is February in Ireland) she began to bring the brood over. They were three raving beauties, with very distinct personalities. One was tortoiseshell, we called her Yak. She was very dignified and good natured, though of course not amenable to any kind of physical contact. But she would happily sit on the ledge outside the window, and have eye contact conversations with us, and spend the whole day there, knowing that she would get fed when she was hungry. She became a kind of surrogate mother to One Eye's later broods, and was intensely social. Other cats, especially smaller ones, loved her.

The other two ended up being called Purpee and Silvee. Purp was a kind of Kerry Blue colour, on the colour frontier where smokey blue meets purple, and he was a bit of a pain in the arse, very suspicious, out for all he could get, opportunistic, moved through life alone. Nervous. Edgy.

Silv was more circumspect than Yak, but magnificent nonetheless. A big silver haired tom, with intelligence in his eyes, and a kindliness that is unusual to find in a feral tomcat.

In a later litter came Billie, who was constantly vocal. She was a bit of a gorgeous brat who demanded everything all the time. The last major cat character from that tribe was a sweet little mischievous black and white scruff we called Bogie. These guys hung off of Yak all day long. Others came and went, I remember some of them, not all.

Things escalated. I made trips up Clanbrassil street to a butcher there, with a big backpack, and bought a vast quantity of pork hearts once a week, which I filled the fridge and freezer with, and microwaved in the evenings. My kitchen was turned into a bloodhouse (I was vegetarian at the time) but the cats got fed well every evening. I learned something about anatomy and developed a strong stomach.

My landlord found out I was feeding the cats and threatened to throw me out unless I stopped having contact with them in his backyard. I stopped feeding them from my window and brought the hearts over to the back alleys every night. I heard rumours that the neighbours were threatening to put down poison to kill the cats off, they thought they were a nuisance. Then Yak got pregnant.

The weather was mild, soft, rainy. She brought her kittens around to the garden, and deposited them under a wallcreeper by my window. She took care of them there. I could see that they were not well. So, one day, on one of her brief sojourns away from them, I gathered the five fluffballs up and put them in a box and brought them to the local vet. He took one look at them and condemned them to death. They had cat leukemia, he said, and cat flu, and would only spread the disease along. They hadn't a hope, he said. It was better this way. I was distraught, and he suggested that I let him put them down, and I walked away, back home, without Yak's kittens.

I got home, and sat in the kitchen, and waited. Yak came back, called her babies, searched frantically for them, called and called them, searched my face for information, kept calling through the day. I was in agony. She kept calling. I kept crying, trying to tell her what had happened. We kept going for hours. I was wretched, distraught. And then I remembered a phone number that had been given to me by a woman who I met a few months previously when a dog had followed me home and I had kept it in the flat overnight and met her in the park the next day, and she had found it a home.

She was a well-to-do middle aged woman who lived in Foxrock - a bit like Hellerup or Westchester - and spent her life and a lot of her money rescuing animals, mostly dogs, and giving them medical attention, and caring for them, trying to find them homes, keeping a lot of them in her own home, devoting her life to the care of abandoned things. I was sobbing down the line in the phone box at the corner of Harrington and Camden and South Richmond streets, and she heard me, and offered to help the cats, by giving me a trap so I could catch them one by one and get them neutered. At least we could keep the remaining colony stable, rather than a constantly expanding number of animals fighting for diminishing resources. I would do the legwork and she would pay for the whole thing.

So, for the next six months, that's what I spent my nights doing. Putting the trap out, sometimes catching one, sometimes not. It took six months to do them all. I would keep them in my flat overnight, bring them to the vet, collect them the next day, keep them in the cage, inside my flat for a couple of days to recover, then release them. Rinse. Repeat.

And then one day, this pregnant kittenish creature came in my window, and sat on my bed, and gave birth to a single kitten on my bed, right before my eyes. She belonged to a woman who lived next door, who never seemed to be around to take care of her cats, and so one by one, her cats found me. And one by one, I brought the cats, now three, to my parents' place in Clare, where they live today.

I just found this story in my drafts, while I was cleaning up my labels. Feels like it needs some kind of spit and polish ending, some kind of bringing to life of the life in these cats, the life that I lived with them, the difficulty of leaving them, of just abandoning them one day, because I had to live, because caring for them was taking up so much of my mind and heart, though I didn't know how leave them at the mercy of the winds. I think I did it gradually, stopped going around with the meat, but kept something handy at the window for whoever would come, to hell with the landlord.

Then I got a job spending eight hours a day trying to keep sixteen year olds quiet, in a study room of one of those nasty intensive grind schools, the job lasted three months until I could pretend to silence teenagers no more, and I had written a play based on the Greek comedy Lysistrata, and there had passed some tortuous conversations with a friend listening to my heart craving New York and that was the way it was, and the decision was at hand. A week later I was in New York.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Here comes Lucy the Muppet

Design your own muppet. If you want to have her shipped to you it will cost $90, or you could use the site as a design tool and make your own. Here's what mine looked like.

Calling all humans who have not yet been consumed whole and alive by a snake

Please contribute your opinions on a life-and-death dilemma I posted over on Clusterflock today.

Mermaid on a toilet roll dispenser

Help this man's need to have plastic cows filling his home


I think we should all probably support this.

Now we are one



This is a picture of a small penguin who waited for two weeks for his mate to return from the sea to share egg sitting duties with him. Finally, hunger and desperation took over and he abandoned his beloved egg and headed off to save himself. Thank you, Big Picture, God dammit.

Small hairless three legged one eyed dog, dies.



Gus, the world's ugliest dog, is dead after a battle with cancer. I catsat the cat version of this dog last year, in Prospect heights. This dog looks considerably more appealing. But the one-eyed aspect reminds me of a cat acquaintance of mine once, called, predictably enough, One Eye. She was the queen of the feral neighbourhood in Portobello, Dublin.

Rest in peace, Gus.

Mother and child, London

Away we go

The edge of Chelsea

Tiny man takes the train

One of those Freddy's moments

Friday 7 November 2008

More tales from tuesday night

What Carrie Dashow found on the night of November 4th.

Some days

Everyone's terribly excited

A Guardian-run flickr stream where anyone is invited to contribute a message for Obama. Here is a small curated view.

Have you seen these?


Barack Obama's photostream on Flickr (thanks, Andrew). Some candid shots of the core team on election night. Notice the lack of people milling about. Notice the calm air. The lack of booze. A few bottles of water on the table. Muted.

The transitional government website is change.gov and it's an interesting spot to have a dig around.

Meanwhile it feels tribal around here. Obama! I call. Obama! they call back.

His journey here

This is a half hour documentary about Barack Obama's life, with interviews from school and collegemates, colleagues, family and friends. Some great pictures, too. There is an audio download option.

It's difficult not to love this guy.

Thursday 6 November 2008

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Hot damn

It was only about a half hour after Obama was elected that I noticed it. There was just sheer jubilant joy in Brooklyn last night. We just celebrated all night long. It was so beautiful. Every passing car, every passing person, cheered and beeped as we danced together. What a night to be in America.

We cheered the cabs, they cheered back. We cheered the people passing by the corner of Freddy's. They cheered back. They joined us. We danced. People swung from lampposts. We cheered the department of sanitation truck. They cheered back. We cheered the NYPD (well, I did). They ooh ooh ooh'd back. Every time anybody said yaaaaaaay, the room lit up, alive, yaaaaaaying back.

We sang, we danced, we played, we danced, it was a wreck of jubilation, I am covered in glitter dust today, we kissed and hugged strangers, no one was a stranger last night. Today I hear the same sounds of New York outside this corner house and they sound softer, chirpier. Of course, the jackhammers are back, across the street. This house is a confluence of streetcorners, one of them being one of the busiest thoroughfares in Brooklyn. There are always jackhammers around.

This was no mere Democrat victory, mark that. Last night, something reached deeply into people's hearts and set them free. Last night, the word OBAMA meant love. Something extraordinary happened in America's soul last night. This is how it was, here in Brooklyn, on Dean street.

OBAMA

YYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. Hallelujah. Sleep well, folks. You can, tonight.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Today

It's festive around here, there's no two ways about it.

Tick tick tick

It's november 4th. Good morning.

Monday 3 November 2008

The Day After

But you know, it is highly unlikely that Obama will actually turn into the little baby Jesus on November 5th, so there is likely to be tears and disappointment regardless.

The Day Before

New York: good place to be if he wins.
New York: good place to be if he loses.

Black Watch review

We went to see Black Watch at St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO on friday. Jesus I love DUMBO, my heart beats faster as I walk down Clark street. It was a crisp, clear afternoon, and we drank coffee as we walked under the Manhattan Bridge (the one I am in love with) and went to join the audience scene in the theatre.

It was quite a show. Very energetic, beautifully choreographed, and the first piece of theatre that I have seen that addresses the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict from the perspective of some of the soldiers from the Black Watch brigade, a 300 year old Scottish institution largely formed from Tayside working class men, who have fought "30 bloody Cullodens" in various warzones throughout the world, and how this one was different. The show was staged in traverse, ie. audience on either side of the performing area, which was a great idea for the dance sequences, but pretty terrible for the more intimate moments. They seemed to be using actual footage from the shock and awe raids, and at times the actors seemed tired, not surprisingly, given their extraordinary performance schedules on this show.

To be honest, the publicity for the show is a bit ridiculously heavy handed, but it is the kind of theatre that reconnects with one of theatre's lifeblood functions: to delve into the current affairs of our time, bring news stories to life, vividly, in ways that television or even film just cannot. There is a poetic licence available in theatre that is entirely particular to the stage, and a kind of language is created within the best productions, within which audience, actors and all can take off together and fly.

I am also some kind of a sucker for non-showyoffy men singing in groups, and there was plenty of singing in this show. The show has been running for two years all over the world, and this run in St. Ann's is being billed as the last New York city performances. If you care about theatre, you probably just have to go.

A subway serenade







Thursday 30 October 2008