0 3 / 0 2 / 0 8:
'b a l d n e s s & d e r e l i c t i o n'


"i loathe people who keep dogs. they are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves."

- august strindberg

in the aftermath of chicken having been put down i came to the uncomfortable realisation that having a dead cat is utterly exhausting.
and in a somewhat related note... my first bald spot! the end of last year saw a touch of alopecia appear just above my hair line, a smooth-as-a-baby's-bottom patch about the size of a 5 pence piece, which has now grown back. i realise now that i should probably have taken a photo of it to show you all but at the time i was a little more concerned with the possibility that i might see the new year in looking like duncan goodhew.

i hope you all had a merry christmas. no, see, even i didn't believe that; still, the thought was there... well, actually not the thought. not actual well wishing. more like the thought of the thought. put it this way, i approached the concept of well wishing, and that should be enough, whether it was done with any feeling or sincerity or not. i know, i know, in the past i've been dismissive of christmas, of its ceremony and enforced jollity, however i am a changed man, thanks to this short video showing the true spirit of christmas. "dick the halls" an all that.

so, goodbye to a year that saw me lose what must have been close to a thousand pounds when this man retired. it seems he was merciless after all. bastard.

"now that's a tune i can brush with!" the true mark that you've made it as a rock band: children regularly take you into their mouths for a bit of good clean 'fun'... o... no, i didn't mean... um...

last year i went to see the wonderful miss rose thorne perform at the 'infamous' celeb hang out the met bar. what. an. almighty. shit. hole. i'm not kidding you when i tell you that one unremarkable bottle of beer cost me £5.63; i'll let that sink in before telling you that the 63p was automatically charged but then printed on the receipt as 'optional service'. what an overpriced idiot-infested fucking rathole. trust me, d o n ' t g o t h e r e.

death to chocolate bunnies!

this article raised a smile. the temptation to say things like 'put that in your pipe and smoke it', 'how'd you like them apples?' and the admittedly less cerebral 'now will you shut the fuck up you tiresome moralising cunt-monkeys?' is very strong.

apparently, "lucozade is not appropriate for replacing the fluid lost during diarrhoea" apparently.

and after so much waiting, cajoling and downright complaining to the management company, the gate is f i n a l l y fixed! it looked so strange as i left in the morning that i had to just stare at it for a moment, the geometry of home changed by it's, o i don't know, working like it's fucking supposed to. at last.
not 2 4 h o u r s l a t e r, and in broad daylight, the fucker's broken again. utter cunts.

for those wishing to be disturbed and/or 'creeped out', behold: 'the enigma of amigara fault' -those willing to commit to the premise should stick with it to the end, it's worth it.

favourite spam subject line: edgardoqueen-sizedfuckstick. ooh, where do i sign?

i learned a new word today:
/'spuni/ [spoo-nee]
–adjective, spoon·i·er, spoon·i·est. Informal.
1. foolishly or sentimentally amorous. 2. foolish; silly.

'mr grasshead' update:

-doesn't he look nice among the other exhibits?

life imitates art -

security tfm:
(to jack)
throwers don't worry about ticking.
modern bombs don't tick.

excuse me? "throwers?"

security tfm:
baggage handlers. but when a
suitcase vibrates, the throwers have
to call the police.

my suitcase was vibrating?

security tfm:
nine time out of ten, it's an
electric razor. but, every once in
a while ...
...it's a dildo. it's airline policy
not to imply ownership in the event
of a dildo. we use the indefinite
article: "a dildo." never "your dildo."

"you wonder what a life spent marvelling at the world about us has taught him about life. is there - the only big question - a purpose? 'none whatsoever!' he exclaims, leaning forward and banging the table."

-from an interview with david attenborough by jeremy paxman

newyorksnippets and way too many big photots...

the flight out was a first for me, in that at no time did i try to stand while my seatbelt was still buckled. i consider this an achievement. shut up. it is.

graffiti in the comfort diner toilet: "9/11 was an inside job -prisonplanet.com", which was added to the next time we went, by outraged anti-sceptic septics, who had scrawled angrily the devastatingly politically savvy retort "inside your ass, you commie bastard." boom, take that prison planet.com.

upstairs at the comfort we sat next to what amounts to the real life version of the cast of 'the rules of attraction', a group of revolting, revoltingly well off young people with the collective iq of an occasional table: "i don't read books" said one loudly and, i couldn't help but think, proudly (this begged the question just what do you do with them?). another answered "if i'm, like, reading a book, i, like... just turn on the t.v.". the future of the free world ladies and gentlemen. in true bret easton ellis fashion they discussed a friend who's in rehab, telling tales of his excesses "when we were in barbados" -pronounced 'barr-bay-dose'. gag.

#1 go to new york. #2 go to houstens. #3 order the 'famous french dip au jus' (wafer thin slices of pink steak served in french bread, with a coffee cup of the richest gravy known to man). #4 thank me.

we went to see 'i am legend'. yes, yes i know, will smith irredeemable tit etc. but we'd read the book and, well, by this point the idea of an empty manhattan was appealing. you know that when a main character in an american film says the line: "there is no god" that things can't end well, and so it is in this adaptation of the richard matheson original, which pussies out on a massive scale when it comes to the ending, a revised denouement that is both revoltingly pseudo-religious and untterly nonesensical in relation to the title. there are some nice moments with the empty city but sadly the jolting paradigm shift of the original ending in the book is discarded in favour of utter unforgivable bollocks.

saw a man leading a small dog along madison avenue. the dog was wearing shoes. and denim jeans. and a black, studded leather jacket. not kidding.

apparently "an idaho potato has more potassium than a banana"

t.v. news informs us one morning that new yorkers are dropping like flies because of this virulent stomach bug that's sweeping the city. that morning we come out of a diner only to see the nice, clean-cut looking girl that we followed out of the door vomiting with no small amount of enthusiasm in the gutter. a complete stranger was passing and exclaimed "ho! that's the stomach flu!" and then to myself and hostess elisabeth: "I hope you people washed your hands". how very civic minded of the chap.

the shop sign on the ground floor of the hotel reads: "sorry, we are close" close to what exactly, or why such proximity demands remorse, they don't say.

hostess elisabeth has decided that she would very much like to work at a driving range collecting the balls in the little armoured car.

we go all touristy for a day and take a boat ride around the island. before we board we all line up at the quay and a young girl turns to her family and asks: "which boat is ours?" which strikes me as a strange question as there is only one boat anywhere in sight. it is whilst on this boat that we see people on the southern end of roosevelt island, near the ruins of the old asylum, somewhere we've been trying to get to for about seven years, and so plan a long-overdue trip.
while on the boat we learn a number of things:
decommissioned new york city subway cars are shipped out to sea and submerged to make artificial reefs for wildlife.
there is a working aqueduct just east of the northern most point of manhattan.
before the whole iceberg / 'unsinkable' debacle put the icy kibosh on the whole thing, the titanic was supposed to dock at pier 59; whereas pier 54:

was where the bodies of the recovered dead were laid out -yet there is no memorial or plaque at either site.

overheard on the street: "i'm a severely disappointed idealist"

during a visit to chocolate by the bald man we notice a dwarf busboy. um... in a chocolate factory? really? i'm not saying don't employ the bloke but in a restaurant where written above the stairs are the words "look mom, willy wonka's alive" does seem to be inviting a whole heap load of hassle on the chap... he must get called an oompa-loompa by arsehole tourists at least five times a day. am i wrong?

t.v. informs us of a couldn't-be-more-made-up-sounding-if-it-tried medical condition called restless legs syndrome. which is either the funniest thing you've heard this year or proof that gloria estefan was right all along, and the rhythm really is gonna getcha.

i have my hair cut by a nice man called juan at the el grove barber shop on 14th street and he 'finishes me off' (ooer) with a straight razor. nice touch. i chose the barbers after deciding against one near st. mark's place which promised to cut my hair and offered karaoke facilities, a prospect which i must admit frightened me a little. instead, juan did a grand job and then gave both myself and hostess elisabeth free diaries.

and so we were f i n a l l y able to reach the ruins of the roosevelt island asylum. and boy were we glad we did...it opened in 1832 to accommodate an overflow of "lunatic" asylum, poorhouse and prisoner patients from bellvue hospital, the place looks like the set for a hammer horror film and when in operation can't have done much for the mental state of those being interned within its walls. it's creepy enough now its empty. it looks like a cross between colditz and dracula's bachelor pad.

we saw a hawk in central park try and catch a pigeon, fail, then almost settle for catching hostess elisabeth instead; unless of course she was the target all along...

overheard during dinner: "i used to drink coffee, then only tea, now i drink a mixture of both" -would be called 'cea', or 'toffee' do you think?

while at the theatre to see the play the seafarer, we both notice from the program that the stage manager's name is barclay stiff. and quite unforgivably, we giggle.

every time we go away someone famous dies, this year, congratulations go to benazir bhutto.

during a trip to big daddy's diner i order a 'monty hall' sandwich for 'brunch' - chicken, ham, swiss cheese club sandwich which, when it comes turns out not only to be roughly the size of a modest family car but also to be made from 'french toast' (eggy bread to you and me) and also sprinkled liberally with icing sugar. gulp. somewhat... confusing, taste-wise. my taste-buds were as confused as ainsley harriot in a 'people deserving of continued existence' convention. still, i managed half of it.

we find a cloyingly pretentious shop which is poorly lit, smells suspiciously of incense and is selling old, 'authentic' punk clothing, including original sex pistols t-shirts for $800 -thus missing the point of the whole punk thing outrageously. idiots.

madison square park this year contained a series of pieces of art by the wonderfully named roxy paine, (who, after some research turns out to be a man), which consisted basically of giant stainless steel trees set among the real thing:

'conjoined', 2007

graffiti spotted in dumbo:
"friends don't let
friends drink

while wandering, a little lost, in brooklyn, we discovered a whole block of derelict, disused houses on flushing avenue:

they're all fenced off and festooned with barbedwire and seem to have been empty for years and years. a really strange sight.

we think they might have been navy housing and as such the ground is probably owned by the government and not for sale... why not seems open to question and of course many, many creepy, if utterly groundless, conspiracy theories from hostess elisabeth... mostly concerning zombie apocalypse.

while we're away a tiger breaks loose from its compound, kills someone and is then shot by police. it's only after we return that the full story becomes clear. now, while it's undoubtedly true that the zoo is at fault for building a tiger enclosure that the animal could escape from, these new revelations certainly paint the tiger itself in a different light. when the story first broke it was a wild animal gone mental mauling innocent zoo visitors; now it seems more like a focussed, clever, vindictive revenge machine with big pointy teeth. they taunted it, threw things, it said to itself i'm gonna fuckin' have them, and to it's credit it did. it didn't go mental. it was mistreated, teased, taunted, it escaped, hunted down the perpetrators and killed one of them. good on her i say.

believe it or not, m&m world actually exists; and is terrifying, both in its concept and reality. imagine a warehouse full to bursting with cheap plastic crap and american tourists. now imagine the cheap plastic crap emblazoned with the m&m logo, and the americans positively feverish to buy any and all of it. avoid.

i saw a middle-aged, dowdy, overweight woman walking through the rain; grey frightwig hair, huge, thick glasses. as miserable as sin. her t-shirt read careful, or you'll end up in my novel.

in america it is possible to buy a giant snickers (marathon to all right thinking individuals) called rather grandiosely: peanutopolis, whereas here in the uk we're banned from choosing to eat more chocolate than is probably good for us, thus robbing us of the choice. because no matter their age the british, apparently, are retarded children unable to decide for themselves. it seems little wonder that so many of them behave as they are treated. stupid stupid stupid.

it turns out that hostess elisabeth cannot drink from a water fountain without looking like some kind of mongoloid having some kind of seizure. still learning about each other after 15 years.

some cds purchased in new york: 'requiem für meine frau beate musik der 56.aktion' - hermann nitsch, 'hostile ambient takeover' - melvins, 'holyfuck' - holy fuck, 'still born alive' - sand, 'other mathematics' / 'zoo psychology' / 'chrome panthers' - ex models, 'people take warning! (murder ballads & disaster songs 1913 - 1938)' - v/a, 'congotronics' - konono no.1, 'the sinking of the titanic' - gavin bryars, 'jesus' blood never failed me yet' - gavin bryars (with tom waits), 'metacompound' - absolut null punkt, 'fall heads roll' - the fall, 'seies' - larsen, '2 ½ creatures' - experimental dental school

recommended: (audio) the sinking of the titanic' -cd- by gavin bryars / (comestible) new york strip steak / (visual) roosevelt island asylum / (sensorial) the non-participation in christmas day

reviled: (audio) flight delay announcement / (comestible) black lentil dahl / (visual) lack of new york snow / (sensorial) a catless flat