Quit Losing Weight, Buddy

I took Buddy in for his regular cancer check up. He’s probably fine, I’ll know more tomorrow when the blood test results come back, but he seems fine. Except no matter how much I get him to eat he keeps losing weight. He’s down to 11 pounds, 9 ounces. He was 13 pounds something last August. That’s how quickly he is losing! (He started out at 20 pounds.)

Here he is at the vet, sitting very unhappily in the cat carrier. He’s a vocal cat so everyone in the Village on the way to the vet and everyone at the vet were aware of his displeasure. Sorry little dude. (He’s curled up on my lap now, purring.)


I keep meaning to mention Archer, an animated series on FX about a group of spies and the company they work for. I’m not particularly into animation or spies, but I love this show. It’s worth downloading (or getting through Netflix or watching online, whatever you do) and watching it from the beginning.

I’m trying to think of something to communicate how great it is. Incidentally, I went through this when I started writing my book about singing. There’s nothing I can write that will ever be as beautiful as the Bach B Minor Mass, for instance, so I had to figure out other ways to come at it.

This series makes not upgrading your software, the accountant, the receptionist, the head of human resources, and a million other things, as funny and as important as what the lead spies are doing. There’s a throw away line about a breakfast nook that I still laugh about. Like most shows, it got better as it went along so if you don’t love the first few episodes, hang in there.

The view from my friend Peter’s sitting room. He had a dinner party last night and man oh man. I’m putting Peter on my list of “People I Wish Were My Next Door Neighbor.”

Empire State Building from 15th Street

Hurry! Record a Video for Virtual Choir 3!

If you can sing and don’t do this you’re going to regret it. I’ve posted this before, but if you haven’t watched Eric Whitacre’s Ted Talk, watch it now. Then come back here.

Virtual Choir 3 is going to be set up as an art installation in addition to being released as an online video. Visitors will be able to walk among the singers. It immediately made me think of this powerful Gary Hill video installation called Tall Ships that was set up at the 1993 Whitney Biennial. You walked into a completely blackened room and on the walls were videos of people. As you walked up to them the people in the videos walked up to you. It was eerie and beautiful and I’ve never forgotten it. It was strangely intimate, even though you were interacting with a video and not the person.

The idea that this time those people will open their mouths and sing, it’s just one of those perfect ideas that makes you wonder why no one ever thought to do it before. When you’re a member of an audience, it’s wonderful, but you miss out on what it feels like to be in the middle of a song, to be right there in the thick of it, surrounded by all the harmonies that emerge. If I’m correctly envisioning what the final installation will be like, people will be able to walk in and around all the singers and pick up on different harmonies, different voices—it should be even more strangely but also more beautifully intimate. It will not only intensify your experience of the music but also of the singers.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of this. You have until January 31st.

This used to be the strangest drugstore. It was always filled to the brim with stuff, but I’d go in there and they never seemed to have what I was looking for. It was like the 99 cent store of drug stores, a lot of cast off, remaindered items. I wonder if it was a front for something else.

Yesterday Didn’t Suck, I Have High Hopes for Today

Reasons Why Yesterday Didn’t Suck

1. My visit to the dentist didn’t involve a novocaine shot.
2. A guy on the street told me I was cute in a particularly sweet way.
3. I’ve actually lost too much weight, and I don’t want to exercise or swim less so that means EAT MORE. I had grilled cheese and french fries for lunch.
4. Went out to dinner after Teresa Carpenter’s reading last night, saw an old-friend, great dinner conversation with his wife. Oh, and another nice compliment at dinner about how I looked.
5. Came home to a dinner invitation from a friend who is a GREAT cook.
6. Positive response from Howard who looked at the re-worked beginning of my book.

The Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue on 11th Street, which I pass by almost every day. I took this Tuesday night on my way back from choir practice.