Monday, March 30, 2009

Kitten-shaped hole in my heart.

In March of 2006, my roommate and I took in a family of unwanted cats -- a mother cat and her litter of 5-week old kittens.

My roommate's sister, a veterinary assistant, told us that the momma cat's previous owner dropped them off at the vet's office, saying that she didn't want them anymore; that they had "lost their charm," and that she wanted them euthanized.

Horrified by this story, my roommate & I decided that we could make room for these cats temporarily, until the kittens were old enough to be adopted.

The hardest part was confining a space for them. We already had four cats of our own, and wanted to make sure to give the mother a safe, quiet place to care for her babies, without our cats interfering. My roommate decided to convert her bedroom into the nursery. She bought secondhand blankets and spread them out over the carpet, bought a new litterbox, etc.

Adopted Cat Family - 9

And to make a long story short, we helped to raise & care for the 5 kittens over the next couple of months.

Although we already had cats of our own, we decided almost immediately that we would keep at least one.

Though we adored them all, we had our favorites.

My roommate had instantly fallen in love with this one, whom she eventually named Puzzle:
Adopted Cat Family - 14

I was drawn to 2 of the kittens equally -- the grey & white tabby (whom we nicknamed Little Grey), and the other tortoiseshell kitten (who I eventually named Oatmeal):
Adopted Cat Family - 2 Adopted Cat Family - 20

As the kittens grew, we knew that we had to look into getting most of them adopted (including the momma cat); my roommate was having an increasingly tough time sharing her bedroom with them. However, we had gotten so attached to the kitties that we decided that we could keep two, and that each of us could choose one. For my roommate, the choice was rather easy -- although she loved the black & white kitten a lot too, Puzzle was obviously her little soul-mate.

For me, the decision was really, really difficult. I had bonded a lot with Oatmeal and Little Grey and was quite attached to them both. In the end, I decided to keep Oatmeal, but saying goodbye to Grey really broke my heart. I wish we could have kept them both, but two new kittens was already too much; no way could we afford, or handle, three. It killed me to have to choose.

Hopefully, Grey is happy with her new family. I suppose I will never know.

After she was adopted, in May of that year, it took me a little while to get over her, and for the most part I have moved on...

However, last night, out of the blue, I dreamed about her -- perhaps it was just old memories resurfacing. In my dream, I very vividly remember how it felt to hold her, her soft little body cradled against my chest, her tiny paw curled around my fingertip, her ear against my nose.

I love Oatmeal, and I would not give her up for anything, but how I wish I had been able to keep Grey, too. I miss her -- god, I miss her. I've been crying about her for hours and I can't stop and I don't know why. I am haunted by her; I feel I have lost a part of myself.

Adopted Cat Family - 7

Adopted Cat Family - 32

Adopted Cat Family - 40

Adopted Cat Family - 42

I miss you, Little Grey, wherever you are; I'm sorry I gave you up.

More pictures:

(If you are unable to view the embedded slideshow, click here)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring day on the Mohawk Trail

I took a short daytrip with my roommate up to the Shelburne Falls area of the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts recently. It was a nearly flawless spring day; it felt good to be outside & get some fresh air. We had a late breakfast at Gould's Sugarhouse, bought some fresh maple syrup, and did a bit of wandering around Shelburne Falls.

Gould's Sugarhouse

Gould's Sugarhouse

Shelburne Falls

(If you can't see the above slideshow, click here to view)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Animals are amazing, part 585,759,574

From The New York Times:
Parrot Honored for Warning That Girl Was Choking

DENVER (AP) -- A parrot whose cries of alarm alerted his owner when a little girl choked on her breakfast has been honored as a hero.

Willie, a Quaker parrot, has been given the local Red Cross chapter's Animal Lifesaver Award.

In November, Willie's owner, Megan Howard, was baby-sitting for a toddler. Howard left the room and the little girl, Hannah, started to choke on her breakfast.

Willie repeatedly yelled ''Mama, baby'' and flapped his wings, and Howard returned in time to find the girl already turning blue.

Howard saved Hannah by performing the Heimlich maneuver but said Willie ''is the real hero.''



“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it."
-- Steve Jobs

Dekka Raymaker's installation at Brooklyn Is Watching

Dekka's Raymaker's latest installation at Brooklyn Is Watching is one of my favorite of his works yet.

Dekka Raymaker's installation at Brooklyn Is Watching

It addresses the proposed Geographical Separation of Adult Content in SL. An explanation, for my non- SL readers -- basically, Linden Labs (the company that owns and runs SL) wants to restrict what it considers Adult Content to certain areas, which would require a number of SL residents to obtain age verification on their accounts, which many people object to because they fear it will infringe on their right to privacy, and so on. It's a very complicated, controversial issue. One of the biggest questions raised is: What exactly defines Adult Content?

I personally think all of these potential restrictions are a bunch of bullshit, as I am vehemently opposed to censorship of any kind -- especially when it is imposed upon legal adults who are free to choose whether or not they wish to view certain content. Let people decide for themselves without having Big Virtual Government step in.

Dekka Raymaker's installation at Brooklyn Is Watching confronts these issues head-on. I urge you to go see this while it is still there.
*Update: Oh no! Unfortunately, it's been taken down already. Maybe he will have the opportunity to rebuild it somewhere else. Anybody out there who can offer some land to Dekka for awhile?

Check out a slideshow of the pictures I took while I was there:

(If you can't see the above slideshow, click here)

Some further reading about the proposed Geographical Separation of Adult Content in SL:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Arthole Radio this week!

Arthole Radio RETURNS on Wednesday 25th March, beginning 1pm Second Life time (PST).

Arahan Claveau - 1pm PST (9pm GMT/4pm EST)
Nebulosus Severine - 2pm PST (10pm GMT/5pm EST)
Amy Freelunch - 3pm PST (11pm GMT/6pm EST)

Copy and paste this URL into your media player:
[The recordings will appear in the archives the next day.]

On my show this week I mention Bunnyken In La-La-Land, and Dekka Raymaker's latest work, both currently on display at Brooklyn Is Watching.

Tune in this Wednesday! Animal Collective! They Might Be Giants! David Bowie! Scissor Sisters! Dave Brockie Experience! The Cure! All these and more for your listening pleasure! DO IT!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bunnyken memories

I didn't realize it until later, but the creation of Bunnyken In La-La-Land marks one year (almost to the day) since I first displayed something at Brooklyn Is Watching.

My first contribution to BIW was also a Bunnyken-themed piece, Bunnykenball:

Bunnykenball at Brooklyn Is Watching
March 21, 3008
[Which I had sarcastically set for sale for $L280523264, which translates to about $996,017.85 (USD) -- needless to say, nobody bought it... lawl]

Of course, this also means that Brooklyn Is Watching has been going strong for over a year now. I'm really grateful that it exists; it has given opportunity for many artists to share their work, and to partake in an ongoing, serious dialogue about art in Second Life. I'm glad I can be a part of it!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New piece at Brooklyn Is Watching

Bunnyken In La-La-Land

Bunnyken In La-La-Land

I did this piece in response to a bit of a slump/period of isolation I entered about a month & a half ago due to a long and (to me) depressing discussion over at the Brooklyn Is Watching blog; you can read the long & dreary thread here, if you are so inclined.

I never could quite explain why that conversation made me feel so dejected, but it crippled my urge to create much of any art at all in SL. So I pulled away from the art community almost entirely for quite awhile. Didn't make anything; didn't go see much of anything by anybody else, either. I felt like I had nothing to contribute to the dialogue, and nothing to gain from it, either. I spent some time working on other things; I read, I drew, I painted a bit.

Anyway, on Saturday I suddenly felt inspiration strike, & went on to build Bunnyken In La-La-Land. The image of the happy, jumping Bunnyken is definitely a nod to Arahan's original "Bunnykenland" picture, but the meaning & intent behind it is very different (and of course, is not meant to infringe on his idea at all). It represents the emotional & mental state of being in my own little world for awhile, not in a depressed way, but in a way that's kind of blissfully unaware & withdrawn on purpose. It also expresses my joy for the spring season, which has been intensified by music like Animal Collective's latest album Merriweather Post Pavilion (especially the final track, Brother Sport).

[As a matter of fact, I will be playing music to accompany Bunnyken In La-La-Land for my show this week on Arthole Radio. More details about the upcoming broadcasts soon!]

Bunnyken In La-La-Land is currently on display at Brooklyn Is Watching in SL. Here's the SLurl if you want to go see it:

Bunnyken In La-La-Land

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New items at my SL shop

(Check the Night-Ghast blog for details)

New stuff!


And, not-so-new, but back by popular demand:


As always, any sales I make help to cover art expenses (upload fees, etc.). Your donations are appreciated!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Recent paintings

Now that I finally have a camera, I can actually take photos of my work, rather than resort to scanning it!

Agony Falls
Title: Agony Falls
Year: 2008
Dimensions: 16 in. X 20 in.
Media: Acrylic on canvas.
(can't decide if this one is finished or not...)

Title: Conditional
Year: 2009
Dimensions: 11 in. X 14 in.
Media: Acrylic on canvas.

New digital camera! Finally!

I lost my former digital camera over a year ago, and have had to rely on my awful cellphone to take any photos. So I finally got around to buying a new camera, yay! It's a Canon Powershot and it just arrived on Wednesday. I haven't taken any great pics yet, as I'm still learning about its many functions, but here are a few random ones I took for fun:

Salt lamp and cup


Playful Oatmeal

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Night-Ghast - back from the dead!

I've finally gotten around to revamping my new-ish SL shop, called Night-Ghast, and I've just added a bunch of new stuff over the past couple of days --

Due to continued demand, I have decided to resume selling the eyes I created for my older (now defunct) shop, Numinous. Only one vendor is out thus far, but more will be added soon.

Weird eyeball lamps
Weird eyeball lamps.
Touch the light beam to select a color from the menu.
The menu also has a Lock/Unlock toggle button so that only the owner can control it.

Big-ass candle
Big-ass candle!

Lighter with animation - just wear and rock out!

New shirts!

SLurl to the new shop location:

* About Night-Ghast
Night-Ghast is a collection of various Second Life creations I've made for fun, available for purchase by donation in any amount. Profits made will help to fund my artistic pursuits. Please join the Night-Ghast group (in SL) if you'd like to be updated.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thought for today

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

- Eric Hoffer



Been feeling very restless lately, especially about where I live (geographically speaking). I need to get out there & see more of the world. All I need is a little more money & courage...