Happy: April 2005 Archives


We met in a crowd of friends fourteen years ago today.

It took another full year to coax him into the apartment, but Barry very quickly became my life.

[image from Wigstock 2004 by me]


Spotted in Williamsburg on the inside of the narrow extruded steel pole supporting a parking sign.

that's actually a candle flame; the cupboard is a faded apple green

It looks onto the garden roof terrace, away from the street bustle. We eat all of our informal meals here, but otherwise it functions more like a combination Victorian-era morning room and late-twentieth-century family room. Then again, I suppose it's really Sweetpea's room [he's doing fine, thank you; just refuses to give up his millet for regular birdseed or pellets, although he loves his greens as well].

Old American furniture. Nothing here even begins to suggest our current collecting interests. Funny that, but the picture would change if the camera pulled back just a bit.

Europe's fastest supercomputer, an IBM capable of making 40 trillion calculations per second, was booted up for the first time yesterday in a chapel [italics mine] of the Polytechnical University in Barcelona, Spain

A beleaguered American atheist, I was startled by this picture and caption when I came across it in Newsday this morning (I couldn't find it on their on-line edition). I showed it to Barry who said, "This is not your father's Spain," and then he went on with something about using churches more productively, for performances, galleries or . . . computers.

[caption from Newsday; image by Fernando Bague from the Associated Press]


Six weeks ago I wrote about a terrific theatre piece at HERE, "All Wear Bowlers." After a brief hiatis Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle are back with the same show. Performances begin once again on April 22.

If you missed it the first time around, you can still get to heaven, and it will cost you only $20, $17, maybe $15, or even $10, depending upon your status when you ask for tickets.

[image, by Greg Costanzo, from 1812 Productions]

I was feeling just slightly abashed as I sat in the waiting room of a small-animal veterinarian a few days ago. I was gently cradling Sweetpea, our little green parakeet, slumped in his small clear-plexiglas travelling case, waiting our turn to be interviewed and examined.

To Barry and I our bright, chirpy roommate looked and acted perfectly healthy, but he had not been eating any of his normal seeds for almost a week and we had become very concerned. Other than the receptionist, our bench companions were a woman waiting for her dog to come out of the examination room and a young girl holding a box which sheltered a beautiful small rabbit with an injured leg.

Sweetpea had flown into our apartment two and a half years ago on a cold November day, and this was the first time he'd had any occasion to leave its safety since. He had become precious to Barry and me, but every visit to a pet store was a reminder that his relatives were being traded everywhere in New York for only $9.95.

And then everything in that room changed.

The door from the street opened suddenly and a tall, sturdy young man came in with a container similar to Sweetpea's, but smaller still. Even before sitting down he addressed the room sheepishly, almost apologetically, "you probably haven't seen a 'small animal' this small before." In the box was a tiny turtle, a red ear, its carapace perhaps an inch in diameter. The man's little charge was one of three he had brought home from Chinatown a few months earlier. The other two had flourished and grown considerably, but this little Fred only languished, and his companion thought he even appeared to be shrinking.

Sweetpea checked out fine, and he's back home now, although he's still ignoring the food mix which once seemed to make him so happy. He's also acting more than a bit subdued now, probably because of the trauma of his capture and tranport to and from the East Village by taxi, not to mention some intimate torso-poking and the drawing of blood for tests. But I'm hoping he'll eventually tire of his current diet of millet and greens, and go on to fill his biblical half score of years - at least - with two people who smile every time they look at him.

I've read that those cute little turtles could theoretically outlive their owners, even if they do cost half the going price of a parakeet when they're very young. I asked the veterinarian today whether Fred was going to make it, and she admitted he didn't have a good prognosis.

"It's such a shame; there are so many natural hazards for some species, and only some of them can survive. People fall in love with these little creatures, and sometimes there's nothing that can be done."

This page is an archive of entries in the Happy category from April 2005.

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