Saturday, July 31, 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The R in Trap Neuter Return

Here's the end of the Bart saga, in which he demonstrates his alias (Impulse).

I had him in the trap all night, covered, fed, watered. He slept for a while, then he woke up and moped a bit (see "Saddest Cat on Earth" video 1), then around 4 a.m., he started in with the occasional mew.

I checked him out, gave him more food and water, but I think he might have been telling me the anesthesia had worn off and he wanted to leave.

I let him out at 7:30, and by 9 a.m., he had returned to investigate the cage.

Perhaps Bart is trying to make sense of his alien abduction. I don't know. I would be confused too if someone kidnapped me, driven me around, knocked me out, then tried to make me eat treats. Hoping this is the end of me and Bart. I have my hands full with the other ferals and my job.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The N in Trap Neuter Return

Bart is now neutered, has his anti-flea treatment, has his distemper and rabies shots, and he even got a nail trim, some antibiotics, and anti-pain injection. And a clipped ear. 

 Now he has to spend another night in the trap while the anesthesia wears off, and I can release him tomorrow back into the convent yard.

There were a lot of steps in this process! I was lucky he was so cooperative with the trap—I imagined I would catch one of the other cats (already TNRed), a skunk, any number of raccoons, or maybe a opossum. Fortunately, Bart decided to go along with me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The T in Trap Neuter Return

Presenting...Bart's Tuesday Adventure!

Starring Bart.

Monday, July 26, 2021

You Don't Scare Me, Human

 It's almost like they know they're protected by local laws. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Almost There

So close, Bart. But not close enough.

Bart LePew

I was hoping for some photos of little orange cat Bart, so I can establish his routine, but instead I got to see a lot of this black cat with a white stripe of paint down its back.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Feral #3

Meet Bart. Bart has shown up intermittently on the backyard camera for the last year. He's skinny and unpredictable. Gonna be tough to catch Bart. He's skittish and impulsive.* 

*Comic book reference. My apologies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

No Difference

Me in the morning: "I don't want to go to the pool. I don't want to ride the Citibike to the waterfront. Forget it. I've got stuff to do. I'm hungry. I want a shower."

Me when I convince myself to go to the pool, to ride the bike: "This is awesome! Why don't I do this every morning?"

Proving once again that no matter how weird I feel sometimes, I'm just like everyone else.

Monday, July 19, 2021

NYC Is Back, Baby

Manhattan got a new look over the last year and a half. 

I guess it’s not a new look. It’s an old look, vintage seventies. People love vintage.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Cave Life

City living!

Here's the iron grate under my stoop, the entrance to my little carved-out studio in Jersey City. I just had some work done on it and the iron monger's first words were "It's not pretty, is it?"

It's still not pretty but here's what changed:

  1. The door now sits comfortably in the frame. Previously, I had to give it a firm push to open and close it. 
  2. The rust is gone. There was a lot of rust.
  3. They added bars between bars as well as plates around the lock. Now I can get a locksmith to put a latch instead of a keyed lock inside so it's no longer a fire hazard. Previously, if I had a latch, a visitor could just have reached in and unlatched it.
  4. I had them leave out one bar so postal carriers/FedEx/UPS/etc can drop in small packages, such as comic books in padded envelopes. I get a lot of those.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Lifestyle Improvement

One side effect of the pandemic is it got me to use Jersey City Citibikes all the time.

These share-bikes changed how I view running errands and lollygagging. I can lollygag now because I don't need to wonder when the trolley or bus is coming.

I wouldn't ride them before because I was afraid of biking in traffic, but now we have bike lanes, many of them protected. Plus the bikes have automatic lights that click on at night.

Not sure I'd ever ride one in Manhattan, but they're pretty great on this side of the Hudson.

Thursday, July 15, 2021


I found another creature in my yard. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Hand-Building in Manhattan

 Here are some experiments from Sunday night hand-building pottery, as well as the start of a cat food bowl for a yard beast. I'm not sure I'll keep the uglier things. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Not So Feral Anymore

I'm back in JC, where a startling new development has occurred in feral cat-land.

So long as I don't move my hand or try to pet him, Jay Garrick will eat a treat right from my fingers. But he'll only do this through the partially open window, not when my giant self is outside next to him.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Stopover in BCN

I spent a few days wandering around Barcelona. 

I have been here many times, even spent 3 months here in 2004--but every visit I find something new.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Last Look at Lisbon

Here are some more Lisbon photos.

Today, I took a tram up to the castle, but it broke down and I had to climb a lot of stairs instead. 

The view from the castle was lovely, and afterwards, I caught a bus to the metro to go see some architecture at a train station--same guy who designed the fish skeleton at the World Trade Center. Then it was off to the TimeOut market for some Portuguese food (something called a prego) and finally, a ride up the hill on one of the funiculars.

The Castle Captures Me

 I took the streetcar up to the São Jorge Castle. The castle itself was like a cool old castle, but the view of Lisbon was spectacular.

Monday, July 05, 2021

More Lisbon Touristing

When I do those epic trips, the months-long solo journeys on public transit, I end up having time to really think. About the world, my goals, my own self-analysis, stories to write, even comics to oversee. That’s not something I get to do in my current life, where I flit from online meeting to problem to concern to story point. I get an occasional idea in the shower, but if it’s one I have to execute myself, it’s probably not gonna get done.

I’m not on the road long enough this time to get where I need to be for any rambling insights into my own future or past. But I’m so close. Tantalizingly yet frustratingly close, but we’re not there yet.

Instead, I’ll just account for my last few days, and note that there are still lines outside supermarkets here. People are still masked up inside everywhere. The pandemic is still very real. I don’t know if I’m clever to be out in the world when it’s empty of tourists, or just outrageously embarrassingly privileged. Probably both.

I’ve been double-vaxxed for more than three months now, an indication I’m good with finding my way through online systems, and being in Lisbon is just another example of that. I bought a return ticket to Spain weeks before Portugal opened up, and waited and watched. Within hours of the announcement of Portugal relaxing its rules, I snapped up a discount Ryanair ticket from Seville to Lisbon, then a TAP Portugal cheap ticket from Lisbon to Barcelona on Wednesday. Is all of that privilege? Maybe. Certainly, lots of people are good at ideas and finding loopholes, and this trip was not expensive since I bought the ticket before prices skyrocketed, and there’s hardly any competition for hotels. But the ability to drop everything and zip across the ocean—this is, I think, the privilege of being single and having a job. It’s a privilege that is sometimes a burden, but when it works out, it really works out.

But why Lisbon, anyway? Portugal’s one of the easier places to get residency, and I like to know my options. Would I move here? I have no idea. Lisbon is super-cute, but I’ve only been here 48 hours. It’s certainly a great place to be a tourist.

So what did I do over the last 30 hours? There was the walk down to TimeOut Market, then a streetcar to LXFactory (an industrial area converted to hipster shopping), then the streetcar to the center where I demonstrated no 'I'm cool' fucks left to give and bought a two-day ticket for the double-decker tourist bus, then took the 28 tram all the way up and back, buying some groceries at the end of it, then grabbed the metro back to the hotel. Today was pretty busy too—I walked to a cool elevator that looks like the Eiffel Tower’s cousin, but only if the Eiffel Tower was closed due to pandemic. So I walked down the hill instead, then came back up it on a funicular. Then I had to walk down it again, so I’m not sure what the point of that was. I went to the carnival sardine store, took the second part of the tourist part trip, then caught the tram out to the cemetery to look at feral cats. Oh, and I ate a pastel de nata, and did my laundry.

One full day left in Lisbon! My plan for tomorrow is to go to the castle and work my way through the form to get back into Spain.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

"Restful" Day in Lisbon

My big plan for my first day in Lisbon was to have no big plan. But eventually, I needed food.

The hotel receptionist tipped me off to a good breakfast spot, but neglected to mention it was down a massive hill (which meant coming back up the massive hill). I guess that's because everything here is up or down a massive hill.

While I was walking down the hillside steps, I noticed the famous #28 tram ran alongside, so after breakfast, instead of doing the nothing I'd promised myself, I took the tram to a Saturday flea market, up more hills.

When I took the tram back, I stopped in a Thai massage place for a half-hour foot massage and now my feet are less annoyed with me for being on them for three days straight. Then I had to rush around to pick up a sandwich since Portugal shut down for pandemic reasons at 3:30 pm.

I did go out again to hunt down carry-out at dinnertime, but the streets were mostly deserted.

So far, Lisbon is lovely. I have no idea how different it would be if it were full of tourists, but it's atmospheric when empty.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Alhambra and Beyond

Here’s some photos from my day of going to Alhambra.

I took the 8 a.m. train from Madrid to Granada, stashed my bag at a convenience store, took a bus to the town center, took a minibus up to Alhambra, walked around for 2.5 hours, then took the minibus back to town, the other bus back to the convenience store to pick up my bag, caught the train to Seville, and when I arrive, I’ll get straight on the airport bus to fly Ryanair to Lisbon.

All this on top of a few super-packed days in Madrid while jetlagged.

First thing I’m going to do in Portugal is nothing.


The glorious promise of the morning journey (“I’m on a train in Spain!”) invariably turns into disappointment on a crowded passenger coach.

Hot tip: Spend another moment on the platform, enjoying the anticipation.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Luggage Hangover

My bag looks like it went on a bender. Plus I packed the wrong charger.

Ha ha oh well, I kinda wanted a second one anyway, so I can have one in Burbank and one in JC.