New York City is a wonderful place with a lot of fabulous attributes, but it also has a crapload of pigeons. I mean that literally, the city is swarming with the birds that natives affectionately refer to as flying rats, and besides gobbling up seeds and breadcrumbs strewn about by lonely old ladies their favorite activity is releasing the digested remnants of these delicious a la cart meals all over the place. Now the majority of pigeon shit ends up on windowsills and other high stoneworks where it cakes into uncleanable inches of congealed crap, but some of it is rained down on the streets below, with the occasional pedestrian or automobile acting as a receptacle. Natives know this and it's one of the reasons that so many tend to walk under awning whenever the opportunity presents itself. Yesterday I was picked up by my Israeli friend in his big blue SUV and I noticed that the sunroof was open. I related to him that if he cared for the interior of his automobile that he might want to close that, because it's easier to get pigeon shit off of glass than out of leather, good luck bird shit superstitions notwithstanding. He ignored me. Approximately 12 minutes later, while we were looking for a parking space, I got hit. "I got hit" I said in the sort of calm controlled voice one uses when telling terrible news to a man driving a 3 ton BMW in the presence of pedestrians. I put my hand up to my hair and it came away with something green and chunky. It is at moments like that when I am glad that I do not gross out easily at all, as I was able to calmly wipe it on a napkin he offered and not worry too much about the residue that was assuredly left in my hair. All I can say is that any pigeon smart enough to decipher a human conversation in a car below him, follow that car, and manage to crap into a moving vehicle through the sunroof all in less than one quarter hour is a pigeon that scares me with its superior intelligence. If you plan to visit NYC in the next few months please be advised that there IS a super pigeon out there and from the looks of what was in my hair he may be eating human babies.
Now the Valentine's thing. Some of you (all of you) may be aware that I am not what most people would consider a ladies man. My friend is, but he is currently in a relationship with a woman who makes up for the fact that she is only one person by being intelligent and sweet and having a big rack. He was sick around Valentine's day and did not get her a gift, which he felt bad about because she did the whole chicken-soup caretaker thing. He asked me for advice on what to get her (Seeing as I'd met her twice and never had an occasion to buy a woman my own age a gift I was, of course, the perfect choice) and after a few questions about her interests I suggested he get her a keyboard, because she had expressed an interest in getting back into piano and that's a gift that says "I care about you and what you're interested in, I'm paying attention, but I don't want to take our relationship to the next romantic level yet" which was the message he wanted to send. He dismissed it out of hand and decided he'd get her an expensive watch.
One week later he informed me that the watch was too generic and too much like jewelery (failing to send either of the messages) and so he was going to buy her....a keyboard. I was shocked.
After looking around online for a little and a few aborted attempts to go to shops that apparently close earlier than ANYTHING ELSE IN NEW YORK, we managed to find one open yesterday and did some shopping. At first he wanted to upgrade to an upright, but after looking at the size of them and the fact that they start at about $4500 he decided that a digital piano was indeed the way to go. I did most of the bargaining and managed to find a model that the sales guy didn't even bother to show us that was both the slimmest one they had (very important in New York apartments) and both within the price and quality range we were looking for. We ended up taking the floor model right then and there. I carried it down with a nice maintenance man from the building who told me a story about a pair of Mexicans who tried to snatch a 600 pound upright piano off a truck, and we brought it over to her house, claiming it was a table (when the keyboard guard is down it actually looks very much like one.) What followed was a very uncomfortable dinner where they made out and I spent a lot of time talking to the cat.
In news outside the whole bad romantic comedy thing, life continues onward at a stuttering pace. I've done some more shooting, including some interesting shots from my friend's friend's apartment on 90th street and Central Park West, and the documentary is coming to a close with some decent footage shot and a whole lot of valuable lessons learned. It was a good experience and choice to participate, but I've also learned that I don't want to have to rely on other people because a lot of times they just don't come through, or if they do they do so halfheartedly. I thought for a long while that collaboration was better in every way than the alternative for where I am right now. As it turns out, that's not necessarily true.
I also need to be writing more. I want to direct fiction films, this little documentary experience has reminded me of that strongly, although I certainly enjoy documentary and would not be averse to working in the format if the right job or project presented itself, and I need to start working on doing that. I need to start working on a lot of things, ranging from my weight to finding a new job, but that to me is the most important (okay second most. The weight thing is a really big deal. I'm buying a treadmill. I hope that helps.)
In other news I do have hope for improving bad habits in the future thanks to some changing bad habits of the past. For a very long time I collected video games and DVDs compulsively, spending thousands of dollars a year on them, many of which I would never even open. Some of which I still haven't opened. That stopped a few months ago and it shows no sign of starting back up. I re-activated my dormant netflix account and I've been satisfied watching rented films from there rather than paying $20 a pop to own. I may still buy favorites that I'm likely to revisit, or indies that I want to support financially, but I don't need to own every piece of celluloid schlock I have an interest in seeing. I also stopped buying video games almost altogether except until this week where I purchased one game that was rated highly and appealed to me, called Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. I've been playing it off and on over the past few days and it's pretty fun, but I don't feel compelled to buy any others except for certain franchise games I KNOW I will play. Even those I can hold off on. While playing the games is enjoyable owning them is not particularly. That's the way it should be, focused on the experience rather than the fetishistic obsession with the items. In related news my Xbox hard drive got wiped and while a few months ago that would have left me very depressed and angry I was able to get over it in about one day this time and just move on. All this bodes well for my future.