We have been having some amazing weather in San Francisco over the past week. Warm, hot even, not too windy. Perfect for spending some time out on the patio. And as I enjoy a glass of wine and some snacks, taking in the sounds and textures of urban summer, Big Merp has discovered that he, too, enjoys some outdoor time.
In true cat-like fashion, he wanders the perimeter, and when things seem “secure”, he just relaxes nearby.
Seeing him wander the patio with his tail up reminded me of Luna, who also enjoyed her time out here. I think she would be proud (Sam Sam is more of an indoor-only cat and has rarely ventured outside, but she enjoys looking out windows).
The first pairing features a dark zinfandel (Amador County) with dry Spanish chorizo; the second is a chardonnay with Port Salut cheese and a spicy calabrese salami. Indeed, it was the latter that inspired me to re-release the “commercial” as a standalone video.
Big Merp came over to sit underneath, probably in the hope that something would fall off the table.
I like the way the combination of Merp’s fur, the afternoon light, and the colors of the slate contrast with the bright blue of the table.
We hope you are enjoying your weekend. For us, it’s back to the studio to work on our next video…
As summer weather comes to San Francisco, we at CatSynth venture out onto our patio.
The patio took quite a pounding this past season. During one particularly bad storm with high winds and heavy rain, that plant on the left side of the photo came crashing down from the sky, destroying a screen and one of those nice modernist black benches :(. Fortunately, everything can be cleaned up or replaced. And the sculptures were not damaged.
Luna ventures out onto the patio:
Of course, she goes right for the grass in that pot that fell fromt the sky.
I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be brown, as many decorative grasses are. But I don’t know that it’s safe for cats, so I tried to discourage Luna from chewing on this. It’s not easy, as she particularly loves found grass.
This weekend, we have another combined Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt. The theme this week is square. Geometric shapes, including squares, abound at CatSynth HQ. But with the exceptionally gorgeous weather, we turn our attention once again to the patio:
The patio is covered in square slate tiles on which Luna enjoys rolling around. We are still doing some work to fix things up for spring now the construction is in the past. New design ideas to emphasize the industrial and geometric aesthetic.
As we have made more friends online, so we have also lost many friends. We said goodbye to Mickey only a few weeks ago. Last year, we lost DJ Kikovas, the feline companion of our friend and fellow electronic musician Vivi Pedraglio. We also said goodbye to Tali and Sniffie. It is interesting to look back and see the diverse collection of people, mixture of musicians, engineers and cat lovers, who cross paths in these stories. We have also lost many heroes in music, art and mathematics in this same period of time; and some personal friends. We remember them as well.
Our thoughts for all our friends who lost love ones (human and non-human) over the past year, and for those who are struggling in the current storms in southeastern U.S., recovering from the disaster in Japan, and living through the seemingly greater number conflicts around the world.
The theme for our combined Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt this weekend is natural. This complements a theme from a year ago, artificial. At that time, we explored the interplay of Luna’s natural beauty with her artificial surroundings. Especially in light of my recent experience with New Topographics, it seems like an appropriate subject to revisit. We often explore the interplay between Luna’s naturally curving biological body and the straight lines that dominate the art and architecture of her surrounding environment.
The patio is really our landscape. It is an artificially constructed one, but it is a space claimed by natural elements, such as the plants, Luna, the bugs she likes to hunt, the grass she tries to eat out of the flower pot…
Another bit of nature this morning, this time one that is not so welcome.
These snails were a menace in our garden when I lived in Santa Cruz where they seemed to arrive in swarms. This is the first one I have seen in our patio in San Francisco in over two years. Removing it from a cactus is not a simple task. On the plus side, it was opportunity to practice with macro shot, which is not something I usually do.
A sad note. Our friend Nirmanakaya’s Viandra (aka “Sniffie”) passed away last week. “Sniffie and Florida Furkids” have often visited and shared their thoughts with us on topics far beyond feline, and in turn we got to know a little about them. Sniffie will be missed, and our thoughts go out to her family.
Weekend Cat Blogging #277 will be hosted by Othello (with some assist from Astrid) at Paulchens FoodBlog?!
It is a beautiful harsh sun this morning. Sitting out the patio with coffee, reading and writing.
As I contemplate whether to go on a sort trip, Maybe for photography or highway spotting, I realize I have everything I need right here. Our industrial and concrete surroundings. The geometric shapes from the structures and the artwork. The sounds from the nearby freeway like a gentle wind or waves along the ocean. The cadence of the trains coming to a stop.
Luna provides a bit of the wild and nature. The little black panther hunting in her native habitat.
I just read an article where the author derided cats for being so close to their natural cousins and thus I’ll suited to bring pets. I instead chose to celebrate how a creature can retain parts if her wild heritage and perfectly reflect the design of artificial surroundings.
And since it is Labor Day, it seems appropriate to reflect on the recent month I spent unemployed. I already had a new job lined up for August, and I had things pretty well mapped out with a combination of music, photography, time at home, and time just taking in the city.
The first Monday, I did one of my long walks through Chinatown, North Beach and along the Embarcadero feeling far more positive and optimistic than I had in a long time. I got sick that night. I am convinced it was all the toxic aspects of my previous job leaving my body. By the next evening it had passed I was feeling as healthy as i had all year. This coincided with the start of a yoga and meditation routine for prosperity and opportunity. And those did come. Lots of musical opportunities. Three different opportunities to do collaborate on photography. I rarely left the city during this period, preferring to take in everything i could by foot or by transit until the new job would force a new routine with a daily commute and sense of bring cut off from the things that make me feel most myself.
Which brings us back to today. My body needs a break from driving. It’s more important to edit and review and select from the photos I already have than make new ones. For music, i just need to spend time playing and exploring.
I had no idea what to post for Weekend Cat Blogging (I have been so focused on the performances, rehearsals and other goings on). But while sitting on the patio this morning, I saw Luna looking up at something, and managed to get a few good pictures. Here is one. It is definitely worth doing the “click to enlarge” thing:
[click image to enlarge]
I have no idea what she was looking at.
Yesterday on a whim I tried out the HD video feature on my camera – this camera is for still photography, so the video feature was mostly coincidental – and caught a bit of Luna scampering about. You can hear her give one little squeak early in the video.
Behold the power of HD video to use up hundreds of megabytes of slightly shaky and blurry motion! Also, as this an impromptu recording, the house is in the middle of normal daily use, with cat toys and the incongruous bright blue yoga mat spread out in our usually clean living room. (Actually, the cat toys are usually scattered about.)
While on one of my long urban walks yesterday, I saw one of the mobile adoption stations set up by the San Francisco SPCA. This one was along the Embarcadero, near the Gap company headquarters. Lots of kittens, mostly curled up for an afternoon nap. We certainly hope they find good homes. The mobile adoption stations are out regularly in the summer, so if you’re in San Francisco downtown, check out their schedule and stop by.
Weekend Cat Blogging #268 is hosted by Nikita and Elvira (the new edition to their household) at Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat.