Catastrophe & Antistrophe

Catastrophe by
                SAGReiss Rose Reiss
                & Catastrophe by SAGReiss
                by SAGReiss Safari de
Cat &
                Mouse by SAGReiss

In August 2002, ABKCO Records reissued Beggars Banquet as a newly remastered LP and SACD/CD hybrid disk. This release corrected an important flaw in the original album by restoring each song to its proper, slightly faster speed. Due to an error in the mastering, Beggars Banquet was heard for over thirty years at a slower speed than it was recorded. This had the effect of altering not only the tempo of each song, but the song's key as well. These differences were subtle but important, and the remastered version is about 30 seconds shorter than the original release.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 September 2010

Subject: Name of the Rose

I'm sure no one cares, but I sometimes misspeak & call Strophe by the name of Rose. There's a reason for this, which you may have noticed. The names hold a somewhat metastatic relationship to one another, although Rose was named for Romeo & Juliet while the Strophes were named for a forgotten memory of Under the Volcano:

S-T-R-O-F-E (final silent grapheme except in the catastrophic version)
Ø-Ø-R-O-Z-E (final silent grapheme)

We've got an extra couple of extra phonemes in Strophe (T [in a cluster or blend] & F [or Ph]), the voiced sibilant in Rose is unvoiced in Strophe, and the S is prepositioned in the latter, but the last consonant of the onset, the nucleus (vowel or diphthong) are the same, while the optional coda (or final consonant) differs, the silent letter playing no role in English rhyme. As you can see, when Rose is not here, I have nothing to do but think of her name, her image, her beauty, her charm, her universally acknowledged loveliness & lovableness. As the song from Snow White that she likes me to sing goes: "One love, I have but one love,/One love, only for you..." Oops, it looks like as usual I got the rhythm right, but have inadvertently rewritten the lyrics. I hope you'll forgive me.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 September 2010

Subject: Ca(s)tration

Fucking cat's balls are mine. Yesterday he only shattered a glass lemon press, no big deal, just shards all over the fucking kitchen & down the stairs. Today he had his first pissing contest, on Rose's fucking bed. He even got the brown blanket that her cousin Ben gave to her aunt Athene to protect her from bears. I'll wash that by hand in cold water. I knew there was a reason I've always had female cats, aside from the word: "chatte", which means "pussy" and is more of less a homonym of "chat". Enjoy them while you've got them, bro, cause in a month they're gone. I've begun a photo gallery of Rose's friends, just one pic per child for the moment, although Archie's mother, a photographer as you remember, sent me a few, all beautiful, so I've intentionally chosen the least professional looking in order to avoid unfair competition. Madeline only reads her mail once a week, but she'll send pics. I'll have to hunt down Father of Sam. I knocked on Sofian's mother's door yesterday afternoon, but she said she wasn't available. Do these people sleep all day? Was she deep into masturbation?

2 September 2010

SAGReiss: I had forgotten how much fun cats are. Strophe just attacks random shit all day long, and I vicariously enjoy his blind agression: "Kill the motherfuckers, whoever they are, so long as it's not my modem."

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2010

Subject: Return of Son of Au Pays de Gale

Scabies, also known as sarcoptic mange and colloquially known as the itch, is a contagious ectoparasitic skin infection characterized by superficial burrows and intense pruritus (itching). It is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The word scabies itself is derived from the Latin word (scabere) for "scratch". More severe forms of scabies include crusted scabies and Norwegian scabies.

One thing I do not like about Wikipedia is that I can never figure out how to identify the speaker in any given paragraph. Granted that might be complicated, given multiple edits over the years, but I searched the Discussion & History pages of Bill Blake, and couldn't find anyone I might have identified as Joy or her husband thing. In the case above, I wonder in whose colloquy mange (also called Saint Marie's disease in French) is what's commonly called "the itch". I can think of some far more likely candidates. Anyway, Strophe got it bad (fortunately not contagious to human beings). He had his ears cleaned, causing a little bleeding, as did his understandable scratching of my hands. He didn't mind the vaccine too much, or at least he didn't complain. It was probably just a relief that the vet had finally stopped gouging his ears. The doc used a very ugly word: "castrer" instead of the more demur: "châtrer", whose circumflex accent soothes an otherwise brutal cluster of consonants. I'm sorry I have no pics of Strophe yet, but I can't bear to take them without Rose. I'll take them for the Birthday Bash page on 4 September. I am broken-hearted. I haven't seen Rose in more than a week, and won't see her again in more than three weeks, and no one cares. C the G has condemned Rose to being a monolingual drop-out at sixteen like her elder sisters. She is damning Rose to paternal orphanage, and no one has done anything to stop her. California Ueber Alles indeed.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 June 2010

Subject: Antistrophe

Catastrophe sleeps in her travelling compartment. It wasn't easy to get her in there. I'm bleeding from several wounds. This cat cannot live with Rose. I will take her back to Kim's grandmother's, or else bring her to an animal association. There's another kitten, a gray & white one, at Naia's. She's weaned, but not toilet trained (since they live in the barn), and I've already seen her behavior with children, which is very good. She'll be a fine antidote, and we'll call her Antistrophe, Strophe for short. I think that's better than calling another cat Catastrophe or Catastrophe II. It pays respect to the cat with whom we couldn't live, and gives a new name to the cat with whom we will live. I just hope it's a female.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 13 June 2010

Subject: For Whom the Cat Knocks

Odd how memory works. I had completely forgotten this passage from a book I last read at least fifteen years ago:

Mr. Quincey's words knocked on his consciousness--or someone was actually knocking on a door--fell away, then knocked again, louder. Old De Quincey; the knocking on the gate in Macbeth. Knock knock: Who's there? Cat. Cat who? Catastrophe. Catastrophe who? Catastrophysicist. What, is it you, my little popocat? Just wait an eternity till  Jacques and I have finished murdering sleep! Katabasis to cat abysses. Cathartes atratus... Of course, he should have known it, these were the final moments of the retiring of the human heart, and of the final entrance of the fiendish, the night insulated--just as the real De Quincey (that mere drug fiend, he thought opening his eyes--he found he was looking straight over towards the tequila bottle) imagined the murder of Duncan and the others insulated, self-withdrawn into a deep syncope and suspension of earthly passion....

That's as much as I can find online, the bastards, and I had to retype it. That's the second discovery I made today after downloading the movie of Under the Volcano, the first being the beautiful musical score of Alex North, which manages to sound tuneful while atonal, & Mexican while classical. I've never heard his rejected score for 2001, but I'd like to. Interesting how what seems (out of context) to be an internal monologue is transformed in the film into a seemingly harmless little game between spiteful ex-lovers. Anyway, we now know the rightful etymology of Strophe's name, which fits very well into our Garden of Ardony themes.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 June 2010

Subject: Antistrophe

"Rose's father, mother, & elder sister are also mean & spiteful. She's used to it. I don't think it will be a problem." The well-named Catastrophe apparently has some fear & loathing issues. We went for a break-neck visit yesterday before having lunch with Archie, who managed to misbehave badly while remaining perfectly charming, a British rake this boy would appear to be. Still, far more impressive in every way (except perhaps bike-riding, which is Sam's domain of excellence) than any of the French boys she has met, although I'm not sure she feels the same way, and I don't know her schoolmates. Strophe's hair stood on end, she made scratching gestures, and hissed at Rose when she said good-bye. Kim's grandmother is pressuring me to accept another cat, but I'm inclined to stick with Strophe, at least take her home in two weeks, after Rose's next visit, give her a chance to get used to the house in peace & quiet. If Strophe can live with me, then Rose can learn to live with her. The Bimbo has just got a kitten, born only ten days before Strophe and a beautiful black & gray #808080 called Ramses. Naia isn't free today (although we saw her too yesterday, & Clemence, a big day) so we will go back to the river, perhaps with the Bimbo, then go to Sara's for our piano lesson, where we will unleash the forces of British imperialism on an old French favorite:

In the silver moonlight,
[Peter, my good friend,]
I would now a word write,
Thy pen prithee lend!
Candlelight has vanished,
And no fire I see,
Open wide the door, then,
If thou lovest me.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 May 2010

Subject: Criteria

The last four pics published beg comment, as they may not be deemed up to snuff. Sometimes, in the course of human events it becomes necessary to lower the esthetic bar in order to represent certain unique phenomena. One does not throw away the birth pics because none of them are good, which is quite understandable given the stressful circumstances under which they are taken. One chooses the least bad. Strophe's infancy & Salami's burgeoning girth needed to be recorded, so I have done so to the best of my ability. If I happen to create better pics in the near future, I shall adjust accordingly. I am still trying to figure out how to make the flash work when taking rapid-fire shots. No offense intended, and I hope none taken.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 May 2010

Subject: PMSing

Rose spoke beautiful English this week-end for some reason. It may be that the Scots have provided a little collateral support, or that her growing grasp of the French language indirectly improves her ability in English. We've also had a few fights recently about things her mother & sisters say. The former has apparently downgraded me from a "diabolical monster" to a "monkey", which I can't help laughing at. I asked Rose: "If I am a monkey, then what is your mother?" "I dunno." "So ask her." Her fucking brain-dead sisters can't even manage to get the insipid lyrics of their favorite song right, the one about bitches PMSing: "Deborah is an authority on nothing. Have you ever heard her speak English?" We met a tall American lady with children called Erica at the bakery, but she didn't seem to wish to keep in touch. Greer, the pottery lady, didn't show up at the market because of rain. Sara forgot our piano lesson, but we managed to make a nice afternoon of it anyway in Saint Paul. The rain also cancelled Kim's plans, so I hinted to Rose that she might have a surprise for her. Rose translated this as "cadeau" (gift), but Kim didn't quite catch on, so I didn't push the point, although I was really hoping we could visit Catastrophe at the grandmother's. It's a divorce situation, so very delicate, but I think I'll insist a little bit on the long week-end in a fortnight's time. She should be able to see her cat. Rose wept when I told her I was taking her back to Lablachere. Deborah & her mother greeted us at the door, right next to the mailbox that has been destroyed twice in the past few weeks, perhaps by Deborah's vandalistic friends. Rose bravely walked in, looking as if she were walking the plank.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 April 2010

Subject: Crop

I've reworked the Carnival pics a little. Since I've got the new cam, I have to remind myself to think crop first. In some cases (E & M) the pics can be effective in two different ways, in some (K & L) they can be improved or better adapted to the color & geometry of the page, while in others (J) an unused pic can be resuscitated. I've also added music to the Catastrophe page, & cropped to give two distinct views of our kitten. I like the line: "But you don't really miss your mother." It sounds to me like the song was considerably altered by the mistaken mastering. The faster, higher-pitched version is far superior, although only one second is shaved off (fewer than four tenths of one percent). What balls James Brown had to speed up Papa's Got a Brand New Bag from 2:12 to 2:06 (a whopping 4.5%).