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breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Right before I woke up this morning, I dreamed I was at a zoo with a naturalist and his daughter (evidentally a friend of mine, since we were both teenagers.) We were looking at the turtles.
Not the sort of dream I like.Collapse )

breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Right before I woke up this morning, I dreamed I was at a zoo with a naturalist and his daughter (evidentally a friend of mine, since we were both teenagers.) We were looking at the turtles.

“Hey,” I said, “there’s something wrong with that turtle! Its shell is coming loose!” And indeed, the top of the turtle’s shell was flapping, rather like a clamshell hinged on one side, and various other smaller turtles were trying to climb inside the one turtle’s open shell. It was running around the pen (well, “running” is a relative term here–for a turtle, it was bookin’) and appeared both agitated and sort of resigned, with its shell flapping and the other turtles chasing it.

Had the dream ended there, it would have been nicely symbolic and I coulda had a field day if I was the sort of person who went to a therapist, but no, of course it didn’t end there. “We gotta get that turtle to a vet!” we thought, and, since the naturalist (who resembled that big Turkish guy in the Indiana Jones movies) evidentally worked there, we went into the enclosure and grabbed the turtle, which was probably about twenty inches in diamater and weighed maybe forty pounds, and hauled it out of the pen.

“Wait a minute,” I said, looking under the shell, “This can’t be right. It’s not, like, scaly. This turtle has fur! Turtles don’t have fur!” (I’m so astute in my dreams.)

“It can’t have fur,” the other teenager said, “it’s a turtle.”

“I’m telling you, it’s got fur! And…um…hey, why does this turtle have eight eyes?” (Which it did, small black round eyes in rows across the top of it’s turtley head.)

With terrible suspicion, I flipped open the turtle shell and counted…eight legs.

“OH MY GOD, THE TURTLE’S A FUCKIN’ GIANT SPIDER!”

Now, I object to spiders no more strenuously than the next person, (provided the next person isn’t Gryllus) they merit no more than a mild “Ew” and don’t even register on the same scale as, say, house centipedes, but the discovery that I was handling a twenty-inch-across-the-body giant turtle-spider was still a bit much. I recoiled, gibbering. The other teenager scoffed–it couldn’t be a spider, it was a turtle and hoisted its back legs, to reveal giant clicking spinnerets. “Okay,” she said, a bit shakily, setting it down again, “it’s a spider.”

The naturalist charged up, carrying a pair of insect-catching tongs that was never meant for a forty-pound insect, and said “We have to catch it for posterity! It’s a new species!” but by that point, the turtle-spider had shed its shell and glommed onto a nearby ant-hill. The ants went nuts. We studied the situation. “Here,” said the naturalist, injecting me with something, “antibiotics. And it should take the swelling down.” “What swelling?” “From the bite.” “What…is this giant lump on my shin?!”

And then I woke up, with a cramp in my left calf. Which probably explains that.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

As part of my pre-moving ritual, I went through, winnowed out more books that I can bear to part with, and threw 'em in a box to lug to the used book store. I tried Changing Hands first, because they're picky, but pay better, planning to take the dregs over to Bookman's.

I get to Changing Hands, which is a Cool Liberal Bookstore of the sort that has a larger section for poetry than science fiction, where you can get scented candles and I Ching thingies and bumper stickers about the inadvisability of hugging with nuclear arms. Like I said, they pay REALLY WELL which is why they're generally my first stop, and to their credit, they carry a solid science collection, although it is totally dwarfed by the New Age and bodywork section. (What the hell is bodywork, anyway? I keep hearing references to it, and since it doesn't appear to be either manual labor or Bondo, I'm stumped. Izzit like that reiki thing?) Like many liberal bookstores, it is a combination of things with which I agree whole-heartedly, and things that make me want to grab someone and shake rationality into them until their teeth rattle. But that's life for you.

So anyway, I get to Changing Hands, and discover that there are police cars. And tape. And a lot of people milling around. My first thought is that someone has gone nuts and done some really aggressive bodywork inside--possibly with a scented candle--but this would not explain the crowd. I circle the block slowly, discovering that the crowd is stretching not just around the store, but around the BLOCK. (And it's a big block.) Hmm. Hmm, hmm, hmm. The last time something like this happened, the head of the Hell's Angels was doing a book signing, they had a platoon of cop cars, and there were about fifty Really Big Motorcyles out front. (No word on what he thought of the scented candles.) Hmm. And people are waving Insert-Democrat-for-President signs. Huh.

I stop the car, I get out, I meander my way through the crowd until I can see the sign. Ah. Hillary Clinton is signing books. That'd explain it. Probably not the best time to bring in a load of books for sale, as the line is now revealed to wind completely through the store twice.

So I drove over to Bookman's, sold about half of 'em, and got a cool book on Tiffany lamps. Them's the breaks.

breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

As part of my pre-moving ritual, I went through, winnowed out more books that I can bear to part with, and threw ‘em in a box to lug to the used book store. I tried Changing Hands first, because they’re picky, but pay better, planning to take the dregs over to Bookman’s.

I get to Changing Hands, which is a Cool Liberal Bookstore of the sort that has a larger section for poetry than science fiction, where you can get scented candles and I Ching thingies and bumper stickers about the inadvisability of hugging with nuclear arms. Like I said, they pay REALLY WELL which is why they’re generally my first stop, and to their credit, they carry a solid science collection, although it is totally dwarfed by the New Age and bodywork section. (What the hell is bodywork, anyway? I keep hearing references to it, and since it doesn’t appear to be either manual labor or Bondo, I’m stumped. Izzit like that reiki thing?) Like many liberal bookstores, it is a combination of things with which I agree whole-heartedly, and things that make me want to grab someone and shake rationality into them until their teeth rattle. But that’s life for you.

So anyway, I get to Changing Hands, and discover that there are police cars. And tape. And a lot of people milling around. My first thought is that someone has gone nuts and done some really aggressive bodywork inside–possibly with a scented candle–but this would not explain the crowd. I circle the block slowly, discovering that the crowd is stretching not just around the store, but around the BLOCK. (And it’s a big block.) Hmm. Hmm, hmm, hmm. The last time something like this happened, the head of the Hell’s Angels was doing a book signing, they had a platoon of cop cars, and there were about fifty Really Big Motorcyles out front. (No word on what he thought of the scented candles.) Hmm. And people are waving Insert-Democrat-for-President signs. Huh.

I stop the car, I get out, I meander my way through the crowd until I can see the sign. Ah. Hillary Clinton is signing books. That’d explain it. Probably not the best time to bring in a load of books for sale, as the line is now revealed to wind completely through the store twice.

So I drove over to Bookman’s, sold about half of ‘em, and got a cool book on Tiffany lamps. Them’s the breaks.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

I hate it when good artists are crazy.

I mean, I know that this is terrible and wrong and bad and judgemental of me, but there y'are. I was randomly surfing, clicking away at a site that shall remain nameless (nobody I know on LJ, anyhow, and since I am not saying something nice, I will not link, because that would be more than a little rude) and saw a piece of surprisingly competent, fairly interesting art. I was intrigued.

Then I scrolled a little farther, read the associated text and manifesto, and discovered that they were either batshit insane or doing a shockingly good imitation--not the "I'm trying to be edgy and dark!" kind of self-conscious insane, or even the mildly-eccentric I-stay-up-all-night-carving-voluptous-deer-women-with-chainsaws insane, which is fine, I know that guy, he's great, but the "My houseplants talk to me in my sleep and tell me to wear tinfoil underwear for Christ!" kind of insane. (Which is often surprisingly hard to fake, and I'm not doing it justice at all--absurdly crazy is easy, just sing to the eggplants, but getting that faint patina of rationality right, then diving off the deep end--well, you almost gotta BE crazy, or else have a great ear for dialogue.)

Anyway, I sighed, and stared at the ceiling a bit. I know, I know, critique the art, not the artist, who am I to judge, etc, etc. I know. Yes, beauty produced by a mind that's across the sanity horizon and picking up speed is still beautiful, and I'm about as equipped to comment on other people's sanity as a walrus is to hydroponic gardening. I'm not trying to justify this--it's bad of me. I am 100% in the wrong. But still. Somewhere, on some level, a little voice goes "Aw, nuts," and throws its hands in the air. It's sort of like when you learn that an artist you admire is a raging asshole or a raving misogynist or evangelically religious in the bad way. I dunno if it's some complex thing related to the way that people build their mental image of the artist behind the art, or if it's just that inevitable twinge of... something ...disillusionment? I dunno... when you learn that you are admiring things by people that you maybe wouldn't choose to admire. Sort of like I feel reading "Cerebus"--he's a great little aardvark, but man, some of the things Dave Sims says about women outside of the comic make me want to scream "Killer Squid Falls From Above!" and drop off the ceiling with a machete. (Not that this would neccesarily prove anything, but it sounds like it'd be cathartic.)

On some level, I guess we want artists to be paragons, and to think talent is associated with virtue. And hell, if anybody oughta know that we aren't, it's me! (Which is not to say, as so many claim, that all good artists are jerks, either--I have known many who would give you their last drink of water in a desert. They're all individuals, god knows.) But still, there I am, getting that little mental wince. In my defense, it could just be the knee-jerk response to the association of insanity with art, which I really think we gotta get over--out of the garret! Out! But still, that's no excuse. Obviously enlightenment for this particular artist is still quite a long ways off.

breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

I hate it when good artists are crazy.

I mean, I know that this is terrible and wrong and bad and judgemental of me, but there y’are. I was randomly surfing, clicking away at a site that shall remain nameless (nobody I know on LJ, anyhow, and since I am not saying something nice, I will not link, because that would be more than a little rude) and saw a piece of surprisingly competent, fairly interesting art. I was intrigued.

Then I scrolled a little farther, read the associated text and manifesto, and discovered that they were either batshit insane or doing a shockingly good imitation–not the “I’m trying to be edgy and dark!” kind of self-conscious insane, or even the mildly-eccentric I-stay-up-all-night-carving-voluptous-deer-women-with-chainsaws insane, which is fine, I know that guy, he’s great, but the “My houseplants talk to me in my sleep and tell me to wear tinfoil underwear for Christ!” kind of insane. (Which is often surprisingly hard to fake, and I’m not doing it justice at all–absurdly crazy is easy, just sing to the eggplants, but getting that faint patina of rationality right, then diving off the deep end–well, you almost gotta BE crazy, or else have a great ear for dialogue.)

Anyway, I sighed, and stared at the ceiling a bit. I know, I know, critique the art, not the artist, who am I to judge, etc, etc. I know. Yes, beauty produced by a mind that’s across the sanity horizon and picking up speed is still beautiful, and I’m about as equipped to comment on other people’s sanity as a walrus is to hydroponic gardening. I’m not trying to justify this–it’s bad of me. I am 100% in the wrong. But still. Somewhere, on some level, a little voice goes “Aw, nuts,” and throws its hands in the air. It’s sort of like when you learn that an artist you admire is a raging asshole or a raving misogynist or evangelically religious in the bad way. I dunno if it’s some complex thing related to the way that people build their mental image of the artist behind the art, or if it’s just that inevitable twinge of… something …disillusionment? I dunno… when you learn that you are admiring things by people that you maybe wouldn’t choose to admire. Sort of like I feel reading “Cerebus”–he’s a great little aardvark, but man, some of the things Dave Sims says about women outside of the comic make me want to scream “Killer Squid Falls From Above!” and drop off the ceiling with a machete. (Not that this would neccesarily prove anything, but it sounds like it’d be cathartic.)

On some level, I guess we want artists to be paragons, and to think talent is associated with virtue. And hell, if anybody oughta know that we aren’t, it’s me! (Which is not to say, as so many claim, that all good artists are jerks, either–I have known many who would give you their last drink of water in a desert. They’re all individuals, god knows.) But still, there I am, getting that little mental wince. In my defense, it could just be the knee-jerk response to the association of insanity with art, which I really think we gotta get over–out of the garret! Out! But still, that’s no excuse. Obviously enlightenment for this particular artist is still quite a long ways off.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.