Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Official Things of the Thing Day

So I'm still working away on a new huge piece, and there's not much to say about it because at this stage of the painting it's all endless cutting of stencils and spraying of large blocks of color. I think the fun part will start tomorrow, but right now I'm in pre-fun, surviving on podcasts and, after I'm too tired to work, funny things I'm picking up from other people's blogs.

And of course from Thom, who started the morning off right by announcing that it is national turtle day. Which means, of course, that we must all honor Janet, the official Slugfest Printmaking tortoise.

Janet is a sulcata tortoise, and she lives at Slugfest in a very nice cage that has a sign on it that says "Mi casa no es su casa" and a disco ball. Sulcatas are the most exciting tortoises, but they are exciting in a very slow way. They love flowers and bright things, hate other tortoises, do not reveal their genders until they are three years old and live (in the wild) in vast underground tunnel systems. They adore watermelons and grapes (which are not good for them), and they can live for 75 years, during which time they very slowly turn into 250 pound tunneling machines who will do anything to get to a flower, including, if need be, digging through the foundation of your house. So I view the adoption of National Turtle Day as a wise gesture, and hope Janet will be placated by the attentiveness of our national leaders.

Turtle day seems to have inspired other legislators to pay tribute to the animal kingdom as well, although I'm pretty sure it's not motivated by exactly the same far-sighted placatory motive.

Delaware just adopted the pug as the official state dog .

This pug news comes to me from mammascro, on livejournal. Elsewhere on livejournal a chicken jumped.

I think it's aiming its gesture at the legislature.

I listened to a bunch of random interesting podcasts while I was painting, including a speech by Hillary Clinton at Princeton, who sounded vaguely presidential, but in that weird Dukakis way; someone has apparently been telling her to slow down her speech to the rate where she sounds barely alive. She was clearly trying to threaten the Palestinian people into not electing Hamas, which made me wonder what on earth I'm doing with my life. I hardly EVER try to influence the Palestinian elections.

Even odder were today's' librivox recordings. Librivox is a great idea: it's a site where people volunteer to read parts of books that are in the public domain and post them online. So one can get lots of old free library books, read by a collection of strangers. Which is fun in theory, but hilarious in practice. Because you never know who you're going to get as a reader, and voice makes a huge difference to your experience of an audio book. For instance. Today I heard:
The Raven, read by someone who can not be using his real voice, and
Kipling's "If", read in such a way that one thinks one is a young Indian boy listening to his kind but stern father.

I also listened to The Hunting of the Snark, which I'd read a long time ago but forgotten about. It's so great. The introduction alone is worth the download:

"For instance, take the two words "fuming" and "furious." Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first. Now open your mouth and speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little towards " fuming," you will say "fuming-furious;" if they turn, by even a hair's breadth, towards "furious," you will say "furious-fuming;" but if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say "frumious."

Add to this the fact that Lewis Carroll randomly threw in a beaver as one of his characters and it all makes him my hero of the day.

Or, wait. It's National Turtle Day already... And he can't be the state dog (although I would be so proud if we'd adopt the Boojum). So, um, I solemnly declare that The Hunting of the Snark is the official Monkey Fur Blog Poem.

No comments: