Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Separated At Birth: Shoes Division

Genetic lottery winner and actress Gwyneth Paltrow has some truly terrible taste in shoes.

Wait. Those kind of look familiar. Could they be. . . .

. . .Naruto's?

Just because you are a ninja fighter, doesn't mean you can't also have a decent pedicure, right?

Carey Buries Presley

Well, it has happened. As sports fans know, records are made to be broken, even if in the breaking, we have to push aside some former heroes. Hank Aaron beat Babe Ruth's home run record, although (it is often pointed out) he did so over more years. Roger Maris beat the one season home run record, again with an asterisk, since the season had lengthened since the Babe's day.

Now, Mariah Carey has beaten Elvis' record of Number 1 hits by a solo artist. Elvis fans world wide are posting their own asterisks of one kind or another. But surely Mariah Carey has to be the sole owner of a brand new record: the most notes sung in Number 1 hits by a solo artist.

Yes, Elvis is the King, but Mariah is doubtless the Queen of Melisma--that increasingly cliched talent of ringing a single note with a bouquet--nay, a veritable wreath--of surrounding notes. It's like wordless scat singing, perhaps, or a musical stutter.

It reminds me of that great musical critique leveled by the Emperor of Austria against Mozart's work:

"Too many notes."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Crawling for Art

This weekend is the semi-annual St. Paul Art Crawl, wherein artists open their studios to the public, offering insight into their working environments, as well as (hopefully) selling some of their work. Mr. Sweetie and I dropped the kidlets off at a middle school dance party, and went to check out some art.

I was interested in seeing what was going on in the building next to mine--the Jax Building is pretty primo studio space, and was full when I was looking for a place to rent. So I was interested in both the building and the artists who worked there.

Well, after touring all five floors, I can safely say that I am happy to be where I am. The Jax building is very much a repurposed space, in which it appears that rouge drywall hangers have slipped in during the night and moved walls and reconfigured offices, sneaking away before they could be caught and forced to actually tape, sand, and paint the new walls.

Now, the building where I have my studio is an old railroad office building, now leased out to a variety of tenants. There are legal offices, non-profit organizations, architects, designers, a chiropractor, historical researchers, as well as photographers, musicians, writers, and painters. Each floor is different from the others, and even the plumbing is scattered all over. But it is a coherent whole compared to the Jax.

Now, if you are into industrial funk, or found objects, or roughed in work, then the Jax is for you. It is not, for example, the kind of environment that lends itself to classic still lifes, or the techniques of the Old Masters.

What was satisfying was to look at the art on offer and to realize that it was NOT all completely out of my league. I am basically self-taught (or "autodidact" which sounds much more impressive), and I actually come rather recently to visual expression. I have spent most of my life being about words, less so about pictures. To look at what artists confidently present to the public for sale--makes me feel a lot more confident about what I can do.

I don't necessarily know what makes "good art," but I do know what I like, and I'm feeling good about my ability to make something that I do like.

Freudian Analysis

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. (Does this date me? How long ago was it that Cliff from All My Children was married to Nina and doing dopey advertisements on the side? Anyone? Helllooooo? Anybody as old as I am out there?)

Furthermore, I am not a trained Freudian psychologist, although I do have an English major from a Major University, where Freudian interpretation of literature was encouraged, even if none of us had even read Freud or had any coherent exposure to his work. What's to know? Anything longer than it is wide is phallic, and thus represents the entirety of masculine identity--don't talk to ME about lumberjacks!--and everything else is essentially feminine. Especially if it is wet. It's all the "id" as well.

So, now that we are all qualified to diagnose the subconscious, I have a case for you. Let's call this person "Mr. Sweetie." Mr. Sweetie has had a hard week at work. Mr. Sweetie came home late each night, and last night, as he is puttering about the kitchen, we find him whistling a tune. Mr. Sweetie often whistles as he putters--usually popular fare in a major key, often written by John Phillip Sousa.

Last night, he was whistling Darth Vader's Theme from Star Wars.

Discuss. Extra points are available for working in references to the "oral stage."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Opposite of Anorexia

We don't have many mirrors at Chez Evil. This is at least in part because our house was built by someone with an irrational hatred of ninety degree angles. We have very few walls that are not significantly pierced by doors or windows. There is no room on the second floor with a ceiling that is actually parallel to the floor--we live tucked up in gables, resulting in walls that are less than four feet tall.

We do have one full length mirror, which is located on the back of the bathroom door. This allows one to lean forward and glimpse one's self while seated on the toilet, which is a sight I spare myself. I am not a Candie's ad.

Somehow--accidentally, I assure you!--I caught myself out of the corner of my eye, and it was horrible. Truly, truly appalling. I looked like Jimmy Glick.

Which is really disheartening, because from inside my own body, I think I look like this:

I think this must be the opposite of anorexia, in that I assume I am much thinner than I am. I even feel thinner than I am. But, I have been forced to accept the horrible truth, so I am now doing something about it. I have started the Seattle Sutton Healthy Eating plan.

The good news? This actually works for me. I have gotten to the point where there is nothing--NOTHING--in my life that I hate more than having to decide what to make for dinner--or breakfast, or lunch. Now, it's not my problem! The food shows up, I eat it.

The better news? In one week, I have lost 6 pounds.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Too Many Books

I have been ignoring the nasty weather as much as possible and burying myself in books. I have just posted four reviews over on the Book Blog of Evil, which just shows you why I haven't been updating over here recently.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Notes From The Mountaintop

Things have been quiet here on the Blog of Evil. The weather continues to suck mightily. One day of sunshine, and then day after day of cold, cloudy, gloppy weather. It snowed again today--again the wet slushy stuff that lands on the ground with a pulpy "SPLAT!" and then runs down the sewer drains. The sun refuses to show itself, leaving the world a dreary midwinter landscape that mocks the idea of spring.

I have been busy these last few days--either down in the dungeons, searching through volumes of potions and spells for ways to appease the weather gods. Lots of recipes for human sacrifice. Sadly, those are the same whether one is seeking to bring sun OR rain, and frankly, if there's no better guarantee of success, I'll just save myself the effort.

When not poking around in the Evil Library, I have been spending time in dragon form, blowing fiery breath on the stone walls and floors of the castle, trying to stay warm.

It's enough to make one want to go back to bed and not get up for a hundred years.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Being An Optimist Sucks

Man is it crazy weather here these days. I saw my first robin of spring on Sunday. Monday it snowed.

Ha! I thought. I'm just back from 10 days in Sunny Palm Springs, and I am warm down to the marrow of my bones. No way is this really winter! Just look at this snow--it's so wet and gloppy that it's all but rainwater anyway! It will never last! It hits the street and melts immediately, and the only reason it doesn't disappear entirely is because it is getting caught on grass blades and isn't in actual contact with the ground.

Yesterday was Home Opener, and the Famille Evil ate hot dogs and watched baseball, while the snow fell. And fell. And fell. And so did the temperature--fall. And as the night wore on, the concept of an unroofed stadium seemed more and more foolish.

Today the official report was snowfall of 3" -9" with St. Paul reporting 7 fricking inches of snow.

See, now, if I had NOT been Miss Pollyanna Sunshine and blithely predicted instant melt--I would at least have had the bitter satisfaction of being right. Maybe that is the reason to be a pessimist--you are either right, or else pleasantly surprised.

Stupid snow. Mother Nature having a Big Fat April Fool's joke on all of us.