Wednesday, May 9, 2012

****An Only Goat is a Lonely Goat

Ahhhh, transition! Rocky patches have (almost inevitably) surfaced, but today was a good day. Like most of us, part of me is all about fast forwarding to the next comfort point, but I also know the shake up is a good thing. How else to develop a more exciting life?*

Not that every little thing has jumped the rails. Some things continue apace: my car is still issuing its deathly rattle. Another random batch of house things are on the fritz, with the most prominent case being my multi-bulbed dining room light. A couple weeks ago, I was startled by a sharp POP from the general area. It took a few minutes to figure out one of the bulbs had not just gone dark, but burst from its glass shade, oh-so-conveniently leaving the threaded metal screw part of the bulb embedded in the shade base. *Super!* Since then, two more bulbs have gone out. Wiring? Seems like wiring, right? I have yet to call anyone, as both my house and car have been money hungry lately. Great. Well I guess I'll have to get my drawing in before it gets dark. Clearly, I'm a bull-by-the-horns kind of gal, domestically speaking.

*And by more exciting, I mean NEW office job over OLD office job!** Woohooo, I'm wild,WILD, I tell you! It's possible they will also teach me to use a flamethrower. But if so, they have neglected to mention it. They do, however, have pizza lunches on Thursday. Or every other Thursday. And the same dynamics of work (/dorm) kitchens the world over, judging by the signs. "Where food goes to DIE" (helpfully/menacingly pinned on the fridge. last word, underlined) and "DO NOT TURN OFF THE COFFEE POT DURING THE DAY" (in case the all-caps lacked sufficient emphasis, the letters have been bolded. A brief explanation of why one should not turn off the coffee pot follows. Circling and exclamation points have been drawn in).

**{Disclaimer: blogger disavows any notion or implication that she is less than excited about her new job and all the opportunities it contains. She is most certainly pleased, but acknowledges that collectively speaking, office jobs may not set the world on fire. Hey! flamethrower tie-in!}
Meanwhile, Outside is in need of the lawnmower, though perhaps the backyard raccoon***, who has returned after a couple years' absence, would disagree. I banged on the deck door and watched him with a penetrating, intimidating gaze. Get out of my backyard.

The raccoon raised itself and halted, eyeing me. You're no threat. I have tons of digging to do. And he wasn't lying. He has done a hell of a lot of digging. I expect this will make lawn-mowing more exciting, whenever I actually get to it.

***I know, I doubt it's the same one. This one is smaller and looks more like a red panda. Behold, exotic troublemaker, trekking from the Himalayas, to mix with suburbanite scavengers! Or not. Either way, I'm going to get hissed at when I hang out on my deck. Hmmm. 

...And on a Belated Note

When not selling at an art open house this weekend, I revisited "Paul's Boutique", "Check Your Head" and others in honor of MCA's passing. I love the humor and energy of the Beastie Boys' music and loved that all members also explored other creative outlets and causes. Terrible that Adam Yauch lost his battle with cancer and not even 50. Obviously loss to cancer at any age is wrenching, but it's also tempting to protest: but he did *so* much in the time he had, think how much more he could have done~~ Anyway, posts and coverage about him abounds, another post isn't needed from me. My friend Angel, who can be credited with introducing me to espresso and winning me over to beer (through steady, micro-brew introductions over about half a year), also convinced me that the Beastie Boys were worth a listen, despite what seemed to be stoopid frat boy anthems. I hope that they retire the group name and grow however they're meant to, in new directions...

And then the news of the beloved Maurice Sendak. Ginger sent me a link to his obit and it's everywhere on Facebook, but I haven't been able to read any of them in full. He was a giant in the world of children's illustration and storytelling, who dramatically changed the landscape of picture books. His legendary cantankerousness was balanced by sensitivity to truth of feeling and respecting children as individuals, even when he didn't like them... This interview nicely conveys Sendak's belief in the need for danger and "teeth" in children's lit. If you care to revisit any tales beyond the usual WTWTA and Night Kitchen, I suggest a trip to the following:
  • Kenny's Window**** (an early one. Kenny has a dream. And in that dream is a garden and a rooster with four legs and seven questions to puzzle out. Sendak hadn't quite hit his tell-tale style at this stage, but the story is charming and engaging.)
  • We're All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (two nursery rhymes, paired together and partially springing from Sendak's encounter with a would-be cardboard box "city" made by the impoverished on the outskirts of LA, in the 90s, if I recall correctly) 
  • Dear Milli (stunning illustrated version of a Grimm's tale, which only came to light in 1983; a woman sends her girl child into the forest to protect her from encroaching war. The child finds a house and winds up spending years with a saint, though it passes like a day. As always, he folds elements from his life into the visual interpretation of the tale: i.e. the Holocaust, beloved pet dog, etc.)
  • Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present (by Charlotte Zolotow; this one is pretty straight forward -- no mashing together of pop culture and holocaust imagery here -- but pleasing in its repetition and thoughtfulness). 
These are sitting next to me as I type and will be happy companions to morning coffee...Flavorwire's tribute features a cool selection of images and quotes.

At least, from his last interview with Terry Gross you got the sense that here was someone who was ready to go; he spoke about bearing witness to the death of his partner and the deaths of his friends; he told Terry he was glad that he would die before she would, so he wouldn't have to miss her. Yes, that episode was a total tearjerker. And yes, they replayed it during fundraising.

I realize the news has already swiftly flown past, but in case you're still interested, it looks like Fresh Air has remembrances of both, here (Sendak) and here (Yauch).

And even with the later rise, its high time to go to bed. Sleep well, Everyone and make the best of the rest of your week!

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