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modern luminescence

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 10:22 pm
Mood: artediellina
Now Playing: Fat Tulips - So Surreal
It was too nice to last, of course.

It felt like there was a lot more empty space at the MFA, perhaps because there aren't many people there on a Sunday morning and perhaps because they rearranged the impressionism and post-impression galleries to show Monet's predecessors in the hallway and then a gallery devoted entirely to Monet.
I saw the pairs of Picasso, TechStyle, a few of the Megacities Asia works that were scattered about the museum, prints of London and Edo, and Lawren Harris' paintings of Canadian snowscapes, before I had to go.
London is depicted in subdued pastels, while Edo is colorful and bold.

Snake Ceiling
Inspired by a visit to a school destroyed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, where he saw scattered backpacks and pencils. It's designed to evoke not just a snake but a line of children walking to school hand in hand.

Chaosmos Mandala
This was made by a Korean artist and if you can't tell by looking at it, the room is lined with reflective watery stuff and there's a rotating chandelier covered in multicolored lights that represents the celestial realm and a chair you can sit in so you may be part of the art.
Remind me to get the description of this when I inevitably go to see the rest of Megacities Asia. There are descriptions for #3, #8, Doors Away From Home, #6, and Venu out there on the Tumblrverse.

Illuminated pillars made from cheap plastic containers.

Living With Pigeons
This was intentionally placed in the room with the Boddhisatva statues. Song Dong says "my work being here is not an honor for me, but for those living in poverty"
Song lived in a courtyard-style house, where the cramped living style would foster community.
As Beijing expanded, these houses were demolished.

An enclosure of 64 Forever brand bicycles. Ai Weiwei left a Beijing of cyclists and tree-lined avenues for New York City for twelve years and then returned to a Beijing of multilane highways and traffic jams.
Marcel Duchamp made Readymades, one of which is an inverted bicycle wheel and fork on a wooden stool.

Breathing Flower
It looks like it's made from inflatable pool rafts and is meant to contrast with the natural but carefully manicured lawn.

Fruit Tree and Zodiac Heads are elsewhere in Boston.
I don't know, I lost my pamphlet, probably while playing with Leo the Bernedoodle, which is a Bernese mountain dog and poodle mix.

#techstyle is pun for the whole family.
there was a dress with solar panels that could charge a phone. I swear John Brunner predicted stuff like this in Stand on Zanzibar. There are people with purple-dyed hair in Brunner's 2010 as well as at the MFA in the real 2016. In Stand on Zanzibar, one woman wears a dress with a printed circuit and she can shift her belt buckle to change the broadcast, which doesn't require fabric printed with circuits in real life.

Giger Shoes

There's an iPad and you can have the dress display hearts or stars or snowfall, or in by far the most popular case, Hokusai's Great Wave. In the background is Pinhead's formal wear. When Pinhead's shirt is turned on, the pins vibrate with the ambient noise and voices in the gallery.

hey, it's an animated gif of the wave.

Here's the dress with stars instead of the Great Wave.

I have no idea what setting it's on.

splash dress

in real life, it looks more like glass and less like water.


It's based on sound waves.

The Bird and the Beetle
It looks like some sort of armor.
Speaking of armor, there's a mesh of interlocking 3D printed bits that feel more like armor than clothing.

A tuxedo made from the night sky.

Wearable art.

She had a leg deformity and chose to have it amputated.

Visiting Picasso paintings:

The Rape of the Sabine Women, inspired by the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Someone said the lines in her face represent her aging but the painting she was paired with was made later.

Head of a Woman (portrait of Marie-Therese Walter)

The Rescue. As you've seen with The Rape of the Sabine Women, Picasso gave the same title to multiple works. A painting titled The Rescue sold for 31.5 million dollars at an auction. This is not that painting. The flecks of white are narcissus flowers.

the human form reduced to its constituent lines and curves.

Seven Diadems
From above, they look like walnuts, not submerged heads.

I don't know what beaverboard is but it sounds Canadian. Brand name of pressed paper, apparently.

He mostly depicted the arctic as sparse, desolate, empty, and unpopulated, but one painting depicts an Inuit dwelling, so life, even human life, finds a way. It's hard to imagine anything living in his landscapes, and no sounds but for that of dancing chill winds cold enough to freeze time itself. When there are trees, they look like they have been dead for millennia.

Most of the ruins are ancient. There are some Piranesi prints. There are a few pictures of Palmyra; the captions remind us that the objects depicted in these photographs are now destroyed and I have a hard time being sad about that. I wasn't going to see them, not as long as Bashar al-Assad and his wife live.
There aren't any pictures of The Dopey Lion. Seriously, he looks stupid and should be Syria's mascot. Maybe he could be seated upon a throne of corpses, propped up by a donkey and an elephant.
No ruins of the modern age: Aleppo, Detroit, Ordos, Varosha, or Pripyat.

I ganked this. I had a burning question about whether Sad Puppies 5 will happen because they've become irrelevant and they nominate works based on not wanting everyone else to figure out how few of them there are and there's really nothing else you can do with Sad Puppies but strap them to the backs of people who list their relationship status as single when they're not until they decompose.
burning question: if the color of your teeth no longer reflects personal hygiene, will people start wearing like neon green or purple teeth or whatever matches their outfit?


bird claustrophobia

Posted on April 25, 2016 at 10:59 pm
Mood: phasmatocottus
Now Playing: Henry Cowell - Symphony no 7
At first I thought it would be a quiet day and at least there were two Waffle clones
hanging out upstairs, and one of the Waffle clones had only three legs.

Last night's dinner for the seagull didn't look like that when whoever made it made it. The window was open so it was fucking freezing and it didn't help with the smell. Even taking the garbage bag out didn't help.

We weren't supposed to give the goose food, so we took it out and the goose is like "nope" and kicked the bowl of pellets over and Jacob's like "you god damm asshole!" and I was laughing really hard.

A rabbit was horribly bitten and bruised. I think we were planning to give him steroids. Someone said "that's nature" and also "steroids are nature too."

Conor put some sticks in the owl's cage so he can "pretend he's a real owl" and not just a captive according to Jacob. "He says thank you."

"He's a growing boy. Or girl. He's a growing ice cream cone." Because that's how you hold a rock dove.

The sparrow would bite us but he wouldn't bite the syringe.

She looks really sad and she flipped herself over in the soaking bin because she's stupid and not because she died. She's alive, kupo. She needs a cupcake to get her blood sugar up or something says Tiffany. And she has head trauma so we set up some oxygen therapy for her.

"community mice. Cut them with your teeth. Cutting of the mice is an adrenaline rush."

Oxytocin helps mammals deliver their babies by inducing cervical dilation. It also works on reptilian and avian oviducts. While only mammals produce oxytocin, the other vertebrates produce hormones that do more or less the same thing. It also stimulates the myoepithelial cells, ejecting milk into the mammary duct but she isn't a mammal. It also causes memory lapses and fond memories of the final stages of pregnancy. It causes lovey feelings and infatuation and limerence and may be able to treat cocaine and heroin withdrawl. It increases trust and empathy, reduces fear, and breaks the chains of racism. It's a wonderful, wonderful molecule. Also, she was pissed off afterwards when we had to administer fluids but if I was pumped full of oxytocin, I'd be the opposite of pissed off. Dehydrated turtles have loose-ish skin. I suppose you could look at their mucosa, that is, if you could get their beaks open.
While wood turtles are found in New England, this one was a pet.

We have a tiny chicken egg laid by a normal chicken.

Maegan had for lunch a sweet potato that didn't cook properly, some tomatoes that were probably cooked too much, strawberries and kiwis. Like me, she's not big on lunch, and everyone she interacted with except for me made snide comments about it. She said that she had Wendy's a few times and pizza a few times, because someone asked if she was a vegan.

Opossums make weird alien noises according to Sam and the sucking sound they make haunts Tiffany's nightmares.

Here's another owlet. Again, I had no idea we had this guy. Maybe I'm mistaken about what kind of owls I brought up last week.

burning question: Who built this door, space dwarves?


distance and mortality

Posted on April 24, 2016 at 11:06 pm
Mood: plactopecten
Now Playing: Casey Desmond - Swim
It was both PAX East and Japanfest today. I'd probably have went to JapanFest had I not been going to see Verdi's Requiem. At JapanFest they had mostly traditional music like koto and taiko drumming and some stuff from Studio Ghibli movies.

Mariah and Darren are from the ass end of nowhere in Pennsylvania, and were both dressed in Aperture Labs costumes.
I told her to be thankful she isn't getting on at Haymarket because the Orange Line is easy to find but the Green Line isn't. South Station isn't that bad but some of the glorified buses go directly to the airport. We would have had a proper subway line but despotates and banana republics stole our money.
Mariah went to New York when she was really young to see the Lion King on Broadway but is overwhelmed by the sheer size of New York and prefers Boston and it's smallness and only feels comfortable in crowds of fellow nerds like at PAX East and not crowds of business types, and not New York and their disbelief in maps. I said I spend my time amongst artists, musicians, actors, poets, dreamers, eccentrics, and revolutionaries. Mariah's a dreamer, or perhaps an eccentric, or maybe both.
And there are people out there who don't want to be exposed to other cultures and I said that if they don't like it, they can go live in Provo or something.
I mentioned that I've also been to DC, where you aren't allowed to eat or drink on the trains there. She immediately got nervous about having a drink with her. She thinks that everyone in DC is hyperfocused on their work.
Darren agrees with me about the drive through Baltimore. It goes through the industrial part of the city and stinks to the highest of heavens. I've never been to Philadelphia but the public transit there is okay, they guess.
Mariah volunteers at a wildlife rehabilitation center and it's baby season there too and there are a bunch of squirrels obviously and some baby owls. They're a lot like the New England Wildlife Center except without seabirds, I guess.
I don't know how this came up (yes, one of our vets is from Pennsylvania, but that wasn't it), I think I mentioned some kind of animal. I'm not sure what the context of it was but I think it's because I was going through color portraits and mentioned that Christina was an artist and so I showed Mariah the owl of paradise she painted.

Another reason Boston is superior to DC: Puppy on the train! Puppy, puppy, puppy! Specifically, a six month old miniature husky.

London is depicted more [this section has been removed] age: Aleppo, Detroit, Ordos, Varosha, or Pripyat.

I saw a woman with purple hair and a woman with teal hair.

Verdi's requiem opens with a choir of anguished parishioners.
The tenor is the hero of the story who gets into trouble, while the bass is the father, either in the literal sense or in the religious sense.
The vocals here are muted against the orchestra, likened to angels struggling against a wind of terrible destructive power.
A full third of the work is the Dies Irae. In between the Dies Irae and the Offertorio was an intermission every time Verdi conducted it and none now. Oddly enough, there were more intermissions back in Verdi's time; there was an intermission after every act in the opera, while today, people have places to be and tv shows to watch and livejournal and/or tumblr entries to write (writing a personal entry on Wordpress or Blogspot and possibly Typepad will get you exiled to an alternate reality), and plus getting 220 people on and off the stage is a pain in the ass.

The sanctus is a complicated fugue for double chorus.

The last movement of the requiem was originally composed for a requiem for Rossini with all the movement composed by different people but it wasn't performed until 1980 or so. The rest of these movements were composed by Buzzola, Bazzini, Pedrotti, Cagnoni, Ricci, Nini, Boucheron, Coccia, Gaspari, Platania, Rossi, and Mabellini. If you have no idea who these people are, I am not surprised. The dies irae motif originates in that.
Like Beethoven's 9th, the Requiem's themes unify us: the cycle of life and death and the fear of death and the unknown.

It's hard to follow along with the lyrics in the booklet, because they repeat sections a lot.

I had chicken chettinad and manchow soup and the people next to me were at the MFA earlier looking for animals in art. They were at the MFA because she was looking for animals in art.
Yiorgios wrote a piano "concerto for vocalist" for his girlfriend to perform in. She started in pop vocals and moved on to operatic and is kind of in between soprano and mezzo-soprano, if that makes sense. She once sang along with an accordionist in Sydney.
They both saw The Consul because they had friends playing.

Willow, Lynne, Ren, Toby, and Ronan were at Anime Fest. Ren had colored streaks in her hair and I am not the first person to bring up Ren and Stimpy. Lynne plays violin, while Toby plays viola and wore a flower garland. Willow has a dragon pendant. Lynne had a thing hanging from her bag that depicted the character in a region-locked game. I said "So, proxy?" and she said "yep." To hell with region-locking, I say. Toby mostly plays Kingdom Hearts. They all met after a festival on the train. Not this one, kupo.
Aisha (one more crack about giant monster hands and I swear I don't know what I'll do but it will be bad, and oh yeah, I don't know if they grade sand but: coarse) wasn't part of the group and wasn't at Japan Fest but was interested in the discussion about anime.
I couldn't not draw a guy with a dog hat. Actually, he's pretty sure it's a cat hat. Another guy was amazed at just how many French revolutions there were. Five republics and also a few resurgent kingdoms, empires, attempted junta, and a Nazi puppet state.

I also went to the MFA but I'm not going to post about that just yet. Even if it was but a brief visit, I need to find the descriptions.

burning question: What kind of puppy is the cutest?


swimming with eels

Posted on April 21, 2016 at 11:10 pm
Mood: Harpegnathos
Now Playing: Stephanie Meyers - Double Edge Sword
There's nothing like happiness to make me forget that all I had to eat today before spending the first perfect day of the year at the ICA was a few pita chips, all I had to eat yesterday was a hamburger and some fries and a few pita chips with spicy hummus, all I had to eat the day before that was a bagel, some rice, four dolmas and a salad, and a butterscotch candy, and I can't remember what I ate Monday but I'm sure it wasn't impressive.

My sandwich survived my journey home relatively intact. I was going to get something at Bon Me but they were shutting down for the night.

A woman had crescent moon earrings and a trefoil tattoo on her wrist. Her friend looked a bit like Gabriella with a Sterling Archer cleft chin and glasses.

I overheard "I want to be taxidermied" at South Station. Also I heard an erhu.

The docents are dressed in black and wear glasses, except for Olivia or something, who is the one exception to the latter part. Actually, there were probably a few exceptions. One of the docents had teacup earrings. One of them had a black scarf. She works with glass.

Walid Raad had photographs from the Lebanese Civil War. Some of them depicted bullet holes covered by colorful circles.

I told one of the docents how I've read about the war in Lebanon but couldn't make sense of it or understand the different coalitions even in the context of the war. On one side, democratic socialists, phalangists (a form of fascism popular with Maronites), pan-Arab secularists, Shi'ite fundamentalists, and neo-Nazis. On the other side, Maoists, Likudniks, Hamas, and more Christian fundamentalists. Speaking of the coalitions, one of the photographs referenced betting on horses and how the Maronite nationalists and socialists went with one set of horses and the Islamists and Marxists went with other sets. I compared it to the collaborationist Yugoslavian groups and Slovakia's and Bulgaria's alliance with Nazi Germany, even though as Slavs, they were destined for the death camps.
That's war for you.

There's a film made from exposing a frame every time he thought the war was over. The film lasts over a minute and the photos move by really quickly.

The only part that remains from a car bomb after it explodes is the engine and that ends up tens or hundreds of meters away.

"A museum for ants."

In the media room, they prompted us to write down a cool fact. A few of them are in Korean or Hebrew or Arabic. Someone says that some colors look better than others but I disagree: all colors are equal but some combinations look better than others. "you are always beautiful. No matter what. Age 8." Some stuff about the sun: the sun always sets but actually it's the Earth that moves. I said that war is incomprehensible and that all the insects on Earth weigh more than all the humans on Earth.

All the sculptures are Italian, says the docent, and made between the Roman Empire and right now. Most of them are faces or full body, and the ones that are abstract may be abstract representions of faces or bodies but one of them is noteworthy for being a finger with the photographers reflected in the fingernail. His notes go into more detail on them. The notes I found are a bit out of date and don't mention the deaths of Cecil the Lion and some protestors in Luanda and FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. I haven't used "fuck" here in a while.

She isn't an artist but she does write poetry and literature and says it's hard to get a bad song out of her head but bad music can be processed in a few minutes while it takes a while to read a book, so there really is no place for the A THRONE OF BONES and Asulon: The Swords of Fire of the world. Exhibit B: Jean-Christophe Valtat's Luminous Chaos still hasn't been released in paperback and there's no sign of Suspended Citadels whatsoever. Conclusion: Amazon is bad for literature.
Some other people looking at this were talking about an assignment in which they were given a book, drew something in the book, and gave it to the next person to draw in.

One for each day of the year. Somewhere in Canada, a library threw a whole ton of magazines away and this guy made them into art.

Most of the dolls are Janus-faced and most of their faces are Harvey Dent-faced. A few have a watch face or the back of a hat. Butterflies. Birds. A rifle. the words Love, Amor, Amore, and люблю. A leg, to match the finger. A skeleton with a feather.
They reminded me of kachinas.
From another room came music redolent of gamelan.

The woman with short solid blue hair and a blue jacket with pink on it (her companion also had hair that transitioned into blue) says that all of her art is accidental, as I was showing them the paintings of people with multicolored hair and bringing up my frustration with trying to get the same effect I got once.

One of the room contained things I've seen and talked about before so I'm not going to talk about it again.

The cube of pins weighs two tons according to someone on twitter and at least a ton according to the glassworker docent. The strips that surround it are magnetic but don't pick up the pins. When they fall out, someone picks them up and carefully reattaches them.
She really loves my linework and how there are multiple people on each page.
She doesn't really understand magnetism.
Art and science are the same thing, really.

Speaking of Harvey Dent, I met a Scottie named Bruce and yes, he is named after Batman.

A kid asked about the expansion of the universe making more stars and I said that it doesn't, it just leads to more empty space between the galaxies, and I told him that every atom in his body is there because of a supernova, but only elements up to iron can be fused in stars because the fusion process gets less efficient as it fuses carbon into helium and neon and magnesium, oxygen fuses into helium and silicon and sulphur, silicon into nickel, and then it reaches iron and the energy needed to fuse iron into heavier elements is greater than the energy released by the reaction, and then when it goes supernova, stuff collides and from that, we get our gold and bismuth and praseodymium and astatine and californium.
The sun, however, will probably only fuse a bit of carbon and oxygen, if even that.
The book Eternal Light has a wonderful description of the death of a star.

"Wanna go for a swim?" he asked his friend.

A woman was jumping rope amongst four giant monolithic sculptures.

There was a woman with rainbow hair and a colorful fenghuang tattoo on her arm.

Some kids in front of a fountain with something about Boston and Massachusetts welcoming refugees were having a battle with balloon swords.
One kid decided that his balloon sword was actually a machine gun.
Anyway, I just love how Boston has multiple gamelan ensembles and multiple Balkans folk music ensembles and I love how the Mad Geniuses recently railed against multiculturalism, because why have something like Boston when you can have Provo or Colorado Springs?

The pillars on the garage were wrapped in colorful designs. This is Luna Moths by Cei Lambert.

A woman had cotton candy swirls of blue and pink but alas she got off the train as I got on. Plus I don't carry gel pens with me.

I got another EP from Matt Minigell and drew a portrait of him because I had time and a place to put my sandwich.

"I think it's good," a guy said because my subject didn't react. Probably too busy playing with her hair and/or phone.

The woman with dark eyes is a singer. Well, not professionally, just something she does in her spare time, but Emma was that too and look at her now.
The woman with blue eyes dropped and cracked her phone recently and I told her that the worst thing is when everything goes alarmingly smoothly for a while, full of things like obtaining undin halcyons on your first attempt and no unexpected vanishing acts, because you know the universe is preparing something exceptionally bad for you to run into . In my case, the lens of my glasses popped out while I was crossing the street but luckily I found a bit of string. Which actually held together amazingly well.
They were at the mfa to see TechStyle and Picasso Paired but only the woman with dark eyes saw Megacities Asia. They said they saw me drawing Matt from the other side of the train tracks.

That guy in the suit and tie with a beard and earrings kept getting off and we couldn't decide if he was actually leaving or just being polite again.

burning question: what kind of ass would be late for his own birthday?


the lost way

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 6:40 pm
Mood: Aneuretus
Now Playing: Mini Dresses - Are You Real
A woman who had short purple hair with streaks of bright pink in front had a sketchbook with her but she said nothing was worth showing me. I don't have many stories about people worth telling you, so it balances out.
Except for this one: Cody or Cory, who is studying to be an orchestral composer, once walked in on his parents watching Twister and for a while every time there was a thunderstorm, he thought there would be a tornado. I'm not sure what, if anything, Mallorey or one of the gift shop customers, said that may have prompted it.
Also, Mallorey spells her name really weirdly. I'm not sure what her biggest fears are. Maybe alligators, crocodiles, Predator, and brain aneurysms, or if she ever has a son, he brings home a whore and says "we're married" and the whore has bangs. I don't know, Malory Archer hasn't revealed her three biggest fears. Ant infestations, maybe.
For some reason, I had the Lithuanian Dance from Mlada stuck in my head.

Elsewhere, there was a woman with white-blonde hair with pink streaks and a woman with dark rust (autocorrect turned rust into Rudy for some reason) brightening into incandescent red.
And I met a Pekingese dog named Wonton with a pug's face and a super-soft long coat. There's a Chinese folk tale about a lion and a marmoset falling in love and the result of that is the Pekingese.

I don't have any new insights on Mahler's 9th since a great & terrible beauty.

Matt Minigell was playing guitar and singing at the Park Street platform and was selling CDs on the principle of "pay what you want" and there were four CDs left, one with an unknown tracklist, two with four songs and one demo with a handwritten tracklist of nine songs and a thank you list that includes Mary Lou Lord.

I wanted to redraw someone because of the way we was positioned while standing but she had to get off, alas. I didn't have much time to talk because I was tired and I have to get up early to write this.

I ran into Gabriella while leaving the station. I could tell it was her even from behind because she dresses completely unlike anyone else I've ever seen and also because of her hair.

burning question: did you want to finish shutting your big fat negative-wordsy mouth?


dry and disconsolate

Posted on April 19, 2016 at 12:08 am
Mood: elassodiscus
Now Playing: Puppy Problems - Practice Kissing
Here are some more things that actually happened last week that I would have just edited in had people not already seen the entry and had I not thought of it several days after posting.
1. One time, flooding in enrichment was so bad that water actually seeped into med ward. For those of you unfamiliar with the layout of the wildlife center, enrichment and med ward are across from each other. This makes it sounds less messy than it actually is. The door to med ward is near the door to the hospital corridor, and the door to enrichment is around the corridor.
2. Turtles return to the same place to lay their eggs every year, which works, I guess.

Today, we received two batches of raccoons, one all-male batch brought by a guy who was taking care of them for a month after the mother died, which is a bad idea for many reasons.

Tiffany found the modo dead when we were going to medicate it.

Jack and Matt found a turkey egg (it's about the size of a chicken's or mallard's, mostly cream-white and dotted with specks of brown) somewhere and put in the incubator to see what will happen, even though it's probably no longer viable.

Tiffany had frozen rats and chicks thawing in the sink and took a picture of it with the caption "worst jacuzzi ever."

Once an owl died because it ate towel, so we use newspapers to line owl cages instead. Owls really aren't that smart. The owl with one eye was being "a feisty little jerk" so he got to be in a selfie with Tiffany. He was angry afterwards, as if to say "I didn't say you could take pictures of me. Rude!"
He made a noise that reminded me of a dog's whimper.

The red-tailed hawk is a diva, says Tiffany.

I was tasked to find a couple of tiny cockroaches for the salamander. 1. It's like frigging Indiana Jones in there. 2. It's very hard to tell what's a tiny cockroach and what's just a molting. 3. Sam is disgusted by the cockroaches. 4. But I'd rather deal with cockroaches than Nazis.

I really thought Zofia would be around. I thought there'd be more people visiting or volunteering too, because it's a state holiday and a day off from school. On the other hand, marathon traffic. I don't have much to say because I spent a good portion of it cleaning up old paperwork.

burning question: how much do editorial cartoonists make and how often do they find themselves ducking bullets?


rays of ashen light

Posted on April 12, 2016 at 7:24 pm
Mood: arabica
Now Playing: Airiel - Flashlight Tag
Either Amy or Alianna almost ran over a squirrel in the wildlife center's driveway and I jokingly said that we just released it back into the wild. I say "either Amy or Alianna" because this actually happened on Friday and I just remembered the incident.
Thing is, a few of our animals have been eaten by raptors upon release. I imagine raptors hanging out near the soft release cages, where we put animals like opossums and squirrels and give them some food and shelter for long enough for them to find other sources of food and shelter.
They're like the spiders on the people movers at Logan, who learned that they can let their webs run into the flies.

A mallard laid an egg and I don't think it's viable anymore, after all, it's been sitting on a shelf since she laid it. I don't know what else we could do with it, maybe sneak it into another mallard's nest. Maybe if the x-ray machine was working, we could, I don't know, x-ray the egg to see if there's anything developing inside it.

No hawk weighs a gram, Jacob says.

We know he's (a parakeet) eating because he regurges it on us, says Tiffany.
He's regurgitating because he most likely has a crop infection.

Big owls can hunt with missing eyes. Smaller owls might need binocular vision to hunt moths and such, or they might not; there hasn't been much research on this. No matter what, the screech owl with a missing eye is going to live out the rest of his life in captivity.

X-ray machine wasn't working, which is most unfortunate because an African spurred tortoise ate a needle and it's stuck in his cheek. I also couldn't clean upstairs because I couldn't fill the mop bucket.

We're finally going to get temperatures that stay above freezing for a while, so the salamanders are getting released. We released the flicker and he was like "eff you all" and flew away.
The main difference between flickers and woodpeckers is that flickers hunt grubs and ants on the ground, while woodpeckers find their food inside of trees.

Priya didn't want to show the tour group our flying squirrel, for fear that he'd escape.
A kid asked if Spyro could breathe fire.

"I shouldn't chip paint off of the highway and eat it is what you're saying," says Tiffany. Not unless you want to end up like the people who maintain the sjwlist.

Squirrels should weigh 200+ grams, be able to crack nuts and acorns, and be able to climb. We're giving them some peanuts to try. I'm pretty sure the largest squirrels we have weigh around 150 grams.

burning question: Ian R. MacLeod asks: Why do the names of people who send spam e-mails all sound as if they've come from a 1920s romantic novel?


sundered earth

Posted on April 08, 2016 at 9:01 pm
Mood: habroptila
Now Playing: Bedroom Eyes - Lorraine
Sam has "vivo per lei" tattooed on her wrist.
I've never seen the spelling Maegan before but it exists, apparently.

Amy had feathers in her hair from goose manhandling earlier in the week and nobody told her. This goose and the gull made things incredibly difficult for everyone.

Zack dropped one of our new helmets. "It works," Tiffany triumphantly proclaimed.

We have a pipe near the window propped up with the couch; I think we're using it to grow beans. I say propped up but it was tilting over. Aliann said she saw Jess walk up and hit the pipe.

You can buy dandelion seeds, for when your enemy has a perfect lawn you want to ruin. Or if you want to eat dandelion leaves, I guess. They can be consumed raw or cooked like spinach and they have a diuretic effect. I don't know why anyone who actually wants dandelions would need them. You can't ever not have dandelions everywhere.

The flicker got out and flew just fine.

The swan is almost ready to be released.

The gull has both lead poisoning and rodenticide poison, because they're scavengers.

Tiffany says that the goose got shot and then noticed some bullets that missed him and he's like "here, let me get those for you."

Sloths are slowly vicious, according to Tiffany who petted one at a sketchy place out in the desert somewhere.
The sloth in the video is Romeo, who hangs out at a sloth sanctuary and tries to cross the road to mate with the captive sloths. I can't imagine sloths mating but I'd imagine it's like anything else except in slow motion. Sloths move like they're in a bubble of distorted spacetime. As far as they're concerned, they're walking around normally. To us, it just looks like the video is at half speed.

Gabrielle, who has purple hair and a beardie named Chomper and a pendant depicting a silver rose in a silver heart and an upside down obelisk made from a brown gem of some sort and also some facial piercings, says that opossums look like giant ferrets and once rescued a baby squirrel she found on her porch after a rainstorm and nursed it back to health with a hair dryer and kept it near a heater and fed it puppy formula. Just until someone could come and get it, I mean.
Unlike Gabriella, she does have to share her name with a character in a Tom Kratman novel.

We should be getting opossums soon and everyone thought there would be raccoons by now.

A tree fell on the wildlife center's driveway and Zack and Matt are taking a chainsaw to it, and gave bits of it to the goats to play with, so the goats weren't interested in Gabrielle.

Lisa is a 17 year old chinchilla with messed up teeth.

Tilly and Cleo were back.

we have a Russian tortoise named Leonardo. He's shy and Matt has never seen him eat.

Zack is getting a tattoo of a hammerhead shark so I suggested dunkleosteus, and he thought about a dinosaur but I say no, he should stick with an aquatic theme.
Maybe a lunaspis or an asterosteus or galeaspid. Or a stethacanthus for the hammerhead to bang himself against.

We had to clean out some cages for the squirrels. We couldn't find a metal basin for one of the cages but Tiffany did find a couple of soaking bins that needed to have the literal and figurative shit nolvasaned out of them.
"this is a squirrel mansion" vs "squirrel trailer park" and they can stick their "stupid little squirrel heads" in there.

Tiffany mentioned more snow but she has no idea if there's going to be more snow.
I'm seeing conflicting forecasts, all of them coldish. Let me put it this way: the last time it was above 80° F in April was 2012. It has only been above 70° F in April three times since then and not at all in 2015. There's three periods of seasonal depression in a year, all of them different: the end of daylight savings time; that period of spring where winter's chill lingers indefinitely; and the aestival solstice, when you look back and realized that you squandered spring and then realize that there weren't any nice days to squander.

burning question: If April showers bring May flowers, what do April snowstorms bring? I say depression.


pastoral drone

Posted on April 03, 2016 at 9:44 pm
Mood: Carpilius
Now Playing: Guillermo Sexo - Meow Metal
Scathiel is like "lol nope." He's not particularly sophisticated. After all, he likes to freeze pretty flowers so that nobody else can enjoy them.

Thinking I was going to lose power due to a snowstorm, I posted this around 12:44 and set it to show up at 9:44. That didn't happen, even though everything is a weird sort of frozen and there are bits of ice falling from nowhere.
Basically, you get a few minor details and miss out on some spelling errors and other typos.

There was a man with a milky blue curly mohawk waiting for a B train.

Brenna, who is not the same Brenna from a few weeks ago, kept twirling around when I was trying to draw her but mostly made smiles and dewy eyes at me after she saw her portrait. I was so distracted that I almost missed my stop.

A woman with vivid purple hair and a woman with milky pink streaks in her hair walked by as I was eating, along with a girl with a bubble wand.

The pianist used every key on that piano and spent a lot of time playing rapid-fire sequences of nearby keys. Between the first and second movement, everyone stopped to take a coughing break, but the second and third movements had no discrete boundary. There was no encore, but he did troll us. Maybe he was just tired after playing that.
Mahler's first symphony was composed in 1887 and 1888, premiered in 1889 with five movements, and premiered in 1898 in the four movement form we know today. Originally, the second movement was a Blumine, which is never played with the symphony as a whole but there are recordings out there. Originally, the symphony was broken up into From the days of youth, "flower, fruit, and thorn pieces." and Commedia umana, which explains the jarringness. Originally, it was a symphonic poem, not a symphony.
The first movement is pastoral and described as langsam, schleppend, which translates to "slowly and dragging," which really isn't apt. It contains birdsong and distant hunting horns and fanfares. Second movement continues the pastoral feel, in a Landler and trio.
The third movement is a funeral march based on the children's song Frère Jacques, or Bruder Jakob to German speakers, or Are You Sleeping, Brother John to English speakers, played in a round, of course. Nevermind that John and Jacques are not related, despite John being derived from Jochannan. Later in the movement, there's some klezmer and a melody from Songs of a Wayfarer and then a klezmer funeral march when the three ideas unify and then fall apart.
The fourth movement, much like Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, quotes the other movements and that includes the Blumine. Mahler described it as the cry of a wounded heart.
It was a critical failure. There's a caricature from a Hungarian newspaper with the caption "hatàs" or "effect" and I have no idea why "reklam" or "advertisement" is written on the drum but the tuba Gustav is sitting on is spewing out dogs and dancing rabbits and cats and a rooster and even a boar grabbing some other animal by the tail. The audience was horrified.
After the concert, someone brought up the Rite of Spring and the riots it caused.

At Symphony station someone posed the question "who do you prefer, Beethoven or Mahler?" to her friend. She prefers Mahler's scale, but really, they're both different moods. One of her eyes is blue. One of her eyes is mostly blue but there's a splotch of brown on the lower part.
Her friend plays piano but since she lives in a dinky apartment, it was downgraded to keyboard, and teaches math. I'm not particularly well-versed on the state of education but most problems stem from a combination of lead and people who don't want to pay for it.
She's seen Mahler's second symphony, with the BSO and with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Neither of them are artists.
She asked me if I drew anything besides portraits and I told her about how I want to get back into sculpting and she said that's really hard to do on a train.

I'd say Kate is from the Carolina who's capital isn't Charlotte but that applies to both Carolinas. I agree with whoever said that Charlotte should become the capital of Best Carolina because their governor has been pushing anti-GBLT laws. No burning question about that because the proper order always includes BLT.
I thought she was British, but maybe I just suck at accent identification, or maybe she spent some time in England, or maybe I thought she was with the German speaking people.

At Park Street, one woman said "it's a bird, its a plane, it's a mouse." and her friend wondered how anyone could possibly mistake a rat for a bird. Then they realized they were waiting on the wrong side of the platform.

On the way home, there was a woman with blue hair who held a broken drumstick.

burning question: If the USA broke up USSR style, what would be the equivalent of Turkmenistan? All I know is that New England would be Ukraine, if only because the first thing New York would do is try to annex any Yankees fan territory in Connecticut.


lost children

Posted on March 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm
Mood: Poicephalus
Now Playing: Malory - Floating
Despite the school group that came in, it was a fairly unexciting day. One of those kids said the egg incubator looks like a bomb because of the red light on it.

According to Tiffany, the red-bellied parrots don't really talk, but they do chatter in something that kind of resembles human language.

Our vernal pond upstairs now has a fog light now has a fog machine complete with colorful lights and some nematodes.

The bullets in the goose were all over the place in the x-rays and Priya was amazed that there were no fractured bones, and she said that it definitely wasn't a shoot to kill operation. Jacob said that he thinks the goose was trying to abduct a child and got shot in self defense.

Jacob explained it like this: 350 kg is six people all stacked on top of one another, 350 g is a typical rock dove.

We could build a jetpack using the hose in the janitor's closet.

Blue jays eat a mixture of wet dog food, suet, mealworms, fruit and berries, and vegetables (not greens). Ideally they'd have earthworms in there but we don't have any. Grackles eat a mixture of wet dog food, mixed seeds, suet, and mealworms, while the baby squirrels get weaning plates of mashed up strawberries and bananas, some rodent blocks (read as blocks of food for rodents, not as blocks composed from rodents), and cheerios. What that translates to in the wild, I can not say, especially at this time of year where there aren't any rotten crabapples laying about.

Dog food, I've learned, is surprisingly difficult to cut up.
Amy had to cut up rats with a cleaver because the scissors that we normally used vanished and she is very grateful she isn't a hawk.

burning question: Justice Scalia was wearing SOCKS. Who puts socks on if they know they're going to die?? It's almost as if he WASN'T PLANNING ON DYING that night.


the magic kingdom

Posted on March 27, 2016 at 8:50 pm
Mood: Leodia
Now Playing: Rose Polenzani - Easter Hymn
Japan is like a country ruled by The Clock King.

Rachel really likes the name Florentine. She knows an Esther too. I know an Esther and an Astrid and several Emmas and a Ruby so I guess people are picking old fashioned names and expecting them to become popular.
She loves the book Catch 22 and I said that Ants-In-My-Eyes Johnson has no problem seeing that he has ants in his eyes, but maybe that's because his name is Ants-In-My-Eyes.

Rachel was talking about the valedictory speech at her high school, when the valectorian, whose name was something like Daphne, talks about a time she needed help with something and that something was calculus, and she brought up a woman whose husband deliberately hit her with a car and she stressed forgive and forget and she's back together with the guy, and Rachel's like "that's not a healthy relationship." The salutatorian speech was by some guy whose name is not the male version of Chloë, whatever that is, nor is it Bryaxis, was by some guy who was equally sheltered.
I also neglected to ask about if they remembered what they learned in elementary school social studies. This is because someone somewhere said that in East Germany, they didn't teach about the second World War in school, apparently, they only taught about the Great War because they were trying to erase the past or something, and she's most likely going by personal experience even though she was nine when the Berlin Wall came down.
I don't know what I learned in 3rd grade social studies.

Sam didn't offer her opinion on ghettoization in Europe. She found a sequined Minnie Mouse headband and called herself the Easter Mouse. Her hair had pink in it. I guess she's going to Disney World or Disneyland or maybe Euro-Disney.
So I had to explain Fairyland and how part of it is set in the ruins of Euro-Disney. I remember reading that Disney didn't allow him to use the name Disneyland or Euro Disney but I can't confirm it.

A disneyfied bluebird flies up to the window. Its brown, human eyes, with coy, fluttering lashes, stare into Alex’s. It chirps a merry song, and then swoops away across the sunny meadows.
slipped through.

Lauren knows someone who's name is Elizabeth Emma Louisa something and that's because her grandmother and her sisters had those names.

There were Hanukkah chocolate laying about and I told Lauren about the time I ate a lollipop with the message "make smart decisions!" affixed to it, which probably wasn't a smart decision, except I called it a jolly rancher, although I've eaten old jolly ranchers before. I checked. Chat logs don't lie but memory does.
It's been eight years and I'm not dead yet.
The worst thing about old candy is when the wrapper fuses to the candy. That applies equally to cough drops.
Lauren says that jolly ranchers are the last thing she worries about when it comes to expiration dates.

I wondered about the far right in Belgium, and Rachel says there's a far right everywhere. You know what I mean, though. A prominent far right like France, Austria, Norway vs. a marginalized far right like in Portugal or Ireland vs. a far right that was co-opted by the mainstream right, like France or Slovakia, vs places where left and right don't really mean anything, like Slovakia, Russia, or Serbia.
Anyways, I'm hoping that Marine Le Pen dies in a car crash or goes hunting with Dick Cheney. The world would be a better place with her gone but if Arabs were to kill her, that would just make her a martyr. Obviously, if she's president, the damage is already done.
In fact, if people piss me off, I'm going to tell them to go hunting with Dick Cheney.

Rachel was at AnimeBoston and lined up to watched bad anime and she got there just in time to get in, where she watched one anime about vampires or something and a trailer for a show that Arnold Schwarzenegger (I am so grateful spell check recognizes his name because I can't spell it for shit) commissioned in which he's a transformer who fights crime.
Someone said he saw a guy dressed as Ants-In-My-Eyes Johnson.

burning question: do Trump supporters care about any freedom aside from collecting assault weapons and paying too much for shitty health care?


paying for the past

Posted on March 25, 2016 at 8:54 pm
Mood: Colobocentrotus
Now Playing: Big Monster Fish Hook - Lava Land
I went to the wildlife center today instead of Monday because I slept late thinking the snow was worse than it actually was and thought we'd be getting more snow than we actually were. I'd probably have went Monday had I known.
Tyler said he'd do the same thing in my situation.

Amy is afraid to eat lobster but likes all the other seafood and can't think of any way to cook calamari aside from frying it and I can't think of any way to cook it either. I guess there's hibachi grilling it.
Tiffany says she's eaten crickets but they don't taste like anything and we eat lobster (some of us do, anyway) and they're basically giant sea cockroaches.

Alianna was around too, and so were a lot of people who were just around to check the place out because they had a day off from school or had to take their pets in to get checked up or whatever. One of them had a cardinal tattoo mostly obscured by the hood of her jacket.
Greta thinks baby owls are freaky, had a boa constrictor once but mostly isn't capable of loving snakes, and her friend prefers mammals over anything else.

A woman brought her snake in a pillowcase but it decided to take a shit in there. She might be a volunteer if she weren't so busy. Her name was something like Catherine or Christine or maybe even Claudia or Caroline.

We have a new baby turtle that's about the size of a quarter. This one has pneumonia.
The bigger turtles will leave us when the overnight lows are above 50°F, which means some time around Ascension Day.

We have eight or so baby squirrels right now and some of their eyes are open, so we're phasing out syringe-feeding them and giving them plates of food to eat.
We watched a video of a dog adopting five baby cheetahs, which is unusually large for a cheetah litter, and Tiffany says we should replace the squirrels with cheetahs.
Cheetahs are really inbred due to a prehistoric population bottleneck. Michael heard that all cheetahs are capable of accepting skin grafts from one another and if that's true, that is not good.

One of the screech owls is getting his eye removed Monday and one of the owls needs to be looked at again because one eye is hemmhoraged and one eye has a detached retina.

Priya is sad because yesterday we had to put a seagull with necrotic bone in his wing down. On the bright side, one of the three woodcocks got released. The other two died. This is actually really impressive, because usually all the woodcocks die.
The undin halcyon she carries around reacts to her sadness. Yeah, I think it's undin, not mardu.

Shorty was our receptionist.

Tiffany was talking about when she saw the Palmer-Kelly turtles fighting or whatever and I said I've seen them getting it on before.
"they're all senior citizens."

Matt can't find the med ward and he needed to find a pair of safety goggles before we allowed him to have pizza.
Teddy wanted some pizza for himself.
Tiffany doesn't like pizza meats but I'm the opposite and prefer when pizza is so covered in toppings you can't see the cheese.

Our machine couldn't read a swan's lead level because it's so high. It's down to 12 now.
A while ago, we had one goose that had seizures from lead poisoning.
Since raccoons are scavengers and therefore eat dead animals or their remnants that were shot with lead bullets, there's a tendency to mistake lead poisoning for rabies and distemper.

Tyler said he liked loons until we got a loon that kept trying to stab him.
This happened last week but I forgot to post it here last time I posted about the wildlife center and I told Stephanie about it.

I was going to ask something about Trump or Antonin Scalia or ghettoization in Europe (I'm sure Samantha will have something to say on this on Sunday) but somebody on Ferretbrain asked this:
burning question: How do you become the Sad Puppies organiser anyway? Divine right? Killing and eating the heart of your predecessor? Satanic pacts? Who gets to choose who drives the clown car?


triangle of tragedy

Posted on March 19, 2016 at 8:19 pm
Mood: tetracerus
Now Playing: Phil Ochs - Here's To The State Of Mississippi
3 hours until the vernal equinox
It's like Callabrion was trying to force his way into heaven for the last few weeks but Scathiel isn't letting him take control of heaven without a fight, and with the vernal equinox, things are going from bad to worse.
I was bewildered by a sunshower when I got off at Park Street, and then the sunset was unreally yellow.

A kid explained communism to his friend as a thing where everyone gets the same thing no matter what they do and people drink Pepsi instead of Coke. Actually, he just sort of implied the last part.

Catherine remarked at how crowded the train was.
She's not an artist but she's a teacher and some of her kids are sketching a Van Gogh portrait. She imagines a sort of Humans of New York with my stuff and asked me if I've sketched people anywhere else.
She said that one of her favorite things at the MFA is the wire sculpture above one of the entrances to the contemporary galleries.
I still think Katherine is the correct way to spell it.

The woman with a floral scarf was really happy to be drawn and I wanted to talk to her a bit more but she got off at Downtown Crossing while there was a crowd of people between me/Catherine and her.

I saw a woman with subtle purple hair, a woman with lilac-coloring in blonde hair, a man with neon red hair, and a few women with green hair.

Someone was talking about how Goethe wrote The Sorrows Of Young Werther to come to terms with his own suicidal feelings regarding unrequited love and his friend's suicide and after it was published, people all over Europe started killing themselves in imitation of Werther.
The plot is this: Werther is smitten by Charlotte but she's already betrothed to Albert (the t is silent here) and she has 8 siblings to take care of, so Werther kills himself.

Everyone was dressed in what I think is Edwardian-era fashions.
Werther never leaves the stage, and whenever he has an aria, what I think are scenes from old films are projected on the back walls. The team imagined it as Werther looking back on his life and the ARTery sees it as Werther's presence affecting everyone's lives.
Also, I think that Sophie, Charlotte's sister, had a thing for Werther.

It starts out giddy and then becomes darker and darker as Werther sinks into despair. It begins with kids rehearsing a Christmas carol in July, and as if in response, the air outside became numbingly cold.
As the opera goes on, Charlotte's dress fades from green to white.

Esther painted a rainbow aster and loved her way-too-quick portrait. I've drawn better portraits between two stations, you can just ask Olivia, but I've never dropped things while the train took a sharp turn.
The only variant I've been exposed to recently is Eszter, which makes sense, as the name Esther has long-since fallen out of fashion and much like Albert or Cantianilla and not like Emma or Ruby, has not experienced a resurgence.

I don't have to ask how to spell Amanda, Meg, or Natalie, although I do instinctively type "mega" as in "mega man" and not as in "megan" when I mean to type "meg."

Amanda's boyfriend doesn't discriminate with the Dune books, but I've only read five of Frank's books, will probably read the sixth one of these days, and most likely won't bother with anything not written by Frank.
I told Amanda why I'm waiting to read Game of Thrones and how I own Heresy and Inquisition but not Crusade. There are reviews of Crusade out there. Maybe they were advance copies. I couldn't find the fucking thing anywhere. Also, it is 2016 and I have no idea if Luminous Chaos will ever be released in paperback or when the third book is coming out. Also, I have not a clue what's going to happen to The Spindle of Necessity by Valente without Night Shade Books around.
Michael Swanwick once said not to make your first novel part of a trilogy.
I told her about Paula Volsky and the idea of a hereditary magicked class becoming obsolete due to technological progress, and The Black Company. If A Game Of Thrones is a fantasy War of the Roses, then the Black Company is a fantasy Thirty Years War.
You could make the case that the Congo Wars were a modern day Thirty Years War.

Meg has a necklace that was a watch and on the other side, it's a skeleton watch. The glass it's encased in is lensed for easier viewing.

burning question: wait, Charlotte isn't the capital of North Carolina?
I know what the capital of Turkmenistan is, by the way. It's Ashgabat. In my defense, Pat McCrory himself called Charlotte the capital and he lives there. Also, in my defense, Turkmenistan is a special kind of crazy.


hope's reach

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 8:52 pm
Mood: Colobocentrotus
Now Playing: lovesliescrushing - anella in aqua
5 days until the vernal equinox
It reached 77° F last Wednesday.

There's a new Airiel song and it's really good. Around this time two years ago, I guessed that lovesliescrushing's fantomaera and ximre and as-yet-untitled album would be released some time around Ascension Day of 2014, Airiel's EP would be released on October 21, 2015, and that I shouldn't hold my breath for any Eyeless in Gaza box set.

The funny thing is that Airiel is releasing an EP soon, the box set was released at the beginning of 2015, and there's no signs of fantomaera or ximre.

I can't get Collecting Bugs and Pieces legitimately. Someone posted a torrent some time on Friday and it was as dead as liberté, egalité, fraternité on Saturday afternoon, which makes sense because there are only a few people who have even heard of Big Monster Fish Hook and nobody's going to increase their seed ratio with this. Way to get my hopes up.


Matt was around because it's spring break and I guess Priya (I called her Emily to her face and then Priti on this journal only because I'm bad with names. But it's Priya. I came to this conclusion based on two things. One of these things I refuse to go into and the other thing is that Priya carries with her a Mardu halcyon at all times) just showed up but it's nice because Tyler didn't arrive until 10:30, and that probably had something to do with the jump forwards. If he's anything like me, it will take him about a week to restore equilibrium. I love daylight savings time and its later sunsets, I just hate the actual act of jumping forwards.

1. The mouse we found in the bucket had a long tail. 2. a "field mouse" in North America is a vole, which has a short tail. And no Eurasian field mice have been introduced to North America as far as I know.
Conclusion: I think it may have been a jumping mouse.

We're down to four baby squirrels.

"He's physioed. Sorry, modo," says Matt.
Jacob had blue wrap for the bird's wing and he said that he's carefully cutting Grover's skin.

The raccoon with the peanut butter jar on his head's health has declined upon arrival and he tries to eat anyone who gets near his mouth, which makes it tough to administer medications.

We have a blue jay that can't fly. The x-rays look normal but he's very skinny so maybe that's why he can't fly.

Over the weekend, we had an owl who's leg was hanging on by a thread.

Tyler wanted to get tiles for the screech owl's cage because every time, the owls tear something to shreds. This guy was eating his perch. "Chew on that, screech owl."

Tyler brought up the time we had a tern and someone weighed him wrong so he got way more meds than he needed and he was actually doing well until we brought his meds down to the normal levels, at which point, he died.

Matt says that Burlington is three times anything Maine has to offer outside of Portland.

A woman had tattoos of a barn owl and a shark.

There are canada geese the size of swans in Minnesota and also canada geese the size of ducks. A swandugoose or swanada.

We had a purple gallinule once after a tropical storm and Tyler wonders just how we released him. Probably something like "all right, buddy, find your way back to Florida."

Jack drew a scene from The Giving Tree in marker on his laptop. Or maybe it was I-want-to-say-her-name-is-Heather-but-I-don't-think-it-is-and-actually-I-really-don't-want-her-name-to-be-Heather. I actually don't know and I don't even know what letter her name starts with but I do know they needed a white sharpie and I know now that a white sharpie is a thing that exists and apparently they're used with slate repair.
I asked him if he wanted a bird made from rarefied starlight or a sine of alpha greater than one but he said those might be outside my grasp.

In Florida, there's a sketchy place that doesn't check any of their birds for lead poisoning and puts owls on the toilet.
burning question: does every country have its own Florida? Like Saxony and Queensland.

mervyn pumpkinhead

England Calling

Posted on March 07, 2016 at 11:07 pm
Mood: litocranius
Now Playing: Littlefoot - Black Hole
12 days until the vernal equinox
The weekend was the last tough stretch of winter to get through, I think, and I hope.

The bobwhite and one of the swans were released. We have a swan, a squirrel, a big brown bat, a hawk who's been around since before Atlas Lab was a band, a mourning dove.

Michael found a field mouse in a bucket along with his friend, or what was left of him. He was thirsty and was eating some bits of snow but he didn't seem to want any of the apple Zack gave him. "Last time I ate, I got stuck in a bucket." He probably jumped in because they're pretty good jumpers.

Tyler said he was going to sit there and look sad, or maybe that's what Jacob suggested he do. I actually missed the context of this.
He told a mourning dove "Was that delicious? No, didn't think so." and then "Don't see us. If you get comfortable with us, you'll get attacked by a cooper's hawk." and I think he almost gave him the wrong food or put him in the wrong cage so he's like "it's new. I hate new. I want the same thing." and Jacob said modos hate change.

We started out with 11 baby squirrels and now we're down to seven. One of the squirrels was pregnant and if you know what you're looking for on the x-rays and if you had the x-rays and since I don't have them, you're not going to have them either, you can see vaguely squirrel-shaped blobs. They might be on Facebook but Facebook search is an assload of fuck.
"It wasn't our fault they died. It was their fault for being bruised."
We've never really used the ultrasound and we're looking for an excuse to use it.

Tiffany made salads that looked tasty aside from the somewhat overripe squash spiral-cut into mush she brought in. She says that humans are pickier than they need to be. In other words, that squash probably is edible. It just won't taste that great. People will eat anything that won't kill them, and by anything, I mean anything, and by anything, I mean fermented squid and also dovekies that have been fermenting in a sewn up seal carcass.
Nigel gets a salad with rapini and cilantro garnish. He's 22 years old so obviously it's working.

There was a wet dog odor in boarding.

She told Tyler that he could have some of her raw juice and that it tastes like compost. Uhhhh, phrasing.

A woman brought in her Russian tortoise. She also has a Bernese mountain dog, a Russian blue cat which is slate gray and most likely has jade green eyes, and a hermit crab she claims she's had since 1994.

Tiffany says "I'm not super into science fiction but I do love a good dystopia."
I told her about how Ian MacLeod is related to Donald Trump, who is totally dystopian by the way, and the settings of The Light Ages, which depicts an England where a magical substance aether was discovered and society became ossified into a guild system and stifled the development of technology, and The Summer Isles, which depicts an England after a fascist revolution and a very British fascism unlike Italian or German style fascism. Actually, it seems to be a lot like German fascism, only virulently anti-Irish , I haven't read it yet, and I'm not going to read it for a while. As beautifully written as The Light Ages is, it's definitely a downer.
German fascism won, by the way, except it's riding on a wave of anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiments and not anti-Jewish sentiments. Arab fascism limps on even after Gadaffi's death, propped up by Russia and still as ugly as ever. No concessions will be made. Nothing will ever change.
She says that the Republicans are too chickenshit to run one of the moderates (relatively speaking, of course) as an independent candidate and they won't get any votes. We're not going to see the dissolution of the Republican party that we want but we might see them fragment into their constituent parts.
She brought up Trump's Nazi salute and I brought up Bolt Bus and the British Union of Fascists.

And Michael said that he learned a possible reason fascism didn't actually take hold in Britain: because they were the largest empire on the planet. Fascism appealed to countries like Italy and Japan, which were late to the empire-building party, or Spain and Portugal, which lost their empires long ago, or Germany, which was late to the party and then lost their empire.

There was actually a Scottish fascist party that decided to drop anti-Semitism from their platform and become anti-Irish instead. Membership numbered somewhere in the single digits.

Incidentally, the dispute between Italian Fascism and German Fascism reminds me of the dispute between the Mad Geniuses and the Popoli, except the Mad Geniuses are extreme constitutionalists who want to undo most reforms made after 1860: end direct election of senators, bring back poll taxes, end birthright citizenship, go full on Starship Troopers and make citizenship something you have to earn, restrict voting to taxpayers for good measure.

burning question: Abalin, Abalin, do you love him loud enough to listen when he's calling?


the mercy of sound

Posted on March 06, 2016 at 8:50 pm
Mood: damaliscus
Now Playing: Voice of the Turtle - Por la tu puerta
13 days until the Vernal Equinox

I can hear Daphnis et Chloe in the Rapsodie espagnole. It's broken up into a slow and chromatic and atmospheric Prélude à la nuit; the Malagueña, a triple-meter flamenco; a restrained Habanera; a festive Feria.

Manuel de Falla's Night in the Gardens of Spain is more dreamlike, more ethereal, more nocturnal, uses different instrumentation including a piano and less percussion. It's broken up into a "In the Generalife," a distant dance, and "in the gardens the Sierra de Córdoba."
I thought the pianist was a kid but he was short and I was distant.

Cursory research tells me Chopin's Nocturne no. 20 wasn't composed while he lived in Majorca; it was composed in 1830, although it wasn't published until after his death.

L'heure espagnole is a farcical opera in one act. In 18th century Toledo, the muleteer Ramiro shows up at Torquemada's shop to have his watch fulfilled because he really needs it to collect post and because it saved his toreador father's life somehow. Torquemada's wife reminds him that since it's Thursday, he needs to wind all the city clocks, but this is just a ruse, as her lover Gonzalve, a poet and a really terrible one at that, is due to show up. She has Ramiro carry a clock upstairs to get him out of the way and then move the clock downstairs and get the other one. But unbeknownst to her, Don Inigo showed up and hid in the other clock. She muses on how inadequate Gonsalve and his bad poetry and Don Inigo and his pathetic attempts at flirtation are and starts to become attracted to Ramiro. Gonzalve discovers Don Inigo stuck in the other clock and Torquemada returns home, happy to have two new customers. Inigo pretends to be examining the inside of the clock, and the three of them try to pull Inigo out of the clock but can't, so Ramiro pulls him out on his own.

They said the concert would begin around 8 and end around 10:10. It ended at 10:13 according to my iPod so I guess they factored in Chopin's nocturne and wheeling in the piano and rearranging everything.


Olivia recognized the pen I was using and said it's her favorite kind of pen.
Olivia isn't an artist but her friend Belle, who knew that I was drawing her, is.
I was hesitant. She asked if it was about her face and it wasn't; it's about the fact that I'm getting off at the next station but what the hell, I can do this even if she is smiling a toothy grin.
It came out pretty good, actually.

Ashley told me that people think she and Brooke are sisters. Maybe it's because I'm noticing things like the shape of the face and facial features more but I don't think they look alike.
They don't look alike in my drawings because Ashley is viewed from the side and Brooke is viewed from the front.
I think that Charlotte and a different Ashley were sisters.
I drew someone in the other train car because I really wanted to fill up my sketchbook instead of ending up with a blank page.

burning question: Did the devil take her? Did the devil decide on a red carnation or a red-blooded bride? He's been up her ankle, and he's taken his treat, and he's eaten apples full of poison lily.


a mad tea party

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 5:23 pm
Mood: cromileptes
Now Playing: Ride - Time Machine
19 days until the vernal equinox
To think that it reached 64° F today. At this time last year, well, technically, there was no "this time, last year." At the end of February last year, there was still a few feet of snow on the ground.

It was a really unexciting day. I took notes on a paper towel, which is terrible material, really, and on a sticky note, because I didn't take my iPod with me.
We have really early baby squirrels.
Tiffany scolded an adult squirrel, telling it "Look what you did. There are beautiful pink gloves."
"They look super magestic but they're just annoying goons." A hawk got himself entangled in something, probably the wrap.
"It's broken so I'll just smash it against the table." The seagull was pimp-slapping the table in response to getting it taken off and exercised. We say he looks better but he was stumbling about and thinking "yeah, that's your opinion."
The swan splashed Tiffany with clean water which Jacob says is better than him waiting and splashing her with shitty water.
Jacob called the seagull Mankiller and Tiffany pointed out that it's an actual Cherokee surname.
A raccoon got a jar stuck on his head, he came to us anemic with a high level of protein but no signs of neurological issues or other evidence of distemper.
Tiffany called herself the Bat Master.
Dogs like pistachios. I guess this makes a lot of sense, since dogs are the least discriminating animals when it comes to edible things.
Both surgeries were canceled.
We looked at a screech owl who hit a car or got hit by a car.
We have a tank of goldfish in the store and Matt named one of them Evel Kneivel because he jumped out of a tank.

Earlier this week I saw one woman with blue hair and one woman with brown hair that turned into a swirl of blue and violet and even a bit of pink.

Meanwhile, Robert Stacy McCain was banned from Twitter for being an assbutt, and Adam Baldwin left in protest and Larry Correia left in protest of that, and a bunch of Larry Correia's followers, including Drow, are leaving in protest of that.
V Motherfucking D says he's trying to get banned but he's not doing a very good job of it, but right now, he's at war with the Mad Genius Club. The Popoli are like "anyone who doesn't support Trump is a cuckservative" and the Mad Geniuses are like "Trump bad, Cruz good," even though Cruz is pretty much an evangelical Trump (Cruz is even more of a hardliner against abortion and he wants to repeal the Love Day ruling instead of saying "eh, this sucks, but what's done is done."), and The Mad Geniuses are like "it's not about ethnic purity, it's about ideological purity," and Vox is like "ethnic purity is ideological purity," which I suppose is kinda true, and the Popoli are like "your kind feared the darkness, so we gave you light. Now you spurn our counsel? You will learn your place! Bleeuuuaarrrrgh!" and John C. Wright is like "hey, look, I held my nose and voted for the moderate because they could beat the democrat, now it's your turn to hold your nose and vote for the extremist," which the Mad Geniuses and Dan Simmons are going to do.

As far as I'm concerned, they're both idiots.

Also, I'm very surprised Simmons isn't a Trump supporter. Simmons has issues with anyone not from western Europe or Serbia and he's not particularly religious but is very homophobic and transphobic despite his lack of religiosity. He takes care to obfuscate most of his actual politics in a morass of Victor Davis Hansen, Charles Krauthammer, and Mona Charen articles. I think it's Trump's populism that Simmons objects to.

burning question: Are they seriously nominating Seven Kill Tiger for a Hugo Award?


the fog mutters

Posted on February 24, 2016 at 6:06 pm
Mood: stygophrynus
Now Playing: Giacomo Puccini - Quando Me'n Vo Soletta
24 days until the vernal equinox
Meanwhile, Mercedes brought me up in a conversation with Tiffany, and someone found Spyro hanging out in the classroom where Matt keeps his dogs, which was totally unexpected because I assumed the door would be closed because the dogs were in there.

For now, we bid farewell to Love. The big bunny, not the concept. Skinner the rat left too, replaced by a guinea pig. Jacob said Skinner evolved into a guinea pig, while either Tiffany or Tyler thought something ate Skinner. Now, boarding is just surly turtles and a blind hedgehog. We thought of giving him one of those balls to roll around in and said that all of a sudden, it would come rolling at Tyler at 40 miles per hour and knock him over.

Dr. Bling's Nebulizer 5000 was in the enrichment room.

Someone snuck in another turtle, so now we have nine in the pool, nine box turtles, Salvadora, one Russian tortoise, two red feet, four surly turtles and two tortoises in boarding, Valley, and Bling.

Puff laid eggs last weekend and we're incubating them. We guess they'll hatch in around 45 days.

Tiffany made a nice salad of rhubarb leaves and stalks for the turtles and realized "oh, shit, rhubarb is toxic." Tyler said he wouldn't eat it due to its color. I want some rhubarb and strawberry mush now.

Matt was trying to get various animals to eat worms. He thinks that the turtles are too dumb to know they're at the bottom of the pool but one guy figured it out. Spyro ate a few, while Puff ate one. Matt would eat a worm if none of the reptiles did. In fact, 50 worms is nothing.
Speaking of eating worms, How To Eat Fried Worms is older than I thought it was. Zack's never heard of it but Matt knows what I'm talking about. Also, it's 15 worms in 15 days, not 50 worms for 50 dollars. Also, I like how Amazon's plot summaries are terrible.

We had to get new worms for the vermiculture tank due to a combination of cut-rate worms from Walmart and a setup that wasn't self-sustaining or whatever.

The tank smells redolent of summer.

"Their hemolymph is on your hands." It seems to be an arthropod thing and not an annelid thing.
Here's a word that sounds dirty but isn't: clitellum.
"All right, worm mountain, here's lettuce mountain."

They kept trying to escape by climbing up the glass walls of the tank. I think he said he was going to collect seven kilograms of goat feces for them to eat. Maybe you could shine a light on them because apparently when you shine lights on the ground, the worms retreat back into their burrows.

Hopefully Uncle Jim's Worm Farm produces a higher caliber of worms than Wal-Mart.

"anything is funny if you're drunk enough."

It's really survival of the adequate, not survival of the fittest. As long as they live long enough to have offspring, they're doing fine.

Oh yeah, and sorry to keep editing the previous entry. That was the last time, I promise.

burning question: is only being able to use a pea shooter worth it to finally defeat Spike Wall Man?


healing the rifts

Posted on February 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm
Mood: Limenitis
Now Playing: Só Sol - Valsa Do Corpo
27 days until the vernal equinox

I can't determine if one of the passengers was singing along with his portable music device or venting his frustrations at beings unseen.
Faye had purple hair and a golden pendant with a stone and dangly bits that her mom got for her. A name that most befits her appearance. About halfway through her journey, she fell asleep and listened to music and I tried to alter the portrait because her hair was falling over one eye.
It worked out ok. I don't regret it, anyway.

At South Station, Professor World Band was playing. At least, I want to say it's Professor World Band, but boston.com is being spooty.
I don't want to say he was Professor Paddy Whack. He's a lot less colorful.

Alyssa's shirt depicted lunar phases around an intricate design.
I had to show Kayla and Alyssa the raccoon and owl after my conversation with Chelsea.

This is the kind of insight you can only have when your age is in the single digits: trains don't talk.
And then they sang the itsy bitsy spider, complete with a few fart sounds.

I saw Chelsea (former intern at the wildlife center, not art history student), who was going in to see a friend in Harvard Square (I asked because you don't go outbound from Park Street to get to the Boston Common) and then to see a comedian at the Wilbur Theatre. We both thought the same thing: "you look so familiar and I can't place how I know you."

A woman had really intricate but mundanely colored hair and I wish I had more time to draw a good portrait of her.

I arrived early, had papaya salad which was both potent and spicy and waited at the Nave Gallery, listening to Karol Szymanowski and Rose Polenzani and admiring art.
An old payphone box was converted into a diorama.

Our wristbands fluoresced under ultraviolet light. I think we used the same stuff to make a star map when I was in a Saturday program in my elementary school days.

Só Sol was quite amazing too. They sound more stripped down in person, as it's just vocalist/tambourine, guitar, lap steel, and upright bass. Singer was their last song, Valsa do Corpo was their first song. Singer sounds a bit more industrial on the Bandcamp, it's all clinking and clanking, kupo. It's in English and reminds me of As The Sparrow. Valsa Do Corpo is in Portuguese. I like when people sing in languages that aren't English. It's a shame it doesn't happen very often. Take Eurovision, in which only three non-English songs have won since Emma was born, and the Hebrew and Norwegian songs used as little English as possible.
They weren't selling albums or anything, but Jessica of the Woods made jewelry by taking old piano keys and cutting into them with a sharp object and then filling in the cuts with ink.

I didn't even try to sketch anyone in Atlas Lab. There were just too many people dancing in front of me. I could barely see Emma and Otto and I couldn't see the rest of them. They played the standard seven songs (those would be the songs on the EP, the Portishead cover, and Shadow Song) plus Crystal Lake, which they did for WEMF, plus new, or at least new to me, ones called Maze and Bluer To You and their encore was a new song called Viceroy, which, when I saw the set list because nobody would ever know what the songs were called if they didn't look at the set list, I expected a forty minute drone jam like Monarch or White Admiral.
I haven't met Otto but he really should be on lead guitar and lobster harmonica. I dunno, maybe the rest of the band will take him more seriously once he gets that Harvard diploma. He joined the band after the album was recorded.

With that and maybe Piece of Sky, they have enough material for at least another EP.

Shadow Song opened a bit like Doll's Polyphony from Akira.

The backdrop at some points looked like someone put their fist through a volumetric imager depicting a jellyfish, which I assume would break the image up into its constituent red, blue, and green components.
There were a few blunders and at some point, it looked like someone or possibly some sort of mad artificial intelligence was just drawing a dick on the screen. Because that's what I'd do if I was a computer and I ever became self aware.

I asked her if her name was Emma because I met one Emma and there was the Emma I met at last year's Sketchbook Show reception and there's obviously Emma in Atlas Lab. Nope, her name is Nora. She has blue streaks in her hair and she says that people with colorful hair are taking over, and take over they should.
also, Nora Borealis is credited in the liner notes and plays violin during Something Good. I don't know what the fuck she was doing at the show but she wasn't playing violin.
Valentine's Day isn't for zombies, even if they're zombie love stories. Valentine's Day is for cuddling with dogs and watching movies like The Shining and The Thing and Snowpiercer because it's too fucking cold to do anything else. I told her about China and their version of Valentine's Day, which is typically in August and involves a legend of a cowherd and a weaver who cross a bridge made of magpies to be with each other.

I said "bullshit, you can't tesseract," to Emma but I doubt she heard me. I did want to at least say hi to her before I left.
She was busy gathering up the band's figurative shit so I barely got to talk to her but I've learned some important things like… dude, my hands are huge... they can touch anything but themselves… oh, wait… actually, I knew that already, but I learned that messages I send end up in some ether somewhere, that she in fact forgot about the sketchbook show, that she maybe tried to invite me to this but accidentally invited me to something else.
But even if she didn't specifically invite me she was definitely glad I came, phrasing. And that actually was my thought process last night, as I was exhausted from dancing. I'm blaming Sahin for this because he joined the band on saxophone for Trust Fall.

I would have talked to her before the show or during the intermission but I couldn't find her then. The merchandise deck was manned by three women, one of whom could be mistaken for Emma by somebody who didn't know her well and spent all of 2015 in faraway places or in comas, one of whom could be mistaken for Emma under less than adequate lighting even by someone who considers her a close friend, one of whom wouldn't be mistaken for Emma by someone who only knows her through friend circle osmosis.
Alex went to Trinidad, not Tobago. Nobody gives a shit about Tobago because there aren't any ocelots there. John's been to Cambodia, according to another account of their first concert.

I "left" twice after the show and returned once because Jessica helpfully pointed out that she didn't get a photograph of the band portraits (along with the Emma I recently met and the people manning the desk) and once because "yeah, I really should empty my bladder out before a long train journey home."
I told Emma about the portrait I did once that looks like something she'd draw but I didn't really get a chance to show her anything else. Then I told Emma that I hope to see her again and I hope it won't be another year. Maybe once Callabrion ascends to heaven, we can do a mural together.
Then I realized I forgot to ask Emma about the whereabouts of Sophie Atlas or whether she talks to the people she sketches and many other things.

After the show, she remarked that it was the closest she's been to having all her favorite people in one room. It's weird because the only people I recognized were Emma's brother, his girlfriend who's also named Emma (not going to swing at that one), and the band itself. I guess she has plenty of friends I haven't met, she just didn't have time to introduce any of them.

I asked a woman with silver hair if she was an artist and she told me "nope, but you are." Another woman had purple streaks in her hair and a brass crescent moon pendant. Another woman had citrusy orange hair, so subtle was the dye that it was hard to tell if it was dye or lighting, and wore a sky blue jacket as contrast. I drew her and her friend with poofy hair while they were discussing Cadbury creme eggs and their contents, and then they got off. Said contents, if you're wondering, is fondant.

One of Brenna's friends is Cape Verdean.
She likes it when bands are good live. I like it too but on the other hand, I'm not a fan of live recordings, especially when they sound like they were recorded with a tin can. I don't know, maybe I'm just stuck in a 90s mindset. She's not an artist but she says she appreciates art.
She was listening to Of Monsters And Men before we started chatting about art and I should probably check them out.
A woman was swinging from the handle things in the other train car.
I read somewhere that Heller wrote each chapter of Catch-22 and then shuffled them around to represent the chaos of war. And I described Slaughterhouse-Five as a really funny novel about something that really shouldn't be funny.

burning question: if you were an AIM chat bot and you became self-aware, what would you do?


wrack and ruin

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 7:48 pm
Mood: colinus
Now Playing: Prickly - Pale Green Pants
32 days until the vernal equinox.
The bonechilling cold is hopefully over.

The bat was transferred Saturday, a rabbit got released yesterday, the goose is going to be released tomorrow, and anything we got as a result of the blizzard last Monday died.

Spyro escaped and I'm convinced he's somewhere in the towel room or maybe behind a washing machine. I'm genuinely surprised I didn't find him in the downstairs classroom or the janitor's closet.

That turtle would eat all of us if he was big enough, says Jacob.
"Variety is the spice of life, so eat your brine shrimp," says Tiffany to the turtle.

The red-shouldered hawk is the the most dramatic hawk, and he projectile shat all over the towel. He was quivering right before Jacob did physical therapy, which involves pulling the wing out as far as it will go and then folding it back up.

Jacob could smell the alcohol in the owl's meds. We hope he's a nice drunk.
The barred owl clacked at us after getting those meds. According to Tiffany, it's the cutest angry noise ever.

She's way better at bobwhite mimicry than I am (on the other hand, I think I'm better at loon mimicry), but they definitely sound like they're saying bob-WHITE bob-WHITE. Chickadees do that too. Since Asakiyume asked, the bobwhite is currently living in the outside enclosure.
Speaking of quails, there's a conspiracy theory saying that Scalia was murdered most foully by Obama because 79 year olds certainly don't die on their own.

Tiffany says that loons are the scariest thing we get because owls and hawks don't go for your face. The one we got really wanted to hurt Tyler and Tiffany pulled her hoodie over her face like Dracula (or Ndnd; I watched that episode of Futurama yesterday because Lrrr was in it and the concept of wuv confuses and infuriates Lrrr. Also, I don't know if Dracula actually does that but Béla Lugosi's character does that in Plan 9 From Outer Space, mostly to hide the fact that Béla died while they were films).

She doesn't know if Quilt was at the Fuzztival, as she was only there for one day, but she's impressed with Tie Up The Tides.

Coyotes respond to hunting pressure by going into heat earlier in their lives and having larger litters.
We can hunt anything to extinction except for coyotes. They're kind of like humans in that regard.

The carnival came and gave us four bags of plush dogs and cats. Tyler says the swans are going to get plush raccoons and the raccoons are going to get plush swans and it's going to be a mixed up world.

Atlas Lab has the CD release in a few days and I still don't know if I want to go. On one hand, it's on a Saturday and it's reasonably close to a T station so it's easy to get there and with the band in places like Burlington and Gatineau and Montreal, it's going to be quite a while before I'm able to see them play again or see Emma again, and as of the time right before I walked the dog, I know that they'll have CDs to sell or give away and even if they're not giving them away or selling them at prices so low they're practically giving them away, maybe I can get a CD in exchange for a drawing, and the other band sounds good. On the other hand, being an unsought guest at a free event is one thing, paying ten dollars to be an unsought guest is another thing. I don't know if their setlist has changed.
If it was the 13th, I'd say "fuck it."
I woke up early in the morning thinking that I was getting another cold and that solved my dilemma for me. Or maybe it's just the weather fucking with me.

burning question: So, just who would Trump nominate for Supreme Court Justice?

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