Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Spider and the Fly: Make A Wish

Ever feel like "things aren't what they seem"?  Or perhaps, it's that things are what they seem but are also quizzically something else as well.  Something extra, that wasn't in your initial intent when you were searching on google for pictures of Maggie Gyllenhaal and administrative work and that's when you come across a mix of the two with Secretary and whoopsydaisyBAM.


You're in a BDSM website with very graphic images and/or audio.


I find adages, such as "Things are never what they seem," while good advice, tend to have a sinister quality about them.  As if we should beware the things that we are already unable to control.  Sort of like that other adage, "Be careful what you wish for..." That line just seems so unfair.  Wishes are meant to be filled with hope, joy for the future, and exuberance over the possibilities of life.  Being careful states there is a future involving a certain level of pain and/or death.


Turns out, from my experience, both are possible from making one wish.


And turns out, there's more drama in my window than the entirety of my life in the year of 2010.



Not that I was wishing, secretly, for drama to break out in my room.  No, in fact I generally avoid the window specifically because of my neighbor outside the window.  But, this morning was different.


**Note:  When I say morning, from now on, I mean technically after noon but it felt like morning because it was foggy outside.


So, this morning I hear this Fly buzzing around my room, making a racket.  It's loud.  It's annoyingly constant.  I consider opening my window, although it was freezing.  But, I don't.  Instead I just wish, "Something please make this Fly and this noise go away."


For a moment I forget about it, typing in Maggie Gyllenhaal into google search.  But, then I hear the buzz again only this time it is FEROCIOUS BUZZING.


I look up and there is the Fly, up in the high corner of my window.  And it's staying in this one spot, vibrating with a fury.  The shaking becomes more and more frantic, as if it's trying to win the Best Of award from Good Vibes. 


That's when this huge, giant, Shelob-Is-My-Bitch Spider comes creeping down to the struggling, now very much caught Fly.


I could hear the Fly respond to its surprise company a la "Oh FUCK THIS." and it starts buzzing/vibrating even more.


But it's too late.  The Fly is caught--the struggling only seems to strengthen the hold the webbing has on it.  The web continues to vibrate at a hummingbird rate and the Spider is like barely able to walk along the planks of it's web.  After walking around the fly, surveying it's very upset prey, it seemingly walks away.  Only it doesn't.  The Spider has taken a thread of the net that surrounds The Fly and slowly pulls on it and thus, the Fly, back up to it's layer, hidden in the wood work of the window.


And I'm standing there staring, horrified.





And I can't look away.







The Fly keeps making it's horrendous noise.  But, all I can hear is my wish I had made minutes earlier.  Please just make this Fly and this noise go away.


In a twist of dark humor, it occurs to me that the later half of the wish has yet to come true.


But then fly then stops buzzing.


I freeze.


It buzzes once again, in a final whimper attempt to flee, even though I can't even see it from my stance, five feet below in the Safe Zone of no-web.


And then there is silence.






Wish granted.
-Beryl


Woo Update:





Woo does this thing my dad likes to call "Crocodile Eyes."  

This is Woo asleep, as per usual.



This is Crocodile Eyes:



**Edited again to add:  Thank you for the anonymous tipoff of the Rapper Graphs in the last comments section; I totally used them as inspiration (and will continue to) for my blog.   Awesome.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Read, Write, Repeat: Where was I when I was his age?

Lately, I've been bumming around the internet to find something to help me with a current predicament:  I need to focus on some written projects of mine, but can't for some reason--or it feels like my efforts inevitably turn into squiggly-squash sounds, mixed with dazing off into the abyss.

Case in point.


I read my grandpa's memoirs not too long ago.  And to say the least, I came away feeling intimidated:  At the age of 24 Eugene Haderlie was diving in the Thames River, diffusing Nazi water mines, bare-handed, 100 feet below sea level.  He then went off to Utah Beach, Normandy and was part of the invasion of Germany, helped liberate the Jews left for dead in a concentration camp Buchenwald, and went on to help found the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  

(Now you know my secret for creating an amazing sea otter costume:  have grandfather be a marine biologist who works in the Monterey Bay Aquarium for 40 + years.  

It helps, trust me.)

Anyway, otters aside, I do feel as though comparing myself to what others have done by this age is a fruitless endeavor.  And I've learned something as a result:
At the age of 24 grandpa was saving the world.

At the age of 24 I am blogging.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.  But, there is something wrong if the very least I can do for this world (create and rewrite) is somewhat strained.  

In thinking it over, I realize I have had a sort of writers' block.  And yet, it's a weird off-shoot of writers' block.  The difficulty I have in writing is not so much ideas or finding interesting new things to talk about--it is more that it's hard for me to concentrate on one topic at a time consistently.  For me that's where the challenge comes in.  I have five or so unfinished manuscripts/written works in progress currently (a half-written play, two beginnings of two very different novels, a screenplay that's only up to it's first hero-struggling-but-will-overcome montage and of course, this blog).   

I have Writers' ADHD.  For example, I just rediscovered the parametric equations for the Cardiod Curve.  No, you don't have to understand what the equations mean.  But, how RAD is the animation that describes the curve's creation?  Pretty sick.  Who would have thought a circle rolling around another circle would create such a shape?  I guess the Greeks.  Another similar shape to the Cardiod is a Nephroid, which weirdly enough, occurs naturally (sometimes) at the bass of a coffee cup with liquid in it.  

Coffee Nephroid:  You'll never drink it the same way again.


No, your coffee hasn't gone bad--it's just a pattern of shadows that happen when a cup is placed under sunlight; light reflects off the cup in a pattern because the cup's got a circular curve to it (which makes in turn a reflective surface, or a catacaustic) and the outline of the nephroid, aka light beams racing back and forth against each other and the surface, appears as a result.  

And there you go.  Two paragraphs down, a fully random excerpt about nothing to do with anything later, I am back to where I started.  

But, that was a sick animation.

And you'll never look at your coffee the same way again.

Right?

-Beryl


Edited to add, A Woo Update:


This is Woo in real life.  Gotta love that amazing posture.


Found her earlier this afternoon, digging through mom's bag.


How is it possible that she doesn't even look remorseful for her crime, even though her face has been molded to look sad?

*end Woo update*

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I have a pug: They Shouldn't Exist or A Pop-Cultural Study


Her name is Woo.


Not to be mistaken for , the Chinese language that had been in use by 77 million speakers openly up until 1949 at which time the Peoples Republic of China declared Mandarin, and only Mandarin, to be the language of China. 




Not to be mistaken for Woo, the pre-Shakespearean verb to court, or to solicit affection.


Just Woo.



Pugs aren't a modern anomaly; they go back a way in time.   True, they're part of that Shouldn't-Be-Alive-But-Oh-That's-Right-Humans-Wanted-It-To-Happen-And-Humans-Should-Always-Get-What-They-Want-Right? breeding technique.  But seriously, their ancestry dates far back--apparently, first documentation of the short-nosed, squat-dogs comes from around 700BC in China (called the "Foo" dog).  


Foo Dog Pair; Female (coupling baby under paw) on Left, Male on Right


So how has the dog, whose mouth is so small their teeth (still the same amount a Wolf has) become impacted, survived for so long?  Well, they do what any sensible creature would do, if given the choice:  they've become the pet icon of the courts of the rich and famous.  And they haven't done that bad, considering their way of survival has been dependent on somewhat tenuous royalty.


For example, Chinese Emperor Ling To gave his female pugs the same status as his wives.  Not sure how well that went down with the women of the household, but there you have it.  He unfortunately wasn't the best Emperor around, and according to Wikipedia (all-knowing source of info), liked a decadent lifestyle, was a womanizer and an all-around corrupt guy with lots of enemies.  


William the Silent, a dutch Prince from the 16th century, avoided capture by the Spanish, because his pug, Pompey woke him up before any of his guards knew they were under attack.  He escaped to safety and since then Pug has become the symbol of the dutch royalty line, The House of Orange.


The pug was also a secret symbol for the "Mopsorden" sect of the Freemasons in the 1730s.  Mopsorden, by the way, is German for "The Order of the Pug."


And Napoleon's soon-to-be-wife, Josephine, had a pug named Fortune.  When Napoleon tried to kick him out of the bed Fortune bit him.  I feel as though there's a foreshadowing joke of some sort here.  Either way, the pug was let back into the bed.


Given how weird they look and their amazing presence throughout the higher-levels of society across the world, I think that's why pugs have become the new "It" dog for America:








They exude simplicity of life and silliness.  I mean, well.  Look at them.  There is NO point for them to exist.  There is no way that, given the Real World's natural environment, they WOULD exist.  

And yet, they do. 










*crinkly bags*


That's more like it.



I start to worry, though, when I see exactly how deformed a Wolf has become in the name of Cute.  


However, the pug manages to survive, even in the most daunting situations.


I think even the Wolf is going, "Wtf Nature?  What was that?"


cheers,
beryl