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Relics from the Dark Times (1)

After a standoffish beginning, Hubero and Linus seem to be making peace. Mostly, I think Hubero just wants to make it past all this getting-to-know-you-chit-chat and play. But Linus is not so sure of Hubero's intentions. And, so, a bit of new-cat stress.

Oftentimes, after the medium-bad to severe seizures, there's depression. It came on hard yesterday. The extreme cold temperatures did little to help.

Spooky and I had plans, to make a day of art galleries. We drove over to College Hill and started off with the Elizabeth King instillation at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University. There's a story here. Years ago now, mellawyrden sent Spooky one of King's books, Attention's Loop (Harry N. Abrams, 1999). When I was working on the vignettes for Frog Toes and Tentacles, that book was part of the inspiration for "Ode to Katan Amano" (which will be reprinted in A is for Alien). Of all the pieces in FT&T, "Ode to Katan Amano" was probably my favourite (and still is), and I closed it with a quote from Elizabeth King. So, going to the show yesterday and seeing firsthand so much of her exquisite work displayed in this exhibit ("The Sizes of Things in the Mind's Eye"), it was sort of like closing a circle. It would be incorrect to say that she makes dolls, or puppets, or marionettes. I'm not sure how I would, personally, describe what she makes. The exhibit was beautiful, and I wish I'd taken the camera. It was a little disconcerting, like stumbling into part of the set of Blade Runner, maybe a museum of automaton evolution that wound up on the cutting-room floor. Sadly, I forgot the camera, but we are planning to see it again before the instillation ends on December 22nd.

We'd planned, next, to visit the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, just down the street. But, turns out, it's closed on Mondays. So, our day of galleries was suddenly cut short, and my day spiraled from there. Very little worth mentioning until after dark. I came home and napped. Or rather, I lay down and fell asleep for a while before dinner. Afterwards, we watched Speilberg's AI: Artificial Intelligence (1999), which we'd both seen only once, when it was in theatres. My opinion of it remains unchanged. It's both beautiful and brilliant, and certainly one of Speilberg's best. I think that it sounded a sour chord with a lot of people because, while it appears as an sf story (and, I would say, works well as sf), it's truly a fairy tale. Many things happen for fairy-tale reasons. Fairy-tale logic governs much of the film, and it strikes out, often, with all the cruelty and viciousness of the best fairy tales. I was very pleased that it's aged so well. However, this is probably not a film for the sort of sf reader/audience who actually thinks that science fiction is (or, at least "should" be) concerned mainly with science and predictions of the future of man and technology.

Later we played a bit of WoW, still out in the Arathi Highlands, and Shaharrazad and Surra both reached Level 37. Afterwards, Spooky read The Fellowship of the Ring aloud until we were too sleepy to continue.

But this black mood hangs on.

Someone wrote yesterday, via MySpace (where I don't reply to comments), wanting to know who Spooky is. To which I reply, she's my partner, Kathryn A. Pollnac, dollmaker and photographer. I thought everyone knew.

I should be getting back to work today, but I don't know whether or not it's going to happen. It may be all that I can do just to avoid going back to bed. The temps are a little warmer —— currently 29F, with a projected high of 44F —— and there's rain on the way. So maybe that will help. I don't know.

I leave you with this Louis C. K. clip, courtesy Blu, who snagged it from Monica Richards:

Comments

( 20 comments — Have your say! )
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Care to share your thoughts on this, or point us to places on-line where you already have?

Well, I could point you to the new Locus interview, which should be out.

I think it's, generally, sort of a non-question. What should sf be? Hell if I know. Should is be anything? For me, it's about wonder. For me, it's about everything that is more vast that the human mind can comprehend. It's not predictive, if only because i think that's a fool's errand. Plus I don't really care what happens to humanity. I write science fiction because there are things that amaze me.

If we adopt this suggestion from Harlan (and he might, or might not, still feel this way), what does one do with, say, steampunk? Is "The Steam Dancer (1896)" sf? What happens when the year than an sf story is set in comes and goes? Does the story cease to be sf, because the future has become the past?

Mostly, I only ever think about these sorts of questions because others have such narrow, prescriptive outlooks. Personally, I don't much care for the idea of genres, so I can hardly recognize that they have "missions." I would say, though, in response to those Asimov readers, "Never let hard science get in the way of a good story."

Edited at 2008-12-09 06:23 pm (UTC)
unknownbinaries
Dec. 9th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
That clip was great. I agree, completely, and don't understand why the stewardesses actually look at me funny for having my nose glued to the window almost the entire damned time, why more people don't appreciate that.

From planes, I've seen the frozen tops of thunderstorms, where everything is snow, and all of it, clouds, precipitation and all are sparkling in moonlight. My first flight ever had to maneuver between thunderstorms coming in to Atlanta. It's amazing, and no one notices.

...sorry. Sore spot.
seph_ski
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I was watching the aurora borealis on our flight to Ireland, and the steward snapped the shade down right in front of my face. It startled me and all I could do was stare at him incredulously. He said, "The sun comes up very suddenly on this flight," and continued on his rounds. I cracked it back open and watched for another twenty minutes before closing it myself and nodding off, and the sun didn't come up in that time. :p I was amazed that I was the only one on the whole flight who had even been looking out the window at the light show.

There weren't many people wanting to look as we came in over Ireland either, which is crazy because it was unbelievably green.

There are a lot of people in this world that take a lot of wonderful things for granted. It's no wonder our society is so cynical and cranky.
blu_muse
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
I think I was nearly in tears the morning my flight landed in Ireland. It was an incredible sight - after all the blackness of night and vastness of empty space, to see the sun come up and this very green, lush land spring to life beneath us. It was amazing.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 9th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)

I think I was nearly in tears the morning my flight landed in Ireland. It was an incredible sight - after all the blackness of night and vastness of empty space, to see the sun come up and this very green, lush land spring to life beneath us. It was amazing.

I've had this very same experience. The last time it was March 1996....
alvyarin
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
I think there should be more kitty pictures on this blog. =)
greygirlbeast
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)

I think there should be more kitty pictures on this blog.

I can arrange that.
alvyarin
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, pleeeaaase. I'm an aspiring crazy cat lady and yours are just gorgeous.
humglum
Dec. 9th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)


If Linus will ever be still when I have the camera aimed in his direction... It's cloudy today, and every photo I took of him was half a blur of movement.
sovay
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
It was a little disconcerting, like stumbling into part of the set of Blade Runner, maybe a museum of automaton evolution that wound up on the cutting-room floor.

Oh, cool. Hmm.
kongjie
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Museums
Look, I realize that museums have to close on one day, but does it have to be Monday? Monday, last I checked, is connected with the damn weekend. How many travelers plan for a long weekend only to meet closed doors at the museum on Monday? Or even in your hometown--Monday is the most wonderful day to take off of them all.

I take that back--why do museums have to close AT ALL? When is the last time you arrived at the emergency room, blood pouring from your ears, and there was a sign that said, "Closed Mondays"?? What if I'm having an art emergency? Doesn't anyone care if I desperately need beauty in my life in a strange city on a Monday?
greygirlbeast
Dec. 9th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Museums


I take that back--why do museums have to close AT ALL? When is the last time you arrived at the emergency room, blood pouring from your ears, and there was a sign that said, "Closed Mondays"?? What if I'm having an art emergency? Doesn't anyone care if I desperately need beauty in my life in a strange city on a Monday?


I don't fault the museum for being closed. I fault us for not having looked to see whether or not it would be open.
smallpinkfish
Dec. 10th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
mee too
I also am depressed despite the medication. I am takeing it so that I can supress the rational reaction to all this shittiness around me. Isn't it odd to change the things that aren't broken so they mach the things that are? also, I didn't know spooky was a doll maker. is she the same Kathryn A. Pollnac who had an article done on her in gothic beuaty ( I got it for the Poppy Z. interview not the scene-zine.)? also also.. this is probably not a film for the sort of sf reader/audience who actually thinks that science fiction is (or, at least "should" be) concerned mainly with science and predictions of the future of man and technology. I hope there is a place for fairy tales in the future of man and technology.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 10th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Re: mee too
I hope there is a place for fairy tales in the future of man and technology.

Indeed.

also, I didn't know spooky was a doll maker. is she the same Kathryn A. Pollnac who had an article done on her in gothic beuaty ( I got it for the Poppy Z. interview not the scene-zine.)?

Nope. Are you absolutely sure you have the name from the interview correct?

Isn't it odd to change the things that aren't broken so they mach the things that are?

It's worse than odd. But, then, we have to avoid assumptions...

Edited at 2008-12-10 02:38 am (UTC)
smallpinkfish
Dec. 10th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
my bad
sorry that was wrong. it was Scott Radke. not even the same gender all though he does make interesting doll-things. blah-blah-blah. does she have any website\thing to see her work?
greygirlbeast
Dec. 10th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC)
Re: my bad

it was Scott Radke.

Great. I'm going to be up all night trying to see the similarity in those two names.
humglum
Dec. 10th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: my bad


I was scared, for a minute there...

anyway. Doll stuffs can be seen here: here

and here.
mellawyrden
Dec. 10th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
I'm thrilled Elizabeth King's book was an inspiration for your writing, and I'm very jealous that you got to see her show! It's so different to be inhabiting the same space as a sculpture/doll, than it is to look at them in the book. I didn't know she had an installation at Brown.
humglum
Dec. 10th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)


It's a bit of a retrospective, which is really amazing. Seeing the progression of her work. There are items from her personal collection of dolls in the lobby space.

I am beyond annoyed that we missed the talk she gave on November 7th, though. I only even found out about the show because there was finally a review in the Phoenix. I have now bookmarked both the gallery page and the news page for Brown University, so I won't have to stupidly miss anything else. I need to remember I'm living in The World again, and that I saw Laurie Anderson give a talk at Brown, ages ago, so remaining informed is important.
mellawyrden
Dec. 11th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
I need to get on more mailing lists too. It's good to be in The World, & get off my hamster wheel of work/classes/homework/groceryshopping/blah. Especially now it's so cold, there need to be some bright spots. I can't even explain to you how much I needed this trip I just took to NYC. I also went to the Met & saw the modern painters exhibit. It's good to see Di Chirico paintings in person & see Picasso's big fingerprints dragged through his sculptures.

I wish I could see the doll collection!
( 20 comments — Have your say! )