Sunday, July 20, 2003
Greetings, humble reader folk.
Much has occurred since I blogged last, because I have been Lazy. And Slothful. And other such things. So I might not get into it all. If you experienced any of it along with me and it's not mentioned herein, don't start questioning the reality of your experiences or anysuchthing. I'm sure you weren't hallucinating. Well. Pretty sure. For most of you.
On... um... well, it was one of those days this week. I done forgot which one. One of the days this week, my mother and I went birding. Yeah yeah yeah, go on, laugh. It's actually fun, and it tickles my zoologically-oriented brain. Here is the site for bird sightings in Massachusetts: Massbird Sightings. Massbird is the bizarre little cooperative of birders (those who obsessively watch/seek/count/photograph/discuss birds) in Massachusetts. Many of these people teeter cheerfully on the border of insanity, but then again, so do I. Thusly, I enjoy them.
So, we headed to Plum Island, which is this neat little island up by Newburyport. There were supposed to be glossy ibis (ibises? ibisi?) in a swampy area right next to the highway in Rowley, which is on the way. So when we got to the approximate area, we pulled over onto the side of the road and got out to see if we might find some ibis(es/i). Quelle surprise! There were already two older guys standing there, one with a scope and one with a large and complicated camera.
Turns out that these fellows were birders. Creepily enough, it also happened that they knew my mother. "Hey, how are you? No, we haven't seen the white-faced ibis, but we've got eight glossies here. Haven't seen you in Marblehead Neck lately." It was freaky. We come all the way out to Rowley, Rowley for cat's sake, which is maybe 45 minutes or an hour from Swampscott, and we pull over on the side of the highway, for cat's sake, and we end up standing there on the side of the road with these two birder guys who know my mother. The world is a strangely convoluted little place, and the birding world more so.
It was pretty funny, because after we had been standing there for a little bit, a couple of other cars pulled up. People would get out and say, "Oh! What are we looking at here?" and we'd tell them and then everyone would break out their binoculars and Ooo and Aaah and such. This is normal birder behavior. Look to see where other people who look like birders are standing. Pull up to them and ask what they're looking at. If you're only an amateur birder, as most are, this is the best and sometimes only way to see some really crazy stuff you'd never see on your own. And everyone does it. After a bit there was a right little crowd standing there on the side of the highway. Non-birder passerby must have thought we were absolutely conkers. Well, perhaps we were.
But the flock of glossy ibis was actually quite loverly, because they were right up next to the road, so you could see them perfectly even without binoculars. The guy with the expensive-looking camera probably got some nice pictures, since they were so close. And glossy ibis are pretty. They've got these elegantly curved beaks, and their feathers are dark, but they shine red and green when the light hits them.
People were getting irritated, though, because what everyone really wanted to see was the white-faced ibis. See, glossy ibis, while pretty, are not particularly rare around these parts. Contrariwise, the white-faced ibis is not from around here at all, and to see one in Massachusetts is a bit like seeing a polar bear running wild in Texas. Everyone was looking for the white-faced ibis because this one guy had reported seeing it with this Rowley glossy ibis flock a few days before. People were starting to get skeptical, though, because no one had been with the guy when he said he saw it, and no one had seen it since. The idea that this guy might have broken the mostly unspoken yet stringent code of ethics followed by birders by falsifying a bird report was not being received happily.
So, after gazing at the ibis for a bit, we got back into the car and made our way to Plum Island. We saw some nice stuff there... an osprey in its nest, a kingbird, purple martins in their purple martin houses, and something that looked like a kite but was much too small to be one. It had the weirdest flight pattern too... it would hover, which is very strange to see in a bird, and then it would dive down into the water with a splash. We're still not entirely sure what it was. We didn't stay too long at Plum Island, and we stayed in the car, because it's greenhead fly season up there and those buggers are nasty. Trust me, you don't want to interact with them if you don't have to.
this ibis is glossier than a pair of bad vinyl pants
That night, or the next night, or some night this week (my sense of time has evidently gone the way of my sense of direction), me and Jess went to Krispy Kreme! At night! Because the Krispy Kreme is open until at least 2 am every night. It was a pleasant little journey, since the Krispy Kreme is all the way out in Medford (Medfahd, to put it Bostonily). But we got there more or less without incident. And then we had Krispy Kreme. Mmmm. They give you one free donut when you're standing in line, and it's as fresh as a donut can get. They literally take it off of the conveyor belt and hand it to you. And it's warm and it's gooey and it's heavenly and I bought a round dozen to take home to my family because they were just that good.
There were a lot of bikers there, it being a warm night and all. This one biker dude was a most incredible personage. He had the typical black leather Harley Davidson biker vest thing, the typical long grey biker ponytail, the typical american flag biker bandana. The thing that made him glorious was the fact that he was wearing a large, prominent gold 'chai' necklace. It was splendid. And of course the fact that it was me and Jess witnessing this just made it that much better. Jewish bikers, Unite!
chai means 'life', for the uninitiated folks out there
Yesterday (Friday, that is... I think it's past midnight right now) was my weekly Boston trip for artsy purposes. Corey accompanied me. We spent a goodly amount of time in the Starbucks right next to Maison Robert, because it has a massive window overlooking this insane little sidestreet thing, and also because we are both ardent fans of Starbucks coffee. Inky doodles were done of the patrons and passerby. There were screaming children, and people talking about breast implants, and a woman wearing an obscenely voluminous Red Sox poncho. Whom I drew. Because she deserved it.
Then we went to Fanuel Hall for a change of scenery. If you're not from the Boston area, you're really missing out on Fanuel Hall. It's this massive foodery sort of place, with occasionally live music inside or outside of it, and also occasionally clowns. It's got this wonderful air of seediness overlaid by an air of pretension overlaid by the fact that the building is old and pretty cool. And it's almost always packed to the brim with people in varying degrees of decay and awesomeness. All of which combines to create a fairly wonderful atmosphere.
So, we sat in Fanuel Hall for a while, drawing the interesting people there, and desperately trying to avoid making eye contact with the people we were drawing. That's always terribly embarassing. You always get the feeling that they just know you were drawing a really unflattering picture of them. Interestingly enough, this is often quite true, as the most fascinating people to draw are the ones who are crazy-looking in some respect, but still. You don't really want them to know that you noticed their own personal shade of deformity and are, in fact, currently reproducing it with glee.
Then we came back to Swampscott, and, despite the fact that I was driving, no one perished and no property damage was incurred. We sat around chez moi for a bit, then we went to see Swimming Pool with Dave and Jason. I'm using the word 'then' far too often in this blog but I'm too Lazy and Slothful to think of another way of putting things.
Swimming Pool was a very strange film. A lot of very strange things happen. While you're watching the movie, you see many things happen which make you want to scream, "What?! What is going on? What movie is this? Why is it necessary that this happen?" For instance. Why was the same scene replayed three times with three different pairs of people? Why were there so many shots of naked breasts? Why did the leading lady look exactly like Swampscott High guidance counselor Mrs. Reardon? Why weren't they translating the French exactly (this is what comes of actually understanding the French without subtitles. boo ya.)? What was the deal with the damn pool, anyways? Why was there, suddenly, inexplicably, a midget?
But then you see the very last scene of the movie, and everything goes *click* in your brain, and you say, "Oooooooooohhhhhhhhh!" and suddenly everything makes sense and everything is good and you want to go back to the parts of the movie you were complaining during and say, "I'm sorry, Swimming Pool, I see now! You're really a good movie! I didn't mean it when I muttered right here 'this movie needs a higher rating than R'. I get it all now! It's so good! So artistic! So... worth it!"
I'm dead serious about that, too. When you watch the movie, there will be parts of it that will make you grumble and groan and wish you were maybe not seeing this particular movie. But when you get to the very end of the movie, you will want to leap out of your seat and say, "That was right brilliant, that was!" But it won't happen until the very, very, very end.
It's funny, how maybe less than 2 minutes of the movie can make all the other 100 minutes suddenly worthwhile.
Perhaps that's what makes it a good movie.
Swimming Pool is going to get 3 and a half paws up. You should probably go see it, unless you get skittish seeing naked women on the big screen. If you're a dense sort, you really should go see it with someone who always 'gets' movies, because if you see the ending and still don't 'get it', you're going to be massively disappointed. But it is my opinion that this is one fine film.
Then we drove home through Salem and a girl wearing a tie screamed at our car, "I gotta know what time it is!" while we were stopped at an intersection. So Dave yelled back, "11:15!" So the girl turned back to her friends to relay the message. And we all were reduced to hysterics because it was so surreal and amusing.
Yup. That's all. Today consisted of sleep, drawing, more sleep, and painting (yes, I finally got some painting done). Nothing of note.
I leave you with slumberous intentions.