Best of Benigngirl

SCINTILLATING ART DIALOGUE ART TALK Starring Elaine and Blair
I found this pretty great vintage ad but it’s not clear to me what exactly it is advertising. So I decided to cast these two in my favorite movie, “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing”, and give them scintillating art dialogue for my enjoyment.

BAD ART FOR A BEAUTIFUL DAY One of my favorite online sources for art is The Museum of Bad Art, which actually physically exists in Dedham, MA. Once in a while art comes along which is so incredibly bad as to be genius. And the curators at MOBA write such brilliant text for the work that I go check the site often to see what new art reviews they have posted. Because I aspire to one day making a piece that will make it past their jury, I have added my own contribution at the end, from my lab safety supply catalog.

WORKING IN THE ALLEY It’s all about the dumpster.
Lately I have been working in the alley outside my studio. I wondered if I’d be bored with no radio or a documentary to listen to while I work but it has proved far more interesting than I might have imagined. The parade of cars, animals and people has provided quite the show. Most days I begin at 9 or 10 am and work till 7ish when I lose my…

RUBIDIUM-85 AND THE LOVE March 12, 07 From, “Building Your Own Supernova”: “By making a Bose-Einstein condensate in a particular isotope — rubidium-85 — and then changing the magnetic field in which the BEC is sitting, researchers can adjust the wavefunction’s self-interaction between repulsion and attraction.

WORDS: JOAN DIDION WE FORGET ALL TOO SOON It seems a nice day for some quotes by Joan Didion: “A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”

SILLY SILLY STRINGS AND BEAUTIFUL THINGS From the newsletter archives- Happy going arounds and coming arounds June 25, 2007 when I got to the part about the silly-stringing all the guests pelted me with said mischief-matter. Hans had been covertly handing out silly-weaponry and instructing everyone as to the moment of payback and I got payback, but good.After a long battle with cancer Hans left us June 22 and now I suspect he is silly-stringing God, or whoever is in charge of this life, and I bet they are slapping each other on the back and plotting further mischief. I see Hans leading everyone we have ever lost in a silly conga line of joy and shenanigans and if there is a heaven, it is now a sillier and more joyful place.

OMENS & JAMOKANS IN THE HOUSE and the clouds and the internet connection (first posted January 30, 2006 in my newsletter) But because my superstitions are all tailor translated and all of them either point to good things or point me away from bad things, they have turned into a manageable, yet perhaps obsessive, way of life. Like, when I see a penny on the ground…

BRING YOUR OWN ICE BUCKET. AND ICE We wanted it really chilled to complement the spicy dishes we anticipated ordering so we started by asking for an ice bucket. The waitperson (let’s name her *Dixiecup* so I don’t have to keep typing *waitperson*) said they had no ice buckets or things to put ice in. I am tenacious though, so I asked did they have any kind of containers at all? No. Can you find some old plastic bucket to put some ice in? No. A condiment container? Trash bag? Anything? No. Then I said, “Well, I think I have a nasty old plastic ice bucket in my truck from The Hampton Inn in St. Louis. If I get that can we clean it up a bit?

El guanaco MERCY, BENIGNITY AND POLLO GUISADO http://www.fridgequeen.com/newsletters/newsletter32_Aug106.htm Anyway El Guanaco is a very special place. On 116 in South Hadley across the street from a biker bar called Ebenezer Choos. When I see such a humble facade I think it’s either a fantastic secret or a disappointment. El Gunaco is a discovery almost up there with Benign Girl…

Green Street Cafe BON VOYAGE, BON FROMAGE We started with a bottle of the Sipp Mack Pinot Blanc, Alsace, 2004. This is Jeff’s favorite wine and, since I know him to be a humble and balanced person, I am certain it was not a narcissistic, doppelgangerish, choice of self-serving wine. He did not for a minute gaze…

A Bunny Ode to Ray Johnson  When the going gets tough The tough get going, tough, tough, huh, huh, huh When the going gets tough, the tough gets ready Yeah, ooooh, du da do da “The rabbit psyche is mysterious, sometimes paradoxical. I got something to tell you I got something to say I’m gonna put this dream in motion Never let nothing stand in my way All rabbits to be matched are spayed/neutered.

The Elevator DJ  One brilliant day we were in the elevator on our way back from lunch. I think I had my whole department with me which was like 5 people. We were returning from an “offsite”…

I often think I must have imagined that whole *real world* thing.  Once I got to go on a photo shoot for an ad. It was in a big loft in NY. We ordered cappuccinos by the dozens and delivery people brought them. And lunch was catered in and served in stainless steel chafing dishes with sterno below. During a break the photographer…

Hair and Water Years ago I worked at a little dot com startup in Boston. There were 7 of us. My extension was 107, being the last one in the door at that time. When I called people from my office phone it would read out on their phones as, “x107 Mo”. We were all in the habit of reading who was calling and thus answering the phone with, “Hi Madonna”…

TODAY’S BOSTON GLOBE Today’s Boston Globe as one big whopping jpg. The link to this live page is here. That’s me in the red sweatshirt that I wear a lot, always. This reminds me of a practical joke in my old office…

My Stay at the 5-Star Sanitarium I am writing this from my stay at a sanitarium. It is very peaceful and quiet and I am eating a lot of chocolate and there are monkeys everywhere and they are hilarious and one of them keeps giving this cat a bath in the sink. He keeps scrubbing and scrubbing. I keep telling him that the cat is clean already and he just laughs and keeps scrubbing. The monkey smells and should really scrub himself but life is not always logical, especially in my sanitarium. The cat seems bemused…

The Human Condition, As Affected By Other Human Conditions  I went to look at the apartment with the Realtor (often hilariously mispronounced as the tri-syllabic “real-it-er”, much like our leader’s embarrassing pronunciation of, “nuke-u-lur”) and wrote a check on the spot to take it. But then…

Intricate Polychromatic Art Speak for Incongruous Fun and Conflative Prophet  [Disclaimer–Being a differently-abled, “writer”, and abstract punctuationist, I wish to assert that I am not critiquing the writing in the labels but am merely rejoicing in Carol’s estimation of such. I am not a credentialed anything…

True Blogospherical (and other) Collaborations  I have a lot of fridges and they needed an un-Mopholstered 50’s fridge for the installation so I sold them my favorite fridge (with butter dish built into the door) because I needed the money. This was my posing fridge, the fridge in which I sit on my pretend cover of my lab safety supply catalog and which was one of my faux coverage pieces expertly and haphazardly placed on the hair dryer chair seat as part of my, Such Are the Dreams of the Everyday Housewife piece for the Cover Me exhibit. [“See” Glen Campbell sing it here] Glen even sat in that fridge and posed for me, so enamored was he of my piece named for his song. So, in effect, I have collaborated with Glen Campbell.

Being the least important person in the room  In one of Maya Angelou’s autobiographies she wrote that it was the things her mother used to say to her which were of utmost importance in her formation and one in particular caught my attention; “Whenever you walk into a room remember always that you are the least important person in that room”…

They all look the same, don’t they? We stayed in this hotel with many floors, as hotels tend to have. Our room was pretty high up and the hotel was full of people for the music conference so the elevator was always packed and we were usually among the last ones riding it to our room. This made for a pretty wild ride soundtracked by intriguing snippets of conversation from the random assortment of music people.

Donkey Kong and The Decline of Western Civilization  Can ego and the pursuit of the world record in Donkey Kong really be responsible for the future of an entire civilization? Oh the drama. The crown holder, Billy Mitchell, is a man who won his crown at 17 by getting the highest ever Donkey Kong score.

Big Sue and her Big Beautiful Quotes  But then, I never order entrees when eating out if the appetizer list is long enough so it makes perfect sense. Big Sue is the incline of Western Civilization. If you analyze her words carefully you can clearly see that. It is that obvious. Pure genius. I had a phone number once that spelled…

Stitches, Bikes and Thieves I used to live on a little slip of land, south of a city, called Blahty-blah beach which was like 5 houses and a single road wide. I think the population was in the hundreds. I rented the second floor of a tiny cottage and it had really low ceilings (not an issue for a short person) and faux beams of styrofoam which were painted and grooved to look like wood.

Shoes: Form, Function and Higher Beingness (literally)  “Princesses, bourgeoisie, soldiers, clergy and servants were differentiated by what they wore. The shoe revealed, less spectacularly than the hat, but in a more demanding way, the respective brilliance of civilizations, unveiling the social classes and the subtlety of the race, a sign of recognition, just as the ring slips on to the most slender finger, the “glass slipper” will not fit but the most delicate of beautities.”

[sic] That’s what everyday is like  Innovations in art often seem to be about calling the bluff of the discourse. The new often feels satirical almost. The discourse reels, then adapts. The new often feels solemn. The best barometer of the grotesqueness of the changes in discourse is the collectors. Because there’s something about their nature that makes the buckling and straining of the changes the discourse is going through show more clearly. They’re like a parallel universe to actual art

Meandering in tibial, fibulacular and other memorium  A broken leg would inadvertently bring me to the periphery of many of these people. Oh the memories of trying to navigate rare forays to events at the opera and the museum in crutches (bad–> people in tuxes knocked me over a lot; people at the museum often brushed past me to cut in line for the exhibits that had limited space meaning friends had to always catch me) and then navigating the crowded neighborhood bars (good–> inebriated college students would helpfully clear a path for me and insist that…

More characteristically dogged Bostonian reflections  People were $25 to get in and “Good Dogs” were free. They served hot dogs, devil dogs, red dog beer, some sort of dog wine (Mad Dog 20/20?

A Summer Fun Public Service Announcement  I think if I had a house and a yard I’d put in a bat house. I have been thinking about bats for weeks. Bat houses are about biocontrol – introducing natural predators of mosquitoes. According to the Encyclopedia Dramatica, ‘batshit crazy’ means insane.

The Metaphor-Go-Round Why is no one on the horse? Is the terror in his eyes due to the inexplicable (yet always metaphoric) appearance of Sisyphus and his pet rock? (Of course Sisyphus didn’t even rate a rooster, his life is totally Sisyphean). Did Crazed Pony throw his rider? Did Crazy Pony forget to take his meds?

Fun with subtitles Anyway–I was watching episodes of The Wire and there was this one scene in this one episode that was pretty hilarious for its dialogue and this was even more funny because of the subtitles on the screen.

More fun with subtitles: familial philosophy  In this scene Nick, a stevedore from the harborfront, is trying to help get his hapless cousin’s camaro, “Princess”, back. Ziggy, the hapless one…

Holiday in Dubai Gone Awry The bouncer was an aggressive, cocky, smirky type causing faint warning bells to ring in my head, which I foolishly ignored. Both Daffodil and I showed driver’s licenses that listed our addresses as…

As it turns out…GREAT LINES, PERFECTLY TIMED We went to a restaurant at the edge of the North End (forget the name. I think it was 101 Atlantic. Years before it had been called Joseph’s Aquarium, of that much I am certain) that had…

The Ilk of Quiet The quiet of the missing contains the quiet of wonder, the quiet of a ponder, the quiet of a slowly dawning silent realization which creeps about the perimeter of the room, always emerging at floor level, always a blur, never to be caught by a glance. The quiet of time often seems to have a flavor, a theme, a song.

Feminist Stripper Performance Sculpture Assemblage Mosaic Art  and it made me think of ironing because in the picture this happy stripper is ironing. I have this thing about ironing, having written posts about extreme ironing which is my favorite sport (brilliant!) and I actually have an ironing board and iron piece…

Things that slip through our fingers AND ALL THAT.  Tonight it is raining, and hard. It makes me think of the butterfly effect. I sat in the alley and tried to better feel and absorb the rain, and while I shouted into the phone over the pounding rain to a fellow virgo that…

Sushi-Rama Extravaganza a la Virgoan Embracements  I read a short story once in Omni Magazine, back in the 90s, about a drunk couple on their way home from a party. They were abducted by aliens. Aboard the alien ship they continued their bickering; he accused her of flirting too much and too rampagingly, she accused him of drinking too much, and all the while the aliens were trying to get their attention and maintain some order. I can’t find it now. It was a brilliant little story. Please send it.

A lottery of sorts and smuches  This morning I had a linger with Garden Girl. She says she is a figment, an amalgam, a moi and a pense. A smuch. I asked, what is a smuch?

Who’ll save the birds? She said I must be mistaken. I tried to explain. I offered to send her a picture and she laughed and said please, no. I asked could they not send someone to move the cable. Well, it is an electrical wire so we can’t. I asked them to come and see it. How many electrical cables attach to concrete walls, I asked.

Gosh! Mayor Mike and HG&E come to the bird rescue Wow!  After my call to HG&E did not make immediate enough action (birds were dying on average of one per week, according to my abacus) and because this is my neurotically fixated obsession of the moment, I emailed Mayor Mike…

And the dirt goes on Mr. Clean died recently. His real name was House Peters Jr.  Mr. Clean was not always a cartoon. Which came first, I wonder…

Life is a scary Costume Farm. Boo!  The heroine (?@!) of the tale, Gem Irony – a possibly self-negating, anagramatic, and typically foolish moniker with too many descriptive comma-ish annotations…

The Wizardress of Ensorcellment Anaïs Nin, inadvertent hilarioutress and ensorcellress both; “sensuality is a secret power in my body,” she once said. And don’t get Gore Vidal started on the topic of the word ensorcellment. Because of their seemingly love-hate relationship they sniped at each other in later years and, much to her chagrin, he modeled the character Marietta after her in his novel Two Sisters, whose “favorite word is ‘ensorcelled.’ She cannot write a book without it. Unfortunately I cannot read a book that contains it.”

Uninspirational words in perhaps uninspirational times I got an inspirational message email today. And this got me thinking of days gone by. Ages ago I had a job at a place that had inspirational messages sprinkled about all the walls…

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