Nov 23, 2010

The Sneaky Metaphor and The Silly Similie.


Part One

Though the text was spaced for easy reading, Professor James Franklin MacCoddleswap's rubbery lips moved silently as he examined the single page report.
      Even with the help of his finger nails tracing the lines,  it still took him an atrocious four minutes and thirty seven seconds to read the whole page.
      Finally, with a gasping sigh that suggested he hadn't understood any of it, he shoved the report across the desk and curled his lips with distaste.
      "Oh jolly jam hot spot," he said to me. "I hate it when we find these things." 
      Next to the report on his desk was a revolver - a well used 1970's NSW police issue Smith and Wesson.   
      He noticed I was staring at it and he picked it up with two fingers. He pretended to examine the bolt where the paint had chipped off and showed the bare metal.

     "Expecting trouble? I asked.
      He ignored me and concentrated on caressing the muzzle of the gun.
      "Didn't think so," I said.
      He glanced up, squinted at me over his glasses. "Watch your tongue," he said. "I'm trying to be nice to you."
     "You kept me waiting two hours."
     "And with very good reason."
     I said: "It's unprofessional for a shrink to run late."
    MacCoddleswap blushed. "My boy, that's only your opinion. I worked horrendously hard to get where I am today. And my position often gives me a great deal of pleasure. Just like now, when I get to tell you the wonderful news."
     "And that is....?"

      "My good friend," MacCoddleswap said, "I'm afraid the chaps in the lab feel you've been a little sneaky." 
      He pronounced the word 'sneaky' with undue emphasis and I sat straighter in my chair.
     MacCoddleswap continued. "They are very concerned," he said. "And so am I. You haven't quite lived up to our agreement.."
     I sat up quite rigidly now and crossed my arms over my chest. "I've stuck to the rules as well as I could."
     MacCoddleswap guffawed. His adam's apple moved up and down in his neck. It reminded me of a flapping fish wedged in a pelican's gizzard.
     I watched him carefully as he placed the gun down. He placed the gun on the report so it didn't scratch the dark cherry wood of the desk.
     "Rules?" he said. "Oh poppleycock! You, my fabulous Feenian friend have been at it again, haven't you? It's the very  first thing you do after our sessions. Admit it."
     I looked up at the ceiling. "Not the first thing," I said.
     "Don't deny you've been burning the midnight oil every night this week. Mark my words, eventually you'll run out of wick. You're racing to the end of it."
      I blinked. Run out of wick? I thought that was a bit personal - and said so.
     "Nothing's secret here," he said. "Pretend I'm your considerate conscience. Aren't you supposed to be reading books rather than poking people in the eye with your illustrations?"
      I didn't blink, held his gaze. I recognised the hidden words of course.
     Burning. Sneaky. Racing.
     He was using all the right words. They'd been Illustration Friday prompts over the last few weeks. He knew it and I knew it.
     Something was going on here, something I didn't understand.
     "You can't go on," he said. "Apart from your wick, something else will give. Probably your corpus christi cerebullum. It's already looking like a Peruivian pickled pizza parlour. It all has to stop."
      "Never," I said. "You've mixed me up with someone else. There's another Finnie around here somewhere."
     "You mean that that sparkling chap in New Zealand? The gay and lesbian one? The one who wears a codpiece on his head? Oh have no fear, we're onto him too."
      MacCoddleswap picked up the gun on his desk by the trigger guard. With the other hand he shoved the report across the desk at me.
     Though it was upside down I pretended to read it.
     I didn't need to read it of course. I knew what was on the report already - after all, I'd written it    - not that I'd tell MacCoddleswap that.
      Let him find out for himself.
     Obviously we were getting nowhere. On the spur of the moment I decided to try another tack - something I'd learnt as a Sunday School teacher when I was trying to get the kids to behave.
     Instead of reading the report I decided to stare at him.

   MacCoddleswap was an ugly man so I started at the best part - his eyes.
   Now I took more notice I saw that his face was obnoxiously horrid.  Not only did his face make me want to mix my metaphors, but to go into flights of ridiculously lurid similies - it was the only real way to describe what I saw.
  MacCoddleswap's eyes were mostly dirty green, illuminated by flecks of cardigan grey that speckled his irises like faded and abandonned Macdonald's hamburger wrappers in a park of dead grass. His eyelids were red and inflamed liked broken blisters, the base of the eyelashes caked with yellowish specks - blepahritus - literally inflamation of the eyelids. Unkindly I hoped the blepharitus was terminal. I'd heard somewhere that in one in three million cases the victim needed amputation at the neck.
   Gradually I let my gaze wander to his nose.
   It was a bad move.

   Obviously MacCoddleswap had once been a rugby player. His nose was pushed to the his right side and fishooked up so I could see into his nostrils. His nostrils were small, dirty caves, the spiky nasal hairs jutting into the dark recesses like tarnished stalagmites. I guessed that somewhere in that foetid lushness was hiding a pea sized brain.
   By now he seemed to know what I was up to, and twisted his head ever so slightly to spoil my line of sight.
   That didn't stop me. Casually, and without fear, I continued my visual degustation of his face.
   Beneath the nose I discovered the dry river bed of his nasal labial cleft. Deeper than normal, it could only mean one thing - that he'd been an only child - and been a spoilt one at that.
   My gaze lingered on that cleft, imagining that when he cried and his nose ran it became a disgusting bubbling brook of watery nasal excrement.
  I think my disgust finally showed on my own face because by the time I reached his mouth, he was wriggling uncomfortably in his chair.
  I realized he'd had enough when he started to waved the gun around in my direction.
  "Oh do stop staring!" he said. "It's so tiring."
  I continued staring at his mouth.
  Suddenly MacCoddleswap swore. He banged the butt of the gun on the desk.
   "Hot damn! That's it! You can't push me like this. Do you know who I am? I've had enough. You're pushing the wrong bells and all the dings have been donged!" He grabbed the buzzer on his desk like it was a dead rat.
   Unperturbed I kept staring at his mouth and said: "Still having your injections?"
   His hand stopped at the buzzer. "Injections?"
  "I heard you'd been volunteered for botulism tests....."
  Something within him snapped then, his fat lips began to vibrate with anger, the ora-serratta widened, his fibrillating cheeks went beetroot, his eyes bulged like unopened tulips ready to burst and, for a second, his face swelled and his lips, obscene and ripe, beckoned to me like a shiny bubbling waterfall of wet, pink pigs' bladders.
   "It's Botox, you idiotic imbecilic ingrate," he said.
   "Botox?" I glanced at the half dead flowers on his desk. "There's rosemary for rememberance? And there's pansies, that's for thoughts," I said. "But Botox for beauty? Too late for you I'm afraid."
   MacCoddleswap's fingernails were long and curved like claws. With a piggish grunt he jabbed at the buzzer over and over until a foreign accented voice answered.
    He lent close to the speaker and shouted: "Svetlana!"
    A minute passed. The door behind me opened. A thick chested woman clumped in, stood against the wall on the right of the door. Except for the orange hair and the dress she might have been MacCoddleswap's twin.
   But not quite. Unbelievably she was even uglier than MacCoddleswap.

    "This hunk of sveltic beauty is Svetlana," MacCoddleswap said. "Svetlana ich bin ein Easter Berliner. Before the wall came tumbling down, she used to make 1000 Kronor a day. Not bad for a woman with a wooden leg and the IQ of an under-ripe grapefruit."
   "Doing what?" I asked, ignoring his atrocious German. I had poor taste in women but even I could see that    Svetlana was too ugly to be a prostitute. Perhaps, if her hair had been longer, she might have been in high demand as an orangatang impersonator for childrens' birthday parties.
   But I doubted it.
   "Oh, jolly jumbucks! Just wait and see," MacCoddleswap said.
    He'd finally had the guts to put the revolver down. Every now and then his red rimmed eyes glanced at it to make sure it was still there.
    Unsteadily he climbed to his feet and opened the curtain that covered most of the left side wall of his office.
    Behind the curtain was a sliding glass door. When the curtain was fully open I could see through the door into the next room. In the room about eight men were sitting on chairs. The chairs were arranged neatly around the walls of the room. The men had been dressed in the same grey overalls I usually wore. Though they were not three feet from each other, none spoke. I wondered if they'd been drugged.
    In one corner three other men were lying face down on the floor, not moving.
    "It must be time for me to go," I said.
    MacCoddleswap shook his head sadly. "Dear dolly me, I'm very afraid I can't let that happen," he said.
    Reflexively I sat forward in my chair. Behind me I could feel Svetlana take two lumbering steps towards me. There were false teeth on the desk. I pretended to admire their sleek plastic finish.
    MacCoddleswap grinned. 'They were my grandmother's. I keep them there so they remind me of her smile." His own grinned widened and I saw that his own canine teeth were yellow. I shivered. The grin on his face was as out of place as a cheap Christmas ornament on the wall of a funeral parlour.
    "You love to mix your metaphors," he said.
    "So what? That's not a crime."
   His grin vanished. He held his right hand out and spread the fingers. He tapped each one with the black barrel of the revolver. The metal clicked against each of his long yellowed fingernails.

    "Let's go over a few points," he said. "Point one. What about your book, the one you're supposed to be working on?"
    "Give me a chance," I said.
    "You've had your chance. Three weeks is enough. Point two. Not only did you use passive tense, but you mislead your readers on that last post."
    "What post was that?"
    He looked at me accusingly.
    "Oh.... " I said. "You mean the Secret of The Dancing Ducks.... I explained all that."
    "So don't be shy. Explain it to me."
    "It was purposeful misdirection. Everyone forgave me. To be honest I had every intention of telling the truth but I ran out of space"
    MacCoddleswap guffawed. He tapped the barrel of the gun on his fingernail again. "Point three.... "
   He paused and I noticed he was staring at the lower part of my face
    "Listen," he said. "You've got food on one of your chins. Do wipe it off, will you? It's making me feel squeamish."
    I didn't touch my face. Instead I kept my hands at my sides and stared out through the glass doors. The silent eyed men in the next room hadn't moved an inch. I kept staring.
    Eventually MacCoddleswap took the bait and followed my gaze.
   I took my chance. Surrepticiously I wiped my chin.
    He was right. There was a glob of sticky white stuff just below my bottom lip.
    I wiped it off with my index finger and held my fingertip up. In the poor light of his office it was hard to see clearly. The blob appeared to be whipped cream mixed with brown sugar and a small piece of honey coloured croissant - yesterday's breakfast.
   Unfortunately the cream would have gone off by now.
    MacCoddleswap was still gazing curiously into the next room, so I wiped the blob on the back of my chair. It would do the velour good.
    After a minute MacCoddleswap looked back at me. His eyes narrowed and he seemed to realise that I'd been leading him on. Apparently he was as stupid as he was ugly.
   That raised my hopes. Unfortunately.
    "Now where were we?" he asked.
    "Point five," I said.
    MacCoddleswap seemed confused. Then a light blinked on behind his eyes. It was only a dim light, but it was definitely a light.
    "So we've covered point three, passive tense?" he asked slowly.
    "Yes," I said.
    He grunted. "You're not lying to me I hope?"
    "Never," I said.
    He looked down at the report on his desk. There was a gold pen in his jacket pocket. He took it out, held it between two fingers and ticked off a few boxes.
    "Ahhah!" he said. "We didn't cover point three and a half - 'trying to write like a cheap detective novelist'. I'd remember if we had."
    I clapped my hands together, imitating his sudden enthusiasm. He didn't notice.
    "Oh we did," I said. "Don't you recall? You accused me of being a Dashall Hammett impersonator."
   MacCoddleswap screwed up his face so much I thought the tip of his nose would poke him the eye.
"Dashall who?"
   "Ha, very funny," I said. I stood up from my chair. "Time to go when you start making bad jokes."
In an instant Svetlana's hand crushed my shoulder. She forced me back into the chair.

    MacCoddleswap said: "We haven't finished yet."
   "My normal shrink only gives me two hours," I said.
    "Your normal shrink doesn't work for the government," he said.
    "Okay. I give up what's point five?"
    "I'm afraid it's in regard to the pictures at the very end of this post. The ones with that sneaky kid stealing those ducklings."
    "What's wrong with that?"
    "Well, for a start, they're not ducks they're geese."
    I shifted uncomfortably. The velour was starting to give me a rash even through the overalls.
    "No one will notice," I said.
    "Balls," MacCoddleswap said. "If I can see they are geese then anyone could.."

    As if to underline his statement MacCoddleswap did the contortionist act with his nose again. This time he twisted the tip so high he looked like an albino monkey having an epileptic attack.
    I tried not to laugh. Instead I nodded.
    "Yes I can see your point."
    "I'm afraid you need a rest," he said.
    "I just had a rest."
    "Rest? I've heard you are working on a commission."
   I didn't say anything.
   "And," he added snidely, "another book."
   I kept my lips buttoned, didn't tell him I hadn't even sent off  the first one yet.
   He changed tack then. "How much do you weigh?"
   After a moment I told him.
   He blinked. "Pardon?"
    I told him again - this time in pounds and stones instead of kilograms to make it easier on his brain.
   He looked astonished. His lips started fibrillating again.
   "That's it," he said. He nodded sideways at Svetlana.
   Svetlana was quick. Before I could move she'd dragged me out of my chair.
   I tried not to cry out, but she had a death grip on my hair and was doing her best to scalp me.
   "Take him to Room 13," MacCoddleswap said. "Two weeks."
   "That's not right," I said. "
   Svetlana dragged me by the hair toward the door. I grabbed at the chair, missed it. At the doorway I stamped on her foot.
   She laughed at me.
  "MacCoddleswap!" I said. "You're making a mistake. Don't let it end like this. It's just not right!"
   MacCoddleswap came out from behind the desk. "Hold on Svetlana," he said and peered at me through his spectacles. "What's not right?"
    "You can't lock me away. I haven't answered my comments yet. There's blogs I want to visit."
   I pointed at the paper on his desk. "Read the back of the report. Then give me a few hours at least."
    MacCoddleswap picked up the report from his desk. I think the excitement was too much and his brain had stopped working. He scratched his chin to look intellectual.
    "It's on the other side," I said, indicating with my hands how he should turn the page over.
    Eventually MacCoddleswap found the back of the page. Eventually he even found the list - the list being the only thing on the page.
    He put the report back on the desk, turned his back to me, then lent over the desk like a school master and read the names slowly, out loud, having as much trouble with the English ones as the foreign ones.
    When he was finished he grunted and said "Too bad. Take him away."
    Svetlana didn't need to be told again. With one fist she banged open the door, the other fist dragged visciously at my hair. 
    As she dragged me out into the corridor I managed one last glimpse of MacCoddleswap.
    Already he'd gone over to the glass doors. He slid them open so he could see unobstructed into the next room. He had the revolver in his hand again. With the revolver in his hand he watched the mannequin men, the way they sat against the walls with those blank eyed stares.

    We'd made several turns down the corridor, heading for the east wing, when I heard the shot. It was muffled by the walls, but a shot never the less.
    Then came the sound of a man screaming softly.
    And, finally, just like in a John Le Carre novel, another shot. Then silence.
    As we reached Room 13 I couldn't help myself. I began to laugh.

    Svetlana never loosened her grip, but she was curious all the same.
    She said in her broken English "Vat's up with you Fennee? Why do you laff?"
    "Oh no reason," I said.
    How could I make her understand that finally at least part of me was happy.
    She wouldn't understand that, at long last, the gun had been fired. She wouldn't understand that I could finish up my story now.
   Well the first part anyway.
   The second part - the part about The Secret of The Dancing Ducks - well that would have to wait for two weeks - when MacCoddleswap finally let me out of Room Thirteen.
   And he would let me out of course.
   That's if I made all the right promises.

Author's Note

Well oh dear, I'm still here and I'm so sorry I haven't got back to some of you. You know who you are. Heh. I'll be at your place this arvo. They've decided to let me out for a break and I noticed an abandonned laptop outside room 15 and a half.
What follows is a kind of apology for my last post. The one about "The Secret of the Dancing Ducks." It's a work in progress.

The images below an at the beginning of the post are all a WIP.  From: The Secret of The Dancing Duck. Also known as "IF: Sneaky."

Have you seen Elizabeth Seaver's birds? If you are after great bird paintings check out her site. These Ducks are a nod to her wonderful images.

For me, I'll be back in a few weeks when I get out of  Room 13.
Thank you for being so patient with me :)

Nov 18, 2010

The Secret of The Dancing Ducks

Psst... want to know a secret?

In my library there's a small blue book which I keep on the shelf reserved for books on novel wrtiting. The book is called 'How To Write A Damn Good novel". It's written by James N. Frey and is a fine book, so much so that I've read it at least seventeen times. On page 67 of Frey's book - a particularly dog eared and well worn page - is a sentence that I find intriguing.

That sentence states that, if at the beginning of a novel (or short story), a shotgun is hanging over the mantle of the hero's house, then, by the end of the novel, that shotgun ought to have been fired.

In other words, we as writers have a silent contract with our readers. That unspoken contract states, that, if you stick with me to the end, then I, in turn, promise to deliver the goods.

That's where "The Secret of the Dancing Ducks" title comes in. The title of the post is my promise to you that, if you read this post, then eventually you too will know The Secret of the Dancing Ducks.

But before I get to the Dancing Ducks and their arcanum, I'd like to touch (talk, converse, gossip, chitchat, shoot the breeze, jaw, chinwag, natter) on some important elements about secrets in general. That's if you let me.

Firstly, have you ever noticed that, as soon as someone mentions that they have secret, then everybody wants to know what that secret is? 

Humans appear to have am inbuilt want-to-know-mechanism that makes us stick our metaphorical noses into places that our feet don't (or won't) fit. To spy on our neighbours we stick our noses between the gaps in paling fences, to see what's going on down the street we poke our noses through windows, and in to see into adjacent rooms our noses sniff out keyholes and the cracks at the edges of half opened doors- all in the name of furthering our knowledge. That's partly why we have done so well as a species. Our inquisitiveness has helped us spread around the earth. Our noses have sprayed our DNA in every dark corner, our curiousity has marked our territories like dogs - and our propensity for being busy bodies has turned the Earth into our own backyard.

(Speaking of dogs, did you know that they have two hundred million nasal olfactory receptors? - sorry, not that I care - I just had a burning desire to tell you that).

Of course, many secrets are meaningless to anyone but the secret's keeper.
But not always. 

If, for example, you watch enough television, read enough books, or see enough movies then you will know that plots are often driven by secrets. In movies and in real life, secrets can sometimes provoke a life or death situation, can sometimes cause a marriage or divorce, and sometimes give us massive headaches.

Oddly enough secrets are like objects. They have old owners - and they can have new owners. It's a given that a secret has less value if its present owner is inclined to blurt it out across the universe. If everyone knows a secret then it becomes an 'unsecret' - so to speak.  The corollary being that, to be really really really valuable, a secret must be known by only the annoited few. And in the case of the best secrets, those annointed few must have coaxed it from its original owner. 

And hence to these illustrations. For they too have their secret - and trust me, these illustrations and their secrets are ultimately related to The Secret of The Dancing Ducks.

 According to the tennets of 'secretness' outlined above, the very fact  that I have announced that these images have a 'secret' should theoretically be enough to stir your interest. And according to the shotgun contract I made with you at the beginning of this post, that secret should be worthwhile learning. And lastly, according to the second tennent of secretness, I must not tell you that secret straight away.

In fact I must make you wait.
But how do I keep my secret from you as long as possible?

So far I have used misdirection (you pretend to look in the other direction while I slip the rabbit from the hat), delaying tactics, blind paths, subplots, thrown metaphorical hand grenades across your path, said "Hey look at that naked person" while pointing you back the way you came - all in the name of making you wait. 
And in this way I can make the secret seem more valuable.

Or can I?

To be honest, at this moment, I have an overriding and burning urge to reveal to you my confidential, covert, cryptic, discreet, disguised, dissembled, dissimulated, furtive, hush-hush, incognito piece of information that makes these illustrations special.

But before I do....
Did you ever read Foucault's Pendulum?
It's by Umberto Eco - that chap who wrote "Name of the Rose".
The essential themes of Foucault's Pendulum involve The Knights Templar,The Rosicrucians, The Gnostics, The Freemasons,The Bavarian Illuminati,The Elders of Zion,The Assassins of Alamut,The Cabalists,The Bogomils,The Cathars and , lastly but not leastly, The Jesuits.

In the beginning of his book Eco promises the answers to the secrets of all these things. Yet in the end we are given nothing but a demonstration of Eco's amazing ability to make us think he is intelligent.  Consequently Foucault's Pendulum was the last book of Eco's that I will ever read. 

A strong statement I know.......

These images?
They were made for Illustration Friday's 'Burning.'
Their original genesis was/were the Witches of Salem.
And that, believe me didn't work. (See album cover at the bottom)
Their second genesis was 'Nero fiddling while Rome burned'.
But Nero fiddling didn't seem quite right.
And after checking my facts it seemed that Nero did nothing of the sort.
And so I put the two together....
Feel free to click for big.
Thanks again for looking.
The final image is just below.

Nov 10, 2010

The Joy of Being A Fallen Angel - Afterwards

From the age of four I attended Sunday School.

The school was an ancient Sunday School, so ancient that my  mother and her many friends had spent most the wild times of their premarried life in the Sunday School, or in the church. The Church had been going since 1859.

Set in the now posh inner Sydney suburb of "W", the Sunday School was in a double story building attached to the manse of our church. On one side was a large hall where the Church held its plays and pantomines, on the other was an enclosed and locked playground with swings and roundabouts and all manner of fun things - to those brave enough to climb the fence.

It was locked to keep the poor people out. For in those days the suburb of "W' was (relatively speaking) a working class quagmire of small semi detached houses with pan toilets and back alleys.

The Sunday School room itself was reached by climbing a steep set of stairs. At the top of the stairs you found yourself in a hexagonal room. There was a window in each of five walls. The floor was composed of grey floorboards with a bright but tattered rug in the centre. If you looked from the window you could see into the backyards where the poor people hung their washing.

In the centre of the Sunday School room was a half circle of child sized straw chairs.

For Sunday School lessons, we sat on those chairs, all pointing to the one seat in the middle of the circle where the Sunday School teacher sat. Behind her was a piano - on which to play the Sunday School songs. Next to her was the Birthday chair where any lucky child whose birthday had occurred in the proceding week took pride of place.
Flanking both teacher and birthday child were six foot high broom handles that stood on stands like senturies. Holes in the wood supported small flags. There were two types of flags - the English Union Jack, or the Australian Flag.

Once we had taken our places in front of our seats the teacher would pick out the birthday child. The birthday child would have the honour of sticking the flags into the broomstick handles. Then the teacher would go to the piano and start playing the first song. Her name was Caroline, and she had a fine voice.

My favourite song was "You need not fear the storm or the earthquake shock" because we all got to slap our hands together as we said 'shock'. We would clap them as hard as possible, clap them so the palms stung. It was fun. Especially when you were four years old.
Of course none of us realised that the song was a metaphor for the church. Neither were we interested. We didn't care if we were being indoctrinated. In fact, as an adult I think it was good for us.

Build on the Rock, the Rock that ever stands,
Oh, build on the Rock, and not upon the sands;
You need not fear the storm, or the earthquake shock,
You're safe for evermore if you build on the Rock.

Around the walls of the Sunday School were scattered pictures of scenes from Jesus' life. In one picture there he was with Lazaurus, in another he was with a crowd of barefoot smiling little blonde children. In the picture over the piano he was throwing the money lenders out of the temple. And finally, in the picture closest to the stair well, he was riding a donkey, surrounded by dust and adoring crowd. The crowds waved palm fronds at him in excitement.

Each picture was a beautiful water colour, the colours rich and vibrant, the tonal range muted - so that a feeling of peace and well being would decend on the viewer. The pictures were behind glass, and in little gold frames.

But the thing that none of us kids ever noticed was that Jesus was a white. It wouldn't have occurred to us to think that he would be anything else.

But not only was he white, he was tall, he was blonde, he had a prophet's blonde beard, he had beautiful hair that had been freshly shampooed, he had kind blue eyes, his face was kind and unwrinkled, his nose delicate and well mannered, his robes immaculate and freshly laundered.

Being of English, Irish and Scottish descent we were white kids with small cute noses, blue eyes, mainly blonde hair (all Australian children were blonde until the age of 13). We were perfect little Aryans. And, height, beard and hair aside, Jesus looked just like us.

How lucky was that?

It wasn't till later that I realised that it was all wrong. (see footnote).

But by then I'd left the church, gone my own way. Sadly I was the last Sunday School teacher. When I left in 1975 they closed the place down. The Church itself ceased being a Church in the 1980's. A fire set by an arsonist in 1989 left it nothing but a blackened shell.

So now you know.

These images for Illustration Friday illustrate the concept "Afterward". It's a nod to the blonde haired Norse looking Jesus I grew up with. In it you'll find Judas - with dark hair of course. There's also doubting Thomas, and the devil. And me.

The setting is the Garden of Gethsemane (what a beautiful name eh?). It's not meant to be figurative, but metaphorical. It represents the feelings and events of Gesthsmane, both past and present - and afterward.

Here's a quote about Gethsemane (from here)

Knowing of his coming betrayal by Judas, Christ went with his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. There he took the disciples Peter, James, and John aside and asked them to keep watch while he went apart and prayed. Twice Christ returned, found them sleeping and woke them. Upon returning the third time, he said: "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners

Thank you for being kind enough to look at this work.
PS: dthaase is setting up a whimsical wednesday. I think it's worth a visit.

Footnote: On Jesus' face. Modern research suggests us that Jesus probably had "abroad peasant's face, dark olive skin, short curly hair and a prominent nose. He was probably 5' 1" ( Alison Galloway, professor of anthropology at the University of California in Santa Cruz)

Nov 7, 2010

The Joy of Procrastination (and the pitfalls of vanity).

Well I shouldn't be posting this, so don't tell anyone :)

Oops sa daisy -is what we Australians say when we drop babies in the bath (on their heads). Or pour Brand A champagne into somebodys' glass which already contains Brand 'B' champagne. 'Brand B' typically being expensive French champagne.

So oops sa daisy.

Oops sa daisy - I spent some money and rented a domain name - silly me. Google was busy translating my blog for the last three days and just took me off line basically - I am very sorry. Plus I almost lost my treasured list of crazy good artists - :). Bloody bum damn as we say here when we need to swear. Aaaaaaaaargh!

So this is the second time I have posted this post. Thank you Denise and Martine for commenting on my first attempt. And thank you to everyone who wrote and asked me what happened to the blog.... I appreciate your concern very much.

After a few days off line I now have a shiny new domain name which I can't use.
Handy eh?
Well it was cheap (ten dollars) and Google said it translated my blog over automatically.
And it was all true.
My blog got automatically sent to a page that said "This blog does not exist."
Now that's automatic. :)

So today after reading the help section of Google Apps and dissecting the  haunting cries of similar users like myself asking for help (they end their questions with 'is anybody there'? - and usually get no answer) I automatically manually reset my blog address back to boring old 'andrewfinnie.blogspot'.

But at least my new domain name won't get worn out. :( And I have the option of automatic renewell. Easy peasy. 
Okay, I have a silly joke for you.
Q: Why are pirates, pirates?
A: Just because they "aaaaaaaaarrrr."

Oh I am still on holidays.... last week I  even did "Racing' for illustration Friday but cured my blog addiction and did not post it.  How good am I? (not very).

That's been my life really. A series of addictions. First cigarettes, then doritos (see footnote), then wild women (I never talked to them - only smiled mysteriously while batting my eyelashes), then alcohol (I never swallowed), then collecting art books (I always paid for them and never dog eared them) - and  now blog addiction (I never spelled a word incorrectly)!

So now I have landed on my metaphysical feet - on blogaholidays. But where?

Am I in the south of France? (I wish) Am I writing the last miraculously Hemmingwayish chapter in a massive bestselling tome? (I wish) Am I fearlessly ripping apart a barrel at Chowpoo in Tahiti on my backhand while wearing aqualungs in case I wipeout? (I wish).

Or am I sitting at my work desk, contemplating my navel and watching my six pack become a 'one' pack?(I unwish)

Yes, you guessed correctly.

But last week, while in the violent throes of procrastination, I made a video (see top of this post) of  my last year's work. It's kind of like the portfolio you have when you are not having one. It's like having a cheese sandwich sans fromage; or having a car without having any petrol, or having a t- bone steak and having no teeth ...

Well toothless or not, I'd be honoured if you watch the video. It's ridiculously fast (unlike me) and, like a Victorian era woman's ankle,  just gives you a glimpse.

So at just over eleven minutes at  1.08 seconds per image that's about  err - a lot of images. And I left out some (I forgot about them). Which is probably lucky. (there was a man in tight underpants who is very upset, and some medieval Japanese villages which would be upset if they had feelings) .

If you watch the video in  HD it's probably easier on the eyes.
Direct link is here.

Thank-you so much to everyone who commented on that last post. You are very very kind to me.

Oh Oh las banderitas en mi imagen. Se supone que traducir. Espero que ellos están trabajando. Nos vemos cuando llegue a la Tierra de Oz! Saludos.  (Oh the flags under my pic. They are supposed to translate. I hope they are working. See you when I get back from the land of Oz)


Andrew :)

PS when I posted this google must have picked up 'addiction' and 'marijuana' in the text. So I now have an advertisement in my posting box for a Dr Harry's Drug Treatment Clinic.

 Thankyou Google......

PpS these were my illustrations for "racing'. The genesis is from a childhood book of my grandmother's, then my mother's, book of Nursery Rhymes. The original imageshows a pumpkin carriage being drawn by a train of mice.

Footnote: just kidding about the addictions. The only thing I am addicted to is Hercule Poirot's shoes.