Archive for the ‘Things That Make You Go ‘Whaaaat?!’’ Category

Coincidence?

Friday, May 17th, 2013

May is Military Appreciation Month

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May is Zombie Awareness Month

Coincidence?

I don’t think so…

 

An Interesting Turn Of Events

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Too many books.
Too many movies.
Too many tv shows that have been trying, since Rod Serling used Alfred Hitchcock’s surprise endings and plot twists as the template for “The Twilight Zone”, to play with our heads, catch and turn a thought into something else, misdirect, miscue, or cause us to misstep.

It’s that moment when you’re watching/reading and you start to pick up that the direction you’ve been pointed isn’t the direction you’re going to end up going.  And in general, that’s what makes for a good story – the things that happen that you never saw coming.  But in today’s world, where the plot-twist-savvy live, it’s the job of the author/writer to be aware of our knowledge of plot twists and turn us again and again.

It’s the reason Jodi Picoult is such a popular author, even though you know every book she writes is going to end in sadness.  It’s trying to FIND the moment when you realize WHERE it’s going to turn, how it’s going to turn, who’s going to suffer the loss and who no longer has to suffer, and in doing so, you get to be in on the joke before everyone else.

It’s the dead guy in The Sixth Sense.
It’s discovering Aaron is Roy pretending to be Aaron.
It’s the supporting cast in Identity, A Beautiful Mind, Fight Club…
It’s Keyser Soze.

I’m reading Mark Ruff’sBad Monkeys”, and it starts off as a fast paced, easy read.  Whether or not you can judge a book by its cover, it’s usually the way I get sucked in to reading them, and Will Staehle’s explosive artwork for Bad Monkeys, with its toxic yellow cover and Rorschach splotch Mandrill got me to pick it up and read the back summary:

Jane Charlotte has been arrested for murder.  She tells police that she is a member of a secret organization devoted to fighting evil; her division is called the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons – “Bad Monkeys” for short.

This confession earns Jane a trip to the jail’s psychiatric wing, where a doctor attempts to determine whether she is lying, crazy – or playing a different game altogether.  What follows is one of the most clever and gripping novels you’ll ever read.

Ruff’s storytelling style really is “clever and gripping”, moving the book at a good pace in short bursts that keep me turning to the next page.  I’d easily finish this book in one sitting if I took time to read anywhere other than on the bus, to and from work, and even then, I’m tempted to stay on the bus and finish the book (ala’ Harold Crick in Zach Helm’s fantastic “Stranger Than Fiction”).

So imagine my surprise when the “twist alarm” starts to go off in my head, and I start piecing things together that are too coincidental.  And suddenly, I see the plot twist coming and think “Oh no…” which is mental sign language for “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

From this point on, the reading changes: I find myself actively looking for those moments, those pieces, that support my twist theory, to prove to myself that I’m smarter than the average reader, and I got the joke first!  Everyone likes being “in” on the joke.  And even though I think I see the twist coming, morbid as an oncoming crash, I still watch, fascinated, to see if I really am as clever as I thought.

Ruff throws shadows on Jane’s credibility from the start by placing her in a mental institution, but her bold personality and self-assuredness puts you immediately on her side.  As the story builds, however, it starts to twist and turn with possibilities, and thanks to the legacy of M. Night Shyamalan, you start to wonder if the real twist is whether or not Ruff is being “honest” with his audience – telling them exactly what he told them he would tell them – or if he’s steering you towards a twist that you’ve already figured out.

Think more Inception than The Matrix.

Give it a read.
It’ll grip you and move you and make you wonder and think and worry, right up to the very end.

Unless, of course,  you’re one of those “safe” readers/viewers who doesn’t try to figure an ending prior to getting there.  In that case, the journey passes through some barely-interesting suburbs and dark neighborhoods.  Just remember to keep the windows on your SUV tightly rolled up, and don’t look too closely at the edges of the street where the asphalt starts to curl up enough to see Oz’s green slippers peeking out from behind the scenes.

Bad Monkeys has wit and imagination by the bucketload.
Buy it, read it, memorize then destroy it.  There are eyes everywhere.
~ Christopher Moore

Speaking of misdirection, find Adele’s “Turning Tables” and let that loop on repeat in the background while you reread this entry…

Oh Green Bay…

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Tebow’s exit along with his Denver Broncos from the NFL playoffs should have set us up for the extreme disappointment and heart break that was the Packers/Giants game.  But while the New England Patriots’ defensive line seemed to know every play the Bronco’s were planning prior to each snap (showing what a 1st ranked conference team should look like in a play-off game), Green Bay lost from what looked like… well… a bunch of dumb mistakes on their own part.  A terrible way to end the season. *sad sniffle*

Luckily, the Australian Open also started today, and with a first round MONSTER match win by top-seeded Aussie Bernie Tomic over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco (4-6 6-7 6-4 6-2 7-5 in 4hrs 11mins!), it looks like there should be plenty to keep me distracted from the NFL playoffs that have now lost their year-end lustre.  (Although… to their credit, both the Saints/49’ers game and the Houston/Baltimore games were battles worth watching, so if New England and New York continue to play the way did this weekend, we may have an awesome Super Bowl even if it is being played by two teams about which I care very little.  And speaking of horrible matchups – how would it feel to be Lleyton Hewitt facing a possible 2nd round confrontation with Andy Roddick??  What kind of lousy draw is that??!)

Florentijn Hofman – King of Epic Builds!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Speaking of epic builds, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman is quickly becoming the King of Epic Builds.  Hofman’s Giant Bunny, recently completed in Örebro, Sweden for the Openart Biennale, joins his ever-growing Giant Sculpture Menagerie of art projects.  The 13m wooden bunny was prefabbed in large wooden/steel-reinforced pieces offsite, and then assembled, clad in wooden shingles, and painted on location with the help of more than 25 volunteers across 2 weeks.  Total cost to create the sculpture – $20k (another reason why I work in cardboard).

How awesome is that??!  Visually stunning and emotionally impacting!

A Giant Rubber Duck that floats down The Loire.  Giant Wooden Pianos that wash up on a deserted beach. Oversized stuffed animals or a giant monkey made of flip-flops… Who wouldn’t want to be a part of creating these giant works of art that are so seen and talked about!  To make something that impacts thousands of people, whether those that visited one of Hofman’s sculptures, those that volunteered to assist in a build, or those that have viewed them via the internet!  Incredible!

As I work more and more with artists and in stagecraft, I find myself caught up in the desire to build and create great things; scratching at the itch that has always been there; becoming more restless than usual with a job that does nothing to encourage or build on those desires; feeding my determination to get out of this career-path and into something more creative.

You know what the greatest tragedy is in the whole world? …It’s all the people who never find out what it is they really want to do or what it is they’re really good at. It’s all the sons who become blacksmiths because their fathers were blacksmiths. It’s all the people who could be really fantastic flute players who grow old and die without ever seeing a musical instrument, so they become bad ploughmen instead. It’s all the people with talents who never even find out. Maybe they are never born in a time when it is possible to find out.
 ~ Theda “Ginger” Withel (“Moving Pictures” by Terry Pratchett)

The Openart Biennale is an outdoor exhibition in Örebro, Sweden intending “to stage unconventional and creative encounters with art that has taken a step outside into the public arena in order to meet a wider audience.”  It ran this year from June 11th to Sept 11th.

Irony

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

1/11/11 And Bored At Target At 1:11am

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

I don’t even like to sleep – I feel as if there’s too much to do.
 ~ James Franco

Trying to find something to do to stay awake until 1:11am on 1/11/11, we found that some Target stores are open past midnight!  Warm and filled with lots of fun things to distract us until that magical hour arrived!

iron man mask

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“On the first of January 2011 at 1:11am, BigHair Iron Monkey comes to Target stores to dole out presents and sarcasm to all the good little girls & boys that happen to be working at that late, late hour…”

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With some creative re-labelling of shelves, toys for active boys are easy to find at Target!
  

Various items that seemed funny at 1am:
  henna and placenta hair care   

I tell McCrevis that we should plan a departmental luncheon for the 11th of November at 11:11am.

He says we can’t…
“That’s when Jesus is coming back.”

I tell him I don’t mind if he wants to invite his friend to our lunch since we’ll convince the company to pay for it, and I make a note to ensure we have some chicken or egg salad sandwiches so we don’t embarass ourselves by only serving ham.

He tells me I’m going to hell, and I tell him, “I guess we’ll know for sure in November…”

How To Deal With Post-Christmas Excess

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Santa's elf storage unit for post Christmas

What Do You Feed A 25lb Rabbit?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

25lbBunny

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Friday, June 4th, 2010

cheap public toilet

And Then I Started To Trip

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

NJSunset

View of the harbour at sunset as seen from Marie’s Lobster House in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.
Wasn’t until later that I noticed the face.