Dear Mudge: Fait accompli

celuloidFilm

Dear Mudge,

I hear you’ve spit-balled your last scene and have stuffed that writhing mass of film into its circular can. Smick/smack, done.

Bravo. Drinks all ’round.

For those of you who might have missed the cue:ENTER-STAGE-RIGHT, the Mudge has been writing a play? A screenplay? A caricature/parody of modern life? No, no, I got this: A tribute to a bunch of 90’s child actors who starred in a television show called Fifteen. The catch being that there is one special actor (remember that post about job titles a while back?) who made it kinda big in Hollywood and to find out who that actor is you’ll have to discover it on your own: https://notesfromtheavalon.com/

‘Mudge, now that you’re done. (I’m kidding, the work is just beginning. The creative work is easy; it’s the selling work that I’ve been told is the hardest. ‘Been told as, me? Sell? Fuck no.) But, now that you’re done, and idle—and we all know what happens to idle minds and fingers—I’m wondering what’s next on your agenda?

That is, between study sessions of course.

(And donning the telltale cap of the Vermilion Vigilante whilst slashing and gnashing at my narrative offerings.)

And don’t tell me it’s too early to start spy-hopping your next project.

But, if you wanted to dwell on the existential impact of pandemics, lockdown economic malaise, the need for dog-owners to counter stay-at-home quarantine and walk their puppies, maybe that, in and of itself, provided we discuss it amongst ourselves, could be construed as “research” for your next project.

Perhaps a certain actor needs his stage-name etched in rock? Costume included?

Virally yours,
‘Mole

 

Basket hummingbird nests

Another set of baskets, tiny ones, woven from pampas grass.

pampasgrass

They’re rough, but entertaining to make. Who knows, maybe I’ll find nooks in trees and tuck them away for hummingbirds to find. They take about 10 minutes to make.

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Take a half-inch wide six-foot long blade of pampas grass:

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Strip it into three bands, one rib down the middle and two wings:20200411_142546

Break off three seven-to-eight inch strips. Take the tail of the remaining ribbed band and set the other three strips on top arranging them into a star. You always need an odd number of ribs, here we’ll have seven, which means the tail of the remaining ribbed strip will then be wound around the others to start to form the bottom.20200411_142745

Keep winding until the strip becomes too narrow and weak to use. Wrap it as best you can around the ribs, tucking in where you can. Then take one of the wing bands and begin weaving it following the same pattern, over under, over under. Having an odd number of ribs allows the pattern to never duplicate.20200411_143022

Begin to bend the ribs as you wind. You’ll exhaust the first band and end up using the second until it’s depleted. As you near the end of that strand, wrap it around and tuck it in as you can to self-seal the basket from unwinding.20200411_143736

Then bend over the ribs and tuck them into the wrappings.

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As we walk around the neighborhood, various pampas grass mounds, massive, knife sharp things cast off their decaying stalks and blades. I pick a blade, one per walk, and weave as I go.

There are a few good videos on youtube that illustrate this technique. And there are other materials that work too: https://anonymole.com/2018/09/23/baskets-are-easy-and-fun/

It’s silly stupid shit like this that lets my mind blend into white noise. When I’m working with my hands, my brain seems to turn off. Of course, once I get into it and the rhythm of the motions, the whirling starts back up and I’m once again drifting over deserts, seas and forests, or meandering down ancient cities, or forgotten ruins.

[Here’s a two blade basket:]

Dear Mudge, Ray Harryhausen

 

ClashOfTitans

Dear Mudge,

I recently got “written up” at work. It seems that when I speak my mind, I get in trouble. I’d gotten into dust-ups prior to this one (it’s only been a year), but this latest had happened with a person closely attached to the boss’ boss and so resulted in HR action. I did reach out and ameliorate the rift—a walk to the local coffee shop, but the incident brand my mind with the implications of termination. Just. Keep. Your. Damn. Mouth. Shut, has become my new mantra. Needless to say, recent weeks have seen me exhibiting a lassitude seldom witnessed. Speaking my mind here however, is never an issue.

~~~

We’ve managed to gather up a bevy of interesting topics thus far. I’m sure others will join the fray. Returning to one…

You’re right, Occam’s razor should have been our first go-to solution per our shared, seemingly hypocritical adoption of societal conformity. There’s a reason downstream is more attractive than upstream/cross-stream. Adolescent salmon would have a thing or two to tell us. I suppose though, rebellion comes as a spectrum. I, for one, will never truly fit in anywhere except for the recessed niches of my mind. But outwardly, I appear as if molded by society’s template; I wear shoes and pants, smile at strangers, hold doors for old ladies, and rarely piss behind alleyway dumpsters.

Indulgences (and indigestion) aside, the Epicureans may have something yet to teach us. I’ll dig through my (google) notes and try and derive some useful suggestions. Stewie the Stoic, though pithy, provided little in the way of true guidance in this time of Absurd Universe contemplation. (On first pass, Epicurus has much to say about friendship.)

In the mean time, perhaps we could play to your recently acquired pastime (obsession?). I’d suggest that in your examination of television shows you profess a hidden pedantic inclination to be a student of society. This, I believe, you originally offered in our opening salvos of correspondence. Well then, let’s dial this in, shall we. (Christ! Ignore my plebeian attempts at humor, I’m such an adolescent when it comes to clever word-play.)

Ahem. So, what of Special Effects.

How the hell did anyone accept the visual papier-mâché that pre-2000’s special effects offered in movies and television? Today, one can barely (if at all) tell CG imagery from real life. Coming away from any movie these days, you’d be forgiven for the impression that what you witnessed wasn’t a documentary.

But FX of yester-year? Talk about major suckage. How could we have been taken in by such poor attempts at sur-reality? Were we that gullible, that blind to the clay-mation over our eyes?

I suppose the question is, were we actually duped? And regardless, did it matter?

Your friend,
Mole

Dear Mole, Indigestion

ozzy

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.  A simplification of the heart of Epicureanism seems to make it align with one of my earliest teenage epiphanies: “The meaning of life is to enjoy oneself”.  Simple enough.  Despite all of my intellectual self-torture in the ensuing years, the only change to this basic worldview has been the addition of the disclaimer, “…without causing intentional harm to others.”  And just like that, Bacchanalia became Buddhism but Buddhism stripped of its supernatural elements is essentially Epicureanism for the empathy-prone.

Going back to the previous topic of why we still adhere to most of society’s rules despite having mentally divorced ourselves from its cultural tendrils, I think we missed the most obvious reason for this: it’s just easier.  In establishing that we both still pursue enjoyment in our particular ways, we also established that we’d prefer to avoid unnecessary suffering.  When one flagrantly flaunts society’s conventions, jail is often the outcome of such behavior.  I’d do terrible in prison.  Worse than most.

My problem with a passionate embrace of a pleasure-seeking life is that very little gives me pleasure anymore.  I eat in order to avoid the feeling of hunger, but I hate cooking and three decades of smoking has dulled my palette.  Alcohol and all drugs aside from medically prescribed weed are verboten (see the desire to avoid incarceration in the previous paragraph).  I still love music, but the way it would shake me to my very soul in my youth is an increasing rarity.  The entire world of sex and romance — once my very raison d’etre — is something I now find an unnecessary hassle.  In other words, despite the fact that I still have a hint of a sex drive, the negatives of dating far outweigh the potential positives.

So I watch a lot of TV and sometimes I even show up here on WordPress and write about shit that I watched on TV.  I’ve already explained my love of passive activities, but TV is also where I gather new material at which to laugh.

What did Epicurus or Lucretius have to say about laughter?  If I possess any skill whatsoever, it’s the ability to find the humor in everything.  It is literally what keeps me sane (and amused).  Would you guess that this love of comedy says something deeper about my need for constant reminders of the absurdity of it all?  Does it perhaps betray the fact that I don’t really feel it to be as laughable as I contend?

You now have a picture of Ozzy sitting on the toilet gracing your blog page.  You’re welcome.  That’s what friends are for.

If,

‘Mudge