Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Unusual Suspects

I don't know why, but my apartment smells slightly of souring life. . . it's warm, it's the end of summer, if you so much as look at a ripening piece of fruit on the counter, it starts carving its own coffin. I'm doing my best, but nag champa can't cover everything. So, I figure I'll read Sarah Vowell's best-selling book, Assassination Vacation.

No-- my reading this hysterical and thoughtful book has nothing to do with the upcoming race for the White House. Not at all. Nope. I just love a good yarn about history, and Ms. Vowell's tome is one of the most engaging I've read. Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley the first three Presidents to be cut down, and not by the Daleks. And guess who was "present" at all three of these killings? Vowell calls him, "Jinxy McDeath."

Like the author, I also love bone fragments trapped under glass. The bloodied collar of some co-conspirator who did this or that. Assassination Vacation affirms some of my own pointless investigations, my few marches through some grisly cemeteries, the late-night stalking of daguerreotypes that might induce Civil War nightmares interspersed with my search for the perfect disease, and perhaps a cure my case of Stendhal Syndrome, which basically means I get a shivery and sick and paranoid around beautiful, Florentine art. It's a REAL disorder, folks.

This tour is OVER. Take me to the etsy gift shop please. . .

Opulent Oddities

There's something about these earrings that says, Political Pirate-- and I like it. Delicately militant, a caress and then a slap, Opulent Oddities out of Deland, Florida give us a fresh variation on the old skull and crossbones. These earrings make me think of the War of 1812, when the Brits set fire to the White House (1814). The only hilarious thing about this is the thought of social butterfly Dolley Madison, running down the hall, trying to keep the girls in check while trapped in one of those low-cut, empire waist dresses, having just saved some presidential paperwork, and a priceless portrait of George Washington by the handsome portait artist, Gilbert Stuart. She's more than a First Lady, folks. . .more than a stuffed pastry.

The unusual suspects
New Adventures in Narrative: Paintings by m. Ninehouser

These wonderfully gloomy paintings with strange, often fleshy impediments allow the mind to wander over hill and dale, perhaps never to return. Or, to at least come home with a very bizarre pet. There's something delightful about these oil paintings being born and raised in Pittsburgh. Maybe I just prefer rainy days to the sunny ones.

In the umbrella queens and the stealthy assassin five unusual suspects, in this case, queens, float faceless under a mocha sky while one of their own lies in puddle of human goo, as she gurgles, cluthing unreliable handfulls of sand. Mary Poppins has definitely left the building, and she ain't coming back. What does one do, in polite society under such circumstances? Call the police? Meet for tea to talk over five alibis? Was she a royal bitch? Was she cut down by a Dalek? Did she know to much? The terrific thing about New Adventures in Narrative is you can make up the ending. Or the beginning.

Gotta go pulverize some beets, and get back to my assassination vacation. . .


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