Friday, November 22, 2013

Jonathan Lethem rabbit


What's most incredible about Jonathan Lethem's rabbit is that it's so clean and precise, much like his novels. Bypassing details of the face, the author focused more on a structured outline including the basic necessities such as ears, feet and whiskers. The tail seems like an afterthought, although the rabbit's facing forward, half-drawn as if to punctuate the situation with a question mark. 

For an author known for his straight-forward narrative, it's also no surprise that Lethem qualifies the drawing with an explanation: Here's a rabbit. Just in case someone shows up wondering if the rabbit was a part of the signature or some sort of random graffiti drive-by, which makes sense since Fortress of Solitude features graffiti tagging in the early coming-of-age bits. 

I've never studied the science of loops and dashes in signatures, but I'm sure the crossed-loop t and the slashed zigzag mean something, along with the body of water underneath, which the rabbit seems to be jumping into feet first. I like the fact that the rabbit's a little bit on the portly side, which makes it seem jolly like a laughing Buddha, versus obese from too many candy corns. 

Perhaps it's a mother rabbit descending from the painful place from which Lethem's fictional mothers are banished--leaving sons motherless (in Brooklyn)--fist out like a vigilante to punch issues of belonging away once and for all. Playful yet precise is the overall verdict here. But nothing too crazy. Confidence is clear. Topped off with a pert daub of artistic spirit.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

a dream about feces and aliens


So I'll admit it, I just tweeted something about the meaning of feces in dreams and lost a few followers. As a professional book critic I guess there's pressure to tweet about book related topics to my 430 (now twenty-something and falling followers) but dreams are important to me. For those willing to go there--they're brutally honest, eerily surreal channels of communication for those who: a) spend a lot of energy controlling emotions b) are in denial about desires which are forbidden or far-fetched c) won't give into fears in an effort to be strong, or d) all of the above. The list extends endlessly--to each their own. The hundreds of books in even more languages dealing with repressed desires, and how they relate to dreams, say so. Like if your body all of the sudden began stinking somewhere, on your feet or teeth, those of us who will listen will see these as signals telling us: maybe it's time for a tune-up. More about my strange dream related to feces:

I'm in my old bedroom from when I was a 13-17, the closets are mirrored sliding doors, inside sits a cage holding two pet mice, another cage is in the middle of the room. All of the sudden my husband's standing there asking me about the efficiency of owning mice as pets. Then his writing partner/our friend, Nick, comes into the room, looks at the cage in the closet, pulls a handful of hay from it, then picks up and dumps a cardboard boxful of feces on the floor; it's a lot, about ten pounds, and it looks like human feces. I complain about him dumping feces all over my floor; wonder how I'm going to clean it up; complain about the smell. Then Nick says, "Pets are a big responsibility, if you can't clean up after them every single day then you have no business owning them." 

Jump to me in a deserted grass-spotted lot lighting a kindled fire in what looks like a bird feeder--to alert aliens who part illuminated clouds and descend from the night sky and land in the lot to carry their brother away: a mouse I've neglected that's dehydrated and on the brink of death. When they land, they are traditional gray aliens and telepathically tell me that this mouse has no connection to them. They seem nonplussed but are calm and end up leaving me to deal with the dying mouse alone. I place its sick body on the ground, it limps away and disappears. That's when I faze back into my sleepy body in bed. 

A brief and crazy dream, maybe, but every detail plays as if this was actually a part of last night's waking events. I couldn't help myself. I looked up "feces dreams" to see what they mean. My guess was it might have something to do with depression, or any sort of degenerative state, but I was surprised to learn feces dreams are actually positive in the way they portend a financial windfall, meaning typically: to come into unexpected fortune that involves a large amount of money. The dream itself is supposed to offer insights into why you are having money problems. And "once you take these factors into consideration, you may have a better chance of uncovering hidden information that will help you make a decision that truly serves your best financial future in the best way possible." (source)

This makes sense since I recently found out we can't afford the house we're trying to buy, but on top of that my husband's family, and Nick, who chastised me in the dream, have all been offering advice that buying this house is a poor decision. They think we're getting in over our heads, due to the tenacious nature of success in the LA writing industry, and other factors, of course, domestic AND long-distance. According to my dream, Nick showed distain regarding my careless desire to nurture beyond my means. Call it a nesting instinct on my part, I'd like to think I'm being financially savvy to not want to throw money away on long-term rental properties. Whatever it is, hubbie and I obviously bit off more than we can chew and the decision's already causing a great deal of stress. The overall lesson: listen to the advice of those close to you who have established intelligence that's as pragmatic as it is caring. Our impulsive longings are hardly obvious--otherwise why would we dream about shit and aliens?


Friday, November 1, 2013

assault, battery, batgirl

OnlyHalloweenParty-58 by LivePrudeGirls
OnlyHalloweenParty-58, a photo by LivePrudeGirls on Flickr.
Bye Bye Halloween. See you next year.
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