Monday, September 28, 2009

The latest named division of the CADMUS endeavour is Project MERCATOR, an effort to defy my nature and reap the benefits of participation in the wider world. All my old hometown chums know how often I declined invitations to social activities so that I might stay at home. I'm not denouncing the splendor of home and hearth, but neither can I deny that unless I make a concerted effort to get out of the house I spend all of my free time at home, parked in front of the television or my HAL. And more often than not, despite the disturbance to my idolatrously cherished routine, I enjoy myself far more when I venture out. And, which is more, because there is more to life than the pursuit of happiness, I find those outings enriching and stimulating.

Labor Day weekend, my mother and I took in an exhibition of Dale Chihuly's glassware at the Flint Institute of Arts (which I must resist calling the F.I.A., since to me F.I.A. now means the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, Formula One's Paris-based governing body). The exhibition was titled Seaforms and the glass pieces certainly evoked seashells, but as a art exhibit they left me cold. In the first place, the pieces were untitled save for purely descriptive tags like "Seaform in White with Black Lip;" untitled art is no art at all (reminder from me to me: relate the tale of Icarus to illustrate the essential role of the title). The technical mastery necessary to create the scores of glass pieces that comprised the dozens of installations itself constitutes an art form, let there be no doubt of that; the shaping of glass is a craft, the shaping of glass to an inspired purpose is an art. But were the seaforms themselves art? I found in them no inherent artist value, though again I must emphasize that the technical skill needed to form them makes any Chihuly exhibition well worth seeing.

The Flint Institute of Arts

And the chandelier that is now part of the Flint Institute of Arts's permanent collection? A work of staggering beauty.

The very next weekend, I attended the inaugural bout of the Flint City Derby Girls, our local distaff roller derby team. Holy brutality, Batman, roller derby is awesome! High speed action, girls in short skirts, and that tricky balance of controlled violence that is the hallmark of all great sports: roller derby isn't everything I love, but it's darned close. And really, the Derby Girls deserve a post all their own (which I'll add to the long list of things I just don't have the proper time to address here at The Secret Base, curse my sloth and the refusal of the days to be longer than twenty-four hours!). I am actively haranguing everyone I know ("everyone") in the Flint metropolitan area to accompany me to the next Flint City Derby Girls bout, Sunday, 11 October at Grand Blanc's own Rollhaven (which for some reason we all almost always call "Rollerhaven"). Be there… or not!

The Women's Flat Track Roller Derby Club presents the Flint City Derby Girls

And—curses, foiled again!—I must also report Project MERCATOR's first significant failure. Just today I spied a flier for a ska show right on campus, proudly proclaiming, "Mid-Michigan Ska!" Alas, 'twas for last Friday, 25 September. Right under my very nose, ska, beloved, so-hard-to-find ska, and I missed it. By Lucifer's beard! I must devise some way to be more plugged into the scene. I must!

Project MERCATOR: if every instinct you have is wrong, the opposite must be right.

Victoria: "Who are you, George Costanza?"
George: "I'm the opposite of every man you've ever known."

The Victors
Good news, close examination (not by me, by others) reveals that the referees made the absolutely correct call near the end of Saturday's victory by the valiant Wolverines over the wily Hoosiers: Donovan Warrens's interception was indeed an interception. He caught the ball and had full possession when his knee hit the ground, even though the Indiana player got a hand back in there and tried to take the ball away. We must remind ourselves that though we have the advantage over the officials of endless television replays, we don't always have the best angle on these things. Way to go, zebras!

Go Blue!

I had an offer today to sit in a hot tub with not one, but two smoking hot blondes. Nothing would have come of it (the girls in question were The Most Dangerous Game and her even younger sister), but that's no reason not to sit in a hot tub with two smoking hot blondes. Alas, I had no swim trunks and an appointment not to miss. Drat seems so insufficient, but as the Middleman taught us, "Profanity cheapens the soul and weakens the mind." Drat!

And, no, I'm not "burying the lead." This was the most titillating thing to happen today, but by no means the most important item about which to opine and otherwise pontificate. Great Caesar's ghost, I didn't even have time to get to "This Week in Motorsport," even though the Singapore Grand Prix was fantastic!

…is dead in the water. My diet's been rubbish lately and I haven't exercised in months, but I'm going to the gym on Wednesday, come hell or high water. I've a treacherous exam on Thursday and will need the stress relief and the good night's sleep. And then again on Thursday, after said exam. And on Friday. Back to it, fatty, for once in your rotten orgy of a life exercise a modicum of self-discipline. (If you do, there's a cookie in it for you.)

Operation ÖSTERREICH is back in effect. If I don't bloggy blog about it, it's because I'm not doing it; I would ask you, dear readers, to harass me mercilessly if I falter. Though it was an awful movie, it's a funny line: run, fat boy, run!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mustard Plug, "Suburban Homesick Blues" from Evildoers Beware! (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. was inspired by a lovely confluence of events: earlier in the day I heard a radio story about Grand Rapids's ArtPrize—a reference for those in the know about M.P.—and moments ago, when discussing via I.M. chat The Sardine's late-night commute from her office on the island Manhattan to her home in Brooklyn on the island of Long Island she mentioned that she had pointy heels with which to defend herself; I replied, "evildoers beware." And there you go.

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