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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: April 24-May 6, 2005

Monday, April 25, 2005:

Bev's asleep next to me right now, and I'm too goosed up to nap, so I thought I'd do a quick update of what's been going on since she arrived for another visit last Wednesday. Mostly, we've been watching stuff. The coolest thing thus far (apart from Locusts, last night's entry in CBS's recent string of Sunday night made-for-TV masterpieces of cheese, which promises to continue next week with Rosie O'Donnell and Andie MacDowell in Riding the Bus with My Sister) was Rivers and Tides, that documentary about Andy Goldsworthy, the artist who specializes in making outdoor installations out of rocks, sticks, icicles, leaves, and other pieces of nature, pretty much just arranging them in interesting, intricate ways and then, as often as not, sitting back and watching the elements destroy his creations as part of the work. His stuff is beautiful, and you should definitely check out a couple of his coffee-table pictorial compilations if you get a chance, because even though my description might make him sound twee, simplistic, or pretentious, once you actually see what he does, you can tell the guy's just bursting with imagination.

Rivers and Tides itself is great, too, because not only is it wonderfully and vibrantly shot, but it's a lot of fun to watch Goldsworthy's process of interacting with nature. He'll spend an entire morning making a sort of igloo out of sticks on the edge of a river, and then he'll positively beam when he watches the current carry it away and bust it up. So many of his projects last for only a matter of hours that his body of work has a unique, intentionally Sisyphean element to it, as if Sisyphus pushed the rock all the way to the top of the cliff and then suddenly turned into the narrator from Bjork's "Hyper-Ballad," letting it roll back down just for the several seconds of enjoyment that comes from watching it and listening to it on its journey to the bottom. That is, cool as Goldsworthy's stuff is to begin with, actually seeing him put it together and listening to him cheerfully natter about the methods and reasoning behind it really does enhance one's appreciation of the outcome, and it's a rare artist indeed who can pull that off, rather than just seeming like a big windbag that happens to create neat art.

Anyway, there was that. We've also done a lot of shopping, went to Arby's to get some potato cakes only to find that the Arby's on Washtenaw Road doesn't have potato cakes what the hell (guess potato cakes are being phased out in favor of more human skin sandwiches), done some tentative wedding planning, watched the "lost episodes" of My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss on FOX's website (episode 7 is one of the funniest things ever, incidentally), collaborated on giving Novi the cockatiel a much-needed pedicure, and had to miss the Of Montreal concert on Friday because I had some sort of allergic reaction to flaxseed pills that resulted in horrible headaches and vomit. I'm so very happy she's here. Hope you all are well. Send me free stuff if you get a chance.

CURRENT MUSIC: Inexplicably, the title song from the musical Westward, Ho! that our music class had to put on in fifth grade is running through my head over and over. I thought I'd successfully repressed that.
CURRENT MOOD:
Content but dreading getting bloodwork done. I am of the firm opinion that blood should remain in my body, and I am none too enthusiastic about the process of getting it out.
NUMBER OF DUCKS THAT JUST WADDLED ACROSS MY PATIO:
Four.
TIME:
3:49 PM.

Doot? | |

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