… with gusto, always gusto.
In three days, my friend Steven Levine will be 60. On to his diamond years! A homoerotic scruff collage for the occasion:
(Assemblage by Robert Cumming for my own 60th birthday, at the turn of this century.)
A while back, a photo of some shelves of small oddities, treasures, and art works. And now, thanks to Kim Darnell, another photo, of some other shelves:
An ivory carving; four lovely boxes, of different types; each housing little treasures; a beanbag playpus with Jacques’s Columbus Park of Roses badge; and the centerpiece, the printing plate for #99 (Gospel Trumpet) in the 1991 Sacred Harp, a gift to me from my fellow shapenote singers years ago (thank you especially, Chris Thorman), when printing moved from hot lead to photographic reproduction on computers — one of the most moving presents I’ve ever gotten, a recognition that this fugung tune was one of “my songs” (sometimes sung in my honor when I couldn’t make it to a singing).
Ok, a lame pun on the line from the Rolling Stones’ song “You can’t always get what you want”(from their 1969 album Let It Bleed), here with reference to what we know in my household as the Toucan Bowl:
The Stones song; toucans; and the Toucan Bowl.
It’s two weeks of birthdays, of friends, ending today, with my own: #76, an American patriotic number (1776!) and a nice composite of the really square 4 and the really prime 19.
Another unearthing: a folder of doodles from 15-20 years ago, saved for use in collage-making. Here are six, arranged into a composition:
Created during faculty meetings and paper presentations, on handouts or notepaper, in several distinct but related styles. Ephemeral art.
Unearthed in today’s clearing out of material piled up in a cabinet, two New Yorker cartoons: a Sam Gross (published in the 9/4/95 issue) in which a penguin achieves flight, a Charles Barsotti (published in the 8/12/96 issue) in which squirrels question whether they are in fact flying squirrels (there are tree squirrels, ground squirrels, flying squirrels, and questioning squirrels — TGFQ):
If you try harder, you might succeed; and if you give it a try, you might discover your identity.
Every so often, things coincide. In the last couple of days, Jeff Shaumeyer relayed on Facebook an 8/9 posting on Jason Kottke’s blog with a delightful video about the Collatz Conjecture, and then a day later I got a phone call from Greg Huber at UC Santa Barbara about this very same conjecture in number theory and its possible connection to a paper Steve Isard and I wrote 46 years ago (in previous lives) on “one-symbol Smullyan systems”. And there’s an xkcd:
(#710 from 3/5/10)
Art, crafts, bits of my life.
I’ve been sorting through things, clearing things out, all the while compressing three offices with five desks in them to one office with, well, three desks in it (desks have lots of useful drawers). So far I have given or thrown away an immense amount of memorabilia (including about half my collection of penguiniana), but I’ve also unearthed, or brought out of dark corners, assorted bits of artwork, silly stuff, personal treasures of Jacques’s and mine, and the like — and I now have some shelves and surfaces in visible spots where they can be displayed. My cabinets of curiosities, my old curiosity shelves, my shelves of wonder.
Here are two shelves (from a set of five) in the main room of my Ramona St. house. A somewhat dark photo (from Kim Darnell’s phone), but it will give you the idea:
The name of a major character in the British science fiction tv series Torchwood, interesting here because of his name; his Welshness, reflected in his name; the particular brand of sexuality he exhibited in his passionate relationship with the lead character in the show, Captain Jack Harkness; and the port city of Cardiff, the capital of Wales and the background for all this.
Photo gallery first: Ianto Jones on the job for the Torchwood Institute:
Then Ianto (left)and Jack (right) locked in their first kiss:
And Gareth David-Lloyd, the actor who played Ianto, looking cute:
(John Barrowman, who played Jack Harkness, goes happily shirtless all the time, and has been featured in that state on this blog, but Gareth David-Lloyd seems to have scrupulously kept his shirt on in front of cameras.)