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The AntiCraft Blog
Sep 16, 2009
Death is just another dance, after all...


Loads of tributes to the late and well-loved Patrick Swaze are swirling around the interwebs, all shiny and pirouhette-y and full of that special energy he seemed to have. And these tributes are so very appropriate -- this is a man who was a spectacular performer, a respectable professional, and an honorable yet down-to-earth guy off-stage and off-screen. How great that we're celebrating him.

Some of these tributes are pretty conventional and expected, and some are slightly elevated. And then there's this one.



THAT'S a celebration. THAT'S the sort of tribute I want when I succomb to Death's enveloping embrace. It made me laugh, cry, dance, and stand still in awe.

If you've never seen To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, I can't recommend it strongly enough. It really is a good movie, and not just because I'm all over anything that's got a clear antidiscrimination message.

Celebrate life. Celebrate diversity. Dance for any damned reason -- every reason, if you're doing it right! And embrace whatever form of beauty that is true to you, without compromise.

Dancing in drag with wild abandon,
rebecca.

 

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posted by Rebecca at 10:45 AM | permalink |  3 Comments
Aug 28, 2009
Not for the Arachnophobic


I'm working on my arachnophobia.

It's the only reason I didn't go into entomology, you know. I love, always have loved, always will love insects. But it's hard to make a career out of something during which you must live in fear because the scariest of the scary is always Right There. Sort of like opening a wedding cake store when you hate white, sugar+saccharine, and the terrifyingly schlocky. (That's also my story.)

So this summer, when two Yellow Garden Spiders (closely related to Wood Spiders; they're both argiopes) took up residency on my back porch, I decided I would work at being at peace with them. It took surprisingly little effort; they've been wonderful neighbors, fascinating company, and their webs (I've always loved spider webs) have been breathtaking. In return, I've been leaving the back porch light on for them. I want them to catch lots of insects so they stay healthy.

I've been accused of spoiling my pets before. So what? It's not a crime.

So when I saw this video, I thought I HAD to share it with someone. And why not AntiCrafters? Who better to appreciate spiders?

Watch, and enjoy. You may even learn something.



What? It's all in the name of science.

I thought about conducting my own experiments but 1.) all caffeine in my household is to be used on ME; and 2.) no spiders are allowed in the house.

It just doesn't matter how snuggly we get out on the back porch. If they come into the house, they're only so much squished organic matter.

still laughing about Crack Spider "popping a cap in his arse",
rebecca.

 

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posted by Rebecca at 11:31 PM | permalink |  4 Comments
Jul 4, 2009
You *know* it's not about us, right?


Happy Independence Day. I hope your weather is just right and the fireworks are spectacular, and that you are able to take a little time away from your hotdogs and potato salad and watermelon to think about what "independence" means, and how it applies to your life.

End of MomSpeak. This is The AntiCraft. (...which kind of is why I brought up that whole "think about independence" thing... we sometimes have a little different perspective on that...) And as such, I have something a little odd to throw in about the holiday.

You're going to be hearing the sounds of P.I.Tchaikovsky's The 1812 Overture today, if you haven't already been hearing it. Did you know that it is not about OUR War of 1812?? It's 100% France v Russia, with the Russians pwning all sorts of Napoleonic arse.

(I'm pretty sure you all knew that.)

In fact, it's a spectacular mash-up of two national anthems (La Marseillaise v God Save the Tsar) in a classic battle of the, well, cross orchestra instrumentalists. (It can't really count as a battle of the bands.)

Here's a reenactment of what La Marseillaise WOULD have sounded like if it were sung/shouted by angry Finns.


It's a little different from what you hear pretty much everywhere else (again: angry Finns; 'nuff sed). My theory is that if the French had sounded a little more like this (and, perhaps, invaded Russia AFTER winter, duh) there might have been a different outcome for the little Corsican.

Anyway.

What I really wanted to post today was a recording of The 1812 Overture as sung by barn animals. It's hilarious, but I can't find it. It was all over the Chicago radio WGN when I was a kid. It's probably too old to be uploaded to Teh Webz, so I found this instead.

There's an old brass instrument called a Serpent, and it sounds like a somewhat stuffy french horn. A musician named Douglas Yeo recorded The 1812 Overture using 26 of these intriguing horns. The link provides you with a free mp3 of this very performance. It's a good sound, and I recomend it for your holiday listening, bearing in mind always that this is not a song about any American war. (You want something American and 1812? Google "Don't give up the ship" and Commodore Perry. THAT'S an amazing story.)

I also recommend it just because Mr. Yeo is so darned adorable. I bet he'd be good at reading (or, more likely, reciting) children's stories, as well as playing arcane brass instruments.

Of course, I have a theory for why Americans like to use this foreign war rememberance to celebrate our Independence Day.

We like to blow things up. And there's no other classical tune that goes so well with cannons blasting like this one, outside of the movie Apocalypse Now.

Have a safe holiday!

slathering on sunscreen,
rebecca+

PS -- How would you design a musical instrument from an AntiCraft perspective? Would you choose a different animal (a spider as a stringed instrument, perhaps)? What would it sound like? What would you play on it?

 

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posted by Rebecca at 9:59 AM | permalink |  0 Comments
Jun 20, 2009
Love is Sticky

Hey Deadlings,

I know this vid is pretty saccharine, but it's proof that even something like a Post-It can be art.



-Anthony

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posted by Anthony at 6:30 PM | permalink |  0 Comments
Jun 14, 2009
Gold Lame Pants Make Me Dizzy


If you've been reading this blog for the past year and a half, then you may already know how I feel about flash mobs.

If you're new (or need a reminder), this is how I feel: I. LOVE!!!!! FLASH MOBS.

What's a flash mob?? It's wacky good fun. Occasionally it can also be a political or sociological statement, but in the case I present below, I leave you to make your own determination.



Priceless.

As opposed to shopping in fancy (albeit warehouse-y) Sunset Boulevard shops, which would be "PriceY".

wondering if I have enough gold lame for my own pants,
rebecca.

PS -- Watch for the guy in the headband. He made me HOWL.

 

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posted by Rebecca at 6:37 PM | permalink |  2 Comments
Jun 2, 2009
Literal translations drive me bonkers.


It'll make you laugh. It'll make you cry.

I don't always want to post a video, but this one seriously moved me to tears. I sorta wish my husband and I would have held out getting married til EVERYONE who wants to can marry.

Enjoy...



I am now imagining ALL the scenarios in that particular sacred text that are no longer practiced, and which I would loathe seeing put into literal practice again.

I guess I'd better start developing a tolerance for stones.

chuckling wistfully,
rebecca.

 

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posted by Rebecca at 5:04 PM | permalink |  2 Comments
May 11, 2009
Something new (for me anyway) to obsess over: Cello Metal

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posted by Zabet at 3:38 PM | permalink |  2 Comments
Apr 18, 2009
Because ventriloquism isn't scary enough...

Hey Deadlings,

I thought might enjoy this video. Comedian Nina Conti and her friend, Monk. Enjoy!



-Anthony

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posted by Anthony at 4:37 PM | permalink |  2 Comments
Mar 28, 2009
The Boss is the Devil

I don't think I've ever thought of Bruce Springsteen this way before. Rawr.



.:Zabet

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posted by Zabet at 6:07 PM | permalink |  3 Comments
Mar 24, 2009
Monsteriffic!




Thanks, Brenda!

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posted by Zabet at 10:54 AM | permalink |  2 Comments
Jan 14, 2009
Have you ever envied Harold and his Purple Crayon?


Um, sit DOWN and go back to death, Dr. Freud. Sometimes a crayon is JUST a crayon.

Here's a game that lets you go on adventures, level after (increasingly difficult) level (otherwise it wouldn't be fun, would it?), drawing your route as you go. The kicker is that the laws of physics apply, in ways that they don't in your average Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Remember: Harold started to sink when he accidentally drew water.


Crayon Physics Deluxe trailer 2 from Petri Purho on Vimeo.

Intrigued? Want more? Yeah. Me too.

Here's a link to a demo for this game, on the Crayon Physics homepage.

I love the idea of "drawing" plus "gaming". Pictionary had me at "Pict," and I fell hard for Cranium. So, having given my heart almost fully to Crayon Physics, I have been nudged toward these other games, as well. Some of them I have tried, some I can't, but it's only because I don't have the equipment.

Magic Pen -- this is very fun and has a cruelly amusing challenge to it;

Line Rider was described as zenlike in its pointlessness... I agree, and lost interest soon after starting;

Trace, for iPhone and iPod touch, neither of which I have and therefore could not try (weep);

and Crazy Machines is lush in its steampunk pinball-ish homage to Rube Goldberg, and there are dozens of movies demo'ing this game on YouTube. Beware: watching others play this game is just as addicting as (I would assume) playing it. Once again, the platforms for this game are iPhone and iPod touch, and so (once again) my fingers are distressingly denied tactile entertainment fix. (Pouts, and reaches for the Atari 2600 I got my husband for Christmas this year...)

It's a great way to reconnect with a sense of play with drawing materials, and the result is that my hands are itching to transfer this energy to paper and cloth. I think this year is going to be far more productive, creatively.

reaching for paper, any paper! Or cardboard... or a tablecloth... perhaps a wall...

rebecca.

 

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posted by Rebecca at 2:14 AM | permalink |  2 Comments
       
 

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