Friday, March 26, 2004

*Insert Tortured Artist Here*

When I have schoolwork due, art suffers. (Obviously, if I were an actual art student, I wouldn't be having this problem. Or maybe I would, and it would be even more emotionally devastating.) The real problem is, since people are actually PAYING me for the stuff I paint--in some cases, pre-paying me--there's a whole level of guilt associated with not painting in addition to the general frustration of spending my time poring over financial statements instead of happily dabbing tiny dots of paint onto little lead soldiers. They say you have to suffer for art... Reading financial statements is suffering.... Therefore, doing my homework makes me a better artist! Or, not.

All's well in butterfly-land. I'd add more links for cool pictures, but I'm still recovering from the firestorm of commentary on my last ones. We've got African butterflies now, from Kipepeo Project in Nairobi. ("Kipepeo" means "butterfly" in Swahili. That's your educational moment for today, thank you for your attention.) They're very cool, though I'm fairly sure that 90% of the patrons I've talked to weren't suitably impressed by the presence of Kenyan butterflies. They're all too busy trying to photograph the Blue Morphos. Taking a good photo of a Morpho is only slightly easier than taking a good photograph of the Invisible Man; when they're flying they're very fast and very erratic, and when they land they close their wings and the blue vanishes. So people run back and forth across the conservatory, pointing their cameras, pressing the button, looking at the digital replay screen and going "Dammit!" and starting over. I took my own camera to work Wednesday, to see what I could get, and even I couldn't get a nice Morpho picture over the course of 8 hours. Did get some other nice ones though, which I might post over on my website if people are interested...

Had my first interview with the Eiteljorg yesterday, but I think public posting any details would be verbotten; I'll just say, it went fine, second interviews are in a week and we'll see if I get called back. I'm also considering applying at Starbucks, I hear they give staff a free pound of coffee per month!

Friday, March 19, 2004

More Mythinformation...

I'm sad to report that the old saw, "Butterflies Are Free," is untrue. They are not, in fact, free; I know this, because I've seen the invoices.

I've been a Butterfly Keeper at White River Gardens for two weeks now, and frankly it's kind of dull. Butterflies don't really need a whole lotta keeping. When a new shipment of chrysalises comes in, we take a pvc rod and a glue gun, and hot glue their little asses to the rod (which understandably sometimes causes them to wriggle suddenly, which causes me to drop them, which occasionally causes them to squash. I don't enjoy gluing duty much; the combination of guilt and seared fingertips from the hot glue makes the whole process somewhat unappealing.) I do like the part where we let them out of the hatching chamber after their wings are dry, and I like working in the Conservatory, which is warm, humid, and increasingly filled with colorful Lepidopterae. Which Lepidopterae, you ask? Lots of Zebra Longwings, some Saphos, some Julias, Postmen, Malachites, Owls, and everyone's favorites, the Blue Morphos. And lots of others that I don't have the patience to search for links for. Anyway, it's a fun job. Except for the occasional squashing.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Little Engine That Couldn't....

Yep, once again I had to go for the Indy Zoo mandatory employee drug test, and just like last year, it was utter, complete torture for me, both mental and physical. "Matter over Mind" isn't easy for me, when I'm in a stainless steel bathroom holding a plastic cup with a built-in thermometer while a nurse stands outside the door saying brightly, "How we doing in there?" We're not. Doing. Anything. God....

So not much to report, other than the fact that school is picking up steam and about to kick me in the butt. I spent last week working a temp gig at the Eiteljorg Museum of Native Americans and Western Art, and next week I start my long-term temp gig at the White River Gardens, a part of the Indianapolis Zoo, where I worked last summer. I've been idly paying attention to the democratic primary, but it all seems rather pointless since by the time Indiana's time rolls around everything is decided. This is one of two things about our election system that utterly defy logic, to me. One is that the primaries are so spread out; it would make much more sense to me for the candidates to campaign nationwide, have some debates, and then all the primaries are held on the same day, just like the general election. (Kerry still probably would have won, but still... I'm still pissed that I wasn't able to cast a meaningful vote for McCain, because the momentum had turned Bush's way long before our primary thanks to his dirty campaign tactics.) The other thing that buffaloes me is why electoral votes are cast in a bloc, in every state except I think Maine... Why are the electors not required to cast a vote that reflects the majority of voters' choice within their electoral district (or whatever it's called?) This strikes me as a complete reversal of the whole point of the electoral system, and I can see no reason why it should work the way it does. Certain areas of Indiana tend to vote more liberally (central and northwestern) but since those areas are outnumbered by the more conservative areas, my votes for moderate to liberal presidential candidates have never "counted" for anything. I know lots of folks who say "why should I vote? Indiana always goes Republican," and there's no good answer for it.

And as long as I'm being all political-chatty, if you haven't read my friend Jeremy's post on the legal definition of marriage, go take a gander. He does an excellent job refuting those folks who say that "marriage" should be an immutable legal term.