Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fish Tanks, Fish and Existential Angst

Dear Readers, Some of you have privately suggested Dark Lightning needs a premature flush to the other side, which got me to wondering: what is it about witnessing the jungle in action that makes us root for the underdog?

Invariably friends who have seen Battle at Kruger Park on YouTube have a similar response - for those of you who haven't, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

Why do we love to hate villains so? And, have we really progressed so little since the colosseum spectacles of Roman times if our only change is to watch fish or fictional dramas? How indeed do the fictional characters feel about this?

And so, I decided today to talk with the Aliens about the fight for survival, and what this means for their characters. My transparent hope being that they could find something to tap into when acting out their pathological passion to rid the world of squirrels.

To my surprise I discovered that the Aliens did not realize they are to play the bad guys - on reflection, and given their limited schooling in all things narrative, this really shouldn't have been surprising. In any event, I tried to explain that there are no real bad guys, just characters with conflicting wants and needs. The response: see the photo above - Alien Two turned to Alien One for clarification while Alien One simply gazed at me in youthfully disguised befuddlement.

As for Dark Lightning, I am happy to report that the harmony in Robin's tank above is no greater than that in our live tank on the left (and for those of you who are wondering, yes that's Dark Lightning on the right - the two new gouramis are General Owusu just to the left of Dark Lightning and Mango Slice - who's name is not intended to be portentous - across the tank).

More soon.

Chin chin Ruthless Whims

World's Biggest Pom Pom

After contemplating her great work on the spaceship console, more specifically the pom pom finishing touches. Alien One got a little excited by the idea of a BIGGER POM POM.

Four days later we finally cut it free (yes, the job fell to me as there was too much wool for small hands to work through)!

Alien One then gave the final product a spin - well, almost final, we're thinking of adding googly eyes to some of the strands of wool before we dangle it behind the aliens in the spaceship cabin.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims
(implementer of alien visions)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Alien Outfits

Having overhauled the Feng Shui of the office, the Trouble and Strife has now begun work on the Alien costuming.

It might be dangerous to say, but the initial results were mixed; great look, questionable fit (see photo on right which shows that even Alien Two couldn't squeeze in).

The solution though, is pure genius, strips of textured color down the sides. Alien One has already insisted on similar modifications.

And working on diva status, Alien One has also informed the Trouble and Strife that there will be no test fittings for her without elastic.

Yours, remaining detached from such negotiations.
Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cycle of Life

The Aliens continue their schooling in the hard truths of life - and death - on earth; which is a roundabout way of saying that Sister Seaweed has passed on, once again demonstrating the absolute need for aerated water in fish tanks.

Worse still, Dark Lightning, our Angel fish in the mother tank, fatally maimed Sparkly Orange Moon after repeated assaults on her tail.

The upshot:
1) a double funeral (more than simply tiles of our shower, the two fish in the above left photo represent the ascent of the loved souls, Sparkly Orange Moon having already been dumped out of frame below by Alien Two).
2) the elimination of the original tiny unaerated tank.
3) the addition of two new fish to the mother tank (they actually arrived prior to Sparkly Orange Moon's ultimate demise and were intended as reinforcements ... I now live in fear that they are simply two new targets for Dark Lightning to strike).
and 4) a diversion from construction on the spaceship console; it felt necessary to place the tragedy in context for the Aliens, so we honored birth and new beginnings with more robust seaweed and yet another fish tank (this one should be move impervious to the fragility of life). Witness Robin's tank:

And to round it all out the Aliens breathed deep with our local Yoga Gurus Greville and Brenda.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alien Cribs

The Aliens were getting clucky today, so I decided to harness the enthusiasm. Now, wrap-carriers may be a bit ahead of ourselves - who knows if Aliens even carry their young - but cribs ... everyone needs cribs, especially if you're raising hundreds of Alien babies!

And how are Alien cribs decorated? With galaxies of course!

Alien One was quite pleased with the job, even if Alien Two was relegated to the shower early. All they need now are wool thread wires to suspend them from the ceiling of the spacecraft.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, August 23, 2010

Inspiration in Nature

Dear Readers, we're back from camping in the wild!

Alien One scoured the beaches near Morro Bay and successfully scavenged a bag of seaweed - see left for a piece of "moo-cow seaweed" she's proudly exhibiting to her sister and then gently adding to the "owl's nest".

Why a bag of seaweed? The Trouble and Strife asked the same question. The answer: "I need it for something creative"

Who knew the Aliens knew how to make owl's nests! Complete with "light-stick" no less - that would be an upside-down buttercup hanging from the branch above to the untrained eye.

And after a hard day's creative work, it's always good to kick back ...

especially if you know you're going to be sleeping in an improvised tent (if you look carefully below you can see we neglected to check our new tent had the right poles - no fear, Squirrel King production design has taught us well and Eucalyptus branches did just nicely).

Today it's back to spaceship console construction!

Chin chin Ruthless Whims

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Zen Office

Two days ago our office was white.

Today, after the Trouble and Strife's fine handiwork, it was ready for new residents.

So we filled the tank.

We drove to the fish shop (the one on the left of the photo below, NOT the one with the red sign on the right, whereto, incidently, our five new housemates feared they were bound).

Then, having made the rescue, Alien One welcomed the - as yet unnamed - new family home.

If you're contemplating a change like this yourself, I highly recommend it - just incapacitate yourself at the crucial juncture and watch in wonder as the change takes place before your eyes! And by the way for anyone in any doubt, the new feng shui is already sparking all manner of inspiration ...

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Life progresses swimmingly ...

... With Alien One well outfitted, just missing the water.

The Trouble and Strife up a ladder busily making the office over with a groovy color! And me, yes, that's my foot - iced and elevated and unseen to the naked eye, under the influence of ibuprofen.
In a moment of reminiscence the Trouble and Strife insisted this aging bag of bones return to the Ultimate Frisbee field ... fortunately we found an old pair of crutches in the office during the clean-up for the paint.

And amidst it all, production continues, unabated.

Chin chin
(the debilitated) Ruthless Whims

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spaceship Console - Post Recovery

Dear Reader, It is my hope you were blissfully unaware of the technical turmoil we faced earlier this week. Two steps forward, one step backwards, but we're moving forward again. And to prove it, here's the recovered photos of the spaceship console project:

Aerial view of the beginning.

And the sheer joy of painting exhibited by the Aliens.

Eventually Alien Two lost interest ...

Until Alien One found the alternate canvas!

And if you can't beat them ... look carefully at my collar-bone; self-portraiture necessary as the Aliens were already in the shower :)

Chin chin Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spaceship Console

Add color!

After days of papier mache, the time finally arrived to slap paint onto the spaceship's console. What a task!

Difficult to contain the excitement! ...

Impossible, in fact!! In a moment's focussed concentration on the task at hand I lost track of my workers ... and they lost track of the canvas! Undaunted, they found a new one.

And so while the Aliens turned our shower stall green, I finished the base layer of the console - Alien One's choice of color, a choice I very much concur with.

Pretty excited about this start!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Building the Cribs

Cherry tomatoes: breakfast of champions!

Alien one stirs glue for papier mache while Alien two makes chipmunk cheeks.

And then earnest construction begins on the cribs for the nursery on the Alien spaceship.

Who knows what manner of plotting and scheming is going on ...

Take note of the console in the background; this is the last time you'll see the raw structure ... tomorrow we add the first layer of color!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday morning report: The Script

In deference to the five-day-week, the Aliens were given a free pass over weekend. And they partied hard: blueberry pancakes, s'mores, and a guinea pig to watch over (we're just pig-sitting).

Okay, so it might also have been that Justus (my climbing-bum partner who has recently been hijacked by check wielding, pen-pushing financial types) was temporarily relinquished from the corporate grind.

The upshot: Episodes 1-9 are now written, leaving just three five minute episodes to hash out to complete the first season.

Today, Justus is back to the day job, so stay tuned for more papier macheing madness and vibrantly colorful creations.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Meanwhile ...

Progress was made today on the Alien masks with the base layer of color now added.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Cycle of Life

Alien 1 proudly presents the new member of the household:

Meet Sister Seaweed

Blue Moon may not have spent enough time with Seaweed to recognize Sister Seaweed as different, but Seaweed's passing is ushering more than a single addition ...

The Trouble and Strife got a little excited at the pet store and we now have a 29 gallon tank to fill!

The Aliens are thrilled, but not just with the new tank or its prospective occupants!

Expect to see the corner pads crop up in the Alien spaceship console.

... And quite possibly the box itself as a boat.