Mink in the Woodpile, Mongoose in the Engine

Monday, December 5, 2011
Honolulu, HI

Right: so.

The term is finally over, and Mt. Grademore and I have cast conniving, sidelong looks at one another, packed our weighty selves into suitcases, and left for Hawaii.  No kidding: Mt. Grademore on parade takes up half my freaking luggage.  But now, after only four flights and a total of 27 hours of travel, here we are in sunny Oahu.  And within 24 hours of arriving in Honolulu, I could already cross "hug a cylon" off my to-do list. Such is the benefit of having a partner who works on Hawai'i Five-0.

Best story to come into our lives recently as a result of D's time in Hawaii?

When D was last with me at Farfara (our new house in Nova Scotia), he got a message from the friend who'd been his replacement on the show for the previous three weeks. "I came back from a hike and started your car," it read, "but it was making a terrible squealing noise.  When I lifted the hood, I discovered that there was a mongoose in your engine."

"In Halifax, do you occasionally find a moose under your hood?" asked one witty friend of ours, upon hearing this story.

"No," I replied, "but D did find a mink in the woodpile the other day."

"Mink in the Woodpile," chimed in another, "Best lesbian bar name ever."

I couldn't help it: "'Mink in the Woodpile, Mongoose in the Engine' sounds like the title of a conference paper I'd write." I paused to reflect. "It's subtitle would be 'Constru/icting Sexualities from Atlantic to Pacific."

"Mieux vaut un mangouste dans son moteur qu'un tigre (Proverbe Chinois du 3eme Millenaire BC)," intoned a French friend, who then sent me this video:

In the face of that brilliance, what was there really left to say?

Just this: "When I form my mongoose conference panel, the second paper is going to be titled 'Mongeese: Allegories of Collectivism.'"

A mongoose and a gecko walk into a library...

Saturday, July 30, 2011
Waikiki, HI

Pop quiz. Which of the following things did Sycorax Pine see or step over on her walk home from the library yesterday?

  1. A mongoose
  2. A gecko
  3. a desiccated gecko skeleton
  4. a full 180 degrees of rainbow
  5. a toilet in the middle of the sidewalk 
Extra credit to any who can (as my mother did*) conceive of a story which makes "All of the above" into a meaningful narrative.

*  Here's my mom's explanation: "A mongoose and a gecko were walking along the street in Hawaii. 
Mongoose: 'Let's go to the library.'
Gecko: 'No, look! There's a rainbow to follow.'
After some argument on relative merits, they follow the rainbow, only to find it ends in a toilet containing a desiccated gecko skeleton.  Haven't quite figured out the moral: something to do with gold vs. libraries...?".

Bear in mind that my mother was a librarian.

Transformed and Inverted

I'm in Hawai'i again (without having caught up on my London blogging - curse it!), where, as I may have mentioned, my partner D works.  He has long days of filming, I have somewhat shorter days at the University of Hawaii library doing course prep and research.

I'm fairly sure that my mental processes are exactly reversed in Oahu,"transformed and inverted," as King Shudraka says in the Sanskrit drama I spent the afternoon reading, "even as an image reflected in a mirror is reversed so that the right becomes sinister."

Twice this week I've embarked on the fifty minute walk home from the UH library just as it started to rain at some length.  Both times I thought, "Oh good, this will make the walk pleasanter, and my hair will look better when I get home."  Both times this mental statement was untouched by even the slightest trace of sarcasm.

The effects of the rain

Who is this curly-hair optimist living in my brain???