Friday, July 16, 2010

Look! A squirrel!

“But I see that my mind is asleep.
If it stays wide awake from this moment on, we would soon reach the truth, which may even now surround us with its weeping angels!...
- If it had been wide awake until this moment, I would have never given in to degenerate instincts, long ago!...
- If it had always been wide awake, I would be floating in wisdom!...”
Arthur Rimbaud (1854 – 1891) The Impossible

This morning, it’s more like I’m floating in a swamp of distractions that substitute for thought. I feel I have the attention span of a dragonfly on crack. It’s too hot outside to even attempt to play in the backyard. I am no longer acclimated to the muggy hot climate I grew up in. The heat - maybe. The humidity - not at my advanced age and current sumo-fighting weight.

I am in my post-dollhouse-construction funk. The Wisteria House is almost done. The inside is completely done. The lights have already begun to spiral into darkness, as the crap Cir-kit lights and copper strip wiring succumb to entropy, poor design and a level of quality control rivaled by a swarm of screaming squirrels who were up all night drinking Jack and eating candy. The lights on the basement floor on the door don’t work, and probably can’t be fixed short of removing wallpaper and/or re-wiring. The 4th floor hall light I constructed from an Art Nouveau greeting card, framed and wired with lights behind each flower is also not working. This may be more easily troubleshot (I may have just coined a neologism!) and more easily fixed, but I can’t muster the enthusiasm or the attention today.

Instead, as the doll house lights begin to go out one by one, I think I can hear weeping angels over the sound of my profanity.

Tech Support Guy bought me this shell dollhouse back at the turn of the century. The outside was painted pink and encrusted with lime green Victorian gingerbread trim. I decided to avoid the cliché of Victorian décor in favor of Art Nouveau - particularly the French style, which flourished from about the 1890s to about 1910, when overtaken by déclassé Art Deco and the Great War. I got stuck for several years trying to create a wood tile floor on the second (main) floor). Geometry was not one of my stronger skills: my math skills – once rivaling those of a room of monkeys writing War and Peace in cursive - have degenerated along with the rest of my baser instincts.

When I finally finished the floor by abandoning the pattern and kluging the tiles in a place now covered by an area rug, I managed to wake up and resume my Sisyphean attempts to electrify the dollhouse.

Faulty electricity, and more particularly, the abysmal products available for dollhouses made mostly by a company called Cir-Kit, have relentlessly hounded my steps and complicated my wiring like an ever worsening case of a hobo with tuberculosis left untreated by antibiotics. Both the hobo and Cir-Kit wiring will ultimately die alone in the dark. Just when you think you’ve managed to get the lights in stable and working order, a passing squirrel, an earthquake, or even a mild sigh of satisfaction, will cause them to tremble and go dark. To be fair, the electrical lights sold under the Miniature House brand are equally worthless: both probably made by the same demented manufacturer.

Perhaps a visit to the farmer’s market later this afternoon will revive my attention and help me reach some version of the truth. If not the truth of dollhouse electrical wiring, then perhaps the wisdom of roasting tomatoes. This time, if I manage to avoid writing monkeys, screaming squirrels and other passing distractions, I think I’ll use more garlic and go with thyme instead of basil. Next, who knows? World domination?


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a project! I don't do miniatures but one of my friends has several houses in various states of finish.

Arabella Sock said...

Double wow! That is the most amazing dolls house. The faulty electrics are a pain but at least they keep they keep things going thus denying you the empty feeling of a 'finished' project. That having been said if it is anything like a real Victorian house there will always be some new maintenance required although hopefully it will never get rising damp!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Dear Merciful Heavens!

I think I built the cousin of this room, in full scale two years ago. Hand printed all the wallpaper, hand stained all the parquet. Eeesh.


Martha in Michigan said...

So many wonderful metaphors! I experienced the equivalent of "Look, it's a squirrel!" this weekend, when L&B and V&D came to town for a memorial service and stayed with me. As my neurons fired randomly in conversation, B laughed and imitated me, interrupting himself with "Ooh, shiny!"

One day I'll get back to my own dollhouse project, long ago stalled when I could not get the Cir-Kit components to work. Glad to hear it wasn't me at fault. Is that wallpaper from Hollander's in Kerrytown? Time to come here and restock?