Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Glorious Gaudi

Today's Wonder of the World is...Antoni Gaudi's Fantastical Architecture!

Flickr photo by NatashaP
I knew I had to do a post on Gaudi's Architecture when I was putting together yesterday's post on scales and saw that picture of his Casa Batllo.
Gaudi was a genius. Or maybe a crazy nut.

Just look at this window.

Flickr photo by Oceano Mare
Incredible, huh? To make a window look like an eye!
(Okay, a weird alien eye.)

Once you start really examining his work, it's clear that nature inspired Gaudi.
Remember my post on drippy sandcastles and Gaudi's sandcastle cathedral in his city of Barcelona, Spain? The Sagrada Familia?

Flickr photo by magic_eye

Just take a look inside.

Flickr photo by davidly1975
I see flowers and plant stalks and seashells.
What do you see?

What about his Casa Mila?

Flickr photo by Klaus Dolle
Doesn't that building look alive to you? Like some kind of sea creature...or mushroom? Or maybe Jabba the Hutt wearing a ruffled dress? Or maybe not.

Take just a minute and see some of his inspiration in this video. It's very cool, even without Jabba the Hutt.

What do you think inspired this curvy bench in Park Guell?

Flickr photo by acastellano
A snake, maybe? Any other ideas?

Here's a view of part of Gaudi's Park Guell.

Flickr photo by Thomas Dalosis
We spent an afternoon there walking around, sitting on snake benches and listening to people play guitar under a giant rib cage. It tickled my senses and made me want to get out paints and modeling clay. And I'm not even an artist!

Park Guell is just as fun for adults as it is for kids.
Look! I know those kids!

Here's a better pic of that same lizard, kidless.

Flickr photo by rpthorne
You have to love an architect inspired by lizards and bellybuttons and snail shells.

Public Domain photo
Antoni Gaudi, a devout Catholic, who said, "Originality means returning to the origin."
As corny as it sounds, his work makes me take a second look at the wonders of life all around me. It makes me ask myself, "How can I express the beauty I find in life? What can I do with that inspiration?"

Would you like to know more about him, or see more of his work? Go HERE and enjoy!
(And believe it or not, I just watched the video and noticed they chose music from Star Wars for part of the background. See! I'm not the only one that starts thinking about Jabba the Hutt when admiring Gaudi architecture!)

Have a wonder-full Tuesday, y'all!
Love, Becky

PS I almost forgot! I found out that I was wrong about something. (My husband won't believe I'm admitting it! Ha ha.) Back in the earlier post when I mentioned Gaudi, I said that the word gaudy comes from Gaudi. Not true! My sources were wrong. Apparently gaudy even shows up in several works by Shakespeare, way before Antoni was around. Sorry about that, folks! My apologies, Gaudi!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Practicing Scales

Today's Wonder of the World is...Scales!

Flickr photo by denicatt
Shimmery scales are so beautiful! Like the golden scales on that koi.
Or these mosaic scales.

Flickr photo by Capt' Gorgeous
Or these scales on the rooftop and walls ofAntoni Gaudi's Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain.

Flickr photo by NatashaP
Isn't that house amazing?
Whenever I see seats in a theater or opera house, I think of fish scales.

Flickr photo by nyah74
I've never been to an opera, but I'd like to one day.
My husband and I could make a real night of it!
I could wear a dress of shimmery scales.

Flickr photo by lightsight
(Do people wear sequins anymore?)

And I'd take a beaded purse.

Flickr photo by EcoSnake
Wait! Those aren't beads. They're iguana scales.
Relax, iguana! I wouldn't wear you.

Todd would have to pick me up in this scaly car.

Flickr photo by onionbreath
We'd go out to dinner first, of course.
There would be flowers on the table.

Flickr photo by 1bluecanoe
Dahlia scales. I mean petals.

And we'd start off with the exotic fruit monstera, because it's so scaly.

Flickr photo by vic9000
I've never had monstera. Have you?
Hopefully it would be more tender than this scaly thing!

Flickr photo by sylvan.
We'd go to the opera house early and sneak backstage, to listen to the performers warming up.
What would we hear?
They'd be doing their scales, of course!

Flickr photo by chaosfish1
Tell me, what scales did I leave out?
And if you've ever worn sequins, did it make you feel like you were wearing scales? Or is it just me that loves to imagine myself as a fish?
Oh! I almost forgot! One of my favorite books--and I liked the movie too.

Have you read or seen it? What did you think?
Have a wonder-full Monday, everyone!
Love, Becky

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a Shocker!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Lightning!

Public domain photo
Lightening can be trés magnifique--as long as I'm watching it tucked away somewhere safe, doing my deep cleansing breaths. And as long as there are no big beautiful trees in its path.

What? You're a lightning hater?
Watch the first five seconds of this video and you might change your mind.

Striking, huh?
I started thinking about lightning while writing yesterday's robot post.
I remembered my two robot buddies, Ben Franklin and Mark Twain, who have the same old conversation day after day at Epcot.
Hey guys!

Flickr photo by Captain Oblivious
Oh Ben, I have a major crush on you! What a renaissance man you are!
Writer, inventor, diplomat, lover of France and lightning!
Except you didn't really experiment exactly like this...

Flickr photo by mynameisnotbarry
Or else you'd have been French toast!
(I hope the dogs don't discover that hydrant!)

I've also been thinking of lightning for different reasons.
It's been kind of a shocking week.
Sort of a storm.
Shall I catalog it for you?

This week's fun and games included:
*the discovery of half a chipmunk on our bedroom carpet, beside Tanner the Slobber Dog, who was happily licking his lips.
*my 16 year old runner boy developed a stress fracture, thus ending his cross country season and making him exceedingly grouchy.
*a tough week for my college sweetie. Mommy had to lock herself in her house to keep from getting in the car and driving straight to her dorm room. Mommy knew college girl would work it out for herself. And she did. All is right with the world again.
*breakdown of a kitchen appliance
*national economic disaster
*did I mention the half eaten chipmunk?
Okay, it could have been much worse.
But still, I was glad to have Zorro to save the day!

(You do know that he leaves a Z mark that looks like a lightning bolt, (kind of) right? Or else his presence in this post wouldn't make sense.)

Do you know my other lifesaver from the week? Jolts of coffee!

Flickr photo by subliminalshiver1
At night, when my friend Caffeine had left me high and dry, I tried my best to cope by watching the last of these guys flit around the backyard.

Flickr photo by vzonabaxter
Lightning bugs!
How I wish I had a cute pajama-wearing friend like this to catch them with me!

Flickr photo by patrick moore 75165
And then set them free!

I'd also feel better if I could drop by my favorite French patisserie and pick up an éclair or two.

Flickr photo by jennerator
Or four or five!
See the lightning zigzag on that éclair? Did you know that éclair is the French word for lightning? That's why it has a lightning bolt squiggle on it!

Another French word for lightning is foudre.
And coup de foudre, literally translated stroke of lightning, means love at first sight!
It was a coup de foudre with my sweetheart, back in the dark ages when we were mere babes. He still electrifies me!

If I were a girl antelope, I might have a coup de foudre for one of these handsome animals, with its curly lightning bolt antlers.

Flickr photo by Cabellas Lightning Bug Creek
Have you ever heard that in some ancient Asian cultures, people thought lightning came from the scales of dragons as they flew through the heavens? That'd be something to see, wouldn't it?

I know the lightning bolt is a symbol of power or danger, but if you stretch it out, all you have is a zigzag. I love zigzags. I like their regularity.

Flickr photo by Virtual Sanity
Lightning bolt zigzags can even make a dangerous descent a little safer!

Flickr photo by cruisemac
Ahh. Beautiful mountains. Calm blue water. A gorgeous scenic zigzag ride.
I'm feeling better already.
And look, lightning bolts can even give you shelter.

Flickr photo by Mark Rutter
If they're part of a roof.
Or part of a shade tree.

Flickr photo by elmoraux
Just don't stand underneath it in a storm!
Have a wonder-full Friday and a great weekend, y'all!
Love, Becky

And enjoy this weird éclair candy commercial from India! It's weirdly wonderful!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Danger, Will Robinson! *

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Robot!

Flickr photo by m r harvey
Do those old fashioned robots make you as happy as they make me?
I started thinking about robots yesterday, when I wrote about Old Funnel-Head here.

Flickr photo by Finstr
He's taking a bus! Is he on the way to Kansas because he can't get Dorothy out of his head?
He should never have discovered that romantic heart of his.
And I should never have had that third cup of coffee.

Speaking of robot romance...
The first robot I fell in love with was Rosie, of Jetson's fame. It wasn't a romantic love. She was more like a mother figure.
(Don't get me wrong. I had a wonderful human mother of my own. Hey Mom!)
Anyway...didn't you love Rosie?

Flickr photo by kerrytoonz
Rosie, you look sad to me. Maybe it's because Mr. J conned you into making a commercial--and then insulted your cooking on national TV!

Poor Rosie! That kind of robot exploitation makes me sick to my stomach! I think I need a Tums.
If you came to work at my house, I'd never exploit you.

I always thought we'd have housekeeper robots by now, didn't you?
I still want one to serve me drinks

Flickr photo by sanchome
and mail my letters,

Flickr photo by The Fifth Element
to do my gardening

Flickr photo by mavra chang
and solve my puzzles.

Flickr photo by utopian29
(But not my pigsaw ones!)
And I'd let it do my vacuuming.

Flickr photo by merriewells
I might consider buying a vacuum like that, but Tanner would eat it.
You think I'm kidding.
You don't know my dog.
Hey look! The cat and the robot made friends!

Flickr photo by Hytok
But since I can't get one, I think I'll settle for this guy.

Flickr photo by Elson Griffith Gallery
Isn't he cute? You can find him at Marianne Elson Griffith's etsy shop, HERE.
He might not make me coffee, but he sure could make me laugh!

Have a Wonder-full Thursday, everyone!
Before you go, have a seat on my psychiatrist's couch and tell me your innermost feelings about robots! Who were your favorites? I'm listening!
Love, Becky

*Confused by the title? Hop over HERE.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Funnel Of Love

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Funnel!

Flickr photo by krazor
But that's no funnel!
Or is it?
The cala lily is one of the most elegant funnels I've seen.
I've been thinking about funnels ever since I found this one, with the help of a smurf.

Flickr photo by micpohling
Whenever I see funnels, I always think of the Tin Man.

Flickr photo by lorryx3
Poor Dorothy got caught in a funnel of her own!

Flickr photo by stephyannette
Can you be brave and take a look at another frightening funnel?
I'll hold your hand.
Here it comes...
a funnel web!

Flickr photo by yet another paul
How about that for a conniving spider! It lives in its nest in the dirt, and waits for its prey to get caught in the funnel!

Enough scary funnels.
How about a majestic one?
I've always thought this guy's head looks like a funnel.

Flickr photo by photosecosse ON VACATION UNTIL 3RD OCTOBER!
And I'm not the only one!
Look! The folks at Pylones (Sarut, aux les Etats Unis) thought of it too!

Photo by Pylones
I just love love love that company.
If I ever get rich, I'm going to buy up everything they've ever made. And I'll sit on a kitchen stool and watch my chef use all their cool things to make me all sorts of fattening French food!
And when I get tired of that, I'll spend the rest of my time playing on their website, HERE. It's still the best all around product website I've found. (But I'm partial to weird kitchen implements.)

I might even have my chef (who'll be named Fabio or maybe Gustav) use one of their funnels to make me a plate of funnel cake!

Flickr photo by photola
And then I'd have to run off all those calories playing funnel ball!

Flickr photo by nurse marbles
And I'd spend at least a half hour sending pennies down a funnel. But hey, if I'm rich, I might as well use silver dollars!

Flickr photo by Asian Byline
Have you ever done this? It's mesmerizing.
I love to watch full grown adults get entranced by that thing.

Why don't we listen to some funnel music?

Flickr photo by leakd
What, you can't hear it?
Watch this video, then. It was taken in Zurich at an Alpine Horn festival.
Maybe they even had funnel cake there!

Did I leave any funnels out? Please share!
Have a wonder-full Wednesday, everyone!
Love, Becky