Monthly Archives: November 2012

Froggy and the Otter

froggy & otter

Once upon a time there was a frog. The frog was friends with an otter. They had only known each other for a short time but the frog liked the otter very much, they always had interesting things to talk about and the frog really enjoyed the otter’s company. They used to swim together in the lake for exercise.

One day the otter said to the frog: “Froggy, I think I’m going to take a trip”. “Where to?” asked the frog. “I need an adventure,” the otter replied. The otter felt like he had spent too much time in the same old lake and wanted to see new lakes, eat different fish, and generally have a good time and find some excitement. “Well,” said Froggy, “I think that if you feel that you should get a change of scene, my friend, then you should!”

So one day the otter packed up his walking stick and some provisions and set off through the woods. The frog was sad to see his friend go, but he knew that the otter had to go on a walkabout and have a grand adventure. For many moons, Froggy swam the lake back and forth, generally by himself. Sometimes he was joined by other frogs and tadpoles who he knew from the local pond, and he made friends with some badgers that lived in a nearby glen. But he missed his friend the otter and thought often of how he must be faring on his trip.

Eventually the day came that the otter returned, a bit weary from walking and swimming so far, but very happy about the things he had seen and the adventures he had had. The frog was overjoyed to welcome his friend back, and they talked for many days about the interesting people and places the otter had encountered. The frog realized that when it came to friends, you could sometimes spend long periods of time away from one another, but if you were very good friends you would always be able to pick up where you left off, because good friends are in your heart & mind no matter where you go.


Ender’s Game

enders game

I just finished reading Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel Ender’s Game. It was great, on many levels – plot, characterization, evocative imagery, insightful commentary on the nature of the human condition. Aside from all that, though, one of the other aspects of the novel that I really enjoyed was the character names. First of all, ‘Ender’s Game‘ is a seriously kick-ass title for a book. It just sounds cool. The fact that Ender is the name of the main character is a bonus. And the entire story is populated by characters with interesting names. Here are a few of them:

  • ★ Ender Wiggin
  • ★ Valentine Wiggin
  • ★ Petra Arkanian
  • ★ Carn Carby
  • ★ Crazy Tom
  • ★ Sargeant Dap
  • ★ Dink Meeker
  • ★ Julian “Bean” Delphiki
  • ★ Rose the Nose
  • ★ Hot Soup
  • ★ Fly Molo
  • ★ Pol Slattery

I mean, would you not want to hang out with any and all of those dudes, based solely on their appellations? And sure, yeah, a couple of those are Battle School nicknames, but most of them are their legit birth names. Awesome.

I’d Like a Single Plum Floating in Perfume Served in a Man’s Hat

One of my favourite lines ever from the Simpsons.


And as a quote, it works well in so many scenarios! For example, my brother just texted me to ask what I want for Christmas, so I wrote back with that as my response. And I meant it! I think we can all agree that would be the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER…?!

Will I Ever Dance Again

Will I Ever Dance Again

Thaddeus’ comment this morning, when I put on Wildlife Pop again for the 10 billionth time: “Seriously…? Why don’t you just marry it?”

So I played the record on repeat for the entire day. Hahaha Thaddeus. In your face.

Actually though, by the end of the afternoon he was totally grooving on it too, and we just threw on this song and had an impromptu office dance party here at Mental Skillness HQ.

You can join our dance party too! Just press the ol’ PLAY button below:

Monday Morning Mystery

This was on my desk when I got in to work this morning…


It’s actually a full size calendar:


With robots on it! So many robots!

I don’t know who made this for me, but I love it!

L’Orangerie: Worst, But Still Good

The Museé de l’Orangerie in Paris is filled with many beautiful works of art. This is not one of them. That’s my opinion anyway. There’s just something about the peoples’ faces that weirds me out.

pere junier

La Carriole du Père Junier – Henri Rousseau, 1908

But. But! There are two amazing things about this painting. First of all, the boy in the carriage seems to be wearing a t-shirt with some sort of werewolf, or dog (weredog?) on it…


Which, if so, is obviously completely random for something painted in 1908. I mean, not that werewolves, or dogs (or weredogs) didn’t exist back then…but would someone be wearing a t-shirt sporting the image of one? Remember, ‘Twilight’ hadn’t been invented yet — Team Jacob wouldn’t exist for at least another 100 years. Was Henri Rousseau so prescient as to have predicted the advent of Stephenie Meyers’ literary juggernaut and the impact it would have on pop culture? Also, I have trouble imagining that kid would be allowed to wear a t-shirt in the first place. This was the early 1900s. People didn’t wear t-shirts, they wore suits with stiff collars and cravats! Especially for a jaunt around the park in the family carriage. Why is the boy dressed so differently from everyone else? These little details stand out, and I like them!

The second pleasing thing about this piece is the juxtaposition in size between the horse and the tiny dog trotting alongside it:


I mean, that is really quite great.

So overall, it is a somewhat creepy painting, but with some excellent redeeming features.

L’Orangerie: Best

Aside from Monet’s water lilies, this was my favourite painting at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris:

niece du peintre

It’s called ‘La nièce du peintre’ by André Derain.