Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shedding and Shredding


A samurai suit of armor, containing 4,500 small steel scales, covered with 265 yards of silk braid.

To me, Japanese art is visually either complicated, even crowded, or achingly pure and subtle as in the contrast between a samurai's suit of armor and his sword.


My daughter stole this from someone's FB and sent it on.

Hello, welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline:

If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press one, repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
If you have multiple personalities, press 3,4, and 5.
If you are paranoid delusional, we know who you are . Just stay on the line so we can trace your call...

Speaking of paranoia...I've been shredding print-outs of early drafts. Now, the chances of someone in the recycle chain lifting pages of my novel and publishing them on Lulu are statistically about the same as my winning the Giller. I know that. Just the same, I spent part of the weekend shoving paper into the maw of my shredder. When in operation, the machine sounds like a chainsaw...

Discovered something about reverse volume. Paper is like maple syrup, shredded paper is like maple sap. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make syrup.
Shredded paper occupies about 40 times the space the original stack of sheets did.

Do you have a secret paranoia? Confess.

Discovered something else: one can successfully vacuum layers of dog hair while sitting on the floor - a position made necessary by sciatica and possible by a shop-vac. Long ago I discovered the genteel suckage offered by most vacuums was insufficient. One could call this method bun-walking.

Sylvia has the most cunning device on her Can't Backspace blog, whereby comments are rendered in a variety of elegant scripts, and thereby making even pedestrian comments like mine look impressive.

26 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

Secret paranoia? I'm sure I have one, but of course when someone asks you can't think of anything. Probably in my case it's the secret fear that people will hate me--which is odd, considering that by nature I am such a loner.

I hadn't thought of that busy vs. simple dichotomy in Japanese art, Bernita, but now that you mention it, you are right. Perhaps they focus on details; and, when details are supremely important, those get really played up. So that each scale on the armor is treated like a single sword blade? Probably not to that extreme, you wouldn't, for example, fold the steel for the armor scales a zillion times and etch the watermark on them like a blade. But perhaps to a lesser extent?

raine said...

If you are paranoid delusional, we know who you are . Just stay on the line so we can trace your call...

Love it, lol.
The only one I can think of is the occasional irrational idea that I've only been pubbed because people were being nice to me. :X

Oh, and you'll discover all kinds of tricks about working with the sciatica (sadly). Another is the 'washing dishes' problem. If you prop your elbows on the sink ledge, thereby taking some weight & pressure off the back/hip, you can still move the forearms productively.

laughingwolf said...

i'm all for as much simplicity as possible... love the beauty of the shinken!

i shred a ton of my stuff, too

can't think of any secret paranoia, i KNOW they're all out to get me... no secret in that! :P lol

sorry to hear of your ongoing pain!

and quit belittling your writerly efforts :(

Bernita said...

Written, I am afraid sometimes that if people really knew me they wouldn't like me too.

"Perhaps to a lesser extent?" Yes,that may be it.

Bernita said...

"I've only been pubbed because people were being nice to me."
Raine, that is ttotally irrational!
Your writing is so smooth, so mmmm-yummy!

Yep, discovered the elbows trick after there was no more space on the counter and no clean glasses.

Such purity of form, LW.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who shreds!

sylvia said...

I'm generally pretty stable but I can get paranoid about very stupid things.

I hope your backpain gets better.

(A little secret about my blog - One person hated the commenting font she received so much, I had to change it)

jason evans said...

The co-dependent option isn't accurate. Maybe: "If you are co-dependent, press 2, and we won't be angry at you. For now."

Angie said...

Bernita -- if your paper gets recycled, shredding it ahead of time means the process will go more quickly or something like that, I think. So maybe you're helping?

I think of these things now, since Seattle is absolutely fanatical about recycling. :/

Jason -- or maybe something like "If you are co-dependent, please press 2 for us. It'll really help us out, and you're so much better at pressing 2 than we are, and besides we're just not up to it today."

Angie

Bernita said...

Thank you.
Sylvia, we stable types are allowed to indulge in paranoia over stupid things.

Ah well, Jason, it's the internets after all.

Bernita said...

It would be nice to think so, Angie. On the other hand, I use power to shred...
My town makes it easy to recycle the standard stuff.

Charles Gramlich said...

One of the Japanese restruants I frequent has a full set of armor like this. Very cool. I've studied it quite often.

Bernita said...

Very cool and very old, Charles. This one belonged to one of the five princely families.

BernardL said...

I've read that vacuuming is bad for the back. In truth, when back problems strike nearly everything is bad for the back. You found a workable solution.

Bernita said...

And I can see the color and pattern of the living room rug again, Bernard!

Travis Erwin said...

It's no secret, but I fear lettuce.

Bernita said...

I can understand that. There are fields of them everywhere, Travis, pushing their heads through the soil...

Scott from Oregon said...

For dog hair I get out my super duper leaf blower, set a couple of fans at the door, and watch the fur fly...

Frank Baron said...

Twenty bucks to the charity of your choice if you post a picture of yourself vacuuming (as described)!

Oh, what the heck, maybe I'll donate it anyway - just for the word picture. ;)

J. H. Bográn said...

On hyphens: I recently read The Great Gatsby and was surprised to see to-morrow, instead of the "tomorrow" taught by my English teacher. Okay, it was English as a second language, granted. Amusing nonetheless. :-)

Lana Gramlich said...

I agree with you about Japanese art, totally.

Bernita said...

Frank, sadly, there was no one around to shoot such a picture.
You may picture me hip-shifting around the furniture in my long living room in a tatty track-suit, wisps of hair falling from a hasty bun, a grim, "sciatica be-damed" expression on my face, occasionally lying flat to peer under the sofa or the lazy boy to avoid sucking up anything that might clog the machine (my grandson visited the week before.) Before and after views would include me being trampled and face-washed by both dogs ,joyous with the idea that this might be a delightful new game.
A sound track might include either expletives as rich as compost and the occasional pitiful moan.
Your local humane society would be nice...

Bernita said...

Sounds most efficient, Scott!

A lot of changes in punctuation since The Great Gatsby was published, JH. Most of them make sense.
Your English teacher is up to date.

Thank you, Lana!
It's nice to have one's impression verified by someone who actually knows art.

jason evans said...

Angie, ha! I like yours even better!!

Angie said...

Bernita -- me being trampled and face-washed by both dogs

See, you could've taken advantage of the situation to vacuum the dogs themselves, and gotten what's probably most of the problem (if your situation is anything like my mom's) at the source. [grin]

Jason -- ;D

Angie

Bernita said...

Angie - if only!
However, they both run and hide the moment I turn on the vacuum.

Whirlochre said...

It's always worth shredding whatever you have on yourself once it's past its sell-by date — someone is currently using my identity to purchase fraudulent house insurance. Not bad considering I'm a disembodied eye. Or is this something about which I should be paranoid?