Rabbit for Reggae

Remember my Twenty4Twenty project? I know it seems like I may have forgotten it but fret not, I’m just stretching it out.  Some of the people on my list are quite hard to reach; others I’ve just decided I’m not so wild about anymore.

The piece I’m writing about today falls in the fan art category but isn’t quite a Twenty4Twenty gift as I orchestrated a trade for this mount.

If you know me personally, you know that I’m a rabid consumer of podcasts.  Especially the ones falling into the comic variety.  While I get a tremendous amount of laughs from these podcasts, they are also quite thought-provoking and mentally stimulating.  Comedians are, in my opinion, the most observant, intelligent and unique people on earth.  Recently I added another podcast to the weekly roster and it quickly become my favorite. It’s called Twisting the Wind– check it out.  The host, Johnny Pemberton, incorporates music samples into the already captivating material and that’s what gave me the idea to reach out to him and propose a swap:

face right detail

Every song I’ve heard on this podcast was new to me.  And wonderful.  It took me back to my grade school days of mixtapes, where I discovered most of the music I still love today.  Perhaps I’m aurally lazy but I just prefer my favorite songs be spoon fed to me.  Record shops are among my least favorite places on earth to be, right up there with live music venues.  If someone else has really great taste, it only makes sense to me that I glom what I can off them.

SO.  I wrote Mr. Pemberton on a whim and proposed I send him a custom piece of taxidermy in exchange for a custom mix tape.  And he responded yes.

This was going great.  I was working on the rabbit I’d dispatched with Farmer Thomas, and trying out a new mounting technique (new to me, at least) in which I taxied the skin over the rabbit’s actual skull and not a form.  I also tried out a new type of ear-liner which produced mixed results.

straight on full

The mount itself is riddled with technical issues but it’s still pretty rad- he holds a little mirror in his rabbit hands to serve as a “last check” point: something to look at before seeing another person or people, and make sure there is no food in your teeth or gunk in your eyes.

mirror detail

He also has a small tiara type embellishment because he’s dripping with meaning, history and charm.

left  full

I’m quite pleased with his exposed teeth- the neat and perfect little rabbit chompers are what inspired me to incorporate the skull in the fist place.  It was a great experience to try something new and still be able to share it with someone while getting something in return, to boot!

right face detail

“This guy’s a real duck nut.”

The main road to school was still pretty snowed up so I was about thirty minutes late to class this morning.  The other student didn’t even make it, so I had a chance to catch up to her in terms of progress.

I began sewing the felt around my stretched skin.  I insisted on pinning it all which Mr. B found quite amusing, and offered some criticism in regards to time consumption.  I’m beginning to get exasperated with this “all commercial all the time” philosophy; I prefer to take as much time as I need with my work so it’s perfect.  I would not feel comfortable turning in sub-par work just because it’s faster.

Here he is, with the felt skirting.  I named him Bruce, after Honey West’s pet Ocelot.

Bruce has a freak double hang-nail (thumb claw) which my teacher claimed to have never seen before.  Pretty neat.

GRRRRR.  Almost finished product.

At the end of the day we gave my squirrel another bath and used some degreasing solution to puff his coat up a bit.  Major improvements.

After school I went sledding and unlike yesterday, the conditions were ideal for some stellar runs.  I came across these coyote tracks on my way up to the hill.

Me, myself, and my board.

Her’s me sledding.  I had to listen to music the entire time or the sheer loneliness would’ve swallowed me whole.  Walking up that hill takes some tunes to get me through it, as well.  It’s a pretty big hike.  I was amused at how different each run felt depending on what  piped into my ears.  I had a slow mournful run to “The Wall” soundtrack”, and amped up flying session when Andrew WK came on, and a kind of mysterious  and comical ride to the “James Bond” soundtrack:

I am about a week behind on the news so it wasn’t until today that I learned about the emergency small aircraft landing on the NJ turnpike.  I was listening to the exchange between the pilot and the air traffic controller and found it charming that they use the term “souls” as in, “How many souls on board”?  It seems kind of contradictory that such a high-tech arena would rely on a term so…non-concrete.  It’s charming.

Country Music Picks ofthe Week

I have taken to listening to the country station even when I’m not in school.  There are a couple songs that I genuinely like, and occasionally they play the classics.  Some that I find quite shocking though, and worthy of review, are those following:

Randy Houser- “Boots On”.  This one is another example of a song proving just how COUNTRY this guy is, but I guess the only reason it really sticks out to me is that it took me about two weeks to realise what he was talking about when he says “Copenhagen Ring” in his “dirty old jeans”.  My husband has recently enlightened me to the plethora of dipping videos on Youtube, and honestly dipping is something I kind of forgot about after 11th grade when all the WT kids from Garden City would spend period after period with their faces attached to a soda can, nursing their habit.  My teeth ache just thinking about it.

Tim Mcgraw-“Down on the Farm”: I like how at the end of the video a simple farm party has turned into an event larger in scale and production than any evening out at a bar in NYC.  And by “like” I mean, I think it’s dumb.  Also, the beginning, where you see a bunch of tanned, strapping young folks joyfully tossing party supplies out of the back of a truck and riding together on a plow? I tensed up just watching it.  If there is a Hell for me, that would be it.

Jake Owen: “8 Second Ride”: I actually like the sound of this song-but once the lyrics come it, it’s all downhill.  A shame really, because Jake Owens has a pleasant voice, rich and deep, and is a good-looking guy to boot.   Then I watched the video just now while looking it up.  Christ, WHO is making these second-rate videos?  I mean, let me get this straight.  A teenager is wearing a child-sized pleather jacket in the middle of a humid summer day in some god forsaken swamp area and pants that scream yeast infection, yet she manages to strut into a bar like it’s totally natural?  And the “ride” that they take doesn’t, in fact, look the least bit wild to me.  In fact, aside from the seizure-inducing strobe light, it looks like a very tame love-making session.  If I were directing this video, they’d be riding that truck over mud piles and into ditches while she shotguns beer out of a PBR can. Topless.  Plus I would’ve recruited a model older than…twelve.  Just sayin’.  Also, my favorite part is where he tells her to climb on up but mind the cup where he’ll be spittin’ his dip tonight.

Miranda Lambert: “White Liar”-I actually really, really like this song.  I guess my favorite country is when a female vocalist is involved, judging by my love for Dolly, Dixie Chicks, and Holly Go Lightly.   I listen to this song on my school commute several times/day, and I adore her accent.  I imagine her lips and teeth forming all the words around a glass marble in her mouth.  A cursory search online tells me she’s from Texas.  Too bad, AGAIN, the video is crap, but I really like the song.


I listen to the radio a great deal these days; I’m spending so much time in a car and I actually prefer the radio over CDs.

There seems to be a lot of classic rock, which happens to be my FAVORITE genre of music.  I think I was born about twenty-five years too late; as my heart is right at home with all things seventies.  A few songs I  hear almost once a day:

Midnight Rider: UGH this song is so good it makes me scream. (it could be that the Allman Brothers Band is SO FREAKING HOT)  I’m surprised Jay-Z hasn’t has remixed the guitar hook in anything yet.  It’s begging for it.

Hot Child in the City.  I had no idea a man sung this.

The first two weeks of school, the radio we listen to all day was tuned to a soft rock station.  I love soft rock, and had no problem humming along with Kelly Clarkson and Celine Dion and Mike McDonald.  No. Problem.

Then the weather changed and Magic 93 wouldn’t come in clearly so now its Cat Country 96FM all day, every day.  And guess what?  I actually enjoy country music.  There was a brief period in my early twenties when I listened to contemporary (radio) country on the regular while recovering from a particularly nasty break-up.  One of my favorite songs at that time:

I still love it.

The thing that annoys me about so many country songs though is how many of them are solely about  “being country”.  It’s not unlike the old trend in hip-hop of devoting entire songs to how much shit they buy and how many bitches they have, etc.  The country songs about being country all seem to squeeze in at least one dig at “big cities” like New York and LA, and are almost pathetic in their thinly veiled attempt to convince you that they are more genuine than city folk  and are proud to be called white trash.  It’s exhausting. Example:

Some of its good though, and my favorite song du jour is “I Need you Now”.  Possibly the dumbest video ever made unfortunately: