A Day at the Opera

by angeliska on February 9, 2009

Today was strange and magical..
I took a long, luxurious bath and read The Lisa Diaries,
which are hilarious and depraved. Excellent bathtime reading!
I rely so much on the quality of light to limn and define objects-
I love to see ordinary things transformed in a shaft of golden
afternoon sun. I’ll arrange my day to be sure that I can enjoy
the light angling into my studio windows- it feeds me in a very
powerful way. The way cats will shift position to get maximum
time drinking in the sun, sphinx-like smiles on their furry faces-
or what the Aztecs and Egyptians were up to with their pyramids..
I get it, and I am really thrown off my game on grey days-
I lose my equilibrium, and it seems like morning never really ends.
As much as I love the Pacific Northwest, I know I could never live there.
I know it’s peculiar that such a pale person should be a heliophile,
but I am a southern girl- and I love heat and warmth and loathe being cold!
Anyhow, today was ominously grey and cloudy yet also quite warm-
ah, Texas in February! It’s very bizarre, but I love it.
So happy that it’s raining now, also- oh how we need more of it!

Today was Mister J. King’s (of Hello Lovers) birthday-
we celebrated by attending the opera! It was Rigoletto.
Have you ever seen it? It is a melodrama- tragic and
funny at turns. Mostly tragic. We were way up high in
the nosebleed vertigo seats, so the faces were tiny smudges-
but you could see the orchestra and it was fun taking wee
swigs from a silver flask of scotch! It was odd seeing an opera
in the middle of the day, everyone dressed up in the harsh
white glare.. I must say, though- the place was packed to the
brim with all sorts of people, and lots of fancy cuties!

I’ve left my tripod somewhere, so there’s only a composite representation
of what I wore- a 1930’s burgundy lace gown and fox fur coat,
both ancient and disintegrating, quite literally! I was a bit concerned
that I would be en deshabille by the end of the second act!

I realize that it is perverse and decadent to wear fur-
even very old and rotting vintage furs, which is what I have.
I had some very interesting conversations with ladies in the bathroom
about this, and I would like to continue the dialogue.
I am torn on the subject, being an animal lover-
but also a carnivore and leather wearer.
I am disturbed by all the the new exotic animal
pelts and skins I see strewn over the glossy pages
of fashion magazines, and I see and respect the point
of view of my friends who choose not utilize animals
for food or fashion. My attitudes have changed over the
years- I was a vegetarian for a long time. Now I am
contemplating going hunting! I feel that the most important
thing for me is to be aware and without illusions in making
my decisions. I try to uphold my choices without defensiveness,
and not judge others for any of their own choices.
How do you feel about it?

I was very naughty and treated myself to some very nice stockings from
Sock Dreams! Beware, all ye who enter there! You will be tempted
to spend all your dollars on socks, I swear. Très dangereuse!

John King comes from a long line of kitemakers.
Every year on his birthday, he receives a kite.
This year’s was emblazoned with a map of Antarctica.
It was a very windy day, but we lacked twine-
so we sang this song instead..

His lady, Miss Godsey is one of the prettiest people I know.
She is also a wonderful photographer.

I love to take pictures of her! So photogenic!

Miss Fickling was also looking darling in powder blue..

Jim and David sharing a loving moment.
It’s so nice to see fancy fellas in suits and tuxes!

I spied on D. from the balcony during intermission. O, incognita!

Afterwards, we headed to Sam’s Barbecue to feast of piles of meat!
All of us in our finery, squished onto picnic table benches, grabbing
ravenously with sauce-stained fingers for sausage and pickled peppers,
sweet-tea and orange soda and potato salad and banana pudding!

Sam’s is my favorite. The inside is covered in yellowing photographs
and posters and art. This was a newer piece, or one I hadn’t noticed before.
I wondered what crazy Jesus had to say about the dead,
but I left it alone- some mysteries must remain intact.


The fur thing is interesting.
Personally I feel that our reaction to issues like wearing fur and eating meat comes from being increasingly distanced from our natural environment and from death in the modern world of the pre-packed and of experts doing jobs for us.
Love and beauty have always walked hand in hand with death, creativity is never creation from nothing, but a refashioning of one thing by an act of destroying another.
Cruelty is something else entirely though. Cruelty lessens us. I believe we must re-learn to do things with respect and care, something we lost in the process of becoming ideologically enslaved to mass production and financial profit.
Your Opera trip looked fun. I hate dressing up, but I think I should learn to do it and love it just for making an event special. Maybe what I hate is not dressing up, but being conventional doing so or because it is expected… your photos gave a sense of how special it was though even without showing the event itself 🙂

by hybridartifacts on February 9, 2009 at 4:04 am. Reply #

I very much agree with the commenter above concerning the distance we have created to our natural environment.
Since I am married to a man who’s hobby it is to hunt, my views about this subject slightly changed. Although I still find it strange that one can love an animal that one is about to kill (or just the fact of killing animals as a ‘sport’), I have come to appreciate hunting as a more natural way of supplying food than going to the supermarket to buy anonymous humps of meat from an animal raised under cruel and unworthy conditions in large scale live stock farming. It makes you aware of how distant we indeed are from our roots. Hunting one partridge or quail takes hours and hours of intense walking through the woods, sometimes to no avail. I’ll treat game with much more respect and ‘cooking care’ than I ever have shown to a pre=packed piece of former animal. 🙂

by lutos on February 9, 2009 at 6:27 am. Reply #

I would rather see old furs used than thrown away: to throw them away is just further disrespect of the animal’s life.

by Virginia on February 9, 2009 at 7:31 am. Reply #

Delicious, beautiful, and thought provoking, as per usual. You already know how I feel about pretty much all of the above fur and meat related. I think it’s good to be flexible, and to move through various cycles of thoughts and feelings on the subject. It makes one well-rounded.
But when, pray tell, my love, were you vegetarian? I cannot recall such a time!

by Francesca Furiosa on February 9, 2009 at 8:07 am. Reply #

I found myself nodding in agreement with your other commenters. I hunt (and fish and forage) – that connection to life – and death – is important to me. We do not stand outside ‘nature’ looking in – we are in the middle of it along withe everything else on the planet. I’d wear fur – I’d even buy new fur as long as it wasn’t ranch-raised – I’d rather support a trapper.

by dr.hypercube on February 9, 2009 at 11:35 am. Reply #

I’ve debated the fur arguement in my head often… I do have some vintage furs, but I don’t think I could ever buy a new one. It seems wasteful to not use the old ones, but I don’t want to encourage the industry to continue… I suppose the previous commenters expressed the same, albeit more eloquently.
Ooooooh but the clothes!!! You all look so lovely. That powder blue is to die for.

by Jessica on February 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm. Reply #

We are sooo on the same page love! I just posted a super long post regarding the matter today! I eat meat…I love feathers, fur, and bones…I own taxidermy! I just think we need to make conscious choices. Choose sustainably produced meat, eggs and dairy! When buying other animal products, buy vintage/antique and when buying new…make sure it’s from an from ethical source! (Many Native Americans sell fur, feathers and bones…they honor the sanctity of the animal’s spirit when hunting.) We just need to be aware about the impact overconsumption is having on our bodies and the environment. But you’re connected you know!
And hot damn, your new tights rock!
xo Lavona

by Lady Lavona on February 9, 2009 at 8:59 pm. Reply #

whenever i comment on your journal, i’m like “uh, she knows what i think.”
anyway. i totally made a little fur stole today that is kind of about this. you will see when it is light enough to take pretty photos.
old yes, new no. i really flip about PETA videos and new fur on cheap made in china clothes, it makes me sick and upset.
i ate venison at home over xmas, and it was good. i never ever ever eat meat without thinking about, thanking, and honoring the animal it came from.
i hope you all take my bones and make pretty things with them. from which whence we came, etc etc.
p.s. go look at the st.orres link in the comment of my valentines post, and then COME BACK HERE IMMEDIATELY.
p.p.s. no word on work trip in july yet. when do you leave for new orleans?

by verhext on February 9, 2009 at 10:58 pm. Reply #

the meatmaking industry is a force of darkness.
you with a gun killing beasts is not so much a force
of darkness, though, for some reason.
i dreamed of a white eagle last night.
i dreamed of seeing the fish swallow the hook
and get pulled out of the womby water: all
silent peril. but! i eat fishes. i wear leather things, i have a bunny collar but i am allergic to
i would not hunt and so brazenly disturb the peace of
creatures. but i might fish and chop their heads off
and then feel terribly about it afterward.
do what thou wilt shall be the…

by charity on February 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm. Reply #

The portraits of you, and of Jim and David were outstanding to me.
They are the kind of photos that someone will find in a box in the distant future and wonder about the people in them and treasure them as we do with Victorian and vintage photos.
Humans are complicated creatures full of paradox.
We love our cats and dogs, and shudder at the thought that some Chinese eat them for dinner.
We love horses, but we eat cows.
We feed the wild birds, but eat chickens.
People stomp on certain insects and admire others.
Is there any logic to this human behavior?
To hunt, one must even further shut off the consciousness within us that is aware of the magic of life in all creatures.
To dim the light of that consciousness is destroying something in the human psyche that is intrinsically good, and still evolving in our species.
I’m not above being a part of the human paradox pertaining to our attitudes towards animals.
Although I’m a vegetarian (since 1980), and even boycotted leather for 8 hideous plastic filled years, I now own a leather couch, purse, shoes, coat.

by Sue Hughes on February 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm. Reply #

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