Encyclopedic entries: A

I've just finished reading Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, which is an often funny, sometimes poignant compilation of musings on her life arranged in encyclopedic entries. It was an interesting format; one I thought I might try here periodically, so here goes:

I've always liked the s
ound of this word; it's the rarely used combination of the 'kwee' with the 'ess', I think. Don't do it much, though, since it means passively agreeing or submitting to something--doesn't sound like me, does it?

These symbols are the basis for some of my Afrocentric designs. Each has a different meaning, and the language was developed by the people of Ghana. The word adinkra means 'goodbye,' and symbols were originally used on funeral cloths. Some of my favorites:

Sankofa: learn from your mistakes

Osrane ne nsoroma: wisdom, learning, humility

Wawa aba: overcoming barriers, movement, progression

Alizarin Crimson
I encountered this color in my first studio art class at Wellesley. It's a deep, rich bluish red, but I've never taken the time to find out what alizarin is, and whether it's what makes the paint so transparent and unstable with only one coat.

(Note: having written that, I decided to finally find out. Here's the Britannica.com description): a red dye originally obtained from the root of the common madder plant, Rubia tinctorum, in which it occurs combined with the sugars xylose and glucose. The cultivation of madder and the use of its ground root for dyeing by the complicated Turkey red process were known in ancient Persia, India and Egypt. Okay, one question answered, and another raised (I just love where questions can lead!). The "common madder plant"? Well, of course, I have to know now.
For that answer, I turned to Wikipedia:
Rose madder, sometimes referred to as Rose Madder Genuine is the crushed root of the Common Madder plant (Rubia Tinctorium). The ancient Egyptians used rose madder to create pinkish rose-colored textile dyes....It had limited use as an oil paint during the Renaissance era because it was considered a weak color. In the 19th century, chemists were able to manufacture a pigment that made rose madder a stronger and more durable oil paint. However, during the latter part of the 19th century, alizarin crimson was created and was considered at the time to be a superior replacement to rose madder.
The relative weakness of rose madder limited its industrial uses mainly to textiles or artist's colors....By the beginning of the new millennium usage of rose madder and alizarin was in decline. Rose Madder Genuine: Transparency Rating = 4 (high transparency) So now I know.

Artsy-Fartsy, Artiste, Arty
These are all words I intensely dislike as descriptions about anyone, much less me. It's insulting to have the work I do dismissed with a phrase which includes a rude term for a bodily function; condescending to be on the receiving end of the comment, "Well, of course you would know, since you're The Artiste," and I'm not even sure what 'arty' means.

I have an artistic eye. I'm an artist. Let's leave it at that.
See also: Crafty

When I was a little girl, when I heard about someone going 'away,' I always imagined they were going to a far off place, even if it turned out they were only going someplace close. I guess I still do. When I 'away from the office' messages on email, or hear it on voice mail messages, I immediately think: "oh, how lucky for them--they've gone "away". Of course I know now that 'away' more than likely means they've just left their desks for a moment, and are just down the hall, but I'd rather imagine they're in Morocco--I know I'd rather be there than at the copy machine.

Azaria, Hank
His 'Agador Spartacus' in The Birdcage is priceless. If you haven't seen it, go rent it. If you own it, pop it in, and have a great laugh again.

Thanks, Amy--I'll revisit this format soon--I see why you chose it; it's fun!


Lori said…
Thanks for the adinkra symbols and their meanings. I have a book on the subject . . . somewhere. Hopefully, I'll be able to find it when we remove our things from storage.

Also, I'm with you on the "artsy-fartsy" business. I often wonder if people realize how rude and dismissive it sounds.