Friday, March 24, 2000


posted by Mona-Lia Ventress on 3/24/2000 05:13:54 PM

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Thursday, March 23, 2000


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When offered a choice, my sister and I would clammor for Dad to read from our favorite book, Archie and Mehitabel by Don Marquis.

Archy was a talking cockroach and Mehitabel was an alley cat. Due to a tragic mishap of destiny, Archy, once a great poet, was reincarnated as a roach, but maintained the poet's soul, which he poured out in verse each night by hopping from key to key on Mr. Don Marquis' rusty old typewriter. Archy tells stories about Mehitabel the cat, Freddy the Rat, and other denizens of the garage he lived in. Since he couldn't manage the shift key, his verse was relatively unadorned by puncuation. Although Archy is the alleged author of these poems, it is Mehitabel who's spirit sang through me:

"we would rather be rowdy and gaunt and free
and dine on a diet of roach and rat
than slaves to a tame society
ours is the zest of the alley cat" My father would chuckle as he read aloud the story of warty bliggens, the toad who thought he was the center of the universe and therefore, logically, that the world revolved around HIM. Throughout those elementary school years Dad often took great delight in admonishing selfish behavior by stating "Who do you think you are, Warty Bliggins?"

But it's the image of Mehitabel crying "what have I done to deserve all these kittens" that I lives most vividly in me. Mehitabel was always following the pitter patter of some tomcat or the other's feet, always a lady and toujours gai.

"i had some romantic, lives and some elegant times i
have seen better days archy but
whats the use of kicking kid its
all in the game like a gentleman
friend of mine used to say
toujours gai kid toujours gai."
posted by Mona-Lia Ventress on 3/23/2000 02:19:09 PM

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Cross-Fade into the 90's -

When I was writing songs for Disney I stumbled upon a book called "The Complete Book of Nonsense". (First edition was published by Thomas McLean in February 1846). That book a was motherlode of silliness from which I drew great inspiration. This is one of my favorite illustrations.


"Many Peoplia Upsidedownia"


Others caught my fancy too, like Piggiawiggia Pyramidalis and the recipe to TO MAKE AN AMBLONGUS PIE. Edward Lear was a great source of inspiration to loosen up my ability to use language itself to make people laugh.

Here's a Robot Recipe I had to write for the Hatter and Hare characters for the new Disney tv show Adventures In Wonderland: (I wrote music and lyrics for this show for two years).

ROBOT RECIPE

A handful of hubcaps, a thimbleful of thumbtacks
10 tin digital digits, a smidgen of widgets
2 twists of the pliers, a couple of snips
3 yolks from a gizmo, and microchip fingertips.

You really don't need very much experience
to fabricate a robot of convenience.
With precision and expedience and all the right ingredients
just follow these instructions to a "T"
to make our favorite robot recipe.

A packet of noodles, a caboodle of doodles
A big blue box of bobbins, a bottle of bobby pins
Eleven liquid quartz locked aluminum sockets
Six slick spoonfuls of sticky electrical sprockets.

You really don't need very much experience
To fabricate a robot of convenience.
With precision and expedience and all the right ingredients
just follow these instructions to a "T"
To make our favorite robot recipe.
To make our favorite robot recipe.

posted by Mona-Lia Ventress on 3/23/2000 03:08:54 PM

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