Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Taxidermy’ Category

Dear Viktor Wynd,

You and I clearly are kindred spirits. My friend Nick mentioned your Museum of Curiosities as a place to check out the next time I was in London. In fact, he specifically said this:

It looks like how I imagine the inside of your head looks.

Well, he’s not wrong.

My head is filled with flotsam and jetsam, much like your museum.

In fact, your website celebrates the lack of categorization as part of the mission.

This museum will merely display everything that has glittered & caught the eye of it’s founder.

I just want to take a moment to recognize your genius. Where else can a jar of Amy Winehouse’s poop live alongside some terrible taxidermy?

As I was able to visit recently, here are some visual aids for readers who think I’m kidding:

This is pretty bad, even as bad taxidermy goes.

And part of Amy outside her music lives on.

BFs 4EVA!

It must be weird to be a celebrity whose detritus is museum worthy.

There is plenty going on in this case. Almost too much for intake.

Id like to copy edit the museum mission statement, but I won’t. Here it is with all its charm intact:

The Museum has no overreaching aim beyond the theft of it’s visitors time and the hope that it will provide amusement by return & hopes to fill the vacuum between what the establishment elite believes is worthy of worship & what exists in the world.

Good news: It did ABSOLUTELY provide amusement. This is exactly the sort of place that provides a perfect afternoon for me.

Read Full Post »

Warning: This post contains graphic images of a dead animal.

Dear Eddie, Dominic and Gideon,

Thank you so much for giving me the best Christmas gift ever: a taxidermy class at Rainy Day Revival down the street. It is the gift that keeps on giving, as I learned two things:

  1. I really like practicing the art of taxidermy and not just admiring it.
  2. It appears I’m good at it.

You know I’ve been trying to take a taxidermy class for years — since before we moved to Atlanta. The ones at Graveface kept getting cancelled as they didn’t fill up.

Not so with the RDR one: It sold out quickly.

Revell, the man in charge of my hair, and I have similar interests. His boyfriend bought him a seat in the class for Christmas too!

We practically rushed into the room as soon as it opened. Revell chose a fluffy black bunny, so I picked the one across for convenience.

The instructor, Nina, had us start with painting or staining our plaques. Then we had to massage our still-partially frozen yet “ethically sourced” rabbit. (No, I don’t know what that means. Various websites say various things. I didn’t ask. Ignorance is bliss.)

Here’s my rabbit, Roger (of course), lying in state — massaged and thawed.

Next we had to turn our rabbits inside out to remove the skull.

You would think this would be gross, but all the Borax we put on them helped dry things out. Plus, you know I watch plenty of medical and forensic reality shows.

Nina came by to check on progress and gave me props for not popping the eyes and keeping my lids intact.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.19.26 PM

See! I’m a natural!

Nina then announced this, which is something I never thought I’d hear:

Once you take your face off, stop: We’re going to take a break.

So we took a break.

Revell and I had fun with our gross puppets.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.18.43 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.18.59 PM.png

After the break, we made a new skull out of the kind of foam stuff that goes in the bottom of funeral arrangements. Apropos, no?

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.18.30 PM
Roger starts to look more like himself again.

But see how his nose is a little mushed in? I got the bright idea to plump it up with some clay. Nina’s mom, who helps with the classes, was skeptical. Then she saw the end result.

Oh! You were totally right! That looks much better.

I’m an artist, I tell you.

Once we were done, we lingered in the shop waiting for Nina to mount them on our plaques. (Power tools + expertise = much quicker to get through all 30)

I had plenty of time to admire the wares — and dream of bigger projects.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.18.16 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.17.58 PM.png

Finally, Roger and I were reunited.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.17.45 PM.png

It will be two weeks until he “cures” completely and his bandages come off.

And you three will be forced to look at enjoy him in a place of pride at home.

So thank you for this gift. I had a great time, and I’m proud of myself.

Love,
The Novice Taxidermist

Read Full Post »

Dear Santa,

Though you didn’t come through with anything on my previous list (in fact, my eye is worse), you worked through my family to ensure I had a great Christmas.

Just look:

I coveted this shirt. Eddie has one from his pals at CrossFit Steadfast in Savannah. I donate to Goat Yoga Lisa‘s fundraising campaign every year. Now I have a shirt of my own!

This is the gift that will keep on giving. Not only am I excited about learning how to do this art at the February class, but I can write about it. I’m going with Revell, the guy who cuts my hair. So that should be a hoot.

Behold a perfect gift for any Murderino.

That gift is from the kids. They know I listen to “My Favorite Murder” as I walk to work. Eddie reports the following conversation.

Him: Those are really expensive.
Dominic: They are for someone who deserves it. She deserves it. Plus, I’ve been a jerk.

And suddenly both my eyes had issues.

So thank you, Santa. Like Bono’s girl, you move in mysterious ways.

Love and kisses to you and the missus,
Beth

Read Full Post »

Dear Organizers of the Atlanta Oddities and Curiosities Expo:

Thank you from the bottom of my freaky little heart. It’s like you planned the event just for me.

Taxidermy? Check.
Jewelry made from animal parts? Check.
Human sideshows? Check.

One of the first things I saw when I walked in (by myself of course because who’s going with me to this?) was this array:

I think my strange little heart skipped a beat.

Then I saw this:

Sadly, he was not for sale.

But creations featuring Ouija boards were.

I am not allowed to come home with occult material. I’m not even allowed to remind Eddie that we have a Ouija board in the house.

But I almost came home with this:

I decided against the leg. I’m ok with having things that might have been roadkill. But a giraffe is an unlikely candidate for that.

Instead, I bought a coyote face.

That’s right.

And I actually uttered this sentence:

How much is the face?

That was my only Buffalo Bill moment, I promise.

I didn’t buy the jars of teeth that looked like corn niblets.

I also passed up the pelts.

I even declined the dicks.

You know what I did buy? Mouse paw metal horns.

And a glow-in-the-dark necklace featuring a spiderweb.

Note: That’s quite a job title. Is there a degree in that? Or maybe a certificate?

I also bought some leggings.

The ones on the right will be my Murderino lure.

Sadly, I did not come home with an IV stand.

Or a sheep skin.

Or any of the many hot bearded and tattooed men in attendance. You couldn’t swing a (dead) cat in there without hitting one of those.

Note to self: If you find yourself single, don’t troll bars. Clearly, you’ll find life among the dead instead.

My potential Hinge pic!

Look, I know that photo isn’t as sexy as the glamour shots of someone’s monkey, but I do what I can.

Anyway, thank you for bringing this event to Atlanta. You’ve given me new ways to torture my family — just in time for the holidays.

All my love,
Beth

Read Full Post »

Dear 2019:

Despite the fact that I likely won’t be awake to officially welcome you (I’m elderly and need my sleep), I really am looking forward to seeing you.

[As for you, 2018, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Good riddance (we did not have the time of our lives).]

Readers who have been with me here for a while know that I’m not a resolution kind of gal. Why wait to make changes you need to make?

I needed to start a diet, so I did — in September.

I needed to rethink some relationships, so I did — in July.

I needed to get a project back on track, so I did — in February.

All that said, the first day of the new year offers a good time to reflect. And I have looked inside myself and found some internal shriveling. Hence (such a good word), here’s how I hope to improve while I’m in you, 2019:

  1. Refrain from strangling Dominic for one more year. It’s so hard. He’s 14; the hormones are strong with this one. Eddie and I take turns playing Good Cop and Bad Cop. Today, Eddie was Bad Cop, telling Dominic to turn in some missing school work. Then I get this text:
  2. Let Gideon hold my hand, even when his hand is clammy. His hand is always clammy. Or sticky. Dear God, WHY is his hand always clammy or sticky?
  3. Stop telling Gideon his hand is clammy/sticky, and that he needs to wash WITH SOAP.
  4. Resist the urge to roll my eyes at Eddie. Ever. No matter what silly thing he is asking/doing/saying. At least where he can see me. And he will do the same for me. (And believe me, I give him plenty of opportunities.)
  5. Avoid being a beer snob. If all they have is Coors Light or PBR, just walk away. Get some water, maybe even out of the garden hose (same difference). No need to make a big deal of it.
  6. Cut down on collecting dead things. Photos of dead things can be fine. And friends posting about dead things on my social media also is fine. And live things too.
  7. Refuse to engage with toxic people. Clearly, I’ll have to give up Twitter. (But then I’ll miss people posting about dead things and live things.)
  8. Write more; talk less. And don’t get sidetracked by Words With Friends. (Is this appropriate? Probably. I don’t know him.)
  9. Seek help for my Amazon Prime addiction. The plus side of this is that Christmas shopping was done by October.
  10. Invite people over. Yes, our apartment is the size of the Keebler tree. No one cares.
  11. Use the following words every chance I get: savory, shank, persnickety, moist, perfunctory, shocking, lollygag, kerfuffle, fracas, soiree, illicit, nefarious, supine, incandescent, degloved and mollycoddle. They just have a remarkable mouthfeel.

As for you, 2019, we will chat again when your 90-day probationary period is up. And mine too, I guess.

Happy new you,
Beth

Read Full Post »

Dear People Who Don’t Understand My Love of Bad Taxidermy:

First, you don’t have to understand. You don’t live with me. (Unless you are Eddie, who does have to live with me and spends most of his time rolling his eyes and sighing.)

Second, what’s there to understand? I think it’s funny. Maybe you don’t. Fine. I don’t judge your love of period dramas and pumpkin spice brisket. (That’s a thing, right?)

Third, if you must know, I can trace it back to early 2014. Eddie and I were chaperones for one of the boys’ field trips, and we were waiting for the school bus to arrive. BuzzFeed put out a listicle of top 10 examples of bad taxidermy. Eddie and I laughed ourselves to tears recreating the poor creatures that made the list. Like this:

It still makes me laugh.

And so I started posting other examples of bad taxidermy on people’s Facebook pages as birthday greetings. Totally normal behavior. Right? Right?!

Then I got my first piece of bad taxidermy: a squirrel tail in the shape of a question mark.

It was a thank-you gift from a graduate student after she successfully defended her thesis. I was her chair. She gave it to me and said, “I saw this and thought of you because you like bad taxidermy and wrote question marks all over drafts of my thesis.”

True.

The tail led to a deer head from the 1950s, then a deer tail plaque with a thermometer (a furmometer!), then a blowfish ornament, then Hando.

Now, people see this and think of me:

And that’s fine by me. (I immediately thought, “Christmas gift!”)

You still don’t get it?

Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Many people do get it, and get me. Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) would.

Maybe you can just scroll on past. Or look away. It really only matters that I think it’s hilarious. That’s my thing. You find yours. I support you.

Yours in foam forms and glass eyes,
Beth

Read Full Post »

IMG_2853Dear Maureen,

Only a true friend would give me a taxidermied raccoon arm/paw as a gift. You are a true friend. Even better, it was just a Tuesday — not my birthday, Christmas, or any other gift-giving occasion.

This critter appendage now likely is having more fun in death than its owner had in life. I know my family and I had fun taking photos with it (see gallery below). I even started an Instagram account.

Thank you from the bottom of my taxidermy-loving heart,
Beth

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »