Saturday, June 25, 2016

Weird Science

Now I've got an Oingo Boingo song stuck in my head...  "It's my creation!"

So, when I was little, I already had dreams of one day being a cartoonist.  However, like most children, I had back up plans.   
Mine included stand up comic, rock star, astronaut, marine biologist…  Okay there was a range.  But my #2 career path?

Mad Scientist. 

Very specifically insane.   
Couldn’t just be a regular ol’ scientist, no no. 

And this started YOUNG. 

I’ve talked about my favorite bathtub toy before.  
It was a little table that stretched across the width of the tub.  I used it to play out scenes with action figures, but mostly…

Bathtub science!  …with little cups.

I would fill a cup with bath water, gently pour it into another cup…  maybe add some highly scientific bubble bath or shampoo because they came from neat TOTALLY SCIENTIFIC bottles…  


This fascination with fake-movie-science probably stemmed from watching films like Frankenstein and The Brain that Wouldn’t Die at too young an age (thank you, Dad). 

Eventually, I went full on Island of Dr. Moreau.  Barbies became creatures with too many eyes, or a bat-boy, or a Ken doll just straight up tortured and hung on the swing set in pieces like an art installation on how the Patriarchy fails us all.  

These days, stuff like that is Monster High.  I love those dolls.  And show.  And everything ANYWAY, BACK TO SCIENCE.

Back in the day, we had children’s chemistry sets that were probably more dangerous than we should have been playing with.  

And my GOD how I played.

Mom made it even better by still having HER childhood chemistry set in a cute wooden thing.  
It had drawers and space for slides, and had the microscope that we used for our movie, EVE. 

I didn’t blow anything up, or burn anything off.  

I would do food experiments too.  
Well, not with the chemistry stuff.  
This was separate. 

Some would turn out really well, like the chocolate candy bark and marshmallows on a stick…  
(Put it in a microwave until it POOFS up, and then use a chopstick to wrap it up into a hard candy.)

The candy bark was just whatever I could find melted together, so it was mostly chocolate with maybe something mint?  

It wasn’t pretty, but it was glorious.

But, mostly the experiments weren’t so edible, and I’d forget about them.  

...Then my parents would find the god-knows-what in the back of the fridge mostly mold and learning its own language. 

The basement eventually became my studio (and laundry… and general storage area) but for a while it was also a play area.  
With spiders.   

And mold.

The kitchen set.  
OH man…   
Lots of kids had a little mini-kitchen, but mine was special.   
You see, mine was made of metal.   
Not plastic, wood… 

And it was actually kind of sharp at the edges.
Toys back then were still pretty hardcore. 

I’d do experiments, of course.  
What else is a refrigerator for?

Let me tell you about the gummy bear. 

Little cup filled with water… 

Add gummy bear.

Grew three sizes.

It wound up just falling apart when touched, and I remember the giant, sticky...  UGH mess that stayed forever after.

Of course, I have no idea how long I waited.  
That may have been part of the problem.  
My experiments were never done with the proper scientific method in mind.

The idea of experimenting is an important one though.  It helps to have a question to answer, but if not, simply living my life as a series of experiments seems to be my best bet.  

My goals are no longer so vague, though finding the “correct” path to take is still difficult.  
I’m starting to realize that there is no correct path.  
Any path that gets me there is correct.  
I’ll experiment.   
I’ll play.  
I’ll discover until I trip and fall into my goal. 

Hopefully with more grace than that just implied.

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