Tuesday, October 07, 2008
318. A Colorful Ecosystem of the Hillview Gradstudent Household: Mini Miss Einstein, Onyx Megafauna, Bentley the Ambassador Dog
I suppose I have been blogging for so long. I have been living at 2X7 Hillview Dr. in Goleta for so long. I have been co-existing and thriving along with my enviro-housemates for so long… over a year now… that I, in part, feel greatly ashamed not to consciously and officially acknowledge the thriving existence of the colorful ecosystem thriving within this household of Goleta, California. Not to mention our fair share of spiders and other miscellaneous biting and pinching insects who fail to pay their fair share of rent.
I have probably met 100 people within the last three weeks and I found myself talking about my roommates over 50 times and I also found myself enthusiastically describing this most peculiar resident of the household by the name of Mini Miss Einstein.
In a future blog, I will be eagerly and briefly describing the lively humanoid characters of Hillview, my most wonderful housemates—Kyle, Karl, Lisa, Michela, and Joe.
But as of this moment—in my delight of re-discovering a superb collage of images I took last year—I wanted to devote this blog to the most extraordinary organism of Funky Cuteness: and that would be the one-and-only Mini Miss Einstein.
This little fuzzy blob of 12 pounds, 1.25 feet in length, with pricked ears, is more formally classified as a “cairn terrier,” or a small, spindly-furry, active and fearless dog. But I would argue that this organism is of questionable taxonomy. I vividly remember meeting Mini in the backyard of our house—her owner, Lisa, was taking a dip in the Jacuzzi. Lisa was referring to the Funky Cuteness as “Mini,” which I also went along with. The name made sense, particularly because she was a very miniaturized version of Lisa’s other giant, black lab, Onyx—now also appropriately named Onyx Megafauna. After petting and playing with the once humble and quiet and shy Mini for quite a few minutes (she was just released from a pound and could have potentially had an abusive previous owner and had been abandoned), I noticed how her body was largely covered with spindly, partly curly black hair, but her face was optimally coated and splotched with this wiry white hair (the symmetry of facial splotching rendered “optimality”), and my mind couldn’t help to coordinate my mouth in blurting out the observation, “Gee, this dog kind of looks like Einstein.” And Lisa was quite receiving of this notion. Within a few moments of this comment, I called her Mini Miss Einstein, and to this day, the name has stuck… to some degree. Her other frequently used affectionate name is MiniPin.
To resume the data collection of unquestionable classification, if one places Mini out of context of scale, and also analyzes her various angles of aesthetics, one could easily mistaken her as a fuzzy rat, a weasel, a guinea pig, a marmot, a warthog, a dog (dxmn, she is a dog!), a tazmanian devil, a fox, a coyote, a wolf, and a bear. She has the classic morphology of Giant Rodent of the Anthropocene, but could be better depicted as a Terrestrial Sea Otter. Mini Miss Einstein is ultimately the epitome of Funky Cute and Fuzzy Creature (FCFC certified… by myself). No doubt, my professors would still be able to classify her as a terrestrial vertebrate—or so you would think. Mini’s undefineable gestalt properties—from phylum down to species (at least we have the Einstein name down pat)—potentially makes her an anomalously remarkable character for Hollywood (which reminds me I need to make a zed card for Mini Miss Einstein in the near future). Hollywood largely consists of Beautiful Freaks anyway, all for the world to enjoy J.
This Amorphous Organism is such a mysterious creature of charismatic, animated personality (though currently being managed for an increase of nuisance barking), yet of an unknown history, that she invokes profound dimensions of imagination: an overall delightful invitation to the processes of near-infinite intellectual and emotional combinations of barebone elements of reality. I have already pre-meditated in placing Mini Miss Einstein in my Ecology of Size chapter (how Terra and Buz are going to reconstruct life-on-earth, humans included, with some legoes). Essentially, Terra was taking a walk one day and she encountered this most eccentrically intelligent dog. They both propped themselves on a bench within a park, and their thoughts were drifting while watching this little ant colony build a mound near by the bench. Mini Miss Einstein—who happens to be one of the greatest modern theorists of human behavior—had this profound epiphany in front of Terra, who instantly observed and observed in immersed shock upon Mini’s utterance: “You know what? Aren’t humans like some form of giant leaf cutter ant colony?” And that ignited Terra’s thought processes *bam!* just like that! Just opened a whole bunch of doors and windows of visual interpretation and recombination. Terra, to this day, remains indefinitely grateful for Mini Miss Einstein’s Profound Inspiration. Small roles can play big parts in stories, you know.
Overall, Mini is a very polite and lovely creature to be around, but cairn terriers are known to be “big characters that require a firm hand.” As which Lisa and Kyle—Mini’s current parents—do provide superb discipline to keep Mini’s squacking little playful bark under control. Sometimes her yapping serves no purpose but just to aggravate the annoyance of us all. I am just grateful that Mini Miss Einstein over time has become more comfortable, extroverted, and willing to express herself—despite its occasional nuisance.
Within this picture set, I also have images of two other notable dogs. Onyx Megafauna (which I tag on the “Megafauna” name), is an elder black Labrador of Lisa. Onyx and I are not in the best of terms, but we do pay each other respect. He indeed is megafauna material, and due to the immensity of his size, I provide Onyx the space that he deserves. Onyx occasionally barks at me for no particular reason, and I occasionally pet him. But I do keep my distance.
And finally, we cannot disregard the stately Bentley the Ambassador Dog. He is of similar size and of similar bizarro of character as Mini—at least in terms of the degree of uniqueness of such an organism. Bentley’s white droopy-haired fuzzball properties and overall superfriendly appearance allows him not to be misdiagnosed as a any other organism, except for a dog. Bentley’s proud owner, Lisa’s mom (a very witty middle school teacher in San Diego), has informed me how Bentley’s Ambassadorial character has fundamentally altered the dynamics of the neighborhood for the better. Bentley’s unfiltered ability to greet and become friends with any creature of any shape or size has even been lauded in the local newspapers. I told Lisa that perhaps the Bren School should thoroughly study the personality and behavior of Bentley the Ambassador dog to help improve international politics on human-environmental management. “Let’s just all set aside our differences and get along, shan’t we?” The world would be a better place if we all knew and adopted the practices of the great Bentley the Ambassador.
The images of the slideshow took a while to process. I messed around with posterization and poster edge effects.
**additional notes and observations: Mini Miss Einstein had been mistaken for a "skunk" at night and also looks like Ewok from Starwars. Mini has adapted her barking and language system such as to amplify "pity pets" through her very complex (but very cute) moans, groans, whines, and wimpers, while laying flat and dragging her bottom on the carpet. She also apparently has acquired break dance moves. Mini Miss Einstein's gestalt is the epitome of human manipulation through overall cuteness. Should be under investigation at an Evolutionary Psychology Lab.