gris moves in
Aug. 29, 2010 7:10 pm
Updated: Sep. 3, 2010 1:47 am
One of the great unlikely jobs I've had along a meandering path was something called "professional notetaker" at the University of Michigan. It was completely on the level. Sponsored by the university even.
The job was what it sounds like: I took notes in art history--and then punched them up into prose and sold them to the university bookstore, which in turn sold them to college students with priorities that did not include twentieth century art on Tuesday and
Thursday mornings. M Go Blue!
It was great, though. Everybody won. Or everyone, that is, except the students who cheated themselves out of some good lectures--and probably the eccentric, large-floppy-hat-wearing professor, who taught to an empty room. Okay, so basically nobody won. But
And I loved it. I mean, it wasn't just a free education; I was actually getting paid for it. And the subject wasn't nuclear physics or principals of accounting, it was art.
One of the artists we covered that semester was Juan Gris, the Spanish cubist who, Wikipedia reminds me, really came into his own in Paris. It's fair to say that I remember next to nothing of what I wrote about Gris. It's kind of appalling. But I do remember
one thing, something I wrote and then removed (on the advice of counsel, my editor, even then, SLS). The sentence was "Gris moves on." It added nothing. But while it may have been a pointless, meaningless phrase for the course book, for some reason it made
us laugh; and so it has lived on as the title of a mixed tape and as a useful shorthand for describing something that doesn't really need saying.
The phrase has also, now, helped us to name our new grey kitten, the fast-becoming-friend of Wil'Wil' -- the surviving cat of the Wiles clan, who was lost and set adrift, heartbreakingly so, without her sister, the late, much adored Li'l Wil'.
And so, a welcoming toast for Gris (full name: Juanita Gris), the lively, happy, ambush-loving new addition to the Pride, who can never replace the girl we lost so suddenly. But who can help us all move on. For this toast, a Grey Goose martini with a spicy
gris goes all glamour shot
wiles discusses the house rules