Monday, April 30, 2007
Inspiration: The Diamond Age
...he glanced through to door to Gwendolyn's closet and out the other side into her boudoir. Against that room's far windows was the desk she used for social correspondence, really just a table with a top of genuine marble, strewn with bits of stationery, her own and others', dimly identifiable even at this distance as business cards, visiting cards, note cards, invitations from various people still going through triage. Most of the boudoir floor was covered with a tatty carpet, worn through in places all the way down to its underlying matrix of jute, but handwoven and sculpted by genuine Chinese slave labor during the Mao Dynasty. Its only real function was to protect the floor from Gwendolyn's exercise equipment, which gleamed in the dim light scattering off the clouds from Shanghai: a step unit done up in Beaux-Arts ironmongery, a rowing machine cleverly fashioned of writhing sea serpents and hard bodied nereids, a rack of free weights supported by four cillipygious caryatids -- not chunky Greeks but modern women, one of each major racial group, each tricep, gluteus, latissimus, sartorius and rectus abdominus casting its own highlight. Classical architecture indeed.
--A description of Gwendolyn Hackworth's boudoir in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
Let's see... I'm not sure I can find any exercise equipment that fabulous, but how about a Turkish rug to put in your garage under your exercise station? This one is made of recycled plastic, so not as authentic as Gwendolyn's, but hardier and much more environmentally conscious. (I'm considering it, or something similar, for my patio.)
On top of it, imagine one of these bowflex thingies -- not that you need my recommendation for such things -- either you own at least one already or you have more informed opinions about such things that I do.