Saturday, December 31, 2005
She's a sweet girl, but it's times like these that her strange priorities hit me squarely. The house is very literally falling to pieces, but won't she be damned if it doesn't sparkle on its way down? Her brand new upstairs washer/dryer combo has just flown off kilter and is sending showers of paint chips from the closet ceiling onto our clean towels. The loose panes of glass in the front door are dancing in time to her dishwasher. A vaccuum has been turned on and my computer screen is flickering accordingly, running on the fumes of our electrical system. Some industrious soul is cleaning the carpets and the whirring is competing with the efforts of our newly installed, eleven year old boiler (she discovered it moldering in another basement where it was apparently just waiting to shine in our's).
But her new rhododendrons look so nice encased in snow, and the chandelier is just lovely spinning on its last rotted nail.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
We saw Chronicles of Narnia this evening. It was pretty and mild and dimensionless, and the perfect toast to my reeling stomach--until some kid threw up all over herself and her nachos and very nearly on my heels. I suppose that's what we get for insisting on driving the twenty minutes out to suburbia for our viewing pleasures (under the flimsy excuse that the sound is better at the Transit Regal, when really it's just that I can't stand the smell of weed). But it's a fair trade.
Oh, and I've a weenzy crush on Tilda Swinton. Her arms are like Hera's, though her makeup could've used some popping. I'm also going to suggest Orlando for the billionth time. It's got Billy Zane....
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
At seven she scooped up my uncle's skittish dog and started to cuddle it and coo repeatedly, "She comes to no one else but me. She loves me best" as the poor things soul drained from its eyes.
At eight she smacked my dad in the back of his head and got a severe talking-to that shut her up until eight forty--
--when she bounded into the computer room where Alex and I were lurking, spilled her don Ramon, and leapt into Alex's lap for what I obligingly timed to be seventeen minutes. And he sat, good man, and comitted himself to one of his store of benign expressions, and played Mario Cart, and looked at her not at all, and endured the screaming and whisker-pulling and desperate pleas for attention--an unlikely Santa to her spoiled brat.
At ten thirty we had a reprieve when the accent she'd affected since her five day trip to Spain finally breathed its last.
And then there was this morning, when she yawned mightily from the back room and called into the quiet: "Guys? How do you spell lusive? As in lusive dreaming."
Friday, December 23, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I kick a fair amount of ass at holiday gatherings. Years ago I went toe to toe with my fearsome great-aunt and won for myself a place as second-in-command in her kitchen. It seems that my abrasive and unyeilding nature was the perfect fit for her culinary regime. That or she figured if I was going to be constantly poking about in her fridge, she might as well put me to work.
The position is a lofty one and I'm granted the ready fear and respect that all cooks enjoy in their own kitchens. It's a heady experience that has nothing to do with food or drink and everything to do with being Big Fat Kitchen Bully. All I need is a wide skirt, some yapping dogs, and an extra hundred and fifty pounds and I'll be ready to join the ranks of the terror-inspiring, spoon-weilding tyrants of yore.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
And also, Wikipedia is dominated by the geeks. There's an extensive breakdown of the Halfelven line there that makes me embarassed.
And now that no one at all is reading, I can come out and say that Thundercats Season One was released on dvd this past Tuesday. Good week.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Today the yo-yo-ing temperatures decided to make an embarassment out of me. I will blame the weather, as my cloistered life demands no dress code and I should not be held accountable to walls and rugs for my appearance. If things go well or poorly for my state of affairs, credit is given to an outside force--an angry puck of the Tangled Hair Guild, or, in today's case, the fitful elements.
And they raged. My hands puffed and shrivelled accordingly. My hair alternated between clinging to my scalp for warmth and springing away from my head at right angles towards any spare heat. All very amusing until I emerged into public for food. As I walked to my table and unwound myself from Midgardian lengths of scarf and drifts of snow, I got the look/look away/snicker from a table of glossy ladies and decided that "hats on" was the way to go. And that from now on I would keep the dining to inside with my uncomplaining tea cups and broken kitchen chairs.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
It's a lovely book and will look even better after I slice it open and harvest its pictures for the kitchen. I'm feeling some guilt, but it seems I'll do anything to add to the horde of obscure hangings that runs rampant over our walls. It's actually starting to get a little ridiculous in here. Things are walking a faint line between dark nursery rhyme and geek chic. I think I'm going to have to start roping sections off before things get violent and the iron frogs start suing for territory and Shakespeare's Britain starts developing fleets of its own.
Monday, December 12, 2005
It's fascinating to witness the documented disintegration of an artist through his work. Thing is, the pieces made during the late stages of his affliction are arguably better than anything done previous.
I was given a tart "Don't even think about it," after humming appreciatively over those last paintings. But I can't help but feel that Wain may have stumbled upon something in his insanity--or was cursed to madness for an unlucky discovery. Nor can I shake the image of what I suspect he eventually became--a figure sitting over a fire, clasping his creation between two fingers and burning away all traces of mortality from the canvas. Until all that was left was the divine essence of Feline. A thing of fire and mathematical beauty, with only a faint telltale thumbprint sealed into the paint to hint at what was once body and blood. Or whiskers and fur.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
From the mind of a crazysmart local. An experiment.
I'm not sure if I like it. I'm also not sure if I should be 'experimenting' with people's Christmas gifts. Another version is in the works, along more traditional lines. I like giving people a lesser-of-two-evils option.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
That being said, she is hell to buy for at Christmas. She's naturally picky and, as a matter of principle, has decided to be nervy in her old age. Every year we agonize over her gift and wait in a state of terror/delight to hear those words: "Well, I'm not sure exactly where a single-serving tea pot is going to go in my packed cupboards. But it certainly is interesting."
So, this year, I threw my hands up, uttered a gusty "fuck it" and bought the fallback of all presents. One bitsy tantrum, two free gifts, and an obnoxious amount of money later, and we were headed out of Godiva in shame. But apparently thoughtlessness and snazzy gold wrapping are the perfect combination, because three days later she called us crowing:
"Guess what arrived today! You sure do know what Grandma likes!"
Monday, December 05, 2005
I've been listening to her on the sly. And while I still maintain that Extraordinary Machine is full of show tunes masquerading as adult contemporary pop, it seems that cutting back to a cigarette a week has restored my vocals, and I'm beginning to take a sick pride in being able to hit those annoying high notes.
I really just use it for my morning musical exercises. Gets me prepped for my lunchtime System of a Down.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
And (clumsy segue) speaking of the classics, I got a pleasant surprise when I found that our apprentice plumber had majored in Latin and math . It's not often that a girl in overalls and soot stands tinkering at your thermostat and says, "I'm checking for bleeders in your radiators--I'll be out of your hair in a second, if I could just steal some paper towels. Oh, and if you like Ovid, you should probably check out Catullus."
Friday, December 02, 2005
Doot dee doot.
Our heat's not working. The plumbers came yesterday morning and wrestled with the boiler until eight. It was a grand effort with much banging and swearing and a few scattered conversations about thug life that I could just barely make out beneath the floorboards. But some thingy still won't ignite. They promised to return with the broad daylight, but I've heard nothing as of yet and the temp just dropped to 57.
No matter. I like a good challenge. There are two hundred fifty million Chinese people who are only recently getting heat in their homes, so who am I to complain? Besides, I have faith in our handymen. Not only because the head plumber is kindof cute (and I only say kindof for decency's sake), but also because his apprentice has a cell phone that rings to the tune from Mario Brothers.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
In his defense, he is sick and shaky and, at this point, not a little mindless (and blaming me, I'm sure, for the Mariah). In my defense, the game is Cloud, and has apparently been crafted with me in mind. Little, black-haired anime boy, flying around in his nightshift (that's pajamas, not Commodores), chasing around a silmaril of sorts, making cloud designs. After a few minutes, I abandoned my bunnies and duckies and just went wandering. There's a lot that could be added, but the idea is fantastic. And I think I stumbled, Ender style, on some kind of Bermuda Triangle that was never meant for gameplay. No Hive Queens as of yet, but I'll keep things updated.
Monday, November 28, 2005
And the photos had been slightly magicked. Nothing too wild--but they moved in their frames and bumped at the glass and made muffled sounds. Before I woke up I passed one of a dark-eyed, dark haired woman who turned to me. Her hands were together and her fingers shuttered a golden bird that cried. She just smiled and winked at me under a gloomy perversion of "A bird in the hand."
Sunday, November 27, 2005
79 beers drunk (including company)
48 and 1/2 hours slept (excluding naps)
60 hours spent in pajamas (exactly half the weekend)
1 episode of AirBender watched
1/2 a cigarette smoked
23 emails mentioning (okay, slandering) in-laws
5 miles run
1 drunken rendition of Sweet Caroline
uncounted mint Hershey's kisses consumed
2 trips to Target
1 christmas tree to be purchased
Saturday, November 26, 2005
The pilot indulges my last request in a desperate stab at silence and wins the gamble. I sit and mumble around tortilla and don't care that there is no response to my (profound) theories about fish fries and Kiss 98.5. But as my senses probe through lettuce and tomato the last cogent thought is that five vodka tonics have done their part in priming me for the realization that Mighty Taco has been serving up Chef Boyardee as hot sauce. And it rocks my world.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
A: "Yeah, just put the wine in the black bag with our slippers and my PDA."
J: "All right. Let's go."
A: "What's that?"
J: "What's what? Oh. Well...nothing. That's just in case we get stuck there overnight."
A: "Um. No. You cannot bring The Lord of the Rings Trivia Game to Thanksgiving."
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
The most recent addition to the horde is a mushroom-based face stuff. Sounds weird. Looks weird. Should work. And considering all of the fresh mushrooms that I've been eating lately, I had hoped that maybe those expiring out and those sinking in would meet and "activate"(!) in some kind of age-defying fungal magic. Nothing. Nothing but smell. But I suppose the least of my worries is that I should walk around smelling like a plate of chicken marsala. The worst is that the combination of about three dozen brands of lotion makes me shrink and shrink like Lily Tomlin until I have to live in a Barbie house and eventually I run down the drain with the rest of the shampoos and conditioners and citrus flavored soaps...
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Last night we stood in the kitchen discussing the man himself for the uncountedth time--so stridently that I think we may have driven our landlady into the snows. The standard half dozen or so topics were raised. That Superman is to America what Jesus is to Christianity. That it's no coincidence he popped up around the same time the U.S. was becoming the major superpower. That he is arguably the most complex and fascinating comic book character (sorry, Bats.) That he can only be portrayed by the best of men--also, is this quality a requirement for the job or the other way around (does the role make the man or the man make the role?)? That Chris Reeve defined the character for our generation.
And finally, that, at any time, there can be only one Superman. And that somehow Reeve understood this down to its essence in passing on the red cape. In any case, the thought makes his death a little easier to accept.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I can't be sure, but I suspect that it has something to do with Rory and Lorelai patching things up. It had troubled me so.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Jorinda and Joringel. Witch freezes boy, transforms girl into a bird. Boy unfreezes, becomes a shepherd, searches the woods for the witch's castle, finds it by way of some lucky dreaming and a curious flower, frees girl from spell. Smoochie woochie.
But a sad story, at it's edges. It seems that Joringel is the only boy in the whole of the Black Forest with any sense of fidelity. Before finding and freeing Jorinda, he must first release the many birds that have been languishing in cages for lord knows how long. Hundreds of cages with hundreds of abandoned loves. How many had sung away their bloom in bird-form, waiting for boys that never returned? How many had passed out of youth, into sad, childless years, and now teetered into old age and senility?
My guess is that when Joringel transforms the birds back to "maidens" what he finds instead are the husks of women--bitter and hopeless, with pale flickers of humanity, but with a powerful sense of betrayal. And when they see what they've become, they weep and rage and beat their withered limbs and curse lovers and love in half-remembered languages. And become a new breed of witches.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
"Do I really look like one?"
"No. Stop being so sensitive."
"It's not the first time I've been called a freak by a total stranger, you'll recall."
"Oh, you mean those dudes in front of Panos? Years ago?"
"Well, two times in one decade is more than enough to start a person thinking."
"She misspoke. She should have said asshole."
"Yes! Asshole! I would have accepted asshole and moved on! Not so with freak."
"She said freaks. It was plural. It was meant for the shoppers in general."
"Yeah, but I was the head freak. I was what elicited the remark, and she went with freak as her insult of choice."
"Well, maybe you shouldn't have tried to run her over with your cart."
"Well, maybe she should've waited her goddamn turn. There's such a thing as market courtesy, you know. She apparently needed to be schooled in it. And I was the one to do it. People just can't go stepping out of turn. I had been patient enough...and my turkey was thawing."
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
In a desperate stab at inspiration I decided to fry up every mushroom in the house and dump them into a can of Progresso. I figured I'm too squeamish to try any banned substance, but reasoned that maybe a half-pound of very tame, very legal produce should somehow approximate the potency of one good hallucinagen. At best I would encourage some thought-provoking visions, at worst, I would get about a week's worth of riboflavin in one lunch.
But it seems that I can stomach neither lawbreaking nor large amounts of fungi. My meal is ruined and my paper remains blank.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.
Um. Is the Kansas Board of Education really allowed to do that?
Either way, as I'm sure that, when the time comes, we'll be in the first lot tagged for "correction", I've had our bags packed and our tickets pending.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Things went smoothly. Decisions were made quickly. There may have been some choice remarks made in the Target parking lot about Eagle scouts and their supposed knot-tying abilities. But we made it home without sailing off into the breeze and with only the one minor fracas.
And now the work begins. Furniture will be moved. Consoles will be stacked just so. I've heard whispered plans for something secret and big that I know only as "the control(ler) tower". The crayola-box desk has been banished to the basement. Artwork is being selected. Lighting has been approved with screensavers to match. We're making the slow progress into streamlined and mature.
Oh, and then there are the blueprints for the NES cupholder. But I guess everything is two steps forward, one step back.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
I've played at least ten rounds on super-retard setting and managed to capture five pieces.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Major suckage. Good thing the scan came out so shitty. The pic just wouldn't budge. I screamed "What the fuck?" once, very loudly, and promised to follow it with certain unprintable invectives if things didn't shape up, but remembered that if I can hear the nicotine wench next door warbling to Our Lady Peace, she can probably hear me too.
Instead I decided to even the score by not giving the little lady any hands. Let's see how well you cast spells now, mein frau. Heheh.
I'm sure to reap a nice kharmic whollop from this.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
"No. We'll be gone."
"Well, then I guess we'd better turn off all the lights, because no one here has candy."
I wondered briefly if she was, in her awkward, blubbering way, slamming us. We live downstairs and I realize that it's easiest for us to deal with the brats, but I also realize that we took a shift last year with nary a bag or a 'thank you' thrown our way. That she is the homeowner and ultimate responsibility falls to her. And that when you perch a grotesque, orange, inflatable monstrosity on your top porch, you are pretty much broadcasting to the neighborhood kids "Come and get your Sugar Babies here!". It's simply unconscionable to decorate and not deliver, and it galled me that she thought to saddle us with the task.
And so I managed to convince myself out of guilt. We abandoned our post under the pretext of chivalry--"We're going to help a friend hand out candy--don't want to leave her on her own, you know!" (never mind the fact that our landlady is a young, single, female homeowner herself) and left her to deal with whatever eggs and toilet paper she had coming to her.
Monday, October 31, 2005
The other night, I dreamt of a voice muttering over and over "and now we come to that last pale divide" and I woke up knowing that it meant the river Styx.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Perhaps it's three different cats, perhaps it's one well-travelled animal, perhaps my demons have finally materialized into feline form and are now very literally trailing me around. The fact is that I can't ignore it as a Sign and the question follows whether or not to pursue. It seems preoccupied and completely unaware of me, but as any student of folklore will tell you, this should not be a deterrent. In fact, some of the greatest adventures are undertaken on the heels of some careless magic thing that fails to cover its tracks (White Rabbit, Sir Orfeo). My (unreliable) gut tells me to chuck everything and follow it--around the blue garbage cans, between the yellow leaves, and into the beyond.
But beyond to where? Towards the next Great Hunt? To a hapless end?
More likely into the back yard one house over and into a prickly and embarassing confrontation with our despicable neighbor. Somehow I doubt she'd think "questing" an acceptable excuse for floundering around in her infested, abandoned pool.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Guarded by the Minotaur, who snarls in fury, and encircled within the river Phlegethon, filled with boiling blood, is the Seventh Level of Hell. The violent, the assasins, the tyrants, and the war-mongers lament their pitiless mischiefs in the river, while centaurs armed with bows and arrows shoot those who try to escape their punishment. The stench here is overpowering. This level is also home to the wood of the suicides- stunted and gnarled trees with twisting branches and poisoned fruit. At the time of final judgement, their bodies will hang from their branches. In those branches the Harpies, foul birdlike creatures with human faces, make their nests. Beyond the wood is scorching sand where those who committed violence against God and nature are showered with flakes of fire that rain down against their naked bodies. Blasphemers and sodomites writhe in pain, their tongues more loosed to lamentation, and out of their eyes gushes forth their woe. Usurers, who followed neither nature nor art, also share company in the Seventh Level.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
And I get the distinct impression that I'm falling behind.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
J: "Well, I need it. You know I drank at least three glasses of chocolate milk this morning between the hours of four and six."
A: "What were you doing between four and six?"
A: "Maybe you should consider Lunestra."
J: "Maybe I should consider sobriety."
A: "Let's not get radical, here."
Monday, October 24, 2005
The twentieth hour, however, must be the magic hour. Everything has hummed back to life (including numerous house alarms). My fingers are thawing. The Budweiser Select is cooling. I've learned my lesson and finally turned the heat on and am now going to indulge in one more cup of tea.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Also, my toothbrush was soggy this morning. Guh-huh.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I didn't do anything. I have no cell. I'm not a doctor. I don't know CPR. I'm not even good at pretending concern. And everyone seemed to have it covered. I kept walking, figuring it would all be cleaned up by the time I circled back. Nothing left to blemish the pretty afternoon. Just fresh scrubbed pavement. And I was right.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
We stood rooted in a row in the back by the bar. Sometimes clapping around our drinks, sometimes whispering. But mostly quiet and still--expressionless, arms crossed, and completely blown away under it all.
Oh, and he was going to be a Classics major. Which means I have to love him, right? Of course I'm right.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
But I'm older now, and need to be more concerned about my image. No doubt, I should right now be surrounded by different piles of clothing (dark and intimidating? cool and unconcerned? I just don't know!) and playing Tallahassee until I'm whipped into a pre-show frenzy. Instead, I find myself attired in something similar to the ensemble of eleven years ago and standing in front of the mirror lipsynching this.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Who knew that burnt sienna was just so orange? I was counting on an umber flavor, or maybe a nice modest saffron, but instead I got something that would look more appropriate on a trick or treater, or in a pumpkin patch. No wonder they made such easy targets.
Perhaps I should take it as a sign to settle into something more seasonal from here out, but I've got a problem with expectations, especially my own, and my store of Halloween ideas is slender at present.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
And I'm left with nada else but the growing desire to see that new Tom Welling movie.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Neighbor #1: I got this cord from C___. (Puffing out his chest) I'm proud to say that we haven't turned on the thermostat yet. So far, we've done all our heating with wood.
Neighbor #2: (laughing) Well, I've got you out-Jonesed with that one! I haven't even started using my fireplace.
Neighbor #1: Man! I knew I couldn't compete with you!
So that's how it goes.
An image flashed to me of rows of houses huddling in the cold as people peered out their windows. Each refusing to light a match or turn a knob until he saw the telltale stream of smoke creeping from his neighbor's chimney in the signal of defeat. I myself crowed when I heard our landlady's heat whoosh on the other night. "She's caved! We win!". Proving once more that Buffalonians will take things to ridiculous and dangerous levels to out-cheap each other. We're simply slaves to our blue collar demons.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
-Bloody Mary and Mary of Scots were two different women, the nursery rhymes deal with the former. If I had paid attention in that awful class instead of passing notes, I would have known this, but how can a professor with a French last name really be trusted with a course called The British Monarchy?
-"silver bells" and "maids" may instead have been metaphors for church bells and nuns, in keeping with the Catholic theme. But I prefer to give 16th century Brits credit for a more grisly inventiveness, so I'll be sticking with instruments of toture until someone actually does correct me.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
And that's it for the mice.
Apparently they represent three Protestant clergyman burned at the stake under the reign of (Bloody) Queen Mary (of Scots), an averred Catholic. Mary seems to have been an inspiring sort of figure if you go by the amount of nursery lore that's cropped up around her. Let's just say that if the rumors are correct, "silver bells" aren't flowers, "pretty maids" are a pretty nickname for the guillotine, and "cockle shells"...well, I'll leave that to one's imagination.
Friday, October 07, 2005
I've waited long enough. Today is the day I bring out the two staples of my winter wardrobe.
We went to a different Wegmans last night to refill our Octoberfest beer and candy corn stashes. It had orange floors and a contingent of pumpkins standing watch at the doors, but what should have been a pleasant seasonal experience was just a little off. The decorations were losing a battle with chalkboards proclaiming "49 cents per pound of bananas". At least three old men were dying in the bulk candy section, but not of anything interesting or goulish. There was a loose kid whose crying would have been far more convincing if he hadn't been sporting the slightly ridiculous eighties haircut that made me point and laugh. The floors were less construction paper orange and more lifeless sherbet, and the pumpkin guard was rotting into its pallets and smelling up the entire place.
"The suburbs fall short once again."
And we walked out disappointed under an unsettling islamic moonrise and tried to find the Grand Am amongst the flocks and flocks of ghostly grey sedans...
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
In the grand tradition of Grimace, the Purple Pieman, and Prince, I submit to you a sliver of Fee. She was commissioned by some theater dude in Missouri (pronounced Missour-uh, if you know what's good for you) and is destined to be the last piece of mine to be headed for the heartland. This is partly due to my inability to follow directions. Partly because I take criticism very poorly and am unlikely to be approachable for any re-draws. Partly because I don't know lilac from lavender. But largely because I could find no 16X20 inch envelopes and, in a characteristic snit, ended up crushing the whole mess into a smallish tube and cramming what amounted to a "fuck you and your ideas" note into its hole.
Unfortunate, because Right Up Your Alleys don't really fall out of the sky that often.
Monday, October 03, 2005
"I've decided that I want to suffer from consumption."
"You realize that it's tuberculosis and that people still die of it."
"Yes, which makes it all the easier for me. It's really a very artistic disease."
"All of the great poets did have it."
"And Doc Holiday. Just think, you get to sit around, swaddled in blankets, speaking in a pained voice before falling back into your armchair with a hankie to your lips. Things are always much more profound when said by someone who could swoon at any moment."
"How very romantic. You'd have to wear blousy shirts and walk the moors."
"Only before the fact. Afterwards it's all about scarves, and I've got that covered. Plus, you get to travel a lot."
"It's true. People with consumption are always going to 'the country'."
"Or to the Mediterranean. Or at least Egypt or Araby. Anywhere dry."
"I wouldn't mind being consumed in El Paso."
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I was just caught staring with no pride whatsoever at a lovely boy at the co-op. First there was the startlement. Then the creeping blush. Then the disdainful huff/nasty eyeroll of "I was so not looking at you. To think! Ring up my bagel, smelly girl!"
It was shameless, I'll confess. But a man passes the six-foot mark so infrequently in Buffalo that I consider it my right--nay, my obligation-- to pay him homage with a dutiful gape.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Apparently the liaison was set for Sunday night. At around eleven, rainwater began pouring into the basement from several weaknesses in the foundation. Little freshets came bubbling up through cracks in the floor and the french drains flooded their banks in passionate excesses. Paint buckets floated and butted together for little kisses. I saw a Coke can paddling its way towards a midnight meeting with a bottle of Dawn behind the washing machines. And we stood in shock like offended clergy, past our ankles in water, as everything spun and bobbed in indecorous riot.
All I could do was wait for the exodus of prudish silverfish that was sure to make its way upstairs and into my slippers.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
No word yet on whether this was all some kind of staged entertainment funded by the co-op. You know, just to keep up appearances.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
But before taking the trip they must gird themselves. Our habits are very different. We live cold, silent lives in virtual dark, of virtual ice. They must suspect us of extreme laziness. I maintain that it's the oblivion of genius. Whatever it is, they come armed against it:
Gallons of fresh water--they have a mighty disdain for the city stuff
Blankets, gloves, sweaters--knowing full well that I refuse to pay the theiving bastards at National Fuel one red cent before mid-October.
Food--in the form of lunch meats, coffee-mate, tea bags (anything heavily salted or nonperishable--who knows how long they'll have to subsist in this state?)
Light--multitudes of tiny night lights for those midnight bathroom runs, and for the six o'clock hour when no true human under forty-eight should be awake.
Batteries--God forbid that our remote (remote?) should fail.
Tools--for the million, odd, unnoticed tweaks.
And I swear they leave crossing themselves and praying that they've saved us from one more winter of slow cold death in front of our respective screens.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
A: "I don't like the way your parents decorate."
J: "Yeah. At least they got rid of those horrible flower pictures."
A (In a spasm of emotion): "Those pictures are a sin! A sin against God. Beauty is truth, and truth beauty. The only truth is the Lord, our God. Therefore, such ugliness is a sin against God."
J (laughing): "What about our bust of Alexander?"
A: "The bust of Alexander is a sin, but it's Vanity. Not the same. (More laughing) Oh, and you can blog that."
J: "I'm not going to blog your witticisms."
A: "Feel free. I allow it. I'm practically swimming in them."
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Beauty salons make me distinctly uncomfortable. The people that run them are like chimney sweeps--wiry and dour, dressed in black and pushing brooms, skilled in an unfathomable art. They move like cats and talk like funeral directors and throw me into complete confusion. I stand like an ogre and fall over myself trying to apologize for my split ends, my frizzies, and my self-cuts to whatever dark sibyl that gets saddled with me. Today it was a gentle little man with a pinky ring. He was that not-quite-American type with a name that sounded like an arab nut tree. I contented myself with calling him "narwhal" and earned his general disapproval.
"What product do you use?"
"What product do you buy?" (Is she deaf?)
"The cheapest one?" (Please like me!)
"What do you put in your hair?" (How many ways can I ask the same question?)
"Is shampoo a product?" (See! I'm eager to learn!)
Deflated. "Oh. Well, then 'no product' is my answer, sir."
And for some reason, I think I failed.
Monday, September 19, 2005
And of course, to cap it all off, there was the visit to the local nuclear power plant.
I swear, nothing says small town sensibility quite like the tightly harnessed power of the atom.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
All because I couldn't decide on whether to bring the dragon tee shirt or the dragon button down.
On the plus side, we'll be missing our street's annual Block Party. Oh, the things I could say.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I may have just exhausted The Emperor's New Clothes with this one.
It took for damn ever and I don't know why--I even cut some corners as far as embellishments went. But, aside from the head tailor bearing an unsettling resemblance to Perry Ferrell, it's pretty unremarkable. The throne room doesn't even look like a throne room. Nary a feathered fan or a dancing girl. Not even a slouching jester. In fact, that lovely wood panelling is beginning to remind me of the trailer I used to live in as a baby. Perhaps a well placed afghan and some sesame street toys would have been more in order.
Maybe it's a makeshift throne room--for mobility. Perhaps he's an emperor on the go. Likes to travel, see his subjects. How munificent, how benevolent. What a man o' the people. And this is his thanks.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Last night it was scarecrows. I was entertaining myself trying to think of green skinned things. Kermit, Atreu, Slythe...and I stopped short at the Wicked Witch of the West because an image of the Scarecrow had flashed into my brain. And for some reason his good-natured burlap face had blood on it. And then I thought of the made for tv movie I'd seen when I was nine called Night of the Scarecrow where some dude hid in a scarecrow and the police tracked him with dogs and shot him up but he wasn't really dead and he got revenge on the townsfolk with inventive agrarian ways like killing some woman by drowning her in a corn silo. And that I couldn't watch Scarecrow and Mrs. King because the title alone terrified me. And that red and black plaid reminds me of scarecrows and I can't buy Brawny.
And just before I started sweating and hyperventilating, a small, evil voice whispered in my ear, "Scarecrows are really crucified clowns" and I fainted into sleep.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
This one went through three different mutations ( fat and happy? comical? maddened by fear?) before I settled on "normal kiddo". I really wanted to do "dark and creepy" but decided to hold out for autumn on that one--for everything it's season.
It also saw about half a dozen erasings. By the time Battlestar Galactica was starting, the paper was grey and pocked with ghostly Muffet faces and I'd gone through about twenty Coldplay songs and a bag of bbq Baked Lays. Funny considering that it was supposed to provide a nice evening breather from the current piece that is taking for freaking ever.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
(The new and improved JRR scan. If I'm going to pursue anything Tolkien, I'm going to be a real pain in the ass stickler about it.)
I seem to remember posting in a drunken haze last night. Something about Death Cab For Cutie being undeserving of all of the current fuss. How I don't blame Ben Gibbard for coasting on the fumes of his Postal Service success, but that his whining is just whining without the sweet bloops and bleeps backing it up, and that we shouldn't fool ourselves into fandom. I probably said something about it all being a metaphor for life stripped bare of art or some shit. Blah blah blah. Oh, I railed and ranted. And then realized I was practically drooling on the keyboard, fruck out and deleted everything in shame.
Either way, I would suggest saving oneself the disappointment and skipping Plans.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Despite my antics, the chair is coming. And I'm left with a dilemma. My army brat years instilled in me a nervous compulsion to keep the status quo regarding possessions. You buy a shirt, you throw a shirt away. Five new pairs of socks in the drawer, a couple of unused dishes in the trash. It's all about weight and volume and most certainly stems from the knowledge that if you buy it now, you'll pack it later, and the next move is right around the corner. Some call it a disorder, I call it efficiency.
So, now we have this thing arriving. Pounds of wood and stuffing and springs (not to mention the Target throw pillows that are bound to follow) that have my scales swinging wildly off balance. Some major paring down is obviously in order. That's a lot of Corporate Challenge tee-shirts and Snoopy mugs.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Apologies for the godawful scan. There's really nothing here of the original.
The Boy walked in and congratulated me on my first pic of Bilbo. I nearly snapped his head off with my, "It's not Bilbo. It's Tolkien." As if even the whisper of it would commit me to an endeavor for which I'm not yet equipped. But I suppose they are much the same animal--Bilbo and old JRR. Pipe smoking writers with a fondness for waistcoats. I'm guessing on the last, but I've got a gut feeling about it.
Though, going by the only photo I've ever seen of him, I sometimes get twinklings of Gandalf. Such eyebrows.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Maybe this will be the year that I grow some balls and start tinkering artistically with the book. But I doubt it. Not after my nineteenth read of the Forward where he smashes his critics, bashes allegorists, and upbraids anyone without the sense to "buy Ballantine". The man loved his work, loved his own editions. For chrissakes, he illustrated his own stuff. Not well, mind you, but with a confidence that comes only from overweening pride. That and, as far as I can tell, a childish refusal to let anyone else touch his shit. And he was right, considering that he's been so often reduced to blue skinned elves and bitch-slapping wizards. So I'm a little daunted. I'm also rambling.
Did anyone know that Christopher Tolkien was in the RAF? How did I miss that bullshit? Now he's turned from a pasty bespectacled literary lamprey into a young british man, brooding in the sands of North Africa, reading his dad's letters, draped in his bomber jacket, and sexy as all hell. Great.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Friday, September 02, 2005
It's seems that my fallback fairy tale is the frog prince. Though I'm not loving this one. An odd combination of too angular and too girly. Despite the best attempts, my pieces sometimes fall a little too close to the land of Cutesy.
Just yesterday I was sitting at my post, staring into space and wah-wah-ing appropriately to some song about drowning or driving or death. Sufficiently quiet, sufficiently dour. Until I looked down to find that I had doodled a pretty little turret. I gave a muffled yip of dismay, threw an accusing glance in the direction of the music, and erased the evidence into oblivion. But what the eff? Next it'll be tall, yellow-haired unicorns with pink ribbons and flowers. When any idiot knows that they are dwarfish, grey and mean-tempered.
Is this how the perversion of folklore begins? A little bit of laziness, a little bit of Tori?
I'll have to be more guarded. But I assume it's nothing that a little Childe Roland won't cure.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Go to your music player of choice and put it all on shuffle. Say the
following questions aloud, and after each one press play. Use the song
title as the answer to the question.
What do you think of me, Rhapsody?
Psyche--Nouvelle Vague's cover of Killing Joke. Not a bad pick, if you're sticking with mythology.
Will I have a happy life?
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by The Postal Service. Oddly enough, that sounds nice.
What do my friends think of me?
Shot Shot by Gomez. Yikes. Maybe I shouldn't have asked.
Do people secretly lust after me?
Don't Look Back by Telepopmusic. Why? Are some behind me right now?
How can I make myself happy?
From Black to Blue by Yo La Tengo. All I can think of is Batman and Superman, which works.
What should I do with me life?
You Come In Burned by The Dandy Warhols. Figuratively?
Why must life be so full of pain?
Time Is Just The Same by Isobel Campbell. Cryptic, Isobel, very cryptic.
How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?
Guns of Brixton by Nouvelle Vague, cover of the Clash. (Giggle.)
Can you give me some advice?
I Am A Scientist by The Dandy Warhols. So no then. Just as well.
What do you think happiness is?
This Place Is A Prison by The Postal Service. Well. I'm going to take the optimistic approach and assume you're talking about the grounds from the Cascades to Puget Sound. Me too. So let's just leave it at that.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
But there's a certain charm to it's style. Combination of styles, really. The colors are definitely pueblo and the iron accents look French, or at least French Quarter. The clapboard sides have a sturdy british feel, but the windows are done in criss-cross Deutsche fashion and may as well be paned with plate sugar. The roof is burnt and vaguely Venetian. The porch is concrete and unapologetically American. There's a tower on it's right face that, while not unusual for this area, is fanciful enough to grab notice. Especially considering that it's topped off with a cap that's part Kremlin, part mosque. I'm not ashamed to say that I've peeked in when passing by in the evening and it's innards are red brick and arches, just begging to be ornamented with iron crockery and a nasty fat cook.
The family is equally elusive. Are they black? italian? latina? indian? eastern hungarian? I'm not sure. Don't really care. I'm more fascinated by the workman that sits outside, more fisherman than painter. Who tugs at his whiskers and casts his stones and grins and clacks and terrifies the stupid soft neighborhood kids. Whose hands are busy on thin air, whose eyes look forward, but whose concentration is obviously on the house behind him.
And it looks like it will all break apart at any moment--some parts claimed by the garden, others swallowed by rocks and earth, others flying off into the sky. I can only assume that it's one hell of a spell that keeps it trembling in uncertain obedience.
Monday, August 29, 2005
I enjoyed Sin City in a tepid sort of way. I devoured 300 with the same fanaticism I would give to a crappy bootleg of Radiohead--"Just give me anything!". But to have Pressfield's incisive, cunning treatment take a back seat to Miller's glossy hamfisted style is just painful. And Bruce Willis would have made a much better Dienekes than a Detective Hartigan and now that's not going to happen either.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Another Emperor's New Clothes.
Or, "The Royal Wee".
That was The Boy's idea and he demanded to be given credit for it. Whatever. Yes, he's so witty. Aren't we all jealous. Blat, blat, blat.
The garb doesn't really follow stylistically from the first. She looks more eastern European than the Spanish-or-Persian-or-Tex-Mex or whatever I was going for in the first. But what the hell.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
-The price of my once-a-week-bagel went up fifteen cents.
-Some homeless guy outside of Wilson Farms called me "Sir". As if my asshole reflex around these dudes wasn't already barely in check.
-Add cancer patients to the long list of people I hate that shop at the Co-op. Some woman in an elaborate white and gold turban decided to take fifteen minutes cashing out, whining, raising invisible eyebrows, begging things to be placed just so in those annoying little co-op bags, and generally pissing me off. (Oh? It's not cool to be mad at cancer patients? Well, fuck you, too.)
-My allergies are inflamed, as are my knees. They've been turning rosy colors all morning with absolutely no provocation.
-And I'm in love with Christopher Reeve from the orginal Supe movie. Was that not obvious? And there's nothing I can do about it unless I have some real luck with a pocketwatch. Or maybe a 1978 penny.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Some snippets within the last few minutes since discovering this. (Journal hours 22-20)
A: "We're going to have to bring tissues. It's going to get tearful. Whoa. Are you crying right now?"
J: "Shut yer mouth."
A: "It's going to be like Iron Giant all over again."
J: "No. It's going to be like the last words of the Iron Giant said for two hours straight."
J: "I heard that they're using some of the original Williams music. As soon as that shit starts, the wailing will begin. Loud wailing. Loud and embarassing."
A: "We're not watching it with your parents, I don't want them to see me cry."
A: "Christ, woman. Pull yourself together."
And I sat and dodged the bees and the Omigod-That-Weird-Guy, and gossipped happily and sillily. But there must be something in the village water because as the tea cooled the conversation got heated and turned to politics, and the rise and fall of our voices started to sound annoyingly appropriate to the environment. I didn't realize this until the guy next to us made a snort of disagreement into his mahi concoction, at which point I fell silent and abashed.
And took the next opportunity to swear as dirtily and creatively as I could.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
I just couldn't bring myself to draw him as he should be. I have limits and apparently they lay somewhere before complete bare-assedness. Or maybe it was a cool day.
I also can't decide if I like it. The goal was to play around with buildings and shadows and cityscapes. The people were an afterthought and therefore don't seem natural in their places. They don't own them as they should. I could have walked a Puss 'n Boots or a Lir or any one of a million characters under that archway and not have it make any difference. It would have been a city, but it would not have been theirs.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Even now, I wonder if the mere mention of this is enough to set some vengeful thing abroad. (Shrug)
Thursday, August 18, 2005
And then we jog into the morning at an hour that is fit only for park bench drunks, stray dogs and sprinklers. Some more polite but largely one-sided conversation. A "how're ya feeling?" which translates roughly to "no, we're not turning around yet, it's gonna be a long one". Some snide remarks made about the predawn dog-walkers that litter the path. And one gusty exhale at the halfway point around the lake: "Smells like Korea!". All of which I respond to with "hmphs" that fizzle into whining.
And with a high five and a "good job, buddy", it's over. And we all say our goodbyes, and I haul their suitcases out, and pummel their backs and wave stoutly as they drive off. And make my mad dash for the Motrin bottle.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
"Take pity on an old lady. I got no money. I spent it all on Twinkies." She's a crafty one.
It's a testament to the forgiving nature of Buffalonians that he did give her a free ride.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Monday, August 15, 2005
This weekend, however, we decided to backtrack. So we dug deep into our pockets, washed the backs of our necks, ironed our shirts and entered into some more age-appropriate venues.
I was more than a bit scared, but I did learn a few things:
-Everyone is a little taller, a little thinner, a little cooler than you. And the girls will kick your ass, so don't even think about falling back on your "endearing" punkishness.
-People turn their noses up at smoking but drink suicidal volumes of alcohol.
-Complete disregard for personal space. ("Oh, was that your kidney? I'm sorry.")
-You will run into someone you barely knew in college. And you will make forced conversation.
-Blue lights are rampant. And unflattering. (Think Mum-Ra rather than Rankin and Bass.)
Oh, and keep a hold of your date. Because once you turn your back, there will be no distinguishing them from the sea of black-clad, martini sipping, sixty dollar haircuts.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
And as they contemplated my door, I weighed my options. I could go outside, guns ablaze, some social Darwinism in one holster and my "I am God"-doozie in another. I could start shit and I could win. But it struck me that the current spectacle was much more terrifying. Me, looking with a pale, roving eyeball between the blinds. Them, inches away and unaware. Me, mouthing dark things through the glass and onto their polished shoes. Them, guileless and smiling into the sun.
It's the stuff of horror movies, really, and I was so freaked out by myself that I didn't even notice when they left.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
(Apparently, Peter Gabriel's is the only song having anything remotely to do with frogs. So I will keep quoting it until I've run out of lines.)
I'm a real fan of the imagery, but the story itself is much less pleasing. I can forgive the fact that the heroine is a spoiled brat who makes empty promises and then must be held to them by guilt. That she's of marriageable age and still plays with balls. That she ignores the laws of hospitality and in fact pitches her suitor against a wall in a murderous rage. Or that the resulting wedding is reward for what is really a nasty temper.
But the whole Iron Heinrich thing at the end is just downright queer.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I enjoyed it, but I was startled to discover how closely it's mirrored by The Last Crusade:
-Great speed boat chase
-Scene on a train (no zeppelins, sorry) where Bond asks an enemy for his ticket
-Underground escape scene where our hero and his chica outrun a horde of rats and emerge above ground via a sewer into a bustling city
-Seaside chase--Bond in a car, enemy in the air; Bond gets out of the car and takes the helicopter down from the ground with a shotgun (apparently forgetting his Charlemagne)
-Slavic looking babe who plays for the other side but who just can't resist the Scottish charmer
-makeout scene in Venice
Oh, and just in case you weren't already convinced that Speilberg has a massive hard-on for 007--the badass antagonist is none other than Quint from Jaws.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Today I was working on my latest, listening to the Rhap. I take a perverse glee in rocking out the nu-metal while drawing nursery rhymes--there's something so deliciously wrong in it. But it occured to me that maybe I wasn't doing myself any favors. That as I sat, singing over my work in a shamanic pose, I may have been investing every line, every color with what can only be called Hard Core Godlessness. Was Serj Tankian unwittingly polluting my stuff? Did this poor matronly store-owner see my picture of the Ant and the Grasshopper and think "nicotine, valium, vicodin, marjuana, ecstasy, and alcohol"? Are my pieces simply that potent?
And finally, can my delusions range any farther?
Friday, August 05, 2005
Those being that while I will no doubt sit and watch and sniff my disapproval, I will be secretly loving it, and that I'll walk out crushing on Heath Ledger rather than Matt Damon.
Lord, preserve me.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Now, heaven forbid that he indulge in a purchase without it first being approved for my own purposes--but it really does seem to be working out for both of us this time. He's using it to quietly undermine annoying urban pretenses. I'm using it to see how my ass looks in any given pair of pants ("Now for the capris. No, NO. You have to back up--I want my sandals in the shot."). To each his own.
More importantly, it's handy for drawing. No more contorting in front of the mirror, straining to see just what a person looks like when dancing a jig with a bearded snake. No more bolting back to the pens and paper in a race against my shoddy memory. Oh, no. Now I have a model, however unwilling, and the efficient means to capture and render. So, if my stalwart princes start sporting suspicious beer bellies, and if my greek heroes start resembling mild mannered HR directors--well, we'll all know who to blame.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Hours later, I came across this. Draw your own conclusions, is all I'm saying.
On a lighter side, this made me think of Alex's brothers.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Take a little artist's block and a restless pen. Add some Mr. Clean Citrus fumes. Ninety degree temps. A dash of Ani. And you've got yourself one strange mix of housewifery and girl power.
The boy-o's at Rhapsody have finally decided to include DiFranco's lovelies. Give 'er a whirl.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Our street took part in the Garden Walk, an event which I liken to Halloween for the over-fifty. Suburbanites arm themselves with small dogs and large bags filled with antacids and battery-operated fans. The weather is always lovely in a gracious, holiday manner. Nature decorates with obliging butterflies and a couple of drab hummingbirds. The horde of smirking homeowners that terrorizes our sidewalks sits on its porches while non-participants shut their shades and wait for curfew.
And we all stand watch behind our sunglasses to size up the traffic and guess at the costumes. Retired teachers are as abundant as fairy princesses. Divorcees are the hookers of the bunch. Spinsters the ghosts--white-legged and shy. The old Polish ladies are the bullies, travelling in packs, dominating the middle of the streets, eyeing you up for candy. Shaved-head rednecks and young gay men are the masked monsters--outnumbering everyone else and completely indistinguishable from each other. And they all manage to get along until it comes time to find a parking spot.
And then the switchblades come out and it gets good.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
I'm all about the Brave Little Tailor recently. Which is strange because as a kid I couldn't give him the time of day. Probably because he was neither soldierly nor good looking. I was a shallow sort of child. The dogeared portions of my Grimm's were shamefully the pages concerning ballgowns and kissing.
But see how I've reformed! No more empty romantic notions. From here out, it's all got to do with quick wits and courage. And perhaps a well-crafted tunic or two.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
So we retired to the computer room in disgust and he played golf while I sat listless in the papasan and was much better entertained by this screensaver. There's something zen-like about ticking off the images you see in fractals and light:
It's an odd mix between precision and randomness. That and it leaves you with a list of things that sounds like a recipe for witches broth.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Don't ask me why I was rifling through the Kenneth Edmunds archives, but I've found that, other than the coiffure modifications made in the lapsing decades, the man does not change.
Yes, the name. But I suspect it's simply a device to conceal godliness by admitting to it. Roundabout logic. You know, kindof like Lestat in that awful(-ly good) movie that no one saw.
I'm not up to any hefty searching, though. You're just asking to be turned into a sprig of rowan or a long-necked wren when you start sniffing around such matters.
Monday, July 25, 2005
In the meantime, I'm torn between hiding it behind sunglasses and displaying it in it's full, maniacal glory. I'm unsettling as it is, but the prospect of staring down Elmwood crazies and hapless check-out boys with my Look-of-Death-made-better might be too much to pass up.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
But she was lucky to get out when she did, as I think our bottled irreverence was beginning to leak. After dropping her off we spent the rest of the afternoon letting it all out, restocking the cupboards and shelves with blaspemy. Whispering "goddammits" into the corners.
And got some quiet time in.
A passing remark made by The Boy: "Constantine AND The Gospel According to Jesus Christ? Wow. It really is Sunday."
Friday, July 22, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
That being said, I am eagerly awaiting this. I'm hoping for a more multifaceted portrayal by Ciaran Hinds, who's been practically plucked from an Austen novel and whose voice always sounds like it's coming from underwater.
Yes, I am poised on the edge of crushdom for this one.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
And the upstairs is noisy when no one is home but me. Like the deck of a ship. No more of the cold patience of our January ghosts. But instead the hot militant sounds of flapping sails and wooden creaking and sailors running and all. And the house pitches in the wet winds and the trees slap themselves against its sides. And I go green and sickly and try to keep my pencils from rolling overboard.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Surprisingly, I have no problems with squirrels.
Really, not the film for me.
So, I'll be sitting it out and waiting for Burton to wake the hell up and make Alice like a good little crackpot.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
The Potterists are a different geek crowd than what I'm used to. Made up primarily of overweight twelve year olds and adult females that drive VW bugs. It's a cleaner crowd, more feminine, less redolent. They sport pink purses rather than wallet chains, and Chai tea lattes instead of Mountain Dew. I was inclined to sneer at them and their wan geekitude, but I was mistaken. They look softer and milder, but they move fast, real fast. My cronies and I go at a comfortable plod, developed from decades-long relationships with Lucas and Tolkien. But I was aghast at the energy of these new-comers to obsession and, I must admit, slightly respectful.
It's a fresh crowd, with the annoying intensity that goes with it, but they must be given their due and their place. So, I lifted up my arms and my copy of The Golden Ass and suffered them to pass around me and near me with their high voices and fat jabbing fingers, all intent on those teetering mounds of green...
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Tell me this doesn't look like Mordor. Well, it did at five-thirty a.m. under a warning red sky.
I was terrified by (false?) stories of freshwater barracuda while canoeing here.
Instead of deer signs, this place has mountain lion signs.
And here's where I'll go back to die. I figure I'll lodge myself in a nice snow drift between Paradise and the Ice Caves.
But these guys are still there, and I wanted to give them a nod. I think the glamour's starting to rub thin, though. They're beginning to look more puckish than ever. Or maybe they're just getting careless.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Listen to the Dandy Warhols. The cd with the banana on it. I think it's called Welcome to the Monkey House.
I'm going to call it funkish, grimy, otherworldly, and sweet. Think sweaty candy necklaces.
And speaking of the simian side, I finished Wicked. I'll recommend it as a library rental, not a purchase. Gorgeous cover, beautifully written. But the plot was a little aimless and I think he got lost in the language. So there.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
But I feel that I must share the secret behind getting through these ridiculous texts that I tackle.
Well. I allow myself to develop serious crushes on historical figures.
It's all really very simple. I would go so far to say that the authors themselves encourage the process. Take any young man from either noble birth or meager beginnigs and follow his military and political ramblings. Add a generalship and my eye is caught. Throw in the words "daring" and "brave" and the heart palpatations begin. Describe him as "brash" and "inventive" and I'm in a full swoon.
In the past three weeks I've had mental affairs with the Spartan General Brasidas (bellicose), the Athenian General Demosthenes (brilliant), and the navarch and hero Thrasybulus (who needs pretty boy Alcibiades?). There was also a brief dalliance with Lysander ("where the lion's skin will not reach, it must be patched with the fox's"). And a mild curiosity regarding Cyrus.
When one of them dies in battle or is executed by enemy Syracusans, I dry my eyes and move onto the next. They are very abundant. And that's how I go, leap-frogging from one dashing man to the next until I end the book exhausted and emotionally drained, but enlightened nonetheless. And onto the next.
I have a feeling that The Mathematical Experience is going to be a tough one.