Monday, January 31, 2005

"Timmy? Can I be a carrier pigeon?"

Got a call from my grandmother today which is something. Agreed to go visit with her tomorrow afternoon which is even more noteworthy.

I'm an indifferent sort of grandchild. It may have something to do with the fact that my only remaining grandparent is certifiable. Like, lock the door when you go to sleep, certifiable. You know how every neighborhood has it's crazies? White Shopping Bag Woman. Potato Salad Lady. That Guy Michael Who Sings Along to his Unplugged Headphones. Well, my grandmother is one of these. Maybe she's Nice Little Fat Lady. Or Buys Eight Twinkies Woman. Or That Whacko Who Brings Apple Pies to Your Door at Four in the Morning. But she's something, alright.

So, I eschew her for her eccentricities. (Never mind the fact that I've very likely earned my own status as neighborhood weirdo). But tomorrow, I will go sit in her very posh living room, surrounded by the busts and collections of untranslated Greek plays that my uncle loves, and have tea and make her cinnamon toast and totally freak the hell out when she tries to use the oven.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

I stood up in the middle of a conversation and said, "Let's get the hell out of here."

Buffalo's idea of a classy affair:

Tri-colored tortellini, wall-to-wall carpeting, a palm tree ice sculpture (backlit in blue), and, oh yes, the limbo.

Friday, January 28, 2005

"The icy heights that contain all reason."

Five this morning caught me once again chugging chocolate milk and staring idly at the magnetic poetry, trying to ignore the plunging temperature.

Our house is faint of heart and it and I are at odds. Every night it offers it's effing throat to the cold and bleeds off heat. And every morning we get up and provide its daily ressurrection, filling its lungs and blowing on its fingers in a perverse promethean cycle.

And all in the name of fire. How appropriate.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Why IS a raven like a writing desk?

I dunno why I keep circling back to Alice. I don't even like the book. I haven't even read Through the Looking Glass. I couldn't tell you how often she shrinks or what happens in the scene with the gryphon and the mock turtle--something about reciting poetry, I'm guessing. I committed "Jabberwocky" to memory in the sixth grade, so if I make a reference, it's a good bet that that's where it's coming from.

I'm an Alice poser. That's me.

But I like it all the same. Probably because it can be interpreted in so many ways. And by many ways, I mean dark ways.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Kiss that frog.

I have a compulsive fondness for anything small and green. Hummingbirds, caterpillars, fish, grasshoppers, turtles, frogs, praying manti (isses? ee? ii?). You name it. If it can fit in your hand and is green, it's a go. The brighter the better. Exoskeletons are a plus.

The goal is to have fleets of them at my command. Pulling tiny coaches, playing tiny instruments, decked in tiny finery, dancing tiny tarantellas. All bejewelled and glistening and grotesquely beautiful.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Crooked Man. (2nd ed.)

stile: n. steps used for crossing a fence or a wall.

I didn't know either.

He's a very joyous Crooked Man. Or perhaps his condition only allows for a certain way of walking--head cocked, hand raised, knee askew. I always got him mixed up with something out of "Rain, rain, go away", but I decided to depart from that mental image. More energetic, less sodden. I wanted joints stretched, fingers twitching with impatience. To have him walk the fine line (or the crooked mile) between pain and exultation.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

It had a cat on it. With the word "cool".

Halfway into the second day of my Fruit Lolly, I made a startling discovery. (Yes, I said second day. Yes, it had been sitting out all night amidst pencil shavings and eraser nubs. Yes, I picked it up this morning and, without a thought, began gnawing on it once again. No, I'm not normally this gross--but it's a sucker, man. Being in the very presence of a sucker grants you certain childish perogatives. So, forget the gross.)

As I said, I made a discovery. The stick was plastic, not paper.

Now, anyone who has ever balked at putting the soggy, pastel-tinted remains of the top part of a sucker stick, where the sucker meets the stick, into their mouth knows what this means. It means no more balking. It means no more half-finished suckers.

And it occured to me that this is what science exists to do. To provide ease of mind to the hosts of germo-phobic, slime-o-phobic sucker lovers out there.

Innovation at it's best.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Take off your skin.

I fell in love with Tom Waits long before I heard his stuff. I like to check an artist's album covers before I give them a listen because I'm a book-cover-judger. But with Waits I never got around to listening. Just looking.
And, I tell you, the planes of this guy's face just refuse to alter with age. I'm not saying he's preternaturally preserved, or anything. Just unyeilding. Like he followed his lines from where they started and saw them through honestly. Dealt uncompromisingly with Time. So I loved him on that alone.

And then I heard Clap Hands months later and understood.
So, put on Beautiful Maladies and listen to some uneasy lovelies.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Stopper their ears. Put out their eyes.

Never trust a gardener.

They run with their noses too close to the ground to be honest. They hang too much underneath windows, and around hedges, and behind trees. They are too familiar with birds and other airborne gossipmongers. They handle snakes with suspicious ease. They are always innocently armed and have easy access to entrances and exits and sheds.

One too many daughters, kingdoms, and secrets have been lost due to the Gardener.

Think I'm wrong? Here are a few examples:
Sam Gamgee
Rapunzel's witch
The royal gardeners to Her Majesty, The Queen of Hearts

Monday, January 17, 2005

Thank the Maker.

Call this post sentimental, but I must express my joy at once again having a quality sci-fi show in my life. Since the end of Next Generation there has been a void that I could never fully explain until last night. But there I sat, hand immobilized over the bag of Ruffles, beaming and babbling as the Cylons stepped out of the seventies and into our living room, and it all crystallized.

Perhaps it's something about the improbable sounds tv ships make in deep space. Or the semi-obscure, teched-out jargon that peppers conversation. Or the cast of familiar characters--frayed from overuse, but comfortable all the same. Perhaps it just brings me back to when I watched in toddler bemusement as my dad, barely into his twenties, babbled himself, and smoked over the Chee-tos in front of reruns of the original Star Trek.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Because why do one when you can have two for twice the work?

This is actually a "fuck you" to Michael Hague who I contend has been aping Edmund Dulac for years. With great success at fame and little in quality.

No she didn't.

All right, I take it back. He does some skilled painting with some passable inking. But when I saw a pic for his Beauty and the Beast that was essentially snatched from Dulac's illustrated Perrault I felt that some sort of smackdown was in order. Not that we all haven't done it. But at least give props where props are due, man. I mean, come on.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Arthur, not Mazer, geek.

Why post this heinous piece? Well, lets just say it's serving as grim warning to silly artists who think they can forsake their masters. Serves me right for looking to the French.

Now say it aloud:
"There is no Master but Rackham and Jessica is His protege."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"Buffalo want brains!"

There was a hiccup in winter today. One of those confusing days where everything becomes warm and reanimated for about fifteen minutes. But there's always something disturbing about these reprieves. Something about how the leaves and garbage push through their drifts like rejected corpses. How smells regain their potency and vegetation sputters in the wet. How everything tugs damply at you--your hair, your skin, your sneakers. It's a respite, for sure, but one which makes you cautious and careful as the city lumbers up briefly like a zombie.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Jacks are wild.

Though I'm not so sure. Jill looks like a little hellion. Especially considering that she's about to commit coldblooded fratricide. Are they brother and sister? Has that ever been established? I just always assumed that two kids beating the hell out of each other over a bucket of water had to be related.

Of course, has it ever been established that there was an argument? Perhaps it was simple clumsiness. But, given the nature of most nursery rhymes, I refuse to play it out innocently on my paper.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


I have a deathly fear of sidewalk ice. The combination of me being nearly six feet tall and completely without grace has been an unfortunate one with embarrassing and painful winter results. But the arrival of the much celebrated treadmill has posed an interesting question: Do I ever need to walk outside again? I say, except for the panicked run to and from the car, no. I'll be that woman, bolting from the passenger's side, one hand against the sun, the other casting rock salt before her like a charm.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

...then put your little hand in mine, there ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb.

My mornings are fairly predictable. Lovely, but predictable. They consist of a handful of email volleys, the half hearted run, and a typical breakfast of raisin bran. They may be punctuated by the stray phone call, but mainly they are quiet, beslippered hours, smelling faintly of tea and sweaty running clothes, and set to any of a dozen well-crafted Rhapsody radiostations. Unsurprisingly, they tend to run together in a warm indecipherable mass. I don't really mind this.

Except when things fall a little too eerily close. Like this morning, when I bundled the same pile of clothes off to the bathroom, humming the same two songs that preceded yesterday's shower, fighting the tug of a hangover that felt suspiciously familiar. Just a fold in my universe, I guess, but disturbing nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Princess and the Pique

I can just see how that particular conversation went:

"So, our daughter comes to you, soaked, dirty, without transport, looking for rest and you put a pea under her mattresses?"
"Well, yes Your Highness. We were not quite sure about her identity--as you said, she was a frightful mess. So we decided to test her."
"Test her?"
"Yes. No real princess would have been able to sleep with even the smallest object placed--"
"I'm quite aware of the genetic abberration which prevents bluebloods from sleeping in anything but the greatest comfort. My real concern is this idea of testing."
"Of course, Your Worship, but one can never be too careful in these matters."
"Indeed, one cannot. Which is why, for your assiduousness, I am going to reward you with this firebreathing dragon. He is of good family, comes with his own store of gold, and is quite neighborly. A most enviable possession. And all he requires is a nearby cave and the yearly payment of twelve firstborn girls."

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Yesterday I got so old.

The apartment has been laid bare in the mad rush to purge all holiday spirit. As fast as that shit goes up, it comes down even faster. I suppose it's the closest we can come to washing our hands of the old year.

I take a perverse delight in this post-seasonal ravishing. The tree lies like a dead thing on the curb. The walls and corners are pale and shivering and almost indecent. Vince Guaraldi has been replaced by The Cure. We are tipping into the long dark of Winter.
Everything is back to normal. Happy 2005.