Monday, February 28, 2005

Say what?

From a little ways back, but it's a favorite. My feet have been dragging on the piece currently occupying the dining room table and I've started getting twitchy with the lag.

Mother Goose had a son. While she rode her gander (make what you will of that), her boy had a goose that laid golden eggs. And there was a house. And an owl thrown in for good measure. It's something of a fresh jumble of characters faded and familiar.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

And also whoops and also fries.

I have a confession. All classical piano is in my mind set to Tom and Jerry.

There they go slipping across the kitchen floor to the adaigo. Now for a slew of utensils that impale themselves in timely musical fashion against a yellow wall. Next, the practiced dance of dip-and-swipe-and-wriggle stirring the senses to fever pitch. Then, a couple of gentle mouse-pirouettes, the near escape, the triumphant grab and a close-up on teeth and slavering chops. Closer. Closer. But, ho! What's this? A hesitation on the keys? The smell of burning? Confusion ensues, culminating with a crescendo of yowls and a tail that looks suspiciously like a waffle iron.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I was sparing him the discomfort, okay?

Grocery shopping is Jess-time. The boy is usually coasting on the fumes of an early morning cup and has beat a retreat to the Coffee Counter for Cranky Boys. Which allows me briefly out from under the Shadow of Supervision.

I naturally take this opportunity to assert my dominance over the locals. I coast the aisles propped on my Steed of Terror, its wheels protesting. I upbraid the lunch meats. Sing to the commercials. Send toddlers into fits of giggles or tears depending on their tolerance for crossed eyes and bared teeth. I growl behind the backs of old ladies and then smile winningly as I pass them by, ensuring madness.

I am Great and Terrible and Trivial. And am unmatched except for the rare instances when I occasion upon an old college professor. At which point I run shivering and blubbering to hide among the toothbrushes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

or was it vinegar?

In honor of my brother's impending graduation from police academy, I submit this.


Also, in the spirit of law-enforcement and -evasion, I am including a recipe for what I've heard* is the perfect permanent graffiti tool:

one part red lipstick
one part red crayola crayon (the big fat ones)
one part nail polish remover

combine ingredients over heat. pour into empty glue sticks. let stand and cool. enjoy!

*11th grade art class, El Paso TX. The barrio gang members--they love the quiet ones.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Right when I'm beginning to resent winter, the city rouses itself and puts on a lovely display. I swear, Buffalo is like a corner bum. Obnoxious and underfoot. Rank, no matter how many useless quarters the bleedinghearts pelt at him. But just when you want to kick him in the nuts, he holds open the door to Blockbuster for you and grins.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Whoa, bessie.

Whoops. I let this one out of the gate a little too vigorously and it decided to pay no attention to me afterwards. This is what happens when you give them any small taste of independence-- they go rogue.

As an explanation: It started off as some little known Aesop's about a broken goat horn and degenerated into Little Bo Peep. But a Peep with some grit, and I like her, despite her wayward genesis. No frills and petticoats for this shepherd. Also, no reason as to the goats.

Oh, and just so's you know, she started off as a man, so stop making fun of her calf muscles. Those hills can be hard on a girl.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

She feeds him well. His concerns--he forgets them.

We plucked ourselves out of our groove (as in rut) this weekend and headed down to old PA where we settled comfortably into the rut of my parents. It's always nice to hand the reins over to them for a day or two and revert back to childishness--complete with jostling, bickering, and bitching about the radio station in the back seat of the buick.
We went on a mini-tour of Pittsburgh and stared like bumpkins. We had sandwiches piled high with cole slaw and fries (Odd, perhaps. Delicious, certainly). We allowed ourselves to be drugged into complacence with a steak dinner and tricked into walking around SuperWalMart. We sprawled on the carpet and watched Iron Chef.

And then, as if terrified at the speed of our regression, we waved a panicked goodbye, threw the clean laundry into the car, and skirted the leading edge of the storm that chased us home.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Zee Germans

Some fun tidbits about the Deutsche that I picked up at age eight:

The children's sections of the shoestores have slides, dude. Slides.
Women leave their babies outside in strollers when at the butchers'--but bring their little dogs in.
Don't be fooled by the outside of Neuschwanstein. It's not that great on the inside. And its highest turret does not, repeat not, have a spinning wheel.
In summer, the mustardfields smell like heaven to roly-poly kids.
I can only assume that the making of doll furniture is a national pasttime.
Their ice cream is appalling.
Everything runs like clockwork because everything is run on clocks.
If you are ever in the restaurant by the church which hid the old WWII nuclear experiments plant, have the french fries.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

B A Start Revisited

I'm such a sucker for the little blue balls of light.
But isn't everyone, really?

I like to think that these particular ones are the souls of the fey.
You know, every time you play a video game, a fairy dies.

(muffled voice): I fucked up the last line.

That hand is going to drive me bonkers, but I was racing to finish it. Think of it as a work in progress. Think of it as the first foray.


Yep. Totally pilfered from Sarah's blog, but it was fun. Go see Dr. Oddbody and its genius cast if you're in New York.

Monday, February 14, 2005

...lifeless eyes. Like a doll's eyes.

After one hour of sleep and a fitful morning nap, I am officially looped out. Maybe it was the six pieces of Mr. Pizza Veggie. Or the alternating freezing and thawing going on last night that sent the house into tantrums. Maybe I was excited to read my new Barnes and Noble purchases.

But, alas. I'm betting it was Carnivale.

I have serious issues with distorted representations of life. Clowns, marionettes, muppets, claymation. I've never seen Fraggle Rock or The Dark Crystal. Beaker scares the hell out of me, as does the Swedish Chef (he has real hands for chrissakes). But at the top of a shamefully long list is dolls. With their damned slack eyes and damned pallid complexions. I used to hide them under pillows, face them at the walls, pitch them at my grandparents in offended rage.

And Carnivale is inexplicably bursting with them.
And now I see them round every corner in the apartment.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Pink Floyd, dammit. You should always guess Pink Floyd.

After four years of parents, we've finally taken back our Saturdays. No more lawn work for us. No more thick sandwiches and the chocolate chip cookies that were used as bribery. No more three hour conversations or CNN or bad suburban pizza.

Instead, we now chain ourselves to the simulated evening of the geek room. Screens flickering, Rhapsody and Play Station duking it out for dominance, we sit half illuminated. We eat when our stomachs tug at us. Any suggestion of activity is summarily batted down. There is a smattering of conversation, seemingly random and cocooned in long stretches of silence:
"I think that the character of Bond should be retired--007 should still exist, but no more James."
(17 minutes of quiet)
"I am unerringly drawn to suicide rockers."
"I know."
(half an hour of quiet)
"I should get my hair cut."
"Pfft. Yeah right."
(9 minutes of quiet)
"Guess what band this is. You'll never guess."
"Who is it? Who?"

And so on. Until the guilt of sitting for hours in our pajamas drives us out of doors. Most likely in the direction of Target.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

But it's better to have a healthy supply of foxwire.

I was hoping to get it in under the wire, but nope.

An Aesop's fable. Fox informs Rooster that King Lion has declared peace among all animals. "Come down and we will celebrate". "Oh, ho!" says Rooster, and points to Dog. "Perhaps he would like to join us in celebrating. Here he comes right now." Fox backpedals, "Well, I dont believe that Dog has heard the news. I must go!"

Moral: Cunning often outwits itself.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


A bunch of fowl musings to celebrate the New Year:

Rooster from "Gates of Fire" is not my favorite character (Polynikes is, duh).
Alice in Chains' "Rooster" is about the songwriter's father--a Vietnam vet.
I just recently found out what a pecking party really means. Ew, bloodspots.
I was twice attacked by geese. First time: 5 years old on a Canadian farm by a white goose. Second time: 28 years old, on a run, by a Canada goose.
Mother Goose rides a gander. What gives?
The rooster is associated with the god Hermes. Because he's such a cock?
In the tenth grade I was awakened every morning've got it--a rooster.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fat Marti.

When in doubt, there's always photoshop.

Going back a ways, but it's as holiday appropriate as my stores will allow. I'm sadly lacking in vampires.

Oh, yes, and tonight's a dark moon.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Seven in One Blow.

Not as easy a task as one might think. I recently saw seven crows systematically hunt down and murder (no pun intended) a babby rabbit (harry a hare?). Four broke off from the group to distract the mother (did you know that rabbits can shriek?--well they can). The remaining three descended on the offspring (despite the efforts of some doughy yuppie who, at the insistence of his girlfriend, tried to intervene). I ran by the spot the next day to find that the mother had not escaped either. Wonderfully efficient animals, crows. And smart.

I'm no augurer, but I feel that some portent was involved. Too late now to find out, I guess. Maybe just a simple warning to keep your jam covered at all times. Who knows what dark agents will wing out of the sky?

Friday, February 04, 2005

To pasture.

Doesn't look much like a Peter Pan. I may have sabotaged myself with that Little Boy Blue remark.

But I'm not fooling anyone. I know less about Pan than I do about Alice. Not the god Pan. I know oodles about him. For instance, I know one of the many Pan-origin stories has him born of Penelope's infidelities with all of her suitors and that Odysseus, upon his return to Ithaca, turned on his heel and left in disgust at seeing the abomination. Or that he is the son of Hermes. Or the foster brother of Zeus. Or that he invented the pan-pipes because one of his reluctant loves had turned herself into a reed. Or that the word panic may very well be derived from the shout he gave to rout the titans in the war of the gods (okay, that one I had to look up).

But Peter Pan? Forgetaboutit. Something about Kensington Gardens. Or about kidnapping the Darling great-grandchildren. Or maybe that was Dustin Hoffman.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Plea to a pencil.

Dear Ultramarine 8200-120(***),

I know we haven't talked much. You've probably been nursing a small hatred for me as you sit amongst the pastels. I know you've watched your compatriots on the bottom row grow smaller while you languish-- unworn, unused and shamefully long. I know I'm the last person you'd want to help.

But I need you. And am willing to resort to bribery.

Maybe you'd like to have a little run? To be the star in a small monochromatic piece? Little Boy Blue, for example. Or, perhaps you'd like a change of scenery? I'd be willing to relocate you to a more reputable neighborhood. Next to the famed Raw Umber 8200-180(**)? Whatever you want.

Just please don't fail me now.

Love, Jessica.