Thursday, March 31, 2005

Serj ahead.

System of a Down has a new single out and it's Rhapsodelicious.

It's called BYOB and I've a couple of guesses as to what the last "B" stands for in light of a late-night discussion where I was sneeringly informed that I was "rocking out to an anti-war song".

I've no love for politically themed music, but I do have great love for anything that rocks the effing house. So I will magnanimously forgive and forget, pull down the shades, check the driveway for the landlady's SUV, and proceed to dance and sing like a maniac in the most structurally sound spot in the apartment.

favors for favors, fond but not in love

A vodka-induced gripe from Jessica Bitchface:

So, imgaine. It's ten in the morning--just about the time that I'm picking myself out of my teacup and trying to decide what kind of mood I'm in--when they start. The gaggle of urbanites that patrols our street. They have expensive haircuts and dock martin shoes, but appear to have no jobs--how else could they be out at this ungodly hour, when the only signs of life should be me in my windpants and the crazy gardener across the street with his magnifying glass?

But there they are, oblivious to working day hours. They travel sluggishly, like pack animals, in groups of five or six. They have plastic smiles and platinum wedding bands and dogs with pretentious names ("Come here, Prometheus!"). They only say hello to me when I'm wearing my cool black coat. More often than not, they stop outside the house, blocking the walkway, parking their strollers at inconsiderate angles. And they'll stand in this defensive knot and converse, screaming over their screaming kids, as if by proclaiming their lives to the neighborhood they can convince themselves--"See! I'm happy! Jesus CHRIST, am I happy!"

Needless to say, I find my mood darkening.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I used to call them Power Pellets.

The cupboards are packed to bursting with chocolate and I'm beginning to feel a little threatened by their increased resemblance to a battlefield. The tupperware has all been strategically arranged. The Great Bunny Generals sit in the shadows, directing everything from cellophane tents. Every time I crack the door they open fire with pastel eggs. And once they run out of those, there are always the squadrons of little rabbits to deal with--clad in foil armor, perched on peep steeds...

On the plus side, I believe I just ate a rose flavored jelly belly. It was quite lovely.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Come out, come out.

The sky in this one refused to translate.

I had the image in my head and only afterwards came across an Aesop's that coincided to the letter. Something about a fisherman who tried piping the fish out of the water. When that failed, he picked up his pole and had success. The Moral? Hey lazyass, stop daydreaming and pick up an implement. A lesson I might do well to learn.

So, the myth behind Aesop. He was a slave in Greece, perhaps Ethiopian. He was horribly ugly and hunchbacked. He was employed as a tutor. He earned his freedom and may have worked for Croesus ("as rich as") as an emissary. His smarts got him out of many a pickle. Except for the last, when the Delphians, either tired of his wits or greedy for a sum of Croesan gold he was said to have refused to hand over, pitched him off a cliff.

It's never been said that the Greeks were fair to their geniuses.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Water guns and pussy willows.

I guess it's finally spring. Or the season of perpetual confusion. I stood for three minutes before my run, deliberating in the doorway, in various states of attire. Jacket and no sweater? Sweater and gloves? No gloves, but keep the hat on? These are the issues that plague me.

Also, in the spirit of resurrection, I decided to test my theory that any picture left for more than two days will mutiny and I let the current subject lie for three. We'll see what I find when I roll back the stone.

And here's where I spare everyone my musings on tanists and instead mention the "sexy apostolic singles" advertisement that I came across on a Catholic webpage.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Airborne All the Way.

There was a peculiarity to being an Army brat in Army schools. Moving every year or so meant seeing new places, but not always new faces. The pool was wide, but the nature of Army life itself allowed you the opportunity to recross paths. A new pal in Barstow may have been lunch buddies with an old pal from Killeen. A desk in Fayetteville might sport the graffiti of that asshole bully from Stuttgardt. I once, to my everlasting frustration, played a game of international hide-and-seek with my best friend from Germany. As soon as she left a place, we would get stationed there. It was like being caught in a cruel temporal hiccup--we rode the same bikepaths, wrote on the same chalkboards, heard the same schoolbells--always ghosting over each other but never meeting again.

But we all kept our ears open. We all had our spies and childish methods of questioning. And you learned. That people look the same everywhere, but you never forget a face. That the popular kids are popular wherever they go and that officer's kids tend to act like their parents and sometimes need a fistful of attitude adjustments. And it became easier to adapt. As if all the nerds, jocks, and cool kids before you had forged paths--invisible, but indelible--and you knew where to go and who to find to make things seem more familiar. And sometimes you lucked out.

So perhaps I was unsurprised when yesterday a name I hadn't heard since 1986 popped up on my website email: "Did you go to B_____ Elementary in Ft. L____?" I suppose all of us are still hardwired to The Search and it was really just a matter of time.

Friday, March 25, 2005

And just what are you planning to do with it?

Crazy Grandma quote of the day:

"Hon-eee? I can't get my feets into my sneakers. So, I need Jello. Any flavor but lime."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Now for Kiki's Delivery Service.

That was the fifth trip. The fifth trip to Blockbuster in eight days and still no luck in renting The Incredibles. At this point it will never live up to the buildup, so we might as well just not see it at all.
But, amidst our guilty wanderings around the store (because you have to get something your fifth time), we stumbled on to Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds. Where Pixar failed us, Studio Gibhli has once again been there to pick up the pieces. Not only do these guys always have the most stellar voice talent (score two for Patrick Stewart this week and add Mark Hamill to the list), but they "do" animated flight better than any other.

So, we've been savoring it over the past two days and awing at foreign concepts of fantasy. Respectfully silent except for the stray pause for beer and odd discussion:

"I think I'm going to change my name to Jessicaa."
"Yeah, you've got quite the thing for her."
"Well. Did you know that there's a theory bouncing around that the Nausicaa of Odyssey fame may be the actual poet? That there are obvious differences between it and the Illiad that have made people suspect two different storytellers? Especially since--"
"Yeah, yeah. You are so going as her for Halloween this year."
"Hmph. Well, she's probably the strongest female character I've seen."
"Yeah, watch her end up giving Mr. Princey a blow job by the end of the movie."
"No way. She's going to end up capturing and riding one of those sandworms."
"Bi-La Kaifa."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dragons. Greek myths. Tolkien.

These are the three subjects I refuse to seriously tackle until I get to the top of my game. It's been my cardinal rule since I was eleven and markers just stopped cutting it.

Now, how will I know when I've reached that point? I figure around the time when I stop bursting into tears whenever I come across Who Stole the Tarts. Until then, I will keep spinning my wheels, cutting back the cravings with half-fast sketches and carefully hoarding my Eowyns, Midgards, and Agamemnons-dying-in-the-bath.

Monday, March 21, 2005

"When is a legend legend? Why is a myth a myth?"

Watched Dragons: Fantasy Made Real last night. (Was there really any doubt?) I can only assume that the homeboys at Animal Planet finally caved to their dark-side desires and decided to use the Walking With Dinosaurs technology strictly for evil.

The premise was interesting enough. What would happen if scientists uncovered a dragon corpse? (Aside from me filling my knapsack and heading off to the Carpathians). Pretty cool. Good graphics. Good artists. It was narrated by Patrick Stewart who, though I adore, made me twitchy and uncomfortable with an overly lusty commentary on dragon mating habits. Homeboys so wanted Sean Connery, I'm sure. I would have been happy with Peter MacNicol.

Despite its general nerdiness and the misgivings of others, I enjoyed it. Perfect combination of basic fable, bullshit science, and just about every B-quality, Dragonlance, Dragonbane, Dragonsmack novel out there. Sorry to say, my couch companion was not as satisfied. Probably due less to the show than to the fact that every time I beat the narrator to the punch, I became increasingly insufferable with my "you know it"s and "yeah boy-eee"s. I'm charming like that.

I knew all that Anne McCaffrey would pay off.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


There's a fine line to walk between imitating too closely and straying too far.

A part of yet another piece that's gone under the knife for harvesting.

Perhaps one of these days I'll gather all of my viciously hacked cast-offs together. Put them in a basket and toss them on the floor like bones. I can only assume they will fall in such a way as to illustrate my doom.
 Posted by Hello

Friday, March 18, 2005

That, and I need new gloves.

I decided to walk down to The Lake. I hadn't been in a while. Also, I figured with the weather being temperamental, a lucky cold snap might offer me the chance of seeing some hapless ducks being frozen to the pond.
The thing about The Lake is that I run the risk of two dangers. The first is running into people I know but certainly do not want to talk with. The second is running into strangers who desperately want to talk with me. (The most memorable of the latter was an asian woman named Tam and her chihuahua, Duchess. Tam had commandeered the other half of my bench, proclaimed that only "sad young people" sit and look at water, and insisted on--with no success--ferreting out my "story". I should have told her about the ducks, but alas, it was summer, and I probably would have given the poor lady serious regrets about dumping little Duchess into my lap.).
These thoughts in mind, I took my chances yesterday, intent on a little observation and inspiration. You can learn a lot from watching people and watching birds. But there were no people and no birds. Only flat sky, black thorns, and crisscrossing tracks on a frozen Lake. And me, toes numbing, trying to coax a vision of a Dutch peasant out of nothing and onto the ice, but discovering that all fauna (real and imagined) are in hiding on early evenings in winter. Good to know for the future.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No holding back.

Inspired by the candor of baStart and pushed into frustrated boredom by March repeats, I decided to make a playlist of 'most embarrassing favorites'. To keep it brief, I've limited it to contemporary songs. And I figured that while some sheepishness is involved with my preference for oldies like "Dust in the Wind" and "Silent Lucidity", there is also a level of pride.

With these, not so much.


It's like playing dressup with really tiny clothes.

God damn, was this fun. I did some idle research on pinups this weekend and came away crazed for them. Like, wanting to decorate the house with them crazed.

There appear to be two schools of style. The first is largely situational. It's the "Ooops, I've lost my ___!", or the "Now how did that happen?", and involves unlikely breezes, dropped accessories, and pesky telephone cords. Nothing profound, but they serve their purpose and are generally hilarious. The second is your classic, come-hither shot. Simple, effective, uncontrived. Just the female form draped in hues.

I think I'm tending towards the second. The George Petty school. This piece was a timid starter--redhead in incongruous asian get-up. I tried putting sticks in her hair to complete the theme, but she then became redheaded martian in incongruous asian get-up.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Sunday, March 13, 2005

So. Much. Pink.

I allowed myself to break from Saturday ritual last night and went to a shower. As a result, I stumbled onto some revelations--some surprising, others not as much.

1. No matter how many costume changes I make before going out, I always revert back to the first. This would be handy to remember, as the drunken return at 1 A.M. to a bedroom draped in black shirts and jeans is never a welcome one.
2. The sounds of one girl screaming and the sounds of seventeen girls screaming are much the same. It's as if the first to start serves as a tuning fork for the rest until you have one flawlessly unbroken stream of endless, indistinguishable vowels.
3. Animal crackers have changed! The people at Nabisco must have decided at some point to shake shit up and hire a new artist. Same beloved animals, new swanky designs. All for the cold, discerning child of the digital age. And kudos to them. Nabisco, I mean.
4. The closest I come to being bullied into buying lingerie is to purchase dishgloves and an apron. They were pink. That counts for something, right?
5. Bockwurst has become my new favorite comfort food.
6. My first impulse when surrounded by a horde of five foot women is to play a mean game of keep-away with the chocolate fondu. In my defense, I did refrain from indulging it.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Not everyone can live like millionaires.

After six years in an apartment, I'm finding house-living to be baffling and fun. They are decidedly mercurial entities and hard to pin down.
The closest I've come is to quarter the place off into zones--each with it's own personality, each with it's own rules of engagement.

The Goldilocks Corner: A persistent troublemaker, the thermostat has given us at least half a dozen issues in as many months. If the corner gets too warm (say from someone walking by or breathing), the thermostat shuts off--despite the frigid temperatures in the rest of the house. Likewise, if it gets too cold outside, it goes into its own hibernation and needs to be roused. Two of its more whimsical traits.
The Weeping Wall: Likened to an Our Lady of Fatima or a reverse Ganesha, our bathroom has cause to be proud. The far wall tends to seep brown sticky water through the window, onto the floor, into the tiles. Now whether this is an act of natural melt and condensation or evidence of the warm amber tears of God, I can't tell. But I've left a smelly candle burning for each extreme.
The Whistling Way: The copper pipes that deliver our heat tend to scream in protest when the warm water pushes through. It may be Pavlovian, but I find it charming. It's like a chirrup of happy announcement from the house: "Lookit here! I bring you heat!", and I'm not going to complain.
Big Mouth: The entire front face of the house is like a determined asthmatic. The more we try to plug its airways, the more desperately it tries to breathe in. Currently on plugging duty: a white blanket and an old scarf--fighting the good fight.
The Warrior's Corridor: I'm okay with meltwater from our flooded gutters freezing to make a skating rink between our house and the next. I'm okay with the garbage can wheels freezing into said rink and it taking ten minutes stretching and twenty minutes swearing to dislodge them. I find it cruel and unjust, however, that this same rink becomes a minefield as the roof (in its own battle of freeze and thaw) tends to pitch its grapeshot onto our valiant struggling heroes below.

More to come with the changing seasons.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ode to a Big Red Blankee

Blankee, oh, Blankee,
the color of jam.
You came to me from a foreign land.
You're proud and you're petted.
You've earned my esteem.
And I can't bear to put you in the washing machine.

Guess it'll just have to wait until spring when I can hang her majesty out to dry.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

No namecard, thank you.

The saga continues. Or hasn't begun. Still haven't worked up the minerals.

I couldn't shake the feeling that it at first looked like I was soliciting a prostitute, so I added the table. All better. Now it just looks like I'm buying a dimebag*. From Madame Frou-frou's House of Frou, naturally. Sigh. Well, it's the lesser of two evils, I guess.

*Because I can only assume that they come pretty and pale and beribboned. It's a pastel kind of culture, right?

Monday, March 07, 2005

It's not for me.

I'm at this moment mentally girding myself against a trip to the corner boutique. Before this happens, I will assuredly have had no less than three costume changes, sent a half dozen emails to Durham, NC for information and support, and run through a variety of scenarios and escape routes in my mind. Some of which may require red smoke and telekinesis.

The most likely version, however, involves my big brown boots and a deadly combination of waxed floors and slush as I walk through the door. The shopgirl looks at me and three questions flicker across her face:
1. Is she going to steal something (because why else would I be there?)?
2. Is she going to break something?
3. Is she a he?
Three similar questions are on my mind:
1. Is she going to talk to me?
2. Am I going to break something?
3. Should I just make things easier for both of us and pretend I'm a dude.

The rest of the event goes erratically as I try not to sneeze, blush, or snort my contempt, or an embarrassing combination of all three. I resolve myself on buying something, but can't divine the difference between the hair accessories and the undergarments--and I'm not buying the latter. I half tiptoe, half slip my way between the improbable gauntlet of pink, ice cream flavored soaps and the black stare of my perfectly coiffed nemesis. I grab the counter in terror and relief, scatter the handful of chapsticks that I felt I needed to purchase to preserve my dignity, pay the eleven dollars and forty-two cents, and bolt.

We're going to Target.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Stop, already.

I think Mr. Braff has given the rest of his generation a massive inferiority complex.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

I said I was bored.

I have a bookmark that has a drawing of Lewis Carrol. He pretty much looks like what you'd expect a math teacher gone bonkers would--tumbleweed hair, watery eyes, hands that don't know what to do with themselves without a pen or chalk.

He also, it occurred to me, looks a great deal like Gene Wilder. Which may explain why the bookmark is now nowhere to be found, but probably pushed under some heavy books, face downward and wrapped in a tissue. Gene Wilder occupies a lofty position on my top twenty list of scariest images--somewhere between Beaker and Jesus on the cross.

So, moving on to other, less terrifying pairs.

Lord Byron and Robert Downey Jr. (who I'll continue to have a crush on despite the unfortunate resemblence, thank you)
Alex's grandmother and Larry King
Billy Corgan and Eric Cartman (the voices, dudes, the voices)
R.E.M.'s "Nightswimming" and Kansas's "Dust in the Wind"

I'm too bored to think of any more.

Friday, March 04, 2005

That shrewd and knavish sprite.

Considering the subject matter, I half expected this one to curdle under my hands upon completion. But, since it's been sound for a good couple of hours, I'm going to tip my teacup in nervous thanks. And maybe leave a bowl of milk outside.

Also, it's finally dawned on me that a cowslip is not a slender heifer. So no more addled notions of bejewelled cattle.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

"Girl, I know it's been hard since he went away..."

We've been experiencing technical difficulties.

Rhapsody has been acting like a little bitch.
The "new" scanner makes all of my stuff look like something pissed all over it.
I've had New Edition's "Sensitivity" stuck on repeat in my head since noon yesterday (I blame Lemon Jelly).
I'm afraid that the alarm on my fifteen year old clock radio may finally be wheezing it's last.

Perhaps it's just a matter of biting the bullet and upgrading.

On a lighter note, I've been in fits of giggles since finding out that Bill Gates was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Party on, dude.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Let's just begin with Sophie Marceau.

Ah, the night of guilty pleasures. Big Red Blankee was yoinked off the bed and onto the couch. The landlady's gone so I howled my approval at Gilmore Girls and Scrubs with more abandon than usual. Pottery Barn's summer preview was propped on the lap, Ovid was handily nearby but given his due snub. There were three commercial break sprints to the kitchen for the customary tablespoon of cool-whip-and-hershey's-syrup downed over the sink.

And now I'm riding the fine line between milk-warm and sugar-high and am ready to get philosophical. Which essentially means stating once again that Bondgirls are always the most beautiful women in the world and daring anyone to disagree.