Thursday, April 28, 2005

Long distance.

Earlier this afternoon found me shrieking into the phone:

"I like adventure! I like romance! I love bad jokes! I like to dance!"
"Uh, it's 'Animal dance'."
"No it isn't. Really? Is it?"

All part and parcel to the game of childish one-up-manship that is the relationship between me and my brother. I also rediscovered this. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Accidents waiting to happen.

Here's the story of how Radiohead saved our lives a while back:

We were fighting in the car.

The car is really the last bastian of that rare beast called American Privacy. Only within it's fabricked walls can you smoke your disgusting cigarettes and blast your godawful music and discuss your rednecked views. More importanly, I find it to be the only place where people can really duke it out. Instead of arguing in public or even in the apartment, why not save your rage for the Grand Am? Here, your dignity is much better preserved behind the glass where only the most assiduous observer can spot the tell-tale signs of Spatting (notably, straining neck cords and hand gestures).

One must be mindful, however, of the element of danger.

So there we were, weaving through traffic and screaming over the dash about who-the-hell-knows-what, hurtling towards certain doom. We knew it. The car knew it. The divider on the 33 was praying for it. And then on the radio we heard "There There" for the first time. And we were plucked from the brink.

It was an ordering of the spheres. It was magic. It was as goddamned near to being Wyld Stallynz as it gets.

And that's how Radiohead saved our lives. So do yourself a favor and go out and buy Hail to the Thief.

The Good Times are Killing Me.

good times: As promised.

And just in time to accompany the new updated Rhapsody. I'm digging the sky blue and I'm sure I'll love everything else once the boy figures it all out for me. But despite all the buffing and tweaking, their Search element is still, at its best, faulty and, at its worst, felony-inciting.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Buy the damn book.

I opted to reread Gates of Fire, a decision I never make lightly.

As I see it, I have two choices. The first is to take my time--one kleenex at a time--by reading it in bits and pieces. This breaks the book into emotionally manageable portions, but draws it out woefully. The second is to sprint through as fast as I can, weeping and blubbering the whole way and collapsing in a sodden mass at the end. But I'll have done with it quickly.

Either way involves pain. Lots of pain.

I'm going for option number two.


Gotchya. Or at least I hope so. She was a slippery one and downright protean when it came to it. But here she is, and for now I'll leave well enough alone.

Speaking of unending struggles, we had it out with the furnace last night. At twelve thirty, an hour after the thermostat had been shut off, the row of wailing pipes that had previously been dubbed The Whistling Way, took on a new name. Alley of Dying Birds. I swear it sounded as if a colony of sparrows was being tortured for information ("Where's the Guff, damn you?"). After another hour of fruitless ear-plugging, we ventured downstairs and managed to tame* the beast. But not before I had directed some very choice, very ill-advised words at the ceiling below our landlady's bedroom.

*The held breath/swift kick combination always works.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Stupidest Thing.


There aren't many--not because I'm not stupid, I'm really just not that adventurous. I guess most of the foolish things I've done have been in the name of "peace and quiet". Like going for a drunken run at eleven at night. Or sitting on tombstones at midnight. Or walking a couple miles into White Sands when the dunes were shifting. I do love me some silence.

My freshman year of college I was bullied into going to a Nine Inch Nails concert by some poser goth friends. While this may have demonstrated a shameful lack of backbone on my part, it wasn't in itself stupid. The fact that, after about an hour, I produced a rumpled piece of paper and a pencil from somewhere in the folds of my flannel men's shirt and started doing calculus homework does however count as Pretty Damn Dumb. I could kick myself now, but I guess the sight of (opening act) Marilyn Manson's pale, flapping penis was just too much for the uninitiated.
I'm also lucky that I didn't get my ass kicked. Goths aren't high on the badass ladder, but I'm betting they're a couple rungs above math geeks.

Friday, April 22, 2005


From here out I shall be known as She Who Sweeps.

From stray grey grandma hairs to newfoundland pup clumps, from eraser flecks to raisin bran flakes. It's all there. A concise and fairly accurate draft of our lives, spread out on the floorboards. And me. The Broomstick Goddess who taps out a circular dance and arranges everything in piles. Who takes inventory and marks the passing events and discards them.

It feels good. In the way all rituals feel good.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Not to belabor the issue, but the Rapunzel witch is proving elusive. This is the third of three that have come up short. And ended up ravaged and rent.
Perhaps she wants more face time. I seem to have a thing for her backside.

I just watched Birth. Not bad at all. Quiet, deliberate, skeletal--(I like my movies like I like my men?). There's a great minute-long close-up on Nicole Kidman where she sits perfectly still and, well, acts--no words, just acting. I swear, you can see a horde of emotions running from her eyes down her nose to her mouth and back up again. Lovely stuff. New respect for the woman, despite her rumored penchant for berries.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

You gotta make a list.

I just tested the mood waters and they're looking murky. Which means that today is the perfect day to put a few of my dark plans into motion.

1. Start all-out war with the mailman: I swear, whenever I'm anywhere outside, he refuses to deliver. So, today, I will park myself on the porch at three o'clock with my most basilisk glare and dare him to walk by.
2. Booby-trap the garbage cans: I don't know what makes our trash so damned irresistable to the dregs of Buffalo, but I've a good notion that some expertly positioned glass and other sharp savories will set things right.
3. Set about mastering space and time: Our street has been acting the part of a wormhole for local bums. It seems to offer the quickest path between the hospital and the 'loaves n' fishes', or the liquor store and the gas station, or the coffee shop and the blood bank, or wherever it is that they go. It's really a simple matter. All I have to do is either close the entrances or create a new interspatial route. I think it involves "strings". Perhaps I should do a little more reading first.
4. Quit smoking: Why not? I'm already in a lousy mood. And I figure it would lend itself nicely to the "The Good Times are Killing Me" playlist I've been meaning to make. Given up fags and drugs now, baby. (Am I allowed to quote two bands in the same breath?)
5. Buy a new pair of shitkicker shoes: Cuz it's all about appearances.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"You're so much heavier than the prince."

There's little doubt that Rapunzel's witch made a more suitable guardian than the actual parents.

I mean, first your mother is unhinged by her desire for what is essentially a patch of lettuce. Then your father, instead of growing a pair (of balls, not lettuce--though that would have worked too), resorts to trespassing and theft in your name. When finally caught, they shrug their shoulders and agree to give you up over the whole event.
Good freaking riddance, I say. Go with the person with the goods. With the magic. With the tower in the clouds. So what if she has a wee bit of an overprotective streak--it's got to be a welcome change from your indifferent family.

Though it seems to me that the witch is the one who really gets the shaft. After all of the pampering, the food, and god knows how many bottles of Pert Plus, she ends up betrayed. Proving that disloyalty and dishonesty are, in fact, hereditary.

Note to self: when appropriating a child in witchy revenge, make sure she's from good stock.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The ranting post.

This was the weekend where the sprinklers came out, and the shiny, sport-utility-strollers made their debuts, and all the neighbors hung their flags.

Nothing pisses me off more than a fair weather patriot. Either don't or do, I say. Now, we don't own a flag, but we also don't own a home. You can bet your ass that if we did, the stars and stripes would not be a faddish seasonal thing like inflatable Santas and Snoopy windsocks. You can also bet that if we did, I would totally become that person--the one on the porch wrapped in the union colors, yelling obscenities at dogs and children and daffodils, uninformed and unaware and warmed by the fires of liberty and vodka.

So, perhaps it's best for everyone that I currently rent and, for the time being, practice a seemlier version of patriotism with my 101st Airborne teeshirts and cans of coca-cola.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Watch your ears.

We had a fine waste of a day today. Shut the blinds against the sun and it's bribes and opted instead for an afternoon of shitty, hand-me-down Neil Gaiman (I don't know what's happened to him these past years--I think Tori may have cured him of his genius). We ordered pizza. Had enough caffeine to keep me up until three in the morn. Watched Underworld--best use of the word "fuck" ever, by the by ("Are you fucking kidding me?"). Had a few minor tiffs, as is to be expected when cooped up with no spiral mac n' cheese and mild hangovers. Turned the tv on halfway into Edward Scissorhands and couldn't turn it off despite my violent aversion to Anthony Michael Hall (it's the persistently wet under lip). Resurrected the term "boot to the head" and put it into practice. And had a shortlived discussion on what we'd like our dying words to be (Me: "Fuck yeah" (with raised fist). Him: "I just hope it's not 'Oh, Shit'.").

I have no idea how to punctuate that last sentence.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Got it.

Ah, it's from Shakespeare's Henry IV--and, from what I've found, much overused. So, sorry.

The blue of my oblivion.

That dream is back.

The one where I'm stuck under the ice of some ocean. I can breathe under the water and I spend most of the time just swimming around and chasing lights. A ship is fastened to the surface and I sometimes scrabble at it's belly and look in the windows. There's nothing to see. More interesting is the pod of huge sleeping whales that hang like zeppellins and occassionally blink at me.

And that's it. No point. No storyline. I'm normally scared to death of the vasty deeps (where the hell is that phrase from?), but not here. It's just good, clean, saltwater fun.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Incapacitation of Jess.

Sorry, mom. I should have listened to the endless sermons about stretching before running, and wearing three layers, and eating bananas, because the day has come. The old broken toe has risen in rebellion. The shins have followed suit. The knees--oh, the knees!--are swollen and throbbing and little pieces of bone are playing touch-tag in the humours.

I guess the only thing a girl can do is sit in a chair with an ice pack and a pencil. And I can't even reach the speakers to turn down Mariah's new cd (now I wonder who turned that on?).

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Foo Foo.

A little late in coming, but I just couldn't shake the image of peep steeds and their coney knights.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Crazy grandma (in-law) quotes of the week:

Regarding standard poodles: "Well, they were so hyper--they must have been inbred."

Regarding Racheal Ray: "She should really hang something over her butt if it sticks out that far."

Regarding breast implants: "People are now opting for silcone over saline, because it feels better. You know. To the touch." (With hand motions).

Regarding ladies her age: "You hit a certain point and you just start wearing purple."

Regarding me: "Believe whatever you want. It just means I'm going to pray twice for you."

Regarding my grandmother: "No way am I going to church with her. She's a crazy lady."

But we're freeee. Free, free, free!

Embroidered tablecloth? Check.

We threw a surprise seventieth for my great aunt this weekend. Amidst pink flatware and stale, suburban topics, everyone divided the time between nervous preparations and cooing over the only child my family's been able to produce in fifteen years. But I don't go much in for kissing ass (my aunt and I are much alike and have a relationship based on fond respect for each other's terrible tempers), and I've become something of a family joke due to my absolute intolerance for children and their absolute enjoyment of me, so I was left to my own devices.

This ended with me seeking out my father's equally unsociable brother and giving my catty tendencies free reign. Together we wound through the house like greedy ghosts, catalouging my aunt's possessions and divying the goods between us. All of the old green pottery for him, the huge dining room picture for me ("Darlin', you can keep it!"), the pair of marble candleholders for him, the green chairs for me. (The mother of pearl Last Supper was the only thing kept off limits, by silent agreement.) By the end of a diligent half an hour we each had completed our own glittering piles and our own mental checklists and were grinning like dragons.

Needless to say, we yelled our "Surprise!"s with unnatural verve.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

"I don't think she drew breath since we left."

Currently trying to blast the droning sounds of poker-playing Italians from my head.

All creative impetus has been sapped. Fingers drained of energy.

Instead, I've tethered myself to the monitor and decided to weather the storm in battered oblivion.

Take a deep breath.

Not since The Kohachi River has there been a crush so profound. His name is Roy Mustang and he's the most recent in the long line of angular, black-haired, anime lads that started with Blue Lion Guy From Voltron.

I can only assume that he has a horrible temper, prefers the pistol to the katana, defies the gods, is torn between a pesky conscience and his loyalties towards the wrong side that he's chosen, and looks best in cornflower blue.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

My teeth hurt.

Things I've learned today:

If you plant a Newfoundland in the snow, he will grow.

March flowers bring April showers. (Buffalo likes to mix things up)

Two slices of sourdough bread and a healthy dollop of Fluff does not make for a satisfying lunch.

The Smashing Pumpkins are now on Rhapsody. I figure Radiohead must be next.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Then I stuff you with bread. It won't hurt, cuz you're dead. And you're certainly lucky you are.

Close of Day Three of Puppywatch:

Five failed walks, one discarded towel, a pair of muddied sneakers, four slices of Kraft American Cheese slices as bribery, one punctured finger, and a very terrified, very short-lived flea and the tally is looking sadly one-sided.
Puppy: 13
Jess: 0

It could have been this evening when I nearly walked into traffic preoccupied with thinking: "My eyes itch. If I could take out my eyes and itch them, I would." It could have been last night when, giddy and showered and prompted by the French sea-bass challenge on The Iron Chef, I burst into a lively rendition of "Le Poisson" and wouldn't stop. But the signs are there. The puppy is going to break me.

It's a Doggy Dogg World.

Halfway into Day Three of Puppywatch:

I think I've figured it out. He's narcoleptic. Whenever he's afraid of something, he falls asleep. Tugging him past the garbage cans--falls asleep. Throwing him a stick--falls asleep. Pulling him out of the driveway--falls asleep. On his feet, no less.
It's more amusing than annoying to see a ninety pound, five month old puppy pass the hell out whenever he catches sight of anything larger or more threatening than my winter boots.

Responsibility Shrugged.

Day Three of Puppy Watch:

Though I don't suppose it counts as day three until I've actually made contact. But this morning I am content to let the beast stamp and yowl around upstairs until I am quite ready. I need to work myself into a proper despotic mood.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Okay. Maybe I told a teensy lie about not drawing greek myths. But this could be any of a number of mournful chicks. Really, is there a story out there that doesn't have at least one pale-limbed waif that loses it in the wilderness?
(All of the best ones go crazy and they all tend to loosen their locks, cling to the rocks, and slowly fade into the wind or the water.)

And don't feel sorry for Poor Echo. Whatever you were told about her was probably incomplete. She was a master of distraction and would stall Hera with rambling stories while Zeus dallied in the woods with his latest lovely. Big Mama eventually found out and administered appropriate justice. It wasn't until after Echo was cursed that the whole Narcissus-by-the-Pool thing happened.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Or would you rather be a fish?

The first photo of a "confirmed companion to a sunlike star" outside of our solar system was recently taken. The planet is a flaming gas giant that puts Jupiter to shame but really just looks like a punk hanger-on that couldn't cut it as a sun, clinging to the skirts of another star ("Lemme at 'em! I can take 'em, boss!"). I'm still holding out for something blue and solid to chew on.

On a related note. The best place to star-watch in America? Arizona. Along the spine of the mountains that house the Hoover dam. Right before the sky, for a brief plot of space, tips obligingly on it's back and becomes the basin of Las Vegas.