Saturday, July 30, 2005

"I'll take the branches. They must certainly be the heaviest."

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

Great glowing green gorillas.

"I saw the trailer for King Kong today."
"How was it?"
"Pretty damn bad."
"Well, it is King-fucking-Kong."
"No, it is Peter-fucking-Jackson."

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Get your hair out of my soy yogurt.

We went to the no-longer-on-Lexington Co-op yesterday in a reluctant effort to "Support Our City!" (yeah!).

I'm sorry, but I just can't do it again. Too many dirty hippies.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pirouetting goldfish and eye of newt.

Last night we made ourselves watch as Empire came to its limping conclusion. It started off okay, but if you're going to completely abandon reality, at least let the cute boy and the solemn priestess end up together. As if any of the Vestals remained virgins. They were selling that shit off left and right, I'm sure.

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:

crushed insects
...a trachea
stars...not stars...
...helicopter searchlights...yes
eagle headdress
phoenix beak...

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

When does MY someday begin?

It's going to sound unlikely, but if ever there was an immortal, it's Babyface.

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

Red Badge of...

I've burst a blood vessel in my eye. I'm embarrassed to explain how, but let's just say that some vigorous vomitting and the aforementioned bottles of cranberry juice were involved. After a panicky internet search to make sure that it's nothing permanent, I'm now just waiting for it to go away.

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

End of Days.

The house is cleared of guests. The linens are piled, the dishes are washed, the half empty bottles of cranberry juice have been dumped. All went well. Outside of a few slips (forgivable because they were made on the front porch after eleven), I got through without offending my sister-in-law's religious sensibilities, so we'll call that a near success.

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

Crazy grandma quote of the day.

"Here's a card for your anniversary, sweeteeee."
"Can you fill it out for meee? Sign it 'With love'."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Easy Breezy.

When in doubt, you can always fall back on silhouettes.

Gotta go. Gotta chat. Gotta eat huge mounds of ciabatta and sage cheddar.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

All hail.

Despite the fact that ABC's Empire could be set in Narnia for all its historical inaccuracy, I am enjoying it thoroughly. There's nothing I love more than the sympathetic and completely farfetched illustration of Caesar as a man o' the people. Uh-huh.

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

There's got to be more than this boat I'm in.

The house has started acting weird again. Different than it's wintertime fits. More organic in a way. It's probably the warm. But old smells are being reanimated--the back hall reeks of puppy once more. The bathroom is seething and dripping and no amount of strangling can stop it or the tiny gnats that are driving me to distraction. The kitchen floor is shedding it's imitation linoleum squares like snakeskin.

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

Will he, nil he.

I may be the only one of my peers that has no memories of the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I blocked it all out years ago. I have deep seated issues with Gene Wilder that I'm always happy to noise about (it's the bleary eyes). I also have a fear of midgets of which I'm much less proud. Not to mention my phobias concerning drowning (especially in food), fat kids (remember the blond boy with the bugle in The Last Crusade? shudder), and dance numbers.

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

Shopping plaza adventures.

Giddy from air-conditioning and riding a Starbuck's contact high, they spent ludicrous amounts of money.


Today we held our breath and joined the cord of traffic that was feeding itself into every Barnes and Noble in the city. I've taken part in many a universal craze, but was curious as to how the Nerd Frenzy appears to an outsider.

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

Where the shadows lie.

I have a passion for national park webcams.

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.

Paint fumes.

Meh. Not the greatest scan. But not the greatest picture either. I kept getting distracted by thunder and caramel Hershey's kisses. Excuses.

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


Hey, you.

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

Ziggy Piggy.

"I was thinking, maybe we should take Mari to Fat Bob's. Give her a little Bee-Bee-Q."

"Barbeque? Isn't your sister-in-law from the south?"

"Well, yeah. But she's from the Beef South, not the Pork South."

Monday, July 11, 2005

Is that a trireme in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

I'm going to give myself a little pat on the back for finally finishing The Peloponnesian War. It was arresting, intense, completely linear, and a surprisingly fast read.

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.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


whisper: Good night, strappy sandals. (nuzzle nuzzle)

Friday, July 08, 2005


Not two hours ago I was gazing into the closet, appraising my funerary wardrobe with despair and shrieking into the next room, "To hell with it! I'm wearing pants and a sweater tomorrow and you can go to hell, hell, hell!"

Me devising another onslaught. How dare he not rise to the bait?

Swift muttering from the computer room followed by Genesis on Rhapsody (sounds like a biblical perversion, no?).
Phil Collins' voice is the ultimate sedative. The Boy is aware of this and will put his knowledge to genius effect--usually as a last attempt at self-preservation.

That was the low. I may have sulked a bit. I may have shed one tear into a bowl of lukewarm leftover chili. Perhaps while blubbering the lyrics to "Throwing it all Away."

But I rallied, abandoned the gorgeous pink and green concoction that I would never have pulled off (sorry, you know who), frankensteined a darker ensemble, trod down to Elmwood amidst approving thunder and found my shoes.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I swear this is royal blood running through my skin.

We recently purchased Frog Prince bookends and I love them.

Let's just ignore the fact that the story is an allegory for girlish horror at the male genitalia.

(Well, it's true. I have my sources.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


The other day we passed by a painting crew that appeared to consist of three fierce-looking twelve year old boys who were clinging to the window ledges and blasting "Prince Igor" from a stereo. I exchanged surprised looks with my companion and dismissed it as a fluke.

Today, same crew, same classical music. This time I stopped and cocked my head in disbelief.

If it happens a third time, I'm bringing a net and some iron filings and am going to demand my three wishes.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Dilemma.

Now, I love the Fourth as much as the next person. But each year leaves me in an unlikely predicament that starts with a morning of indecision and ends with me second guessing myself for the rest of the day. I like to call it the Tee-shirt Dilemma.

It normally comes down to the Final Five. Each shirt is perfectly patriotic, each appealing in its own way, each just interesting and obscure enough to effect the essential Cooler Than Thou image. But which to pick?

1. The Heil to the Chief: Procured in Deutzchland and it shows. Says something in German about the U.S. and West German collaboration. Perfectly innocent except for the huge black eagle that dominates--looking like it's flown straight off some perch in Burchesgarten. Not really Fourth fare, but it remains in the running, just in case I'm feeling punchy.
2. The VeePee: Another German item, though much less risky. Great colors, great lines. Is dated to 1984 which gives it a nice retro feel. But alas, it's a wee bit too small. Has a good chance, but often comes in as runner up, unless I feel like sucking in the gut all day.
3. The Contender: Has won the last two years. Sports the 82nd Airborne Wings on the front with a nod to Fort Bragg. Has cute little blue caps on the sleeves and neck. Is red, white and blue. Has garnered many approving comments by WWII veterans in grocery store parking lots. But. I'm always a little uncomforable in it. Do I really want to be rocking out the "REENLIST ALL-AMERICAN" ("you snot-nosed chicken shits" (implied)) around a potentially liberal crowd? Not really. One must be respectful of one's hosts.
4. The "There is only One tee shirt, and Jessica is it's wearer.": My personal fave. Best design. Best fit. Has a tiny blue patch on the front with a perfectly drawn chopper. The only writing is on the back, and it's unobtrusive and cool. Unfortunately, it's also in Arabic. So, that's that.
5. The Tangerine Dream: Another close one. Reads a bold "AIR ASSAULT" in black below a huge set of 101st Air Attack wings. Totally sweet. Is also a cool citric color--fresh and eyecatching. But the fit is a little off. Also, the logo was put on crooked which inevitably leads to my pulling the whole shirt back and forth all day like a five year old. Also, if I'm inclined to wear my zip-up hoodie, the only writing that shows is A-S-S. Character appropriate? Perhaps. Family backyard friendly? Not so much.

So, the decision making begins.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Last night was the deep breath before the plunge.

We did some prepwork. Bought a disposable camera, buffered the fridge with beer, stocked up on salsa, made a couple of lists, washed the linens, cleaned the tapestries. Then we sat on the porch until two, slowly exhaling smoke from our last two cigarettes and listening to the Friendship Festival fireworks. And the night exhaled with us and cooled the streets.

Some late night quotes which I blame entirely on the chill:

J:"I bet lembas tastes like birthday cake and looks like a fish fry."

A:"Do you use the Dwarvish, Elvish or Mannish words for things?"

J:"You know you have a problem when you start dreaming about Greeks."

A:"This conversation is awesome."

A:"This conversation needs more wine."

J:"Leave it to the Canadians to have their Fourth of July on the First."

And then the clacking wooden windchimes chased us indoors.

Friday, July 01, 2005

"Is your name Conrad?"


So the name. What does it mean? Well, I was tempted to go the "Rumple-stil(t)s-kin, Rumple-steals-kin--hey! He steals kids! Get it?"-moron route but did a little research instead. The original German is Rumpelstilzchen. "Rumpel" means to jolt (or perhaps to make noise). The second part is a little tricky. "Stelze" means stilt. "Stulz" means lame--though I'm not sure I trust the source on that one (but he does tear himself in two). "Stolzem" means stolen which sounds promising, but I think that's reaching a little far with the translation. Apparently there's an ancient game still played in Germany called rumpele stilt oder der poppart, which is the obvious origin, but I couldn't find out how it's played. Do they use stilts? Do they pretend to be lame? Do they spin flax into gold and steal firstborns (a girl can hope)? Who the hell knows?

So, I'm going with "little guy that jumps around like a fool--maybe with sticks". Which is pretty much said in the the original story "a really strange man was dancing around the fire, hopping on one foot and chanting". So, that for all my looking.