Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ring around...

Another victim of my chronic laziness. And it's not like I didn't have eight shiny new colored pencils to tempt me. But there was just so much space. Who wants to be coloring and smudging and moistening for hours on end with no guarantee of quality? I'm skittish when it comes to large expanses of paper. I figure that's where the real brilliance happens and I've a small bag of tricks.

The real question is how many pictures of (Blank) in Front of a Tree can I get away with? To this I shrug my shoulders and reply "As many as can fill my days". It's really one of the oldest standbys and, in my book, among the most attractive. It ranks up there with Ring of Dancing Fairies, and Woman at a Window, and Girl by Water Contemplating Suicide. The oldies and goodies, used by the best and the worst. I figure their ubiquity must mean something, and I've put it down to each having some primal, sub-conscious importance.
Who the hell am I to screw with that?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Gold and Black.

One lovely weekend in the Pittsburgh area and this is what I have to show for it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Slumming it.

I got a call from a friend the other day. We exchanged pleasantries and it took me more than a few seconds to realize that it was, in fact, a wrong number. I stopped, laughed and proclaimed that he sounded "just like someone I know". Then he tried flirting. I think. I hung up too quickly to really find out.


Well. Later that afternoon I got a second call. This time from the NYS Department of Police or some shit. A recording stating that I had received a call from a correctional facility and would I like to sign up for some program? I balked and hung up even quicker than before.

I laughed a bit, swore a bit more. And, after checking all the locks, quietly unplugged the phone for the day.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Got me.

I have no clue, either. Sometimes you just gotta draw gnomes, man.

It has a funerary kind of feel, which is what I orginally intended, but I just couldn't bring myself to see the whole thing through. The Hanging of the Fruit Men was a bit too grisly for a Wednesday morning. And then there's all the explaining that would have come with it--the Why's and Who's and What the Eff's.

So instead, it's a Harvest. Or a Birthing. Or a Religious Rite.

I'll content myself with ambiguity.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The only logical explanation.

So, I have a bit of a family bias, but this article had me raising an eyebrow.
...freaking environmental terrorism at its purest.

Me Me.

I'm borrowing this from scott. I said I needed a good meme.

Here’s the next meme for everyone, as long as you get it before someone else with your name does. Type in your first name and the word “needs” into Google. Post the first 10 results, plus a few other interesting ones.

Jessica needs:
1. an adoptive family that is very structured.
2. coffee
3. to wear something sexy again to gain the spotlight among so many superstars.
4. to be left alone.
5. constant attention.
6. to grow a backbone.
7. a new color lipstick.
8. to spend lots of time just kissing Helen.
9. to rethink her position on doing adult films.
10. a new kidney.

The Albas and Simpsons out there are just ruining things for me and my kind.


Been all about them lately. More than usual.

An oldie, but a fave. The animation is amazing, and the acoustic version blows the original away.

Monday, January 23, 2006

"I can see all of Orion."

I didn't ski this weekend, but drinking someplace other than the chair facing the mirror at you-know-where is an adventure in itself. And while there was no free popcorn, the windows at the cabin were reassuringly reflective.

We ate meat at every meal. I slept in front of a fire, dreamt of blackened feet, woke up to bacon. I ran up the slope in the backyard and found two ponds where the land tabled off. Got to look over the hills and study the bluing effect fo' reals. Played tag at 1 a.m. with an overweight cockapoo until my fear of bears sent me scurrying inside. Drank wine. Ate guacamole.

Altogether good. Even without Raisin Bran or Wikipedia. Though I'm not quite convinced I've sold the Garvs on Sigur Ros.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

...and an umbrella.

What does one bring for a ski weekend?

Wool socks
Something LL Bean (in this case, a fleece from 1989 that smells like tacos)
powdered cocoa
Herodotus (to keep up appearances)
Radiohead Radiohead Radiohead (there's some converting to be done on the trip down)
pencils and paper
sweater with snowflakes
...Tolkien trivia cards...yes?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Honey, but I always could accessorize.

The latest and the last. Still haven't arrowed in on the style, but whatever. Also, I examined the template piece quite closely and decided that the guy's canvas must have been huge. There were mini-hatches on everything. The chair legs, a woman's cheek, a saucer. I'll admit, it gave nice dimension to every bitty thing, but it bordered on an obsession with detail that I haven't flirted with since my mad freshman days. It's best to let those demons sleep, but I have a feeling I'll be revisiting them for tea very soon.

Blather and blather.

Oh, and don't look too closely at the walls. I felt compelled to hang them with meaningful nothings. I tried for some Subversive Feminist Wit. It eluded me, as it always does, and I decided to leave things to the pros after my "Venus Tobacco" fell flat. The closest I got was a weak silhouette on that bottle in the front which could be passed off as the Green Fairy. Big surprise. All my roads lead thataway.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Still reeling at bit from that comment on my last post. I think I'll leave the page untouched for a while and just bask.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Fuckall. I got nothing. Where's a pesky meme when you need one?


I woke up this morning to find my knees had erupted in bruises over the night. Could be the weather. Or the tae bo. Or maybe all that church.

I found a website for the old cartoon Wildfire which I will not be linking to. Good christ, no.

I learned a new word, thanks to Peter S. Beagle*.
thaumaturge: a performer of miracles or magic feats

*Still haven't read his sequel Two Hearts--probably because I've no desire to invest in his audio version of The Last Unicorn (not while Christopher Lee is, I'm sure, out there somewhere just waiting to molest it).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

6:21P.M. Friday, Sunday, Monday...

I have a certain fondness for helicopters--I like to think we've grown up together. I remember when the Cobra was the norm and the Apache was hot shit. I remember playing tag around the Chinooks as they sat in the hangars like sleeping elephants, and clambering over the Blackhawks as if they were bigtoys. I remember how their blades and rungs looked and felt--smooth and drowsy in a placid green skin. How fast they moved, how your brain rattled in your skull when they flew low, how the tops of the tallest trees were singed by their constant traffic. It was nothing to see six, ("no, ten! no, fourteen!") at a time, crawling in a line over the woods in your back yard. Nothing to see, but you always stopped to look.

But unhinged militarism and exaggerated pride aside, it's unnerving whenever your house off of Elmwood--so far from any post-- is buzzed by one. Three times this week in what I'm sure is simply a changed flight pattern. But it's getting to me. And I can't quite tell if it's making me paranoid or just wildly sentimental.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Rest Assured.

Meh. After twenty years of aping one person's specific style, I wasn't really surprised to find it taking more than one try to even approximate another's.

I've considered this one a warmup and have spent the weekend mulling. Which is to say that Bass took precedence for a day or two, but things should be started and done by week's end.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I detatched myself from the treadmill yesterday and instead went for a run in the freakish weather. Figured a nice break in the springish temps would do me good, contract the pupils for a change. The rest of the city seemed to have the same idea and my quiet outing turned into a game of dodge. Dodge the frisky dogs. Dodge the frantic post-school traffic. Dodge the three sunbathing bums sitting in a puddle of beer (oh, please be beer) yelling at me.

I got home angry and hyperventillating, realizing too late the error of dressing in three layers, and the stupidity of braving a city that will spaz and break out the sunscreen and bermudas at the merest hint of a thaw. I figure today it woke up, recalled yesterday's excesses, and turned its face to the wall for three months of cold shame.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Just listening to this and puzzling over how to draw a gun.
As in sketch, that is.

Rhapsody Playlist

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Only in a leap from the lion's head.

A small business owner on Elmwood has finally decided to wise up to his customers. The store is wonderful, but it's a deathtrap for the unwary female buyer. Be warned. He plays a dirty game and sets forth a gauntlet of three traps of such cunning that any misstep spells doom.

1. Shock and awww: Enter to find the prices low, the wood burnished, and the pillows sparkly. Set by a working fireplace to perfect effect is a lordly English bulldog, proferring her upturned belly for a petting. You kneel in obedience.

2. The Porridge Bowl: Move on giddily, only to come face to face with a candy bowl of indecent proportions. It's attended by candleholders and appears to be perpetually refilled by an enchanted reserve of mini Hershey's...Take one. They're freeee.

3. The Crush: With that word floating on the air, there comes the final blow. While you stand, disarmed and dazzled, smelling of puppy and gumming marshmallow and chocolate from your teeth, the owner sends out his impossibly gorgeous young partner as emissary. He may or may not be holding a second puppy. You will try to ignore the blue eyes, and the smiles, and the conversation about washing shams, and your brain will yell "GAY!", but the senses can take only so much battery.

And your voice will inevitably betray you with those fateful words:
"Yes, the queen sized one, please. And throw in that pillow."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fake Plastic Something. Part 2.

I just. don't. know. what it could be.

Birdie cheerleading squad?
"Torture in Feathers and Beads" by an eight year old sadist, circa 1983?
The first unsuccessful attempt by Leda and the swan?
Baba Yaga's chariot?
Some totemic thing from the Spirit Land of my fathers, come to warn me?

Or maybe she's doing us a favor and it's our own little house god. Warding off bogeys and all attempts at good taste.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Fake Plastic Something. Part One.

A few warm weekends ago, we sat outside drinking. This was in the midst of our boiler problems and our ceiling problems, and our landlady had just received a notice for three years of "seriously overdue" water bills, so my sense of porch-entitlement was raging. I had placed the sagging lime green foldouts just so and had arranged the beer cans at a flattering angle when she walked up the steps grinning at something in her arms.

I was enjoying a pleasant buzz and took the bait.
"How was vacation?"
"Whatchya got there?" A little cautiously.
Guilty laughter.
"Flamingos!" Silence. "Flamingos for the front yard!"
"I guess Florida really had its way with you."
"Yes! They're so kitchy! And they light up!"
"Yes. And they match the trim on the house." This was me trying to be polite. And how much cause does a person have to turn up her nose at plastic yard decor when she's just instructed her guests to "No, ash into the tray and spit over the railing"? So I smiled and opened the door for her.

The next morning I waited for their debut, but nothing changed. A few days later I discovered the chalky remains of our garden gnome. Apparently he had climbed the stoop and dashed himself to pieces in the bushes--no doubt in fearful anticipation of sharing his beauty bark with glowing, neon fowl. But still nothing.

And I breathed a little easier for a while. But punishment was sure, if slow, in coming....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

For the birds.

More of the same. Also one more to go under the knife.

I wonder how many of those little brown wrens and sparrows wanted freedom. I suspect warm beds and food aplenty were hard to come by in those days, and that the lifespan of a woodland bird probably approximated that of a woodland girl--especially taking into consideration the rigors of childbirth. How many Jorindas and Gretels bled out their lives onto sandy floors at the age of fifteen? Better to feed on grain and rest unmolested in the straw bed of your cage. Better to come to love the scarred and wrinkled hand of the woman who took you, in a sense, under her wing.

Friday, January 06, 2006

VCRs at the ready.

New episode of Battlestar Galactica tonight at ten...and two a.m....and Monday at eleven...

Halloween orange.

We came home to drama. It seems that the one instance where you're allowed to parade the street in slippers and pajamas is when neighboring houses are in flames.

Everything is fine. I think. The street is plugged with fire trucks and ambulances and with Buffalo's finest who appear to have things under control. I got to see how the system works and why there's a required fifteen foot parking distance from hydrants. There's a crowd of tired people and hyper dogs (no dalmations). There are some grim looking firemen and two engorged hoses are snaking their way down the road.

I'm still rolling on four pints of Bass but, boy, do some of our neighbors look scary without their makeup.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

For heroic meritorious achievement of service.

After seventeen years of stellar performance, it breathed its last this morning. There're only so many four-second packets of Shredd and Ragan a little machine can be asked to take.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Seldom what they seem.

Sleeping Beauty is hands-down best for sheer volume of images. Perhaps because it's so extensive within its relatively closed framework. There's not much adventuring, but it's really three fairy tales in one (the story of the childless mother, the story of the child, the story of the child's rescuer). A lot of shit happening around one little castle.

It's pretty, although not quite a favorite in its current watered-down incarnation. And while the old version has our heroine waking up to the suckling of twin babies (fathered by a philandering prince who seems to have adiosed), it's much less the dark and ghastly that I prefer than it is simply gross. Though, I must say this particular Briar Rose is baring a little more leg than she should and her hair has developed into a Lovecraftian beastie of its own.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Crossing the streams.

Despite all appearances, there's a kernel of guile rattling around in my grandmother's head. With it, she managed to procure and use my cousin's cell phone number with none of us knowing. The two have met a handful of times over the years, and it seems that this past Christmas an unnatural alliance was formed. I cannot guess as to what they discussed--the addled old bag and the self-involved shot-girl-turned-realtor--but somewhere galaxies are collapsing, matrices are crumbling, and wise men are going mad.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Chapter One. Volume One.

Taking down the house. All the red and gold must be tucked away. All nog dumped. I'm currently mapping out a route for our tree that will involve the least amount of mess. As quick as that shit goes up, it comes down all the faster. These are the words I say every year.

I rang in the year stuffing my face with artichoke dip. Appropriate. I ended the night completely obliterating some stranger's ego. I started my day with tea and a run. Looks like I'll be staying the course for another year.

I have no lofty goals, unless facing my fear of Stephen King and starting the Dark Tower series can be considered a resolution. It's good. I'm on page eight and have committed myself to a night of reading in stinking running clothes.