Tuesday, February 28, 2006


My mom was striving to be sweet this weekend.

Mom: "We watched Proof the other night and I was struck by how much Gwyneth Paltrow reminded me of you."
J: "Ugh. I'm sure you mean it as a compliment, but I'm really just offended by the comparison."
M: "Well, it was more the lack of makeup and the undone hair. And her coloring."
J: "Not every fair-haired actress looks like me. It hurts that you've got me reduced to 'blonde and blue'."
M: "And her clothes--"
J: "It's the fake British accent isn't it?"
M: "--scarves, hats, cargoes and tee shirts--"
J: "Or maybe the pretentiousness? --pretention? --pretense?"
M: "Oh, and she was also completely crazy like you."
J: "Well, now that I'll take as a compliment."

Monday, February 27, 2006


This picture broke my freakin' heart. But I guess there's no better nod to the mid-winter plunge than the complete overthrow of the mind and soul. Scomps!

It started off so well, and I've preserved the best, but I'll be damned before I let the rest from its interrogation cell. I don't know what happened. Perhaps I took too much time with the thing. Or too little. Perhaps it was because I was sick. I excuse myself so many other things--why not this? All I know is that, somewhere in the past week, it all slipped away. And I don't just mean the piece. There's a dented countertop that, if it had a tongue, would have nothing to say in my favor.

But I figure it would make a pretty starter page for a book, so I keep it. Pretend it was intentional. Forget the rest, but not forgive.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stumps instead of feet.

Looks like the next in the series has been approved. This makes me happy. Let's just hope that by 2007 the Prevensie family has ponied up and found a good orthodontist.

Friday, February 24, 2006

How 'bout that.

I've been catching myself in the peripheries today. It hasn't exactly been flattering:

I walked by a mirror and realized that uncombed hair is not fashion forward--despite the interesting shapes it happens to make against one's head.

Mid-Von, it occured to me that my loud and proudly sung 'translations' of Sigur Ros are not clever--just senseless.

In the corners of a conversation this afternoon, I discovered that I mark the passage of time by the bars we've frequented. ("We were at YaYa's--why, who would have guessed that was exactly a year ago?").

I passed by the drawing on the table and found mid-cough, mid-stride, that under dim light it's beginning to resemble a piece from senior year--of high school. The significance behind that has me freaking out a bit.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And the breath it has a name.

Such pitiful predictability when it comes to music! How I love to limit myself. The last great discoveries were Modest Mouse and Sigur Ros, and those are going back three years. Since then I've been wandering the musical landscapes between Shoegazers and Stargazers, which are not boundless despite the sound of them. But I'm having trouble breaking out.

The latest (I guess) is Summer Lawns. If you give 'em a listen from one room over and brush your hair over your ears, they almost seem like the real deal--wavering, with that practiced indifference that I just. can't. get. enough. of. Otherwise, they simply sound like your little brother singing through a cardboard tube. But that's good too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Arise and conceal thyself, that I may shew thee my family without their seeing thee."

More Arabian Nights. Probably the last. There's a reason why they've been kept from Western anthologies: they're boring as hell. "Gulnare of the Sea" is really the best of the lot. Girl from the sea marries our Great and Irreproachable Sultan. She calls for her family. They come for a visit. Visit ends. She has a son. They come for a visit. Visit ends. Guh-huh.

Easy peasy silhouettes are harder when you're wound about in pajamas and blankets. I had a cranky time of it. Yes, booh-hoo, but, in explanation--that's a summoning fire our good Queen is lighting, not a Lucky Strike.

Monday, February 20, 2006

DNA, my eye. Everyone knows they turned into deer.

I was laid up in the Land of Counterpane this weekend. Whose borders are the stinking River Chamomile to the west and the Mountains of Discarded Tissue due south of my feet.

These are the best of times for anyone around me. It takes a reserve of energy to maintain the high levels of shrewishness for which I'm famed, and the common cold leaves me mild and manageable. Throw me in front of a PBS special on the wives of Henry the Eighth and your evening is free and clear for any and all XBox activities. Stopper my mouth with a chocolate heart and you may be able to make it out the door for Burger King before I can mumble a protest.

Of course, when recovery comes, it is swift and violent. Halfway into Sleeping Beauty I was croaking my opinions on the pink/blue debate and its effects on the Princesses Collection. At the end of "Digging for the Truth: The Roanoke Colony", I was lobbing "fuck you"s at the tv like any pro. By the time BSG starts in thirteen minutes, I should be back to Full Steam Harpy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


We rented this for last night, but an unwary stumble onto A&E had us watching this instead--

--during which we saw a couple of trailers, and you can betchyerass I'll be watching this.

Friday, February 17, 2006

One to nothing.

I'm proud to announce that the first porching of the year happened last night. It was impromptu and brief and hardly sanctioned by the sick and teetering Alex. But we were driven by the wild unlikeliness of it all and childish (or drunken) insistence won out.

So, we sat in the warm and waited for the wind, and when it came it flung the smell of beer and chocolate chip cookies down the street. I half expected to wake and find the remains of a conversation on Worlds of Warcraft littering the yards and piled against houses, but the neighborhood has been swept clean and all evidence has been (mercifully) frozen and shattered to bits by the cold.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Talking Bird.

"Give me leave to rest myself; and do me the favour to tell me if you have not heard that there are somewhere in this neighbourhood a Talking Bird, a Singing Tree, and Golden Water."

From The Arabian Nights. I don't suppose it counts as idolatry if it predates Mohammed. But I've a notion that the cultural climate of pre-Islamic Persia wasn't all that different from that of post- --and that a woman caught slinking around in men's clothing was pretty much put to death. It's a good thing roadside dervishes weren't in the habit of running and squealing on every adventurous princess who came their way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Violets are blue.

I suppose today is as good a day as any to reveal how I stalked and harrassed some dude online. How, at the merest crook of a finger, I whipped my portfolio at him and asked him to love me--LOVE ME!--with shameless abandon. How I tied a ribbon in my hair, and scrubbed my face, and swept the dustbunnies from my website and waited. How I called my mom and chattered and sang about castles and footmen and what ballgown I would wear to my first appearance at Comicon.

Of course this was all done with the strictest artistic modesty, and anyway, all of my attempts were rebuffed, if ever they were noticed. But it makes it no less embarassing. And it does nothing to erase the twenty minutes spent simpering and curtseying in front of the mirror: "Mr. L___, it's a real honor." "So very nice to meet you, Mr. L___." "I cannot tell you how long I've waited for this, Mr. L___." "Oh! You don't mind if I call you R___?" "Well, thank you!"
Swoon and faint and smelling salts.

Because Mr. L is just the sort of gentleman to carry them.

(All initials changed).

Monday, February 13, 2006

"For all you know, you're the only one who finds it strange."

"Satellite" - The Helio Sequence:

Nothing beats Elliott Smith, but this cover of his 'Satellite' is just gorgeous.

Their other stuff is worth a listen, too. Think Zepp meets Tangerine Dream.
Yeah, that's what I said.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Abbreviations in D Major

We got up very, very late. So late that all of our activities have been running together in an effort to approximate a full day.

Wakey at one.
Breakfast at one thirty.
Lunch at two fifteen.
Post at two thirty.
Walk at three.
Dinner at five.

All set to the desperate tempo of a pounding head. Next...next...next....

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Reap it.

This past Christmas my cousin and her sister in law joined forces against me. Too much wine had made them brave and strangely keen and they orchestrated an unsanctioned hunt for my drawings. Finding what they sought, they demanded the soldier's right to booty. My escape routes had been plugged by a chubby baby and a crazy grandmother--both who demanded hugs--and I had no choice but to surrender everything to greasy fingers, stained teeth, and drunken carrion calls.

Shannon selected a Green Fairy: "She looks like me!" (Give a person a choice and they will always pick the one that "Looks like me!"). But of course, this wasn't enough:

"Jess, I'm taking this one, but I also want another. Better. Bigger. More details. More sparklies."

"Shannon, I think one is quite enough."

"And I want it before my Florida trip."

"Hey, did you hear me?"

"And I want it to look even more like me."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Excuse me...?

A late nod to the beginning of the Year of the Dog. I got a little lazy with the corner.

Nearly every day I pass this guy and his dog. They stand on the same napkin of a lawn, facing the same direction, long noses and intelligent eyes trained on the traffic from Chapin. They're grizzled and grey and have barely one good leg between them to stand on. As a result they end up leaning into each other and swaying in a tangle of scarf and leash and winter grass.

They're there when I go and when I come back and are largely ignored by the fast, purposeless afternoon walkers. But I've a nagging feeling that they are waiting for the right someone to ask the right question. Or any question. And then whatever door they are guarding will swing idly open.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"Cuz everyone harbors a secret hatred..."

The same ol'. But there's been an urgency to attach a pic with every post. Dunno why. I don't think I'm dying or anything. Maybe it's a new breed of superstition. Great.

However, while the creative tides are at an ebb, I've had hours to contemplate the face of another J&J witch. She's had me stumped in more ways than one.

It's like this. Your typical crone has a motive--an unkept bargain, the unfortunate slight or two, family ambition, even simple hunger. But there's nothing here. Not a missed invitation or an ugly daughter to be found among all those empty birdcages. The best I can guess at is jealousy--the unmaker of all women. Hers is the indiscriminate rage particular to the once-beautiful. Whose loveliness has fled and clings instead to the trees and the birds, and to that silly wench with the picnic basket. She's a witch, but knows all magic withers before beauty--she can mask beauty, or accent it, but can never create it (find me a witch outside of Medea who has). So, her only option is to capture it and cloak it.

And, as truly worthy lads come around only about once every hundred years, she's got a long solid run before her.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

More J and J.

Don't look at that arm. Don't do it.

Come to think of it, the whole damn thing got away from me. I tried some last minute erasing, but found that once the watercolor is down it's impossible. Only a weird partiality to one of the trees stopped me from going Owen Meany on it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The pen and the scimitar.

Strange that these two episodes have popped up simultaneously.

Quite an unfortunate contrast for the Muslim world.

The artwork is barely worth the mention, being neither very witty nor very good. But it's a good bet that Europe performs its customary roll over and play dead. A director working for French newspaper France Soir who chose to publish the cartoons has already been given the boot by the Egyptian owner (not without some admirable protests from the staff).

That's not to say that I'm breathing a sigh of relief that we live on this side of the pond. I took it as some sort of sign that, while typing, I received an email regarding this. A bit of a stretch from the Middle East, but I figure people here are just limbering up.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


From MSN today:

There were a few boos at the groundhog’s prediction of six more weeks of winter, but most of the hundreds of revelers instead turned the event into an impromptu Pittsburgh Steelers rally.

As it should be.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Zee first.

This has just been put on the must-buy list. It's considered to be the first full-length animated film and was crafted almost completely (score aside) by one woman a decade before the release of Disney's Snow White. Homegirl took cardboard cutouts to a whole new level.

Quite the find. Thanks to someone who loves her dirty martinis.