Friday, March 31, 2006


My self-absorption knows no limits.

If only they had a ponytail option.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

"When I look up, I just trip over things."

I've been on the hunt for the perfect tree. Perfectly imperfect, I should say. Been going around with our low-end digital camera (which might as well have a handcrank for as much good as batteries do it) and making a nuisance of myself in parks and on lawns. So as not to give people the right impression (I imagine I walk a fine enough line in the minds of our neighbors), I've been using Alex as something of a model. He's been a good sport, hamming it up with hemlocks, posing with poplars, beaming with birches and the like--all while I snuffle among the roots and shoots (gollumgollum), capturing everything but him and begging that he please not trample the mushrooms.

It's for a good cause. Or I hope. I've decided that if I'm going to spend my days shuttered in, I should at least have a reference of things without. Remind myself of the existence of organic line. Liven things up a little. Loosen my absolute stranglehold on symmetry. Perhaps throw a bit of dirt on the canvas. Or at least a little dust. Maybe something surprising will happen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

She choppa, she choppa, she choppa...

A farmer's wife.

She's blurry. And an apparent terror. But don't be so quick to judge. By the looks of her cheekbones and florid complexion, she's a woman that loves to laugh. Okay, and drink.

I'll warrant that she'd been patient. That she and The Three had once lived together blissfully. She would have viewed them with forebearance--even affection--watching as they collided daily with the table legs and each other, listening at night as they made their plans in high, sweet voices. They would have delighted in her cooking and allowed for her cat. One can't be too selective of company when it's in short suppply.

But lines, I'm sure, were crossed. And hair on the china and pawprints in the Sunday curd may be, for a woman in just the right mood, on just the right afternoon, perfect recipe for disaster.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Nada mucho.

Man, I've got a fever for the flavor of this shit.

Also got a new favorite song. Tiny Birds by Yo La Tengo. The whole album is of course fantastic, but everything builds up to and down from this one. It's swirling and sad and manages to get all sorts of caught in the back of the throat, so just sit still if you listen.

yo la tengo

Friday, March 24, 2006


It seems that my string of luck has ended. In more than one arena. I just got bored with this one. Bored. If the shit goes more than three days without being painted, I start verging on tantrum. Sometimes there are tears. I've learned to stay away from crockware after the Bent Pot Incident, but more often than not, I spend the afternoon grumping with my hand in the caramels.

Perhaps it's the green tea my grandmother gave me. I wouldn't put it past her to try to slowly poison me, crazy bitch.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"I'm only attracted to men of above-average intelligence."

Spent the afternoon shackled to a conversation with my cousin.

It really is the purest form of torture. She employs various methods to draw from me exactly what she wants to hear, and I try to preserve my self-respect in the face of Ultimate Pain. There are only so many "uh-huh"s and "of course you are"s and "holy shit he was married?"s that I can color with sincerity before I begin to lose it. My mood eventually sours as I realize that she will never stop. My sweaty running shirt freezes and I watch as my Kraft Cheesiest cools and curdles untouched. My stomach barks and my cramped arm and a million other factors conspire to wither me. Oh, but hold on, she's asking if she's pretty.

Like any despairing captive, I decide that honesty is my only way out:
"Shannon, you have other qualities. But I'm not going to spend the next twenty minutes stroking your ego."

And faced with a discussion that has a turned a disagreeable corner, she packs up her tools, speaks a word to the guard that secures her a later meeting, and is gone.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Heard the first rumblings of this on a great illustration blog. It's a full length animated film-in-the-works, but the concept art is worth a peek. Think Samurai Jack, but with tonsures rather than katanas. No sign yet of any fussy whale-islands (aren't all Brendans the same?), but hopes are up.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Where it's black and black and green.

Wall of Kelp
Two blue, two colorless to cast

Someone had the temerity to compare this to a Magic card.

I've no idea what it is, actually. It would be slightly mer-mish, if not for the feet. It also reminds me of a "Remember the Lusitania" poster I saw years ago--but that's just morbid. It could be Thetis, but I've never really forgiven her for abandoning Peleus. And while I'd love for it to be Ino, the thought occured to me after I'd finished, and her shawl was green.

Fact is, it came on the heels of another drowning dream. The standard slip, fall, splash, slide into blue. Pretty enough as far as imagery goes, but I'm having trouble reconciling fear and fancy.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

"I win. I always win. Is there no one on this planet to even challenge me?"

The last conversation I had with my brother began like this:

C: "When is the next Superman trailer coming out?"
J: "I dunno. I really don't want to see any more."
C: "I've been thinking. Maybe I should order three tickets for the first day now, just in case they sell out."
J: "They will sell out. But who are you ordering for?"
C: "Uh...Me."

Happy 28th.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Brain slosh.

God, I got nothing.

I hurt myself rocking out to this song:
"Bounce" - System of a Down

I found this picture (the first in the slide show) and decided to brag to everyone about how I've been in the highest tower room. As if it isn't the biggest tourist draw in the country.

A favorite site posted for the first time in months and they now have a blog. Crazysmart and fun.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


One of those days where you want to do something senseless just to have something to blog.

I figured I'd walk down Elmwood instead of courting my own embarassment--there's always something off-kilter going on down by Wilson Farms. But today things were uncooperative--or simply dull. The riff-raff had been lulled by another successful garbage Wednesday (fat and sleepy bums are generally unwilling to spar). There were no dogs, no strollers, no kids in wagons. The cold had even driven the smell of ripe hippie from the Co-op. I came across someone I know, mouthed an "Aw-fuck", and steeled myself for awkward conversation, but they shuffled on.

The only real diversion was the early morning spitpattern outside of Merlin's that acts as a minefield between Spot and the bank. Not quite postworthy. So I performed the standard held-nose-hop-scotch to mind the stickies, walked home, and resigned myself to my inside antics.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


We were whorelets to the science fiction beast these past two days. I'm not sure whether to be more ashamed of the amount of time spent in front of the tv on the two warmest days of the winter, or of what we happened to be watching:

The end of Star Wars: Empire of Dreams. A History Channel documentary that we've seen before and will surely watch again. It's well done, funny, and Warwick Davis is pretty cute for a,,

How William Shatner Changed the World. Two hours of bad. Bad writing, bad guests. And a scene with Jonathan Frakes brushing his teeth that made Alex distinctly squeamish. Oh, and they totally cut some guy off who started to explain a theory of warp. Something about being sucked backwards and the displacement of space, and what type of energy is needed, and all sorts of cool, and the camera just backed away in fear.

Firefly. There was a NINE HOUR marathon on the Sci-fi Channel. We taped it. We watched it. We loved it. For anyone who liked Serenity, we're willing to lend these out for a small fee. And, I know this is going to offend the Wash-crush of a certain someone, but when the doctor isn't taking his shirt off, I'm all about the captain.

Battlestar Galactica. The ninety minute season finale. It was excellent, but I kindof lost it when I thought I saw a Michael Biehn Cylon. It would have capped the evening off perfectly, as everything the man touches turns to science fiction gold (yes, that includes The Seventh Sign)--but it wasn't him, and I was sent to bed.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

How do you spell "moraine"?

Some East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Or Cupid and Psyche for those who prefer their folklore Greek. I personally like a little Northern flava now and then. Mixes things up. Cools things off. Except they beat the word "lassie" to exhaustion.

It took ferfreakingever and I may have wept a little over it at the beginning, but it became more pliant with time and the threat of scissors. Eventually, our luckless heroine even came to take on a sympathetic tint--who could not feel for her, plucked as she was from her little bed and her (however indifferent) family by a bear? (Though I suppose a pauper would be stupid to not give up his prettiest to the first talking animal that passed under the sill. If the silly girls aren't eaten outright, they're practically assured wealth and status--and, anyways, it's one less mouth to feed...).

But first she must survive the trip. In a robe and thin slippers, clinging to the hair of her stinking mount. Watching the landscape change from hard, to bitten, to barren. Leaving behind her own hearthspirits and her familiar little gods and watching a new cast take their place. Committing to memory names like wind and faces like snow while they peek from behind their bergs and eskers and furrowed lakes, eager to proclaim her an unworthy new queen.

Poor lassie.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Tall, dark, and angular.

We do have a type.

This was nominated for Best Animated Short, and was probably the only thing of worth we took from our viewing of the Oscars.

The trailer definitely merits a watch.
Very Skellington-meets-Achmed.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Food or Fur, do you think?

This is the pickup truck that I discovered outside of the house today.

The crew was busy fixing the gutters, or the roof, or the siding, or any of a thousand projects that needs addressing. But despite the clanging of industry, they were not what first caught my eye. No... It was the dead coyote in the bed.

When I asked if they had hit it this morning, Worker One shook his head. "Nope. (Worker Two) shot it yesterday--they're nothing but a nuisance."

I decided against mentioning that the smell of two day old dead vermin on our front lawn wasn't any less annoying, but instead complimented him on his choice of ornamentation.

Our image in the neighborhood needed a little tarnishing anyway.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006

New blood.

The Neighborhood Kings that converge next door on sunny (but not necessarily warm) Sundays invited Alex over yesterday afternoon. They're self-satisfied lawyerly types who drink scotch and smoke cigars and wrap themselves in a rainbow of local team colors that would seem girlish on any other porch. They all have children (some grown) and not one dips below forty. I'm sure they fancy themsevles lordly and vigorous as they camp around a small radio under a Fightin' Irish standard and murmur. They are not to be refused.

After some frantic bundling ("Wear a scarf--NOT the one with the Pittsburgh colors, for chrissakes.") and a couple of barked orders ("Get me four Molsons. I don't want to go empty handed.") he went over. There was the sound of plastic chairs being rearranged and a settling silence that I closed the door on. Fifteen minutes later there came an appreciative roar of laughter. A half an hour after that he came in accompanied by the whiff of tobacco and single malt, with a glow that could not be entirely blamed on the cold.
And a demand for dinner that was grudgingly obeyed as I decided to grant him his day.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday morning window shopping.

It clashes with my plans of yellow walls and big ceramic roosters--but, yum. In black, of course.

Friday, March 03, 2006

And, again.

I figured that sitting on the floor by the bookshelf, banging my head against the Norton, and crooning "better next time" over and over was getting no one anywhere. After last week's failure, I just decided to start over again. More worky, less wacky. And, walking by the piece this morning at four and giving it an appraisal with tired, unkind eyes, I realized I was right to do so.

Whatever. There's no shame in a remount. So.

But I had to draw something. This little guy took ten minutes, and while the broodiness of the whole is slightly undercut by a bouncy ponytail, it's accurate. Stupid Dove Shampoo, stupid natural curl. Always making light of my finest moods.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My poor nerves.

Just had the misfortune to watch the steaming pile that is Pride and Prejudice. It was a couple of open-collared shirts and a few loosely stitched buttons away from being a complete harlequin perversion. The gross improprieties! The shocking character miswrites! The contrived moonlight, and rainstorms, and misty morning meetings! Does one really need to sex up the greatest romance novel of all time? And while I love Mr. Darcy in any incarnation, my dislike of Keira Knightly is now resolute. Jutting collarbones may be attractive, but jutting jaws are not and I fear her Elizabeth Bennet was less "spirited English girl" and more "stubborn English bulldog." What good are a pair of fine eyes when accompanied by lesser talents?