Thursday, April 27, 2006



You are .doc You change from year to year, just to make things tough on your competition.  Only your creator really has a handle on you.
Which File Extension are You?

God damn dirty...

I got yelled at by a homeless guy on my run today. Not a true barrage, but there was arm-waving and a definite lunge. A dispute was raging over (literally) a garbage can and amidst a string of bumspeak the larger and more prickly of the two turned to me and yelled "Did you put her up to this???". I made a sprint for the bridge. Dude stayed put, but it did wonders for my pace.

But the emergence has started. The first few have pulled themselves from wherever they've been wedged (churches, basements, I've got some theories about warm air pockets in the mud by the pond). Now, I enjoy the odd thrashing of the trash, but it's best to stay clear of the punchy spring bums. They're nervy with the thaw and tempers are running high with the initial turf skirmishes. By mid-summer, lines will be drawn, benches marked, and things will mellow. By August you'll have to peel them off the Wilson Farms parking lot with a knife. For now, I keep my jacket full of stones and pepper.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"They talk fast, but they talk true."

Apparently my Tuesdays were getting too decadent and someone was keeping watch. At some point between Gilmore Girls, America's Next Top Model, spoonfuls of whipped cream and Hershey's syrup, and mutterings about how I'd forgotten that Tristan & Isolde was coming out and now it'll be weeks before I'll be able to find it at our shitty Blockbuster, it got to be too much. Perhaps it was last night's smoochy scene with Brad and that blonde chick from Happy Gilmore that put things over the edge. I thought I'd been balancing things out with Firefly Wednesdays, but somewhere a scale was just upended.

Serves me right.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Goody Goodwife put a hex on me.

A corner of another piece of scrap. Though I'm not to blame for it. I'm holding my mom directly repsonsible. She'd asked so sweetly to see some of my pieces, and I'd been such a testy bitch all week that I decided to make things up to her and go against my strict "no viewings until finished" policy. So I laid things out and she played nice with my terrible ego.

Until this one.

"What are those things in the corner?"

"I dunno, mom. Grass fairies?"

"Ah." Followed by the series of ticks that generally indicates the bruising of her tender, born-again sensibilities. The nervous smile and compulsive throat clearing that have been the norm since I showed her my first hobbit, grotesque and reeking slightly of magenta marker. I've never been quite sure what pointed ears have to do with the Dark Lord's work, but I packed my shit up without a word and we made pineapple horns (or should I say "crescents"?) instead.

The next morning, try as I might, I could not set pen to paper. Seems that the different strata of superstition we inhabit intersect at some crucial point.

Monday, April 24, 2006

You know it's a weddin' when...

You have to offer a ride to a family whose two pickups have broken down.
Your father yells "Nice dress!" in the church parking lot, and three scantily clad guests turn and smile.
The dance floor is empty for Al Green, but everyone gets up and sings along with "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."
You have to time your trips to the bathroom around the groups of pot-smokers who will no doubt kick your ass just for being straight.
The bottles of wine on the tables have pasted-on, photo-shopped images of the bride and groom.
The newlyweds get the floor to themselves for a very special dance to Nine Inch Nails' "Closer".
The maid of honor has to go on a beer run when the bar runs dry at nine thirty.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Season of Multiple Coats.

Four pics scrapped in two days. The first I'd spent three on. It was doing fine, but was slow in the going and I panicked at the stretch of time before me with no real guarantee of success. I like a sure thing. I'm also starting to realize that there are certain shapes that my mind can't grapple with. Old women in shawls. Arrangements of hills. Daffodils (those improbable angles, dernit!). Stubbornly, I keep returning to them--routinely I get swatted back. But it will come.

Maybe it's the change in weather. My sphere of interest revolves--from things dancing in dead treetops to things turning in the grass. A seasonal world-tip. It just takes a while to regain balance and let the vertigo clear.

But either way, I run the risk of getting hit by cars.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Put the bunny in the box.

Don't ask me--it came of its own volition. Alex walked in and practically yelped, "What the hell did you do to the Easter Bunny?", but it's not my fault.

He's been let out for a smoke break. Problem is, those muscles are too atrophied to assume any position but the one he keeps in his cage. Right leg up, left leg down, ears and hands at rest, head cocked to avoid the little fingers that find routes between the wires. Always worming, worming...

But his handler seems to think it's good for him. So, he's picked up, arranged on the back steps, and left to blink in the sun for a few minutes. Only to be put back in when his color returns and his legs start remembering their old speed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tsk, tsk.

A meme picked up from the RT a few days back.

Five Worst Traits:

1. I never switch my fork back to my right hand after cutting my food--it's easier just to eat with the left.
2. I point at people when I talk excitedly.
3. I've been known to hide behind bushes, or fences, or the cereal aisle when I see someone I don't like coming towards me.
4. I weild my right of way as a pedestrian like a battle-axe.
5. I'm a chronic high-fiver.

Monday, April 17, 2006


By night's end, the bunny count was at a whopping six, leading local residents to twitter about early tulips, fat robins, global warming, and potential stews for the upcoming year. The rabbits remained unfazed, however, and continued to nibble at the gardens and the cardboard Peanuts cutouts. Several took advantage of their holiday status and the atmosphere of springtime tolerance and basked on the sidewalks, tripping dogwalkers and flashing impertinent tails at the fair-weather runners.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I'm in the worst mood of my life.

My knee has exploded in pain.

I have to serve thirty two people eggs benedict and polish sausage in twenty eight minutes (and counting).

My Easter Bunny has always been black with glowing red eyes (Santa has glowing green, the Tooth Tairy has glowing yellow). Every Easter, I wake in the predawn to the mental image of him slavering by my bedside.

My aunt has no fewer than five crucifixes in her house. I hate crucifixes worse'n the smell of eggs benedict and polish sausage.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Warrior woman.

There's been a hot debate (I should say, hotness debate) going the last couple of days over four little ladies. This pic puts things in better perspective, I think, and goes far to prove me right.

My ranking? From hottest to least hot, go from right to left.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Maybe a quick nap.

That owl knows something's up.

Who's the woman kidding, really? No self-respecting peddlar would sport her wares so carelessly. In these days of the Roadside Outlaw, the best method is to bundle and run from town to town, fingering a charm against brigandry.

There's also something about her appearance. An awareness of the waist and a tightness of the bodice that at best hints at coquetry, at worst vanity. Neither of which lends itself to an occupation that relies on distraction and deception and the savory secrets in pockets and twisted scarves. And those earrings, and ribbons, and polished(!) buckles--storybook embellishments, and no more practical than her shoes.

But over everything is the smell. Not of woodsmoke and bog, but of expensive perfumes gone stale. Of blood and of bad magic. As hard to disguise as the gold skirts winking around her ankles. But it doesn't have to be a lasting costume--just impressive enough for an adolescent. She only needs a few moments, and then it will all be cast aside as she gloats over her Bianca (or Blanche, or Alba, or Gwynne--whatever name this particular juncture in time and place sees fit to give its Snow White).

Such a thin getup for someone who knows. The owl could warn the girl, but why? He is a bird of ill-omen after all, and the sun is just beginning to rise....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Three cirlces--two moons and a crown."

The latest in the avian antics down by the lake:

Three birds whirling in the way-ups. Hawk. Seagull. Crow.
The gull is wailing.
The hawk is the obvious aggressor--either holding something or after something, but certainly
up to something.
The two smaller birds work as a team and take turns buzzing. One shining arrow, one dark blot.

I've got nothing. We could have been watching the end to the ill-fated pairing of two star-crossed birds. Or the beginning. Or perhaps it was simply neighborly altruism on the part of the crow. Or the traditional reenactment of some old Native story--Crow suing for Gull's hand, Gull pleading with Hawk. Or an assasination attempt by Hawk's two closest councillors.

It all smacked of portent. Or maybe of riddle.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A bit dated...

I was folding laundry and listening to My Radio when this (yes, it's a Rhapsody link) came on. The vocals were cloudy from where I was standing, but it had a strumming modern indie feel and it was good. Turns out it was Pink Floyd (when in doubt, it's always Floyd--or Beck). I happen to (really) like Floyd, but give 'er a whirl. If you likey, I also recommend "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" on their A Saucerful of Secrets. You'll never believe it's from 1968.

In actual current music news, I hear Gomez has a new cd coming out. Word is May 2nd.

Monday, April 10, 2006


This one got away from me for a while. Probably because in the middle of the (excessively long) process I started making up stupid stories.

The girl in the middle is Mousy. Our heroine. Drab, temperamental, smart. She's poor--probably orphaned--but with some rare gift (aside from head-of-the-class status). The king likely owes her family some debt (her father saved his life, or maybe he was in love with her mother but they couldn't marry--I'm fuzzy on the specifics) and has taken Mousy in out of guilt and duty. She has the run of the castle and is included in the activities of the royal children--included, but always apart. Sigh. In their company, the dramas of her life unfold.

1. Black Haired Girl. The Bitch. Everyone knows The Bitch is always either very dark or very pale--but always lovely. Out to make Mousy's life misery. Grows up to be the comely competition.

2. Blondie. The Best friend. Quiet, unsure, timid. Beautiful, but not too bright. Devoted and demure. Vapidly religious. Outwardly appalled at Mousy's stubborn ways, but secretly approving. Smuggles snacks and gifts during the Hard Years when Mousy is forced to labor in either the stables or the kitchens.

3. Boy Standing. Some kind of wise-ass higher-up. Often partners with The Bitch to make the other's lives hell. Oh, but wait. He'll grow up to be cute and dashing, and will undoubtedly fall for Mousy at some point. Sorry though, hard-nosed girls don't go for spoiled-brat sons of viziers or dukes or whatever. He probably ends up with Blondie as consolation.

4. Sullen Boy on Wall. Love Interest, duh. Evil tempered but fair. Roams the grounds viciously defending--no, viciously tormenting--the castle geese and chickens and mice. Hates The Bitch (though she flounces around him enough, to be sure). Best friends with Boy Standing (though that relationship is weak and will eventually dissolve due to someone's betrayal). Goes off to adventure or crusade and comes back lean and scarred, and totally hot.

5. Boy Sitting. Look at that shirt. Mousy's Gay Friend.

Oh, and at some point they had a pompous tutor who fell off a wall.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

In our fridge.

As predicted, Chocolate has pulled ahead of 1% in the Race of the Gallons.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Horses and Men.

Oh man. A very lazy draft of something I wanted to keep at the front of my mind. Don't look too closely, those rough edges cut.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Modern gods.

All right. Here it is. The single gayest piece of thing I've ever seen. And of all places, above the sink in my grandmother's kitchen.

Despite my past importunings, she's kept it there, insistent that my uncle will give her glory-halleluiah if he comes home to find it down, or (if I'd had my way) dropped indecorously into the toilet. Fact is, I've come around to it--enough to give it half-friendly, half-reverential taps as I fill the tea kettle. So it stays, winking at the blushing ceramic rooster across the room, keeping the cliffs of tea cups from caving in, and dancing over the dishwater like some jaunty Triton. All to allow passage of my grandmother's grey curly head as she raises her sails and gazes into the Backyardlands.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I've never even HEARD of "Where the Blue Begins".

I found a Japanese website that has masses of work from a smattering of illustrators. Some of the shots offer close-ups that verge on the obscene (we're talking bristle-strokes and smudged pencil lines laid bare for all to see), and while I'm sure the artists would have something to say about the unflattering microscopics of it all, it's great for study. I'm not going to give a link because I'm very possessive--and, might I add, a bit jealous and ashamed. But let's just add prolific to the mountain of praise that's already been heaped on my favorite.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The League of Extraordinary Hoplites.

This fell into my lap yesterday. The cover is horrible and the reek of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy aisle at Barnes&Noble is usually enough to ward off my troublesome geek streak, but sometimes I will not be budged. I'm a big Holdstock fan, and the prospect of intertwining Arthurian and Greek storylines had me standing slack and salivating for more than a few minutes.

What held me was the idea of Merlin as one of the Argonauts. I'll admit I've had some passing theories of my own about the many incarnations of Merlin in literature (the ageless Schmedrick, anyone? Prospero? Hello, Gandalf, who came streaking out of the west from the direction of a place called, uh...Avallonne?) Most of mine are pretty ludicrous, but Holdstock's makes perfect sense--Merlin the Timeless, the Deathless could indeed have been around during the time of the Argo. And if he were, it certainly follows that he would have been a member of what was essentially the Bronze Age Justice League. Everyone who was anyone was on that ship (Hercules, Atalanta, Peleus, Orpheus, Castor and Pollux--even two dudes with wings, a la Hawkman)--it would have been incumbent on him as a B-rated hero to man an oar for the shining Jason.

So now, I've taken it on myself to ferret out which of the thirty-odd crewmen he could have been. Odds are I'll lose interest in the P's (who the hell was Peneleos, and why should I care if he was Boetian?), but it should prove fun in the meantime.