Thursday, June 29, 2006

Crazy Grandma.

Visited my grandmother today. I secretly enjoy what I can liken only to teatime in Wonderland. If I don't concentrate too hard it makes good sense, but after an hour it starts to unstring itself into pigbabies.

She set me to pitting fruit under the gay merman while she slippered around the yellow table. We drank tea and ate fresh cherries and peaches and scoops of cottage cheese from tiny crystal bowls. We made poor harmony chattering in our own separate senseless strains. I rumbled about orange light on sidewalks, she mused that the robins were "calling for rain". Sometimes there'd be a chorus of comprehension. More often not.

We retired to the living room, and on passing the bust of young Octavian I resisted, once again, the Pygmalian urge to kiss it. She sat in her Red Queen chair, I picked an armless lounge covered with largeprint roses. We held court with the lifesized Buddha and the ceramic frogs and the iron rabbit bookends and the two Indic goddesses. She pretended to read her New Yorker, I pooh-poohed my uncle's Basquiat, but neither of us payed much attention to anything other than the seacolored walls. And when the colors began to run and our sometime-similarities became a little too glaring for comfort, I stood up, ignored her plea for a hug, dodged the hornet gaurd on the porch, and pelted out into realtime.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

J and J. Part 3

More Jorinda and Joringel. I've got 'em riding a line of adolescence that might be pushing it. Grimm likes its heroes unfledged (read Snow White or The Snow Queen--no one peeps above twelve), but I get squeamish at the thought of too-young love. These two in particular share a lot of alone time. And, as it's obvious that 'woodland strolling' means something else entirely (blackberry picking, of course), I'd prefer everyone to at least be legal. Those thorns can get prickly for the unlicensed bumpkin.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

No shit.

I read that these two are discussing lead roles for Atlas Shrugged. The wake of the news sent me into a flat spin that's most recently been marked by spoonfuls of molasses and a stubborn addiction to America's Next Top Model. My brain refuses to recover from the downward spiral.

But I suppose the casting is vaguely appropriate as the novel revolves around a woman who sleeps her way through the country's brain trust and in the end flies off in a jetplane to an intellectual utopia in the sky. (I liken it to that other great fifties epic, but with railroads rather than T-Birds, and doo-wop replaced with bright sassy odes to capitalism). The smarties are safe and cocooned and the dumbasses are left to their cotton candy and their beauty school drop-outs and their red-scare versions of WMD's.

Which led Alex to ask the burning question:
"Who cleans the shitters in a land where everyone is a supergenius?"

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

From a Basement on a Hill.

There was an old woman, lived under a hill.
And if she isn't gone, she lives there still.
Baked apples she sold, and cranberry pies.
And she's the old woman who never told lies.

To the nasty business of deconstructing a piece.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Love the one you're with.

My dad requested new artwork for his fishing boat "Mel". "Something more detailed," he said. Translation: "something bustier". Putting my objections to painting nubile naiads on the hull of the cranky, turquoise excuse-for-a-craft aside, I agreed--it being Father's Day weekend and all.

But I'm experiencing some apprehension regarding a changing of the gaurd of what is essentially the deity of the vessel. Goddesses are a touchy bunch--water goddesses notoriously so--and I can't help feeling that by supplanting the first ungainly icon with a newer, sleeker model he's begging to be on the receiving end of some well-deserved wrath. Watery wrath, that is--which makes me even more nervous. I don't know what tempers lie beneath the lids of those unruffled Pennsylvania lakes, but I'll wager they're old and unforgiving.

Besides, what new spirit is going to want to take up residence in a boat where the last inhabitant was given the boot on account of her fading appearance? My resistance to this whole thing stems not only from well-informed fear, but also from pure feminine indignation.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

And she says, "Tsk."

What did I just tell myself about tinkering?

I got the remonstrative negative from The Missus S. on my latest piece. I turned it upside down and sideways, showed it under sunlight and lamplight, from a window on the porch and through the bottom of a orange juice glass. She was unbudging and I was inconsolable.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Gathering.

I've been pushing the borders of geek lately.

There's a growing pile of novels in the shitty book bookcase that's become harder to keep from prying eyes. In it is a grade-level retelling of Tam Lin from my sister in law, a couple of Dean Koontz classics on Frankenstein's monster, and the sequel to the Jason and the Argonauts time travelling adventure that I read back in March. These were never meant to see the light of day--are really the kind of trash to be brought to bed with a blanket and a flashlight, or tucked behind a copy of Ladies Home Journal. But stacked as they are, they have a combined power that will not be ignored. And they've begun to seethe and spew from the shadows.

Seeking his own Manifest Destiny, Alex has mounted an effort to catalougue and price his Magic cards. They've set up pastel camp on the kitchen table landscape and have likely initiated talks with my bookcase by means of drum and nightlight.

As their generals, it's been difficult to not catch the fever. Which I suspect was the plan all along. Who can tell how many discussions ("Rebecca Guay or Quentin Hoover?" "Geekiest Cover of a Book You've Read?") it will take before we realize we are simply mouthpieces passing information between two armies which will no doubt merge and conquer once we're out of the way?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Jumping levels.

A reminder to myself of yesterday's brief eureka.

Something having to do with pine. And a crow outside.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Exactly two years here and our next door neighbor finally introduced himself. Since the move, we've maintained a rigid, wary co-existence with them based on a few simple rules: no eye contact, no words, and complete indifference when we pass each other on our (very frequent) beer runs to Wilson Farms. We acknowledge the differences between us--and despise them accordingly.

But Tuesday night, "Mike" came over, asked politely for a smoke and made strained conversation. I'm not sure if he felt he needed to bum in order to converse or the other way around, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm also not sure why he made the effort with us--the hard hardcore lesbians that live on the other side are much more approachable--but I've a few theories. Perhaps he'd spent the last two years in a drug induced haze, had never noticed us, and the clouds were just beginning to clear. Or perhaps he has a secret love of MarioKart and just couldn't stand not being part of the fun. Maybe he'd heard me bitching last week about neighbors who walk naked in front of open windows, and figured that since I was on such familiar terms with his scrot, etiquette demanded that I at least know his name. Or maybe he just wanted a moment's rest from his lovely wife.

Whatever the reason, he came and the boundaries are officially down. Which makes him the bigger neighbor. And one less person I can ignore on my sprints from the car to the front door and back again.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Still making a nuisance of myself with our camera (which has in turn been proving obstinate--it's clearly a fair weather device). The great thing about Buffalo is that taking a few steps out of doors affords you with a buffet of architectural delights--and with residents that are forebearing enough to let you capture them as by the bys on film.

And there's no end in sight. A good thing, seeing as how we're woeful homebodies. As long as I can keep finding charming little angles in the doorways of Blockbuster and in the trees around the hospital garbage cans. Chapin alone is a world waiting to be populated with lanterns rather than stoplights and racing turtles in lieu of the odd Ford Taurus.

But the going has been so slow lately...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006

Barely contained.

It seems I need to see Da Vinci, especially considering the circling rumors that this one is in talks to play The Joker in the next Batman installment.

Also, my personal countdown has begun. Twenty two days and pre-ordered (yes?).

On a related note, we've managed to hold to our boycott of X-Men for the second week in a row. I've not quite forgiven Singer & Co. for the defection to Camp DC. But I suppose if someone asks you to direct Superman, you say YES.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Cleaning the platter.

Here was the face that only a fat man could love.

The thing started out so well. A little Spratly role-reversal, is all. And why the hell not? It makes more sense that a Sprat that 'could eat no fat' is really a fat Sprat on a diet, chafing under the thumb of his thorny wife. It was just so clever and cheeky. Him sitting at the table, stomach a-growl as he pushes around his perfect peas, while she parades the kitchen--all collarbones and grit--spooning potatoes into a frame that defies softening (she's very high strung, poor thing) and yelling a strident "Eat!" (German accent optional).

What a colorful spin, right?

But I passed it by the other night and under my drunk, unkind eyes it began to unravel. Sprat was slipping from his bench and those perfect peas were set to rolling. The flagstones blurred and the ceiling beams curled and wandered. Indeed, it seemed that every angle had decided to buck against my tinkering with convention. "Where is our Skeletal Sprat?" They asked. "Where is our Large-Bosomed Mistress?" And it keeps getting worse--so it's been posted as is, before it becomes more wreckage than rhyme.

Except for that mangled missus, whose death mask of a face will be kept in a sock drawer--stern warning against Inventiveness in Illustration.

Friday, June 02, 2006


It's been settled then. We've found the world's perfect dress.