Thursday, September 29, 2005

Illustration Friday: Fresh (ink)

illustration friday: fresh (ink)

This was another quick and dirty sort of illustration. But in the end, I quite like the way it came out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Extra Special Comment From Jules

Concerning what she learned from television and caveats thereof:

“ok - the crazy glue thing does work on fingernails. however, here is a
word of warning - and first i want to say, i never claimed to be
thinking all the time.

i was on a plane to come see you. my fingernail caught on something and
ripped rather low. however, i had my nail kit in my carry on. i took out
the crazy glue to patch the nail.

crazy glue at high altitudes is not a good thing. the entire bottle
leaked onto my hands. i tried to clean it off with the drink napkin.
then the drink napkin was stuck to my hands.

i ended up pulling out my hand cream, and just kept reapplying from
about the mississippi river until we landed in california. the guy in
the seat next to me kept looking at me like i had some strange hand
cream fetish - he had missed the crazy glue part.

so, stay away from crazy glue on airplanes.”

And I would like to add...KrazyGlue is KrazyFlammable. So pay attention when you use it to fix a nail and then light a cigarette...not that I have ever done that...but I did once set my freshly painted thumbnail on fire by accident.

What We Have Learned From the Television

In which semi-intelligent thought quickly degenerates into “CUTE BOY TALK” again and “What I Learned from TV”

So, apparently, I am the one of the very few people that likes “Threshold”. But how can I resist any show that has the worlds top LINGUISITCS EXPERT as a character. He’s not just a languages expert but LINGUISTICS! That’s awesome, and not just because I almost failed my linguistics class in college (it wasn’t me, it was the teacher, we even filed a formal complaint and had him reviewed!). But linguistics is a totally fascinating and sort of alien field all on it’s own. Some of it is so far beyond my ken, that I have no idea what the heck it is but I totally dig on glottal stops, sibilants, and regional dialect kind of stuff.

Oh, hey, this is kind of geeky isn’t it? Heh. Anyway, Peter Dinklage has a beautiful voice too. I want to see him play some Shakespearian role but I can’t decide which one. I’m leaning towards Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.

So, I asked both Jules and Jodi-odi-odi to tell me what they have learned from TV…
Jules says (and I comment in red):

The whole MRI thing on House looked way too painful
She is referring to the recent episode with LL Cool J as a guest star. He was covered in prison tattoos and apparently the ink used in prisons is generally full of heavy metals, which are drawn to the surface of the skin during an MRI. So yeah, owie. I’m going to have to agree with her one this one.

2. The couch is a great place to nap, but don't stay there so long that
your skin fuses with the fabric.
Nip/tuck has also taught me that I really don't want plastic surgery
- It all looks incredibly painful
This was in the “Mama Boone” episode of Nip/Tuck. It was really, very…nasty. But much to my surprise, it was played with a lot of sensitivity on the part of all the characters.

3. If being chased in a building, never run UP the stairs.
That’s just on pretty much every TV show ever - they always end up
cornered on the roof, and I don't think I would be very good a jumping
from rooftop to rooftop
Personally, I think this is just a good general rule. Who he heck wants to run up the stairs?

4. If you find a psycho in the back of your car and you plan to crash
the car to hurt the psycho and get away, first tug at your seatbelt so
it locks and you don't get hurt.
Thank you Veronica Mars.
Oh! This was a clever one. I remember thinking that was very smart and that I probably wouldn’t have thought to do it.

5. Crazy glue will close a deep cut in a pinch.
That was from years ago on ER when Nurse Hathaway was being held
hostage in a convenience store by a psycho.
I actually know this one and I don’t watch ER. They say you can also use it if you have cracked fingertips or heels but I have read mixed reports on the effectiveness in such matters. I usually only succeed in gluing my fingers to the table anytime I use that stuff anyway.

You can read Jodi-odi-odi’s answers over at her place.

As for myself:
1. It is best, when confronted by aliens to shoot first and ask questions later, unless they are hot, sexy aliens, then kiss first, shoot and finally ask questions if you still find it necessary.
2. He doesn’t have to be my “Jewish friend” he only has to be my “friend.”
3. Never stand on the top of a staircase holding a stack of banana cream pies.
4. I don’t want to be friends with any of the Friends or Will or Grace or anyone who has ever appeared on an episode of Seinfeld.
5. We should all feel free to be you and me.

Monday, September 26, 2005

One More for the Money

So Jules called to remind me (and commented to make sure I remembered) one more paying job that I have had. This one was kind of funny too…

Three of the paying jobs I have had were due to a friend who alerted me to the possibilities of employment with certain companies and I still am grateful to her for that. One summer she even gave me a job with her own little start up company. She had begun painting t-shirts to sell on the boardwalk in…I don’t know where actually, I never did go to see the operation. Eventually, this little venture would bloom into a home show business but my artistic endeavors for her were loooooong over by then.

She offered me one dollar for every shirt I painted and she would supply all the paints, shirts and brushes I needed. So who could say no to that? This was the early nineties in New Jersey so the t-shirt designs were largely abstract and largely…glittery. Puff paints with pearlesence and glitter gone bad. The only thing missing was a batch of rhinestones. Not at all my thing but a dollar for about five minutes of work on one shirt was too good to pass up. Unfortunately, I got bored with the abstracts pretty fast and started painting things like slightly abstract flowers and slightly abstract cats. The owner of the “company” was not too thrilled with my artistic attempts and pretty much told me to stick to the abstracts. I did more or less but threw in a flower or a saxophone with swirling musical notes every now and then.

When she finally had enough stock, she took her shirts down to the shore and set them up for sale. It wasn’t until later that her mother let it slip that the shirts I had painted were selling very well. Much better than the others. And that was pretty much the end of my t-shirt painting career. She didn’t need me again after that and I wasn’t particularly bothered by it. They were never my thing to begin with.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Illustration Friday: Escape

illustration friday: escape

Eh, this is not my favorite picture. I liked the concept but i just couldn't get it where I wanted it. I even did my first watercolor in...9 years, I guess and didn't like that. This is better but still very unfinished. Whatever. Sometimes you just gotta let it go.

Also, concerning the previous post, Jules reminded me that I also worked in a scone cart in the mall one summer, a job I think I would like to forget. And that I scooped ice cream, spun cotton candy and made fries on occasion in the amusement park. I suppose I have had more jobs than I will ever remember.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Career Day!

Things I Have Been for Pay:
  • A clown
  • A pizza maker/water ice scooper/soda puller
  • A popcorn cart girl
  • A shoe salesperson
  • A textbook illustrator
  • A keyworder of Victorian illustrations and modern photography
  • A babysitter
  • A copyeditor
  • A facepainter
  • A designer
  • A comic book letterer
  • A box office person in a theatre
  • A literary magazine editor
  • A literary magazine assistant editor
  • A proofreader
  • A resident assistant
  • An illustrator of art for courtrooms (2 days)
  • A digital archivist
  • A counter girl in a bakery (1 day)
Things I Have Considered Being But Haven’t Been for Pay or Otherwise:
  • A librarian
  • A teacher
  • A college professor
  • A farm vet
  • An animator
  • A minister
  • A costume designer
  • A make-up artist
  • A paralegal
  • A pastry chef
  • A reader of books on tape
  • A nursing home supervisor
  • A special education teacher
  • A psychologist
  • A poet (I still want to be the poet laurate of the United States though)
Things I Thought I Could Have Been but was Wrong About:
  • A comic book editor
  • An editor of learning materials catalogs
  • A designer for MODERN HOT TUBS magazine
  • An artist
  • A counter girl in a bakery (I did it for one day and that was enough)
  • Cool

Hunh, that looks worse and/or better than it actually is. Go figure. I bet I'm missing a lot of them too. Jules will remember some things I forgot, I'm sure.

Giant Pink Bunny

How freaking cool is this? Very freaking cool, that's how cool!

And mind you, I was very tempted to say "How fucking much does this ROCK? Very fucking much is how much this rocks!" but I thought I should watch my language...heh.

Oh, I do so want to hike the giant pink bunny and take a nap on it's fluffy pink tummy. Awww, so cute. So happy. Only slightly scary.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Quiet weekend, for the most part. Spent a lot of money on art supplies that I will probably never use. Watched a movie in Jodi-odi-odi's back yard (Better off Dead, a classic film). Read some comics, caught up on Fables, Hero Camp, Girls and The Brontes (where is that little umlaut thing on this keyboard?).

Today I had intended to do a lot of cleaning Ended up just puttering around. But quiet is nice, I like quiet. I'm a homebody any way. OH! OH! I did make cupcakes. Dark chocolate with whipped cream cream cheese frosting. They were ok. I thought they were a little dry but totally edible. I'll try them one more time before I decide if they are keepers.

On the 15th, my oldest nephew turned 13. I called him today to ask how his birthday had been. He said it was good. We talked about band, school and the presents he got (Nintendogs!). It sounds like a big ol' chiché but I do remember the night be he was born. It doesn't actually feel like just yesterday but it certainly doesn't feel like 13 years ago. I remember him eating dirt from a flower pot, being afraid of the dark...all that stuff that I will drag out of the attic now that he is a teenager. But wow...he's a teenager. I don't live near him so it's easy for me to say but he has always been, to me, a lovely person. He has a great sense of humor, amazing manners (especially for a teenager), and a quick mind. I am terribly proud of him. I think he's even listening to real music now (there was that brief run in with Aaron Carter...). But despite that...I love him. I am proud of every day of the 13 years he had lived so far and can't wait to see what the next 13 bring for him.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Mimi Smartypants is one of my favorite old school bloggers. The other day she mentioned that she had been googling school lunches and found this. I am fascinated. I don’t want to look, but I can’t stop. It’s…yeah, it’s profound.

I wasn’t big on school lunches myself. I know that I ate them until I could figure out how to make my own but I don’t really remember them being quite this…bad. I know there are a lot of issues with school lunches these days, with the vending machines and lack of funding and whatnot but please tell me that …italian-dunkers are is not what I think they are. Please tell me that this is not white bread and spaghetti sauce, a string cheese and some…corn. In what world does corn go with pizza? In what nutrition textbook is this considered appropriate?

Look, I know kids, I know it can be a struggle to get them to eat healthfully. I know that most kids would choose corn over spinach any day but please…this is Wonder Bread and Ragu! No wonder kids are getting all their food from the vending machines.

There are at least nine variations on the pizza theme here and none of them look appealing. Although I have to say that the taco-tub does not scare me nearly as much as it should. I might eat that. But probably not with the fruit cup and bread.

Oh Oh! One more! Because I only just dared to look at the “Taco Patty.” Go look. Heh. Oh, you’ll have nightmares now.

Ok, here’s the thing. Cooking is not that hard, even cooking for a large group, still not that hard. Cooking on a tight budget when you only get paid minimum wage yourself so why should you care what the screaming little brats like…that’s hard. Ooooh wait! Look at the size of that …apple! Hmm, a little more research reveals that as far as the government and lunchladies are concerned, corn does indeed go with pizza, and also with spaghetti. And apparently, at Ware County, GA schools…

Wednesday September 14th
MILK - Variety

Steamed cabbage goes with tacos. Who knew? An the Glynn County schools (also in GA) offer something called the “Totally Taco Max Snax”which intrigues and frightens me at the same time.

Hmmm, why am I suddenly hungry for fish sticks, tater tots and stewed tomatoes?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Illustration Friday: Depth

illustration friday: depth
If I were to give a name to my "style" of "art" (yeah, those are sarcastic quotes) I would call it endearlingly awkward. I can't draw feet or noses, I tend to forget important body parts (usually ears) and I can't draw perspective to save my soul or anyone else's. But I like to draw. I have always liked to draw, so I do. And although I always like to hear that people like my "art", I'll still make it if they don't.

This particular picture is totally me. I seem to always draw this same character and she is totally modeled after me. I haven't had that little bob haircut in years but I always have that same sourpuss look. She never seems really complete without the freckles and the rosy cheeks either.

When I draw something like this, especially on the computer, I have to set myself a limit. When I paint (which I haven't done in a really long time) I know I am limited by the medium. I can only fiddle so much before the paint gets muddy and I lose my line. But on the computer I can monkey around forever. I can keep adding and subtracting for hours. So I have to tell myself that I will only work on an illustration for so long before declaring it done. Inevitably, I will look at it a few days later and realize that I left out some important element, but as a firm believer in the...impermanence of art, the ephermeral nature of art, I try to leave it alone. I am not always successful.

Paint will fade, digital files we degrade, it all goes away eventually. If we are lucky, art created today will survive a few thousand years, although, to be honest, I doubt it. The Romans and the Greeks used really heavy stone, those have to last longer that bits and bytes. As important as art is, I think it's importance pales in comparison to the pleasure of creating it. In the end it doesn't matter if any one likes it but me. This one, I like pretty well.

How's that for depth?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

YAY! Ten For Ren!

Jodi-odi-odi got tired of answering my questions and asked some of her own! YAY!

1. Where do you purchase your PG Tips tea?
The last box I had came direct from London, England, courtesy of my lovely friend the Brit. But I have also purchased it at CostPlus World Market. In fact, I am currently out of PG Tips and have been drinking Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast Tea. But I think I want some more Tips.

2. Did you have a favorite toy as a child? If so, what was it? Do you still have it?
Hmm, I wasn’t big into toys. I had some dolls I liked. I made clothes for my “Mandy” doll and I had some Barbie type dolls but I was never really that into them. I did have an Emergency kit that I really got a kick out of. It had a defibrillator and everything. I was very fond of my bike and my skateboard. And I did have a blanket (it’s name was…Blankie) that I trucked around everywhere until I went to school.

3. You've told me you have insomnia. Have you discovered any tried and true remedies?
Well, I would have to say not sleeping next to someone who snores really helps. But that’s not always an option. I do use valerian when I remember to. OTC sleep aid when I don’t and sometimes something like Calms Forte or chamomile tea.

4. Did you lose power at work on Monday?
No, actually we did not. I listened to the radio though so I could hear what was happening in my neighborhood. And I was concerned that the traffic lights being out would screw up my ride home but they really didn’t.

5. Who is your favorite poet?
Ah, I like this one. I actually have three favorite poets (and here of some of my favorite poems too).
John Donne , David Berman and Alan Ginsberg.

6. I know that one of your favorite words is "peace." Are you hopeful that there can ever be peace in this world?
If so, do you think it will be within your lifetime?
Um, actually…no. I don’t think our human nature allows for true peace. And I am kind of ok with that. But I do think that we can learn to be more peaceful. That we can learn to respond to adversity and aggression in a peaceful manner, To use our time wisely before we blow the crap out of another country or in fact, beat it out of our brothers and sisters. I think total peace is a fallacy. I want to believe it is possible but I’m sorry, I just don’t. But still, that doesn’t mean it isn’t something I think we should strive for. I don’t believe in perfection either but I think it’s always worth a try.

7. What is the first concert you attended and who did you go with?
Ooh, I think that is probably Hall and Oates with the Polecats opening. I went with Nancy Huettner and her mother. I was never that big a Hall and Oates fan but then again, I didn’t dislike them either so I went along for the ride.

8. Do you have a favorite bookstore in L.A.? In the world?
In L.A. I am rather fond of the Iliad. It’s a used bookstore and I often find some really unexpected stuff there. In the world…well…there is a bookstore in New Hope, Pennsylvania pretty much right in front of the Bucks County Playhouse that I really like. In fact, if I had money, I think I would like to buy it. It’s not that big and it’s kind of cramped and you have to ask for help to find anything but I’ve always been fond of it. But I don’t actually know the name of it (I think it might be called Farley’s Bookshop).

9. What kind of animal was your first pet? What was its name?
My first pet was a dauchsund. I think he was adopted while my mother was actually pregnant with me. His name was Adolph von Strudel the Red Baron, but we just called him Adolph. Amazingly, he lived over twenty years. I think he may have even been 22 when he died. He was a very good dog.

10. What is your favorite tv cartoon?
Ooooh….I don’t know! I am, naturally, a fan of the Simpsons and Futurama. I also quite like Kim Possible. I have a lasting fondness for the Flintstones, old Tom and Jerry, The Pink Panther, Classic Warner Brothers (esp. with Daffy Duck)…oooh. I like cartoons all kinds of cartoons. I don’t know that I actually have a “favorite” though.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Memory and Lack Thereof

There are certain little…things …I have picked up over time that I cannot seem to divest myself of. I really want to lose most of them. They are taking up valuable space in my brain that I could use for oh, I don’t know…remembering my address or something.

For example, why do I know all the words to the Weeble Haunted House jingle? (And just in case you are wondering “In the Weebles’s Haunted House, Weebles wobble all about and it’s a real exciting place to beeeeee! A smiling ghost with glowing face has a secret hiding place and that’s not all there’s plenty more to seeeee! In the Weebles Haunted House, it’s a great place to be!”)

Why do I know what a merkin is?

Why do I still remember the words to “How Doth the Little Crocodile”? Especially considering that I learned that in the third grade…

But why I can only remember the first six lines of The Canterbury Tales but not the other ten that I memorized at the same time? Ok, so I guess i didn't actually memorize those other ten lines...

I don’t have a great memory. A friend asked me what happened on an episode of “Veronica Mars” that she had missed and I couldn’t tell her a damn thing. I am not one of those people who remembers her locker combination from high school and I don’t actually know my own cell phone number. But if I have ever met you, chances are, I remember your face and your name. Unfortuately, that’s about all I will remember…unless you want me to sing you the jingle for the Weebles Haunted House.

Literature and Cute Boys

Now, I don’t much care for Joseph Conrad but I am totally downloading The Secret Agent from Librivox because I think it’s a very cool endeavor.

And I actually found it here, a handy little site that provided me with the joy that is the pocketmod as well.

Back to Conrad…we had it out in college. I found Heart of Darkness to be tedious even though I actually find two of the film adaptations to be damn fine movies. Of course Apocalypse Now (which I haven’t seen in a looooong time) is the well known one but there was also a version that is true to the book (even though I don’t much care for the book) that was very well made. And it has Tim Roth, who I really like and is the only actor that I could have also accepted as Snape (I think he was actually the original choice).

Ok, that was a convoluted turn but wait, it gets worse…Tim Roth actually reminds me of Bruce Parry who is my new hero. This guy totally blows my mind. He just hangs with a tribe for a month. Lives as one of them as much as he can FOR A MONTH. I don’t want to be away from a modern bathroom for more than a night. Who are you kidding? Look, I COULD do it. I could go out in the world, meet exciting new people, eat grubs, climb trees and perform ritual sacrifices…but I don’t. And I don’t because…I like to use the toilet in privacy whenever I want. Actually, that was not the real purpose of this at all. I really just wanted to point out that I admire this man’s adaptability. He takes everything that comes at him with grace and humor. He is terribly adventurous but at the same time, he seems to sometimes…well, he doesn’t always want to eat the grub but in the end he always does.

“Going Tribal” has become one of my new favorite shows. I suspect that it would be even if he were just going from small town to small town in the US. And he’s cute too.

Wow…I started talking about literature and descended into cute boy territory…yeah, not at all my intention. Oops.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Monday Ten for Jodi
(answered by me on Friday)

1. Do you have a favorite restaurant in L.A.?
I’m really fond of PATY’S in Toluca Lake.

2. How about in the world?
One of the best meals that I have ever had was at the The Cajun Queen in
Charlotte N.C.

3. Do you have a favorite quote? (Did I ask you that one already?)
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” That would be Gandhi.

4. Depeche Mode is going on tour again. I saw them a long time ago and although I have always liked them, I was a little
surprised how much I loved them in concert. Is there any band that you kind of went to see begrudgingly and then ended
up loving?
Well, not begrudgingly but Depeche Mode was excellent and I am a little surprised at how much I enjoyed Brian Wilson.

5. What is the coolest thing you have seen in the past seven days?
I am enchanted by the pocket mod. It's silly I know but I think it's really
clever too.

6. Are there any new TV shows you have heard about that you are curious to see or looking forward to seeing?
I’m kind of interested in Threshold but I don’t really
know why. I think Carla Gugino is kind of hot. And I will watch How I Met Your Mother because…DOOGIE!

7. When you go in a bookstore, what section do you head to first?

8. If you got a tattoo, what would it be and where?
I have a design that I want (it’s a heart with wings) and I think I want it on my wrist.

9. What one skill do you not have but wish you did?
I wish I could speak other languages but then there are so many things I wish I could do that I can’t.

10. What is your favorite flower?
Gerbera daisies. The brighter the better.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Love and Mercy
(Yeah, I saw Brian Wilson this
weekend but that's another post...)

I’m pretty tired today so I am a little afraid that this might come off as garbled or sanctimonious. It’s not meant to be either. I just wish someone would mention some of these things when they ask for donations. And I wish there were never any reasons to need the organizations that need donations. But neither of those wishes are practical so here’s what I think is a little more practical…

1. Don’t give until it hurts, please. Look, the fact of the matter is that we all need to do our part, within our own means. If you “give until it hurts” you simply become another person who needs help. I sometimes feel that I am not doing enough and then I remember that I need to be able to support myself before I can support anyone else, otherwise, I become part of the need.
2. If you can’t give today, we’ll still have need tomorrow. I really wish all the fundraisers would emphasize this. This particular disaster is going need an ongoing recovery, and it’s going to take a very long time. If you don’t have that dollar to offer today please remember that people will still need your help tomorrow, and six months from now and two years from now.
3. Put your money where your mouth (or heart) is. If you are a passionate animal right activist, there are organizations that need your help. If you are a preservationist of historical architecture, there are organizations that need your help. If you are a child’s rights advocate, there are organizations that need your help. It’s all valid and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Give your money to the branch of religion you support, give your money to the libraries to get books to the kids, it’s all important and it’s all needed. And some things really will be needed more later. New Orleans is a city of historical value; we’re not going to write it off, no matter what people may say. If everyone can support the organization of his or her choice, the money has a chance of being well distributed (or at least better distributed).
4. Do what you can, not what you wish you could do. If you can knit, make some blankets, if you can contribute money, send some money, if you have a boat and can help get people out, by all means, go for it. But keep in mind what is within your capabilities. If you are too weak to stand, you can’t lift a person from their roof. If the sight of blood sickens you, you can’t work triage. Don’t put yourself in a position that makes you a liability to those you are trying to help.
5. Don’t forget the people at home. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina is big. Very, very big. There was delay, unacceptable delay, in getting help to the city but there is help now. Maybe not enough but I don’t know that we ever could have enough. So, if you can’t give here and now but you know that the soup kitchen down the street needs help, maybe you can give there. Katrina will divert needed funds from other causes, and no one should complain about that. But there is need elsewhere and we need to remember that too. No one person can do it all. No one organization can do it all. But every little bit does count so your contribution to your local charities takes the pressure of someone else who has diverted their funds to relief for the people and the city of New Orleans. It’s all good and it’s all important.
6. All disasters look the same from the inside. Bad is bad, I don’t think it’s my job to judge who needs my dollar more when everyone needs it. And I don’t think it’s anyone else’s either. If people ask you what they can do, offer your charities and organizations of choice, but don’t judge them if they choose another. Everyone needs support.
7. This is not what gets you into heaven. We don’t do this for the brownie points, we do it because human life is valuable, animal life is valuable, art and history are valuable. This is not measured in dollars. Two of my favorite platitudes apply here, “Some is most often better than none” and “There but for the grace of god go I.” Let’s all hope that when we are in need people will step up.
8. Give in comfort. I don’t mean in the comfort of your couch but I mean within your realm of comfort. Check out your charity and make sure you are comfortable with how they distribute their funds. If you work in a shelter or as a volunteer somewhere, make sure you are comfortable in the situation. You can’t help someone if you are in danger yourself.

None of this means we shouldn’t challenge ourselves or stretch ourselves. Lord knows that I can tighten my belt a little more to make sure that someone else doesn’t have to. We can all do more but we still need to be aware of our limits.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Worth the effort.

Ulysses can be slow going. I have been trying to catch up on my page a day (look in the links, you'll find it) as I have been waaaay behind. I read about fifty pages today and some of it is slow going. That is the nature of such a style of writing though. Stream of conciousness has it drawbacks.

The particular section that I have been reading is kind of serpentine. Characters meet on the street and the story follows one and then doubles back to the meeting to follow another. There are easily 30 characters that wander in and out of the story- line and thus, the story itself repeats and starts and stops. The reader is lead into converstations that are already in progress and into stories that seem to be unrealated to the characters that...well...let's just say it's complicated.

I have read the book before with guidance (in college) but reading it on my own is more challenging. But just when I think it's pointless, that, "Hey, stupid, you have no idea what you are reading and didn't you read this all before anyway?" I find a sentence that makes it all worth it. Today this was the sentence: "We had a midnight lunch too after all the jollification and when we sallied forth it was blue o'clock in the morning after the night before."

I could deconstruct why I think this sentence is so lovely. I could point out the word "jollification" and how just reading it makes me feel...jolly. I could talk about how the phrase "sallied forth" brings up visions of bowlered men and long skirted women arm in arm, laughing as they wander down the street. I might want to have a midnight lunch that ends at "blue o'clock". I do, in fact want such a thing. But really, the only point is that sometimes a little work pays off.

Thank you, Mr. Joyce. I may not always understand you but everyonce in a while I remember why I love you.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Yeah, I know that no one really cares but I keep meaning to do this anyway:

Reading: Well...quite a lot and nothing at all actually...God's Politics by Jim Wallis, Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss and Ulysses by James Joyce. I've kind of been mosying though all of them and not really finishing them.

Comics: Street Angel and Preacher (find your own link, I'm tired).

Listening to: Nickel Creek because Jodi-odi-odi is nice to me.

Watching: Well, I watched Birth but I'm not going to recommend it. This weekend I will probably watch something else...I'm not sure what. I need to catch up on my Battlestar Galactica though...

What I want to be when I grow up.

I’ve had two particular women on my mind lately for two very different reasons.

My friend’s mom is stuck in New Orleans. She’s plugging along and doing fine but it still scares the hell out of all of us that she is still there. She’s not my mom and I don’t want to claim the fear but it still makes me pretty nervous.

But she’s doing fine. She’s got telephone service and is regular contact with her family. She’s got food and water and a gun, should she need it. She tried to leave and met up with some flooding and lost her transportation so it’s not like she’s able to go on her own anyway. But she still wants to stay where she is. And I can’t really fault her for that, I would probably be sorely tempted to do the same but I’m a big fucking sissy and probably wouldn’t have. So on the one hand I have to say, “Woman, what are you doing? Get the heck out of Dodge!” But on the other hand, I understand and I applaud her for sticking to her guns (I hear it’s a Winchester, by the way) and I think she’s a damn sassy old broad (said with the utmost respect) for doing so. I only hope she stays safe while she stays sassy. I do believe that she is sassy enough to know when enough is enough as well and pack it in.

The other person on my mind is my own mother. She spent last week in West Virginia as part of a mission team helping to rebuild a house that needed some repairs and updating. I believe that the woman who lives there has fallen ill and needed some help making her house more accessible.

My mom is 66. Almost 67. She drove the 13 hours to West Virginia with another woman around the same age. They stayed in a church, and drove 30 miles every morning to the work site. My mother does not have a computer because she’s not sure she could work one. She has never programmed a VCR. She doesn’t own a microwave and it’s only within the past 10 years that she has her own washer and dryer. But there she was, repairing drywall, laying tile, and installing insulation. After a week of that she went home to plant the front yard and today she is working for the Red Cross from 2 until 8>

These two women are pretty amazing. As for me, I plan to spend my retirement as that old woman you see in the corner bar. The one in full make up, a fake fur coat and lots of bling. The one who’s got a little dog (wearing a tiara) in her purse (or, if I can successfully train my cat to live in a purse and wear a tiara…well, what more could I ask for?). The kind of old woman who drinks martinis and spills half of them on herself but doesn’t really care. And if I had any fascinating stories to tell, I’d be that kind of old woman in a bar too, but don’t get your hopes up for that.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ten for Jodi but answered by me.

And why do I answer my own questions? Because I am too lazy to write something else, that's why.

1. THIS IS THE ONE I KEEP FORGETTING! And now you are going to think it’s a really good question too, but it’s not…if you had to give of one of your five senses, which one would it be and (briefly) why?

I asked Jodi this question because it’s a really hard one for me to answer. I had always thought I would say smell but only it is only recently that I have realized that I use my sense of smell a lot. A lot a lot. Like I know if I have added enough spice to the meatballs by the way they smell. I know when a cake is done by smell. I know when my cat is sick by her smell (and I actually don’t mean by her litter box but by the smell of her fur). Mind you, these are not fail-safe methods but I have really come to realize how much I actually use my sense of smell and never notice it.

So it is with that in mind, and some sadness that I would have to say that I would give up my hearing. Actually, as a child I had a lot of inner ear problems and I think I must have once been told that I might lose my hearing. Being the clever little brat that I was, I immediately set out to teach myself sign language and lip reading. Um…yeah, well, maybe not that clever because I can only sort of do them. But I can finger spell in ASL and I know a few words. I also find that I very often don’t really understand a person unless I am looking at them as they speak, so maybe that lip reading thing paid off after all.

2. I recently wrote a little bit about Los Angeles and what I can love about it, even as I do not love living here. What do you love about L.A.?

Didn’t I just say that I wrote about this already? Jeez, stop being so redundant.

3. You’ve been going to a lot of concerts recently, if you were a rocker, how would you rock?

I generally like to say that I would rock hesitantly and s lightly out of tune. Also only until 9:30 because I have to work tomorrow.

4. And what would you play?

Ah. I did once play the bass briefly and poorly. So I’m going to have to stick to my claim of being a bass player

5. And what would you name your band?

Well, my all girl punk band with Sherri is called “Snapcrotch”, my emo band is “tired girl”, my folk band is "Medicinal Angels" and my metal band is "Maidenhead" (from a former project with an old friend).

6. I recently bought maps of Dublin and Edinburgh, two places I have visited and to which I would love to return. Both cities felt very comfortable to me. Where do you feel most comfortable (in that sense, not in like a jammies and bed sort of sense)?

I really like Wales, I think, if there were jobs there, I could actually live there quite happily. I did feel really comfortable in San Juan, Puerto Rico but that was 20 years ago. And I pretty much always feel at home in Philadelphia.

7. Speaking of comfort, it was to my surprise that I found that my ultimate comfort food is…tofu. Do you have a comfort food? (Did I ask you this before?)

I do love that tofu. And here is the best thing to do with it:

Crush up some crackers, Ritz type are good but saltines will work just fine too. Breadcrumbs will also work but I have to say I like it best with the Ritz type. Sauté those in a bit of olive oil until they get toasty, add some chopped green onions and then crumble in some tofu. You can use any firmness but I actually like the soft best. Then just stir around a bit until it’s a consistency you like. I like it a little dry. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste and then eat it scooped up with toast. This never fails to make me feel happycozycomforted.

8. I know there are no better dogs in the world than your three but do you have a favorite breed (and I do not condone dog breeding or anything of the sort, but all dogs come from some breed way back).

Oooh, I like dogs. All kinds of dogs but I am especially attracted to westies, dachunds and greyhounds. And I have a fondness for pit bulls. I think when they are raised properly they can be very loving dogs.

9. Other than dogs, do you have a favorite animal?

I like giraffes a lot. They are just so…amazing looking. The pattern of their hides, the neck, the soft eyes. Just really beautiful. Of course I like cats as I have one that I adore. And I like to watch the hippos. I know they can be mean as the dickens but they look so happy.

10. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

It used to always be chocolate chip mint but I don’t get that much anymore. Sometimes I like Cherry Garcia or one of the posh Godiva chocolate ones but mostly I eat soy ice cream and my favorite of those is probably chocolate peanut butter.