Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Sister

On one of her visits to New York, my sister--an art teacher--told me the story of Meret Oppenheim's Breakfast in Fur (1936, pictured). Liesl explained to me how it was a perfect example of surrealist art. I cannot retell it as she told it to me, but her description of Meret Oppenheim and that furry cup put a burr in my saddle and I just had to see the damn thing. This was when MOMA was relocated to Queens due to renovations, so it was quite a trek. I remember getting drenched in a rain storm and haggling with a young entrepreneur fresh from Russia over some awesome graphic tees that were just a little too pricey.

The Queens MOMA space was entirely too small. We saw that immediately. At first, we thought we had it wrong, maybe it was at another museum, but when we visited the gift shop, we saw a postcard that pictured that strange little cup. Then we saw the sign explaining that items were shifted regularly (due to that wee tiny space) and so, with great disappointment, we realized we would not see it that day.

Years later (2? 3?) Liesl was back, this time with my niece, Sage, in tow. They were planning on visiting all the hot spots, including the renovated MOMA. This time around, I would not be disappointed. When we finally came upon it, I was immediately struck by how small and ordinary it seemed. It was housed in glass among other surrealist items. It looked old.

Why do I love this piece? I realize now that it was my sister's telling of it that infused that cup with magic and heft. Once I understood this, I remembered other meandering visits to museums with Liesl. My sister's knowledge of art is one thing--it is the way that she talks about art and whatever piece is in front of you that somehow fills the world with history, wonder, and relevance.

The furry cup was just one instance. I could not tell you how many times Liesl has brought color and magic to a single piece of art--one moment nothing special, the next moment extraordinary and invaluable--but I do recall Rosa Bonheur's The Horse Fair, 1853–55. The white horse at the center is rearing her head, barely contained. My sister explained to me how a woman had painted it and the true meaning of that stubborn horse, pulling against the will of her male rider, as a symbol of women and their struggle in a man's world.

When I say it, well, there it is. But what a lucky person you are if you should ever have the occasion to take a stroll through the Met with my sister. She's an extraordinary person aside from this, but her ability to explain art is something to respect and behold.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Am Tweaking

Because I Am Legend is so very near indeed. Check out the trailer, either on the official site or the HD version.

My ongoing love for Will Smith does not abate, especially in superscififuture-tasticzombiechompingaction-adventurehorror movies. Bursting hearts of love! But it is clear they're going to pull some horrible Disney dog injuring and/or killing manipulation that, while always effective, still rankles my tarts to no end.

No matter. Finally, I Am Legend, 12/14/07.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No Lucky Ducky...

...but there's always time for the slutty "Sex Machine."

This is one of the ones you were thinking of, mum. I was, what, fourteen? This is how my evil high school corrupted me. I was the title character, in case you were confused. The young man pictured was not my co-star. I don't remember the skit but it was very short, comical, and I think I was basically a slutty robot tease. Not much acting necessary. This dress was very fitting. The foil in my hair evokes: 1. The 80s, 2. Technologically advanced robo-ho, and 3. noooooooo budget.

I don't think there were ever pictures of the Lucky Ducky phase of my life, mum. There were no costumes, so it was more about acting the part. Which is so much worse. The picture I really do wish you had? Valley Girl Maid Marian. Like, O mi' God, fer shure.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Deep Thoughts

One of my co-workers was kind enough to link us here today and I laughed myself silly. I miss that crazy bastard.

All time favorite Jack Handey Deep Thought? "Anytime I see something screech across a room and latch onto someone's neck, and the guy screams and tries to get it off, I have to laugh, because what IS that thing?!"

I would marry Jack Handey. He goes in my weirdo drawer next to Doug Larson who I would also marry. Twice.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


This seemingly innocuous little drawing actually means quite a lot to me. I keep it near and dear…posted in my office, for instance. Sometimes, when the darkness descends, I need to look at it and remind myself that I, too, am a Bad Motherfucker. And I am walking the earth, my brother.

We need an explanation.

So, everyone is clear that I am a nervous ninny. I’ve got the tummy trauma, heebie jeebies, jimmy jammies, crazy elbow, and I can’t stop my leg. Basically, I should be more medicated. I’ve always been like this, exuding mass amounts of non-confidence, but there are times in life when you’ve just got to suck it up and jump. And so.

In grad school, as the defense of my thesis fast approached, the sense of doom and destruction became cloyingly close and suffocating. There’s something wildly perverse about defending one’s own writing. At last, finally, after all of that constructive criticism and soft accolades, there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and some of the sharpest people you’ve ever met are giving it to you but good. Granted, I loved each of them: my poetry professor Luci Tapahonso, a respected poet whose soft voice said nothing of her spirit, fearless and honest; Tom Lorenz, my fiction professor whose wisdom and energy brought the very best out of me; and, finally, the wizard and consummate Magic Man, G. Douglas Atkins, a man so brilliant and sensually Southern that I could barely stand to speak with him and yet, for reasons I still do not understand, he showed me nothing but kindness and understanding. Look, it was all Love and Flowers. I was freaked out of my gourd.

I started thinking of ways to conquer my fear. What would numb me from the suffocating terror? How would I face these people? How would I sound remotely intelligent…let alone SPEAK? Can you feel the blood pounding in your temples? Ug. This is how people make themselves sick under the oppression of anxiety. But I figured it out.

As I loitered on campus one afternoon, I noticed a posting for the annual cattle call from the Drama department. Every year, KU has an open cattle call to all students. You prepare a monologue and present it in front of all of that year’s directors on the main stage. Welcome to the Terror Train.

Why not? Let’s do this thing, yo.

I scrounged around my old Lit. books trying to find something appropriate. I finally settled on a monologue from Brighton Beach Memoirs of all things. I memorized it, added some feelins,’ and locked it in my schedule. Considering the humiliating history of my Drama past, I was already sick about it. Once a Frog Footman, always a Frog Footman…and never to act again. So this would be nice and terrifying and should do the trick real good.

Was it heart stopping? Yes. It was a hot rush of blood, tunnel vision, and all the world closing in. Invigorating. But what does it have to do with a smoking duck?

I got a call back. Two call backs. It was a serious WTF moment. Moments. In my effort to fight the demon Terror, I got some serious confidence and drama lovin’ in return. And I went to both callbacks, why the hell not? I didn’t get the part, but it did not matter. It felt so damn good to face the beast and get and freakin’-A Call Back! The feeling of elation would not be topped for some time and I will never forget it.

The duck? After one of my call backs, after doing a read through with other actor-y types, I visited my friend at the Science Library on campus. As I relayed the story of my day (the unthinkable, wondrous weirdness of it all), I sketched this little dude. Did I feel 2 Kool 4 Skool at that moment? Yes. And you would, too. An unpredictable boost to the ego never fades.

And the defense? Flawless. With honors. Or, as Michael Scott might say, A++.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Chinatownchicken honors the Solid Gold Dancers in the only way it knows how.

No Excuse

I can't even remember what made me start. This is what was left when I was finished. God, I loved that freakshow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Demon Sun

In the process of trying to find that DAMN vo-tech commercial from the 80s where the guy says “Now I have a skeeel that nobody can take from me” I ran across quite a few favorites. This is one of my ALL TIME favorites. Love that psycho Tee Hee at the end.

If anyone—sissy, poll your peeps—has a copy of that DAMN “skeel” commercial, let me know. My friends are starting to doubt me, I think.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Things I have Noticed Lately


The Gym: I’ve been attending the hellacious gym regularly lately. What can I say? I fear death. Anyways! I do the treadmill and bike and try not to watch other people but the cardio machines face all the muscle machines, so what can I do about it? I am sure that there is something to it, but it is wildly unnerving to watch the muscle people sit on their machines, doing nothing, staring at the cardio people. The cardio people are just trying to keep in step with their evil machines and look up to find these shiny weirdoes staring and staring. At nothing? Maybe. But I think they are watching my sad ass sweating to the oldies. I do miss the married days sometimes. My own treadmill in my own house? Heaven? No. Add a washer and dryer and you are golden, baby.


Lung whistling. I do think that the emphysema got me, without regard to my best intentions. Fuckity fuck fuck. It does not help that October is apparently the new August. EVIL! Those poor marathon runners – it really is not proper to have 80 plus days in October. You don’t have to have the big E to know it sucks donkeysnot.


Dirty Sanchez? I would like to thank my two good friends for educating me about the true meaning of the “Dirty Sanchez” before I screamed it out in public places two or ten more times. Funny story: I am permanently naïve. When I was about 12 years old, my mother and I attended a very nice, very Midwestern, very down-home, bread and butter, church going, God fearing type of barbeque at a lake held by my Grandfather’s typographical union. So. My mom and I are fighting with these two teenage boys for this raft out on the lake. It is fun. There is splashing and yelling and so on. You know. Anyways. A few weeks earlier, my friends had been teasing me about some new insult I’d heard but did not understand. Those bitches knew what it meant…so unfortunate that I had to learn it…later. When I screamed out “Eat me, eat me RAW!” I thought I was really giving it to those boys good. Shit on toast points. Thanks a million to my homies for giving me the true definition of the “Dirty Sanchez” – I promise not to scream it in front of wheelchair bound oldfolks again.


Believe it or not, you can get sick of Pringles. Also, Hershey bars kick the shit out of dark chocolate. Just FYI.


In preparation for our Still Big Maybe Trip to India, Thomas and I were reading this really invigorating article about Mumbai…super interesting and yet totally depressing, all at once! It was basically laying out the fact that there is a huge gap between the haves and have nots…and certainly to a level that Americans will never, ever know. Amidst the catalog of riches that India is now experiencing ($15 cocktails and retro club nights, can you say New York City?) they also listed some truly dark facts…like how hundreds of men gather at the water at 5 am to take a collective dump in the water. At 6 am, the women follow, wading in a little bit farther to retain some modesty. All in all, some gripping articles and essential reading for the possible traveler. We may never see these things (the beggar children are a lock…and even this will prove a challenge. Hurtful and irritating, a shameful juxtaposition) but it is better to be prepared than shocked out of your socks. So, I am smelling it, in my head and in advance, because it is important that I follow this through and shed my American skins, soft and shallow.

The Third Eye

Hm. Had a really superinteresting dream the other day. Lots of other stuff involved, but the most shocking moment most certainly was at the airport…part of which looked a LOT like the Natural History Museum. Except the exhibit was live and the live thing was a moose. Once it laid its eyes on me (as I languidly walked to the end of the terminal with my suitcase in tow) it charged the glass separating us and killed itself on impact. Anyone good a deciphering dreams?

If it means I am the antichrist, save it. I’ve heard that shit before.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sweaty Grunting

For my favorite snarkygirl.

I love him so much I could cry.

And, for the record snarkysnark, the exact quote is:

“Just coz you let some useless tosser blow his beans up your muff”

Seriously the most profane thing ever broadcast on public tv, probably.