Monday, April 30, 2012

Tortured Teens

So, remember that time I posted that Damien Jurado video with the blonde teenagers whose eyes take up half their heads and the motorcycles and the THE FEELINGS and whatnot? Weeeeeeelllll, turns out all that footage was lifted from a Swedish film from 1970 called "En kärlekshistoria." And my friend Mandy-- who's the one who introduced me to the Bee Gees, by the way, but I'll get back to that in a sec--just sent me this video that uses the VERY SAME tortured teenagers! The very same ones! Is there no quality control among indierockers these days?


 But back to the Bee Gees, because this is important:

You want to know something about the Bee Gees? They're not as crappy as you thought they might be if you had ever bothered to listen to them before! This is Robin Gibb, apparently when he was like 16 or something.  And be kind because this was before an orthodontist got hold of him. But get a load of THE PIPES on that kid, am I right, ladies? (Also, there are so many hilarious things about this video...I can't.... You should just watch it.)

He must have been a tortured teenager indeed to sing a Stones song better than McJagger himself.  Who was definitely not a tortured teenager and obviously has no place in this conversation.

That is all.

Except: thanks, Mandy, for continuing to alert me to important tortured teenagers in the news.

This Is For Real

Listen. Listen. Listen. No listen. I'm being serious: listen.

I got a studio, you guys.  To write in.  Because I refuse to be lured into listening to people's private conversations in coffee shops when I'm supposed to be writing about squid beaks anymore. I won't be harassed by precocious art school kids with rat tails and mustaches.  I'm not going to be stared at by the guy who wears his sunglasses indoors so he can stare at people.  None of that. I'm no longer going to participate in any of it.

Because now I have a nice, quiet room with windows and a little cot in the corner where I can take naps whenever I feel like it.

It's nothing fancy, and I share it with two friends who are comic book artists, but it's heavenly.  Literally just exactly like I picture heaven. Or the South Pacific.

I'm so delighted that I picked myself some flowers on my way here yesterday and then I took a celebratory vanity PhotoBooth picture in a moment of profound feelin'-my-oats:

Look how wistful I look! Enjoy that one, folks, cause it's probably the only one you're ever gonna get.

See behind me? THAT'S A BULLETIN BOARD.  I have a bulletin board!!! 

SO MUCH PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Exhibit A

Odessa's teachers are the best.  Today Ms. Emily took this picture of Odessa and her special man friend on the playground, necking under the paltry cover of a laundry basket.

And then she sent me the picture with a note that was all, "FYI. Hahahahahahaha!"

So, now I know exactly how classy my girl is keeping it while she's at school.  Hopefully I'll always have informants as committed as Emily.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't Be a Stepmudder

Have I told you about Odessa's Disney Princess thing? I can't remember.

Well, just in case you didn't know, princesses are a big deal in our house. Snow White, Cinderella,  Aurora/Briar Rose, Ariel, Belle, Tiana, Rapunzel, Jasmine...Bryan and I have been made intimately familiar with their batting averages, last season's injuries, their performances at spring training, etc.

And though I know a lot of little girls are way more into princesses than Odessa, I deal with some aspect of her princess infatuation every day. Example: last weekend, she had a bit of a mental breakdown because she couldn't convince this cardinal to land on her finger.  And she would have none of it when I tried to explain that real birds don't land on real maidens' fingers, no matter how beautiful they are. Damn you, Walt Disney!

But then I remember having childhood obsessions that totally flummoxed my own mother. I watched Room with a View so many times I can still probably recite it word for word. I was 9 years old and my mom was all, "WHAT IS IT WITH YOU AND THE VICTORIANS!?! STOP ASKING ME TO BUY YOU A WHALEBONE CORSET!!!!"

But whatever. I turned out pretty much completely normal

Anyway, I indulge the princess thing as much as I think is healthy-ish and not-entirely-weird.  But lately this whole thing has taken a turn I didn't really expect: Odessa's gotten really into stepmothers.

So, I'm a nice mom. I'm not always The Best Mom, but I'm usually pretty patient, affectionate, and perhaps even overly-indulgent.  So, Odessa's used to me being nice. But sometimes.... I mean, she's three, so sometimes I lose my patience--like when she makes direct eye contact with me and then flips over a basket of folded laundry.  For instance.

In situations like this, I say something like, "Dessa, that was mean and Mommy feels sort of pissed off at you right now."

Which gives her pause.  And then she screws up her little face and says, "Mommy! Don't! Be! A! STEPMUDDER!!!!!

She also says that when I insist she take a bath, floss her teeth, or eat just three more mini carrots before I give her a popsicle.

But strangely enough, I also hear her referring to herself as a stepmother when she's playing.  She'll be lying on the couch talking to herself, and I'll hear her say, "Dessa's a stepmudder," and then in a kind of a low, threatening voice: "Cinewella, go to da ROOM!"

I'm not sure what to make of this, but it might have something to do with what power feels like to a three year old. I mean, in the scheme of things, Odessa probably feels like she has very little power, much like a Disney princess.  But sometimes she just want to be the person who calls all the shots.  Like a stepmudder.

Also, poison apples are awesome.  Snow White couldn't make a poison apple.  She could only clean house, which is boring.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Thing About April

You may have noticed I have a thing for Edna St. Vincent Millay.  I just like her, okay?

And today is Old South Days in Athens, Georgia, which means the lawn of the sorority next to my office is covered in girls wearing hoop skirts and flip flops.  And it reminds me of how wonderful and silly April is in Georgia.  I mean, everybody goes apeshit: people, plants, birds, my cats, our neighbors who love 1980's R&B with nasty and yet very sincere lyrics.... The kids on the playground next door to my house cry and laugh and whine a little more lustily in April. The guy who lives in the tattoo parlor that backs up to our backyard smokes pot a little less secretively and spends more time embellishing his spray painted mural of a skull leering at a naked lady. 

Anyway, it's a damn free-for-all.  And I love it.

So let's see what Edna says about April, shall we?

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Morning

I've started liking holidays a lot more since Odessa came along. Actually, probably since she's been old enough for her face to melt off with excitement over a valentine or an Easter basket.

So this morning we woke up and looked at what the Easter Bunny brought and then went out in the yard to blow bubbles. It went something like this:


Friday, April 6, 2012

Does Anybody Want to Do This With Me?

Do you have stuff around your house that needs doin'? Like a closet that you open once a week and it makes you vomit a little?  Or a vegetable garden you want planted but you don't have time? Or like a room that really needs a coat of paint? Or mulch? (I think that's something people do, right? Mulching?)

I know. I do too. So here's an idea:

I was talking to my friend Darla last night, and our conversation went like this:

Darla:  why aren't there more barn-raisings?
Me: What the hell are you talking about?
Darla: Well, you obviously could use some stuff done around your house. Like some serious feng shui: your money corner's a mess, by the way.
Me: Dammit. Really? That's the one corner I wanted to be really good!
Darla:   Anyway, what if we did something like a barn raising where we got a whole bunch of people together to do projects on each other's houses? Like on a Saturday for three or four hours once a month.  I'm not talking about rewiring anybody's attic or anything--just simple, easy stuff that needs doing.  Everybody's got that stuff.
Me: That's true. And then after that, we could drink wine?
Darla: You know it, girl.

So anyway, that's our idea. It's not stupid, is it? You want to do it with me? And maybe while we're sanding that bureau you spilled fingernail polish remover all over, we can also validate the living shit out of you by telling you your boss is an idiot and you're a genius or something.  I'm particularly skilled in the art of Exxtreme Validation.  It'll be fun!

So if you're interested and/or know anybody else in sweet, sweet Athens, Georgia who might be interested, email me. Or leave a comment or something. Because I WANT TO BUILD YOU A COMPOST HEAP! LET ME AT THAT LINEN CLOSET!!

That's seriously the first time I've ever said that in my whole entire life.