August 26, 2011

-image-the cluster of bad things

So you know how bad stuff tends to cluster and good stuff spreads itself out all thin-like?


Well, FIL had a heart attack Wednesday night.

They were at a campground in the mountains past Mammoth Mountain, CA when it happened.

He had to be life-flighted into Reno, 4 hours away from their home in the deep dark middle of nowhere.

He needs bypass.

They can’t do open heart surgery at the hospital in the deep dark middle of nowhere because they don’t have a heart-lung machine.

And I’m sure health insurance covers emergency flights to Reno in the dead of night, right?

My MIL has only the clothes on her back. Campground and motorhome abandoned in haste.

She has a bone spur on her heel and can’t walk well.

That hospital is nothing but long ass hallways made fer walkin’.

Oh, and meanwhile, back in the deep dark middle of nowhere, their dumb old dog, Beau of the Big Anus, is dying and needs to be put down.

FIL is insisting that no one touch the dog or his big anus until he can say goodbye, which is frankly pissing us all off, because the poor dog is in a very bad way.

MB caught a last-minute flight to Reno. Hey, did you know those things aren’t cheap?

Among other things, someone needs to take my MIL, poor woman, to Target in Reno just to get some damn underwear.

A neighbor has already dug a hole for Beau in my in-law’s backyard.

(Yep, all their dead critters are buried there. It’s gross, it skeeves me out, it’s The Killing Fields and Pet Sematary all in one, there are nothing but mountains all around them in which to bury their pets, but nooooo, they’re all taking dirt naps in the backyard and, oh, would you like a Beau-Tomato from their garden?)

I just hope any future buyers of that house don’t want to put in a pool. They’ll think my in-laws were serial killers.

I am getting blow-by-blow email descriptions from the neighbors watching old blind Beau whine and moan and bonk into things. They are so frustrated by FIL’s edict that Beau must “stay alive, no matter what occurs,” it’s hysterical.

I recommended they just leave old blind Beau out in the backyard killing fields. He’ll eventually fall into his pre-arranged hole, et voila! Anxiety gives you a sick sense of humor.

But see what happens when you go camping, pippa?

FIL is having open heart surgery as I write this.

Prayers appreciated.

Stupid Beau and his stupid big anus.

August 23, 2011

-image-a new favorite

Winslow Homer, The New Novel

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love everything about it, oh, but especially, those colors …..

August 19, 2011

-image-“rebel” pastor mark driscoll “sees things”

Let me preface this by saying unequivocally that I can’t stand this guy.

The video below features Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, part of the whole “young, restless, and Reformed” contingent in Christendom today. He’s also “buds” with Baldy of the FOC — which is currently imploding, by the way, with The Washington Post currently looking into child molestation coverups, oops — and, in my opinion, just a teensy bit full of himself. Others think he’s “edgy” and “real.” I’ve watched a number of his sermons on YouTube and, well, I find him a spiritual bully and an intellectual lightweight.

(Not that I’m trying to influence your thoughts here or anything.)

Actually, I don’t need to. This video speaks for itself. Watch it and see my comments below.

~ First of all, Slappy, I’m glad you “see things.” I see a pastor/alleged grown man in a Mickey Mouse t-shirt is what I see.

~ Really, I have no problem with “the gift of discernment.” I understand that sometimes people see things in the spiritual realm. I believe that too. But …. part of the gift of discernment — one would assume — is using it with discernment which you clearly don’t do. I mean, calling a woman out on her adultery in front of her husband? Who does that? A d-bag, that’s who. Discernment would demand that you pull this woman aside and privately tell her your whole “I see naked people” vision. Obviously, you got off on exposing and humiliating this woman in front of her husband, but you seem completely unable to see that you humiliated the husband too. He heard these words from you, his pastor, not his wife, when it’s her job to tell him, not yours. Such a revelation is between the husband and wife and should have nothing to do with you. I mean, this just seems like Relationships 101 to me.

~ At one point you said — in referring to things one might “see” — “Don’t assume it’s true.” So that’s what you did in the above scenario, right? And that’s what you did when you said to one person, “You don’t know this but you were abused as a child,” right? Look. Just because you “see things” doesn’t mean they’re always correct nor does it mean that you are the person who should share them nor does it mean that you should share them the very instant you “see” them. Why not pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal things or to shake someone’s conscience or whatever? Why not pray about if/when you’re supposed to share what you think you saw? Why is it your job to do so except that you get off on the perceived power of it? You get your rocks off by Jesus showing you things that you believe he’s not showing anyone else. Quit doing Jesus’ job.

~ What if what you saw isn’t, in fact, true and you put that idea in someone’s head? “You don’t know this, but you were molested as a kid.” What if that’s actually NOT true? How cruel is that? How reckless? To plant a false seed in someone’s psyche?

~ And, yes, when confronted with allegations of molest, most molesters just freely and instantly admit it, like grandpa in your example. Yeah. That happens ALL the time. I totally believe that part.

~ About the woman with the physically abusive husband. So, did you call the cops? Sure, you called the dude into your office so you could expose him, but did you call the cops? Did you call the cops about any of these things? These rapes and abuses and molestations you “see”? You’re more than willing to blurt it out in an exercise of your spiritual power and “knowledge,” but what about involving the authorities? Or would that be too much of an abdication of your power to involve the secular legal powers? Wouldn’t want to do that now, would we?


(Also, Mark Driscoll: I don’t like your eyes. There’s something cold and off about them. I “see” things about you because of them.)

And here I thought I’d lost my crankypants, but they’re back, babeee, and tight as ever.

August 17, 2011

-image-puppy voice

While stopped at a neighborhood intersection, MB and I see a fluffy husky puppy jumping up on its owner with that certain joie de vivre that only puppies can have. That certain joie de vivre that really makes you wish you were a puppy too. That certain joie de vivre that really makes you want to kick that puppy square in the ass because you don’t have that certain joie de vivre at all.

Since I don’t want to be hauled off to jail for kicking a puppy square in the ass, and since the puppy, you see, he moves me, I start talking in the puppy voice. The puppy voice that all women have hardwired into their DNA. The puppy voice that drives men crazy because they secretly have a puppy voice too and wish they could come out of the closet and just admit they have a puppy voice too.

Ohhh! He’s so cute! Ohhhh! I want him, ooooohhhh, awwwww, he’s just a baby, awwwwwww. Etc.

This goes on for longer than is humanly acceptable, even with just MB around. Even if no one were around, it’s just empirically gross and God can still hear me, right? I’m aware it’s sickening even while I do it, that I’ve bid a fond boo-bye to my dignity, but it can’t be helped. It’s the puppy’s fault. I am possessed by the puppy. I am not myself. It’s beyond my control, to randomly quote Dangerous Liaisons.

Finally, MB rolls his eyes and says with a nervous laugh borne of deep inner distress, “Uhm, can I talk to Tracey now?”

I fall silent in an instant, knowing that that stupid puppy has forced me to cross that cutesy line that no wife should ever cross in front of her husband. Because I know in my heart of hearts I’ve become “other,” one of those Care Bear people who make me want to gag, I slowly move my index finger up and down and say in the Danny voice that everybody has, “Tracey isn’t here, Mrs. Torrance.”

My Danny voice is good, damn good, I say, and we both burst out laughing, precious puppy and the voice it produces utterly trumped by the Danny voice. As it should be.

Let’s face it. The Danny voice can kick the puppy voice square in the ass.

And all is right with our world again.

Until we see another puppy ……

August 15, 2011

-image-painting – planning – thought =

Well, I don’t know what. This girl, I guess. Random background painted with my fingers. Rough figure drawn. Face painted with oil paintsticks and rubbed into existence. All very messy and scribbley and directionless, actually.

But I kinda like her.


Below is the image as it scanned the first time around. It went into the scanner straight, scanned like this with no help from me, and in some ways, I actually like it more. Happy accidents:


She’s weird. I have no context for her. Can’t tell you where she came from or what she means.

She just is. Whatever she is, she is.

August 12, 2011


Sometimes your beloved works the Katy Perry show and sends you a visual love note using official Katy Perry paraphernalia:


You know, sometimes.

August 9, 2011

-image-random snippets

Two weekends ago ……..

ME: (on waking up, first words of the day) It’s my birthday! Your day is gonna suuuuuuuuck!!
HE: Oh, brother.

Later …..

ME: Okay. It’s my birthday. No documentaries about weirdos.
HE: All right.
ME: That’s your birthday.
HE: Yes, haha.
ME: I want something funny where people die hideous deaths. I need it to feed my inner rage.
HE: Oh, okay.


ME: I’m gonna spank you like a somma bits!
HE: What? That’s not how you say it!
ME: Sure, it is. I just said it.
HE: You’re hopeless.


ME: What’s the name of that movie again? Sweet Fatty Sauceback?
HE: No! That’s not it! It’s Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song.
ME: I like mine better.
HE: It’s not better.
ME: They should change it.
HE: No, they shouldn’t.
ME: Come on! Sweet Fatty Sauceback? I wanna see a movie about him!

August 7, 2011

-image-the negotiator: now completely and embarrassingly bonkers for me


BANSHEE BOY: Tee Tee!!!! I tink I luf you!!! I KNOW I luf you!!! Tee TEEEEEEEE!!!!

BB: Tee TEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Say you luf me too!!!!!

BB: I tink of nuttink but you!! And de jars of de Gerber pears!!! Vell, I tink of you just as much anyvey!!! Tee TEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

BB: TEE TEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! Please to say you luf me!!!!!! Please to say it!!!!!


ME: Well, you know, I think you’re very nice.


August 1, 2011

-image-the scope of his genius

As can be seen by the artwork on this blog, I’m a huge HUGE fan of William Adolphe Bouguereau. He was simply a genius — a genius — of the human form, of mood, of nuance, who worked as an academic painter in the mid to late 19th century, essentially swimming against the rising tide of Impressionism roiling all around him. The Academics loved him; the avant-garde mocked him. He was libeled, slandered. His name was removed from textbooks and encyclopedias for decades. He was quite simply, as the old saying, goes, born at the wrong time. He was a genius of a soon-to-be-bygone era and he suffered for that.

But he also, nearly single-handedly, opened the French art academies to women. HE did that. He painted 825 paintings in his life, a mind-boggling accomplishment, especially when you consider that most of them were life-sized.

And he loved his work with a unfading passion, saying even late in life, “Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness, I can scarcely wait for the next morning to comeā€¦if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable.”

I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come …… how does that not clutch at your heart? Such joy, such childlike abandon.

But decide for yourself. I’ve included just two of his pieces below. His work runs the gamut from moments small to huge, subtle to searing.

The header image on this blog is cropped from a painting called “Petite Maraudeuse” (Little Thief). This is one of his small captured moments that I love so much, a pretty little thief caught, I imagine anyway, moments after her oh-so-naughty theft. She’s concealing her stolen pear a bit with that sly bend of her wrist, but frankly, I don’t think she feels all that bad about it. Hahaha.

Good Lord, I love her so much:


Then he breaks us in two with this, “The First Mourning.” Adam and Eve and the body of their son Abel, murdered by their other son Cain. I love this piece, but with an asterisk, a warning, some caution cones. It is SO direct, so unflinching, so private, really, that it’s a nearly pornographic depiction of grief. Nothing is spared. Nothing is left concealed, which is amazing because you don’t see faces or, rather, you don’t fully see faces. You see shapes, lines, color. And the poses, their relationship to one another, the frankness of Abel’s splayed body, the difference in his skin color compared to theirs. You almost cannot look — or you can look for only seconds at a time. That’s how it feels for me anyway. Like I’m an intruder, a voyeur, on a personal apocalypse. You are seeing the very moment their lives changed forever. Doesn’t it feel as if it’s happening as you look at it? For me, this isn’t some mere depiction or imagination. It’s almost as if Bouguereau had a vision from God of what that moment was actually like. Bouguereau just has that gift of immediacy. He puts you there. Whether a big moment or small, you’re there. You’re there. I don’t know how he did it. I just don’t. It’s his particular genius, his God-breathed gift, and I want it to be a mystery to me. Too much knowing can rob you of awe and there’s just not enough awe anymore.

Try to look at it. Try to take it in. It’s worth it, but I tell you, when I look at it, I literally feel helpless.

Subtle and searing genius, both. I don’t know how that’s even possible.

I am, and always will be, a massive fan.

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