Tuesday, December 29, 2009


At work when things are slow, we entertain ourselves by choosing personal catchwords (indeed, arguably), bus stop personas, hip hop names, and so on. I won't bore you with the details because inside jokes are pretty much only funny to those on the inside, but I will note that I'm a Francesca, and that my hip hop name so scandalized a co-worker that she refused to even pronounce it.

The catchword I was handed is: indubitably. At first I didn't care for it and have actually never used it in conversation but it's the word that came to mind when I was looking at this collection of New Yorker covers. Yes yes, I can hear the sighs and I agree that the magazine deserves some of of its rep for smugness and insufferability. I don't get the Ian Frazier humor pieces either (sorry dude, I bet you're funny in real life but those "humorous" one-pagers are as wooden and tired as last year's Christmas tree). I skip the architecture and theatre articles, figuring they're about people I haven't heard of and wouldn't care about if I had.

The covers though. The covers are genius. Just the past few weeks have featured a luscious Thiebaud pie, and a soft-focus light show. I saved the Obama covers--the White House at night, illuminated with a softly glowing O. The Prez as Abe Lincoln. Even the one that generated all the controversy. The covers are where The New Yorker comes through. Indubitably.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I have mixed feelings about Christmas. And I know I'm not alone in this.
Earlier I posted "glad that's over with" on Facebook and 3 friends liked it within about 2 minutes.
There's so much pressure for the day--no, more than that, the season--to be wonderful and sentimental, jam-packed with family and friends, and in reality, the pressure is to spend money, to buy just the right thing, to part with sufficient cash to fill that inner sinkhole of guilt and loneliness.
My emotions were set to scramble the past few days but I did have fun and I did get to spend time with 3 of my favorite goofballs.
To me, nothing says happy holidays like sisters getting the giggles, Monopoly at midnight with the fam, or curling up in a blanket on the sofa with a bleary-eyed niece, watching cartoons and drinking hot chocolate.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We are our dogs our dogs are we

As a kid I always expected at some point I'd grow up and figure my shit out.
Well, quelle surprise, I haven't.
I don't feel that much wiser than I did in my 20's. I still drink too much sometimes, say stupid stuff, piss off the people I care about, worry too much about what strangers think, I watch crappy TV instead of reading something important, I say yes when I mean no and no when I mean maybe and maybe when I mean probably. Sometimes I don't know what I mean or even want to mean. Has the shit has gotten more complicated? Did I give up and not realize it?
On a completely unrelated note (perhaps not completely), I went to one of my favorite coffee shops the other day and this woman and her dog were inside taking up all the room (it's tiny, basically an espresso counter, a cash register, one table, two chairs, and about six feet of floor space). I left my pooch outside and squeezed inside. Then had to go back outside because the woman immediately declared that her dog would be surprised by my dog when they exited, as though my dog were crouched just around the corner, hee-hee'ing and just waiting to jump out and startle her dog. (For the record, at this moment my dog was staring blankly at something in the street.) So I went outside and petted my dog and waited while the woman crab-walked out of the coffee shop, a death grip on her dog's collar. Her dog did not seem surprised at all by my dog. When she was safely across the street, I went back into the coffee shop.
I am so over people and their dogs, I said, to the barista, who moments ago had been yukking it up with the woman.
She nodded. She's making that dog crazy. It bit my little boy last week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Executair 880

Here's my latest acquisition, the Executair 880, a portable bar a la Don Draper, complete with carrying case, bone-handled corkscrew, and roomy liquor compartments.
Purchased as a Christmas gift but now I don't know if I can part with it...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Diversions, Kreeshmush and otherwise

Been working long days for the Man, and then for myself. But, despite the drudgery, I've been lucky enough to be invited to some fun and amazing events
  • At Smashputt, the weekend after Thanksgiving, I drank beer and shot golf balls out of an air compressor until 2 a.m.
  • Saw Lady Gaga live and in the flesh last week, and adored her glittery headgear, the stiletto heels, her low smoky insouciant drawl and bendy, awkward dancing. Oh, and her singing.
  • And Kid Cudi performed too, a subtle geek-rap presence, funny and dynamic (although now I see that he smacked a fan at one of his solo shows)
  • On Saturday night this lot was in town; a somewhat disappointing performance (what was with the Lord of the Dance lady?) but good company
  • And finally--the Cool Whip on the sundae--a Sunday matinee chez Ms Dina Martina, as louche, ghastly and inappropriate as ever. I hung on every slurred mispronunciation, and her sequined mini-dress hung on for dear life.
Now I feel ready for the holidays.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The evolution of vest

I spotted this series in the U-district, as though the tagger were trying to figure out his or her signature. Puffy letters, vertical, horizontal with a flourish.
Continuing on up 45th, I spotted the tag every few blocks on street signs and light poles. I felt like an urban Daniel (Danielle?) Boone had gone before me, but I lost the trail around Meridian St.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Low riders

Funny, no?

This sign is posted in the window of Not a Number Cards and Gifts in Wallingford. The owner caught me snapping a picture yesterday--remember my phobia about getting "caught?"--and asked that I send him a link to my Facebook blog (he he) which I'll do.

It's a cool shop, jam packed with kitschy, funny, even naughty items. My co-worker and I purchased foam rocket launchers here (because nothing says "good morning colleague" like a foam rocket to the solar plexus). The shop celebrated Festivus a few days ago. They'll even give you a 10% discount if you've shopped with other merchants in the neighborhood, even my nemesis, Trophy.

And, the sign cracks me up, especially the hand-drawn boxer-exposing low riders.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Even though by temperament I'm mercurial, I try not to reveal that side of me too often in print. Why? I guess because I don't like pollyannas, whining wears me out in a jiffy, and honestly, I haven't really learned to talk about myself at that level. Baring my soul makes me uncomfortable, the way you feel sitting in a doctor's exam room waiting for a shot.
So anyway life feels hard right now. Resistant. Impenetrable. I can't get the traction I want with my writing. Work is marginally okay. Personal life is in the crapper. The people I want to see are busy and the people I don't want to see won't leave me alone. The damn dog won't quit scratching.
This picture reminds me that I'm best off focusing on the things that bring me pleasure. Street art, for one. Bold, naive, even slightly defaced, but still pretty cool.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How'd I miss this?

When I was getting my ink a couple weeks back I browsed through Juxtapoz magazine.
And fell in mad crazy love.
It's my new fix. Graffiti art on the sides of barns, tricked out kicks, creative types making art and not sweating it.
How'd I miss it all this time?

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em