Archive for July, 2013

Meet my earthly possessions!

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

I was cleaning my dining room table the other day and it occured to me that if I described the items I was putting away, it would really give you a window into my life. “Eclectic” seems appropriate. “Odd looks from strangers” also works. Here we go.

I bought some mugs. Six of them. But not any mugs, oh no. Edward Gorey mugs. I love Edward Gorey. Type his name into Google Image Search and you’ll see piles of his illustrations. I bought two of each mug.


There’s The Doubtful Guest (far right mug, wearing the scarf), the main character in a book of the same name. It’s about a guest who won’t leave.

dg1 tumblr_lluj394jFL1qkb2g8o1_400 Doubtful-Guest-5

The other two are from The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which is an alphabet book about children dying from various unfortunate circumstances. The far left mug is the cover of the book, and the middle mug is my favorite child/death, Neville.

gashlycrumbtinies ghorey neville+ennui

So that’s one thing on the dining room table. Then there’s the pigeon mask. You know that horse mask that’s all over the internet?

horse-head-mask-1 horse-head-mask-3 horsemanhurricanesandy_616

That one. Well, there’s a pigeon mask just like it! It’s only 24 dollars! And now I own it.

pigeon1 pigeon2

See that second picture where’s I’m pointing? I’m also winking and smiling because I don’t understand how masks work. I realized that after I took the picture.

The last thing was the pyrographic bunny. The Moomins just got back from Africa where she said she saw this little guy and said, “Jessica needs this.” And she was right. This bunny looks CRAY.

psycho-bunny1 psycho-bunny2

What drug do you think this bunny is on? I’m guessing PCP. Or meth.

My collection of things, which already had a Bosch Christmas ornament and a fossilized wasp’s nest, now includes mugs with children kicking the bucket on them, a pigeon mask and a wigged-out wooden rabbit. I have never been so proud.

New purse!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

I painted a new purse. I do this from time to time as they wear out. Sometimes I plan ahead, but sometimes I just take some paint and figure it out as I go along. That’s what I did this time, and I ended up with a Tim Burtonesque tree branch from which sparkly orange fruit dangles. It’s good, I like it. It’ll work fine for the next eight months (usually how long it takes me to run a purse into the ground).


The world be filled with weirdness. Yar.

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

1. Hands down, my favorite headline of an article this year:

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 2.36.56 PM

I read it about three times to see if it said what it really said. It does. The article is about a man who photographs people down on their luck, streetwalkers and junkies. This time he brought his telescope and these two ladies of the evening Takeesha and Deja were entranced by Saturn. Takeesha was inviting the johns who drove by to come look at the rings with her. I doubt any of the johns took her up on her offer, they were more concerned with Uranus ifyaknowwhatI’msayin’ I will not apologize for that.

2. I was walking past the enormous BCBG/Max Azria store on Fifth Avenue and I was struck by the oddness of one of the dresses in the window display. Let me take you through my journey. Dress #1:


Nice. Fine. Pretty.

Dress #2:


Equally nice, fine and pretty.

Dresses #3 and #4:


Again, nice, fine and– wait a sec, what the hell is going on with the dress on the left?


What’s going on there? Is this an homage to scoliosis braces? Or is the dress a lame attempt to mimic Leelo in The Fifth Element? Either way, fail. Crappity fashion.

3. Y’all watch Doctor Who? I do not. I do not enjoy like Doctor Who. I have no idea why. I SHOULD enjoy Doctor Who, but I don’t. It is a source of disappointment for me, my disinterest. It’s not for lack of trying, I can tell you that. I watched all of Season One on Netflix and thought, “I don’t care for this, but maybe it’s because of Christopher Eccleston. Perhaps I will care more with David Tennant.” So I watched all of Season Two and alas, I didn’t enjoy that either. I described it to Snorth as resembling a Christian gay conversion camp. An episode would start and I would say, “I like this! Yes I do! Like like like!” even though I was lying to myself. Then the episode would end, I would sigh deeply and with much dispair, straighten my spine, and forlornly click on the next episode, because that’s what you do. A ton of people I know and respect swear by this show, so eventually I will come around, right? RIGHT??? Nope. I was born this way.

Anyway, The Doctor is from a planet called Gallifrey, I believe, and he’s a Time Lord, so I think it is cool that the Gallifrean language looks like clock parts. That’s the point I was trying to make before I went on my self-hating Doctor Who rant.


4. I have found my dream chicken. They are called Ayam Cemani and they are from Indonesia. Their feathers are black. Their skin is black. Bones: black. Internal organs and muscles: black. For all I know, their souls are black. And I love them.

greenfire-farms3 Ayam-Cemani-2 chicks greenfire-farms1

There’s a place called Greenfire Farms that sell them, but they are rare because the USDA has a ban on chickens from Indonesia. However, this farm got a bunch (legally, I have no idea how) and they’re selling juvenile pairs. I got so excited until I saw the price.


ARE YOU SERIOUS??? They’re CHICKENS. I looked into getting a wood duck back in the day and I was bothered by the $135.00 price tag for a juvenile pair. That is too much for chickens. Too much. Long story short: Jessica ain’t buyin’ no black chickens.


An artist I be diggin’.

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Before Tiffany’s style of stained glass, the windows in Europe were painted with a mixture of powdered glass, fired, and rinse-and-repeat until layers and shadows built up. It’s extremely hard and you have to train for a long time. It looks like this.


Now, in Alabama there is a big artist collective and they had a group show where they created work based on Grumpy Cat in the material of their choosing. Most of the art was lovely, but one piece was especially stunning – Judson Portzer’s Sir Grumpsalot. Brilliant.

800x970xjudson-portzer-pagespeed-ic-plfqdwpfov 8714820221_6dd15e8ab8_b

Here’s Judson’s bio:

The time-honored skill of glass painting sets Judson Portzer’s studio apart as an almost magical space within Lowe Mill. Judson uses “paint” consisting of finely ground particles of colored glass to render intensely beautiful images that seem to carry the weight of centuries of history. Layers of the glass paint are added to panes and then selectively removed to create highlights before being fired in a kiln to become permanently fused.

Here’s some of his drawings.

54047_118701604947753_739069851_o 193683_118967508254496_1741153255_o 272037_119144398236807_1409126224_o

Here’s his calligraphy.

133374_124244804393433_1127903051_o 321045_148040472013866_1124844746_n 536155_158682544282992_165893856_n

And here are a few of his glass paintings. Sometimes he works with other artists. Judson does the faces, hands and details, and someone else does the fabric and background.

48255_123397034478210_1774453002_o 281192_121551957996051_1352283210_o 488225_175283369289576_863480673_n 547209_183700491781197_1884961393_n 558809_183700418447871_896966535_n

He does oldey-timey style (real oldey-timey, like Byzantine) windows as well, if that’s what the project requires.

664283_124521631032417_1026341455_o 132111_120571374760776_578571695_o

And I really like this butterfly (it’s the same butterfly, photographed first in a window and then on a light table). And this flower.

193100_115005778650669_2026991338_o 419196_162987840519129_565311547_n 132802_123548517796395_2140723484_o

I think he’s great. Apparently in addition to doing church windows, Judson has a booth at the local Renaissance fair. I wish he was closer, I would totally buy a piece of his. So awesome.

Addition: Someone also did a Grumpy Cat Wall Street Journal portrait. I will never get tired of this cat and this meme. Never.



Friday, July 12th, 2013

Gosh, I love humor. Stand-up comedy, a quality drawing, hell, even a good meme works. I love how out of sorrow or misfortune comes laughter. For example, Paula Deen. We’re all aware of what just happened with Paula Deen, right? With the racism? Well, her social media team is still sending out tweets like nothing is wrong. Her tweet the other day was:

My favorite potluck dish is _______. RT me your answer!

I would have said something dopey like “Butter”. But people got really creative and I ended up laughing like a lunatic at my desk. Here were some of their responses.


Massa spare us ribs

Black beans and white rice… On separate but equal plates, tho.

Swing Low Sweet Cherry Pie

Uncle Tom’s Cabbage

Onion Luther Ring Jr.



Rosa Porkchops

Whips n’ dip

Wade in the Waffles

Civil Rice

Chef Boy-are-you-lookin-me-in-the-eye-ar-dee


We shall over-crumb cake

Salt and Vin*gger chips

Brilliant. I am envious of that level of awesome.

While we’re on the topic of humor, I’m going to list my favorite comedians. I try to avoid drugs and alcohol to deal with everyday trials and tribulations, and for me, listening to unch-unch-unch dance music and stand-up comedy helps to lift my spirits. I’ll do my top most-favoristest people and (in my opinion) their best albums.

1. Patton Oswalt. Albums you should listen to: Feelin’ Kinda Patton, Werewolves and Lollipops, My Weakness is Strong, Finest Hour

2. Bill Burr. Albums you should listen to: Why Do I Do This?, Let It Go

3. Chris Rock. Album you should listen to: Bigger & Blacker

4. John Mulaney. Albums you should listen to: The Top Part, New in Town

5. Greg Behrendt. Albums you should listen to: Greg Behrendt is Uncool, That Guy From That Thing

6. The Sklar Brothers. Albums you should listen to: Poppin’ the Hood, Sklar Maps, their podcast Sklarbro Country

7. Kyle Kinane. Album you should listen to: Whiskey Icarus

8. Pete Holmes. Albums you should listen to: Impregnated with Wonder, Nice Try the Devil

Mental dust bunnies. And Macbeth.

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

1. Ooooh, ROASTED. Must remember all of these for forever.


2. I am flummoxed by several things I have seen recently. On my way from work, I went past one of the glittery costume jewelry stores on my route. I’ve mentioned them before. In addition to the clanky giant sparkle neck-festivals they sell, the stores often sell blinged-out household objects. Like this heart phone.


And this tissue box with a skull and crossbones on it.


But I didn’t understand this purse. Note the spikes poking out of the handle. How are you supposed to hold it? It would stab your palm or fingers if you grabbed it overhand or underhand. Fashion makes me drowsy and lethargic.


The second thing I saw was on my way home. I was going past the White Plains station and on the big screen attached to the parking garage, this came up.


Big Girl Panties? Someone wrote a book called Big Girl Panties? Half of me is like, “That is a new low, America,” and the other half of me is like, “Great, now I need to find a new title for my autobiography.”*

The THIRD thing (I gotta a lot of issues) was yesterday, when I went on Amazon and saw this:


Are they selling Bluray movies that just came out in the theaters? Is this a new thing? I always thought you didn’t release movies on DVD until the theater run was over. Could someone get back to me on this?


3. You may disagree with me, but the truth of the matter is the most poetic language in the world is… German. Hear me out. They have beautifully descriptive terms to name things. A light bulb is a “glow pear.” A television is a “far-see.” A coelacanth is a “many fins.” But more importantly, being the fathers of psychoanalysis, the Germans have terms for ethereal things. Everyone knows “schadenfreude,” which is taking pleasure in someone else’s suffering. But there is also “fremdschamen,” which is feeling vicariously embarrassed for someone else. And the newest term I’ve just learned – “kummerspeck,” the weight gained from emotional overeating. It is literally translated as “stress bacon.” Best. Language. Ever.


4. I saw Macbeth!

It was done as a one-man show by Alan Cumming. It was really great for a few reasons. One, he’s Scottish, so he did the show in his real accent (Macbeth takes place in Scotland). Two, he’s an amazing actor and a cool guy. I’ve been appreciating his work for years. Alan has been knighted by the Queen of England and he has his own fragrance called Cumming (get it?). Talk about taking lemons (a last name that is crazy-easy to make fun of by bullies) and making lemonade (creating your own scent that hopefully smells nothing like its namesake). Three, the sets and lighting was fantastic. It takes place in an insane asylum. That means lots of shiny tile and reflective metal tables and chairs. That makes it really difficult to keep light from pling-planging around the set. Natasha Chivers (the lighting designer) handled it like a pro. And the way they did the three witches was really cool. Since this takes place in a mental institution, there are cameras focused on Alan. Ones like this:

There were three big flatscreens on the top of the stage connected to the cameras and when Alan wanted to portray a witch, he would speak directly into one of the cameras, so it looked like the witch was talking right to you. Great solution to a problem. Great show all around. I would like Shakespeare more if it was done like this.



*That’s not really true. If I wrote a autobiography, it would be called Grandma Panties. So I’m still safe.


Monday, July 8th, 2013

Did you guys hear about the thing in Brazil two days ago? If you didn’t, you need to listen to how this went down. Just when you think it’s gone as far as it can go, it goes farther. Ready?

There was a soccer game. Okay.

The ref saw a bad play. He called out the player. Good so far.

The ref and the player got into a fist fight. Unnecessary, but fine.

The ref pulls a knife and stabs the player, who later dies on the way to the hospital. That is a little much.

The fans get super-mad, go down to the field and STONE THE REF TO DEATH. Are you serious?



How did it go from “you get a yellow card” to an episode of Game of Thrones? Now Brazil is doing massive PR work because they are having the next World Cup and I don’t know about you but this is not a display of good sportsmanship. This makes those parents who yell from the sidelines at their kid’s little league games look like fuzzy yellow duckies.


Stuff and also things.

Friday, July 5th, 2013

1. KeKe Wyatt. Oh Lordy, I have an unhealthy need to see more of KeKe. If you haven’t been watching The Soup, KeKe is a singer on the show R&B Divas and she is a reality TV producer’s dream come true. There’s this:

And that’s fine, but this, THIS, from :19 to :33,  is magical:

Next time you see me, get ready for “Hahahaha – J. ROTH!!!” being yelled in your face for no reason. Prepare yourself for this inevitability.

Addendum 3/6/14: Best eyeroll of all time. I love KeKe SO MUCH.



2. What a great ad campaign.


3. Did everyone see the Pacific Rim trailer? I was watching Monsters vs. Aliens the other night, and it occurred to me, Pacific Rim is really similar. There’s a scene in M vs. A where a giant insect fights an alien robot over a bridge. And wouldn’t you know, same thing in Pacific Rim. Look, here’s a pic from M vs A:


Aaaaaaaand here’s Pacific Rim.



4. I love this. If I’m feeling low, I watch this and things get better. Poof. Like magic.

And they are the same people who made this treasure.