Sedentary people are much easier to draw than moving-around people. They're also much less dangerous. People sitting morosely staring into space or reading crappy airport novels are harming no one. It's when they start doing stuff that they get themselves, and all the rest of us, in trouble. I guarantee you that those mortgage packets that contained the little hidden burning bags of shit that brought down the world's economy were invented by people who were doing stuff and not sitting in a comfy chair filling out sudoku puzzles. Because, you see, we humans are not nearly as smart as we think we are. Look at Ponzi schemes, for example. They are guaranteed, by definition, to fail. And yet we continue to concoct them and live high on the hog for a short while, followed by perp walks and years in prison. Which is kind of a microcosmic narrative of our current economic situation. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny and stuff. There are those among us who will puff on their pipes and look contemplatively into the middle distance and intone "It was always thus." Don't be fooled: they're no smarter than the rest of us, they just have pipes. Because the difference is, we have caught our own tails in our mouths and are munching contentedly.
But enough about that. What is it with Madonna, anyway?
Amanda and I were so into sketching these wonderfully-shaped people that when two pretty girls in thongs sat down in front of us, we craned our necks to see around them. I'm going to get drummed out of the Man Club if they get wind of this. I'm already on probation.
You want to sketch character-laden people, you hustle your butt to Brighton Beach. They've got character coming out the ass. While you're there, if you see a fried dough pocket with cherry filling on the sidewalk, it's mine. But go ahead, you can have it.
There seems to be a very interesting conversation about Fizzies going on in my email, but I can't join in because MobileMe is malfunctioning all over the place. I've always been a diehard Apple loyalist, but this thing should not have been released until it worked. If they don't straighten it out soon, I'm going to have to give Ruben a call. He'll know what to do.
You can make up your own story to this picture. It can be like one of those psycho-logical tests they give you to help you understand why you're nuts. I've said this before, and I'll say it again because I have space to fill: understanding doesn't help. Not one little bit. It may be mildly interesting to know the roots of your torment, but the needle doesn't back off a centimeter. At least that's my experience, and since I'm a blogger, I'm entitled to consider it an eternal truth. Or maybe I'm one of those people whose right and left hemispheres are totally disconnected, and the side where you know stuff, the left side? is like a huge library that nobody ever visits or that warehouse in Indiana Jones where precious artifacts are lost forever, while the mosque next door keeps turning out lost souls who crawl into the desert and blow themselves up, over and over again, because it's something to do. Least that's how I see it. And like I say, I'm a blogger, so you can take it to the bank. The tellers will laugh at you and shove you out the door, but that's something to do, too.
Man, I am churning out the product, ain't I? Now I've got to figure out a way to finesse these into a Hampton Roads sketchbook for the paper, or else I'm screwed. I don't think I could convince any of the natives that these are local sketches, except for the bongsuckers, and they don't read the paper anyways. Maybe I could do a Little Nemo thing and pretend it's all a dream. Or I could slap a gaussian blur on them, so you couldn't tell what they were. Or maybe I could go to the Superhero Supply Store and buy a new secret identity and start a new life somewhere else. That sounds like the most practical solution.
Sounds like an upscale clothier, don't it? Tell you what, I'm pretty burned out on drawing foliage. It's a tedious business, drawing foliage. Saw an exhibit of Rembrandt etchings in Norfolk a few weeks ago, and that guy knew how to draw foliage. It's funny, if you examined his foliage with a magnifying glass (thoughtfully provided), his lines looked as loose and casual as Edward Sorel's, but to the naked eye, it's a perfect definition of the detail and mass and mood of teeming leafiness. I guess that's why he's an old Master or whatever. Larger here.
Right now my favorite foodstuff in all the world is Apricot Ginger ice cream. I wouldn't give that pronouncement too much weight, though, considering that for a period of 18 months my favorite food in all the world was once Fizzies.
My new fave: mango basil!
A shiny car with dusty sides is a real challenge for cross-hatching. I just discovered that Gary Panter lives somewhere around here. Gary Panter!
Guys in bike helmets look like they belong to some Star Trek minor character's cult. At least he's not wearing those spandex shorts. I can do without seeing somebody's delicately-outlined giblets. I think I over-walked yesterday. My gastrocnemiuses have the consistency of the elastic in a pair of three-year-old boxer shorts. My Achilles tendons have sprung, so I imagine they look like those little paper things they put on the ends of lamb chops. I stomp around on inert stumps, leading the tenants downstairs to conclude that I'm pacing angrily after having been turned down yet again for a MacArthur grant. The fools! The blind, blinkered fools! How could they ignore--oh, wait a minute, that was just an analogy. I tricked myself. I'm not angry about anything.
I don't get Turner Classic Movies at home, so last night I watched The Philadelphia Story, Pat & Mike, The African Queen, and The Rainmaker instead of sleeping. It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, but this morning in retrospect it feels like a bad mistake. I hate retrospect.
This is the Gate, which I'm told is popular among the cognoscenti. But I haven't seen Steve Buscemi here, or anywhere else in the slope. I've been looking for him all day, and not a peep. What is he, a fucking hermit? I even watched Interview all the way through, in preparation, when I could have rented Semi-Pro. Hey, I don't want to marry the guy, I just want to hang out with him for a while, see his crib, ride around in his Maybach, maybe get a little amped, do a belushi or two, you know. But no, he's got to hide out like a little girl. And Jennifer's moving to Tribeca, I know I'm not gonna see her. I'm down to looking for Fart Party, I know she lives in Brooklyn. Guess I'll start with the numbered streets.
I was sitting in the window of a restaurant (okay, it was a McDonalds) at the entrance to Prospect Park, and a stream of the most interesting people flowed by me. You just don't see this kind of variety from the window of d"Egg in downtown Norfolk. I stayed and watched for an hour or so, until a lady at the next table began talking to me in a very loud voice about her death from artichoke poisoning and how she was reborn with mysterious new powers that she couldn't reveal at this time. That's another thing you don't get much of in d"Egg.
The more astute among you will have put two and two together and deduced that I have indeed survived to get as far as Brooklyn. I have not been beset upon by anyone yet, for which I'm grateful. Longtime readers will recall that my last visit to Prospect Park was an eventful one. No such luck this time. Just a nice quiet walk. Larger view here.
...and so my great journey into the unknown commences. What lies beyond the dark horizon? Given that my horizon has heretofore extended to the far side of 21st Street, I imagine a great deal lies beyond it. I'm told that in the murky territories to the north they worship strange and irritable gods. They have a taste for human flesh. They refuse to believe the surge is working. But I must go, for the sake of Otto and Boo. I must screw something to the sticking-post, I forget what. I must gird my loins. Normally, I enjoy girding my loins, as long as it's not in preparation for something. Now, as I step into the wretched little airplane, which appears to me as a crude accumulation of discarded metal scrap assembled by cretins, I say a small prayer of intercession to whatever saint is in charge of ironic saving of non-believers and insinuate myself into my assigned seat--an assigned seat! They know who I am! I'm doomed--and enter into the heart of darkness.
I had to squeeze in a visit to Coney Island before I returned to Norfolk (okay, I was ordered to.) It's an amazing place. Too bad all the things that make it unique--garish hand-painted signs, cheesy rip-off arcades, the Turtle Boy, crowds of fat sweating working-class New Yorkers--will disappear soon. The developer has articulated a vision of an East Coast "Bellagio". What is it with developers? Give stupid, venal people money, and they'll lay waste to the world.