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March 30, 2006


In case any of you thought that I might be one of those crafty illustrator types, then I'd like to disabuse you of the notion before you start imagining me in my sewing studio making aprons or whatever. I am not crafty. I wish I were. I really, really wish I were. But I don't have the patience. I don't like to plan. So, this is the sort of "sewing" I do:



Iggy's well-loved blanket has gotten so torn up from her early chewing days (hopefully on their way out) that we haven't been able to wash it for a long (too long) time, for fear that all the stuffing will come out, get wadded in the drain of the washing machine, flood the basement, cause an electrical meltdown, and burn down the house. Tonight, it finally became necessary to patch the darn thing up so we could throw it in the wash.

I got into a fit of hysterics, because I accidentally got a bunch of fabric from a different part of the blanket stuck in the machine and ended up sewing a gigantic wad of the blanket together. In the picture below, see how blanket does not hang nicely as it should, but instead looks like it's tied in a big knot. Also, notice how vile it smells (Matthew) and yet how delicious (Iggy):


Posted by ribbu at 11:10 PM

Stoney Run Henge

There's a park about a five minute drive from our house. It's in the swankiest part of Baltimore, and by living in the lesser neighborhood next door, we take full advantage of their fringe swank benefits, like the brand new superfresh, the best school district in Baltimore (we actually don't take advantage of that, but dammit, if we only could!), and Stoney Run park. It's a lovely little wooded park with a stream running through it that has about a mile-long loop for walking and pooping in (if you're a dog) (the swanky folks don't take too kindly to people pooping in it). So some industrious artiste has put together a little Stonehenge at the base of a tree near the stream:


And for scale:


It conjures up Andy Goldsworthy (hideous site, but lots of nice pix) - someone sneaking around in the woods, looking to stir up trouble. There used to be a bench farther along with a cement baby sitting on it, with one leg broken off, that freaked Iggy out every time we went by. I guess it freaked someone else out too, because it's not there anymore.

And for scale:


And, it's spring. These little flowers are coming up all over, and are such an electric blue, I had to check to make sure they were real. Indeed, they are:


I made another interesting find:


The blue in it is mostly reflected sky. And, I don't know what happened to the rest of the bird, but there was no sign of it. I guess it was time to shed its wings.

Posted by ribbu at 08:22 AM

... and ye shall receive.

This arrived late last week in a box wrapped in brown paper. It said it was from Matthew and Iggy. I'm figuring it was all Iggy - she wants me to stay home with her and be an illustrator:

Can you say, "YUM"?
I can.
And I do.
Every time I look at my collection.


Posted by ribbu at 08:19 AM

March 26, 2006


Posted by ribbu at 09:07 AM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2006

Doggie Sleepover

We're dogsitting the Rubler while the Christian and the Piendak are up in Beantown watching Davey's show. It's been madness all afternoon.

Iggy: "Seriously, Ruby. You sleep in this thing?"

Ruby: "ohmygodomygod are you going to pet me? Are you really going to pet me? Really? ohmygodohmygod!"

Ruby: "For god's sake woman! Stop taking pictures and pet me!"
Iggy: "Oy."

Ruby and Iggy: "What are you looking at?"

Iggy: "Mmmm... a chewed up bone that doesn't belong to me... hrmmm...."
Ruby: "Gnzzzzzzzzz..."


The Dignified Double-Portrait


Posted by ribbu at 10:13 PM | Comments (2)

March 19, 2006

Week #6

Here's the latest:

Matthew thinks it's my "best round yet" but I'm not really sure why. But hey, I'll take the compliment and wallow in it (for a little while at least). For the poppy picture (oops, I just accidentally wrote "poopy" - which wouldn't narrow things down one bit) I used my one precious bottle of Dr. Ph. Martin's concentrated persimmon (uh, that makes it sound like I used the whole bottle, which I didn't). And didn't it turn out yummy? Perhaps too yummy - in real life it's a little blinding. I oughtn't use straight out of the bottle, I've been told. It's considered an artistic cop-out. I covet a complete set, but really only because I think that will be what makes me a great artist. (Though, I just read about them, and it says they're fugitive. Maybe I should covet these, instead...) I normally use gouache because it has nice, intense color, but sometimes run into an opacity problem. [all non-artists, yawn here]. Plus, because I'm lazy, I've been using the same 5 colors of gouache because they are sitting on my tin foil palette (thanks for the budget painting tips, katherine!) and I hate to bust out the new stuff. Another artistic cop-out. Frugality gone wild.

Posted by ribbu at 11:50 PM

I love Robert E. Lee

Not this one (I confess to only know what this article has to say about him - I was not paying attention in 6th grade, which I think is the last time I learned anything about him)(though, I linked to this page mostly because I love the "disputed neutrality" icon and explanation). No, for some reason they named a park after him in Baltimore. Better Robert E. Lee than Charles Manson, I guess. Anyways, it's a lovely place to take the dog for a walk on a brisk sunday morning. I found a nice little path that runs along the little stream there, that doesn't have a lot of traffic on it and reminds me of Ratty's home (except for the lovely english countryside in the background).

Posted by ribbu at 01:14 PM

March 16, 2006

Elephants at the Market

Yesterday was the annual lunch with the elephants at lexington market. Matt the fossilologist and self-named Ulfras and I walked over to see the festivities. It was bizarre, seeing these elephants walking down the city streets. Tables were set out in the parking lot, piled high with bananas and some mysterious orange fruit or vegetable that there was a lot of debate over before the elephants showed up and there were more interesting things to talk about (look, he's pooping!). I was standing behind a row of children and their parents, so I couldn't see very much (stupid kids). My calves got a good workout, anyway. Watermelons for dessert, which they gently crushed under their feet before scooping up and stuffing into their chins. They move so slowly, they hardly seemed excited by the feast, the fans, and the way way way out of season watermelons (I was drooling). The tricky thing about elephants is that their mouths are always smiling while their eyes are so sad. I can't tell if they don't mind all the hooplah and, you know, animal slavery, or if they're just hoping that we'll all get hit by a bus. As they ambled homewards, hips shoulders and heads dipping into the shadows between the buildings, they looked weirdly prehistoric.

And this is what came out of that:


Posted by ribbu at 10:27 PM | Comments (1)

March 09, 2006

Why, oh Why?

Sharon Stone is apparently more of an idiot than, well, than I thought Sharon Stone was.

Not only would she "kiss just about anybody for peace [uh, except for that ghoulish Shimon Peres]" but she encourages more women to get involved "in the male-dominated world of Mid-East peace talks." Maybe if we could do more than just kissing (like, say, taking our panties off and flaunting our muffs) we could really get something going over there.


Posted by ribbu at 12:35 PM

March 07, 2006


That stupid ass who ran into our car has the nerve to not only claim that it was our fault, but also that he wasn't in a turn only lane, that we ran into him, and that he is now INJURED. What a load of crap. I'm so mad that we didn't get his passenger's statement or contact info or anything. You just think that people are going to tell the truth. Or at least not totally lie like a mother. Bastard. See why I hate people?

And I can't even move to f-ing south dakota now, on principle. Where the hell else is there to avoid humanity???

Kingman Reef
, here I come.

Posted by ribbu at 04:26 PM | Comments (1)


Yeesh. I keep looking at my board designs hoping someone will vote for them, but with 5 days left I'm not even close to getting the minimum number of votes. So, this is a plea, once again, to vote for my WICKEDSHREDDINBOARDS!! I know you have to register, but really, wouldn't it be worth it, just to see me break my own neck on my own customized board?

If you vote on my board or my other
board, I'll send you an original postcard (not necessarily a dancing monkey, though).


Posted by ribbu at 12:49 PM

March 05, 2006

Cruelty in Love

In which Mort adjusts his attitude, finds love in his mind, and goes to bed alone.

In love there is a kind of cruelty, thinks Mort. He stands on the corner where Bella has not kissed him. He holds expensive roses. His being longs. In the window above, Bella's lights come on. He watches her alluring silhouette as she writes honest unpleasant things about their recent date in her diary. Where was his flaw? Is it fundamental? Is her objection aesthetic or something else? Is he unfunny? Unmasculine? Unkempt? The roses were expensive. He'd bought them from a vendor.

"You got fleeced," Bella had said at the time.

It starts to rain.


Mort is a maverick of sorts. He tries to sell people on the idea that men can be improved by attitude alone. He has a video that he markets at the front desks of companies. He would like to sell it on TV, but the process of getting the spot is tricky and political.

"If I could get one of those infomercials," he thinks, "watch out, Baby."


Mort says "Baby" more than he should. He says it to clerks in stores and to potential customers at the critical moment. He thinks it's cool and confident. A mentor told him once that "Baby" was the answer. And charged him $50, after, for the advice.

"Look at me," the man had said, "and disagree if you can."

This man had had a hot tub and supple leather bucket seats. Mort could not disagree. He had signed on.


Recently, Mort had become religious. It was surprising to Mort, considering his latent rage about god and god's denizens. But lately he had had a need to feel supported from the other end of the log.

"When I stand in the middle of an open space," he had told Bella, "it sometimes feels like I'm going to fall up into the sky."


Bella's breath was minty. He'd gotten close enough to notice this, when leaning in to take the check. They had eaten expensively. The entrees had been small and Mort was still hungry. He walked in the rain to his favorite burrito stand, only to find that they were out of rice.

"How does this happen?" thinks Mort. "Are they messing with me?"

He eats a burger instead, and it gives him indigestion, and it is a bad burger because they primarily make burritos and put little energy into burgers. Mort is full but unsatisfied. He goes to the casino. He loses money on blackjack. He goes home. Calls it a day.


The call from Bella is unexpected. He is in his pajamas when she calls. He feels unprepared, stammers. He makes a funny joke, accidentally. Bella laughs. Says she had such a good time on the date. Mort is swimming in emotion when he hangs up the phone, wondering what went right, wondering how to repeat it at the zoo this afternoon.


They watch the monkeys for a long time. The monkeys jump wildly and fornicate. Mort and Bella speculate on which monkey is related to which. Some are small and some larger. Are the smaller ones the children of the larger ones, or different types of monkeys? Bella wonders. Mort makes up a story about the monkey family and Bella smiles a real smile. The rain is gone. Mort buys her a hot dog. She eats it. She eats another.


When Mort calls his mother to tell of Bella, his mother is happy.

"What is her background?" his mother asks. "Is she Jewish?"

"She's not, mom," says Mort. "And that's ok by me."

"Of course, Honey, I'm just wondering," she says, and Mort has the feeling that she is distracted by something like television.


Mort thinks carefully about everything he does with, for, and about Bella. He takes notes and plans. He carefully prepares his attitude. He practices funny phrases.

"You're different," she says, frowning at the ice rink. "Are you the Mort Lowenstein I fell in love with?"

The word "love" causes him to fall on the ice. Later, in the ER, Bella clutches his good arm and tells him that it's going to be all right.


When Bella tells Mort about Chaz she averts her eyes and holds her hands in her lap.

"It happened suddenly," she says. "I'm sorry."

Mort remembers Chaz from the ER. He had been kind to Mort, instructing him to count backwards from ten as the IV did its work.

He had wondered why Bella had not been there as he came to. His mother, instead, had stood over him, preening.


On the corner, with the roses, Mort sees it all before him. The incestuous monkeys, the broken wrist, the relentless presence of his mother. He puts the roses in the garbage, walks home through the rain, and takes his phone off the hook. He goes to sleep. He will wake up in the morning.

Posted by bogenamp at 09:23 AM

March 03, 2006

Vote for My Ride!

So - I so want to get a free snowboard, even though my knee is all bejeeked up. I can only get it if somebody votes for my designs at


(sorry, you have to register to see the goods) (or, you can just look below) (but then nobody will vote for me) (so, register, dammit, and see my future deathsled in all its gory glory!)

flush_it_lg.jpg scarlet_letter_lg.jpg

I had a grand plan to actually do something specific for the contest, but then realized just now (3.3.06, 2:00am) that submissions are due tonight at midnight. And I'm heading up to Philly to work the flower show tomorrow so this is my last chance. Worth a shot, anyway. At least they look different from all of the swoopy pink and black flower silhouettes I'm seeing.

Plus, how rad would it be to have a snowboard with one of my illos on it?
WICKED RAD@!#$&$^&@%!!!!

Posted by ribbu at 02:19 AM | Comments (1)

March 01, 2006

Postcards and patch-ups

Here's the latest on the postcard front:

The first little guy started out as my back-up husband but then things went horribly awry, and I broke his finger. He's going to take some winning over when the time comes, I believe. I was also invited to submit something to the IC Exhibition, which essentially means that they didn't have enough people to beef up the competition (or so I do believe). At any rate, Jim was kind enough to think of me and call - I met him a the production club of baltimore's portfolio show, and it turns out he's a fellow c-towner. Small world, this great state of ours... So - I just got those off in the mail today. I decided to submit the "Grow Your Own" piece I did way back when, as well as the guy with the little hat (see above). We'll see how that goes. At the very least, Nancy Stahl and Steve Brodner will see them, which is almost like being touched by the gods.

This past weekend my friend Whit was in town for an interview. We were coming home from work when this happened:

(diagram for insurance purposes only)

There was a cab in the right turn only lane, and he neglected to turn, and instead ran right into our sporty little lowbrow nissan steve. We were only going about 10 miles an hour, so it didn't even feel like anything. There was just a bit of a crunch, and it was all steve. So - we had to pull over and call the cops and all that, and time was a wastin' because we needed to get whit back to the airport. The cops arrive and start getting all the info and whatnot, and we are debating whether to run with Whit over to the train station to catch a cab or see if we could make it in steve. One of the cops turns to Whit and says, "We can get you to the airport fast." We're like, yeah, funny, no, we really need to find a way to get to the airport. It took a while for us to realize it, but the guy was serious. I'm pretty sure that is so not copacetic (our tax dollars at work, getting my cute voluptous friend to the airport on time) - but, whatever. So we packed all her luggage into the cruiser, threw her in behind the bars, and sent her on her merry way. As they left, I heard the officer explaining that they "didn't even have to stop for red lights". It was frickin hilarious. Hopefully, she is alive and well and back in Ohio (though, I haven't heard anything from her since then...).

Anyway. It was all great fun, and nothing a little duct tape and $1200 from allstate couldn't fix:


Posted by ribbu at 07:58 PM | Comments (1)