Sunday, December 30, 2007

Anniversary

December 15th marked the first anniversary of our marriage, so naturally bob and I spent the day together. At work. In the truck. At the landfill. As unromantic as that seems, it was great to just have each other's company, and I always appreciate good photo opportunities. Besides, I had never really seen what actually happens to our garbage after we put it by the curb at night and the magical trash fairies whisk it away...

This is what several tons of baled garbage from New Jersey looks like on the back of a flatbed tractor trailer:
bob had picked it up in New Jersey the previous day and brought it down to West Virginia, and we were taking it to Kentucky. It was a rainy drive and the skies were a nicely dismal shade of gray, lovely. (Really, I mean that...I have always preferred overcast skies to sunny ones).
I also love factories...I think this one we passed had something to do with car manufacturing...
We arrived at the landfill and bob had to unstrap all the bales of garbage:
He has a tough job...Did i mention it was raining? Exhibit A, ladies and gentlemen - mud:I stayed in the truck and played with the camera and the mirrors...Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...I mean a landfill...and we drove up the one on the left to where the real business happens:Unfortunately I wasn't allowed out of the truck (plus bob warned me the foremen might confiscate my camera if they caught me taking pictures anyway) so I am unable to show you the veritable mountain range of refuse that was spread before me. It covered miles and miles. Here's bob, checking it out...
The equipment used to move the garbage around was quite impressive - the kind of vehicles little boys dream of driving, with giant spiky tires:I guess it all has to go somewhere, but looking at this place, i couldn't help but hate myself and all my American neighbors for our pre-packaged, individually wrapped, paper or plastic lifestyles that create this kind of massive wasteland of junk. I mean, it's not gonna keep me from using four paper towels at a time to clean up a milk splash on the counter or anything, but it tickled my conscience slightly. Only slightly. Like Tom Tucker's mustache when he kisses women...(there's a Family Guy reference for every situation, I am firmly convinced.)

After we got all the bales off the back of the truck and bob had swept the remaining bits of nastiness from the flatbed and removed his work boots (you should have seen the disgusting muck that was stuck to the bottoms of them) it was off to the nearest truckstop for a late breakfast. Mmmmmmm...eggs....After all the post-apocalyptic mad max surrealism of the landfill, my sunny side up eggs appeared strange in my eyes, as did the tacky gift shop that accompanies any good truckstop. I think I should start collecting state snow globes:I love my life. I think it is a gift to be able to have fun in any situation, and to be truly fascinated by the world around me, no matter how odd or trivial the circumstances. I feel sorry for people who spend their lives complaining, wishing for more material possessions and ever more exotic experiences. Open your eyes and your mind a little, and you can make every day as amazing as a trip to a landfill in Kentucky. Pretty freakin sweet...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Self-Flagellation

video

I saw this video late last night on mtv2. It had such a dark fairy tale thing going on that really appealed to me - I love the end when the girl turns and reveals her face and it kills him, it reminds me of the scary book of French fairy tales from the 1600's by Perrault that I read obsessively as a child until my mother took it away. Since I loved it so much I downloaded the AFI album it comes from called "Decemberunderground" (yes, I am an evil downloader person, come and arrest me) even though I know nothing of the band except that the lead singer wears an awful lot of eyeshadow for a guy. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm all for creativity and individuality in personal appearance, it's just that guys in eye makeup these days are generally of a certain type, emo or whatever. That should have been a red flag, but I didn't let it deter me. Turns out I like most of the tracks on the album except for the few with too much screaming and not enough singing (not my bag, baby) but I can't remember the last cd i liked all the tracks on anyway so that's not surprising.
I decided to do a little reading on AFI to find out what they're all about. Now we get to the real reason for this post: apparently AFI is classified as goth-punk and they have a real "hot topic/depressed/cut yourself vibe" going on. Gag. I should NOT like the album. I should NOT be listening to it for the third time. Goths are ridiculous mall-haunting Anne Rice reading attention whores, and I don't want to listen to the music they cut themselves and cry to. My shame for liking this album should be exposed and I should be properly punished. I sometimes think I'm a closeted Catholic, what with this desire for confession and penance and all, but then I remember god is dead like a good little Nietzschean. So when things like this come up, I like to punish myself through the public airing of my bad musical tastes via my blog. Here you go, world, Jenny is an embarrassment to herself. I need to listen to some Zeppelin now to wash away the shame.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dripping With Sarcasm

wow...could there not be a truer statement? i know nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than a sink brim full of greasy dishes just waiting for me to scrub them sparkling clean...sometimes i think about it all day while i'm busy doing other less meaningful things, like attending classes or spending time with loved ones. and speaking of loved ones...some women like a cigarette after sex, but as for me - i like to go wash dishes while i bask in the sweet, sweet afterglow....ahhhhh, now that's satisfaction...

Try It, You'll Like It

I've decided to throw some art at you on a semi-regular basis, because art is good for you, many people fail to appreciate it because of preconceived notions that "art is boring" or through lack of exposure to it altogether, and because it would please me. Mostly because it would please me.

I don't want to frighten anyone right out of the gate, so we won't go straight to post modernism or pop art or any of my most favorite genres that can be inaccessible and confusing to some people...let's try something nice and pretty and easy to digest but still interesting, like this impressionist/realist piece from 1862 by Édouard Manet. Be sure to click on it to view it in its larger size, otherwise the finer details are somewhat muted.


It is called "Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe" or "Luncheon on the Grass" and was quite controversial in its time, apparently because a painting of a nude in a classical setting was deemed acceptable, while one in a contemporary setting was not.

The background of the painting seems to have been painted with far less attention to detail than the figures in the foreground, in particular the nude woman, who seems the most vividly realized object in the entire piece, no doubt to further draw attention to the fact that she is indeed naked in the presence of two men. It almost makes her more naked by contrast.

I love that the woman is nude for no real reason (although I suppose one could surmise that she had been bathing with the other female figure in the background) while the fully-clothed men seem engaged with each other and completely oblivious of her very presence, let alone her nudity. I also love the direct eye contact with the viewer by the woman, almost challenging you to be shocked by her. It takes her out of the painting in some way, bringing her into the present day, instead of merely making her a flat and inanimate image on a canvas painted 150 years ago.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Snow! and Its (Possible) Effects on Elderly Neighbors

well, it's here.

people have been warning me that it was about to come, and a couple of days during last week it looked as if it might be time, but today we woke up and the ground was officially covered in snow, and the air has been full of soft fat flakes for the better part of the day. i'm told these are deemed "snow flurries." probably not momentous to some of you, but for zoe and me, quite the Occasion, and the beginning of our first winter in a snowy new world.

zoe and i were simultaneously delighted and apprehensive as we waited this morning for the school bus that never came - after it was fifteen minutes late and i had checked the news for school cancellations and watched the neighbor's Bronco pull out of the driveway next door and promptly spin in a slow and stately 360 degree turn like some sort of gigantic metal ballroom dancer, i bundled zoe into the car and cautiously drove her to school. surprisingly, i had no problems on my maiden voyage into the treacherous waters known as "driving on snow encrusted roads." apparently other people did not fare as well, since an hour later on my way to school, i saw multiple people standing and shivering forlornly on the side of the road next to their formerly roadworthy vehicles which were now resting peacefully in various ditches.

also in winter weather related news...

i am now keeping an even more vigilant eye on the elderly (and hopefully ailing! just kidding...or am i...) owner of the amazing house across the street that i fully intend to swoop in on and purchase in the future as soon as the old dame's corpse has hit the mortuary. now that the harsh weather has set in, i am looking for signs of pneumonia or hypothermia or whatever the hell else would do in an old lady of uncertain age and health...but she seems damned hale and hearty in all honesty and every time i see her walking at a snail's pace down to the teeny little tiny little jane lew market, i have thoughts of unscrupulous intent and imagine befriending the old woman and wheedling my way into her good graces (and last will and testament) and convincing her to bequeath me the whole kit and caboodle... i mean, look at this house (the picture doesn't do it justice at all), it's a hundred years old and amazing even covered in snow and you should see the inside...once i walked by and caught a glimpse and it's all original dark hardwood floors and crown molding and wainscoting, and the adjacent property is definitely big enough for the Nubian goats i intend to own, and i've been watching - nobody comes to visit this old lady except an obviously unrelated cleaning woman so why shouldn't i scheme on the place? sigh...because it's morbid and slightly evil, i know...hmmm, i think this is officially the most wrong tangent i have ever chased...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Exercise Caution: the Photographer Is Drunk

we like to get schnockered and play cards on the weekends and inevitably after i get a few shots in me i feel compelled to pull out the camera to preserve the event for posterity even though my photographic skills deteriorate in direct proportion to the number of drinks i have consumed...but i just blame it on the bad lighting and click away merrily.
by the way, it seems that no matter how well i do in the first three hands, i am incapable of sustaining it and i always lose. like ALWAYS lose, i'm totally serious. it's really kind of funny though and in no way interferes with my enjoyment of the game. it is just accepted by all participating that "jenny will not win." i used to think that only bob could win (case in point, those three aces are his), but since zach started playing with us and started winning occasionally, i have amended it to "only a perrine with a penis can win." it's almost enough to make me want a penis...well, almost...i don't think i could actually handle all that business hanging around down there - the dangle factor, the constant need for rearrangement of various parts, the shrinkage according to current weather conditions, the critical need to protect vulnerable and vital bits - how do guys manage all that?

well anyways...moving right along. the boys don't like their pictures taken during these little soirées, so i usually end up getting shots of things that don't object, like miles or the ridiculously large and ridiculously awesome big ass fork and spoon with tikis on them that hang above our kitchen table.





so that was our friday night, and there are a few of you out there that i wouldn't mind inviting to join us sometime - as long as you're okay with the fact that you're probably not going to win...unless you have a penis and your last name is perrine, of course...