April 28, 2009

Heroes: Jack Handey

I think it is safe to say that Jack Handey is one of comedic heroes. Yes. THAT Jack Handey - SNL Deep Thoughts from the 80's. Did you know he is a real guy? Well, he is. And I have a good chuckle anytime I read anything of his. This particular column is from the New Yorker and was sent to me by my dear friend, LC, a few years ago. It should come as no surprise that LC loves Jack Handey too. We had a great email exchange over this article discussing our favorite parts. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do...

Ideas for Paintings
by Jack Handey
The New Yorker - March 20, 2006

Because I love art, I am offering the following ideas for paintings to all struggling artists out there. Some of those artists may be thinking, Hey, I’ve got good ideas of my own. Really? Then why are you struggling?

These ideas are free of charge. All I ask is that when you have completed a painting, as a courtesy to me you sign it “Jack Handey and [your name or initials].” And, if the painting is sold, I get approximately all the money.

Good luck! Let’s get painting!

Stampede of Nudes
The trouble with most paintings of nudes is that there isn’t enough nudity. It’s usually just one woman lying there, and you’re looking around going, “Aren’t there any more nudes?” This idea solves that.

What has frightened these nudes? Is it the lightning in the background? Or did one of the nudes just spook? You don’t know, and this creates tension.

Made You LookThis idea is difficult to execute, but could turn out to be a masterpiece. It depicts a grandly dressed lady looking straight at you. At first, her look seems to say, “Quick, look behind you!” So you turn around, and when you look at her again her expression now seems to be one of smug satisfaction.

The Bleak HotelA man is staring out the window of a bleak hotel room. He looks depressed. From the side, flying through the air, is a football. And you realize, If he’s depressed now, just wait until he gets hit in the head by that football.

The Repentant Cameron DiazCameron Diaz, her tear-streaked face lit by a candle, gazes wistfully at a photograph of me.

The Weary Peasants
Some tired-looking peasants are walking down a road at sunset, carrying sheaves of wheat. A nobleman in a fancy coach is coming up from behind. This creates drama, because you’re thinking, Why don’t those peasants get out of the way?

Self-Portrait with Startled Expression
The key here is to be able to constantly startle yourself as you’re painting. One option is to hire a professional startler, but that can get expensive. (The best ones are from Ireland.) Be sure to use opening the bill from your startler as a free startle.

The Death of Hercules
An old Hercules is being lifted into the air by angels. On the one hand, it makes you sad, but on the other you think, He’s still in pretty good shape.

Abstract White No. 1
This is a solid-white painting. You might be asking, “Is it O.K. to put in a fleck of color here and there?” I give up. Do whatever you want.

The BoxersTwo boxers are whaling away at each other in a boxing ring. But then you notice that the people in the audience are also fighting one another. And it makes you ask: Who are the truly barbaric ones here, the boxers or the spectators? Then you can turn the painting over and read the answer: “the boxers.”

The French LoversA French dandy is embracing his beautiful buxom lover in a lush, overgrown garden. This painting should be in the shape of binoculars.

Still-Life with RabbitA wooden table is chockablock with fruit, cheese, and a glass of wine. To one side is a dead rabbit, a dead pheasant, and a dead eel. And you’re thinking, Thanks for the fruit, but, man, take better care of your pets.

Still-Life with Beets, Cauliflower, Liver, and Large Glass of Beer
Just kidding. Only the beer.

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve
Biblical themes sell well. In this one, God hovers over Adam and Eve, kicking them out of the Garden of Eden. As they leave, in an aside to Eve, Adam imitates the expression on God’s face.

The Jolly Dancer

The scene is a flatboat on the Ohio River. A frontiersman who looks like me is doing his funny cowboy dance. Everyone seems to be enjoying the dance except for an insane simpleton who looks like my so-called friend Don. Crawling up behind Don is a big snapping turtle.

This can pretty much be anything. Just remember to make it good, and to put my name on it. ♦

April 18, 2009

Love Letter

Dear Orange Dress-

We just met and I am already in love with you. You are so good looking, I fear you might be too good for me. I thank my friend for encouraging me to go out and meet you. The minute I saw you, I knew you had to be mine. You are so right for me, and I can't wait to show you off at church and at football games. Oh the possibilities. You're so easy going and low maintenance. I wish the rest were like you.

It's true. Size does matter. You tell me that you are smaller than the others I have at home. I think you might be a liar, but I don't care. You still make me feel good about myself.

I must warn you. I have been known to be somewhat abusive with others, but I will do my best to be careful with you and not hurt you in anyway. If you could go ahead and help me out by not hanging on to other things that aren't good for you, that would be just great. That will keep us both looking our best.
I'm really looking forward to your long happy life. Thanks for just being you.

April 12, 2009

Easter in Small Town Alabama looks like...

To frame this up properly, I have to tell you. One of the things I love most about me is that I come from a tiny - and I mean TINY - small town in Alabama. You can count the number of traffic lights on one hand. Everybody knows everybody. When I was a mischievous teenager, my parents knew about the trouble I had gotten into, before I got home. Time stands absolutely still in places like this. It is virtually the same place that I left when I went away to college. But anyway...
We are nothing if not an informal bunch. I'm not sure if this is an indigenous trait to small town living or just my family. Presentation is completely lost on this lot. I am so mad at myself for not taking a picture of our Easter Sunday lunch spread to share with all of you. It was a mish-mosh of Tupperware bowls, re-used butter tubs, plastic utensils, plastic cups, paper napkins, and paper plates. Martha Stewart would have had a heart attack. The philosophy is essentially that, "fancy presentation doesn't add one lick to the taste, so why bother?!" Now if it DOES improve the taste, then it is absolutely worth it! Case in point: My brother got up several times throughout Saturday night slaving over his Big Green Egg smoking a turkey to perfection. This all makes perfect sense to me and my people.
Now, once all the worshipin', fellowshipin', and eatin' is done, the Easter Eggs have been dyed, hidden, hunted, and found - what's left to do? Why, launch said Easter Eggs down the street with a giant slingshot, of course. DUH!

See, you have to be resourceful in a small town to keep yourself entertained. My brother's neighbors have the right idea. Who knew slinging hard-boiled eggs through the neighborhood could be so fun?! Well, we did, obviously. I'm sorry for all you yankees and big city folk who have never had the pleasure of experiencing this little-known Easter tradition. It's a great time to catch up with the neighbors while displaying some athletic prowess - two things that Southerners LOVE to do - and if it involves two big pick-up trucks - well, then, ALL THE BETTER!

Hope y'all had as much fun on Easter as I did!

April 4, 2009

April 4, 2008

This was a VERY exciting day in my world. Something I never thought possible became official. Five faces I never thought I would see in the same place again...were in the same place again. There were rumors. Lots of them. There were rumblings. There was reason to believe in the weeks prior to April 4th. But that day it became real. Very real.

Now those of you who are reading this and are not New Kids on the Block fans, I am sure you are rolling your eyes at me right now. That's quite alright. I've been watching people roll their eyes at me for 20 years now because of this. I know it is impossible for you to understand. I know it doesn't make any sense to you. I am not embarrassed. I am proud. This has been one of the best years of my life, and it's because of them.

One year ago, I was lying on my sofa watching the Today Show...and waiting. They teased us the whole morning about this exciting announcement that was to come. It was not a very well kept secret, mind you. The plaza was FLOODED - flooded with torrential rain and RABID BLOCKHEADS! Then the time came...

That red curtain dropped and there they were. Once again. I was 13 years old again. For anyone who isn't a fan, I KNOW this will seem ridiculous, but I was overcome. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. All 5 of them. Together. Smiling and loving every minute of it. They talked about new music. They talked about a tour (THUD), and they talked about how great it was to be back with their friends...US INCLUDED. Just amazing.

I had no idea at the time, but that was the first day of one of the most AMAZING YEARS of my life. I have met some INCREDIBLE people who are now my friends for life. I have had some of my WILDEST DREAMS come true (pun intended, Blockheads, HA!)...twenty years in the making. These adventures have not been without some drama, mind you, but I wouldn't change a single solitary second of it.

Kristin and Brittany - So happy we met you in Florida!! You gals need to come to Atlanta, so we can hang out again soon!!

Jenni, Crystal, Meredith - You girls have given me some GREAT belly laughs. I'm so glad we have connected.

Tara - You are AWESOME! I love your accent more than I love my own. YOU ROCK! I must get up to NYC to spend more time with you soon!!

Tricie and Natalie - ATL!!! LET'S GET THIS!!! We will kick this Summer off RIGHT!!

Lisa - You have one of the kindest hearts I have ever encountered. I'm so happy we are friends. It does not surprise me in the least that everyone who meets you falls in love! MWAH!

ORIGINAL GUTTER GIRLS! Jenn, Whitney, Kristi, Sarah, Kerri, Myka, Sanya, Kat, Katie, Logan - Thank you so much for adopting me!!! I feel like I've known all of you for years! What a special group!! It has been such an incredible pleasure getting to know you. WHAT WHAT WORD! LNS!
Jenny and Stacey - GREENVILLE 4!!! I HEART YOU SO MUCH!! We have made some GREAT memories together. You are my sisters! I wish we lived closer so we could have slumber parties every weekend!!

Amanda - Girl. What to say?! You are one of the sweetest and most loyal people I have ever met. Thank you for all of your support when times were REALLY crazy. But mostly thank you for your amazing friendship now. I'm a lucky Blockhead to have a friend like you. I know there are MANY MANY good times ahead!! EEEEKKKK!!!!

And Ashley - WOW! What a year it's been! One year ago, I sent a PM to a girl from Atlanta who, like me, was making plans for an NYC trip in May. Little did I know what we had started! Can you believe all the things that have happened in the last year?! IT'S ALL HAPPENING! We have made some INCREDIBLE friends all while becoming best friends ourselves. Through our EXTREME highs and EXTREME lows (bipolar much?!), you know that I'll always be here for you. IT'S MILEY! You are my friend for life.

Last but not least...
Chanda - You certainly are not a NEW friend, but one of my oldest, dearest, and most treasured. You have been with me every step of this amazing journey, if not in person, in my heart. I would not have wanted to experience May 16th, 2008, with anyone else. It was the MOST PERFECT 24 hours EVER!!!! Thank you for being who you have always been to me!! I can't wait to be with you on MAY 29TH!!! Just as it should be.

I'm now at the end of another crazy week due, in no small part, to these 5 gentlemen. I have bought tickets this week for what, I am PRAYING, will NOT be the last ride of this crazy adventure. But if it is, at least I will know that I made the VERY BEST of it. I have absolutely NO REGRETS. And my love has been renewed for at least another 20 years!!!

LET'S GET THIS IN '09!!!!!!!!!!

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