Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!

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Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! is the title of a book by Lynda Barry, and is also the reward you’ll get toward the end of this post in return for slogging through a discussion of domestic tedium.

But trust me, domestic tedium beats the alternatives. Among the Personal, the Professional, and the Political, the Personal is the clear winner today. In professional news, my library is grappling with some volatile local issues. I don’t feel comfortable right now talking publicly about the different tensions at play. As for political news, I am not going to add to the cacophony of voices commenting on the shootings in Arizona, other than to make a few terse observations:

1. Despite being a bleeding-heart leftwing liberal douchebag, I do not spend my energy complaining about our constitutional right to bear arms. I’ll never own a gun and I would prefer to be in a society where guns were rare, but the Founding Fathers were right then and they’re right now: the citizenry deserves a chance to protect itself against tyranny. More germane to most folks’ lives, the citizenry deserves a chance to protect itself from common criminals. But if the freaking sheriff of freaking Pima County, Arizona, thinks they need tougher gun laws, then maybe it’s worth considering. I’m all in favor of tougher gun control. Weapons for hunting, fine. A pistol for self defense, fine. Supercharged guns designed expressly for the purpose of slaughtering a lot of people, maybe not such a good idea.

2. The political tone these past few years has been hateful, far too hateful. Whether this had any bearing on the Arizona tragedy or not, the fact remains that media spokespeople, politicians, and ordinary citizens have allowed themselves to descend to ugly rhetoric. Dissent and disagreement is fine. Hatemongering and violent rhetoric is ugly and harmful.

Now then! The big news here is that Santa Mom and Santa Dad got me an Indian slow cooker cookbook. Thus far everything I’ve made has been delicious, though there was a bit of an awkward situation when I made the garlic-ginger eggplant. Since there were very few peppers to choose from at the grocery store, I opted for the habaneros, and since I didn’t know how many to use, I arbitrarily included six. It was scrumptious, understand, absolutely scrumptious, but though I gladly engaged with the spicy heat as I dined, I was somewhat less enthused to engage with the spicy heat the next day after it had been thoroughly processed. I’m trying not to be too awfully graphic here, but suffice it to say that habanero peppers pack a punch when they enter the body as well as when they leave.

In the vein of being domestically productive, I decided to make soap over the weekend. Besides, the soap bar in the bathroom was down to a tiny little nub. I melted my starter block, added the scent and some coloring, and poured it into the molds. A few hours later I had some lovely new soap bars to call my own. I also had three– not one, not two, but three!– irretrievably ruined kitchen items. Don’t worry: next time I make soap I think I’ll be able to avoid property damage.

The plastic Tarheels cup was no big loss. The cracked food storage thingy was more irritating, because it was part of a set, but oh well. The cracked ceramic mug was a catastrophe. The mug was uncommonly large and it had a nice heft and I used it all time.

So the next day I went to the thrift store and found a suitable replacement. I also found a garment, a black sleeveless dress with a hint of red trim and classy silver striping. It’s very retro, the sort of thing I imagine that Jacqueline Kennedy wore back when she was Jackie Bouvier. I was pleased to sport it at work. I was not so pleased when a colleague referred to it as a jumper.

A jumper, if I am not mistaken, is a hopelessly unfashionable garment worn by elementary school students and spinsters. Accompanied by comfortable shoes, it is an unflattering bit of boxy cloth made either of corduroy or thin cotton. In the case of cotton, the fabric is inevitably patterned with large garish flowers. The jumper is in the same stylistic category as the cardigan and the loafer: sensible and dowdy.

I prefer to think that my new acquisition is a short sleeveless dress. Alternately, another colleague recommended that I refer to it as a pinafore. I like that, quite a lot. For that matter, I like my new pinafore quite a lot, though I discovered that it does not work well with body suits. The visual ensemble is classy, but it does not facilitate the quick removal of one’s drawers. If one is, say, suffering the ill effects of habanero peppers, one cannot quickly take care of business. One must unzip the pinafore to be able to shrug down the body suit. The same effect cannot be achieved through creative wriggling in a confined space, though the unintended effect of repeatedly flushing the automatic toilet will certainly be achieved.

Regardless, it is a pretty piece of clothing, and I am glad to have found it at the thrift store. I am just glad in general that I went to a thrift store, because this evening, in another act of attending to domestic chores, I paid nearly six hundred dollars in car maintenance bills. I console myself by remembering that the bills would be much worse if I didn’t pay for routine preventative work. Still though. Ouch. I guess this is what happens when your car turns 40,000 miles old.

And now, to thank the reader for enduring all the domestic talk of food and soap and clothes and cars, I will share a picture of a naked lady:

This is a painting by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. This is my favorite picture of a naked lady ever ever ever. What I don’t know about art could fill entire museums (and, in fact, does) but I think she is just gorgeous. I love the body hair and the relaxed posture and the beauty and the eroticism. I first discovered her when she served as cover art of the Jean Rhys novel After Leaving Mr. MacKenzie (I worship Jean Rhys, by the way) and then, in following her trail, learned that she was but one piece in a series of reclining nudes. Apparently being nude is fatiguing and requires people to recline a lot.

I have been remiss in posting lately, what with holidays and travel and all that, but I hope to resume my more-or-less-weekly posts, posthaste. I cannot promise that the content will be any more exciting than what I offered today, and sometimes we’ll all have to struggle through without pictures of ladies wearing nothing, but at least I won’t post pictures of ladies wearing jumpers.


7 responses »

  1. Jess, a semiautomatic handgun is just a normal pistol. It's what cops have on their belt, what we've had in the US since the turn of the 20th century. It's fearmongering to turn it into something sinister, although the extended magazines he had were illegal (and sensibly so) until 2004.Also, the naked lady is pretty cool. I think girls are more beautiful natural than extruded from cosmetic hell.

  2. A lovely naked lady indeed, posted by a lovely lady who may or may not have been naked when she did so.

  3. But it would be a good blog even without the coda of nakedladyness.

  4. Ianalybiac: Whoops. Thanks for the correction. "Semiautomatic" sounds ominous, though, and in my weak defense, I did slightly research the term before I used it. Anyway, I revised the post slightly. All better now.

  5. Ian: I was wearing pajamas, blankets, and two cats.

  6. Having a good time catching up on your blog. Lynda Berry – I think you're the first person I've ever "met" that knows who Lynda Berry is. I love her Naked Ladies piece. I have her cd in my car now – she's a hoot to listen to while driving.

  7. the lesbrarian

    Matt Groening calls Lynda Barry the funk queen of the universe– so in case you know the creator of the Simpsons, I'm actually the second person you've met who knows of Lynda.


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