At some point before Thanksgiving, Jack asked me to run to the store. “Would you pick up some dry cranberries?” he asked. Huh, I thought to myself, dry cranberries. I wonder what he’s going to do with those? I pictured him dumping a bag of whole cranberries into a turkey crevasse. Maybe something magical would happen to them while the turkey cooked. Maybe you dumped a bag of dry cranberries into a bird and three hours later you scooped out magical elf nipples bursting with protein, vitamin C, and sexual fulfillment. Who knew? Jack was always watching cooking shows.
On Thanksgiving morning Jack started putting together his cornbread stuffing. “Goddamnit, I forgot to get pignoli nuts. Oh well, we’ll do without. Where are the dried cranberries?” I opened the refrigerator triumphantly. “Here!” I said, brandishing a bag of cranberries that I’d bought at Target. He looked at them, then he looked at me. “I said dried cranberries. You know, those little things that look like raisins.”
“What? No! You said dry cranberries so I bought you — these –” I was still holding the bag of cranberries. “They’re sort of dry.”
And this is why I’m not allowed to cook Thanksgiving dinner, or very much dinner at all. It’s better this way, really.
Last Friday was the awful day of the Newtown, CT school shooting, so I did the only thing that was within my power to do. I took a couple of kids to the zoo, bought them some nachos, and did a little drawing by the fountain.
Here is what I was looking at:
At some point I’m going to start adding color to drawings, and this would be a nice one to redraw and make pretty with the pencils and the paint and the whatnot. Art stuff!
This woman was not at the zoo, I drew her later, over the weekend, for a person who wanted a “sultry goddess.” Eupraxia embodies the spirit of well-being, which I felt we all ought to call on in times like this. People kept telling me not to put boobs in their drawings, but I felt like anyone asking for a goddess would be up for some boobs, so there they are. BOOBS. TWO OF THEM. Jackson is currently fascinated by the fact that both Hitler and Napoleon had only one testicle. Today I told him that Ann Boleyn had three breasts and that blew his mind. In looking it up I find that that’s not strictly true, she may just have had a supernumerary nipple. Also, a third breast is known as an accessory breast. Oh, don’t mind me, that’s just where I keep my phone and a pack of gum.
This one was for a friend who wanted herself portrayed in a drawing with the actor Ryan Reynolds. Underneath the color copies of friend and the Reynolds’s actual faces you will find terrible, bad, never to be gazed upon not-likenesses of these two beautiful human faces. I can draw fake, imaginary peoples’ faces, but for the love of all that is holy I can’t do an actual, recognizable likeness yet. This will require sketchbook time, and that is time I do not have! Not when I’m busy preparing priceless works of art like this.
Fortunately, a different donor gave me a somewhat less demanding demand for a likeness, and I ended up sending him this:
I didn’t want to ink it because I knew I’d just make it worse, when in fact I’d made a C-effort at copying the photo he sent me. The guy in the photo is sort of winking like a pirate, whereas in my drawing he appears to be flattening his nose against the glass of the frame. My hope is that he’ll find it hysterically funny, and then we can forget the whole thing ever happened.
This next one was for a person who said “surprise me,” so I found a quote on the Internet and prayed to God it was attributed to the actual person who said it.
I actually did this one the day before the Newtown shooting, otherwise I probably would have picked something else, but what are you going to do. Mae West walked the earth to shock us all in the best possible way, so I’m going to let her have that.
This last one was for someone who wanted her name in fancy lettering, but rather than post the whole thing, which she might not want me to do, I thought I’d just show off the capital B, which surprised me with how much I liked it. The end.
If you’re interested, I wrote a post over at Babble about kids and violence called Turn Off the Gun Porn.