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I’d like to thank the academy

May 21, 2010

I inspired one piece of artwork and won two awards in the past three days. Way to go, me.

OK, maybe “artwork” is a bit of embellishment. If you’re going to be a stickler for accuracy – fine. One of my many sad tales of woe led someone to scribble on notebook paper. And, upon further reflection, it was actually my ex-girlfriend’s ploy that prompted my pal to pick up a pen.  So, I suppose, she – not I – was his muse. While I’m backpedaling on that, I might as well confess right now that I *technically* didn’t win two awards. But I definitely won the same award twice. Except it isn’t so much an award as it is a chain letter distributed among bloggers.

So basically, I received a duplicate of a chain letter and in no way sparked an artist’s creativity.  Which is more or less what I said in the first place, sticklers.

After reading about how my ex-girlfriend Vicky broke my art by making comparisons between its title, “Rain Tree,” and the city of Braintree, Mass., which tragically conjures up memories of my stalker, my new friend over at The Other Side of the Mountain e-mailed me a drawing he doodled of an actual brain tree. Stay with me here. It’s a tree. With brains growing from its branches. For vegetarian zombies.

IT’S BRILLIANT. Now, every time I lay eyes on the stunning new artwork above my mantel, rather than my stalker, I think of ethically conscious, brain-eating zombies. Which is *so* much better. However, I found the sketch to be lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. And as it turns out, “je ne sais quoi” is actually French for “Teva and Isabel.”

"Brain tree with cats," the first of hopefully many collaborations between The Other Side of the Mountain and Alone ... with cats.

And now, on to my non-achievement achievements. The Pretend Writer and Midwestern Mama both have bestowed on me the Versatile Blogger award. Which means I must:

  • thank the person who gave you this award.
  • share seven things about yourself.
  • pass the award along to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.

If I may be serious for just one paragraph, I’d like to thank both of the lovely ladies who deemed me worthy of their recognition, as well as the other readers who have found their way to this blog. I started this site on a whim and hoped it might be a place for me to share the hilarity of my strange little life with friends. That I’ve somehow managed to attract an audience beyond my ex and my mother is such a pleasant surprise, and I’m flattered that so many folks now are gleaning pleasure from my comical pain.

I’m supposed to share seven things about myself. Instead, I’ve decided to disclose tidbits about my never-ending devotion to Elton John. Here goes:

1. I fell head over heels for Sir Elton John in 1994 when I was about 13. I did not have many friends. These two things might be related.

2. I probably turned my parents against Elton John because I played his music so much as a kid. And by probably, I mean there was definitely a time in their lives when they wished they’d go deaf or suffer severe ear trauma so they’d be spared listening to “Your Song” for the billionth time.

Why yes, this doll is in my possession.

3. When Elton John appeared on “Oprah” in the mid-1990s, my grandma, knowing how much I adored him, burned through a roll of film by taking photos of him on the TV screen. She was awesome. To be clear, the “she” in that last sentence was in reference to my grandma. But Oprah’s got it goin’ on, too.

4. I am the proud owner of several Elton John-themed dolls. I am insanely curious to know whether one in particular (which was ranked No. 9 on a list of the Top 10 Worst Dolls Ever) has a “hint of penis,” as my chum over at Bite the Bedbugs would say. But I’ll never know, because taking a collector’s item out of the box would be wrong. Duh.

5. At last count, I own 109 Elton John CDs. That does not include DVDs, nor the numerous albums by other musicians I’ve purchased because Elton John told me to. Stop judging.

6. I’ve attended about 40 Elton John concerts. At some point, I lost count. I typically try to sit in the first few rows, and I’ve seen him live in 11 states. And you thought my stalker was stalkery. I scribbled the list of states at work on my budget of stories going into today’s newspaper, and then inadvertently photocopied and distributed it to all my co-workers. Matt quizzically looked at me, then began to ask, “Jess, this list is of . . . ?” I interrupted him and nonchalantly responded, “The states I’ve traveled to see Elton John.” Then there was uncomfortable silence.

7. I had a date last night – the first in almost four months. You’re probably thinking this isn’t related to Elton John. And yet it is, because I used remarkable restraint by not telling her any of the aforementioned items.

Because the blogging community is so incestuous, many of my favorite blogs already have received the Versatile Blogger award. Which, as I’ve already discussed, is really just a chain letter masquerading as an award. And who doesn’t love chain letters? Me. I’ve made a half-assed attempt to pass this along to folks who were born winners but haven’t yet been saddled with this particular burden honor.


Across the Pond, Adhoc Mom, Best of Fates, Blogging Dangerously, Crazy with a Side of Awesome Sauce, Crymes Syndicate, Courtkneerawks, Humans Are Funny, Jo and the Novelist, Runaway Sentence, Sarah Is Faraway, Tangled Up in Lace, The Engagement Project, The Other Side of the Mountain and The Suniverse.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2010 1:46 PM


    I’m sure Elton would understand.

    But congrats nonetheless. Have some cake. On me.

  2. May 21, 2010 1:46 PM

    I LOVED the brain tree.

  3. May 21, 2010 2:26 PM

    I shall follow the rules accordingly. <3<3<3
    P.S. I had a similar love/problem with Melissa Etheridge.

  4. May 21, 2010 2:28 PM

    Sweet synergy :mrgreen:
    Since you’re on a roll, I think you should send a copy to Sir Elton. For inspiration.

  5. May 21, 2010 2:34 PM

    I used to listen to Empty Garden on a fucked up 8-track that would restart the song over and over and over while I obliviously played a video game. I think my mother may have gone insane. Correction: She is COMPLETELY insane but I think that this is the reason.

    Also, if I weren’t completely opposed to Chain Letters AND if I hadn’t already received this dubious award I might be pissed off that the hyperlink to my blog is effed up above.

    But I love you so I’m all forgiveness and light. PS Need date details later.

    • May 21, 2010 3:58 PM

      Sorry, love. I fixed the link.

      Also, “Empty Garden” is one of the greatest songs in the history of EVER, and I recommend you all buy it. Or download it. Or beam it up. Or do whatever it is kids do these days to procure new music.

  6. May 21, 2010 2:37 PM


    Also I am leaving the thing with EJ alone only becasue of a horrific stint of Motley Crue from ’83-’84.

  7. May 21, 2010 4:25 PM

    I love awards….love to ignore them, that is. It’s like here….I like you so much that I’m going to make you do something that makes you burn with a white hot rage.

    That artwork is inspired….of course, anything looks good with cats.

  8. May 21, 2010 4:26 PM

    I have enjoyed your blog since I discovered it. To be honest, it was the cat thing that attracted me (self proclaimed cat lady here) but it was YOU that kept me coming back.
    I totally understand the Sir Elton thing. Ive got a similar thing going with Eddie Vedder. When I say I would eat the corn out of that man’s shit……. I mean it !!

  9. May 21, 2010 5:07 PM

    I have only been reading your blog for a few weeks but I think it’s easy to say that I think I’ve found my blogging soul sister. I, too, am single and live with cats AND I have a rather large obsession with Elton John. Sadly, my blog is full of cat stories and life in general stories but I’ve rarely mentioned Elton. I’ve adored that man since the first time I heard “Your Song” back in the 70’s. I’ve seen him live so many times that I almost expect him to come out on to the stage and greet me personally. I had the pleasure of getting to meet him and was so stunned I couldn’t even speak to him.

    The first time I got married, “Your Song” was my wedding dance and when my daughter got married it was her first dance, too. When my dad died a medly of Elton John songs were played at his funeral.

    I used to live in Hollywood and I hung out at the same bar as Nigel Olsen but was too intimidated to ever approach him, although, one time he did say hi to me. And last but not least…one night I went running into a liquor store on the Sunset Strip, (Running because my friend was double parked), and I just about knocked over the man who was walk out of the liquor store. That man was Bernie Taupin. Those were the days….

    Anyway, I look forward to getting to know you…and I hope you check out by blog. I haven’t been doing much posting these days so I hope you will go back into the archives.

    🙂 Tami

  10. May 21, 2010 5:24 PM

    Brain tree + cats = full of win.

    The cats definitely were needed to make the picture complete. With the brains hanging from string (Or nerves? Vines? I’m not really sure how brains grow from trees. That’s what I get for avoiding taking a science lab in college.) I imagine a brain from a brain tree would be the perfect toy for curious cats (as well as the hungry vegetarian socially conscious zombies).

  11. May 22, 2010 1:20 AM

    Ahhh! I love you.

    Also: my zombie now has something to eat – she’s opposed to the taking of human life unless there is garlic bread.

  12. May 22, 2010 1:44 PM

    Wow…you have an unhealthy obsession with the John….

  13. May 22, 2010 6:11 PM

    That is the most awesome art every, and now I want a brain tree for my cats to sit under instead of an ugly wooden thing covered in carpet scraps. They’d love to do some brain smacking.

    • May 22, 2010 6:12 PM

      Why did my right index finger add a ‘y’ to ‘ever?’ Stupid finger.

  14. Danna permalink
    May 23, 2010 2:04 AM

    I had a similar obsession with Ani Difranco but my unhealthy obsession tempered into a more subdued fondess in my early thirties. There’s hope for you yet.

  15. May 23, 2010 1:36 PM

    i’m a fan of that je ne c’est quoi.

  16. May 24, 2010 10:31 AM

    Well, I’m here because of Kyk, and I just want to say thank you. I have a similar obsessi… er … appreciation for Kenny Rodgers. Except, to my knowledge, there are no Kenny Rodgers’ themed dolls. But there should be. Minus the *hint of penis* of course. Dear God.

  17. May 24, 2010 5:29 PM

    Yes! Was wondering if I would ever be awarded such an illustrious honor. And now that you’ve made it sound so special, I am at a loss for words. Thank you, thank you, everyone. Please, take your seats. Please.

    Also, your grandma sounds pretty awesome. I’m imagining her wearing a housecoat while snapping photos of the TV.

    Also, I want to hear more about your date.

    Also. I would absolutely wear the same outfit as Doll Elton.

  18. May 24, 2010 10:01 PM

    Ah. I am still in love with the rocking Elton. I did a powerpoint project on him for my history of fashion class.

    The seventies version of Elton, you know, the sparkly Dodgers uniform, the feather adorned costumes, the ridiculous glasses. Oh how I loved him.

    Did Bob Mackie design anything for him? Because I met Bob Mackie and TOOK a picture with him. Because I love glitter and sequins and tacky shit.

    My design director told me I had horrible taste and referred to Bob Mackie as Bob Tacky. He was butt plug of assholerry.

    My old design director, I’m sure Elton has his moments but I’d like to think he’s a kind soul really.

  19. May 24, 2010 10:05 PM

    Hey, forgot the real reason I was commenting. Do you know about The Sneeze and his tree brains? Look it up if not.

  20. May 27, 2010 5:33 AM

    Super great post! Really.

  21. May 27, 2010 1:52 PM

    i won!! and am so far behind in my blog reader. thanks a lot, real job.

  22. May 29, 2010 7:49 PM

    Such a massive relief to know that the cartoon doesn’t add ten pounds! Love JOURNEY. I married a man who is eight years older than me. . which means I have a lot of Billy Joel in my life. He doesn’t always appreciate things like Journey. . but he’s coming around. But a love of Billy Joel is his biggest flaw so I guess I shouldn’t complain right? Or should I? Please advise.

    • June 3, 2010 12:44 PM

      I approve of, and even encourage, a love of Billy Joel. Although the Piano Man tends to marry underage girls, he’s rather talented and endearing. However, the love should be conditional. The condition being an acknowledgment that Elton John is infinitly better. Because Rocket Man vs. Piano Man? Please. We’re talking about a ROCKET. And who doesn’t love rockets? (Lesbians) No one.

  23. May 29, 2010 7:56 PM

    I am (and I’m sure Tonya my partner in adhocmomness will chime in soon) honored and humbled to see our blog mention in the same post as your Elton John dolls penis. When we began this venture I would never have imagined anything so beautiful would come of it. You are a dream weaver!


  1. Put Me In You! ( Cont. ) « Across the Pond

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