Thursday, May 17, 2007

J. Day Countdown, Day 8: Art, Food, and Amy Sedaris

Today's Birthday-Related Quote:

"It started with a dedication.
'Lost in admiration - Happy Birthday - I'm forever yours.'"
- Robert Smith
"Strange Attraction"

And now today's message:

Hidey ho there, Wiltzaroos, and welcome once again to the 2007 edition of the annual J. Day Countdown.

During yesterday's installment of the countdown, we took a look at my Amazon.Com Wishlist and discussed various material things which you and your loved ones might purchase for me in honor of my birthday (which, in case you've forgotten, takes place in just 8 days - May 25th.)
Today, however, we're gonna take things in a new direction by discussing gift ideas for the financially-strapped and visually creative.

A lot of my friends, after all, are real artsy-types with a variety of talents. Amanda Nalley is a great photographer. Jen, Lee, Matt, and Victoria do awe-inspiring artwork. Mike is a musical genius. Keith has managed to stay out of jail in spite of numerous breaches of the law...The list goes on and on. And sometimes, as we're all well-aware, creative people don't like to do things in a conventional manner. Doing what's expected of them makes them feel trapped and predictable. The idea of giving someone a card and a gift is downright repugnant to them (in some cases, let's be honest, it's because they're struggling artists and just can't afford it.) So, what are these people supposed to do when J. Day rolls around? Should they just suck it up and break out ye olde debit card in my honor?....Well...Yeah. I mean, that wouldn't KILL them or anything. We ALL have to take one for the team every now and then. But, like anyone who knows what life is all about, I have to say that I do have a very special place in my heart for anyone who takes time to make something for me...Not that I would know very much about that sort of thing. (Watch closely and you'll see some old bitterness start to surface.)

Back in high school, for example, Matt did these really cool, cartoon-style drawings of virtually everyone we know. They were awesome, and I always asked him for copies of them, even if I didn't like the people they were drawings OF. So one day I broke down and asked the obvious question: "So, Matt, when are you gonna draw a picture of ME?" To which Matt responded, "Well, I WANT to, but it's hard, because you don't really have a lot of well-defined facial features. You don't even have any lines in your face." ...I've never really figured out what that means, exactly. All I know is that Matt never drew a picture of me. It's a bit of a sore point. :(

So you can imagine how happy I would be, my dear friends, if you took a little time out and drew a sketch of your very favorite Gemini (that's me.) Oh boy, I can already see the sarcastic drawings I'm gonna get in response to this request. Or, if you're not a visual artist, why not write a song about me, or even a haiku? Why not jot down some blank-verse poetry or do an interpretive dance to a Smashing Pumpkins song? Why not take pictures of things that remind you of me?...The possibilities are truly limitless.

One of my favorite things to receive, by the way, is food - another form of artwork. This is perhaps the only area of my life where I am genuinely Southern. Yes, bring me a casserole or a plate of food covered in tin foil and you'll find yourself the proud owner of a faithful friend for life. (FYI: I have a special predilection for cupcakes.)

I'm also in love with Amy Sedaris (I'm so ready for Shrek the Third tomorrow!), which is good news for you, seeing as how she just HAPPENS to have written a book on throwing great parties and making great food. It's called I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, and you can find it at your local bookstore.

Buy it. Read it. Rest assured that the combination of food and Amy Sedaris is a source of boundless joy. Then follow the recipes and make me something tasty for J. Day.

And when is J.Day, dear readers?...

May 25th. That's right.

Thanks for reading.

For more info on my future wife and her brilliant book, visit:


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