Saturday, December 31, 2005

Best of A Sparkle in the Jar 2005

In two weeks, A Sparkle in the Jar will have it's one year anniversary!

I am so glad I decided to jump in to the blogging world.
With the constant encouragement of Lori Lyn,
and 168 posts now under my belt,
I am most happily looking forward to starting year number two.

What's really funny is I never thought I had that much to say.
Well, apparently I can't shut up, is more like it.

Best of all, not only did I gain a lot of fun
and interesting new friends
in far away places by sharing my silly stories,
but by doing so,

I also improved my severely lacking writing skills
and rounded out my limited vocabulary,
at least marginally.

Although, I must admit
I still have not discovered a word that can replace awesome.
Awesome will always be my favorite word.

Yes, forever.
You can even put it in my epitaph:

"Here lies Anessa.
She said it was AWESOME."

So, **ahem,**
as I was saying,
I am SO glad I took the time
to start a blog.

And now, just for the fun of it, and purely in my humble opinion only,
I proudly present to you...


My Favorite Posts from A Sparkle in the Jar 2005:
Story About Snow
The Green Eyed Tizzy
Saint in a Smock
The Crushing of Janet
Time Heals All things...Even the Jiggles
Polish People In Paducah
KISS Flipped the Tiny Switch
The Girl fromMicrowavania
And for Chad and Shay, A Very Short Screen Play

Okay, hope you have a AWESOME New Year's Eve,
('Cause it's the most awesome word in the dictionary, you know)
and I'll see you in 2006...

Lots of big changes to come...stay tuned!

Friday, December 30, 2005

One of my favorite NYE, ever.

We can't figure out what year this was taken...
but oh, I wish I could tell you all the stories from this night...
However, I cannot
because either;

#1) you simply would not believe the bizarre true tales of this particular evening
#2) you may die of laughter.

So, without giving it all away...
the night unfolded something like this:

Mark was served a "Bennington" by Chad,
which ended up with some girl accusing Mark of spying on her in the bathroom,
then a fight almost broke out.
Did I mention we all had pink Barbie microphones given to us by Lori..
which we never put down
for the whole night?

I woke up New Year's Day with two black eyes from falling on my nose about 3am,
and then promptly lost the coin toss with Mark
which found me driving us both back to Louisville
while he snored like a freight train and
I tried to hear the radio over the throbbing of my face.

A rough one indeed, but I still laugh when I see this photo.
Ah...carefree youth....
Thank goodness I am more responsible now.
; )

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas!

This Narnia rap is truly AWESOME..
Funny, funny, stuff:

Also, I should tell you, if you haven't seen Narnia, it is pretty cool and worth the $7.00 spent...

Centaurs, unicorns, cute kids,
and an Ice Queen with dreads.....

Yes, all sorts of fantastical and magical things,
and although there is a Christian slant/subtext going on throughout the movie,
I don't think it is too specific,
over overwhelming for non-Christian viewers.

In fact, I may have missed this message altogether
if everyone wasn't talking about it beforehand so much.

So, don't let the hype from stop you from going to see the movie.

Because if you like centaurs, unicorns, cute kids,
and Ice Queens with dreads.

If that sort of thing floats your boat.
You will leave quite satisfied, I'm sure.

On a vaguely related note...
I am making a prediction that the Unicorn will be making a huge fashion comeback very soon.

Yeah, I said it.

The unicorn.

Actually, I made this forecast last year,
but I think the recent release of Narnia
has put the magical beast on the fast track to design houses all over the world.

Not to mention, I saw a table full of unicorn books
at the book store last week.

I'm fairly certain, It is only a matter of time.

Did I mention that I kept my extensive unicorn collection of collectibles from the 1980's fully in tact?

Oh yes.... I did.

It's gonna rock when Mark lets me put them back out again!
(You will agree to that, right honey???)

Here's wishing you that which makes you happiest this holiday..
even if it is really tacky....
Much love from and always.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Kiss for Criss

Today the Cat Man turns 60.
Peter turns 60

I have never quit loving him.

Even though I didn't continue learning to play the drums...

And after years
of whispered, broken promises
made to the poster I had on my bedroom wall....

Yes, even after all the secret kisses
I planted square on his papery, shiny silver nose..
and sometimes ruby red lips...
leaving traces of Lip Smackers I was sure would give me away....

Even today, as decades have passed....
I have have become a mid-aged woman...

I still feel deeply connected
to the drummer...
with the whiskers...

Especially, when I hear Beth
on the oldies station.

So in honor of this quiet man
who chose to be a cat...

Instead of a demon....
or an alien from space...
or a sex pot star child...

I have made a birthday card
with love
and deep admiration
and photoshop.

Birthday Card for Peter Criss

ps: That is not Peter Criss singing Beth in the MP3 above..
it is a fellow from Kiss Forever, a rather impressive Hungarian tribute band.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Germantown Rocks

My sister, Carrick, and her girlfriend Alice live in a cute little neighborhood called Germantown, in Louisville.
It's a very welcoming and down to earth section of town with tons of adorable little shotgun homes and a little neighborhood bar on just about every other corner.
Recently we had a chance to catch up with them and visit Check's Cafe.
It was an awesome scene.
Patrons ages ranged from 7 years old to about 85.
Everyone was dancing and having fun, the music was live, and the beers were cold.
Here's a glimpse into our night as the two person band (that played about 15 different instruments) brought down the house with Devil Went Down to Georgia:


Wednesday, December 14, 2005


You can get into some with these talking heads.
They will say whatever you type into the box.'s creepy and dangerous.

Bad Ass Bunny.

The first edition of this self portrait
sold to some dear friends and new collectors of my artwork.Crop the bunny.I had a sold sticker on it at the Cinderblockopening, much to the disappointment of several prospective buyers.

So here is another. I used the same photograph, but tried to make it have it's own style.
Different, but based on the same image.

I love how it turned out. I love both of them, actually, for very different reasons.
This one may be coming to Louisville this weekend for a quick business transaction.

Kickin' it out in the studio, y'all! Up until 3AM last night.
I am in love with my job!

Independent Woman.

Oh man, I forgot how much I loved THIS.
Joel's brain rocks my world.

Here's his very funny blog:

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Oops, I did it again.

I know I promised my hairdresser no more DIY dye jobs....



you see what happened this evening.....

Oops, I did it again....

Sorry, Lady K, but aaaahhhh.....
it does feel good to be bleach blonde again.

Not to mention, it will look just fabulous with a sparkly NYE tiara!

Monday, December 12, 2005

The final stretch...

I will be working on this nonstop until tomorrow morning...
Then, if no changes are requested,
(which one always hopes)
it will be ready for my client to give
as a surprise X-mas gift to some unsuspecting grandparents.
What a great gift , eh?

Here's the main reference photo--
(Printed out on paper so I can get paint all over it.)

Overall view...
It is 40" across oil on heavy duty stretcher bars.

close up of Heather
eyelash queen
I'm still working on the little blonde's facial details.
She looks like she's about to bust out a good laugh....too cute.

Please feel free to critique me if you feel you need to.
Be nice, though.
Constructive criticism only, if you please.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

For the Love of Meatballs Three!

When did Patrick Dempsey become such a hottie?

I mean, last I knew of him he looked a kinda like this....


But as I was watching Grey's Anatomy
for the first time last night...

He walked into a patient's room looking like this:

Only he was in scrubs with a stethoscope...


What a transformation....
Instant crush.
So...Is it getting hot in here, or what?

Hoilday Skirt for Your Viewing Pleasure

Christmas Tree Skirt
(Complete with a few kitty hairs.)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Debbie Does Christmas

(If you are in really good mood today, do not read this post...
because I'm about to get all Debbie Downer up in here....)

So...looks like you are still reading...

Here' the dealio:

I don't know what is wrong with me this year,
but I just can't get into the spirit of things.

I'm not down in the dumps by any means...
in fact, I have been laughing and having fun more than ever...
Living with Mark Martin-Ferrell-Farmer will do that to you.

I just don't feel like dealing with all the overblown hoo-ha that comes along with Christmas anymore...
Sometimes I can play along and get caught up in things,but quite honestly,
it just ain't happening for me this year.

Sadly, Christmas has become something I don't really dig it anymore.

I have been trying to change my bleak outlook on the upcoming festivities, but not very successfully.
I did put up one little red aluminum tree, about 15 inches tall, unlit and undecorated.
It is mildly festive.

I saw it looking pitiful, peeking out from a box in the basement when I was rummaging around looking for a a winter scarf.
Being a sucker for all things pitiful,
I plucked it from the box, gave it a swift fluffing
and plopped it on the sideboard in the TV room.
It is attractive and I do love red sparkly things.

And, I did wear a very cute christmas tree skirt to a Kiwanas Club silent auction Tuesday night.

Also, I suppose, I did eat half a extra-large tray of baklava yesterday.
Consuming about 10 medium to gargantuan-sized pieces,
starting with my morning coffee and rekindling the sugar fueled buzz,
every 2-4 hours until I went to bed.

Curiously restless, I might add.

So...let's see....
Red tree, Christmas skirt, and gorging myself into full sugar-zombie mode on baklava.
Does that constitute the holiday spirit?

Not so much.

Want to know my theory?
The theory of how I got so blase' and grossed out about a holiday I used to absolutely LOVE?

Working in retail management.
Pure and simple.
It really has twisted my outlook on any given holiday.

Being so caught up in promoting overtly hoggish American consumerism
and garish commercialism of so called sacred holidays has done a number on me.

And I was part of it for over a decade.

I feel like I have personally dumped some seriously bad holiday mojo into the world and I feel guilty about it.

I'm telling you, was right there in the aisles in my pearls and blazer...
Tempting and sometimes strong-arming people to buy things they didn't need.
Tempting them to dig deep into their pocketbooks until it hurt in the name of Christmas.

Just so I could make my sales quota, you know.
And to get that raise that year after year,
never turned out to be as much as promised.

I can take a little comfort in the fact, that at least I was selling art for the past few seasons.
I do feel good about that.
Art is very important, and worthwhile.
Especially in my opinion.
Although, I must admit, I may have influenced people to buy some art
solely because it was a big ticket item,
instead of sending them home with the the inexpensive piece that truly moved them.

That is bad.

For many years I was schlepping away in a time warp at the evil Mall of Saint Matthew's.
(Get the irony on that one? Well the crowds were biblical, at least.)

And while I did have some serious fun working there,
and remember crouching behind racks almost urinating myself from laughter with the other visual folks on several occasions.
Winkie, Auguste and Steve...Vinnie, Mark....

I was there, encouraging sickening behavior.
Selling and merchandising goods that weren't even made in this country.

I was your pusher.

I pushed fur ripped off the backs of scared shitless live foxes and electrocuted baby bunnies.

I pushed junk made in sweatshops by unfortunate 6 year olds that couldn't even dream of wolfing down a big, fat bowl of Cheerios to start their 16 hour work day.

I pushed purely over-priced, poorly made glittery junk,
drivel in red packaging,
making promises of happy holidays just so your would just put said item
in your cart as an add-on item
to drive up the bottom line of your receipt.

So, you see...
Having been on the other side of retail,
I see shoppers pulling out their plastic to buy such things and it makes me sick to my stomach.

I want to pull the veil from their eyes.
Slap their faces and say,
"Wake up. Look what you have in your cart."

What is this saying about you, about us as Americans?
We are living up to the disgustedly amused whispers of other countries.

I don't mean to be so critical,
but do you really need a $450 while silk blouse?
It will last you maybe one dinner out.
Then you get drunk and spill red wine on it and ruin it.


So many needy people in the world.
So many needy folks our own communities.

Yet we continue to buy carloads of crap we really don't need,
wrap it up in shiny paper and pretend that we are in the giving spirit.

Pretend we are charitable even.

How did we get to this point?
And does it bother anyone but me?
Have I become mentally ill?
Am I the odd man out here?

Why must I deck the halls with piss and vinegar this year?

I want to say that am guilty of everything that I have mentioned above.
Except the $450 blouse...
I would never buy an expensive white shirt.
I am much too clumsy for that.
However, I am an ignorant, glossy-eyed, sucker for cheap twinkles in red paper.

I also want to say that I realize this is going on
because have been one of those people that makes me sick.
Im the one standing there in line at the Super Wal Mart.
The hugest sin of all,
taking the hook with the rest of the drones.
Staring into my cart with little flashes of clarity that make me think,
"What in the hell am I doing here?"

Yet, with all of the above said,
I will do it again this year.

I know I will.

Can you imagine if I showed up at the the family gatherings with with a bunch of little envelopes?
Here, dear cousin _________.
I know you bought me a fabulous new pair of cashmere socks, and will gratefully accept them from you,
Now here is your gift, I donated $25 to United Way in your name.

How would that go over?

My sisters and have talked about it and I are doing exactly that this year.
But it still leaves a lot of shopping to do for people that are honestly quite happy with what they already have.

I really do hate to be so jaded and Grinch-like.
I have been accused of being Pollyanna-ish many times in my life,
so this is not really not my style.

Hopeful and optimistic are words to describe me.
Not grumbly and conspiracy-minded.

At an attempt to make good of my ill feelings I will try to warp this up with a point.


I guess my point is this:

If you are lucky enough to be surfing around on a computer and reading this,
(Wow, are you actually still reading this???)
in a warm library or maybe even your home,
you are doing much better than many folks
on our great planet Earth these days.

And while I don't honestly care how much you spend on your families and friends this year,
in the name of Baby Jesus....
I simply hope you to take a minute to be thankful for what you have.

How blessed you truly are.
How fortunate we all are.

Then, upon this reflection
and taking stock of your own financial position,
if you can manage help someone less fortunate, please do.

Truly give of yourself.
That's all I'm saying.

If you don't trust the system go downtown and give a homeless person $50.
And before you say it...who gives a frick if he buys a $20 hit of crack and some Wild Irish Rose?
It's what he wants....and it's Christmas.

Sure he may not need it...
and it may not be practical..
but exactly how practical is that mountain materialism you are sitting in the midst of?

Let's all try to be just a little less piggish this year and see how it feels.

Let's hug people and wish them love and happiness and good cheer... and really mean it.
Let's give a little more and expect a little less.

After all, I'm pretty sure that's a little closer to what Jesus had in mind.
It seems a lot of you are still wondering as I am still seeing the bracelets and bumper stickers.

Of course, this is all just my opinion.

I had to get it off my chest...a mad rant and a desperate plea from your favorite Pollyanna.

That's that....for what it's worth.

See you at the Mall!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Very Van Sant

If you like Gus Van Sant's arty fly-on-the-wall style of filmmaking, such as Elephant, His recent film
Last Days will not disappoint you.

This fiction style film meanders about aimlessly,
lingers uncomfortably on strange distractions,
and never attempts to explain who the multiple nameless characters are.

It is quite obvious, that Gus's goal here is not to keep you entertained.
Rather, he successfully presents to you
a blurred-together, bleak and quite possibly accurate interpretation
of a tortured, talented and largely disconnected soul.

last days

I loved it. Mark called it an absurd waste of his time.
See for yourself.

It doesn't hurt that this little cheesecake is the leading man, either.
 hot mike

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Freaky Art Photo

Art Photo
Cool new tees on my Cafe Press page, and just in time for the Holidays!

This one features a creatively staged photo taken by yours truly when I was 6 years old. It is too funny, don't you agree?
Why I had my uncle pose with Ernie the hand puppet, the world may never know...
But it's the perfect stocking stuffer!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Love it more than ever...

originally uploaded by Anessa.
I did this painting several years ago for some very good friends of ours in Tennessee.

It is a portrait of their awesomely sweet and good tempered Retriever named Ruby.

I recall being so critical of my skills when I was painting it...

I was never quite satisfied with some of the very small details. I was even apprehensive to present it to them when it was finished.

Recently though, during a fun, one night
weekend visit to their home....
The painting appeared to be more beautiful than ever to me.

Funny how my feelings have changed, as time goes by.

Now, looking at this portrait in their home,
hanging with care on the wall...
I am proud of it.

In fact, I love it ...
and I can't even remember what was bothering me about it.

Maybe I love more now
because of my love and respect for Ruby as a patient and wonderful old girl with whiskers of gray.

Maybe I love it more now
because it reminds me of doing something I love more than most anything else in the world.

Maybe I love it more now
because this painting has been looked at
lovingly for many years and has absorbed a whole bunch of positive love vibes.
Maybe is sending those vibes back at me.
Maybe that's what I feel.

For whatever reasons, it is a good thing.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Keeping up with the Joneses.

You have GOT to check out this holiday light display.

Quite a production, er, orchestration, I should say.
One thing is for sure, this family has most definitely raised the yuletide bar in the their neighborhood.
This one will be hard to top.

Check it out, HERE

(and thanks, Dad, for sending me the link.)


I googled my own name and came up with THIS .


Those horns look like they hurt.
Like two little constant headaches.
I'm sure I would bump mine on things.

I would venture to say those whiskers might drive me nuts, too.
Um, yeah, probably not a good candidate for the whiskers, either.
Although, as I get older I believe my shifting hormones are trying their hardest
to have me sprout handsome suckers like that.....
from my CHIN....
For the love of God... I mean, really.


I suppose I am pretty much speechless about this inky duo..
but I sure do admire their vision.
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