frog in my throat

January 31, 2008



To have a frog in one’s throat is to have a temporary hoarseness caused by phlegm in the back of the throat.

Of all the animal idioms out there, the origin of this one seems pretty obvious. Anyone hoarse with a cold or allergies will typically sound or croak, pretty much like a frog, right? So, duh, that’s a no-brainer. However, with a little digging around I found there is a wee bit more to the story.

According to The Phrase Finder

It used to be thought that if you drank water from a pond that had frogspawn in it, a frog could live and hatch out in your throat, which naturally would block your voice. Quacksalvers (that’s the traditional English equivalent of snake oil merchants) used to have a scam whereby the quack’s stooge used to pretend to be so afflicted; the quack would administer his medicine, lo and behold the stooge would cough up a live frog and “regain his voice”, and all the gullible peasants would buy this wonderful cure. For this reason, an obstruction in the throat is known as a “frog”.

Interesting story, if not exactly full of detailed information, like: What period in time did all this take place?

So with a little more digging I found this:

quack·sal·ver [ kwák sàlvər ] (plural quack·sal·vers) noun
Definition: quack: somebody who falsely claims to have medical or other skills or qualifications ( archaic )

[Late 16th century. < obsolete Dutch, “salve-hawker” < Dutch kwaken “quack, prattle” + zalf “salve”]

So, there you go.

A term likely originated by quacks in an effort to sell snake oil in the late 16th century.

Sound familiar?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make myself a nice hot spot o’ tea. I seem to have an amphibian lodged in my esophagus.

tails and legends II

January 30, 2008


Get it? Get it?

You see the Illustration Friday theme this week is Tales and Legends and he has a tail and the map has a legend, get it? Hee heeee heeeeeee…ok, I’m going to bed now.

my peeps

January 29, 2008


It’s funny, every time I sit down at a cafe to covertly sketch fellow coffee swillers, I inadvertently record a lasting memory. As I later thumb through my sketchbook, perusing the faces I’ve jotted down, I recall every conversation overheard, and every impression I’ve had of a particular person.

Yes, yes, that person sitting alone, at the table next to yours, is in fact listening to your conversation. Take note whether or not that person has a sketch book in hand. You just may end up on their sketch blog.

Ok, where was I? Oh yes, lasting impressions. So the blonde woman on the phone, I remember her being extremely boisterous and blustery. If memory serves, she was dropping celebrity names very loudly to the unfortunate soul on the other end of the conversation (as well as everyone in the cafe.) Ben Affleck is apparently a good friend of hers.

The smirking, young woman in the cap, is a barista. She makes a damn fine cup of coffee. She makes that coffee exactly the way I like it, and she does so while bestowing upon me the gift of her acerbic wit. A small price to pay for a perfect cup, I suppose.

Dude up there, seemed like a nice enough guy, although I’m pretty sure he thought I was hot for him. He caught me checking him out, and gave me a couple of knowing looks and a wink or two (shudder.) I have to be more careful about the length of time I study my subjects at any given moment.

tales and legends

January 28, 2008



I was craving garlic pizza,
so I grabbed my trusty bike,
and peddled off to Lou’s Place,
where they have the kind I like.

Rushing home, my luck turned sour.
I blew out my front tire.
As I stopped to check it out
I saw my first vampire.

He snuck out from the shadows
of the jacaranda tree,
and hovered just above the ground
while making eyes at me.

He smiled at me with sneery lips,
and stared his vampire stare.
Then floated over to me.
Man he gave me such a scare!

I pretended not to notice,
that his eyes were glowing red.
But he knew that I was frightened.
You can’t fool those darn un-dead.

I figured I was done for
as he flashed his gleaming fangs.
Then I got this great idea
when I felt some hunger pangs.

Remembering I bought some
garlic pizza from Lou’s Place,
I grabbed it from my bike rack
and I shoved it in his face!

The vampire’s eyes shot open!
Oh he croaked just like a toad!
My trusty garlic pizza
caused the vampire to explode!

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “Tales and Legends.”


January 25, 2008



Because he was wise,
the owl would advise
on the great many things that he knew.

But his friends began fearing
he had trouble hearing.
When they called him by name, he’d ask “who?”

blog orphans unite!

January 24, 2008


It was a dark and stormy night….no wait…ahem…it’s raining like people and dogs out here in So. Cal!!

Ok, seriously now, I may be a quick sketch of a kitty, but I have feelings too, and I am here right now to make a plea. I’d like to speak on behalf of all the pets out there who have bloggers for parents. I’d like to pose this question to you. What ever happened to watching the telly? What ever happened to stopping for a moment, listening to the rain, having a little soup, letting us lick the bowl, then allowing us to curl up in your lap and watch some tube? Lap Time, we, the furry, like to call it.

Lap Time is a very critical part of human/pet bonding. Do you even care?. Nooooo! You are too busy tap tap tapping away at that flat thing on your desk, pushing us off of it, staring at that silvery, shiny, thing with pictures all over it. That thing you call the Interwebs!

I guess, I just want to say (sniffmeow) if you care about us at all, you will get up from the webbernets, walk over to the t.v. and spend a little quality time with the ones who love you unconditionally.

Do it or I’ll poop in your shoe.

mairzy dotes

January 23, 2008



I’ve got this silly song stuck in my head!

Apparently, bits of music getting stuck in one’s head is a fairly common occurrence. It happens to Tom and I on a regular basis. If one of us gets infected with a song, we never hesitate to share the misery with the other. When it happens to Tom, he refers to this endless, viral, loop of music to “the jukebox that is my brain.” I understand the term is actually “earworm,” however.

What the…earworm…what? Well, according to Wikipedia:

Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm, is a term for a portion of a song or other musical material that becomes “stuck” in a person’s “head” or repeats against one’s will within one’s mind.

Anyway, song…stuck in my head…driving me crazy.

You ever notice that when a ditty does burrow itself into you psyche, it’s never something you actually like? Nothing like, Radio Head, Porcupine Tree or The White Stripes. It couldn’t possibly be anything as sophisticated as a Mozart concerto, or a cool Brazilian jazz groove. No, no, no, it’s usually something like “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”, by Wham, or “Oops! I Did It Again” by Britney Spears.


So, back to the song that’s stuck in my head. Have you heard it?

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?
If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.”

It’s an old timey song, that has no business in my head.

It was fun at first. Yes, at first. But now it’s driving me batty!

So, I figure the only way to exorcise this curse from my head is to draw it. Perhaps if I sketch it all out, it will exhaust itself and then toddle off and jump into someone else’s brain, where it belongs.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


January 20, 2008



When it comes movies, my taste is all over the place. I adore a dialogue heavy, character driven, Indie film, but get equally excited by an over-the-top, “popcorn” film. A clever, quirky, dark comedy is always a winner with me, but a silly, gross-out film will have me giggling and repeating catch phrases for weeks. Period pieces or estrogen-rich, chick flicks will have me filling up a baskets with tear soaked kleenex, but put on a good ole “Spaghetti Western” and you’ll also have my rapt attention.

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “Plain” and the first thing that popped into my head was “High Plains Drifter,” and old favorite of mine.

I haven’t seen it in a while, but I remember enjoying the stark beauty of the landscape, (filmed at Mono Lake in California), the morally complex plot and implied supernatural aspect, and of course, my man, Clint Eastwood is his usual, squinty, enigmatic self.

In a few minutes, Tom and I are going to watch “An Inconvenient Truth” (a film I should have seen by now, tsk tsk.) I’m really looking forward to seeing it, but truth be told, on this Walrus Weekend, wouldn’t “High Plains Drifter” be more appropriate?

Facing reality seems like too much work tonight.

goo goo g’joob

January 19, 2008



This weekend, Tom and I promised each other we would make no commitments to entertain, nor engage in any random acts of home improvement. Anything even remotely productive would be off limits this weekend. We promised each other a week of pure unadulterated laziness, or as we like to call it, walrusing.

I feel quite sure I don’t have to explain why the walrus is our avatar of sloth and inactivity, but in case I do, I invite you to picture for a moment, a bunch of walruses.

Are you picturing them?

I can wait.

Have you gotten that image in your mind’s eye yet?

Ok, what are they doing? They’re lying around, right? Lying around all blubbery and sluggish. Perhaps one or two will occasionally lift their head and back flippers up at the same time, once maybe twice, reminiscent of a new gym member trying to do some “floor work” for the first time. But they’re all pretty much lounging.

Ok, I think you have the idea.

Now, I’d like to point out that Tom did not live up to the challenge. He very maliciously did laundry, the dishes, and some minor tree pruning.

The audacity!

I, on the other hand, took no shower, wore the same sweats I slept in, stepped over a pile of dirty clothes and padded over to my computer where I pushed a dirty dish from last night onto Tom’s desk and I surfed the net most of the day.

I showed him!

you make my day

January 18, 2008


Ahem…excuse me..yes, my name is Joey and my good friend Linda asked me to come out here and say a few words on her behalf. She seems to be detained at the moment.

She wanted me to thank the very lovely and talented Roberta Baird of “A Mouse in the House” for passing the “You Make My Day” award her way. She was very flattered and touched, and, well, it made her day.

Here’s how the “You Make My Day” award works!
1. Write a post with links to five blogs that make your day or make you think.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the “You Make My Day” link to the post. (optional)
4. Tell the blog winners that they have won by commenting on their blog.
Linda has chosen the following artists:
  • Bambi at le pen quotidien for her great storytelling, amazing drawings and adorable critters.
  • Helena at The Empress’ New Clothes. and Little Sketches. Really enjoyed her sketch blog and am now getting quite an art history education from her new blog.
  • Val over at The Illustrated Garden for her gorgeous paintings of all things green and her inspirational and also very green writing.
  • Julia at Bobo Miow for her adorable depiction of Bobo, her kitty’s antics and conquests.
  • Tom (Linda’s husband and my nemesis) at VisualKaos for always making her day (eeeyew, I know mushy, huh?)

She wanted to list a bunch more, but I told her to simmer down, you only get five.

Anyway, she would have thanked you all herself, but is attending to some minor cuts and abrasions.

I’m not sure what happened, it’s all a blur. The last thing I remember was her mentioning doing less kitty drawings in the future, and maybe drawing some more raccoons or dogs.

Tsk tsk, she should be more careful.

can you hear meow?

January 16, 2008



My cat is annoyed,
turned his back to avoid,
with not so much as meow.

His one ear turns back,
as I pour out his snack.
Hello, can you hear me now?

stitch deux

January 15, 2008



My mind is typically a roiling cauldron of cute overload (kittens, babies and butterflies, oh my!) competing with more quirky monstery things. This week’s Illustration Friday theme, “Stitch” brought both to the surface, wrestling it out

Looks like it’s a tie.



January 14, 2008


When it comes to pure, unfettered, joy, what can compare to a giggling, frolicking, baby, without a stitch of clothing on?

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “Stitch”.

Two characters were competing for attention this week. This cheeky little guy won the first round, but something else, something quite different is lurking in the shadows.

Stay tuned.

these go to 11…meme

January 13, 2008

There’s a new meme in town, created by Kim Coles of I’m with Sully fame. The very talented and versatile artist Laurel Gaylord Studio Lolo tagged me for this meme. Being tagged is a huge step in my last-kid-to-be-picked-for-the-team recovery (thank you Junior High P.E.) So in that spirit, here goes nothing!
Here are the questions and my answers.
1. Voted most likely to:

Require surgery to remove foot from mouth.

2. Regrets:

I regret not having done many things I was afraid I’d regret doing.

3. It’s a Monday, you’re tired and don’t feel like working, so you:

Contemplate calling in sick. Go to work. Promise myself a treat if I make it through the day. Go to sleep. Wake up. Start process over again on Tuesday morning.

4. You would prefer to have dinner with:

My husband Tom, standing in the kitchen, eating cereal over the sink, with a shot of Jameson, yammering about politics.

5. If you were going bald, you would:

Use spray-on hair for the first month. Eventually opting to shave my head. I’d probably then get a few piercings and some ink in an effort to make shaved head look like a statement and not the clever rouse it really is.

6. You lay awake at night, pondering:

What my strategy would be if I went bald.

7. If you were forced to share a cubicle, the most important thing you’d look for is:

Someone who doesn’t chew gum with their mouth open.

Or earphones.

8. What is most likely to be found in the trunk of your car?

The laser ink cartridge I’ve been meaning to recycle for 8 years.

9. Favorite ‘Spinal Tap’ moment: 

It’s hard to pick a favorite moment, there were so many, but this one is definitely up there. Hee heeeee!

Asked by a reporter if this is the end of Spinal Tap

David St. Hubbins: Well, I don’t really think that the end can be assessed as of itself as being the end because what does the end feel like? It’s like saying when you try to extrapolate the end of the universe, you say, if the universe is indeed infinite, then how – what does that mean? How far is all the way, and then if it stops, what’s stopping it, and what’s behind what’s stopping it? So, what’s the end, you know, is my question to you.

10. Based on your work history, the job you SHOULD HAVE right now is:


11. Your imaginary band name is:

The Miscreants

So now is the time to tag three other unsuspecting bloggers.

Tom Gapen at Visual Kaos

Helena C. Rådström at The Empress’ New Clothes

Froggy at Oh Thank Goodness it’s Friday

No pressure guys. Just thought it would be fun to hear your answers.

Thanks for indulging me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go figure out whether or not to call in sick tomorrow.


January 10, 2008



She has snowy white fur
and a deafening purr.
Her toes are like pink pearl erasers.

Although painfully shy,
she can be bribed by,
the soft ripened brie she much prefers.


The image of a ballerina came to mind, yesterday, while staring at Iggy’s feets. Staring at her pink toes and pristeen white feet fur and admiring the otherworldly grace she’s been known to exibit while padding across the fireplace mantle. She ambles along this 3 inch wide path, past tons of chachkis and photos, with nary an item knocking over.

The girl’s got grace.

Of course, when I have to rescue a terrified, de-tailed lizard from under our bed, one of many she proudly trotts into the house, the ballerina image dissipates rapidly.