"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Friday, August 22, 2003


From an orthopedic surgery follow-up:

"The cast is removed to reveal good healing, but his fingers look like little sausages."

Heehee. This just made me giggle uncontrollably.

posted by Julie Neff  # 8/22/2003 10:58:00 AM

Thursday, August 21, 2003


I haven't put pen to paper in so long, I just wanted to make sure I remembered how to do it. I can't write in a legible font. This is the product.

Josh, my Pooka, mo chroi:

I listened to a few of your CDs tonight. They sent me into a whirl of nostalgia so dizzying, for a moment I forgot where and when I was, but WHO I am was thrown into achingly sharp relief.

When you first came to me, a spark of your fire landed in my pool and illuminated the murky secret depths, uncovering lost trinkets of tarnished innocence.

My water has thus far not extinguished your flame, nor has your light and heat boiled into clouds of steam my pool of recollection.

Within me lives a girl who has seen ruin and resurrection, shattered mysteries and mangled shadows - and yet remains a girl, wide-eyed, tripping merrily ever towards full blossomy womanhood - but always delaying to sniff some clover and taste some honey from the hives of scattershot bubbly bees - "Stay a while longer" is the message in their droning buzz.

As time moves on, and we travel the linear time-path hand in hand, there are ever more flowers and sweets, ever more reasons to stay - discovering again mazy moonglow, the very essence of the joy of youth - with the Emerald City of ageless wisdom within easy distance - but we'll never need to hurry.

posted by Julie Neff  # 8/21/2003 10:05:00 PM

(not to be confused with magastromancy)

I have decided, inspired by our friend to the south in KCMO, to follow the path of the gastromancer

In this world, one must find meaning and direction, and a way to unlock the doors between Self and Other. What does this most effectively for me? You might think, from all my previous blitherings, that it would be sex. Well...you don't want to hear about that. Besides, there is not the necessary ritual and self-awareness with sex. It's gone mammalian and primal. I tend to lose myself in the Other altogether, and although bliss lies that way, spiritual focus does not.

No...cooking is what focuses my inner sight and recharges my batteries with the most zing.

As I was preparing a marinade for last night's offering of sauteed beast, I was using a mortar and pestle to grind pepper, dried rosemary and flakes of kosher salt together. I was counting the grind stokes. I was smelling the waft, like incense. I applied the rub to the meat with as much care as a priest would apply holy water to an infant's head. The practice of unsealing and uncorking a bottle of wine is a whole 'nother step in and of itself, as is the sipping and the addition of said libation to the marinade. Adding garlic concluded that part of the ceremony.

Sure, following a recipe may require mindfulness, as in obtaining correct measurements and ingredients, but mindfully and wilfully NOT following a recipe while creating sustenance goes into the realm of the mystical. For me, anyway.

From this ritual, I divined that the future would hold a very good meal. And leftovers. I was right. Gastromancy is infallible as far as divination goes.

You all know what the purpose of charging one's mystical batteries is. I need not tell you how much more effective charging a sigil or even just summoning courage is when your batteries are freshly charged. Come winter, I'll be cooking up a storm and charging up my batteries to withstand the onslaught of depression...it worked fairly well last year. Maintaining the degree of mental and physical health I have in the past year hasn't just been from being fairly madly in love with Josh...although he encourages my chefly rituals at every turn...it's been from gastromancy.

There are sub-practices as well...the ritual of making your coffee or tea just right counts, as does the process of selecting perfect produce, the most eye-catching candy, the freest-range animals, having to haggle in an open-air market...all part of gastromancy.

You may look back or remember some times when my focus was slipping. In hindsight, I can see those were the times when I was not cooking, baking, or even laying hand to knife.

Go forth and cook!

EDIT: Well ah-DUH, gastromancy already means something, but that's altogether silly. What gastromancy is would more accurately be called 'borborygomancy.' Voices from the belly. Never heard such hogwash.

I will therefore borrow the Unknown Armies term "gourmancy," as that is more what I had in mind. That'll teach me to do research first.

posted by Julie Neff  # 8/21/2003 08:45:00 AM

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Well gee. Membership has its privileges, no? If you were a member of Femmerotic, you could click on over and see 35 pictures of me playing all naiad-like. There are a couple in which you can tell I'm looking straight at Josh. Dare I say, I even look a little...ennobled in some of them? I am the Ennobled Power of Lost Immortals.

I played with a few of them and reversed the colors. Especially sample #2. If you take that picture and reverse the colors, i.e. make a negative, I look like a plaster cast. Eek. Eerie.

If you reverse the colors on the naiad ones, I look like a drow. You remember drow, right? The dark elves? Of course you do.

posted by Julie Neff  # 8/19/2003 08:45:00 PM


School starts soon, and that means buying supplies. The supply list for Morgan's school came attached to a five-page newsletter that I didn't bother to read in June, but did this morning. Amidst the exhortations to sign up for fall sports and buy Market Day products, there was a tiny blurb related to the junior high: "Academically Talented (A/T) classes will no longer be offered in the areas of science and social studies due to lack of funding."

What? No A/T Earth Science or Biology? No A/T Civics? No A/T History? Are they kidding? Those classes were my meat and potatoes in school.

This is most distressing. The Mukwonago School District is (was?) at least state-renowned for high standardized test scores and high levels of not-so-measurable academic achievement. This was back when there was ALWAYS adequate funding for the A/T program. Next they'll cut art and music, then A/T English and maths, then foreign language...what will be left? Mediocrity and no resources for the furthering of independent study and creativity in the academic setting.

Oh gods, can you imagine the furor if they cut the LD/ED classes? Holy crap.

Mo's only in first grade, but I'm really glad we won't be around here to see how far downhill this district will go.

posted by Julie Neff  # 8/19/2003 08:55:00 AM

Monday, August 18, 2003


We awoke at 5:00 Saturday morning, having packed Morgan off to grandma and grandpa's the night before, and hit the road around 6:00. Certainly, the drive was lovely and incident-free (and provided opportunity for more discussion of some of our favorite topics), but it also provided ample time for me to get nervous. As we crossed the state line, and then the city limits, my stomach started to knot up. I'd get nervous before meeting someone for ANY reason, let alone for photography, ESPECIALLY nude photography. Anyway. The hip trendy part of Minneapolis is a straight shot off of I-94. Apparently I made some guy drop his bottle of soda ("Bad soda! Bad!") by tripping lightly through sprinkler spray. Hee.

We settled in at Pandora's Cup, an indie-trendy cafe, had lunch and did the Shepherd Express crossword. When Miss Corinna walked in, pug in hand, I knew all would be well. She is very friendly and personable - and Sophie the Dog helped break the ice. I love dogs.

After she grabbed her lunch and we chatted a while, we did that most girly of all activities - we went shopping. Normally I'm not much of a shopper, but in a strange city that you can explore on foot, why not go shopping? Josh was an excellent sport about that.

The space she decided to use for my first shoot (oh, my very first modeling shoot, narf!) was...a basement. A boiler room to be precise. With the dramatic makeup, black patent knee-high platform boots and runned-up black thigh-high stockings, the gritty grungy industrialisme going on...I must say it was rather fun. It made me want to listen to Sisters of Mercy. We worked our way up a dusty, cobwebby stairwell with an ice-block window and late-afternoon warm light. Heather was very happy with those, and the one I saw I really liked too. All silohuette and subtlety and shadowing there.

The funny thing about learning how to be photographed is the details. Where should I look? Do I need to tip my head up? Down? To smirk/glare/pout or not? Wobbling around on what looked like 7-inch platforms on an uneven concrete floor tested my balance, but it was all good. Another thing...modeling is tiring in the way that cashiering is tiring. It's not exertional tiredness, it's something altogether different.

After that, we needed dinner. Heather directed and accompanied us to this Ethiopian restaurant, House of Lalibela, where we had a delicious vegan platter full of lentils and veggies and that spongy chamois-textured flatbread, PLUS the coffee ceremony with the frankincense...it was awesome. And damn healthy, too. Funny thing - it was apparently an Embers restaurant before, and they totally redid everything in order to make a spare, spacious African-themed interior.

So Josh and I retired to the hotel (after a bit of confusion regarding one-way streets) and rediscovered the bliss that is Samurai Jack. Sigh. Of any cartoon character to have a slight crush on, he's my top choice.

Morning came, with swimming, sauna and breakfast. We weren't due back at Heather's until noonish, so we lazed around and watched Osmosis Jones which Josh had never seen and I think is great (yes I like the animated bits best and the live stuff was typical Farrelly gross). Chris Rock and David Hyde Pierce? It works for me. Go fig.

So, now the fun part. After a light lunch, we all three headed to Lake Harriet, which is actually within the city limits of Minneapolis. We scoped out the best place to do a naiad shoot (with optimal light and cover) and made Josh keep watch.

Now, when you've got your girlfriend wrapped in wet gauze and nothing else, and another cute girly in a bikini is taking her pictures, wading out alternately ankle and neck deep in an idyllic lake, do you 1) Watch intently 2) Hope to catch a peek through the trees on shore 3) Read and pay no attention at all? Josh did all of the above. Heehee. In his defense, it was hard to see from shore. We did manage not to get arrested for indecent exposure, and we got some fabulous shots. I was born to be a naiad.

The day was hot enough that getting out of the water only made us want to get back in, so we swam for a while, and then it was time to go home.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. Heather is indeed, in her own words, a peach to work with and I'm glad I gathered up the ovarios to do this in the first place. Josh was an excellent sport, what with the sun and the heat and the standing around. If ever I needed moral support, he was there.

So cheers and a shout out to Minneapolis and its denizens. We shall return.


Once again, the link to her online project, Scarlet Letters, with the link to Scarleteen (for the kiddies) on the bottom. Good stuff here, people. Take a peek.

There, you'll be just a few clicks away from the sample pics of me (journal entry for 08/18/03 has thumbnails)...if you find them, why not give me an e-buzz and tell me what you think? They may or may not be work safe, depending on your work's level of tolerance for artsy nude breastage and also depending on your knowledge of how to clear your web history, cookie cache and suchlike. Go on. I dare you.

posted by Julie Neff  # 8/18/2003 09:11:00 AM


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