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Now That I'm Famous Thursday, January 30, 2003

The Early Years: Today in History
In non-Lockhart news, regular jvg.com browser RhodeKill writes: "Put up more drawings on your Web site." Always happy to oblige my fans: This report, filed twenty years ago today, showcases my early breakthroughs in editorial cartooning.

Illustrations:
• Subtle and well-considered ethnic caricature
• Mischievous 'juvinile' ensconced in a bush
• Smallest midget wedding
• "Here is your food!"
• Notably missing: Michael Jackson on fire

Journalism: "The average in the U.S. watches 7 hours of TV a day" 1/30/83


LOWER! EAST! SIDE!
Rah!

Do you know how stylish I am?
I live on The Lower East Side.

That hotel across the street from me update
Still under construction!

The lower east side sure is great!
Boy howdy!

Lockhart Steele Update
Downtown blogisto Lockhart Steele is off to Florida on business, and he's asked me to cover his blog. For some strange reason, though, he neglected to give me his login info, so I'll be posting some Lock-type blogs right here in this space.


DreamLog
A grassy hilltop, covered with audience. A career conference. No one applauds for my friend; her speech was boring. The moderator thanks her and moves on. Smoke drifts down the path. Four people: They may be Belgian — I throw a tomato. Nelson Mandela walks by with his entourage. Shit: I forgot to move the car. | psychoanalyze this dream

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Detritus
You heard it here first: Tiny Ninja Theater is bringing its acclaimed Romeo & Juliet to NYC, perhaps as early as mid-February.

Meanwhile, over at Antagozine, I break the news about an evil new brand of spam.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Onus of Fame
I think Britney said it best: "Sometimes I just long to do normal things, like going to the movies or a club. But now that I'm famous it's a major ordeal just to go out."

The Gallivants of Fame
For no apparent reason, it was blind date night over at Grace last night. To quote myself: the disappointment hung in the air "so low and so thick that a short guy with a knife could cut it with a fork." One couple's lack of enthusiasm radiated across the bar even as they introduced themselves. ("Are you Jim?" "Yes, are you Mary?" "Yes." "Hi!" "Hi!" —long pause— "So, let's, um, sit down...") The other couple seemed to be hitting it off – they were both slightly more attractive – until I noticed that the woman was spending more time listening to our conversation than to her date.

Also: according to No Ass O'Barkeep, the "giving employees a minor ownership stake" smoking-ban workaround won't work; the exception only applies for bars in which each partner owns 33.3333% or more. I, for one, am looking forward to a smoke-free birthday.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Now That I'm Famous
Friends: please be advised that there is no reason to be nervous around me, despite what The New York Times may say. I will continue – magnanimously – to acknowledge your existence.

The unlisted phone number is merely a formality.

"Celebrities Are Your Friends" [New York Times via Kottke]

Guess the Celebrity Update
Despite a number of excellent attempts, no eligible contestant has managed to nail down the other celebrity. So, a photographic clue:


Both I and the other celebrity appear in this candid group shot.
Bonus question: Which affable "acorn" grew to be the noble oak Van Gieson? submit your answers

Sunday, January 26, 2003

The Early Years: Today in History
Another foray into the fourth estate, this one filed nineteen years ago today. Even the most cursory of glances makes it clear that I had developed considerably as a journalist – and, indeed, as a human being – in the one year and two days since the previous report.

Notables:
• I had by this point developed my trademark "rapier" wit and incisive eye for political commentary (then-President Reagan, for instance, is cleverly dubbed a "brat head")
• Also in evidence: a keen grasp of the subtleties of constitutional law
• Ducks are coming into fashion

Journalism: Current Events 1/26/84

prêt-à-porter
The New York Post and Gawker have just gotten around to noticing Ugh Boots. Unsurprisingly, fashionisto JCN over at The Pith Helmet had his finger in that tasty Australian pie all the way back in February '02.

Friday, January 24, 2003

DreamLog
After helping them carry their packages into the apartment – piling DVD box set upon DVD box set – I say goodbye. The boy wants to show me his BB gun, aims at me as I leave. Three shots. One ricochets through the half-closed door to bounce off my groin. I stand, in pain, in the hall, for a moment. Back inside, I bump into the DVD pile, knocking over boxes, destroying the symmetry. I find the boy standing with his mother and older sister in the kitchenette; "Don't shoot it at me, don't point it at me, I don't even want you to have the gun in your hands when I'm around." The mother asks, "where did he hit you?" Reply: "The testicle." Mother and sister giggle, then laugh. I storm out, past their collection of gumball machines. | psychoanalyze this dream

The Early Years: Today in History
Like a vintage copy of the New York World, my early journalistic endeavors afford an invaluable glance into the pulse of a bygone era. This report, filed twenty years ago today, captures on paper a moment in time.

Top stories:
• In-depth analysis of early-80s copyright issues
• Scrupulously researched author profile
• Medical update: hospatial funding
• International: The latest news from Britland
• Tarzan died

Journalism: Current Events 1/24/83

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Guess The Celebrity Update
CONTEST LOSER: Sorry, netflows.com, "Keywords" is not the celebrity in question, whether or not it gets me "Real Time 24 Hour Traffic To You're Site" or "Turns You're Website Into A Money Making Cash Cow Overnight."

UPDATE (2:03pm): So far, my wife and father have guessed correctly. Unfortunately, contest rules specifically state:

The following persons are excluded from participation in this sweepstakes: employees of jonathanvangieson.com and immediate family members of jonathanvangieson.com employees and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, assigns, advertising, promotional and fulfillment agents, attorneys, accountants, and other representatives and the persons with whom each of the above are domiciled.

So the grand prize is still up for grabs. Submit your answer.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Book of Ages Sneak Preview
The countdown begins to the JA, LS & JVG publishing enterprise Book of Ages (ISBN # 1-4000-5013-8, Crown Publishing, Fall 2003).

This exciting sneak preview photo, which may well appear in the book, should start the buzz machine rolling.




(photo ©2003. All rights reserved. This photo is protected by United States copyright law, and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without prior written permission. Any illegal use of this image will be met with legal action. Link restrictions: linking to the page containing this photo requires prior permission. Attempts to link to this photo without obtaining permission will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The Early Years: Awards & Honors
As might be expected, my myriad abilities were worthy of recognition even in the very blush of youth. This highly-coveted award, bestowed upon me at the tender age of six years, celebrates not only my unparalleled athletic prowess, but also my artistic genius and love of the environment.

• Awards: Certificate of Achievement 8/22/1980

Bonus question: Which other celebrity, star of television and movies, received this award at the same time? Submit your answer.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Dateline: Boston, frozen tundra of the North
Just back a weekend in Beantown, where it was incredibly cold. How cold was it? So cold, the Boston Red Sox changed their name to the Boston Cold Sox.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Now That I'm Famous
I've attempted to "track my favorite celebrity" – myself – on Entertainment Weekly Monitor. Confusingly, a topic search reveals no matches (even after I followed the their recommendation to "Try the first three letters of the first or last name" and searched for "Jon Van Gie,") so I've recommended myself for tracking.

I would encourage all community-minded readers of this site to do so as well, and help the ailing EW.com to fill an egregious gap in its coverage of the stars.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

A sobering thought
Why must we be always alone?

On second glance, who's that guy over there?

Friday, January 17, 2003

Now That I'm Famous
New York Magazine reports that Harrison Ford has been strolling about the house in his skivvies, inspiring his neighbors to throw Ford-watching parties.

Impressive? Perhaps. But I, too, have been known to enjoy a boxer-clad perambulation on occasion, and my neighbors just had a baby.

What Lies Beneath [NY Magazine via Gawker]

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Ya Don't Need "Teef" To Enjoy Our "Beef"
Dov picked up this bit of tastiness at a rest stop in PA on the trip back from DC:



Side of container alleges (much to MLW's amusement): "Sprayed with Potassium Sorbate to retard mold growth."

• "Beef Jerky strips shredded to release the full hickory smoke taste. Packed in small snuff style containers to seal in that 'old west' flavor" [jjjerky.com]

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Man meets his ultimate competitor
LS is the obsessive reality TV fan, but I'll certainly be tuning in tonight for Man Versus Beast, which – if I'm interpreting the commercials correctly – will attempt to answer the age-old question "human or giraffe: who can eat more midgets?"

DreamLog
Sitting next to the stars of a niche British sitcom, I crack jokes during a discussion of Semitism – you look like a jewish version of yourself, except black – as our plane flies over the bridge. In celebration of a holiday week, two inflated balloons of Chinese dolls – geometric caricatures of stereotypes, spherical heads with Xs for eyes around a cylindrical nose perched on top of spherical bodies – hang from the stanchions near the suspension cables.

Our plane dips, weaves through trees, between buildings. A rollercoaster. The talk turns to early jobs, or is it fear?

I watch my gloves, purple and black, puffy ski gloves, slide around under the seats. My hands, clutching the armrests (the only thing keeping me in the seat, I should be wearing my lap belt), don't pick them up. I am advised to relax. Why not? What else is there to do?

I laugh: fun! We dive, narrowly avoiding another aircraft. Dip. A particularly sharp downturn, and I am able to see the road below over the top of the plane. Weave. The plane turns invisible; I laugh again. Dive. | psychoanalyze this dream

Sorry to disappoint
• #8 on the list of searches sending people to jvg.com: naked masculine celebrities.

• jvg.com Google result rank with search term naked masculine celebrities: #21

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Move over, MOMA
If anyone wants to prove me wrong and book Ninja McFatty's new sculpture series "American Bonsai" – constructed entirely of semi-melted beverage straws and overturned drink coasters – into a Manhattan art gallery, go right ahead. I have to warn you, though: some of the more delicate pieces were destroyed by high winds on the way from the bar to the subway.

Monday, January 13, 2003

European Beauty Update
In other exciting news: As of this moment, Jesse and Karen, though currently residing in NYC, are the best-looking people in Finland/Helsinki.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Celebrity Gossip
Well, I promised gossip about my famous friends, and here it is: The Puzzler (pseudonym changed from Club Soda in Pigtails) is going out "for coffee" today with a cute girl from the running store. Is it just a friendly cuppa, or is TP in for a marathon evening? As previous posts have chronicled, TP's gaydar is on the fritz - can we be sure running store girl even plays for her team? Further updates as events warrant.

UPDATE: It was, in fact, a date. RSG asked TP to join her in some two-step dancing Monday evening, but TP was unavailable. Another date is in the works.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Press Roundup
Not surprisingly, Tiny Ninja Theater presents Romeo & Juliet dominates the front page of The Washington Post Style section today, and Anne Ursu's The Disapparation of James garners high praise in the Star Tribune.

Some might theorize that such prominent coverage is due in both cases to long association with such a distinguished personage as myself; why else would both articles oh-so-coyly avoid any mention of my name? For the record, I believe that Anne and Dov have received these accolades on their own merits. To infer that such close friends are merely riding my coattails to fame would be ridiculous.

Relevant Documents:
• "Once you've seen Romeo & Juliet, you'll want to come to back for figurine versions of Hamlet or Othello or whatever else." -The Washington Post
• "Fiendishly clever... a wry, haunting meditation on love, loss and family ties." -Star Tribune

Friday, January 10, 2003

The Perty Girls Who Are Unmarriage
Congrats to Unmarried to Each Other co-author Marshall Miller (subject of a Salon.com interview yesterday) who recently launched his new blog. If I know anything about Marshall - and I think I do - it's bound to be the sexiest blog around.

In fact, in honor of Mr. Miller, I choose today to launch my own deeply personal, highly intimate sexblog, entitled In Bed With Fame, which will cover with brutal honesty and in excruciating moment-by-moment detail my myriad of passionate interludes. Avanti:


In Bed With Fame
Sex today: None.

Dateline: D.C. - The Gallivants of Fame Power
Started the evening in classic District style, watching the sun set over the phallus of the Washington monument from the steps of the Capitol building. BarnRaiser*, my guide, filled me in on some startling omissions in the Library of Congress' Law Section.

Then on to Fadó, a self-conscious little Irish chain pub in the center of Chinatown, meeting Burnt Alice* to tip back a couple of "proudly-poured 20 oz pints." Amidst the contrived clutter of Emerald Isle paraphernalia (James Joyce, apparently, was Irish), we met a lovely gentleman who bought us drinks and kept telling his wife to shut the [expletive deleted] up so he could talk. Her analysis: "I've been away for a while. He needs a good [expletive deleted] as much as I do." They were still sitting there when we left.
Lies told: Alma Mater (Advanced Studies): Northwestern University School of Law (expelled), Alma mater (Undergrad):Pastry School, Johnson & Wales.

Headed a few blocks over to The Warehouse Theater to meet BananaBoy*, 100 Cows* (my hosts in this fair city) and other friends for the Capitol City premiere of Tiny Ninja Theater presents Romeo & Juliet, then back Chinatown way for a lawyer-heavy dinner (50% of attendees) at Full Kee, a well-reviewed subterranean establishment which I would avoid if you have an allergy to shrimp, as the wait staff tends to be somewhat unclear about the ingredients of their dumplings.

Losing the rest of the crowd, BR, BA and I made our way to the fashionable Adams-Morgan area for a late-night (10pm, apparently, in D.C.) lip-wetter. After trudging through a crowded Tryst (an enormous, smoky Starbucks with booze) and Millie & Al's (a dingy hole-in-the-wall with pretensions), we settled on relatively-uncrowded late-eighties atmosphere of Toledo Lounge for a final libation to the tune of Tony Basil's "Mickey". Hey, Mickey, you're so fine. You're so fine you blow my mind. Hey, Mickey. Hey, Mickey.

Evening's Goal: Get Burnt Alice drunk enough that she shows up for work hungover (failed)
Bar Roundup: Fadó, Tryst, Millie & Al's, Toledo Lounge
Alcohol of Choice: Beer, supplemented by Whiskey shots
Best Pickup Line: (irresistible, despite complete lack of interest on my part)
Me: (Explains that my first name, as recorded on my birth certificate, is "Baby Boy")
She: So, can we call you Baby Boy?
Me: You can just call me Baby.

*new pseudonym

Correction
Iraq. The war is with Iraq.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Report from Our Nation's Capitol
"Wreak havoc," cries Julius Caesar in Titus, Shakespeare's best loved comedy, "And let out the dogs to war!"

It is this quote that sings in my ears as I sit here in Washington, D.C., where it is painfully obvious that our leaders are preparing for an inevitable - and brutal - war.

War - yes, war: an ugly word, a harsh word, a four-letter word, but the word that - so oft of late - rings through these halls of power with a tenor so deep and so loud that it echoes chillingly through the nearby streets. It is this word - "war" - that strikes me as I first see the white-domed edifices of the D.C. skyline looming, and it is this word - "war" - that haunts me to this very day, the next day. "War" is a word bandied about in Our Nation's Capitol with the careless nonchalance of a badminton ball. We hear whispers as far away as NYC, but we do not believe - can not believe - how close we are to the brink.

The brink... of war.

Shakespeare's "war dogs" sniff the ass of America, and nothing - not friendly petting, nor any amount of delicious war dog biscuits - will dissuade them from wreaking the Bard's famous "havoc." "War" - The word hangs on the tongues - and minds - of every citizen in this fair city. Though telephones buzz and the internet continues to hum, the tension is palpable as the city of Washington D.C. arms itself and prepares for war.

War, with nearby Virginia.

A chilling thought. But who are we to judge? As the Bible says: "Let he who does not want to declare war on Virginia cast the first stone."

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

What is fame without influence?
In my offical capacity as Tiny Ninja Theater co-producer, I am off to our nation's capitol to hobnob with high-powered attorneys, environmental pundits, and puzzle-loving lesbians. If "weblog" technology has reached that far South, I will keep the world apprised of my DC doings as they happen (italics mine) via this website. Otherwise, the world will have to wait until I return. Given my level of fame, could a White House dinner invite be in the works? Fleischer has my phone number. I'm certainly not calling him.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

DreamLog
Country music. COUNTRY MUSIC? | psychoanalyze this dream

Monday, January 06, 2003

Brooklyn Update: BoCoCa
For the record, I fully support the efforts of the fine folks who are fighting an uphill battle to rename the Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens section of Brooklyn "BoCoCa." The concept is simple: take three semi-fashionable neighborhoods with indeterminate boundaries and consolidate them into one über-chic mega-district with an amalgam name.

But why stop with BoCoCa? I propose the following new name for a Park Slope/South Slope/Windsor Terrace conglomerate: SloWiTe ("slo-wee-tay")
Usage: I had to wait forty goddamn minutes for the goddamn F train when I was trying to get to goddamn SloWiTe.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

The Gallivants of Fame
Just in from a bon voyage fete for The Winner, who returns to P-Land on an AM flight. Started off the eve – joined by Not S'Dumb, Shelly Blonde, HookahG* (in from Philly), surprise guest AlleyBird*, and latecomer JuBall* – with a dance party at Duane Hall to the beats of JayBird.

Then off to a nearby diner, where I was able to convince AlleyBird, who daylights as a beauty editrix at Glamour magazine, to share some inside fashion tips for the upcoming season (Curly hair is in, Pink remains a hot color.)

Dénouement: joined by Tomato Mang* and WWOA* at the S'Dumb/Blonde abode for a final throw of the Hot Dice (jvg.com pick for gaming trend of 2003.)

Alcohol of Choice: Beer
Conversation stopper: Tomato Mang's in-depth panel-by-panel description of "the most bizarre Beetle Baily strip ever," which features the army dog in bed with a busty french poodle.
Late Night Playlist:
Paul Simon/Greatest Hits, Etc.
Appezöller Chääs Platte/Bodetändegi Musig Os Em Würzige Appezöllerland
¡The Brave Bulls!/La Fiesta Brave Vol 1: Music of the Bullfight Ring

*new pseudonym

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Quotation ad propositum
"Those totally lacking in virtue may achieve fame as readily as, perhaps even more easily than those who are virtuous. Fame belongs to the great, the outstanding, the exceptional, without regard to virtue or vice. Infamy is fame no less than good repute. The great scoundrel can be as famous as the great hero; there can be famous villains as well as famous saints."
–Mortimer J. Adler, Desires Right and Wrong: The Ethics of Enough

Friday, January 03, 2003

Now That I'm Famous
The Internet Movie Database remains disturbingly behind the times; despite being famous for a month now, I still have not appeared in their Celebrity News, although some guy named Jack Ass has. Even more disconcerting, an IMDb database search for "Jonathan Van Gieson" offers nothing but a page with these most popular name searches:
1. Dick Van Dyke
2. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
3. Jonathan Tucker
4. Jean-Claude Van Damme
5. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
6. Jonathan Breck
7. James Van Der Beek
8. Casper Van Dien
9. Jonathan Frakes

FUN & GAMES: Imagine a movie starring all nine of the above actors. Or, if you prefer, just go see Lord of the Rings again.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

The Early Years: Early Works
SL likes to say "There's no 'off' button on the genius switch." Nowhere is that more evident than in this brilliant Star Wars Parody from my "Pop Art" period.

Highlights:
- Luke Skywalker = "Lou Airrunner", Han Solo = "Hum Soso"
- Bara Watt: "Die! Die! I've killed him." Nokey Two: "He did not kill me, but just cut off my cape."
- A careful examination of Panel 11 finds Nokey Two's nose and Van Dyke hidden in the scribbles of the "cave"

Points for discussion:
- Are the different color inks used to enhance the mood of the piece, or because the artist lost the black pen?
- Does panel 16 read "ZOOM" or "NOOM"? If "NOOM," does that make any sense?
- Why is Lou Airrunner fighting an asterisk with his blob? Why did they blow up that giant breast?



Star Wars Parody (c. 1981, ballpoint pen on yellow legal paper, lined)

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

New Year's Resolutions
1. Start referring to self in the third person, or at least second person.
2. Spend more time claiming to be Russian count "Vausikov".
3. Astronaut training.


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DESIGNED
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