stand-up shorts

December 12th, 2011 | Other Projects

stand up shorts

I’m working hard on finishing up the drawing for my new book. All day long I sketch and take pictures of myself in various poses, then sketch some more. I use different props and clothes for all these reference shots.

I have this ancient pair of Patagonia “Stand-Up” shorts from when I was twenty-five, so I wear them in some of these little tableaux to help me conjure up my younger self. They’re too small now–I can barely button them. So I take them off as soon as possible after the shutter releases. As I was rushing about today, I caught this glimpse of them living up to their name.

They also reminded me of that Dr. Seuss story about the empty pants in his book The Sneetches and Other Stories.

I saw a pair of pale green pants
with nobody inside them…

pale green pants

26 Responses to “stand-up shorts”

  1. Ruth in RI says:

    Thought this was going to be about your new career as a stand-up tragi-comic.

  2. Isaac says:

    That “haunted pants” story seriously gave me the willies when I was a kid. The first few pages were the worst.

  3. K.B. says:

    Yeah, why did this poor person(?) have to go picking a peck of snide in the middle of the night? I never understood that part. In a dark and gloomy snide field, no less, which was nine miles wide?

  4. Antoinette N. says:

    My elementary school was one of the first to get a “learning center”. Being a misfit kid, I spent a lot of time in the library. I have fondest memories of “Those pale green pants with nobody in them”, that were (believe it or not), less scary than most of my classmates.

  5. Kate L says:

    Jeepers – the dark side of Dr. Seuss! I never knew!!!

  6. Mentor says:

    [For interested parties:

    The name of the Dr Seuss story being referenced here is “What Was I Scared Of?”

    [HERE] is a link to one of several pages on the net that give the full text (but, alas, not the pictures). –Mentor]

  7. No fair. You gotta show us the now you in the girl pants. We want to see how you’ve aged. Hmmmm. Maybe not. But thx for the fun Dr. Seuss connection.

    Click Here!

  8. Pam I says:

    They have eyes! They have eyes!

  9. Ginjoint says:

    Good one, Ruth!

    “Then I reached inside a Snide bush
    And the next thing that I knew,
    I felt my hand touch someone!”

    Somebody do something with this, please.

    Also, I hate it when belt loops pop like that.

  10. Glenn says:

    Not only did the story creep me out when I was a kid, but I totally didn’t buy the happy ending where the narrator makes friends with the pants. They still didn’t seem one bit less creepy to me.

    I followed Mentor’s link to the text, and realized for the first time that both the narrator and the pants could be either male or female. Kudos to Dr. Suess for that, anyway!

  11. Lurkalot says:

    @ #8 (Pam I)

    Cool! They do have eyes!

  12. I really love how material your process gets, Alison. Can’t think of a better metaphor for writing about a past self than those mysteriously occupied (clearly empty) upright shorts, still hold your shape (who knows how many shapes) of you at other times. Yeah, the theatrical aspects are so interesting, too — how you robe for the process of finding that past self.

  13. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Clearly, Dr. Winnicott is not scared of the stand-up pants.

  14. judybusy says:

    Stand up shorts for a stand up woman.

  15. Kate L says:

    A man in Bellingham, Washington, has been arrested on charges of malicious harassment. He didn’t like seeing a lesbian couple embrace, so he smashed the windshield in one of their cars, and approached the women in an aggressive manner while shouting homophobic slurs at them. One of the women threw the man to the ground and pinned him until he could be arrested. The malicious harassment charge will also be considered a hate crime under Washington state law.

  16. Kate L says:

    Heck, I forgot to post the LINK!. I’m about to go to the High Plains Human Rights Project’s annual party… later.

  17. Pam I says:

    Talking of books – some nice OCD discussed here. File the Iliad under Poetry or History?

  18. S. says:

    @ Pam: they are mutually exclusive?
    @ AB… Oh dear. The things I might say, had I not a modicum of tasteful restraint… {biting tongue}.

  19. S. says:

    p.s. cute kitty!

  20. Kate L says:

    Call me a traditionalist, but as the Unitarian all-inclusive holiday of Chrismahanukwanzakah approaches, and we all gather around the Festivus Pole*, I look back in sorrow to several years ago when a cell phone company attempted to commercialize even this special holiday!
    * – Btw, I mean gather ’round a traditional Festivus Pole, made out of aluminum for its high strength-to-weight ratio!

  21. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Therry

    Were you at the HD simulcast of Madama Butterfly today? Did you like the puppets or were they a distraction? On radio, you never know how they play out visually. Margaret Juntwait described the puppet pantomine at the beginning of Act II, but the rest was lost in the auditory-only experience.

    (… goes back to her earworm of Cho Cho San singing “Un Bel Di” …)

  22. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Pam I (#17)

    I finally got around to reading the article and comments in the Guardian link. Thanks. Great fun, and nice to see that the DTWOF community isn’t the only one which obsesses over how to organize bookshelves.

    Some of the commenters seem as if they’d be right at home here, e.g. PacificBeliefs, who wrote (in part):


    And on top of that, piled near my laptop are the essential ‘no time to get up’ books including a dictionary three times the size of my laptop, a thesaurus a quarter the size of that, the Fontana dictionary of modern thought and xkcd volume 0 (clearly the most important item).

    Anyone who ranks xkcd volume 0 as the most important tome in that pile is welcome in my home (and would probably understand my bookshelving system/non-system).

    (… goes back to wondering what all the references to “librarian/dominatrix” in the comments were about, and wondering where I can find one …)

  23. Kate L says:

    I just found out that the woman who is in many ways the matriarch (and the most accomplished) of my family has become very ill. Not a good way to start the Holiday season.

  24. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Hi HoH, the Madama Butterfly broadcast was radio only. I will say that I have seen the HD simulcast of Madama Butterfly, and the puppet sequences are almost unbearably poignant. There is no distraction, the puppet seems almost lifelike, and is more eloquent than any kidlet I have seen in a performance of Madama Butterfly, and I have seen several, including Ken Russell’s production set in post WWII Japan.

    You want to see a fine silent Kidlet performance in an opera, you should have seen the kid in Rodelinda! He was a very communicative, active silent role, and added to the experience of this fine Baroque opera.

    BTW, what does a Hairball of Hope do for Christmas?

  25. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Therry (#25)

    What does a HoH do on Xmas? I will quote Elena Kagan’s response during her confirmation hearings, when asked where she was during the Xmas shoe bomber incident… “You know, like all Jews, I was probably in a Chinese restaurant.” Sen. Chuck Schumer had to explain it to the goyim on the panel (Chinese restaurants are historically among the few restaurants open on Xmas). The traditional Xmas activities among many Jews are Chinese food and a movie.

    If I don’t do Chinese food and a movie, I stuff my face wherever I’m invited. This year is a bit weird because Xmas falls on a Sunday, and many businesses are closed for both Xmas Sunday and the legal Xmas holiday on Monday. I may just catch up on my reading and my sleep over the three-day weekend and forgo the invitations.

    (… goes back to thawing out from today’s abnormal sub-freezing temps [hello hot chocolate with a touch of Grand Marnier!] …)