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October 27, 2006

An Uxorial Portrait

As long as I'm showing off my mad Photoshop skillz, yo, here's a portrait of my wife I made all arty and such. She really likes it, which is an important thing when one is posting a picture of one's spouse: She thinks it captures a certain essence of her personality. I agree entirely; also, and in other news, damn, my wife is hot.

Actually, that's an embarrassingly glib assessment. I think my wife is striking, which is to say she visually arresting in a certain way that transcends mere physical attractiveness. This is why among other things I continually find myself staring at my own wife for long periods of time, especially when she doesn't know I'm looking. She's just interesting to look at. I don't suspect that will be any less the case as we go along in life. Yes, I'm lucky. She's less lucky in this regard, but at the very least I am good for an amusing chuckle or two. She seems to think this is a fair trade, and I intend to let her keep thinking that for as long as possible.

I should note that for the full effect, you should look at it full size; right click the picture and either view image or download it.

Posted by john at October 27, 2006 12:33 AM

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Ron | October 27, 2006 12:59 AM


Lee | October 27, 2006 01:10 AM

I think you captured the essence of her dark side as well as the bright side. I can recall that she was involved in some bar fight so it is balanced with the motherly side she has shown before.

Ron Hogan | October 27, 2006 01:16 AM

I was going to say: Striking and capable of striking with great determination.

But what's with the thing that looks like a piece of gum hanging off the bottom of her chin?

mythago | October 27, 2006 01:23 AM

It's so not fair to post a picture of your hot wife, who is a) like, married and b) could kick the crap out of ALL of us, simultaneously, if we looked at her funny.

Hugh | October 27, 2006 05:49 AM

You are a lucky man, John.

Steve Buchheit | October 27, 2006 07:49 AM

I second that luck man motion.

Tim Walker | October 27, 2006 07:54 AM

Two things:

1. Aaagh! Teh hawtness! My eyes!!

(Seriously, I mean, just to *confront* your readers with that first thing in the morning . . .)

2. "She seems to think this is a fair trade, and I intend to let her keep thinking that for as long as possible."

I'm into year 14 of a similar snow job with my own lovely wife. (She, unfortunately, does not have a Photoshop-savvy husband.) So you and I share a goal there. More power to you.

Chang who is sweaty at work | October 27, 2006 08:20 AM

That is a very lovely elegant looking woman there. That she is the same as the bat-wielding deliverer of respect is astonishing. Lovely.

I too hoodwinked a goddess into descending from on high to live with me in mortal splendor. People see us, find out her age and say how wonderful she looks. She then says, "This is how 4_ looks!"

The saem people turn to me, look me up and down and with some pity at my mortality say, "You Look good for 52."

The sad thing is I am 37.

Chang who is sweaty at work | October 27, 2006 08:33 AM


You like them $10 words, don't you?

Scott Mactavish | October 27, 2006 08:44 AM

You're not the only one with a hot wife.

Scott Mactavish | October 27, 2006 08:46 AM

Clicky goodness:


Mark | October 27, 2006 08:52 AM

Is she Greek? She certainly has that Mediterranean beauty my Greek wife has....

John Scalzi | October 27, 2006 08:54 AM


She's of Mexican, German and Native American ancestry.

Wan Zafran | October 27, 2006 10:52 AM

You set a good example. I hope I'll love my wife (whoever she'll be) as much as you do yours.

Jonathan | October 27, 2006 11:14 AM

Um, yes I too had to look up Uxorial. One day I'll obtain a vocab.

Steve | October 27, 2006 11:24 AM

Ooooo "uxorial". Good word. I'm always on the look out for a cool new word.

Very nice picture of the wife, too. I would be extremely jealous except that I happened to luck into my own striking spouse (of mostly Nordic descent), so instead I'll just say welcome to the I Married Way Above My Station club. We have the happiest membership of any club around.

John Scalzi | October 27, 2006 11:32 AM


"I'll just say welcome to the I Married Way Above My Station club."

Welcome? Hell, I've been a member since 1995.

Brian | October 27, 2006 11:35 AM

I am extremely grateful for having taken Latin in high school, as it allows me comprehension (at least approximately) of some of the nifty words that John uses. Not all, though... I've had to consult m-w.com plenty...

Also, incidentally, that shot gives Krissy shades of Morena Baccarin, don't you think? And thus, wasn't it "coincidental" that she was sitting only a couple of rows away from the two of you at the Campbell/Hugo ceremonies? Eh? Eh?

Steve | October 27, 2006 11:36 AM


Welcome? Hell, I've been a member since 1995.

Got ya by two years. Member since 1993. Though, yeah, I'm a little late on the "welcome."

Mary | October 27, 2006 11:45 AM

She's gorgeous and that's a lovely shot. Did you use the Sponge filter in Photoshop? Paint Daubs?

John Scalzi | October 27, 2006 11:48 AM


"that shot gives Krissy shades of Morena Baccarin, don't you think?"

If Krissy were several inches shorter, maybe. I'm not seeing much of a resemblance, myself, but then I'm used to Krissy looking like Krissy.


Neither of those. Film grain (without any grain) overlaid with a Layer with the Watercolor filter, plus the use of the Impressionistic brush. Before all of that, I had also used a Gaussian Blur layer, from which I erased the eyes and lips to let the unblurred versions through.

Heather | October 27, 2006 11:50 AM

Shes damn beautiful.... put her up as my screensaver.
I can do that, she's my sister-in-law!!!

Johnny Carruthers | October 27, 2006 12:03 PM

Yeah, she's kind of cute.

Mary | October 27, 2006 12:06 PM

Ah! I had thought Watercolor was involved at first, but the effect was too heavy-handed on its own. Thanks for the guide.

Very seriously: you may not be a professional graphics artist, but you're producing some really nice images with Photoshop and you can obviously write and explain things clearly. (I learned everything I know about American libel law from A Little Libel (aka "John Scalzi is crack-smoking cat sodomizer"). Have you considered putting up some of your work in one or more posts and sharing how you got there, or even running a separate graphics blog? In your copious spare time, of course.

But hey, there could be a book coming out of all this procrastination one day.

Steve Buchheit | October 27, 2006 12:31 PM

So for this IMWAMS club, are the jackets, hats, or polo shirts? And are we counting only marriage time clocked, or full-bore emotional involvement time?

John Scalzi | October 27, 2006 12:37 PM

Clearly, it's for marriage time. If you want credit for the whole relationship, you'll want the I'm in a Relationship With Someone Totally Out of My League club (IRWSTOML). The membership requirements are slightly less strenuous, but you still get all the swag.

Kate Nepveu | October 27, 2006 12:45 PM

If she's out of your league, does that mean she's married beneath her? That is, how does she feel about this characterization?

(This is why I dislike this form of compliment.)

John Scalzi | October 27, 2006 12:49 PM

Kate Nepveu:

"does that mean she's married beneath her?"

Well, she is taller than I am.

SFC SKI | October 27, 2006 01:04 PM

"Striking" is exactly the right word. Great picture.

Chang, dopier than most... | October 27, 2006 01:37 PM

Buchheit scribbles: "I'll just say welcome to the I Married Way Above My Station club."

Member since 1996.

My father says marrying my wife is one of the smartest things I've ever done.

And they like her more than me. Oh, well, at least I still get to go to holiday dinners.

Steve Buchheit | October 27, 2006 02:02 PM

Chang, *cough* "Steve" isn't me *cough* so, uh, props should go to the miscellaneous "Steve"

Tim Walker | October 27, 2006 02:11 PM

Kate: I take your point, but I like to think that this kind of compliment really is complimentary because it highlights my wife's many fair attributes, without implying that she made a mistake by hitching herself to me. Yes, I married out of my league in terms of elegance, class, looks, and so on, but it's a fair(ish) trade for my wife because I can offer, for lack of a better word, Menschlichkeit. In other words, I ain't perfect, but from all reports I *am* a stand-up guy. (I also do certain parlor tricks on command, which seems to amuse her.)

Anyway, brethren of the club, I made up a simple little seal for us. See it here, download it, adapt/improve it as you will, etc.

Miscellaneous Steve | October 27, 2006 02:36 PM

"Steve" isn't me *cough* so, uh, props should go to the miscellaneous "Steve"

I've been thinking for a while I need to put something more than "Steve" in the Name field when I post. I like "Miscellaneous Steve." Thanks Steve Buchheit for solving my nom de comment thread problem.

Kate: I tell my wife now and then that if she ever gets the prescription for her glasses updated, the marriage will be in immediate trouble. Which makes her laugh. Which is what I intend: a compliment and a chuckle. Things like this are never intended as backhanded compliments.

Tim: Very nice seal.

Steve Buchheit | October 27, 2006 02:51 PM

Hey Steve, no worries. At parties I often go by "Miscellaneous Steve B" when there is more than one of us in a crowd (even filling out name tags that way).

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