Yesterday’s Beauty Bar event, MC’d by Jesse Fuchs, was a terrific way to celebrate Georges Prosper Remi’s (aka Hergé) 100th birthday (which is actually today). A crowd of about 30 folks were treated to a great show, combining entertainment and information about the great Belgian cartoonist and creator of Tintin.
This Monday, May 21st, Beauty Bar’s The Phantastic Invisible Tentacle is celebrating Herge’s legacy with slideshow readings of original Tintin-inspired material by me, bertozzi, jasonlittle, and r_sikoryak.
The reading begins at 8pm, and will be followed by a short presentation about Hergé and Tintin, a documentary, Francophone pop, and other retro delights with DJs Stephin Merritt, Jesse Fuchs, Go-Karff, and ERL. The event is free. Please join us!
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Phantastic Invisible Tentacle
Monday, May 21st, 8PM
Beauty Bar 231 E. 14th St.
New York City
It was September 1992 and my dad was helping outfit me for the big trip: Hong Kong and parts unknown. So we hit Paragon Sports looking for a sturdy pair of boots. The Mephistos fit great, were tough and lightweight. But $300 for a pair of shoes?! Dad insisted — it was his money, after all — so I acquiesced. From then on, my soles belonged to Mephisto. The boots finally gave out in Biloxi, but until I put them down that final time, we shared a memorable 13-year-relationship.
If all it takes to know a man is to walk a mile in his shoes, then we knew each profoundly. Together, we waded through Suppong’s underground rivers and clambered through caves; played basketball in Pai, Izmir, and Prague; explored the ruins of Sukhothai, Borobodur, Ephesus and Caunos; climbed to Mr. Ong’s Organic Farm; hiked the Cameroon Highlands; ascended Mt. Bromo; ran from the macaques of Ubud’s Monkey Forest; skirted the rice fields of Bali; echoed through the Hagia Sophia; tiptoed around the Blue Mosque; zigzagged through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar; and tromped the streets of Hong Kong, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Melaka, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bunyawungi, Kuta, Ubud, Rome, Prague, Telc, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul, and Paris.
Back in the States, over the ensuing years, we made our way through the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon, not to mention local hikes in Sonoma, Cape Cod, and the Berkshires.
For 13 long years, they withstood pounding, scuffing, being soaked through and dried out again, replacement shoelaces, and worst of all, my stinky feet. Brave, brave boots! But every great partnership must end, and my old companions just couldn’t handle ERV duty. They were replaced — by a $15 pair of Wal*Mart construction boots — but will never be forgotten.
While it’s all still fresh in my mind, I wanted to present the milieu of Kitchen 35, my workplace staging area for the last three weeks. When I started there, we had 19 ERVs and served about 8,500 meals per day. The typical ERV did about 180 meals for lunch and 210 for supper. My ERV, 1166, did almost exactly those numbers. The biggest server tended to Tony’s ERV, also on the Long Beach route, which did a record of 520 lunches one day!
In the last week, when we absorbed Kitchens 7 and 34, we had a whopping total of 41 ERVS and distributed 16,500 meals per day. It is my understanding that this was the largest collection of ERVs ever in one place.
Now sit back and enjoy a little photo tour of Kitchen 35 and its inhabitants:
[a parade of ERVs as Kitchen 7 joins our ranks]
Today was my last day here. Tomorrow I fly back to NYC. This is a little photo essay of my home for the last three weeks here in Mississippi:
[the front entrance to our warehouse/barracks, with one of the mobile sink/washing stations]
I’d known Gali (given name: “Galadriel”) almost as long as I’d known the Wilsons. (Sari and I started dating in late 1990; Gali arrived the following year.) She was a great dog and we’re all really going to miss her. Gali was a family dog in the truest sense of the word. Although she was bonded most closely to Nancy, Sari’s mom, she had a unique relationship with each other family member, from Sari’s three brothers to Sari to her dad to significant others like myself.
Like a lot of people, Gali was fiercely loyal to the family and not well disposed toward strangers or others of her own kind. As a pack animal, Gali was never happier than when everyone was together. It was part of her ritual to periodically make sure the whole family was accounted for in the house by running up to each person and tapping them one by one with her wet nose. This year, Sari’s brother Dean and his wife Paisley produced a little baby boy, and Gali immediately included Kai in her accounting process.
Gali had special talents too. One was her ability to open Christmas presents layer by layer; first the wrapping paper, then the box, and then the item inside. Very carefully, just using her paws and front teeth. She could also eat corn off the cob — again, very daintily — if you held the cob for her and spun it carefully around. She could do typical dog stuff too: she loved to play in the snow; gnaw a bone; chase a ball, stick, or frisbee; take a walk by the river; and lie in front of a roaring fire. As anyone who’s ever had a dog knows, there’s nothing more peaceful than spending ten minutes petting a contented dog. Gali was particularly good at that. Even though she was a mutt, Gali cut a handsome figure, with her silky fur and elegant snout. Most of all, she was a loving, intelligent pooch, and was a key bond in cementing the closeness of Sari’s family.
After many years of perfect health, Gali started showing her age a bit in recent years. (14 is pretty old for a mid-size dog like her.) She developed arthritis and had a bout of dizziness and stumbles. Then a couple of weeks ago, she developed pneumonia. When she didn’t get better and started to lose her appetite, the Wilsons brought her back to the vet. Last week they diagnosed her with lung cancer.
I recently did a tribute to Charles Schulz in commemoration of his retirement. My strip, as well as a handful of other “alternative” cartoonists’, was published in the Sunday, January 23 issue of The Austin-American Statesman.