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Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
We went to a baby party tonight. A friend's daughter turned one and I hadn't been to a party for anyone under the age of fifty in a while. Our daughters go to birthday parties for those who've turned their ages, 9 & 12, but without us. So anyway, being at this baby party in a house with babies made me aware of things on the floor. Here are some things on the floor of my studio.
Lots of drawings.
Lots of rough sketches, copies of sketches, revised rough sketches.
Lots of abandoned inked finals.
Some drawings with watercolors.
Some more in frames, leaning against the wall.
Those sneakers I was looking for that I thought were under the bed.
Lots of books.
A drawer full of Cul roughs I pulled out of my little flatfiles because I couldn't find one of the sheets with the color codes on it. I still haven't found it.
Some money (probably not really; if I convince myself there's some money to be found on the floor it'll give me the impetus to pick stuff up).
Some CDs and a box of sheet music.
A banjo I haven't learned how to play.
A case with my old bagpipes that I've forgotten how to play.
A cat toy (I'm assuming, there's always a cat toy).
A blue gum eraser that bounces under furniture when dropped.
I hope not an Xacto knife.
Some bugs (I'm assuming; I've got a basement studio so there's usually bugs).
A narrow path through all this stuff. I'm clumsy and step on things without meaning to, so maybe I'd better pick up stuff. Plus I hear there's money under it somewhere.
What's on YOUR studio floor?
Friday, September 28, 2007
These are two sketches for strips that were rejected. Someday I'll revise them just enough to be unrecognizable, or wait long enough so no one remembers them, and use them again. There's something in the cow noisemaker I find compelling.
Every once in a while I do an Almanack with a realistic & fully-posable finger puppet that can be cut out and enjoyed by anyone who can weild scissors & tape. Like this one. They're really just self-indulgent failures of the imagination. I can't think of anything else to draw, so I draw a face that's fun to draw, then at the last minute I add a comment at the bottom and hope for the best. I may have gone to the well one time too often and I should quit. But look at that face! Who can resist? And Tom the courier and my friend Mike both say they're fun to cut out and collect, though I haven't tried either. And the kids love 'em, or at least they haven't specifically complained about them.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
So I have to draw a tiny caricature of Walt Whitman tonight and looking at a picture of him I'm floored by his resemblance to Gabby Hayes. I'm sure I'm the last to notice this. But wouldn't that have been great casting for a 1940s Hollywood biopic?
Now I'll never be able to read Leaves of Grass without hearing Gabby Hayes' voice. Not that I ever read it much, but it's something to look forward to.
We randomly chose a restaurant near their hotel, a place called Il Mulino that looked pleasant but not overbearing. It seemed empty but, as we had no reservation, we had to wait a bit. The first thing we noticed was the waitstaff; they wore white tie and there were a lot of them (the waiters, I mean; each had only one white tie visible).
When we were seated and presented with menus the first thing we noticed were the prices, but as the syndicate was paying our shock quickly turned to joy. There followed a procession of waiters, each with one white tie and each bearing a different type of small appetizer thing. A tiny sausage, some kind of relishy stuff, a massive wheel of parmesan off which the waiter carefully picked some bits off for us, etc etc. At one point, just to show off, a waiter came by carrying a large tub of prawns and gave us their whole provenance, their life history, ages, hobbies, just kind of bragging about the prawns (we didn't get any, but they were very nice and seemed to be proud to be in their tub and who wouldn't be?).
So dinner passed like this in a four-hour blur. The restaurant had filled up quickly with well dressed people (though no one topped the white tie) and most of them looked like they were used to restaurants such as this with many of them ordering complicated meals that required several waiters to fix half the food at the table. More used to places with plenty of highchairs and crayons, I rubbernecked like a yokel. One man at the table next to us bore a very close resemblance to Ben Bernanke, it was either him or a Bernanke imitator, who are rife in DC.
By the end of the very excellent meal we were the last people there, and after dessert another waiter (who looked exactly like Prince Harry; I doubt he was, but I'm just sayin') brought us a complementary glass of grappa (raspberry infused no less) poured from this huge tank packed in ice. When we finally left half the staff escorted us outside, telling jokes in various languages all of which were really funny after that grappa and the previous bottle of wine and two beers. The editors poured me into a cab, pressed enough money into my hand to get home, and the next thing I remember I'm typing this.
So my plan is, I'm gonna rent a white tie tux, affect an accent, buy some small boxes of crayons and kids' menu type things with the puzzles and dot-to-dots on them, and sneak into Il Mulino and distribute them to the diners when no one's looking, like between the appetizers and the travelling prawn show. Who's with me on this?