Thursday, June 7, 2007

I Shall Now Die Happy ( know...eventually)

I have to say, this has been one of the awesomest weeks of my life...absolutely. I often think about how bi-polar (in the literal, as opposed to medical sense of the word) events in my life always seem to be. The bad is usually pretty damn bad (although could always be worse) and the good is usually crazy-ass AWESOME. Also, I firmly believe I have had the unparalleled luck of being born with that theoretic resilience gene .
How was this week so awesome??? Aaaaah, I was hoping you would ask....well, Monday, off we (the Remanator and I) flew to New Orleans, courtesy of the Public Housing Authority Director's Administration (read all about it: ). And there I was, in New Orleans-a city that had been on my "Have to see before I die" list since I started it in Junior High. For free. It felt so surreal. I woke up at my usual crazy ass early hour on Tuesday (4 am-ish) and took off for a walk in the French Quarter, which to my misanthropic delight, was virtually abandoned. It was still dark and somewhat scary when I was walking by the House of Blues: and a skinny, dark-skinned man weaved his way down the dark street towards me. Of course he couldn't pass me by without a greeting. And despite the fact that I was a woman, standing alone on an dark and abandoned post-Katrina New Orlean's street carrying an expensive camera I felt no fear whatsoever. The guy went into this presentation, so to speak, that he had apparently developed to lure people into paying him to shine their shoes (or to go away).

"I bet I can tell you where and when those boots got bought."

or some similar spiel...I think he messed up due to his waning drunkenness. Then he says, "Those boots...those boots are on the ground...on Decatur the great city of N'Olens, the state is Lousianna...." etc. etc. And then, "I can tell by that nice camera and those expensive boots you got some extra cash to help out a soul down on their luck..." So I said...

"Well, Sir..I got these boots from Salvation Army, the camera is not mine (albeit my son's which I did not mention) and as a matter of fact the reason I'm here this morning is because I live in public housing and my son won a scholarship and the scholarship people flew us here for free...cuz I'm PO'."

We then had a pleasantly sad conversation about the state of public housing in N'Olens and I acquiesced, that yes, were I resident of the great city I would be in a similarly fucked position.
And I gave him five bucks.
And we went our ways with his friendly parting advice of
"You be careful, now, Ma'am."
"Yes, Sir!" I replied,
"You sleep well, now!"

Later that day,
Remy gave his speech to an audience of 4-500 public housing directors; each and every one of whom congratulated him warmly on his achievements and in a manner so genuine that it felt like he was the nephew of every single one of them.

(practicing his speech)


Later, that evening....contributing mightily to this long week of Surreal Awesomeness, it was announced that; indeed!
against what in very recent history seemed impenetrable odds-
the FIRST.

Hell, Yeah, I cried ...(didn't you?)
Sitting on my hotel room bed in New Orleans, LA...
a city had all but despaired of ever seeing....

sigh. what could POSSIBLY occur to make this week even MORE awesomer??? Right???

Oh...YEAH.. that's right-it's REAL.
I was still pretty brain-dead from the trip, the heat and the working all day, Mil and I drove into the city when I got home from work
(the drive itself surrealistically smooth-no traffic, straight through the tunnel, didn't get lost-a small miracle in and of itself-found FREE parking spot immediately, one block away-the drive home however, the complete opposite...anyway...)
to attend this lecture:

It was....HANDS of the most AWESOME
you know how you might have someone you kind of idolize but then maybe you're afraid to meet them because what if it's a great disappointment...???
Well, Lynda Barry's lecture was so very far from that - I mean, she was even COOLER,
than I could have imagined.

When we first got there, there were these tables set up and Amelia convinced me to buy her a legit copy of "Cruddy" (I had purchased a galley edition off eBay back in 1997, which we had brought along to get autographed despite it's lack of cover and seriously dog-eared status)
SO...I chatted a bit with the lady (girl, really) manning the Drawn and Quarterly table (she was like, "Yeah, as soon as I saw the pigtails and skirt w/ combat boots, I figured you were here for Lynda.")
Dude, I so couldn't help myself. Amelia was like, "MOM! You're such a FAN GIRL!! Ha ha ha."
And I'm thinking,
"What part amongst your Lynda Barry-worshiping upbringing did you not get?"

I've often secretly wondered if the fact that I had a 1991 Lynda Barry calendar prominently displayed in our apartment the year that Amelia was born did not contribute in some way to her huge creative talent...
Mil and I sat on the floor next to the D&Q table
(btw-I have been, also, a fan of D&Q since its pre-Lynda days, that was tres convenient when they hooked up)
-oh, and I saw Art Spiegelman who looked exactly like you would think he looked like...that is to say, middle-aged, disheveled, slouched posture Jewish dude.

So then, we entered the auditorium and nabbed these front row seats and I looked over and ...

And it was so weird, like; there's my friend Lynda! OK, I promise I am not an insane stalker but it just seemed like that. So having no manners or social acumen whatsoever, I rushed over with my two-dog eared books (also brought equally trashed out "My Wonderful Life"-really they were the most portable).
Lynda Barry not only lived up to my fantasy of what she would be like in person, she far exceeded it.
and I told her my daughter was half-Filipino so she called her over and she even drew her a picture on her autograph!!

She was really, really sweet and even though we made her a bit late she didn't even care and her interview was
Really, you know I have this whole issue with sitting in one spot for any period of time and that did not even raise its familiar head....As a matter of fact, I was SO ENGROSSED that I only took ONE picture:


I am SO DEFINITELY going to her workshop....I don't know how (moneywise) but dude...I'll hold a carwash if I have to. (hmmm...that might not be a bad idea). Amelia, too...Amelia is coming with me!

So...yeah, I can die happy now...hopefully not for many years, but no matter...happy...