|The Newly Minted Doctor Gaiman
||[Jun. 10th, 2012|09:31 pm]
|||||Suzi Orvek: Blown Away||]|
I wrote this on a train a couple of weeks ago and realized now that I've never posted it, about Neil G.'s visit to Philly -- It's late, but if you're coming back from the future to find this, you won't care .....
After the Newly Minted Doctor Gaiman gave his commencement address at the University of the Arts Trillian and I met up with him and Amanda at XIX, high atop the Bellevue Hotel (which is where I almost got into a fistfight over my Hello Kitty phone) and the guys from Locust Moon comics came along and while we were there, the Kickstarter hit 15,000 people and there was much rejoicing. Neil wrote a celebratory note on Amanda's leg in sharpie and the Locust Moon guys held her up in the air and I snapped a photo and we tweeted it.
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After that trillian_stars — and I went back to Neil & Amanda's and I did a bed-song photo of them (actually a whole series of them) and had some champaign and talked about the bed song book and Neil's new book which he had a proof of and I'm not sure I'm supposed to talk about and my book which I haven't had a moment to blog about but will soon.
Then I photographed Neil & Amanda for the Bed Song book, naked, just like everybody else. It seemed fair and it seemed scary and it seemed beautiful and there's more that I'll probably mention in whatever essay I write for the Bed Song Book, but I felt like it was an important place along a journey -- and that I was there with trillian_stars — who I love, and Neil & Amanda who I love as well and have for some long time now, it was the most beautiful private celebration with the private lives of public people and it felt very special.
Even as I'm typing this, Neil has written a beautiful blog post about being photographed and the giant $1,000 book that you can read here.
A year or so ago I got an email from a very kind woman named Celeste who told me she worked at a fancy restaurant called Square 1682 and they had a 7 course vegetarian meal they'd like to have trillian_stars — and I try and we did and it was, without a doubt, the most spectacular meal I have ever experienced, it took two and a half hours to eat and there was wine with each course, specially prepared and every thing that came to the table was an event you felt like you should be clapping after -- soups that started as sculptures and things like that. So when Neil said we should celebrate, I knew where we should go.
All hail the magic of Twitter -- as we were leaving someone on Twitter (sadly it has scrolled out of my messages and I can't see who) wrote to say that Rodney Anonymous from the Dead Milkmen was looking for us and I called and convinced him and his wife Vienna to come meet us.
If you don't know Rodney Anonymous or the Dead Milkmen you need to. They're the most ereudite and hysterical punk band I've ever heard (my favorite song is Stuart (and this is EXACTLY HOW RODNEY TALKS ALL THE TIME someone should follow this man around with a tape recorder.))
Given how cool Rodney is, it's not surprising to find out that he married Vienna -- Vienna was the coolest girl in my high school. Imagine if Joan Jett were tough. That's her. Invariably some jocks would be trying to stuff you into a locker and Vienna would walk past with her hands in the pockets of her jacket -- she'd stop and look for a few seconds and then say "Why are you trying to put that kid in a locker?" and the jocks would huff a little and then they'd run off because they figured she probably had a switchblade (and who knows, she probably did) and you'd look up at her in your wimpy gratefulness and she'd say "Why'd you let those guys put you in a locker?" and you were so thunderstruck you couldn't answer, all you could do was hold one side of your broken eyeglasses up to look through at her and then she'd light a cigarette and walk out of the school through the bright light at the end of the hall and you'd be left, scattered and amazed watching off after her.
So Rodney and Vienna came to dinner and Dr. Brad Hafford (whafford — who teaches archaeology at the Penn museum and it was a really great circle of people from such diverse fields having the most wonderful conversation.
Rodney, Amanda, Neil
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The next day whafford — and trillian_stars — and I had lunch with Neil at a Mexican restaurant and were joined by our friend Jerry who's an actor in Trillian's company and we talked about plays and acting and bees. Especially the bees, as I'd read on Twitter how Neil had recently captured 5,000 swarming bees in a cardboard box and demanded details. But it seems there wasn't much more to it than was on Twitter. While jogging, Neil noticed a swarm of bees in a tree clustered together like a buzzing basketball with the queen at the center and he thought "I should catch those bees." So he got a bee-suit out of the garage and called Woodsman Hans and told him to bring an axe and Neil got a cardboard box and stood in the spot he thought the bees would fall if Woodsman Hans chopped down the tree with his axe and Woodsman Hans chopped the tree down and as it fell, Neil held the box out under the bees and they fell into it and he closed up the box and then dumped them into one of the empty bee hives and that was pretty much that.
Neil & Trillian
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Later Brad took everyone on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Archaeology and we saw all sorts of wonderful things not on display. Including a tray marked "amulets" and we spent much time speculating how someone might use an amulet of Pazuzu or a frog and whether or not one carried the amulet in their pocket or wore it on a string or whatever.
Dr. Brad & Dr. Gaiman
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The next evening Neil & Rodney and I met up with for a couple hours to catch up on all the conversation we couldn't hear across the table at 1682. A large part of the conversation was about Norse mythology, which Rodney seemed to have a vast knowledge of out of the box. Neil & I plotted the bed-song book, agreed on some pages and styles. We said our goodbyes and I walked out into the world which seemed a little brighter.
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[Roller Derby Portraits]
I poked a Nationally Important Attorney with a sharp stick Friday night. Because I could and the Court gave me the stick and it was the right thing to do.
I could never live the life you do. It would overwhelm me and probably leave me *splat* on the sidewalk somewhere. But I really enjoy reading about it. I don't think I'm jealous. I think I'm really happy for you and Trillian and Dr. Brad for having found each other and found all these other interesting people and having Grand Adventures and putting lots of good stuff out into the world.
I will go do awesome things tomorrow. Slightly less colorful awesome, but awesome nonetheless. You keep up the awesome on your end. ;)
I just had this odd revelation that Dr. Gaiman looks like the protagonist of a Douglas Adams novel. ;)
it sounds like a fantastic visit - and I am almost more envious of the backstage museum than of the hanging out with dr Neil parts!
and I love that photo of Neil and Trillian.
I came here to say the exact same thing. Much as I'm envious of the company, I'm VERY envious about being backstage.
The worst part is, I'm here in Philly, and I want nothing more than to work at one of the fine local museums around here.
Wow. I will be in Philly starting Thursday; I only hope my week there is half as interesting as a week in your life. (I get to visit an old friend's new dessert restaurant and possibly a distant-sort-of-relative's art jewelry place, so that's got to be a good start!)
What a touching and beautiful recounting. Thank you for sharing.
*sigh* I want just a 1/4 of your life. In other news, I ran into Lee Moyer at a party last weekend. We told stories about you. :)