Friday, May 20, 2005

May 20, 2005
Last night both graduated kids met Kathy and I at Rock Fish at Desert Ridge for dinner and we had a swell time ($36 plus $7 tip, house account). Afterwards I followed Deena down to PV Mall to take her shoe shopping (a belated B-Day gift from the dad). I am proud to say I was pretty good for the first four stores. We started at Dillard's, where my daughter tried on a half-dozen pairs of wedgies (evidently the newest trend although it could have been in a thrift store and I wouldn’t have known the difference), then she stormed through the mall, stopping at every little shoe store on the right (so many stores, so little difference). Like a combat unit entering Falujah, Deena commandeered each store we entered and within three minutes had tried on half the inventory on the floor, and sent the clerks into the back for the rest. By the time we got to Robinsons May I was starting to wilt (How many shoes can you actually try on without buying anything? Answer: more than I have ever tried on in my entire life! And the prices! $120 for $3.18 worth of material. Ay-yi-yi!!!!). Finally Deena took pity on me and let me go home at about nine. I gave her a meager hug as she leaned out from behind a pile of boxes and kissed my cheek. She was just getting warmed up. I was fried.

I got home about 9:40, and Kathy asked me if I had fun. I said "If fun is described as the acquisition of multiple foot ornamentation beyond human need." Actually I said nothing, and went to sleep, thankful I am a guy with minimum shoe needs

This morning, before work, I went out to my studio morgue and looked for that image of Wyatt Earp that ran on Allen Barra's book cover. I had forgotten about it and realized it should be in CGII (painted c. 1988, done on duotone paper, which I used for my editorial cartoons at New Times). As I was looking through my Wyatt Earp boxes (yes, plural) I came across the Tombstone Directory and Gazetteer for 1881. It’s quite amazing what I have and don't remember I have. As I scanned it, I was amazed at all of the businesses in Tombstone. For example there were several "soda works" and "root beer and coffee" saloons. There were also three ice cream parlors and a ton of cigar stores and an ice plant. The undertakers are named "Ritter and Ream" which sounds like the punchline to a joke. Also, exotic seafood fare was available at the "Oriental Oyster House." There were several wine bars, including a "Sonoma Wine House" establishment and a "private school," called "The Tombstone Academy." And a store that sold "electric rods," whatever that is. Sounds more like Palm Springs than Goose Flats, eh?

Believe it or not I actually found the artwork and brought it in for Gus to scan. Worked on several additions to CGII.

Went over the History of Western Wear feature we are working on with Robert Ray. Lots of loose ends. Came up with the idea of doing "Hats from Hell" and if you've been paying any attention to Country music lately, you know we’re talking Hell on a head, Man. Toby Keith looks like a hair dresser who moonlights as a pimp. And how about that black shellack that protrudes from the cabeza of Tim McGraw? And it gets worse. Kid Rock has something that looks like a pheasant took over his head. If I didn't know better I'd say much of it seems inspired by the Doperoper, a cartoon character I created back in 1972. I did a parody of the rural jackpot roper cowboy lid I used to see on the heads of old Kingman cowboys like Buzzy Blair; creased hard and laid low, a total parody. But even though I thought my cartoon hat creation was totally over the top, these hats make DR look like Cary Grant. One dude actually wears a “cowboy hat” with flames coming off the brim. I kid you not.

Went to lunch with Carole and Melrose at the Bad Donkey. Had the rueben. Conned Mike into paying for half my lunch (only had $3 dollars on me, or so I told him).

"Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness."
—Publilius Syrus

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