Caitlyn the Mortician and an origami cat.

October 18th, 2019

I’ve spoken on many an occasion about how much I like Caitlyn the Mortician. Here and here, specifically. Snorth got tickets to see Caitlyn live on her book tour and since both Snorth and I are big fans we decided to combine our talents to make Caitlyn a present. We decided on a unique origami cat. Snorth folded one and I took it and drew spookiness all over it. I tried to make it special by putting the date and “4 C8lin” (“For Caitlin”) on the back of the head.

Then I unfolded it and smoothed it flat.

It turns out that all the illustrations were on one side of the paper which is good because you don’t have to worry about the front and the back lining up when it’s printed. I photographed the unfolded drawing and brought it into Illustrator and made a elegant crisp Illustrator file from it with some slight modifications so it’s wouldn’t be an issue if during the folding process things were not exactly lined up (Snorth called it paper creep).

After Snorth printed and folded the new Illustrator version I decided it needed some festive glitter so I took one of my nail polishes and jazzed it up a bit with a dotting tool.

Because unless you have fancy cameras and lights the glitter never shows up properly here is the nail polish I used, First Class by ILNP. You can appreciate the holo.

And Caitlyn loved it! Here is the photo of her and Snorth and Snorth’s niece.

I’d like to think it’s on display somewhere in her home or office.

Internet things I have come across in my travels (on the www, I didn’t leave the house.)

October 13th, 2019

1. Evelyn from the Internets. She has existed for a looooong time but I only came across her recently when I clicked on a video about the origin of “Black sounding” names. Really interesting btw, I learned a lot. Who knew French was such a big part of it? Not me, you know, until now. I thought hey maybe this nice person has more videos and then I crawled into her YouTube page and I have not emerged for days. I will now post some of my favorites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=575LByUKT00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KWHfNxntlQ&t

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR1iO5J1mK4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVie7O6lF1Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6b2aN-yKrQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhTrCCdCVm0

 

2. Does everyone remember the great kid who captured his relationship with the local deer back in 2016? If not, here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1IRrZEmBe0

Guess what happened in 2019??

https://coldgamekelv.tumblr.com/post/186343370606/my-girl-canela-is-out-here-enjoying-her-hot-girl

 

3. This is a thing that is.

This is not the first charitable act Pornhub has done. I never stop being amused by their actions. In addition to the scholarship referenced below, Pornhub had a $25,000 scholarship for women in STEM. You don’t have to be in the adult entertainment industry, you simply need to answer their essay question like any other scholarship. I would love to work on Pornhub’s charity projects. UPDATE: Oh, Pornhub is Canadian. That explains the niceness.

This video is Safe For Work so no worries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=18&v=s6R1iwsHdAk

 

4. Anderson.Paak’s “Come Down.” I heard a short bit of this song in an ad and I looked for it. It’s a real tight song and wait a second, are they sampling the Israeli national anthem??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OqrcUvrbRY

It’s the only national anthem I know all the words to other than the American one. And it turns out, yes, this dope track sampled the Israeli national anthem which is famously morose. Good job, whoever produced “Come Down.” Eclectic choice, I like that.

The Israeli national anthem *: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMwSlp7I7IQ

 

* Which I now found out sampled from Smetana’s “Moldau” and that drew its inspiration from a Scandinavian folk song so errybody sampling errybody .

The enigma of Maureen Maher.

September 29th, 2019

As I have mentioned numerous times I watch an absurd amount of television. Like, borderline unconscionable. I do like me those one hour crime stories. I’ve watched a lot of 48 Hours and in the process I’ve seen a lot of host Maureen Maher. Here’s the deal: Most of these hosts stand in front of a benign pattern  / green screen wearing a dark-colored whatever and tell the intro and outro of the story. Not Maureen. Maureen shows up every time in a complex leather jacket with a lot of flaps and buttons. If she’s in front of a green screen it’s got a run-down warehouse on it (why?) and she’ll often hold her hands in weird positions in front of her torso like she’s a noble in Louis XIV’s court. I did some research and apparently others have noticed this.

 

I consider this a true diamond image in a pile of coal images. We’ve got an flappity jacket, a crappy 3D warehouse AND Maureens’s doing something extra-weird with her hands, making a portal or stargate of some kind. It’s all-encompassing. I feel like I’ve been blessed.

Broadway.

September 22nd, 2019

I don’t often go to the theater because it’s absurdly expensive (about $100++ a ticket) and the audience is filled with people. I don’t know if you know this but people as a whole are really badly behaved. They fool around on their phones. They forget to turn off the ringer even after being reminded 72 times. They unwrap crinkly plastic wrappers on candy for what seems to be forty-five minutes. I read this nugget this morning that chilled me to the bone.

Horrifying. So I tend to stay home. But sometimes I forget, decide to go out there, brave the masses and absorb culture straight from the source. I saw the play referenced above, Betrayal. It was really well done. I had never seen Pinter’s work before. The show was nice and brisk, 90 minutes with no intermission. It was dry and British and a solid classic play. Tom Hiddleston was great but I though Charlie Cox (Daredevil on Netflix) was such a terrific actor he made the other two look subpar. That man is talented as hell. As soon as the audience stopped clapping at the end I booked it out of there with great haste. I did not want to get enmeshed in the hordes of women vibrating with desire outside the stage door. There was so, so many of them.

On Wednesdays Broadway shows have a matinee at 2:00 and another show at 7:00 or 8:00 so I made the choice to double-punch my theater experience. I got a ticket for Dear Evan Hansen (musical) at 2:00 and To Kill A Mockingbird (play) at 7:00. Even though Dear Evan Hansen came out a few years back I have done an excellent job of learning as little as possible about it. I knew one song in its entirety and a chunk of one other and that’s it. I had a rough idea of the plot but nothing concrete. So there was many components that I did not anticipate. Hooooo, that show gutted me like a fish. It’s about social anxiety and feeling alone and high school which exacerbates the social anxiety and isolation because in case you forget high school is straight-up the worst. It incorporates social media because things are different now, everybody can know everything in zero seconds and once it’s out there it’s out there forever. I’m going to try to tell you the smallest amount while explaining my experience so if you go to see the show it’s not spoiled too much for you. The show started, set up the characters (it feels like more but there’s only eight actors total) and the first song kicked in. It was fine, it felt pretty standard, I was whelmed. I settled in for an adequate time. And then song #2 happened and I was like, “Oh no, this is going to be a ride, I can tell.” I made it all the way into Act II after the intermission before I teared up. I made almost all the way to the end before the choking crying started. It gave me great comfort to hear all the sniffling and gulping around me, we were feeling all the feels. After the show ended I stood up, exited my row and did some deep breathing in the hallway. I would highly recommend this musical. The role of Evan Hansen is exceptionally difficult to perform and it’s worth seeing the show to see the actor portray the role. It’s tough but it’s worth it. Try to see a matinee (Wednesdays and Saturdays) so when you exit you aren’t walking out into nighttime and then promptly going home and going to sleep. You need some time to digest. Here’s a video of the original cast which basically gives you the identical amount of information I just did, so not major plot points, only the basics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCqoj1Y4PiQ

After eating a pastrami sandwich moistened with my tears I walked about 40 feet to the other theater where To Kill A Mockingbird was playing (the Broadway theaters are very close to each other). That show was great. I loved the book when I read it in school and I think this production did a stellar job of capturing those emotions. The three lead kids were played by adults and I didn’t think I could get past that but they were effective at portraying children and I didn’t notice after a while. Aside from the horrendous racism, and there is plenty, there are some funny moments. It’s a wonderful example that no feeling is isolated, there’s always some grief and some humor and some anger all mixed in together. The scenery moves a bit too much but other than that, big fan. Also highly recommend.

NYC stuff.

September 16th, 2019

A few select items:

1. I walked past a deli specializing in pickles and this sign was in the window.

I will now start wishing people “May The Lord of Pickles smile upon your crocks.” You don’t even have to like pickles and it still feels good to say. Bonus: Don’t tell people what you’re referencing. Just hit ’em with the good wishes, include a sweeping arm gesture and walk away. Leave ’em blessed and confused.

2. Moomins and I finally went to the Whitney Museum in the meatpacking district of New York (more on that later) and in the process we went to Chinatown to the restaurant where my father proposed to my mother, Hop Kee. The ambience is not great, think really clean 1980s office bathroom, tile and florescent lighting for days. The food is amazing though. While Moomins was attacking a steamed fish like Jack the Ripper I looked behind her head and saw a sign that tells a thousand stories.

“If ONE MORE PERSON asks me where the G****MNED BATHROOM IS I will straight up throw a piece of crockery at them. Try me. TRY. ME.”

3. Now on of the big elements of New York activity. The Moomins and I have been meaning to go to what used to be the new Whitney Museum (we put it off so long that it’s now just the Whitney). I struggle with modern art. Some of it is good, some of it is bad and all that’s fine but then some of it is straight smoke and mirrors and I am 100% done with that. I thought I would make it into the actual exhibition space before I started fuming but I was wrong. While Moomins was sorting out the ticket situation I ambled into the gift shop and started perusing the usual niceties – big coffee table books, scarves, umbrellas, etc. In a table case there was some pleasant enough jewelry and whatnot… And then I saw it. It was a not particularly well-made two hump porcelain candle holder, one hump per candle. Since there were two of them on display I could see they were made from a mold. Next to the candle holders were some basic white candles. All of this is fine. The comment next to it was you would buy this candle holder and you would get ten candles that come with it. And when you burn the candles you become part of the artwork because each one is unique. And it was selling for $900. Yeah okay here’s the thing: That’s how all candles work. You burn them, they drip all over and there’s your unique sculpture. And I would have understood this for $50. But $900? With the two zeros and everything?

Point is I checked my umbrella into coat check in a rage. I ended up being really impressed with the museum’s collection. It’s an enormous collection of American artists, predominantly painters. What I liked was each painting was made in a cross-section of time and place, x and y axis, and you get a sense of what America was like at that time. There was a portrait done of a Communist leader when this country was close to becoming Communist and in addition to the portrait itself you can see the painting style that was emerging at that time, the colors of the clothes, the tablecloth, etc. There were some paintings done in shortly before the Great Depression of the Ford factory that were like the calm before the storm (the storm being the epic unemployment to come). tt was done in a style I was unfamiliar with called Precisionism where lines are put in specific areas that span across the painting and give it the impression of a clean stained glass window. It’s like the opposite of Impressionism. Where Impressionism is soft and ethereal, Precisionism is crisp lines everywhere. Not a loose stroke to be had. The most famous piece in that style is this:

So I have no regrets in regards to the classic collection. Then there was the moderny modern section. Many years ago I had the experience where on my college campus they got sculptural elements and put all over in random spots (in front of the library, in the courtyard near the humanities building, etc.). One day I was walking past the student apartments where I saw a massive pile of wood and fabric so I did a circle around it to see if there was a placard about the artist who made it. It was at that time I realized it was a pile of garbage. It was a moment of clarity for me. “If the art is indistinguishable from trash, it’s trash.” I’ve now expanded that to “If a cleaning lady comes into the gallery and mistakes your art for trash and throws it away, it’s trash.” I’ll give you some examples.

These were very large hollow plastic shapes. They looked like enormous chrysalises, the casings that caterpillars make to turn into butterflies. Did I fully understand? Not really. Could I clearly tell this was art? Yes I could.

And then there was this.

What is that, tape and floor tile and wood or something? Yeah, that’s not gonna make the cut.

Pass…

…Fail.

I went outside because I needed a breath of fresh air and the topper on the cake was the sculpture that greeted me. When I was in Vienna last winter I was in a museum that had a whole gallery devoted to a plaster cast of a woman tweezing her mustache with a shard of broken glass and farting frankincense. I wish I was kidding. Here’s the post, complete with pictures. I thought that that chapter of my life was done. I was wrong. I wasn’t really sure what this sculpture was and I didn’t look at it for very long. There’s a figure on a dolly being pushed or pulled or something like an ox and then the smoke kicked on.

Are those Mets socks? I imagine I made several art patrons uncomfortable when I semi-yelled, “Is it POSSIBLE for me to not see any more things with smoke coming out of the butthole??? Is THAT something I can opt for???” With context that is an extremely concerning statement so I understand the people that carefully moved away from me. I stared at the skyline which was very nice until I collected myself and then calmly took the elevator down to the ground floor to wait for The Moomins. I would encourage you to visit the Whitney Museum because the permanent collection is excellent. And the space is great. And the views are also great. And the restaurant looked pretty good. May The Lord of Pickles smile upon your crocks and may you not encounter any vaping anuses. I wish that for each and every one of you.

Binging on TV and I don’t feel bad about it.

August 26th, 2019

As I have mentioned before I make crafts ‘n’ art all the time as if mandated by Saint Anastasia of Sirmium, patron saint of weavers, healers, martyrs and exorcists. During the time that I am diligently creating these masterpieces I have the TV on and I consume programs like it’s my job. Let’s look at my viewing history, shall we? Rhetorical question. We shall.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 on Hulu. Ooooo, that show makes me clench my everythings. A plus this season: Bradley Whitford. That man can do no wrong. I love him. He’s adorbs, he’s a great actor, he’s funny and smart off-screen – flawless. His character is chewy and interesting and you want to watch him and see what he does next. Another plus: Chris Meloni. That man is one of the most underappreciated actors. You want funny? He can do funny. You want creepy? He can do creepy. More work for Chris Meloni. Give him all the roles.  A minus this season: June should be dead. She has pulled shenanigans that should have got her hung on the wall numerous times but she is not dead and that feels fake. Kill off her character, it’ll be okay. We can follow the nineteen other side characters’ stories, they’re all super-interesting. Remember the episode where they followed Emily and Janine in the colonies? That was great. Remember the things happening when Emily is reunited with her wife and kid? Remember when we followed the Waterfords and got to see what they’re up to (nothing good, they’re garbage people)? Also great. We don’t need June. Kiiiiiiilllllll Joooooooooooon. In addition: The Marthas are the real heroes. Those dames are phenomenal. They keep secrets, they have underground societies, they move vital contraband like medications and they clean HARD. Excellent aggressive cleaning. Team Martha forever.

The Boys on Amazon. The best review I can give on this is “Did you like Deadpool 1 & 2? The extreme humor and violence? Well, have I got a show for you!” The Boys is based on a graphic novel and the show does an excellent job of conveying that. The actors are terrific and if you don’t like one character that’s fine, there’s ten other people to like. Everyone is broken in the most engaging ways. The superheroes are gloriously atrocious. It’s only eight or nine episodes and I’m already looking forward to Season 2. Please don’t get cancelled.

Lodge 49 on AMC / Hulu. This is a weird show. I am still undecided on whether I like it or not. The plot is slow and I am not thrilled at the direction it’s going. The show is teetering on the edge of being silly and not in a good way. Some elements I do like: The characters. The lead is played by Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s son and he’s a really terrific actor. I abhor nepotism but he does a great job. I can’t stop looking at his eyes and eyebrows. I don’t know if his eyebrows are naturally like that or if he waxes / tweezes but they are well-groomed.

The additional characters I like are the lead’s sister (played by a British woman who’s American accent is impeccable) and the lead’s sponsor at the lodge. I recommend watching the first episode solely for the set design and decorating. Clearly whoever did the set design / decorating cared deeply about creating a backstory and conveying a mood. Sometimes I couldn’t concentrate on the dialogue because I was looking at each aspect of background.

Homecoming on Amazon. I decided to watch this based on nothing. I saw it got good reviews, I figured it couldn’t hurt and I watched the whole show in one long night. I don’t want you to know anything either because going in with no previous information made it engrossing in a way it would not if I had had some info beforehand. I recommend it. It unrolls slowly and beautifully and Julia Roberts did a damn fine job.

Fleabag on Amazon. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen. That’s it. Evocative story. Funny. Sad.  Great actors (I love you Olivia Coleman, thank you for being). My one complaint was that it was only two seasons. I hope they do another season later in like ten years catching up with the characters. More Fleabag! All the Fleabag!

Mindhunter Season 2 on Netflix. Everyone watched Season 1 of Mindhunter, yes? Season 2 picks up where we left off. The characters continue to interview serial killers that existed and again whoever casts the killers is a genius. The similarities in appearance is uncanny. And Ed Kemper actor is back! We love you, Ed Kemper actor! Keep on keepin’ on! The season mainly follows one real case and the fact that I knew nothing about this case is heartbreaking. It reinforces how crimes involving white people and crimes that involve people of color are treated entirely differently. Get ready to be disappointed by people.

 

ADDITION: I have only one episode left of The Boys and if Antony Starr (Homelander) doesn’t get nominated for an Emmy I will throw a fit. That guy’s acting is off the charts. Not only is he acting a very difficult role but he’s Australian so he’s doing it all in a different accent. Great, all around. I want to fling awards at him and watch him bat them out of the air.

New Orleans. I knew I’d get to it eventually.

August 8th, 2019

In February (yeah I’m aware it’s August, hush your judgmental self) I went to New Orleans to take a surface beading class where I did precisely no surface beading whatsoever. It’s where I worked on St. George. Snorth and her husband Speeb and I made a trip of it. While the class was only three days we went there for five because it’s important to see as much as possible. New Orleans continues to be one of my favorite destinations in America. I have a list.

– They have no snow. That means no slippy slidey slushy sadness. Yes, it’s oppressively hot and muggy but you know what I’m not going to do in that muggery? Get betrayed by physics and gravity and have my feet shoot out from under me, potentially damaging my body and definitely damaging my mental state. Ain’t nobody need that.

– You like making props and costumes? All year. They do it all year. There’s not only Mardi Gras, there’s also some big party at Halloween. People makes bikes with critters on them (more on that later). They make carts with musical instruments and all manner of flashing blinking whatnot and roll it around the neighborhoods for no reason. When Snorth and I went to the major float provider I found out they do sets for shows and brands and really anyone who needs something, not only Mardi Gras. They’re busy all year round. I asked what it takes to work there and I seriously considered quitting my job and going down there to live my best life but decided against it because it’s wildly reckless and very unrealistic. But I’m still thinking about it. Secretly. In the back of my mind.

– The people. The people there love their ugly folk. I don’t mean it’s a city entirely comprised of trolls and sewer-dwellers. It’s that in New York there’s a ton of high fashion and models and that’s valued and important. Chanel and Versace and Prada and Fashion Week. In New Orleans there’s no Prada and there’s no supermodels. Regular people leading regular lives. Wearing what they want. All the beautiful people I saw weren’t being pretentious, they were dressed in super-cool clothes and clearly unconcerned with people’s perception of them. It seems that your story-telling or music or art you make is more valuable than your appearance. Appearance still matters in New Orleans, it’s just not the top of the list. Quite the breath of fresh air.

I’ve been to New Orleans before and blogged about it (see here) so I’m going to do a very truncated version.

The class was offered in the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture and I learned quite a bit. For example it is not uncommon for someone participating in the parade to wear elements of their career in their costume. The woman wearing this was a nurse, hence the syringe and the stethoscope and the caduceus.

 

The museum had the nutria bike I’d seen previously, I was super-psyched to meet it in person as you can imagine. His name is Napoleon and his whiskers are zip ties.

Some of the other notable items in the museum: The Erté dress with the dog made from a lawn holiday decoration of a reindeer on wheels.

There was the mannequin with a large, concerning lump on his neck.

There was a beaded patch that caught my eye. Often these beaded elements are roughly sketched out and the creators are more concerned with conveying a message than intricate technique. This patch is a portrait and it is a very good representation of Big Freedia. Big Freedia is called the Queen of Bounce which is a style of dance music that I have difficulty listening to. But I find Big Freedia a delightful person and I love her fashion choices. She’s a killer and she works hard.

In the back was a metal skirt that women wear at giant balls and parties. The rings hold champagne glasses and the wearer glides around the floor where you can pick up champagne from her.

That was fine. What was NOT fine was what was perched on top of one of those skirts. I walked to the back of the museum only to be confronted by the most nightmarish thing ever: a papier-maché crawfish (an already rough-lookin’ critter) but gigantor and falling apart. It was broad daylight in a well-lit room and I still shrieked like it had snuck up on me. Look at the skirt for scale.

Huge. In my face. Nightmares. Greeting me. Every morning.

During the class we got meet one of the premier beaders of New Orleans, Demond Melancon. He went from being a dishwasher in local hotels to having his work shown in museums and sold in galleries. Demond makes crazy complex costumes which are used for battling. Instead of battling with knives and guns, two people wearing these kinds of costumes go up to each other and display off the stories they have been working on for that year. There are all those layers so when you think you’ve seen it all the wearer pulls a panel away and paplow! Another panel. You slide an arm flap and there’s a whole different section you hadn’t noticed. If you know how heavy glass beads are you can only imagine how heavy this whole ensemble is. I think showing dominance over others in non-violent ways and using talent and storytelling skills is awesome so keep it up, everyone. One of my favorite things is the beaders brag about how small the beads they use are. The smaller the beads, the more detail, the more time invested, the more skill. The higher the number the smaller the bead. So while everybody else is using 6s and 8s, Demond is out there yelling “10s and 11s! You hear me? 10s and 11s!” Every so often I’ll talk to Snorth and I’ll say, “10s and 11s! Look at it! 10s and 11s!”

We went to Demond’s studio which is a large artist’s collective in a big warehouse. Outside his door is the studio of the people who made Napoleon the Nutria bike. I got very excited.

Since Demond (and his wife, the unsung hero of his success, she needs accolades for her work) do such large projects there’s an ingenious solution to get beading done on such a large scale. They get old dining room tables, take the tops off and staple-gun the thick cotton or linen to the table edges. That way they can draw with markers on this taut surface and see underneath when they’re beading. They had a table off to the side with only the marker drawing on it.

Here’s a video where you can see his studio and some of his work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrG8xgZCwTo

Snorth and I went back to my happy place which was Mardi Gras World where the floats are made. I’ve already covered this place (glorious bliss heaven) but there were some cool new things I thought I’d address.

Look at this excellent painting job! These coins are really great.

I’m glad someone is repairing the giant snail. The snail deserves only the best.

In order to cut down on foam carving time for non-Mardi Gras-related items (like a recent project the Chik-Fil-A cow) they have a computerized carving machine. It’s huge, it takes up a whole room. Which is why most people might not notice the Buddha off in the corner with the DJ Deadmaus’ signature head on it. But I did. I noticed.

They had the usual pile of randomness. Some I took because of the incongruity of one piece next to another. Some I took because of the excellent painting or carving. Some because their expression is hilarious.

Two other New Orleans sights that I want to address – the shoes I would have killed for at 10 years old (wouldn’t mind them now either):

And the Squirrel Carousel. It lit up. It spun. I wanted it. It was $4000. I did not buy it. I have regrets.

I have seen things, virtual things.

July 11th, 2019

1. Are you aware of this? So cool.

https://l-ile-des-confidences.tumblr.com/post/177811016113/erdal-enci-who-clones-multiple-recordings-of

 

2. This is the best art. I want to live in this place more than anything. I ache to rest my tired body in a giant cat, or a fox, or a bunny in an ice cave covered with orb-shaped blue birds. Make sure you click on Page 2 to see all of them.

https://ruinedchildhood.com/post/185958521684/illustrator-imagines-a-world-where-gentle-giant

 

3. Was this a necessity? Did the world crave this to the point it needed to be made? It’s very… specific.

4. This animation is stellar. The rotoscoping* of Cab Calloway as a ghost is particularly great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFBx3qYGxL8

 

*To rotoscope is to trace a live action film frame by frame to create an animation precise to actual movements and forms. A well-known example is the “Take On Me” video.

 

5. In the process of looking for A-Ha gifs I found this (make sure your sound is on):

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=503281129866329

Which led me to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv02k3blZZw

Which led me to THIS (which really has very little to do with the other two but is too great not to share):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDXIa8ivFEc

Now I’m following @Ghetto.Spider on Instagram. I may watch this video ten times in a row for I snort-laugh every time I see it. I want to be in that parking lot so bad.

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByYaNEhh-Np/

 

ChaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaaarts.

July 3rd, 2019

I am a hero.

June 18th, 2019

Did everyone have a nice Friday? I did not. I had a Mission: Impossible Friday. Let’s start at the beginning.

I received a letter from the DMV. “You need to renew your license,” it said. “It’s going to expire. Come in so we can do the thing.” Okay. I got all the documentation. W-2 with social security number, passport, mail from ConEd sent to me with my address on it, etc. Cricket made an appointment for me at 10:45 am so I could zip past all that sadness that the DMV is famous for. I arrived at 10:45am with all my paperwork. I totally forgot that they take your photo and I didn’t have my hair done or any makeup on but whatever, I’ll get in and get out and that will be the end of that. Who cares if I have an janky license pic. The picture-taking woman handed me a number, told me to fill out a form and wait. It was B366. The screen was at B317. Not too bad. I sat down on those uncomfortable church pews and waited.

AT 2:15 IN THE AFTERNOON they got to B366. I had – foolishly, it turned out – parked at a meter that only lasted an hour because ha ha! I was only going to be there for the wink of a dog’s sphincter or whatever. So every hour I had to panhandle my way around the DMV. “Anyone got change for a dollar? Hey pal, can you spare some quarters for a sad lady who hasn’t had breakfast yet and whose phone is at 27%?” When B366 popped up on the screen I scraped the moss off of myself (there was no air conditioning, it wasn’t cobwebs, it was moss) and approached the counter. At last, my task will be complete! Hurrah! The guy looked at all my documentation and said, “Do you have a birth certificate? Or a social security card?” I was like, no but I have every other document ever issued to me in the history of forever, look at this heaping pile of documents in front of you and rejoice, sir. He said, “Well, all your documents say ‘Jessica N Rothman’ but nowhere does it say what the N stands for.” I said Nicole, it stands for Nicole. He said he needed proof that it was Nicole. I said, hey let’s look at that license y’alls issued me and the one before that and ooo here’s my learner’s permit, they all say Jessica N Rothman, clearly this office is super-cool with this so can I go now please. He said no. He said if I can get back to the DMV with my birth certificate by 4:00 that day I would not have to come in again and wait for another billion hours.

This would be the time to press play on this video and listen to it while reading the rest of this story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAYhNHhxN0A

I ran to my car, found the Port Chester Clerk’s Office on my phone (19 minutes away!) and drove there in great haste. I ran into their office (it was air-conditioned and for the duration of my time there I smelled less like an unwell donkey so that was nice) and asked for my birth certificate. I filled out the info. I gave the $10 fee. It wasn’t even 3:00. I was going to make it. And then all my dreams were shattered. The clerk that notarizes the printout wasn’t there with his punchy-punch. The clock was ticking. I told the Port Chester office people my sad tale and they called the notary and told him to stop doing what he was doing (I believe he was at Stop & Shop) and get back asap. He came back at 3:30. He signed. He punchy-punched. I now had 1/2 hour to drive about 20 minutes, not including traffic. I drove like I was powered by Satan himself. I may have honked at an elderly man to get out of the road. I pulled up to the side of the building, parked illegally and put on my hazards, tickets be damned. I ran up two flights of stairs and got inside the DMV at… 3:58.5. I did it with a minute and a half to spare. Now I had to stroll casually around the waiting area for a minute before dealing with my license because I was panting so hard and seeing black spots in my peripherals and sweating all down my back. I think the security guard thought I was going to die. Hell, I thought I was going to die. During my recovery period they indeed locked the doors and had I been late I would have had to come back.  After I collected all my organs together into a body-like shape I went up to a counter. I explained my predicament to the new guy and he said that I had all the things finally and I could get my new license. I might have wept with joy. It all was taken care of.  Then I saw my license photo and wooo it was unfortunate. I would describe it as somewhere between a walrus wearing a wig caught mid-blink and a cryptozoogical forest monster made of burrata with purple twigs where the hair should be. It’s not great. But it will forever remind me of the time I spent about six hours at the DMV and how grateful I am to not have to do it again for about a decade, praise the God of your choosing.