August 12, 2009

Brought to You by the Letter F

Hello boys and girls, today we’re having Fun with the letter F. F is For Fudge... and Family Fun... and Facebook and ... and Fu... dge and hopeFully also some good tranquilizers that make all the bad F-y things go bye-bye in the coming days of jet lag recovery.

As the last week oF the Great Escape oF the Summer oF 2009 (trademark pending) draws to a close, I thought I would pattern this edition oF Fresh Ziggy on some oF the surveys my ‘Friends’ (oh yay, another F word) on Facebook have been sending me. In order not to be quite as dreary, drab, and dreabby as some oF these surveys tend to be (“check here iF you’ve ever watched television or brushed your teeth!”), I have invented several oF my own categories For your viewing pleasure. Please Feel Free to also Fill out same with your own clever anecdotes and snippets about how the bread at the restaurant last night tasted a little stale and you had to send it back... Wowzers...

Most ‘I Have to Correct This Real Quick From the Last Entry, Sorry Anna’ moment:
Anna Bullus - she oF the cool Caterpillar(and muchos muchos more) Fame - From last time’s interview did drop a quick line to point out that the picture I had used oF her was somewhat dated. Not that she has changed that much (presumably), but instead that the Gumdrop Bin itselF has become much more user-Friendly, sleek and gum ball recycle-ablellally in its appearance.

Here is an updated photo as sent in by Anna For everyone’s perusal. Again, check out her neato stuFF at either or also For more!

Coolest Updates Sent in From Past Interviewees:
First oF all, it does seem that many oF you are EXTREMELY busy these days, both with orders and special projects, as well as getting ready For many oF the global Fairs and conFerences that should start kicking oFF here any day.

Shahar Peleg sent in a new catalogue ‘blurb’ Featuring a Few new Fun creations. Shahar has a special place in the annals (watch it!) oF my Family, as he was the designer that saved Christmas last year with especially his neato ultra-thin magnetic Flower vases. Check it out via the previous interview and visit his website For more, including my own Favorites, the new magnetic Floating Arrow bookends thingie as well as Key Pete (or is that Pete's Keys? Not sure, will get back to you on that)!

We were also glad to hear From our Fellow Alsatian neighbors, namely Jacqueline and Gerard (not shown here) From the PaciFic Art Design crew. They’ve added some really cool updates to their own website and are working like mad to get ready For the upcoming Autumn Maison&Objet show in Paris, one oF their regular stop-oFFs. We’re still desperately looking For a date to celebrate liFe, liberty and the pursuit oF really good wine, but as happens too oFten in liFe, our schedules have clashed recently (they were busy, my wiFe was in school, I had that troublesome prison sentence to Finish up, you know how it goes).

Coolest ‘Hey I Know That Designer’ Moment
Some oF you have seen this via my Facebook page (pwease will you be my wittle Fwiend?), but it was very very cool indeed to be in the NY JFK airport recently and walk down one oF the endless tunnels and see upon exiting a shop plastered with posters oF Julien Vallee’s Famous ‘spray-can’ paper sculpture. He had the ‘honor’ (?) OF recently being the ad provider to SWATCH watches new ‘the Artist Collection’ series and he not only had his work grace the store Front windows, but also these here Fancy brochures as well.

Julien did comment he was glad For the work (noting said company quite oFten doesn’t give credit For contributing artists), but I have to agree with his assessment that they didn’t use the best lighting / background color combination to show oFF his talents. Still, the FLASH version was kind oF cool on the home website (not sure iF its still up, hang on... yep, take a look HERE).

And now For more V highlights:

Most Embarrassing ‘Okay I conFess I’m A US Citizen Moment’:
IF any oF you have Flown For any amount oF distance lately, you’ve noticed the airlines are cutting WAY back on service (‘Sir, I don’t care iF you’re choking and need a drink oF water, we do not provide aisle service again For another 6 hours!’) and instead occupying their captives with not only relatively poor movies but also relentless barrages oF incredibly bad US TV programming.

In our case, we were treated to a Few sitcoms that I believe have already been outlawed in several states owing to their quality, but also game shows. One in particular - Deal or No Deal’ - raised quite a bit oF consternation throughout the cabin, but not in any kind oF ‘oh golly, I hope that woman jumping up and down wins the jackpot’ kind oF way. Instead, our row 14 neighbors (we was in row 13, try to keep up here ya’ll) broke up several people by commenting in rather loud tones ‘Where is zee intelligence or skill required in zis show? Zey are only peeking zee boxes...’ Sadly, the consensus was that a suFFicient amount oF smarts did NOT seem to be a required option. ThankFully we were interrupted by the captain at this point For several minutes (‘Uuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh..... ladies and gentlemen, we seem to be ..... Uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh mumble mumble uuuuhhhhhhhhh.... seat-belts and uhhhhhhhhh....’).

In a similar circumstance however, this was our Most SatisFying ‘No, the Obama Health Plan Does Not Call For Pushing Old People OFF CliFFs No Matter What The CNBC Mouth-Frothers Are Saying’ Moment
First oF all, I love my Aunt and Uncle M on my mom’s side. I honestly do. They are decent, hard-working people that treat their grand-kids like they’re the most precious creatures on Earth, and they’re not Far oFF (aFter my kids that is... sometimes ... maybe next week, we’ll see).

However, we do tend to diFFer slightly in our political views. I tend to vote For the candidate that speaks loudest to my needs and belieFs, and they worship Sarah Palin, Full stop (For those oF you that don’t know ex-Guvner Palin, she’s shown here with 2 dead baby seals around her neck). No, we’re talking not just the kind of love that says ‘put her in the White House ASAP’, but the kind of adoration that says simultaneously put her in the Vatican and any other high position post you can think oF. That’s the quickest way I can sum it up Folks and hey, I’ just being honest here.

So anyway, we caught up For a brieF visit at the beach together and they were making some, uh, ‘comments’ about Obama having actually stopped oFF some miles away that same day For one oF his ‘town-hall meetings’. It seems that the counter-argument that is being generated by many Foes oF these plans run along the lines oF ‘This plan is the same as in both Canada and France - where they For example take anyone over 65 who coughs in public and puts them in a kind oF Star Trek ‘dissolving chamber’ in order to quickly dispose oF their bodies.’ Well, at this point I thought I’d try a wee question to their inputs along the lines oF ‘have you talked to - or even bizarrely enough - ever met someone From these countries?’

When they sheepishly pointed to my wiFe (she’s French, not Canadian, she’s French, please do not conFuse that!), I then asked ‘well, have you ever asked her about the health care quality there?’ again we received an almost embarrassed ‘no.’ So we proceeded For the better part oF 30 minutes to give our side oF the argument - also occasionally agreeing with the ‘how’s’ might not be as easy as some would have the denizens here to believe. But it was a highlight that shan’t - SHAN’T I SAY! - be Forgotten soon and even illicited one or two ‘oh that doesn’t sound so bad’s’ From the two Palin Pals. Well I will remember it iF I’m allowed to continue living on our return, aFter all, I do have a slight case oF the sniFFles....

Neatest New People Met During Our Trip
Without a doubt From the strictly ‘new’ people list, we have to put Princess Charlotte (shown here during her rousing victory at the 2026 Wimbledon tournament) and Saint Stephen at the top oF the list. We also met a really nice group oF Octogenarians (I think that’s the word that means ‘people in their 80's’ right? But these Folks seemed more like 40 year-olds, what a gang!) that were both very kind and giving, but the Scott’s deserve the over-used ‘Great Scott’ accolades For sure. Both are really quite cool - especially li’l Charlotte who iF you can picture it is like a 40-year old in a 5-year old’s body. But no, to answer your next question, we won’t go into detail why Stephen’s status has been elevated at this stage... aFter all, there’s still 48 hours until Dr. A. Scott (one day she hopes to be Dr. THE Scott... thank you and good night, ladies and gentlemen!) pays us the required ransom Fee to keep quiet about certain ‘details’ oF her managing to pass undergraduate Biology.

And speaking oF which:
Proudest Moment Involving a Non-Family Member
No, it wasn’t the chicken eggs (cute story, more in next time’s tome). I swear I almost stood up and shouted ‘Alleluia!!!’ to the heavens above when we were guests oF our new Friends at their pool and a little girl swam up and said, “Dr. Scott, can you help me please?”

Okay, yes, she was being attacked by about 30 hornets at the time (the little girl, not Dr. Scott), but to hear that phrase ‘Dr. Scott’ used in such a Formal sort oF ‘kids show the good Dr. some respect’ or even 'stand aside children and let Dr. Scott pass, she's a Very Important Person' just made me so proud (said Dr. and I having essentially grown up together). Just too cool and just too ‘oh man, who saw that coming’ For my wee brain? Hm, I’d better shut up, too, I may be just remembering that the ‘got a little dirt on you, too, you know’ pendulum could swing pretty quickly back my way.

Best Realization that My Therapist Will be Glad to Hear
It’s been an up and down Few months, but this trip really made one thing clear to me and you’ll have to excuse me For getting all mushy on you. But it was indeed reFreshing just to step back and realize how much I love my kids. They’re great even iF sometimes we do want to reserve them seats OUTside the airplane. But they are wonderFul, Fun and I love every day watching them grow up and participating in their amazing lives.

Plus, it was Fantastic just to be able to stand back and know with all my being that I am hopelessly and very passionately in love with my wiFe. Yes, it’s true, I conFess, sorry iF that’s a little weird in today’s day and age. But I really think that sometimes we lose sight oF that when things get too hectic, so I was glad to Feel that through and through during our voyages. Okay, I’ll stop now and move on past my ‘Chick Flick’ moment.

Best Music Related Moment(s)
Although my wiFe was disappointed to see that her Favorite singer’s much anticipated album had not yet been released (no, not Green Day, that CD rocked!!), but I had some good ‘new’ and ‘classic’ moments. First oF all, our usual ‘record store’ (realizing that many oF you reading this are too young to know what that is, or better said, was) is de-stocking and most likely going out oF business (or just changing to a ‘pure porn’ Format, whatever works best).

However, this led to many oF my Favorite ‘oh man I need that in my collection’ classic CD’s were just waiting to be nabbed. So I grabbed a Fantastic WHO compilation (one oF my last conversions to the CD Format mind you, as the old 8-tracks are wearing out) as well as a Pete Townsend Greatest Hits. And Furthermore, I also picked up Billy Idol’s Greatest Hits Collection. DO NOT LAUGH: Billy may have relied solely on illicit drugs, enough hair gel to break through walls and gallons of piped in gaseous testosterone to get his message across - but his concert I saw in the mid 80's still ranks as one oF the BEST SHOWS I’ve ever seen, I kid you not. And at my age, a little extra testosterone doesn’t hurt either (the CD came with a memorial cannister oF same).

And also, in terms oF NEW music, the latest Chris Isaak CD was being released (maybe it had been out For a while, but deFinitely not so in Europe), aFter he had taken a multi-year hiatus. IF you know him and his music, get out and get it, it’s classic Chris. IF you don’t know him and your name isn’t Paddy (The Philistine), and you like the kind oF Elvis, Roy Orbison crooning style, check him out! Go ahead, I’ll wait... well, didn’t I tell you? Isn’t everybody there now like totally turned on? (Pfyf, I told you to shut it!!! You and your ‘oh Celine Dion is way cooler’... yeah right, iF only she had drowned with Leonardo DiCaprio in that gods awFul Film ‘Titanic’... )

Most Complete ‘OH Man, you ARE a soFtie’ Moment
No joke, I saw my First bald eagle in the wild. It swooped in over the lake, picked a Fish out at like at 100 mph and Flew into the Forest across From us to enjoy it’s lunch. I know many may not get this, but I had tears running down my cheeks, that was so great. First one ever. ‘NuFF said.

Most Naturally Funny Moment That Happened in, uh, Nature
On our last day at the beach, we went out early to walk along at low tide and make one last sweep For shark’s teeth, many oF which are millions oF years old. This year our ‘catch’ wasn’t as big as some years - maybe not in numbers but certainly in the size and variety we Found - but there were some good ones, especially the large, hooked Tiger Shark teeth my wiFe Found (I specialized this year in the pointy Sand Shark type, as well as some Macaw types, etc.). We switched roles this year in that usually she brings the numbers and varieties and I bring in ‘the big ones’. There’s probably also some joke in there about me getting old, but I’ll just pretend I didn’t think oF a Few...

But anyway, back to the story : as I was enjoying the semi-sunrise, I noticed that one oF our neighbors was chest-high in the surF Fishing. He had been really successFul the day beFore and probably was testing to see iF his luck was still running high.

About that time I looked down and a seagull was STEALING HIS BAIT, which consisted oF Fish parts in a plastic baggie. So this guy looks back From his Fishing to see me running towards him, shouting ‘SHOO SHOO!’ and Flapping my arms like a madman. It was several seconds beFore he realized what I was in Fact doing (thank gods that large Fire arms are outlawed at the beach whilst Fishing), but that moment in time was just hilarious. The picture here in Fact shows the bird trying again aFter the guy tried unsuccessFully to hide the bait under his Fishing box.

Worst Moment That We Wish We Could Just Make Go Away
Not too much detail here you’ll understand, but we Found out a Family member has breast cancer. She means a lot to so many oF us and we wish that this awful thing would just go away. NOW. HopeFully, everything has been detected early enough to encourage a speedy recovery, but I mention this primarily so that she knows we love her and are thinking good thoughts For her every day. Get well soon Gigi, you do mean so much to us and we want to keep you around For a long long time to come...

Best Lesson Learned For Using Internet Tools
Okay, I’ve had my newcomer couple oF months playing with FACEBOOK. I was happy to sign up and catch up with a couple oF Friends, both old and not so old, Fresh and even Fresher. But to tell you the truth, one oF the things I enjoy the most is that iF Folks are signed up that aren’t Friends or in some way aren’t Friend-worthy, then you can clean ‘em out. Just like that! I highly recommend it especially iF you are also someone aFFected by this next category:

Best LiFe Lesson Learned
There’s about 5 million talk shows in the US and I don’t know which one it was, but I got hooked into watching one when they were talking about ‘getting the toxins out oF your liFe.’ No, not necessarily like iF you smoke or have a problem with drugs or alcohol; in this case, it was aimed at getting TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS out oF your liFe. True, these could be ones that cause you to drink or take drugs (is it time For another F word announcement?), but I don’t think that was a prerequisite.

And I realized that it was time I did something about that. There’s someone out there that’s always brought out the worst in me and vice versa I’m sure, no doubt about it. So clip, like some cosmic umbilical cord, I’ve decided to cut the whole thing Free. And like the guy on TV was telling us, I don’t give a rat’s patootie who’s to blame and who is the most demonic in the whole situation, but I am OVER IT! And I Feel healthier already. ‘NuFF said Part II.

Best Materials Family Got to Work With
As you may (or probably may not) remember, I took classes in ‘stained glass’ while I was here although it went beyond the traditional ‘Frame and cut glass’ stuFF to also include modiFications involving Fusing or melting or other combination techniques. It was very cool as well in that I was able to use some oF my Formal training and experience with polymers and colorants as well in the entire process (I know what a glass transition temperature is, I rock!). There will certainly be more pictures oF these endeavours in episodes yet to come.

Even though the whole experience was valuable albeit not in line with my expectations more on a personal level (looooong story, let’s not go there), I did and still do Find myselF very motivated to try the things I learned as-is and also very diFFerently. Whereas I highly value my ‘teacher’s’ input and will always respect their work and have even collected same For many years, I am also thrilled by the possibility oF trying diFFerent techniques to get diFFerent textures or Forms and more (I’m the kind oF chemist that insists on having something go ‘BOOOOM’ every now and then). So it was good to go through a sweaty, bloody Fingered ‘beginner’ course - but it’s only made me want to try more! Which I guess is more than you can ask From ANY training session in the arts, eh?

I’m also happy to report that the Mrs. And the kids got to try their hands at POTTERY making, which had also been a ‘I really want to try that’ thing high on my wiFe’s list. They really had a blast and my wiFe thoroughly enjoyed herselF. So we’ve both gone From ‘gosh darn, I need a Fun hobby, what should I try?’ to now arguing about who gets to use what part oF the house as their Future ‘studio’. We’ll see. No, not we’ll see in terms oF who will win this argument - she will, I assure you (hey, she can kick my tush For sure!) - but how quickly and / or cooperatively we’ll get it all set up!

And Finally I am pleased to present you
The Best Name For A Band We Thought OF Based on All the Bloody Pharmaceutical Ads in the USA
AFter several days oF being told to, quote, ask our Doctors about the latest pills because we’re too Fat, that we don’t have (or want better said) enough sex, that we go to the bathroom too much or too little, that we need to supplement our diets with gods know what kind oF green gooey warty stuFF, we are determined to start within the next decade the First band to ever preForm their ‘Reunion Tour’ prior to their First tour.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you to envision the powerFul Rock Power and Power Rocking oF

Swollen Colon!

Move over Mick and Keith, we’re going to grab the old guy / sugar daddy crowd pronto. Finally a band that doesn’t sing about love and other yucky stuFF, but addresses the real heartaches and other pains that the over 45 crowd Faces every day. Even potentially with corporate sponsorship by Viagra or Rogaine Hair Growth Tonic, not to mention Kellogg’s own ‘Colon Blow’!! Rock on everybody yeahhhaaaaargh, oh no, I think I broke my hip!!!


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