A rare OX-OPportunity...and man, is this a great music town!

Okay, so I had a bad hair day, but that didn’t keep me from sidling up to world-famous painter, TV/movie producer, illustrator (Cranium board game, The New Yorker), humorist, and my friend Michael’s hero Gary Baseman for a photo op at Ox-Op Gallery. After standing behind him (not a bad view, by the way) in a line that seemed unending only because he so generously adds illustrations to the books he signs, I was pleasantly surprised to see, when he turned around, that the artist is as cute as the characters he paints—and that he has no visible wounds. For some reason, I received custodianship of flexi-mascot Toby, whose little leather tummy nestled into my palm with the pleasant heft and squishiness of an orange. Part of the fun in meeting Gary (yes, we’re on a first-name basis now) was watching him display equal charm in addressing do-ragged bikers from Grumpy’s as he did in squatting down to chat with children.

Notice I am not attempting to review the art this man creates, as I’m not qualified in any way to do so, but I will tell you that I find most of his pieces either delightful or poignant, and my favorites are the ones that make me laugh. It’s amazing how he can anthropo-morphize teardrops, dots and squiggles to the point where it’s a bit disappointing that these creatures aren’t sitting on the dashboard of your car, singing to you as you drive away. (And no, they do NOT serve hash brownies at these art openings. But I do feel the need for a Cranium fix.)

What a night, from Ox-Op to nonstop rock at the 10th anniversary party for A440 Studios in the Grain Belt Brewery complex, featuring a bunch of bands worth going out for: we heard Sweet Colleens, Razonu, and the Tony Sims Band, and Scarlet Haze was coming up but we had to get going. I know we’ll be sorry we missed that set.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by sweetie Kelly Moore, host of TC Muzique on local cable channels. Loved the chance to talk about my show! But due to the aforementioned bad hair day, TV viewers might wonder whose nose is sticking out from the hay bale. My guess is that I looked a whole lot better in recent gigs for Fine Living Network and PBS!

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