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Space Aliens in Crayon

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Space Aliens in Crayon

Michael Frank, Curator-in-chief of the Museum of Bad Art visited Seattle a few weeks ago to do a book signing in my studio.

He was kind enough to bring this piece to trade to The Sauce (okay, I demanded a trade -- but still...nice of him).

He still has yet to send me a story, so I've cobbled together some bits from our email exchange re: our very different lodgings in Portland. I'm sure Michael will send a story someday, but in the meantime, enjoy this.

The Backstory:

We, Doug and I, are driving to Portland for Crafty Wonderland, a cool craft show in a hotel that we'll be selling Shower Arts at. Michael Frank, the curator-in-chief of The Museum of Bad Art is in Seattle for one night and hitches a ride with us to Portland. We, as per usual, get going much later than we thought we would and end up getting to Portland at about 11pm. We drop Michael off at some sort of quiet looking Executive Inn and then head off in search of the Jupiter Hotel -- where we're staying.

I have some kind of curse when it comes to spending the night in Portland. Something horrible happens every time. Once, on my birthday, we stayed at the McMennamins School place and at 5am the fire alarm went off and the people working there didn't know how to shut it off so they had to call another employee to drive there and shut it off. In the meantime, we stand outside in the rain for 45 minutes in the early hours of my birthday. That's Portland story #1.

Portland story #2. It's my birthday again. And it's also our friend Blaine's birthday so we decide to go on a trip to Portland. We take the train. We play board games on the train. That part is awesome. Then, we get to Portland and realize it's some kind of huge bike thing that weekend and every hotel is booked. Well, not quite everything. There was one crack motel with two openings left. There literally, was a man with a milky eye wandering around the parking lot for most of our stay. I slept fully clothed with a hoodie sweatshirt on -- the hood up and my hands stuffed in the pockets.

And now back to Portland horror story #3. The Jupiter Hotel. We roll up at 11:30 pm-ish -- looking forward to a good night sleep since we had to get up at 5am to go set up for a craft show at the farmer's market the next day. The Jupiter Hotel has no record of my reservation. Not even when I show them the confirmation email they sent me -- not even when I read off the confirmation number and they search for it several times.

Luckily, they did have one room left. Or, at least I thought we were lucky at the time. You see, the Jupiter Hotel is the kind of hotel you should stay at if you are newly 21 and just want to experiment with drinking and yelling and never sleep. You should not stay there if you are a grown up who has to get up early the next morning. That would be a mistake. Your mistake. So anyway, there is a wedding party happening LITERALLY right outside our room. We open our door onto the dance floor and DJ speakers. It is loud. But they say at the front desk that it will be over in 1/2 an hour.

They lied.

It was over about 4 hours later.

And in the meantime, I emailed Michael Frank, curator-in-chief of The Museum of Bad Art:

From: Rosalie
Time: 12:48 a.m.
Subject: Be glad.....

Body: that there was no opening at the "boutique" hotel. We're right next door to a dance party for a wedding with a dj - literally - outside our window. They're supposedly done by 2 so I'll get at least 3 hours of sleep.
Oh man.
I envy the quiet solitude of the Executive thing with it's HBO and Cinemax.
You're lucky.
And thank you again.

From: Michael Frank

Body: I slept well in my executive room but couldn't find HBO.

The motel was in a nice area of town. I walked a mile and had a buffalo burger. This morning I picked up the box of books and my back went into spasm - that happens 2 or 3 times/year. So I checked out and walked to a hardware store and got some twine to make a handle. Then I saw a guy in a mail truck and asked where then nearest post office was so I could get rid of the carton. I walked (slowly) a mile and found it but it's closed Saturday. Now I'm walking back to Burnside to get a bus to the Velveteria - it's a few miles but too far to walk with the box. I should have given you the damn books.

The large bookstore is also on Burnside - on the other side of the river. I'll try to stop there later.

Thank you so much for having me in Seattle. Now you're obliged to visit Jamaica Plain next time you come east.

Your pal, Mike

From: Rosalie

Body: Oh man, okay, that doesn't sound like fun either. I think I might win though because I get to mine all over again tonight and have another crafty type show tomorrow. I just woke up from a nap. We're trying to make good use of the non-party hours at this hotel so we don't pass out tomorrow.
Hope your back is feeling good as new very soon -- it sounds like no fun.
Rock on,

From: Michael Frank

Body:So I schlepped the books and backpack all over Portland. The Velveteria is very cool, and Caren and Carl are nice. We chatted and he gave me a ride to the bookstore which is giant. It was very crowded. My book is sold out and in line to be re-ordered, whatever that means. It was too difficult to think about visiting other stores or museums. I walked across town to the tram to the airport and saw a giant Saturday market so I got out to look around. I thought it might have been the market where you guys were but couldn't find you.

Anyway I'm in Berkeley now visiting friends and relatives. My back only hurts when I try to stand up, sit down, bend over, straighten up, or walk. This too shall pass. Good luck selling Shower Art (shou-aht).

Still I remain, Mike