For Olga

Marissa sent me an article by Ann Hood about her mother and her mother’s friends, who met every Friday night to play cards, the ones who went to school together and still lived within a mile of each other.  It was shared on the blog yesterday.

Of course it made me think of my mother and her gang. The three basic members who met when they got their first jobs selling magazine subscriptions door to door, marrying guys from the same social club and having daughters at the same time. Olga remains with us (I love you, although you may doubt me because I am a bad correspondent), still able to tell a good joke and remember the punch line, something my mother was not able to do. My mother was extraordinarily witty, but jokes with a beginning, middle and end were not her thing.  The quick remark that left you faint with laughter, that was Shirl.

My mother and her friends were not into card parties (that was my grandmother’s time), just the occasional hand of bridge… they were into fortune tellers and eating lunch out and chasing fire trucks and gossip. Together they left me the gift of Sylvia, all of them put together are Sylvia. Thank you.

If you would like to share a story about your mother, please send it in!

Sylvia in chair

Sylvia Archive: Inventions

What should Clyde work on next? Leave him a suggestion in a comment.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sylvia Archive: Vitamin Intake

Clyde the Domestic Scientist is on the trail.  Click the strip for a larger comic.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Gang Of Girls

Thank you to Marissa M. for passing this article along.

Photo: Tim Klein/Gallery Stock

Sylvia Archive: Java News

The buzz reaches beyond the grave. How do you take your coffee? Share in a comment.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sylvia Archive: The Goddess Of T.M.I.

Suffer from Information Overloaded? Talk to this goddess.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Things That Are Hard To Get Rid Of

I’ve got you under my skin
I’ve got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart, that you’re really a part of me
I’ve got you under my skin. —Cole Porter

I noticed the red itchy patch running across my waist for several days. Finally I gave in. I went to the doctor. Luckily the doctor’s office is two blocks east of my house. If necessary I could crawl to Dr. Larry’s office. Ever since my sister’s stroke, we have been calling him Dr. Larry.

I first met him in the place that I made many of my enduring friendships: Mojoe’s Café. Not that Dr. Lindeman joined the morning coffee group, no; he remained aloof from our stories and jokes. He bought his coffee and went directly to his office. I noticed it was right across the street. His office was in a storefront. I was leery of doctors who practiced behind a plate glass window.

For many years I visited him only if I had twisted my ankle in front of his office or was terribly congested. One day I said, possibly in my most offensive voice. “The reason I don’t use you as my doctor is that I can only bring myself to go to a doctor who practices at Northwestern University Hospital.” He replied, “Does it help that I attended Northwestern and I train their interns and that they take me to lunch often to woo me into becoming their head of Family Practice because they have no Family Practice Department? “Yes,” I said. “Will you be my doctor?” And he signed me up.

On this day, about a week before an enormously important event, an artist auction to benefit Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, a benefit for which I was co-host… co-host mainly because I was an artist and knew a lot of artists who would donate their work. Artists are often politically left of center, and since we don’t sell much of our work we often give it away. Perfect. We would spend the evening bidding on the work of other artists and go home happy and slightly drunk.

I showed Dr. Larry the red patch across my waist. He was non-committal. But gave me some crème and asked that I return in two days if it didn’t clear up. It didn’t.

The day before the event he gave me the bad news. I had scabies, scabies!!! And I was highly contagious. I couldn’t go anywhere and I certainly couldn’t touch anyone. My god I couldn’t even tell anyone. Scabies! The very name sounded disgusting. Didn’t it have a Latin name to disguise its lower class origins? Yes, it did.  It was: Sarcoptes scabiei. In case you’re intensely curious, it is caused by the itch mite. The itch mite!!! Good grief! Talk about unromantic! Mites are tiny and have eight legs in contrast to insects who have only 6 and they burrow into your skin. There you have it. I’m sure you’re dying to know more. Okay, here it is: the infestation can last up to eight years… Usually children or very old people in nursing homes get mites. My doctor couldn’t imagine where I picked it up.

I could. I had been taking swing dancing lessons and there were some very unsavory old guys there looking for young women to dance with, young women on their uppers who weren’t too fussy about who paid for their dinner. I was way too old for these men, but we danced together occasionally and I was sure one of them, I even knew which one, gave me the disease. He had absolutely no sense of rhythm, but he was capable of giving me scabies. Soon after I lost interest in dancing.

How could I announce to my co-host, who would of course, announce it to the crowd, many of whom I knew, that I couldn’t come to the benefit because I was contagious with Scabies! I told her I had Chicken Pox. “Yes,” I said,” I know it’s unusual to have Chicken Pox in your late 60’s but there it is. I’m young at heart.”

She accepted it with grace and I blushed for weeks even when I wasn’t lying.

I have always believed that the person who gives you bad news, like Cassandra, should pay a price, perhaps not death, but some sort of compensation for the pain you have suffered. Dr. Lindeman chose to make his amends by donating money to Obama’s campaign.

My Scabies drawings are the result of a large amount of research, disgusting research. I looked at many enlarged images of scabies and attempted to turn them into drawings that someone working for Disney would do. I also looked at photos of people and animals with advanced Scabies. I wish I could erase those images. Enjoy!!!!

the inch mite pattern2

Sylvia Archive: The Lincoln Bedroom

These ladies talk Bad Girl style.  Add to the chat in a comment.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Even Cats Dance

From our pal Adrienne D. Yes, everything is funnier and perhaps sexier, in French.

Just Dance!

Check out ASENDance Kickstarter Campaign.

The video is beautiful.  This is from my friend Barbara Cooper. You may know her work. She did sculpture and mosaic work at the Paulina train station in Chicago. Please take a look!

Jan, Petra, and I have been working for 2 years on this project, which will have a preview on the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion the first weekend in April, with a premiere at the Athenaeum Theatre at the end of June.  We hope you can  support our efforts.  We are very excited about what is happening!   Barbara