Sunday, June 03, 2007


Last night the husband and I straddled worlds and went to not one, but two parties. One was the birthday party for one of our animation buddies, CH. The other was an office-themed party(as opposed to a The Office-themed party) thrown by one of the Derby Dolls, TZ.

It's always a little surreal to go from one persona to another. Or at least it's weird being called one name then a different name based on the change of venue. But a common thread of the evening is that both CH and TZ lovelovelove monkeys(and who doesn't, in the end?). So I gave each of them little monkey toys to play with.


It was the first time for me to check out the living quarters of each party person, and it's always fun to see how other people arrange their stuff. As opposed to me, who has no organizational skills whatsoever. CH has a lot of DVD's. A LOT of DVD's. Some books, but not as many books as DVD's. TZ had a LOT of books. I like looking at people's bookshelves to see what they have and mentally compare it to what I've got. There's usually little to no overlap, which is fun.

So I was looking in a very non-specific way at TZ's books, and it got me thinking about my bookshelves and what's on them. I don't have enough damn bookshelves for all the damn books the husband and I have accumulated. He specializes in science fiction, I specialize in biographies. From Eleanor Roosevelt to Sam Goldwyn to a Scottish guy who helped bring in modern surgery techniques in the mid-1700's in England.

I also have a smattering of kids books. Not a lot. Many animation artists collect the old Golden Books rabidly because of Mary Blair and a couple other Disney artists who did work for GB. Dr. Seuss is of course also popular. Maurice Sendak is up there, too. But my personal fave artist is usually way underrepresented in peoples' bookshelves: Shel Silverstein. Yeah, that dude that wrote The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and a buttload of other kids books.

I grew up with The Giving Tree, Lafcadio, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and A Light in the Attic. It wasn't until I was an adult myself that I found out that he wrote adult-themed stuff. Go buy Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book RIGHT NOW if you don't already have it. It's silly. We need more of that kind of silliness in the world.

And then there was the way he drew. I think I soaked up his influence the most in the way he drew, with the simple, solid black lines. Much like...a Sharpie! It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

Anyway, when Silverstein died, I didn't hear much about it in the press. Not like the hullabaloo when Dr. Seuss died. Not that I'm saying that Dr. Seuss didn't deserve the attention he got(having Jesse Jackson read Green Eggs and Ham on SNL as a eulogy was absolutely cool), but I've wondered why Silverstein doesn't get the attention like some of the other top artists?

Sad, as I think he deserved better.

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