Posts in Franimals

YOU’RE OLD NOW.

published by Fran Shea

Didn’t we JUST release new cards?? Is it already October?? Was that blur-filled season actually Summer?? WHAT HAPPENED??

Jen, #oldestintern, and I have scheduled a meeting for tomorrow – I had a serious talk with the Franimals about not interrupting. I’m sure they will still interrupt though because they don’t seem to understand that I hold all of the power over their pathetic little lives. (Ugh, they know they’re in charge.)

If this whole letterpress thing stops being such a lucrative money-maker, I’m gonna invest all of my time and energy in creating dioramas like I did in the 5th grade. Who else could turn a Nike shoebox into an homage to fishing at Lake Calhoun, complete with construction-paper-created boys standing atop a construction-paper-created fishing dock, wielding cane-poles complete with real monofilament fishing line leading to construction-paper-created Carp that, like an illusion, float in the waterless interior of the Nike box??

NOBODY COULD. That’s probably why the older boys smashed it to smithereens. I’M NOT BITTER ABOUT IT AND BARELY REMEMBER THAT EVENT BECAUSE IT HAPPENED 37 YEARS AGO.

Oh, I almost forgot… Sally Struthers has a birthday message to share:

Memento Mori!

published by Fran Shea

Dan the Man (number one) knocked on my door and brought me a heaping pile of curried potatoes on a paper plate, introduced me to the music of Tori Amos, and listened to our kitchen-conversations because our windows were so close. (HOW COULD HE NOT?!)

Dan the Man (number one) also played classical guitar, had a big belly, long curly hair, and wore red suspenders. With OR WITHOUT a stained white t-shirt.

I used to babysit for my baby cousin when Dylan was also a baby (Note: I knew he ate the cat food over there because his poopy-diaper smelled like a litter box). We were picked up in a taxicab three mornings per week

by a hippie named Dan the Man (number two),

and while we buckled up in the backseat (carseats were for suburbanites), he would tell me all about the best items to eat at the Old Country Buffet. Thanks Dan the Man, that IS useful information!

Oh, I carpe diemed like crazy in those days.

Field Trip+!

published by Fran Shea

Our 1983 Field Trip to the Art Institute ended tragically when some naughty eighth-grade boys smuggled in their skateboards and much to the museum docents dismay, rode them up and down the herringbone wood-floored hallways. These same boys also smoked cigarettes and at least one of them had a super-tall mohawk… Lucky for everyone, I looked like this:

My Mom threw caution to the wind and signed ANOTHER permission slip for me the very next year. This time it was to Como Zoo/Park. I made sure to pack my tunafish sandwich and wrap my Shasta in tinfoil just like my sister. It went off without a hitch. For me. One boy in our class was not so fortunate because he decided to avoid the gate and slipped while climbing over the pointy, cast-iron fence. His corduroy pants and bottom were never the same… He walked around holding his derriere and I was, of course, scandalized.

Speaking of school… I made some graduation cards:

And speaking of Field Trips… without permission slips (WHAT??), Lucy and I went to the Arboretum yesterday with Aunt Clare to see the Dahlias and have a picnic. (WITH NO SHASTA?!) Also, we saw Edward Scissorhands stumble out of this grapevine-creation:

And PER TRADITION, I made Jen a birthday card and PER TRADITION we avoided seeing each other. DON’T BE JEALOUS!! 

Sticker-Fun!

published by Fran Shea

I (obsessively) read the entire Black Stallion series under the watchful eye of my molded-plastic mini-Arabian Stallion

and my best, inanimate, friend Raggedy Ann. (Who my mom called Raggedy Baggedy and my older brother reminded me that I could not bring to the first day of Kindergarten. I said I KNOW THAT. But I was lying and couldn’t imagine being separated from her. She was filthy but I didn’t care because underneath her clothes was a secret stitched heart that professed her love to me. 

As if I didn’t have enough blessings bestowed upon my busy-body, I was also honored with a sticker collection album… I don’t think my parents even knew how much it meant to me… I heard my little sister took it over when I had grown “too old” for it. I paged through “her” pages and held back my disappointment! Did she understand that stickers were meant to be saved between the clear plastic pages by cutting them out with their backing and a border that preserves the stickability and ease of future use??instead of just STICKING THEM TO THE CLEAR PLASTIC PAGES NEVER TO BE USED AGAIN??

I’m thinking about stickers again (did I ever really stop??) Because Zeichen Press is gonna stuff these 2″ x 2″ stickers in every order (for all of the big $30 spenders)!

I obviously read the Black Stallion series AGAIN to get into character. 

Asphalt Antics

published by Fran Shea

Maybe Mr. Bo (doesn’t every grade schooler have a Vietnam War vet/gym teacher/recess monitor who relays stories about soldiers stringing human-ear trophies like Hawaiian leis and giant spiders perched on webs making passage of densely packed jungle-trails impossible without a machete??)  or a passionate parent painted the four square court and kickball field in white paint on our asphalt parking lot/playground. The important thing is that the sand used to provide traction on the ice was only embedded in knees if a girl-student was bold enough to slide home in her uniform skirt.

Speaking of playground antics, here’s a photo of my friend Steph and I playing tug-o-war with my scarf while our friend Kate observes:

And here we are not playing tug-o-war while Steph’s cat observes.  

Aren’t we cute?? 

Franmas Eve!!

published by Fran Shea

Aww! Look at our deck covered in Millie and sunshine!

Spring is here!

Wait… what is that falling from the sky??

Oh, Minnesota… YOU TRICKSTER! You get me every year!

I tried to escape Minnesota’s clutches for one of my birthdays years ago… The cabin-pressure reminded my uterine lining that it should exit via my lady-parts posthaste. As I tied a sweatshirt around my waist, I reminded myself that I should have known better. 

 

Auf Wiedersehn und Gute Befreiung

published by Fran Shea

I know Winter is almost over because I’ve watched everything on Netflix and am now forced to look at my neighbor’s roof because their house is so close that when windows are open on quiet Summer nights, I’ve heard a stream of urine meeting a toilet-bowl full of water.

Oh, and another reason I know Winter is almost over is that Jen and I (and #oldestintern) are picking cards for the Spring release! It only took me two hours of meditation and four Xanax to kill my darlings! And by darlings, I don’t mean house pets or 4th trimester babies. I mean designs that I have birthed and cherished as if they were a sliver of my soul. As the kids say, #NBD. Maybe someday, my little friend.

Oh, this one DID make the cut!

Ice Be Damned!

published by Fran Shea

Sometimes Winter digs its filthy, ragged nails in — refusing to allow the next season to sashay over snowdrifts and SOMETIMES pantyhose must be filled with Ice Melt and arranged like giant caterpillars on the roof to dissolve the glut of ice-filled flashing. SOMETIMES.

Did my new son-in-law know that he was going to spend so much time on my roof?? (TOO LATE NOW!)

 Ohh, I will give up… WHEN PIGS FLY. 

Doesn’t Winter understand that it takes more than a little water running down walls to derail Zeichen Press?? MUWAHAHAHA!!

Exit light, I guess?

published by Fran Shea

MTV only played three videos in 1991 and I watched them over and over again because Spike the Cat blocked the very small infrared light detector on the cable box with his tail so the remote control was useless. 

Why didn’t I just get up and move the cat or change the channel the old-fashioned-way?? SHHHHH.

I guess one of those three videos inspired a Christmas card?

SO Jealous

published by Fran Shea

My mom told me that my classmates only teased me because they were jealous.

Who could blame them?? LOOK AT ME. That’s a REAL Guinnea Sax dress and ivory blouse.

Speaking of jealousy…

Millie got a new dog bed and we overheard her begging Tib to move over but Tib completely ignored her. We told Millie not to worry because Tib is just jealous of her because she doesn’t have a uterus and Millie does. TAKE THAT, TIB.