Posts in Freaks

Letterpress for you, Minneapolis! (And the Greater Twin Cities Metropolitan Area)

published by Fran Shea

The No-Coast Craft-O-Rama is behind us and – like so many weekends – it’s all a blur.

I do remember Jen yelling “yahtzee!” whenever someone ordered the Show Special (two eggs, a slice of bacon and Texas toast with a dozen cards). And I remember feeling drunk with power. The top-selling card of the weekend was:

If by different, you mean awesome. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

That tells me that Minneapolis is full of a lot of weirdos. Like me.

This card was also a big seller:

The strong would survive the Winter. The weak would, of course, be eaten. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

And that tells me that Minneapolis is full of a lot of moral ambiguity.

That reminds me! We had a snowstorm on Friday!

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Luckily nobody had to eat anyone else to survive. Whew, right? That would not have been great for sales.

Would You Rather?/No-Coast Craft-O-Rama

published by Fran Shea

Would you rather have your significant other’s hands be replaced with Flounders OR your lips be replaced with a duckbill?

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That’s a toughy.

How about: Would you rather have to wear a Kiss the Cook apron everyday (for the rest of your life) OR a multi-colored clown wig?

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Sorry about that.

Okay, would you rather do your holiday shopping at the Midtown Market – where there will be 100 venders, vending beautiful/original handmade goodness – the air filled with the smells of exotic foods and the spirit of gift-giving??? OR maybe you’d rather sit at your computer and click on an Add To Cart button??

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We’ll see you there! Zeichen Press is at table E-35!

Dusty, water-colored memories

published by Fran Shea

Thank God for A&E’s latest voyeur-drama Hoarders. THANK GOD. Do these people not understand that those television cameras mean that they are going to be on television? Were they told that this would be the only way they could get help? Mary Lynn, this garbage can’t be shoveled out of the house unless we broadcast your story to millions of people. And Mary Lynn (who has been using adult diapers for two years because she can’t find her toilet) immediately gives in. I would, too.

So, in the spirit of Hoarders, I’m de-cluttering my computer. Why would I have eight copies of Michael Jackson’s Thriller?

Look at this old press release I found!:

Letterpress Harbinger Doppelgangers*

published by Fran Shea

That was a lot of syllables.

I’ve heard that experiencing four letterpress harbinger doppelgangers is about as rare as seeing the Virgin Mary in a pancake. I’m not saying that Zeichen Press cards predict the future, I’m just saying that some of our cards seem to foretell a subsequent event. Wait, what am I saying? Never mind, let’s just get to the evidence:

Don’t freak out. This is being investigated by the proper authorities.

*Thanks to high-school-english, I know the meaning of at least one of these words.

Here’s the part about salvaging letterpress equipment:

published by Fran Shea

People (my mom) always (whenever she feigns interest) ask me, “where do you get this stuff?” Type, cabinets, printer’s cuts, ink, chases, quoins, sticks, cutters, furniture, leads, slugs, tympan, rollers… letterpress takes up a lot more space than this tidy little laptop. I wonder if that’s one of the reasons people stopped using it? I doubt it.

Jen and I both agreed that our favorite salvaging-situation involved a compulsive hoarder with a murder/torture-pit (alleged) in his basement. This house had it all; two commercial espresso machines:

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two Kluge Printing Presses:

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(just in case you’re wondering: TWO Kluge Printing presses are massive and would look like this if not covered in books, dvd’s, televisions, kleenex boxes, grocery bags, magazines and mail):

SONY DSC

a family-style restaurant booth: (this suspiciously barricaded the basement door)

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dozens of old computers: (so sentimental)old_computer

 

“stackable” type cabinets: (we took these)

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and this:

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and this:

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Oh, here’s a fun game:

Can you find the treasure in this photographic vignette?:

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How about here?:pixelated-face-450x600don-butner

°°°°

Oh, well. Enough of the sweet, sweet memories. Here’s part of our latest salvage:cabinet-of-wood-type western-wood-type condensed-wood-type

Happy Monday!

published by Fran Shea

I wonder if schools are more selective about their teachers these days.

I had a high-school teacher that greeted us with such giddy enthusiasm when we entered the classroom – I might say he “pranced” around the room, his little toesies all dressed up for the day in black, dress socks. I could see the socks because those feet weren’t stuffed into a smelly old shoe – no! They were free as you and me in a classic Birkenstock sandal.

Seven Paula Figurines lined the front of his desk.

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Six of them kept their backs to us, the seventh would be turned to let us know what day of the week it was,”Happy Monday!” and so on. So much better than a calender.

We were told that we should address him as “Doctor” – that title was later disputed. And revoked. Turns out it was all just a fantasy… oh, such a fantasy… I imagine myself getting a doctorate degree in religion…

He described one of his teaching methods as “accelerated learning.” All students were required to put their heads on their desk – or grab one of his strange-smelling pillows from his “cubby-hole.” Classical music blaring, he read aloud – synchronizing the inflection of his voice to the swells and ebbs of the music.

I wish I could remember what he read. Maybe it was the multiplication-tables. Or Jim Jones’ manifesto.

Freak Show

published by Fran Shea

There were two parts to the Freak Show – two tents – one contained The Fat Lady and the other was filled with the usual freakish-fare. I didn’t really want to pay to see the Fat Lady so I poked my head under the tent – it seemed silly to pay to see a fat lady but this was before the days of google searches and voyeuristic television masquerading as health and human interest stories. Before the days of shows actually called, World’s Fattest Woman.

So I poked my head under the tent. A pit had been dug in the dirt in the center of the tent – she, all 600 pounds of her, sat in the pit in a teeny weeny bikini. The paying public stared and stared while she thumbed through the pages of a paperback.

The other tent promised a variety of oddities and I handed my tickets to the dusty man guarding the flap-door. In this tent there was a stage and on the stage there was a sign and on the sign were the words, “World’s Fattest Man”

The crowd – and I was in the crowd now – stared at the sign and waited for the man. He hobbled out using two canes – those canes that have the four baby canes on the bottom. He reached the center of the stage and lowered himself into a reinforced chair, spoke to the crowd about his thyroid disorder, and asked if we wanted to see him attach a bucket of bolts to his tongue.

Ugh. I wanted my tickets back.

Why can’t things be the way they’re supposed to be? And why can’t freaks just enjoy their exploitation? If I were a freak (if) I’d love it. I’d use my freakish power for the good of mankind.

I’d love to have one super long arm. A Super Arm. I could take seemingly candid pictures of myself even more easily!fran-working

Do you see that?

It’s like someone else is taking the picture. But what a struggle! 

If I had Super Arm my whole life would change!

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