Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's been going on...

It's been hard to keep track of what's been going on, simply because there has been WAY too much happening this year. I'm in a bit of a backlog of posting things and now that it's feeling like summer, I wonder when I'm going to have time to do it all. So, in kind of a random order, here's what's been going on, from the most depressing to the least...

Carl Edward Kern, III. 1942-2012
First and foremost, my dad, who had been terminally ill, passed away on April 25th.  I was en-route to see him, but he passed peacefully in his sleep, before I even got on my first plane in New York. Airports are never fun places to deal with anything, but turning on your cell phone as you land (for a layover) and finding out that someone died, just plain sucks. There's nothing like balling your eyes out and hoping that TSA won't mess with you because someone has reported, "a young woman suspiciously crying." Ok, I wasn't really worried about that, but let's just say that no matter how you hear about it, death is just so hard, even when you think that you're prepared for it. I never imagined the sense of sorrow that I'd feel and how difficult it would be to not be able to talk with my dad anymore. It's only been a little over a month and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of how much I'm going to miss him, particularly because he was such a completely unique individual. He had friends from all walks of life and his generosity was felt by many in his 70 years. A true, "one of a kind," he will be terribly missed by many. If you're into such things, you can read his obituary here: http://carlkernmemorial.blogspot.com/
In the tradition of his wild styles, instead of a funeral (since he had donated his body to science), he wanted us to have a "Thunder Run," and a party at the Black Cloud Saloon at Thunder Gulch, a biker camp that he really liked. So, on May 20th, about 20 cars and 6-7 motorcycles gathered at high noon to parade to the Gulch and it was really, really sweet. I followed his wife Joan who was driving "Big Red," in my dad's "Rat Rod," which has a keg for a gas tank in the bed of the truck. I'm not one for cars per se, but driving that truck around helped develop a new appreciation for classic cars. I'm sure that my dad got a kick out of all of us making loud noise and throwing back a couple beers in his name. 
The "Rat Rod," and "Big Red," at the Flagler Beach Justice Center.
Flowers from John Boehner, no joke. My dad's twin is friends with him and he had them sent them to the memorial party. Craziness, but it was still a nice display of flowers to have at the Gulch.
 My dad passed away two days before Becca, my little sister, graduated college. While it's been super hard for her to concentrate with everything going on with my dad's health, she did it! I'm super proud of her and know that my dad was too. She's hoping to get into the Peace Corps by next year, as she wants to follow in his footsteps. He did re-forestation work in Chile with them in the early 1960's, and while it was a significant part of his young adulthood, it also helped him become bilingual. Keep your fingers crossed for her and in the meantime, congratulations Becca!
No more school, little sis! Hooray!

In non-family news, one thing that I've been the most excited about is the fact that I got to have a couple things in Sandor Katz's new book The Art of Fermentation. Some small drawings of bacteria I made for him (specifically for the book!), were used as border illustrations on the cover and throughout the inside. My ROGUSZYS print was also included in the full color photo/art section and that just about made me cry. The book is SO GOOD. If you're into fermenting, or just into making food in general, this new epic adventure into all things delicious must be added to your personal library. At close to 500 pages, it's an incredible odyssey into a delightful and delectable world.
 Sandy is one of my top ten most inspiring people I've ever met, easily. About five years ago, I sent him a package of art, in the hopes that he might want to trade for a copy of his last book, Wild Fermentation. I had been dealing with recurrent MRSA staph infections and his book played a large part in helping me become more healthy by balancing my body through foods, particularly fermented ones. Soon after writing him, a package showed up with an autographed copy and our pen pal relationship began. 
It was only last year that while in Tennessee visiting Caeleb (coincidentally, my good friend and his assistant) that he had us over for dinner. He treated us to many insanely great fermented goodies, including LARDO! (I still dream about that- it was soooooo yummy!) His garden, complete with gigantic amaranth, inspired me to grow some of my own this year, so every time I see my amaranth seedlings, I think of Sandy and how much I love him. A true gem, a wizard of fermentation! 
Bacteria border in The Art of Fermentation.
ROGUSZYS print in top right. Copies will be available again soon via my Etsy store.
 T-shirt design for  The City Reliquary's 8th Annual Bicycle Fetish Day.
When Bill Scanga asked in regards to a possible t-shirt design for the 8th Annual Bicycle Festish Day, "Does Womanimal ride a bike?" I laughed out loud. Of course, Bill! I love the Reliquary and after they've hosted Pegacorn Press release events for several years now, it only made sense to help them out with a drawing. 
If you haven't been to the Reliquary, I strongly, strongly recommend checking it out at least once- you will not be disappointed!
Bicycle Fetish day was great fun and everyone brought out their crazy awesome bikes. In particular, Chloe's new touring tall bike (made by Greg, with a lot of help from Johnny Coast) is amazing and a real treat to look at. Chloe and Greg are about to ride TWO of these bikes all the way to Minneapolis, so if you see them on the way there, give them some high fives, as well as some snacks and water- I'm sure that they are going to need 'em.
Tall touring bike- made in Brooklyn! Unfortunately, the cute, non-water-proof suitcase is not being used for the trip.
Posters printed for the lovely Erin Markey, who was on this year's Sister Spit tour with Brontez.
Oh man, this lady is super funny and if you haven't seen her perform yet, you really need to. It was a real pleasure to get to live with her for a couple weeks this spring, before I moved into a new place. This lady can make you laugh, HARD.
(P.S. If you haven't checked out Brontez's (FAG SCHOOL #4), you most certainly should. It will blow your mind, over and over!)

Erik and I installing the new girls- April 2012
 Bees, bees, bees. It's that time of year again and since my last colony died in December, it was time to get another one in April. Unfortunately, wax moths got to my stored boxes, so I had to cut out all my comb and start all over again with foundation. It was the second time that I had cleaned up wax moth mess in less than six months and it's just plain gross, even for a veteran dumpster diving, trash picking, composting lady like myself. Only positive thing you can do with the wax moth grubs is feed them to your chickens!
The new hive is doing well, despite finding a queen supersedure cell last week. In a hive inspection a couple days later, we saw a queen, though I'm not sure if it was my original queen, or the new virgin queen. This is where I love the internet and the fact that I can just read about the topic to a new level of confusion.  The possibilities of what the hell is going on in my hive!? For all you beekeepers out there who are wondering if there were recently laid eggs and new larva in the cells... yes, there were. So in a week or so, I'll check again and see if there's interruption in the brood pattern and if we can't diagnose what exactly is going on in those brood boxes. The mystery continues until then...

 Whoa, this is an epic post- apologies for the length. Before I forget though, on June 16-17th, I'll be in Chicago for CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) and was asked to be a part of the panel discussion, "Start Your Own Micropress." COME BY!!! Mike Taylor and I will be tabling together and it's bound to be super fun...
Photos of some of the tabling/events so far this year:
Cristy Road and I at the Feminist Zine Fest in February.

Whoa- Gabe really made the Pegacorn Press rack for Al Burian's reading at Desert Island in April.

Pegacorn Press at the Brooklyn Zine Fest. Photo by Jon Nally.

"Remembering the Taste," Essential Hues show at Wayfarer's in Brooklyn.
Detail of, "Remembering the Taste."
 Til next time.....
Caroline Paquita