Saturday, February 15, 2014

All The Cool Stuff That Fits One Bag With A Little Help From My Friends



Last issue of Frog Magazine where yours truly has 2 articles

When I came out with suffering from depression I had no idea so many people would reach out to me and be so supportive. It's a hard thing to live with, and in between migraines, having undergone brain trauma and this, let me tell you there's a painful crowd constantly living in my head. But seeing that so many people cared and took the time to help was immensely uplifting. In addition to many sweet messages I've received quite a few things in the mail over the last few months which I thought I should share with you, also as a way to publicly thank my friends. Above is a copy of the latest Frog Magazine with 3 articles on Mike Kelley inside including two from yours truly, which are edited versions of posts previously published here. I linked to the page where you can buy copies online as well as where bookstores that carry the magazine internationally are listed. Eric Troncy who's the editor of the magazine sent me that copy while I'm waiting for the publisher to send me some additional ones.



Here's a bird-eye view (and bad photo, sorry!) of everything I've received recently: a Freitag bag that can contain everything else you see in the picture above including Frog mag, two books, two LPs and a mystery jar. There's a list below so you have a better idea.



This is the catalog for the traveling Mike Kelley retrospective, originated in Amsterdam by the great Ann Goldstein, and that traveled to PS1 in NYC and is soon to open in LA at MOCA. Courtesy of my super buddy Grant Wahlquist who's responsible for this great new blog you should all put in your bookmarks.


Then my friend Stephanie Theodore who owns this gallery brought me this when she came to stay overnight in between London and Amsterdam. You can find almond butter here but not crunchy, unsalted and unsweetened almond butter. I love this stuff which I can never have enough of. better than Nutella if you ask me. Also I think if TJ's were to develop in Europe (as should Target and Crate & Barrel) they would make a killing. Similarly, Picard Surgel├ęs should invade the US market.



Years ago I met the Irish artist Niamh O'Malley at a show I co-curated along with 11 other people in Luxembourg. We maintained a long-distance friendship over the next few years. She's a good artist and a lovely lady and this is the second book she has sent me since I started FBC!.


I still manage to listen to music sometimes and alongside my well-documented love for John Cale and Scott Walker I like other things, such as psychedelic music and ethereal lady singers, and so for Christmas my brother and sister got me the latest Wooden Shjips album as well as the one by Rachel Zeffira (couldn't get a good picture of this one, sadly).


One of my friends who's been extraordinarily supportive is St├ęphane Saclier who kindly sent me a bunch of things including this really extraordinary messenger bag made by Freitag, a Swiss company. I'm totally in love with it for many reasons, including the fact that everything you see above in the first photo fits into it, as evidenced by the photo below.


The main characteristics of the bag is that it's made entirely out of recycled materials, namely the kind of tarp used to cover trucks here in Europe, and the strap is made out of a recycled seat belt, while velcro bands are used to close the bag shut. As a result you get an extraordinarily sturdy bag, and this particular model I got is expandable, so you can use it to go grocery shopping, or carry your laptop and various electronics, or your flea market haul of books and vinyl records easily. The only caveat I think is that it smells of plastic but as mine is brand new I expect the smell to subside in a few weeks. One of the things I really like about it, aside from the fact that it's spacious, waterproof, sturdy and stylish is that because the strap is made out of a seatbelt it is also expandable and so you can wear it on any shoulder comfortably. Which is great when one of your shoulders has been damaged in a car accident, this way I can use the opposite one and there's no risk of the bag slipping off.
It has one front pocket that is covered by the main flap, and because you need to undo the velcro to open both the flap and the front pocket there is no chance a pickpocket could try to help themselves without you being alerted by the noise. You will tell me you're not worried about pickpockets which is a rare event in the United States, but here in Europe it's a scourge.
 When I received the bag and realized how much I could expand it (double it's vertical length thanks to 2 inside flaps) I thought this would be a perfect carry-on purse for    flights, because it would still fit under the front seat and I could  carry many records, books and my laptop plus snacks and water, etc.

So thanks to everybody who's been so kind and generous to me. It helps keep me afloat when I'm in the pits, and reminds me what a lucky person I am to have you in my life.

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