Monday, February 21, 2011

In Which I am worried by an Earthquake, and Memories of a Reproductive meal in Warsaw

The hardest part of having a wife on a rock tour is when something like today happens. Amanda had a gig tonight in Christchurch, with our friend Jason Webley, who was staying with our friend Hera.

I love Christchurch. Amanda and I stayed there a year ago: we borrowed Hera's parents' house (they had a copper bathtub in the bedroom, unconnected to anything, which puzzled me a great deal), and went for long walks along the beach, and talked and talked and talked.

And then, suddenly, a couple of hours ago, everything changed. An earthquake in Christchurch -- less powerful, but more damaging, than the one last September. Amanda's plane, about to take off, was grounded in Napier as they closed Christchurch airport. Jason and Hera were unharmed per Hera's twitter feed. But per there have been ten aftershocks so far, and entries like the following are really worrying...

Police say multiple fatalities have been reported at several locations in Christchurch CBD. They say two buses were crushed by falling buildings.

The Provincial Chambers building is reported to have collapsed, with people trapped inside.

Meanwhile, Amanda is having to figure out how to get to Auckland for tomorrow's gig. And many people in Christchurch have had their lives and world shattered.

You can make donations to the New Zealand Red Cross at


Michael Zulli gave me, as a 50th birthday present, a copy of his book THE FRACTURE OF THE UNIVERSAL BOY. It was a special limited edition he had had printed up, and was really beautiful, moving, strange and harrowing.

Here are a couple of panels. Michael is trying to raise the money on Kickstarter to self-publish it. There's a write up about the book, and many more pages, (and the fact that Michael will even draw Batman for people who support him with $2,000 or above) at

He's already raised over $12,000 of the $17,000 he needs. You can support it (and pre-order a copy of the book for yourself into the bargain) at


Dear Neil,
I thought I would submit a favorite blog moment. It's not my absolute favorite but it rather sticks out in my mind as something that made me smile.
I'm thinking it was a few years ago that you were at some lovely restaurant whilst on tour and you ordered some soup that came to the table with a dollop of cream artfully swirled into the concoction. You took a picture of it and posted it on the blog because the artful display of cream-on-soup looked just like a sperm.
I used to keep the picture of the soup on my computer for a good laugh but I lost it when said computer died a violent death.

Much love,

I remember that one!

From March 17 2007, A Miscellany:

The last time I was in Poland, four years ago, I had a day where food never happened and I got grumpy about it. Everyone is so concerned about making sure this doesn't happen again that I suspect I'm going to leave Poland a rotund and cherubic figure, astonishingly well-fed and pink.

Dinner tonight included, as a starter, a small caviar and rice thing at the centre of the plate, with strangely spermatic tadpoles drawn in purple and brown sauce heading towards it, probably to fertilise it.

And seeing that no-one would believe me without photographic evidence...

Off to Krakow tomorrow morning.

and I learned from Lisa Snellings that her poppet planet is open (and that she's going to do a new set of the Neil Rats... I hope she'll make them in brass and glass and all sorts of strange things) and that the details are up at

Just a quick question - what happened to your tags? Reading them used to be one of the best parts of the post, but now they actually and accurately identify what you talked about. Creativity is always greater than organization!

I liked them too.

I was Given a Good Talking To About Them, because apparently people had been complaining that they weren't useful enough, and I was told that I couldn't just put tags up that only applied to the post in question. But hah! it only takes one message like yours and I'm ready to go back to my bad old ways. With, frankly, joy.

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