Hong Kong monkey show

Once, when in Hong Kong in the late 1980s, my brother and I saw a comically terrible circus with a drunken monkey trainer, with monkeys who clearly hated him.

He’d yell at them in Chinese. They screeched at him angrily as they they rode little bicycles around while wearing opera masks.

At one point one of them deliberately pooped on the cement walk that was the stage.

You know how when you go to a zoo you feel slightly guilty to see the animals in cages, and wonder if they are being treated well? And you tell yourself little lies to feel less guilty?

Well there was no way around this one. Those monkeys genuinely hated that guy.

My parents were mortified. The whole thing makes me smile when I think of it.

Neil Gaiman @ Preston’s Candy

We got to hang out with author Neil Gaiman on Wednesday night, at a private ice cream social at Preston’s Candy & Ice Cream in Burlingame.

Even though we weren’t really supposed to harrass him, I snuck in some comics for Neil to sign: a trade paperback of Season of Mists, which was the first Sandman comic I read, and still one of my favorites, and a rare collection of the issues of Miracleman he wrote.

NEIL: who should I sign this to?
BRAIN: Oh, just sign it.
EMILY: Ha ha, you’re going to ebay it?
BRAIN: No, I just think it’s kind of cheesey to have your name on books.
NEIL: you know, it’s funny… the signed books without the owner’s name sell for more while the author is alive… but after the author dies, the books with the owner’s name are worth more. It’s that personal relationship, it adds the cachet…
BRAIN: Hmmm…. how old are you now?
EMILY: Brian!
NEIL: I’m only forty-seven. But I’ve had this cold…

Neil also dropped some hints about his new China-based project, but there are plenty of interviews published about that now.

Wedgie Girl

I met Jen’s roommate on Sunday, who helps on photo shoots with Playboy models, but for product advertisements. She told us about bronzer, a sparkly goo that you put on the models so they will have that dark, tan, oiled-up look, and how the playmates all are the same exact hue of tan already.

We wondered if there is a color swatch the models use to make sure they tan to the exact shade.

She also told us how she worked a set as the “wedgie girl”– the models’ thongs would be in their crack, and her job was to pull it out again. Whee!

We all went out to M Cafe de Chaya for breakfast, and then to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Ben and I went to Fugetsu-do afterwards for manju supplies, and then flew home.