This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"The interaction I have with the imagery is a representational action of brief, efficient,and non-intimate interludes of a more notorious nature,"

says my friend, Tina Heringer. Woah!

This is the collage my friend Tina put up at The Revolution Cafe in San Francisco. It's called Strange Men I Picked Up On The Street, not because Tina bagged all these guys (she could if she wanted to, though I understand she's taken), but because she really really did pick them up. On the street. I saw her do it. I did not pick up any strange men myself. I just watched her technique and took lots of notes.

Here's how it all began. Tina found the central image first, in an alleyway. She mounted it upside down because, she said, upside down he's "the most vaginal man" she's ever seen. I have to agree with this, though the sharp-looking French woman who sat across from me did not. She thinks the upside-down guy's rather phallic. Which, okay.

Anyway, Tina found this image, then she found another, and then another. Strange men drifting all over the streets of San Francisco, peeking from dumpsters, lying around in bins. And it seemed like more than a coincidence to her, these men she was finding. So she started making a collage.

Tina began mounting the images on the cafe wall about three weeks ago, and the collage has been growing. I saw it at the beginning, when it was much smaller, though I only viewed it from a distance, as I was a little nervous about the "cool people" sitting at a table right in front of it. Then a couple of weeks later, to my absolute delight, Tina stopped by the bookstore and invited me to come over to the cafe and help out, if I could.

As we walked to the cafe she picked up a few men, including one on a greasy McDonald's bag containing several french fries. There were more men along the way, some ripe for picking up, and some not worthy.

That day at the cafe, a bunch of things happened. Four of those things were pints of beer, which is worth mentioning. Also worth mentioning was the cafe's weird looking A-shaped aluminum ladder with its confusing extension system consisting of pull-tabs and holes, a system much too complex to be understood by humans who are used to typing on keypads.

We took turns climbing this ladder-thingie to affix the pictures to the wall with the duct tape Tina'd brought along. Tina is afraid of heights, so for the time it takes me to down two pints (i.e. an hour and a half, when I'm being polite, which I was), I assisted, since the whole piece extends nearly to a piece of steel conduit which runs along the top of the wall at a dizzying height of approximately thirty feet, I'm guessing. This endeavour was made that much more heroic considering that the cafe floor is made of solid concrete, embedded with pointy spikes.

It wasn't until the final night, when the collage had grown to the gynormous proportions in the first pic, that I took these photographs. I showed up right at seven o'clock, when Tina said the band would begin playing. At nine o'clock, when the band did arrive, I spotted Tina and tried to take pictures of her, but Tina is not a woman who enjoys being photographed. In the few I got, she looks kind of skeptical and annoyed, so I did not post them. But imagine a tall woman in sparkling thigh-highs who looks like a cross between Maria Shriver and your fantasy sexy librarian. If you stalk her because of my description, I will kick your ass.

I sat with Tina for a while and was thoroughly blown away by the sheer number of men she'd picked up and by the amazing genius band (her sweetie plays the piano, and I was surprised to learn that my coworker, the lovely Miranda, would be singing along, which she did, expertly).

At the end of the evening I owed Tina a beer, and I was TIRED!! I had to cut out without saying good-bye, because yo, my number was just about up.


I met Tina a couple of months ago, at work -- she was filling in temporarily, while we were short-handed. I liked her immediately & continue to like her, with immediacy, though it's tough to reach her by phone. Not that phone-reachability is a necessary virtue. Not like the-ability-to-pick-up-men. (By the way, she did not pick up many men at work, but she did pick up a few. She was very discreet about this.)

Soon, though, I hope to repay Tina by buying her a beer. It's the very least I can do, because I guess I figured out that all this stuff around us? Artists notice it and make us look at it, and when we start to notice it, too, life is worth living.


Blogger matty said...

Neat!!!! I wish I were an artist.

I've picked up lots of men but I never thought of pasting them to a wall as art. Damn!

This is really cool!

8:41 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

Being a bit of a photo type and a framer type and owning a ladder much like you descibed, I feel compelled to advise you to disappear when its time to remove the duct tape...JW

8:44 PM

Blogger Ahva Rahn said...

Look at you, in the dizzy heights, affixing the man without a safety net. Brilliant collage! And I know those ladders, darned things –I remember a guy at Home Depot demonstrating how you could use it for all kinds of nonsense and then fold it up and put it in your pocket, but wait, if you buy one in the next 30 mins the second one is free. I never went back as I was unsure why I was there in the first place. Another thing occurred tonight; I stared at your new profile picture; the books and the barefeet and the toes wee-wee-weeing all the way home without their makeup. After a while when I realized I had spaced-out a little, I thought, either it is because of the late hour and the need of sleep, or I might have a foot fetish.

10:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neato. Artists are the best...I swear it (I'm speeching on high here!). Yippity-up!! Up-in-up, I go Up! My voice without meeeeee! wee!

9:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a cool post! What ana amzaing collage - and I love the story behind it! Tina sounds very cool - actually, the whole of San Fran sounds smashing.

3:25 AM

Blogger sage said...

I'm have a feeling that most of the women who pasted me to the wall had a dart board between my mug shot and the wall proper...

And referring to your new mug shot, did you run out of red nail polish or is there some kind of significance to 7/3

2:26 PM

Blogger jungle jane said...

oh Ing. you are so cool. seriously - you are...

3:55 PM

Blogger ing said...


You ARE an artist. Of the written word. Own it, bebe.



Sage advice, very sage. I did want to help remove it and felt like a rat for leaving. . . But in the long run it all worked to my advantage, I suppose.



Ohh, that Home Depot! It's a plague, that place! Independent businesses rule!

My feet are fetish-worthy? MY feet? Yay!



Right you are, ladyfriend. From now on I'm only going to date artists and/or men who love art. Because as I said in the end of my posting. . .



San Fran is indeed smashing, but it wouldn't be a fraction of what it is if it weren't for the friends I've made here. I didn't start to LOVE San Fran until I met Matt.



What did you do to those poor ladies?

The only significance to the 7/3, aside from the obvious reference to The Bible, is that I got a little bored with painting my nails and decided to take a camera break.



Me? Sheesh, thanks! I don't think I'm that cool, but I sure meet lots of cool people along the way.

8:26 PM

Blogger Me said...

A collage! That's it. Forget about picking paint colours. I'll make a collage!
Oh, damn. I have to get out of this decorating rut. I'm blaming it on the Tylenol. I'm getting sick, some sort of head pounding, stomach twisting viral thing. Damn those evil little germ ridden children. I need a hot drink and a bath. sigh.

11:15 PM

Blogger Mone said...

This collage looks really cool!! What a great idea! You are lucky you could help. I would have helped anytime!

5:36 AM

Blogger sage said...

what did I do to those poor ladies? I tend to poke fun at myself, but I'm sure that at some point, someone put me on a dart board. And unless you're some kind of prophet sending sublimal revelations with your toes, I'm betting on your second response.

6:56 PM

Blogger matty said...

Today --- Out of boredom, as I sat at some creepy deli not wanting to eat a ham sandwhich, I pulled my lunch apart and formed little shapes with the cheese. I think it might have been art. ...but the scary guy who owns the place and only plays Dean Martin music told me I had made a mess. I told him it was art. He didn't buy it. So, I mushed it all together, tossed it in the garbage and headed back to my Disco Desk.

...when the moon hits the sky, well, that's amore. ...or bad cheese art.

the countdown is on to Crispin and your proposal for marriage!!!! ...or, at least a date. A dare is a dare.

10:41 PM

Blogger ing said...


I was up last night, barfing. I don't know what it was -- maybe a mild case of food poisoning. I feel better now, but I'm wide awake at two in the morning.

And wide awake, I have decorating revelations. Such as the little red curtains covered in white daisies that I plan to make for the kitchen window. I'll trim them with pink rick-rack. Very cheesy. Unlike the collage, which is 100% cool.



Being asked to help was the best part! It was so flattering to be asked, and so much fun to do it. Plus, I saw the artist at work -- the process of it -- and I got really close to the piece. It was wonderful.



Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

Corinthians 7:3



A poet who read last night at the bookstore called to thank us for everything we provided, most especially the cheese. He was quite adamant on the topic of cheese and how much we should be thanked for it.

Artists are messy people. Art is messy. Your diner man is not the artistic type, I take it. Maybe his cook is, though. Was your sandwich sliced into two triangles? Were the halves pierced with toohpicks? Any green olives in this picture?

Yes, yes, I plan to ask Mr. Glover for a date. That will be no problem. But remember, he's on tour right now and is probably busy. Still, it never hurts to ask.

3:48 AM

Blogger matty said...

No, it was a very plain sort of 'wich --- croissant with slab of ham and shredded cheese which had not been melted.

Artists and cheese. Makes you think.

11:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, I accidentally ate bacon bits on barely a half sandwich of egg salad at some fancy pants restuarant for this town and now my mouth feels lathered in fat and my stomach is burning. Nearly thirty years since I last ate such a thing. These were real. And ugh am in need of some benevolence.


2:29 PM

Blogger matty said...


1:54 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

It did ing, now I'm working on a project hatched over a year ago, check it out if you have a moment and share your thoughts, constructive of course. Thank you in advance...Josh

7:50 AM

Blogger Me said...

I love ricrac! I want to see pictures. The perfect kitchen to ask Crispin Glover to tea in. Wear a curtain matching apron too of course!

10:37 PM

Blogger ing said...


Indeed it does. . . Especially when you consider Swiss, with all its mysterious tunnels and holes. Or Velveeta.



Fancy pants indeed! I hope your stomach has recovered, and I'm sorry about the bits. May the skies rain silv'ry drops of benevolence on you.






Only constructive for you, dear Mr. Williams.



Yes, a curtain-matching apron! I'm so glad you can visualize my beautiful curtains. Matty was snickering about it the other day. He doesn't have "the gift." I will absolutely send a picture when I have made my kitchen curtains. But who knows when I'll get around to making them. . . In any case, they will be perfect. WIDE ric rac.

12:03 AM

Blogger ticharu said...

It reminds me of my room in highschool. The ENTIRE room except the floor was a collage. It left sticky bits of tape all over the walls and ceiling but it was a really cool room! It was pics of all the currant rock stars. Who's who mid 70s.

11:10 AM

Blogger ing said...

That doesn't surprise me a bit, Tich. I wanted to have a cool room when I was in high school, but my mother had her own ideas about what could and could not be on the walls. I got away with an Adam Ant poster, and a picture of The Human League. She gave me a framed poster of a cat (ugh!). Everything had to be in frames. NOT cool.

Right now I'm looking for a frame to house Matt's lovely baby picture. He was a very knowing-looking child. And I have two paintings by local artists and an Annie Liebowitz photo of John and Yoko. Two mobiles. Lots of post cards from ginab, which I tape to my mirror.

About half of my art came from Matt. He has great taste.

11:20 PM


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