January 17, 2013

Show & Tell Participants from January 9, 2013


"When I'm depressed, I drink, and when I drink, I buy things I don't need," says Julie Threlkeld. One such episode took place in December of 2010, when she purchased an autographed eight-by-ten-inch glossy photograph of the actress Morgan Fairchild. The Post-it attached to the photo is from Fairchild's personal assistant and reads, "So sorry -- as Morgan hasn't had your possum stew, she doesn't feel comfortable endorsing it." Julie has no recollection of what this is referring to but was so mortified by the experience that she changed her PayPal password, so now she can't make impulsive online purchases. (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



Willow O'Feral -- who took all the other photos at this installment of Show & Tell -- moved to New York City last spring and quickly joined an all-female afro-samba band, in which she plays the bass drum. Through a series of unlikely connections, her band got to warm up the crowd for the Rolling Stones during their recent shows in Brooklyn and Newark. Everyone in the band had to wear one of these gorilla masks -- a nod to the cover design of the Stones' latest compilation album. Interestingly, Willow and her bandmates weren't paid. "It was less glamourous than you might think," she says. "We only played for about five minutes at each show. Those were the fastest five minutes of my life. It was an insane, bizarre experience, which is perfect, because I mostly moved to New York to have insane, bizarre experiences." (Photo by Brad Heck)



Anita Flores hates to waste food. Her office held a pizza party a few hours before she was heading to Show & Tell, and there was some pizza left over, so she took one of the pizzas with the intention of giving it away, perhaps to a homeless person, on her way to Show & Tell. But this turned out to be more difficult than she had expected. At one point she put the pizza down next to a sleeping woman on a subway platform, but a transit worker scolded her ("You're just gonna encourage them"), so she took the pizza and went in search of another recipient. After several other abortive attempts, she eventually threw away the pizza, leaving her with nothing to show for her efforts except the empty box and a Show & Tell story. (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



When Sam Davison was growing up, he was obsessed with the Beatles and the Supremes. His love of music took a quantum leap at age 10, when he received his first Discman. "I look back fondly on this, much like someone would look back on their first album, because I could bring my music with me. This was my best friend!" He especially liked the little window on the cover, which allowed him to see the CDs spinning inside the machine, and soon realized that some CDs may actually have been designed with this in mind ("Certain CDs looked cooler as they spun than others"). The Discman broke when Sam was 13, but that turned out to be a case of fortunate timing: "My bar mitzvah happened and I got an iPod." (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



Sabine Bernard and her mother and sister always engage in some sort of Christmas craft project together. When she went home to Portland, Oregon, for the holidays last month, they decided to make terrariums. Unfortunately, Sabine's terrarium was ruined by TSA workers during her trip home. She's tried to make up for it by making this tiny terrarium in a little glass vial, which she wears as a necklace pendant. (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



Here's another Christmas-related story: Emily Thenhaus's father is a bit of an eccentric when it comes to stocking stuffers. "He always gives gifts appropriate for a five-year-old," she says. One year, for example, he filled everyone's stockings with salted nuts. Another time, he hid his own car keys in his own stockings and then got very excited, pretending that they were the keys to a new car. (He actually did this on more than one occasion.) This past Christmas he got Emily this box of neon-colored clay. "I think he mainly just likes having an excuse to shop at the St. Louis Museum of Art gift shop," she says. (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



Tony Limuaco grew up in Guam, where his mother used the coconut cutter that he's sitting on. (That's the proper way to use it, but you can get a clearer view of it here.) Tony's uncle made it decades ago out of an old swing set and some rebar. When Tony made a recent trip home to visit his mother, she slipped the coconut cutter into his luggage, where it made for an interesting X-ray image at the security gate in Honolulu. Fortunately, the TSA official on duty happened to be a Pacific Islander and recognized the object as a coconut cutter right away. Once Tony finally got it home, he took it to one of those grinder trucks to have it sharpened, "but the guy didn't know what to do with it." (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



In the early 2000s, Adel Souto held a series of short-term jobs -- at a bookstore, at a head shop, at a plant nursery. During this period, Adel, who is right-handed, decided to keep a left-handed journal, just as an exercise. The entry for Dec. 17, 2002, reads: "Today is a good day to die. Ask anyone. They will let you know by tomorrow." Fortunately, Adel did not take this self-advice. (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



Francisco is a fairly serious jiu jitsu competitor. "It's my form of therapy and meditation," he says. During a recent tournament, he took on an opponent who was larger and more skilled than himself. He performed well but lost when the opponent executed a move that hyper-extended Francisco's elbow. He feels no shame in having lost to a superior competitor -- on the contrary, he now wears this elbow brace "like a badge of honor." (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



When Kevin Fong was 11 years old, his grandfather suffered a heart attack. During a hospital visit, the grandfather gave Kevin his Walkman. "It was the last gift he ever gave me," says Kevin. "That's when I knew he was going to die." Sure enough, the grandfather died about a week later. (Photo by Willow O'Feral)



We conclude, as usual, with Show & Tell host Paul Lukas -- me. Shortly after moving to New York City, I attended the 1987 Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village. Someone in the parade was handing out tiny zip-lock baggies, each of which contained a quarter and a little slip of paper that read, "In Case of Emergency, Call This Number." The number turned out to be for a runaway crisis hotline. My quarter, for whatever reason, had a hole drilled through it, so I put it on my keychain. I liked the idea that it would be my "emergency quarter," just in case I was ever down to my last 25 cents. The quarter, which was minted in 1981, has been on my keychain ever since and has gone literally around the world with me. Due to the hole, it weighs slightly less than a conventional quarter, so I often wonder if it would even work in a pay phone or soda machine. I could find out easily enough -- I happen to own a few coin-operated gadgets and could test the quarter in one of them -- but I don't really want to know. Sometimes the question is more interesting than the answer. (Photo by Willow O'Feral)


That's it for this round of Show & Tell. Big thanks to all participants, and extra-special thanks to Willow O'Feral for serving as this month's Show & Tell shutterbug. The next installment of Show & Tell will be Wednesday, Feb. 13, 8pm, in the back room at Freddy's. Hope to see you then.

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