While I was at the periodontist’s office this week — yep, it’s that old punch line: my teeth are great, but the gums have got to go—my dentist was admiring my pocketbook. She liked the design, an illustrated look of London, complete with the famous red telephone booths, Big Ben, and two Swinging Sixties birds with umbrellas and miniskirts. But even beyond the Nicole Lee drawings, she liked the Aurora squishie I have hanging from a loop. The calico cat is a cute plush pal, and it’s rendered me a lot of compliments over the past year. It’s funny how a tiny stuffed animal can open up avenues of conversation. And my little patchwork pal does just that. Another feline that is a guaranteed focal point is Pusheen. Pusheen definitely knows how to push the right buttons for chatting and laughing.
Diana Ussery has built a solid reputation for her dragons and other sci-fi oddities. Her creations are often quirky and comical — octopuses that wear top hats and carry luggage and other travel essentials in all their twirly-swirly tentacles — while also managing to appear regal and luxurious. (She frequently garbs her characters in rich fabrics and high-end textiles. An opulent octopus, anyone?)
It is difficult to start a familial tradition — an event or an activity that will entertain and define your family through the years, across the decades, and even from “the Great Beyond.” Yes, it’s hard to dream up a pastime or a meal, a custom or even just a cookie, that becomes immersed in your family’s life for years and years to come. Imagine, then, what it must be like to conjure up a custom for the rest of the word. We’re not talking about suggesting a game to be played at a neighborhood block party, or drumming up some funny knickknacks for a school white-elephant sale. We’re stressing a tradition that your family and others the GLOBE over will be partaking in and looking forward to doing. Who could tackle such an endeavor? Who could put up with that stress? Who? Adam Reed, that’s who.