The Kindness Of Strangers

Decor To Adore: Sharing the Umbrella

The second year I taught in Korea, I had an after school tutoring student. I would teach kindergarten from 8 to 3, then travel to Anna’s house by four to tutor her until five. On the way home I would have dinner and finally arrive home around seven. A long day, but it was lucrative and rewarding. One day, not during the rainy season because if it was rainy season I would have planned better, after I left home it started to rain. Not standard rain. Monsoon rain.

Most of my trip was underground. Five blocks to the subway station. One change of trains. Then two blocks to Anna’s house. I knew, based on past experience, somebody would be selling umbrellas in the train station. Seoul, South Korea is the Land of Random Acts of Retail. So after school, I turned up the collar of my jacket, hunched my shoulders, and set off for the train station. I had walked less than a block and a half when a woman stopped me on the sidewalk pressed her umbrella into my hand and walked away. I was still drenched when I got to my tutoring appointment. But not nearly so badly as I would have been.

I still have the umbrella.

What I’m Watching: Battlestar Galactica

My mom was a huge sci fi fan so I grew up watching every sci fi show on including the original Battlestar Galactica so when the new version came on I started watching it. Then I grew bored and quit. Then my friend, who loved the show with a passion, ended up with the entire series on DVD twice (don’t ask) so she gave one set to me because it was important to her that I love it as much as she did. It didn’t happen. (I’m very into Stargate.) However, every couple of years I pull it out to see if my tastes have changed.

Jerry Eland

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Jerry Eland produced Touchstone’s early big albums and has been a friend and reliable pair of ears their entire career. He’s a well-known hitmaker. I had him envisioned as a Mutt Lang/Bob Rock type who overindulged to where he became known behind his back as Jerry the Hutt. Some of Jerry’s great girth is because I wanted to introduce a character who really did get taken advantage of for his expertize and name, and for absolutely no other reason. It’s not like he’s charming and good looking.

To be honest, Jerry really gelled as a character thanks to the episode of Monk “Mr. Monk and the Panic Room” wherein a music producer is killed inside a locked panic room where he was alone with his pet monkey. That episode starred Carmen Electra as the gold digging wife. Early in her career Carmen worked as booth bait at comic book conventions. I was booth bait before her and have it on good authority (from the guy who was running Marvel’s convention presence at the time) that they saw me attracting attention to the dinky black and white publisher (and also DC Comics as a matter of fact) I was hanging out with and decided they needed to hire some pretty girls for their booth too. So I got Carmen Electra her first break. She went on to fame and fortune and I never had to be married to Dennis Rodman.