Last week I had a few days of hangin around in Michigan before returning to Philly. One day we went to check out my step brother’s house that he’s building. He’s a contractor and is building his own place on five acres of land! It made me very jealous, especially since they’ll live in the woods.
This is Chris, technically my step-brother in-law?
Ian, who’s buiding the house, and his mom, my dad’s wife.
Their land. This is what I want the view out my living room window to look like eventually.
Out to dinner in Grand Rapids, with my brother, R, my dad, and his wife Sue.
That night I had a sleepover back in Paw Paw with my two oldest friends, Merry and Katie. They’ve been my best friends since I was 5 years old.
That’s Merry, Katie, and Katie’s partner Kristi, in Merry’s mom’s house basement where we spent all of our time as kids.
It was pretty nice out and strangely warm my whole time in Michigan, but on Tuesday, my last full day there, it finally snowed. This is the view out of Merry’s basement window. We spent our whole childhood out on that lake.
Back at my mom’s house on Tuesday night, I made pizza’s for her and my brother and I for dinner.
And then met up with Merry and two of our other good friends from high school, Ryan and Cara. We went to the town bar, the Dykeman, and then went to Ryan’s house, which he bought a few years ago in Paw Paw.
His house was filled with animals he had hunted!
Cara, Merry and Ryan
And as a point of reference (and because I love to post old old photos), this is us as juniors in high school. (Erin, Kyle, Cara, Me, Ryan, Merry)
Merry, Cara, Frances, Katie, Me
I came back to Philly on Wednesday and spent several days alone working on projects, both at home or at coffeeshops. The holidays put me really behind on drawing stuff. On Friday night, Liz Prince came to town so I went with her, Zig, Kett (who is also back in town for the holidays) and Jon to the Pop Shop in New Jersey.
The Pop Shop is a junk food diner that has a lot of vegan diner stuff too.
Afterward, I went to The Mitten, a West Philly group house, to play ping pong in the basement with friends.
My roommate, Jacob, came too.
On Saturday, I met up with Liz, Kettner and Claire to get drawing done at a South Philly coffeeshop called B2. You can see comics from all of us on ifyoumakeit.com !
Monica joined us after a little while
and so did Jon when his shift at B2 ended.
Joanna’s shift also ended so she hung out for a minute. She had just dyed her hair pink for the Mummer’s Parade I think!
After I finished drawing at B2, I met up with everyone at Su Xing House, which is a really good chinese place in Center City that we always go to when Liz is in town.
We gorged ourselves, as per usual.
We all reassembled once again that night for the New Years Eve party at the Sixteens house in South Philly. That’s Zig, Aaron and Claire.
New Years Even shenanigans ensued. The party was actually really fun. I’m always skeptical of parties for some reason, not because I’m straightedge, but just because you never know what the mood might be I guess.
Mike tried to pop a balloon with this saw, and Aaron was legitimately cowering. He wasn’t just posing for this photo.
The famed Leighanzig.
She looks good in black and white.
Kettner’s Dune themed hardcore band played a set at the party since he’s back in town for a minute. Kett promptly lost his voice after their first band practice this week. Whoops.
Right before midnight everyone crammed onto the roof.
At midnight everyone went crazy with fireworks. It was probably maybe a little bit of a dangerous scenario.
Zia is a fun ringleader
I ate a lot of junk food, including this rice krispy treat with melted peanut chews on top.
I was also very coffee hyper…. It was a really fun New Years Eve.
On New Years Day, Aaron and I met up at Mike’s house where Mike made us a New Years breakfast.
He told us that it’s a tradition to eat greens and black eyed peas on the first day of the year. A Tumblr follower told me this: “it’s a soul food tradition. black eyed peas=luck, greens=prosperity, pork=health, all with lots of vinegar! we’ve had it every New Year’s Day since I can remember.”
Then Aaron, Mike and I headed downtown for a really bizarre Philly holiday called Mummer’s Day!
Mummer’s Day is every year on New Years Day with a big parade and performances and judging, and then a crazy drunken street party that goes all night. “Local clubs (usually called “New Years Associations”) compete in one of four categories (Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades). They prepare elaborate costumes and moveable scenery, which take months to complete.”
There are all sorts of Mummer’s rules, like Mummer’s that don’t play music all wear gold shoes to differentiate themselves.
For some reason it’s really flamboyant and all the costume bases are this weird dress thing. Most people think it’s funny that original Mummer’s clubs are filled with firemen, police officers, plumbers unions, etc and many of them are racist/homophobic, etc but prepare all year for this celebration where they dress in drag and wear glitter and sequins.
As the mayor walked by in the parade, Occupy Philly dropped two banners right in front of us. One said Smash the State and the other said Occupy the New Year. The mayor seemed sort of amused by it and waved up at the protestors.
A comic Mummer. Comic mummer’s are solo mummers who walk around the edge of the parade route and entertain the crowd with jabs about current events.
I can’t imagine what downtown Philly looks like today.
The props and sets are all handmade which give a lot of them a totally creepy, ice cream truck vibe.
The sets would get pushed by (all of it is human propelled for some reason?) and then the sets would be followed by the string band that goes with the set. At the end of the route they set up and do a performance that is judged.
These were my favorite that I saw. Totally creepy ice cream cones and cupcakes. All the costumes are handmade by the people wearing them!
We didn’t get to see it, but there is one punk rock brigade, led by a local art space called 1026. That’s the one that my friend Joanna performed in and dyed her hair pink for. It’s not a traditional mummer’s group. Here’s their performance.
We took a coffee break from the cold at Elixir, which is one of my new favorite coffee spots in Philly downtown.
After Mummers, I headed home and Mike, Karen and Peter joined me to watch rom com’s and get work done. A good start to the new year!