Think of it as more of an introduction, just to prepare the more dutiful Popthomology readers among ye for the possibility that I may need to step into Marianne’s shoes while she is off on the high seas on the Bruise Cruise on a ship to the Bahamas with a bunch of unbridled indie rockers, enjoying 24-hour room service and free puppet shows. It’s all sort of up in the air for now, depending mainly on whether Jello Biafra throws Marianne into the pool and fries her cell phone, but I'm here to serve as needed. Since I will at least be filling in as a transcriptionist here for the weekend, Marianne and I thought you should know something about who I am and why I'm here. Aside from having paid a hefty fee, that is.

Marianne and Dena: The Origin Myth
You may have seen my name pop up here occasionally, mostly as a founding member of the legendary Performa-Chords. What you may not be aware of is that Marianne and I came over on the Mayflower together and have been best friends ever since. We did not have any cell phones or computers in those days, so when I wanted to share something goat-related with Marianne, I had to bring her an actual goat. Batman did not exist yet, which made life fairly meaningless. Later, some inventor guy created television from a light bulb, five electrodes, and a handful of rubber bands. This changed the world by transmitting images of Lawrence Welk and Mr. Ed, a talking chimpanzee directly into the frontal lobes of human beings. This new-ish technology enabled a stiff but highly influential man named Ed Sullivan to introduce America to four moptops who made girls cry and throw Jujubes, in the process giving birth to the British Invasion.

The Kinks: A Revisionist History
The most important thing you probably don’t know about The Kinks is that they came into existence specifically so Marianne and I could meet. There once were two brothers who lived in the Black Hills of Muswell, and one day in the sixties they received simultaneous psychic transmissions that compelled them to purchase matching riding habits and form a rock music combo. The Kinks had several chart hits, including “You Really Got Me All Day and All of the Night, But I’m Tired of Waiting for You Till the End of the Day, Lola.” This measure of success served to keep The Kinks together as a band until that portentous day when Marianne and I finally kept our appointment with destiny at a Chicago swap meet and discovered our shared fondness for the combative tea drinkers, subsequently throwing in our lot together as a touring unit and tag wrestling team. At some point some fruit rolled down the aisle of a Greyhound bus and we laughed, but we disagree as to what type of fruit it was.

Marianne and Dena: The Story Continues
You know most of what Marianne has been up to lately because she gives you the skinny right here. Mostly she takes pictures, writes blog posts, and drinks coffee, occasionally pausing to feed a child, do laundry, or swear about politics. As for me, I routinely peruse Popthomology from a near suburb of Chicago, where I’m up to my elbows in books and up to my ankles in water (at least when it rains and I go down to my basement). I do a bit of freelance editing when there is freelance editing to be done, I sell books and pop-culture artifacts on Amazon Marketplace and Etsy for a few extra dollars, and I explore and share information on the internet because that's how I get my kicks. I’m also the mom of a bright and zany 11-year-old, a member of the extended Burning Man community, and a dedicated hooper, so I never lack something to do. I wish Marianne and I could get together more often, but given that she lives in Constantinople and I live in Timbuktu, I’m grateful we can get together at all

As I write this Marianne is in Flo-da, getting ready to cover Bruise Cruise and avoid being swallowed up by the Kraken. I am excited to see what she comes up with in the way of images and written commentary from this strange and exotic voyage. I am also grateful to Marianne for the chance to introduce myself to you and share highly embroidered stories of my misspent youth, which prevented me from eating an entire 2-pound box of salted chocolate-covered caramels today. I hope we meet again here, either sooner or later. In the meantime, I will take advantage of your kind attention this one time to flog the heck out of my various internet endeavors.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

It is Fun to Have Fun, But You Have to Know How