One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Janie's Awesome Vacation

One day, rather than live vicariously through the characters I paint on my tiles ... I may just go to happy hour on a Friday .... and never return. Out of all the characters I've painted over the last two years, the ones that leave town for big adventures were typically only headed out for happy hour, or so they thought ...

A cat with a meandering heart and a taste for tuna landed in Tennessee, a woman terrified of asterisks went to N.C. and now Janie, an office worker who'd been trying to rack up happy hour funds by establishing an "awesome-free zone" and charging co-workers a buck every time they said "awesome," has been dropped in the restroom of Chalet Restaurant pictured above.

Janie also visited the birthplace of dictionary man Noah Webster in West Hartford, CT and the Mark Twain House and Museum, also in Hartford. But that was after her ferry ride, in which she apparently drank a little too much and wound up hanging with "some lazy ferry dude."

But, ya know, I just paint them. I can't protect them forever ... and it turned out that her little incident with ferry dude was harmless. Surely her tour guides, the adventure duo of Sherry and Rucci, wouldn't let anything bad happen to her.

Sherry and Rucci are the very couple that took Feisty Fred from a shopping center in Fort Lauderdale to Tennessee ... and they took the asterisk-fearing Roni from Ernie's BBQ in Fort Lauderdale to North Carolina. More recently, they found Janie at CVS Pharmacy in Fort Lauderdale. Apparently, she'd stopped at the pay phone to call friends to meet her for happy hour ... After that, no one really knows exactly what happened.

We do know that months later, she was found in a newspaper box not far from that phone .... and so her adventures began. Here's the story, as told by her hospitable tour guides Sherry and Rucci. Yesterday, they sent this full update via e-mail, along with photos from Janie's lovely vacation.

"M.T.M., Janie had accumulated soooooo many dollars that she decided to skip 'Happy-Hour' and head the hell outta the office and outta town on that particular Friday.

Happy that the ferry arrived on time, feeling altogether
WELCOME, she made her way to the lifeboats and the bar where her crazy "Awesome-Free-Zone" came to a screeching halt.

"The ferry bartender took one look at her and exclaimed (without reading the back) AWESOME!!!!! We explained her situation and headed to other parts of the ship. It was enough to drive a girl to drink and some lazy ferry dude as you can see.

"She then headed for some historic places that included Mark Twain's house..(she looks sooooo sweet in his garden) and then to Noah Websters home where he wrote a lil book you may have heard of.........Oh, yeah...THE DICTIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"After a sweet vacation, she ended up in The Chalet...a cool little castle like bar/restaurant/lounge in the ladies room... she seemed so happy amongst the stone wall there...Sherry really knew just where she should end up. And ironically.............IT WAS HAPPY-HOUR!!!

"Gee, what a great big silly circle she and us have encountered!
Sherry & Rucci "

I love a good story. When Sherry and Rucci hit the road with one of my characters in tow, I always know I can count on a good story. There are more than 200 tiles out there ... Once in while, I get to hear what happened to one them, and I always love that ... Clara, who was hanging out in a parking garage in Coral Gables, also was discovered this week. Photographer and tile finder Carlos Miller tells the story on his blog.

Still others are living quieter lives in their own little places of honor in people's homes, and I've heard about some of those too... Recently a friend encountered Scruffy in Tokyo Sushi place. She wanted Scruffy but did not kidnap her, as she said she looks like she belongs there now. She has an actual place of honor. Next door to that sushi place at Cold Stone Creamery, Sean lives in a glass case. Also in that plaza is a Starbucks where Sara found a home behind the counter. But I noticed that she has disappeared now, so Betty made her way over there recently to investigate. No word on Betty yet.

I like that the tiles that once dully sat in stacks in my dark closet are now out there in the world, living colorful lives of their own, and having awesome adventures. So thanks to all who've adopted them. You all are the very best.


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