…recently illustrated artwork for the Gary, Indiana-based 18th Street Brewery.

Erik’s illustrations are featured on 18th Street’s American pale ale, which is better known as Temporal Purgatory. On a can, Erik’s work looks like this:

18th Street Brewery's Temporal Purgatory artwork by Erik Rose!

Head-on, it looks like this:

I'd drink that!

If you zoom into the tombstone with the cross on top of it on the left, just above the skeleton’s hip bone, you’ll find this:

Now with more Zori!

Zori, which is the last name of our other good friend Milan.

And if you zoom in above and to the left of the skull’s mandible, you’ll find this:

I've made it!

Shady! Yay!

You know you’ve made it when your last name shows up on a can of beer,

-Shady

This one was to my mom.

That’s something we should be sympathetic toward,

-Shady

…my dad had a passing, chance encounter with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in downtown Milwaukee. At the time, Kareem was playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

For decades, my dad has told and re-told this story, about how he happened upon Kareem when he was exiting a big and tall store, and how my dad was caught by surprise by the interaction and didn’t say anything to Kareem as he passed by.

About a month ago, I had the idea to contact Kareem and see if he’d send my dad a signed photo, and possibly say something about how he remembered running into him all those decades ago.

I never got a response to my email, but last week my dad got this in the mail:

To Ron, From Kareem

So insanely badass.

Big thanks to Kareem for being a good sport about it… and for giving my dad a second amazing story to tell.

Gonna have to get him a frame,

-Shady

It got real wet.

…in a torrential rainstorm, and give her your hoodie to stay dry, from behind…

Phone home.

…it kind of looks like you’re walking with E.T.

Grey does love Reese’s Pieces,

-Shady

…for getting West this awesome handmade blanket!

So awesome.

Thanks, G-Ma!

And also a big thanks to my old college friend Katie Paluch for making it!

Katie is amazing when it comes to these handmade blankets. (Years ago, Ma Shady also commissioned Katie to make a blanket for Grey.) Here’s just a sample of what Katie can do with a needle and thread.

Katie's stitching is on point! Get it?!?

Lucky to have both such thoughtful family and talented friends,

-Shady

Thomas Lennon’s book pretty quickly, and am now on to Blueprint’s What A Night: A Book About The Worst Shows of My Career.

"What A Night: A Book About The Worst Shows Of My Career" by Blueprint.

Finally up to speed for the year,

-Shady

Back when I was living in Columbus, Ohio my friends and I started a quote wall. Whenever a bit of brilliance (or otherwise) poured out of someone’s mouth, somebody would yell “Quote!” thus nominating it for Quote Board status. The quote then had to be seconded by someone (it almost always was), and then it would be written down to be forever immortalized on the Quote Board.

This is the modern-day equivalent of that classic piece of my past.

QUOTE BOARD:

“No pits in that cock. It’s all fruit.”

– Milan, 5/2/19

The context isn’t important,

-Shady

…hire Ice Cream!

He’s a poet, a cartoonist, and a singer. All in one!

Ice Cream!

Unfortunately, he doesn’t look like ice cream… he looks better than ice cream!

Seriously!

He’s only free after 7PM,

-Shady

A Tribe Called Quest, and am now on to some middle-grade fiction with Thomas Lennon’s Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles.

"Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles" by Thomas Lennon.

I even got a personalized copy for the kids.

Someday they will fight over it.

Not sure where my brain is headed next,

-Shady

Mmmm... Netherlandy!

…but we got our third (and final) shipment of Universal Yums back in… honestly, I can’t even remember anymore.

Our last installment was filled with treats from the Netherlands! You know, like Eddie Van Halen.

Thanks again to Beth for the great gift!

Back to eating boring-ass American snacks,

-Shady

Old Poop!