Edel Rodriguez
What a Wonderful Birthday!
Well, I've been thinking.  This whole illustration thing is liable to end at some point.  The phone will stop ringing, no one will want me, etc. etc.  So, I need to extend the "Edel" brand into some other areas.  I figured, hey, it worked for "Martha", why can't it work for me.  I'm nicer than she is, for the most part.

So, here's the premiere issue of Edel, The Lifestyle Guide for Illustrators (Or Whomever).  Rather than put up random pictures of this and that on my blog, it will all be packaged neatly in this "e-zine".  What I eat, what I wear, what shaving cream I use, whatever.  You wanna live the life, read this thing.  Really, there's just so much I can give the world.  Have you heard of CD's?  There will be a special issue on how cool they are.  I'm replacing all my tapes with CD's.  I heard something about mp's or something but that sounded like work.

The goal here is to get bought out by some big publisher, get picked up by Conde Naste, Martha Omnimedia, I mean, the sky's the limit.  The premiere issue is my First Annual Big Pimpin' Cuban party.  Stunning pictures of illustrators running wild all over my house.  Recipes for food I harass my wife to keep reworking until they taste just like my mother's.  The cool gifts artists bring you when you tell them it's your birthday. 

And, as an added bonus, my special day with the KING of political illustration, who just happened to show up on the wrong day!  This was probably the best Birthday gift I could have ever gotten.  I am one heck of a lucky guy!!!
POOLSIDE: Joe Ciardiello, Ellen Weinstein, Brian Rea, Thomas Fuchs, Felix Sockwell, Elaine Ahn, David Flaherty, and Yuko Shimizu.  We changed the date to Saturday because Sunday was predicted to be very rainy.  In the end Sunday ended up being very sunny of course. 
Brian, Elaine, Thomas and Felix release some tension with a nice, friendly game of Badminton.
Felix and Brian have some real "anger issues" which they need to deal with in some other way than by BASHING MY BIRDIES!!!.  Guys, you owe me two dollars. 
Ah, food's ready!  Argentinian skirt steak with Chimichurri, mmm..., fried plantains, black beans and rice, mango salad, adobo chicken, and the best Cuban sandwiches in the world (homemade egg bread, home roasted pork, ham, cheese, pickles, and mustard).  Yes, I'm the taste tester.  Oh, I promised the mojito recipe, here it is:

In glass, place:
2 big tablespoons sugar (that's the secret, enough sugar to rot yer teeth)
Half of fresh squeezed lime juice
two ounces Bacardi Rum
Nice handful of mint
(pour in a little seltzer, smash down many times with blunt wood object to squeeze out mint flavor)
Fill glass with ice cubes and pour more seltzer to fill
Stir with spoon and bring up sugar from bottom to top
Garnish with mint leaf and lemon

Do the above over and over and it'll keep you busy during any party.  And you'll love every minute of it.
We move the Cessna out of the studio to make room for some more fun.  Here's an actual quote heard after the party from Grandma:  "It's so refreshing to see a group of such clean cut nice people nowadays".   Of course, she was probably talking about Thomas again......
Felix and I battle it out for ultimate supremacy.  Two intense fellows with six inch rackets should not face off over a green table!
Brian catches PONG fever.  Thomas heads out.  My guess: a smoke.
CLOCKWISE: Yuko Shimizu and Laura Blue, Mr. Ciardiello, Jason Lee and Jeannie
The evening ended with a late night of poker.  Grandma and Jason, the card sharks working the table. 

Grandma is wanted in ten states for her Poker hijinks and did not want her picture in the public arena.
Sunday, 2:30 pm

Phone Rings:


Hey Edel, it's Steve, I'm at the train station!

Hmm... for the party?


It was yesterday!


The wizards at the weather channel said it was going to rain today so we switched it to Saturday.

I didn't know!

Yeah, miscommunication, we both have AOL e-mail, it's just great isn't it?  Something must have happened to our messages.  I'll pick you up!!!
And for my birthday, Steve brought me a Brodner!  "Triangulation", from The New Yorker.   Newt, Bill and Trent Lott.  And he dedicated it to me!.  Ain't Steve cool!
We then hung out all day!  I had the greatest political satirist all to myself for an entire day.  What better birthday gift could I have asked for?

We talked art, middle east politics, teaching, his "issues" with the Wall Street Journal, we hung out in the pool, he checked out my work, wow!  My father-in-law Rich actually bought Steve's book Freedom Fries.  He was elated.

Steve hung out with the Grandmas, had some margaritas, some Cuban coffee, stayed for dinner.  What a guy!

If you haven't yet, get Steve's book Freedom Fries now!  The guy is too cool.

Ciardiello gave me a bottle of wine for my birthday with a beautiful label he had drawn.  What better time than with Steve over for dinner.  We popped the baby open.....
bottle of wine with Joe Ciardiello's artwork
Thanks everyone for coming out, it made for a very memorable birthday!
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