Bob and Rachael Ray – a one-sided love story, part five

photo: Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray, celebrity chef, guru and overall dynamo,  has been the object of Bob’s desire for over a decade.  What blossomed in 2006 , was still blooming in 2007 and 2008, continued on in 2009 and 2010 and kept on truckin’ through 2011, 2012 and 2013.

2014

February 14, 2014

February 15, 2014

Lauren had a school science project… to study the ins and out of volcanoes.  We researched everything and actually made a pretty decent paper model.  Since we had a lot of flour and paint, an unlimited supply of paper and an extra Pringles can, why not the make and give a seismic, molten gift from the heart? Thankfully, the restraining order never came.  It took a week to get all the flour paste out of Bob’s fur.  The things you do for love.


2015

Operation get Rachael to dig Bob kicked into full gear in 2015.  Lez and I were celebrating our first Valentine’s day as a married couple.  Bob, surrounded by all this love, was on a mission like never before.  He decided to make a video.

February 7, 2015

February 9, 2015

This went on for two solid weeks. A TON of video was shot and re-shot and re-re-shot.

February 12, 2015

Unfortunately, all of the footage was lost after I inadvertently dropped, hit with a hammer, spilled Coke Zero on and ran over seven times the external hard drive containing the raw video.  Accidents happen.

Toward the end of the year, Raquel Hicks, a super, uber Bob the Squirrel fan sent us an autographed Rachael Ray cookbook!

Raquel even included snap shots of the book signing she got this… just in case we had any doubt of the authenticity.  We truly have the best fans on the planet.  I didn’t let Bob know about this until…

2016

February 13, 2016

February 15, 2016

February 16, 2016

Needless to say, Bob was in another realm this Valentine’s day.  After basking in the glow of a sharpie signature for a while, he began to think of the man that held back…

February 20, 2016

He’d not imagining that.  And I’m NOT a monster. A story line is a story line.

2017

Tensions were still running high in 2017.  The world was changing faster than we wanted. Nothing was ever going to be the same.  The cracks on Bob’s devotion were beginning to show.

February 7, 2017

February 8, 2017

February 9, 2017

February 11, 2017

So, that’s where we are now.  Basically, the same place we were twelve years ago. Do I ever see a day where tv chefs and squirrels can live in peace, love and harmony?  Sure, why not?  If he’s still willing to put himself out there, I’ll back him up.

But, we’re dome making volcanoes… do you know how messy they are?

Bob and Rachael Ray – a one-sided love story, part four

January 3, 2010

Rachael Ray, celebrity chef, guru and overall dynamo,  has been the object of Bob’s desire for over a decade.  What blossomed in 2006 , was still blooming in 2007 and 2008, continued on in 2009 and 2010.

2011

February 4, 2011

Five years into the love affair, Bob displayed no signs of wavering.  That year, everyone in the house was sick. The last mood anyone wanted to be in was lovey.

February 8, 2011

February 11, 2011

When everyone got well, they still weren’t feeling it.  That just meant that Bob had to pick up the slack.  This year, he decided that he would make Rachael Ray a wooden yo-yo.  He carved it with his teeth and used mint-flavored dental floss as the string.  It was homemade at its best.  Bob never hear from her.  His devotion was starting to waver.

 

2012

February 14, 2012

2012 was supposed coincide with the end of the world.  That obviously didn’t happen.  But, Bob did learn a new word.

 

2013

February 14, 2013

February 15, 2013

Between 2012 and 2013, Bob fell head over tail for singer/songwriter Adele. Nothing came of that either.  No matter how he tried to rationalize and deny, he couldn’t shake his love.  He could jiggle it a little, but shaking?  Not at all.

Next up: More of the same, but in a completely different way…

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Bob and Rachael Ray – a one-sided love story, part three

via Rachael Ray Show

Rachael Ray, celebrity chef, guru and overall dynamo,  has been the object of Bob’s desire for over a decade.  What blossomed in 2006 , was still blooming in 2007 and 2008, continued on.

2009

February 9, 2009

February 10, 2009

Bob continued his obsession at the end of the decade.  Things in my life were settling down.  We were all moved in to the new house, Lez, Lauren and I were becoming a real family.  And yet, I still felt the need to be a little passive-aggressive when it came to Bob and Rachael Ray.  And

It was around this time I actually had a shot of getting on the Rachael Ray show.  It got pretty far too… I was talking to one of her producers about being on their marriage proposal shows.  The premise would be that I was on the show talking about the comic strip… Lez would be in the audience.  She’d think she was there just to see that.  That’s when I would propose. (I managed to get a good proposal in later on)  On the show. In front of millions. I was nervous.  I was looking at rings.  This all came about and would come about in a matter of 10-12 days. I was in the running to be picked.

The producers then asked if I’d be willing to shave off my ‘stache and beard… essentially giving me a make-over. I (like an idiot) refused… and the phone never rang again. I take a few moments every February since to kick myself for being so foolish. I never told Bob.

Something is wrong…

December 29, 2009

Toward the end of 2009 I did a series of strips where Lez get Bob a Rachael Ray spatula for Christmas.  I thought it was a funny premise… watching Bob go nuts (sorry) over that particular item.  The strips were very funny.  Very funny.  I scanned & sent them off… and proceeded to work on the next story.  Another two weeks of strips finished. Boom… I’m on a roll.  It was only when the Rachael Ray strips were to begin running that I noticed a teeny tiny error.

I had managed to spell Rachael Ray’s name wrong.  In every. Single. Strip.

Going back and fixing it was possible, but not practical. I’d not only have to fix the spelling on the bad strips, I’d have to re-date the two weeks of panels I did AFTER these.  Three weeks of strips changed.  So, I let them run.  Enduring the emails about my error.  Know why?

Because I was going to a week of strips ABOUT the error.  Take that frown and turn it upside down.  Make fun of myself… because, why not?

Only problem was I had to crank them out in record time. Like two days.  This leads right into…

2010

January 4, 2010

January 5, 2010

The benefit was I was now further ahead than I’d ever been.  In the grand scheme of errors ever committed by humanity this doesn’t even rank.  I used it.  I really poured the Rachael on in early 2010.  This made the Valentine story somewhat bleh.

February 12, 2010

Next up… new decade, same heartbreak.

Bob and Rachael Ray – a one-sided love affair, part two

via Food Network

Rachael Ray, celebrity chef, guru and overall dynamo,  has been the object of Bob’s desire for over a decade.  What blossomed in 2006 continued on.

2007

Things changed in mid 2007.  My personal life took a turn.  Well… more like an explosion.

June 27, 2007

My personal problems spilled over into the strip.  I just wanted to hide.  So that’s what happened in the strip. I just went away.  Didn’t see any way out of my situation.  Bob enlisted the help of his love.  He wasn’t calling for himself, he was calling for his friend.

July 7, 2007

Make no mistake, the love was still there.  Oh yes.  I eventually unhid myself and left my old life behind.  Left it all. Everything except Bob and Rachael.  Bob’s love remained unrequited.

2008 and changes…

Bob and Frank moved on, as one tends to do.  We set ourselves up temporarily at my grandmother’s house while things were sorted out. I found love again with Lezley, but Bob? Well, Bob sill had his one-sided thing going on.

February 15, 2008

Eventually, we moved into our own house and I started grad school.  Lez and Lauren were kind enough to check in on Bob (and Rachael) while I was in Vermont…Despite my warnings, things nearly got out of hand.  Never get between a squirrel and a 30 minute meal.

August 9, 2008

More on this ageless love tomorrow…

Bob and Rachael Ray – a one-sided love affair, part one

(via rachaelray.com)

Rachael Ray, celebrity chef, guru and overall dynamo,  has been the object of Bob’s desire for over a decade.

As Bob likes to say: “Rachael Ray is awesome. I love the fact that she’s pint sized. I love that she smiles a lot. I love that she can take ingredients and MacGyver it into dinner in less than 30 minutes.

I love that even though it seems like she’s not real, she is real. I love that she’s goofy in a very smart way. I love that I can turn on the TV at pretty much any point of the day and be able to find at least one show she’s on.

I can always count on Rachael to be there when I need something familiar.”

But where and when did this all begin?  We’re going to have to go back a long way.


The beginning:

February 13, 2006 – When Bob met Rachael.

To be fair, I myself have always had a soft spot for Rachael Ray.  When I was a student at the University at Albany in the early 90’s, she was working at a gourmet shop not that far from where I lived.  Of course, I didn’t know that until much later.  As a freshman art student I never did any gourmet grocery shopping, but I did frequent the shopping plaza where that store was.  I’d like to think we crossed paths once or twice.  If she saw me then, her path may have crossed the street.

It was hard to miss Rachael in the early 2000’s.  The strip was about four years in when I decided that Bob needed a celebrity crush (don’t we all?).  Rachael was an easy choice…not much explaining was needed.

A one-sided love affair was born.  A love affair that, at last count, has spanned 12 years and 102 strips.

February 16, 2006 – When ego begins to match perception.

Bob heard nothing from Rachael in 2006.  He was determined to change that the following year.  To that end, he commissioned me to paint her a portrait.

February 13, 2007 – always a critic, even when it’s free.

He waited and waited and waited… nothing. Not so much as a mention or a cease and desist order.  But squirrels are stubborn.

Coming tomorrow: A glimmer of hope and ultimate disappointment.