Monthly Archives: March 2016

Three Days Ago’s Mandala, Today

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Play with your vegetables.

This week began with best intentions but even though the mandala was scanned weeks ago and I started a comic on Friday, somehow the time slipped out and the first never got posted and the second never got finished and THEN I lost 2 days of my life to circumstances best forgotten but permanently scarring, and they weren’t even the worst 2 days of this month.

Do you think it’s possible for a human brain to forget how to sleep? Because I’m starting to wonder.

It makes one much less effective, and there is really a lot to do around here.

This is really, as you may have guessed, The Asparagus Mandala. It seems like the original intention was to create an assortment of vegetable but after the asparagus I just couldn’t stop laughing and didn’t want to mess with perfection.

In case anyone wondered, QvD still exists as a daily blog. Just a little blip there.

It’s a 3D problem

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Actually, I am angry about the Democratic primaries in Arizona, but I’m doing this new thing where I try not to obsess about things that fill me with righteous indignation.

Ladies with a little extra up on top, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

When I was in college, making and selling custom chain mail was a trend, and a friend mentioned that he had received his first commission for a chain mail bikini. The next time I saw him, I asked how it had worked out.

“Awful,” he said. “I’m starting over from scratch with a new design. The first one just fell apart when she put it on.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I guess I never really thought of a bra as a weight-bearing device,” he said.

Which struck me as hilarious at the time. Why else would a woman subject herself to a bra, if not to help her carry that burden? But apparently, this is all news to the people who design bikini tops, because I tried a number of them on today, and they all failed at their basic function. Listen, you can’t just take a small bikini and double the size and call it a large bikini. A bikini top is a weight bearing device for anyone larger than a B-cup. Here’s the rundown, in case you don’t have enormous breasts and never considered the structural engineering problem:

  1. The band: This is the foundation of the garment. If the band is too loose, everything falls out the bottom. Design fail. Possible obscenity charges.
  2. The cups: They need to be shaped roughly like a woman’s chest. Merely enlarging a small pattern results in uncomfortable and unflattering squishing, lack of support, potential nip slip, and possible obscenity charges
  3. The straps: Do not make extra-large bikinis with halter straps. Just don’t. Because a bikini top is a weight bearing device, and a human neck is not a sufficient anchor.

So it looks like I’m just going to have to wear a T-shirt over the the bikini top I already own. Because while I personally feel I should have the right to go topless whenever the mood strikes, for my own comfort, I don’t have the financial means to fight an obscenity charge. If ever someone cares to fairly compensate me for my creative endeavors, I hope to have all my weight-bearing garments bespoke. And my jeans, too. I don’t think there’s anything too outrageous about my shape, but it’s not one that anybody is designing clothes for right now. Women’s clothes are a joke. And not a funny one.

 

Next Time, I’ll Get You a Rabbit

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Is this slice of life, or is it a complex metaphor for my relationship with my husband?

I had a rare opportunity to write about my cat today. I mean, someone else specifically requested professional quality writing about cats for publication on a paying website, and I wrote about mine. I have written about her before and also attempted to paint her for this blog. This cat is a very particular representative of her species. We’re talking the archetype of Kipling’s cat who walks alone. She wants all the comforts of home and none of the restrictions, and while we mostly understand each other, there is clearly nothing I can ever do to communicate to her that there is no type of animal, dead or alive, that I would even enjoy receiving as a present. So she just keeps trying.

Actually, I should count myself lucky that she’s never brought me a rat, but that’s probably just because there aren’t that many rats around here. There must be Norwegians, because there are Norwegians everywhere, but I’ve never seen evidence of one. If she got a rat, it would probably be a packrat, but it doesn’t seem like she’s ever brought a packrat in. Maybe they’re super-delicious and she keeps them for herself.

Also, I recognize that it was extremely unprofessional to draw that woman’s hands with zero fingers but I did draw her fingers, over and over again, and all of them looked super freaky and I called it a day. No fingers for you, freak out lady. She’s lucky. I originally uploaded a version where the joint on her left arm was backwards. It looked crazy painful. Her hair started out with best intentions but lost something in translation. That rat is just gross as can be. Actually, it could be grosser. But it’s pretty gross. Seriously, if my cat brought that inside I would probably cry.

Be Like Allison

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You can’t buy happiness. But you could buy a T-shirt from my RedBubble shop, which would definitely make me happy, and probably make you happy.

This is Allison. Allison is a successful writer and professional performer of death defying feats. Allison is very happy. Why do you think Allison is so happy? Is it because she is wearing this kickass QWERTYvsDvorak T-shirt? Correlation may not prove causality, but there does seem to be abundant evidence that wearing a QvD T-shirt can make you, and the people around you, at least 20% happier.

Allison is modeling “Embrace Me to the End.” If you click the link, you could, too.

This has always been one of my favorite designs in the shop, even though a marine biologist once chastised me for drawing a blue whale, rather than a sperm whale, which is more commonly thought of as the giant squid’s natural enemy. The way I see it, we don’t know everything that goes on under the ocean. Who’s to say that there isn’t a kraken sized squid that periodically tries to munch on the largest animal on the planet at the deepest, darkest depths of the world? I like both cephalopods and cetaceans. The bigger the creature, the more love there is to go around.

There are also some other interesting things in my shop if you click around.

I procrastinated and didn’t draw a comic and there’s still one other important thing to do before bed tonight. It’s sort of related to the fact that 3 years ago, The Man and I got legally married by the law of the land. We’d already been together for 4 1/2 years before that, and we were, as we said, “gay married” for a couple of years before the wedding, Tucson being a city that offers domestic partnerships, and the University of Arizona being an employer that offers benefits for domestic partners. I wonder if the marriage supersedes the partnership?

Anyway, 3 years ago today I became a married Dragon, and The Man became a married The Man, and we were bound to each other for better or for worse. Love that guy.

 

The Garden Fairy

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I’ll eat all this really healthy food tomorrow.

Of course, I always eat all my vegetables, so this isn’t me. But there really is a garden fairy. She lives next door; if you follow me on social media, you may have seen her obscenely large cabbages and cauliflowers. Not only does she bring me free food, she lets me play with her dogs, and takes care of my cat when I’m out of town, and also brings me stuff from her job. She’s pretty much the best neighbor a person could possibly have.

If you’ve never seen the video clip of the woman who only eats cheesy potatoes, you should Google “woman who only eats cheesy potatoes.” It’s astonishing, but apparently this woman only eats cheesy potatoes. Nothing else. Not steak, not apples, not pizza, not cheesy poofs. Just cheesy potatoes. To each their own, I suppose, but personally a potato-cheese combination is something I’d only want to eat a couple times a year. The Man and I like to joke about it, but I feel sorry for overly picky people, because they are missing out on all the delicious other things there are to eat.

Well, the garden fairy came over today and brought me beets, celery, greens, and fava beans, but I had already planned to make eggplant, mushrooms, and asparagus. Maybe tomorrow.

Perfectly Pink Flower Mandala

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It’s a mutant plumeria, or something.

It’s been a rough month in Dragon’s Cave. The deadly beast insomnia (second only to gravity in the “keeping-Dragon-down” pantheon) keeps rearing its ugly head, which can be kind of debilitating. On the plus side, I have beaten my own personal record for most consecutive hours of consciousness. The previous record was 36, in which time I took 2 cars, 2 planes, and 4 trains from Chicago to Prague. This weekend, all I did was travel to and from the town of Bisbee, attend a late night stand up comedy show at an underground club, and fail, repeatedly, to fall asleep.

Picture me, hour 39, in the front row of a club hazy with the green-tinged atmosphere of a Dutch coffee shop, looking up, as if from the bottom of the ocean, at this big black comedian who’s explaining to the organizers of a local Pride Parade that Chik-Fil-A is so good that he doesn’t care if the organization is homophobic, that he would eat Chik-Fil-A if they were openly racist and made him sit in a black-only segregated area of the restaurant, while the civil rights lawyer on my right side is actively booing him. What am I doing here? I ask myself. Is this really happening? Also, if I stand up to go to the bathroom, how likely is it that I will fall over and injure myself? How am I going to get out of this club, anyway? Will I have to walk? Am I actually already asleep and having a weird meta dream about insomnia? And so on.

Round about hour 41, my brain finally relented and I got 9 hours of unconsciousness (not uninterrupted, as The Man got up and made a smoothie halfway through). I bet I could have slept another 2 hours at least, but also there are the kids, and when you’re a kid, “being quiet” and “banging the door of the front-loading washer 17 times in a row” are somehow not mutually exclusive activities. But you can’t make up lost sleep, can you? Like, I should have slept 16 hours, right? Not an option. So, I’m not wholly recovered. I may never be.

Here’s a pinky-pinky flower mandala with an unusual symmetry based on the number 7, drawn in less stressful and more well-rested times.

Dragon Comics 127

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In panel 4, The Man isn’t upset that the Girl got frosting for breakfast. He’s jealous because he didn’t get frosting for breakfast. 

Waffles are pretty simple; it’s the first thing thing the kids were able to cook completely without supervision. While writing this, I suddenly thought of something that happened 20 years ago, while making waffles for the guy I was dating my last semester of undergrad/first semester of being a supposed adult. Possibly, he was making waffles for me, under my supervision. But I said something to the effect that it was silly to worry about screwing up the ironing of the waffle, and then I said something like, “You’ve got to be a complete moron to fuck up a waffle.” And for whatever reason, he thought that was hilarious, and for the rest of our relationship, sometimes he would catch my eye and say, “You’ve got to be a complete moron to fuck up a waffle.”

Seriously, toaster waffles are full of all kinds of stuff you don’t need, and a waffle iron costs maybe $25. It probably pays for itself in a weeks’ worth of breakfast, and it’s so simple a small child can operate it. Message me at this page and I will send you the recipe for regular waffles or for gluten free waffles that are so good a lot of people prefer them to regular waffles. I have strong feelings about homemade waffles.

The other thing I was thinking about was a friend who does standup comedy, who was laughing at another comic because she had seen the second comic performing the exact same set a dozen times in a row. I said, “If you want to be a comedian you should probably try to write a joke every day,” and she laughed and agreed. I imagine that people who are serious about comedy write at least 1 new joke every day. It may not be a good joke, but the point is that, say you are only successful (like you think of something truly funny) 20 percent of the time, you would still have 6 new jokes a month. If you’re funny less than 20% of the time you might not have a future in comedy.

So then I told another friend that anecdote, and she marveled over my production of a daily blog 5 days a week. I try to write 4 comics a week (not that they’re all funny) and some weeks I only manage 1 or 2, but the main thing is to crank out new material, not rest on your laurels. I probably only write 2 really successful, upvoted/shared posts a month, but the more comics I write, the more traffic I get.

It’s way easier to have an idea during the day and mull it over for a while before you get to work than it is to come up with something when the clock is ticking and you’re staring at a blank page. I try to have an idea before 10 pm, but it’s not always possible.

That led me to think about the writer Bonnie Jo Campbell, who once explained to me her concept of “the sitcom moment of the day.” She says, “If you search through every day, something really funny happens. You just have to look for it,” and that’s the sitcom moment of the day. She meant it as a counterweight to depression, but it’s a great tool for writing comics. You can read all the things she told me that day on my old home page. The formatting is old school web wonky–all the apostrophes are replaced with white question marks in black diamonds–but it’s still readable.

This is all to say that this comic is pretty much non-fiction, except the waffles were lunchtime waffles and The Man pointed out the frosting connection over text, since he was on break at work.