Monthly Archives: March 2017

Rainbow Mandala Om

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Om, shanti shanti shanti. 

Despite my brother sending me an email explaining how he’d threatened my nephew with last Thursday’s “So Superior” comic, saying that if the bookish 10-year-old didn’t participate in physical activity he too would end up a basement-dwelling neckbeard troglodyte, I don’t seem to be feeling the comic today. If my nephew does end up living in my brother’s basement, I expect that will be entirely on his parents’ shoulders, right? I can rest assured that neither of the Kids will end up living in my basement, because the ground in Tucson is mostly clay, which is difficult and expensive to dig, so hardly anyone has a basement.

Anyway, I remembered there was another old crayon mandala that never made it to the website, because it’s hanging on the wall in the spare bedroom/closet. I wanted to lay it on the flatbed scanner but it appeared to be attached to the nail in some complicated way and it seemed safer to just let it stay where it was.

Truth be told, I’m getting a little nervous about finishing my big project on time, and around about while you are reading this, I am actually getting an MRI of my dominant hand, which could potentially result in surgery, which would likely prevent me from drawing anything or typing more than 20 words a minute for quite some time.

Anyway, I have to go draw some elephants.

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Monday Gratitude: I Get by with a Little Help

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This is not a picture of the greatest friends in the world. It’s just a tribute to a picture of the greatest friends in the world.

Although I’m super grateful that the anti life equation party did not find the opportunity to decimate my healthcare options this week, and will most likely not have a chance to complete their evil scheme before the midterm elections, even before that failed vote it seemed imperative to vocalize my gratitude for the legions of cool people in my life.

Obviously, as I’ve written before, I was a wildly unpopular preadolescent, of the “nobody in this school likes you” variety. While had enough self-esteem to feel like that was probably a mark in my favor (like, why would I want those conformists to like me?) being universally hated is not fun. But I was totally right in my assessment as to the value of the people who vocally, stringently, aggressively did not like me, because as soon as I got out of their bubble of privilege and entitled wealth, suddenly the stigma of being me evaporated, and it turned out that lots of people liked me a lot.

So I used the screen grab of my Facebook f-list as a symbol. I don’t have 584 actual friends. A few dozen of them are people who added me for my comics and/or my connections to the literary world, a couple are people I only know online, some are family, and a lot of them are probably just acquaintances or people I met once or twice at a party. But I’d say between 2/3 and 3/4 of them are real friends to some objective degree—people I’ve known in real life and hung with and whose company I enjoy and who apparently like me back. Some of them I’ve known for 3 decades or more. Some of them it only feels like I’ve known them for 30 years. And I also have friends, like the Fox, who aren’t even on Facebook. (I know; weird, right?) And while there are times when I have fond memories of that period of “nobody in this school likes you” during which 100% of my free time could be devoted to reading and writing, there’s also something to be said for getting invited to lots of interesting parties. Not that that’s why I’m grateful for my friends either.

Community, as it turns out, is probably one of the most important things in life. I know there are people who thrive in total isolation, who can live off the land in Alaska and spend more time avoiding polar bears than talking to humans, but most of us do best with a wide support net, multiple people to call on to celebrate our success or empathize with our distress. Social networking, not in the electronic sense, or the business sense, but in the sense of being integrated into a community with whom you can communicate, ask questions, seek assistance, and share your joy, is valuable on a psychological level, and a socio-economic one, and is linked with living longer and can contribute to professional success and things like that.

So, that’s my gratitude for the week: real friends. Love you guys.

 

Nature…Finds a Way

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You might think that two pairs of spectacles would give birth to a litter of spectacles but they only grow a second lens and earpieces after they pupate.  

The Man gets credit for this idea. We were driving around in the desert both lamenting the loss of our glasses, but apparently he found his under the seat, whereas mine have been gone for a couple of weeks. Doubtless they will turn up again after I have spent several hundred dollars and several hours of my life replacing them. Anyway, he said our glasses were probably together having little baby monocles. Monocle is a funny word. We also like to imagine our cell phones mating. We are funny people.

So Superior

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Our go-to has long been the woman who can’t eat anything but cheesy potatoes.

Today was a better day, obviously. The Man was a great comfort to me. Of course, staying mostly off the internet is the best medicine. But if you, like many people, find that you can’t do that, if you’re staring at photos of people you hated in high school and former lovers whose lives all look more put-together than yours, there’s always the woman who eats nothing but cheesy potatoes, or old clips from Maury Povich or Judge Judy, and, of course, People of Walmart. It’s crazy easy to feel superior to the rest of the world if you just know where to look.

Anyway, I’ve got your number, basement dwelling neckbeard troglodytes. I know just where you live. In your mom’s basement.

Alien Anthropologist

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What’s the use of feeling blue?

How do people build entire careers on drawing political comics? I can’t even look at a photograph of our new kleptocratic overlords without wanting to vomit lately. There is so much material–so many things that are clearly not OK and therefore in desperate need of mockery–that picking 1 thing out of the day’s new is overwhelming, and by the time you get to the end of the list it’s not funny anymore, if it ever was. There’s too much of it, legions of alleged humans working with all their might to make the world worse for the mast majority of its inhabitants and acting as if it’s perfectly reasonable to watch other suffer and die as long as corporations profit. Who am I even supposed to shame?

It was another hard day. My sister probably had the right idea, getting her Canadian citizenship, but apart from the racism and most of my elected officials, I really like where I live. Still, running away has its merits.

Monday Gratitude: This Here Ukulele

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She ain’t pretty. But she is cheap. And easy.

Settling on a gratitude came with difficultly tonight; I seem to exist in a state of muted rage lately. That makes it hard to count your blessings. I’m either working or avoiding work at all times, and the number 1 way I’ve been avoiding work lately is this ukulele. Why is that slowly picking out “Stairway to Heaven” 40 times in a row feels easier than accomplishing the tasks I need to do, I want to do, other people are depending up me to do?  Tasks I’m actually capable of successfully completely, unlike ever being able to play “Stairway” at tempo.

That’s just this week. Usually I don’t use it as a distraction, but more as a calmative. I had developed a bad habit of staring at the screen late at night, and the ukulele gives me something I can focus on in the dark (much like with touch typing, I realized the only way to learn to do it without looking was to make it impossible to look), allowing me to pull back from electricity and possibly sooth my psychotic circadian rhythms.

I’m grateful for the uke, and the ability to play music. I always, always wanted to play, but I hated the music I was supposed to learn for the piano, so I hated practicing, so I never got better. And my hands are too little and intractable for the guitar. And certain things I can only learn on my own, with my own hands. I pity the people who tried to teach young dragon about music.