Giant octopuses are only the first layer of weirdness. In this direction, at least. That’s why it’s fun to take the roundabout rout: so you can catalog the anomalies you might otherwise miss. There’s a lot of accounting to do in here.
We are going somewhere, though. That’s the thing about travel. You always get somewhere. Once I missed a turn in Indiana and, instead of getting on the interstate, spent hours driving farther and farther away from civilization until I found myself creeping along below 15 miles an hour behind a horse and buggy. No kidding: lost in time as well as in space. But I was somewhere. Amish country, maybe.
There have seriously been moments in my marriage when the greatest stressor we faced as a couple was the elementary math curriculum. I never mastered anything beyond algebra myself, and of course mathematics education just looked a lot different in the ’80s. The Man is pretty good at math—he can do calculus—but he doesn’t know how to teach little kids like I do. So sometimes the only way for the Girl to get her homework done is for The Man to explain it to me so I can explain it to her. I wasn’t sure how funny this joke was, but I told it to one of the volunteer moms and the librarian at my library and they both laughed.
Presumably, knowing algebra is something of an achievement, because I still scored in the 66th percentile on the math section of the GRE despite being, of course, a liberal arts major. That means I’m better at math than 66% of all people who have, or are about to have, completed a bachelor’s degree and hope to attend graduate school. This tells me that most people must not know any math at all.
There’s also a little joke here about the kind of helicopter parents who would call the school to challenge the basic curriculum because their kid didn’t like it, because these people exist. They are not uncommon today, but that’s another thing you didn’t see too much of in the ’80s.
I probably don’t say it enough, but this guy keeps me going. And, of course, he has substantially more hair on his head than his namesake character is drawn with in Dragon Comics, which is a bonus, but it’s not the most important part of a stable marriage. Knowing that someone always has your back is a much bigger deal. It’s a huge deal, and it’s not easy to always make that work. It’s a lot of effort to make it work most of the time, and effort alone is no guarantee of success, so a functional marriage, in this day and age, is kind of a big deal.
This picture was taken on the Marin Headlands; that’s the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. As air travel has, since 9/11, become increasingly uncomfortable, unpredictable, and invasive, I’ve gradually come to a point in my life where I would rather spend days in a car than hours at the tender mercies of the TSA/FAA. So The Man drove me to San Francisco. From Tucson. That’s 13 hours door to door. On the way back we had a little extra time so we spent 2 nights in LA, but he still drove the entire way. He’s my hero. I am very grateful to have found him.
Sometimes the journey inward is the scariest one of all. If there are things you’ve hidden from yourself, you can guarantee figuring them out will be an unpleasant experience. Speaking of unpleasant experiences, today I got a cortisone shot in my hand. The PA told me I probably shouldn’t draw tonight but obviously there’s no helping me. We’ll see.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember: love is an act of resistance in a culture of hatred. Why should it be easier to turn against strangers than to find a place to meet in the middle? I wrote the script for this comic in the early afternoon but didn’t actually finish creating it until well after midnight, and now I have nothing left to say for the blog. I’m tired.
According to Facebook, I was wrong, and some people did notice my lack of comics, but I guess they were all people who were too polite to say something about it. And I missed my comics. I miss expressing myself in a public forum where I can see that my words have been read by 100s, and sometimes 1000s of humans/sentient creatures trapped within humans. And the people who like my comics the most seem to prefer Dragon Comics to my better-illustrated work. I actually wrote a not-Dragon comic earlier in the week, but it will keep until Dragon works out some of Dragon’s issues.
The line about the kitty litter also went over very well on Facebook, where I used it, in a slightly different form, to describe what middle age could go do. Seriously, when you are still about 9 1/2 inside, it’s disconcerting to hear the words “shingles” and “astigmatism” from 2 different medical professionals in the same week. Also shingles medication is terrible. The pills are 800 milligrams and the side effects can also eat a bag of kitty litter. (Yeah, shingles are bad too.) I declined the prescription to correct the impending near-sightedness because I can still read books without issue, and I can barely afford prism lenses, let alone bifocals, and because I am in denial about this middle age thing.
It’s time to recommit myself to a lot of things, including this blog. Even though nobody seems to care or notice that I haven’t drawn a comic in over 3 weeks, I remind myself that this blog is for you. It’s for me. You just happen to be lucky enough to read it. There are going to be some Dragon Comics soon.
For this gratitude, which was supposed to go up last week, I was thinking about all the foods in the world I haven’t tried. Like a lot of kids, I was a boring and picky eater with a very limited repertoire. A lot of people would still consider me picky—I largely avoid grains, particularly wheat, and white sugar, and won’t eat anything made with ground or preserved meat, or most fast or junk foods—but I’m fairly open to trying new things, especially if they come from older and healthier cuisines. Lately, we’re obsessed with West African cuisine, particularly fufu and peanut sauce. It’s delicious, and if you haven’t tried it, especially with goat, you’re missing out on some of the good things in life.
For a little pick-me-up it’s fun to go to new grocery stores, especially ones run and patronized by immigrants. There are 100s or 1000s of fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried, with which other people are familiar, and now that we have the internet there’s no excuse not to try them. In all honesty, I tried the bitter melon a few different ways and it was too bitter for me, but I’m glad I tried it. You never know what you might enjoy. The cocoyam I’ll try to work up into something tonight.
My gratitude is for the existence of and will to experience countless new foods.
This is a card I made for a friend’s lingerie-themed bridal shower. The dark red edging around the letters is Sharpie and the rest of the design is cut origami paper, some leftovers from my 1000 paper cranes project. The word “sexy” is also cut paper. It was almost one contiguous piece but I ripped it the tiniest bit while cutting it out, and then ripped it again trying to fix it.
I’ve been mostly working on another project while obsessing over the future of humanity. Part of me felt defeated by reality and overwhelmed with helpless terror, but then I read this New York Times article and thought about what Rabbit keeps reminding me about samizdat and it’s like—yeah, one tiny voice against a hurricane, but also, a million tiny voices against a hurricane. Some people think Trump wanted Bannon off the security council because he resented the media’s implication that Bannon was pulling the strings. I drew this comic after being tagged in a Facebook status that suggested cartoonists portraying Bannon as a puppetmaster could help limit his influence by appealing to Trump’s grandiose sense of being the most (only?) important person in the world.
I’ll draw webcomics again, I guess, but 4-5 a week isn’t going to happen at least until I finish the other project. In case you’re wondering, it’s called “Close Encounters of the ∞ Kind.” I didn’t name it; it’s a collaboration. I should probably talk about about it later.