Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Polar Opposite Cats

I realize a big blog post about your pets is kinda silly, and thus lands me in that self-indulgent, no one really gives a shit column, but eh. I was thinking about them last night, about how weird and opposite they are. And I need to post more on this blog anyways.

So. These are my girls.

Kiko was born on Hallowe'en, and looked like an albino bat when we first got her. Skinny, ears full of mites, a little puffball that I put in my coat when we got her in February. I chose Kiko through the word kiku, which means "chrysanthemum" in Japanese.

She got prettier, though, thanks to some good care from yours truly. And even more so that she doesn't have that squished cat face of some white cats. Regular cat face, but bunny-soft long white fur. And she knows she's pretty- when you come into our house, she will daintily walk up to you, swishing her tail and her head high. One of her common nicknames is "pretty" and she responds to it. She also responds to "coochie" because she has the unpretty habit of laying on her back with her legs out on either side.
Kiko is the cat you admire for her prettiness, and you play with at close range because she doesn't use her claws. She and I have a lot of fun chasing each other through the house. She gets all hyper and bug eyed and darts around like a maniac. Trills and meows loudly if she thinks she's alone in the house, and when you call her, she'll come running for attention.

Is the first to try and get into forbidden places, like the basement or outside, so you have to be careful with doors. Recently, I opened the back door with groceries and she slipped through the crack. Luckily it was raining so she stopped dead in her tracks and I was able to push her back inside.

Kiko is not the cat you can give a hard scratch to, or pick up (without her getting really annoyed), or snuggle all that often. She likes to be pet gently, and to settle next to you on the couch and occasionally on our lap. But she startles easily and you have to be all cool about it, or she'll leave.

There are a lot of rules when dealing with this cat.

Now, Tora.

Tora is six months younger than Kiko. We got her from a shelter because I was worried that Kiko would be lonely. Tora announced her existence by mewing at me from her cage and purring like crazy. When I picked her up, she scrambled up to my shoulder and snuggled into my neck, continuing to purr. We chose the name Tora because it means "tiger" in Japanese (notice a trend?).

Tora's purring is a wonder. When we took her to the vet for the first time, she wouldn't stop purring. The vet had to put rubbing alcohol under her nose to get her to stop so she could hear her heartbeat. She purrs with her entire body and all breath in her lungs, so it sounds like a jackhammer sometimes (PURR PURR PURR). Tora isn't as obviously pretty as Kiko, but she has cool markings and colors, and a kitten face that's very cute. She also has a scratchy kind of meow, or sometimes no sound comes out at all.

Tora is always happy, and always wants to be pet, touched, snuggled, etc. ALWAYS. This cat follows me around all day, and sleeps with me all night. She is a cat who aactually wants to be picked up, who will sleep on my head, who always wants to be on my lap. Her happiness comes through in purring, and also licking. Yes, I have a cat who licks like a dog. She will purr and lick my hand or face obsessively until I push her away.

Tora is the cat you give lots of petting to, and the one you do long-distance playing with, because she will get excited and use her claws if you're not careful. Tora plays fetch with little sponge balls, and brings it back in her mouth. She also loves playing with a string, or with her "crunchy mouse" which is a hard yarn covered thing. Though we call her "pea-head" sometimes, she is a smart-ass cat. These are the words she knows: ball-y, string, crunchy mouse, bored, hungry, soft food, treats, the dot (and spelling out D-O-T), and there's probably others I can't remember.

Tora is a chewer,though, and is currently eating my plants. She will chew through any kind of string, including blind strings unless we keep them up. She is also usually the instigator of very rough fights with Kiko, that we usually have to break up. She does scratch when she gets excited, and deeply at times - I have a scratch scar on my thigh that has yet to fade away. And she is a shameless beggar for people food, whining and crying for it and generally being a nuisance.
But I love'em.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weird Moments in Teaching

A quick post before I go and start vacuuming up my flooded basement:

Teaching college creative writing has been a frustrating experience for a variety of reasons, but we'll focus on one now, since there was just an interesting moment that happened.

One thing I find frustrating is students who fuck around and, as cheesy at it sounds, don't live up to their potential. I had a student this semester who did that. And he is a great writer. For his young age (these are sophomores, mostly), he's got major potential. His writing is always interesting, always well done and complex and researched.

But he barely participated, just doodled in his journal. Sometimes didn't hand in stuff. And when he did participate, it was often with a quiet, but challenging tone. I quickly got the impression that he wasn't impressed with the class, or me for that matter, that he might have felt "above" the introductory subject matter.

Now I told these kids from the start: being a good writer does not mean an automatic A. I'm more interested in the effort put into it, the genuine effort to try and get better. You can be a great writer, I told them, but if you don't put in the work, you're not going to get a good grade.

So today. The kids came in to hand in their final portfolios, no actual class. I said I would be in the classroom from 10:45 - 11:15 to receive portfolios, and if they were late, it was their own fault, and I wouldn't accept it after that time. They trickle in slowly, unless it's down to one last student to come in, our buddy here.

11:10 - nothing.

11:15 - nothing.

I'm having this internal monologue at this point - I'm asking why do you do this? You're so talented, but you keep fucking around, and now I'm going to have to drop your grade by 15% because you're not here on time to hand in your portfolio, blah, blah.

11:16 - pack up my stuff.

11:17 - he walks in.

I say "oh, you are lucky! I was just about to leave!" He says "yeah, I guess I am" with this offbeat, kind of light tone (very ususual).

He hands in his portfolio, then sticks out his hand.

"Good class," he says pleasantly.

Shakes my hand. Then leaves.


But weirdly enough, I find that one sentence to be a big compliment.

I might post more later, after this flooding thing is dealt with.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Moving Sloowww.....

Finishing up page 5 of AE#2, did a thumbnail sketch of page 6 and will probably pencil it tonight. It's kinda slow going, but it's happening. Don't know if I can get it all done by January like I hoped- will have to see if I can get some extra work done when I go home to Canada for Christmas.

Am thinking that I need to step up with a strip or regular short comic on this blog, rather than just lame-duck entries updating on the second mini-comic. Maybe take the focus off of my life and get creative again. I have a bunch of stories I've put aside in the past few months - maybe I should do something with them. Or do something completely different.

It's hard - I think the winter is slowing down both my brain. I don't want to do fucking anything when I get home from work.

Too bad, because I like winter, and when we got a dusting of snow last weekend, it not only made me happy, but also homesick. Isn't that weird - the most stereotypical aspect of Canadian life is the thing that makes me all gushy? But for whatever reason, that cold, crisp smell does take me right back to Ontario, to Sauble, and the way the beach is in the dead of winter.

I actually love going back to Sauble in the winter. Sure, it's known as the ultimate summer beach location, but I love how much it's like a ghost town in the winter: pillars of snow, trees covered in white, and the sound of the water rolling in slowly. It's really beautiful. But an acquired taste, I think. Not for most people. Probably because you need to wear layers upon layers to do anything. But I like layers. So there you go.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Huzzah! Success!


Am thrilled to death with the progress on page 4 - just had a *very* satisfying inking session, where everything was just working out perfect. After the struggle with 2 and 3, it's a welcome change, and actually boosts my confidence. Now to figure out what to put on all the bare walls of the scenes. Pictures? Plants? Graffiti?

I also moved my drafting desk further away from my work desk, and feel like I got a bunch of new space to breathe. Why didn't I do this earlier? Dumb dumb.

M and I just got our Christmas tree, and it's all fat and falling slowly and filling the house with piney smell - we'll decorate tomorrow, I hope. I have some ornaments from when I was a kid that my mum gave me, and also a silver bell from my Gram's tree from when she and my dad-dad (granddad) first were married. It's signed: "A & W, 1948." I love it.

I'm surprisingly in the spirit this year, and I'm a notorious Scrooge - I'm the one who usually refuses to let M listen to any Christmas music until about two weeks before the holiday because it's just wrong. But now I'm the one humming. I like all the old versions of Christmas songs best - Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole. Probably because my parents played them, they just sound familiar. But these days, I'm mostly humming one of my favorite Christmas songs:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pages, Inking Gods, and Waiting for my Turn to Kill

The much-cursed Page 2 and 3 of AE #2. Yes, it's taken me a long time to get this done. Bad, bad Canook. Back to the grind. Trying to average 1 finished page every 2-3 days. Trying to juggle the jobs and errands.

Something I notice as I look at the above picture (again, no scanner, so digital photo it is) is that my bodies are stilted. That is, there's a stiffness I know I have to work on. I know it'll come with more practice - I should probably go back to AS220 for more figure drawing classes. And take some time and just go sketch people in a public place. I think it'll also come with the increased comfort I get with inking with a brush.

I am in awe of those comic artists who are doing what I do with an inkwell and brush, but are so masterful and smooth and confident with their lines. Again, I'm sure that it comes with years and years of practice, but when you're hunched over your art desk, brush in hand, that inadvertant quiver causing a slightly wiggly line as you stroke down, well, I can't even image inking like Terry Moore of Strangers in Paradise, for example.

Now he's a guy that I study as an inker. The way he has extreme detail, varied lines thick and thin to create three-dimensional, realistic characters (realism being the key and drawing real women what he's known for) His use of shadows and full on black to achieve a fully balanced page, the way he illustrates hair and cloth - total inspiration. I doubt I'll ever get to that level, but it's worth trying to learn.

Beyond the pages, planning my trip home to Canada to see my family and friends, preparing to sing with my chorus in a Christmas concert (with lots of singing about Jesus - very strange for a non-religious person like me - I just try to enjoy the singing) getting into playing Scrabble and Scramble, and right now, enviously waiting for my turn to play Ninja Gaiden II (so gross, so hard, but so fun) and making a cup of fresh Red Rose black tea, the stuff I grew up on and one thing I am truly thankful for finding here in Rhode Island.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mistakes and Mosques

I've had a ton of trouble with page 2 of AE#2, so much so it's taken me a bloody *week* to finish it. I don't know what happened, but I made so many mistakes half of the page is covered in white-out. You never hear about comic artists making tons of mistakes like this. Makes me feel inadequate, really, even though it's only human. And I'm still learning. I just tossed the page aside for now, and I'll go back to it later. Onto page 3, and hopefully some more steady work so I can finish this in January.

Why? Well, Jodi of Julie Light and Rottin Rotti here on Blogspot and I are looking to join forces in 2009. She's still up in Canada, I'm here in the States, and we're going to cross-promote each other under the same business name. There's a con she's going to in February, and I really want to have both American, Eh #1 and #2 done so I can give her both to sell. Plus, it's a good goal to have - have a new book ready for each season.

Random stuff. Ever think of how popular culture affects what you say and how you say it? Example: was watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding last night. Realized that not only do I call a bundt cake a "bu-bonk cake", but refer to boring people as "toast people." It's like a code between M and I when we meet someone who's just as dry and crusty as the term suggests.

Am currently at work, eating some really delicious rice and wraps and baklava from the Muslim club here at the college. They had a guest speaker, an imam I think (head of mosque), and food for donations. They have brochures and stuff they're trying to get people to read - I don't know how receptive people here will be. I told the girls to put them on the cafeteria tables, that way it's there if people are curious.

I know it's a bit of an off topic, but I always thought Islam was a lovely religion. I studied it in college, and went on a class trip to the local mosque. Wore the headscarf, long sleeves, long shirt, and participated in the Friday prayers. I gotta say, I am not a religious person, though I love to study religion, but I can't deny that there wasn't something uplifting to that ceremony. Can't quite describe what. Maybe I'll do a comic about it sometime.

Monday, November 17, 2008

American, Eh #2 In the Works

Decided to finally get going and started the second part of American, Eh? over the weekend. Can't scan the page (too big), so just a photo.

Not sure about what the cover is going to be yet - with the first one, I took a real photo from the events that took place in #1 and that was the cover (the balloon-headed shot - yes it exists, and no you can't see it).

With #2, which details the move from Windsor, Ontario, to Quincy, Massachusetts, it's a little harder, because I really don't have much from that time period. I'm mostly relying on memory. I'm thinking about asking some friends if they have any pictures from then. I mean, sure, I can make something up, but it'd be cool to have a real photo reference for each cover of this comic.

So I inked the first page of #2 tonight and something interesting happened. For #1, I worked with thick, heavy lines, and in keeping with the theme, I started the first page of #2 in the same way. Then I got to the last panel, and as I was inking it with one of my new brushes, it came out differently. Finer, thiner lines, different look. And it looked good.

So I'm having a bit of a connundrum. Do I try to keep going with this finer, more detailed approach? Or keep with the look of #1 and the thicker lines? It's not a huge difference, I know.
Beyond the comic, I've been given an interview for a grant writing job for the Newport International Film Festival..... which is very ironic, because four years ago, I was running the Rhode Island International Film Festival, and Newport was the big rival. We shall see.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Six Pack - "Infamous Ouches"

Yes, renaming this series "Six-Pack". Will maybe go into detail with one or more at a later date.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Six Pack- "Hypercolor" - Page 3

Last page was a little delayed due to going back to Canada for my big brother's wedding, but first Big Kids story: done!

A note: Kraft Dinner is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. In Canada, it reads Kraft Dinner first on the box, so lots of people call it that, including my family. I still call it Kraft Dinner here in the States.

Another note: I didn't put it in, but I was so squicked out by the barf, that I cleaned it up with a bowl and spoon, sulking the whole time. It started a long tradition of being thrown up on by babies throughout the years, to the point now that I could care less.

Next story, I think: how my brother Mac (seen above) caused all of my scars.

And actual progress on American, Eh? #2.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Six Pack - "Hypercolor" - Page 1

Page 1 of the first tentatively titled "Big Kids" story (other suggestions welcome - I'm not totally sold on the title.) Basically, the first of a couple of mini-stories, where I tell some infamous stories from my family history, and from growing up with my five siblings.

Trying to let go of control here. So no rulers, even though it was assaulting my perfectionism that the lines got wavy in places. And just trying to use the brush and ink and go slow, and trust that I know my anatomy. And have a little fun with it.

Next page will be finished over the weekend - I try to work at least one hour a day, so it takes a while. I think just keeping at it is a good start, though.

Monday, October 20, 2008

SPX and Big Kids

It's been a few weeks now since SPX, and I didn't write about it like I said I would, so I'm doing that now whilst I'm sleepy and alone in my coffin-office.

I don't know if I can emphasize enough how much that convention changed my opinions, inspired me, and really made me feel like I found a community I fit into. Artistic, slightly-to-full nerdy, some shy, some friendly, most with a weird sense of humor, just trying to get their stuff out and make some contacts - how is that not me? I wish I could hang out with those people all the time.
Those conversations I had with certain artists (as listed in a below blog entry) really made me come out of my shell and try and present myself and my stuff with a bit more confidence. It was rad.

I'd never actually been to a comic convention before, so to have two full days of slowly persuing the tables, the artwork, and going to panels that focused specifically on art and the independant comic scene was awesome. I have to say that the panels weren't as good as I was hoping - the topics were kick-ass, like a panel on Small Press Publishing, a Center for Cartoon Studies workshop, and Q&As with people like Bryan Lee O'Malley of Scott Pilgrim. But I found that despite the topics, most of the people on the panel, regardless of their great qualifications to be on said panel, really had trouble speaking. That is, they were quiet, vague, didn't really answer the questions all the time, and generally gave off the impression that they'd rather be somewhere else. Which was disappointing, for the most part - I was hungry for information and it came in small moments. Though I did get some good advice here and there.

Like on the Small Press panel: if I'm going to do this, I have to get more web-savvy. Put up sample pages and free previews. Cross-promote on other sites. Maintain the blog and have the ability for people to order things online. And promote the shit out of my stuff. I need more output, so I have a variety of things to show people (and publishers) rather than just one dinky book. There was some talk on how to sell on Amazon, how much ISBN numbers were, and how getting reviews from people in the community for back-cover quotes are key (must look into that). Going to lots of shows, trying to sell in lots of shops, just getting it out there is key. One guy said it took five years for his small press to accumulate enough of a backlist to really make a profit in selling.

I learned a lot from just going around the tables too. Everyone, it seemed, in addition to their books, had some kind of other promotional material that was really cheap. Buttons, stickers, T-shirts, original art. One girl had scones for sale with her books. There was one guy selling teeny comics for a penny (and they were actually some of the best comics I'd read!).

And probably the comic guy who had the most influence on my attitude was James Kochalka of American Elf ( Now James is a guy who M and I have been reading online for years and years, and so we were a little star-struck when we first went into the convention, and there in a hot pink T-shirt is James to the right. I was still wicked shy, so I didn't say anything when we both the newest book from him. But I went back later and looked at his mini-art, and had a bit of a conversation (slightly surreal to talk to someone that you feel like you know, but clearly you don't). He was very nice, if a little shy seeming (like me, I guess).

In his Q&A panel, James said something that made everyone around, both Pas and Bean, give me elbows in the side. He said: "The best thing is to not care if your art is good or bad. You have to get to the level of confidence where it doesn't matter to you, you're just doing it." He also said "People come up and give me their mini-comics all shy and saying it sucks - but if you don't think that you're awesome, who will?"

Point taken, James.

So while working out American, Eh? #2 in my head, I've taken on another little project.

I thought, for a change, it'd be cool to do some really mini comics - 4 pages or so. As you can tell, I was really inspired by SPX, and got all these ideas of mini-comics I could do, and to do some really small stories while I'm plotting out and drawing AE #2 would be fun.

So I've sketched out a four page comic, and it might be the first of several stories about growing up with my brothers and sister (6 of us in total); I'm tentatively calling it "Big Kids."

More cartoony, less detail than AE, and hopefully funny. This first one is about an infamously gross event between my brother Jon and I. I will post it when it's done.

Monday, October 13, 2008

In Between Projects

I haven't done much of anything in about a week and a half, between this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and my family swooping in to stay at my little house, and preparing and attending SPX (which, now that the family is gone, I'll actually write about in more detail this week).

I got good responses on American, Eh? #1 at the SPX, as well as from family and friends, which is cool. Seems that most people want to know what happens next. So I guess I'd better figure out #2. I'll also be putting up scans of the first few pages of #1, I think, for people who are curious as to what the hell I'm talking about.

In the meantime, a bit of art. This was for my mum and her belated birthday - we went to Japan about four years ago together. In preparing this, I had a thought for AE #2 and keeping it affordable.

I went to Kinkos with the original art for the picture above - sized 11 x 14. I had the girl at Kinkos do two copies for me and reduce the image to 8 x 11- one on regular laser printer paper, and one on color cover copy paper (thicker and sturdier). On the second, I had her darken the copy, which ended up looking really good (and was the one I gave my mum). Cost of both: $2.

It gave me an idea. To scan the 14 pages of part for AE#1, it cost $45, and that was with a discount - should have been $60 or so. And that's without the cost of printing. The next AE will probably be longer, and therefore more expensive.

What if I took the AE art (also 11X14) and instead of scanning it, had the Kinkos people merely make sturdy color cover copies, the images reduced to 8 x 11. Then, I scan the reduced images myself on my little scanner at home, to create the JPGs needed to lay out the comic for printing? That would cost me maybe $20, and as long as I could scan them at a high enough resolution..... Hmm.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Thought Boys Didn't Like To Talk on the Phone

Just got off the phone with my little brother Jon, who turns 19 today. I'm quite proud of him. He's the fifth of the six kids, has been living on his own for a while with his girlfriend, and is doing really well. Sounding very rational and grown up lately - was excited that he got a new toaster for his birthday!

Anyways, I just got his new number from my mum, and don't you know he just yapped my ear off for 40 minutes. Told me all about work, his apartment, his girlfriend, some family drama, and how he was planning to surprise me for Thanksgiving this weekend, but probably can't do to work (what a sweetie - I would die if he showed up). I didn't say much - I just listened and let him go. Then he asks for my number and says he's going to start calling me every week.

Is this normal for a 19-year-old guy, to want to talk to his 29-year-old sister like this??

Funny stuff. I don't necessarily believe he'll actually call weekly, but just the fact that he said that made me a little mushy.
Actually, makes me think about doing a mini-comic with stories about my brothers and sister. I have a good one about Jon as a baby throwing up on me.....

So there's Jon. Last time I talked to my youngest brother Tom (17) he kept me on the phone for a good hour, same dynamic - he did most of the talking, I listened. Then a few weeks ago, I talk to my oldest brother Mac (32) and *he* gushes forth for a good hour about his upcoming wedding and job!

It's only something I've noticed recently, but what's with the boys lately? Everyone wants to spill their guts, it seems.
(All okay by me though. My brothers are cute.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

SPX - Just a Taste

Some pictures to come when I get them from Pas, but in the meantime:

Weekend was so good. Very educational too. And the best people I met:

Ben Towle (Midnight Sun - - so nice! And spoke to me for a good ten minutes about art, was very patient when I asked him questions about his tools and scanners.

Mike Dawson (Freddie and Me - - This was early on Saturday, and I was still stiff with fear at handing out my comic. He was really encouraging and told me to get it out there, and not worry about it.

Alex Robinson (Tricked, Box Office Poison, Too Cool to Be Forgotten, etc. - Talk about being intimidated! I'm a huge fan - M and I have every one of his books, and he's one of the big guys exhibiting at the SPX. But the nicest guy! Really friendly and unassuming, chatted to M and I as he signed our book. We forgot to ask him what he was working on next.

All in all, I handed out about 40 of my comics to various people. And I got really good feedback overall! They seemed psyched to get it, which was cool.

It's a good start, and now I know I have to keep at this shit, and get American, Eh? No.2 figured out. Have ideas for other mini comics as well.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

SPX This Weekend!

Not only am I going to my first real comic convention...

Not only is it specifically geared towards independant and small press comics, which is unspeakably awesome....

Not only do I actually have a mini comic of my own to bring....

But it's a road trip with the husband I love, friend that makes me laugh, and best friend from Canada, to a place I've never been before, through states I haven't driven through before.

What's better than that??

Monday, September 29, 2008

How to Make a Comic

When you make the decision to do a comic, you don't think much past the actual sitting down and doing the artwork. Sure, that part is tough and taxing, but what about when the art's done? What if you want a little more than just photocopies en masse ? How do you get your baby into some semblance of print form?

M, our friend Pas, my best friend Bean and I are going to the Small Press Expo on Friday. A few weeks ago, when I was slogging through the first few pages of the comic, M suggested that I try to have it printed in time to bring it to SPX.

Until then, I was just doing it because I always wanted to - I wanted to get better at my art, and fulfil one of my little dreams of actually completing a comic. When M suggested it, I realized that I have an interesting opportunity to get to know the indie industry better, and maybe share a bit of what I've done. Isn't that why I'm going? Because I adore independant comics, and want to see the makers and shakers? Maybe, in a small way, I can be a part of that. And maybe I can go to some of the bookstores that support local work and sell a few..... maybe.

So I've been knocking myself out over the past week and a half, burning through page after page, and I managed to get them all done by Friday the 26th - one week before the SPX.
First step - go to Kinkos in Providence and scan the pages. I venture out in the rain on Saturday morning, thinking that I'll drop them off, they'll scan them in an hour or so, and it'll cost maybe $15-20.

Costs $45 to scan 14 pages and put them on a disc! Are you kidding me? And that was with a $20 discount that the punky cashier girl gave me, I think, because she thought I was a student. Wearing my favorite goofy T-shirt probably encouraged that thought.

And I got to Kinkos at 11am, and they said come back at 4pm. I begged them to get it done earlier, and they said 2pm. So I drive home, slog around for a bit, make a rum cake for my friend Net's birthday, and then drive back to pick them up. Bleah.

So they're scanned. But then, M and I open up the images at home, and you can see all the lines from my non-photo blue pencil marks, which I thought weren't supposed to show up. That's why it's non-photo blue, isn't it? But there they are, I can see them, even though M says I'm being crazy. So I spend some hours going through and carefully erasing all the little lines I can find, until my wrist is killing me. Sleep.

Next day: Sunday. We go to our friends Net and Fonz's house with the scrubbed files, ready for layout. They're awesome graphic designers, and they very, very kindly offered to lay the comic out for printing on their weekend. I humbly give them rum cake and my babysitting services as payment, because lord knows I couldn't afford them. (Their kid is adorable and the easiest kid I've ever babysit in my sea of previous childcare, so it's more than a pleasure).

So Fonz (nicknamed so as he does look like Henry Winkler) opens the files I've edited, and I can see all these little stupid lines that I missed in my fatigue. But at this point, I just push it down and let it go (and once again, M gets annoyed with me because I'm acting crazy).

Fonz and Net spend 2-3 hours laying out everything, making dummy copies, and talking to the third member of this team effort: my father-in-law. Father-in-law is a print broker, meaning he arranges for businesses to have their documents/reports/etc. printed. So while my friends lay it out, M's dad gives them specifics of what he needs, and arranges to have it printed on the press and ready by Thursday. At the moment, I haven't been quoted a cost, so although I'm not counting on it, I may not have to pay for the printing.

(Makes you wonder, doesn't it - I'm awfully lucky to have these people around that just happen to be able to help with this project of mine)

Everything gets done, laid out beautiful in a mini-comic layout. Which I wasn't necessarily thinking of during the art process. I was thinking of a full-size comic. But then it was suggested that a small comic would be cool too. And when it was laid out, and sample copies were printed, I liked it. The text is small, but still legible. So we're doing that.

M is nice enough to drive to his father's house to drop off the disk with the completed comic on it. And now it's just a matter of waiting. We're leaving Friday at around 3pm, so we're crossing our fingers it can be done in time.

And last night, I just vegged out and watched a chick flick, then read my book in bed. Awesome to just do nothing. It won't last though; I'm thinking of waiting a week to start American, Eh? No.2, and this week doing some ink and brush illustrations of some of my Japan pictures.

And I think some strategy is in order when I start No. 2:

-Barely press down on the blue non-photo pencil, because scanners pick up everything
-make sure I have a spare $50 so I can scan my pages
-leave some good time to go through and edit every page, and indulge my perfectionism to its fullest
-kiss my friends' asses so they'll help me with layout next time, along with my father-in-law ( :-).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pink Moon

Listening to the song, thought of one of my all-time favorite commercials.

It's one of my favorite things to do with M.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Singin' Once Again

Because I'm not busy enough already with three jobs, swimming and working out, and working on the comic book, I joined a community chorus last week.

I love to sing. I sing a lot: in the car, doing chores, etc. Yes, I am one of those people belting out songs from musicals while swishing around a broom. My house has nice acoustics.

My family is very musical. One of my fondest memories of my gram is sitting on her lap in her creaky rocking chair, as she sang church hymns in her high soprano voice in time to the squeaks. At my wedding, my mum and six aunts got up and sang "Mary Mac" by Great Big Sea. My uncle and cousins sang and played a traditional Scottish song too. My cousin Jessie is in school to be an opera singer (and she's amazing!). Other cousin was in a rock band for years. Sister is also in choirs and musicals. A bunch of family members play musical instruments... you get the picture.

I was in the church choir when I was a kid, and the school choir. Always in the Christmas pageants as an angel (very true to life).
When I was in high school, I started trying out for the musicals they held. Almost every year, the high school production was a musical, and pretty detailed at that. So I tried out for Wizard of Oz, but wasn't taken in, probably because I was shaking like a leaf during auditions (I was only in grade 9).

But then I was in this (not lead, supporting):

And next year, I went old and evil in this:

Really, two of the best times I had in my life was being involved in these two plays from start to finish. I loved to sing, but also to sing with everyone else, and be involved with the stage design, costumes, etc.

I also got involved in the high school choir, and joined a four-person acapella group. We sang jazz and barbershop songs in the school hallways at the end of the day. I sang lead on "The Java Jive":

"Slip me a slug from that wonderful mug

and I'll cut a rug that's snug in a jug

Drop your nickel in my pot, Joe

Taking it slow

Waiter, water, perculator...."

Who sings that in high school?? Loved it.

Anyways, cut to now. I joined the Cumberland Lincoln Community Chorus last week. It's a very church community-feeling place, which is kind of comfortable. It's not religious, but it's just that sense of community, that friendliness. If I miss any thing about church, it is that atmosphere.

The director of the chorus is this fabulous instructor who's so engaging and knows exactly how to guide each group and how to fix problems. Sitting for two hours singing under his direction isn't boring in the least. It's mostly older people, there's a few around my age, but mostly middle aged and older. But I'm okay with that, if anything, more comfortable with that population than my own.

It's September and we're learning about 12 Christmas songs, to perform over the season! Including one of my favorites:

So come and see me be one of many open-mouthed people in choir white and black when the holiday starts. I'll be having a good time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Comic - Update!

On page 8 of 13. I have to burn through the rest of them before the end of the month if I want to copy it for the Small Press Expo. I'll do my best!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Bit of Love for the Ocean State Pt 1.

In a change of pace, here's some of my favorite things and places in Rhode Island:

Art Supply Warehouse in Providence. It's not called ASW anymore, it's now "Jerry's Artarama" but it's such a dumb name I call it by what I first knew it as. Big, lovely art supply store in this cool brick mill building. I love to wander the aisles and take in all the beautiful stuff.

Scarborough Beach, Narragansett. Yes, there are supposed to be even more beautiful beaches in the state, as my cousin-in-law reminds me all the time, but for me, making the 45min drive down to South County, watching the land get flatter and greener and more spacious, then making the turn to Scarborough State Beach, and the smell of the ocean and the span of the shoreline... it's my favorite beach. It really exemplifies "beach" for me, because it's so big, and all you see when you stand in the sand is ocean and more ocean.

Cinemaworld, Lincoln. My favorite movie theatre - it's new, huge, with comfy stadium seating and generally, it's not nearly as busy or obnoxious as other theatres, particularly ones set in malls. It's where M and I go for all our movies.

Kabob n Curry Restaurant, Providence. I think it's been moved to the top of the list, after going there last month for dinner with friends. Fabulous Indian food, and killer sangria, my favorite drink. Plus it's right on Thayer Street, which has some cool stores, though it's starting to go corporate.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

American, Eh? The Comic

So I'm slowly, but steadily, working on my first real comic book.

This has been a dream of mine for ages. On the list has always been: do my own comic or graphic novel.

I've been putting it off for years. I never thought my art was good enough - for years, it was all about writing and poetry and school, with art as a reluctant side project. I did some painting and sketching mostly - it was only until recently that I realized my true love: black and white ink- brush drawings.

Now when I say "first comic book" that's not entirely true. About five years ago, I did make an honest attempt at a graphic novel. It was called Mobius Loop, and was a science-fiction story about what would happen if, in the future, the human race realized it only had one year left to live, due to an incoming meteorite, and how that year-long wait would drive people crazy, would heighten religious fever, and other questions like: what happens if you get pregnant during that year?

(Actually, in recounting this, it's a pretty interesting idea.)

Anyways, back then I diligently worked on pages and pages of this, without any real research into how to do it: how to arrange panels, different points of view, shadows, etc. I probably did about 60 pages of it with black pens and an old ruler. I even submitted the first part of it for a Xeric grant, which is money for new comic artists to publish their work. I did not win, of course, and eventually it all wound down and I put it away. The thing is, it was the output of that graphic novel that hindered me from doing it again. Because my art wasn't good. It really wasn't, in looking back. And there were a lot of mistakes. It was blocky and stilted and really had no depth.

In the past six months or so, I've really been back into art, into drawing, and recently into black and white ink drawing. I've been practicing with both pens and brush, and brush is hard, but produces such character in every stroke it's worth the pain. I started out just doing still lifes, a picture of my Mom in Japan.

And now I'm on page 5 of a 13 page story, with the namesake of this blog. I'm going slowly, and I really don't know if I can get it done in time to print it and bring it to the Small Press Expo, a big convention for indie comic artists at the start of October. But I think some of the art is actually pretty decent. The story is kinda cute, though kind of pathetic at the same time (if you read it, you'll get why I say that). If I could post the cover I would, but my scanner is too small; still, it's something I like alot.

This, hopefully, will be the first comic that I've actually *finished.* 13 pages mean a lot, and will even more so when I round it out to 16 (with title page, etc), and get it printed, and hold it in my hand. Crappy or not, it's a dream.

Monday, August 25, 2008

From Tomb-Like to Marginally Better

So in coming back to work at my mortgage-paying job at the community college, besides the thought of dealing with people, it was the idea of my tomb-like office, that of beige metal walls with tape marks and rust stains on them, that really put me in a funk.

I needed to make it less depressing, but who wants to spend money on decorative items? I don't have that, especially since 1) we just bought a new car! red and all mine! more expensive than we wanted, but our two beaters were just about ready to croak. 2) we have a crazy agenda for the next two months: birthdays, my brother's wedding back in Canada, my parents coming in October, M and I going to the Small Press Expo for comics down in Maryland, etc.


1) Postcards. It's what I did in Japan - I didn't have much money there either, but instead of buying prints of beautiful paintings, I bought postcard versions. Then framed them and hung them in my living room. They look fab. So I went to the dollar store and found some cards and postcards that were actually kind of neat - onto the walls they go.

2) Crap from the garage sale that didn't sell. Do I swoon over elegant ivory pitchers? Do I believe in angels, and thus love angel ceramic pot holders? No, but what the hell. I can throw some crazy fake flowers or leaves in the pitcher, and the angel is kinda nice.

3) Pictures. Why didn't I think of this before?? I made a whole display of pictures right behind my head at my desk, this wonderful scattering of pictures of my family, my wedding, my cats, and lovely M. It's so happy and silly and so much of me. I love it.

It also has double meaning. I feel like I have an army behind my head now, like some invisible force that's glaring at anyone who fucks around with me.
I actually have an herb charm here to ward off psychic attacks taped under my desk - laugh at the New Age if you want, but one thing I have to work on this year is not letting people manipulate me and affect my head. If anything, just the presence of the herb just reminds me to be strong and tough and take charge. Charm + family behind my head makes me feel stronger, with a lot less tolerance for people's overall bullshit.
Because really, with all the things planned for the next year, who wants to get caught up in anything that's not really important?

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Bad Neighborhood

So I was at my Friday meeting with the CEO of my non-profit workplace, all well and good this morning. The meeting goes well, I get everything done, talk to a few workers at the front desk, and leave for the day, on my way to the mall to exchange some clothes.

I'm driving down Bath Street, past a landscaping crew. Bath Street is right off of Route 44/Smith Street, and right in a pretty dicey neighborhood. Not a place that I'd normally walk around alone.

Suddenly, there is a BANG! and my driverside window shatters.

My first thought - someone is shooting at me.

I brake, and half the window falls onto my shoulders and lap. I'm freaking out. A guy runs out of a house on the street: Are you OK? One of the landscapers comes over and does the same.

Slowly, I figure out that one of the landscapers with a weed whacker must have picked up a large rock while working, and it shot out and smashed into my window. He comes over, young college kid, very apologetic. I do what I always do when I get scared, which is desperately hold back tears and try to tough it out.

I don't even know what to do. Do I call the police? How am I going to get all the glass out of my car? When I get out, shaky but trying to be an adult, the rest of my window crumbles into the car and on the street.

The guy who came out asking if I was alright took my keys, put the car in neutral, and he and the other landscapers pushed my car off the street. The guy, I think his name was Scott, kept saying, God that must have scared the shit out of you. Are you alright? The supervising landscaper comes over with phone in hand, calling his foreman at Providence Water, and says we have to wait until he comes, because the city has to pay for the damages.

So in the midst of all this, in the back of my head I'm thinking - is it safe to be just sitting here in this neighborhood? Is this Scott character trustworthy? His house is crumbling, overgrown, he makes jokes about getting high last night and how he's used to this kind of excitement around here.

The supervisor says for me to call the police, to file a report and make sure that Providence Water can't duck out of paying for the window. So I do. I'm sitting in the car, calming down, and talking occasionally to Scott and his landlady, who are sitting on their stoop, and have a vacuum in hand. They offer to vacuum up all the glass so I can drive it, but we wait for the cop to come first.

So the cop arrives. Italian, swaggering guy, very Rhode Island. Takes my information, calls me over to his car, and says "you follow me, and I'll take you to a gas station so you can clean out your car."

I say "oh, well, those neighbors said they'd help with that."

The cop makes a face. "You don't want to do that. You should go to a gas station."

I'm thinking okaayyy......

Then the cop comes to my car, and starts sweeping out all the glass from the driver's seat so I can drive. Scott and the landlady again say that they can vacuum it out. I look at them, think 'what the fuck, why am I not appreciating this offer', and tell the cop that I'm going to take them up on it. The cop shrugs and leaves.

The foreman arrives, we exchange information, etc., etc. All very apologetic. Then Scott comes over with the vacuum, and very carefully and thoroughly vacuums out all the glass from my car, the seats, and down the side. Even went under the mats.

At this point M has arrived, and it's fine from then on. I do a little retail therapy, and I'm starting to feel less rattled as I'm sitting here at home.

In thinking about it though, it's funny how there are preconceived notions of particular areas, and the people who live in them, when a hell of a lot of kindness was found in a "bad area". The cop dismissed Scott and the landlady right away, just because of where they live, I think. I found myself doing the same thing, and that sucks. Then I think about all the dicks I encounter all the time who come from "good areas."

Yes, there's more violence and crime in particular areas of the city, but overall, there's still a lot of decent people just living their lives, who want to help when they see a girl like me scared and panicking in the street.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Because it's a Journal, So Why Not

I've lived in the States now for just over eight years. I left in 2000 on a whim, dropped out of university and came here to New England to live with relative strangers, in the desire to escape a very depressing existence and be close to a guy who didn't think I was crazy.

And it's been a good life - I've had a lot of opportunities that I might not have had back in Canada: a really good relationship when I never thought I was one for marriage, the new, growing thought of children when I never thought I wanted them before, trips and ocean and resisting the awful Rhode Island accent.

Still, after eight years, I get massive bouts of homesickness. Last night was one of them. It struck when I realized no one was calling me back - my brother, my sister, my dad, my mom. After I'd left messages a few days ago, out of loneliness and wanting to connect. So there I was, sitting on my orange bed, feeling the hundreds of miles difference between my family and friends in Canada.

What do you do when you choose to live far away, and you love your loved ones so much and want to be close, but because you're so far and have been for so long, people forget about you? Because you're not right there for them to see? You are an afterthought: a loved afterthought of course, I don't doubt that, but in the midst of the daily swirl, if you're not in close proximity to be seen, you're not thought about, save for every month. Maybe.

I think about my family all the time. I kick myself sometimes. And the older I get, the less I like living far away. I'm not advocating being as physically close as some family around here, which to me feels wickedly claustrophobic, but y'know, the idea of spending a day with my parents, or my sister, just because, even once a month.... that sounds really wonderful

Forgive me, but the thought crossed my mind that if I did have a child, maybe I wouldn't get so lonely. Because I'd have my own family to take care of, and be close to. Not the sole reason for wanting children, of course, but it did occur to me, selfish thought as it might be.

I need some more fucking local friends too. *^_^*

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Canadian Music - Ashley MacIssac (1997)

Been meaning to do this for a while. A weird choice, really should start with the Tragically Hip, the quintessential representation of Canadian music, or some other bands, but I've been listening to Ashley on Facebook, and so here goes.

Ashley MacIssac is from Cape Breton, which is an island off of Nova Scotia, and host to a whole lot of Scottish people and renouned for its music. In the 90's, he emerged as this young traditional fiddler who played jigs and stuff, but accompanied by contemporary influences, such as heavy drums and guitar. Which was really unusual, if you think about it. That's like heavy metal and bagpipes - not exactly common. Here's probably his most extreme punkish example from his first album, "Devil in the Kitchen", which is still pretty cool in my opinion:

Note the 90s style grunged out lighting and frenetic editing. Ah, memories.

He's still known for being a crazy-ass talented fiddler; he just had a bit too much white up the nose at the time. Has since cleaned up somewhat - is still pretty controversial. Even back then, he wasn't exactly hugely popular, but for a friggin' fiddler, he did pretty well with his debut album Hi How Are You Today? Which of course, I owned and played out.

The most popular song was Sleepy Maggie, which was a longer song with contemporary beats and fiddle, the female vocals sung in Gaelic of all things. And it was a hit! They played this video all the time. And it was my first real attempt to learn Gaelic. I can indeed still sing all the lyrics to this.

Why did I love it so much?

Well, not many people know outside of family and close friends, but when I mention, in brief, that I used to dance, people assume it's ballet or tap or jazz, etc. Which I did all take for about four years. However, the dance style I studied for 14 years was:

So yeah. I kinda know and love the music, and choreograph in my head. Stories for other times, I promise.

Final thought: this is Ashley back in the 90's, playing a traditional number, but keep watching for something pretty cool, which makes me want to dive right back into dancing again:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who Wants to Be Cool?

I recently left the Bally's gym down the street, after being there on and off for about three years. It was good at times, but I never stopped feeling anxious, shy, and overall, like I had to work my brains out to use the membership properly.

You know what it's like. A lot of people at gyms, and a lot of women I know, have the mentality of work-out-like-a-manic-it-feels-so-good-can't-do-it-enough. So when you're me, and you like to keep it mellow, you feel like a turtle rotating on the elliptical, dumpy and slumpy as these svelte gazelles elegantly sweat at dizzying paces. And then you look at other girls, the maniacs who are not only bone skinny or have beautiful abs, but they fucking LOVE working, it just makes the whole experience icky. Yeah. This ain't me.

Felt like a tool most of the time, like I'm not good enough or motivated enough or working hard enough. So the thought of "shit, I'm just not pushing myself enough" leads me to take things like intense spinning classes, which might as well be hell on a bicycle, palpatations of the heart and some seriously aching knees and hips, which are already dodgy due to years of dance.

My kind of spinning:

So I left. And I joined the local pool. And now, I'm officially an old lady! I joined Water Aerobics!

Well, and doing laps too, but it's sure funny to be in the midst of thirty middle-aged ladies doing motions in the water. I've gone from feeling old and fat at Bally's to a misplaced young'un at the pool.


But it's fun! It's easy on my old-lady joints, and it's like playing in the water for a half hour, which is a lot more enjoyable than burning up in a non-ventilated room, where all you can smell is the sweat of thirty women mingling whilst the mirrors fog up.

No, instead, all the sweat is in the POOL, slopping up against your body.

(Just kidding. But a hell no to the hot tub, I thank ya.)

I used to come to this pool when I first started living in the States - it was right down the street from our shitty apartment, and since I didn't have a school or work visa, and therefore had nothing to do or nothing I could do, I joined the pool and swam every day. Then I got hooked on the whole Bally's pitch (endless classes! fit and happy! every machine you could want!) and left.

Now, to remember my lifeguard training from high school and look like this underwater....


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Namesake

I'm watching Mira Nair's The Namesake on cable right now. It's an Indian film about a man and woman who get married and come to America. They have two children (one is Kal Penn) who are completely Americanized and separate from their parents. It's mostly from the perspective of the parents, particularly the woman, Ashima.

The woman, Ashima, longs to go back to India. She says "I don't want to raise our son in such a lonely country." But the husband is a scholar, and his position and status is in New York, not India. So they stay, her family remains back in India, and she sees them only once or twice in the rest of her life. Her parents die, and she is unable to be there. For the entire movie, I feel there is a sense of sadness about Ashima, but a resignation to go through life with strength and elegance, to be the best wife and mother she can be, despite her inability to truly assimilate into American life.
I felt for Ashima. I related to it, although my circumstances are certainly not as drastic as Ashima's, and I don't see it as such. I do see my family a few times a year, far more than she was. And I wasn't thrust into a completely foreign environment like she was.

Both my sister and I moved to different parts of North America with our husbands, with the belief that it wouldn't be permanent, that we would stay for a few years, and then go back closer to our families. But in both cases, our husbands have jobs that are either very specialized, or rely on tenure. So, we both ended up in a place that we weren't expecting to be, and we will stay there for years and years, separated from our families.

And that's hard to deal with. It's particularly difficult when you start thinking about children, and how your family won't get to see them on a regular basis. That you can only hope that when you go into labor, your mother is already in the area, or on the way, because otherwise you'll be terrified in the delivery room. How if you're panicking, you can't drive to see your mother to help. Or you can't make a playdate with your sister and her children. Particularly when you have an awesome family like I do, that I wish and wish that my children could know them so well, because they are so fun and adventurous and joyful and kind.

But it is what it is. And it's something women have been doing forever. You marry, you have a husband who works, and may be the breadwinner, so you go where he goes. My grandmother did it - she moved from Prince Edward Island, where all her family was and still is, and went to Burlington, in Southern Ontario, because my grandfather chose to go. She's still there, and goes back to PEI once a year, for part of the summer.

I am not complaining, or not meaning to. And I'm not blaming M for "dragging" me here or anything. I chose to come, to stay. M says it all the time, how much he appreciates that I choose to leave at the end of our vacations back home, though it still, after nine years, breaks me up inside. It's just something I've thought about recently, and the thought was triggered by this movie.

But there are a lot of alternatives today, which make the distance a hell of a lot easier. Blogs, email, we're looking to get Skype to have video chats.

I also recently got the news that I will be an auntie. And with that announcement, came the instant decision that I must get a better car, because I'm going to be involved in that kid's life. I will learn to drive hours by myself, so my niece or nephew knows me, and knows I love them.

It is what it is. Make the most of it. And one day, I'll be back.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Slang, Ya Know?

Found this website on "Canadiana", or Canadian culture and slang. Here's what they consider some basics:

"Pop: soda - ask for soda and you'll get soda water." Doubtful, there. You'd have to be real dimwitted to assume soda water for anything. Pop is the popular term for soda, that's true.

"Click: kilometre" - ha! My stepdad always says this, usually with a straight-shot hand gesture.

"Hoser: an insult (was popular thanks to Bob and Doug!)" - Uh, I've never heard anyone call anyone else a hoser, despite what the movie Canadian Bacon would have you Yanks believe. If anything, it's used in a joking sense referencing the movie.

"Mickey: 13 ounce bottle of booze." Yup, the old mickey. I giggled saying that in Canada last week, because people actually knew what I was talking about! Usually it's a mickey of vodka for me, though my brother bought a mickey of Triple Sec for white wine sangria (so good....)

Two-four: case of 24 beers (may also be pronounce 'two-fer')." Yeah, or not. We don't say it like that. The term "two-four" is also used for "May two-four", which is Memorial Day Weekend, aka party city.

"Double-Double: coffee with two creams and two sugars." Good for all you coffee drinkers to know when you go into a Canadian Tim Hortons - wouldn't try it in the American ones, though.

I was listening to my family and myself (because the accent comes back in full force as soon as I cross that sweet border) and though the stereotype is that the Canadian accent is all about "eh" and "aboot", that's actually not the case.

Yes, we say "eh" at the end of sentences. Example: "What'd you think of that, eh?" Kind of a "ya know?" or "hmm?" sort of emphasis.

We do NOT say "aboot", though we do not say "about" in the traditional sense. I was listening, remember? It's more like "ah-ba -oot."
Here's a boot for you.

And the traditional Canadian accent, it's basically, from what I can hear, heavy emphasis on "r" and vowels. This is not the case everywhere - obviously Montreal and Quebec have their own accents, and a lot of Ontario is pretty flat sounding. But up where I'm from, it's full force.

For example: "Maritime" is pronounced something like "MARE - i - TImes" with emphasis on the "air" sound of the first part, and emphasis on the I in "times." And words are kinda tucked in the back of the throat. Try this out and see what kind of sounds you make.

Really, the easiest reference is probably Fargo, even though it's set in North Dakota:

Just scale it back a little bit and that's basically the accent. Here's a scene:

Oh, and other gems from that website?


1. Everybody assumes you're an asshole

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Outta This Place

Hee hee! Later taters, M and I are on the road to Canadia for the next week and a half. I don't know if I'll update or not, but just imagine me at my happiest, and that should be description enough.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Surrounding Ourselves with Security

Getting ready to leave on Monday for that annual 12-hour drive to my parents' place. There's a sense of nervousness about it, moreso just the anticipation I think, but also leaving our house for an extended period for the first time since we bought it. I mean, I've gone back to Canada on my own, but the two of us leaving at the same time for 10 days? First time.

Which is probably a big reason why we rushed around and put in an alarm system two days before leaving.

Actually, the alarm system was also a growing thought given the two instances I've had dealing with strange men late at night and alone at the house. It's very different being in a house than in an apartment - you feel a lot more exposed and vulnerable, particularly being alone at night. I don't want to perpetuate the whole "woman alone and scared" thing, but there's something to it.

We never had an alarm system growing up, so it's a very foreign thing to have codes and instant alarms and what have you. Back home, this is the current alarm:

Which, truthfully, I would rather have instead of a system. But we have a little house, and two cats, and it's just not in the picture for right now. Next house, I want a dog just like my family's dog: a chocolate lab, just like Taylor. Best dog in the world (and I'm scared of most dogs!)

In the very rural setting of my parents' home, if I'm home alone, I have Taylor sleep with me, and stick around downstairs late at night. Friendliest dog, wonderful with my two little brothers growing up, but also very, very protective. With the younger boys particularly, if you're wrestling with them, Taylor gets annoyed and will put his mouth around the older aggressor's arm. No bite, but just a warning to back off.

Also can sense bad people. Story: dog hates some particular service provider guy, I can't remember which one. The guy didn't use the front door one time coming to the house, but came through the garage, which probably didn't help. Taylor got on his pissed face and blocked the entryway and backed the guy's ass all the way back outside. Supposedly is a nice guy, but Taylor does *not* like this punk. Which my mum says, maybe the dog is sensing something shady about him, I don't know.

Anyways, guess beyond the glass breaker and the door alarms, I'll have to rely on these two modes of security:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Four days to driving to Canada! Woot!

Monday, June 23, 2008

To be Young and Sexy... or not quite.

I must be aging. Clearly. I was driving home from the pool this evening, when I saw two girls walking down the street. Probably 14 years old. One of them, from behind, had her T-shirt pulled back in a backknot, and her hips sticking out of her jeans. Whatever, not an uncommon thing.

As I drove by, I see that the T-shirt is very tight against her boobs, and her shoulders slumped forward. So it's that nice saggy boob look. Very hot.

Dude, it is not just the clothes, but the *posture*. Does anyone stand up straight anymore?

Scratch that. It's not just the clothes and the posture, but the label on those clothes.

Lord, why do girls today insist on wearing clothes that are at least a size too small?

I understand the desire to be sexy, and that stuff changes. Hell, back in high school, wearing a shirt that showed your stomach was the most risque thing (and I know, because I did wear them, underneath a velvet blazer that got buttoned when teachers walked by. Though the whole purple hair and black makeup wasn't really in the goal to be sexy, but anyways.....)

That's why there's all those super short flouncy skirts (which I would be mortified to wear - what if it flew up and showed my underwear? Then again, I guess that's what you want to happen? I dunno), the belly shirts, cleavage, big heels, big gold earrings with the girl's name in the middle of the hoop. I feel downright fucking dowdy in my jean pencil skirt and T-shirt and flats, like a damn grandma.

But girls, please. Please. You aren't a size 4. Not many of us are.

I ain't happy about being a 10, trust me, but I'm not squeezing my ass into a size 6 skirt and letting my belly flop over the edge. I'm not wearing a skintight, mostly see through T-shirt that shows any back fat you might have, not to mention your very obviously overflowing bra, in the deluded belief that I am looking sexy.

Every day I see girls wearing stuff that's too small. The "muffin top" is a daily sight. It's not cute! It's not! Dammit! Why does it bug me so much! Wear clothes that fit, dammit!
That's all.