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E x p l o d i n g P l a s t i c E i s t e d d f o d d

Sep. 17th, 2014

07:00 am

It could happen to you! I had dinner -- a strange sandwich I picked up out of the QFC deli department, which had no meat in it, just roast peppers and artichoke hearts and such -- and then Kaija, who had gotten ready for bed, asked if I could go out and get some bottled water for her. I was still in my shoes so I went right out. I walked up to the store, got the water, stood in the line for the auto cashier .. and realized I'd left my wallet at home. So I walked back home.

It took some thinking to find it. I'd had it when I cashed out my sandwich earlier .. when did I take it out of my back pocket? Was it when I sat at my drawing board? I retraced my steps, sat in my chair, reached out my hand .. there it was, on the keyboard. So I went out again. Got the water, paid for the water, walked home.

Sep. 15th, 2014

07:19 am - Crisis and catharsis

So much word! WowCollapse )

Sep. 12th, 2014

07:08 am - Dream 9-12-14

In a movie about Santa Claus, some terrible low budget grind. There's a laughable sequence with five guys in a fistfight in the middle of heavy surf, it's supposed to be dramatic but they keep falling over and flailing. There's a scene where the hero is taken by elves to meet Santa -- on the way they see Bobby Unser the race car driver, and wave to him -- a stock shot of Unser waving from his car is edited in. It's that cheap a film.

But no time for that. I am working, and it seems like I'm bussing tables. I get water on a waiter's leg, and apologize, running around. It's hard work and I don't like it. It's the end of the day, and everybody is standing in the kitchen talking, all my cartoonist friends, rating each other. I am comfortable calling myself a third rate cartoonist, but other people get bugged if you suggest they are second rate, have you noticed?

Well, on to the bus. A bus to Germany. I ride on the front bumper, because it is my duty to unwind and deploy the docking frame when we arrive. I get my baggage and, saying goodbye to my travel mates, go to find my new apartment, in the something-straße. I decide to have a slap-up meal at a little bistro on the way. I order, and the waitress brings out a giant tray of food -- I propel myself back in my chair and fall on the floor, it's very funny but nobody gets it -- so I try the food. All of it is so delicious! Chocolate cake with sour fruit icing, big succulent meat chunks -- the thing is, I rarely get to eat anything in a dream, it always gets taken away, this is one of the rare times I get a meal in a dream, what could it mean?

Sep. 11th, 2014

07:14 am - Liz Prince Night

Naturally, on the day I need to be somewhere at a specific time the traffic going up Denny Way locks up -- the driver made a spectacular series of dives and diversions, but even with that, we took an hour to get up the Hill. (It can take as little as ten minutes with the way clear, for comparison.)

I got home, then took off again to head over to Pike / Pine, there to Bimbo's Cantina, a hip Mexican place (there is a wall collaged with the photos of luchas enmascaderas, if that gives you an idea). I'd just put in an order for Stoner Nachos* with nothing on them -- "no sour cream or chives or chilis or anything interesting" -- when Dave turned up. We talked for a couple of seconds and then Emily and Kathryn appeared; we moved to a bigger table near the window. Dave is recovering from a cold and I begged off conversation due to incoherance, so Emily and Kathryn talked about their efforts to get ZAPP** back on the rails.

Seven bore down on us. We paid our tabs and crossed the street to Elliott Bay Books, and down into the basement (Dave and I -- both Emily and Kathryn had to go) and to the little concrete bunker where the author readings are held, and there was a sizeable crowd already sat on the folding chairs. The Short Run*** women gave a small talk about the upcoming events.

Then Liz Prince took the podium and read an excerpt from her new book, "Tomboy", about battling the forces of conventional gender stereotyping while growing up. It's a lot of fun. She took questions from the audience (everybody asked the questions I was going to! "How are your cats?"¶).

And I stood in line to get a book signed. When it was my turn to say hi, she knew my name! She signed, and I gave her an ashcan° of my new comic, and then I went home and read the book straight through.

* These are nachos made with Doritos. Stoner food!

** Zine Archive and Publishing Project. It's the local zine library, currently in storage due to having no place to go. They are trying to establish a place to set up again.

*** Small press event coming up in November. Whoa, I got to get my book printed!

¶ On FB a couple of weeks back she'd written about how one of her cats had freaked out after seeing a strange cat outside and gone Pet Semetary on the other one. Since Wolfman and Dracula, the cats, are characters in her comics, there is a lot of popular interest in their condition.

° A press proof, a scrappy disposable copy, a preview.

Sep. 10th, 2014

07:04 am - Dream 9-10-14

More suits taking over the shop at work .. they're swarming around, taking meetings, having me show them how to run the equipment (because I am probably going to be laid off). One asks me to show him how to run the drill. I have to set the thing up, so I carefully show him where the pieces are stored, where it should be set up, what tools to use to ... well, the big wrench, the most important tool, has been moved. While I'm searching the shop for it, he gets called away to a meeting with the other suits, so I'm left hanging. I have a job to drill but I can't set up the drill until he gets back to see me do it, and the clock is on.

So I wind up in the audience of "Saturday Night Live". The end of the show. Instead of the usual ending some audience plants, playing frat kids attending the show, get up and start doing a stupid butt dance. It's more annoying than funny. As they go on there is a reprise of a bit from earlier in the show, a costumed warrior learning from his master. The master tells him that he has failed, and must commit seppuku to redeem himself. The warrior stabs himself through his layered green armor and falls out of his perch, landing in the orchestra pit and killing the announcer. "Oh no, Art Fleming!" people shout. I say wait, this is a repeat, right? Because Art Fleming just died. No, it was Don Pardo who died. Right. This bit of homeopathic reality wakes me up. It's five-ten and I lie in bed for half an hour before getting ready for work again.

Sep. 9th, 2014

07:01 am

The rain curtain seems like it's closing in. I rummage around in the dark to get ready for work. It's only September! Damn!

It's 9-9 day, which means we have to play this song.

Sep. 8th, 2014

07:14 am

We had two glorious days of sun and warmth! Shaking out what's left of the contents of the jar marked Summer. I was out and about in the city both days, visiting book stores and searching the SF sections. A thing I don't do as much any more, but my sister wants to fill in her hand of Heinlein paperbacks, so I did some looking around for her. Ophelia's did not have the book at hand, but I talked with Lisa for a while and got to meet the two new rabbits they have downstairs. (Well, "meet" -- I got to see them, lazy things, lying around in their rabbit bed.)

I walked from Fremont to 45th and waited an hour for a 44, just missing the start time for "Letter To Momo"; so just went over to Magus. No Heinleins there. In the GN section there was a copy of "Moxie My Sweet", the book I wrote with Finecomix, in gritty shape, but signed. Signed by me. The guy I signed the book for sold it. I stared at it for a while then put it back and went home.

The evening light was beautiful, bright orange autumn light. On the facade and balconies of the condo building down the hill it was magical, Maxfield Parrish intensity. I tried to get a photo of it with my cheap phone camera but it flared badly so that didn't work.

The next day I went out again. I went to the Greek place in Wallingford for breakfast, then up the hill again to Greenwood, to the Couth Buzzard. No Heinleins there either. But I did find a copy of "The Collected Deep Girl", which is a book that came out last year gathering the issues of Ariel Bordeaux's intense comics zine. It had a nice note in it from the publisher, Robyn Chapman, to the person who bought the book .. and then turned around and sold it. I immediately bought it, and got a root beer float besides (they make wonderful root beer floats at the Couth Buzzard). I went home and spent the day reading the book and a biography of Harry Nilsson I got at the library. Here's a gem from Harry's amazing career, the TV commercial for "Duit On Mon Dei", featuring his always formidable basketball skills:

Sep. 5th, 2014

06:59 am - Am putting this here so I have a record of it.

Bored Poetry Corner:
Wandering around the streets of casino city with a dark spear wedged in your heart, the shaft extending to the sky, probably gripped by the hands of the vengeful god, targeting each lunge with the precision of a cell phone signal beamed from a satellite: there! and there! Right in the heart. Right there. Sometimes the tides of 80s hits and electronic bells and cheap buffets and drinks wave apart and let the pain peep in. The pattern that underlies the minutes of today, the grit under the carpet. The grit inside the spine.

Sep. 4th, 2014

02:32 pm - Not a dream

Freelance Therapist

A busy morning, and I had been too rushed to refer to my coffee in the early part of it. By ten the plastic cup was full of a weak mixture that had been an iced latte a while earlier. I slugged it back in between setting up projects and knocking them down.

The liquid processed in my rushing form, and by ten forty it was asking to be let out. I had a break in my heavy schedule, so I grabbed the key for the men's and went out into the lobby.

In the lobby, in front of the elevator, a woman was standing, looking wretched. She was well-dressed, in the casual-for-casual-office way people do, studio tanned, clutching a folder. Her hands were shaking.

"Are you going upstairs?" she asked me. I wasn't.

"Do -- can I ask a favor? Can you ride up to the fourth floor with me in the elevator?" I looked again; her eyes were wide open. There was a phobia here, I said to myself. I smiled and tapped the Up button on the panel.

"Oh, thank you," she said, launching into the story of her phobia. It wasn't necessary, but i made an Oh and an Ah sound as if it were important, also dropping in an "No problem, it's quite all right."

The elevator arrived. I stepped in, and to the button panel at the front of the car; after a second, she rushed in and stood behind me, shoulders clenched, hands in fists. I did not look at her face, but at the button (4) I was pushing.

The door closed. Without turning I started to ask if she were taking any therapy for her fear -- but suddenly she rushed forward, one hand landing on my right shoulder, one hand gripping my arm just above the elbow; her head landed on my left shoulder hard. She clutched me like a railing. I have never been so intimate with a person on such short notice. The closest I could say I have come was the time I lost my balance on the bus and fell into a row of sideways sitting commuters: not the same thing at all.

Without moving, without turning, and without reacting, I simply said, "It's all right. It's all right." Her hands gripped harder, for a moment. Then we were at floor four -- a bell rang, pressure evened out, the door opened.

She let me go, not making eye contact as I turned to her. "Thanks," she whispered, and was gone before I could respond. Down the hall. Well, I went back downstairs and fitted myself back into my day. Later, I checked -- bruises on my left arm where she'd held me. How will I explain them to my wife?

07:00 am - Dream 9-4-14

People who know me on Facebook know that I participate in a Useless Meme group, where people design parody memes. It's gotten to the point where I dream about making them. I had the image in my mind of a meme showing an angel on the phone to God, saying "Their best selling liquid isn't milk, sir. It's something called vodka." I was thinking about who to tag in this message -- I was seeing their names appear in the message box -- but were they right? I got out of bed and started pacing. K asked me what I was doing. As I started to phrase the right evasive answer I stepped into a spiderweb. A spider blundered onto my glasses. "I got a spider on my glasses!" I yelled, brushing it away and onto the bed. K fled into the next room. The spider was gigantic -- eight eyes set in a burnished gold face. It looked worried. I slapped my hand on the mattress to scare it: "Go on, get out!" I yelled, and it ran and jumped and vanished into a hole in the wall. I felt bad for frightening it but it had frightened ME. Anyway, dreaming of golden spiders is supposed to be good luck, I once read in a dream book, though at the time I said who dreams of golden spiders? Well, maybe this is good luck on the way.

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