Wednesday, December 30, 2020

From Great Heights

I wanted to go up on my roof to check out the roofer's work and to see if leaves were catching in the gutters. 

 But I'm afraid of heights and my 6-foot ladder isn't tall enough, so Jim brought over his extension ladder and went up first, so I was a little less scared then. 

 The view from up there is great, but I don't plan to go up more than once a year to scout for leaves.

Because it's scary.

Away in a Manger (in Jail)

Christmas seems so cheery, until you notice everyone is in jail.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas in JC

Jess Chen told me that Wildcat lives near me in Jersey City, so I made a house for wild cats. 

It's entirely likely this is more a community hangout for skunks, opossums, cats, squirrels, smaller raccoons. I'm not sure this will end well.

Here's how I spent Christmas morning while the rest of yous were seeing what Santa brought you. 

Merry Christmas 2020

Happy Christmas from Lafayette Small Mammal Reserve. 

I have a lot to do today--none of it the sort of thing I'd normally do on Christmas. 

But I have a ton of food I picked up yesterday, two tame cats and at least four wild ones, several projects, and Janice Chiang sent me delicious cookies. I'm set, and the weather is warm. 

 Enjoy your pandemic holiday.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Before Costco

I was talking with some colleagues about growing up in the DC area...of course they're younger than I am but we all have certain common points of reference, and one of them is from Annandale.

She's too young to know about this, but when I was a kid, we'd go to Memco in Annandale every Friday night when my dad would get paid. It was like Costco before there was Costco, where you had to be a member. There was a little snack bar and I'd get a hot dog and a 7-Up from a fountain. My sister and I were made to walk single file behind my dad as he pushed the grocery cart around, while he smoked Kool cigarettes. In the store. People did that back then.

I found a photo online of Memco...and these memories came flooding back. Here's the Annandale Memco. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Holiday Surprise

I flew out in mid-November right after Bundt Day, with plans to quarantine, then rent a car to drive alone to see my family in the Shenandoah Valley.

My sister got a routine covid test ahead of the family meet-up, and that was the end of our planning. She has it, isn't sure how, but any idea of imminent risk-taking went right out the window. (She's okay, it's not fun, but she's monitoring her temperature, oxygen level, and being exhausted a lot.)

We've all had some unanticipated adventures this year. Well, non-adventures, mostly, as we learned to relish the most minor novelties. Baking. Sewing. Learning about bidets. Catering to the whims of hungry opossums.

Under normal circumstances, I'd be packing up to go around the world for a year as the ten-year-anniversary of the first and second MariesWorldTour is here. My aging physical self aches a bit with the recollection of stuffing myself into a Congoloese minivan with 8 other people and some goats anyway, if I'm honest, and then along came an unexpected detour at the virtual office, so I'm not going anywhere that involves a bad wifi connection and more than a 3-hour time difference from Burbank.

Who would have thought the most mundane things we've done this year could hold so many surprises?

I agree with Jay Garrick the orange cat. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

It Belongs In A Museum

Risked a 6 train full of eccentric unmasked people to go to the Museum of the City of New York to see this. 

They took our digital comic and included it in an exhibit. We are all honored.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Random Caps, Random Quotation Marks

“I hates This sign” but it does make me laugh. 

Proofreaders matter! 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Snow Day 2020

Snow! Plenty of it.

We still have to work and go to school, I guess.

No such thing as a snow day when you're supposed to stay home anyway. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Emergency Shelter

I don't have the necessary items to make a feral cat shelter, but I started to worry about the cats and the opossums and the skunks. (The raccoons live in the nun's garage where it's warm.) So I used my heat gun to soften the plastic on an old bin, and a box cutter to cut a circle. I made the circle into an awning with the heat gun and some packing tape, taped an old piece of shower curtain over the opening, and threw in an old towel and an old thermal shirt.

I don't know that the animals will be impressed.

Tomorrow, I'll see if I can get a foam cooler for the inside, and maybe some hay, but I'm not sure where to get straw. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Sitting Pretty

Here was my morning adventure! You ever wonder what happens to Aeron chairs when offices get rid of them? 

Me neither, but then I read an article and now I have a fancy chair I bought in North Brunswick. I had to get a rental Jeep and drive to an industrial area, but now I have a decent chair for my pandemic home office in JC.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Cruel World in Winter

It’s complicated being a small mammal in winter at the Lafayette Wildlife Preserve.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Small Mammals Like to Hydrate

 Here are some of the images I get on my game cam at the Lafayette Small Mammal Preserve (aka my backyard in Jersey City). 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Lafayette Afternoon

Autumn light on my block in Jersey City. 

Someone did some weird stuff to the house in the foreground. I looked at that house when it was available on a short sale in 2013, but I'm glad I waited for my house instead. Someone had destroyed all the old detail inside this one. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Thai Carry-Out

The 14th Street post office used to be kind of like this, but with bulletproof glass. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Pandemic Thanksgiving

I've spent more than my fair share of holidays in hotel rooms around the world, with the one I recall most clearly being 2001, when an attendant handed me a tray of chicken and rice on a sleeper train from Aswan to Cairo.

I'm in post-flight quarantine right now, (eighth day, so feeling pretty comfortable with my risk-level), but Michael Kraiger is going to give me a to-go plate of vittles.

All I have to do is put on a mask and go up to his house to fetch it later today.

We're all comfortable with different levels of risk, and I've found social distantanced, masked interactions work for me. I was comfortable with outdoor dining back in August, but the stats have changed and so has my risk aversion. 

 It's 63 degrees out, so I think I'll go get a Citibike and ride to Liberty State Park. If we're talking about being thankful, I'm just relieved to have a day off work. 

Free Housing (for cats)

Penny (one of the young game wardens of the Lafayette Wildlife Preserve) wants to build a feral cat house to keep the feral kitties warm this winter. But I'm worried we'll end up with a pod of kittens, so first we're going to try to catch and snip some more ferals.

I'm putting out cat food for a few weeks to get the cats used to coming around, then Tracy is going to come over with her expertise and traps, and we'll take whoever we can catch to the humane society for some reeducation.

Some cats have obvious ear clips, so you can tell they've already been reeducated, but it's not always so easy to tell.

(Yes, we'll start this project in the morning and release the traps at dusk. I am not trying to snip raccoons, skunks, or opossums!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Prehistoric Era

Here's another scan my mother posted.

The Sinclair Dinosaurs were visiting Landmark. They were left over from the World's Fair. That's me and my sister dino-riding. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

You Game?

The yard cam has SO MANY ANIMAL PHOTOS on its memory card, I'm struggling to get through it all. But I shall persevere! 

 Here are some examples of hydration. 

Important to stay hydrated in the dry winter air. Even if you're a opossum. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Everyone Needs A Dream

My dream comic would feature this meet-up. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Nothing to See Here

Quarantine. Day Two. Here's a skunk. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Oh Deer

I arrived back in Jersey City this morning.

First order of business (before nap) is to check the game camera.

I honestly thought there were no more surprises to be had from the game cam.

How very wrong I was. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

National Bundt Day, 2020

Happy National Bundt Day, y'all! 

It's been a few years since I celebrated properly but what better time to bake cake for an outdoor gathering than during a global pandemic? 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

But What About the T-Moulding?

In April, 2017, I bought a small condo near my Burbank office. I paid a flooring company to pull up the tattered old carpet and put down engineered bamboo flooring. The flooring guy didn't put the slats into the walk-in closet. "I didn't measure that so I didn't buy enough," he said weakly. 

He was annoying and I just wanted him to finish and go away, so I said okay and then a few weeks later, went to the flooring place and bought more bamboo slats, and put them in my living room. Where they have sat until yesterday.

Finally, yesterday, I hired a friend's handy-guy to come by and pull out the nasty old carpet and install the bamboo.

Only 3.5 years! I'm so efficient. 

Monday, November 09, 2020

So This Happened Just Prior to National Bundt Day


I sure have gotten a lot of mileage out of that photo by Steve Cook. 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween in Burbank

 Burbank does not mess around. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

But What Was the Prize For?

Here's an amusing scan posted by my mother. I'm that little kid with the long skirt and sneakers.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

It's A Bird!

 I enjoyed watching this panel at Diversity Con. I edited this story.

Columbus Day Party, Different Century

A friend of mine posted this flyer from...was it 25 years ago? No, wait. 29. 

Of course, we've all barely changed.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Little Marie Never Noticed

Stupid shit you think about when working too late.

Wonder Woman doesn't have satin tights. She doesn't have tights at all. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Mini-Hippo for Scale

Maybe I should try to make pandemic scallion pancakes. 

(Grew these from store scallion remnants.) 

Thursday, October 01, 2020

He's Barely Even Grateful

 When Tracy and I caught, neutered, released Jay Garrick (one of three Flash cats), it was not as dramatic as we expected it to be. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dog Visit!

Office friends had a masked pet gathering at Bob Hope Park. 

I don't have my own pet, but I borrowed Studio City Copper for a few minutes.