Wednesday, May 03, 2023

'S'Truth

There are always helicopters in Los Angeles.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

From Bygone Days

Some of you may remember when I went to the Humphrey Museum in Colorado, back in 2016. The museum was the homestead of my great-grandfather's sister. 

The museum has closed now, the contents auctioned off. Today I received some of the family photos as well as the personal diaries of my great-great grandmother.

We aren't really sure what to do with them, but my extended family agreed Burbank seems a good spot to keep these items for a while.


Saturday, April 29, 2023

Mud and Water

I’m working on a little tray to hold dish soap in JC. It sometimes drips onto the counter. 

Surely one of these will find their way to the finish line.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

But Is It A Metaphor?

Like all creative endeavors—or like, you know, life—pottery begins with optimism and hope. You have only to try, and your genius will take shape. 

Tonight I couldn’t center the clay, but I kept trying, and finally it just kind of collapsed.

Monday, April 24, 2023

They Never Stop

Eighteen days of comics deliveries.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Trail Mix Is Not A Great Dinner

A late flight out of Newark turned into a 23 minute connection in Denver. 

A quick sprint later, grabbed some trail mix for dinner, now sitting on the plane for Burbank…with a 20 minute delay. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Watch Our for Bouncing Spiders!

Cuz I really know how to have a birthday!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

My Own Person Marathon, But With A Wheelie Bag

Here's a mildly interesting challenge. My flight tomorrow leaves around 3 from Newark Airport. The Jersey City Marathon has the streets closed until 3. 

Hmm. 

I will probably walk out of the range of the marathon.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Cap and the Soy Burgers

Cap was just thinking of those soy burgers from that fancy restaurant, courtesy of the Austin Chronicle.

The restaurant was Mother's, and it wasn't particularly fancy, unless you were a wide-eyed kid from West Virginia, making a living off working at McDonald's and selling hand-copied cassettes. I knew Daniel Johnston from a day he showed up at the free weekly newspaper in Austin, where I was a college intern in early 1986 (!).

Daniel was obsessed with Jack Kirby and John Lennon, among other things, and I'm not likely to speak in public about the Beatles, but I can hold my own on the topic of comics and Daniel Johnston.

Here is your reminder if you live in NYC--tonight, Friday night, if you're a Daniel fan, come by and see us talk about Daniel at Jung Kim's photo exhibit. The exhibit is up until close of day Sunday and admission is free.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Better Luck Next Time

I swear I wasn't pulling Jay's tail. I don't know what was going on here. 

I'm going to have to abandon catching the tuxedo feral this go-round. He won't go all the way in the trap because the less-feral cats are always glaring at him, ready to chase him off to protect their personal property (my patio, but don't tell them it's mine). I might have to invest in a drop trap. 

And in second tuxedo cat news, I got a better look at him yesterday. If I give him a Flash name, we've already used Barry, Wally, Bart, and Jay. Maybe it's a she and she's Jesse.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

It's A Regular Feral Cat Party Out There

It will surprise no one to learn there is a SECOND tuxedo cat frequenting the nun's yard. I think his ear is clipped though, so I don't have to catch him.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Is Always

Hello, NYC-based friends! 

Friday evening, I'll be joining Louis Black (SXSW, Austin Chronicle) and Lee Foster (Electric Lady Studios) in a conversation about Daniel Johnston, in honor of Jung Kim's newest book of Daniel Johnston photos, IS ALWAYS. 

A number of Jung Kim's photos will be on display from Thursday to Sunday. There's no fee to get in, so everyone is on the guest list.

Bernie Tomcat Update

Bernie likes to show up when I'm unprepared, but I've convinced him that I am the person with the canned mackerel. He's gotten his nose inside the trap a few times, but has yet to go in it. 

We're getting closer.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Not From Acme

The plan is to wait for the tuxedo cat to go in the trap after smelling the canned mackerel bait, then wham. 

But I have to first feed the other cats and then hope the tux cat shows up looking for their scraps. And hope I’m there watching. If I use the auto trigger, I’ll catch the wrong cat or possibly a raccoon.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Meet Bernie Tomcat

I'm trying to trap a feral tuxedo cat who keeps spraying on the insulated kitty house. 

I have a pretty good plan for how to catch the right cat (and not a neutered good boy, raccoon, or opossum), but I'm gonna need some stinky canned fish and a paper plate.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

But Is It True?

Advice overheard on the train:

“I’m 48 years old. My kid, he’s 19. Ha. I told him he needs 5 years in the military and a lifetime in the hood.”

Maybe that's true. Maybe it's just that I'm predisposed to overhearing this sort of thing, a writer in search of a line.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Of A Certain Vintage

Saturday night, I drove my rented Sentra from Dante's Peak in Death Valley to the small town of Pahrump, Nevada, where I stopped for a coffee and some cell service.

Then I headed back to Vegas. After stopping by my hotel for a quick shower, I went to something called Meow Wolf, which I don't even know what that was. Not sure I'd recommend it, but the highlight was a type of installation that was basically off-brand Wacky Packages merchandise for sale in a fake 7-11. Like if you took stuff from Archie McPhee, Think Geek, and Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company and put it into a convenience store and called it an art installation.

The highlight of the evening was a guided nighttime tour of the Neon Museum. My first trip to Las Vegas was in 1990, I think. Maybe '89. Maybe '91, with fellow assistants at Marvel and one who'd moved to LA ahead of the rest of us. Our Dollar rental car three-cylinder Geo Metro gasped its way over the mountains from LA to the desert. I was working on a Conan letters page from the passenger seat on someone's borrowed laptop. Maybe Marc Siry's. (This was the same trip where he bought a green Karmann Ghia from a lot on LaBrea and drove it back East with David G. Wohl. They hit a vulture partway and the VW was never the same after that. I think Marc's boss Ralph loaned him the three grand to buy the car.)

I remember stopping by Vegas a few years later with Marie alice, and then it's a blur of short visits over decades, with the pirate and volcano installations being clues of changes to come. I'm vintage, apparently. (Last week involved a colleague telling me "There's no way you're 56, you seem so much younger" followed by a park ranger asking if I wanted a senior discount, so who the fuck knows anymore. More importantly, who cares. Every day is a good day, except the shitty ones. Those aren't good days.)

The Neon Museum features a bunch of classic signs, some working, mostly not, and a bit of Vegas history. I was uncomfortable passing so many signs I'd seen in action on my first trips to this living city monument to graft and consumerism. It's wild to think of how quickly the city evolved from when I'd first seen these signs on the Strip to now, when they are ancient history in a heap. Vegas is a good place to fly into in order to leave it, to go out into the desert or to national parks, but its overall aesthetic is a baffling combination of "that's awesome" and "bring on the comet already."

I loved the Neon Museum and recommend it--just go at night so you can see the signs in action.



Sunday, April 02, 2023

California Excursion

Death Valley National Park on April 1, no foolin’. 

Last time I went was 1999 and involved a bicycle. Driving a rental car was way easier.




Saturday, April 01, 2023

Solo Camping

Here’s how the whole tent thing works for me when I’m traveling solo. It's a lot like when I used to travel with Turbo, just he liked doing the work part, which sure made it easier on me.



Thursday, March 30, 2023

Tastes Like Chicken

My Lyft driver was from Bangkok, and he told me several complicated stories about camping with spirits, the correct way to get a fortune told, and how snakes taste like chicken. 

Unfortunately, he had the window open while we were driving on the highway, so I missed the specifics.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Packing Up

Tonight I dug out my camping gear and checked out my Death Valley site for this weekend. 

I have to stop at REI to buy gas for my little tiny stove when I get off the plane in Vegas because you can't carry that stuff around airports. 

I surveyed my crap and thought, cool, I've got this, and then I realized...where does one get matches? When was the last time I owned matches?

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Alas, No Superbloom

A few months ago, hoping for a superbloom year, I booked a Death Valley campsite for this coming weekend.

No superbloom this year, unfortunately. I think I'll go anyway, assuming my tent is intact when I put it up in my living room and check it out.

My last trip to Death Valley was in...I don't remember! I was on a bicycle and camping trip. But I remember afterwards, I drove to Marina Del Rey ahead of boarding the plane, where I met friends and we went to Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch.

Must have been the late nineties. Maybe.

Edited to add: It was March, 1999.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

I'd Buy That

I suppose this will become condos. How much to live in the bell tower?

Monday, March 20, 2023

Baby Mat

I made another baby mat for a colleague’s new baby. This colleague is a yeti-ist. A Bigfoot fan. The bears are just for California.



Saturday, March 18, 2023

A Realization

As I contemplate the paths not taken in my life, and follow through scenarios where if I'd only done X, the Y would have been different, it occurs to me that...the multiverse is real and it lives in my brain.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Can't I Just Go Play Today?

As sadness and tragedy accumulate with the passing of years, the best we can hope for sometimes is ambivalence. But more often than not, great sadness coexists with optimism. Potential is so elusive—always slipping away when overwhelmed by the mundane, the routine. What is vision except for that which no one has time to resolve? 

Brought to you by the eternal struggle between the creative and the obligation.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sunday in Pasadena

Mock Daylight Savings all you want, you philistines. I got out of the house early enough to actually do something today.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Upcoming Holiday

I'm thinking about making this year's vacation a trip to Vanuatu around Memorial Day. I was just reading about the main city when I stumbled over a mention of a local comic book! I got excited and found a reference to the creator in French...and that is where I learned he died in 2020.

Office de Tourisme du Vanuatu
November 16, 2020 (courtesy translation software)

"It is with sadness that we learned over the weekend of the sudden death of Guy Deroin, visual artist/writer/designer/ni-Vanuatu painter πŸ–Œ

Better known as 'Guigui', he is the author of the only comic strip in the country 'Mino', available in French. His dream was to create an amusement park for adults and children, with the theme of the cultures of Vanuatu πŸ‡»πŸ‡Ί

Exactly 11 years ago, he allowed Vanuatu to win a world record recorded by Guinness, in the category "How many people can write a story in 24 hours" πŸ†

Guy Deroin drew 35 images illustrating the adventures of two children and a giant turtle as they travel the 85 tropical islands of the Vanuatu archipelago 🏝

838 children participated in writing the story based on his drawings, each contributing a sentence πŸ–Š

In 10 hours, school children and a handful of adults broke the previous record (set by 797 Austrians) πŸ‘"

Saturday, March 04, 2023

One Day in the Bay Area

I’m gonna see some ukulele tonight.


Thursday, March 02, 2023

Fifteen Years Ago

I'm such a sucker for the headline about the newly discovered corridor in the Great Pyramid. But if the plan is to get me to visit, I'm gonna leave that to the rest of you as Cairo is in the past for me. 

Like a pharaoh or a golden cat.


Wednesday, March 01, 2023

They Said There Wouldn't Be Rain

Condos can be a pain in the ass due to the erratic priorities of others and their inability to break down boxes or follow recycling rules, but I do like that I can just call the management company this morning.

This is what the walk-in closet ceiling looks like after last night's rain. (Sorry for the generic fixture--maybe now is the time to get it replaced.)

Sunday, February 26, 2023

But Is It Punk?

You ever find yourself searching for "most cringeworthy moments of counterculture"? 

That said, I never did get around to patronizing the CBGB-branded restaurant at Newark Airport, and it closed during the pandemic, so what do I know anyway?

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A Weekend in Los Cabos

I was barreling through the desert in a rented Nissan March, the Sea of Cortez to my left, the sun glaring aggressively from a row of mountains to my right. My phone played an anthem, something bold and full of promise—what was that and how did it get into my iTunes?

I was weaving in and out of the wake of purple buses that ply the corridor between the airport and the two cabos. Is Route 1 a highway or a local road? Both, like a rural road back home where you can drive 60 mph or you can take a slow left into a driveway.

If only my Marchito were a stick shift, I thought with a sigh of regret. But still, muscle memory had taken over with driving on a poorly marked hilly route fully of trucks and unpredictable tourists. Memories flooded in as I wondered if anti-lock brakes means today’s young adults would never have the experience of rainy-day skidding into the back of a Cadillac at a farmland crossroads in America’s heartland.

Markings come and go on this Baja Sur route, which is eternally in need of maintenance and better signage, but this is second nature to those of a certain age, when the practical and metaphorical roads of life were improvised based on circumstance. Driving somewhere new and fast feels like freedom—harkening back to long-distance trips in the boyfriend’s band’s van, the epic journey from Ohio to Texas, crossing the US or Australia with Turbo in my sun-bleached charcoal Ford Taurus, the three hours from home to the internet cafΓ© down a muddy red road in Uganda in a Toyota Hilux—I associate driving the unknown with adventure and the unpredictable, and I was nostalgic for times when I had my whole life in front of me.

I spotted a dump truck ahead, glanced at the left lane and saw an opening between a sedan and a Suburban, then navigated around the truck with ease, just as the marina of Cabo arose from the crest of a hill. If driving is freedom, then I must be 30 years younger, my life a series of possibilities, all of them rich, promising, and unique.

The song receded and Siri abruptly reminded me my turn was imminent. The world transformed in an instant, and suddenly I was just another middle-aged white gringa on a clichΓ©d Cabo holiday.



Saturday, February 18, 2023

One Day

Tourist news! They're supposedly building a train from Tijuana to Cabo. TBD how this all works out, but theoretically, one could then hop on the train in Los Angeles, switch to the trolley in San Diego, then walk over the border at San Ysidro to board the train on the other side. 

I imagine this won't be done in the planned four years, but it's a nice dream.

Friday, February 10, 2023

In the Parking Garage at Work

I feel cheated somehow. 

Still, It Looks Good

I somehow ended up in charge of buying the new patio furniture for my condo complex HOA. 

Something new I learned: Umbrella canopies ship separately from the frames and you just slip them right on. So you can buy new canopies without replacing the frames, and the swap is dead easy.

Will I ever need this information again? Probably not. 

Have I ever actually used this patio or spa? No. Will I? Probably not.


Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Some Advantages to Working at a Big Office

Puppies came to work today in advance of Puppy Bowl.

What a delight.


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sunday Expedition

I have zero interest in the Avatar sequel, but I'll watch the heck out of the LA Natural History Museum's exhibit on Cameron's submersible journey to the Mariana Trench.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

There Are Worse Reasons

I'm thinking of going to San Francisco in March to see Jake Shimabukuro perform on his ukulele. 

I know that's loopy, but here we are.

The Condo Is Only So Big

I'm thinking of turning off the water in my condo's half-bath and making it a comic book storage closet. These are desperate times.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Bring A Platypus to Work Day

G'day, mates! Happy Australia Day. I made ANZAC biscuits to take to work. We shall celebrate with Captain Boomerang (not in person, I'm not sure of his current status).