Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Drawing Process

The Crick Waterfall


Woah. I am just back from a busy long weekend up in upper New York state. The people I met were lovely and kind but the poverty up there was overwhelming. I was ready to get home. Thank you to everyone who put me up and who put up with me (ha!).

For those of you interested in how comic books are drawn this is a great step by step process by one of the masters Josh Middleton. There's a link to his blog on the side bar but click here for the ARTICLE. He's got a beautiful clean line style and he's a master of mood and color. Hope you enjoy it.


Josh Middleton draws Supergirl

---------

Today is the last day of March and I couldn't be happier. Nothing against March it's just that I am ready to be warm. Give me sunshine and long days and warm nights. Amen. The weather this week is supposed to be nice so I'll start riding my bike to work. One of the bonuses of living so close. An added bonus is that riding a bike to work everyday will cut down on my carbon footprint.

Watch out for those April Fools Day pranksters tomorrow.
Any guesses on what those goons at google will post?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

INFJ?!



Personality test time.

Have you ever done the Meyers-Briggs personality test? I did it back in college and was this big secret deal about your results, you had to take the 14 page long test and add up your answers. It turned out two of my best friends were ESTPs and they were the only ESTP's in the class. I guess it's a rarer type (of all Simmons classrooms surveyed that particular morning).

Anyway.

Katie found the on-line version. A baby-version at that but still fun to do.

It's based on the original Meyers-Briggs break down of personality types but with much fewer questions. The idea here is that basically individuals are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. The test sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs with a resulting 16 possible psychological types.

You are either:
Extroverted or Introverted
Sensitive or INtuitive
Thinking or Feeling
Judging or Perceiving

There is no wrong way to be (So they "SAY." Obviously INFJ is the "best" type)

Take the test by clicking HERE.

I am an:
Introverted, INtuitive, Feeling and Judgy sort of person.
See here:

"You are:
  • slightly expressed introvert
  • distinctively expressed intuitive personality
  • moderately expressed feeling personality
  • moderately expressed judging personality"
A slightly expressed introvert, eh?

And all this time you guys thought I was a spot-light seeker.

Any guesses on what Katie is?
Here's a hint.... we are VEEEERY similar....
NO? No guesses?

She's an ISFJ!!
She's sensitive to my intuitive.... the peas to my carrot... the sand to my ocean.... the metaphor to my hyperbole.

(That last one doesn't work does it?)

OH WELL!

Here's another acronym for the day:
TGIF baby!

Peace.

Want to end the week with another joke?
Q: What do gay horses eat?
A: Haaaaaay!


Now, for your moment of Zen:

Where the What Are?

Thoughts on this anyone?



I am (of course) a huge fan of the book.
Back in Children's Literature 101 with the indelible Susan Bloom we did a whole unit on Maurice Sendak and his contributions to children's books, how In The Night Kitchen was conceived in naughtiness, the premise being that a child is woken up by a strange unidentifiable sound that ignites his imagination and takes him on fantastical adventures (psst! that sound was his parents getting busy! Seriously!)


Anyway, I'm not getting my hopes up for this one. I always seem to develop these really high expectations for a thing (see Coraline, Pan's Labyrinth) and, after I see this magnificent movie I come out of the theater feeling deflated, not elated. I blame myself and my crazy imagination.

Anyway, we are up to page 64 on the old book and I have a dozen more pages to thumbnail out. A dozen AT LEAST! So if you need me I'll be wasting my time chatting on gmail and penciling all day.

Also, the guy at Starbucks this morning made me the best americano of all time.

Sometimes that's all it takes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lions, Tigers and EELs, oh my!

Today, while we were eating lunch, one of the Massachusetts Conservation and Water guys who had come to check on the Herring run shouted up to us, "Hey! You gotta come see this!" And there in his little fishing net was a 2 and a half foot long lamprey eel!

HOLY CRAP RIGHT?!


video

Last year these same, strange water workers spent about a month and a half framing in a new sleek fish ladder (called a 'herring run' 'round these parts) to help the endangered population of fresh water herring rebuild its once massive but now fished-almost-to-extinction numbers climb back up. They've been checking in periodically to count the fish and tend the ladder and today they were fixing a hole in the bottom of the water basin.



video

According to one of the guys the lamprey eel, although terrifying to look at (and worse to find by surprise swimming around you!) are completely harmless since their digestive systems shut down completely when they move into fresh water to spawn. They are a salt water "marine animal" that feeds on the blood of fish. (Ew! Gross!)

Wikipedia has this to say:
"The adult feeds by attaching its mouth to a fish, secreting an anticoagulant to the host, and feeding on the blood and tissues of the host. In most species this phase lasts about 18 months."


anatomy of an eel

Creeptastic!


And I just saw one in the side yard.
What did YOU see at work today?

video

Since these two goofy water guys came to build the run last year they've become sort of work friends. They come in and use our bathroom and get water from the bubbler and once or twice I brought them coffee in the morning. I'm glad the repairs they are making to the fish ladder may take a couple of days beacuse that means they'll be around more. How many people do you know who can show you cool, prehistoric looking salt water worms?

Eeeew!

The eel will keep on living in the little section of the fish ladder that it's swimming around in now (see the video) and when the water level rises later this spring it'll move upstream to spawn just like the Herring. It's too early yet for the majority of the fish to be out but a few early swimmers have already been spotted down stream, according to the guys.



There he goes!


It's kind of like having my own really tiny Loch Ness monster.
Only... you know... REALLY tiny.

Isn't that rad?
Okay, now I am WAAAY behind on work.
Time to get focused.

Peace out!

Wednesday Already Got Away From Me

Sunday's birthday boy and my little man.

What time is it now? Noon?! I have my piano lesson in an hour and I still have to head out to get lunch, write these RO's I've been avoiding (that's "repair order's" for those of you not in the know) and clean up this mess left by the hurricane forces of the two baby twins who just dropped in to see me, and somehow find the time to warm up my clumsy piano-fingers.

Between E-man "feeding the plants" (translation: spilling water all over the floor and being obsessively entertained by pulling the water tap on and off on the bubbler) and Sekiah throwing whole bags of chips away after opening them it was an eventful hour. Matt's dad stopped in to shoot me a few mean glances and I answered the phone breathlessly a couple of times.

So, well, there's that.

How's your hump day going?

Did you catch Obama's national address last night? I caught most of it but tuned out when the questions got a bit snippy. Oh, Captain, my Captain. I shall follow you.

Today's lunch is going to be chicken salad sandwiches made from the cafe down the street. Matt will have his with pickles and bacon. (No bacon for me today) and maybe an iced coffee. I drank way too much red wine last night and did an average job of killing zombies.

Screen shot of the scariness.

There's this NEW zombie level that is even harder and much scarier. The undead dig themselves up out of the earth and break through walls where you thought you were safe and you start in one of five random locations in the same world. It's Scaaaaaaary. I'm getting to be a much braver soldier though. I ran right up to a herd of them stabbing and shooting and somehow made it out alive. I imagine I will eventually get tired of this game since you literally can not win, but for now, it's quite addicting.

Let's see if this exclusive trailer works:


That's all for now.
I'm off to grab lunch!

Ciao.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Poosday

My Goodness, My Guinness!

I'm bummed it's only Tuesday.
A week ago we were all going out to celebrate St. Patty's Day.
Did you hear about how Disney is trying to rename St. Patty's Day to Shamrock Day?
They already refer to it as 'Shamrock Day' on Playhouse Disney.
Gross. Hands off, you uber conglomerate giant. Stop homogenizing the hell out of American culture.

Anyway, our other mechanic went home sick today and work is kind of crappy all the way around. We are having bad communication skills, I think.
Do you think it is a man thing?
Or a Tana thing?
Or an everybody's-waiting-for-the-world-to-warm-up sort of thing?

I certainly don't know.

I'm headed out to Ticonderoga this weekend for some sightseeing and family-meeting. Did you know they make pencils out there? The Ticonderoga HB and 2Bs were used in schools all across this great land. That's kind of cool. I'm sure I chewed the ends off one or two of those. (Only kidding. I'm not much of a pencil chewer, actually).

Here as promised are a few St. Patty's Day shots!

The worst thing about going away for the weekend is that means I won't get to see my babies for almost 2 whole weeks. They'll be practically grown by the time I get back. Sadface. I never knew I could need little people so damn much until now. My cousin Josh turned 6 this past Sunday. Can you believe it? Happy birthday little buddy. Mom made some nice chocolate cupcakes. I still can't believe what a little man you are. I remember back when your mom's belly stuck out to here.

Anyway: From T.K.'s
I'm Irish, okay? We fight for no reason, don't we?

Welcome home from Reno Patrick. Hope your little fireplace conference went well. I hear it's the "Biggest Little City on Earth." Here's Patrick breaking out the pipes last week. He knows all the Irish folk songs by heart now. (Every year there's a live band playing Irish folk songs and after a while you get the gist of it. If I were thinking right I would've taken a video while I was there. Oh well!)

Don't be alarmed. He's just SINGING.

Softball season starts again soon and I'm pretty happy about that. It's a sure sign of the springtime. And a good excuse to get out and run around a bit. I should dust off the old glove and practice since I'm sure to be rusty. Old lady league or not I want to be ready!

There is some sort of yellow-flower tree outside of my house whose buds look like giant pussy willows right now. That's what E-man and I are checking out here. He pulled one off by accident, hence the serious face. There was no putting that back on.

I think secretly he prefered breaking the buds off the tree.

And as if my babies couldn't get any cuter. Here is Miss Sekiah on the telephone. She pins the phone up by covering her face with her whole arm. It's really quite hilarious. I can't get over those football player shoulders. My little loves. She's a very concise talker as it turns out.

video

Anyway, that's all from this end of the Earth.
Back to being cold, short staffed and bad at communicating.

CHEERS!

(OH, by the way! Sam Adams came out with a new flavor called Blackberry Witbier! I highly recommend you check it out. Not too fruity with a nice zesty finish. And the latest batch of homebrew is ready! (Not mine of course, Brian and Eraff's) -so here's to beer! Go get some of your own!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Barack on Jay, Hooray!

Thank God you are my President!

Here's the complete interview from last night's Jay Leno show.
He's calm, responsible, intelligent and (gasp!) accountable!
Holy Lord we haven't seen anything like this in my lifetime.
Gee Willikers!



****

Yesterday Matthew was working on a conversion van that is supposed to be driven to Florida today. It was in for a general check up with the typical complaints; it's been sitting for awhile, can you make it road ready, check the brakes and the tires, that sort of thing. This particular van was parked for two years without moving in a garage someplace and if this family had just driven to Florida without bringing it in it would have burned to the ground someplace on Route 93. Probably before they got out of Connecticut.

Look at that thing! Ew!

As Matthew was going through the typical check list he saw something (namely straw) coming from the rear engine compartment which he disassembled to find the largest, grossest, scariest looking mouse house in the history of mouse houses! It took him 5 trips to the trash barrel and back to clean out all that straw and fur and dried grass.

Now, mice have been moving into cars since cars were invented. And anyone who works on cars has cleaned out a mouse house or two in their lifetime. The mice get into the space behind the air filter (typically) or in any warm, safe, palm-sized space in that complicated engine compartment under the hood and raise a little mouse family.

THIS was something else. This monstrosity was a mouse hotel, a mouse complex , a multi-family, vacation resort mammoth behemoth of a nest. Matt wore gloves just in case any critters were still living inside that bundle of dead leaves and wanted to bite him. IT was unbelievable. Matt said "With that much dried grass in there it would've taken no time at all for this thing to catch on fire. They'd have just had a car full of vacation gear, kids and all stranded on the side of the road."

Scaaaaary!

Have I told you a good mechanic is worth his weight in gold?

Some of the credit has to go to the client who thought to bring the car in. If he had just decided to pile everyone in and head out he would've been in for a disaster. Let that be a lesson to all you travel bugs. Before you go anyplace have your trusted mechanic check out your car. And if you don't have a trusted mechanic ask around until you find one. They're rare but they're out there and they are totally worth finding.

****

Here is a short list of the nerdy podcasts that keep me company throughout the day.

Rachel Maddow, obviously.
Quiet! Panelologists at Work, a coupla' blokes from the U.K. talking funnily about comics. You must be an ubernerd to 'get' this one.
The Devil and Me, now updating once every three months. (boo!)
AOTS: Fresh Ink with Blair Butler. I pop a girl boner every time her lisp gets lisp-ier.
and also:
TheNewYorker: Fiction podcast. Good for exercising the mental muscles.
And if you want to hear true stories told live without notes, head on over to
The Moth podcast. Real people. Real stories. Real good.

****

I've got it on good authority that Corinney is coming over tonight and I'll steal her St. Patty's pictures then.

Peace out and Happy Friday you all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Case of the Thursdays?

I want Corinne to hurry and post some of the one million pictures I took at T.K's Tuesday night. There were some funny ones that I think would look great on this here blog. But alas. That's what I get for going all asian on someone else's camera.

In other news, I slept like a sack of crap last night. I think it was the hot pepper pizza I ate right before bed. (Duh, Tana. Quit being a fat kid) But in my defense, I thought "cherry peppers and caramelized onions" on a pizza would make it sweet, not flammable.

In any case I dreamed I was trapped inside a video game where people were all trying to kill me and I had to rely on Brian to save me with his katana blade. It was exhausting and weird ad I am looking forward to forgetting all about it.

Today it is gray and dull and overcast and yucky out. Why does the weather affect my mood so much? I have these big windows completely encircling me at work which is great beacuse who wants to be trapped under fluorescents all day? However I have come to accept that the side effect to this set-up is transparency. Whatever it is like outside, it is inside. Gloomy? Wet? Cold? You betcha it feels like that while I'm sitting right here in this very seat. I wish I could fast-forward March and even April if it turns out to be a wet rainy month and go straight into warm weather. Hurry up Earth!

As an antidote to the Blah's (or perhaps I have a case of the Monday's on Thursday this week) I am going to list the things I would love to have in a perfect world. Or, you know, if I worked at AIG and took home huge bonuses for being a Master of the Universe Douche Bag Edition.

Not sure what I'm talking about?

Please see Rachel Maddow.



****

So if I could have anything I want (and my wants are pretty simple) the first thing I'd get is one of these: a Cintiq movable drafting tablet. Like the wacom I currently have, but on steroids. You draw directly in the screen, you can spin the tablet around like a real piece of paper, and there's no limit to the amount of cool shit you can make with one of these (hyperbole, perhaps).

But I feel like you have to earn stuff like this first so, maybe if the book goes well I'll graduate from analog drawing to this kind of drawing. We'll see...

I would also like a large format scanner.

Followed immediately by one of these:



That would look pretty slick in my office here, I'd say.

Peace out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Padraig's Day!

Don't be mad at AP for not wearing green.
She's an Italian.
We forgive her, poor thing.


I have so much good news to report.

But first some sad stuff.

My cousin's threw a huge benefit party for their friend who just died of brain cancer. That's some scary shit. She was only in her early thirties and was told she had a clean bill of health six months ago. Either the doctors fucked up or the cancer was that malicious or something else just as terrible and nightmarish. Marae and Corinne tended bar with Jackie-o (you'll remember her as my Halloween costume counter part) and the place was packed. Patrick and Jeffrey Bear had gone down earlier in the day to play golf and by the time I got there they were (as the Irish say) feeling no pain. Pat was half-singing half-complaining about being mauled on the course beacuse Jeff had been chasing him with the golf cart every few holes always veering one way or the other in the last second and the one time Patrick didn't move Jeffrey didn't veer and bam! Pat got mauled by the Bear. It gave him a war wound to display anyway.

That was Saturday night. I donated a bunch of money and won a gift basket for my mom. (A tea one I think). I didn't stay long because Erika wasn't feeling good and we had a road race to run the next morning.

*********My private hall of fame.

My very first 5k road race was an unparalleled success!

I woke up late Sunday morning (these days waking up after 8am counts as sleeping-in-late). The day was beautiful, a little crisp but not cold. AP picked us up and drove down to Davis square where the race started. We chatted about this and that and both Erika and AP teased me about being nervous. I kept talking and flapping my hands, which isn't really unusual, but which I was probably doing much faster than normal.

Anyway, we found Lorn outside the McDonald's looking ready to run. She has this ability to become hyper-focused on race day. She has this effortless way about her when it comes to things like organized competition. Erika, AP and I make our way to the 10 minute pace group. I know that Meghan is somewhere up around the 7 minute milers, probably and Lorn heads up to the 8 minute milers.

The race gun goes off and there's 5,000 people lined up so it takes a full minute for us in the way back to get going but once we do things feel good. There are some jokesters that came all dressed up. A ton of people have green hats with orange hair and wigs and things, one lady wore Minnie Mouse ears with a green shamrock hat complete with puffy glove-hands. One guy dressed head to toe in a green spandex-looking one piece that covered his whole head and face- nose, ears, eyes, mouth- everything so he looked like a guy in giant green shrink wrap. We didn't get a good look at his crotch though, to see if he at least wore shorts over his package. I hope he did. How did he even breathe in that thing?


Anyway, we muscled through the race finishing in just over 30 minutes. Certain moments of the race are distilled in my mind. After the first bend we made when I could see the sea of people bobbing up and away from me around the buildings, the guy that elbowed me off the sidewalk (jerks apparently wear neon yellow on race day), the water stop that got so jammed up people starting tripping over each other trying to duck in for a cup or out of the way. I remember somewhere near the end of mile 2 the road opened into traffic and the sun burst thorugh the clouds and I saw everyone around me moving in unison, wearing green and breathing hard, and there was a certain kind of solace in all these human lives intersecting mine, carrying me along. By the time I saw the balloon archway marking the end of the race my legs were burning, my knee had that familiar popping ache but I was elated. Erika and I had run the race together and we gave it what we could to the finish line getting bumped and jostled in the home stretch.

Overall it was a tremendous first race.
The weather was perfect and the people I hung out with were great.
They even put up with me making inappropriate jokes about "popping my cherry" as the afternoon went on. I'd have to say the beers and the delirium definitely set in. Also! I got to meet Meghan's mom! All 95 pounds of her. That was an unexpected surprise. I'm glad I didn't put my foot in my mouth about anything important. I was basically just in awe of the fact that they are both such good runners. Marathon's and races and daughters, oh my!


official race results

Erika was telling me about a bunch of other races this summer that I might like. The Charles River Run is 4.1 miles and is followed by free beer and food and a concert 5 Thursdays in a row this summer. I just might do that. Maybe if I can get Matthew to put his flipper-feet into some running sneaks he can go out with me and meet some fun outdoorsy ladies.

I made a decent Guacamole despite
not having all the right ingredients.


The after-race barbecue was equally as fun.

Lorn stopped by with a half dozen girls who were out celebrating a birthday. Some of Eraff's friends stopped by and we made a sizzling bonfire in the outdoor firepit. Brian complained that the wood from Stop and Shop sucked beacuse it was so wet it wouldn't light correctly. We turned into total pyros and burned everything we could find in an attempt to get it going properly. Boxes, napkins, an avocado pit, pistachio shells (which are surprising flammable, watch out!) most of the dried out Christmas tree. They made jokes about how the nylon handles that come stapled to the wood bundle make the log look like a clutch purse. "Here's the latest in outdoor fashion! Eco-friendly and 100% recyclable," Rob did a pirouette. "Also good for subway safety." He pretend-hit Brian in the arm with the log.

I wore my number and my race medal proudly all day long.

I also wore my old man shuffly slips outside and they were perfect. I took some heat for not changing out of my sweaty race socks but you know what? All athletes have quirks so deal with it.

After night fell and Lorn was done making Smeeps (we decided that is what you call a Smore's made with a Marshmallow Peep) we fed the last remaining marshmallows to the fire, housed what was left of the chocolate bar, and called it a night. The best part was that we were asleep by 8:30pm.

This morning I retired number 1520 to the office wall where it will hang until I find a suitable frame for it. And now it is Tuesday I feel rejuvenated and I'm ready to start spring. Bring on the Red Sox, bring on the outdoors and bring on the races, baby, I'm ready!

Peace out.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ras Race


Three days to go until my not-so-big arrival on the scene of registered races.

Am I nervous? Sure.

And to prove it my dreams last night were laced with race related anxieties.

It was my debut running the Boston Marathon and I was racing in a turquoise sequined costume. I believe I had a mask complete with eye feathers. I was being followed by my ex-girlfriend and her wife while in front of me ran her best friend and his wife. I don't know why I would have a dog in the race but I did and his name was Spirit the Wonderdog. He also wore a sparkly turquoise costume that matched mine. At one point, feeling surrounded by the menacing eyes of my past, Spirit the Wonderdog fell asleep and I had to put his heaviness into a paper shopping bag and try to run while carrying him, thinking 'I'm never going to make it 26 more miles!'

Could my subconscious have come up with anything more embarrassing or midnight-terrifying?

There was also a muddy pond with ducklings making their way to the water and I accidentally followed their trail into the swamp thereby ending up waist deep in the muck while everyone ran by me.

Thank you dream world!
Message received!

******

Back in reality I know this race will be a piece of cake. It's only 3 miles, I can do that standing on my head. There's some goofy singing of Danny Boy planned for the pre-race and afterwords we are all going to make our way to a local bar for a drink before heading over to Eraff's for a barbecue, an outdoor fire pit, and some Zombie killing action.

Now that's my idea of a good Sunday.

Here's the premise behind Nazi Zombies:


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Odds and Ends

We booked our house in PTown!

Matt and I officially booked our house in PTown for this coming Memorial day! I figured we could splurge on a nice place this year (not that we've ever had a slummy place) and I'm really looking forward to the peace and quiet. Even if it rains everyday (and I really hope it doesn't!) I'll still have a great time. Something about the sea-side little city.

***

My tooth hurts!

I thought I would escape the horrors of the root canal but it's looking less likely everyday.
I tend to exaggerate and behave like a hypochondriac though so we'll see what happens in the next few days.

***

I created my own font using this free quick font site but on my first attempt the F got messed up and on the second try the R is too high and my periods look like bullets. Anyway it was fun. You should try it. Takes 5 minutes. Your Fonts!

This is what my handwriting looks like:


And this is what Eraff's looks like:


Hers is cute.
Very toddler-esque if you ask me.
Which she won't like at all, I'm sure, but to which I find endearing.

****

I took Bails for one of the first runs of the season last night. The weather was cool but not chilly and the tide was way way out which made the light off the sand flats wonderful. There wasn't another soul on the sand and not a single footprint came from anyone other than me or Bailey. He's got this terrible dog habit of doubling back and buckling me at the knees and I often wonder what human running is like for dogs. Does he think 'My god, what's so fun about running in such a straight line all the time?' or 'Oh my god mom! You have to come and smell this! It's amazing!'

After about a half mile I give in and just start playing with him. I jump and twirl and land and hop, I cross step and high step and try and grab his tail. It's hard not to laugh out loud when he sticks his whole dumb head under water and comes up spluttering. He took to chomping clumps of wet weedy seaweed yesterday and shaking the bits at me. This was hilarious for him because we were surrounded by seaweed and thusly I was surrounded by a spewing seaweed launching puppy circling and circling me.

I tried practicing my long jumping skills thinking I could both improve my basketball "ups" and have the satisfaction of breaking my own newly invented long jumping record. Only Bailey had something to say about that too. I got one good jump in before he figured out what I was doing then I a) nearly landed on his head and had to twist mid-air to avoid collision b) he took to chasing me pre-jump and running into my legs before I took off and c) he ran along side me leaning me off course.

This long-jump thing was very short lived.

Oh, and when I dug my heel into the sand to mark the line I would be jumping over, Bails enthusiastically joined in destroying any hope of having a straight line.

I told him "Hey, I agree with you buddy. Straight is overrated."

I guess we'll just see what today brings.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wedding Season already?

Did you catch the lamest, weakest season finale in the history of television shows? Yes, I'm talking about the L-Word 'so-called' finale.

First of all, I apologize to those of you who had to suffer through my near-constant commentary (really, you guys. I'm sorry. I have trouble shutting up.) Secondly I can't believe both AP and Meghan knew who killed Jenny all season and said nothing about it. Third, Nikki just hops out of the bushes? Please. Lame. And if Alice Piazecki (sp?) gets her own show I'll totally watch it. I'm a fan of the Tasha and I'm so glad she came back.

Aaanyway.

It's about time, Jasen.

I helped a friend out by drawing a 'Save the Date' Postcard for her wedding announcement. It was nice to have a change of pace for the past few days but I realized without much surprise that I am a terrible painter in Photoshop. How do guys like Josh Middleton do it anyway? So real. So beautiful. I guess you just keep shooting for the moon and doing your best to improve your game daily.

I also cleaned and reorganized the office spring cleaning style. You may not be able to see how clutter free it is in the picture below but trust me. This is clean. We moved the couch and days are getting warmer and I think I am going to buy a bike and start commuting to work on a two-wheeler. Bets on whether or not I can figure out how to safely navigate the town with Bailey in tow? I'd hate to have to leave him at home. And if any of you chumps have good suggestions on what I should get SEND THEM ALONG! Please. I know absolutely NADA about bicycles. I can promise you though, I'll have the sweetest custom-painted helmet in town, though.

I swear to you this counts as clean.

Wanna hear a dirty joke?
What's better than having Roses on your piano?
Having tulips on your organ.
(Get it?)
Ha!

My cousin Marae told me that yesterday morning when she saw the beautiful tulips one of our customers brought in after we squeezed in some brake work on his truck. There really are nice people in the world, you know. He is actually Camille's dad so I texted her teasingly about it. Her birthday is this Saturday and I'm bummed I can't make it to the party.

Tulips on your organ. HA!

This weekend is my very first road race ever and I am a few things; namely unprepared and nervous. I think I will do okay. I am keeping the expectation bar pretty low on performance but high on having fun. After all it's a St. Patty's Day race and I am exactly one half Irish (you couldn't tell, admit it) and post race we are having a barbecue and sitting around with our feet up slugging beers and probably killing zombies in the PS3 game Call of Duty 4. I am absolutely TERRIBLE at this game but I love it so much. I am that fool that actually ducks down to see out of the windows and moves around in my seat while i'm playing like somehow doing that will make it easier for me to see. No, Tana. You move the controller. See?

But if points were given out for love I would have the high score baby.

Speaking of love, how cute is this guy?
I thought that'd be a nice note to leave you on today.
I'm bleeding and it's time for lunch.
Peace, suckers.

I LOVE YOU ETHAN MICHAEL!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The back of my head is quite swirly

Big Boy and I have the same haircut.

Not much to report today.

I sent out the "Advance Reader's Copy" of Duck to Katie. That's news!

This of course means I printed out the first 54 pages, taped them together back-to-back and then together in a readable bundle and shipped it off. Classy, I know. It's called being Ghetto-effective. (What recession?) She's going to poke around and catch my spelling mistakes and circle all the places I forgot to draw the backgrounds correctly (hopefully I got some of the pages right) and I noticed a funny thing about my own art I never really got before. I draw heads angly. Sort of squeezed and angled wrong not unlike Modigliani. But you know, comic-y.

Hey you sexy thang!

There are worse comparisons.

Also, I am happy to announce I will be taking not this coming Monday but NEXT Monday off and would you like to know what I am doing? I am going to have a personal massage. That's right. My first one ever. And I tell you I cannot wait. Mm-mm-mm. Thank you universe for working in mysterious ways.

Also of note, I mailed in my tax returns today. I am actually getting money back from the state. Thank you Barack Obama! That's some change I can believe in.

And to AP and Meg and everyone else in a tropical clime working on your tans and reapplying your sunscreen and sipping your mai tai's -poo to you! Rub it in when you get home and I'll pelt you in snowballs. I'll chase you around the apartment thwacking you with Gitar Hero drumsticks! Or both!

Consider yourselves warned!
Mwaa-ha-ha.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sometimes You Get What You Need

Yolanda Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni


"Because, no matter what else is wrong with you, good wine and good sex will make you feel better." --- Nikki Giovanni

***
My salvation came in the beautiful form of Nikki Giovanni.
I'm lucky enough to have friends that understand me (A challenging task, ask anyone!) And yesterday during my terrible horrible no good very bad day Katie sent me a link to new podcast called the Bill Moyers journal and told me to look up the interview with Nikki Giovanni. I did. And not only does this feed my podcasting obsession (especially since The Devil and Me is on an inexplicably long hiatus) but it calms me deep down in my soul. Firstly, beacuse I find poetry so soothing and the two poems she reads in this interview are right up my alley. And secondly beacuse it's hard to stay mad at a rainy snowy cold day when I remember that my mother is still alive and cooking a pot roast and that I get to home tonight and tell her how much I love her and eat her good cooking and talk to my dad about the Sox losing to the Orioles in Spring training yesterday.

Big Papi's. David Ortiz with his youngest and Julio Lugo with little Julio. Aww, Cuuuute.

(He will say "So what, it's spring training."
And I will say "Yeah but they are playing the Reds today."
And he will say "Come on, who cares? It's the Reds.")

So what's a little lousy weather, anyway.

****

Here is one of the poems Nikki read to me.
I think it's called Sources and I did my best to get the spacing right.

If I can't do
What I want to do
Than it's my job
Not to do
What I don't want to do.

It's not the same
But it's the best I can do.

If I can't have
What I want
Than my job is to want
What I've got.

And be satisfied
That at least there's
Something more
To want.

Since I can't go.
Where I need to go.
Than I must go
where the signs point

Though always understanding
Parallel movement
Isn't lateral.

When I can't express
What I really feel
I practice feeling
What I can express

And none of it is
Equal, I know.

But that's why mankind
Alone
Among the animals
Learns to cry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

Not much to say today.

I have a major case of the "Blah's."
I wish I had the sort of job you could call in sick to or take a mental health day from but of course I don't. It's freezing and snowy and messy and slushy and salty outside and frankly I'm sick of it. I'm glad February's finally over but for fuck's sake. STOP SNOWING!

I've spent a large portion of this morning mechanically doing my job while imagining all the places I'd rather be. New Zealand, for instance. Or visiting Mr. E in Brazil. Then, because I am in a funk, I imagine all the places I wouldn't rather be. Iran for instance. Or Antarctica. Although given the choice I pick parka's over burkhas, I'm just saying....

***

I spent the morning reading articles about my favorite news pundit Rachel Maddow. Did you know she is a Rhodes scholar? So smart. My intellectual crush deepens. I also left my latest journal at home (I think) and have resorted to using last summer's last remaining pages as a substitute. Lame.

***

A train.
I will imagine I am on a moderately comfortable train, speeding through unfamiliar landscapes on my way to some place warm. And this journal in front of me is rattling around a bit beside a coca-cola, which is something you can always seem to get when traveling and has a handy blast of caffeine. And maybe I have The Lady With the Dragon Tattoo in my bag along with the time to read it. And when I get to the station Marae will be there listening to her ipod waiting to take me back to whatever hotel she's found for us. And we'll be meeting whatever fast friends she's already met since she got here before I did. And later tonight I'll put on a tee shirt and go out for drinks with them taking pictures of the sleeping city on my way out.