Friday, December 31, 2004

Long December

Well, it's over, almost.

I don't have much to say. I'm still trying to firm the Jello that is my brain.

I work early tomorrow, must sleep soon.

Have a happy.


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Old Friend


One of my best friends from high school got her picture in the paper.


I saw her briefly last year. A few hours. I rode with her to the place where everyone had food. It was a short, but nice talk.

I miss those talks.

I hope she's well and that everything ends in her favor.

Thanks, Wings, for pointing this out.

Wonderful Writin'

I heard 'A Fool for Christmas' as I was driving to my parent's house Christmas eve and knew that I had to encourage all of you to take a listen. Allan Gurganus wrote it. I've never read anything by him before, but I'm keeping my eyes open for his name.

Give it a listen, you won't be disappointed. And when you're done, if you've enjoyed it, pass it along to a couple of other people.

PS If I could write like this, I'd be too good to be hanging around here. (Just like Warren Ellis, if you've read his most recent post.)


The heater's working, but I'm still cold.

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Get it?

I'm doing my best not to get out of bed today. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


So, I'm nearly done with my nondenominational Christmas shopping. Just have to buy a gift for one more person and I'm all finished. Hopefully tomorrow.

To get this close to being finished, I went out today. I braved The Mall parking lot (I walked through it) to get to the same stores every mall in the USA have. It was crowded in and out, very crowded.

I don't mind the crowds.

I think they're fun.

Almost everyone rushing around as if this is the most important thing they have in their lives. People trying to push through the group of three ladies barely moving, but trying to push without actually touching or just asking one to move to the side. The screaming kids with the purple faces in strollers being pushed by parents who pretend not to hear anything. The man, in his forties, who takes his place at the end of a ten person line and says, "I can't believe how crowded it is. Was it this crowded last year? I don't think it was. The crowds just get worse every year. It was never like this when I was a kid."

All this makes me laugh.

I never try to be in such a rush that I can't slow down to the speed of the three ladies in front of me. Screaming kids who look like they're heads are about to explode make me laugh. And the guy at the end of the line is wrong, it's been this bad for years.

Problems go away, they just shift to a different location for a while.

* * *
I made two mistakes today.

The first one was buying myself something that can easily be a gift from someone. I bought myself the second volume of Mickey Mouse in black and white. There was only one left in the store and I couldn't pass it up. I'm sorry if someone out there bought it for me, but I've opened mine. I couldn't help myself. I wasn't thinking.

Visiting a bookstore was my other mistake. I haven't been in a bookstore, off campus, of course, since some time in October. I have a problem: I like to buy books. After ten minutes in the store, I found myself carrying seven books and had to remind myself that I was looking for gifts for others, not myself. In the end, I found some gifts there for other people and bought myself only two. It was hard, but a decision I'll have to live with.

Tomorrow, out for the last gift and then off to work in the evening.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Thursday, December 16, 2004


This was supposed to be up Tuesday night, but something was wrong with the 'net. So, here it is.

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

More Renders

Since I'm not going to be posting any comics this week, (DAMN!) here are thumbnails of the other renders I turned in to my teacher, click 'em to see 'em. Hope you like 'em.

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The last one here was the last one I did, and it was more for me than for the class.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Yesterday, I had decided to not go to school next semester, right? Well, today, I'm not so sure.

I woke up early, for a day off, and headed straight to campus to try and finish my project. Around 1:30ish, a guy came in and was interested in what I was doing. He stared giving me some advice to make it look better and it really helped. Then he turned on his laptop and started showing what he's done in the character class. Gorgeous. What he's doing is only one step away from why I took this class in the first place. Now I'm questioning whether I made the right decision. Maybe I'll go back for another semester and learn more, get better, and still work for 'Bucks.


It's the last one that's a killer.

Slackbastard mentioned getting a bonus on his last paycheck, I didn't get one. I didn't expect to get one because I had left 'Bucks for a few months last year and I figured that one of those months would be where they started to measure the year of employment from. The month they choose was September. So, no extra $250 for me.

I am a Charlie Brown.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Some Stuff

For the few of you who seem to care, I won't be posting a comic until Thursday, if all goes well, or Friday, if all does not. Finals are upon us and my project is due Friday because they decided to make the Friday classes short by a week (not counting Thanksgiving or Veteran's Day), and I have to rush to render my pictures. I'm spending all day tomorrow at school and all day after work on Thursday at school, working. It should turn out well, though.

There are two classes that I want to take next semester. Unfortunately, they both start after 5PM, and I'm not so great at the night class thing. I'm thinking, maybe I won't take any classes next semester. (The first regular semester I haven't been in school since I was in Kindergarten.) Maybe move away from Cowcity. Where to? Unknown. Where are there jobs for me that will pay me enough that I won't need a roommate anymore?

On another note, I reading the Wheel of Time books again. Twice, since I started the first book, people have stopped me to tell me that I'm reading a good book. I let them tell me all about how good it was and didn't say that this is my third time reading (most of) them. I can't say that to people anymore. When I read the Deathgate Cycle again earlier this semester, a girl got all excited and wanted to tell me about the other books, but I said that I'd already read the books and just wanted to read them again. She looked at me like I had called her a moron or something. So I don't say things like that anymore, when I think about it, at least.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Happily ever after?

What happened after How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Click to find out and listen to the link.


Today, I completed, what I consider, the last day of my first year back at 'Bucks. I've been worked at least three days a week, except for my first week in Cowcity in January, for 'Bucks for the past 366 days. Yesterday began a new year for when I turned in an application to get rehired. Today began a new year for the first day I got paid again for doing stuff at a 'Bucks, filling out paperwork for an hour. Tomorrow begins a new year making drinks for people.

I only worked five hours, and spent them in a decent mood. When GIESW told a customer she was off for the last couple of days, I said I thought she was off all the time and made my crinkled retard face, hand flying up to my chest; we all laughed. I told FLIG that if she got me a hippopotamus for Christmas (no rhinoceros-us-uses, please) I'd help her find people for her white slavery ring; I laughed, GIESW laughed, and FLIG looked me up and down and asked to see my teeth first. When The Manager started to tell me about what a wonderful time OWGAWE is having in Italy, I said that OWGAWE just wants to make us all jealous so she can feel better about herself while we all feel worse; The Manager tried to argue, but couldn't. I loaned GGWB my Popular discs and was happy to make her smile.

A whole year with this company again. All day, I keep asking myself how I did it. How did I survive a year serving coffee to people when only 10%, on a good day, seem to actually appreciate it? And then I remind myself that I need money--to have a place to live, a car to drive, food to eat, comics to read, TV to watch--and no where else will hire me and suddenly, it doesn't seem so hard, just desperate.

This was...

...supposed to go up yesterday, but the 'net was down at the apartment.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

No More November

Yesterday, I woke up with a horrible headache. The kind of headache that leaves the pit of your stomach gurgling, as if you’re going to throw up, even if you hadn’t eaten since two the afternoon before. I wish I could say it was from fun, but it wasn’t. It was from driving about 240 miles the day before, then closing, then getting up the next morning to be to work by seven. Aspirin and Tylenol had no effect. Nothing could counter the power of the aching head, except for sleep, which was had in a moderate amount, since it seems impossible for me to actually “sleep in,” whatever that is.

I spent my Thanksgiving time with my family. Drove to my parent’s house (120ish miles) on Wednesday; they drove me and one brother to my great-uncle’s house for dinner and familial harassment. Much food was consumed, by me. I got a headache from the junk turkeys get injected with, but the turkey was scrumptious. I ate two kinds of cheese cakes, which were disappointing but tasty at the same time. Friday, I drove back to Cowcity (120ish miles) ‘cause I had to open the freakin’ store on Saturday. Saturday was my grandma’s 80th birthday, but I just went to work, came back to my apartment, ate something, and slept. Sunday, I drove to my grandparent’s house (120ish miles) to see them, and my parents again, for a sort of birthday treat for my grandma. We hugged hello, talked, laughed, talked, ate chicken, talked, ate ice cream, talked, and hugged good-bye. I drove back to Cowcity (120ish miles) straight to work ‘cause I had the privilege of closing the store Sunday night. Loverly.

Even if I stood naked, I couldn’t count the times I was asked what I want to do on my visible appendages. I pride myself on being honest, I try to always tell the truth, but I rarely tell everything. (I think I’ve written of this before, someone will have to check to be sure, though.) I had two stock answers: 1. The joke: “I want to win the Lotto and never have to worry about money again.” and 2. The avoid: “I don’t know what I want to do.” with an eye roll, if the person wasn’t watching. Here’s the problem: both are true and false. The first, I know will never happen. I don’t gamble, unless it’s with friends, and never win anything, so I never play the Lotto. (When I turned 18 and got some lottery tickets, I was disappointed because I didn’t want them. I let my brother scratch ‘em off and didn’t win.) The second is partially true because I have an idea for something that I’d like to do, but if I told anyone (and I mean anyone out there) I’d just worry them, which is why I won’t be specific in telling them and which is why I wouldn’t do it until I’m sure it wouldn’t worry them. When would that be? Never, so it’ll never be done.

So, any family and friends curious, as long as you keep asking me what I want to do, or simply asking what I want, I’ll continue to tow the Me Party line. “I want to win the Lotto.” and “I don’t know.” I understand that even with this warning, the next time I see you, I’ll be asked, but now you can’t say I haven’t warned you, unless, of course, you don’t actually read this, then you don’t know. Oh, well.

When I was little, probably seven or eight, I decided that, unless I was sick, I wasn’t allowed to complain about the weather being cold until there was frost on the ground. Why did I do this to myself? I don’t know, but it’s one of the few rules I’ve lived by for a long, long time. Anyway, this morning, I found my car coated in the frozen water we call frost. I could finally complain about the cold, if I felt the need. Great. I turned on the car, pulled out a bottle of water, always in the back, and washed the frost off the windows. I settled into the seat, shifted into drive, and started off. I watched the window fog up, and turned on the heater. Nothing. I twisted the knob from 1 to 4, maybe the fan was too low. Nothing. I pulled my sleeve over my hand and wiped the fog off. Stop light. I hit the dash board, pushed the button for the AC. Nothing. No heat in my car for the drive to work. Fingers going numb by the time I got there.

I think, on the way back to the apartment, the heater worked. I think. I didn’t have to use it, the car had been sitting in the sun the whole day. I suppose I’ll have to find out early Wednesday when I go to work early, early, early again.

So, like September before it, November has come to its end in only thirty days. Now it is no more. And I won’t be shedding a tear.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Monday, November 22, 2004

This week's comics.

Well, this week's comics have gotten out of hand. It's grown and taken a life of it's own. I may not finish it until after turkey day (if I don't finish it tomorrow and can't work on it at my parent's house).

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Thursday, November 04, 2004


I'm an idealist who wraps himself in a tortilla of cynicism. I'm a burrito that's sour on the outside, but sweet on the inside.

I believe that people want to help people more than themselves. I believe that people are more full of love and compassion than they are of fear and jealousy. I believe that, whether you believe in a form or creationism or evolution, humankind all comes from the same place and is therefore the same with only superficial differences. These are some of the things that a deep inside me, things that I'm pretty sure I Know. (Yeah, I used the big "K" there, and I think I meant it.)

The problem is that every time I see a person spit on the homeless or say how much he or she hates another person because of a new cell phone or throw trash out of a car I'm afraid that I'm getting a real view of the world. A world where it's everyone for his or herself. A world where killing for dirt is acceptable. A world where fear is the main motivator.

Sure, the idea of fear being the main motivator for everything is funny when it comes from Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, but in the real world, it's horrible. If it's all fear, then there really isn't love, love is what we claim we have because we're afraid of being alone or afraid that we can't protect our young. Maybe love is just a joke we play on ourselves to keep the species going. If it's all fear, then what's the reason to go on?

Fear is one of the main reasons that I didn't like either of the two main candidates for President. Both used it. Both wanted us afraid of how it is out there. Both wanted us too afraid to vote for the other person. Both claimed to be carrying a message of hope, but, despite what other's will say, the only hope that they're offering is to back off on the fear, a little, but not enough to make us feel really safe. All either had to say was "Remember September eleventh" and we all slid back into the fear we experienced that day, and both invoked that fear too much.

I went into this election expecting my guy to lose (read this post). I'm not proud of this type of negativity, but I was just being honest. And to continue with that honesty, even if my guy had won, I don't think much would change after he and his crew of white folk moved in. (Hell, I don't think it would change if any of the guys had been elected, and that includes a guy like Michael Badnarik, he had so many stars in his eyes he has no idea how it all works.) Middle class taxes wouldn't have been cut, seeing the other party is in control of the branch that really makes money decisions. Jobs still would have flowed over seas. Other nations wouldn't respect us, only fear and pity us. There would still be problems with Iraq, even if the elections in that nation happened on time. North Korea would still be brandishing it's nukes to show that it shouldn't be ignored. Iran would still be enriching Uranium and Plutonium to build weapons (I don't care what they say, any nation with any kind of nuclear program is attempting to make weapons right along with the development for energy). Israel would still be imposing its own special form of apartheid. Palestine would still be firing rockets and sending in the bombers. The genocide would continue in Africa. And here in the U.S., we'll be afraid of a threat that we can't see, but know is there because that's what we're told.

Even, maybe especially, if my guy had been elected this so called "War on Terror" would continue. There's finally the perfect threat, one that remains undefined but can be proved to exist based on what happens elsewhere. Unlike the Soviet Union, this threat won't go away. We can't out spend it and force it into bankruptcy. Napalm can be made with gasoline and concentrated orange juice, two fairly cheap things we're not likely to run out of here or in any "first world" country, right? The local grocery store is a breeding ground for terrorism. The hardware store sells black powder. Manure can be turned into a bomb. Every day I hear about the insurgents in Iraq using homemade weapons against civilians and troops. (And I rather save a civilian's life first because the troops are supposed to be there to help and protect the weak and innocent, right?) Couldn't that happen right here? Wasn't that supposed to have happened when the Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (by only one guy, right)? Couldn't it happen again? Not just again, but here in the U.S.? Are we ever going to be safe again?

This is the kind of fear that's being used to control us. Vague threats: "The Terror Level is being raised from yellow to orange." "We have reason to believe that there is a plot out there." "The holidays are the perfect time for an attack to happen." "It is imperative that we protect ourselves from them." But these sentences instill fear every time they're heard. Why?

The day after those planes crashed into those towers, my aunt was afraid to let her children go to school. She lives in a county three thousand miles from New York, New York. This county has about 60,000 people in it, less people that the city I'm not living in. The sign that announces entry into the town she lives in says it has 190 (I think)people. She shouldn't have been afraid, but she was. She was afraid because all over it could be heard that no one was safe, that we're all at risk, that any of us could be next. Now, that's the way to instill fear into a population. And that sort of fear is still being used.

I know fear. I fight it each time talk to a person I've just met. I fight it when I drive my car. I fight it all the time. The thing is, I do my best not to let it rule me. I didn't want to get out of bed today, but I did. I didn't want to go to work, but I did. I didn't want to go to school, but I did. I didn't think it was a good idea to write this, but I did.

I fear that the universe is a dark, uncaring place where it doesn't really matter what you do, but I hope that the meaning we bring to it can really make it better.

I don't know if that's true and I can't promise that I'm doing my part to make it true, but I hope I am.

And with all that out of my system, I'm going to announce a small hiatus on this blog thing. I'm still going to post the comics twice a week and interesting links and, hopefully, the occasional story (Ada's getting sick of dancing with Derrick), but I'm not going to do this personal stuff. I'm just not feeling it at the moment.

I'm not really feeling much of anything at the moment.

Good night.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Pool of Drool

If I was a drinker, I'd be passed out on the floor of the living room in a pool of my own drool right now. Since I'm not, I'm going to try to fall asleep my normal way, worried about the world coming to an end. Hopefully, I'll get some good news in the morning.


Out of the few of you who read this and live in the US and are 18 or older, go and VOTE! I don't care who you vote for. I just want you to do it. Go. Touch those screens or fill in those little bubbles, completely with that #2 pencil. Sure, it's fucking stupid to have Election Day on a Tuesday, instead of Saturday or Sunday, but that's one of the purposeful problems the white guys who founded this nation created. Prove to whitey that people can over come the stupidity.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Paradox and Maybe

I'm working six days this week because, apparently, I'm a "sweet-heart." Personally, I think it's because I'm a sucker and I have trouble saying "No" to people, especially people of the female gender.

More money is always good, but more hours are not. A horrible paradox.

I don't know whether to classify this as a good or bad thing. I didn't have to do this, I could have told her where to put certain coffee making equipment, but instead I said I'd take the hours. Now I won't be watching the TV that I want to watch because I should get some sleep so I can function early in the morning and then at class after. I didn't though. I said I'd do it. Damn women and their ability to exploit my weak will and make my insides go squishy, even over the phone, damn them.

Speaking of women, Maybe Katie hasn't been in the store since last Wednesday or Tuesday, I can't remember. I remember her drink, finally, and was hoping to be granted the gift of a smile from her, but that has not been. The day I remembered her name, the smile was huge, the eyes flashed, and she spoke to me. My insides melted and I was giddy for the next hour. I sang her song for the rest of the day. On the days she came in to the store and I was steamin' milk, I stole glances at her from behind the bar. I wonder if she noticed? I doubt it. I wonder if she'll be there tomorrow? My insides could use a good melting.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Auf Wiedersehen October

So, I got a call this evening, somewhere after six, and it was an offer to take my shift tomorrow. I did the math in my head: leaving at that moment, I’d get to The Bay by eight; being very, VERY generous, I'’d find my brother’s place by nine; I bet the party would peter out by midnight. I’'d sleep, wake-up, and fight evil daylight traffic for a whole three hours of visiting, if I was lucky. Sorry bro, but that just isn't worth it. I guess I can aim for a few days off in January to spend a few days in The Bay, if one of the brothers has a parking space I can borrow for that time, do you?


After work today, I stopped by the store to get some candy, just In case the kiddies decided to stop by. Only one did. He wore some sort of army thing. Maybe he was G.I. Joe, or something. I gave him four peanut butter cups. The rest are on the coffee table. If the Roommate doesn'’t eat them before I get back from work (or school, depending), they’re going in the freezer because I think chocolate is better frozen and peanut butter is good any time.


Also, after work, I spent money that I had no good reason to spend, but I figured, since I wasn't going to The Bay, I should do something that I want. I bought the first season of Popular. I doubt many of you know this show, but I liked it. I watched a few of my favorites tonight. For me, I spent my money well. I hope to laugh some more, tomorrow.


The festival is long over. The Day of the Dead is nigh. Egg nog starts being served tomorrow. Truly, the “holiday” season come earlier each year.

So long, October.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

What If...?

A couple of days ago, I started reading the newest book by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It's good. Slow at the beginning because it's more about building the world than about major plot, which is the way many of their trilogies start. Now that I'm almost finished, the book has built to a point where it was hard for me to put it down, but I promised my brother that I'd find his monkey comics, and figured I'd better do it before I forgot.

Writing about the book wasn't really what I wanted to say, though. It's just a way to get on to the point. See in this book--which is fantasy, of course--the mages are also the holy men, the ones who commune with the Gods and value knowledge and wisdom. If the king in the books wasn't a scholar who loved his books, the mages would keep and revere the library. All mages, from novices to masters can be seen in the library reading the books and scribbling notes on sheets of vellum.

This got me to think about history.

I think that if I had been born a thousand or so years ago, I would have tried to become a monk of some kind. I hope that, born in that time period, I'd have the curiosity that I have now, wanting to know "Why?" about nearly everything. I've been imagining myself curled over a large oak desk, stained with years of wax dripped from candles, reading a huge tome filled with things I'd never imagined. I get careless with my own candle, dripping wax on the book, smearing it in my haste to clean the page. And then I scribble something down on a piece of something, anything at hand, maybe my hand. I think I'm clever, I've seen a connection that no one else has. I'm not sure how deep my faith in a higher power is, but I need some to continue to be around more knowledge than the average person could imagine.

It's not the greatest fantasy, I know, but it's an honest one. I don't hold to the illusions that time back then was really better for anyone (I like running water), but I like to think that instead of being a pushover--like the average person in any time period--I'd work to learn and understand and think; that I would have sought out the priest hood so I could do this learning.

Is that what would have happened? I don't know. Part of me doubts it and thinks I would be stuck doing what ever my father did before me.

It's fun to imagine.

Summed Up In One Word

This one's really about yesterday, but you understand, right?

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And I was there for only five and a half hour (but was supposed to leave before five happened).

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fish Sticks and Other Things

So, I bought a box of fish sticks the last time at the store, big ones. The box proudly proclaims that it now contains "10% more." That brings the count up to 11. Is everyone impressed? I know that that 10% could keep a starving family fed, but I intend to eat it myself.


Two weeks ago, I wrote this e-mail to a friend. Well, it was a response, actually. This e-mail included a lot of me bashing myself, even though it was totally off topic for the letter and I insisted that I didn't want a response about the me bashing stuff. For that, I'm sorry. (I recently reread the letter and feel like I was a complete ass for sending it.) I didn't mean to lay it all on you because no one really needs that kind of stuff thrown at them by people who claim to be a friend. Sorry, but I still don't need to read stuff for people that says "You aren't." or "You shouldn't think that way." or something else that tries to stop me from thinking about myself the way I think about myself.

See, I don't have, by anyone's terms, high self-esteem. I think I have a fairly realistic view of myself (here's me interviewing me, for those who missed it), in most ways, and the way I am and what I do (or don't do) in my life are not helpful to boost my esteem in myself.

My Dad would say something along that lines that we are who we want to be and if we want to be better than what we are then we have to work at it. We have to set realistic goals that will help us to become who we want to be. We have to work toward those goals and work hard. As long as we do that, we'll become the person we want, or an even better person than who we thought we wanted to be.

I'm not sure I believe that and I'm not going to try. For the most part, I'm comfortable with who I am. I think I have an understanding of who and what I am. I rarely get lonely because I can be a decent conversationalist when I'm comfortable with the person I'm talking to. I try not to be needy and don't grasp for emotional support from friends or family or strangers; I deal with it myself (or roll it into a big lump, swallow it, and let it live in the hole in my stomach). When I notice myself doing something that could potentially become OCD behavior, I do my best to stop it. I like babies (even if they do all look like insects until the age of one) and animal (many are quite tasty). And I hope for the best in everyone, but avoid them at most costs in case I'm wrong. Is that so wrong?


I'm invited to my brother's Halloween party in the Bay this Sunday. I want to go, but am pretty sure I won't be able to. I don't know next week's schedule, but I usually open on Monday's (or go in a 5AM) because there are only two or three of us peons willing to cover that shift. Odds are, I'll be scheduled to be there early and won't be able to trade the day away. So which is more important: Going to party? or Getting money for rent and something that I really want to do?

Yeah, going to the party is more important, but I sort of need money. I think I'll stick with work and just write on my hand some more.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Work Stuff

So, GWKMA was fired from 'Bucks on Saturday. I'm going to miss her. She was fun, even if she kicked me each time we worked together. She was also a good and hard worker.

"Why was she fired?" someone vaguely interested may ask.

She was fired because she was chronically late, on the days she didn't open. Not real late, usually between three and ten minutes. Enough time for every one to notice she was missing, but not enough time to have to try and call her and wake her up.

Well, The Manager and Assistant Manager #1 made this decision. (Assistant Manager #2 is in Europe, or just now flying back, and they even held a supervisor meeting without her. Were the things that they needed to talk about and make decisions about so important that they couldn't have waited until Tuesday? It seems strange to me that and Assistant Manager would be left out. Maybe I'm wrong.) Now we at the store are stuck with this decision.

If I had been out to fire someone, it would be the new guy who doesn't seem to want to work. Sure, he's a nice enough guy, but he's always late and he tries to trade away all his days. On Thursday, he called me to take his Saturday and, maybe trade Sunday with him. Sunday, I found out that he traded his Friday with someone, then showed up, at the beginning of what would have been his shift, to get his paycheck. Hell, his third day there, he was supposed to open with me and #2, but didn't show up. At five, we got a call and it was him, calling in sick. And he seems to take my lack of talking when we work together in a strange way and keeps asking me if I'm alright. I tell him the truth and say, "No, I'm at work. I'm not paid to be 'alright.'"

Sure, he's a decent fellow, but not someone I want there in a rush. Oh well.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Party On Down, Bitch

This evening, I made an effort. I went to a sort of birthday celebration for FLIG and GIESW. It was suppose to be mini-golf until 8ish, but it's been raining all day. So, it turned into drinking at GIESW's mother's house.

No, I didn't drink. I have a good reason not to, so I don't do it.

After, everyone, except for me, headed out to a bar to drink much, much more and dance the night away. I open tomorrow. I'm going to sleep.

The important think is, I made an effort.

Please, someone, be proud.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


I filled my car up today. $30 to fill the tank. This tank is only 13 gallons, when empty. It's funny to think that I was pissed when prices climbed over $1.50 a gallon.

I'm angry and hungry.

I need to cook.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

School Work

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usAnyone, other than me and my parents, interested in seeing the work I'm doing in school?

This is my favorite thing (click on it to see it much larger) I've done in the computer painting (or whatever it's called in the catalogue) class. We use a program called Painter and use a stylus to do the drawing. Even after two months, I'm not comfortable using a stylus. I'm less comfortable using it to draw than I am a regular pencil, but I'm doing it. That counts, right?

In today's updates: I jumped in five puddles which sent the water cascading in every direction. I also watched a woman, driving a car, creep up to a puddle, that was at least six inches deep, then peel out. She created quite a wave. Through the windshield, I could see her hysterically laughing. I applauded.

Monday, October 18, 2004


The worst thing about voting on an absentee ballot is not getting that keen sticker that says "I Voted" on it. I like those stickers. Sure, I just stick them to things that aren't actually me, but it nice. It's like going to the doctor and getting a balloon (or, if they're out of balloons, a blown-up glove) or going to the dentist and getting a cheap little toy. You get a reward for doing something that you should want to do. Voting absentee, you don't get that reward, you just get the time to research the ballot measure and the candidates as you vote, which is a luxury you don't get in the little booth thing.

I hope the rest of you, who are livin' in America, are gonna vote in fifteen days. If you get out there, you'll get a sticker.

Three in One

I was originally going to post these on three different days, but couldn't bring myself to be that cruel.

Here you go:

Image Hosted by

Image Hosted by

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This happened a couple of months ago. It was the first non-insect animal I've killed with my car. Hopefully, it'll be the last.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Sorta Workin'

I've been working on this week's comics all day. I'm nearly finished, but have to go to work. So, this is all the post you get. However, comics will be up in the morning if I finish them after work. Cross your fingers. (If you like the strips, that is. If you don't, you don't have to.)

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Of Cream and Soup

Entered the store after work today.

I needed supplies to complete the cooking of potato soup for dinner.

This part of the trip was a success. Items needed to complete soup procured. Soup cooked in the evening and consumed shortly after completion.

I also went in search of pumpkin ice cream.

This part of the trip was a failure. Ice cream flavored with pumpkin was not to be found in freezer section of store. When confronted with lack of pumpkin ice cream, guy in apron insisted that such a thing has never been made. I insisted that I ate too much of it when I worked at a sandwich shop that also served ice cream. I insisted that it tasted a lot like pumpkin pie, only creamier. Clerk look at me as if I was mad.

I walked to the register and paid for soup.

Search for pumpkin ice cream will continue.


I've made it, a whole year blogging.

I've posted 274 times, including this one.

I've kept my friend's informed about my life, such as it is.

I've not improved anything about myself.

I've written much about many different things, but don't know how much I've actually said.

I've accomplished my goals, since I set none, they were very simple to achieve.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Work as I know it.

Here's a letter sent to my place of employment (and every other store in the district) from the District Manager:

Creating the experience that keeps
People coming back relies on the
Magical combination of three things:
Our Products, Our Places and Our People

They come for coffee, stay for the inviting
Warmth, and
Return for the Very Human Connection

No Go Ahead, Welcome your next New

I guess only five-year-olds work in the district he's in charge of.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What do today's sky and the presidential debate have in common?

Today's sky was brown, which nicely matched the shit that came out of the candidates' mouths at the debate. I don't like these two guys any more than I did when it all started. In fact, I think I like them less. Does anyone else, who reads this and watched the debates, out there think it's sad that the debate between the Vice Presidential candidates had more substance than any of the other three? That was both a pleasant surprise, and a severe disappointment. American politics are confusing (and a bit stupid), but will effect the whole world, no matter what the other several billion people try to do.


One good thing came out of this final debate, I know who I'm voting for when my Absentee Ballot comes in the mail.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Today, I thought about not going to school anymore. I'm tired of the classes I'm taking this semester.

One class is making me do research on artists for "inspiration." This "inspiration" just makes me feel like a child. We had to draw still lifes for this class, mine looked like a four-year-old's pictures compared to the rest. The teacher liked the idea that I was using, but was not impressed with the actual artwork. I left very unhappy.

The other class requires a lot of outside work. I like the class. I like what we're doing. When I'm in front of the computer, building the models, the time disappears as if it were just an abstract notion created by man to force order on a chaotic universe. If the teacher doesn't lecture, the four-and-a-half hours of class are gone in an instant. If I had the program at the apartment, I don't think I'd be feeling so crushed. I could spend time after work on the projects, but I don't have it (cost $500+ for the student edition), so, if I want to work outside of class, I have to go to school and hope that there's room in the class for me to work.

I need someone out there to tell me that this is all for my own good, that it's a learning and growing experience, and that everything will get better. I need someone to do that so I can spit in his or her face and demand that he or she stop spreading such lies.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Happy Birthday

Today is the birthday of the person who was the best friend I ever had. (I still like the rest of you, but it's not the same, trust me.) Which isn't to imply that we aren't friends now, we just don't talk often. Apparently, she hasn't been connected to the internet recently and the phone number I have from her hasn't been used for more than a year. I saw her in February, we had lunch with another friend while I was in Oakland. We rushed through lunch because she had to be to work an hour after the restaurant opened, but it was nice.

How about a little history?

Second Grade:
We met in second grade. We had the same teacher.

Once, pretty early in the year, while sitting next to her and her best friend (at the time) we all talked together, each trying to make the other two laugh. We wouldn't shut-up. The teacher warned us several times, but we wouldn't stop. I remember laughing so hard tears came to my eyes. We all had a wonderful time, until the teacher told us we had to stay inside at recess. This was the first time I'd ever been in trouble like this in my life. (The only other time that came close was when I was practicing putting my middle finger up under the lunch table in first grade. Some jerk ratted on me. The lunch teacher confronted me while I ate my sandwich and I lied, telling her that I wasn't doing anything of the sort, and how could anyone see what anyone was doing under the table anyway. She said she was going to call my Mom, but didn't.) At recess, the three of us stayed in while everyone else ran out. Soon, the teacher said that she had to go to the office to make some copies, but we were to stay. As soon as she left, the two girls stood up and headed for the door. They turned to me and urged me to come with them, that we could play and be back before the teacher came back. Like now, I was a coward and told them to go on without me. The-one-who-was-to-be-my-best-friend asked if I'd tattle on them. I promised I wouldn't and they ran out of the room, laughing. I sat at my desk, looking at a picture book I'd borrowed from the library, wishing I'd gone with them.

In the spring, I walked with my, then, best friend (I'd met him on the walk home from the bus stop my first day of school and we were close friends until his family moved away. Parents break up more great friendships than anything else, I think.) around the soccer field, talking and sharing my fruit snacks. The-one-who-was-to-be-my-best-friend came over and started to beg for snacks. I wasn't gonna give them up to a girl for free, no matter how funny she was, so I told her I'd give her one fruit snack for each bad word she knew. She looked at me like she didn't trust me and asked how many snacks I had. I pulled a second pouch out of my pocket (which I'd snuck out while my Mom was making lunch for my little brother and trying to get the other one to eat breakfast) and wagged it in her face. She made me and my friend promise to never tell anyone about this (Oops!), ever. When we had her convinced, she said okay and stared rattling off all the words she knew. To this day, I'm stunned at how many she said. She must have said at least forty words that a seven-year-old isn't supposed to say, ever. In the end, I just tossed her the whole, unopened pack and handed her the rest in the one that I had been nibbling out of. That was the moment I knew she would make a good friend.

Third Grade:
We didn't have the same teacher, so I only saw her at recess. I remember playing lots of tag with her, my friend, and all of her friends. When she was "it" and caught up to me, I usually got pushed hard enough so I'd stumble, sometimes fall into the sand. There was lots of laughing on those days.

Fourth Grade:
My elementary school had opened a second campus, which only had one fourth grade class, so there were only thirty of us. We all had to be friends. Even the bullies were less bullying because they could alienate themselves from everyone too easily.

I was invited to her birthday that year. I was told that other boys were invited, but when I got there, it was just me, her, and some other girls. (In fifth grade, I was invited to another girl's birthday party and was told that there wouldn't be any other boys. I didn't want to go and was fortunate that my parents had planned a trip to Grandparents house that weekend. I did give her some soaps as a gift the Friday before her party, though.) We went horseback riding. It was my first and last time, even though I had fun. We rode on the trails made by deer and children around the neighborhood. We even rode through the creek. After that, we walked from The Stables, on the same trails we had just ridden on, back to her house, where we ate too much cake and ice cream, watched Beetlejuice, after the movie her dad put on the Harry Belafonte song, "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)," and we all danced, wildly. Afterward, it was getting late, the girls were staying to spend the night, but I had to leave, unless I "wanted to spend the night as [her] brother's friend." I didn't. It was bad enough I had spent the whole day with girls, but what would everyone at school think of me if I spent the night at a girl's house with a bunch of other girls. I wasn't going to be the one to find out.

That year, I spent many weekends over at her house: playing in the creek, playing Nintendo (I kicked Duck Hunt's ass, even if I sucked at every other game), running around on the trails. The thing that really sticks in my head is the way her little brother (he has two older sisters) would hide behind furniture and pounce on me. I'd walk down the hall from the bathroom to the family room, just passing the couch, when the black haired midget would come soaring down from the ceiling, knocking me to the floor, laugh crazily, and run away. Or we'd be on the couch in the family room watching TV or playing games and he fall from the ceiling onto me and she'd laugh just as hard as he would.

Fifth Grade:
Her mom took her and put her at the main campus in the district because her mom thought the teacher would be better. I saw her after Christmas. She called and wanted to know if I wanted to ride bikes. I rode up then down the big hill to her house. She had a new bike, a three speeder. We rode over to the school, the only flat pavement nearby, and she let me ride her bike. I learned how to shift gears there and to put the chain back on the sprocket when I popped it off. At one point, we talked about movies we'd seen recently and she wouldn't stop talking about The Little Mermaid. At one point. I remember telling her that I thought I was too old for cartoons (This came from the kid who still enjoyed the occasional episode of Sesame Street.), but she wouldn't stop. "It's so cute," she said. "So wonderful. You have to see it. It's just amazing." Eventually, I did see it, and she was right.

Sixth Grade:
The satellite campus only went up to the fifth grade, so I was now being bussed back to the main campus. Something had changed between her and me, though. She had this large group of girls and they didn't want to have anything to do with me and, therefore, she didn't want to have anything to do with me. Of course, I had my own circle of friends, so it didn't matter. We didn't have the same teacher, so I never really saw her except for those few moments when my small group of boys would square off with her group of girls in a battle of words, hurling insults at each other from twenty paces, no one left those matches unscathed. There was this one time, when she and her brother, who was friends with my youngest brother, spent the night at my house (my other brother had a friend over, too). We all slept in the garage. She had brought her Goosebumps books with her and we read them out loud holding flashlights until the early hours of the morning.

Seventh and Eighth Grades:
Both years, I only had advanced math with her and her closest friends and my closest friends, the two groups made up one third of the class, and the insult matches got very out of hand in there. One time, I was reading a book that was pressed so some of the pictures had texture to them. She took the book from me and said that the only reason I was reading the book was because I like to feel the boobs of the girl on the cover. I took it back and said that I'm a guy and I'm supposed to, what's her excuse. The teacher separated us that day. At the dance, after graduation, she was one of the four girls I danced with.

Ninth Grade:
I had joined band, but didn't know how to play an instrument. My soon-to-be-best-friend had been playing since fifth grade (maybe private lessons in the fourth, I can't remember), but I had quit in the sixth because the saxophone I was playing kept breaking, I'd blow, but no noise would come out. It didn't even work for the teacher the day he got so mad at me he threw his baton across the room. She helped me to relearn how to read music. At football games, we sat near each other, but still with our instrument groupings, and yelled obnoxious things at both teams. By the end, we spent most of our free time, at school, together.

Tenth Grade:
During the first half of the year, we were in zero period PE (a co-ed class) and a class called World Cultures together. (She was in the most advanced band class because she was excellent, I was not, so I was in the normal band class.) World Cultures had the most boring teacher in the world teaching it. He spoke in a monotone voice that put everyone to sleep. Early on, I got a detention in his class and decided I didn't like him at all. (One day, he told the class to do their homework because he had nothing else to do. I had finished my work, so I decided to read the school paper. He saw me turning a page and gave me detention for disturbing the class. Asshole.) A month later, she got a detention. At the semester break, she told me she was getting out of his class and into another. I decided to do the same. I used my influence over one of the assistant principals (who had been my English teacher the year before) to get my schedule changed; I then shared PE (and she had joined our car pool to this early class), English, and Math with her. In the English class, the desks nearest her and my other friends were empty, so I sat right behind her. We were quickly separated because we never shut-up. Of course, when the teacher put me in the back left corner and her in the front right one it only encourage the occasional yelling across the room. The Math teacher was a hippy pot-head, so he didn't care how loud we were as long as we turned in our homework. By the end of that year, I thought of her as my best friend. (And through her, I made met most of the other people who I consider close friends still.)

* * *

Okay, enough with the history, I just wanted to show how our friendship developed, but got a little lost in my memories.

Here's what I really wanted to get to:

We were close. We did nearly everything together. I think that 9 out of every 10 movies I saw in high school were with her. When she got her license (I didn't get mine until I was nineteen), she was gracious enough, most of the time, to give me a ride to school in the mornings and a ride home in the afternoon. She even allowed my younger brother to come with us and got him to school in time for his zero period English class. Each time there was a break in classes, we hung out together, often with other people, but we sat next to each other and usually had our own private, stupid conversation going on only occasionally poking our heads up to throw out a comment that would make everyone else laugh. She was the person I had the most fun around, even if we did have the occasional argument, mostly about me taking her driving me home for granted. (One of those days I scared her by hopping on the bus without letting anyone know where I was going. Apparently, she waited for me until after the busses left, something no student wants to do, when one of our other friends told her he had seen me on the bus. Boy, did that piss her off.)

I never thought of our friendship as anything but.

Two months after I started working for 'Bucks (nearly two and a half years ago) a guy who I didn't care for in high school came into the store, with some girl hanging off his arm. He was just one of those ordinary jerks who expects everyone to agree that he's as great as he thinks he is.

He recognized me right away. "[ticknart], do you remember me?" he asked. "Do you know who I am?"

"Yes," I said, hoping this wouldn't take long, "but the last time I saw you're hair was out to here and your beard out to here." His head had been shaved.

"Yeah, I was a real mountain man for a while," he chuckled. "How's [your best friend]?"

"She's doing good. She's a nurse. Likes her job. Makes lots of money."

"Good, good. So," he grinned, "have you two gotten married yet?"

"What?" The question caught me off guard. I must have looked horrified. "N-no, why would you think that we would get married?"

"Well, you were always together, you know, hanging out. Always. When you weren’'t in class, I don't think I ever saw the two of you apart. I just assumed that you were, you know, going out, and stuff."

"No," I said, shaking my head, my cheeks flushed. "No, we were only friends. None of that funny stuff. Just friends."

"That’s too bad. We all need a good woman at our side." He winked, pulled the girl close to him, and they walked out together.

I sat down on the floor, hard.

I thought about what he said and came to the conclusion that he was crazy.

* * *

When I was visiting my parents, a couple of weeks ago, my Mom asked how my old best friend was doing. I had to say that I didn't know because I haven't had an e-mail from her or anything since February. I said I didn't think she had the internet and that's why I hadn't heard from her.

"I ran into [her mom] a week or so ago," Mom said. "She said [you old best friend] just got internet hooked up, but didn't have it for a while. You should give it a try."


"It's funny. When we were talking, she said that for a while there she thought that you and [your best friend] would start going together."

My insides wanted to be on the outside.

"I told her that I thought the same thing, but figured that you two had just know each other for too long. Like you'd become brother and sister."

"Hmm," I said. I wanted to sit, but there was no where to sit.

* * *

That's been in me for a while, but I thought that today was the best day to get it out. I'm not sure what to think, but it makes me wonder what all the rest of the people thought. I have to admit, that I never thought anything like it. I knew, in high school, being who and what I am, that I would never get to first base with a girl, so I pushed most thoughts of romance out of my brain. Why think about something you won't get?

* * *

In the end, Happy Birthday to the one who was the best friend I've ever had. I don't want to know what I would have ended up being like if I had never known you. You made high school bearable and often fun.

Thank You.

And Happy Birthday.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Other Person's Stuff

Just checked my e-mail and Dad sent me this great column. It's by Mark Morford at the SF Gate. I've included my favorite paragraph here. Click on the title to read the whole thing.

It Will All Be Over Soon
BushCo? Kerry? SUV gluttony? Your last orgasm? All flashes in the geological pan, baby. Don't forget.

This is how we are wired. This is only what we see. The long view is clearly not our forte, a sense of the celestial a concept we just can't quite taste. We forget, for example, how relatively quickly regimes rise and neoconservative empires fall and populations overturn and how nearly every single human biped now alive and walking and spitting and parallel parking and consuming Big Macs and not watching ABC sitcoms on the planet today will be very much completely dead within a short 100 years, if not sooner.

Hope you check it out.

No Work! No School!

This is the first time this has happened since I went to see my parents, and there was only one that weekend, in which I helped set-up the party for my Dad.

Today was suppose to be a day of cleaning. The kitchen smells like vomit because of the dishes in the sink. The floor of my room is covered in books, comics, magazines, mail, and papers; the plan was to clean it up.

Did I do this? NO!

Last night, I was up until three, writing one of those letters that will never be sent. I slept until nine this morning, missing all the good cartoons. I finished a book. I screwed around with Illustrator. I answered some e-mail. I watched the last two episodes of Firefly, again.

I didn't accomplish a thing.

I'm not sure if this was a good day.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Only A Dream

Late last night, or early this morning, I was in the food court at the mall savoring a cup of blue and orange ice cream. There was a cow at the table behind me. A penguin swam in a pot of boiling water at another table. Two chairs got nasty with each other like only chairs can. Steve Martin skated by wearing a balloon hat in the shape of a penis. The railing cried, dripping tears onto the first floor. The elevator wouldn't open its door. And I ate my ice cream with a plastic knife because spoons had never really existed.

I ignored most of this as I watched the girl behind the ice cream counter. The girl who had served me. She had short black hair, pulled back, tight, by her cap. Her eyes were gray, but when the light hit them just right, they shone brighter than polished silver. The round, green, wire-frame glasses constantly slipped down her nose as she reached down to get a scoop for the spook. Her tongue stuck out of the side of her mouth. Sharp nose pointing the way. Beauty.

I remembered how she had flirted with me behind the counter. She took her hat off, her hair fell forward as she looked away from me, it covered her whole face, and when she brushed it back she smiled, her eyes flashed silver. As I ordered, hands on top of the freezer, she put her hand on mine, winked, and grinned again. Electricity passed between us and I counted 27 teeth. I held money out for her, but she ran her hand gently up and down my fore arm before taking the cash out of my hand. My body shivered. As she handed me the change, she looked at me like she wanted me to come back there and help melt the ice cream.

I took my change and paper cup and found a table.

Sitting there, I kept stealing glances. Once in a while, I'd see her looking at me, our eyes would meet then we'd look away quickly.

I heard something, somewhere, tell me that I loved her, that she loved me, that we loved each other. The cow whinnied. The penguin complained that it was too cold. I wiped my face on my arm. I tried to get up, but couldn't. "You love each other," the voice screamed. "Go to her."

John Kerry threw a punch at Edwards. Cheney's tongue slid down Bush's throat. I stood up and took a step toward her, to tell her...

The alarm went off and I opened my eye and saw her face reflected on the ceiling in the early morning light.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

This Is It

Most days, nothing really happens, but I blog it, or something else entirely, anyway. Today, this is all you get.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Silver Lining

Sunday, in the early afternoon, my brain shut down. It still hasn't reset.

Today started off right where yesterday ended, me with an exploded head. Unfortunately, I was expected to still make drinks. I did okay. On autopilot, I get 95% of the drinks called to written and completed correctly. The rest of me was waiting for its turn to explode. That never came.

Today was a day that wouldn't end. I got there at 5AM and three hours later it still wasn't six. A new person was being trained. For the longest time, she stood off to the side and stared at those of us actually working. She's not allowed to handle money, she hasn't completed that module in her book yet. She's not allowed to make hot drinks, she hasn't completed that module. She's not allowed to make cold drinks, guess why. She's not allowed to do anything except grind, scoop, clean, and play with pastries. Why schedule her for 7 hours and not have her work on the modules?

Round about noon-thirty--manager hidden in back, trainee gone, ASGG (who was the shift supervisor) off somewhere--two gangly, probably high school guys, walked into the store with attitude. Both hunched over, sullen eyes roaming around the store as if looking for someone to challenge them. They thought they were better than everyone in the place and wanted a chance to prove it. I started to grin, I knew they were both idiots and had yet to do anything to really earn the attitude, unless you think it's really hard to ditch school.

DFFB stepped up to the register. I meandered from cleaning a corner to the bar and picked up a pen. "Hey guys, what can we get for you?" asked DFFB in a cheery voice he can always summon.

"Tell me how much is left on this," said the scruffier of the two, flicking a card at DFFB's face.

DFFB ran it and told them the total. Scruffy ordered.

"What about me?" asked the other. "Can I get something, too?"

Scruffy took a few steps back, gestured his friend to follow, they hunched over even more, and started to whisper.

Scruffy stood up. "My friend wants a strawberry thing, how much will that be?" he demanded.

DFFB told him the new total and said, "You need ten more cents."

"Can you spot us?" asked Scruffy.

"I don't have money to buy your drink," said DFFB

Scruffy got red in the face, "Can we take it out of here?"

"Those are our tips, there's no way you're taking it from there."

Scruffy stepped back and turned around, trying to burn the store down with his eyes. "Can you spot us ten cents?" he asked the couple next in line.

They didn't answer.

I stepped over to DFFB and asked if I should make the drinks.

Scruffy spotted me. "Give me ten cents for my drinks," he demanded.

"Any money I bring to work," I said, "won't be spent on drinks I get for free."

Scruffy got redder. The guy behind him gave DFFB a dime. I made the drinks. When I handed them out, Scruffy looked like he wanted to hit me in the nose. My grin was huge.

I made more drinks, many more drinks. After finishing, I wiped down the counters I'd dirtied and looked out the window. There was Scruffy and his friend sitting outside at the table nearest the back door, smoking. Scruffy spoke, his hands gestured at the parking lot. Scruffy's friend moved his left hand across the table, hiding something in his hand that he didn't want the parking lot to see, but clearly visible through the window. It was a joint. I started to chuckle.

"What's up?" asked DFFB.

"Those two morons are out there smoking a joint," I stammered out between laughing fits. "They're trying to hide it, but I saw it through the window."


"Yup," I said, turning back to watch the idiots.

A few seconds later, ASGG asked, "What's that you said earlier?"

"Those retards out there are smoking a joint, trying to hide it, but I can see it through the window," I said.

"Are you sure it's not a rolled cigarette?"

"If it is, they're rolling it in a really strange way, and really thing. It's a joint. Damn, they're stupid."

ASGG's face flushed. He hurried over to the trash, grabbed a bag, and nearly ran to the back door. He disappeared around the corner to ditch the trash. I watched him come back, breathing deeply as he passed the table. Three steps away, he turned and spoke to the two 'tards.

Scruffy's friend stood up and started walking away. Scruffy stood and looked at ASGG and began making broad gestures with his hands.

ASGG narrowed his eyes and said (I could read his lips), "We don't want you smoking that here. Get the fuck away from here and never come back."

I laughed so hard, my sides hurt.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


*herk* *hack* *cough*

Too early. Too damned early. Worked too damned late. Want to crawl into bed and slip into coma. Need money.

Damned if do.

Damned if don't.

*sigh* *cough* *cough*


Saturday, October 02, 2004


Today, I work until 9:30 in the PM. Tomorrow, I'm supposed to be at work at 6:00 in the AM. Not an unheard of schedule that's well within the rules of scheduling, but not fun. I just keep reminding myself that I have to put up with this to get to next Friday and Saturday, which I have off. Two days off in a row for me, when I didn't even have to ask, has been unheard of at this store. Of course, I have the karma of Charlie Brown, so I'm not going to get overly excited about those two days. Now to waste time before work.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bye, Bye September

Well, once again it is the end of a month. What does that mean? Well, nothing, except that another is on the way in the odd cycle some Roman guys imposed on us several hundred years ago.

At work today I looked at my hands and they seemed small. I mean really small. Like they should be at the end of a child's arms instead of a sort-of man's. Maybe it was just my perspective, or something, there's no way for me to know. They just seem so small. I suppose the pudginess around the fingers doesn't help. They still look small to me. After all, it's true what they say. *sigh*

The best thing about this month is the comic strip thing. So far, I'm doing good, two a week. Eight posted. That makes me happy. They're fun for me to do and, I hope, they're fun for you people out there in Internetville to look at. More or less, this really is me and the way I spend my time. Not exciting, but it looks good, right. Yup, it's fun. Maybe, one day, I'll be able to make money off of things like this. I'm not going to hold my breath, mind you. If I did, I'd pass out and probably miss posting a strip. Fun stuff.

Also, at work, I hit my elbow, really hard, right in the not-so-funny bone. I hit it so hard, that it still hurts. When I tried to lean, head on hand and elbow on desk, on it at school, I yelped. (It was a little "yelp," but a "yelp" none the less.) My arm hurts when it bends. It hurts when it stays still. It hurts up to my wrist and into my armpit. It's not nice.

Well, psyduck is staring down at me from its perch on the monitor. It's telling me that I should climb in bed, read several pages, turn off the light, and sleep the night away. Who am I to argue with it?

And with that I say good-bye to the once seventh month and all of you. 'Bye.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Okay, so this really happened on Monday, sue me.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004


That was the time I left work this morning.

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Rain, Rain, Come Today

The chill in the air bit into my cheeks as I walked to my car this morning, twirling my keys like a gunslinger twirls his pistols. I wore shorts because I didn't want to dig my long pants out, I had an easier time just picking them off the floor, and the hairs on my legs had raised with goospimples. The air smelled crisp this morning. I hoped it was the smell of rain.

I parked in the lot at work and waited in my car until the time the door would be unlocked for me. I tuned the radio to NPR and heard about oil prices being raised to over $50 a barrel, a record breaker. Out the windshield, I watched the moon shining off to the east in it's fullness, making the parking lot look even more mysterious. Wind blew thin, wispy clouds in front of the moon.

I closed my eyes and listened to the news--hurricanes, hostages, hotel bombings--and the wind whipping the thin branches of the tiny tree I had parked next to. Off in the distance I heard the yowls of cats, each wanting to scare the other off to avoid a fight. My head dipped forward.

I opened my eyes, couldn't fall asleep that close to work time. Sleep would do me no good. News repeated itself and gave commercials for shows coming on later in the day.

Finally, the clock showed that I should get out of the car, so I did. As I walked toward the door, I looked at the moon, at least where it should have been. There was only a round, blurry splotch of light shining through the clouds. Wonderful. The wind blew and I smelled the crispness again.

Hours later, I looked out the front windows of the store to the right, to the east and saw the sun.

"Damn," I said.

"What?" asked GWKMA.

"The sun's coming up."

"What's wrong with that?"

"I was hoping for rain, that's all."

Monday, September 27, 2004


I used school material to print up my comic strips today. There's no printer attached to my computer, so I had to. I needed to see what these things look like on paper, in black and white so I can get them fixed before next spring.

Why? Well, those who need to know, know, and I don't want to announce anything here until I've laid down the money and can't back out because I'm a coward.

I also wanted to be able to mail a set to a friend of mine so I can get her opinion on them. She's one of those people, usually, who is honest, sometimes to the point of brutality, and will give feedback. She's someone I trust when it comes to art, as well. Hopefully, she'll also show them to her husband, and I'll get his opinion as well, since he's my friend too.

I'm also trying to write a decent letter to go along with the printings, it's only proper.

I coulda been a manager.

Jabba the Russian offered to make me a manager, today.

"Are you the manager?" he asked me, with his back facing me, in his thick accent as I exited the store. I had to change the big trash.

"No," I said, weaving around the dozen people he had encircling him and much of the door way.

"What is your name?"

I answered him. He said something in Russian and everyone started to laugh.

"I hear you do good work," he said to me as I wrestled with the door to the trash, one of his people was blocking it.

Of course you had to hear, I thought, you're not a regular customer. I bet this is the first time you've ever come here.

"So," he said in his thick accent, "do you want to be a manager?"

"No," I said, my hand in the trash, taking off the top layer so I could actually pull the can out.

"I can call Seattle. I know Bill Gates." More Russian and laughter. "He owns part of this, or something." Everyone laughs. "Do you want to be a manager?"


"No, the manager here, at this store."

"I don't want to be a manager, especially of these people."

Some guy said something in Russian. Jabba answered. They all laugh.

"What do you want to do," asked Jabba "you know, later on, in you life, after all this?" He gestured with his arm at the store.

"I want to make enough money so I don't have to work for anyone but myself ever again."

Some girl spoke, in Russian. Everyone laughed.

"And how do you plan on doing that?" he asked.

"I don't know, win the Lotto."

Everyone laughed. I struggled with the bag in the can. It was too full, hard to pull out. I knew I needed to go faster, had to get out of there.

"You know," he said, "I've never played the Lotto because--"

"It's impossible to win," I said. "I never play it either."

"You look like a smart guy, are you going to school?"


"How old are you?"

I told him. He said something in Russian and laughter erupted from the crowd.

"And are you married or single?"

"Single," I said as the garbage bag finally slid out of the can.

More Russian. More laughter. I started to line the can with a new bag.

"Seriously," he said, "what do you plan on doing, you know, to, uhh, make your fortune?"

"Honestly, I have no freakin' idea what I'm going to do. I'll probably be replacing trash right here for the rest of my life."

I gave the door to the trash a hard push and it shut with a thump.

"Okay," he said, "we'll let you get back to work."

I picked up two bags of trash and walked away. As I turned around the corner, there was an outburst of laughter. I stopped, took eight deep breaths, and continued on my way.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


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I went to work with a... well it wasn't a negative attitude. I suppose it was about as positive an attitude I can get when I work a closing shift. In the first hour, my attitude turned negative.

I was helping some customer, taking her order, when some guy, who always comes into the store, barged up to the front, ignoring the line, three people. He demanded that we make him a mocha, or something, and threw his credit card at me, not the counter. I told him that I'd help him when it was his turn, and called out the lady's drink. He decided that I was wrong and rude and started yelling at me. I didn't say anything to him and did my best to ignore the nasty language spewed from his mouth. I took the lady's money and started to help the next person in line.

Suddenly, I had a flash of the future: Me, 40ish, still a green apron monkey, being yelled at by a 30-something with crappy hair and a shaved chest.

My feet dragged the rest of the night.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Closing Time

I close for the next three nights at work. I hate closing. For me, it's the worst possible shift. Why? Because I, for some unfathomable reason, am a morning person and like to get to sleep before the PM turns into AM. Alas, it will not be that way for the next three nights. Perhaps I'll enjoy my time there. Sure, and perhaps the moon will fall to Earth, melting on the way, and we'll all be eating fondue for months.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

What day?

I woke up this morning to the belligerent buzzing of my alarm. I sat up and asked, "What day is it?" I slid out of bed and groped at the drawers under it so I could get some clean clothes.

"What day is it?" I asked myself again, out loud, as I headed off to the shower, where I sung songs from Annie. (It's a sickness, I know.) Eventually, the sun came up, and I stepped out.

I dressed, combed my hair, and headed back to my room. The light was off, so I flicked the switch. Finally, the calendar was visible, Thursday. Work first then straight to school.

Work is... well, I'm not sure how to explain it when I'm not miserable. It just is. I go, make coffee-based drinks, try to please people who don't want to be pleased, sing songs to myself, and hold back the urge to throw beans at everyone. Work is like--Have all of you seen Garden State yet? Did anyone else watch that new show Veronica Mars last night? They both have perfect examples of what I'm going to describe.--these scenes in movies and TV shows where there's one person sitting on a couch or a bench staring and the people around this person are in fast-forward, obviously doing something, going somewhere, moving. That's what work is like, me standing still and everyone else in fast-forward. Once in a while, the world slows down to my pace, breaks into my thoughts, but only for an instant before it whizzes away without me. In the end, I make sure to say good-bye to everyone working, using each person's name, before I walk out the door. I'm not sure why I do it. I sometimes fantasize that maybe I'll disappear if I don't remind people that I do exist, maybe that's why.

I like school.

For those who don't know, and since I can't remember if I've actually written it in this experiment in narcissism, I earned myself a BA in English some two and a quarter years ago. I seriously thought about teaching High School for a while there. I didn't really want to teach, I didn't think it would give me the energy most teacher seemed to get. I thought it would sap my strength, test my patience, and increase my stress without any personal or monetary rewards. At the time, though, I thought it was my only real option (since I fear that great standardized test we call the GRE). I went to the university (that didn't end in the phrase "of Phoenix") to my parent's house, since I was living there at the time, to discuss this teaching thing with a professional. In the end, she asked me if I wanted her honest opinion. I always prefer honesty, I said. She told me that she thought that I could make an excellent High School English teacher because I had an obvious passion for literature and a desire to see this passion spread to other. This made me happy. Then she said that she didn't think I should be a High School teacher because it didn't seem like the place for me. She recognized that I am a person who doesn't really have a lot a patience for people who don't want to be where they are. "The kids in High Schools are forced to be there," she said. "If you're lucky, three out of the thirty will be interested in what you're teaching, and I don't think those are the kinds of odds a person like you would need to stick with this profession. Honestly, Josh, I don't think you should pursue a career in teaching."

I shook her hand, thanked her for her time, and left. Everything she said was right and, most importantly, she gave me a good reason to stop thinking about my teaching credential.

That fall, while living with my parents and working at 'Bucks, I started attending the local JC part time. I took ceramics (my artistic passion that I have neither the money nor the truly astounding skill to pursue) and a class learning to draw on the computer with Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator is probably my favorite computer program. I like it more than my word processor. I like it more than QuickTime. I like it more than my internet browser. There's something so wonderfully artistic and mathematical about the program that captures my imagination. It's what I create all those weird comics about me in. I liked the class, I liked the teacher, and something inside me said I could turn it into a way to make money without serving evil.

Okay, I've gone off topic and I'm leaving it all there. Anyhow...

I like school. The class I have on Tuesday and Thursday is called Digital Painting. We're using Correl Painter and it's hundreds of different brushes to create odd drawings. (On assignment was to use a brush that has the illusion of heavy paint strokes, think of van Gogh's paintings, using complementary tertiary colors using the strokes to create depth. I drew a blue-green t-shirt on a field of red-orange, then used a tool to pull the "paint" in such a way that it look like it's on fire. I like it more each time I look at it.) The teacher gives really boring lectures that feel more like art history than anything else, and I'm not looking forward to the obligatory self portrait, but the rest is fun. How can I be so sure? Today, class started at 2:45 and ten minutes later it was 4:45 and time to go. A good time was had by me.

Today was Thursday. I went to work and school. I'm here now and going to watch mediocre television and eat ginormous, frozen grapes.

You have a good night as well.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A Story In As Many Parts As It Takes, Part III

Ada's Dance
Last TimeTime Before

It was obvious that no one had taken any time to decorate the gym. No streamers hanging from the ceiling or attached to the walls. No funky construction paper flowers taped up. Not even some asinine archway to walk under when the people entered. Even the room where the pictures had been taken wasn’t really decorated. A few potted plants on stools and a sky blue sheet were, apparently, all the items needed to create a memory that would last a life time.

There was only one thing that could be considered a decoration, and that was the DJ’s booth. Spinning, colored lights, pointing in all possible directions, covered the aluminum frame. Blues, greens, oranges, purples, reds, and yellows were thrown from the booth, splashing on the ceiling, the walls, the floor, and people. It also had a machine right in the center of it which periodically sprayed a toxic cloud that had a sharp smell to it and left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Ada hoped that it would sterilize most of the people dancing there tonight. She knew that most of them would try to breed, but if there was a God, he, or she, would stop the production of sperm in most of the guys, and make the eggs in most of the girls go rotten. Especially in that Debbie.

“Stupid Debbie,” Ada muttered.

“What?” asked Derrick, who was standing right next to her.

They had stopped, just outside the circle that Chip was in.

“Why did we stop?” asked Ada.

“What?” he asked again.

“I said, ‘Why did we stop?’”

“I d-don’t know. I was right behind you and, you know, you stopped and started l-looking at the l-lights and the people. Sort of like you were h-hypnotized. I s-something wrong?”

“No,” Ada said, searching the circle of people for Chip. “I just got distracted. Look, there’s a gap other there.” She grabbed Derrick’s hand, again, and yanked him. The hole in the circle was only two people, a football drone and brunette bimbo, away from Chip. Ada knew that they had to rush to fill the hole before it closed in on itself. She jerked Derrick’s arm harder as she picked up the pace.

A hard, fast song was being played when Ada gave the football guy a bump with her butt to show that she had claimed this area for herself and, soon, the man of her dreams.

She let go of Derrick’s hand and turned to look at Chip. This close, she saw small beads of sweat glistening in different colors as the lights passed over him. It looked like his forehead was projecting a rainbow.

Ada sighed, closed her eyes, and started to move with the music. She began with her hips: left, right, left, right, over and over. Then she shuffled her feet in time to her hips: left, right, left, right. Her arms swayed with her feet and hips. Everything on her body was moving together, but not in time with the hard thumping of the music. She opened her eyes and looked around at the people. No one was really dancing. Very few were in time with the beat. No one would notice her rhythmic flaw.

Chip was dancing just as poorly as everyone else in the circle, in short, sharp jerks. The problem with his flailing was that it was against Debbie. His legs touched hers. His pelvis rubbed against hers. His hands copped quick feels of her arms, her hips, her breasts. And Debbie flashed her huge, bleached smile his direction with each touch, taking those opportunities to touch his arms, his face, his chest. Debbie easily touched him in all the ways Ada had only dreamed about touching him. The slut would probably ruin Ada’s sunrise by doing even more touching with Chip in the morning.

Ada flushed and turned away. Derrick had started to dance too. His dancing was more smooth than the rest of the dancing fools. Everyone else moved like a beginning piano student, in starts and stops, sometimes hard, sometime soft, but no technique, all staccato. Derrick moved as if he were Art Tatum at the piano, playing all the range of sounds, seamlessly moving up and down the scales, hard when it was necessary and soft just to keep the listener excited, sliding around like a smooth slur. He looked almost beautiful as he slid from a fo-Charleston to some hip-hop move he learned from watching music videos.

Ada was only marginally surprised by Derrick’s gracefulness. She knew that he had taken dance lessons at both of the studios in town since he was five years old. He had taken them all--tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, square, folk, even ballroom--and, with the exception of ballet, had mastered them. Now he taught the hip-hop class at one studio and the jazz class at the other, trying to get little kids to move in a way that’s not running in circles and trying to convince fat old ladies that they can be graceful as they jiggle around the floor. At his house, he taped music videos so he could dissect them and learn what people think is cool. Often, he complained about how simple the moves pop-stars did were and would say that James Brown could teach them a thing or two about pop-choreography, since they were all ripping him off anyway.

Sometimes, Ada didn’t understand why Derrick was afraid of dancing in public. He said he was afraid of making a fool of himself, but she knew he could do it and look wonderful on stage. When he had to perform, he closed his eyes so he didn’t have to see the people. His focus was on the music and his feet. He trusted his feet to take him where he needed to be, and so far they always had.

She looked at his face and saw that even now, his eyes were closed, but he wasn’t coming anywhere near hitting her or the guy next to his other side. Ada grinned because he looked so content just letting the music push the motions through his body. He looked amazing.

“Let’s slow things down a bit,” the DJ said and the music shifted to some crappy slow pop song.

Derrick’s eyes snapped open. He looked at Ada, took her right hand in his left, put his right in the small of her back, and urged her to move with him. She looked at him, uncertain.

“I’m sorry if I step on your feet,” she said.

“Little lady,” he said, making his voice as deep as he could, “let your mind go, and your body will follow.”

She put her left hand on his shoulder and closed her eyes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Front is Back, and so is the Back!

Well, I'm back from my trip to Cowtown. Dad's birthday was yesterday, but his party was on Saturday because that's when people could be up. Both brothers made it. One significant other to a brother made it and they brought their dog (who was on her period, but still cute and charming) and a very new (three weeks old, I think) kitten. Both sets of grandparents were there, even the ones who have to travel more than an hour. I don't think I've seen them since Easter, so that was great. All the uncles and aunts and cousins who live near by showed up. I had the opportunity to make them all (who were old enough to understand) disgusted (with only two words and a crude gesture), which is always fun. The aunt and uncle from out of county couldn't make it because my aunt had surgery, a skin cancer take off the back of her calf, Saturday was the first day she was allowed to be on her feet for an hour at a time. I'm hoping she'll be better soon.

As you can tell from the comic strip I did earlier (if it showed up on the page), I worked two days at my old store. It was fun and... not so fun. Not so fun because, even if it's with people I like to work with, I'm working at a 'Bucks. The same crap goes on everywhere. It was fun because people there are willing to be crazy. When I turn around and ask what soy nipples look like, they don't look at me like I'm crazy and then walk away, they answer me. (Apparently, soy nipples are just a darker shade of brown, and poke out a little. The machine that gets the milk from the bean has really tiny, little suction things.) Several customers recognized me. Not only by appearance, but they still remember my name and asked if I was coming back to stay. So, either I was quite good and they like me making their drinks, or every one else just sucks a whole lot. I'd like to think it's the first.

Alright, I'm off to Nemo's Realm. Must be at normal 'Bucks at five.

It's always strange.

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

True Story

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An Idea Lost

I'm off to Cowtown tomorrow after class. It's the weekend of my Dad's birth. The brothers are supposedly going to be there on Saturday, as are both sets of grandparents (hopefully), all the in county uncles and aunts and cousins, and an aunt and uncle set who are two counties away, no matter how you drive, even though the county containing Cowtown shares a corner with the one that has my aunt and uncle. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, hoping they'll all be there.

The only problem with this trip is that I don't have my Dad's gift. Yes, all you thinking I don't, I do have one for him, it just hasn't come yet. The place I ordered it from said it would take 2-4 weeks to get it, so I thought that ordering it 3 weeks in advance would be enough time. It wasn't. In fact, just this morning, I got an e-mail from the place saying that it was shipped yesterday and I should allow 2-3 weeks to recieve the package. Oy.

What am I going to do? I'll tell you. I'm gonna print out a picture of the thing (at my parent's house because I don't have a printer), put the picture in a card, and give the card to my Dad. I know he'll like his gift, even if he has to wait another couple of weeks before I get it and can mail it to him. I know he'll understand.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Another Strip.

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I've been thinking about this one since Sunday, when I spent the morning walking the mall and riding every escalator there. It was fun.

PS I'm trying a new free image host. If it works, everyone, who likes these things, should thank Wingb. If it doesn't work, oh well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Three Things

I'm sitting on the couch, eating frozen grapes, watching Seinfeld, and wondering if I should be guilty enjoying myself so much.

Maybe this is all there really is to life.

Maybe a small moment of contentment is worth everything else.

Maybe this small moment will come crashing in.

But for now, I don't care. Seinfeld is funny. The grapes are sweet and cold. The couch is a little hard, but comfy enough.

Maybe it's me that's not comfy.

Maybe the grapes are too sweet.

Maybe Seinfeld isn't funny.

No, those things aren't true.

Grapes fill my stomach. Muffin tops fill my brain. My ass fills the couch.

Today, life is sweeter than the grapes I'll be buying tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Here it is.

Here's the entire thing my Dad wanted to write to me through Haloscan, but it wouldn't allow him to use that many characters:

Josh, I'm glad you are thinking and questioning. It shows that you care, that you do want to help to make the world a better place, and that you do not want to be lied to and manipulated. For what that is worth, that speaks quite highly of you. Carl Sagen once said "REAL PATRIOTS ASK QUESTIONS."

Bottom line on the events of 911: it is important to examine the physical evidence after any crime to determine it's nature and what actually happened. The American people are all too willing to accept a silly, unsubstantiated CONSPIRACY THEORY from their government and the controlled media, and not take time to look at the actual evidence, or hear what actual eyewitnesses said. So, who are the conspiracy nuts? The very few who DO look at the actual evidence and then question what happened, or the vast majority who robotically believe that nineteen Arabs could defeat our nations defenses? Remember that in the middle of beLIEve is "lie." I personally feel that it is better to know based on inquiry, evidence and experience.

So here are just a few patriotic questions about the events of 911:

Why was there absolutely no wreckage of a Boeing 757 in the Pentagon, or on the lawn outside of the Pentagon? Why was the lawn absolutely unscathed by this "plane" crash?

Why was an engine from Flight 93 (which we were told crashed in Pennsylvania due to "heroes") found over one mile from the airliner impact site? Why were debris from this crash floating down over a resort eight miles from the crash site just minutes after the crash?

Who was running airliner high jacking war games in the Northeast US on 9/11/01? Answer: Dick Cheney. How did these "war games" diffuse and confuse our normally highly effective air defenses?

How many huge buildings collapsed vertically onto themselves (like controlled demolitions) in New York on 9/11. Answer: three. How may steel frame skyscrapers have ever collapsed due to fire previous or following 9/11. Answer: Zero.

Why was their no detailed forensic investigation into the collapse of these structures, despite the American Firefighters Association and others screaming that such a collapse was unprecedented, and needed to be investigated and understood? Why was the wreckage destroyed and quickly removed prior to investigation?

Why did eyewitnesses state that the planes that hit the Trade Centers had no windows and were not passenger airliners?

Why did the administration spend 7 million dollars on a much delayed and obstructed limited investigation of 9/11 (the biggest single-event crime ever committed in this country), when the conservative members of congress spent 45 million dollars to investigate Bill Clinton's sexual mis-adventures?

Why has all this been suppressed, and not covered in our "free" press?

Who has promoted a climate of fear based on these attacks?

Who (or what) honestly had the capability to freeze our nations defenses and actually pull off such a well coordinated attack?

Who, or what corporations, nations or organizations, have benefited as a result of these attacks? Follow the money.

And finally:

What does it mean when your government and mainstream media lie to you and suppresses the truth?

Well, Josh, I know I have rambled, and you know that's me. These are questions that do not have pleasant answers, and there are many, many more. But think of the alternative? Therefore: Keep asking patriotic questions.
So, there it is. I think that many of these questions have merit. I especially like: "Why was their no detailed forensic investigation into the collapse of these structures?" I thought about using it in my post, but thought that, if people are actually reading this blog who aren't family members or friends, those of you who haven't thought past the "official" line of September Eleventh, it would be easier to start with something simple, like "Why did NORAD and the FAA not see four planes fly off course?"

Politics will not be used often here. I just think it's important to think about the things we don't know around a time when horrible things happened.

Be well, everyone.