Saturday, December 20, 2003

Use razor blades to tell the future.
241712 minutes

For the first time in years, Christmas comes all too slowly. This is only the second Christmas since I was 16 that I will not be working through the holiday. Hopefully the idleness won't drive me crazy. It's also the first holiday season I've honestly looked forward too in a long time.

I can remember being small, and just feeling like December was the longest month in the whole world, like Christmas would *never* get here, just waiting and waiting, and asking grownups how far away it was, and why can't we open presents now, and having a general feel of frustration.

Left alone far too often when school was out, I learned to slit scotch tape with a razor blade in such fine strokes that wrapping paper wasn't cut on packages underneath the tree. Thus I would unwrap all my presents at the first opportunity, and re-wrap them so well that my mother never noticed. My curiosity was such that I practiced my expertise on the presents of others as well. My mother thought I was nearly clairvoyant in my present-guessing abilities, and I didn't disabuse her.

"What do you think it is?" she ask, sure that I'd never guess.

"Hmmm...lots of little parts... medium package...I'm going to guess it's a chemistry set!"

My mom's face would try not to register that I'd "guessed" that very thing. She went through elaborate wrapping rituals to try and confuse me; when that didn't work, she'd just hide presents in the house and vow not to put my things out until Christmas Day. Which would only leave me in the house alone to find them. After a few years of this - by which time I was old enough to not care - she took to hiding things in my father's workshop, a folly because things get lost easily there, and once hidden, may not surface until Easter, at least, if not a few years down the line.

For the record, I still dislike surprises, and will do nearly anything to find out what I'm being given before the day. I often tell people what I'm getting them. It only seems polite.

I work Monday and Tuesday and then I'm off to Nashville for almost 2 whole weeks. I'll try to put up three more Nashville stories while I'm there.

Hugs and wishes, people I love best, it's almost time to party.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Continuance of a Random Life

dinner with friends and the ashes of an inadvertent saint

Last Monday I stood on the steps of the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C., and was able for the first time to see clearly the Washington Monument at one end of the mall and the Capitol building at the other. One year previous to that moment I was working twelve hour shifts split between being a movie theater usher in Cobb County, GA, and night stocking at the Target across the street.

I stood on the castle steps for a minute or so and thought about the above facts. The air was cold and clear, and unlike my previous trips to D.C. in the tourist season, early December left the streets nearly bare in the afternoon. There was little noise or color to distract me, and I could admire the architectural planning that had laid out one of my favorite places to visit in the whole world. I do not pretend to understand how I am so lucky to get to do and see the things that I do in the world, nor do I fully comprehend the random sequence of events that has led me to my current job, without which I surely be on management track with Borders or a movie theater chain. Sometimes I simply stand out in the cold and take a minute to look at the people and buildings I'm around, and know that the world is a beautiful, brutal place, and through all the pain and joy I am simply happy to draw one breath after another.

This year is ending. Another will soon start. There is no way to know where I will be on any random Monday, twelve months from now.

Inside the Smithsonian Castle, just to your left in a vestibule, are the ashes of Mr. Smithson who accidentally built most of the museums I enjoy in D.C. He didn't mean for his money to benefit me at all. He meant for his nephew to settle down, writing in his will that the money would go to museums in America unless his wild Italian nephew, the last living blood relative had children. All the nephew had to do was procreate; instead, thanks to his gay way, the money came here and 150 years later scads of school children see the bones of a mastodon.

Because life is random that way.

I was in DC to work, but happily had IHOP with wgSarah late Sunday night, and lovely vegetarian meal in Tacoma Park with the fabulous Mat and Emily Monday night. I love how creative the people I know are. Sarah is busily providing internet writer's with a place to stash their stuff. Mat and Emily fantasized about living by their music and design during dinner.

They are all successful and creative and doing well. I suppose I am too.

I want to make a comic book. I just need...collaboration. Spark. Money and time. I'm ready for the next big thing.

For a while Monday afternoon I sat in the basement of the National Gallery and looked at sculpture and thought about a) how I think Rodin is over-rated, b) how it is that I know so many awesome creative people, and c) when I was going to get off my ass and do the graphic novel.

So here's my New Year's Resolution, folks: You will see the fruits of my imagination in 12 months, come hell or high water. I promise.


The D.C. Metro systems rocks.

P. P. S.

So to Emily, Mat, and Sarah.

Friday, December 05, 2003

The Cat Came Back

Some of you may remember Bunny the Cat from this post a while back. Bunny came to stay with me last September in order to recuperate from her battle with a poisonous snake; unfortunately, one day three weeks into her stay she ran out an open door and disappeared.

Bunny was wearing a collar. I called all the local vet offices, looking for her; anyone who found a cat like that would surely to god take her to the vet. I went on long walks looking for her. I called shelters. And after a few weeks, I assumed her lost to the wilds, victim of dog or car.

Not so; someone called me Tuesday night. Bunny had been eating out of their cat's back porch food bowl for a couple of weeks, just since it got cold. They had her waiting in a carrier and I was able to walk to their house to pick her up. When I called my aunt and uncle to tell them of Bunny's miraculous return from the dead, my aunt started crying and my uncle drove all the way from Powder Springs to pick her up. He told me he never wanted Bunny gone in the first place; my aunt, it turns out, hadn't wanted to give her away either. It took Bunny faking her own demise to get appreciated. While I assured them Bunny was welcome to stay with me for as long as she'd like, the cat is back in Cobb County now, at least three lives down...

that we know of!


9 days since my roommates did their dishes
25 days until they're gone


The Republican ate my graphic novel selection for Thanksgiving. He liked The Doctor from The Authority, got a few giggles from My Filing Technique is Unstoppable, glided through Hellboy with an intent look on his face, and took the first Alias book home with him and promised he'd give it a try. When we spoke this week, he admitted how much he dug it.

"It's not like anything else I've ever read before. But I like it."

I silently giggled to myself, having hooked the boy on graphic novel crack. He's not reading single issues yet, complaining that they're inefficient and not as easy to deal with. I agree. I also think I'll have him reading single issues in 90 days. Because I am just a little bit evil.


Having to open all those Mylar envelopes and take out the single issue makes the reading pleasure last longer. That's what I keep telling myself....

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Freak Out!

Yesterday I gave a lecture at UNC-Chapel Hill. I was invited to do so. It went well. I am freaked out by my own success. Deeply satisfied and freaked out.

I had this nagging feeling that a friend of mine was in trouble all day yesterday. She was. Double freak out.

Walked into my house around 11 last night to find that roomies had packed everything up to move. I suppose me photoshopping bad roomie into Bush's visit with the Queen was the last straw. I am freaked out by the lack of discussion about it, but happy, I suppose. There's no 'winner' in fights like these. Triple freak-out.

I need a new room mate for January. Quadruple freak-out.

I slept in this morning, like I usually do when I work until near midnight. I woke up to check my work e-mail and found I had missed a super important meeting. Freak out beyond understanding.

Continuing discussions with The Republican about...stuff...that Freaks. Me. Out.


Call or write me and tell me to calm down. Super-duper-to-the-max-freaked-out, I am. Anyone who can make me laugh gets a private plane when I win the lottery.