Monday, September 19, 2011

Your Weekly Dose of Dangle

I’ve missed a couple of doses because I’ve been busy...and lazy.

Last Stop Troubletown, my retrospective at the Cartoon Art Museum is up! The earlier information was wrong, though, there’s no opening on October 6. The opening is October 1st, the same night as the Alternative Press Expo party. That means that the galleries will be packed with beautiful young people and sheepish bent-over cartoonists. I won’t know anybody. So please come by and keep me company. I’ll be the fifty-year-old guy in the corner with eyes like dark pits.

Last week I did an info graphic for a company. It’s top secret so I guess I can’t post it here. Corporations are so paranoid! I’ve done a few info graphics in my life but I must admit I was sweating it. It’s not a normal thing for me. It was cartoony and the client liked it. So far, fingers crossed. Hopefully they will not have an abrupt change of mind and send me down the road of endless revisions. I finished that monster job I’ve been working on for the past year--sent in the final files! But then they added six more pages. I suppose it’s a lot better than working in a coal mine.

I’m going to see the in-laws and my dad and sister out in the Midwest at the end of the week. I don’t think I’ll make it into Chicago or Madison or Milwaukee, but thoroughly visit our creaky seniors at their suburban homes. Hae is having her thirtieth high school reunion so she has some dinners and events to attend. She isn’t taking me along. I think I’m an embarrassment to her. I don’t know why though, I still have a lot of hair. Either that or maybe she wants to hit on some of her old boyfriends.

Geoffie called. He’s going to try to come to my opening but my guess is he won’t make it. He’s doing okay these days. He has an apartment. Hasn’t been in jail at all recently. He’s working on his lawsuit against the State of Michigan (or is it Washtenaw County?) for violating his civil rights when they beat him up in jail and broke his jaw. If anybody knows a good civil rights attorney send me the name. There aren’t many civil rights attorneys to be found apparently. He said he’s exercising and lost a few pounds. He’s got type 2 diabetes that he feels is stress induced from the situation with the ex, so he’s taking some steps to care for himself. He said that he’s got eight fully formed ideas for movies he wants to make. He just needs me to collaborate. He always tries to make me feel like I’m holding him back.

Hae is wearing a pedometer and trying to walk ten thousand steps a day. So now she’s walking over to the drugstore and leaving the car in the driveway. I’ve never known her to do that. Me, I’ve been drinking a lot of beer and walking up to Pete’s coffee for a cup of poison on some mornings. Even though there are now dozens of coffee shops around here where one can go to show off one's tattoos they’re all crowded with people writing on their laptops. Novels? Screenplays? Who knows? I actually quit coffee--but I still drink it sometimes.

I only grilled meat twice this summer. I did my ribs two weeks ago for a neighborhood barbeque and last night I made Barbados style chicken. I love to barbeque.

Read TC Boyle’s East is East and some others. Saw In Bruges, Lars and the Real Girl, Tropic Thunder, hmmm, what else? I watched How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog and broke down all the scenes. It’s interesting to do that. One of these days I’m going to write a screenplay. But I need Geoffie’s help.

Hey, the show at the Cartoon Art Museum is up!

Please note:

The opening will not be on October 6. It will be on October 1, same night as the Alternative Press Expo party, which means the place will be full of young hipsters.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

More Dangle Than You Want to Know

My vision of hell is a job where the client keeps giving me revisions and more revisions and no matter how many things I fix they just keep coming, each one more meaningless and capricious than the last. A client, code-named Silver Salamander, has come along with a new project that promises to be one of these. This client is insane. But I need the money.

School started for young Oscar but this week every day is a “minimum day,” which means that I’ve got to pick him up at 1:25. It seems like I’m getting about one hour of work in a day. My studio is three inches deep in revisions from a current project. I’ve had to come up with an elaborate file naming system to keep track of them all.

I’m in two writing workshops now, probably too much, but each is valuable in its own way. One involves reading your pieces aloud which is very helpful to me. Don’t know why.

I’m very bad at giving feedback to other writers though and it makes me feel guilty. Some of my fellow workshoppers are amazing at dissecting a piece of writing and figuring out how to improve the prose and structure. My comments tend to be more like, “me like this.” I give nothing of value.

More information than you want to know

I had the Roto-Rooter job done to my ham-sized prostate last week. They went in with a laser and vaporized it. Star Wars: the Phantom Prostate. I’m not going to tell you how they got inside, it would cause too much psychic pain to my male readers. My recovery is going well.

I was in the hospital overnight and the guy on the other side of a curtain, Williams, had shoulder surgery that got infected while he was in the hospital. He was also on dialysis and had just had emergency surgery for a boil on his ass. He was all messed up and I could tell from his voice that he was in a lot of pain. He had a great sense of humor though and we joked around. When I told him how they got in to zap my ham he said, “I’ll bet you were glad you were out for that. I wish I had been out when you told me about it.” I hope Williams is okay.

Dysfunction of the Dangles

Got a call from my sister today. She’s concerned about my dad’s mental condition. She and dad have a lot to deal with these days. Aunt Eileen has been in the intensive care unit of her nursing home after having a fall and a bunch of related problems. She gets bouts of tri-geminal neuralgia that cause excruciating pain and when she takes the medication she becomes zombie-like. Now they say she’s ready to return to her apartment but she needs 24-hour care for at least two weeks to determine if she can care for herself.

Dad, my sister, and Aunt Eileen have been working together to determine the best course of action, except problems always arise. Aunt Eileen is stubborn and half out of her mind. One minute she agrees to something, then the next she’s against it. Dad is crippled by anxiety, passive aggression, and doesn’t believe in voicemail. My sister has a demanding job as a school social worker and doesn’t have all day to talk to nursing agencies, other social workers, and Medicare to work out all the details. My dad sits around watching Fox all day so he could, in theory, take on some of the burden, but every time he gets involved he manages to get everything screwed up. Me, I’m out here in California doing revisions, writing, and having surgeries so I’m no help at all.

Happy Labor Day!