Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fuck You, Hallmark!

It's not even New Years and the goddamn Valentines' Day decorations are out.

I hate feeling bitter, I honestly do. It just gnaws on me like a dog gnaws on a rawhide bone. I'm not bitter at anyone - I'm really not. I just hate how the holidays remind me of how fucking broken I am.

I've had two anxiety attacks in the past week. The three aisles of blood red mementos nearly gave me my third.

All I wanted were light bulbs.

Fuck you, Hallmark. Fuck you, Russell Stover.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Quoted (possibly for Truthiness).

I forgot to mention this a month ago when it happened.

http://comicsworthreading.com/2006/11/30/wizard-staff-shakeup/

Click on the CBR Poster link.

Jeff am s-m-r-t.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

.........

Fuck.

Ever figure something out, and find out it's way too late to act?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I never get sick of this.


http://www.sp-studio.de/

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wacky Dream

When you're writing an autobiographical comic, your subconscious tends to dig up stuff you've forgotten. I'm currently working through the High School section.

I had a dream last night (elicited by cold medicine, I'm sure) that reminded me of trust/cooperation exercises from gym class. There was one that needed the entire class to participate. I sat this one out.

Mr. Rovito came over to talk to me, trying to get me involved. "Jeff, what's going on? You don't trust them?"

"Trust those guys? The ones that deliver run-by gut punches in the hallway? The ones that hold me down down in art class and staple my arms? The ones that sprayed shaving cream down my back in study hall? The ones that make me wish I was aborted and boiled off in an acid bath?"

Mr. Rovito looked at me and stammered a little.

"You want me to trust them? It sounds like someone's living in a dream world, and for once, it isn't me."

Exorcising demons is hard.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hairs cut


No after photos yet, sorry. Perhaps on Monday. But wow, it's short. It feels nice.

Oh yeah, and I'm 28 years old today. I don't have anything wise or profound or depressing to say this time around.

It's all good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Growing a beard.

Damn, it itches. Gotta give it a few more weeks before I make my final decision.

I've been told it looks good, though. Who knows what'll happen?

Hair cut this week. My roommate knows a guy who's pretty good, so I might go with him. But he's en route from Chicago, and I don't know if he can fit me in his schedule. If not, I'll just wander over to a barber shop and get it done.


Gah, itchy beard!

Monday, November 13, 2006

It Never Entered My Mind

Scroll down to find a new mp3 in the side bar called "It Never Entered My Mind." It was originally written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart a LOOOOOOOOOONG time ago, played & sung by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, the Supremes, and many others.

Miles Davis and his Quintet took it out for a spin on the album Workin' 50-and-a-half years ago.

I just melt when I hear it. I love how soft and passionate it sounds. It's like Miles traversed time and used my heart to replace the harmon mute on his trumpet.

Enjoy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I know, I've been neglecting you.

Here's a rundown of the past few weeks, in no particular order:

Lonely
Tired
Content
Angry
Happy - The Zawinul Syndicate playing Vienna Nights live was nice.
Lazy
Horny
Busy
Exhausted
Unproductive
Overwhelmed
Confused

Oh, and Mom sent me cookies today. That was cool.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Non-Horrific Date

Last weekend I finally went out with the very nice girl I'd been flirting with a few months ago. We got dinner at a cool place on St. Marks which served very small glasses of soda. Their guacamole was pretty good, as was the veggie burger, so I'm interested in going back.

We had a pretty good conversation; I learned a bit about her college years and family relationships. After dinner we walked around for a while and eventually settled in Madison Square Park on 23rd Street. We found enough in common to keep the conversation going most of the time, but there were moments of "I'm not sure what to say."

After a while it got a little chilly, so we set forth in search of a Starbucks that was still open.

That didn't take long.

We walked in, found out they closed at 10, and I grabbed an orange juice. We talked for a while longer about comics & such. Around 9:30, we called it a night. She works a normal schedule, and had to be up early. We walked to the train station, hugged, and went our separate ways.

I sat on the train and thought about the evenings events. I came to the realization that whatever spark we lit up had unfortunately died out. It's a little sad because I should be longing for this girl. We have far too much in common for me to not be attracted to her. I guess it's a case of "perfect on paper." I definitely want to hang out with her again, and I know I'll see her a lot socially.

I wish we had the chance to fan the spark into flames instead of life getting in the way of it all.

"I Think I Know You"

I've been listening to a lot of spoken-word/storytelling/standup comedy by Henry Rollins lately.

"Henry Rollins, the 'Liar' guy, from Black Flag?"

Yep, that's the one. He's fucking hilarious. In one of the albums, he performs a more somber encore, reading from his book Black Coffee Blues. I listened as each detail hit me in the chest. I identify with about 90% of it. Here you go:

I Know You by Henry Rollins

I know you
you were too short
you had bad skin
you couldn’t talk to them very well
words didn’t seem to work
they lied when they came out of your mouth
you tried so hard to understand them
you wanted to be part of what was happening
you saw them having fun
and it seemed like such a mystery
almost magic

Made you think that there was something wrong with you
you’d look in the mirror trying to find it
you thought that you were ugly
and that everyone was looking at you
so you learned to be invisible
to look down
to avoid conversation
the hours
days
weekends

Ah the weekend nights, alone
where were you
in the basement?
in the attic?
in your room?
working some job?
just to have something to do
just to have a place to put yourself
just to have a way to get away from them
a chance to get away from the ones that made you feel so strange and ill-at-ease inside yourself

Did you ever get invited to one of their parties
you sat and wondered if you would go or not
for hours you imagined the scenarios that might transpire
they would laugh at you
if you would know what to do
if you would have the right things on
if they would notice that you came from a different planet
did you get all brave in your thoughts
like you were going to be able to go in there and deal with it
and have a great time
did you think that you might be “the life of the party”
that all these people were gonna talk to you
and you would find out that you were wrong
that you had a lot of friends
and you weren’t so strange after all?

Did you end up going
did they mess with you
did they single you out
did you find out that you were invited
because they thought you were so weird

Yeah, I think I know you
you spent a lot of time full of hate
a hate that was pure as sunshine
a hate that saw for miles
a hate that kept you up at night
a hate that filled your every waking moment
a hate that carried you for a long time

Yes I think I know you
you couldn’t figure out what they saw and the way they lived
home was not home
your room was home
a corner was home
the place they weren’t- that was home

I know you
you’re sensitive
and you hide it, because you fear getting stepped on one more time
it seems that when you show a part of yourself that is the least bit vulnerable
someone takes advantage of you
one of them steps on you
they mistake kindness for weakness
but you know the difference
you’ve been the brunt of their weakness for years
and strength is something you know a bit about
because you had to be strong to keep yourself alive

You know yourself very well now
and you don’t trust people
you know them too well
you try to find that “special person”
someone you can be with
someone you can touch
someone you can talk to
someone you won’t feel so strange around
and you found that they don’t really exist
you feel closer to people on movie screens

Yeah, I think I know you
you spend a lot of time daydreaming
and people have made comment to that effect
telling you that you’re “self-involved” and “self-centered”
but they don’t know, do they
about the long nightshifts alone
about the years of keeping yourself company
all the nights you wrapped your arms around yourself
so you could imagine someone holding you
the hours of indecision
self-doubt
the intense depression
the blinding hate
the rage that made you stagger
the devastation of rejection
well
maybe they do know
but if they do
they sure do a good job of hiding it

It astounds you how they can be so smooth
how they seem to pass through life as if life itself was some divine gift
and it infuriates you to watch yourself with your apparent skill,
and finding every way possible to screw it up
for you, life is a long trip
terrifying and wonderful
birds sing to you at night
the rain and the sun
the changing seasons
are true friends
solitude is a hard won ally
faithful and patient

Yeah, I think I know you

This complete work is © Henry Rollins

Saturday, October 07, 2006

*yawn*

"So Jeff, you haven't been writing much lately."

Fuck you I haven't. Just not here. I'm working on an autobiographical comic, and that shit ain't easy.

"Well sure, I suppose that'll take up some - buh HUH?"

I've pretty much given up on opening a comic shop. Sure, I'd still like to do it once I win the lottery. As you can guess, it would take up WAY more resources (re: cash money dollar dollar bill, y'all), and Wu-Tang Financial ain't nothing to fuck with.

I get on the train each day, pull out my sketch book, and write. I sketch, I lay out, I design pages, flesh out ideas, try to recover memories. Most of it is verbal, not visual.

Mom's going to send me old photo albums & yearbooks & report cards. Remembering anything before 8th grade is pretty fuzzy.

My art is up to my 10th grade level at this point. I haven't been practising as much as I should. Hell, I'm supposed to work on a strip for my roommate, and that's hard to get into. Despite all the reference I have, and how hilarious the writing is, I'm not as enthusiastic as I should be, as I want to be.

My writing/pacing/design, however, seems to have improved, even if it's just a little bit. I'm actually HAPPY with it.

Going through and writing down some of the stuff has not been easy. Stuff like...

4th Grade, Age 8. When I got home from school, I actually had an hour and a half or so to actually relax and not be on the defensive. But once Dad got home from work, tension in the house shot through the roof - and I wasn't the only one who felt it. Everything pissed him off, and being a violent alcoholic didn't help.

One thing I did to incur his wrath was to place the spoon down incorrectly on the table. My reasoning was that when you eat, the bowl of the spoon points toward you when you hold it. Why not set it on the table the same way?

Dad sat at the table, on my immediate left. I put my spoon down and reached for the fork. A split second later, my line of sight was blocked by an arm. I felt his hand cover the right side of my head.

FWUMP.

I then found myself on the floor, with my left ear to the carpet. The chair I was in broke.

"Get up."

I got up, tears streaming down my face. I put the chair upright, realigned the legs, sat & finished dinner. I went to my room, changed my clothes, laid down, and cried myself to sleep.

Real heartwarming stuff, right? The day I wrote that, my other roommate commented, "you seem a little depressed, are you okay?"

I was fine of course. Just reliving that and a few other incidents I poured onto the page is a tad draining. Typing it out here isn't affecting me nearly as much.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

New glasses

I wandered out to Lenscrafters today, got my eyes examined, and two new pairs of glasses (one is RX shades). They're a bit smaller than the previous, and a lot more expensive. Even with the online coupon saving me $150, it was still over $700. I'm going to see if my company can help out with that, since they need my eyes to work in order to get colors matched & all that jazz.

So...I'm a bit broker than usual. Any freelance stuff you wanna throw my way would be cool!

HINT HINT!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Three weeks.

That's how long the doctors say my aunt Brenda (previously mentioned here) has to live.

Her cervical cancer has spread all over her body. The whole family was over at the hospice this weekend. She couldn't keep her eyes open for a full minute.

The Bills - one's the husband, the other is their son - are in denial over the whole thing. My dad speculates that the elder will probably die shortly afterwards of heartbreak. Unlike my grandparents, they were very dependent on each other.

When I was much younger, I loved going down to their house. It was a long, weary trip, but hell, they had a pool. And Billy had all those great Star Wars toys, and a BB gun that he'd let me shoot once in a while. Storm Troopers were often used as targets.

None survived.

We'd spin around on his go-cart, or sledding down the hill behind their house. We had awesome escalating water fights that would make Buster & Babs Bunny proud. I idolized the guy. He was the only male relative close to my age in the state. He's five or so years older than me, so when he hit his late teens, the last thing he wanted was some chubby pubescent tagging along. It bummed me out a bit.

Then came the time when it was revealed that my grandfather on that side of the family was a horrendous sleazebag. This caused a bit of a rift. Brenda was halfway in denial about it (did she forget that it's why she left home & eloped at 16?), and Mom was torn up because she's also a victim, and because he did the same thing to my sister (her confession about it six months after the fact was what brought the rift on).

People chose sides and Mom was caught in the middle. She hated what happened, but she wasn't going to deny herself her family.

When gramps died a few years ago, I went to visit Grandma. It was pretty sad. We didn't know what to say to each other. She'd since moved in with Brenda. I saw the rest of the family for the first time in a very long time last Christmas. People were older, taller, shorter, wider, etc, but generally the same.

I didn't miss much, but I missed a lot.

When she passes, the biggest concern is where Grandma is going to go. If uncle Bill has the will to keep living and take care of his mother in law, then fine. Mom takes turns with the other siblings each week anyway. But if he kicks off, too, that leaves a lot hanging in the air.

So everyone's just trying to figure out what to do.

*Edit, 09/19/06 9:30 PM:

She died last night, before I even typed this out. Mom says everyone is kind of peaceful and relieved.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Who are those fine young gentlemen?


From Carlos' wedding a few months ago. In case you don't know, L-R:

Bowie, myself, Carlos, and Chris.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Urgh.

Okay, if anyone needs some freelance work done, or help, or...you know, "services rendered," let me know. I could use a little more cash (i.e.: I'd like to pay my bills AND purchase new sheets this month). I won't get to work on it until next weekend, as The Job That Never Fucking Ends is worse when multiple people call out at the same time and leaves me with 13 hour shifts. Since I'm salaried, I don't get overtime.

Whatever: need a short story written? An illustration inked (in Illustrator of course)? Hand job? Flat colors laid in? Design? Need any posters printed?

Bueller?






Just kidding about the hand job part. I'm not that desperate.

Okay, going to bed now. I gotta get up in 5 hours.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In light of 9/11...

It's fun to abuse a sentence when it begins with the above phrase. Over at CBR, we had a good time butchering it. Mike Pullmann came up with the following gem, which I've tweaked and added a patriotic background to. I plan to make a few stickers at work, as soon as I get the chance.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Go to Rocketship this Saturday.

Scott McCloud will be there, pimping his new book, Making Comics.

Rocketship quite simply rocks.

(Speaking of which, does anyone have $100,000 I can borrow?)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Listen

I ventured out to Brooklyn Saturday evening for another Rocketship party. It's always a cool scene, but I don't know many people there and always feel awkward. I paid for my selections (a much smaller haul than usual) and made my way over to my old house to visit Jan.

As I was walking, I heard a guy say, "hey man, nice ponytail!"

I turned to the evidently homeless man and said, "thank you."

He asked if I had caught the game (he was wearing a Yankees cap). I told him I hadn't. He asked for some change, and I gave him a couple of bucks. He asked which way I was walking and I gestured towards 4th Ave. He asked if he could walk & talk with me for a while, and I quickly said, "of course!"

Richard introduced himself and we shook hands. Short and skinny, with a small bag on his back, containing his only change of clothes, we walked and he told his story.

He's 47 years old. The patchiness of his beard matches the bald spot growing on his head. Most of his family is dead. His ex wife and 25 year old son moved south. He stayed in New York to take care of his brother while he was dying of AIDS, who passed two years ago. He was in jail for two years for dealing drugs to support his family, and has been clean since.

He washes his clothes every couple of days, and tries to be presentable when looking for work. He carries a wash cloth & a bar of soap to stay clean. He sleeps out in the park near a college in the area.

Despite all of his hardships, he hasn't given up hope. He still has faith in god and his fellow man to help him out.

Most of all, Richard was thankful that I let him talk to me. He said it's been weeks since he'd had anyone to talk to.

I'm always glad to listen. I'm not great at the whole "speaking" thing. I stumble over words, and think before, during, and after speaking. I come up with a better phrasing halfway through a sentence. It's frustrating because I sound like an idiot. (How is that different from any other time?)

Richard asked how far I was going, and I said to the train station. He gave me directions, and then hugged me. "When I say 'holla,' you say 'holla back.'"

"Holla!"

Holla back!

I hope I see him again.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fed up.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

When I'm at work in the evenings and have all printers running, there isn't much I can do until they are finished. So I hop online, check my email, read CBR, and relax.

The big boss stayed late one night so he could jerk off a client in the back room. He noticed my penchant for online socialization and had words with my supervisor. "Why am I paying him to use the internet?"

Hold on, asshole. If you don't like it when I don't have anything to do, I have a few options for you:

1) Fuck. Off.

2) Allow me to slap the shit out of you when you take an hour nap at your desk.

3) Stop browsing the internet for expensive watches, home theatre systems, and travel destinations.

4) Go do your fucking job, which includes getting more jobs for me to do.

5) Fuck. Off. Again.

Hey, I don't mind getting paid to do what I'm supposed to do. If I'm going to be that busy, great! That means the company is doing well, which is supposed to be reflected in my paycheck.

I've been given the directive to make it look like I'm busy.

I'm a terrible faker, so I refused. I flat out told my supervisor: "I'm not going to do it. It's completely stupid that I have to satisfy his ego and waste my time. It's monumentally retarded that I have to do that. He can see that there are no jobs in the Inbox. Those prints were huge, and needed to get done. Does he think I like staying until 1 AM with nothing to do but watch ink dry when I could be home drawing or at the gym?"

My supervisor said: "I know. You and I have an understanding. I know what's going on. But he doesn't."

I, for one, am completely sick of CIS - Corporate Induced Stupidity. More and more, I develop a problem with authoritah. I am tired of people in charge who do nothing. I am tired of people who complain about trivialities.

Detour:

How many of you have visited the greatest comic shop in New York? I'm talking about Rocketship, of course. It's like a regular bookstore that specializes in comics. But here, the major comic companies take a back seat to more independant stuff. There is a ton of it out there, and it's all outselling superheros. The first time I went to Rocketship, I immediately thought, "we need one of these in Astoria." Proprietors Mary & Alex (the latter whom I speak to on CBR and hang out with when I can) have created a very successful business model. Their clientele contains all demographics. They've been in business for a year and are already looking towards expansion.

The comic shop here is a poorly lit hole, run by an unfriendly misogynist who often smokes in the store. It perpetuates the stereotype of comics being a Boys Only club.

A few months ago, I noticed a plot of prime retail space in my neighborhood. It's a large space, recently renovated, half of the walls are windows, so it gets plenty of light. It's right next to the train station (the hole comic shop is practically IN the train station, however).

The phrase "Rocketship Astoria" entered my head.

Since then, I've either told people about Rocketship, or took them there. Everyone has been impressed. Lynne thinks there should be a coffee shop/lounge section (or a separate-yet-connected entity). Francis agrees with Lynne, and wants to open a store like it in Albany.

I've been idly fantasizing about it. My friend Merey from CBR (and fellow Astorian) is excited about it and is willing to pitch in once in a while, and help with decoration. She also knows a bit about contracts and such. I know bugger-all about business, so I'm still a bit wary of doing something so drastic.

The whole thing about my boss being an egotistical fuckwit has now got me seriously considering openning up a shop out here.

I don't care about printing. I don't care about matching Pantone swatches.

I do care about comics. I do care about art.

It's about time I started doing something I cared about with my life.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ha! It figures.

Lynne and I were walking around Saturday afternoon, and we came back to my place. Who should be out on her stoop, smoking at talking on her phone?

She saw us coming up the street, and scurried for cover like a cockroach when you turn on the light.

When we got inside, I went on a mini rant along these lines:

"Hi. You ditched ME, remember. I was the one you hurt. So when you see me coming down the street, you don't have to jump off the stoop and run inside to hide from me. Yeah, I was hurt, but I'm not angry about it. But your refusal to treat me like a human being really says a lot about you."

Lynne called her a coward and said good riddance.

And she's right, of course.

As per Alex's suggestion, we have to get Johnny to write a trashy song called Basement Bitch. He knew her, too, and it'd be pretty damn funny.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I am Charlie Brown.

I've figured it out; it makes perfect sense. I've had my fill of Lucy van Pelts, always pulling the football away at the last second.


I need a Marcie. It's the glasses.

(No, she & Peppermint Patty aren't gay. Sheesh.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Shitty Friday Night

This one's loaded with history; you might want to get something to eat. I'll wait.

*

*

Ready? Here we go:

A few years ago, my friend Chris was in a relationship with a rather sweet girl with a very peculiar name. She and her friends were into partying and getting wasted. Chris was...not.

The gals' friends weren't exactly supportive of the relationship; he was cramping their style, you see. After a while, she cheated on Chris, and they broke up.

These days, Chris is happily married with two adorable sons.

About two years ago, I went out on a spectacularly awkward date with a woman who's somewhat prominent in the local geek culture scene. She was very nice, but I had no idea what the hell I was doing (like that's changed). I came home that night with an "L" branded into my forehead. I've seen her about a few times since, and have taken each appearance as an omen of worse things to come. Nothing personal against her; like I said, she was very nice and respectful. It's just that when I DO see her, I can expect unrelated things to turn out badly.

A month ago, I was coming home late one night from work, around 1 AM. I heard a voice that wasn't coming from my MP3 player. I pulled out the earphones and turned onto my street. A girl was pacing out on the sidewalk, singing "Happy Birthday" very loudly and off-key into her friends' voice mail.

This level of sweetness made me crack a smile. She turned towards me, and I caught this dreadfully cute girls' eye. We kinda cracked up a bit, and I left her to her message, but not before overhearing her name.

A day later, I put up a Missed Connection ad on Craigslist. A week came and went, and my ad expired. A few days later I checked it again, and found that SHE placed an ad for me. I responded, and a week later we met up at the coffee shop a block away.

That day, I had been in Brooklyn helping my former land lady with her stoop sale. I got back to Astoria, picked up a peach rose, and got cleaned up. By this time, I had forgotten what she looked like - I wouldn't be able to recognize her. It was 1 AM, dark, she was carrying balloons, and the street lights were back-lighting her.

"I wonder if she's on MySpace."

Bingo. Oh yes, very cute. I scrolled down a little bit. "Smokes/Drinks: Yes/Yes."

*sigh*

I left the rose at home.

We met up at 8, and talked and laughed in the shop for about an hour. By this point, I realized I should have brought the rose anyway. There was a band warming up, and we were told that if we were going to stay, we'd have to pay a cover charge.

Pfft! Fuck that!

We walked home. During the conversation, she mentioned a friend with a peculiar name. I let it slide the first time. We arrived at our mutual stoops to find out: we're neighbors.

"Girl Next Door" indeed.

We talked for another hour, then her housemate had arrived. He needed to vent because of an argument with his live-in boyfriend. The three of us talked for a while, and found out that he and I went to the same art school.

They mentioned thier friend with the peculiar name again. Knowing full well that I'd regret it, I said, "Wait. [girls' peculiar name], kinda short, used to be a veggie, from Port Chester?"

"Yeah, we've been friends since I was 9. Wait, how did you know all that?"

"Holy Fuck. Chris' ex."

"You know LoParco?!"

"One of my best friends."

The conversation lasted well past midnight. We talked a little about music, and that one of her favorite bands was coming back to NYC for a show on the 28th (last night). Later on, she was trying to be quiet about it, but I overheard her mention to her housemate that her birthday was coming up soon. Eventually, the night had to end; she had to get up early for a double shift. Her housemate, an unwitting cock-blocker, finally left us alone. We hugged and went our separate ways. Before we went inside, she said, "Hey Jeff, drop me a line some time."

"Count on it."

Later that night, I went outside and put the rose on her outer gate for her to discover on her way to work. I woke up aroun 8:30 to turn off the A/C, and a few minutes later, I heard her laughter.

I called up Chris later on, because he simply HAD to know about this. We talked for a little while, and we both reached the same conclusion: people change. It's been a few years; who knows?

In subsequent emails, we talked about the band that was coming up, and I learned of her horribly delayed response time. In the mean time, I made a little Sifl & Olly birthday card (she's a big fan) and slipped it under her door. In the mean time, we planned on when to meet up for the concert, and I gave her my number so she could call me in case she couldn't find me.

Despite having a ton of work to do, I left the office early last night. I wandered around the Bowery Ballroom feeling like the creepy old guy in the club. Between sets of warmup acts (most of which sucked, by the way), I went all over the place looking for her. She hadn't given me her phone number, so I had no way of reaching her.

I typed into my phone, "Being stood up sucks."

The main attraction took the stage around midnight and put on a fantastic show. Really great, fun music, lots of energy, and audience participation. They got a new fan that night.

In case you didn't know, I'm not one for bars or clubs. I don't drink, the music is too loud...it's just not my scene. So I still felt awkward, standing way in the back, trying not to get crashed into while scanning the crowd for my so-called date.

The show finally ended around 1, and the crowd started to clear out. That's when I spotted the nice geeky woman I went out with two years ago. I did a double-take, laughed my ass off, and said, "Of course! How utterly proper."

I made one last trip around the club in search of the girl next door. I finally spotted her at the bar of the main floor, standing next to a guy who wasn't even half as shitfaced as she was. She was taking a sip of beer when I approached.

"Hey, I've been looking all over for you!"

She looked at me for a few moments. Her eyes were dull. She didn't recognize me, or remember my name.

"I'm waiting for the band to come back on stage."

She teetered.

"You're about to fall on your ass!"

"I've been smoking and drinking."

"What?"

"I've been smoking and drinking."

I made eye contact with the guy standing at the bar with her. He seemed bored.

"Yeeaaahh. Look, I'm gonna get out of here."

I left her there with the choices she'd made.

I got a block or two away, and decided that I'd go back to work. The office was a 15 minute walk away, and I didn't want to waste my Saturday on any more printing.

I sat down and let it all hit me. What the fuck have I done to deserve this?

I let myself get lost in my work, and then took a cab home. I cleaned up, took a melatonin pill, and crashed at 4 AM.

I woke up feeling much better. Even though we're neighbors, I'll likely never see her again anyway, due to our odd schedules. No big loss.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Let there be music!

On the right, you'll see a few customized radio stations from Pandora/Music Genome Project.

Alas, they have no Classical music selections.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Immovable Object vs Irresistable Force

I'm pretty aware of my invisiblity. The evidence comes to light every so often.

"But Jeff," you say, "guys who are six feet tall and weigh over 200 pounds are pretty damned visible."

Tell that to the people who've hit me with their car. Tell that to the women that have slammed into me on the subway platform.

Shortly before I moved to Astoria, I was orienting myself on on the City Hall NRW subway station. A woman was jogging toward the exit a few feet from me. I turned around only to have her slam into me and drop her purse.

"Oh, sorry, I didn't see you!"

Uh huh.

Shortly after I moved to Astoria, an uncautious driver decided I needed to briefly rest my feet as I crossed 24th Street. Whilst seated on the hood of the gentleman's car, I shouted:

"WHAT THE FUCK?!"

"Oh my god, are you okay?"

I'm fine, but when you see a stop sign, would you mind actually stopping?

Nearly a year later, it almost happened again, with the same guy, same car, same intersection. I spazzed out a bit. I shouted at him like a whacko for not paying attention.

And just this morning as I was coming home from work, I knocked a woman down. I was at the Times Square station, switching from the 1 to the N. On the level where musicians play and dancers get served, physics' ultimate showdown occurred.

Those of you who know me know that I walk at a fast pace, and that my feet are pretty firmly planted as I move.

I was wearing a bright red shirt; maybe she's red/green color blind?

Anyway, this rather pettite woman was running through the station and I saw her coming my way. As she got closer, I moved to one side to avoid the impending collision.

She moved in the same direction, and got knocked on her ass. I took a step back, apologized, and helped her up. She didn't even say anything to me. Aside from holding onto my arm for balance, she didn't acknowledge my existance.

She checked her iPod, and kept going.

Afterwards, I thought, "if you want me that badly, all you have to do is ask."

(I never think of this stuff when it happens. Curse my slow wit!)

----------------

On a side note, it feels good to get back to the gym after over a month.

It feels even better to be drawing again.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It always comes back to Port Chester

Holy Fuck, it's a small world. My motto has been "show up, and see what happens." It's also known as "high hopes, zero expectations."

Yeah, that may not have worked out so well for Napoleon, but I'm not trying to conquer.

It certainly leads to interesting results, and there's no doubt I had a good time. Now, I just have to wait to see what happens.

But as I've said over & over again (and there are witnesses)...

Holy Fuck.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Pit of Ultimate Darkness










While this one has nothing to do with Simon & Hecubus, it's one of my favorite sketches.


Friday, June 30, 2006

I don't know...

I wish I didn't feel so out-of-place. It's like I belong to a parallel dimension.

The past week, I've felt pretty low. No reason at all; I'd wake up each day and my body would say, "where the fuck do you think you're going?"

The very nice girl has deftly sidestepped my invitation to dinner. If she's read my navel-gazing moral quandary/flirting with others post, I certainly can't blame her.

NEWS FLASH:

I'm a dumb fuck, who's also fucked up.

My life could use a few retcon punches.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I'm So Ronery


*sighhhhhh* a rittre ronery...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

One Year Later

Note: This has nothing to do with the DC Comics storyline.

This blog is one year old. How to celebrate?

I know! A quick bitchfest about how public transportation can suck:

While at Queensboro Plaza this afternoon on the Manhattan-bound N, an older (late 30s/early 40s, I guess) obese fellow boarded the train, dragging his wheeled luggage behind him. His sweatpants were tucked into his shoes. The pants were soiled from the ankles up to mid-shins.

The gentleman must have gone swimming in the sewer recently because he was RANCID. Upon realizing that there wasn't an available seat, he threw down his luggage in my direction, and let out a "FUCK!" followed by a quiet stream of obsceneties.

The thought of getting up to correct his behavior quickly and violently crossed my mind, just before the stench overcame me, and survival instincts kicked in. Everyone within 10 feet got up and moved to one end of the car or the other. We were in the middle. I was ready to throw up as the train dove underground.

Moving to the next car was not an option: the doors were locked.

Not soon enough did we enter the next station. I RAN to the next car, and pittied anyone who entered the other.

At Times Square, the situation was much, MUCH less revolting. The downtown 1 train lacked air conditioning. It's amazing how quickly they turn into ovens.

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's funny...

When I first got my wonderful apartment in Astoria, one of my roommates shared my last name. We're not even close to related; it's purely a coincidence. Even though she's moved out, we still get mail for "The Brady Family."

Friday, June 16, 2006

So what's been going on?

It's been a whle since I've posted, so now that I have a half hour or so to breathe (and skip the gym for the third week in a row - dammit), let me fill you in on the past three weeks.

A quick breakdown: great news for others, good news for me, further good news for me, sad news for me, great news for everyone x2, great news for me, and then the depressing contemplation and moral quandary.

Oh, if the text is bold, it's a link. CLEEEEEEEEK!

Sean Peter Hogan was born a few Tuesdays ago to a very happy Francis & Mickey. The whole family is coming down on the 24th for the baptism.

(I have to update their family crest!)

About three weeks back, I went out to see X3 on a Friday night (it was Memorial Day weekend) with a bunch of other interweb comic nerds. A very nice girl sat down next to me and asked me to entertain her while we waited the half hour before the movie started. I pointed out to her that I work nights, was having difficulty sleeping, and just finished up a less-than-ideal day at work; I might not have been the best person to seek for entertainment. I didn't bother pointing out that I am completely socially fucktarded. We're comic geeks. I'd be stating the obvious. We talked about comics & other light stuff, and exchanged cards.

Once in a while, we'd hit a quiet point in the conversation, and I'd start to nod off, then catch myself and apologize. I really was tired. Hopefully the movie would wake me up.

Did it ever. As I obnoxiously laughed at the horridly absurd bits, she'd pat my shoulder. We'd exchange quick glances during the sweet bits.

This kicked my self-esteem up a half notch.

She had to leave after the movie, as her commute is one of the more hellish ones I've ever heard of. The rest of us went out for food & drinks, and for the most part stayed out until 5 AM. I had to take a cab home because of a fire in the subway tunnels. I passed out once I hit the bed, and vegged for the rest of the three day weekend.

Lynne dropped by on either Saturday or Sunday afternoon (memory's a bit fuzzy here), as she was apartment hunting in the area. We just relaxed for a while, watched TV and ordered food.

During the week, the nice girl and I emailed a bit back and forth; general small talk and questions about the upcoming weekend.

Another nice surprise was getting a MySpace Friend Request from Vern, the very lost fellow I 'rescued' in Brooklyn a few months ago. It's nice knowing that he's alive & well.

The following Saturday, as I was on my way to the train, I bumped into Lynne, Naomi & Kemp. They were on their way to a realtor's office. I wished them luck and headed out. I met up with Carlos, his brother Marco, and Bowie at Osteria Laguna for Carlos' bachelor party. The food was absofuckinglutely delicious. It's been well over a year since I've had foccacia alla robiola, and this place makes it pretty damn well. I only had a taste of their chocolate mousse (ooh, click it!!!), but I'm going back for more.

Way more.

The four of us hung out for a bit, just talking trash and laughing like we did in the good ol' days. We parted ways around 7, and I left for another comic geek meeting with many of the same folks as last weekend, including the very nice girl. This time, it was karaoke night.

I DID NOT SING. I DON'T SING.

(Just getting that out of the way.)

We were joined by a few other people, friends of one of the guys' fiancee. We non-participants mocked the horrible videos created for the songs, and occasionally the singers themselves (although not often - just the Asian guy doing his William Hung impersonation/tribute on "She Bangs.").

Harry Chapin's Cats in the Cradle came up and my nerves shot. See, I hate that song. Not because it's slightly representative of my relationship with my dad, but that it's obscenely sentimental and oversaturated with regret, and basically the cover tune for anyone with a crappy child hood.

The very nice girl, sensing my angst, squeezed my shoulder for a bit. She pulled away just as I reached up to hold it. She noticed this, and returned her hand to me. I put mine on hers and held it for few moments.

It was like we were the only people in the room.

We all left a little after 1 AM. I got home and crashed, despite feeling pretty good for a change. On Sunday, Lynne dropped by again to harrass me because my cell phone is never on, and to invite me to dinner.

I had been up for about two hours and needed to do laundry, so that wasn't happening.

They were in the neighborhood again, checking out apartments. One place she looked at was right next door. That would have been cool, but the place is too small for them.

Once my phone was on, I got a call from Mom telling me that my Great Uncle Bill Grady died Thursday of pnuemonia and kidney failure. He was a classic smart-ass, and generally quick-witted. How he got married was a pretty funny story:

World War Two was over, and everyone was discharged. My grandfather James had just proposed to Dorothy, my grandmother. Bill wasn't yet aware of this, and came calling to grandma.

"Hey Dorothy, would you like to go out tonight?"

"I'm sorry Bill, I just got engaged to Jim!"

"Is your sister home?"

Bill & Harriet had been together ever since.

Sunday was also Dad's birthday, which I remembered but forgot.

During the week, I played around with my Best Man speech. I'd typed it up onto my phone, just in case I wouldn't be able to memorize it all - and I wasn't able to, even after editing the HELL out of it.

Thursday was Chris' birthday, and in all the excitement of the wedding, I completely forgot to give him my belated wishes. I still haven't called him because by the time I remember each day, it's too late, and I don't want to wake up the kids.

Thursday night after work, I picked up a 16 oz can of some energy drink, plus a pack of energy strips. They're like the Listerine breath strips, only highly caffinated. I needed to show up at Carlos' house at 10 AM Friday. That meant I had to get up at 6. I went to bed at 4, as I was still on my nocturnal sleep schedule.

After my two hour nap, I consumed mass quantities of food, chugged the canned caffiene, and took three hits of acid - I mean, energy strips. I bathed, put on my penguin suit and began the long trek to Staten Island. I got there relatively on time. Carlos handed me the most ass-kicking gift: the Complete Calvin & Hobbes. Damn that thing is heavy!

The limo arrived (wee, first time in a limo!), and the driver gave Carlos & I the once-over. "Carlos, tuck in your tie, unbutton all but the top button on your vest."

When he got to me, he just said "you're alright." That could have meant many things:

1) He noticed my grommetted belt and figured out that I didn't care much.

2) He noticed my steel toe boots and figured out that I didn't care much.

3) He noticed that I was burning holes through him with my bloodshot eyes and figured out that I didn't care much.

The ride over to the place was relaxing. I got to know a little bit more about Carlos' dad and his affection for dogs.

We met Bowie, Chris & family, and an impatient photographer who really wanted me to take my glasses off for all the photos. Sorry man, I'm sorta FUCKING BLIND without them.

We all hung around, and I finally got to meet Chris' second son Victor. He's absolutely adorable. I got to hold him a few times. I'm looking forward to being a parent some day...in the very far future.

Everyone sort of wandered around while everything got set up. If something went wrong, or if Carlos had questions, I tried to find answers and solve problems (or find someone else to solve the problem).

The ceremony itself was wonderful. There was a bit of levity when the maid of honor (Tara's sister) realized she forgot the ring for Tara to give to Carlos. She looked right at her husband across the room (filming for the upcoming DVD), who pointed back over to another gentleman in the audience, who was carrying it for him.

Tara was crying through most of the ceremony; she needed to laugh and breathe for a minute.

I was shaking a little through the whole thing. Nerves + no sleep + joy + caffiene.

It wouldn't have been a wedding if Isaiah & Victor hadn't cried or screamed, so they made sure to play their part.

The Wedding Party exited to the hall and greeted everyone. It was great meeting Tara's mother; she was so happy.

Everyone retreated to the bar in the dining hall, where the acoustic guitarist/singer played a few good songs, including one of my favorites, The Girl from Ipanema (twice!).

(My wedding will have the Skullcakes play.)

From this point on, my memory gets fuzzy. Things may not be in the order they actually occurred, and the accuracy of certain events may be disputed.

We relaxed for a while, got some drinks, and generally shot the shit. After a while we were asked to move to the dining tables where a nice salad was waiting for us. Orders for our meals were then taken

I was then asked to give my speech. I explained to my captive audience that I was barely conscious, so I had to read it from my phone. Tacky? Probably, but it got the job done, and way more people laughed at my jokes than I thought would. I was well beyond nervous and skipped a line or two, and completely destroyed another. But I got through it to much applause.

I sat back down and Bowie commented that I looked ready to die. I inhaled a few more of those energy strips. Shortly afterwards, we were all greeted with a plate of pasta. I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Food is good.

Then our regular meals arrived. I got to hold Victor again (so Chris & Yanellie could eat and Isaiah could sleep), and felt another pang of fatherly instincts kick me in the gut.

Bowie was the DJ at this event, clicking through Carlos' playlists on his laptop. There was a bit of dancing -

I DID NOT DANCE. I DON'T DANCE.

Bowie did, for a few seconds, though.

- and finally, there was cake & ice cream. Really, that's the whole point of a wedding: dessert. Neither one of the couple smashed the cake in each others faces, to the dismay of many guests.

There was a little more dancing, certificates were signed, and we all slowly cleared out. Just before she left, Tara's Mom came up to me, held my hands, and thanked me for my speech. She then said that I have "a wonderful friend" in Carlos.

I replied, "thanks to you, I have two wonderful friends."

Getting back to Carlos' house was...awkward. I hopped into the back of an SUV driven by his uncle, the passenger seat occupied by his aunt. To my left was another middle-aged woman and to her left was her husband, both names I've completely forgotten. After getting smooshed every time we took a right turn, the lady apologized and said I could do it back to her when we turned the other way.

Which seemed...odd.

Soon after, I got caught off guard at an abrupt left turn, and smooshed back into them.

She said softly, and I QUOTE: "It's okay baby, I like it."

A chill went down my spine.

Once I recovered, I purposefully braced myself against future smooshing. The next left turn we took, she was disappointed and said, "Come on, do it back to me. It's okay."

Let me be clear (and funny at the same time): I'm not interested in MILF Hunting.

For the rest of the trip back, during rush hour on a Friday afternoon, she remained disappointed. I felt a little bit skeeved out.

We eventually got back to the house. I grabbed my stuff (including the very, VERY heavy boxed set), shook Marco's hand, and got the heck out of dodge.

I made my way from Staten Island to Park Slope, Brooklyn, to the MOCCA kick-off party at Rocketship. I arrived a half an hour early while still in full wedding regalia, and I shopped and spent a ton & a half of money. Proprietors Mary & Alex recognized my semi-conscious state and were EXTREMELY helpful even as they set the place up for the party (many, many thanks again). I occasionally chat with Alex on the Comic Book Resources Community Forum, so he kinda knew I'd show up.

While at the party, I ran into SVA/Newport Dorm Alumni Celia Bullwinkle, as I do every time I'm there. We caught up a bit, and a few more people from CBR showed up, as did the very nice girl I've mentioned earlier. I was asked by a few people, "did you just come from a wedding?"

Do I need to answer that at this point?

After Michael Pullmann and I were standing around, listening to Joe Rice yuck it up about his impending nuptuals, Catherine approached and asked if either of us was Ed Cunard. While we aren't him, we both know who he is since we all post on CBR. About 30 minutes into the party, Mike noticed that I was teetering a little. Then I saw someone who shouldn't be allowed to breathe, let alone breed. This waste of flesh who makes me look like Brad Fucking Pitt enraged me. Mike egged me on to turn to the dark side.

Oh, if only he knew. But I didn't want to get blood all over the store's merchandise and original art hanging on the walls.

Anyway, I said good night to the very nice girl, and hauled ass for 10 blocks back to the Pacific Street subway station, while carrying three very heavy bags full of comics. An hour later, I was back in Astoria, walking the 10 blocks to my apartment. When I was a half-block away from my doorstep, I ran into my friend Drew, and begged him to help carry one of the bags.

Thankfully he did. I got into the apartment, greeted my roommate, set my alarms for MOCCA the next day, and crashed.

I arrived at the Puck building around 1 PM, and ran into Mary & Alex from Rocketship, and "Winslow" from CBR. Winslow and I joined the fellows running Graphic Language, and the very nice girl for a quick lunch at a bar a few blocks away. Ed Cunard is a friend of a friend, and we know a bit more about each other because of this. Besides comics, we also share similar tastes in music.

Shortly afterward I ran into a friend of a former roommate, R Stevens, at his Diesel Sweeties table and harrassed him for a few minutes. In my wanderings, I bumped into Celia, Mike Pullmann, Dave Forrest, Brian Chichester, Khary Randolph, Brian George, Kano, Vanessa Satone, and a few other people I'm forgetting in my haze of that weekend.

Khary and I talked for a while, and he became the third person (after Aleeeeeeex and Carol) to suggest turning my blog into a comic. "Yeah, it's depressing, but it would make an AWESOME book!" I've been thinking about it since Alex brought it up many months ago; Khary's vote of confidence reinforced everyone elses comments.

I proceeded to shell out slightly less than $200 on a gigantic stack of books that, combine with the books from Rocketship, will last me for a few months.

At five, I went home to unload all of my stuff so I wouldn't be weighed down at the Fantagraphics/CBLDF party after the doors shut on MOCCA for the day. After being a total idiot and forgetting in no particular order: my wallet, map, metrocard, and cell phone (thus leaving the house, realizing I forgot something, turning back, leaving again, forgetting, going back, etc), I finally got to the bar, where I once again met Celia and her bf Jim. Soon, Winslow, Ed, and the very nice girl showed up. Ed sat down next to Catherine, the woman from Rocketship who was looking for him. She was about 5 feet away & didn't realize it. There was a nice "oh HEY!" moment. The very nice girl sat at my table, both wired & exhausted. I put my hand on hers, and she just plotzed. She was also on 2 hours of sleep that day. A few more people showed up and just about everyone else mingled. Winslow and I talked for a while over the loud music.

I was losing interest in the scene, and said good night to everyone. I walked over to the very nice girl, seated at another table with friends/artists. She rose from her seat and gave me a very warm hug. She said, "someday we'll hang out when there aren't 10,000 people involved." I laughed and said "I'd like that."

I got home and ordered some Thai food, and crashed again.

On Sunday, I arrived just in time to bid Winslow farewell, and Ed was also on his way out. I followed him around as he said goodbye to everyone. We talked for a little while, but not nearly enough as either of us would have liked. Once he took off, I ran into the very nice girl while she was on a break. I followed her around as she went to another table to pick up something for her coworker. While we were standing still for a few moments, I put my arm around her as a sort of half-way hug. A smile dawned on her face and all was well. She had to get back to work, unfortunately. I wandered around for a while, and then headed back to the Diesel Sweeties table to harrass Rich for a while. He's a laid back, funny guy.

While at Rich's table one of his fans started talking to me. I explained to her that I was invisibly chained to the table and was forced to harrass Rich when he wasn't selling anything. I got a chuckle out of her, and she introduced herself while extending her hand. I took it and responded in kind, transfixed by her eyebrow piercings.

Fucktard that I am, it wasn't until AFTER she walked away that I realized she was flirting with me. I shortly left Rich to his own devices to seek her out, but she vanished.

Stupid, stupid, STUPID!

Filled with disappointment, I started to say goodbye to everyone. I ran into Evan, a friend of Francis'. He handed me a mini-comic, and we briefly chatted. I then went to say goodbye to the very nice girl, and left.

This Sunday, I'm helping Lynne move from Bay Ridge to Astoria. It'll be nice to have another friend in the neighborhood.

*whew*

Now, onto the moral quandary.

The very nice girl is indeed, very nice. She's very affectionate, which is the main attraction. She's a comic geek, a vegetarian, and a non-drinker/smoker. Every time I talk to her, I find another reason to like her.

The problem is I can't tell if my attraction to her is genuine or not. Do I really like her, or is it just because 1) she likes me, and 2) I'm a lonely, lonely bastard and will take whomever I can get?

Let's not forget the time I mistook physical affection for romantic interest, either. That was painful enough. This is worse.

I don't know. I guess it feels more like attachment than attraction. While some practice at relationships would be good for me, I don't want to lead anyone on. I certainly don't want to use her or hurt her.

Dammit, I'm too fucking detatched to know what's going on inside me.

Fuck fuck fuckety fuck fuck fuck.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Carlos & Tara's Wedding

All I have are 8 good pictures. More to come in a couple of weeks, as I get the official pics, and a few from the other people there.

Click here for a Flickr slideshow.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I was wrong about the bookshelves...



Leave it to Sparky to show us the way.

(click pic to enlarge)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Huh.

That was unexpected. Really cool, but unexpected. Especially since I was half asleep and kinda grumpy.

And I'm really sorry for laughing all the way through X3.

Kinda sorry.

Well, okay, not sorry at all. It was just so lame!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Damn, that is sweet.

I was watching a documentary on Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album the other day. Miles used to call up Bill Evans, one of the pianists on the album, and ask him to set the phone on his piano, just to hear Bill play. That's how much Miles admired his work.

I need to hear more live music, even if it's over the phone.