Friday, March 24, 2006
Ahh... the madness has finally subsided.
My bathroom is whole once more... and they even replaced my shower-head so I can actually wash my ass without having to stand on my tippy-toes to do it. It's been long overdue,.. but at last my microscopic water closet can compete with any roadside Motel shit-house that you might find on I-35 driving from Temple to Austin, Texas!
I'm considering another visit to Japan in October or November...
It would be my 5th time there and I have almost enough Frequent Flyer miles to cop an almost free round trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. All my ducks are slowly moving into line...
Then... suddenly... my roomate drops a bomb on me.
He's moving out at the end of the month. He drops this on me with almost no notice... but what can I do?
He's an old friend of mine... I just don't have it in me to stick it to him like he's obviously capable of doing to me.
It's just terrible timing. I just can't believe that he would pop this on me after I was willing to take him in (and on such short notice, I may add) when he desperately needed a stable place to stay a few years back...
Feh.. whatever. Good riddance. He'll only regret it later on when he realizes what he left behind.
I'll bet that his new landlord or roommate won't let him slack off on the bills like I did...
Shit... I even covered him a few months back because he was short on cash... what a sucker I am.
I may go anyway...
It's hard to pass up a practically free ride to that magnificent country. It will be great to hang with Kazu and the rest of the gang again as well...
Japan Fun Fact #68: The Daibutsu in Kamukura Japan (Central Honshu) was cast in 1252 out of bronze and is 44 feet tall.
It has survived tidal waves, fires, earthquakes, and typhoons.... even when the buildings that once contained it could not. It stands outside, naked to the elements... sitting unchanged as it has for over 750 years. The Buddha's features are slightly distorted so that it appears balanced when veiwed from a low front perspective... similar to some Greek statuary. Silk Road influence perhaps?...
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Holy Gaping Cavity, Batman...!!!
I was having some work done on my bathroom tub this morning...but I wasn't prepared for the mass destruction that followed!
It's like this... every 5 months or so, I have to get my bathtub re-caulked because the gap between the tile and the top of the tub has been slowly widening (because of faulty installation and water damage) over the 12 years that I have been here. Water runs down the side of the tub when I shower, flows through the cracks in the caulk, and leaks into the lower apartments and inner foyer of the building.
Now... if they simply replaced the tub or re-installed it properly the first time, we wouldn't need these semi-annual visitations that send my cats scurrying for cover under my bed sheets.
It's all come to a head though this morning... and the repairman says that they'll have to rip out the tub itself to effect repairs...
It's not exactly reassuring to look headlong into your building's guts and have a repair expert rip out a moisture rotten timber from the wall struts with his bare hands... so much for "structural integrity".
I'll report back as to when I'll have a proper place to belt out J-pop lyrics as soon as I get an update...
Until then, I suppose I'll have to keep the bathroom door shut to discourage wayward vermin and the odd sewer zombie from just crawling up into my apartment from the basement/sub-structure beneath the complex.
Trust me when I tell you that taking a dump in your own bathroom isn't nearly as relaxing and satisfying when you have to hear the sounds of everyone else in the building chattering away through the gaping chasm in your bathroom floor... especially when you're afraid that they might overhear you "extricating" yourself from your bodily waste!
Maybe the smell will keep the zombies away at least....
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Actually made some progress in the last couple of days... despite a small Calligraphy gig that popped into my lap at the last minute. It never fails... as soon as I set aside a weekend to make progress on my personal work, some random client manages to call at 5:30 on Friday afternoon with a last minute job for me. I can't really complain... times are tough and I really need the work... especially with my roommate threatening (again) to move out at the end of the month.
Regardless, I finished up the job as quickly as I could and still managed to squirt out a page of my own story to boot this weekend... DAMN, I'm good!
A funny thing, actually... the last page I finished and the one I'm scribbling away on now are actually pretty exciting. I'm setting a new precedent in my story. These two pages feature a few panels that portray a villainous male character assaulting and choking the life out of a female victim. Pretty brutal stuff... and necessary for the narrative. I'm trying my best to keep the scenes from becoming gratuitous in their violent content... while attempting to retain the shocking quality of the imagery.
I usually really try to steer clear of the whole "Damsel in Distress" convention often used in graphic story-telling... but it just seems so utterly appropriate for the sordid story I'm telling. I have to show how this girl ( a secondary character) is just being used as a tool... a plaything for the amusement of the tale's antagonist. I have to show what a vacuous soul he is... distant and cruel.
We need to see what happens to the girl, because it foreshadows the possible fate of one of the main protagonists. It has to be as frightening as possible in order to build her growing dread... we, as the viewer, are watching what happens through her eyes... experiencing the terror with her.
Anyway... it's good creepy fun... and I almost find myself feeling guilty for devising this sad fate for the fictional gal I've drawn.
A character created only to be destroyed for a pivotal plot device. Poor kid never had a chance...
Monday, March 06, 2006
A quicky query... why is it that so many seemingly intelligent and insightful women repeatedly choose to immerse themselves in relationships with men that treat them like glorified penis warmers?
I fully realize that folks tend to gravitate towards people that seem unattainable (and those "Bad Boys" just seem so delectably out of reach)..., but it's just so unnerving when they are challenged on the point... and they are shockingly aware of their problem! No denial... no defensive rebuttals... they are fully conscious of their behavior. Some even cling to their obvious malfunction with gleeful affection! It's the one and only time I'd give my eye-teeth to hear a gal I dig tell me how full of shit I was...
I have recently been faced once again with this awful truth...
I met a terrific girl who has everything a guy could possibly want. She's got so much going on in her favor, it outta be illegal.
Yet, regardless of her laundry list of merits, she finds herself trapped in a loveless relationship with a "Bad Boy".
A man that is not only embarrassed of her and lies about their relationship to his family, but also expresses absolutely no interest in her as an individual.... oh... unless you count the times when he wants to put his pecker in her.
He's a charmer when he's got the time... but it's the "nice guy" friend like me that she turns to for consolation and feedback.
The worst part is... when I confronted her with her predicament, she only informed me that it wasn't the first time she had gone down this path. She said that it was something she got from her Mother...
Darwin was a complete bastard.
"Natural Selection," my ass...
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Well... here goes.
I suppose that in order for me to start this out properly, I ought to anchor it with some honesty.
See the struggling artist spinning his wheels in New York City, teeth clenched against his slow and steady descent into middle age... see how he frets and rages?
So many things only half done.... half realized. Where did the easy part get off to?
Time to put my nose to the grindstone once again.
My next strip is taking absolutely forever to finish. Too many interruptions and absentee efforts. Balancing all those hats can take a terrific toll on your head. My last published story was printed over 2 years ago now... I've got to move forward instead of revising and laboring over simple transitional panels. At least the recent pages still look good to me... a small victory.
Kazuko is still in Japan and I'm still here.
What more needs to be said?
Last night, I read a random blog about a gentleman learning to deal with the recent death of his Father.
I had scarcely finished the first entry when I inexplicably became almost completely overcome with grief.
Unbelievable... almost 3 years after my own Father's passing, and I am only now partially able to allow myself some measure of grieving. It's as if I can only express my frailty among strangers, far removed from my own friends and family.
Does this reflect poorly upon me? Perhaps.
My Father taught me well....
Friday, March 03, 2006
Everything begins somewhere... this place seems as good as any.
I'm hoping that this will serve as a sort of odd reliquary for the daily insanity that passes unfiltered into my life on a constant basis. I'm hoping that if I hold those strange nuggets up to the light of scrutiny, they will somehow translate into something worth holding on to...
Wish me luck...