#300: The Unbearable Chainess of Being

Alternate title: "Yes, Your Chai-ness."When I told B I was doing this, what he actually said was, “You don’t have to lie, it’s okay.”

“I’m not lying!  I’m really going to do it!”

“Uh-huh.  Why don’t you just get more sleep?”

As of right now, I have had a cup of chai and no coffee (it’s about 15:30).  I am mostly awake (running in the cold helps), but I have a headache.  We’ll see how it goes.

Also: 300 comics.  I’m not sure if I’m thrilled or vaguely horrified.  Probably both.  What have I done? I keep asking myself.  What have I done?

Sketchbook: J. D. Salinger

Once I had an argument with two guys in a bar (I know, right?).  One of them contended that “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” by J. D. Salinger was the best short story ever written in English.  Another suggested the true answer was, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Earnest Hemingway.  I, of course, knew that the answer was “The Dead” by James Joyce, though after I read the Hemingway I was willing to admit it to second place.

Today I sat down and read “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” because I felt like reading some Salinger and I don’t currently own a copy of A Catcher in the Rye.  It’s a really good short story, definitely solid enough for third place.  It made me think about how all three of these great works of fiction are centered around death.  There are plenty of short stories and novels about love, but it seems like only through looking at death do we really create literature that examines The Human Condition.

It’s a theory, anyway.  (Most of my favorite books have both love and death in them – Ulysses, The Great Gatsby…)

Salinger was 91 so this isn’t exactly a surprise.  Whether he has a closet full of unpublished novels or not, I wish him the best.  He was a guy who really liked to write, and I can respect that.

#297: [untitled]

I’m actually feeling somewhat better about this, which is why I decided to post it.  B suggested when I drew it on Wednesday that I should wait and see how I felt come Friday.   I’d say that was an intelligent thing to point out though.  Also I couldn’t think of anything better and now it is late.

#296: Touché, Sir

This weekend we went shopping for wedding rings.

This is actually the most sexist/awkward Wedding Industrial Complex thing we’ve done since we started planning the wedding.  First I had to explain to two separate people at the (large chain) jewelry store that I didn’t want a ring with diamonds and I didn’t want platinum, I just wanted a plain band that matched B’s.  Then there was this lovely comment.

For the record, most of the people we’ve worked with have been extremely professional when hearing of our rather non-traditional plans.  I mean, we wouldn’t be working with them if they had been rude or derogatory.  Maybe that’s why I was a little surprised when the salesman came out with this.

Em oi! #294: Suffragette City

Lucy Stone (sometimes Lucy Stone Blackwell) was one of those interesting figures from early feminist history.  She put herself through college, lectured all across the South on abolition and women’s rights, wore bloomers, kept her hair short, and still managed to get married and have a daughter (who herself was also a feminist and college educated – Alice Stone Blackwell).

Her husband, Henry Browne Blackwell, allegedly proposed within an hour of their first meeting (he’d seen her speak previously, and was a fan).  She said no, but two years later they got married.  I guess he convinced her.

#292: New Year’s Day

I actually did all of these thing today, including baking a loaf of whole wheat bread.  It was a very simple recipe (3 c. flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast, 2 T. molasses, 2 T. butter, 1 c. warm milk, about 1/2 c. warm water), and I think it over-proofed a little (the loaf is somewhat flat) but it is delicious.  I steamed it (i.e. I put a pan of water in the oven beneath it) which gave it a really nice crust.

What can I say, I’m a runner, I like my carbs.

I also really appreciate the tired, happy feeling I get after a really intense run (10.2 miles in 14 degree weather, e.g.).  I’ve been moving slowly but efficiently through my afternoon ever since I came back, relishing the slight soreness of my muscles.  Now that the comic is done, I’ll go work on my novel for a while (I’ve also done the dishes, made some soup in addition to the bread, and done a load of laundry).

Some of the web comics I read, their authors have said, “I have so many cool things planned for the next year, I hope you stick with us.”  I do echo the first sentiment – people reading is one of the main reasons I keep at this – but I can’t say for sure what’s planned for Em oi!  It’s a diary comic for one, and so I don’t know what will happen in the next year and be chronicled.  And for another, I get bored, and when I write out more than a handful of scripts in advance I tend to decide the later ones are irrelevant or dull and move on to the next thing.  So who knows what will happen?  But it is going to be a pretty big year for me personally as well as my various sidekicks, so I hope you’ll stick around.  It should be pretty cool.