Em oi! #387: Bad Dog

Bad Dog


Oof. Remember when I used to have time to blog? Me neither.

Ironically, I finished this drawing almost a month ago, when we were visiting Baltimore. But I didn’t get it posted the week we came back because we were packing for the move, and then we were moving. After the move, first I couldn’t find the sketchbook. Then I found the sketchbook but I didn’t know where my eraser (the one surviving eraser at this point), so I couldn’t finish the sketch. Last night I decided to get my act together.

I’ll file this under: SF429.S63 L86 2013, which stands for:
Animal culture–Pets–Dogs–By breed, A-Z–Shiba dogs.

More comics about the dog here and here.

I ran the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon on the 12th of October. It was fun. I was going to write a race report, but let’s face it: The chances of that happening are kind of slim at this point. I get up every morning at 5:30 to start work on my thesis, then I work out and do actual work, and after all that I have no energy left. So enjoy a few photos from the run:

go pass
My MTA ticket. I <3 public transit.
pre race
Looking skeptical before the race.
starting line
There was a goodly walk from where we lined up to the starting line, the last bit was uphill. It was a bit confusing. I bet people who actually read their race packet knew about this though.
It’s the Natty Boh man. We’re in B’more, hon.
lake building
I’d been reading _From Hell_, and this building looked strangely like some freemason business.









empty rowhouses
Running past empty rowhouses.
Post-race. I finished in 2:00:07.

Em learns to ski

A few weeks ago we were in Lake Tahoe. Last time we went on a ski trip, I tried to learn to snowboard. It was not a huge success, involving as it did a lot of falling down, crying, shouting, bruises, and eventually a migraine. This time I decided to learn to cross-country ski, something I’d not done in easily 20 years.

Like a graceful blue bird, Em descends the mountain.
Like a graceful blue bird, Em descends the mountain.

At one point, I asked the guy who was renting out skis to give me a brief overview of the trails. He was kind enough to point out good routes. One of them he said, “This one is very flat.”

It turns out “flat” is a relative term on a mountain.

I picked out a route, about 12 km round-trip, that was uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back. This let me tackle the problems of how to ski uphill and downhill one at a time, and I eventually got the hang of it. I went on to ski almost 20 km that day and gave myself a wicked blister. Anyway, I’m in love with skiing. I made a friend of mine go skiing with me at Elver Park here in Madison yesterday, and it was awesome.

I like ski trips because I get to do stuff like eat fancy food, drink fancy drinks, look at poorly proofed artwork, and think about how terrible the airport in Reno, NV is.
precious artwork

precious artwork2
Bryan was so impressed by the scare quotes on this sign he made me take a photo. I like a man who can get excited about inappropriate punctuation. That’s one of the reasons I married him.



Reno, NV, you are a terrifyin
Reno, NV, you are a terrifying place.

Then we come home and I get to see dog again and feel more attached to reality instead of a jet-setting lifestyle.

For her part, dog is not overly attached to the ground.
For her part, dog is not overly attached to the ground.

My thesis proposal is done and handed in, so until I get some comments on it I’m in a bit of a lull. (Well, a lull that requires me to continue working all the time on various things.) I’m hoping to get caught up on some other projects–writing/drawing comics, blogging…My ankle and I have reached a détente, so I’m back to training. I managed eight miles on Friday, eleven on Saturday (plus skiing), then seven this morning, and I feel good. Tomorrow it’s back to the pool for a day off.

After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to take myself off Facebook for the nonce. Not totally–I’ll stick around to monitor the comments on comics and that sort of thing. But for a lot of reasons, I need to put some distance between me and FB for a while. Feel free to email me (ehlupton(AT)gmail(DOT)com) if you want to chat, or leave a comment here. I’d love to hear from you.

Em oi! #355: Sports Medicine

I'm smooth.

This is not the first comic about me fainting in public. I’m not writing this from home, so I’ll have to update this post later on tonight with the previous one. At any rate, this happens periodically (at least two major times since I’ve known B., every couple of years before then, and a few other times where I started to pass out but then managed to stave it off). I don’t know why it happens–I can tell you that the technical name is “syncope,” which as a word sounds delightfully Victorian, like “apoplexy.” I can also say that from my research, it’s either something or it’s nothing. But it’s such a vague symptom I think it would only annoy a doctor to try to get it checked out. SO. I promised B I would get it checked out if it happened for a third time within six months (I had a dizzy/nearly passed out episode in October, so I guess I’m safe after next month).

Let’s file this one under RB150.S9 L86 2012 for
Pathology—Manifestations of disease—Other manifestations of disease, A-Z—Syncope.

While I was working on this post, I started looking around for the last comic I drew about my syncope. I couldn’t find it (it must be on the computer I haven’t checked; I’ll set it up this weekend and pull it off). But I did find the best comic I’ve ever drawn:

Eine Kleine Chaos Musika

We’ll file this retrospectively under PN56.A24 L86 2008 for
Literature (General)—Theory. Philosophy. Esthetics—Relation to and treatment of special elements, problems, and subjects—Other special—Topics, A-Z—Absurdity.

Finally, here are three photographs: two of my new haircut (taken by B) and one of my dog.

Em oi! #353: Dog Dreams

Very grammatical.

I should have one more comic this week. Then I’ll be on vacation until January.

This is based on an actual dream of Bryan’s. It wasn’t that the dog was speaking which surprised him, but that the dog had started using appositives.  But then again, she did receive an honorary DFA for her first birthday, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when she begins to use advanced grammatical structures.

File this one under: BF1099.L35 L86 2011, for Parapsychology–Dreaming–Special topics, A-Z–Language and Languages.

Em ơi! #348: Zombie Summer

Voyez-vous les zombies la?  Les zombies la et le loup garou?


I had a lovely lunch with my friend Rowan today, and complained a bit about not having time to finish this comic, which I have been working on since the 5th of July.  She was all kinds of sympathetic, and mentioned that she checks the site every Friday religiously.  So actually I had another two days to finish it…but when my homework took until 21:00 to complete and it became apparent that no running would be happening tonight, I decided just to scan it and get it over with.

The comic is real though; if Maya didn’t pull so hard on the leash when we walked out the door, we would probably not move forward.  I would just fall asleep on my feet in the doorway.  Then the cat would get out and Maya would go crazy and something tragic would happen.  The end.

Technically speaking, you’re supposed to teach the dog not to pull on the leash.  And I do try to discourage it during every other walk we go on during the day (typically two to three of them).  But at 6:15, my brain is not available to process that kind of information let alone act on it.

I had a lot to write about, but it has slipped from my mind, probably because it is so hot outside.  Oh well.  Next time, I’ll do something fun about colonialism, since that is all I read about nowadays.  Whee!

This one is getting filed under NC825.M6 L86 2011 for

Drawing.  Design.  Illustration–Special subjects (Technique, history, and collection)–Other subjects, A-Z–Monsters.

It turns out there is no specific subject heading for zombies under drawing.  However film and folklore both have zombie sub-categories.  Clearly an oversight.

I should add that this was a trial with pen and ink–the dog seems like an ideal subject since she’s furry, and I thought pen and ink might bring that out…I may need a different type of paper though.  And more practice.  We’ll see.

Okay, bedtime.

Em oi! #342: Stomach Troubles

Last comic about the dog, I swear.Ok, last comic about the dog for a while.  I had to eventually admit to myself that this one just isn’t going to get colored and put it up as-is.  Sorry about that.  I am too busy.  It is getting to be that time of the semester.

So yes, big announcement I had to make: I’ve been accepted to the Languages and Cultures of Asia MA program.  I’ll be studying Thai (language, literature, history, special interest in translation).  Officially this is a terminal MA program with some expectation that one will continue on to the Ph. D.  I have not yet determined whether I will apply for that option or not.

The stomach troubles associated with this comic’s creation are long past, but the effects linger on.  After 24 hours or so of getting food from the fridge instead of the bin in the mud room, Maya came to believe that when the fridge door opens, it means MAYA FOOD comes out.  Oops.  Us having to give her pills with peanut butter (our PB is kept in the fridge) didn’t help this impression.

This comic is filed under SF427.4.L86 S76 2011 for Animal culture–Pets–Dogs–Feeding.

It turns out that while there “Dogs–Religious aspects–Christianity” and “Dogs–Religious aspects–Islam” seem to be established as subject headings, there’s no “Dogs–Religious aspects–Judaism.”  Odd.  But I guess Jews don’t hold masses (like Catholics have done/still do sometimes) where animals get blessed or anything…

Anyway, next comic will be better, I promise.  And sooner.

Last comic about the dog, I swear.

Em ơi! #341: The Shiba Inu, part 2

Apparently, Norman barks at B because he doesn't like men.

Apparently our condo has thick walls.  Thank goodness.  This was also the longest conversation we’ve had with our neighbor since she moved in (she lives on the other side of our duplex), so it’s a bit random for her to give us a dog toy.  Maya has really been enjoying chewing on the bully stick though.  It is a great toy.

This comic is filed under
SF429.S63 L86 2011a, which stands for:
Animal culture–Pets–Dogs–By breed, A-Z–Shiba dogs.

So to give you some idea of what my training schedule has been like since I last posted:

Week of March 7th-March 13th

Monday: Biked 19.5 miles
Tuesday: Ran 10.3 miles
Wednesday: Ran 8.1 mi
Thursday: Ran 10.5 mi
Friday: Swam 2550 yards
Saturday: Ran 22.6 miles
Sunday: Ran 10.5 miles
Total: 19.5 miles biked, 2550 yards swum, 62 miles run

Week of March 14-March 20th:

Monday: Swam 3100 yards
Tuesday: Ran 10.3 miles
Wednesday: Ran 10.2 miles
Thursday: Ran 10.4 miles/Ran 2.4 miles as second evening run
Friday: Swam 3200 yards
Saturday: Ran 11.1 miles
Sunday: Ran 24 miles
Total: 6300 yards swum, 71.5 miles run

And this past week:

Monday: Swam 2000 yards
Tuesday: Ran 10.3 miles
Wednesday: Ran 8.1 miles, plus about 2.3 miles evening run on the elliptical
Thursday: Ran 10.3 miles, then 3.1 miles in the evening
Friday: Day off.
Saturday: Ran 20.2 miles
Sunday: Ran 11.6 miles
Total: 2000 yards swum, 65.9 miles run

So if you see me looking tired, that’s why.

During the 20-miler this past Saturday, I managed to take a header and scrape up my right knee and apparently bruise my left foot.  So far it doesn’t seem to be anything serious, but I’m keeping an eye on it.

Taper begins now, by the way.  I’m excited.


Em oi! #340: The Shiba Inu, part 1

"Maya" is, among other meanings, an alternate name for the Goddess Durga.I’ll admit it, I’ve been a little tired lately, a little depressed.  For various reasons, comics are not getting done as quickly as I’d like them to.  But that’s all going to change (I hope). I’ll be able to officially announce why in a few weeks.

For now, here’s what I’ve got on the docket: a race. This race, in fact. It’s April 9th at 8:00 in the Arb. I’m doing the 50k. If you’ll be in the area, come say “hi.” If you come around 13:00, maybe we can do lunch.

I like lunch.

I’m sure you’re wondering how one trains for a 50k. Let me show you my last two weeks, because they are illustrative:

This was a “cycle down” week, so the longest run was 10 miles (well, 11).
Monday, 21 Feb: Swam 2500 yards.
22 Feb: Ran 8.1 miles (9.4 min/mi pace)
23 Feb: Ran 7.2 miles (10.2 min/mi pace), then 3.4 mi with Bryan in the evening
24 Feb: Ran 8.1 mi (10.3 min/mi pace)
25 Feb: Swam 2500 yards and lifted weights (legs)
26 Feb: Ran 11.3 mi (11.1 min/mi, plus about 1 mile with dog)
27 Feb: Ran 10.8 mi (11.4 min/mi)
Total: 48.9 mi ran, 5000 yards swum

This was a normal week. My weeks will look about like this until the race:
Monday, 28 Feb: Swam 2750 yards
1 March: Ran 8.1 mi (9.5 min/mi)
2 March: Ran 8.7 mi (9.4 min/mi pace) plus 3.4 mi with B in the evening
3 March: Ran 8.9 mi (9.9 min/mi pace)
4 March: Swam 2250 yards
5 March: Ran 22.6 mi (10.6 min/mi pace)
6 March: Ran 10.5 mi (10.6 min/mi pace)
Total: 62.2 miles ran, 5000 yards swum

My training plan has two elements which are quite different from my usual marathon plans:

1. Two days off per week (Monday and Friday).

2. Back-to-back long runs (in the 2nd week here, 22 and 10).

This takes a lot out of a body.  I’m running about 10.5 hours per week, give or take, and swimming about 2 hours.  If I added in another hour of swimming and maybe 5 hours of biking, I could be doing an Ironman.  Of course, B would never get to see me, which is a problem.  And already I’m starving all the time.  I hate to see what would happen to our food budget if I upped my mileage any more.

Anyway, the situation around our house is calming down somewhat. Kali has decided that Maya is not terrifying (more annoying) and is sleeping at my feet as I type this (having the heating pad on doesn’t hurt). Maya is…well, she’s a handful, but things are getting easier. And as for me, I can’t say I’m exactly used to getting up at 6:30 to take her out every morning, but I’m resigned to it, and I’m getting in the habit of getting to bed early enough that I’m not totally non-functional.

Apparently shiba inus are not necessarily recommended for first time dog owners, and shiba puppies have a certain reputation for being hellacious bundles of fur. Now they tell us. Because she’s a rescue, we don’t really know what happened to Maya before she came to live with us, but she doesn’t really have any bad habits (unless you count being kind of reserved around new people as a bad habit). And the screaming is getting better. A little better, anyway. I have to hope it will eventually be totally better, or else I will run mad. Mad I say!

Ok, maybe it’s bed time.

All in all, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend getting a puppy, although there are some benefits (see the aforementioned no bad habits thing). But in general we’re pretty happy with Maya.

This comic is filed under
SF429.S63 L86 2011, which stands for:
Animal culture–Pets–Dogs–By breed, A-Z–Shiba dogs.