Saturday, December 12, 2015

Where I'm Calling From

It turns out that Hannibal has been cancelled.  This displeases me.
Not by coincidence I'm listening to Hannibal Buress while I'm looking for images of Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal.  It turns out that a lot of links to HB come up when you Google the title of my TV show.  Now I'm laughing soundlessly with my eyes bulging, while looking at photos of mutilated corpses and courteous European psychopaths, and typing this thing.  I'm sitting in a public place too, just to complete the effect.  Someone called the police on a guy at the museum today for doing less than that.

I'm finishing my dumb zine.  The cover is getting screenprinted by my friend Chris Cilla and that part will be ready pretty soon.  While I like the holidays I wish they fell somewhere in midyear because there is just too much to do to get anything meaningfully done at the end of the year.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

These Things Take Time

December is trouncing me with a buttload of things to do.  Plan a holiday party, plan two trips out of town, get ready for the last Twilight Rummage Sale of 2015.  It may be my last chance to sell the big box of vintage ties my mom saddled me with.  For some reason I left them in a friend's van for about six months.  I imagine some folks might want to class it up with a polka-dot tie for parties of their own.
I have a new phase of sorting and clearing to commence in the basement.  Now that I have space to move things around I'm going to make a dedicated area just for comics and stuff I want to sell at future Frankensteins / Comix Thing / Rummage Sale events.

The season (i.e. holidays AND winter) has got me thinking about the charities and non-profits that can use donations year-round, especially now.  These are all places that need goods as well as cash.  Most are in Portland, but I hope no matter where you are you'll think of similar places in your area that need your help:
  • Transition Projects: this is a place that shelters homeless men and women, helping them find jobs, get addiction treatment and mental health services, among other things.  I've given them a lot of clothing, which they badly need.  Make sure it's clean and in good repair, ok?
  • SCRAP: I've talked about this place a million times because they've taken shitloads of my extra random craft supplies, but did you know how much they help teachers?  They give special discounts to educators and they do community outreach stuff.  When I ran Sparkplug I'd get almost all of our office supplies there, and it was good stuff too.
  • Independent Publisher's Resource Center: This place has been a strong presence in my life for the freakishly long time I've lived in Portland.  They like to get small press publications for their library of zines and comics.
  • The Dylan Williams Collection:  Speaking of small press comics libraries this one has a special meaning for me, because it's named after my late husband.  They have a super-diverse expanding selection of independent comix and they need more!  If you or someone you know make comics you should send them some.  They'll pay for shipping too!
  • Free Geek: This is a good place to get secondhand computer stuff and they recycle EVERYTHING!  I've given them old hard drives, cables, radios, some of it broken-ish and they still find uses for them.  They'll take other appliances too.  They usually ask for a small donation of $$ when you give them stuff, but it's worth it to get rid of the CPU that's been chunking around on the laundry room floor for years.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Party at Paige's

Look who showed up in the Paige Powell photo/video exhibit at the Portland Art Museum:
 Look closer!
Our very own Quentin Crisp is in attendance!  Sorry the photo is blurry.  It was in a high-up spot on one of the walls where hundreds of photos are collaged.  I'm lucky I spotted this one.

I went to work after my last post and cleaned up my silly couch.  This photo is a bit of a fraud, because I tidied up for  a minute before I took it:
Dishes are mostly washed, laundry mostly done, season 2 of Hannibal mostly watched.  This is a TV show where every third person is a serial killer who turns each victim into a leisurely art project.  None of them seem to be concerned about making a swift getaway. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Chunger Games

The following image may be disturbing to some viewers:
This will often happen when I'm making things.  Me in the middle, papers and tools piling up on either side.  I've been too tired and busy to put things away properly.  The good news is I'm nearly done with my project.  I was folding laundry which is why my laptop is facing the camera.  I'm nearly done watching all of Parks & Recreation!

I just finished reading Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon's memoir.  I've admired her for most of my life and I liked the book, but I think her writing is better when she's fully outraged, rather than when she's being philosophical or poetic.  The best parts of the book were the ones about growing up with her schizophrenic brother, or where her marriage is falling apart. Now I'm reading High-Rise by J.G. Ballard. 

Today is Thanksgiving, and I'll be celebrating with my friends at one of their houses.  I'm wrapping up this post and going to pick up some fancy ice cream for this party, and head home to do some housework until it's time to leave.  I hope I'll have a prettier sight for you to see on my next update.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Whack-a-Mole Diaries

November has brought Portland some intense rain and its insidious chill, which means something else for me: an off-and-on visit from the old S.A.D.  This last weekend has been lovely, at least in Olympia it was, but I've had some personal matters that are hedging my enjoyment.  Yesterday was basically fired.  Well, today is a new day.

I had early Thanksgiving with my family so I have a long weekend to look forward to where I'm going to clean the house and work on art.  The house is a fright.  Prepare for more before-and-afters.  I think I'm not expecting any guests for the foreseeable future (except perhaps a movie night group this weekend) so I can take my time.

Oh yeah, and the holidays are upon us.  I have three fake trees this year, four if you count the wooden one I made at my old job.  That tree is one of those ambiguous symbols of the past, because it was a job I despised, but the tree itself was made from a CAD program that I customized for a laser cutter.  It's not really cute but I made it. 

OK, enough of this, time to listen to some shoegaze bands and watch reruns of Sifl & Olly. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

In Conclusion...

Saw my doctor on Friday, and I got diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea.  This means I stop breathing a few times every night while sleeping, and I'm not getting enough oxygen, so I feel sleepy during the day.  I'm supposed to get another call from the sleep specialist this week to sort out the treatment part.  I feel better finally knowing that there's a real reason for all of this.  I used to think it was just stress causing it, but the last year and a half have been the least stressful time of my entire life.
I got introduced to this series over the weekend:
I'm also working on The Good Wife, season 6.  Matthew Goode joined the cast late in season 5, and that is an excellent thing, but I'm still mourning Will Gardner.  Sorry to ruin it for you if you're not caught up to me yet.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Science of Sleep

I may finally have an answer to what sleep disorder I've been having these last few years.  My insurance recently approved a night of sleep study, so I had to sleep with tubes on my face and hand that were attached to a couple little things strapped to my chest.  I had to do this for two nights really, as the first night of testing didn't gather enough data.  I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to get confirmation and see what my treatment options are.  After eight or nine months of waiting I'm hoping that I'll start getting real sleep at last!

I'm getting caught up on a lot of little messy tasks from work that have fallen behind over a period of months.  I filed a large stack of legal paperwork and direct debit payment forms.  I also cleared out a file cabinet that I rarely use and found two pairs of shoes that I forgot about!  I don't think I've needed them since early spring anyway.  My sorting project has extended to the workplace at last and I don't have stuff hiding in drawers here anymore.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Live From the Tropic of Cardboard

I'm writing this while tabling at Frankenstein's Comicbook Swap.  It's been great!!  I know my table looks a fright but it ususally does.  That's it on the near right:
Things started off with a bang, or a blackout rather, moments after the earlybirds started rolling in.  All the lights and music shut off for a minute.  A guy at the table across from mine predictably started importuning everyone for an anonymous handjob, but fortunately the lights went back on right away.

I don't have the old comics anymore, but I still have a lot of newer comics and magazines about art and movies.  I went ahead and brought the few vintage nudie mags that I found among the collection.  I'm going home with a way lighter load, thanks to my nice customers.  I really like seeing the same collectors keep coming back.  The crowds here are pretty astonishing.  I didn't sit down for three hours!

Last weekend was Short Run, an annual small press fest in Seattle.  I spent the day there visiting with lots of my comics friends, and went back to Olympia to stay the night with my parents.  I've been so busy that the main thing I worked on, instead of gathering my merch for today, was my DJ playlist for tonight's Comix Thing episode.  I'm glad I took my vitamins today!

Updated to add:  my DJ stint at Comix Thing was so much fun!!  I was a little freaked out most of the time.  Luckily my friends came up and visited and gave me encouragement.  It went pretty well, I think only I could hear the mistakes.  I managed to time my playlist so I ended almost precisely after 3 hours.  Would do again, this event or some other one.  It was really nice to hear people saying how much they loved certain songs.  I was motivated to become a DJ long ago when I was a 9th grader who couldn't get any requests played, and then I was a broken hearted 10th grader in a new school using college radio to make me sleep at night, and to wake up the next day too.  Just a few years later I had my own radio show at the same station.  I haven't had a radio show since XRAY FM took over Portland Radio Authority a couple years ago, but I haven't given up on the idea either. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In the Night Time

It's time for my review of the latest Twilight Rummage Sale, which was last night at the usual place.  Now that fall is here the crowds are getting bigger and the dealers are looking a little perkier because sales generally pick up around now.  I did pretty well.  I  came with two boxes of DVDs and left with one.   I brought a bigger number of horror movies with me this time, with successful results.
I had my laptop with me so I decided to make it a party for everyone.  I had enough battery power in my laptop to show Killers From Space and Ghostbusters.  An older guy asked me if he could buy my laptop.  It was display only, but it reminded me that I have little idea where or how to buy a new one.  I told him he could maybe get one at the Mac store, but my recommending a Mac or Apple store to anyone is like telling them to stick their arm in a meat grinder.  When I pass one of those locations I feel the same way I felt watching the first ten minutes of The Wolf of Wall Street, i.e. adverse in the extreme. 

STILL have not won the raffle, but I'll keep trying. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Great Googly Moogly

I had use of a car over the weekend and took some stuff to SCRAP that had been lingering for a while, as well as some recycling that needed to go to Far West Fibers.  I also gave to The Gaia Movement at one of their drop boxes on Hawthorne.  I like them because they take imperfect clothing and find reuses for it.  Also, the VVA Veterans are picking up from me today, a couple bags of clothing and household things.  They send a card in the mail with the date saying when they'll be in the neighborhood taking donations.  It's time to start getting ready for the next Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap and Comix Thing on November 7th, not to mention the Twilight Rummage Sale which is imminent this October 17th.  Making room is important for swap meet preparation!

I'm pleased to announce that my drum pedals, etc., have been fixed by a person at Trade Up Music on SE Division.  He only charged me for parts even though he did a lot of little tweaks with various wrenches on the nearly invisible connectors.  Recommended!!  I put everything together and it's ready to go.

Remember what I was saying about the lack of free stuff these last few months?  This weekend I more than made up for it at one guy's massive outdoor giveaway bonanza across the street from Stumptown Coffee at SE 34th & Belmont.  It was his stuff and his friend or roommate's and most of it was freakin' free!  I did pay 22 cents for a turtle-shaped planter but I didn't have to cough up a dime for these gems:
I would have passed on the boom box except it a) had a working tape player b) was FREE.  My old box doesn't play cassettes anymore.  The crow came attached with the tree, along with the note.  I don't care about the lights.  I'm setting this up with a song in my heart alongside my teal tree and traditional green (fake) tree this holiday season.  Help me celebrate early:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Smashy Smashy

I have a basket for things that need mending, and I took some time this morning working on some of them.  I put a battery back in a smoke detector and stuck it back on the ceiling.  I hot-glued some crafts that had come apart, promptly sticking my fingertip in the fresh glue before the repair was complete.  I had been saving a china saucer that I thought I could also superglue, but I was missing a bit of it.  Maybe I thought I would find it by now, but I didn't, so I took a moment and broke it up on the floor and tossed it.  I'm not a dummy, dummy.  I put it in a bag before I threw it down.  I have a small sewing repair to do and I'll be about done with that old pile of stuff.

The free stuff on the sidewalk finds have been slim this year, but that's just fine.  A round-the-corner neighbor has been giving away a lot of stuff lately, often questionable goods that others might term recycling (glass jars, outdated software manuals, etc.).  I got a couple ice cube trays last week.  They make great earring holders!  You can put a pair in each little cube area and they don't get tangled or separated!  I put the ones don't hang with hooks in these trays.

I have a a shower-caddy type thing I got at a thrift store for about 49 cents for hook earrings.  I I have a matching one right below it for sunglassess. 

A couple friends recommended the BBC series The Fall to me and I'm on season 2.  I was reluctant because Jamie Dornan, the star of the bumbling Fifty Shades of Grey film is the killer in The Fall.  Dude can act, I was really surprised.  He's from Northern Ireland though, he's not getting the American thing right.  Don't feel hurt Jamie, Kenneth Branagh does it badly too and he's Mr. Shakespeare.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Well, Well, Well (Three Holes in the Ground)

Three years ago today I made my first blog post in Fitzrovians.  It's time to celebrate like a champ:

I almost blinded myself this time.  Those Icelandic folks do everything right, I tell you.

Just a few highlights from the many transformations my home has undergone in the last few years.  When I started this blog it had such a long way to go.  I'm really proud of all the work I've done.  Thanks for reading, whoever you are.

I would like a place I could call my own

Have a conversation on the telephone

Wake up every day that would be a start

I would not complain of my wounded heart

Saturday, September 12, 2015

¡Qué lista!

Most days, if I remember, I make a to-do list.  This will have my stuff that I want to get done that day, like doing the laundry, picking up a prescription, making food for the next day.  So, no real surprises there.  Not as often, I make what I call the Ultimate To-Do List, which I know is a dumb-ass name but it's just as important to me.  Probably more important.  Those are the bigger projects that I want to complete, often without a specific end date in mind, but the list makes it so I don't forget them.  I put things on my daily to-do list that will help me finish the big stuff.

Now that I have a fancy phone I used it to make out such a list when I was bored.  What is on your list, if you have one?  Here are just a few things on mine:
  • Rewire chandelier so it plugs into wall
  • Replace broken drum pedal
  • Finish zine (ETA Short Run 2015)
  • Properly hook up stereo
The stereo has made a cliche out of me - I can't figure out how to connect it.  I've enlisted a friend but the last opportunity I had to fix it, looking at the connectors made me more tired than I already was.

Speaking of my new phone, I have a new app that is a task timer that allows me to create timed intervals with alerts to start new tasks.  It's called 30/30 but you can make time slots of any length, apparently.  I've been looking for a timer forever that would let me do this and I finally have one!!    I usually mark 20 minutes at a time on an egg timer to do chores so it will be nice to not have to reset anything.

Went to Enchanted Forest today for my friend's birthday celebration.  I gave myself the mission to take pics of the garden room in the haunted house for a reference I want to use in a painting.  Alas, the photos are in my phone and I don't yet know how to get them into my blog.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Life in These United States

I'm doing better since yesterday and trying to get a lot of things done today while I have the day off.  I have a comic page to finish and a house to clean.

I'm going to try this method today to unclog the bathroom sink.  It uses vinegar and baking soda to clear the drain, and it's called a sink volcano.  I don't want to keep using the grossly toxic commercial drain cleaners.  You can use vinegar and baking soda for all kinds of cleaning around the house, and breathing vinegar fumes can't hurt you, though your bathroom will smell pickled. 

I first heard about safer, homemade cleaning products from a postcard designed by Stella Marrs.  In my blog I've also mentioned a small book I have: Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs, which will give you other DIY nontoxic methods.   

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunshine on a cloudy day

This was going to be a different kind of post, but since starting yesterday with cleaning, I thought otherwise.  Getting rid of stuff is hard, but it's often harder to have it around.  I've been sifting through huge quantities of paper items that fall under these main categories:
  • original art by Dylan
  • original art and prints by friends
  • vintage comic strips, cut/torn from ancient newspapers
  • paper for drawing/painting
September is a heavy month.  I might be trying to do a little too much right now.  That being said, at least I'm doing stuff I've been putting off forever.  

One of the things I miss about having a car is that I can't just load up and take things over to SCRAP or anyplace that takes stuff I don't want, so it sits around for longer than it would have a couple years ago.  Speaking of SCRAP, did you know that they moved downtown months ago?  I've been to their donation station but not inside the new retail space.  I've heard it's spectacular, as much as a place can be when it's filled floor to ceiling with random donated art supplies, which is exactly my idea of dazzling and amazing.

I got a new iPhone last week.  I'm not conversant in all of its powers but I can finally text groups of people.  I've been getting all texts too - my old phone would disappear some messages at random.  I took at look at my blog for a minute to see what some of you can see.  Everything is so mini - this will take getting used to.
Sometimes melancholy takes more melancholy to make a positive, so here you go.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Peer Pressure, Post Cold War

I've been pestering my artist friends Sean and Daria to take my double-decker flat file out of my place.  I missed my opportunity last weekend to show it to both of them in person, when they and several other fine individuals were in my house watching Eating Raoul.  Once it's out of my hands it's going to hold some first-rate prints and original art once more, you can take that to the bank.  I hope I'll be able to move it out this week, we'll see. 

I still have to store the stuff that's in the file drawers right now.  I will never have to buy new Bristol board again, for example.  My friend Kerri has returned from being overseas this past year, and she offered to help me get new plywood for shelves in that room.  She and I have plenty of vintage home decor field trips planned, as well as a day trip to the gorge pencilled in while she's here in town for the next month.  Kerri gave me the phenomenal bookcase that stands in my living room, when she moved out of the country.

It took me over an hour to write those little paragraphs, I've been conversing with some of the people I mentioned and copying some Pelican and MC Lyte cds.  I don't normally work this way.  I'm kind of zonked so I think I'll go home and do some housework.  It sounds like another movie night is in store.  If it was my turn to choose I might want to see this one:



Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hello my little Chickadee

I did the Twilight Rummage Sale last night at the Eagles Lodge.  It happened a week earlier than usual for reasons yet unknown, and the Bite of Oregon festival probably stole a lot of our potential visitors.  I did all right though.
The crowd there is totally right for the kind of stuff I keep bringing.  A lot of fans of film noir, British spy films/TV, horror of all kinds, and sci-fi B-movies.  Not doing so great: dramas about failing marriages in the 1970s, documentaries, or action films.  Here's a tip for you shoppers: when you set something down, you better make sure you pick it up again when you're still standing there.  I had a woman place a box set aside thinking I knew she wanted it, and another guy nearly nabbed it.  A guy who I see everywhere, who I used to think was J Mascis, left his UFO or Die 7" on my table and went home without it.  Don't worry dude, I'll hang onto it until I bump into you again.

I spoke to the guy who DJs the sale, who also happens to be one of my regular comics customers and a pretty nice person overall.  He showed me the equipment I'll need for when I DJ at the next Comix Thing happening in November.  I know it's super soon to be thinking about it but it turns out that I need a mixer, which I don't have.  I have everything else I need.  Another guy who works at the Lodge has offered to help me practice setting up and trying out everything.  When I worked at the radio stations they had everything there you needed, plugged in and ready to go, so this is the first time I have had to set up almost from scratch.  I have trouble figuring out how to set up my stereo at home so you can understand the head start I'm giving myself.  I know a lot of DJs and they are all so friendly and helpful, there are no snobs among them.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Beautiful Laundrette

I can't believe I've left out my laundry room. Hanif Kureishi isn't going to write any love stories about this place, but it's all mine:

I hate the drain right beneath the dryer there in front.  I feel gross just looking at it.  It reminds me of that Dario Argento movie Inferno, with the hole in the floor leading to a watery room and a corpse floating around in it.
It's more than the place where I wash my clothes.  It's also the massive mega dvd library storage unitopolis.  I'm starting to take a lot of stuff out of here to sell at the Twilight Rummage Sale.  I don't like to own many movies, unless they're really special.  I don't even have a copy of My Own Private Idaho, and I'm ready to see that one again the moment the credits roll after a viewing.

See these horizontal file drawers?  They're packed full of nothing but Asian action movies.

Yes, another dollhouse. Shut up.
 There's a nice deep set of plywood shelves here of which I've made good use, as well as a view of some of the dvd library:
I don't have a master plan for this yet.  I'm still dealing with the books from that back room area, so talking about this spot is a minor distraction from that.  This room looks large here but it's tiny.  You can see it's absorbing some of the book overflow from other regions.  My stuff makes the Carnegie libraries look like chump change.

I went away for the weekend and had to spend a two-hour layover in LAX, which is like sitting in electrified garbage, but I saw this video on a monitor at a fake Hard Rock Cafe - style place.  So, it wasn't a totally terrible experience after all.  I've been listening to this guy at work now.  I like the drab 70s Masterpiece Theater film stock.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Midsummer Briefing

On Tuesday I went to the doctor's office to fill out more forms to be in the sleep study.  It needs to be resubmitted to my insurance company for review.  It's been about five months since I first spoke to her about it!!! I also auditioned a new therapist (the mental kind) yesterday.  Don't worry, I just want a little tune-up.  Now that I have good insurance I might as well use it.  I would have contacted her months ago, as my former counselor recommended her, but I lost the card on which the number was written.  It turns out the card was exactly where it should have been all this time, in the file folder I made for such things.  I guess I'm doing too good a job at this organizing.  Yesterday I found my lost keys, and it turned out they were where they were supposed to be also, after days of looking.  My self-image hasn't caught up to the changes I've made in my surroundings.

Things have been so busy lately.  I usually go to the gym 4-5 times a week and I haven't been able to since last week.  I've taken over someone else's position at work while also doing my own tasks, but only until the new employee shows up.  Three friends and I are embarking on another annual long-term comics project, and I joined in art workshop taught by one of those friends over the weekend.  Also, I'm going to have an art opening next month and I'm cat sitting for a couple days next week.

I just finished a book by Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking, a memoir about losing her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, while her daughter was in the hospital for septic shock.  I had avoided reading it for a long time for obvious reasons but now I'm glad I did.  I have never read her other writing, but I did see The Panic in Needle Park, which she and her husband wrote together.  Now I'm reading Radical Reinvention, Kaya Oakes' book about her return to the Catholic Church, and how she reconciles her faith with her liberal politics.  I got this book a couple years ago at Reading Frenzy but for some reason I'm really plowing through it at last.  Maybe sometime I'll talk about what these books mean to me on a personal level, but I'm in the middle of turning them over in my brain and heart and can't publish it right now.  Keep coming back.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Saturday night, Sunday morning

The Twilight Rummage Sale went super well, and I went home with half of the DVDs I brought to sell.  I've marked them way down since I discovered I have way more to sell than I once realized.  There's a lot still at home left over from The Bad Apple days as well as the personal ones that I don't need to keep anymore.

At the end of every evening at these sales there is a "free table" designated for those tablers who wish to simply lighten their loads for the way home.  I've been bringing stuff just to leave there and not sell, hoping it would find a user.  I had one of those old-fashioned men's razors with loads of razor refills.  I think it had to be from the 1970s, but it still would have been good to use for someone.  I put all the pieces and razors (safely encased in metal dispensers, you're welcome) in a baggie and someone claimed it from the free table.  If I had given it to Goodwill it would have been thrown out.  I threw some other thingies on the table as well.  I left the building several boxes lighter than when I arrived!

I hadn't been to the sale since April.  Last time I was there and the time before I had been seated next to a woman who gave me and my stuff a ride home in her van.  She bumped a truck while backing out of the lot and asked me if I thought she should speak to the other driver.  She then gave me a whole lot of advice about how to "cleanse" my house of my husband's spirit using sage, which of course she had on hand.  At times like this I find these people entertaining even when they're being douche-y and unintuititive.

Whatever, here's a video for a song that plays a role in the zine I'm working on.  I'm not so into this animation but it's better than looking at a black and white photo of the band for three minutes.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fun Funny Funnest

I saw these guys last night:

After thinking I was going to be there alone I ran into two friends there, and afterwards we had hotdogs at Zach's Shack.  I picked this video because a) Scott Hill is dressed pretty much identically as he was last night, just with longer hair now and b) I made my co-worker listen to this song so she would understand why I couldn't go see Magic Mike XXL with her.  I pretty much lost my mind last night, there's not much else to say.  I made the right decision.

Tonight is another edition of Twilight Rummage Sale.  More to follow.  This is shaping up to be a pretty good weekend. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

In every dream home, a heartache

My light-blocking curtains arrived over the weekend and I tried hanging them using a tension rod, but the rod refused to stay put and the curtains were a little heavy for it anyway.  The curtains seem to be doing their job, though it was not really sunny this morning.  I give them a B+ so far.  The tension rod gets an F for being difficult to install and subsequently not living up to its name, but it gets an A+ for supplying plenty of sexual innuendos when used as a subject of conversation.  I'm grateful for Fred Meyer's liberal returns policy so I can get a proper hanging device anon.

I had several friends over last night to watch Maps to the Stars, David Cronenberg's newest thing.  None of us especially liked it, but maybe none of us were expecting a satire.  The story had a lot of elements of Mommie Dearest and Flowers in the Attic.  He is one of my favorite directors but this was my least favorite thing I've seen by him.  I might give it another chance someday.  I think I'll just go ahead and see Scanners again instead soon. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Til the wheels fall off

I've been working hard on making my first zine in four years.  I've felt really great about it for a few days.  I started working on the cover design last night and I had this brief stab of melancholy, which seems to happen with many things I work on creatively.  I was in the last stretch of finishing this painting after I had a mental breakthrough, then stab.  I looked at it and I didn't like where it was going again.  Then a few hours later I thought of a quick thing that made it all work again.  I think I'm at that point now with this cover but I won't know until I get my hands on it again.  I'm not at home right now.  I'm on my lunch break thinking about zines and Googling zine cover designs and clip art.

I also keep hoping my Target curtains are going to arrive by UPS today.  I hope I don't need to sign for them!  I love the sunshine coming through my window in the morning, but too bad that it wakes me up.  By happy coincidence I got a call back from my sleep study person at the clinic today, so maybe I'll be sleeping with electrodes on me this week.  Just like E.T. and Elliott.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Spare Time

I got a paid holiday today because tomorrow is Independence Day.  Thanks job!  I'm sitting here in a coffee shop planning the rest of my day and writing this thing.  Meanwhile I'll recap what's going down in basement town.

I cleaned up the comics and magazine explosion I made while getting ready for the swap meets last weekend.  I scooted a few things around so it suddenly looks a lot better in here.  I had a semi-surprise visit from friends Lark, Andrice and Thien, who all agreed that things looked good.  Thien took away with him a roll of posters he'd printed long ago as part of a project with Sparkplug, so he helped the process along.

 I have a lot of other posters and artwork that I am keeping, so I'm hanging them in the stairwell.  If you use a broom handle you can tap down the corners of posters in high places, like I did with the La Mano tour poster above the steps.  I used tape, even though you really shouldn't.   By the way, how do you like my staircase broom closet?

I might need a nap before too long.  I went to see Torche and Melt-Banana with Lark last night and didn't get home until almost 2am.  Seeing these bands made me want to run around hugging everybody afterwards.  I woke up at 7:30 and didn't really feel like sleeping.  My first order of business for the day was to buy a metal lithographed dollhouse from a woman I met on Craigslist.  I'm such a dork, here I am trying to clean up my life and I get another dollhouse.  That is another post entirely.

On the schedule for the rest of the day: finish a painting, work on my zine, start work on a comic I'm doing for the next Visionquest comics anthology, clean the house.  Take photos and stick them in this blog post.

The moths abide, the ants abide, we're a happy family.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Person Under the Stairs

Yesterday was a little victory in terms of clearing out the basement mess with Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap and Comix Thing.  Andy, the owner at Cosmic Monkey, bought all my remaining boxes of comics-related magazines for his stock so I didn't have to put them back in storage.  I had everything priced lower than ever so that really helped me.  Now I have a couple empty shortboxes to use for my own collection.  I was having trouble finding all the right sizes so now I'm all set.

This is what a shortbox is, in case you don't use comics-speak.  I don't know the guy I just linked to.  I'm just appalled that he got all this in one go.  I agonize over getting a handful of half-sheet sized zines, even if they're made by friends.

Speaking of which, I did purchase a copy of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: Part One: My Own Private Portland by my friend Annie Murphy.  Instead of going to bed last night after getting home I read the whole thing from cover to cover.  The best books are the ones that hurt you when you're reading them and long after you're done, that's what Annie's stuff is like.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tengo sueño

I heard back from the clinic about getting in the sleep study.  The coordinator is trying to make it work with my insurance, so I'm waiting for another call from her.  This is me a lot of the time (ok not really, I just wanted to use this):

I've resumed my love affair with gifs as you can probably tell.  They pretty much can say anything you're thinking or feeling at any given time.

I helped somebody today and yesterday with a difficult situation, and it worked out in the best way possible, with everyone happy in the end.  I also use Bad Brains to express any given emotion so here's something else for you to look at:
   Plain and simple, are you okay? For tomorrow, we generate the courage today.
Is your will about to quake and melt? Let me help, let me help.
...Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Wish I Knew This Before...

...when I was moving all over the place and then coming here to Portland and moving the last time into my current house.  It was a long time before I realized how little the stuff I was holding onto and packing and storing actually meant to me.  I've lived in my home about 11 years and I really don't want to move again anytime soon, but if I buy a home in the near future it could happen. 

A friend of mine who well understands moving posted this link on Facebook today:
What I've Learned from Moving Three Times and Trashing Everything I Own 

I barely buy anything anymore unless it's groceries.  Whenever I get something I really think about how much it will get used and how much space it will take up.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Borrower

I've arranged to borrow my friend's car for part of today so I can make some rounds of donations in this fair land.  SCRAP, Free Geek, Far West Fibers, and Goodwill will all feel my presence in the late afternoon.  It's been a long time since I could do this, especially since Salvation Army has ceased pickups in my area for the time being, for unknown reasons.

By the way, in case it matters, I am insured.  For driving, that is...when I ditched my car I retained minimal insurance for when I borrow or rent cars.  When I get another car someday, my insurance rates won't rise from what I paid previous to donating the vehicle.

The moth problem persists in my bedroom and I'm starting to dread that my favorite needlepoint chair is perpetuating all of this.  It's not as bad as it was, and I keep telling myself they're just stragglers.

I have a coworker for whom I repay favors by emailing her pics of Johnny Depp.  She lurves him, but I am lukewarm to his charms.  I gave her the still from right before this scene.  I hope she doesn't watch it with her kids over the weekend. By coincidence I'm listening to Caribou and the music's beat matches the gif perfectly! 


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

With No Remorse

I've culled my wardrobe really thoroughly, and got everything hung and folded neatly.  I used to work at Buffalo Exchange and I still have a lot of my instincts about hanging and sorting clothes.  Everything faces left.  I button the top button to keep shirts in place.

I'll edit this post later to show a pic of the closet.  The sliding doors are long gone (you can see then leaning against the flat file in my previous post), and I hung curtains that I never draw, but I still like the way they look!

I've taken out the ancient, rolled-up wool rug from under the bed and vacuumed it.  I put it in the living room to see if it is truly the moth farm I suspect it to be.  I vacuumed beneath the bed too, which has been needing it forever, and I found a comb I've been missing for months.  Not sure how it got under there with the duvet feathers.

As another important duty for the day I shall endeavour to prepare my goods for Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap on June 27.  It's June bitches!  The comics fiscal year has begun!
If you don't get this reference, just stop reading and never return. KIDDING! I have nine followers, I bow to each of you.

And...the less entrancing view of the shortbox sorting shitshow. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Holy Calamity

I have a deadline of June 27th to get the flat file cleaned out and the contents ready for another edition of Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap that very day.  So, I really need to be ready the night before, but if it's anything like last time, I'll be scooping things into boxes the morning of.  Oh, and then that same evening is Comix Thing, just like last time.  I'll update my links as we get closer to the actual day of the events. 

Stuff I've found in the file drawers is blowing my mind.  In addition to assloads of comic art miscellaneous:
  • A thick wad of ancient Zip-A-Tone sheets, multiple patterns 
  • More tiny green wooden Monopoly houses.  Why are these here?  Is the universe trying to tell me something?
  • The Mummy figurine I'd been searching for, to go with a treasure chest of some kind I already had sitting around.  I'm still missing the base but it's probably in a drawer I haven't looked in yet.

I have less stuff to prepare for next month's events but the boxes seem heavier.  Everything that was piled on top of the file is going with me to Frankenstein's.  And, not to disparage Dylan, but he sure jammed a lot of stuff into these drawers at crazy angles.

I spent the weekend away and now I'm tired and feeling behind on everything.  My living room looks like a living nightmare and I have moths.  At least the ants have abated.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Credible and Competent Reviews

It's been a long time since I reviewed any organizing and housekeeping lit so I found a couple nice things for discussion.

Unfuck Your Habitat is a Tumblr blog I subscribe to that has lists of tips, admonishments, and "before and after" photo scenarios.  I live for "before and after" pics and they're probably what most make me want to get up and move stuff around.  On a daily basis the blog charges you to make your bed and "unfuck tomorrow morning" by preparing a few simple things ahead of schedule.  I give this blog A+ for simplicity and visuals; organizing suggestions should be concise. 

My habitat is still mildly fucked and I've got an ant problem that won't quit, but blogs like this one make me keep trying.  Here's a graph prepared by Fitzrovian Industries analyzing the sharp downward trend in problemosis over the last four years:

 I credit Johnny Ryan's book Prison Pit #1 for inspiring the high-end rating.  That's about as bad as it gets.

All right, my next review is about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book by Marie Kondo, who is an organizing consultant from Japan.  I got my own copy at last, because there are about 700 holds on it at the library and one of my friends who is reading it needs a little more time with it.

This is a preliminary review because I need to finish reading it.  I'm going to rate it highly already because Ms. Kondo actually had a mystical experience that brought her to her current organizing philosophy.  A god-like voice spoke to her after she had a mini-breakdown and told her how to change her approach to paring down!!  Which happens to be focusing things you love to keep, or as she puts it, things that "spark joy", rather than on the stuff you get rid of.  I know that this concept has had a profound meaning for some people I know, and applied to other aspects of their lives.

My only disagreement with her so far is that she thinks you should do all the organizing of everything all at once, whereas I've been doing it space by space.  I think I'd wanna die if I I had made an occasion of doing my whole house, my stuff and Dylan's stuff together.  I can see why her method makes sense though.  I don't know if I want to apply it to my place at this point.  Also, if I finished then this blog is finished, right?

It's finally getting nicer outdoors in Portland and that means it's time to put free stuff out on the sidewalk.  It's time to get free stuff too, or leave it where it lies.  Free sidewalk stuff makes a total hypocrite out of me.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Space Case Disgrace

I've been having sleep problems on and off for a few years now and I'm finally doing something about it.  I saw my doctor today for my routine checkup and I told her what's been happening, which is that I sleep 5-6 hours straight, then wake up and can't go back to sleep before my alarm goes off.  She is going to put me in a sleep study that I can do at home!  I don't know yet what that entails but someone else has to call me from the clinic about it.  My doctor thinks the sleep thing might be the cause of a couple other minor health issues I've been having, so I have even more reason to look forward to a solution.

As a result of this problem, housework has been neglected and I'm a little cranky.  I really have no business handing out housekeeping advice to anyone under these circumstances.

Did you ever see something that was so amazing that when you thought about it later, you didn't know if you remembered it right?  That's what happened to me and this place I drove by with my sister and my mom about 5 years ago near Madison, WI.  It wasn't just the massive ducttape lettering or the words "beer lube" that grabbed my eyes:
It was the deer lawn ornament that graced the roof of the building:
What?  Is it a "stag" joke?  Take note that the deer is smaller than any one of the letters in "Naughty Novelties".

I wish I got pictures of my own but this was all they had on Google Images.  Sadly, this landmark burned down some time later.  Photographing it then would have involved a lot of awkward explanation to my mom about what I found funny about it, or hearing my mom reading the sign in her Midwestern accent.  Now, I'm not sure what made me think about it today, but didn't this make your day too?

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Successful Closet

I can't believe I never went into detail on the linen closet.  This was the first part of my house I really went overboard on sorting.  I touched on covering the shelves before but not much else.
Common sense has to rule in your linen/bathroom supply cabinet as elsewhere, probably a little more than in other areas of your house.  If you're like me you probably have medicine, soaps, toilet paper and other necessaries in there besides towels and sheets.  I don't have a normal medicine cabinet inside the bathroom.  This is where the first aid supplies are so it's important to keep everything orderly for an emergency grab, like when I dropped a brick on my foot last year and it bled for 3 hours straight.  

February marked two years since I started Fake Job Inc., that is, my volunteer position at the museum, but I'm celebrating this month because my ID runs out in April.  It gets its place of honor next to Real Job With No Paycheck (Sparkplug/Bad Apple), Real Job I Almost Forgot I Had (CAD position 2012), and the present Real Job Inc. where I work now and where I'm very happy.

I visited Table City II and III (or III & IV?) in a huge way over the weekend, with Linework both days and the Twilight Rummage Sale on Saturday afternoon and evening.  It was a little too much, what with Gridlords starting things off on Friday night.  It was fun and exhausting and maddening.  The hammer blow to the face came with the after-party at White Owl Social Club.  We arrived to a rave in full swing in the back patio.  I had a sandwich and hugged my friends and took off for the night.

This song, especially with the video, always makes me feel better.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hella Tight

My friend Lark came by and fetched all the books she chose for herself and a mutual friend she's visiting soonish.  I had few enough things on the bookcases to move the whole thing over a few inches and clean around it a little.  Behind them I found a small pair of scissors and a wire hanger.  I can't begin to guess what else is back there where I can't see.

Soooo...I have a lot more freedom to move around.  I think my drum kit should go in here!

Now that I've got the books more or less situated, the next thing is to handle the flat file and everything in/on it.  It's going to be like that huge chest of drawers Pippi Longstocking had.
No chest of drawers still - here's some awesome noodles instead.
PS I wrote this a couple weeks ago but forgot to post it.  I've got a few old posts that I just never got around to adding pics or something so they're lingering in the queue.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015


There's something about this room that simply resists progress.  But, it's obvious now that something is taking place:

Here's what I did: moved a bookcase out of here and donated to Better Bargains.  I placed the original particle-board shelving on the 2x4s that are built on either side.  They are sagging because they are old and crappy.  I'll have to get some plywood to replace them eventually, or build more supports.

Here's a fun fact: do you know why 2x4s are called that, when they are not 2" thick by 4" wide?  It's because that's how large they are after they are milled, but they shrink after the lumber company kiln-dries the moisture out of the wood.  As if anyone cares, but that took me years to figure out.

My mom was staying with me for two weeks while we did some serious work.  First, she reupholstered my Mid-Century Modern sofa with new fabric.  It's a heavenly glowing vision now, and it's so comfy to sit on.  And yet, it still has Mad Men-esque streamlined perfection.  Come on, half the reason to watch that program is for the interior design, right?

Next she and I tore up the carpet in my living room and hallway, to reveal the hardwood floors that had been there all along.  Not satisfied with merely buffing out the staple wounds and scrapes of past installations, my mom went over many of the bumps and gouges and puttied/painted/polyurethaned to camouflage the worst damage.  Now it looks sooooo great that I feel like I have a new house!  Thanks Mom!!!
I'll add a pic of the sofa later.  My camera was nearly out of batteries when I took these today.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Good News/Bad News

It turns out that Powells Books no longer goes to people's houses and buys stuff, unless you have thousands of books.  Apparently hundreds are not enough, you must have a store's worth of material to merit a house call.  Ah well, time for plan B.  I found out that Friends of the [Multnomah County] Library will do pickups, so I shall donate the bulk of what I have left.

This week is a year since I started my car-free life, with no end in sight!!  I feel a "Clapton is God" moment coming on:

In the vein of "good news" is another thrift store that does pickups of furniture.  Better Bargains, one of my favorite places in town, actually will take furniture if you make an appointment.  I'm timing the book donation right before the bookcases get taken away.  I could have opened a furniture store, but I chose to generously give.  No really, the thrift stores are doing me a favor by driving to my place and hauling sh*t away!

I've started blogging again in earnest as a way to cope with the winter blues, yuck.  They're not bad but December was a stressful month and I'm finally starting to accept that we're in a new year.  Be back soon!