Thursday, December 22, 2016

Return to Witch Mountain

After the December episode of Twilight Rummage Sale, I came to terms with the deteriorated state of the basement's hygiene.  Here's an example of poor storage quality:  for months I had books stacked on an upended box containing a child's booster seat.  On top of the box, plastic wrapped bathroom tissue (a few of which had been taken upstairs to the hall closet).  On top of that, more books.  I had loads of other books in disarray piled on a table nearby.  My goods from the last Twilight sale were in the garage waiting to be sorted, including things I was keeping for myself.  Last night I brought my laptop downstairs, put on season 2 of Orange is the New Black, and got to work.  I sorted out most of the books into "keep", "Powells", and "swap meet" piles.  I fit the last roll of old carpet padding in the garbage can, so the collectors could get it this morning.  I found a small pile of stuff to bring upstairs and put away.  Before I knew it the old basement was starting to look like a safe haven again.
We've only just begun

White lace and promises

A kiss for luck and we're on our way
Selling books at Powells has been going really well...the last time I went I got a ride so I could take about three times as many books as I usually carry.  Which isn't saying much, but now there's a dent in the shelves where I had them before.  Sooo...many...books...there used to be three or four times more too.  Unbelievable.  When the weather gets dryer, I'll start lugging them over to the book buyers again.

The last Twilight sale was blessed with a great turnout and my usual excellent regular customers.  There's been talk of the Eagles Lodge being sold but that's not going to happen, at least not for a long time.  I am so relieved, I can't even tell you.

I just finished a book by Emma Brockes, She Left Me the Gun.  I was reading it in The Fresh Pot when a guy at the table next to me wanted to know what I was reading.  I held up the cover and said it was a biography.  Then the guy asks me if it's a romantic novel. I said no, it's nonfiction (hence the word biography).  It's about the author's mother and how she left South Africa to escape her horrifically abusive father, but I didn't want to get into that.  Then the guy says, "But it probably has some romantic stuff in it, huh?"  I don't like to ascribe sexism to someone's motives two sentences in, but it was complete nonsense coming out of him in any case.  It reminded me of the time that a guy at the Gap asked me about a book I was carrying, Cries Unheard: the Story of Mary Bell by Gitta Sereny.  I think no one really wants to know what you're reading, it's just an awkward way to open up a conversation.  There's nothing more awkward than bringing up Mary Bell at the Gap.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sweet 161

Fun weather fact:  if you put my zip code into the search engine for, the results are Portland, OR and a town in Martinique.  Nice!  I wish I was in Martinique.  Work is closed because of snow.  The advisory states that the temperature is 31 degrees Fahrenheit, but "feels like 24".  Who decides that?

Circumstances have not changed a whole lot since we last spoke, but I feel a little better.  I don't know what it is, but getting my laundry done for once might have had an impact.  I've been walking books over to Powells one bag at a time to sell them.  In fact, I just did that.  I get trade credit, which I'm going to use to help get Christmas presents...and probably something for me.  I finished my comix page for VisionQuest and got the TIFF file sent over to the officials.

A fragile and beautiful moment from The Good Wife, S5
I've been decluttering my paperwork, and shredding a whole lot of old bills and things.  It's funny how a large pile of papers turns into an even bigger volume of skinny paper strips.  Using a shredder relieves so much tension.  Just sit with your cup of tea and put the subtitles on whatever DVD you've got going, and go to town.  You'll feel so much better.

It's holiday season and I'm not very well prepared for any of it.  I still have to put up my trees.  I guess now that my sofa is cleared of junk I can think about decorating a little.  I keep thinking it's still the first week of the month.

All right, in the interest of finishing this before another week goes by and the weather is nice again, I'll get this published.  Today was a first - I've never seen this Carpool Karaoke thing before but I found this as I was trying to get The Fall S3E2 on YouTube.  I like Bruno Mars a lot and this put a million smiles on my face so here ya go Russia and Singapore.

Oh, I guess I should explain the title - this is the 161st published post. Over and out.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Working for the clampdown

The first thought I had when I woke up on 11/10/16 was, our president-elect is the American Ceausescu.  I must have been having a crappy dream, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense.  I looked online to see if anyone agreed with me, and it turns out that pro poker player (and son of Romanian immigrants) Daniel Negreanu had this opinion months before I did:

The personal front has not changed all that much.  I want to devote some of my time to changing life for the better for others, but I have to focus on getting through the layers of shite that are confronting right now.

I made a list of things that I need to do in December to make my life livable. I don't have a lot of time at home to pretty it up or have friends over, but that makes it more important to try.  I've been drawing more and made a last-minute commitment to do a comix page for my friend's publication.  I'm doing a bio about Hildegard of Bingen, a medieval Benedictine nun who had extraordinary intellectual and artistic talents, as well as being a visionary of the most phenomenal kind!  You can tell that I like nuns, if you follow me on social media at all.

Ah well, I'll be back here soon.  When I feel really bad and not like doing anything about it, I often think about Conan O'Brien's speech, particularly the part about cynicism (he's against it).  I think, if you know me at all, you'll agree that I'm against it too.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Positive Contact

Listen to this while you read.  I was looking for Dan the Automator's stuff on YouTube and came across it.

Ever since I came back from vacation last month it's been another nutty ride.  The situation I described in this post a few months ago has become way more serious.  I've been spending a lot of time away from home trying to be helpful and comforting.  I feel inadequate as fuck and I can't seem to care that dirty dishes and trash are piling up in my house.  Well, to quote the Andy Warhol Diaries, the diary can write itself on the rest of this subject.  Unfortunately for you and me, I don't have Pat Hackett to interpolate.

I've been listening to a podcast called My Favorite Murder, with hosts Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff.  They each read a true murder story and have hilarious side discussions about every possible off-topic subject.  There are a couple episodes where it gets so heavy for both of them that they decide to talk about some nice things that happened during their week.  Right now in my head I'm replaying moments from the Chealsea Peretti special that I watched with Andrice the other night, as we ate Halloween party leftovers.  That was pretty much all right.

This dumb post has taken this entire week to write.  Almost nothing I want to say is stuff I want to post.  I did clean up a li'l bit around the house so I'm not Miss Havishamming it all the time.  I'm also talking to my friends and family as much as I can.  But that's about as upbeat as I can make myself sound right now.

Monday, October 17, 2016

There's not another road anywhere that looks like this road

I started working on this post so many times.  I'm just going to leave it at this, which about sums up my state of mind right now:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Green is just another word for...

...better than a dirty chalk-white wall the length of one side of my house!  My painting project is complete for the time being:

I brought a small end table up from the basement to use for my growing indoor garden.  I never knew quite what to do with it all these years until now!
As you maybe can tell, I've moved around some furniture and the space feels bigger than before. 

I've got TWO events I'm DJing in the next couple weeks: the Twilight Rummage Sale this Saturday night and Comix Thing the weekend after that.  I already have most of my playlists worked out.  I can't wait!!  I think there will be some happy freakouts at both places.  Here's a band I'm planning to use at one or both of them,  we'll see:
Is that one of Bryon Gysin's dream machines I see?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


I'm still having trouble adjusting to the time change since returning from my vacation (it's seven hours later there).  I still sometimes wake up a little to early anyway because of my sleep problems, so today I just got right out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and started my day.  I washed a window, took down curtains for laundry, and repotted a few small plants.  I hung last night's laundry to dry.  I tidied the living room, but all of the furniture is still pushed out of the way for painting. I even cooked eggs for breakfast and a piece of fish for my dinner tonight.  This week has been special because I washed all of my dishes and recycling containers and wiped down the counters.  Oh yeah, and I MADE THE BED.

Maybe it's because I missed my house while I was away, or because the last AirBnB I stayed in was so cute and sparkling.  It could also be because coming home made me see my place with someone else's eyes for a minute.  It was pretty bad, but understandably so.  I was so busy planning my adventure that I let everything else fall to the wayside.

My toilet had a clog the day after I got back and I used this young smartypants's tutorial to get it resolved.
I've used his method before and it really works!  Here's a sad fun fact about me: I never used a toilet plunger with any success until last year, and that was one time.  Also, I need to watch videos like this to do things like unclog toilets and drains.  I just want to know it's humanly possible to accomplish.  It's just me doing the handywork around here, ya know.

Why am I just learning about the Buy Nothing groups?  I can't believe I haven't been all over this for centuries.  You know I have stuff to contribute, too.  More on this subject later.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Which side are you on?

Here's my living room as of today.  A clean, unevenly primed wall giddily commences its wedding with chartreuse latex.

The guests look on, bemused and probably totally stoned:
I hope to work on it some today because I have the day off and I want to make this place a little more livable now that I'm back FROM ICELAND!!!

I've been dreaming of going there for years and I finally made it!  I was there for a whole week, spending several days in Reykjavik and leaving to see as much as I could in a few days.  I drove myself around the entire island on the ring road!

I think I'll say more about the trip on another post because I'm actually kind of tired and sore from the long trip back.  I arrived late last night.  It's weird to be back in my life again.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Commencing countdown, engines on

In a few weeks I'll be taking a magical journey, can you guess where?

If you've been paying attention, you've had several hints over the past couple years.  And no, it's not Dirtydumptown USA, population: your mom.  And it's not Dust Mountain or Hoardersville either, so shut up.

Aaannnyyyway, I made myself a to-do list of things I'd like to get done before I take off.  It's pretty long, but I think it will be nice to come home to see some changes I made before I left.

Here's part of the list:
  1. Clean the kitchen, meaning under the fridge and stove, and the cupboards too
  2. Throw out all carpet scraps that are left from the bedroom removal.  Some of them are still in my basement because they are too large to put in my outdoor container, and I don't have a vehicle to haul them
  3. Paint the kitchen/living room long wall green
  4. Spray paint and rewire a chandelier
  5. Sell books to Powells
  6. Weed garden
  7. Get the flat files removed from my basement.  My friends are taking them, but we haven't been able to coordinate a time to pick them up yet.
  8. Hang curtains on the sliding glass door
Those are the big things.  I know this is boring to read.  Maybe I'll have some good pictures as a result pretty soon. 

Here's a really nice music video from a band I might see next month.  I had forgotten about this song.  I made my co-worker watch it because we were both having a lame time today with some bullshit.  This helped a little.  I'm gonna sort out the linen closet now, re-watch Mr. Robot, and forget my troubles for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Reluctant Goodbyes

At the last episode of Twilight Rummage Salerino a pattern began to emerge.  I hear myself saying to people who buy my DVDs, "This is a really good movie/TV show.  It's so good I had to sell it so I wouldn't watch it anymore."  Let's consider the following:

Miami Vice - Season 3
I've lost track of how many times I watched this set.  It's because until recently the other seasons were lost in my basement.   It's good viewing anytime, but it's better than a sunlamp during gloomy Portland winters.  Some spoilers of S3: Crockett goes off his rocker.  Tubbs goes off his rocker.  Det. Zito gets a hot shot in the neck (I was sad about that one).  Lt. Castillo glowers.  Also, Liam Neeson, Helena Bonham Carter, and Lou Diamond Phillips make appearances, among others.  Wowee!!

London Boulevard
I like gangster movies for some reason, I think for the same reason I like books like Dune or stories that take place in manor houses.  Complex unwritten social laws, mores and politics underpin what everyone does and says.  When someone diverges (in LB, that would be Colin Farrell's part), it's like cutting the head off a chicken.  His breach, in this instance, is leaving prison and trying to go straight.  I know you've heard it all before. I know you're probably thinking I have a Colin F. bias, but that just isn't true.  I do have a funny thing for David Thewlis however:

Stuff like what I've just shown you, I just have it playing on my laptop while I do dishes and other housework.  It's not like it takes my full concentration.  Same goes for the VHS copy of Pretty in Pink that I'd watch at least a couple times a week when I was overseeing The Bad Apple store.  Finally I stuck it in the window display, and it got snapped up soon afterwards.
Is it weird that this is my favorite scene?  

OK, I'm cutting myself off.  I just caught myself trying to watch that scene from LB again.  See ya later, loonies.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Real Housewife of Turntable Valley

Hard to believe that I haven't done a post about the Twilight Rummage Sale in so long.  I took a couple months off to spend time with family, but I came back in June to be both salesperson and DJ again.  Like before, I shared the duty with Estaban, the same DJ/seller that worked with me previously.  It went really well and Jake, who months ago helped me figure out all the equipment I needed to get started on this wild lifestyle, told us that we'll probably be part of the ongoing core group that play music at the sales in the future.

I DJ'd again for the Sweet 16 party that was hosted at the I.P.R.C. as the Portland Zine Symposium's opening event.  Usually I just bring my mixer, a few connectors, a turntable and an iPod.  This time I had to set up a PA and speakers too!  The speakers were taller than I am!  I was really surprised that no one told me to turn things down.  I even had my own private dancer!!  A woman started gyrating in a crazie fashion to Strafe and kept it up for a good 20 minutes.
I love it when people want to know what I'm playing and what they especially like.  A lot of folks mentioned this cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart.
Now I have to look up pictures of Robert Smith.  I make myself sick.

Last Saturday was plain old Twilight Rummage Sale with just me at a table with a zillion DVDs and old magazines.  I do have other things I need to bring, so that will entail me sorting through the basement some more. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Reading

Months ago, I started to pull way back from social media, especially Facebook, and I've been looking for new lunchtime reading at work.  A title like Unfuck Your Habitat sounds like hate reading substance, but it's pure sunshine and bluebirds, and that's a fact. 

I like that a lot of the folks who post their before-and-afters in UfYH mention that their struggles with anxiety and depression.  I'm actually doing a whole lot better in the last two or three months, especially since my sleep problems have been managed.  It's not perfect but I feel a real difference!  I'd forgotten what it felt like to sleep six to eight hours in a row!!

I've talked about that blog before but I've come back to it for inspiration, in addition to slobbering over photospreads of dollhouses and miniature furniture.  Like this one.  I'm kind of glad I don't know anyone who's as  obsessed as I am, because I'll be honest, I don't want competition in that department.  I'm not really like that with anything else!

As for books, I'm working on The Strange Life of P.D. Ouspensky by Colin Wilson.  It's very good, but I think it's intended for those who are already familiar with Ouspensky's writing, and I'm not as yet.  I read another book Colin Wilson wrote, Super Consciousness, which I liked.  His bio of Ouspensky references a lot of things he's written about before, and also the writing of William James, so it's not unfamiliar subject matter to me. 

Triple F Fantastic

When it's sunny, especially when it's summer, that's when other people start turning out their closets and basements and garages.  It's time for another free stuff from the sidewalk report!

My hauls this year have been getting better each time.  A few weeks ago my neighbors had a garage sale and put everything that didn't sell on the curb.  I got a cute sugar bowl with a bear on top and an electric teapot. 

Last week another neighbor placed a lot of containers of environmentally safer cleaning supplies under a tree in front of her place.  I grabbed a paper bag from the pile and threw almost everything in it.  When taking this picture last night, I found the bonus animal teeth in the baggie at the bottom of the sack!

I got two shower curtains from the same person's pile.  They were both very nice but I decided they were not good styles for my bathroom.  I'll give those away in the next charity bag.  That's the nice thing about things you find: you can audition them and then turn them away with no hard feelings.  Shower curtains are expensive!  It was worth a try.

A few nights ago I found a curtain made of rattan rings on a bamboo rod.  I brought it to Andrice's house as a gift, thinking she could use it for her Tiki TV room, and I forgot to check in and see if she decided to keep it.  One way or the other, I can use it to do an impression of Paul Reubens in Blow:

What else has summer brought to me?  A box full of lightbulbs, different wattages, the energy efficient variety.  Stationery with a Primavera motif.  Two perfect prairie skirts that were just a bit too teensy for me.  

I set up the shelves that I found on New Year's Day and them it my new gardening supply area in the basement.  Now my tools, seeds, and containers all have their own island.  Thanks neighbors!    

A Dirty Rotten Mess

Just a few weeks ago my back yard and front porch looked a fright.  I was shamed into putting work into it after I saw my neighbor pouring grass seed onto the bald spots in my lawn.  He lives in the other half of my duplex and has his own side of the yard, but mine was the more decrepit share of our property for a time. 

In the last couple weeks I treated myself to some lavender plants, daisies, coreopsis, and seeds for violas and poppies.  I also got a tiny succulent plant for my vintage planter.

I had a lot of dead plants in old flowerpots littering my back steps and I composted them, and cleaned up the pots.  I even had a couple dried up things sitting on my kitchen table, but no more. Few things bring down a room like a dead plant.

My garden box is being weeded out so it's not ready for show.  This yard is going to keep me busy as long as I have it. 

Now my porch and back garden look like healthier works in progress and not like Miss Havisham's nursery.  It's not the greatest looking but it's a real improvement.  Though a few days ago I was turning the compost and a rat zoomed out of the weeds next to the bin and into the neighbor's yard.  Should I be worried?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Feels Like the First Time

I took the afternoon off work last Friday to help my friend/former business partner/former employee Virginia load up a 20-foot truck full of Sparkplug material so it can go to its new home in Cupertino, CA.  Several of our other friends were there helping, including Marc and Dave from Alternative Comics, which will be housing and distributing Sparkplug's comix for the foreseeable future.

Here's a before and after shot from the garage at Virginia's (BTW only part of it is shown here):

We had lunch somewhere in the middle and about five hours after we started we headed over to my house for more of the same:

This pickup job happened because everyone was here to participate in Linework NW and I had some unexpected interactions with many folks I hardly ever see.  The whole Sparkplug experience and everything else caught up with me on the bus ride home Sunday night, so I had to rent Legend so I could get back to normal.

I bet you thought I meant the one with Tom Cruise.  I've already seen that one about 67 times.  Would see again though!!! 
You may remember what started this whole blog nonsense, if you need reminding go back to the early times and recollect.  Over the last four years we moved all of that stuff at least a couple more times.  I thought I'd be in tiptop order by now, but as my friends could clearly see, I'm still a sloppy dingdong.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More Than Likely

I'm just checking in really, I don't have much to report.  My whole life is comics this past week, I've finished the annual free comic project with my friends a couple weeks ago.  It feels like I'm part of some comix black market thing lately, with the dropping off and picking up of various packages here and there, and taping secret envelopes of money to things.  I spent part of Saturday in Seattle taking the free comic to stores.  I was so intent I forgot to have lunch or get hungry until I got back to Olympia to do more deliveries and spend time with my parents.  By the time I left for Portland I was death tripping on pork chops and granola mixed with Cocoa Krispies, which I never have when I'm in my usual orbit.

The sunshine is exposing all the grime that has accumulated over the winter and it's time for Spring Cleaning.  I'm so glad I don't have to really be anywhere this weekend.

I've been having a lot of plate of shrimp moments these last couple weeks.  Startling really.
I do my best thinking on the bus...The more you drive, the less intelligent you are.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

For a Better Tomorrow

I'm crabby today.  I woke up too early again and stuff from last week is carrying into this week.  For some reason the Man's Ruin stuff I found on YouTube today wasn't bringing me off the ledge so I tried this instead.  The image reminds me of home a little bit:

The weather's been so nice that I did some gardening yesterday.  The planter by my front door needs to get prettied up for spring.  It's just about empty now except for the two little flowers that were growing in it, plus a garden gnome and a lot of large black ants.  I did some trimming in the back yard too but that area needs serious surgery.  My grass is nearly gone and dandelions have already taken over.  But, the roses, lilacs and honeysuckle vines are still alive.

I'm waiting for season 3 of Rectify to come out on DVD.  The internet is being cagey about when this might happen.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Levitate Me

I have a little recommended reading today.  I read fairly often and though I think it should change its name to xotroll there are a few genuinely good writers on the site.  My favorite is Louise Hung, who writes a series called Creepy Corner with some seriously weird anecdotes.  Take the one about Carl Tanzler and his immortal beloved, dear me.  Anyyywaayyy, Louise also writes lots of other stuff about her life that usually puts a smile on my face.  She did a piece about losing her pet cat which resonated with me, not because I'm in mourning, but because I too have a lot of resistance to sadness and wanting to express it.

One of my friends told me about a book last weekend called The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk that I haven't read yet but I think might be useful.  It's about PTSD, which I'd had four years ago and has come back off and on since the holidays.  I've never seriously read much about it because I wasn't even sure it applied to me before, but now I would like to understand it better.

The truck for the Vietnam Vets of America is coming tomorrow to get some more donations from me.  If I need to donate it's nice to not use Goodwill as much.  VVA will take bags right off the porch and they leave a bag for the next time around!  They'll also contact you with a postcard when they are planning to be in your area again.  Between last weekend's comix show and the bags of clothes I'm getting rid of I'm making lots of room.  Property is theft, dude.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Someday we'll look back and laugh pt. 623

Stuff has been breaking, falling, getting lost this past week.  The shower sprayed water all over the bathroom because the head was coming loose.  My house key's loop broke so it won't stay on the ring anymore.  I can't find my drawing materials so I can work on my next page for Vision Quest #5.  I hope I didn't leave them at my parents' house in Olympia.

Oh yeah, and this happened three nights in a row:

One side of the bed kept falling off completely, one time with me in it.  I thought I had given it a good temporary repair, but no dice.  After getting rid of the carpet, I'd been scooting the bed around a bit more and it has a heavier mattress on it now.  The futon is soooo heavy, it's much harder to move than the other mattress was.  The books in the photo are there in my attempt to prop up the slats and rails so I could put the legs and side rail back on.  I finally got some metal brackets and secured all four corners of the bed inside and out.  It's been a few days and it seems to be ok for now.

Between stripping the bedroom carpet and being ill a few weeks ago, the rest of the house has become a bloody fright.  My aim for today is to get some semblance of order back into the common area.

Yesterday was another full day at the East Portland Eagles Lodge with Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap from 11 to 6, and Comix Thing from 9 to midnight.  The highlight of the daytime portion was when these two old guys, who have been my customers since the earliest Frankenstein's shows, bought all of my cutout color newspaper strips.  I threw in the plastic containers for free.  I gave them a great deal because I like them, and also I was hoping someone would want to take all the strips at once.  Win-win!!  The highlight of Comix Thing was getting to DJ again!  One of my friends asked me to DJ an upcoming event for this year's Portland Zine Symposium last night, so it seems I have a future.  The evening had an awkward moment when a man tabling next to me suddenly began critiquing my playlist and demanding to hear the Rolling Stones, in the midst of an anti-Republican rant.  Also he did some air guitar stuff to Stereolab, which is never ok. But all in all it was super fun and I've been invited to DJ the next Comix Thing.

I guess that's all the news I have right now.  I'm kind of tired of music for today, understandably, so I'm listening to this at the moment.  Happy Easter!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Ugly Stick

On Sunday I took up the carpet in my bedroom, and the floor was done as of about 9pm Monday night.  Here's what it looked like BEFORE, after I took out most of the furniture:
Here's what it looked like around dinnertime, while the quinoa was cooking on the stove:
And here it was right before bedtime Sunday night, after most of the staple removal all over the floor:

The carpet-tearing was the easy part.  On Monday night I went around the edges of the room removing the tack strips that were nailed down.  Once I did the first three to five linear feet, I got a lot faster at it.  I was done with all that in about two hours, while watching a dvd of Law & Order Criminal Intent, season 2.  Look how much bigger my little room looks now!
My unprofessional advice for this job is mostly common sense stuff.  Protect your eyes, nose and mouth.  Weird shit flies straight up at your face, including rusty nails.  Who knew my bedroom was Tetanus City?  There's microscopic stuff everywhere, even after vacuuming, and dirty little staples abound, so for God's sake wear shoes at all times! 

Cleanup was a constant process.  I vacuumed after every step, then I wiped down the boards with a hardwood floor spray that my mom gave me last year when we did the living room.

I was able to sleep in my own room last night, with the inflatable mattress on the bed frame.  While I was moving the bed frame a piece fell out and hit me right on the forehead, so by all rights I should be in the hospital now.  My pupils are the same size so I guess I'm all right.

I ran into a friend who is moving out of his house, and who might be getting a dumpster for garbage that previous roommates have left over the years.  I offered to pay for part of it if he and his girlfriend let me dump the carpet scraps.  That plan is still up in the air.

I'm having the mattress recycled.  I found a place online that will pick it up from the house for a nominal fee.  I don't think I can get this one down to the curb.  It's bigger and heavier than the average mattress because it's some kind of fancy built-in boxspring contraption.  I'm sleeping on the inflatable mattress until I get the new futon.

I'm doing a little better than I was a couple weeks ago but the facts remain the same.  I've been trying to see my friends as much as possible and let them know what's going on with me.  The load is a little bit lighter, I think. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Future is Now

I'm recovering from the flu right now.  I'm able to go to work but I'm still (mostly dry) coughing and kind of congested. It's the end of the day now and I can honestly say I feel better than when I left home this morning.

My get-well grocery shopping list last night consisted of lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, a nice change from the generic chicken soup and raisin bran I was having for four days.  I had no appetite and I lost an alarming amount of weight in less than a week, mostly from dehydration I think.  Getting all this nice stuff to eat made me think of something important.  In all these years I haven't talked about my allergies and asthma on Fitzrovians, which have affected me my entire life and have almost everything to do with my indoor environment.  Why hasn't this come up before?  I'm in a living allergen bath on a daily basis, and it was worse when I was still spending so much time in the basement. 

When I was small I had severe allergies to foods and fragrances, though thankfully the reactions were pretty rare.  I had my first allergen test when I was about 9 (fun fact: the hospital that tested me was the future headquarters of Amazon in Seattle WA) and I got my first asthma meds.  I found out that some of my triggers were dust, dust mites, and mold.  My mom took a lot of care helping me clean my room and keep it vacuumed and dusted, and keeping things tidy so they don't lay around gathering dust.
I'm a dust mite!
As I was gathering my food yesterday, which was picked specifically to help me get stronger, I realized that I don't take half the care I used to with these things and now I have sleep issues revolving around breathing problems.  My pillows are old, old, old and they say that old pillows are mostly dust mites after a while.  I hardly vacuum under the bed and there's still a lot of old carpet and feathers from a down comforter about.  It's pretty clear what I need to do about this.

Many years ago, I gave up drinking milk or using it on cereal.  I do use some dairy occasionally, but my allergies have been soooo much better since that time.  I also find that soda and really sugary or floury treats make me stuffed up.  I notice things like this but ignore what sent me to the doctor for answers in the first place.

I'm going to get some new hypoallergenic pillows ASAP, when I don't have other groceries to carry home and it's not raining.  Also, I'm looking at getting a futon mattress to replace the old lumpy one I've had for years and years.  It used to be great, now I don't know anymore.  They're expensive but I'm going to have it another couple decades, right?  And remember what I said about getting rid of the carpet in that other post.  That's still happening.

Well, I guess you want some music after all that.  I'm kind of obsessed with this song.  It's led me to find some other good Brazilian music so maybe it will bring you some nice things too.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

S-S-S-Saturday Nite

It's time for the monthly Twilight Rummage Sale report.  Everything got more awesome and frenetic with my new role as DJ added to my usual tabling duties.  I split the DJ part of things with another guy who is also starting out there.  I think my half was really good, despite a serious setback at the beginning when I discovered there was a problem with my turntable's needle.  I had to make my laptop do what the vinyl couldn't, and everything worked out pretty well.  A lot of people said nice things about the songs I chose.  I think I feel brave enough to try to do this somewhere else soon.  Not only that, but a guy who sells stuff at the table offered me a chance to apply for a slot in a new radio station that's starting up.  That's a pretty nice compliment.

Oh yeah, and sales were pretty good too.  I didn't buy a thing either, and took home almost nothing from the free table.  Weird!

I had a car last night and this morning so I took several bags of things to the Goodwill truck that's parked in the Lodge's lot, just before loading in for the sale.  I also donated a large suitcase that I haven't used since I went to Toronto Comic Arts Festival in 2012.  I prefer to travel really light, carrying my luggage onto the plane as much as possible, so I don't think I'll miss it at all.  Oh yeah, then I went to Far West Fibers to get rid of recycling.  They're not taking styrofoam anymore!

Ok, I have to push on while I still have the car so I'll say bye for now.  I'll leave you with one of the songs I used last night. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Was I Thinking

I tried to retire this dumb blog and I think my impulse backfired.  I guess I need it as much as ever, so why pretend anymore.  Sometimes blogging feels like tying notes onto rocks and throwing them off a bottomless cliff, but I'm not really doing it for anyone else but myself and it's helped me get this far with everything I have to do.

Cancer has entered my life again in a huge way over the holidays - not me, but someone I love dearly, and I'm trying to spend a lot of time with them and do what I can for them.  I'm looking at life in a way that I haven't really observed it since early 2012, and it isn't fun or life-affirming.  I don't feel like going into a whole lot more detail here.  At least I have friends and family and art to hold me up.  I really don't want to go back on medication again after being off them so long and doing so well, so I tell myself I have a perfect right to be depressed right now. 

Since last year I've been drawing more comix.  I'm working on a new one now.  Some of the only things that makes me feel better are making art and cleaning the house, so I better get to it.  So what if most of my readers are in Russia.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

House Beautiful

One of the things on my list for 2016, to do as soon as possible, is to take up the last of the carpeting in my house.  Almost a year ago my mom helped me with the floor in my living room and hallway, but the bedroom and office are still the same.  It's time to say goodbye to that filth of a floor covering.  Did you know that the backing on old carpet disintegrates over time and looks and feels a lot like sand?  Not to mention the years of crumbs and other stuff that have seeped through.  Not that I ever really eat in those rooms, but things have a way of getting tracked around.

Which leads me to reveal my next plan: paint the rest of the living room and finally make real curtains.  I have one of those giant vertical blinds over one of them and a piece of fabric tacked over the other one.  It's been like this also for about a year, mostly because I haven't gone out yet and picked fabric for the curtains.  Making them won't be too hard.

Today's weather was less crappy than normal so I dumped a shitload of stuff into the compost.  I hope I'm not ruining it by putting in things like cotton stuffing from a moldy cushion, or particles from the bagless vacuum cleaner.  I'm good at adding things to the container but not turning  it or keeping it damp, so I don't think I'll have usable compost for a very long time.

OK, enough about that. What I really want to talk about now is how awesome it's going to be when I go see Earth and Super Furry Animals in February, FOR FREE because I've had this McMenamins gift card lying around unused for the last five years.  Until now.

AND ALSO that I have another DJ thing coming up, it's been official for a couple weeks but I'm going to have a slot at the upcoming Twilight Rummage Sale in February.  I get a free table and $20, so I guess I'm a pro now.

The January edition of the rummage sale was last weekend and I had a pretty good time.  I spent most of the money I made two days later on my table for the Frankenstein's comic book show that's coming up in March, and my page/publishing cost for Vision Quest #4 that's also on the way.  Just doing my part to keep the comix economy alive.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Things That Make No Sense

I don't need to reiterate what a bummer week this has been, what with the news about David Bowie and Alan Rickman.  It's been difficult in other ways for me too, and I've been avoiding social media even more than usual as well as current events.  Why punch yourself again and again?  I know it will seem like I'm trying to be funny, but I'm looking up stuff about Amebix to feel better.

This works too:
I took three grocery bags mostly full of old coats to Goodwill last weekend.  Since I only use coats when it gets really cold, I didn't really think to try them on or see if I even like them anymore since last winter.  If you weed out your coats, don't forget to look in all the pockets, especially on the inside.  A lot of them have roomy interior pockets where stuff can be forgotten.

I'm not really with it though.  I put laundry in the washer two nights ago and it's still there.  I'll remember it for five seconds and then go back to whatever I was doing, which for the last two days has been drawing comix, eating, and watching Last Tango in Halifax.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Symbolism Overdrive

It's the first day of 2016, and it's sparkling out without a cloud in the sky.  Some people are taking advantage of the clear weather and clearing out space.  That means free stuff on the sidewalk for me!

I think this is a small bookshelf.  I also found a small, pretty painting of a woman's face, turned backwards here.  I'm not one to sneeze at a free set of shelves.  It was heavy!  I carried it down the block a little way and I was already carrying my laptop in a shoulder bag.  I included the clay flower pots in the photo to show you when free stuff goes wrong!  I carted these home over a year ago and they are still in my driveway because I think they might be full of spiders.  I haven't had the nerve to pick them up and toss them.

I don't really make resolutions, it's more like a to-do list, and most of it is stuff I was doing in 2015.  I just want to do many of the same things but more and better.   Here are some things I didn't do last year that I'd like to do now:
  • go to Iceland
  • adopt a pet
  • publish a comic/zine other than one of my own
I met up with some of my best friends to celebrate last night and we watched Logan's Run.  I walked home in the freezing starlight and I played music from my phone distract me from the cold.

I'd forgotten that Falling and Laughing was the first book I read in 2015, a memoir by Grace Maxwell about her partner Edwyn Collins' recovery from a major stroke.  Edwyn is the guy singing this song, in case you didn't know.