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< Piro >

Jack & Daddy, the Post-Op Lounger

"Post Op & Library-ing"

Thursday - October 22, 2009

[Piro] - 12:11:12 - [link here]

If you have been paying attention to my twitter-sludgestream lately as opposed to waiting for me to update this poorly neglected column, you will know Tuesday was a rough day for my little guy. Jack had his Tonsils and Adenoids removed, which is a big deal when you are barely two years old. The good news is that he came through everything just fine and after spending a night in the PICU we were finally able to go home yesterday afternoon and he's doing great. In fact, you'd hardly know he had the operation two days ago the way he's popping around today.

Now his parents didn't fair quite so well in the ordeal (i wont get into the long list of 'you gotta be kidding me' things that happened, like the surgery being delayed and his post-op medication wearing off and having to go in and hold and comfort the little guy him while they gave him anesthesia, dealing belatedly with the fact that parents are not big on remembering to feed themselves when their kid is in the hospital, and having a dead battery in the vehicle at 2am in the hospital parking structure) but now that we're all back home I think we survived. The rant image is from yesterday when i had pretty much been pressed into service as a lounger for Jack as he slept of the drowseys. Kids can exercise some serious Sleep Voodoo on you when they want to, especially when you are seriously overtired. Oh, and Mommies should not be allowed to have cameras.

I've been threatening to start writing rants again since a week or so before Jack's little fun day at the hospital, but as usual i found myself extremely preoccupied with things leading up to it. Yes, i am an obsessive and worry too much about my boy when it comes to things like this, it's just the way I'm wired. Now that we're on the other side of it i feel tons better, and after looking at the calendar i realized that i really should write about what i'm doing this weekend. :)

On Saturday October 24th I will be giving a presentation at the Dexter District Library in Dexter, Michigan from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. It'll be on the lower level and should be pretty easy to find, all are welcome to attend. I plan on talking about both the drawing and writing processes involved in creating comics (mine, at least) as well as ways to explore and expand upon your creative ideas. It's a pretty casual thing, so be sure to bring some questions. Hopefully i'll be able to provide some semblance of an answer. I will also be helping judge entries to the Manga Illustration contest and announcing winners after my presentation.

So, if you live in the area and have some time, stop by the Dexter District Library and join us. Should be fun.

You may have noticed that we have some additional contributors who have been writing and contributing rants to the right column. These are some of the guys who have been helping me in recent years, most noticeably in the website overhaul and rebuild. Now, these guys are pretty decent guys and have not caused me the kind of grief that would make me want to make them into MT characters (an abusive and cruel act that i would not put upon anyone lightly) but i figure some ranting into the void won't be too detrimental to their lives. If they get out of line, Dom will it.

Right now, i'm off to get some shirt printing done and then see what i can do to get that last comic finished and get the next one on deck and up before it becomes 'next week'. Even in spite of Jack's thing this week, i'm pushing to get the comic output up to at least two comics per week. I apologize for the slow flow lately, hopefully it can become a thing of the past. I'd say that for 'not ranting' too, but i know better than to say it. Any progress on that will happen by doing it. I will say that i'm getting really sick of Twitter's 140 character limit.

< Kalium >

Read rant to learn what the hell this is

"Stomping Grounds"

Sunday - November 15, 2009

[Kalium] - 22:22:52 - [link here]

I'd heard "You can never go home". Before this weekend, I'd never taken it seriously.

I should explain a little. About a year and a half ago, I graduated from the University of Michigan and left behind Ann Arbor, my home of five years. I got a job in Plymouth (a Detroit suburb), and lived there until May of this year.

Now I live in Kansas City, but that's beside the point. Westport area, for the truly curious.

When I was in Plymouth, the town never seemed to change much. Where two ships might poetically pass in the night, it seemed like Plymouth was a town composed almost entirely of ships passing each other in the night. You, dear reader, will merely have to imagine my surprise to find the town both quite familiar and somewhat alien at the same time. A storefront that I always remembered as being empty now had a grill in it. A store selling eclectic home items was gone and a bakery in its place. Exactly one person I ran into - the friendly lady who runs a nice tea shop - remembered me.

Most things hadn't changed. The central park was still there, the library, the assortment of bars and jewelry shops and such that make up the town center were mostly the same. For some reason, all of this only served to highlight all the little changes. When I walked into the library, I had to leave almost immediately. The combination of the familiar and the alien was more than I could handle all at once.

When I returned to the familiar stomping grounds of the campus of UMich, things got worse for me. I took some time from hanging around with some old friends and went to visit a commercial district in the middle of campus (South University, for Ann Arborites). The overall ambience seemed unchanged, but so many of the storefronts had not been so lucky.

I walked by where I remembered a decent pizza place, now a Japanese restaurant. At least one other Japanese restaurant had sprung up, although I can't recall what was there before. Many of the boutiques were new, but I had expected that. There was a tea house where there certainly had not been one during my suddenly very distant student days. An abandoned building that had always proclaimed "Campus Pinball" was notably absent. It had burned down several weeks before.

That familiar district, the model on which I chose where to live in Kansas City, was suddenly both very familiar and quite alien to me.

I grabbed a cup of fairly generic coffee from one of the places that hadn't changed and made for the Diag (kind of like a park bounded on all sides by school buildings). There I perched on a bench and hunched over, suddenly very alone with my bittersweet memories. The unchanged buildings were cold comfort in that moment.

Then the coffee was gone. I looked at the cardboard cup in my hand. Those things don't change much no matter where you are. I grinned, tossed it in a trash can, and stood. It was time to shake off my fugue, to return to the sound and lights of my friends.

I knew that campus wouldn't be the same. I knew that. Yet, seeing it with my own orbs was an experience that nothing could have prepared me for. The sense of the familiar, of an area I know and of people who are no longer like me but who I was once one of, uncomfortably shot through with a sense of the alien. I love Ann Arbor dearly. It will always hold a special place in my heart so long as the Wolverines call it home... but it is no longer my home. Not now, and probably not ever again. Not in the same way.

I can no longer go home. I can only move on, with the warming fire of my memories to keep me company in the dead of winter.

So I write this from an airport in Minneapolis, as I wait for my flight back to Missouri. I wait, and I sit, and once more I remember.

----

You probably want to know about the rant image. I leave Fred alone with my Sony Touch (see prior rant) for five minutes, and when I turn back around he'd produced that. Your guess is as good as mine.

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