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Strip 370, Volume 3, Page 209


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< Piro >

i wish i could render feelings on paper the way Abe can...

"pebbles in the snow"

Friday - February 7, 2003

[Piro] - 14:55:02 - [link here]

Before I get started, I want to let everyone know that both Seraphim and I will be at Katsucon next weekend (February 14-16) in Crystal City, Virginia. This will be Sarah's first con appearance ever, so you folks better behave :P Asmodeus will also be in attendance (this should prove interesting). So, if you live in the area or are planning to attend Katsu, be sure to stop by and see us. I'll post more information about our schedule here sometime next week. I know that one of the things I'll be doing is giving a drawing class (gulp) so bring your drawing pads.

It's been an odd week. Sunday night I was looking foreword to what i was assuming would be a nice, productive, easy going week. It turned out to be anything but. I did a lot of wheel spinning - things took forever to do, or i found myself idling aimlessly between tasks. Sometimes life feels like trudging thru snow in a vast open field. if you look back, its hard to see your tracks, and when you look ahead all you see is white and the edges of the field that never seem to get any closer. The tracks behind you fill with fresh snow, and going on seems to be a kind of endless, pointless toil...

Heheh. I'm getting to metaphorical these days. I finally watched the last ep of Haibane Renmei subbed, and the damn thing makes me well up to watch. The series reminds me how long its been since i really connected with an anime character. My emotive connectiveness with Reki is both disturbing and oddly comforting.

I suppose that the whole 'In Search of Lost Wings' series is some sort of cathartic exercise on my part. It's one part gushing Haibane fanboy and one part something else trying to get out.

One of the problems with me is that I tend to get too wrapped up in my own work. As much as I enjoy watching anime and playing games, I tend to get frustrated quickly and want to get to producing something. It's in periods of frustration or a weird kind of creative exhaustion that i turn to the works of other people to find my bearings. Being creative is like flying blind sometimes.

Ok, these winged analogies are getting out of hand... ^^;;

Recently i've been poking around the web a lot more to find and start exploring creative works by other people. Part of this is because in an effort to provide some exposure for other worthy webcomics that people might not know about. In order for this to be a truly honest exercise, i feel that i should not only read and explore the sites in some depth, but that I should try to link stuff that I really like - stuff that in my travels i find worth looking into.

On Monday i posted a linkup link to a really nice webcomic called Demonology 101. I was a little annoyed with the site because i kept going back to read more. ^_^ I even got an email from Faith and traded a few emails back and forth. It occurred to me that one of the things that i've missed with MT growing at the rate it did when it first went up was that I never really spent a lot of time socializing with other artists on the net.

When i think about it, part of the reason for this was that before I started MT, I was pretty focused on the Japanese CG art and fan art world, and didn't spend a lot of time perusing stuff outside of that genre. Then, when MT started to grow as quick as it did, i ended up focusing mostly on my own work, not able to really deal with the barrage of other webcomic and art sites out there that I should have. Most of my friends are non-art type people (points to dom, i rest my case :P) who has skill sets that were different than mine. I wonder why it is that I didn't learn to mingle more with other 'artists' on the web?

One could argue that my non-attention to other artists is a kind of elitism, but really it's not. I tend to shy away from other artist types for the same reason i gravitated to people older than me when i was growing up - competition makes me nervous. I have a built in inferiority complex that hasn't gone away with the growth of MT, it just got more... complex. ^^;; Looking at the work of other people always makes me feel, well, nervous.

I wonder if that's why i gravitated to the Japanese websites the way I did. I was an outsider in that realm, and therefore i didn't feel that i needed to compare my work to theirs directly. Funny, huh? I feel cautiously comfortable existing inside the walls of a artistic genre where I am an outsider. A little like a Haibane myself, settled in my own OldHome inside a wall that cannot be crossed....

ohhhhkay, focus, fred, focus...

Anyways, here i sit, with the ability to strike servers down with a single link (you'll note that they had to redirect calls from this page because the serverload was too high - Dormando from says that he'll have the capacity to deal with it next week, so be sure to check out Demonology 101 next week sometime if you can't get to it now.) I sit here with a huge server that does nothing but serve MT pages and run the forums, and it's starting to strain heavily under the load (necessitating the need to purchase another MT server for some clustering a hella lot sooner than we expected at first - I wasn't planning on buying Nayuki until May, but the way things are going, i might even need to plan on getting Ayu before summer. uguuuuuuuuu~~~)

I need to figure out how to give props and links where they are due without melting servers. In most cases, for sites that already get a lot of traffic, its not a huge deal, but sites that have a lot of back comics or don't get a ton daily traffic suffer mightily under megadotting (if you'll pardon the blatant spoofing of the term 'slashdotting' - sorry rob ^^;;).

Oddly enough, it seems to happen to me too. I got a frantic call today from Kei, my publisher - looks like the mt books are gone - aside from the books that they have for Katsucon next week, the first print run is kaputz. ^^;; gee wiz, people. Another print run is underway, and in about two weeks the 2nd edition will be available - if you ordered a book recently or were planning on doing so, our apologies for any delays in getting you your book. Don't worry, they'll print however many they have to :)

Now, i need to get back to work on 'Warmth'. I'm already behind (big surprise, huh). What i really need to do is not give into the wandering desire to draw that little sketch of Raven from Demonology 101 that's been bouncing around in the back of my head for the past week. Giving into the desire to freesketch stuff isn't always bad. The 'Lost Wings' series is a good vehicle for it, and such drawings are good for clearing the mind, but it's also a lot like tossing pebbles into the snow...

< Natsuki >


"Warm & Fuzzy!"

Wednesday - February 5, 2003

[Natsuki] - 00:00:00 - [link here]

(Yep. Natsuki again. Remember, e-mail her at cellise at yahoo... anything that goes to addressed to her will be deleted. -Dom)

As promised! (since of everything I mentioned this got the most email O_o...well this and Zardoz, but we all know Sean Connery in thigh-high leather boots is "teh win")

The recipe for keep-you-up-all-night vanilla tea.

I learned this recipe from a lovely young man that once worked at HP (Hewlett Packard). Yes! Tea recipe from a codemonkey, and you know what kind of octane they run it's got to be good.

You'll need:
something to boil it in
1 bigelow tea bag (anything from their vanilla family will do...or if you have a vanilla tea you like better, go for it!)
sugar (and lots of it!)
some sort of creamer (powered non-dairy, milk, 1/2&1/2)
BIG thermal mug (so the warmed by the fires of hell water stays that way!)

First a handy little diagram!


I make mine in a 15.9 nissan stainless steel mug, this is not tea for some dainty little may evenoverpower some weaker mugs! When you make this tea you're going to want LOTS!

A recent venture to the grocery store led to the discovery that bigelow now makes not just french vanilla, but also vanilla almond, cherry vanilla and vanilla hazelnut. O_o

But in the original recipe we use french vanilla as a default.

Boil your water on the stove, I like to use a teapot that whistles, it's got thislittle turtle head...why a turtle? Who knows, it's cute though.

Prepare your mug ahead of time by dumping at least enough sugar to be an inch or more deep.

Now pour in the water, it'll dissolve the sugar instantly.

Grab the teabag and pop it into the water as well. I usually stand around and absentmindly dip it in the water several times.

Can you see the bottom of the mug anymore? No? Good!

Now it's time to add the white stuff until you achieve a nice light tan color.

Now you can zone out on the steam as it rises from the cup while you wait for it to cool to a tolerable level.

"So yeah, that's great Nats...but how does this keep the sleep demons away?" You might ask yourself, well here's how!

The unholy amount of sugar keeps you just under the vibrating enough to enter a new plane of existance...and if you drink a lot of it before you are "supposed" to go to bed... you'll be up with the ol' full bladder effect. ^_~

This tea always cheers me up if I'm in a snarky "dunwannadoanything" type mood.Also wrapping your hands around a warm drink in cold conditions is always comforting. (Of course, Natsuki always has a nice Wang to comfort her... just saying -Dom)

And perhaps sitting in front of a warm vcr with a few tapes (yes! tapes! bulky vhs, how I love ya!) of Miracle Girls. ^_^

Now with that out of the way, it's been rumored that "Warmth" will soon be renamed "Saeko's Big Fuzzy Adventure!"

So until next time...when we finally find out what happened at APE, this is Nats signing off and hoping you don't scald your throat too badly!

(And just because people seem to need this warning {some genius cut and pasted the entire rant--including the warning at the end--and e-mailed a one-liner. Bah} you should NOT send e-mail to, send it to her cellise account)


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