Good evening and happy Sunday! I write to you from December 2022 where, since my last batch of regular blogs, I've left one job, started another, traveled to Vermont, celebrated Thanksgiving, put up two trees with my partner (whom I refer to as "the Mister" since he values his anonymity), and tackled and finished two freelance design projects for a client. Whew. That was a lot to do in just six weeks. I suppose most people would have preferred all sort of spread out but while it felt like that the Michelle Yeoh movie "Everything All At Once" was the guiding light of autumn 2022, change happens when change happens and, although kind of chaotic, I managed to get through it with some grace. More on all of this at one point or another or maybe not, who knows. I sometimes overshare, and sometimes undershare but it all evens out in the end, I think. :)
For the moment I'm just sort of sailing through December trying not to fixate on the stress of the season as those who live here know the "special" kind of place our fair city is during the holidays. Instead, I'm trying to enjoy the moment and, to some degree, succeeding. :)
Looking ahead into 2023, I realized that two of my favorite obsessions... uhm, er INTERESTS (lol) are celebrating 60 years in 2023 and I though how fun it would be if there was a cross over episode. I mean, Disney owns ABC which produces General Hospital and will start to stream Doctor Who in America next year so it's possible. I mean, common sense tells me that it will never ever happen but in that small chance that putting it out to the universe will make it happen, here it is. Get to work, universe!
As an aside here, while we're wishing, "hi universe, I'd also like to put in my request for $10M to suddenly appear in my life" thank you. This could be because my comic strip characters get noticed by Netflix or Disney and they just HAVE to own them (now you know my asking price!) or maybe some person in the world decided that I should have $10M. I'm OK with either (but quite frankly, I'd rather it be the former than the latter... how wonderful for these characters to have a life beyond this blog and Instagram).
The point of all of this really is - I made it through all of last year, It was a LOT but I made it. With the help from The Mister and many friends. Please note that I will not be singing "I'm Still Here", but I absolutely could - I have, as the kids say, the receipts to prove just how much I've earned that (this is slightly cryptic for those who don't know some additional personal stuff that I was battling this year that I have not yet graced this blog with... )
The upcoming week is filled to the brim with all sorts of event work/holiday stuff and I am 100% looking forward to it but also looking forward to next Sunday, when most of it will be behind me. :) I probably won't have time to blog til this short cycle is over but know that I am chugging along in fine fashion.
Finally- here is an advance poster for an event I'm doing at work. We decided to do a "Baked Potato Bar" and so today I purchased a stuffed tater at a local diner, shot it on a white towel, cut out the background and added some dazzle. I'm pretty happy with it and thought I would share it with you my blog reading public. :)
As everyone has written in every column in every paper, website, and on social media - 2021 was tough, not as tough as 2020 but still a slog.
I continued to draw and post as often as I could - the aim was always 'one MEMO a day' and I managed to do that fairly consistently up until late September/early October when work took precedence and I no longer could muster up the energy to spend my evenings drawing/posting.
At the time, we were just starting to lean in, tentatively, to 'in person' events and that half in person/half virtual gave everything an extra complicated sheen. Thankfully with the end of the year and an upcoming break, I'm able to resume my work and the thought of that makes me very happy.
Here are some of my favorite pieces from 2021 in a meme going around called "art vs artist". I think it's just an Instagram thing but who knows. In any event, I don't usually jump on these things but in this case I thought it a good showcase for my work.
So enjoy and time will tell when I'm back to producing work again (hopefully soon!!)
It's understandable to get depressed and be emotional these days - my God, I would be worried for someone if they WEREN'T flipping out. Between the news and the panic as well as the indifference to a certain segment of the human community, I have been beside myself for days. There will be better days ahead but right now we're staying at home. I'm now on Day 18.
But yesterday I logged on to Mark Kanemura's Instagram feed (I'd been hearing about it for days) - he throws an amazing dance party starting at 2pm PT / 5pm ET and the positivity and joy that emanate from him is infectious (in the not lethal way, of course!) :)
I needed this emotional injection of positivity, energy, and joy, more than I can say. This man is provided the best source of healing for the grieving I am going through (click here for a great article about the grief we're all going through).
It's 30 minutes of aerobic fun but frankly I was having a late afternoon nap when I logged on and didn't even get up at all. It threw me back to the mid 90s gay bar/club scene here in NYC - the same fun energy that kept me going back to Splash, Paladium, Limelight and more is present here....
Log on. Enjoy it. Move with Mark. Or just listen. I can't promise your life will be changed, but mine was. And I thank you, Mark for this.
And remember: You Are Loved.
I don't really talk politics here too often but I have to say that watching candidates tearing each other up during the election process is a huge turn-off. I know that politics is a game of dirty pool and if one doesn't talk like that about their opponent, then another one will... and ultimately, it seems to me, the American public will become disinterested unless the whole thing plays out like some old timey wrestling show.
I would say that's a very modern thing, but history teaches us that no, that's not true; it has been like this for most of our history... and probably has been like this since time began. Maybe that's just human nature. I don't want it to be, but I'm pretty sure it is.
Thankfully there are are a lot of things that are a lot more interesting to me that are also human nature - love, compassion, honesty, humor. I want us to focus on those, but, admittedly, to most people, those things are not that thrilling. At least not as thrilling as some old timey wrestling show.
I made this graphic in 2016 mainly because I'm a huge (HUGE) fan of the 1972 movie, WHAT'S UP DOC and I thought it would be funny if Eunice ("I am not A Eunice Burns, I am THE Eunice Burns!") ran for President. It worked out great due to the Sanders campaign, of course. This popped up in my FB feed over the weekend and I thought I would share it with you because it makes me giggle.
I think I need as much of a sense of humor and I can get these days and I'll bet you feel the same. Hang on!
The strength that my friends show to their community has been an inspiration.
Sooo... thanks. :)
It's Sunday, I'm about to go to the gym and then to the Apple store to manage my eighteen billion Apple devices (really, it's just my phone, my newer laptop and my older laptop and an external harddrive that isn't behaving right - all have one or more wackadoodle issues and I'm going in to see how I can resolve them all in short order) and then spend the afternoon cleaning the apartment that we live in that has gotten a bit ... casual (I think that's the nicest word I can think of) over the past couple weeks.
But, while I'm doing all of that, ponder these things:
When did New Yorkers decide it's OK to throw out decades of conventional behavior and walk on the left side of the sidewalk? It used to be tourists, now it's practically everyone. Walk on the right, and nobody runs into each other. Why is this hard to grasp?
Does everyone switching sides on the sidewalk auger some kind of spiritual shift that's going on or are we, as I have often thought, simply living in a parallel universe since 2016? (I miss the universe that I used to live in where Hillary Clinton and Obama were considered awesome - I want to go back to that one and leave the one we're all stuck in... perhaps David Bowie is alive over there too... damn you, Hadron collider!).
In the recent STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, Fran Drescher should have been one of the voices that Rey hears when she's down for the count - "Raaaaaaaay... get up and get me and Mr. Sheffield some CAWWWWfeee"... that would revive her much faster than hearing Alec Guiness. :)
I was born in 1964 and technically am a Boomer, I guess, although I've never identified with the Boomers much. Since the end of the Boomers and the start of Gen X are fuzzy (no two sources agree, naturally) I have found I tend to side more with Gen X. Douglas Coupland got it right. A recent Medium article gets it even right-er. The last sentence sums it up for me: "You can just go ahead and play Prince at all our funerals." True that. Because Prince was the personification of Gen X - the man who sung about being Gen X by never actually singing about Gen X. If you're Gen X, I think you'll get that. Also: other than the Coupland book, we've been largely ignored. We kind of like it that way mainly because we're used to it.
Finally, Happy Palindrome day- 02/ 02 / 2020 - apparently this won't happen again for another hundred years. I'll be 155 then, nearly 156. I might not be in great shape at that point, but who knows? With enough cawwfee and a switch to another universe where humans live to be 500, I might just be getting started!
Have a faboo Sunday and catch you back here tomorrow!
P.S. the photo above has nothing to do with the blog - it's just a pic I snapped Friday night on my way home from work and I thought this blog was as good a time to post it as any. Enjoy, don't steal! I say this because someone on the Facebook snagged a pic I took of Radio City a few weeks ago and passed it off as his own. When I pointed out to him that he should give me credit, he claimed to not known that I was the photog. I don't sort of mind if it gets used, really, but just give me credit (and don't play dumb with me when you've had to go into Photoshop and edit out the watermark... sheesh!)
I remember a time three years ago when I got on the 7 bus to go to East Harlem to meet the Mister for dinner. I transferred to the 116 bus and decided to pull out my phone and txt that I was most of the way there.
In a sudden panic I realized that my phone was not on me. I thought I must have left it on the 7 which was miraculously still behind the 116.
I got on in a lather searching franticly for a dropped phone. Everyone saw the look on my face and knew what I was doing. One guy suggested that I call my phone.
Now, being a New Yorker, my first thought was "how can I call myself without my phone?" .... but then I realized the guy was offering me his phone to use. To me. A total stranger. And not just him, but literally five others on the bus were holding their phones out for me to use. In the middle of a bus on a Saturday night.
I quickly called myself, and, hearing no buzz (Im always on silent mode) realized that it wasnt there. After many thank yous I got off the bus and just happened to catch a bus going back the other direction (towards my apt). I went all the way back home and was grateful that Id just left it on the kitchen counter and that it was just an absent minded professor moment.
But it reminded me that the bill of goods we are sold by the politicians, the media (fake AND real!) and the internet - that people are selfish and terrible, the world is hell and everyone hates each other - that bill of goods is just garbage. NO SALE! (as my friend Rolondo might say)
Again and again I see people helping each other even in the big bad city.
Sure, that was just a little moment in time and would appear to be meaningless- but I still remember it three years later and it means something.
People ARE kind and that maybe that kindness can last longer than September 12.. Or December 26... Or, well you get the idea.
May all your missing phones be on your kitchen counter, and may there be those around you to help you find that out.