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I was down in it; now I'm up about it [Sep. 30th, 2016|02:30 am]

For the last 5 weeks I've done basically nothing other than write this comic book, which is now going to be published, and seems to be generating some kind of buzz among the kind of people who would get excited about something called "graphic literary criticism" about a serious contemporary short fiction collection by an award-winning writer. I think I sent the last files to the printers today. I haven't shared the cover anywhere else. Nobody reads this page anyway. But lo5t wanted someone to post something as a test. So here is something I've posted.

If you'd like to read more about this project, you can check out my blog: QWERTYvsDvorak.com
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sigh [Jun. 18th, 2016|02:36 am]
The harder I work, the harder the universe punches me in the face.
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Laughing Last. And First. And in between. [May. 5th, 2016|08:06 pm]
[mood |gigglygiggly]

Without getting too deep into the details, I'm laughing my head off at this dumb bitch. She is so threatened by my friendship with her boyfriend (who I've known longer than she has) that she's basically forbid him from ever hanging out with me. The thing is, if she hadn't done that, we would have gone on just being sort of casual friends and not really thinking about each other much. But her psycho response has basically had the opposite effect of the one I presume she intended. We rarely see each other, but least once a week, this guy starts texting me for hours on end, telling me all the stuff that's going on in his life, his hopes and fears, the books he's reading, the movies he's watching, all the getting-to-know-you growing-closer stuff that you do with really good friends, to the point that we now have a pretty solid relationship, one in which I am privy to the details of all this chick's petty little insecurities.

That's right, Potato Princess (I'm going to call her Potato Princess). Your campaign to keep your boyfriend from being at all involved with me has resulted in us becoming much more involved. Plus, now I know all your dirty little secrets. I know the stuff he doesn't like about you. You literally created a situation in which the boy you have attempted to rein in now complains about you to the very person you have tried to cut out of his life. Normally I don't engage in that kind of longform texting except with people I'm already really close to. But in this case, I went along with it just to spite her.

Because I am feeling bitchy myself, I will point out that Potato Princess is the secondary in a polyfidelity relationship, i.e., her boyfriend is married to another woman. But somehow, the fact that he might want to see me a couple times a year is the thing that's threatening to her.

Even more hilarious is that she's younger than me, and prettier, and has a fitter body. So that fact that I'm threatening to her makes me feel great. I can say prettier in an objective sense, although frankly, whenever she looks at me she gets this constipated church lady sucking a lemon face on, so I guess my proximity actually makes her less pretty. We have a lot of mutual friends, so we end up at the same gatherings on a fairly regular basis. She always pretends she doesn't know me or can't see me. I always go out of my way to call her by name and give her a big friendly hug, because I'm passive aggressive like that.

It's petty as hell, yes, and yet somehow reassuring. Middle aged, married lady here. Potato Princess, every little thing you do in response to my existence just makes me feel that much better about myself. Guess I still got it. 
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Time for my quarterly entry [Nov. 8th, 2015|11:53 pm]
I exist. Yes.

This weekend I spend mostly at Tucson Comic-Con, which I attended for free, thanks to my handy dandy press pass, which I got for being awesome, and also because I'm a regular contributor to Panels.net. When I wasn't at Comic-Con, I was at a party or the All Souls' Procession. So I've been busy.

Here we are at All Souls'. Apparently I am the only person in the world who can take a decent pictures with my camera. Consequently, I don't have any good pictures of myself. But good thing we got that guy selling cookies under a canopy in our family picture. I knew I shouldn't have expected much when the guy didn't even know what a viewfinder was. But *he* asked *us* if we wanted him to take a picture. Why do people who suck at photography volunteer for that?

Here's another rhetorical question. What's up with people who enthusiastically ask you to PM them and then never write back? You could have saved me the time of composing the message and the weirdness of wondering by NOT asking me to send you a direct message. Sheesh.
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lol LJ [Aug. 7th, 2015|01:08 pm]
I still read my f-list a couple times a month but it's 90% pictures of bugs, so...you know.

But since I'm here: omfg there are a lot of ignorant bigots in the world. It's so weird how most of them claim to be Christian while actively filling the world with hate. The presidential election is always hard for me. I want to secede from reality.

My blog is starting to pick up steam. When I post my comics on Reddit, they got 100s of hits. I wrote one last week that is apparently still being shared on Facebook. Over 1000 people read it, which is more than I can say for any of my other writing. One day, something will really hit, right?

QWERTYvsDvorak.com if you want to check it out.

I'm busy all the time: making art, taking care of people. 
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Amusing/embarrassing [Feb. 10th, 2015|02:25 pm]
I keep forgetting that I can use LJ for anecdotes too private for Facebook.

For instance: after school, my stepdaughter usually wants to hang out with me, while my stepson is typically too cool to express that desire, but will definitely come around to see if we are doing anything interesting and then join in without comment if we are. Usually it's just me reading a book, but he'll stick around for a while if the book is good.

So, I've been reading Anne Frank's diary to my stepdaughter, and we got to the first official mention of Anne's puberty, at which point I determined, as I had already suspected, that my stepdaughter had never gotten the goods on the subject of menstruation. So we stopped reading the book and I Googled "female reproductive system" for visual aids and explained all that plumbing and the likely timeframe in which she could expect these changes.

In the midst of this conversation, I heard stepson come down the hall, pause outside the room and, as soon as he got the gist of the conversation, hightail it out of there. I'm still cracking up thinking about this 12-year-old boy wondering what we're up to, realizing that it's his stepmom explaining periods to his sister, and running away quickly.

In other news, my stepdaughter, who will turn 10 in less than 1 month, and who went up 3 shoe sizes since school started, was unaware that women get monthly periods. Bonus: when the conversation turned inevitably to baby-making, I determined that she a) had no idea HOW the daddy gamete got to the mommy gamete and b) was under the impression that babies came out of women's butts. Upon examining the diagram (thanks again, Google), she seemed relieved to note that the vaginal opening was substantially larger than the anus.
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Two Posts in 1 Month [Nov. 10th, 2014|05:50 pm]
I just thought I'd come to Livejournal to complain about the fact that my stepdaughter has taken up the trumpet, an instrument for which she demonstrates no natural affinity. She refuses to practice without someone listening to her, and constantly asks for reassurance that she sounds better (she does not). I'm sure she will get better, with practice, as people do, although she has already given up on 2 other instruments (guitar and flute) because they are "too hard." The band teacher has informed us that she will be kicked out of the band unless she documents 30 minutes of practice a day. My brain is on fire.

Also, I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to whatever it is that she puts on the trumpet, something that smells evil and oily and alcoholy, a smell that lingers after she puts the instrument away.

OK. That's that.

Here are some All Souls pictures.


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People. Or just 1 person. [Nov. 8th, 2014|02:29 pm]
[mood |lolololol]

I don't know why Tabor's ex-wife even bothers telling us when she's coming. In the 6 years that I've known her, I think she's been on time twice. About 98% of the time she's at least 30 minutes late. On one memorable occasion she was 6 HOURS late picking the kids up. When they were little 4 hours late was no big deal to her, although, of course, it's a huge deal to a little kid. The other 1.9% of the time she's so early that we're not the least bit ready for her. Currently she is 50 minutes late, because obviously no one else in the world has anything more important to do than wait around for her idiotic ass.

What else?

Last month we took a super-epic road trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We saw California condors. We saw bison. We saw pueblo ruins. It was great.

Tomorrow is my favorite local event, the All Souls Procession.

I should post pictures.

Requisite Grand Canyon photo.

The best part of the trip was probably a hike we took in the red rock region outside of the city of Sedona in a supposedly magical place called Boynton Canyon. This is the place where you can find heart-shaped rocks, which you then hang in trees. There are also a lot of rock balances, arranged around the so-called vortex in an interesting pattern. We also climbed a very high and steep rock. Even I did it. We were pretty pumped.

We are very high up, and we had to climb to get there.

Ex is now a nice even hour late. I will eat my quiche and fold laundry and write comics and try to ignore her utter lack of integrity and interest in anyone else's convenience besides her own. 
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Still Here, Still Beautiful [Aug. 29th, 2014|01:22 pm]
[mood |creativecreative]

It's been about 3 months since I launched my T-shirt shop and art blog. The blog is getting some degree of love; I usually get WP upvotes and a number of Facebook likes. I have sold 2 T-shirts. Naturally, these designs were fast adaptations of images that I didn't spend much time on. The designs that took me weeks to draw, which get the most attention and the most views, have not actually sold yet.

I've been experimenting with digital painting. The results are interesting but not quite ready for prime time, if you know what I mean. I thought this one was OK but it's the least successful post I've made all month. It could really use a lot more work, but part of the blog project is that I need to plan ahead, and I had planned to upload this image at that time.


The most successful thing I've done so far is a series of incredibly poorly drawn comics. The main character is cut and paste into every panel, with her expression and arms changed slightly. It still takes me about 3 hours to draw one. They are kind of funny, if you have a sense of humor sort of like mine.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 1.16.13 PM

This is one of the most popular panel I've drawn.

Well, at least someone likes my drawings. Apparently my 7-year-old nephew was so inspired that he's been drawing his own serial comic, which he then shares with his entire mailing list via Google docs. My nephew is pretty sophisticated. Or maybe that's normal behavior for 7-year-olds now? My stepkids don't do anything like that. While the digital artwork can be sort of hard to decipher, the text is pure gold. It starts out as a man vs. elements story, with an autonomous fellow who lives on a boat. Eventually he finds some treasure (the treasure is gold, apples, and steak) and then gets into a fight with a pirate over it. The conflict is resolved unconventionally (spoiler alert: the protagonist murders and cannibalizes the pirate). The last couple of panels involved a "fishy person" (she appears to be a mermaid). I guess all I ever wanted to do is share my art and inspiration. So I'm a success.

Still, I wish people would click on my 
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Why don't you say what you really feel? [Jul. 9th, 2014|04:07 pm]
[mood |angryangry]

T believes that all my bad dreams are precipitated by fear of abandonment, but what really frightens me is that, when I have nightmares, they usually involve me losing my filter, raising my voice, and telling people exactly how I feel. You can't go through adulthood without your white lies and your pleasant, smiling faces (to mask your anger/rage and disdain/contempt), especially in delicate situations. You can't tell people how you really feel if you need to continue working with them.

At the same time, you can't let people walk all over you, trample on your rights, or use you. It's a fine line.

I just spent 2 hours of my life trying to balance on that line as 5 months of plastering a reasonable, approachable mask over my actual feelings is about to come crumbling down. It's not that I had any real expectation of honesty, and yet it's still a massive punch in the face to realize that someone has been blatantly lying to you, and that they will cheerfully go out of their way to hurt the people you love. I didn't have any real expectation that they would be reasonable, based on past behavior, and yet I thought, maybe this time will be different.

It's weird that I am the tactful, reasonable, responsible one. Spending some time with my family last week really hammered home the way my family's narrative (I was labeled, from the age of 2 or 3, as the "bad" child) affected me. In fact, they still believe that I was a bad child, despite the fact that I didn't drink, smoke, do drugs, flunk classes, steal, get in actual fights, or pretty much do anything except beg to be left alone to read and write. This kind of screwed me up: years of being told how selfish I was caused me to become altruistic in a way that doesn't always serve me. I wish I was actually selfish. My crimes as a child: not wanting to do chores, not always getting along with my siblings, and bristling under my father's tyranny. My knowledge was never honored, but my infractions were always punished. Because I was bad. Only by making myself subservient to others could I be seen as good.

I love my family, but their perception and treatment of me was based on bad heuristics. Now I have to overcome the ideas that I learned as a kid, that certain behaviors were unacceptable from me, even if those around me were allowed those outlets, and even that certain thoughts were unacceptable, and that I naturally deserved all the pain that came to me.

Anyway, those 2 hours have gotten my heart rate up. My mind is racing. I'm not an anxious person, but I am filled with anxiety (although it's mitigated a little by finishing the task...at least I don't have the anxiety over accomplishing it, just over what comes next). This afternoon seems lost. Now I'm just figuring out how to calm down.
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