Wednesday, September 06, 2006 is teh suck!!!!11111

Seriously, you think it's time for an update?

It occurs to me that, in my 5 month vacation from blogging, everyone has 100% ceased to care and I really can't blame you. But it says a lot about you if you're reading these words. It shows that you're a person of faith... yes, faith! I could've been dead or handicapped, lying in some damp, god-forsaken ditch, tapping out a Morse code S.O.S. with a rusty pair of salad tongs that happened to fall on top of me when I was first cast into aforementioned ditch. But you said "no, no, I think he's still around, he's just lazy. He'll update eventually. Just wait. He will."

And, let's be honest, nobody wants an exhaustive run-down of everything that's gone on in the last several months. You have roughly as much desire to read that as I have to type it out.

Suffice it to say, Buzz-Killer-Me, it has been a difficult 5 months and, while a lot of wonderful things have happened and are beginning to happen, there's no way on God's incredible, edible earth I'd want to relive it. Anxiety bordering on depression! Complete loss of appetite, causing me to drop twenty pounds without exercising! Near-mid-life crises! Birthday blues! Financial terror! Publishing projects failed and relationships left mangled and bleeding!

All that's to say, updating the blog has been low on the priority list.

(However, that's not to say I haven't been blogging. If you want the truth, I've been blogging religiously since late June, just not here. Big announcements coming. Well, big for me anyway. Stay tuned.)

So, fresh start! Let's live in the now, brothers and sisters! Out with the pain and in with the gain! What's going on lately?

I'll start with Carey Bear.

She's a star, my wife, a bona fide bright and shining star. Since quitting the country club in March, she's jumped into her Cosmetology schooling at Golden West with total commitment and enthusiasm and she's doing really well. 4.0, but did anyone really expect less? She should be done in the Spring.

A few weeks ago, though, she remodelled my home office.

Friends, I can't begin to describe the hell-pit this room used to be. I think I'd deluded myself into believing that I was inspired by the chaos, but no. No no no no no no no no no. Limited shelf space for a library of books and supplies. Horrid piles of unholy creation stacked on desks and sometimes on the ground. No color, no room, no life, no sanity.

Carey had 3 weeks off for her summer break, so she dove in. Results below:

Not exactly the hottest bit of photography, but you get the idea.

Carey Bear = Genius.

Since Josh is also finally updating again, I decided to take a cue from him and list 6 weird things about myself. I just couldn't stop, though, so, PowerBlog-style, here are 69...

If you're bored, just holler. I'll quit:

  1. I cannot handle ketchup. It's not just a general dislike, either. The thought of it makes me nauseous. Often, I'll have to remove ketchup from the table or I won't be able to eat because the idea of ketchup is in my presence. I accidentally bit into a sandwich with ketchup on it about nine years ago. Whenever I'm sick and I'm trying to make myself throw up, I try to remember that day.

  2. When I draw, I pucker my lips tightly, leaving a tiny opening, like I'm about to suck the juice out of something extremely small. It really tires my mouth out when I'm drawing for hours on end and I have to consciously tell myself to stop.

  3. I can't sleep unless my body is completely face-down with my head twisted to the side. This is horrible for my neck and posture and I've been working on correcting it since elementary school, but I always seem to wake up in this position.

  4. Like Josh, I have the insane-shaking-eyeballs-at-will ability. Particularly when Iím close to something, I can make my eyes dart rapid-fire. I used to freak people out with it when I was a kid, but no more. (And I had no idea anyone else could do it before reading Josh's blog.)

  5. I can pull both of my thumbs out of joint. This comes in handy when I need to stuff my thumb into my hand to the second knuckle or bend my thumb back to touch my arm.

  6. My sneezes smell absolutely horrible, like something dead and rotting. It's actually really embarrassing. As a result, I tend to keep all my sneezes inside, which can give me headaches.

  7. Often, when I meet someone for the first time and they tell me their name, I have to stop myself from saying their name backwards back to them. As in, "Hi, I'm Rick Wilson." "Pleased to meet you, Nosliw Kcir."

  8. I drink tap water.

  9. Speaking of water, I drink insane amounts of it every day. Whenever I'm out at a restaurant, my glass will need to be refilled 4 or 5 times at least.

  10. I don't think you could call me a 'potty mouth', but I do have a swearing habit. I'll say any swear except the 'C' word. I cannot handle the 'C' word. Not only do I never say it, it makes me supremely uncomfortable to be in the same room as someone else who's using it. Really, it's just a word, but it makes my skin crawl.

  11. I discovered at one point that if I had to list every person I've ever heard of, less than 10% of them are people I've actually met and of the other 90-some%, probably half of them are comic book professionals. Yikes.

  12. I don't like sports and I don't understand them. I've lamented to my wife that the biggest obstacle I have when it comes to becoming friends with other men is my inability to appreciate sports. I've tried, but I just don't get it.

  13. I didn't try alcohol until I was 23.

  14. I'm not much of a music student, but I become obsessed with a given band or artist to a manic degree for about 6 years before moving on to the next. In high school and part of college, it was The Beatles. Then it was Beck. I'm currently about a year and a half into my unhealthy fixation with Stephin Merritt.

  15. When I watch TV, I'll sometimes stick my hand straight up into the air without realizing it, as if I'm waiting to ask a question.

  16. I hate my profile. Passionately.

  17. I'm constantly working on my Bill Cosby impresson.

  18. My favorite film of all time is Joe Vs. The Volcano. Every major life decision I've ever made relates to one of its scenes... romantic, career, creative, spiritual... I quote it incessantly. My wife insists that my personality and mannerisms are the spitting image of the Joe Banks character from the movie.

  19. When I have an illustration to do, my premium working mode is to sit on the couch with a drawing board/light box on my lap with a DVD I've already seen playing in the background, director's audio commentary turned on. For some reason, this is my sweet spot and it keeps me focused until the end of the project.

  20. I have a thing for the number 12.

  21. Even though I shower and wash my hair every single day, it doesn't stop my head from secreting a strange oil that turns my pillows yellow. Carey washes her hair far less and her pillow remains clean as a whistle.

  22. Not that this one is any surprise, but I love to write dialogue and transcribe conversations from memory. If I'm having a conversation or overhear a conversation that is weird or funny or interesting to me, I immediately picture it in my mind as a transcribed script. To relate situations and stories, it's my method of choice. I've written many emails that consist entirely of transcribed conversations. (YOU: Are you serious, Jer? ME: Oh, I'm serious.)

  23. As a baby, I never crawled. According to my parents, I barely moved. In fact, it may be part of the reason I have a misshapen back-of-the-head. One day, I decided I was finished with all the laying around, so I stood up and walked away.

  24. I'm fascinated by and attracted to little people. Not "short" or "slightly small" people. I mean genuinely medically-considered Little People. As in adults that are 4 feet tall and below. Whenever I see one of these folk in public, it takes fantastic will power for me to resist approaching them and asking them a question.

  25. In 4th grade, the teacher asked the class who we would have lunch with if we could have lunch with anyone. The answers were pretty typical: Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jackson (I think one kid even said "my dad", poor guy)... my answer? Don Adams.

  26. I'm 30 years old and I've never experienced a moment where I thought I could take on either one of my parents in a physical fight. They're both in their 50s, in fantastic shape, and to this day, either could easily kick my ass.

  27. I keep a mental list of celebrities that, if pressed, I think I might be gay for.

  28. I have an ongoing fantasy scenario at every office I've ever worked: The Battle Royale. The scenario involves the door being locked and everyone I work with being forced to fight to the death. The one left alive is the victor in the Battle Royale. At any given moment, I can usually tell you who my pick is to win. (Currently, I'm liking Leon Bao, based on his physique. Chris Clark might be able to step up, though, and Cara Ferguson is an accomplished Judo-student. We'll see.)

  29. Throughout high school and college, my favorite shirt was my Yellow Shirt. I loved it. In fact, I was wearing it when I met Carey for the first time. It's old, ugly and unwearable now, but it still hangs in my closet and I don't think I'll ever throw it away.

  30. The three places where I'm most creative when it comes to coming up with ideas for illustrations, designs, ads and scripts: 1) the shower, 2) the toilet and 3) in bed when I'm first waking up in the morning.

  31. My favorite use of swearing at the moment: "Lose One's Shit," meaning "to freak out." (ex. "When the girl who was stalking me turned out to be our waitress at Chili's, Carey completely Lost Her Shit.")

  32. I've never seen Star Trek.

  33. For some reason I've never been able to nail down, I use the term "weasel" as an affectionate nickname for people and pets.

  34. I've written lots of plays and screenplays and short scripts over the years and several years ago I realized that I manage to work the act of vomiting into a great deal of them. I'm mostly over it now, but it seemed to be a strange fixation for awhile.

  35. I'm in love with eyebrows and spines. It probably creeps people out, but the gentle drama of an eyebrow or spine's curvature is one of the most romantic things I can imagine. Eyebrows and spines are why I draw.

  36. Even now, as an adult, I try to melt and blow up objects with my heat vision. I don't have heat vision, but I still try.

  37. Something I'm bound and determined to accomplish before I die: write and illustrate a graphic novel about 15th century Spain.

  38. In college, I learned exactly one song on the ukulele and it got me exactly one date with a girl who was otherwise out of my league. (Of course, I ended up marrying a chick who was way out of my league, so it all works out.)

  39. I have no problem referring to myself as an illustrator, but it makes me uneasy to refer to myself as an artist.

  40. I assign songs to people in my life. Not everyone and not often... but if someone is important to me, chances are good I think of a certain song when I think of them.

  41. I have no talent whatsoever for recognizing prostitutes.

  42. I tried stand-up once and bombed. That was over ten years ago and I've been working on a stand-up act ever since. One day, I mean it, I'll try again.

  43. Periodically, I check IMDB to see if I've been included for the work I've done on something. I never am.

  44. There's a strange fantasy I entertain every so often. I call it the "Multiple Birthday Boy Jeremys In One Room" scenario. Here's how it works: on my final birthday, whenever that will be, I'll get the opportunity to meet and hang out with a version of myself from every year of my life... the me on my 1st birthday, my 2nd birthday, my 12th, my 30th, etc. etc. All of them. We'll all be in one room and we'll all party like it's 1999.

  45. One day I will meet the artist Kevin Maguire and I will tell him that his work decided my career path. I don't know how it will happen (mainly because I have no idea where he lives) and as the years go by, I get more and more nervous about it, but it will happen.

  46. I once had a bone infection in my toe, which necessitated a PICC line for several weeks to clear the infection. (A PICC line is a tube that has one end in your heart, snakes through your veins, and comes out a valve in your arm. The valve can be unscrewed and IV antibiotics or other medications are injected. I often had dreams during this time that I and my loved ones were in perilous situations and the only way to save them was to pull the PICC out of my arm and tie something together with it.)

  47. I secretly hoped it would rain on my wedding day. And it did.

  48. I pulled exactly two all-nighters in college. Both were watercolor projects.

  49. I am my mother's press agent.

  50. I'm the only member of my family without any musical ability.

  51. As a kid, I didn't have a favorite color and it perplexed me that everyone else seemed to know theirs so easily. When adults asked, I usually told them "blue" to get them off my back.

  52. I can only think of one person in my life that I can honestly say I've hated. It was a girl from high school that somehow wound up as an enemy and it still makes me feel guilty and awful to remember those days.

  53. When I was in 8th grade, I attended a school that was K-12. A social studies teacher had the brilliant idea of having a school-wide election to crown the 1989 Class Clown, with nominees from every grade. There was an assembly and everything. I won.

  54. I get kidney stones roughly every two years. My biggest was in college and it was the size of a quarter.

  55. I loved the show You Can't Do That On Television when I was in elementary school. (A completely ridiculous teen sketch comedy flick from the early/mid 80s, shot in Canada and starring a very young Alanis Morrisette.) Thanks to this show, I thought that all teenagers went through a phase in their lives where they spoke with Canadian accents.

  56. When I try to think of the most terrible things I've ever said in my life, most of them are things I said to my mother.

  57. My blog has been quoted in newspapers.

  58. For about ten years, I carried a biker's chain wallet that used to be my Grandfather's. On it, it said "Live To Ride. Ride To Live."

  59. I played Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman my senior year in college. I re-read the play about once a year, every year since.

  60. My freshman year in high school, for reasons I still can't figure, I received a crippling migraine headache every single Wednesday.

  61. When I'm with a group of people in a restaurant, I truly hate having to ask someone if I can trade seats with them to accommodate my deaf left ear. Sometimes it's just too embarrassing, so I'll sit down without being able to hear anyone and it makes me miserable.

  62. I often think that, if I were to meet someone exactly like me, I'd probably find them annoying.

  63. I ask my wife to open jars that are too tight.

  64. It makes me nervous to use any toothpaste other than Colgate Total.

  65. I sold my first play when I was 18.

  66. I once punched my sister in the mouth and knocked out her tooth.

  67. I used to love Shakespeare. I still do, actually, but it eased off a little since the day I realized that I loved the idea of being someone who loves Shakespeare even more.

  68. I have a recurring dream where I'm driving a car backwards from the back seat with my feet.

  69. I'm amazed by palm trees. I'm even more amazed that I live amongst them.

My friend Cara Ferguson gets paid to blog. Not enough to fund her retirement, but she's a blog champion nonetheless, for her updates are consistent and unrelenting.

Her blog is topic-specific (it's all about dogs), and even though I'm not much of a dog-lover, I'm freaky for checking for updates on her site, DogNabbit!

Since she was kind enough to mention me recently, I'm returning the favor.

Carey and I had a terrific Labor Day Weekend.

Saturday was the International Festival in the City of Orange with Joe and Rebecca, our small group leaders. They just returned from a missions excursion to Africa, so it was time to celebrate.

And on Sunday, Carey and I finally got around to making the trek up to Pasadena to spend the day at the truly spectacular Huntington Library, Museum and Gardens.

My camera ran out of batteries about 2/3 of the way through, but that didn't stop me from snapping off a ton of shots while the camera was still charged. Brace yourself for the photo orgy below (and, apologies, I know this page took awhile to download. Blame these pics):

One of the earliest printed manuscripts of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

An early print of Christ giving his blessing to Ferdinand, Isabella and Columbus to convert the New World to Christianity.

A Gutenberg Bible.

A William Blake original.

An 18th century bound copy of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, which arguably sparked the American Revolution.

Carey at the fountain.

An original Edward Hopper.

Trompe l'oeil, brother!

Cassatt's Breakfast in Bed.

Now that's a nose.

Pinkie and...

... The Blue Boy. Small prints of these paintings (and one large one of Blue Boy in the living room) hung in my grandparents' home when I was growing up and they scared the holy living hell out of me because I was convinced that the people in the pictures were real and they were trapped in the painting. Since their eyes seemed to follow me around the room, no matter where I went, I thought they were trying to tell me to help them, but I never knew what I could do to rescue them from their little framed prisons.

Chilling to see the originals up close. Yeah, the eyes still follow you.

This one's going to be my desktop wallpaper.

Entrance to the Japanese gardens.

One of these koi followed me wherever I went. It started getting creepy after awhile.

Buddha and his Spare Change Tribute.

(Pay no attention to the fingers.)

Zen garden.

In the end, I won.

How about that Tim McMahan, huh? No joke, I really love Tim and it's a special sort of man-love that only happens when the stars are aligned just so.

Tim's latest project is an organized boycott of Removing Your Shoes For Airport Security X-Ray Scans. I'll let him explain:

No More. Today news came out that sending shoes through an airport x-ray machine tells the security officials virtually NOTHING. It serves ZERO purpose other than to give people the impression that all precautions are being made (even if they are meaningless). Iíve had enough of this inconvenience. Now that TSA confirms that itís all a silly game Iíve decided Iím not playing anymore.

I will no longer voluntarily take my shoes off to walk through airport screening. If the good men and women with the TSA want to make me step aside so they can wave a wand over me, they are more than welcome to, but Iím leaving my shoes on. If in that process they want to force me to take my shoes off and are willing to carry my smelly tennies around and send them through the x-ray machine themselves, they are again more than welcome to. But Iím not doing it for them. Iíve been personally screened before. It doesnít hurt, it doesnít take all that much time and youíre not in trouble.

ďThatís just stupidĒ, you may be thinking. Why put up with 5 minutes of hassle when all you have to do is take 30 seconds to take your shoes off? Two reasons:

1) Principle. If they think Iím such a threat because I happen to be wearing shoes (heaven forbid), then Iím calling their bluff and demanding they do something REAL to make sure Iím not dangerous.

2) Strategy. If even 10% of the people on each of my flights take the same stand, they will not be able to fund the man-power it will take to screen us all. Eventually theyíll give up on making us take off our shoes because they already know it does NOTHING. I know itís a stretch but Iím willing to bet that even a government agency, in the long run, is not willing to blow their entire budget for something they know is meaningless. Eventually the airlines will not appreciate the back up at the airports either and will apply their own high dollar pressure on the TSA to help us along.

For sure, I donít want to take it out on the gate workers at the airport, I understand they are doing their job. Iíll be polite and cooperative and wonít argue with them. If they request me to take my shoes off, I will in turn politely suggest that they personally screen me.

I hope youíll think about joining me. This idea isnít at all original to me, other people are saying the same thing.

At the very least, pass on the word.


I don't know, man, but I think I'm with ya. It only takes a spark! The squeaky wheel gets the grease! If you tell two people and they tell two people!

My shoes are staying on. Fight the power.

(By the way, Tim's boycott landed him an interview on KROQ here in Southern California. You can listen to it here.)

I'm surrounded by genius. Take my friend Scott Godfrey for instance.

Scott had the brilliant idea of an Original Art Lending Library. Eventually, he'd like to get other artists involved, but for the time being, he's allowing anyone who's interested to check out his pieces, free of charge, provided they either return them or pass them along to someone else after a few months.

And, seriously, why the hell not?

I say good for him and good for anyone who's willing to get on board with this idea. Art as a bourgeois commodity is exactly what makes it so alienating to so many and it's about time someone came along, Barton Fink-style, and started a ruckus. By and for the common man, that's what I'm talking about.

I've posed for a pic, but haven't received my Art Lending Library card in the mail yet. Stephanie has and hers looks like this:

Sheesh, a lot left to say and this post has already run way long. Well, and this ain't blowin' smoke, there's more to come. And soon.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a few pics of the greatest nephew and niece a guy could ask for.

Catch you later.


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