Friday, December 21, 2012

MAYA'S APOCALYPSE

     I wasn't worried about the supposed apocalypse happening December 21st this year, based on the "end" of the Mayan calendar.
     BUT... check this out:
     That's the My Little Pony calendar I have behind my desk at work. The kids love it, of course, even the boys (bronies), and a girl named Maya had asked me if she could HAVE the calendar when the year was over. I said sure, and jotted a note on the calendar, on the last day of work before we leave for winter break, so I'd remember to take it down and give it to her.
     Look at that. Our last day of school before break happens to be the 21st! The day of the Mayan Apocalypse!! And the girl's name is MAYA!!! Is it just a coincidence? I thought nothing of it until recently, when there's been more and more talk about December 21st and the Mayan calendar. I suddenly looked at that date square and was like, "Oh, HELL no..."
     What if "Maya" is really an earthly avatar of the Mayan Apocalypse? What if she's merely masquerading as a student who frequents the library, and I'm the only one who even SEES her?! What if on the 21st she comes into the library like usual, and then sheds her earthly form and turns into a Mayan Goddess of Destruction? Like Kali, only with turquoise and, like, leopards or something?
     Oh, lordy lordy.....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

VEGAS VALLEY COMIC BOOK FESTIVAL : Tommy's Twelve

     The first weekend of November (yeah, over a month ago and I'm just now getting around to posting this) we drove to Vegas for the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival, which is part of the annual Vegas Valley Book Festival. The Comic Book Festival was a one-day event on Saturday, November 3rd at the Clark County Library and its environs.

     The Clark County Library had invited me to be a special guest, along with Aaron Alexovich and Drew Rausch, at our publisher SLG's booth. Drew and Aaron have a dark and Lovecraftian new hardback graphic novel called Eldritch.
     It's like, really cool, and they drew a pretty picture in my copy just for me. Here it is:
Drew drew, and Aaron... aaroned.

     I was promoting The Royal Historian of Oz, Skelebunnies, Stitch, and my newest lil' cutie, The Weirdling Woods. (see THIS post)
     The festival organizers had also asked me to present 2 one-hour-long writer's workshops, and even though I feel like I barely know what I'm doing, I said sure. Confidence, bitches!
      The plan was to limit each writer's workshop to 12 participants, who had to sign up beforehand at the festival registration booth. About 15 minutes before the first workshop, Anthony and I swung by the registration booth to check out the sign-up sheets. I was fully expecting either NOBODY, or just a few people interested. To my surprise it was actually over-filled, and I ended up with about 18 participants for the first session.
     Ever the pessimist, I thought, "Well, I'm sure it's just because people really want writer's workshops, not because any of these people have ever heard of ME before." Which is totally fine, of course! Really. But then during the first session when I had people introduce themselves and say what they're interested in writing, a woman with two teens said, "Actually, we're just here because they're both big fans of your work, and we just wanted the chance to get to meet you!"
     So that was a really nice surprise.
     For the second session, the festival organizers tried to keep to the 12-person limit, and we only ended up with one or two more than that. They said they had to turn a bunch of people away, because there was so much interest in writer's workshops!
     In case you're wondering what I did for a whole hour, I used a PowerPoint to introduce myself and show my various works. I had everyone introduce themselves by name, what they want to write, and one thing they hoped to learn in the workshop. (Don't worry, I allowed shy people to "pass.")
     After sharing my own experiences regarding the creative process, and how I personally ended up getting published, I then talked about the importance of dialogue, particularly in comics. I described how a lot of my ideas begin as characters that form in my head and start talking. Dialogue is usually the first thing I start writing for a new project. I love that stage in the creative process when these different personalities are forming and having conversations, and it's like you don't even have to "try," you just let them speak and try to catch it all on paper.
     I reminded them that when we're kids, we ALL do this, EVERY DAY. It's what our childhoods are made up of, mostly. Inventing personalities and dialogue and adventures for our Star Wars figures, our Transformers, our Barbies, Smurfs, Monchichis, whatever. And it's EASY when you're a kid. Do you remember ever sitting down with a pile of action figures and sparkly accoutrements and saying, "Uh... I don't know what to say... I don't know what kind of story to tell..."
     As we get older, we tend to start losing that ability to freely play and create. Writers need to retain that, or to recapture it.
     So then I bossily guided them in a dialogue-writing exercise in which I passed around a big canvas bag full of all sorts of toy figures, and had each person select two. I gave everyone a sheet of lined paper and a pencil, and told them they had 5 minutes to write a dialogue between the two characters. They weren't going to have to show it to anyone, either, it was just for THEM. For FUN. I suggested they look at the characters and try to figure out what their individual personalities might be like, and how they might relate to each other. Maybe they didn't even like each other.
     I loved seeing the participants pair the Creature From the Black Lagoon with a pirate, or a dinosaur with a Bratz Baby. And almost all of them wrote like crazy, not wanting to stop until I called time, and even then hurrying to finish a thought. It looked like fun.
     I think I even said, "Language is a writer's toybox." Later I thought, Wow, that's such a hippy-dippy douchey kind of thing to say! But I did mean it, and I wasn't even smoking weed.

THESE TWO HAVE A LOT TO SAY TO EACH OTHER.

THESE TWO... WELL, THEY OBVIOUSLY HAVE A HISTORY.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

COMIC BOOK SIGNING WITH DAME DARCY

Dame Darcy and Tommy Kovac at The Comic Bug, 2006
     I was going through some old files, and found this picture of Dame Darcy looming balefully at my side from a November 2006 signing at The Comic Bug, in Manhattan Beach. It was a group comic book signing featuring Dame Darcy, Crab Scrambly (not pictured, he's shy), and Tommy Kovac, which is me. I was promoting Wonderland and Autumn, as you can see from the table display.
     Darcy wore a giant gold ribbon in her hair, played guitar and banjo, and chattered about raw food recipes. When she found out my husband is diabetic, she insisted that she'd have to have us up to her house in L.A. and make a raw foods dinner for us because we would love it. Of course that never happened. But it was exciting to talk about anyway, in that way you do when everyone involved knows it won't really happen because you're all too busy and self-involved but if you WEREN'T that way, you'd maybe be actual friends. Maybe.
     A week or two after the signing, there was a terrible fire at The Comic Bug, which you can see an after shot of HERE. As far as I know, I had nothing to do with that.
     So, yeah, this happened 6 years ago.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

IN THE DREAMHOUSE : Teacups with George and Rene

Not quite what it looked like in my dream, but actually cooler. This is the Teacup ride at Disneyland Paris, and doesn't it look awesome?!

     I had a dream that I was riding the Teacups with George C. Scott and Rene Auberjonois, and some girl from Ohio.
 
     It was kind of an anxiety dream, because at the time I was riding the teacups I really should have been packing back at a hotel Anthony and I were staying in. I've stayed at that hotel before in my dreams, it seems to be a consistent part of my mind's dream geography.
     We were there for some sort of comic book convention. It was the last day, and we were going to just get up and drive home, but I slept through my alarm and woke up at 3pm, totally missing checkout time, which was at noon. For some reason, we were staying in separate rooms, and of course MY room was a shocking mess of trash and clutter. Food wrappers, coffee filters with loose grounds lying all over the floor, photographs, bags of comic books and toys I'd been buying at the convention all over, bags upended and contents strewn. Clothes lying all over the room in heaps and tangles. I stared at my mess in despair, then began frantically trying to get it all cleaned up and packed.
     When I first woke up and realized the situation, I couldn't remember Anthony's cell number, and was panicking because I needed to call him and wake him up, too. I had a new cell phone and couldn't figure out how to use the contacts/address book, I just kept pushing buttons and trying to find Anthony's info in the stupid phone. Don't know why it didn't occur to me that I could just walk down the hall and bang on his door. Then I realized that the key to my room also fit his door, and it was in my pocket the whole time.
     In the way dreams work, despite the panic and anxiety about getting packed and leaving, and getting Anthony up and moving, I ended up wandering off to the Teacups, which were not affiliated with Disneyland, and were instead part of a themepark/carnival connected to the hotel.
     A friend of ours from Ohio was getting onto the ride with George C. Scott and Rene Auberjonois, and I just had to say goodbye to her, since Anthony and I were having to rush off.
     I jumped into their teacup, excusing myself for the interruption, but explaining how we'd woken up late, missed checkout, and needed to get the hell out of Dodge and on our way home. George and Rene were very nice about it.
     The girl from Ohio was excited because she was planning to move out to California where all the cool stuff is, and then we'd get to hang out more. I acted excited about that prospect, but was thinking that she would probably be annoying in longer doses.
     Before I could finish saying my goodbyes to the girl from Ohio, the ride started. George and Rene didn't seem to want to spin the wheel and make us go faster. I offered to do the spinning, but they hemmed and hawed. They're pretty old, you know.
     I woke up before the ride was over.

Friday, December 14, 2012

ERZSEBET AND THE DIZZY DREIDEL


     (I wrote this silly little story for a friend who was bemoaning the overabundance of Christmas stuff, and the lack of Chanukah festoonery at work. I didn't feel like making the giant menorah with blinking battery-operated lights as she suggested, so I just wrote this instead.)
Erzsebet and the Dizzy Dreidel

by Tommy Kovac

Erzsebet was a good little Jewish girl, but she had dreidel problems. Her dreidel complained, like, ALL the time. As soon as she would start to play the dreidel game, and give the dreidel a whirl, it would moan, “Oy! I’m dizzy! I feel nauseous! It’s terrible!” So poor Erzsebet would have to gently stop the dreidel and lay it aside where it could recover.
You can imagine how difficult this made the eight nights of Chanukah. Talk about a buzz kill.
When her cousins came over to celebrate and play the dreidel game, Erzsebet gulped nervously. She thought maybe it could work if she spun her dreidel slowly and carefully. She oh-so-gently gave it a mild twirl.
“Ach! My head! I can’t tell up from down, left from right! You hate me so much you want to torture me like this?”
Erzsebet grabbed the dreidel and placed it on its side as her cousins laughed, clutching their stomachs with mirth. One of the boys scooped up the gelt, and Erzsebet did not even complain. I deserve to lose, for having such a difficult dreidel, she thought.
“Erzsebet,” moaned the dreidel woozily from where she cupped it in her hand. “Can I help it if I have vertigo, or maybe an inner ear infection? I consulted a medical encyclopedia, and I think I might have several different syndromes…”
The girl soothed the dreidel, and left her cousins to their pile of ill-gotten goods. She wandered into the kitchen where her mother was fixing potato latkes, and leaned against her side. The woman draped one arm around the girl, and squeezed her shoulder comfortingly.
“That dreidel,” her mother said with pursed lips and a raised eyebrow. “More trouble than it’s worth.”
Erzsebet took the dreidel into her room and closed the door.
“Dreidel, what if you close your eyes when I spin you? If you can’t see everything twirling around, maybe you won’t feel dizzy!”
“You want I should try that? After what I’ve already endured?”
The girl nodded her head solemnly, pleading with her big brown eyes.
“Not the big eyes! I can’t take the big eyes. Go ahead. Spin me and I’ll try it.”
So Erzsebet positioned the dreidel on its point, saying, “Okay, on the count of three, close your eyes!”
“One… Two… THREE!” and she gently, steadily gave it a twirl.
“AAAAAAAEAUGHYAYAYAYA!”
The dreidel howled even more than before, wobbling and gabbling about the nausea and the horrible vertigo.
“I need this like I need a hole in my head!” cried the dreidel, finally flopping onto its side.
Erzsebet froze, a sly grin creeping over her face.
“Dreidel, I think I have an idea!”
She snapped the handle off the top of the little dreidel.
“Did that hurt?”
The dreidel shrugged. “Eh. I’ve felt worse.”
The girl then took the dreidel out to her father’s workshop, where he helped her drill a medium-sized hole right into the top of the dreidel.
As the operation was performed, Erzsebet chewed her bottom lip worriedly.
“Dreidel, does THAT hurt?”
“NNNNYEAAAAAUUGH!!!” howled the dreidel. Then it stopped suddenly. Erzsebet’s father eased the drill out of the dreidel’s head, to reveal a nice clean hole. The dreidel said, “Hold on, now… That isn’t half bad. I feel… enlightened!”
Then it sniffed. “But drafty. It’s a little drafty now, on top.”
Next, the girl and her father sanded down the point of the dreidel, so that it would sit flat without tipping.
The dreidel frowned. “I’m used to always tipping to one side or another. This feels odd, not tipping. I suppose I just have to get used to it.”
Erzsebet and her father took the dreidel inside, to the menorah in the front window. They placed a candle in the hole on top of the dreidel, and lit the wick.
“Ahhh!” grinned the dreidel. “So I’m the shamash, now, am I?”
“Do you like that better?” Erzsebet asked, reverently moving the dreidel-turned-shamash from candle to candle, using its flame to light the other wicks.
“Well, it’s certainly better than all that spinning and nausea… But the wax is dribbling onto my head. You couldn’t find dripless candles? Would it kill you to find some dripless candles so I don’t have this gunk all over my head?”
“Oh, silly dreidel!” said Erzsebet, laughing. “You’re only happy when you have something to complain about! Now, hush while I do the blessing…”

*Happy Chanukah!*


Thursday, December 13, 2012

HOLIDAY DRIVERS

     This morning on the way to work I was cursing all the stupid moves other drivers were making. Not sure if it was because of the rain, or it being so close to Christmas, but everybody's acting like idiots. Me included.

     First incident:
     I was in the right lane, and another car was in the left lane, when a guy on a bicycle appeared, wobbling around in the lane in front of me, then he abruptly careened over into the left lane, and the other car had to brake and swerve to avoid hitting him. Then THAT car abruptly swerved right in front of ME, cutting into my lane without even signalling. And it had nothing to do with the guy on the bike. I growled, "IDIOTS! Both of you!"
     Second incident:
     I came up to a signal just as the light was turning from yellow to red, so of course I stopped. The car to the left of me, however, just barreled on through, and just barely missed being clipped by a guy coming from the opposite direction who was turning left, and had a legit green light. The guy with the legit green light totally SAW the idiot running the red light, but didn't seem to care. I think they came within an inch of crunching into each other.
     Third incident:
Johnny made me do it.
     I was in the right lane, following one of those big trucks that carries a bunch of cars on it, like baby marsupials clutching their mother. Know what I mean? I don't know what they're called. Anyway, I realized the big truck thing was going really slow, and didn't want to be stuck behind it, so I merged into the left lane, hoping to get around it.
     The left lane turned out to be slow, too, so the big truck thing pulled ahead and I lost sight of it. The MINUTE I lost sight of it, I completely forgot why I had switched lanes, and started to move BACK into the right lane. Then I saw the big truck thing ahead, and went, "Oh! THAT'S why I switched lanes!" and swerved back over into the left lane, not wanting to get stuck behind the big truck thing again. I'm sure any other drivers who saw me doing that thought, "Idiot!"
     My excuse for not being at all focused on the road or my own driving is that at the time I was listening to this entertainingly overwrought Johnny Cash Christmas CD, in which he very emotionally tells the story of Mary and the Baby Jesus in between verses.
     It's not a very good excuse.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

STAFF MEMBER MOST LIKELY TO

     ASB runs these little popularity contests where the kids fill out ballots voting for which staff members they think are the "best dressed," or "nicest," or "funniest," or whatever. I sometimes get a modest handful of votes, depending on what the category is.
     In November they had a category I had not seen before:

November's Staff Member Most Likely To Be U.S. President
Please name the staff member who you think is most likely to be elected U.S. President this month! State reasons and examples.

     One of the kids wrote this:

Mr. Kovac because he reads a lot, knows
has a lot of knole
knowledge, and is cool.

     I thought that was pretty cute. And it is indeed HIGHLY likely that I will eventually become President of the U.S.A.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

BOX OF BOOKS VOL.5 RELEASE PARTY

     Saturday night my husband and I drove up to Chinatown in L.A. with our good friend Matt for the "release party" of a group art project I participated in. "Box of Books Vol.5" was organized by Darin Klein & Friends. (Darin's a curator at L.A.'s Hammer Museum)
     20 creators were each asked to make 100 copies of a little reversible booklet using 11"x17" paper and a clever cutting and folding technique. Subject matter was totally up to the creators.
The Weirdling Woods (I sign each one by hand in magical silver ink)
     I chose to use this opportunity to work with a project I've been noodling with for years. An illustrated children's fantasy story called The Weirdling Woods.
The Weirdling Woods, page 3
     That's all you get, as far as a peek at The Weirdling Woods. I'll be selling them online for $5 each through my Etsy shop: HERE. (Give me until about 11/7/'12 to get it listed, por favor)

Sales table, people, a dog...

More people, and that freeloader dog is still there... (I don't think it even purchased Box of Books Vol.5)

Upstairs zine room, looking down on main floor of exhibit hall

Anthony amid art

The foyer of the facility was draped with black ribbons, a visual theme that was carried throughout the place.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EVERYBODY'S A CRITIC

     I just finished an 8-day stint as a juror on a criminal case in Santa Ana. I didn't know if I'd be back at work today or not, so I gave absolutely no thought to a Halloween costume. I would like to mention that I'm also fucking exhausted from the stress. This morning I thought, "Crap, I bet a lot of the staff and faculty will be in costume and I'll look like a chump."
     So I clipped my juror badge back on, and told my husband I was going as "Juror #125." He laughed politely, and said, "Okay."
     Some of the kids have asked, and I've repeated my bit about being juror #125. Most of them have laughed politely, since they know I was gone because of jury duty.
     One of the 7th grade girls overheard me explaining my "costume" this morning, and I could see her sort of reserving judgement. Then later in the afternoon she came in and sort of drifted up to the circ desk to give me her verdict:

     "I think you could have put a little more effort into your costume..."

     Guilty.
   

Friday, October 12, 2012

SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS


1)  Are you right-nosed, or left-nosed?

2)  Do you have a favorite berry? If so, when?

3)  Name the first 5 bikinis that come to mind:
          __________
          __________
          __________

4)  If you could be any character from 1980's sitcom The Facts of Life, whom would you kill?

5)  In one word or less, describe something:

6)  Where do you see yourself in 5 beers?

7)  Finish this sentence:
          I feel my butt if _____________________.

8)  Can you smell like a chicken?

9)  Why? (Does not relate to previous question)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

HOVERING BETWEEN HOMES / DEALING WITH A DOUCHE

     This is a strange time for us. We're now sleeping in the new house in Anaheim, with Esther the chihuahua, and a bunch of boxes and basic daily necessities. But most of our furniture is still at the rental in Orange.
     Since the bed isn't there yet, Anthony and I are trading off between the new couch and a camping mattress thingie we borrowed from my mom and stepdad. It's a very small price to pay to be sleeping in our own house, which is beautiful and a lot bigger, and most importantly OURS.
     Professional movers are scheduled for Saturday. Hopefully by the end of the weekend, or very soon after, we'll be FULLY moved out of the rental and not hovering between places. I cannot WAIT until we never have to go back there. I didn't hate living there or anything, and anyplace with Anthony is Home, but I just want to be settled in and through with our stupid (former) landlord forever.
     Our rent is paid through the end of October, so we don't technically have to be out until then. But the landlord is a real douche. He's already demanded that we let him in to see the place, then he had a painter come out and do an estimate. (Which is annoying, considering the landlord never painted for us in the whole 18 years we lived there) Now we're supposed to be there this evening to let the landlord and a prospective tenant in. He actually went as far as to ask if we could make ourselves "available to show the place" for about 4 hours on Saturday, even though he himself would be out of town! My husband took that call and said NO. Especially since that's our big moving day. It's like he thinks we're his assistants, and expects us to hold an "Open House" for him! Like we give a shit whether he finds a new tenant or not.
     When he came by last week with his daughter (seemed to be "showing her the ropes") to check the place out, he asked if everything was working. I said, "Well, for starters the air conditioner hasn't worked in YEARS."
     His daughter gasped and seemed (at least superficially) appropriately dismayed. The landlord pretended to be dismayed, and said, "Oh, that's terrible! Why didn't you tell me?"
     "We DID tell you," I replied immediately. "SEVERAL TIMES."
     Said the douche, "Oh, ha-ha! I guess the Alzheimer's must be setting in early!"
     I glared at him, grunted, "Mm-hm," and walked away.
     Our new house has new air-conditioning AND a ceiling fan in the dining area. And all-new dual-pane windows. So there.

CONTENTS: Winnebago, bear, pony, towels

     It's pretty chaotic and exhausting, trying to box up 18 years worth of living in one place. You accumulate so much stuff, and it's hard to organize it in a way that makes sense.
     When we first started packing things up in preparation for the move, I was trying to keep like things together, with labels such as, "SHEETS AND BLANKETS," or, "FAMILY PHOTOS & MEMORABILIA." But after a while I just kept dragging more and more stuff out of cupboards and drawers and closets, and it seemed to make less and less sense, organizationally speaking.
     Which is how I ended up with this box:


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NEW HOME

     My husband and I just moved from a rental condo in Orange to a house we can call our own in Anaheim. 4 bedroom, 2 bath, about 1,350 square feet, air-conditioning, new paint and carpeting and tile, nice big back yard...
My handsome husband standing in the front yard waving, with a halo/nimbus of saintly light above his head. (Actually the porch light)

Here's me in the kitchen which has obviously been newly remodeled. The house is a flip, which is nice. But I am totally unworthy of that nice kitchen.

This is a wall in the dining nook, and that little brick cubby is a witch-burning oven. (Actually the realtor said it's a pizza oven, but that's not scandalous enough.)

These are the first things things I brought to the new house when it was officially ours: an avatar for each of us. The robot is Anthony, the okapi is me.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ART : Old Handmade Stickers

     When we first began the long and spread-out process of packing in preparation for moving, I came across some old DIY stickers I'd made for one of my first comics conventions. I printed them at home on sticker paper and cut them out by hand. I remember it was VERY difficult to peel the paper backing off, and I kept apologizing to anyone who bought them. This was in the very early 2000s, and home printable stuff has improved a LOT since then.
I still like the odd shape of this one. And I don't know what kind of animal or thing I intended that to be.

This one is like a weird Skelebunnies tribute to Edward Gorey.

Monday, September 17, 2012

DOODLE-DOO : Meeting doodle

     This morning we had our usual weekly classified staff meeting in the main office, and I took the following notes on my agenda:
It is important to pay attention.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

IN THE DREAMHOUSE : Daycare Time Travel Improv


              This was a significant dream because of the way it followed me into wakefulness, with no clear line between the subconscious and conscious mind.
              I was dreaming in the early hours before I woke up, influenced obviously by watching episodes of “Abby & Brittany,” the documentary/reality show about conjoined twins who work as student teachers with elementary school kids.

Abby and Brittany. I love these girls.

              My sister and I were working at a day care center, and organizing a play with the kids. I don’t know what my “sister” looked like, and we weren’t actually conjoined. But we were making occasional asides to a documentary film crew, explaining what we were doing with the kids. That’s why I’m sure it was influenced by Abby & Brittany.
              We were going to need to use water in the play, because there were scenes by a river, and something about carrying a bucket of water, so my sister and I had hired a man and a woman who were water technicians so we could have real water in the play.
              The water techs came in with all this equipment, and I told them they could set up in the bathroom. Apparently real water is very complicated.
              The kids were all sitting in a group on the floor, and my sister and I were walking around them, asking comprehension questions, to make sure they understood why the water techs were there, and that they all understood their parts in the play. Their parents were there, too, on the sidelines. Then we had a break so they could all work on props and costumes and stuff. I was narrating for the film crew how nice it was to see the parents and kids all doing their part. For example, a black boy was ironing a purple shirt for a costume, under the direction of his father. I was very impressed that a father and son were willing to do ironing. (It wasn’t significant that he was black, I just thought I’d mention that because I was pleased to note our daycare center was at least somewhat ethnically diverse.)
              We started doing run-throughs of the script, and getting into the concepts in the play. It was a time travel story, with at least one scene in settler times, hence the rustic water bucket.
              One of our littlest charges, a tiny little girl with a pixy haircut, was narrating for that weirdly omnipresent documentary film crew (a la Abby & Brittany) how her directions were to act out a time travel scene on the street, and if a passerby came into the shot, she was to pull them into the scene with her, and hopefully get them to improv with her. She was like Dakota Fanning or something, eerily mature for her age.
              My perspective in the dream shifted, and I was suddenly a stranger on the street, and that precocious little actress was dragging me into the scene about a time travel vortex. It was really tricky, because as a stranger I had no idea what the broader context of the story was, any details I could work with. But I decided to go along with it anyway.
              I had been holding some bags or something, like Anthony and I had been out shopping, and he was there with me. I handed him my stuff, plus my wallet and keys for some reason, as if those things would have been impediments to being able to act/improv effectively. As I was handing him all this stuff to hold while I participated in the scene, I said in a hokey stage voice, “Oh, no, the time vortex has ripped all my identification away from me! If I die in some past era, no one will know who I was!”

Every daycare play needs a T-Rex.

              Somewhere around this point in the dream, I was waking up. There was a perfectly seamless transition between dreaming and day-dreaming, though. It took me a few moments lying there in bed completely awake before I thought, “Why am I day-dreaming all this weird shit about a time travel improv?” And then I realized that my brain had continued the dream from sleep to wakefulness. I’ve never had a transition as seamless as that before, I can’t even explain how weird it was. Usually you wake up and the dream evaporates, and you maybe remember some of it, but your brain doesn’t just keep going. It’s like somebody forgot to say “cut!” and my brain just kept the film rolling. I even turned off my alarm while I was trying to come up with dialogue for the scene. I really wanted to work dinosaurs in, but wasn’t sure if the kids had the budget for that.
              Anyway, before my brain finally said cut! we finished the scene, and the film crew were all so delighted with my brilliantly comedic performance that they begged me to keep filming with them. But I knew Anthony wanted to continue shopping, rather than hang out with these complete strangers, and I didn’t want to hog the children’s spotlight, so I demurred. For the sake of the children.
              They were like, “How will we explain your character’s absence now?”
              I suggested they have the very next scene begin in dinosaur times with the little girl at a makeshift grave for me, because I DID in fact die! Isn’t that funny? For some reason in the dream/day-dream it was, like, SUPER funny.
              Anyway, that’s about when I was awake enough to realize I didn’t have to figure out how to explain my character’s absence in their stupid time travel daycare improv.
  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

PUSSY RIOT

     I wonder if people really care that much about the plight of the Russian feminist punk band "Pussy Riot," or if the news agencies are constantly writing about them just for the sheer thrill of putting something as vile as "PUSSY RIOT" in headlines. Not to mention being able to pair it with "PUTIN."
     I know that if their band's name were "Dung Nuts" instead, Madonna would certainly not be writing "FREE DUNG NUTS" on her arms and flashing it for concert photo ops.
Like her arms weren't disturbing enough already.

Friday, August 17, 2012

DOODLE-DOO : a random work doodle

"Registration Beast," #2 pencil on notebook paper, by Tommy Kovac 
     Today was the second day of registration for the new school year, in which I'm stuck standing at my library counter all day initialing paperwork crap, taking library and textbook fine money, handing out library donation flyers, and selling combination locks for their stupid book lockers. It was pretty busy, but occasionally there was a brief lull in which I had to occupy myself.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

MOTHER'S DAY 2012

My mom is beautiful, kind, smart, creative, and lots of fun. This is not a biased opinion.
     My mom is totally awesome, and everyone who meets her agrees. When I was a kid, and all through my teen years, my friends envied what great parents I have. My mom and dad created the kind of safe and happy atmosphere that made everyone want to hang out there, even though they still had to follow rules and behave! They treated everyone with respect and kindness, no matter how many piercings or tattoos or whatever color their hair happened to be. If you've read the Moomintroll books by Tove Jansson, my mom and dad are totally like Moominmamma and Moominpappa. All the strange creatures of Moominvalley (the tiny & shy, the big & bold), were always warmly welcomed at Moominhouse, and asked to stay for dinner.
     My husband and I took both our awesome moms out to breakfast together for Mother's Day. Their names are both Barbara. How cute is that, right? Then Anthony and his mom (whom I love, and think is a real hoot!) went off to see a movie, and my mom and I went off to find a craft at Michael's, because we both like busying ourselves.
My mom's wee pots, which she painted with swirls and dots, and then filled with African Violets.

     We settled on painting clay pots, because that's pretty simple and we could easily talk and get distracted and it wouldn't matter. It was totally fun, especially since we used GLITTER PAINT!!! It was a beautiful Mother's Day, and couldn't have been more perfect. Very relaxing. We even spray-painted a small table. Things get DONE when my mom's around. ;)
My larger and obviously manly pot, which I painted the colors of one of those caterpillar cars you ride in on the Alice In Wonderland ride at Disneyland, and now keep some non-standard-size Copic Markers in. (To clarify: I keep the markers in the pot, not in one of the cars on the Alice In Wonderland ride.)

Monday, April 30, 2012

SPAZ ATTACKS

     Yesterday at work I had two spaz episodes I thought I'd capture in words.
     The first was whilst I was in the bathroom, on the toilet.
     Don't worry, it's not THAT kind of incident. But let me explain that the bathroom adjacent to the library is of the one-seater unisex variety. One toilet, one urinal. There's a sliding sign on the outside that you switch to "OCCUPIED" before going in and locking the door. The real problem is that since this bathroom is between a classroom and the library, once in a while, even though they're not supposed to, a student will use that bathroom. So it's VERY important to use the "OCCUPIED" sign and lock the door.
     I live in fear that I'll THINK I've locked the door, but it won't really be locked. Even if I'm in the stall, I will peek out several times just to make sure the latch on the bathroom door is clearly in the locked position. I get totally OCD about it.
     So yesterday I was sitting there on the toilet doing my business and the STALL DOOR swung open.
     It flashed through my mind that I must have forgotten to lock the bathroom door, and someone had walked right in and opened the stall door. My hand shot out lightning-fast to jam the stall door shut with a bang so hard it made the stall wall reverberate hard enough to knock something off the wall. Whatever it was clattered onto my head and I thought the sky was falling and my public social ruination was all happening at once.
     I honestly don't recall what I said or yelped, probably just some defensive animal sound. I know it wasn't anything as sensible and calm as, "I'm in here!" or just, "Occupied!"
     In the frozen moment afterward I slowly grabbed the fallen thing off my head. The cardboard dispenser of tissue seat covers. My eyes were wide, my breath stopped. I peered between the door and the stall wall, fearing to see a sliver of some student already tweeting the incident on their iPhone. Mr. Kovac on the toilet, pants down, nearly knocked unconscious by tissue paper seat covers.
     Silence.
     I slowly eased the unlatched stall door open to find the bathroom empty, the main door indeed locked. I realized I had merely forgotten to latch the STALL door securely, and it had merely come completely unlatched and creaked open. I was still blessedly alone in the bathroom.
     But I had made a banging, clattering ruckus in there, and I'm sure someone in the classroom just a few feet away must have heard it. My heart thundered with narrowly-avoided shame for minutes afterward.  
     The second incident was when I was leaving for the day, passing by a few students hard at work at one of the tables. Under my arm I had clamped my large drawing pad, in which was carefully (I thought) concealed a cartoon I was nearly finished with. It depicts a man in the forest getting his penis caught in a bear trap, while a monstrously huge Slavic woman charges out of the trees yelling at him for this. (See it HERE) Very high-brow.
     Anyway, as I was bustling by the students with my messenger bag and my drawing pad, a piece of paper shot out onto the table and landed right on top of what the students were working on. Luckily, the students were so startled they immediately looked up at me, which gave me time to snatch the penis-in-a-bear-trap cartoon away before they realized what they were looking at.
     But I was HORRIFIED in that brief instant that I looked down and saw my crude cartoon landing right on top of the students' homework. I would NEVER have lived that down.
     I muttered, "Oh, sorry!" and dashed out the back door.

Friday, April 27, 2012

ARTWORK : Retirement Ladies

"Ladies of Leisure"
     I was asked to do a flyer for two Librarians who are retiring at the end of this school-year. This is the illustration I did for it. Obviously, one of them is into gardening, and the other enjoys scrapbooking and what she refers to as "gentle fiction." I just made up the dulcimer part.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CARTOON : "English Teacher"


MAILBOX : Australian zines, Bentley Little, and Pauline Baynes

     I just thought I'd share some cool stuff I've received in the mail recently.
     Hot Rod Librarian, who lives in Australia, purchased via Etsy some issues of Library Bonnet, the zine I do with my pal Julie. Then lo and behold she sent us a few issues of her own library-themed zine! In a pink envelope with koala postage and ironic Jesus stickers, no less!
Koala stamp! What adorable postage!
     Did you know that although they look adorable, koalas kill about 5,000 people a year? I swear! I just made it up!

Text reads: "As you do not actually know me, I should point out these stickers were used with absolute irony."
HotRodLibrarian Zine issue #1
     That very same trip to the post office box I also found Bentley Little's newest horror novel, The Haunted waiting for me! He's a nice local dude I've corresponded with for years, and he's kind enough to always send me his latest book, signed. I didn't even know this one was out!

Bentley Little's latest horror novel, The Haunted
     A few weeks ago I also received a lovely hardcover copy of Questionable Creatures: a Bestiary by Pauline Baynes, original Narnia illustrator. It was sent to me by a really nice bookish couple who live in England. They follow my blog and are fans of Pauline Baynes. Apparently they found this copy in the remainders pile at a local bookstore, but it's in perfect condition! Lucky for me they already had a copy, and were generous enough to send this one to Anthony and me.

Pauline Baynes' Questionable Creatures: a Bestiary
     The moral of this story is that people who read and/or write tend to be very generous and thoughtful.
     So why am I such a dick?
     (Am I kidding? Maybe... Maybe not...)