Monday, April 30, 2018

Lined Up...


     So no shit, there I was see; minding my own business on a busy afternoon at the local Savers in downtown Redwood City, California...

     For those not in the know, a huge part of 2018 has been getting into good shape to meet one of my objectives; to be a hunk-a-hunk-a burning Chuck; something I've been loosely documenting on my Facebook. It's a two fold goal: 1. be physically capable of all the things, and 2. be incredibly irresistible in various states of dress and undress. As of this comic I have accomplished both to varying degrees of success. (My cardiologist and general practitioner are both floored by my capabilities despite the heart issues AND I have finally broken a four year dry spell... many times, now.)

     In my quest for both of these things I kind of failed to take a particular hazard into account; now that I fill t-shirts particularly well. Which, in the case of this busy afternoon in Savers, picking up a cummerbund for a "Goth Prom", came in the form of a small creepy Asian lady who, in the most over-the-top stereotypical kind of voice, proceeded to berate me with the most prying and random of questions, ever.

     EVER.

     Unwanted attention is an interesting thing. I've been playfully objectified before; in my youth and in a setting that was well understood by all to be safe and of a certain nature. Out in public, now, it's a very uncomfortable thing. And it's only a once-in-a-while thing; women get this kind of crap all the time. And it's too a degree that can be downright threatening, too.

     As a guy, a white guy, and a white guy of particular physical capabilities, now, these kind of situations can be laughed off and turned into funny comics. So much the case that this dialog originally was going to go another way, because hey; check me out - I'm getting attention, so I should just be happy and deal. Right?

     And, honestly, yeah; this was really funny. For me. A particular hazard to occasionally be giggled at. But for a woman, especially in this day and age, this kind of thing can go south crazy quick. I suppose that's something to think about, now.

     However, all that said, yeah; hunk-a-hunk-a burning Chuck.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies chapter 2 page 5


     "No?!"

     Justin looked down at her, dressed in her sheer draped gown that left nearly nothing to the imagination. She stood there in front of the bar, defeat settling into her shoulders, as they began to droop.

     "Look, I'm sorry; I imagine that's not the answer you want to hear."

     "'Not the answer'...? That's hardly an understatement. I'm intergalactic music sensation Nathena; no sentient ever says 'no' to me. Ever."

     "Look," he said, resting his hands reassuringly on her shoulders, "your secret's safe with me. Honest."

     Bewildered, Nathena pulled free of Justin and drifted over to the lounging chairs under the window looking out across the planet in orbit. "Wha... what about everything we just went through? The hitmen? That murderous tour agent of mine? All that danger?"

     "The job, Nathena... the job. I got you through the end of your tour like I was supposed to." He looked her up and down. "I mean, don't get me wrong; I appreciate you're... gratitude."

     She turned to look at him. He could see what looked like tears welling in the corner of her eyes. He felt his face betray his immediate regret at his clumsy statement. "Nathena, I-"

     "No, don't," she said, throwing up her hands. "I get it; I'm just some flashy core system idiot, right? All got her heart wrapped up in the romance of the frontier..."

     "That's not it at all. It's just that, well, you're nice and all, and it's been a fun adventure, but I just don't see you like that. I'm... I'm sorry."

     "So am I, I suppose." She wiped tears from her cheeks. "Tell me, captain; when can I expect to dock?"

     Justin smirked uncomfortably. "Our landing window is in two hours. I can see if it can be expedited."

     "That would be very nice if you could see to that, captain. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go pack my things. I'll be in my cabin until then. Thank you, again, for your service; which was far above the call and scope of our agreement."

     Justin opened his mouth to say words he didn't have, but Nathena pushed past him and out the lounge door and down the hall of the ship. Sighing, he brushed his hair back and shook his head. After making a couple calls to port control, The No.7 touched down thirty five minutes later, as adoring fans clambered the landing platform, eager to catch sight of their beloved singer and musician. As the docking plank lowered they stood apart from each other. Justin made sure he was behind her, so she could be seen by everyone. 

     As she reached the last step, her foot hesitated. Without looking back, Nathena strengthened her resolve, straightened her posture, and stepped off the ship and moved toward the crowd and her staff. At the top of the ramp Justin watched blankly. With Nathena off ship, he worked the ramp controls, then touched the comm pad.

     "She gone," Jig asked, from the other end.

     "Yeah..." He paused a moment. "Get prelaunch started and get us a liftoff window. I'll be in the office looking for our next gig."

     "You okay?"

     "Fine. Yeah, I'm fine. Let me know when we're ready to go."

     The ramp locked back into position, and Justin made his way to the office.






Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pay Back is a Bitch...


     Dramatic? Maybe no more than the beginning of the year, I suppose; since this comic's related.

     I've said it before, over on my Facebook page, that I'm torn some on the whole idea that the universe... or The Universe... is either an existence ruled by cause and effect, or perhaps something more that might nudge things one way or they other.  Perhaps a thing made manifest; born from our beliefs, or maybe our emergent consciousness?

     Eh, I don't know; I'm only a cartoonist, and not much of that, these days. But here's what I do know; for years I have played with the idea of leaving to go start a life up north. And despite being thwarted over and over again, I finally made a chance happen... and then my life took a first class, A ticket shit.

     Since coming home, it's been a series of two steps forward, one step back; each one with a little more sting.

     Okay, to be truthsome on the thing, I have managed some positive steps. I'm squaring up the debt I racked up trying to be a Seattlite. After a few sputters I managed a decent job. And I have managed some sort of semblance of going out and doing things. Heck, I've even managed some dates and some physical stuff, too.

     That said, my credit has taken a HUGE hit, which has affected my ability to find a place of my own to call home for the moment. And the payments for such are big, to say the least; impacting my liquidity once I do find myself out of my friend's charity.

     I find myself scampering to keep myself occupied a lot. Worse, a lot of the places I'd like to go, and things I'd like to do, now that I'm expanding my existence, are occupied by the latest heartbreak, which certainly doesn't make anything awkward or uncomfortable, no. (Plus the first class shit storm burn that fiasco ended up being.) Not to mention the ups and downs of dating; where drama lurks at every turn, along with uncertainty and loads of doubt. And then there's trying to find my way into friendly company... because suddenly I'm horribly social uncomfortable?! How did that happen?

     There's already been drama in the acting guild I rejoined so I could flex my acting muscle, again; enough to make me reconsider even getting up on stage with them, again. (Which is a shame, because they are a first rate group who do a good job entertaining a crowd, let me tell you.) And then a few friends have felt the impact of the walking disaster my life's become, and have not walked away unscathed.

     Honestly, it feels like no matter what I do, The Universe wants me to make absolutely sure how displeased it is with me that I did what I did. Maybe I not only need to atone, but also toughen up for something coming down the line? Or, of course, it could all be in my head; I am human, after all, and we're famous for drawing connections and conclusions where none exist. Except there's still this feeling...

     Eh; either way I'm going to be one tough SOB when this is all over. I hope.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies Chapter 2 page 4


        ... and furthermore, any and all contact, direct or otherwise, is not only forbidden, but is seen as a breach of Commonwealth security and safety, and will be treated as not only a crime against the security of the Commonwealth, but as an act of aggression against the whole of every citizen thereof.

     exert from the dispatch from 
1st  Commander Derick Destell
Commonwealth Galactic Fleet
The Sarkuun Threat

   

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies Chapter 2 page 3


     I think it was The Drexsten Punitive Wars that first created the orphan epidemic. No one was really prepared for how long and drawn out that was going to become. And then, when it was done, and armies had cleared out, there was this world full of destruction and children - so many children - that had no where to go, and no families to care for them.

     Sure, we were a whole set of systems away, but we had the land, and we had could see the need. So we talked about it, and with a quick bit of work we were able to cover the farm to an orphanage. When the first wave of kids arrived, I admit we were completely overwhelmed. Not for the sheer number of them... I mean, yeah; that was a problem we had to solve quickly... but because of the emotional and, often, physical pain these kids were under. It was tragic in a way I just... [At this point, she pauses to look out window, wipe tear from her eye.] You just don't know suffering until you see it in the eyes of a child who has lost everything. Everything.

     We were blessed with our land, and our farm. I'm not the most spiritual of people, but I think Elvis, himself, reached out from Holy Graceland and created just the right place for those kids in us. And we've been so lucky to help so many, and continue to help so many, today. You can see it in how many of those orphans' kids come back to help out around here, even today.


Trisha Forbes-McGee
Co-Manager of Hornsmount Orphanage 
Planet Dreager in the Nexus System
from an interview for "Wrangling the Galactic Gun"

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Drawing Straws...


     Okay, so have you ever noticed it's okay to put a straw into a cup of juice? Just about any juice, really. Milk? Sure; got to make those bubbles somehow. Pop? You bet. How about a frosty adult beverage, like a cocktail? Oh heck, they make straws specifically for that. Hey, you want a straw for your beer?

     ...

     Yeah, I didn't think so. In fact, a straw is used for just about every beverage EXCEPT a beer; or maybe a shot of whiskey.

     Straws are the oddest convention. They totally make sense, of course. But, have you really thought about a straw? I mean; really? You lip lock a tube and inhale through your mouth. All physics aside, I suppose it's really appropriate they see their biggest use with kids. Personally, when I order a drink, like iced tea or a pop, and it comes with a straw I usually take the damn thing out and drink like a big boy. I mean, except those times when my beverage is bubbles appropriate, naturally.

     But, really, if they are so useful, why is it so  gouache to drop one into your bottle of Bud?

     Amber is this shining jewel from my past. The one who got away, we've remained good friends for the past sixteen years. (It was one of those two people at the right place at the wrong time kind of things.) Residing in the Los Angeles area, she's up in the Silicon Valley area for family business, and while here we've been palling around together, when we can. This little bit of funny was her own orchestration.

     Recently we trucked off to see Flogging Molly at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz. For those not in the know, Flogging Molly is a Irish Celtic Punk band based out of Los Angeles. Our adventure that night was a fluke, in which I bought tickets in a mad dash to fill up my birthday week and ended up with a VIP package that includes a whole mess of swag.

     If you ever get the time, they are a great band, and worth the see.