Joberg Arrival

I’m here.

I got in last night at 6:15pm local time, 10:15am Utah time. The flight was long — seemingly interminable, with 5 hours to JFK, 7 hours to Dakar, and a final 8 hours to Johannesburg — but the seats were ALL equipped with flat-panel screens, so I got to watch movies to pass the time.

The Return of The King is a great time-passer. I also saw the live-action Peter Pan movie for the first time, and really enjoyed it.

Anyway, upon arrival I found that my usual deal-with-jetlag strategy of getting some natural daylight in the new location was not going to work. It’s winter in this hemisphere, and the sun had already gone down. Ugh.

Ugh Part II: The store that USED to have a wall full of New Rock boots now had a paltry display of seven styles, all basically the same ankle-boot shape. I won’t be buying boots here. I’ll have to see if I can find a place in Amsterdam or Hague that has more selection when I’m over there in a month.

Or maybe… just maybe… I’ll get by with the boots I already own. You know, save the money for milk for the kids and stuff.

Right now I’m sitting in the Sandton Convention Center not preparing my sessions. I need to fix that. It’s 1:00pm local time, and what I really want right now is a nap.

–Howard

Joberg bound…

I got everything colored. I’m still short on scripts, and when I return on Saturday I’ll be looking at coloring the coming week, creating a newsbox for Monday the 31st, filling the Premium Gallery for the week of the 31st, and cranking the buffer back up again with scripting, pencilling, and inking. It’s hardly ideal, but it’s the hand I dealt myself, so I’m playing it. I suppose I could do some more coloring tonight to lighten the load, but I’m tired.

Maybe I’ll do some scripting on the flight back. (Insert reference to exorectal flying monkeys here).

–Howard

Step One: Lick off the frosting

I sat down to crank today, and noticed that it was PERFECT disc golf weather. I prepped images, and then decided that rather than rewarding myself for a long day in front of the computer by going out for some DG, I’d go play FIRST while the weather was right, run my pre-trip errands, and then come BACK and work.

Now I’m regretting that choice. The weather was great, but I couldn’t throw approaches for crap and my putting was slop. I ended up 10 over on 18, and the only bright spot was that on the 9 I usually play I was only 2 over. So my “fun” for the day was frustrating, and the shopping I did afterwards was hectic. Saturday at Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart? Ugh.

So here I am back in front of the computer coloring. I’m seven rows in to the 13 that MUST be completed before I depart, and I’m sick of it. What now? I told myself I was not getting out of the chair until the coloring was done. I imagined myself stapled to my desk. I projected a mental state of “nose to grindstone.”

What can I say? I lied, the staples came loose, and my mental projector burnt out a bulb. I’m going to get up and walk around.

When you eat a piece of cake, do you eat the cake first and save the frosting for last? Do you just eat the pieces as they come? Or do you do what I just did and lick all the frosting off first, and then wonder why the lump of licked-over, picked-over cake isn’t appetizing?

–Howard

Breakfast of champions

Last night I got the inking done in time, if not in record time. I seem to be slowing down of late — on a good run an “average” row of Schlock Mercenary takes 20 minutes to ink, assuming no distractions, interruptions, or “really tricky bits.” Lately my average seems to be closer to 30 minutes, and it’s NOT because I’m adding more to the artwork or being more careful.

Anyway, today is for coloring, packing, scripting, and final prep for the trip. I thought I’d get it off to a good start, so I made breakfast — a real, down-home, southern-style breakfast like Momma used to WISH she could make but she was a southern transplant and just never caught on and besides she couldn’t cook.

(that run-on sentence felt good).

So, the menu: Biscuits and gravy, grits, basted eggs, thick-sliced bacon, and a tall glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice Diet Vanilla Pepsi. (No OJ in the house. Fie!)

I’ve long wondered what the secret was to the biscuit gravy they use at the Novell cafeteria. I THOUGHT it was the sausage, or maybe they were using bacon grease in it. On a hunch, though, I tried some new seasonings this time. Rather than just the usual fresh-ground pepper, I added some McCormick Poultry Seasoning, which is a blend of Thyme, Sage, and probably a few other aromatic spices. Naturally I sniffed the bottle first, and a voice in my head (probably in my sinus, just upstream from that bottle o’ spices) said “that’s the stuff. Dump lots in.”

The gravy tasted all wrong, right up until the point that it had cooled and been poured over a (Pillsbury “Grands”) biscuit, at which point I realized a had NOT ruined breakfast, I’d discovered the essential spice-blend for good biscuit gravy. W007!!11

(the juxtaposition of “biscuit gravy” and 1337 amuses me)

I wanted to take a picture of my breakfast to share with you, but Sandra has the camera in Pocatello. The thick, meaty, perfectly-seasoned gravy was spread over the two halves of a single biscuit. Laid half-on/half-off that delicious slop was a pair of basted eggs (it’s like a cross between “over easy” and “poached”), yolks unbroken and pink on top. Alongside this stack of carbs-and-cholesterol were three strips of thick, crispy bacon (the fourth got eaten while I waited for biscuits to cook). In a bowl adjacent to this heaping platter of heart-stopping goodness was a hearty portion of grits, topped with a pat of butter (not margarine… BUTTER, thankyouverymuch) slowly melting into a golden puddle of joy. For down-washings, there was a tumbler full of Diet Vanilla Pepsi just the way I like it — poured an hour ago, allowed to stand, no ice.

A few days ago Scrubbo said “Bad Cartoonist, no biscuit.” I didn’t end up having biscuits the next day, but this morning I made up for that in spades. Spades I tell you.

–Howard

Writer, Illustrator, Consumer