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Category Archives: Shoegazing

Hello Kitty

I’ve been holding off on this, but we now have a new member of our household. Meet Eero (pronounced “Arrow”), a nine month-old female siamese mix — that’s what the Humane Society told us at any rate. We adopted her on October 21st. We came to the local H.S. with an open mind, wanting to pick either a dog or a cat, but after looking around none of the critters really spoke to us. We returned to the cat section to find that they had put out several new felines — including Eero. For Christopher it was love at first sight, so we snatched her up and took her home. After brief bouts with vomiting and sneezing, it appears that she has adjusted to us pretty well. Where our old cat Eames was mellow, Eero is a rambunctious kitty full of energy. At the same time, she can be very sweet and gentle. They told us she was a stray, but she seems perfectly comfortable with humans (right now she’s taking a nap on my lap).

By the way, I heartily recommend visiting your local Humane Society if you’re looking for a pet. Our experience couldn’t have been better — nice staff, easy (and cheap) adoption process, and we were even supplied with free food, toys and provisions. The animals already come fixed and with the proper immunizations. One of the employees at our local H.S. told us that nearly every animal that comes through their doors gets adopted; they only euthanize in cases where the animal is no longer healthy enough to adopt out. With so many friendly cats and dogs (and other critters) ready for loving homes, you have a win-win situation. It certainly was for us.


Old Drawing: The Price Is Right

As a kid, I would draw and draw on reams of old-style computer paper supplied by my dad’s office job. So long as I had a trusty ball-point pen handy, I didn’t mind that the paper had faint horizontal green stripes and sprocket holes on each side. Scads of drawings resulted with just those two items; mostly doodles, cartoons and tracings of my fave comic characters.

Although most of this stuff invariably ended up getting tossed, I did save a few — like the über geeky rendering of the Price Is Right set in red felt-tip pen seen below. This is probably from about 1981. The drawing actually tells a little story: a contestant is rushing onstage after having the winning bid on an aquarium. Host and contestant are about to play a game of Hi-Lo, with a jeep of some kind waiting to be revealed behind the curtain. Funny how the other prizes are just sitting backstage. Guess I didn’t have time to draw little stagehands moving everything about.


It’s My Birthday

The rumors are true. As of today, I have reached 38 years old. I don’t feel 38. In many ways, I still feel like there’s much to learn about this thing called life. When my parents were my age, they already had the steady careers, the suburban house, and three growing boys. All the trappings of an adult life, yet maybe they too had the same outlook. We’re all on a journey here, and personally I can’t wait to see what twists and turns are in store.

Me and Christopher had a very nice birthday weekend. We started off by visiting the Japanese Friendship Garden in downtown Phoenix. I drive by this place all the time, yet never stopped in until yesterday. It’s a beautiful, restful spot with a swarm of hungry koi fish in the park’s pond. I didn’t take our camera, so you’ll have to view these pages instead. After that we had lunch at a place called Knock Kneed Lobster, a greasy little dive that serves up some of the best fried seafood in town. — kind of a tinier, quirkier Red Lobster. During this visit, we spied the boxer Michael Carbajal eating in a booth not far from ours. Rounding out the afternoon, we went shopping at the grimy Goodwill east of downtown and spent an hour at the library. Christopher gave me a thoughtful birthday gift — an iPod shuffle engraved with our initials and the date we met. That was yesterday. Today was pretty normal, although I did get myself some yummy chocolate cake from Safeway. Another year, another lovely birthday.

September 11th

I slept though the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001. That morning I awoke to find a flustered Aaron Brown speaking on CNN, then an image of a World Trade Center tower with smoke coming out the top. A humungous cloud of smoke erupted from behind the burning tower, and before it could dissapate the worst came to mind. Like everybody else, I spent the day in a daze, numb. Frightened, wondering if this was happening in cities all over. The next day, I went through the digital photo archives at the newspaper where I worked at the time. I wanted to experience the photographs that many news outlets didn’t publish out of fear of upsetting their readers — not so much out of morbid curiosity as wanting to see as much of the whole picture as possible. Because you just know that, as time goes on, people will shape the events into what they want them to be. The weird, gloomy yet hyper-patriotic atmosphere of late 2001 played out that way.

Five years on, the memories of that awful day hang over us like a shadow. Although we try to ease the pain by focusing on examples of heroism and self-sacrifice (like in the two recent 9-11 feature films), we can’t get away from the sheer dread that day conjures. Images of the collapsing towers are still painful and have this nightmarish quality. It never really hits that, watching that, I’m witnessing a simultaneous mass death. Did that really happen? Maybe that’s why we can’t get away from it.

Depressingly, the last five years have unfolded exactly as I imagined they would immediately post-9-11. I knew that the president was going to exploit everything to suit his own agenda, and sure enough he did. We’re still in a war. Americans still feel unsafe. It might take ten, twenty years — or never — to get over it. I’ll get back to posting on happier subjects tomorrow, but it feels cathartic to write this down. Thanks for the indulgence.

Welcome F.O.S. Babies

Let’s take up some space to announce two new arrivals for F.O.S. (Friends Of Scrubbles), shall we? I met Eric and Beth when they worked at The Arizona Republic, he in Editorial Features and she in Editorial Online, while I plugged away in Marketing. What struck me about them is that they were super-cool and, oddly, super-nice (newspaper Editorial people would just as soon eat their own feces than talk to Marketing folks, but I digress). We kept in touch when they moved to San Francisco, and now I’m proud that they count among my extended Viz family. Their first child, a girl named Tigerlily, was born on August 9th. I imagine that little Tigerlily already has several cool toys from the Giant Robot store in her nursery.

The other F.O.S. baby belongs to my pal Brad in Worchester (you might recognize his many pithy comments here, signed “Mass Bradley”). A few years ago out of the blue, Brad sent me an overly enthusiastic email basically saying “congratulate me, I just quit smoking!” After deducing that this gentleman was not a looney or a spammer, I emailed back — and we’ve had a long, enjoyable correspondence since. Brad’s little boy Henry came into this world just this morning. Henry’s a preemie and the labor process was intense, but it looks like baby and mom are both doing great. Happy day!

My Big Fat Link Log

One thing I don’t miss from maintaining the old (pre-10/05) updating the blogroll was a pain in the butt. URLs change, people abandon their weblogs, or they simply don’t publish compelling content anymore. This time I’m just going to list the other weblogs I enjoy on a semi-regular basis as of right now, and link to this post on the scrubbles front page. That way I don’t have to worry about updating anything. Some are old favorites, some I just discovered in the last month or so. Whew.

1947project |
A Joshua Tree In Every Pot |
A Sampler of Things |
All Kinds of Stuff |
ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project Blog |
A.V. Club Blogs |
Awful Plastic Surgery |
Bedazzled! |
Bibi’s Box |
The Blackwing Diaries |
Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine |
Boing Boing |
Bob Sassone |
Book Covers Blog |
Bonnie Blog |
Booksteve’s Library |
Bostworld |
Bradlands Must See HTTP:// |
Bubblegum Fink |
Cardhouse |
Cartoon Brew |
Cartoon Modern |
Chris’ MediaLog |
Coudal Partners |
Crack Skull Bob | |
Delicado |
Design Observer |
The Disney Blog |
Disney History |
Drawn! |
Drew’s Blog-O-Rama |
Dynagirl |
EPCOT Central |
Eye of the Goof |
Fimoculous |
Folded Space |
Friday Fishwrap |
Fun All Around |
Ghost In The Machine |
gmtPlus9 | |
GreenCine Daily |
Hacking NetFlix |
Hit or Miss |
i like |
In Black And White |
Irregular Orbit |
Jinjur |
Johnny A Go Go |
Just Ask Christopher |
Kottke |
Lileks The Bleat |
Listen Missy |
Little Yellow Different |
Lots of Co. |
Mimi Smartypants |
Mindjack Film |
Mr. Irresponsible’s Bad Advice |
News From Me |
News of the Dead | |
The Other Andrew |
Other Stream |
Patrick’s Journal |
PCL LinkDump |
Pop Culture Gadabout |
Pop Culture Junk Mail |
Posterwire |
Quiddity |
RaShOmoN |
ReadyMade Blog |
Re-Imagineering |
Robot Action Boy |
Robot Johnny |
Ryan Arrowsmith |
Self-Styled Siren |
Sharpeworld |
Snarky Malarkey |
Something Old, Nothing New |
Sore Eyes |
things magazine |
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear |
Tim Lucas Video WatchBlog |
Tim O Thompson |
The Tin Man |
Tiny Pineapple |
Today’s Inspiration |
Tom the Dog’s You Know What I Like? |
TV Tattle |
Ultrasparky |
UnBeige |
Veer: The Skinny |
Vince Keenan |
VoxTrott |
Ward-O-Matic | |
Web Goddess |
What Do I Know |
The Whine Colored Sea