Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Break Filled With Work

I've been taking a little bit of a break from letter writing so I could focus my energies on gift giving instead. This means that it really isn't a break at all. In fact it is more stressful because the deadlines are written in stone. The funny thing is I usually only resort to arty gifts if I can't think of anything good enough to give a person. In my head they are kind of a cop-out. After all I did them on Christmas Eve, because I was holding hopes that I'd come up with something better and failed. Yet, they've been being better received than the actual gifts I gave, so go figure. Live and learn.

The first thing is a mix CD I made for my cousin. In my usual fashion I used an anagram of their name for the CD's title.
For my other cousin I made up a little poem/story/thing. Although it might be slightly different from the delivered one. Sometimes I end up making little changes on the fly when I write things out from the version I typed up, then don't think to edit the computer draft.


Rosalie Vs. Jingle

This is the tale of Rosalie,
a girl both brave and bold,
the one who will save us all from evil,
just as it's been foretold.

You see it all began
upon a winter's night.
The moon was covered by some clouds,
as it hid itself from fright.

The cold air didn't seem to mind,
as it danced upon the wind,
and as it did it's twists and turns,
something wicked grinned.

Rosalie was out for a walk.
she was out to get some air.
Suddenly a she heard a twig snap,
she wasn't alone out there.

Out from a bushes it came,
a goblin green and mean,
it wore a crooked top hat,
and a t-shirt with an image quite obscene.

In one hand he held a baby,
in the other he had some gin.
He smelled a bit like daffodils,
and was much too tall and thin.

"Oh hello, how do you do?
My name is Jingle Jangle.
I like country music and long walks,
and I love to kill and mangle."

"Greetings mister goblin,
I see you are quite well.
But if you don't let that baby free,
I'll send you straight to hell."

The grin did fade with that remark,
and his eyes blazed bright red.
"You best watch little miss,
or you'll be the one who's dead.

"I highly doubt that Jingle,
for there's something you don't know.
Now hand over the little one,
or it'll be your blood upon the snow."

"I've been alive for years and years,
born before you could even crawl.
I've seen everything under the sun,
and, miss, I know it all."

"At least that's what you say,
but you haven't got a clue."
"So hurry up and don't delay,
tell me before I kill you!"

"Whoa there mister goblin,
there's no need to fret,
I can solve this problem,
through a simple little bet.

Let me hold the baby,
and I'll tell you my information,
if you've heard it kill us both,
you'll have my invitation."

"Sounds fair enough," he said,
as he handed over the child.
"Now tell me, tell me!"
And Rosalie just softly smiled.

"You aren't standing on the sidewalk,
you're standing on the road.
Oh look a semi."
*Splat*
"It looks like goblins can explode."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Letter Extravaganza '09: Part 3

     15 letters done! I've sent more letters since I started this thing than most people probably send all year and yet I'm not even halfway done. 20 letters stand between me and the completion of this project. I probably should stop marking them #/102, but I don't feel like it.
     I'm getting better at these envelopes though...at least I think I am. The people further down on the list should be pleased that although they have to wait longer, their finished product will be much more refined. To think when I made the offer of free letters I wasn't even planning on doing envelope art. A handy fact which gives me an excuse for why I thought I'd be able to complete this project rather quickly. Oh how wrong I was.
     Well, until I manage to work my way through another 5 letters, enjoy.

11.

12.
13.
14.
15.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (#12) are copyright Nickelodeon. While Mr. Peabody and Sherman (#15) are copyright Ward Productions Inc.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Letter Extravaganza '09: Part 2

Although I'm finding out that I'm quite slow at this whole letter writing thing, I'm still trucking away at it. Here's the next batch of envelop designs. Introducing a new size in envelope that actually fits my letters (a novel idea I know). This is the batch where my tools decided to die. I lost like 3 markers and a pen, may they rest in peace. Eventually I will stop being lazy and get to an art store and get some new stuff.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.
I should probably mention that Mario and his cronies (#8) and Link (#9) are copyright Nintendo, while the character Avatar Aang (#10) is copyright Nickelodeon...so mad props to them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Letter Extravaganza '09: Part 1

       I've started a new project: Letter Extravaganza '09. For those of you who use Facebook, you already know that you accumulate a number of "friends" who you don't actually ever talk to or write to or anything to really. To combat this problem I made an offer to all of them to send a real, honest-to-God letter to whoever requests one. I have 102 Facebook "friends", which means that if they all responded I'll be doing quite a lot of letter writing, which sounds pretty cool to me. Although so far the response rate is about 32%.
       This whole project would go pretty fast, but I've also been doing envelope art for all the letters which significantly slows things down...that and laze. For once I've actually been remembering to scan the envelopes before I send them out, so that means I can post them here (Sans addresses of course). The images I do usually have something to do with the person I'm sending it to, but like an inside joke I won't bother explaining them. So without further ado here's the first five.

1.2.

3.
4.
5.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More Old Stuff

I feel bad about my horrible lack of updates, so I've decided to treat/torment you with more random snippets from my documents folder. This time from the uncompleted work Monk.odt . We find our hero, Ms. Rita Hallows, at the home of Alric Consensio, an unsettling man who reeks of narcissism and wealth. Rita has come by his request to help his wife, who has just gone into labor. At the moment Rita has just arrived and noticed two things about Consensio's wife: the woman is absolutely terrified and she is missing her mouth. From nose to chin is nothing but skin.

        "Ms. Hallows realized that her mouth was agape: a ring of surprise and disbelief. There were too many emotions for her to give any one in particular prominence. Shock, fear, surprise, disgust, and sadness all hit her at once, jangling her nerves and chasing any sense of composure she once had out the door. The woman looked toward her with pleading eyes; the large eyes of a child or animal that seem not to be pleading with your face, but with your soul. Who could have done something so heinous to this poor woman? Sure there were people with the necessary power, but those select few people born with access to the mystical arts were always found at a young age and taken elsewhere to be trained. Who on earth could Consensio have crossed paths with that would have access to such power? Before her mind had a chance to think about these questions any further Consensio interrupted her.
       'I do realize the shock you must be in, my dear Miss Hallows, but do consider the little life that is this very second attempting to find its way out of my wife,' Consensio said as the bitter tone of his voice encased every word. 'After all...,' his cruel smile crept back into view, 'it isn't polite to stare.'"


Once again I have no idea where I was headed with this one. I think that this was what I had originally started when I did Nanowrimo a couple years ago, but quit after a few pages to instead write on another idea. Speaking of National Novel Writing Month, it is here already. I wonder if I should try to tackle that challenge again this year...oh decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How To Spot a Murderer

       Halloween is in the air as goblins and ghouls are on the streets. If that is not deserving of a post then I do not know what is. So on this most wonderful Halloween, since I can't give you candy, I figure I'll do the next best thing: teach you how to spot a murderer. Because nothing improves your Halloween like not being murdered in your sleep...or one-upping your friends by figuring out the killer on TV before they can.

       A prime plot point of television crime dramas is: Who did it? The interest of the show comes from the viewer testing their mettle against that of the televised heroes. Through a love of stories and extensive practice, I have been able to decipher how to figure out a television murderer.

      To practice let's stage a murder, shall we? -Fade to Black-

       On a dark and stormy night Detective Stone is called in on a case. The wipers work furiously trying to keep the rain at bay as his car heads down fifth street and towards the business district. He takes a right turn and there, sticking out of the night, is the crime scene. Underneath a street light a body is slumped over, the red lights spinning from the cars of the cops and paramedics lend a disturbing visage to the scene. Stone sighs then steps from his car, pops his umbrella, and head towards the scene. Pictures are being taken of the body of a young woman. Her skin looks even more pale in the faint light. The scarlet tears of the fallen trickle from a wound in her chest, staining her blouse before reaching the ground and rushing off with the rain water to the gutter. Murder is afoot...murder most foul!

The Facts:
       The body of Jillian LeSourie was found dead at 11pm on Friday night. The cause of death seems to be from a fall, but upon further inspection shows a stab wound to the heart. The purse remains, and it's contents seemingly intact so it does not appear to be a robbery. She was an executive at a local business and lived alone.

       Detective Stone enters the business. A man (Craig Livingston) and a woman (Wanda Jenkins) are chatting by a water cooler. Stone approaches them.
       "Excuse me, I'm with the Police. Do either of you happen to know of a Ms.Lesourie?"
       "Oh! You mean Jillian?" Wanda says.
       "Her office was across from mine,"says Craig. "What's going on?"
       "Is she in trouble or something?" Wanda asks.
       "She was murdered sometime last night. Do you two have any idea of what time she usually works?"says Stone as he pulls out his notebook and pencil.
       "Oh my God! Umm...yeah I'm not really sure. I think she works pretty late usually." Wanda says her eyes wide in surprise.
       "I tend to work late and she's always here when I leave. Although last night she seemed to rush out awfully early," says Craig. His eyes also Wanda-like in their wideness and surprise.
       "Do you think Mr. Bullwick had anything to do with it?"Wanda wonders.
       "Mr. Bullwick?" Stone inquired.
       "Yeah, he's the CEO here. They were...'involved'" Craig says making air quotes with his fingers rolling his eyes. "I couldn't help but hear it through the wall."
       "They really weren't great keeping it a secret. A lot of people here have figured it out. Especially with all the fights they've been having recently,"Wanda explains.
       "Can you point me in the direction of Mr. Bullwick's office?"Stone asks while pocketing the notebook.

Johnathon Bullwick's Statement:
       Bullwick admits to cheating on his wife with Ms. LeSouire and to have been doing it for over a year. Apparently they had been fighting a bit recently, because she wanted their relationship to go to the next level and he needed more time. A search revealed a message on his phone: Ms. LeSouire had threatened to tell his wife if he didn't break up with her soon. Thus losing out on getting any of her money out of the divorce.

-Let's pause for a moment to think about what the show's motives are: to create an interesting plot and do so within a certain amount of time. For these reasons the most guilty seeming suspect is almost always a red herring. I'm going to save you some time and tell you that Mr. Bullwick did not do it. It'll probably be revealed later in the show that he has a iron clad alibi like a stockholder's meeting, or a even an affair with yet another woman. But what about the wife?

Mrs. Margaret Skye Bullwick's Statement:
       Mrs.Skye Bullwich seems heartbroken that her husband is such a douchebag while simultaneously feeling quite pissed off. She cries and makes threats of castration. But it is revealed that while her feelings are real, she had known about this before the police told her.

-Time for another break. At this point the show will probably be 1/2 - 2/3 of the way over. So she is certainly more of a suspect than Mr. Bullwick was. The real problem is that she doesn't fit all the criteria. The criteria for a TV murderer are as follows:
     1: The show's introduced who they are. Shows will pretty much never have the murderer be some random punk from off the street, because that is both boring and not fitting with the who-done-it dynamic. So the murderer has been seen in the episode.
     2: They murderer won't be expected. The show is trying to surprise you, this is why the most obvious choice isn't the murderer. The murderer will most often be someone suspected very briefly then dismissed, or never considered a suspect at all.

-Like a real show you can figure it out awhile before the end. So you should know by now. Let's look at the first criteria: I've only mentioned 6 characters so far. We know that it is one of them. Stone and LeSouire are both out, so we're down to 4. Now add the second criteria: The Bullwick's are both people you'd expect. So now we're down to 2. The answer: Craig Livingston! The guy with the office next to Jillian's.
       It'll be revealed that he had a big crush on her, but she kept rejecting him. Telling him that she was already in a relationship with someone else. He tried to break Bullwick and her up by calling Mrs.Skye Bullwick. Mr.Bullick and Jillian have a big fight one night about a phone call. Mr. Bullwick storms out. From his office Craig can see Mr.Bullwick's car leacing and Jillian crying in her office. He decides that now is the time to act as they are surely broken up and he can be her shoulder to cry on. What he doesn't know is that the call the fight was about was not his, but the one Jillian had left on Bullwick's phone and they were not broken. Jillian is freaked out that Craig had been listening to them through the wall like a pervert and angry that he tried to break up her love. A confrontation ensues, but no one hears it because they are the only ones working late. Craig, filled with hot molten anger over being rejected yet again, ends up stabbing her then dumping the body out the window out of fear. Then lies about when she had left.


Now get out there and eat some candy and solve some crimes!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Looking Through the Old Stuff

        I was just looking through old things in my documents folder and found a bunch of things I started writing and then promptly quit writing. However, a lot of the stuff I really don't recall writing...well at least only mild recollections of writing. It turns out this is rather bothersome, because I'm left with only a vague recollection of where the story was going. How do they end? I have no idea and I'm the one who wrote them. There is something inherently wrong about that, don't you think? Perhaps I shall fix up the shorter ones, but considering I'm working on a different story, programming a video game, and doing a spot of comic work, I doubt I'll get much of anything accomplished. Well, anyways, I particularly like this bit of dialogue from one of those lost stories. The file was titled Dragon.odt so I assume there is a dragon in it at some point although you wouldn't know it from the 5 pages that got finished.

        "Can you think of a reason why a tree branch would suddenly break in the middle of the night?" Johnathon asked Caleb.
        "Ummm," Caleb pondered through a mouthful of a PB&J sandwich. "A desperate bid for freedom?"
        "What the branch just got fed up with only being seen as part of the tree and couldn't take it anymore?"
        "It worked didn't it? It is now identified as 'the branch' after all." Caleb took a swig of his water bottle. "Why do you want to know?"
        "A branch-"
        "THE branch"
        "...The branch formally known as tree broke off outside my window last night and I can't figure out why."
        "Maybe a bear was trying to climb it and it broke off?"
        "Well, now every time I hear a strange noise I'm going to wonder if a bear is trying to sneak it. I hope you're happy."
        "Actually...yes. Yes, I am, "Caleb said trying to suppress a laugh.


Oh my gosh. I bet a dragon broke that tree limb! But we will never know. Let us take a moment to shake a mental fist at past Jesse for being a douche.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Site Update

You know, when I first started this thingy I had a clear goal. Over time that goal has become a lot more cloudy. In the end I'm not exactly sure what this place is anymore. Which subsequently leaves me a bit confused on what kind of stuff I should be putting on here. Of course this has the effect of having me just not putting anything up here. You can see the progression when you look for it. Basically everything continually combines and recombines three things: Journal - Comics - Essay. As you can see more recently Comics have dropped out of the mix and things have mostly been little essays, but then also some journaly essays as well. Which was actually a nice change of pace. In the past I felt that if I wanted to do something I had to do it all myself, but now I think it would be interesting to work more on the writing side and let someone else handle the visuals.

I've had some bigger project I gave a try, but it didn't work out. I was going to make a wee little photocopy book based of those Color Phrases things, but it turned out I wouldn't be able to do it in a way that I wanted to do it. It really wasn't the kind of thing I really wanted to have to settle for. I'm sure some scattered pages from the project will surface on the site eventually.

Recently I've been working on a story. One of my goals for the year was to make a longer form comic. However, after working on it I feel I've created some really interesting characters and pretty decent story. So I'm not yet sure if I actually want to draw it. My drawing abilities really aren't up to par to do it justice. I may give it a try anyway, but I may just write out a script or do it story form and call it good. Don't expect anything of that too soon though.

In better news I've started going through my sketchbook and finishing up all the drawings I started and then never finished. In the very near future (next couple of days) you can expect those to pop up. It is a fairly motley crew of drawings, but it should be interesting and at the very least it will breakup the recent lack of drawings.

And that is how things stand with the site and me in general. If you have any suggestions, comments, requests, things you'd like to see more off, things you hate, things you'd like to see tried, etc. you are encouraged, like always, to tell me. Comments, emails, with your mouth, whatever format you want. Even if I don't do what you suggest I still catalog what people have said in the back of my mind and tend to use it later on later projects, so having suppliers to help fuel the creation of stuff is always appreciated.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maybe I Am...Maybe I'm Not

       A picture was just drawn of me by my friend Megan to test if she had suddenly developed extraordinary drawing skills since the last time she tried.


       Clearly she has and I suspect if she repeats this test multiple times the results will be the same. Each better than the last.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

You Knew How This Was Going to End

Long story short. A friend asked me to try and create a poem for them using M,R,K,R,W,N,A,S,P,J,R,B,M,D as the letters for the first lines and in that order. So, I figured I'd give it a try.

My, your faces I should remember,
Rosy eyes that spark like embers.
Kind smiles have left their marks across your faces.

Read between those gentle lines,
Wherein your nature defines these signs,
Nurtured in all those loving embraces.

And there I am upon your knees,
Supported by your arms around me.
Promptly then my mind lifts the suspense.

Just like that it all comes clear,
Remembering these faces I hold so dear.
Bound together by this love immense.

May these faces never part,
Defined they are upon my heart.

Took me a while, but I'm kind of proud of it. A little more epic than my usual simple fare. Thus, beaming with childlike pride, I send it to them. To which I get the response "It's nice! and I'm glad it was fun to write." Which I must say was a little disheartening. After all an "It's Nice" followed by a subject shift away from the quality of the item is a tactic parents use when their child presents them with a lame gift...like an clay ashtray...or macaroni tie. Balancing that fine line between making something and dealing with what happens when you put it out there is not one of my strong suits. However, perhaps that is just my lack of experience doing so talking. I should put more stuff out there to build up a resistance.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Phone Pictures

I have just figured out how to get pictures off of my phone. It turns out it is much more of a process than I had thought it would be. It also turns out I have some strange stuff on there. For instance I think these are some sort of knee pads:
Why on earth did I take a picture of that? Answer: No idea. However, what is clear is why I took a picture of a Liz Ruckdeschel book.

Good to see that the kids these days are still reading high quality literature. Raising such intriguing questions as "what if all the boys wanted me?". Although to be fair in my childhood I spent a large amount of time reading books that answered such questions as "what if a group of kids were given the ability to turn into animals in order to fight aliens?", so someone could argue neither is really any better than the other. They would, however, be wrong. An amazon search tells me this is a choose-your-own-adventure book...also the library has it...I just might have to read it and find out.

My final picture is by far the greatest. It can be found in the storage closet at the theater where I work.It is wonderful on so many levels...and I love it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

By All Rights These Shouldn't Work

      The more you think about it the more you realize that families are the most bizarre systems on the planet. The fact that they kind of work is enough to befuddle the senses. If I were to randomly force people into specific groups, those people would, over time, begin to learn and care about one another, then very soon after they would begin to kill one another. Mercilessly without any remorse. A family is basically the same system except that the murderous rage is most often turned inward, because you just love those...people too much to do anything about it.
      Let's start with the basics. Two people meet and fall in love. This is one of the few relationships in a family that actually makes sense. Because of this it really isn't as true a family bond as the others, as it is the only one that can really end. But regardless it only stands to reason that a person could eventually find someone willing to put up with their shit in exchange for their, hopefully, numerous good qualities and/or nice ass. However, then these two have kids and then things start to get interesting. For now they've taken these random little souls and latched them into this family with no hope of ever truly escaping.
      The first to feel the effects of family-rage are siblings, often times even before they are cognizant. I, for one, was attacked as a wee babe by a hate filled tot of a sister who threw my pacifier out of a window to teach me a lesson. This is a perfect example. Only a family could force a little kid and a baby together, have it result in theft and destruction of property, and then continue putting the two together. Watching siblings gives you a clear idea of the strange dynamics at work in families. The younger ones follow the older ones idolizing them, while the older ones hate the younger ones for bugging them all the time. The younger ones hate the older ones for all the privileges they get and the older ones hate the younger ones for getting more attention. Heaven help the middle ones because they get all the fun of having a siblings whose already done everything without any of the extra attention. Despite this, a person can go on a tirade about how their sibling is a horrible human being and the world would be better without them, but if you were to say something even a tenth as insulting they would pop you square in the jaw. "Who said you could talk about MY sibling that way." Despite its problems it is Your family and there is an inherent pride in ownership.
      This is why family love is so bizarre. It is unconditional and it can't be helped. Somewhere deep down you love your siblings, probably even enough to punch someone else in the face for a slanderous comment, and there is nothing you can do about it. No matter what they do to make you hate them and they will make you hate them. Whether through big things or small. For instance, I'm convinced that my sister has stolen my fire extinguisher. She has also left an amount of nesquik in my cupboards that could kill a mule deer.
      No matter what position they are in siblings have a common enemy: the parents. The same freakish love-hate bonds that bind siblings together seems to be there binding parents to their kids, except stronger and more potent. After all, kids are completely dependent on their parents for years and years. Then even after they aren't "completely dependent" they're still calling for favors and loans and whatnot.
      If childhood is the age where inter-sibling attacks are at their highest, then puberty clearly must be when kid-adult attacks hit their big peak. People often like to imply that teenagers are all angsty and angry because of hormones and changing bodies, but perhaps they've just realized who their family is. Finally gotten to where all the new family smell has worn off and the rose colored glasses are probably still sitting at that diner in Arkansas, even though your mom told you twice to remember them. Around this age you really start to see your parents as the strange random people they really are instead of the epic godlike heroes they once were (and I suppose still are in some sense, but the capes are much harder to spot).
      They have failings, and it is hard not to realize that their failings are probably the root of your failings. In the nature versus nurture debate both sides seem to feature an awful lot of parents. How can you not blame them a little bit? Or a lot a bit? It only makes sense that teens are angry. The world as they know it is falling around them and these parents who used to be so cool, but are really just...human, keep acting like they know better. In amongst the verbal fights something else is learned. Because families spend so much time together very few people will know you as well as your family. This also means that very few people can hurt you in the same way a family member can. The double-edged nature of family continues, as the very people who can hurt you the best are also some of the best at cheering you up.
      And so you have this family. The parents who love their kids unconditionally, but are constantly annoyed and infuriated with their kids trying to undermine what they've done. The kids who secretly idolize their parents, but are often embarrassed/annoyed with their bizarre and numerous failings. And the siblings who stick up for one another, but continually fight each other. Despite all of this, family is one of the only social structures in the world that will truly and genuinely care about you and will never stop. For every yin there must be a yang. For there to be as much love as there is in a family there must also be a lot of hate. I suppose it is just another example of the human condition. We hate because we love. And we love because we hate. Would you really trade one away at the risk of losing the other?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For the Love of God, Call Me Back!

*You have -1- new message* *beep*

        "Hey, Jesse, this is your relative. If you could give me a call back at 555-555-5555 I'd really appreciate it. Well...I've got a couple things so if you could call me to let me know that you've gotten my message that'd be great. Umm...well I've got some really old postcards and I was wondering if you wanted them. You could sell them on eBay or something...take the bigger cut. Yeah...if you could call me back? Well yeah, so call me back please."

*beep*

Wow...that might actually be important considering how she stressed the calling her back part.

        "Hey, relative. This is Jesse. You told me to call you back?"
        "Oh yes, hi. I have some antique postcards and was wondering if you wanted them to sell on ebay or something."
        "Well if you give me a bunch of postcards I'm probably just going to send them to people."
        "...I don't think you're understanding me. These are antique postcards."
        "No I got that. I just don't do 'antiques'. Plus I'd have to set up an eBay account and it'd be a big hassle."
        "Oh, okay. I just figured I'd ask. Okay, well I'll talk to you later."
        "Alright. Bye"
        "Bye."

Hmmm...I wonder how much an antique postcard actually costs. eBay...eBay...eBay. Okay, it seems that on the high end they are selling for about $10...and on the low end $0-2. Well I suppose with enough postcards you could net a fair profit from that.

But, I guess it wouldn't be instant profit. I mean I'd have to make an eBay account, figure out how to sell things, catalog an entire box of postcards, and then create a listing for each one. Then once the sales were over I'd have to confirm payment for each one, get all their address, make sure I know which ones are going where, and then mail them all off. Plus is something went wrong in shipping I'd have to deal with that.

So...the profit I'd be making would be...probably less than minimum wage. Yeah. I'd rather just send them to people. It costs me 28c, but they can make someone's day. That seems worth it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big Companies Hate English

          "Deposit slips, deposit slips...oh, there they are. Let's see here. Cash? $0. Checks? $360. Subtotal? $360. Minus cash received? What? Minus cash received. Am I supposed to put the amount I want back here or am I just supposed to minus that amount from the subtotal? Minus cash received...I can't really think of another way to read that. Ok, so if I minus the cash I want back I get $340. Total? $340."


        "Hello. How may I help you?"
        "Hi, I'd like to make a deposit please."
        "Alrighty. Ummm, how much did you want to deposit?"
        "340 dollars."
        "Then 20 dollars cash back?"
        "Yep."
        "It's just that you put the wrong amount on here."
        "What? I was just doing what the slip said. It said 'Minus cash received', so I subtracted the cash I wanted back from the total."
        "Don't worry about it. It is a simple mistake, I'll fix it for you."
        "Wait, why are you acting like this is my fault? This is the bank's fault, not mine. I mean why would they let something like that be put on hundreds of thousands of deposit slips when it doesn't make any sense?"
        "It says here you don't have a savings account with us. Would you like to open one?"
        "...What? I have my savings at another bank. I told you that the last time I was here."
        "Well if you were to open one with us we could offer you free online bill pay, along with many other services."
        "...Why on Earth would I want to trust my savings with a bank that doesn't even know how to properly use English? Plus your interest rates here aren't competitive enough for me to want to switch."
        "Sir, is that a crack at me because I'm Hispanic?"
        "What? No! It's because of the deposit slips!"
        "If you were to start a savings account with us you could-"
        "Please, I just want to make my deposit. Please?"
        "Here is your receipt and here is your cash back."
        "Thank you."
        "Is there anything else I can do for you today?"
        "No. Thanks. You've already done enough."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Job Skills: Fashion Writer

I was talking with a friend today and the subject of fashion writers came up. You know, those people who write little stories/descriptions for various clothes and what not. Clearly I had to test my writing mettle on this new platform. The article of clothing was decided to be a floral tunic.

"Underneath the maypole your floral tunic enhances your twirls and spins into a fetching fervor of flowers. I don't know what a tunic is, but clearly this one is well made...and quite comfortable. Everyone is here to celebrate spring, but mother nature has a contender this year."

It would seem my lack of fashion knowledge is a severe handicap in this line of work. Who would have thought?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm On The Case

It's been awhile since I've updated, but don't be worried. I'm working on a neat project. I can, however, give you the next best thing to content: other people's content. Hooray!
-------------------------------------------------
+If any of you are looking for something to watch I suggest you check out August 11th's episode of The Daily Show. It's over on Hulu. As great as that show always is, they were firing on all cylinders yesterday. Plus there's a truly great bit with Larry Wilmore. Oh, and the guest, Austan Goolsbee, is actually capable of talking economics in a simple and understandable way.

+The cutest thing ever in comic form: Part 1 & Part 2

+I've just watched this video and it had me laughing out loud. Simply titled, "Girlfriend Doesn't Realize Boyfriend is on Vacation".

+ If anyone is looking to expand their list of webcomics, might I suggest "The Meek". It is full page story style, instead of strip style. Plus it isn't just gorgeous to look at, it's also got a story and characters that are a lot of fun. They just finished the first chapter so now is the perfect time to hop aboard the meek train. A word of warning, the main character is naked...which seems odd at first, but actually works for the story. So go figure.

Talk to you all later.

P.S. The Ames Lettering Guide is such a sweet tool. I highly recommend it for all your lettering needs.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Was I Wrong? Maaaaaybe

     Recently I got this comment on my tirade about simile and metaphor:
isn't a simile considered to be a type of metaphor.... at least that's what i remember from my poetry class.
I did a basic google search and a couple sites said that a simile was indeed a type of metaphor, but I don't really see any of them as any sort of definitive source. For instance copyblogger.com and dailywritingtips.com both hold this to be true, but I'd hardly call such sites esteemed sources. To solve this dilemma I figured I'd just go ask someone who's answer I would actually care about: Adam Bradley. This also gave me an excuse to tell him how his book is awesome. If you've never read "Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hip" I highly recommend it. Even if you don't like rap music, it'll make you look at it in a different light. Even if it still isn't your thing, it's always better to at least hold some respect for it and the people who do it, don't you think? Anyway, here is how Adam Bradley answered my question:
From a formal standpoint, the two rely upon a similar mental process (describing A by comparing it or otherwise associating it with B). That said, I wouldn't go so far as to say that simile is a type of metaphor. Rather, they both belong to a certain species of figurative language that also includes other figures like metonymy. So while your friend is right in suggesting that they aren't nearly as distinct from one another as our high school teachers would have us believe, they still have a difference that is worth respecting. To me, metaphors often have a more abstract quality to them--they require, after all, not just accepting that one thing is like another thing, but that one thing IS another thing. It's fun to tease the stuff out.
      Do I have a definitive answer? With different people telling me different things, I do not. What I do have, however, is what I wanted: clarification.

Moral: Similes and metaphors have an important difference that is worth mentioning. That, if anything, both similes and metaphors belong to a higher order of classification: figurative language.

Moral #2: Jesse spends way too much time putting research into his dumb blog entries.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pop Goes the Snack

An Ode to Popcorn
----------------------------

Behold the gentle kernel,
grazing on the plains,
the heat did rise,
then it dies,
and I salt all the remains.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Color Phrases

        I recently got it into my head to try fitting color words into normal phrases. Turns out you get some strange results.

"always aGREE Not to say goodbye"

"like toFU, SCHIAparelli's designs are bland"

"real men never YELL 'OW'"

"when fishinG OLDEN RODs are best"

"after supPER I WINK, LEtting her know I caRE. Damn my muteness!"

        While trying to come up with something for Fuschia, I came across the word "Chiasma". Apparently it is the point of contact between paired chromatids during meiosis where genetic material is exchanged. Which means that if I ever meet a biologist I've got a pick up line.

        "Hey baby, how about we make like chromatids during the prophase of meiosis and make a chiasma?"

        Actually I would never say that, but someone should. Someone should!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Act II: The Rejection or Why Companies Need to Hire English Majors

"David,

Thank you for taking the time to apply with us. We are unable to offer you a position at this time, but we do appreciate your interest in Ergtat."


        "...does any thing from this company not scream corporate stooge? 'Unable' isn't really true, they probably meant 'unwilling'.... the euphemism just makes it sound like a break up letter though. It's not you...it's me. I cannot conceive why they thought hearkening to people's break-ups would be nicer than just saying it outright. An email breakup too...that's harsh.
        "They aren't even using the word 'with' correctly! Children can use 'with' correctly. But at least they appreciate my interest...barf."

World! Ugh

For some odd reason the fact that it is the last day of July makes me feel like I should do a post for today. However, this feeling is in direct conflict with the Fuck-The-World mindset I've got going. Earlier tonight I tried to do a good deed and it did not turn out well.

You see I was walking to the store to pick myself up something for dinner as I hadn't had anything to eat since the afternoon and my pickings are slim. Three-quarters of the way there I come across a stray kitten. I, on a rare occasion, will see a stray cat, but a kitten? That just seems too sad. While I wanted to help my desire not to see my own blood was even greater and my clothes were certainly not suited for going after stray animals. Plus it was super freaked out so approaching it seemed difficult. But I couldn't just do nothing. So I turned around and went back home to cover up some extremities and get some bait. I head back to where I first saw it and look around. Instead of in a great open spot like it had been before, it was now wandering around behind a fucking tall fence of a church. This means that my best bet for cornering it is gone. It was even hanging out in what has to be the perfect spot for cornering kittens. So there I sat on the sidewalk. A fenced in church to one side of me and a bunch of bushes to the other. Clearly this was going to be easy.

Long story short I spent 2½ hours trying to gain that kitten's trust so I could help it out. I came pretty close to nabbing it a couple of times, but the thing had the devil's luck. Eventually it lost its pseudo-interest in fucking with me and disappeared. So here I sit. I still haven't eaten as the store was closed by the time my adventure came to a close and my pickings are still quite slim. And I've got meat juice on my pants from the bait. Why did I even bother? What would I have done with it after I caught it? I have no clue. All I do know is that it would have been better off with me than it will hanging around an area of high traffic and frequented by dog walkers. Unlike the world I actually cared what happened to it. So there you have it. I tried my very best to do something nice and I failed. My best was just not good enough. A feeling I'm starting to get used to recently.

Thank you universe for putting me in a situation where I'm damned to feel guilty if I don't do anything and guilty when I do do something.

Also who the fuck gates a church? What kind of message does that send? A church is supposed to be the house of God, not the cage of God.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Job Interviews Are Silly

“So, David, why are you do you want to work for Ergtat?”
“You do pay your employees, right?”
“Well of course we do.”
“Then that's pretty much my main reason.”
“...”
“I mean, I doubt many children grow up with the dream of working an entry level position in a retail store.”
“...Alright. Let's move on to the next question. Where do you see yourself in 3 years?”
“Hmmm. Well probably with a full-time job and a lot less student loan money to pay off.”
“Oh, I'm sorry. I meant as an employee here.”
“Umm...probably in a fit of depression that I'd been stuck as a part-time cashier at an Ergtat for the past 3 years.”
“I see. Well then, tell me, if you were confronted with a situation where you weren't sure what to do, what would you do?”
“I suppose I'd ask someone for help.”
“Because there'll be someone else to interview you after me, I should tell you that we're looking for a specific instance.”
“Really? Because your question wasn't asking that at all.”
“I'm just telling you for your own benefit.”
“So am I.”
“...”
“Well I'm assuming the question you apparently wanted to ask was 'Could you tell me about a time you didn't know what to do and what you did in that situation' . In which case, there was a time at my last job where I had forgotten how to properly perform a certain procedure so I asked my co-worker for help.”
“...”
“And they did.”
“What would your last boss have said they liked about you?'
“Probably that I knew what I was supposed to do and did it well. If I made a mistake I'd own up to it and I'd always go the extra mile.”
“What would they have said they didn't like about you?”
“Well since you asked for his number on the application I filled out, I'm surprised you didn't just call him up and ask him. I'm really not sure what he'd say, he never said anything negative about my performance to my face so I'm not sure.”
“We here at Ergtat call our employees “Team members”, because we feel it helps them know that we're all working together-”
“Ha”
“Excuse me?”
“Oh...I'm sorry. It's just that that is such a corporate idea. You know? That you can change people's perceptions by changing a name? Like how companies use the term “Let go” instead of “Fire”. Or how Bush called the Iraq War a 'War on Terror' which Obama then changed to 'Overseas Contingency Operations'.”
“...”
“It seems like a tactic you'd use on a child.”
“...Well I think I've asked you everything I need to. Do you have any questions for me?”
“It's kind of random, but I was curious if you have any interesting stories you might have about these kind of interviews. Working this close with people I'm sure you get a lot of first hand experience with the strangeness of society.”
“In some ways, but the answers are based on people's life experiences, so they're all different. I suppose people know that it wouldn't be in their best interest to say anything too extravagant so I can't say I've ever gotten anything too strange.”
“That's what I've never understood about job interviews”
“What's that?”
“Just that the whole process is set up in such a way to get people to lie to you.”
“...”
“So businesses are all staffed based on who is the best spin-doctor.”
“...”
“I didn't get the job, did I?”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pizza Time? Radical!

        It turns out ordering pizza has changed a lot over the years. Usually I just make my own pizza, but I had assembled the three prerequisites to pizza ordering: hunger, laze, and coupons. A powerful combination. For some reason my coupon was only valid for online order. For the life of me I can't really figure out why they'd be shooting for an increase in online orders. Although since throughout my life any time I've called a pizza place I've been put on hold, I really shouldn't be too surprised that they'd try to promote an alternative. So I gave online ordering a try for the first time in a long time. Like any time you try something slightly new, it was like taking a journey down the rabbit hole. Everything is different and nothing makes much sense.
        There seems to be a affliction in our world where people feel the need to use any technology available to them as much as possible; simply because they can. You can see this every time a homemaker decides to use Papyrus for their Christmas cards. Every time a web site decides to see how much flash they can cram down the internet's throat. Every time a pizza site let's you view your virtual pizza. For some inexplicable reason next your selection choices the haunting image of a pizza floats about, following your every move. If you select mushrooms, suddenly your virtual pizza has mushrooms on it. If you select pepperoni, there it is! Exactly what purpose this serves is beyond me. Well, I suppose there are a few groups of people who would find this feature quite handy: people who aren't exactly sure what a pizza is and people who have absolutely no ability to imagine even the simplest of things.
        After "designing" your pizza you need to give "delivery instructions". Mine were to simply ring my doorbell, but the limits to this idea are boundless. Could I, in theory, get them to crawl into my house through an open window to deliver my pizza into my waiting arms, thus negating my need to leave the couch? Sure I could leave the door open just as easily, but where's the sport in that?
        The next stage of weirdness comes after you've placed your order. While you might have expected to be shown a confirmation page of some sort, your expectations would be outdone. Instead of a blasé confirmation page you are whisked away to what confirmation page children surely dream of becoming. It has polls, comments, and a real time update status of your pizza. My pizza has just been topped with toppings? Good to know. Perhaps the site itself can say it best, "The delivery experts at [Pizza Chain] have specifically engineered the Pizza Tracker to keep you up to date on the status of your order from the moment it's prepared to the second it leaves our store for delivery."
        All this technology is enough to inflame the senses! And what is this? It would seem that Damian has begun "custom-making" my order. I'm not sure if a one-topping pizza really counts as very "custom", but it doesn't matter! You can tell you're in good hands when the store cares enough about you to try to deceive you. They aren't just paying some teenager minimum wage to make you a pizza, not at all. They have staffed an elite team of delivery experts to engineer your pizza to your specifications.
        Luckily my delivery expert Blake couldn't find my house and had to call to ask where it was: a welcome reminder that while things may change over time, underneath it all most things stay they same. We're all still human after all. The next time I order a pizza I'm sure they'll have upped their game even further. The word "order" will have been changed to "satisfaction investment". There will no doubt be a live webcam of my pizza being made. But when you peel back the layers of technological flare, a pizza is still just a pizza.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trailer Reviews

        I keep seeing trailers for the exact same movies over and over and over again on the TV. It takes quite an ego to think you've got the chops to judge a book by its cover...or a movie by its trailer. But what is the internet for if not for acting like you know more than you do. Since the TV keeps forcing me to watch these things then I think I've earned the right to judge them without having seen the actual movie.

----------------------------------
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Premise: It's G.I. Joe...were you not around during the 80s?

Pro: This movie looks kind of tempting only because of my childhood love of Snake-Eyes, who is looking particularly awesome. Also it seems that Christopher Eccleston is in it. For those of you who don't know, Eccleston was the greatest Doctor Whos ever and I will fight anyone who dares disagree. This means that if this movie sucks at the very least you can lean back and be reminded of all those great Doctor Who adventures.

Con: Accelerator Suits. Why do the G.I. Joes need special suits? They're the best of the best of the military for God's sake. But Iron Man had a mechanical suit and he was awesome! This is just the same thing. Right? Right? Here's the big difference: Tony Stark personally built and designed his own suit in a fucking cave! That is badass. Being issued a suit by the government? Not badass.
----------------------------------

G-Force

Premise: Ex-secret agent CG guinea pigs...save the world or something...I'm not exactly sure.

Pro: It is probably better than it looks. I mean it can't be any worse, right?

Con: Personally I like my secret agents suave and deadly instead of doofy and...rodents. But I'm not a little kid, so perhaps I'm just not "with it". Either way I'm not a fan of mixing CG characters with real characters, unless you really know how to hide it. From what I can tell there are three main members of G-Force and they are voiced by: a black man, a latino women, and (of course) their white male leader. Leave it to Disney to think that ethnic diversity and the inclusion of racial stereotypes are the same thing.
----------------------------------

Brüno

Premise: Sacha Baron Cohen is...[Insert Character Here]

Pro: From the looks of it Sacha Baron Cohen is back doing what he does best: acting out a stereotype. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean this in a bad way. After all, unlike Disney, he uses stereotypes for satire. He creates characters of such outlandish stereotype and then throws them into the real world. A catalyst for a reaction. The most interesting characters in his work aren't Baron Cohen's, but the world.

Con: Because Baron Cohen's work has this focus on the real world my brain has always lumped it together with documentaries. While I love documentaries I don't like seeing them in theaters. The large screens and surround sound are really more suited for enveloping an audience in a world of fantasy. We're already immersed in reality, so paying extra for the experience just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I think I'll wait until it comes to video and enjoy it then.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ill doctrine

        If you were to ask me for a list of people that inspire me, you'd get back a pretty sizable list. However, if you were to ask about who inspires me to be a better person? Well the list would be much more succinct. Most of these people are people I know, friends and family, but sometimes you can't help but to be moved by the words of a public figure.
        For a few years now I've been keeping up with the video blog of John Randolph (aka Jay Smooth) called "Ill Doctrine". On the service his blog is about Hip-Hop and the community that surrounds it, but you'll quickly see that he is tackling much bigger issues. In his own words during an interview for NPR, "It's titled the hip-hop blog, but it's actually, secretly, a be-kind-to-each-other blog." And that is exactly what it is. Never before have I seen someone who is able to critique elements of the media from a decidedly humanistic perspective. Being able to see figures in the media, not as talking personifications of some ideal, but as people is a rare trait in today's media.
        You can tell right of the bat that some of his posts tackle big issues, such as "How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist". In which he details the difference between telling someone that something they said sounded racist, and accusing them of being a racist. He makes the analogy that if someone steals your wallet you don't care who they are, you care about what they did. You can't prove someone's inner nature, so you shouldn't try as it will only distract from the problem.
        Some of his posts take a different path and have morals hidden within his talks about various other subjects. Take his most recent post for example. In it he is talking about Michael Jackson, and certainly does just that, but also brings up the interesting habit in today's world of feeling they need to live through media outlets. Think of all the Michael Jackson coverage you've seen recently and tell me if any of the reporters covering it were able to come up with a message as poignant as this:
"When I look at the future for this next generation of kids, which includes Michael's children, and see them entering a world that's defined more than ever by these cameras, my hope is that we'll remember Michael by learning whatever we can learn from him to make sure that this next generation grows up knowing that they deserve to be loved in a way that's not about these cameras."
        From the interviews I've seen, I doubt he'd agree, but in my opinion he is one of the most eloquent speakers of this day and age. He has an innate ability to take little things he sees in the world and use them as a tool for understanding bigger issues in our society today. Putting complex issues and giving you the tools to be able to understand it better. Ingraining into your mind that, as hard as it is to do sometimes and as easy as it is to forget, this world is full of people. Strengthening that little voice in the back of your mind telling you that before you start to rail on someone you should take a breath and try to follow Jay Smooth's example, "...for being kind to people, and critiquing them while still being aware of their humanity."

If you're interested I suggest you check out his site.
http://www.illdoctrine.com/
there is also an interesting piece on him over at NPR.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106057582

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dinosaurs!

        I am no dinosaur expert, but my childhood has graced me with enough knowledge about dinosaurs to let me no when Hollywood is just trying to look cool. Case in point: the "Velociraptor".
       Velociraptors were very different from the ones seen in "Jurassic Park". For instance they are actually only the size of a standard poodle. They also weren't very bright. They were certainly among the smarter of the dinosaurs, but dinosaurs were notoriously stupid. This means they were probably about as smart as birds. I'm sure you've seen enough birds to know they might be clever they are by no means intelligent. Certainly not up to the predatory standards of large cats.
       So why should you believe me that Deinonychus are a lot scarier than Velociraptors? Let's look at the match up.

Velociraptor vs. Deinonychus

Size
Velociraptors: 3 feet tall, 6 feet long, and about 33 ilbs.
Deinonychus: 5 feet tall, 10 feet long, and about 160 ilbs.

A standard poodle vs A standard woman
Winner: Deinonychus

Weapons
Velociraptors: 3 inch sickle claw and 28 sharp teeth.
Deinonychus: 5 inch sickle claw and 60 sharp teeth.

More points = More problems
Winner: Deinonychus

Name
Velociraptor: Name means "Speedy Thief"
Deinonychus: Name means "Terrible Claw"

You can't spell deinonychus without D.I.E.
Winner: Deinonychus

Locale
Velociraptor: Mongolia.
Deinonychus: The Western States, USA.

Get off my lawn, you damn dinosaurs!
Winner: Deinonychus

       I believe the winner is clear. Not only is Deinonychus more badass, but if there turned out to be a secret society of dinosaurs hiding underground it wouldn't be a Velociraptor you'd have to deal with. Let Mongolia deal with them. So tune in next week for Mongol Hordes vs. Velociraptors!

P.S. The "hooded spitter" dinosaur from "Jurassic Park" is called a Dilophosaurus. It had neither a neck frill or spat poison. It was also a scavenger as it was too much of a pussy to be able to bring down any decent sized prey. It is, however, one of the few dinosaurs in that movie that actually came from the Jurassic period.

P.P.S. Deinonychus is an anagram of "Hey, Disco Nun!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Filling the Void

        I have just finished reading Jessica Hagy's Indexed strip for today and I have to extend a profound thanks to her. Even without having ever heard of the slang term of "muffin top" before, I instantly knew to what phenomenon Ms. Hagy was referring to. Looking the term up in Urban Dictionary confirmed my suspicions. I've often seen this strange clash of body and clothing that tight pants elicit and thought that there had to be a term to describe it, but just not knowing what it was. I feel that this term has filled in a slight void that had existed in my ability to describe the world around me in words. Which is a pretty good feeling.
        I don't quite agree with the Urban Dictionary's usage guides though, most of which use the term as a derogatory one. Personally, I've never seen the effects of too-tight jeans as gross. I mean seriously, is a reminder that normal people don't look like super-models really something to make you shudder? I think not. Mostly it makes me think that there is no way those pants are comfortable. I have this thought quite a lot when thinking about Women's clothing. Like high heeled shoes for instance. No way those are comfortable. So why wear such ill-fitting garments? To look appealing? I'll tell you what isn't appealing, the idea of some disaster happening (fire, shooting, deinonychus attack) and having your date not be able to keep up due to her outfit thus endangering the both of you.
        The next time you ladies are thinking about wearing those super tight pants or those high heeled shoes think about this: sure they might show off some of your bodily assets, but if a pack of deinonychus attack your dinner party do you want to be the one getting eaten or the one getting the fuck out of there? It's evolutionary; the weak ones will fall, thus leveling out your competition. Plus you'll be a lot more comfortable. It's a win-win situation.


P.S. I don't care what how Jurassic Park's dinosaur falsities have infected pop-culture; Deinonychus are a ton scarier than those weeny little Velociraptors.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What's In a Name?

        Hello. My name is Jesse. But what's in a name? Would I by any other name smell as sweet? The one big downside of the name is its commonality not just among guys, but across the gender divide. This raises the question of why the name Jesse is so popular. Jesse is originally a Hebrew name meaning “God Exists”. Since most people aren't fully aware of what ancient meaning their name has I would highly doubt that this is the root of the name's popularity. Perhaps it is in the history. After all there have been many famous Jesse's throughout the ages.
        The first famous Jesse is without a doubt the biblical one and also the one from which I was named. In the bible we learn that Jesse the father of David. What the Bible fails to mention, however, is how Jesse assuredly had that fatherly trait of bragging about their kids. It is hard to be out bragged when your kid is a freaking King. While chilling with his peeps in the fields he was surely a force to be reckoned with. “Oh, your boy Paul saved your flock from a wolf? He sure is brave. Just like when my boy David, you know the King of Israel. Remember when he saved the Israelites by taking out a giant using nothing but a little stone? You must be so proud of little Paul.”
        While Jesse James was a famous outlaw and pretty much a total dick, but I would be remiss if I left him out. After all he is not only a famous Jesse, but was also weird as shit. For starters his mother's name was Zeralda. Take a moment to really appreciate just how bizarre that is. Jesse later went on to marry his first cousin Zeralda Mimms. He not only married a first cousin, but one that was named after his own mother. Again take another moment to appreciate that. As I'm sure everyone knows, he led a very successful life of crime. This life ended on April 3 in 1882 at his home. While climbing onto a chair to dust a picture he was shot in back by his partners-in-crime the Ford brothers. This prompted mother Zeralda to select an epitaph for Jesse which reads more like a passive-aggressive note than a memorial: “In loving memory of my beloved son, murdered by a traitor and coward whose name is not worthy to appear here.”
        Back to the good sort of famous. In 1935 Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith gave birth to identical twins: Elvis and Jesse. Sadly Jesse was stillborn. I'm convinced that had he survived, he would have been twice the rocker and stud that Elvis was.
        In 1936 German athletes were dominating the Olympic games and as if that wasn't enough their wins were helping to further the spread of Nazi propaganda. Enter Jesse Owens. The American, and noticeably not Aryan, went out and pissed the shit out of Hitler by winning 4 gold medals in Track and Field; effectively shoving the “superiority” of the Aryan race right up Hitler's fat ass.
        Jesse Ventura is a former Minnesota Governor, professional wrestler, Navy SEAL, actor, radio host, and probably a million other things I'm forgetting. He once asked the Dalai Lama if he had seen the movie Caddyshack. He also once said, “The will of the people is still the most powerful force in our government.” I do not care what any one thinks, personally I believe he was one of the greatest politicians I have ever seen. He understood that citizens can't just sit back and let the government do everything, he had a sense of humor, and above all he was honest.
        So don't get me wrong, I think my name is pretty cool. It's even got a "J" in it and everyone knows Js are fun letters. However, a name with such an inherently awesome nature comes with popularity and with popularity comes commonality. Throughout school I've often had other Jesses in classes. The real problems with it are caused by Women. As I have established Jesse is a man's name. There is no denying this fact. However, the country is chalk full of Jessicas. Now girls named Jessica are one thing, the real trouble comes from the inevitable nickname: Jessie. Suddenly we are over run with these female Jessies.
        Perhaps you doubt me. I'm over reacting, you think to yourself, sure there's a lot of girl's named Jessie and Jessica, but there's just as many guys named Jesse. Well you would have thought wrong. Let's look at the facts, shall we? I was born in 1987 so let's look at the Jesse/Jessica placements for +/- 4 years in order to show what I have had to put up with throughout school.

Year

# of Jesse's Born

# of Jessica's Born

1983

8,464

54,319

1984

7,597

45,837

1985

8,215

48,342

1986

8,532

52,628

1987

7,983

55,990

1988

7,901

51,494

1989

8,853

47,889

1990

8,965

46,460

1991

8,362

43,392

Total # of Jesses born between 1983-1991: 74,872

Total # of Jessicas born between 1983-1991: 446,351


        This means that for every Jesse there was in school, there was probably 5 or more Jessica's. Six Jessica's with the nickname Jessie. I cannot begin to explain the personal embarrassment of hearing someone say your name, then turning around to find that they were talking to a blonde girl in a miniskirt. “Oh, you were talking to her? I thought you were complimenting me on how well my pants show off my ass. My bad.” At the end of the day I really don't blame these lovely ladies. I've known many a fantastic Jessica. I even had a big crush on one during one of my years in high school. Aside from the stray embarrassing miscommunication they have done me no harm. But you know who has done me harm? Rick Springfield.
        In case you weren't born in the 80s and have never listened to the radio ever before, Rick Springfield wrote a hit song called “Jessie's Girl”. A song that I hold largely responsible for the continual trouble I have getting people to spell my name right. I often have people asking, “Jesse...is that with an I?” To which I have to try to hold back my barbed tongue, “Umm no, there's no I. I am not a woman.” Clearly the Jessie in the song is a man, “He's got himself a girl” after all, so what's the deal? From what I can gather, from the internet, Rick's inspiration for “Jessie's Girl” was his school friend Gary and Gary's girl. Not wanting to use Gary's real name, he changed it to “Jessie” after seeing the name on a softball jersey. I would have hoped that Rick would realized that softball is played by women, but I can't stay mad at Rick Springfield. Sure he has single-handedly put the masculine spelling of Jesse into question, but at least he did so in the form of a catchy tune. If you're going to cause trouble you might as well do it in song.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wrench in the Works

        Okay, so here's the dealio. I am now without the internet. Well sometimes, like now for instance, I can connect to the neighbor's, but that is sporadic at best. Obviously without internet it makes it quite hard for me to be able to post comics on a schedule. To do so would require me getting a whole bunch ready to go and then setting them all to update by themselves and hoping that it works. As you all know I am lazy and do not work that far in advance. Maybe I could, but since I've spent most of this week watching Wimbledon and yelling at the screen so needless to say things I haven't been productive. I'll look into if I could do it at the library, but I'm not sure if their computers allow flash drives or not.
        I suppose in the meantime I can work on something bigger and more epic. I told myself that I'd do a longer format story sometime this year, so I guess I can start making more headway on that. I can't say I'm inspired as the last time I tried such a story it quickly spiraled into shameful artistic wreckage. Don't you love it when you have grand aspirations that your skills just can't reproduce? It does wonders for your self-esteem I tells ya.
        Eventually I will get myself a job and then with my income I will buy internet, but until then updates will be sporadic. Those are the breaks I guess. Sorry.

P.S. Guess what spell check? I don't care that you want me to capitalize the word "internet", cause guess what? It isn't going to happen. If the word "library" doesn't deserve to get capitalized then the word "internet" sure as hell isn't going to get the honor.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Present

        I didn't get my inking done and now I am tired and don't want to do it. Instead here is a picture of my new shredder. It turns out there isn't much the manual will teach you. For instance you shouldn't put your hair or neck tie in the shredder. It didn't mention if this was because those things might get caught or just because the resulting effect would surely make you look ridiculous.

Happy Birthday Canada!

        It's my birthday today! It is also Canada Day, so don't forget to honor our neighbors to the North. If you know a Canadian I suggest you give them a hug...or a cake...both if you're up for it. In honor of Canada let us listen to some Canadian music. My personal favorite is Joel Plaskett.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rise, Rise, Riiiiiise!

        Yup, I'm pretty sure my yeast is dead. It really isn't surprising when you consider it is getting kind of old and I wasn't aware you're supposed to refrigerate the little guys after opening. The pizza I made with it was still pretty awesome. Pesto sauce topped with mushrooms, olives, garlic, and mozzarella.

        This wasn't supposed to be today's comic; I did this one last minute. I have multiple comics penciled out and then I've been getting lazy about actually inking and coloring them. I've also been distracted with writing a script for an actual comic. Get some practice in doing that sort of storytelling. It is sure to suck, but I've got to spin shit before I can spin gold. Well that story is going to be awhile anyway. This week will be more of the same and then I've got something special planned for next week's installments.

        My birthday is tomorrow. I'm not sure what to feel about that. Someone should give me a job as a present, that would be awesome. I should also get myself some Joel Plaskett music so I can stop listening online. Damn those Canadian musicians and their quality tunes! Hmmm...I should probably ink Thursday's comic sometime today so I don't have to worry about it on my birthday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Voice On Tape

        I really hate listening to my voice on a recording...or seeing myself on a recording. I eventually gave up trying to get a message that isn't lame, because it just wasn't happening. I doubt it ever will. I need to get on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" so I can try to get Carl Kasell to do it for me.

        It is kind of sad that I can look at stuff I draw and not be happy with it. Yet at the same time I'll look back at old stuff and that is all even worse. It seems that despite improvement I'm still not satisfied. I suppose this is a good thing, but it still annoying. I'm eventually going to stop doing these journal comics and get into a fictional strip, but I want it to have some structure and therefore it'll take a while for me to figure out. Until then you'll have to put up with my boring exploits.

        Scheduling these automatic updates hasn't been working out too great in recent updates. I must be doing something wrong. Well here's hoping it works this time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Should Be Cleaning

It is often quite hard to muster the gumption to stop what you are doing to go clean, but perhaps that is just me.

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Jesse reviews “Shadows Over Baker Street”
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        Although, I'm sure you can't tell, in the comic I tried to recreate the cover of the book I was reading at the time: “Shadows Over Baker Street”. It is a collection of stories written around the theme of combining Sherlock Holmes with the “nightmare world of H.P. Lovecraft”. As many people know I'm a big Holmes fan so needless to say that the book intrigued me. While most of the stories are quite entertaining, I have to admit that after reading enough of them they started to get old.
        The problem as I see it was that the editor didn't give enough direction to the authors. As such the authors all took their favorite elements from Holmes and put them to use. However, you soon realize that most people like the same things. While Sir Arthur Conan Doyle knew the last story he had written and could change up the following tale to prevent them from being redundant, these stories clearly didn't have that luxury. To add insult to injury the contents section lists the date the story was to take place next to its title: as if they are chronological or something. This seems rather foolish considering that half of them make some mention of the paranormal nature of their case being shocking and unbelievable. You would think that Holmes and Watson would start to get used to the paranormal after the first couple adventures.
        The particularly unique stories are really the only ones I can remember. Sadly they all came in the first third of the book. Neil Gaiman's “A Study in Emerald” was absolutely fantastic and that is coming from a person who typically doesn't care for Gaiman's writing. If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan like me I'd certainly recommend this book, however, I'll warn you that there really isn't anything too memorable after “Art in the Blood” (the sixth story in the book). After that point the stories stop being as varied and unique.


P.S. I certainly hope Rosemary realizes that I've had to memorize bits of html code in order to put indentation and proper quote marks into this post and appreciates it accordingly.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's Only Natural

            Not only is this a true story, but this has happened more than once.

      Because you just know I'll end up forgetting about an update one day, I've decided to start writing these comic posts ahead of time and then setting them to post on the correct days. Less work for me, on time comics for you. It's a win-win situation.

      On a side note there is indeed a painting of fish in my bathroom for some reason, however, they are not piranhas. I'm just as disappointed by this fact as you are.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Try, Try Again


        So far every time I've tried to update on a schedule I've failed. However, that wont stop me from trying again. From now and hopefully into the distant future you can expect new comics every Tuesday and Thursday. In the spirit of this new update schedule I've even made a new header (or whatever that thing is) for the site. There are a lot of things about this site I don't care for, but I don't really want to bother trying to learn a new system at the moment. For now I'll settle for making minor aesthetic changes to these one.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Heart Goggles


        I was going to do post a picture of a new comic today, but then I remembered that I'll be able to get that cord from Max tomorrow. Why bludgeon your eyes with sub par goods when I'm so close to being able to present full quality goodness? Instead here is a random picture I took.

        Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to cook something up for dinner then watch Back to the Future III. I've been told that it's actually a decent movie if you think about it on its own and not as part of a series. I haven't seen it in a very long time, so I figure I'll put the theory to the test.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Difference of Color



        Bleh, I do not like taking pictures of colored work. However, I won't be able to finish the strip I was working on today until late tonight, so here is the colored version of yesterday's. Yay for color's ability to distract from crappy line work. I know I've said I've started doing backgrounds in all my comics, but I'm really not sure what the inside of a mind looks like. So I think pink w/ veins is a pretty decent representation.

        I've been asked who they all are, so in order of appearance: Perception, Ego, Inner Child, Pessimism, He-Who-States-The-Obvious, and Doubt.

[EDIT] I replaced the camera version with the scanner version, because it just looks better that way.

Inner Voices or: Plan B


      A rough camera photo of the comic I did today. I'll fix it up, add some more detail, and color it later. By later I of course mean once I get back the capability. I just felt I should keep up my streak of posting that I seem to have going this week. Also since I mentioned this incident a couple days ago, the connection might be lost if I didn't post it now. There are parts of it I love and yet parts of it I despise. I really need to work on some things so they'll stop looking like crap.

      Trying to think of strange outfits for the various parts of your inner dialogue is actually quite fun. Having my sense of pride wear a top hat and no shirt, personally, cracks me up. Also I've now memorized the html code for with which to add indentations into this blog. While it is a bit of a hassle for me, I'll do it for you dear readers. Although I doubt you really care.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Taste of Things to Come


      The good news is my sister has returned the scanner's power cord! This means that I'm one cord away from updating comics once again and luck have it Max has told me he'll let me borrow the cord I need. Apparently he's had one that he hasn't needed for a few years. In anticipation for upcoming comics here's a sample panel from the stuff I've been working on. As you can see I've been doing everything in full color and even trying to do background work as well. Hopefully those things will start to improve over time.

New Comic Haiku
Comics are coming.
Please excuse their quality.
Sequential art, ho!