Well, James has high cholesterol and some other fiddly blood issues, so the doctor has recommended a handful of pills daily and…The South Beach Diet.

I don’t know crap about this diet, except that their frozen dinners are pretty lousy, but that’s not really a strike against them, since many frozen dinners taste like soggy cardboard. So I gotta go get a book on it.

James and I have never attempted to stick to a diet before, so we’ll see if it’s something we can actually do–I figure I’ll join up in solidarity.* I am deeply suspicious of all diets, particularly anything that involves the word “carb” but our doctor has yet to steer us wrong, so we’ll give it a whirl. The worst that could happen is that our blood will become acidic and riddled with ketones and plagues of locusts will devour our kidneys and manticores and chickens will emerge from our festering bowels, and hey, at least that’ll be fairly entertaining to watch, right?

*By which I mean that the notion of going on a diet is less worrisome than eating my own cooking.

Let the record show that my brain has no freakin’ clue what “on vacation” means.

I was taking today OFF. I could have done anything, or nothing, or any combination thereof. I was having vague thoughts of playin’ some WoW, maybe readin’ a bit, hanging out, catching up on sleep debt, all those good things.

Instead I sat down and hammered out the illustrations for another Little Creature story. (The text had been mostly done for months, and only needed the few ending paragraphs. Still!)

Little Creature and the Redcap

It’s a rather milder tale than the Dream Deer, and is primarily about the way we’re afraid to use the really neat art supplies. And also blood.

I begin to suspect I might–possibly–just maybe–be a bit of a workaholic.

I am on vacation.

Although I feel like a decadent slacker, I must admit that I have not actually been a slug these past few days–I cleaned the car in 95 degree weather, which is an exhausting experience, and I got a bunch of frames for art that I’ve picked up at the various cons, and I weeded the side bed, and I experimented with leg waxing.

This is not nearly as painful as all the bitching and moaning would indicate, although they don’t give you nearly enough wax, which means I have one relatively hairless leg until the drug stores re-open. I should probably make a proper scientific experiment out of this and keep the other leg as a control, shaving as needed, in order to determine whether the time and annoyance of leg-shaving actually exceeds the time and annoyance of waxing, but I dunno. On the other hand, maybe symmetry is for chumps.

I like the smooth leg for purely aesthetic reasons. I do not, however, like shaving, because I have a very small shower that I also like for purely aesthetic reasons, and in order to get a working angle on the leg, I have to brace myself in one corner and stand on one leg, which means that I have to wield the razor very very quickly, and at great personal cost. I tend to put it off, and then we get the stubble thing, and James is forced to say “Pick one! Shave or don’t shave, but commit! The stubble is KILLING ME!” I cannot blame him. If Stubbela, Queen of Sandpaper, appeared in a comic book, she’d have been a villain.

Not that he gets off scott-free on the wax front. The wax is a trifle messy, it sticks to things like, well, wax and I learned I had not cleaned up thoroughly when the plaintive cry came from the bathroom–“OH MY GOD! Why am I welded to the floor?!”

On the bright side, the soles of his feet are totally ready for the beach now.

I return!

Man, I’m tired.

It was a fine con, did better than I was expecting on the cash front–enough so that splitting a room and a ride with somebody made it more than worth working the weekend.

The con itself was not terribly wild–no weird tales of Strange People, or peculiar commissions. In fact, unusually, I got two commissions from people to draw a larger version of a small section of a painting. That was kinda cool. One kid wanted the zombie goldfish on the slab from Gothbat. So I drew it, happily, and he was pleased with it, and went off. Later on, I saw his father in passing, who said “He’s been showing EVERYONE the zombie goldfish!” That was kinda charming. Lots of kids at the con, and while I’m not a kid person by any stretch, generally very well behaved.

Actually, the weird thing was…the beagle.

My buddy Carlota decided to take the backroads to Charlotte, and due to it being very early and a small confusion about whether Fayetteville was actually Charlotte or not, the two hour trip ran about five hours. But that was all okay. Touring the back roads of rural North Carolina was an experience. We passed a gravestone with black marble Mickey Mouse ears. You don’t see that on the interstate.

And then we came around this one corner, and there, loping down the road, was a beagle.

We swerved into the opposite lane to avoid the beagle, and–for reasons I cannot even guess at–the number “90” was painted on its side. (Or possibly shaved. It was definitely a 90, though.)

Carlota and I stared at each other, and then in the rear view mirror. The beagle trotted off. “Whaaaat?” we said. “Did you see–the number 90–?”

We considered this. Finally, I said “What worries me is that somewhere, there must be beagles 1 through 89…”

A beagle marathon? The beagle derby? Performance art by hillbillies who delight in beagle painting for the bafflement of passersby? This question plagued us for the rest of the con, and yet, the mystery of Number Ninety Beagle remains…