Slave To The Dragon No More!

It’s done.

Dragonbreath is DONE.

I mean, I still have to do the cover, but that’s in their court for another day or two. Until then…DONE. Even those last two spot illos they sprung on me after I had finished all the pages…DONE.

Yes, they want the sequel around the end of the year, but…well, I’ll deal with that later. DONE. DONE. DONE.

Now I can move. And do those paintings buzzing in my brain, and those commissions that need to get done, and that one carousel thing and the thing for Sofawolf, and…write the sequel, I guess…and all the other stuff. Like move. Yes. Move. That.

Did I mention the moving?

I smelled the moving smell today. I cannot even begin to tell you what it smells like, and it may only be a product of my fevered imagination, but it smelled like moving. This should probably smell like cardboard or bubble wrap or dust or musty plaster or hastily ordered pizza eaten with a box as a table or SOMETHING, but I don’t know if it did. I don’t know what it was at all. It was just…I was in the car and there was a smell and I’m moving hit with that kind of hammering memory of all the other moves I’ve done in recent memory (which is a lot. I worked it out once that this is something like the sixteenth time I’ve moved in my life that I can remember.)

I never even knew there was a moving smell, but as soon as I smelled it, I knew what it was.

So I came home and dragged a bookcase into the car and took some art down, and now my apartment looks like moving. And that’s okay. I have most of a month to get everything switched over, and since I won’t be doing Dragonbreath every bloody day, it sounds practically like a vacation.

(Please note, I am pissy this morning and have PMS and haven’t gotten laid all week, and these things are making me GRUMPY so this is not as careful and politic a rant as I usually try for. Sorry.)

Swear to god, if I hear one more thing about how the media is being unfair to Palin…

You know what, guys? It. Doesn’t. Matter. The right’s been claiming there’s a liberal media for…longer than I’ve been alive, actually. You’d think they’d have adapted by now. But no, every time the media starts asking questions about somebody, they start screaming about the liberal media again, as if this is a new and shocking development.

Did you really, honestly think that a woman and a complete unknown would be introduced and the press would NOT start acting like a pack of sharks on Free Chum Day?

Sheesh, if you can’t pull up your big-boy (and big-girl) pants and deal with the PRESS, I’m not exactly sanguine about your dealing with, y’know, stuff that actually MATTERS. Terrorism is unfair. Global warming is unfair. Hurricanes are unfair. Economic downturn is unfair. The world will be brutal and unkind to you, and you don’t get to stomp your feet and say "The world is being unfair!" 

Well, actually you can. We call that "whining."

Whining is not a coping strategy, people. A frequently hostile press is part of what you deal with as president. All this sniveling about how unfair they’re being is WHINING. It was whining back when Clinton did it over Monica, it was whining when Hillary did it–and she did a little of it, I’m willing to admit, and yes, the press was cruel and unfair to her at points*–and it’s whining when McCain/Palin does it.

Yes, the press is often unfair. They’re sensationalistic, and yes, we all know they’re often liberal.  And they love a feeding frenzy like nobody’s business, and they will dig up every scrap of dirt known to humankind, because that is their nature.

Suck it up. Did you think they would love you? Do you think that ANY reporter, finding a chink that could bring down ANY candidate, wouldn’t leap on that with both feet, whooping like a common loon with a throat condition?

If this comes as a surprise, you’re idiots.
If this catches you flat-footed, you’re inept.

Shut. Up. And. Deal.

You’ve had YEARS to figure this out. If you don’t have a better coping strategy by now than crying about it, why should I believe you’ll get a coping strategy for anything?

There are ways to deal with the press, but public whining is the least and lamest of them. Can y’all kindly get off your asses and get a better strategy that doesn’t involve all this snivelling? 

Mind you, I think we’ve gotten way too verbally pansy in our politics, and I sometimes long for the days when we could scream obscenities at each other across the parlimentary floor, because it bred for politicians that could think on their feet instead of cowering in the arms of the speechwriters.

It’s pissing me off this morning.

And I think I want chocolate.

*Arguably it was her supporters that did not neccessarily handle it well, a lot of ’em–the damn campaign has been going on so long, I’ve half forgotten if the Clinton camp did anything but ignore the more stumbling sexism as anything but beneath contempt–but that’s water under the bridge.  Still, there WAS whining, and let me assure y’all that I found it just as annoying coming from my side as I do from the Republicans.

I feel like I’m in a marathon these days…get up, do comic. Take shower, do comic. Eat lunch, do comic. Pack up boxes, do comic. Dragonbreath is nearly done–six left! Only six! The end is near! I’m glad, insomuch as I am capable of any opinion about the matter beyond "What? Is it time to do another comic?"

I have never done anything but draw little dragons, I will never do anything but draw little dragons. When the universe dies the death of heat and there are only a few scattered decaying protons left in memory of my existence, those protons will be mechanically scribbling little dragons on the napkins of reality.

Actually, I ought to be done tomorrow, but I may have some kind of artistic PTSD afterwards. I’m starting to believe that the reason there’s such a long lead time on publishing books is so that when the readers bring a copy to the author to be signed, we don’t hiss and cower away from the book like vampires presented with a garlic-rubbed copy of the King James Bible. This would be bad.

Today, in between comics (i.e. at those moments when I can no longer stand to look at the comics and have to do something else–ANYTHING ELSE) I’m filling a box or two with the household essentials that I won’t need, but will not actually throw away just yet…stuff like sheets for a full-size mattress, bedside table lamps, kitchen knives. Y’know. The stuff that doesn’t really need duplicates kicking around, but which you aren’t going to trash just yet because…well…love is love, but it doesn’t hurt to hedge your bets a little.

Combining households is weird. I’ve never actually done it before–previously, when I moved in with my ex, neither of us owned anything, so it was really a non-issue. But it’s going well so far, we haven’t hit any real snags–Kevin graciously allowed me to dominate his living room with my enormous and ancient TV, on the principle that I cannot be expected to play video games on anything smaller, and the mask collection is starting to pop up at random points in his house. Bookcases will start popping up like mushrooms before long. (He’s been warned about this, but I’m not sure if he has quite internalized it yet.) I am like the Johnny Appleseed of bookcases. I can assemble a cheap bookcase faster than a pit crew can change out blown tires. I should probably get holsters made to hold my Allen wrenches.

Still. Before that can come about, I must finish my servitude to The Dragon. Back to the artistic salt mines…

In other news, I just went through the closet, and ended up taking three garbage bags of clothes down to Goodwill.

I did this TWICE last year. I winnowed my belongings down to the barest of bare bones. How the hell did I wind up with three garbage bags of extraneous clothes? I would have sworn I didn’t own three garbage bags of clothes total. My closet is the size of a shoebox. Where were all these clothes hiding, anyway?

I keep trying to live the uncluttered life, and yet, it seems like the crap is breeding in the corners…

The Thing With Palin

I have been off for the weekend, so we’ve probably all had time to get sick of Palin, or at least to get over all our head-scratching at what was certainly a very unusual sort of choice, and then we got all the rumors about her kids and pregnancy and the brother-in-law and now she was in a secession from the union group and so on and so forth, all of which eclipses what *I* feel is the really important point, which is that Sarah Palin hates polar bears.*

I don’t really care who fathered anybody’s kids, but you mess with Ursus maritimus, and I get pissy. I’m willing to allow that decent people can have difference of opinion about abortion, defense, energy policy, or anything else you like, but messing with polar bear habitat I give no quarter on. Leave the damn bears alone, they’re already suffering from massively melting sea ice, the last thing they need is another oil rig in the middle of the polar bear equivalent of Makeout Point.

Now, I’m an Obama supporter, I make no bones about it. Strategically, I’m not worried about Palin on most fronts–the VP can hurt you a lot, but even the best rarely helps you as a candidate, so even if she were totally non-controversial, I wouldn’t be terribly concerned.

What worries me about Palin is the VP debates, in a weird sort of way, because I think Biden would absolutely destroy her, and THAT, I think, is the problem. God help us, our society is still at the point where you don’t hit girls in public, and in that regard, if no other, this was a very very canny choice. Old men cannot trash attractive women on TV even if they’re right.

I wish they could. I think we’d be a better society if our politicians stood or fell on the strength of their arguments. But like it or not, we’re not, and we can’t even really talk about it because it sounds sexist to even SAY, as if we’re implying that men can’t debate women because they’re the gentler sex or some bullshit. Still, there you are. If Biden calls Palin on specific points in a debate, if he goes after her the way we SHOULD be able to go after our opponents in a debate…to a large chunk of the populace, perhaps on a level not even close to conscious…he’ll look like a big meanie.

I don’t WANT that to be true–I’m a feminist, for god’s sake, y’all KNOW that I believe in equality of the sexes the way I believe in gravity–but I think it probably is. Palin will win the VP debates for many people if she’s even slightly less vapid than Barbie (and whatever her opponents say, they do not generally call her vapid) because Biden simply cannot take the gloves off without looking BAD.

I wish he could. I wish we did not have a weird underlying tension between the sexes in this country. Still, we do, and he can’t, and it’s all very weird and even thinking about it at great length makes me vaguely uncomfortable, as if having such thoughts are a betrayal of feminism.

My suggestion to counter this is to have Biden hold a live polar bear cub for the course of the debate. (What? It could totally work!) Sexism cannot hold in the face of small, cute, and fluffy.

ETA: It appears that Palin may also oppose the PAW Act, an act introduced to ban shooting Alaskan wolves from helicopters and airplanes. I would appreciate more information on this, if anybody’s got sources other than wolf-defender press releases (the AP, say, or somebody who doesn’t have quite such a specific stake) but if this IS true, then a vote for McCain is now a vote for dead wolves.

Obviously we will give Obama a wolf cub for HIS debate.

EETA: Yup, we have confirmation. Palin is for shooting wolves from helicopters. Dude. Come ON. That’s like…Sheri S. Tepper villain cheesball evil there. The other members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent would look down their nose at THAT. Sheesh.

*Specifically she sued the Interior Secretary to get the Bush Administration’s recent decision to list polar bears as a threatened species overturned, because it might prevent oil drilling in their prime habitat. Say what one likes, but when you think that the Bush Administration is being too environmentally conscious, you gots problems….

I live!

It was a good weekend. The studio is finally wallpaper free, and was spackled and painted. It’s now…well, I was going for "warm adobe" and somehow wound up with "creamsicle" but it’s a nice color anyway. (Next month, the uterus pink will fall!) The painting was actually complete cake–I had expected it to be a lot more difficult, since the wallpaper was so utterly gruelling, but it only took a few hours, and I was left holding a paint roller and going "Wait–wait–I’m done? What? Hell, I can do more than that! Where’s another room? Let me at it!"

So, with studio in place, time to start hauling in bookcases. In two weeks, I move the computer and cats over, and then I’ll be officially living there, (yay!) and it’s just a matter of transferring Vast Quantities of Stuff a chunk at a time from my apartment. Last weekend of the month,a truck is rented and the big furniture goes. (This means that we will no longer have radio silence on the weekends, so the blog will no longer miss such highlights as "What the parents do in the parking lot at cub scout meetings"* and "Dude, you wouldn’t believe this lizard I saw!" and so forth.)

Kevin is tolerating the invasion of his abode with great patience, by which I mean he is still professing delight.. This is a clear indication that he may be deranged. (He did unscrew all the switch plates in the room, though, after I blew a fuse by carelessly whacking live wires with a putty knife, and he seems to have moved into keeping sharp objects away from me after that embarassing incident with the butter knife.** Deranged, but apparently not completely out of touch with reality…)

The beagle, Gir, is delighted, spent the whole weekend wanting to be within armslength of me, and is covered in paint as a result. Nikki,one of the shyest cats in Kevin’s menagerie–a rescued feral terrified of women for unknown but probably bad reasons–has even started to warm up to me, and will grant me cautious sniffing and, if Kevin is already holding her, chin rubbing privileges. I feel absurdly flattered by her willingness to enter the same room, even if she runs away as soon as the dog looks at her.

And to my delight, I saw a blue grosbeak at the Labor Day cookout Kevin’s parents threw, so life is good!

*Move 100 feet from the building, hide behind a large object, and chain smoke, mostly.

**Well, incidents. Those things are trying to kill me.