Tuesday, November 30, 2010

American Pole Fitness Championships

American Pole Fitness Association sponsored its very first Female and Male championship in NYC back in October. You may not be aware that pole dancing has evolved into a competitive sport---not to mention a beautiful art of individual strength and expression. You can note a heavy Yoga influence in the posing.

My awareness of the event came from my right hand lady the Marc Kane's one-time instructor in Encinitas, Laura Martin, a.k.a. the Flying Laura. When the video began, we wondered aloud: is that really my friend "Flying Laura"? Yes, the video starts out with her especially glamorous outfit!

We first saw her at O.B.'s late lamented Matt Cook Live show---a carefully improvised show, we later learned, as she had not had the opportunity to set up her pole and practice there. You could not tell it by her showing! She's quite personable as well, happy in her instructional studio loft beside Moonlight Beach. Via Facebook she shared the thrill of this very high profile show, but until now I'd not had a chance to see snips of the competition, and, best of all, back stage interviews. (Speaking of FB, give her a Like under Flying Laura if you're on there and keep up with her events!)
I think we have a crush on Zoraya Judd! But who wouldn't. Nah, not our style: she's married. But she is inspiring. Heck, I wouldn't mind having abs like that either!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Leslie Nielsen and Irving Kershner, RIP. I am serious.

Once upon a time, Leslie Nielsen was famous for starring in what many consider one of the best science fiction epics of all time, the movie Forbidden Planet. He also starred in the famous Poseidon Adventure.

The Canadian lent a gravitas and seriousness to the film's inner reality, for, no less today but especially in those paper machet times, science fiction really needed a straight actor to convey the fantastic reality convincingly.

For three decades, Nielsen pursued such roles, playing authority figures with panache. But by the time I was a boy, he'd parlayed that credibility into a turn in the disaster spoof Airplane!, which literally left me rolling in the floor where I watched it! The doctor's "I AM serious. And don't call me Shirley!" is probably the most quoted comedy line of my generation; heck, even my Mom uses it. "I just want you both to know, we're all counting on you!" was one of the many beautiful touches meant to send up the cliches of the genre it effectively buried. It's so hysterically funny watching him pop into the cockpit repeatedly to say that!

Why the change, though? In his words, from a 1993 Fresh Air NPR interview:
"Today, in my career, I'm doing what I love to do," he said. "And that is, do things for the fun — do comedy. It's a pleasure to go for the laughter."

I thought I was going to die: fortified with a bag of leftover fried chicken wings and legs, I discovered Frank Drebin. Something told me I was into something good!
I was spending the night out at the trailer just off highway 27, over at Shawn Paynter's, as I was fortunate to do after closing time at Po Folks so many times, virtually adopted by his mom and family. We tried a movie called the Naked Gun that had come out some time before. When he hung outside the villain's window by the statue, I was in tears!!! The non-stop Police Squad! silliness, his confrontations with Ricardo Montaban, and his ludicrous love affair with Priscilla Presley's character left me breathless with laughter. "And where the hell WAS I?"

To this day, I stop flipping, just for Leslie's work. How he talked me out of my tumbling career, I'll share some other time. No, not every movie could be Naked Gun-level gold, but you couldn't help being charmed by the gracefully aging actor, and maybe envy him a little that he got to bring so many laughs and call it a job.

Laura Hungerford's comment deserves to be bumped up here: she's written many articles and assembled the most wonderful site I'd like to use, myself. She wrote of this: Wonderful tribute to a comedic legend! We'd love to have you share your amazing memories about Leslie at
So fans, head over there and check it out!

I had to mention that, at the ripe old age of 87, Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner passed away. Did you know he directed the Bond film Never Say Die, as well as Robocop II? I think for lots of people 'Empire' is the most thrilling, satisfying story, due in no small part to his attention to revising the storyline as well as his photographic techniques. It was a hard job, but you have to thank him for doing it. It was so very, very cool. He also passed along a healthy dose of Zen philosophy in the character of Yoda, which may be another reason the 'darker' Star Wars movie is quite possibly its apex. I found one reference to that, here:
Art: ChrissD from this link:

So, good luck to you both. We want you to know, we all counted on you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Some New Rock I'm Liking

Band of Horses

I like the harmonious vocals, and I'm a distorted power pop lover from way back, thanks largely to SubPop who brings us Band of Horses. It's mellow! "My love, you don't even know."

Midlake's a Texas band formed over a decade ago by jazz students who found themselves going Indie. They first broke in Europe playing festivals.

Feeling punky? Gaslight Anthem has soul, story lyrics, and a quick beat. These New Jersey guys have just put out a new record, but this one's off '59 Sound from two years ago.
Gaslight Anthem
I actually would love to hear my old mainstay Neil Young's Le Noise, but I'm going to have to figure out how to use this downloadable program to read the cds my friend Holt gave me. Good thing I have a few aces up my sleeve!

I'll be happy to post some more new local tunes very soon; I just did a run of them last week! Of course, I'm just taking a couple of days down before working on my own demo, again.

A little of what you wanted to ask about hip hop (but were afraid to ask)?

When my friend asked me about rap last week, I had a couple of other things on my mind. Let's say she's just discovered rap. Here's a crash mix tape of the history, which stretches back to African traditional poetry and wakes up in a new body, dreaming somewhere in late 1970s Brooklyn.

This and "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang are milestone singles to know, as well as "F*@$ tha Police" by NWA. Grandmaster Flash is probably the first big name MC to break, with Kurtis Blow to follow. (Even Blondie got in on the act.)

The album to hear is really Fear of a Black Planet or It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back , both by Public Enemy; that was perhaps the most seminal work of the day, lyrically. It speaks to a lot things still yet unspoken in newly integrating America.

"T.R.O.Y." is a favorite single, and Jay-Z and Snoop are MCs I like, though Mos Def is the more complete musician. Erik B. and Rakim are worth checking out. KRS-One is widely respected for his literacy, though some rather marginalized theories pop up behind his lyrics as well as Mos Def's. DMX is another master of the genre.

LL Cool J, 3rd Base and the Digital Underground and the New Jack Swing movement (Big Daddy Kane, Heavy D & the Boys) were the rage when I was coming up. The big pop sensation was the Fat Boys, a kind of comedy thing, starring the Human Beat Box. 2 Live Crew was the kind of vulgarity teenage boys like to pass around, if for nothing else but the lewdness. Willis Woods was working with Mark Chubb and Chad Owen at my school; they were the closest thing to a fully functioning band at Model High School, so I can't leave them out. The arts weren't something nearly as mainstream as sports and fighting and cars.

Run-DMC is how most white kids my age learned about rap, and if you're a little younger, it might've been Young MC or even...MC Hammer, who owed his groove to Rick James. He got ate up by the wave represented by Ice Cube: Gangsta Rap. Somehow, I almost left out the one band that gets lots of alt-rock play, the rap group that hit big in the wake of Run D.M.C.'s "Walk This Way" and never looked back: The Beastie Boys. The critic's choice there is usually Paul's Boutique, but I've yet to get that one and really enjoyed the follow-up with "Sabotage" and about half a dozen radio cuts.

Tupac and Biggie are worth checking out for their technique, and if you want to hear about a different way of life Tupac and Dre and his proteges are great. Some people really love Eminem, but he took a few records to grow on me; I was looking for something besides anger issues at the time, but his facility with words was undeniable. I'm very ticked off, but I live laid back and in all the peace the world will allow.

It wouldn't be right for me to forget Missy Elliot, nor even Salt-n-Pepa, but the woman who was way, way ahead of her time was Neneh Cherry. Her few top 40 hits don't do justice to her inventiveness.
Once you get to Neneh, you reach a crossroads with whole other types of sounds, like Soul II Soul, De La Soul, Sade, or Swing Out Sister, predecessors of a new soul coming out of Britain over the 90s, like Portishead.

That crossover songwriting appeal stands out in my favorite act to come out of the Dirty South: Outkast. Although "Ms. Jackson" and their album Stankonia was their buzz breakthrough, their monster commercial hit was the 2003 double album Speakerboxx/ The Love Below.

I didn't get off at first listen to M.I.A. and I'm actually full of questions about the Sri Lankan politics, as I have two actual Sri Lankans with sophisticated views of the country as reference, but sometimes, as with Kanye West, the production and the musical package as a whole might supercede someone's frustration with the lyrics or the public persona. There are many more political and socially conscious hip hop acts out there, but why not explore?

Finally, you'll find another category of musicians living in samples, which can come from anywhere. Parliament Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield and James Brown are probably the most commonly sampled groups of all time, along with many Stax artists, the Ohio Players, and Miles Davis.

I have probably met more aspiring rappers than any other type of professional musician. I would have to reach back a bit to come up with names, especially since some record labels and ideas have been duplicated since then (I met a rapper whose cd was called Dirty South back in 1998).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Appreciating a Day Gone By

From Tales of the Old Hotel

I promised I'd write this day down for myself, if no one else. Then I had someone let me know they really don't care if they hurt my feelings or ignore even the single need for which I asked fulfillment, my one condition for her company and my one request for her time. More than one person very close to me let me down in a day, and suddenly my holiday plans were absent two people.

Granted: a two week visit, especially if the two of them fought, was going to be a challenge for us all, as when Emm and I are alone quarrels are seldom. With a bit of momentum, I should be really putting away the completed comics pages and preparing shows by Christmas/ my birthday. I was going to split the difference prudently and ready myself to sacrifice some personal time for the possible rewards that come with it and hopes of making others happy, even if I felt quite a bit unappreciated.

That isn't what I'm going to talk about, though---because, what about that wonderful day before? Monday contains content and inspiration for stories and songs and drawings, based on the richest personal treasure I have, and one I intend to celebrate more consciously in my work.

Why has sadness dimmed the fresh memory? Why have new memories left the dialog of that harmonious day so blank? Were that I had only spent Tuesday seizing that moment to remain with me. Truthfully, the personal disappointments since also have their lessons; the discomforts also inspire stories, songs, drawings. To make peace with those, I summon the happy day before, to use as my strength. The brain responds to our thoughts, our body reacts to them, as though what we imagine is somehow present; it's why we can scare ourselves with a movie or calm ourselves thinking about a soothing place or presence.

I reach into the fragments of that day to find myself and Emm walking all the streets of East Village in the sun. I'd been up working most of the night, but sleep felt like a waste; we had each other's company to enjoy, and soon enough the time would yield to the needs of work again.

We'd started out the door only to find Freeloading Freddie outside. We thought maybe he'd get what he wanted or vamoose in the time it took us to get a little sun and exercise. We'd gone out the door to at least restock on juices, but we did it several blocks north on Broadway. Balboa Park, a mile away, was tempting to consider and pleasing material for thought, though I'd probably need a nap in the middle of that trip!

Before we reached the store, we stopped off at the public library to fill out new cards for both of us---even if we didn't stay inside to look. Emm felt a bit rundown, but a walk and sunlight were a good tonic and we covered about half of downtown before turning up to Broadway. The store there has no sign for its unknown name, selling overstock, mostly, at discounts.

How do I reach back to the easy comraderie; what did we say to one another that made things so breezy, so quick to laugh?

I know we must have observed the troubled career of Freddie, but aside from the notion of staying out, gracing the library, walking to Broad, even heading back to the mall---what did we say? Was it some hope for where we go next in life? Was it enjoying someone's dress or figure?

I know we end up at Horton Plaza,and we laugh on the escalator, where we always have a laugh. Were we pretending to speak as Stuckwayze characters, smiling vacantly and twisting words into hilariously misunderstandable phrases? Sure it's weird! It's funny. It must sound very out of the ordinary if we're observed, but don't you always enjoy watching people you know are having a good time? Doesn't some part of that feel active in you? Do you know what I mean?

We decide to try a new place instead of the Indian food we've eaten as our primary mall stand-by; what WAS the name of that place with the Smashed Baked Potato with Ranch and Bacon, and the cheeseburger and fries? We almost never have a cheeseburger anymore, from red meat. We sat somewhere different, too, in the big outside food court. You couldn't help but notice all the school aged kids. We didn't even note the pen the deaf man left at first; it resembled a flower on the top end. Emm went over to the man, grey curly hair, mustache and slight beard on a long face centered with sad eyes and buys it. She really just wanted to offer him a couple of dollars. Attached was another sign language alphabet card, and we went over some of the letters. I remember when we first learned that much, years ago, and more; once upon a time, that was nearly her choice for college major. It feels good to see her openness and giving.

We write down the movie times for Megamind, should we come back out and feel like a matinee. We hustle past the massage parlor ---well, the mall version, you know---as we were both quite full and they are known to plead vociferously with passersby.

We'd been talking about a new plant and looking for one over the week before. Now we finally stop at Allen's Flowers, certain to find the green life we need for our apartment. Stephanie---that's the girl's name. Pretty. Dark haired. Gorgeous blue eyes, Emm says. Warm. We enjoyed listening to her tell about the variety of plants, but Emm's heart was set on a cactus from the first. Somehow some more laughs gently creep into the sunlit day, in the sunlit store with wide open bay doors. Before the end of the evening, the cactus is named Crowley Gerard, inspired by our friend Eric and his saint of Motherhood and Aleister himself. She waters him and checks out his pot, anticipating a long life with a little sunshine.

I know when we got home, some things happened that I can't provide for a mixed forum. We had very, very quality time together. It's too bad; I could probably describe that time best of all.

I have no doubt we played guitar. We may have tried improvising some music that night---no, that was last night. She is still pretty new but we can play along and both improve. Besides, I will always love her singing.

Looks like I drew for a few hours, too. We listened to Citizen Band's cd for the first time. I know we put on Astra Kelly---who had MC'd the show Sunday with Cathryn Beeks. I can hardly remember a word.

I tell you about this one afternoon, this one day, but what we said is submerged in the images of our actions. I know it made me feel like creating art that expresses how people might deeply love and appreciate, and enjoy, each other. Aside from what we said to Freddie, though, the words themselves emerge only in details about what drink we're going to try and how I really should leave my bag at the desk and the memory card we never pick up (in this case I don't have the phone that needs it with me, and since it came as a gift all I recall is that it's an LG phone of a sort lots of people would've replaced with a Curve or something by now).

Is the point becoming that we observe a few details in the moment---that sometimes no deep conversation is involved, only the rich freedom of knowing the day is ours? I may have been talking about the huge multi-band Local Brews Local Music show I'd attended the night before, how much it made me want to play, what people looked like. I'm glad the show was broadcast on 102.1 KPRI, because at least she heard most of the same music I did. How else would you hope to describe music---outside of crowd reactions, or maybe some attempt at analyzing what you technically heard (only useful with another musician who's in the know)? What else can you say about it? You had to be there.

What is said precisely is only occasionally memorable; as soon as you've slept the night through, even the most pleasant day begins to drift away. Yet the stinging words of someone's resentment and combativeness is there for the taking three days later. Perhaps it helps the latter that it was written; perhaps the feeling, and not the words, were the gold of the golden moments. When there is no sadness, such days seem as though they can never fade away.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Key

I'm not in a hurry
to forget
what we ready in the long run

You look into my eyes
I feel so ordinary so extraordinary
in my heart you tarry
though life teaches to be wary

No explanation needed
Our magic's been well seeded
By Cultivating our own nature
Already we one succeeded

Be me and I'll be you
Our Power, a multiple of two
complex tie of lives in lieu
Continue down paths we once drew

Motivate, you're inside, Cultivate your insight
The resolution is the revolution
Create Magic
Great Magic
You have the key, remember?
You have the key, remember?
You've got the key, remember?

I have my right to anger
I turn my back on that way
back on that way, back on that way

Portray those institutions,
that trait in another life time
Moving forward in a rhythm and rhyme.

Partake of an action,
Love, our time inside
unconditionally will not allow
a hurt to land on another sand,

Cultivate, your inside, Motivate, your insight
The revolution is the resolution
Create Magic
Great Magic
You have the key, remember?
You have the key, remember?
You've got the key, remember?

You've got the key, yes you do
Ooo, hoo.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Funderwear Holiday Travel

A Colorado inventor's created an insert for your travelling underwear. If the TSA's yet to offer an olive branch on the situation, at least you can offer a fig leaf.

You know, only about two percent of the two million holiday passengers are going to get this pat-down. Anyway...

President Obama says he understands peoples' frustrations; he and Sec. Clinton both came out recommending less intrusive pat downs. Would Hilary Clinton submit to one of these pat downs herself? "Not if I could avoid it!" she said. I guess it's easy for this story to get around the water cooler; could be any of us!

So: has the alternative to nudie pictures at the airport scanner? Well, maybe!


Is the naked truth just too much to share, for you? Well, I can't vouch for these fig leaves, but I do hope you have a lot to be thankful for and really feel that way in the middle of festivities this holiday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Local Brew Local Grooves All Access, Part three: the 201st show

Deadline Friday

Great White Buffalo

http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/novapage here's Nova; they're actually quite popular around San Diego, I just didn't find them on YouTube. Strong vocals; very bright!

Understand me Understanding me

Lue Lyron: first draft lyrics, "Understanding Me"

Some people who want to be close
just don't get the better way

We try and we try
i don't usually cry
but careful what you say

to hear someone mad
when there's loved ones living apart
No I never gave it a thought
You wouldn't recognize me
As we live on our own
we must face a new start
No I never gave it a thought
you would understand me

Understand me, understanding me
then the plans that you had beside the sea
are they worth your revenge well I guess that you've stated
your priority
You could catch the real culprit
if only you take responsibility
Understand me Understanding me

Well you're busting to spend the holiday
then you're hung up on some broken fence
but trust Providence to provide dents
and it may seem unfair, based on what you say

you decide, then you've got to commit it
but you trust who you trust and decisions are dust
have you never gave it a thought?
You could not hypnotize me
to hear your anger and futility
when you've made your mistake you admit it
if you ever gave it a thought
you would understand me

Understand me, understanding me
then the plans that you had beside the sea
are they worth your revenge well I guess that you've stated
your priority
You could catch the real culprit
if only you take responsibility
Understand me Understanding me

copyright 2010 Wingbat Tunes/ Integr8d Soul Productions

Local Brew Local Grooves All Access, the 201st show

Here's more of the line-up from the Sunday night Local Brew Local Grooves All Access, the 201st show:

Bobby Pena and the Stowaways:

Simeon Flick

Erin McLaughlin

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Listen LocalSD: Bands I enjoyed tonight

Wish I had clips from Citizen Band or Sweet Tooth---great rock sounds---but neither of the things I found were the same band I saw, which, actually, had a lot of the same members!

I couldn't find Nova on YouTube, but their bright pop rock sound stuck with me, particularly their "Sunshine" song.

But this is a little of the goodness San Diego has to offer. I've raved about Astra Kelly here before, but you have to give it up for hard working Cathryn Beeks.

Taming the Fox was really electric and had incredible solos full of energy. They gracefully survived the rhythm player's guitar going out ON the AIR. They were busy fixing it and "hmm-hmm-hmm-hmmm" improvising patter with a bit of grace.

Endoxi had a very, very energetic crowd. I had to go down front and get it on the feeeling: groovy stuff. Very bright! (Revision: now I've heard the album and they are very ready for prime time. Really nice, too, to boot!)

I slid over to the Delta stage for Christopher Dale: "I'm in love!" shouts the crowd. He really made an effort to involve the huge, seething room.

Words fail me. Still my ears ring. And I'm hungry.
There SHALL be a part two, okay? This is going to be a regular event and I'll announce it.

I actually missed the first five bands, but I did make it in time for these guys. They may have had the biggest crowd!

Listen LocalSD.com

This is the big event for me this week; hope to make some new friends, like Joe Cavillo from Endoxi.

Cathryn Beeks always has this show cooking Sunday nights at the House of Blues, but there's a lot more. She's been instrumental, haha, in building live music venues on the presently hungry music scene. Support local music!!

After this...well, I'l tell Wednesday

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Freeloadin' Freddie concludes (The Old Hotel)

He’d created a job for himself: painting the street address, with a stencil, outside of homes in suburbia, like Chula Vista. Once he’d asked me to help him save a map depicting the cul-de-sacs and street patterns of the neighborhood he wished to work next, so he wasn’t completely stupid. It was just that finky laugh of his. Even when he got along on some surface level with people, I could hear that goblinesque "hehn hehn hehn!" in the same cadence.

Freddie had a picture of everyone else at the hotel---me included, until we talked and he said he figured out maybe not me---as losers. What stuck out in his mind were those who live on Social Security checks and would never make anything of themselves.
I realized he at least meant Jimmie Simmons, as he’s nicknamed, who is simple enough to understand, in his case. He intimated he thought I was in that group with everyone else until he’d learned what I do for a living. This, from the guy who asked me for a Phillips head screw driver four times. Go figure. (I did in fact need one soon for my new drawing board.)

I pointed out that everyone around him was trying to make it: the very neighbor on our wing, O.V., with whom he’d already loudly quarreled the first time by that point, had been in sales, too, and done pretty well in earlier times. Proof he’s never given up is that he’s just landed another sales job again with Carmax. I’ve known the man, known his plans, heard his enthusiasm that he could put funding and the right product together and create a success.

I told him of working musicians we’ve had here, how everyone I knew here had occupations (though a couple were laid off by then) and many people who came to live at this old hotel climbed its steps day in and day out with a bit of hope in their hearts things would get better, so long as they never gave up.

He told me of his deals in the car biz, a good occupation after seven years in the Marines. He had the nice car and the hookers and not a care for money. Things were now to the point he had homeless women come up sometimes just to see how far they might go with a mutual arrangement---“had her up to, you know, talk!”

Twice this resulted in hall-filling shouts. One occasion led to my girl Emm’s brief involvement; he asked her, on the way to the bathroom at 3 am, could he use her phone, as his ...how did that go? He had some girl’s cell phone this time, and wouldn’t let her have it back; then he threw it the length of the hallway. Emm passed. She was not sure what was going through the loudly cursing woman’s mind at the time but this wasn’t a wise place to remain.

Soon O.V.’s voice booms, along with the intrepid manager and two police officers. Apparently, another guest of our man here was climbing the fire escape next to my window, in an effort to retrieve a bicycle he said Freddie stole from him. Not much was clear except “stay out of it.”

I think the other time was about something he had that the person wanted returned. It’s not as clear in my mind. I do know every time I had a naked girl sitting on my bed in sight of the door that he tried to sneak peeks, but shy of self-discipline necessary to keep respect, that is just a man for you.

He asked me if we could smoke on the fire escape, first time I saw him. “It’s not officially allowed,” I replied, “but the thing they really don’t want is people throwing cigarette butts down in the courtyard below, because...”

“Yeah, yeah, I don’t need anyone to tell me that,” he said. The complaints about the butts started up again a couple of months later, so somebody didn’t get it, I’m not saying him. I also can’t say for sure he was the reason I suddenly felt like locking my door so regularly, as no one from the street comes in except as a guest (and you don’t know what I’ve done to burglar proof my room and I’m not telling).

Some other time he mumbled something intended to get him completely on my bad side but I literally didn’t care and told him upon his apology I really just chose not to take it personally. It’s not that I’m so holier than thou, but what was the point? It did give me insight into how he kept so suavely butting heads with my old friends.

After police visit #2 O.v. and I happened to be chatting at O.V.’s door and we eluded to “the shit that we doesn’t go on around here” about the time he walked sheepishly out his door across the way. We continued our affirmation; what did we have to hide?
The only other police visit to the building all year before Freddie arrived was when poor T.E. drank himself to death. There was a similar problem though. A man can feel too sorry for himself.

Freddie’s eviction notice hangs on the door across the hall now. The last time I was inside that door, I saw the pipe and all the behaviors clicked into identifiable patterns. But you could never shake the feeling he had a good guy in him, surely never meant to be persona non grata anywhere.

Nor was he without charm. Once he saw me leaving with my date/ partner and guitar, and asked did we play Van Halen. “Not really,” I replied. “Eddie’s very fast you know! I’ll never be that fast.”

“But then,” Freddie noted, “he’s not happily married, and you are!”
I remember nothing besides “hey” after that time.
The 10 am eviction time’s passed without any of the noise that accompanied Freddie’s life, and I’ve seen hide nor hair of him in three days. I am glad to see him gone, but I can’t help wondering, if he’s not really okay, where he will go now. He was often seemingly gone for two or three days, so there are other haunts.

Emm and I were headed out the door a couple of days after Eviction Day had passed. There's our Freddie, smiling, cajoling: "Hey, I need your help! I've got a beautiful new girlfriend and I just need you to go back up and knock on my buddy's door, he's just a couple of doors down from you---I need to get some of my stuff from him!"

Emm weighed the idea that he'd known about the eviction for two months and replied, "No, I'm not doing it. You can go across the---"

"But HONEY!" he pleaded.
"You can go across the street and do it through official channels." That is, after all, where the front desk operation is, for our Old Hotel.

"Thanks for nothing!" he retorted. "Nice knowing ya!!!"

"That's why no one wants to do anything for you," I replied, walking away. She convinced me walking away was better than what my reptile brain suggested. He dismissed us with a wave of his hand, sitting at the table outside Wet Willie's---an establishment he wasn't patronizing.

Tales of the Old Hotel: Freddie the Freeloader

Tales of the Old Hotel

Freddie the Freeloader” (for T.J.)
Strange habit I have: the worst troublemaker in the room wants to tell me his story, as I apparently understand...

After three plus months of life here at our one hundred years old-and-counting hotel, Freddie Allman’s*door sported an eviction restoration notice. At least five times since I’ve seen it, I felt a little sorry for him, on a purely human animal level, because he has lost his home, that most basic need behind food and water and rest.

“Just be wary of that one,” said Ms. Janice, holding a newly-dried pan washed in the community kitchen. “He’s dangerous. When they evict him tomorrow, that one might be loud!”

“I’ve been avoiding him, hon,” I told her. “Steering clear. Not talking. Didn’t want anything to do with his business.” Yet clearly I knew he needed a good community of people. It was a shame he could not see what he might have; Ms. Janice brings me food, O.V. hooks me up, we all do each other favors and turn this wing into a neighborhood.

Life in Freddie’s tiny room was never quiet. If it wasn’t old school rap, it was hair band rock, always just loud enough to hear in the hallway on your way to the restroom. Sometimes the door was open. I’d go down to the other bathroom just to avoid passing the door. Experience had taught me he could pop out at any minute with another request I most likely couldn’t fulfill.

There were other noises known to come from that door, and that was why I avoided him religiously. Not that closed doors meant I couldn’t feel my nerves wrack in empathy as he stayed up on speed. It’s my curse to feel the tightness and mental drain when people around me take those kinds of substances. By itself, that would’ve been reason to be a bit relieved to see him go.

The noises I refer to involve an angry friend of his standing outside the door at 4:30 am, calling him a great variety of bad names and demanding something back. For over five minutes. That was just the last such instance, maybe a week ago. I almost called it the third one, but that’s just three that weren’t between him and residents here.

Ms. Janice had an eye out for him after he came to her door wanting a cigarette. He offered her a dollar, but she said she didn’t have one to sell him. He took offense. “Here’s my damned dollar!” he yelled. “Are you too good to sell me a cigarette now?”

“What I want you to do is leave my doorway,” she retorted, “and never come back!”
So next time she does to empty garbage, he rushes up on her to say, "you and me, we've got something to settle right now! This is why no one her likes you!!" Apparently, her boyfriend then visited his door to inform him perhaps he should let her be.

Such was the residency of Freddie the Freeloader.

I took a “political affiliation” quiz and found the question, about an hour ago, asking did I feel, “some people are just born unlucky.” I pondered how that might fit into graphing me (I came out on the dot with Ghandhi). Now I’m just thinking about Freddie. It’s not like he hadn’t been better off before---he told me he was a car dealer before times got tight---but I never met another soul more miserable to live in this old hotel. Nor have I ever known anyone here to have the police at their door twice over arguments in the middle of the night.

It’s like he decided he lived in a slum now and chose to make his life there as ghetto---what he thinks is "ghetto"--- as possible. More than once I expected gunfire. More than once I thought about going to management and suggesting he be dumped. More than once my rather imposing neighbor O.V. nearly pounded his goatee down around his ankles. More than once I took up an invite to stand in his room before I saw into his drawer and knew all there was to ask.

But it’s not like I didn’t give him a chance, even though I had him pegged for an asshole from our first conversation. Once I got the window into his thinking, however, I could only say my piece and hope he’d realize it did him no favors.

The worst troublemaker in the room wants to tell me his story, as I apparently understand...though he did not think so at first.

(continues http://ceaseill.blogspot.com/2010/11/freeloadin-freddie-concludes-old-hotel.html, or next! )

d'n'a "the mountain" page two

Just looking over my Edit Posts section and came across this:
an unpublished post from this summer, as we worked on our new comic!
All this time later, after some delays, the finished product's ready for the public!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How does an artist lay out a page?

As we prepare to start our second issue of D'n'A, I thought I'd study a page of work from the co-creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko. This is from Machine Man #13, 1979. Here's how I followed Steve's work, step by step.

Here's me putting together one of my pages:

So, to start off my layout challenge, I began drawing the shapes in the first two panels.

I started adjusting, to deal with the overall page proportions.

I actually worked on the last panel last.

This process of darkening parts of the figure---to give the figure or object density---is referred to as "spotting blacks."
It's the inker's job to fill these areas completely.

Over on integr8dfix.blogspot.com, you'll find a 20 min. version of page two! I'll keep going. I'd love to see someone else try their own page! Lue Lyron

I decided to add that second page, here: