A Taiwanese Wedding

While it has been said before, I want to add my heartiest congratulations to Bob and Nicole, and wish them many many years of happiness together. They were married (Taiwanese style) last night here in Taipei and I had the honor of attending.

Never been to a traditional Taiwanese wedding? It is different. Disco lights, constume changes (3 for the bride), an M.C., not a word of english (except the occasional "Bob" dropped here and there), and food that I was glad I couldn't identify. (A local woman at our table tried to convince us we were eating pig ankle and chicken butt. I believed her.)* There were replacements for the traditions I'm familiar with (throwing the boquet became this ribbon tying affair that involved all the single ladies) and then traditions that were far above my western head.

And while I might not have understood it all, I was grateful to be there to witness and support Bob and Nicole in their union.
Saturday February 21 2009File under: travel, Taiwan

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That First Step

For me, the hardest part of travel isn't the language barrier, the uncertainity of where I will sleep that night, or overcoming fear of the unknown (although none of these things is particularly easy). The hardest part is the first step; walking out the door with everything I need, hoping that I've taken care of everything that needs my attention, hoping that I'm not getting myself in over my head, questioning if this is what I should be doing, trusting that it will all be okay. Once that first step is taken, my doubts and fears almost fade away, because I know whether I forgot to pack something, forgot to do something, gotten in over my head or whatever, there is nothing I can do about it now.

So I've completed the hardest part (not without hestitation, etc.). I'm here in Taipei. And the first half-day of romaing did away with what lingering doubts and fears there may have been. There is just so much neat stuff to see: Scoot Scoot's relatives, delicious new treats, and culture, culture, culture.
Thursday February 19 2009File under: travel, Taiwan

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Minor Media Coverage

They say there is no such thing as bad press, right? Well, I would argue the same about minor press "coverage". A friend brought me a copy of the latest North Cascades Challenger, the North Cascades National Park Visitor's Guide for 2008-2009 (online here although it seems to be an older copy as I couldn't find the same picture). Lo and behold, who is that on page 3? This picture must have been taken 3 years ago at least. Probably more. I haven't been up that way in ages.

Anyway, it is always a pleasant surprise when something like this happens. And since a blog is analogous to a scrap book*, I thought I would "paste" the clipping here.
Wednesday February 18 2009File under: misc

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Vaudevillingham

Last night, I attended Vaudevillingham, the monthly variety show put on by the Bellingham Circus Guild. Basically an amateur vaudeville show (and I mean amateur not in a bad way, just in an obviously not extensively rehearsed but none-the-less very entertaining way), Vaudevillingham is a way for members of the guild and others to try out new material in front of a live studio audience. You never know what you are going to get and in the 2 shows I've been to, this couldn't be more of an understatement: belly dancers, aerialists, a strip tease violin act, a mock game show, sasquatch fashion show, many many dudes in tighty-whities, classical piano interpretations, and much much more. The one thing missing from the shows I've been to is juggling. I'm almost tempted to work up an act of my own to balance it out, but we all know that isn't going to happen.

If you happen to be in Bellingham on the 15th of any month, stop by the Cirque Lab for a night of matchless entertainment. The proceeds go to help pay for the cost of maintaining the Cirque Lab, a space for classes, workshops, juggling club meetings(!), and more.
Monday February 16 2009File under: juggling

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Ridiculous beard 5712

If on initial glance, this doesn't look like it should fall into the ridiculous beard category, good because I'm actually leaving the house wearing this one (unless I chicken out here in the next couple hours). And if on initial glance this didn't look ridiculous, you probably don't get the timeliness of it. Try hovering your mouse over the image and see if that helps. Get it? I debated on whether to go with the heart goatee or try to work some cheek hearts (possibly connected to the sideburns), but I think this turned out well.* A special thanks to Deanna for doing the fine trim and shaping work. I simply don't have those art skillz.

Last time it was a special beard for Halloween and now for Valentine's day. Maybe next time I will shoot for my beard tribute to Flag Day.
Saturday February 14 2009File under: beard

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FC 62 - Seeing Red

Okay, so maybe the poem isn't nearly as good as most of the ones ya'll have submitted, but once again I had a hoot with the drawing*. But seriously, thanks so much for all your Roses Are Red submissions. I esp. liked the meta-poems (poems about the other poems). Good good times. Feel free to keep submitting up through Saturday, if inspiration strikes you. There are a few folks out there that I know have one stored up. Share it with the world!!*.

So this is going to be the last friday comic for a while,* as I am headed off on another adventure and won't need the filler. There might be one or two that I am inspired to post from the road, but I'm hoping to have lots of stories and pictures to share. I hope to start it back up when I'm back home with little else to post about. If you are hurting for a dose of Friday Comics, check out the page I'm working on for the comics. No defenses, caveats, ramblings, or what have you; just the comic in full. The next free stint I have couple with inspiration, I wanna tidy it up, add it to my ever growing sub-pages, and maybe even spin it off in its own domain*. Until then, have a look through some of the older comics. I am often surprised to hear myself laugh out loud at some of the ones I've forgotten about.
Friday February 13 2009File under: comic

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3rd Annual Roses are Red Poetry Slam

Red roses and candy
Is what she really wants
Instead of this poem
Written in funny fonts

I'm posting this a little earlier than usual in hopes that it gives everyone a chance to get their entries in for the 3rd annual BdW Roses are Red Poetry Slam*. As always, your poem must:
    * be 4 lines long
    * follow the standard ABCB "Roses are red" rhyme/stress pattern
    * make reference to either "red" or "roses"
For inspiration (or glorious, glorious diversion) check out entries from year 1 and year 2.

Submit your entries via the comments portion of this post. Feel free to use a pseudonym if you'd rather not have people know it was your poem. Feel free to submit more than once. Feel free to cover any topic and be as creative as you like, as long as you follow the rules*.

Now let the poems roll!
Monday February 9 2009File under: poetry, holidays

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FC 61 - Unseen Forces At Work

Another political comic, but this one has a hint of science in it so that makes it a little better*. I really like how this drawing turned out, with the different colors representing the lighting and shadows, etc. In fact, I've been kind of stoked on my last couple drawings. As for the content, I'm less inclined to put these last couple on my resume.*

I've got a few comics farmed out, so hopefully in the near future we'll be getting some variety, at least in terms of art, if not content. In a quick check, I've drawn 13 of the last 14 comics, quite a far cry from the early days when I did 3 of the first 10. Anyway, I daresay it is time for some variety. Afterall, variety is the spice of life.
Thursday February 5 2009File under: comic

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Adventures in Housesitting

As most of you know, I'm an occasional housesitter. For round about 3 months spread throughout the year, I watch people's house, pets, plants, mail, etc. When I describe the job to others, I make it sound like the best thing in the world, and usually it is. There are those times, however, when things go awry and you realize why it is called a job and not a hobby. Yesterday was one of those times.

First off, I recognize that in the grand scheme of things, this would barely be considered a blip on the grand bad-days-at-work scale. There was only a short time when it felt like disaster and now all is back to normal. But when things usually go so smoothly, a minor detour from that can feel like a lot - a minor detour, like say, losing the dog.

Technically, the dog lost me. She was outside playing, like is her wont, and all of the sudden, she was no longer outside playing. (I blame the bad influence of the husky she was playing with.) What followed was a frantic two hours of running through the woods on her favorite trails, calling the owner of the husky to see if he had seen them, and shouting the dog's name until I grew hoarse*. Then a neighbor called to say that she was hanging out in his front yard. I went over to pick her up and that was that.

As if that wasn't enough, on my way to turn off the lights to get ready for my much needed night's sleep*, I see a little bird perched on the ceiling fan. So that's what has been driving the cat bonkers. I briefly contemplate how to capture the bird to get it out of the house, but since nothing occurs to me, I just sleep with the door closed. I figure he will either go out the way he came in or present me with an opportunity to release him.

Yep, so that was yesterday's adventure in housesitting. At least there were no flat tires, carjackings, or crazy truck drivers. But who knows what today will hold.
Tuesday February 3 2009File under: work

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FC 60 - Old Habits Are Hard To Break

I didn't realize this until after the comic was nearly complete, but I drew this one totally with my left hand. Not bad. Anyhoo, I've got 3 fancy panels this week (although no plot, characters, or storyline. Sorry Hannah). There is, however, a nicely placed Simpsons reference. I hope the idea of this comic comes across right. I ran it by a fellow comician* and she coaxed me to be a little more explanatory. I hope it works.

Oh, and a little PSA* to boot: be like Earl. Remember to turn off lights when you leave the room. Electricity doesn't grow on trees. And even if it did, you shouldn't waste it. After all, you don't throw perfectly good apples, avocados, or other tree-growing things away, do you now? So unless your light is a beacon to some sort of precious cargo*, when away you walk, be a dear and make it dark.*.
Thursday January 29 2009File under: comic

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