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Showing posts from 2022

222. Literally Guilty

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  To be completely honest, I didn't read Flowers in The Attic. Somehow a school friend read it or saw the movie and then told me the plot. Just this second hand retelling was enough to traumatize my young head. Incest, death and starvation will do that to you. It's crazy how trauma works, I dont remember what I had for dinner yesterday (Sorry Noom!), but I remember clearly the retelling of this story or the section in IT with the crawling eye or Luke losing his hand. Extra Panel: For some reason, my dad showed me Carrie when I was but a young lad. The image of the pig blood running down her face is burned in my hippocampus even more permanently than looking both ways to cross the street. Crazy stuff, trauma!  Notes: Our friend Tommy constantly tells me I should do one panels. I owe him one so, this is my attempt at that!

221. Dystopian Demons

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Deep, deep inside, I am an optimist. I don't let that side of me come out that often, because I think death, dystopia and destruction are way funnier and more entertaining.  I question my own use of a city as an example of humanity in disarray, but visually, it's the best way I could come up to display all of the stuff we are capable of doing in one panel. Personally my dystopia is a farmhouse upstate with neighborhood patrols and heavily armed "good guys" making sure there's no undesirables. A place where you need to use a car for everything you do and where solitude and a diet of everclear and deer makes you wonder if that Trump guy had some valid points. The kind of place in which you can yell at the wind and wonder when the open border policy you learned about in your loud cable news show will show up at your door. That’s hell on earth for me! Extra panel: 

220. Menoclaws

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  This week around my wife’s birthday I started thinking about all the ways she and women have had to do everything I do plus so much more.  They were talking in the radio about menopause and work, and how it is usually something kept under wraps. Additionally, they mentioned how some women had no idea this process can have its start as early as the thirties. Some women were so unaware, that they didn’t recognize menopause until it was already partly through! I spend a lot of time demystifying mental health issues and I wanted to make sure I recognize that women have some special biological and psychological processes that are also seldom discussed.  To Roxanne, I see you. You’ve handled this and other issues so well! Do you imagine me going through menopause? Based on how I react to colds, I would probably wallow in self-pity and make stupid jokes about it! I am forever humbled by your strength and I have no doubt in my mind that you and every other woman out there are and have always

219. Side Defects

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This is one of the greatest ironies in the pharmacological world. Through sheer happenstance they found a medication that actually helps with depression symptoms. However, one of the most common side effects is the inability to achieve a literal orgasm, or to want to participate in sex. So you finally get the energy to say yes to that orgy e-vite, but you can't actually enjoy it as much. To this day it's not like I advertise that I'm on medication. Nobody does, even though as much as 13% of ALL adults in the US take them. And it's more staggering the older you get.  What is that shame that comes along with needing something external to stifle the darkness?  I know part of the answer. The moment you mention you're taking medication, there's 100 voices telling you that you wouldn't be depressed if you just exercised more, ate better, meditated, joined a club, found jesus, wrote, cooked, lifted, art-ed, cut social media, hire a life coach, went to a specific th

218. Tattle Tales

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One thing I wasn't prepared for when I became a manager was the snitching. A few of the people I supervise love throwing other people under the bus. I have my own data, I can see what's up. It feels so weird to me that they feel the need to tell me who they think sucks, who speaks ill of me or who is on their underwear all day while working form home. That's information I couldn't care less about. I can tell some of them are frustrated because I don't bite, don't ask for more "tasty goss." In this era of worker empowerment we should just be focused on our own journey, why should an employee have to also burden themselves with what others are doing? The way I see it, I'm freeing them from that preoccupation.

217. Coverup

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One of the biggest ironies of the world is that to keep safe the things we love we have to hide their beauty from the world. Ferraris live under tarps, fine jewelry in old wooden boxes and our phones on cases or with nasty screen protectors. I'm sure that's why my wife buys me hideous shirts, to keep me safe from predators. Just kidding, I'm just checking up t see if she still reads my blog. Growing up in Venezuela I learned at an early age to hide any wealth. "They'll kill you for your shoes!", I often heard. And they sure did sometimes. My interest in shiny things has never been vast, even after I emigrated. It's telling that I have the ugliest car and shoes in the team of 27 I work with, and I'm the manager! The only time I see the special edition colors of my phones are 30 minutes after I buy them and 1 week before I trade them. Extra Panel: Padme with a Case  

216. Identity Theft

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Before the fated year of our lord 2020, we had built a life of our own. We had made things, signed off on things, cleared our schedules of things to make space for other things, organized things, arranged things, got recognized for things. Dammit we did the things! We had a life. We were actually pretty proud of our lives.  All agency has been lost since then. All we are known for in our town is this pair of dog-forsaken animals. They're not even that well-made. Our first vet told us that they are "structurally off". One of them is a biter and a blepper. The other is a serial licker and has a literal hole in her head.  That's our current legacy in our hood.  And this is a true story, as we were walking out of a musical event in downtown Kalamazoo, we overheard a kid calling us the Chihuahua People.  Our reaction in real life was more like this:

215. Midterm Madness

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I pity the people the GOP pander to. If their messaging is about being anti-woke, who are they trying to appeal to, the asleep? They’re anti-Antifa, are they Profa? Would they call Hitler their daddy and ask to be spanked? Think of the dumbed down messaging they throw around: "build the wall", "make America great again", "all lives matter". These are slogans for scared, simple people who can't handle nuance.  They think so little of their constituents that they truly believe all they have to do is put a guy like Herschel Walker on the ticket. Republicans are not dumb, however. They have successfully sold anti-immigration to religious immigrants. There's humans in my sphere that have been both illegal immigrants and pro-Trump. Republicans make this happen by aligning with quick-bite issues du jour .  Having trouble with the multiple pronouns and terms emerging out of the LGBQT community? "Join us, we don't even try!" Worried that books

214. Party Animals

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Before 2020 we were normal people. We never even considered having a small dog, let alone two. As the coronavirus raged, we found ourselves in a narrowing corridor that led to the acquisition of the weirdest, most undogly of beings. I still don't understand their place in the universe, which works out well because I don't understand my place in the universe. One time, as a youngster, my friends and I were inexplicably burdened with the care of a peer who had ingested copious amounts of LSD. Those harrowing hours are the closest I've ever been to what my current life is right now. These beings oscillate between trying to murder your face and being the most adorable things I've ever held.  They go berserker mode on animals 10x their size. They drop down and ask for belly rubs, posing like hairy French girls. These are unknowable beings.  We have less friends now that we did before COVID. Is it because of COVID or our monsters? Social distancing or simply avoiding the '

213. Auto-Correcto

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Generally, people think a bit highly of you when they learn you are bilingual. It's great that they do, but how can I break it to them that I was mostly motivated to be able to play old Sierra and LucasArts computer adventure games? It was of no choice of my own that my mom enrolled me in a bilingual private school. I did nothing to achieve this, so I hope my very public idiocy demystifies bilingualism.  The one good thing about being bilingual is that it gives me a nice excuse when I screw up nouns. Names, places or things have never been my forte, so I constantly use the wrong pronouns, names and directions. I can always blame it on the fact that I have to have 2 copies of everything in my brain, one in Spanish and one in English. Little do they know that I screwed up names in Spanish as well! Swipe opened a very new way of being wrong, something I was not looking for.

212. Love Languages

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  Today, my wife and I have been married for 5 years. What connected a liberal girl from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and a weird guy from Venezuela? Hell if we know. But it works. While the relationship is fantastic and easy, the cohabitation has been a journey. This whole blog has been a way for me to process the changes I've had to go through to become a passable adult. My tenth comic (good luck deciphering it) was all about this being my biggest challenge in adulthood. I had to learn to leave the sponge out of the sink  and apologize correctly. I had to learn that socks in the floor were in no way cute.  Our wedding changed my life for the better, full stop.  Change doesn't always feel like a good thing, but I love the man I am today more than the man I was 5 years ago. I just wish I could keep marrying her every 5 years to jolt even more change in my life! My wife's love language is behavior (usually with a sponge and broom), my love language is actual language.

211. Projectionist

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Psychological projection, in its most basic sense is putting out in others what is deep inside you. So in a way, it's like flinging poop. You are flinging poop on other people all the time.  They don't want you to fling poop on them. You may not know you're flinging poop on them, but you sure are. We all are. We all do it, but it's not all bad. Projecting can be seen as being in the same spectrum as commiserating or empathizing. But then, you meet conservatives. The people being the most adamant against homosexuality, nudity and non-missionary sex have shown very often to be closeted themselves. They rage against their own machine.  All these super religious people who don't believe people can be good without religion? They're saying a whole lot more about themselves than about people in general.  What about abortion, why are so many white old men so verbally against terminating pregnancies? What are they hiding with this ridiculous resolve? Do they have an inna

210. Highfalutin Ride

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My wife came up with this one and I manically drew it over the weekend. It made me remember why I married my wife. For some men, the keys to their heart is in their stomach. I don't get that. Does that mean I'm in a long term relationship with Grubhub? Because outside of making my tummy happy, Grubhub is not my type at all.  By about our third date, Roxanne was the funniest woman I had ever met. The first two dates she accomplished by being gorgeous, smart and interesting. The rest she got by making me laugh or by joining me in laughter. Sometimes my deadpan humor misses the mark for her. I'm sure when I actually have really sad news for her she'll laugh thinking it's a joke. Strangely enough, I think I'd like that.  Drawing and making these stupid cartoons was mostly her doing. As I started doing them she was lavish with praise, in a way I've never been able to elicit through my cooking, homemaking and love making skills. So I knew I had to bank on it! (Thi

209. Master Level

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Smartphones and social media are a double edged sword for me. Without them I'd be a lot more disconnected from the world at large but with them I am more connected with the world at large. Would I be more sociable without them? If we somehow un-invented them, like in Neil Gaiman's short story "And Weep, Like Alexander'", would I be a more sociable guy or not? I lost my phone to the waters of a foreign country recently and I experienced first hand what the world is like without one, and it's not pretty. How did we know which restaurant had better ratings? How were we able to know who that guy was in that episode of Seinfeld? What the nearest fuel source is? I lived through those dark times and I can't even remember! As a bonus for being patient, here's another take on my miserable experience.  

208. Satan Sheets

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  I thought I was being fancy. Whenever you see a rich bachelor in a movie, they consistently have satin sheets. I've been trained to associate satin with luxury. Because I felt like a fancy person, I bought satin sheets last week. Boy are these things smooth! What they don't tell you is that they may be TOO smooth. I feel like a bar of soap in a crisco disco. It's a veritable sleep and slide in our bed now, with dogs, cats, pillows and humans just sliding all night every night. We're getting used to it but it's been feeling a bit rough, which is an ironic feeling for satin sheets.  Luxury items are funny.  Congratulations on that fancy Italian car for which you will need to hunt for repair parts the rest of your life! Good job on acquiring Downton Abbey, and I hope you can find a good footman in this job market. I know two people who have pool maintenance businesses and the only thing they have in common is that they don't own pools.  Sometimes what you covet w

207. Holier Than Thou

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I undulate between having faith in people and being ashamed of being people. It’s a constant back and forth. Hey, look at this person that is giving her meager savings to help others! Oh crap look at what a cesspool of abuse the Boy Scout organization turned out to be! It’s back and forth all day, every day.  You wouldn’t think I had any faith in humanity if you've been reading my comics, but I’m a closeted optimist. Every time I see or read about an evil group, I learn of a good individual. In general it’s always throngs of people who allow evil, but individuals who exemplify humanity at it’s best. I’ll take a tree over the forest when it comes to humanity.  These times, all we hear about are the indefensible things that groups do: High level collusion between the government and the idiot parade that stormed the Capitol, Purdue suppressing and inventing clinical data, Facebook knowingly contributing to the crassification of everything. We forget that there are individuals showing

206. First Day

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  I've recently had a First Day. It's pretty wild how these things can go. I definitely learn best when when I'm thrown in a pool with sharks, but sometimes these experiences can be veritable nightmares. Thinking back on all the "Karen" and "Wild Anti-Masker" videos that stream through social media, I keep thinking that it's very likely that some of those happened in someone's first day in the job. It's traumatizing! It's the people in charge who have to make this a smooth on-ramp. And as a recently minted person in charge, I am aware of the hardships. In healthcare, everything changes by the hour, so standard training is relevant for maybe a day after it's made. Training and onboarding has to be seen as a process and we are often behind.  In my family, I have one particular member who is sort of a male Karen. Let's call him Karlos. Karlos complains about fork tines not being symmetrical, regardless of the situation he's in. I

205. Emotionally Handicapable

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I’ve talked in the past about this. For whatever reason I was raised to try and fix things first and my wife to understand and empathize first. Is it a gender role thing?  I certainly don’t feel this is because of our genetics, my wife could take me down wrestling easily. I don't want her to discover a sleeper hold though, I'm afraid she would overuse it. She’s been working out since I met her and she has a major gunshow. Why would genes limit her from using hammers and stuff? These expectations, these roles we play, are endemic and in my case, crossed geopolitical boundaries. One of my coworkers, a millennial, told me once that “a man needs to always have a project and tools.” It was the first time I was like ‘dang it perhaps I should’ve been a woman then.’ I have noticed these expectations glacially disintegrating, and I’m for it. I wish there was a way to accelerate this the way we have accelerated the destruction of our known world. But why am I so prone to fixing things ev

204. Bingeterruption

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I have an unsurprising confession to make. I am a nuisance. Sometimes I get into a movie so much that nothing can break my interest. Other times, I am a talker. I talk to my wife during movies. You’re free to unsubscribe from my feed now that you know. Sometimes, when a movie is too tense, awkward or tedious, I cut the stress with a well placed fart, or even worse, an attempt at a witticism. I’m no Mystery Science Theater, either, so these comments are not gold. Sometimes I just want to know more. Right then and there, for some reason. My wife is not always at the same frequency I am, so sometimes, my dialogues or rhetorical questions are not welcomed. She finds subtle ways to hint that she needs to be all-in, sans interruptions. A gentle shush, a cold shoulder, served divorce papers; all little nudges to make me conform. Most of the time I pick up on these little trifles, because marriage is growth. Extra panel: Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have Roxanne get curious abou

203. Catmageddon

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Last fall, we had a problem with our cats. There was an absolute stench in my basement and we couldn’t pinpoint it. We then made a huge mistake and probed deeper. We bought a black light flashlight and discovered what true horror looks like. We can’t tell if it was cat urine, or blood or ectoplasm, but the light shone bright EVERYWHERE.   Sometimes when you have a problem, you seek out the root cause and control for it. Sometimes you use a shotgun to solve it. That’s what we opted for. We bought a carpet cleaner, changed the litter and scrubbed everything the cats owned. My flamethrower idea wasn’t disregarded as quickly as usual. Things seem better now, but we can’t tell what exactly worked. Or perhaps we have COVID and can’t tell. That’s the problem with shotgun solutions, you never know what bullet hit the problem in its stupid face. Extra panel: My theory on how the cats got pee up the walls.  

202. False Dichotomy

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Many people in the right (at least, the United State's right) abhor college education. Many of them HAVE college degrees, but still huff and puff about colleges. They tell their constituents that colleges are a highway to communism; that the instant you enroll in any class, you're obligated to read Marx and call your parents capitalist pigs. I definitely missed that part during my college education, part of which was in the US. What they DO teach you in college is to apply reasoning skills. You have to compare and contrast in many classes and avoid logical fallacies. You learn about false dichotomies. Simple messages (both from the left and the right) tend to do this:  "You're either with us or not."  "You can't be a Republican and racially aware." "You can't be a Democrat and like cops." It's easy to get sucked in. I lost friends and contacts because of Trump. My argument went: "If you liked Trump after he cancelled DACA, you