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Monday, October 25, 2010

POOL RESCUE SQUAD

One of my favorite things to do when I was living in Florida was to head out to the Cee-ment Pond, with the pool skimmer and the dogs, and rescue little creatures that had fallen in the water.  Mostly I snagged various types of wasps and bees, from tiny little metallic green things to big old bumblebees and hornets.  And I caught a lot of grasshoppers too.  But occasionally I'd pick up something more unusual, like the time I pulled out a wee black snake, or these amazing beetles:


I've never seen anything like this guy before.  (See below for scale.)






I picked this next fella up the same day.  He held on tight to the skimmer's edge while he dried out, and then suddenly took flight, buzzing up to the top of a very tall tree.


I lived in Florida for a month and then went on tour.  Heading back across the Florida stateline six weeks later I was surprised to notice that I felt like I was coming home.  That was something I couldn't have predicted.  But a week later I found myself on the road, driving north, homeless again.  I don't know when I'll have paid my dues.

I remember one time, standing out in the backyard on a moonless night, looking up at the amazing array of stars out there, the light warm breeze, the chorus of frogs.  I told myself, "No matter what happens, please remember the peace of this moment right now..."

So I try.

* * *



Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 SUMMER TOUR DIARY: Part Five

Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four

* * *

Part Five: JOSHUA TREE TO DENVER

From LA, we headed east into the desert, toward Joshua Tree, where my old pal Chantale (Longtime Spit and a Half customers: remember Misery and Vomit?) had opened a charming boutiquey little bookstore called Mt. Fuji.  I love the desert, as you may know.  Here are some pictures:


Heading into Pioneertown, Calif.




Welcome to Pioneertown, Population: Wha'?!?




Noah ponders his new life.


View from the house.




Yes.


Joshua Tree
(Yucca brevifolia)




Cat who's name I think was Muji.


Muji's friend.


Forgot her name.


Down on the corner.


The Mt. Fuji General Store.


Noah reads at Mt. Fuji to a small but enthusiastic crowd of desert weirdos and outlaws.


I promised Eric at Giant Robot I'd take pictures.  Chantale was worried they wouldn't look nice enough!  Could this shop BE any nicer?




CATS ARE AWESOME.




"Pioneertown" was a movie set created by Roy Rogers, that people later moved to and made into a real town.  Welcome to America.


I mailed Izzy a postcard from here.


Arizona; the Saguaros appear.


Outside Tucson.

I think by the time we got to Arizona, Noah and I were at that part of the tour where you just wanna kill yourself.  Consequently there are not many pictures from here on out...  sorry.


Approaching Albuquerque, New Mexico, from I-25.

We pulled into Albuquerque late, and tried to sleep in the car, but drunk college students kept accosting us.  So we drove to a truck stop north of town.  We were both in a VERY BAD MOOD.

The next day we woke up, did the signing, where, of all people cartoonist Jason Martin showed up! and then hit the road for Santa Fe, the last stop on the tour.

Cheyenne, Bram and Monica's dog, in Santa Fe.

That night we sat around a backyard fire and shot the shit about comics etc.  The next morning we had another signing, and that was it.  We made the drive up north, arriving in Denver after dark.  I almost slept in the car out of habit, but Dan (of Kilgore Books) took me in and provided shelter.  For that I say Thank You.

Outside Castle Rock, Colo.; dusk.

TOTAL MILES: 8,816


And on towards my fate...




Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 SUMMER TOUR DIARY: Part Four

Click for Part One  Part Two  Part Three

Part Four: LOS ANGELES

We woke up one last time in San Francisco, said our goodbyes, and headed down bleak old I-5 towards LA.  I know it's sacrilege, but I have always liked LA.  I like the wide streets and low buildings, the palm trees, and all the history there.  But still, LA is a bit of a mystery to me.  I looked forward to going back down.







Enter: The Grapevine.



Los Feliz at night.




Cat on the sidewalk.


Robbie the Cat.  He'll kick your ass.


Just a Coupla Regular Guys: Noah and cartoonist Joseph Remnant head out for coffee.


Nice apartment building on Vermont, across from Skylight Books.


Griffith Observatory.


Views from the roof.



"Hollywood is a Word On a Wall"





Down on the street we found this weird fox-cat hybrid.



"Later..."


Some more beautiful LA streetscapes.




Ron Rege mural at Family Books on Fairfax.




YES.


The Giant Robot store on Sawtelle.
(I don't have any pictures myself of the signing, but there's a ton here.)


I couldn't stop taking pictures of the streets.


I knew I was getting old when I started becoming really interested in flowers.


Bottlebrush tree
(Callistemon rigidus)


The day after the signing we headed out into the desert, for our next event in Joshua Tree.  So long, LA!

NEXT TIME: Joshua Tree and the desert