Over the weekend I went to Allentown to see Don Bluth in seminar.  This is how it went:

  • I slept in the bathtub. Yesseree bob, it seems like a year and a half of habitual earplug wearing during sleep has made me ultra sensitive to any kind of noise. So I woke up at 3am to the sound of wind blowing outside my window and finding the bathroom to be a quiet haven comparatively, I lined the bathtub with the extra pillows and slept till 8 or so.
  • I sat by a guy who wore all black and happened to be a seventeen year performing magician. Of course I didn’t know he was when I sat by him so I just disregarded him as a Matrix loner type who like wearing black leather pants with a black vest under a black cloak. On Sunday he actually performed some wicked cool card tricks at lunch which blew us all away. He seemed pretty dexterous with playing cards and could fan them out like nobody’s business. Which all goes to show you shouldn’t judge a book by his cover.
  • I met the biggest fan of the Secret of Nimh. His name was Chris and he seemed like a nice guy. He writes for fun and works in a video store and was telling me how the Secret of Nimh changed his life and how he always wanted to meet Don. I was glad that he could meet his hero in person.
  • I saw this girl that I thought was cute.
  • Oh yeah I saw Don Bluth.


I discovered I have a new slew of mice running around my apartment. I think I have one trapped in a garbage bag and I know they can chew through the plastic but garbage day isn’t until Thursday so I’ve decided to keep rebagging the same bag of garbage every so often, hopefully bagging it more than the mice can chew through it. Pretty smart, huh! I went to the zoo twice. I generally think animals are more fun to draw than people, maybe because I’m not as self conscious as how an animal might react to seeing my drawing. Then again, as I was drawing the lions, a bird pooped on my sketchbook from above but I doubt it has anything to do with my drawing ability. But you never know. Hmmmmm. (I would have ripped out the page but I thought I had a pretty good drawing of a lioness that I’d like to keep so, yes, I decided to archive it, poop and all) Anyway for those of you that think drawing animals is harder because they always move, I think people move around just as much if not more. I guess if you stuck people in a 10′ x 12′ cage, they wouldn’t move around as much. Come to think of it, my living room is about 10′ x 12′. And I don’t move around very much when I play videogames. Hmmmm … interesting. I finished a book called Everyman’s Battle. It’s a self help book about dealing with sexual lust and although you might not think that’s very funny, there actually are some paragraphs which had me laughing out loud. One was talking about how to repel women who are attracted to you by playing the dork. I find it interesting that I don’t seem to have this problem of attracting women.


Today at lunch time, Mark spotted a guy with an ibook with these two blonde girls, one on either side of them. At that point I felt a strange attachment to my fellow macintosh kinsman. I grinned as I thought of how few we are, and yet how we are able to attract the masses to the sheer sexyness of the machine, the power of the processor, the aesthetic superiority of the operating system and how this particular user and I share an intimate bond not just through the mutual satisfaction of a brand name but through an enlighted joy of using beautiful technology. Of course it could just be that I want a girlfriend and the thought of two attractive women sitting beside a mac user like me appealed to me, but, well, that sounds so trite.

A Lift

The other day as I left Scott’s place, some black dude in a black car drove up to me and asked where I was going and I said “center city” and motioned me to get in his car while he said “come on, I’ll give you a lift” and I said “No thanks, I have a bike” as I went to my bike and i thought that this might be the only time that I could use the advice “don’t get in any cars with strangers” which I heard many times long long ago. And then as I rode off I wondered whether or not I should have reported this incident to this police and then I thought that I really didn’t have any info to give them other than the fact that it was a black man in a black car and it was probably nothing really but then I thought of the worst case scenario, if, for that brief instance I lapsed in judgment and got in that car, if I would have been driven to some dark lot and slaughtered with a knife. “Nah that couldn’t ever happen,” I told myself. But then the thought occurred to me: why did he practically floor it as he went away after he talked to me.

Friend Sale

I’ve been thinking about the formalities of going on a cross country (Philly to Portland) bike tour this summer and have run into a problem: money. It turns out it takes more than a little sweat and patience to go across the country:

  • a new bike ($$) – My bike isn’t really suited for touring not to mention it’s a little too big for me and causes backaches on long rides. But I’m not really keen about getting a touring bike because, well, racing bikes are cooler.
  • gear ($$) – According to the guy at the bike shop, includes $70 padded bike shorts and $100 panniers.
  • food ($$) – I’ve read you can burn 5000 calories in a day. I’m thinking of just getting a tub of those add-water 1000 calorie shakes but I’m not so sure about living off this stuff for a month.
  • housing ($$) – The thought of spending a night on the side of the road in a tent frightens me
  • plane ticket home ($$) – I don’t particularly want to stay in Portland.

Plus I sorta wish I had a friend to go with and you can’t really buy friends. Of course, for the right price, I’d be your friend. Email me for current prices.

Man vs. Mouse 3

Another casualty of war for the other side discovered this morning. However I’ve also noticed three out of the four other spring loaded traps not having a shred of peanut butter on them. I guess they’re not as sensitive as I had thought. I’m thinking about gluing hard candy to the metal levers but then it occurred to me that I haven’t seen mice licking any lollipops lately. But you never know. They seem to have liked the remains of my chocolate muffin. While drawing at Rittenhouse square yesterday a woman came up to me and asked if I was interested in doing any modeling. At first I thought she meant in a figure drawing class or for a painting or something but she actually meant in fashion. Yes folks, you’ve heard right. It seems the current trend in fashion is toward short, bony asian males in sunglasses with long narrow heads. Actually I’m not sure about the short part: she asked me how tall I was since I was sitting down and I told her 5’7″ and she seemed a little disappointed. But she said to show up at my appointment anyway, which is this Saturday at 11am. She said to bring a picture too. I’m not 100% up for this idea but who knows. I’m kinda curious.

Man vs. Mouse 2

Chalk up another kill for me, this time using a sticky trap. I haven’t really figured out a good way to dispose of them so I’ve been just triple bagging them and sticking them in the freezer. I think if I was irrevocably stuck to a large piece of cardboard, that’s how I would want to go. Actually I’d much rather take an overdose of sleeping pills (ahhh … sleep) but it’s not very easy to feed pills to a squealing mouse. My friend Rob from Uof W called me at work yesterday and told me he’s coming to town for a chess tournament next week. It’s going to be good to see him although he seems a little apprehensive about staying at my place with the current mouse situation. The air conditioning at the office has not been working during this inopportune season of 90 degree weather. I’m thinking of it as preparation for my next trip to Syria.

Man vs. Mouse

On Sunday I went to Home Depot and got three kinds of mouse traps — the sticky traps, the ones with the trap door, and the generic spring-loaded ones. I’m using peanut butter as bait which seemed to work for one mouse which I found dead this morning lodged in a springy trap. Yay for me. The traps with the trap doors catch the mice alive and I always wonder what I’m going to do with them if I ever catch one. I imagine all the demented forms of torture I could inflict and as tempting as that is I’ll probably end up releasing them far away from my place. Maybe I’ll ask around to see if anyone has a pet carnivorous snake.

Hot Dog Documentary

One of the highlights of my trip to Thailand was watching an inflight documentary on hotdog stands in America. Maybe just because I was hungry at the time and I hadn’t got my airplane food. I think I like airplane food in general although the portions are small. I did some drawing on the plane and read a chunk of Fellowship of the Ring. I can only sleep on planes a few hours at a time. In Tokyo my brother Texas and I were rerouted though Singapore. My mother through Hong Kong. I got to fly business class to Singapore because Texas travels a lot. They had TVs in the armrests but they weren’t showing any movies as interesting as that hot dog documentary. I just started Return of the King but I think I might postpone it until my next trip. If everything falls into place, I’ll be going back to Syria again in a few months.

Marvelous and Free

This morning, I came across one of my mom’s old emails. She writes: “I read your own website. I also saw the Legend of Mana movie. In “About me” section, it’s funny when you mentioned laundry part. I always think that I feel good about myself when my body is refreshing cleaned after the nice warm bath. And I also wear nice clean clothing. Then I feel marvelous and free. To me, to be free is to be responsible for myself. I think I am getting to know more of you from “About me” what you like, what you miss, what you feel at that particular time. I appreciate what you share in your website with me. Keep up.  I hope you are feeling better now. Take good care of yourself and drink lots of water.” I think she may have been thinking of a different movie…