lonely and leaden

Linette and Clementine are gone again tonight and I miss them. Im sitting here at the kitchen table, hoping that my current bout of diarrhea isnt symptomatic of lead poisoning, and trying to draw a comic about Clementines birth for the next issue of the Ann Arbor Paper. Im finding the comic really difficult to draw. I cant seem to strike a good balance between humor and sincerity… I also cant stand my drawings of her. For some reason it doesnt really bother me when I draw other people as misshapen, asymmetrical and lumpy versions of themselves, but it does with her. I want my drawings of her to convey how beautiful and perfect I think she is. Unfortunately, I dont seem to have the capacity for conveying beauty. Funny how that’s never been an issue for me until just now.

Perhaps I will feel better if I go to the fridge and find a beer. My hope is that theres a Harp or a Tecate somewhere near the back. I try to toss one back there every now and then for such an occasion as this…

Last night, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, I asked myself that old question, If you could have dinner with any four people from history, who would they be? Being in a somewhat political frame of mind at the time, it occurred to me that it would probably be in everyones best interest if I invited our current president and some of our nations founding fathers. (My thought was that they might be able to talk some sense into him.) I cant recall which I settled on, but I was considering the likes of Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln and Adams. As I lay there, considering this dinner party of mine, I started to imagine how it would unfold and how absolutely overwhelmed my guests from earlier times would be in the present world. (Do you recall Ben Franklins visit to the Stevens household on Bewitched? Well, my dream was kind of like that.) I was laying there, panicking about what I could possibly say to these men in a few minutes that could ready them for a discussion which would take us from corporate malfeasance to the situation in the Middle East. I got bogged down in the details. I remember thinking that before I could explain 9/11 to Mr. Lincoln that Id have to first explain to him what airplanes and skyscrapers were. That realization, for some reason, freaked me out. Then, I just sat there thinking that if such a dinner really were to take place, that wed all most likely just eat in silence. (Maybe, if things went well, Bush would talk about baseball and the others would feign interest.) Thats what I was thinking about as I fell asleep last night

Oh, I found that beer, by the way. And now Im going to slink back to the couch and try to draw a picture of my new daughter that wont have her saying bad things about me later in life Speaking of not have good things to say about ones parents, if youre a fan of childrens author Daniel Pinkwater, as I am, you may want to check out the interview he did last week with Terry Gross. Most interesting to me was his discussion of his childhood and just how much he continues to dislike his mother. Saying that she was awful and cruel, he confessed that, because of her, hes had a difficult time writing sympathetic mother characters. I never suspected that from his work though. Parents, as I recall, seldom make appearances in Pinkwater books. Perhaps this is why. (Thanks to Chelsea Lowe for tipping me off to this interview.)

And, while we’re on the subject, if youve never read my interview with Pinkwater, you should check it out.

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