maynard

Exploratorium; Day One

I know, I know, today is Monday, not Sunday but I did a lot of driving yesterday, couldn't write during that, and then there was dinner and talking to Sky, and by then, I was so tired I went to sleep.

Which just about sums up yesterday.

Today we went to the Exploratorium for our first day of Scott being an Osher Fellow. Which means we get to hang out at the museum for two weeks, and talk to people! We spent all of the day with Claire, our host. It's because of her we were there both last time, and this. She's incredibly smart and much fun.

While Scott is an Osher Fellow for two weeks, Larry Sass is an Osher Fellow for this week only. We'd not met him before, but we had so much fun talking to him that we plan on doing it a whole lot more. He's an architect and teaches at MIT and is trying to change the world. I suspect he will succeed.

Dinner was me at the hotel talking to Sky on the phone, whilst Scott got us food that we ate in the room.

Bucky is with us, and he as been amazingly awesome. It's like I got my dog back! There has been no growling (at me, anyway), only wonderfulness!

Anyway, I need to sleep, getting caught out in the rain has given me a sore throat and I want to nurse it by getting extra sleep.

I leave you with a picture of Pirate Scott.


And Bucky being adorable in his stroller at dinner last night.
maynard

March 18: San Francisco Here We Come!

[I wrote this post yesterday. I'd planned to post it after GameNight, but a friend and I worked on a puzzle until 3am, so I was much too tired to think about anything other than sleep. I've left it as is, and added an ending. That means that "today" means "yesterday," and "tomorrow" means "today." (Can you tell I'm really tired?)]

Tomorrow we get ready for our next trip. Sunday, we drive to San Francisco. We, being Scott, Bucky, and I. I'm expecting that I will feel better when I'm on the road. I know what's expected of me. Lately I've been floating, aimlessly.

Today I'm doing laundry. This is what passes for excitement when I'm not on the road (and, as longtime readers know, sometimes when I'm on the road).

My hair is not the way I want it. We'll see if I have time to fix it.

See, when my brain is not doing well, my blog posts aren't very exciting. You would think that nothing has happened to me in ages, which is totally wrong. All sorts of things have happened.

The most recent thing is not a good thing. Sky's housemates have decided they want a friend to move into her room and have given her until June to move out. If you know an awesome place or person in Portland, OR that would be good for a very smart blind 23 year old and her adorable dog, please let me know...

The last week or so has been all about teeth here. Bucky had his cleaned and two removed; he's still on pain meds and antibiotics and can only eat mushy food. Because of Scott, I got mine cleaned, I need a deeper cleaning, but mostly I'm good. Scott, on the other hand, not so much. He started all the dental visits because his tooth hurt. Turns out it was rotted inside and had to be removed. It broke off while they were trying to remove it and they had to dig the remaining part out. Ow ow ow.

So, Scott is missing a tooth and looks a bit piratey. And he's been in pain for close to two weeks, though I think it's finally easing up. It'll be six months before they can fix the hole; so Pirate Scott is around for awhile. Hopefully it's more noticeable to me than others.

I've gone to many many movies. Some of which I wish I hadn't seen, and others I've already seen multiple times (If lying and embarrassing situations bother you as much as they bother me, avoid seeing "Hello, My Name is Doris": we saw it last night and I left the theatre feeling worse than when I went in) ("Zootopia" I've seen twice and if you want to see it, I'm up for going several more times).

I've spent time with friends. I'm an extrovert and it surprises me, but it's true: spending time with people makes me feel better. It doesn't hurt that I have awesome friends.

Tonight is GameNight. I'll probably post this after, and when I do, I expect I'll be feeling much better after spending the evening with wonderful people, and I will laugh at my several hours ago self for feeling so down.

I'm gonna change the subject before I get too maudlin.

I like writing. When I've posted something I feel better about life, but getting started is always hard. So, once again, I'm going to force myself to write more by promising to post everyday of the trip.

Starting Sunday I will write and post something about our day. And, again, I will include at least one picture. That's a promise, and I try very hard not to break promises.

Since I have spent today doing laundry, talking to Sky on the phone, and playing Candy Crush, I don't have any exciting pictures. Maybe I'll take one at GameNight.

[Saturday me, here again. I did not take any pics at GameNight so I'll start that tomorrow. See you then! (And GameNight did make me feel better, and very tired)]
maynard

This is what I needed to write today

I'm on hold with the DMV (calling for my Mom). Let's see what I can write while waiting.

I'm kinda depressed, which makes writing harder. My Dr. upped the dosage of my happy pills (as Scott calls them), so we'll see if it helps.

I kinda feel like talking about depression today, so um, sorry.

Thing is, I've been dealing with depression for as long as I can remember. I've never seriously tried to kill myself, but I've thought about it. A lot. I've been on meds for a few years now.

When I was younger, I didn't want to be on anything for it. The fact that they didn't know WHY the drugs worked made me skeptical. In Scott's book, The Sculptor, Meg (who was based heavily on me) says she doesn't want to take anything for her depression because she, "wants to feel everything." When the book first came out, I read a review that was particularly upset with that part. They were right, it's a very stupid attitude to have, but sadly, it's a direct quote from me. That whole part of the book is hard for me to read because it's ripped directly out of our life together. It took me years to get over myself and start helping myself instead.

It took a bunch of people I love, as well, to make me realize that my depression was NOT something I had to just live with. And that helping myself helped everyone. I can't thank them enough.

Its not perfect. I'm taking my meds, but I'm still pretty bad right now. But I also have a UTI, and my back's been acting up again, all of which makes me feel yucky. I hate this feeling; I'm just in a fog. I thought the anti-depressants would do that to me, but it turns out that they had the opposite affect of lifting the fog.

But it's not perfect, and this week I'm sad.

There are a lot of us out there. Some people never get help because they're afraid of the stigma. Which is why I'm writing this. When people don't talk about emotional problems, then fellow sufferers feel they are alone. But they're not. There are lots and lots of us.

Scott, who is an awesome husband and took my decades-ago instruction, "Don't let me push you away" to heart, has kidnapped me and brought me to his studio. I've now been on hold with the DMV for 40min, but I'm writing. Something. And it makes me feel a little better.

This weekend, Scott will be teaching a 2-day workshop at LAAFA and I will be with him. Hopefully, the new drugs will have kicked in by then, but even if they haven't, no one there will know I'm sad. I'm very good at keeping it under wraps when I need to. And I'm an extrovert, so I get more energy when I'm around a bunch of people. Plus, I love helping Scott at his workshops. They are heaps of fun, and the work produced is always interesting (in the best possible use of the word)!

And tomorrow night is Game Night. That's a good thing.

Cool things are happening with our kids, so that's good, too.

When I'm out of this funk, I'll write an uplifting post. Until then; thanks for reading this far. If I see you in person, I will gladly accept any hugs you're willing to give...

(Still on hold with the DMV; now at 57 min)
(Scott has now proofread this, and I'm about to post; 1hr 15min and they answered just as I typed that.)
maynard

Post One of 2016

When I don't write for awhile, so much happens that I lose track! I'm gonna TRY to post once a week ("try" being the operative word here). It's my New Year's Resolution, and I'm getting off to a very late start!

My holidays were pretty awesome. How were yours?

I have stories. This season, we had both girls for Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years. Which was not a given, as they are both farther away these days. That means I'm overwhelmed with things to write about.

Scott says I should make this Part One of many, and get it up quick, so I have a start.

So here goes.

I'm going to tell you about The Exploratorium. Do you know it? It is one of my favorite museums in the world. I bonded with the head of The Children's Museum (in Boston) when I worked there over our love of The Exploratorium. It's a very hands-on museum, and you can't help learning something every time you visit. And because of the way you're learning, you don't forget, either. It sticks with you. If you haven't been, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have so much love for it.

Which is why I was beyond excited when Scott was asked to come visit for two days. They wanted to talk to him about all the things he's now obsessed with (essentially what will be his next book) and he wanted to talk to them! Mutual brain picking. Scott told our host that I loved the museum, had worked in museums in Boston (for those who don't know, I worked at both Children's and Science. I love museums), and that I'd be driving. Instantly, I was included in everything. My opinion was also considered important. This is a big thing for me. I tend to feel like Scott's appendage, so it was pretty awesome to be seen as someone with valid opinions.

In mid-November, Scott and I drove up to SF. We spent a Monday in the museum while it was closed. We got to play with things, talk to lots of people and have an amazing day. On Tuesday we came back and got to watch the museum with people in it, and I forced Scott into the sensory deprivation dome. We met more people and saw things being worked on. And, surprisingly, even after meeting me, people still took my comments seriously!

It was a wonderful couple days. There was also a nice seafood meal, lots of sourdough bread, a trip to the Musée Méchanique and some beautiful walks.

And I guess there is where it should end.

But it doesn't.

They have asked Scott and I back! With Bucky, since they are a dog friendly museum! So at the end of March we are spending TWO WEEKS at the Exploratorium! I am so excited! After the two weeks we are going in different directions, so that still needs to be worked out...

From there, I'm going to Seattle and then Portland, so if you are in one of those places and want to see me (or us), let me know!

And that's enough for today.
maynard

My new job! (Well, sort of)

I recently told people that I got an AWESOME new job, but didn't give any details. There's a reason for that. But since so many people asked about it, I thought I'd let you know what I could!

First off, it's very temporary. I started this past Friday, and, if all goes as it should, I end on this coming Friday (8 days total).

Second, it's in Valencia, which I could commute to, but the hours are such that they are putting me up here. (So nice to have some quiet time: terrible for holiday shopping, though)

As for what the job actually is, that's what I'm not sure if I can tell you. None of us are sure of what we're allowed to tell people.

BUT, I do have this very interesting article I can link you to...now I'm not SAYING, it has anything to do with what I'm doing... I'll let you draw your own conclusions (wink wink):
Read here.
(I'll add that where it says four, you should change that to six)

So that's my life! I'm going back home for Star Wars on Thursday late night, then coming back here for Friday. If all is done, I should be back in time for Game Night, with many stories! I'm sure il be safe to talk about it after Christmas...
maynard

The End of the Trip

We are home.

We have been since Sunday night, and it's now Thursday. There should be a lot to catch up on, and there is, sort of, but most of it isn't very interesting. So I've been putting off writing. Well, okay, honestly, I've mostly been exhausted so I've tried to get a bit done every day but haven't been up to much more.

The rest of the trip home was driving, Los Vegas, and more driving. As usual, Vegas was way too hot, but we spent most of our outdoor time at night which wasn't quite as bad. We walked a lot. Discovered a bunch of walkways that connected the hotels from the second floor. A bit scary with my fear of heights, but nowhere near as scary as the tram/monorail/whatever that we took.

Our excitement (we are old) consisted of eating at the buffet at MGM Grand (this is a Scott thing, he loves this buffet, I think it's okay but really expensive and would love to try others; someday we will be back for more than 20 hours), seeing the fountains at The Bellagio (we're suckers, we love them), and walking. A lot.

In the morning we gambled.

My mom asked me to spend $10 on the slots (the only kind of gambling I've ever done in Vegas), so I did. So did Scott. It was his first time ever, and it was totally different from the last time I did it so we both had to learn how the slot machines work. Haha. I have NO idea how they work. They confuse me no end. But I now know how to put money in, and get it back out to go to another machine or to cash out (everything's done with paper these days-much harder to spend a set amount and keep winnings separate). In the end, we spent $20 total, and saved our winnings of ~$5. So, two or so hours of fun for $15!

Our favorite machine was the Batman one. It had cut scenes from the TV show of our youth. Very cool.

We got to Vegas at around 5pm on Saturday night. We left at around noon or 1pm on Sunday. Got home Sunday night. Had dinner with my mom. Then watched an entire week of Jeopardy, to see Amazing Young Matt.

That's about it. Laundry took forever. There was a lot. I've paid some bills. We've been watching Steven Universe every free minute. Outside of Jeopardy and the debate that's all we watched (and the first episode of Rick and Morty which I fear is a very Ivy-unfriendly show).

Tonight we are going to the movie theatre to see Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet. To be honest, it's not my favorite play. I have much of it memorized, but I don't like it (I don't like Romeo and Juliet either, I'm full of unpopular opinions). But Mr Cumberbatch is so talented that it's worth it just to see him. I'm very excited about this!

In other news, yesterday, Winter was in lockdown at her school. She was alone in her dorm room and understandably upset. There was a shooting nearby. Not on campus, had nothing to do with the school, but because it was close the school took the precaution. Last I heard, they still haven't found the shooter(s). A 15 year-old is dead and a 17 year-old is injured. Can we stop with the guns already? Have enough people died yet? Winter and her friends are fine, I'm just really tired of hearing about people shooting other people, especially kids. I'm ready for this to stop. I've been ready for a long time now.

Okay, let's talk about something happy: tomorrow is Friday! We are home! That means, yup, you guessed it, GAME NIGHT!! Any locals who want in, please come! If you don't remember where we are (my mom's place), ping me! And don't forget to 6:15 if you want in on sushi or pizza. I'm guessing it's gonna be a pretty awesome night.

And there's other cool news pending. If you're at GN, you'll probably hear everything, but I'll post about it once things are real...

And the next post will finally be about Vermont and that part of our trip.

(Wow, this is pretty long considering I thought I had nothing to say)

(Note 2: Just got back from Hamlet. Pretty awesome. Overshadowed a bit by my run and subsequent fall during intermission. My arm is quite a sight. Haven't looked at my hip yet. It's over an hour later and I'm still in pain. Ow. Guess my leg's not as perfect as I thought it was? But, Hamlet was well worth the pain!)
maynard

I must sleep!

I'm so tired that I'm not even gonna do the Twitter/Facebook thing to tell people this is here until tomorrow. Now THAT'S tired!

Today we drove just under 600miles (I think; the odometer recording today's mileage got accidentally zeroed out at some point, so I'm not positive).

We are in Colorado. Almost at the end of the state. I can't remember the name of the city, but it's more than one word long (Scott's asleep and I'm in the dark, so I can't check the phone or anything).

As always, the best part of driving through Colorado is...well, Colorado. So beautiful. This is the best of the pictures I took today:



This does not begin to do the beauty that is Colorado justice. It was getting dark, so we only stopped at one rest area, which was sad, but driving in this dark scares me more than Colorado is beautiful.

Dinner tonight was at an Italian restaurant and was delicious.

But, more importantly, they had paper on the table, and gave us crayons to draw with.

Here are our drawings (so clear which one was drawn by the Artist, and which was drawn by the significantly less talented Wife)







I can't keep my eyes open, and we're getting up early tomorrow because we wanna get to Vegas early enough to have fun. I'll try to write more then.

Good night!
maynard

I've Decided to Cheat

Okay. I've decided to cheat. When I left off my narrative we were done with Milwaukee. After that came a stop in Syracuse, several days in Vermont, a quick night in Canada, and a longer stop back at Syracuse.

I have a lot to say about all of the above, but I'm not feeling great. A got a slight cold in Vermont, and I've been plagued with stomach stuff ever since. And I don't want to fall more behind, so...

What I've decided to do is blog our trip back out west. We've already done about half the trip so I'll catch you up on the last few days, then make sure to write something everyday until we get home (which, if all goes well, should be Sunday). On Monday, I should have all day to sleep, play with my dog (whom I miss terribly), do laundry, hug and talk to my mom, and write up the Vermont and Syracuse portions of our trip.

So,

We started our drive late on Tuesday (I'll explain why when I write that part on Monday) and only managed to drive to Buffalo. I made us stop early because Tuesday is movie night, and I had a plan! And it worked!! We stopped early enough that we were able to make it to see the Riff Trax version of Miami Connection. I do not remember the last time I laughed so hard! It was the perfect way to start our trip, especially since we've decided we no longer have time for much more than getting back ASAP.

Wednesday we drove just under 600 miles. Highlights of the day included;

• Stopping at a random Dunkin' Donuts and them HAVING MY CHOCOLATE KREME DONUTS! This is a big deal in Ivy world. I bought two.
• Eating lunch at a Burger King that looked nothing like a Burger King.
• Drinking way too much Diet Dr Pepper.
• Having dinner at Cracker Barrel
• Frozen Custard

The Frozen Custard deserves its own paragraph. See, to my knowledge, I'd never had frozen custard before this trip. In the last few weeks I've had it four times. I seem to like it. Did you know it existed? Hmm, I have a lot to say about it, but it's getting late, and I need to drive 600 miles tomorrow, so I'm adding a note to write about frozen custard on my Vermont blog.

Last night's hotel room (in Peru, IL) was quite grand. They gave us a handicapped suite. I was too ill and tired to fully appreciate it. But I did take a picture! Actually I tried to take a pic at every place we stopped. Some pretty boring pictures there. Here's the pic of the room:


While I'm picturing things, mmmm donuts!:



Today we drove about 560miles. This day was even less exciting than yesterday. My pictures today are lame, and yet, more interesting than the day was. We did listen to some great podcasts, so that part was fun. I think today's highlight was getting to talk to both girls on the phone. And, to a much lesser extent, having dinner at Red Lobster.

We are in Kearney, Nebraska. It's near Lexington, Nebraska, which I didn't know existed until today. Tomorrow we gain another hour, so 600 miles should be doable. I'll comment on all comments and messages then.

Here's today's best pics:







Oh, and Game Night Gang, if you've read this far: there WILL be a Game Night this coming Friday (October 16th), at my mom's!
maynard

Milwaukee

I know, I know, I've been sick, okay? Well really that's no excuse, since I've only been sick for a few days, but it sounds good...?

I'm sitting in Bird Library, at Syracuse University. Waiting. And writing. Winter is at a nearby school, observing a math teacher, and Scott is taking a walk. When we first got to the library, I found a comfy seat, sat down, and looked up at the books in my direct line of sight. Standing on a shelf, clearly on display, was Scott's book Making Comics. I keep looking up at it and smiling as I write this!

I can't seem to get the Internet to work, so I'm never sure when this will get posted (or finished, for that matter) but at least I'm starting.

I believe we were heading for Milwaukee last I wrote? Milwaukee was mostly about our friend Kennan. He is a professor there (as is his partner, but she's on sabbatical doing awesome things, which is great for her, but sad for us, since she wasn't there). I have known Kennan since he was about 13. He might not be related to us, but he is family. And we do not see nearly enough of him these days, so it was wonderful to be able to spend some time with him.

We got into town on Thursday evening, got a tour of Kennan (and Carolyn)'s house (wow, is their house beautiful!). Then dinner at a tiny Italian place. Mm, pasta.

(Since the above was written, 24hours have passed, and I'm now in a hotel in Syracuse waiting to go to a meeting with Winter)

Friday was the talk. I don't remember what we did during the day. I know the talk was around 6pm. Our hosts were the college's comic club called "Bam! Pow! Comics." Now that our youngest child is twenty, everyone college age seems really young. And so did they. But, as one would expect, they were adorably geeky. In other words, our kind of people.

Kennan made it just in time to the talk, and joined us and the comics club gang at dinner at a local hamburger place. They opened the upstairs for us, so we got to be as rowdy as we wanted to be, which wasn't very, actually, but there were some lively discussions, though I no longer remember what they were about.

Saturday was all about touring Milwaukee with Kennan. We went to the beautiful art museum with the sail, which was mostly closed, so we got to enjoy the entrance and lobby. Then we went to a coffee shop that used to be a pumping station (it was pretty cool). It was followed by a trip to the Public Museum.

Before going there Kennan warned us that it was an incredibly kitschy museum that was not to everyone's taste. In other words, our kind of place. And it was, it so was. The one problem was that we got there late enough that we only had time to explore the first floor fully. But, since it had the amazing European Village we most definitely got our money's worth. It was so cool people! You have no idea! And so wrong in so many ways. This, we took pictures of. Here's one of Scott trying to look like the guy with the plans (technically this was part of the history of Milwaukee part, but it was right next to Europe, and we took the picture):


And here's part of the Jewish room. I found this particularly amusing. Get it, they're Jewish, that means money must be involved!:


I could've spent all day in that museum!

We ended our Milwaukee tour with The Fonz. I did not take a picture, but trust me, on the river walk in town, is a statue of The Fonz, it was the Bronze Fonz. I kid you not!

That was the week that Pawn Sacrifice came out, and Scott was dying to see it. So we did! Kennan took us to this beautiful theater to see it. It was one of those big theaters with a balcony and everything. It had been converted into three screens, two tiny and one large. Two of them were being used for a film festival in town, so it was rather crowded, but since we were seeing a non-festival show ours wasn't so bad. We all liked the movie. It was a while ago now, so my memory is nebulous, but I'd recommend it. Though it did make me sad.

That night we spent the night at Kennan's. I think that few days with Kennan was more time than I'd spent with him in decades. The next morning we went to a pancake house that was so good that if I lived there, I'd be eating there every morning. It might've been the best French toast I've ever had. So good.

But then we had to say goodbye to Kennan, Milwaukee, and this narrative.

I need to go now to get to that meeting with Winter. I'll proof and post this tonight, then write up Vermont and our present trip to SU. I will catch up eventually!
maynard

SPX!

I'm sitting here at a laundromat filling the time while machines do their work. I figure writing this is my work and it's time to try to put the last few days into perspective.

SPX stands for Small Press eXpo (I know, the letters don't really match, but whatever) and takes place in Bethesda, Maryland. We have only done the show a few times. Scott's been to one or two without me. The thing about SPX is that it's small and there are lots of cool young cartoonists. This means there's the ability to have actual conversations with people and you come back with lots of great new comics.

(Okay, that didn't work. The laundromat had the TV on too loud for me to concentrate. Then life. So I'm finishing this today, Wednesday.)

But this year the show seemed to have a vibe. I've been trying to figure out a way to express it. The closest I've been able to come up with is Circle of Life? I got to talk to lots of people (my favorite part of any con), but many of my conversations were about the big things. There was more than one good friend who is getting a divorce, others getting married. My mom called to tell me a friend of ours had died, and there were other recently deceased people being talked about at length, and babies! Besides getting word of Neil and Amanda having their baby, I got to hold a beautiful four month old, and see a friend we'd met earlier this year who was due practically any minute. I spent the whole weekend feeling sad and happy simultaneously. Which is not easy. And not actually fun (except for the holding the baby part, that was just happy!).

Then there were my friends. There were a bunch of people I'd hoped to spend some time with, and our time together (if we saw each other at all) was enough for a hug, and not much more. On the other hand, I actually got some real time with people I've not gotten to hang with in far too long, so that was great.

In the just fun portion of the weekend, I did get to see some panels and they were all very interesting and lots of fun. Scott's panel was well-received, and I had (as usual) a great time kibitzing from the front row! So many people mentioned loving the panel throughout the rest of the day, which was cool. Scott had two signings at the CBLDF booth, and they both had huge lines, people even got turned away (which was both sad and cool).

All in all, I had a good weekend, I guess. Just a little bit off, not right. I'm not loving growing old.

Though the nearby Dunkin' Donuts did have my favorite kind (Chocolate Kreme: So. Good!), so that part was solidly happy.

The Monday after the con, we were invited to stop by Richard Thompson's (of Cul De Sac fame) house for a visit. So of course we went. Richard was a political cartoonist before he started working on the strip. Cul de Sac is considered one of the best comic strips of recent history. It's pretty awesome. Thing is, Richard developed Parkinson's Disease, and his career ended. He's now in a wheelchair, with limited capacity to do much. Talking is not easy for him. Meeting him, for me, was an honor. I love meeting funny, smart people. I wished I'd met him before he was sick. As it was, I could understand much of what he said, but not all. I expect he was much more interested in meeting Scott, but he included me in the conversation as well. When we left, I wanted to scream at the universe for being so cruel. And to just sit in the car and cry for how senseless it all was. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to meet him. I hope I will be able to do so again (along with his family, who I gather have quite a bit in common with me).

Thank you, again, Shena, for arranging it!

After meeting with Richard, Scott and I drove off to a hotel a few hours away in Pennsylvania, where we've been hiding out ever since. I did laundry, Scott answered email. We went to two (or three, depending on how you count) movies (We saw Grandma together, the next day Scott saw Black Mass, while at the same time I saw Maze Runner 2).

And I've, very slowly written this post. Tomorrow we head for Milwaukee, where Scott speaks on Friday.

I'll likely wait until after that to post again.

Just realized I was supposed to fast today, and didn't. Told Scott I'd do it tomorrow, and he said I'm not allowed to because I'll be driving all day. He's right. Arg. I am such a bad Jew. :-(