November 2010

11.25.10

Happy Thanksgiving, my American readers!

I'm back in Los Angeles, where the weather is beautiful as usual. It's nice not wakng up to a depressing gloom outside and people yelling at each other. In this respect, California is much more pleasant than New York.

I'm going to eat tons of pie!

For the occasion, I watched a spoof of a b-rated horror film called Thankskilling on Netflix instant watch. It's about a homicidal turkey who hunts down 5 college co-eds who are on "woooo! THANKSGIVING BREEEEEAK!" I thought it was a pretty funny and well done spoof, but I definitely don't recommend it if you can't stomach graphic scenes, adult situations, or adult language. For sickos only.

Jen

11.20.10

I don't really consider myself a brave person. For instance, I'm extremely fearful of roller coasters. The first time I go on any "fast ride" I'm almost in tears by the time we're about to board. I also have an overwhelming fear of spiders, and mere mention of one will have me running away screaming. Spiders and roller coasters have been that way for me for my entire life.

I'm also incredibly fearful of change, even good change, because I want to hold on to what's familiar and comfortable, and change brings the potential for bad things to happen. The worst kind of change is the kind of change I have to make on my own, not only because I have to make the journey by myself but also because I become fully responsible for any decisions I make.

The bravest thing I think I've ever done was move to New York. I moved to New York, as some of you may remember, for graduate school. Part of me really didn't want to go. My family was in LA, my boyfriend at the time was in LA, all of my friends of mine were in LA, and apart from an acquaintance I worked with very briefly, I didn't know a soul in New York. I was terrified, but I knew I had to do this, not just for my education, but also for my own personal growth.

New York was also scary to me because it is vastly different from Los Angeles. In New York, the people are paler, gruffer, and trample over you when you're not looking. The city is faster, grittier, and unrelenting. The supermarkets have less selection and there are cockroaches that crawl around in the produce aisle. Within a day of my parents leaving, I was terribly homesick. I actually counted out the days I had left until Thanksgiving... back in August.

School was also a culture shock. In Southern California, students and professors alike show up in shorts to class. At the Institute of Fine Arts, professors wear suits and ties, while students wear heels, pencil skirts, and blazers. There was an oppressive air of competitiveness there, and snobbiness and pretentiousness ruled supreme. The countdown to Thanksgiving slowed further.

Over the next two years, feeling crushed was a regular occurence. The toilet of tears in the IFA bathroom was a regular hang out spot. I felt like I was being broken down as an art historian, only to be built up with scotch tape and elmer's glue. I didn't understand why this school accepted me, only to suggest that I didn't know how to write or think like a graduate student. I was feeling all of these things in a city that is over 3,000 miles away from home.

To make matters worse, the more hopeless and alone I began to feel, the more ostracized I became. Nothing's worse than to come home to an empty apartment, and find out later that your roommates went out with your mutual friends, without calling you or telling you where they were. Nothing's worse than feeling unwanted in what is supposedly your home. Nothing is worse than feeling like you left your family, friends, and happiness for a new city with people who couldn't give a damn about you. I felt like I made a huge mistake.

For some reason, despite my parents telling me that I could just leave it all and go back to Los Angeles, I decided to stay in New York. Maybe it was out of stubbornness and pride, but I knew I couldn't let my fears get the better of me. With a lot of thinking, planning, and talking, I turned everything around for myself, and the last 3 years here have been great. I'm glad I was able to be brave yet again. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have met Edouard or some of my best friends.

My first two years in New York remind me of this movie I just saw (while inking) called Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows). The protagonist basically reaches a crisis point, not necessarily because of one event, but from a series of unfortunate events that come one after the other, like a constant and persistent beating.

Jen

11.05.10

Well now that the wedding's over (sad) and that Halloween's done with, I was able to chop off my hair. I was happy to be rid of it. I had grown it out for about a year to make sure there was plenty to work with for the wedding, and it was starting to get very difficult to maintain. I was originally going to donate my hair to Locks of Love, Wigs for Kids, or Pantene Beautiful Lengths but decided last minute to donate to Matters of Trust, which is a non profit organization that uses hair to clean up oil spills. My hair will likely be sent to the Gulf. I decided to donate my hair to them for several reasons. For one, I was told that the fact my hair is layered might make my hair "ineligible" for wig making- although the longest part of my hair definitely made the 10-12 inch minimum to donate, I was told they might not use my donation for their wigs because of the shorter layers I have. They probably would've used to my hair to sell to another company and use the profit to keep up with operation costs (sometimes they do this when they receive too many donations at any given time), but I felt like right now the Gulf needs my hair more. The great thing about donating your hair to Matters of Trust is that they don't have a length minimum and it doesn't matter how processed your hair is. They just need a ton of hair to clean up this environmental mess! If you're going to get a hair cut (especially if you're cutting less than 10 inches), consider sending it over to Matters of Trust. All you need to do is sweep up your hair, put it in a bag, put the bag in a box, and send it over to them. Go to their website for more info.

Here I am as Sadako/Samara btw at my school's Halloween party. Note the TV I made to fit over my head. (sorry for the bad lighting):

And here is the before/after haircut shot:

Also featured are my new glasses.

Jen

11.02.10

Remember to vote responsibly today!

I would also like to add that today's comic is one of the few times I've written about an incident that has actually happened to me. I knew a guy in college who was obsessed with medieval armor and he asked my good friend JewNick to take a stab at him in the dining hall. See tomorrow's comic for the result of that interaction.

Before you ask as to whether or not Michael Jansen IS my armored college aquaintance, I would like to say that although quirky, Mr. College Aquaintance actually had decent social skills and a good number of girlfriends and friends in college, so I would say that this Michael Jansen character is way more obnoxious and worse off.

I noticed someone on GoComics.com say that they are sick of this stereotype of the "nerd" and that this image is "old and tired." Obviously, someone has not been going to enough comic cons! =P

Seriously though, my real point is is that yes, Michael Jansen is a nerd to some degree, but I hope to show you in future comics that he's not being used like some sort of Urkel character. In fact, I think I've been hinting around in Michael's dialogue that we're dealing with someone who has been socially isolated due to his own personality problems (unrelated to whatever nerdery he does possess- this will hopefully become clearer in the future as we get to know him), which impair his ability to have good interpersonal relationship skills.

So that's that!

I've concluded the King of the Hill series, which was bittersweet. The final season is a bit weaker than the others, but the series finale (the original one- "To Sirloin with Love") was really touching. After that I watched Hamlet 2, which was decently funny... but I wasn't "cuckoo bananas" over it. Most recently I watched a psychological thriller called Deceiver, which stars Tim Roth, Chris Penn, and Michael Rooker. It's a murder mystery film involving the brutal murder of a hooker, absinthe, and lots of twists and turns, which is always a plus for me (as long as they're done well!).

Jen