August 11, 2014
We all face challenges. My daughter digs boogies from her nose like she's fighting an invasion. Sometimes her finger is up there and I honestly think I hear laser blasts. And the things she pulls out definitely look like alien ships.
My potty-training daughter can't seem to zero in on the toilet; her targeting systems are on, just not locked. I would say she should just "let go" and "trust her feelings," but I don’t think that's the problem. Thank heavens for hardwood floors.
And we don’t seem to be "typically releas[ing] a new comic each Monday," so I have to apologize. I don't think it's possible anymore. I wish it were, there is so much story and fun that I want to get out to you quicker, but requirements are pulling resources in other directions. We can only do what we can do.
So we have to tweak a bit. We will TRY – it hurts to even say this – to publish once every two weeks. And I ask that you be patient during long stretches – the strip hasn't died, it's just...time and resources.
Ending on a happy note – something cool is coming, but not in the strip. If you attend any bedding tradeshows and enjoy the strip, you will find yourself in line for a VERY nice surprise. I hope you enjoy it.
And as always, thanks for reading,
May 19, 2014
Here are two links I think you should check out. Each link is about a 20- to 30-minute time investment. They are about people struggling to deal with their emotional/mental challenges. They are great stories, and I think it's brave of them to share.
But there's another thought I want to explore after. If you can, read/watch the links below:
I hope you managed to read/watch most of that. If you're like me, there's a lot to admire and learn from what Tarol and Erin shared. Erin's video in particular helped me understand a lot of what I was going through a while back. I'm not bi-polar, but the negative drumbeats she was describing sounded very familiar. It was a relief to realize I was not alone. And Tarol, whose comic I FEVERISHLY look forward to every week (seriously, you should read it if you like anything remotely D&D), defines all the best aspects of what a one-person-produced web comic can deliver versus a branded, company-owned print comic. His very talented creative voice is clear and beautiful to hear.
That said, here's my thought (if you haven't guessed).
Music and dance.
I read a blog or watch a video like this and it makes me think about music. Can you guess why?
In each of their stories, Tarol and Erin describe how these negative thoughts just kept coming to them (for whatever reason; I'm not looking for fault), saying the same things over and over, beating on them, increasing in volume or depth, and in Erin's case, eventually screaming at them, until they (Tarol and Erin) were rendered practically helpless mentally and/or physically.
World English Dictionary
We value our thoughts like gold. We revel in the "absolute" control we have over this ONE thing in the world. Yet the patterns we create with them, the "sequences," the "tones" we adopt, the "harmony" we project, the "melodies" we craft, our minds are full of music and we are dancing all the time.
And sometimes, yes, the music gets away from us. Like a natural disaster, it grows to something beyond our control, and we are forced to dance steps we don't want to.
But if we're lucky, like Tarol and Erin, we have some friends or a partner who is willing to share their music, teach us a different tune, even grab our hand and take the lead for a while.
I highly recommend finding a great dance partner. I also recommend listening to inspiring music.
In the meantime (while you decipher my oh-so-clever metaphors), thank you Tarol and Erin for sharing your music and your dance.
And as always, thank you for reading,
April 7, 2014
We're on vacation and I'm driving, so my kids decide to tell jokes to pass the time. My oldest two deliver some good ones – "What do you call a pig that knows karate? A pork chop!" and "Knock, knock. Who's there? Interrupting cow. Interrupting c...MOO!!!"
Then my 5-year-old, excited, decides to try, "Daddy! Knock, knock! Who's there? Cow! Cow who? MOO!" And she laughs and I laugh, but the older kids were silent and my wife just smiled and we drove on and told jokes and some were funny.
And it got me thinking, if there is a system for telling jokes, as my 5-year-old daughter clearly understood, couldn't you make an algorithm that defines it? Then you could create an app, name it JOSHUA (Joke Output Simulating HilarioUs Automaton), and sell it for millions to large entities that need it most, like corporate networks whose writers go on strike (or don't), foreign regimes that shoot people with a sense of humor (like Canada), or Conan O'Brien?
Which got me thinking even more about systems, how they're everywhere, like:
So I start asking myself, since they're everywhere, how easy is it to let systems take over? Some you have to respect, like the weather, or your body, but you don't let them run your life, right? But how often have I let systems determine the places I end up in life? Like getting caught in an ocean current or a roundabout – once you're in, there's no telling where you'll get out.
I didn't like the answer. So now I ask you.
How much of your life is determined by the country you live in? The education you had? The religion you grew up with? The values you were taught? The technology available to you? The jobs you've had? The job you have? The amount of money your family had? The amount of money you have? The people who raised you? The people you grew up with? Your leaders? The people in "charge"?
Like I said, I didn't like the answer.
I'm not implying you should "fight the system" or go off the grid, or wear an aluminum hat, or pee in a jar. My point isn't to say systems are bad or good. They can be either. I just mean that honest answers to those questions will tell you that too often we let the "system," the way things are or the way things are done, take over for us.
And sometimes, I think the "system" prefers it that way.
My young daughter told a bad joke, according to the joke system. But according to a different system, I laughed at it and all her other jokes, and she was happy and so was I.
And Conan O'Brien is way overpaid.
Thanks for reading.