I Have The Most Brilliant Students In The World

Stephanie is a poetry major. She can make poetry from anything. Here is the proof. She’s the one on the right.

Life At The Bar

I find myself always wanting to be late to work, even if its five minutes. That’s five minutes more I get to myself, and five minutes more I don’t have to be completely brain-dead. Every time I set up the liquor bottles, grab the fruit, and place out the bar mats, I’m still stuck with an extra hour of doing jack shit. That’s an hour of jack shit I’d rather be doing at home.

The floodgates open at 10:00 p.m. and in trickles the usual bar-tards; Cargo shorts, polo shirt, lanyard of some college or sports team poking out of their pocket. Did I mention the flip flops? Yeah, they all got a pair on. After a while the band decides it’s time to get the show on the road, and begin to play. I am so excited to hear another rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” or better yet, can you butcher another Metallica song please? I can’t wait for my night to be more fantastic than it already is.

The steady stream of idiots who tip me fifty cents are relentless, always wanting a drink or shot that takes more effort and more time than they deserve from me. “I need one Vegas bomb,” … Ugh, just one? “What’s something I can get with vodka in it?”… “How about a vodka cranberry?”… “Do you have Guinness?” “No, sorry, not back here.” … “Oh, uh, then can I just get one Irish car bomb?” You Jagbag, I told you already we don’t have Guinness in the band room. Of course, if I said that out loud I’d probably get fired. Or then again maybe not, depends on how drunk management is by then.

The real reason I put myself through this every weekend isn’t because of the money, or the simple joy of having a steady job, it’s because of Rob. The one coworker out of the countless many who I have ever worked with is the only one that I truly call a friend. I can honestly say that I love this guy, and trust me, not in a sexual way. Rob is loud, obnoxious, sexist, even though he himself looks eight months pregnant, and he’s undeniably hilarious. The gut-busting stories of his “whore of a cheating ex-fiancé (his words, not mine), and his adorable but dumb-as-a-sack-of-rocks cousin, whom we work with, never fail to make my night of Hell, Heaven. Did I mention his nickname is Bubba? That should illustrate the type of person, aesthetically as least, that I am dealing with here.

I don’t love my job, and I don’t make it my life or second home like some of the people I work with do, but I will always be indebted to it because it’s where I met Rob.

The first time I met Rob, he was face first into a massive burrito. Where his eyes should have been, all I could see was tortilla. Lettuce cascaded periodically down the front of his black collared work shirt, and onto the crest of his mountainous belly.

For a minute there, I seriously thought he was Homer Simpson; all he needed was a Duff beer and a brown couch to be sitting on.

His bald head reflected the green, blue, and red dancing strobe lights, while his hulking forearms held the massive monstrosity he was consuming. I wondered how anyone could eat something that horrible without wanting to cry from the shame, or throw up from the disgust, but Robe reveled in this two-ton taco like a pig at a slop bucket. After one glorious belch and ass scratch, Rob looked up from his demolished meal, smiled, and nonchalantly introduced himself; as if there is a need to anymore. I have already witnessed him massacre a cow, and by default I am now an accomplish when P.E.T.A. comes after him, so naturally we are now best friends, partners in crime, ying to yang sort of crap. As a female, I should be disgusted with his lack of common manners, but honestly, I was intrigued. What level of confidence, what ego, what rejection of civility, this carnivorous beast who just inhaled three pounds of beer without so much as blinking an eye must have. I knew after the ass scratch that we were soul mates.

Again, she’s the one on the right.

Sylvia Archive: When Disbelief Hits

Take a tip from The Woman Who when hearing strange reports.  Or just click for a bigger comic.

Writing As A Calling

Will Phillip Roth regret his decision never to write another novel? Will he miss what after all has been the central focus in his life for many, many years? Will he begin to write stories on the back of napkins in coffee shops? Will he secret little scraps in his pockets and pay some child to reassemble them? (One of my favorite scene in Argo was the hiring of  poor children with tiny hands to reassemble photographs of embassy employees that had been shredded )

Do I miss my 35 years of doing Sylvia six days a week? I’m not sure. Let’s start with what I don’t miss. I don’t miss the difficult task of transmuting a political situation into a set up and then an ironic retort from Sylvia. Very rarely did a political commentary on an event spring full-blown onto the page. It was a matter of writing and rewriting.  What I do miss is drawing cats saying whiney irritating things. They come to me now, crowding my head with their constant demands. I have created a panel to put these thoughts down. I didn’t want to draw it. It took a long time, but here it is, and I will bring fresh ones to you every once in a while. Don’t nag me. I’ve been nagged at by masters.

News Flash, Feminism Is To Blame

Feminism is failing working class women, says IPPR study.

This is the kind of headline that makes my hair stand on end. Once again feminism has let working class women down. It’s not the fault of corporations, sexism or a government that doesn’t care about its workers and their children… it’s feminism. Actually the study confirms what we already knew. It’s the title that angered me and which sells magazines.

When I first read it, I was blinded by extreme annoyance. I drew two characters, one who should be allowed to read articles like this and the other who should take a Xanax while reading practically anything.

Richard Bready sent me the article and as usual has an interesting response. Here it is.

My view, if you want to put the cat among the pigeons, is that feminism has been defeated; racial equality has been defeated; unions have been defeated. This process has been steady since 1980. A major tactic of the victors has been to co-opt potential leaders, away from the groups they would otherwise organize for collective benefit, into the structures of power and personal benefit. Not many people would say, forget Harvard Law School, I want to stay here as a community organizer. So the communities have no leaders and no voices.

Really good on this is Walter Benn Michaels in The Trouble with Diversity. We have lots of privileged successful people from minority groups, but the groups, and the working class, are steadily worse off.

And–really, you may not want to depress and annoy your readers with all this–the situation gets worse, as the study described in the article says. And it is steadily concealed from people by emphasis on self-esteem, on ethnicity of casts in sitcoms, by xenophobia, by the old message that you have only yourself to blame for not being exceptional, by the distractions of popular culture, by the manipulation of group interests to draw political donations and votes. Abortion may soon be illegalized, but hey, lesbians can have weddings and adopt. Could Earl hypnotize me to believe in an organization that arranges for unwanted babies to go to gay couples?

And so of course a serious study on the worsening economic situation of women gets headlined as “feminism has failed.” Nyaah, nyaah.

In short, after we all stood up for ourselves, we all got conned.


Feminists are always to blame cleaned up

While We’re Talking About Feminism… .

As long as we’re on the subject of feminism, let’s take a look at this Salon.com post.


Clockwise, from top left: Carla Bruni, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Marissa Mayer, Sandra Day O’Connor, Madonna (Credit: AP/Jordan Strauss/Manuel Balce Ceneta/Reuters/Stephen Lam)


Sylvia Archive: The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Lonely Detective may have his hands full.  Click the strip for better detail.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sylvia Archive: Lifespans According To The Psychic

She can see the future of all things.  Add to her predictions in a comment.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Nicole & Nicole Hit The Streets

We visited RR #1 on Ashland near Chicago Avenue last week. It’s a stuff store, but what is especially interesting about it is that it used to be a pharmacy and the cabinets and floor and ceiling remain intact.  I wasn’t able to find anything about the pharmacy and scoured the internet to little avail. It was Gapinski Pharmacy. The guy running RR #1 let me look all around and told me what he knew.

Seeing as this was a Nicole and Nicole adventure, we also stopped for pie around the corner at Hoosier Mama Pie. Very good pie.

Display at Gapinski Pharmacy/RR #1

Tile at Gapinski Pharmacy/RR #1

More display at Gapinski Pharmacy/RR #1

Close-up at Gapinski Pharmacy/RR #1

Old cabinets from Gapinski Pharmacy in new use at RR #1

Amazing pie

For more photos of the current RR #1, check out: http://gallery.apartmenttherapy.com/photo/052206RRchicago/item/57082

And the only substantive article with a bit more history of the pharmacy: http://www.chicagotips.com/chicagotips/2005/10/gapinski_pharma.html

A related store in Milwaukee? http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/mkenh/id/519/rec/1

Finally Some News On Pussy Riot

This is a video from 60 Minutes, so it has two ads at the beginning and rather a slow start, but it’s tremendous and more in depth than anything you’ve seen on Pussy Riot. And the Salon article where it was found.


Sylvia Archive: Archeological Work

Scientists do it in the field, Sylvia and Rita at home. Click the strip for a larger comic.