Note to Self: Reschedule Parent-Teacher Conferences When I’m Not There to Defend Myself

Me, after the Parent-Teacher Conference

Me, after yesterday’s Parent-Teacher Conference

It’s been a rough week. I learned my non-smoking friend Meryl with two daughters 5 and under has Stage 4 lung cancer. And in lesser news, a nasty virus and high fever kept me down for the count. In my vulnerable state, I should have rescheduled that Parent-Teacher conference, but my fever-induced brain led me to believe it a good idea to let the appointment stand without me present. Which is how I got thrown under the bus. By my very own fertilized ovum.  And by Dave.

All is well in Jack Land – his grades are good, he’s smart, he’s creative, but he tends to not double-check his homework in his rush to go socialize (a trait from my side of the gene pool, admittedly). He was present with Dave during the teacher’s discussion of Jack’s depeche mode for managing his school work. And that was the moment when 9-year-old Master Jack made the damning statement: “I need to not have Mama in the room with me when I do my homework. She’s too much of a distraction.” And Dave agreed!

Wow. That was an eye opener. Without solicitation, Jack elaborated further: “Mama is too silly…she makes me laugh too much.”

I guess there are worse things that could be said about me, but lest you think I’m this household’s Disney parent, it was I who banned Jack from all electronics this past week until he proved he could recite his multiplication table. The whole enchilada, not just one line of it. And it was Dave who lifted the ban just long enough to play Diablo as Jack’s reward for reciting just one line of it.

If that teacher ever wants to go party, I’m guessing I’ll be the one who gets that phone call.

But back to my friend Meryl. If you are interested in helping Meryl, here is a link to our online fundraiser. Believe me–every dollar helps. Thank you for anything you can do. I hate cancer.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/meryldine-s-miracle/249989

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Meet the Newest Member of Our Family: JONESY, the Hairless Cat

Jonesy, the Sphynx (Hairless) Cat

Jonesy, our new Sphynx (Hairless) Cat

This is our new male kitten, Jonesy. I know, I know, so ugly he’s cute, right? RIGHT?!? Jonesy is joining our family sometime in mid November. Yes, sci-fi fans, you’ve caught the reference. Jonesy is named for Ellen Ripley’s cat in ALIEN. Had Jonesy been a girl, Jack waffled between christening her Ripley or Lumpy Space Princess (an Adventure Time reference).

This is my first rodeo with a hairless cat. From what I’m reading online, there will be many adjustments:

  • Weekly baths (which they resist, just like any normal cat)
  • Weekly nail trimmings (this detail makes me nervous–I accidentally snipped a nail pad on my Himalayan cat years ago and my white bathroom resembled a mafia crime scene)
  • More laundry for me to do

I am told Jonesy will need some little outfits to stay warm, since Dave likes to keep our house temperature set somewhere between, say, “I-think-I-can-see-my-own-breath” and Rocky Balboa’s meat locker. One of our friends already gifted Jonesy with his very own Superman costume. If any of you following me have Sphynx cat experience, I’m open to your words of wisdom.

I’m a firm believer every child should grow up with a pet–it teaches kids empathy and responsibility. (And if there’s ever a concern over whether or not a child is a sociopath, it becomes readily apparent in how they treat animals. And no, I’m not worried about Jack, the pied piper of strays.)

I grew up with a menagerie of pets on a parcel of land from my great grandparents’ farm. Some of my stranger indoor pets included my ginger and white pet mouse Algernon, a crawdad I brought in from the creek that ran on our property, and the salamander I “rescued” one fall, which required weekly trips to the pet store for meal worms. I also had pet rabbits in a hutch outside. Given Jack’s allergies to pet hair, and my absolute phobia of snakes and birds, the Sphynx cat seemed our best starter pet for the new menagerie. Did I say menagerie aloud? Don’t tell Dave, but my close friend–another Denise–is breeding her Standard Poodle next week, so…

How to Exhibit BETTER at Conventions

Dear Readers,

Thank YOU. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to write to us, share your own narratives, and respectfully share great ideas with us.  For many of you, like, say, Marc Alan Fishman of Unshaven Comics, losing money at #SDCC isn’t your truth, and we are genuinely happy that it isn’t. Marc’s thoughts are here. Chicago artist friend Gene Ha shared his amazing blog, which included content on how to display at conventions and how to sell at conventions. Gene also turned us onto the great convention display of artist Terry Huddleston. I think our friends Donato Giancola and Jason Palmer also do a great job with convention booth displays and here are some images of their booths.

A Jason Palmer Booth Display at SDCC

A Jason Palmer Booth Display at SDCC

A sliver of Donato Giancola's elegant booth display at SDCC

A sliver of Donato Giancola’s elegant booth display at SDCC

Today Dave and I will be guests on Wendi Freeman’s podcast, Double Page Spread regarding this whole convention controversy topic–and other topics–so give us a listen if you’re interested and do check out Wendi’s great podcast. She’s a lot of fun and has great content.

Here’s a final thought for today. Led by our artist friend Jim Pavelec, there is a site called ArtPact.com a free and subscription-based private group dedicated to sharing information among comic book freelancers. I requested that Jim add a forum for creators to anonymously discuss which conventions worked, and why or why not they worked. He assured me that he would be adding that conventions forum module to his site. ArtPact.com enables freelancers in the comic book industry the freedom to anonymously share information without fear of repercussion. Users review the various publishers and art directors they work for, they share contracts, and they have already affected some change within the entertainment industry in terms of contracts and payment terms. There’s a free version, and there’s a $29/year version. I’d recommend you do the latter to get the full benefit. Disclaimer: I make no money from ArtPact.com.

Thank you for reading, and keep those great ideas and topics coming.

Denise