Thor’s Hammer, Wonder Woman Panties, and Other Weightlifting Adventures

On rare occasions, Marovich will ‘fess up that she’s genetically gifted. She’s that freak of nature friend we all have in our lives with an innate physical advantage over the rest of us mere mortals. That being said, she works very hard at maintaining her superlative physical condition. I’ve witnessed her beating many a man at arm wrestling–even my sushi chef friend in Florida.

 

Those ARMS...!

Those ARMS…! I nicknamed her “MUBS” back in high school–Massive Upper Body Strength

 

Olympic athletes have nothing over Marovich (other than millions of dollars, cereal box covers, and those pesky medals).

Some faster dialer robbed us of our normal racquetball court time last night, so we had to improvise our workout. The moment I walked in the door with my 10-pound kettle bells, Marovich blew me shit about my v-necked Batman tee, a new wardrobe asset from #C2E2 last weekend: “Really?!? A BATMAN t-shirt?!?” With anyone else, I might’ve been self-conscious, but this is my BFF since 7th grade, and this is the nature of our relationship. Like sisters who never stop slinging the insults. Our friend Chrissy was there and she liked my shirt, so I felt exonerated.

As for my 10-pound kettle bells, Marovich wasn’t having it. That 5’4″ drill sergeant commanded me to use Thor’s Hammer (her 20-pound dumb bell) for my tricep curls. I was dying after 6 reps. All I could think to myself was “Who am I going to hire to help me remove my sports bra when I get home?” because there was no lifting my arms above my head after 30 reps with Thor’s Hammer. (I ended up sleeping in it.)

However, Marovich managed to insert some comedy into the torture. I made the offhanded comment that even my Wonder Woman underwear wasn’t boosting my strength. “Wait a minute!” she stopped me. “YOU’RE wearing Wonder Woman underwear?!? Let me see.” I dropped trou, presented proof, and quickly redressed as Marovich doubled over laughing at me. (We do that a lot, I’m sure you’ve gathered.)

Wonder Woman Underwear

My Wonder Woman Underwear

We were in her 2nd floor loft working out, and she triple-dog dared me to strip down to just my Wonder Woman panties and Batman tee, continuing my workout looking ridiculous, like this was the new normal. I took the dare. She yelled down to Chrissy to grab us two ice cubes (that’s always a “tell” when Marovich is pranking someone – those obscure requests that make no sense at the time) so Chrissy was delayed in coming upstairs. This bought me enough time to undress, resume weight lifting, and look like nothing was up. Chrissy arrived with the two ice cubes, froze in her tracks, processed for a moment, and with a half-smile said finally, “I didn’t know you had a pierced belly button!” This made me double over laughing, because Chrissy just stole Marovich’s thunder, not delivering the shocked reaction she was expecting.

Marovich tried re-selling it. “Do you see her Wonder Woman underwear?!?”

Chrissy countered, What’s the big deal? You have Batman underwear.”

‘Nuff said.

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#C2E2 #Chicago 2015: A Growing Show

This Ghostbusters Staypuft Marshmallow Man was one of my #cosplay favorites this year at #C2E2 – as was the Lego Boba Fett costume (I don’t have an image of the latter). This one had to burn a lot of calories, being so onerous to lug around!

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at #C2E2 Chicago 2015

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at #C2E2 Chicago 2015 – Photo by Ken Heinemann

I heard the show was busier this year, based on the fact that Lot A at McCormick Place was full already before 10 a.m. It’s always good news to hear a fairly young show is thriving, especially one so local to us. Dave sold out of his #Marvel Issue #1 #StarWars variant covers the first day, which is always a good sign (have no fear, he brought in more).

C2E2, like San Diego Comic-Con, is a like a family reunion with our many artist, writer, publishing, and creator friends. Dave Dorman‘s table is stationed at J-1 in Artists Alley, which is ideal because directly across from us is Bill and Linda Lessman Reinhold, two of my favorite carbon life forms:

Bill and Linda Lessman Reinhold, great friends and enormous talent

Bill and Linda Lessman Reinhold, great friends and enormous talent

and behind us is Darron Jackson and Steve Howard, two more of my favorite humanoids.

Illustrators Darron Jackson, Steve Howard, and me.

Illustrators Darron Jackson, Steve Howard, and me.

I reconnected with Ken Heinemann, my cameraman for my video and TV show production projects; he was handling A/V for all of the panels. He came to visit me during the M. Night Shyamalan/Matt Dillon panel (a new Twilight Zone-style show, I’m told), which just goes to show you how non-plussed he is by all of the geeky fun. He just came off of the Soundstage tour, so this was an easy gig in comparison. I offered to be Kenny’s grip, but my non-union status precludes me from that.

I want to mention that our friend J. Anthony Kosar of TV’s Face Off winner fame has expanded his Kosart Atelier where he teaches special f/x makeup, and classes are available, so be sure to check him out at http://kosartartelier.com

TV's FACE OFF Season 4 Winner, J. Anthony Kosar with Dave Dorman & me

TV’s FACE OFF Season 4 Winner, J. Anthony Kosar with Dave Dorman & me

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Missed the Memo…

When did LinkedIn and eHarmony merge? I must’ve missed the memo. It’s always nice to get these affirmations, but we’re the country that tends to procure mail-order brides, not the other way around…

LinkedIn - the new eHarmony of the International Set?

LinkedIn – the new eHarmony of the International Set?

A tempting offer, but... GOOD DAY, SIR! I said, GOOD DAY, SIR!

GOOD DAY, SIR! I said, “GOOD DAY, SIR!”

If you’re at C2E2 this weekend, I’ll be at Dave Dorman’s Table J-1 in Artists Alley, warming the uncomfortable plastic chair. Join me. It’s a tempting offer, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

See Jack. See Jack Draw. Draw, Jack, Draw!

Once people realize that Dave has a son, Dave’s often asked if Jack can draw. The short answer is “Yes, when he feels like it.” Nothing gets me more aggravated than when Jack half-assed rushes through creating a greeting card for his teacher or his Grandma, because I know what he’s been capable of since an early age. He can draw from his head, just like Dave, whereas I must have reference of some kind. Jack can draw varied perspectives and angles and even though they’re simple drawings, they’re very complex. Here’s a recent piece he just did that I found crumpled up in his backpack.

Graphite Dogs by Jack - Blue Dog article Rodrigue better watch his back...!

Graphite Dogs by Jack – Blue Dog art resellers better watch their backs…! Competition is coming…

And had I not witnessed this with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it, but Jack drew this from his head, with no reference, at age 6.

Cosmo from "Fairly Odd Parents" as done by Jack at age 6.

Cosmo from “Fairly Odd Parents” as drawn by Jack at age 6, out of his head, with no photo reference in sight.

And here’s Jack’s piece de resistance, which still makes me laugh. I remember I was so proud of Jack’s little pre-school drawing. All of my friends–plus Dave–thought it was hilarious that I (of all people) didn’t notice the phallic aesthetic to this piece. My practical joker friend Nancy (do I have any other category of friends?) asked to borrow the piece, on the premise of showing it to her daughters. I was so proud of it, I loaned it to her without question. The next thing I knew, I was the recipient of a glass cutting board made of Jack’s phallic art, as seen below. It remains one of my most prized possessions – that piece I’d grab to save as I ran out the door if, God forbid, the house were ever on fire.

"The Angry Pecker" by Jack Dorman, age 3.

“The Angry Pecker” by Jack Dorman, age 3.

I was razzing Dave the other day that I sold my first piece of art at an earlier age than he did, and then Jack inserted that he had us both beat – he convinced some kind stranger to buy his art at Star Wars Celebration for $10 when he was merely 6 years old. I reminded Jack that it was a pity sale, but he stood his ground in the debate.

I hope the kind stranger held onto it. It could be worth something someday…

The Racquetball Chronicles, Episode 4: Sprained Boobs

Don’t shoot me if it’s been more than four. I think we’ve established that I’m terrible with numbers. For the record, the final scores tonight in Marovich’s favor (of course) were 21-1, 21-1, and 15-8. As you can tell, I was just warming up by Game #3. I’m confident I would have handed her ass to her if we’d rented the court for two hours instead of one.

Marovich & Me: We've been playing this game for 30 years and we still haven't bothered to learn the rules!

1980s-style Marovich & Me: We’ve been playing this game for 30 years and we still haven’t bothered to learn the rules!

So Marovich and I still haven’t read the 70-page PDF document explaining the Official Rules of Racquetball. I tried reading it, but my ADD got in the way, and Marovich is just way too busy with work. I’m lucky she squeezes me in. We were hoping tonight that one of you reading this blog might already know the rules of racquetball. If so, here are our questions for you:

#1. If you hit your opponent with the ball and you’re not the one serving, is it an automatic point to the server, or an automatic do-over?

#2. In the server box, there is a smaller side box to the left, and one to the right. In cut-throat, does one of the three players have to be in that box during the serve?

#3. If the ball hits our bottled waters sitting in the corner of the court, is that an automatic do-over?

#4. If the player receiving the serve chooses to play on a Long (Duck Dong) Serve or a (Martin) Short Serve, does that count? Or do they have to call it long or short?

#5. What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow? (Just makin’ sure you’re still with me.)

Our latest on-court shenanigans resulted in the addition of the “The Belch Hindrance” clause to our already customized version of the Racquetball Rules. Marovich knows if she belches while I’m serving, I’m the 12-year-old who just busts out laughing and blows my serve. Every time. You see, we have a girlfriend who has earned our deep respect for really setting the bar high on the tone, volume, and resonance of her belches. For our own amusement, we used to dare she-who-shall-remain-nameless to drink down an entire can of Diet Coke, call her mom on the phone, and then emit this depths-of-hell belch that literally went on for 10 seconds straight, as her appalled and very proper Catholic mom was screaming at her to stop in the names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It was EPIC. Sadly, Marovich has finally found the one thing in life she can’t do better than someone else. And every time Marovich attempts her totally fey belches on court, she knows my brain goes right back to our friend belching in her mom’s ear, and that makes me laugh even harder. When you’ve been friends since 7th grade, you know each other’s Achilles’ Heels. Hence the necessity for the new clause.

The estrogen-centric reading this will agree, there are some days of the month when “the girls” are more tender than others. I forewarned Marovich my girls were uber-sensitive and requested could she please try not to hit me in the chest with the ball, just this once? The next thing I knew, I somehow managed to hit my own self in the chest with the racquetball and it was so ridiculous, we had to stop playing so Marovich could regain her composure. In the next play, Marovich put both hands out in front of her–palms facing me–as she tried to reach one of those maddening shots that hugs the wall without crashing into it at full speed. My sore, swollen girls stood right in her pathway. Another hindrance. It was like that classic Seinfeld scene where Elaine accidentally falls in the women’s locker room and grabs Jerry’s girlfriend’s breasts to break her fall. With aplomb, I delivered Teri Hatcher’s famous line to Marovich: “They’re real, and they’re spectacular,” as we lost another five minutes on the clock to me icing down my sprained boobs.

After racquetball, Marovich imparted that Amy Schumer shares our same, sick sense of humor, as evidenced by her hilarious new Comedy Central music parody, “Milk, Milk, Lemonade,” which spoofs the big booty jams. It’s #NSFW, so don’t watch this one around the kids. I warn you, it’s a total ear worm and you will hate me in the morning: http://bitly.com/MilkMilkLemonade 

One summer night we were all drinking at the Diet Coke Belcher’s house, drawing Dirty Sanchez mustaches on each other with Hershey’s chocolate for selfies, debating the origin of Eggs Danny Thomas-style, when I got the impulse to call GoDaddy.com and purchase the MilkMilkLemonadeAroundtheCorner.com URL (I may even still own it, I’m not sure…). I was incensed to learn that someone else already owned my first choice, the MilkMilkLemonade.com URL. For all I know, it could have been Amy Schumer. And if it was Amy, then that’s okay.

 

Dave Dorman and Mr. T

Every once in a while, the universe conspires to create a magic moment. Take yesterday, for example. I was at O’Hare Airport reading a message on my phone from a friend reminiscing about buying Rocky III on Betamax for $90. Oddly enough, Mr. T was in First Class on our flight. As we walked off of the plane, we ran into Mr. T, who graciously took this photo.

Mr. T and Dave Dorman at O'Hare Airport 4/13/15

Mr. T and Dave Dorman at O’Hare Airport 4/13/15

Mr.T and Dave reminisced about the comic book cover Dave painted for his “Mr. T and the T Force” comic book series from NOW Comics, which you can see here. Dave thanked him profusely for all of his many kindnesses to kids. From our far-flung gate all of the way to baggage claim, Mr. T welcomed people to take photos along the way, always prioritizing women and children first.

Dave Dorman Comic Book Cover Art for "Mr. T and the T Force"

Dave Dorman Comic Book Cover Art for “Mr. T and the T Force”

 

Mr. T exemplifies the type of person you root for to gain celebrity status, because he embraces it. He owns it. He shares it.

I sent the image of Dave and Mr. T to our 10-year-old, whose only comment was, “Who’s Mr. T?” Someone needs a pop culture history lesson, STAT.

 

L.A., I am IN You…

As I write this, I’m staring out the 12th-story window of my hotel room on Highland Avenue at the “Hollywood” sign. There’s an energy to California that I always feel the moment my feet touch the ground. Maybe it’s the I’ve-been-deprived-for-6-months rays emanating from that orange, fiery ball in the sky (what is that sphere, anyway? A sun or something?). Maybe it’s an impending earthquake. It just feels like it heightens my already high energy. Maybe it’s the uber-creative friends I always hang with in Cali. I feel so happy here. The only thing that could top off this glorious feeling would be if I had my merry band of Kotex Mafia to share this with me–Marovich, the Sister Wives, the S.H.I.T. Club. God, we’d have a blast. In a perfect world…

We’re here in L.A. because Dave Dorman is a judge for the Writers & Illustrators of the Future Awards a prestigious award for the sci-fi and fantasy community. Last night, part of the fun was an art salon at Cliff Nielsen’s studio. He did a sci-fi retro theme for the live models (blasting 1960s James Bond soundtracks in the background as we sketched–I was in sensory heaven) so here’s my graphic-covered southpaw after a 10-minute sketch:

10-Minute Art Jam, Southpaw Style

10-Minute Art Jam, Southpaw Style

And here are the wonderful models:

Wonderful models from Cliff Nielsen's Art Salon

Wonderful models from Cliff Nielsen’s Art Salon

Today I join our X-Files actor friend Dean Haglund, who is HILARIOUS (if you’ve never seen him do stand-up comedy, do yourself a favor and be sure to find where he’s performing) for his downtown LA walking tour. It will be a total riot, I guarantee you. Between my penchant for attracting society’s oddballs and Dean’s out-of-left-field running commentary, this could get interesting…

Now, let’s talk briefly about how California fruit growers are holding out on us. I mean seriously, they do not share their highest quality level of produce with those of us outside of Cali (a California friend told me this long ago, and I didn’t believe him until I saw the berries from our $127 breakfast this a.m.–I think me adding smoked salmon to my egg white omelette was the costly tipping point.) Why, yes! That is a QUARTER next to my blueberry, black raspberry, and raspberry:

Look - these berries were radiated on Gilligan's Island!

Look – these berries were radiated on Gilligan’s Island!

And hotels–what’s with hiring Dracula as your guest rooms interior designer? The gray and silver aesthetic for our room is way too similar to the New Mexico cult compound from TV’s “The Dig,” an aesthetic co-creators Tim Kring and Gideon Raff discussed openly as making people feel cold and uncomfortable. Which it does.

Actress Lauren Ambrose amidst the cold, sterile interiors from the cult compound on USA Network's "THE DIG" TV series

Actress Lauren Ambrose amidst the cold, sterile interiors from the cult compound on USA Network’s “THE DIG” TV series

If you’re in the market for ugly curtains, er, window dressings, I know right where you can find some…

Someone Went Shopping at "Ugly Curtains R Us"...

Someone Went Shopping at “Ugly Curtains ‘R Us”…

As a final thought, my prayers go out to those who were hit by the twisters in Northern Illinois last night, way too close to our home. I was comforting our frantic-bordering-on-hysterical son on the phone from here as he was hiding in the basement during last night’s terrifying storm. (Unfortunately, I know first-hand how butt-puckeringly frightening it is to be hit by a tornado while you’re in your house after our Hurricane Ivan adventure in Florida.)

Stay tuned as my wildly fun and unpredictable weekend unfolds…

 

 

 

 

 

 

So On My Birthday, I Discover I’m a Fugitive…

I hope everyone remembered to take today off in honor of the National Holiday that is my birthday. You’re welcome.

Some of my fondest birthday wishes from today include this one, from a total stranger on LinkedIn who has such a nice way with words:

My lovely birthday message from a LinkedIn connection.

My lovely birthday message from a LinkedIn connection.

And this one, from my friend Chrissy:

You had me at "wacky"...

You had me at “wacky”…

…as well as the lovely wishes from my “daughter” Cory, Marovich’s daughter, who deemed me her “2nd Mama” two decades ago.

I drove up to bucolic Woodstock, Illinois this afternoon–yes, home of the film Groundhog’s Day–to renew my driver’s license, which expires TODAY at midnight. Imagine my surprise when this woman…

Okay, she bore a STRIKING RESEMBLANCE to Roz from Monsters, Inc.

Okay, let’s just say the Illinois Department of Transportation representative  bore a STRIKING RESEMBLANCE to Roz from Monsters, Inc.

…informed me that I was, essentially, a fugitive…there was an outstanding speeding ticket from 2013 that I never paid, so there was no getting my license renewed today. I was mortified.

Marovich's favorite dismissive statement to me.

Marovich’s favorite dismissive statement to me.

To resolve this, I have to make a trip to the county courthouse on Monday, and then drive all the way back up to where Christ-left-his-Nikes-Woodstock. It’s a 12-hour time vampire. You’ve gotta love bureaucracy. And no, there’s no way to just pay this online or by phone (I tried) and rectify it easily.

I immediately saw red, because I have a strong suspicion as to how this happened. You see, Dave Dorman always offers to take my mail to the post office. (Dave Dorman’s Future Wife, pay close attention to what I’m saying here…) I’ve learned over time to refuse him, because I’ve discovered months-old paid bills, addressed and sealed in their envelopes, still lurking beneath his driver’s side seat alongside the fossilized McDonald’s french fries, on that rare occasion that I clean out his car. I am fairly certain my paid 2013 speeding ticket has taken up residence underneath his driver’s seat with some slutty ATM receipt and birthed a few dozen baby raffle tickets by now.

So…my Easter options are to drive with an expired license so I can play tennis with Marovich and give her the beating she SO deserves after last night’s racquetball game…or I can make Dave drive me over there and suffer through waiting for me to play a few games…or I can Uber there and back, albeit a rather costly endeavor just to play some free outdoor tennis.

Being the freedom junkie that I am, me without a driver’s license has a solid “Denise-loses-her-shit” moment written all over it. I pity Jack when it comes time to take away my car keys in my old age. Hillary getting her server (or her Presidential candidacy) taken away would go down more quietly.

So yet another life’s lesson learned–even when you’re so important that your birthday is a National Holiday, it means nothing to IDOT. Nothing at all.