Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I have been photographing this chicken and her lover all week, trying to put together an animated film.

It is just not working.

I have a great song picked out, a stellar cast, all the parts are here; there is head of rat and and sweat of virgins in the cauldron, but no magic potion of hilarious stop motion has bubbled out beneath the three witchy sister's churning of the vile broth.

Nah, I never get that emotional about the kids graduating.

Every year, someone puts together a compilation video of all the graduates implementing their curriculum and personalizing their learning.

The scenes of academic progress are set to music such as "Fanfare for the Common Man" and the Olympics theme.

They show the video in a hot, smelly room filled with a couple hundred kids, families, well-wishers, well-meaners. 

There is lots of crying.

But not from me.

I am a rock
I am an island
....and a rock feels no pain......
....and an island ne-ver cries........

My favorite part of the video is how all two hundred people in the room say aloud the names of the faces on the screen.

It starts small, just a few people whispering "there's Marty!", almost in awe. 

Marty comes on screen, dusting a shelf in an obviously staged moment of compliance.

In the background of the scene, Tina floats by, talking on her toy cellphone.

"Tina!" more people call out from the audience. "There go Tina, talkin on her phone."

More and more of the graduation assembly gets into the game.

"Awww it's Bill! Bill!" 

"Der's Stacey! Der she go!"

It's like watching a movie with two hundred people and having them all describe aloud what is taking place on screen in weird, reverent tones, with an occasional outburst of genuine surprise.

Jeffrey is graduating.

He spent most of the ceremony looking like a stiff deer, but when it came time to walk up and get his diploma, you could have sworn he was Johnny Carson.

All winks and smug, knowing smiles.

Afterwards, I went up to him and said, "Jeffrey, you were like a king up there."

Jeffrey introduces me to his father, who looks like a stretched out version of the Little Professor calculator guy.

The man reaches out one long arm to shake my hand, but Jeffrey steps in between us to catch his dad up in an impromptu embrace.

"I wuv you Dad" he says.

It's all for the best, because we are standing in the men's room, and I dislike shaking hands in there.

The chance of encountering penis cooties is too high.

Lamocha is graduating.

Who is left now, 
to remind me of my age,
my creep towards obesity?

Who will point out how far I have to go until I am a man?

I wore shorts to work last week, for the first time in ten years, and Lamocha was the only person to give me a high-five over it.

"Allll right, you wearin' showts."

Putting on shorts now
After years have had their way
Old man legs surprise 

Someone explain to me how thighs so supple, so overripe with fat and sleeping muscle, can lead to calves with the circumference of baby fingers?

I look like one of those flip pictures where you try to match up the top, middle, and bottom to make a whole person.

Except I am the one that kids make when they want to impress their friends with the utter absurdity of their imaginations gone wild. 

"Look Plankus, hims fat on top and starvin on the bottom."

"You is crazy funny, Timbo, make anutter."

"Nah, lets go spit at cars."

"Yeah, dis flip book sucks anywho."

Stupid kids.

So it's not graduation that is stalling out the making of this motion picture.



Last week, I came home feeling great.

I even did shirtless marchy-tap dance numbers for the delight of my children.

Then I went to get the mail.

Towards the end of the driveway, I saw a brown, furry lump covered with flies.

It was Fred the cat.

He was still alive, barely, and his eyes had been completely exploded out of their sockets by the impact of a car.

 "Oh no," I said aloud.

There was something so fragile and awful about the way he moved his blinded head to zero in on the sound of my voice.

I wrote a post about his death, and filled it with all the philosophical yearning I could perspire into one blog, but then I deleted it.

It was a little much, even for me.

Though I liked one of the pictures I drew for it:

And I liked the ending:

I like how this chicken gives it to me straight.

I wait so long in between posting that my negative thinking blocks me from finishing anything at all.

What do you guys think of those bloggers that challenge themselves to post every day?

Is it just a pain, and does it make you as readers not feel like clicking over?

Let me know, because I am contemplating trying it, just to build my "I don't care what people think, I'm posting this picture of a chicken making out with a Spock doll" levels.

Do you think those are levels I should even be building?

What am I even talking about? I'm such a dork.

At times like this, I recall the words of Mandy Fish: "You keep forgetting that blog readers have no expectations of blog writers. That expectation is all in your head. We're just happy you post."

I think about that comment a lot. 

And I have been neglectful:

Heather/Violet from Creative Devolution gave me a blog award 
Please go read her blog. She draws funny stuff in much the same way I try to.

Thanks Heather/Violet!

And....Brian at Why Do I Bother?  gave me this
Brian writes musings and gets mad if you don't smile. Check him out and make him feel awkwardly loved.

Blog awards tend to come with many, many conditions, but I think this outtake from my stop motion failure sums it all up:

Thanks for reading!!!


  1. Sorry about Fred the cat...
    If you decide to post once a day or once a month - I'll still read. :)

    1. Thanks Kevin! If I start posting more, it will probably a lot of short random crap

  2. I don't know if you should try to post every day or not, but I do know that I always enjoy what you write. You see, I read blogs to absorb another person's perspective, their thoughts on specific topics or just life in general. To me, a person's blog is a little piece of themselves that they are willing to share with the world. What you share is up to you. But, for me, it's fun to read whatever you write because you are willing to share it -- to tell a story. Even if it's complete fiction, it's still enjoyable to read. Isn't that why we read books -- for the enjoyment? They take us to another place, time, perspective.

    1. Thanks for this comment, thescousewife, I really like the perspective you give on why a blog would even be enjoyable to read.

  3. I try to force myself to blog every day because I just KNOW that if I don't, no one will read my blog, ever again.

    When I don't post for several days, I'm positive that no one gives a rat's ass.

    But I can tell you honestly that I check YOUR blog every day and almost weep with delight when I see a new post.

    I would read your blog if you posted the alphabet. True story.

    Oh, and my condolences about Fred.

    And the line about penis cooties totally did me in.


    1. Thank you so much! I will have to remember that about posting the alphabet.....

  4. Ooh, a haiku in a post always gets me, especially if it dissects human existence as succinctly as yours did. And limericks. I like them as well. Also knock-knock jokes. And frittatas.

    Posting daily sounds like a good thang, as long as it doesn't turn your blog into a chore that will eventually make you feel glad to abandon it. Try it, but don't beat yourself up if you miss any out. Rules are but a figment of our imaginations anyway.

    Sorry about Fred. Not that I did it, but you know what I mean.

    1. you always make me laugh with your comments, you big lug.
      I had to count out the syllables on my fingers for the haiku, which made me feel simple for some reason

    2. Hah. I bet Japanese planes about to crash into mountins are full of experienced haiku poets counting on their fingers.

  5. I want to see the chicken and the Spock doll make out.
    A day without Gweenbrick is like a day without banana pancakes. It's ok, but just, "ok".

    1. Cool-me and pancakes being equitable is kind of a career milestone for me
      I probably will post the video, but it is very repetitive

  6. I was honestly stunned to see my own words there on the page. My name. Who me? I might have even looked over my shoulder and pointed at myself in confusion. I'm glad no one was here to see it.

    I do feel that way and I do think it's the truth. Write as much or as little as you want. Post when you have something to post about. Or if you want, post every day for a month just to see what happens. I read about having sex every day for a month. Just to shake things up in your marriage. The fact that I just wrote that in a blog comment just literally made me laugh out loud at myself.

    That's not normal, right?

    1. Well Mandy, I can pretty much guarantee that me posting every day will be absolutely nothing like having sex every day.

  7. There are great bloggers who post everyday. I never read all their blogs. I read ALL your posts and love them. Post when you can, man!
    (ps-I never follow the chain-award conditions)

    1. Aw thanks...you. Which is it, Heather or Violet?

    2. Heather. Violet is my pretend name. My 2D name

    3. I finally figured that out by reading your about me. I like how you draw expressions

  8. Oh no, no more jefferey? I love the drawing of the never-healing old man leg wound. So nasty, and yet after working as a nurse, I saw many an unhealing old man wound.

    1. Nope, no more Jefferey. To be honest, he got a little annoying as the year went on. You can only hear someone say "I have to get energy in my legs" so many times before it starts making you twitch a little

  9. I keep wanting to write how sad I am that Jeffrey and crew are graduating (I'll miss the stories) or how upset I am by your graphic dying-cat description (Crazy cat lady), but all I can think about is the video at the end. I'm too distracted by the voice in it to really and truly be convincingly sad.
    Is that your voice?

    Because uh, that is a really sexy voice.

    Just sayin'.

    1. You are actually the second person to tell me that in my life-when I first heard my voice played back on my Fisher-Price My First Taperecorder, I said to myself, "You sir, have a sexy voice."

    2. You sound like a (let me put this in teenager words) hot skater guy ;] If the Special Education job market slows down, you could always be one of those dirty phone conversation props. It's an ever expanding business!

      ...it would probably not go over well, though, if you did that for a while and tried to go back to your old job. Not really something you'd want the parents of your kids to know about you. No...

      You'd have to be a voice prostitute in absolute secrecy.

    3. You sound like a (let me put this in teenager words) hot skater guy ;] If the Special Education job market slows down, you could always be one of those dirty phone conversation props. It's an ever expanding business!

      ...it would probably not go over well, though, if you did that for a while and tried to go back to your old job. Not really something you'd want the parents of your kids to know about you. No...

      You'd have to be a voice prostitute in absolute secrecy.

    4. YAAY-I have always wanted to be a hot skater guy....unfortunately, the music does not match the song, unless by "hot skater guy" you mean "fat old man", but that is not a very common mistake of language.

      I think I would fail as a voice prostitute because I get really awkward and restless on the phone.

  10. I write slightly more than I publish on my blog. Maybe ten percent gets cuLLed, never seen by others. I did the every day thing for November of 11 and disliked the overaLL process.

    Hmmm, your last picture of the blog post doesn't show up on my iPad (?), I even refreshed the screen.

    I recently sat through a 3 hour graduation at Texas Tech University, which is one hour and forty seven minutes too many.

    1. Drivel Drive! Drivel Drive! Drivel Drive!

      They are so ..close.. an eXtra tiny little gap makes a difference sometimes


    2. I now return to playing with my new toy: Copper Glue

    3. Question: Was the cat being sent off in a ice pack, Eskimo style?

    4. No, he is supposed to be on a rock, under the bridge near our home. But I love that idea of sending him off on an ice pack.
      Is copper glue just what its name implies?

      I have noticed that Blogger videos often have trouble playing back on multiple computers. You are not missing much; just me telling a student to roll a window up and him struggling a bit with it

    5. I thought is was a rock in a magnificent heaven-type land full of gods and angels.

  11. It's okay, Gweenbrick. Stop motion is hard.

    I've never tried posting every single day before, but when I wrote every day for Script Frenzy, I got some interesting results--some weird, some utterly useless, some actually good. So I say, it's probably worth a try.

    Oh, and Fred the eyeless cat is now haunting my thoughts. Thanks a lot for that. I don't know whether to say, "Great job on that imagery!" or "Curse you! Curse you and your vivid descriptions of dead innocent kitties!"

    1. Sorry, Haley! I did not mean to be disturbing
      And stop motion is really hard. I took too few pictures and now have to stretch them out to fill a 3 and a half minute song

  12. For me, posting every day significantly increases the percentage of crap I write. I think the practice of writing, or illustrating, every day is a good practice. That doesn't mean you have to make something public every day. I always find something really great in your blogs, even the ones you think are crappy. (Stop being self deprecating, too. Own awesomeness.)

    1. Hi Kelly! Yeah, I am kind of thinking I agree with you that posting everyday might increase the amount of crap I produce. I do think it is good practice to write, etc everyday without a need to post it. The posting part comes in as sort of a motivator to actually DO it. If you might me in real life, you would probably want to smack me for being as negative as I am-I actually tone down the deprecation for the blog

  13. Hmmm if you can create your usual awesome posts on a daily basis it would be great! I would read them all! But your posts aren't just a couple of paragraphs and that's it. You have all the drawing to do as well... I think people that post every day don't put nearly as much effort into their posts as you do - and I would be sorry to see the quality of your posts go downhill. (Yes, I said quality). But more often would be great! What about a new schedule of twice a week or something?

    1. Thank you Lady! Thats true, every day would mean less drawing, which might take away from my beautiful stories about poop and stuff.
      I try to do twice a week, but even that is hard to keep up with

    2. You're welcome :) Lol, yes, it would definitely take away from your beautiful poop stories. We wouldn't want that to happen.

  14. Oh f*ck, the video was the topper.

    But more importantly, no baby yet???

  15. Gweenbrick - that movie was absolute - there isn't a word that I know of to describe it but I laughed a joyous laugh that my face liked and thanked me for.
    I love what you rite and what you film. It's always good.

    1. Thank you so much Julie! I really appreciate how much you flatter me

  16. Well as someone who struggles to find the time to read all the blogs she loves (and who found the whole "posting every day" of the a-z fiasco an absolute chore - even though I never took part) I would have to say NO don't post every day. Don't set yourself up to fail, or water down the absolute genius of this blog by giving us too much too often.
    Don't spoil the utter joy of seeing a new post from you in my feed and knowing that if I only have time to read one blog on that day then it will be yours.

    However, if you really do have such delights as a picture of Spock making out with a chicken doll then you should, in fact, post ten times a day.

    Knowing you were doing that might just make me spend more time on blogger.

    I love how you call this post Drivel, when that's just about the last thing it is.

    1. Agh you are waaaay too nice to me cowgirl. I think I agree with you that posting everyday might turn the whole thing into a chore-a chore to read and a chore to write
      I will try not to spoil your joy

  17. When I was a kid, one of the first things that I noticed about one of my uncles was that he had cuts that never healed on his legs.

    I have my list of favorite bloggers. You are definitely one of them. I would be very excited if you chose to challenge yourself by posting daily.

  18. I dunno Gweenbrick. I'm a quality over quantity guy. I "unfollowed" a few bloggers who were just posting things like "well, went to the grocery store today. MAn there's a lot to do . work work work." The end. Like is that even worth noting? Some stranger I only know through a few once-well-composed blurbs went to the grocery store. I figured, "geez, I guess i don't care about this guy anymore."

    In short I like to read about interesting people and their interesting stories. Feeling interesting and creative every day is a a lot to live up to. I'm satisfied with how you currently deliver, my friend. Don't sacrifice your vision for us poor saps in reader-land. That said, it doesn't hurt to write SOMETHING everyday. If it turns into a magnificent blog post, great. If it gets deleted, that's fine too.

    P.S. You are definitely distracted from your movie because of the cats and the graduation. Just admit that to yourself and move on. You're fine.