Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vote Goat!

My design for my friends Heather & Ken's 3rd annual invitation-only "Goat Day" celebration.  

What's Goat Day? 

As Heather says, "Wait, you don't know about the traditional observance of GOAT DAY? How sad for you. But we can fix that.

"Come play with adorable new baby goats. Try your hand at milking a goat if you want, or not. Sit on the porch and drink sangria. Play the ukelele. Bring food and/or drink to share. Eat a motherlovin' smoked turkey. Take a walk in the pastures or woods. Go nap on the hammock."

Heather and Ken's dogs will also be there. Many of them are smarter than most people, but most people don't hold that against them.  (Incidentally, Heather maintains a blog entitled Raised by Wolves, and if you're at all interested in dogs, search and rescue, livestock, farming, biology, or life in the country, you should be reading it.)

But mostly Goat Day is designed to capitalize on the fact that baby goats are the cutest thing God ever made.  (Well, maybe they're in a tie with puppies.)  This year, the cuteness will be well nigh unbearable, as Heather now has dwarf Nigerian goats, and their brand-new kids are ickle widdle twee little sweethearts.  I met two of the new baby goats a couple weeks back.  I picked one up.  It looked up at me with twinkly eyes and let out a barely audible "maaaa-aaaaa-aaaaaaa," and it was all I could do to keep from running to our car, tossing it into the back seat, and taking it back home with me, fish-tailing out Heather and Ken's driveway as I raised a cloud of gravel and dust. (Eventually, though, I suppose I'd have to come back and get my husband, and the whole incident would just become embarrassing.)

At any rate, Heather's calling this year's Goat Day "Goatterdammerung," but I'd completed this design before I knew that. Frankly, I was childishly entranced by the fact that "Vote" and "Goat" rhyme, and didn't want to wait another four years to take advantage of that fact. 

Some year, I hope Heather decides the theme for Goat Day will be "Goat Day: Electric Boogaloo." 

Meanwhile, t-shirts in a variety of styles and colors are available.  I'm mindful that I'm posting this on the day the Republican National Convention is getting underway.  Goats are adorable, intelligent, curious, independent, and loyal ... in short, seemingly everything most current Republican politicians are not.  Irony.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ninja Uterus Comics

Just in time for the Republican convention!

This comic was conceived (get it? get it?) when the divine Deborah Harkness shared Jennifer Tucker's New York Times article "The Medieval Roots of Todd Akin’s Theories."

During the ensuing discussion, author Alyssa Harad suggested we go back to the ancient notion of the 'wandering womb,' adding, "I want to send mine out on secret ninja missions to take care of this kind of business."  And then Alyssa made the mistake of musing, "Am now dying for a webcomic starring a ninja womb."  

So, there you have it. 

Some notes: 

*There will be more to come, both in terms of plot and design, I think. I keep looking at Mild-Mannered Ninja Uterus and trying to figure out how I can give  hair done up in a bun. You know, so that when she goes all "Ninja Uterus SMASH!" she can cast her glasses aside and shake her hair out, in the classic superheroine tradition.

I keep debating this within myself, and am very close to concluding that, if I'm going to have an ambulatory uterus with legs and feet running around outside a body, at that point, I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want.

Honestly, in a world where it seems that the sum of male Republican politicians' knowledge of human reproduction from clandestine conversations on their elementary school playgrounds -- or better/worse still, a late-night game of "Telephone" at a sleepover -- the idea of an ambulatory uterus, with or without bun, doesn't seem that absurd.

*Sometimes cartooning leads me into weird, weird, areas of the imagination; hence the earnest conversation I had last night with my husband on the topic of 'considering that the original ninjas were mainly meant to infiltrate, and look as ordinary as possible, would a disembodied uterus actually wear the modern ninja costume ideal of all-black, with only its eyes showing? Wouldn't that make stealth more difficult? Unless it were night?'

I told you it gets weird.  Of course, one of my favorite aspects of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that the only part of the ninja uniform they wear is their scarves/masks.  Because wearing a mask makes a giant bipedal turtle carrying a martial arts weapon less identifiable. 

*If your sperm/semen is the shade of green depicted above, please consult your physician. 

Update, August 27th, 8:45PM: Apparently uteri are on the loose.  Seek shelter! 


Friday, August 3, 2012

Shadow of Night and Dinosaurs

My college friend Deb Harkness came to Cleveland a couple of weeks ago, on her book tour for her #1 New York Times bestseller Shadow of Night.  She was originally scheduled to appear at a branch of our local library, but so many people signed up to attend, the library moved the event to the auditorium of the high school -- which was filled to capacity.  Eager readers came from all over the area, other states -- and at least one came from Texas! 

Deb's audience clearly loves her, which is only right, as she is incredibly brainy, wise and droll.  (Case in point: We went to dinner with her the night before her appearance.  As we reminisced, I said that I'd gotten so used to her being a Southern Californian -- she teaches at USC -- that I couldn't recall where she was originally from; she explained that she hails from the far outer suburbs of Philadelphia -- "not on the Main Line."
The author regrets to announce ...

 "Like, um ... Lancaster?" I guessed.

"No, not that far out," said Deb. "We were Amish Adjacent."*)

Fans of her novels lined up for an hour before her reading & talk to have Deb sign their books (and for an hour after her talk, for that matter).  As she began her remarks, Deb said that a boy waiting in line with his mom had asked her, "Are there any dinosaurs in your book?"

She had to tell him, ruefully .... "No dinosaurs."

Which is a darn shame, but Shadow of Night seems to be doing pretty well without them. 

P.S.  It's not too much of a spoiler to relate that Shadow of Night involves time travel back to 1600s England, where the novel's main character discovers there is a distinct lack of modern tableware.  Coincidentally, the day after Deb's appearance, a culture-newsy web site I frequent featured this fascinating article on the history of the fork, which, it turns out, features enough drama, intrigue and whimsy to rival any novel.  

*For the uninitiated, "Beverly Hills Adjacent" is a euphemism used by real estate salespeople, and the upwardly (but-not-that-upwardly mobile), to obscure the fact that a property is not actually in Beverly Hills.  Eric Spiegelman notes, "If someone tells you they live Beverly Hills Adjacent, they’re selling something."