2015-01-14-pavlovazon-prime

Pavlovazon Prime

2015-01-14-pavlovazon-prime

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2UPDATE: ONLY 2 WEEKS LEFT!!!

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon? I do, and because my Fancy Patrons blew past the $1500 Milestone Goal, I was able to completely redesign the website. The comics are about 15-20% larger as well. So far I’ve uploaded embiggened versions of all the comics from 2014. BIG BIG thanks to Fancy Bastard Frank Fenton for helping me fix some of my CSS screw ups that were breaking the site on mobile browsers, and to Fancy Bastard Dan Herman for fixing the mobile alt-text button yet again.

I get upset… or rather upsettingly confused whenever anyone starts to talk about the “reason for the season” to the “ONE TRUE ONLY MEANING OF A CERTAIN TIME A YEAR!” when it concerns a hodgepodge set of rituals, superstitions and traditions appropriated from a dozen different cultures on 3 continents over 2000ish years and duct taped together into a Frankenstein’s monster of long forgotten reasons for doing things a certain way for a certain while. I celebrate Christmas because it’s fun for me and my family. I know it’s an arbitrary conglomeration of disparate traditions, but I like putting a tree in my house sometimes. The lights are pretty. The gifts are nice. It’s an excuse to have fun with and be nice to your friends and family.  I enjoy pie.

Santa is even weirder and more nonsensically cobbled together than Christmas. Geez, just Google that weird dude sometime. Read that jolly ol’ abomination’s Wiki page. Santa is like when ever studio makes a giant meteor movie the same year. It’s hard to say who did it first, and it’s debatable who did it better (Deep Impact was better), but all of the sudden we have like 4 meteor movies and they’re all pretty much the same. Somehow nearly every culture that ever got cold decided on their own that a weird guy with probably a beard and most likely a sled or a horse would go around some time toward the end of the Solar year and separate the child wheat from the child chaff, bestow gifts on one set and shun the other. A Millenia or two later, and we just have the one guy. In 1000 years are we just going to remember every meteor movie as ONE BIG meteor movie? Will is star Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis, or just Morguce Weeman?

I used to try to stay at least tangentially aware of things that didn’t particularly interest me enough to experience them directly. I watched a lot of stand up comedy as a kid, and through that I got a sort of crash course in “these are the things people know about in general.” It’s like hearing an impression so many times that it takes on it’s own life separate from the actual person who was being impersonated. I say “used to” because about a decade ago I stopped looking at or listening to things I didn’t specifically enjoy. I’ve basically entered a state of knowing the names of current pop stars or young celebrities, and MAYBE knowing what they are famous for without ever actually experiencing them or their work in any way. For instance, I do not know who Arianna Grande is or what she sings, but I know that she exists and THAT she sings. Does that make sense? It is through this lens of “meh” that I experience most of what young America considers pop culture. I got a lawn, get off of it, etc, etc.

We honestly never told our daughter about Santa. He just WAS. He permeated the social atmosphere of the world so effectively that we never had to tell her who he was supposed to be or what he was supposed to do. Because of this, we always took a “I don’t know, what do you think?” approach when she’d ask questions about his seemingly magical exploits in a decidedly non-magical word.

COMMENTERS: Of what things or people are you just casually culturally aware (enough to keep up a conversation at work*, but not enough to explore on your own time for your own enjoyment)? Any particular experience with faking knowledge about something all the kids are into these days, what with their hair and the clothes and something about the hips hops? Oh, and how great is it to come home on Amazon delivery day and just sit there like a puppy waiting for a treat until the doorbell rings? What a wholly satisfying human experience.

[*I just realized that the main reason I am able to divorce myself from things I don’t have any interest in is because I am not surrounded by coworkers every day. It’s easy to stay in a bubble of your own interests when there’s no one nearby to break it.]

2015-01-12-stille-nacht-heilige-nacht-krampusnacht

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht, Krampusnacht

2015-01-12-stille-nacht-heilige-nacht-krampusnacht

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2UPDATE: ONLY 2 WEEKS LEFT!!!

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

Sing along if you know the words:
He’s making a list, He’s sharpening sticks.
The list is irrelevant, You all go in the sack.
Krampus comes to take you, that’s alllllll.
Yes, Kraaaampus coooomes to taaaaake youuuuuuu NO NO AHHHHHGHGHG! NO KRAMPUS NOOOOOOO!

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon? I do, and because my Fancy Patrons blew past the $1500 Milestone Goal, I was able to redesign the website and clean things up. The comics are about 15-20% larger as well. So far I’ve uploaded embiggened versions of all the comics from 2014. I’ll keep embiggening until all are cromulently embiggened. The downside, is some of the things I had to fit in to the new design completely break the site on mobile browsers. I’ll be working on fixing that over the next couple of weeks. I’ll also be adding in some of the things that are currently missing, like the mobile alt-text button.

2015-01-02-the-ghost-of-christmas-presents

The Ghost Of Christmas Presents

2015-01-02-the-ghost-of-christmas-presents

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon?

SCHEDULE NOTICE: I am taking 2nd week of January (01/04 to 01/10) off to recover and regroup from the Holidays. Comics will resume on Monday, January 12, 2015.

A lot of being a parent is dealing with times when you bust your ass to make it seem like something magical just happened all by itself. A birthday party that you stayed up all night cooking and making decorations for, a vacation you  had to scrimp and save for, a present you bought when your kid wasn’t looking and hid for 6 months while they lamented “I’m NEVER gonna get it!” Parenthood is rife with opportunities to feel unappreciated.

But that’s sort of the point. As a parent, one of your jobs is to shield your young child from all the bullshit you have to deal with as an adult just to get through a day, a week, a month or a year in the world. You want them to perceive ease and a care free attitude for as long as possible, because once it’s impossible it is impossible FOREVER. You never get that back. I didn’t appreciate it enough when I was a kid. I was so focused on growing up and escaping my unhappy home life, that I completely glossed over how amazing it was to not have to work or pay bills or take care of another human being.

It’s also important to make magical things “just happen” for your kids, just to see their reaction. The kind of unbridled joy a child experiences on a “pretty good day” is something few adults will ever experience on their best day. Through them, we parents get to recapture some of that joy. I can’t tell you the enumerable unpleasent (to me) situations I’ve put myself in, just to see my daughter light up.

That said, I do try to teach her how to at least recognize and acknowledge situations where hard work and concerted effort by others has been applied, and to at least not do anything to counteract that hard word and effort. “Just don’t be the kid that makes people want to stop doing nice things for others.” Christ, if that isn’t an applicable mantra for most adults, I don’t know what is.

2014-12-31-the-kids-with-the-haul

The Kids With The Haul

2014-12-31-the-kids-with-the-haul

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon?

My daughter used to act like she felt sorry for us when my wife and I only had a present or two to open on Christmas day, compared to her dozen or so. I’d try to explain how our situations were different. A) We already pretty much have everything an adult of modest means can have. When we do WANT things, we save up for them over the course of a year or so, change our minds 100 times about buying them, and then eventually, probably buy it and IMMEDIATELY feel bad about spending money on non-essentials. THAT is grown up Christmas. B) Other people besides us buy presents for her. She’s young and cute and gives off a certain quality that suggests to relatives, “I am young and cute, buy me some stuff I don’t need.”

Some years, my wife and I will say, “No presents for us! We’re going to buy each other NEW SHEETS!” Then Kiddo gets sad because we are old and close to death and super happy about getting new sheets, which is the worst thing she can think of.” Other times my wife and I will get each other a modest present that is mostly sort of a surprise, or something off the other’s Amazon wishlist and not a surprise at all. We usually keep it well under $100 (and still feel guilty about spending our own money on things that aren’t life sustaining or government mandated).

We try to only get Kiddo one big (or rather MAIN) present, a couple of smaller things and a few trinkets for her stocking. We also don’t really every buy her random toys throughout the year. Mostly she wants books, and I’m not really keen on imposing limits on her reading. So other than birthdays and Xmas, she doesn’t really get a bunch of new stuff. At least not good stuff. Our house fills to the brim with plastic bullshit from McDonalds and the like at an alarming rate. Twice a year (before birthday and Xmas), Kiddo does a GRAND TOY PURGE. This is where all the McDonalds bullshit accumulated over the last 6 months gets thrown away, and everything she doesn’t play with any more or has outgrown gets donated to charity. It’s super important for me to make sure she A) isn’t too obsessed with material possessions, and B) understands that we are fortunate to have more things, food, house, etc. than we NEED and C) that anyone and everyone in that fortunate position should do what they can to help those who aren’t fortunate enough to have all their needs met.

I hammer these points home pretty hard because I was a selfish kid. I was completely obsessed with accruing more toys (CERTAIN toys. I was very particular and very covetous.), and with keeping everything I had forever IN CASE I NEEDED IT LATER. If I ever got rid of something, I insisted on selling it in a garage sale and getting to keep the money for myself. These are not things I am proud of and certainly not traits I want to pass on to my child. I worked hard to get over these issues, and now I figure I can engrain more altruistic behaviors into my daughter while she’s young so that by the time she’s an adult it will just be a part of her nature.

I look at parenting like the Nielson Corporation looks at people. Sample the behavior of one person and extrapolate the likely behavior of 100,000. If I can instill an innate sense of altruism in one person, then I’m doing what I can to fix the world; to fix the future. This kid is the message I’m sending in into space. She’s filled with the things that I think are important enough to preserve for eternity. She’s my emissary into the void, and her mission is to outlive me, be nicer than I was, and teach people to try and be nicer than she is.

comic-2011-12-23-lo-fijinks-i-know-my-first-name-is-santa.jpg

I Know My First Name Is Santa

comic-2011-12-23-lo-fijinks-i-know-my-first-name-is-santa.jpg

Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made this Three Wheaton Moon shirt. You can buy it! Then you can wear it! Only two steps to total geeky happiness? Sign me up!

Three Wheaton Moon T-Shirt, Funny Three Wolf Moon Parody, Wil Wheaton T-Shirt, 3 Wil Wheaton Moon, Clown Sweater, Wesley Crusher, Evil Wil Wheaton

Lifetime: The Network Your Aunt Likes (You know that ONE aunt? The one that moved back in with your grandma after her divorce.) 

My mom pays for an entire array of cable channels, but she really only uses four of them: Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, Lifetime Real Women and The Hallmark Channel. Around Christmas time (roughly August through February) she parks the TV squarely in the middle of this estrogen programming block and feasts on programming designed to both uplift the spirit and tug at the tear ducts of middle-aged lady types. Also, most of the movies are about your dead relatives returning for Christmas as angels. I saw one over at her place about a dead grandma that just shows up at her family’s house at Christmas, and instead of calling the boys in the grayish-brown suits with the nuclear backpacks they’re all just, “Grandma, it sure is great that Jesus let you come down here and bake cookies for us!” It was intensely creepy. Everything about it that made my mom go, “Awwww,” made me go, “AHAHGHGHGHGHG!!!!” Not 2 weeks later I was back over there and, I shit you not, there was an entirely different movie about a dead relative coming back as a Christmas angel. I expect there are hundreds of them. Like Pokemon.

CONFESSION TIME: I have seen one Lifetime movie that actually made me sad, nearly to the point of tears. I had just finished plowing through 2 or 3 seasons of Dead Like Me and, while flipping channels, saw the star of that show (Ellen Muth) on the screen. Turns out it was a Lifetime movie called The Truth About Jane about a girl (Muth) realizing she’s gay, and how her family treats her like a criminal because of it. They try to “deal with the problem” as if she had been caught with a gun and a bag of PCP. I knew what they were doing! Those bastards were showing me things that I already thought were sad and they were making them even sadder! SHE JUST WANTED TO DATE GIRLS AND BE LOVED! THAT’S ALL! SHE WAS A GOOD GIRL! YOU TREATED HER LIKE A MONSTER! YOU WERE THE MONSTER, MOM! YOU WERE… the… BLOOOO HOOO HOOO HOOOOO!!!!

I have received some very generous gifts from my Amazon Wishlist and from donators in the last couple of weeks. I want to make sure to give big giant holiday-style thanks to Fancy Bastards: Elliot Moss, Cole Parker, Anonymous Ghostbusters gifter, Alyssa Vaughan, Trevor Spratt and Dan & Toni Arthur. Being the father of a 4 year old, I am pretty much primarily on the “giving” side of Xmas, so your gifts were certainly appreciated and made my insides feel all squishy and gross.

COMMENTERS: Sappiest, cheesiest or most unbelievable TV Movie you’ve ever seen? Is there one that actually activated your human emotion chip?

UPDATE 12/28/11:

DAVID WILLIS KEEPS DRAWING ME IN HIS COMICS!!! PLEASE BUY HIS CRUISE FUNDRAISER PRINT (and also THIS ONE) SO HE WILL STOP AND WE CAN GO ON A CRUISE TOGETHER WHICH IS TOTALLY NOT GAY BECAUSE OUR WIVES WILL BE THERE OR MAYBE THEY WON’T I MEAN ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN AT SEA.

Also, I have resurrected my TUMBLR and started things off by posting my giant “How to save Terra Nova” rant (mentioned in this comic’s post) and a free mobile desktop wallpaper of “Dino Jesus.” I have plans for this TUMBLR in 2012 that involve changing some of the ways I offer content and who I offer it to. The basic strategy is more content to more people. I do not see this as being a negative.