Yesterday I was having a bad day. It was one of those crappy days at work that we all have sometimes, where everything goes wrong. Nothing was going my way.
After a meeting in which I presented myself like a sloth on Vicodin, I shuffled back to my desk, feeling like an idiot. A few minutes later, I checked my email and saw about 10 messages from people who tagged me on their posts and comments on Facebook. That's the kind of thing that happens on your birthday but it wasn't my birthday. Turns out George Takei shared one of my cartoons Facebook.
For those who may not know, George Takei is best known for having played Lieutenant Sulu on Star Trek. He's also known for his good sense of humor. He occasionally sits in on the Howard Stern show, cracking jokes and laughing at himself. Bottom line, George is cool -- and he has 3.1 million followers on Facebook, so I was stoked that he shared my cartoon.
I want to thank George Takei and my Facebook friends for turning a bad day into a good one. If you like this Santa on Facebook cartoon and want it as a greeting card, you can buy some here.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Festivus!
A couple weeks ago, I had an emergency appendectomy. My physician and surgeon at Kaiser—Dr. Ruth Holly and Dr. Jennifer Plunkett respectively—were both great and my experience in the hospital was about as pleasant as it could be.
Once I started feeling better, I drew a cartoon and emailed it to Dr. Holly and Dr. Plunkett as a “thank you.” (They saved my life and I thanked them with a silly cartoon. Well, it’s better than nothing.)
Here it is:
Yesterday I had my phone follow-up appointment with Dr. Plunkett, the surgeon. During the conversation, she told me she loves the cartoon and showed it to several of her colleagues. She said, "Now it's on my office door." That made my day.
At the end of the phone call, Dr. Plunkett jokingly said, “I hope you never need to see me again.” I hope not, too. But if I do, I know I’ll be in good hands.
A friend of mine, Bob Williard, recently suggested a cartoon idea. I usually don’t draw other people’s ideas but I decided to quickly sketch this one out, just for fun. Here it is:
Two bowls of Oatmeal who have kids that are cookies - it raises a few questions:
Are these cookies from a previous marriage? Did they adopt these cookies? Or, God forbid, did Mrs. Oatmeal have a torrid affair with this guy and Mr. Oatmeal is totally clueless?
Whatever the situation is, they seem to be raisin’ them well.
It’s been more than a month since I posted a new carton and yesterday I got an email that said, “How come you haven’t posted any new stuff lately?” That was the entire email. The person didn’t even leave their name so I didn’t bother replying. Despite kind of implying that I’m one of these, the guy (I’m assuming it was a guy) did have a valid question so I’ll respond here.
Where are the new cartoons? What the heck have I been up to?
I haven’t had much drawing time lately because I’ve been pretty busy. Life stuff. But I’m always thinking of cartoon ideas and I’ve been filling up the ol’ drawing pad with various sketches and jokes—some good, some decent, some bad. There were a few jokes I was unsure about so I showed them to my wife (her reactions were mainly eye-rolling and/or head-shaking). I have a general rule: if you have to ask someone “Is this funny?” it’s usually not funny.
The rare exception to that rule happened recently. Several months ago, I sketched out an idea which turned out to be this cartoon:
The idea made me chuckle at first but I wasn’t sure about it. So I showed it to my wife, who said, “I don’t get it but I really like the dragons. They’re cute.” The idea ended up staying in my sketchbook for weeks because I thought it was too “niche” and possibly too wordy. I just wasn’t sure if it was worth spending the time to finish.
One day I decided to draw it and posted it on Facebook. I figured if it was a flop, at least I’d be satisfied about the drawing. To my surprise, people liked it a lot. And to my utter surprise, it ended up going viral. Over the past few weeks, thousands of people have shared it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest.
This made me realize two things: 1. My judgment is crap sometimes and 2. A heck of a lot of people out there play D & D, used to play D & D, and also seem to like nerdy dragons.
I want to thank those who’ve shared this cartoon. Power to the dragon nerds!
As for new stuff….it’s coming next week.
Quinoa is a popular item in health food stores across the country. Every day, people are choosing to incorporate this heart-healthy food into their diets. As a public service, I'd like to share 10 things I think you should know about quinoa.
Ten Facts and Tips About Quinoa
1. Many people think quinoa is a grain, but it’s actually the seed of a plant that’s closely related to chard. These amino acid-rich seeds are not only very nutritious, but also super disgusting!
2. “Quinoa” contains the word “no,” which is what everyone says when asked if they want seconds.
3. If you eat one cup of quinoa (one serving), you will:
* consume 220 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein.
* want to take back all the bad things you said about couscous.
4. The word “quinoa” comes from the French words “qui" meaning "who" and "noa" meaning “really likes this crap?”
5. If you’re in a fancy restaurant and want to order their highly acclaimed quinoa dish, be sure to pronounce it correctly: keen-wah. Actually, it doesn’t matter—you’ll never find yourself in that situation.
6. Quinoa’s Official Slogan: “Just for the taste of it! Okay, just for the health benefits.”
7. The Incas considered quinoa a sacred food and referred to it as the “mother seed.” They valued quinoa as much as gold. Oh, did I mention that the Incas also sacrificed young children?
8. Nobody in the history of the world has ever uttered the phrase, “May I have that fantastic quinoa recipe?”
9. Quinoa cooks very easily, in 15 minutes, the same time it takes to bake a delicious pepperoni pizza. Just saying.
10. Quinoa by itself tastes rather bland. You may want to add some olive oil or butter, which will make it taste only slightly less shitty.
I recently took my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Kate, to Trader Joe’s. She likes coming along on shopping trips because she really enjoys looking at people. But she especially likes going to Trader Joe’s because the cashiers give out stickers to kids.
Most little kids like stickers. Kate loves stickers. It’s almost an unhealthy obsession. The only thing she likes even more than stickers is balloons. One time, my wife bought her a sheet of stickers that were all balloons and Kate’s head almost exploded.
Along with giving out stickers, Trader Joe’s also has this game they do for little kids. Every day, they hide this stuffed donkey toy somewhere in the store. If a kid spots the donkey, they tell the cashier where it is. Then they get a piece of candy.
As we got in the car, I said to Kate: “Remember the game at the store? When you look for the toy donkey?”
She replied with an emphatic “Yes!”
Fifteen minutes later, we’re in the store walking around. At one point, I looked down at Kate in the cart and noticed that her head was moving slooooowly from left to right. The look on her face was deadly serious.
“What’re you doing?” I said.
“Looking for the donkey,” she said, in almost a whisper. Then she continued to scan the store, like a robot.
I had forgotten about the donkey game.
“Okay, good job,” I said. “Keep looking.”
About ten minutes later, I was grabbing gallon of milk and almost dropped it when Kate yelled “THERE IT IS!”
She found the donkey – but I couldn’t see it.
She said, “There!”
“In the refrigerator?”
“No, no! Up THERE!”
The donkey was perched about four feet above the milk section, on a little ledge.
“Good job,” I said.
The entire time Kate was looking for the donkey---a good 20 minutes---she had the demeanor of a Secret Service agent, searching for a lone gunman in a crowd. (I know you’re here, donkey…you can run, but you can’t hide.)
I’m pretty sure that if I had played this game at her age, I would’ve had the laser-like focus Kate had…..for about a minute. (Look for the donkey…look for the donkey…look for the—oooh, ice cream!)
Right after Kate found the donkey, she was beaming. I looked down at her and thought: You got this skill from your mother. Both Kate and my wife are highly observant people. Me, not so much. I can’t count how many times my wife and I have had a conversation like this:
Me: “I really like this new lamp.”
Her: “I bought it six months ago.”
As I was driving home from the store, I was thinking about how much Kate is like her mom. Then suddenly I heard Kate’s voice from the back seat.
I turned down the radio.
“Poo poo!” she said, followed by a huge belly laugh—which totally cracked me up.
I guess the kid is a little like me too.
Want to see a sketch of a cartoon idea that was induced by a mind-altering substance? Read on!
One day a few weeks back, I was really tired. I was so exhausted that I resorted to drinking some 5-Hour Energy. (I try to use that stuff sparingly because it kind of scares me. It’s rocket fuel. I’m pretty sure one of the ingredients is paint thinner.)
As usual, after about three sips of 5-Hour Energy I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to run around the block five times. And a few seconds later, a cartoon idea popped in my head. It seemed pretty funny, so I immediately I grabbed a piece of paper and sketched it out.
I drew this sketch in roughly 14 seconds. Even though it’s shaky and rough, I like the look of the cat. In the final version, he didn’t change much.
I should note this cat is based on my 21-pound cat, Simon. I’m pretty sure he drinks 5-Hour Lethargy.
I recently decided to start running in the morning instead of trying to run at night. For me, running at night during the winter rarely works out. After working all day, commuting and helping get our daughter ready for bed, I am exhausted. I’m a morning person, so I figured running before work is the best way for me to get (and stay) in shape. Today was Day 1 of the new schedule.
My alarm clock went off at 4:50. Then I hit the snooze button. I don’t remember hitting the snooze button. The alarm went off again at 4:55, which is when I groggily realized: Oh, yeah. I need to get up. My wife must’ve been reading my mind because a second later she muttered, “dontyouneedtogetup?”
I put on my running clothes and reflector vest, and then grabbed a flashlight. I was out the door by 5:00.
With the exception of races, I don't think I've ever I’ve gotten up this early to go running. Here are three things that surprised me:
1. Nobody else was out running. Or walking. I thought I’d see at least one other runner out there. Or even someone walking their dog. Somebody to give the Hey-how’s-it-going-you’re-also-up-early head nod to. I did see a fat woman in a blue bathrobe picking up her newspaper, but that doesn’t count. And I wish I didn’t see that.
2. There were no cars on the main thoroughfare in my neighborhood. None. Not even a bus or a delivery truck. I thought about running in the middle of the street for a couple blocks, just for the novelty of it. But I didn’t. That would’ve been stupid.
3. It felt good. Actually, it felt great.
I got home at 5:40 -- a 40-minute run. Not a bad start. I’m going to do the early morning runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and get up at 5:00am to draw cartoons on Tuesday and Thursday. So here’s to running and drawing cartoons early in the morning!
Thank God for coffee.
Back in 2002, I thought it would be fun to do a children's book. My idea was about a deer, named Simon Buckman, who goes against the herd to follow his dream of being a professional stand-up comedian. I wrote the story and sent proposals to publishers. It was rejected mainly because the idea isn't...what's the word I'm looking for....oh yeah, "marketable."