Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Doctor and Rose

When Doctor Who was rebooted, I caught a few episodes, but too busy drawing, I wasn't motivated to follow the series until Catherine Tate joined up as Donna. Huge Catherine Tate fan here.

Along the way, I saw all the 10th Doctor episodes, and some of the 9th Doctor. I hated Rose with the 10th Doctor, but really like her with the 9th. Their chemistry was much better, I think. 

As you know from my last post, I've been spending more time in NH with my family lately. One of the few nice benefits is I caught up on all the 9th Doctor episodes. Aside from his finale, I love that series, and Christopher Eggleston as The Doctor. 

So here's the 9th Doctor and Rose. I'm a bit inspired to draw the others with companions now. Follow the tags for the 3rd with Sarah Jane, the 10th with Donna, and the 11th with River Song, and then make your requests!

By the way, Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Give thanks.

I find I don't have many distinct Thanksgiving memories. I remember a lot of snippets, but in terms of year, location, company, situation, most are just a blur.

As a kid, I remember the year my dad was in the hospital, and my mom cooked a small feast for me and my sister. She didn't realize there were more ingredients to a pumpkin pie than just the pumpkin until halfway into baking it...they she tried to dump the sugar and stuff in. It didn't work.

I distinctly remember my sophomore year of high school, spent at my grandmother's. My aunt, uncle, and cousins made a rare appearance (after they converted to Jehovah's Witnesses, they only attended holiday gatherings when they fell out of favor with the churchings), and we must have gotten a foot of snow. My sister, cousins and I took a long walk in the picturesque countryside as the snow fell. 

My first year in Saint Louis, I attended my friend Darrell's family's event; they were very warm and welcoming, that was nice. And the year after, Erin, Kelly and I held our own orphans' Thanksgiving. And, once I was in San Diego, Rich, Dan, Mario and I held an orphans' event. I loved the orphans' holidays...so many traditions crammed into one day, everyone fighting over whose tradition should trump the others.

And I loved traveling abroad during Thanksgiving, as few Americans do so. I spent one in the company of my London pal Ian (enjoy the retro sketch here, and put on your best Northern English accent to say "Happy Thanksgiving!") and one eating an "American Thanksgiving" at some random Irish pub in 2007, solo. Of course, the year prior, I was at my folks' place with Sven in tow. 

This year will stand out distinct from all the rest. I warned you in the last post that I had received some bad news while abroad. Turns out my mom's health took a nosedive due to an aggressive cancer. I had returned home with my dad as my guest for easier access to my mom as she had been admitted to Dana Farber. The fast ravages of the cancer, as well as the chemotherapy has been terribly hard on her. She was released from the hospital a few days before Thanksgiving, and her best friend arrived to help take care of her. We had a lovely but sad meal as my mom slept; the smell of food doesn't agree with her, and everything tastes like tin to her. The outlook is good for the world of cancer...but that isn't saying much? In the meantime, I will keep her in my most positive thoughts.   

I'm thankful for the wonderful care she's receiving (and received at the hospital). I'm thanking for my dad for his extra patience with her and diligence. And of course, I'm thankful to still have a great mom. Not perfect of course, but still great.

Cue the laugh tracks!

Despite the rough transition from Rome to Pompeii, I was starting to feel better after a nap in the hotel. 

I was hungry—but cautious—until I saw this awful looking pizza in a tourist trap cafe. It looked bland enough for me to handle, and it was what the doctor ordered.

The next morning, I was able to eat an ample breakfast, and Xavier and I set out to explore the ruins of Pompeii. 

I thought it would be a creepy, depressing (but fun!) excursion, but to my surprise, I could only think of ideas for a sitcom comic. Sure, the bodies were kinda sad, but walking around the city, so well preserved, I felt a bit connected to this place; a place, in many ways, like any other. It had ordinary people, living ordinary lives. They just were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Their horrific loss is our momentous gain, to look into their lives. I loved hearing little tidbits such as the graffiti on the sports complex's wall, including some solidier's sexual conquest claims. Really, are we so different today?

So, my ideas center around a family, living their ordinary, mundane Pompeiian life in 79 AD, unaware that in a few months,  it'll all end. My series/OGN would end the day before the eruption, leaving the characters with neat happy endings; so happy that it'll depress the reader knowing what tomorrow will truly bring.

After this day of tourism, I received some bad news from home. Just a preview of the bad news, as it was "too much" to share at such a distance, but my family didn't want it to be a complete shock when I arrived home. Despite another day of tourism to come in Milan, I simply wanted the holiday over. I didn't draw anything in Milan...so, it seems the 2013 travel entry is complete.