Hello all! Yes, I am still here. The Mayans were wrong but it was still an apocalypse if you counted all the things that had gone wrong this year. I've still been working and doing art but have not been posting anything since I was out of sorts since May when my father died. Looking at my blog, the last post I made was on the 22nd of May. Yikes! I knew it was a long time since I last posted but 2012 royally sucked a big one and I kind of wanted to wait out the year in hopes to get a fresh start in 2013 and to start this all over right. To close one chapter and start another.
After my father died in May, I lost two more friends I knew well during late August and early September. I wound up having to go to the same funeral parlor twice in under two weeks time! Then as a capper to it all, we lost Bill White, a cartoonist, who died a few months ago. I didn't know Bill personally as in meeting face to face but knew him well for years from his blog that I followed. And that was a loss since Bill was young and had the same problems by father had at the end.
Then we had Hurricane Sandy. Luckily her full force didn't hit here too hard but it did knock out power from for about 15 hours. During the previous days to her arrival I was not sleeping well as I knew I had to do something about the basement possibly having water flooding issues. Hurricane Irene the year before was a nightmare and one I didn't want to relive when the power goes out. I bought huge tarps and covered the back yard and then hunkered down as best I could. If I could have thrown a force field over the whole house I would have. You couldn't find a generator anywhere in the area so I was lucky to sponge a power line off my neighbors if I needed it. Luckily I didn't. As the storm raged, I was down in the basement shoring up the wall and corners in spots I knew might leak with DryLock as I could see the water level from the water table rising. Some water seeped in through cracks and I piled DryLock on to patch it as I could. As I finished the work and was about to clean up, the power went out. All in all, I had very minimal leakage if any and I was able to sit back and didn't mind the power outage as the brunt of the storm hit turned in time so we didn't get a full force storm. Being 20 minutes away from Philly, we lucked out as New Jersey and New York took a big hit. Luckily I saw the beach this past summer in New Jersey as right now, who knows if it will be open next summer.
Then a few days later, we had the second remnants of Hurricane Sandy hit us again with some high winds but no rain. Again, I lucked out.
Then I just finished a Scooby job on December 21st and was free and clear to enjoy the hoilday. I finished the work at around 5pm and emailed it to California, and then had to run to the supermarket to get some stuff on sale, and then I had to go to and office party that was held at a local bar. It started at 3pm but was still going strong when I got there at 7pm. Needless to say the following day I started feeling a twinge or scratchyness in my throat and on the 22nd I had a runny nose and head cold. Go figure. So this past Christmas I was on Contact Cold/Flu meds and vitamins trying to beat it as fast as I could. So Christmas wasn't fun trying to eat and breathe through my mouth. So fun in fact I bit the inside of my left cheek eating a mini powdered donut! It screwed up my mouth as well so I had to eat soft stuff or eat slow so I didn't rebite it. So as of this writing I have some lingering effects of the cold but otherwise I am feeling fine. Happy New Year... Sheesh. Well, having a cold seems appropriate since all this year I was fine and told myself I couldn't get sick due to issues with my father and missing work. Any freelancer can tell you that a day you are sick is a day you don't make money.
As a bright spot, work was fine this year, but I had changed my life after my father died. I saw my father devote his life to work and spend 58 years in the same building and he was a man who gave up vacation time and weekends as "The place couldn't survive without him." Now I know he lived his life the way he wanted to but I know he must have regretted not taking his vacations when the end was near. A vision I can't get out of my head is him sitting on the edge of the hospital bed frail, bone-thin and crying with breathing tubes up his nose and tubes hanging off like he was a Borg being assimilated and saying, "I wish I had more time. I had stuff I wanted to do." My father was on the 150-year plan it seemed as by cleaning stuff out of his basement I found things that he had bought years ago in the hopes to one day actually do them. That time never came.
It was around late June or the first week of July, I changed my life as well. I no longer work weekends nor holidays for this stuff. I simply don't care. If they can't get their deadlines correct from the start I will not kill myself doing any work whether it's for Disney or WB or whomever. Screw them. I walked off doing the DVD cover to Scooby-Doo Mask of the Blue Falcon as I didn't have much time and the July 4th weekend was right there. I'm tired of ruining relationships (especially with women) and not being able to go to functions due to some kind of work. I'm done with it. I'm not giving my life up for these corporations any more. Especially since they don't care about you in return. You hear that DC Comics? No more cover art done on Christmas Day because some idiot forgot about it and they need it the next day. Thankfully the new editor on Scooby-Doo seems to have it all together and plans my schedule with no drama. The last editor I'm sure used to ride in the short bus to school. It's not a hard job being a comic book editor but they insist on screwing it up.
It's now been eight months and my mother and I have not heard from my father's boss since my father passed. Not a card, not a fax, not a email, not a call. Employers don't give a shit about you, so why should I for them? Now I can't throw his boss under the bus completely since he did do a nice thing and not get rid of my father as he knew he needed the health insurance so I'll give him that. But you'd think he would have sent a card and acknowledged his family after he died. Also the people you work with are passing acquaintances, and not friends. All these so-called friends my father had were not to be seen, nor heard from after they found out he passed. We only had a handful bother to send a card or call. You really are on your own in this world.
So now, since July, I do my work in a timely manner upon a set deadline and I deliver. If it rolls over the weekend, it can wait till Monday. Tough shit. I don't care if you need it Saturday. Go get someone else. I'll be out enjoying the a beautiful spring day. As an example, I got a email to do some work that would have made me work everyday over the Labor Day Weekend. I turned it down. They wanted to extend the deadline by two days but it still wasn't worth it. The funny thing is that the person emailing me about the work was on vacation and wasn't in the office anyway! I guess they got someone else to give up their holiday, I wasn't giving up mine. Everybody takes their vacation but me. Well, no more. I had two barbecues to go to and I wasn't going to cancel them like I used to in the past. So, all in all, this past summer and fall has been great! I went to the beach a few times this year and I travelled a bit and took time to smell the roses.
Like Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it."
So true! I'll be posting some art tomorrow! Stay tuned!