Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Originally uploaded by stymie924.
This was an illustration I did a while back as part of a larger series. It was all supposed to be for a picture book called "THE BIG BOOK OF MOOD." I still may finish it one day. Right now, I simply have too many projects to finish and too little time to do them!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by stymie924.
Well folks, friends and family, I went and had the old colon examined yesterday... First things first, I am all clear and have a nice big healthy colon.

The day started off with me laying on the couch with Leo--unable to sleep. I was pretty nervous with the effects of the previous day's prep still rumbling down below. Leo an I lounged on the couch for a couple of hours in the early morning. I was debating whether I should take him to his momma for a little ealry morning feed while I jump in the shower and have another in a series of anxiety attacks... I opted for the shower.

At around 8:15 our preacher and good friend Susannah showed up to care for Leo. We ran through his routine, etc... while I continued to worry and fight the unbelievable urge to run to the bathroom. Why am I so worried? I wasn't worried the day before, or the day before that. I was pretty well settled that everything was going to be fine. Now? Who knows... Anything could happen. I run through all possibilities--one of them involved the doctor coming in after the procedure and showing me a strange piece of hardware. "We found this. I'm not really sure what it is. It coould be an alien probe of some kind. We're sending you to the Jet Propulsion Lab for further analysis. Don't bother getting dressed."

9:00 we arrive to check in and I look around the waiting room. I am the youngest person there by about 25 years. Everyone has the same look of dread and impending discomfort. Some people are clearly there under the duress of their spouse. One older man, as he is being escorted back is asked, "How are you feeling today?" he replies, "Don't know yet..."

At about 9:30 my patient beeper thing goes off (sort of like what they give you at Red Lobster) and I am taken back to where the magic happens. The admitting nurse is amazed at my vitality as I sprint around the corner. I explain that it's all an act, I just want to get this over with. She replies that she hears that a lot.

An IV is administered despite my freakishly small veins. They ask another series of embarrassing questions and then I am wheeled into the "chamber." When the doctor comes in, a gentle looking Chinese man, he remarks, "My god, you're just a baby! What are you DOING here?" I am asking myself the same question when the nurse asks me how much sedation I prefer. Are you kidding? I want TOTAL SENSORY DEPRIVATION!!! I am watching as she injects something into my IV. She has a knowing smirk on her face. While I am waiting to feel comfrtably numb, I look over and see the endoscope being "prepped" and I wonder, just how much of that long bastard are they going to stick up there? I am pondering the possibility of perferation when I am suddenly semi-alert in the recovery room. I guess it's all over! Mandy is there looking alternately embarrassed and as if she is sick from laughing. Apparently I shouted "Far out man! Far Fucking Out!" as I was coming out of the anesthesia. I then cut loose a barrage of roaring farts that would have blown the walls off an abrams tank--which prompted a feeble "Bravo" from one of the nurses in the recovery area. The Doctor eventually comes in and gives me the whole play by play which culminates in an "ALL CLEAR!" He says I shouldn't need to come back until I am 50. I couldn't be happier.

I spend the rest of the day in a relative daze--but somehow manage to put together a portfolio for a prospective client. Go figure. Anyway, here's to good colon health!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


All done and all clear... More detailed post to come after the effects of the anesthesia have worn off.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


In less than five days--well, let's just say next Tuesday, I'll be having a camera snaked up my you-know-what to see what, if, anything is up there... Of course, I am scared. I am scared, not of the actual procedure per se--although it doesn't sound like a day at the beach, but of the possibility that there might be something seriously wrong. My gut tells me (no pun intended--really) that there's nothing to worry about. Rationally, I know that I am a young man--reasonably healthy, if a bit overweight. I know that the chances of me being eat up with colon cancer are less than average--rationally I know all this. I haven't had any other complaints or symptoms. Still, you never know...

Still, I can't help but worry. I can see the doctor coming into the room, his brow furrowed with concern. He struggles with the words, "We found something, this area here (shows me the picture). I took a biopsy. We'll just have to wait and see." In the meantime, I am swallowing the giant lump in my throat. How will I break the news to my family? How can I support my wife and child with a tumor up my butt? I imagine the months of treatment to follow, the awesome journey of self-discovery--worthy of it's own movie of the week on Lifetime. I see myself swimming into the Atlantic ocean toward the end. I look to the sky and shout to the heavens, "I want to LIVE!!!" I think that may have been in another movie I saw a long time ago... Anyway...

I'll keep you all posted.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Ward-O-Matic has a great post about what movie theatre owners are telling Hollywood... MAKE BETTER MOVIES! I thought I'd weigh in myself as a self-avowed movie geek.

First, there is a ton of speculation as to why people have been staying away from the movies this past year--Entertainment Weekly did a great little piece on it a few weeks back. Bad films, expensive concessions, cell phone madness, CRAZY ticket prices... These were all cited as reasons why the film industry and theatre owners have lost audiences. I tend to think it's a combination of all or some of these factors.

1. Let's look at quality. Do movies stink any worse now then they did last year? Ten years ago?? Twenty years ago? I'm not sure how to quantify that exactly--although I'll go out on a limb and say probably not. I will concede that I have been less excited about going to the movies lately--nothing much interesting me. From my own experience, I can tell you that the movies I have gotten excited about in the past five years were blockbusters, LORD OF THE RINGS and, yes, the STAR WARS films. Now the STAR WARS movies were good eye-candy but not what I would call "really good." But LOTR was and is something I will watch again and again--which brings me to a central point, repeat viewing. One way that theatre owners make a lot of money is by letting a blockbuster hang around for a long time while people see the movie again and again. Say Bob goes to see KING KONG on opening day. He loves it and that weekend he goes again with some friends and maybe those friends each see it again and so on and so on. Think of the concessions sold... That's just a theory I sort of thought about--nothing I know for sure. I have heard that that is one of the reasons TITANIC did so well was that people were just seeing it again and again and again. These days, one only need wait a few months before the director's cut is released on DVD and they can watch it at home--complete with the key grip's commentary. I don't know. I don't think movies are especially worse now than they were, say, five years ago. I just think that people are going to think twice about plunking down $30.00 for tickets and concessions for a movie that, I don't know, might be okay but do we really need to pay all that just to catch a glimpse of Angelina Jolie's bare nipple? I mean, I got cable... I'll see all the nipples I want at home!

2. Concessions. They are just outrageous. Next.

3. Cell phones. This is a particularly sore subject with me. I have seen people answer their phone in the middle of a movie and then threaten the life of the poor bastard who complains. Conversely, I have seen an entire theatre practically disembowel another poor bastard who forgot to turn his phone off. In this latter example, the guy just frantically fumbled with the phone as it screamed the theme from Shaft--all while his fellow moviegoers were cursing him with language that would make Mamet blush. Personally, I HATE it when somebody's phone goes off. It makes me crazy. I heard today on NPR that some theater owners are trying to get the FCC to let them scramble cell phone signals. Wha? That seems a little excessive. I think I would prefer a more direct ad campaign. Picture this, before the FEATURE PRESENTATION, Jack Black or some other popular actor, comes on screen and simply says, "If you don't turn off your cell phone now, YOU ARE A SELFISH DICK!!! Thank you and enjoy the show."

4. Couples. I recognize that this post is less about quality movies and more a rant about what annoys me at the movies... So what. I'm rolling. Now, couples. You know who you are. You are the ones who put up the arm rests at stadium theaters and snuggle and coo and smooch and feed each other popcorn and share your one big coke and basically make the rest of us want to, first, puke, and then, kill you. Let me say this. SHUT THE F**K UP. Sit in your seat and watch the screen and keep your hands in your lap.

5. Movie talkers. Again I say, SHUT THE F**K UP!! What makes people think that it's okay to speak AT ALL during a movie? What? Tell me? I'm serious. I've had people I love run their mouths the entire movie AFTER I have told them to shut it. I am not interested in your commentary. I like to be totally immersed in the complete movie experience and when you start in with your running color comentary it kills it for me. And for those of you I don't know, shut your suckhole during the movie. I'd like to insist that you shut it during the trailers--which I love--but I realize that's asking a lot.

6. Late arrivals. This is more of a nagging annoyance. I realize that not everyone needs to see the previews and not everyone really cares about where they sit. I like to get there early. People who know me, know this about me and love me anyway. It drives me nuts to go to the movies with people--I show up to pick them up and then they screw around until about fifteen mnutes before showtime and then say, "What are you so worked up about? We have PLENTY of time."

I don't know... I guess I just needed to get all that off my chest!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Four movies I would (AND DO) watch over and over:
1. Star Wars (Original Trilogy)
2. The Big Lebowski
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. A Mighty Wind--really anything by this crew...

Four places I have lived:
1. Clemson, SC
2. Rock Hill, SC
3. Boston, MA
4. Atlanta, GA

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Lost
2. The Office (Original BBC version)
3. Survivor
4. House

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. St, Thomas, USVI
2. Edisto Beach
3. St. George Isl., FL
4. Isle of Palms, SC

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Folioplanet
2. The Onion
4. www.wardomaticblogspot.com (a friend's blog)

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Sushi from Aloha--a takeout place in ATL
2. Good pizza
3. Mandy's stepmom's mississippi mud cake...
4. Snow Crab Legs

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Fishing in the intracoastal waterway...
2. Fishing in the surf at Edisto.
3. Fishing in the Chatooga River
4. Really, fishing anywhere...

That's it for now... Thanks Sal. This was fun...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Originally uploaded by stymie924.
This is an image from a story I am working on... You gotta love little robots...

Monday, March 06, 2006


Originally uploaded by stymie924.
This past Sunday, Leo was surrounded by both his church family and his REAL family as we all together celebrated his baptism. It was a great day--over 15 family and friends came to visit.

One note, the gown he is wearing the same one my grandfather wore to his baptism. It was very old and fragile...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Originally uploaded by stymie924.
I had the old sketchbook out last night while I was watching television. First we watched Days of Our Lives (I know, it's a cheesy soap, but what can one do?)... This is a sketch of Victor from Days. He has sort of a square shaped head. Check out some of the other sketches by clicking on the pic...

Sketching is a great way for me to keep those all important drawing skills honed and sharp. Somehow, though, my I always seem to prefer sketches to the finished illustration. What does that say about me as an illustrator? Huh...