Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sharing a Drink

This one’s from several years ago, around Christmas time it seems.  The girl’s facebook posts didn’t say freaking.  But it being Christmas, I cleaned them up a bit.  I’ve lost track of this girl.  Haven’t seen her on facebook for a while.  Hope she’s ok.


The other day I’m driving down 71 with MaryEllen and Maly, and Maly wants to sing.  We tell her to go ahead and we’ll try to join in.  So she launches in to Piano Man by Billy Joel.  Between the three of us I think we got most of it knocked out.  Piano Man didn’t get us to Butler, so Maly picked another of her favorites, Silent Night, all three verses.  And of course singing along with my wife and daughter to Piano Man and Silent Night got me thinking about what else, communion meditation.

If you’re not familiar with Billy Joel’s masterpiece about the loneliness and emptiness that is part of so many lives, let me read a bit of it to you.  If you know it already, feel free to sing along.


Its nine o’clock on a Saturday

The regular crowd shuffles in

There’s an old man sitting next to me

Makin’ love to his tonic and gin


He says, son, can you play me a memory?

I’m not really sure how it goes

But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete

When I wore a younger mans clothes


Now John at the bar is a friend of mine

He gets me my drinks for free

And he’s quick with a joke or to light up your smoke

But there’s someplace that he’d rather be


Now Paul is a real estate novelist

Who never had time for a wife

And he’s talkin’ with Davy who’s still in the navy

And probably will be for life


And the waitress is practicing politics

As the businessmen slowly get stoned

Yes, they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness

But it’s better than drinkin’ alone


And it’s into this night, and every night, of loneliness and desperation that God steps.  And when he does, shepherds quake at the sight, glories stream from heaven, and heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!  Christ the savior is born.

While I was working on this yesterday, I took a break to look at Facebook.  So with the idea of Christ stepping into our broken lives, let me read to you the last few status updates made by a girl, one of my past students, a kid I like a lot.


tired of it all

doesn’t really know what to think about things lately

is tired of being everyone’s second choice!!!!!!!!!

why cant i just freaking hate, after all you have freaking done to me, i haven’t even spoke to you, i thought that’s what you wanted, WHY THE freak DO I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

And finally, yesterday’s status–


just want someone who cares, someone i can hold, and someone to love me unconditionally, despite my problems or issues.


My heart broke.  Here I’m writing about baby Jesus born in a stable, who grew up with the mantle of son of god and messiah, yet spent his time befriending outsiders, the lonely, the lost, and proclaiming that the kingdom of god is at hand.  And here I am now believing that that kingdom is here, and proclaiming that kingdom; and meanwhile the world is full of lost lonely outsiders who are crying out, and not just john and paul and davy from a song, but real people that we know and love.
This morning we don’t have to share a drink called loneliness.  But we do share a drink that reminds us that there was a time when our god was lonely; that reminds us that there are those out there, and those right here, who are lonely.  We share a drink that reminds us of what was done for us when we were searching for some meaning in this world; and encourages us, I hope, to bring that meaning, to bring that Jesus, to others who still search.


More Coasters

These pictures are horrible.  I took them in a dark garage, and I think it about made my poor ipad’s camera have a stroke.  But I made some more of these.  they can be coaster or wall hangings.  And if you want two sets from the same book, I can probably do that.  They’re $15 a set, plus $5 postage.  Let me know if you’re interested.

Star Wars

star wars





Country –

They came out a little wrinkly.  I’m learning that some paper just doesn’t work as well.



Peter Rabbit

peter rabbit

Kid’s Bible


Snowy Day

I loved this book.

snowy day

Where the Wild Things Are

Another of my favorites.

wild thing

Dick and Jane (and Sally)

dick and jane

A company of parrots

a company of parrots

Jungle Book

jungle book



Musical Tribute

Way back when, back in the 80’s, when I spent some time in Europe, there was no skype or internet or other easy and inexpensive ways to stay in touch with people halfway around the world.  Except the mail.  When I was in England working at the pub, my brother made me series of tapes and sent them too me.  A couple of them feature virtual tours of the fraternity hours.  I don’t think I can post these as the way my brothers behaved and spoke 25 years ago isn’t a very good representation of who they are today. For most of them at least.  One of these tapes featured a visit with my family and family friend Carrie who happened to be home from college.  I don’t think I can post that one as there was some various gossip about people from the neighborhood, and occasionally it got a little mean.  Just a little.  Finally, brother Mike made me a musical tribute tape.  That one I’m going to share.  I think the clips are brief enough to keep us out of legal trouble.  Mike probably thinks he sounds dumb on the recording, but we all think that.  I think it was pretty cool to take the time to make all these and then send them to me through the mail.  It meant a lot.

Lois Lane #136

What do you get when you cross a romance comic with a superhero comic?

lois lane

Superman’s girl friend Lois Lane is a comic that I guess ran for over 10 years as this issue 136.  From the cover you can see that in this issue, Lois is in danger of losing Superman to Wonder Woman. In the second and third panel of the book, you can see why he might look elsewhere.

not now

In two seconds she goes from “Not now!” to save me for the hundredth time.  Coincidentally, what Superman wanted to share was that he and Lois are over and he’s with Wonder Woman now.  You know how it is, baby. Playas gotta play.  Lois goes through some of the stages of grief. I think. (I’m not really sure what they are.) First she can’t believe it. Then she cries and tells Superman she never wants to see him again. And then she uses a race car driver and basic adventurer to fulfill her romantic needs. But after dating Superman, even this guy is pretty bland. Finally she decides that Superman’s new romance is some kind of secret plan. So she creeps on the super lovers with zoom lenses and zoom microphones, and it appears that their love is real.

One day, while the new super couple are romancing in the sky, Superman leaves to to save a plane miles away, and Wonder Woman is attacked by three dudes on flying machines.  She makes quick work of capturing two of them. The third escapes back to his master who has set up a hideout in an underground lair. After he reports his failure to his master, a mysterious figure in a robe and hood, he is launched into the sky which of course kills him.

death by catapult

Make me rethink riding the detonator at Worlds of Fun.  Also, isn’t Wonder Woman’s lasso there to make such snipers talk.  How do these superheros so easily forget what their gadgets are for.  Anyway, as Lois continues to creep on Superman and Wonder Woman, she is hit on the head and kidnapped by the mysterious figure.  When she wakes up, the mystery figure reveals that a lie detector test has been administered to Lois, and the kidnapper now knows for sure that Lois is indeed no longer dating the man of steel. This of course saves Lois’s life because the mystery villain is . . . dah, dah DAH! . . . some crazy woman who has recently escaped from the mental hospital and who has the warmies for Super Man.  Crazy goes off to kill Wonder Woman.  Lois escapes from the hideout with the help of her friend Melba.

a sisters help

Let’s be real.  We could all use a sister’s help along the way.  Wonder Woman sure could, as Lois and Melba arrive just in time to tackle the crazy woman and remove a poison necklace from the amazon. And in the last panel Lois and Super Man smooch.

This was kind of a fun and stupid story. It was never explained how an escaped mental patient was able to afford an underground lair, three henchmen, and futuristic flying machines.  But you know what they say about a woman scorned. What made the story fun was the romance story/superhero mashup.  We tend to ignore dumb superhero tropes because we’re used to them.  Same with dumb romance tropes.  But when the stories are put together, the silliness becomes more obvious. And with so much dumb, I can let it go and just enjoy it for what it is. The film Warm Bodies worked for me the same way, combining romance with zombies. So I enjoyed this issue of Lois Lane, the only one I have.

Finally, while not a regular reader of romance comics, I was intrigued by this ad for Young Romance.

you know what I mean

Because, you know, lesbians love to paint.


Hatoel Cat

I’m putting this one under student art, even though this is my work.  I had a student who was studying animal adaptation in biology.  She was supposed to come up with a made up animal that exhibited such adaptation.  She said she couldn’t draw, so during a study hall one day, she described the animal and its adaptations, and I drew it.  Here’s what we came up with.

hatoel cat

Pretty sweet creature, if you ask me.  I think my student drew the monkey in the tree so she would feel some ownership of the picture.  I don’t remember what the lioness is doing there–looking for love or a meal?

Purple Paranoia

purple paranoia

Another k-state button. I’m not really sure what this means. Does thinking someone’s out to get you translate to support for your team? There was definitely some paranoia going on when I was at Manhattan. Most of it aimed at the Reagan administration on one side, and the communists on the other. There were protests when any republican spoke. My philosophy professors had allegedly been on the ground for some South American gun running operations. Communism was changing. There was still a chance that it might work out. I took a history of communism class with a friend. It made him mad every day when our professor would greet the class with “Good morning, comrades.” For kksu I interviewed a CIA spokesperson about the protesting of CIA recruitment on campus. But she didn’t let me record her, so it didn’t make for very interesting radio. Who knew that November 1989, Berlin was right around the corner.




You know, I probably just wanted to make some changes in how we kept the parking lot and the front yard picked up, or maybe I just ran for office at my fraternity at Kansas State because no one else would.  I really don’t remember.  But you know, any time you try to do something good, you’re going to be met with opposition.  And sometimes you anger the wrong fraternity brother.


The fact of the mater is, to make an omelet, you’re going to break some eggs.  And to make a meat pie, sometimes trouble makers and intellectuals are going to have to go into that pie.  I regret nothing.  The parking lot got picked up, and the front yard looked nice.

Plainview #8

In this episode I refer to myself as a 39-year-old man.  Wow, that made me feel old.  Also, I get a little snotty with my mom I think.  Sorry mom.  There’s some fun references to Podcast Alley and the podcast Illinoise! Podcast Alley is apparently still a think.  And you can still listen to Illinoise! here. And it appears that I have become less libertarian than I once was.  Nowadays I do not trust the corporations with educating our kids.  The lack of accountability demonstrated by big business, partnered with government in past years, has really let me down.  Also we celebrate Maly’s adoption day on this episode.



I’m not sure what this button was used for. It appears to be a name tag, maybe. Of course I know who Lynn is. She’s my oldest first cousin. I’m not sure exactly how much older, but I’m going to say 7ish years older. As a result, when the family got together I spent less time with her than with other cousins (plus she was a girl), so somehow she wasn’t that interested in running around the farm throwing dirt clods at each other. What I do remember about her as a kid is two things. One is her laughing. Sitting around the table or around the family room, she was quick with a funny remark and quicker to laugh out loud at something someone else had said. I liked that. The other is that she was the first teenager I spent any extended time around. I remember watching in quiet wonder at her outbursts because her folks told her she was taking too long to get ready or because one of the adults had said something ignorant. Oh, and she also had amazing 70s hair. Yeah, I had a crush on my cousin, so what. Lynn is still funny, plus she’s an amazing artist, teacher, and mother. I hardly ever get to see her anymore. Hopefully I can do some traveling in the years to come and remedy that.