What Would You Do?

I am running behind on my latest assignment in drawing class so something has gotta give. I either have to curtain some of my favorite activities, like going to the gym in the afternoon or having coffee with friends, or there will be some late-nighters in my future. I pride myself on my punctuality and am known for being on time consistently. I don’t want to ruin my good track record. But how am I going to do this?

First of all I have to figure out a way to stay awake. When the eyelids get droopy, it is not an easy task. This is where coffee comes to the rescue. I often complete work in my room in the wee hours of the morning but I don’t want to keep my roommate awake, so I have to do it in the dark using a medical penlight from Ward Heroes to see what I am doing. Such a device is a higher quality version of a mini flashlight so it is my gadget of choice to light the way. It lasts a long time without a battery recharge and is small and convenient. Let me tell you, it will get you out of many a jam. You can use it to unlock your car in a dark parking lot or to read in bed. I hook it on my drawing pad so I have my hands free for creating toons. This sure beats working in the hall or bathroom where the light won’t disturb by roommate. By the way, I know he is sound asleep when I her that inevitable snoring!

When the snoring disrupts my creativity, I leave the room in any case with or without the medical penlight. What would you do? When duty calls, in the form of an assignment due the next day, you have to be as resourceful as you can. The library closes at ten and the local cybercafé at eleven. I could go to another student’s room in the dorm, but it would no doubt be full of loud mouths and blaring music. Dorm life poses its challenges as you can see. I am grateful that the hall light stays on all night long. The same for the bathrooms. There is always someone else up at the same time whether it be two, three, or four am.

I hope things will get easier as time goes on and that one day I will be in my own space doing what I want, in full lamp light if it is nighttime. Don’t get me wrong, I like my roommate and I couldn’t find a better guy, but he likes to sleep a lot. More power to him. I guess he gets his schoolwork done during normal hours unlike us procrastinators. My problem is that I often wait for the muse to arrive so I am inspired while I accomplish assignments. It is hard to be creative on demand. It means you turn out only a journeyman’s work.

Dude, What is that Smell?

Not another blog about my roommate! Oh, yes, it is. Student life is full of odd tales to share. What else can I say about my life? It is still in the formative stage so now you have to accept getting a glimpse of what is going on so far. When I am rich and famous, you will say you “knew me when.” Ha! No kidding. I want to be a world-famous comic strip author found syndicated around the globe. I will be translated into many languages and the toons will speak for themselves. I have big ambitions, if I don’t let the current state of affairs in the dorm get me down.

So what can be so bad? Let me tell you. My roommate (the culprit who snores and keeps me tossing and turning at night) smells bad and there is always a funk in the room. Sure I can change to another person, but I rather like this guy as I have said before. It could be worse. I could get a slob or someone who talks drivel all day long. Meanwhile when friends pop in they often exclaim, “dude, what is that smell?” Yikes. How embarrassing; but frankly it is on his head, not mine.

I think he doesn’t change his socks even though there is a washer in the dorm basement for public use. It would be so easy to throw them in with the towels and underwear. What is his problem!!! I have dropped many a hint to no avail. If I did the same thing, imagine the horrendous odor. He must have a plugged up nose and a poor sense of smell. I hear there are people like that. They need to bathe more often and can load up on the cologne because they don’t think there is enough. Thank goodness he has spared me this extra burden.

I could go on and on, but I have to admit that I solved the problem. After much deliberation and some cold nights with the window open, I hit on the idea of a Clean Breathing air purifier. You can get a small one suitable for a dorm room for a song. The price doesn’t affect its functionality; it just covers a limited area. It is an amazing appliance that you can use anywhere all day long. The room smells better already. I thought about spray deodorizers but they can be sickly sweet, plus you keep shelling out the dollars week after week. Fresh air doesn’t come cheap. But the air purifier was the panacea for my problem. It isn’t noisy as you can imagine. You plug it in, set the timer, and let it perform its magic. I recommend it highly. If you have pet odors or cooking smells at home, give it a go.

With all the bitching about my roommate, who seems to have multiple issues, I have come up with an answer for all of them. So far so good. If he starts to eat in the room and leaves crumbs for the ants, I will tackle that, too.

Machines Alive

As an art student with a passion for animation, I can find inspiration in almost anything on earth. Once something mundane, like a vacuum cleaner, comes alive, it automatically is imbued with humor. It has to do with the unexpected and turning the ordinary into entertainment. Some call it “making the familiar strange.” It is the heart of creativity. I also just love drawing and enjoying the variety of images I can produce. I do it for myself, but if I can get an audience someday, so much the better. I will make the content richer as time moves on.

I am working on a comic strip now featuring household items that come to life, which is why I mentioned a vacuum. I have this big upright fellow dancing about the house trying to overpower a mop and a dustpan and broom. They are in a race to see who finishes first. It is a silly competition to be sure, but there is so much you can do when machines come alive. They can make noises, talk with an accent, flirt with other devices or just wreak havoc on the family.

I have based this current work on real items in my house. I collect old stuff so it will be there when I need ideas. I am getting to be a junk collector and someday the pickers are going to come around. With this in mind, and the thought of making a little money to further my career, I am acquiring things that aren’t just utilitarian. To be sure a vacuum cleaner reigns supreme in any household no matter what kind of floors there are. It can tackle carpet, tile, wood and more; plus it can prance lithely up the stairs with a little prompting. That has got to be in my strip, which I will likely call The Clean Home. But beyond the vacuum, which happens to be an old model (they don’t make them like this anymore says my mom), I have assorted clutter on my shelves in the form of bric-a-brac and cast off refuse.

All kinds of things like teapots talk in films like Beauty and the Beast, so why not a clock, a radio, a toaster, andirons, or what not. I love book ends and have quite an array—some in the form of animals. What would a junk collection be without ceramic pets or toon characters? My Disney group is going to be quite valuable someday since I have raided old antique stores for some pretty old loot. A lot of these rare items are hard to find with all the collectors out there hunting. As they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. People can make a living this way as you see on cable TV.

When I juxtapose several dissimilar items, wonderful things happen in my comic strips. I am going to specialize this year in repurposed trash. Great cartoon characters should emerge if what I have in mind comes to fruition.