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Sunday, July 28, 2013


The pleasures of summer, Sandstromesquely speaking: art and Ann Arbor, music (Steely Dan -- perhaps my last live rock concert? if so, an excellent choice), the presence of too-absence girl children, and the weird joy of wandering into a vulture cage.

This last is hard to explain, even to myself. But imagine you were able to have a conversation, even a halting conversation, with a dinosaur. Would you enjoy it? Would the part you didn't understand intrigue you -- like half-comprehended song lyrics? Maybe it would.

And maybe you'd be a little thrilled by the prospect of being so close to something that really was not meant to be so close to you, as well as evidence that this creature, with its birdbrain, still communicates with specificity -- in a way that seems to offer evidence of personality.

I will not try to persuade you of the vulture's beauty; I'm boring myself with that line, though I still fervently believe it. Few others do, and we know who we are.

But I'll bet that if you had an opportunity to make friends with a dinosaur, such friendship attended, as it would be, by all sorts of hurdles and miscues and foreignness -- I'll bet you'd do it. I'll bet you'd like it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013



Friday night, I was feeling sorry for myself. I leaned into it and drew the Squonk.

Despite his sad-sack nature, I think the Squonk is a wonderful character. I like that we don't know a whole lot about his looks, so I can kind of make it up. (Though he always looks pretty much the same way in my head.)
Anyway, I've drawn him before, which you can see here.

And he figures into my book project, which you cannot see here.

But the point is, the Squonk not only lives a desperate, hunted existence, but -- well, he's a little self-pitying. I mean, he DISSOLVES INTO TEARS. Sometimes we feel we will dissolve into tears, but only the Squonk is sufficiently self-sad.

That leads me to wonder: Do all emotions have usefulness -- even the unattractive ones?? Does self-pity have some kind of unsung utility?

I have no answer. But I have a Squonk. And so do you.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Middle School

In case you were wondering, and thought you'd save me the embarrassment of being asked: Yes, I'm stiiillll working on "Thick Through the Middle." And speaking of "middle," I've been toiling with a part that has to do with the horror that is middle school, which led me to this image. I shall not EXPLAIN the image -- whatever sense you get from it is probably just right.

But it makes me wonder. What do other people remember from middle school? Rough days? Tender moments? Antics and jokes? Crushes and enemies? When people say "middle school" or "junior high," where does your head go?