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Strip for 5/15/2002  
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Sorry for missing Sat. We definitely aren't the most punctual comic. But you can nominate us anyways in the Second Annual Cartoonists' Choice Awards if you have a comic strip. Go! Go! We were nominated last year for best Reality Based comic. I'm not sure if we'll repeat, but it'd be nice.

I've been driving stickshift ever since I learned how to drive. My parents decreed that my siblings and I would learn to drive manual so that we could drive anything. They also said it was more fun, took more skill, put you in closer contact with the car so you were more alert, etc. Now they both drive automatics. But my sister and brother and I still all drive stickshift (and how cool is Sil's rendering of my car, huh?). And we're not terribly snobby about it like we used to be, but it is nice having it as a skill. Sorta like being ambidextrous (man, I wish I were ambidextrous). While we were on concert tour in Italy and Spain junior year of high school, Brian Hong and I would try to teach people on the bus to drive stick, using our hands as illustrative devices. Not sure how many of them can drive stick now. I have taught a couple people to drive stick on my car, and I do a lot better there. Sil learned over Spring Break from someone else, but she wants some practice time... We'll see if the weather cooperates next weekend.

Wow, lots going on in "da life." First of all, I'm trying this new strategy of living which is planning nothing. This works out better than expected for finding stuff to do, like when Hunter got me a ticket to Belle and Sebastian on Saturday. I'd seen the concert announcement months ago, but hadn't gotten a ticket because of the fear of something coming up and me having to dump the ticket. I'd forgotten about it until Hunter told me last week. Then he called me that night saying that a friend of his had to dump her ticket. And so, we went.

The concert was nice and chill. The opening act was the band Slumber Party. They were a quartet of girls who sounded like they were on downers. But hey, they're onstage, I'm not. Anyway, the fans were more animated for the main act, but this was manifested in moderate bouncing up and down. You just don't mosh to Belle and Sebastian. They came out (and when I say they, I mean they... there were about 10 people onstage, 5 violins, a cello, a bunch of keyboards, and the like) and they were fun. I was expecting that.

What I wasn't expecting was the crowd in front to be almost completely made up of guys who all looked like they spent all their time tracking down long lost B-sides. These were the peope who kept yelling out things to the band during the song breaks like "Where's Isobel!" and "Play Horses!" I only yelled one thing and it was to the guy in front of me. "Take off your big hat, prick!" He and his equally big headed friends kept yelling out lines from the SNL Celeb Jeopardy sketches, for some unfathomable reason.

Not that the crowd was all made up of depressed single males. There were some cute indie girls in vintage clothing to the left of Hunter and his girlfriend and I. One of them was in this red dress and she was beautiful. Of course I didn't walk over and mention this to her. I just held the thought in my head through the concert. Hope she was cognizant of it. Somewhere. She actually pulled off the indie look, unlike so many other people in the audience who had this "I'm unique, dammit" attitude that made them all look alike.

I had a nightmare on Monday morning that shaved a couple years off my life. It was in three acts. At first, I was at this exotic hotel room, having a party. Then I got assassinated, shot in the head. It didn't hurt much. I remember making the guy wait until I'd said my last words, a line about how much I liked this one CD over another. In the second act, I was a ghost. It wasn't so bad. I could fly and appear to close friends. I was haunting Rick in this airport, and there was a huge line at the security terminal. So I walked through the people towards the front and set it off. I was waiting for him to catch up and I met this lady who had just died. I was trying to tell her how being a ghost wasn't too bad, and the best ways to enjoy ghosthood when the third act started. I was sitting at this table with a lot of other people, some ghosts, some real. This little girl (totally lifted from The Others... darn you, pop culture!) was looking around, and she must have been a ghost too because she could see everyone like I could. "There's 14 of us here," she said. "No, 13," I corrected her but then I turned back and there was this little blond boy seated at the end of the table. He had totally clear eyeballs. He said something, and I made fun of him and all the ghosts laughed and he looked at me with those clear orbs and said, "I'm going to kill you." "How do you kill a ghost?" I asked archly.

Picking up a utensil, he said, "You take a fork and go like" and pressed it onto his hand and that's when I woke up.

I didn't get to story tell again on Tuesday. I got there too late and I was too far down on the list. Anyway, the list rolls over, so, two weeks! Really! Promise! Laurel went down to the place with me and she said it was a bit cheesier than she expected. I hadn't thought of it that way. When I'm there at Uncommon Storytelling, I slip into this very non judgmental zone. I think of it as hanging out with prime grandparent material for a night. Sure, they tell obvious and corny jokes. Sure, they moralize. But I think that's what separates storytelling from standup. The aims and the audience.

Bought the new Weezer CD and Ryan Adams yesterday on a whim (see what i mean about not planning stuff?) and hm... Weezer's going to need some time to grow on me, I think. I'm listening to Ryan Adams for the first time right now and it's pretty good. A bit more country than I'm used to, but hey, so are the Bo Deans sometimes.