Em oi! #396: Airplane Hell

em_396

This was on a flight from Salt Lake City to Denver. Let me just say that I am super paranoid about my headphones–not only do I worry about disturbing others, I worry about damaging my hearing, so I keep music/podcasts turned down REALLY low. Evidently this guy didn’t give a fuck if everyone could hear his music or not. He’ll probably go deaf, serves him right I guess. Or that’s about what I was thinking. But at the end, when we got up to get our luggage, I started to lean over the seat to vent spleen on the guy. As I did so, I saw some of the stuff he was texting to a friend on his phone (well, we were on the ground, I guess). Essentially he was in his 30s or 40s, on his way to visit a woman his family disapproved of (they believed he was a sinner because he was going to see her, and she had posted some “mildly sexy” photos of herself on the internet), his family also disapproved of his lack of religiosity… I just lost steam. Poor guy was old enough that he should have a life for himself, but he was so totally caught up in his family’s feelings.

It would have been easier if he was just the stupid teenager I’d assumed he was. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a terrible person. But I didn’t yell at him; his life seemed rough enough already.

Anyway. We’ll file this under BJ2139.L86 2014, for Social usages. Etiquette–Etiquette of travel–Special topics–Airplane travel.

I went out to Black Earth to run the Black Earth 10 Mile Race today. It was quite entertaining–I knew about a third of the field, it felt like, or they were friends of friends. It was especially funny to hear people say “Here come the fast people” as I approached with my friend R. Not sure how long I’ve counted as a fast person. We kept a pretty steady 8:00-8:30 pace for the first 9 miles–it was an out and back course, very flat, so it was relatively easy to keep pace, and I knew when we hit the turnaround that I was in 9th place, so it was easy to drive just a little bit harder on the second half to move up a few spots to 7th. Just shy of the 9 mile marker, two people we’d passed earlier (a man and a woman) came up behind us looking to make a move. I dropped the hammer and took off. For a while, I was running about a 6:40. It was amazing, I was flying.

My hands started to tingle. I realized that I could only hold that pace for a limited amount of time, and the clock was running down. I was very shortly going to have make a choice between passing out and slowing down.

I finished, I believe, in 8th place. I didn’t win the free shoes gift certificate. But I learned something new about how fast I can really push myself to–maybe if I start doing intervals once a week (my PT suggested this), I will actually be able to hold a 6:40 pace for a little while longer.

That’s enough of that. Here are some pictures of dogs and other animals I took.

IMG_1803

IMG_1844

IMG_1852

Macalester, or Mac for short.

Macalester, or Mac for short.

Edgar is happy when Bear is around.

Edgar is happy when Bear is around.

IMG_1897

Bear, who stayed with us for a week while his person traveled.

Bear, who stayed with us for a week while his person traveled.

Kali and Bear go on adventures.

Kali and Bear go on adventures.

Kali.

Kali.

 

 

Bear, lying down.

Bear, lying down.

 

 

 

 

 

Smile nice for the camera, guys.

Smile nice for the camera, guys.

Smile, I said.

Smile, I said.

Guys, come on.

Guys, come on.

Anyway I think my SAD is over so I will try to post more frequently now. I still have a couple of reviews in queue and a few more to write, plus I’ve recently fallen down a post-colonial studies rabbit hole and I’m excited to talk about that (everyone in real life is tired of listening to me talk about it, actually).

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Em oi! #376: นักแปล [nakplae, the translator]

I have the skills to...get bug spray for Andy and Sara's room. Possibly.

Another sketch from our trip to Thailand. This actually happened at a down-at-its-heels hotel in Chiang Mai. Eventually Andy and Sara got to move to a slightly better room…but they didn’t manage to get one with a double bed. At the time, I complained that we had landed in the Chiang Mai version of Pham Ngu Lao, a street in Ho Chi Minh City known for cheap/seedy backpacker hotels. I think, having looked at a lot of other hotel reviews, that most places in Chiang Mai are like that. It wasn’t a bad hotel, exactly…well, it was. But it was clearly a nice hotel about ten or fifteen years ago when it was built. And then nothing was updated again.

My nemesis

My nemesis

There was a fiendish device on the bedside table. You can see it in this photo to the right (and now you all know the name of the hotel, oops.). You push a button and the lights turn on or off. Somehow we managed to push the buttons so that around about five o’clock in the morning, the lights started to turn on and off by themselves. You can imagine, given how jet lagged I was, how well that went over. I thought the place was haunted. I guess this was state-of-the-art in like…1980.

I’m maybe a bit bitter because the room smelled like smoke. But later on that day, after our freaky awakening, B got sick and basically slept in the room for 12 hours. I figured at least the sheets were clean and the AC worked.

A few trial sketches of Andy.

A few trial sketches of Andy.

These are my preliminary sketches of Andy, done to prep for this comic and Em oi! #374. I guess he’s lost a fair amount of weight since he got back to Texas, so these are not entirely accurate.

Today we went to see Oz the Great and Powerful, Sam Raimi’s prequel to The Wizard of Oz. I found that in the years since I first saw the original, the details of the land of Oz have gotten tangled up in my head with other fantasy places, like Wonderland, Middle Earth, and Australia. There were some details that struck me as kind of bizarre–why would you have a field of poppies that can cause everlasting sleep right next to the Emerald City? Isn’t that a liability case waiting to happen? The witches were also interesting, although I was sad that they went with the old trope of “dark hair bad, blond-y good-y.” Glinda the good witch, played by Michelle Williams, reminded me of Galadriel (blond hair, long white gown, kind of ethereal expression). Then I remembered that amazing scene where Galadriel almost takes the ring, but doesn’t. Wow, she’s a really interesting character in that scene. Too bad Glinda was just blandly kind. Of course it is nice to have one character who is kind, but… Also I am not sure how I feel about the turning-green-as-externalization-of-internalized-self-loathing? And of course no one can out-evil Margaret Hamilton.

There was a lot about families in it though, and a kind of magical scene where Oz (played by James Franco) glues a little china doll’s legs back on. I maybe got a little verklempt.

Now that I think about it, maybe Glinda was a bit more manipulative in the first film, since she doesn’t tell Dorothy how to use the slippers to get home until the very end of the book…

Today I got up and ran 18 miles (well, 18.25). It was an interesting run. I was up in the night with indigestion (from 2:30-4 am) and only got out of bed around 8:30, an hour later than my alarm was set for. Actually, at 8:15, Bryan rolled over and said, “Why are you still here?” I took some drugs and set out, going easy, waiting to see if anything bad would happen…but nothing did. I got tired, since I did the whole run on only 190 calories (two gels, one 90 cal, one 100 cal) plus the glycogen stored from yesterday’s overeating (the thing that caused me so much trouble). Anyway, I mostly shuffled along at 10:30-10:40 minutes/mile, more than a minute slower than my planned race pace. Toward the end, I tried to pick things up and ran a 9:54, but then my stomach started to ache and said, “Don’t ever do that again,” so I finished slow. (I wasn’t going to call B to pick me up with two miles to go.) At least I finished.

This is wandering, probably because of my weird interrupted sleep. I’d better bring things to a stopping point.

This comic will be filed under P306.94 .L86 2013, for Philology. Linguistics—Language. Linguistic theory. Comparative grammar—Translating and interpreting—Translating services. In case you were curious, if you search for the heading “translation,” all you get is class numbers related to specific translations–translating the bible, translating Emile Zola into English, etc. The correct subject heading for translation as the subject of a work is “translating and interpreting.” I had to look it up.

Em oi! #374: Winning

Chai Yo!

This conversation actually happened while we were in Thailand, and I should have uploaded it earlier but I didn’t. For reasons (primarily, I am engaged in a standoff [ha]with my right ankle and have been busy sulking). But the good news is that it is up now. The guy in the pictures is Andy, you can see him in the background of this picture. The woman is named Wanni–she was our cooking instructor, and she was amazing. Clicking on this link will take you to their website.

In the last panel, the banner says “Chaiyo!” which means “Hurrah.” But I figured you could guess that from context. At the time, I’d spent a lot of the trip feeling like I was struggling to make myself understood…and then conversation with Wanni had been so easy, I was just thrilled. And evidently so was she!

We’ll file this under GN367 .L86 2013, for Anthropology—Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology—Culture and cultural processes—Acculturation. Culture contact—Assimilation. The Chinese have a term for this too–they call it “Zhong guo hua [中国化]” or “Sinicization”–I believe it specifically refers to an outsider adopting Chinese cultural norms. The Thai…I was going to say they don’t have a word for becoming Thai, but they do– “Siwali” or “Civilized.”

So that’s interesting, I think.

Things have been quiet around here. In order to avoid a feeling of isolation while working on my thesis (easy to have, since I no longer have any courses), I’ve rejoined a local martial arts dojo. It is so much fun. And I am, despite being on a rather large dose of ibuprofen, very sore. Yesterday the animals had their teeth cleaned. Maya had to have a tooth extracted (she’d cracked it, maybe chewing on a rock or a bone) and Kali was a bit loopy from the anesthetic, so things are pretty calm (see photograph).

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Oh, the excitement.

Here are some other photos from the trip. This is still a tiny fraction of the total pictures I took, so I’ll try to find some more for next week. If you’re interested in more background information, some of these were taken at Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Doi Suthep in the area surrounding Chiang Mai City. Click to embiggen.
pink flowers

espresso con panna

espresso con panna

enhance your appetite

“Enhance your appetite.” I love this one. Also, I think the sugar packets hold more sugar than the ones here.

emily at wat chedi

Me at Wat Chedi Luang

bryan wanni emily maew

Left to right, B, Wanni, Em, and Wanni’s husband Maew.

altar wat chedi

Altar at Wat Chedi Luang

wat chedi

The chedi at Wat Chedi Luang.

Nagas at Wat Chedi Luang

Nagas at Wat Chedi Luang

maybe an orchid

many flowers

girl and naga

Girl and Naga, Wat Doi Suthep

flower

Em oi! #373: What We Talk About on Long Drives

Conversation omitted: "Quick, grab a baggie before the dog drops a vom!"

This was drawn from a conversation we had on our drive back to Madison on Xmas Day. I had the comic 80% done before we left for Thailand, but I didn’t manage to get the last two panels colored and the whole thing scanned until just now. I should add that I know Berkeley was really refuting Locke more than Descartes, but I understand the objections to Descartes much better, so I drew him.

This is hardly the first time I’ve touched on Berkeley’s philosophy in the comic. He has long been an obsession of mine, given that immaterialism (also called idealism) is so damn weird.

The Rumble in the Library

The gentleman with the wig there is Samuel Johnson. According to legend (and Boswell), Johnson had this to say about Berkeley:

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, ‘I refute it THUS.’1

Of course, Berkeley would not have accepted this as a refutation, because both the stone and Johnson’s foot exist in Johnson’s mind.
I belieeeeve...in the Czech Republic's existence...

Finally a comic dating from Ly’s tenure in the Czech Republic. If you happen to be an atheist or agnostic, Berkeley’s philosophy becomes very strange, because whose intellect is watching the entire world? It’s troubling. Having just come from Thailand, I suppose I’m pretty sure that it still exists, or at least I’ve got friends there who might tell me if it ceased to exist. But I can’t be sure.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll file these under B1348 .L86 2013B1348 .L86 2007, and B1348 .L86 2007b, for Philosophy (General)—Modern (1450/1600-)—By region or country—England. Ireland. Scotland. Wales—18th century—Individual philosophers—Berkeley, George, 1685-1753—Criticism and interpretation.


Yesterday we came back from Thailand. Yesterday was Friday, but we actually got on a plane in Chiang Mai at 17:30 on Thursday to fly to Bangkok. From Bangkok, at 23:30 we got on another plane and flew to Incheon airport in South Korea (a very nice but intensely baffling place). We’d all been up since about 7:00 on Thursday (although we dozed on the plane, it was that weird fugue sleep you slip into on an airplane), so when that plane landed we were a bit loopy.

We got breakfast. I took some photos:

B's strawberry cream cheese waffle

B’s strawberry cream cheese waffle

Sara's blueberry bagel. I think the other available flavors were "garlic" and "plane."

Sara’s blueberry bagel. I think the other available flavors were “garlic” and “plane.” When I saw the flavor list is when I began to suspect that something about Korea is a giant joke being played (on me, I guess?).

This was called "stick pie." It was crispy.

This was called “stick pie.” It was crispy.

Those are the only photos I took in the airport. I took lots of photos in Thailand, though (about 300 I guess). Here are a few:

Various Thai Fruits!

Various Thai Fruits!

ผัดพักบุงไฟแดง, or stir-fried morning glory. In Vietnamese, the plant is called "rau mung." (Please excuse my lack of diacritics.)

ผัดพักบุงไฟแดง, or stir-fried morning glory. In Vietnamese, the plant is called “rau mung.” (Please excuse my lack of diacritics.)

Sara makes a friend at the place we studied cooking.

Sara makes a friend at the place we studied cooking.

Cooking the morning glory with Maew's instruction.

Cooking the morning glory with Maew’s instruction.

I also took photos of wats, monks, that sort of thing. I’ll upload those later.

Anyway, I started training for my upcoming 50 km races this morning after I got up. The first is April 30th and it’s about 14 weeks away, which also means I have about 14 weeks until my birthday and until my THESIS has to be done and and and. So the 50k is really what I am focused on, since it is a lot less frightening. I thought running was going to be terrible because it is cold out (about 46 degrees colder than Chiang Mai was). But in fact I had a great run. I hit my planned tempo for the majority of the miles, had a runner’s high all day, and felt very strong. I stopped at 14.4 miles, but I could have gone much farther, I think. The only way it could have been better is if I’d remembered to bring water. Whoops.

Well this entry is already treatise-length, so I’ll leave off here. Hope you are all having a good winter/January!


1 Boswell, James. Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson. Abridged and edited, with an introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood. Project Gutenberg, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1564/1564-h/1564-h.htm. 12 January 2013.

Flowers from Mormon Central

I took this picture at the Mormon Holy See in SLC a few weeks ago. Tonight my brother Daniel helped walk me through the process of making it “less red” (per B’s request). I think it looks pretty good now.

Say what you will about the Mormons (and I’m sure you will), they certainly have some nice gardens in Temple Square.

 

Em oi! #356: Passersby were amazed

Clearly this is satire.  In reality they only got Marburg.

You can click to embiggen slightly. The panel second from the end (the fourth or seventh panel, depending on how you are counting) was designed by Bryan.  I owe him considerable thanks for help on this comic generally.  Also the final panel might be one of my favorites ever.

I have so much to write that I’m not going to write, because now I’ve got to go do some homework and go to bed. That is very much a summary of my life over the past several weeks, and I can only hope that it will get better during spring break next week and I might be able then to write something.

We’ll file this one under QH545.C78 L86 2012, for:
Biology (General)—Ecology—Influence of special factors in the environment—Special, A-Z—Cruise ships.

If you’re into Twitter, you can follow me at @pretense_soup. I personally find Twitter to be like a giant party where everyone is shouting witticisms at each other as loudly as possible–in other words, intimidating, so I don’t tweet frequently. But I assure you that when I do they are naught but the ripest, freshest, wittiest tweets available. So you should follow me.

For more on cruises:

Lupton, E. H. “Our Honeymoon–A Recap, parts 1-3.”  Em oi!, no. 308, 10-12 April 2010. Retrieved from Part 1/3, Part 2/3, Part 3/3.

Ronson, Jon. “Rebecca Coriam: Lost at Sea.” The Guardian, November 11, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/11/rebecca-coriam-lost-at-sea?CMP=twt_gu.

Wallace, David Foster. “Shipping Out: On the (Nearly Lethal) Comforts of a Luxury Cruise.” Harper’s Magazine, January 1996, 33-56. Retrieved from http://harpers.org/media/pdf/dfw/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf target=”_blank”.

Em oi! Vacation comics, days 7-11

The last batch! All are filed under Drawing. Design. Illustration–Caricature. Pictorial humor and satire–Special subjects, A-Z–Vacations.

The monkey on my back is a monkey.

Transcription:
Guy: Is she your sister or your daughter?
Em: Sister-in-law.  She’s 16…exactly how old do you think I am?
Vacation, day 7: Getting Personal in Roatan. (NC1763.V3 L86 2012c)

"A short drink of water" was not my high school nickname.

Transcription:
Em: Why do I gotta walk my ass all over this goddamn boat and no one gives me any ice water *!?#@~~

Vacation, day 8: The cold worsens. (NC1763.V3 L86 2012d)

High Performance Athlete

Transcription:
Em: I keep wondering how one body can produce so much mucus.
B: Well, you’re a high-performance athlete.
Em: I’m pretty sure that’s not what that means.

Vacation, day 10: I will never be healthy again. (NC1763.V3 L86 2012e)

This is, I think, my favorite of all of these.

flying home

Vacation, day 11: Never get on a plane with a headcold. (NC1763.V3 L86 2012f)
Well, that was a trip. Getting these little comics ready took a lot longer than I thought it would.

Here’s the picture of me that Sam was taking in the day 7 comic:

Hey hey we're the--nevermind.

For more vacation comics, check Part 1 and Part 2.

Em oi! Vacation–day 1

เขาหาทุกกระเป๋าใบใบไป
The TSA guy let me mail the knife back to myself. This is a service provided by the old ladies at the customer service and information desk at the airport in Milwaukee. They buy the envelopes, take enough to cover postage, and drop the packages off on their way home after work. I have nothing mean or sarcastic to say about the people at MKE. They were super nice and classy. Also there is a Recombobulation Area at the airport.

Do these neuroses make me feel fat?

UGH. So this happens sometimes with stretch denim I guess? I had a (really new) pair of jeans go when I was in Baltimore in October. I guess I’m going back on my diet for now.

Thanks, Delta.
The flight wouldn’t have been SO bad, except that at 21:00 (9pm) my 12-hour cough syrup wore off, so the last three hours of travel were all spent coughing my lungs out. Super lame. After we got to our hotel (about 1:00am) we called a nearby greasy spoon and got greasy, greasy food delivered to us. And we ate it while sitting on the carpet and watching the Discovery Channel. And then we slept for like ten hours, except for me because I woke up coughing at 8am and went for a run.

These are a couple of comics I drew on day one of our trip.  I’ll have some more as the week goes on–it turns out they take a fair amount of time to clean up, since I sketched them freehand in pen.  We’ll file them under NC1763.V3 L86 2012, for Drawing. Design. Illustration–Caricature. Pictorial humor and satire–Special subjects, A-Z–Vacations.

Here’s a photograph which I took with my new camera. I think it is one of the best I have taken of late.
Hey hey we're the monkeys...
It’s at least half not me though–it’s hard to get a bad photo of Sam (my sister-in-law).