Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Maximoff Drug Twins

One of the places I lived for a year (there have been a bunch at this point) had this crazy drug culture.  
It was so incredibly casual.  

Given that I grew up in a situation where the only person I really knew doing drugs of any kind was SUPER abusive, my sense that any could be done without throwing someone into a violent or manipulate rage was a little beyond me. 

…but I liked this boy and I wanted him to be able to trust me since I’d ALREADY MOVED across the county to live with our shared good friend.  

Basically, I was stuck and had to desperately pretend everything was fine.

Totally healthy. 


Honestly, if I had truly understood what it would have been like before moving, I would have gone someplace else.  

BUT  I didn’t, so then I learned the lingo in order not to feel like I was gonna get killed.  

I was still pretty much ostracized in my own apartment, but I’ve already talked about that plenty.

This town… 

Dealers were everywhere, selling to each other.  I didn’t understand how anyone made any money.    

Meanwhile, I was there like:

It wasn’t all scary though.  There were some good people who may have also just been swept up one way or another, AND there were some neat dance clubs.

One was on a train! 

…actually, I should do a post about some of those…

But first, let’s talk about this super weird experience that probably happens all the time.

This particular dance club was a temporarily set up situation in a hotel. 

Downstairs was a room with space enough to dance, a stage area for the DJ (someone I knew, in fact) and some tables and chairs.  In the back was the bar area.

I was pretty content sitting and listening to the music, watching people groove on.  

Every now and then I’d either get up to dance, or a friend would drag me to dance.  

In retrospect, it was one of the few times in my adult life that I had more lady-friends around than dudes. 

That part, I liked. 

That part did not involve life threatening situations and looking right in the face of a police officer while wondering why he wasn’t helping me. 

(I figured he either A. Couldn’t tell if I was also a dealer and didn’t want to risk ruining my life for nothing so just didn’t get involved or B. Was on drugs.)

At some point I wandered off to get some air and possibly to find a friend of mine?   
Who knows.

I wound up in a classy hall area that had a grand piano, some couches, and these two strange people.

The Maximoff Drug Twins

I call them that because I don’t know if they were brother and sister or dating or just good friends or business partners, and the fact that I can’t tell is a little funky on some level… 

And he was vibrating levels of hyper while she was just super weird.

I got cornered and eventually wound up sitting on a couch with them as though we were having a real conversation.  

They offered me a million types of ways to get high, all of which I declined, and some of which I had no idea what the shit even was. 

Nothing was physically on them (they weren’t that stupid), but they were more than willing to bring me somewhere for it.

I declined for a thousand reasons.

When they learned that I wasn’t just not interested in going to a random house, but I was also not interested in getting high, they had some amazing questions.

First, they naturally assumed I was either loyal to competition, or that I was competition myself.

Then they wanted to know how I DID have fun???  

I calmly explained that I enjoy many things, and I avoid mind altering substances for reasons attached to my childhood, but also because I have bad reactions to things anyway.  

Upon learning that I’m prone to panic attacks, and that I used to have all kinds of hallucinations even as a kid, they became entirely mesmerized by me. 

I felt like I had become the drug.

I don’t remember how I even got out of there.  I probably feigned having to go to the bathroom, and then snuck (sneaked?) back in to the dancing room…

I remember my friends not even noticing I was gone so long. 


You know

They were probably on drugs.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Weird Science

Now I've got an Oingo Boingo song stuck in my head...  "It's my creation!"

So, when I was little, I already had dreams of one day being a cartoonist.  However, like most children, I had back up plans.   
Mine included stand up comic, rock star, astronaut, marine biologist…  Okay there was a range.  But my #2 career path?

Mad Scientist. 

Very specifically insane.   
Couldn’t just be a regular ol’ scientist, no no. 

And this started YOUNG. 

I’ve talked about my favorite bathtub toy before.  
It was a little table that stretched across the width of the tub.  I used it to play out scenes with action figures, but mostly…

Bathtub science!  …with little cups.

I would fill a cup with bath water, gently pour it into another cup…  maybe add some highly scientific bubble bath or shampoo because they came from neat TOTALLY SCIENTIFIC bottles…  


This fascination with fake-movie-science probably stemmed from watching films like Frankenstein and The Brain that Wouldn’t Die at too young an age (thank you, Dad). 

Eventually, I went full on Island of Dr. Moreau.  Barbies became creatures with too many eyes, or a bat-boy, or a Ken doll just straight up tortured and hung on the swing set in pieces like an art installation on how the Patriarchy fails us all.  

These days, stuff like that is Monster High.  I love those dolls.  And show.  And everything ANYWAY, BACK TO SCIENCE.

Back in the day, we had children’s chemistry sets that were probably more dangerous than we should have been playing with.  

And my GOD how I played.

Mom made it even better by still having HER childhood chemistry set in a cute wooden thing.  
It had drawers and space for slides, and had the microscope that we used for our movie, EVE. 

I didn’t blow anything up, or burn anything off.  

I would do food experiments too.  
Well, not with the chemistry stuff.  
This was separate. 

Some would turn out really well, like the chocolate candy bark and marshmallows on a stick…  
(Put it in a microwave until it POOFS up, and then use a chopstick to wrap it up into a hard candy.)

The candy bark was just whatever I could find melted together, so it was mostly chocolate with maybe something mint?  

It wasn’t pretty, but it was glorious.

But, mostly the experiments weren’t so edible, and I’d forget about them.  

...Then my parents would find the god-knows-what in the back of the fridge mostly mold and learning its own language. 

The basement eventually became my studio (and laundry… and general storage area) but for a while it was also a play area.  
With spiders.   

And mold.

The kitchen set.  
OH man…   
Lots of kids had a little mini-kitchen, but mine was special.   
You see, mine was made of metal.   
Not plastic, wood… 

And it was actually kind of sharp at the edges.
Toys back then were still pretty hardcore. 

I’d do experiments, of course.  
What else is a refrigerator for?

Let me tell you about the gummy bear. 

Little cup filled with water… 

Add gummy bear.

Grew three sizes.

It wound up just falling apart when touched, and I remember the giant, sticky...  UGH mess that stayed forever after.

Of course, I have no idea how long I waited.  
That may have been part of the problem.  
My experiments were never done with the proper scientific method in mind.

The idea of experimenting is an important one though.  It helps to have a question to answer, but if not, simply living my life as a series of experiments seems to be my best bet.  

My goals are no longer so vague, though finding the “correct” path to take is still difficult.  
I’m starting to realize that there is no correct path.  
Any path that gets me there is correct.  
I’ll experiment.   
I’ll play.  
I’ll discover until I trip and fall into my goal. 

Hopefully with more grace than that just implied.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Klingon Babysitter

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table at Central PA Comic Con this weekend.  We had a blast!  We brought cats, pins, and comics.   

By the way, you can still order a copy of Oh Hell, Donna! Volume One, and I’ll still sign it on request.  Over 100 pages for $30.  Simply email me at with your zip code, and I’ll send an invoice your way.  Eventually, we’ll have an easy-to-order-from website…  I promise.

In any case, the convention had plenty of Star Trek cosplayers, which (once again) reminded me of that time I had a Klingon for a babysitter.  What?  Have I not mentioned this to you before?  Well, Dear Reader, have a seat. 

A thousand years ago, Vegas still had The Star Trek Experience, and it was the greatest thing of all time.

I’m a sucker for immersive things.  Like, between an action figure or a replica prop, I’ll take the prop every time.  Rides like the Haunted Mansion have a huge place in my heart for that same reason.  The Star Trek Experience did the same thing. 

Even when not on the “ride” itself, there was a museum to walk through.  The props and costumes were treated as true artifacts, as though the shows were historic documents from the future. 

Whew.  Got a little Galaxy Quest there.

Considering how few things Vegas has to offer a small child, I was still wandering around the casinos frequently enough.  My father’s family could be found in Nevada, so this meant even a 14 year old me got to see and meet The Amazing Johnathan…

Actually, I’m not gonna post about that separately.  You’re gonna get that story right now because I’m still entertained by how that went down.

For those not in the know, The Amazing Johnathan is a slightly morbid comedian/magician.  (  At one point during the show, he pointed to me and asked that I show my boobs.  I was, you know, 14 years old and with my parents, and I don’t think I would have done it anyway.  We all laughed…

And after the show, I ran up to him to sign something for me and get a photo. 

We had a few moments of him spelling my name incorrectly like three times, to which I responded, “You can call me Susan, for all I give a damn.” 

He looked at me, realized I was the girl he had pointed to, and when I related my age, his wife LAUGHED SO HARD at his horrified expression.  My parents figured it was all in good fun (which in retrospect is a little funky, but whatever) and I later on cut everyone out of the photo we took so it would just be me and my hero. 

SO.  Star Trek!  Back to WAY BEFORE THAT.  I was… 9?  Maybe?  Which meant there was even LESS for me to do in freaking Las Vegas. 

I was very young and small, and therefore not allowed to be on the actual gambling floor.  Anywhere the red carpet was laid, I was not to step.  This was in conflict, as my father wanted to play games.  

I have no idea where the rest of my family was hiding.

Luckily, my dad is a problem solver.  He called a man dressed as a Klingon over to watch me for “a minute.”  Total stranger.  Dressed as a Klingon.  Hopefully worked there.  A+ parenting. 

Thing is, as a child, I had no concept of costumes.  I didn’t even understand that re-runs were a thing, so from my perspective, Kirk and Picard were both current captains, William Shatner was younger than my father, and this WAS a Klingon standing before me.  

I’ll give him points too.  This guy managed to keep me entertained, stay in character AND not scare the piss out of me. 

I remember a very vivid scene of wandering down a hallway as he explained some of the displays.  

He stopped at one display “of his people” that he found upsetting, due to the tribble present by his ancestor’s feet.  “We do not like tribbles, and tribbles hate us in return.” 

Now considering that I didn’t speak much as a child, it’s pretty neat that I looked at this mountain of a man and said, “I like you, but I have a tribble at home.  We keep her in a cage though so she won’t get out.”

After processing that this wasn’t a child-game and that I was dead serious, he continued the conversation very carefully, trying to figure out what the fuck I actually had in a cage at home. 

Guinea pig.

It was a guinea pig. 

And this guy?  He was right on top of that.  “Ah yes.  You hold captive the ancestor of the tribble.  The ancient guinea pig is not quite as bad, but close.” 

I remember nodding with a stern gaze, as though to say, “Yes, my brother.  I understand.” 

We wandered pretty far…   I assume he must have just taken me back the way we came, because we didn’t go on the ride together.  

Dad seemed pleased that I was fine.  I’d like to the think he tipped the Klingon man.  I also hope the guy got a raise, or an acting gig. 

So.  That’s the time I had a Klingon babysitter.

I ever tell you about the topless show I was too young to get into but saw it anyway?

What happens in Vegas…

Winds up on this blog.


OH HOLY SHIT I forgot.

Hold on.


The convention I was at this weekend?  
Speaking of Star Trek…

I pooped next to Uhura!

…That needs clarification.

Nichelle Nichols was in the bathroom at the same time I was in the bathroom. 

I waved at her and she smiled.  Hopefully I wasn’t too crazed- wide-eyed.

After she left, I turned to the girl who was behind me, pointed at the door and exclaimed, “That was Uhura!” …but the girl was unimpressed and/or thought I was a lunatic.  

Like, you know in Invader Zim, that face Dib makes when he’s happy and pointing, waiting for someone else to SEE the thing?  That was my face. 

So, yeah.   Star Trek has been a pretty big part of my life, I guess.