Monthly Archives: February 2015

Sunday February 1, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

I am someone who procrastinates until stuff HAS to be done. In order to force myself to do ironing, say, I give myself a deadline — I have learned from the strip that deadlines provide the pressure I need to produce. I’ll invite friends for dinner at 6:00 on Saturday, for example, so I’ll definitely have the kitchen clean by the time they get here. I’ll promise someone an article of clothing, and then I HAVE to go through my closet. I’ll have a garden party to force myself to weed my garden, and on it goes. This strip was done when I was in a panic. I had procrastinated for so long that I was late; my editor expected to get this strip several days beforehand, and if I didn’t get it done ASAP, I’d be fined for missing my deadline. I wondered what in the world I would do for this Sunday page…and it hit me! Why not write about procrastination!

Monday February 2, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

I’ve just been talking to a friend about guilt. Seems it hangs on long after the deed has been atoned for and forgotten by everyone else. I will remember a stupid thing I said at a party or something I did during an interview, and I’ll clench my teeth — willing the memory to fade. It never goes away. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it keeps me from doing other stupid things…I wish.

Tuesday February 3, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

I once saw my mother-in-law flapping her apron at the top of the basement stairs. I asked her what in the world she was doing, and she explained that the menfolk were in the middle of a project down there and she wanted them to come up for dinner. She was wafting the smell of roast beef, mash, and gravy down into the basement. It worked!

Wednesday February 4, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

Aaron once actually climbed into a suitcase and asked my mom to take him to Vancouver with her. It was funny, and became a kind of game. Old suitcases, destined for the “nuisance grounds,” were perfect to play with. He and his friends would slug each other around in a suitcase until the handles broke. This was before the advent of wheels…an excellent addition to unwieldy bags. Another example of obvious inventions…Why didn’t I think of that?!

Friday February 6, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

Around this time, we did have a ceiling redone, and I marvelled at the artistry our man of the plaster was capable of. He had been doing this for over 30 years, and it was wonderful to watch him work. I have often admired the ease by which people pour cement, for example, or frame a window: cutting the wood to perfect lengths and fitting it into place with precision. So often we dismiss talent like this, but just try to do it yourself! It won’t take long before you’re wishing you’d made the right decision and called the guy with the skill!

Monday February 9, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

Dental practices generally employ a lot of women. Women go on maternity leave, and at times, will have to leave the practice in order to follow a husband who has been relocated elsewhere. We were always thinking about staff: how to replace someone, or how to cope when a very well trained assistant, for example, had to take time off. It was a challenge, but it also introduced us to new and talented people who became part of our extended family.

Tuesday February 10, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

My little grandson will be a year old when this strip runs. He has just started to walk, and is curious about everything. Whatever he can grasp, goes into his mouth. If a cupboard can be opened, he’ll be into it. He has a very small attention span, which is great because he can be easily distracted. He is also teething and wants to be with us (attached) a great deal of the time. I had forgotten how much work the one year old was. I have a lot of stamina and I put time aside just for him, but I can hardly keep up. Our daycare provider is an angel many times over! She gives my daughter and me the freedom to work in the studio, which in turn gives baby Ryan the freedom to be himself. It’s all good!

Friday February 13, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

I had assisted Rod when he was in dental school. There was a free clinic in the evenings, and students got extra experience if they volunteered to work on patients after class for free. Spouses often accompanied the students — just so they could spend some time together. University took a toll on relationships. With this bit of training under my belt, I believed I could fill in for a while in our new clinic.

Sunday February 15, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

My friend and graphic guru, Kevin Strang, has a dog named Oden. Oden is a large, lovable yellow lab with a sweet disposition. Oden likes squeaky toys — especially rubber chickens, of which he has several. He doesn’t bite through them, he squeezes them carefully, enjoying the sound they make with obvious pleasure. He squeezes them in a way that kind of communicates his thoughts. Rapid squeaks suggest playfulness, longer sighing squeaks, thoughtfulness…loud defined squeaks mean boredom has set in or a snack is required. It’s funny. I often go to see Kevin and we’ll sit in his studio working out a colour scheme for a calendar or an illustration. Oden will sit beside my chair and squeak his rubber chickens to his heart’s delight. Kevin will likely not be reading this so I can tell you that as much as I love his dog and as funny as I think the chickens are…I often wish that the *#@**&%$* squeaking would STOPPPPP!!!!!

Monday February 16, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

My mother often said that she wished we would go to other people’s houses and make a mess there for a change. It was true. Our friends always came over to our house. Maybe it was because Mom worked at home, and was kind enough to let everyone in. Maybe she permitted herself to be the local daycare provider so she would always know where we were. Other moms were at home, too, so it always bothered her that they never took their turn. They never offered. Maybe it’s because she just never asked.

Thursday February 19, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

Writing about the trials and tribulations of being a student brought memories flooding back. Here, I relived the anxiety of writing exams. Like everyone else, I hated them. There is an art to studying, which I didn’t learn until high school, and that is: there will always be questions asked about things which aren’t covered in class — studying your class notes is never enough. If you want to ace an exam, you have to thoroughly read your textbooks, take notes, and memorize anything you think might be relevant. Before I started to do this, I would study my notes, get an average mark, and feel cheated! I knew what was in my class notes…but exams proved that I didn’t know the subject.

Saturday February 21, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

I wanted Brian to be someone who felt a bit alienated by his intelligence. He would rather work on a school project than join in team sports or hang out at the corner with “the guys.” Gordon was on the “outside” because he was mechanical. Academic subjects were a waste of time for someone who preferred to be under a car or taking apart a machine in his mother’s kitchen. Michael was frustrated by his inability to concentrate. Even though he was a bright kid, he never achieved top marks in class — he was a dreamer! These three boys all felt inadequate for different reasons, and yet, they all had something in common: they lived in the same neighbourhood, and they got along with each other. Friendship ultimately overshadowed their differences.

Sunday February 22, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

I have always loved making up names on things like cereal boxes. In art school, one of the things we had to do for commercial design was to come up with an entire cereal box — from the size to the ingredients to the illustration on the cover. This meant we had to figure out how much space we needed for type (in two official languages): brand name, logos, contents, weight, nutritional value, and directions. Packaging is a whole industry of its own, so this was a really good exercise. The cereal I came up with was “Sugar Soggs.” The art showed a kid eating some gruesome candy-coated gruel. It was okay, but the best design was done by one of the guys in the class; he called his cereal “Uncle Brian’s Grumpies.” On the cover was a grimacing caricature of the instructor, whose name was Brian, and the ingredients he made up were hilarious. In terms of funny, he had me beat by a mile. Neither of us got a good mark because we hadn’t taken the project seriously. It seemed to us that despite the prof’s objections, cartoons do sell!

Later, when I worked for Standard Engravers, a packaging firm in Hamilton, Ontario, I was given the opportunity to design a giveaway on a cereal box. I thought this would be neat, until I was given a space about 2 inches square on the bottom right corner. This was a real challenge — and that’s good. If you give a cartoonist or graphic artist a blank page and say “draw something,” they have to think for a while. Give them a tiny, awkward space, and suddenly the ideas come out of the blue. A great example of this is Sergio Aragones’ “marginals” — the tiny cartoons that tumble around the page borders in Mad magazine. When he suggested he be hired to do these, he was told that he’d run out of ideas. Some 45 years later, he’s still producing them, and each one is wonderfully different.

For the small corner space on the cereal box, I designed finger puppets, pencil toppers, decals, and “spinners” (a top made from paper). It was fun. I thought this could be a surprisingly satisfying career, but things went in other directions. I still get to work on cereal boxes but in a different way!

Monday February 23, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

My mom (who was good at business and bookkeeping) tried repeatedly to explain simple math to me. I was never able to get it. Years later, my husband, who was also frustrated by my aversion to math said, “The reason you don’t like numbers is because they make SENSE!!!” At the time, I was making a good living, daydreaming and making stuff up, so I took this as a compliment!

Thursday February 26, 2015

Lynn’s Notes:

I actually looked forward to working in the clinic. It wasn’t the passing of instruments that appealed to me as much as it was dealing with the patients. I really enjoyed putting them at ease and explaining the procedures. This later influenced my decision to learn Spanish and travel with the Medical Missions to Peru. Explaining an otherwise worrisome situation to anxious patients and seeing them relax with a smile, made my task a joy. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.