Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Talkin’ Loud Ain’t Sayin’ Nothin’

The title is a Public Enemy lyric that sort of has something to do with my newest strip, which depicts our hero walking around and talking to himself like a loon. When this idea came to me, I had a bit of trepidation with it. The reason is I don’t want Eddie to be seen as a crazy person, that’s not the direction I want to go with the character.

The more I thought about it and observed people, the more I noticed that lots of people talk to themselves and they aren’t insane. Ok, maybe they’re a bit wacky, but certifiable? Hardly. Actually, if I could make a bit of an admission, I often talk to myself … maybe not as loud as Eddie does, but I do. And I know where I picked it up from, my father.

When I was growing up, I would often hear my old man talk to himself, very loudly mind you, when he was in another room. The first couple of times that I heard him, I was really freaked out; I knew that he was the only one in the bathroom, yet he was carrying on a full fledged conversation with himself (complete with pauses, as if he was waiting for someone to speak back to him). I had no idea if he was talking to a ghost (I was really into crap like that when I was a kid) or if someone had slipped in the house.

After a few occurrences, I asked him about it, and of course he got mad. Who wouldn’t? So, eventually I stopped asking him and felt it was just my dad being my dad. It’s a quirk that I’ve picked up from him and I’m sure it will weird my kids out too.

Public Enemy? Michael Magrane? Comic strips? There is no place on earth where those three things belong together. Yes there is, my friend. Right here: www.room19comics.com

Back to the strip, originally this was going to be a three-panel strip starting with the second panel and working its way to the crescendo. That’s not how it turned out though; as a much stronger strip emerged (in my opinion anyway) where we see Eddie actually talking to himself while walking down the street. I think that also brings a bit of humor into the first couple of panels of the strip.

For one thing, Eddie talking to himself is intrinsically funny. Everyone has caught their buddy doing something stupid like that in the past, so you can easily identify with both characters. Secondly, Eddie lying to his best friend is also identifiable because, again this is something that we’ve all done when we get busted for something embarrassing.

I based the second and third panels on a Jerry Seinfeld-George Costanza type conversation, where Jerry blatantly sees his pal doing something stupid, calls him on it, George lies and Jerry busts out the evidence. My hope is that you read Kurt’s third panel in the same cadence as Jerry would speak it. BTW, there is a certain episode that I’m thinking about where they have this little back and forth, but I can’t seem to remember it right now, if I do, I will let you know. (I know you’re all on the edge of your seats.)

Anyway, the final panel was just going to end with Eddie’s line about him being the only person that listens (a line that I say when people catch me talking to myself), but I thought that it was a little too “wah-wah” and made Eddie seem like a baby. That’s why I put in Kurt’s sort of predictable line about not hearing what he said.

The drawing of this strip was a bit more involved than last week, especially the first panel. As long time readers of Room 19 Comics notice, there isn’t a lot of motion in my strips. For the most part, the main characters are standing around at a bus stop or at a party or where ever, they are rarely walking. With that being said, it took a bit of time to make sure that Eddie’s gait was right and the perspective of Kurt being across the street look correct.

The original drawing made it look like Eddie was walking away from Kurt and would give the impression that he was pissed at his friend and not really talking to himself. But, if you did get the idea that he was walking by him and not seeing him, that also would not work because Eddie would look like a complete moron walking by his friend and not recognizing him. I think that what I came up with is a pretty good solution.

As bare as the last panel is, that was a pain in the ass to draw as well. I did this strip on my day off last Friday, it was two days before Christmas (I hadn’t wrapped a single present yet) and our realtor called to let us know that we have our home (more on this in a second). Also running through my head was that two people were coming to look at our apartment in an hour and I still hadn’t cleaned the place yet (it looked like an atom bomb hit the place). So, I was not as focused on my strip in the later part of the drawing as I was at the beginning.

It’s a good thing that I ink the strip a few days after I draw them, because this would’ve looked a lot shittier. By the way, speaking of inking, I got a couple of compliments on last week’s strip telling me how much they like the darker lines. They said that the strip really seems to pop now, so I will keep it up. Thanks to all that took the time to drop a line.

So, Aly and I are officially homeowners now. We got a condo in Brookline, pretty close to Coolidge Corner and we’re both pretty ecstatic about it. We never thought that we’d be able to afford this place, but the sellers cut their price very significantly. So significantly, in fact, that if we passed on this condo, we’d probably regret it for some time. On Thursday, we have the home inspection (which shouldn’t yield too many problems) and on February 1, we can move in.

There’s a lot to do between now and then, but that’s the long and short of it. The one major project that we have to do is paint the place, despite being a graphic designer, the previous owner had horrible taste in colors. Our living room is painted a very bright canary yellow with a three-foot wide purple stripe running down one of the walls. The bathroom is painted pink and red and the other rooms have worse hues. It’s not going to be easy (I abhor painting), but when it’s done, it will be well worth it.

This weekend was Christmas and it was a pretty good one this year. Saturday night, we spent the Eve in Franklin at Aly’s parents’ house. They always go old school Italian on the eve, which means a ton of fish and fried food. The good thing is that they’re sensitive to the Irish in the crowd (my brother in law Bob and me) and cook us some steaks. That meant on Saturday I had a gigantic steak and a baked stuffed lobster, mussels, clams and shrimp. It was real good.

I like going there because we all sit around the table and laugh at each other, this year Aly and I got a lot of crap because everyone thinks that we’re cheap. Truthfully, we are, but it was funny to hear everyone over exaggerate how bad we are. Then we opened some gifts and I got a lot of clothes and a pretty cool watch from Aly. I also got a copy of her brother’s book, “A Season of Loss, A Lifetime of Forgiveness”, which I’ve wanted to read.

The next day we went to Amesbury to visit my parents and that was fun as well. We had a smaller crowd (Uncle Bud, Karen and Paige were skiing in Utah), but Uncle Joseph, Uncle Guy, Aunt Grace and Nina were all up. It was the first holiday without Aunt Rita and that was different, to say the least. But the food was good and we had a good time joking around and picking on each other.

My folks came through with some pretty cool gifts; including the best one the 2004 Red Sox 12-disc World Series set. I also nabbed the second season of “Arrested Development”, a few books, some more clothes, and some other junk. All in all, as good of a haul that a 31-year-old can expect.

I finally finished reading the Howard Hughes book that I’ve been battling through and I will be reviewing that very soon. No need to fear true believers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Everything is Better When You’re Working

That’s the theme for today’s episode of Room19Comics. The working world is a lot of fun because you get paid for your time. What a concept. The only problem is, you never get paid what you think that you deserve for the amount of work that you do.

It doesn’t matter what you do though, I think that is always the truth. Even athletes or CEOs or movie stars that get paid obscene amounts of money, feel under paid at some point during the day. I can see ARod (not to just pick on him) working out at the gym, taking batting and fielding practice, dealing with the public, thinking to himself, “Damn, this just isn’t worth it. I should be making more.”

But it’s never enough, which is why the pursuit of money is ultimately a hopeless one that ends only in despair.

What a nice bunch of thoughts for this holiday season! So cheerful and full of hope. To see what has gotten me so happy and full of life go to: www.room19comics.com

Actually, what’s depressing about this strip is that it is almost word for word a conversation I had with my roommate one night while we were sophomores in college. For one thing, being a sophomore sucks. It’s the worst year in both high school and college because no one gives a shit about you and there’s nothing new about the school experience. Yet you haven’t been around the block enough to know how things get done.

Basically, it’s freshman year all over again without the surprises.

Anyway, it was a particularly frustrating night for me because it was the winter (which I can’t stand) and I had two huge exams coming up, as well as a mountain of homework. I’ve always hated to study because I’ve figured, “What’s the point? If this was a question in the real world, I’d go look up the answer. No gives a shit if I can memorize stuff.” To add on to this general bitchiness I think it was a Sunday night, so I was probably pissed off that I missed “The Simpsons” or “Married … With Children” or something.

I had finally decided to go to bed and my roommate Jim was up and studying in the room. Jim was a wacky dude, but there were times when he had a pretty good grip on the world around him. I said, and I can remember this like it was yesterday, “Jim, I can’t wait until I have a job and I don’t have to deal with this crap any more.”

He dropped his book and he agreed. I continued with my rambling, “Think about it; no homework, no tests, no being forced to read shit you don’t want to and you get paid for your time! Also, you go into work at 8:30, you leave by 5:00. There is nothing else to do. When you’re done, you’re done.”

I’ve been wrong about a lot of things (every year since 1987, I’ve picked the Sox to win the World Series), but I have never been more wrong than I was that day. Christ. That is a big bowl of wrong right there. The funny part is Jim agreed with me, and it wasn’t like it was a “Yeah whatever, dude” type of agreement, he was with me from the get go. We both actually thought this way.

How is it that the ignorant can be so sure of something that they have no idea about?

For one thing, you do have to read shit you don’t want to read, you’re also forced to do shit you would never want to do. Like I said earlier, you never get paid what you think you deserve and I don’t know anyone who leaves their job at work. Most of us bring that stuff home and it weighs on you like an ACME anvil.

Instead of taking this exchange, which I’ve always thought would make a great comic or exchange in a movie or TV show, and turning it into a Random Memory, I let Eddie and Kurt have at it. Like last week, I originally was going to have it a three-paneled strip, but I thought that the unseen professor asking his students to read two chapters was a humorous way to set up the joke. It’s just a few pages and the class acts like he’s asked them to donate a kidney.

Are college kids always melodramatic like that? I remember every slight as being “the worst thing ever” or every victory as “the best thing ever”. There was never any middle ground, just a series of highs and lows. Though, I guess when you don’t have a lot on your plate (I had five classes a week, and worked for ten hours at the library) you have to make a big deal out of stuff, otherwise you’ll go insane from boredom.

BTW, I did a real crappy job of drawing the guy behind Eddie. He has a mullet and an Oakland A’s hat. Just a terrible job. Probably one of the worst person I’ve ever drawn. Don’t focus on that dude too much. Let’s move on.

The second and third panels are just Eddie and Kurt crabbing about the crosses that they have to bear. Kurt is usually the voice of reason, but malaise and self importance can nab anyone and I don’t really want him to be some uber-mature father figure. When it comes right down to it, he’s a 20-something like Ed, though he may have a little more living under his belt.

During these panels Eddie morphs into me, I feel really stupid for even thinking about it and then we fast-forward five years in the future. I like doing these sort of office strips (I think my first Random Memory had me in an office). Eddie is losing his hair, like a certain web artist you may know, and is really frazzled at work. Instead of one guy asking him to do a small task, there are four people bugging him.

Yes, he’s getting paid, but people are expecting quadruple the work. And that’s pretty much the way shit goes in the real world, isn’t it? As Eddie Veddar once sang on “Red Mosquito” (“No Code” is such an underrated CD, that it’s not even funny. If you don’t have it, run out and buy it right now. This entry can always wait.) “If I had known then, what I know now … If had known then what I know right now …”

Also, one quick thing, I worked on darkening the strip ink a bit. Let me know what you think? Too much? Too little? Not enough?

And Kurt’s shirt is the logo for the Atlanta Hawks, quite possibly the coolest logo ever.

Quick update on the life of Aly and I, we may become homeowners very soon. Actually, we may become condo owners. For about a month, we have been looking at homes (single family on the south shore – most sucked) and condos in and around Boston (most were pretty good, but out of our price range). Last Sunday (12/11) we saw one that is about a half mile from where we are now.

It was pretty nice, two and a half bedrooms, a big living room and dining room, good sized kitchen, lots of natural light. It is really nice. But it was the first place that we looked at, so I was skeptical. Aly wanted to bid on it right away. I said we should wait. Three days later, our realtor calls us and lets us know that there is an even better place in Coolidge Corner.

We go there and we really like it. The one problem, we have to put a bid on it right then and there because there are other people looking at it. So we go through a bunch of hoops with financing and shit and we put a bid on it. Friday comes and the sellers want us to go up, so we scrape some more money together and place another bid.

In the mean time, my parents and Aly’s folks (including her sister and brother in law) are coming up on Saturday to see these two places because … well, they’re our folks and are really into this kind of shit. We go to the first place (12/11 place) and everyone just falls over for it. And to be honest with you I love it more that day than I have ever have before. I’m starting to think that our other bid was a dumb move.

We go to the Coolidge Corner place and they sort of like it, but they weren’t bowled over. I am seriously freaking out, because I know that the place that we put a bid on isn’t for us. Aside from the location (which is awesome), it’s too much money and the place is smaller than the other place. I tell Aly this and she is understandably concerned, considering that I assured her on Friday that we were doing the right thing. Usually I’m not such a pussy, but Saturday I was.

The gang of us all went back to our place to eat bagels and discuss it. During that pow-wow, the realtor calls. Apparently the place that we put a bid on wants more money. We can’t go any higher. The ball is taken out of our hands and our decision has been made. Let’s go for the other place. Yesterday we put our bid in for it and we are waiting to hear what the people say. Hopefully, they go for it.

Aside from looking at potential homes, the last weekend was full of Christmas parties. First was our annual get together with the Foleys and the Murrays. It was a great time, we had our annual poker game (which I broke even, though I would’ve won about $50 if not for Aly … long story, but she made the right move, she was just beat by a better hand. And since I was her sugar daddy, I paid for her bad luck). By the end of the night, because of the earlier condo freak out and some other stuff, I was in a really foul mood.

Everyone went to the Warren Tavern, but Aly and I went home to Brookline. We were both tired, our nerves were shot and so we got into a little fight. Nothing too major, and we made up within 30 minutes, but we have to learn not to talk to each other when we both feel like shit. It’s just not a good thing.

Sunday, Skaus and Sara asked if they could pick us up because Mi-Shu was having the Chili’s gang (Merrimack crew) down to her house for the annual Christmas bash. Quick aside, when we first started this nine years ago, it was just 10 of us. Now with wives/husbands and kids, it is now 25 of us. It’s a good thing though.

I thought it was weird that Skaus wanted to bring us to Weymouth, he lives in Wilmington, but I said sure, come on by. Aly thought it was weird too, but I told her, “If I know Skaus, he has something to tell us … like Sara is pregnant or something.” Turns out I was right. Skaus is going to be a dad. So congratulations to him, it’s great news to hear that. Now I can tell Skaus Jr. all of the stupid things his dad and I did when we were kids. I really am very happy for both of them.

Two other things, Kyle asked me to be his sponsor when he gets confirmed in the spring and Ryan asked me to be Quinn’s (his newest son) God Father. I’ve never felt so honored in my life. Good things are happening.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Early 90s, One of Earth’s Greatest Resources … for Comedy!

If you’re just meeting me for the first time or only know me through these barely coherent writings, you probably don’t know my age. Therefore, in this season of giving, I will let you know exactly how old I am: 31 years, three months and five days. That means, my formative years were spent in the 90s … and unfortunately, that’s where a lot of my humor, pop culture references, music taste and fashion (much to my wife’s dismay) is stuck.

It doesn’t really bother me that much, as a decade, the 90s were pretty good: it’s where I got laid for the first time, graduated high school and college, got my license, first job, saw a lot of cool things … shit was happening back then and I had very little real life stuff to worry about. That’s partly the main reason why I’ve kept the characters roughly the same age as I was through out most of that decade. Basically, I had a lot of fun with little consequence and I hope that it translates into this strip.

So that’s the background for this week’s comic.

Comic? The 1990s? Dude let it go, that was five years ago, man. But for some reason I am intrigued … show me where this altar to slackerdom is located? Here you go, friend: www.room19comics.com By the way, I wonder if this paragraph in my Blog really works? I have a feeling that it doesn’t because I don’t get a lot of hits from it. And yes, I can see where you are coming from.

I’m sending a special shout out to everyone that is looking for Olde Magoon’s Saloon in Somerville that ends up here and the person who keeps putting “What do I do when I make a mistake on my college application?” in a Google search and my Blog pops up. I want to send a special message to the people that keep clicking on my page in the hopes of seeing WWE Diva Stacy Keibler naked: dudes, I don’t have those pictures. I wish I did, but I just don’t.

Before I get to this week’s strip, a HUGE shout out to the folks that made Room19Comics really successful on Monday. There were 373 hits that day, of those 317 were unique viewers. Thank you very much, I am more than humbled that you took even a minute out of your busy day to look at my site. Hopefully, you’ll be repeat viewers. Thanks again.

This week is a bit of a transition from the normal ebb and flow of Room19Comics. Normally, a rather obtuse observation is made and the straight man allows the observer to hang himself on that observation. This time, the straight man goes for the kill and that’s how the joke is brought out.

The art for this strip was done while I was in San Antonio, just like last week’s, and before I continue, I just have to say that the desks that they provide in the Hiltons are actually pretty damn nice. They have this little compartment built into the drawer where you pull it out, and you can write right on it. I wonder if Paris Hilton had anything to do with this? Whether she did or she didn’t, bravo Hilton people for including this, Bra-fucking-o. BTW, I am not trying to be facetious or ironic with this praise, it really was that cool. I am a very sad man, I know this.

Ok, so there are a few things that might make you chuckle in this strip. For one thing, I put the little masturbation jab between Eddie and Kurt in the first panel. It’s a subject that every man knows a bit about and is often joked on by dudes. My friend, Ryan gave me some advice a few weeks ago about trying to flesh out the characters more and make them real. I’m taking his advice and have been doing my best to use it in the last few strips.

He says that because there is a space constraint, it’s important to make every panel, every sentence, every word count. I have to make sure that a back story is able to be created and since this isn’t a novel, short story or a comic book the way to do this is through their dialogue. If you’ve been reading these adventures since the beginning, it’s obvious that Eddie and Kurt are friends, or in the least acquaintances, what you don’t know is how close they are. Hopefully, with exchanges like this, I can show you how close that they are and strengthen your bond with them.

BTW, I absolutely hate the word “bond” when talking about a connection between two people. I especially hate the word bond when used a verb. So, I apologize for putting it in the last paragraph, but it does work with what I’m saying.

Theoretically, I probably could’ve started the strip without the first panel, as the set up for the rest of the comic comes in the second panel. Eddie makes a pretty lame observation in the guise of trying to be witty and entertaining. Kurt looks at him like he’s nuts, but doesn’t throw him a rope.

By the third panel, Eddie knows that he’s in trouble and is trying to explain his way out of it. However, he’s only making it worse. Now this is where the “guy factor” comes in. We’ve all been either Eddie or Kurt in this situation when we’re out bullshitting with our friends. In Eddie’s defense, you can’t always say the right thing and explaining yourself out makes you look more lame.

So Kurt has two choices, one help a buddy and essentially say, “Yeah, dude I know what you’re talking about” or rip him. The first choice, is boring and is probably something that you’d say to an acquaintance that you don’t know very well. The second choice, though on first appearance would be the “meaner” choice, is the one that most close friends go with.

You rip that poor bastard like no one had ever said anything dumber and it helps if you have a good quip like Kurt has in the final panel. That’s how good friends act, especially guys, they rag on their friends and make them feel like crap. The world is a microcosm of a seventh grade gym locker room, if you aren’t snapping the towels, you’re getting them snapped at you.

Like I explained last week (BTW, the Blog wasn’t posted on the web site because I’m lazy and forgetful), I’ve changed up how I write the strips. First I draw them, then I ink them, then I write the dialogue. This was done the same way, and it’s funnier because of it.

Originally, the punch line had Kurt making just the Paulie Shore crack. By now, Paulie Shore and his crappy movie are a bit of a cliché and while the joke was sort of interesting, it didn’t have that zing. However, you add the band Wreckx-N-Effects (BTW, it took me a while to figure out how to spell the composers of “Rump Shakers” name right. I thought it was Wrexx in Efx, Wrex Efext. Who knew that that WNE were sort of grammar cops?) and you got comic gold.

Also, I had been thinking of this observation for awhile and was going to let it go without the Kurt zinger at the end. However, Winonya Ryder jokes are lame. When was the last time her love life was front page news? When was the last time she was relevant? To do a joke like that, without the zinger at the end, would’ve been stupid and not too timely.

Some gags just need to percolate a bit more than others, but when they do … it’s rich, mountain-grown laughs. Ok, maybe not, but it does show what a little time can do.

BTW, the logo on Kurt’s shirt is that of the ABA’s original squads: the Anaheim Amigos. What a team, what a team name. I don’t think they lasted longer than two seasons.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Can You Take Me Higher?

Before I get into the comic stuff, I just want to thank everyone who stopped by the site last week. On Thursday (Dec. 1) there was 163 hits recorded, which is a new record here at Room 19 Comics. Normally, we’re lucky if we get 60 on a Wednesday, but to more than double that on a Thursday, was quite unexpected. Thanks to everyone.

This week’s strip was written and drawn in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, the site of the AARC conference. Don’t know what AARC means? Well it’s the American Association of Respiratory Care, I’ll get into it a bit more towards the end of the column. There were some cool stuff, believe me.

Anyhow, this strip is sort of based on the running theme of this strip, you’re not as smart or as cool as you think you are. Layne is always going to be the super-obnoxious type that usually thinks way after speaking. He’s a fun character to write for because there are times when we all act like him and stick our foots in our mouths, however, I can do it here without any problems.

Who the hell is Layne? What comic strip are you talking about? San Antonio, Texas … why were you down there, Mr New England? All questions will be answered here: www.room19comics.com

For the most part Eddie is the naïve main character, unless he is paired with Layne. In these cases, he’s the voice of reason. I envision Eddie as sort of an every-man type that has moments of clarity and moments of fogginess, which is just like the college and post college years. The other main character, Kurt, is more of a big brother type who is wiser than his two buddies, but is cool enough not to rub their noses in it.

That’s the build up for this and next week’s strip … in this particular strip, Layne is being his usual loud mouth self, saying something that is illogical not true. Though there might be times when I agree with his overall sentiment, there are plenty of men out there who have crappy tastes in music too. And yes, I count myself as one of those people. But to limit it to just the female gender, that’s wrong and Eddie calls him on it.

Two things about this strip: one, the third panel took me a long time to draw. I don’t know why as it is a panel that shouldn’t have been that hard to plot, but for some reason drawing Layne was a huge undertaking. First he was too big, then he was too small, then his face wasn’t right. I had to redraw him at least three times, and I’m still not convinced that I got the proportion done correctly.

Secondly, I was originally going to have Layne say, “The new Scott Stapp CD.” But I decided against it, and I think that last panel works perfectly without any text. That’s the first time I’ve done that, ended the joke on a panel without any words. I think it turned out pretty well, sometimes you can say a lot without words.

Lately, I’ve been drawing the strip out and then the following day, putting in the text. I found that this has helped me to keep the strip tighter and allow me to really focus on the message that I’m trying to get across. For this strip, I’m really glad that I did.

Moving from the strip to the trip, late last week (Friday) until Tuesday morning, I was in the lovely city of San Antonio. It wasn’t a bad little place, lots of bars and restaurants and interesting things to do. Here’s a quick rundown of what I did.

Friday, nothing. I got in at about 2 pm, set up the booth and crashed hard in the hotel. When I woke up, I watched the “40-Year Old Virgin” and I have to say, it was one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. Some parts are sort of predictable, but the main thing that I liked about the movie is that they didn’t make him retarded or naively stupid. He was just a regular guy who did regular things, except he never got laid.

They treated the character as a person and that’s why I think the movie did so well. It was also written by Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, who were part of the whole “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” double threat that I wrote about two weeks ago, so that helped a lot. Steve Carrell, the virgin, did a tremendous job too. He was awesome on “The Daily Show” and the other projects he’s been in, so it was no surprise that he did well here.

Saturday, I woke up, shaved and went to the show. Sort of boring, but there are worse ways to pass the time, I guess. After my five hours were up, I went to the Spurs/Sixers game. Yes, I went by myself. I don’t mind doing stuff by myself, but about midway through the third quarter, I started to get a little bored. Part of the fun of going to a game is being there with your buddies and you get to crack on people, talk to them, as well as watch the game.

I didn’t have that opportunity, so I left with the Spurs comfortably ahead in the middle of the fourth quarter. The arena is pretty nice, I actually sat under the cowboy that is lit up on one of the baselines. There were two funny things about being at the game, one: there was this dude next to me that thought it was still 1989 because every time the Spurs did something good, he’d yell “Yeaaaaahhhhh Boyeeeeeee!” like Flavor Flav or would scream “Mo money, mo money, mo money” like Damon and Keenan Ivory Wayans. It was sort of funny.

The food there blew. Typical arena stuff, but the nachos were terrible and the hot dog sucked as well. I will say this about the San Antonians, they love their Spurs. The place was rocking from the first whistle to the time I left. I guess it helps that they’re really the only game in town and they’ve won three world championships since 1999. Even all of the cab drivers were listening to sports radio or the game and loved to talk about “their” Spurs. Quite a difference from the cabbies in Boston.

BTW, this Spurs team is going to dominate in the playoffs this year. They are deep from Duncan to their ninth player. Just an outstanding team that is going to crush everyone. To quote Larry King, “You heard it hear first, friends. The Spurs in 2006!” The game was also fun to watch Allen Iverson, just a phenomenal player; quick, able to attack the basket, make the great pass and take the good shot.

Sunday, I worked the show again and then went to a bar to watch some of the football game. I walked around a bit and got to see the Alamo. Much like Pearl Harbor, I was glad that I was there, but to be honest, there really wasn’t a whole hell of a lot to see. I did not ask where the basement was, though I was very tempted. VERY TEMPTED.

Monday, did the work thing again and had breakfast at this awesome diner. Not sure what it was called, but the food was tremendous. Actually, most of the food I ate was great, though they gave you a lot of it and it was very heavy. This kind of messed up my stomach a bit, but like the trooper that I am … I continued to eat.

After the show ended up Monday, I ended up going to a St. Peter and the Vatican exhibit that was being held at the conference center. It was pretty awesome. There were a lot of artifacts, frescoes and other artwork from Vatican City. Most of the pieces were things that were almost 2000 years old. This clinches it for me, I have to get to Italy to see all of this stuff. The history was awe inspiring. It was probably the coolest thing that I did while I was down there.

Tuesday, I was up at the crack of ass 3:45 am and was out the door by 5:00 as my flight left at 6:00. Normally, I wouldn’t care about what time I got home, but that day was my last graphic arts class and I wanted to be there. It seems so weird that the class is over (my web class isn’t) and I had to say goodbye to everyone who was in my class.

They’re all a nice group of people and talented as hell. While the web class is more fun, the people there aren’t like the graphic arts folks. It was a genuinely enjoyable experience and I’m sad that time passed by so quickly (I started the day after Jay’s birthday). After our class, our teacher took us out to Bertucci’s where we ate and goofed around. It was a perfect ending to a whirlwind few days.