Stress is inevitable, right? Occasionally my job is going to be horrible and annoying and stressful, and it looks like we’re entering into one of those times. On top of that, I’ve overcommitted myself to a number of projects – I can get it all done, but it’s putting a strain on my free time, and it’s bad timing on top of the day job.
It’s interesting, because I remember drawing a comic for Sauceome that was not unlike this one, during a previous really stressful time at work. It was much earlier in my Sauceome days, and my main goal at the time was to find a way to salve the stress without turning to food, to train myself to find comfort in other things. This afternoon, I soothed the stress by getting some frozen yogurt, and this evening I treated myself to brown rice & avocado sushi. Both were pretty reasonable treats, but more to the point, both of them were conscious, mindful treats, not the zombie-like carboloading I used to turn to in times of stress. That always just ended up leaving me feeling worse than before. Food can be emotionally comforting without being bad, I guess, is what I’m trying to say.
Also, the coerced cuddling is something that always makes me feel better. :)
Announcements again! I will be at Third Coast Comics Saturday, the 29th, signing things and drawing things and dancing various jigs and reels for your amusement. Stop by and say hello! There will be food!
Also! I will be at Chicago Wizard World this year. I have a table conveniently located aaaaalll the way in the back, almost as far from the entrance as possible, but quite near the restrooms.
Also also! I will have a piece in Womanthology! I haven’t been hyping it because they’re already more than fully funded, but funding the kickstarter is the best way for you to get a copy of the book. So if that sounds like the sort of thing you would like, there’s the link.
(The title of this post comes from a comment on Kotaku, which cracked Niles up so much that he woke me up to show it to me. Someday, someone needs to teach me how to knit, so I can knit that phrase into a scarf for him.)
Haters gonna hate! Some of these things are irredeemable. Cucumbers and melons, anyway. I have never liked the taste of either of them. I mean, watermelons are mostly ok, and I like tzatziki and cucumber raita sauces. But honeydew, canteloupe, raw cucumber? They have always tasted wrong to me, kind of soapy, and tingly. And then a few years ago, my brother ate a bunch of raw cucumber and got all dizzy and nearly passed out, and I looked up cucumber allergies. Turns out they’re related to melon allergies! So maybe I hate the taste of them for a reason, who knows.
The rest of these, though – kale and chard, summer squash, broccoli, even lima beans – I suspect that I could get over my hatred of them. Specifically, I suspect that I’ve just never had them prepared WELL. So if you happen to like any of these horrible, digusting foods, I invite you to recommend a recipe for me in the comments, and I will totally give it a shot!
In other news, we had a leeetle bit of a date night tonight at Ciao Napoli pizzeria, and I am very full of exceedingly tasty foods. Fortunately we’re running tomorrow to make up for some of it. :)
Our beloved neighborhood bar recently started featuring desserts by our friend Donnie on the menu. “The Donnie Special”, the menu reads, and then it basically says, whatever Donnie feels like making. Donnie, a good friend and former bandmate of mine, went to the French pastry school. I’ve always known he was good at baking, but this is becoming a real treat for us. So far this summer the Donnie Special has been a lot of berry tarts and pies, and they were all excellent. But the current Donnie Special blows them all out of the water. It’s a soft, delicate sponge cake that’s infused with basil – and looks like it has finely chopped fresh basil baked right into it – rolled around strawberries and cream. It’s very summery and light, and it’s delicious. I texted Donnie from the bar tonight to tell him I wanted to eat ten of them, and he advised me that was a wise decision.
I am so great at feeling guilty for things. Maybe that’s my superpower!
So I’ve spent much of the day thinking about our responsibility to our fellow man vs. care for our personal safety. Was this guy suffering from heat exhaustion at 7:30 am? Or was he just drunk? In which case, is it dangerous for me to try to wake him up? Should I have stayed? or would I have just gotten in the way? I think we pretty much did everything we were supposed to do – or, at least, that other girl did. I didn’t do anything.
Anyway. The girl in question didn’t mean anything by that “I’m a lady” comment – only that she didn’t want to rouse a potentially angry potentially drunk guy, as a girl traveling alone. In the end, I’m sure the guy was fine, I’m fairly certain he was just drunk, and I’m sure the cops and/or paramedics showed up shortly after we left. I still wish I had stayed, though. I never know what to do in these situations! There should be a manual.
* TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to PREORDER the League of Courteous Cyclists shirts! All preorders will come with a free 4″ round vinyl sticker with the same design.
* I’m going to be a guest at Third Coast Comics’ 3rd anniversary party! It’s Saturday, July 30th, and they’re going to be grilling out and there will be baked goods and you should probably come by if you like comics, and also food.
* I’m also going to be at Chicago’s Wizard World, in artists’ alley! I will have Everyone Deserves to Feel Awesome prints, League of Courteous Cyclists shirts, and lots of books! I am so close to finishing Shuteye #6 that I’m tempted to say it’ll be for sale there, but I’m afraid to make any promises.
(Have you seen Emily Carroll‘s work? of course you have. I’m a little biased, because I built her website, but her comics are just so breathtaking.)
Hey there! So, I sat down to draw this and for a moment, I forgot how to draw the smokey head-monster. That’s gotta be a good sign. But seriously, back in the day, I had no issue at all coming up with something to draw every single day, because I was constantly battling the voices in my head, the soft but constant mental drumbeat of “you’re fat, you’re fat, you’re fat”. These days… well, it’s not like I’m running around constantly feeling glamourous and beautiful or anything, but most of the time I’m just not thinking about it AT ALL, and that’s a massive improvement. I’m not feeling ugly or pretty, I’m just feeling like Sarah. I am pretty content just being who I am, and what I look like doesn’t really enter into it.
I feel like I struggle kind of often lately, thinking of what to draw. I was thinking the other night about how I really wanted to draw something about this motorcycle accident we witnessed, but there was no way to thematically fit it into Sauceome. And I thought, maybe I could just go ahead and broaden the content? Make it more widely autobiographical instead of strictly about food and body image?
“It’s your comic,” my friend Kristin said. “You can do whatever you want with it!”
Which, of course she’s right, but I don’t want to bait and switch anyone. :) I mean, I’m sure there will still be plenty of food and body image stuff, because I can’t exorcise the body image stuff completely, and because I will never stop loving food and cooking. But would anyone mind if I drew comics about other stuff once in a while?
EDIT: OH CRAP! I forgot to say. FRIDAY is the LAST DAY you can get the League of Courteous Cyclists shirts for preorder! After that, you will have to normal-order them. ALSO. I have decided to go ahead and make the stickers too. They’ll be 4″ circles, on vinyl, so they should stand up pretty well to the weather if you put them on a helmet or messenger bag. I’m not putting them up on the site yet, but I will be sending one free with every t-shirt preorder! So if you’ve already ordered a shirt, you’ll get a sticker with it for free! :)
So! Just like the poached egg, this is one of those things that I always wanted to learn, that seemed simple but actually proved pretty tricky. The biggest trick with caramelized onions is patience. You want to cook them slowly enough to bring out the sugars without letting them burn. You kind of have to hover a little bit, to make sure they’re cooking evenly.
Other tips: you can do this with any onion, although I prefer to do white and yellow. Red onions are a little sharp for caramelizing, and your Vidalias and 1015s are sweet enough on their own. Also: if you’ve been cooking for a while but all the oil has cooked off and they look like they’re burning a little, you can deglaze them by pouring in a little water or cooking wine.
Caramelized onions are an excellent addition to burgers or roast beef sandwiches, and they pair really well with pungent cheeses.
On Saturday, and I know this will sound strange, I forgot to drink coffee. I made the coffee, but I was inking, and I just never got around to actually pouring and drinking the coffee. At the time it didn’t bug me; I’m a morning person by nature, and I wake up pretty energetic. I have never felt like I needed coffee to get going in the morning or anything. But by early afternoon I had a cranium-splitting headache, and had to stop everything I was doing and take some ibuprofen and lie down and eventually fall asleep for a little bit. I guess it could be any number of things that caused the headache, but I suspect it was that I skipped the coffee. I don’t think of myself as being that addicted to it, but clearly my body’s pretty dependent on it, huh?
Here’s my delicious-smelling bike commute! Chicago has a lot of restaurants, and I have a long bike commute, which naturally passes a great many restaurants. Please don’t stalk me with this information. I mean, you can, I guess, but it would be SUPER boring. Potential stalkers, my average day is: get up, bike to work, be at work, bike home, make dinner, sit on couch either 1) drawing or 2) playing a video game, sleep. Crazy dull.
Obviously all of these restaurants aren’t always cooking things; my morning bike commute isn’t entirely a series of one delicious smell after another. But in the morning, Horner Park smells pretty strongly of warm, fresh cinnamon rolls, thanks to the commercial bakery across the river. And Reza’s seems to be cooking all of the day’s garlic in the morning, and I always get a faceful of the aroma of baking donuts from La Baguette as I bike past. On my ride home, Giordano’s smells amazing, and I don’t even really like Giordano’s that much. And it’s immensely difficult not to stop at Kuma’s when the street smells like delicious grilled burgers, and sometimes I’ll even alter my route so I won’t be upset when I bike past and see how crowded it is, always, every day, at all times.
I’m on Google +. At first I was all “meh” about it, but honestly, it is a super interesting way to share artwork. I know it’s early in the game, but I kind of like it better than facebook and tumblr and maybe even twitter, at least for how easy it is to upload, share, display and read multipage comics projects. I don’t think it’ll end up replacing or killing any of the other social network things, but I do think g+ will end up being very popular with artists wanting to share their projects.
So! I got a wolf whistle the other morning.
I know, I should be angry. Offended. But honestly, wolf whistles are so outdated, and also so much Things That Happen To Other People, that I was just stunned, more than anything, and I spent the rest of the day analyzing the event from a sociological standpoint. Here’s the theory I came up with: 1) I have bras now that lift and separate, rather than smoosh and flatten. 2) I was wearing a tank top. 3) I was on my bike, and when I’m riding, the strap of my messenger bag falls right in between the ladies, accentuating…. things.
I would probably have been upset if I wasn’t on my bike. On foot, such a thing has a slim chance of leading to a dangerous situation. On my bike, though, I get all “TRY AND CATCH ME, LOSEWADS” and zoooom away.
At any rate, it was kind of eye-opening for me. The shirt in question is form fitting but not tight, or low cut. I wasn’t trying to show anything off, you see. But I wasn’t actively trying to hide anything, and that was enough to get a whistle.
But back to our story. How ridiculous is it that I spent so many summers wearing 3/4 sleeves, because I thought my arms were too fat? Body dysmorphia is a strange thing. I have been kind of trying unravel exactly what used to bother me so much, and it’s not simply that I thought I was fat. It’s that I thought my body was so disgusting that it actively offended everyone who saw it. I thought I had to hide my arms – and wear long sleeves on 90 degree days – as a PUBLIC fricking SERVICE, you guys. When, not only do most people not give a damn if I’m wearing sleeves or not, but some people (impolite strangers, anyway) are so not-disgusted by me in a tank top as to whistle at me. Lesson learned.
Other things on the agenda:
I’m gonna make those League of Courteous Cyclists shirts!! I’m taking preorders now (for a discount!) and they will ship in the first week of August.
Also, I’m on Google +, because why not. Feel free to add me to circles, I like circles.
So, here’s a recipe I just threw together tonight. Portabellas (portobellos?) are great – if you marinate and cook them right, they have a smoky meatiness to them that can make them every bit as satisfying as a hamburger. They’re awesome grilled, of course, but I like baking them too, because they take on all the flavors of whatever you’re baking them with, in this case: garlic, spinach and tomato.
You know, when I’m cooking, I rarely set out to make anything specifically vegetarian. But a lot of times I finish preparing a meal and realize, oh hey, this is completely vegetarian, and it’ll surprise me a little. I grew up in a pretty meat-and-potatoes kind of household, where almost every meal naturally included some meat. So it feels like a nice little testament to how much my eating habits have changed, when I make something that happens to turn out vegetarian.
Anyway. Baking and stuffing portabellas! Makes for a nice lightweight summer sandwich.