Improving on Garfield, Part 1

A denizen of a message board recently posited a theory that Garfield's humor can be assumed to be at a level of 0. Therefore any attempt to alter or recontextualize the strip cannot help but improve upon it.

Method 1: Assume that Garfield has been dead or starving to death since 1989.

A series of strips published just before Halloween in 1989 paints a startling picture of a world in which Garfield's house is abandoned and his friends have disappeared.

While Jon Davis apparently meant the series as a comment on the fear of loneliness, it make things more palatable to imagine the present banal strips as the last defense mechanisms of a starving cat in the throes of denial.

Method 2: The Crazy Jon theory

Removing all of Garfield's thought bubbles places the focus on Jon Arbuckle and results in a more surreal and occasionally hilarious comic strip. More examples can be found by clicking on the picture and by clicking here and here.

Method 3: Consider it a lost cause and move on.

This is probably for the best, but it's fun to freak Tara out with the "Garfield is Dead" theory.


Method 4: Condense the entire strip to one panel.


Method 5: Googly Eyes



It's just science

There's been a bit of a cleaning kick around the ol' apartment recently, which is to say that there's been slightly more cleaning than none at all.

I should have done a before and after picture of my shower, but that would have been too embarrassing. Let's just say it's
now much less...mildewy.

This particular adventure started when I wanted something to drink other than the milk and juice I had in the fridge. So I started asking the available roommates whose 2-liter of Sprite Zero was in there. Turns out it was no one's.

This gets Jon all curious about what might be in that paper bag sitting in the fridge. Well, the picture speaks for itself. We have reason to believe it was once Chinese takeout, but only from the container can anything about the contents be determined. The material itself no longer resembles anything other than a solid foam mold that you stick plastic flower stems into.

We talked about it when Tara got home. In the course of the conversation, we determined that it was over a year old.

And it was Jon's.


The aftermath

So...yeah. Big storm in Chicago on Thursday. I'm fine, the apartment is fine, the car is fine, but all these pics are from the neighborhood. Guess we were pretty fortunate to not have trees around.

Pretty chump move from the trees, in my opinion. Falling down. Come on, trees.

Those two guys are very slowly hacking the tree to bits. Sorry, tree. You got yourself into this.

I mean, that's a big trunk that just decided it was done supporting itself. Yikes.

The sky was quite pretty today. Funny.


At least he realizes it's a joke at this point. At least I think he does.

Okay, now imagine a dozen big dudes in matching black suits with earpieces patrolling the sidewalk.

Also, a miniature red carpet.

Add a couple of those big searchlights to shoot into the sky to tell the world that something exciting is happening and if only they could triangulate the location of those searchlights, maybe they too could join in the excitement.

If your imagination is still intact, add to it the fact that R.Kelly was presumably in the vicinity.

Now you're starting to get a sense of the level of excitement on Southport last night. I presume that it was a sort of premiere for the new chapters of his epic urban operetta "Trapped in the Closet."

I would have just taken a picture of the excitement rather than the aftermath, but I don't think the suited dudes would have stood for it.


It's not really him. Well, it could be.

I was feeling a deficiency of whatever vitamin you get from direct sunlight, so I took my lunch to the plaza and ate outside today.

Lenny Kravitz was nonplussed.


That's a promise I make to you, the American people

Look, I've got nothing against the French as a whole, but this is ridiculous.

The name, yes. Obviously. But also the fact that a wanna-be French bistro is touting its quesadillas.

I will never eat here.


It is truly a historic day

My brother Josh has somehow conned his way into a position as Youth Minister at a church in northern Illinois. Yesterday, he informed me that I made the cut to be some sort of beneficiary and I should call him with important information that he should probably already know.

Josh: Associate Pastor in charge of Youth Ministry.
Me: Really? That's how you're going to answer the phone?
Josh: I haven't worked it out entirely. It's my second day.

It should be noted that most of his first day was taken up with hiking. Apparently, youth minister office hours = hiking on the clock.

Me: Hey, this is pretty fun. I'm calling your work phone from my work phone. I even had to get past your receptionist.
Josh: Mom would probably want a picture of this moment, if only she could figure out how.
Me: I'll just take a picture of me on the phone and you take a picture of you and we'll put them together in post. I'm getting my camera now.

(I step away from the mic to get my camera.)

Me: Okay, I'm taking the picture now...done. I took it. Did you take yours?
Josh: ...
Josh: You're an idiot.


Start the skinny jokes

Are we still in the dog days of summer? I should look up what that means. I can't imagine it just implies there are dogs around. That doesn't seem special at all. There are always dogs around.

Ah, we certainly are still in them.

At any rate, it's been really hot in Chicago recently. As much as I longed for these days in February, now I find myself just longing for a time when I can walk home without having to change shirts afterwards.

When I wait for the bus in the morning, I seek out whatever shade I can. The above picture is my view on most mornings. It's what passes for Chicago foliage on certain corners.



Wanted: some peace and quiet, dagnabit!

This weekend, among many other exciting adventures, our neighborhood turned Hollywood as the motion picture Wanted, starring Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie, filmed nearby.

On Saturday there were a few big trucks around and Tara, swept up in the excitement, took Jon and my cousin Quinn to investigate. They hoped to see at least a glimpse of a big star but caught only "a lot of wires."

On Sunday things got even more exciting as the streets got even more crowded. The picture is a view from my window at a trailer below. Tara, again swept up in the excitement, proclaimed it to be an actor's trailer. We quickly decided it was Morgan Freeman's.

My mind quickly drifted into daydreamland. I was walking down the steps on the way to the outside world when Mr. Narration himself stepped out of the trailer. "Good morning, Mr. Freeman," I'd say nonchalantly. "It's an honor to have you in our neighborhood."

"Why thank you, young man," he'd reply. "How would you like to accompany me to the set? The actor playing my son just fell ill and I think you'd be a perfect replacement.* And please, call me Morgan." And we would be the best of friends for all of time!

Later, I really did walk downstairs and snuck a look in the trailer. It held mostly catering supplies.

* Don't overthink it.