Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Life in grayscale

Today the goal was the colorize the next four strips (they go live starting Monday) and possibly get the other two for next week done as well. If not the next two, I could work on some promo pics for the website. I had plans!

Today I woke up feeling great - for the first time all week. I even had a dream of minor complexity! In the past week of fatigue, my brain couldn't muster anything memorable in the few moments of unconsciousness I achieved. The dream was fairly uneventful, and most of it was promptly forgotten in the way all dreams are, but at least I had one.

The part I remember involved my family moving into a new house. The neighborhood was newly built, with not all houses completed and grass just beginning to cover the dirt. After waking, I got the impression that it was in Georgia - possibly based on the few memories I have of the house Dana's family had down there. The family and some friends were gathered in the family room watching some program, which later turned into a ridiculous Lost/Battlestar Galactica/sit-com mash up. There was a crisis: Food. Some of us had eaten earlier in the dream (I was one, and I think we ate in a mall food court) and some were starving. Well, this being a new house, we had very little to offer. The best I could find was some crappy frozen pizza, and I felt bad about preparing it. Instead of making the pizza for the few who were hungry, I asked the group if they would be ready to eat a slice or two if I had pizza delivered. Everyone was noncommital, so I decided to go ahead and order pizza. Only problem: I was new in town and didn't know the number to call. No one else did either, so the result is one minor thing turning into a the most boring clusterfuck ever. It was not a great dream, but there was something that I overlooked initially: My dad was there.

Shortly after my dad died, I had a dream in which I was sitting with him in the back of a theater. He told me that if I ever needed him, he would be there for me. Since then, in times of stress and worry, he would show up in me dream. It was always very casual - just everyday normalcy, He was just there in boring family scenes. Only after waking would I realize that is not normal. When he appears in my dreams, it means something is wrong - even if I haven't realized it yet.

After this dream, I just shrugged it off. The dream was SO inane, I was content to let it go. I did not learn my lesson. I was feeling good! I was energized and refreshed! I spent the first hour of waking calm and relaxed, content to compose whimsical stories in my head for the fun of it.

And then I got a phone call telling me my grandmother (mom's side) had a stroke. Mom came home, packed a bag and drove to the hospital to be by her mother's side. I had to stay here to take care of the animals. While typing this post I got the update call. It wasn't a stroke! It was a seizure brought on by two-to-eight malignant and inoperable brain tumors! Whoopee! If she survives this episode, she'll start hospice. They're not sure if it will be days, weeks or months right now, but an MRI later could tell us more. For those keeping score at home, that would be two grandparents on hospice and two with scary chronic health problems.

This is the second time in recent months that I woke up and declared to myself that it would be a good day. First time my cat died. This time the only grandparent we WEREN'T worrying about almost died - with the "almost" still in doubt, mind you. I know all of this is coincidence, but DAMN. If I was just a tad more egocentric, I'd believe I was the center of a universe that was extremely displeased with me.

Anyway, I'm trying to keep moving on with Precocious stuff. I finished inking the next four strips and sketched out the cast picture seen above. I may or may not use that for the website, but no matter what I won't be coloring it today. I scanned it and prepared it for coloring, but my efforts will be going to working on the strips. Whenever I color, I set up a layer of the gray I use to filter out leftover pencil marks when scanning. It gives me a background that shows any artifacts left behind. Since I wasn't going to color today, I just saved it with that background. I figure it fits the mood.

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