Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Keep on Keepin on

So I've been looking for a project to keep my extra hours occupado (That's Danglish for "occupied") and I've always wanted to do my takes on ..... well pretty much every single comic book character. So I've decided to try and do 4 sketches at 4.5x6 inch per week. We'll see what kind of fun I can have with the characters and how many I can do. I wanted each series to have at least one major character and one lesser known character to keep it fun and interesting. The first series includes Scarecrow, Sandman (original DC version), Sheena Queen of the Jungle and your friendly neighborhood Spider-man. I'm really happy with the way all four turned out

We'll see which style I favor in future series, my usual blue pencil to pencil inks like on the Sandman sketch or the actual inks and gray tones I used on all the rest. If your interested I'll be selling these sketches at Happy Harbor on Jasper for around 10-15$ each.

And let me know what characters you'd like to see me sketch in future sets. It can be any character you want, doesn't have to be a superhero.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Toothless Tale

Since the second episode of the San Diego trip is taking so long here is a video I made about mine and my sisters halloween costume this year

Let the epicness ensue

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Danny does San Diego

Welcome one and all to another trivial tale from your distinguished host Daniel (That's me)

As you may have gathered from the title today's story is of my trip to the 2010 San Diego Comic Con

Editor's note: The title is a homage to the classic "Debbie Does Dallas" and was originally slated to be named "Danny Does Diego" but sounding like a "Go Diego, Go!" fetish website wasn't the intent of today's blog, so we'll just be moving right along....

The San Diego Comic Con is an event like no other, in it's 41 years it has grown from a small gathering of comic's greatest gathering in a hotel lobby, into a world wide media and fan frenzy of unbelievable proportions. It's a living breathing city that overtakes San Diego once a year. Literally overflowing the streets with people and wealth like a spring time flood. It is the stage for once in a lifetime events and giant spectacles. This year was no exception with such sights as ...
The Con's complete takeover of the city. Hotels as giant advertisements, and entire stores and restaurants turning into interactive displays for movies and television shows.
Will Ferrell and "Brad Pitt" dressed in their best
Odin's throne and the gates of Asgard
Angelina Jolie taking a break from film and family to talk to her fans
The "pen stabbing" worthy anouncement and introduction of the Avengers cast
Gaggles and gaggles of fans showing their loyalties to their favorite characters
A pedo-bear sighting or two
And this year we were lucky enough to receive a visit from our friendly neighborhood West Borough Baptist Church
What Fred Phelps and his followers didn't count on though was the geeks protesting right back

West Borough decided not to come back surprisingly

So with all this grandstanding and hoopla going on just what did your auspicious author do? Well that's what we're here for today aren't we, so without further ado I present to you the Chronicles of the Canadian Cowboys

July 21, 2010

1:00 am
Me and the first member of our posse, Duggy my cousin, are pulling into the farms driveway. I text the other two posse members to let them know when they get here to make themselves at home since I still have to pack.

1:05 am
I open the front door and am greeted by "Way ahead of you Dan!".
I peer around the corner into the kitchen and see Jeff and Ryley's alcohol glazed gazes, raising a glass of beer in a toast to our upcoming trip

Editor's note: In no way does Blog O' Dan recommend or support pre-drinking before international flights ... unless you want hilarity to ensue, then by all means tip that glass back fellow air travellers

3:00 am
we're sitting in line for the customs agent when Jeff yells out "Dibs on the hot one!"

3:20 am
Duggy gets stuck with agent number 1, Ryley takes 3 and me and Jeff high five after getting number 2

4:30 am
My palms are sweaty, and my feet stepping nervously on spot. I feel like a young student eagerly awaiting that letter from Julliard, praying that it'll confirm my dreams. With a polite wave of a hand the guard ushers me forward and I open that metaphorical envelope and find .... disappointment.

Just like my doctor said the titanium in my head didn't set off the metal detector. My head hanging low I look to my left and watch as Jeff pirouettes through the detector.
At least one of us got what we wanted

5:20 am
I head to the airport bar to collect Jeff and Ryley.
"Hey guys we're leaving soon. Finish up your drinks and we'll head out"
"Umm, what?"
"Say it ... in asian"

"We're reaving soon?"

"That's better ... be there in a sec"

I'm starting to think pre-drinking was either a really bad idea ... or a completely sexcellent one

9:00 am
After a brief walk through their airport and the birds eye view from the plane we've come to a decision ...... we hate Arizona. Never mind the constant heat turning all metallic surfaces into a city wide game of "don't touch the lava" but it's also a very drab and colorless city. Only browns and greys exist in this desert outpost. It's a gay man's hell

12:00 pm
We've landing in San Diego and are checking into our hotel. I've just been informed that we didn't get two double beds and instead will have one king sized bed and a cot.

12:10 pm
I open the door to what shall be our home for the next few days. It's a lovely room with a flat screen TV, perfectly made king sized bed, fresh green plants and a great view of the harbor.

12:20 pm
There's a knock at our door, it's the maid with our cot. Ryley spies it from his vantage point sprawled across the couch, raises his hand and yells
"THAT BED'S THE WHACK-OFF BED! you need to whack off, you do it in that bed"
we're a very organized group

12:45 pm
After seeing the huge line for con pass pick-up we decide to look for a place to eat and come back later.

1:00 pm
the Rockin Baja is our choice of eatery. It's an alcohol serving, vaguely mexican themed restaurant. This was about when Jeff and Ryley decided to not eat anywhere else the whole trip, because they completely fell in love with their standard rate food, and not because the fell in love with the bubbly, buxom, bar waitress Eriana.
This was also about when Duggy's frustrations and torment at the hands of these two began

1:40 pm
Being ridiculed and bullied by the rest of the table for not finishing his meal, Duggy madly shoves the last half of his burger into his mouth. His frantic movement pauses as a serene look overcomes his expression while he attempts to chew this oversized hunk of meat and bun.
His eyes quickly bulge.
His meditation is broken as hands cover his mouth and he runs for the bathroom. Duggy is the first to puke
...... but won't be the last
Epic high fivery between me, Jeff and Ryley ensues

It's time now for another addition of ....
The BLOG O' DAN rewind!!!
I take you back now to a simpler time, when we were still reliant upon our primitive iPhone 3's and the world was just about to discover that Sigourney Weaver is way hotter as a blue alien cat lady

December 5, 2009
I'm registering for my comic-con pro-pass. The year previous my ex-girlfriend, Melanie, applied as a pro and used my address as her home address. Because of that I received her pro-pass in the mail and conveniently forgot to mention it's existence to her and .... WAA-LAA!!! Two extra free passes for Dan! The only catch was someone had to go down there as "Melanie". At the same time I needed a name to put down as my guest so I put down my then girlfriends name "Abby" figuring once we decided who would be my guest I'd just switch the name

3:30 pm
Me, Jeff, "Mel" and "Abby" having acquired our passes and free swag are off to find some form of entertainment till the show opens. In the distance we see a large inflatable Medusa. I'm pretty sure the convention organizers bought this at a giant novelty shop on the cloudtop next to Jack's fabled castle in the sky

4:00 pm
Turns out the Giant Medusa head was a beacon for a bunch of childlike games ... much to our gleeful joy!


Second gladiatorial event: TRAMPOLINE BUNGEE CORD THINGY!

While waiting for our respective turns on this ride, me, Jeff and Ryley decided that for the rest of the trip we would "Good game" Duggy as much as possible. For those of you not familiar with the "Good Game" allow me to explain. It's a slightly creepy and sexually confusing tradition among sports teams, where team mates slap each others usually bare buttocks and declare "Good Game"

And for the finale: GLADIATOR JOUSTING!
This is a game of wits and manly manhoodness! Two opponents smash each other with sticks until one of them falls to a shameful defeat!
Always the supportive posse me, Jeff and Ryley start taunting Duggy while he competes
"DUGGY!!! I swear if you don't win I'll take away your make-a-wish foundation wish from you and we'll head straight home!"
The concerned woman running the event turns to me and asks if that's true
"Yeah the little feller has no large intestines"
"That's so sad"
Duggy not seeming to appreciate our little lie, heroically jumps off the jousting arena hands outstretched in attempt to double "Good Game" both me and Jeff
Duggy trips and stumbles harmlessly away from our firm buttocks. Me and Jeff take advantage of this opprotunity

Having annihilated these challenges of the Titans it's time for a victory pose with our prizes
(A crown, some flimsy cardboard shields and a lovely paper fan)

5:00 pm
We're back at the Baja. Jeff and Ryley eagerly swivel their heads in a 360, seeking our previous waitress, Eriana.
No such luck

5:05 pm
We take our seats and are greeted by Catlin, a sweetly sexy server. And we watch as Jeff and Ryley's frowns turn right upside down

5:15 pm
Finally building up the courage after a plethora of curious glances, the lovely ladies at the table next to us ask us where we're from. I tell them we'll give them three guesses to try and get it right
Rockabilly gal tries the obvious "Texas"
Jeff, playing the helpful Alex Trebek, replies "No, more north"
Sporty Gal takes a stab "MONTANA!"
Jeff hints again "A little more north"
four pretty brows simultaneously furrow in puzzlement
at her wits end Classy Gal asks "What's north of Montana?"

5:30 pm
Duggy has lost his pass

5:45 pm
We've scattered in all directions, back tracking and turning over every stone in search of this lost pass. With no such luck Jeff checks the lost & found
"Hey my buddy lost his badge"
"Ok, what's his name?"

Multiple blinks of bewilderment follow
"He's scottish"

5:50 pm
I catch up to Jeff who's had no luck at the lost & found. He gives me the story of my "scottish cousin" and shows me to where I can buy a new pass for him. I decide on a slightly more sensible story and tell them I lost my girlfriends badge and need to buy a new one.

6:00 pm
I give my new "scottish girlfriend" his newly acquired badge and we head on into the con

6:30 pm
Finally in the con

7:15 pm
"Good Game Duggy!"

8:50 pm
finished with the con and back at the Baja. I've come to the conclusion that due to the nature of our badge names I'm the figurative father of this trip and Ryley or "Mel" is the figurative mother. Jeff then blurts out that he's the figurative Uncle that no one wanted to come along but invited himself on this trip anyways.

9:00 pm
Jeff has left for a smoke and Ryley's getting cash when Duggy starts heading to the bathroom
"Duggy! As your figurative Father I forbid you from leaving this table!"
"OH YEAH! Well as
your figurative rebellious daughter-"
"Wait! ..... why'd you say daughter?"

"Shut up! That's why!"

Hence forth Duggy is the self-proclaimed rebellious daughter of this trip

9:10 pm
Like the responsible figurative father that I am I've just seen my figurative daughter off to bed. And by that I mean I just sent Duggy home alone with a cabbie who's limited grasp of the english language was able to tell us
"I get you there, very fast now yeah?"

9:30 pm
There's karaoke at the Baja and we decide this is the perfect way to finish our first night off.

10:00 pm
I'm doing some catch up drawing when our waiter, Daniel, notices. He asks if I can sketch a "Dark angel guy" for him. I happily oblige his request and begin to doodle.

10:10 pm
Daniel the waiter winks at me as he passes by. I uncomfortably readjust myself, contemplating the uncalled for wink as Ryley and Jeff jeer me about my new found admirer

10:25 pm
I'm startled as a set of strong, virile hands settle on my shoulders with clear intentions of choking the precious life from my flawless neck. My soon to be killer lowers his lips to my ears as he whispers the last words I shall hear before the light flickers out of my intoxicatingly deep blue eyes

11:00 pm
Our first night over, we decide to turn in early having already accomplished so much in so little of time and to give ourselves some much needed rest before we turn the party meter all the way to 11. That's right ... to 11

And so ends our first foray at the Comic Con. Stay Tuned as we discover breakfast, Find a treasure chest full of chickens, Ryley's nipples make an appearance, and we make some American friends. That's next time on Blog O' Dan in the continued adventures of The Chronicles of the Canadian Cowboys!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

That John Denver is Full of S#@%!!!

Hark! My fellow peers! For today I come to you with a mission, a mission to cast back the deceptions cast over our minds by a golden haired bard. For too long we've been content to let the waters sit placid. Today I plan to cause a stir and reveal the truths hiding under the surface of this tantalizing tune.

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy" by John Denver

Don't let his dutch boy haircut and complete lack of fashion sense fool you. This man and his most classic of songs are folk singers equivalent of a decepticon. Unassuming and quietly comforting at first, it eases into your life with its simple charming enthusiasm. But suddenly with a confounding "CHAKKA CHAKKA!" they transform and reveal the truth.

And so as a public service I will now uncover the truths for you. In a piece I like to call (if I could quote the great Llyod Christmas)

That John Denver is Full of S@#$!

let us begin ...

-"Well life on a farm is kinda laid back"

These 9 simple words that open our song are the start of a cleverly plotted out lie woven together into a lovely tapestry made to cover over the truth of the matter. I've been laid out on my back before yes, but by charging cattle not by a swedish masseuse. And although the beautiful bovines do resemble Olga, I wouldn't call this R&R.

-"It's early to rise, early in the sack"

I gotta give old Johnny boy credit, the man knows the in's and out's of crafting a proper lie. Half truths hold together a better lie. Well before the sun has ever even had a chance to hit the snooze button, I'm treated to a soft rapping on my door and my fathers hushed voice
"Wakey, wakey, eggs and bacey"
Having not fully escaped my dream I believe these encouraging words and stumble downstairs. And just like any drunk waking in the morning eager to gaze upon his prized princess, I too with newly acquired sober eyes and mind realize it was all but a fantasy for instead of my princess, a crusty buttered up reality lies before me
But you continue on with your work day knowing that the promise of a speedy return to recreation was given. This small spark of hope instilled in you is enough to get you started and that is all they need. Cause after all since you're already out there feeding cows, we might as well wash them all, and since we're washing them it would be silly not to clip their hair, and now that we're past twilight and our sight has adjusted to the lack of light we might as well develop a complicated lever and pulley system to stop gophers from digging holes in the pasture!

-"A simple kind of life never did me no harm"

Harm is definitely a mistress you flirt with everyday on a farm. Luring you in with a bat of her big brown doe eyes, letting you get comfortable and relaxed in her sweet innocent presence, and just when you make your move .... BAM!!! In comes her ride home with rib cracking authority! You'd think this would be enough to learn your lesson, but like the sex addled brained teenager you'll be tempted time and time again. It's at about the time he says this line that I'm starting to think the only thing Mr. Denver ever farmed was ants

-"When the sun's coming up I got cakes on the griddle"

This one is true in most cases ... not so much mine. I like to compare my families eating habits to that of a family of Boa constrictors. Contrary to the 3 squares meals a day we instead preferred 1 over-sized oblong meal a week. We gorge ourselves on this one meal and let it slowly digest and sustain us throughout the rest of the week

-"Yeah city folks drivin' in a black limousine, A lotta sad people think that's a mighty keen, Well son let me tell you exactly what I mean"

This song is starting to sound like the opening pitch line from a cult recruiting center. We've already glorified the country life style and now we've moved onto guilt you about yours. I'm almost wondering if the only beverage served at John Denver concerts wasn't Kool-Aid. Why it's hard for any poor soul not to resent their fancy smancy smooth running vehicular units, and envy the stop/start Chitty Shitty Bang Bang farm trucks after listening to this merry melody. But Johnny boy does promise to enlighten us about what he means .... only to distract and bedazzle our minds with another jaunty rendition of the chorus, just like any good leader. Promises of answers to life's woes but in actuality they just want us chanting the chorus over and over, while we hand over our "mighty keen" "Black limousine"

I realize at this point I'm starting to sound like a ranting old man, sitting on his front porch shotgun in hand yelling at passing by kids that Santa doesn't exist and I shot the tooth fairy. In all honesty I love everything country. The life, the music, the style, the hardships and excitements of the everyday.

-"Well I wouldn't trade my life for diamonds or jewels"

This line says it all. Contrary to what all my previous nagging would have you believe, there is nothing in this world that could entice me to leave this all behind. Not to say that I wouldn't relish in the wealth if presented with proper amounts of bling, but I refuse trade who I am in exchange. The farm and country is a part of who I am. It's where I grew up and is a big part of who I am today. Farms teach you the joy's of life, death, birth and renewal. You learn about responsibility, for yourself, your fellow man, and most of all the land that provides for you. It's freedom, a place where you aren't afraid to run and scream as loud and hard as you want. Freedom to explore and discover the natural world. I'll take my hairy cattle companions over bristly bustling crowds any day. At the end of the day me and John can set aside our differences and proudly agree on one thing....

Thank God I'm a country boy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

One More Fish in the Sea

Hey there good looking, My name's Dan and you must be Rubber Ducky? Cause baby you're the one that makes bath time oh so fun!

So why am I laying on the cheese and shamelessly thrusting my ass out like a cheap backup dancer in a Snoop Dogg video? Well dear my friends, your lovable rascal of a cowboy has been returned to the life of the lone wolf. Me and my lovely lady Abby have called it quits and I find myself once again cast back into the swinging bachelor life.

It was a mutual break up. I wouldn't even really call it a break up more of a transition of sorts. As if we went to the bank and transferred our funds from "couple" to "friends" There was no arguing, spite or hate. No talking behind backs, no burning of pictures or letting loose of large bovines in the others bedroom (Ok so maybe I'm the only one who would do something like that in a bad break up)

Anywhoo, my point is, it was a good break up, we both still really like each other, we just thought it was best for both of us to end it. She no longer saw me as a lover just a really great friend. I know it was no ones fault but I felt like i ruined everything and so I attempted to become emo for a day or so.

4:00 pm (just after break up)
Go to mirror and attempt to pull all my bangs in front of my face for that oh so popular "introverted tortured soul" look. Still lacking the full luxurious head of hair possessed before my surgery, I instead look like a diseased hillbilly version of Gerard Way.

6:00 pm
I write some poetry
My life is a barren wasteland of sorrow and remorse,

just like the time I didn't poke with a stick that dead corpse,

Woe, misery and pain are all my life's emphasis,

I'll always remember you're awesome breastasis,

That last one did not follow the rhythm,

Don't try to hold me within your prison,

Just like in Footloose if given the chance,

I'll fight oppression through the powers of dance!

8:00 pm
Making a mopey playlist to go along with my new mascara wearing look. I start off strong with Theory of a Deadman's "Hate My Life", Team America's "I'm so Ronery" and Gary Allen's "Life ain't Always Beautiful". But I think I went wrong somewhere between, Hot Action Cop's "Feva for Flava" and Rodney Carrington's "Dear Penis"

Failing miserably at my emo escapade (And also running into more than a few doors due to bangs blocking my vision) I have now switched my post break up tactic to the drown your sorrows with a long neck bottle method. This plan was enacted in two parts. The first involved me and my friend Marc heading out to a pub for some drinks and food. The second I joined my friend Roger and his girlfriend Jennifer at the Demonika Symphony of Horror! Here's a few highlights from those two nights

-Marc about 6 beers in and me 7 girlie drinks downed have started comparing who's more oblivious when it comes to women. We settle on a tie and drink to our continued failures with the opposite sex

-My friend Jeff joins me and Marc at the pub and orders a round of Tequila. Marc forgets he's allergic to tequila, and hilarity ensues ... for me at least, not so sure it was as funny for Marc. Couldn't really ask him as he kept running to the toilet looking like a chipmunk with his vomit filled cheeks

-A text sent just before I laid down my weary head
Knees refuse to function properly. They have started a revolution. my body is at civil war my knees want to enslave blacks and i an lincoln and will free them! Vita la revolution!

-Bouncer comments that it's great having a cowboy attend a goth event, he doesn't need to check my ID when I come back in or frisk me twice. I tell him he can frisk me again if he really wants to

-I'm staring at a raver dancing in the club. Dreads, leather straps, glow sticks, the whole nine yards. He has a plate sized bald spot on the back of his head. I start stalking him with a camera in hopes of getting photographic evidence of this rare beast. But like a neon colored drugged induced bigfoot, the fog and his erratic movements prove too much for my camera and stalker skills.

-Roger's girlfriend wants us to win her a prize in one of the many competitions at the event. Me and Roger wait patiently for one in which can compete. We pass up best breasts, seeing as neither of us has developed them yet, and best booty shake (I wasn't wearing the right jeans for that) But disturbingly without saying a word we both stand up for the best ladies underwear competition. Roger looks to me and laughs that we both made the same joke ...... yeah joke, right, that's why I stood up .....

-A chick dressed as a mummy just stole my chair ..... this will be the perfect ice breaker
Is it true Mummies are missing all their organs? cause I've got one I can donate .... also give me back my chair!

-About halfway through the show I've come to a conclusion. You're not naked as long a you cover up your nipples. No more bringing swimtrunks to the beach for me, I'm just bringing a roll of electrical tape

-I go up on stage for the best dressed competition. My competitors are a zombie, a voodoo priest and a neon colored gay guy in a banana hammock.

-Losing the battle to the zombie I graceful step off stage only to be immediately swarmed by a gaggle of goth and raver chicks. My head swivels about like an owl taking in all the eye candy before me as I'm assailed with varying calls of "Hey cowboy". A soft hand firmly grips mine, turning my attention towards the punk-rockabilly queen to my right.
PunkRockabillyQueen: Who are you?
Me: My names Daniel, I'm the dorky cowboy who thinks he can hang out with the cool kids. And may I ask your name?
PRQ: I'm Steph. What are you doing in a place like this anyways?
Me: I may stick out like a sore thumb but I love this crowd. So many neat and interesting people who aren't afraid to be themselves
Steph: .... You're an oddity and a rare person. I like you. You should hang out with me tonight
Me: Sexcellent! you got yourself a deal
Steph: Can I touch your hat?
Me: Yes you can, he won't bite

-Departing from my new found friends to acquire myself another drink I become distracted as easily as a cat with a laser pointer, by a fellow at the bar asking me about farming. I realize too late just how much time I wasted chatting only to find out that Steph and her entourage have left. At least i found out alternative chicks dig geeky cowboy's ... and like to touch hats

-It's 3 am and me and some friends are walking around the city looking for food. We run into a priest and two stoners getting high outside a pizza place. The place is closed but the priest insists that if Jesus can walk on water he can get us into the restaurant. He scratches at the window weakly like a needy cat begging to be let in. When that doesn't work the old man attempts to hop over the patio fence (And by "attempt" I mean he put one foot on the railing and then started giggling too much to continue the trek)

-We've finally called the night to an end and I'm crashing at Marc's place. I'm supposed to be a special guest in the morning at a comic convention so Marc asks me what time i want to get up.
Me: I'll set my alarm for 7 that way I have time to drive the 40 minutes home, change, grab my art and prints and then come back in time for the show
Marc: You realize it's 6:30 right?
Me: ....... f@#$ .... well, hopefully these clothes won't smell too bad.

And so ended my nights of drunken debauchery. The next day I strolled into the con with nothing but the clothes on my back and a pencil. The Indie comic creators panel I was a guest on opened up with us talking about breeds of cattle, much to our 6 person crowd's delight. I spent the remainder of my day drawing roller derby girls, and explaining the difference between 'cougars' and 'silver foxes' to my fellow geeks. I was the definition of class

And so after a very brief self-pity stage I'm back to my normal self and me and Abby are still great friends.

Since I'm back out on the prowl once again I figured my best course of action is to cast a wide net to find me a better-half. And so I've decided to write a personals ad

Man seeking Woman

5'10, 180 lbs (mostly water weight), pasty white caucasian male, looking for a beautiful, intelligent, fun woman for a relationship. I live with my parents on a farm in the middle of no where. Currently unemployed due to recent head injury. The dent is barely noticeable from the right angles. Not brain damaged .... probably. In my spare time I like to read, write and draw comics and complain about the inaccuracies of the Catwoman movie. If this sounds right for you give me a shout .... you know you waaaaant it! RWAR!!!

That one might need a little work, but I think it's pretty good so far. Now on the other hand I could also tap into a niche dating market (a very large niche mind you) with this ad

Man seeking Woman

178 cm, 180 lbs, caucasian male, looking for strong intelligent female. I'm an only child and an orphan, but I have lots of friends (and more than a few enemies). I'm fluent in parseltongue and have a pet owl who I love and adore. I want someone who see's past my fame. doesn't matter if you're black, white, asian or muggle, I just want someone who loves me for me. If this sounds right for you send owl mail to Number 4, Privet Drive and we'll go for a broom ride

a picture of me at school

So there you have it my dear readers. I hope you enjoyed my romantic endeavors so far, and I will continue to chronicle them for as long as the stories amuse and entertain the masses.

See you all back here
Same Dan-time!
Same Dan-channel!

p.s. If you're looking for the rest of the Crisis of Cranium Crackage story as I promised when I posted the first entry, I posted them all up at once on here right before this post, you just have to go back and read them. If you haven't already read them somewhere else I highly recommend reading them

Crisis of Cranium Crackage!!! Part net! (the finale)

Hey there everybody! I made out to the other side and as can be expected I have the tale of my trials for you recorded in this last installment of ....

Warjournal: Crisis of Cranium Crackage!!! Part net!!!

March 1, 2010
(day of the surgery)

4:00 am
Awoken to a screaming alarm clock, I groggily grab my pre-packed bag. Filled with nothing but PJ's and movies, it's easy to trick myself that I'm heading for a slumber party with all my 'besties' instead of heading to a hospital to have my head peeled like a grape

4:05 am
I sit staring at my previous Cranium Crackage entry with complete and utter remorse. Hoping against all logic that maybe if I phone and kindly inform the hospital that I'm not completely happy with a random blog I wrote and would they patiently wait while I fix it, maybe just maybe they'll see my reasoning

4:10 am
My dad, Howie, has walked into my room. His eyes haven't quite yet figured out how to open and his arm seems rather occupied with rustling his hair into a bird's nest. He stumbles towards me like some sort of drug induced wise man, placing his hands upon my head in solemn prayer while faintly mumbling a blessing that I'm pretty sure translated into "Hmm, bye, bye hair"

4:30 am
After much posing, eyebrow arching and lip pursing my mother does a quick toss off her always fabulous red locks and exits the hair spray fog now collecting in the bathroom. I awkwardly readjust the hoodie on my head and begin to wonder about what the proper dress etiquette for a surgical head scalping is

5:30 am
At the hospital in the OR prep station. At this point on your journey into the OR you have a feeling like you've just been drafted into a very nasty war and you're the last line of defense. Your comrade in arms are a one armed portly fellow who is sensitive to light and an old man who surely served as a general in the war of 1812. A nurse then assigns you a numbered cubicle and unceremoniously tells you to disrobe and put on a thin unflattering sheet of paper and some plastic baggies around your feet. In the war against germs and bacteria I have been armed with newsprint and sandwich bags. I'm starting to think either hospitals or those antibacterial commercials are full of S@#%

6:00 am
Sitting on my stretcher trying to best decipher how to make my hospital garb accentuate my pectorals, my mom starts repeatedly questioning me as to whether or not I'm nervous about the whole situation. I keep answering no but get increasingly more concerned everytime she asks and start to question my mislead trust in these Doctors.
What's their sign? Their favorite color? If you were taking my head on a first date, where would we go, what would we do?
The important questions I could've and should've asked before letting these strangers pick apart my noggin

6:45 am
In the operating room. The room is cold with giant blinding lights swiveling above your head. I expect at anytime to turn my head and see E.T. next to me being dissected by the MIB. My main doctor, Dr. Louie comes by and gives me a pregame speech to get me all pumped and excited for my surgery. He describes the entire operation in great detail
"And I'll just be shaving a small strip of hair where the incision will be made, so you'll keep most of your hair"
Now my first thought was "HECK YES!!! I can hold onto some small shred of my once luscious hair!"
But my second thought was "F@#$! Now I'll look like a jack@$$ after making such a big deal to everyone about being bald!"

6:50 am
Dr. Louie is just about to wash up and asks if I have any other questions before I go under
"Yeah, just one .... who gets to keep my sinus?"
"Well when you take my sinus out, who gets it? Me or you? Like can can I keep it in a jar or something, like a trophy for my mantelpiece? Or do you guys want it to study it and junk?"
"Umm, your sinus is just a space between the bones in your skull, there's technically nothing we could put into a jar for you. We're just removing that space in your skull"
"Oh ...... cool"
"Any other questions?"
"Nah I think I've embarassed myself enough."

7:00 am
The nurses are prepping me to be knocked out. They drop important info between small talk to mask the severity while calming my nerves.
"What do you do for a living? P.s. we'll be inserting a cardiac thing into your arteries to make sure your heart doesn't stop during the operation"
"I'm a comic book artist ... wait what?! That sounds rather alarming"
"OH COOL! A comic artist! Never met one of those"
"Yeah we're kinda neat-o ... so back to this whole heart stopping thingy"
"So what arm do you draw with?"
"My right...."
"put the IV in his right arm and the cardiac monitor in his left. So what comics have you done?"
"Ummm one called Merc ... Is my left arm is some sort of danger? Cause i kinda like him"
Just then I feel some freezing get injected into my right arm. I start freaking out thinking Dr. Louie's gone all McGyver on me and wants to do this low tech. The nurses assure me its just prep for the IV. A tad wary seeing as they never froze me before any other IV's I decide my stomach will be better off if I don't take a peek at the harpoon that will keep me thoroughly drugged up during the procedure.

7:10 am
My OR nurse is kindly smothering my airways with a gas mask while carrying on small talk. She's chats excitedly and I nod my head in agreement while fighting to hold open my eyes. A deep and ungrounded nightmare has settled in my head that if I relax and close my eyes, they'll most certainly come at my head with hatchets all to eager to start chopping without noticing my panicked eyes frantically trying to signal my consciousness

7:20 am
not a care in the world I drift off into a relaxing and peaceful sleep.


5:00 pm
Still heavily induced I'm not entirely sure whether or not I'm awake or if this is a dream. I can make out my mom and dad next to me, a nurse going about her business caring for my health, all while a very angry sounding voice somewhere to my right is yelling at a doctor. Clearly this is reality otherwise Aquaman would be there with Rhubarb pie .... instead he's brought pumpkin pie

7:00 pm
You're told before going into a big surgery like this that you're not supposed to make any important decisions within the first 24 hours after the operation. I can see why, although at times I was conscience I barely remember anything that happened that first night after surgery. It's like drifting through a modern art exhibit of reality. You remember basic shapes and sounds, that fit together at random, and you're left feeling rather stupid for not being able to make sense of it all. Where as those more enlightened than you are moved by the powerful messages conveyed through the artist's vision. My mom took advantage of my ignorant stupefied state which lead to a glorious photo of myself with drool dripping out the one side of my mouth and my head bandaged up like turban

10:00 pm
feeling a need to empty my guts the nurse has provided me with trusty puke bucket. I hold onto it tenderly nuzzling it to my chest like a security blanket. My one friend in a nauseous world. My attending nurse Steven, keeps saying how cute I am all snuggled up to my steel bowl. Too sick to ditch my bowl, but still concerned about the male nurse hitting on me, in my hazy state I try to make myself appear 'uncute' while clinging to my one saving grace

March 2
9:00 am
I'm startled awake to a crazed wheel chair bound bum poking my leg. Turns out to be my neighbor, Kevin, a man who was electrocuted, broke a leg and dislocated a shoulder. Thoughtfully he decided that the best thing to be awaken to after an 8 hour surgery is a haggard smoker showing you what happens to a leg that had 10,000 volts burst through it. I can tell we're gonna get along just swimmingly

9:30 am
After a disturbing wake up from my friendly neighborhood meth head Kevin I've finally noticed a morbid balloon/tube combo sticking out of my head that is collecting the blood to keep the wound clean. With this alien object residing inside my head I realize that at some point it will eventually come out. I choose ignorant bliss as my medicine for this and remove the thought completely from my mind

10:00 am
A dietitian has come by for a little Q&A with me. I let her know that everything's fine, but my my jaw hurts a little so maybe not to send carrots and other foods that are on the harder chewing side of things
(Warning: Never ever say this to your dietitian in a hospital, it may lead to them blending every possible meal they send you. Even the turkey which they will deceptively mold into a proper turkey thigh only to have you poke it with your fork and have the mush loose all solid form and become a unsavory meaty sauce, slishing and sloshing about your plate)
Kevin kindly informs her the food here tastes like S#@$ and that she should be ashamed of herself. He then delves into a harrowing tale of his exploits to acquire McDonalds BigMacs while in here in order to sustain himself

1:00 pm
I'm enjoying a chat with my mother while Kevin is in a heated argument across the room claiming that it was the doctors that broke his leg and not his 50 foot fall from the roof he was electrocuted on. A nurse comes in to change the bandages on my head. Pulling them off she reveals my still mostly full head of hair
"Why didn't they shave you completely?" the nurse asks in astonishment
"I don't know, the doc just told me he was gonna shave a strip. I wasn't gonna argue with a guy with 10 years of schooling behind his belt"
My mom then comments "But you look sillier with just a strip shaved off"
"well yes, now that I look like a ugly puffy headed girl wearing a headband, I'm sorta regretting that decision"

1:10 pm
My mom is inspecting my newly acquired head spanning scar and lets me know that it's being held together by staples. Big metallic staples, the kind used to hold reports and school projects together. An image flashes in my mind of the doctors prying them out of my head later with a crowbar.

2:00 pm
Jessica a friend of mine has come by for a visit. We chit and chat about this and that, mostly catching up on current events of friends from school. Kevin blinded to us by a thin curtain still feels a need to partake in our visit, adding in his insights and advice between his crackled chuckles and hectic coughing up of lungs. After a few minutes he uses his expert crack-addict logic to switch the coarse of our conversation from friends with new babies to his cell phone bill, which unexplainably rose sometime during the transfer from his hometown in Calgary to Edmonton. He tells us how he's not one to usually get frustrated and cause a stir but this odd "long distance" charge crossed the line! And how he wished they'd give him back his "wacky tabaccy" so that he could calm his nerves, but a half a pack of smokes will have to do for now

3:00 pm
A doctor who I've never met before comes by to chat with me. Apparently he worked on my cranium in the surgery along with my other doctors. This pattern starts to become increasingly similar as I'm slowly introduced to about 5 other doctors that also worked on me. It's starting to feel like the classic clowns in a car gag, with my head being the metaphorical compact car from which the clowns emerge. They explain why i was in surgery for 8 hours instead of the scheduled 5, turns out I messed up my head worse than they had thought. He says how they had to clean the pieces of hair and hoodie from inside my skull. My dreams of placing a time capsule inside my head were not so far fetched after all

March 3
10:00 am
My personal nurse for the day Rosalyn is changing the dressings on my head. I must confess that my daily head cleanings have become the best part of my day. I get to sit contently for about half hour catching up on the latest gossip from the nurses while she methodically cleans and tends to my disheveled head. I now know what all the hoopla about chimp lice preening is all about

2:00 pm
Kevin seems to not be able to comprehend interactions and relationships with members of the opposite gender for any other reason beyond sex. Everytime someone comes by for a visit lacking the Y chromosome he immediately hobbles into his wheelchair very loudly announcing he's generously giving me 5 minutes of "alone time". I'm not sure what concerns me more. The fact that the vast majority of these female visitors were my family and he still figured I needed "alone time", or that he calculated 5 minutes as more than enough "alone time" for me to finish the dirty deed

Warning: the next entry is not for the weak at heart
2:30 pm
Lucky Jessica has timed her second visit right on cue with the removal of that creepy tube/balloon thingy in my head. The doc firmly grasps the tube in one hand and braces against my head with the other making me feel like I'm a pull start lawn mower. I inquire as to the estimated length of the snake incubating in there to which he shrugs, then asks me if I'm ready. I close my eyes hoping this will be like a band-aid clean and quick then nod my head. He tugs and my stomach flips as I feel movement in the opposite temple. The doctors stops and Jessica describes the look on his face as one of complete shock. Now both of us prepared to enter unknown territory the doc holds on once again and tells me to breath deeply. I take a long slow measured breath then release it all in repulsive shock as I feel this indescribably horrific tube worm its way through my skull and out the small incision. The doctor looks at the newly freed tube and says "Wow! that's long" Still in shock from the process I forget to reply properly with
"That's what she said"

4:00 pm
A doctor comes by and asks if I'd be willing to be interviewed by a couple of medical students tomorrow morning. I enthusiastically say yes seeing this as way for me to feel superior to people much more accomplished in their lives than me. I figure that they chose to interview me due to my enigmatic personality and sage wisdom and not because I'm the only patient in my room currently not trying to fist fight with the nurses because they won't let me rent porn from my hospital bed

March 4
(last day in the hospital)
8:00 am
I've been awake for the past 3 hours wearing my finest Aquaman PJ's eagerly awaiting my interview. The medical students lead by a doctor waltz into my room and introduce themselves. They are Richard, Sarah, and Tim. Richard seems like an over-achiever, he is carrying around portly belly wrapped in a sweater vest and haircut resembling macaroni, and glasses he seems to have stolen from my grandma. Despite his 90's white boy handicap he walks about with the swagger of a gangster hustler. Sarah is a definite over-achiever and commands her two colleague's with the authority usually reserved for Egyptian queens. Her dress is one of simply elegance that looks both suitable for prescribing Ambien to insomniacs and to host a large gala event to raise money for Dodo birds. Tim seems to be the underdog in this group, quiet and unassuming he fumbles with his notes and worries entirely too much about the placement of the glasses on his face.

8:10 am
The interview has begun and it is to be a full examination of my entire medical history and health.
"Any noticeable changes since the surgery?" Richard inquires
"My head feels like a coconut right here" I poke the top of my head
"Can you explain that further?"
"Yep, I have no feeling on the top of my scalp anymore but the doctor told me to expect that. So when I rap on my head like so ..." I tap out a little tune for them "It feels like a bongo drum!"

8:15 am
"And how does your head feel? any headaches?" Tim nervously questions
"Not really, just sometimes when I move around too much my head feels like I'm wearing a really, really big helmet"
"Umm, I'm not sure I understand"
"You know how if you have on a really big hat and your head feels weird and too heavy, that's how my head feels. Like I'm walking around with an over-sized hat"

8:45 am
I never fully realized how thorough the interview was until this point
Sarah "Are you single?"
"I have a girlfriend .... what does that have to do with my health?"
She ignores my question and continues on "Any erectile dysfunction since the surgery?"
"Noooo ... but it's not like I've really had an opportunity to check. Getting back into the sack wasn't exactly my first order of business after having my head peeled."
Then Richard helpfully butts in "and how about previous to this?"
"Mast rose to to the occasions"

9:00 am
Things have turned from Q&A to a hands on approach. Tim is awkwardly feeling around my neck trying to find my carotid artery.
"Ummm, I don't think there is one ... I can't find it"
I quickly pip in my 2 cents "I'm pretty sure they're there, cause otherwise my mangled coconut head would be the least of our worries"

9:30 am
The doctor is giving them helpful hints and tips about the examination process. They listen intently scribing his every word while I piggy back onto his intelligence by firmly nodding my agreement with his every word. As if I'm somehow the apex of intellect in the room, when in actuality the last great thing my head did was be used as a very effective goalie against a thick piece of plate metal

12:00 pm
I am released for the final time! I say a tearful goodbye to the lovely people of the UofA hospital and bid a fond farewell to my source of entertainment for the last month. And now I'm stuck with the problem of finding something else to occupy my writings with

And so ends the great Crisis of Cranium Crackage saga! I hoped you all enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed chronicling the events in my life for the past month. I probably had entirely too much fun for someone in my situation.
Looking back on it all I know that more than anything I'm thankful for everything. Thankful for still being here to annoy and pester you all. Thankful that I never lost a part of myself. Thankful for those that love me and wished me well during the whole ordeal. And in a weird way I'm thankful that this all happened. I've turned a corner in my life a I need to get out there and make the best of it. As my friend Bob so perfectly put it "This was God's V8 style slap to your head, stick to comics". This was a blessing in disguise in multiple ways and I'm bound and determined to prove it to the world. I'm not sure where I'm heading but I'm excited for the ride!

Thank you everyone for reading and for the encouragement! And as always .....

See ya back here,
Same Dan-Time!
Same Dan-channel!