Last weekend, my wife had several friends over for her birthday. One of her friends’ boyfriends brought a handful of fantastic gifts. Fantastic for me, that is. Two of the gifts were edible: fresh, homemade guacamole and fresh, homemade chocolate cake. But those treats were only the beginning. From there, he moved on to exploding streamer capsules (the kind you’re not supposed to point at someone’s face) and, my personal favorite, bubble blowers. Sure, the blowers were tiny and didn’t reach the bottom of the containers (or even come close). But they did fill the kitchen with bubbles. Hopefully, none of those bubbles made their way into the freezer.
Archive for the ‘Lio’ Category
Despite growing up in Chicago, I’m not much for winter sports. I’ve never put on a pair of skis, and the only hockey I ever played took place on a residential street during the summer. But today was an exception; today, I walked over to my neighborhood park, rented a musty pair of ice skates from a Chicago Park District trailer, and stumbled around a frozen rink for a good 30 minutes. My fellow skaters were much more accomplished than I was, but I somehow managed to remain upright the entire time. I see that as an accomplishment, given my previous record of falling on my bum every time I took to the ice. Look out Sochi, here I come.
Dead fish are a staple of the comics. They’re often used (along with dead birds) to teach young children valuable lessons about mortality. But it seems to me that Lio is breaking new ground by showing an actual goldfish floating belly-up in a fishbowl. It’s a bracing image that makes the character’s trademark silence seem genuinely affecting. I’ve also been rendered speechless at the loss of a pet. As for the miniature grim reaper that shows up on Lio’s doorstep wielding a small fish scooping device? I think stunned silence is the only remotely appropriate response to that.
Viciousness aside, I’m intimidated by the notion of caring for an abominable snowman. I have enough trouble caring for my cat, who is probably the lowest maintenance house-pet imaginable. He sleeps most of the day and only requires intermitent food, water and litter scooping. But a Yeti? I would have to empty out my refrigerator and stuff the beast inside, no mean feat considering its size. Then again, it will be winter soon and if past years are any indication, an abominable snowman would be quite comfortable amid the bone-chilling Chicago temperatures.
It’s taken me a while to get used to text speak. As soon as I became fluent in the intricacies of LOL, I ran smack dab into the sheer insanity of LMAO. When I first encountered this acronym in an e-mail, I had to ask my fiance what it stood for. When she told me it was short for “laughing my ass off,” I felt as if that should have been obvious. Then again, I have a low tolerance for shorthand and try to avoid it at all costs. For a while, I refused to use the phrase 9/11, instead referring to “the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.” But that didn’t last long, and now I fear it’s only a matter of time before the rest of my writing devolves into acronyms.
The queasy notes emanating from Lio’s instrument in panel one suggest that he’s playing some type of classical composition in an excruciatingly sour manner. But my preferred interpretation is that he’s playing a violin version of a classic punk rock song by the Dead Kennedys. Or the wavy lines could denote the manic energy of an early Talking Heads record. That’s the type of music that would infuriate Lio’s teacher even if it was played flawlessly.
I’m a huge fan of geography, so much so that I can spend hours examining the intricacies of a map. I once went into a luggage store and spent an indefensible amount of time playing with their largest and most expensive globe. I walked out without making a purchase. When my long-time girlfriend and I got engaged recently, I spent 10 minutes enlarging and rotating the web-based product image of a globe as we were trying to choose items for our wedding registry. It didn’t make the cut thanks to its pale hue and prohibitive cost. I’m sure I’ll get a globe some day, and when I do I’m equally sure that I’ll whittle away countless hours looking at faraway cities in faraway countries and pretending they’re only a short spin away.