Monday, December 29, 2008

Back in the District


After spending a few days in sun-drenched Florida I began to dread my trip how to Washington because I knew what would be waiting for me: Gray skies. It didn't disappoint. Winter is here, and so is the nasty winter weather. Don't get me wrong, I love the snow and the cold weather, its the gray skies I can do without. Don't even get me started on the drizzle.
How can a brutha get inspired to draw cartoons when its so miserable outside? Luckily there's a few Starbucks in walking distance of my apartment, so at least I can drown my sorrow with a hot latte.
I had some fun down in Florida. I got to meet a few nieces that I didn't know and it was good hanging out with them. But don't get me wrong, I truly missed being in the Northeast. I took a much needed break from cartooning and focused on relaxing. Well, that's over. With the new year comes new ideas for cartoons. I'm going to try to be optimistic this year like my old friend Rick Tuma (cause I know you're reading this blog entry).
I'm also optimistic because "hope" and "change" arrives here in DC in a few short days. The inauguration site is just a few short blocks from my apartment and I'll try to make it to the National Mall if I can.
Enough with the rambling. Its time to go to bed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The holiday season

Man, I can't believe that its Christmas time already. That means standing in lines at department stores looking for gifts and such. That means taking another flight back to Florida and battling my siblings for a piece of my mother's world-famous sweet potato pie. It also means literally battling my brothers in the annual Gary Family wrestling matches. Way to much testosterone for me.
I'm looking forward to the break, though. Since coming to Washington I've been working non-stop. Cartoons in the morning at the Washington Times at night. I'm planning on not drawing a single cartoon while I'm down there, but you never know. Looking forward to hearing my mother's stories about whatever. Looking forward to smacking my brother up side the head. Looking forward to seeing special people that I haven't seen in a while.
And looking forward to coming back to DC.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some year end thoughts

Hello all:

As I approach the end of 2008 I can't help but reflect on what a difficult year it has been for me personally. First off, like a lot of folks, I was hit extremely hard by the economic slump. I lost my day job at the St. Petersburg Times mostly because of budget concerns back in May. I was very hard for me and strange because I saw it coming but still couldn't react in time. Then there was my divorce in July. My now ex-wife and I formally parted ways in mid July, which was way more difficult that I thought it was going to be. Divorce is hard enough, but when you bundle that with unemployment it becomes a nightmare.
After that came 5 months of unemployment. I think that was the worst part of the whole year. I had never been unemployed so long in my adult life and to tell you the truth it was downright scary. Everybody has an idea of how they'd cope with unemployment if it happened but I gotta tell you that it truly sucked.
Throughout this whole thing I started to lose a bit of my self. I remember not being very motivated to draw cartoons. Ironically it was cartooning that help pull me out of it. Doing two cartoons kept my mind occupied so that I didn't wallow too deep into my own self-pity and loathing. It gave me something to do during the day and that was important for the recovery process.
On a happier note the year ended on the rebound. I found another day job at the Washington Times, and I'm thankful for that. I also decided to up my skills by taking Flash and Dreamweaver courses at the Corcoran School of Art. For the first time in a long time I'm actually feeling optimistic. Here's to hoping that 2009 is better than '08. It certainly can't get any worse.