Last week was a productive, fun, busy and stressful week. Go figure! I worked four days of it, three of those days with both of my little kiddos. I’m starting to really understand their personalities and needs which makes the job a little more easy and fun. It can be downright exhausting with the both of them, but a lot of that (hopefully) will settle down when they’re a bit older and get more routine of their own. Namely, start to nap at the same time, which is something I should be able to incorporate into their schedules so that I have a bit of downtime during my day. For now, while they’re small enough that they sleep very often (this seems like it would be a great thing!), I’m spending my whole day cycling through the feeding routine, changing diapers, playtime, and nap routine, pretty much non stop throughout the day because when one is sleeping the other needs one of those steps, and vice versa. But, for now, opposite schedules means I get one on one time with each of them which has helped me get to know them both and really appreciate parts of their individual personalities.
This is Will, a smily, goofy, super stimulated, playful kid. Asa is the younger of the two and is laying in the background. He won’t be on the photoblog but he’s a super sweet, easy going, sensitive little guy right now. Very cozy and cuddly. They’re about 3 months apart and they have a funny older brother/younger brother dynamic right now because Will is so stimulated and loves to grab things, which means he loves to grab Asa and his toys, and Asa gets funny and frustrated by it. They aren’t brothers though! I played match maker with their families for a nanny share and I think it’s turning out to be a great fit. It will be really interesting and fun to see how the friendship between these two little guys develops having known each other essentially since birth.
Last Wednesday, Max hosted a going away dinner before his long solo cross country trip that he’s taking with his dog, Sprocket.
He cooked a big meal of sweet potato BBQ and fried plantains. It was as delicious as it sounds.
The shredded sweet potato bbq.
My roommate Josh, tough guy. (Laura took this photo on my camera!)
Karen and Peter arrived later and brought a delicious cake.
Ambrose showed up too!
Aside from that this week, Bonnie, Craig and I finally hung up prints in our big empty hallway on the third floor. We have such a big house that it’s taking a long time to decorate it all but it’s getting closer every day.
I also finally got a bike helmet, after 8 years of being carless.
At home with Rover, who has really stepped up his game these days. He’s a very charming dog all the time but lately he’s been even more fun and social, while still being calm and easy going all the time. I know he really likes living in a group house.
We’ve also had some very indulgent nights, which we called an end to after this night…
On Friday, I took off work and headed down to Baltimore/DC for the Small Press Expo weekend. Our first stop was in Baltimore, where Atomic Books was having the SPXplosion pre-party kick-off event. We got there early enough for Mikey to stop over at Joe’s house to finish up the mixes of the new Ambulars LP. Joe recorded the album. Joe’s roommate had this crazy massage chair. It was surprisingly effective.
After checking in at the bookstore and meeting up with Liz Prince, we went over to the Baltimore Burger Bar and had these incredible veggie burgers.
Chèvre, caramelized onions, blue cheese, mushrooms, arugula, and fig ketchup.
aaaand a vanilla bean milkshake, which Mikey stole sips of.
We hung out in the record store during the Daniel Clowes book signing. Our friend Tony owns Celebrated Summer Records, which is in the back of Atomic Books.
My book in the window display!
Atomic had asked me to be one of the presenters at the kick-off party, so I prepared a little presentation about Year One, to present, alongside 5 other comic artists.
It was fun and I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I expected once I got up there. It was a breeze.
After the event, we headed down to DC to crash at our friends’ house, the Menagerie, where Shira, Lizz, Rachel and Amy live.
Amy was out of town, so we even got a bedroom to sleep in.
We woke up bright and early to get brunch at Mark’s Kitchen with Shira and Rob.
Then it was time to SPX! We drove out to Bethesda to the Marriott convention center and got our badges after signing in at the registration table.
We set up shop at our tables and proceeded to spend 7 straight hours talking to strangers, selling our books, mingling with other artists, and playing Tiny Tower on our phones. Here is a fine example of the cowlick in my bangs, the worst possible spot. Every time I get my haircut, the hairdressers talk about how finicky and impossible they are. Bummer.
A lot of DC friends stopped in throughout the day, which was fun.
Meg took this photo of me at my table.
The day was super successful and I sold out of all the books I brought that day pretty early on. I had left a bunch at Atomic Books on consignment, and fortunately they were also tabling, so they agreed to bring me all of those books so I would at least have some more to sell on Sunday. Should have brought more, which rules. Overall, the day was really fun but also exhausting. We hung around for an hour and a half in the hotel before the awards event and reception.
Liz looking at me like the amateur that I am. Liz has managed to become my comics mentor. She’s been in the comics world much longer than me and has published books, and gives me tons of great advice. She happily answers all my novice questions about putting out comics, introduces me to lots of comic making peers, and offers to split tables with me at events. Liz rules. I’m glad I have a friend like her to show me the ropes.
After some time killing, we watched the Ignatz Award presentations, and then went to the shmoozing reception afterward to hang out with all the other artists. There was a chocolate fountain. Apparently that’s a highlight every year.
Being silly in the Marriott with Liz, Mikey and our new friend Alisha, who Liz and I have both known online because of our comics but had never met in person. It was nice to finally meet!
The following morning, we grabbed brunch at Tryst before heading over for Day 2.
Mikey looking pretty clearly exhausted. Mikey went to a lot of panels but also manned our tables when we needed a break, ran and got us food for meal times, generally kept us company, and drove us around all weekend. Thanks Mikey.
He even delivered a pizza to our table for a late Sunday lunch. He’s the best.
At the very end of the day on Sunday at SPX, with what limited stock we had left. We both sold out of tons of stuff. Thanks so much to anyone who stopped by our table! It was really fun to meet so many people who said they follow my comics online.
After SPX, despite being totally exhausted, I went to Mikey’s parents house for Rosh Hashanah dinner. It was nice to meet his family and spend some time with them, though we probably weren’t very good company because of how sleepy we were. Mikey drove us back to Philly and we were home around midnight. I need a few days to catch back up. Phew.
Overall, I had a super great weekend and my only regret was not bringing enough books, which is definitely a good problem to have. If any of you reading this stopped by my table, thanks so much!