Monday, March 16, 2009

Lunch Minute

Bizarro is brought to you today by I.Q. Test in a Can.

This is one of those ideas that popped into my head from nowhere, no relation to anything I was doing or looking at.

It might, however, have been subconsciously suggested by my own schedule. Though I don't work in an office and haven't since the mid-nineties when I worked daily in an illustration studio, I do work way too many hours a week. I stop for lunch, dinner and a late afternoon nap, but usually put in 8 to 10 hours a day, seven days a week. I almost never do anything fun or social unless I'm out of town. It's getting me down.

I'm working toward taking a small amount of time every day, especially on weekends, to do something fun for myself. I'd love to have more time to work on fine art, but it just isn't in the cards at the moment.

The first step I'm taking to this end is not accepting as many out-of-town gigs like appearances and comedy shows. They're fun and I really enjoy them, but getting ahead on deadlines before I leave and catching up on emails when I get back is killing me. Not to mention how tired I am of schlepping through airports.

Many of you might be thinking, "How dare you complain about such a fun career?" Okay, you're right. I'm a terrible person and I take it back. I'm very grateful for my job, I live indoors, eat regularly and like it so much better than any number of things I might be doing or used to do before Bizarro made enough money to support me. But no matter what you do, you can't keep putting out without taking in. It wears on you and you become a zombie.

Enough complaining. You didn't stop by this blog today to read my pathetic whining. Plus, I have to get back to work. Oh, wait, this blog is part of my job. My favorite part, actually.

You're a lamb for reading. Thanks for letting me vent.

(DISCLAIMER: I am not suicidal, don't worry. Yes, I'm still taking my crazy pills. I eat right and when the weather is good I ride my bike for exercise. I do not own a gun, so you are unlikely to read of me bursting into a local church or school and mowing down innocent strangers. Yes, things could be worse, I know that, I'm fine, really. Tomorrow's post will be less serious.)


Karl said...


Being the arm chair psychiatrist that I’ve become over the years (for reasons which I can’t speak of, or my wife will be very angry with me) it appears that this blog may be good therapy as an outlet for the stresses and pressure to meet deadlines that comes with working 7 days a week. I really don’t know how professional (and funny) cartoonists do it. On the positive side of things, at least it’s a job you enjoy doing, which is why many (of us) are envious of you. And there’s something about bringing laughter to people that is rewarding in itself. Wishing you continued success.

Jezzka said...

it's ok d, i know how you feel, this past year, i've been working between home and a studio office in the fee-nancy area, i am at a computer 18 hours a day and seldom have time for more than a cup of coffee on most days. it is definitely taking its toll on my social and romantic life, but...

the thing is, the other day i was at the office til 3am editing and being on the 28th floor, i could see the bldg across the way. as the night wore on, i notice the lights in the other offices going out one by one, until all the lights were out. that was the only way i knew it was getting late, when i am working, time flies and i barely notice. i love what i do now, i wouldn't trade it for anything.

it is a lucky thing to be able to get to do what you love; an extraordinary privilege really. sure, some days you can curse the wind when things don't go right, but like love, when you find it, you can feel nothing but humble gratitude, and you have that with Bizarro i think. take a deep breath, you've made a lot of us laugh over the years.

when the weather is sunny again, i'll come by and enjoy the garden with you guys.

Anonymous said...

When I started as a consultant everyone said how lucky I am to work at home... but if it were not for the school bus stop (yes my own kids...) in the morning and afternoon, I would not get out for days at a time. But if the economy makes me go back to a "real" job I would be screwed. Shave, shower, and no PJ's for 5 days in a row???? Although I could use the weekends off every now and then.

Anonymous said...

Another reason to hate my parents for. Knowing this is one crappy a**hole world, they still brought me to it.

I'm so scared what the future holds for me, I'm 17 and I know I'm probably gonna end up with a job that I'm not going to be exactly 'ecstatic' about and I will have to do it, just like all of you loser older people. BAH!

Don't have kids.

JohnM said...

I love the disclaimers. Eventually they'll become longer than the blog entries. At least you're keeping the Bizarro legal department busy.

Jezzka said...

*cackle* loser older people? haha. i sure don't miss being seventeen, bitter, angry and lost.

for deisy, thanks for inviting us to your personal teenage pity party, try inviting some of those cambodian kids who live in landfills scouring for plastics to recycle, see if they understand your point of view.

what you make of your life is mostly up to you, you probably have a hell of a lot more opportunities and choices at your disposal than you realize. take heart that you won't be seventeen forever.

p.s - if i was your mom or dad, i would pour milk on your head daily and slap you silly, be grateful your parents make your life a living hell now, the world is so much more cruel.

Anonymous said...

Hey dan, great job getting rid of capazollas crapolla.

Karl said...

Are my eyes deceiving me or is there a little Dan character perched on top of the computer monitor? Looks like a cigar coming out of the face.

kerrikoo said...

Ever feel like you've totally wasted a perfectly good day?

Christina Awesome said...

haha Yes that definately looks like a mini Piraro. and i don't know why people get so annoyed with having to work for the things they want, including careers.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,

Much as I like reading this blog, I can imagine that it takes a lot of time to put together. If you need to prioritize, you might consider skipping this blog, or making it less frequent. I am not complaining, just trying to help.

(My verification word is "peadleti", which kind of reminds me of P Poopy.)

Dave Stratton said...

Speaking of your fine art...what happened to the paintings with the Christina Ricci faces you used to have on your site? Did she sue you for using her image? Or buy them up and make you rich? They were cool. (But maybe I only liked them because CR and I both have freakishly large foreheads.)

Unknown said...

Well Jezzka certainly doesn't understand depression! If you suffered from cancer Jezzka I'm sure a slap in face wouldn't snap you out of it.

Living close to the town where a German 17 year old gunned down 15 people I'd show a little more sympathy for depressed / mentally imbalanced teens.

Having said that I do hate the way the press demonises depression. It is a chronic disease and is often a catch-all term for many mental illnesses. If the gunman suffered from in-grown toe nails I'm sure that wouldn't have been reported.

Dan - look into rTMS as a treatment for depression. It helped turn me around (that CBT, drugs, excercise, time, supportive friends and family).

If you need a vacation I'd be happy to host you in one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. Just re-publish a cartoon I've always remembered as the Gravity Repairman (it may have been bill collector collecting for unpaid gravity bills; it has to be over 20 years old) and I'll find a way of contacting you. WTF publish it anyway; it's timeless.

I've been a fan of yours since I first saw that cartoon. Forgive me if I've got it completly wrong - my brain has been fried!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
doug nicodemus said...

ewww gross

Jezzka said...

for steve, if deisy was such an individual suffering from cancer and a mental imbalance slash depression, then i do apologize for my seemingly callous and insensitive remarks, in which case being slapped on a daily basis may just be humorous and may not be the right cure (consult your physician if being slapped with milk is right for you, may cause blood clots, glaucoma, and severe bruising of ego).

with all seriousness, that was a lot to assume about deisy. he / she made no mention of suffering from any of the above conditions.

as far as i can tell from his / her remarks, he / she sounded like typical teen who has little respect for their loser elders and believes the world somehow owes them a silver spoon just for being born. sorry, i don't give out boo hoo hoo tears that easily.

i am sorry to hear about the gunman in your nearby town; it is truly unfortunate and i apologize if my attempt to make a young whipper-snapper gain a bit of perspective made you feel like i was adding to the cruelty of the world with my words.

the recent gunman incident is probably fresh in your mind and made you more aware of teen depression, it is good to be aware of, but on a larger scale, it happens in a lot of poverty stricken neighborhoods throughout the u.s. 17 yr old drug dealers gunning down people, it happened in my old neighborhood many times. somehow that gets overlooked more often than not by city officials. maybe it's because the kids are so poor. kids dealing to survive, which leads to a way of life, and cycles into a way of dying. a truly vicious cycle plaguing even the biggest of cities like NY. like i said before, the world is filled with a lot harsh injustices.

my message to deisy was to be grateful and not expect that the world owed them anything just for being alive, and that being 17, you still have many choices; what you make of your life, rests on the individual. as a society, we can benefit more from, what one can do to better the world, then, what can the world do for me, way of thinking.

call me an optimist, deisy could easily be a healthy teen, who is probably lucky to have parents to hate, but just can't see that at the moment. my guess is the youngen felt like venting and insulting strangers out of frustration for feeling lost, but i am no psychiatrist (i just play one on tv).

you bring up a good point though, some people are dealt unlucky hands, conditions, mental imbalances, mean mother-in-laws; everyone has something, but we can't all go around throwing pity parties for ourselves and expect sympathy from everyone, how does that make things any better? (seriously, who is going to clean the toilets, if everyone is out partying??)

thanks steve for your comment, i enjoyed thinking about your point of view and responding. next time i will try to be more sensitive towards the fragile learning stages of seventeen yr olds. i was once there too.

Jezzka said...

p.s - haha. sorry d, didn't mean to take over the commenting section, just wanted to explain my harshness. i will go back to being a meanie, i think i saw a flower i can stomp on outside...

Sadie Potts said...

I love you Dan! (in a platonic love kind of way I can compete with your gorgeous CHNW)

Keep all chins well in the air

Piraro said...

I won't comment on the teen depression thread, but yes, that is a little version of me on top of the computer. Good eyes!

Anonymous said...

Vent all you want, Dan. I didn't think you were being pathetic, at all. In this world where we are all segregated into our own little worlds (sometimes in the middle of a crowd) it's hard to just find someone to listen to us when we're feeling like life is a drag.

I think you've earned the right to blaaaaaaahg. (Did I just make up a new word?) I know that you've made my life better on more than a few crappy days -- both with your cartoons and your blog. So I feel privileged that you've WANT to share with us.

Frankly, I've always thought it was brutal to expect cartoonists to provide 365 cartoons (or more) a year. I wish they wouldn't you guys work so hard. They should let you time-share with someone on the weekends or something. Or are the newspapers already squeezing the cannolli out of you guys?

BTW: I was once a teenager suffering from depression, so I know what it's like to be in "angst". But Deisy (and Christina Awesome [talk about a misnomer]) sound like one of the self-absorbed generation that wants to be entertained all the time, and they don't want to "bothered" with anyone else's problems. Wait until life slaps her down. But as much as I like the idea of the pouring milk on her and slapping her a couple of times, I'd rather see someone talk away all of her internet capable appliances for a time (so we don't have to listen to her).