...and my vacation was over.
That was quite possibly the most satisfying week at the beach we've ever had despite the bumpy start. Toonces has long since gotten used to the trip and after a few minutes stopped meowing and settled in for the long ride. Charlie, however, spent the first 90 minutes both ways howling his little head off. Finally, he would drop off to sleep and only occasionally raise his head to shout "MOOOWWWWRRRR!" On the first day, we weren't fifteen minutes from the house when he pooped hugely in his carrier and Suzanne and I almost passed out from the smell. We had to pull over to clean up the mess and strap him back in, laughing the whole time.
This is a yearly (sometimes twice-yearly) event for Suzanne and me and, usually, by Friday I'm ready to come home. I end up missing my bed, my computer and my routine. But this year, we needed the time away from all that and I just didn't want to come back. Suzanne's parents had us over for dinner most nights and made sure we were kept fat and sassy. (I gained--and this is official---7.5 pounds while we were down there.) We had cocktails every night at 5:00. And, while I'm not a big non-football sports guy, we watched both the Indy 500 (go Danica!) and the National Spelling Bee. ("You want me to spell "numbnut"?) We spent a very cool day in Wilmington (home of the old DEG Studios) and took our usual trip to Beaufort. I read three books but bought four (typical). Two of the books I read were by David Wellington who is becoming one of my favorite writers. His vampire novels make the bloodsuckers in 30 DAYS OF NIGHT look like angry mosquitos. We bought a DVD player for the cottage and I took the opportunity to catch up on a backlog of movies, including the captivating MICHAEL CLAYTON. My buddy Leaf loaned me some horror flicks and I enjoyed those too.
On Tuesday, we went with Suzanne's parents to see the latest INDIANA JONES movie. When we were killing time before the movie, we discovered that the little bookstore in Atlantic Beach with the simple "Book Mart" sign above the door that we'd ignored for the last 15 years was actually an incredible book store/comic shop with a huge horror section that took up an entire wall. They had a tremendous selection of trades and magazines and had horror comics I'd never heard of. It was here I picked up Wellington's second vampire novel and had it (and the first one) read within the next two days. I can't believe the place had been there the whole time and we hadn't even peeked in the door.
Eventually, I settled in to do some drawing. I had every intention of filling page after page with sketches. However...and I realize it is a poor craftsman that blames his tools for his own shortcomings...the air down there was so humid that after 24 hours, the paper I'd brought was so saturated it was like drawing on a used teabag. The harder lead I usually use wouldn't even leave a mark on the paper and I had to switch to the softer lead. After several false starts, sitting at the kitchen table, I managed to execute what I thought was a pretty good drawing of Karl the Mothman from PERHAPANAUTS (above.) Then I foolishly broke out the colored pencils I'd brought with me and tried to color it. The waxy pencils really didn't take to the squishy paper and you can see the result. I gave up before I'd ruined it too badly. I'm just glad I started on the pants. Anyway, that's all I've got. I'd hoped for more but it's looking like I've got some late nights coming up at work so I should be able to post regular sketches for a while after all.
Vacation was over almost as soon as it began and we were back before we realized we'd even left. Charlie and Toonces had a GREAT time and both seem to be sad they're back in the house. They loved the screened-in porch overlooking the water and would sit out there and let the breeze ruffle their fur. When we got back, we found ourselves buried in paperwork again and I'm already looking forward to the next vacation.
We're looking forward to the Heroes Convention at the end of the month but it's not the happy event for us that it usually is. We love Todd, Craig, Rich, Nick Cardy, Jeff and everyone else in Mike's circle of friends but without him, it's just never going to be the same for us. We weren't even going to go this year but Shelton is planning some things in Mike's memory and Suzanne and I are hoping to have something special to announce at the convention. A few of you already know what that is but no blabbing just yet. Once everything is in place, I'll go into detail.
There are a couple of other things I wanted to mention but this is running long and it's after midnight so I'll just say goodnight and I hope everyone had as a good a week as we did.