As I grapple with all seven stages of grief at the same time, rapidly cycling, alone and in bizarre combinations, over the death of AOL Instant Messenger today, December 15th, 2017 — a very dark day, I figured that I should try to get a taste of “Reconstruction and Working Through” (stage six) by celebrating that I have had good times there. I am doing this by putting up a comic, by acknowledging International Tea Day, and by crafting unwieldy, ugly sentences. Please pardon me. I am GRIEVING.

boo hoo

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Our cats are tricksters, escape artists, bold, too smart or too stupid. This is not to say that our cats are different than other cats. They are all pretty much the same. They are less like pets and more like shiftless roommates, forever late on the rent and refusing to clean up after themselves. We provide illustrated guides to them, once monthly.

the captain

Revered philosopher, martial artist, and film star Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940. Because he died in 1973, his spirit had to appear in front of us in his true form. We are honored to depict him here in the midst of an iconic pose, drawing power from all points in the universe and spreading his upper body’s hood so as to appear larger to his foes. After this display, Mr. Lee always became indestructible and was thus able to right wrongs, and achieve justice in a world which seemed to be stacked against him. In his short time on Earth, Bruce Lee left a pretty good legacy and we all still enjoy being amazed by random clips of his antics to this very day.

bruce lee

There is no love quite like the love of a pet. They’re always there for us, when we’re sick, sad, or lonely. They’ll play with us and keep us company. They are therapists and confidants, best friends and playmates. Unconditional love for a small adoption fee.

When I was about seventeen, my neighbors adopted a kitten for their daughter and named him Samson. Children can be fickle creatures, and it turned out that their daughter wasn’t hugely interested in having a cat, so Samson was pretty much left to his own devices.

He was a longhair, mostly blue-gray, but with a white patch on his chin down to his tummy, and on the tips of his paws. He had beautiful, piercing green eyes.

samson

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like all the way 90s

I always like to consider myself as “timeless.” I am Amanda Wood no matter what decade or location I am in, and that’s fine by me! Sometimes, though, I do feel like I might be very “90s” about things. It was the ten year span that I was an impressionable teen, so it makes sense that it would leave its stain on me for the rest of my life. And really, with hindsight making things clearer, it is probably a symptom of the ’90s to feel as though you were alone, or in any way apart from the others. A generation of alienated youths probably didn’t have a solid cohort base. I know buzzfeed makes a lot of lists that only ’90s Kids Would Understand, but I often wonder which of us would even bother making that kind of thing?

As an old person now, I derive a little satisfaction seeing that my classmates don’t really want to bother setting up class reunions. We kept the friends we wanted to keep. No one really wants to put forth that kind of effort, anyway. None of us really wants to awkwardly see how much we’ve aged or discuss shattered dreams or whatever. It’s nice. Thanks, class of ’98. I probably like you all better because it turns out we were all as antisocial as I thought only I was! Bonding from afar.

With that in mind, I always planned to preface this article with a disclaimer saying that my impression of the ’90s is probably extremely personal and just one tiny rare facet that is nothing like anyone else’s experience. But, no. I had a teen time probably like everyone else’s, at least in rural Ohio. I’ve heard it suggested that rural Ohio is kind of surprisingly horrible in many ways, so maybe the rest of you dear readers had some sort of decade of playing in flower fields and volunteering your time to good causes. Well la dee da, sunshine. Good for you.

 

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Though I have been personally asked to speak on golf legend Arnold Palmer, it may come as a shock that I know very little of his golf career. He won a lot of trophies and green jackets and the other things they give away to people that win big golf gatherings. Essentially, in the world of golf, he was pretty good.

I would come to know this man by other means. As a child one of my favorite games (and still an occasional one I play) was Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf on the Sega Genesis. This is where I first encountered this man. He graced the cover and even had a big ol’ sorta-likeness in the game. I would learn years later this was a pre-existing golf game overseas that just got a U.S. big-name golfer tacked on, but in my mind this was and always will be HIS golf game. I’m serious, even in the face of countless evidence that says otherwise, I’m basically giving him full credit for every aspect of this game.

Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf for Sega

 

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In one of his last acts on Earth, venerated celestial ungulate, David Bowie, materialized in the Sneer Studio on January 10th to pose for a portrait in his natural form. Known across the universe as the preeminent example of style and ethereal beauty, Mr Bowie is seen here adorned with a traditional chaplet from his home planet,  Androgeda. The cherished icon recently experienced his 69th solar year on our planet and, today, surprised us all by heading back home with little warning.

David Bowie

I’ve probably just concluded a record amount of backspacing and deleting in a single document as far as my writing career goes. It was brought up that I was more than welcomed, and in fact encouraged, to write up a few or as many words as I wanted on the subject of the passing of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Yes, this is an article that involves a professional wrestler, and if that fact has caused you to scoff, roll your eyes, or do that annoying heavy sniff that people do, then I offer my sincere apologies. It’s very unfortunate that an accident or birth defect caused your head to be firmly planted so deeply into your ass. This is a write-up about a pro “wrassler,” but it’s also about a legend, a hero, and by all accounts an all around good man.

Now I said I had a lot typed up that I deleted, and that’s true. I purposefully waited a bit after the news broke to write anything on this subject, as I wanted to let it all sink in and approach the writing process with a calm head and at least my usual half-assed sort of organization. There have been a lot of matter-of-fact, respectful-yet-emotionless pieces written on Big Dust, and the more I read my “calm, cool-headed” draft, the more I realized I was writing just another fluff piece. While not disparaging in any way, it failed to express my true feelings over this legend and over our tremendous loss. So whatever follows after this sentence is simply one man spewing forth whatever comes to his mind as rapidly as it can possibly be expressed, without a care for whether or not it really makes any sense at all. In other words this is in a fashion befitting Dusty, a man who never experienced a moment of second guessing if something he said made any earthly sense.

Dusty Rhodes RIPContinue reading