Well, last night Claire put up a post on her design blog about a maternity dress that she recently made for herself, so that is my signal that it's finally okay for me to talk about this news on the internet!
Obviously we've known for a while, and at this point all our close friends and family know. I'm sure many of you have been able to guess as much, given the well-worn path we've taken in recent years (getting married, going on a honeymoon, moving back to the bride's hometown where her parents still live, etc.)
This also explains why I have been finishing off old projects, like the 100 Watercolors book and the last issue of Drop Target and also why I am working to build up as much buffer as possible on future projects, like Isle of Elsi. I'm close to finishing off another top-secret project and I still have a few more on the to-do list, which I'm hoping to get done before the baby comes in January, including Phase 7 #021.
I am beyond excited to be a dad, but also a little terrified what this baby will do to my cartooning practice. If there are cartoonists out there with kids who have advice on how to navigate these first few years of raising a child while still making comics - I am all ears! Any tips posted in the comments below will be carefully read and much appreciated!
Yikes, I blinked and another month has gone by! Claire and I are starting to feel pretty well settled in to our new place here in Santa Fe. We've done a few fun end-of-summer things which are specific to Santa Fe, including a visit to the SWAIA Indian Market and the annual burning of Zozobra. I've started a Santa Fe Flickr set where I am documenting a lot of this stuff, if anyone wants to check some of it out.
One of my little projects while we have been unpacking all our boxes was to organize my record collection. When my grandfather died, I inherited all of his old jazz records, and when I cleaned all my stuff out of my parents' house a few months ago, they gave me most of their old records, plus I dug up the records from my childhood. So many of these albums have such amazing cover art that, on a whim, I decided to start a Flickr set documenting this collection. Every time I listen to an album (to check for scratches/skips) I'll take a photo of the cover and write a little bit about it. Check it out if you're into that kind of thing!
Now that we're feeling settled, it's time for me to hit the road again! Tonight I head to Vermont for ten days so that I can teach my first two Professional Practices classes in person at The Center for Cartoon Studies. I'm bouncing around to give lectures in a few other classes while I am there, so it should be a fun, if not busy, trip. I'm also hoping to get a lot of cartooning and coloring done while in the distraction-free setting of White River Junction, VT.
My CCA teaching is also in full swing - I'm advising six MFA thesis students and running an online cartooning course - so my schedule is splattered with a plethora of meetings and deadlines. Hopefully I'll be able to keep my time zones straight (out here in Santa Fe we're on "MOUNTAIN TIME" which sounds very rugged). I've got students scattered all over the USA and even one in Korea this semester, so it's a lot to stay on top of.
Alright, well, here's hoping for some uneventful traveling. See you soon, Vermont!
So back in August, Claire flew out to Santa Fe and found us a place. Then we packed up all our stuff into a 24-foot moving truck and drove it from California, across Arizona, to New Mexico, arriving safely in Santa Fe. We passed through a crazy lightning storm for about four hours in Arizona, which was without a doubt one of the most stressful driving experiences of my life!
Our moving truck valiantly got all of our stuff here safely, and then died. On the morning we were going to return the truck, the engine wouldn't turn over and it had to be towed away. Unfortunately, the rental agency didn't do a very good job of keeping track of WHERE they towed it. This turned into a bit of a nightmare, trying to locate the truck so that we could finally close out our contract. It took four days to finally get this thing out of our lives forever!
Our new place is great - it's got about twice the square footage as our old place (with cheaper rent than we were paying in the Bay Area!) and we have slowly been unpacking all our books and studio supplies and everything. It's within walking distance of downtown and tons of grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, banks, etc. It's also close to a few bus lines, so we are finding it very easy to get around Santa Fe, even though everyone here thinks we are crazy for not having a car.
Webby was pretty freaked out by the move, and spent the first week hiding behind various appliances. She's slowly settling back into her old routine and spending more time out and about. Patty did much better with the move (an old pro!) and seemed to be very happy in the new house. She was hopping around, exploring her new space, lounging in the sun, enjoying her hay and veggie treats and generally acting very normal and well-adjusted. One morning, about a week after we arrived, however, she seemed a little lethargic and was only lightly munching on her treats instead of happily devouring them. She was drinking a bit of water but just seemed kind of sleepy. Claire and I went to a party at her Mom's house and when we returned four hours later, Patty was dead. :(
It's hard to tell if it was the shock of the move, or if it was just Patty's time to go. We like to think it was the latter. She was getting up there in age (8 years old!) and she almost slipped away a year or two ago, and was only brought back by a veterinarian's skill, so she might have been living on borrowed time as it was. Either way, she is now reunited with her beloved Selma. Patty was a very sweet bunny and she will be sorely missed. R.I.P.
Our whole first week here, Claire and I have been running around Santa Fe
getting various utilities turned on, setting up our bank account, getting our new driver's licenses, setting up a new P.O. Box (listed on the homepage!), etc. etc. etc. We finally got our internet connection working on Monday so I have been playing catch up ever since.
Ironically, after having spent a lot of money, time and energy getting out of California's Bay Area, Claire and I will be returning there this weekend to attend the wedding of some close friends. It'll be surreal traveling back to a place that feels more like home, but isn't any more. Hopefully when we fly BACK to New Mexico it'll start to feel more like home. I'm looking forward to getting settled in here.
Anyway, I created a new Santa Fe Flickr Album where I will be posting photos from my various adventures out here in the high desert!
P.S. Right before we left, I finished my 100 Watercolors illustration project. I released a 100 Watercolors book and eBook, which collect all 100 Watercolors and document the process and tools used to create these paintings. I am also selling some of the original paintings!