Sun 8/5/2007

I started inking my Papercutter #6 story yesterday and wanted to try out a new Rapidograph tip that I had bought (#3 / 0.8mm) but I hadn't touched any of my other Rapidographs in WEEKS so they were all clogged up. I spent about an hour Saturday morning going through the ritual of disassembling them, cleaning all the parts and then putting them back together and filling them with ink. The whole process got me thinking...

Life is all about maintenance. And the duty of that maintenance comes with getting older and accepting more responsibility. This thought has manifested itself to me in a number of ways over the years.

For instance, it was really nice "HAVING" a car for a few years. I could drive around to do errands, pick up my friends at the airport, go on the occasional roadtrip, or go for a long drive if I wanted to clear my mind. And in high school, all I was really expected to do was put gas in the car. In college I learned how to change the oil and did that every 3,000 miles or so. But really that was it.

As I've gotten older however, I've realized that OWNING a car is an entirely different thing. There is insurance to be paid, emission tests that must be passed, distributor caps and mufflers and transmissions and a thousand other parts that must be constantly replaced, tires to be rotated, dings on the windshield to be fixed, license plates to be updated, etc. etc. ETC.

And it's the same with most things. When I started as a scenic carpenter I simply wandered around the shop, using the various tools and saws, trying to accomplish my necessary tasks. But at some point I began accepting more responsibility and was shown how to change the blade on the table saw when it was dull, or how to readjust the guide arm if it was not square, or how to fix the splitter when it breaks. And believe me, EVERY tool requires that level of maintenance, even hammers, whose heads get loose on their handles, or chisels and drillbits and blades which need to be routinely sharpened.

There is just some part of me that wishes life were SIMPLE. It would be great to buy a pen and use it forever, or to ride my bike around without ever getting a flat, or to brush my teeth but not have to go to the dentist! I think I probably feel this way because I was lucky enough to have a really happy childhood. I lived in ignorant, suburban bliss for YEARS, not realizing that my room was part of a house that had a mortgage, or that my trips to the doctor were probably covered by my father's health insurance plan!

I'm tempted to say "growing up SUCKS" (which it does...) but really I think it's just how life is. I can make decisions that will keep a lot of this stuff at bay (LIKE NEVER OWNING A CAR) and also just thinking ahead... It's not about which kind of stapler you buy, it's about what kind of staples it takes and whether or not you'll be able to find them ten years from now, and whether or not you can take the whole apparatus apart when it breaks. Because it WILL break at some point, or at least need some WD-40!

5 comments on this entry

now i know why peeps hate rapidographs, haha. they force you to realize growing up sucks after they become one more task on the list!

nate Aug05

If life was easy and awesome always, Alec, when would you know to take a vacation? Hmm? Jamaica would be ruined! They practically live on tips over there!

Arlene Aug05

Sure growing up sucks - all the pressure, the responsibility. But with all this new responsibility comes great potential. You could still be constructing things out of popsicle sticks and glue, but they wouldn't be as cool as the bowl you turned or the sets you built. If the radiographs require too much responsibility you could always go back to crayons, but I think you'd be happier with them

Dan Aug06

Thanks Dan! I start drawing you today (page 5) It will be nice to spend the next month hanging out with you on the Comics page, remembering hard work and good times. And then later this month we'll hang out FOR REAL! Until then...

Alec Aug07

...and then you have kids. And you somehow learn to clean your rapidographs with one hand while also bouncing someone on your knee and wiping a little nose with the other... Don't even talk to me about flat tires...!
Its been quite the week (so far)

Cam Aug07

Post your comment here:

Muppet Show: Season TWO!!!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Somehow I forgot about this, but The Muppet Show Season Two DVD set has ..
Return to New York
I had a window seat on my red-eye flight back to New York on Monday. This elderly couple sat down ..