November!

Mon 11/30/2020

Well, Biden and Harris won the election... thank goodness! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to bring about this result. Trump's ridiculous refusal to accept the election results is frustrating and embarrassing for our country, but not surprising. One of the many valuable life lessons I learned from my beloved soccer coach Mr. Innes (who sadly passed away this year, RIP) was how to lose with dignity. Hustle to half field, line up, high-five every member of the other team and their coach, make eye contact, tell them "good game," go home and take a shower, then get back to work trying to improve your skills. Trump obviously never learned these lessons. He even cheats at golf when he's only playing by himself. What a despicable human being. I look forward to watching him being dragged, kicking and screaming, from the White House. Good riddance.

There's still so much work to do. In the short term, flipping the two Georgia senate seats would allow democrats to make some real and lasting changes. In the long term we need to hold Biden and Harris accountable to the ideals that helped get them elected.

The predicted late-fall COVID-19 spike is currently happening, and New Mexico is one of the hardest hit states. We therefore were one of the first states to shut things down again. My family is very hunkered down and are trying to prepare for at least another six months of staying safe at home, to protect ourselves and our community.

Earlier this month I wrote a long blog post over on my illustration blog about how I have been using animation to help me deal with the stress of the pandemic. I also bought a resistance trainer for my bike, because I kept reading about how exercise can help with your mental health right now and I was definitely not getting enough of it. I put it out in the book shed, where I ride for 15 minutes a few times a week while listening to antiracist audiobooks (stronger body, stronger mind). While I'm in there I also try and visualize the 1,500 copies of Isle of Elsi Book One someday not being in my shed, but in the hands of readers. Shoutout to any cartoonists (or authors) with a new book out this year that they are unable to properly promote. It is very dispiriting and frustrating. Hopefully someday when things open back up we'll be able to get our books out into the world!

We try our best to get the girls outside at least once a day, either to play in the backyard, to ride bikes on our street, or to take a walk to one of the nearby parks or public spaces (of course being careful to socially distance from others while wearing masks).

I'm not going to pretend that this is easy. The girls often bicker and fight (they are 2 and 4 and are both learning how to share), and Suzanne especially has been having some really massive meltdowns where she is yelling, slamming doors, throwing stuff, etc. Can you blame her? I often find that kids are just mirrors of the stress surrounding them, and this situation is very stressful. We're trying to take it one day at a time, and to be kind to each other and keep working on communicating with each other. There are good days and bad days.

Wendy has been making some really beautiful paintings at the easel in our kitchen. She talks more and more each day and it is amazing to see her growing in so many different ways. I am very thankful to have this extra time at home with her.

Suzanne has rocketed into a new level of creativity with her daily drawings. She now creates original characters and draws their houses (usually with multiple stories), and incorporates writing, and various objects from around the house or from her books, movies, music, etc. I can't help but think of all the incredibly talented 20th century cartoonists who have similar stories of growing up lonely and isolated. I don't hope that for my kid, but maybe someday there will be an increased output of creativity that will come from all this time of everybody being stuck at home.

I hope everyone reading this is staying safe in your part of the world. Hang in there! We're gonna get through this.

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