A Breath of Fresh Step


Today’s old A&J is from four years ago. I apologize for being away several days. I have had a busy work schedule this week, and family matters required time as well. It’s a holiday weekend! Are you ready for Washington’s Birthday? Are you ready to purchase new linens and towels? How in the heck do you suppose the tradition of “white sales” to celebrate the birth of the Father of Our Country got started? I grew up in an area devoted to the manufacture of high-quality sheets and towels. I should know the answer, but I don’t.
Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

62 thoughts on “A Breath of Fresh Step

  1. Free enterprise and the desire for money enable people to co-opt just about anything.

    As far as I know, the only holiday left untouched is Martin Luther King Day.

    I imagine someone has plans to use it to make a buck through an MLK Day Sale when the time is right.

  2. No apology necessary, I say. Cartoonists are human too. How in the world does one decide how many cloud puff lines to draw? Or how they ought to curve? Or where to place them?

  3. Ghost, the way the weather is going here I would think provocative sweaters and leggings would be more the thing.

    You’re right Jimmy. Most people can’t understand how government makes money work now, much less a non-governmental agency creating an entirely electronic money. When a country’s money was backed by or made of a precious metal it had an intrinsic value, regardless of the nation’s behavior. Now that it depends entirely on government promises, we all know how much those are worth.

    And you hit the nail on the head with the litterbox strip today too. You are two for two as far as I’m concerned today!

  4. And all the themes in one cartoon:

    1. Cat ownership.

    2. Aging.

    3. Spouse stating the obvious, with at least somewhat questionable sympathy (what a theme!).

    4. A man’s dogged (no pun) determination.

    Plus drawing-only benefits: Arlo has to be drawn stooping, but not too closely. I get the strong sense of awkwardness just looking at him, knees only partly bent.

    And the increasing speed has to be done without the benefits of film animation.

    And the bag has to be drawn increasingly more full.

    A big challenge is to draw Arlo increasingly hoiding his breath. But how can that be done when his back is to the reader?

    Yet that’s what Jimmy turned to an advantage. Only in panel three do we see Arlo’s puffed cheek–which is only somewhat noticeable. Really, it is only in panel four that Janis draws our attention to that, which invites the best compliment of all to a cartoonist: The reader wants to go back and look at all the panels again. By only gradually revealing the breath-holding—well, it’s just a real good cartoon strip!! It’s packed!

  5. Well, my grandfather did use to call it George Birthington’s Washday, though I think he was joking. And yes, if retailers can figure out how to make a buck or two they’ll stick a sale on any holiday.

    JAckie, you’d best keep an eye on Ghost Sweetie. He’s having WAYYY too much fun with your new shop. 😉

  6. Adult coot, Fulica Americana. White beak and blue-black plumage are distinctive. Bald eagles are quite capable of catching coots live, but it also could be a scavenged bird that died of other causes.

    Peace [or RIP].

  7. Speaking of coots – we saw at least 50 today while cruising the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive and twice as many gallinules (including a pair in a rather vicious fight), plus many other birds and the obligatory gators.

    By the way, it’s time to get out (or look out the window) and count what you see – http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

  8. Just went to my second funeral in 3 weeks. Seasons of life, but it seems like deaths seem to clump together. Both deceased were older as in 89 and 91, so they were both celebrations. The big plus was getting hugs for m my 2 year old (and 2 weeks) Grandson, who can count to 20 and recognize his numbers!

  9. I noticed something else. The front of the bag does not droop down, I suppose, so that we are made to see it as a bag. We can see its opening. If it drooped like normal, we couldn’t see its front, and it would simply look like some piece of cloth, I would guess, not a bag. But there is no way I can picture such things.

  10. Well, back when it WAS “Washington’s Birthday ” my Dad always referred to it as “George Birthington’s Wash Day.” I always thought it was a goofy joke (I loved it) but it may explain the White Sales !

  11. Currently watching “Black Mass” on History.

    Love gangster movies.

    Don’t like how they keep bleeping out all the cuss words. As if we’ve never them before.

    Kind of surprised that History is showing something other than Pawn Stars.

  12. Actually, I’m hoping to leverage my position as “Miniskirt Buyer” into additional positions as “Director of Shorts/Halter Top Procurement” and “Chief Bikini Acquisition Officer”.

  13. Ghost is one of main reasons I decided to do a women’s boutique. He seemed to miss his harem. In a town where men are scarce in retail it seemed like a good fit for a man who truly loved women and enjoys them as he does.

    Mark, we open March 15 so we are buying for spring and summer not now.

    Today we set up our first mannequin for the fun of it. Tomorrow we will dress a second. We have windows covered so it is for us, not public. Mannequin is super realistic and we keep forgetting she is there and scaring ourselves.

    The two in window are cat burglars dressed in black and masks, gloves, hats, etc. Stealing all the “diamonds, pearls and money.” They are lit with roped lights and spot lights. We cannot wait to hear if anyone calls police as one is kneeling on top of black table and the one standing is helping her steal the ropes of pearls and diamonds from window displsy.

  14. Forgot to say we dressed the first girl in black sequin jeans, a sheet tank top covered in sequins and beads, black beaded shoes, black jewelry and a black sequined ball cap and an elegant black sheer jacket“

    The second burglar gets all black clothes. All the clothes displayed by them are blacks, silvers, whites and lots of glitz.

    Ghost said he hoped there were no anti pornography groups in town who might protest our windows.

    Next month out second window features farmers daughter’s doing laundry and hanging very colorful bras on the clothes line wearing some brief shorts and halters. The third window are mermaids in tails and bikini tops.

  15. Mark, speaking of leggings/tights/yoga pants/whatever they are, I’ve been surprised by the percentage of Oklahoma ladies who have adopted that look. And I’ve been even more surprised (and pleasantly so) at the percentage of those who look pretty darn good in them. Now, if sundresses* would become equally widespread in the summertime…

    *Which we will be stocking at the boutique, of course. “Doing Our Part to Keep Eufaula Females Skimpily Clad.”

  16. We have promised to carry clothes from XS (extra small) to XXXXL (really large) in our little shop. It is hard to find attractive clothes, much less skimpy, in large sizes but we are.

    A sundress arrived in mail and Ghost said it had so much fabric it weighed ten pounds. But we are promoting pretty women of all sizes not just skinny ones.

    Discrimination is that chubby mannequins cost more.

  17. Mark: Many BSU biology grads and some current SHB and BUMC folks would put me in that booth. Couldn’t open your 2nd post.

    Peace,

  18. Looks like Birthington’s washday out there. We had thunderstorms with lightning and heavy rain this morning. Rain looks to have stopped but it is still heavily overcast.

  19. Our weather finally is what we’ve expected for months: WINTER! We’d had just an inch or two of snow for Christmas Day and another short-lived snow a few weeks later. Today we’ve awakened to over 4 inches of the stuff and perhaps more on the way. Also the forecast is for single-digit nights when this storm moves out.

    Frankly, this has been the strangest winter I’ve experienced in Utah, with highs in the 40s and 50s until today. Our ski resorts would have been shuttered months ago if not for modern snowmaking gear. And every time I looked at the weather reports, I saw places back east getting unusually cold, snowy weather.

    So, it’s time to start digging out.

  20. I turn 65 on May 14 this year. I hope to keep working until I am at least 70, primarily due to the cost of medical insurance.

  21. Hmmm – almost 7 hours of silence here. Maybe more than I are doing taxes. Mine will be the simplest in years, as nothing was sold during the year, so I’ve none of that capital gains/losses garbage to deal with.

    I just checked the Decorah eagle nests. There are no residents in sight, though they ought to be around since egg-laying season is nigh. In the north nest, I did watch a tiny mouse-like critter scooting all over that capacious abode. Likely, he/she won’t be seen much once the aquiline types take up residence.

    Meanwhile, the Berry college pair of eaglets seem lively and are eating up a storm. The parents have provided a varied menu of (at least) coot, rabbit, and anonymous fish. Maybe they could employ a fly catcher as baby-sitter in return for not eating it! Those nests really draw in the flies, even this early in the year.

  22. Ref today’s cartoon, I observed that Janis “Supergirl” Day’s skirt is several inches too long. I speak to this in my professional position of “Miniskirt Buyer”. 🙂

  23. On way to motel for night. It was 70 degrees at 6.30 a.m. when we left this morning and it is 31 now at 4.45 p.m.

    Had reaction to chemo 30 minutes into taxol. Had to stop and be resuscitated. That makes three in row, two cancelled and one stopped.

    Do not know what happens next Tuesday? I am at one mo th marker and am only at 1.5

  24. On the bright side, the oncologist had no reservations about clearing Jackie for the extraction of her fractured molar*, based on the lab values obtained this morning. Nor did he even after her adverse reaction to the treatment this afternoon. Therefore, we will go by the oral surgeon’s office on the way out of Broken Arrow tomorrow and make sure all the waterfowl are in a linear arrangement for getting that taken care of.

    In my experience, things can go pear-shaped pretty quickly when you are trying to coordinate treatment by two or more physicians. Or, as I said to someone recently, it’s like herding freakin’ cats. Very smart cats, but still…

    *Did she mention that last week’s dental pain was caused by a molar that is fractured longitudinally and is only being held in place by the two separated roots? And that of course it must come out before it becomes infected? Again though, there was a bright side…neither of her very expensive bridges is anchored to that molar.

  25. Sorry to hear about that Jackie. By 1.5, do you mean that you have only received 1 and a half treatments? Glad you have really good doctors all round!

  26. Yes. Showed up for four and testing for fout. Two were cancelled due to bad labs and obvious illness. First one was completed with no problems.

    Next two were cancelled and todays, number 4, we got there at 7.30 for testing. As Ghost said I passed tests with perfect scores. Did a couple hours of pretreatment and got half the taxol done.

    Then I started having bizarre reactions to the chemo drugs. I wasn’t scared when it started but I couldn’t talk. Thought I might die?

    Doctor tire over

  27. Doctor tore over from main clinic and he and most of the burg staff injected things in my port.

    Had to stay and be watched until everyone left. We were all glad when I began laughing and joking again and put my wig on.

  28. Good grief! You are a mighty tough woman, Jackie. You will get to your goal okay. Especially with Ghost’s love and care.

  29. Tag!

    As Jackie said, it was very warm yesterday morning. Today it’s 25 out. Be careful today Jackie. All that rain most likely turned to ice overnight.

  30. Jackie-sending you good wishes for your taxol treatments. My mother was the first person in Oklahoma to get Taxol for her ovarian cancer way back in the early 1990’s. Her treatment was also not without problems. At first an arithmetic error resulted in her doses being smaller than recommended, and when that was corrected she also had some reactions to the drug. Nevertheless, when the treatment was complete, her CA125 readings were back to normal and her cancer did not recur in the 20 remaining years of her life. That drug is hard on your body but harder on the cancer. You may never be able to tolerate the full dose, but what you have, may be enough to do the job. Keep hanging in there – we are all pulling for you.