The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Weekly Dose of Mark


Saturday, May 13th, 2023 • 05/13/23


There were two birthdays in the family his week. Happy Birthday to my nephew David, and Happy Birthday to my Aunt Christine. I trust you both got your birthday cards.


Last weekend Krista and I were busy doing some Spring Cleaning. It was the first time in years that both the garbage can and the recycling can were full. I even made a run to the recycling drop to unload glass and batteries for recycling. One of the reasons the recycling container filled up was because of the cardboard boxes. We had at least a dozen empty boxes of various sizes. Well, they weren’t technically empty; they were filled with other boxes nesting inside of other boxes. We finally came to our senses and realized we had an obvious knack for finding boxes that were “just the right size,” so why hoard them? Other items that made it into the recycling were the owner’s manuals for devices and appliances that we tossed out years ago. Speaking of ancient machines, I made a trip to Goodwill to drop off a bunch of appliances that got replaced or had a faulty fuse. The purge was a success. We are still convinced we have more stuff. But we actually tossed a lot of useless junk, stuff which neither one of us had any love or connection with, like the cardboard boxes.


I thought it might be Stan Brown and me at Freelance Fandango this week. But in through the door walked Mark Brill and Corey Macourek. The four of us create movie posters for the Grand Cinema, so we spent half of the meeting talking about the art being created for this month. We spent the other half of the meeting showing and telling the books we brought in. Mark Brill brought in a book that showed off the first Star Wars comic, in full size, complete with the artist’s notes, whiteout, and other printing notes on the production boards. Four cartoonists geeking out over other cartoonists on a beloved subject matter filled the room with nerd-joy.


Uncle John and Aunt Caroline came to visit from Denver. They had a lot of checkboxes for this trip. Caroline wanted to 1. check out the “Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth” exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. 2. Visit with their Niece and Nephew in Tacoma. 3. Visit their Nephews in Bellingham. Krista and I went with them up to the Seattle Art Museum. Both of us were familiar with Ikat textiles from various shows on NHK. The amount of planning it takes to create a thread, bind it, die it, lay it on traditional looms, and then weave it so that the tie-died threads line up to create patterns is mind-boggling. It was an awe-inspiring show, and we learned a lot. I would have loved to take in the rest of the art museum as well, but we had to pace ourselves. We still had lunch, a walk through the Pike Place Market, shopping at a Chocolate shop, and Uwajimaya to get completed before driving back to Tacoma. The next day was absolutely gorgeous, so we went for a walkout at Rustin Point. There was a section of the walk that only opened in within the last couple of years. So it was a new experience for all of us. We then did a party split. Caroline went thrifting with Krista, and John and I went to the LeMay Car Museum. Yes. I was there last month with my brother Stan. But the LeMay collection is huge! And they are constantly rotating cars in the exhibit. I would guess that only half of the cars there were the ones I saw last month. John said he could have spent another couple of hours in the place. Our timing was good as Krista and Carolyn were wrapping up their tour of the thrift stores. Krista brought me back a painting for me to add art into and a long sleeve yellow shirt produced by Land’s End. I love long sleeve yellow shirts, and this one looked like it was never worn. Krista picked it up for $3. Carolyn showed me some kimono fabric she found while they were thrifting.


When John and I were at the car museum, he pointed out a car that was almost like the first one he owned. The one in the museum was a wagon, and he was a sedan; other than that, it was the same model and year. He told me that he bought it when he was in college for $200. He didn’t pay for it all at once but instead was making weekly payments. He thought he’d have all summer to pay it off. But, being a high school kid, we would often make his weekly payment a day or two late. Not surprisingly, the fellows he bought the car required that he pay the remaining sum. He managed to come up with the remaining $100. He told me it was the type of car where you checked the gas and refilled the oil. Meaning it drank more oil than gas. I asked him what became of the car. He answered, “Tessie.” Tessie was Krista’s mother, and I was more than a little familiar with her rough treatment of automobiles. Krista had several horror stories about her mother driving cars to her demise. Tessie never checked the oil, or did any maintenance, only added gas. When John went to college, he left her the keys saying she could drive their mother to get groceries. He was surprised to get a call from the police saying that they found it abandoned in the middle of a long stretch of empty highway. He could get it towed, or they would confiscate it. Since he was attending college in another state, there was nothing for him to do but give up the car.


John and Carolyn did not get the rental car for which they originally requested. Instead, they were given a Hyundai Genesis. My first impression was of a stylish sedan. While the internal acoustics allowed for all of us to carry on a conversation, it was difficult to get in and out of the car. I don’t think they will rent that model again.


Our final stop on Thursday was Sushi Tama. We placed a reservation earlier in the day as seating was limited. Carolyn, Krista, and I had a variety of sashimi and sushi. John had Salmon and tempera. Since the location was my idea, I wanted to pay the bill, but John beat me to it. He covered our lunch the day before when we were at Tom Douglas’s Seafood Rub Shack and Fish Fry. If I remember correctly, I had the squid, Krista and Caroline had the shrimp, John had Salmon, and there was an appetizer of Salmon spread and chips. Fine, I’ll just have to capture the bill next time when we are in Denver.


Carolyn just returned from a trip to Japan. She said she loved Japanese food and didn’t mind having it again on her return. Her trip to Japan was another pilgrimage to check out textiles. But she wasn’t completely happy with her trip. The lack of a detailed itinerary or group time had her visiting more temples and shrines than the textile crafts shops. Still, visiting Japan is a unique experience. I can hardly wait to travel there with Krista. It’s been over four decades since I was there, and I’m sure a lot has changed, even the temples and shrines. No, I’m serious. I’ve seen recent photos of the shrines I visited. Back in the day, the red paint had aged to an almost brown hue, and the pillars were covered with various inscribed paper seals that were pasted on randomly. Now all the seals are gone, and a fresh red coat of paint has the shrine almost glowing. I’m sure there’s been a lot of other renovations too. She told me a little about her trip to the restaurant. But she shared many more details with Krista when they were thrifting.


My one regret was that I meant for us to get a group photo with my selfie stick before they took off to visit with their nephew in Bellingham. Did I mention that he runs a comic books store there?


Alley News


The replacement for the starting battery of the lawnmower arrived this week. But, it turned out to be defective. It arrived with no charge and without the ability to charge. I took it to the battery store to double-check. The customer service I called was a place in India that apologized for the issue. The rep said we were forwarding the problem along and that I would get an email telling me what to do next. I’m frustrated. I feel I could have written my own email and not spent fifteen minutes on hold. So, I’m not confident that a replacement for this expensive battery is on the way. Meanwhile, the grass is longer than it was when Pat helped me cut it two weeks ago. I got out the weed whacker and mowed the garden and around the raised beds on the side of the house so Krista could get her boxes of plants from the garden store into the ground.


It was 40 degrees last week. Now it’s 80 degrees. I went from layers and long sleeves to a single short sleeve shirt. Krista says she needs to wear a hat. I think she burned the skin in the part of her hair.


We came back with John and Caroline from one of our outings to find a big truck unloading a large crate at my neighbor Dan’s house. I went over to investigate. Dan likes to go on motorcycle road trips with his sons when the weather is good. They suggested to him that he get a trailer for his motorcycle so that “he” would have more space to pack stuff. Dan thinks they want to take advantage of the space as well. The trailer was still tightly sealed in the large wooden crate. But he proudly showed me a picture of the trailer. Its paint matches his motorcycle, and it has wheel covers on it, just like his motorcycle. This weekend, he plans to attach the hitch and give it a test haul. He’s never driven a motorcycle with a trailer before and thinks he should get some practice before going on a trip.


Here are some of my dreams from the last week:


May 6

#IDreamt I was a very amiable police detective named Davis. I was good at my job, most of which was handling vice cases.


May 8

#IDreamt I did a thumbnail comp of a billboard design to help a friend overloaded with work. It was an incomplete concept meant for an early review by the client. I was shocked to see it installed the next day.


May 9

#IDreamt two kids made a presentation to their town in their father’s barn. They explained how cold fusion worked and could be made. It wouldn’t be cheap, but it could save the world.


May 10

#IDreamt of a post-apocalyptic world where the remaining .05% of the population was trying to rebuild, form townships, and stable societies. My assignment this month was to act as a courier between two settlements.


May 11

#IDreamt it was a post-apocalypse world. I met a nun with a guitar working as a troubadour while seeking others of her order.


May 12

#IDreamt I was a young slave in ancient times, getting ready to escape after months of careful planning. The best part of the dream was being young.


Songs I woke up with in my head:

“Wandering Star” by Lee Marvin

“Jamaica Way” by Duke Harris

“The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern


Books I listened to this week:


“Before Your Memory Fades” by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

“Tales from the Café” by Toshikazu Kawaguchi


Movies I watched this week:


51. May 8

M3GAN (2022) Rating: 8

There’s a good theme here of apps and devices becoming nannies for kids when what they really need is a human connection. I can see M3gan becoming a franchise. An extra point for having robots as a main theme. An extra point for having a dog with a name. And another point for being deliciously creepy. I watched this on Peacock.


52. May 12

Honest Thief (202) Rating: 6

I like watching Liam Neeson movies. You don’t know if he’s going to go over the top, then quiet, cool, then quiet, or rage, then quiet. In this one, he does a little of all of them. I enjoyed the character he portrayed in this one. I give it an extra point for having a dog with a name


More next week,



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