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, July 8, 2023

Weekly Dose of Mark

Saturday, July 8th 2023 • 07/08/23

Anique Zimmer was waiting when I showed up at Freelance Fandango on Monday. We were soon joined by Greg, Nori, Stowe, Allen, and Stan. Jennevieve loved the housewarming gift I gave her. Nori was going to get on a plane on July 4th to return home for his father’s memorial service. Nori hasn’t flown for years and didn’t know that you needed to download an app to select a seat. He almost ended up in a middle seat, both going and coming. Anique had to leave at noon, but she was replaced by Corey Macourek, who dropped off the Weird Elephant binder. I bought one of Corey’s “Spirited Away” prints. Allen took the binders as he is the next artist to sell prints at the Grand Cinema this weekend. His poster is “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Last week my friend John spent a great deal of his time in Seattle tending to his mother. Her state of health fluctuated enough that the care center she lives in moved her from her apartment to another more intense care area of the facility. When John told me Monday afternoon that she died, the news was not completely unexpected. But I thought she’d stabilized after a rough week and was going to recover. John told me the heartwarming story of she spent her last day. Apparently, she was in good enough spirits that she and her boyfriend went on an outing. They paid their respects at her mother’s gravesite. The weather was fine and clear; it was a bright, warm day. As older people often do, she nodded off on the drive back. At least, that is what the boyfriend thought until they arrived back at the facility and he discovered she’d died. As far as a last day goes, that’s a pretty good one. I want to be of help to John. This next week is going to be busy for him and his family as they make arrangements.

Krista and I made three purchases at Costco this week that were not food. The first was a twin mattress. We have a spare bed in a small room we call the sewing room. We have an old twin bed I used to sleep in as a kid, which I took to college. I bought a new mattress for it back in the ’90s. Even seldom-used mattresses get threadbare. Krista and I have been meaning to replace it for a while now. And by a while, I might mean the last decade. The only problem was buying one while it was on sale, and a friend with a truck was available. The Knights of Pythias has a group chat, and I put a query out asking for an assist. Dale Chestnut, who I haven’t seen since before the pandemic, sent me his number. He and his wife were kind enough to help us out. While the three of us were at Costco, they picked up a cooked chicken and a bottle of olive oil. They turned down all of my efforts to reimburse them for their time or gas. They invited me out to their place to visit. I will have to take them up on that.

I’ve been using an oscillating fan set on a stool in the master bedroom. Krista would like to use that fan downstairs to keep her desk cool during the upcoming heat wave. The second purchase we made was a tall upright fan for the master bedroom. I had it assembled in less than five minutes. It has a temperature setting on it so that it will automatically turn on and off at a certain temperature.

The third purchase was a stand-up lamp. When we first moved it, we bought a small upright lamp barely over four feet. Its single bulb has dimly lit what we call the library for the last thirty years. We’ve been meaning to replace it with something taller that could provide more light. Krista thought the design of the new lamp would fit the room perfectly. The assembly was challenging as the designer provided micro screws as small as a black ant’s butt to hold everything together. I love how much light it brings into the room. Krista loves the way it looks.

The lamp was a spontaneous purchase. The mattress and fan were planned. We knew these items appeared seasonally at Costco and learned from previous years that unless you purchased them quickly, they would disappear until next year. We meant to buy the fan last year and missed out. We have been after the mattress for years. The lamp just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Uncle Bill and Dad are back from their fishing trip with Cousin Vic. They had a good time. I know they caught a lot of fish, some of which they tossed back and some which they brought home. They were fishing for trout in a lake. I tried to find out how much they caught, but the phone call went sideways. Apparently, Uncle Bill was expecting his new hearing aids to arrive at the house while they were away. The hearing aids were late arriving, so Uncle Bill decided to stay until they showed up. Then they asked me about getting some art framed. I need to call them back and let them know that all the Framers I knew have retired. I hope to hear about their fishing trip soon.

Friday night Allen Gladfelter picked me up, and I kept him company as he sold “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” posters at the Grand Cinema. I enjoy Allen’s company. He’s been working on a graphic novel for a few years now. He decided to rewrite some of the pages. Thankfully, he’d planned his panels so that they could be shifted around. He did a little of that and only had to alter one or two spoken balloons. I’ll be keeping him company again tonight.

Alley News

Krista saw a couple down the alley working on a red sedan. She assumed that it was being stripped. I knew she didn’t want me to investigate or to get Don to investigate. She worried that it might turn nasty. Don did go and explore. He learned that our neighbor Dan gave the couple in the red car an old van. The old van was parked at the far end of the alley to block an unused driveway. It was to discourage the homeless from setting up came there. A large branch fell two winters ago and broke the back window. The van has sat there since before the pandemic. Don had the couple drive it up to his place, where they could work on it faster. He wanted them gone before dusk. They were successful in getting it running. Now the stray cats and raccoons will have to find somewhere else to nest.

We had to close all the windows once it got dark on the Fourth of July. There were so many fireworks and so little wind that a fog of sulfur-smelling fog settled in the city. It was pretty bad. We marveled at how our poorest neighbors were always the ones who bought the most expensive fireworks. “Will they will have enough money for rent next month?” Krista wondered. “Poor little Sally isn’t going to get her braces this year.”

I was craving ribs. The only store that had them at a decent price was Costco. So when we were there buying the lamp, we also purchased a package of ribs made of three racks. Krista cooked two of them, and we froze the third. We’ll be eating ribs for a few days. Krista also made some potato salad and did a quick steam on the snap peas from the garden. We’ve been eating peas with every meal. The cucumbers are coming in as well. On Wednesday, we took a break from the ribs and ate sweet chili braised salmon with a tangy cucumber salad. We also finished off the cake I bought to celebrate our 36th anniversary. I suggested to Krista that maybe we should go up to Canada next year for our anniversary.

The Wells family was over at Judy Martin’s house every day during the Fourth of July weekend. They’ve been enjoying the warm weather visiting under the carport with “Granny” and Pat and Cathy Smith. Cathy is a frequent visitor to Judy’s, at least once or twice a day, if not more, to check on her and help out. Pat has been mowing and watering her plants for years now. Even though Judy says, she doesn’t want any plants because she doesn’t have the strength to water them. The Smiths got around this argument by saying they needed a place to grow more vegetables and they’d take care of everything. Thus, Judy gets to enjoy looking at plants in the summer. I’ve not kept track of the vegetables they are growing.

Some of my dreams:

July 1

#IDreamt I was on a ski trip with my brothers when I got separated and then trapped within a zoo where all the animals had been released and were running amok. I couldn’t tell if the lion was affectionate or playing with me like a mouse.

July 2

#IDreamt we moved to a different house where the dishwasher was in the mud room. It would leak unless you closed the door tightly. I was sorting a bag of trash left behind. I could tell if it was wine or meth-making equipment.

July 3

#IDreamt the motel I was at had a gas station mini-mart as a lobby. I bought a sandwich, and the clerk gave me a penny. The man behind me held out his hand as a joke. I gave him the penny. “For luck,” I said.

July 4

#IDreamt we stayed at an AirB&B and woke to find a long-haired cat on me. As we left, I mentioned to the owner their cat had snuck in and slept on the bed. “We don’t have a cat.” They said.

Movies I watched this last week:

62. July 3

Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009) Rating: 5

This is a fish-out-of-water Rom-Com. One of the many Hugh Grant romance comedies where he’s partnered with a new leading lady to see if chemistry happens. I think all involved elevated the script. While the horses had names, there were no dogs with names in the movie. But that’s understandable, with Bart the Second being part of the cast.

63. July 4

Extraction (2020) Rating: 5

I watched this movie because I was curious about Extraction 2, and I like watching my movies in the sequence they were released. This is a highly challenging kill-count movie. It’s even a difficult explosion-count movie. The action scene goes at a breakneck pace through a warren of alleys, apartments, balconies, and slums. It kept me entertained as Fourth of July fireworks went off through the night and didn’t interfere at all with the view of the film.

64. July 8

They Made Me a Fugitive (2020) Rating: 5

Not to be confused with “They Made Me A Criminal.” What this movie could have used is a dog or at least a bird in a cage. Instead, we have a man held behind chicken wire. Most of the characters lacked dimension. The dialog must have been witty and snarky at the time because this film did okay at the time. My favorite part remains the wife asking for a favor in return for food and clothes.

More next week,