Making up food

Hello again.

It’s Friday today instead of Thursday. What happened? I blame traveling, time zones, packing and un-packing.

I have been traveling again and it all went well without any snafu’s, not counting the on-set of jet-lags. The lag going East is definitely giving me a hard time as  I am reaching old age (or is it just having kids as traveling companions???). All I know is that we were up playing soccer at 5 am just to pass the time.

Also got to ride a bunch of trains, which I LOVE! It’s by far my favorite mode of transportation.

This week keeps on harping about the no salt diet. It will probably occupy a few more weeks since it was a central part of my life at the time. Translating dishes I wanted that were too salty to no-salt was a challenge but actually fun and interesting, and most of the time I was really happy with the outcome. Thai food was one thing I craved back then and I tried to crack the coconut soup (Thom Ka?) and the curries. The best result I probably got was a barbecue sauce from a guy in Kentucky. It is simply fun to make more of your foods.

Anyway, hope you’re into this week’s installment and that you’re all doing reasonably well.

Dad dreams & realities

Sometimes I have high-flying ideas of who I am and how I will deal with certain situations, should they show up. Then life happens and I learn something about myself that is not so high-flying. It’s good to see how human and “imperfect” I am. It also makes me more understanding of other people and maybe I’ll be able to hold back one of those knee jerk Pollyanna pieces of advice next time I hear someone suffering from something.

The will to seem “normal” has turned out to be stronger with me than I thought it would be and it’s not something I am proud of. If anything it’s a good reality check against my previous relatively problem free life. Having special needs feels uncomfortable sometimes, and jeebus knows my special needs are very mild, but I don’t want to come across as weak. It’s easy to tell other people to just be straight forward an honest about whatever needs and conditions they have and things will be fine, but as always they tune is different when it’s about myself.

I hope you all have a good week and thanks for stopping by!



Hospitals, Lake Merritt and more…

This week deals with the large number of hours I’ve spent in the Emergency Room. There are two things in my life that I did not expect to do so much of: spending time in airports and spending time in hospitals. One, due to my choice of where to live and the other came crashing into me straight out of left field. Btw, I am a lefty and I feel like “left” in general gets a bad rap. “Out of left field” is often used when talking about a sudden, often negative, surprise. I guess the use as description of a surprise element is cool. Worst is the snowboarding community: The way you stand on the board when you’re left footed is called “Goofy”! If that’s not a slur I don’t know what is. Anyway, so, way more time spent in hospitals than I could ever imagine. My mom used to be a nurse and she seemed to have a great time at work. As a result I always felt like the health care route was a possible career I could imagine if my tap dancing career didn’t work out. However, after being so much in the hospital, being poked by needles and god knows what, I felt like I never wanted to set foot in one ever again. That feeling has now dissipated and I, again, feel like health care would be a great field to work in. I mean, who doesn’t need a cartoon artists…

Hospitals, Lake Merritt

Photo by Vagabond Urges.

On a different note, riding our bikes around Lake Merritt in Oakland at dusk last night, seeing the diverse crowd that lives in this city being out for a walk, run, pic-nic’ing or having dinner was so great. In the midst of the struggle and hardship that is erupting in this nation now (#Black Lives Matter), it felt like a celebration of the diversity in this place.

Hope you all have a great week!


…to celebrate the arrival of episode #7.


There has been celebrations, summer is in full swing, kids get to stay up late and the story is trucking ahead.

Last night I stopped by to see the tail end of a talk by my old hero Winston Smith at Pegasus Books in Berkeley. It’s a great book store by the way. After getting to shake his hand and telling him what a great influence on my teenage years and life he was, I was browsing through the comic book/graphic novel section and I stumbled upon another book about a health condition! I actually can’t remember ever seeing a comic dealing with these issues before, but maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough, and since I am doing my story now, I guess my eyes are extra attentive to these types of things. You know like when you’re looking for a toaster and now you seem to see toasters everywhere? Anyway, the book is by and about the great writer, and Robert Crumb collaborator, Harvey Pekar. It’s called “Our Cancer Year”. I have never heard about this book before, which is weird since I am a Crumb fan and like to think that I am keeping an eye on what happens around him creatively, but you live and you learn. I am not sure I am ready to read it yet, but I will for sure eventually.

I also spent some time in the E.R. a few days ago. My swollen foot was bugging me so I went to see the doctor to have it checked out. It’s a good example of how any ailment can turn into a bigger scare since I am a person who had a heart transplant. Since I felt the foot had started swell up after a plane ride, both me and the doc touched upon the possibility of a blood clot (=sitting still for a long time + blood getting stuck in your feet + the air pressure in a plane being different etc, etc.) Since a blood clot can be fatal I was off to the E.R., which, by the way, is a place that will be talked about in next week’s installment.

Anyway, I better stop before this turns into a complete orgy of links (too late!).

Hope you’re all doing well and thanks for stopping by and reading.

This story is just growing…

Week #6!

It’s great to have come all the way here.

Last week we cleaned out our garage a bit and some old tidbits from this whole episode surfaced. Some old manuals, hospital forms and thick binders with information on how to survive and how to lead your life in the new health situation. Also, there were some journals from the time before and after the heart failure happened. Of course there were tons of I-have-to-add-this-to-the-story moments, to the point of me feeling like I need to structure this a bit more. Up until now it has been just me doing stick figure storyboarding a few pages ahead from what comes to mind, but as more material shows up in my memory or, for example Christine goes, “remember that funny moment”, I want to organize it all a bit. However, I don’t want to make this all too precious and get perfectionist  about it, because like the cartoonist Texan in Tokyo so correctly put it: “finished is better than perfect” (2:49). A large part of the fun is to be able to put stuff together, thrash forward on gut feeling and try different things out.


The garage finds were also a much needed reminder of what a miracle it all is. Life is precious.

This week’s installment ended up having lots of text in it, so it’s basically like a REAL BOOK!

Hope you’re all well and thanks for reading!