washington dc

Halloween in DC

It’s October, and that means my mind, morbid and twisted as it is, has social license to air its dirty laundry and terrible puns upon the world with impunity. Usually this just involves playing the Beetlejuice soundtrack over and over, but this year I decided to shake the cobwebs off my graphic design muscles and make an actual thing.

The admittedly trivial, but incredibly fun and amusing result of my labor is the Halloween Metro Map, seen below. I downloaded a PDF of the official metro map, changed all of the names, and crammed puns and pop culture and references into every nook and cranny possible. Shades of Tales from the Crypt and old EC comics. Colors and tints were spookified, rivers were tentacled, and fonts were molested with abandon. Really the only thing I didn’t touch were the metro phone numbers, as I couldn’t think of enough spooky phone numbers to justify the effort.

I believe the changes made amount to fair use and parody, but just in case, I also removed all the copyright and restricted symbols, and replaced all the websites with my own.

I now have fulls-size, 34-inch-wide, print-resolution PDFS of this monstrosity hanging around my hard drive and no where to put them to good use. Not that I think there is any particularly “good” use for this map. I made it for fun. I hope other people think it’s fun too.

And if anyone can think of better, punnier, more obscure names for any of these stations or labels, email me. Or should I say SCREAmail me. Heeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeeeeee



Today I conned my wife into going shoe shopping with me with promises of movies, which is a sentence I don’t normally say.

For quite some time now, I have been without proper rain gear. I have a rain coat, but all of my shoes either have holes worn in them, or are running shoes with mesh “breathability” fabrics that make them about as waterproof as an old sponge. Lest you think I only have two pairs of shoes, I also have a dress pair that feel like the instep is lined with thumb tacks (for job interviews) and army boots that are so old they have grown fuzz.

So, I hunted the internet for boots, but really, there was only one brand I kinda sorta wanted: Doc Martens. These are the boots of punk bands. Joe Strummer wore them. Johnny Rotten wore them. Peter Capaldi in the role of Doctor Who wore them. They’re stylish, leather, and sturdy working class boots that come in a variety of posh designs and also cost $140 on average for the standard 8-hole lace up style. My decision was not only based on style. Doc Martens are supposed to be very rugged, long-lasting boots, and according to the “boots theory” of economics, an expensive pair of boots will last the buyer as long as 10 cheap pairs of boots, meaning that people who can only afford inferior brands will end up paying more over time. And I am only cheap in the long term.

The boots I ended up getting were made of Orleans leather, which feels sort of like frozen Crisco, but room temperature, in the only color that came with 8 lace-holes: military dark taupe. In reality, they are a dark green brown that looks like I skinned a ninja turtle for my shoes. I wish they came in black, but I’m willing to take the fashion risk, given that they were only 1 of 3 kinds that sported the superior Good Year welt stitching, and the other two felt like boot-shaped bricks.

After that adventure, (which only took 15 minutes, because I had a spreadsheet of my prefered styles laid out in my agenda booklet) we went to see Crazy Rich Asians in the Georgetown AMC. It was a very fun, cool movie full of extremely good-looking people, about two very nice people overcoming everyone else’s snobbery. It was very specific in its Asianity, in a way that I appreciate, because now I want to go to Singapore and eat at their street food court. The food there looked way better than any Asian food I’ve had since my mom made dumplings from scratch.

There is also a scene where the whole Crazy Rich family makes dumplings by hand, and the unfavored children get criticized for it. The rapper Awkwafina has a role as Sassy Best Friend and now I want to listen to more of her music on Youtube, and was, in my opinion, the best part of the movie, other than the food bits.

I wore my boots home. They will require some breaking in, and definitely some insoles, because apparently British people have no arches. But I used a coupon code and got a can of balsam oil for free, and we didn’t buy popcorn at the theater, because I snuck in Cheezits. Movie popcorn is too expensive in the long term.

Moving to DC

As a professional freelance illustrator, moving to Washington, DC is turning out to be more complicated than I had thought.  It may be that starting any sentence with "As a professional illustrator," will inevitably end with "more complicated than I had thought," but that's just me.

It seems like every job available is only, in fact, available to people who were referred by someone who knows the employer.  That's how people get jobs in this city.  Which makes me sort of want to line everyone up and run a frying pan across their collective heads, wondering aloud the entire time why anyone should even bother writing a resume and cover letter at all.  Clearly these methods are outdated and so far have been a complete waste of my time.  It's the old catch-22, isn't it?  Can't afford to live in the city without a job, and can't get a job until you live in the city.

Meanwhile, I'm bulking up my portfolio with jobs for non-existent clients for free (the cheap ethereal bastards) and working on setting up an Etsy shop, which should bring in just enough money to make me feel poor. 

I'm not even starving, which robs the whole experience of its sexy romance.