Category Archives: Yakkety Yak

Tig Notaro: LIVE, the most special Special

I have a real love of comedy, since podcasts are the soundtrack of my working days, and I’d rather laugh than cry while I work, which would happen if I listened to the news. So comedy podcasts it is!  And the crazy thing about podcasts is how quickly you come to feel like an insider. “I heard Mark telling Jimmy about this show at Largo…” Dude. I wasn’t actually there. I don’t get to use only their first names like we are pals, says me to myself in the mirror.  But none the less, this  connection is born (still-born) and you kind of nurture it along without noticing.

Then, since I follow some of my best comedy pals on twitter (they’ll follow me back any day now), I heard about my guuuurl Tig Notaro dropping something new, Louis C.K.-Guerrilla style. And so I downloaded it, and listened to it… and since it is getting wild press right now, anyone reading this probably knows that it’s this incredibly raw and funny and honest set about how Tig Notaro’s life SUCKS right now but is also amazing and how it is to be living in the awkward spot between tragedy and comedy.

And after hearing this set I felt weirdly moved to make her a present. And I have no real way to get it to her (I am bashfully emailing her assistant, which I expect will go straight to the spam pile), but I wanted to make it anyway, whether she gets it or not.

So here is your present, Tig Notaro, who I have never met.  I thought your special really was special.

EDIT: As I have learned from Tig’s podcast Professor Blastoff and the comments of devoted fans, Mme. Notaro is doing extremely well, has had successful surgery, and is now kicking ass and taking names.  There was a bidding war for her book, she is in New York and working and everything is coming up Notaro. There are some proverbs about rain and sunshine and light and darkness. Apply your favorite here! 

You can download the special here, for only $5 measly dollars. I highly recommend it. Obviously.

I’m on twitter at @GillianGoerz, if any comedians want to follow me and be best friends. Cool.

NIMBY or The First Days of Summer

So. I used to have a blog. I still do, but I used to too.  (Apologies to the late great Mitch Hedberg).  My old blog was on LiveJournal, when blogging was less about pleas for free stuff and followers than it was about… journalling. At least it was for me. I went travelling, as twenty-somethings are want to do, and made a blog to save myself and others from the nightmare-verse that is the MASS EMAIL UPDATE.  So it started as a travel blog, that grew into a semi-private diary spanning most of my Southern Alberta life. When I moved to Toronto I started this blog for art stuff and like the velveteen rabbit, or the plot of Toy Story (1, 2 & 3), the live journal account fell by the wayside.  

Recently I was combing it for examples of some of my writing and found a few pretty funny stories. I thought I’d dig them up, do a little editorial cartoon for them, and then post them here as entertainment. This is the first. FYI, if you don’t know, NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard.  

NIMBY or The First Days of Summer

(circa April, 2008)

This weekend saw the first flushes of real summer weather. Temperatures meeting and exceeding 20C made me happy and spry. And social.  I had brunch guests on Saturday and Sunday in efforts to share of the splendor of my backyard… and what splendor there was.

On Saturday the troops (Radam, Sheen, Jane, The Giant) were garage-sale-ing while I prepped the kitchen for a Mighty Omelette, and the backyard for guests. I went out in flip flops (!) to grab cushions for the bony willow furniture when I saw one of Pepi’s little stuffed toys out on the lawn. She and la Mamasita have been away for about a week, so Peps would have left her prized possession on the lawn with her other more fecal deposits a while ago and I was afraid it would be all wet and soggy. I approached the fuzzy log, beige with a little fluffy white stripe, and as I got closer a cold dread began to creep up my shins. The dread neared by heart as I mentally reviewed the stuffed menagerie that I am familiar with and failed to count this fur-turd among them. I was bending over it and peering closely when I saw what was a WAY too-real-looking tiny ear. I reeled back and thundered to the safety of the raised deck.  That ain’t no chew toy… or is it?  Only a solid poke and turn would reveal this, and I planned to get back-up.

My peeps arrive.  I brought the cavalry out back and they proceeded to fashion a poking devise out of some of my step-dad’s willow pieces (readied for the building of as-yet-unbuilt furniture).  The log is flipped to reveal rodential rigor mortis.  A tiny mouth with ratty incisors, frozen open.  Tiny paws, tiny rigid claws. Appetites are swiftly lost, and the animal is returned to the face DOWN position. Here is where my cerebral gang of oh-so-educated-and-intelligent snobs and I reveal our evolutionary advantages and pitfalls:

Advantage: The gang and I immediately began a Clue-like deductive process of discerning what kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus or species this being was, and HOW it came to be in my back yard.

Pitfall: Not one of us knows anything more about nature than what we may have caught on the Discovery Channel. We argued about whether it was a large hamster or a small guinea pig for longer than aught to be necessary. Farm kids would have spent that 30 minutes, after immediatly naming the animal, pointing and laughing at us.  Conclusion: Species Unknown.

The crazy thing was that the animal was clearly a domestic pet, not some gopher or mouse.  We all agreed on that point. It was healthy (minus the deadness), fluffy, with pretty fur and colouring that you don’t find on animals of the wild suberbs.  But how how HOW did it come to live and die in my yard? Lets review the facts:
1. My dog has been gone for 1 week.
2. Animal showed no outward signs of decomposition or evidence that would suggest cause of death (that can be determined without any kind of up close or squeam-free investigation).
3. Animal is obviously a domestic caged pet with no survival skills.
4. Yard is fenced in but does have conceivable entrances for an animal of this size.

Now, if the animal is a pet, how did it come to be in my yard? Did it’s child-owner play with it outside and leave it there to wander into browner pastures and die? Did it die and rather than explain the Circle of Life to their spawn, the parents told them that “Hammy ran away” and threw his corpse over the fence?

Another fact:
5. No young children live on either side of my house. There are teens on one side and Asian university students on the other.

Who around me would even have a pet of this nature? Due to Pepi’s absence it seems unlikely she was the cause of death, and even if she had been around, this shih tzu ain’t no killah. To make a lap dog kill a hamster (there is only a 2 gene difference between them) you have to “keep it hungry”, and this dog is so plump and spoiled we almost have to chew her food for her. The killer instinct has been fed out. And even if she were a starved and beaten pit bull, it wouldn’t answer the dilemma of WHERE this animal victim came from in the first place.

All permutations finally discussed, the Ace Gang still had a dead guinea hamster and it was time to get blue collared on it’s ass, i.e.) actually get it OUT of the yard. The doings of this had yet to be discussed (file under “Pitfall”).

Radam procured two more willow branches, Sheen got a rubber glove (we only had one) and some grocery bags which she held out while squinting, face turned away making an “eeeeeeeaaaaaawwwwwwfffff” sound as Radam tried to chop-stick the Dead into the bags. But Radam was not a Hercules and kept dry heaving until Jane in a fit of pragmatic annoyance stomped down to Get Practical on this dead thing’s corpse.  From a safe distance I suggested using the pooper scooper, which ended up being the successful solution. Sheen double bagged our furry friend and I carried him to the plastic garbage can-shaped hearse that will be his carriage to the Little Pet Shop in the Sky. All the wood chips you can shit on, little buddy. All the dripping water you can suckle from a great golden straw.  More delicious pellets to eat than hairs on your tiny log body. RIP, friend.

This chapter closed, we were free to turn to the Mighty Omelette, the Luminous Fruit Salad (with grapefruit in it! GRAPEFRUIT!), and the sparkling orange juice, or in the Giant’s case, a frosty Pil.

I got some slight redness on my right arm only (first sunburn! Woo!), ate some asparagus-y eggs and peed some asparagus-y pee. Summer, I welcome you.

* * * * *

@GillianGoerz on twitter!

Cartoonist Makes Good

No not me. You must have blind ears and deaf eyes not to have noticed the rise of one Canadian Cartoonist Kate Beaton.  In case haven’t heard, her recently published book “Hark, A Vagrant!”, her webcomic of the same name, and the recent media blitzkrieg surrounding the aforementioned has brought her to the shining spotlight that she surely deserves. For she is funny.

I recently treated myself to a little CanCon mail order package consisting of her newest book, her previously self-published book (“Never Learn Anything From History”) and a sweeeeet mug with her drawing of  David Bowie on it.  It’s all as good as it sounds.

Another great thing? I know people who know her! THAT’S RIGHT.  Oh yeah. Fame by association. Put that in your “seriously, who cares?” pipe and then smoke it while bad mouthing me and my braggin’ city ways to all your friends. Try “She thinks she’s soooo cooool, but she doesn’t even actually even know her, you know?” and “Who does she think she’s kidding?!!”  No one!  I am kidding no one!

But I really do know a bunch of people who know her so it’s like knowing her right? Right, guys? guys? guys? guys?

Anyway! Despite not knowing her at all in any actual way, I think she is awesome! Her drawings are funny, her writing is funny and I am so happy that she is getting all this excellent press.  Why not check out all her stuff, all the time:

And follow her on twitter. She posts extra drawings that aren’t on the site.

Follow me too while you’re at it! My sink-hole depression is giving way to a slight rise in twitter activity. It can only go up from here! Buy low and sell high! @GillianGoerz

Some February work.

Having a great art day makes me feel like posting!

Here is some recent work from my drawing and painting class. It’s kinda corny, but this class is more about execution than concept, which is to say it’s not at all about concept and totally about composition, execution, etc.  We are doing drapery right now, so my instructor asked for a drawing of a flamenco dancer, clown or matador. Everyone but one person chose the dancer. I am not that one.


Not pictured: Castinettes.

You can see some of the bottom drapery is… invented. And perhaps sloppily. I am a pretty strong believer in drawing from life not your imagination (in cases like this where realistic depiction, not “creativity” per say is the objective) so this is a bit of a cop out.  I just drew a picture I found online (I am reminded of Ruth Fisher saying “Oh, he just loves Online!”) and where the photo ends and my invention begins is fairly obvious.  Also her nose shadow looks a bit like a Hitler ‘stache. It was like that in the photo making it a prime case in which varying from what you see is advisable.

The next one is another person with folds of drapery. Again I kinda cheaped out on the object of the assignment (drapery) in lieu of doing what I wanted.


Both of these are done with black ink wash.  Both of these also got great comments from the instructor in class, which means they will both get C’s.  This guy’s classic move is heaping praise on every single piece, even if it’s a total POS, and then issuing grades based on how he really feels about it. Perhaps he is trying to spare us in-class humiliation, but it’s terribly demoralizing to get these bargain basement marks after feeling like you are a handshake away from a grant and an internship. Besides, none of the other classes spare us the in-class coal-raking, so what’s the point? Perhaps he is a wimp. Perhaps.

This has been a good art day because I am feeling both inspired and motivated – two infrequent bed-fellows, to put it britishly.  They have been feuding pretty ferociously, but just finished a very successful mediation session and have joined again in happy matrimony.  In honour of their reunion, I will post a work in progress at two stages.

This is more drapery drawing.  The initial sketch:

drawingThis is a little shoddy in quality, since it’s a scanned pencil sketch, which scanners HATE. I jacked up the black levels so something would show up. This is my friend Jacqueline who kindly modeled her cardigan on her head as she studied.

Next I painted in her skin in watercolour:

watercolour-skinI tried to adjust the colour of the skin in photoshop, but the real pain of a laptop is that depending on the angle of your screen, the colour saturation is dramatically different and you can’t know which angle is the correct one.  The yellows here are a little deeper than they are in the original. Especially the dark spot on her nose. It’s a more lemon yellow in person, less jaundiced rudolf.

Next I want to ink all the lines in sepia-toned ink and leave them as just outlines, not filling them in. This plan requires a new pen nib that will make finer lines than the ones I have, so it has to wait, sadly, until tomorrow.  I will be sure to update the finished drawing at some point.  I am pretty happy with it so far and a little scared to mess it up. I think watercolour and I might be new best friends. That’s all for now.