Allotment update! Helene’s sunflowers are leaping out of their pots!

Of the seedlings in the egg cartons, the cucumbers grew the fastest so they got dibs on four fresh pots (goodbye Oregano, Camomile and mystery seed).

The carrots are growing like grass so I thinned them out a bit. The arugula and mustard grew and died so quick in the egg cartons that I never got a chance to replant them. So I’m going to try a different approach with them and just sprinkle a bunch in a larger pot and let them grow wild. 

The new avocado tree continues to impress, the old avocado tree continues it’s march to the bin. If I had a garden I could just plant off to the side somewhere and forget about it for a few years to see if it came back, but with pots, real-estate is ruthless, I can’t let a tree hang out in a primo pot not doing anything when there are so many sprouted avocado seeds waiting their turn.

This is turning into a social-political metaphor and it’s making me feel terrible. 

Did a lot of work on the allotment last weekend: set up one greenhouse with egg cartons and loads of seeds, clipped the old avocado tree because it wasn’t dead but it had been stunted for 6+ months without a single new leaf, so we’ll see what happens. If there’s no sign of life in the next few weeks we might give its pot to the next avocado seedling in line.

I got a load of silly seeds in Valencia, including pumpkins and squashes and carrots. We also got some free wildflower seeds embedded in paper attached to a bottle of red wine?

Then Helene bought sunflower seeds and we got excited and planted all of them!

Shortly after the last corner picture was taken we had to throw away the daisy because of aphids. Terrifying.

Tune in this weekend for SPROUTS AND SEEDLINGS. Exciting times.

We walked into the apartment tonight after a week out of town to the most beautiful welcome home present: INTERNET.

April 25th is when we called Movistar to transfer our internet and phone to our new apartment. It should have been simple enough. Our old apartment was DSL, our new apartment was already wired for DSL, the previous tenant in our new apartment had Movistar DSL. We even brought the router with us from our old apartment. Just turn it on, we’re ready to go. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

But something was wrong and we were having trouble finding out what. They offered us Fiber Optic. Sure why not, the future is now. But there was a delay in the Fiber Optic, a problem with transferring our old phone number. Who cares, turn on the internet, we’ll use the internet to tell people our new phone number.

Weeks pass.

The four of us work at home. We have to get our internet at local cafes. An orange juice, a hot chocolate, a coffee. It adds up. Three to four people going out for internet every day, each spending two to six bucks for the privilege. It adds up.

The first técnico comes to visit. There’s no easy access to install the Fiber Optic, someone will have to get out on the roof, it’s too dangerous and he’s not equipped for it. But can you please turn on our DSL while you’re here, we don’t care about Fiber Optic, please turn on our internet. Sorry, I’m here to install Fiber Optic and that’s all I can do, but you should call Movistar and tell them to turn on the DSL while you wait for Fiber Optic. What a good idea.

Weeks pass.

Damh has trouble understanding their Spanish. They have trouble understanding my English. We start to piece together the problems. A supervisor comes to survey our roof. He would not turn on our DSL. After three weeks of phone calls got us nothing but frustrated tears we asked our friends for help. We thought we were making progress, cancel the Fiber Optic, open a new request for DSL. We have to wait for a DSL appointment, but this time it’ll work for sure.

We hedge our bets and ask our portera, Nora, for help. She starts making phone calls on our behalf with a new account. She is friends with the secretary of the business on the floor below ours, she sneakily gets us a wifi password. We have temporary internet. Very slow, very spotty, but at least we can stop hemorrhaging money in the cafes.

Weeks pass.

More técnicos arrive, this time fully equipped to get on the roof. We’re the guys they send to the tough jobs. We’re the fixers. This is it. It’s us or nothing. We’ll get that Fiber Optic installed come hell or high water. That’s all well and good but Movistar told us they were sending someone to turn on the DSL, which the apartment is already wired for, not install the Fiber Optic. Our landlord won’t allow workers on the roof, why didn’t you tell us in advance, we could have asked permission. There is no DSL, Movistar doesn’t do DSL anymore, it’s Fiber Optic on the roof right now or nothing. But we don’t have permission, all the doors and gates to the roof are locked, we don’t have the keys. Goodbye.

I happen to get the 1 out of 10 English speaking phone operators who actually understands and speaks fluent English. They explain that what the técnico said was true. Since our neighborhood had been wired for Fiber Optic, they would not turn on a DSL account. It didn’t matter that DSL was already there, it didn’t matter that all of our neighbors had Movistar DSL. Out with the old, in with the new. The march of progress. I tell them I’ll call them back if we get permission from the landlord to let workers onto the roof.

They soon call Nora and tell her all the accounts for the apartment have been cancelled since we wouldn’t let the rooftop Fiber Optic técnicos do their job.

We leave town for a week, we enjoy the internet in our holiday rental. On the last day of our holiday, Movistar calls me again. An operator with poor English who hasn’t read our case file asks if we want to cancel our Fiber Optic order and place an order for DSL (something we’d already done three times in two months). It’s a sad reminder of what we’ll be returning home to after the holiday.

It’s now June 25th and we get off the train and into a taxi and into the apartment and there is an open box on the coffee table, and a router on the side table, its lights are blinking.

We have internet in our apartment for the first time in two months.

All thanks to the tireless efforts of Nora who quickly switched gears after Movistar cancelled our account and called Orange, who turned on our apartment’s DSL right away while we were out of town.

We will use the internet to find a recipe to bake a cake for Nora.

Allotment update! Since our greenhouses haven’t been wowing anyone lately we took some of the plants out, see if they fare any better outside. With the old avocado transferred to a new pot I moved the strawberries into the big pot to see if that wakes them up.

Side by side of the shining-star avocado tree and the old tree that keeps growing these weird nubs but hasn’t made a single leaf in MONTHS.

For page 42 I took this reference photo because I couldn’t picture hands on a keyboard. But then I struck this very stiff pose, as if my hands were on a piano keyboard and not typing anything meaningful. The stiffness came through in the drawing so maybe I would have been better off without photo reference.

Also: the camera is sitting on a pillow.

The original script to She Always Looked Good in Hats is now online! Hats started as a title, then an outline, then I sketched out the whole comic in a notebook, then I wrote this script to polish the dialogue before starting the final pages. As you can see some dialogue kept changing all the way to the end.
The script is in movie-screenplay format because they hammered the formatting into my brain in film school and 12 years later it’s still the most effortless way for me to write.
Do comics have a standard writing format?

The original script to She Always Looked Good in Hats is now online! Hats started as a title, then an outline, then I sketched out the whole comic in a notebook, then I wrote this script to polish the dialogue before starting the final pages. As you can see some dialogue kept changing all the way to the end.

The script is in movie-screenplay format because they hammered the formatting into my brain in film school and 12 years later it’s still the most effortless way for me to write.

Do comics have a standard writing format?