1380 Easy Peasy.

Yesterday the Teen asked me to take her to town to get dinner. She also wanted to go there to search for a gravesite which she could get 25 points of extra credit for standing by. I didn’t want to buy dinner, plus we’re trying not to eat out food because I’m dying and she’s unhealthy too. I told her to find out exactly where it is, so we could locate it after dinner. We’d have to go quickly because the sun would be setting by the time we got there, and it’s pretty difficult to find a particular stone in a sea of them. In the dark it’s virtually impossible without a clear idea of the location.
When we went to leave I asked her if she knew where we were going and she told me she hadn’t bothered to look. Even with all of human learning at her fingertips, seconds away, she had just kept texting, which made me angry. Still, 25 points is pretty good for such an easy task as looking at a thing. So I asked my father, who was nearby and often attends funerals, if he was familiar with he location. He was, but wasn’t sure about the specific grave. Of course military graves tend to be placed together if the people in question were famous to some degree, and the gentlemen we were after died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were probably near a memorial. All we’d need to do is find the biggest flag and there we’d be, most likely.
On the way to town I told her to find out about the brothers we were looking for. She tapped away on her phone and I assumed, foolishly, that she was doing a quick search for them. By the time we arrived she would likely have enough information to locate the tomb easily.
When we arrived she had no idea who the guys were, where they were, or anything else. She’d spent the entire drive texting. She reasoned that it would be easier if I just did it for her. I did my best not to be furious. Instead I channeled my anger into reading the index of graves. Rather than do anything useful the Teen continued to text. Unfortunately the map was inscrutable. I had, at best, a vague idea of where soldiers might be buried, but I was going to have to fall back on my flag plan. As expected there was a section of military graves east of the memorial with the biggest flag.
If they were in that section I didn’t see them. The kid managed to pry her eyes from her phone from time to time, but strangely wasn’t able to locate them either. My guess is that they were in the original section for war dead, and that the place we were looking at was the updated section. The graves ran a pretty wide range of conflict though. Even for as small a town as Lamar there were a significant number of people who had given their lives for our country. Some of them younger than me. It was sobering for me. For her? Well you’d have to ask whoever she was texting. I suspect they would have a clearer idea than I.
By the time I’d taken a pass through the war memorial section the sun was nearly set. The light was coming at an angle that makes graves very difficult to read at a distance. If you’ve ever spent any time researching gravesites you’ll know what I mean. I used to go with my mom when I was little and she was researching our genealogy. I’ve actually seen a lot of cemeteries in Kansas, and the surrounding states. Anyway, I made a few passes in the dusk, hoping to luck in to the location. I was hoping two sets of eyes might be enough. Well, 2.5, or whatever the Teen’s contribution amounted to. Alas, luck was not on our side. Or my side. Or whatever sides there were. By that point I had put more effort into the whole thing than she had bothered to and I just wanted to see the graves and pay my respects. There’s probably not anyone left to come see the brothers anymore. It doesn’t mean a lot, I guess, but I appreciate them not getting to have a life so that losers like me can draw pictures to entertain others.
I might go back by myself someday. Just so I know where they are. It’s not going to change anything for me to know, but I want to.
After it got too dark to see she asked me to take her for ice cream, which I suspect was what she really wanted all along. I told her ice cream was for winners and made her go to the store with me, even though I didn’t need anything. On the way out of town she pleaded with me but I drove past the turn, reiterating my assertion that winners are the ones who get the ice cream. I went far enough to make it seem like we weren’t getting it, but then I turned back around.
Maybe that’s just how the world is now. Failures get ice cream too.

The drawing of Alex might have ended by the time this goes up. I’ve put up the new one for next week already. It’s Nina with her sunbursts ponytail. LINK I don’t know if she’ll do better than Alex. It seems unlikely, but whatever. I put her fate in your hands.

Since pretty much the only people who read the blog are aware of this stuff I’m going to ask you guys who comes after Nina. It can be anybody, in any style they’ve been seen wearing. Brooksie in her confidence shirt, for example, or Thomas in street clothes, whatever. I’ll even do sleepy eyes Nina if you guys want that. That’s her work default style. I’ll take suggestions right up till I start drawing. I don’t know when that will be since I’m a little behind from carting the Teen around and whatnot.

Just so you Patreon supporters don’t feel left out, I sent out a message to anyone who has pledged over, like, $20 or something. It’s going to take me a while, but I’m doing these drawings for anyone who wants one on there that meets whatever criteria it was I used. If you haven’t checked your messages there you should. If you’re one of the patrons I messaged the note will be in your inbox. I know that not everyone wants physical stuff in their home, so don’t feel like you’ll be insulting me if you don’t want a drawing. I just wanted to put it out there for people who have supported me in a big way.

Eventually I’ll extend the offer to anyone who has given me over $30 in total and is still supporting my work. I just didn’t want to get overwhelmed and forget people. It’s easy to lose track of what you need to do when it’s hundreds of drawings at a time. XD

Anyway, that huge mess is all I can think of that I needed to say for today. I look forward to the various tangents that will no doubt arise in the comments. XD


Dang. life can be tough for Evrina!

Just some philosophical pondering-

A lot of society looks down on women, women who don’t look like a 1970s Barbie doll.

These two may not be an ideal match for me, personally, I suppose- but Maddi, and [Ms.] Amethyst, from “Steven Universe” are not Barbie thin.
However, by the way these two act, these two might be very, very, fun to be around. Hm.

I’ll agree, even un-ironically. Ervina obviously has a lot of disappointment and bitterness in her past. She is, however, not dealing with it well.

I once heard of a social experiment. Two women were placed in a bar. One was a plain girl who knew all the social skills people use to be accessible and enjoyable to be around. The other was a pretty girl who either didn’t know the skills or intentionally wasn’t using them (I forget)

By the time the night as out, the plain girl was hogging all the attention.

Wow. That’s a cool experiment. I wouldn’t have thought it would totally end like that.

I wouldn’t have, either. I think Charisma and (the appearance of) self-confidence go a long way.

Being a guy, I can believe that we’re more hung up on physical appearance, but for me attractiveness is just a way of getting a foot in the door. A pretty girl will get noticed simply because my hormone-soaked brain will pick her out, but that doesn’t mean she’s at all compatible once we get past appearances.

A plain girl that’s fun to be around has stated at that second step.

“She had a good personality” is the kiss of death because few outgoing, sociable people regardless of attractiveness have a problem finding dates. :)

I mean, if I ever met a real life version of Maddi, or Amethyst, their personalities might not get along with mine, etc., etc.

wow. Your day sounds exhausting and frustrating. I hope you find the graves next time. Maybe it’ll be easier to find them if its just you there? I <3 the teen, and assume she had a long day and was out of energy and cope … but that doesn't change that helping someone else do a task just to find out that they expect you to do it entirely for them is … bleah. Frustrating. Tons of sympathy for you.

Dude, if you ever need or want cooking advice just hit me up. I love talking shop.

Let me ask you then: I’m on a budget to the point of checking price per kg first on just about everything. Cooking gas, frying pan and cooking pot available. There’s no oven and no kitchen appliances (except a manual turning toaster, and a small fridge, though for a long time there wasn’t), only basic utensils like cutting board, basic knife and friends, a few plates and bowls. I have a whisk now, but I have had to whisk egg whites with a fork. Some spices, but nothing special — if it has to be bought it had better be useful for more than one dish, so nothing too exotic. Spicy is fine within reason. Also, lazy lazy lazy, so any recipe should take little effort. Having to plan two days in advance is a pain so long preparation times are best avoided, though they trump effort. Also, prefer things that keep well, are useful as leftovers, and, of course, take little cleaning up afterward.

What sort of recipes would you come up with?

Don’t know if this will help, Doc Tari, but I have a number of ‘bulk’ recipes that I make -meaning made from items which can usually be bought in bulk and cooked up in large lots, eaten through the course of the week and/or canned or frozen for later reheating, etc. It requires only slightly more effort than cooking a meal at a time – and then of course you have several days’ worth of food (or more) available to you for when you want it.

(For the record, I don’t own a microwave, so everything I make can be reheated on the stove or in the oven – it has to be!)

Most of my easiest, least expensive require nothing complicated, and are based on chicken because chicken is cheap. I also tend to stick to kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning a lot of the time. If I’m feeling fancy I MIGHT also use a little bacon in my stew, for example. If this is of interest to you, let me know (or if anyone else is interested) and I’ll toss up my chicken and rice and beans recipe or my chicken stew recipe.

(I also cook a lot in general, but these are dishes which fit the bill as mentioned above!)

I tend to cook for four (or more, given all the greens for filling) normal portions, then freeze at least half, and eat the rest over the next four or five days. That’s about when it really starts to pall and I need something different. I probably should change the logistics, freeze more and in smaller portions. This of course ruthlessly abuses the fact I live alone; really can’t do this even in a household of two. I more or less have to; cooking small meals isn’t fun.

It does mean the food usually is some sort of meaty-greeny sauce over rice or pasta. And for some reason, chicken isn’t that cheap here, even though there are literally millions of chickens fairly close by. Ground meat (beef, pork, mixed) is cheaper.

But by all means, recipes are always welcome.

The recipes I usually make are with boneless skinless chicken thighs; if that’s not affordable, it can work with pork, though it may be blander. For seasonings, like I mentioned, I tend to stick to just kosher salt and black pepper – you can always add MORE seasonings, but that’s my base.

Chicken stew with bacon: I’ll assume you’re working with at least 5 pounds (2 1/4 kg) of chicken. The bacon is optional; if you don’t use bacon, use a couple of splashes of cooking oil of your choice (or butter, or lard; basically, some kind of fat that keeps things from sticking to the bottom of your pan).

Take two or three strips of bacon and cut into small pieces (half an inch square, roughly) and cook over medium heat in the bottom of your pan or stew pot. While it’s cooking, peel dice three large onions; turn the bacon over with a fork or other utensil to make sure it’s cooked on both sides. When the bacon is done cooking, remove from pan (I put it on a paper towel to cool, usually) and add diced onions to pan/pot, stirring well once.

Take 3-4 carrots and chop them well, adding them gradually to your pot. Allow these vegetables and any others you care to add to cook in the bacon fat (or cooking fat of choice) – other vegetables I’ve used include eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, rutabaga… almost any vegetable can work, provided it either is the sort to semidissolve into sauce or is a ‘hard’ root vegetable etc. Potatoes work in this, so do turnips, etc, but I usually add potatoes last. All of them should be chopped into roughly bite-sized or slightly larger pieces. Stir them together.

Now let them simmer over medium-low heat. If the fat and cooking liquids are evaporating faster than the cooking rate, you’ll want to add a little water at this stage; a quarter-cup should be plenty. Add plenty of black pepper and cover to let it continue cooking while you cut up your chicken thighs (or breasts, or pork, or meat of choice) into bite-sized or slightly larger pieces (whatever you’re comfortable eating). Once you’re done, add them to the pot as well, and as before, stir well to mix. Once the meat is starting to cook on all sides, add potatoes if you’re going to. Cover again, and let it cook for about an hour while you have a shower, read a book, vacuum your living room, whatever.

Next comes the only tricky bit. Whichever pot or pan you’re NOT using for the contents, you’ll want to use for this part. Uncover when everything seems reasonably well-cooked and using pot holders, pour off at least half but not all of the cooking liquid in your pot, into your other pot or pan. Put the main stewpot back on the stove and let it continue to simmer (lid back on). UNder the pot with the liquid you’ve just poured, you turn the heat on to roughly medium heat; add flour or cornstarch by the tablespoon, using your whisk or even a spoon or spatula or whatever to stir it in and dissolve it until the liquid thickens substantially. This can take a little while, and my experience is you’ll always have to add more flour/cornstarch than you thought you would need; I’d keep a measuring cup with a generous amount handy and spoon it in periodically.

Once this has thickened to a really thick gravy, add a little salt to it (a pinch or two), stir it in, then uncover your stew and pour this into the stewpot. Stir well, let simmer another 20 minutes, and eat whenever you want. It makes a tasty rich stew, very filling and satisfying, and a pot lasts two of us close to a week for dinners. If you used bacon, chop it up and sprinkle on top, or just chop and add to the pot while everything else is cooking so you don’t have to keep track of it – I’ve done it both ways, and bacon means not having to add as much salt or other seasoning.

5+ lb chicken thighs (or other meat of choice)
3 large onions, diced
4-5 medium to large carrots, chopped
3 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
3-4 rutabaga, potatoes, other dense root vegetables, chopped
1/4 cup water (as needed)
black pepper and kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup flour or cornstarch (as needed)

Other notes: if you use tomatoes or other less dense vegetables, you shouldn’t need to add any water, but may need more flour or cornstarch to thicken it up. The amount of thickener needed is proportionate to the amount of liquid produced in cooking.

Quite the write-up, but looks simple enough. Thank you kindly.

Any particular reason why it has to be at least 2.5kg chicken?

Doesn’t have to be, it’s just a question of portions and proportions. I make large quantities at once so I can freeze half in suitable portion sizes while eating the other half for a few days; then if I’m really together and thinking ahead, I make something else large and do the same, and so on. By the time I’m sick of everything I know I can make and half come out tastily, it’s time to scrounge a bulk pizza deal. :D

Then once the pizza’s all gone, I’ve got a few weeks of meals ready to heat and eat in the freezer and I don’t have to think too hard for a while. This is of course in a perfect world. The reality is I manage to make a bulk meal once every other week and we eat it until it’s gone or only a little gets frozen, and so on, and so forth. But the idea is sound; it’s just my being swamped with school and work right now that makes me not pull it all together.

If you decide you want to make a smaller amount at a time, just remember to scale your other ingredients down a little as well, etc. I can probably work out conversions for you if you tell me about what amount you’re likely to want to make (in terms of the bulk protein ingredient, eg. pork or chicken or whatever) at a time.

I guess I’m just an old fart. But I homeschooled my kids, and both my parents were public school teachers (my father was a primary school administrator for most of his career). The Teen should be glad she doesn’t have someone like me to help her with school projects, because after driving to the cemetery, we wouldn’t have gotten out of the car until she had found out exactly where we were going. She was the one who was supposed to be earning those 25 extra credits, not you. I’d do everything in my power to facilitate the project, but I’d still make her do the work if she’s going to get the reward.

And maybe you can get ice cream for “participating”, but “sprinkles are for winners.” ;)

If she had had someone who understands how to teach, she’d gotten the 25 points, and if smart, say from experience, with no sweat because she knew what was coming, and she’d gotten prepared well in advance. So I say this isn’t merely a missed 25 points, but also a missed opportunity to teach how it’s done. Though of course these shambles are available for learning from.

The “oh let’s try to not eat out” is a similar missed opportunity: Could turn it into “let’s learn how to cook”, a valuable skill no matter your later plans in life. It gives you full control over your intake, for example, even if you never count a calorie that’s already a great help.

I’ve shown her how to do simple research many times over the last few years. She chooses not to do it because she doesn’t want to. Every time I have tried to teach her just about anything she sticks her face into her goddamn phone. She didn’t care about the fucking points, she just wanted an excuse to get me to buy her ice cream.

And don’t you even fucking start with me over the cooking. She’s already a good cook. She just doesn’t want to AND she hates everything that is even close to good for you. If I wanted to live on cupcakes and bacon we’d be golden!

Missed opportunity my ass.

First of all, I’m not trying to get your dander up. These are things I learned from experience (and “experience is the best teacher. If you can use someone else’s, the tuition is less.”) Second, she’s a teenager: being lazy and narcissistic is part of the job description. However, she’s old enough to understand about actions having consequences. From what you’ve shared, she just doesn’t seem to have made the connection, yet, between lack of effort and failure to accomplish. Not a problem; it’s part of growing up. As her surrogate parent, that means it’s up to you to help her make the transition. That also means that you may have to stand idly by and watch her fail a few times instead of stepping in to do her work. As @Chris the Human said, she’s taking advantage of you, and you aren’t always going to be able to be there. Then help her understand what she could have done differently in order to be successful. One of my boys didn’t catch on until he was in his twenties.

This is one of the hardest things for parents to do, and many are unable to do it. It’s one of the reasons we’re raising a large generation of adult children. But that’s another soapbox.

Jackie, I feel your pain, having dealt with that attitude one time too many lately from some of my fellow students (adult learner, as they call it, back in college after many years away). The only difference is they have even less excuse than the Teen, typically being in their twenties!

Sounds like it’s time for her to lose phone privileges until she starts stepping up to the plate, though.

She’s looking for a lady type :O

Thank you, that was also the read I was getting on her actions. In fact, these last couple pages make it seem like she’s got a crush on Alex.

Yep, I’ve literally said this to people before myself. It’d be so much SIMPLER if I wanted to be with the opposite sex, as they seem to be quite happy to be with me. >___<

Maybe I’m only noticing it because I’m artist too, but are the thin lines in the last panel deliberate or did you just forget to thicken them? It’s an interest look.

I was having a lot of troubles with Manga Studio that day and just went with it since it didn’t look too horrible. I eventually figured out my problem, but once I did there was no going back.

I guess Evrina isn’t going to go for the low-hanging fruit. Neil would be easy to dominate; a John Doormat her personality could dominate and subsume. I think Neil already has PTSD from hanging around with her.

@Crave —

I don’t suppose The Teen was looking for the graves of the Sullivan Brothers, was she? A lot of sets of brothers lost their lives in many conflicts, but they kind of stick in my mind.

Morse was their name actually. Norman Roi Morse was one of them. You can find the other if you know one. I keep forgetting the other brother’s name.

If I had read your blog a little more carefully, the words Pearl Harbor would have jumped out at me. The Morse Brothers, from Lamar, Colorado, served and died aboard the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Their graves are here (25 points for me). The five Sullivan Brothers, from Waterloo, Iowa, died serving on the USS Juneau in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal almost a year later.

There’s a very nicely done story about the Morse Brothers here: Occupy History, Pearl Harbor Edition.

This doesn’t give you a map of [where] in a cemetery, the tombstone is, however, here is a Norman Roi Morse, on www [dot] findagrave. [dot] com :


I think that findagrave can be helpful to find a grave, if you have a person’s name, + an idea of where they passed on/what their home town is.
[ Just a side note- I like history, + the bios of famous people on findagrave, ergo, my interest in the findagrave site].

And if I had taken the time to read Perfesser Bear’s comments, I would’ve seen that he already had posted the FA grave website. Arg. Sorry, FB. I’ll wake up sometime today. ;D

Actually, I entered the listing for Norman Roi Morse’s brother, Francis Jerome, but they’re buried side-by-side under the same head stone. And if you read my second comment, you’d see you’re not the only one asleep at the wheel, today.

Jackie, if you are in charge of her, don’t be afraid to take her damned phone away from her. I’d ground her from her phone and lock it up for at the very least a week and at the most a month for that. regardless if the task was actually assigned to her or not, she shouldn’t have left the effort to you. taking away that which she loves most can be a good way to get her to learn and understand consequences. As far as food goes make a set list of meals you have in the house and instead of letting her talk you into take out giver her a choice out of the list to cook. if she refuses, choose the meal yourself and make it. And either she eats it or she goes to bed hungry.

Thats how my parents raised me and how they were raised by their their parents. all age group means is that you may have to get a little more creative with the punishments.

I was that much of a dumb kid not too long ago. It’s not inconceivable that it will be grown out of. I realized how spoiled I was acting, but I can’t speak for everyone.

Never do a child’s work for them (she won’t be an adult until she’s between 19 to 22). Only show them where to find the answer.

If they already know where to find the answer but refuse to try, let them flounder and fail. Then point out that had they tried, they’d have gotten the thing.

Wow, if the Teen reads the comments she would seize her phone in two death grips and curl into a protective ball around it!

Everything worth saying about the comic itself has already been said.

So thanks for the content Jackie. :)

I think I would have told the teen to see if the friend she’d been texting with the whole time would buy her ice cream, since that person seems to be the most important person in the world to her.

Texting is a wonderful communication tool. Too bad it’s turned into a reason for people to be rude to others actually in their presence.

“So I asked my father, who was nearby and often attends funerals, if he was familiar with he location” is most favoritest sentence I’ve read it ages.

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