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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Friday, May 24th, 2019|
Sunday, 26 May 2019
For some irritating reason, Elly cannot let John throw anything out
despite her also wanting that something to be gone.Panel 1:
We start things out with John looking in the fridge for something to tide him over until his indigestible supper arrives.Panel 2:
Opening the freezer door horrifies him because he sees an unidentifiable black shape right on top of everything edible.Panel 3:
So intent is he on trying to determine what the black distorted mess he found is, he forgets to close the freezer door.Panel 4:
He then goes over to Elly and asks her what on Earth are the things he's holding supposed to be. She tells him "black bananas."Panel 5:
When he makes to toss the freezer-burnt mess Elly wasted away, she yells "WAIT!!!"; he then points out that they're disgusting and asks her what she's saving them for.Panel 6:
She disincentivizes eating any cake she might make in the future by saying that she's saving them for a cake she plans on making.Panel 7:
He also isn't going to drink any milk shakes she might make by saying that they're perfect for those too.Panel 8:
He hands her the banana.Panel 9:
After he saunters off to stock up on Bromo, she looks at the prize and notices something finally.Panel 10:
That 'something' is that the bananas have become a freezer-burnt mess that are only good for being composted. Since she's stupid, she tosses them in the trash.Summary:
This need to save things to the point that they go to waste and become a hindrance is not only why the big freezer is stocked with freezer-burned food that can never be eaten; it's also why there isn't enough space in the house to hold all of the used wrapping paper and bows that Elly says that she's going to use one day, honest!!!
|Thursday, May 23rd, 2019|
Saturday, 25 May 2019
We end the week with Elly setting up a stupid sight gag that reminds us that Lynn spent her life deliberately misunderstanding what Rod
is doing with his model railroad.Panel 1:
Since John doesn't do something stupid like "phone and tell Elly he'll be late", we find her serving out supper being Mrs Exposition and wondering where he is because he's not usually late for his indigestible supper and hopes that nothing is wrong.
(It should be noted that her idea of wrong is more along the lines of 'cheating on her with either another woman or with a better cook' and less 'wrapped around a telephone pole'.)Panel 2:
Liz suggests that perhaps he's been held up by a late patient while Mike says that he could be stuck in rush hour traffic.Panel 3:
As we look at John and Jasper laughing like the idiot children Lynn thinks model railroaders are because they play with toys, Mike also thinks that Dad could be held up by a real train.Summary:
Lynn really never quite understood what Rod is doing with his trains and never really wanted to. All she sees is a toy and assumes that he wants to be a stupid kid getting in her way and being as selfish and dumb as a kid.
|Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019|
Friday, 24 May 2019
We find John at a toy store being sold a lifestyle that becomes a ruinous, antisocial and ridiculous means
of avoiding family members and also making Elly's life worse somehow.Panel 1:
A while later, we find John at a hobby shop looking at a display of model trains. Having noticed the longing look in his eyes, the salesman (who I'll call Jasper Creosote) asks John if he needs help.Panel 2:
John waffles a whole heck of a lot when he tells Jasper that he's sort of thinking about maybe starting a hobby and is somewhat interested in electric trains.Panel 3:
Jasper turns into a sort of evangelist for life on the HO scale when he tells John that no sir, electric trains are not merely a hobby. John stupidly sets up the punchline by asking him what he thinks they are.Panel 4:
Jasper smiles broadly when he says that they're a way of life.Summary:
They're also a means by which Lynn can spend the next eighteen years or so mocking Rod for having a hobby that distracts him from what he's supposed to be doing (standing around looking stupid waiting for her to need him) and also diverts attention away from her by making him far more interesting than an antisocial hermit living in a bunker.
|Tuesday, May 21st, 2019|
Thursday, 23 May 2019
When one of John's other employees suggests retail therapy to improve his mood, Jean remembers that the last time he did that, he bought a stupid impractical sports car
that should never be built because it can't ferry kids, lumber and groceries and is also TOO FAST!!!!!!!!!Panel 1:
A short while later, John's receptionist (who I'll call Helen) comes in to tell him that his last patient for the day cannot make it. Jean then says that he should take off early.Panel 2:
When Jean says to take a walk through the park to cheer himself up, Helen the receptionist makes the foolish mistake of suggesting retail therapy as a miracle cure for the blues.Panel 3:
Jean is troubled by his confidently declaring this is exactly what he'll do. He'll buy himself something to cheer himself up.Panel 4:
This is because she has a memory that remembers that his last little pick-me-up was the "Hey, Ted! LOOK AT ME!!!!!" Mobile of Overcompensation.Summary:
She also remembers that John has been depicted as having a nasty habit of thinking that anything spent on making himself feel better is cleverly invested while any funds directed towards things he doesn't use much (like kitchens and such) are a pointless drain on his money. This is because we're only allowed to see Lynn's side of the argument about money that tanked her and Rod's marriage.
|Monday, May 20th, 2019|
Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Today, we have John stealing Elly's "Kindly forget all of the other times I've declared myself too old and ugly to live because this time, I mean it!!" shtick
so that he can absorb the sort of stuff he tells Elly (and also that no one in real life says ever). Panel 1:
As he holds an X-ray in his hands, John does that deer-in-a-headlights thousand yard stare thing that's usually Elly's thing as he does something else Elly does: be completely lacking in awareness about his being a pain in the ass complaining about how old he isn't. That's because he delivers her patented speech about how he didn't mind being thirty, he laughed when he turned thirty-five and thirty-nine went by without a hitch but forty appears to be a different thing all together because it's a round number.Panel 2:
Forty, you see, means that he's middle aged. He sets up the sort of taking the piss he subjects Elly to all the damned time by asking Jean to look at him.Panel 3:
She sinks to the challenge by telling him not to be so self-conscious.Panel 4:
After all, his middle hasn't aged any more than the rest of him.Summary:
Once again, we're reminded of two irritating facts. The first fact that I wish wasn't one is that Lynn doesn't like the idea of holding her tongue when she can say something demeaning and insensitive because she sees having to think of other people's feelings as being muzzled. The second thing is that John isn't going to understand this is how Elly feels all the time because that would mean that other people's feelings are somehow real even if
he can't feel them himself.
|Sunday, May 19th, 2019|
Tuesday, 21 May 2019
We remind ourselves that Lynn cannot imagine anyone not thinking that being forty means being old before one's time when John wails that since he feels young, it's cruel and unfair
that he's forty because forty means "too old to live." Panel 1:
As she puts something into an autoclave, John apologizes to Jean for being poor company because he's been feeling kind of down lately.Panel 2:
It's not Elly or the kids or the weather that's got him depressed. It's all him.Panel 3:
This is because he turned forty this year and for some reason, it really bothers him.Panel 4:
He loses the sympathy of anyone forty-one or older when he howls that he's too young to be forty.Summary:
Since all of Lynn's characters are her, their perception of aging shifts insanely once they turn twenty. Before that, they yearn to be seen as more grown than they actually are and afterwards, they end up like John and Elly do simpering about their lives being all used up and gone in their mid-thirties. Ten years from now, he's horror-struck by fifty pink flamingos on his lawn and Elly astonishes Connie by not wanting her fiftieth birthday marked because it's all either can to do not wail "YOU'RE CARVING MY TOMBSTOOOOOOONE!!!!!!!" when people remind them that they're over twenty.
|Saturday, May 18th, 2019|
Victoria Day 2019
We lurch into the "John becomes a model railroad nut" arc with John refusing to see how wonderful the world is because his soul-deadening life of sticking his hands
in people's mouths (YUCK!!!) has taken away his happiness.Panel 1:
We find ourselves at the clinic today. As John reads a patient's file, Jean looks out the window and says "Good morning, Doc! Isn't it a wonderful day today?"Panel 2:
Invoking the spectacular looking flowers that he probably should have noticed growing in front of the post office doesn't seem to get his get up and go going so we're looking at a mid-life crisis kind of thing.Panel 3:
Since everything she says tends to be answered by a trite almost-joke, Jean should know better than to ask what could be wrong with a day where the air is fresh and the birds are singing.Panel 4:
Since she's genre-blind, she's confused when Gloomy John is gloomy and tells her that what's wrong with it is that it's Monday.Summary:
This, I think, goes beyond the sort of smug ignorance that had Elly get all arch and superior about the messed-up priority of maintaining a sewage system when arts need funding more which blinds Lynn to the idea that people can find dentistry a challenge that one loves. There is also the fact that she's kind of lazy and can't understand creative types looking forward to working either.
|Friday, May 17th, 2019|
Sunday, 19 May 2019
Liz reacts to Mike's stupid, selfish prank by committing an equally stupid prank so as
to keep the cycle of revenge at full, stupid spin.Panel 1:
We start things off on a very early morning at the Patterson house with Liz in her housecoat getting ready for the day by washing up and brushing her teeth.Panel 2:
She squeezes toothpaste onto her toothbrush.Panel 3:
We find ourselves looking at Mike's ugly, stupid face smiling a mean-spirited smile because Elizabeth gurgles in discomfort owing to the presence of something on her toothbrush that's caused bubbles to come out of her mouth.Panel 4:
We do a tight zoom on Liz's face as she unhinges her jaw and yells to Elly because Mike put soap on her toothbrush.Panel 5:
He stands there making the who-me gesture when Elly delivers some sort of lecture that doesn't penetrate his thick skull.Panel 6:
Having imposed a toothless non-punishment of some sort, Elly's silhouette vanishes. Since he knows his mother too damned well, Mike laughs at Liz's expense because he got away with punishing her for asking to be born and stealing attention away from his selfish, worthless ass.Panel 7:
As Mike brushes his teeth, Liz comes up to him and says "Guess what?"Panel 8:
When she says that she used his toothbrush, he asks "Yeah....so what?" because he can't see her as someone who can or should fight back. Panel 9:
Since he's stupid on top of being bad, he doesn't understand what she means when she says that she didn't use it on her own mouth.Panel 10:
When she points to Farley and tells him that she used in on the dog, Mike goes all gobsmacked.Summary:
The problem is not just that rolling around in the mud too is no way to get clean. The problem is that nothing can ever
teach Mike "Liz didn't ask to be born either so my behaving as if she's an interloper who has to be chased away so I can be loved again means that I am
the selfish and imbecilic loser brat kid people call me when they think I can't hear them."
|Thursday, May 16th, 2019|
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Since Lynn does not realize (or want to) that bathroom scales can be adjusted, we have John decide to keep scales that underreport
his weight instead of tossing them.Panel 1:
A while later, we find ourselves in the kitchen watching Mike telling John that he should get rid of the bathroom scales because they're incorrect. This tells me that he's got Lynn's lack of understanding about how the world works because damned near everyone I know understands that a scale that's off balance can be adjusted. Panel 2:
As he reaches into the fridge, he tells John that he got weighed by the doctor today and the scales are off by five pounds. This tells me that we're looking at Lynn telling Rod to do something only for him to tell her that all she needs to do is to flip the scale over and adjust the silly thing. Panel 3:
Since showing her how to adjust it worked as well as showing her how a CD case will, John merely asks if it's five pounds too much or too little. Mike says "Lower"Panel 4:
As John drinks his coffee, he thought-bubbles that they'll keep the scales.Summary:
As I keep saying, this should
be Mike telling John to adjust the little wheel so that the scales are right but Lynn doesn't know about that whell and, when shown, goes right on not knowing because she's too stubborn to be taught things.
|Wednesday, May 15th, 2019|
Friday, 17 May 2019
We transition towards the model train arc with John having no energy and no enthusiasm
because family life has stolen his youth from him.Panel 1:
We start things off with Mike asking John if he wants to play some ball. Since he has back pain issues that both he and his creator don't really address, John says "Later, okay?"Panel 2:
We see the first example of Lynn having no real idea what a bike helmet (or, for that matter, any other sort of saefty gear) looks like when Elizabeth comes in with helmet drawn from imperfect, distorted memory and asks him if he wants to go on a bike ride with her. He says "Not now, Liz."Panel 3:
Since he would have been up for that if he weren't about to be compelled to buy a toy so that Lynn can mock Rod for an affectation she finds silly, he wonders what's the matter with him. He has no stamina, no enthusiasm and feels as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders.Panel 4:
As he looks down at the bathroom scale, he speculates that this is the reason he weighs so much.Summary:
We end the week with another joke about the bathroom scale that goes nowhere much. Next week though, we get to start calling him Train Man again.
|Monday, May 13th, 2019|
Paul Lucas did not win the Trille d'or
Paul Lucas' group Lucie D and the Immortals were nominated in the category Artist Solo or Group for a Trille d'or 2019 for their EP Les thèmes de la vie.
Best Solo Artist or Band - Jazz
The Gala was held the end of April 20 to May 2 in Ottawa!
While they did not win, they did have a House Concert Fundraiser for Lucie D & the Immortals on April 26 and Paul Lucas finally returned White Horse to play with his group. There is no indication as to whether Lynn Johnston went with him to either event. As they say, it is an honour simply to be nominated.
In honour of Lucie D & the Immortals’ nomination for the national Trille d’or award in the Jazz Album of the Year, please join them for an evening of great music and help them get to Ottawa May 2nd to walk the Red carpet for their chance to receive this prestigious national music award.
Bring your favourite beverage and join Lucie D on vocals, Andrea McColeman on keyboards and Paul Lucas on guitar for an evening of wonderful original French tunes with smooth harmonies and R & B classics that will keep you out of your seat all night long.
|Tuesday, May 14th, 2019|
Thursday, 16 May 2019
John doesn't quite get where the panic that drives Connie and Elly
to endless motion comes from. This is odd because next week, he'll be too young to be the very old age of forty.Panel 1:
We find John stuffing food into his cheeks like a damned hamster as he watches Elly reach into the hall closet. When he asks her "Aren't you having supper with us tonight?", she explains that she and Connie are going to a lecture.Panel 2:
When he points out that she went out last night, she says "That was to a fitness class."Panel 3:
She betrays a certain attitude that needs explaining when she says at their age, it's important to keep active mentally and physically. He sets up the despairing and frantic punchline by asking her where she finds the energy.Panel 4:
As she leaves, she goes all deer in the headlights on us as she says it's not energy, it's panic.Summary:
You'll have noticed that about five years or so after Gord married Manic Pixie Dream Apron Matron Tracey, the two of them aged, oh, uh, let's say twenty to twenty five years or so overnight. This is because Lynn has a pre-war understanding of the aging process. There's an oh-so-brief flowering of beauty and vigour in one's early adulthood but not too long after marriage, one could be anywhere between twenty-five and eighty and look and talk and think much the same. This means that this woman who's not even forty is looking over her shoulder to see if the Grim Fricking Reaper is about to yell "On your left!!"
|Monday, May 13th, 2019|
Wednesday, 15 May 2019
We find out why it is John ends up cowering in a toolshed today when he monopolizes the can
to read his paper in peace.Panel 1:
Now that John has finally clued in and moved to the other side of the couch, he still cannot relax because Mike and Liz are arguing about whatever pointless thing that will never matter children argue about. Having had enough, he tells them to knock it off.Panel 2:
He then unhinges his jaw and yells about how he's just come from a miserable day at the office. Panel 3:
We foreshadow that icon someone used to have that had April tell John to quit morphing into Elly when he continues channeling her; this is because he too looks as if he's pleading for his life when he asks if there's one room in the house where he can cower behind his paper instead of interacting with his family in peace and quiet.Panel 4:
A little while later, we find Elly knocking on the bathroom door asking him how long he's going to be in there. Y'see, she has to take a nice long bath in order to avoid dealing with the kids and.....Summary:
As one might guess, we're about to launch into another set piece in which John soothes the pain of having to pretend to be a mature adult by buying an ego-gratifying toy. That's because he was screaming like this just before he bought the HeylookitMETedMobile of Overcompensation. All we need now is for him to be at the office mooing about how his life is zipping by too fast and how he wants very much to be a (selfish and shortsighted) child again.
|Sunday, May 12th, 2019|
Tuesday, 14 May 2019
John makes the same mistake Elly does and tries to argue Farley into not flopping down where
he's used to flopping down. It doesn't go so well because dogs don't understand what legal title to something is.Panel 1:
John gets to irritate two
people for the price of one in the opening phases of his futile rant. Me because he thinks that he can deflect Farley from flopping down on the couch by explaining something to him and aprilp_katje
by referring to him as "Farl". Panel 2:
Any competent dog trainer (or, for that matter, anyone with the functioning brain John ain't got) would be able to tell him that Farley only looks as if he's following along with what John is saying when he says "I own this couch and I got here first. If I'm sitting in your spot, that's too darned bad"; what's actually happening is Farley has an instinctive drive to stare at something making hostile-sounding noises to see if it's a threat.Panel 3:
John continues to not understand that Farley can't make generalizations or understand English when he says "I'm not moving so you'll have to compromise."Panel 4:
Since that couldn't possibly have worked, Farley proves it by flopping down on the obstacle that's on the warm spot. Since John sucks at understanding dogs, this pisses him off.Summary:
We have just seen another reminder of why it was stupid for John to make the statement that owning a dog would teach Mike responsibility. We're about to see why when John gets all screechy about having his privacy violated after another miserable day of having to deal with people he can't bully into submission.
|Saturday, May 11th, 2019|
Monday, 13 May 2019
We begin a zits-and-vacuuming arc about Farley with John realizing that he's sitting where Farley
usually flops down when he ain't home.Panel 1:
We start things off with John reading the paper and Farley staring at him awkwardly.Panel 2:
Farley escalates to nudging John's misshapen, sock-clad hoof with his muzzle.Panel 3:
Farley stares at John even more awkwardly than he did beforehand.Panel 4:
John replies by asking Farley "I suppose this is your end of the couch."Summary:
Since all of Lynn's characters are her, they know nothing at all about dogs and assume that they can talk them out of being dogs. We'll get more of that tomorrow.
|Friday, May 10th, 2019|
Mother's Day 2019
We celebrate Mother's Day by watching the end result of John ordering Mike and Liz
to do something nice for Elly "for once". Panel 1:
We start things off with Michael trimming the hedges. Since it's Mother's Day, we've been programmed to expect his and Elizabeth's standing around slack-jawed because Elly will not pay them to do what they owe their parents.Panel 2:
We zoom out to see that Liz is standing behind him putting the clippings so they can be composted.Panel 3:
Next, we have them team up to do the mowing. As he mows the grass, she follows along with a big basket so as to put the clippings in to take to the compost pile.Panel 4:
Liz rakes the clippings together.Panel 5:
Having gathered them together in a basket, she dumps them onto the compost heap as Mike and Connie look on.Panel 6:
Connie praises them for the nice job they're doing cleaning up.Panel 7:
Liz sets up the punchline by stating that they're making the house look nice because it's
Mother's Day.Panel 8:
Connie makes her contribution to the group effort to paint children as unappreciative burdens by saying what a lovely idea that is.Panel 9:
When Connie is made mildly amused by Mike telling her it was John's idea, I am less surprised by this than I am by the form slamming children for not doing enough took. Usually, they want money for doing what they owe their parents for allowing them to live under their roof. This time, they got browbeaten into behaving. Summary:
Happy Martyr's Day, everyone. Prepare for a Lynn's Comments that is either self-satisfied boasting about how the shoe is on the other foot or whinging about how nothing anything anyone can do will ever be good enough.
|Thursday, May 9th, 2019|
Saturday, 11 May 2019
We end the arc with a reminder that like her children, Elly was actually in love with the idea of being in love. Also, she doesn't handle rejection by someone who never liked her
at all at all well.Panel 1:
We set up awkwardly constructed glurge about young love with an image of 1965 Elly looking on in horror in the background as Colin and two other boys laugh themselves sick at the awkwardly constructed glurge she mistook for a passionate admission of love. Present Day Elly explains that Colin never returned her affections. What's more, he and his friends would laugh at her love notes.Panel 2:
We see her prove Marian right about being a spoiled brat when she sticks her tongue out at what's probably his yearbook photo. She proves the rest of us right about her not having the blindest idea of what love actually is when she narrates "After a while, the crush disappeared and I'd wondered why I'd ever been so crazy about him."Panel 3:
Now that they've wasted lunch listening to her natter away about a doomed crush on a boy who she stood no chance with, we see Connie putting a tip on the table as Elly explains that it amazes her that love can consume you so quickly and then go away as if it never happened; it's kind of like a sickness. Connie delivers the moral by starting to agree with that.Panel 4:
She then says that you never build up an immunity. Oddly enough, this is the only thing that's in character with the Connie of the early eighties owing to her own storied history as a desperate, fickle nitwit tossing herself at men who just weren't in to her. Summary:
Given that Mike was always hampered by the belief going in to a relationship that the person in question was laughing at him behind his back, it seems as if Lynn believes in genetic memory. Also, Elly's original belief is that what Mike is experiencing now won't last; this changes after she gets pregnant and mistakes "having to meet his parents just to be polite" with "being trapped by a schemer."
|Wednesday, May 8th, 2019|
Friday, 10 May 2019
We come to the home stretch of the arc with Elly's sitcom blundering presenting an obstacle to her doomed pursuit of Colin
because her bad dye job was not colour fast.Panel 1:
We start with a visual of Teenage Elly holding The Big Awkward Sheaf Of Loose Paper that Lynn uses to indicate that someone is a student ignorning someone with a poodle cut asking her what that red stuff on her ears is as Elly tells Connie that although it wasn't really the case, she'd convinced herself that she'd dyed her hair a vibrant red. (The reason why Elly is smiling is that she'd also conned herself into thinking that one good look at her as a red-head would make Colin forget all about the future Mrs Winch.)Panel 2:
We watch 1965 Elly zip down the street with a goofy smile on her face as 1990 Elly says that she felt sensuous and alluring and couldn't wait to meet the love of her life on his paper route.Panel 3:
When Connie asks her if he ever noticed her hair, Elly says "Eventually."Panel 4:
We get a visual image of his baffled reaction to her standing there looking horrified as the food colouring washes out of her hair and onto her clothes as the rain pours down. Present-Day explains "It rained."
I can readily understand his confusion because rain has turned the moderately cute girl who isn't really interested in him (because he's no idiot, no sir, so he'd notice if she was) has morphed into an idiot housewife in her very late thirties spending another day with her face frozen in horror because yet again, her children did something they're not supposed to do and moved around under their own power when she stopped looking at them. Summary:
Hmmm. One would think that he would tend to not take a blundering sitcom joke character like Elly Richards seriously as a love interest if this is her idea of attracting his attention. One would be as right to do so as he is to spurn the advances of a nitwit who's in love with a sensation. Tomorrow, she tells us that she made him up.
|Tuesday, May 7th, 2019|
Thursday, 9 May 2019
There's a hidden subtext to today's flashback to why Elly dyed her hair Wilma Flintstone red in order to appeal
to Colin like a sitcom idiot girl: the girlfriend who didn't "really" love Colin as much as she did was probably a natural redhead.Panel 1:
We accompany an image of Teenage Elly bowing her head down over the sink and pouring the contents of a measuring cup over her hair with Present Day Elly saying that a teenager in love does some bizarre things. As by way of example, she remembers that she wanted Colin to notice her so badly, she decided to dye her hair.Panel 2:
When Connie asks her if she used a rinse, Elly says that she used food coloring. This, I think, was to avoid the inevitable "you can wear makeup when you're older and I'm dead" speech women of Marian's generation made when children decided for some silly reason that's a boy they'll forget a week later that they HAD to wear makeup. Panel 3:
As we look at Teenage Elly admire the results of her dying her hair what would have to be even darker, Present Day tells Connie that she poured red food dye over her scalp until she was convinced that it was a perfect shade of henna. Since Elly's memory makes everything pale violet, we don't actually know what happened but I don't think that she thought things through. Panel 4:
When Connie asks if that actually worked, Elly says "Let's just say I was a red head."Summary:
What Elly left out is slightly more important than what she left in.....namely, why she was trying to get Colin to notice her. My guess is that the reason that he didn't notice her is that he was in a relationship with a natural red-head and Elly thought that by changing herself, he'd see her the way she saw him. Being an impostor to catch a man might work in the shortest term but over the long run, no one likes living with an actress.