As I would soon learn myself, cleaning up what a parent leaves behind stirs up dust, both literal and metaphorical. It dredges up memories. You feel like you’re a kid again, poking around in your parents’ closet, only this time there’s no chance of getting in trouble, so you don’t have to be so sure that everything gets put back exactly where it was before you did your poking around. Still, you hope to find something, or maybe you fear finding something, that will completely change your conception of the parent you thought you knew.
It's really easy to be patient and sympathetic with someone when it's theoretical, or only for a little while. It's a lot harder to deal with someone's craziness when it's constant. . . .
Even if you don't have any dishes, you need a celery dish.
I love detail, like drawing what's on top of someone's coffee table. Maybe there's a little bowl of butterscotch candies on it, next to the four TV remotes.
I can't even look at daily comic strips. And I hate sitcoms because they don't seem like real people to me: they're props that often say horrible things to each other, which I don't find funny. I have to feel like they're real people.
Grime is not like messiness or some fingerprints on a cabinet; it takes a long time to accumulate.
My parents were born in 1912; they graduated from college into the Depression. They kept notebooks of every nickel they spent, and these habits of frugality from having grown up so poor never left them.
I like being able to go grocery shopping and not feel that I'm fighting a thousand people.
I sometimes suffer from insomnia. And when I can't fall asleep, I play what I call the alphabet game.
I've always wanted to learn how to hook rugs. A wonderful artist named Leslie Giuliani taught me how. The nice thing is you can change it as you go along.
I've done a lot of death cartoons - tombstones, Grim Reaper, illness, obituaries... I'm not great at analyzing things, but my guess is that maybe the only relief from the terror of being alive is jokes.
I have an African gray parrot; her name is Eli. We thought she was a boy. And a blue-streaked lory named Marco. He's 10. And a yellow and green parakeet, Petey. He's very cute, but he's getting old.
There's something about most phobias where there's a tiny, tiny corner where you think this really actually could happen.
I think I have a habit of, in my head, taking notes on whatever, you know, whether they're verbal or pictorial or just making a note of things as they're happening.
My works were not - and they still aren't - single panel gags with a punch line underneath them. I like a lot of those cartoons; I just don't draw them.
One way of paying tribute to my parents was 'bearing witness' as the Quakers do - writing down everything that was happening instead of turning my back on it and pretending that it was all great.
I think when your parents die, it is kind of like a moving sidewalk: you're not just on the sideline and watching them go by. You know, you're going to the same place they are.
My parents scrimped and saved all their lives, to the point where my mother used a disgusting old oven mitt that was stained and partly patched together with a skirt I made in seventh grade.