pssssst! brainfag is retired! i'm now at


Another Christmas Survived

posted in Home Jabber on December 30, 2006

Standing in the mound of tattered, festive wrapping paper scraps, beaten down with gleaming new shoes, I belch out "BAH HUMBUG" and emit a redgreen cloud of hot buttered rum breath. Followed by a huge sigh. We've decided not to participate in the madness next year. Silly silly christmas consumption. All in the name of..? Jesus? It's just too weird.

aaron beaty

I always have fun with my mom's extended family in Kirkland, however, and I've uploaded a set slew of photos from the night to flickr. My family is full of characters, and once crammed into my godmothers tiny house (decorated wall to wall to kitchen fridge to bathroom sink to full bar with an unbelievable array of various representations of the almighty chicken), and sauced to a comfortable simmering level where we all can laugh at life and each other, it's a damn good time each year. Especially when I can drink with everyone else -- that helps. As a kid I didn't quite understand the excitement, and was first frustrated and anxious to get to the gift exchange, then frustrated and bored with the never-very-cool toy I was given for the rest of the night, waiting for the drunken elders to grow tired.

black man on bus

Portland has finally gone into the freezing phase of winter (albeit a mild form of freezing, probably nothing to my east coast friends) and the chill has put an ice casing on my aforementioned gloom. Whatever that means. Last night I think I realized a large portion of my malaise is the lack of comics in my life right now... I need to get my butt drawing. So expect to see some comics soon. Especially with Taskmaster Longstreth coming into town!


Funny, getting an illustration job with McSweeney's seemed to kickstart my guilt about not having ANY McSweeney's publications except the all-comics anthology. Including xmas gifts and my own purchases, I've recently acquired You Shall Know Our Velocity, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (such a great title, and a great book so far, about 1/3 way through it), What is the What, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006, AND the comp copy of McSweeney's 21. At my recent reading rate, it'll take me approximately six years to get through all of these.

4 comments on this entry

Congrats on working with McSweeney's, Nate. Heartbreaking Work was such a wonderful book. And... Happy New Year!


Yes, major coup! Your beautiful brushwork deserves a wider audience. So howsabout getting coffee some time and... I won't say the hated rhyme... draw 'n guffaw? Design 'n whine? Illustrate 'n berate?

Sarah 12/31/06

Hi Nate,
Finally went to your website. Loved your comments about the Christmas Eve party; I remember being a kid and the anticipation of opening the presents. We had it much worse though, the parties used to last half way through the night; no one seemed to care abut DUIs then. I enjoyed the pictures esp. since I wasn't in any of them. I will show Mom (Aunt Jane) the sight, she will get a kick out of it.
Not a comment but can you send me your address. Mom wants to send you a card and present. She feels bad that she forgot to give you something on Christmas Eve. I've tried to call your mom but she must be busy.
I hope you keep coming up Christmas even if you don't observe the holiday.
2nd cousin Beth

Beth Belts 1/3/07

@ray: thanks and same to ya!

@sarah: draw 'n guffaw -- great! Design 'n whine -- yes! Illustrate 'n berate -- i'm there! all fine alternatives to the hated rhyme indeed. i haven't had much time to draw lately, tho. getting backed up on work, unfortunately. but keep harassing me and it'll happen soon enough, i swear.

@beth: congrats, another family member finds brainfag! just got the card from aunt jane today, so i assume y'all rang up my mom. expect a return card soon.... much love, nate.

Nate 1/9/07

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