Monthly Archives: January 2009

Lie to Me

Last week I was disappointed I missed the premiere of Lie to Me, but I caught the second episode last night and I’m going to be an avid watcher. Not because I’m thrilled about the characters or the plotting; it wasn’t much better than the first few episodes of Shark and similarly has a younger, weaker supporting cast orbiting a seasoned character actor. I will watch because reading body language is one of my favorite hobbies. They have a character on the show they call a ‘natural,’ as in someone who hasn’t read about what the gestures mean, they instinctively know. I haven’t cracked open a textbook on the subject either. I would say I sense the way people feel without thinking about it, and being someone acutely interested in knowing when I’m right, have spent a lifetime honing my skills at analyzing people on the outside to see if what I’m sensing matches the truth. Don’t confuse empathy with sympathy; just because I know what you’re feeling doesn’t mean I sympathize or agree with it. I’m not very sympathetic by nature and probably don’t. But I like to know and I like truth, and people lie all the time. They don’t just lie, they also reserve, more often than not they simply hold things back. Trust in actions not in words, from the grandest gesture to the smallest dart of the eye.

My friend Scott Alan is also a big proponent of body language reading for fun. We once spent a fantastic evening at a restaurant watching the table next to us and trading observations. I got the sensation of attraction and I knew it was neither coming from me or related to me; it took a look around the room to narrow it down to the interplay between our waiter and two women nearby. After I picked up on it unconsciously, it was easy enough to read the supporting signals. The waiter made more stops at their table than ours. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but one of the women’s eyes would shine when he came over, they widened, and her laugh became higher pitched and silvery. Of course the payoff was the ultimate reward for bothering to keep track of all of this; during one of the waiter’s brief absences, the young lady adjusted her neckline so it plunged and revealed her best advantages. The effect of this was like dangling a piece of fluff in front of a cat, our waiter was like a man transfixed, and there were no more drink refills for us that night.

It’s actually not that great all the time knowing exactly what people think of you. And if they way they treat you on the outside doesn’t match the telltale signs, others may think you are being paranoid, and you may even end up doubting yourself. But when it comes to reading strangers, nothing beats an afternoon at the mall making mental notes about whether or not that guy is into his girlfriend or that woman is suffering from self-confidence issues. OK so that might make the course of events during an episode of the show a little predictable for someone like me. But then again, if I didn’t enjoy predicting what someone will do next and what they’re really thinking, I wouldn’t identify with the show to begin with.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

27 Things

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 27 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 27 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 27 random things, tag 27 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I chose to do the 27 things post sent by Jason instead of the 25 sent by Tom because Tom complained that 25 was a lot.
2. I lurk Fandom!Secrets because people revealing how much they obsess over fictional characters is hysterically funny to me.
3. My Seattle co-workers and I were close enough to talk about a lot of things that were not SFW. They know me as an expert on pervy internet subcultures, even though I myself am a part of none of them.
4. I used to own a ferret specifically because I wanted a pet that would sit on my shoulder. I was disappointed when he wouldn’t learn to stay up there.
5. At age 14 I was as obsessed with the Young Riders as any internet fan might be today, but I’m relieved that there was no internet and my childlike gushing was confined to spiral notebooks.
6. I’ve done extensive research on Lewis Carroll, visited Oxford and the vacation home in Wales, and read his diaries.
7. My first crush was at age 4 – the Professor on Gilligan’s Island. I remain an admirer.
8. One of my later crushes was Gary Owens. Yes, the voice of Space Ghost. With moustache.
9. I have never considered dating anyone younger than me. At least one year is a requirment, and frankly the larger the age gap the better.
10. I played baritone horn in high school until my senior year, when I finally got the courage to tell my parents that I’d hated band for years.
11. I got a ‘Most Talented’ nomination when I graduated from high school, which surprised me, because I didn’t think anyone at school had noticed I was an artist.
12. I once lost the regional level of an art competition to the judges’ granddaughter, whose piece was disqualified from going to state because the rules didn’t allow photocopied money pasted into the artwork. Actually nothing was supposed to be pasted on in the first place.
13. I was born in Beaumont, moved to Houston, moved to Beaumont, moved to Bellingham, moved to Beaumont, moved to Atlanta, moved to Savannah, summered in Orlando, moved to Atlanta, moved to Beaumont, moved to Seattle, then moved to Orlando.
14. My parents are selling their Beaumont house and moving to Orlando, so I will most definitely not be housing again in Beaumont.
15. I helped run a business for two years which had office space and employees on the payroll. I let my partner buy me out when I just couldn’t afford the struggle anymore.
16. My favorite game is observing strangers and making deductions about them. Extended observations shows I have a high accuracy rate.
17. If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing, it would be to avoid sugar and flour, avoiding years of pre-diabetic weight gain and fainting spells.
18. Despite distance, I will be a lifetime member of Cartoonists Northwest, and have an unusual number of acquaintances working in professional comics, from a DC Batman editor to newspaper comics writes to independents who actually do make a living at it.
19. My year working as an animator on Cartoon Network bumpers created relationships with animators that I still keep up with. I meet up with them whenever I get the chance, even though they are now all over the country.
20. I’m positive I’m married to one of the most talented artists alive. I take it for granted that every brushstroke will be genius.
21. I will karaoke on the slightest excuse, and when Jason told me he was developing an emergency karaoke list, I was very encouraging.
22. I left Georgia Tech because the pressures of Calculus III were giving me a nervous breakdown.
23. I’m writing a graphic novel about my grandfather that I think may be slightly explosive if published.
24. I think part of the fun of being a Republican is how much it ticks everybody off.
25. I watch Blade Runner at least once a year. I’ve seen it at least 30 times and regularly quote it.
26. I’ve gotten the short end of things so many times that I have little sympathy for whiny pity parties. Pick it up and try again.
27. When I would tell my father my thoughts about something, he would say, “Yeah, but is that real, or just feelings?” I live my life by that philosophy.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

Webcomic Archive Up Again!

If you saw my site right now you’d be wondering WHAT is GOING ON?? The layout is completely different and of all things, the complete archive of Scooter and Ferret strips is now up, including all the way through that end period when it went under the name of Ask Maridee. It’s all part of the preparations for the rebirth of the strip under the old name, continued not as if nothing has happened, but as if it took a fresh breath of air and put the wheels back in motion. In anticipation of that, I’ve been applying the Comicpress WordPress theme to the site and I’m no CSS whiz. Therefore the application of the new theme is taking me several nights of work. I’m in Savannah at the moment too, adding to the chaos preventing me from finishing my work. Sorry you might be seeing the website’s underpants, but maybe I’m making up for that by getting the archive live first. Strips that haven’t been available in years are now viewable again. Not only that but I’ve gone back and updated the MySpace page. Orlando is a new life and it’s a new world ahead. If you’re not familiar with Scooter and Ferret, now is as good a time as any to go back to the sweet and tender years of 2004-2007 and get to know Ferret, Scooter, Ed and of course, Maridee.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter