Image: Vegetables for Soup, from
August 1996


Kurzgeschichte, Petite Histoires, Cuentos

When the "Daily Yomiyuri" in Tokyo ran a piece about this site, Masami Kikuchi, a fan of the site, volunteered to translate it into Japanese, noting that animation is very popular there. The Japanese version of the site has to be viewed through the Shodouka Launch Pad translator, since most English-language browsers won't support kanji. Copy this address, and then paste it into the translator form:

That done, I figured it would be just as easy to translate the site into German, French, and Spanish, three languages I speak, in descending order of competence. A few co-workers helped me buff up my verb endings.

This site has always had a big following overseas, perhaps because people outside the U.S. read more. Americans, even the bright ones, would really just rather flop on the couch and watch "Bob Newhart" reruns. I know - I'm one of them. If I had cable TV, I'd never write another story.

So far, as you'll notice, only the cartoon captions and site directions have been translated. Any fans who would like to translate a story in its entirety, or who would like to translate the captions and site directions into another language - Norwegian ? Welsh? - will be welcomed with open arms, and with a free poster if you want one.

Scary Publicity About This Site

Late in July, I was interviewed by People magazine for their Bytes section, an all-around very scary experience. Three weeks from now, I'll be being looked at by everybody, everywhere; four weeks from now, I'll be in recycling piles nationwide. (Two years from now, however, I'll still be in some dentists' waiting rooms.)

The interview part wasn't too bad: the reporter, Samantha Miller, was woman about my age. We just went out and had a pizza and put the recorder between us. Like most ambitious artists, I've been collecting clever things to say in interviews for years, now, and I've not yet done enough interviews to use them all up.

The photo shoot part was much scarier. I had to go out and buy makeup, to which I am violently allergic. I bought a copy of the magazine and tried to get a sense of how they set up shots, then figured out what kind of similar shots I could do that would feature the cartoons. I called up my ex-boyfriend to see what he thought I should wear. I practiced smiles and discovered that some made me look okay, and some made me look like Milton Berle. I practiced the ones that made me look okay a little more.

At around 10:30 on a Saturday morning, the photo crew showed up at my house. They enjoyed walking up all five flights of stairs with their heavy photographic equipment. I was terrified. I put on my favorite Suede records for comfort. The photographer, a nice guy named Roger who also works for Vogue, had me standing up against the wall in front of cartoons, lying on the floor on top of cartoons, propped up on a pillow pretending to draw cartoons. The last one was the hardest: I was supposed to keep my chin up, my eyes down, pretend to draw a picture and smile a non-Berle smile. I'm sure I looked like a complete goofball.

Ultimatley, they took ten rolls of film of me. There must be a good shot in there somewhere, and I hope they find it. The story should in late August or early September.