February 21 – March 5, 2011

It seems no one has any faith in me.  “Oh,” you cry, “she is teasing us again with a hint of Caseyness, but now she will pull away and go off to cover a DEF election, leaving us desolate once more.  Woe!  Woe is us!”  Do you really think I’m that evil?  Okay, I did it two weeks ago, but do you?  Alack the day.  We shall have to see what happens on Wednesday, shan’t we?

40 thoughts on “February 21 – March 5, 2011

  1. It may have been more of an expression of my frustration two weeks ago, but I don’t know… I wouldn’t put it beyond you. I’d love to use “alack” somewhere now, but I’d only make a fool of myself.

  2. Oh, Jen K., Jen K., Jen K. You realise I have only four panels per comic to work with, right? It takes TIME to deal with these things. Believe me, Plot Progression is Happening; it’s just hard to see at the moment.

    I know you all wanted it to be Casey on the phone, but it IS his phone. Why would he call his own phone and not, just for instance, Marie’s? There are, on the other hand, OTHER people who might call Casey’s phone. Marie is currently speaking to the boyfriend of one of them.

  3. I believe you are that evil. I’m sure I could find supporting evidence, but I really should try accomplish some work today.

  4. The obvious candidate for the identity of the woman owning the phone on the other side would be Ursula. Or, perhaps, Casey’s mom?

    Surely Casey’s contact list should be interesting!

  5. Stefan is right. Why didn’t Marie ever look through his contact list and tried to call his mom or whomever to find out more abour him – or at least tell them that he’s missing? But probably Casey doesn’t use the contact list on his phnoe and always empties the list of dialled numbers …

    A question from a non-native speaker: Casey can be a boy’s and a girl’s name, right?

    Kari: Of course you have only four panels, but mostly you spend them on Baldwin or other less interesting characters.

  6. All your questions WILL BE ANSWERED. I promise. I HAVE thought about the contact list. Again: four panels.

    Yes, Casey is an androgynous name, famously so to many Canadians because of the children’s show Mr. Dressup. That show featured two puppets, a little kid and a dog, named Casey and Finnegan (yes, Casey Mulligan does owe something to these characters). Casey could have been either a boy or a girl. Eventually, Casey and Finnegan’s puppeteer retired, and Casey and Finnegan were “sent to kindergarten.”

    I am sorry you find Baldwin and co. less interesting. However, the Casey story does have to progress at a very particular pace. I can’t deal with it constantly, much as I myself might like to. If I did, the strip would consist of nothing but panel after panel of Marie sitting around going, “I wonder where Casey is now.” Even Baldwin is more interesting than that.

  7. Curse you, roughly-real-time comic!

    Actually, I find Baldwin quite interesting too. Entertaining, at least. And Rahim. Can we have more Rahim?

  8. I am fond of Rahim, so don’t worry. I don’t think he’s capable of keeping his mouth shut about Casey. You’ll also note that he is in Marie’s apartment right now, so technically speaking, you ARE getting “more Rahim.”

  9. That’s quite a last name. It’s almost as bad as mine would be if my mom had failed to convince my dad not to name me “Chris”.

  10. mr_interpreter: the problem is that technically speaking, the “current story arc” has been running since August of 2007. Brief summary: Casey, a character you will not have met properly if you are a n00b, has a mysterious annual meeting in Tim Hortons, a Canadian doughnut shop, with someone named Ursula, who always wears a green jacket. He brings Marie along to these meetings but doesn’t explain what they’re about, and all that happens at them is that Casey and Ursula greet each other and remark, “Four down” (or five down…or six down…or you get the idea). Marie gradually figures out that they’re counting towards something, but she doesn’t know what. In the summer of 2010, Casey and Ursula hit “Seven down.” Ursula takes off her jacket and gives it to Casey, remarks that he is about to lose something, and wanders off. Casey hugs Marie and ALSO wanders off. He has not been seen since.

    Marie has been trying to figure out what has happened to him, but she hasn’t had many clues. He clearly knew something was up, as not long before he vanished, he arranged for someone else (Baldwin) to rent his apartment. The police believe Casey has simply run away from his old life, and they aren’t really looking for him. At Christmas, someone claiming to be an old friend of Casey’s, Nico, turns up and tells Marie that if she wants to see Casey again, she needs to return what he has lost. HE then vanishes as well. Marie is getting tired of everyone making cryptic comments and vanishing.

    At the last August meeting, Casey left his phone behind. Marie kept it, but this is the first time it has even rung, long after its battery should have worn down (also, it is probable that no one is paying Casey’s phone bills). Marie has now, at long last, learned Ursula’s last name.

    General advice: WoB does have a continuing storyline. Why not go back to the beginning and check it out? Otherwise, you may, in fact, experience some confusion, especially when you witness Marie having conversations with a leather-clad version of herself and a chained, blind, amnesiac version of Casey she calls Caid (note: they are both in her head, as far as we know, though there have been indications that Casey, who may be a little bit not-quite-ordinary, can see the alternate Marie). See what I mean about going back to the beginning?

    If you want to get the scoop on the Casey/Ursula story, go to the Archive page and scroll down until you find all the story arcs called “The Great Tim Hortons Mystery” (part 1, 2, etc.).

  11. So it’s not Schrödinger’s cat, but Schrödinger’s she-bear?

    We had now three Casey-related strips in a row. If you reach six, I take everything back what I said in the last comments’ section. Perhaps you’re not so evil after all …

    Will Marie call Ursula back?

  12. How embarrassing…I misspelled “Schrödinger.” I’m not sure how I managed that. I DID mean it to be “Schrödinger,” so I’m going to fix it.

    I did tell you I wasn’t as evil as you thought I was.

  13. Indeed…the reference is deliberate, and yes, the discrepancy was just a stupid spelling error (which has now been corrected). I was pleased about the whole German thing.

  14. Update on my search for maple butter: After confusing several Amish vendors (“Maple wha?”) I finally hit on the bright idea to text my Quebecois friend. Not only does she know what maple butter is, she’s going to Quebec on Monday and will bring me some back. Victory is mine!!!

    It turns out there is a store called Maple Donuts in York, PA. It is unknown whether they sell actual maple donuts. If they do, I don’t think maple butter is involved.

    Also, completely unrelated: I have introduced my parents to Doctor Who. My father digs it; my mother thinks we’re nuts. And she didn’t even see the episode with the fish sticks.

    Just seven more episodes and then I’m ready for this season. Hopefully I have a few more weeks before it airs.

  15. I just wish someone would say when the damn season was starting. I can still find no information online.

    The episode with the fish sticks is fantastic. Oh, Eleventh Doctor, how weird and wonderful you are.

  16. Kari, I only just read your rant, and have the following thoughts:

    When I called my Canadian cellphone from my Dutch cellphone, the Canadian phone thought I was calling from Kansas, as the number started with 316. What actually happened, was that 31 is the country code, and 6 the first digit of all cellphones.

    If this is what happened, that’d place the callers in Turkey. They should be 7 (maybe 8?) time zones ahead of you. Are they still bothering you?

  17. Ah…that makes much more sense. It didn’t seem likely that there were a bunch of non-English-speaking people sitting around in California, crank-calling Torontonians in the wee hours.

    They’ve stopped calling me for the moment. I’ll have to see if it lasts. They tend to go in cycles; they leave me alone for a week or two, then start up again. If they call me tonight, I shall SCREAM. I get little enough sleep on Sunday nights as it is. However, I haven’t heard from them since the night before I wrote the last Rant. That’s a bonus, I guess.

  18. I agree with you about the start of the season. I couldn’t find it anywhere, and “Spring 2011” is pretty vague considering last year the season started in late March.

  19. Two random thoughts based on the telephone rant.
    a) Can you block the number? (or have it blocked?)
    I’m guessing based on your description that this is a landline/fixedline phone rather than a cellphone. If our phone has the fancy features (blocking/filtering based on caller ID), you may be able to block it at your unit itself. Otherwise, calling up the phone company and complaining should hopefully get you some relief?
    b) The area code being 909 need not mean that that’s the actual source. I’ve occasionally got calls from folks in India to my cell phone (in TX) that turns up as a random number from a town in the midst of Texas. I’ve deduced after some sleuthing that the numbers that randomly shows up is the long distance operator’s number at the point where the international call is handed off to the Texas phone system before it goes to my cellphone company.

    I’m not sure what point(b) contributes to anything, but here some chocolate to make up for my random thought

    *passes around chocolate*

  20. Aargh, Remind me to proof read before I post? (and not to post at 12:44am)
    line-3, our=>your
    line-7, shows=>show
    line-9, here=>here’s

  21. Heh. Well, maybe they won’t call back. Here’s hoping.

    Unfortunately, my phone company charges $9 a month to block numbers. How I love you, phone company. However, thanks for the advice.

  22. Kari: I suppose you can unplug your telephone during the night – or switch it off? You’d risk missing other calls, but at least you’d get some sleep.

    Totally off-topic, but as it is plagiarism-related, it’s also-Kari-related, isn’t it?
    German defence minister zu Guttenberg finally handed in his resignation over the plagiarism scandal of his thesis. However, as far as I know, he still hasn’t admitted his fraud, and sticks to his totally incredible story of accidental mistakes – which leaves me still angry.

  23. Marie ought to be careful. There may be more than one Ursula Schrödinger, so maybe she’s stalking the wrong one. I once got charged by court of paying 100.000 Euro back to creditors – there was (or had been) a woman with the same name in the same city, and the lawyers hadn’t been very careful to bring the charge against the right person. Fortunately, I could convince them that I wasn’t the person in question, had never been married to the guy mentioned and so on. But these things eat your nerves … Yeah, and this other person wasn’t in the telephone book.

  24. Well, I didn’t spell it out because of the only-four-panels thing, but Ryerson does little thumbnail pictures of faculty on its website. Marie knows what Ursula looks like; she’s recognised the picture.

  25. Oh, I see. Now it only remains for me to suggest the idea of too Ursula Schrödingers who look rather alike, being cousins.
    But I admit that it will be more fun if Marie meets the right Ursula. We might learn something interesting then – unless Ursula is as close as Casey and Nico. On the other hand, the mysterious power behind Casey’s fate (whatever it’s supposed to be, Death or the devil or Kari, supreme goddess of Wob-world) might wish Marie to do some things …

  26. Colour comic tomorrow – why do I get the feeling it’ll do nothing to tell us what’s happening?

    (I know, I know, you have a storyline and it’ll work it’s way out, but that doesn’t stop it being frustrating while we wait. I’m reminded why I don’t start series of books that haven’t been written – I hate having to wait for the next one. This is worse, I have to wait several times a week!)

  27. Oh Marie, Ursula’s office hours are on Thursday, so you just missed them. And we’ll have to wait till next week.

    @Mer: Unlike you, I actually like waiting a little. I read all the Harry Potter booky within two weeks or so (I can’t stop if the book is available), and generally tend to read a bit too fast to enjoy the story. On the other hand, I don’t like waiting forever for the next bit of the main plot …

    @Kari: As I wrote last Friday: “We had now three Casey-related strips in a row. If you reach six, I take everything back what I said in the last comments’ section. Perhaps you’re not so evil after all …” – I herewith declare that you are not evil.
    (And I love your comic.)

  28. I am glad you love my comic. Hurrah!

    This plot strand is far from over, so with luck, you will continue to consider me not evil (admittedly, the colour comic is, as Mer has predicted, out of continuity). There was simply no time for Marie to confront Ursula this week; it seemed better to wait for the next six-strip run for that.

  29. I’m always more comfortable when I can’t see my floor.

    Dude, that’s how I spent most of my life and all of college. It drives my mother crazy.

  30. Clean rooms depress me. I think that that’s because they remind me of moving.

    Would the coolness be entirely dependent on the books all being there for the same purpose, or could it be achieve by piling random books toward the celling? I think I’ll have to try piling books until they reach the celling, see how that feels. There are downsides to unemployment, but there are advantages too.

  31. Well I don’t mind seeing some of my floor, but I can’t study on a tidy desk. I cleaned my desk last Friday and then re-scattered papers and stuff all over it again so I could concentrate.

    I am getting better at throwing out rough working though, so it’s not as covered as it used to be.

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