I skipped out on Penguicon this year (it's my favorite out-of-state convention), and it's probably a good thing. All of Tuesday night was spent making trips to the bathroom to shout at the porcelain, and while this sort of thing usually kills a day or two, I was still running a fever and losing precious sleep Friday night, and stumbling around all achey like a zombie on a no-brains diet on Saturday. Penguiconners, I missed you this weekend, and for this you should be thankful. Whatever I've got, you don't want. I colored two pages of Bonus Story before falling ill, and then, in spite of the illin' an' chillin', I actually managed to bang out a week of comics on Friday and Saturday. They'll probably need touch-ups when Smart Howard checks back in for work Monday, but most of the heavy lifting is done. I know, I know... the buffer is supposed to give me time off for sickness, but with book deadlines crushing me, and conventions coming in May (Hello, Leprecon!) I really don't want to lose a week just because the new entrees from Panda Express thought so much of themselves they demanded I taste them twice. When I called my friend Bob Defendi to let him know I couldn't join his game Wednesday night, I told him I probably wouldn't be eating at Panda for a looong time to come. "The taste of chinese food on the way back up is one of those memories that just won't let go," I said. Bob told me that would be a great first line for a book. It made me laugh, but laughing still hurt a lot. Sorry for the huge quantities of "Too Much Information." I'm sure you'll agree (to complete the song lyric in the title of this post,) "these are the things we can do without."