graphic design, comics, photos, movies, hip hop, & things that don't matter


One of the Times I Almost Killed Myself

Tue 08.24.10

Prior to graduating from college I had a fair number of pretty cruddy jobs. I’ve worked on farms, in food banks, for K-Mart, convenience stores, and the Roger Williams Park Zoo. I was a seasonal worker at the Zoo, a veteran of 3 summers. There are probably a number of stories I could tell about this job, but today’s tale is about one of the times I almost killed myself.

As a member of the Warehouse & Maintenance crew, one of my duties was to help wash up the restaurants by the elephants. One warm, summer day, there was a particular nasty spill that needed tidying. I filled my mop bucket with warm water and poured in a bit of bleach (for that extra shine). I figured the “more the merrier,” so I also grabbed a bottle of industrial strength cleaner to pour into the concoction.

The small plume of smoke rising from the bubbling bucket was my first indication that I screwed up. The burning sensation in my eyes and throat was another. I quickly realized that I had forgotten to check to see if the industrial strength cleaner had ammonia in it. As you may have ascertained, it did.

With haste, I lifted the mop bucket, held my breath, and waddled out the back of the restaurant. Thankfully, the only thing between me and the back door was a small, slippery hallway and a few wayward sleeves of plastic cups. I kicked the half-propped door open, leading me to the small fenced patch of dirt that housed the AC unit, a few trash cans, and a wasp’s nest. I poured the smoking bucket into the dirt and watched as the Earth absorbed the smoking liquid. Then I left.

Sitting on the dust coated picnic table under the big gnarled tree where the employees hang out, I was trying to remember the name of the gas I had just created. I asked my husky Samoan manager, Tone, if she knew the name.

“Death,” she said as she shrugged.

My coworker, Carter, thought for a moment and replied, “Death.”

As Carter sat pondering, our tall, rail-thin, black manager walked through the gate. Tone turned to him and shouted, “Hey ‘Mumba, what’s it called when you mix ammonia and bleach?”

Lumumba thought for a second, raising his brow as he wiped sweat from his mahogany skin. He took his hat off and replied:



Ten Comics You Should Read to Get Into Comics

Wed 08.18.10

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World came out last weekend. If you were not aware, Scott Pilgrim is based on a comic book. In the last 10 years, more and more comic book inspired movies are climbing the list of top-grossing films of all time. With a sequel to The Dark Knight in the works, as well as the release of Marvel’s Avengers line, that trend might not be changing in the next few years.  As you’re watching Iron Man for the 4th time, you might be thinking “If only there was some way I could continue to have as much fun as Tony Stark!” Well, now there is! Comic books.

With all of these “ironing men” and “man bats” around, interest in comic books is growing. However, there are probably 10 Batman titles alone released each month, so people don’t know where to start. Naturally, they come to me. Why me? Well, there are several reasons that make me qualified to give out comic book advice:

Why Should I Listen to You?

  1. I am a huge geek with little shame.
  2. My brain absorbs trivia.
  3. I am always right about everything and everyone should listen to me all the time.
  4. I was Batman for Halloween, 2 years IN A ROW!
  5. Also I read a lot of comic books.

I have been reading comics books for decades. As a child, I would pick up the occasional Batman or X-Men with the hyperfoil variant cover. Then the 90s happened and I stopped reading comics until I was a sophomore in college. This was around the time when Batman Begins was released. I learned what series the movie was based on and I picked them up on Amazon. Then I hunted down a few more “must have” Batman collections. My junior year of college I took a vacation out to Hawaii, which is about a 1,000 hour flight. I picked up some Ultimate Spider-Man comics to keep me entertained. This eventually lead me into 616 and if you know what that means, you won’t need to read this list of recommend titles for people who want to get into comic books because you are already a nerd.




Wed 08.11.10

This is it. This is the website.  Here I will post art, photos, I will talk about comic books, hip hop, and the things that I like. Not much to look at yet, so why not familiar yourself with my Twitter account, seeing as how it’s the only thing around for the time being.

Hyphen What?

Here is some history if you were one of the few wondering about the site’s name. I have a long, annoying hyphenated last name and a generic first name. For three years of college, I had a graphic design professor named Barbara. She taught me the foundations of design and encouraged me to really think through my process. She also was too lazy to type out my full name on our grade sheets, so she just started calling me “Hyphen.” Not one of my more popular nicknames, but it stuck. For those unaware, my more popular nicknames are (in order of most popular to least): HP, Sweetie, Mack Daddy, Big Guy, and Batman.

All of that aside, I couldn’t call this website “HPsite” without getting really, really sued.

I’ll catch you later.