Haven’t written in this blog for quite some time. But I wanted to say something to the ether that didn’t have a place on my other blog, or my Facebook status, or my Tweeter account, or, well human contact…

I’m doing good. I’m actually doing okay right now.

Moving the Chicago was a very positive thing, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a hard transition. (Hell, any move that begins with a day at Juvenile Court to deal with the aftermath of a mugging…) Harder than I thought. Sometime around February I started to find my feet, but I was still stumbling a bit.

Sometime mid-March things started falling into place. I made some life decisions about trying to rid myself of a large portion of my possessions and adjust the reasons and amount I buy and acquire. (For details please visit my other blog PN6700-PN6790: A Comic Book Collection.) That decision alone will mean a lot of work, but is positive both to clean-up my current life and put me on a more sane direction moving forward.

Then I attend a work conference, the Midwest CONTENTdm Users Group, at Purdue University which was an incredibly positive experience. Partially because it was a return, almost exactly one year to the day, from my last trip to Purdue; the first interview of my job search from last year. It was a return as a stronger librarian, who was actually glad that he didn’t get that job (though was very glad for the experience). Beyond that it was a conference that I used in a strong, professional sense. I networked. I spoke to vendors. I asked questions. I learned. I socialized. I acted like an adult. Plus, when I left town I got to eat more Maple Frosted Glazed Donuts from Krispy Kreme (yum!)

Since then work has been fairly non-stop as we’ve moved into high gear working on a grant application that is due at the end of the month. It has been a lot of work, it still has a lot more work to go, and will mean a heck of a lot of work over the next year if we get the grant. But again, it feels right. It feels like I’m doing the right job, that I found the right institution, that I can get excited and engaged by what I do. I ended up working late tonight, staying till 6 (when I normally leave at 4:30), and it felt good. I’m making connections with the people I work with, professional connections, which makes me feel like I’m on the same page as everyone in my environment, and only helps reinforce how toxic my previous work enviornment had felt to me.

And I’ve been making other small decisions. For the last week I have tried several small personal goals. Pause before opening a door. Slow your pace as you walk from place to place. Stop and take a breath before answering a question or making a decision. Find small tasks to do each night, even if you feel tired, rather than just crashing in front of the tv. These wee goals have given me tiny bursts of positive energy, tiny positive reinforcements that add up in the long run. I made a commitment to go see a friends show Saturday. I made plans to start rehearsing and playing with some friends I performed with, hell, over nine years ago.

Also sometimes saying “No” can make you feel better. I was reading a book, an early novel by Christopher Moore, that I was really not enjoying and rather than slogging through it I put it down, pulled out the bookmark, and moved on. And you know, the book I picked up next was a good one. Every time I delete a season pass from my DVR because I’m not enjoying the show anymore or I’m just watching out of habit (bye bye Simpsons, Family Guy, and Smallville) it feels like I reclaim a little of my life. It is more fulfilling to take the time to watch something you want to watch (catching up on Kings, say, or Breaking Bad), than to worry about having to find the time to watch another police procedural or mediocre cartoon beyond its prime.

There are other things. For the past few years I’ve been involved with an online comic book cataloging project (the Grand Comic Book Database), and was even made an editor in the summer of 2007. But for the past year, with the job search and the move and everything, I hadn’t been able to do anything with the project. I didn’t realize how much it was eating at me, so I finally wrote to the group and said I would have to officially stop being an editor. While everyone was great and leaving the door open to return when I find the time, it felt real good to clear that off my mental to do list, to unsubscribe to some e-mail lists, and delete several thousand unread e-mails from my inbox. Tiny acts of clearance and removal, just like tiny acts of positive action, can feel very fulfilling.

I know I am a lucky man. I have a job. I have my health. My sister just gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl and she and her family are moving back to the states in a few months. I listen to the news each day and know I could be in so many different bad places right now. But sometimes it is hard to remember that and you need to take good things and tell yourself that you deserve them. To find happiness in a good movie (watch Death Note II or The Last of the Shelia), a good book (One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson), or a new bad (the self-titled album by The Week That Was). To take a walk on an early Spring night. To get positive feedback about some writing on a blog (PN6700 might get a nice plug on a popular comics web site in the next weeks). To take a drive on a saturday afternoon. If I was a different man I’d be saying this is finding God in all things, but I’ll leave it at finding Peace in all things.

Anyway, I hope I can follow the groove awhile longer. It is time for bed. I sat down around 7:30 tonight to do a little ebay planning while I watched the last ER and before I knew it I had opened a seller account on Amazon, emptied an inbox, updated the software on my laptop, balanced my checkbook, found some cool free music on the web, and decided to update this blog. Tomorrow will be another busy day of grant applications, meetings with co-workers, and lots more. So goodnight and remember… there is always room for pie.

(Wow, that sign off was really unfulfilling. I need to come up with a catchphrase.)

So this blog pretty much started when I moved from Chicago to Rhode Island two years ago. So I figured I might as well use it to vent frustrations, chronicle the events, and track my progress as I move back to Chicago to take a new job at the School of the Art Institute.

It has been a long, strange trip, these past two years. Brought out emotions and stresses and issues that I wasn’t expecting or looking for. I’ve had good and bad experiences, but lived through many things I needed to live through before I could move on to the next step.


And… I’m back. There are two or three half-started posts in the cue that’ll probably never be finished (the world will have to wait to hear how good a movie I think Phantom Of The Paradise is). But I figure the least effort I can put forth is posting my list of books I read in July and August. Books after the jump…


IntelligenceYes, thanks to all the television and movie production in Vancouver and Toronto, etc., pretty much everything we enjoy is Canadian TV. But starting with PBS in the late 90s, taking me through random shows on cable, and now into the modern world of stealing television over the internet, I really like Canadian TV. Canadian television beyond Kids In The Hall, that is (although I love KITH). Welcome to the world of semi-public broadcasting….


When I think Ice Cream and Bar Harbor, Maine I normally think of the “delicious” Lobster flavored Ice Cream that I enjoyed last summer (butter flavored ice cream with frozen chunks of lobster and frozen chunks of butter; just as good as it sounds). I was all set to try it again this summer until I was set on a better path.

A few blocks away from the fabulous ImprovAcadia in downtown Bar Harbor I was directed to Mount Desert Island Ice Cream, just off of the square in the center of town. The words “salty” and “caramel” were mentioned, which can be a bit frightening. But so do most of lifes treats such as “raw” “fish” and “fred” “schneider.” Everything is scary until the first bite.


Colin Harrison The FinderForgot to post my reading list last month, but May was a lite month and June a large month (tried to read a book a day while in Maine, still got in 5 that week), so this post will make up for it. Lots of crap (bad bad summer reading) plus some visits to old fantasy favorites from childhood. Read my first Christopher Moores (which turned out to be decent, but flawed) and my first Colin Harrisons (which turn out to be very good noir/crime/thriller/but mostly New York novels). Full lists after the jump.


<<emo>This has been a particularly hard week.<</emo>> It is always tough getting back to life after vacation or some time away, and I spent most of June traveling and seeing family. But this last week was particularly hard, after a week up in Maine performing with ImprovAcadia. After a week living and performing with friends and improvisers (almost never mutually exclusive), after being surrounded almost twenty four hours by trust and support and appreciation, it was a bit hard getting back to a real life that I am not particularly happy with. I knew it would be hard, just didn’t think it would be that hard.


From time to time the guilt becomes too much, and we must admit to the world the wrongs we did. A year and a half ago I finally broke down and told my parents that I had eaten part of a candy bar meant as a gift to friends and had lied about it. I did this circa 1978 and it ate away at me for years.

Now, a new confession. 21 years ago I skipped out of high school to go see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on opening day with some friends from school. Actually, it was skipping out of afternoon classes. Several days later I went and saw it again with family because I couldn’t admit I had already seen it. We even went to see it at the same theatre me and my friends had gone to.

This was one of, probably, 4 or 5 total times I skipped out of school in the three years I was in high school. I believe I did senior skip day, like everyone else. And whenever we would put on the school play as an assembly for the school, I’d skip out after the show. That was about it though. All in all I was not a very truant student, much to my sisters dismay. But that trip to see Indiana Jones, compounded by lieing about it to my mother, has eaten away at my soul like one of those ear things in Wrath of Kahn.

World, please forgive me.

Saw Iron Man the other night, boy it’s great to see see Robert Downey, Jr. bring his career back. Bring the family and enjoy the ride! … You know who I miss, Living Colour. What ever happened to them? … A light rain on a warm day is a good condition for a walk … If the election was held today, Randee of the Redwoods would have my vote. Or maybe Spuds McKenzie … If you read a James Patterson novel in a large print edition, is it possible to finish it chronologically before you even began it? … Ben & Jerry’s Creme BrulĂ© ice cream? Yum! … What I don’t get? Hate! Let’s cut it out, okay? … I don’t know if it is possible not to watch The Great Escape if you come across it on TV. Same with The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Just cancel your plans, sit yourself down, and enjoy the ride! … Jamie Oliver was right, asparagus is better if you grill it dry and then drizzle a little olive oil on it … You know what I’m gonna do this weekend? Watch Speed Racer on an IMAX screen. Just try to stop me! … Well that’s it from the home of the Paw Sox! As the kids all say, TTFN!

Ed Lin's This Is A BustA pretty poor month when it comes to reading, but considering everything else going on in my life I’m not surprised:

Snake Agent, Liz Williams (1-59780-018-X)
This Is A Bust, Ed Lin (978-1885030450)
Half The Blood Of Brooklyn, Charlie Huston (978-0-345-49587-7)
Act of Providence, Joseph Payne Brennan & Donald M. Grant

Comments after the jump.


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