A Few Good Things

It’s already hot enough to make me irritable, and the general election is so far away in a truly awful election cycle, so let’s kick off June with a little positivity! Here then are some things for which I’m grateful.

My partner loves and understands me. Wendi knows I really enjoy some odd things, like sitting out in the cold rain to watch horror movies with like-minded friends. She may well judge me for that, but if so she keeps it to herself and is outwardly supportive of my trips. She also just nursed me through recovery from oral surgery, during which she watched some truly awful movies with me. If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.

My friend Tim did not turn out to be a serial killer. Seriously, I can’t explain why I agreed to go on a road trip to Evanston in the middle of winter with a guy I barely knew. For some reason my paranoia filters weren’t on, and the myriad ways this could end badly didn’t register until after I’d committed to the trip. To my delight and total surprise, I survived the weekend and enjoyed it enough to go 8 more times. I even wound up meeting those like-minded friends I mentioned above. So thanks for not killing me, Tim! My world grew because you dragged me to B-Fest.

For some reason I’m employed. I dreamed of being an impoverished writer. That’s the deal, right? Unless you were born into money you scraped pennies together for years until suddenly you became wildly successful. Instead, after getting married it became evident that we both needed to pull in good money in order to afford luxuries like food and pants. At first I resented the time spent not suffering, but honestly my writing didn’t get very good until my 40s. That’s a long time to starve for art. Also, money buys movies, comics, and video games.

The Cats Don’t Always Poop on the Floor. Sometimes they’re even useful. Just this morning I found Bacall and Bogart sitting innocently in the bathtub with the shower curtain in a heap beside them. Something under the curtain moved, and Bogart couldn’t stand to feign ignorance anymore. He started swatting at the mouse they’d cornered. So while they make messes and scratch up the furniture, at least our cats keep the rodents under control.

And now it’s time to put in a bad movie, so I’ll just leave it there.


A Bit Of Thankful Positivity

I’m having a difficult time staying positive lately, so being as this is the week of Thanksgiving for those of us in the USA I thought I’d express my appreciation for some of the things that keep me going.

Wendi seems to still like me
This is a big one for me. That someone not only puts up with my nonsense but elects to stay with me is an enormous foundation to my existence. Bonus points for her ability and willingness to turn groceries into food, and eternal high marks for her power to learn and do practical things (such as lighting the water heater).

1st World Infrastructure
We lost power for four days last week, and our lives became… interesting and complicated. It was a frustrating experience, and we certainly wished that the utility workers would reach our area sooner. We’ve lost power twice in the decade or so that we’ve owned our house, and this was the only time it stretched into multiple days. That’s pretty cool, really. We can largely just take it for granted that our access to electricity will be uninterrupted, and even when lines get broken we can call in the problem, get an estimate for the repair, and track the progress online.


Kittens make everything better
In actuality they destroy everything their maniacal little paws can reach, but they’re just so damnably adorable that you have to admire their energy. Then they curl up on you and go to sleep, and your heart melts all over again.

My teeth have not exploded …yet
Two out of two dentists agree that my remaining baby teeth will explode. What they won’t do is offer any feasible suggestions for how to deal with the gaps that would be left after they’re properly defused and extracted from my upper jaw. There are teeth hiding in my gum that prevents them from putting posts in for fake teeth, and four healthy teeth would have to be sacrificed for bridgework.

So until they can present me with a viable course of action, I live with the threat of dental cataclysm. But I live!

Prestige collections of old comics
Journey Into Mystery, The Heap, Forbidden Worlds, Tomb of Terror, Konga, Crime Does Not Pay! — a lot of great, old comics are available now in full-color (often hard-cover) editions. As a fan of the medium, it’s thrilling to finally have affordable access to some of the treasure of the golden and silver ages of comics!

Middle management that values results
With my cynical attitude and occasional meltdowns, it’s a good thing that my immediate bosses appreciate my contributions. Otherwise our regular talks might have stopped abruptly quite some time ago.

Did I say kittens?
Yes. Yes I did. Because they’re awesome!

Zzzzzzzz... meeeeeeew...

Zzzzzzzz… meeeeeeew…

Have a good Thanksgiving, and travel safely!


The comic convention essay was better received than I could have hoped for. What I’d suspected would have a very limited appeal turned out to generate my highest day of traffic for Tales of the Atomic Zombie! Not only that, but I got a lot of helpful comments and recommendations (here, in person, and on my Facebook and Twitter accounts) about funding, publishing, and marketing. So, go you!

Thanks! You’re all good people in my book. Except for you. And maybe that guy over there. He looks suspicious.