Living in a foreign country, one where few people speak your language (not just linguistically, but culturally as well) is not easy. It’s certainly led me to bouts of sadness and melancholy, and wishing I were closer to my friends back home. I’ve written about this before, I know, but now Buzzfeed has written a fun article which describes 19 Ways To Stay Close To Long-Distance Friends. Continue reading
Well, True Believers, the time finally came. a month before his 96th birthday, Stan Lee passed away. Down the Tubes has a couple of nice pieces: In Memorium by Alan Woollcombe and Tim Quinn’s piece “How to be a Hero.” Both of these pieces, as well as many others, recount Lee’s history, his start as a teenager working for Timely Comics (which became Marvel), and how he, as no one else ever had, came to personify the field and the artform. Buzz Dixon, in particular, speaks of the man and his problematic relationship with the industry Continue reading
The theme for my weekend getaway with Aga-Boom was “Late.”
Here’s how it all went down: Continue reading
Recently, I was asked by the Baltic Summer University to give a lecture about how I ended up in Lithuania. I titled the lecture Stranger in a Strange Land: How I went from All-American to part-time Lithuanian. That picture to the left is from the talk.
This was all well and good until it came time to actually start to put the lecture together and I realized I didn’t really know what I was going to talk about for 90 minutes. I mean come on, even if you had Neil Armstrong come in for a lecture, he probably didn’t talk more than 60, and he actually did something important (although, if you ask him, it weren’t no big thing). Continue reading
For a long time, the phrase at the bottom of the frame, “Gosh, I love arrows,” has been a shorthand for me, for the lopsided pleasure that something small can bring.
In this story arc (and I highly recommend reading it), Clint Barton has a really bad day. The kind of day they write country songs about. And he doesn’t know how to carry on doing what he’s supposed to do. But then he gets some help and the clouds part a little bit. There’s a tiny ray of sunlight and he clings to it, fighting for every bit of space between the clouds until he’s standing in the noon sun again.
I think sometimes I just need this reminder. That no matter how bad the world is, no matter the set-backs personally or professionally, no matter the often encroaching darkness, that there are some good and happy moments. Small things that can bring a smile and let you know it’s okay to continue to fight.
Gosh, I love arrows.
Many a year ago, I subscribed to a film service called Seattle FilmWorks. The basic idea was that you would get discounted 35mm film through the mail and then return the roll for processing, all of which was quite inexpensive. The added benefit was that for a small additional fee, they would include a floppy disk with your photos on them in a digital format. Continue reading
So I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately. I was supposed to go to Kuwait in June, to repeat the trip I went on last year with Aga-Boom. Now, in the end, the trip didn’t happen, which is okay, but it got me thinking. I was excited about the trip because I’d had a ton of fun in China with the gang. But more specifically, I’d had a great time with Zack, hanging out and bullshitting about life and mutual friends and comic books and all that popular culture BS. And that’s when it hit me. I wasn’t upset about not going to Kuwait for any other reason than I was feeling lonely and it would have been nice to hang out with my friend. Continue reading
So this month’s issue of Vanish Magazine features my good friend Erica Vanlee on the cover. Of course, upon close inspection, it appears I actually wrote the story! Always so much fun to interview friends! Especially one as talented and fun as she is!
On a midnight, dark and dreary
As my eyes had gone all bleary
revising my c.v., so weary,
Then I heard a knocking knocking,
knocking on my chamber door
Lightning flash and peals of thunder
tore my peace of mind assunder
I stood and toward my door I blundered
toward the knocking at my door
shadows cast upon my floor
The door I opened, there to see
A Raven, in his finery
an ebon tenure committee
Come a’calling at my door
Knocking, cawing at my door
His eyes were black, my mood was blue
For his dark post-tenure review
Turned all my horses into glue
with sticky student eval scores
(It seems that they expected smores)
I told the Raven of my vigor
Maintaining academic rigor
and trying hard not to trigger
memories that open sores
and make the kids wander the moors
The Raven gave a caustic laugh
and showed me all his charts and graphs
with cuts in faculty and staff
The victory in culture wars
going to the well-paid whores
Who make the budgeting decisions.
My mind grew dark with tangled visions
“What of the education mission?”
I heard my quaking voice implore.
Quoth the raven: Nevermore.
— Orson Welk