So I bought my tickets and and get squared away for NYCC yesterday.  Only got tickets for Thursday and Friday this year.  Consequence of the changes in ticketing.  Figuring out my plans.

I’m not really going to do any signings this year.  Might get some Collected Editions signed, but probably not going to do any single issues for Signature Series or anything like that.  It’ll be a lot cheaper that way.  Kinda of more focused on cashing in on my comics now.  Getting ready to move some books, maybe even a couple this week.  Probably put a couple of Guardians of the Galaxy related titles on eBay or something.  Seems like a fair number of people sell comics on Instagram, so I might try that.

It also means I can focus more on buying actual art from the artists.  Though I still need to get them into frames and hung up, I’m fairly proud of the stuff I bought last year and it goes along with my general plan of actually interacting with the artists and writers down there.  The Neal Adams stuff, that Red Sonja print by Cat Staggs… might even see about a commission or two.  I actually just loved meeting and talking to these people more.  I’m still pretty thrilled that I got Neal Adams to sign my copy of Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali.  That was one of the biggest things I think shifted last year, in that I was able to just look at and appreciate the art more.  Appreciate the creators more.

Also thinking about seeing if they do a Creators Meet-up again.  I was a bit… unprepared when I went in last year and didn’t really comprehend what it was about.  Definitely feeling a bit more prepared and a better idea of what I’m doing.  I think VTCC did one last year and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go it this year if it happens again.  Volunteering last year was a bit more of a commitment than I anticipated last year, so I’m hoping to manage my time a bit better this time around.

Anyway, I need to see what panels they have on Thursday and Friday.  I’ll be happy if I get to a couple of good ones.  Some of the panels visited last year were actually pretty fantastic.

There are some people I wish I had made an effort to get involved with this, but I made a few messes in my social life.  In life in general.  Figuring out how to straighten things out.

Ice-age heat wave, can’t complain.
If the world’s at large, why should I remain?
Walked away to another plan.
Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand.

-Modest Mouse “World at Large”

Just a few more articles I came across that were interesting.

Some interesting thoughts on how open you should be about past relationships on a first date.  Given how much I’ve discussed past relationship or two here, this seemed relevant.  One of the reasons I’ve discussed a lot of details about how things went down was to be more open and honest about it, while still taking responsibility for my own mistakes.  Never really thought of myself as being right nor wrong about anything.  I like to throw that Obi-Wan Kenobi line about the truths we cling to on that.  Working nights, I’ve only gone on a real date or two since then–kind of blew it in that case–but I would be more than willing to discuss any of what happened in the past if only to make sure there is a clear understanding of what expectations are and how best to proceed going forward.

An interesting angle on Tomi Lahren’s recent dismissal from the Blaze.  Apparently the Blaze owns her Facebook page and could post in her name or just delete it altogether.  She’s apparently trying to get control of the page, but that won’t likely be successful.  Just as we need to be careful with who is given a platform, I think it is equally important to be clear about who’s in control of that platform.  You hurt the integrity of all involved if there is ambiguity about who is actually speaking.

Apparently Michael Bay thinks there could potentially be 14 more Transformers movies.  Overkill.  As much as I like explosions and action sequences, I think they are already taking this further than they really should and wonder if there is much more to offer other than racially insensitive caricatures.

Ghost In The Shell Movie could lose money.  Not surprising, given the controversy surrounding it.  I was kind of surprised when Scarlett Johansson took the part.  Seems like she would have been much more aware of the controversy involved and have avoided taking part in this film.

I try not to spam people’s FB or Twitter or whatever too much with posts and articles, so I’m going to do a general, “Here Are a Few Things I’ve Read Lately” post to try to keep it somewhat organized.  Today’s will just be a couple of articles that stood out to me, something to think about.

Jobs That Will Cost You The Most Sleep.  This was a bit of an interesting read in that it made me feel a bit better about my lack of sleep as it stated my particular industry has 48.9% of people reporting less than seven hours of sleep, probably higher for workers of the nightshift.  Felt a little less… alone in my insomnia after seeing that number.  It is interesting in that there is no benefit for anyone involved.  They estimate in the article that lack of sleep costs the US economy up to $411 billion a year.  1.2 million lost days of work.

Americans Are Having Less Sex.  I suppose this relates to the first article a bit, in that our professional lives are screwing us all up.  I remember at some point in the course of our back and forth an ex said something about how I should “read a book about sex and the female body.”  Now part of me has wondered if she was serious or trying to be a bitch when she said that, but I always found that to be a ridiculous statement in that I always felt that the biggest hindrance in our sex life was her lack of clarity and openness about sex–possibly a result of some of the factors outlined in that article?  I don’t know, but I am leaning that way.  At work I’m outright refusing any and all overtime if only because I have grown much more aware of a greater need for a work/home separation.  And I do feel I’ve observed an increase my sex drive lately, possibly as  a result of acknowledging that need.  Could the decrease in sex be a result in the continued degradation of our work/home separation?  Related to the increase in anxiety and mental health issues?

Grokking Truths

February 16, 2017

I like to occasionally take a moment to reflect on why I’ve been really trying to do a regular blog.  As I said when I was talking about the idea of Truth and how we struggle to speak them sometimes, one of my goals was to better understand the Truths in their fullness.  To grok them, if you will.  I will admit I did get sidetracked at times, but that was really the fundamental goal.  To grok what it is to be human and how to be a better human.  To better grok our world.  There has been some success and some failure, things I was right and wrong about.  When you understand the Truths of the world you live in, it becomes easier to develop the ideas necessary to build a better one.

A Truth I’ve come to accept lately is that humans are in too much of a hurry.  Like I said about the tendency to “Hurry Up and Wait” in people, we get into such a rush sometimes that all it leads to is waiting for the next thing to happen and the inaction can be worse than anything.  When I was in a relationship at about the two year mark, my ex and her cousin got together and planned out a whole wedding–best man, groomsmen, bridesmaids, color arrangements, etc.–and texted me about this when I was at work.  I believe it concluded with the message: “All you have to do is propose.”  At the time, I wanted to make sure we had a clearer plan about our future–housing, her family’s farm, etc.–but I had been giving some serious thought to proposing around that time.  After that exchange, I chose not to out of annoyance.  I think I shot back, “Why doesn’t your cousin just do it for me?”  I was annoyed, but then again, I was being pressured into something I had simply waiting for the right moment to do.  My own annoyance there might have been a bit of self-destruction on my part.  My point is, you get into a rush, you miss details and then you wonder why things go to pieces in the end.

Truths are important to acknowledge and I like to think I have come to realize many.  I’d like to touch on a few.

  • It is necessary to move beyond the binary–male/female, gay/straight, liberal/conservative, etc.–and think in terms of just being human.  Maybe an oversimplified approach, but it does prevent the traditional labels from interfering.  All of the words for human do little to add to the conversation, only muddling up what should be a picture of progress.  It will take a long time, but I like to think we’re getting closer.
  • Humans are too self-destructive.  I’ve covered a lot of the ways I’ve done damage to myself and I realize how hard it can be to stop self-destructing.  And the worst thing about that can be how we keep trying to tell ourselves how doing these things will somehow make things better even though we know they won’t.  And chances we don’t take out of fear where the stagnation only makes things worse.
  • One thing I’ve noticed is how nothing is really private in the sense that ripple effects hit a lot of people and everything goes outward.  When I went through a break-up after a three year relationship, I actually spent some time talking to her mother and sister in part for their input on her actions and in part to make sure they knew it wasn’t really my decision and if she was willing to listen and work things out we would have.  I felt like that was a half-way decent human being thing to do as I thought of them as family.  This last December, her mother actually sent me a message on FB wishing me a happy birthday.  I didn’t reciprocate for hers, but I wish I had.  However, I guess my ex never really felt the need to make contact with my mother after the break-up, despite numerous declarations of how “if we break up, I’m keeping your mother.”  My mother actually has expressed some offense over that and even declined to go to a wedding just to avoid seeing my ex.  My point is, the ripples will have an impact.  Not just in relationships, but there are ripples and aftershocks to almost every action we do.  I could probably come up with some work stories, but this is the one that springs to mind.

Speaking Truth

February 10, 2017

I was reading something the other day about how Tom Perez and his bungling a comment about last year’s Democratic Primary.  He acknowledged that the primary process was rigged against Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton and that the next DNC Chair Person would have to be “honest” and “transparent” to succeed.  Then he essentially retracted the statement, stating that he “misspoke”.  Or rather the party elders and establishment got wind of it and voiced their disapproval.  Cue the groaning and eye-rolling.  He was right the first time.

I’m trying to be a little less political, but this article I read kind of fits with my general train of thought on a number of matters.  Our whole political system needs an influx of new ideas.  Why do you think Bernie Sanders, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party had such a significant impact on the election last year?  However, those ideas cannot be expected to flourish if truth cannot be acknowledged.

One of the overarching themes I’ve tried to deal with in my writing this blog has been the “Idea of Ideas” and how important it is to always embrace new ideas and information.  When it comes to truth, I often quote Obi-Wan Kenobi from Return of the Jedi.  In explaining his misleading account of what happened to Luke’s father, Kenobi states that “Many of the Truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”  I keep throwing that line out there, but it is a good line.

Ideas were a focus of mine here, but how we regard those ideas is also worth looking at.  Truth and belief can be subjective, but they can inspire ideas.  I will admit that something I’ve struggled with is knowing when to challenge people’s truths and ideas.  Where the lines are drawn.  I have disregarded a myriad of them, but sometimes that needs to happen too.  Although I would hope my writing here does occasionally inspire people to look at their beliefs, ideas and truths from a different perspective, I don’t claim absolute authority on right or wrong here.  I’m sure there a number of opinions on that.  I simply hope I challenged some truths and some new ideas came as a result of them.  Even if it is just an expanded perception, I think it would be a benefit.

Regardless of the situation, ideas and truth need to be challenged.

Star Wars Prequels Revised

November 7, 2016

Just saw something about how one of the Star Wars: Clone Wars series debuted today–the 2003 series–and that reminded me about how I threw out a few suggestions I had for where I would have liked to have seen the Prequels go.  Primarily the movies, as the Clone Wars did a fairly good job of reconciling a lot of the problems there.  Just having a bit of fun with it.  As a writerly type, I always felt like the Prequels were a letdown.  George Lucas didn’t really care and he was going to have to if we were.  We already knew where the story was going, so it had to have some twists and I always felt like there were a few directions they could have gone.  Having not really thought about it for a couple of months, I thought I would revisit this idea.

Episode One:  Same general plot.  Big changes I would have made were to have Anakin already be an apprentice and cut out the “Chosen One” nonsense.  Something along the lines of him being Qui-Gon’s apprentice while Obi-Wan is on Naboo in hiding, having been stranded there on a separate mission and joins up with Qui-Gon.  I just felt like there was a limit on how much fun could have been had once everybody knew his destiny.  Also, have Amidala execute the Trade Federation leadership after they surrender.  Having her in exile or imprisoned would allow the story to go darker sooner and focus the story a bit more, painting a bit more detail into Palpatine’s manipulations.  Feel like Obi-Wan taking over Anakin’s training more sense as they would likely bond over their mourning of Qui-Gon, while Yoda has begun to have suspicions about the potential that Anakin carries.

Episode Two:  Open with an assassination attempt on Palpatine, later to be revealed to be orchestrated by him.  As Obi-Wan and Anakin investigate, they find that it is connected to Amidala and she might be able to lead them to the conspirators.  While Obi-Wan continues to investigate and eventually learns about the Clone Army, Anakin goes to Amidala and tries to convince her to help.  Encountering the Clones, Obi-Wan realizes they are all of a believed dead Jedi Master, albeit with no force sensitivity.  It would be during these events that Yoda and/or Mace Windu begin to more seriously suspect that Anakin could be the Chosen One based on his skills and achievements.  Rest of the plot remains essentially the same, although I would have Palpatine expressing concerns about the Jedi to Anakin and thus leading him to question the righteousness of the Order.

Episode Three:  Anakin and Amidala are expecting the birth of their children as the Clone Wars rage on.  Palpatine continues to weaken Anakin’s faith in the Jedi Order.  Anakin’s frustrations grow as the Council begins to test him in secrecy to confirm his role in the Prophesy and fears for his wife’s safety.  Obi-Wan, dedicated to ending the war, fails to see what is happening to his friend until it is too late.  When the war has ended, Palpatine arranges an assassination attempt on Amidala and makes it look like the Jedi are responsible, turning Anakin to the Dark Side and triggering the extermination of the Jedi.  Though she dies, Luke and Leia are born and survive.  Obi-Wan goes to tell Anakin this, hoping to save his friend.  Obi-Wan finds Anakin too far gone, they duel.  Obi-Wan leaves Anakin for dead, with the twins being separated and hidden while Obi-Wan and Yoda go into exile.

Vacation is going. Selfie of my new tank top has been posted.

  • Been getting a few drawings done, and have been working on comic pages.  Vacation is going to be a bit of a catch-up phase.  Should be able to make up some ground.
  • Went kayaking, mostly just getting my feet wet–literally and figuratively.  Probably didn’t spend much more than an hour of the time I was there on the water.  Decided I probably will end up picking up crossbars for the top of my Jeep at some point.  Mostly just getting a feel for the boat, making adjustments and reacquainting myself with the with it–I last did this on any kind of regular basis when I worked at Branbury State Park back eight or nine years ago.  Has it been that long?  Fuck, I feel old.
  • I’ve been formulating this idea that Trump and Clinton are very much the same.  When you think about it, they are.  Trump won’t release his tax returns, Clinton won’t release her speeches to Wall Street–I won’t speculate too much on that but I suspect the reasons are very similar for withholding them.  They have both taken money from Saudi Arabia–for different reasons, but I think it will be to the same result.  The Clinton Foundation and Trump University have both come up heavy suspicion for various issues.  I’m sure I could go for days on this if I really tried.  But at the end of the day, you just have to look at the way they carry themselves.  The way they talk.  They really are the great Millenial Candidates.  More the perception of Millenials–I do take some issue with that perception, although there is a bit of truth to it.  With Trump and Clinton, it comes down to their sense of entitlement.  To me at least, they come across as not really believing they have to earn people’s votes and should just be elected by supposedly obvious superiority.  Crooked Hillary… Dodgin’ Donald… I look at the way they carry themselves and I think, “This is the way that Millenials are supposed to act, not seventy year-olds.”  So yeah, my feeling is that unless Sanders somehow gets the Democratic Nomination, there will be a legit third party contender.  Who that will be–The Libertarian Johnson or Sanders himself or someone else–I don’t know.
  • My parents anniversary is today.  I think it has been 31 years?  Sounds right anyway, numbers tend to get jumbled in my head a bit.  Suppose I should get a card.  Might want to do something special, given the last week.  My sister closed on the house her and her husband were buying, plus there was the stuff with my grandfather last week… It was a long week.
  • Bought a Tank Top off of a website called Flex Comics the other day, a Deadpool themed shirt that says “Maximum Effort” across the chest.  Fit perfectly in my usual size, if you’re ever interested in getting some of their gear.  I’ll post a selfie at some point.  The comic itself isn’t bad either.  Anyway, I looked at the slip and there’s a hand written note that says “Thnks Ross”.  Small gesture, but I found myself somehow very appreciative of it.
  • Reflecting on relationships a bit.  I feel very content to be single.  This isn’t to say I won’t be dating or in a relationship soon, I just feel okay to be single.  Really just acknowledging simple facts.  I’m 29 and ready to actually settle into something that could go pretty far.  Point is, I want to make sure whatever happens next isn’t caught up in making a point about the past.  Avoiding that trap is part of why I won’t date until I’m done working midnights.  I have entertained the idea of some kind of relationship with a couple of women, but there are certain aspects of those dynamics that I want to make sure I am more capable of dealing with.  I have been in situations where I could not meet my own standards, I do not want to do that again.  I don’t want to be in a relationship where I spend more time proving it is a good situation and that I made the right choices than just actually enjoying it.
  • Saw something about how Nathan Fillion was apparently a real dick to people on the set of Castle, especially Stana Katic.  A rumor, but it sounds like there was truth to it.  Disappointing really, shatters that idealized image I had of him.  Another reason I think that last season should never have happened.
  • Glad I’m on vacation, I can actually get some of the things done that I’ve been meaning to do.Max Effort
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