I have a couple of milestones to mention.  

Since today is the last day of April, it makes sense to give an update as to my progress on my 1,200 Miles In 2011 goal.  April was a banner month for me.  I clocked more miles this month than in any of the three previous months.  I beat out February by 20 miles.  Being on the cruise is the reason for that considering my OCD went into overdrive and forced me to the gym twice a day that week.  My total for the year so far is 832.03 miles.  At the current rate, I will be done in about eight weeks, with six months left!

I've been enjoying watching my progress on a map.  I just updated it to show the distance from my house.  I'm really impressed.  I'm most of the way through South Carolina and almost to Georgia.

The other milestone I wanted to mention was about my house.  On this date one year ago was the closing on this house.  I've owned this house now for one entire year.  I can't believe it's only been one year.  It seems like I've been here for a few at the very least.  My last house is a distant memory and one I don't care to revisit.  April 30 was a Friday last year.  May first, the Saturday that corresponds with today, was moving day.  I felt like I was in the way when the movers were bringing all of my worldly possessions in the house.  And when they were done, it didn't feel quite right.  We bought almost all new furniture that was yet to be delivered and once the movers were gone, there just didn't seem like there was enough stuff.  But more than enough work to do unpacking what stuff we did have.


Ms. Marvel's Day Off

Kate Bush - Deeper Understanding - Official Video


I'm not sure I did the math right, but if I did, I broke the 800 mile mark in my 1,200 mile quest for the year.  That's an average of just over 200 miles a month, something I didn't think would be close to being possible.  Ever.  


Weekend Ending

It's been a long, long time since I have not had that "Sunday Night, I can't believe this weekend is over, I can't possibly go to work tomorrow" feeling.  It's been a great weekend and while I'm sad it's ending shortly, I don't think it could have been any better.  I didn't really do much of anything important, but I feel like I got a lot done.  Saturday started rather late.  I'm usually up fairly early because Ollie doesn't like letting me sleep in.  I locked him out of the bedroom Friday night and that made me able to sleep until 11:30 Saturday  morning.  I can't remember the last time I did such a thing.  I've been complaining for months about how tired I am and how I don't let myself sleep.  I guess my body finally had enough and I crashed for 12 hours.  I think I got about 9 hours of sleep last night.  I slept more in the last two nights than I think I did on my entire vacation a couple of weeks ago.  I'm feeling kind of beat right now and plan on making this an early evening.  I can't imagine what a Monday morning at work, fully rested, is going to be like.

Saturday we were going to make a run up to a garden place where Ken wanted to get a specific type of fertilizer.  Unfortunately, the place was only open until noon, so it didn't happen.  Instead, I dragged his ass out for lunch (Pizza!!) and grocery shopping.  He was insistent on having ham for Easter dinner, so I told him he was completely in charge if that's what he wanted.  I was expecting the market to be a mob scene on Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't too bad.  

Once errands were done, I set out to do chores.  My house was a royal pig sty.  It was gross and it needed a thorough cleaning.  I tackled the first floor on Saturday and the second floor today (except for the bathrooms.  They will have their day soon.)  It feels so much nicer when the house is clean.  Of course I've vowed not to be a big fat slob anymore, but I know that will only last until Tuesday or Wednesday before I slip back into my normal ways.

I mentioned before that my gym is moving this weekend.  They're supposed to reopen tomorrow.  I'm anxious to see if they did get everything moved, though I'll hold off until Tuesday.  I wasn't expecting the weather to be nice (we had rain in the forecast for today), but when I got up this morning, it was 62 degrees and sunny.  I headed out and took a nice long walk around the neighborhood.  I haven't done that since last fall.  It felt good to actually get outside.  It's been so long.  If only the weather would cooperate a little.

After I finished up all the chores I wanted to do today, the rest of the day was mine.  And instead of relaxing, I took the rest of the afternoon to file away comics in my office.  It's been about six months since I last did that and the piles were starting to build up.  Not only did I take the recent books and file them away in the short boxes I have my collection in, I took the time to make labels for each of the boxes so I know what books are where.  I mean, I know what's where since everything is alphabetical, but if I wanted to pull out a box with, say, Green Lantern books, I know approximately where to find it, but now I know specifically where to find it.

I'm feeling very accomplished.  Amazing Race is about to start.  I'm going to watch that, eat something I shouldn't, climb into bed to read and then crash for the night.  And maybe actually look forward to tomorrow.


Scattered Thoughts

No real post here tonight.  Just my scattered thoughts.

╟ It's been a really long week.  The fact that I started it off as exhausted as I was didn't help.  I seemed to make a little bit of progress in the sleep department as the week went on, but it's Friday night and I'm pooped.  All I want to do is climb into bed, pull the covers up over my head and sleep until Monday morning.  Is that wrong?

╟ I'm feeling a little freaked out about the gym.  I have no plans to speak of this weekend, which means there is plenty of time to put my obsessive compulsions to work, but the gym is not open tomorrow or Sunday.  It was supposed to move to it's new location back in February, but it didn't happen.  At least not until this weekend.  I'm such a creature of habit that this is rocking me a little bit.  But I'm also looking forward to actually having a full blown LAZY weekend.  I haven't had one of those in a long, long time.  The only thing we have planned, and it's not really planned, but more of a "if we feel like it" is to go out and look at yard stuff.  I think Ken wants to get a seed spreader among other things.

╟ I'm not a great fan of ham, but Ken is insisting we have it for Easter dinner.  I told him that I'm fine with it as long as he does the cooking.  I have no interest.  We don't have any groceries in the house, so we're going to have to pick up everything tomorrow.  I'm not looking forward to it.  Every other yahoo in the world is going to be out doing the same thing.

╟ Doctor Who premieres tomorrow.  I can't tell you how excited I am that it premieres in the US on the same day as in the UK.  I've heard really good things about the season opener.

╟ And if that's not enough, I just heard today that they are going to produce a new series of AbFab.  What I heard was only three episodes, but that's fantastic.  Eddie and Patsy may be ten years older, but their tastes will naturally stay current.  I'm just trying to picture Eddie dressed like GaGa.

╟ I've been listening to the post-Diana Ross Supremes all week this week.  I think I much prefer them to the Diana Ross version of the group.  Is that sacrilegious?


Elisbeth Sladen

It was announced today that actress Elisabeth Sladen passed away this morning at the age of 63.  I really don't know why, but I was really caught off guard by this news.  I had no idea she was dealing with cancer.  She seemed so full of life on television.  She looked fantastic for a woman of 63 years old, too.  She clearly looked at least ten years younger, if not more, at least to me.  She's going to be missed.


Another Comics Post

Today was Albany's semi-annual comic book convention.  It's been going on for a couple of years now, usually two times a year.  It seems like it gets just a little bigger each time it comes around.  I've been attending the show for a while now and have enjoyed each visit.  It's by no means a big comic convention.  You won't read reports about it on the various comic book news sites.  Comic book companies don't come and set up booths and make big announcements.  Instead, it's a small show with quite a few dealers and pros, most of whom are semi-local.  Knowing that another Albany show was coming up (and another NYC show, as well), I thought now would be the right time to start getting the professional artists to start doing sketches for me.  I've never really attended enough shows in the past to make it worthwhile to buy a hardcover sketchbook for them to draw in.  But now is the right time.  I got my first five sketches today and I want to share them.

The first sketch I got was one of the Tenth Doctor drawn by Matt Smith.  This would be Matt Smith the artist, not Matt Smith the Eleventh Doctor, just as an fyi.  He said he was a little out of practice because he's been drawing the Eleventh Doctor quite a bit lately, but I think this came out fantastic.

Sketch #2 is the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl by Fred Hembeck.  When I requested her, he kind of blanked at exactly what the costume was at first, but then got it together and busted out this lovely rendition, complete with the squiggly knees.  I've known Fred for a long, long time.  The only original artwork I have in my comics room is some stuff he did for me way back in the 80s when I was working at the LCS.

Next up was Joe Staton.  I've wanted an Earth-2 Huntress picture from him for the longest time.  Joe also used to come into the comic shop I worked at.  It's been years since I've seen him.  He knew my face, but couldn't place me until I told him, then it all came flooding back.  In fact, he reminded me of the time we were at the San Diego Comic Con, took his Con ID and went to a porn store, pretending to be him.

I love this sketch.  I really wasn't expecting to get more than just a head shot, but he went overboard and I was floored.  Huntress complete with her crossbow.

Sitting next to Joe was Lee Moder.  Just as Joe was finishing up the Huntress sketch, Lee was called away to a panel about his new book with Ron Marz.  I was bummed because I was just about to ask him for a Stargirl.  Luckily I got a chance later in the day.  Of the five sketches I got, this is my favorite.  Lee spent quite a bit of time on it and it's absolutely beautiful.  Again, I was hoping for a head shot, but I got the whole kit and kaboodle.  

My final sketch was this one of Power Girl by Jamal Ingle.  He was very hard to get to during the day.  He always seemed to have a lot of people around his table.  I managed to sneak in about fifteen minutes before the end of the show.  Of all the artists, he was the one who made drawing seem the most effortless.  I have such tremendous respect for those that can draw.  I can barely draw a bath (haw haw haw.  that was funnee), so to watch these guys bust out these sketches is so impressive to me.

My book has a great start.  I'm anxious to get to more shows and get the pages filled.



So much for momentum.  I was hoping to do a whole lot better blogging this year than last.  And I think I was doing pretty good... until April hit.  Being away for a week or so really gets in the way.

Anyway, here's a brief recap of what I've been up to for the last couple of weeks.  The month started off with our first vacation of the year.  My friends George and Steve (well, just Steve.  He's the planner.  Like myself, George just wants to be told when and where and that's all he or I need) called and said they were sick of winter and needed to get away.  They were booked for a cruise the first week of April.  Were Ken and I interested?  We said YES and booked a trip.  Cruising out of NYC in early April is odd.  The cruises we've taken in the past have all originated in Miami where it is perpetual summer (at least to this northerner.)  Leaving from NYC meant long pants and coats on the day of departure.  The next day also meant warmer clothing.  It wasn't until day three that it started feeling like summer.  It's almost (but not really) like we lost a day or two at the beginning of the trip.  But once the sun came out, it was amazing.  

I didn't allow myself much rest on the trip.  I know that's what vacations are all about, but my neuroses kicked in hard and I found myself up at 6:30 every morning to get in a workout and then when naptime rolled around every afternoon, I passed on it in favor of another workout.  I was so paranoid about gaining weight that I forced myself to bust my hump.  I spent 15 1/2 hours working out and it was for nothing it seems.  I gained nearly 10 lbs while away.  In contrast, Ken did a lot of napping, a lot of lounging and a lot of eating and drinking and only came home 6 lbs heavier, and all 6 of those pounds are gone now.  I've managed to drop most of it already, but not all.  

Besides working out and stuffing my face, I did manage to find some lounging time.  I spent a good amount of time sunning myself with a large stack of comics.  Also found a few chances to play cards with Ken, George and Steve.  We love to play spades when we get together. 

Every night at 7 we had happy hour in one of the bars, where the scheduled Friends Of Dorothy meeting took place.  We met a whole bunch of great new people.  Tim & Gregg, Tony & Paul, Matt & Mark.  Some nights we dined with them, some nights alone.  It was really nice meeting new people.  And that's something I really never thought I'd hear myself say.  The first cruise Ken and I did, we chickened out on the meeting.  It wasn't until the second one (and the first with George & Steve) that we went and it turned out to be a lot of fun.  Next cruise is without G & S, so we'll see if chicken out or not.

Here are a few pics from the trip.

Ken & I freshly aboard.

Day two.  I went for a little quite reading time and found a mostly deserted lounge.  I read for a little while, then fell asleep.  Woke up and read some more, then fell asleep.  Woke up again, read, passed out.  While asleep this third time, Ken, Steve & George found me and started taking pictures.  Then they started putting things on me and taking pictures.  I was dead to the world.

I wasn't the only one dead to the world.  This guy had a lot to drink and then passed out.  He was like that for a good long while before he woke up.

There was a lot of ugly (and I do mean A LOT of ugly) on this cruise.  So when there was a rare sighting of something decent, I tried to take a picture.

Me failing to keep off the pounds.  I split my time between the elliptical and the treadmill.  The elliptical on the ship wasn't like the one I was used to at home.  It was almost an elliptical/stair stepper hybrid.  My mileage was lower than what I'm used to at home, but my calories were way up.  And I sweat twice as bad as I do at home.

Some of the new people we met.  From left to right are Gregg, Tim, Tony, Paul, me, Ken, George & Steve.

And this is Mark & Matt.

And Jacques & Yves from Quebec.

Ugh stomach isn't looking too good.  We went to Atlantis in the Bahamas.  Behind me is the giant water slide that spills you out through the shark tank.  I believe it's the steepest water slide in the world.  Like a trooper, Ken did this.  I'm still in disbelief over that.  Ken gets ill on a merry-go-round, yet he did this and another slide.

All in all, the vacation was amazing and just the break I needed.

This week has been all about readjusting back to normal life.  I've been running on empty most of the week due to lack of sleep.  I came back from the trip exhausted and jumped right back into life.  Ollie has been getting me up at 2:30 every morning.  Last night was the first night he didn't do that, but to compensate, the smoke detector mysteriously went off at 3:30am.  It took me an hour to get back to sleep before the alarm clock got me up at 5:30.  Needless to say I'm exhausted.  Tomorrow is my morning to sleep in until I wake up naturally.  We'll see how that goes.  Ollie is being locked out of the bedroom.

That's it in a nutshell.  I'm looking forward to getting some rest this weekend and making a fresh start next week.



Art and cover by GEORGE PEREZ
Legendary creators Marv Wolfman (CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) and George PÈrez (FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS) reunite for a lost tale from their classic run on the best-selling NEW TEEN TITANS!
This original graphic novel features a mysterious villain playing a deadly game with New York City as the gameboard – and the Teen Titans as thepieces! Twenty years in the making, THE NEW TEEN TITANS: GAMES is a can’t-miss for fans new and old.


The month of April has been one giant blur.  I can't believe we're nearly half way through the month.  Vacation really has a great way of fucking up the natural flow of things.  Not that I'm complaining that I got a vacation, more like I'm complaining about having trouble getting back into the normal routines and flow of things.  I feel like I haven't talked to anyone in ages.  I feel like I'm behind on housework.  I feel like I've been neglecting my blog.  I'm just feeling lost.  And exhausted.  I'll talk about that when I get a second.  But not tonight.  I'm about ready to turn in even though it's not even 9:30.  Sad, huh? 



I'm curious as to how people see me as opposed to how I see myself.  There's a tool on the web that can be used to see this.  The Johari Window was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness. By describing yourself from a fixed list of adjectives, then asking your friends and colleagues to describe you from the same list, a grid of overlap and difference can be built up.

There are two versions of this.  One uses traits that are generally more positive and the other uses traits that are generally more negative.  I've taken both quizzes about myself and I'm interested in seeing how others perceive me.  Please feel free to take the test.  You can leave your name or do it anonymously.  I don't care which way you do it as long as you do it.  Say what you honestly feel.  I'm not going to have hurt feelings if someone says something bad.  It's a learning tool and if that's how I'm seen by others, it's how I'm seen by others.