Archive for August, 2010


August 19th, 2010 No comments

I can be a horrible creature of habit. For example, if I don’t hit the comic book store on Wednesday I get panicky as all hell. Granted, I’m usually weeks behind on my reading, so I won’t even get to the books that I’m purchasing for several weeks, but I have to hit the shop on Wednesday. Irrational? Yes, but who doesn’t have an irrational behavior or twelve?

Similarly, I have a list of books (comic and conventional) that I tend to read over and over and over. I’m not sure if this is a unique behavior (I would think not) — but who knows?

The first of these books is Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. This book opened so many doors into my budding love of secret societies and cults back when I was in high school. It’s a fantastic story of “what if we make up a conspiracy to sell some books” that gets way way out of hand.

This is a book I read about once every two years just to keep the material (and paranoia) fresh. After I read the Da Vinci Code, I immediately read Foucault’s Pendulum to cleanse my palette. This is a book that was shelved with its own concordance when I first picked it up. Shit like that makes me do a happy dance.

The most important book that I read over and over and over is The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson. Anyone who knows me well should read this book just to see how my brain works. I’m not saying this book will change your life or anything, but THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!

I read this book every year without fail. Sometimes I read it twice just for good measure. I’ve already finished my first reading of 2010 and I’ll probably pick it up again after I finish reading the odd young adult fantasy series I’m reading now (Fablehaven for those who are interested).

The third multi-read book I keep close at hand is of the comic variety. Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan.

Spider Jerusalem is almost as bad ass as Warren Ellis himself and Transmet (as those in the know are oft to call it) is the ultimate in dystopian futures. It’s got drugs, politics, social commentary and oodles and oodles of bad attitude. The fact that it makes me giggle like a little girl is just the gravy on the cake.

While it is always nice to read Transmet all the way through, if I need a quick fix, I read what amounts to the first collected volumes.

Warren Ellis’ Crooked Little Vein is also quickly crawling up as being one of those books I’ll read over and over, but I need to give it a third read just to make sure.

So, gentle blog reader, any books you revisit on a regular basis?

Scenes From Outside a Box

August 18th, 2010 No comments

Many of you might be aware that I quit my job a little over two months ago to persue a life of leisure.

There are many reasons why I finally walked away from my job of five years, but they really aren’t important to anyone other than myself. The big thing that a lot of you who come in contact with me on a regular basis is that I feel like a new human being.

No more stress over factors that irked me to no end that I had no control over; no more false senses of urgency; no more working insane hours. It’s like heaven!

I gotta tell you, for the first month all I really did was sit around and watch the games of the World Cup. Sure, I cleaned the house like a madman just because I didn’t know what else to do with my idle time, but I got to see almost every game live. That’s a big first for me.

Then, when The Cup ended, I had to start thinking a little more long term. I took a little bit of time to finalize some projects that I had been freelancing on prior to quitting, but, with all this extra time, that happened really quickly.

I finally caught up on my five week backlog of comic books. Believe me, for my insane habit, five weeks is a crap load of books.

I got to play a video game for two days straight. I know that’s horribly hedonistic, but it was pretty damn awesome for me.

I bleached my hair and finally got my right lobe pierced to match the left one that had been pierced for the past twenty years (it’s the little things that working for “The Man” make you really appreciate).

I slowed way down on my smoking (I’m not going to say I’ve quit until I haven’t had a single smoke for three months and I’m not doing that hot towards that goal these days), and I started to aggressively attack a “Couch-to-5K” program. If all goes as planned, I start week four day one tomorrow morning.

This lack of day-to-day responsibility has got me feeling more centered than I have felt in a very long time. I’m less grumpy, anxious, sleepy (and other dwarfs as well) and I actually feel more healthy (except for the blasted summer cold I’m nursing right now).

And, because I can’t stay idle for too long, a friend and I have started a company to book Dallas-area bands (visit ManhandlerBooking.comfor more details). This will help me turn my habit/fascination with live music into a productive endeavor without having to expose anyone to my horrible horrible musical skills. I mean it. There’s a reason I do the vocal parts of Rock Band while squeezle is out of the house. There are just a few people who have been exposed to my dabbling in karaoke who are still alive to tell the tale. It’s just badness.

Unfortunately, the one thing I really intended to do over the past two months, but really haven’t gotten around to is write. I’ve been so lax with this blog that I probably need to get in here and scrub off a goodly layer of dust and mold before proceeding.

So, here’s the deal. I’ve got more to say and I’m hoping you folks are still willing to read it. I can’t promise any of it will be heady or substantive, but it will, at the very least, give you a little brain break for part of your day.

To quote something a very wise man said upon being woken on the couch: “My mind is a sewer, and I live in a cardboard box.”

P.S. For all of you worried about that mouse up there at the top of my post, don’t worry. He’s suspended in a PFC solution, so he’s just fine.