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< Piro >

Jack & Daddy, the Post-Op Lounger

"Post Op & Library-ing"

Thursday - October 22, 2009

[Piro] - 12:11:12 - [link here]

If you have been paying attention to my twitter-sludgestream lately as opposed to waiting for me to update this poorly neglected column, you will know Tuesday was a rough day for my little guy. Jack had his Tonsils and Adenoids removed, which is a big deal when you are barely two years old. The good news is that he came through everything just fine and after spending a night in the PICU we were finally able to go home yesterday afternoon and he's doing great. In fact, you'd hardly know he had the operation two days ago the way he's popping around today.

Now his parents didn't fair quite so well in the ordeal (i wont get into the long list of 'you gotta be kidding me' things that happened, like the surgery being delayed and his post-op medication wearing off and having to go in and hold and comfort the little guy him while they gave him anesthesia, dealing belatedly with the fact that parents are not big on remembering to feed themselves when their kid is in the hospital, and having a dead battery in the vehicle at 2am in the hospital parking structure) but now that we're all back home I think we survived. The rant image is from yesterday when i had pretty much been pressed into service as a lounger for Jack as he slept of the drowseys. Kids can exercise some serious Sleep Voodoo on you when they want to, especially when you are seriously overtired. Oh, and Mommies should not be allowed to have cameras.

I've been threatening to start writing rants again since a week or so before Jack's little fun day at the hospital, but as usual i found myself extremely preoccupied with things leading up to it. Yes, i am an obsessive and worry too much about my boy when it comes to things like this, it's just the way I'm wired. Now that we're on the other side of it i feel tons better, and after looking at the calendar i realized that i really should write about what i'm doing this weekend. :)

On Saturday October 24th I will be giving a presentation at the Dexter District Library in Dexter, Michigan from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. It'll be on the lower level and should be pretty easy to find, all are welcome to attend. I plan on talking about both the drawing and writing processes involved in creating comics (mine, at least) as well as ways to explore and expand upon your creative ideas. It's a pretty casual thing, so be sure to bring some questions. Hopefully i'll be able to provide some semblance of an answer. I will also be helping judge entries to the Manga Illustration contest and announcing winners after my presentation.

So, if you live in the area and have some time, stop by the Dexter District Library and join us. Should be fun.

You may have noticed that we have some additional contributors who have been writing and contributing rants to the right column. These are some of the guys who have been helping me in recent years, most noticeably in the website overhaul and rebuild. Now, these guys are pretty decent guys and have not caused me the kind of grief that would make me want to make them into MT characters (an abusive and cruel act that i would not put upon anyone lightly) but i figure some ranting into the void won't be too detrimental to their lives. If they get out of line, Dom will it.

Right now, i'm off to get some shirt printing done and then see what i can do to get that last comic finished and get the next one on deck and up before it becomes 'next week'. Even in spite of Jack's thing this week, i'm pushing to get the comic output up to at least two comics per week. I apologize for the slow flow lately, hopefully it can become a thing of the past. I'd say that for 'not ranting' too, but i know better than to say it. Any progress on that will happen by doing it. I will say that i'm getting really sick of Twitter's 140 character limit.

< Dom >

""But it's my birthday...""

Monday - October 26, 2009

[Dom] - 11:33:37 - [link here]

"But it's my birthday..." is a terribly cliched line used by hack writers to deepen the impact of a traumatic or tragic event by having it happen to someone on a normally joyous day. And yet, I keep thinking it to myself, because while Hamusutaa and I were holding our annual joint birthday party on Sunday, he got the call we'd been dreading for weeks: our friend Rannie Yoo (who became Rannie Reid the week before) had finally lost her battle with cancer.

I first met Rannie through a dozen mutual friends, since we both went to Cal and were officers in Cal Animage Alpha. But we didn't stay as friends-of-friends for very long. Rannie was just too friendly, and plus she had pretty much the same hobbies as I did so we just kept bumping into each other. We played D&D and Call of Cthulhu together, we saw each other at conventions all the time, and our work lives also intersected while I worked at GamePro and Wired and she worked video game PR for various companies.

I always made time to "bump in" to Rannie at E3 and Anime Expo and a dozen other events, because even though she would always be exhausted from having to work her ass off at PR or dealer's room or con ops or whatever hat she wore, she would never fail to have a warm smile and a hug for me. That little boost from her would be enough to get me through the rest of the day, whether I had to run from appointment to appointment or pull 12-hour staffing shifts.

But what I will always remember most about Rannie isn't how she always seemed to have the energy for events yet always fell asleep during our game sessions. It was how she was able to hunker down and get serious in any situation, and wasn't afraid to kick everyone else into shape too. In one of the first AOD events, when it was still called Anime Overdose, Rannie, Hamu, and I were all running the con ops room, which is the last and best line of defense from utter chaos at most cons. At the time, AOD was a young event staffed entirely by a close group of friends, and I didn't take it very seriously - I goofed off, I wandered around, and was generally an anchor. Rannie noticed this and told me up front: "If I was in charge, I would have kicked you off by now."

It was said in her usual chatty tone and she had a slight smile on her face as she said it, but at that moment I knew she meant every word of it. And I also knew that she was right. After that, I started taking my responsibilities more seriously and goofing off less in every aspect of life, from family and friends to work obligations.

I'm not fully there yet (I'm writing this rant at work just before I head to lunch, after all), but even though Rannie and I kind of lost touch over the last couple years, I still feel like I owe it to her to raise myself up to her standards, so I'm still worthy of her friendship. It's a weird motivation, but it's a better way to honor her memory than simply raising a beer - though I'm going to be doing plenty of that for Rannie in the coming week.

Good night, Rannie. I hope we meet the next time 'round too, wherever that is. I could use another friend willing to kick me in the pants.

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