< Piro >
Wednesday - August 31, 2016
Well, to say this year has not "gone to plan" would be a remarkable understatement.
Most of you who follow what I'm up to on Twitter, Facebook or Twitch already know what a mess this year has been for me. The good news is that I think things have finally settled down over the past few weeks and (hopefully) it will stay that way. I've been scrambling to try to get back up to speed with, oh you know, all that Meagtokyo stuff I'm supposed to be doing. I wanted to write a rant to explain what has been going on and where things are at for those of you who may have missed some of my frantic whining and grumbling over the past six months.
There has been a general consensus among people that 2016 has sucked pretty hard. Not just because of the loss of many beloved celebrities but just in general for many people I know. Funny thing, we all said the same thing about 2015. I have a litany of things that I've had to struggle with over the past few years (I'll spare you a list) always resulting in me being more than a little ready to move onto the new year. I certainly felt that way in the last few days of December, but experience has taught me that I should know better than to expect smooth sailing for the new year.
2016 rose to the challenge. Early in the morning on New Years day, my mom ended up in the hospital and almost died.
My mom's health has been declining markedly over the past year, to the point that in November I was very worried about where things were going. This was complicated by the fact that my dad has been suffering with Parkinson's for the past few years and his condition had been declining as well. After losing Sarah's mom in 2015, I was already braced for where things might eventually go but her decline happened a lot faster than any of us expected. My family was unprepared for the change of her requiring full time care. With my sister and I being the only family out here (and my sister living on the other side of the state) we suddenly had my hands full trying to figure out how to deal with the life changes now in motion for my parents.
In January and February We scrambled to completely rework their house to make it safe for Mom and also for Dad to be able to take care of her. I'm sure some of you know how complicated this can get and how much work is involved. I was still worried that this was not going to work long term and with her condition she might eventually need to go into resident elder care. Of course, neither of my parents wanted this (who does?)so we did our best to set things up at home see how well it worked out.
After we got my parents settled I spent almost a month moving the MegaGear warehouse out of my old location bringing most of it home. Anytime you downsize something like this it's more than a little bit of a challenge, but since i lost the ability to print my own t-shirts I have been working on downsizing Megagear to something I can handle on my own at home. This is still a bit of a work in progress.
Not long after the warehouse move things were still pretty chaotic. Since the fates love to beat on me, there was another situation that came out of the blue that I don't want to discuss publicly but it required a lot of time to clear up and get on track (thankfully it all went ok, since it was about Jack). I was also trying to get comics done, draw and color entertaining artwork, and finish all the gruntwork needed to get Megatokyo Omnibus volume 2 to the printers (750+ pages! - Which, BTW, should be coming out later in September). Life is always complicated and busy, which is fine, and I did my best to try to catch up after a really rough start to the year.
Unfortunately, it was also becoming clear that my parents were not really doing very well. There were several trips to the hospital as my mom's health continued to decline. Once school was out, Sarah and Jack and I were going to take a road trip out to Pennsylvania to do some hiking and to Washington DC to take jack to the Air and Space museum. I told dad that when I got back we should talk about what we might be next regarding Mom's care.
It was while on the Appellation Trail somewhere near the Delaware Water gap, walking along with my family on a beautiful afternoon that I got a text msg from my dad:
"Your mom fell and broke her arm. Call me."
Well, as you can imagine, this set a lot of things in motion that has taken up a lot of my time for the past several months. We were lucky because mom did not break her hip, which would have been potentially fatal given her fragility, but it was clear that Mom was going to have to move into an elder care facility. I won't go into all the details of everything I've had to do to help facilitate this - once again, if any of you have ever had to deal with this kind of situation you know what it's like. The only good thing is that Mom is now safe and well taken care of, and Dad is doing better now that he is not the one primarily responsible for her care.
There are still a lot of things to do (which once again I won't go into but this has been far more complicated than I imagined) but generally as of two weeks ago things are more or less in place. This has been a huge load off my shoulders, as you can imagine. Of course, that just meant that I needed to get back to all the other stuff i've been so behind on. I was now even FURTHER behind on everything than i was back in June and it was more than a little depressing. I missed being able to pull together an update on the 3 year anniversary of the Megatokyo Visual Novel Game kickstarter, I was behind on comics, I thankfully was able to hit my deadlines for Omnibus 2, but I was behind schedule on comics, Megagear orders to ship, artwork that needed doing... well, everything. ^^;;
Of course, the only thing to do is roll up your sleeves and get to work, which is what I'm doing. I have managed to get a couple of comics done in the past few weeks and I've made good progress on the MTVN work I wanted to get done to hit that milestone I was hoping to reach before things went pear shaped on me. Aside from having to run around screaming from time to time (Jack joins me when i do it, running around the room laughing and screaming with me), I'm learning how to once again deal with just normal levels of stress and chaos :)
I appreciate the support and understanding all of you have been kind enough to give me over the course of this challenging year. No one in the world has such a kind, understanding and long suffering fanbase as I do, and I hope that in the end the work I HAVE managed to get done has been at least a little entertaining and enjoyable. I'm working as hard as I can to try to catch up with everything and I thank you for your patience with me. Those of you with outstanding orders and other requests, i'll do my best to catch up as soon as I can here.
I do really wish my life would stop being more chaotic than the stupid comic. Did I mention my computer died in the midst of this and I had to get a new one up and running? It's been all kinds of things like that, there have been times this year when I swear i'm in the middle of a dark humor comedy skit.
Thank you again for your support, and lets see if I can use my powers of stress and chaos to chunk out more of those, oh, you know, comic things I actually do enjoy making.