My computer's casing cracked again. I'm not entirely sure why - yes, I move it around a lot, but it's not like I'm wacking it against things or dropping it on the floor. I think I have just begun to come to terms with the fact that I bought a budget-priced laptop, and the wear and tear is just the side-effect of that. It is the exact same kind of problem I paid Dell somewhere in the area of 200 dollars to fix before. This time I just took super glue, and press the cracks together, sealing the whole thing up on the outside. It looks like crap, like I actual took a butane lighter and melted the casing back together, but otherwise, it has worked perfectly.
It is in these moments I fear I may have forgotten myself.
I find myself wondering why I have strayed so far from these sorts of solutions to my problems, why I had gotten to a place where functional [when all I needed was function] wasn't good enough. It screams of trying to impress someone, and missing the point of what I should really be doing entirely.
I've been pretty busy this past week - most of it has been from paying work. My book reviews have gotten a little intense, longer books arriving at shorter intervals from each other - nothing to complain about, what I get is really just a roll of the dice, and when I get it is almost entirely up to me, when I turned my last review in. But occasionally when two land so close together it's easy to feel overwhelmed, like all I'm doing are reviews, and that's when a pretty sweet deal tends to feel a little more like a job. The company seems really pleased with the work I do though, and I like that, and I don't know this for sure but I've felt lately like I've been getting better assignments from them. I can't think of a single way they'd do that, but still.
It's one of those management tools I picked up from Terry back in the day - letting your people know they're doing good work can really make them feel better about said work they're doing, even if the tasks themselves haven't changed much.
Speaking of Terry, working on the press releases for our PRSA-WV Crystal Award win was what the bulk of last week went to. You can see a bit about our win here on the PRSA website [search "Vandalia," "Angela Beth Armstead," or "Terry Lively" on the page to see the exact info], and I'll link one of the press releases proper if either go up on the web. I got eight billable hours out of doing the releases, which is pretty accurate to the actual time spent working on them - I'm still in that place where there's always an hour or two I forget to account for, and I'm never comfortable guessing and charging the client for that, but I was much better at keeping track this time. I thought it turned out well, but I promised a final edit, which will probably come down the tube sometime this week.
I also got this on Twitter last week from my cousin Travis, concerning the copy I did for his website, TCustomz.com:
DM from TCustomz: "dude, i'm on the first page of Google for "soul beats" and "sampled beats" thanks to your writing"
This? This I really love. This is a DM notification I'd frame if possible. Twitter should look in to maybe selling prints of said tweets. If I got these for everything I worked on, I almost wouldn't need paid.
I also said goodbye to my kid brother this week. Aaron's... shipping out, sans the ship, headed to basic training as part of the US Army. My mom and step-dad threw a small get-together in his honor on Saturday, and even though I'm just as proud of him as anyone, I still have crazy-mixed feeling about my only sibling going off to join the armed forces in this particular climate. Anyone who doesn't give a shit about politics clearly has never had someone they loved in a position to be put in harms way, and I've just been kind 0f... I'll be honest, I'm not even half-way to untangling all my emotions as it concerns his enlisting. I was very lucky to have my friend Beck along with me, it helped take the edge off like you wouldn't believe, and though I've tried, I'll never really be able to thank her enough for that.
The crazy thing is, Aaron is one of the strongest guys I know, and as much as I'm sweating this for him, I imagine to him it's probably next to no big deal. He has this amazing ability to be calm in the face of things that most of us couldn't even dream of dealing with in such a composed and measured manner, and I honestly don't believe there's anything they can throw at him that will ever be able to throw him. But hey. He's my little brother.
I'll be out from under these book reviews by the fourth [there's always more, but hopefully not in the same quick succession], and imagine I'll have notes on the press releases and will have made all the important changes by then, too. I'm hoping to have the time to work on some of my more creative projects after, either editing on "The Tagalong," or maybe starting the script for "Cherry Stone." Both have been on my mind a whole lot lately, and I'd like to have the time to put some work in on them. Plus, I have this nice stack of new books from friends for my Birthday that I'd love to start tearing into ["Bone," anyone? Also, Gillen and McKelvie's "Phonogram" - and a bunch of Tina Fey's essays].
I'm also hoping to have an update about "VHS Generation" from Ander. I know he was under the gun on deadlines for a bit, but last we talked he also seemed like he was making some headway on maybe some layouts, or something nifty I could show off here. The same is true for Justin - I heard from him around my birthday, and it looks like he's found a better way to schedule time for the comic [re: "Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name"] around or maybe during his working hours, so I wouldn't be surprised if I have something to show off for that in the next couple weeks too.