Serve the Servant(s)

Few things to run through. Just not like, you know, on a sword.

First up, congratulations to my kid brother, Aaron, who graduated from high school this past week. As you can see in the picture, like most high school grads, he can't quite see what all the fuss is about - a feeling I remember well, the sort of "what did you expect was going to happen" vibe that makes it difficult to understand what all the fuss is about. While I certainly felt like high school was going to go on forever, and even hypothesized once to a very stoned friend that maybe it would, that somewhere along the way we had died, and went to hell, and that this was our eternal damnation, two kids forced to live the same day over and over again, backs to the same wall, going through the same routine, over and over again, with no deviation. All as some punishment from some past deviation.

I think what I neglected back then, what the grads are probably suppose to neglect, is that this was not so much a day for the grad. Commencement is for the families, the relatives. A show you act in, but would really not be too keen on watching.

I enjoyed the ceremony, found a lot of hilarity in how high strung my mother was, and gave Aaron a nice gift to commemorate the day. I tracked down an old Raketa watch from the 1970s, the sort issued in the Soviet Military along with the more
ostentatious and common [so I'm told] Vostok watches. He's always been a bit of a war buff, and I wanted to get him a watch because my Dad got me one when I graduated, and that seemed to fit. Plus, a proper tank of wind-up that only the USSR can make? Can't beat that.

And it's hard not to find the tiny "CCCP" pretty nifty too.

We got my grandmother home on Thursday, and most of my time since then has been getting her settled in, making sure she doesn't overdo it before getting back to 100%. She's always been intensely independent, and I personally believe that you don't live and go through the things she has, and then have to get ordered around by some 20-something, no matter how good his intentions are. So it's mostly about keeping up with things, getting them done so she just doesn't have to worry about them. We're slipping back into a regular routine here, but it might be another week before I get back to serious work on any sort of writing project.

It's good to have her home. I appreciate all the support, all the nice things said or done by folks while I was dealing with all this. Thank you.

This whole thing is the major reason while my normal, daily linking of things on my Twitter page has stopped. I apologize to anyone who thinks I might be snubbing them by not throwing them some coverage, believe me, I want to, I've just been really busy and really distracted, and that's put a crimp in things. Most everything I link tends to show up in the right sidebar there under "Blog Roll," so I'd recommend checking there daily. Even if I haven't blogged [and that might continue to be sparse too], please come back and see what all my friends have been up to.

Also, something to check out:

Some, though not all, of my copy for has went live. Travis is exceptionally pleased with what we have so far, and we're really only one sit-down and probably a little bit of editing from yours truly away from being completely finished. It was a new experience for me, as I'd put website copy together before, but never for a company like this, and there is very little out there to use as examples or build upon. I'm pleased though, and again, feeling a little better about trusting myself.

Speaking of web copy, the company I was working for on the Angela Beth Armstead, DDS website - Terry Lively's Vandalia Productions - has won an award from the West Virginia branch of The Public Relations Society of America. I don't know much in the way of details yet, but apparently there's going to be a dinner/reception on the 15th that I'll be attending. We're all going as group, company solidarity, I'll probably write more about it when I have more information. It seems like a pretty big deal, though.

As personal work goes, I want to thank John, Ian, Max, and Dave for all the kind words and retweets on "Dante Hicks is Dead." That meant a lot, and along with the "likes" on Facebook, I'm thinking these essays are something I might like to pursue. I jumped the gun a little with this one - I don't feel nearly ready to churn these out on anything resembling a regular basis - but that they elicited any response at all made me think I wasn't crazy to put some time towards this first one, and that it was all positive seems like an even greater endorsement. I am sitting on about ten other rough topics for these essays- originally, I was considering something only 80s and 90s-based, but I've since had a couple of ideas concerning things like Scott Pilgrim and Bryan Danielson, so this might just become something of a catch-all "my life through pop culture" kind of memoir thing.

So there will be more, under the tag of "Casey Jones's Blues." I expect it could be a little bit before a second installment, just because, again, I put "Dante Hicks is Dead" up before I really had an overall theme in mind or anything like that. I've also got to finish "The Tagalong" and some stuff that I have been working on/putting off since before I decided to throw this first essay in a series out into the world. But I feel pretty confidant that I'm going to keep at it, and hopefully soon, if only because I've been reading so much Joan Didion, and Bucky Sinister.

If you know their work, you'll see where I'm coming from.

Brief letter from Ander recently, telling me to expect an email sometime this week. Possibly "VHS Generation"-related artwork? Fingers crossed.

Speaking of comics, my friend Sarah told me today that "Girls with Slingshots," a web comic I enjoy immensely but desperately need to catch up on, is authored by a West Virginia native, someone still actually living here in Sheperdstown. I had not known this about Danielle Corsetto, and am a little bummed that she hasn't gotten more local coverage [or perhaps I had just missed it], but I found myself almost too excited about it, a little gleam of hope that I haven't had since finding out Norm Scott [that'd be of "Hsu and Chan" fame] was also from around here. Of course, I don't draw, which is really a problem since it's so difficult finding people up for any sort of long-term collaboration, but still.

Also local, not comic-related, but still cool, the oft-linked, always quality Glen "Mario's Closet" Brogan has begun working on a mural in the city of Charleston. You can see his announcement of the project here, and some posts about his progress here and here. Big congratulations to Glen on this - we're all proud of him.

Looks, it's no secret that I hate it in this state. You can point a lot of fingers as to whose fault that is or isn't, whether I'm difficult, or if there's just nothing here. I find people will make their own decisions, there. The long and short of it is that Randall Nichols and West Virginia have not worked out for each other in many creative ways - but those who it has, those who I would like to call peers [as the gaps between their successes and my failures grow, I feel worse for doing that], their accomplishments are substantial, and I like celebrating them, want to celebrate them. And stuff like this gives me hope that myself and WV may one day work for each other enough so that the two of us can go our separate ways, hopefully in peace.

Hoping to grab just a little bit of sleep. Feeling a little more tired than usual.

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