Home Again, Home Again

Is it possible to feel like you’ve been travelling without ever leaving the area? I feel like I haven’t been home for the past week, even though I was. There’s a trail of debris all over the place to prove it, in fact. But with 953 different things on my plate at once, I don’t think I ever stopped moving for more than a few minutes to appreciate being home.

But, that’s all over for now. The craziness of September seems to be firmly behind me, having culminated in the Small Press Expo (SPX), which I’ve helped run since 1998. It’s a labor of love, certainly; it eats up chunks of time (although not as much as before since I’ve reduced my role to primarily just the Ignatz Awards) but at the end of the day I get to see so many lovely and wonderful friends that it’s worth it. Of course, I don’t ever get to spend enough time with any of them, which sucks a little bit. But even a few minutes chat is better than nothing at all.

I’ve also vowed to start scanning in my wine sketches once more. I know, I’ve said this before. But I mean it this time. Really. It was invigorating being around so many talented artists all weekend long. I also took some photos at the show that—especially the ones on Sunday using a prime lens—I’m pretty happy with.

Tired and UnfocusedAside from two meetings for work later this week, it is nice to look ahead and see on my schedule… nothing. (Well, almost nothing. I’ve got two runs in the morning for the weekend, and some stuff starts showing up next weekend. But it’s not like last week for instance where every day had a to-do list the length of my arm.) I’m hoping to spend Thursday night in front of the television because I don’t have other things that must be accomplished first.

I think this is what I’d really like to accomplish in the next two weeks:

  • Read some books
  • Write some reviews
  • Clean the living room
  • Cook some new recipes
  • Watch some television
  • Take some naps
  • Go for a swim or two

Will I accomplish them all? I hope so. I also challenge everyone else to follow this list for the next two weeks. I think it’s going to be fun.

Aaaarrrggghhh

I managed to somehow delete an entire post about the arrival of autumn (it’s not in my drafts or anything) that was going to go here. And to top it off, I realized about an hour ago that I managed to leave my bathing suit hanging on one of the dryers at the gym. Will call them tomorrow and hopefully it wasn’t thrown out. (Probably not, but you never know.)

Just one of those “aaaarrrrggghhhh” nights. Ah well, at least I didn’t accidentally blow up the universe. (Yet.)

Cleaning, Sorting, Re-arranging

I literally just spent the last three hours cleaning my bedroom. It’s amazing how much I’ll let some stuff pile up; it was almost all at one spot in particular where books and comics (both read and unread) were slowly accumulating. So instead of getting writing done (which also needed to be tackled today) I rolled up the proverbial sleeves and dug in like there was no tomorrow.

On the bright side, what a difference. All sorts of stuff earmarked for library donation, thrown away, or kept but now in a place where I’ll actually see it again. Always a nice feeling to get that sort of stuff done, even if it was long overdue. Next weekend’s goal is to wipe out the now five(!) bags of books that need to be sorted into library, Amazon re-selling, or eBay. Oof.

Of course, the stuff in the bedroom isn’t the only thing that’s being re-arranged. After a good 20-miler last Saturday, my right calf was feeling pretty sore on Sunday and part of Monday. It felt ok on Tuesday, but after just two miles of running it started hurting again. I went to a Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine doctor who diagnosed it as a strain, and also gave me an insert for my right running shoe to hopefully help prevent this in the future. But it does mean a couple of weeks off of running.

I took this as an opportunity to finally buy a 25-punch visitor pass for the pool near work on Friday (as well as heading over and swimming 32 laps), since it and spinning were both deemed acceptable. If I just keep active between these two, it should hopefully help minimize the amount of rebuilding I have to do before November 1st. I’m hoping the slight break will also help me get a little more jazzed about it when it rolls around; a solid year of marathon training is getting a little mentally wearing as time goes on. As psyched as I am for the Disneyworld races in January, I’ll be glad when they’re done.

Wishing I Was There

My friend Graeme introduced me to the phrase of Jungian Radio, where for a lack of a better description, is when you have that song that is forever attached to some sort of moment or memory in your life. While trying to find YouTube videos to drive Charlie insane (it’s my job), I saw a link for a Natalie Imbruglia video, and suddenly I was back in Rome at the end of 2006.

I wish I could remember the name of the club/bar, but it’s lost to me now. I do remember that Tod, Doug, and I went there on a whim; we wanted something simple and easy, and it looked good. The place was going to turn into a dance club in an hour or so, but until then they were still serving food. While we were sitting down and waiting for our food, the music playing sounded awfully familiar. It wasn’t until I’d mouthed half of the words to “Wishing I Was There” and “Don’t You Think?” that I finally figured out it Natalie Imbruglia’s Left of the Middle CD playing on random.  I don’t think I’d listened to any of that CD in about six years or so by that point, and all of the sudden it made me desperately want to hear it again.

Sunset on Rome

All of this, more than anything else, makes me want to go back to Italy. Or really, somewhere new in Europe, there are so many other countries waiting to be explored. When I’m on holiday, you’re given the excuse to walk around in a city or town for hours and just stop at a random cafe and eat something. When I’m home, there’s always something else that needs to be done, or a favorite place that I end up eating at instead of just taking a random stab and seeing what I end up with. (Or most likely, not eating out and just making lunch or dinner.)

Charlie and I spent part of Saturday looking at some different neighborhoods, ones to just try and get a better grasp of what’s out there and what our future options are. One of the most exciting things about doing that? The idea of having the slate cleared on all of those patterns and habits that we fall into. Start over, reset and reboot, ctrl-alt-del. Get forced to find something new. I like that.

Funny what a single YouTube link will dredge up.