Thursday, February 28, 2013

Another 100 Countries to Go

My passport came back from the Passport Agency with new pages!

I'm glad it's back—I hate when my passport is off on its own plans and out of my possession. But don't the new pages look fake and out of place?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Now in Hardcover

Look what showed up on my doorstep yesterday! 

I can't believe how fast that happened. I just turned it in before I went to Burma. And there's still a month before the on-sale date. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Making Stuff

Remember when I took the three-month-long woodworking course at SVA? 

I loved that, and I enjoy most things where I get to take a class and do something new for a few hours. Like pie school or bag-sewing class or glassblowing school. I was terrible at both robot school and knitting school and you won't catch me trying those again, but I enjoy the experience of learning most new things.

I had a discount at 3rd Ward, and it's been a while since I got to do something with my hands, so I signed up for this class in making a cutting board.

Of course, by the time the class rolled around, I was much too busy with a deadline to go, but I'd signed up and paid already, so I shoved aside my work thoughts and caught the PATH to 14th Street to the L train to an alarmingly dilapidated stop.

And a great class. There were too many students, and my skills were rusty, but by the time we were gluing, I knew that I wanted more time to square my wood, but I'd overcome my long-term fear of the table saw.

The final product looks fantastic. It's mostly maple but has two outer strips of cherry. I love it, but if my past history is any reflection of what's going to happen next, I'll probably put off sanding and oiling this for a year.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Catching Up on Some Reading

I downloaded Warren Ellis's Gun Machine to my iPad the night before I flew to Burma in December. I thought I'd read it on the plane.

This turned to be an ambitious plan, the idea that I could keep my eyes open on either leg of the halfway round-the-world journey.

And then I didn't read it in Burma either. Too much to see. Too much work to do in the evenings, too much blogging to do too.

You'd think I'd have read it on my million-leg flight on the way home. I'm not sure why I didn't. Oh yeah. I was busy sniffling and sneezing all the way home.

I forgot about it after a while. I also have my friend Larry Hama's book sitting on that same iPad, downloaded the same night.

And then I started to feel guilty. Why don't I ever read anymore? And both of these guys are supportive of me and my projects...why hadn't I read their books?

I turned on my iPad the other night.

"I'll just read a chapter of Warren's book before I go to sleep. If I read a chapter a night, I'll finish it in a few weeks."

Three hours later, I finished it.

Yes, it's that good. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Keeping On File

My friend Denise brought me a Valentine's Day fortune cookie that her ten-year-old son had made.

I found this in it.

I'll definitely show this to any fool who might dispute my my "pure awesomeness."

Friday, February 15, 2013

All Grown Up

You know what's fun about being an adult?

You can do this and get away with it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Man, you won't hear me complaining today.

There have been years where I felt sorry for myself for not having plans for Valentine's Day, but my current quip is that it's worse to have plans. There's a lot of build-up, a lot of uncertainty, and it's not that easy to create a romantic situation just because you're supposed to.

If anything, I'd say V.D. is awkward.

Last year, Prince (Not-Very) Charming told me a few weeks a head of time about how great he was with gifts, how one year he'd taken his then-GF for a surprise ride on a small plane.

I stared aghast...I'd been thinking of getting him something small. You know, a wallet or a shirt. Suddenly, I was learning that a wallet or shirt wouldn't be anywhere near enough.

I raced around, searching for something I could afford and that was unique. I didn't do well, until finally I bought two theater tickets. Two expensive tickets.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Now in Paperback

Remember a year ago when I was editing a Marvel novel that my pal Stuart was writing? It came out in hardcover ages ago, but I just got the paperback reprint in the mail. It looks great—I hope it goes on sale in all kinds of outlets. I hope I get a paperback too after my Iron Man book comes out.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Hero Mapping

Following up on the day job post from yesterday, here's a close-up of one of the sections on our office wall. It can be hard to keep track of where all  the characters are from!

Friday, February 08, 2013

By Day

If anyone is wondering what exactly I do that I can run around the world and work at the same time, writer and editor Peter Moore has posted an explanation, or rather, an interview with me here. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Dual Contracts

I'd been scheduled to go on a NYC Transit Museum tour of the Coney Island yards at the end of 2012. That's where they overhaul and fix subway cars, store some, maintain others. The yards can store 1,800 subway cars, and I remember passing it well back in 1986, when I lived in Sheepshead Bay and worked on Staten Island for while. I'd walk to the D train, take it out to Coney Island, catch the N train to where I could transfer at Brooklyn's 59th Street, and end up at a stop on the R train where I'd catch a bus over the bridge to Staten Island.

I wasn't real happy about Coney Island in those days. It was just another stop along an extended route to my internship at the Staten Island Advance newspaper.

I can appreciate industrial areas more now, particularly when they lead up to boardwalks and amusement parks. So I was pretty excited about the Coney Island yards tour.