(Not So) Happy Monday! David Bowie & Geeky Stuff

David Bowie Rolling Stone

Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Hey guys. I woke up to the sad news that David Bowie passed away. It doesn’t seem fair that such a prolific, talented, and unique musician died of cancer at 69.

He was an artist to the end, releasing his final album, Blackstar, just a few days ago. His final–haunting–video, “Lazarus,”is a goodbye letter to his fans. Watch it:

He knew he was dying when he made this. Chills.

Phew! So, any other links will probably seem trivial now, but let’s dig in:

Geeky Stuff

I’ve been invited to guest host my favorite podcast, Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, for a second time! I am so thrilled to team up with Miles again (particularly the stuff we get to cover this time out) and so psyched to nerd out! Make sure to catch up on episodes with Jay (formerly Rachel) and Miles in the meantime; my episode will air January 31st.

What’s your favorite comic of 2015? Fight Club 2? Ladykiller? Bitch Planet? Silver Surfer? Vote for the best comic of 2015 over at the Things From Another World Facebook page and let your voice be heard! Voting ends January 14.

Other Year-End Stuff

Despair in the Afternoon just posted their annual Year of Suck in Review for General Hospital and it is hilarious. A must-read for anyone who’s ever enjoyed (or hate-watched) a soap.

I spent this weekend revamping my monthly meal-planning spreadsheets and did the vast majority of my grocery shopping yesterday. I’ll be posting my method for anyone’s who’s interested tomorrow. Feedback is more than welcome!

Yikes! I’m way behind the curve, but I finally got The Girl on the Train from the library last week, and I read it in 24 hours–and it kind of messed me up for a bit! It’s a murder mystery told through three very unreliable, flawed narrators. Rachel, the main character, is a complete train wreck, and not in a sexy way. She’s a divorced, pathetic alcoholic who has been fired from her job, but who’s still fixated on her ex-husband (who’s remarried with a child) and a married couple she’s never met, but whose lives she’s imagines as she passes their house on the train every day. When the wife disappears, Rachel–half out of an impulse to help, half just to be important to someone–involves herself in the case.

There will–of course–be a movie, and a glamorous movie actress–of course (Emily Blunt)–will be playing Rachel, who in the book is constantly described as fat, unattractive, and clumsy. Sigh.

That’s what I’ve got this week–anyone have any book recommendations? I need to build up my library queue!

Happy Wednesday! True Parent, Flaxseed Banana Muffins & Failure

Me hamming it up at the Rose City Comic Con Rachel & Miles Meetup!

Happy . . . Wednesday! I’ve been battling a cold, so yesterday morning’s usual blog post was postponed until now. Hopefully it will be worth the wait!

Read Me Elsewhere

I’m so excited to announce that I wrote an article for True Parent magazine, an offshoot of the Portland Mercury, titled “Taking Yourself out of the Game” about leaving the comics industry and becoming a stay-at-home mom at 40. Regular readers know I’ve been struggling with this (“I Need a New Title“)–although I love staying home with the kids, I do miss working and feel a bit . . . diminished.

Anyway, writing about my experiences has been really therapeutic for me, and I’d like to thank Wm. Steven Humphrey for green-lighting my article and giving it his editorial polish. Read it and tell me what you think!

Comics and Geekery

I had a wonderful time this weekend at Rose City Comic Con–although I still barely know what to do with myself as an attendee, rather than an exhibitor. The first thing I did was find the TFAW booth–it still feels like home.

Sarah and I didn’t spend more than a couple of hours on the floor, but we did get a peek at Carol Spinney–the man behind Big Bird–and I caught up with a bunch of old friends.

The highlight, however, was definitely the Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men listener meetup at the Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven, a delightfully dark and atmospheric underground bar and performance space here in Portland. Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes host a brilliant, insightful, fast-paced podcast exploring every nook and cranny of the X-Men, and their devotion was on display–literally–in the form of an incredible “Wanted” piece from the cover of Uncanny X-Men #141 (part of Days of Future Past), created by Rachel and artist David Wynne and pictured above. It was truly magnificent in person!

But where there are highs, there must be lows. I was profoundly affected by writer Michael Moreci’s (Hoax Hunters) post, “On Failure” and I’d love to get your take on it. He talks about his struggles with failure–both real and perceived–in an intelligent and bracing fashion that was really soothing. I felt like I was letting go of a breath I’ve held for 20+ years while reading it.

Food

This Banana Wheat Muffin recipe from 100 Days of Real Food has been my go-to for breakfast this year, but I’ve discovered an awesome variation! I was out of whole wheat flour, so I used white flour and swapped out 1/2 cup of it for flax meal. They were awesome. Flaxseed provides fiber, protein, and can supposedly help eczema, among other things. Plus: tasty.

In other news: I’m an aunt! My brother and his girlfriend had their baby boy, and he’s so cute! I’m working on a post for their baby shower, so watch for it this week!

I Need a New Title

Ain't they cute?

Ain’t they cute?

(A few days ago): “You still can’t talk about TFAW without saying, ‘We,'” my husband said. “You need to get over it.”

(Last week): “Why don’t we let our guest, Elisabeth Allie, introduce herself?” “Hi there, I’m a former marketing manager for Things From Another World, now stay-at-home mom . . . ”

(My Twitter description): Comic lover. Former marketing chick for . A baby is my boss now.

It’s true. I quit officially quit my job in December to stay home with Sarah, but I’m still clinging to my old title like a security blanket–my identity. Who am I without a job? I’m afraid of the answer.

After all, I think–why would podcasts like Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men or Ask Me About My Draculas ask me to be a guest, if not for my (now over) job? I still message a pal at work: Hey, so-and-so just announced a new book, this would be a great signing! I pull out my work history (history) as some sort of credentials whenever I meet someone new. It’s like I’m saying, I wasn’t always a housewife! People paid me to use my brains and (try to) make money.

Which is completely insulting to what I’m doing now: of course I have to use my brains to run our house and raise our children. And I’m “making” money by figuring out ways to trim our budget and use our funds wisely. So what am I so afraid of? Here’s a short list:

  • I’m afraid of losing touch of what’s happening in the comics world. Not only do I love comics, but it’s my husband’s life, as well. But now, when I hear comics news, I feel like I’m on the outside with my nose pressed against the window.
  • I’m afraid I won’t have anything interesting to talk about. I’m obsessed with zero waste and the 10-item wardrobe. I’m cooking and gardening. I’m fascinated with every developing detail of Sarah, and I can talk about Sid until the cows come home. But it’s hardly thrilling material to people who aren’t also parents or stay-at-home moms, and I dread seeing that slightly . . . glazed look on people’s faces, the moment I know I’m boring them silly.
  • I’m afraid I’ll never go to San Diego Comic-Con again. I know I know, so many of you will say, “I wish I didn’t have to go!” You’re fucking liars. It’s the big show, the big game, and even the parts that really suck are better than staying at home and seeing announcements on Twitter. It sucks!
  • I’m afraid that if I do go to SDCC again, it will be as . . . a wife. A nonentity. I was joking last night that if I went again, I would probably volunteer to man someone’s booth . . . and then I realized I wasn’t joking.

So who am I? How do I describe myself now? I don’t want to make up some cutesy, insufferable made-up title, and I don’t want to go back to work full time. I love being home with the kids, actually! But . . . I’m restless . . .