10 Days and Tea

It’s kind of ironic that what seems to finally get me to write a blog post is my internet being down, sending me to the coffee shop. I don’t really have much to say, mind you, but it feels good to be writing something, like it’s what you’re supposed to do in a coffee shop, more than actually drinking coffee. In my case, it’s not even coffee, it’s tea, a blend they call “Haiku”, which is a light green tea with a hint of spice to it. Pretty tasty, and it survives a second infusion quite well.

I’m getting over a cold that started with a cough, proceeded to a general feeling of guckiness, and is now just a slightly scratchy throat (my immune system is good: I may get sick, but I tend to power through it quickly enough). I laid low during the bad parts of it, but otherwise I’ve been feeling fairly productive. I paid off three out of four credit cards, and paid a chunk down on the fourth, which puts me at a lower debt load than I’ve had in over a year. I still don’t have a job, but I saved out enough from the stock sale (which is how I paid those debts) to survive for a while longer. I may put in my notice on my apartment, despite not knowing where I’m going next: it’s a lot of money I don’t really have. Pretty scary to think about being unemployed and homeless, but hopefully it wouldn’t last long (if at all — the goal, of course, is to land a job sooner than later).

It’s amazing what not getting harassing phone calls every few minutes will do to one’s stress levels (I’m not kidding, they autodial, and had the same people call every minute for fifteen minutes — I wasn’t bothering to answer, because I’d already told them my situation and had nothing more to offer or say). My phone would ring at 8-8:20am every morning, 7 days a week, and then again in the afternoon and evening (and often mid-day as well, but I took to turning off my phone). They even tracked down my parents’ numbers (home and work) and started calling looking for me, even though I’d never given them their names or contact information. (The incessant calling and contacting my family in this manner is illegal as it qualifies as harassment. I’m debating whether to call them on it — I have call logs to verify the call behavior.)

I prefer not to air dirty laundry like that, but it’s been pretty ridiculous.

In other news: Mouse Guard was excellent — the story itself is well told but unremarkable: it would fit easily as a re-telling of a Three Musketeers adventure. What really gets me is the world: it’s very well developed, and operates on an internal logic that makes a lot of sense. It’s the sort of place you’d love to learn the lore of, to view it as a functional society. Also, the artwork is stellar. Looks like they’re doing a regular series of these (this was Autumn, the next volume will be Winter, the volume after that, Spring), so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Amulet, which is a graphic novel aimed at the young adult market by Kazu Kibuishi. Again, the artwork is excellent, and despite cartoony characters, he does an excellent job of conveying emotional gravitas where appropriate. The one major disappointment I have with it is that it is simply part one of a larger story, and as such ends with something of a cliffhanger. Not a fan of cliffhangers in general, and I know putting together a project like this can be a lengthy process, so it may be a while before the next volume is out. (Checking Kazu’s website, it looks like I have a first printing, with a gold title! Neat, in a makes-no-difference-I’m-not-a-collector sort of way.)