Murder Mysteries

I’m taking this week off from work, in part to relax a bit, and in part to catch up on some paperwork and tasks that I’ve been putting off for too long. I decided to read “Murder Mysteries” this afternoon. P. Craig Russell is one of my favorite artists, and Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite writers. I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, for quite some time. It’s got some great PCR artwork, and it’s a really interesting story.
I stumbled across an interesting video yesterday, taken from a documentary, showing PCR hosting a little party for the various people who have worked for him as models. Pretty neat.

Heart of Empire

I’ve been relaxing a bit this weekend, and I just finished reading Bryan Talbot’s “Heart of Empire”. I bought a copy from him at a con (probably San Diego) a few years ago, and he did a nice little Luther Arkwright head sketch in it for me.
I need to pick up his Grandville books next. I haven’t had time to do much comic book reading lately, and I still have a heck of a pile of unread books, though, so I probably shouldn’t be thinking about buying any new ones.

time to move?

I woke up this morning to the smell of wet cardboard. My upstairs neighbor apparently had some kind of problem with his or her water heater last night. A bunch of water had leaked through the ceiling into my front closet. The only thing I store on that side of the closet is old cardboard boxes, thankfully. So I had to throw out about a dozen soggy cardboard boxes, and then do a bunch of mopping up, before I could leave for work this morning.

Apparently, they fixed the problem at some point during the day. I had a bit more cleaning to do when I got home, but not too much. This isn’t the first time I’ve had water leaking through from the apartment above. I’m starting to worry about what kind of shape the drywall is in, in a couple of areas.

My lease is up for renewal pretty soon. Maybe it’s time to move.

a minor milestone

I took care of a couple of estate-related tasks today, and I thought I’d write a short blog entry, since this represents a bit of a milestone, in terms of paperwork, if nothing else.

First, I wrote distribution checks to myself and my brother, out of my Dad’s estate account. This pretty much closes out his estate. He passed away in September 2009, and I originally didn’t even think I would need to get a lawyer involved in the estate, since all his assets would just pass to my Mom. Then, of course, things got complicated. When Mom passed away in February 2010, I just got all the paperwork together for both estates, and went to a law firm. They have been very helpful, and we’ve now got everything under control.

Second, I finally filled out, and sent in, the paperwork to put my parents’ home on the market. I feel bad that it’s taken me so long to do this. I meant to get it done over the summer, but somehow I just kept putting it off. With the first anniversary of my Mom’s death coming up in just a few more days, I really have to buckle down and start dealing with this. The home is a very big loose end for me — there’s still a lot of stuff down there that I don’t know what I want to do with.

Aunt Janet

My Aunt Janet passed away this week. I spent a bit of time tonight trying to find a good picture of her in my Flickr photostream, and this is the only one I could find. That’s Aunt Janet on the left, Uncle Archie on the right, and Tommy in between. And probably my Dad’s finger in the upper left corner.

goodbye, eMusic

I finally went ahead and canceled my eMusic subscription today. Looking back at 2010, I only managed to get on there and download stuff four times, about 12 albums total. Given that I’m paying the monthly fee whether or not I actually download anything, that’s a bunch of money down the drain. Sometimes, if you don’t download anything for awhile, they credit you with a free month, but that only partially covers you, if you haven’t been on in three months.

Their new fee structure was the last straw. It really seems like I can do just as good downloading MP3s from Amazon, and only paying for stuff I actually want to buy. When I first signed up, back in 2001, eMusic was a pretty good deal — 40 tracks a month for $10. And, back then, I was actually getting on there every month, downloading stuff, and listening to it. At this point, even though I’m not downloading as much, I find that I’m not even listening to a lot of the stuff I do download. Looking at my iTunes library, I see stuff I downloaded in 2008 that I haven’t listened to yet.

There’s some good articles about eMusic up on PaidContent, if you want to look back at some of the changes they’ve made over the last couple of years.

How Green Was My Valley

I saw “How Green Was My Valley” yesterday at the Walter Reade. There’s a bit of narration at the beginning that I like a lot. Here’s a bit of it:

There is no fence nor hedge around time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my valley as it is today, and it is gone, and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the Earth. In all Wales, there was none so beautiful. Everything I ever learned as a small boy came from my father and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as sharp and clear in my mind as if I had heard them only yesterday.

I was going to file that away, and post it on Father’s Day, but I decided to post it now, while I’m thinking of it.