Changes

churchill“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
- Winston Churchill

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in this blog, (too long, actually), but this week we’re changing all that. Starting today I will be updating it several times a week. It took me a little while to write this first post since I left Comic Vine, (I didn’t want to get too personal), so here it goes.

They say there is strength in adversity, strength in the face of change. I think that’s true. I don’t believe that an individual can grow or evolve without change or some test to their resolve. That’s really, essentially, what builds character in a person. And let me tell you, the last year has certainly tested my resolve! I think I’ve experienced more personal changes in my life in the last six months than in the previous two years — but there’s no need to get into the details of all of that. Change can be good. It can be exciting, invigorating, but it can also be scary. And I mean really scary, to the point where it can lead you to question who you are as a person. But that can be the greatest blessing life delivers to you, if you choose to look at it that way.

If you’ve followed me for the last, oh, I don’t know, four years? You probably knew me as the face of Comic Vine (you can read my exit post here, if you missed it). For four years I went to every San Diego Comic Con, I conducted interviews, I was part of an incredible start-up company — Whiskey Media — and it was great. In fact, the idea of not having to go to Comic-Con this year is a bit weird.

Anyway…My experiences taught me a lot about myself, my interests, my faults, and my strengths. It also gave me insight into who I am as a person. It helped me develop my personal ideologies about so many topics that I didn’t think about often enough in the past. For example, I didn’t realize before how prevalent something like sexism was in our society, for example, until I got to really explore that by analyzing a niche, and unique culture. But there’s more than that. I had experiences I never thought I would have, and I am grateful for those opportunities that I had been given. And although my departure from the company came as a surprise (even to me), I think it was a push I may have needed. I think it came at exactly the right time.

At the start of 2013, after living in San Francisco for well over three consecutive years, I realized that — after a series of very interesting and personal events — it was time to move back to the East Coast. So I did that, but I had to sacrifice certain aspects of my life (professionally speaking) in order to do so. Anyway, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, but I knew that it was time and it was something absolutely necessary for me. In one week I literally packed up all of my clothes, sold every piece of furniture in my apartment, placed Jonah into his carry-on crate, and walked out the door of my former studio on Lake Merritt for the last time. It was surprisingly easy to do, and it felt like I had purged everything in my life in one fell swoop. It’s funny how getting rid of “stuff” can feel so liberating.

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I remember that morning vividly. I had called a cab the night before and scheduled his arrival at dawn. The sun was rising on the horizon, painting the sky in bright pinks and orange hues — it was really beautiful. The cab driver helped me drag my luggage into the car and we talked about India on the way to the airport. I’ll remember it as one of the loveliest cab rides of my life, and it was a really good, final memory to take with me of my 3+ years living in San Francisco. Since that day so much in my life has changed. I came home, I began to finish what I had started, and I had begun taking steps that would dramatically alter my future.

So now I have some things on the horizon that I can’t talk about quite yet (come back here in about a month if you’re curious as to what my next step will be), but it is something I am really excited about. It feels like I’m starting over, and it’s seriously the most incredible feeling.

Now, if you’re wondering whether I will still be talking about comics and pop culture, the answer is yes. Comics are still near and dear to my heart, but you will find this is a place where I talk about other things as well. I hope you’ll come back, because I look forward to continue sharing my adventures with you.

Thanks for reading.

I Left My Heart In The Tri-State Area

In the years since I’ve moved to San Francisco I don’t think I’ve ever had as much difficulty being away from the East Coast as I have the last couple of days. Hurricane Sandy came in from the Atlantic leaving nothing but devastation and destruction in her wake; and being forced to be so far away from my family and the place I grew up hasn’t been easy. Seeing images of my old neighborhood in Queens, New York, where cars and homes are completely under water is pretty scary.

Tim Larsen / New Jersey Governor's OfficeWhile Queens may be under water (including the neighborhood I grew up in), it’s New Jersey that is absolutely destroyed. I think that of all the images, and all the televised coverage of the damage that Sandy left in her wake, the most compelling that I’ve seen was the coverage of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s helicopter ride over the New Jersey shoreline. There is a sense of honesty about him that is really compelling, and you can sense that this is a guy who just wants what’s best for the people of his state.You don’t see that very often in politicians, so when you do, it’s a memorable moment. Still, seeing all that devastation, and the extensive damage done to so many parts of the tri-state area is absolutely heartbreaking — my heart really does go out to those poor people in this terribly trying time.

Gary He, ReutersOne of the most striking images I’ve seen during this ordeal was a photograph of the New York City skyline the night that the storm hit. The image, courtesy of Reuters, depicts a dark skyline save for the Empire State Building which stands as a sort of beacon of hope in the darkness. You can see the image for yourself, above.

Oh, Hi!

It’s hard to explain the feeling you get when you finally complete something you’ve set your sights on for a long time. In a nutshell, it’s exhilarating. When I told myself I wanted to carve out my own little corner of the internet, I said I was going to do it right or I wasn’t going to do it at all. With a lot of help (and fantastic advice) from a great web engineer, a lot of time and patience, I’ve at last created my very own website. Here, I will not only link to some of the interviews and editorials I’ve done in the portfolio section of the website, but you’ll also find my resume as well as an about me page.

Beyond being a place where I can really showcase my skills and achievements; this is going to be the place where I will write about things that matter to me beyond comic books like political theory, foreign affairs, and social issues. It’s a place where I’ll be able to freely discuss my projects outside of Comic Vine (I bet you didn’t know I was writing a book, did you?) as well as my interests. So, feel free to take a look around. Explore my site and get to know a little bit more about me; and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.