Today marks one year since my grandfather took his last shuddering breath of air in this life. In a few hours, I’ll be going to a memorial mass in his honor with my family. It’s still a bit hard to accept that he’s gone. When I go to visit my parents, I still wish a good night toward his apartment, even though he’s no longer physically there. My mom’s been cleaning out a lot of his stuff and has been working to get his affairs in order. I wish I could say that I’ve been a big help, but I haven’t really been much of a help, or at least I don’t feel like I’ve been that helpful, and I don’t get that feeling from my mother, either. If I lived closer and worked different hours, maybe I could help more. It’s difficult. For the past couple of months, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about what happens when you die. Is it simply the end of consciousness and your soul transcends into some other form, or is that it – you simply stop being alive and are just returned to the earth? I don’t know. I’m not the first or last person to wonder this, and I’m not eager to find out the answer if it’s even knowable or not, and I’m not ready for anyone else to die on me, not for a few years. No parents, no friends, no nobody. No more deaths in the family for a long time. I know it’s going to come and it can’t be helped and I can’t choose how or when, but all I ask is that it doesn’t come for me until I’ve lived a good, long life, or as good of a life as a person with (manageable) chronic illness can have. I’m pretty tired of having these sorts of thoughts about mortality. I think it’s time to focus on living instead, even if only for the duration of the rest of this blog post.
With that cheery thought out there, I’ll talk about some of the stuff that’s made me happy or amused this winter. Now, I’d heard of this anime called Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but I hadn’t actually watched any of it until a couple of months ago, and I can now say that I am hooked/addicted/really into it. What seems like it’s going to be this fluffy, indulgent magical girl show takes a completely different course than what you’d expect and it’s refreshing and brilliant. The soundtrack’s great, too. It’s so great that I ponied up for the super-special limited edition Blu-ray/DVD hybrid box set from Aniplex USA (and I also pre-ordered the other two super-special limited edition box sets, too). I do this knowing full well what a ripoff it is to spend so many dollars on four half-hour episodes of a series plus some booklets and extra promotional crap plus a soundtrack CD. It’s just that good. It’s been a while since I’ve really taken a shine to a new anime series and this really blew me away. I’ve started to amass a small pile of Madoka Magica licensed goods including an Akemi Homura Pullip doll and a Tomoe Mami Pullip doll, with a Kaname Madoka Dal on the way (as well as a tiny little Kyuubey Dal). I’m preparing to assemble an unholy army of Madoka Magica Figmas as well. When will the madness end???
Also in the works: preparing stuff to sell at my Artists’ Alley table at Anime Boston 2012. So far, I have some neat typography postcards for each of the five main puella magi in Madoka Magica, some Sailor Moon stuff, some prints, and who the hell knows. Stay tuned. Pictures some other time – I gotta go to bed.