Settling In, Going on With Life

So it’s been about two or three weeks since we made the not-so-big move. We’re mostly unpacked, though my office is still in shambles because that’s the room with the most ’stuff’. Our place is pretty nice, though there’s a LOT of stairs. I’ve finally gotten that exercise that I’ve been putting off for the last 5 years. Hopefully I can get some pictures up soon, there’s a great view from our balcony window, maybe if there’s fresh snow tomorrow morning I’ll take a pic. Or maybe during sunrise, which is really pretty through the trees.

Initially when I started this blog I wanted to keep track of what was going on in my life, and lately I’ve only been putting in the major things, so I just want to list a couple of the little things, especially having to do with Ben since the guy is growing up way too fast!

  • I still have a job, and I am thankful for that. There’s been a lot of reorganization at X-Inc, and there were some tough decisions made. I’m glad I made the cut (or stayed under the radar) but I will honestly miss those that didn’t.
  • I love twitter. I’m the person who finds it interesting when other people post the most inane details about their lives. And although I might not tweet about every time I’m going to the bathroom, I will tell you when I’m having a delicious cup of pumpkin spice soy milk. Because I know you care.
  • Ben lives on a diet of Papa John’s cheese pizza, White Castle chicken rings, Edy’s chocolate ice cream and bacon. Once in a while we get some apples or a banana in there. Hey, just as long as he eats, I’m happy.
  • Ben is still not a fan of school. When I drop him off it’s like a man walking off to his execution. He’s walking, but he’s definitely in no hurry to get there.
  • Once I get this place unpacked, I swear I’m going to do some crafts. Seriously. My crafty finger has been itching for a while.
  • For a while there, Ben had a 180 average at Wii bowling. My dad had given him some coaching and the kid was awesome. But then my dad went to California for a month and the kid forgot everything. He’s really becoming a Wii addict. Currently he’s really into MarioKart, except for the courses in the castle because it’s scary.
  • Ben is starting to get really interested in reading. He can read simple words right now, but he’s still learning the rules. I don’t remember reading being so hard, but the English language is pretty tough. There’s so many exceptions! Like how the -gh in “light” is silent, but makes the i sound into the long i sound. Or the when you read the word “black” you don’t have to sound out the c AND the k.
  • I spend way too much time on Facebook playing games like farmville, cafe world and that zoo game.
  • “Glee” is awesome. Next year’s season seems so far away. At least “Lost” is coming back in January! Crossing my fingers that I’ll get Season 5 for xmas so I can have a marathon before the start of next season.

Hmm…I think that’s all for now. Hope you all have a good holiday, and I hope to post again before the end of the year!

The Big Move

This time I have an excuse for not posting as much - we’re moving!

Those of you who follow my tweets (which are at the top of the blog, depending on which skin you’re using) have probably figured it out already, but we’re moving to a place that’s closer to where Dave works. We’d put our house on the market last year right before the real estate meltdown, so it took us a while to sell our place. We were worried that it wouldn’t sell at all, but fortunately we were able to come to an agreement with a buyer in the last couple months.

In a way, it feels good to finally sell the house. It was pretty stressing to pack our stuff and whenever people were interested in viewing the house, having to stop everything to clean our place up and make it presentable. Sometimes I didn’t know where we had packed something, or I’d be digging through boxes to find something I didn’t think I needed. Now, we can buy a new home and not worry about selling our old one. It’s a big relief!

But another part of me is really going to miss this home. This is where Ben has spent the first several years of his life. It’s full of memories. This house has been good to us. I remember when we first moved in, how awesome it felt to wake up in the morning and walk around my own home.

So now, we’re still going to be in that in-between phase, renting while we are house hunting, waiting patiently until we find THE house, most likely the house that we’ll spend the rest of our lives in. I’ll still be digging through boxes when I realize that I’ve stored something that I needed, but at least I can breathe easy knowing that there isn’t anything holding us back when we actually do find the house of our dreams.

This whole experience has left me with a lot to talk about, so hopefully once our internet is hooked up on Tuesday (seriously, I don’t know if I’ll last that long without the internet!) I’ll have some good posts to write, like about my hoarding tendency or Ben’s take on this whole ‘moving’ thing.

Until then, let me leave you with this:

MOVING TOTALLY SUCKS.

Seriously, I don’t think I’ve been this stressed since I was planning for my wedding! Maybe even more!

Take care, peeps.

Annual Pumpkin Carving

Changed out the layout in honor of my favorite holiday!

Last weekend we had our annual cousin pumpkin carving night. Every year more and more people come, which makes for a good time, even though we’re all fighting for table space to work on our creations.

This year was the first year that most of the kids could actually help out with the carving, and they were all pretty excited. We had a whole gang of people surrounding the table! Ben was pretty hyped since he’s seen so many jack-o-lanterns on TV lately. He was pretty picky with our design - he didn’t want it to be too scary, but not too boring. He settled for a mischievous little devil.

Because they’re lazy, they’re men (boys?) and they like to play with power tools, the guys used a power saw-thing to cut the tops off their pumpkins (I have a picture somewhere, but forgot to upload, maybe I’ll do it tomorrow). I prefer the old-fashioned way - using the dinky safety knives to start out my pumpkin. Ben was really interested in the process until I took off the top and he saw all the pumpkin innards and seeds. Too gross for mr. clean! I asked him if he wanted to help me clean out the inside of the pumpkin and he said No, then proceeded to hop off the chair and head towards the toys, telling me to call him when the pumpkin was done.

After a couple minutes, the rest of the kids were bored with the carving, so it was just adults after a while. Poor Maui is always left every year doing Jillian’s pumpkin, which means it would be something extremely girly -this year it was Princess Jasmine.

So below you’ll see our creations (click on the thumbs to see a bigger picture - hover over the left or right to get navigation arrows). As always, it was a great time - the food was AWESOME (nothing better than Brazilian chicken pot pie), I got to hang out with my cousins and we managed to get in a game of Apples to Apples, which Marilyn brought. I assume that she brought it because she’s played it before and thought she’d school us, but I had an early lead. We poked fun at Dave for not having any cards at all mid game, but he ended up kicking all our butts at the end!

Little Devil Tinkerbell Grim Reaper Spooky Face
Darth Vader Ghost Dragon  

Halloween costume pictures to come this weekend!

I’m the Last Person to Post on This

Michael Jackson

I was waiting a bit for all the MICHAEL JACKSON IS DEAD! hoopla to end before posting this. That, and I’ve just been really lazy about posting lately. I know that we’ve all be tired about the Michael Jackson overload from last week, but hopefully we can go on with the rest of our lives. So just one more little thing before I move on with life without Jacko.

In the last decade or so, Michael Jackson had been a bit cuckoo. Marrying Elvis’ daughter, the molestation charges, hanging his baby off a balcony, walking around with his kids in masks and lets not forget how unrecognizable his face had become because of all his plastic surgery. I admit, I had written him off - until he died.

It’s almost like one of those “Where were you moments” that you have in your life - for me, several of those moments had been the explosion of the Challenger (we were in class, but were all brought into a classroom with other gradeschool classes to watch the news as our teachers told us what was going on), the death of Princess Diana (sitting at home watching Saturday Night Live) and 9/11 (was late to work after seeing the first plane hit the WTC, thought it was an accident). In this case, I had stepped out to get a really late lunch and came back to my home laptop and saw a bunch of tweets (Twitter postings) speculating his death. From then on, all that you saw on TV and the news was MJ related.

For as much has he’d been Wacko Jacko over the last few years of his life, those didn’t dominate my first thoughts in the wake of his death. Instead, I was brought back to 1984, as a little girl sitting on her grandmother’s bed, crossing her fingers and toes and praying with her whole heart that Michael Jackson would win all the Grammy awards he was up for. He was the king back then, and she loved him. My love for his music rushed back to me - not just the standard favorites, like “Thriller” and “Billie Jean”, but songs like “Scream” (with sister Janet), “Can You Feel It” (with the Jackson Five) and “Ben” (a song about a pet rat, but I think about my kid when I hear it). He really had some really amazing songs, and no matter what was going on behind the scenes, you have to admit that he was an incredible performer. If you look at the choreography today, you can see so much from his style - Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Wade Robson - they all give credit to MJ.

Even with the overabundance of coverage by the media, I couldn’t help but watching the funeral. There was a lot of potential for it to be over the top, but I think it was well done. The more that I listened to the people who knew him, who loved him, the more I realized that the craziness that was MJ before his death was more a result of the pressures and trauma of never really having a regular childhood, never leading a “normal” life. Someone who couldn’t rid himself of the demons that haunted him, that trusted too many. I held up pretty well during the memorial (you know, I’m a cryer), but misted up during Brook Shields’ emotional speech. I was ready for it to be over after the “We are the World” sing-a-long.

But then little Paris Katherine came up and spoke, and that’s when the waterworks began. It was totally unexpected that this little girl, who had been hidden from us for so long, would come up and speak about her father, a man we only knew from the stage and the tabloids. Her words were short and sweet, and she tried to say something I think anyone who has lost a parent tries to convey to express their grief - that her father was the best father anyone could ask for. The public could never completely grasp the relationship that those kids had with their father, how much he loved them, and how much he wanted to protect them.

Aaaaaaanyway….I’m rambling.

So he’s dead.

I’ll miss him. More than I thought I’d miss him.

…and I’ll go on with my life because really, I never knew him. But I’ll keep his memory alive by giving a big clap and “Aww yeah!” and a little groove each time I hear one of his songs - which is something I would have done anyway…

On a related side note: Yesterday we were driving home, and a sweet convertible with two studs sped past us. We looked at their license plate and laughed to see that it read “J E R K”. We came up next to them at a stop light, and to our surprise, they were blasting Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and totally singing along and jammin’. HILARIOUS.

Goodbye Lola Dorie

I know it’s totally late, but last week my Lola Dorie passed away. Now, she’s not technically “my” lola (grandmother in Tagalog) - she’s actually Melanie’s grandmother. But blood doesn’t matter in my family - the bond that we have, the “cousins” is stronger than that. I’ve known Lola Dorie for as long as I can remember. When I was little she lived next door and sometimes would babysit me. I remember her gigantic goldfish, fish that lived longer than they should have. I remember how she would scold me for playing with the fake animals in their terrarium. She gave the best air/sniff kisses whenever she greeted me. Every Christmas, there would be an envelope of money for us, even when we were old and had jobs of our own, written out to us in her pretty handwriting. She had cancer once, and when I came over for a visit, she hobbled over to me in her robe and said, “You wanna see?” and flashed me…

Last week, I was making plans with my sister for the weekend. I was going to pick her up, and she mentioned that I might want to go and visit Lola next door, and that her health had taken a turn for the worse. I had seen her a couple months before, and she seemed fine, but I agreed that it was about time for a visit. On Wednesday, I read my cousin Maui’s facebook profile (because Facebook is how I know what’s going on with people) and just from the sound of it, I felt the need to go visit Lola that night. She was sleeping when we came, and didn’t wake, but I was so surprised at how frail she looked. I could tell this was a pretty rough time for her daughter, my Tita Ellen. No matter what age you are, it’s hard to watch your mother fading away.

She passed away the next day. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of family gatherings. We traditionally pray for 9 days after someone passes. This involves the rosary and intercessions and lots of food. I remember when my mother passed, I gained 10lbs after all the prayer nights were done. Sadly, it’s times like this that I get a real appreciation for my family, how close we all are. My aunt flew in from Cincinatti, my father cut his San Diego vacation short, and every night, the Titas and Titos came over to support the family, with food, prayers, stories and laughter. It was a little exhausting, driving back and forth and back again, with a lot of housework not done, but what was more important was being with family and supporting Melanie and Maui.

The hardest thing for me was being at the cemetery. Lola’s grave was only a couple hundred feet away from my mom’s. Seeing the people I love, so sad at the loss of someone they loved was a little overwhelming to me. I knew that Lola was close with her grandkids, and even her great grandkids. They’ll be missing her every day…

In the end, Lola Dorie will be reunited with her husband, who passed away a while ago. I was watching an episode of Scrubs last week where a woman died soon after her husband, and they talked about how they were so close that they couldn’t live without each other. I think that for Lola, she loved Lolo Sonny, but she knew that her work wasn’t done. She had grandkids to watch over, and great grandkids to meet. Once she knew they’d be ok, she was ready to be with her love again.

Lola, you will be remembered, and you will be missed.

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Like Being 15 Again…

About 15 years ago, or maybe a little longer than that, a young girl wrote a 4 page letter, double sided and in five different colors and sent it to the Rosemont Horizon. That letter was addressed to the New Kids on the Block, and each of the colors in the letter was for each member of the group - Joey, Jordan, Jonathan, Donnie and my assigned favorite, Danny. Assigned? you ask? Well, my sisters and cousins were fans, too, so each of us had a favorite. Jonathan Knight was Melanie’s favorite. Donnie Wahlberg was Claudine’s. Jordan Knight was Marian’s. Joey McIntyre was Fatima’s. So I was left with Danny Wood. Not that there was anything wrong with Danny…he definitely was cute. But I think if it was left up to me, I would have picked Jordan or Jonathan. Nevertheless, I was a good fan to Danny. We hung their posters on our walls. We got their albums as soon as they came out (cassettes, of course). We sang their songs together. We watched their videos. We were hoping that one day, we’d be their “Covergirl”s. (I’m rolling my eyes at myself for even typing that last sentence) At night I would lay my head on my pillow, nuzzling my face on my NKOTB pillow case.

Aaaanyway…I don’t really remember what I wrote in that letter - probably that I loved them…I only know that I had written to them and sent it to the Rosemont Horizon because I was going to their concert later that week and a little bit of me was hoping that I could bypass writing a letter to their official fanclub and risk it getting lost among thousands of other letters, and they would get it when they landed in Chicago and that during their concert they would say, “Christine, we got your letter…come up on stage!”

Alas, it never happened.

Since that letter, a lot has happened in my life. Had my first boyfriend. Graduated high school. Went to college. Graduated from college. Got married. Had a kid. Every now and then I would get reminders of them - Joey’s solo hit, Donnie’s appearance in “Sixth Sense”, Jordan’s one solo hit, and the pale, pudgy, creepy Jordan in the Surreal Life. Outside of that, life had moved on after NKOTB spurned me in my youth.

Until earlier this year, when I found out about the New Kids on the Block reunion, and saw their publicity photo, realizing that they had aged pretty well.

Then I found out that they were having a reunion tour. Didn’t really think much of it since I’m not a concert going person anymore. However, I believe it was my cousin Kathy that brought up coming to Chicago to watch the concert with the gals. How could I say no to a visit from my favorite Texan?

I was surprised that the Chicago concert sold out in several days - they had even added a second show. I didn’t think that people still cared. Truthfully, I was looking forward to a fun night with the girls, and to reminisce on a long gone time of my life. I wasn’t really expecting a lot from the concert.

But I’ll be the first to admit that it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. When we got there (security made me return my DSLR camera to the car - there was no security check when we went to the American Idol concert) there was a massive line for t-shirts…it took about an hour just to get to the front of the line. Also, the average age was about 30, and there was about 100 females to every male. It was fun to see what people were wearing, from t-shirts and jeans to some skankalicious club tops and high heels to the 40 year old women wearing New Kids shirts from 15 years ago (admittedly, I would have worn mine if a) I could find it and b) I’d fit it).

The opening act was RnB star Colby O’Donis (who? yeah, that’s what I said, too) who sang his only hit as the last song of his act, and that’s when I was like, “Oh, ok…he’s the guy who sings THAT song…” The second opening act was a treat - Natasha Bedingfield. She was definitely incredible. Her voice (which was obviously live) was strong and she sang all her hits. It’s great to hear someone sing live well. Anytime the opening acts would mention “New Kids on the Block” the arena would erupt into high pitched screams - but what I would realize later was only a mere fraction of the ear shattering sound it would reach later than night.

Before the show, the screens next to the stage asked people to text messages to a number to get moved up to the front row and get backstage passes. During the intermission after Natasha’s set, it was fun to read the messages that people sent in, because they put them on the big screens. “This time the concert isn’t after my bedtime” and “It’s been 15 years since I went to your last concert and my seats are no better now than they were then” and “I wish you had Debbie Gibson as your opening act!” and “I still fit into the NKOTB shirt I had when I was 12!”.

Finally, the lights went out, and the stadium went crazy. After several fake-outs by the band, the New Kids finally came on stage, and let me tell you, the audience went apeshit out of their minds. I was thinking my eardrums would pop out! Of course, I was screaming too, because it was just so crazy. They started off with one of their new songs, but later segued to “My Favorite Girl”, a song that I totally forgot but the lyrics came back to me quickly, which was something that happened often throughout the night. They had a good mix of old songs and new songs, and we all sang along with the ones we remembered, which was a lot. By “we” I mean the 18,000 fans that were there, shouting out the lyrics. There’s a weird thing that happens when you’re singing along to “The Right Stuff” with an arena full of estrogen screaming at five men in their mid-thirties. It became like a timewarp, and we were all giddy 15 year olds at our first concerts, who had begged our parents to let us go, who came their with our best friends and saved our money for months to pay for tickets, a t-shirt and program. We screamed, we looked at each other and giggled, I even waved my hands in the air during “Hanging Tough”…


Melanie’s awesome video (can you hear everyone singing?)

So yes, it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I was with the best people possible - Melanie, Kathy, Claudine, Fatima and Kim, who were also transformed into squealing fangirls. There were definitely some highlights in the show, and I’d have to say that the most surprising thing was….and if you don’t want spoilers you may want to skip down to the next paragraph…the most surprising thing was Jordan Knight, coming up in a white button down shirt, unbuttoning it to reveal some INCREDIBLE abs (click here for proof). Those of you who watched the Surreal Life may remember him as pudgy and a little creepy, but man, it was incredible. I was giggling and screaming at the same time and just about lost my mind. We were transported to a time when we didn’t care about work, our kids, paying bills, the economy, or the election - a time when we were happy and didn’t have a care in the world.


One of Mel’s pics

What also made the concert so great was how the guys have matured. They’ve all aged pretty well - to me, Danny probably aged the best - he’s got this hard edge to him now and has grown into his strong facial features (and incredible biceps). Jordan is no longer a pretty boy, he’s just plain hot now…not sure what happened to the fangs he used to have before. The rest of them look pretty good - makes me laugh that Donnie’s still wearing hats on stage. There was some swearing during the concert and definitely a lot more crotch grabbing than I remembered from 15 years ago. The guys (except for Jonathan, but he gets a pass) seemed a lot more at ease on stage, a lot more confident and dare I say sexy. They’re no longer babies - they’ve been around the block, and it was obvious by their charisma and how they played to the crowd. They seemed just as amazed as we were at our reactions.

Anyway, it was a great time. At the end of the night, Donnie thanked the audience, because their comeback tour would have been really crappy if no one bought any tickets. I think it was a surprise to everyone how quickly the tickets sold. In the end, though I have to thank the New Kids (it makes me laugh to say that because come on, they’re not kids) for giving all of us a carefree night with 18,000 of my best friends, singing my heart out without a care in the world.

The Second Happiest Day of My Life

The pre-Ben happiest day of my life happened 5 years ago today. I was planning on writing so much more today, but I’m sneezing and congested, and we had two parties we went today. It’s been a busy day for us and I just have under an hour to make this post before it’s technically tomorrow.

So yeah, Dave and I got married 5 years ago - it’s incredible how quickly time has gone by, and how much our lives have changed. Married life is never a fairy tale, and it takes some work, but we have grown so much together and it’s all worth it. I don’t want to sound like a cheesy Hallmark card, but essentially, it’s been a awesome, happy, loving five years.

I’ve been scanning all my wedding negatives over the last several months (we had our wedding before most photographers did weddings digitally), but haven’t had a chance to finish them. Be on the lookout for pictures, though…most of them are done, and that was my goal - to have my wedding pictures up, finally, after five years!

Missing…

Today my mom would have been 65 years old.

Sometimes I think about what life would be like if she was still here…I don’t think my own life would be much different, though I know that she would really love spending time with Ben. She would nag me about his finicky eating habits, give him cute little nicknames, let him sit on her lap as she played mah jong with the titas. She would by him overalls and cheesy outfits, things I wouldn’t let him wear out in public unless he was going to visit her. She would come through our front door and he would run to her as he screams “Lola!!!” and run into her arms.

I’m sure that outside of my life, things would have been different. She had an uncanny way of diffusing drama, maybe because she tried so hard to please everyone, but more likely because she just cared so much about people. There has been WAY too much drama since she’s been gone.

It goes without saying - I still miss her a lot.

Happy Birthday, Mommy.

I Feel REALLY Old Now

Happy birthday to my “little” cousin Marilyn, who turns 21 today…

She started out a little dramatic baby 21 years ago:

…the the beautiful drama queen she is now:

Pretty, isn’t she? But of course, I’m not to talk - me and my fluorescent yellow Guess sweatshirt up there. I have no idea why we’re all so serious - we were happy kids - really!

I remember 21 years ago, getting the call that she had just been born and they were planning on naming her “Margaret”. I scoffed at the name, and later found out that they named her “Marilyn”, I’m assuming after Marilyn Monroe who had died 25 years before she was born. Since then she has never failed to live a boring life, just like her namesake. She’s like a little sister to me - she still calls my dad “Daddy Vic” because we used to babysit her a lot when she was young.

We’ll be going out this weekend for some good times - I’ll be sure to take some pictures and report!

Remembering Michael Turner

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, one of my favorite comic book artists, Michael Turner, had passed away at the age of 37. I had been a fan of his for as long as I could remember - his career was taking off a few years after I had started collecting comic books.

My first love will always be Jim Lee, but Mike will always be a personal favorite. I loved his art, it always made the stories better. Witchblade was my favorite book when it started out. He even got better when Fathom came out. When he broke off from Top Cow and started his own company, I followed.

What made Mike more of a role model than his incredible art was his spirit. As I just said, I loved Fathom - the book he had created. There had been several months that had passed since I had seen a new issue (which, in comics, really isn’t all that unusual). During a trip to my comic book store, I mentioned to my LCS guy, “What’s up with Fathom? Why’s it so late?” to which he answered, “Dude, didn’t you hear? He has cancer!” Of course, I felt horrible.
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That was in 2000. One removed hip, three pounds of removed bone, physical therapy, radiation and too many health ups and downs to count later, it’s 2008. In that time, his star continued to rise. He did the covers for DC’s Identity Crisis (right) as well as a story arc for Superman/Batman. Any comic that he had a part in saw an increase in sales. He was still attending conventions, and the lines for his autograph were always packed. Even though he was in pain, he still pushed on. He didn’t HAVE to work…he could have just sat on the side and let others in his company do the work. But he loved it, and he loved the fans. He had his special cushion-y chair to sit in as he did autographs and the occasional sketch, and he always did it with a smile.

Throughout the years of reading comics, going to conventions and living on the West coast, our paths had crossed several times, leaving me with some wonderful memories of the man who other artists remarked was “one of the best of us.” Here are a couple of my favorites:

  • When I first met him at the Chicago Comic Convention many years ago, he had really liked my thumb ring, which had waves on it (Fathom, underwater, waves, get it?). He jokingly asked me if he could have it, and I replied for $15 he could. He then asked to try it on. He put it on his pinky, and it got stuck. After much pulling and laughing, we got it off, and he drew this marvelous sketch for me in return for my troubles. He rarely did quick sketches for people, since there were always a lot of people in line - I was lucky that his finger got stuck!

  • The year the Mike started his own company, Aspen MLT, me and my sister Fatima were lucky enough to get to work at their booth during the convention. It was a ton of fun! I had to leave early because I had to catch a plane to LA. I’m sitting at the airport talking on the phone and reading my comics, when who saunters over to the gate but Mike Turner! So I sneak up to him and ask him to sign my book. He looks up, surprised, and laughs. He invites me to sit and chill with him before the flight. He got on the plane before I did, but when I boarded I passed by him and he waved hello. Of course, my seat was pretty much in the back of the plane. Once we landed, it was a while before I actually got off the plane. But as soon as I got into the terminal, who’s standing out there waiting for me? Mike! He actually waited for me to get off the plane and walk with me to baggage claim. I was really touched. Then once we got there the president of X-Systems (my boss) came up to me and in my head I prayed that he wouldn’t yell at me in front of Mike Turner, which he didn’t. Anyway, he didn’t have to wait for me - I’m sure he was excited to get home and he was probably really tired. But he did, and for that he will always have a place in my heart.

    At the convention this year, the day after he passed away, a bunch of artists took turns sitting at his booth doing free sketches for fans in his honor. It was really touching to see people who had worked with him, who called him friend and brother, come together with hugs and tears. If there was one thing I knew for sure about Mike, is that he surrounded himself with good people. I definitely missed my Aspen people this year - Peter, Frank, Mark, Vince and everyone else, and the booth was so empty without them. So it helped to see all of these talented artists come together.

    If you’d like to read other artists speak about Mike, click on this link. It has artists who had worked with Mike, as well as those who only knew him in passing, and some of them were Mike’s closest friends.

    I guess another reason why his death has hit me so hard is because it reminds me of my mom. She had a long battle with cancer, but she fought it. In the end, it was just too much. But after her passing, I had realized how much she had touched the lives of others, how much other people loved her.

    Cancer sucks.

    Rest in Peace, Mike.

    If you would like to send condolences to Michael’s family you are encouraged to do so. Please send them to:

    Aspen MLT, Inc
    C/O Michael Turner
    5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
    Culver City, CA, 90230

    His company Aspen Comics is also encouraging anyone wishing to do so to send a charitable donation big or small in Mike’s name to The American Cancer Society or the Make-A-Wish Foundation.