"Got Any Spare Change?"

It's funny how little changes in your life can pile up and all of a sudden, half the stuff you rely on is different. Changes have been coming at me fast and furious lately, and it didn't dawn on me until I sat down to write this column how many of them there had been.

The column is one example. I've been saying for the longest time that I want to be a writer. But a writer writes, and aside from my weekly "Snap Judgments" comics reviews and "X-Men Synopses" for Mania!, plus the occasional love letter to my quasi-girlfriend, my output has been exactly zero for probably about a year. This last week, I decided it was time to start writing regularly again. An hour a day, like I used to, and one "published" piece a month, that being this column.

So every month I'll be writing on some subject that interests me. Most of the time it will hopefully be at least a little funny and probably a lot self-indulgent. (It's more the latter than the former this month, I'm afraid.) The title, "So Anyway..." comes from the fact that I probably use that phrase in every conversation I have to switch topics.

So anyway...my college town got flooded this week. Fort Collins, Colorado, where I spent five years of my life, got just pounded by old Mom Nature. My friends who still live there are okay, barring a little carpet damage and some major floodage at the Kinko's where they work. But CSU, my alma mater, suffered $50 million in damage, which included wiping out the College newspaper archives, some of which contained my work. I don't live there anymore, but it is definitely a weird feeling to think that some of the stuff I used to take for granted every day isn't there anymore.

That's one change, albeit a minor one. A bigger one is having fallen in love with someone at the Chicago Comicon. And having her return some of that feeling, enough that she's going to visit me. I call her my quasi-girlfriend, because dating once or twice a year can't really be considered a relationship. Still, I'm not really interested in dating anyone else, and I'd happily enter into an exclusive relationship with her if it's what she wanted. She drives me crazy some days, and some days I'm just miserable missing her, but overall, I'm happier than I've been in quite a while.

Another change is my sister, three years younger than me, who just graduated UT with a degree in advertising. She's planning a move to North Carolina to be with her boyfriend who recently graduated with her and got a job there. She's just looking at apartments and jobs right now, but it's strange for me to think of my sister, who I've been around all my life (except for a brief spell where she was in Texas and I was in Colorado), will be so far away. We're not exceptionally close, but I know I'll miss her.

Of course, some things don't change. I'm still doing a job I don't really like and trying to find a new one. I'm still living in the same place with the same dog. Driving the same car. And I'm still a total Internet addict who checks his e-mail ten times a day desperately hoping to hear something funny or intelligent or thought-provoking. If you want to help with that, you can drop me a line.

Randy W. Lander

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