Purge Log: Week 1

The best way to stick to a goal is to keep people posted on it!

Today I got rid of my printer. My poor old laser printer kept me running all through undergrad, and even when it started gobbling paper and getting jammed such that I had to feed paper through it one sheet at a time, I still held onto it. 8 years in the running isn’t bad for a piece of technology these days, and the poor thing was in dire need of retirement. May its recycled parts rest in peace.

I also donated a way a large stack of books, including (though there was much inner debate about this) my Dragonlance novels. I’d given them a read-through last spring, and found that I’d outgrown them, which made me quite sad. Hopefully some youth will pick them up and enjoy them as much as I did when I was young.

Back in Pittsburgh

My first thought as I unpacked my Corolla’s-worth of belongings from the summer and piled them into the middle of my room, looking over all the stuff I’d left behind and done perfectly well without, was this: “I own too much stuff.”

In the past few years, I’ve often made notes about the purging of stuff, how I’d like to own less, how I need to get rid of things I don’t use, and the like. But this being my final year of school, I’ve decided that I need to take action in order to rid myself of excess belongings.

My goal this year is to get rid of at least one thing each weekend, be it big or small, thrown away or donated, or whatever. Some things will be easy (my old desk, for example, will be easy to disassemble, set out in a box on my porch and say to craigslist, “Free desk, first pickup gets it.” Other things, however, will prove tricky to get rid of.

I have, for example, a large number of art supplies crated up in the basement. This is everything from oil paints to casting materials for mask-making. Part of me wants to keep it, as art supplies are an expensive start-up and generally last pretty long. But another part of me looks at the last time I was able to devote time to an art project (in undergrad, really) and thinks that perhaps it would do better as a donation to someone who has chosen an artsier path in life.

I’ve gotten better about detaching myself from sentimental belongings, and before the summer I did manage to gather up a good number of old stuffed animals for donation. But I have, for example, a dresser given to me when I was young and a couch that once belonged to Nancy. These things, I suppose, I should hang onto. My bed, however, I could probably do away with, having found that I can sleep perfectly well on a Japanese-style futon. And let’s not even get into my kitchen stuff, yeesh!

If anyone has tips or advice for getting rid of belongings, please share!

Fun Facts

Did you know that I have had illustrations published in two places?

The first is in Brendan Adkins’ fine collection of short stories, Ommatidia. Even if you haven’t been following his 101-word short story project at Anacrusis, I highly recommend this book as a fun and swift read, full of variety and intrigue. Seeing the stories in print adds a sort of magical quality to them, and if you are looking about for a new book to purchase, I’d suggest you give it a chance.

The second is as card art for Jesse Schell’s Deck of Lenses, a compliment to his book, The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. I illustrated one of the lens cards in the deck. The book and the deck are both fantastic tools for the aspiring game designer, or really a designer of any sort. Perhaps you should investigate!



I’m sitting here for my last night in Burbank, feeling thoughtful and reflecting on the summer. I have overcome fears, tried new adventures, gained confidence, and grown as a person all in one summer. I suppose that’s what summer excursions are all about.

Still, the time has flown, but I guess that’s just the nature of time. I’ve established bonds with new people that will be nourished into strong friendships, and oh how I will miss those people. I feel changed, like I have stepped into something new that is good and exciting.

I’m not sure why I feel so wistful, but it’s probably just the side effect from things changing again. Tomorrow morning I’ll set off to drive back across the country. I am looking forward to recharging with friends and family (and food) in Louisville, before trekking up to Pittsburgh to start the new semester’s work.

I will miss my luxurious weekends of sleep and WoW. I will miss my wonderful designer friends. I will miss my roommate’s cat.

More adventures to come, as always.


This is an abridged cross-post of one of my mailing list postings. Hope the repeats don’t mind!

So, last Friday was my last day at Insomniac, and there were many tears upon my departure (mostly shed by me, of course). Before we left, Ted took the interns to lunch as a farewell and so we could ask him any lingering questions. One thing he asked each of us was, “What is the biggest thing you’ll be taking back with you from your summer at Insomniac?”

Summer wrap-up within