Saturday, May 30, 2009

You Are Performing Substantial Gainful Activity

If you follow my other blog (Comic Book Heaven) you may be aware that I've recently had a spot of medical troubles (my kidneys are crap). On the plus side is that even though my condition is chronic it's treatable and I'm being well cared for. In fact, I feel great and haven't felt this good in a long while. On the negative side, the road to feeling great has been time-consuming (one silver-lining here: I got a lot of bed rest and that was almost vacation-like), occasionally painful, and definitely expensive (now I have to be a better and more useful person to justify the the effort and cost of keeping me around).

At one point early on it was recommended to me to apply for disability insurance via the Social Security Administration as I was out of commission and not working for awhile. Unfortunately, I needed to expect to be unable to work for a full year to get any benefits so, since I knew I'd be able -- and really wanted -- to work as soon as possible, I was declined benefits. And I was fine with that. I did get a nice letter from the SSA informing me of their decision to not give me disability insurance because I am -- and I quote -- "performing substantial gainful activity." The Government says I'm useful. Isn't that nice?

Well, at least I'm trying to perform substantial gainful activity. Now I'm faced with the double whammy of a general economic meltdown along with a more specific crunch affecting print media (the first love of my life). I appears that I've come out of one Serious Situation and stepped into another. I find myself oddly un-stressed about my professional future even though the road ahead is a tad unclear. When my son tells me that he wants to, among other things, be a comic book artist I tell him that Print is Dead. I don't really believe that but we are in a period of change and I'm not sure how things will shake out. The digital world is exciting and fun and -- still -- new but, well, I like print. And besides, making money in comics -- often difficult for us small-pressers -- has even more hurdles now that everyone expects their "content" for free.

And speaking of free content, I am working on finishing the Java Town webcomic I started last year and discontinued when I got too sick to do much of anything useful. Of course, I'll post updates as the situation warrents.

The wife and kids are doing fine. The four little homeless kittens that we're currently being "foster family" for are total heartbreakers. Really just the sweetest things we've taken care of in while (and I say this as someone who is not particularly a cat fancier). Okay, I think that's everything. Now you're up-to-date on me. Have I mentioned that I feel great? I sure do.