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I’m currently sitting in a booth at Playa Azul, the corner Mexican joint in my neighborhood; the remains of my order (cabeza enchiladas, asada tacos) to the right of my laptop, an empty bottle of coke to the left. Playa Azul is housed in a Taco Bell from the 1970s, covered in shrubs that threaten to enclose the arched windows. Today’s scene is not irregular, and in retrospect it leaves a smirk on my face.

A little over a year ago I moved to Carson City hoping I would have a snowball’s chance in hell at being accepted for a position with the City a friend had suggested I apply for. I could never have imagined it would turn out for the best, but here I am — a far cry from the water-logged and corn-beset acreage I grew up on in the midwest.

Carson has a strange way about it; like most cities that have a history of opposing socio-economic groups, it has its neighborhoods. I live on the edge of what would probably be considered a “rough” neighborhood; a few blocks in any direction puts you into rundown low-income apartments, commercial buildings from the last century containing tattoo parlors, quick-lubes, and industrial/utility yards as tenants or strip malls and houses that need some upkeep.

A news-worthy item as of late in Carson has been a project to redevelop portions of the downtown area. I don’t have many opinions on it, except to say I hope that we get more mixed-use housing out of it. When I was younger, I knew that cities existed, but not what was entailed in living your day-to-day in the heart of one; now I can hardly imagine living anywhere other than smack-dab in the middle of a city.

I suppose my takeaway a year in is this: Carson is conflicted, and can’t decide what it wants to be; Capitol, Old West Town, Vacation Spot, vibrant cultural center, or urbanized large city and I kind of like it. In time I hope we can find a balance between the many adjectives one could use to describe Carson City so that it can continue to be a great place to live for many future inhabitants.

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Over the last few weeks Carson City has started to feel more like home, and in some ways less special. I’ll be the first to admit I get a sort of wanderlust when I look at the mountains in the morning on my way to work, and I’m afraid I’ll probably never use it. The newness has worn off, however.

Carson can’t really decide what kind of city it wants to be when it grows up; we’re an Old West town, The Capitol, a vacation spot and a commerce center. Sounds like a good problem to have, no? If you speak with people at the bars you’ll get responses like, “Its so close to XYZ!” or “I like it because its smaller than Reno or Vegas” — which brings me to one of the things that has made me feel at home.

Carson is a large town that has held on to the small-town feel without sacrificing the things that make living in a large town nice. I can still get food late, find places to drink, and there is always something to do. Coming from a similarly sized midwest town, the “Joie de vivre” that inhabits this place is a welcome surprise and change of pace.

Oh, one last thing: $40/mo for nice internet.

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To say I’ve been on a journey as of late would be an understatement. In the space of a few months my long-widowed parent has gotten married, my vehicle was totaled in a head-on collision not of my doing, I went on a cross-country road-trip with a good friend, got a job I love to pieces, moved cross-country, and got my first apartment. Whew.

Having attempted to phrase the following lines many times, I’ll simply state what I feel, which I feel deeply; Ian, Josh, James, Mom, Don, Grandpa: thanks for absolutely everything. My “adventure” would not have been possible without your care for me and my future happiness. Over the past few months I’ve been the sometimes unwilling recipient of your collective care and I will forever appreciate it. I simply cannot accurately describe the feelings I have for all of you in words and any attempt would simply diminish them.

On a more lighthearted subject, I’ve finally got a singular piece of furniture in my apartment. The Carson City Senior Center has a thrift store that helps fund their programs and I helped move some furniture from the Senior Center to the Thrift Store. After rearranging the pieces to fit in with everything else, I saw a futon; Opal, the thrift store manager marked it down to $15 and I just couldn’t pass it up! It had the frame, mattress and hardware — I was thrilled!

Josh and James helped me move it from the thrift store to my newly acquired (and barren) apartment, so I’ve got something to sleep and lounge around on now. Said futon is pictured below, and if you’d like to know a bit more you can click the picture to read the flickr description.

On life… its good, better than I’ve felt for a while. I’ve still got some [personal] problems, but less of the external variety.

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I have an addiction to webcomics that started when I was introduced to Questionable Content by Cory W. Since that time I’ve accumulated an extensive list; it has simply become cumbersome to remember all of them. I shall forever miss Google Reader, and until I get up the gumption to make my own solution or fall prey to another I shall use this list as a substitute; listed in no particular order.

Questionable Content
A slice-of-life comic focussed on a troupe of characters set in a seemingly parallel universe.
Girl Genius
The machinations of gifted “Sparks” in their time of steam and mad science.
Not a Villain
A supergenius hacker trying to prove herself good.
Gunnerkrigg Court
The divide between science and mysticism plays out in through the lives of these characters.
The Adventures of Jonas
A semi-autobiographical comic.
Follow the Leader
Cannibal children making a living in an unkempt city park.
Wilde Life
A writer from the city moves into the hinterlands and gets a bit more than he bargained for.
Bicycle Boy
A cyborg finds himself without memory or friends in the wastelands.
Ava’s Demon
Ava’s life is over when she is expelled from school and finds herself impaled upon the wreckage of a ship — or is it?
Jupiter
Jupiter is an ancient android who has made his mark upon this alternate-history universe.
DevAbode
Aliens harvest humans for their gray-matter after winning a large engagement. Only a few of the mighty developers are left, able to manipulate the sourcecode of the universe. Who knew, we run on perl!
Lapse
A young woman finds herself posthumously bound to her former dwelling, and she is not alone.
Carciphona
A woman finds herself the bearer of outlawed powers that come at a price.
Alien Dice
A woman finds herself mixed up in a cruel alien game when her cat is selected as a game-piece.
The Meek
Two empires rest in the hands of a woman inexperienced in the ways of the world.
Run Freak Run
The powers that be fight against the old ways by using Inquisitors born of the same practices they wish to banish.
Far Out
A wild-wild-west with robots.
Lackadaisy
Cats of the roaring twenties.
Machine Flower
The story of supersoldier children and 9-One’s struggle for normalcy.
Johnny Wander
Somtimes slice-of-life, sometimes fantasy.
Two Gag
Comedy comic about a triumvirate of sort-of evil.
Buttersafe
Comedy/variety comic.
Pictures for Sad Children
For when John Campbell learns how to human.
The Landscaper
Traditional format comic about vigilante justice; think batman with more nailgun and less money.
O Human Star
A comic about a possible near-future in which it is possible to recreate a person with advanced robotics.
Dresden Codak
A number of fantasy stories.
Hark! A Vagrant.
Historical humor and Mulders.
XKCD
A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.
Dr. McNinja
Dr. McNinja battles the forces of evil with his raptor-riding sidekick.
Three Panel Soul
Three Panels, one soul; fantasy and slice-of-life.

And the list will certainly grow larger. Whoops.

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