Late...Again...Slap Me With A Wet Noodle: The Anime Review -- State of Affairs as of February 2007
It's been three weeks since my last confess...er, I mean, anime review. This doesn't seem like an eternity of time to me. However, it does to some of you. I've gotten a number of emails asking when to expect the next review. A couple were very nice and concerned about my welfare -- and for that, I am truly grateful. On the other hand, I've also gotten a couple of emails complaining that I haven't updated in not really nice language. To you I say, take a few deep breaths, step back from the computer, and relax. It's not the end of the world.
Ultimately, The Anime Review is a hobbyist's site. I have to acknowledge the fact that while my reviews are (arguably) of professional grade, I by no means run a commercial website. Even though I now have some banner ads for The Right Stuf, I have earned a total of $10 since they went up several weeks ago...and since they don't make a payment to me until I reach $25, it might be a while before I see my first income ever from the site! Seeing that hosting costs me $36 a year, it still looks to be a net loss. That's OK. I run this site because I genuinely love anime and love writing about it.
That said, as a seminary student, I have bills to pay, and this site isn't covering them. In the last week, I've had to turn off both Dish Network and our DSL to save money I know will be needed in the quite near future. We're surviving with an antenna for TV, which all things considered is fine. Our internet provider is now Juno, who offers us 10 hours a month of free dial-up service. That service feels like it's running about as fast as my modem connection in Russia in 1995, but it allows me to check my mail and update the website. Those are just the realities of life.
The other reality is that school comes first. Last night, I turned in an assignment that was a book survey of Proverbs. Have you ever tried to define the structure of a book that seems to defy structure? That gives you an idea of what I was up against. I also took another intensive course the first full week of February, this time Ethics, which ran for 25 hours over a three-day period followed by a test and a final paper within the next two weeks. Between those two courses, a Song Lyrics and Theology course, stepping into various ministries at my church, and trying to have a life, something gave, and it was my reviews. Frankly, I don't feel bad about that. Life is more than entertainment.
I have another intensive Ethics class coming up in the middle of April, so I expect I might have another one of these breaks then as well. In the meantime, I have to travel several hours north to become an official candidate in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) this weekend; I also have to get an application done for a required course of Clinical Pastoral Education. That is to say, I will become a 40+ hour a week "chaplain in training" throughout the fall in order to complete my degree and qualify for ordination in the Presbyterian church. This summer will be filled with 9 hours of courses on Presbyterian polity, history, worship, and theology. It's going to be a crazy year. And after that, who knows? Assuming I move into a pastoral job, I really don't know where The Anime Review will fit into that scheme. As most of my loyal readers know, my Christian beliefs keep me grounded, and I believe that God will take care of me and my family. Where that leaves this job -- and writing weekly reviews is a job, paid or not -- is uncertain.
The one constant through all this change and work is that I still am excited about the anime world. I'll continue to write about whenever possible, and hopefully still on my every week basis. But if not, I ask your forgiveness...there are other, more eternal issues at hand than what I think about what's on TV.