This is my personal blog. This is where I explore the various pitfalls and triumphs in my life. It's a cheap form of therapy, I know...but I don't hold things back here. I don't expect you to agree with what I have to say, but everything I write here is the truth from my perspective...and I won't apologize for it. If what I say offends you, angers you, or effects you negatively in any way, my apologies. Feel free to not come back...I won't mind.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Branding oneself...

Do you know what I like about cooking by myself? It gives me an opportunity to think while accomplishing something tangible (and delicious). Tonight I made spicy white chili from a recipe I found online the other day. What I was thinking about was the meetings I attended today with a consultant concerning our station's marketing and social media impact...which led me to think about how what I learned today can be applied on a personal level. In particular, this blog and my own social media presence.

The consultant, Larry Rickel, encouraged us to rethink our "brand"...the brand not being just a slogan and look, but an emotional connection by which the viewer/reader associates your overall product. Reading back over this blog and looking over my social media contributions over the last couple of years, it all feels random and disjointed. Then again, my life have been rather random and disjointed.

I really enjoy social media, for the most part. Some days it's annoying, even frustrating, but most days it's a great way to communicate with friends and loved ones, receive news, and for entertainment. When it comes to using social media, we learned that it's all about interaction, not just presentation. One of the main ways to encourage interaction, especially on Twitter and Facebook, is to tag people within a post or tweet. So, I'm going to start doing that. If it starts to annoy you, please let me know and I'll stop.

In case you want to follow/friend me in my various social mediums, here are the links:

Facebook Twitter Goodreads Google+ LinkedIn

Anyway, I have no answers right now...other than that I need to do something to create a more cohesive message. Stay tuned.

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On a side note...

I'm currently reading A Moveable Feast by Earnest Hemingway (Wikipedia). It's a memoir of his time in Paris in the 1920's, but that's not as important as the little nuggets of advice he offers, mostly unintentionally, on writing. One thing suggested is to write in a journal everyday, so it's something I'm going to try for a while to see if my style can improve. I'll keep you all informed...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Keeping it all in balance...

You may notice that my blog is on a new site. It took me a while to realize that I really didn't like WordPress so I've migrated back to Google's "Blogger" services. Here I just have more control over the presentation of my little journal.

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Sometimes my life, just like everyone's lives I'm sure, feels like a vaudeville act. Not just any act, mind you, but the one with the man balancing spinning plates on wooden rods...trying keep them all up and spinning. It's not like I have much to complain about when looking at the overall picture, but it just feels like, in my attempt to keep my life as simple and "balanced" as possible, that I'm running from one plate to the other, desperate to keep them all going, exhausting myself in the process.

To me the hardest struggle comes from balancing two rather esoteric concepts...comfort and adventure. Most people seek comfort within their lives as a goal in itself, whether it be financial comfort, comfort within a relationship, professional comfort, or a combination of all of these and more. I'm not immune to this, but I also have this desire to do more, to see more than who and what is around me. I've stated before that my biggest fear in life is to die and leave one of those sad, boring obituaries...you know, the ones that most people just glance at in the newspaper, not even willing to assign a name and photo to the idea that the person written about was a person of worth who lived a full life.

I don't want my adventure next year, as well as everything I've done and will do to prepare for it, to be what I'm sure most people would view as an exercise in "getting it out of his system". I'd rather it instead be the first step in a richer, more enlightened way of viewing the world. I want to live a life not tied to an iron-clad set of circumstances, at the beck and call of faceless masters, but one where I dictate the terms and can call myself master.

Like I said, I don't have much to complain about right now. Life on the whole is pretty good, but some reason, and maybe it's just me, I have this tired, nagging nagging itch in the back of my mind that I'm either doing too much or not enough...and it’s damned annoying that I can't figure out which one it is.
The overarching flow of my adult life has always been dictated by career and love...and now is no different. So since this blog is as much about keeping a record of my milestones in preparing for my walkabout, I guess I should take account of my "pretty good" life at this point.

Work is good. It's been rather slow in general general interspersed with short periods of manic deadlines, but there are storms on the horizon as we approach May and things are going to pick up in the next few weeks...and probably stay fairly busy until June.

My current projects include a commercial campaign for a Temple florist and a couple PSA campaigns for USO and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I've also been named the content/line producer for my station's annual Fort Hood USO telethon in late May. Otherwise, I have a few commercial assignments in the next few weeks and I'm still the department's point-man for producing promotions for our syndicated programming (like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz) and for getting our station's promotional product trafficked correctly.

In my freelancing life, I'm still doing occasional motion graphics work for a few companies and working on a compositing project for a film production company in California (at this time that's all I can say about it...damn NDAs). Pretty soon I'm going to put my shingle out to try to get more of this type of work. Since I can't show most of the compositing work I've done up until now, and getting that kind of work usually requires a decent demo reel, I'm shelving the feature-length screenplay I've been pecking at the last few months and scripting a demo reel to to mostly feature the effects I can do now as well as a couple new ones I want to add to my toolbox. As soon as I have a shooting script locked I'll cast and schedule, shoot my footage, and knock it out. I've kind of set a goal of having it done by July 1.

I may have one small VFX job latter this year for a horror movie being shot this summer, but we'll see.

The divorce from Peighton was finished and closed over a month ago and, unfortunately, it looks like any hope that we might remain anything more than footnotes in each other's life stories is gone. There's just too many lies on her part and too much suspicion on mine for even "friends" to be a possibility. I have one more trip to Oklahoma next month to get the last of my "stuff", then it looks like that chapter of my life will be finished for good.

So But that's only one small part of my "love" life...the rest has been much better.

My dating-life up until a few weeks ago could only be described as "hit-&-miss"...mostly miss. Then I met Amanda.

I'm trying to figure out a way to describe her...at least in a way that won't embarrass her.

(Sorry, love...I'm going to fail at that.)

What I admire and appreciate most about Amanda is her intelligence, her adventurous nature, her sweetness, and her unflinching honesty. She's a budding filmmaker/actress and one hell of a photographer. She's beautiful with a knock-out smile. (See the photo? Great smile, right?)

Above all that, we have a ton in common, but not so much that I think we'll get bored with each other.

Seriously, my face hurts from all the smiling...which is a good complaint to have. So far we've gone on several dates with the promise of more to come...and we text or Facebook IM all the time.

The only complaint I have is that she has the most frustratingly unique schedule...namely that she is unavailable on the weekends because she has to go to Dallas for her college internship. It may be many more weeks until we get even a part of a weekend together, let alone the whole thing...but we'll make it work.

The only thing left in the healthy-living quest...and it's going well.

I've lost over 10 pounds in the last few weeks. Good diet and exercise are the culprits in that.

Now that the weather is warming up, I'll be hiking more on the weekends.

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And the plates keep spinning...keeping their balance. I'd like to think I'm doing a good job in my little act, but only time will tell. In the mean time,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Let's stop rationalizing, shall we?

Slightly off-topic, but this subject is pertinent to life in general.

As I've been forced to re-enter the dating world, I've met several women who share a single characteristic...one which I also share. This saddens me.

We've all been cheated on by our significant other at some point.

With TV shows like "Cheaters" and websites like ashleymadison.com (an online dating service that specializes in the "married-but-looking" crowd), the practice of cheating on one's significant other has sadly become something that society no longer looks down upon...it's even elevated it to the level of "entertainment".

I am proud to say that at no point in my life, in the various serious and not-so-serious relationships of which I have been a party, that I have never cheated...not in my heart and not with my body. Now, I'm not a prude. I'm a fairly liberal guy, in fact...but when it comes to fidelity, I'm probably considered "old-fashioned".

So what I would like do now is ask a series of questions. With the possible exception of couples involved in an "open" relationship, if you answer YES to any of these questions, than you are a cheater.

KEY:   ** denotes cheating with your body;   »» denotes cheating with your heart (Of course, most of these can fit both categories.)

  • Have you made any romantic gesture (romantic texts and/or messages, gifts, etc.) towards someone who is not your significant other? »»

  • Have you kissed or "made-out" (1st or 2nd base) someone who is not your significant other? **

  • Have you made plans to have sex with someone who is not your significant other? »»

  • Have you had sex (3rd base or home-run) with someone who is not your significant other? **

  • Have you participated in cyber- or phone-sex with someone who is not your significant other? »»

What's worse is that it seems like everyone who is a cheater has a good reason for doing so. They rationalize their choices, making excuses for their behavior and the pain they've caused...or they don't think they actually cheated.

Guess what? You did. You are a cheater. Yes, you should feel ashamed of what you've done...and yes, you are a bad person.

So if you feel the need to cheat on your significant other, it's time to think about the potential consequences of your decision. Stop rationalizing your actions and do the right thing. If you don't love him or her anymore, if you have lost the emotional or physical attraction you once held, it's time to nut up or shut up.

Or better yet, before you "nut up" be a decent human being, shitcan your plethora of excuses, and leave your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend with as much sensitivity as you can muster before you start whispering sweet nothings to other people, before your lips touch another's lips, and definitely before you fuck 'em.