Category Archives: friends

This, this, all the this!

If you are a creative, this video will sounds very familiar – but it’s a universal message. Lord knows I’ve been down this road a few times. Determination, persistence and touch of naivete is usually enough to win the day – it’s just the “day” in question usually lasts for years.

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Filed under actor 101, actor stuff, art, artist, behind the scenes, commentary, doing new things, education, fail, failure, filmmaking, friends, fund raising, general, getting fit, getting started, happiness, how-to, inspiration, jobs, learning experience, making movies, productivity, projects, REVOLUTION, social commentary, video, videos, YouTube

I’ve Touched the Sun… and it was Friday Night Lights.

There are a lot of things that I’m late to the party on: Jeff Buckley, Breaking Bad, not dropping the thundaduh, but the thing that I’m trying to catch up on right now is Friday Night Lights. Those familiar with the show are, I’m sure, yelling and laughing at me right now through the computer screen saying, “I told you so” and collecting money from imaginary bets that no one actually made but somehow still make sense in the reality of this analogy. It’s a great show.

Seriously, a great show.

One of the greatest things I’ve ever watched that was created for television.

Where Breaking Bad takes the idea of the criminal underworld, deconstructs it and then rebuilds it into something that resembles the “failing upward” comedies of the eighties combined with a hard-boiled drama, Friday Night Lights is all heart. ALL heart. Like so many people who didn’t catch onto this show originally, I didn’t give it a chance because I don’t care about football. Never have. I have teams (Geaux Saints!) but that’s mostly on pain of death from my in-laws. I also grew up with the Bears and Packers, not knowing that there was a huge rivalry between the two. My favorite football moment in history was The Superbowl Shuffle.

I think I’ve made my point.

As I was saying, my football bias got in the way of me giving this show a chance. People told me over and over again, “It’s good you should watch it!” Yet I did not. I heard programs like NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour rave about it. I still didn’t try it.

Finally I gave in. I was bored one day and scrolling through Netflix (how do I get a sponsorship through them?) and the show came up under popular TV shows.

I gave it a shot.

I touched the sun.

That phrase, I touched the sun, comes from my high school days. My friend, author Jeff Garvin, and I used to hang out with a guy named Ryan Moore. Ryan was (and I assume still is) a clever dude. He helped to introduce me to the magic of The Beatles, showed me how to use Video Toaster and was a good writer from what I remember. He also had a knack for delivering a turn of phrase when the moment called for it. One day he was explaining something and said, “I touched the sun, Jeff. You know how people can tell you that the sun is hot, but you don’t really know how hot until you actually touch it? I touched the sun.” Well, it was something really close to that. I don’t remember it verbatim. But the point should be clear. There are things that we go through all the time that you just can’t fully understand unless you actually experience them. Little things like a hot fudge sunday or what it feels like to pet a porcupine, all the way up to big things like falling in love or racism.

That was a harsh way to leave that sentence, but I stand by it. Friday Night Lights may not be the same as falling in love, but it’s a damn good show and if you want to know how good I truly advise you to touch the sun.

See you next time!

Also, in case you want to own the series you can purchase it here at Amazon.com

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Filed under friends, rambling, TV

A Week in Re-Cap – But only One Picture

Really I could talk about a lot more than a week, but I’ll try and keep it centered around the last week’s worth of events – unless I ramble and start talking about other things too.  We’ve been busy lately!  Shooting for the documentary has ramped up and the next six to eight weeks are going t be packed!  Today I get to purchase my doctorate.  Still debating whether or not I’m going to be a doctor in gravy or pick a better “specialty.”

OK, I was trying to write about other things but there’s really only one thing I’ve wanted to write about for the last few days – GO-KART RACING!

I love my job!  We have business meetings in the best places and last week we had one at a K1 Speedway in Gardena.  Open racing, Chinese food and a healthy dose of manly competition (even the women were feeling manly)!  A friend of ours was having an event for the pre-production of their new film “Super Go” which is about, you guessed it, go-kart racing.  I’ve been indoor go-kart racing before, but I have to give it up to K1 – who is not endorsing me – for a pretty killer time.  The karts were smooth and quick, they took a surprising amount of punishment (all unintentional, of course) and 
all done with electric motors!  Here’s a view from my kart before the start:

Since it was a private party they weren’t really keeping great stats, but I’m pretty confident that, even if I wasn’t winning a lot, I was a top racer.

When we were done I felt like I’d just played Grand Theft Auto for eight or nine hours straight.  I had to cool off before I felt safe getting back in my own car and even when I did it felt very different to drive a real car again.  Zeke said we should just make movies about go-karts from now on so that we can have an excuse to race more.  I can’t argue that, it’s a good idea

Off to shoot more movie stuff!

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under business, friends, fun, making movies

Sunday Morning 11-28-2010

It’s Sunday morning, the coffee is brewing and I’m a bad blogger.

Normally I feel like it’s customary to write a “What I’m Thankful For” post – I see them all over the blogosphere – but do you really care what I’m thankful for?  The things I’m most thankful for (family, wife & dog) you can probably guess and I don’t know that any major epiphanies are going to rise out of discussing them however, in a kind of weird associated way, Thanksgiving at my parent’s house did get me thinking.

Rene and I went to my parent’s house on Friday – we had two separate days of Thanksgiving, one for each family, this year – and after all the turkey was gobbled and we were sitting around double bloated from that dinner and the dinner from the night before Rene reminded me that this would be a prime opportunity to play Just Dance on the Wii and try to work off some of the mountain of food that we ate.  I had forgotten the game at our house (we had taken it to her parent’s house the night before) and needed to go get it.

On the drive back, with the winter light, the smell in the air and powered by the sentimentalism that goes along with the holidays my brain somehow was reminded of a conversation that I had had back in high school with my friends Jeff, Scott and Dan.  It was one of the kind of conversations that you have when you’re “16 and angry” and you’re tying to figure out your place in the world.  The way I remember it Dan had been talking with his parents about something, I believe it was how much he thought high school sucked, and his dad told him to try and enjoy high school because they were the greatest days of his life.  Dan took a great deal of offense to this and told us that if these were the best years of his life then he must be aiming too low.  Then I completely agreed with that!  I still do.  All of my greatest years have come after high school – all of them – but it took until Friday evening for me to really see what people mean when they say that the high school years are the greatest years of your life and finally I see that it isn’t about the accomplishments but the opportunity!

High school is the last bastion of childhood before adulthood.  We throw out the term “teenagers,” but in reality that term is just a marketing device designed to convince 12 to 17 year olds to spend their parent’s money on stuff that only 12 to 17 year olds want.  They are the last years where you have the guaranteed safety of family and school and you can test your boundaries without risking your future beyond the school year.  It is four years of opportunity just waiting to be used populated by by the very people who will willingly choose NOT to use it.  It’s a wonderful juxtaposition.  Adults looks back and think of the different number of things they could have done while teenagers knee deep in it barely scratch the surface.

When I think back on my high school years I have very little that can pass as a regret, my high school experience was pretty good, and although they may not have been the greatest years of my life I unwittingly did make quite a bit out of them.  Even still I know that there is more I could have done.  I will always wonder what it would have been like if I had accepted that position on the wrestling team, if I had taken student government just a bit more seriously or not abused the absence policy my senior year.

…Who am I kidding, the absence policy needed abusing.

So if you’re reading this and you’re still going through high school I hope that you’ll take advantage of the different opportunities that are there for you and enjoy them.  I know that it can seem like the pits – I remember – but even the pits are nice to look back on later.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under friends, high school, rene

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Blatant Plug: I LOVE the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour!

I know that there is a risk of sounding pompous or hipster, but I do not care!  To quote a segment from the show: Pop Culture Happy Hour is something that is making me happy this week – and really every week when it shows up in my iTunes.  This morning when I was dropping Rene off I saw that I had a new episode and I felt as my face rose into a huge smile and I couldn’t click fast enough to start it.

Let me tell you a bit about the show as I see it:

It’s a round table conversation show – with real conversation, not just talking points.  Your hosts are writers and editors from sections of the NPR studio that deal in pop culture specifically Linda Holmes of the NPR Monkey See Blog, Stephen Thompson from NPR Music, NPR.org arts editor Trey Graham, and comics blogger Glen Weldon.  They are friends and colleagues that genuinely enjoy talking to each other and make you feel, as a listener, like you are as much a participant even though you can’t actually add to the conversation.  They talk about current television, movies, books, music, whatever but also aren’t afraid to dip into pop culture’s back catalog and pull out the more obscure references and gems.  There have been a few times when an old show or reference has sent me to my own archive and the internet to hunt down and see for myself what all the hubbub is about and they have also opened my eyes to the possibility of reading The Hunger Games books (thank you StephenReadsABook@gmail.com).

At the risk of sounding like a complete drooling fanboy, the biggest reason that I listen is because this show reminds me of the conversations that I enjoy having with my own circle of friends.  Replace Linda, Stephen, Trey and Glen with Rene, Dean, Zeke and myself and the conversations drift into the same places – except I can rely on a weekly dose from PCHH and it can be hard to get all of your friends into the same place at the same time.

I’ve included a link HERE!

Check it out, I think you’ll like it.  Or if you don’t let me know why in the comments.  Each show is about 45 minutes long – but it goes by fast!

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under blatant plug, friends, podcasts

Project 365 10-2-2010 D&D & Birthdays.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a geek.  I play Dungeons & Dragons un-apologetically and a few other different table top war games like Warhammer 40k and Mordheim.

I play D&D with my oldest childhood friends and so the game really becomes an excuse to get together and catch-up…

…in addition to killing orcs, goblins, and lord only knows what other monsters.

Part of tonight’s game was eating cake for my friend, Liz’s, birthday:

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under dungeons and dragons, friends, Games Workshop, project 365 2010

Project 365 8-23-2010 Five Guys. Burgers, Not Gay Porn.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, however if you’re in the North Orange County area of Southern California then that’s pretty unlikely, but there is a new new burger joint in town.  It is very popular all over the country.  It is blogged about by people other than me, it is praised in Zagat surveys and it’s even been mentioned in the pages of Marvel Comics.  Five Guys Burgers & Fries has opened in Orange near the 55 freeway and it’s making the same kind of splash that Krispy Kreme and the iPhone made when they first came out. 

There are lines around the block, excitement from those in the line and high expectations.

Maybe those expectations are a bit too high.

Dean and I went to Five Guys for lunch and ordered some of these nationally renowned burgers.  Burgers that, if you believe the hype, are “…better than In-N-Out!”  We ordered bacon cheeseburgers, which come standard as “doubles,” and I had mine with  lettuce, tomato and grilled onions – just like my Double Doubles.  I also ordered the Cajun fries and washed it all down with a root beer.

The result:

I intended to take a picture before it was eaten, but I dove right in.  Dean put it best when he said, “…you didn’t even put it down!”  So as you can probably tell I liked it.  It was a really good burger – but it was far away from being the “best” burger I’ve ever had and that got Dean and I in a discussion about hype vs reality and the Apple phenomenon.

When it comes right down to it I still like In-N-Out burgers better.  There is a taste to In-N-Out burgers, a kind of salty hint, that is what I look forward to when I know I’m getting In-N-Out.  The taste gets me excited!  Five Guys doesn’t have a specific taste.  Dean and I both agreed that it tasted like a really good homemade burger.  Desirable?  Totally, but I know what it tastes like because I make burgers like this at home and when I’m out I don’t want to feel like I just paid more for something I could have made myself. 

I felt kind of tricked.  Yeah, the food and fries were good and made from “high quality ingredients” but it wasn’t the life changing experience that the press had told me it would be.  That’s the downside of hype.  If the product can’t live up to what it has been built up to be then, even if it’s a great product, it’s disappointing.  Dean and I were drawing comparisons to other things that get a lot of hype that we don’t seem to get like Chickfilet and Apple fanboys.  I have never seen why Chickfilet is so popular.  I find them bland and expensive, but fans of the chicken treat it like the white meat second coming!  And I think we all know, or are, an Apple fan boy.  The thing is that these products are good, great even, but do they warrant the price or praise that is associated with them?  How much are you paying for quality and how much for the prestige of the name?  And with the iPhone 4 it had a great launch and continues to sell well, but it’s legacy is marred by “antenna-gate.”  Krispy Kreme had a great shot out of the gate, but since then they’ve had to close stores and they are far from the glory of the late 90’s. 

So it remains to be seen if Five Guys will go the way of Apple or the way of Krispy Kreme, but if you’re in the neighborhood and you’ve got a good two hours to blow stop in a try a burger, just adjust your expectations.  You don’t want to be a victim of the hype.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under food, friends, musings, project 365 2010

Project 365 8-21-2010 Babies.

So, yes, Rene and I are married.  We don’t know about the whole “having babies” thing, but it seems like everyone around us is having them!  Today we helped to celebrate our friends Kristin and Jim as they welcomed their new addition to their home.

Baby Nolani (sp?) is adorable, but there were another six or thirty babies in that room all busy being cute.

The difference between married no kids and married with kids becomes wholly apparent when you are one of few married couples without in a room full of marrieds with.  The vocabulary is different, the food is different, the furniture is different, it’s a whole different world.  I’ve known people with kids my whole life, but as i get older I notice the differences more.  I still don’t know how I feel about the whole thing.

Right now we have a dog and he is a wonderful dog who is as precious to us as any child and that’s good enough for me.

Normally I’d pop up pictures of the party, but I’m not a fan of posting pictures of kids so today’s picture is of Rene enjoying a finger full of frosting from the AWESOME cake they served at the party:

I love cake.

Oh, and we had fun with physics as we played with water droplets on a tablecloth that resists moisture:

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under Frankie, friends, project 365 2010, rene, video

Project 365 8-16-2010 We Eloped!

Yep, you heard right!  We eloped!  It was an amazing day and we are so grateful that our friends and family could join us!

Enjoy these pics:

These are just the pics from Rene’s camera, there are about a zillion more from different cameras – not including from our photog!  I doubt that I’ll ever get around to posting those, but this is still a good representation of the day.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under family, friends, project 365 2010, the wedding

Project 365 8-14-2010 Last Day At The Fair!

It was the last day at the fair and we took Dean.

Dean hasn’t been to the fair in a long time so we tried to show him all of our favorite parts in just about five hours – it was a tough mission.

I think it is best told in pictures:

By the end of the night I was bloated, my legs hurt and I could barely stay awake.

It was a great night!

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under fair, friends, project 365 2010, rene