Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Equation

The Equation: Vimeo

My friend, Jeremy Collin's first fictional film. It also happens to be Marvin Mastin's acting debut! Congrats guys. :)

The Equation is a journey that follows french botanist Dr. Julian Desvaux in his pursuit for the rumored but undiscovered la respiration de orchidee ́s (The Breathing Orchid). It is rumored to have “fountain of Youth” qualities, regenerating cells and reviving deceased matter.

Armed with recording, mapping, and scientific devices, he shoulders an immense pack and heads into the jungles, mountains, and wild places to find this elusive flower. Along the way he finds his pursuit of beauty comes at a cost.

Slowly but surely his devices not only fail his pursuit, but become a hindrance.Eventually he is stranded in the wilderness with nothing more than his five senses where the story blooms much like the Breathing Orchid itself. Facing death, the thing he seeks may be the only thing that can save him.

Creator - Jeremy Collins
Music by Zoe Keating



Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences.

For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing?

Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.

~Timothy Leary

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Foux Da Fa Fa

Complete silliness. Just because we all need some once in a while.


Monday, January 21, 2013

What is your question?

I realized something rather basic but profound about myself last night while lost in deep conversation. My most foundational question in life is "How?" That head space and mind posture is how I approach every piece of information and circumstance initially, often lingering there far too long for others comfort. How?

This came to me after a long discussion about pretty much everything under the sun with my Dad that lasted till long after my usual bedtime during a work week. We tend to have these download sessions when we get together where we empty our minds and hearts of everything we have been thinking, observing and pondering on since we last got together and then hurl it all at each other for critical review, dissection and analysis. It often (always) sounds to others like we are in the middle of an hours long, intense and emotionally involved argument, but this is how we do conversation. It is a war, not with each other, but with our own selves.

Ideas are postulated, questions asked and then thrown into the common ring of words between us. We riff on ideas and follow every rabbit trail back to its hidden warren, leaving no stone unturned. We attack, retreat, thrust and parry for as long as it takes to get it all out or at least leave us both mentally exhausted and then part ways. The fallout and aftermath of such engagements is where the real thinking happens as we examine what was said, thought about and deconstructed to the very last detail. There is no topic too sacred or taboo to be gone over and in these mental gymnastics we find our love for each other, for learning and education and the eternal questions that we are always posing to ourselves and the world at large.

In such quiet, long after the engagement I realized that my first question towards everything is "How?". After this concept of a fundamental life question came to me in self realization, I discovered, my Dad's question is "Why?.

And herein lies both our greatest strength and bond of a Father and  his Son as well as the elemental root of our perpetual and historical misunderstanding of each other.

It was a fantastic night well spent.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I am reluctantly writing this. I have had no words to share lately. Almost reclusive in my own musings and thoughts I have been. Nothing of import or newsworthy to share seems to be the order of the day.

It is not that life is not happening. I am throwing myself into work even more and those tasks are now taking up six days a week of my time. There has been some employee turnover (for the best) there so my responsibilities and obligations have increased. I feel weary a lot due to these changes.

I celebrated my birthday this last week and it was amazing. We had dinner as a family at one of my favorite restaurants and they really blew me away with the thoughtful and generous gifts I received. I have never been one to make much ado over a birthday, much less request gifts, so I was really moved. They discerned two costly things I had saved for but never purchased for myself (cause I am strange like that) and went out of their way to buy them for me. I am happy with a card and a few dollars each year, so quite simply, I was stunned. I still am not sure what to think about that.

See? I just don't have that stream of consciousness moving at the moment to write on about what is going on in my life. It is possibly a combination of working too hard, much on my mind and the slow effects of winter, my least favorite season of the year.

Things are going well. I have my patterns and routine, though even these are changing. I work. I relax. Repeat as often as necessary. Even getting this many words out has been an effort. It is just where I am at lately. I am keeping my own company and treasuring my quiet and alone times more. I read. I practice piano. I work on my projects. Right now is a solitary time and I cannot say that I miss the people. I see enough of them at work. I have cycles where I retreat back into myself and this is one of them.

Does anyone else experience these ebbs and flows in social activity? I am exhausted after all the holidays, activities and end/turn of the year events. I just enjoy my quiet now. Even here.


Friday, January 11, 2013

The Last Mile

This 15 year old guy tells a story of love and family and made me cry my face off with happy. If you watch anything this. :)


PS: Happy Birthday to me. I promise to be here soon with some words and an update on this spectacular thing I call my life. Ciao!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Birth of a Tool: Part 3

The third installment in an amazing series. I enjoy their fantastic videos and the craftsmanship, dedication and attention to detail displayed in each. We all should bring such to bear in our respective fields. These men live and build in a beautiful world.


Friday, January 4, 2013

How To Tell You’re Becoming The Lame Friend

Your friends call you to go out and you don’t even look at your phone. It’s not that you don’t like them, it’s just that even to acknowledge the things they’re saying would make you feel guilty and uncomfortable. You’d rather listen to the sound of your vibrating phone and wait until it’s over than see the words which have actually been written to you. You know what it’s going to say — “Hey, we’re all meeting up at the bar at nine, wanna come out?” No, you don’t want to go out, and you’re tired of explaining it.

It’s not that you’re sad. In fact, you’re happier than you’ve been in recent memory. You’re just not interested in doing things socially just for the sake of doing them. You like being by yourself, or maybe inviting a friend over for a movie, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. And you know that announcing your desire to go to sleep would result in a million cries of “Oh, come on, don’t be so lame.” The thing is, you’re not sure if you’re lame or not by wanting to go to sleep early and not get drunk. You very well might be, but no amount of embarrassment is going to get you out of your apartment.

You sometimes wonder about the things you’re missing, the people who are doing things without you, developing friendship and accumulating memories. The desire to join them occasionally wells up in you and spills over into actual social interaction — you join for a few drinks, you stay out for a while, you laugh with the jokes and catch up on the stories you’ve missed. And you can enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with it. But the more pressing truth seems to be that you’ve grown out of something which you cannot quite identify. You love seeing everyone, you love learning new things, but you may not experience it in the same way you once did.

Your stamina, your ability to get wasted and consider it a real diversion, your desire to meet people in embarrassing circumstances which you might not remember the next morning, are all waning as you decide that you want to construct things during the day. You’ve always been told that maturing into a time when partying is no longer your go-to activity makes you something of a boring person, a certified adult — but you can no longer force yourself to be interested in the same things as all your other friends.

Sometimes you worry about what it would mean to be the “lame” one, to no longer be the last to leave a party or even be interested in meeting at the bar. You get frustrated at the automatic division amongst a group of people as “cool” or “no longer cool,” strictly judged on how much alcohol you intake or how long you stay out at night. You have moments of seeing yourself older and no longer fun, long-since slipped into a routine of a bit of television before bed, but you aren’t as scared of it as you are of being a person you’re no longer interested in being just to please everyone else. You’d rather ignore your phone, you’ve decided, than go along with a group who isn’t interested in finding a pleasant middle-ground.

You know that they’re probably saying something about you. They’re saying that you’re not as fun as you used to be, that you don’t know how to party, that you’re always at home. And though the feeling of being talked about behind one’s back is never pleasant, you at least know that it’s true. You’re the “lame friend,” and that’s okay with you.

JAN. 4, 2013 

Confessions of a Book Addict

Sometimes in life, serendipity, fate or Karma (if you believe in such notions) hand you a favor and grant you a little extra grace. (You can ascribe as much to God, or your choice of faith, if that works for you as well.) Whatever am I talking about, you may ask?

A perfect example of this just occurred to me this morning, but first...a bit of back story. My day on Tuesday and the first day of this year, was a flurry of activity. I worked in the morning and had quite a long list of things to get done in the afternoon. I had plenty of rest, due to the fact that I didn't attend any of the New Year's Eve parties I was invited to, knowing that 3:30 am would come all too early. I celebrated instead with my friends who also have similar schedules (or are independently wealthy....bastards) at noon and was tucked into my bed by a respectable 8:00 pm the night before. There are always many things to be done at the beginning of the month, paperwork, inventory, scheduling, organizing, reviewing event contracts and it was doubly hectic as I attempted to do them all, as well as cook breakfast for the hotel guests. Throughout the morning, I kept trying to talk myself out of my long list of errands to run but once I left work, as is oft the case, I had plenty of energy and threw myself into the tasks at hand.

I was in and out of the DMV with my new drivers license in less than five minutes (no small miracle there!) and ran around the city taking care of all the little details that can pile up so quickly in a single adults world.  I dropped off my dry cleaning, ran to the hardware store for project bits, took my books back to the Library (and yes, I paid my late fees), picked up some essentials from the grocery store, washed my car (finally), met up with my friend Jack to get the cheese he brought me for my Dad from Wisconsin, picked up some movies to watch later in the week and undecorated my house from the Holidays. (FYI: glitter is the herpes of the decorating world. I shit you not.)

With all that accomplished by five that evening, I was feeling rather proud of myself and I cooked myself dinner and started reading one of the books I picked up from the Library. In fact, it happened to be the book that was adapted for the film Julie and Julia, which after watching in the theater, inspired me to start this very blog of my own. Needless to say, it is a great story, a true one in fact, and I did something I had not done in a long while. I stayed up all night reading. Literally...all night.

Now this type of incident was rather common as I was growing up. I have always been an avid reader to the point of insane proportions, but as I grew older, common sense and reason had me asleep after a hundred pages or so each night. I cannot count the endless mornings that my Mom would knock on my door in the morning for me to discover I had once again read all night and now had to face the prospect of a full day of school, soccer or basketball practice or even worse, a game, before I could once again catch up on my sleep or the book, whichever held the highest priority. I am addicted to words and stories. Always have been. Always will be. (Note to future husband: this is a non-negotiable term in our marriage contract. You will share me with books. Sex and food are also priorities but may be deferred in my quest for story, knowledge and mental diversion.)

So now that you all know what a nerd I am and having shattered the illusions of a cool and mysterious man of adventure and taste, where does that leave me? Oh, yeah...getting ready for work all groggy and puffy eyed Wednesday morning. It was a quiet day at work. Easy tasks, food deliveries, more paperwork and nominal amount of cooking. I looked forward to taking a nap in the afternoon and catching up on some of my missed sleep. Due to my nature, that was not to be.

That evening, sans afternoon nap, as I got ready for bed, I looked into my back pack and discovered another book I had checked out that I had been looking forward to reading. "Looking forward to reading" is a bit of an understatement. It was a copy of The Hunger Games. I had studiously avoided all the literary reviews, dodged all conversations and discussions about it, ensured I never saw a trailer for the movie and refused to hang around my friends who had read the book or seen the film when it came out. I didn't want to know anything about it until I could find it on my own with fresh eyes and an open mind. Such is the case for a person like me. I can't explain it, that is just how I am. If something is popular, I avoid it at all costs until I can randomly encounter it and make my own decisions about whatever it may be without expectations. I figured I could read the first few chapters and then get at least eight hours of sleep. Not a problem...

You guessed it. Stayed up reading it all night. Again. The second night of reading a fascinating book, cover to cover with no sleep. Why do I do this to myself? I have no answers, but suffice it to say, work yesterday was a bit of a challenge. By the time I threw a roast in my Crockpot for dinner, I was barely navigating. I sacked out all afternoon, blissfully hibernating and only got up once when I had to piss like a racehorse. I don't even think I really woke up for that, but rather, stumbled into the bathroom, eyes half shut, drained the lizard and fell back into bed in my darkened bedroom. Beautiful sleep.

I woke up for dinner, which I have to say was fantastic! Roast beef, baby new potatoes, simmered onions, carrots and celery with a rich, hearty gravy and coarse rough bread. I avoided watching the Fiesta Bowl (sorry Craig, I know Morgan was playing), caught an episode of the Big Bang Theory (Sheldon is a God) and got ready for bed. I am happy to report I did not stay up all night reading, but I will confess, I did read at least one hundred pages of an Ian Flemming masterpiece I had checked out and not read since I was in middle school. Sue me! It was James fucking Bond!

So where does that leave me? Ah, yes. This morning. POW! The alarm goes off at 3:30 am and I start my day. Showered, shaved and coffeed. All is right with my world. I found myself wishing I had a few extra minutes this morning to slowly wake up, maybe have a second cup of coffee, read my morning paper sitting down like a real human and possibly take a moment to write on my blog, but it was not to be. As I prepared to slip my chef pants and coat on, I looked up into a mirror on my bedroom wall, caught my own eyes and remembered. TODAY IS MY DAY OFF WORK!

Why did I say all that? I have no idea. Sometimes my life and words just fall out of my brain. If you have read here for any length of time, or know me personally, this is no surprise to you at all. My point is this. Sometimes in life, serendipity fate or Karma (if you believe in such notions) hand you a favor and grant you a little extra grace.

Instead of putting on my work clothes, I pulled on my favorite hoodie and pair of flannel pants. I poured myself that extra cup of coffee. I did not bother making my bed. I retrieved the paper and will read it at the kitchen table at my own leisure. I received a coupon for free breakfast at First Watch for my birthday on my phone this morning and I might just drive over there later and let someone cook for me for a change. A little extra grace. I made a wish and it came true. My own faulty brain aided and abetted the Universe as an accomplice and conspired to put a unexpected smile on my face. I will take this as a positive sign of living right and always paying it forward. I have never gave to get but it sure is nice to be on the receiving end for a change. I am grateful for it and hope you enjoyed my well rested and coffee fueled entirely too long anecdote. I just wanted to share. Keep your eyes open for your own special points of grace and small favors. If you look for the good, you will find it. It is always there, you just have to make time for it.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I came across this personal story today and had to share it. I have followed Meyers's basketball career the last several years but never knew much about him as a person. I love my big brother. It reminds me of something he always tells me, "Family above all". Enjoy.