Updating and cleaning up

It’s been a while since I really took a good look at this website, and it shows. I’ve been so focused on the current job that a lot of the creative focus I had for this site went by the wayside, along with my creative drive as a whole. I’m right now in the process of giving everything here a clean up, not including ripping out whatever old WordPress plugins and getting the site up to date. I’m trying to get back to thinking about creative projects again, and what I want to have on this blog again. One of the ideas I have is to just do some blog posts about some random things I like, combined with coding projects or other things I can call my own.

More to come sooner than later.

Wasteland Weekend 2018 Photos

Here are the photos I took at Wasteland Weekend 2018.

Wasteland Weekend 2018

It took a while for me to get these published- my main computer died last year, and recovering these photos became the hardest part of the recovery process. On top of all that, these photos were meant to be part of my test run with the newer Lightroom- that didn’t go so well. But I finally got it done, after a few hours of research and exporting of photos.

So go take a look at the complete set on Flickr, but I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites from the event.

Wasteland Weekend 2018: Wasteland Kratos

Wasteland Weekend 2018

Wasteland Weekend 2018: Jugger Warmups

Wasteland Weekend 2018: Juggers

Wasteland Weekend 2018: Juggers Square Off

Thank you to the Juggers for letting me tag along- hope I can do it again soon.

The return of this blog

2019 has been an odd time for me so far. I planned to bring this website back in tandem with projects and content I had been working on, but life has a way to throw such plans sideways (and then some).

My previous employer closed suddenly last February as the owner of the nonprofit passed away. It’s one thing to be laid off, but mix in a pinch of shock and a heaping of grief and anger- you can begin to imagine what it’s been like so far. I’ve been told more than once by others how impressed they were to see me handling it all.

As I searched for a new job, I realized I needed to get this site up sooner than later. So as I’m searching for a new job/career path, I resurrected this dinky WordPress blog with a default theme. I wish I had the time to make some bespoke theme, but I did what I could to stylize it, and will probably keep tweaking it until I have the time to properly make something that’s mine.

I am working on a portfolio for this site, and I do have some content waiting for me to publish publicly. So expect to see more. When? Possibly after a few more interviews this week, maybe next week. Things are still tumultuous and I really don’t know where things are headed anymore, so leaving myself with nebulous goals is a safe bet for me.

To close it out, here’s a copy of my header image I threw onto my Flickr account- one of my favorite photos I’ve taken of Los Angeles about two-ish years ago on my iPhone 6.

Slice of LA

Managed to get that shot while out working my second job and it still manages to be one of my favorite photos I’ve ever done. Delivering alcohol in the greater Los Angeles area resulted in me meeting all sorts of characters and stories I keep thinking about transcribing one day. If I ever get the chance to, at least.

Thermal Selfie

I haven’t written much in a while.

Life gets the best of me, and work has been such a giant part of my life that I neglect to write. Or do anything but work related stuff.

I hate that. I need to change that.

I’m working on some more longform stuff, but before I go, a picture.

Here’s a selfie I took of myself against a metal wall using a thermal camera I got to mess around with. Just my body heat reflecting off of a metal elevator wall at work.

Thermal Selfie

Got to see Conan

I went to see Conan today. For those who see the show tonight: Biscuts!

I got to see Conan.

I haven’t been to a live taping a show for a long time now. I wrack my mind right now trying to come up with great examples of where I’ve been at, but the last place I remember is seeing American Gladiator at the tail end of the show’s lifespan (or I think I watched that show. My memory is fuzzy on that part, but for some odd reason, I remember seeing a show with a giant foam ball gun, so I assume it was that show)

You never see the behind the scenes of it all- and it was amazing to watch. Everyone had everything fucking down. The wait to get in line, to get to the studio, to be seated, to watch the show itself took absolutely forever. But once it started- it took basically the show’s length for it to be shot- save for a few camera repositions, it was 30 minutes in and out, musical guests, comedy sketches, everything.

But the remarkable thing was the joy on everyone’s faces. The look on Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band is of joy as members bound through the studio audience, pumping them up with songs. And one cannot forget Conan himself- who prowls around, talking to all the members of the crew as they prepare the next segment easily. He towers over everyone in height, yet he was just one of the guys, being friendly and overall incredibly kind.

It was a blast to watch- I’m definitely considering going again soon.

By the way, I was on episode #412, “The Very Understated Adventures of Captain Beige”. The best you could see of me was you see was a giant orange blob, where I melded with my friend together into the audience.

Me on Conan

Retail on the Holidays

Day five out of six in a row.

Last night, I got off of my work at 11. Today, I reported for duty at 7 am. I had a total of eight hours to drive my coworkers home (I do so for some so they don’t have to ride the bus so late at night), wish my sister a happy birthday (this year, she turns 23), sleep, and repeat this cycle over again. Working retail during the holidays, to put in simple terms, just drains every part of you.

I have no energy when I get home. Those times I planned to work out in the evening end up with me lying in bed, staring at the ground with a lack of willpower do push-ups. Plans to work on future projects are tossed aside as I try and not think about the man who’s screamed at me multiple days in a row.

I just don’t have the energy for the willpower sapped away as customer after customer comes at me like a never ending stream of self imposed misery as they put off their holiday shopping until the very last minute.

But there’s a certain moment that I catch that makes this all worth it. That smile forming slowly over the customers face as they finally found that perfect present.

That shy smile forming on a six year olds face as I present to him (at the behest of his mother) his early Christmas gift. He clutched it, gripping his new toy with such eagerness I find myself content. Happy to see his face turn into a shy grin.

Letting a customer know that yes, we do have that product still in stock, and their sigh of relief as I present that gift they would have scoured the entire Los Angeles area to look for.

It’s those times that make it worth it. That make me happy to be here. It’s having those moments where I know I’m tired but, I have my coworkers there to support me. Retail isn’t a fancy job, nor is it something glamorous.

Retail can make bitter husks out of people, and I’ve seen it happen. I would like to think that I’ve gained patience, understanding of the problems those face in the service and retail world. And I enjoy it- I just have to look for those small things that make the overall experience that makes it worthwhile. Or at least, tolerable.

note: I wrote this when on four hours of sleep or so. If I sound disjointed, my apologies. I will be writing more soon.

Support The Widdershins!

Support an amazing artist. Kate Ashwin (aka, Komiyan) is an old friend from my times back in the webcomic days (I say that as if it’s a lifetime ago, but in the world of the internet, it really was). She’s a sweetheart with an amazing talent for whimsical fantasy stories that just draw you in. Widdershins is her latest creation, and she’s kickstarting the print version. She’s already 2/3rds of the way there, and I want to see her accomplish this. Support an amazing artist and her creation. It’s worth it, I promise.

My sister and Rachael Ray

My sister and I have… a less than optimistic viewpoint on the famous cook, Rachel Ray. It’s not that we hate her- it’s more like… we strongly dislike her. Her fake optimism, the whole empire she built as a cheap Martha Stewart- okay, that’s beside the point, but either way… Imagine our surprise to discover that my grandmother has a subscription to Rachael Ray Magazine. My sister, being a good “adult” per se, started to deface the magazines as they arrived at my grandma’s house. Crazy point though- my grandmother has yet to notice. There’s a stack of magazines still in her living room with this artwork. I check on them occasionally, seeing what my sister’s latest mad works look like. Here’s a small taste:

Unibrow Rachael Ray

Chola Rachael Ray (that one is my favorite)

Derp Rachael Ray

By the way, she’s in her twenties. My sister is so special.

Screenwriting and the Script Frenzy

Countless nights. Countless days. I forced myself not to play video games- only playing Battlefield 3 when friends wanted to play with me. Games that I have been looking for, like Mass Effect 3, were barely touched throughout this month. My brand new Playstation Vita was only picked up twice, only to download new applications for it. There wasn’t a day where I was writing a screenplay. I couldn’t stop myself. And it was wonderful. Script Frenzy, at least for me, is now over, with a total of…

Total Script Frenzy page count: 178 pages! Fuck yes!

178 pages. 178 pages of script. I didn’t think I would write so much, but once I started… I couldn’t stop myself. Hell, there were times I wanted to slack off, where I kept saying to myself “Okay, after this page, I’ll stop and watch a movie or something.” But the movie never came. I just continued to write, write, and write. That night, I finished one of my screenplays, writing until 3 am until it was done.

The words “The End” never felt so great, but I was eager to just go back and start editing it. At that point, I forced myself to go to bed. I had work that day at 10 am. But I didn’t care. I felt like I had accomplished something new during that time, or rather, feel that sense of accomplishment I hadn’t felt in years. I compiled all the pages I had written today- counting them up in one file. Right after I had counted it, I paused for a second, reviewing over the work I’ve done so far. And then I started writing again, pouring through my work. It felt fantastic.

I originally started to write in the sixth grade. I started writing some ridiculous screenplays back then. I still have them all- I pour through them from time to time to amuse myself, to see what I had come up with as a teenager with an overreactive imagination. Back then, one person was my biggest influence, my biggest motivator to continue writing screenplays. It was Taylor.

Taylor always cheered me on to write- back then, I mostly wrote silly comedies, things that I knew would make Taylor laugh. And I loved making him laugh- his face filled with glee as I read stories aloud to him. I remember riding along with him in his Black Mini- sitting in the passenger seat as I read hastily written scripts on lined paper. I would be watching for Taylor’s reaction- that sense of relief and joy I got when he cackled in joy, slamming his palm down on the steering wheel as he proclaimed his love for the screenplay. I could think of no other joy then that very moment. After his death, my motivation to write… dried up.

I would come up with ideas here and there, but my need to get it down on paper was nonexistent. I did write the last Script Frenzy in 2011, but even then, right after I finished, I would stop completely writing. It felt like an obligation back then. I feel like that’s gone now. I’m writing screenplays every day, even if its for only five or ten minutes. Maybe in the morning, as I’m reading my news headlines of the day, I’ll flip over to Celtx (the amount of love I’ve professed about this app is bordering on an endorsement deal. I seriously wish they would have paid me for the amount of times i’ve talked to people about the app) and start to write, or edit things. I’ve finished counting my pages for Script Frenzy, and I still want to write more. It’s no longer an obligation to write- I just want to keep writing and writing more. I love this feeling. During this month, I went to go to visit Taylor. I brought the iPad along, reading to him passages of my scripts to him. Passages he would have loved.

Reading to Taylor

I’m sure he loved it.