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Head Down ‘Til 2021

It seems the optimistic tone of my previous post about 2020 was a wee bit premature. Because, yeah, COVID 19 pandemic and all that.

So, now things suck. And we’ve been quarantined at home for a few months. And we can’t go to work, get a haircut, go to the movies or generally be within six feet of others without a mask or even greater forms of personal protection. And it seems things are gonna legit continue to suck for quite some time.

And yes, I don’t feel great about it most of the time. And yes, that’s a lot of “and” at the start of sentences. I get that. Did I mention the pandemic? I’m not exactly at my best. And I’m sure most of you aren’t either.

But you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling and to pretty much deal with this shit however you need to, short of hurting others, or yourself, of course.

Even though things look bleak, one thing is for sure, we will get through it. The pandemic will end. A vaccine will be developed and administered and life will get back to “normal.”

Will it be the same normal we were used to before? Nope. Might things still kinda suck for a long time? Maybe. Will it start to suck a bit less as time goes on? I sure hope so. I think it will suck for some time after but I also think we will start to feel better and eventually be okay.

It will just take some time. And that’s cool. I’m not going anywhere. And neither should you. Let’s just wait it out together. Okay? Cool.

And now I’m done. Try to be kind to each other while we’re in the middle of this shit. And heck, why not try it after we’re on the other side too?

Couldn’t hurt.

The Family Way

It’s been awhile. Yes, I know, you’ve missed me. I get it. I’ve missed you too. We used to have a pretty good relationship. And then I went and messed it up by not being around for, what, almost a year? Sorry about that.

It doesn’t really seem like its been that long. But time flies. Oh yes it does. In case you’ve forgotten what’s happened recently, here’s a bit of a refresher. I left LA/California and now live in Austin, TX. I’m a father. It’s a boy. He’s three. I’m semi-retired and stay home with him, which basically makes me a stay-at-home dad.

I love my life. I do, however, sometimes miss work. It was fun (mostly) and I’ll probably do it again one of these days. But I can’t complain, my kid is awesome and I get to watch him grow up every day. I’m very fortunate to be able to do that.

Also, I still do a podcast called The Flickcast with Joe Dilworth, my awesome co-host. And I take photographs, make things from wood and occasionally write. That pretty much catches us up.

Well, there is one other (pretty big) thing that’s happened since we last got together. As some of you may know, I’m adopted. Both of my adoptive parents are no longer alive and I miss them every day. I especially miss them when I want to ask parenting questions, but pretty much the rest of the time too.

I realize I’m far from perfect, but I think they did a pretty good job with me considering how much of a pain I was growing up. Spoiled only child and all that. Yes, I was quite the troublemaker. But in the end, I think I turned out okay. I only hope I can do the job half as well as they did. I’ll keep working on it.

But that’s not the big news. This big news is I’ve found my biological mother. Well, actually, H found her. H is good with stuff like that. But found she is and contact we have had. Quite a bit, actually. She’s great and we’ve discussed all sorts of things.

I’ve been to see her twice so far and plan on going again soon. I’m looking forward to it. But wait, as Steve Jobs used to say, there’s one more thing (at least). I’ve also got a brother and sister. And a niece. I know, right? A whole new family I never knew about.

I’ve spent time with my new Bro and Sis too. They’re terrific people and I look forward to getting to know them more. Actually, my sister, her husband and their daughter (the niece I mentioned) just visited us. And yes, a good time was had by all.

Just when I think life can’t get any better . . .

The Saga Continues


It amuses me when people post to their personal websites/blogs that they are not, in fact, dead. I’ve even done it myself. Probably more than once. Hey, here it is again: I’m not dead.

See, that wasn’t so bad.

The truth it I’ve been in a bit of a funk and haven’t had the motivation to write anything. I’ve been a bit down. A little on the low side. Bummed out. Sad, even. Why, you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you. It’s not my death that’s the problem, it’s my mom’s. Yes, you read that right, my mom passed away. It’s actually been a couple months now and I’ve had a bit of time to try to get used to it.

But if I’m being completely honest, I’m really not used to it . . . and I don’t think I ever will be. I think that’s okay though. I don’t think you’re supposed to get used to it or get over it.

You just learn to live with it.

On that note I’ve been trying to think of a fitting tribute to my mom and, perhaps, write something here that will do her justice. So far, I’ve pretty much failed.

What I can do is tell a story.

It was 1979 and the movie version of one of my favorite TV series, Star Trek, was finally coming to the big screen. It was called Star Trek: The Motion Picture and it would open on that Friday in December to mediocre reviews and somewhat disappointing box office.

But STtMP’s relative success is not really the point of this particular trip into the past.

The point is my mom let me skip school on that Friday, drove me to the theater and waited in line with me from the early morning until we were finally seated and where, in spite of the reviews, I had a great movie-going experience.

That’s the kind of mom she was.

Sure, some could argue allowing your child to skip school to see a movie isn’t the best example of parenting. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is she encouraged me … in whatever direction I wanted to go.

Even if she didn’t exactly understand, or share, my passions, she helped me figure out ways to indulge and pursue them. She was always there for me whenever I needed her and whenever I wanted to try something new. No judgements, few questions, just support and love.

Even when I made mistakes, she was there for me. That happened quite a bit, as it does when you’re growing up. But with her help I learned from those mistakes and became better for it.

These are the things a parent does. It’s what my mom did. I would not be who I am today without her. I only hope I end up being half the parent she was.

It’s a lot to live up to.

DIY Not?


As I’m currently sitting in a hospital room waiting for the circle of life to begin, I have some time to reflect on other, somewhat less important, topics. Here goes.

As some of you may know, we recently purchased a house. As the house is relatively new (only about 10 years old), it didn’t require any major renovations, or anything of that nature, for us to be able to move in and be happy/comfortable.

All we really did is paint the inside, change the locks and make a few other basically cosmetic changes. Nothing big and nothing that required a reciprocating saw or a sledge hammer. I can’t decide for sure if I’m disappointed about that or not.

Now that we’ve been in the house a couple months, I’ve become more or less hooked on DIY TV shows (that and increasing my arsenal of cool tools). In particular, I watch several shows on the DIY network including The Rehab Addict and Holmes Make It Right. Or, really, anything with Mike Holmes.

These shows are pretty interesting and often very informative. I’m also entertained and I usually learn something. They do, however, have one downside: I now want to redo the entire house (or most of it anyway).

Since I’ve been watching the shows I look around the house and I see a lot of things I want to upgrade or improve. I could redo the bathrooms, change the stairs, add a room above the garage or upgrade the kitchen. There’s just so many possibilities. In short, I now have a DIY issue.

I don’t think it’s really going to be much of a problem as long as I keep in mind the fact that the last time I did any real construction, or anything like it, was over twenty years ago. At the time I was pretty good at it, but again, it was a long time ago.

Sure, things haven’t changed that much, but I do think some more information and thought is required before I tackle any real DIY projects at home. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t keep building my collection of awesome tools, right?

Busy, Busy, Busy


I wanted to illustrate just how busy I’ve been recently by having not one, but three “busy” titles for this missive. So yeah, I’ve been busy.

That’s not to say that most of you don’t lead busy lives as well, I’m sure you do. It’s that I don’t know most of you personally so I can’t really speak with any authority on the subject, now can I?

I can speak with some authority or myself, however. So yeah, I’ve been busy. Been working on the house, working on other projects, working in general and also preparing for the arrival of Project M.

I’ve also realized that this time I have now to do things is going to be far less very soon. With the arrival of Project M imminent, I can foresee quite a bit of my time being taken up dealing with the day-to-day duties of being a father. No, I don’t mind at all. In fact, I’m really looking forward to it.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t, occasionally, miss having time to do other things. Free time will just have to be regulated a bit more from now on, that’s all. When you’ve lived your life a certain way for as many years as I have, a very large change like this will certainly cause one to rethink one’s priorities.

Fortunately for all concerned, I’m a very evolved human being and will have no trouble making this important transition. Well, fingers crossed anyway.

Let’s switch gears now and talk about another subject I’ve become acquainted with recently: Home Improvement. Fortunately, I’ve got some background in things of this type having done a bit of construction as a young man as well as having spent several years as a Grip on film and TV sets.

Sure, that doesn’t mean I’m ready to add a room onto the house (it doesn’t actually need one, truth be told) but I do feel I know my way around a screwdriver, hammer and various other power tools.

That also brings me to a subject I’m very excited about: Tools. I think every home owner (well, almost every one anyway) should have a set of basic tools for doing things around the house. I have a decent set of tools I’ve accumulated over the years and also have many of the ones my Father left for me. Others have been broken, borrowed or otherwise lost over the years.

Consequently, my tool kit is a bit lacking in some areas. So, of course, that means I get to buy new tools. I’m enjoying that quite a bit.

Once I put the kit full together, I’ll post it here so you can see what I feel comprises an essential tool kit. Until then, try to get some fun outta life, you know?

Louis C.K. Is Absolutely Correct ‘Everything Is Amazing’

Take a look at this clip. He’s absolutely right. We should be happier because the world is pretty amazing. I know it’s hard to keep this in mind when things are looking down, but try. In the end, you’ll be happier for it.

All I Want for Christmas Is . . . Nothing

With both Christmas and my birthday fast approaching, I thought it would be prudent to share some thoughts I have about the holidays that will hopefully answer the question I frequently get asked around this time of year: “What do you want for Christmas and/or your birthday?”

The short answer is I don’t really want anything. That’s right, I don’t want you (or anyone else) to get me anything.

Confused? Allow me to elaborate.

I don’t need anything — The truth is I already have pretty much everything I need. If I do really want or need something I don’t already have, I’m extremely fortunate enough to be in the position to just go ahead and buy it for myself.

If there is something I haven’t already bought that I really want, it’s probably very expensive and definitely not something I would ever expect anyone to buy for me. Or, as it is in a lot of cases, I just don’t need it that bad and am willing to go without.

I already have too much stuff — In fact, I’m really trying to downsize the amount of stuff I already have, so adding new stuff is not really a priority. Plus, I am currently looking for a new place to live, which may or may not have more space than I currently have, so I really can’t be adding a lot of new until that’s sorted out.

Although, even if I did end up with a lot more space, I would likely still be trying to downsize. The simple fact is I realized a few years ago I can live with less. It was a terrific realization and I’ve tried to stick with it. So far, I’ve been pretty successful.

I could go on with more reasons, but those are the big ones. I have a good life and I’m thankful for it. I’m also extremely satisfied with the current quantity and quality of “things” in my life.

Although, if someone did want to buy me one of these, or one of these, or one of these (perhaps all three?), I might find a way to make an exception.

Until then, I’m just gonna sit over here on my more than adequate pile of stuff.

Happy Long Weekend and a Fitness Update

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and ate until they could eat no more. As for me, I didn’t actually do that much eating this weekend as I’m in the midst of getting in shape for the rest of my life.

Yes, I realize the “rest of my life” thing might be heady stuff for this early on a Sunday, but what can I say? I’m taking steps to better myself, it’s going pretty well and I feel like sharing.

Since I started eating better, not drinking booze/beer and working with a personal trainer three months ago, I’ve lost over 20 pounds and can now fit into clothes I used to wear long ago and new ones I bought thinking I would eventually fit into them. I gotta say, it’s a pretty great feeling to be accomplishing a goal like this.

I’ve still got a lot of work to do so I can’t stop just yet and start eating pizza and drinking beer. That will come around again once I get to the weight and level of fitness I want to get to. At that point, an occasional binge here and there won’t be a problem.

Until then, it’s protein bars and turkey wraps on whole wheat tortillas for me. Fortunately, I actually like eating both of those things, so it’s not really that much of a problem.

The weird part is that I don’t really miss the bad food or booze all that much. I really thought I would. Sure, I think about eating pizza or a cheese burger, having a beer or, perhaps, a bit of 21 year old scotch now and then, but I really don’t miss any of it. It just isn’t as important as I thought it was.

What it really comes down to is this: I want to live a long, happy and healthy life instead of any of the alternatives. In short, I choose me.

I think I made the right choice.

House Hunting

Be very, very quiet . . . I’m hunting houses. Yes, that’s right, I’m in the market for a new place to live. I would like it to be somewhere with a yard, although I’m not completely sold on that. That’s more of H’s thing.

Still, having a yard would be cool for some things, I suppose. Of course, if you have a yard people will want to come over and be in it for BBQs and so forth, which is also one of the many hazards to having a yard.

And don’t get me started on the zombies. They love a good yard . . . especially when there’s lots of people in it gathered for said BBQ.

Maybe I need to look for a nice, easily defensible condo? Or, perhaps, a place like this.

Decisions, Decisions

I really hate making decisions in most situations. Often, I have good reasons for choosing either option I’m deciding between. Sadly, I’m in the midst of such a quandry at the moment and not sure how to proceed.

Over the years I’ve discovered that I have a lot of interests. Sometimes, those many interests hinder my focus on one thing in particular. After all, there’s only so many hours in the day and I only have so much energy so. . . you get the idea.

I’m going to be soliciting advice from people who’s opinions I trust and will arrive at some sort of decision sooner rather than later. That’s my process and I guess it’s pretty much the best way to go. I don’t like it but I’ll do it.

Although, I really shouldn’t feel too bad about having to make these kinds of important decisions. It could be so much worse.

I’m very lucky that I even get a choice at all.