Friday, November 11, 2016

To Write or Not to Write.....



For those of you wondering, this picture has a pretty big significance for me now.  I mean sure….it’s just a clip from an old episode of The Simpsons.  What possibly could the significance be?  

Well, for those of you that have been following me for the last year, you may already know.  For those of you that don’t, let’s do a quick recap.

You see, last December, I made a visit to RediCare due to an issue with my right eye.  It was hurting, and felt like there was something in it.  I told the doctor that I have had something similar happen before, and I had been told in the past that it was a cold in my eye.  They prescribed me an eye drop, and said come back in a week if it doesn’t get better.  
Well, a week later, on Christmas Day, I was unable to see at all.  I went back to RediCare, and they basically had no idea what to do.  They called the on call doctor at the Idaho Eye Center, and I met him over at their facility.  He could see that there was an issue, but it didn’t seem like he knew what was wrong, so he prescribed me another eyedrop, and asked me to come back in about a week.  

Fast forward to now.  It is almost a year later, and the only answer I can get is that I may have a form of something called Keratitis.  So my right eye looks red, swollen, and has scar tissue, which is permanent, and now I probably will not be ever to see clearly out of it again. Everything I see out of it is extremely blurry. For reference, check the pic above. This is how I see the world now.  Which sucks.  I have been on lots of medicine to try and clear it up, but it seems as soon as I stop taking the medicine, the symptoms come back.  

Now, why do I bring this up?  Well, one particular eye drop I was taking was causing me extreme headaches, which made me really not want to do anything, especially write.  That and the fact that I was feeling burned out and uninspired didn’t really help matters out any.

I mean, I have tons of ideas and things I want to work on, but I was always falling back to one of these things as an “excuse” to not do any writing.  

But then, I started thinking about things.  I started thinking about the wrestling writing project that my best friend Ken Stephens and I were working on.  I knew how much this project means to him, and the fact that I was not contributing made me feel awful.  I was letting my writing partner down, and I could not do that to him.  Plus, I had started getting new ideas that I was getting really excited about, and requests to help with other writing projects, started kicking me out of my funk.  

The most important thing however, is one of the best teachers I have ever had, Mr. Rob Morris.  An amazing author in his own right, he had an accident which severed the muscles and tendons in his hand, and even though it is extremely difficult, he still manages to continue writing.  So, if he can still keep on writing, why the hell can’t I?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Just Let Go...

I realized that it has been quite a while since my last blog post.  And for my first blog post in such a long time, I had something really good planned, but halfway through writing it, I deleted all of it and decided to start over.  It is a topic that I have talked about numerous times, championed for, and held out hope for, and as much as I would like things to change, I finally had that moment where I felt like I had something that I needed to say, and after finally getting it off of my chest, I could truly just let go.  

So, instead of another long, lengthy post about something that no one cares about anymore, I am just gonna sum up briefly the point of the message that I was going to originally write.

June 17, 2011 marks a pretty great day.  It’s the anniversary of when the greatest group of nerds ever to assemble got together for the very first time, and created the Super Uber Kickass Nerd Squad, which then evolved into the Super Uber Kickass Nerdcast.  Man, I miss that show something fierce.  The one thing I miss more than that show are the guys that helped me do it.  

But, it doesn’t really matter if the show ever comes back or not.  Because honestly, it was never really about the show.  The only reason we ever started that show was because getting the five of us together at the same time was not always easy to do.  So the show gave us all a chance to hang out, even if it wasn’t always in person.  But somewhere down the line, it stopped being a chance to hang out, it stopped being about maintaining our friendship, and became something else entirely.  And that is where it all fell apart.  

Now, the show is long since gone, and I can’t tell you the last time that we all even talked to each other as a group.  And to be honest, it sucks.  Despite my several attempts to reassemble the group, it seems that it isn’t in the cards.  Finally, I think that now I can come to terms with it, and finally let it go and move on.

But  this day, June 17, will always be something that I remember.  With lots of happy feelings, and lots of sad ones as well.  And who knows, maybe someday, the planets will align, and just before the nerd-pocalypse is upon us, the nerds will re-assemble and take over the world once again.  #neverforget #RIPSUKNS

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cool Ideas that will Probably Never Happen...

Well, it looks like the post I wanted to do for May might actually get posted in May.  Granted it is the last day in May, but hey….better late than never.  

Looking through the folders in my Google Drive account, I have a folder called “Cool Ideas that will Probably Never Happen.”  

Now, most people would think, Cool Ideas that will Probably Never Happen, why would you do that to yourself?  That seems so negative.

And ya, one might perceive the name of this file of mine as a pretty negative thing, but I am looking at it as a positive thing.  Let me tell you why.

You see….lately...I have been feeling very scared to write anything new.  Maybe even very gun shy to produce any new content.  And, for the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out why.  Ever since my last blog post, where I put my personal writing out into the world, it has brought back the terrible, horrible, beast of a creature that I thought I had a pretty good handle on.  This creature that I am referring to is one that writers all over the world are all too familiar with, and that creature is known as The Inner Editor.

At first, I thought that it might be another well known enemy of the writer, commonly known as Writer’s Block, but it’s not that I have a lack of ideas, it’s just that for some reason, I can’t get any of them out.  I mean, I sit, staring at my screen for hours, just waiting for something to come out, but nothing ever comes.  And, on the very seldom occasion that something does come, I never manage to get very far due to the fact that nothing that makes it’s way out of my brain lasts very long, as I find the need to edit, edit, and edit some more, because “Reader A” or “Reader B” may not like my idea, may not think it’s as cool as I do, or any other number of excuses that I manage to come up with.

And I know, you just need to ignore your Inner Editor, or “you just need to get your story out and edit later,” or don’t write for others, write for yourself.  And usually, all of the above answers, or even a combination of these answers usually does the trick for me.  But lately, this has been easier said than done.  

Now, if you have made it through this much of my post, you may be asking yourself, “Hachi Machi...what does any of this have to do with the Cool Ideas that will Probably Never Happen folder that he talked about in the first part of this post?”  Well, let me tell you...

This is where all of the cool ideas that I have been coming up with are getting stored.  Story Ideas, Project Ideas, New Podcast Ideas, and a bunch of other stuff.  I guess in some sort of weird way, I am hoping that by seeing this folder every time I open up my Google Drive account, that I might finally get the courage that I have been lacking to put new content out into the world.  Hey, maybe I might even blog about some of my ideas.  Maybe that might help. Hey, a guy can hope, can’t he?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sharing is Caring

So far, my New Year’s Resolutions are not going as well as I had hoped.  I have improved in some areas, and stayed the same in almost everything else.  One thing that I had hoped to keep up on better was my resolution of doing at least one blog entry a month.  And, if you keep up with my blog at all, you will notice that I have not done very well with that.  So this entry, essentially my post for April, will be my attempt at trying to play catch up.  And for this blog entry, I am gonna be kind of lazy, and since it’s my blog, I’m saying it’s ok.   


For those of you that don’t already know, I try to spend as much free time as I can being a writer.  And of the few that already knew, several of them have asked to read some of my writing.  Well, here is the thing about me.  For some reason, I am a very self conscious writer.  I feel that every time I write, no one other than myself could possibly ever want to read it.  So, I have a lot of finished stories, and even more partly finished ones, that I just tuck away, never again to see the light of day.  But, in order for me to be a better writer, I feel that I need to get out of my comfort zone, and let people read my writings.  So, my good friend Ken Stephens and I started our own professional wrestling league called ACW Wrestling.  We create wrestling characters, storylines, promos, and wrestling matches and post all of them online.  If you want, you can go to acw.boardhost.com and check out some of our amazing stuff.  


But, if that’s not your thing, what I am going to do is include a snippet of a story that I wrote for NaNoWriMo back in 2010.  It is super rough, un-organized, and the format is super messed up, but it’s one of the most solid pieces of this story.  
 
Jamison Collins sat alone in his room.  Even though the sun was shining high in the sky, the blinds were drawn behind him, the only light being provided by the small lamp on his bedside table.  He sat, dressed in his Sunday best, on the end of his bed, looking past his dangling feet to the floor below.  Most other eleven year olds would take advantage of a day like this, spending every waking moment running around chasing a ball or enjoying the fresh air sweeping past them.  But Jamison sat, deep in thought, trying to forget the whirlwind of events from the past couple of days.  As hard as he tries to forget, the wounds are still very deep and fresh.  Watching his parents sacrifice themselves, give their lives to save his, is still something that his developing brain has still had not had a chance to process.
        It was shaping up to be a wonderful evening.  Jamison was spending a wonderful night on the town with his two most favorite people in the world, his mother and father, Bruce and Barbara Collins.  They were out celebrating, rewarding young Jamison for his hard work in school.  The year had just finished, and he was able to maintain high marks and finish as one of the top students in his class.  They had enjoyed a wonderful meal at his favorite restaurant, Ground Blooms, a Chinese restaurant where they served some of the best egg drop soup in the city.  Jamison had loved Chinese food since as early as he could remember.  He loved it, which was strange, because his mom and dad were not entirely fond of it.  He could eat it for every single meal if he was allowed.  His dad told him that his sister, Jamison's aunt brenda, shared that same love, and said that they should meet someday, as they had a lot in common.
        After dinner, they headed for the car.  Next up on the agenda, a trip to the museum.  Now, at first thought, you might think, a museum?  What person in their right mind would want to visit a museum for fun, especially an eleven year old boy?  Well, this night was no ordinary night.  Tonight, they were featuring an exhibit on Pirates.  Now if there was one thing that Jamison loved more than his parents, it was pirates.  He was fascinated by them.  The freedom of sailing all over the world, discovering new lands, searching for buried treasure, and of course, the sword-fights!  Jamison could barely contain his excitement as he kept stretching up, trying to peer out the window, looking for signs of the large, circular building covered in windows.
        But, they would never make it to the museum to see the pirates that night.  While waiting at a stoplight, a drunk driver came barreling up behind the little family.  Unable to stop the car, or even control it at all for that matter, the drunk slammed into the back of the Collins car, turning their full size sedan into something the size of a small compact vehicle.
        The next thing little Jamison remembered was the sound of police sirens.  At first he thought he was dreaming, but when he began to wake, he felt sharp pains all through his body.  Then, all at once, the reality of what happened came swirling back to him.  As he slowly came to his senses, he tried to look to where his mother and father were seated.  He saw them both slumped over.  He called out to both of them, “Mom, Dad, are you ok?”  But no response.  He unbuckled his seatbelt and slowly tried to get closer to where his parents were.  Every movement shot pain through his body, so he chose every movement carefully.  When he got close enough, he reached out and nudged his mother and father, while calling out their names again.  “Mom, Dad, are you ok?”  Still they were both un-moving.  Not giving up hope, he reassured them, “don't worry mom and dad, help is on the way.  Everything is gonna be just fine.”
        The police had finally arrived, and went over towards the Collins car.  Seeing that Jamison was ok, they helped him out first.  “my mom and dad are still in there!  You gotta help them!”  He said.  As he said that firemen and an ambulance arrived on the scene, and they began work on getting out Bruce and Barbara, as well as the driver that had hit them.  After working for almost an hour, they were finally able to remove the bodies of Bruce and Barbara Collins from the wreckage.  Jamison ran over to them, but was stopped a few feet away from them by a cop.  He looked a bit different from the other cops on the scene, so Jamison had pegged him to be the guy in charge.  The cop had bent down and was holding back Jamison.  He said, “I'm sorry son.  We tried everything, but they are gone.”  “What do you mean they're gone?  I can see them right there!  Let me go!  I need to make sure they are alright!”  “No son, I mean that they have passed away.  Your parents have died.”  Tears now filled Jamison's eyes as he spoke,” no, they can’t be dead!  They just can't be!  Let me go and talk to them, you'll see!”  The police officer held onto Jamison as he thrashed about hysterically until he could feel his small body get tired and slow down.  Jamison then turned to the cop and buried his face into his shoulder and sobbed, the reality of the situation finally setting in.  The officer embraced the boy and held him for what seemed like hours.  He knew that he could never replace the boys parents, for the love of a parent is something that cannot be duplicated, but he was not going to let this boy grieve alone.


I cannot stress enough though that this is a very rough draft, so please try and overlook that, and let me know what you think, good or bad.  (Please be nice!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wrestling isn't Wrestling?

Well, here we are, once again.  My monthly blog post.  Unfortunately, I let time get away from me, and did not meet my goal of doing at least one post a month, so I guess this month gets a bonus entry to make up for it.  For this first post, I will be talking about one of my favorite subjects…wrestling.  


A fellow by the name of Max Landis (son of director John Landis) recently released a video entitled “Wrestling isn't Wrestling,” and it is the most amazing, accurate defense for people who love and enjoy wrestling that I have ever seen.  I am more proud now than I ever have been to be a fan. So...if you have ever wondered for yourself why people like me love wrestling so much, or if you just want to watch a hilarious video, you should take 25 minutes and check it out here.  Unless you are not fond of extremely colorful language.  If that is the case, I have summarized the video's message below.  


Now, when people that I know find out that I love pro wrestling, the first thing I always almost hear, once the other person stops laughing at me, is:


“Uh….you do know it’s fake….right?”

“You know it’s not real, don’t you?”


Of course I know it isn't real.  In fact, people who feel the need to tell you that wrestling isn't real clearly don’t watch wrestling or have never watched wrestling at all.  But to be honest, it’s more real than any other tv show out there.  This show does not in any way pretend to be an athletic competition.  It’s a tv show about a wrestling show.  Each week, live, death defying stunts are performed in front of millions of people.  In fact, pro wrestling has more in common with Game of Thrones than it does with the UFC.  


The show also features an array of eccentric, larger than life characters, including an undead wizard, a leprechaun, and an evil group of male cheerleaders.  And if you follow one of these characters all the way from when they debut until now, you can see that this format allows for the telling of interesting, diverse, and compelling stories.


Our imagination is our greatest gift, and also can be our greatest curse, because we are bored all of the time.  When you are sitting alone playing on your phone, it’s because you are bored.  We, as humans, are constantly craving melodrama and fiction.  That’s what Lord of the Rings is!  That’s what Phantom of the Opera is!  That’s what Goodfellas is!  The human capacity for empathy through imagination is why we have stories.  And that is what fiction does for us!  It gives us a sort of simulator for bigger stories and even bigger emotions!


A lot of wrestlers are great characters….in fiction.  And that is what we want.  That is what we need.  From Long John Silver, to Perseus, to Neo, to Walter White.  We love watching people grow, change, and struggle.  It doesn't matter if they are good people or bad people, we don’t really care.  We need entertainment and we need it now.  And when you watch wrestling, that’s exactly what you are getting.  An elaborate work of fiction.

There is a a lot of things in wrestling that sucks.  But when its good, its great!  Wrestling is melodrama, mythology, action, comic books, and so much more.  But the one thing that wrestling isn’t….is wrestling.









Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hello sarcasm, my old friend....

You know, I don’t consider myself a man of many talents, but there is one talent in particular that I do feel incredibly proud of, and that is the ability to speak sarcasm rather fluently.  I consider sarcasm a close, personal friend, and one that has stuck by me for many years.  And in all my years of experience with sarcasm, I have come to find that it can be used in several different ways.  Some of those ways can be good, but more often than not, some of those ways can be bad.  
Recently, I have found myself experiencing the latter more often than anything else.  And you know something, I think I have finally reached my limit on the amount of negative sarcastic BS that I am able to handle without saying something about it, and changing things for what I think will end up being for the best.  Let me expound on that just a little bit.
Anytime you do something, say something, share something, there is always going to be at least one person that has some kind of issue with it.  Maybe they are offended by it, maybe they do not agree with it, or maybe they are seeing it so much from you and several of their other friends that they are being completely inundated with one topic, and they are tired of it.  And you know, to be completely honest, I totally understand that.  I am seeing the exact same type of thing from several different people, and most times it is something that I am not interested in any way whatsoever.
And I will be the absolute first person to admit that ya, I can get kind of obnoxious with the amount of things and the types of things that I choose to share or talk about.  There are certain things that I think are funny, or cool, or there are things that I think other friends of mine will like, so instead of taking the time to share those things with all of those individual people, I just share it with the masses, because even if I did take the time to share it with just a select few individuals, everyone is going to see it anyway.  
Now, to the people that I annoy, offend, bother, or just plain irritate, I just want to take a minute and thank you.  Thank you for either ignoring me, scrolling right by me, or by either telling me, or by just unfriending or blocking me.  To the people that choose instead to comment on things with a sarcastic tone with a hint of a deeper meaning, to the people that talk negatively behind my back (I have no idea if there is any, but I am sure there is at least one), why don’t you grow the hell up, grow a damn backbone, and come air your issues with me in person, or send me a message directly.  I am not a hard person to find.  Or better yet, just unfriend me.  Because honestly, I really feel that I no longer have time to deal with or associate with people who are going to be perpetually negative all the time.  It is really starting to rub off on me, and it's starting to affect me and the people that I do decide to surround myself with. 
I too was going to decide to play by that same, childish game, cause I am really good at that as well.  But after a discussion with my amazing wife, things kind of clicked in my head, and I then decided to grow up, and decided that life is much too short to waste my time trying to cater to the people that are choosing to live in a constant state of negativity.  If being that way suits your lifestyle, then that is what will work for you.  But I feel that no longer needs to be a part of my life.  And you know, if I end up losing a few friends over the fact that I am refusing to participate in their childish little games, then I guess we were never really that good of friends in the first place.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Fresh Start...

Well, it’s that time of year again.  The time for starting over, the time for new beginnings, and the time of year where people generally like to make proclamations on resolutions that they would like to accomplish throughout the upcoming year.  Well, for me, I want to try to get back into the habit of blogging a little more often, especially since my last blog post was back in April 2013, so I have come to the conclusion that what better time to start on this than now?
Now, since we are on the topic of resolutions, I think that will be the topic for today’s schpiel.  You see, I am just like everyone else when it comes to proclaiming New Year’s Resolutions.  I take days, sometimes even weeks, thinking of the things that I plan on doing different, or the things that I plan on changing about myself, and then I make sure to let everyone know about them, hoping that I can find someway to help keep myself accountable so I will be successful in completing my resolutions.  And, almost every single year, it does not take long before I fail in one or more of my resolutions, claim defeat, and totally throw that resolution out the window.  Now, you may be thinking, “That sounds crazy?  Why, after one failure, would he totally abandon ship on a resolution early on into the year?  There is still tons of time to redeem yourself?”  
Well, if you do find yourself saying that, or something similar to that, you would be correct.  That does not just sound crazy, it is, in fact, crazy.  But, here is my line of reasoning.  It’s not good reasoning, but hey, that is just how my brain works.  Every year, when I decide on resolutions for myself, they are usually time specific, or date specific, and if I miss a date, time, or something else very minor, it totally throws me all off.  Call it a slight touch of OCD, which I think might be the best way to describe it, but that is just how my brain operates.
So, this year I decided to do things a little bit differently.  Instead of giving myself a deadline, or making my resolutions super specific, I am going to go a little more generalized and broad, and see if I am more successful.  I have a feeling that I will be, and that is mostly because I want to be.  There are a lot of things that I want to start doing differently, and there are a lot of things that I want to start doing better.  I feel that, with me now being thirty years old, I need to finally have a come to Jesus meeting with myself, and accomplish these things that I want to do.  I need to start taking life a lot more seriously.  I have a lot of things left that I would like to accomplish, and if I don’t start doing them, they are never going to get done.  So, without any further adieu, here are a list of a few of the things that I want to accomplish not only in 2015, but possibly even beyond that.

  1. Be a better husband and father (not that I am doing a bad job, but there is always room to get better)
  2. Try and eliminate the negative from my life (life’s too short to spend it being negative and surrounding yourself with negativity)
  3. Try and surround myself with more positivity (hey, you can never have too much of that)
  4. Spend more time reading, either for my own enjoyment or reading to my daughter (I used to read a lot, but I have slipped the last few years.  I really need to get back into that habit)
  5. Do something writing related every single day. (Whether it be writing, editing, or writing research, it doesn’t matter.  As long as something writing related gets done.  Besides, ACW is not going to write itself!!!)
  6. Spend more time with friends.  (I have three people, other than my wife, that I consider my absolute best friends on this planet as of this writing, and we do not spend nearly as much time together as I think we should.  I need to look into fixing that.  One of them lives too far away, but I think I can still make that work)
  7. Work on my health (Even though this is kind of far down the list, this one is really important.  I have recently hit rock bottom healthwise, and I really need to start getting serious and do something about that.  I usually am putting others before myself.  While this is something that I am not going to stop doing, I just need to make sure that I consider myself as equally important)
  8. Strive to spend as much time doing as I do thinking (I am constantly brainstorming ideas for projects, and that is about where it stays, as a brainstorm.  I need to try and make more of these thoughts become realities. **cough cough** Nerdsweek **cough cough**)
  9. Take time for myself (This will entail still making sure that I take the time to continue doing my favorite past time, consuming mass amounts of digital media.  I love listening to podcasts, getting caught up on old tv shows and movies, and of course, playing video games.  I need to remember that no matter how busy I get, I still take the time to do these things as well)

While I am sure that I could probably go on for days, I think that this is a good start.  There are a few of you that I already look to as a daily source of inspiration to get that shot of positivity that gets me through the day.  You don’t know it, but want to thank you for being there, and for maintaining your positive outlooks on life, because I know that it is definitely making a world of difference in changing my outlook, and I really truly do appreciate it.  Well, I think after two pages, that is enough of me being sappy and preachy for now.  But hey, this is my first post in almost two years, I can be a little wordy!  A lot of things have happened since the last time I posted….